Bella Swan, Vampire Killer

Bella is running from her past, and has seized on the opportunity to move away with her Dad to help her forget the carnage that ensued when a pack of vampires decided to prey on her high school in Phoenix. She also wants to forget about the powers the attacks woke in her, and the frenzy of lust for vampire blood which overtook her on the last day of term.

Forks seems a nice, sleepy, out-of-the-way town where things like that never happen. But in her very first Biology class, Bella finds herself sat next to a pale, black-eyed boy with the unmistakeable odour of vampire on him. Trouble is, he's also gorgeous, funny and smart, and Bella doesn't want to have to take him down.

She tries to warn Edward to stay away from her, but the two seem to be drawn together. And then students start disappearing, and the blood-lust starts to rise in Bella. Is she really in love with a cold killer? And will her love for him win out over the blood-lust?

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1. Running Scared

I sat heavily on the bed, my left shoulder aching from carrying the big canvas holdall and a backpack for most of the morning. I dug my fingers into it while I looked around the room, which had barely changed in nine years. The stuffed toys I'd brought with me when I was eight were still there, all lined up on the mantel.

Charlie jogged up the stairs and rapped on the open door, a little awkwardly.

"You need any help?"

I gave him a half-smile. "No, I've got it covered."

He stood there for a moment, and looked at me with the same look I'd caught Mom giving me countless times over summer. It was a look mostly made up of concern, with a little sympathy thrown in, and I think some curiosity too. They half-thought I was going to crack up suddenly and break down. That's how seventeen-year-old girls are supposed to react when their high-school becomes the forum for a massacre. 

I suppose I could imagine how I would have felt if I hadn't changed so much, and understood the truth about what happened. I would have been afraid of everything, I think. But it would have been difficult to explain to Charlie that all I was actually afraid of was myself.

He nodded after a minute, and said, "I'll be... downstairs."

And then he went, shutting the door behind him.

I let out a long breath, still wondering if coming here had been the right thing to do. It had been a few years, and I'd forgotten exactly how empty and lifeless Forks seemed in comparison with Phoenix. No cinemas, no coffee shops - just a diner and a bar, a grocery store and a hardware shop. What was I going to do?

But the quietness, the dullness - they were why I'd come, really. I wanted them. Anything to leave behind the person (if that's even the right word) that I'd become.

For now, I was going to unpack, and then try and work out what to wear for the first day at my new school.

I crouched over the holdall and unzipped it. It was stuffed full, and came apart like it was bursting when the zip was back. Rummaging in it, my hand caught against something hard, and I frowned, wondering if Mom had hidden a parting present in there.

But even as my hand found the end of it, and closed around a wire-inlaid hilt, I knew it wasn't a gift.

I sat back with a hiss of air, my heart pounding.

"How? How is it there?" I whispered under my breath.

The truth was it couldn't be there. I'd buried it under a half ton of soil in my Mom's garden a month ago, and I'd checked every day to make sure nothing had disturbed it. I hadn't dug it up, and I definitely hadn't packed it.

And yet here it was, waiting for me so quietly, and for a moment I wanted to just run away from Charlie and the room.

I sat on the bed again, instead, because I knew it wouldn't do any good. However much I might want to forget, and to ignore it, I was what I'd become.

A vampire killer.

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