Keep in mind it is focused at Young Adult readers. Thank you in advance ~ Angela
Climbing into the passenger seat of a shiny gold Mustang, with only a book bag in tow, I paused to take one last look at the faded green house that had been home to me and my mom for the last three years. The shutters were white and the front porch ran the full length of the house. It was old, but it had character and I liked it. It appeared to have been well lived in and enjoyed throughout it’s long and full life. Now it sat empty void of occupants, only sheet draped furniture remained.
My room had been on the second floor, it’s window was covered in white lace curtains that were blowing in the warm breeze until my aunt appeared and forced it shut. She didn’t even have trouble with it, it just slid closed for her like it never did for me I had to struggle with it’s constantly sticking frame. That was one thing, the only thing, I would not miss about this place.
Aunt Meredith had pushed back my curtains and was peering down at me with a bereaved expression consuming her small features . Her perfect rosy lips were curled upward in a cheerless smile with a tightly curled mop of long orange hair framing her light young face. Green eyes, light and so much like my dad’s, met mine briefly before I shifted mine away quickly and climbed the rest of the way into the car. I didn’t want the depression to creep back and to start crying. Again.
The tinted windows did nothing to block the image of the outside world. They only dulled it’s appearance, but the ache in my chest wasn’t dull-able, it was at war within itself as I struggled to decide whether to be glad I was going or sad to be leaving, it hurt either way, and though I should hate it and everything it stood for I couldn’t help but compare leaving the house to losing my mom again. The house was the embodiment of her. It’s rooms still smelled like her jasmine perfume and the walls echoed with her chiming laughter. It was all I had left of her. Going would be bittersweet at best because the last few years of memories were held in that great green house. It held the kitchen where we made cookies every holiday, even small ones like George Washington’s birthday and Chinese New Year. She’d always said that there was always an excuse to make cookies. Of course she also said that vampires were after us, well mainly me.
That was one of the reasons that leaving could be the best idea, it seemed to be that moving to this house had brought about a chain of events that lead me to be moving in with my very rich aunt. But money fixed nothing and couldn’t take away any of the things that had brought me to this point. I was ready for a change and willing to move back to the town I was born in. The town that my parents had moved us from when I was little and had never looked back. Louisiana here I come.
Sitting in the car so near the road made it difficult not to look across the street at the inoffensive little school with it‘s crowded parking lot bustling with students and teachers alike. Just beyond the brick buildings I could feel Hurricane Creek flowing with blood and more memories that weren‘t pleasant to recall. I could not allow my thoughts wander there. Instead I forced my focus on the small church next door and breathing in the smell of the new leather upholstery until I heard the driver’s side door open, then click closed.
“Are you sure there’s no one that you want to say goodbye to?” Aunt Meeri smiled at me encouragingly as she pulled on her seatbelt.
“No.” I answered her simply, and there wasn’t. I was always the girl in the background who never did anything to call attention to herself, who was content to hole up in a corner with my earplugs in and drown the world away with music or maybe pull out a book and lose myself in it. She should have figured all of this out in the last three months she’s lived here with me. I think I’d left the house maybe three or four times all summer. And I was no hermit, I just couldn’t stand those pitying looks that everyone gave me…….or the way they watched me like a mental breakdown was imminent. Once or twice I imagined flipping out just for the heck of it, to see the looks on their faces. But I restrained myself.
With a quick, disdainful look around, Aunt Meredith turned the key in the ignition and the vehicle gnarled to life underneath us , then we were gone. I watched the scenery fly by quickly as we left the tiny little community. By “tiny” I mean miniscule, it was so small that if you blinked once, you would miss the vast majority of it- literally. And just like that we were on our way past the sprawling fields of cotton and away from life as I had known it. As I stared at the formerly white flip flops on my feet, I wondered if the red Alabama clay would ever come out or if they were marked forever.
