Missing Moments Contest

Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, they belong to Stephenie Meyer. I am in no way connected with the creators, producers or franchisers and no copyright infringement is intended. This is not the greatest story in the world, this is just a tribute.

To see all the stories that are a part of this contest please visit: www .fanfiction-challenges. blogspot. com

~X~

"If you take a life do you know what you'll give,
Odds are you won't like what it is,
When the storm arrives would you be seen with me,
By the merciless eyes I've deceived.
I've seen angels fall from blinding heights,

But you yourself are nothing so divine,
Just next in line."

Chris Cornell, You Know My Name

~X~

I knelt at the top of the tall tenement building under cover of night, listening to those that passed below me. A dark unseen figure, with malice aforethought. Yet I was not here to harm the innocent. No, I was an guardian angel, here to protect weak humans against the dangers of the sick and twisted of the same race.

I snorted at my own delusion, and half my mouth lifted in an asymmetrical smile. Angel. Well, I guess the devil himself was said to have been an angel once before he fell. I myself had burned and descended into my own personal hell. I was a creature created by a good man from the flesh and bones of an innocent teenager, but cursed and twisted into demon form.

A reminder of the flames burned in my throat right now to remind me of the evil that now possessed me.

Here, perched over the streets below, I was far enough away to not be saturated by the smell of my prey. My pain was mental and physical; it had been two weeks since I had last fed, and the scald in my throat was driving me to borderline madness. I had to find the right kind of food soon or I would be too weak to discriminate. I may have been unable to survive on the Dharmasastran diet my sire followed, but at the very least, I could eat kosher. I may not be pure but I could avoid total pollution by holding onto some small moral thread within my immoral lifestyle choices.

And so I listened to their thoughts. Most of the chatter was an inane commentary on the blandness of the human race. I may have thought in a similar vein once, but now I had lost my grip on humanity their petty annoyances irritated me. I did not dwell on any mind too long—it gave me time to examine each consciousness below me before they scattered. My lack of patience with their trivialities only reminded me further just how inhuman I had become.

Large crowds did not often gather at night, but I found that if I waited outside the theatre district after the performances closed, I would be given a veritable buffet of personalities to sift through. If I did not find what I was looking for then I would flit around the seedier parts of the city later, to lurk in darker less inhabited corners.

And that's when I heard him. His mind was crude—this was not unusual, but there was a dangerous tone to his mental voice as I saw him appraising a young blonde girl walking on her own. His thoughts caught my attention and I hovered over him further while I judged his intentions. It was not a crime to think—I only punished those who intended acting on their evil impulses.

I saw the girl through his eyes and now also with my own. She continued to trot down the street unaware. Slightly built and no match for any man, her hair was pale blonde and curls bounced down to her jaw line. She had a leanness about her that suggested she did not eat as often as she should and shadows under her eyes. The only colour on her face was the bright slash of scarlet on her lips. He thought she was pretty and he also registered her weak frame and vulnerable air. To my delight, he thought of her as a victim.

Tonight my own violent urges would be fed.

I picked him out in the crowd through the aid of his own vision. He was about twenty paces behind the girl, and had resolved to follow her away from the crowds to see if she headed to a quieter part of town. The people from the emptying theatres provided him with cover now but prevented him from carrying out his plans as soon as he would like. I scanned the scene to plan my route. I would have to stay undetected, but luckily, leaping between buildings in total silence caused me no issue. I would stalk him as he stalked the girl.

The girl continued, oblivious to the two predators she was leading into darker quarters—unaware of the animals that followed her and what they fantasized about doing once the opportunity arose.

He was a brute. Physically repulsive, but commanding respect from others through sheer size. The dwindling crowds gave him a wide berth. There was no camouflage here—nothing to disguise his predatorial nature, unlike myself. To me, his bulk would count for nothing; I was inhumanly strong and fast...and deadly.

Trying not to become nauseous at his mental plan of action was difficult. I did not want to leave his mind in case I missed something vital, yet his animalistic nature sickened me to my stomach. I chose those like him as a favour to mankind; in feeding my own base instincts I removed one other monster from the face of the earth. It was of some small comfort that in taking the life of those who were barely human, I might save others who did not deserve to die. I was aware of the hypocrisy of my own logic.

The girl was now heading down deserted black streets in a quieter part of town. It became impossible for the hefty stranger to prevent her becoming aware of his trailing her and I heard her panic.

The part of me that was not as dangerous as her stalker felt for her. She was so weak, so young, so vulnerable—she deserved to be saved from the death that he threatened her with. However, I would need to make sure she ran when I struck and did not hesitate where there was the potential for harm.

The part of me that burnt with thirst did not discriminate between her and her would be attacker as victims. Once I struck, the monster would take over and I would be unable to stop. At that point, innocent blood would be as good as that of the guilty.

