Better than England
"... The strongest person I’ll ever know is my mum ..." - Anna Cygne Anna has a peculiar power, she can sense the future. When her family moves from England to Oregon, Anna starts to sense something different in her future. She senses someone who was missing before, but who's coming back now. Someone with hair the same bronze shade as hers. Just what is Anna's mother hiding from her?
This is a story that started bouncing around my head late last night or sometime this morning, like all stories it demanded to be written. So, here it is. Now maybe I can get back to thinking about other matters. And I know, the title is kinda crappy.
Rating 4.5/5 Word Count 1645 Review this Chapter
The strongest person I’ll ever know is my mum, shortly followed by Uncle Dan and Aunt Lily. They’re my family, and believe me; they’re the best family a girl could ask for.
Mum met my Uncle and Aunt when she was still human, and pregnant with me. They helped her through most of it and after I was born they bit her and changed her, so that we could stay a family. We lived in a remote part of England for a few years, waiting until I reached full maturity, locking me at the physically age of 17 – forever. It’s funny, actually, because my mum and I appear to be almost the same age, while Uncle Dan and Aunt Lily get to act as the ‘parental’ figures in most public places, seeing as they were both turned at the age of 25.
While I really do love England, and consider it my home, mum misses the United States, where she was born and bred. So the family decided we would try living there for awhile, one of the points being it might be a good learning experience for me.
The first place we discussed moving was Washington, but for some reason Mum really didn’t think that was a good idea so instead we settled for Oregon, and she seemed better with that idea. After some research we found a little town called Bandon, which sat right by the ocean and was stormy almost all year round. Eventually everything was evened out – the house bought, boxes shipped, cars loaded up onto ships to be taken across to America, etc. etc. – and all that was left was for my family to climb into the plane ourselves and fly over.
- - -
The plane ride wasn’t difficult, despite the smell of human blood. Mum had always been firm on the fact that I fed from animals, just as she and my Uncle and Aunt did, so I had never actually tasted a human’s blood before.
I was surprised to learn that this isn’t how all vampires lived, feeding from animals, I mean. When I had asked Mum why we lived differently she had explained that she didn’t like taking human life, that she hadn’t ever tasted human blood either and it made this existence easier. When I asked her where she got the idea she had frozen up, and broken the kitchen chair in the process. After what felt like ages she had choked out some half-hearted answer and then stumbled, gracefully, from the room.
After that, I didn’t ask questions about why. I just accepted my life, and enjoyed it. I didn’t mind the list of ‘don’t ask questions’ that built over the years, topics like who my father was and some things about Mum’s past.
She stayed away from a lot of classic books and movies, although she encouraged me to read and watch them – with Aunt Lily. I didn’t ask why she didn’t want to see them with me, because I saw the pain that flashed across her eyes if she accidentally entered a room when one was playing, or say the book on the coffee table. She enjoyed reading me newer stories and we often went to the movies together to laugh at how silly horror films were, debate on the important of slapstick humor in comedies, and enjoy the colorful look of animated pieces. We never saw romances, but I didn’t mind.
Mum doesn’t ever let me see her pain, but when she thinks I’m not looking I notice it. Aunt Lily tried to explain to me once that something bad had happened to her when she was still human, when I had asked if it was me, Aunt Lily had told me no, that Mum treasured me more then anything. I didn’t believe her, but I didn’t want to stress on things, so that just became another thing I ignored.
- - -
When the plane touched down I saw Uncle Dan relax, he didn’t like planes much, but he did his best not to show it. I bit back a giggle as I stood up from my seat and waited for mom to move into the isle before I followed. We got down our bags from the compartment above our seats and then waited for the rest of the people to slowly file off the plane. Uncle Dan and Aunt Lily had been sitting behind us, so they had to wait for us to move before we all got free of the plane.
