Chapter one: A Foreign Face
Dark, asperous rocks are phalanxed against the Pacific, and sculpted where they stubbornly stand. Among them are pools of ocean wash that managed to get through, but are now benevolent reflections of the stones. Up the hill rows of trees are set like sentries, their backs permanently bent, and yet they still stand gallant against any storm like guardians to the mountains behind them. Hovering amidst all this is a mist that invites one to step in closer and discover the mysteries of the coast, where mythical creatures might have once roamed…
It is quiet, and it is cold, much like any other day would be on the beaches of La Push, Washington. However, the weather has never stopped locals and visitors alike from enjoying the ever changing moods of the wild Olympic Coast.
Families gather for picnics while teenagers brave the bite of the cold air against their wetsuits as they wade eagerly on their surfboards. Children find the deepest parts of the rolling mists and become pirates or dinosaur hunters, or even wild animals; whatever their little minds desire.
On this particular day the beach is almost vacant. The sounds of the small waves crashing against the shore blur against a child's laughter as she runs towards the water. Her mother shouts for her to slow down as she and her husband juggle the towels and basket full of food in their arms. A mid-teens boy shouts from atop one of the stand alone boulders to his friends, and he beats his chest with his fists in exaggeration. The group all whoop and holler while throwing their hands in the air and jumping to be the first to catch their friend up high.
"Too bad the sun stayed in today." The woman smiles at her husband as she lays one of the towels down in the grey sand. He returns the smile and helps her settle down to sit.
"Mommy!" Their little girl shouts as she returns from the edge of the water. "The water is too cold!"
"It's alright, sweetheart. We don't need to go swimming today." Her father answers. He sweeps his little girl into his arms and brings her down into his lap. He leans over to open the basket. "How about we see what your mother has put together for us."
The girl smiles brightly and helps her father pull the items from the case. The strong aroma of fried chicken and potato salad surrounds them as they open each container.
"What did you bring for dessert, mommy?"
"Now that's a surprise," the woman laughs as she snatches the basket away before anymore could be revealed. The child pouts dramatically but soon erupts into giggles when her father tickles her sides.
"What is that? Is that a person?" the man speaks up before taking a bite of his meal, his eyes squinting as he focuses on the water ahead.
The family all turn their heads to look out towards the water. Sure enough, a figure emerges between a roll of soft waves. A head, gender unknown, comes up from the surface and hands slide back over their soaked hair.
"They must be crazy, being in the cold water!" the family laughs and continues on with eating their hearty, home-cooked meal. They make small talk and comment on the whirl of flavor in their mouths while a breeze catches the ends of their hair as it passes.
The figure in the ocean moves closer, the water now at shoulder height as they find the wet sand beneath their feet. From a distance its hands can be seen rubbing down its shoulders vigorously, as if it were applying lotion. Or cleaning itself.
"Honey…" The man trails off, his eyes slightly wide, as he stares out at the water again.
"What?" she turns around to view the person surfacing. At this point the water reaches her hips. Sure enough, the figure is a woman. A very naked woman.
"Oh god." The mother turns in disgust. Her husband doesn't know whether to laugh or to keep staring as the woman from the ocean approaches a little more, the water parting and ready to reveal everything between the legs.
"Stop staring!" his wife hisses through clenched teeth. Her eyes dart down towards the girl in her husband's lap who is paying more attention to the drumstick in her hand. "Your daughter…"
"Well someone should go tell her to put something on, don't you think?" he replies as he slowly pushes his daughter from his lap, careful to face her back towards the waves.
"I'll do it." His wife commands quietly while giving him a scrutinizing look. She stares at him for a moment, then grunts as she picks herself up from the ground and heads toward the other woman.
"Excuse me." She says a little weakly. She isn't heard. "Excuse me, miss!" she shouts. She thinks she probably sounds a little too agitated but she doesn't concern herself for another second once the woman's head turns in her direction.
The woman is young. Very young, the mother concludes as she approaches the girl in the water. She notices that her eyes are wide, like a deer caught in the headlights, and her arms freeze in position as if she were halfway on the route to covering herself up.
"Hello, sorry to bother, but I was just wondering what you were doing?" she says a little rushed.
The girl just stares in shock, her mouth moving a part so slightly it was barely noticeable as if she were searching for words.
"My family happens to be right over there," the woman continues, "and I know this particular beach happens to be crowded with children during most days. And you're here, in the buff! How old are you? What are you thinking?" she still rushes her words. She's a little bit angry and a little bit worried, only for the sake that this naked person seems to be just a girl. And one she does not recognize. She stops when she reaches the point where the waves reach the sand, the girl only feet away from her.
