It was icy today. Icier than it had been in years.
Nobody had been prepared for it, least of all Mike and his friends. They had fun in the morning before school, doing small drifts on the roads near the school, trying to show off without harming anyone. Some of the girls had squealed at them for doing it, Angela and Samantha yelling at them that they were going to get hurt. Jessica and Lauren had enjoyed it though, and Mike would be lying if he said that he hadn't enjoyed the attention.
Bella hadn't been there yet. She always arrived just in time for class, after the rest of them. If she had been there though… Well, Mike liked the idea of her seeing how good he was at driving. Would she have been impressed? Mike thought she would.
Arriving in her truck, Bella parked not far away from Mike. Unfortunately, there was no time now for him to offer her a ride in his car. But maybe he could offer to do it later? Mike tapped his fingers against the side of his car, weighing up his options. Bella got out of her car, her brown hair hiding her face, holding tight onto her bag. Should he go talk to her now? Or wait til English class?
Then he heard the sound of a car headed in their direction. Not usual, for a parking lot. There was something wrong, though. He turned to see Tyler’s car barreling down the lot toward them – too fast for the space.
But Bella just stood there, book in hand, leaning against her own car. Her earbuds were lodged firmly in her ears.
Mike watched on in horror as the car swung across the parking lot. The noise of its tyres was loud against the ice, screeching as the brakes tried their best to clamp on and halt the car in its tracks.
The lot turned quiet as the car slid closer and closer, time slowing down as Mike realized just where Tyler's car was headed.
Everyone was watching what was about to happen. The chatter that had been going on died down in an instant.
A flash of something darted across his vision. But there was no time to dwell on it. Mike's eyes closed instinctively.
Mike's whole being shrank away from it.
There was a moment of complete silence. A moment of nothing, where every horror imaginable had happened.
And then everything sprang into motion.
Mike's eyes opened. The first thing he saw was Tyler's truck. It was wrapped around Bella's, her truck shoved a few feet to the left but barely scratched; Tyler's crumpled up at the front, clearly totalled.
Tyler's arm lay limply out of the open window.
Those nearer the trucks had already rushed over, sliding over cars and slipping past each other in their haste.
In a strange, dreamlike state, Mike realised he should help too.
Tyler’s truck looked more of a wreck the more he looked at it. None of it felt real.
Bella was somewhere in that mess.
Mike walked on legs that wanted to collapse to the pile of trucks. Around him, other people were screaming. Eric was already stood on top of Tyler's truck, bent over and pushing against Bella's truck in a fruitless attempt to move them. One person had opened up Tyler's truck, and now Tyler was lying on the ground next to it. His eyes were rolled back in his head, and one of his legs was at an awkward angle. Still, he was breathing, at least.
Most of the focus was on prising apart the trucks.
Mike couldn’t see Bella. There was no sign of life inside the truck, no clue that she might have survived.
Then Tyler’s truck slid to the side – finally – the ice coming to their aid this time. For a second there was another moment of silence, of quiet, of confusion.
Mike’s brain stuttered. His eyes saw what was in front of him, but they didn’t believe it.
Rivers of red ran down the asphalt. Pale skin lay pallid against the truck, contrasting with the bright blood.
Bella lay slumped against her own truck. Her head lolled against it, resting in a divot in the metal, neck at a sharp angle. Blood lay sticky across her face and neck, her hands stained with it. Her eyes stared at him, glassy and unseeing.
And standing over her was a familiar brassy head. Bent over her, face pressed close, back to everyone else, doing something that Mike couldn’t see. Or didn’t want to see.
Mike blinked. Why would Edward Cullen be here?
Mike stepped forward. When had Edward gotten there? He hadn’t been there before - Mike would have noticed him.
And then Edward raised his head, turning toward everyone else. His mouth was smeared messily with crimson. His eyes looked around wildly, irises bright red as his mouth. His head snapped back and forth too fast. Mike avoided his gaze.
He didn’t look harmed at all.
He looked like an animal.
Edward’s gaze snapped to look at him, and in his chest, Mike’s heart pounded. This time, Mike couldn’t look away. There was nothing human left in that expression – only an empty husk of a person, soulless eyes staring void-like at him as if Mike was his next meal.
Seemingly without conscious thought, Edward turned back to Bella and bit her. Over and over, too fast for Mike to follow. In each spot it left gaping holes in her skin, the imprint of Edward’s teeth marring her forever.
And as her blood trickled from each bite, Edward lapped it up like a thirsty dog.
“No,” Mike whispered.
Then the other Cullens appeared. Each of them was pained in their own way, like they were struggling with something inside. Emmett and Alice took Edward by the shoulders and began to heft him up and away from Bella. Edward snapped and snarked at them. A feral monster, reaching for Bella with its claws, dripping blood and gore from its mouth.
Rosalie stood to the side, looking with distain at Bella. Mike thought it was because she could see the horror that had happened here. But, with a hefty kick, she knocked Bella over from her sitting position to sprawl on the ground, in a pool of her own blood. More blood gushed from Bella as Rosalie did so, spilling onto the asphalt in rivers.
And so did Jasper. Appearing from nowhere, Jasper launched himself at Bella, hands outstretched like claws. More frantic than Edward had been, he licked and slurped at the mess of blood forming at the scene, indiscriminate about whether it was from Bella, or the floor.
Mike’s stomach churned.
Edward launched himself forward and broke himself free of the grasp of his siblings, reaching Bella again in a flash. He and Jasper snarled at each other briefly. Then, like the animals they were, they returned to biting and tearing at Bella’s flesh.
Within moments Bella was unrecognisable. Her hair lay in chunks on the floor. Her clothes were ripped up, and saturated dark with blood. Her face was so covered in blood and cuts that Mike couldn’t tell where one stopped and the other began. He didn’t know a face could become so mangled.
Around him, nobody could move. There was too much horror here.
Mike looked away, finally. The image didn’t leave, though. Instead, it stayed burned onto the inside of his inside of his eyelids.
There was the sound of running. When Mike opened his eyes again, all of the Cullens had disappeared.
And that’s when the screaming began.