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Although it was nearly half a century ago, I still remember that day more vividly than any other. I was sixteen and rebellious at the time, so it didn't surprise anyone when I was not in my room that night. Every time I snuck out of my second story bedroom window, I was careful to remain undiscovered. At least while I was in the act of sneaking out. Once I returned home, my mother was always to worried to scold me. It was early October, and it was already getting cold at night, easily forty degrees at the moment. I was walking down the familiar streets of the town I was born and raised in, Grand Junction, Colorado. My mind wandered as I cut through the middle of Hawthorne park and onto Fifth Street where I stopped. Cars were driving slowly down the street playing music, the drivers yelling conversations to each other. The sound brought me out of my daze, so I looked around and continued walking back toward my friend Rea's house. That's when it happened, out of nowhere, I heard a fierce growling and I was suddenly on the ground. My first reaction was that I had startled a dog in the alley next to me, but then I saw the deep red eyes piercing my being. Frightened, I tried to pull myself to my feet, but realized that I couldn't move. There was a warm spot on my forearm, wet and getting bigger. Whatever that thing was it had drawn blood. Then, my arm started to burn like it was in a furnace, and I blacked out. The only thing I could think of when I awoke, was a burning thirst deep in my throat. It took me several minutes to realize that the throbbing sound was not my head but the sound of one hundred heartbeats, all pounding in time with each other. My senses were so clear that it was confusing: I was almost certain I could taste the colors and scents around me. Everything was so clear and beautiful. Then another scent caught my attention and the burning in my throat grew ten times. Without even thinking, I lunged and there was suddenly the slightest relief to my thirst. Seconds later, I realized what I had done: I had sucked the blood, the life force, out of a perfect stranger. This information would have been enough to make a person wretch, but I felt no remorse. More than the fact that I felt no remorse, I felt a sense of twisted pleasure in what I had just done, so much so that I craved more, needed more. My instincts took over and all sound was drowned out by the sound of beating hearts and pulsing blood. I stayed in Grand Junction for two more weeks and then headed north. I was beginning to become worried about the missing persons reports that were flying into the Police department by the dozen, including one for a sixteen-year-old male with hazel eyes light brown hair named Leslie Vincent. Although my appearance had changed drastically since that night, someone would probably still have recognized me. Everyone in the town thought I was one of the victims of a murderer , and told my mother how sorry they were and how great a kid I was, but whenever I pass a window, and I see my pale white skin accented by my brilliant crimson eyes, and remember that I was the killer. I wandered across Wyoming and Montana for a brief period, maybe five years, before hopping the border into Canada. It was around that point in time that I realized something else that was peculiar: I had ceased to age since I had been bitten. I stayed on the outskirts of Toronto for quite some time, taking great care to dispose of my victims. I was growing stronger each day, didn't need to feed as often as I once did. This left me with quite a lot of spare time, and I was not yet a patient being. The local library served to occupy most of this time as I searched for all the information that I could find concerning what I had become, and whether or not there were others like me. It took me almost two full months to absorb all of the data that the library contained on vampires, for what else could I have become. Most of the information, I had decided, was fictitious, simply made up to compensate for concepts not known at the time or to give a sense of security. Others, however, I knew were true. Such as the legends from eastern Europe pertaining to the creation of vampires, vampires' bodies are in a state of suspension, and vampires do not have fangs. I decided to assume facts from the legends that contained the most truths. The Greek vrykolakas had a shadow, lacked fangs, and was able to see his own reflection. I possessed all of these traits so I figured I would start with that one to find out what I had truely become. Over time, I have discovered numerous traits about vampires through experience and experimentation. Facts like my new body is nearly indestructible, my eyes turn darker the more I thirst, and I retain almost all human emotions, including the desire for companionship. The latter posed a problem, in my mind, because I was unsure about the existence of others like me in any specific locations (except of course for the one who bit me and I had know desire to befriend him). I became depressed and lonely because I could not fill all twenty-four