The Stars and The Sun
Disclaimer: The Twilight universe is not mine. However, the whole Estelle/Sissy/and rest of that crew are. Ginsie really is my pup by the way. She wanted to be in the story. No, really.
Summary: What would happen if a human from our universe ended up in the Twilight universe? What would she really think? Do? Feel? And what if our universe was the "fictional" one?
Author's Note: This is one of my crazy ideas. Sorry.
I don't care if this was nothing more than a psychosis –another hallucination-, too much of me wanted to believe it was real. After all I had seen in the past few months, maybe dying was the only way to get me back. But now, I'm not sure if I wanted to go back at all.
I had been planning this trip for ages. It was a one week journey up to Cornell and then over to my Great Aunts, only to come back to the wonderful little town of Greenbelt, MD. Okay, so it doesn't sound that exciting when I put it that way, granted. But if you add in that I'm helping to design some of the outfits for a mini medieval festival near Cornell for a friend and that my Great Aunts live only a couple of hours from Niagara Falls, it gets a little more interesting, right?
I've been to Niagara Falls almost every winter since I was 13. My family stopped going when I was 28 or so since all of us "children" had moved on with our lives. My life currently consisted of my house in Greenbelt, my rather insane job with the FBI, and my friends. Oh, and fashion design. Particularly historical fashion design. I really need to get the new patterns from Simplicity and cross compare them to my own patterns and see if what the difference in fit is. I'm totally an Alice.
That's another thing about my life. Like pretty much every other female between 15 and 55, I'm in love with the Twilight series. It's just too….cute! It doesn't help I love history and therefore, the very idea of being able to speak to someone who actually lived through the Civil War or who can remember when the speed limit was 10 miles per an hour on main roads is simply fascinating. If I ever got to meet the vampires, they'd probably go crazy do to my constant questioning.
For the trip, I made sure I had everything. I had the costumes packed near the door. I also had my sleeping bag, my own clothing (both garb and mudanes), and all of my pup's stuff as well inside my pretty truck. I had wanted a 1953 Ford truck but I figured that was taking obsession to a whole new level so I went with a model that was 50 years later…and blue. Blue is good.
Making sure I remembered everything: Clothing? Check. Toothbrush? Check. Hairbrush? Check. Bling? Duh. I packed my ziplock bag of all my favorite jewelry, plus a few "maybe" pieces first. I had shoes. I even, in a rare moment of brilliance, went to the local 7-11 and took out money from the ATM. I normally hate carrying large amounts of cash but something told me I'd need at least $150 on this trip rather than relying on the plastic. I supposed it will do for late night drive-thru snacking. Ginsie will love that.
Ginsie, my beloved furball, was coming with me. She was a highly requested guest of well, everyone. She was all of 23 pounds and I'm pretty sure at least 5 of those pounds were fur. She was white and ginger and had the cutest little ringlets on her tail. I picked the tail-wagger off the floor of my house and made one quick inspection.
Given that it was spring and, thereby, completely unpredictable temperatures, I had packed both t-shirts and sweaters. I also brought my coat and a pink strawberry scarf. I've had a huge thing about strawberries since I was five and Strawberry Shortcake was first on TV. I'm probably one of the few "adults" that actually watches –or tries to watch- the remade version. It's just not the same. Way too PC for my tastes.
"So, Miss Gins," I tell my pup. She looked up at me from her spot in my arms. "Think we got everything?" I ask her. She wags her tail response to tell me she just wants to get this car ride on the road. Kissing the top of her furry white head, I take her outside to my pretty blue truck, placing her in the passenger seat. I know my pup. She'll try to get into the back seat but I've blocked it off. I'm not your driver, pup, no matter how much you think you are Queen.
Closing the car door behind her, I take a look at the house and remember that I left both cell phones inside. It's not like I'll get far without them. I walk from the small parking space, back up the sidewalk, and into my tiny home again. Grabbing the cell phones –one pink and the FBI issued silver one- I take my final look around. I try to remind myself that, if I forget anything, not only will Aunt Mary and Aunt Angie have it, but I can always buy more. I doubt I've forgotten anything expensive. Still, I take one final check around the house –really final this time- and only grab some more jewelry to go with my already impressive travel collection. I have a feeling I'll need it even though it's not my favorite.
Once out to the car, I see that Ginsie has already taken over as "driver". "Scoot!" I command her as I step into my truck. The pup complies slowly and looks at me like some disgruntled toddler. It's amusing really.
I took off down to the beltway and then on to I-95, up towards New York. There were about three different ways I could go and I figured a nice straightish path right through PA would be fun. My strange little brain would sometimes randomly think about how Ithaca was where the Cullens stayed during the New Moon period and yet it was also where I was heading right now. Maybe I should check out the psychology students and see if there are any with older styled blond hair? I couldn't help but smile at that whimsical thought.
