Cullen Family Camping Trip
Charlie insists Bella go camping with the Cullens, in order to acclimate herself with the great outdoors. After all, the Cullens are practically revered in town for their family camping trips, so they must know
what they're doing, right? *Post Eclipse
7. Chapter 7
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2350 Review this Chapter
Upon realizing the Poison Ivy was beginning to show up, Carlisle had retrieved several things from his medical supply trunk, and surprisingly, the food tent. First he immediately gave me a steroid shot, to prevent my reaction from being too severe. He also gave me a prescription cream called Diprolene AF, but I was only allowed to apply it once a day. He had many theories on homemade relief agents that I’d be able to use more often, and I quickly became the guinea pig to test them - honestly, I didn’t mind as much as one would think - I was incredibly eager to stop the awful itch.
First, we tried applying cooked oatmeal. This one was not so appealing to me, as I felt ridiculous and sticky. After that, we tried a baking soda paste - again, it helped, but it was messy, which was annoying because I kept getting it all over the blankets, etc. From there we moved onto vinegar, which actually worked quite well, but everyone else objected because it smelled so bad. Edward tried to argue with them because it was helping me, but Emmett couldn’t deal with it, and in order to keep the sanity, I agreed to move on to the next method.
Finally, we tried banana peels, and they were an instant winner. It was a miracle cure to me, as it brought an instant, cooling relief to my skin. It was so good, I instantly started to wonder if we had enough bananas to last the rest of the trip, and Alice reassured me it wouldn’t be a problem. Knowing her, she’d end up leaving in the middle of the night to drive to a grocery store and buy their entire stock of bananas. Edward had suggested that maybe we should go home early, but the disappointment on his face was heartbreaking, so I decided that as long as I had bananas, I’d try to stick it out. There was still the guilt for taking our luxury hotel trip this afternoon, too.
Now that the itch was under control, we all sat around the campfire, and I listened to the Cullens tell stories of the places they’d gone, the things they’d done, while Edward ran the banana peel across my arms, so I wouldn’t aggravate my wrist. After a while, Alice asked excitedly if I’d like to make S’mores, and I couldn’t deny that they sounded delicious, so I followed her to the food tent, where we set all of the ingredients out on the table in a mini assembly line for me. I’d take enough for one or two S’mores at a time, and return to the fire, where Edward insisted on roasting the marshmallows for me, mumbling again about testing fate. He even made me wait for them to cool down before handing them to me; I think he was becoming paranoid.
Esme was reminiscing, currently telling a story about Emmett, just after he’d been changed. She’d been so happy Rosalie had found someone, but was completely aggravated with the force that was ‘newborn Emmett.’ He’d broken everything in the house. If he’d sat in a chair, he’d break it. If he touched a doorknob, he’d end up ripping the entire door off it’s hinges. If he jumped up and down, he’d put holes in the floors. He’d even demolished the staircase as he’d started running up it one day. It’d taken them over a year of continuous repairs and replacements just to regain some semblance of their previous home.
The warmth of the fire, along with the cooling sensation of the banana peel, had me drifting in and out of sleep, and the last thing I remember was Edward curling me to him, carrying me off to our tent.
Some time after that, I awoke to hushed whispering outside our tent. Cowering under my blankets, I listened further.
"We should try this at home, it would make everything so much easier," Rosalie laughed.
"I freaking love Bella - how did she know I’d be so hungry tonight?" Emmet asked, the anticipation ringing in his voice.
"Now, now - this isn’t something that we will allow to happen at home - you know we have to be more careful," Carlisle scolded.
"Why does Emmett assume it’s his? That’s not fair," Jasper added.
"Cause I’m calling it - MINE!" Emmett exclaimed; he sounded as if he were positively bouncing up and down.
"Don’t worry, Jasper - I’ll go with you to get something, if you want. You don’t even really care for this variety anyway - it’s not your taste," Alice soothed.
"Shut it, everyone - it’s almost here," Emmett replied, suddenly serious.
