Fic This Gif Anon Contest Entry - thank you to o_oza for picking my story as her judge's choice. How a Theory Becomes a Law also one in the humour category! I'm beyond thrilled :) If you haven't read the other entries yet, check them out!
I used Gif #: 7
Pen name: BellaFlan
Twitter name: BellaFlan
Title: How a Theory Becomes a Law
Summary: Vampires don't eat pizza. They don't like garlic or sunlight either. Bella has a science project to complete, and his name is Edward Cullen.
Warnings (if necessary): Very weird.
Beta'd by mac
I'm staring at him again. Sometimes I think he's watching me, too. And it hurts. My chest aches in the most desperate way. My hair is somehow between my teeth again. As gracefully as I can manage, I curl the wet lock around my finger and pull it out of my mouth.
Sometimes it's easy to lose track of myself when he's lecturing.
It's English class, and I'm fixated on him. His words are beautiful, and while I can't follow their meaning, I'm lost in the language - the cadence of his strange accent and the peculiar tone.
He asks me if I'm paying attention.
"Yes," I tell him.
"What did I say, Bella?"
"I have no clue. I wasn't listening to the words themselves."
You, you, only you. My mind screams; I bite my tongue because it's a traitor - always giving away my secrets.
But, oh, he smiles like he understands. I wonder if he does.
I'm not normal or beautiful. These are simply facts, not drunken ennui. Although, I am drunk.
My reflection in the slotted spoon reminds me that I'm not beautiful; the fact that I'm using a slotted spoon to prepare absinthe indicates I'm not normal. Hipster freaks drink Green Fairy. Not that it matters. I've just been really into observation lately.
I'm a science major trapped in the body of an English major, perhaps.
"You're hot," a blond-haired maggot slurs, his hand wrapped around the long neck of a Heineken. The bottle is really blatant and obtrusive, and so is he.
"I'm sorry, but I don't speak frat boy." My pencil breaks. It's probably innocuous, but I feel like something pivotal is about to happen. Not with the jerk in front of me; he's just a buzzing annoyance I need to swat away.
"Wanna come to my room, weird girl?"
My eyes roll back in my head. I'm too drunk to form the right words to get rid of him. So I say, "Swat, swat," and wave my hand.
"Don't be like that," he says, collapsing into the empty chair beside me. "I'm Mike."
"I didn't ask your name."
"It's polite to introduce oneself."
"I'm not impressed by manners," I tell him, because I'm not. "But I know who you are, Mike."
He chest puffs out with pride, or maybe he belches. "What're you writing?"
"I'm working on my hypothesis for science class... uh, you know, the class we share?"
He blinks, unaffected, so I speak louder. "We share a class, Mike, and that's why I already know your name."
"You're working on it here?" He sounds incredulous. I'm not sure why; clearly I'm writing something.
The words swim on the page. I crumple my paper and stuff it in my pocket, opting to type notes into my iPhone instead. But the bar is too oppressive, and I can no longer remember why I came here. So I say my goodbyes.
"Yeah... I'm gonna go."
"Why?" he whines.
"Because I don't like you." It sounds callous; it's not. I'm pragmatic and too direct, not cruel. Sometimes I speak without thinking, but oh shit, he looks upset, and remorse tingles in my gut. "It's nothing personal. That is to say, I don't really know you. I'm certain most people like you just fine."
He smiles and stands. "Please stop talking."
Please stop talking.
People say that to me a lot.
Level 1 Science - An Overview of Scientific Thought (aka Science for English Majors) requires me to come up with a unique hypothesis and test it. After several weeks of digging, I've come to the conclusion that there's nothing new under the sun, particularly to a morose individual such as myself.
Do not assume I'm emo; I'm a student of the absurd.
Jesus, my tangents are sprouting tentacles, aren't they? Okay, so randomly last week I found myself at The Ab, my college bar, drinking Green Fairy - as all the confused hipsters are wont to do - and a paranoid delusion tunneled its way into my poor, inebriated brain.
