“What?!” I blurted, in a much quieter voice than I’d expected. The rush of fear that went through my body was in full control of me, I hadn’t had this feeling since we were nearly taken-out by the Volturi six years ago.
“Their parents introduced themselves to me at the supermarket today,” Esme said, “they’re the owners. It was all very odd – the woman, Sara, did all the talking and invited us all to their supposed annual Halloween party. Such a contrast to the rather stand-off shoppers around.”
“What could they be?” Nessie said.
“I don’t know,” Edward answered, “but their definitely more than human.”
“Well it’s a good thing they’ve invited us,” Alice said, with a subtle snap to the tone of her voice, “the only way we can figure this out is if we interact with them; so on a more important note, I’m going into town to sort our costumes out. It is a Halloween party, so don’t roll your eyes Edward!”
We all laughed. Alice was right though, we didn’t need to be sitting around, obsessing over what Savanna and her family were. “Can I come with you?” I asked. Forgetting this fear was still going to be easier said than done, especially being around Edward – the biggest worrier.
“Sure,” Alice said, her eyes brightening up. We hadn’t spent any time alone together since Forks, so it was be nice to have the chance to hang out with just each other again.
“See you all soon,” Alice chimed, as she jumped up from her seat pulling me out of the room with her.
Alice sped down the driveway in her yellow Porsche, the gift from Edward for baby sitting me when I was still human. “So, what are we going to get dressed up as,” I asked.
“I was thinking vampires,” Alice said, with a sly smirk. “Its always fun to dress up as our fictional depictions.”
“That would be pretty cool,” I said, “what about Jacob though? Shall we find him a dog outfit?”
Alice chuckled, “that would be funny, except he’ll be flying to Forks tomorrow to see his Dad, remember?”
“That’s right,” I said. I had forgotten about this – our misbehaving border – although it was a good thing; if Savanna and her family turn out to be a threat, then at least one of us that would be safe. “Do you think we should send Nessie with him as well, until we can find out what these people are?”
“Bella!” Alice said sharply, “everything is going to be fine, Nessie will be fine to stay behind, stop worrying.”
I was still worrying, something I was trying to get away from by coming with Alice in the first place. We didn’t talk for the rest of the journey to Seward’s shopping centre. Alice parked the car outside of a large black shop, with green text reading, “Cosmo’s Costumes.”
“I’m sorry,” Alice said once she had turned the engine off. “I get so frustrated when I can’t see things, and I’m starting to get a headache like I did when Jacob first came into our lives, so I’m pretty sure that someone or something is effecting me.”
I smiled at her sympathetically, and gave her hug – which was comforting to me too; Alice was my sister now. “At least your gift hasn’t been affected,” she added.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“You can protect all of us,” Alice replied.
I thought about this, clueless for a moment, and then it hit me. I remembered the day that the Volturi came to kill us all, and that I was able to send out a protective shield covering all of us. A sense of relief began to come over me, “thanks,” I said to Alice, “I totally forgot about that.”
“Well you haven’t really had much need for it,” she said, and then chuckled to herself as she got out of the car.
The store was overcrowded with racks of costumes; “Halloween must be a big deal here,” I said.
I followed Alice to the shop counter, where a woman in her late twenties sat reading a book. She had pale skin, multiple piercing’s on her face, and a few tattoos on her arms. Her hair was shoulder length, and died black which didn’t really suite her complexion; she had heavy black eye makeup on too. “How can I help,” she said in a very monotonous voice, putting her book down. She was reading True Blood and I had to hold back from bursting into laughter – we had all watched a few episodes of the television series, it was all so real yet totally fake as we obviously knew that most fiction about vampires was false; it was the ultimate fictional depiction for the serious vampire fan.
“I need seven vampire costumes,” Alice said, “three guys four girls please.” She put a small piece of paper down on the bench too, which I guessed was everyone’s sizes. Alice really was the ultimate personal stylist. The shop assistant took the piece of paper, and went to a rack which appeared to be full of black cloaks.
“The Volturi would be ecstatic if they saw us in these,” Alice whispered jokingly, “they’d think we had decided to join them.”
I laughed quietly, it had never really crossed my mind that the Volturi actually dressed somewhat as fictional vampires.
“So that’s why you didn’t accept Aro’s offer,” I teased back, “can’t live without fashion.”
“Of course,” Alice said.
The shop assistant came back to the counter and zipped the costumes in a suite bag.
“I can’t wait to do everyone’s makeup,” Alice said as we drove home.
When Renesmee and Jacob went to their rooms to sleep, Edward and I went to ours too. Alice, Jasper, Esme and Carlisle did the same, whilst Rosalie and Emmett went out hunting. I could see that Edward was still worrying about things, but he was trying hard not to show it. He played some of Chopin’s Nocturnes to me, which if I were human would have sent me into a peaceful sleep – not out of boredom, but simply because of their peaceful beauty.
“I love you,” I said softly, as Edwards fingers swept ever so softly over the keys of the shiny black grand.
“Love you to,” he murmured.
“Alice reminded me of something today,” I said.
“What was that?” Edward asked calmly, continuing to play the slow and peaceful music.
“My gift. They may be able to affect yours and Alice’s, but at least I’ll be able to shield us all,” I said.
“Unless theirs something like witchcraft involved,” he replied, “but hopefully your gift would overpower that too.”
“What do you mean?” I asked, taken back a little, “does that kind of stuff even exist?”