I felt her heart pounding even from my lofty view point and I could smell her panic. I allowed myself to creep a little closer as did the brute. It was late, there were no lights burning in this street, and few people near enough to hear a scream. It served his purpose well, and mine.

"Hello, darling!" he sneered. The girl did not respond and quickened her pace. "Awww, don' be like that! I was just wantin' a bit company!"

He was almost upon her now, and if she continued much further she would pass close by a dark alleyway. They both saw the gap, one mind praising its convenience and the other racing, unsure of how to avoid the sure outcome to the scenario unfolding before her. The girl whirled around and stopped short of the alley, with her palms held up.

"Please," she pleaded in an almost childlike voice. "Just leave me be. I will scream." She knew only too well that her plea would be fruitless, but she made it anyway.

"No-one will hear you, darling. Come on and give me a hug. It's what tarts like you do, isn' it?"

Tears welled in her eyes as they darted nervously, looking for some sign of rescue but there was no knight in shining armour.

The time was still not yet right for me to reveal myself, but the excitement of the hunt made it more difficult to hold myself back.

The girl recognised that her only chance now was in flight, and she prepared to run. If she was lucky he might stumble, and there was a slim chance she may get away. From my viewpoint, I already knew that he expected her to do this—he hoped for it in fact. He didn't like it too easy.

She bolted and he hurtled after her, grabbing her from behind and lifting her clear of the ground. He bundled her into the alley, kicking and screaming. This was my cue. I wanted to strike before he got too physical with the poor girl. As he pinned her to the wall, I dropped from the roof to the entrance of the alley. Before he was aware of my presence, I leapt into action, and with the force of my first blow I knocked him ten feet away.

"Run!" I growled at the girl as I paced towards the disorientated hulk crouching on the floor.

I saw myself. He wondered who was I to burst in and interrupt his fun. With the force I had struck him with he expected to see a silhouette in the dark similar in size to his own, but before him he recognised the shape of someone barely a man in years. Tall yet lean, not a man mountain like himself, by the time he got his bearings he had already decided I was just extra sport and only a temporary glitch. The girl would still be his.

I decided he should have a second to recognise his death before it claimed him as punishment for his arrogance. In the dark that fogged his eyes but not my own, I edged closer to him to allow him to see me better, and I gave my best demonic glare. By now my eyes were like black soulless pits, and my face was contorted with blood-lust. For just half a second, I let him see exactly where he stood in the food chain.

Lightening quick, I rushed him, tearing out his throat before he hit the ground and crushing bones in the process. Warm moisture lubricated my dessicated throat, and I thanked his racing pulse for forcing his vital fluids into me as forcefully as they did.

For a moment, my existence was simple. There was only one aim: to consume and quench the fire that had been burning too long at the back of my throat. It was the closest I had ever been to ecstasy, and the greatest pleasure I had ever known...yet it was fleeting. He was drained long before I was ready for the moment to end, and I dropped him in disgust.

It was then I was aware that there was still another thudding heart in the alley with me—another heated body, its smell indicating how it may possibly taste. My eyes snapped up and I leered hungrily.

She saw me crouching over the figure of her attacker. At first, she had thought I was a valiant Sir Galahad as I had leapt into the alley and jolted the ogre out of the way. She had seen my youthfulness, and when I had told her to run she had hesitated, unwilling to leave me to face the beast on my own, but now she had witnessed the atrocity I had just performed. My red eyes burned at her and she saw I was no gallant rescuer. Out of the frying pan and into the fire.

There was never anything more shocking to me than seeing my own fiendish butchery through the perceptions of an innocent. That reflection told me more truths about my true self than any looking glass ever could.

No—not again. I won't let you do it.

With every ounce of strength I could muster, the less monstrous side of me tried to push itself to the forefront of my own mind. I tried to remember who I was and why I was here...and why it was so important to leave this place right now. Any hesitation and she would be as cold and lifeless as the corpse I now sat crouched over.

I snarled and in a split second I scaled the brick wall that hemmed me in. I ran at inhuman speeds, leaving the city, and continuing for many miles until I was alone in woodland. Falling to my knees, I held my head in my hands.

I abhorred myself and cursed my own existence. Almost satisfied after my feed, rational thought returned to me and I regretted my actions. I had come so close to killing an innocent that I had set out to protect and could not forgive myself. It did not matter that somehow I had managed to drag myself away, as I remembered only too well how close it had been.

There was no salvation as a vigilante, but there was a harder route I could still return to.

My thoughts turned to my creator, and the lifestyle I had rejected. It was an agonising existence, but it could not be as empty as the life I lived here alone. Maybe it was time to return with my tail between my legs and hope I would be welcomed back into the fold?

I could not live this life of alternating self-gratification and self-loathing. My soul was beyond redemption, but I could at least save my sanity. The avenging angel must renounce his red eyes and become a golden eyed monk, worshipping at the altar of self-denial. The choice was made.