Authors note: Hey there! I'm a first time writer but I love reading fan fiction and thought that I would give writing one of my own a good go. Critiques/reviews would be very much appreciated! Enjoy!
Anna stood in the first light of the morning sun, eyes closed and enjoying the way the warm light felt on her tanned, freckled face. She took this rare peaceful moment and etched it into her memory before continuing on with her hunt for the wild flowers that grew along the bank of a low-end London river. The more she gathered, the more she could sell and hopefully she would have enough money to have something to eat, and a roof over her head for the night would be a bonus.
A cough began to push its way out of her throat and she pulled out her tattered handkerchief to mask the noise. What started out as the occasional dry cough had gradually become a persistent, crackly cough that came in frequent long fits. The wheezing and coughing had finally subsided and she took off to gather as many bundles of flowers as she could find. When she had picked as much as she could, she made her way to the main streets in hopes of selling them.
The streets were busy with people going about their morning routines and Anna found a place to the side of the road where she wouldn't get knocked down. "Fresh flowers for sale!" she yelled repeatedly into the passing crowd. Upon a wealthier couple passing her by, she held out a bunch to the gentleman, "Lovely flowers for a lovely lady?" she asked hopefully. The gentleman looked at the dirty, unfortunate girl and, taking pity on her, agreed. He gave her some money in exchange for a bunch and handed it to his smiling wife. Anna looked at the smiling woman, she really was beautiful. With her finely tailored clothes and her immaculate hair. Anna found herself wondering what it would be like to live the way she did. She looked happy, she must be. That's what Anna wanted, to be happy like this couple, to not have to worry about where her next meal was coming from or if she had to sleep on the streets with one eye open that night. She also wanted to know what love feels like, to have what that smiling couple seemed to have. To have connections, a family. People that cared. It was a dream that she longed for, but a dream nonetheless. Anna beamed whilst shoving the coins in her pocket quickly, "Thank-you kind sir!".
These interactions with oncomers usually continued well into the night. Most would ignore her but the occasional traveller would take pity and buy some. She had managed to sell the majority of them by the time night fell. She counted her earnings for the day, "Ten farthings! Enough for some bread and a roof over my head tonight!" She looked at the remaining coins and smiled, "And the rest to save." After buying a small loaf and eating as much as she could, she wrapped the rest up with her handkerchief for later and went about seeking a room for the night.
Laying amongst the other temporary tenants of a small rundown room she had managed to acquire for the night, Anna couldn't help but feel that she was being watched, despite everyone else in the room being asleep or facing away from her. She shook the feeling off and tried to get some much needed sleep. Stifled her coughs as best as she could and eventually found herself drifting into a light uneasy sleep. As the morning sun rose, she found herself ripped from her grogginess with the feeling of being suffocated. She couldn't breathe. She pulled herself up and staggered, tripping over various sleeping bodies leaving a trail of yelps and complaints to get to the front door. Ripping it open and collapsing outside onto the cobblestone ground, she let out a fit of loud, rumbling coughs. Dark mucus flung it's way out of her airways and onto the ground beneath her. With her airways unblocked, she gasped for air greedily. Back heaving and eyes watering. She was getting worse. She needed medicine. Even with her savings, she didn't have close to the amount that she would need.
Anna slowly dragged herself up and pulled back her chestnut hair that had fallen into her eyes. If I can make the amount of coin that I made yesterday again, I'll have money for some medicine, and then everything will be fine! she thought to herself. Being optimistic was an important thing to her, it's what enabled her to continue on, even when life was at its worst. And that was becoming a more common scenario lately. But she refused to give up. There must be something more to life than just this. She was sure of it. Whatever it took, she was going to find it. Something better.
She made her way to another area on the bank, a little slower than usual and continued her day just as she has many times before, collecting flowers. This time filled with more frequent bouts of coughing and a constant wheezing. Making her way to the main street, she set about trying to get the attention of the oncomers. Her constant hacking and coughing was acting as a deterrent today, as the oncomers looked at her with disgust, covering their mouth and nose and giving her a wide berth. As the day progressed, so did her cough. She wasn't getting as much oxygen as before and she was becoming weaker.
