January 9, 2012
“Esme, to save you I had to change you, to one of us.”
I replayed the words over-and-over in my head. Didn’t he understand? I hadn’t wanted to be saved. I had wanted to be with my precious boys.
First things first, I needed to get away from there. I searched for an escape route, a way to freedom. There was a door across the room, but Carlisle was blocking that path. The only other way out of the room that was holding me captive was by the window to my left. I didn’t know what floor I was on – only that I certainly wasn’t on the ground floor. There were trees outside of the window – and I could only see the bushy, green leaves; not the bark that covered the bottom of a tree.
Just Jump, I said to myself. I glanced to the window again, trying to weigh how fast I needed to move to make it there. In the time it took for me to turn half an inch towards the window to make my escape, the boy was already standing in front of the it, blocking my path.
He was very fast.
I wondered how he knew that I was about to make a break for it.
I stared at him in complete amazement. How had he made it to the window before me? I had been closer to the door. Who was this boy? He had the same buttery golden eyes as Carlisle; the same pale, porcelain skin. He was sort of… beautiful.
The young boy pinched the bridge of his nose; he looked awfully frustrated – by what I didn’t know.
“My throat!” I exclaimed. And as I did, I heard the sound of my voice. I hadn’t taken any notice of it before, and the pureness of it shocked me. It was then that I felt the intense burn in my throat; I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. As I reached for my neck I noticed the white, pearlescent tone of my skin. This could not be happening to me. I had a whole new set of questions racing through my head all at once, but before I could speak, the boy spoke to me.
“Esme, all that Carlisle has told you is true,” he began, his voice almost musical. “I know you have a lot of questions for me and Carlisle. The first I will answer now. My name is Edward, and I am a long-time friend of Carlisle’s. I mean you no harm – for I, too, am a vampire.”
I turned toward Carlisle. It was an instant movement; the moment I thought about turning to face him, I was already facing him. I was able to move so fast. “Dr. Cullen,” I began, all the while the burning in my throat had its scorching-hot grips on me.
“Please Esme, call me Carlisle,” he politely interrupted.
I frowned but didn’t argue. “Carlisle, why did you take it upon yourself to save me?”
Carlisle flickered his eyes at Edward, then back to me. I might had missed the movement if I had not been watching him so closely.
“Esme, your throat must be unbearable,” he said, his tone thick with sympathy. “We can take care of that right now. And any questions you have after that, I would be more than happy to answer.”
At this, Edward nodded in agreeance once.
“It hurts,” I whimpered as I attempted to drown out the flames in my throat with my hands. Carlisle approached me then, slowly at first, like someone approaching an armed man. He held his hand out for me, but I pulled back from him.
“Esme, it’s okay. Please let me help you take care of your thirst.”
“My what?!” I exclaimed, and not for the first time that day.
“Follow me, Esme,” Carlisle said, his voice pleasant, calming. And with that he gracefully walked out of the door, holding it open for me.
As I stepped forward, I did so with such grace. I followed Carlisle out the door, through the house. Everything was so clear, so incredibly detailed. Following Carlisle through the kitchen, I took in the size of it. It was very large.
Why do they have a kitchen? I thought. I wasn’t an expert on vampires, but I had been under the impression they didn’t eat…. normal food. I shuddered as I thought about what they did eat. Was this what happened to all the people who went missing? Had the man I dreamt about all these years actually turned into a stone-faced killer?
As I neared the back door – that Carlisle was holding open for me – I felt something on my arm, holding me back. Within an eighth-of- a-second I had my back to Carlisle, facing whatever had grabbed my arm. I crouched on the floor like a panther ready to pounce, hissing a warning through my teeth.
In front of me stood the boy. Edward. He held his long, pale, hands up in front of him, as though I were about to shoot him. Slowly, cautiously, I stood up, ashamed that I had turned on Edward like that
“I’m sorry,” I whispered, somewhat embarrassed.
“Esme, it is okay. I understand,” Edward said gently. “Before we leave I think Carlisle and I should explain our…. diet.” And with that he nodded to Carlisle who stepped back into the kitchen, taking a step towards me he gently placed his hand on my arm, leading me to the table and chairs in the centre of the kitchen.
Carlisle pulled out a chair for me to sit on. Edward and Carlisle sat down too. I stared at them, waiting for an explanation. Edward was the first to speak.
“Esme, I know you have a lot of questions, and we will try to answer some of them now before we leave to hunt.”
I winced slightly at the thought of having to “hunt.”
“Firstly, I have a special gift, so to speak. I am able to hear people’s thoughts. So everything you have thought while I have been in your presence, I have heard as well. This is how I knew you were thinking about escaping through the window. That is why I got there first.” He paused for a few seconds, to let me digest what he’d just told me, then continued. “Secondly, there will be some things that you’ve noticed that are different about us. We are extremely fast and strong. Our sight, hearing and smell are extremely enhanced.”
Edward turned to Carlisle at this point as I tried desperately to take in everything he had just told me.
“Thirdly,” Carlisle began, “we are not the conventional vampires you’ve heard of. As you can see, we try to live amongst humans as normally as we can. Most of the stories you have heard are myths, untrue. We don’t eat the things that humans eat, we can’t. We survive off the blood of—”
I covered my face with my hands. I could hear his voice but didn’t hear what he was telling me anymore. I needed to get out of here. There was some mistake. This wasn’t me, and it couldn’t be. I pushed the table out of my way – toward Edward and Carlisle – with a great deal of force, then turned in horror to the door that Carlisle had left open.
