Chapter 4.9: A problem

Screenshot-995Me and Bittersweet had been planning protests and handing out flyers about it for a few days and it was the day before the actual protest when Thunderbird came to our door. Unlucky for him, he was met by an angry Watermelon who refused to let him in to the house because she couldn’t remember him and therefore did not trust him.

Screenshot-997“Relax Watermelon” I heard Thunderbird saying. “I just want to speak to your sister. She knows me.”

Watermelon continued to keep him out of the house. She really did have some trust issues which I knew I would have to deal with one day. I felt sorry for her and I wanted to help her, but things had a way of coming in between the entire time. I hurried out in the hallway before Watermelon would try to harm Thunderbird. “It’s alright sister, I know who he is. Let him in.”

She muttered something that I couldn’t hear before turning on her heel and stomping up the stairs. I looked after her as she descended and then back to Thunderbird. “Sorry about that, she’s a little… moody sometimes.”

Screenshot-1040“Life hasn’t treated her the best I suppose” Thunderbird shrugged as he stepped inside. “Besides, with the recent attacks, she is right to worry.”

“The animal attacks? I’m sure no animal would harm us at our home.”

“I know how you feel about the matter” Thunderbird said and walked past me and in to the kitchen. “I heard you and Bittersweet are protesting against the hunt of the animals behind the attacks. Is that true?”

Screenshot-1041I nodded in response and Thunderbird stood lost in thought for a moment, which I used to talk a bit myself. “It’s not right to kill anything that defends itself. This world is their home too.”

“I want to help you with the protests” Thunderbird said and locked eyes with me.

“You?” It surprised me for I had never pictured Thunderbird as a man who treasured nature like me and my sister did.

“It’s very important that no one go after that…” he hesitated before uttering his next word, “… animal.” I raised my brows towards him, trying to understand what it was he was saying. Somewhere inside me I realized that there was something he didn’t tell me but so far I couldn’t put the pieces together.

Screenshot-1042“Whoever tries to put a stop to that animal will get killed. They can’t stop it” Thunderbird continued and this were the words that helped me understand. Although, since I felt rather scared about being right, I didn’t dare to ask him up front. Instead I took a detour, praying that my suddenly born suspicions were wrong:

“You are talking about these attacks as if it was a single animal behind it. Singular, not plural. Why?”

“Because I’m quite sure it was a single animal that did it. Or whatever we should call ourselves.”

I lost my breath. What he said did confirm my fears. My mother was behind the recent killings in town. Or someone else like her which was unlikely. Even though I had never felt love for my mother or cared much about her, I found myself hoping that Thunderbird was wrong and that she hadn’t slipped so far off any moral standards. I desperately wished that she wasn’t the one to blame. However, the suspicions made our future protests a lot more important. I did not wish for a mob to go chase after my mother, for if it was true – I knew Thunderbird would be right about which side ended up dead. It wouldn’t be mother.

Screenshot-1162Lots of berries showed up on the protest but there wasn’t a single one who shared our opinion. Instead they raised huge signs with pictures of the dead berries above their heads, demanding justice. No matter what arguments me, Bittersweet and Thunderbird tried, they refused to budge. I was almost at tears when we left the park that day. Not because the townsfolk would go chasing after my mother but because they would die as they did.

Weak berries didn’t stand a chance against a newly fed vampberry such as mother. Thunderbird told me this, even if I understood it myself even before that.

Bittersweet seemed a lot more worn down than I felt myself after the protest and Romeo decided to take her home while Thunderbird went with me and Berrian home. It was a strange feeling knowing that things were about to go to shit in our town.

Screenshot-1165“Why don’t you stop her?” Berrian asked Thunderbird, who in turn explained that he, as a vegetarian vampire lacked the strength required to have any chance against mother. Her being fairly newborn and full on fresh blood meant that she had a strength he wouldn’t be able to match even if he did feed on fresh blood. Our only hope was to reach out for mother’s conscience, which as we all know had never been the greatest.

“She escaped my house some week ago and has been feeding freely since. She comes home now and then, but I can’t make her stay. I’m too weak while I’m alone. I do think you could maybe help me Coral. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, she cares for you. She always has. You and Bittersweet were her babies and she has missed you after the transformation. It might be a long shot but I do believe that maybe you could help her get a grip of herself.”

Screenshot-1044I don’t know how he managed to talk me in to it, but in the end I agreed to go with Thunderbird during the night to look for my mother. I suppose a part of me actually wanted to help her. A part of me thought that there was still hope for my mother, even if it was a long time since I last thought about that.

