AN: This is a complete re-write for anyone who read before. Important notes at the bottom.
An epidemic is sweeping across the globe. People are dying and the world is falling into chaos. In the town of Forks, Washington Bella Swan has a choice to make: Join forces with creatures born from nightmares, or suffer at the hands of her own kind.
"Did you hear about the new kids?" Jessica slammed her lunch tray on the table, already out of breath from spreading the new gossip in town.
"Five days from graduation?" I didn't even bother looking at her as I nibbled on my apple.
"I think they've been here for a week. They never show their faces though. It's so weird," she whispered as everyone at our table looked around like we were about to be caught passing a joint.
"I heard they're adopted," Lauren piped up, sitting hip to hip with Jessica. The 'Double Ditz Twins' was the affectionate nickname they'd gained, and today they were showing exactly why.
"Yeah, and their dad is some kind of surgeon. Plastic surgery, I think," Jessica said, nodding with her BFF FOREVER just as she had written on her notebook.
"Right up your alley." Jessica shot me an icy blue glare before turning to the others.
You didn't show up at school a month before senior prom with a bandaged nose and boobs twice the size they were and expect people to believe you walked into a door. Well, knowing Jessica, that was possible, but knowing her dad, plastic surgery was the more obvious answer.
"My dad says it's got something to do with all the sick people in town." Jessica popped her gum as Lauren whispered something in her ear.
"For food poisoning?" Angela asked. Just the past week, her dad, who was the local minister, had been asked to come and sit with the sicker patients and their families.
Jessica's dad, head of the ER, was calling it food poisoning - blaming the Diner and Sue's cooking. We all knew it was bullshit. Every single one of us had eaten there when people started getting sick. That Diner was Charlie's favorite restaurant, he'd eaten there almost every night the week people started getting sick.
The men from the tribe had come up to defend Sue too, and Charlie stood with them while Jessica's mother handed out accusations. She claimed her husband said it was the only reasonable explanation. I thought he was just too lazy to do any real research.
Like father, like daughter. Charlie said those exact words to me the day Jessica Stanley cheated off my test in biology. I never understood what he meant until that day as I sat inside Sue's Diner and munched on fries with her as the town's people started protesting.
"He says they need extra hands now that some of the staff is sick." Jessica was talking so animatedly as she went over what her dad's told her, I couldn't help but roll my eyes at her overblown dramatics.
"Do you think they'll cancel graduation?" Ben asked, chewing on the eraser of his pencil.
"Over sick people?" I couldn't help but laugh.
"Seventy two." I knew that was the number of people that had been 'diagnosed' with food poisoning, but Jessica couldn't help open her mouth and spread it around. Any chance she got to look like she 'knew it all' she took.
I rolled my eyes. Charlie would have lost his shit if I had come right out and said something like that.
"You kids have enough pressure right now, Bells. No need in making it worse," he'd said almost as soon as he told me the number of people sick.
On the nights Charlie was home, it was all he talked about. It burned him that his town was going crazy with worry. His hands were tied, being just the sheriff, but he stayed at the hospital helping as much as he could most days.
"What?" Angela asked. You could see just how scared she was with that number.
Forks was a small town, less than four thousand total residents. Seventy two was a big number for us.
"Seventy two people. Dad is clueless. If he's not at the hospital, then he's in his office and on the phone."
"Charlie's the same. He said they wanted to quarantine or something."
"But no one's dead, right?"
"No, chill out." They were starting to annoy the hell out of me. I understood being worried, but there wasn't a damn thing we could do about it.
Jessica and Lauren were going to end up throwing the school into a panic soon.
"Yet," Lauren replied, smacking her lips while she spoke. I sent her a nasty little glare, trying to get her to shut her mouth.
"So these new kids..."
"The Cullens." Jessica corrected like she had known them for years and it offended her that we hadn't.
"Okay, the Cullens. They're here for that? What are they, some kind of specialists?" Ben asked, his eyes darting around the room as his fingers tapped on the table.
"He didn't say much, only that Carlisle was the best." Jessica was so sure of her daddy's words.
"I'm sure if it was serious we'd know, right?" Angela grabbed Ben's hand stopping his drumming. He looked at their hands and then at her, offering her a small smile.
"Don't look at me," I laughed and went back to picking at my lunch.
