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The Sunshine Train

Summary:
Create your own banner at mybannermaker.com!John F. Kennedy said once that the courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy. A man does what he must, in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures, and that is the basis of all morality.
I couldn't agree more.
Courage was the reason I was here. Courage and love. We know Edward and Bellas story during Twilight, but what if it was different? What if Alice was the new girl, and Bella was already a vampire? Would Jaspers self-control hold out when he meets a girl whos blood smells so intoxicating to him? Mostly AxJ, all canon pairings. Thank you so much to MoonSpinner for the amazing banner!!


Notes:
Read on and enjoy. Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight, and i never ever ever will :(


6. Scary Stories

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3507   Review this Chapter

"Was ever book containing such vile matter
So fairly bound? O, that deceit should dwell
In such a gorgeous palace!"

APOV

Friday lunchtime seemed to arrive before I could blink, and I massaged my temples, trying to mentally prepare myself for the impending doom facing me – hours on a cold and windy beach, with only Mike, Eric, Tyler, Jessica, Lauren and Angela for company. I had nothing against beaches, in fact I loved them; during the day, the night, the summer, the winter, I didn’t care.


I didn’t even mind the people – Angela and Jessica at least I could deal with. But Eric, Mike and Tyler, all still competing in a mindless and pointless competition for my attention, was enough to drive any girl crazy.

And Lauren…well, I let my gaze drift over to her.

She was looking at me over the lunch table, with disdain in her eyes, and I flinched slightly – I couldn’t even remember saying more than three consecutive words to her, so I wondered what her problem was.

I couldn’t help my eyes swerving from hers, over to his table, hoping for a moment that he had postponed his camping trip another day, hoping that I could maybe get one more glimpse of his face, to tide me through the weekend.

No such luck, the table held only two girls today, Rosalie and Bella huddled together, their heads nearly touching, their lips moving impossibly fast as they whispered.
As if they felt me watching, both their heads snapped up, and their eyes focused on mine, filled with confusion and…anger? But it quickly faded, and they smiled in what seemed to be an apologetic way, turning back to each other before I could return it, their whispering doubling in speed and urgency. I sighed.

I’d been in my bedroom for nearly 3 hours, trying to concentrate on the last act of Romeo and Juliet, my pen hovering over the page, as I attempted to write an essay, ‘Romeo And Juliet; Fate or Free Will’, when I heard Isaac call me for dinner.

I frowned, I hadn’t even noticed that he was home.
He had cooked his famous chicken tarragon, a meal I hadn’t had for such a long time, I nearly cried when I saw it sitting neatly on the plates. I think he felt guilty for leaving me alone for so long, but I told him truthfully that I didn’t mind as much as I thought I would – loneliness seemed to fit in perfectly with the empty mountains and tall trees that surrounded the house. I felt almost at home.

I told him about my invitation to La Push tomorrow, crossing my fingers under the table, praying for some reason he would concoct, which would mean I couldn’t go.

I’m guessing he took the desperation on my face the wrong way, because he agreed all too enthusiastically, saying he wanted me to get out and see Forks, so I could see that it wasn’t all trees and rain. It was so overwhelming that I lost my appetite, and poked at the chicken on my plate, wondering how long it had been since I cooked. I missed cooking; it reminded me of my mother.

“So I heard you disappeared from school yesterday” he said, and I looked up, flushing very slightly. Of course he would know; there were no secrets in Forks.

“I felt ill – we were doing blood typing in Biology” I explained, feeling slightly guilty for lying to him, “Jasper Hale gave me a lift home”
“He’s one of the Cullen kids right?”
I nodded; keeping my eyes glued to my plate, intently examining the paisley swirls on the white china, hoping I wasn’t giving any emotion away in my face, flinching slightly as he refused to change the subject,

“I’ve always liked the Cullens, nice family.”
“Mmm” I wondered if I was as noncommittal as I possibly could be, he would give it up.
“What’s up? I don’t think I’ve ever seen you so subdued!” Apparently it worked, but my acting skills had defiantly dropped slightly.

I looked up, fixing a bright smile onto my face, “Nothing” I said brightly, wondering how much enthusiasm I could inject into my voice, and it still sound genuine.
“I’m just thinking, and still feel nauseous from earlier. I’ll be fine”

I’d meant to sleep in, longing for my sleep to be dreamless, and impossibly long. But typically I forgot to shut off my alarm, and it rang so loudly, and so close to my head that I physically vibrated, before I swung my arm out, knocking it to the floor, and no doubt breaking it.

