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Waning Moon by YborJen

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Table of Contents
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Story Notes:

Twilighted Supervisory Beta: Admittedly Obsessed

Twilighted Junior Validation Beta: myimm0rtal

Author's Chapter Notes:


This story is dedicated to:

Stephenie Meyer for creating characters we all love

My husband whose undying love carries me every day

My mother who is still my editor and my original fan

My sister and sister-in-law who introduced me to Twilight

My friends in Tampa who are unswervingly supportive

The Appinellis who encouraged me

The Frogs who kept me laughing

And special thanks to:

Kristi, Heather, Sarah, Drea, Alexis, and Kimberly







Carlisle’s breath clouded in front of him as he stepped out of the carriage and his trunks were unloaded and set just outside the parsonage. The small square windows of the house that faced the street were completely covered with drapes on both the first and the second floor. He looked up at the noontime sun as it peeked through the gray winter clouds. Not a single ray of sunlight was able to penetrate the Reverend’s house. That was how it had been since his wife died giving birth to Carlisle.

As he paid the driver and then watched the carriage drive away, Carlisle wished for just a moment that he was still riding in it. Then he shook his head at himself. He knew why he was home: he had to try.

Carlisle opened the front door and the heavy hinges of the wide wooden door creaked quietly. He had to bend slightly to enter the old parsonage which had housed three previous generations of pastors. The Reverend was not visible when he entered. Carlisle was certain his father had received his letter detailing the date and time of his arrival. He hated to admit it, but he was a little relieved that the Reverend had chosen not to meet him.

After unpacking, Carlisle went to the market and got some eggs and flour. During the rest of the daylight hours, he cleaned the house. When the Reverend still did not return, he settled himself with a blanket around his shoulders at the kitchen table and read the New Testament with a single candle as he waited. When the church bells tolled at nine in the evening, Carlisle closed the book of Luke and walked upstairs to bathe.

He was still awake when he heard the front door slam just below his bedroom after midnight. He was angry with himself for worrying about his father, but he did not allow himself to be angry about the fact that his father had completely avoided him on the day of his return.

The Reverend’s heavy footfalls on the stairs brought back profound, onerous fears. Carlisle had to grit his teeth to keep his heart rate under control. The Reverend reached the top of the stairs and slowly walked over to his son’s door. Carlisle squeezed his eyes shut and worked to control his breathing. A few seconds later, which felt like an eternity, the Reverend walked away from his son’s bedroom door. Carlisle angrily wiped a few beads of sweat from his brow. He did not fall asleep until after he heard the bells for three in the morning.




Carlisle threw back his blanket and washed his face as the church bells tolled six. He had slept fitfully. He prayed that his father had not heard his dreams. His dorm mates had woken him several times when his father visited him in his nightmares.

He was taking the morning bread out of the stove and the soft-boiled eggs from the kettle of boiling water just as his father made his way down the stairs at half-past seven. Carlisle turned and stood up to his full height as the Reverend entered the kitchen. He had not seen his father in two years and had had a growth spurt around his eighteenth birthday. He was now the same height or just a bit taller than his six-foot-tall father; however, he did not yet compare with the Reverend’s brawn or girth.

The Reverend gave his son no words of approval, greeting, or dismissal; he simply sat down at the end of the kitchen table and waited. Carlisle turned to the stove and put two eggs on a plate and cut a large chunk of bread. He could feel the Reverend watching every move he made.

After Carlisle put the plate in front of his father, he stood near him and waited for some acknowledgment. The Reverend looked back at his son with slightly narrowed eyes and ate his entire meal before he finally spoke. “My son, your Reverend requires a new cross for his fortress of God.”

Carlisle recognized the strange shine in the Reverend’s eyes. It was the kind of dark light that he saw when his father was preparing a crusade, like his crusade against the false religion. Carlisle recoiled slightly from his father’s fervor and the old man saw it.

“My son does not share my passion? The passion of God?” the Reverend demanded at the top of his voice, slamming his hand on the table.

Carlisle clenched his jaw; there was nothing he could do to stop the Reverend. His father was determined to set the tone from their first meeting. “Father, I just… sometimes wonder if Christ would… persecute any child of God.”

