Friday, 4 February 2011

CHAPTER 1.6: All about Audra

Audra knew she was different.  She had always been different.

Her mother had told her so.

She often imagined how it would be to be a regular little girl, this was her favourite daydream.
She imagined if she were a normal girl her mother would set out breakfast on a morning calling her to the table and they would eat together while talking about their plans for the day.

But all she got was a bowl of cereal sitting on an empty table in an empty room.

She imagined if she were a normal girl her mother would read her a story, giving each character a different voice and sending her into fits of laughter.

But all she had was a shelf filled with books she had read to herself a dozen times.

Yes Audra knew she was different and she knew it was all her fault.  Her mother had told her so.

Yet Audra had not grown to resent her mother, instead all she wanted was to make her mother happy.

She had a brief and distant memory of her mother, she saw her clearly with beautiful flowing hair and a glamorous dress.  She had been admiring herself in a mirror but when she caught Audra watching her, her smile had faded.

Now she rarely looked in the mirror, her long hair had gone and her clothes were plain

She hid her eyes behind dark glasses, to protect herself from the sun, she had claimed.  Audra knew it was to hide the disappointment she felt each time she looked at her daughter.

Each day when Audra would wake up her mother would already be gone.  She would leave the house before the sun had risen and not return until it was almost set. 

Audra had been warned that she must never answer the door if anyone came knocking and under no circumstances was she to leave the house. 

When she asked her mother why she replied
"If you go out into the sunlight people will see you for what you really are.  You are different Audra."

Audra didn't know exactly what her mother meant by this and while she was smaller it hadn't mattered to her she was content with staying indoors and playing with her toys. 

But she was grown up now and how she longed to go outdoors, just once.

And one day she got her chance.

She heard her mother leave that morning in a hurry, the door had slammed shut but the the lock had never turned, the door was open!

She stepped out and felt the warm sun falling on her skin, taking in the sounds and scents she felt giddy with excitement.

From her window Audra could see across the street to a wooded area where butterflies often gathered, she had always wanted to get a closer look at them.

They were friendly!
She spent all day catching and releasing them.

Before she knew it the sun had started to set, knowing her mother would be coming home soon she ran as fast as she could hoping that she would not be caught.
But she was too late, her mother was uncontrollably angry.  She screamed at Audra "You stupid girl!  You have no idea what you've done!"

Audra ran to her bedroom and cowered in the corner as she heard her mother downstairs smashing dishes and turning over their furniture. 

She hid there until all was quiet.

When she ventured downstairs again she saw her mother standing calmly watching as fire engulfed the kitchen.  Audra called out to her to run but her mother just stood staring into the flames as though entranced by them.

Audra knew what she must do, she had read it in one of her favourite books, she knew in an emergency she had to call for help.
Everything from that point passed her by in a blur.

First the fire crew arrived and put out the flames.

Then the ambulance came and took Audra and her mother to the hospital.
Her mother was taken into an examination room and a nurse sat with Audra until the doctor allowed her in. 

Audra was sure he would want to examine her and maybe even do tests and experiments on her to see why she was different but when he looked at her he didn't remark on her appearance at all.
Dr Kennedy explained he had sedated her mother and that he would need to keep her in hospital for a little while to help her get better.  He asked Audra if she knew the phone number of a relative who she could stay with for a few days.

This had thrown Audra, she had no idea if she had any other relatives, she had certainly never met them if she had.  She just shook her head and looked at the floor in embarrassment.
Dr Kennedy looked at the little girl in front of him with pity. 

He had seen patients like her mother many times before and although she would need several therapy sessions to be sure he was convinced she had paranoid schizophrenia. 

She had confessed to him that she had started the fire on purpose because she was certain her daughter was evil.

Dr Kennedy could see that Audra had been infected with vampirism, she had probably been born that way.  It was not uncommon in the city.  But she was a just a frightened little girl, not evil.

Both he and his wife were doctors at the hospital and they agreed that Audra should stay with them until her father or another relative could be found.

Audra loved the Kennedy's apartment straight away, they even had a TV!

And her room was a beautiful blue, her favourite colour. 

Better still it had a bookshelf with so many books that Audra had never read, she had wanted to start right then and there but she was too tired from the events of the day and fell asleep as soon as her head touched the pillow.

Meal times at the Kennedy's would always be spent together at the breakfast bar.  Dr Kennedy would keep Audra up to date with her mothers treatment telling her that she was progressing well.

The truth was that Summer had barely uttered a word, she had slipped into an almost catatonic state and just stared into space smiling to herself, if Dr Kennedy didn't know better he would think that she was happy to be away from Audra.

But he couldn't imagine why, Audra was a sweet girl.  She had been so brave the night of the fire and ever since, he had never once heard her complain in fact her excitement at the smallest of things made him smile.

Soon it was time for Audra's birthday, and although she celebrated with the Kennedy's she was secretly terrified at what she might become when she transitioned into a teenager.

But she had nothing to fear as she had grown into a beautiful young woman.

Dr Kennedy had wanted her to start school, but Audra was still too afraid of what other people would think of her strange pale skin and glowing eyes.

Instead he tutored her at home.

Audra thought of her mother everyday although Dr Kennedy had not allowed her to visit explaining that she needed time alone to get to grips with her illness.

One day Audra begged to be allowed a visit and although he wasn't sure if Audra would be able to cope with seeing her mother in such a state he agreed in the hope that it would spark some response from Summer.

When they entered her room Summer was still smiling into space.

But as she took in Audra's new appearance she snapped back to reality.  Rising from her bed she walked over to Audra to take a closer look at the girl before her.

"Audra!" She exclaimed "My goodness you look just like him"

"Like who mom?" Audra asked

"You look just like your father." she uttered.
To be continued.................

1 comment:

Valpre said...

Damn, what a way for Audra to find out she has a father:-(
I love the way you wrote this, showing her feelings of loneliness and longing, my heart just broke for Audra, thank heavens the good doctors took her in.