Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The First Sight of Edward Cullen (Bella Post)

January 2009

Somehow I had managed to get through the first half of my first day at a new high school. It wasn’t as awful as I thought it might be, though it was pretty boring. I had already done half the assignments in Phoenix, so it was a breeze. I thought for sure my homework would be just as easy.

I had also managed to make a few new friends, and endured everyone’s New Girl staring at me style. I hated to be stared at and I really hated being the center of attention. Being the new girl in a small school at a small town with a dad for the chief of police, I was easily the shiny new object today. My old 1950s truck probably didn’t help.

At my old school in Phoenix, I didn’t have that many friends and I was easily over looked. I was sorda the stand in the corner, hide in the shadows type. So, suddenly having all this attention on me was rather nerve racking. But, I quietly endured it. Thinking it wouldn’t last forever.

So, I stood in front of the salad bar in the cafeteria arranging a sandwich with a yogurt and celery sticks on my tray. I grabbed a bottle of water and a coke. Then turned to find a table with Jess, Mike and Angela when I caught the eyes of a guy staring at me.

He had dark brown eyes. That were almost black and pale skin. He seemed sorda angry at me for some reason though I couldn’t figure out why. He put his hand over his nose as if he smelled something bad and I smelled my shirt to make sure I didn’t stick. But my shirt smelled good. I looked at him for a second as he stood stocked still in front of me.

“Um, hello.” I started, but he swung around and just about stormed out of the lunch room.

“What’s all that about?” I asked putting my tray down at a table across from Jessica and Angela.

“Oh that?” Jessica asked looking towards the guy who was storming out of the cafeteria. I nodded.

“That is Edward Cullen.” Angela offered. “His adopted siblings are in the corner over there.” She said pointing to a corner table were four others who had the same pale skin as Edward sat. I raised an eyebrow as I glanced at them. Weird. I thought.

“They’re not from around here.” Jessica said. “They moved up from Alaska a few years ago. They’re Dr. and Mrs. Cullens foster kids. But they’re all together. Alice, she’s the little weird black haired girl, is with Jasper. And Emmett and Rosalie are together. Of course Edward doesn’t have a girlfriend. But I wouldn’t bother with that. He doesn’t seem to like anyone here.” Jess rambled off. “Anyway, they kinda keep to themselves.”

I glanced back over at the Cullens in the corner. I knew exactly how it felt to be an outsider and have people talk about you. I knew for a fact that half the student body at Forks was talking about me because most of them were staring at me. I wondered if that’s what the Cullens felt like when they moved here. At least they were used to the weather. Alaska was pretty cold or so I heard.

However, none of this explained why Edward was so grossed out by me. I wondered what I had done to piss him off so much. All I did was stand there and stare at him. Maybe I would have to confront him the next time I saw him.

(This scene differs from the book. There is no copyright infrigment intended.)

Downton Abbey Reading Challenge Book List

Downton Abbey Reading Challenge Book List

Last month sometime I joined a Downton Abbey Reading Challenge. I decided to make a list of the books I've read and keep it in a link on my blog. Just so I can keep track of the books. Here is the link to the reading challenge I joined. http://reading-extensively.blogspot.com/2012/02/2012-downton-abbey-reading-challenge.html

1. Dear America: In the Land of Buffalo Bones

2. The World of Downton Abbey

3. Rebecca Mystery; A Bundle of Trouble

4. Dear America: Voyage on the Great Titanic

5. Dear Canada: That Fatal Night

6. The Tale of Peter Rabbit

7. The Railway Children

8. Timeless~ Gail Carriger

9. Thirteenth Child~ Patricia C Wrede

10: Mandie and the Secret Tunnel

11. Rebecca of Sunny Broke Farm

12. Pollyanna

13. The Royal Diaries: Victoria; May Blossom of Britannia England, 1829

14. Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle

15. The Warlock's Curse by MK Hobson

16. Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame

A whole buncha new pictures, crafts and stuff

Location: Bedroom
Music: King of NewYork (Newsies Broadway Soundtrack)
Book: Timeless
Mood: Chippper!

Oh my goodness it has been a long time since I posted. Mostly, I've been terribly busy catching up on some reading, posting and carfts. I have so many new pictures to show. So here we go.

The First is last month, I found a very adorable Samantha doll on ebay for pretty cheap. So I bought her. She arrived in the mail with a little TLC needed. I still need to curl her hair. But here is a little picture of her. I was so excited when I got her too lol. Who said that adults couldnt have dolls? Queen Victoria kept all her dolls and they're famous now. Maybe some day mine will be. Though I'm not a Queen lol. Nor do I think I would want to be one.