The Reverend jumped up and with the backside of his fist struck his son across the face, sending him flying toward the kitchen wall. Carlisle hit the wall headfirst, narrowly missing the searing heat of the iron stove, and fell to the ground. His lips were swollen and bleeding from his father’s strike and blood also ran from a laceration on his forehead from where he hit the wall. Carlisle pushed himself up off the floor groaning with pain. He turned over and slowly looked up at his father, whose massive frame loomed above him. Pushing himself up the wall, he stood unsteadily as he forced the building dizziness and nausea out of his mind.

The Reverend took several steps closer to his son, until he was inches from his face. Carlisle refused to flinch. “My son WILL do the work of God. We will fight the demons. We will send those who are NOT the children of God back to the abyss of hell.”

He lifted his hand in front of his son’s face; it was balled into a fist, but he did not beat his son with it. Instead he displayed the gold ring symbolizing his church authority. Carlisle examined his father’s face: the Reverend’s deeply wrinkled brow was wide and high, his green eyes were narrow and shadowed by heavy brows, and his full lips were turned down into a permanent frown. Carlisle was searching for any sign of resemblance, seeking once again to reassure himself that there was still no connection between them. Satisfied, he defiantly pulled himself up into his full height again before he kissed his father’s ring, depositing a little blood from his lips onto the shining gold.

The Reverend’s eyes narrowed. “Go and do what I have commanded, my son. God told me again of the demons among us. We will find them and burn them. We will continue our mission tomorrow under your new cross of Christ.” The Reverend then walked to the door, put on his black hat and coat, and left his son bleeding in the dining room.

Carlisle quickly lurched toward the back door of the dark parsonage and vomited his bread in the dirty snow just outside as the church bells tolled eight o’clock. His head throbbed from the pain and ringing in his ears, and his throat burned. He leaned back against the doorframe, looking up beyond the tall wooden and brick buildings of their neighborhood to the gray snow-heavy clouds over the city. A wipe of his hand across his brow again revealed that the bleeding had not stopped. He applied some relatively clean snow to his wounds and then held his sleeve up against his head. About twenty minutes went by before the bleeding finally slowed enough that he felt he could stand up to find a cloth to bind his head with. After wrapping the wound, Carlisle retrieved his hat and trudged out onto the streets of London.

The wide-brimmed hat was painfully ill-fitted over the bandage, but he ignored this as he walked with the edge pulled down over his eyes through the churchyard and then turned south. The cloud cover overhead was breaking for the morning sun, but the increasingly bright sky could not stop Carlisle’s thoughts drifting darkly to the Reverend.

As time went on, Carlisle thought of him more and more as a possessed madman and less and less as his father. The Reverend had never remarried, he had apparently spent his love; all that was left was hate. Carlisle had accepted long ago that his father would never forgive him, but the Reverend’s sheer malice toward him caused him to wonder if this new cross he was now charged with was, in fact, his cross to bear.

Carlisle turned east again onto Thames Street heading toward the local carpenter. He was not going to pay for a commission but the carpenter still was the supplier for the finest raw materials. Carlisle mused about how it was that he could attend boarding school, study science and religion, and when he returned to London that his father reduced him to carpentry. He supposed that he should be thankful his hands had become a shadow of Christ’s: not a scholar’s, imparting knowledge and writing books but instead they were a carpenter’s hands.

Carlisle had learned the craft from an old master who had attended the Reverend’s church when Carlisle was a boy. To escape the Reverend’s wrath as a child, he would often run away. His favorite refuge was the carpenter’s shop. He would spend hours in the old man’s company, and though he desperately tried to hide it, the old man knew what Carlisle was running from. The carpenter taught him to take out his anger and frustration on the wood – not on people, and not on God.

Finally, Carlisle turned in to the carpenter’s shop. The old man was gone, and his son was now running the business. The carpenter’s son was ten years older than Carlisle and had witnessed his childhood. Carlisle knew that he would be recognized but did not look anyone in the eye because he did not want to answer any questions. He quickly found the ideal wood and purchased it. The carpenter’s son was wary of Carlisle’s secretive manner, but he personally drove him back home with his purchase, and then helped him set up the wood so it could be worked in the churchyard. In the broad daylight, the man’s gaze lingered for a moment on Carlisle’s swollen jaw and noted the bandage, and then he shook his head and left without another word.

