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The Domino Effect

Summary:
Bella Swan had never understood the true meaning behind the 'Domino Effect', until one night during 1916. Follow her and the Cullen family as they experience sorrow, hardship, courage and love through 'The Great War' and it's devastating aftermath.


Notes:


1. Despair & Devastation

Rating 4.8/5   Word Count 1670   Review this Chapter

Hello Everyone, I am very nervous about posting this, I had never intended to write this story but this has been whirling around my head for sometime now and I thought it best to run with it. If after reading this you could spare a few minutes to let me know your first thoughts, I would be very grateful.

This has been reposted as I was trying to make a few amendments to the story and I accidently pressed the delete button. I have learnt my lesson and will not be jumping on the computer first in a morning before my breakfast again. I cannot fuction without a mug of tea inside me!

Snowdog24 :)

Prologue - Despair

'The Great War' Bella spat in disgust, as far as she was concerned there was nothing great about it. The year was 1919 and the war had ended a little over six months ago, however the scars were yet to heal.

Bella Hunter tried to stop her eyes from filling with tears and noisily cleared her throat in an attempt to prevent the lump which was starting to form. She studied her reflection in the bathroom mirror and took a deep breath as her delicate fingers traced the large, purple bruise on her left cheek. Bella quickly closed her eyes, squeezing them tightly to try and stop the images of that morning flooding through her mind. Unfortunately this was an impossible task as behind her closed lids, she was no longer in the poorly lit bathroom.

The sun brightly streamed through the marigold curtains, causing the cowslip to brightly glow in the organised living room. At a first glance the room would appear empty, aside from the furniture, adornments and the grand piano which sat in the corner. However on a closer inspection, you would notice a female sat facing the window as she waited for her husband to return home.

Bella was clutching a box very tightly in both hands as a solitary tear rolled down her cheek. She had of course heard the hushed whispers of her neighbours but had previously dismissed the rumours as idle gossip, not wanting to accept the truth.

"Am I not pretty enough?" Bella whispered to herself as she tried to fathom the reasoning behind her husband's betrayal. The house was silent and the only sound which could be heard was the clock ticking away every second. Therefore it was no surprise that Bella flinched in fright as the front door closed against the door frame. Light and careful footsteps could then be heard through the hall and she quickly stood, forcing herself to move forward to seek the answers she wasn't sure she wanted.

"James!"

The tall figure stopped, his steps faltered and he turned to face his wife. Several seconds passed and neither person spoke a word. Bella chewed her lip nervously, tightly clasping the hard object between her hands. After taking a deep breath, she raised her head to look him directly in the eyes and audibly gasped.

Three years ago.

Chapter One - Devastation

"Darling, can you see who that is at the door?" Renee Swan asked her fourteen year old daughter as she stood at the kitchen worktop trying to prepare their evening meal.

Bella nodded her head at her mother's request and grimaced at the sight of the mustard jar in her mother's hand. It was 1916, the war was raging, the food was dwindling and prices were constantly rising. The thought of having to eat another 'potted cheese' which consisted of leftover crumbs of cheese, mixed with mustard and margarine, baked in their coal stove and served with a slice of toast did nothing for Bella's appetite and as she slowly walked though the hallway she found herself praying for the war to end and for her father to return home.

When Bella opened the door to reveal the delivery boy holding a buff telegram in his outstretched hand, she stood immobile for several moments. Her head swam and she found herself feeling very dizzy as she considered thrusting it back at the young boy. A few more seconds passed and Bella reluctantly snatched the telegram from his hand, thanking him as she abruptly closed the door. Her hands shook as she ripped it open to reveal it's contents, hoping beyond hope that it would read missing in action as opposed to the alternative.

'Deeply regret to inform you that Charles Swan was killed in action on May Sixteen, 1916.'

The next few moments seemed to pass in slow motion as the paper silently floated to the ground and an anguished cry filled the Swan household.