Her knees dropped to the pavement as another coughing fit ensued. This time, no matter how much she coughed, she couldn't clear her airways. She finally collapsed all together. This can't be how it ends. Not now. She weakly thought to herself. Her lungs spasming in an attempt to get air in. Her consciousness began fading and she fought to keep it and regain control of her body. Please, help me! Was all she could think to the passers by that walked around her, some stepping over her. Someone please, anyone. Help me. I don't want to die, not like this. Darkness filled her vision from the outside in until it was nothing but black.
That's when she heard it, a deep voice, as smooth as velvet. "Anna." She was standing in complete darkness. It was so cold. "Who's there?" she yelled into the endless abyss. The deep voice echoed again "You called for someone, did you not?" "Yes, I did" she replied hesitantly into the darkness. "And now I am here, you have summoned me, that can never be changed. And nothing sacrificed can ever be regained." the deep voice replied with a tone of finality. She took his words in slowly thinking them over before speaking again, "Are you going to help me?" "I can, if you wish. For a price." She shivered in the cold abyss. "I just want to live my life how It was supposed to be." Anna replied weekly. "And how is that? What kind of life do you desire?" She didn't hesitate before replying, "I want to be happy, and healthy. I want to know what it's like to have a home, and to know love." She paused before adding, "And I want to find my family"
The voice without a face whispered in her ear suddenly " Well then Anna, I think I can help you with that." She froze as she felt a warm breath on her ear. "But all things come with a cost Anna." She swallowed a lump she didn't realise had formed and pushed herself to reply, "What will it cost?". A clawed hand gripped her shoulder, startling her. "I will give you what you want Anna. Health, fortune and love. I will even reunite you with your family. I will help you achieve all of this so that you can enjoy the life you so desperately desire. But you must give me the one thing that I desire Anna... Your soul." Anna took in his words carefully. This is insane, this must be a dream. But it feels so real. Either I'm dreaming and this will have no consequence, or it's real and I'm dying. And in that case.. I'm not ready to end my life, not like this. Thinking it over and with a decision in mind, she straightened her shoulders and replied. " I agree to your terms."
The clawed hand turned her around to face its owner, a tall figure shrouded in dark mist. Red eyes bore into hers and fanged teeth revealed themselves as the figure spoke. " Are you sure, once a deal is made, it cannot be undone" She tried to show no feat at the sight of the creature, "Yes, I'm sure". The figure showed a fanged smile, "Then it is done." Anna felt a burning on her chest ripping her eyes away from the creature and down to see a glowing mark appear above her heart. Her consciousness then faded completely.
Coolness. She felt something refreshing on her forehead. She opened her eyes slowly and saw a hand with black nails retreat from her head with a damp cloth in hand. Following the arm with her eyes, she saw it belonged to a tall man in a pristine white shirt and black vest. "You're awake." the deep voice drew her attention to the man's face. He was beautiful, in an eerie way. Perfect pale skin that any woman would envy, Hair as black as coal and the most beautiful ruby tinged eyes she had ever seen.
They were mesmerising and they were smiling at her. The man spoke again bringing her out of her thoughts, "I hope you don't mind but I took the liberty of changing you into something more comfortable." Anna looked down to see that she was wearing a pristine white nightgown. Rouge coloured her cheeks as she pulled up the covers on the bed she laid in to cover herself. "Where am I?" she croaked out. Her throat felt like sandpaper. "The man sitting beside her bed smiled again before standing and gathering a bowl of soup. It smelt amazing. "We're in the grand hotel. It was imperative that we get you off the street and into a more comfortable place to recover fully." Anna watched as he held a spoon of soup out to her mouth "You're a very sick girl Anna" He said with no hint of emotion, "Please, eat this. You'll need it to get your strength back."
She eyed it warily. "Who are you?" The spoon retreated and he looked her in the eyes with a serious face. "Surely you remember our meeting." The voice was familiar. And those eyes...Suddenly, the memories of her collapsing, their conversation came flooding back. Anna froze wide eyed. "Y-your the creature I saw!"
The man smiled back at her, "Welcome back Anna".