Episode III - Conversion
"This will hurt a little," I heard her voice echoing in my head. Secretly, Bella and I had agreed that my being human would hurt the Cullens and my brother more than being a newborn. She knew what it was like to be in my position, and she knew the torment of being the only human, watching the others being what she wanted to be. Even if my brother and I both survived, upon being reunited, I would want to be converted to be with him, and he would probably disagree. The only way we could truly be reunited was for me to be converted now.
"You will be in pain for about three days, but don't worry, you'll get through it. Just think about something positive." she explained. How angry would the Cullens be?
Three days? Three days were trivial if I would be able to protect my brother. That was what I thought until I felt her sharp teeth pierce my throat. This was not even the worst part. As my blood drained out of me, I felt my body weakening, and I was sure death was inevitable, until I felt the pain from my neck start spreading throughout my body, every beat of my heart pushing out the agony farther into the outer edges of my limbs. The burning fire made me wish that I had died.
But no! I had to survive for the sake of my brother. I couldn't stand the idea of him getting hurt, and if something were to happen, I had to be the one to do it. He would forgive me and he would understand if I were the one to fight him, but I could not let him hate the Cullens. Not after everything they were doing to try and help me. As these thoughts circled my head, the unbearable pain that was burning through my body started to dissipate. Had three days passed already?
The pain suddenly intensified, but only in my throat. I tried to get up, and before I knew it, I was on my feet and fluttering across the room with mercurial speed. I could hear voices through the door, and though they were whispers, I could hear the voices clearly. The Cullens were talking about me, Bella being furiously scolded for going against their wishes. I looked in the mirror tacked on the wall, and gasped at the reflection. My skin was a flawless marble white like the rest of the Cullens, and I looked much more attractive than I had ever been. Was it a vampire trait to become gorgeous? It would be understandable considering the necessity to lure humans for their blood.
"You did a good job," Alice spoke softly and I could sense that Bella smiled in response. Jasper and Edward were brooding in the corner, clearly upset of their decision. Carlisle and Esme were also unhappy, but at this point they were more concerned about how I was. How could I see every action, every motion so clearly in the room next door? Was it a vampire trait to be able to clearly view ones surroundings, hear everything, and feel every emotion and action that was ongoing? I gazed back into the mirror as I pondered the chaotic sea of emotions, thoughts, memories. They could not all belong to me.
As I studied my features, I met the intense gaze of my ebony eyes, a tiny strip of red fluttering in them. They frightened me, and were nowhere near the honey-gold of the Cullens. Is this one of the features of what they called a newborn? As I studied myself, I noticed an alluring sound. I heard the quick beating of hearts, and while I knew not what I was feeling, the sudden urge to burst out of the room and feel the heart pump raw blood inside of my empty body seemed inevitable. I lost all control of my body, and my mind plunged into a fanatic frenzy.
The sweet sound lured me out of the room and into the common area where the group of Cullens assumed defensive positions around a russet-furred wolf holding the beating heart. At this point, the thundering beat no longer interested me as sweet smells of heavenly bliss exuded from the floor below me. It seemed simple to me: rip through the wall of useless carcasses and enter the heavenly bliss of warmth trickling down my begging throat. The wolf's blood was muddy, but what he was hiding in his thick fur, the plump fruit snuggling to prevent exposure of her human side drove me insane. Fortunately for her, the smell of fresh, untainted blood from below was much more appealing. I would save the wolf and girl for later.
"What's going on?" One of the vampires hissed at Carlisle "I thought the transformation took three days."
"That is usually the case," Carlisle flipped through an ancient tome that I looked at quizzically.
"I guess Bella was wrong," Edward frowned, and braced himself in front of what was rightfully mine. Angered, I snarled viciously before plunging in for my attack. "Don't let him out of this room!" Edward shouted.
"Stop him!" Bella cried, running quickly to aid who she thought was my prime target.
"Oh it's on," the biggest of the group muttered angrily as he pulled himself off the ground and lunged at me from behind. He thought it would be a surprise attack, but I could hear the thoughts of everyone in the room. I felt their minds, their thoughts, their every move. This hurricane of voices and memories almost ruptured my mind, but the thirst was all-consuming, allowing my body to seek its needs even without direction from my addled brain. Did I swing my arm back at the assailant, or did he willingly plunge out the window, a blonde jumping out to save him?
