Till It Be Morrow

"I say there are spots that don't come off... Spots that never come off, d'you know what I mean?"-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Sweet, so would I,
Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing.
Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night till it be morrow. [Exit above]

-Juliet, Romeo and Juliet.


"Edward, sweetie," Esme called, punching a small hole into the plastic blood bag and pouring a stream of red liquid into a worn wooden cup. "Elbows off the table."

Edward scrunched up his small, pale white nose and slid his arms off the wooden, mite-bitten tabletop and down to his side. His eyes never left the small, black-an-white television set on the opposite counter. "When's dad coming home?"

Esme slid the cup towards her son, pouring what was left of the bag into her own cup, barely filling it half way. She sipped it slowly, glancing at the scuffed digital clock above the stove. "Oh, any minute now. Drink your dinner, and-" she clicked off the television "-then finish your novel."

The boy groaned, falling back on the end of his chair and tipping it back, the legs dangerously teetering. "Why do I have to read that stupid book anyway?"

Esme turned to the stove, pretending to adjust the notches while she hid an affectionate smile. "Don't you want to grow up smart like your father?"

Edward snorted, and Esme heard the sound of him scuffing the bottom of his cup against the table, the slosh of the liquid against the wood, smelling the stale smell of the cow blood float through the air. "If he's so smart why can't he get any decent blood..." he muttered, so quietly any human wouldn't have heard it. Esme, however, heard it as clearly as she would had Edward been standing right beside her.

She slammed her hands against the stove top, feeling the dent her palms left in the thin Plexiglas and the cheap metal. Her teeth clenched.

"Don't," she said harshly, "talk about your father like that."

She sensed Edward recoil and, before he could say anything further, the door burst open. Carlisle came in, his breathing halted and his clothes shredded. He held a stake in his hand, clear liquid soiling the tip. "We have to get out of here," he said hurriedly. "Now."

"Carlisle," Esme said, looking up from the stove and gazing at her husband, "what-"

"There's no time," he said impatiently, dropping the stake with disgust. He took Esme by the arms and looked at her with such an intensity that a chill ran up her spine. "They're coming. They're invading every home in the area. The human villages are revolting. I need you to get your things and run."

"What?" Esme shouted, looking outside as their neighbors ran from their homes with sacks in their hands. The faint cry of a riot could be heard distantly. "What's this about?"

"God, what do you think, Esme?"

She was silent for a moment.

"What do we do?"

"You," he said hurriedly, "will run. I'll bide you some time."

She shook off his hands with reproach. "No," she hissed. "Don't be a damn fool, Carlisle."

"Esme, please," he pleaded. His faint blonde hair fell from it's usually kept fashion and fell in his face. "They're have to take Edward and go. Now."

Suddenly the roar hit a crescendo, so loudly even Edward could hear it. He jumped to his feet. "I can help too, dad," he said. "I'll fight too."

"No you won't," Esme cried. Her chest tightened. She was losing the carefully constructed control she had managed in the last several decades, losing the home she had built and everyone in it, losing everything everything everything in one goddamn night. "Damnit, Edward, no you won't."

"Go!" Carslile cried. "Get whatever you can carry and go, Esme."

When neither Esme nor Edward gave a response, Carlisle grunted in frustration and ran to the back alcove that served as Edward's bedroom. He pulled out a small canvas bag from under a cabinet, with an old, faded, long forgotten logo printed on the front. He opened a drawer and started piling mounds of clothes unceremoniously into it. He was muttering.

Edward reminded himself of his small ability as he ran towards his father, his one talent.

He concentrated (not an easy task when the sign of impending doom is a uproarious scream in your ear) and managed to catch a faint whisper of his father's thoughts:

He can pass for normal-

but Esme-



as long as he doesn't-

he can make it-

he can-

save himself-

but Esme-

they're coming-

"Edward." Suddenly Carlisle froze, turning to Edward with a fierce glare on his face. "Do. Not. Read my mind."

Edward tensed and nodded.

He remembered, once, when he was younger and he heard his parents arguing.

It was the night of his eighth birthday, after the presents and the dinner and the singing, and he was supposed to be in bed. His father had gotten him a small square, brown, that melted in between his fingers. Edward remembered thinking it looked like cow crap, from the lumps he'd seen while on his month's community service. Carlisle had told him to taste it. Esme had gotten a look in her eye, her smile turning sour but unrelenting, unfaltering. Her eyes glared at Carlisle, giving her the look of some kind of beast in the shadows. Especially under the red glow of evening.

