Author Note: I've been agonizing over this one for weeks. Post it or don't post it. I have several unfinished fan-fics waiting worked on, why start another? But technically I'd already started it so why not post it? The argument raged in my head for days. Against my better judgment, because the most fun things are never in favor of good judgment, I decided to post, self control be damned.
Disclaimer: As always, I don't own the characters, or the worlds they live in, I just make them do what I tell them to. Credit goes to Stephanie Meyer and L. Frank Baum
Summary: Mostly Human/ Alternate Universe/ Twilight - Wizard of Oz crossover. Bella knows her Scarecrow, Tinman, and Lion in real life, but her trip over the rainbow will result in determining which is her true love.
"Bella?" My mom's voice carried up the stairs. "Bella, Angela and Jess are here!"
My first thought was, huh? Then my body froze in surprise as the second thought struck me like a lightening bolt. The carnival.
"I'll be right down!" I called out, leaping from my bed and dropping my novel to the floor.
I grabbed my sneakers from underneath the bed and began stuffing my feet into them, ignoring the shoelaces entirely. The first shoe went on without incident; the second shoe not so much. I wobbled, my arms flailed and then I went down cussing.
"Bells? What was that thump?" My dad called from the living room and I was glad no one was up here to see my lack of grace. There would be plenty of time for that later.
"Nothing!" I yelled, picking myself up off the floor.
I grabbed my windbreaker out of the closet and jammed it on. I shrugged a couple of times once it was on; it felt tight on me, but I put the sensation out of mind. I yanked a desk drawer open and grabbed my wallet. I glanced to make sure it had money inside before stuffing it in my back pocket. Then I dashed down the hall and stumbled down the stairs to see my best friends Jessica Stanley and Angela Webber waiting patiently.
Well, Angela was waiting patiently, Jessica was tapping a toe infinitesimally while staring at the clock on the microwave. Angela face lit up with a friendly smile as I made my appearance. Jessica sighed theatrically, turned to face me and smirked. Smirked?
I glanced down quickly to make sure I was wearing pants.
"Oh, honey, don't go out like that!" My mother chastised, and I felt her light hands on my back and a tugging sensation from my jacket.
Apparently the back of my jacket had folded itself up and in as I slid it on, so only the top half of my torso had been covered. My mother pulled the jacket free and suddenly the jacket fit perfectly again.
"Wait a minute!" My mom grabbed my hand.
She yanked on my sleeves one at a time, untwisting them, and I heard Jessica s giggle at my expense. I blushed deeply and pulled away.
"Mom, I'm good," I mumbled.
"Okay, okay, have fun and don't stay out too late, okay?"
"Okay," I answered.
Every year, about mid July, Forks played host to a charity event hosted by the local police and fire departments. They brought in carnival rides, game booths, food vendors, and a stage, and set up right in the soccer field. In only three days the field would be transformed from soccer field to amusement park, it would stay that way for another three days, and then it would close down and disappear in another, you guessed it, three days.
I normally only went to this thing for the fireworks that they set off on opening night, and the bonfire they lit up on closing night(tonight was closing night). I didn't like the noise and I wasn't a big fan of heights or speed which meant most rides were off limits to me. I had no coordination so playing games was pretty much futile.
But Angela and Jess had begged me to go with them so I went. Parking was always a bitch, but Forks wasn't an especially big town so we could walk down to the fair with very little issues. Jess babbled over which rides she wanted to go on, Angela raved about which games she was going to play, and I insisted that I was here only on a spectatorial capacity.
Jess was a bit of a bitch. Not that she really meant to be one on purpose, but when you mix bimbo with vanity and insensitivity, it will invariably yield bad results. But she was my friend and I loved her anyway. Angela's personality was the complete opposite. She was a very warmhearted person; soft-spoken, smart and perceptive.
We heard the noise of the carnival before we saw it.
As we walked on to the crowded field I once again marveled at how the place had been transformed. It seemed illogical that so much could be crammed into so small a space.
"Oooo," Jess squealed and pointed, "That's new! I wanna go on that!"
My jaw dropped open as I eyed the monstrosity she was pointing at.