of my waking hours (I also realized that I could not sleep). Time became a blur, so I don't know exactly when the newcomers arrived. I ran into them while I was hunting on the streets of Toronto, a large group, four or five strong. My first impression of this odd coven was that they were just hunting as I was, but as the days went by, I realized that they were looking for something in particular. They never saw me, that I noticed, as I always stuck to the shadows and high places when they were near. This brought a question as to why I could see, hear, and smell them coming, yet they could never seem to find me, or realize that I was there for that matter. That was when the notion that all vampires are not created equal was proven to me. It had become clear to me that the newcomers were here to take over my range, and that they wished to be rid of me first. Their only problem was my senses. Excitement filled my body as I preyed upon the coven, one by one, I ripped them limb from limb and burned them. I did this slowly, over a period of about a month or so, strategically filling my days with the hunt, pushing away the emotions. When I was finally finished playing cat and mouse with the now extinct coven of newcomers, I decided to search the library's collection of news archives and internet databases for recent sightings of vampires. This project took quite a bit longer than my first, because I had to decipher from what I knew of vampires to see which leads were possibly true. After nearly six months, I finally found one lead that looked promising. It was from a newspaper in Northern Idaho where a family claimed to have seen a "ghastly white girl" who possessed red eyes and was seen running from the scene of a murder. That wasn't my only lead, however, I had found four more stories quite like the first, all from the same newspaper. Once again, I felt restless so I carefully went over the geography of Northern Idaho until I finally found the small town of Eileen. I gathered every piece of information that I could about the town and its vampires before I left in search of a coven of my own. When I had reached Eileen, however, I could not detect the presence of any vampires that weren't at least two months old. I was filled with disappointment of course, but I began my search once again. That's when I stumbled upon a strange set of vampire sitings in Atlanta. What made these cases so strange was that every one of the "victims" had survived and was unharmed. Also, this vampire lacked the deep red eyes that, until now, I thought were the only natural color for our species. I was intrigued by this stranger, so I made my way to Atlanta as fast as I possible could on foot, which was much faster than driving. As I ran, I went over the information on this girl. According to the survivors, she had a beautiful, hypnotic voice and bent their wills using this voice. That's when I knew that other vampires had special abilities too. I had to find this girl; I had so many questions for her. It took me only three days to cross the expanse between Idaho and Georgia without stopping, and I hadn't hunted for four days before. The burning in my throat was almost unbearable, but I had to meet this strange siren and I wasn't stopping until I had. I relied on my sharp senses to locate her, because it was already quite dark outside. That's when I heard the voice, humming gently. It caught me completely off guard, which was a strange feeling, so I turned and crouched, ready to spring. "Come to me," she sang, "Come to me." A heavy fog began to settle over my mind, I couldn't remember why I was even there. "Come to me here, and we shall play our game," she sang to me, "Deep at night, you and I shall play until the sun rises." Suddenly, I found myself wrapped tightly in her arms, "You are seeking a friend; you can find one in me." I shook my head and the fog was suddenly gone. "Wanna play tag?" the voice sang sweetly. I stood there, staring into her odd caramel eyes, "What is your name?" I asked, confused. "Asagi," the voice replied, "Let's go!" I knew I had just made my first friend. Asagi and I were living together in Atlanta, in a small house that she had inheritted. She was teaching me how to be a "vegetarian" vampire, which at first didn't look very appetizing, but I was open to new things and I am a quick learner. A few months had passed since we had first met, when Asagi recieved a letter. "Yo," she called to me. I waved to acknowledge her. "We're going to Washington," she exclaimed matter of factly. "We what?" I stuttered and dropped the vase I was holding, trying to make sense of her last statement, "Why on earth are we going to Washington?" Since I had met Asagi, I no longer had any interest in travel. I had everything I wanted and needed here: companionship, sustanance, an shelter. She was constantly surprising me, coming up with new things to do everyday, and I was content in staying here. "Because," she handed me the vase I had dropped, luckily it hadn't broken, "My friend Alice sent me a letter and her sister-in-law just had a baby." Silence followed her statement, and she stared