Without stopping to eat, Carlisle immediately stripped down to his billowing white shirt and dark breeches, and began working the wood under the noon sun, shaving it down until it was smooth. He grunted with every stroke as he planed the wood, and suddenly he discovered that tears streaming down the sides of his face were mixing with sweat and blood escaping from his bandage.

“Carlisle Cullen, what is your mission today, brother?” A cheerful baritone voice rang out behind him.

Carlisle closed his eyes and shook his head. Vile, gossiping carpenter’s son. The visitor’s smile quickly disappeared when Carlisle finally turned and faced him.

“Sweet Mary. Go inside the parsonage and let me attend to your wounds,” Arthur whispered, his small, brown eyes widening with horror. Arthur was Carlisle’s longtime boyhood friend and worked as a blacksmith just a few doors down from the carpenter shop Carlisle had visited that morning. The carpenter’s son had gone straight to Arthur when he returned from delivering Carlisle’s wood.

Carlisle grimaced. “I think the Reverend prefers that I carry my burdens and not try to wash them away, Arthur.”

The brawny, five and a half foot man folded his thick arms across his chest and gave his old friend a hard frown. “The Reverend prefers that you carry his burdens, especially on your face. Which, according to my father, resembles your angelic mother far too clearly for the Reverend to bear it.”

Carlisle shifted his weight but did not respond.

Arthur sighed, ran his hands through his short brown hair, and then motioned toward the wood. “Might I at least share your tasks?”

Carlisle looked to the snowy ground. “Your offer is kind and selfless, my friend. But I think solitude is more conducive to my penance for my transgressions against God’s work.”

“Do not repent for sins you did not commit,” Arthur grumbled. Then he nodded; he could see he was not going to break his old friend’s melancholy with mere gestures. “I am glad to see you have finally come home. I’ll see you at the gathering tomorrow, then, Brother Cullen.”

Carlisle nodded, and then turned back to his work, shaving down the wood and making more and more long curly strips fall to the cold ground.

That night Carlisle finished the cross by treating the wood to kill any insects inside and to harden it. He had decided against ornate carvings and allowed the planes of the wood to direct his tools creating the cross. He stood in front of his finished project, still dirty and bloody from his efforts and injuries, and realized only then how the ends rounded to a point looked almost dagger-like. Its possible relationship to this strange new mission made it quite foreboding. Carlisle could already feel the weight of the five-foot cross on his shoulders.

His eyes were drawn up to the old cross that still hung over the altar. His father had carved the simple straight lines and beveled edges when he had married his true love. After his mother’s death and over the years from when he was a small child, the cross had developed a double meaning for Carlisle. When he prayed to it, he was praying to God but also to his mother. And sometimes he was praying only to her. Carlisle prayed once again to the symbol on the wall.

I need to know your plan for me. Am I to serve in the church? Am I to leave this place and return to learning? Am I to stay and take care of my father’s community? Please, let me know how to fulfill your wishes.

Carlisle pulled down the old cross and then held back a curse because he had dripped his own blood all over it. He wiped off as much as he could, but there was still a stain. He placed the new cross over the altar, and set the old one over the church entrance.




For the next few years, however, Carlisle’s prayers were unanswered. He endured the Reverend’s gaze, and his fist. He had done so as a child before leaving for school, but as an adult the Reverend seemed to find more and more reasons to beat his son down. Carlisle knew that his few friends in the community were aware of his torment, but none could find a way to aid him, and he was not sure he wanted them to suffer any of the Reverend’s wrath on his behalf.

As an additional curse, instead of having his educated son help with teaching or speaking, the Reverend saw fit to charge his son with aiding him in recording the trials of demons in the community. Witches and vampires were being burned at the stake. Carlisle did what he could from his subservient position to save innocent lives, pushing the Reverend when he knew the mad old man was in error and often suffering because of it. Arthur frequently assisted Carlisle when he was concussed or required the services of the local surgeon.

