Chapter 5.17: Island Life

Okay, it has been ages since my last post. I kind of vanished in to that thing called life. September and October have been more than crazy for me. Both friends and relatives have passed away and I’ve also had to deal with some social issues at work. It has all been very energy and time consuming and I haven’t even thought about games. It seems to settle a bit now, and I’ve managed to type up this chapter. It might not be fully as good as what I’ve done previously, but at this point I just wanted to finish it. I still want to (and aim to) finish this legacy. It just has to be a bit slower for some time.

Thanks for sticking with me. You’re the best.

Screenshot-4040I loved my rowing boat, but when we moved to the island it was just not possible to keep it. Moving between our island and the main island took way too much time (and energy!) if I was going to row every time. So, as a treat to myself I got myself a motor boat instead. That way, it was actually possible to go between the two islands as much as we pleased. For instance, I could drop the kids off at school and collect them at the day’s end. It seemed an unnecessary risk to let them go with public transport when I could arrange it myself.

Screenshot-4014The twins adapted quickly and thought it was quite cool to live on an island. Though, they had promised to not tell their friends at school which island it was because “we wanted to keep it our secret”. The lie worked so far, but the twins would see through it eventually.

Soon, our lives fell in to a steady routine: I dropped the kids off at school, went back home and spent the day with Eden, picked the kids up from school, went home to cook them dinner while they did their homework. On the evenings we played video games or swam in the surrounding sea before I read them a goodnight story and tucked them in.

Screenshot-3997 Screenshot-3999Everything was just ordinary until it was time for Eden’s birthday. Mom, Lavender and Myrtle came over to celebrate and have some cake. It was the first time Myrtle visited us on the island and she was breath-taken by its beauty. I promised her she would live here one day but she listened only with half an ear.

“Let’s blow the candle” she said instead and grabbed Eden from his crib and walked up to the cake. I liked the fact that she was the one bringing him to the cake. I wanted her to be a part of the kids’ lives but it was hard as it was. We had to do the best we could.

Screenshot-3998Petite was excited about the “party” and mom had even brought some party horns to make it look like a real party. She blew as hard as she could and the silly sound from the horn brought a smile to my face.

“Happy birthday Eden!” she shouted and watched eagerly as Myrtle leaned forward and helped Eden blow the single candle on the cake.

Screenshot-4002“He looks a bit like you, daddy” Mars said when Eden had aged up. I could see what he meant, the red skin and the purple hair certainly came from me. However, in my opinion, Eden was far cuter and far more precious than myself.

Screenshot-4012Petite and Mars were probably most excited about the cake and as soon as Eden had blown the candle they grabbed a big bite each and went to munch on it in the sofa. Myrtle, on the other hand, loved the opportunity to do the everyday mom-chores. She decided to be the one to put Eden to bed and I stood in the doorway just peaking at her when she awkwardly, yet beautifully, prepared him for sleep.

“Mommy loves you” she said and kissed his forehead. Eden stretched his arms’ towards her, begging her to take him in her arms.

Screenshot-4011 Screenshot-4010 Screenshot-4009“Now sleep, little treasure” Myrtle said and put him in his crib. Once he laid down, she softly begun to sing a lullaby and I had to leave my lookout because it was sweet enough to bring tears to my eyes. It wasn’t fair that she couldn’t be here always. She was so good with the kids, and berry should know that I needed her.

Screenshot-4016 Screenshot-4018 Screenshot-4019During the days, it was just me and Eden at home (I had gotten some time off from work to be with my youngest child), and we worked endlessly on his necessary skills. He took to walking quickly and was soon tumbling around the house leaving myself sometimes losing track of him. Like Petite, he was adventurous and challenge himself more and more for every day.

I tried to improve my writing so that I could have a chance at a promotion at work. Dealing newspapers wasn’t a job I wanted to go back to, especially not now when vampires where out on the streets. I wanted something where I could be at the office or where I could do something more valuable. Perhaps I could get that job I had imagined myself having all those years ago. Perhaps I could one day write about how my children overcome the vampires. Wouldn’t that be something?

Screenshot-4024There was no sign of the vampires after we had moved to the island. Yet, I could not shake the feeling that they were out there, looking for us. Petite, Mars and Eden seemed to be safe out here and I was so grateful for finding the island and creating a place where we could be safe for now. However, with longer distance to the treatment center, we saw Myrtle less often than I would like. We went there at least once a week, but I would have wanted my kids to spend more time with their mother.

“Why doesn’t mommy live with us?” Petite wondered one morning and I found myself at loss for words. I should have known the question would come one day, but me and Myrtle had never discussed how we should tackle it. As far as Petite and Mars knew, Myrtle was staying at a hotel. Could I tell them that it was really a mental hospital?

Screenshot-4021“Because she’s staying at the hotel” I said and dodged the question.

Screenshot-4022“Told you he wouldn’t answer” Mars said and stuffed his mouth full of food.

“If you don’t ask you would never know!” Petite screamed at him and stuck her tongue out.

“No fighting at the table” I said.

Screenshot-4023Petite went silent and put her fork down on the table without even finishing her pancakes. “Really dad. We’re not babies anymore. Mommies and daddies should live together, everyone else’s does. So why doesn’t she want to live here with us?”

