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How to Die of Spanish Influenza

Chapter Text

Bella descended the staircase at a snail’s pace, the last of her keepsakes haphazardly balanced on top of a cardboard box marked ‘storage.’ Just as she was about to place her foot on the bottom stair, she heard her father shout out, before bending to snatch up the scrap of cloth she’d been about to slip on.

Charlie held it to the light for a moment, smiling at the faded logo on the front of the t-shirt.

“Try not to pickle your brain so much you forget to come visit, Bells.”

She grinned, shifting the box to rest in the crook of her elbow, and held her hand out to take it from him.

“Please,” she said. “I’ll be home more than you will. And you can tell Sue I said bye.”

Charlie flushed, and his daughter laughed darkly.

“Give me some credit, Dad. Florida doesn’t give scholarships to just anybody-“

“I have two days left to ground you, don’t forget it.”

She didn’t answer, just pulled her car key from the bowl by the door and maneuvered her way outside. She pushed the final box onto the bed of the truck, satisfied that she’d packed everything in plenty of time to have it shipped away. Most was going to Renee’s house, since she had the extra space, but she’d have to collect a couple of boxes at the other end.

She unfolded the cardboard top, and hesitated. Quickly closing the box up again, she pulled the old grey t-shirt over her head. It was loose enough she could wear two layers comfortably, and she ran her fingers over the printed helmet that splashed across her torso.

Patting the wheel arch, a small smile appeared on her face.

Alice blinked, rapidly, as she came back to herself.

The balcony had only been completed a day before, and Esme was eager to show off the new outdoor furniture she’d had commissioned by a local woodworker. Though Alice didn’t personally understand the draw of Rjukan, it couldn’t hurt to support the businesses in the tiny Norwegian town.

Jasper sent a frown her way. The entire vision couldn’t have lasted more than a fraction of a second, images racing in front of her mind’s eye. Somehow, he never missed it.

Esme tried to plump the pillow at Edward’s back, feigning annoyance that he’d already ruined her picture-perfect decor, while her husband looked on, laughing.

“Carlisle?” Alice called. “Where is Forks?”

Esme’s face fell.