A/N: Okay. So. First thing's first: Dusk is not a Twilight wannabe.

The similarities between the two books are 100% intentional, because when I started writing Dusk, I was set on it being a Twilight parody.

However, I couldn't stick with Stephenie Meyer's one-note plot. (There are only so many cheesy love scenes I can write before I start drowning in the sickly-sweet syrupy romance.) I toyed around with making my vampires glow in the dark, but even as a parody, I thought that was stupid. I felt guilty forcing my characters to say lines like, "What if I'm not Batman? What if I'm The Joker?" and the lack of action and character development was killing me. Something had to happen. Fast.

So I threw in some zombies. And cooked up a plot that I felt people could still enjoy, whether they've read the Twilight books or not.

If you read this story, please leave a review! Even if it's just to say something along the lines of: "Vampires are, like, so yesterday."

I would really love some feedback! (Good or bad, it doesn't matter.)

Anyway, I've rambled on long enough. On with the show!


I never gave much thought to how I would die.

I mean, I was already dead. What was the point? As Juno so elegantly put it: "What other kind of shenanigans could I get into?"

When it was my time to pass on, I wouldn't go kicking and screaming. I'd had some good times, a nice, long…existence. If I wasn't ready to go by the time Death popped up and said "hello," that was my own fault.

I just figured, hey, when the Big Guy in Black showed up on my doorstep to collect whatever was left of my eternal soul, I'd fling open the door and ask him what the hell took him so damn long. He'd throw an arm around my shoulder and we'd laugh, like we were old college buddies or something. Maybe knock back a Bloody Mary or two (literally, if he was into that sort of thing), talk about how life sure ain't what it used to be. Or death, for that matter.

But things weren't quite like that.

For one thing, the Angel of Death hovering above me wasn't a living skeleton waving around a big, shiny scythe that could slice the air itself. He did not have a big, eerie grin or a deep, mighty voice that instilled fear in my heart. He wasn't even wearing any black.

He was a boy. A very scared, heartbroken boy awkwardly clutching a wooden stake in his hands. The front of his baseball jersey was stained with dirt and grass and blood. His voice, when he found it, was hesitant and uncertain. The kind of voice that you hear coming out of a parent who doesn't exactly know how to tell their five-year-old about the unfortunate accident and that the beloved cat they so loved to death is, well, dead.

"How could you?" He was swaying a little as he said this.

"Pretty easily, really." The lie fell out of my mouth before I could do anything to stop it.

His grip on the stake tightened. "You mean that?"

I hesitated before I launched into my old motto. The one that I was beginning to believe in less and less everyday. "Lamb's gotta graze—"

"Lion's gotta eat," he finished for me, his face twisting into a sneer. "Yeah, I know your sick little mantra, Stell. Save it."

"There's no need to be hostile, Winnie."

Startled silence.

His face screwed up into a grimace, the kind of face that guys make whenever they're trying not to cry. "Don't call me that!" he yelled and, in spite of myself, I flinched. "Don't you ever call me that ever again," he threatened, pointing an accusing finger at me.

All I could think to say was, "Okay."

"Ever," he repeated, his voice lower. Sadder.

Our eyes met. If anybody was listening hard enough, they would have heard it. That horrible, nasty, glass-smashing-on-the-linoleum-floor sound that hearts make whenever they shatter.

After a few strangled seconds, I said, "So this is it." God, I was such an idiot.


"You're going to kill me."

He tore his eyes away from mine and looked down at the stake in his hands. "Y-yeah." The look on his face seemed bewildered, as if he couldn't quite remember what he was suppose to do with it.

"Right here, Edwin." I smiled and tapped my chest. "It's all right. Everyone's always nervous their first time."

He glared at me, but didn't say a word. He simply drew back his hand, and I squeezed my eyes shut, my mind a whirlwind of thoughts, none that I really cared to think about.

The most pressing one being: Would it hurt?

I hoped so.

I prayed to every God I could think of that it was bad. And that it lasted much, much longer than necessary. Dying a second time shouldn't be anything less than excruciating.

It was the least I deserved.