Signs announcing the nearby university were everywhere, but sadly I wouldn’t me attending it. All these years I had planned to attend the college there where my dad had once taught philosophy. When we passed the beautiful, sprawling campus I realized that was probably not happening for me anymore and would probably be trading JSU for LSU, but I still had a modest amount of time before I had to stress over college applications and such- a few days at least. I would worry about it when the time came, it wasn’t like I had a particular major in mind anyway. I wondered if my aunt would have an opinion.
I wasn’t looking forward to the nine hour ride. That is how long it takes to get from Spring Garden, Alabama to New Roads Louisiana by car, nine long and limb numbing hours. The up and down motion of the bumpy interstate lulled me into oblivion and I was asleep before we’d driven an hour of it and I slept until we had crossed into Mississippi. An annoying Mack truck driver decided that it was time for me to grace the world with my presence and lay down on his air horn right beside my window.
“You missed all of the Alabama scenery Envy.” my aunt sounded when I flinched in my seat. “It’s not something I haven’t seen before Aunt Meredith.” I groaned stretching out my achy muscles and glaring daggers at the backside of the rig that had startled me. The prettiest parts of Alabama was nature. Flowers, trees and bodies of water marked the landscape. But long gone were the lovely lavender blooms of the Kudzu patches and the rivers and lakes were slow to rise this season leaving their banks exposing more of that red mud on their beds. I really hadn’t missed much of anything besides traffic.
“Jeez, Aunt Meredith makes me sound old, I’m only twenty-seven. At least call me Meeri if you insist on tossing the aunt on there.” she whined but smiled widely while glancing at me. I just nodded respectfully. Meredith was my dad’s only sibling and baby sister. She was only ten when I was born, though I didn’t know anything about her until my mom’s accident three months ago. I’d heard stories, but she’d simply never come around any, not even when my dad disappeared without the faintest trace. Of course, in her defense, we had moved around a lot.
“Do you remember anything at all from when you guys were living in Louisiana?” she prompted. The set of her lips suggested that she was both hopeful and unsure, if that were possible. I knew she had to be bored out of her mind with driving though, but talking had never been my forte. I attempted conversation.
“Not really.” and failed. I couldn’t think of anything else to say.
“You don’t remember anything about New Roads? About False River, Mississippi Valley ......anything?” she urged. That I did remember. I had only been eight when we’d left the little town, but the landscapes still stared in my dreams at night. Just closing my eyes I could vividly picture the leafy green trees covered in Spanish Moss that hung over the roads and waterways creating mysterious tunnels that could lead into the deepest of marshes or right to the heart of town. It was small like my town back in Alabama, but not quite as small, New Roads had more than a school, post office and general store. The Main Street bordered the lots of homes and False River, from there you could get to anywhere else in the town with only a few turns. There were some really old cemeteries in New Roads too, mainly because it’s one of the oldest communities in the Parish. It is also home to one of the state’s oldest Mardi Gras parades-kid friendly of course- my parents used to take me to see the colorful floats. These things I remembered.
“Sure, I remember a few things. I was little when our house burned so....” I trailed off not knowing what she wanted to hear. I didn’t have anything against my aunt, I just didn’t know her. The past three months had been one big, blurry mess of boxes and packing peanuts getting ready for my big move.
“I’m not shocked, you were little. I just wish that..” this time she was the one who didn’t finish her sentence. She kind of winced at the end.
“You wish what Aunt Meride..., Meeri?”
“That you’d have grown up knowing about your heritage, your family. Mother would have loved to watch you grow up. You are, after all, the only grandchild she’ll ever have.” she sighed.
“You don’t plan to give her any?” I blurted before I could stop myself. But blurting that out was better than me saying “Well Dad never mentioned his mom and he kept me away from her so she must be some horribly vile hag. Should I care what she wants?”, and I was glad that I was able to bite my tongue on that particular subject.