***

Rosalie Cullen was patrolling the streets of London trying to maintain the appearance of order. Her mother-in-law who was an active suffragette prior to the outbreak of the war had encouraged her to join the Women's Police Service several months ago. A requirement necessary for those who wanted to prove their capabilities were equal to those of any man. She noticed a young boy who was retreating solemnly from the house to her left and smiled tenderly at him before an agonising scream could be heard from the behind the closed door. Rosalie's eyes widened and she hurried towards the house to try and determine if someone needed her help.

"I have just delivered an urgent telegram." The boy whispered, causing her to pause before reaching the front step.

Rosalie closed her eyes for a few seconds in an attempt to regain her composure. Every woman within England seemed to be bonded by the same fear; a brown document, marked urgent. Her heart started to beat frantically as Emmett's brown eyes clouded her vision. They had been married a total of four weeks before he had volunteered himself to the British army, several days after his eighteenth birthday. She clutched her hand to her heart, praying he was safe and well as her fingers felt for the necklace dangling underneath her uniform. It was his gift to her before he departed and as she pressed it closer to her constricting chest she knew he would return home soon, he just had too.

***

Hearing her daughters anguished cries a knot formed in the pit of her stomach and Renee scrambled to the hallway. At first she couldn't fathom what had distressed her daughter so much until she noticed Bella's eyes were fixed on a document which lay at her feet. No words needed to be spoken as Renee mirrored her daughters actions and crumpled to the floor, her chest tightening as she found herself gasping for air.

Several hours had passed and neither females had moved nor spoken to each other. Bella couldn't be sure what had broken her stupor but once her senses returned she knew they could sit like this no longer.

"Mother," Bella croaked. "We need to move, it will be dark soon and..." She faltered, realising her ma wasn't listening. "Ma, please talk to me. I..I don't know what to do." Renee remained unresponsive as Bella touched her shoulder and lightly shook it, attempting to break through the trance she appeared to be in.

"Tea, I'll make us a cup of tea." Bella whispered to herself as she awkwardly stood and made her way past the living room towards the kitchen, stumbling as she reached her father's study. Her throat constricted as she paused in front of the closed door, her hand unconsciously reaching for the handle. Thoughts of her motionless mother filtered through her mind but she felt compelled to step inside the small room, almost hoping to see her father sat at his desk.

A small sob escaped and she chastised herself for being so foolish. Her father was dead and standing in his empty study, staring at his unlit oil lamp only made her feel more hollow. Bella turned to leave when a piercing screech erupted from the hallway.

"Ma," Bella cried as she rushed to attend to her mother. "Ma, you need to calm down." It had appeared that Renee had broken through her dazed state in her daughter's absence and was now gasping for breath at an awfully rapid rate. "Mother, breathe slowly..with me." Bella started to slowly breathe in and out, trying to get her ma to mimic her actions but was failing miserably. "Mother, please! You're scaring me, I..." Bella's voice trailed off before she could finish speaking. She wanted to say that she wished her father was here as he would know how to gain control of the situation.

"I'm going for Doctor Cullen." She informed her mother. Bella couldn't be sure if her words had been heard or understood but she chose not to dwell on that thought as she sprinted towards the Cullen residence.

***

"Alice, can you help me with the washing up?" Esme Cullen asked her only daughter as she handed her a stack of dirty plates to take to the sink.

The Cullen residence was always peaceful once dinner had been consumed and Dr Carlisle Cullen gracefully rose from his place at the table to retire to his study for an hour or two. He lovingly wrapped his arms around his wife's slender waist and affectionately kissed her cheek before exiting the dining room.

Edward, who was the youngest Cullen son had already excused himself from the table to spend a little time playing the piano in the adjoining room. Esme paused as the music started to flow through the house. It expressed such heartache, such sorrow. She did not recognise the melody and correctly assumed that Edward had composed the piece himself. Esme was startled when the music abruptly stopped and couldn't understand why until she heard frantic banging at their front door.

The sight that greeted Edward caused his eyes to widen in panic and he extended his arms automatically to steady the sobbing girl as she cried. "Please, please help me."

Please let me know your thoughts.

Thank you,

Snowdog24