Sunday, January 31, 2010

Guest Fic Rec: Bratty Blood Lust


The Author's Synopsis:

Following the battle against the newborn army, a human teenaged boy had stumbled upon Edward's eradication of Victoria, witnessing more than a human should ever know. Captured by the Volturi, the boy's fate is no less than grim. The sadistic Jane gives Edward an ultimatum: Kill the boy himself or lose his true love forever. Forced into the situation, he opts to end the boy's life, but in doing so, his desire for human blood is awakened and becomes nearly impossible to control.

Kalejay's story continues immediately after chapter 25 of Eclipse. Everything beyond that in the original Twilight series is being replaced by this intriguing and imaginative new twist.

I jumped into reading Bloodlust because I can't seem to resist a good, dark, vampy tale. I love the idea of actually exploring the struggle that Edward (or any Cullen) has in abstaining from human blood. All too often, it is a topic that is treated lightly or mentioned as an annoyance more than the difficult or painful inner-battle I imagine it to be. Kalejay took it to task, and jumped right into the action. In the very first chapter, Edward is forced to choose between killing a young boy, or losing Bella. Easy decision. But absolutely nothing is easy for him afterward.

"Jane cocked her head and looked at me expectantly. "Carry on, then," she said, motioning toward the boy with a small wave of her hand.

I stood horrified as she insinuated that I kill the boy myself.

It was a few moments before I found my voice. "Why are you doing this?" I asked, unsure why I was surprised at her sadistic decision.

A sardonic giggle escaped her. "Because it's fun," she replied. "I may have missed the fight earlier but I think this could make up for it."

Ethan's kneeling form began to shudder as every pair of undead eyes landed on him.

My inaction made Jane impatient. "Do it," Jane commanded, "or she dies."

The thought of any more harm coming to my love drove my following actions. With quick strides I made my way over to the boy and grasped the fabric of his jacket in my fist, lifting him to his feet. His weight hung completely in my hand, his fear making him incapable of holding himself up. Placing my other hand around his neck, I forced his head to the side to reveal the arch of his throat. He whimpered, realizing his certain doom.

I have no choice."

I have no choice. It says so much about this story. And after reading just the first chapter, I had no choice but to keep clicking that little next button and waiting for updates.

Now let me say... when I call this a "dark" vampy story-- I'm not talking about giving Edward a foul mouth or a nasty drug-habit. I mean 'dark' as in angsty. Reading it kinda feels like a rainy, grey day that settles around you and chills you to the bone. This isn't a light-hearted tale (though Kalejay does write very sweet moments between the characters that love each other and support one another so unconditionally.) The imagery she writes in describing Edward's inner-struggles makes the reader feel like they are right there beside him.

Crouched on the edge of a rocky gorge, I stared down at the river below, watching the gently falling rain disrupt its surface into a thousand ripples. I'd been perched there for more than an hour, motionless, with my expression twisted by anguish. I was feeling like some kind of damned gargoyle. My mind was restless and cluttered, and I prayed that by remaining still that my thoughts would follow suit, but they only managed to grow darker along with the fading light of day.

Despite my stillness, a sense of vertigo dizzied me. It was as if I were trapped at the center of a balance scale that swung continuously back and forth, like a teeter totter of what should weigh more heavily on my conscience. On one side there was the guilt of killing an innocent boy, and on the other was my unrelenting craving for blood. Human blood. My guilt over Ethan I could understand, but what bothered me about the craving was that I'd managed to resist the urge to feed on humans for decades, so why was this plaguing me so badly now? The drizzle became a downpour, streaking down the bars that trapped me in my prison.

The story focuses on the involvement of several key characters, and Kalejay switches POV to give her readers the insight to what they are each feeling and going through while Edward (with their help) is fighting his demons. My personal favorite (but hey--I'm a sucker for a good Jasper) is his empathetic brother who takes Edward's pain as his own.

The night air was crisp, and the full moon bathed the usually dark woods in a soft white gleam. It was a peaceful sight that I normally would have enjoyed, but in that moment I felt nothing but a disquieting apprehension. I sensed a shadow creeping up my spine.

I curled my lips back off my teeth and released a low, foreboding snarl.

"Get. Off." I warned through gnashed teeth, turning my head slightly to look behind myself. The forest behind me was dark and empty. I was alone save for the sleeping sparrows in the branches above me and the lone doe carcass I had left mangled by the creek.

I was alone... but something had still followed me from the house...

I could still feel remnants of Edward's craving and anxiety clinging to me, whispering cryptic insanity into my ear. When the uninvited guest failed to retreat, my snarl swelled into a frustrated scream as I struggled to fight the parasite from my mind.

Gripping onto a low branch of the nearest cedar, I swung myself into its wooded limbs. Climbing higher and higher, I pulled myself upward, attempting to escape physically from what should have been left behind with Edward. When I reached the top, I perched motionlessly, gripping the bark tightly in my fist. Staring into the spotlight of the full moon, I waited until the black shadow eventually seeped away, and dripped down every last branch I used to climb to my sanctuary.

I have plenty of stories on my alerts list that are like popcorn for me. I love them... and I gobble them up by the handful, as fast as they can be delivered. But this story isn't like a snack for me. It's more like one of the few that I'd put in the category of being a really rich dessert. It doesn't pop up as fast as those snacky stories do. The updates take a while longer. But each serving is rich and stays with me for a long time.

I adore the deep, descriptive style of this story. The details make me care for the characters and provide traction that makes me stop and really consider what they are going through. Sometimes, it's actually enjoyable to stop and feel the rain. It makes the sun all the more sweeter when the clouds finally depart.
Brattyvamp is the brilliant author, who has written everything from Abbracciare il Cantante (vamp-AU), Toye (horror), to The Best Man (angsty/tragic/funny/romance). She is currently writing My Escort.

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