Mattie

©Molly Looby No way. I knew I was dying. I knew I was dying fast, but this hit me like a speeding bullet. How long did I have left, years, months, weeks? Days...?
Hours...?


For Ali-Rose life is just a fading moment. Fighting from her inevitable death is the only thing she can do to save her family from the grief that is sure to engulf them. But something on the horizon is about to change her life...
Forever...


(This is a Twilight fanfic set twelve years after the end of 'Breaking Dawn', but not from Bella's POV, from the POV of Ali-Rose - all will be revealed if you care to read on.)


(Author's Note: Before you read Mattie, please can I just point out that it was written when I was fourteen-fifteen years old, and it was also the first thing I ever wrote and finished, for my own benefit and that of a close friend. I know it has its flaws and I'm okay with that because this story made me grow as an author more than I could've imagined. I truly hope you enjoy it.)

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8. PASTIME

WE ENTERED A HUGE CLEARING, MUCH BIGGER THAN the one we had been in yesterday. My hair was dripping wet from the pouring rain. Edward set me on my feet and I shook my hair out like a dog. Jacob laughed at me and did the same.

“Uh Alice . . . ?” I called unnecessarily, she would have heard me if I had whispered. “Are we playing in the rain?” The rain was hammering down, I couldn’t see very far out. I knew Alice was in the clearing somewhere, but my eyes couldn’t pick her out. Alice skipped towards me and stopped so that she was just a few footsteps away.

“We just have to wait for ten minutes and it’ll die down, but yes, we’ll have to play in the rain.”

“At least it won’t be torrential like this.”

She laughed and glided towards where Jasper was waiting. Jacob had the ball, and he and Renesmee were throwing it back and forth harder and faster, trying to make the other one drop it. Carlisle and Esme were a little way out deciding the teams - it would take us a whole day if we were all picking the teams. Rosalie and Bella were standing under a tree attempting to keep dry, watching Emmett and Edward race round the clearing. I wondered how bad I would be at baseball now, the last time we played I could run around the bases as fast as Esme, but now, well, I didn’t want to think about it. At least I could still catch; I would just have to be in the right place at the right time. Thunder rumbled through the clearing, louder than I’d ever heard it. I flinched as another clap of thunder shook the forest floor. Jacob looked up at the wrong moment and nearly got a baseball in the face, but Bella was there her hand centimetres from his face, with the ball resting in the palm of her hand.

“You should be more careful Jake.” Bella said sarcastically. “My hand didn’t break your face like it should have done, but this ball,” She threw the ball swiftly to Renesmee. “Just might have done.”

“Come on Bells, that was more than ten years ago.”

“And yet I’ll never forget it.” She stuck her tongue out at him and smoothly ran over to the middle of the clearing where we were gathering. I laughed, unable to hold it in any longer. I was so glad I had the books to update me on the past; otherwise I’d feel very left out right about now.

“Don’t you start!” Jacob warned. I carried on giggling and started to make my way over to where everyone else was standing. Jacob was pushing me along trying to make me go faster, obviously annoyed with my near human pace. I stopped and looked him in the eyes; I had to crane my neck to do so, he was only inches away from me.

“What?” I demanded angrily. “I can’t go any faster.”

“Oh yes you can.” Jacob flung me over his shoulders and sprinted towards the Cullen’s. I screamed protests at him but nobody paid any attention to me.

“Humph.” I moaned as I was dropped towards the floor. I landed upright, which was a good start. Jacob smirked at me. Esme cleared her throat to gain my attention and began telling us what had been decided.

“Carlisle and I have decided the teams. I’m going to referee to make the teams even and . . .” She looked meaningfully at all of her children, Jacob, Renesmee and me. “. . . to stop you all from cheating.” Emmett laughed, but we all knew it was true. “Also . . .” she continued, “If Ali-Rose gets tired and needs a break I can swap with her, this will keep the teams even.

“Nobody will be on the same team as their partner, this is because we don’t play very often and this will make the game twice as competitive. Ali-Rose, you won’t be on the same team as Carlisle.” I nodded eager for the game to start. “Right . . . the teams.” Esme looked at each of us when she told us which team we would be on. “Edward . . .” She pointed to the left. “Carlisle, Rose, Jasper, Nessie. You’re batting first.” They made their way over to home base, high fiving their teammates as they went. “Bella, Ali-Rose, Emmett, Alice, and Jake - you’re fielding.” Esme threw the ball towards Alice as she drifted in the direction of the pitcher’s mound. Esme spun round and made her way to the edge of the clearing. I giggled softly to myself. Without realising it, Carlisle and Esme had – effectively – sorted us into ‘Team Edward’ and ‘Team Jacob’. I caught Edwards eye, he was laughing too. Go Team Jacob! I cheered in my head. Edward gave me a smile that was both competitive and confident. It seemed to say – ‘bring it on!’ I couldn’t decide where to stand, standing too far out was a bad idea, I wouldn’t be able to throw it far enough to reach any of the bases on our huge baseball field. I would have to stand close and just be patient instead.

