A/N: Hey, guys. I haven't written any one-shots in a while. I'm feeling very... down, right now. I was also feeling very creative. I watched New Moon yesterday, and the scene after Bella cliff-diving is still stuck with me. I'm just in love with it. This is different, though. This is very angsty, and kind of harmful. It's not pretty and it's not sweet either. It just may kill your mood; I know it killed mine. I had to go to a very uncomfortable, dark place. I had to, though, dammit. Hopefully this came out okay. The song is from New Moon. Ya know, the scene with Bella after her cliff-diving episode? It's a great song. Oh, and I came to a conclusion: this could be a very off prequel to Gods and Monsters, or a very off sequel to Palm Trees in Black and White. I never get sick of comparing my works, for some reason. Enjoy.
The Last Catastrophe
take anything you want, it's fine / keep up the slow life for the night
don't take it back, I'll just deny / this constant noise all the time
Grizzly Bear, "Slow Life"
I don't know how birds do it.
How does a single being reach unbelievable heights and just let go? How do they lose all their inhibitions, or their fears, or anything that has ever made them feel like nothing, and soar?
Maybe that's just in their nature; maybe it's just their genetics or biology.
I've never been one to fit in, or one to impress people. I'm a lone wolf (sorry, Jake, I had to), and I don't seek safety in other people. I've also never been one to really change for others. Edward's a different story, but this isn't Edward's time (even though I'm here at this cliff just to have hallucinations of him). It's mine. It's all mine.
It's my time to change.
This is my metamorphosis, and I'm going to be a bird.
I am going to fly.
I can't lean forward and close my eyes. No. That would be even more dangerous. There are sharp rocks—huge, sharprocks. I'd get sliced to little, whiny, annoying bits and pieces of a stuck teenager. And that would hurt. Sure, I can do stupid stuff—dating a vampire? No problem! Motorcycles? Hell yeah—but I'm afraid of pain. I'm afraid of being cut up even more than I already am. The stitches aren't so strong, and I know that someday I'm going to bend too much, and all these stitched wounds that are holding me together are going to come undone. They'll snap like the strings of a violin that's been tuned too tightly. And all of the spiders of worry currently crawling under my skin will claw out and devour me. All that will be left will be the webs of broken promises and false hope. Someone will have to clean them up, and it's not going to be me. I don't get my hands dirty with anything—I'm tidy on the outside. Being disgusting on the outside would be painful.
I am terrified of pain.
I so do not deserve to be a vampire.
I want to feel like I'm floating. I want to feel like I'm on a cloud, looking down on the ugly, doomed world, feeling better than everyone else. That cloud is a better place than here.
The rain is going to drown me before the water can, and I know that it's time. It's far past time.
The hallucination of Edward is scolding me. He doesn't want me to do this. He's telling me no—but when did I ever need his permission? He's telling me that this is a reckless decision. He's never going to stop. He'll keep prying and prying, pushing and pushing in an attempt to stop me from pushing myself. One of these days, he's going to be the one who makes my seams come undone. He's going to be the one cleaning up all my webs.
He's telling me that I'm stupid. He's telling me that I'm lost. If I'm so lost, then why should this direction matter? He's not going to provide me with a map or anything. I've always been lost. I've always stumbled through life because I'm so incompetent. I'm a waste of space. Whatever Edward wants out of me, he can take it. I want to shove myself to his presence and twist out of my own body. Here, I would say. Take it. Take the corpse. I couldn't do anything with it. She's yours.
He's telling me that I'm an ugly person.
You think I don't know this?
I'm so glad this is about to be over. If I can get this the hell over with, that is.
I'm stripped of my jacket and my bracelet and my soul and my sanity. I'm slipping out of my shirt now. I'm suddenly standing in my bra, freezing. I'm stripped of any rationality I ever had and could ever gain. I might as well be naked—I already feel that way.
I need to strip out of my skin. That's the last thing I need. I'm itching under this rubbery coating. I once heard that if you try hard enough, you can tear off your own skin with your fingernails. It's not like my flesh is a piece of fruit, though; I really have to try. I don't have anywhere to go today; I could just sit here all day, working on tearing off my skin.
I need to get away. I need it like I need air. Like I need Edward. Like I need Jacob.
Like I need my long-gone/nonexistent sanity.
They're all different needs, but I'm kind of a moody person, anyway.
I don't know what Edward's telling me now; his voice is too loud, but it's in slow motion. I can't bring myself to actually listen to the obnoxious sounds that won't leave me alone. I want to beat my own ears in, crushing the drums so it can all just stop.
It's been enough.
Senselessly, I step back a few yards. My feet feel about forty pounds each. Maybe this is Edward making me like this. Maybe he wants me to stay.
Then again, if he wanted me to stay, he would have stayed. It takes two to tango.