I think everyone relaxed when we finally left the airport and got into the safety of one of our cars, which had been left outside waiting for us. Mum drove, with Uncle Dan in front and Aunt Lily and I sitting in the back. It was a short drive from the small airport in North Bend to our new house just outside of Bandon. Of course, we broke most of the speed limits – but no one noticed.
The house was big, and although it looked old I got the distinct feeling large portions had been remodeled. It was painted a charming, soft blue color that almost seemed white and it had a porch that wound around the entire house till it opened up in the back as a deck – overlooking the dark water of the sea. The front door opened to reveal a wide living room painted in soft browns with a large brick fireplace and most of our furniture from England already there, set up around the room to make it seem more like home. There was a stairway to the right, which led up to the second floor and a doorway to the left led to a kitchen, which was presumably fully stocked for me. I smiled and turned to my mother, capturing her in a hug. “It’s beautiful, Mum!” I told her, knowing she had probably picked most of the calming colors. She seemed to like browns, but stayed away from almost all other colors. She smiled and agreed but passed the credit to Aunt Lily, who promptly passed it back. I laughed and went to explore the second floor before the two got into one of their calm it’s-your-credit-take-it fights.
The second floor contained three bathrooms, two of which connected off bedrooms. The bedroom on the end of the hall was obviously Uncle Dan and Aunt Lily’s, while the one with the biggest window overlooking the sea was mine. I smiled at that, grateful that my family had given it to me. Mum’s room, which I just peeked into, had a bathroom connecting off it and was done in a deep brown. She had thick curtains that covered the windows entirely, and I couldn’t help but notice that once again her room seemed oddly bare. It wasn’t that she didn’t have things in it, the walls were covered with pictures of our family together and paintings she had done, but it just felt like something was missing.
I sighed and shook my head before closing the door behind me. This floor had one other bedroom, a guest bedroom that no one ever really used. I assumed that the third floor was mostly storage space, as well as Uncle Dan’s office. This left one place in the house I really, really, wanted to explore.
From the window, it looked wide, and a small set of stairs led down to the grassy expanse before our backyard dropped off the edge of the cliff. I was glad I had rock climbing gear, it would make getting to the beach a lot easier.
Rushing down the stairs I entered the living room and glanced around, Aunt Lily was setting up a few of my mum’s paintings on the walls and I could hear Uncle Dan in the kitchen doing something that sounded suspiciously like he was attempting dinner again. I couldn’t hear or see mum anywhere but I was sure she was around, so I hurried past Aunt Lily and out the French doors.
The deck was like nothing else, it offered full view of the ocean. The air was chilly but otherwise felt amazing against my skin, and true to character the sky was cloudy. I couldn’t help but smile as I leaned over the railing. This house wasn’t going to be too bad, so maybe the move to this new country would be pleasant – like I knew mum hoped. “Please, let it be.” I let the words drift up into the air, imagining I could see them swirling in the wind.
I felt, rather then heard, my mother walk up behind me and slip her arms around me. “Hey, you look happy.” Her bell like voice whispered in my ear and I felt my smile widen. “It really is beautiful, Mum, you did a good job.” I told her and looked up at her. Despite the closeness of our physical age, she was actually a few inches taller then me. She seemed more mature and older, too, when you thought about it.
She just smiled at me, stroking my bronze hair thoughtfully. “I’m hoping you’ll be happy here, Anna, even though it’s nothing like England…” She laughed softly, the last bit coming in a slightly teasing voice. I laughed back and turned around to hug her. “We’ll be great here, Mum, believe me. I can just feel it.” I grinned at her and she grinned back, “Well, can you also feel that your Uncle has completely ruined your dinner? He tried lasagna again, but I think he turned the water on too high.” She tilted her head to one side and laughed aloud when we both heard the sound of exploding sauce. “Come on, let’s go clean this up.” She said, wrapping her arm around my shoulders and guiding me back into the house.
I really did have a good feeling about this place; something said it might be even better than England.