“Right . . .” Esme called in a voice loud enough so I could hear. “Everybody ready?” We all nodded our heads in answer. Here we go. A flash of fork lighting flickered in the distance and a crack of thunder roared. Adrenaline pulsed through my veins as Carlisle stepped up to bat. Anticipation welled up inside me.

“Batter up!”

Alice grinned at Carlisle before she flicked her wrist and sent the ball hurtling towards Carlisle’s bat. The echoing crack was deafening. The ball went flying through the forest. Emmett was nowhere to be seen. Carlisle darted around the bases and stood triumphant at home base seconds before Emmett returned with the ball.

“Home run!”

Edward was up next. I ran towards home base, knowing that standing there would be my best chance of play. Edward hit the ball soaring into the forest, but Emmett was waiting in the trees. Emmett emerged from the trees and sent the ball whizzing in my direction. I caught the ball at the same moment that Edward reached home base. We both looked up at Esme in disbelief.

“Home run!”

‘Team Jacob’ shouted abuse while ‘Team Edward’ teased and mocked. Edward walked past me and whispered in my ear as he passed.

“I bet you wish you were Team Edward now.”

I growled impulsively, and readied myself for Jasper’s turn. Bella managed to catch Jasper out before he reached first base, and Emmett got the ball to me before Rosalie skidded to my feet.

“Out!”

I stuck my tongue out at her and she pushed me over. I threw the ball as close to Alice as I could and stood firmly at home base brushing the mud off my back as I waited. Emmett was ready in the trees, Jacob on the edge of the clearing, and Bella covering closer to the game. Renesmee gave Jacob a taunting smile. Alice flicked her wrist and a booming thump shook the floor as Renesmee hit the ball towards Jacob instead of as far out as she could. The ball touched the ground for less than a second and then Jacob sprinted full pelt towards third base. Renesmee raced Jacob there, looking like a practised hunter about to catch her prey. Jacob and Renesmee collided with a bang. The ball went flying up in the air. Alice caught it and sent it in my direction. When I caught the ball I held it up high.

“Out!”

“Yes!” I cheered. We made our way over to where Renesmee had left the bat. I gave Alice a high five as she flitted to my side.

“We’re doing well. I thought that I would make playing more challenging.”

“It was a really good idea to stand at home base, it was really helpful.”

“I’m afraid my batting skills won’t be so helpful.” She just smiled encouragingly as she went to stand closer to the field.

Emmett was up to bat. I paid close attention to where the other team were positioning themselves. It would be difficult for me to even get to first base. Emmett sent the ball flying further into the forest than anyone else. Emmett rapidly dashed around the bases, but Edward was leaning against the tree, ball in hand, a huge grin stretching across his face. Emmett roared in frustration and cussed at Edward.

“Out!”

As Alice went up to bat I noticed that I was finding it more and more difficult to see. I decided I was just going to hit the ball softly, hopefully, this would be unexpected. Alice closed her eyes and hit the ball to the left. Skilfully, she flew around to second base before the ball was back in play. Her unexpected hit to the left had given her extra seconds. She reached third base as the ball was thrown to Renesmee, who was pitching for their team. Alice winked at Bella, as Bella stood with the bat in her hands looking like an Angel as she did so. Bella had the biggest smile on her face as she sent the ball soaring into the depths of the forest. Somehow both she and Alice got round to home base before the ball came hurtling towards us. I had to dive out of the way to avoid the balls destructive path. I slid across the ground breathing painfully . . . heavily. Jacob picked me up and wiped the mud from my face.

“You okay?”

“Yeah . . . yeah I’m fine.”

Everyone rushed over to us, Edward continuously apologising until I told him to shut up.

“Are you okay Ali-Rose?” Concern was all over Esme’s face.

“Yeah I’m fine. I’m just covered in mud, that’s all.”

“Are you sure you don’t want to sit out?”

“I’ll sit out when we swap over.” I was still panting, finding it difficult to breathe. Carlisle came to stand beside me, going into doctor mode.

“Something’s wrong. What is it Ali-Rose?” I looked at him curiously, not entirely sure what he meant.

“Nothing I’m fine.”

“You must tell me Ali-Rose.” He stared at me until I spoke.

“It just surprised me. I’m just finding it a little bit difficult to return my breathing back to normal.”

He looked both concerned and relieved at the same time.

“If Jake goes first I’ll be fine by my go.”

