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my name is jane bradley
My name is Jane Bradley. I am immortal. And this is the story of how I died. Granted, I didn’t know I was going to die. But then again what Immortal expects death really. Never the less lets start with some explanation.
Around the year 1252 a Scandinavian man by the name of Rudolf Slavoc was proclaimed the town lunatic. Magician, wizard, madman, and idiot were just a few of his many nicknames but I just called him scientist. He was a level headed man sometimes. But when he wasn’t level he was so crazy that Drunkards looked brighter. Once when he was on one of these episodes he got the bright idea to make an assistant to help him, which is how i came along I didn’t bother to ask how he made me because every time I trued he just took off his chipped glasses and squeezed the bridge of his very large and somewhat wrinkled nose and pursed his grayish pink lips and stood quietly for a few minutes until the subject had left his mind. He took pride in his appearance. He was always dressed sharp an kept himself clean and shaved,when he wasn’t in a crazy episode.He loved to watch me but one afternoon out of madness he threatened me with death. I was horrified that such a thought could cross his mind .he threw his equipment and shattered tubes and glass. I ran off later to find him in his study he apologized and assured me that death could not touch me. I asked why but i got the same response as I did when I asked how I was made. I came home one afternoon to find the scientist dead. I took this as my letter of unemployment and grabbed whatever I needed and left. Scandinavia was not in the best of times at that point so I took my ventures elsewhere. Up until 1776 I wandered around and traveled through lands but i came upon some trouble in Britain. I was convicted of being a witch and hung well that did not set well with the people when i wouldn’t stop talking. I decided to go to America after this little situation and was lucky enough to have a deceased cabin mate whose identification papers i was able to take.You see being 524 years old sparks questions when your being brought into a country. So for the first time ever I had a name. My name was Jane Bradley. My name changed every 15 years or so because being immortal makes explaining why you don’t age kind of difficult. But kept Jane Bradley as often as possible.It probably wasn’t my brightest idea to attempt to kill myself, but technically I was and am a teenager and we are prone to stupidity. Being free of death and all , I sort of made a little game out of faking my own suicide. Which brings me to the next chapter of this story, Tosh the nosy boy who tried to save me.
Tosh Harmon Powell was a well mannered boy from a well mannered home. He had well mannered parents and a not so well mannered little sister named Elizabeth. Tosh was handsome, very handsome in fact. He had chocolate brown hair that he brushed from his piercing green eyes. Despite the muscle he had from hours of work in the sun he was not very tan, nor was he pale. He was tall, probably around six foot two and very kind.
By this time it is 1876, The day I met Tosh was the day I was going to retry hanging myself. Yes, I said retry. As I was slipping into the noose for the third time I imagined what it would be like if for once the result turned out differently from the rest. If maybe i had hit the limit of suicides. If instead of being bored to death, no pun intended, as i hung from the hemp around my neck, I actually felt the pain. I would feel the life leave my body as i gasped for air and it didn’t come as i squirmed for freedom and a second chance but i could not get free. If for once i could feel something, anything, even if my first feeling had to be my last, it would still be enough to satisfy my want for something real , or rather human. My feet inched off the box that kept me suspended in the empty wonder and suddenly i was in that quick and oh so familiar free fall. And then the flight ended with a tight tug to my jugular. But no pain came, no gasping, no anything, just the sound of horseshoes. I watched as a young man raced toward me on horseback. I would let him rescue me. Let him think himself a hero. It saved me from the struggle of cutting myself down. I closed my eyes and pretended to be unconscious. A few seconds and i suddenly felt the rope snap and a hand catch me under the arm. I pretended to gasp awake and cough violently as if recovering from an encounter with death himself. what I didn’t have to fake was my astonishment at the young man cradling me on his horse. He was beautiful in every way imaginable . It was a beauty that I had seen nothing else like. It was different then my beauty. I was made by a man who wanted perfection, and so that is what i was made to be obviously. But this boy, his beauty was natural, nothing but shear and raw beauty. The scientist himself could not have done better.
“Are you okay!?” he asked frantically yet still soft. His eyes were wide with terror.
“DO YOU MIND TELLING HOW IN HELL’S NAME YOU ENDED UP HANGING FROM A TREE!?!” his yelling made me flinch and i almost fell off the horse. His yelling was making me angry but i didn’t dare stop him for i was not planning on telling him the truth and didn’t deserve kindness from him. At this point i just have to start lying my butt off.
“ Last I can recall my father was yelling at me saying he was going to kill me!” I said with a perfect tearful sob.
“And, and! oh he was terribly drunk and he was scaring me and then I was with you!” This was by far not my best story but it was seeming to do the trick. I saw his eyes drop as he pulled me into his chest to comfort me. After a few minutes of pointless introduction, Tosh invited me to his family estate for dinner and a place to sleep. His parents took to my unfortunate and falsified condition with much sympathy and his sister was sent to her room without supper after making a rude comment about my supposed drunkard father. I was never asked to leave so it can be said that i somewhat took up residency with the Powell’s and strangely enough i started feeling emotions for these people. I loved not just Tosh’s parents, James and Lily, but Tosh as well. He was wise and kind, smart but not arrogant and a light to be around. Unlike me he didn’t have 624 years to acquire these traits either they just came naturally to him. I felt mortal. For once I genuinely felt like every other person i had encountered in my 624 years.