into my eyes, waiting for a response. My eyes. No longer were they their beautiful, deep crimson, but a muddy orange color. Asagi said that eventually they would be golden, just like hers, but it would take some time. I stared back as my thoughts began to collect themselves in my head. She knew that I would give in even before I spoke. I had to give in because of her voice. I shrugged, defeated and she giggled cheerfully. "You'll like Alice and her family," she said in her hypnotic voice, "I know you'll get along with them perfectly." "Just how big a family are we talking here?" I asked, my voice full of suspicion. She counted on her fingers as she spoke, "There's Edward, Jasper, Alice, Rosealie, Emmett, Carlisle, Esme, Bella, and Renneesme." Nine. That information in itself made me quite nervous, but I didn't say anything. I trusted her, so we would go. We cut are way west for two days before turning northward. It took us almost a week to get to the Cullen's house in Forks, but we could have gone faster if I hadn't been wary of meeting the strangers. My nerves were on edge when I saw sensed a group of vampires about one hundred yards in front of us. I stopped dead, dropping to a crouch, and Asagi grabbed my arm and dragged me forward. There, standing on the other side of the clearing, were three brilliant figures, standing quite still. Upon seeing this, Asagi immediately dropped my arm and ran towards the figure in the middle. She was shorter than the other two, and had short black hair. She almost danced out to meet Asagi and hugged her, this had to be the Alice of whom Asagi was so fond. Reluctantly, I came forward and was formally introduced to the three: Emmett, Jasper, and Alice (I had been correct in my assumption). Because of his sheer size, Emmett set me on edge almost immediately. He was more like a bear than a human and his muscles were enormous. I was almost mesmerized by Jasper because his perfect white skin was marred by silver crescents. Then the realization hit me that they were bite marks. Hundreds of crescent bite scars covering his face and arms. He held Alice's hand tightly, as he looked me over. As if in an answer to an unspoken question, he said, "He's okay, you can come out now." I sensed more of the coven at the door, and two strange presences with them. I heard two steady heartbeats came from within a circle of five vampires. My eyes grew wide as I tried to make sense from the information. "Wha-?" I fumbled over my words and Jasper threw me a "So help me, if you pull anything, I'll tear you limb from limb" look, and I fell silent. Asagi looked nearly as surprised as I did, and took a step backwards. Then, I noticed, She was holding her breath. The sweet scent of human blood mixed with the most rotten scent I could have imagined, filled my lungs at that moment. My head was spinning so I turned and ran back to the edge of the clearing, where I stopped and turned. I stared at them with accusation, across the field. Jasper and Emmett crouched defensively, readying themselves to repel me the second I lunged. I remained standing, but my muscles were tightened and ready to propel me forward at a moments notice. Seconds ticked by, as we stood staring across the clearing from each other, waiting for someone to make a move. Then Emmett rushed me. Reflexively, I slid my right foot back about ten inches, twisted my torso, and planted my left palm in the middle of his shoulder-blades. He appeared shocked that I had not only completely avoided his attack, but countered using his own force against him. Dust swirled and he attempted to regain his balance, but I didn't give him the chance. In one fluid movement, I brought my elbow into where his kidneys should have been and pulled my knee into his chest as he fell. This all happened in about two seconds, and I had acted completely on instinct. When I looked up, the others were staring wide-eyed at Emmett, lying flat on his face. He jumped up and swung, but I dodged it neatly, and pulled his fist into the ground. I apologized after I had knocked him flat again. Asagi had to explain that I had meant no harm and was truly sorry, before Emmett would let me any nearer the house. When I finally was allowed to enter the house, I could no longer smell the blood or the awful scent that I could not identify. Carlisle Cullen seemed quite taken with the fact that I had simply reacted and not thought through my actions in the fight with Emmett. He asked me questions about my improved senses as well. "Somehow," he explained, "Your sharpened senses must act with your reflexes, which would make it possible for the body to react fast enough that the brain doesn't even realize it has moved in an unnatural fashion." I considered his words carefully before responding. "In other words, if I start to sense a threat, I act before I can even comprehend what's happened." "Yes,that is precisely the case," he stated, "Which is probably the reason Alice couldn't see what your reaction would to Emmett would have been." He could obviously see my confused expression, and began to explain.

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