Post Reply chapter 6: scary stories
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Posted 11/25/08
As I sat in my room, trying to concentrate on the third act of Macbeth, I was
really listening for my truck. I would have thought, even over the pounding rain,
I could have heard the engine's roar. But when I went to peek out the curtain —
again — it was suddenly there.
I wasn't looking forward to Friday, and it more than lived up to my nonexpectations.
Of course there were the fainting comments. Jessica especially
seemed to get a kick out of that story. Luckily Mike had kept his mouth shut, and
no one seemed to know about Edward's involvement. She did have a lot of
questions about lunch, though.
"So what did Edward Cullen want yesterday?" Jessica asked in Trig.
"I don't know," I answered truthfully. "He never really got to the point."
"You looked kind of mad," she fished.
"Did I?" I kept my expression blank.
"You know, I've never seen him sit with anyone but his family before. That was
weird."
"Weird," I agreed. She seemed annoyed; she flipped her dark curls impatiently
— I guessed she'd been hoping to hear something that would make a good story
for her to pass on.
The worst part about Friday was that, even though I knew he wasn't going to be
there, I still hoped. When I walked into the cafeteria with Jessica and Mike, I
couldn't keep from looking at his table, where Rosalie, Alice, and Jasper sat
talking, heads close together. And I couldn't stop the gloom that engulfed me as I
realized I didn't know how long I would have to wait before I saw him again.
At my usual table, everyone was full of our plans for the next day. Mike was
animated again, putting a great deal of trust in the local weatherman who
promised sun tomorrow. I'd have to see that before I believed it. But it was
warmer today — almost sixty. Maybe the outing wouldn't be completely
miserable.
I intercepted a few unfriendly glances from Lauren during lunch, which I didn't
understand until we were all walking out of the room together. I was right behind
her, just a foot from her slick, silver blond hair, and she was evidently unaware
of that.
"…don't know why Bella" — she sneered my name — "doesn't just sit with the
Cullens from now on."
I heard her muttering to Mike. I'd never noticed what an unpleasant, nasal voice
she had, and I was surprised by the malice in it. I really didn't know her well at
all, certainly not well enough for her to dislike me — or so I'd thought. "She's
my friend; she sits with us," Mike whispered back loyally, but also a bit
territorially. I paused to let Jess and Angela pass me. I didn't want to hear any
more.
That night at dinner, Charlie seemed enthusiastic about my trip to La Push in the
morning. I think he felt guilty for leaving me home alone on the weekends, but
he'd spent too many years building his habits to break them now. Of course he
knew the names of all the kids going, and their parents, and their greatfile:///
grandparents, too, probably. He seemed to approve. I wondered if he would
approve of my plan to ride to Seattle with Edward Cullen. Not that I was going
to tell him.
"Dad, do you know a place called Goat Rocks or something like that? I think it's
south of Mount Rainier," I asked casually.
"Yeah — why?"
I shrugged. "Some kids were talking about camping there."
"It's not a very good place for camping." He sounded surprised. "Too many
bears. Most people go there during the hunting season."
"Oh," I murmured. "Maybe I got the name wrong."
I meant to sleep in, but an unusual brightness woke me. I opened my eyes to see
a clear yellow light streaming through my window. I couldn't believe it. I hurried
to the window to check, and sure enough, there was the sun. It was in the wrong
place in the sky, too low, and it didn't seem to be as close as it should be, but it
was definitely the sun. Clouds ringed the horizon, but a large patch of blue was
visible in the middle. I lingered by the window as long as I could, afraid that if I
left the blue would disappear again.
The Newtons' Olympic Outfitters store was just north of town. I'd seen the store,
but I'd never stopped there — not having much need for any supplies required
for being outdoors over an extended period of time. In the parking lot I
recognized Mike's Suburban and Tyler's Sentra. As I pulled up next to their
vehicles, I could see the group standing around in front of the Suburban. Eric
was there, along with two other boys I had class with; I was fairly sure their
names were Ben and Conner. Jess was there, flanked by Angela and Lauren.