Drunken delusions are like parasites; laying eggs of artifice, fucking and reproducing all through my grey matter until I'm so cock-knocked I can no longer tell my ass from my elbow, which would make sodomy interesting if I was into that kind of thing.
And as I'm typing this, my friend Rose texts me a reminder to take my Wellbutrin. I'm gonna ignore her.
So here's my hypothesis: Professor Edward Cullen is a Vampire.
Now I just need to test it and see if I can make a theory out of this fucker...
It's lunchtime, and we're milling around the trough, jaws gnashing, horrible sounds emerging from our voracious gullets.
Pizza Hut is so gauche or whatever.
But the hunger is there and cannot be denied. I purse my meal card between my lips and grapple for change in my pocket.
"Bella," an inhuman voice massages into my cochlea.
"Professor," I spit, quite literally because my meal card is in my mouth. It flies across the small restaurant and ricochets off a nearby table. "Fuck."
He laughs, retrieving my card for me even though it's coated with my saliva. Oh, god, maybe he craves my fluids! Wait, what am I doing again? Oh, right! The scientific testing.
"Do you want to eat me, Professor Cullen?" I ask. I'm not good with the segues.
He sputters, dropping my card again.
"I think that came out wrong." My eyebrows scrunch almost painfully. "Please don't run away screaming, because while I do find you physically attractive, that wasn't a come on. I mean, I think you're beautiful, but... I mean, I am delusional, but not so delusion to think you want to perform cunnilingus on me. Which is what my original query sounded like: a proposition. It wasn't. May I rephrase?"
A grin spreads over his face, passing a dark cloud over my project since he doesn't have fangs. Things aren't going well.
"Please do, Bella. I'm on the edge of my seat."
"You're standing," I correct him.
"Are you always this literal?"
"Yes. It's a quirk in my brain. Like I operate at a different radio frequency than most people. Which is why I don't do well in social situations. Again, Professor Cullen, may I rephrase?"
We reach the cashier, and he pays for both our lunches.
Oh, shit! He has a lunch. I wonder if he'll eat it?
"Will you have lunch with me, Professor?" I ask.
"I wish I could, but I have a meeting with my TA."
"Oh." My face falls. "Well, are you going to eat that pizza?"
"Do you want it?" he asks.
"Do you?" I counter.
He laughs and hands me both pizzas. "I'll see you tomorrow in class, Bella. Speaking with you is always such a pleasure."
I'm sure he's being sarcastic because speaking to me is never a pleasure for anyone (including my own parents), but I smile nonetheless. I'm smiling because he didn't eat.
Vampires don't eat pizza.
It's only the third day of testing, and already there's a flaw in my hypothesis. I refuse to admit failure yet. The inherent problem with testing for a hypothesis based on legend and dogma is that I'm not certain what conditions need to be met in order to identify a vampire. I've also lost sight of my original experiment.
Am I proving the existence of vampires, or am I identifying Professor Cullen as a member of said species. If I am doing the latter, this is no longer an experiment to support a theory. It's more of a biology project.
So I'll revise my project...
Hypothesis: Vampires Exist.
Test Subject: Professor Cullen
What is known about vampires (annotations pending):
- they subsist on a diet of blood (human?)
- sunlight can hurt/damage/kill them
- they sleep in coffins
- they are immortal
- stake through the heart kills them
- garlic weakens them
- can't cross running water (or was that just Dracula?)
- silver and crosses burn them
Today I'm testing sunlight. I really, really hope Professor Cullen doesn't incinerate.
My teeth press into my lower lip as I grapple with my locker. I mean, we can send a woman to the moon, but we haven't improved upon padlock technology in the last twenty years. I kick the locker below mine, frustrated.
You've won this round...padlocked storage box.
I pride myself on being rational and intelligent; however, it's the little things that elude me - balance, dexterity, and social grace. To my left and right there are co-eds locking up their books easily enough. But me? There could be a cat in my locker and I'd have no clue.
I make a note to myself - silk screen "Schrodinger's Cat is Dead" on a t-shirt. This makes me smile.
I clear my throat. "Professor Cullen?"
