[Disclaimer: Monster is an originally plotted fic. The ideas within this fic are not to be copied in any way, shape, or form—I have not given my consent to any manner of copying. All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the intellectual property of their respective owners. All canon concepts and characters are the property of the Twilight Saga's author, Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended. Similarities are for the sole use of fan fiction, and no profit has been or will be benefited from the posting of this fic.]
[A/N: This is part one of Monster. Part one follows the main character's development through twenty chapters set in her early years before the beginning of the fic. Part one is rated T for mild language and violent content.
While reading, please keep in mind that Monster focuses on the darker side of the Twilight universe and its affect on those who had been born into the supernatural world. I don't guarantee the story that lies ahead will be pretty. I provide necessary warnings, so nothing should come as a shock. Feel free to proceed with or without caution, and please do enjoy. =)]
This isn't a fucking fairytale.
It's a hell that never stops burning.
This is the world of demons
and the monsters who kill them.
This is the world where reality disappears at sundown
and even the innocence of love is cursed.
Here, no one is anything more
than the beast buried deep in their veins.
This is a game of who can keep their head together
for a little while longer.
Hell is never pretty.
Especially when your prey becomes
the air you breathe.
In the end, victory isn't finding a happy ever after.
is making it out alive.
PART I - Pre-Twilight.
"When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful,
A miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical." - Supertramp.
December 24th, 1994.
"Once upon a time, there was a wolf. The wolf was a very fascinating creature. He was the wisest of his five siblings, stronger than all of them and the most handsome. In fact, this wolf was the best wolf out of all of his brethren. Still, the wolf did not carry himself with pride. He walked with an important duty resting on his shoulders. It was the duty to protect his brothers, his tribe and his children who would grow and die long after he had passed.
"The wolf was powerful enough to take down even the strongest of creatures living on this planet, yet he did not brag about this power. He did not use his power to gain control, attention, or even to command respect of those he protected. Instead, the wolf used his strength to shield his family from the red-eyed monsters that had haunted his people for centuries.
"After many years, when the wolf's bones had grown too weak for him to continue, the wolf passed on to the next life. However, the spirit of the wolf continued to walk the earth. He passed his power down to his sons. From son to son, grandson to grandson, the wolf's power still lives. The wolves secured the same land, protecting their tribe from the red-eyed monsters they called 'Cold Ones.'
"Today, most people still live in fear of the monsters lurking amongst them. However, the people of the tribe can rest in peace, knowing that no matter what, the wolves will always be there to protect them."
With a pearly white smile, my daddy—Bradley Uley—stood. His tan skin and black hair gleamed in the bright room, causing me to stare in awe, still mystified by his tale. He leaned down, gently kissing my sister and me on the head. While looking at us adoringly with his warm, chocolate-brown eyes, he closed his tale with two simple words.
The story was nice, but it had ended much too quickly. I kicked my small feet in protest. "No, no! Tell us more stories about the tribe! And the wolfs! Pease, Daddy? Pease!"
Daddy chuckled and kissed my forehead. When he spoke, his voice was stern, yet soothing at the same time. "Not now, Jordan. It's Christmas Eve—you need your sleep and Santa can't bring presents if you don't get your rest." He paused as he glanced between my older sister and me, both tucked underneath warm quilts and surrounded by pillows. "Both of you."
"Fine den," I mumbled while sliding out of bed and standing with my arms crossed over my white nightgown. "I get Mommy to tell story if you won't, Daddy."
I narrowed my dark blue eyes at him in warning. He shook his head in amusement as if he didn't believe me. With a frown, I marched out of the bedroom with my head held high, only to be carried back in seconds later wrapped in the thin, gentle arms of my mother.
"Always was a little rebel," she murmured softly while she tucked me back into my bed.
"Well," my older sister, Nicole, muttered to herself from across the room. "I think she's just stupid."
My mouth popped open. "Nickle! Supid is mean!" I fired back at her. She was a year older than me, but she was still very dumb.
Nicole gaped at me and didn't respond. Instead, she snapped her head up to glare expectantly at Mommy and Daddy, waiting for them to punish me. Instead, they glanced at each other, smiling. Mommy laughed.
"Girls, if you keep arguing, Santa won't deliver your presents."
Nicole hushed immediately at Mommy's light warning. She gasped, rolling over while yanking the soft patterned blanket over her head. "I'll be good, I'll be good!" Nicole repeated. The blanket muffled her whispered pleading.
