Faith looked in on Flora as she lay napping on the couch. The teenager, having gotten in so late the night before, had run out of energy and passed out on the sofa shortly after a supper full of awkward silences.
"I hate that have I to hurt her like this," Faith expressed to her husband. "It isn't fair to her, it isn't fair to any of us."
Pete wasn't quite sure how to respond to his wife. It seemed anything and everything he said these days wasn't the right thing, so he attempted to be helpful with a simple and neutral, "I know..."
"No, you don't," Faith scolded him under her breath, trying to keep her voice down to keep from waking their daughter. "You don't know what she's been up to. Do you know where she went after the boys' funeral? To a Vampire's house, to his lair," she seethed, her face reddening from anger.
Faith didn't wait for him to answer before continuing, "did you know that she's been sleeping with Drake?"
Her eyes shot daggers at Pete, who could only look away. It seemed she only got angrier if you looked her in the eyes. "Hmm? Did you know that?" she asked vehemently.
Yet, before he had the chance to respond, her anger boiled over once more, "of course you didn't know! Because you're never here, Pete! You're supposed to be here, but the basement is always empty! When we need you, it's empty!!"
Not knowing what to say or do to calm his grieving wife, Pete's only option was to let her continue to yell and scream until the anger worked its way out of her. It has to run out eventually, he thought.
But it never seemed to, "If you aren't going to do anything to help this family, then I am!" she screamed.
Flora, jarred awake from the sudden outburst, jumped up from the sofa.
Unaware her daughter was now wide awake, Faith continued her tirade, "I'm getting this family the hell away from here! Pack up your gadgets and widgets and God knows what else you have, we're moving as soon as possible!" she blasted.
Any attempt to change her mind would fail, Pete thought. Fortunately, this wasn't going to hurt him and his business, after all, he could sell his wares anywhere. What this was going to do, however, is devastate their daughter. Her age-up day was just around the corner, starting at a brand new school would be detrimental to her grades.
Though if this thing with the Vampire was true, perhaps it would be best to get away.
Faith continued to spout forth the anger she could no longer contain inside herself, "We're taking our daughter as far away from those creatures as humanly possible. If they want us, they'll have to find us!"
Unable to listen to any more arguing, especially in light of this latest development, Flora hurried out of room before either of her parents could notice.
With tears forming in her eyes, she grabbed her bicycle and sped off down the street. She wasn't even sure where she was going, but as long as she was out of that house, she didn't care. She just continued to ride, away.
The sun was setting on Harmony island, and Flora's world was turning dark.
Eventually, she found herself at the Dixie Cagley Butterfly Pavilion, the park her family owned. For a fleeting moment, standing in the flower garden, she could almost forget her problems. Almost forget about what she had just overheard her mother saying.
Everything had been so good once. Her parents used to be happy, her brothers were their annoying selves, she had a crush on the most elusive boy who may or may not have been the wrong guy for her. Why did everything turn so horrific so quickly?
Now this whole thing about moving? Just when her and Drake had finally taken things to the next level, when she felt loved for the first time since her brothers died. How could her mother do this to her?
No way was she was returning to the house, not while they were still fighting.
Without realizing she'd even fallen asleep, Flora was woken up with a start when she heard her name being called. She jumped up and brushed the loose grass off her dress, as she saw Drake headed her way.
Drake's face became concerned, "I could sense you were unhappy, but was unable to break away until now. I came as soon as I could. What is troubling you?" he asked, placing his hand on her arm, comforting her.
Then the flood of what had happened the previous night came back to her, "They're taking me away!" she cried in alarm. "My mom is making us move somewhere. She... found out about us. She thinks I'm in danger because of you," she finished, barely able to restrain from sobbing.
"This is madness!" Drake said in disbelief, "She has no reason to fear me. I vowed to protect this family after the kindness that she stowed upon me. That she would turn on me is truly undeserved."
Flora embraced him, tears dripping onto his shoulder as she sighed, "Drake, I don't want to go. I don't want to leave you. This isn't fair!" she cried.
As the sun began to crest over the park, he put his mouth close to her ear and whispered, "Do not fear, my flower, we will meet again. I promise."
He vanished so fast that she began to doubt he was there at all.
Less than two days later, Faith found herself signing off on the final order for the moving company. The house was packed and they were ready to go.
"Am I doing the right thing?" she asked Pete hesitantly, as they were putting the lid on the last box. "We have to protect our family, right?" she questioned in an anxious tone.
"I believe in you, love. I know we're doing what is best for us," Pete said encouragingly. Though, a sideways glance made him question that logic, "But, do you think she's going to be alright?" he asked.
Flora had been moping about the house ever since they told her they'd be moving. Barely speaking or eating, they knew she was taking this hard. Their only hope was that she would see this had to be done in order to protect them.
"I don't know if she will be," Faith replied. "I feel like a monster, Pete. I've been acting like a crazy person, I know. I just don't know how to deal with all this. I think she'll be okay. And I will be too..." she gave him a weak smile, trying to apologize for her recent behavior with her eyes.
He was fully aware she had been acting like a monster. That much was obvious, but he also knew that it wasn't herself that was acting that way. It was grief and fear that drove her.
"I love you and I think that a fresh start will be exactly what we need," he said reassuringly.
He turned and faced the sullen teenager, "Come on kiddo, it's time to get a move on. Let's give your mom a second, ok?"
Flora slumped off the crate and made her way to the door with Pete following behind, "We'll be right outside," he said to his wife.
Alone in the house that she grew up in. Her father had built this house for her after she'd been born. This was truly the end of a legacy. Please, god, let this be the right decision, she thought.
"Bye, Dad," she said quietly as she closed the door behind her.
On the front porch, Flora paused a moment, a cold chill traveling down her spine. She had hoped to see Drake before she left, but being under the constant watchful eyes of her parents, there was no way to get to him.
But now she felt him close by, "Drake," she whispered, "please keep your promise."
Before she could climb into the truck, Faith stopped her daughter and said, "I know you must hate me right now, and I'm sorry for that. I want this to be a fresh start for us both, Flora. Let's work on that?"
Not ready to give in completely, Flora simply nodded her head and climbed into the cab of the truck.
'Big Red' took off down the street. The Cagleys, leaving behind the foundation of their heritage, were headed into the unknown.
Title / Thomas Dolby