I sang along with the radio, or my CD collection, half the time. It mostly got me strange looks from my dog who seemed to prefer Celtic music. Don't ask. I have a very strange little pup. I thought about my friends, about my costumes, about sewing, and about anything I'd like to read about next. I thought about my job, called up my Mom when I made it to Harrisburg, and basically had a mostly uneventful trip. Mostly.
It started to rain when I was half way between Scranton and Binghamton. The downpour got so great that I thought about pulling to the side as it passed over. The really heavy storms rarely last long. I kept going until my eye started to twitch. I knew that was not a good sign. Ever since I was 12 years old, I'd suffered from migraines. Sometimes it starts with hallucinations or colors. Sometimes it's the stupid eye twitch. I don't always get the pain, just the auras or a very disjointed feeling. I knew better to even try to drive with a migraine. It wouldn't be pretty.
Pulling to the side, I started to close my eyes. I swore, right before my eyes fully closed that I saw lighting directly in front of me but I never heard the thunder. Ginsie groaned and curled up in her seat, using the center counsel as a pillow.
I woke up an hour later only to see the light color clouds overhead and a huge red jeep barreling down the highway. Everything about it reminded me of how Emmett's jeep is described in the books –including the speed it was going at- which made me smile a bit. I checked the clock and saw I had been out for a little over an hour. Not too bad. Jackie wasn't expecting me until tomorrow so I had no reason to rush. As soon as the jeep passed, I started up my truck and continued on my way.
Something told me not to check into the hotel right away. Maybe it was the nice long line of cars out front or the simple calling of the park not too far away. I had done my research before I left and found out they had an off-leash dog park there. Not that I'd let Miss Ginsie off her leash. She was infamous for her grand games of hide and seek.
So I stopped and got out, putting the pup on her purple leash. I wanted her to walk around for a while so she'd be tuckered out by the time we checked in and not bugging me every three second while I tried to read through my email. There were plenty of other dogs and I mumbled my hellos to a few people. I was a watcher. My inner anthropologist always got the best of me. I'd observe and then join in when I had questions or learned as much as possible without talking.
I started to take random pictures of whatever caught my eye. First it was the trees, the animals, but something was always nagging me and I wasn't sure why. All I wanted to do was go for a quick trip around Ithaca in my car for some reason and not check in. This was odd but, given that it was only two pm since I left my house at 7 am this morning, I figured it couldn't hurt. After all, technically, check in wasn't until 3, right?
Grabbing the pup, I got back the car at about 2:30 pm. I started to head down to Buttermilk Falls State Park since it sounded like a better place to get some decent pictures. On my way down, I saw that Jeep again. This time, I got a lot better look at it. It was huge and it was right behind me. The front windshield was tinted –was that even legal in New York?- so I couldn't see the occupants. I bet it was some old guy or a girl and no one even close to looking like some of my favorite fictional characters.
The jeep went around me. I didn't think I was going that slow. I had been going at least a good 10 miles over the posted speed limit. I didn't want to get another speeding ticket. I already had two in the past three months. Lead foot disease. But I guess I don't drive enough like a Cullen for this guy.
I kept driving only to see the red jeep, again. This time, it was in front of a large but somewhat isolated house right near the park. I swore I saw a Mercedes right next to it. Shaking my head, I decided to just go and check out the park and ignore my inner nonsense.
The park was beautiful! I loved the waterfalls and the creeks. I loved the trees and the sounds of nature all around me. Ginsie loved it too. Apparently, the dog park wasn't enough to curb her enthusiasm. I took as many pictures as I could for about a couple of hours before my camera cried for mercy. I decided it was time to check in around 4:30 pm. On my way back towards the hotel, I pointedly ignored the isolated house with the jeep and the Mercedes out front. I didn't want my imagination getting the better of me.
I left the sunroof open when I got to the hotel for Ginsie. I only opened it up on the back side, rather than fully, in case it started to rain again. Rain and leather interior do not mix. "I'll be right back, babe," I told my furry pet, kissing her on top of her head, and then running into the hotel.
The hotel was nothing spectacular but it did allow pets. It was an extra $15 a night but I was more than willing to spend that on my pup if it meant I could bring her with me. I half listened to the TV playing in the background while I waited in line. All I could hear was about another breach of security at LaGuardia. I remember a couple of years ago when that happened about this time of year and smirked. History repeating itself because we're too stupid to see our own fallacies. Typical.