I giggled quietly to myself.
Nicole's head popped out of the blanket, her hair wild from the static friction. She glowered at me with an evil shine in her slanted eyes. "Shouldn't you be apologizing, Jordan? Or don't you know how?" Her voice was thick with irritation.
"Nah, Santa love me," I reasoned with a shrug.
Nicole blinked, unable to say something back quickly enough. I fell back against my pillow and slid my blanket up towards my content, smiling face.
My parents both grinned and shook their heads at us. Daddy went over to say his goodnights to Nicole while Mommy crossed over to me. She smiled tenderly, her light blue eyes sparkling. She brushed my hair out of my face and slipped the sheets around me the way I liked them—tight and bundled.
"Goodnight, sweetheart," Mommy murmured as she kissed my forehead. "Sleep well."
Then Mommy and Daddy swapped places. Daddy caressed my face gently, smiling down at me. He kissed my hair again. His hands, marked with years of labor, positioned my pillow in the way only his hands could. "We'll see you in the morning. Just keep in mind that sleep will make Christmas and Santa come faster!"
"Otay, Daddy." I faked a yawn and smiled when my parents retreated. With another loving smile, Mommy flipped off the lights and blew a kiss at us, disappearing while Daddy shut the door behind her.
Within minutes, both Nicole and I were stationed at our bedroom door. Clutched firmly in each of our trembling russet hands was a plastic toy gun. Daddy told us they were "fake," but I didn't believe him. We would need guns when we did dangerous things like walk around the house in the dark which was, of course, extremely dangerous.
"Careful!" Nicole hissed in my ear. I ignored her warning and stretched my skinny leg out in front of me, moving into the hall. Nicole's hand caught my arm and yanked me back. "There could be monsters out there!"
"Pease!" I snorted and shoved Nicole back. I peeked down the pitch-black hall once more. "Monsers are under bed! But no scary monser would ebber come eat anybody as supid as you!"
"Ugh, you are so stupid, Jordan! Monsters come at night to eat—they could be anywhere."
I huffed at her comment. I pretended to hesitate for a moment, hoping she'd be quiet. When she fell silent, I glanced down the hall once more. "Fine. No monsers out here. Jus be sure to wook bof ways."
"That's for the road, dummy!" Nicole glared and rolled her eyes when I stuck out my tongue at her.
Nicole brushed by me, carefully placing a foot down on the wooden floor. She winced at the squeak the floor made when she leaned her weight forward. She gulped and tried her best to look brave. I watched Nicole's icy eyes turn fearful. I tugged on her arm, smiling at how scared my older sister was acting. Ignoring my pull, she proceeded to move quickly down the hall, dragging me with her.
I quickly grew annoyed. My eyebrows crinkled, puckering my expression. I did my best to hide my annoyance with a deep breath. My eyes squinted, straining to see down the dark hall. Heat prickled down my spine. All I could see was the brilliant white walls and the shiny floor; everything else was washed with black, as if a curtain had been thrown over the hall. When my eyes darted around, I realized how still the house was. My hand tightened around my gun.
In the corner of my eye, I saw Nicole standing stiffly next to me. The tiny hint of wariness passed. I allowed my smile to return. I puffed out my chest before I crept carefully in front Nicole, who was nearly stomping down the hall as she tried to take the lead again.
"Me first!" I grumbled, pushing Nicole into the wall with a quiet thump.
"Shut up, Jordan. I'm older. Me first." Nicole spat, as if I was the one making all the noise. She shoved at my shoulder before taking the lead again.
I stomped my foot. "Butthead!" I clamped my hands over my mouth at the blaring sound of my voice.
Nicole gasped, whipping around to glare at me nastily. I couldn't help but giggle into my palm. Thankfully, the sound pierced the heavy tension clouding over us. Nicole turned, nose in the air, and started to slink down the hall once again. I gave a small huff and followed after her until the plush feeling of carpet replaced the firm feel of tile beneath my bunny slippers.
Riddled with excitement, both of us began to pick up our pace until we were practically racing down the last stretch of hallway. Our steps fell at the exact same moment, almost as if our movements were perfectly choreographed. Our slippers squeaked against the floor when they cleared the distance between us and our final destination: the dining room. I gave my sister a final shove, forcing her back while I rounded the corner first.
What I saw left me standing in bewildered awe. I froze, my eyes widening. I didn't even care as Nicole plowed into me, grumbling angrily. Actually, I was so amazed by the sight that I didn't notice at all.
