The following twenty-five pieces of writing are my entries for The Twilight Twenty-Five contest, hosted by queenofgrey on LiveJournal. Either oneshots or drabbles (100-word pieces),these bits will stand alone although for thematic purposes, my aim is that they will all be AU, from male POV, and will be each be set up in the same manner. Unless I am an utter failure, I will have completed these by December 1st. For more information please visit: thetwilight25(dot)livejournal(dot)com
So, sit back and enjoy the show; and don't forget to leave love.
V, thank you hon for walking this crazy-ass road with me.
Disclaimer: Twilight, hers. This, mine.
The Twilight Twenty-Five
Prompt: 14. Raindrops
Pen name: goldenmeadow
Rating: M (mature themes and violence)
My mother died during childbirth, a common enough occurrence. Life hung in the balance between marauders and disease and feuds. I liked to think that my father had been a good, kind, gentle man before he was widowed and left saddled with me, a squalling infant.
I knew that was not the truth.
A poacher, a vagrant, he stole and we ran. I became fast on my feet, more able to rapidly dodge his brawny fist that wanted to pummel me for some feigned transgression or other.
A wanted man, my sire was a hangman's noose about my throat. Drunk on pigswill, violent, he would take the strap of his worn belt to me, sometimes even the bitten metal of the buckle. Like a cat-o-nine tails, whipping me for nothing more than smiling at the wrong time, running in the wrong direction, or failing to procure enough drink to keep him inured.
After one too many beatings I fled. At the age of fifteen, I was wiser than most adults, and much more wary. A runaway. Sometimes a riverboat-stowaway. A vagabond.
Following food and the work of itinerants, the harvests of cotton and tobacco, I survived but did not live beyond the search for food, shelter, and clothing. That which was every person's right, I pursued basic needs, giving no thought that happiness could be mine.
I was the ripe age of seventeen when I had my first woman. Vestigial escapism, hours of splendid forgetfulness. She was the first in a succession of legs and breasts and lashings of long hair; guileless women that I loved with my body but never my heart. To my surprise I found that I beguiled them with my compact form, my hardened, well-worked physique, my sad smile, black hair, doleful, dark eyes, and somnolent demeanor.
Working across the southern states, I bedded down wherever there was shelter. On a broiling frosty autumn night that stewed up a storm, I hunkered beneath a cavern of yew just off an un-walked dirt path. Driving-cold jags of rain made sloppy mud of the ground I was trying to sleep upon. Exhausted to such a degree that even the wet suck of the boggy soil could not stave off slumber, I drifted in and out fitfully.
I felt the pressure of a blow, but more gentle, tapping the underside of my chin. Still asleep, I swatted the interloper. Peering through encrusted eyes, I watched as a hard, narrow, black, kid-leather toe nudged me, this time with more force than was necessary.
Sitting up slowly, I shook drops of wet from my head and eyes that matched the scum I'd slumbered upon. There were four of them. Fashioned in a semicircle before me, one man and three women of ethereal beauty. Certain I was still dreaming, or dead, I closed my eyes and sighed. A hectic laugh that sounded real roped my sight to the smallest woman; a dark sensual thing with inky tendrils and the fairest skin. Vague coils of fear caressed me. I had heard tales of night creatures that wore the skin of humans as gloriously glowing habile, but believed them to be nothing more than nightmarish fairy-tales of enchantment and sirens and the bogeyman.
The man looked anything but a bogeyman. Clean and crisp and stunningly light like a pearl, gold like coinage, tall and straight as a tree but withholding the might of a copse, he chuckled with brevity and grinned, showing teeth that were weapons in their own right.
Each dreadfully uneasy anecdote was true.
Nettie, Lucy, Maria, and Jasper. I expected him to be their leader, I could not have been more wrong. Taking point, the smallest woman who looked little more a girl on the cusp of womanhood stepped forward, lifted me up off the sepulcher of ground with just one finger taking the place of her boot beneath my chin.
Strange waves of calm rippled over me even while she licked the juicy plumes of her darkest lips and intoned in a hypnotizing, musical Spanish accent that spoke of love even while it smelled of death, a chiming bell, a death knell tolling, "Mi amore, this is going to hurt you more than it is going to hurt me."
With galling ease she winked at me before sinking edgy teeth through the buttercream of my neck. I watched it all with horror, apart from my body that shook and writhed, then twined into hers, coupling with her, deliriously enamored with the crawl of her gnawing mouth that sucked from my throat to my shoulders, my torso, and to my belly. Splattered to the earth, my body opened to hers, and I welcomed this feeling of homecoming! Teeth grazing and hips sliding, nudging, swiveling, I was inside of her just as her toxin was melting through the human marrow of my bones.