Did they really think Charlie told me every single detail of what happened in this small town because I was his daughter?
Over the last two weeks, conversations with him had become less coherent. He talked in broken sentences, lost in his head while I sat there barely understanding anything. His worry was taking a toll on his body. He barely ate anymore and his weight loss was a little more than concerning. Work took up all his time, so I tried my best to make him rest when he finally managed to stumble through the front door of our house.
When the bell rang, we all went our separate ways. With five more days of school and the last of our exams finished a few days ago, all we had left was to watch the walls collect dust.
Five minutes before the bell rang to go home, the principal's voice blasted over the audio system making everyone in class jump.
"Students and faculty, local law enforcement has just announced a mandatory curfew for the town for seven pm sharp. All practices and club meetings are canceled until further notice, as well as any and all parent teacher conferences." The principal paused, clearing his throat and shuffling papers in the background.
"At this time we ask any extra curricular activities and graduation planning be put on hold. A small ceremony will be held on the field behind Fork's High School. The local sheriff asks that any questions be directed to the hotline they have set up. Phone calls have been made to parents and counselors are available, if needed. Thank you."
Shock was written on the faces of the entire school body. I didn't think a single person moved for a five full minutes after the final bell rang. In eighteen years, we'd only had one mandatory curfew and that was for overgrown wolves that Charlie and the Queleuttes ruled harmless by the end of the day.
"What the hell does mandatory curfew mean?" Mike asked as he rose from his seat along with everyone else.
"Sorry." He ducked his head and blushed, trying to avoid detention from Mr. Banner before the year was out.
"Class dismissed." Mr. Banner announced, sending everyone into a fury as they all tried to run out the door.
Outside, Jessica and Lauren were already waiting beside my truck along with Mike, Angela and Ben. I knew where this was going already.
"No, I didn't know." I pulled open the door to my truck and tossed my book bag inside, ignoring Jessica's and Lauren's huffs.
"I don't even have a dress. I can't drive to the boutique and make it back before seven."
"What the hell was your dad thinking?"
"That your graduation should be ruined with Converse and dirty jeans? How the hell should I know?" Jesus, it was like they thought I was supposed to be his keeper or something. "You two need to chill, Charlie wouldn't do this without a good reason."
"You think that doctor put him up to it?" Mike asked, putting an arm around Jessica's shoulder in an attempt to calm her down.
Ever since Jessica said yes to his begging, he'd acted like she was God and we were all to bow down to her. It probably had to do with her bowing to him in the janitor's closet after their first date.
"I told you they were freaks." She wiped at her face and slung off Mike's arm.
"Weren't you just defending them? It must be nice living in that delusional mind of yours." I shook my head at her, wondering if graduation could come any faster.
"Bella, she's just upset." Mike tried, but I was already done with Jessica Stanley for the day.
"I'll go by the station and talk to Charlie okay? Just chill out. Go buy some lip gloss or something." I was cranking up the truck, glad the engine was drowning out whatever tantrum was boiling inside of her.
"Thanks, Bells," Ben said, pulling Angela away from the truck as I backed up.
"I'll call you when I find something out." They both waved to me while Jess and Lauren glared. No way in hell was I calling either of them.
They were upset over a damn dress no one would see. I like clothes as much as the next person, but I wasn't about to throw a hissy fit to get piece of damn fabric. It didn't even cross their minds something could be wrong.
I didn't waste time getting to the station. I was pissed when I got there only to find all the parking spots were taken up by shiny cars that didn't look like they belonged anywhere near this town.
Inside the station, the phones were going crazy. I could see Mae, the front desk clerk, was already frazzled as she jotted down notes and pressed the button for the next line.
"Busy day?" I asked, leaning over the counter. Every single button was lit up red. "Can I help?"
"Your daddy is about ready to pull his hair out. I was supposed to bring him a coffee an hour ago," she sighed as she covered the receiver.
"Gotcha." I grabbed Charlie's mug off a stack of papers and took it to the break room. I was a little surprised he wasn't out here looking for Mae already.
"I wouldn't be here if this wasn't serious." I heard as I stepped closer to Charlie's office and stopped, sloshing coffee on my shoes.