I do need to replace her accessories as she didnt come with them. But thats okay. I was just so happy with her. And she didnt come with the original ribbon. But I put a red one in her hair. Like she wears in the movie.

I also decided I wanted to try and remake Nancy Drew's Dective Kit from the 2007 Nancy Drew movie. I had made this last year but didnt like how it came out. This time around, the bag turned out much better.

As you can see it turned out much better the second time around. I used velcro instead of staps too.

Anyway, I also made this cute little silk kitty from the American Girl Party book. It didnt turn out the way I wanted it too. But its still cute. I named him Gigi. After the cat in KiKi's Delivery lol.

Oh and I made a few Hunger Games Crafts and recipes. lol. The first hunger game item I made was Peeta's Sweet sugar cookies from the Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook. Oh they were so yummy. Here is a link to the recipe. http://whatsinlaurenstummy.blogspot.com/2012/01/peetas-sugar-cookies.html

I also made this mocking jay pin I found from a tutorial online. The pin turned out bigger than I expected and I may try again. But for now it makes a nice decoration. Here is the link to the tutorial. http://delusionsofholbert.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d46wktg

And finally I also made a little Poisonous Nightlock Berry  keychain. I found the tutorial here. http://shadesoftangerine.blogspot.com/2012/03/hunger-games-nightlock-berry-keychain.html And here is my version.

So as you can see I've been pretty busy lol. Well, I better get back to making crafts and coming up with new craft ideas. Here's a little Newsies to finish off with.

The hanging (Nora's Post)

fall of 1865

Dirty, dusty, stinky, smelly, too loud, constant moving, these were all the things I thought about of the train that I had taken from New York City to St. Louis. I supposed I was very lucky to even be able to take a train to St. Louis. But I absolutely hated trains. Boats, I didn’t mind so much for some reason. I never got sea sick. But trains were an entirely different story. They were loud, and noisy and smelly and dirty. And the people inside the trains where simply appalling. I couldn’t understand why the train system in America didn’t run the same way it did in England. In England the trains were much more civilized. In America, the passengers were all jammed together. Train rides in America always made me a little ill.

So by the time I finally stepped off the train in St. Louis, all I wanted was a warm bubble bath, a nice hot meal and to crawl into some clean white sheets. Instead, I found the city bustling with activity, and I had a hard time securing help with my luggage. Once I finally found someone to help, it was drawing on noon. Two hours after I had arrived in St. Louis. I looked at the man in front of me. He had a limp and a southern accident.

“What’s going on?” I asked, trailing behind my hired help.

“There’s to be a hanging at 1 Missus.” The man said. “You traveling alone?” He asked suddenly as if it finally occurred to him that I did not have a chaperone. I frowned.

“What of it?” I asked.

“Just seems strange that a young lady from England would be traveling alone is all.”

“I’m not from England.” I protested. It was true that my current residence was England, but I was an American just as much as he was.

“Than what’s with the accent?”

“I’ve been away at a boarding school for a very long time. It isnt my fault I picked up the accent. But I’m American.”

“Still, isnt right that you’re traveling alone.”

“Well, I didn’t much have choice in the matter.” I said. I wasn’t about to tell him why I came back to America. Besides, he didn’t need to know my full story.


Once I found myself a boarding house and had a bath I crept down to the dining room. There was several long rows of tables with white table clothes and benches to sit upon. It was rather crude compared to what I was used too. When I came in, everyone stopped and stared at me. There were no gentlemen or ladies from my class anywhere and I felt slightly out of place in all my finery. Perhaps I should have chosen a less elegant dress. I thought touching the light blue of my silk skirt. At any rate, I took my seat beside a cowboy. At least I thought he was a cowboy, and waited to be served.

“You here for the hanging Miss?” A man wearing little more than his long johns and a pair of trousers asked me. He had food in his long shaggy gray beard. I cringed at the smell of him.

“ No sir.” I said politely.

“Ever seen a hangin’?” The man continued to ask. I shook my head. The very idea of seeing a hanging was rather appalling. That was why I had to find Charlie and explain to the authorities that he couldn’t possibly be wanted for anything more than breaking a pencil.

“Maybe you should.” The man next to me said.

“Why on earth would I want to see men being hanged?” I asked biting into a hard biscuit. I missed the food at the boarding school, but I could endure this. I had to find my brother. I sighed as I reached for my fork and noticed that the man across the table from me had a newspaper. On the front page was Charlie’s picture.