Three other girls stood with them, including one I remembered falling over in
Gym on Friday. That one gave me a dirty look as I got out of the truck, and
whispered something to Lauren. Lauren shook out her cornsilk hair and eyed me
scornfully.
So it was going to be one of those days.
At least Mike was happy to see me.
"You came!" he called, delighted. "And I said it would be sunny today, didn't I?"
"I told you I was coming," I reminded him.
"We're just waiting for Lee and Samantha… unless you invited someone," Mike
added.
"Nope," I lied lightly, hoping I wouldn't get caught in the lie. But also wishing
that a miracle would occur, and Edward would appear.
Mike looked satisfied.
"Will you ride in my car? It's that or Lee's mom's minivan."
"Sure."
He smiled blissfully. It was so easy to make Mike happy.
"You can have shotgun," he promised. I hid my chagrin. It wasn't as simple to
make Mike and Jessica happy at the same time. I could see Jessica glowering at
us now.
The numbers worked out in my favor, though. Lee brought two extra people, and
suddenly every seat was necessary. I managed to wedge Jess in between Mike
and me in the front seat of the Suburban. Mike could have been more graceful
about it, but at least Jess seemed appeased.
It was only fifteen miles to La Push from Forks, with gorgeous, dense green
forests edging the road most of the way and the wide Quillayute River snaking
beneath it twice. I was glad I had the window seat. We'd rolled the windows
down — the Suburban was a bit claustrophobic with nine people in it — and I
tried to absorb as much sunlight as possible.
I'd been to the beaches around La Push many times during my Forks summers
with Charlie, so the mile-long crescent of First Beach was familiar to me. It was
still breathtaking. The water was dark gray, even in the sunlight, white-capped
and heaving to the gray, rocky shore. Islands rose out of the steel harbor waters
with sheer cliff sides, reaching to uneven summits, and crowned with austere,
soaring firs. The beach had only a thin border of actual sand at the water's edge,
after which it grew into millions of large, smooth stones that looked uniformly
gray from a distance, but close up were every shade a stone could be: terra-cotta,
sea green, lavender, blue gray, dull gold. The tide line was strewn with huge
driftwood trees, bleached bone white in the salt waves, some piled together
against the edge of the forest fringe, some lying solitary, just out of reach of the
waves.
There was a brisk wind coming off the waves, cool and briny. Pelicans floated
on the swells while seagulls and a lone eagle wheeled above them. The clouds
still circled the sky, threatening to invade at any moment, but for now the sun
shone bravely in its halo of blue sky.
We picked our way down to the beach, Mike leading the way to a ring of
driftwood logs that had obviously been used for parties like ours before. There
was a fire circle already in place, filled with black ashes. Eric and the boy I
thought was named Ben gathered broken branches of driftwood from the drier
piles against the forest edge, and soon had a teepee-shaped construction built
atop the old cinders.
"Have you ever seen a driftwood fire?" Mike asked me. I was sitting on one of
the bone-colored benches; the other girls clustered, gossiping excitedly, on either
side of me. Mike kneeled by the fire, lighting one of the smaller sticks with a
cigarette lighter.
"No," I said as he placed the blazing twig carefully against the teepee.
"You'll like this then — watch the colors." He lit another small branch and laid it
alongside the first. The flames started to lick quickly up the dry wood.
"It's blue," I said in surprise.
"The salt does it. Pretty, isn't it?" He lit one more piece, placed it where the fire
hadn't yet caught, and then came to sit by me. Thankfully, Jess was on his other
side. She turned to him and claimed his attention. I watched the strange blue and
green flames crackle toward the sky.
After a half hour of chatter, some of the boys wanted to hike to the nearby tidal
pools. It was a dilemma. On the one hand, I loved the tide pools. They had
fascinated me since I was a child; they were one of the only things I ever looked
forward to when I had to come to Forks. On the other hand, I'd also fallen into
them a lot. Not a big deal when you're seven and with your dad. It reminded me
of Edward's request — that I not fall into the ocean.
