A/N: Okay, so here's the story many of my readers have been waiting for! I promised to write it about 3-4 weeks ago, so finally, here it is!
For those of you who don't know me, my name is Laura and this is my third fanfic. I'd really appreciate it if you checked out my other two stories (also Twilight fics) along with this one.
Alright, so those of you who are already readers of mine, then I hope you will like this story just as much as the others! Updates for this story will probably be generally 1-2 times a week.
So that's enough with me, on with Chapter ONE!!!
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
A Vision Stained with Red
It is a common saying that we should always "Live every day as if it were your last".
So, contemplating on the meaning of that saying, I guess it's safe to say it simply means that you never know when you're going to die, so you might as well enjoy every moment of your life to its fullest. Well.
You may not know when you will die, how you will die, or where you will die… but I do.
No, I was not the grim reaper. That guy didn't really exist. At least, I didn't think so. But I definitely wasn't him. I was a normal human being, a teenage girl who, on the outside, looked completely and utterly average.
But I knew better than that.
You would never be able to tell by looking at my boring brown eyes that I could see so much more than anyone else.
The monsters, the things I saw weren't the kind who could walk, talk, growl, or attack you in any way. In fact, they were merely informative. This may sound ridiculous, but I could see numbers.
Not just any numbers. These numbers I saw hovered above every person's head. A series of numbers that, when calculated properly, told me how long said person would live.
Pretty cool, huh?
For some reason, I was born with this gift, or rather, curse. Before I could even remember, I was seeing these numbers. I saw them every day. Just hovering above peoples' heads, deciding their fate, how much longer they were going to live. It was horrible having to see everyone's life spans, feeling sorrow when you saw someone was going to die young. Sorrow that he or she was going to die at all.
Not to mention that if I saw someone who was going to die in the next 24 hours, I would get a flash vision of their death. I once saw a woman on the street when I was twelve. From her numbers, I could see she was going to die in one hour. I suddenly got a vision of a car colliding with her small body. It wasn't a surprise when her face appeared on the evening news that night.
As you can tell, I hated hospitals. They were full of dying people.
These numbers had become a normalcy for me. I didn't know what it was like to not see them, so I never missed what I never had in the first place.
I expected to see the numbers above every head, they never surprised me. They were just there.
That was, until I met them. They didn't have numbers.
Hi, I'm Bella Swan, and I can see death.
Chapter 1: Somewhere I Belong
My head snapped up from my book when they called my flight.
Sighing, I put away my book and stood up, picking up my carry on bag. The terminal was flooded with people, all heading towards different flights, their numbers all a jumbled heap. But I was so used to this that I could tell their death ages right away. The numbers were a second nature to me, so I no longer needed to pause to calculate a person's set of numbers to get his or her death age. All I had to do was look at the numbers, and I knew right away. This made me a whiz in math class. (I know a lot of people don't read prologues, so if you don't understand what she means by numbers, read the prologue!)
69, 75, 74, 81, 77, 46 – Oh, that one isn't very long.
There weren't many people on my flight, which was nice. I was always a loner. Being around a lot of people made me feel uneasy. I wasn't exactly sure why. It just did.
I was always a loner back in my old school in Phoenix. That was where I used to live with my mother and stepfather, Phil.
My fellow students avoided me, labeling me a freak. I was quiet and reserved. I didn't have many friends, if any at all. I think it was because of my curse that people stayed away from me. No one knew about it of course, but it was as if they sensed something was wrong with me, and stayed away. That and the fact I was pretty distant. I hated getting overly close to new people, especially since I knew exactly when they would die. Down to the very hour. It was unnerving.
Not even my own mother, Renee, knew about these numbers. Well, sort of.
When I was four, I spoke to her about them. I was born with this curse so I didn't know as a young kid that normal people didn't see numbers. Renee got worried and a little annoyed I was 'making up' things and told me not to speak of it again. I then figured out that I was the only one who could see these numbers.
The numbers I could handle. What I would never get used to though was the flash visions I saw upon seeing someone who would die in the next 24 hours. I remembered that my first experience with these visions was when I was seven. I saw my neighbour, Dylan. Back then, I hadn't mastered the art of calculating the numbers yet, so I wasn't aware he was going to die in 11 hours. Out of no where I had a vision of him burning, covered with smoke and engulfed in flames. I started screaming and crying. Renee couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. He died in a house fire that night.