I was mostly ignoring the TV as I waited for the guy in front of me to finish checking in. I kept looking around the room thinking about things such as what I would be doing for the next few days, how much I wanted to stop and get pies on the way back home from Aunt Angie's, and how the curtains hanging up in the sitting area of the hotel would work pretty well for an 18th century dress. My expression changed to a grimace when I heard something on the TV that caught my attention again. Natalie Holloway.
I had heard enough about that case. Apparently, they were combing a beach, again. How many times can they look over those shores and just not come to the conclusion that a shark got her and that she'll never be found? It's 2009 for God's sake! She disappeared four years ago.
Turning to glare at the offending object, I started to hear something that didn't make sense. "Natalie Holloway, who you'll remember, disappeared during a graduation trip almost two years ago," the reported stated on the tube. I blinked and only came out of my confused state when I heard the guy at the counter calling "Miss?" a few times.
"Oh, um, sorry," I muttered as I went and handed my reservation papers over. The guy looked at the papers and typed in the information. I just looked around aimlessly, my attention now on getting back to the truck to let Miss Ginsie out and worried it would start to rain again.
"Uh, Ms. French?" the guy behind the counter asked to get my attention. I sighed and turned back to face him. He was severely overweight and had greasy hair. Not anything to look at.
"Yes?" I answered, curious. Based on his reaction to the computer screen, there was a problem. I hated problems.
"Your reservation isn't in here," he stated simply. I sighed again and went to pull my credit card out of my Cullen Crest wallet. I seriously had an obsession with Twilight. Okay, so the wallet was perfect because I had gotten rid of my purse thanks to it. I really detested purses.
"I made it last week and I gave you the paper," I started to argue. I was a number one "don't mess with me" type person when I wanted to be. I really should have been born in Texas and not Florida.
"I know, Ms. French, but it's just not showing up," he told me, frustrated. I handed him my platinum card that I made the reservation with.
"Can you swipe this and see if it comes up that way?" I asked. He greedily took the card and looked at me, then the card, again. I know. I look maybe 22, 24 at the most. The curse of my family. I could easily pass as a college kid. Heck, my baby brothers look older than I did. My Mom, God bless her, looked maybe in her mid forties. It didn't matter than she'd turn 60 next year.
He shrugged and swiped it. His thick brow became a unibrow as he looked at the computer screen, confused. "It says that the card isn't working," he said. I managed to reign in my anger. There was no reason to get mad at this poor guy. It's the computer's fault. Obviously.
"Is there something wrong with your computer?" I asked. Could this whole thing wait and just take it in the morning. After all, he had the paper receipt that I did, in fact, pay already.
"I don't know," he muttered as he flipped through computer screens. While he tried to find my reservation, my ears picked up on the TV again.
"Reports now indicate that Abu Gharaib prison will transfer the remaining prisoners over to Iraqi authorities," the reporter stated. That got my attention. Abu Gharaib closed a long time ago as far as I knew. I knew they were thinking of opening it back up –under a different name and management- but I didn't think that had happened yet. It was then I noticed the date on the ticker at the bottom of the TV screen: March 19, 2006. I smirked.
"Um, do you have a tape in or something?" I asked, pointing to the TV. I've heard of watching old football games but old TV new reports? Not so much.
"Huh?" counter guy asked as he looked up and followed the direction of my hand. He looked confused, again. I think that was his permanent emotional state. After all, I've seen plenty of other people that are nothing but confused all the time. It certainly explained Sara. "Oh, no. It's live," he muttered before going back to his computer screen. Live. As in now. LaGuardia. Natalie Holloway. Abu Gharaib. These were all events I knew from three years ago and he was saying this was live?
Shaking my head, I saw a newspaper nearby and went to pick it up. Counter guys eyes followed me but he didn't say anything. Right there, in the upper right hand corner it said March 19, 2006. I'm pretty sure I lost what little coloring I had for my skin right then and there. Was this some elaborate practical joke? If so, who? I seriously doubt Adam or any of my co-workers would go to these lengths.
Slowly, I walked back over to the counter, biting my bottom lip in thought. What the heck was going on? Maybe Lee? Even my brother didn't seem a likely culprit for this much a joke. Close, but not this bad.
"Umm, Ms. French?" counter guy asked me again. I turned to him, still thinking about who might try something like this. "Your name is really Elizabeth French?" he asked.
"Yeah?" I asked back, confused. He smiled at me, showing his braces.
"Oh, my sister loves that series. She'd die if she knew that I met someone named Elizabeth French," he told me nonchalantly. I was the one that was confused now. "You know, you even kind of look like her," he stated. I was taken back a bit, which he must of have seen. "I meant the Elizabeth French in the Destiny book series," he explained as he continued to type away at the computer. I had never heard of this book series and I'm pretty darn sure I'd hear of a character with the same name as me.
