Written by: A. Lincoln
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight. The novel, its characters, and its plot belong to Stephenie Meyer.
Author's Notes and Warnings: Curiosity…
The thick underbrush tore at my skin as I hiked steadily through the forest just outside of Forks. Having ventured off the relatively clear hiking path, I now found myself stepping through a large collection of shrubs, bushes, and leaves, and it was difficult to keep my balance.
The midday sun beat down on my form as the wetness of the forest floor seeped into my many layers of socks. Sweat rolled down my face in waves and the perspiration was making me feel disgusting. I frequently had to stop to wipe several bugs and other such pests off my body, and once I had to remove a tick that was about to make its home in my cheek.
I hacked down a few plants on my journey and kept them with my as fans, but it only seemed to make me hotter and add unnecessary weight to my bag as I trudged onward. I only had a faint idea of where I was heading, but as long as I could tell where I came from, I'd have no worries about where I was going.
I licked my lips, twitching at the rough texture my tongue was running against. My throat was horribly dry and it itched for liquid. I was unwilling to stop and rest for I knew I would take a nap, so I ignored my throat's hoarse cry and continued on.
I didn't even quite understand why I was doing this; all I could tell anyone was that it was impulse. I suppose it could have been because of Bella; it was aggravating when she always mentioned the Cullen's camping trips. Maybe I was hacking my way through the forest to find them and give them a piece of my mind. Or maybe I was just curious, because I clearly did not have the guts to give them anything.
It was probably idle curiosity; who didn't want to know what the Cullens did on their camping trips? I mean, they were shady about it whenever anyone asked, and they were always away on the sunniest days. Was there a large phenomenon that only occurred on sunny days? Or maybe, even more amazing, just maybe they were creatures who would melt in the Sun?
If that was the case, I'd gladly trick Edward into following me into the light. I'm sure I could use that cologne he uses to make Bella follow his every step. Maybe she'd start following me.
I was tired; my eyelids threatened to envelop my pupils in darkness with their sudden weight, but I steeled myself and tried to take my mind off sleep by scanning the surrounding wilderness.
It was a beautiful sight. The large canopy of trees let only a portion of light hit the forest floor, and magnificent shrubs and plants of different species lined the path and grew to heights greater than what I
thought possible. I would have smiled, but my dry mouth cramped and I grimaced. Instead, I decided to take a large, all-consuming whiff of the fresh air.
What the hell?
The stench invaded my nose suddenly, devouring all my senses and nearly causing me to double over with nausea. It was powerful, that was certain, and it was carried with the wind swiftly. One moment it was there, the next it was gone, like a fart in the wind.
I would have laughed at my joke, but all my mind could fathom was the source of such a disgusting odor. It smelled of rotting death and blood and adrenaline pulsed through my veins as I considered its source.
I glanced around, eyes frantic, only keeping them targeted on a certain area for a tiny fraction of time. I was hurried in my examination; if the smell was coming from something living, I didn't want to be near when it passed.
My eyes eventually fell on a large clearing, probably around a hundred meters away. It lay there, bathed in rugged lines of sunlight from the encompassing wilderness, and it beckoned me closer. I felt almost hypnotized as I made my way over, and it was a miracle that I did not trip over any obstacles in my pursuit of discovery.
As the clearing expanded in my line of sight, so did my doubts. Such a vile stench could not be from something alive, which left me to believe that something was dead.
Decomposing. Rotting. Bleeding.
I had to swallow a good amount of saliva to keep my stomach contents down. If something was dead, something must have killed it. If something killed it, they must have used some sort of weapon. If someone used some sort of weapon, what would stop them from turning on me?
That thought gave me pause, and my sudden halt was almost deafening in my ears. I tried to will my body to turn around and run for it, but curiosity pulled me farther yet, and I took my first step into the clearing.
My eyes greedily scanned the area, only to be disappointed. There was nothing but small grass quivering in the wind, and my shoulders gave a visible slump. Although I was upset, I was somewhat relieved. I would die another day.
As I laughed at my hilarious James Bond reference and pivoted my feet to head back to the shop, a ferocious growl tore through the thick silence. My thoughts were shattered, my brain cells slowed, and my heart beat frantically in my chest. My chest was heaving and my breathing became shallow as I slowly turned back to the direction I was facing.
One quick look at the clearing again told me it was empty, but that sound convinced me that something was lurking. The hairs on my neck stood erect as I narrowed my eyes to look again.
I deliberated what I could do in this situation. If it was indeed a horrendous creature waiting in the shadows for my death, I could run like I have no balls and make it back home safely. Or I could stay, fight like I have giant balls, and probably die in the process.
Does arrogance go up to Heaven?
I shook my head, frustrated by indecision, and glanced around. I was looking for something that was clearly not there; the thing that had let loose such a snarl must have run away.
Run away in fear, that is. I knew it was scared of me. After all, I was the Mike Newton.
I flexed my muscle experimentally and stretched my fingers. A light wisp of wind went past my ear and I reached up to scratch it when I heard a voice. . . right at my ear.
I gasped and flung myself around to defend my helpless form. That was when I saw something that could rival the whole forest in beauty and deadliness.
A pair of eyes, tinted red and sparkling with some sort of feverish desire I couldn't pinpoint, peered through me. I suddenly felt like I was going to be devoured, destroyed, eaten, and suddenly I could no longer hold my fear in.
A frantic scream came from my dry lips as I fell to the ground. The last thing I heard was distant laughter, beautiful in its pitch yet deadly in its volume.
Posted: July 2nd, 2008.
Author's Note: …kills the human. Or just leaves him in a state of unconsciousness. Reviews appreciated.