I was partly thankful that Forks would be my new home. I was moving there to be with my biological father, Charlie Swan, police chief of Forks, Washington. The town population was just over 3000 people. The number of students in my old high school took up over half that number.
So, it was a bit of a relief that I wouldn't see as many numbers (since there were so little people) and the flash visions of people's oncoming deaths would probably cease to exist.
It was nice to get a relief from the madness of my life. Forks seemed, although dreary and boring, peaceful.
I didn't think I'd run into anything exciting there.
Once settled in my seat and the plane was in the air, I took out my black iPod to listen to. Call me 'emo', but almost everything I owned, from mere objects to clothing, was in black or white. Sometimes gray. Why you ask?
Because they are the colours of death.
Yeah, yeah, I know! Always being surrounded by and knowledgeable of other people's death was sort of getting to me. It was actually kind of sad; being such a doom and gloom kid. I wasn't depressed or anything, but neither was I incredibly cheerful. I'm better in the happy department now, but as I said before; all this death stuff gets to you after a while.
Renee always wanted a pretty little girl who would wear bright colours and summer dresses.
Keep dreaming, Mom. With everything I saw, you just don't do 'happy-go-lucky'.
Gluing my eyes out the window, I headed towards my new life. Renee wanted to spend time with Phil. She didn't like getting tied down with me, especially since I wasn't her 'ideal' daughter, although she'd never say that out loud. I knew she loved me, but I also knew that I was a disappointment.
I had barely been to Forks much in the past. I used to spend a month in the summer there as a kid, but that stopped a few years ago. Now, I barely saw Charlie at all.
I eventually fell asleep in my seat. I must have been sleeping for a long time, for when I woke up; the plane was about to land. Once it landed, I gathered my carry on bag and went to meet Charlie.
I searched around the terminal, my eyes scanning the crowd for a middle-aged man with curly dark hair. There were too many of dark-haired men around here! Jeez. Instead, I looked at the numbers. I remembered Charlie's death age was 79, so all I had to do was find a 79 and match it with the right guy.
I finally spotted him. "Charlie!" I called. I said his first name since I knew that if I said 'dad', half the men in the terminal would've turned around.
"Bella!" he said, giving me an awkward one-armed hug when he reached me. Charlie was never one to show or voice his emotions much. This was just fine with me.
"Hi, Dad," I said.
And that was pretty much the highlight of our conversation.
Charlie wasn't a talkative guy, which was great for me. I mean, what was there to talk about with him anyway? I didn't remember anyone in Forks to talk about, and it wasn't like he really wanted to hear about Renee and her fantastic new husband.
He pulled up to his, or rather, our house and helped me carry my stuff inside. My room was small… really small. The bed took up a majority of the floor space and a decrepit old computer sat on a wooden desk on the opposite side of the room. Ah, home, sweet home.
"So…" Charlie said, obviously searching for something to talk about. Finding nothing, he said, "I'll, uh, I'll leave you to unpack." And left the room.
Okay, then. This was exciting.
Having nothing else to do, I unpacked, but that didn't take very long and I was left once again, doing nothing. I knew Forks wasn't going to be exciting, but this was just overkill. The only good thing about this place was the lack of people.
For that sole reason alone, Forks seemed like somewhere I belong. I liked solitude. Since I couldn't see my own numbers, even when I looked in the mirror, I felt normal when I was alone.
Was I destined to become a hermit?
"Bella!" I jumped when I heard Charlie calling my name.
"Yeah?" I called back, coming down the stairs. My foot caught on thin air and I stumbled on the last step, nearly falling flat on my face. That was another thing about me; put me in an empty room with a flat, stable surface, and I will most definitely find something or other to trip on. I was beyond clumsy. I was practically disabled.
"Whoa," Charlie said, grabbing my arm to steady me.
"No problem. Come outside, I have something to show you. My friend just dropped it off a second ago." Charlie led me outdoors. I was puzzled; what did he want me to see?
