When it was time for the twins’ birthday, me and mom decided to celebrate it just with the four of us. We simply did not want to risk gaining the vampires’ attention by hosting a big party. It hurt to think that my kids needed to be secluded from everyday matters, but if that was what it took to keep them safe, I had to do it.
It was only for a limited time anyway, I thought to myself and longed for the island retreat to be finished. I did most of the work myself, because any chance for Soda Pop to track us was a risk not worth taking.
“And blow as hard as you can” mother said and leaned over Mars’s cake to take him closer to the candles. Her voice pulled me back to the present and when Mars blew out his candles he sent a shower of saliva over the cake. It was gross and cute at the same time. Mom just smiled at her grandson and put him down on the ground. She was the best and I was so grateful to have her in my life.
“Me too!” Petite said and clapped her little hand against my chest. “Petty blow!”
“Oh, you’re so eager little one. Okay, okay” I smiled. Petite was far more talkative than Mars and she was constantly eager to try new things. She had surprised both me and mom by climbing out of her crib just a few weeks ago. Mars had never tried something like that, he was a rather calm and still child.
But Petite, boy, had she kept us busy. ‘Little Daredevil’ mom used to call her and it was certainly an appropriate nickname. She threw herself head first in to any challenge in front of her.
“Okay, blow the candles” I said and leaned forward to help her put out the light. However, she quickly proved that she needed no help and before I had begun blowing myself, she had already finished the job.
“Well done” I laughed and put her down on the ground next to her brother. They both giggled and clapped their hands and as I looked at them I was filled with love. My babies, my perfectly perfect little babies. Already so big. They grew too fast. Before I knew it they would be old enough to deal with the vampires. Tears welled up in my eyes at the thought of it. Petite and Mars would never get the chance to be just normal teenagers with normal teenager problems – they would be stuck with a task that no ‘bow should ever need to be stuck with. My kids would need to save the world one day.
Suddenly, I realized that it would be my task to prepare them for that. But how could I? What parenting was needed to make my kids ready for the problems they would have to face? How could I teach them to take care of a problem I had only ever run from myself? It was something I would never know.
Unsurprisingly, they both grew up to amazing children. I pulled my camera up and as I prepared to take their picture, Mars put his arm around Petite’s shoulders and pulled her closer. The picture ended up being amazing, of course.
It was convenient to see them being friends because it meant that their future task would be easier. They would not have to go through it alone because they had each other. What a team.
When I put them to bed that night, I told them that I loved them very much. I needed to remember to tell them often because with the dangers surrounding us, I could never be sure to get another chance at saying it. Supid world and stupid problems.
Soda Pop came to our front door just hours after the twins had gone to sleep. Mom had gone to sleep as well and the sun had just set in the horizon. I was just making myself comfortable in the sofa in front of some silly comedy about a man who never aged.
Every muscle in my body tensed at the sound of the doorbell. I had never seen Soda Pop before, but when I first saw her this time I knew instantly that it was her.
Soda Pop Twist.
The vampire who wanted my children.
I wasn’t even scared when I went out to meet her. I should have been, of course. But all I could think of was to keep my children safe. If I got myself killed in the process did not matter, as long as I prevented her from getting to my kids.
“Get the fudge of my property” I hissed and my body was pumping with adrenaline.
Soda Pop smiled, but she looked far from friendly. “I came to congratulate Mars and Petite” she said.
I took one step closer to her and waved my arms by my side as if I was a rooster picking a fight, “Get off my property” I snarled again.
“Jeez, relax. I wouldn’t do anything rash if I were you” Soda Pop said.
“Can you just leave? No one likes you anyway.”
“Yew Twist” Soda Pop sighed. “Just let me talk to your children and no one will get harmed. It’s easy like that”.
Her cold white eyes stared at me. It felt nearly like they stared through me. Like she could see every thought in my brain through my eyes. Perhaps she could, what did I know?
