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 5/5 Word Count 1990 Review this Chapter
It was a long day, with little to make it interesting. Students stayed away from us, perhaps intimidated by mum’s beauty and their own survival instincts screaming “dangerous”!
By the end of the day, only one very brave girl – I guessed she was the school gossip – had introduced herself. She said her name was Jessica, which seemed to both amuse and hurt mum. Jessica spoke mainly to me, so I took over the conversation.
“I’m Anna, and this is my sister, Bella.” I gave the girl a sweet smile, but couldn’t help but link arms with mum protectively. I knew from movies that the gossip girl, as I had already labeled her, would be dangerous. I didn’t want mum near her if this was the case, I just… had a bad feeling about it.
The girl brought my from my thoughts, chattering happily about everything new there at the school. We weren’t the only new family to move up here; apparently another one was coming soon. The girl didn’t know their name, but she new that the father was a doctor and all the kids were supposedly adopted.
Mum stiffened beside me with each word the girl spoke, making me worry, so the first chance I got I pulled mum away. “Sorry about her.” I whispered gently, hoping that mum wasn’t too bothered by it. Maybe it would be best if she stayed home tomorrow, school seemed to be taking a toll on her. “It’s fine. I’m fine.” Mum rested her head on her hand, sitting beside me at our own lunch table. I watched her carefully, frowning. “Do you want to go home?” It probably wasn’t the best idea to go home halfway through our first day, but if mum thought it would be best for her I was sure I could come up with some excuse. “No, I’m fine, really.” Mum mumbled and I frowned again. She obviously wasn’t fine, but if she wanted to insist on it I wasn’t going to stop her.
- - -
By the end of the day, I was starting to doubt if school was a good idea for mum. She looked worn and tired, if that were even possible for a vampire. “Are you okay?” I asked for the thousandth time as I led her towards the car. “I’m fine, Anna.” Her tone wasn’t sharp, but it was quieter then it had been last time. I sighed and shook my head, sitting down in the passenger seat. “Maybe you should stay home tomorrow and paint.” I offered, hoping to make her feel better.
The smile I got in response was thin, but the reply held warmth. “Maybe.” That seemed to be all I was going to get from her, so I let the subject drop as she drove us back home.
When we got home, mum went up to her room almost immediately. Aunt Lily shook her head sadly before she made me dinner.
“Why is school so hard for mum?” I asked finally, dragging my fingers through my hair. Aunt Lily looked up from the pot she was stirring. “School holds some very… special memories for your mother.” Aunt Lily sighed and gave me a sad smile, “She met your father at school.”
My father? No one ever mentioned him, the idea of learning something more made me instantly curious. “Really?” I tried to keep my tone from being too curious, hoping to keep the conversation casual. Aunt Lily nodded and walked to the fridge, opening it and searching for some sauce. “Mhm, he was quite a catch from what she told us.” Her tone turned sad as she continued, “But he seemed to think he was the most dangerous thing for your mum. I admit having a vampire for a boyfriend isn’t exactly safe, but to leave her like he did…” Aunt Lily sighed again and trailed off, opening the jar of Alfredo. “It’s all in the past though, don’t worry yourself with it, dear.” She gave me an award-winning smile before she poured some noodles into a bowl. “Now eat up, you’ll need your energy for tomorrow.” She finished as she passed me the bowl and the jar.
While I ate I thought over this information, it wasn’t exactly new to me – I’d always known the general bits. Well, except his name, where exactly she met him, and how they fell in love, but those were relatively little things when you thought about how much he must have hurt her.
These thoughts carried me up to my room and into bed, where they continued until I fell asleep.
Then, I dreamed.
There! There was the flash of bronze hair again, and this time I chased it at once. Intent on catching whoever it was that was haunting my dreams, and asking what exactly they meant for my future.
We veered around invisible corners, with that person always a few steps ahead of me. I never got a clear view of them, but I did get glimpses of other things as I ran.
Window like things covered the walls of wherever we were running, and each window held a different image. In one window I saw an entire family, and I recognized several of the members. My family, but with other people there.
In the next window I caught sight of a short pixie-like woman smiling at me, she seemed excited and I felt an odd kinship towards her, even if I only saw her for a brief second.
The speed of the running was making me tired, even in this dream, and I called for the person to stop. I just wanted them to wait for a second! Long enough for me to ask my question.
They didn’t hear me, and if they did they ignored me. After a few more minutes I gave up and stopped in front of one of the windows, looking at the same pixie woman from before. She grinned at me and shook her head with amusement, soundlessly saying something that I couldn’t understand.