Lauren was the one who made my decision for me. She didn't want to hike, and
she was definitely wearing the wrong shoes for it. Most of the other girls besides
Angela and Jessica decided to stay on the beach as well. I waited until Tyler and
Eric had committed to remaining with them before I got up quietly to join the
pro-hiking group. Mike gave me a huge smile when he saw that I was coming.
The hike wasn't too long, though I hated to lose the sky in the woods. The green
light of the forest was strangely at odds with the adolescent laughter, too murky
and ominous to be in harmony with the light banter around me. I had to watch
each step I took very carefully, avoiding roots below and branches above, and I
soon fell behind. Eventually I broke through the emerald confines of the forest
and found the rocky shore again. It was low tide, and a tidal river flowed past us
on its way to the sea. Along its pebbled banks, shallow pools that never
completely drained were teeming with life.
I was very cautious not to lean too far over the little ocean ponds. The others
were fearless, leaping over the rocks, perching precariously on the edges. I found
a very stable-looking rock on the fringe of one of the largest pools and sat there
cautiously, spellbound by the natural aquarium below me. The bouquets of
brilliant anemones undulated ceaselessly in the invisible current, twisted shells
scurried about the edges, obscuring the crabs within them, starfish stuck
motionless to the rocks and each other, while one small black eel with white
racing stripes wove through the bright green weeds, waiting for the sea to return.
I was completely absorbed, except for one small part of my mind that wondered
what Edward was doing now, and trying to imagine what he would be saying if
he were here with me.
Finally the boys were hungry, and I got up stiffly to follow them back. I tried to
keep up better this time through the woods, so naturally I fell a few times. I got
some shallow scrapes on my palms, and the knees of my jeans were stained
green, but it could have been worse.
When we got back to First Beach, the group we'd left behind had multiplied. As
we got closer we could see the shining, straight black hair and copper skin of the
newcomers, teenagers from the reservation come to socialize.
The food was already being passed around, and the boys hurried to claim a share
while Eric introduced us as we each entered the driftwood circle. Angela and I
were the last to arrive, and, as Eric said our names, I noticed a younger boy
sitting on the stones near the fire glance up at me in interest. I sat down next to
Angela, and Mike brought us sandwiches and an array of sodas to choose from,
while a boy who looked to be the oldest of the visitors rattled off the names of
the seven others with him. All I caught was that one of the girls was also named
Jessica, and the boy who noticed me was named Jacob.
It was relaxing to sit with Angela; she was a restful kind of person to be around
— she didn't feel the need to fill every silence with chatter. She left me free to
think undisturbed while we ate. And I was thinking about how disjointedly time
seemed to flow in Forks, passing in a blur at times, with single images standing
out more clearly than others. And then, at other times, every second was
significant, etched in my mind. I knew exactly what caused the difference, and it
disturbed me.
During lunch the clouds started to advance, slinking across the blue sky, darting
in front of the sun momentarily, casting long shadows across the beach, and
blackening the waves. As they finished eating, people started to drift away in
twos and threes. Some walked down to the edge of the waves, trying to skip
rocks across the choppy surface. Others were gathering a second expedition to
the tide pools. Mike — with Jessica shadowing him — headed up to the one
shop in the village. Some of the local kids went with them; others went along on
the hike. By the time they all had scattered, I was sitting alone on my driftwood
log, with Lauren and Tyler occupying themselves by the CD player someone had
thought to bring, and three teenagers from the reservation perched around the
circle, including the boy named Jacob and the oldest boy who had acted as
spokesperson.
A few minutes after Angela left with the hikers, Jacob sauntered over to take her
place by my side. He looked fourteen, maybe fifteen, and had long, glossy black
hair pulled back with a rubber band at the nape of his neck. His skin was
beautiful, silky and russet-colored; his eyes were dark, set deep above the high
planes of his cheekbones. He still had just a hint of childish roundness left
around his chin. Altogether, a very pretty face. However, my positive opinion of
his looks was damaged by the first words out of his mouth.
