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.
2. Are you serious?
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2035 Review this Chapter
I wrinkled my nose, staring with disbelief at my mother. I thought she’d been joking when she’d said “high-school”. Mum had home schooled me my entire life, in fact we had finished and I could go to college if I wanted, so the idea of enrolling in high school, an American high school at that, just seemed so alien.
“Are you serious?” I asked again, crossing my arms as I studied her. “Yes, Anna, it’ll make it easier for us to stay here.” She smiled her best smile at me, but it just seemed tired. She didn’t like to argue, she never had. I couldn’t help but sigh, I hated to cause my mother extra pain – even such small pain as this. “Okay. If you really think so.” She stood up and came over to hug me; “It’ll be a good experience for you.” She murmured into my hair, pulling me close against her side. We were sitting in the living room, with the TV on so that Uncle Dan could watch some baseball game. Normally, Mum left when baseball came on, but she seemed almost comfortable for the moment. Briefly, I wondered why, but I pushed the thought aside quickly, some things just weren’t there to be understood.
“We’ll be in the same grade, right?” I asked, snuggling closer to my mum’s side. Despite the fact that she was ice cold and rock hard, I still felt a lot of comfort in her hold. It was my safe haven. “Of course, I’ll do my best to make sure we have as many classes together as possible.” Mum promised, smiling down at me. “It’ll be fun, really.” For a moment, it seemed like she was trying to convince herself as much as me. I frowned, raising my hand to comfortingly stroke her cheek. “Are you alright, Mum?” I kept my voice soft, searching her golden eyes. “I’m fine.” She promised, before looking over at the clock. “You need to sleep, Anna, if you’re going to be ready for School tomorrow.” Her voice was firm, but it hid some strange tension.
I grumbled a little, out of habit, but otherwise didn’t complain as I walked up the stairs to my new room. My door had “Anna” painted on it in my Uncle’s recognizable style, making me laugh aloud. They didn’t bother with putting names on their doors, but for some reason they thought that because I was the youngest they could get away with making my room as teenage as possible. I was just glad they kept that to the outside, and not the inside, of my room.
The window in my room didn’t have any curtains, since I always liked being able to see the night sky. The moonlight was faint and when I looked out the window I realized that half of the white orb was covered in clouds, creating a strange effect. I turned away from the view for a moment though, running a hand through my bronze curls. School. My feelings for it were mixed, which meant either something good or bad was going to happen. It felt strange; I kept getting the sense that someone I should know was there, someone I was going to meet. Wait, no, more then one someone, several someone’s. I couldn’t help but shake my head, laughing at myself as I changed into my pajamas. I crawled into my large bed, pulling the green and chocolate brown comforter up around me and snuggling down underneath its warmth. I was going crazy; maybe all I sensed were new friends. This place was just messing with my ability; all kinds of things could be sensed from a move!
I rolled over, listening to the sound of the TV downstairs. Mum, Aunt, and Uncle would be up all night as always. They couldn’t sleep, it was sad really. Sometimes I got the feeling Mum really did want to sleep, if only to escape for a few hours. Stop thinking so much. I ordered myself silently and too cement the order I covered my ears with my hands and squeezed my eyes shut.
Only a little while later, I fell asleep.
I’d never been completely sure how to tell when you fell asleep, where consciousness slipped away and your eyes closed. I’d tried before to remember it when I woke up – but somehow the memory of falling asleep never came. That moment was lost; all I could ever remember were my dreams.
My dreams. They’d always been interesting things, sometimes little more then twisting colors – other times they became something more. I theorized once that perhaps my ability to “sense” the future came over more powerfully in my dreams. Wither or not this was true, the current dream I was in had encased all my feelings – all my senses – for the day.
Someone was coming, I could sense that much. There was a good feeling in the air, but it was mixed with sadness. A deep aching sadness, something strong that had been around for a long time. I recognized the emotion, but it took me a moment to place it.
I was feeling my mother’s sadness.
In my dream, I frowned. I had dreamed of my mother’s ache before, mostly they were nightmares, but this one was different. Cautiously, I prodded the future. I felt relief in the future, happiness too.
Finally, the dream turned into images. I saw a flash of bronze hair, but when I turned towards the sight no one was there. Had I simply seen myself?