“Me?” she asked with a sideways glare my way. “Like you said, you’re only twenty-seven.” I shrugged. “Have you met me Envy? I’m not exactly the parent type.” I gave her a withering smile, feeling sad that she was being forced into being the default parent to a teenage girl. She amended with her next words, “I mean parenting little kids. That was your dad. Before he met your mom he was always bossing me around, treating me like a child.” she rolled her eyes and snickered.
“You were a little kid. Ten is still a kid.” I pointed out. “Right, right. I just... he was... I guess that all baby sisters feel that way.” she said in a fluster. Then she reached over and flicked on the radio to some old whiny rock song. I gladly took that as the end of the conversation. It was slightly painful to think of things to say to her. She was just too cheerful and eager to “bond”, all I wanted to bond with was a bed, I was still exhausted and relaxing any longer in the too cramped passenger seat was almost impossible, it’s leather upholstery was sticking to my legs not helping my cause at all. Had I not been awake all night the night before, sleeping would have been a lost cause period.
I leaned against the tinted window and tried to look out on the night darkening landscape, but I couldn’t see anything other than the interior of the car and the lights on the dashboard. The reflection gazing back at me was a ghastly pale ghost of the girl that I had once been. My hair was thick, long and dark brown, but dull, with matching long eyelashes that framed my, almost, sapphire blue eyes. The biggest difference was the dark shadows that were under those strange eyes that were set into a heart shaped face, and like my lips, they hadn’t truly smiled in a long time. The likeness cast back at me was colorless other than my eyes and lips. I looked lost, broken and helpless. No wonder people were always treating me with kid gloves. I sighed dejectedly.
“So what do you think of my car?” Aunt Meeri had turned the radio down to where it was a low hum in the background.
“It has a good sound system, it’s a convertible and it’s shiny” I bit my lip while I thought of something else to say about it. Running out of obvious statements.
“That’s all? Sweets this a brand new Mustang. Mother bought this brand new, state of the art. The stereo has GPS navigation, a CD with DVD player” she squealed patting the dashboard appreciatively.
“That explains the immaculate paint.” I tried to sound enthusiastic when I could have cared less.
“So what do you think? Do you like it?” she kept on.
“It’s a little flas…”
“It’s yours!” she exclaimed in the middle of my honest opinion.
“What’s mine?” I asked disbelievingly. I know my face relayed the shock that I felt.
“The car. All yours.” she nodded “Mother wanted to give you something. She knows it doesn’t make up for all of the missed birthdays and such, but she hoped that maybe this would be a start.” she grinned encouragingly.
“Umm.” I rummaged through my baffled head for the appropriate thing to say, missing the most conventional. Like Meeri, my grandmother had been persona non grata my entire life. I’d only received one brief phone call from her since the funeral, since birth. For her to be giving me a car worth tens of thousands of dollars was unbelievable. So was she really as bad as I’d imagined, at the very least she was generous.
“Well?” she was bouncing in her seat with excitement.
“It’s mine?” still staggered.
“That’s what I said.” she shook her head ever so slightly, an amused expression on her lips. “Is that all you have to say? ‘It’s mine?’.”
“Thank you?” in my muddled, fresh-from-sleep, state it came out as a question, I repeated it only this time more assuredly. “I’ll tell her you like it.” and the radio went back up, she bobbed her head along with the beat and drummed her fingers on the steering wheel. Maybe she was getting the idea that I was the social retard that I appeared to be and was appallingly unable to make small talk. When I had finally recovered I relaxed against the leather and thought about my distant grandmother and her generosity until I was able to pay attention to the city names and able to laugh inwardly at the French titles of the exits on the interstate. Aunt Meeri giggled at the same time, and pointed out one that read “Grosse Tete” I knew that it meant “Big Head” but didn’t share the information. I didn’t want her to take it as an open invite for idle chatter. We already knew I sucked at that.
The closer we got to Louisiana, the stormier the weather looked. The leaves of trees that grew liberally along the sides of the road were blowing furiously, and angry purplish black clouds were hovering in the horizon. A streak of lightening lit up the sky and confirmed my suspicions, just as the first drops of rain hit the windshield, my windshield, in big splatters. I liked the thought that the car- that something- belonged to me.
