Moving was a last resort.
You know you've hit rock bottom when you have to switch states in order to keep yourself sane, but my mother did that anyway. She'd done that plenty of times, but none in my lifetime. Now, she and I were driving down an empty rode, surrounded by trees that stood far taller than any others that I'd seen before.
My face was pressed up to the glass of the car window. I was tired, and it was hot, so I kept my mind off of it by watching trees go by. My mother sat beside, me, keeping her eyes on the road.
We were moving to escape the death of my father. We'd been able to cope for four months, until my mom got tired of staring at the empty side of her bed. Desperate to get out of the lonely state that was West Virginia, my mom was moving us to Idaho, where she was born.
"You know," she said, turning to face me. I looked up from the window, nodding for her to continue. "I know you don't want this, but right now, you have to except the fact that we're different from others."
I felt her hand pat my shoulder, some form of motherly comfort. "Very different," I said, nodding.
She turned her eyes back to the road, but kept speaking. "You're a siren, and that's special. You'll be able to fly as much as you like here, and no one we'll see."
That's right, my mom called me a siren. Why? Because that's what I am. That's what we are.
Sirens. The word stuck fear into Greek sailors so long ago. These mythological women were said to sit on cliffs and sing so sweetly that they tricked the sailors into sailing to their deaths. They were bird-woman, and everyone knows that they aren't real.
That is, unless you are one.
Nowadays, there are real sirens, ones that are a lot like the seductresses of Greek mythology. They are specifically women who can quickly sprout wings and talons for fingernails, and then can retract them whenever they wish. There are very few of them, hidden around the world.
My mother and I are two of them.
My mother is beautiful, with long, straight, dark-brown hair and bright green eyes. Because the siren gene only exists in females, if a siren has a daughter, then she comes out almost exactly like the mother. I look exactly like my mother, but with a slightly different face, and red streaks in my hair. They're in honor of my dad, representing him in some way, because he had red hair.
"Mom," I began. I sighed, blinking. "I know you think I'm upset, but I'm not. I'm fine with moving. I'll make new friends, I'll fly as much as I can, and I'll forget all about West Virginia. I'm fine, really." I said, my voice happy again.
"There it is, Alkaia," said my mother. I looked forward to see the slightest bit of a town, barely popping out from the trees. I'm not sure if you can call it a town, because it looks pretty ugly to me. It's a good thing I won't spend much time there. I'll be out in the woods, having a blast.
"Mom, why are we moving here?"
The words came out of my moth almost too-bitter. I corrected myself before she made a wrong assumption. "I mean, why move here? Why not somewhere nice, like Hawaii?"
My mom sighed. "Alkaia, I grew up here. I know how safe it is, I know every road. The people I grew up with are still here. It won't be like starting over, it'll just be like coming home," she explained.
"Besides," I looked up. "There's no room for you to fly in Hawaii. Tourists galore! There are no tourists here, this place barely exists."
The words didn't seem to fly into one ear and out the other like the rest of what my mother said did. It hung in the air like a strong aroma. The power of her words made me sit up, staring harder at the town, which I could see more-clearly now.
Finally, our blue Cadillac crossed a small bridge, one that made me feel more at-home. Point-Pleasant, West Virginia had a huge bridge, the Silver Bridge, but it collapsed a long time ago and had to be rebuilt. This one was tiny and made of wood, but I still liked it.
Finally, the gravel road was replaced with black asphalt and our ride smoothed out. We entered the town, and then I understood what my mother meant when she said that the place barely exists. It was made up of small businesses and cafes, occasionally a bar or two. A tiny school sat comfortably at the end of one of the roads.
Pick-up trucks littered the parking spots, and lazy townspeople seemed to watch as we passed through. We seemed to pass through the suburban part of the town, as our out-of-place car once again met the rough terrain of a dirt road and we entered another forest part. Different types of trees hid large houses, and I realized that this was a more-private section of this place.
"I made sure we got a house in the woods," my mother told me. "There's lots of privacy out here, but there are a lot of other kids your age, you just have to look."
I looked behind our car to see a couple of moving vans. I bet those guys had no idea that they were helping monsters move into a new house. Before I turned around, I saw something on my window side, way far out in the woods. It was some sort of big flash of black, but it was gone before I could focus on it.
"Are there bears here?" I asked.
My mom laughed and turned to me. "You can handle bears, honey," she told me.
I laughed back and settled back into the seat. My relaxation was short-lived though, because I quickly saw my mom turn and park the car on the gravel parking lot of a big, two-story, white house. "This is it!" my mom shouted.
She turned off the car, unbuckled herself, and got out, slamming the door behind her. I got out too, looking around. Fresh air filled my lungs as my green eyes feasted upon the beauty that was Idaho. I heard a car horn and quickly moved out of the way to let the moving vans pass me.
This was my new life.
The rest of that day was spent unpacking things and rearranging furniture until we found a position that we liked. I left all of the rearranging in my room to myself. I managed to throw some blankets and pillows onto my bed without using too much effort.
As I shoved clothing into my dresser, I couldn't help but notice that most of my shirts didn't have backs. They were all very similar. The only part of the back that had fabric was the small of the back. Everything above it was showing. The shirts were almost all tied at the neck, meaning that they all had no sleeves.
Most of my shirts looked like this for a particular reason. Sometimes, I have to use my wings when I don't plan to. If I had to use my wings or talons when I wasn't planning to, and I had a normal shirt on, then it would be ripped clean off because of my wings. With these shirts, I can use my wings without having to change shirts or tear the current one I'm wearing off.
I sighed and shoved the rest of my clothes carelessly into my dresser. I stretched my arms and legs, going downstairs. I found my mom sitting on the floor with a box of kitchen supplies, attempting to find drawers to put them in. I sat down with her and picked up a ladle, which I don't believe we have ever used.
"I have a friend here that I want you to meet. Her name's Shelly, and she and I were best friends when we went to school here. She has two sons, and they want us to stop by for dinner tomorrow," she told me.
I nodded. "Cool, I guess. Did you unpack everything else?" I asked. She nodded, answering the question.
I got up and yawned. "I'm going to bed. Night," I told her.
"Yeah?" I asked.
"I won't be here when you wake up. I'll be having an interview for a job at Kelly's Sports. Go ahead and look around town if you want, just don't get in trouble."