Was this whole dream created to frustrate me?
“Anna, dear, time to wake up.” Aunt Lily’s voice pulled me from the dream finally, and my eyes fluttered open to look up at her. I was a little surprised, usually mum woke me, but she must still have been resting in her room – or perhaps painting, I’d have to ask her when I got back from school.
My stomach grumbled and Aunt Lily chuckled, “Breakfast?” She asked and I nodded, scrambling out of bed. She nodded back before she left me to dress.
Today I settled on a knee-length jean skirt and a purple blouse. I wasn’t sure why I chose this outfit, but it felt strangely right. To pull it off correctly I wore a jean jacket and a purple bandana, with strappy sandals. “Let’s hope you don’t have to do any serious running today.” I told the reflection in the mirror before I left and headed down the stairs.
Aunt Lily had made a relatively light breakfast for me. It was oatmeal, with cinnamon sprinkled across the top. It smelled wonderful, like all the food my mum and aunt cooked. “Thanks.” I made sure to compliment her too before I ate it, glancing at the clock once or twice. “Am I driving myself today?” The idea made me strangely happy, normally my family didn’t let me drive. Aunt Lily laughed as if she guessed my thoughts, “Yep. Your mum is taking a personal day.” She told me before she held out the keys to mum’s car. I grinned at her before I took the keys. “Tell her ‘hello’ for me when she comes down.” The rest of my goodbye was hasty, I really was eager to get to the car.
I heard Aunt Lily’s goodbye just before I closed the door of the house and skipped out to the car. Mum had a nice little car that was low to the ground and a dark black color and despite how shiny it was it really wasn’t very noticeable.
The car followed my every command perfectly, and I could feel the engine purring through my bones. The feeling was delicious, I’d have to make sure mum let me drive more often.
Much to my disappointment, the drive didn’t last half as long as I wanted it to. All too soon I had pulled into the school parking lot and turned off the car. I sat there for a moment, thinking while I looked out at the teenagers filing into school. The feeling I had the entire time we’d been here was back, and stronger then before.
Someone was coming.
“Oh just come already!” I grumbled to the open air before I unbuckled my seat belt and climbed from the car, pulling my backpack out after me. I couldn’t hold back a glare that I shot at the school in general; this feeling was going to drive me insane if it didn’t stop soon.
Still grumbling internally, I strolled forward into the school and got ready for the day ahead.
Despite my best efforts, the feeling continued through the day until lunch. It felt like it was going to eat me alive, and by the time I stumbled into the cafeteria I was ready to fill my empty stomach with something, in hopes that it would settle my ability.
I never made it to the line.
In fact, I barely made it past the door before I saw the bronze hair, but this time the person wasn’t running. He was sitting still at a table half way across the cafeteria, surrounded by what I assumed was his family.
He was, as every vampire is, beautiful. His tousled bronze hair complimented his lanky figure, and his pale skin was flawless, but his eyes made me frown, because they reminded me too much of my mum’s eyes.
Before I continued that train of thought I turned my eyes to study the rest of his table. Beside him sat the pixie-woman from my dreams, with that same knowing smile. Beside her sat a taller man who instantly said ‘danger’ to me, not just because of the scars that seemed to cover every inch of him. Hastily, I looked away from him to study the next figure, another, larger, man. He seemed intimidating at first glance, but I got the feeling he was kinder then he appeared. Finally, beside the last man sat a woman who was more beautiful then life itself.
The beauty didn’t faze me; instead it reminded me of the bronze haired male. I turned slightly to look back at him but found him… gone? Where had he gone? When had he left? I hadn’t noticed him leave.
“Who are you?” The voice beside me was strangely harsh, and I bit back a sarcastic reply as I turned once again to face this person.
Oh, that was where he had gone. He stood beside me, leaning slightly towards me, and his eyes looked like they wanted to bore right into me. I took a deep breath before I replied, faintly noting his scent, “My name is Anna Cygne.” I crossed my arms suddenly on impulse, doing my best to return his stare.
What he said next surprised me.
“Anna Swan?” His voice sounded strangled, his eyes burning suddenly. “Bella?” He asked softly, one hand shooting out to grab my arm. “Bella’s my mum.” I answered without thinking, staring at him uncertainly now. He blinked once or twice, “Mother? Bella…” He seemed to be trying to mule over this, and then something dawned in his eyes. “Bella is your mother.” He said again, as if to clarify. I nodded once, curtly. What was he getting at?
Then, it dawned on me too. The hair, the way he looked, the way he said my mum’s name…“You can’t be serious.”