"Are you following me, Bella?" he asks, pushing his Aviators over the bump on his nose. It's a Roman nose in profile but somehow proportionate. A paradox, as far as noses go.
"No," I hear myself lie. "Well, not for the reasons one might assume."
"You find me attractive? That's what I'd assume, even though it would be highly inappropriate for me to do so."
"Inappropriate?" I evade, squinting as a beam of sunlight streams through the glass doors at the front of Central Square. There are throngs of people around us, absorbing light like imploded stars, but not really. We're more like clouds - creating an obstruction.
Is it my imagination that professor Cullen side-steps into shadow? Surely there's enough direct light to render him into ash.
"I forgot something in my office," he mumbles.
"Wait! Don't go!" I shout, grabbing the starched sleeve of his shirt. "I want to see something."
"I don't think that's a very good idea-"
I drag him into a patch of light, but he misunderstands my intentions. For one interminable moment, I'm certain he's about to kiss me. He leans forward, closing his eyes. There are freckles on his eyelids. Do vampires have freckles?
Why am I thinking about freckles when he's about to kiss me?
Or maybe kill me.
Either way, I'm intrigued and terrified.
"What are you doing?" he says suddenly, straightening his back.
I bite my lip to stop myself from telling him the truth. Instead, I say the first thing that comes to mind. "I'm not actually trying to kiss you. That would be stupid."
He exhales (a bad sign since vampires don't breathe) and nods. "It wouldn't be smart."
"The inequities between us are laughable. You're immortal, and I'm ugly."
He makes a surprised, coughing sound. "Pardon me?"
Oh, crap. "I'm ugly," I say, hoping he doesn't focus on the other thing I said. "You're beautiful. I'm not. I mean, there are hundreds of other reasons why my kissing you wouldn't be wise, but if I'm going to start with the obvious... clearly you're out of my league."
A cloud passes over the midday sky, covering us in shadow.
"You're not ugly." His voice is a whisper. I'm not certain he even meant for me to hear him.
"I'm not beautiful."
Sun doesn't seem to affect him. Maybe I'll try garlic next.
Things are decidedly awkward between my professor and me.
Yesterday's lecture was fine. The hall is big, and there's nothing sexy about Ezra Pound, but today... today we're together in the smaller seminar room, and he's leading a discussion about The Rainbow.
I need to ignore him.
But oh, now he's talking about masturbation, and I can't. I can't stop thinking about him - what he'd look like touching himself.
When did this happen? When did I start lusting after him?
And why do his eyes follow me in a way that implies he's feeling the same?
Maybe I need to change my medication; I've become delusional. I've also lost sight of my hypothesis.
My locker finally opens, and a note skitters to my feet. I don't recall having left a loose leaf page on top of my books, and my hands are shaking as I lower to my knees to retrieve it.
It's a simple note with the words "you sure are beautiful" hand written in precise block letters. My finger runs across the page as if it's braille.
I'll admit: I'm flummoxed.
I'm not beautiful, and the phrasing of the note is strange. If some random guy is sending me love notes, why wouldn't it say "you are beautiful?" Adding the word "sure" makes it sound argumentative.
My stomach hollows out, and my ears ring as realization sets into my brain.
I'd told Professor Cullen I wasn't beautiful. He seemed like he wanted to disagree. I'm certain he almost kissed me.
Or maybe I'm over analyzing things.
This can't continue, this fixation. I know it's not healthy. I know he's probably not a vampire, and he's definitely not attracted to me.
Except... there's just so much evidence to the contrary!
I left a clove of garlic in his desk this morning, and he spent the entire class sneezing. And when he lectured about the use of sexual imagery in Joyce's Portrait of the Artist, I swear he stared right at me.
My friend Rose asks me if I've taken my medication again.
I haven't. I'm too busy using my key to sharpen the edge of a thick twig into a point. I'm not certain what constitutes a stake, only that I have no lumber, and legend indicates all I need is wood. The twig is a fall cedar branch.
It's not really sharp enough to pierce skin, let alone the breast bone... but on the off chance he really is a vampire (he isn't), I don't actually want to kill him.