Edward ate it (it tasted delicious, if it matters) and gone to bed.

"-has to learn eventually. We can't keep him here forever."

"We've kept him safe so far, I don't-"

"If the neighbors don't smell him first, that damn probe will finally kick in and notify the Hunters. I'm just trying to get him ready...if we have to send him away."

And that was all Edward had time to remember before his father slammed the canvas bag into his arms. He kneeled down and looked his son in the eye, the first time in...a long time. His eyes were dark, dark gold. Edward knew they would soon meld with his pupils into a deep, ravaged black if he didn't get more blood soon.

"Edward, listen to me," he said. "You and your mother-you keep running. No matter what happens, you keep running. Even," He stopped breathing, as though he were afraid it would shake. "Even if your mother can' keep running." His eyes flashed, dulled, dried. "Keep going until the sky is blue."

Edward wanted to snort at the idea, looking at his father with a mixture of disbelief and fear. "Where the sky's blue? What are you-"

"-trust me, Edward. Promise me you'll keep running," his father said.

And, for the first time in his life, Edward did not trust him. He didn't trust him at all.

Still, he nodded. He nodded like a dumb little kid, and he squeaked, "I promise."

His mother was behind him, shaking and looking small in her oversized, worn dress, and when Carlisle stood up, she dove into his chest with a sob. He wrapped his arms around her, kissing her briefly, quickly, reluctantly letting her go are less then a second had passed. The roar of the crowd got louder and louder and louder. "Go," he said. He took the stake he had dropped and held it in his hands. "I'll hold them off."

"Dad-" Edward started.


Suddenly, his mother had her stony hands on his shoulders, jarringly leading him towards the back and out the fragile screen door.

He couldn't hear a coherent thought within the mile and, as he and his mother got farther and farther away, the sound of the revolt he had yet to see faded off into a dull whisper. Now, the only sound he could hear was his mother's dry, heartbroken sobs as she led him in a superhuman sprint through the cold, barren earth.

And then, the light had shone on them.

His mother burst into a thousand glittering diamonds.

It was the first time Edward had actually seen a vampire in the light. All his life, the sky had been a dark, deep red, and the sun was a dull orange bulb hanging uselessly in the air. He had never been allowed to go outside often, and had never wanted to; the thought of standing out there, where everything had a clear tint of deep pink, where everything always seemed dark, where the air smelled like rotten eggs and his neighbors glared at their home with a fierce hunger. Where the ground was dry and cracked, where savage, deformed sort of things crawled around with chomping teeth and poisoned limbs. Where things stood out in vast contrast to one another and the reminder that no immune ones would be coming this month clung to his breath. The looming threat of hunger, the looming threat of being forgotten.

But this was normal.

"Shit," he whispered in a daze, blinded by his mother as she sparkled like what he imagined millions and millions of jewels would like. So much so, in fact, that Esme's face had disappeared behind them. And a long, broad spotlight fell on her from miles away. Faltering only in brief flickers. It fell on Edward as he stepped beside his mother.

Until then, they had been relatively concealed, with their dark clothes and devilishly quick pace. But this...

Edward and Esme both realized it at the same time.

With the light on her...

"Edward," Esme whispered, "run."

...they could see her for miles.

And the sudden, assaulting bellow of an angry group of people and the ominous glow of mass fire hit Edward like a tital wave.

...even if your mother can't...keep running...

"Edward," Esme whispered. The spotlights were everywhere, spotting the wasteland around them like the most horrible kinds of bugs, following them in every movement they made. "Edward, go."

Edward did not sparkle as the light hit him. He stayed veiled by shadows made by nothing, and the closest he got to glowing was his pale, pale skin against the darkness around him.

He could see them, coming foreword from so far away yet so close, close enough that his mother-weak, as the years had gone on, unable to use the disease to run more then a pace faster then a person-could never out run them.

Only Edward could.

"Go," she said again, her voice growing harsh like it had in the kitchen only moments before. "Edward, run!"

And, the only thing he could do that he could never forgive himself for.

He did.

He looked at his mother, opened his mouth, closed it, felt the hot sting of tears on his cheeks, and ran.

Ran past the angry mob with their terrible fire, ran past his doomed mother and his trampled father, ran and ran and ran from the isolation of the red sky, ran into the night and into the day and ran and ran and ran until the sky started to change color, started turning orange and a sickly white and, when he started seeing that fade into a gloomy, murky blue, he finally fell to the ground and slept.