I snorted and rolled over, sticking my head under the covers. I was just drifting back to sleep, darkness sliding over my vision when –

Three figures were moving impossibly fast through a forest, the trees around the blurring as they stayed in perfect focus. A woman with long wild orange hair, filled with leaves and forest debris, and two men, one with short dark hair one with light, all of them dressed in typical hiking wear. But there was something different about them; they were definitely not typical hikers. They were all beautiful, inhumanly so, in a way that reminded me of the Cullens. But it wasn’t just that, it was their eyes, glowing a dark crimson in their faces, narrowed against the wind, their lips pulled back into snarls as they ran.
And I realised they weren’t just running; they were hunting. Chasing something – or someone, through the tall dark trees, taking it at a leisurely pace, letting their victims assume they were safe, before they sped up, and pounced -

My eyes flew open, my breathing erratic and ragged. I felt like a huge weight had settled on my chest, choking me. I whimpered, and laid back on my bed, wiping away the tears that had leaked from my eyes, wondering what on earth was wrong with me.

I couldn’t sleep after that, I couldn’t even close my eyes without seeing them, their bright eyes, their lips stained red with blood, their lips pulled back over their teeth into an angry grimace, their speed and their beauty. The undeniable sense of danger they radiated.

I got up, pulling on jeans and cowboy boots, and an over sized shirt that I suspected had once belonged to Isaac. I threw some things into a bag, and made my way to the bathroom. I was washing my face, and looked up into the mirror, when I felt like something had punched me in the stomach, and doubled over in pain, “No, no, no, no NO! Not again!” I pleaded, as my world rearranged itself around me.

Jasper was running along through the forests on the mountains, at a pace only matched by his brothers by his sides. His eyes were black, his movements animalistic, like he was giving himself over to instinct, and not taking notice of what he was doing. He paused for a split second, bent his legs slightly, and leapt, landing 6’ above him, in the branches of a pine tree, snarling through his teeth. His brothers had disappeared, and I was hit with a sudden sense of foreboding. I recognised the look in his eyes, his fluid movements, it was the same as the others I’d seen, he was hunting. Hunting who or what I wasn’t sure, but I couldn’t stand it. I let out a choking sob.

I was standing in the bathroom, my hands gripping the sides of the sink so hard, that my knuckles were screaming in agony, but I couldn’t unlock them. I couldn’t move, I just stood, watching my tears drip down my face, and land in the sink, dark grey with mascara. I didn’t know what was happening to me, I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew that something was wrong.

I didn’t know when to expect my ‘visions’, if that was what they were. I couldn’t even name them; they were just the overly vivid dreams of a teenage girl, driven mad by the death of her mother.
I remembered the day I’d had my first vision.

[Flashback.]


It was the day after I found out about my mother, and I hadn’t moved for nearly 36 hours. I was curled inside my duvet on my bed, my cheeks crusty with tears. I hadn’t eaten, hadn’t slept, hadn’t even thought. My mind and body were numb, and I couldn’t feel. I didn’t even know what feeling was. There were no words to describe what was running through my head.

I hadn’t even looked up as my father stood over me, shouting, the smell of stale beer and smoke filling my nostrils from his dirty clothes, but I didn’t move. I just sat there, staring at the plain white wall. Until he left, and the slamming of the front door echoed through the motionless house, followed soon by the sound of a car pulling out of the drive.

I let out a deep breath, feeling a tingling in my fingers and toes, somewhere in my hazy brain, a lone thought wondering if I was getting pins and needles for not moving, when all the breath flew out of me, and I was thrown backwards, my vision going black, before being replaced with the blindingly bright light of a sunny morning in Phoenix.

I was sitting in a car, my car. My beloved yellow Mini, driving down a long, seemingly endless road, all my windows open as far as they would go. I was wearing a white dress that I didn’t recognise, and black sunglasses. A sign I passed at the side of the road read, ‘Phoenix Sky Harbour International Airport: 7 miles’.

I blinked, blinking away the last remnants of tears, the wetness fading with the memory I had stored away fro so long. That had been my first vision, and it had come true. Less that a year, I had driven down that very road, wearing those very clothes, and passed that very sign. I hadn’t even remembered until now.

