*by Stephenie Meyer*
TWILIGHT - chapter 7 - NIGHTMARE
I told Charlie I had a lot of homework to do, and that I didn't want anything to eat. There was a mpira wa kikapu game on that he was excited about, though of course I had no idea what was special about it, so he wasn't aware of anything unusual in my face au tone.
Once in my room, I locked the door. I dug through my dawati until I found my old headphones, and I plugged them into my little CD player. I picked up a CD that Phil had aliyopewa to me for Christmas. It was one of his inayopendelewa bangs, but they used a little too much bass, besi and shrieking for my tastes. I popped it into place and lay down on my bed. I put on the headphones, hit Play, and turned up the volume until it hurt my ears. I closed my eyes, but the light still intruded, so I added a mto over the juu half of my face.
I concentrated very carefully on the music, trying to understand the lyrics, to unravel the complicated drum patterns. kwa the third time I'd listened through the CD, I knew all the words to the choruses, at least. I was surprised to find that I really did like the band after all, once I got past the blaring noise. I'd have to thank Phil again.
And it worked. The shattering beats made it impossible for me to think - which was the whole purpose of the exercise. I listened to the CD again and again, until I was imba along with all the songs, until, finally, I fell asleep.
I opened my eyes to a familiar place. Aware in some corner of my consciousness that I was dreaming, I recognized the green light of the forest. I could hear the waves crashing against the rocks somewhere nearby. And I knew that if found the ocean, I'd be able to see the sun. I was trying to follow the sound, but then Jacob Black was there, tugging on my hand, pulling be back toward the blackest part of the forest.
"Jacob? What's wrong?" I asked. His face was frightened as he yanked with all his strength against my resistance; I didn't want to go into the dark.
"Run, Bella, wewe have to run!" he whispered, terrified.
"This way, Bella!" I recognized Mike's voice calling out of the gloomy moyo of the trees, but I couldn't see him.
"Why?" I asked, still pulling against Jacob's grasp, desperate now to find the sun.
But Jacob let go of my hand and yelped, suddenly shaking, falling to the dim forest floor. He twitched on the ground as I watched in horror.
"Jacob!" I screamed. But he was gone. In his place was a large red-brown mbwa mwitu with black eyes. The mbwa mwitu faced away from me, pointing toward the shore, the hair on the back of his shoulders bristling, low growls issuing from between his exposed fangs.
"Bella, run!" Mike cried out again from behind me. But I didn't turn. I was watching a light coming toward me from the beach.
And then Edward stepped out from the trees, his skin faintly glowing, his eyes black and dangerous. He held up one hand and beckoned me to come to him. The mbwa mwitu growled at my feet.
I took a step forward, toward Edward. He smiled then, and his teeth were sharp, pointed.
"Trust me," he purred.
I took another step.
The mbwa mwitu launched himself across the space between me and the vampire, fangs aiming for the jugular.
"No!" I screamed, wrenching upright out of my bed.
My sudden movement caused the headphones to pull the CD player off the bedside table, and it clattered to the wooden floor.
My light was still on, and I was sitting fully dressed on the bed, with my shoes on. I glanced, disoriented, at the clock on my dresser. It was five-thirty in the morning.
I groaned, fell back, and rolled over onto my face, kicking off my boots. I was to uncomfortable to get anywhere near sleep, though. I rolled back over and unbuttoned my jeans, yanking them off awkwardly as I tried to stay horizontal. I could feel the braid in my hair, an uncomfortable ridge along the back of my skell. I turned nto my side and ripped the rubber band out, quickly combing through the plaits with my fingers. I pulled the mto back over my eyes.
It was all no use, of course. My subconscious had dredged up exactly the picha I'd been trying so desperately to avoid. I was going to have to face them now.
I sat up, and my head spun for a dakika as the blood flowed downward. First things first, I thought to myself, happy yo put it off as long as possible. I grabbed my bathroom bag.
The kuoga didn't last nearly as long as I hoped it would, though. Even taking the time to blow-dry my hair, I was soon out of things to do in the bathroom. Wrapped in a towel, I crossed back to my room. I couldn't tell if Charlie was still asleep, au if he has already left. I went to look out my window, and the cruiser was gone. Fishing again.