“May I see that paper please?” I asked, trying to keep my voice calm, even though I was far from calm. The man shrugged and handed me the paper.

Wanted Bloody Charlie for the murder of several bankers, cowboys and even Indians! Bloody Charlie was last seen in the Oregon territory, robbing a stage coach station. There is a 1000 dollar reward for anyone who finds him dead or alive.

I folded the paper back up and gave it back to the old man. “What do they do with wanted men?” I asked.

“If they make it as far as the jail house, normally they hang them.” The shaggy beard man said. “Why do you ask?”

“No reason.” I said finishing my stew and standing up to leave.


I stuffed a yawn as I stood in a jostling crowd of angry people outside the gallows. There a man stood who claimed to be a murder of sorts. His wrists were bound behind his back and a rope was around his neck. The man wasn’t a bit afraid, instead he sneered at the crowd.

“My men will come after every last one of ye. Just wait and see.” The man spit tobacco on the ground. Then, someone placed a black sack over his head and they hanged him. I gasped and jumped backwards, watched the man struggle for a few moments and then go still. The whole thing was completely appalling. I put my handkerchief up to my mouth and swallowed hard to keep down the vomit I knew was trying to come up. I would never; never let them do that to my brother. Charlie wasn’t a murder. He was a good, kind honest man who was a lawyer. They couldn’t hang a lawyer could they?

A grand Tour (Alessandra Post)

I quietly lead Julia and Nigi through the entrance and into the front part of my Villa. Through the hallway into the large courtyard and down into the main living area. I smiled at the look on my friends face as I lead them through my rather elegant home.

“If only my father could have seen this!” Julia said. Julia was a bastard daughter of Lorenzo de Medici. Her father had once been called The Magnificent. Lorenzo had loved art and music, the pagan worlds and the Ancient Roman one as well.

“He would have tried to have part of his home built like mine.” I said.

“Yes. And I would have had to help.” Nigi said. Nigi had been a painter employed by Lorenzo and Julia and Nigi had been both madly in love. Even though it was nearly out of the question for Julia to marry Nigi. I supposed I had helped both of them at least in that sense. Julia and Nigi where both nearly dead from certain assassins when I found them. They had been my friends and I had decided to turn them at the last minute. Something else I normally never did. However, in this special case, I was rather glad I had saved my friends.

“Ah I should have had you come to do the art work in here.” I said having completely forgotten about Nigi and Julia until they had both suddenly appeared.

“For the beautiful lady, I shall paint Ancient Roman scenery!” Nigi said. “And Julia will help.” I laughed at this.

“Oh Nigi.” I said shaking my head. Suddenly, Nigi sniffed the air and stared at me.

“Is there a human in your villa my beautiful Volturi Princess?” Nigi asked. I blinked, I had completely forgotten about Skye.

“Yes. And she is not to be a snack.” I said carefully in a warning voice. Nigi shrugged. Julia didn’t even look interested.

“Then we shall refrain from having a snack in your home. But why are you having a human stay here?”

“She is--- I took in from the streets. She needed help.” I said softly. Julia stared at me. Then rolled her eyes.

“Oh Alessandra not again.” She said shaking her head.

“I cant help it. I see a child in need--- Its just something I have to do. And Skye needs help. I can provide her with a safe place to live.”

“In a house full of Vampires?”

“Well, where house would be safer?”

“I suppose you may have a point. Alessandra, you cannot save every child that needs help. You must realize that?” Julia said. I sighed. I did know that. But they just didn’t understand. Alex understood. He was perhaps the only one who did. Sometimes, I thought Aro understood. Petrus just went along with it because it was what I wanted.

“Yes, I do realize that.” I said softly. “Come, I have more to show you of the villa, and I can put you up in rooms if you would like to stay as well.” I said changing the subject and leading them to the back of the Villa where the bedrooms where.

(For a map of what Alessandra's home may look like please check out this link. http://www.roman-colosseum.info/roman-architecture/roman-villa.htm)

Date Night with Charlie (Bella Post)

With Carlisle’s death, I suddenly realized how much it meant to me to have Charlie still around. I mean I wasn’t very old yet. Hardly even an adult. So of course myfather would still be alive. But given the most recent events in the Cullen house hold, I felt that I wanted to spend some time with my dad. The plan being that I would make dinner, and we would then watch some sort of movie. Probably a family sort. I did have Elizabeth with me as well. And even though she was just a baby, I didn’t want her watching certain things. I fully believed that babies could understand everything just as much as adults could.

