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In the shade of Notre Dame

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Pain. Pain wracking my body, fire burning my bones to nothing. I can hear my screams, distant as they are, in the same way that I can taste the blood in my throat. Which is to say, I can't. It just feels logical. If I'm in so much pain, surely I'm screaming, and crying, and trashing around ? It makes sense. I don't know. I'm not sure. The pain drowns pretty much everything, and I've never cursed my brain more. My so-called intelligence. Congrats, Anna, you're a zebra ! Whoop-fucking-doo. Congrats, what a joke. Being different is a pain. I'd know.

I was a zebra Before, too.

It's fun, almost. The pain drowns everything, and it makes it easier to remember. Before. Before I was born Anastasia Sarah Swan (Thanks for the acronym, Mom, it doesn't suck at all !). Back when I was French, and short, and even more of a failure. The Girl That Never Succeeded. That had been me. Born smart, and yet utterly without talent. Given everything to be happy, and yet riddled with anxiety and depression. Desperate to be loved, and yet unable to trust anyone.
It had been a lonely life. One I had spent lost in books, musics and movies, to try and forget how empty I felt. How much I hated myself. Failure. Pathetic. Burden. Stupid. Ugly. Waste of space. The love of my family felt worse than anything, back then. Something I did not deserve.

Art had been my escape. Music, movies, pottery, books. They had allowed me to flee, to forget myself and become someone else for a few hours.

I still had not expected to end up in one. I had not expected to die, either, looking back. Not the way I had, and not the way I currently am. It's as if, somehow, the pain has managed to climb higher. How I'm not dead or mad yet, I don't know. I'm fairly sure the human mind is not designed to withstand agony for such a long period of time. Surely it's been a few hours now ? I don't know. I can't see the clock from where I am on the floor, and the night outside is no help. I can only hope. That it will stop, or that someone will come and finish the job. A Cullen maybe. Or Dad.

Is he even alive ? Victoria talked of wanting to kill him, too. Or maybe she wanted me to kill him ? I don't know. I think he had a fishing trip ? Gods, I hope he does. I don't want him to find me. It would kill him twice over.

I don't want to die. I want to die. I don't know. At this stage, I only know the pain. It hurts.

And then it does not. Calm. Quiet, blessed, pain-free silence. It feels like I can finally focus. And then, it all becomes too much. Tiles against my fingers, almost warm, rough and ever so slightly greasy. The wind that runs though the trees, the rain that falls against the windows and runs in the gutters, cascading to the ground. The strident beeping of the phone. The cars outside, the snores of the neighbor's sleeping dog. The hair in my hand. The smell of blood, fear and vomit that permeates the air, along with the smell of cold ginger tea, olive oil, cheese, so many smells. It's dizzying. And finally, I open my eyes, only to close them again. Yeah, fuck that. If I thought we needed to change the light before, it's official now. It's noisy, and loud, and it hurts my eyes. And I'm scared. Because I saw too much. Too clear. Despite my glasses not being on my nose.

Hearing, smell, sight. That's three senses suddenly better, and when I add the pain and the fact that I'm alive despite that bitch breaking my legs and arms and drinking from me... Well. Looks like I am a vampire. A very young, very hungry, very very angry vampire. Go me. I can't even die correctly. And now that I'm not dead, well... I kinda want to stay alive. I'm selfish that way.

Stop. Think. Close your eyes again (don't look in the windows, don't look at the blood on the kitchen floor, don't look don't look don't look - white skin, black eyes, perfect face, the scar above my lip and the crook of my nose from when I had broken it gone, not a pimple to be seen, my freckles erased, my teeth perfect despite the failure of the invisalign and I hate ) and take a step. I need to leave. I need to run. I need to keep that red hair in my hand, make like a tree and leave.

It falls to the ground instead, and I start running. Towards the forest and the sea, diving deep without a thought. I don't feel as hungry anymore, and I can't even remember if I've eaten seen someone during my run. Probably. Fairly sure I've licked all that blood - all my blood - off the floor as well. Maybe I'll drown. Maybe I'll sink. Maybe I'll hit ground someday. I don't know.

There are only two things I know: it's all Bella's fault. Hers, and the Cullen's.

And every life I take will be on their heads.