It’s Michelle and I this week, sharing some stories that are outside of our comfort zone. The authors of these stories are known to “push the envelope”, but we trusted them enough to read their work.
Sometimes you just need to shake things up, and these stories did that for us….
Michelle is going first. 🙂
Summary: An old soul, a hard past, and a very, very small town. WIP
Melt is a big departure from most fics I’ve reviewed. But I’ve been a fan of ineedyoursway since 2009 when I first read her o/s White Blood. And later, her multi-chapter fic: Young Pilgrims. Her writing style is very unique. Drabble, poetic, choppy, and a bit abrupt. But her words are so very, very honest. [KB: I love writing that is more stream of consciousness, than traditional prose, sometimes.]
Melt is a serious story about Bella and her life upon arriving in Forks after loosing her Grandmother and later, her mother. She’s older and wiser, yet she still makes questionable decisions only a seventeen/eighteen year old can make when thrust into a new environment where she doesn’t fit. In fact, Bella feels out of step with most of life. It staggers and overwhelms her.
Not an overt type of love, but I knew. I always knew it was there. Somehow, I could tell.
Us, a trio of women, perched around a table so dank and dusty it is as though we sit amidst a crypt. Yet, still, it is alive. Alive with our voices and our smells, our ideas and quick laughs and gossiped stories.
She was 89 when she died on the second story bedroom of her home, my grandma.
“I know you don’t understand,” my mother said, callused hands cupping my cheeks, hair brushed from my forehead, blue eyes on my brown. “But you will.”
I understood then and I understand now, while my own mother lays in a hospital bed, all wires and tubes.
She never wakes. We never wake her.
So it goes.
I am shipped off to Washington State, a foreign land of rain and trees and fathers.
There, in a cold, green, never-ending damp town of Forks, is Edward, who has his own demons and regrets. He’s a lost soul as well but he’s had many more years to fix his mistakes since he’s older than Bella. Complacency has taken hold of Edward and he’s at the end of his rope.
Two people overwhelmed and unhappy with their lives….. One has her whole life ahead of her to choose a new path. One has to wake up before it’s too late to see a life wasted. Now, if they’d stop making bad decisions.
The Cullens were nice enough. Pleasant. Quaint.
There are a thousand couples like them that I have seen and met. Happy in their mediocrity, in their 3 bedrooms and 1.5 baths. Comfortable in their stability.
Sometimes, I long for that. Other times, I fear it worse than death.
Edward and Bella are basically forced to be in each others company when he’s volunteered to teach her how to swim.
“Aren’t you a bit old for swim lessons?”
I duck back under the water.
Hold, hold, hold. Burn, burn, burn. I like the feeling of it in my lungs. Of my heart pounding right out of my chest. Of my body deprived, dying for oxygen. Begging. Pleading. I am in control now. I control my fate now. Come up, live. Stay down, drown.
I surface into the real world, heaving air into my lungs. Up here, nothing has changed. Charlie continues to swim slow laps.
And Edward, from the far side of the pool, stares at me.
I catch his eye, and it’s gone.
His hands rest atop curved knees. Callused and rough, I see the cracks even through the heavy rain. He presses them together, noticing my stare. Self-conscious.
“It’s okay,” I say. I grab his hand. Mine soft and pale, the antithesis to the weathered, beaten palms of Edward Cullen. They can only be from years of hard labor, working in rough conditions with rough people.
I hold one hand in both of mine, tracing the lines.
“What happened here?” I ask.
“One of my first days at the mill, an accident,” he explains vaguely. “It was a long time ago.”
“You still work there?”
“When did you start?”
“Right after high school.”
“It’s a long story.”
There is an underlying connection… they both sense the desperation for a way to escape. But escape from what exactly eludes both of them. Even dating Jasper doesn’t seem to help Bella find happiness.
Yes, Bella and Edward do have a brief affair… but she knows she’s leaving and Edward wants her to go. He wants her to be more than he became. Both of them have some maturing and soul searching to do.
“You don’t understand.”
