A/N: This is kind of funny. The story, I mean. It amuses me, at least. I honestly don't think Edward spent the early forties in Africa conversing with wildlife. But seriously, how else was I going to prove the leopard's state of mind?
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and more than me. (Sorry for tormenting your characters!)
Leopards are kind of like mountain lions, I reasoned with myself. No reason they should taste any different...
"What are you sulking about?" Rosalie demanded.
"The dismal selection of delicacies..." I muttered in response. There were a lot of animals, yes, but most were either unappetizing, or endangered enough for us to leave them alone. "Why couldn't you have your wedding somewhere normal?"
"Since when do panthers live in Africa?" Emmett called from inside a dense area of shrubbery.
"Lepers?" Rosalie, who had lost interest in our conversation, asked.
"Leopards. Lepers are people with leprosy." I clarified.
"Like from the bible." That piece of insight was Emmett's. "Are you sure it's a leopard? It's black."
"It's a leopard. They have shorter tails than other cats."
"But it's black! I thought panthers were black. Leopards have spots. Like cheetahs."
"It's a mutation. Has to do with pigments."
"Oh." Emmett seemed fascinated.
"A leopard is a type of panther. 'Panther' is just a general name. Big cat." I stopped, smelling the air. "None of them are here, though. I think Emmett's yelling has scared them away."
"I can't help it. I was having fun. They're kind of hard to get. And they climb!"
Emmett was like a kid. A hyper, deadly kid.
It was 1942, and we were all in Africa, celebrating Emmett and Rosalie's second wedding. Carlisle and Esme had already hunted, and were socialising with the natives. Or, studying them, at least. With the war going on, the locals were a bit jumpy with new faces. It's easier to stay out of the way when you're, you know, out of the way. Emmett kind of found that out for us.
He was still relatively young, so it wasn't his fault, really. So he was a little... extroverted. Okay, a lot extroverted.
He had escaped us for the first time since landing, claiming that he wanted to do some hunting. How were we to know what a single vampire could get into? When we finally found him, he was trying to convince the locals that he was their god. He very nearly succeeded. He decided that if he let them perform all sorts of tests on him, he could be worshipped.
They tried hitting him with enough force to kill a human, piercing his skin, and holding him under water, but we pulled him away before he could go moving any mountains. We were too late for some of them... I shudder to think of the alters erected in his name.
"Emmett!" Rosalie shrieked. I sighed. Carlisle and Esme probably heard that, even being a few miles away. "Get it!"
I turned to look, and caught a flash of Rose jumping backwards, and Emmett jumping forward, overdramatically pulling a large, wiggling bug out of her hair and flinging it against a tree, where it exploded with a disgusting 'plop'.
"Honestly, you two. It can't hurt you."
"But it can get disgusting slime in my hair! I just got it done!"
I shook my head and walked away, into the woods, to find something to eat. Almost immediately, I caught scent of an animal, a big cat, and took off after it. I stopped, shortly, confused. The scent had disappeared. I turned around, planning to find something else, and was hit in the face.
I stepped back, surprised. A snake? No. It was fuzzy. Snakes aren't fuzzy.
I craned my head up, following the tail, swinging a few inches in front of my face, to the large, black cat sitting on the previously unnoticed branch above my head.
"Aha!" I was talking to myself, and I knew it, but I doubted anyone would notice. "Dinner is served." I grabbed ahold of the branch and pulled myself up, looking forward to the chase. The cat didn't move. This didn't make any sense; he should be running... Instead, he was looking at me sadly. So sadly, in fact, that I did something I rarely do; ventured into the realm of an animals thoughts.
What could you possibly want?
"Not to play counselor to supper. Why aren't you running?"
Why should I run? Kill me and get it over with...
"I don't want to now." I replied, sulking slightly. "You're taking the fun out of this."
Why am I doomed to this dismal existance?
"What's the matter?" I asked, giving in.
My life is a black abyss. A perpetual miasma of torment and pain.
Are you blind, Creature of Darkness? I am black. My world is black because I am black.
I blinked at him. "You are moping because you are black?"
Hideous! I am a freak. I wish my life would end.
I grumbled and leaped from the tree.
"Emmett! I found one!" I yelled.
What are you doing, Nosferatu?
"You said you wanted to die." I reminded him as Emmett and Rosalie came running towards us.
"Wow. How did you see him up there? Are you sure you don't want him?" Emmett was overexcited.
I shrugged. "Go crazy. I think I'll find an antelope. I've lost my appetite for leopards..." I vaguely heard the rustle of leaves as my new friend the leopard jumped from his post and ran, and the newlyweds chase after him as I walked away.