“I’m really sorry Bells to hear about what happened with Dr. Cullen. I know he and you werent really close, but he was still your Father in law.” Charlie said suddenly coming into the kitchen holding Elizabeth. I turned over the chicken I was frying, and then looked at my Dad.

“Thanks Dad.” I said. “Its been really hard at home. I kinda needed a break. They’re taking it really hard. But if it was you- -- “ I didn’t even want to think about something bad happening to Charlie. My dad seemed to know where I was going with this.

“Bells I’m a cop. No one can take down the chief!” Charlie said acting all manly. I laughed.

“Sure thing Dad.” I said. Me and my dad had never been great talkers. Charlie stood staring at me for a few minutes.

“You know if you need anything, I’m here right?” He asked finally. I nodded. I did know that, this was why I had come over for the night.

“Yeah. I know Dad.” I said. There was another silence.

“How’s Edward taking this whole thing? I know he and Dr. Cullen were pretty close.”

“He’s dealing with it. I mean, they’re all dealing with it. Edward is taking it kinda hard though. I think its mostly because he wasn’t there. He still thinks that if he was there he may have been able to stop---“

“And you don’t think he would have?” Charlie asked. I shook my head. I knew the Volturi. And I knew that once Aro made up his mind, well very rarely could anything change it.

“I don’t think so Dad. Its not like our court system. Where if someone says they didn’t do something wrong and there is evidence to prove their innocence they go free. The Volturi--- Are scary.”

Again my Dad and I went into this silence mode and then suddenly the chicken was sizzling and the buzzer went off. Dinner was done. I plopped everything done on the table, and smiled at Charlie. I wondered how often he got home made meals now that I wasn’t living with him. I figured he probably went over to Sue’s for dinner now--- Which that whole thing was rather awkward. But I was happy for him. My Dad shouldn’t be alone. I wondered how it would feel if Sue and my Dad ever got married. I would have werewolves for siblings, and a husband who was a vampire. Two species in my family would hate one another. Well maybe not so much anymore. But that was their natural instinct. I shook my head.

“What?” Charlie asked as he dug into his fried chicken.

“Nothing.” I said laughing watching food fall from his mouth into his plate. Spending the evening with my dad was exactly what I needed! I decided before I grabbed some food for myself.

The Railway Children (Book Review)

The Railway Children;

Amazon Book description;

This is a delightful reading of a classic story by Edith Nesbit, first published in 1906. When father is suddenly taken away, mother and the three children must leave their fancy London life to live in a simple country cottage near a train station. The children and their bottomless good nature, together with some new friends, work to rescue father and help others along the way. Narrator Virginia Leishman makes this old-fashioned world come alive for today's children without resorting to melodrama. The recording is flawless and without unnecessary fanfare, making it a wonderful way to introduce a classic to young listeners.

Joanna’s review;

I never had a chance to read this book. And I thought it was such a brilliant adorable story. I didn’t listen to the book recording but I did read it. And it was a cute little story. I am sure if I read it when I was little, I would have loved it. I highly recommend it.

Dear Canada: That Fatal Night (Book Review)

Dear Canada: That Fatal Night

Amazon Review:

It is May 1912, one month after the horrific sinking of the Titanic, and twelve-year-old survivor Dorothy Wilton is sent home from school in disgrace when she strikes another student. Although she's expelled, her sympathetic teacher encourages Dorothy to write an account of her experience on the ship, with the hopes that it will help Dorothy come to terms with her trauma.

And so begins a truly remarkable story, which reads like a time capsule of the era: Dorothy writes about visiting her bohemian grandparents in England before setting sail back home, the luxurious rooms and cabins on board, a new friend she makes, and the intriguing people they observe. However, amidst all of this storytelling, a shadow lurks, a secret Dorothy is too traumatized to acknowledge — a secret about her own actions on that fatal night, which may have had deadly consequences.

Through young Dorothy's eyes, award-winning writer Sarah Ellis expertly takes a unique perspective on the Titanic tragedy, exploring the concept of survivor's guilt with devastating honesty.

Joanna’s Review;

I had bought this book last year when it came out. But I never got around to reading it. So after I read Voyage on the Titanic I thought I would give it a try. As with the other Dear Canada and Dear America books, I really liked this book.