"Edward what's going on?" Esme asked anxiously.
"I don't know, I can't read his thoughts, there's too much noise," he rubbed his temples, struggling to get up off his knees.
"Noise?" Carlisle asked confused. I felt a searing pain in my arm as the wolf bit down into my flesh, but it hardly bothered me as the pain in my throat surpassed all limits.
"Stop him!" Alice screeched. "There are people on the floor below!"
"Dave please!" Bella screamed at the top of her lungs as I pummeled the useless mutt. She grabbed my arm and I tossed her against the wall, trying desperately to break free and tear through the floor below me to reach the couple snuggling on their couch.
"No!" Edward and Alice both flew towards me, but I easily slammed them away and got my hands on Nessie. I realized it was too difficult to break away from them all to reach the pristine blood below, and for now, the tainted blood of the half-human should suffice.
"Bradley!" the little girl giggled, in no way sharing the fear of the others in the room. I looked at the peachy-skinned girl who glowed an exuberant radiance of blood.
"Bradley?" I thought I spoke, but the mellifluous voice that escaped me could not be mine. Was it one of the voices that were hovering in my mind?
"I missed you, Bradley!" the girl smiled brightly, placing her warm hand on my cheeks. Her fiery touch brought an image of herself holding tightly onto the leg of a familiar man through my eyes, and suddenly a blaze of thoughts, memories, images, screams, and emotions inundated my perception. The young girl chirped in glee as the male smiled brightly. He was always great with children. He hated adults, but the peaceful innocence of childhood was a jewel he deeply admired.
"Oh god!" Edward shook his head frantically. "Bella, shield him!"
"What?" the girl asked confused as she struggled to her feet. Edward composed himself and both he and Jasper pinned me against a wall, the wolf quickly procuring Nessie to safety.
"Brad..." I mumbled, finally remembering who I was. The burning in my throat still drove me insane, but the exploding fury in my head helped ignore it slightly. In the hazy mist of my addled mind, I could see clearly the person who I should be saving. Nessie, with her special powers flooded the memories of my brother into my mind and brought me back to my senses.
"His thoughts...there's so much going on in his head," Edward mumbled.
"A new power," Carlisle mumbled, quickly flipping through his tome.
"What...is this..." I barely whispered as I struggled to sift through the mess of my own mind. I expected to be burning in insatiable thirst as I had been warned of this, but I was not prepared for the suffering torment of screaming victims ringing in my ears. "You warned me of the pain of being a newborn...is this it?"
"Unfortunately there is more going on in your case," Carlisle frowned.
"We need to feed him now," Jasper said blatantly.
"I understand, but please be careful. We still do not understand the full extent to his powers," Carlisle said.
"Can we let you go?" Jasper glared, his face full of antipathy.
"Just keep an eye on me," I replied worriedly.
"Of course," he said before releasing me.
"What the hell was that!?" Emmett barked when both he and Rosalie returned.
"I'm trying to figure it out," Carlisle frowned. "Please take him out to feed while I research."
"I'll tear this punk in half if-" Emmett began. Bella stopped him.
"I'm sorry to be so much trouble," I mumbled guiltily, struggling to ignore the alluring scent of blood, tearing through the massive chaos. "I didn't think it would be so hard to deal with the conversion." My nostrils flared, and my body trembled as I once again imagined myself feeling the sweet, thick blood flooding through my mouth and down my begging throat. Jasper held tightly onto me, and I could see the aura of tranquility, joy, all positive emotions flooding around him.
"It's not your fault," Bella reassured me with a smile. How could she be forgiving when seconds ago, I attempted to murder her child and best friend.
"I...I can't!" I shouted out as I plunged out the window, incapable of being near the one thing I desired most.
"Let's hurry," Edward said as he followed me out , Rosalie, Alice, and Emmett right behind him. Jasper stayed closest to me.
"So you're planning on breaking your vegan oath?" Emmett grinned. "That was quite a show you put on before."