The girl bites her lip and looks sheepish. Her mouth opens again, a little wider this time, but she pauses for a moment, then "Excusez-moi, désolé." She smiles, then stutters to find more to say. "Um, sorry. I, uh, am not…" she waves her index finger in circles while her eyes scan the beach as if regarding her surroundings, "from here." Her French accent is thick.
The woman places her hand over her mouth to hold in a laugh. "You poor girl. Darling, this is not like Europe. There are no nude beaches here. Anywhere…" she can't help but giggle at the whole situation.
The girl leans forward, hanging on every word the woman spoke. Her eyebrows are peaked and her eyes focused as she tries to make sense of what was just said to her. "Désolé. Je suis tellement désolé! I'm so sorry! I, uh, did not know!" she succeeds in covering her top half as she folds her arms against her breasts.
The woman is convinced the girl is innocent, even though a little naïve. "Do you have any clothes? Something to cover yourself?" she asks. The girl stares at her strangely. "Do you have any..." she points at herself and tugs at her sleeve. "Any clothes to put on?"
"Oh," the girl laughs sweetly. "No, no… clothes… Do you have une serviette? A… a, uh… a towel? Or a robe?"
The woman thinks for a moment and turns to look back at her husband who is watching the event unfold, and he in turn whips his head around as if he were just caught in the act. The woman rolls her eyes and returns her attention to the girl.
Upon further inspection, the girl looks only eighteen, maybe twenty at most. Her skin is creamy and bronzed so slightly, like a flawless kiss of the sun. She has raven hair that sticks to her shoulders and gleams with the coating of the salty ocean water. And her eyes are the deepest blue, like nothing ever seen. Compared to precious jewels, or the first stars glittering alive at dusk, they are completely inhuman. They draw the woman's very breath from her lungs and send a wave of longing throughout her body.
The girl's plump lips curl into a smile, and the woman sees in her eyes, so scintillating, that she still awaits an answer.
"Oh! I'm so sorry! Um, yes, I have something you can use. Just…" she pauses and holds her hands, palms out, as if to signify to stay put. "Stay right here," she finishes. The woman rushes back to her family, and after a few hushed words with her husband, she returns with a large beach towel.
"Here." She says and hands it to the girl.
Unlike the woman's introverted and wary nature, the girl throws her arms up to yet again reveal her naked features. She takes the towel and takes her time to shake it of the moist sand as if the fact that she were nude, and reminded of it by the inquiring eyes, was not a bother. She wraps her slender body in the terry fibers and smiles so contagiously.
"Merci! Thank you so much!" The girl exclaims.
"You're welcome," the woman simply answers and turns to walk away.
"Is that your… family?" the girl picks up pace and follows in tow.
"Yes, that is my –"
"Oh!" the girl cuts her off and quickens her steps so that she is ahead and moving towards the family's setup on the beach. "I must meet them!" she shouts.
As she approaches, the man stands up with a grin on his lips. He holds his hand out to the girl for a proper greeting.
"No, no, no." She resists and hugs him instead. She plants a lingering kiss on each of his cheeks, dangerously close to his lips. "Vous êtes magnifique. Si beau! So handsome!" Her smile is bright and catching as she looks from the father to the young girl sitting and staring in awe.
"Thank you so much," she continues and slowly backs away. "Merci! Au revoir!"
"That was the strangest thing…" the woman whispers to her husband as the girl turns and makes her way to the path leading away from the beach.
"Does she have a place to stay? Who was she?" he asks.
"I don't know, and I don't care. Foreigners…" the woman rolls her eyes then notices her husband is still staring at the bronzed beauty as she retreats. She slaps his shoulder with the back of her hand, "why are you so interested anyway?"
The conversation between the married couple is soon drowned out by the growing waves as the girl continues walking. She comes to a group of young teenaged boys who are gawking at her. She can hear the whispered "dude, did you see that?" and "I think I'm in love!" as she passes.
The corner of her lips curl up into a mischievous grin when she hears one of the boys shout an "I love you!" in her direction. She turns to let her eyes scour over the group.
"Maybe in ten years, kid." With that said, and all traces of her French accent gone, she continues her exit off the beach.
When she reaches the tree line and knows the patrons of the shore can no longer see her, she slides the leather wallet she had pulled from the husbands back pocket out from under the hem of the towel. She opens the folds and finds a one-hundred dollar bill, along with other small money, and takes it. She folds the paper and tucks it between her breasts, then tosses the wallet off to the side of the worn path.
The girl finds a white cotton sun dress in the backseat of a car in the parking lot for the beach at the beginning of the pathway. The windows were a quarter of the way down, so she reaches in and effortlessly pulls the item from the vehicle. She slips the dress over her head and leaves the towel to remain where her feet once stood as she continues on yet again.