I dressed slowly in my most comfy sweats and then made my kitanda - something I never did. I coulnd't put it off any longer. I went to my dawati and switched on my old computer.
I hated using the Internet here. My modem was sadly outdated, my free service substandard; just dialing up took so long that I decided to go get myself a bowl of cereal while I waited.
I ate slowly, chewing each bite with care. When I was done, I washed the bowl and spoon, dried them, and put them away. My feet dragged as I climbed the stairs. I went to my CD player first, picking it up off of the floor and placing it precisely in the center of the table. I pulled out the headphones, and put them aways in the dawati drawer. Then I turned the same CD on, turning it down to the point where it was backgroung noise.
With another sigh, I turned to my computer. Naturally, the screen was covered in pop-up ads. I sat in my hard folding chair and began closing all the little windows. Eventually I made it to my inayopendelewa tafuta engine. I shot down a few zaidi pop-ups and then typed in one word.
It took an infuriatingly long time, au course. When the results came up, there was a lot to sift through - everything from sinema and TV shows to role-playing games, underground metal, and gothic cosmetic companies.
Then I found a promising site - Wanyonya damu A-Z. I waited impatiently for it to load, quickly clicking closed each ad that flashed across the screen. Finally the screen was finished - simple white background with black text, academic-looking. Two nukuu greeted me on the nyumbani page:
Throughout the vast shadowy world of ghosts and demons there is no figure so terrible, no figure so dreaded and abhorred, yet dight with such fearful fascination, as the vampire, who is himself neither ghost nor demon, but yet who partakes the dark natures and possesses the mysterious and terrible qualities of both. - Rev. Montague Summers
If there is in this world a well-attested account, it is that of the vampires. Nothing is lacking: official reports, affidavits of well-known people, of surgeons, of priests, of magistrates; the judicial proof is most complete. And with all that, who is there who believes in vampires? - Roussean
The rest of the site was alphbetized listing all of the different myths of Wanyonya damu held throughout the world. The first I clicked on, the Danag, was a Filipino vampire long ago. The myth continued that the Danag worked with humans for many years, but the partnership ended one siku when a woman cut her finger and a Danag sucked her wound, enjoying the taste so much that it drained her body completely of blood.
I read carefully through the descriptions, looking for anything that sounded familiar, let alone plausible. It seemed that most vampire myths centered around beautiful women as demons and children as victims; they also seemed like constructs created to explain away the high mortality rates for young children, and to give men an excuse for infidelity. Many of the stories involved bodiless spirits and warnings against improper burials. There wasn;t much that sounded like the sinema I'd seen, and only a very few, like the Hebrew Estrie and the Polish Upier, who were even preoccuupied with drinking blood.
Only three entries really caught my attention: the Romanian Varacolaci, a powerful undead being who could appear as a beautiful, pale-skinned human, the Slovak Nelapsi, a creature so strong and fast that it could massacre an entire village in the single saa after midnight, and the one other, the Stregoni benefici.
About this last three was only one breif sentence.
Stregoni benefici: An Italian vampire, alisema to be on the side of goodness, and a mortal enemy of all evil vampires.
It was a relief, that one small entry, the one myth among hundreds claimed the existence of good vampires.
Overall, though, there was little that coincided with Jacob;s stories au my own observations. I'd made a little catalogu in my mind as I'd read and carefully compared it with each myth. Speed, strength, beauty, pale skin, eyes that shift color; and then Jacob's criteria: blood drinkers, enemies of the werewolf, cold-skinned, and immortal. There were very few myths that matched even one factor.
And then another problem, one that I'd remembered from the small number of scary sinema that I'd seen and was backed up kwa today's kusoma - Wanyonya damu couldn't come out in the daytime, the sun would burn them to a cinder. They slept in coffins all siku and came out only at night.
Aggravated, I snapped off the computer's main power switch, not waiting to shut thins down properly. Through my irritation, I felt overwhelming embarrassment. It was all so stupid. I was sitting in my room, researching vampires. What was wrong with me? I decided that most of the blame belonged on the doorstep of the town of Forks - and the entire sodden Olympic Peninsula, for that matter.
I had to get out of the house, but there was nowhere I wanted to go that didn't involve a three-day drive. I pulled no my boots anyway, unclear where I was headed, and went downstairs. I shrugged into my raincoat without checking the weather and stomped out the door.