At almost nine p.m. we reached Baton Rouge in all of it’s Sunday night glory. The roads were bustling with vehicles, most of them with LSU memorabilia and it was still pouring. No one seemed to mind the rain either. They went on their merry way. Flashing neon lights dotted the roadside and shone against the black clouds and through the rain. All of the casinos were buzzing with activity despite the weather and the fact that it was late on a Sunday night made no difference.
“So are we going the ferry or the long way around?” Meeri asked, shouting over the music instead of wasting her energy to turn it back down again.
“Not the ferry.” I answered quickly.
“Are you afraid of the water like Luke was?” I winced when she said my dad’s name, but it amazed that she recalled that about him. He’d been terrified of any kind of water. Crossing bridges even scared him silly.
“No, but I still don’t know about the ferry.”
“Then the bridge it is.” she shrugged nonchalantly. Then drove on towards the river.
“Oh!” I gasped when I saw the majestic overpass that crossed the Mississippi, it was lit so brightly that boats from miles away could see it’s glow. “It‘s....wow!.” Aunt Meeri laughed at my unexpected outburst. Then we rode in companionable silence for the rest of the way, she even turned down the dated ditties that she had played since I had awoken and gave the approaching scenery a closer look.
The only warning I had that we’d entered New Roads was a radiantly illuminated sign set back off of the highway, surrounded by small shrubs and other greenery. In the dark you couldn’t see anything else that didn’t have a spotlight trained on it, so I didn’t expect to be able to see my aunt’s house when we arrived. I was mistaken.
From the road you would think that my aunt’s house was single story but really long, half of the length of a football field. A smallish, inset front porch sat directly in the center, that was framed in hunter green wrought iron railings that matched the shutters exactly. The green contrasted nicely with the off-white exterior. All of it was gleaming. The rivulets rolling off of the roof almost sparkled as the security lights surrounding the property shone on the abbreviated waterfalls brightly . But despite the lights I still felt an eerie trepidation, something not right, then again nothing had felt right to me for weeks so I ignored the apprehension.
All around the outside of the house were bushes and flowers. Some were exotic and intriguing, others were just your everyday shrubs like the ones that bloomed everywhere, including around the town sign. They were all pretty and perfectly landscaped, some still in bloom even this late in the season. But even with all of that, I still felt a shiver of darkness emanating from the house. She turned onto the paved drive that led to a big garage. It was set apart from the house and to the rear. When it rains you still have to get wet to get inside the house. Oh Goody.
Inside the garage there sat a shiny white BMW in the space next to where Aunt Meeri parked the Mustang. Both vehicles glittered, mine with fresh raindrops, in the florescent lighting inside of the garage.
“I’m sorry that we’ve got to walk out in this rain.” she looked apprehensively at the rain that was falling hard and fast against the driveway asphalt. “At least your stuff will be delivered and we won’t have to tote boxes back and forth in this mess.”
“Yeah.” I agreed halfheartedly.
“Here.” she reached in the backseat of her car and came out with a pile of purple and gold vinyl. She tossed it at me.
“What is this?” I held out the garment.
“Poncho. Very effective. Every self respecting Louisianan owns something purple and gold.” she answered while pulling on an exact replica of the one I held in my hands.
“Hence the ‘Geaux LSU Tigers’ on the back.” I pointed out as I slipped mine over my head. She examined the clouds for a sign that the storm might let up but the clouds were only masses of black in the dark night sky. No stars adorned the heavens, the only light was from the lightening and nearby street lamps.
“Ready, set….run.” she shrieked just before she leapt out of the comforting dry garage and into the intense downpour. I was reluctant to follow, but did because I really didn’t want to spend the night in a garage- alone.
“Right behind you.” I mumbled unenthusiastically as I copied my aunt and began my sloppy trek to the house. She paused for a fleetingly short time only to enter a code into the pin pad on the outer wall, then she was moving again inside the house.
