This story is set in the middle of Eclipse, 2½ weeks before Forks High Graduation.
I was never normal, or my definition of it anyway. My world was different to the average humans, but I can blame that on the tribe. The Quileutes. But even my supernatural upbringing couldn't prepare me for my destiny. It was clear, after that day, that my life wasn't ever going to be easy. No, it wouldn't even come close. Chloe Walker just wasn't meant to live a good life, or even a long one. After all, how many times can one cheat death? Certainly not as many as I had.
Chapter 1 - Questions
Pain. Terrible, blinding pain. There was a bloodcurdling scream, flashes of light, metal everywhere. Glass shattered, cutting my arms in their defensive position in front of my face. Tears cascaded down my cheeks, cool against my fevered skin, the world a dark blur. I was gasping, coughing as the car rolled over, and over, and over again.
With a nail biting screech we stopped, and suddenly I could see again. I felt my ears pop, and sound rushed in, followed by my other senses. The smell of heated metal and smoke filled me, almost suffocating in its intensity, as I struggled against the numbness that had captured my body.
What had just happened? It had all gone so fast. One moment, everything was normal. We'd been laughing and chatting. And then, out of nowhere, a person had appeared on the road! My eyes filled with tears as I pieced together the events. Oh my god, we must have hit them! The thought was horrifying, but there was no other explanation.
As I regained control over my limbs, a blinding, searing pain exploded from my left leg. Letting out a scream, I fought to extract it from the mess of crushed metal that used to be a car, but failed. However, in my struggles, I managed to peak through the remains of the windscreen.
What I saw was unbelievable.
The figure we had hit was miraculously standing up, and had not a scratch on his body. I felt my mouth drop open in shock. It wasn't possible! Despite the distance I could tell he was male from his broad shoulders and height. I couldn't believe he was still alive. But that wasn't what really got me.
The thing that well and truly shocked me was the strange sparkles that coated his skin, twinkling in the sunlight. They were there for just moments, before he turned towards me, and the sun shrouded his figure, leaving nothing but a silhouette.
Shock rapidly turned into fear as I tried to process what had just happened. My brain was sluggish, though I couldn't blame it; anyone's mind would be traumatized by the incredible events that were unfolding in front of my very eyes. Yet the answer was so simple.
Simple, but terrible. I didn't want to believe it.
He was a vampire. The sparkles that had glinted on his white skin as he stood up were proof; plus, he had survived our car slamming into him. I just couldn't comprehend it; it was too weird. But while I was mentally floundering, confused as hell, the rest of my mind had already followed this situation out to its end, and I knew with certainty that things were about to get much worse.
Because I highly doubted that our car had hit him by accident. Oh no. I was sure that he had intended us to crash. And I was just as sure that I knew what was going to happen next.
After all, what were vampires most known for? And here I was, just metres away, blood oozing out of the cuts that coated my arms. My leg was burning with pain, and I could feel blood dripping down my leg, warm and wet against my skin. Yeah, I was pretty certain I knew what was coming.
The fear that had gradually been snaking its way through me was suddenly overwhelming. It gripped me with its tight, unbreakable hold, driving all other thoughts out of my head. The only thing I could focus on was my inevitable death. Part of me hoped that, like the crash, I would by some miracle survive. Then again, maybe death would be better now rather than later.
Of course, being drained of blood was not on the top of my priority list. It was somewhere near the bottom, along with a few other horrendous deaths. I was sure dying of a stroke or suffocation would be much quicker and a hell of a lot less painful. Why couldn't my death be like that? But then again, what did I know? It's not like I've died before or anything.
At that point it came to my attention that I was rambling, and that the vampire was just two metres away. I didn't have any room in my brain for rational thought; my sanity had gone the moment I conceded my death.
And now death was coming, my vision was flickering, my heavy breaths slowing. I felt myself slipping away. In the brief moment before I was gone completely, I had time for one last glimpse of the world. But all I could see was the blurry silhouette of the man, and the final rays of sunlight as the sun slipped away, just like my consciousness.