It was a rather refreshing telling of the story. As it doesn’t completely just deal with the Titanic and we get to see what Dorthy’s life was like slightly before her trip on the Titanic and how she is handling the tragic events that took place in her life.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dear America: Voyage on the Great Titanic (book review)

Dear America: Voyage on the Great Titanic

Amazon Review:
Five years ago, Margaret Ann Brady's older brother left her in the care of an orphanage and immigrated to America. When the orphanage receives an unusual request from an American woman looking for a traveling companion, Margaret's teachers agree that she is the perfect candidate to accompany Mrs. Carstairs on the TITANIC, so that once Margaret arrives in New York she will be free to join her brother in Boston. But the TITANIC is destined for tragedy, and Margaret's journey is thrown into a frozen nightmare when the ship collides with an iceberg.

Joanna’s Review:
I had read this book when it first came out. Back at that time I was throughly obessed with Titanic. I had to have everything I could on the ship and as I was also into the Dear America series, this book was perfect.

It has however been a number of years since I last read the book and I thought I would read it again to comence the 100th anniversity of the sinking of the ship. As I had throughly enjoyed the book when I first read it all those years ago, I also enjoyed it the second time. I highly recommend it to all Dear America fans and Titanic  fans.

Girls of Many Lands; Cecile Gates of Gold (Book Review)

Girls of Many Lands; Cecile Gates of Gold

Amazon Book Review
Cecile and her father live in a peasant village in France in the early 1700s. Out in the forest one day, she rescues a noble woman who was injured in a fall from her horse. The woman, known as Madame, is the sister-in-law of King Louis XIV and rewards Cecile with a position at court caring for her dogs. The 12-year-old soon discovers that life at Versailles is more than gilded halls and magnificent parties. She must learn the strict court etiquette, not make any enemies, and ignore the gossip and intrigue. However, the girl finds that staying in favor at court is a delicate balancing act. Readers are introduced to the royal family through her eyes. The action builds steadily and will sustain readers' interest. A short history of France in the early 1700s and a glossary of French words are included. "American Girl" fans will be charmed by Cecile and her regal life.

Joanna’s Review
I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to like this book at first. As while I thought the book about Minuk was decent, I wasn’t entirely in love with it. I did enjoy Kathleen’s book however so I wanted to give this one a go. I was not dissapointed. Cecile’s book is brilliantly written and Mary Casanova seems to be able to capture the French courts very well. I am not going to go into too much detail about this book. I will leave that for the reader. However for anyone who loves Marie Antoinette, American Girls or the Court Life, I would highly recommend this book.

Volturi Rumors (Alessandra Post)

Oh how I loved Italian music. A gentle guitar could be heard somewhere nearby. If I tried I could sense where it was. I felt for just a few moments like I was back in Venice. I dearly loved Venice. I would have to take Skye and Petrus there some time. But not tonight. Tonight, I sat quietly at a table with Petrus outside a restaurant. Of course we didn’t eat anything but that wasn’t really the point. The moon was shining brightly down on us and it was almost as romantic as it might have been in a 1950s love movie. One of those that Audrey Hepburn might have done.

I smiled sweetly at Petrus as he took my hands and stared into my eyes. “Gee now all we need is some spaghetti and a dog and we could be like the dogs were in Lady and the Tramp.” Petrus laughed. I had no idea what he was talking about of course.

“Lady and the Tramp?” I asked. Petrus stared at me.

“You’ve never seen Lady and the Tramp?

“Would I be asking about it if I had?” I asked rather annoyed. I hated it when people repeated questions as if the person asking the question was stupid. Of course, I myself probably did this a few times, so I was being hypercritical. But oh well. Nothing I could do about it.

“Lady and the Tramp is a cute little Disney movie about two dogs who fall in love.” I rolled my eyes.

“Two little dogs that fall in love?” See now it was my turn to repeat the question haha!

“Yep. Two cute little dogs.” I laughed.

“Maybe we should watch it sometime.” I said. It would probably be stupid, but if Petrus liked the movie than I would give it a go.

A gentle breeze stirred up and suddenly I caught the scent of another vampire. Not far from where Petrus and I sat. Petrus must have caught it too because he sat up a bit still and looked behind me. I sighed, and turned.

“Julia?” I asked the vampire who stood behind me a bit surprised to see my old friend from the Medici courts. Julia laughed and tossed her thick, black hair.

“I daresay I am just as surprised to see you. And with a handsome man at that. You looked so deeply in love that I hated to break the mood.” Julia said plopping down next to Petrus at the table. “And what are you doing at a restaurant of all places?”

“There were chairs and a table. Music and it was the perfect place.” Petrus said easily. “Who is this?” He asked me. I smiled.

“Petrus I would like to introduce Julia Medici. She is a friend from oh. . . How many years ago was that?”