I didn’t know what to do. Should I confront Jasper? Would he be angry, or would he think I was insane? Would that drive him away from me for good, ruining even the slightest possible chance that he might actually like me?

I didn’t want to even consider the words see the future. Who did I think I was, that sort of stuff just didn’t happen. Especially to girls like me.

I arrived at the Newtons Olympic Outfitters store, only a few minutes late, pulling my car into the parking lot, and lingering for a while, to examine the small crowd that had gathered out the front. Mike was standing with Jessica, who was leaning on his arm, simpering.

I rolled my eyes, could she be any more obvious? Lauren was to the side, with Eric and Tyler, and two girls I didn’t recognise, but was sure I would know all too well by the end of this trip. I looked back at Mike, wincing as he noticed my car, and charged towards me, leaving Jessica looking very pissed off. I got out, throwing on my fake smile, and waved at him.

"Hi…Mike”
“Hey Alice! So glad you’re here! Will you ride with me, in my car? It’s either that or the…mini van”

I smiled, resisting the urge to roll my eyes. Honestly, he was worse than Jessica; apparently people in Forks don’t understand the meaning of subtle . Maybe it comes from growing up in a town so small, that everyone ends up marrying who they dated in High School.

It was only fifteen minutes from Forks to La Push, and I passed the time by staring out of the window, my ipod up so high I couldn’t even think. I watched the trees drift past, and my fingers twitched, longing to sieze the steering wheel, and drive so fast that Mike would be seeing the world as a blur for the rest of his life. But I gripped the seat with my fingers, digging my nails into the cheap felt, and dealt with it.

We’d passed several acres of trees, and the winding Quillayute River, before Mike drew the car off the road, into woodland, and stopped. I leapt out of the car, breathing deeply, taking in the soft breeze and the smell of the salty air. I knew immediately why this beach was the beach of choice for most of Forks high. The long crescent of sand was breathtaking, even to me; the small girl from the big city. I might have been a city girl, but I could still recognise the beauty in anything.

The water was a dark stormy grey, not reflecting the rare blue sky, but seemingly with a mind of its own, changing from deep violet to an almost black, with every wave that rippled the surface. The beach was only a thin strip of blindingly white sand, fading into smooth shiny pebbles, worn to perfect ovals by the waves, reaching out for miles along the shoreline, glowing in every shade I’d ever thought imaginable.

Huge white birds flung themselves carelessly through the air, fading to white dots on the horizon, the sea breeze buffeting them further away from us with every second. Piles of driftwood and seaweed lined the shore, catching on jagged rocks, sticking up from the water like ethereal markings.

I wondered why on earth Jasper didn’t like this beach. It was fast becoming my favourite place in Forks, and I’d only been here about 3 minutes. I took a deep breath in, smiling as the salt stung my lips, and the wind hit my throat, and for the first time today, I felt like myself again.

I turned, and followed Angela and the others down the shore, heading for the bright spark of a bonfire in the distance. As we neared it, I saw Ben and Tyler already there, throwing salty white logs onto the blazing fire. Sparks flew high into the sky, and I watched in amazement as the flames that licked at the wood turned blue.

“Salt?” I said, to no one in particular, but betting I knew exactly who would answer first.

“Yes, pretty isn’t it?” said Mike eagerly, and I nodded vaguely, wondering if I admitted to thinking murder was okay, would he immediately back me up.

As the sun set, casting an orange glow over the beach, turning the sea into an inferno of purples and oranges, Mike announced that he wanted to hike over the rocks, and up the mountain for a while. I had no intention of staying behind with Lauren and Jessica, even if Angela was there, so I quickly agreed.

I followed Tyler, Ben, Eric and Mike around the fire, and tailed them as they picked their way tentatively through the trees and rocks.

I’d never really been one for hiking, but I wanted to do something completely not me, I wanted to explore I wanted to not care about getting my clothes dirty, I wanted to become part of nature, to feel at home amongst the trees and plants, the green alien planet.

The boys discovered what appeared to be a family of black beetles, and seemed to take great pleasure in putting them down the others tops. I raised an eyebrow, and continued up the path a little, through the thinning trees, and into a concrete clearing in the forest. A small shop was visible a few feet away, a few cars parked next to it.

“Guys I’m gonna go to the shop, I’m thirsty, don’t wait for me, I’ll meet you back at the beach” I called down to them, not turning round.

“Okay Alice, see you there!” came back to me, and I walked forwards.

