- Sorry for the delay! This story just doesn't flow like it used to. I won't abandon it, though. Promise.
- VERY short chapter. Well, compared to chapter twenty-nine.
- "Inception" fans: visit my other stories and let your mind be blown. ;)
- Bellice, Jalice, & Jaspward fans: I have a new story, "Thinking Of You", that might catch your fancy. :)
- None are coming to mind.
- Actually, one warning: Be on the lookout for falling cliches.
- SMeyer is still the man. Well, you know what I mean...
As I reached the faded stop sign just below our driveway, I fiddled with the radio, praying that the downpour would wait, at least until I got closer to my destination in Port Angeles. There, the radio signals were stronger and the rain would not interfere quite as badly. Here in Forks, even the slightest drizzle meant that there would be static across the board, even on the supposedly infallible AM stations, not that I would want to listen to those anyway.
I peered out the misty windshield up to the dreary sky above. It was slowly blackening, a huge dark cloud slowly making its way towards Port Angeles. Perfect. No, this weather was nothing new, but still…. Could the rain not wait just one more day, a day when I had nothing planned? No, it just had to storm when I actually had something to do besides go to school or to a shift at Newton's. I shook my head and sighed at the way that life seemed to operate sometimes.
C'est la vie! I thought.
I drove onto the nearly empty paved road, honking the horn and waving my hand as I passed Ms. Slade, the neighborhood's resident 'artsy loon', as she was quite affectionately called. She was a recent Seattle transplant with an obvious flair for the loud and dramatic, but she was one of my very favorite people in the town. She paused in her tending to the flowers in her yard and quickly returned my friendly gesture. I smiled and then turned my eyes back to the road upon which I was currently speeding (but only by a little). Being the sheriff's daughter most definitely had its advantages. I laughed at myself and turned the radio up, ignoring the oh-so-annoying static as best I could.
Soon, though, the sky was darkening much more quickly than before; apparently, I was driving right into the storm, and I loathed Mother Nature's horrible, horrible timing, but not for the first time in my life.
Rain gradually began to fall; first, small drops hit my windshield intermittently. Eventually, large drops pelted my windshield rapidly. The rain was nothing new, but I was a bit surprised to find myself caught in something nearly resembling traffic as the storm slowed people down ahead. Coming to a stop a safe distance from the car in front of me, I jumped at the first boom of thunder I heard. It sounded as though the storm was directly above me, and there seemed to be no chance that there would soon be a reprieve.
Turning on my blinking warning lights, I carefully pulled off the slick road to consider each of my options. If I stayed on my original route the roads would be easier to navigate, but traffic would be backed up once I got closer to town, and I'd be delayed. However, Charlie took enough care to show me alternate routes to any place I might need to go. There was a side road that would get me to Port Angeles, one that not many people even knew existed. Brave truck drivers used it occasionally since it kept them out of heavy traffic, but otherwise the road didn't see much action at all. The only negative was that the road was not well-maintained. Still, that was my only alternative, and it sounded much better than going with my original plan, at least in this weather.
The rain was still pounding noisily on the truck as I slowly backed up along the shoulder. Once I was free of the small line of cars, I made a three-point turn and began driving in the direction of both my house and the alternate road in question. I turned the radio up more to try and drown out the storm, but the combined noise just gave me a headache, so I turned the radio completely off as I turned carefully onto the old road. Pothole after pothole marred the aged asphalt, but my truck handled it quite well, I noted proudly with a smile.
Soon, the trees gave way to open (but cloudy) sky on my left and cliff-face on my right. Despite the roughness of the pavement and the curvature of the road, the drive was smooth sailing. Not a single vehicle was in sight, and even the rain seemed to slack off just the smallest bit. Much better, I thought with a sigh, though I couldn't completely relax just yet. This road would grow treacherous in terrain soon enough, and the deepening evening would not help matters. I needed to focus on getting to Port Angeles in one piece, preferably on time. The being-on-time part was wishful thinking, maybe, but it was definitely worth a shot.
The radio played a melancholy piano tune. The song was depressing, but it kept me calm as I traveled farther down the road. I knew it was a straight shot that would land me right into the middle of town, but how long would it take? I debated with myself against calling Charlie, and finally decided to do so. I checked the road in front of and behind me, making sure the road was empty, and slowed down a little bit. I reached over for my purse, one hand gripping the steering wheel and my eyes glued firmly to the road, and began to dig for my phone. I was having no luck in finding it, though. Finally, I looked away from the road and searched once more for my phone. Every few seconds I would glance at the road, making sure I was still on it, and then back to my purse, which apparently did not contain my phone. Eyes up once more, I felt for my phone on the seat around me. Nothing. I was ready to give up when I spotted something gleaming on my floorboard. Finally! I leaned down to pick up my phone, and when I sat back up, I screamed.
"Rosalie, it's Bella."
"What do you mean it's Bella? What did Alice see? What did you see, Alice?"
I resisted the urge to shake an answer out of her. For all of my impending hysteria, there was still an important façade to keep hold of.
"There's been an accident, Rose."
"Has been? Or will be?"
Edward sighed, "It's difficult to tell."
"Well, we have to go find her."
"And tell everyone here what, exactly?"
"To hell with everyone here, Edward. I don't care what you tell them. Where is she?"
"It's nowhere I recognize. There are no landmarks. No street signs, no houses, no distinguishing features whatsoever."
"There has to be something."
"The road she's on is cliffside," Alice finally spoke up. "And the truck that causes the accident is a logging truck."
"That's spectacularly helpful, Alice."
"Rosalie, this isn't her fault."
"Whatever. I'm leaving. Edward?"
"Yes. I'll go with you. Alice, you and Jasper stay with Mom and Dad, and call me if you see anything else. Anything. I'll go get Emmett, and then we'll go. We might need his help."
I simply nodded and then hurried through the crowd to the car.
Bella was out there somewhere. I had to get to her before it was too late.
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A/N:- Chapter thirty-one will be up eventually.