1st PlaceFORGIVENESS IS ICE COLD By: Marie Masen

Contest Host Review:

I was astounded to get two entries about the same time in Breaking Dawn, and from the same point of view. They were both incredible, but something about this one seemed just so completely true to Irina's character. Everything—plot, the thoughts, the emotion, the flow—it all merged so well and precisely. Everything was there, and it just made for one amazing fan fiction.

Marie actually entered my October contest and won an honorable mention. I was so glad she decided to enter this one, because this is one fan fic that would have been such a loss to miss.

Congratulations Marie Masen!

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Forgiveness is Ice Cold

By: Marie Masen

I had been weighing my choices for several weeks now. It had been a difficult decision: where to go, what to do, how to do it. But it felt good - running with a destination again, instead of wandering aimlessly, drowning in pain as I had been for months now. And I knew I had made the right decision.

No matter how angry and hurt I was my Laurent's death, I owed the Cullens an apology, and a belated congratulation. After all, Carlisle's coven was like an extended family, always ready to help my sisters and me. And if they decided to make friends with the wolves, the least I could do was try to accept them, regardless of how crazy I thought they were.

My thoughts began drifting again, memories of Laurent bubbling up to the surface, as if they were on a timer that I could not control; as inevitable as the moon rising and setting every day. I stopped myself before I could begin remembering him, before the pain and loss came back. I had been drowning in despair for too long now, mourning the loss of my mother and Laurent, and now that I had resurfaced, the last thing I wanted to do was go back under.

So I ran, focusing on the almost-bare trees. An uneasy stillness surrounded me; instead of the frantic scurrying of animals, who should have been making last-minute preparations for winter, there was only silence. They avoided me, as if they could sense the danger emanating from me, a monster who spread sadness wherever she went….

I forced myself to concentrate on the scenery. I'd been staying in northern California, and I could feel the temperature dropping slowly as I ran north, towards Forks, towards my home.

I was so wrapped up in my thoughts, I only noticed the snow when it began floating down gently around me. My stride slowed as I watched the large, fluffy flakes swirling through the half-bare trees, dancing between the brown branches and yellow-red leaves. I could see every snowflake, each one unique, each tiny, perfect crystal glistening. They reflected the dim light, each droplet of frozen water casting off its own miniature rainbow; a million prisms of color, so beautiful it was breathtaking. I had loved the snow, even in my human years, and the transformation had only intensified that love. It was the reason we had moved to Denali. A pang of homesickness hit me; I hadn't seen my sisters, or my home, in months. As soon as I was done visiting the Cullens….

I began strolling forward again, still lost in my trance, impatient to get this over with, still unsure of how to proceed. The snow had almost stopped, and I paused by the edge of the overhanging, the Cullen house barely in view, to take a deep breath. The air smelled crisp and fresh. I let my senses reach out, seeing and hearing the smallest details of the forest.

It was a few moments before I noticed the subtle undertone to the snowy smell. The scent was delicious: a perfect blend of lilac, lavender, honey, and sunshine, not exactly the vampire smell, but very close. It was mouthwatering, but not in a way that made me thirst for blood. A few moments later, another smell wafted over to me, an almost exact opposite to the first. It was revolting, reminding me of the stench of wet dog, but it mingled with the first scent, blending to form a perfect harmony of good and evil. Almost without thinking, I began turning my head, searching for the source of the unique smell. And then I saw them.

It took me less than a millisecond to catalogue every detail of the scene before me, to commit even the smallest details to my memory. A beautiful woman - a vampire, no doubt, was strolling with a dark-skinned young man with long, shaggy black hair. He was taller and more muscular than anyone as young as he was should ever have been. But it was not the strange couple that made me halt in my tracks, that stopped me in mid-breath, that made my silent heart feel as cold and heavy as lead.

I watched as the breathtakingly beautiful child jumped, effortlessly, fifteen feet into the air, and landed softly, a drop of water in her childlike palm. I watched as she turned and sprang into the boy's waiting arms, as they talked, as she flipped back onto the ground and ran off into the trees. I watched as the boy tore of his shirt and leaped, erupting into a wolf as he chased the child. One who could only be…

Immortal.

My body tensed as I watched the vampire follow, her full lips twisted into a dazzling smile. Although I'd never seen her, I knew exactly who she was. Isabella Cullen. She was sweeping her head back and forth methodically, scanning the mountains for danger, and thought I knew I had to move, it was the first time in my existence that my body would not respond to my thoughts. I saw her do a double take as her perfect eyesight found me. Realization flashed across her face, and she stared at me for a long moment, probably wondering why I was standing here. My numb brain was wondering the same thing. But I could not stop the images that were flashing through my head. My new train of thought had gained too much momentum, and it was too late to try and alter the path it was following. She half-raised her hand; a reluctant greeting, but she froze when she saw my lips twitch around an inaudible snarl.

My head snapped reflexively as the child's victorious cry reached my ears. I stared as she took down the largest stag in the clearing; I heard the wolf's congratulating howl as he pounced onto the next-largest animal.

How dare she? Her best friend is the mutt that killed my Laurent, and her daughter is the reason for my mother's death.

Anger and pain broke through the frozen mask on my face. Fury coursed through my body, tinting my eyesight with a reddish haze. My eyes pricked, and if I'd been human, tears would have been streaking down my face.

I turned back to face Isabella as she opened her hands, palms up, in an apology. And she expects me to forgive her? My lips curled back, exposing my barred teeth, and I released the growl that had been building in my throat. My brain was still numb with shock, so my body took over, my instinct to run from trouble overruling any rational thoughts.

I turned and ran, the waves of despair lapping at me, pulling me under again. Although the snow had stopped, I still felt it piling up, forming a layer of ice around my leaden heart.

~fin~

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Also, should I put up a January/February contest?