One afternoon, Arthur found Carlisle unconscious on his doorstep with a black eye and a slightly askew nose. He could see a trail of blood where Carlisle had dragged himself to Arthur’s house all the way from the parsonage. Arthur was lucky to have enough brawn to move Carlisle’s nearly twelve stone in dead weight. Arthur removed Carlisle’s shirt and found large, swollen bruises that, when probed, woke Carlisle and elicited cries of pain due to broken ribs.

“Carlisle, you’re twenty-two this week. You are surely now more than a match in size for your father. Why do you not fight back, brother?” Arthur whispered, holding back tears.

“Turn… the other… cheek” was all Carlisle would say through gritted teeth. Arthur did what he could to alleviate the physical pain, for he could do nothing to soothe any of the other hurt Carlisle suffered from.

Two days after Arthur found him, Carlisle was sitting in church on a Wednesday morning when he glanced to his right, and caught Elenor, Arthur’s pretty sister, looking at him again. He looked back to the altar and did not see her expression deflate as she realized finally that Arthur was right: Carlisle’s heart could not be touched.

While he was staring at the cross he had created, all he could think about was the old cross that now hung over the entrance to the church. He felt as if that cross was boring into the back of his skull. It demanded that he never concede defeat, the congregation needed him now more than ever. The old cross had more power over him than did the Reverend, who was standing in front of him.

“Today my heart is full of God’s fury!” the Reverend cried, beating his pulpit. “Vampires and demon witches are among us! We must fight the Devil who takes human form!” The Reverend frowned at the congregation. “Some people,” he gazed down on his son who looked away, “believe that I have sometimes misread the signs. But I know that any man or woman may be taken as a servant of darkness!”

Carlisle’s eye was still rimmed with a green shadow and his ribs broken because he had challenged the Reverend on a case of a young boy who was slow in thought and action. Carlisle knew that his mother drank more ale than water, and he felt the child had suffered in the womb, which was a common problem where the water pumps were often putrid. His father saw it as possession by the devil, which carried a sentence of torture and imprisonment. Carlisle had refused to take the child into custody. The Reverend had punched him and beaten him with his walking stick.

“Today God showed me the answer! I am appointing his servant Carlisle to now be the judge of what is holy, and what is of hell in our community!” the Reverend said in a tone that only Carlisle recognized was mocking. Sincere and relieved applause erupted from the congregation, and Carlisle was genuinely startled. He did not look up at his father for fear that he would smile.

Arthur sought him out after the service and put a careful hand on Carlisle’s shoulder. “I think our prayers have been answered, brother. You are now in a place where you can truly aid the innocent and defend the weak.” Carlisle gave his friend one of the first half-smiles that Arthur had seen on his lips in years.

Soon afterward, however, Carlisle found out that several prominent members of the church, who also paid significant tithes, had finally confronted the Reverend after Arthur reported to them what Carlisle had done to save the boy and what he had suffered because of it. They had demanded that Carlisle be put in charge because they agreed with his judgment. He was mortified that they had intervened on his behalf, but no one even whispered about the incident ever again, and the supportive smiles and nods he received from the congregation heartened him.

Carlisle did exactly as he intended and protected the innocent, which resulted in very few prosecutions – and this did not please his father. However, the Reverend had never anticipated the possibility that Carlisle would actually gain popularity by not prosecuting witches. He tried to remove his son several times, but the church elders refused. Even with the Reverend speaking against his own son in the pulpit, when Carlisle spoke at the trials, even more heads nodded. The young man had found his voice.

It was not that Carlisle disagreed with his mission – quite the opposite – but his methods were different from the old man’s. He compiled evidence, made lists, tested theories, and especially noted mysterious deaths or activity.

One morning there was a knock on the parsonage door. Carlisle opened it to find Arthur, pale and drawn, and he was instantly alarmed.

“What is it, my friend? How can I help you?” He put a bracing hand on Arthur’s shoulder.

Arthur’s lip trembled slightly, “My… sister… She is dead.”

Carlisle’s heart gave a small thump. It was an old feeling of guilt for being the cause of Elenor’s suffering. Carlisle had never openly refused Elenor; he had simply avoided her completely. He looked to the ground as he wondered if he was to blame.