“Whew. It’s a tad damp out there.” Aunt Meeri joked with a sly smile as we entered a small foyer just off of the kitchen where we shed our dripping rain gear. “But, welcome home anyway Envy.” she said earnestly in a swift shift of moods, gesturing widely toward the kitchen. She didn’t realize the pain her words inflicted on my shattered heart, and I struggled to keep composure as she led me deeper into the house. In the expansive kitchen, every imaginable surface was covered in stainless steel. Copies of myself were reflected back at me in all of the appliances.
The refrigerator was no kinder than the reflective window had been, only now my entire body was visible and I did not like what I saw. I had always been on the slim side, but now I was thinner, less substantial than before and my five foot five frame looked odd in the mirrored metal. I felt like I was on a ride at a carnival, in the fun house. It was odd. Jerking my head away, I decided that I should be taking inventory of my surroundings rather than dwelling on my appearance right now. It had been a long ride, a long summer, long year. I would blame my disheveled reflection on that.
The walls in the kitchen and throughout the hall were taupe with red brown hardwood floors the color of old blood, that were almost as reflective as the silver planes in the kitchen. They looked like a layer of slick glass had been laid across them, like they were never walked on.
“Let’s take a tour.” she suggested animatedly and bounced off before I could answer. I went along cautiously. The corridor was very long, it housed the doorways to the dining room, home office, two guest suites, a powder bath, and finally my bedroom at the very end on the left where the hallway turned back to the right. She paused at every doorway on both sides and opened each so I could look inside. The entire passageway was darkened by the deeply colored floors. It chilled me deeply, as if the very walls were alive and breathing me in and meant to confine me…..like they meant me harm.
“Paranoid much?” I whispered to myself. It certainly wasn’t out of sanity that I concocted these things. I blamed my healthy imagination and I use the term “healthy” loosely. For example, I was talking to myself, that wasn’t exactly an indication of a stable mentality.
“Did you say something?” I detected a grin in her tone but it was dark and I couldn’t really see. I scurried along behind her to where she has stopped at a door she proclaimed to be mine and thrust it open quickly.
My room was much brighter than the corridor. I accredited the lilac paint, white trim and furniture for that. Even the cover on the bed was white and pillowy. The only thing that wasn’t white was the deep purple curtains that covered the windows. It was a nice room, a suite rather, complete with a vanity and a computer desk. The rug on the floor was a myriad of swirls in purply and white hues, it covered most of the hardwood.
“Anything you don’t like we can change.” she offered quickly, taking my silence as dislike.. She had moved to the center of the room with her arms extended, now deflating as the seconds passed.
“No, it’s nice. Thanks Aunt Meeri.” I assured giving her my most sincere smile.
“Great. Your stuff will be here soon, then it won’t look so barren in here.” she said pointing at the walls. “Come on.” she tugged on my sleeve as she walked toward the hall. “I haven’t showed you the best part.” she pretty much bounded straight ahead into the hall where we’d yet to explore and charged straight ahead. “This is the second story.” she winked at me as she thrust open the double oak doors at the end. Given the late hour and gloomy weather the room was very dark, but even in the pitch black you could sense it’s size. Our footsteps echoed as we walked further in. Blinding light stunned me for a moment as my aunt flipped on a light switch.
“Ooh, sorry.” she squinted in pain. Apparently she’d blinded herself too. The room below and around us was even more spacious than I imagined it in the dark. The walls and roof were paneled glass windows. Beneath the cement stairs we were occupying was a sandy colored, stone floor that surrounded a large oddly shaped swimming pool with crystal blue water brimming to the top.
“Wow.” my voice reverberated all around us. It even echoed loud enough that you could hear it over the sound of torrential rain whipping against the glass.
“I know.” she squealed grinning a cheesy painful looking grin. She seemed so young. “The laundry room is this way....” she traipsed down the steps silently and gracefully. My wet shoes squeaked and popped against my foot with each step I took across the smooth stone floor as I followed her to the tinted glass wall to the right. She pushed through the door leading beyond and into another corridor that was blacker than the night sky.