Outside on the driveway was an old red truck. I was even more confused. Was there a reason Charlie wanted me to see this…?
"Call it a homecoming gift," Charlie said, putting his hand on the side of the truck. All of the sudden, it clicked in my head.
"Th-that's for me?" I stuttered. The truck may not have been modern, but it was most certainly different. Surprisingly, I really liked it. It had personality; something other cars nowadays sorely lacked. I smiled as I examined the vehicle. How old was this thing?
"Yup. It's a 1950's Chevy. Is it okay?" he asked nervously.
I nodded vigorously. "Of course it's okay! I love it! Thanks, Dad," I said sincerely. I really did like it.
Charlie nodded, satisfied, before going back inside.
Okay, that was exciting for about all of five minutes. Now what?
I then remembered that Charlie couldn't cook at all and decided to entertain myself with cooking for the next couple of hours. I sighed.
This was going to be a long day.
* * *
The next morning was foggy and dreary, not that I expected any different. It had rained last night. The pattering of the raindrops against the glass of my window gave me no comfort as I tried to sleep. It was so unfamiliar and different from Arizona. It made me miss Phoenix ten times more.
Stop it, Bella. Forks and Forks' tiny population is far better for your sanity.
I had to start school today. Charlie gave me the directions to the Forks high school where I'd be attending as a junior.
It was the middle of the semester and I would be the new girl. In a town this small, I doubted the school got a lot of new people. Great. I'd probably be like a new fascinating shiny object. I didn't like being the center of attention since I was such a loner back in Phoenix. Me, plus spotlight, plus a lot of people, didn't mix.
Gulping down a granola bar and a glass of milk, I left for school. Charlie already went to work before I even came downstairs.
To my relief, the rest of the cars in the school parking lot were relatively older, like mine. It's not that I was ashamed of my truck; I just didn't want to stick out more than I already did. The only car in the lot that didn't look quite as junky as the rest of them was a shiny silver Volvo.
I found my way to the office, where I asked the secretary for my schedule.
"Hi," I said as the woman at the front desk looked up. "I'm Isabella Swan." I saw the recognition of my name in her eyes and suspected, without a doubt, that I had been the topic of gossip among the women around here.
She dug through the piles of papers and files on her desk, producing the ones she was looking for. "Here's your schedule and a map of the school." She helped me a little with the directions to each of my classes and gave me a slip for each of my teachers to sign. I was supposed to bring it back by the end of the day.
While she was explaining all this to me, I very subtly and quickly glanced at the numbers above her head. It was a habit I had developed long ago. I was always curious to know when other people would die. I know that sounded slightly psychotic, but when you have the means to find it out, wouldn't you use it?
I could tell a person had numbers, through my peripheral vision, but I needed to actually look straight at the numbers in order to tell which numbers they were. It only took one glance to see and calculate. Glancing at the spaces above peoples' heads was simply an automatic thing; I always did it when looking at a person I didn't see on a regular basis. As I said, it was a habit. I did it so quickly though, with such speed, that no one really noticed, which was good. I mean, what the hell would I say to them if they asked?
"Hey, Bella. Why are you always looking at the top of my head?"
"Do I have something up there?"
"In a way…"
"Oh my God, are my roots showing?!"
"No - I mean yes! I mean…"
"You're weird. Go away."
Okay, it wouldn't be exactly like that, and I wasn't going to give myself the chance to figure out what it would be like. That would be one awkward situation.
My first class was English with some guy called Mr. Mason. I tucked my head deeper into the hood of my black jacket as I approached Building 3. As I walked by various strangers in their similar dark raincoats, I couldn't help but hear their whispers.
"Look, it's the new girl. Something Swan."
"Isabella Swan. I heard she's a goth.
"She does look kinda depressed…"
"That's not gothic, that's emo, genius."
I rolled my eyes, but their words did get me thinking. Did I look depressed?
"I heard back in Arizona, she got pregnant… twice!"
"Yeah. Left the babies with her mom."
"Where did you hear this?"
