"The phoenix must burn to emerge."

― Janet Fitch, White Oleander


Chapter 15 Phenomenon

(the version without Tyler, a van, or Edward lifting a van, or any part of the actual chapter in Twilight)

Bella's Point of View


AGONY

Or does that particular word have enough power to prove the absolute anguish I was going through? The thought that such a simple term could describe how much torture I participated in was obscure. I clenched my teeth as tightly as possible. My eyes squeezed shut, and I cried out a shrill shriek in convulsion.

Agony was nowhere close.

I could not train my thoughts to a fixed point, nor did I have enough power in my mind to question what I was being put through. I did not think about what was going to happen, or what was happening- because I couldn't. My head could only understand I was undergoing the utmost possible pain, and nothing else.

I panted heavy, hot gusts of air through my throat. Gasping for air, I cried out, creating a muffled yelp in weak attempt of concluding the ultimate misery. The source of my tears was unexplainable and anonymous in every way conceivable. My entire body shook as if there were some incomprehensible force caused me to tremble as such. Another shot of pain passed through my body like a lightning bolt. Whimpering through my closed mouth, my muscles tightened- preparing for another attack.

I let out another screech, the pain so potent that it was impossible to stifle the sound. It was in comprehendible how many more shrieks that I sounded, but I did know that I was not the only person in the room. The fire raged in my body, coursing throughout every inch of my bones.

The worst part was that I was completely unable to count the time in which I was suffering. Was it seconds? Minutes? Hours? Days? More? I had no idea how long the pain would continue and when it would end. I yearned for the time to quicken, so that it would be possible for the extravagant burn to be finished. The torment lived, and as time would pass it would become me even further.

Peace.

Suddenly, the pain reduced. Now the fire raging inside of every part of my body had slowed. I still hurt tremendously, but now my mind was able to perceive my surroundings. I set into a sudden spasm, and my head jerked into the soft cusion underneath me. I was limp, and my muscles were far to weak to use any energy for movement. My brain reeled at the possible sadistic and masochistic reasons why I must go through this. Was it for pure entertainment? Or could I be being torture for a bounty, or a trap? Questions that went along these lines whirled around in my head. Above all, there was a certain person clouding the thoughts in my head.

Edward.

"Bella, you are my entire reason for living. Each day after you are dead, I promise to try to find you again," I heard the voice of an angel say. Edward. I thought. I yearned to comfort him, to reach out to him and ease is pain, but I felt that if I did move, it would risk my potential recovery. Before I could think any more, the pain increased more than ever. I withered back into my previous position, and the sharp pain of a knife's blade punctured my back. I screeched in surprise. Please, if anyone is out there, please. I thought out desperately.

As if someone had answered my silent prayer, the pain ceased to a complete numb. My breathing patterns changed from a labored breath to short, rapid inhalation. My eyes remained shut, but like Pandora, curiosity controlled my actions, and my eyes slowly opened. My eyes blurred from tears that I had not known existed. Blinking twice, the moistness clouding my vision steadily dissolved so I could now clearly observe my surroundings.

I was yet to move my neck, afraid that it would regenerate the pain, but training my eyes off of the stone floor, I saw a bright light from above. My eyes shut automatically in shock from the sudden luminosity. The brightness of the Cullen's house was apparent to me automatically. The second thing I observed, was the warm breath that was on my neck. The scent of this breath, was of one specific person. "Edward?" I murmured in confusion.

Edward glance up at me, and smiled a sleepy, trance like grin. "Amazing." He said airily, "Carlisle was right." His eyes were not focused and looked lost and dazed on his face.

"Edward?" I repeated, confused at what was happened. I looked around the Cullen's living room, and saw blood on the white couch- my blood. What had happened? Faint memories came back to me- my anger at Rosalie, me jumping on her, but never anything other than those. I had no recollections at the pain, or why I was laying on the Cullen's couch, surrounded by my own blood. I had to guess that things hadn't ended well for me with Rosalie, but what I couldn't comprehend what had really happened. As I looked at Edward's face, he too, was confused. His usually loving eyes were filled with uncertainty as he observed the bloodstained area surrounding us.