At first I didn’t think I could adjust to the lack of light, but I did more quickly than I should’ve been able to. Aunt Meeri was obviously used to it and knew her way around, she walked at a regular pace ahead of my careful tip toeing.
“This is my room.” she indicated another paneled glass wall on our right with double doors. It covered the entire right side of the level, but she didn’t move to show me inside of it as she had the others. “ and this is the laundry room.” she nodded at a door on the left. There were two other doors beyond that I noticed on our way past, but she didn’t explain them. I guessed them to be either off limits or unrelated to me. “Finally we have the back stairs. They lead back to the kitchen.” our foot steps resounded off of the wooden steps and the narrow walls increased the noise. “During the daytime, from the sun room, you have a full view of False River and the docks on the river walk.”
“Really?” I had figured as much.
“Yep. And Envy, I really hope that you can be comfortable here. I hate the circumstances that brought you, but I’m glad that you’re here nonetheless.” she started forward to reach for my hand but noticed me flinch in time to halt her advance. “Sorry, I almost forgot that you don’t like to touch people.” she blew me a kiss instead.
“Thank you for having me.” I forced out around the emotion that had bubbled into my throat. “Do you mind if I go to my uh....the purple room? It’s been a long day.”
“It’s your room Sweets.” she nodded. “Before you go I wanted to ask if you’d rather drive yourself to the Academy or of you wanted a ride?”
“Um, I think that I’ll drive.” I really didn’t want to burden her any further than I was already. Plus she drove like a bat out of hell. I had feared for my life at times during our journey.
“And I reiterate, the car is yours. Do with it as you please.” she paused before adding “Within the confines of the law and common sense. Don’t go and commit a murder or drag race in it. And it might be a good idea not to transport illegal substances in it either.” she joked trying to lighten my dark mood. I don’t think she liked pessimistic or otherwise depressed company.
I grabbed my slightly damp backpack, slung it over my shoulder then scurried to my room as if I were being chased by wild animals. The unlit hall was creepy. I was all too happy to get to my room and close the thick door behind me.
Safely inside, out of the gloomy hallway, I placed my bag on the bed, unzipped it then removed the few garments and the only real keepsakes I owned. First out was a picture of my mom, dad and me, I was about seven and we had visited the lakes on LSU campus so I could feed the ducks and look at the lily pads. It was a happy memory. I placed the frame on my tall chest of drawers where I could see it from my bed. I didn’t want it too close because I might pick it up repeatedly and as a result not sleep. The second item out of my bag was an old, leather bound book of poetry from various authors with some of my mother‘s own pieces. My mom or dad used to read passages from it every night before bed. It went into my night stand. The last two things that I took out were my mom’s silver cross, a gift from my dad, and the oldest faded LSU shirt ever because no matter where we lived my dad was still a tried and true Tigers fan. I had slept in it for years and I wore it to bed as often as possible. I shimmied out of my wrinkled denim shorts and green t-shirt, threw shoes off, replaced my discarded clothing with my gray sleep shirt then curled up underneath the fluffy down comforter. Pulling it tight around me seemed to warm my chilled body, though the temperature was a sweltering eighty five degrees and it was night. No wonder it was storming, it was way too hot for an August night.
“Knock, knock.” Aunt Meeri said in place of actually doing it.
“Yes?” I answered after clearing my throat.
“Sorry to bother you, I just wanted to see if you needed anything.” she asked in a whisper. Her smile caused the edges of her green eyes to crinkle and look just like my dad’s used to.
“No, I’m fine thanks.” my voice broke on the last word. She tried to ignore it.
“About tomorrow, if you want we can put school off for a few more days.” she had propped her head on the door frame and was chewing her bottom lip.