According to Thunderbird, her hunts usually started around Sweet Pastry, which he thought depended on the simple fact that the only man she had ever loved could some day be there. Precious, Bittersweet’s father. Perhaps if things had turned out differently between them she would have been a different person. A nicer, less selfish person.

Chills ran through my body as I stood next to Thunderbird, wondering about what to do next. I did not know if it was because of the chilly night air or if it was fear creeping through my body. Perhaps a little of both. “She’s not here” I whispered, feeling both relieved and scared.

Screenshot-1045Just as the words had left my lips a man came out from the back door of the café. I recognized him immediately. Precious. I wanted to yell for him to leave but no words came out of my mouth. I took a step forward, ready to take my sister’s father under my arm and guard him to safety but Thunderbird took a hold of my arm, preventing me from taking even the slightest step towards Precious.

“Stay back, she’s there” he hissed and my heart dropped to my ankles.

Screenshot-1047In the flash of a moment my mother appeared out of nowhere and jumped straight at Precious who had no chance of reacting whatsoever. My first reaction was a will to dive straight for Precious and try to save him but Thunderbird held my arm in a firm grip. “There’s nothing you can do now” he whispered and in his voice I could hear sadness.

It was the first time in years that I saw my mother and what I saw before me was even worse than what I remembered.

Screenshot-1049Her eyes were blank as she dug in to Precious’ arm and my whole body sunk together as the color of Precious’ body faded as my mother fed on him. Berrian gasped for air next to me and Thunderbird just sighed.

I knew nothing of vampires, but I realized that the scene in front of me had to be one which Thunderbird had caused several times himself. As I watched Precious running out of life and blood dripping down my mother’s chin I couldn’t help but think that perhaps the best thing for this town would be if that animal in fact did get killed. She didn’t act in defence, her attacks were simply for joy and amusement. She could live on plasma, as Thunderbird did. Feeding on, and killing, berries were her own choice.

Screenshot-1053It all happened so fast, no more than a few seconds can have passed before she let go of Precious’ arm. A thump was heard when his lifeless body hit the ground. The sound made me realize what had just happened and I cried out loud.

Screenshot-1051In the blink of an eye mother turned around and stared at me. Her face was covered in blood after the recent feeding and her mouth was open, revealing two sharp fangs. She growled in a way I could never have thought possible for a berry. It was loud and fierce and she sounded really dangerous. Chills ran through my body and for the first time in my life I felt pure fear.

Screenshot-1055I heard myself sniffle and Berrian sighed and covered his face in his hand. Thunderbird sighed, too, but it was a whole different sigh. “You’ve made a mess again” he said and the growl from mother stopped as her mouth turned in to a smile.

“You knew it would happen. We need blood, it’s our food. We’re predators, you shouldn’t deny it” she said and smiled. It wasn’t a happy smile, nor a smile which made me feel better about the situation. No, the contrast of her smiling mouth and her blood covered face along with Precious lifeless body rather made me even more scared.

Screenshot-1054“I don’t hunt” Thunderbird said. “And neither should you, if you want to live.” Mother simply laughed at him and we all knew that she was stronger than the three of us combined and that it would be impossible to force her to do anything she didn’t like. A subtle nudge to my side from Thunderbird made me remember that perhaps I could help her. And the town.

I stuttered as I spoke but I was proud that I was even capable of speaking with the fear that held my whole body in a steady hand. “Let’s get you home, mother.”

Screenshot-1056I don’t know how it happened, but after a short while we found ourselves following mother to Thunderbird’s home. Her face was still covered with blood and yet she walked with easy steps as though nothing had happened. I found that I was starting to actually dislike her a lot. Even though I had known she was selfish before, this was something I hadn’t expected even from her.

Mother walked to the back of the house and Thunderbird asked me to go talk to her and then pulled Berrian with him inside. To clean up the traces of Precious, I assumed. And of course to give me some time alone with mother. Not that I wanted any for I was still scared of her.

Screenshot-1057“Why are you here Coral?” she asked without even looking at me.

“I want to help you” I stuttered, barely believing the words myself. I was actually starting to think that she was beyond saving already.

“I need no help” she spat and turned to look at me. “I am doing perfectly fine, thank you.”

“Why are you doing this?” I wondered in a whisper.

Screenshot-1059Every emotion was gone from her eyes as she stared at me. If what Thunderbird had said about my mother missing me was true, she hid it well. Thirteen years had passed and she showed no sign of caring about it. She didn’t care the slightest about any of us children. In a way I had always known, but seeing it before me still hurt.

“I’m a vampire” mother snarled. “This is what we do.”