I jerked into wakefulness, shuddering and coated with sweat. My heart was hammering against my chest, my breaths wild and fast. I felt like I'd been ripped from my body, scrambled, and then shoved back in. It was not my first experience, and yet it was still just as terrifying. The memory was so vivid, so consuming, it was real. It wasn't just remembering; it was reliving.
Lifting a shaking hand to push my chocolate brown hair out of my face, I sat up, combing my long curls with my fingers. I tried to rid it of knots, but quickly gave up; I knew better than to mess with my hair in the morning.
I knew I wasn't going to fall asleep again; I was still trembling. I opened my eyes and stretched out my arms, somehow still tired. Sleep hadn't come easy; I couldn't have had more than a few hours. Groggy, I kicked my doona off the bed and began to extract myself from the mess of material most called a sheet. I wasn't very successful. In the process of escaping, I caught sight of myself in the mirror next to my wardrobe, directly across from my bed.
My pallid reflection stared back at me. I had what looked to be well tanned skin, but it was completely natural, inherited from my Native American ancestors. Fresh from sleep, my skin was a shade paler than usual; thank you, nightmares. I saw my hair was just as messy as I had predicted, my curls a big tangle that reached my waist. My green eyes and dark eyelashes blinked blearily as I looked; why was waking up always so hard?
As I attempted to swing my legs over the edge of the bed, my eyes automatically went to the calendar hanging on the wall above my desk. I tried not to take in the date, quickly averting my eyes from the deadly piece of paper, but it was too late. The knowledge hit me with the force of a steam train.
Having finally escaped my bed linen, I buried my head in my hands as I sank to the floor. How could a single piece of paper, a simple two digit number, be so crushing?
But it wasn't the paper, was it? It was what it meant. What it stood for.
Why, why, why? Why did my aunt have to die in the car crash? It just wasn't fair. Today, exactly one month after the tragedy, I was no better off than I was the day she died. I knew I would always be traumatized by what had happened, though part of me wondered if this wasn't a good thing. Perhaps it would help. Then again, maybe not.
I only wished I didn't have to be haunted by that day. It filled by dreams, forcing me to live it over and over again. Forcing me to relive for the hundredth time the ten second event that had killed my beloved aunt.
It wasn't as if I had nothing else to remind me of that fateful day; not even close. With a start, I spun to stare at the calendar, hardly daring to believe my eyes. I couldn't believe I hadn't remembered!
Today was the day. The day I had been dreading. All week I had worried myself silly over it, counting down the days, hours, heck, even the minutes, until finally it was here. But not just because it was the one month anniversary of Aunt Karen's death.
In just seven short days, a vampire was going to kill me. The same vampire that had, in fact, been responsible for the haunting car accident.
Today was the beginning of the last week of my life.
I remembered vividly the day I had discovered he was coming for me.
I had woken up two weeks after the crash, surrounded by white washed walls and the blurry faces of my family and friends. All were anxious, teary, and unable to believe I was actually alive. And I had to agree with them. Why wasn't I dead? And where was the sadistic vampire that I had been so certain was going to kill me?
Unfortunately, a single piece of paper answered both of those questions.
I had been lying in bed after everyone had been ushered out by the nurses; they had said I needed rest. As I had rolled over, hoping to catch a few hours of sleep - hopefully dreamless - my hand had brushed against something flat and square. Grasping the object, I had to my utter surprise pulled out a sheet of stiff, folded paper. Positive that nothing could possibly be worse than what I had just been through, I opened the paper with only a little apprehension. From that moment on, I vowed to always trust my instincts. Because they were nearly always right.
At first I could see nothing, the fluoro hospital lights glinting of the white surface of the paper. But then all of a sudden thick black writing jumped out at me, styled in perfect calligraphy.
Don't think you've gotten away. I'll be back on the 1st of June. I've got something special planned before I kill you.
I had been wrong. It was far worse than I could have possibly imagined.