A/N: Hi everyone. This is my first Twilight fan fic, so bear with me. I've taken some liberties with the Twilight 'verse, particularly with Edward's history and vampire physiology in general, so the first two chapters are very introductory by necessity. At chapter 3, the plot really starts (enter Bella!), so I'm appealing to your patience :). Reviews (good or bad) are greatly appreciated.
Some recent news:
Chapters 1 and 2 ( and the very beginning of 3) have now been entirely re-written. To those of you who have read the original beginning, I would love to hear your thoughts on this new prologue.
Also, we've been nominated for 2 Indies!!
If you want to absolutely, totally make my day, please consider voting for this story on the Indie TwiFic Awards. It has been nominated in two categories: Best Alternate Universe WIP and Most Original Story Line WIP. The URL is here : /
Thanks!!! It would mean ever so much to me :)
Disclaimer: No no, nothing is mine, belongs to SM. Don't sue, it won't be worth the fees.
The sun sets. He rises, throws back the thick black curtains, and stares out at the Chicago skyline. The view is beautiful. Tall blazing buildings pierce the night sky; the streets form a perfect checkerboard of glowing lines as far north, south and west as the eye can see. To the east, they are engulfed in a sudden darkness. A giant lake confines this city, reminding it of a power that civilization can never master.
He stands there, motionless, fingertips pressed against glass. Once, this view meant nothing - just a scattering of shiny and superfluous lights. Now, he stares, allows himself to become hypnotized by the stream of cars far below. They trail along one by one like wingless fireflies.
He will move soon; he has lived in this apartment for nearly three years, and some of the neighbors are becoming suspicious. They might not know it yet, but he does. Extra breadth in the elevator, long looks that flicker away as soon as they are noticed. Moving will be inconvenient; he would rather stay. But something itches deep inside, compels him to move on. He will miss this view, he realizes with a start.
He sighs audibly, not recognizing the longing in his tone. He only knows that something is wrong. He moves, a flicker in the darkness, and he is in the next room, a small notebook in hand. Sinking into a deep leather recliner, he stares at a blank page for nearly an hour. Then, slowly, cautiously, he picks up a pen and begins to write.
This is an experiment. I have never kept a journal, not that I can recall, and I am skeptical about the exercise. But I am also weary. The thoughts which have been clogging my mind are only multiplying with time. Perhaps this will give me some repose, or at least some understanding of what is happening to me.
There was once a time when I thought about nothing. A long period of time. It is hard to imagine it now, to imagine myself as only semi-sentient. Yet... I miss it. Is this insanity? Perhaps I am going mad. Perhaps I already am.
My mind churns with questions, but there are no answers. This is entirely different from those first months when I awoke and knew nothing of what I had become. I was ignorant, yes, but I was never confused. The questions of who I was and how I would sustain myself were irrelevant – without any precedent, I simply knew what to do. How to protect myself, how to sustain my body. At the time, I examined nothing, I simply acted. Avoid certain behaviors in public, stay out of the sun, arteries rather than veins. I now marvel at the certainty with which I acted.
What is this life? How long will it last? What am I meant to do with it? There wasn't any trigger for these questions; they just appeared. Now, they are a ceaseless torment. Reason does not comfort me. What comfort can one take from the conclusion that existence is pointless?
I remember virtually nothing of my human life. Is this some vestigial torment that I have yet to outgrow? Or is it instead a problem unique to my present state? After all, though my instincts demand sustenance and survival, they suggest no other way to pass the time. Hunger is unpleasant, overwhelming. Feeding is... intoxicating, blissful, even. Self-preservation is similarly compelling, but what else? The list is pathetically short. Is there nothing else I ought to do, to want? It is not enough to hunt and eat and cower from the sun... but what else is there?
Sometimes I think I would slam my head into a wall if the impact could do it any good.