Screenshot-1060I don’t know where my courage came from. Perhaps it was the realization of mother not caring about us at all, perhaps it was a tiny little spark of hope that still saw an opportunity. Whatever it was, it helped me take the few steps up to mother and really confront her. “Thunderbird does not hunt. You don’t have to do it either. You choose to do it, that’s how it is.”

“You know nothing” mother said with a blank voice. “You are a fool to come here and a fool for thinking you could help me. I am what I am and I do what I have to.”

“You have a choice!” I cried and was starting to feel desperate of actually getting her to understand and take some responsibility of her actions.

Screenshot-1061She faked a yawn before looking at me again and snarling, “And I have made a choice.”

“What happened to the mother I had who rushed in to buildings on fire to save this town’s berries? What happened to her, mother? Does that not matter anymore? Would you rather see this town die?”

“I’m different now” she said and turned her back to me. I did not know what to say anymore, I had no chance against my mother and I knew that she could kill me before I even realized what was going on, so I took a step back and sighed.

“You’re not my mother anymore” I said. In truth, she had never been my mother except for in a biological matter. We both knew that, but it still stung to say it out loud.

Screenshot-1062I started to walk away, wanting to get to Berrian and Thunderbird but I had managed to take no more than four steps before mother blocked my path. She leaned in towards me and growled while showing off her pointy fangs. “I wonder what you’d taste like” she snarled and the only thing I could think was that I felt sorry for my younger siblings. They would break when the news of my death came to them for they had already lost too many people. Perhaps Romeo and Berrian would be there for them. I hoped they would.

Screenshot-1063“I was going to search for your father next, but I could make do with you” she continued and I thought I could see her fangs sparkle. I closed my eyes and waited for the bite to come.

But it didn’t and after a few moments I opened my eyes again, just a little, and saw that mother stood with her fangs still exposed and eyed me from top to toe.

Screenshot-1066Shortly thereafter she started to circle around me, while still making the same growling sounds. The air was electric around us and I was terrified. I knew that I could be dead within seconds, even if a small part of me hoped that she would have killed me long ago had she wanted me dead. I did not manage to convince myself of that matter, though, and at mother’s every move I jumped a little. A smile played on her lips, most likely because she enjoyed scaring me. Perhaps that was more amusing than killing me. I could only hope.

Screenshot-1065“What do you want!?” Mother suddenly yelled and turned around facing the house. Her sudden explosion had me jumping at the spot. I had really never been so scared in my life before.

“Back away from her. She’s your daughter Soda. You don’t want to harm her.” Thunderbird’s voice was calm and steady and as he spoke he walked slowly towards us.

“I have no children” mother snarled and her eyes turned back to me.

Screenshot-1067 “Besides, it’s all your fault Thunderbird Almond” she spat. The words were clearly not for me, even though her dead eyes seemed to look straight through my body.

“Let’s get inside now” Thunderbird said, ignoring mother’s hateful words. He walked up to us and placed a hand on mother’s shoulder. She jumped a little and first I was afraid she would harm him, but shortly after her body relaxed and she followed him inside. I went after them with shaky legs.

Screenshot-1069I went to stand next to Berrian once we had come inside and Thunderbird quickly went to get mother a can of plasma. When he handed it to her she scorned, “This is no food” she said.

“It’s what I’ve been living on for the last 150 years. It does the job” Thunderbird said and shrugged.

Mother wrinkled the can with her bare hand which splashed red liquid around her before she threw the can in the corner of the room. “I’m not drinking that.”

“If you ever want a relation with your kids or friends again you have to drink that” Thunderbird pleaded but mother showed no sign of caring.

Screenshot-1070After that she turned to look at me and Berrian and again it sent shivers through my body. “I don’t have any children anymore” she said. Her eyes were blank but in her voice I thought I could sense a small sign of sorrow.

I said nothing. I just looked down at my hands which were moving on its own in nervous movements.

Screenshot-1071“You have the most amazing kids, it’s a shame that you throw them away.” It was the first thing Berrian had said since we found mother and despite the serious situation we were in his words warmed my heart. Perhaps I had no mother, but at least I had him.

Mother reacted like one should have foreseen by growling and exposing her fangs. She even crouched in an attack position, as if she was about to jump at Berrian. Without thinking I took a step forward, placing myself between her and my man. Thunderbird in his turn again placed a hand on mother’s shoulder. It looked like a soft touch but I assumed he was holding her with his full power.

Screenshot-1072“I need you to stop killing” Thunderbird said and his voice was calm and steady and very serious.

“Not unless you give in. You can save this town, Thunder” mother said. “I need one single word and I will drink your stupid plasma.”