Unfortunately the next day I got very bad news. I could feel pain, which for lack of a better way to put it, meant something was terribly wrong. I know, I know,I should be happy but i was changing and it scared the hell out of me! I figured that as long as I stopped trying to kill myself than everything would be okay right? Well that notion would be wrong, because apparently I can’t seem to avoid danger,especially when I’m actually making a conscious effort not to get run over by something.
I’ve had been at the Powell estate for a little less than a week when I had this over whelming need to tell Tosh the truth. I knew what might happen and I honestly didn’t care. I needed to explain to him what I had been through even though he probably would hate me. and call me a freak but I would tell him tomorrow on the 28th of February, there was a parade on that day that I though would set a nice mood.
As we walked in the front door Tosh took my hand and lightly kissed the back of it. A feeling in my stomach told me to hold onto his hand as long as possible, but reluctantly I let go and walked up the staircase to my room. I was going to look nice tonight I was going to wear a dress that would make his heart stop dead in its tracks. I wanted to show him my feelings. Feelings, I have feelings for him and not just feelings but the strongest feelings I could imagine. I loved him.
I laced up the bodice of my dress as I listened to the frigid air whip through the February night. I appraised myself in the mirror. I was an angel in a devil’s dress. My porcelain skin was illuminated by my deep layers of Burgundy satin lining my body. My deep chocolate hair was in curls that floated on my shoulders. My eyes so light blue that they appeared almost white. I walked to the door and stopped. My breathing was to irregular. I had to struggle to calm down and went to open the huge oak door when I heard a faint knock from the other side. I opened the door to find Lily Powell, Tosh’s mother. She was dressed in a long silk gown that rose far above my own in the neckline.
“My dear you look absolutely beautiful.” she said this with genuine love in her voice and her eyes betrayed a secret she was keeping.
I laced my arm through hers and we glided down the staircase through the parlor and into the dining hall. James and Tosh were talking about some obscene topic to pass the time when his dad stops with an abrupt silence .
Tosh confusingly followed his gaze to meet my eyes and his mouth fell slightly ajar. He examined me with a look that could only be amazement. He stood calmly and walked to my side and took my hand and walked me to my usual seat directly across the large red oak table from him. As the food was brought out I looked at Tosh in his suit. He was more beautiful than ever. It wasn’t till i looked at his eyes and realized he had been smiling at me since the meal began. I felt the blood flood my cheeks and it stayed that way for the rest of the mean.
“Mother, if Jane will accompany me to the garden I’d like to be excused?”Tosh said with a sly smile in my direction.
“Absolutely darling, Jane you are excused as well.” Lily said to me but looking at Tosh with a smile.
I stood up unaware of what was happening. Tosh came to my side and placed his hand on the small of my back in the most respectful way and guided me into the garden. We came to a small bench amongst the the early spring flowers. an I went to sit but he pulled me back.
“ Jane, I love you. I know I’ve only known you for seven days but I truly love you. I would like to ask you to accept my hand.” He lowered onto one knee and my heart stopped. I couldn’t let him do this, not before he knew.
“Tosh, I love you as well but i can’t give you an answer tonight.” His face was struck with horror and I struggled to continue.
“Give me until tomorrow after the parade then I will answer you.”
He took the answer though he did not like it. We walked back to the house and he kissed my cheek and led me to my room and wished me sweet dreams.
I stood behind the closed door. I stared at my reflection and began tearing off the dress and corset and rubbing away makeup from my eyes I climbed into my waiting bed and sunk into the down mattress that took away the worries that sat on the edge of my mind.
I was awaken by a noise, followed by screaming.I jumped out of bed and snatched my cloak from the floor.
“Take your hands off her!!” I assumed that was James... A gunshot followed shortly after. More and more screaming and crashing went on as i ran for the door only to have Tosh and Elizabeth rush in and lock it behind them!
“Tosh what is happening!?” I said as tears welled into Elizabeth's eyes.
“The house is being raided.My parents are dead, and I fear we are trapped.” he said this with such calmness and anguish that it made me nauseated. The door shattered as a sledgehammer plunged into it. I watched as men filed in and grabbed Tosh and Elizabeth. Hands grabbed my shoulders and forced me to my knees like the others. I didn’t fight like Tosh or scream like Elizabeth. I simply sat there on my knees waiting for the same fate that I had used to cheat death for 624 years. I watched as they put a gun to Tosh and Elizabeth’s head. and felt one at my temple also. I closed my eyes and listened. Tears began to escape my eyes. Not only was I was going to undeservedly live, but the unjust death of this 17 year old boy whom I love and his 9 year old sister was going to take place instead. I heard a shot and the screaming rage of Tosh as he swore with a tongue that would silence a sailor. I’m glad Elizabeth went first. I didn’t want her to see her brother’s crumpled body as her last image. I heard another shot and Tosh’s body hit the floor with a cracking thud. I heard the click of the bullet, the sound of the trigger being pulled, and then I heard a faint shot . I listened to the men leave. And then nothing.
My name is Jane Bradley. I am Immortal. And this is the story of how I died.