Hey, my pretties! Welcome to my craziness. I've joined NaNoWriMo, so I'm here trying to write my novel in one month. This story is actually an original fiction, but I felt I needed the feedback I get in here, so I tweaked a lil the names, places and descriptions to fix it to be Twific. The plan is having 50K written by the end of the month, and this story hopefully finished, the drawback is that we're writing now and we won't be editing till next month, so please be patient: no beta work done.
Disclaimer: I still don't own Twilight, yada yada yada... Meh *shrugs* at least this story I'm writing will be mine at some point, I'm pleased enough with that. *winks*
Bella is an invisible girl at school. Nothing about her seems notable. She's got average looks, average height, average weight…but appearances can be deceiving. Bella hides a secret, a peculiar gift that runs in her family. At night, when all the noteworthy people sleep, she waltzes in their dreams and watches them. She hides behind the safety that none of them can see her, for her it's like watching a movie. Things start to complicate when one night she walks into the dream of her secret crush and discovers the rules she knew doesn't apply anymore. The most shocking revelation, though, is that the world of dreams isn't as simple as she once thought and there're other beings that can enter the dream realm and not all of them have the best intentions.
Isabella relaxed, and let herself sink in the well known shadows. She had been doing that for almost ten years, and it never ceased to amaze her.
Her mind wandered briefly in the memories of her grandma Helen showing her how to use the family gift when she was nine. It was the week after her mother died in that incongruous accident; Isabella hadn't been able sleep more than a few hours before the nightmares woke her up in the middle of night.
"Listen, Bells, I know this is going to sound strange to you, but all the women in the Swan family are special. We all have a gift, a bit of magic running in our veins," she said in the same voice she used to tell her fairy tales before going to bed. Her worn out hands cradling Bella's small ones, while she sat on the edge of her bed in her long white nightgown.
At first Bella thought she was telling her another tale, but when Grandma kept on going deeper in her story, she had the feeling that there was something real in what she was telling.
"You're a special girl, Magaska, you'll experience this all through your life, but the first time is very important for the Ijamblamaniyan." She caressed her cheek softly, a sad look lingering in her eyes for a moment. "Wait here, sweetheart, I've got something for you."
She stood up and went to her bedroom, leaving her granddaughter reclined against the headboard of her bed with a big smile in her lips. Her grannie always had that ability to soothe her, she loved listening to her deep voice, moreover when she peppered her sentences with words in lakota. The old lady descended from that tribe, and she had always taken their traditions very scrupulously. Most of Bella's childhood memories where sprinkled with ancient legends and native words.
Helen came back carrying a small feathered ornament in her hands, she sat on the edge of Bella's bed again, and showed it to her. Bella stared in awe at the little blue dreamcatcher Helen was balancing between her fingers. She had seen those before, her grandma had one hanging from the wall at the head of her bed, and she knew the story too. At least she knew the story Helen had told her so many times since she was a toddler, what she didn't know was that there was something that legends never talked about.
Isabella laid on her bed breathing softly, feeling her body weighed less and less, her mind becoming the main part of her. She knew that familiar tingling all too well. She dedicated one last thought to the blue dreamcatcher guarding her dreams, the same one Grandma Helen gave her a few months before her death, and she let the comfort of that thought pull her deeper into the dream realm.
She felt free when she walked in other people's dreams, it always gave her sensation of power she didn't have when she was awake. At night she was in her own reign, she could waltz in the dream of any person she wanted, and watch it like a movie, without being seen by the dreamers. It was overpowering and exhilarating at the same time. She had to bear people thinking they were better than her during the daytime, but at night things were very different. Isabella knew the inner desires and fears of almost everybody in Forks. They had dreamt of them, and she had watched silently in sidelines. Perhaps that was what gave her the energy to carry away with her invisible life, she knew the truth, they weren't as different from her as they tried so hard to prove day after day. Everybody had fears, everybody had weakness, and all of them had a secret or two.
Isabella never learned exactly how her gift worked, or which were her limitations, so she guided herself the best she could using a trial-error method until she knew where she was standing. She knew she could choose whose dream to watch if she fell asleep thinking of a certain person, she also knew that if she didn't concentrate in anybody in particular she'd end up in a random dream, sometimes one belonging to a stranger. She wasn't sure of her range, so the stranger could be in Port Angeles or in Alaska for all she knew. Of two things she was certain, she never had had dreams of her own after the day her Grandmother initiated her in her gift, and nobody ever had seen her as she skipped in and out of their heads. That was her bigger satisfaction, the only moment in her life in which being invisible wasn't something she had to work for in order to survive, it was her armour, her effortless safety net.
She strolled in the haze, barefoot, enjoying the feeling of the soft hem of her white nightgown caressing her legs as she walked. She never had a real explanation for that, but she knew that whatever she was wearing when she fell asleep, that would be the clothes she'd be in when she got into the dream. She liked wearing long white gowns, they made her feel like an angel or a ghost. Bella had never asked her grandmother if there was a reason for that to happen, when she was a kid she never gave too much consideration to it, and by the time she was old enough to have questions, her grandmother had already passed away.