It is not an exceptional day. The sun hidden behind the low clouds and the mist that envelops the entire town makes everything look grey. The overgrown fungus that swallows the roots of trees in its shroud, the moist and fertile dirt beneath her feet that gives easily with each step, and the wearing paint of an ancient truck that grumbles down the old road – Everything is grey. It's as if the canvas has been wiped clean. All the greens, and browns, and reds and blues of the world – All the colors have been muted out. Emotionless. As if one can repaint their own world to fit their mood for the day.
Aside from the open air near the beach, there is no breeze. Nothing whispers by her ear or dances with the drying strands of her hair. There are no birds to sing and no crickets to chirp. Just the sounds of nothingness. No warmth settles in the air, and it isn't cold, at least to her. It's just a day, like any other day.
The girl walks barefoot through the woods towards the scent of food. She can hear voices and machines, and knows the center of town is not too far ahead. She keeps walking until she comes to a paved road. Just beyond the asphalt is a line of shopping centers. There is a convenience store for prescriptions and snacks connected to a few occupied gas pumps. Next door sits a quaint thrift store and then a café. Several businesses continue further down the streets, but the girls growling stomach reminds her of the last time she ate, so she doesn't bother with further contemplation.
A bell chimes as she enters the convenience store. The clerk at the counter looks up from his newspaper to view the new customer. The girl gives a quaint smile and moves quickly to the back of the store, careful to not draw anymore attention to herself. She grabs a pair of cheap black flats from a rack containing miscellaneous items, and before ripping the tag off she furtively searches her surroundings for any cameras. Only one behind the clerk. No danger there. She quietly slides the shoes onto her feet then snatches a pair of sunglasses from the same rack and slides them over the top of her head after removing any labels.
She picks out a bag of baked potato chips after turning down another aisle and heads to the counter top. She places the bag of chips on the bar and greets the clerk with a charming smile.
"Will that be all for you today?" he asks.
"That's it." She replies.
"Don't think I've seen you before. Are you from around here?" he asks as he pushes buttons into the old register.
The girl laughs lightly. "No, just visiting."
"Family? And that will be seventy-five cents."
"No, I guess you could say I'm just passing through." She smiles again and hands the man a dollar bill.
"Well then, welcome to Forks, Washington! I hope you stay long enough to enjoy this town. It's really much more magical than it seems." He winks at her, a kind twinkle in his eye.
She holds in a laugh. "Forks?" she realizes, "I thought I was in La Push?"
"No, ma'am. La Push is about fifteen miles back West. You can just take that road –"
She cuts him off. "I know the way. Guess I didn't realize I had wandered off this far."
"Well alright then. I hope you enjoy your stay." He smiles again.
The girl returns his gesture with a genuine grin. "Thank you," she answers and turns for the door.
"Now you be sure to stay out of the woods, though, you hear me? 'Specially at night. They say there are monsters in there. And we don't want a pretty, young thing like yourself getting hurt, now do we?"
She stops at the threshold and turns to look at the man, a sly, beaming smirk playing on her lips. "I think I'm a little more terrifying than any monsters out there." She says confidently. "Have a wonderful day!" The bell rings again and the girl disappears out the door, leaving the old man with a perplexed look written across his features.
The girl enters the café next door, setting off a similar bell to the previous store. There are very few people inside, and they all look up from their magazines and books to get a quick glance at the newcomer, but casually return their attention back to whatever they were doing.
"Hello there! What can I get you today?" A young, petite woman with strawberry blonde hair and hazel eyes smiles brightly from the counter.
The girl contemplates the small menu as she approaches. "Well, what do you recommend?"
"Are you more of a tea or coffee girl? Or maybe an Italian soda?"
The girl shrugs.
"My personal favorite is the blackberry jasmine tea. You would probably love it!" she offers cheerily.
"Sound delicious." The girl smiles and watches as the other woman punches numbers into the register.
"That comes out to a dollar-seventy. Anything else?"
"Do you have any local newspapers or magazines I could read?" she asks as she hands over two dollar bills and slips a third into the tip jar.
The woman points to the back corner, "over there you can find the Peninsula Herald, and most of the magazines are pretty outdated."
"So," the woman speaks as she steeps fresh ingredients into a large ceramic mug. "What high school do you go to?"
The girl laughs lightly. "I'm a little old for high school."
The barista eyes her strangely. "Are you from around here? I don't think I've ever seen you…" she trails off.
"I just heard that from the man next door. This must really be a small town." She shares another small laugh with the woman. "But no, I'm just visiting."