Screenshot-1073Thunderbird seemed to lose whatever strength he had at mother’s words and I couldn’t for my life understand why. “If I give you my word, will you stop?” he sighed defeat.

“You have my word” mother smiled.

Screenshot-1075“I shouldn’t trust your word. But I’ll have to try” Thunderbird whispered and looked down at his feet. It seemed like the two of them had almost forgotten about me and Berrian being in the room and they seemed to have their full attention at each other. Silence laid over the room for a moment before mother chuckled victoriously.

“So that’s a yes?”

A deep sigh escaped Thunderbird’s mouth before he whispered “Yes.”

Whatever it was Thunderbird had said yes to, I knew it couldn’t be good. I just hoped that I would never find out what it was.

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19 Comments

  1. annasommer

     /  June 10, 2013

    God. I had so hoped that we had seen the last of her >.<

    Reply
  2. Oh wow. What on earth has Soda become? Seeing her go after Precious was really creepy, though it makes so much sense. It’s almost like she’s taking revenge. Poor Coral. That’s quite a blow to see your mother like that, and then hear her talk of how she has no children. I’m really glad Bittersweet was spared seeing that. And I’m dying to know what Thunderbird agreed to!

    Reply
    • I did picture her motive for going after Precious to be revenge too. Or perhaps she isn’t quite over him even after all these years.

      Reply
  3. Hrm, what could possibly be worth killing people just to have Thunderbird make a promise? Even if it is Soda we’re talking about.

    Reply
  4. Soda is terrifying! I love that blood splattered makeup, and the way you wrote it-damn! What a great chapter. I feel so bad for Coral, and for Berrian, too. What an awkward way to meet the inlaws.

    Reply
  5. I wonder what Thunderbird promised to that would make Soda stop. Whatever it is I hope she really does stop.

    Reply
  6. Oh my gosh, she made him promise to get her pregnant. x_X She wants to have a child with him. Which is weird, since you know, she already has 5 that she abandoned and neglected.

    Reply
  7. Wow. You know, I’d been thinking it was a werewolf, but I guess that’s just because that’s a supernatural I’d most closely associate with ‘wild animals’. But I should have known it would be Soda. She is terrifying! I’m dying to know what this promise is that Thunderbird made to her–and if she will keep her end of the deal. I know you’ve got a busy couple of weeks ahead of you, I hope you can find time for at least one more chapter!

    Reply
    • I plan to get at least two more chapters out before my job starts. I would want to finish Coral’s generation but I think that’s impossible. 😦

      I kind of just stole the whole animal attack thing from the vampire series that are popular nowadays. ^^

      Reply
  8. Loved this chapter, so terrifying seeing Soda like that!!
    I think I know what Thunderbird agreed to. I think he has to marry her 😐 I kinda hope not, but the other options in my mind are a lot worse. In a way. Can’t wait for more, but don’t worry if you don’t have time, we all know what it’s like.

    Reply
    • That could be it…
      I shall have time for at least two more updates so you’ll get to know what it was he agreed to.

      Reply
  9. OMG I love this chapter. Ok, Haha, I had a lot of thoughts. I had a feeling the animal killing berries was Soda. Holy crap she is eerie! 🙂 As always Thunderbird makes me drool. LOL. He’s so amazingly hot. I feel bad for him that he had to give into Soda’s demands, she is so controlling and manipulative all the time! I had to admit I kinda thought she would turn Precious as punishment for him rejecting her in her mortal life, and force Precious to marry her, but I have a feeling she is doing that with someone else instead. :X LOL. Berrian’s comment literally made my heart melt. He is so sweet. Coral was so brave to go confront her mother, I can’t even imagine having to wonder if my mother was going to kill me. This is so creepy and oh so good. 🙂

    Reply
  10. I can’t believe how terrifying Soda Pop has become. I mean, I knew she’s be a horrible vampire, but still… that was really scary. T.T Also, the part where she said “I have no children” made me feel so bad for Coral and the rest. Their mother has turned into a complete monster. And what did Thunderbird agree to? It can’t be good. 0.o

    Reply
  11. Wow, Soda came back sooner than I expected. And a lot worse than I remember her being. It’s too bad that Coral couldn’t reach her, but at least she seemed to anticipate that so hopefully it didn’t hurt as much as it could have. And at least none of the other siblings found out.

    Reply
  12. Oh man. I can’t say I’m much a fan of Soda Pop now. Her life has gone from fun and games and just wanting to live a carefree life (which was just irresponsible), to literally murderous. Murder is a huge step up from irresponsibility 😦

    I have some ideas about what Thunderbird has agreed to, but I gotta say….I don’t feel like any of them are good things :/

    Reply

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