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Laid to Rest

It has been four years since Bella Swan married Edward Cullen. The time has come for the people of Forks to say goodbye to their most memorable friend. One shot.

I literally had a spark of inspitation for this one. I'm entering this in the contest that was just posted, by the way, if you can't tell by the first line in the story.

1. Chapter 1

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 1071   Review this Chapter

It was a dark and stormy night. A night fit for the depressing task that was at hand.

Four years had passed since Isabella Swan had married into the reclusive Cullen family. Four long years since she had contracted a rare, terminal disease while she was on her honeymoon with her new husband. Or so the good people of the small town of Forks, Washington, thought.

In reality, Bella Cullen had conceived a child unlike any other child. A child that had almost killed her during its birth, that had caused her to be changed into what people believed to be only a myth, a story made to send chills up your spine in a dark room. Bella Cullen was a vampire.

Her father, Charlie Swan, the Chief of Police in this small town, was a smart man. When he would get calls from his only daughter, who claimed to be in Atlanta, he would feel as though something didn’t add up. And then, on that fateful day, he found out about those so-called stories.

He was told about the werewolves of La Push. He was told that his daughter was no longer the human he had known from birth. His entire universe was altered irrevocably in one single day. He was allowed to see his daughter, who had, in actuality, been just outside of town this entire time. He met his little granddaughter, who, against all odds, was now the center of her grandpa’s world. But he never allowed himself to find out what is daughter was. Oh, he observed how she could walk gracefully across the room without so much as a wobbling step, even in the most ridiculous of shoes. He saw that she never ate, how she was always so cold, even bundled up in sweaters, and how her eyes would change from deepest black to that odd gold color that the entire of the Cullen family possessed. But he never allowed himself to decide what exactly it was that she had become.

He had known that this day would come, but what he didn’t realize was how painful it would really be.

After four years, nothing had changed about his beloved daughter. His granddaughter was the only way he was sure that time was still in effect. She grew rapidly, and already she looked like a young teenager. She had to be kept out of the public eye, for good reason. It seemed as though she grew older every day. But after four years of the entire family being out of the public eye, people began to ask questions. Especially those people who had been close to Bella. Like her mother.

Rene was one of those rare people who could keep their childish innocence, but still be incredibly gifted with observation. She never stopped questioning why Bella never came home, why she wasn’t allowed to see her. The time had come for Bella’s mother to finally have a proper goodbye for her daughter, whom she would never be able to see alive again.

So the announcements went out bearing the grim, but false news. Bella had finally succumbed to her terminal disease, and was to be buried here, in Forks Cemetery.

The Cullen’s had gone to every length imaginable to make this a believable affair. Edward was appropriately devastated, and the rest of the family looked sullen with their grief. Even Charlie managed to pull off a haggard, grief-stricken look.

No one was surprised when every one of the pews in the tiny church were filled. It appeared that everyone whom Bella had ever made contact with were in attendance: the kids she went to high school with, her old teachers, her old employers, the list went on and on. It was as if a sea of black had descended upon the building, leaving nothing uncovered. Flowers covered what surfaces were untouched by the mourners, and the front of the church was unrecognizable. The front pews were filled with the Cullen family, Charlie Swan, Rene and her husband, Phil, and Bella’s closest friends. There was a large portrait of Bella, appearing as she was human. Upon viewing this, Charlie began to sob, real tears of grief. This was the last time he would see Bella as she was when she was human.

And then there was the coffin itself. The Cullen’s spared no expense, even in this respect. Although, as a vampire, Bella would never need a coffin, appearances had to be kept up. They had purchase an expensive looking coffin made of cherry wood, lined with a deep midnight blue silk. Bella lay as still as was possible for a vampire, looking the part of the dead girl she was meant to be. She had put on makeup that made her appear to have a faint flush to her skin, and was dressed in a light blue dress, accenting the paleness of her pallor. If any one of the humans got close to her coffin, there would be no doubt in their minds that the girl who they saw was resting at peace.

The sun had set long before the funeral began, leaving the space feeling cold and dreary. The minister that was speaking had been the one who had baptized Bella years ago, and allowed a distinctive note of pain to fill his voice as he spoke over the girl who played at being dead. For the vampires who watched, it was easy to detect her signs of continued existence. They could see her minute movements of discomfort at being cried over, at hearing her own eulogy. This was not an easy thing for anyone in attendance, but maybe most difficult on Bella Swan.

As the service drew to a close, most everyone was in tears, mourning the passing of their dear friend. Charlie’s eyes had long before turned red around the rims, and even the girl’s husband, Edward Cullen, could be seen doing his best to stifle a sob at the idea that his soul mate could be dead. Once the minister said a final prayer over Bella, the guests swelled to the front, to say one final goodbye to Bella Swan, before the coffin was nailed shut.

As the last person filed past the grieving families, and the coffin was finally shut, a deafening crack of thunder could be heard breaking over the church. It was as though even the town was saying goodbye to one of its least forgettable residents.