"I'm sorry," I didn't know how many times I could apologize before the guilt would start to disappear. The worst part was that I knew I would do it again as I had no control over my body fiending for blood. Normally, I would be able to fight off unconscionable impulses using reason and logic, but now the strongest quality I had was addled. My brain did not function properly and was littered with external thoughts. Was I a mind-reader like Edward? I wondered if he faced the same struggle.
"It's different for me," Edward tried to console me. "Don't feel bad about anything, I've never seen anyone go through more than what's happening to you. Nobody blames you for your slip-up, you're facing the difficulty of a newborn along with some questionable ability."
"I don't want to hurt them," I explained in my majestic voice I was still not used to. I sped off into the mountains, wanting for a second to be far enough that I would not be able to attack them again. I also tried frantically to escape the thoughts that clamored in my mind. I no longer knew what was real and what was not, what made up my own memories and what was mere pollution from those surrounding me.
"You don't have to be so dramatic," Emmett laughed his hearty laugh.
"You don't understand, it's so difficult to be around the blood, but when I try to run, the memories haunt me. I can taste blood I've never tasted. I can see things I've never experienced." I jumped up on a steep hill, and rushed to the sweetest smells that filled my nostrils. It was much better than the vampire-tainted blood of Nessie or guilt-tainted blood of humans that moments ago I thought was the most luscious. I plunged into a cave and saw a giant bear growling at me.
"Let's see what I was missing out on," I smiled and attacked the beast that clawed at me. The anger, the ire that flooded every muscle in my body could not have belonged to me. His attempts to fight me off were futile as I unleashed movements that I could never have learned myself. I sank my teeth into him effortlessly and drained him completely. My throat still throbbed intensely, the heavy blood of the bear not nearly as satisfying as the sweetness of humans. As I stared at the lifeless creature, I knelt down, horrified at what I had just done. It couldn't have been me who mercilessly tore this innocent creature apart.
"Spirit of the bear, take no harm in my actions. This was only the circle of life. I'm sorry and I thank you for the sacrifice of your life to make me stronger," I prayed. Where had I learned these words? What shaman taught me the correct ways to sacrifice the remains of an animal that provides sustenance?
"What the heck are you doing?" Emmett stood at the mouth of the cave, arms crossed, brow raised.
"I respect the life of any creature," I muttered, picking up the empty carcass of the bear. It looked rather heavy, but it was no strain to my new body, brimming with energy.
"What so you're gonna bury that useless thing?" Emmett chuckled.
"Do not speak ill of the dead," I glowered at him, and suddenly, the wave of anger returned. The chuckling echoed in my thoughts as I recalled the numerous animals I have already killed. The number of times I fed with the other Cullens. How I would sometimes race with the sweet, blonde-haired beauty who was both unpredictable and a raging fireball. The shaman within me was not angry – no, he could feel no anger. Only sorrow and an incessant longing to free the spirit of the animals I had tormented.
"Let me help," Emmett said. He took the bear from me, and jumped out of the cave. I could think of nothing else but following him as the pleasant memories of my time with the majestic blonde continued to circle through my mind. When he landed on the ground, he slammed his fist against the hard ice, splitting through to the cold soil below. He then dug frantically at the hardened dirt, very rapidly forming a hole big enough for the bear to fit in. I was surprised at his actions, and stared motionless as he performed a proper burial for the creature I killed. He worked, just as my ancestors had done during their rituals.
"What the hell are you doing?" the girl of my happiest memories punched Emmett in the shoulder.
"Huh? What?" he looked a bit dazed. "What just happened?"
"It looked like you were burying something," Rosalie chuckled loudly. "Don't tell me you're getting soft on me!"
"What! No way!" Emmett shouted. "What the hell just happened?"
"You should keep your voices down," Edward said, joining us with Jasper.
"That kid just forced me to perform a fucking burial!" Emmett shouted angrily at me.
"Forced you?" I shook my head, and the inappropriate thoughts of Rosalie quickly escaped me, being replaced by misery, anguish, fear, and worry, all of which I could not differentiate between my own and from the Cullens.
"Let's go talk to Carlisle," Edward said, looking at me intently.