I have a trapped bird in my heart. She flaps her wings like Hell's army is chasing her, but she has nowhere to go. She pounds and pounds and pounds at my chest—she's going to break me from the inside out. She is going to emerge from my chest and release the demons inside of me. She's going to kill me, but she's also going to be free.
And so am I.
My feet are suddenly weightless. No, I am one hundred percent weightless as I fly over the edge of the cliff. I am weightless and free and… perfect.
As I soar through the air, Edward is still screaming at me. He might as well be yelling in German—I don't know what he's saying, and I don't care. I am free, just with this constant, inescapable noise.
I slice into the water, and I feel like I've cut myself again. It's that cold. In fact, it's so cold that I can't feel anything. I could be an ice cube, and I would never know it. Once I make my way up to surface, though, release washes over me. I did it.
I fucking did it.
I would do a little water victory dance, but there's a wave. It's a huge, monstrous wave that takes me underwater and I can't swim back up. I've never been that good at swimming—all those petty lessons at the age of six taught me nothing. I've learned nothing about anything. I am as mindless and indecisive as a toddler.
I'm itching again as I frantically thrash around, trying to find some luck in anything. I'm wrong, though, like always.
I didn't do it.
I need to tear off my skin like one would slip off their shoes after a long day at work. I can't live with this. I can't deal with this. I'm not a flexible person—I'm totally not built for adapting. This isn't the life for me. I'll never find one. All of that crap that people tell you in school about eventually finding a place for you is false. A lot of people never find their rightful place. I'm one of them. I definitely can't find a place for me if I can't even make up my mind on what I want and what I need.
I need to breathe, I need to breathe, I need to fucking breathe.
I need to die. I need to die.
I need to die.
I can't make up my mind. I can't think of anything. I can't even see. My world is black. I'm pretty sure I'm dead, but how can I still think? How is my head still pounding like a thousand drums? This isn't what I signed up for. This isn't what death is supposed to be—
A corpse is floating under me.
Her hair is fanned out like seaweed. Her eyes are closed. Her top is removed, and she floats there, merely in a white bra that nearly blends to her almost equally as pale skin. If she weren't bleeding, the bra would blend in just fine. But no.
Swirls of redness—utter fucking chaos and catastrophe—surround her. Her flat, sickening stomach is cut up. She couldn't have done that herself—she couldn't have torn her way through her skin. It had to be the rocks or something.
Her wrists are cut, too—they're cut right through the middle, the skin peeling back and the bone making an appearance.
It had to be the rocks. She couldn't have done this herself. That's not possible.
Something else is totally possible, though.
That corpse is my body.
The corpse remains in the same place, almost, floating lazily, and something appears next to her. It's upside down. It's not a corpse, though.
It's a ghost.
Another one of me.
The ghost doesn't look like me, though, once I can really see him. He's a man. A man with beautiful bronze hair and a face that could break a heart. I would know—he's done it to me only a thousand times.
I'm now aware that he's not yelling at me. He's silent. He idly stares at me—I mean, my corpse—and he can't find the words to say. His face is angry, disappointed, and… ashamed. His face reads, I actually loved that once? as he stares at the corpse, silently scrutinizing her.
He reaches out to the corpse, and I discover that self-mutilated being isn't really a corpse. She turns her head to Edward, and she blinks, struggling to find words, too. Is she sorry?
Am I sorry?
She reaches out to Edward, and he suddenly becomes more distant. The space between them seamlessly grows. They are never going to be joined. They're always so close—always right on the edge of making something work, so fucking close they can taste the victory—but they will never be one because something always ruins it.
Maybe the problem is me. Not the corpse version of me, but my ghost. My soul. My bruised mind and heart. The corpse wants to love, but the soul doesn't know how. The soul accepts love as mutilation of itself. Harm.
But it still takes two to tango.
An arm from nowhere suddenly appears, and it pulls the corpse away from Edward's ghost. The ghost is a grotesque outcome of what happened when I gave in to my darkest fantasies and wonderings, and took a walk on the wild side with a monster. The ghost is a disorder. A razor blade. The skin I'll never get out of. A reminder of everything I'll never be. The ghost is the absence of sanity and the loss of innocence.
I don't need it, but that doesn't mean I don't want it.
The arm takes the corpse, pulling her away from the ghost. Just as she's being dragged, the ghost comes closer, and they actually connect. They touch for just a second, but the corpse leaves the ghost as a swirly, black cloud of ink. The ghost is merely an illusion; he was never real.
We were never real.
I should be happy that that arm of justice is pulling my corpse away, even though they'll be disappointed once they discover the corpse is probably dead. I should be grateful that I've been found. Shouldn't I?
I don't belong in the ghost's world. It's not the place for me. I could never take it. And I'm not a liar or a fake; I just live halfway in a fantasy. Monsters like Edward are liars, though, and I don't need that.
I just want it. That's all.