“Bella, we know that vampires, shape-shifters, and ware wolves exist,” he said, with a subtle smirk across his face, “so it is likely. I’m not entirely sure though, and neither is Carlisle. But if they do, I would imagine that there would be very few around, we know that many people suspected of witchcraft were killed in the sixteenth century, there could have been some truth in their accusations.” He had momentarily stopped playing as the song had ended, but continued with one of my favourites – Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2
The fear from earlier on in the day was beginning to creep back in, and I remembered my thoughts for Renesmee when I was with Alice earlier – I couldn’t stand the thought of her being in any danger. “Should we send Nessie to Forks with Jacob tomorrow?” I asked.
Edward thought about this for a moment, “No, I think that they at least want to get to know us first.”
He had a point, and it was reassuring enough. I lay back on the sofa again, and in an attempt to relax, closed my eyes letting the music penetrate my mind and take me to a different world.
My developing image of our small, comforting cottage in the woods outside of Forks was interrupted when our bedroom door sprung open, slamming against the adjacent wall that I’m sure if I had looked would have left some damage. “Edward!” Alice said, the shrill tone to her voice sent a haunting chill down my spine. “Edward! Emmett –” she started again.
Edward was up from the piano stool, “tell Carlisle to be ready when we get him back!” he said cutting her short, as he sprinted out of the room. I had no idea what they were talking about as Edward had heard Alice’s thoughts – a faster way for them to communicate to each other; and I could only guess that she went to Edward first as he was the fastest runner.
“Alice what happened, what did you see!?” I asked, panic filling my entire being.
“I’m not sure,” she said quickly, “but Emmett has lost almost all of his strength. Its almost like he’s been paralyzed”
I didn’t know what to make to make of this. I looked out the window into the dark night, to the forest where he was lying somewhere; as I looked out into the night I couldn’t help but notice the odd red patch of light in the sky – as if a meteor had fallen from the sky and left a blood-red path.
“Alice!” I said, fixated on the strange sight, “look at this.” When she didn’t reply after a short moment I turned to see if she was looking, and was meet with a stunned expression that was probably equal to mine.
“This is bad,” she said eventually.
“What is it?” I asked.
“I don’t know, but its not natural,” she replied. I remembered what Edward was talking about when I brought up my gift – could it be some form of witchcraft?
Alice and I must have been staring at this sight for a while, as the sound of Rosalie’s voice snapped us back to reality, “shall we put him on the couch” I heard her ask as they entered the front door downstairs.
“I’ve set a bed up in the study,” Carlisle replied.
I followed Alice as she left the room to see what was going on now that Emmett was back. When we reached Carlisle’s study Edward and Rosalie were finishing lifting Emmett onto the hospital bed that had been set up – probably the same one that had been pulled out for me a few times in Forks. I looked at Emmett, he was completely unconscious, and his skin had turned a subtle grey colour. His lips seemed to be smeared with some sort of black substance as well.
“How long do you think it will take?” Rosalie asked.
“I’m not to sure,” Carlisle answered, “but he should become conscious within a few hours. We should let him rest in the meantime.”
“What happened?” Alice asked, as Carlisle closed the door after we all left the room except for Rosalie.
“Emmett has been infected,” he said.
“By what?” Alice asked.
“Where not too sure,” Edward answered, “when I read his mind all I saw was that he was hunting an ordinary bear, but as soon as he sunk his teeth into its skin he was in pain briefly before everything blacked out.”
Alice didn’t speak, and I didn’t know what to make of this. “There’s something else,” I said, speaking for the first time since Emmett had been brought home. I ran up the stairs to our room, which had the best view of our surroundings, the others followed closely behind; “look out over the forest.”
Edward gasped slightly as he saw, “any ideas?” Alice asked.
“It could be witchcraft,” Carlisle said.
“It has to be,” Edward replied, “its surreal!” The red in the sky hadn’t faded at all since Alice and I had first seen it, and it really was an abnormal sight as the surrounding sky was pitch black. “I’ll see what I can find in the libraries archives tomorrow,” he added, “if there has been any sort of witchcraft in Seward throughout history then surely we can find some form of an indication about things there.”
“Yes,” Carlisle said, “in the mean time don’t hunt in the forest; we’re going to have to go offshore for a while.” By this he meant the sea. “I’ll go check on Emmett now, I need to take samples of that black substance around his mouth – that could help us a lot.”
“Renesmee’s going with Jacob tomorrow!” Edward said. I was relieved at this, I couldn’t bear the thought of anything happening to her – and after seeing Emmett grey and unconscious, I didn’t want to take risks.
“Good,” I said.
We stood in silence for the next few hours trying to unfold everything. The red beam in the sky slowly began to fade away after about an hour. I couldn’t help but wonder why everything supernatural always seemed to happen to me. Why trouble seemed to come to those I was around? I must have been showing this somewhat on my face, as Edward moved behind me, embracing me in his arms while we continued to watch the sky in silence.
After a short while longer Edward broke the silence, “Emmett’s conscious now,” he said. But before anyone had the chance to reply, a loud shriek of pain took us all by surprise. It was Emmett. “Whatever this is,” Edward said, his voice full of panic and fear, “its getting worse!”
Emmett’s cry of pain must have woken Renesmee and Jacob too, as they followed us now as we started to run downstairs to the study. As we were about to pass the entranceway to the house, the doorbell rang, causing us all to stop dead in our tracks. I instantly looked to Edward to see if he could hear who it was – nobody knew this house was even functioning, let alone the fact that it was the middle of the night!
“Its Savanna!” Edward said, with a slight snarl to the tone of his voice.
© Copyright to Jonathan Cameron
© Copyright to Jonathan Cameron