As he spoke, an unfamiliar sound filled the air...a growl, but not the type of growl I was used to. Hesitantly, I peeked out from under the blankets, and found Edward leaning directly over me, his arms surrounding my body in an iron cage formation. As he met me gaze, he raised an eyebrow. "Did you by chance forget to put the remains of the S’mores’ ingredients away, love?" he asked.
Oops. "Hmm...maybe? I’m sorry - I was so tired... What’s that noise?" I questioned, my focus shifting to the tiny window of the tent, which was zipped shut.
Before he could answer, there was another unfamiliar growl. Instantly, a ferocious roar erupted in response, this one remarkably more recognizable. "Was that Emmett?" I asked, completely confused.
Edward rolled his eyes. "Yes...the leftovers from your snack have attracted a rather large grizzly bear, and Emmett is ridiculously happy about it - they’re his favorite, you know.
Wide-eyed, I nodded. "I know...irritable, right?" I whispered. So he was ‘hunting’ right outside the tent? Wow.
Edward nodded. "He’s working on the ‘irritable’ part right now."
"Can I see?" I asked, completely fascinated.
"Absolutely not," he replied without hesitation.
"Why? I’m going to be like you after the wedding, so I’ll have to hunt too - this could help to ease me into it..." I tried again.
"Bella, seeing Emmett take down a grizzly bear would far from ‘ease you into it’ - it’s much more likely to send you running and screaming. I believe you’ll start with something much less violent," he added.
"Well, at least tell me what he’s doing to make it so irritable, then," I said begrudgingly.
Edward sighed. "He’s aggravating it - running in circles around it, too quick to be seen, intermittently smacking it on the back of its head, things of that nature. Oh - and Jasper’s adding to it as well."
"Huh. Really? That just sounds...bizarre," I whispered.
"Bella, have you met Emmett? He’s simply goofy - almost everything he does is somewhat bizarre - or do I need to remind you of his recent collection of pets?" Edward replied incredulously.
This was the most wonderful dream. Edward and I were in our meadow, and he was twirling me around and around, my beautiful lullaby playing in the background. He was just about to pull me up into his arms and meet my lips with his, when suddenly, it changed. Instead of leaning in to kiss me, he smiled widely, spun around in a circle, clapped, and started doing some sort of complicated dance move. He was moving very fast, and the music was now some sort of disco song. What on earth? This was highly unlike him; I much preferred his previous behavior in this dream.
The music was getting louder. "Edward, could you please turn that down? What are you doing, anyway? This is just strange," I muttered, hoping he would cease his crazed disco fever rendition and listen to me.
"I’m not doing anything, love," he replied.
"Yes, you are - you’ve gone completely seventies on me, which I don’t understand at all - I thought you detested the music of the seventies?" I continued, irritated at his nonchalant dismissal.
He chuckled quietly. "Of course I detest that music, Bella. I’ve got nothing to do with it. Now try to sleep," he added.
Wait a minute...as the voice spoke, the Edward in my dream kept dancing around, but his lips never moved. As I began to understand, I opened my eyes slowly, blinking.
Edward was lying beside me, propped up on his elbow, smirking down at me. "Hi there," he said, trying not to laugh.
"What time is it now? I’m never going to get a solid nights sleep again, am I?" I asked, rolling my eyes.
"Well, technically, you won’t need to sleep at all in a couple of months, love," he replied, chuckling. "However, it is now just before three o’clock."
"Hmph." The obnoxious music from my dream called out to me, demanding my attention again. "So what the heck is that noise anyway?"
Edward motioned to the tiny tent window, suggesting I see for myself. Warily, I moved to the little screen and looked outside. I blinked my eyes quickly, trying to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating.