My sister mirrored me, staring up at the twinkling monument above us. I tilted my head backward in order to gaze at the excessively decorated Christmas tree that was placed in the corner of the room. A dazzling white angel stood proudly at the top; part of the wing was ignited in a soft shimmer from the rays of moonlight that seeped through the drawn curtains. Numerous sprigs of color shone from the lights, twisted and tangled in the magnificent green of the branches. Hanging from each branch was a wide variety of decorations, including a plastic Santa, reindeer, and gift boxes, along with paper snowflakes and other decorative items that I had created myself under the watchful eye of Mommy.
"Pretty," Nicole chirped, beaming in awe. She went silent, almost like she was awaiting my response. But, I had already moved away from her, no longer interested in the beauty of the tree. I could feel her eyes set on me while I rummaged through the many presents placed beneath the tree, having felt the need to feel them the moment I noticed them.
"Jordan, what are you doing?" She dropped to her knees, shuffling over next to me; close enough I could feel her hair tickle my shoulder. It was always a rule that Santa's presents were not to be touched until morning, but that rule was one that I often broke. Santa had already gone, and he was a busy guy, so he couldn't come take them back.
"Hmm. . ." I hummed absentmindedly while gathering up a gift wrapped in shimmering red paper into my petite arms. I traced my fingers over the soft surface before shaking it lightly. A smirk tugged on my lips. "Dis one costed at weast five dowwars!"
I looked at my sister and wasn't surprised to see her rolling her eyes. Nicole opened her mouth to reply, but stopped short. Her eyes widened, and a moment later, a hollow, blood-curdling scream hit my ears. The sound bounced off the walls, echoing down the hallways and chilling my blood. Images of monsters whirled through my head, stopping my breathing.
In an instant, Nicole got to her feet and bounded toward the living room. Another scream flooded the house, followed by an echo and the sound of a rough voice shouting. I froze as my mind processed the sound of the voices. They were so familiar. . .
"Nickle, dat's Mommy and Daddy!" I paused to try to catch a breath. It was like the sudden panic was clogging up my lungs.
"Oh no! The monster came! It's gonna eat us!" Nicole shrieked. She wheeled around and snatched my arm with a shaking hand, her light blue eyes widened with pure terror. We both stood there, staring at each other, until Nicole slowly turned and led me toward the screaming. I followed, hurrying to stay behind her until we both slipped into the living room where the shouts were so loud, they made me want to clasp my hands over my ears to block them out. Instead, we dropped to our knees where the sound was the least bit quieter.
We both snuck behind a couch, tensed. Nicole stared at me, her chest rising and falling rapidly. I met her gaze and nodded; the silent signal to take our chances and look. Almost simultaneously, we stole a glance over our little barrier. A treacherous sight met my gaze, melting the blood right out of my face. My muscles turned to stone while my body froze with shock.
Glass sprinkled the room, covering the floor like dew on the morning grass. The room seemed exposed, ripped of the holiday bliss. Everything was broken. Cracks webbed the once flawless wall, blood trickling from them like red tears and painted the furniture and floor in sickening splatters of color.
That alone was enough to send me into a full-on panic attack, though I was frozen, my stare locked on one thing alone. Mommy's lifeless body was sprawled across the floor in an unnatural position. Her gentle blue eyes were wide open—but unseeing—and her clothes were ripped. Her lips were slightly parted, as if she was allowing the life to flow out of her. Her chest was still and lifeless. A small voice in my head commanded me to run to her, but the horror of the open wound in the shape of teeth on Mommy's neck, oozing with her own blood, held me back.
It took a full minute to bring me back to present time. The sound of the ticking clock slowly made its way through the maze of my muddled thoughts. I lifted my gaze, gulping against the lump in my throat. I started to back away, but Nicole, whom I'd forgotten all about, stopped me with a hand on my arm. She turned her head, slowly and stiffly, to look at me before turning it back to the scene. I followed her gaze and tensed at what I saw.
Across the room stood a lanky, intimidating man with a pale complexion. He was bent over a russet figure that could only be Daddy, his mouth firmly attached to his neck while his hands grasped his shoulders. My stomach flip-flopped at the sight of Daddy's eyes, popped wide and still, his mouth agape in a silent scream. The man didn't seem to notice, much less care.