Bawling with crimson ecstasy, I saw myself jerking beneath her; all death and climax.
We worked together, Jasper and I, for Maria. Her golden boy with his Midas touch; I believed he could do no wrong. At first standoffish, completely a warrior, at length Jasper loosened in my presence and I saw the humane compassionate heart that must have been his--when it had still existed. Out of cunning and necessity, I latched onto Jasper in the beginning. And through the nightly annihilation as we created bloodthirsty howling newborn armies, a most strange thing happened. I found disparate friendship.
Years went on in this manner. A vampire, the only thing that had really changed from my life was that I did not age, that I welcomed the genetic call to violence instead of heading it off; that I drank from running veins like a fiend. A hateful, haunted, hurting creature, but not so very different. The black had always been inside of me, a gift from my father's vile nature.
Bleak and stark, at a standstill, more vengeful than ever with the hot red liquid of blood and gore crazing my mind, I tore off and tracked down my father. Prowled and watched him. Scabby, dirty, rotten, disease-ridden and still spiteful, he made my teeth itch. Waiting until he was good and liquored up, I teased and tested and toyed with him; my speed making such diabolical jest an easy thing. Knocking over stools, hissing in his ear, tearing off his shoddy mangy blanket, slamming the door and making the windows of his stolen cabin rattle, I gloried in his discomfort.
Before I ripped his head from his decaying body, I made him know me. Sat in the last chair, by the dying fire, all coal and smoke fleeing, devilry written all over me.
The smile on my face was a rightful thing, once he said my name. "Peter!"
Knocking him back, I killed him outright and sent my father into hell. I didn't feel the slightest bit of yearning for his blood, the smell of it was rotten and nauseating and like the fetid insides of an abattoir. I'd had it running through my veins for nineteen unmentionable years, and now I would be nineteen forever. With no father, and only Maria as my mother; Jasper my brother. Nettie and Lucy my ill-fated sisters.
When I returned to the coven, Maria smiled pleasantly and asked knowingly, "Did you enjoy your little sojourn?" Not waiting for my answer, she pulled me down to her face, a thing of seraph's that ran with demons, "If you ever leave again I will make piecemeal of you, beyond all rising and reparation and recognition. Now, you've got work to do."
Her threat was not idle; she had done some unmentionable things to Jasper in my absence because of my shirking of duties. And he bore it all with the most majestic air and pride. Maria was an able queen, a formidable, fear-provoking tyrant, but interspersed with the hourly claims of aggression she held us all in thrall with enough moments of corporeal love that kept us needy for her approval, and her sex that was a hot, wild, connubial thing.
Embroiled in my dam's hellish handiwork, I worked doubly hard to regain my standing; brutal and cruel, I felt less and less.
With an infant battalion in need of being dispatched, having lost their verve and fervor after only one year of non-stop pillaging, Jasper and I divided the carnage between us. The gentler of us, he always volunteered to kill the more skittish. And we never discussed the night's slaughter. With fifty or more dismembered bodies piled into cold smoking pyres in the spring meadow, I looked around for the last one.
It was near midnight, though time had long since lost its meaning and essence. The waxy moon larked in and out of frail dampening clouds that became more and more solid with each passing minute. Loping around the metallic charcoal of vampire body parts, warily stepping over limbs and skulls and hands and digits, I kicked the last little bits into the flames and watched the instantaneous combustion with a feeling of pride couple with complete disgust and wretchedness. Had I any bile, I would have vomited at my own unending spiral into gloominess and butchery; horrified that I had become a monster that took conceit over such repulsive deeds!
Sensing the onslaught of my despair, Jasper found me glaring through the haze and into the gloam. Silently he clasped his hand to my shoulder, hooked my crimson-black eyes with his own, and I wondered at the wordless sympathy therein. How could he be this? How could we continue?
With my questioning, as if understanding much more than I ever could, Jasper clapped me on the back and shoved me towards the middle of the field, a platinum sea of sleeping blooms. The slightest of smiles lifted his lips into a fashioning that looked like the first honest smile I had ever known.
And I wondered at its cause, on a night such as this.
Sudden rain came down like the filmy muslin drapes I had seen, as a young human man, filtering in and out on a summer breeze in the bedchamber of a plantation manse. When the mistress of the house had come upon me in her fields, back aching and thighs, arms, forehead sweating under the midday sun, she had run her plump soft white hand over my forearm, gathering the dew. Smiling, she bade me follow her. Up the portico, tripping along the tall oaken steps at her behest, life even then had felt supernatural. A small, hot bath had been sitting beside the crackling fire. Disrobing quietly, she allowed me to watch.