Before I could think about what I was doing, I was running. Running for the door and the thick trees I saw beyond it. I carried on running, trying to rid my head of the images that smothered it. As I ran, my thoughts changed. I could see everything so clear, each leaf of a passing bush, even the tiny insects that called the trees their home. I began to slow my speed, seeing more as I did. My hearing was phenomenal, just like Edward had said. I could hear the insects as they climbed the tree bark, the sound drew me closer.
Unreal, I whispered to myself.
Although I had been running for quite some time, to get away from that house and those… those vampires – I shuddered at that word – I was still surrounded by trees. I closed my eyes and listened to the woods, trying to decipher all the different sounds I could hear. I heard a gentle stream in the distance; I could hear the water lapping at the rocks as it washed over them.
Then I heard laughter.
Two people. It had to be two, there were two different voices. I could hear them splashing, joking and laughing in the distance. They sounded so happy that it drew me closer to them. I wanted to remember what it had been like to be like that with… Johnathon.
I felt the wind change direction. That’s when I caught their scent.
The sweet, intoxicating, scent.
I could feel the white hot heat rise in my throat. I had never smelled anything so enticing in all my life. In that instant I knew that I had to have whatever it was that created that glorious smell. I wanted it to coat my throat, to relieve the dry, blazing hot burn.
I ran slower this time, inhaling the scent with each breath. Each time I inhaled, the hot poker would dig a little deeper into my charring throat. Soon I was so close that the smell had become an impossibly strong bouquet of intriguing scent.
They laughed louder, too, but I still did not connect the two together. I slowed to stop, just meters away from the smell. I could feel my mouth become moist and my throat burned unbearably now.
I made myself wait. Looking through the branches, I could see the stream, but I couldn’t see what was creating the smell, or the laughter. I peered off in the distance now, so I could see further down the stream, and that’s when I saw them. A young couple playing around in the stream, flicking water up at each other. They were clearly in love.
I closed my eyes, remembering the way Johnathon and I had been; our tree, and the things we had been through together. Moving closer so that I could get a better look, the smell hit me like I had been punched in the throat.
These two people were what I was hunting. I didn’t think, I just knew. I was overwhelmed by the desire for their blood. I focused on veins I could see pulsating on their necks. I could hear each beat of their hearts. As I watched, I analyzed how I could satisfy my desire in the most effective way. I needed to satisfy it, and in that moment, that’s all I knew. It was all I cared about.
With that last thought, I crouched low then sprang at the couple. I grabbed the boy in what would be a blur to the human eye, climbing up on his back, clawing at his skin as I climbed. Within seconds, I was sinking my teeth into his throat, drawing out his sweet blood. I felt my throat cool with every drop of the warm blood as it trickled down into my body.
I felt his body jump and jerk as he tried to fight me off, but I was far too strong. Far too strong for this mere human boy who collapsed like a rag doll beneath my grips. He stood no chance against me. That was when I realized just how powerful I really was. The boy threw his body to the floor and thrashed around in his pathetic attempt to throw me off, yet I held my tight grip and continued to drink from his weakening frame.
Once I felt him go limp in my arms, I threw his body away. The girl screamed so loud it could have almost been deafening to a humans ears. What a stupid human, sticking around. Did she not have instincts?
As I stood up to my full height, I found I wanted her too. I smiled and raised an eyebrow as I walked slowly toward her, as though I were stalking my prey. With each graceful step I took forward, she stepped back until a tree halted her. I continued my advance, crouching down, and then I lunged myself at her. As I hugged the girl close, my teeth ripped at her neck until I found what I was searching for, then my teeth sank down hard.
She didn’t try to fight as the boy had. No, she stood there and let me drink, her head turned slightly as if she was allowing me to do what I needed. I loosened my grip on her and felt her head roll back, then I saw her eyes close slowly as her life ebbed away. I let her cooling body drop from my grip and she slumped to the ground.
I looked around at the two bodies on the ground, white from the blood loss they had endured. I peered closer and saw they were very young, younger than I had initially thought; they were merely children, someone else’s child. After everything I had been through myself, I had just taken the lives of two children, they couldn’t have been more than fourteen or fifteen years old.
I murdered them without a second thought to who they were, or the families that they had waiting for them at home. I felt shame wash over me then I fell to my knees and screamed. I wanted to cry, but no matter how hard I tried, the tears wouldn’t come, so I carried on screaming as I tore at my face with my fingernails. But no matter how much pressure I used, my nails didn’t tear my skin. As I sat there screaming, I heard soft footsteps walking toward me and I froze in terror. I held my breath praying another human had not come to this very spot.
“Esme?” I heard the soft whisper. “Esme, darling it’s okay, I’m here now.”
And with that, two arms surrounded my body as Carlisle held me. I looked up at him expecting him to be angry with me, or to look disgusted at what I had done. But neither anger or disgust was on his face, only sympathy and guilt.
I heard Edward speak then. “Carlisle, we must hide this, now.”
Carlisle only nodded at him and held me tighter. Eventually Carlisle pulled me to my feet and supported me as I walked with him. We walked away from Edward, leaving him to dispose of my mess. How he did it, I don’t know. Carlisle had picked me up effortlessly and carried me back toward the house.
Love Esme xxx