“Roughly 500.” Julia said smiling. “I’m pleased to meet you. You must be a very interesting young man to have caught Alessandra’s eyes.” Julia said. Petrus cleared his throat.

“So I have heard.” He muttered.

“But enough of that, I have news from Volterra.” I stared at Julia, wondering what on earth the news could be not that I cared or anything.

“I don’t think Alessandra is going to really care about any sort of news coming from Volterra.” Petrus said.

“Petrus my dear you probably couldn’t have put it in better words. However, I shall tell you both anyway. There was an execution it seems of sorts. No one knows who it was of course. The Volturi are remaining very hush, hush about the whole ordeal. But you know how word spreads in our world.” Julia said.

“Why would the world care of there was another sad being that lots its life to Aro?” I asked. Aro had plenty of vampires killed. What made this death different from the rest?

“Yes but it was the manner in which the death was preformed that makes it strange. Apparently no one but Alec, and some strange new Volturi member where allowed to watch. The vampire from what I have heard was some leader or something. Probably a rebel. You know how the Volturi hate being crossed.”

“Of course I know how the Volturi hate being crossed. I am a Volturi member or did you forget?” I snapped. Growing rather annoyed with Julia’s gossip. I could care less if some vampire rebel was executed.

“Well, I see you havent changed much.” Julia said rather crossly.

“I am who I am.” I said.

“Too true. At any rate, I thought you should know what they are saying about the Volturi. How long have you been in Rome?” Julia asked. I shrugged.

“A few months at best. Aro wanted me to spend some time in Rome. He even paid for me to rebuild my families’ Villa.” I said softly. For that reason alone, I couldn’t harbor too much ill will towards Aro at the moment. Though, I still had the distinct feeling that he had wanted to get rid of me. And this was his excuse.

“I am so glad he finally gave you permission to that. I would certainly love to see it. May I?” Julia asked. I smiled and nodded.

“Of course. We can take you there now.” I said. Despite Julia’s constant need for gossip, she was good friend. “Where is Nigi?” I asked as we stood.

“He’s nearby. Visiting an old friend of his.” Julia answered.

“Ah, well we must invite him as well. We’ll meet you at the outside of the city in an hour. The place where we used to meet?” I said softly. Julia nodded.

“Till then.” She said and disappeared.

“Who is Nigi?” Petrus asked.

“Julia’s mate.” I said simply leaving it at that.

(Thank you Carlisle for the idea)

A scrapbook of memories (Alice Post)

Black, seemed to be my color lately, I was after all still rather in mourning for my father, and while I didn’t relish the color, it seemed to reflect my mood. I couldn’t help it. My normal chipper mood had turned dark. Every time I walked past a picture of my father or something that reminded me of him, the tears would come. And I couldn’t just, couldn’t bring myself up out of my grief just yet.

Instead, I tried to dwell on the happy memories I had of Carlisle. I had started a scrapbook of Carlisle. Things he had said, things he liked, pictures and other personal items. I had gathered all these items and put them into a pile when I found the letter my father had written me. I stared at it for a few moments, turning it this way and that. Was I really ready to open it yet? I felt tears sting my eyes. No, I thought, I wasn’t ready to open it just yet and set the letter aside.

However, after staring at the letter for several moments, I decided it was time to open it. They were after all, Carlisle’s words. Perhaps reading the letter, bringing back a small part of him, would help ease this everlasting pain I had in my chest.

I started to read the letter finally after carefully breaking my father’s seal and within seconds the tears that had been trying to come all day, started to slowly spill. I looked softly at the letter. Of course it started with Carlisle telling me not to blame myself.

I supposed I didn’t really blame myself for Carlisle’s death. No, I blamed the Volturi. The family that ruled our kind for killing my father. What had Carlisle done to deserve to die? Simply because he lived with humans didn’t seem to be enough. I knew there were some other reasons for Aro wanting Carlisle dead. But I just still couldn’t grasp the idea of Carlisle being dead. So no, I didn’t blame myself for my father’s death. That wasn’t simply in my nature. Instead, I laid the blame sorely on the Volturi. Where it should have been laid. If only I could have done more to--- What would I have done anyway? Storm the castle and take over the Volturi? That was stupid. Besides not possible. Not to mention, Carlisle would never have wanted that.

Sitting very still, I finally went back to the letter. Carlisle mentioned how changed Edward had become after I joined the family. I sighed softly at the mention of my brother’s name. Edward wanted a grand memorial for Carlisle. He wanted to try and take Carlisle’s place as leader of our family. I didn’t quite approve of this. I thought that it should be Esme’s place to take over. I felt that we didn’t need to throw a big memorial for Carlisle. He wouldn’t have wanted this. No, I didn’t think my father would want that at all.