Warm and lush and lovely, happy and needing me to satisfy her, the missus laid back into the plush depths of perfumed water, smiled so beatifically and uttered so sweetly that my knees nearly gave out, "Young man, you are in need of a washing. Allow me to do the honors."
Intensely hungry for comfort, I had flung my dirty clothes off to her charming peals of laughter before her eyes to my erect cock silenced all further teasing. Easing into the perfect liquid, I faced her, reclined between her legs, her small feet digging into my buttocks. She had taken the utmost care with silky cloth and clover honey soap, bathing each part of me.
Ducking my head under the water to rinse my hair, she pulled me back up so that my lips were flush with her dangling, swollen nipples. Hungrily lapping and sucking, I took her teats as I settled her flush against me, fully onto me, completely over me, wetly seated inside of me.
With wanton peace, perfect tightness, enormous contentment, she worked up and down me, arching back and throwing her tits more fully into my face! Cupping the globes of her bottom in my hand, I took over the pace. My neck was laid back over the rim of the tub, my stomach scraped by her fingernails that clawed into the sprout of clandestine hair that led to my hardness moving so slowly in and out of her.
Simplicity and sensuality. The wet of the water made fast work of her taut recesses and I grew, swelled, lengthened, feeling the rubbing ridges inside of her stoking the velvet underside, topside and masthead of my dick. Pulling out one more time, I held her above my cock and watched as I throbbed, purple and huge and aching, and she swiveled her hips with a moan, "Please, now!"
Understanding a command, a plea, when it came to me, I pushed her down and thrust up as water sloshed the floorboards and she thrashed while I groaned and crushed her waist! Quick jerks and hard mumbles and her hands flew out behind her to hold the edge of the tub while I came to my knees and finished us with quick, jousting lunges.
Coming endlessly, biting her nipples, and sinking my harmless teeth into her throat, hers was the first neck I had tasted.
Sinking back into the water, replete and finished, she had wiped the discharge from my shaft, kissed me lingeringly, hotly, on my mouth, and dismissed me with a sigh.
Now, in this field, everything I had felt before was flimsy, ethereal, and unreal.
Nocturnal batwings and tonight's memories of dying children turned into hungering creatures bawling in their death. The pelting rain over my face and running down my body called me back this instant.
I found the last one exactly where Jasper had directed me.
All color was leeched by the monochromatic curtain of night. The young woman…vibrant. Only in the heaven's gates opening to thunderous gales, she was a luminescent butterfly. A maiden of mist, this was the first time I noticed her, understood her, felt her. And now I had to kill her.
Capering near the edges of the forest, she was like a sylvan sprite set free on a wild night, instead of one about to meet her maker for the second time.
Gaining ground at a more human speed, I came within her gamboling circle. The sleet gathered force and became a straight, driving sheet. Instead of dampening her, it twinkled and set off sparks of lightning over her skin. Flesh that looked fragile for all its metallic properties.
How had I not noticed her before?
Frolicking to the noise of the storm that thundered around us, like a firefly, she grinned at me and danced ever closer. A hum of electricity filled the atmosphere, and it was not from the charged tempest of the skies.
I knew that if I didn't kill her, with compassion, Maria would do so, with viciousness.
A laugh like a warm bath, fresh, new…how could she be like this with all that we did?
How did I miss her? Twelve months, twelve wasted months!
Alchemical infusion and meddlesome need. There was a bonfire behind me waiting for her body, sizzling as cold drops of rain splattered burning skeletons. It tickled my back with its sultry heat. The woman before me, still a few feet away from me, scratched my chest and groin with her insouciance.
Curt and impatient, I didn't know what to say. And I wondered why I felt the need to speak at all. I don't even know her name.
I beseeched her to stay still, to make it painless for her, easier on myself.
As if called to my wayward thoughts, she stopped momentarily. Bringing one hand to my torso, just over the empty grotto where my heart would be, she leant up and whispered against the corner of my mouth, "I'm Charlotte."
Her breath was like a ghost ship upon ravenous waves, and I was dumbfounded. As if by rote I heard myself responding, "My name is Peter, miss."
Her scant touch was soft as the goose down ticking of a mattress that I had always dreamed of bedding down upon as a wandering, hopeless, beaten child. At once calming like a mother, and thrilling like a lover.