Daddy's thrashing body was pinned, rendering him helpless. I wanted to scream, but I couldn't remember how. Nicole's hand tightened on my arm when the man made a spitting sound, almost like a hiss. Quick as lightning, the man raked his nails down daddy's neck, cutting deep into pink flesh. The thrashing slowed. Daddy's eyelids drooped, nearly covering his eyes.
Although we were only three and four, I was pretty sure both Nicole and I were able to understand what was happening, to a small extent. I wanted to collapse when a shallow emptiness plunged into the pit of my stomach as the reality of what was happening started to boil and scar my innocent mind. Nicole suddenly erupted into hysterical cries, becoming shaken by sobs. Warm, moist tears streamed down her horrified face, leaving a damp, sticky trail behind them. I was motionless when her hand dropped from my arm. She let out a choked sob and scrambled away.
Having not physically reacted, I still stood like a small stone statue, my gaze becoming glued on the bloody scene in front of me. Breezes whistled through the cracks in the wall and a gust of air whipped down my throat. The sound seemed to distract the creature from his prey; he grunted in response. A shock zapped me, knowing even though he hadn't noticed Nicole's presence by sound, he knew I was here. Slowly—very slowly—the white man moved away from my daddy's body, lifting his head.
Blood dripped off of the man's lips. With a hiss, the malicious creature jerked, standing erect in a flash. His expression was dark at first; more terrifying than any monster I'd ever dreamed of. Then it was gone, a taunting smirk stretched over his face, showing his gleaming white teeth. The sharp edges were stained red.
"Merry Christmas," he crowed. "Don't fret, child—you won't remember this."
His crimson eyes, swimming like the pools of blood on the floor, captured my gaze. He stood frozen for a single heartbeat, his voice trailing into the silence of the room. A taunting smirk stretched over his face, showing his gleaming white teeth painted in red. A tick of the clock later, the man disappeared. In a blur of white, he was gone, leaving only echoes of his voice behind.
I stood, frozen in place. I didn't cry, scream, or run. Instead, I stared blankly at the broken body before me. My black hair fluttered in the breezes that blew through the broken wall. The image of the crimson eyes burned like a white-hot heat in my mind.
I would never forget.
"C-Come," a gurgling, choking voice rasped. I snapped my head in the direction where Daddy lay. The sudden movement brought a dull ache into my neck, but I barely felt it. All I could focus on was Daddy's brown eyes; wide and staring into my own, beckoning me to him.
"Daddy!" I raced over faster than my legs could manage and tumbled down into an ocean of shiny bits that were once the window. Glass pierced into my soft palm, but I ignored the prickling pain and scrambled toward my father.
His chest heaved with uneven breathing, his whole body convulsing so badly it looked like someone was rattling him. Blood matted his hair and covered his skin, oozing from the horrific wounds that mangled his features. I didn't breathe as I placed my hands on either side of his face, trying to make him focus.
Nothing stuck out more than his torn up throat. It was ripped down to nothing more than shreds, mangled and red like the puffy ribbons on the Christmas gifts. My chest collapsed, and my breathing turned to stutters. I dropped to my knees next to him. My voice was a hushed whisper. "Daddy, you otay? You otay?"
He lifted his head ever so slightly and gazed in my direction. His eyes crinkled with pain from the small movement. He raised a shaking hand, the blood shimmering in the moonlight, and wrapped his fingers around my hand. The gesture was comforting, but the icy temperature of his palm made me squirm a little.
I counted my breaths and waited, hope burning in my heart. Of course he would be okay—Daddy was tougher than anyone I knew. I glanced down at his hand and then at his face again. His lips cracked open, the shaking of his hand rattling my whole arm. "N-n-never tr-trust. . ."
The sentence was never finished. I watched in horror as Daddy's body went limp, falling back in a slow motion. His head rolled to the side and his eyes closed, his chest falling while he released his final breath. My vision blurred when I moved my gaze down to Daddy's strong hand, which was still loosely clasping my own. Just a moment later, the hand went limp, rolling onto the ground in what seemed like slow motion. It was a muted movement, but I heard it crashing in my ears.
Time seemed to stutter before resuming again. I rested my head down on my father's still chest, my tiny, trembling fingers clutching his shirt. Every image of this night seared into my brain. Somehow, I knew that Daddy wasn't going to wake up. The thought struck me hard while the last story ever told by Bradley Uley echoed in my mind.
"Today, the wolves still run the lands, and the monsters still hunt among them, stealing lives in the dead of night. But the wolves and the men will always be there to protect their people. . ."