"Where are we?" He asked, still baffled at the atmosphere.

Because, I too, had no idea what was happening, my reply was simple. "I don't know."

Edward squinted as if he was unsure if his eyes were properly working. "You're so- beautiful," He said. I wasn't sure if I was to take this as a compliment or not, but despite the fact, I shook my head. "No, I mean that you look even more perfect than before," He said perplexed.

"What do you mean?" I asked. I got up, trying to find a mirror in the large house. Edward followed me, guiding me to the large bathroom off the unused kitchen. I stared into the glass, and who I saw looked like me, but didn't in so many ways. The girl in the mirror had the same, boring color hair, and the same hue of eyes. However, my hair was longer, wavier and shiner. My skin was blemish free, and my skin was even paler than before. I looked taller, and my chest was more defined. "What happened?" I said.

"I don't have the vaguest idea," He replied, "Perhaps, going through death made you even more angelic," He proposed. I thought about it. Was I really dead? It was hard to grasp, regardless of the torture I went through. But, it made sense. After all, we were alone, and there were no signs of life forms that I was positive was alive.

"This is going to kill Charlie!" I said Edward chuckled a bit, but when he saw how serious I must have appeared, his face changed to a sympathetic trance.

"I'm sorry," He said, "but at least we're together," He whispered into my ear playfully. I glanced back at him. This was the first time I saw Edward after my death. As expected, my senses were heightened, and he was even more breathtaking than before.

"It's worth it," I spoke roughly, "I'll be able to spend eternity with you." And we walked to his room.

XxX

NIETHER OF US EXPECTED the front door to open. Not Edward, the mind reader and vampire, or I, with the sharpened werewolf senses. And most importantly, we sure as hell wasn't expecting Carlisle to walk in. Carlisle walked into his house shocked to say the least. "Bella?" He asked, his voice was laced with confusion, "You're not- dead?"

"What do you mean?" It was I that spoke, Edward seemed to be immobile.

"You're alive. How?"

"I'm alive?" The statement probably sounded like an echo of his question, but instead, it was a question in itself. Was I alive? Edward seemed to think so. My thoughts raced back to when I jumped on Rosalie. It went by so fast, how could I possibly remember what happened? But there was a glitch. I fell to the ground again, immerse with the suddenness of it all. This time it was not a fire that scorched me, it was simpler.

Thoughts.

Flashbacks played in my head as I clutched my head from the ache. I saw myself, being bitten by Rosalie. Her shock, and fear when she realized what she did. Her running. Edward's anger. Alice's shock. And then I saw me. My eyes were dead, and I fell to the ground.

I opened my eyes and got up of the floor. "I was bitten," I said in revelation.

"You were," Carlisle said sadly. It was then where I had the epiphany. I wasn't dead. I was alive. With Edward. Alive.

"Rosalie- where is she?" I asked, hopeful that I could amend my unjustified actions.

Edward must have taken my question the wrong way because he growled. "You don't have to worry about her. Jacob and the packs are on her."

"No!" I shouted. Edward and Carlisle's eyes instantly shot to mine, "You can't kill her!" I said.

"Bella, she was ready to kill you," Edward tried to sooth me, but I stiffened.

"Edward, she's your family. You can't kill her. Anyways," I said, "She didn't mean to kill me, and I had ben the one to jump on her first." Edward opened his mouth, and the shut it, giving Carlisle a tight nod.

"So, Bella," Carlisle started, "care to explain how you are alive even though our venom is fatal to werewolves?" He asked. His question mirrored mere curiosity, and his tone had not a single drop aggressiveness.

"Well Carlisle, this is what I know."


A/N Thanks for sticking with me! I know that I probably lost a bunch of faithful readers and reviewers during my short, but depressing hiatus, but I am grateful that you are still reading. I spent a lot of time on this chapter, especially since I wanted to make the characters as realistic as possible. I know that Edward and Carlisle are a bit OOC in this chapter, but I'd like to think that I did good with Bella. For my fellow Americans, happy belated Thanksgiving and a lucky Black Friday (you'll need it!).

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