I do not own it. Stephenie Meyers does.
And it kills me.
My Little Sister
I don't know if I ever considered that vampires may have any real reason for existing. I don't know if we would even need one. We just are. We're at the very top of the chain of evolution, the fiercest of predators, and I'm okay with that. Darwin rules. He's actually a bit of a hero of mine.
My new little sister, Bella changes all of this for me, however. She has a brilliant mind, and I truly adore her. She insists we have a reason for being here. So, I have had to backtrack, and rearrange my mind, because, boy is she ever right. We do have a reason.
I shall now attempt to tell the story of how vampires have important work to do. Let's start at the beginning, where stories tend to start, where building blocks get put together and walls are built to shape the tale. Where deep thought and brilliant ideas go in on one side, and philosophical, finished sagas come out in the other end. The beginning, where a story comes to life. Or comes to death, as it were, in this specific instance.
Bella finally joined the family, but she didn't turn into the quietly meek newborn some of us were expecting. Oh, no, she's still a handful every day. Even now that she is an adult vampire her days and nights are wild-spitfire-crazy-action, interspersed with fleeting, brilliant moments of calm, intense introspection. Very short moments, those last ones. I am waiting for her to slip, it is bound to happen. I am waiting with great anticipation, I might add.
I've been with Alice in this family for decades now, and for her, I have learned to hunt animals. It is hard, and made harder every day, as I can feel not only my own hunger for human blood, but also the hunger in each and every one of my family members. We all crave it, but we all subdue our want and need. Well, most of the time.
There are moments when I feel bad about hunting these animals, as they are getting more and more rare on the planet. There are only so many Mountain Lions and Grizzly Bears left. So, it's a bit damned if I do, and damned if I don't. Wherever I turn and however I behave, I end up feeling bad about who I am, about what I am, what I do, and how I do it. The fact that I simply can't just be me downright offends me sometimes.
In this tightly-knit group of vampires, we conduct a strange half-life trying to fit in with the human society. We never really do, though, as we always come across as slightly off—in some way or another—to the humans. I am starting to get seriously tired of going through high school, again and again. Yes, it can be kind of fun, but it is just so full of emotional cry-babies. I've grown to resent both teenagers and high school, and while I, at times, enjoy increasing their small mind-fucks into mental hand-grenades, it hardly outweighs the tedium of actually attending class.
Not that college is any better, it just makes it more—of everything. More booze, more drugs, more fooling around, more sex, more crazy. Hell, I am all for the crazy, but there has got to be a limit. If there wasn't, I'd eat them all for breakfast—it's been known to happen. Been there, done that.
Now, as I was saying, since Bella joined our family, we've had more fun than boring, that is most certainly for sure. She has been a handful from day one, from right after she opened her red eyes and flew to a defensive crouch in the corner of her bedroom. She was already a smart-as-a-cracker human, but as a vampire, she takes 'quick on the uptake' to a whole new level. Bella understands things faster than all the rest of us. And boy can she run! Even Edward has to give up the chase when she takes off at a sprint.
That first run they did? They ended up in Canada, for crying out loud. Not that Canada is all that far from the Olympic Peninsula, of course. But Bella didn't stop in British Columbia. Hell no, she kept right on going until she was on the outskirts of Regina, on the other side of the Rockies. Once she set foot on the prairie she hesitated, and that's when Edward tackled her to the ground.
Oh, the giggling that went on right about then, the prairie will never be the same, I'm sure. Even the wapitis stopped being afraid of vampires for an afternoon. They quickly caught on, however, as Bella and Edward suddenly got really hungry. All that running, they worked up an appetite, I guess.
Edward said he was winded after their run, although I find that to be really hard to believe. A vampire simply does not get winded, not by chasing his mate all over the continent. It just does not happen. My suspicion is he was simply panting for her. That is a part of the mating business, and it comes right after chasing each other around. Part of the fun, really. The other part is the actual catching, and for Bella and Edward, that happened on the prairie up there, in Saskatchewan.
Lying flat out on the prairie, staring up at the blue skies, Bella had her big idea.
Oh, the brilliant, brilliant girl. I love my little sister. Bella's new idea is nothing short of completely revolutionary.
This is the back story: we have had long discussions about the problems of the Earth here in our family; we have been talking about this stuff since the 1970s, actually. Pollution, famine, desertification, war. Carbon footprints and threatened species of wildlife and plants. All the usual problems with all the usual culprits. Petrol industries. Whalers. Chemical industries. Name it. When Bella joined the family, of course she also joined in the discussions.