Sometimes she felt frustrated about it. It wasn't fair that the only person who could answer her questions wasn't there for her when she needed her the most, but then again, she knew by personal experience that life was hardly fair.
How could a young girl hope for fairness when she had lost her mother at nine, and her grandmother a few months after that? Isabella's life had collapsed to the foundation in a little over three months, all the family she had left was her uncle Charles Swan who had grudgingly raised her.
Uncle Charlie wasn't exactly a bad person, he was just too happy with his eternal bachelor life to want to raise a nine year old orphan girl. He liked his silence, and the house all to his own; and Isabella couldn't really blame him. The deaths of both his only sister, and then his mother had added layers to his natural taciturn disposition, and although he knew that it was his responsibility to take care of Bella, he never made any effort to bond with her in anyway. He considered that his job was done if he provided the girl with the essentials: food, shelter and clothing; and in return, he expected her to leave him alone to live the only kind of life he knew.
Isabella had leaned pretty soon to tiptoe around the big house, never making too much noise, never laughing out loud. She only talked to the landlady or occasionally to the gardener, always in a low voice, trying to remain invisible to his uncle.
School wasn't any better. She grew so used to the silence during the summer she first moved to Forks, that she didn't make any differences when she started going to class. Being the shy new girl who didn't talk to anybody unless they asked directly, and always replied with clipped sentences didn't make her the most popular girl at school, and as soon as the novelty wore off, she became a wallflower.
The same pattern repeated at high school. She was somehow grateful that the other students didn't pick on her, she had seen them in action and it wasn't a pretty picture. Maybe they felt sorry for her in the beginning, or perhaps she didn't fall clearly in any of the groups they usually targeted, but no matter which their reason was, she was content being ignored. When she was eleven, some of her peers started showing at school wearing braces, and she watched with terrorized eyes how the popular boys and girls made fun of them. She couldn't sleep well for weeks, dreading that her Uncle Charlie would decide to take her to the orthodontist, then she realized that he wasn't aware of what a normal parent would do, so she settled for keeping her mouth closed as much as possible in his presence. To her relief, Charlie never noticed she even had teeth, and on the bright side, her teeth managed considerably well without helping contraptions.
She had never been a straight A's student, either. Part of it because her mind was always wandering, frequently missing half of her teacher's explanations or forgetting to take notes, but mostly because she was afraid of being considered a nerd. Geeks were the other endangered species at her school, so she was determined to avoid that at all costs.
She did a good job at being invisible for years, always leaving a question or two without an answer in every test, always sitting in the middle of the classroom, sandwiched between the smarty pants in the first rows and the troublemakers who hid in the back.
Just average. Average everything. Average student, average height, plain jane looks, no friends. She dressed in jeans, and loose T-shirts and sweaters, grey and beige being the dominant colors in her closet. Sometimes she felt that if she started squeaking and gnawing the woodwork, she'd take the last step to become a mouse.
However, all her well planned non-existence came to a halt at the beginning of her senior year.
A new family moved into the old Hammond Manor during the last month of the summer. The Cullens. A young doctor, his wife, and their teenage twins came from New York to the almost deserted town looking for purer air.
The inhabitants of Forks, capital city of nothing-interesting-ever-happened, took it as their own personal assignment to dig into the story of the newly arrived family. Isabella hated that particular hobby of her neighbors with a passion, having been herself a target of their interrogations and nosey remarks at a very young age, but even she was growing bored of good old Forks, so she indulged herself with scraps of gossip here and there every time she went shopping.
After a few trips to the grocery store, the bakery, and the gas station's mart she learned that Esme, Dr. Cullen's wife, suffered of an uncommon bronquial condition. His husband had decided to move away from New York considering that the urban air pollution was only making her health status more delicate. They had planned their relocation fairly well. Dr. Cullen bought Hammond Manor as soon as he assured himself permanent place at the local hospital, and he was counting that their kids would only have one year of high school left in Forks before they moved to whatever College they got accepted in.
Julia Hammond had became the gossip's flag bearer. She had been a nurse at Forks Community Hospital since her youth years before she had to take some personal time off to take care of her sick parents, but both of them had passed away by last spring, and she felt lonely in the old mammoth of a house they used to lived in. When she got an offer to work as the high school's nurse, she didn't look back, she put her house on sale and moved to a small modern apartment across the street from the school building. To her delight, the Cullens went directly to her clutches when they started searching for a place to buy, so had the dubious privilege to interrogate them relentlessly until she gathered all the information she wanted. Of course, her status as a former nurse in the Hospital also contributed to have her updated with the finest details of the family. Julia was a bored spinster on vacation, the Cullens only gave her a reason to live until they school started again.
Isabella knew Ms. Hammond like she knew all the rest of the Forkians, but she didn't usually talk to her, so when her curiosity got the best of her, she was praying that Julia didn't find it odd. Fortunately, the old nurse was so eager to distribute her news that she started talking to Bella as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
Bella felt slightly bad when she approached her on purpose in the cashiers line at the store, but it only took a half-hearted good morning from her part to set Julia talking non stop.