"You're Isabella Swan, aren't you?"
It was like the first day of school all over again.
"Bella," I sighed.
"I'm Jacob Black." He held his hand out in a friendly gesture. "You bought my
dad's truck."
"Oh," I said, relieved, shaking his sleek hand. "You're Billy's son. I probably
should remember you."
"No, I'm the youngest of the family — you would remember my older sisters."
"Rachel and Rebecca," I suddenly recalled. Charlie and Billy had thrown us
together a lot during my visits, to keep us busy while they fished. We were all
too shy to make much progress as friends. Of course, I'd kicked up enough
tantrums to end the fishing trips by the time I was eleven.
"Are they here?" I examined the girls at the ocean's edge, wondering if I would
recognize them now.
"No." Jacob shook his head. "Rachel got a scholarship to Washington State, and
Rebecca married a Samoan surfer — she lives in Hawaii now."
"Married. Wow." I was stunned. The twins were only a little over a year older
than I was.
"So how do you like the truck?" he asked.
"I love it. It runs great."
"Yeah, but it's really slow," he laughed. "I was so relived when Charlie bought it.
My dad wouldn't let me work on building another car when we had a perfectly
good vehicle right there."
"It's not that slow," I objected.
"Have you tried to go over sixty?"
"No," I admitted.
"Good. Don't." He grinned.
I couldn't help grinning back. "It does great in a collision," I offered in my
truck's defense.
"I don't think a tank could take out that old monster," he agreed with another
laugh.
"So you build cars?" I asked, impressed.
"When I have free time, and parts. You wouldn't happen to know where I could
get my hands on a master cylinder for a 1986 Volkswagen Rabbit?" he added
jokingly. He had a pleasant, husky voice.
"Sorry," I laughed, "I haven't seen any lately, but I'll keep my eyes open for
you." As if I knew what that was. He was very easy to talk with.
He flashed a brilliant smile, looking at me appreciatively in a way I was learning
to recognize. I wasn't the only one who noticed.
"You know Bella, Jacob?" Lauren asked — in what I imagined was an insolent
tone — from across the fire.
"We've sort of known each other since I was born," he laughed, smiling at me
again.
"How nice." She didn't sound like she thought it was nice at all, and her pale,
fishy eyes narrowed.
"Bella," she called again, watching my face carefully, "I was just saying to Tyler
that it was too bad none of the Cullens could come out today. Didn't anyone
think to invite them?" Her expression of concern was unconvincing.
"You mean Dr. Carlisle Cullen's family?" the tall, older boy asked before I could
respond, much to Lauren's irritation. He was really closer to a man than a boy,
and his voice was very deep.
"Yes, do you know them?" she asked condescendingly, turning halfway toward
him.
"The Cullens don't come here," he said in a tone that closed the subject, ignoring
her question.
Tyler, trying to win back her attention, asked Lauren's opinion on a CD he held.
She was distracted.
I stared at the deep-voiced boy, taken aback, but he was looking away toward the
dark forest behind us. He'd said that the Cullens didn't come here, but his tone
had implied something more — that they weren't allowed; they were prohibited.
His manner left a strange impression on me, and I tried to ignore it without
success.
Jacob interrupted my meditation. "So is Forks driving you insane yet?"
"Oh, I'd say that's an understatement." I grimaced. He grinned understandingly.
I was still turning over the brief comment on the Cullens, and I had a sudden
inspiration. It was a stupid plan, but I didn't have any better ideas. I hoped that
young Jacob was as yet inexperienced around girls, so that he wouldn't see
through my sure-to-be-pitiful attempts at flirting.
"Do you want to walk down the beach with me?" I asked, trying to imitate that
way Edward had of looking up from underneath his eyelashes. It couldn't have
nearly the same effect, I was sure, but Jacob jumped up willingly enough.