“I don’t understand tired? Me?” He’s still smiling in that manic sort of way, where the points of his lips are turned down and his eyes are cold, hard slate. “You’re the one who doesn’t understand because you’re so goddamn young.” Harsh, voice like a whip.
“Don’t belittle me.”
“It’s a fact, Bella. It’s a fact.” He gets close to me then, voice eerily soothing. “It feels like it’s the whole world is tiring, is tired. But it’s not. Not the whole world, anyway. “It gets better. It gets bigger, and it gets better.”
His face is confident, his stance is strong, his brow is furrowed.
(But his voice is sad.)
This is where they part. As it should be.
I get my acceptance letter to the University of Oregon via my dad (Charlie). It’s the first time he’s truly paid attention to me in days, and even though his frown is set and his eyes hard…. (Bella goes to see Edward afterwards)
“Where are you leaving me for? Someplace sunny?” he asks. “Someplace warm?” “Someplace you’ve always wanted to go?” “Someplace with family?”
“I can’t bear it.”
“Do you want me to lie to you?” I ask.
“Yes. Please. Yes. Anything.” It’s a beg.
He pulls me to him and it’s like a mother telling his son a story. It’s like there’s a thunderstorm outside, lightning crackling against the roof. It’ll be okay, I want to coo, fingers woven in his hair. It’s just a storm. The storm will always pass.
“It’s warm there, where I’m going. It’s near the ocean. The air always smells of salt. At night, if you listen real close, you can hear the palm trees in the wind. There’s no traffic, there’s no rain. People are happy. There’s old and young, all mixed together. There’s a man on the corner lot, his home right up against the shore. He whistles into the breeze and I swear the tune carries for miles. People come from all over to hear his music. The children, they build sandcastles as tall as skyscrapers. Castle after castle. They’re never blown away in the wind or flattened by the rising surf. And every day, the locals visit the beach at sunset. Together, they paint seashells on the beach and cast them away, presents for a distant shore.”
“Will you paint one for me?” he asks.
“I’ll paint one for you every day. I’ll paint one until the beach is a rainbow of my seashells, thousands of them for you.”
“I’ll wait for them,” he says, voice quieter now.
The heartbreaking letter Edward writes Bella while she’s gone is where ineedyoursway leaves us waiting for the next update. The last few lines just kill me!!
Will you come visit soon? I hope you do, more than anything.
I hope you never come back.
Carelessly, he moves his cursor to the top of the screen. Effortlessly, he presses ‘delete.’
GAH! Yes, it does touch on mature subjects but it’s not your standard May-December plot at all. Since it’s listed as angst, I can’t vouch for a neat and tidy HEA either.
I hope you’ll add Melt to your TBR. It really deserves a lot more readers. [KB: This story sounds incredible. Definitely, adding to my WIP reading list. :)]
See ya next time!
My two stories are from authors that are well known in fanfiction. Honeybeemeadows surprised me yet again with her powerful words in Bite Club-You Can’t Imagine How Much Fun We’re Are Having.
Summary: You Can’t Imagine How Much Fun We’re Having: This is your life, and it’s ending one moment at a time, I know this because Masen knows this. A tongue-in-cheek mash-up of Twilight and Fight Club. No copyright infringement intended. Rated M for blood and bad language. Complete.
She has been my go-to author for reading stories outside of my comfort zone. The good thing is that I never regret it. So, this is AU story, where Edward is quite messed up in the head. He’s got issues. He doesn’t sleep, so he decided to go to a support group for insomniacs, because his new “friend” Mason recommended it. He meets Bella there. She’s not the Bella that we know from canon, but she is interesting to say the least.
Excerpt from Chapter 9:
“A tourist, that’s what you are.” I push her away, trying to put some fucking space between us, but she’s impossible to move. Bella bats her eyes and her mouth curls up at the side.
“Spot on, Sherlock,” she purrs. “I’m just here for the next cheap thrill. And the coffee might be terrible, but it’s free.” She presses her face to my chest and huffs up a sham of a sob, a badly-drawn reproduction of the tears and snot and guilt they say we’re supposed to be letting go of.
I don’t cry. I can’t cry.
