May 29th, 2012 | Published in Haventon Chronicles
Anna was convinced that she was dying. She had heard enough descriptions of near death experiences on television to recognise the symptoms, and right now she was definitely having one.
She had come to this conclusion mainly because she was floating above her body looking down at it and at Tanya who was sitting at her bedside reading. Occasionally the woman would reach across and wipe Anna’s body’s forehead with a cloth.
Anna watched for a while longer and tried to work out how come her body was tossing and turning if she was up here. She was interrupted by a gentle pulling sensation and looked up to see what looked like a whirlpool of light forming in the ceiling. It was a pleasent sensation so she let it draw her up towards the light. The sudden, jolting sensation when she was grabbed from behind was not.
She turned to find her mother holding her around the waist. Except that was impossible. Not only was her mother dead but Anna did not even have a waist right now since her body was still tossing and turning in the bed. She might have killed vampires but this certainly took the prize fo the strangest experience of her life so far.
“Don’t dead relatives usually wait until the other end of the tunnel of light before turning up to talk to you?” she asked. Was she actually talking to a ghost or was this all some bizarre delirum fit?
Her mother, or whatever the apparition really was, pulled her away from the light before releasing her. “You have to go back, Anna. You’re young and you have far too much to do.”
Anna looked from her mother to the light and back again. “But at least if I die I’ll be free of him. He won’t be able to use me to hurt anyone.”
“I know you, my dear heart. I’ve been watching you and you would never deliberately hurt someone who didn’t deserve it. And you’re stronger than you know. You can reject him and your other enemies if you want, but you have to go back. Our people are going to need every one of us soon.”
“Our people?” Anna asked. “What do you mean?”
“You’ll see, little one.” The apparition embraced her. It certainly felt real. “Don’t let them tell you this is a problem.”
Before Anna could ask what she meant her mother had pushed her back down towards the bed. There was a loud buzzing noise and for just a second she felt like she was on fire. Then everything went dark and silent. After a moment she opened her eyes to discover that she was back in her body.
“Ugh!” she said. Well that was what came out anyway. She had meant to say Tanya’s name but couldn’t seem to form words.
Tanya looked up from her book anyway and surprise followed by a worried frown flitted across her face before relaxing into a smile.
“Welcome back,” she said softly. Probably because it was dark outside. “That was sooner than I expected. Are you feeling better?”
Anna considered the question as Tanya offered her a drink of juice. A couple of sips moistened her mouth enough to speak coherently.
“Well my head and throat don’t hurt any more and the aches and pains have gone. So I guess that I must.” She looked down in surprise as her stomach rumbled loudly. “I was going to say that I seemed to have some cramps but it sounds like I might just be hungry.” Actually she felt like she was starving, but she did not want to impose. Her stomach rumbled again – this time it was louder and more determined.
Tanya gave a gentle laugh. “It sounds like I’d better get you something to eat. Can you manage to sit up on your own? It’s hard to eat lying down.”
“I think so.” Anna tried and managed to do so with effort, but she still felt work and she was panting with effort once she had done. She reached for the glass of juice but her hand was shaking so much she nearly spilled it.
“Don’t worry.” Tanya plumped the pillows up behind her to support her and then held the straw to Anna’s lips so she could drain the glass.
“Thank you.” Anna leaned back into the pillows gratefully.
“Don’t mention it,” Tanya said. “I’ll go and get you some sandwiches. You aren’t a vegetarian are you?”
Anna gave a snort. “Hardly! I love meat.”
“Yes, I thought you might say that. I’ll be right back.”
After Tanya left to get the food Anna finally thought to wonder why she had not dreamt about her vampire stalker while she had been sick. Puzzled she reached back into the depths of her mind and found that there was no sign of his presence left. It was as if her fever had burned him away for now.
She had no idea whether he would be able to get back in or not, but just for this moment she was free. If the vision of her mother was to be believed she could stay free of him as well. Unfortunately she was willing to bet that keeping him out would take concentration, and just now she felt far too tired to concentrate on anything. Not to mention how damned hungry she was. What was taking Tanya so long with the sandwiches?
She paused in her thoughts and realised she could hear Tanya talking on the phone downstairs. She hadn’t heard it ring so the woman must have called out. Anna had the definite feeling that given the lateness of the hour it had to be about her. She strained to try and hear what was being said but could only make out the odd word. She did glean enough to gather that Tanya was worried by how soon she had recovered and was talking to someone about it, which was weird. But then she had been surprised by her waking up, hadn’t she?
The phonecall ended and Anna heard clattering in the kitchen for a few minutes followed by footsteps returning up the stairs and then Tanya came in with a huge plate piled high with sandwiches. Anna stared at it.
“I know that I am hungry,” she said. “But I think that might be overdoing it a little.”
“Well, let’s see how you do,” Tanya said with a shrug. “I can always put any that are left in the fridge for later. Now eat up.”