The gossamer mist clung to the fine weave of her shift that simpered over the slim curves of her body. I saw her, finally, wholly. And what I felt was glorious, and unholy!
I was shaken. Still her lips lingered too close to my own, so near that I could almost taste the velvet of dewdrops and the earthy forest scent that wrapped her up like a shawl. Charlotte.
Stepping back, I looked askance at the spitting fire.
I cannot kill her.
Her goddess' flesh was made of silver fine hairs and spun silk, a creation of heavenly raiment that glowed with the misting of rain falling down, the shudders of the moon above.
I need her to live.
With irises torrid as the lanterns of hell about to be extinguished, but laughing, they echoed her full throaty voice, "Peter, it's a pleasure to meet you, even if you're going to be the death of me."
I faltered; halted, hated…more than anything, so clearly, I felt a tear in the fabric of time. Saw the world as it could be. Stepping back, startled…I love her.
"I cannot kill you," for all the cresting emotions filling me up, my voice came out an empty casket of hurt. As surely this would be the end of both Charlotte and me.
Milk thistle skin, pussy willow wild hair, lavender lips, the smallest waist and pears for hips, valleys of skin topped by beautiful hills for breasts with nipples cooled, warmed by my wanton searching, searing, wondering, wandering eyes; Could I have Charlotte?
Smug, coy, sensual, and charmed, her steamy voice was muggy as she pulsed closer again, one leg between both of mine and her hands locking around the base of my spine that had become tall with the posture of a soldier, "I'm already dead, Peter. I know what to expect."
Even on the brink of demise, standing at the precipice of a blistering chasm, Charlotte's bright black and red eyes twinkled with flirtatious intent and her hips rolled into mine, feeling me hard, allowing me to know her wet.
Touching her for the first time, over her round shoulders, behind her back, between her breasts and down her belly, I felt like I was sinking into quilts of human lore, past our future and expectations.
"I need you to live," knowing that I myself would not, as soon as Maria discovered my treason.
With her palm to my cheek, I finally felt skin that was…mine. Peaked lips found my own and I lifted Charlotte higher against me, tighter to me, as our mouths sucked, rubbed, outlined, and sighed before gasps overtook us, and our bodies twisted in immediate frenzy.
Her tongue touched mine and I cried out, "NO!"
Battling kisses with brash breaths and whimpers that were mere words, meaning everything and nothing, Charlotte stilled. Sensing her end.
Jasper was close.
Soothing in my ear so that I trembled and raised her higher onto my hips and over my clothed cock, she stated, "I will not live without you, Peter."
Soaked through, we felt none of the cold. Only pure, baking intensity. Setting Charlotte aside, holding onto her hand and fondling the small creases between her fingers, I faced my friend, my executioner.
Stance relaxed, halting two paces away, granting us respite and time, Jasper smiled that wise thing again.
I pulled Charlotte behind my back, bracketing her, shielding her. I would kill him for her.
A large grin spilled onto Jasper's face and his eyes danced a subdued buttery bullion that was unknown to me. Shaking his head, he held his hands out in surrender and supplication and….jest?
Cautiously, he approached. Reached for Charlotte. And I surrendered her, brought to bear under Jasper's working of emotions.
Curling her into his side, she was shivering and slight, bold and fierce. Silver to his gold.
With those wide lips to her ear, Jasper whispered so lowly to her that even I could not hear. I feared the worst. My fists curled into talons for weapons of battle.
Her nod was succinct. Her eyes flew to me and amplified. Her lips parted and breathed yet.
I heard it and felt it and knew it to be the truth.
Releasing my woman, tapping her gently in my direction, Jasper nodded to me. Turning on his heel, the man sauntered away, whistling a battle anthem under his breath.
Charlotte was in my arms! A feather pillow, fragrances of life!
Jasper looked back just once, when he reached the nearest blaze and poked at it to set the flames higher, as if a new body had been added. His voice was willow-wisps of wisdom, succor and release, floating to me over time that began to roar finally, again, "Go. I will take care of Maria."
Uncanny, sly, my brother-at-arms, Jasper doffed his hat and I met his eyes with gratitude that could never be fulfilled.
"Peter, we must run!" Charlotte jumped down to her feet and, holding my hand firm, ran into the sheltering bracken that edged the forest.
You know where I am, you know what I write. You don't have to review (heck yeah, I'm a huge liar!) though that would be nice!
Check out the other stories on LJ.
At the very least, give it up to Jes (queenofgrey) for this contest and all of her hard work. Seriously, this is an immense thing for one person to pull off. I doff my own hat to her.