A neon sign attached to the loading deck titled the ride as The Freak Out. It was shaped like a donut that was held parallel to the floor by giant spokes that slanted up and in to meet overhead at a pivot joint in the center. The donut -- the participants having been strapped into seats on the inside rim -- was revolving and swinging. With each swing the contraption got higher and higher, until it hung completely vertical up and down; leaving the people tied inside upside down. At it's highest point, bright strobe lights began flickering, and I raised a hand to shield my eyes from the sharp glare. Then there was a hiss, and as the machine swung back down, mist began to release, combined with the strobe lights the mist turned into a silver wall. I realized the vertical upside down stop must be the final thrill because the rides swinging began to get shorter and shorter until I t slowed to a halt and the seat belts clicked open.
I watched as the riders staggered off the ride and onto the deck, laughing and red faced. Were they insane? Then I watched as they all bent down and began gathering items -- flip-flops, hats, purses -- off the deck. That's when I noticed the sign on the gate that read: Please leave all loose personal effects (hats, sandals, wallets, change, etc.) on the platform to avoid injuries caused by falling items.
I glared at Jessica's overly excited face and realized she wasn't kidding.
I glanced at Angela, who was eying the creation warily as she realized that if I wasn't going on the ride with Jess, then she was required to by default.
"I'll hold your things," I muttered. Jessica squealed again and dashed off to the ticket booth.
I was pleased to notice that my friends made it through their experiences without any vomit spillage. The same could not be said for everyone. There were moments throughout the evening when I heard calls for hoses and knew that someone had tossed their cookies and the operators needed their rides cleaned. Another reason why I refused to let myself be talk onto the amusements. Germs. I'm not a germaphobe, not by a long shot, but I have my limits. Not to mention, what if someone were to puke while I was on the ride?
I shuddered at the thought.
Jessica and Angela went on everything and I watched from the safety of solid ground, assured that I had the better deal. Once they had had their fill of adrenaline for the evening and we headed over to the track where the bonfire head been set up in the infield. We were once again passing by The Freak Out, as it was inconveniently place near the entrance slash exit, and I had to strain my ears to hear my friends voices over the screaming.
"I'm thinking we should get some snacks for when we go over," Jessica announced, eyeing the concession stands.
My stomach lurched at the thought of stuffing down more junk food. While they were busy, I had allowed myself to overindulge.
"I think I'm good," I told her.
"Some fried dough sounds nice," Angela acquiesced.
Jessica head snapped around as something caught her eye. She glared and turned away quickly. I frowned, wondering what was wrong.
"Ugh, so creepy," Jessica said with a shudder, nodding to the left.
I glanced over in the direction she had nodded.
Standing off in the shadows, a solitary figure leaned up against the chain link fence. The strobe lights on The Freak Out began flickering again, sending enough light into the darkness to illuminate the pale face that was watching the crowd indifferently.
"Why'd he even come, the psycho?"
My head whipped back around to Jess.
"Jess," Angela said, "don't."
Jess rolled her eyes. "C'mon, I want to get some cotton candy."
She grabbed Angela's arm and tugged.
I suppose I was supposed to follow them, but I didn't.
The ride began hissing as it started to release the mist back into the air again, and again I turned to look at the guy in the shadows. Even though the strobe lights had stopped, now that I knew who it was, I could see him clear as day.
Edward Masen was a foster kid, who kept to himself and was likewise avoided by everyone. His approachability wasn't helped along by the fact that he was a raging Goth, but there was something else besides his looks. What kept people away wasn't so much about what was on the outside, as it was about the look in his eyes. There was distance in them, as if the world he saw wasn't the same as the one everyone else saw. It was a reminder that he had in fact seen some things that most adults haven't seen nor would they want too. Not that anyone knew what those things were. Nobody knew anything about Edward except that he was an orphan and had had a hard upbringing. Aside from that I would rather not think about the heinous rumors that have been spread about.
There was also his air of otherness. The way he moved; the grace of his walk, the precision of his steps… They were things that would normally allude to great confidence. But his head was usually bowed, his face trained toward his feet, as if he wanted nothing more to be swallowed up into the soggy dirt and disappear from sight. He couldn't have been doing well in school, no one ever saw him raise a hand in class or pick up a book. He was never invited anywhere, but he was everywhere, and he was always there alone.