As we walked north across the multihued stones toward the driftwood seawall,
the clouds finally closed ranks across the sky, causing the sea to darken and the
temperature to drop. I shoved my hands deep into the pockets of my jacket.
"So you're, what, sixteen?" I asked, trying not to look like an idiot as I fluttered
my eyelids the way I'd seen girls do on TV.
"I just turned fifteen," he confessed, flattered.
"Really?" My face was full of false surprise. "I would have thought you were
older."
"I'm tall for my age," he explained.
"Do you come up to Forks much?" I asked archly, as if I was hoping for a yes. I
sounded idiotic to myself. I was afraid he would turn on me with disgust and
accuse me of my fraud, but he still seemed flattered.
"Not too much," he admitted with a frown. "But when I get my car finished I can
go up as much as I want — after I get my license," he amended.
"Who was that other boy Lauren was talking to? He seemed a little old to be
hanging out with us." I purposefully lumped myself in with the youngsters,
trying to make it clear that I preferred Jacob.
"That's Sam — he's nineteen," he informed me.
"What was that he was saying about the doctor's family?" I asked innocently.
"The Cullens? Oh, they're not supposed to come onto the reservation." He
looked away, out toward James Island, as he confirmed what I'd thought I'd
heard in Sam's voice.
"Why not?"
He glanced back at me, biting his lip. "Oops. I'm not supposed to say anything
about that."
"Oh, I won't tell anyone, I'm just curious." I tried to make my smile alluring,
wondering if I was laying it on too thick.
He smiled back, though, looking allured. Then he lifted one eyebrow and his
voice was even huskier than before.
"Do you like scary stories?" he asked ominously.
"I love them," I enthused, making an effort to smolder at him.
Jacob strolled to a nearby driftwood tree that had its roots sticking out like the
attenuated legs of a huge, pale spider. He perched lightly on one of the twisted
roots while I sat beneath him on the body of the tree. He stared down at the
rocks, a smile hovering around the edges of his broad lips. I could see he was
going to try to make this good. I focused on keeping the vital interest I felt out of
my eyes.
"Do you know any of our old stories, about where we came from — the
Quileutes, I mean?" he began.
"Not really," I admitted.
"Well, there are lots of legends, some of them claiming to date back to the Flood
— supposedly, the ancient Quileutes tied their canoes to the tops of the tallest
trees on the mountain to survive like Noah and the ark." He smiled, to show me
how little stock he put in the histories. "Another legend claims that we
descended from wolves — and that the wolves are our brothers still. It's against
tribal law to kill them.
"Then there are the stories about the cold ones." His voice dropped a little lower.
"The cold ones?" I asked, not faking my intrigue now.
"Yes. There are stories of the cold ones as old as the wolf legends, and some
much more recent. According to legend, my own great-grandfather knew some
of them. He was the one who made the treaty that kept them off our land." He
rolled his eyes.
"Your great-grandfather?" I encouraged.
"He was a tribal elder, like my father. You see, the cold ones are the natural
enemies of the wolf—well, not the wolf, really, but the wolves that turn into
men, like our ancestors. You would call them werewolves."
"Werewolves have enemies?"
"Only one."
I stared at him earnestly, hoping to disguise my impatience as admiration.
"So you see," Jacob continued, "the cold ones are traditionally our enemies. But
this pack that came to our territory during my great-grandfather's time was
different. They didn't hunt the way others of their kind did — they weren't
supposed to be dangerous to the tribe. So my great-grandfather made a truce
with them. If they would promise to stay off our lands, we wouldn't expose them
to the pale-faces." He winked at me.
"If they weren't dangerous, then why… ?" I tried to understand, struggling not to
let him see how seriously I was considering his ghost story.
"There's always a risk for humans to be around the cold ones, even if they're
civilized like this clan was. You never know when they might get too hungry to
resist." He deliberately worked a thick edge of menace into his tone.
"What do you mean, 'civilized'?"
"They claimed that they didn't hunt humans. They supposedly were somehow
able to prey on animals instead."