Outside Alice’s tent, everything had been rearranged, and it now resembled some sort of mini club. There was a fold-out dance floor, complete with flashing lights, and a disco ball which sat on a small table in the corner. The sign above Alice’s tent had been replaced with one that read, ‘Alice’s Disco Dance Party.’ Emmett and Rosalie were on one side of the dance floor, and Alice was across from them. All three had clearly been to the wardrobe tent - Emmett was wearing some sort of white suit, with a black shirt under it, Alice was wearing a black shift dress, with elegant, billowing sleeves, and Rosalie was stunning in a short, low-cut sparkling red dress - no wonder she was so willing to participate. They were all sliding and clapping, swaying their shoulders to the music.
*Clap* "Do the Hustle, do the Hustle!" the music continued to blare, and Jasper sat in the corner on top of the mountain of pillows, smiling as he watched his wife’s antics.
Edward cleared his throat, then motioned for me to join him again. I moved slowly, still bewildered at the scene outside. "Bella, you might want to lay down again, before Alice takes the time to notice you’re awake. She tried to get me to allow her to wake you at least four times to join in their...fun, but I refused. If she notices you, she’ll definitely come after you, and that would only make your night much, much longer," Edward whispered softly into my ear.
Stretching up to him, I whispered in return, "Does this kind of thing happen often?"
Edward just chuckled quietly, snuggling me back into the blankets. "A lot of things happen in the night when you’re sleeping, Bella."
As I drifted off, I began to wonder exactly how much I hadn’t ever realized about my soon-to-be-new-family, and how much I would discover after joining them in immortality.
Much too early, the sun streamed through the tent’s walls, and I was once again awoken.
Edward was next to me, waiting, holding a banana peel, and I was reminded again how lucky I was to have him.
Once outside the tent, I stretched fully, then headed over to the food tent, as usual. Unsurprisingly, breakfast was waiting compliments of Esme, and so was Alice.
"Bella! We let you sleep in this morning - aren’t you glad we didn’t wake you up like yesterday?" she exclaimed, hopping up at the sight of me.
"Yeah, Alice, thanks - it would mean more if you guys could manage to keep the noise level down during the night though, so the sleep would actually count," I replied wearily.
"You missed out on all the fun last night - Edward wouldn’t let me wake you up. We had a complete dance party extravaganza!" she trilled, overly exuberant.
"So I heard..." I trailed off. "I never really pictured you to be one to enjoy the seventies, Alice - or the clothes, for that matter."
"Silly Bella, the seventies did have some good points - not many, I’ll grant you, but some. The clothes normal people wore were absolutely hideous," she shuddered delicately. "Those particular outfits we had on last night were created by an extremely talented designer of that era just so we’d have something acceptable to wear when we attended prom in ‘75. I hired that same designer to custom design all of our clothes for a few years then - it was just too awful to shop what the stores had. Sometimes it’s fun to reminisce," she laughed quietly. Every decade deserves some attention, after all."
"How are you feeling this morning, dear?" Esme asked, sitting down beside me. "Do you need anything for your Poison Ivy or wrist?" she continued, full of concern.
"No, thank you. Edward already helped me this morning, and my wrist feels fine," I answered, slightly embarrassed again.
After I’d finished eating, we all gathered around the fire, continuing our conversation from breakfast. Esme was sharing her memories of how particular Alice had been about all of their clothing in the seventies, insisting she had final approval over everything. She’d kept having visions of family members wearing hideous clothing in family photos, and she’d freaked out. Now it made sense - she didn’t mind the seventies so much because she’d been able to make each family member her own personal Barbie doll, just like she does with me. Wow - seven people to choose wardrobes for, on a daily basis - unbelievable.
Esme was about to share another memory, when Alice froze, and we turned our attention to her.
Her eyes glazed over, and she became silent. We all waited apprehensively for Alice to reveal the vision to us.
Edward sighed heavily, pinching the bridge of his nose, just as Alice returned her focus to all of us.
"Charlie is going to call, Carlisle. The seminar wrapped up last night, so he is heading home earlier than planned, and wants to stop in to have lunch with us," Alice explained. "He’s curious to see how Bella’s holding up."