Fire unlike any other tore through my veins. I screamed. Lord, let me die! Had I not suffered enough already from the Influenza? Now you damn me to a fire worse spreading throughout me! I could not even die properly—I was burning in Hell, but the voice of an angel was telling me that this agony would end. But I failed to see how that was at all possible. I was certain I deserved this torture, irrespective of it being the fiery pits of Hell or something altogether worse than death. I had sinned, had I not? More often than could be accounted for. I had murdered my sister. I had coveted my neighbour—literally pined over little Isabella Swan. I was proud of my affinity to music and literature. Was my soul already so compromised my only remaining virtue was my virginity? It felt that way. I had desired and wanted Isabella more in the four weeks preceding my father's contraction of Spanish Influenza than I cared to confess to even in my worst nightmare... I had dare dreamed of lovemaking with the innocent girl three years my junior, and I had, to my terrified delight, awoke bearing the physical reaction and evidence.
That left only one option; this was my punishment. The fire burned more intensely with each hiss and scream of agony. This was my punishment for wanting a child as my bedfellow. This was my punishment for murdering my sister. This was my punishment for failing my father. This was my punishment for never being good enough for my mother.
I would physically live forever, burning in an internal Hell for what my new sustenance would be. All the while, I would never be in possession of my soul. I felt the very essence of me being erased with my memories when my heart stuttered to a stop yet my existence continued and my eyes opened.
Three Years Later
I loathed the murderous, bloodthirsty creature I had become. Surviving on the blood of animals was still pandering to the monster that had taken residence inside me. I was still tempted by human blood, but so far I had never tasted it, forever resisting. Carlisle—my creator, companion, and father-figure—decided that I would join him in the adventure that was testing my control in a small town in Washington State where we would live in the middle of town while he worked at the hospital. He concluded it was time for me to do something positive with my eternal youth. So began my medical studies.
Rudimentary. That one adjective described the entire schooling facility attached to the equally rudimentary Forks Hospital. But rudimentary was the last adjective to come to mind when thinking of descriptives for Isabella Swan, Carlisle's new assistant and her education. Rudimentary, however, was the ultimate description of my control. What Carlisle had viewed as excellent control, I saw as wasted effort. Carlisle brought Isabella around to our small house for lunch on her first day working for him; she barely stepped inside, out of the rain, when the wind blew her scent directly into my nose and mouth. I inhaled the acidic sweetness of her before ceasing to breathe, just as Carlisle had taught me to do in place of stalking the young woman and draining her life from her, one pint of blood immediately followed by another.
Her scent was as painfully enrapturing to me as her physical and intellectual beauty. I desired her! I had seen this brown-eyed beauty once! One time, and after controlling my bloodlust for her, I found myself desiring her and wanting to know her better. It was idiotic and foolhardy—she was a human; a human with blood I could barely stop myself from devouring. She was, physically, edging on being the same age I was. She certainly ought to be married by year's end... but there seemed to be no young men courting her.
"Carlisle!" I screeched in annoyance once Isabella's alluring heartbeat was out of my hearing range. "Why must you torture me thus? Isabella Swan cannot be allowed to die by my hand!" I was frantic. Confused. Terrified. Agonised.
Being the father-figure and my mentor, he took me hunting all over the forest of the Olympic Peninsula. Once I was sure the monster was caged, I allowed Carlisle's curiosity to manifest in verbal conversation. I had gorged myself, though I knew it would achieve little else than deplete wildlife numbers sooner than desired.