He nodded his head.

“Okay, back in play.” Esme said waving everyone back into position.

It only took a couple of seconds for us to get back into the game. The scores were tied, two homeruns each. When Jacob hit the ball I bounced over to Bella and told her my devious plan. Jacob was caught out just as I had shared my plan with Bella. She agreed and I bounded towards where the bat had been left. I turned round as I picked up the bat, Bella winked at me. I permitted myself a quick glance at Edward. He looked bewildered as my thoughts disappeared and my plan fell into place.

“You ready?” Renesmee called to me.

I nodded a single sharp nod. Renesmee flicked her wrist and I smashed the bat to the ball as hard as was physically possible, unlike the plan that I had made clear in my head for Edward to hear earlier. I ran towards first base. Surprisingly, the ball landed just beyond the trees. I was still sprinting towards first base, finding my running pace maddening. Edward was racing me, I was so close. I pushed myself harder, willing myself to run just a little bit faster. I dived for first base. My hand hit the base a millisecond before Edward’s foot appeared in my eye line.

“In!”

I looked up at Edwards amused face.

“I bet you wish you were Team Jacob now.”

I picked myself up and tried to catch my breath before it was time to run again. Emmett was up to bat. The ball rocketed towards the trees and I sprinted off again. Emmett caught up with me in an instant. He picked me up under his arm and ran as fast as he could. We skidded in the mud as we reached home base. Emmett threw me onto his shoulders and cheered. We looked towards Esme. She was smiling.

“Home run!”

“Yes!” Emmett and I shouted simultaneously.

“Esme . . .” I called over to her. “I’m going to sit out now.”

“Okay, do you want to call it?”

“Uh . . . I think it would be fairer if you still called it.”

She laughed. “Okay, good idea.”

I walked over to a conveniently placed tree trunk and sat down. My muscles were burning. I must have pushed myself too hard. I only ran once. I watched the game continue. Edward caught Alice out and they swapped over. ‘Team Edward’ quickly drew with our team as Carlisle and Jasper got home runs. I snickered as Bella caught Edward out and then again as Emmett did the same to Rosalie. In the next ten minutes or so four homeruns were scored. We were winning by two points as the third innings started. Play was fierce. Neither team wanted to lose - they would be declared the losers until the next opportunity to play. As I watched – what seemed to be an endless game – I thought about school. I wondered whether I was going to be allowed back. It was Friday night, so I had another two days at home. The thought made me cheerful. I concentrated on the game once again, cheering as much as I could. I was wondering what the time was when the game ended. I was lying on the floor staring up at the sky. The stars were bright tonight. I loved the night sky. Jacob appeared in my view and I realised that the game had ended.

“Who won?” I asked, jumping up from the muddy ground.

“Team Edward of course.” Edward looked smug.

Bella laughed. “Oh yeah, I didn’t realise.”

Everyone laughed as they also noticed.

“But we were close.” Alice added. “They only won by one home run.”

“Hey Ali-Rose?” Jacob bounced up and down with excitement.

“Yeah?”

“Do you want to ride on my back this time - so Edward can beat us all home?” Jacob said sarcastically.

“Yeah . . . okay.”

“One second.” Jacob disappeared for a minute and a giant russet-coloured wolf trotted out from the trees in his place. Jacob had his clothes in his mouth. He threw them to Renesmee who huffed.

“I say we put his clothes up a tree.” Rosalie said as a sly look crept across her face. Rosalie and Jacob would never be the best of friends, but they weren’t as bad as they used to be. It was pretty amusing when they argued. I jumped on Jacob’s back and held on to his fur. I stroked the fur on his head; it was both soft and rough at the same time.

“Shall we make it a race then?” Edward said grinning to himself.

“Translated – who wants to lose?” I said sticking my tongue out at him.

He chuckled. “Roughly translated - Yes.”

“Whatever.”

Everyone set of in a flash. I held on as tightly as I could, and buried my face in Jacob’s fur. Travelling on Jacob’s back was a completely different experience from travelling on Edward’s. When I was on Edward’s back I was only aware that I was moving because of the hundreds of trees that flew past so quickly that you hardly saw them. But with Jacob, you moved up and down as his front and back legs hit the soft muddy ground. I wouldn’t have stayed asleep if Jacob had carried me home last night. In some ways it was more comfortable to be on Jacob’s back. He was softer than a vampire, but a lot warmer. I raised my head, wondering why it was taking us longer than usual. We were a few metres away from the river. We’d gone the long way round. Jacob leaped - not bothering to stop – over the river. I screamed and tightly squeezed my arms around his neck. We skidded and nearly went into a tree as we hit the floor. He made a sort of chuckling sound and carried on racing towards the house.

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