Instead, I let her dance me all around the room like we’re royalty at high school prom. I barely resist the urge to pull her into a dark corner to give her a hard and thorough fucking. That or knock that goddamn smirk off her face.
This isn’t love at first sight.
This is resentment at first glance.
Without giving too much away, Mason is a vampire, that decides to create an army of newborns, using the willing contestants of the “fight club” that he runs. Mason plays with Edward’s mind regularly, and is always trying to push Edward into doing things.
Excerpt from Chapter 13:
Mason steals a car. Not a nice car either. A beat up Cadillac the color of curdled milk, seats gone squashy as the upholstery leaks out of the cracked leather. He hurtles down the highway like a bullet from a gun and I’m trying not think about what the fuck we’re gonna do. We have precisely thirty two minutes before the police catch on that something shady went down. I still don’t know what they had him locked away, but I’m pretty sure I blew up my house.
I don’t even remember why I did it.
“You did it to prove something,” Mason says and guns the engine.
“Yourself. Do you ever think about dying?” He flicks his cigarette out the window, a fire wash of sparks exploding behind us.
“A lot,” I say but he shakes his head.
“You shouldn’t. You shouldn’t waste yourself like that.” He sounds disgusted, like someone ran over his dog without stopping and left it all smashed and bleeding in the road.
“You can’t appreciate life without it,” I tell him and his face goes rigid, monstrous with rage.
“You really feel that way?”
“Fuck. My life is an inside joke and I’m not in on the punch line. Death would be a relief at this point.”
“You want death? You’ve got it.” Mason growls at me and jerks the wheel.
Spasm, hard to the right.
The car swerves into oncoming traffic.
Despite the violence and rough storyline, I really enjoyed these characters, and the fact that everything isn’t all spelled out for me. I highly recommend this story, if you want to read the not-so-typical AU story.
Summary: We met. We got off. We went home. We weren’t lovers. We weren’t even friends. We were f- buddies. It worked… Until it didn’t. AH, ExB. Complete.
In contract law, rescission has been defined as the unmaking of a contract for the mutual benefit of both parties.
This author was new for me, but when I saw that her story has recently completed, I downloaded it and saved for when I wanted to read something that wasn’t so fluffy. Annie also loved this story, check out her review back in October here. I’m guessing that I put it on my list for that reason alone.
Bella and Edward have this agreement that they will use each other for what they need, and nothing else. Things change when Edward’s sister Rosalie introduces Bella to him over dinner, not knowing they already “know” each other. Meeting family and/or friends is outside of the agreement.
Excerpt from Chapter 3, Cream Cheese:
“Yeah. See ya,” I said as he strode toward the door. “And thanks for the bagel,” I called out just as it was closing behind him.
I stood there in a stupor, staring at my dining room table and chewing on my thumbnail.
This was not good.
Obviously, we’d had sex many times before, but I’d always felt like it was on my terms in one way or another. This time though, I didn’t feel in control at all. My body completely took over, and everything else was forgotten.
Things like the rules that seemed to be falling by the wayside more and more.
I knew neither of us intentionally broke the “no meeting friends and family” rule, and he obviously had a good reason to call this morning. But I couldn’t let this get out of hand.
The rules were in place for a reason.
I jumped in the shower and tried to focus on what was important in my life-mainly my job.
Being a surgical resident was grueling work. I didn’t have time for a relationship, and even if I did, I’d been down that road. It just didn’t fit in my life right now.
Right now, this is what worked for me, and I had to do everything in my power to keep it that way. I couldn’t let any more of the rules get broken or disregarded.
That was a slippery fucking slope if there ever was one.
What kept me reading was watching the rules being broken in each chapter. Both Bella and Edward “cross the line”, but it’s Edward that realizes why first. He is the one who wants Bella for himself, and puts his heart on the line. Bella is the one who pulls away at every bump in the road.
The lemons are very steamy, and the ending is perfect.
Even though I am not reading as much fan fiction as I have in years past, I am still pleasantly surprised at the amazing talent that is out there. The authors featured here are very good at what they do, and I applaud them.
Happy Fan Fiction Friday everyone!!