“You’ll never get close to them” I snarled back and clenched my fists in front of me.
Soda Pop suddenly exploded, “And you think you can keep me from that? Hahaha, you silly weak little thing. I always get what I want. Always.”
“Not this time” I replied calmly. I would die for my children, if I needed to.
“You stupid, petty human!” Soda Pop yelled and slammed her body against mine. She was a lot stronger than me and my body hit the ground with a loud thump. I felt, and heard, some of the bones in my back cracking loudly but I felt no pain.
“I’ll kill you if I have to” Soda Pop snarled and scratched my face. I felt numb. There was nothing I could do except taking her beating. Whatever happened, I would not let her in my house. She would not get to my kids.
“Just say the word and you’ll be free again” she said and pulled me up in a standing position. She held my head secured under her arm and I tried to get a few punches in against her body. I don’t think she even felt them because there was no strength in my body. It was all transformed into willpower and I just waited for her to kill me.
Mom will keep the twins safe. Mom will keep the twins safe. I repeated it like a mantra inside my head. It wouldn’t matter if I died. The house on the island was almost finished and mom would keep the twins safe.
I would die for them.
It was okay.
Suddenly though, Soda Pop kicked me in the back and let me go. “You stupid idiot. I’ll get the babies eventually” she said. I massaged the lower part of my back where her heel had hit me and before I had turned around to curse at her she was gone. I had survived. And I was still human.
I slept uneasy that night, tossed and turned and reacted to every little sound outside the window. When mom got up from bed I joined her in the livingroom and told her about what had happened last night. Of course, she was shocked to hear about it.
“I don’t know what to do” I said, feeling like I had lost and that everything was meaningless. Soda Pop had been right, she would get what she wanted. She always did. And she was so much stronger than me, there was no way we could stop her.
“You know exactly what to do” mom replied and smiled faintly. “You’ve got the island.”
“But when she finds it, we’re doomed.”
“Hopefully she doesn’t. Took her some time to find you here, didn’t it? Perhaps the twins will be old enough to care for themselves once it happens” mom said. I hoped she was right, but I could not know for sure. The only thing I did know for sure was that my kids were in greater danger than I had originally thought.
“Wait for Myrtle to birth your child and then move” mom continued. All these years she had devoted her life to keeping us safe. And she still did. I nodded, to show that I agreed. I would take my children and run, as soon as I could.
“Sometimes you have to leave things behind to protect the ones you love” mom said and I could hear sadness in her voice. Had it been like that for her? Had she been in pain every time she had to move? Had it pained her to leave Bittersweet behind? Of course it had. Why had I never understood that before? The sacrifices she and dad had made, just to keep us all safe. I owed everything to them.
“Lavender!” It struck me then. Lavender had a child too and I didn’t know if Soda Pop had visited her as well. I didn’t even know if my sister was alive.
Mom jumped off the sofa and called Lavender straight away. Luckily, she was safe.
“There’s no room for Lavender in the island house” I said when mom returned.
“I’ll be with her” mom said and touched my arm. “You’ll be fine, Yew. It’s time for me to move on. Your sister needs me now.”
I knew that mom was right and that Lavender would need her more than me. Still, it brought tears to my eyes when I thought about living without mom again. She had been there for me whenever I needed it. When I got ill, when I met Myrtle, when the twins were born, when dad died. When the vampires came. And now she wouldn’t be with us anymore. But it was the right thing to do. Me and my kids would be safe on the island.
Eden was born shortly thereafter. He looked so much like myself. Red skin, white eyes and a small patch of purple hair on his little head. The first time I held him my heart melted. What was it with babies that touched the very inside of one’s body? They were magical and fragile and true miracles. To think that part of this one came from me, it was hard to understand. How could two broken ‘bows like myself and Myrtle create something so perfect?
I brought him back to the house and left mom to look after him and the twins while I went to check on Lavender and her family. I would be leaving the main island to live at my safe haven within days, and I wanted to make sure that Lavender was okay.