Now, you can tell that since she came back from the prairie she has been thinking the whole problem through. Her process of intellectual reasoning is intriguing, and here she sits at our table now, ready to finally lay it all out for us. She says, in a laid-back kind of way, "Oh, I've solved it. It'll take a year or so to fix."
We are discussing her idea as a family, around the dining room table, as always. It's a boring procedure, but Carlisle always wants it done this way, thanks to his beautiful ideals of democracy—like I give a flying fuck about democracy. It's all talk. It goes on and on, and when it is finally done, we have usually decided more or less exactly what Carlisle wanted from the beginning. Let's jump all that crap in the middle, shall we? We all know Carlisle knows best, and that we all eventually cave in to voting for whatever result he wants. Well, maybe not this time. Maybe democracy will work for us today.
Now, in my past, I was used to handling big questions in a totally different way: someone would make a decision, most often Maria, and I would execute it. Simple, smooth and effective. Beautiful in its simplicity and elegance. Oh, sure, the concept was complete dictatorship, but it was also the kind of ruling that made everything run smoothly and it saved all of us lot of time. Although, I admit, that's really a resource we have in abundance. Time.
Carlisle isn't going to feel all democratic about this one, however. He cares about the decision-making process, all right. But he cares even more about life. I do believe he might try to institute the—for us—new concept of veto. We will vote him down, however. I hope. Today, for the first time in my existence I see the benefits of real democracy.
So, what is this grand idea of Bella's, then? You can tell she's been thinking long and hard about this, but that she wants to seem a bit uninterested. Knowing her, that means she is very interested indeed, and that she really wants to sell us her idea. Of course no one in their right mind would believe that she has found the solution to something this complex, so we all just let her comment slide. Oh, we should all just know better by now, I suppose.
"I can give this planet the break it needs." Bella says. "You can all help me, we are here to save it. Make the planet survive."
She is such a brilliant girl, I'm in awe. This kind of bright insight into the problem and having found the possible solution is just inspiring. I am so very inspired. She lights up my whole world.
Bella outlines her reasoning for us, right then and there, at the table. Like a true scholar, she briefly explains all the pertinent points of the problem, and then lets us see the one, brilliant, and sure way to fix it.
"There are so many people on this planet," Bella says. "Too many. This is why it is dying, it can't feed all these people. Some 30 years ago they were five billion. After only one generation, today they are already at the seven billion mark. Population will increase exponentially from here on out."
Bella takes a deep breath, and looks down at her hands. The documents on the table in front of her speak in the clear language of statistics, and she already knows all the numbers by heart. Latest official current world population count, for mid-year 2010, was estimated at 6,852,472,823. Estimate for end of 2011: 7 billion. Doubling time: 54 years. This means that in 2065 there will be 14 billion people on the planet, if the current rate of growth is maintained. And, yes, that is including the exponential growth-factor.
The Problem: There is only one problem in the world; there are simply too many people in it. This is why the planet is suffocating.
The Solution: Containing the number of humans. Evolution has a reason for being. We are at the apex of evolution. We can help.
"Maybe this is why the universe put us here." She hesitates. "This over-populated planet needs a break. We can give it that break. We would be doing the world a favor by being real vampires."
Now, I like her reasoning. A lot. Actually, she is a little bit my idol right now, and I think we should all go out and practice what she is preaching. It's been too goddamn long.
Being a vegetarian vampire is screwed up on so many levels that it is just plain wrong. For the love of Alice, I've gone along with it for a long time. Too long. Bella now shows us that we are here to save the planet. I'm down with that; I'm ready to roll, and I'm just going to go with Bella for the ride. I love my little sister. She rocks my world. I want to help her save the planet. Help the poor little animals that are threatened by extinction.
The vote comes back, Edward slowly reads the little pieces of paper that we all, one by one, have put in the huge glass bowl on the table. All votes, except one, are in favor.
I finally find my voice in the dead, cold, chocked silence that has just fallen upon our bright living room, this elegant space that was designed by Esme in beige, grey and white.
"So… How are we going to do this? How do we decide which ones to take out and which ones to leave alive? Any ideas, Alice?"
My endless thanks go to forthelongestday, who kept helping me, even when I walked in mud up to my thighs. Thank you bb. You rock my world. Thanks also to the sweet TwiArcady who pre-read this story and giggled and made me smile wider. That is a precious gift you have there, girl. To make people smile is a gift to be treasured.