In the dead of night, he wanders through deserted streets. An illuminated storefront catches his eye and he pauses. It is a bookstore, a small shop specializing in spirituality and religion. His eyes drift over the titles, both fiction and non-fiction, and he can't discern the difference. He has never understood the purpose of any of these objects, nor the people who use them. Now, for the first time, he questions whether this might be a symptom of his own inadequacy, rather than theirs. Exhaling sharply, he turns away.
I can't stand to look at them any longer. They consume, they excrete, they copulate, they die. And all the while, they mill about. Doing what? Nothing! Their lives are as pointless as mine, yet they don't seem to know it. They just carry on, smiling and laughing. Is this an entire race of imbeciles?
Life has no meaning, no purpose. So why do they smile??
He hunts. On the south side of the city, in a questionable neighborhood, he has found prey in a small lakeside park. A man is asleep on a bench, head resting on a large duffel bag.
He approaches silently, cautiously, sniffing for any trace of alcohol or drugs - his body reacts poorly to such pollutants. This creature seems clean. It barely wakens as he compresses the carotid artery to cut off the brain's oxygen supply, then lets it go. He can hear the tissue become reperfused as blood surges through the vessel again, and licks his lips. The thing in front of him is not dead – he has learned that death ruins blood faster than he could consume it – but he has rendered it unconscious. This he does for convenience; a still body is much easier to drain. Neither empathy nor pity ever enters his thoughts.
He sniffs again. The body is unwashed, dirty. The hair smells particularly foul, and he wrinkles his nose at the idea of biting the neck. Instead, he grabs an arm, lifts it to his mouth and inhales. Much better. His small but sharp canines pierce the skin of the inner wrist, and he drinks.
Suddenly, his vision blurs, and he is dizzy. He pulls back, looks down. His own wrist is bleeding, and somehow, he knows that the injury is self-inflicted. Blood flows freely, but he has no desire to drink it. Instead, he watches mournfully as it drips onto something... a favorite album or book, he isn't sure. There is pain, but it is not physical. Something inside aches and gnaws, and he feels a bizarre urge to cry. Though he could barely name such feelings five minutes ago, he is now conscious of an emotional deluge: bitterness, loneliness, despair, and even self-loathing. These things he feels more intensely than he has ever felt anything. He staggers under the weight of them, stumbles, plops clumsily onto the ground.
He is back in the park. His body is unharmed. On the bench in front of him, a man lies bleeding. He stares dumbly, his mind still overflowing with the most visceral elements of the vision. The man stirs, groans, and the vampire shakes his head, blinking. It can't be left like this, he must drink. He grabs the bleeding arm again, catches the next red drop before it hits the ground. The taste comforts him, and each swallow is deep and urgent. Finished, he empties the man's duffel bag, fills it with some rocks that liter the shore, and ties it around a limp ankle. The body sinks quickly into the murky waters of the lake, and he heads home, deep in thought.
As the sun rises and bisects the sky, he retreats to a small windowless bedroom. His body's extreme sensitivity to sunlight confines him to this room, makes him weak and lethargic. Most days pass slowly. In the past, he had rarely struggled to keep his mind occupied, but lately, ennui has been making him want to climb the walls.
Now, he reaches for his journal.
I can still feel it, smothering me like some thick fog. I don't understand.
I want to understand.
I have been reading. Some philosophy, some literature - it is all suddenly fascinating. It seems that I was right – nothing matters. Not this current life, not my past one – none of it has a drop of relevance to anyone but myself. It is all relative. When I had a family, I cared about their lives because they affected mine. When I felt suicidal, it was because I had lost the things that seemed important, made life feel enjoyable and worthwhile. This ennui, this existential torment – it will not be cured by some external intervention. Happiness is a construct. Satisfaction is derived from within.
End Notes: Thanks for reading guys, hope you like this thoughtful and angsty Edward.
Now, if you want to absolutely, totally make my day, please consider voting for this story on the Indie TwiFic Awards. It has been nominated in two categories: Best Alternate Universe WIP and Most Original Story Line WIP. The URL is here : /
Thanks!!! It would mean ever so much to me :)