"Edward," I call, my voice timid. I'm trying out his given name as our relationship seems much more intimate now. "May I call you that?"
His body is stiff as he walks toward me. "Away from prying ears, I suppose."
"Do you know why I've sought you out?"
He grins. "I think I do. Perhaps we should go somewhere more private to... talk?"
I smile. If he notices the twig he doesn't mention it.
I've never really given much thought as to how I would die, but today seems random enough to satisfy my perverse nature. But I don't actually believe I'll die. I'm not afraid at all.
Either my sense of self-preservation is non-existent, or I'm remarkably stupid.
"Isabella," Edward cautions as I follow behind him. The forest behind the main dorm is thick, the low canopy of trees blocking out what little sun remains in the late afternoon sky.
"Bella," I correct, tightening my hand around the stake.
"This is inappropriate."
I nod. "Yes. I know."
"How old are you?"
"Twenty-two," I say without blinking. I'm actually twenty; it's an odd lie.
He sighs, rubbing his face in his hands. "So young."
"Not too young."
"Would you please put that damn twig down?" He raises his hands as if in surrender.
"Does it bother you?" Interesting.
He ignores my question, countering with one of his own. "If you feel the need to protect yourself from me, do you think it's wise to follow me into the woods?"
I swallow, my throat tight. "I have no choice, Edward. I have to follow you. It's become a compulsion. Besides, I trust you. Even if I didn't, this stick wouldn't offer much protection."
"Bella." He groans, dropping to his knees. "You should've stayed away from me."
"I can't." I sit beside him. "I've been lying to myself."
"I can't stay away from you either. God knows I've tried."
In this moment, I know he's going to kiss me. I forget about the stupid hypothesis - the strange artifice I'd constructed in order to justify my obsession. Somewhere, deep down in my psyche, I know, I always knew this was just a game. Vampires don't exist.
I know this.
"You're not well, Bella." He cups my face in his hand. My cheeks burn, and his skin soothes me.
"I know. Can we worry about it later? I don't care."
He shakes his head. "I wish I could've stayed away from you."
My arms wind around his neck, and I pull his face close to mine - so close our noses almost touch.
"I found your note," I admit.
He's not looking in my eyes; he's staring at my neck.
"What note?" he asks.
"The one you left in my locker."
He nuzzles into my shoulder, a shot of adrenaline spiking into my veins.
"I didn't leave a note."
The pain is sharp and sudden and undeniable. A tear of blood trickles down my chest, seeping into the fabric of my shirt.
"I couldn't stay away," Edward whispers. "Forgive me."
Screams find their way out of my throat.
"You shouldn't have followed me, Bella. I think I would've been able to resist if you hadn't gotten so close."
"Please," I whisper. It's ineffectual.
"I'm not a cruel man." His tongue is wet on my skin, cold against the fire of my torn flesh. "I don't enjoy hurting you... much."
A cold comfort settles in my stomach as a dull anaesthesia spreads through my neck and into my shoulder.
"I found your hypothesis." His voice is casual despite the low growl that rumbles deep in his chest. "I had to burn it, of course."
But not my phone. My phone is in my room, and all of my research is in Gdocs.
"Please," I try to say, but it's so hard to keep my eyes open.
Further testing is necessary!
But oh - oh my god, I'm going to die. It's happening, and I can't believe it. I'm not certain how much I even want to live, but I know - I now know beyond a shadow of doubt that I don't want to die. I know this, and it doesn't matter.
I cry out for my mother; I'm not sure why. Edward's hand is gentle around my arm - even in my terror I note how strange it is that one part of him attempts to soothe me while the other devours me.
But Edward Cullen is a vampire. Further testing is necessary for my hypothesis to become a theory, but I won't be the one to carry out these tests.
"You should've stayed away," he sobs.
I'm gonna die. I am dying.
But Madame Curie died for her discovery, too.
A/N - All signed reviews will be responded to... um, eventually. I'm very slooooow! Also, it's my son's sixth birthday today. Thought I'd share :D