“She was found on the riverbank. She had been out in the afternoon to the market and was expected back within an hour, but she never returned.” Carlisle allowed himself to be slightly relieved, and then Arthur stepped forward and seized Carlisle’s shirt. “You must come to my house,” he whispered harshly. “I must show you something I found on her.”

Carlisle was taken aback. What could possibly be mysterious about how Elenor had died? But he immediately retrieved his coat and hat, following Arthur’s unsteady gait through the streets.

There was weeping in the house, and Carlisle could smell the stench of the Thames before he entered the bedroom where the body was laid. She was certainly freshly dead, but Arthur pulled up her right sleeve and beckoned for Carlisle to come closer. There on her wrist was a fresh semicircular human bite. It was directly above a primary system of veins, which Carlisle had seen in a textbook drawing of a dissection once in school.

Carlisle stood up straight and looked down into Arthur’s fearful face. Arthur’s voice shook as he asked, “Is it what I think it is, my friend? Are we among vam —”

Carlisle raised his hand to stop the word being spoken out loud so near the rest of the family. Then he leaned closer. “Show me where she was found, immediately.”

They walked among the muck and filth by the Thames until Arthur noticed Elenor’s basket near one of the sewer drains and fell down crying in despair. Carlisle felt immense compassion for his friend’s suffering, but quickly made note of where he was, and how many other drains were nearby, before gathering up his friend and delivering him back home.

That night, he sat alone near the street with a good view of the sewer drains, waiting. The moon was high so he had taken care to guard his position and hide his shadow. His eyes never left the drain entrance. He mindlessly chewed on a chunk of bread, afraid to think, or even wonder at what he was doing. And then, there was movement.

Carlisle expected a creature, or a specter perhaps, or maybe he hoped that would be what he found. Instead, he saw what appeared to be the shadow of an infirm old man, hobbling out of his filth-covered lair in the sewers. But then the man suddenly ran off at a speed Carlisle’s eyes did not believe matched his apparent health and was gone. In shock, he panted as he realized he had been holding his breath. He continued to wait, seeking more evidence, wanting to be certain of his suspicions. Within the hour, before the church bells rang the dawn, the creature returned, dumping another corpse before retreating to his lair. How careless a murderer, Carlisle thought, not even attempting to dispose of… but then two others emerged and also appeared to attack the corpse and then withdrew.

Vampires. Carlisle leaned back against the building and ran a hand through his blonde locks. He had seen his first true demon. He ran all the way back to the parsonage, afraid to look behind him.

That night Carlisle fell on his knees in front of the old cross and prayed; but finally, he turned to the cross he had shaped with his own hands. He thought of the mission it had symbolized, which he had fought for the past five years, and suddenly realized that he did have a real enemy. When the dawn finally broke that morning, Carlisle went back to the parsonage and spoke to the Reverend.




The next evening Carlisle, Arthur, the Reverend, and ten others from the church stood outside the sewers with their torches in hand. They did not have Carlisle’s patience, and soon the Reverend’s nerves wore thin. “I command you in the name of Holy God to reveal yourself, vile creature of Lucifer!!” he yelled. “You have taken our sister in Christ! You shall pay for your crimes!! Reveal yourself!!!”

No response came. As the hunting party exchanged glances indicating they did not know what to do next, suddenly a low hiss came from the darkness. Carlisle turned, and saw something in the depths of the sewer… red eyes.

Stultus bestias! Fugite!!

A creature bolted from the sewer opening, and Carlisle looked after it but then turned back to the sewer. Where are the others?

Almost as if they had heard him, two more creatures growled and snarled as they ran in the direction of the first one. The hunters followed it with Carlisle leading the way. He was the tallest man of the group, nearly the tallest in the entire community, and he had the longest legs. He easily outpaced them all and closed in on the vampires.

The Reverend had said the vampires must be burned to a cinder to kill them. Their speed and indestructibility prevented any other route of destruction. Carlisle planned to take the lagging vampire down and hold him until they could bind his limbs like a lamb or a pig; then they would pursue the others and burn them all.