The shop door made the comforting jingle of a bell as I opened it, stepping into the warmth. It was mostly filled with ‘exclusive’ La Push souvenirs, food, magazines, and hiking equipment. It was warm, and had a homely feel. I stepped towards the counter, clearing my throat, causing the boy behind it to look up from the book he was reading, and turn towards me with a smile.

He looked about fifteen, with long glossy hair pulled back to the nape of his neck, and beautiful russet-coloured skin. His dark eyes were set deep above the high planes of his cheekbones. He had an earthy look about him, like he’d grown up around nature, and had no desire to leave it any time soon. I would have found him attractive if my thoughts weren’t plagued with the image of a golden-eyed boy.

“Jacob Black” he said, holding out his hand to me, and I smiled back, liking him instantly.

“Alice Brandon” I said, shaking his hand.

“You new to Forks?”

“How’d you guess? Am I that easily read?” I said with a snort, examining the rows of wooden beaded necklaces on the counter,

“Not at all. You just don’t look like a nature girl”

“I’m not” I pulled a face, “Not really”

“But you’re not a city girl either. You want to be, but you’re not at heart. I wonder what sort of girl you are.”

I froze, staring at him, my eyes narrowing as they met his.

“So, what can I help you with today?” he said with a smile, completely disregarding what he’d just said, and standing up.
“I’m down on the beach with some friends, and I wondered, could you…maybe tell me anything about the Quileute Tribe?”

His expression was unfathomable for a moment, and I stiffened, wondering if I’d asked the wrong question, but he smiled.

“Sure I can, one sec I’ll close up, then we can walk”
It was darker outside, the sky a beautiful dark burgundy, as we left the shop, and started back down the mud track towards the beach. I didn’t say anything, and waited for him to speak.

“Well there are lots of old stories about our tribe, where we came from, dating back to the Flood. And some more, claiming we’re descended from…from wolves; that they are our brothers. It’s still against our laws to kill them.”

He paused to let me process this, and I raised an eyebrow slightly, “Tell me more about that,” I said, actually interested.

He grinned, “There are stories about the cold-ones. You might call them, vampires

“Cold-ones?” why did that name ring a bell?

“Yep, the stories about the cold-ones are as old as the wolf stories, and some of them much more recent. My great-great Grandfather knew them apparently. He enforced the treaty to keep them off our land”

He rolled his eyes, showing his disbelief in the stories, but I was intrigued, “He was tribal elder, and the cold-ones are natural born enemies of the wolf. Well not the wolf, but the men who turn into wolves”

“Werewolves? Werewolves have enemies?”

“Only one. You see the cold-ones are traditionally our enemies, but the pack that came here, to my great-great Grandfathers tribe were different – they claimed they only hunted the blood of animals, not humans. And we made the treaty with them. If they stayed off our land, we wouldn’t expose who they really were, to the…pale faces”

“But if they weren’t dangerous, they why…?”

“There was always a risk of them hunting too near to human civilisation. What if they suddenly became too thirsty?”

I considered this, my breath catching in my throat slightly, but he wasn’t done yet.

“Their pack left, for Alaska all those years ago. But not long ago they came back. There are more of them now, a new female and a new male, but they were the same ones. The still are the same ones who made a treaty with my great-great Grandfather”

He paused, and I sat down on a rock, staring into the now visible waves of the see, the sparks leaping from the half invisible bonfire, the silhouettes of my friends grouped around it, sharing food and warmth.
“You have goose bumps” he commented, sitting beside me, and I smiled, “It’s cold”

Mikes voice jerked me out of my silent revere, I hadn’t even noticed him coming up the track in front of us, “We’re gonna head back now, you coming> It looks like it’s going to rain”

I looked up at the quickly darkening sky, and felt a raindrop hit my face, but I didn’t care. I nodded at him, and turned to wave to Jacob who stood as I did.

“Hope to see you again Alice Brandon” he said with a wink, “Nice telling stories with you”

I nodded vaguely, forcing a smile, and followed Mike back to the car, barely noticing the rain now pattering on my face, flattening my hair.

I leant against Angela in the car, trying very hard not to think, not to piece together the information that had been gathering dust, and cluttering my brain for the past few months. Trying not to dredge up old memories, to over-read every tiny movement, every word out of Jaspers mouth, every image Jacob had firmly planted into my brain.Trying with all my being, not to notice the absolute truth that was staring me right in the face, with a pair of golden eyes.