Red Moon

Chapter One—The Walkin' Dude

"This city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face. The streets are extended gutters, and the gutters are full of blood, and when the drains scab over all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will pool up around their waists, and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout, 'Save us!', and I'll look down and whisper, 'No.' They had a choice, all of them. They could have followed in the footsteps of good men . . . who believed in a day's work for a day's pay. Instead they followed the droppings of lechers and communists and didn't realize that the trail led over a precipice until it was too late.

Don't tell me they didn't have a choice."—Rorschach, Watchmen

Disclaimer: I own neither Watchmen nor Twilight. If I did own Twilight, I would ride that gravy train for all it was worth and then use the money to build a spaceship so I could go chill with Dr. Manhattan on his giant clock.

Eddie Red Moon Black was legend in some circles.

In the dark corners of America, among men who hang Jews for fun, among men who build nail bombs and turn bulldozers into tanks in their spare time, among men who sacrifice children to Cthulhu, Eddie Red Moon Black was well-known, because even though he associated with them, he would never consent to be one of them.

He was also well-known because they feared him.

Eddie Red Moon Black, like his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, was a killer. Not a killer of humans (Eddie, being one himself, very much liked humans, with a few notable exceptions), but a killer—and a hunter—of those who had once been humans. His specialty was the Wendigo (a fearsome entity, retaining no humanity to speak of, even in appearance; a challenge to hunt, and great fun if you were good at it), but he'd come to the Olympic Peninsula following rumors of something equally repugnant.

Eddie's long black hair was pulled back into a ponytail, and his face was sharp and angular, with high Mongolian cheekbones—he was an Indian, and a rare specimen: A full-blooded half-breed. His mother was Cherokee, his father Quileute. He wore steel-toed cowboy boots, blue jeans, and a jet-black felt Stetson. His eyes were adorned with round-lensed and scholarly glasses. He was wrapped up in a long black bomber jacket, like that of a Nazi tank commander, that was a size too big so as to hide the tools of his trade: Two silver dirks. A civilian Bowie knife. Stakes hand-carved from oak, ash, and elm, the three sacred trees, and a hammer to drive them with. A silver crucifix. A twelve-gauge coach gun loaded with silver punkinballs. Two bandoliers of same.

He hated having to use the coach gun and punkinballs, would've felt much safer with a nice, rifled .45, but sadly it was impossible to form usable bullets from silver: The specific density of silver was too great, the bullets would tumble. It could be done with Sterling silver, but Sterling was alloyed with nickel and chromium and was therefore useless for this sort of work. And standard pellet shot, of course, would just piss off whatever abomination he was attempting to take down. It had to be punkinballs.

Another blast of dreary Washington rain assailed him, but slid harmlessly off of his Stetson and thick coat. He passed by a sign that said his destination—Forks—was fifteen miles away. He smiled; if he kept walking, he would be there by nightfall. Not that it would matter; the sky in this part of the country was so overcast that the Hellish things could probably come out whenever the notion struck them.

And if the stories about the Cullen clan were true, he was in for quite a time. He turned his face upward, into the rain, and mumbled, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup be taken from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt."

There was no reply. He hadn't expected one. He sighed and plodded on: There had to be a bar in Forks, and he needed a drink.

Edward Cullen crouched, like a bird of prey, on a sturdy branch high in a fur tree, looking down at a seemingly insignificant pile of rocks on the mountainside. He grinned; what he was looking at was the entrance to a cave, a very special cave, a place where he would take Bella in just a couple of days.

Then the waiting would be over, and he could finally do what he'd been born to do.