However, I knew better than to go against Edward. I simply, didn’t have the energy it would take to go against him at the moment so I gave him some ideas. I could see both possibilities taking place. A small memorial or a big one. Though, I voted more for the small one.

Carlisle wrote that he was humbled that I had chosen him instead of the Volturi. I had to smile at that. I had never seen myself living with the Volturi. Instead, it was always Carlisle. With Carlisle I would have had something so much more than I would ever have with the Volturi.

Of course he finished it with saying he would, if given the chance be watching over me. Like a small guardian Angel. I smiled again at that image and try as I may, I couldn’t see my father in heaven or any other sort of afterlife. I sighed and gently placed the letter in the scrap book I was working on. If I closed my eyes and looked just right I could still see Carlisle smiling at me. I decided that was going to be my last memory of him, and softly shut my scrap book. Thinking I would work on it more tomorrow.

For a horse to trust a vampire (Nora Post)

“Here girl!” I said gently holding out an apple to my tiny colt which stood next to its mother. The colt shyly nudged it’s way toward me. Then, very gently nibbled at the apple. I slowly held out my hand to the colt. She backed away at first, then came forward to bite the apple, backed away again, and then came forward and nudged my hand. I smiled. Finally! The baby was letting me pet her. After almost a week of having her, she was starting to trust me. Now if I could just get her mother to let me touch her. I would dearly love to ride again. I thought gently stroking the colt’s nose.

“Aw, see, I won’t hurt you girl.” I said ever so gently, and then softly decided to try and lead the colt out into my ring. She followed slowly as I coxed her the apple. Then, she let me lead her around the ring. I grinned when she nudged me for the apple.

“See, that wasn’t so bad now was it?” I asked and she naed softly. “Now I may need to start thinking of a name for you little one.” I said giving her the apple. “Every animal or being needs one. And you didn’t come with one.” I smiled while the baby colt nudged me under my arm, wanting some attention. I laughed. “oooh, getting greedy are we?” I said softly.

About that time, the mare suddenly decided to make her presence known. Whether it was because she couldn’t stand being away from her colt or because she was curious, it was hard to tell. But she trotted over to me.

I slowly looked into the mare’s eyes as she stood several feet away from me at first. “Come on.” I said softly holding out my hand. “I’m not going to hurt you anymore than I will your colt.” I spoke softly. I waited very still for several minutes before the mare made her move. She slowly trotted towards me. Then stopped, than came forward a few inches more. Finally, she nudged me.

“Oh yay! See, you don’t need to be afraid of me!” I said happily stroking her long silky mane. She was such a beautiful horse.

“And one day, I’m going to ride you. But not just yet I think.” I said and my mare naed in agreement. That was when I heard laughter coming from behind me.

“How did you do that?” Charlie asked standing outside the ring as to not upset the horses. I shrugged.

“Well, I always did have a way with animals. Even when I was a human.” I said hotly. It was clear my brother had thought I couldn’t train these animals.

“I suppose that is true.” Charlie said still staring at me with awe as if he couldn’t quite believe what I had accomplished.

“She still wouldn’t trust me enough to let me ride her. But perhaps in time. . .” I said.

“Nora, I bet that horse would let you ride her by the week’s end.” Charlie said. I stared at him for a moment and shrugged. It wasn’t up to me; it was up to the mare of course. But I would so dearly love to ride her.

“Maybe- - - I would love to ride her. Yes I would.” I said softly to the mare. “One day girl. . . One day we’ll feel the wind in our hair and ride over the mountains.” I had by the time I found Charlie become an excellent rider, and it had nearly killed me to know I would never ride again. But now, almost 150 years later, I may be able to have that small joy again. I dearly hoped so.

To Try Forever ( Alessandra Post)

The villa was unusually quiet. After Petrus and Skye had insisted on taking me out to some underground club in Rome, they had simply disappeared, leaving me once again to my thoughts. And so, I sat quietly tracing a painting I had done of Piran many, many years ago. I had always wondered what had happened to him. I wondered if I could truly be happy with Petrus, the way I had once been with Piran. Piran whom had promised to wait for me until I was no longer a Priestess of Vesta. Piran whom had taken my heart with him when he died. I traced the bracelet I still wore that he gave me and closed my eyes. Petrus wanted forever, but was I willing to give up Piran to be with Petrus?