"Long brown hair, somewhat tall, slight southern accent," he continued with his description of Elizabeth French. Everything in me told me to get the heck out of there at this point.
I grabbed my credit card back. "Thank you," I said quickly. "I'll just be back later when the computers are working," I muttered. As I ran through the doors, I heard counter guy shouting at me about leaving something behind. I didn't care. All I wanted to do is get to my car and think. So that's what I did.
I pet Miss Ginsie for about a half hour, thinking. My mind kept going back to the red jeep while I replayed the news stories in my head. I looked down at my phones and saw that both were dead despite the fact I had both full charged before I left home. The pink razor was still plugged into the cigarette lighter. Something was wrong. Very wrong.
I needed a distraction and decided to go and stop at the bookstore I saw on the way here. I didn't know why but I thought, maybe, this book series might have an answer or three. It sounded crazy but so did things like time travel and red jeeps at this point. Crazy was all I had to go on.
When I pulled up to the bookstore, I looked at my perfect pup. "Guard the car," I told her. Right now, I was too confused to do anything more than go inside and check out these Destiny books.
I managed to ignore the looks I got from people when I walked towards the table display. It seemed really odd because, normally, that's where the Twilight display was. I didn't see a single Twilight book anywhere in sight. Picking up the book, I started to read the first paragraph.
My name is Estelle Williams and I'm currently 16 years old and a sophomore. I'm attending Whitman High School in Bethesda, Maryland. It's a new building, complete with turquoise doors. One of the juniors, yet another Elizabeth, loves the décor. She's funny like that. Anna and I both in band.
I couldn't read the rest. Estelle Williams was the name of one of my friends –a really good friend in High School- who ended up having a lot of issues after we all graduated. Anna was a mutual friend of ours who's life path took her in a very different direction from mine. Elizabeth…my name again. I remember loving those turquoise pillars and doors around the post-modern structure. The school looks so old now. It was finished in 1994. I was a junior.
Slowly, I put the book down. "Hey?" someone called out near me. "Are you alright?" the same voice asked. I turned to see an older woman with her teenage daughter nearby. When I faced them, the teenage girl's face dropped. She had been juggling the third book in the series back and forth in her hands.
"Wow!" the girl exclaimed when she looked me up and down. "You really look like her!"
I blinked. "Huh?" I asked so loquaciously.
"Elizabeth French!" the girl exclaimed. I tried not to grimace. My name was Elizabeth French. I am Elizabeth French. "Did you dress like her for the party?" the girl asked.
Even though I didn't know of any party or even know much of anything else at this point, I decided just to agree. It was easiest. "Oh, um, yeah," I stuttered as I gathered the three books. The third book was a hardback. As I turned to go to the cash registered, I saw a sign above the stacks of books: Kismet debut, March 19, 2006. I managed to control my reaction this time and shuffle my way to the counter. I paid cash this time and didn't look up the entire time. I didn't want anyone else to recognize me as "Elizabeth French".
Normally, I didn't mind this kind of attention. I'd dress up in my 16th century gowns and parade around the Renaissance Faire or I'd dress up as Leia and go see Star Wars. Heck, I even wore my full X-files shirt and necklace to go see the movie not too long ago, just like I use to every Sunday when it was on the air. That had been amusing. The t-shirt was barely wearable. Anna had given it to me for my 18th birthday.
I threw the books into the car, surprising Miss Ginsie. I only grabbed the latest and turned to a page where I saw my name again.
…and here I was, Elizabeth French, watching the slow, painful spiral downward of Estelle. How many more did I have to watch end up making obviously bad choices? How could I possibly help them when they couldn't help themselves? Estelle was different. She had no choice in the matter of what life threw at her. She was sick and I sat here, on the window seal, listening to her non-sensible chatter while she was stuck in the isolated mental ward. I would just nod to anything that sounded like a question. What else could I do? The Estelle I knew was gone and I only hoped to get a piece of her back.
I started to hyperventilate. I remember that day. It was horrible. Several of my high school friends had email me in regards to Estelle having to go to the hospital. No one was sure what was wrong other than she wasn't mentally stable. I remember Sara crying. I remember a couple of other people being there too. I think one was Anna. I remembered feeling so helpless and only wanting to be there for Estelle…even if she didn't realize I was there. She said she knew, later, when she got better. At the time though, I wasn't sure.
Closing my eyes, I got lost in my thoughts. It was March 19, 2006. How I got here, I wasn't sure. If here was even a place and not just a really deranged dream, I wasn't sure. But, for whatever reason, I was sure the red jeep had something to do with this and I was determined to find out what.