“She loves you” I replied, still dodging the question. This upset Petite and she shoved her chair backwards and left the table in anger.

Screenshot-4032After dropping the kids off at school that day I called Myrtle. I needed to give them a better answer, but I did not know what it should be.

“Oh for fudge’s sake Yew” Myrtle sighed at me in the other end of the line. “Just tell them the truth already. Or you’re just like everyone else. I thought you believed in me.”

“I do” I protested.

“Then tell them.”

Screenshot-4031“That you’re crazy? That I’m crazy?” I felt my voice shiver.

“We’re not crazy. They need the truth. My visions, the vampires. Their task. They’re ready for it.”

I loved that woman so much. The truth. Of course our children deserved the truth. I had been stupid to think anything else.

Screenshot-4028That afternoon I played with Eden outdoors while I went through what I would tell the twins once they got home. I even practiced it on Eden a few times and he smiled back at me, as if he approved of my words. The truth. It was so simple, yet so hard.

Screenshot-4043When the twins got home we sat down on a blanket on our own beach. I gave them some sandwiches, some watermelon and juice before telling them that I needed to speak with them.

“About mommy?” Petite asked and looked at me. Eden twisted a little as if it pained him that his sister was so straight-forward.

“Yes, about Myrtle” I said.

Screenshot-4044“Your mother is a very special berry” I said and Petite looked at me with curious eyes. Something about the way she was looking at me told me that they were indeed ready for the story that I was about to unfold. She looked so understanding and for a brief moment I wondered when she had become that big.

“Your mother knows many things. More things than anyone else. She even know some things that has yet not happened” I said.

“The future?” Mars sounded skeptic but Petite nodded.

“Yes, she can sometimes see the future” I said and nodded. Mars shook his head in disbelief but I continued the story. “When she was young, she saw some things that would happen that frightened people around her and they started calling her crazy. She had trouble knowing what things were actually visions of the future and what things had actually happened, so I think that sometimes her stories did indeed sound crazy. In the end, her parents sent her to a special hospital were they treat crazy people. But she was never crazy, she just had a gift that no-one else did. So now she’s stuck there.”

Screenshot-4045I continued by telling them the truth about how I met Myrtle and about Sonic (although I never told them about the incident when I kidnapped Hunter, because it was definitely not something I was proud of) and they both listened carefully without interrupting. I also told them about my family, and the threats that our family was facing.

It was easier than I thought it would be to tell my children about all the fears and all the chaos that surrounded us. And when I finished with saying that Myrtle had seen “our children” taking care of the vampires they both smiled.

“I bet it will be me” Petite said and smiled with pride.

Screenshot-4048It was as if a rock lifted from my shoulders that afternoon. I had not understood just how much it stressed me out to keep the secret from my children. How much it had pained me and burdened me. It was nice to share it with them.

I felt happy that afternoon. My kids were so brave, so understanding and so ready.

Screenshot-4003A few weeks later Lavender came over and told us that Cashmere was going to become a big sister. The news didn’t frighten me as much this time. Seeing Petite and Mars so ready for the fight ahead had given me new courage. We would overcome our dangers. Eventually.

Screenshot-4004Screenshot-4006Lavender’s pregnancy felt exciting in a way no pregnancy had felt before. Mom felt it too and she made awkward, happy, humming sounds when I leaned in to listen to whoever was hiding inside my sisters belly. This was what mom had wanted all her life. A happy family with tight bonds. Shame that it couldn’t always be like this.

Screenshot-4026Screenshot-4027Eden shared bedroom with Petite and Mars and most of the time it worked out fine. However, some nights Eden cried and cried and woke both twins up. They did not appreciate it, yet they never yelled at him. Instead, they tended to stand by his crib offering him soothing words. I’ve said it before, but it can be said again: My children were so, so perfect.

Screenshot-4015“I want to have a sleepover party” Petite looked at me with innocent, begging eyes. The thought of inviting people outside of the family to our house still scared me. It would ruin our cover if it got known where we were living. How long would it be until Soda Pop found us if we started exposing ourselves like that? At the same time, I didn’t know how long I could keep the children locked away like I did. I wanted a safe and normal childhood for them, and what we had was not normal.

“You know we can’t” I said, even though it pained me to do so.

“But it’s our friends” Petite said. “None of them will harm us.”

I don’t know how she did it, but in the end she had convinced me and we started planning for a sleepover party. Their friends would come home with them after school and go with them to school the day after. No-one but the kids would know where our island was. Not even the parents. That was the deal. It surprised me that there was parents who would willingly leave their children in someone else’s care for a night without even knowing where they were. Then I remembered that other parents didn’t live with the same threats as me. Their children were not hunted by vampires and wanted in a fudging vampire army.

It would do my kids good to have something normal. To almost be like everyone else for a night.

Screenshot-4033Our little house was filled with kids on the night of the slumber party. There were kids all over the place. They laughed loudly, no sign of worry in their voices and I found myself enjoying the chaos. This was so peaceful, their worries so small. It had been a good idea to invite them all over.

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