For some reason now matter how many people came into my life, I could never shake the past away. It continued to haunt me, to creep up on me when I least expected it. And while, I had thought that perhaps living in my families villa would help ease the pain a bit, it only brought me more sadness.

I would look towards the spots in rooms where I knew my loved ones would have stood or sat, yet no one would be there, only shadows of what once was. One would think that after two thousand years I would be willing to give it up. But could a person truly forsake their past and family? I supposed most vampires did let go. It certainly wasn’t healthy holding on to human memories when there was nothing for it. Except perhaps heartache.

And then there was Petrus and Skye. With each single day I felt as if I knew them both from somewhere or someplace long ago. Perhaps Petrus was Piran and Skye. . . I had no idea whom she could be. But I was certain it was someone I had once known. But Petrus, though his eyes were red, I was certain they could have once been Piran’s liquid brown ones. Petrus had his smile, his manner of speaking sometimes. I could see Piran in Petrus. But I was terribly afraid that I was seeing Piran in Petrus because I wanted to see him in Petrus.

If only these things were certain. However, unlike being a vampire or shape shifter, reincarnation wasn’t certain. At least. . . I didn’t think it was. I wondered if anyone knew if reincarnation could be certain. Perhaps Alice might. But then, Alice only saw the future according to people’s decisions. So maybe she wouldn’t know. I wished that there was still some sort of oracle in Rome. The Oracle, I was certain would know if Petrus was Piran. Petrus himself didn’t seem to truly know.

Yet he knew things Piran would have known. For instance, he knew where to place my little sister’s bedroom, where Skye now slept. He knew where my parents had slept. He even knew where to put my bedroom. He knew what flowers and stones went in the gardens. He knew the types of fabrics I liked before I had to tell him. He knew so many things. I supposed he could easily be Piran reincarnated. I had once heard that when two souls meant, and were torn from one another that they couldn’t help but continue to find one another.

While my soul was forever lost to whatever happened to souls who became vampires, Piran’s wasn’t. Was he still searching for me? And could I really give him up to be with Petrus forever? I truly wanted to be happy. I knew my family would have wanted me to be happy. Especially Piran. Piran had always longed to see me happy. But would giving up the tiny bit of myself that I held onto so dearly, truly make me happy?

I wasn’t sure if I was ready to give up Piran yet for Petrus, but at the same time I certainly wasn’t sure if I was ready to lose Petrus because I said no to him when he asked me to say yes. Love was such a funny thing. I thought. It was truly no wonder why I had for so long shut it out. And now that I was finally letting it seep into my life, I was just as confused as I had been before I had let it in. Was it better to shut everything out and live without love and life? No, I didn’t think so.

I sat back on the heels of my bare feet and glanced up to see Petrus gently looking into my eyes. I had of course known he was there.

“You’re pondering something.” He said softly. I nodded. I wouldn’t deny that I was pondering something. Why should I?

“Tell me.” Petrus said sitting down next to me.

“Do you remember anything at all . . . About. . . “

“About you? In this house?” Petrus asked. I nodded.

“Is that Piran? In the painting?” Petrus said suddenly changing the subject and I nodded my head. “I look nothing like him. Yet I sometimes think I remember things. I know things that I shouldn’t know.” He tried explaining.”

“Yes.” I agreed.” Yes you do seem to know things you shouldn’t know. Petrus?” I asked suddenly staring into his red eyes. I had suddenly decided that I didn’t want to lose him, not the way I had lost Piran.

“Um?” He asked still staring gently into my eyes and tracing my cheek with his soft touch.

“Would you do something for me? If. . . If I said yes to you? If I told you would I spend forever with you?” It was no or never. I was going to ask him. I really was. I lowered my eyes a bit nervous. But I could never be with someone who drank human blood. The person I chose to be with had to have the same opinions as I did. I wondered if I could sway Petrus.

“What?” Petrus asked.

“Would you change your diet for me?”

“You mean drink animal blood?” I nodded. Jasper had changed his diet for Alice because he loved her so much. Why wouldn’t Petrus for me? Especially if he said he loved me as much as he did? He took a deep breath and let it out.

“That’s asking a lot. But if that is what it would take. . .” He said looking gently at me. “Then, I will try.” A try was better than a no, and I smiled brightly up at him. I felt tears shining in my eyes. If Petrus was willing to try, perhaps, it was time to put the past away, and embrace something new. I snuggled down into Petrus.

“Then, I will say the same thing. I’d like to try forever.” I said softly touching his cheek. Piran, I prayed would forgive me wherever he was.