Carlisle realized that he was catching up to their targets, and he was so elated he ran harder. Then suddenly, the lead vampire turned his head, and Carlisle realized they had been allowing him to catch up, luring him farther from the rest of the hunting party. He slid to a stop as the creature in front abruptly changed directions and the other two followed.

Carlisle’s heart beat against his chest wall as he fell backward to the ground and then scrambled to his feet. All he had with him was rope and a torch. The vampire was too quick. There was no way Carlisle could outrun him. He would have to stand and fight. Behind him there were screams; the others had realized they were under attack.

“IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, THE SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT!!” Carlisle yelled at the top of his voice. Then the red eyes were upon him. The vampire lunged for him at a full run, and the other two passed him and headed toward the others in the hunting party. Carlisle dodged, swung his torch at the creature, and missed. He swung around again, tossing the rope aside, but the beast was missing in the darkness.

“‘Though he slay me, yet I will hope in Him; I will surely defend my ways to his face…’” The Book of Job had often been on Carlisle’s tongue in the last few years.

The vampire attacked from behind. Carlisle felt a wicked fire in his neck as the vampire tore into his jugular vein, and he instantly buckled at the knees, a silent scream caught in his throat. But just as suddenly, the vampire jumped off, wailing with an unholy sound.

“CARLISLE!” It was Arthur. He had managed to swing at the monster with his torch while it was feeding, and the tattered rags on its back were now on fire. Arthur put a cloth to the oozing blood at Carlisle’s neck. “Brother, we have to get you out of here!” But just as he spoke, the still flaming vampire ran up behind Arthur and seized him, carrying him off as he screamed Carlisle’s name.

He reached out for his friend, but Arthur and the vampire were already halfway down the street and had disappeared into the night. There were two bodies in the street and Carlisle had been left for dead. The fire in his neck was not abating, and it was spreading. He cried out as he turned over onto his side and tried to push up to his hands and knees. The flame under his skin was moving down his arm, and Carlisle feared he actually was on fire, so he ripped off his coat, opened his white shirt covered in his own blood, and confirmed what his rational mind had been saying: he could not be burning without flames.

Dawn was breaking, and in the pale light he noticed something. The blaze under his skin had already spread to his left hand, the same side as his bite. Shaking with pain he compared his two hands: the left was now several shades lighter than the right; it was almost ghostly white.

“Dear God,” he gasped, then the pain hit with a fury unparalleled, and Carlisle doubled over. I must get off the street before anyone sees me! He began to crawl, fighting against the agony as it spread down his torso. His heart was racing and the faster it went the faster the fire spread. He wanted to get to a safe place before his legs stopped working; his left arm was already much weaker than the right. He crawled down the nearest alley, and fell upon a cellar door. He pulled open the door and stumbled down into the dark room. There were piles and piles of supplies everywhere he looked.

I need a hiding place, just a small corner to lie down and recuperate. Though he could feel his body succumb to some type of poison, he had convinced himself that he was going to be fine, that he just needed to heal, like he always had after he was beaten. He would be fine.

The pain caused him to fall forward onto a pile of potatoes in the far back corner of the cellar. Half of the pile was rotten; they clearly had not been touched in months, and they probably would not be until someone decided to dig the pile out of the cellar with a shovel. Carlisle began to dig mostly with his right arm, and, once he had a small hole started, he forced his left arm to help shove potatoes aside. After he had shifted enough to just wedge himself in behind the pile, he put his coat back on, settled himself, and began building the potatoes up around him, half burying himself in the process. He was hidden from view, and, despite the stench, he was dry and warm, though he could feel he was getting colder every minute.

Gasping for breath due to the conflagration in his chest and his physical efforts, Carlisle laid his head back, but then his right arm was ablaze. It was a slow torture, taking hours and hours. Once the scorching agony reached his fingers, he looked down again, and this time he actually watched as his fingers slowly faded from pink stained with blood to a ghostly white color.

Carlisle’s eyes filled with tears which began to spill down his cheeks. But he did not have long to mourn what he knew was happening to him, because the inferno was now burning upward into his head, and Carlisle had to stuff a potato in his mouth to muffle his screams.

Chapter End Notes:

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