“N-no,” I squeaked out “ I’ll be fine.” I have to be fine. Besides, I wanted some semblance of normalcy, starting my senior year, even five weeks after the rest of my class, seemed like a good beginning. Then again normal was something that constantly eluded me. “Alright then, night Sweets .” she finally said after a few minutes of strained silence. I didn’t respond as she backed out of the doorway and left.
Thunder and heavy rain played a furious lullaby against the planes of the roof and windows as I lay in bed struggling to find sleep. The lightening illuminated my room as it sizzled and streaked across the sky, a blaze of brilliant color against the black that was a constant flashing light show. I pulled the curtains back so I could watch the display, had my mother been here, alive, this would have sent her over the edge, thunderstorms terrified her.
Sleep still evaded me after I had tired of watching the storm. I counted sheep, hummed to myself and even prayed for the sweet reprieve that dozing would bring- no luck. I couldn’t keep my eyes from drifting over to the photograph on the chest of drawers, the two contrasting faces on either side of the little version of me. Light and dark.
On the left was the fair skinned, graceful vision of my mother the person she was before. Big baby blue eyes stood out from her light complexion as billows of brown hair, a few shades lighter than my own, framed her heart shaped face that I‘d inherited. To my right stood my dad, strong and sheltering. Everything about him was dark and mysterious, from his short, jet black hair to his dark green eyes, though they looked just like his sister’s and was the only similarity between the two, his held grief and love, balanced equally and shined to a sparkle as he looked at a young Envy with admiration. Even his faded olive skin tone was enigmatic and dangerous looking, though he had been the gentlest of men. I could still hear his resonant yet tuneless voice joining with my mother’s gentle, artistic melody as they sang me to sleep. Even now, years later, I could still hear and feel the slow, soft blending of their voices lulling me toward unconsciousness. So I started humming their song to myself. The hymn brought about a cascade of anguish stabbing deep into the very pit of my soul. I had to bury my face in the pillow to keep from screaming and instead really cried for the first time since my mom’s funeral. After an hour of uncontrollable weeping, I was finally able to drift into fitful dreams.
Time had undone itself and I could see myself on my bed back in Alabama, like an out of body experience. I was lying there with my headphones on listening to nothing in particular on my ipod. It was May and had been raining, unseasonably, for days at our home in Spring Garden, smack in the center of nowhere and only had a few hundred residents. The rain had flooded nearby Hurricane Creek and it had spilled over into the parking lot of the church next to our house, the water was getting higher by the hour and it was making her edgy, even though it wasn’t storming.
“We have to leave Envy. They’ll find us here. If the water washes out the road we’ll never get away.” she plead with me that night. She had been imagining vampires coming after us more and more lately, I blamed the vampire crazed media for her fixation and the scary vampire movies that my dad used to find so comical, helped her right along. But I’d remained adamant about finishing school here. I didn’t want to move again when I’d just finished my junior year.
“Mom, have you taken your pill this afternoon?” I asked her as if I were the parent. She was always forgetting to take it, not that it helped her anyway but it certainly didn’t hurt any.
“You don’t understand. They’ll hurt us. Take you.” she argued. Sadly I had gotten used to this kind of behavior over the years. She hadn’t been so bad until my dad vanished, that’s when she got completely unstable.
“ I have an idea!” she brightened. It flushed some color back into her ashen cheeks and briefly lit up her lifeless blue eyes. She tossed her long dark hair out of her face and descended the stairs two at a time. Her long, graceful legs making it easy for her to reach the bottom quickly. I heard her displacing things inside the kitchen drawers. I decided to let her do whatever made her feel better, in the end that always settled her down the best and she never hurt herself or anything else. I would normally try to encourage safe activities while she was in one of her moods and, like a child, she would usually become interested in something I suggested after she had mellowed some. She had gotten to the point where she was writing notes and placing them all over the house, they said nothing remotely intelligible. That didn’t stop her. There were multi hued sticky notes littering the walls and countertops. They said things like: Always carry Vervain, and Bleach covers our scent. My personal favorite was: Human blood = no sunlight.