Revised Prologue (Final Edit 5/5/09 posted 6/17/09)
Under A Killing Moon is also on Twilighted(dot)net. Look me up under in-a-requiem. Drop by the Under a Killing Moon thread over on the AU forums.
Special thanks to moon920 who beta'd a few chapters for me before dropping off the face of the earth. And an extra special thanks to Capricorn75 who continues to believe in the story...without her I'm not so sure I'd have as many readers or have as much drive.
Twilight and its characters are owned by Stephenie Meyer.
I've spent my whole life running. The earliest memory I have is of running away. I was eight. It was almost ten years ago, exactly. Only parts of the memory show up. I remember Italy and a place called Volterra. I definitely remember the red eyes. I used to dream about those red eyes until I was about twelve or thirteen. There are no memories before Volterra, Italy. Years later, when I revisited and became acquainted with Aro I realized there was a reason I couldn't remember most of my first visit. That place is scary.
Even without the red eyes, it's scary. However, the addition of the red eyes makes it much more nightmare worthy.
I knew I was different when I was eight. I couldn't remember anything before then. While it's not unusual for people to be unable to retain memories from their younger years; it was unusual that I couldn't recall a single security blanket or stuffed animal. The nasty looking birthmark I have on my right wrist was also a good indication of how strange I, Isabella Swan, really was. And still am.
Do you know what it's like to stand up in front of an entire coven of vampires tricked out with super-senses and have them tell you that you are strange? It was pretty much the most embarrassing moment of my entire life; at least until recently. But, my mom was pretty excited when she realized Aro couldn't read my thoughts. I was pretty excited when that little one couldn't give me the illusion of excruciating pain. That's when my mom and I realized that I really was fulfilling some kind of destiny.
Vampires couldn't hurt me, at least not mentally. I was a regular human shield. Although there was some brief talk about me maybe being 'not so human,' my mom hushed it up pretty quick. In the moment, I thought she was trying to protect my fragile teenage girl ego. Come to find out, my mother was protecting herself more than she was protecting me.
When she sent me to Forks to live with my dad, I thought it was some sort of initiation rite. Like, I had to come live in the crappiest place in the continental U.S. before I could wholly appreciate where my life was headed. Or some kind of pretentious bullshit like that. The only words of advice and objective my mother had to offer was: "This is something you have to do on your own, Bella."
My mother, as it turns out, is a liar. This is something she should have to do on her own.
So, as I've spent the last ten years of my life running from I don't even know what; my fucking mother has been hiding a very, very important secret from me. A secret that would have been nice to know before my eighteenth birthday. Hell, the whole truth would be nice to know right now. As it stands, she still has a lot more to share with me. In order to learn everything, I have to do what she sent me here to do. What she told me I "had to do on my own."
Which is bullshit, because the battle I'm about to fight is really hers.
Needless to say, it's one 'o' clock in the morning and I'm driving through a torrential downpour. I'm going to face my mother's demon and hope that I'll be able to face my own later. Hopefully, I'll finally be able to put myself together- into a whole. I spend a lot of time making sure I don't put out what I really am. Masking myself in neurosis and high strung high school girl compulsions. This is not me. I laugh at gossip, do my homework and cook dinner. This is not me. I actually tripped getting out of my truck at school today. It feels like I am starting to take this character I created a little too seriously. I don't even want to get into the truck I'm driving. It's an abomination.
I don't know how I got here. I thought I did, but things change. Maybe it's just me, but I don't think that's the case. There's a shift in what I'm fighting for and what I believe in. My passion is transforming and fusing and gaining conviction. I'm going to hold my breath and hope that when this is all over, there'll be something for me to return to. Someone for me to run back to.
Who am I really? Does anybody really have the answer to that question? I'm trapped between make believe and reality, fighting to put myself back together. Death doesn't scare me, because I'm already dying. I don't do the cliché femme fatale, black leather bullshit. I'm not out policing the streets exacting some vigilante justice. What do I do? What I'm told.
Well, that's what I was doing: until I met Edward Cullen.