Pairing: Jacob/Bella, (Garrett)
Prompt: #9 (a book by an author who doesn't want fanfiction written about her work, so I'm not sure if I'm allowed to mention it as inspiration here on FFn, but you can see it on TR, if you want to check it out)
Word count: 999 (Does anybody else start singing about grim, grinning ghosts when they read '999'? No? Just me with the Disney obsession then?)
A/N: This is my 1st Place winning flashfiction entry in American Horror Story: La Push, Tricky Raven's 2014 Halloween Flashfiction Contest. Entries in this year's contest had to be based on a prompt from a list of the scary stories we grew up with or their book cover art. Flashfiction entries could not exceed 1,000 words to qualify and had to include a wolf in the main pairing.
You guys... I was totally surprised by the contest results! I've never written anything quite like this before. I don't really do suspense, and horror is SO MUCH not my thing. I think I'm still in shock. (I'm pretty sure that horromance genre is entirely my own terrible invention. ;) ) I also took 2nd Place for my Halloween banner, "Blackout", in the contest! It was based on the story Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. You can check that out on Tricky Raven in my omni, "Every Dog Has Its Day". Thanks again to everyone who voted!
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Maybe even then...
She hissed, her limbs contorting obscenely in the throes of excruciating torment. Battering her frail form, the monster was heedless of her human body's earthly limitations.
Nausea welled up, making her wretch. Fingers raked the ground, searching for an anchor to ride out her merciless crucible.
"Jaaaa-COB!" she wailed, keening for her wolf.
Pain stole her breath. Convulsing, she clutched at her racing heart. Screaming again, she fought for air, her chest heaving, struggling to remain conscious.
She froze. Predatory snarls and warning hisses scrapped over lunch.
Shoulders hunched against attack, she crawled, desperate to distance herself from the noise.
Then the ground disappeared. As she was lifted out of harm's way, a composed voice promised, "Your wolf is coming." He rushed to explain when her eyes widened, "I'm a friend. Alice—"
At a flash of white over his shoulder, she gasped, scrambling to escape.
Setting her down, he crouched defensively between predator and prey. Snarls rent the night. She tried to cover her ears, but it didn't help.
In the next heartbeat, everything changed and help was the last thing on her mind.
The sound of his brothers' echoing howls made Jacob's skin crawl. He needed to run. He'd shed this useless skin and the fucking Alpha order, too, first chance he got.
He gave the order and scurried away—a shrewd attempt to prevent the true Alpha's inevitable mutiny because Jacob always found a way around orders eventually.
He paced, a caged animal salivating for the hunt, while his brothers' futile search began its fourth consecutive day.
Bells was missing.
Charlie was convinced she'd bolted again—another change of heart after her hasty cancellation of the wedding a month earlier when she told the bloodsuckers to get lost.
Things had been going so well. They'd been Jake and Bells again, living in the moment with the throttle wide open. They came together with a spinning, dazzling intensity that even the imprinted couples had never matched.
And it had been a-fucking-mazing. Like he was breathing fresh air for the first time.
But like everything else Jacob touched, it had all gone to shit just as fast with a pre-dawn phone call—Charlie, checking to see if Bella had stayed the night with him. Her bed was empty, the covers strewn haphazardly across the floor.
Her window was open.
At first, Jacob thought the worst—or what he thought was the worst. He panicked, thinking the leech had come back and changed Bella's mind, that she had gone with him, sneaking out like a thief in the night.
He sucked in a lungful of air, prepared to scream and caught the faintest whiff of a scent that stopped him cold.
Blood. Hers. Only a few drops.
On the windowsill and another smeared on the tree outside her window. More, spread in a tell-tale line across the yard, on a trail uncommon to the Cullens in all the time they'd been there.
At the highway, the scent vanished.
The pack had been meticulously combing the area for another drop ever since—without Jake. His distress and rage were distracting the others from the hunt. Sam benched him.
He paced, tearing at his hair, stalking around the house with a fury that kept even Billy from venturing too close.
He snarled when his phone rang.
Hoping for Bella news, he read the 'unknown number' flashing across the screen. His skin prickled with intuition.
Jacob's throat thickened at the sound of pixie's flat monotone. "We had a friend nearby, a red-eye, but a good guy. He's with her now, trying to protect her and waiting for the pack. He doesn't want to leave her. Just north of dead-east, in the Hoh. Follow his scent and the ones who took her, remnants from Victoria's army. Go now, Jacob!"
He roared splintering the door as he tore through it, bare feet pounding muddy ground, muscles rippling, shedding both orders and human skin like a wolf possessed.
He was going to get his Bells.
"Jake? You can't—" Sam started.
He showed Sam the phone call. With single minded-purpose, each wolf pivoted, galloping at breakneck speed through driving rain—ten wolves converging on a single point.
"Four days," someone thought. "More than enough time—"
Jake snarled, ending the discussion.
Picking up the promised scent, the pack moved with silent precision, coalescing in a deadly hunting party with Jacob at its apex.
But the end of the scent trail revealed only twitching leech parts littering a small clearing soaked in the scent of Bella's blood.
A figure crouched in their midst. Wounds weeping venom marked his bare chest. He guarded a girl cloaked in dark fleece—a worn hoodie, rank with leech-stink. Another limb clutched tight like a baseball bat in her delicate hands ticked sickenly, dribbling more venom.
The leech murmured to the girl.
"Jacob?" her sweet, tremulous voice washed over Jake, tugging free a whimper of relief.
Assessing golden eyes swept over her, lingering on long, shapely legs. Pale legs, splattered with blood and venom. He rumbled, displeased, bypassing the leech to tend his mate.
A stone hand flashed out; Alice's minion.
The wolf's lip curled in peevish disdain.
"Jacob," she whimpered, shredding his heart to ribbons. "I'm so sorry." With a soft, slinky hiss and pouting lips, she begged, "Jake, you— you promised, honey. Remember?"
He phased, dropping to his knee at her feet. Trying to hide the agony etched in every line of his devastated face, he recalled his promise in a shaking voice, "Until your heart stops beating…"
Dropping her grisly prize, she clawed at her throat as if she was choking and the hood slipped free, revealing the real horror within—a too-perfect face ravaged by haunted eyes.
Haunted, blood-red eyes.
He raised his head.
Gravity moved. The earth no longer held him.
He gazed in adoration, enthralled by glittering perfection layered over rank, sickly-sweet decay.
"...maybe even then."
Happy Halloween! - ChrissiHR