“I can’t believe she came to your house?” Lavender was still startled about Soda Pop’s visit and the was the first thing she said when I came to visit them. I had already told her the story of our grandmother’s visit several times, including the fact that she had actually left without harming any of us seriously. However, it did little to calm my younger sister down.
“I could never protect Cashmere if she came here” Lavender continued and her worry was obvious.
I was worried too. Anything else would have been stupid. Cashmere sat on the floor close to us and played with her feet. She was a happy child and I feared what would happen to her if Soda Pop got to her. Would she be happy still? Would she become a deadly monster? The only way of not getting the thoughts drive me crazy was to put them aside and try to convince myself that none of our children would ever be taken by the vampires. Somehow, we would beat them.
“Well, mom will help you” I said. “And you have Mountain too. You’ll be fine.”
“Why does this happen to our family? It’s not fair!” Lavender said. “First you go and kidnap some fudging kid because you’re totally fudged up in the head and then some fudging vampires threaten to take our kids. Fudge!”
“We’ll manage” I said. It hurt to hear her curse about me and my past. I had overcome it, and it wasn’t fair of her to hold me against something I did while I was sick. Still, I couldn’t blame her. She worried for her daughter’s safety and she had the right to. Besides, my own issues had no doubt affected her and my other siblings too. Our lives were sure filled with enough drama to lay ground for some stupid soap opera. Perhaps one day it would get better.
When I got back home, mom had put the twins to bed and was now by Eden’s crib. I could see that she was crying while she hugged my newborn. “I’ll miss you” she sniffed.
“It’s for the best” I said. I don’t know if I tried to convince myself or mom the most. It didn’t seem to work on any of us anyway.
“We’ll be fine” mom said and put Eden down in the crib. She threw one last glance at him before turning the lights off and leaving the room. That night, we sat in silence next to each other in the livingroom. Some silly action movie played on the TV but even though I watched it, I couldn’t say what it was about because my thoughts were elsewhere.
It was going to be alright. It had to be.
Mom left early the next morning and when the kids woke up she was already gone. I didn’t know how I was supposed to tell them that we were moving so I pretended to read the newspaper while we ate breakfast. Petite ate her yoghurt in silence while Mars pretended he was some kind of ruler over some kind of kingdom. I don’t know.
Eventually, I had to tell them. I folded the newspaper in half and put it on the table in front of me. “We’re moving” I said. Just straight like that because I didn’t know how else I would say it.
“Will we get our own room?” Petite wondered.
“You will share with Mars and Eden” I replied.
“But not with you?”
Like that the conversation was over. They held no affectionate memories of this house and to them moving was just another exciting adventure.
I had already furnished the house on the island so I simply told the twins to bring their favorite toys. They could fill a backpack each, but anything else had to be left behind. There were no complains, and they simply wanted to bring their teddy bears. All in all, it went much smoother than I had expected and soon I could point from the boat to our new home.
“A whole island, just for us?!” Petite was stoked about it, but I wondered how long that would be true. Eventually, they would start feeling secluded and lonely. It would be tough to keep that from happening, but I would do my best.
“Yea, the whole island is ours” I said and secured the boat on the back of the house.
“This is awesome!” Petite shouted and ran off. Mars followed her, but he wasn’t as excited as his sister. At least not until he discovered a seashell on the beach. His discovery made him clap his hands in excitement and that was all it took for them to appreciate our new home.
This was it. Our new start. We would be safe here.
It would be fine.
Eden is the last child needed in Yew’s generation and now I’m just waiting for him to grow old enough to get a personality. ^^ I might host a heir vote as per usual, or I might choose the heir myself because one of them fits better for next generation’s rolls. But we’ll see.
Coral has now been moved out of the household and she lives with Lavender and her family. Also, I couldn’t fit it in the actual chapter, but Bittersweet has passed away. Coral has taken it quite badly and has been mourning a lot in game. It’s heartbreaking. 😦