I tried to keep my voice casual. "So how does it fit in with the Cullens? Are they
like the cold ones your greatgrandfather met?"
"No." He paused dramatically. "They are the same ones."
He must have thought the expression on my face was fear inspired by his story.
He smiled, pleased, and continued.
"There are more of them now, a new female and a new male, but the rest are the
same. In my great-grandfather's time they already knew of the leader, Carlisle.
He'd been here and gone before your people had even arrived." He was fighting
a smile.
"And what are they?" I finally asked. "What are the cold ones?"
He smiled darkly.
"Blood drinkers," he replied in a chilling voice. "Your people call them
vampires."
I stared out at the rough surf after he answered, not sure what my face was
exposing.
"You have goose bumps," he laughed delightedly.
"You're a good storyteller," I complimented him, still staring into the waves.
"Pretty crazy stuff, though, isn't it? No wonder my dad doesn't want us to talk
about it to anyone."
I couldn't control my expression enough to look at him yet. "Don't worry, I won't
give you away."
"I guess I just violated the treaty," he laughed.
"I'll take it to the grave," I promised, and then I shivered.
"Seriously, though, don't say anything to Charlie. He was pretty mad at my dad
when he heard that some of us weren't going to the hospital since Dr. Cullen
started working there."
"I won't, of course not."
"So do you think we're a bunch of superstitious natives or what?" he asked in a
playful tone, but with a hint of worry. I still hadn't looked away from the ocean.
I turned and smiled at him as normally as I could.
"No. I think you're very good at telling scary stories, though. I still have goose
bumps, see?" I held up my arm.
"Cool." He smiled.
And then the sound of the beach rocks clattering against each other warned us
that someone was approaching. Our heads snapped up at the same time to see
Mike and Jessica about fifty yards away, walking toward us.
"There you are, Bella," Mike called in relief, waving his arm over his head.
"Is that your boyfriend?" Jacob asked, alerted by the jealous edge in Mike's
voice. I was surprised it was so obvious.
"No, definitely not," I whispered. I was tremendously grateful to Jacob, and
eager to make him as happy as possible. I winked at him, carefully turning away
from Mike to do so. He smiled, elated by my inept flirting.
"So when I get my license…" he began.
"You should come see me in Forks. We could hang out sometime." I felt guilty
as I said this, knowing that I'd used him. But I really did like Jacob. He was
someone I could easily be friends with.
Mike had reached us now, with Jessica still a few paces back. I could see his
eyes appraising Jacob, and looking satisfied at his obvious youth.
"Where have you been?" he asked, though the answer was right in front of him.
"Jacob was just telling me some local stories," I volunteered. "It was really
interesting."
I smiled at Jacob warmly, and he grinned back.
"Well," Mike paused, carefully reassessing the situation as he watched our
camaraderie. "We're packing up — it looks like it's going to rain soon."
We all looked up at the glowering sky. It certainly did look like rain.
"Okay." I jumped up. "I'm coming."
"It was nice to see you again," Jacob said, and I could tell he was taunting Mike
just a bit.
"It really was. Next time Charlie comes down to see Billy, I'll come, too," I
promised.
His grin stretched across his face. "That would be cool."
"And thanks," I added earnestly.
I pulled up my hood as we tramped across the rocks toward the parking lot. A
few drops were beginning to fall, making black spots on the stones where they
landed. When we got to the Suburban the others were already loading everything
back in. I crawled into the backseat by Angela and Tyler, announcing that I'd
already had my turn in the shotgun position. Angela just stared out the window
at the escalating storm, and Lauren twisted around in the middle seat to occupy
Tyler's attention, so I could simply lay my head back on the seat and close my
eyes and try very hard not to think.
Twilighter
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23 / F / A place where eve...
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Posted 12/17/08
thanks 4 this story....
Twilighter
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24 / F / FORKS,WASHINGTON;...
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Posted 1/3/09
lala
Posted 2/4/09
love it..ehh??! =)
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