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  • Writer's pictureElla Hewson

Chapter 8

Updated: Nov 26, 2021

I opened my eyes blearily. I was laying face first on a cold, hard surface. I looked down to see an expanse of diamond-shaped marble tiles covering the floor like an anaemic snakeskin. I pushed myself up onto my hands and knees and then sat back on my heels.

I was in an elaborate room. Cathedral ceilings reached far above my head like a canopy of Xs.

In the far corner of the room stood three ornately carved thrones. The room was dim apart from rusty candles lighting the sienna stone walls every few feet. I felt like I had been unceremoniously thrust into the past. To my right sat my chair, waiting for me like a nest waiting for its roosting dove. I clambered up into my chair and felt a little more protected.

To my left, I heard a groan. I turned to see Alice and Renesmee stirring beside me.

"Where are we?" I wondered fearfully.

"The Volturi's chambers," said Alice.

"But don't they live in Italy?" asked Renesmee.

"Yes, I think we've been kidnapped and taken to Italy," said Alice worriedly.

"Alice, can you see into the future, do you know what is going to happen to us?" I asked.

"No. My powers aren't working," she said. It must have been the cerise gas."

Unexpectedly, a door hidden behind the trio of thrones creaked open. Three men entered the room. They wore sable cloaks which billowed out behind them as they moved.

They appeared to float across the room. They seated themselves gracefully upon the thrones.

I recognised Aro, who was seated in the middle. He was the head of the Volturi who had visited me at the cottage. I could not place the other two. Aro's face broke into a beatific smile. One may smile and smile and be a villain*, I thought.

Author's note: "One may smile and smile and be a villain" is a quote from Hamlet, which is a Shakespearian play. I first came across Hamlet when it was mentioned in The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare. I was curious so I researched quotes from Hamlet. I found this quote and it reminded me of Aro, who often smiles just before he pounces!

"Caius, Marcus look!" Aro said in a lightly toned voice. "It seems our friends have woken from their slumber. Welcome Alice, Renesmee and Ella! It's so wonderful to have you as our guests."

"Guests!" Alice said incredulously. "Why don't you tell us what's really going on. Drop the act, Aro - we are your prisoners!"

'We are your prisoners'

"Call it what you will. It's not that bad," Aro said dismissively, with an airy wave of his hand. "I would like to introduce you to my brothers." He indicated to a sallow faced man with a papery scowl and mop of flaxen hair ."This is Caius," Aro said.

Caius scowled in our direction.

Sallow-faced, scowling Caius

Aro then pointed to the other man. He had long nut brown hair that fell past his shoulders and a sorrowful expression on his face.

And this is Marcus," said Aro.

"Many greetings," Marcus rumbled, in a voice that sounded as though his throat had been ground against rock.

Marcus, with a voice that sounded as though his throat had been ground against rock

"We would like for you to join us," said Aro pleasantly. "to become members of our illustrious coven. To share your gifts with us."

"Our gifts are not working. What have you done to us?" demanded Alice angrily.

"Oh yes, an unfortunate side effect of the cerise gas. We have also found our talents are temporarily inoperative," said Aro.

"They will return in time," Caius said arrogantly.

"No matter, let us get back to business," said Aro. "The three of you are so special and I can't wait for you to join us. The last time I felt excitement like this was when my dear friend Carlisle stayed with us for two centuries. Oh those were good times," he reminisced.

"Yes, except for the part where you made Carlisle watch humans being killed," said Alice hotly.

"Oh Alice," said Aro lightly. "Always exaggerating..."

"And what if we refuse to join you?" asked Renesmee bravely.

"Do not speak to us like this!" said Caius. "You should be grateful for this offer. We can easily kill you if you refuse."

"Dearest, please let us not provoke violence," said Aro. "Let's give our friends a little time to think about our offer. They will realise in time it is unwise to decline an invitation of this magnitude."

Aro delicately rose from his throne. The others followed in quick tandem. They dispersed through the door like a river of black fabric. Alice, Renesmee and I sat together in grim silence. What are we going to do? I wondered.Suddenly, I felt the presence of something contemplating me. I noticed a tawny mouse sitting quietly in the corner of the room.

Its ears and nose twitched as if assessing its surroundings for danger. It then scurried across the tiles on its petite pink toes, scampered hastily up my chair and settled itself on my knee.

"My name is Ashyln Applewhiskers," the mouse articulated in a high pitched voice, its button eyes looking directly at me. "It sounds like you and your friends are in trouble."

"Yes we are in dreadful trouble," I said earnestly.

"Can you understand the mouse?" asked Renesmee.

"Yes I can," I said.

"You must still have your powers!" realised Alice excitedly.

Ashyln Applewhiskers turned to look at a crack in the wall behind where she had scurried from. She let out a loud squeak. Suddenly, two more mice emerged from the crack, ventured across the floor and assembled with military precision on my lap next to Ashlyn.

I couldn't help but smile as these three little mice were so adorable.

Ella and her new friends

"I'd like to introduce you to two of my friends," said Ashlyn Applewhiskers.

"This is Hannah Honeytail," she said, gesturing with a sweep of her paw to the honey coloured mouse on her left.

Hannah Honeytail

"It's very nice to meet you," said Hannah Honeytail in a gentle tone, her furry face conveying great kindness.

"And this is Josie Jellypaws," Ashlyn Applewhiskers stated, pointing to a mahogany mouse with a snowy spot in the middle of its caramel ears.

Josie Jellypaws

Josie looked shyly up at me with her furry little face.

"Listen carefully Ella," Ashlyn Applewhiskers said with an authoritative squeak."We have a plan to help you escape..."



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