"Oh, I'm just here buying some ingredients to make my famous rhubarb and strawberry pie, honey. I told Dr. Cullen that I made the best pie in the state and he insisted so much that I baked one for him that I couldn't say no," she said toying with the packet of dry fruit in her hand. "I know it's a lot of work, ever more with the almond crumb, but he stared at me with those puppy dog eyes of his, and I just couldn't deny it to him. Surely you understand me, dear, Have you seen the blue eyes that man has?" She asked dreamily, and Isabella had to restrain from cringing.
She shook her head willing the thought of Julia having a crush on the young doctor to leave her mind, and she replied in her low tone. "I didn't have the chance to meet any of them yet."
"Oh, my dear! You're surely missing something! Anyway, now that I think of it, you'd probably be more around the age of his children..." She paused for a moment, her inquisitive gaze going up and down, looking at Isabella in a way she made her feel like a zoo animal. She shifted on her feet uncomfortably, but Mr. Hammond didn't seem to notice as she went on. "How old are you, Swan kid?"
Bella wanted to scream, she hated when people called her that, and to her dismay it was quite a regular occurrence in Forks, they had known her uncle for a long time, and she was just an attachment to the Swan house. "I'm seventeen," she finally answered, her voice a little over a murmur.
"Perfect!," Julia said rolling the 'r' in a strange way, Isabella was starting to think it had been a mistake placing herself anywhere near her, but what the old nurse told her next changed her opinion. "Carlisle's kids are the same age as you! They're twins, a boy and girl. Alice is tiny, and pretty as a little doll; Edward is tall and he has his father's looks," she informed her, leaning close as if she was about to share a secret. "Between you and me, that boy is going to be headache unleashed in Forks High!" She nodded in emphasys. "I have the feeling that one is a heartthrob, my dear. He seemed polite and gentlemanly when I talked to him, but I know that naughty smile of his, I've seen that before. Be careful with that boy, honey," she warned with a knowing grin.
Isabella wasn't sure what to make out of that, so she was glad that it was Ms. Hammond's turn at the cashier's desk. She waved Julia goodbye and hurried to get her items checked to go home. She spent all the way back thinking of what the nurse told her. Finally she decided she was being silly. As if two new students at school could change anything. They were pretty, and wealthy, and a novelty; she was still the wallflower. They would jump directly to the popular group, and they would fit right in, never even looking in her way long enough to notice she wasn't part of the hallway decorations.
From that day on, she perked her ears every time somebody was talking about the Cullens, she wasn't hopeful, she was closer to bitter, but the insane need to know more about them always seemed to win.
Once the school began, she realized sadly that she didn't have any classes in common with Alice, and only one with Edward. Both came from a prestigious private school, and they took all the ones advanced to her level. She regretted her low marks for the first time since she decided to downplay her intelligence, but she convinced herself that it was for the best. Once they started going to school every day, they'd lose their mystery, and she'd forget about the sick infatuation she had for them from the distance.
Little did she know that seeing Edward for the first time would only fuel her interest. His face was attractive, yet manly enough to distance him from the cute boyish looks she was used to. She thought that Mike Newton was the most handsome boy at her school, but compared to him, his surfer boy appearance made him look like a Ken doll. Edward was beyond gorgeous, with deep green eyes which seem to sparkle when he laughed, a head full of cooper-blond hair that stuck in every direction, and somehow managed to look hot, and a lopsided grin that made her want to stare at him for hours. However, what she couldn't erase from her mind was the weird sensation she felt whenever she saw him. He was like a magnet, pulling her towards him. Isabella chalked it to her silly crush, but deep inside she knew there was something else she wasn't acknowledging.
She had silently stalked him during the daytime for months. Hoping against hope that he'd notice her one day, but as the weeks passed by, she started losing her last bit of hope. She was afraid to become resentful, she didn't want that for her. She had already suffered enough, she didn't need to add unrequited love to the list. Maybe that was the reason why she decided to visit his dreams that day. She wanted to see through her own eyes that Edward wasn't that extraordinary, she silently prayed he had stupid fears, and lame dreams, perhaps even a shameful secret to help her knock him down from his pedestal. She felt horrible for wishing those things, but that didn't make them less desirable.
Isabella breathed deeply before walking through the familiar corridor. It was the one thing that always had amazed her about the dreams. Common people usually thought that the dream realm was somewhat foggy and ethereal, movies always showed dream scenes blurry and vague. She knew instead that the initial haze only lasted until she was truly focused, once she put the idea in her mind and cleared it from all the rest of random bits, the luminescent corridor always appeared, taking away the mist surrounding her, then she only had to walk along the passage and open a door. There was always something in her heart that pointed her to the right door, she had tried before randomly opening one, and she had found out they lead to strangers' dreams. Only one door was the right one, the one that opened the dreams of the chosen person to her.
She felt the familiar tug indicating her which way to go; she smiled and opened it.
A/N: Before somebody brings in the pitchforks and torches, I won't stop updating Deep Ocean, I just had a rough week, and the storm killed my internet connection. I'll be working on that soon.
Now may I have your opinions about Dreamwalker? Pretty please with Edward on top?