Chapter 4 - Definitely Crazy
I kept trying to convince myself that I wasn't really crazy and that I was just fervently interested in a topic. That made me seem much more normal and calmed me down a little bit. I kept all conversations about my vampire dreams to myself, and that made David begin to contact me more as though he finally realized I was becoming normal again. Normal was such a relative term though, but whatever kept him happy was good enough for me. Edward and Bella kept up with their same routine; their love was exploding from them and Edward just as smart as ever though he missed class every sunny day. Bella, however, had a little more difficulty keeping up, but with a stellar tutor like her man, I'm sure she had no issues with her grades.
Interestingly, I managed to keep my grades up despite my new obsession with vampires. I wondered: if they truly did exist and the Cullens were what I expected them to be, would I want to join their ranks? Even if I did, would they let me? I dreamed what it was like to be a vampire. It had to be pretty good if they could kill the huge animals that I found hidden amongst the mountains. Maybe I ought to tell them to be a bit more careful with their hunting. I was definitely still going insane despite my efforts to keep my mind in check, and I knew I went completely over the line when I met the Volturi.
I was hanging out in the little field of bushes and trees a few miles off campus one day, my special spot where I first saw Emmett, though I never saw him or Bella here again. I was reading one of those vampire lore books when I saw four hooded figures walking quickly towards my direction, faster than I thought possible for any human, but I knew that was my mind embellishing real facts again, especially when it meant the possibility of things beyond humanity being in existence. While I debated with myself whether I lost my mind or fell asleep into another dream, I could not take my eyes off the figures. They were walking in a perfect diamond formation that never broke, never faltered no matter how fast they moved. As they swung around and wove in between trees, the diamond remained perfect as though steel rods connected the four. Before I knew it, the smallest of the four, a young, blonde, boyish girl looked intensely at me with fiendish red eyes.
"Your name," she said firmly, her skin as ashen as the Cullens'.
"Excuse me?" I muttered, confused. She smiled at me and I felt a burning sensation choking at my throat that quickly spread like a manic firestorm through every aching vessel in my body. I couldn't tell if I was screaming, as the pain was too great for me to focus on any other sense.
"Your name," she said again, commandingly. She had a soft, feminine voice that echoed like a Viking's cry. It made me shake a bit in fear, or perhaps I was still shaking from the blazing flame that had just flooded my body. I couldn't think clearly, nor could I figure out what this woman wanted from me as she stared intently at me. I looked up at her and saw that another figure, about the same age as her, with dark hair, but the same white skin, and horrific red eyes stood far in the back of the diamond figure, a smirk on his face. The other two were large, burlesque guys with huge muscles under their dark apparel, but their skin and eyes were identical to the younger two.
"I believe Jane asked you a question," one of the men said in a deep voice. The young girl in the front of the formation lifted her hand up towards him.
"Felix," was all she said, and the huge man that could have easily torn her in half knelt down to her in genuflection as though scared of this puny thing. The girl then looked at me, and once again that devilish smile brought a pain so intense into my body that I was quivering helplessly. I finally understood. The big one followed her diplomatic orders, as she was the one causing this incorrigible pain with that little smile of hers. He feared her and obeyed her every command because she could inflict a burning worse than death with the flick of her lips.
"Your name," she said again in her singsong voice, tough, commanding, domineering.
"Bradley Perez," I sputtered out quickly, fearful of once again being overwhelmed by that mysterious pain.
"What could Aro want with such a useless child?" the young boy at the back scoffed. Who was Aro and more importantly, who were these four and what the hell were they? For sure they were nothing close to humans.
"Tell me what you know of the Cullens," Jane said, ignoring the comment from the other. She looked at me with a cynical glare, those crimson eyes making me shake. I scrambled through my scattered brain for a quick answer, fearful of being inundated in her wrath. I was still lost in whether this was a dream or reality, who they were, what they were, and what they wanted. But I knew that if I didn't provide an answer quickly, I would certainly be dead.
"All I know is that Edward and Bella have weird qualities..." I muttered as fast as I could. I didn't want to anger the demon in this child. "They...they have eyes different than most, they glow, like yours, except in gold and not red. I never see them eat, they have magickal voices and sweet-scented, marble skin, qualities that I don't see in regular humans."