She made it up herself, obviously. This was why I was dreading starting a new school. In a town so small, everyone knew each other. A new person from the sunny state of Arizona was the highlight of the gossip surrounding Forks. I had no doubts that a dozen different rumors were already surrounding me. I already heard two. Well, one and a half. The first one about me being gothic was, I guess, partially true. I did where a lot of black. At least I didn't use black lipstick or thick, slightly scary, eyeliner.
English passed without incident, except for the gawking of the other students. Seriously! Even when they knew that I knew they were staring at me, they kept at it. What ever happened to manners?
At the end of the class, a guy with black hair and unhealthy skin came over to me.
"You're Isabella Swan, right?" he asked.
"Just Bella," I corrected. As usual, my eyes flickered at lightning speed to the space above his head. Nothing out of the norm there, at least not for me. This habit was really something I couldn't control.
"I'm Eric. You want help finding your way to your next class?" he asked, sounding overly-eager.
"Uh, sure," I said, with a small smile. He seemed like a nice guy.
The rest of the morning went without trouble. Walking around the school and through the pitifully thin crowds made me really notice the difference in population here. I didn't have the usual headache from seeing all the jumbled numbers and visions in the huge crowds back home. It was actually kind of nice.
After the first couple of classes, I actually started recognizing a lot of the faces around me. I guess it wasn't uncommon to have a few people who shared an almost exact copy of your schedule here. I also noticed that a lot of the people, most of them actually, had pale skin, like me. Must have been from the lack of sun exposure. At least, in terms of skin, I fit right in here like a glove.
I met a girl in my Trig and Spanish classes. She was several inches shorter than my five feet four inches, but the difference in our heights was mostly made up through her incredibly curly dark hair. She was very talkative. She didn't even need you to listen closely to her; I certainly wasn't. Her name was Jennifer or Jessica or something beginning with J.
The J-girl had me sit with her and her friends at lunch. That was certainly new.
Back in Phoenix, I was used to sitting by myself at lunch. Everyone else knew it too. In fact, there was a freaking table reserved just for my solitude. When you thought about it, it was kind of sad, in the pathetic sense anyway. I had trouble relating to people because of my… 'ability' that no one knew about. I shied away from others, not wanting to form an unnecessary bond. As I said; it was unnerving to talk and laugh and be friends with someone, knowing when they would die. Even how they would die.
In reality, it slightly scared me.
You'd think after seventeen years of seeing these things and visions, it wouldn't affect me very often, but sometimes, it did.
The table was full of the J-girl's friends. I forgot all their names at once. I usually had an excellent memory, but if I didn't really care about something, like those peoples' names, I didn't even put an effort into remembering it.
I sat down, only half listening to the rambles the even other strangers at the table were telling me. My eyes very briefly scanned the spaces above their heads as usually before starting to wander about the rest of the cafeteria. Lunch had to be the only time I felt crowded. Suddenly, what seemed like such a small number of people before, was now much bigger when being stuffed in one room.
You'd think with over three hundred and fifty people in one room, I wouldn't be able to individualize whose numbers were whose, but I had no problem.
You'd also think that with the big heap of numbers in the room, someone different would have been able to blend in without difficulty. But it was as if everyone was wearing a red hat. You'd be able to pick out the non-hat-wearers in seconds. It was that simple.
So that's why when I saw something, something I've never seen before, I was able to immediately differentiate it from everyone else. Differentiate the different ones.
And I saw the different ones.
I saw them.
And I also saw what was above their heads.
Or rather… the lack thereof.
Cullens next chapter!
And before you say "Well, you brought the Cullens in rather fast." I'd like to say, HELLO! The great Stephenie Meyer introduced them in the first chapter, so there! Ha!
Anywho, make sure to review and tell me if this is good enough to continue! And if you're already a reader of mine, I expect you to review too! Seriously, I'll only continue this story if enough people review and tell me they liked it.
I haven't heard of any other fanfic like this, although there probably IS something like this out there (I am only one reader after all), so this is original. I got the inspiration from an anime show called Death Note. I didn't steal the plot, but one detail from the show interested me and I developed a plot from there. It's a pretty good show that even people who don't like anime can watch, since it isn't cheesy or corny in the slightest. Take it from me, since I can't stand any of that overly corny stuff some other animes have. Blegh!