"Damn." I cursed myself, pissed that I'd worn my new Converse today. I knew something would happen, it always did. Renee even warned me when she sent them. She knew I wouldn't wear heels to the graduation ceremony.
"I'm just not sure how comfortable I am with all... this, Carlisle." I stopped all movement when I heard Charlie's voice. He'd been so worn out lately, and his uneasy tone worried me.
He really needed this coffee.
"My family would never hurt anyone." Carlisle, I assumed, answered. It had to be him, I could recognize almost everyone in this town by their voices now, and he was definitely new.
He probably owned one of those ridiculously expensive, my dick is bigger than yours, cars out front.
"I know." Charlie paused, probably to shake his head. "I just... it's been twenty years, someone is bound to recognize you... your family."
"They are all keeping a low profile. The ones that do know of us are the only ones we've approached." What in the hell did that mean? Low profile? Who were these people?
"The new additions?" Charlie didn't even hesitate, he didn't seem at all worried by this.
"Are harmless. We're here to help, Charlie. This was once our town too and we would very much like to stay and do what we can. Our resources are vast and so is our knowledge." I tried to inch closer as their voices started to lower.
"This thing that's happening." Charlie stopped and cleared his throat. "Is there anyway to stop it?"
"I can treat the victims as they come in, make them comfortable. The reality of the situation, not only here, but across the globe is devastating, or at least, will be," Carlisle said, his voice growing deeper with concern.
"But you said yourself it hasn't made its way here yet." I heard Charlie shuffling papers on his desk. He was the most unorganized sheriff when it came to paperwork.
"No, not yet, but it's only a matter of time."
"How much time?" Charlie asked making me lean closer.
"Weeks, days, hours... Alice is trying her best to pinpoint, but she can't read a decision by one of these things." Who was Alice?
"If we can prepare now, gather what the town needs, there is a chance we can survive this." Carlisle said.
Survive. Now I was freaking out. Food Poisoning wasn't deadly, at least not as far as I knew. From how they were talking, this was definitely not food related.
"I know this is a lot to take in," Carlisle said and I could hear his chair scraping the linoleum.
"Something like that." There was a hollow laugh from Charlie and I knew something was very wrong.
"We're here to help, Charlie, that's all."
"How do we kill them?" Charlie asked, stunning me where I stood.
"A shot to the head." My eyes grew wide as I dropped the coffee.
"What the hell..." I was about to barge in and ask what the hell they were talking about, when I felt a hand grab me around my waist and another cover my mouth.
I tried fight, to scream, but his cold body was pressed so tightly to mine that everything burned. For a split second I wondered who was stupid enough to go after the police chief's daughter before I felt him left me.
My elbow went back instinctively and I felt the bones in my arm snap just as I rammed it into the guy's chest.
"Shit!" I cried into his hand as we stumbled.
My scream hurt my own ears as I struggled to get myself free, but he wouldn't budge. I tried to kick, but he blocked it, quietly laughing at my weak attempt to fight him.
"Stop before you get yourself killed." He hissed through clenched teeth, when I tried to bite at his arm.
He righted us as his hand slowly moved further down my waist making me panic. His hands moved off me quickly as my brown eyes widened and I could feel him grip my shoulders as he pushed me to the floor.
I heard my head smack the linoleum, all forgotten as black eyes gazed down at me, hard and cold when he removed his hand from my stomach. A tight smirk played at his lips and I felt an icy chill run down my spine.
I didn't move an inch frozen under his stare. Instead, I took a deep breath and screamed before he could stop me.
AN: I took this story down a few months ago because of big mistakes and plot holes. I hated the entire thing and wanted it cleaned, simpler, and rewritten. I'm obsessed with writing it now and thanks to three lovely ladies and their support, I am reposting again with much more confidence. Warnings will be placed with chapters as need, but this is a zombie fic, so if you aren't comfortable with that sort of genre I'd step on back now. Posting schedule is weekly, I may write a smaller chapter and shove it in there every once in awhile, but for now it's only once a week.
Sushiloveswhitlock is my beta, whom I adore. PandorasFF and LivieLiv are my prereaders but it feels like the wrong word to describe them. The amount of encouragement and help they've shown me is amazing. If you haven't read any of these ladies fics you need to get your asses to it. Thank you ladies!
One last thank you to LivieLiv for her help with summary, that lady is filled with talent.
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