"Is that all?" Fleix laughed. "This is a mere, mortal idiot! What possible threat could Isaac have seen in him?" His statement angered me; while it was true I was a mere mortal that possessed no threat, why would he call me an idiot? I gritted my teeth to avoid speaking, for I feared what this girl was capable of. If the giant muscle-heads feared her, then I was sure she could do more than just throw me into the agonizing pain of fiery hell.
"I have theories," I blurted, unable to hold myself back anymore as the four mocked me. Jane quickly turned her head and leered at me, one eyebrow raised. I was sure she would blast me with instant pain, but she only smiled.
"Theories?" was all she said. She was quite laconic, using words as if they each cost her an arm.
"I believe they are more than human, like vampires. They possess many qualities of vampires such as changing eyes, and I've seen hunted animals, glittering skin in the sun," I said quickly. I didn't know why I was explaining all this to four strangers who most likely wanted me dead, but the words just flowed out of me. "I saw the child, who grows too quickly to be human, I saw the way Bella tries to stay far from humans, with Edward always shielding her. And I hear them talking about heartbeats, and smells of humans."
"Oh?" the girl seemed a bit more interested, and she smirked. I winced and quickly backed away, knowing that her smile brought on the pain.
"He learns quick," the younger male chuckled at my response.
"I could see Isaac's concern," Felix scoffed. "This will please Aro. Perhaps they've done enough to be convicted of a sin."
"Come with me," Jane said quickly, as though once again ignoring the comments of her peers.
"Excuse me?" I asked confused. She looked at me again and smiled, but before the pain flooded my entire body again, I ran as quickly as I could to the center of the diamond. She had me on a leash and could ask me to do all she desired, and I could not say no. I didn't want to feel the fires burning inside me again. I wondered when I would awaken from this nightmare, and wished that I truly was going insane, a drug able to cure me and remove all these thoughts of insanity from my mind. How I wished for Jane and these other three to just vanish before my eyes.
Keep to yourself...I laughed at the voice in my head. I had a tendency to never listen to myself, and that's what always got me into trouble. I always did something stupid...
"I asked you to be in by 6:30am," I said angrily as the girl raised her eyebrow at me.
"Or what? You're gonna fire me?" she scowled.
"Jenna, please," I begged. "It's 9am, you're late every day and all the other workers are beginning to hate me because I let you slide for all of this while they have to work hard."
"So then fire me if you want," she winked at me. "By the way, I need some money to get a new pair of shoes."
"But I just gave you a raise two weeks ago!" I shouted in disbelief.
"What so I get a raise and you don't love me no more?" Jenna snapped at me. I hung my head down in shame and sighed. Unwillingly, I emptied the contents of my wallet into her hands. "That's it?" she muttered before walking out the store. I could feel the pity, the scorn and mockery that filled the eyes of my employees who stared at me shamefully.
"Wait Jenna!" I shouted, but she didn't bother coming back for the remainder of her shift. It was always like this, and it would always be like this. Everyone at work knew that she got paid more than them, that she would never get fired though she was late every day and didn't work even when she bothered to show up. She had me on a leash and did what she pleased because I unconscionably loved her. They all hated me and disrespected me for being so unfair and letting a witch of a girl control me, but they couldn't understand. They couldn't understand the agony that cut my hollow interior, and how her auburn hair and gentle, earthy eyes filled the void just slightly, reminding me of the greatness that my mother once was. Nobody could understand, but my brother. And sometimes even his sympathy had its limits.
I knew that every other day, she was clinging onto a different man, but somehow, stupidly, I always went back to her like a moth to a flame. I thought of the number of times my brother had found me, bleeding on the ground after once again being attacked by one of the men that thought she was his. I thought of all the things I hated, all the things I ran away from, but this, this was the worst thing I've ever gotten into. That is, if this were really not a dream.
"Let me carry him, it will be much quicker," Felix complained as we walked through the snowy terrain. For some incredulous reason, we were climbing the steepest mountains of New Hampshire, and the diamond formation still remained unbroken, though moving slower due to my sluggish, human pace. Clearly, the mountains did not affect these four the way they bothered me, and I stumbled in the snow.
"Do as you wish," Jane said quickly. Terrified, I looked at the muscular giant to my right, who grinned, flashing his shiny teeth at me.
"Alec?" he said, turning back to the other. I tried to look back at him, not knowing what was going to happen, but my mind went blank. I could no longer feel my body, as though a wave of nothingness had just washed out everything from my mind. A complete opposite from the pain Jane inflicted, I no longer felt a thing. And soon enough, I could no longer think. The last thought that crossed my mind was that I was definitely crazy.