The dream continued for a little while longer, although no more images came, instead I spent the night sitting in the darkness of my dreamland and resting. Idly, I wondered how long until I had to wake up, but I couldn’t guess. Mum would wake me up when I needed too, no doubt. Until then I could continue to explore-
“Anna, time to wake up.” That gentle voice brought me from my dreamland quickly, and I opened my eyes to look up at my mother. “Hey mum.” I murmured, pushing myself up to hug her before I climbed out of bed. She was fully dressed, with her hair pulled back in a ponytail. To anyone else, she would have looked like a teenager, but to me she looked much older then that. Eternal beauty and youth didn’t give her a glow; her eyes didn’t sparkle as much as I thought they should. But when I really thought about it, it was easy to realize why – someone had stolen her glow, her sparkle. As always, a brief flash of anger came at the thought, but I quieted it and soothed it. What was the point at getting angry when I had no one to use the anger on?
Rather then continue my train of thought; I pulled some clothes from my closet, “How long do I have?” I asked over my shoulder, staring at the two shirts I held. “About twenty minutes, I know how you like to sleep in.” Mum smiled softly, and I turned to grin at her. “Thanks.” I did like to sleep in, but only when I had colorful dreams. “Mum, which shirt should I wear?” I held the two items in question up for her to examine. She raised a finger to tap her lip thoughtfully, “Hmm. I think the purple compliments you better.” She lowered her hand, giving me a quick grin. “I’ll be downstairs making breakfast.” She finished before she turned and left me to get ready.
Breakfast smelled wonderful, which meant Mum had been the one to cook it. I slipped into the kitchen, sniffing the air. “Mmm, pancakes?” I asked happily, detecting another scent in the air… chocolate chips! Oh, mum knew me so well. I loved chocolate, a secret weakness of mine. “Your favorite.” My mother said as she turned with a plate full, “Maple syrup?” She asked, setting the plate on the table before turning to search the cabinets. “Yes please, thank you.” I did my best to remember my manners, even as I stuffed the first bite of my mother’s delicious cooking into my mouth. She laughed and passed me the container of syrup, which I quickly used to douse my pancakes.
The food was wonderful, and for the millionth time I wondered how Mum actually managed to cook – for someone who never ate, her food was amazing. You’d think without the ability to taste it, she would mess up, but she never did.
I finished quickly, strangely eager for the day ahead. We left with 5 minutes to spare, although I had the feeling we might manage to be late to our first class anyway – if the front Office demanded more then a little attention.
For the first time, I watched the surroundings as we drove. The trees were all windswept, angled in one direction or another. They reminded me of bonsai trees, a thought that brought a smile to my face.
Mum pulled me from my thoughts when we arrived at the school, tapping my shoulder once before she climbed out of the car and gestured for me to follow. On the way into the school I made sure to stay close by, eyeing the hordes of teenagers. They didn’t seem that bad, but after catching several of the males looking at my mother a little to closely, I started to rethink.
Just outside the office mum turned to me, “Anna, while we’re here you’re my sister – and you need to call me Bella, okay?” I looked up at her and nodded, giving her a reassuring smile. “Okay, Bella.” The name tasted strange on my tongue, when applied to her, but I figured that with practice I could do it without hesitating. “That’s my girl.” Mum gave me a one armed hug before she opened the door to the office and stepped inside.
The sense I got was stronger now, ripping through me. I felt… change. Yes, that was it, the future held change. And… memory? The path was playing in the future now, but not my past.
I shook my head a little to dispel the thoughts, whatever was happening would come soon enough, but right now I needed to focus on getting through this first day of school.
“My name is Bella, and this is my sister, Anna. We’re the Cygne’s.” Mum smiled warmly at the secretary, holding out a few papers for her to look at. “Oh! Right, we’re all very excited to have you here.” The secretary was an easily excitable woman, with bouncy grey hair and large spectacles. She typed something out on her computer quickly before passing a few papers to mum and explaining what she needed her to do. “You’ve got most of your classes together, dear.” The woman finished and then wished mum and I luck before she let us go.
Mum passed me my schedule as soon as we stepped outside of the office again. “Try and not get into any trouble, Anna.” The warning was playful, and mum didn’t even bother with giving me a ‘look’, she was too busy studying her own schedule. “Government first, then?” She asked, looking up at me. I glanced at my own schedule before I nodded back. “Yes, did she give you a map?” If she didn’t, we could probably find it quickly on our own, but a map would still be more convenient. “Oh, yes, here it is.” Mum pulled the map to the front of the papers in her hand and studied it for a long moment. “This way.” She turned to give me a smile before linking her arm with mine, and setting off.
We kept an easy pace, taking in the sights of a new school. While we walked, I tried to ignore the feeling in my stomach. It felt like a mix of dread and anticipation. Despite my best efforts, the feelings from the last few days were starting to get to me. I wished that whoever was coming would just come already, rather then leave me waiting.This was going to be a long day.