I realized he was staring back at me right around the time I realized that I was staring at him. I gave him a timid smile. He shot me a glare. I considered walking away. Then I walked toward him.
His face relaxed from his glare and slid back into indifference. His green eyes looked out at me from under his heavily mascara-ed lashes and his dark lips twitched in what might have been a smile.
"Hi, Edward," I said.
He stared back at me with that haunting green gaze and I waited patiently for a response, willing myself to be brave enough to keep eye contact.
"Hello, Bella," he finally answered, his velvet voice so soft I could barely hear it over the sounds of the fair. "Are you enjoying yourself?"
I don't know what I expected him to say to me, but I didn't expect him to ask that. I thought about it; was I having fun?
"Not really," I answered. "Are you?"
"No," he answered.
"Then why are you here?" I asked.
"Why are you here?" he parroted.
"Touché," I answered.
I looked down at my feet for a moment as a new thought came to me.
"Hey Edward?" I asked, looking back at his face.
His response this time was wordless; just a tilt of his head.
"Why don't you come with me, I mean us, to the bonfire, I mean…"
He looked a little surprised at what was probably the first invite he had ever received, but he recovered quickly. "I don't think your friends like me," he said, still speaking in that soft tone.
"I don't think anyone likes you." My hand slapped over my mouth and my eyes widened in horror. I can't believe I said that to him! What the hell is wrong with me?
His reaction to my impulsive comment was to throw back his head and laugh. He reached a hand up and ran it through his unruly black hair.
"Oh!" Edward spoke between gasps, "You should see your face! You're beet red!" He took a few deep breaths to calm himself.
"Not that you don't make an excellent point." Edward frowned.
"I didn't mean it like --"
"Doesn't matter." He cut me off. "Its true."
"Why won't you come?"
He was quiet for a minute and when he spoke next his words were so hushed that if I hadn't been looking at his lips I wouldn't have known he'd spoken at all.
"I don't like fire."
I shrugged but didn't press the issue.
"You know," he said suddenly, "If you had any kind of brains, you'd stay away from me."
"Let's make believe I'm brainless. Will you change your mind and come with us?"
"No, probably not."
"Bella!" Jess shrilled out.
I turned back around.
She looked annoyed; Angela look relieved.
Angela made a "come here" motion with her hands.
"Go," Edward told me; his voice was colored with something… resignation?
"Come with--" I began but was interrupted.
"No." Edward said firmly at the same time Jessica yelled, "Hurry the hell up!"
I gave Edward an apologetic last glance, but he didn't see it, his green eyes had focused themselves elsewhere, and I rejoined my friends at the gate.
"What were you doing talking to him?" Jessica asked, curling her lip with disgust.
"Just making pleasant conversation," I murmured.
"But why?" She asked.
I opened my mouth to respond but Angela got there first.
"I think its nice. No one ever talks to him."
"Yeah, Ang, there's a reason why nobody talks to him." Jess's rebuttal was sarcastic and for some reason it made me angry.
"Yeah, Jessica?" I snapped. "And why is that?"
Her mouth opened in surprise, but then abruptly shut again,
"No one really knows anything about him. It's all just rumor, he's never confirmed any of it. So he dresses in black, so he keeps to himself, so what? I'm sure he has a mind of his own, whether you want to acknowledge it or not."
Jessica still made no comment.
"I think its nice," Angela said again, breaking the tension. "I think he must get lonely…"
AN continued: It will be a few chapters before Bella crosses over because I want to make sure all my main players are granted propper introductions.
What do you think? Are you merely intrigued or is it fan-fricken-tastic? Am I going to hell for starting another fanfic when I already have so many open?
Click the review button and tell me what you think!
As always you can find teasers and updates for this and other fanfics at http(:)//equivampsnotebook(dot)blogspot(dot)com or click the link on my profile.
FYI: The carnival was inspired by an event that takes place in my town every summer. "The Freak Out" really exists and I'm proud to say I've never been on it.