"For how long?"
"Not sure. Maybe a week, maybe less."
"I bet you will love it here. We may not have any shopping malls or host big social events, but this town is a lot more than it seems. There is really so much that you can do!" the woman exclaims as she slides the mug across the counter towards the girl.
The girl purses her lips and blows softly towards the steaming surface of the tea. "I'm not much for socializing any way."
"Well I'm Taryn." The woman offers her hand and the girl takes it for a friendly shake.
"Sarah." She smiles.
"It's nice to meet you, Sarah. And if you need someone to show you around, just come find me. I could show you everything Forks has to offer!" The young woman is contagiously bright and bubbly.
"I will. Thanks." Sarah responds with another smile.
She grabs a newspaper from the rack and takes her tea to the small patio out front, if it could even be called that. It consisted of three tables, each with two chairs, and they are strategically placed on the wide sidewalk between the wall of windows of the café and the road. As she sits at one of the tables, she pulls the sunglasses from the crown of her head down over her eyes. She sips on the still sweltering tea and licks her lips of the sweet taste as she flips through the paper.
A large crowd of teenagers saunter by, most of which don back packs or messenger bags. The girls are laughing and chattering loudly while the boys grin and poke at them. Sarah lifts her eyes from the newspaper for a moment to watch as the kids flirt and play, oblivious to the world around them. Half of the group enters the café. Some linger behind on the side of the street while a couple wave their goodbyes and continue their trek down the road.
The conversation is a blur as Sarah focuses on reading the local news. Nothing too exciting, and she had expected nothing less. She does, however, notice when the teenagers grow silent.
Her eyes climb from the periodical again and are greeted with six new sets. The kids stare back at her in wonder, so she studies their expressions. They're prying eyes are intrusive, full of questions and fascination. Desire is written across the males faces, while the girls look almost jealous, or disgusted by their counterpart's reactions.
Sarah simply mounts her brow, lets her stare linger for a moment then directs her attention back to her reading. Within moments the dialogue between the teenagers picks back up and the woman is left alone with her tea and paper.
When Sarah finishes reading from front to back, the sun is beginning to settle for the night. The sounds of the woods coming to life heighten like a concerto wafting through an old abandoned theater. The streetlights flicker as their almost expired bulbs struggle to use the last of their potential. The town is quiet and the sidewalks are empty. Sarah hadn't even noticed that the coffee shop had closed.
She leaves the empty mug and newspaper on the table and treads across the street into the woods, back towards the beach where she had started her journey.
What was once grey was now surrounded in blackness. The world has become a blur in the night, but her keen eyes can make out the terrain easily enough. She follows the path further into the woods letting her best senses guide her.
In the distance and long and low howl resonates through the darkness. Probably miles away, but clear as day to the woman. Sarah stops in her tracks, closes her eyes, and lets the sound carry in her ears. Her heart beats slowly and her chin tilts upwards, so slightly, as a soft and subtle smile turns her lips. She breaths deeply through her nose until her lips part to release the baited breath.
Moments later, a series of yips and calls are heard as a peculiar scent reaches Sarah's nostrils. She smells the wolves, but their aroma is unlike anything she has experienced. She sniffles dramatically to take in a strong whiff, and realizes the smell is everywhere, completely surrounding her. Their stench is marked on the encompassed trees and the air is thick with their claim.
She cannot figure the numbers of the pack. She knows they are miles out, but will most likely not be long until they are near enough to sense her presence. This is their territory, whatever kind of wolves they are with their strange essence, and she decides it would be best to stay off the radar. She doesn't want any trouble, which tends to happen when she's around a wild animal.
The tawny beauty strips herself of the sundress and folds it neatly. She finds a crook high up in a nearby tree to place the article and removes the flats from her feet. She tucks all of the money into one shoe and the sunglasses into another before placing them with the dress.
Once her body is clear of any material, she begins to sprint barefoot in the opposite direction of the wolves. As she gains momentum her bones shift and split while a guttural snarl erupts from the back of her throat while raven hair crawls itself across her naked skin. She lurches forward. Large paws succeed her dainty hands as they reach the ground below, and in her place, a tremendous black wolf runs at full speed into the blackness of the night.
So I guess you could just say I'm borrowing Jacob, because most likely not very many of the other characters will be included in this fic. It will be short, maybe 5-7 chapters, maybe 10. Who knows?
But please tell me what you think? I really do appreciate constructive criticism, as all of my original characters are actually a part of a novel that I am (slowly) writing. So, I hope that you enjoy! Again, please let me know your thoughts.
This fic was also inspired by the song "While We Were Dreaming" by The Pink Mountaintops.