“River, what’s up?” I asked my teenage son as he nervously sat down next to me on the bed.
“M-mom, I um, discovered something, a few years ago. Dill and I snuck out, and we went to the cemetery.” He started, glancing at me nervously. I shut my laptop and raised an eyebrow at him. “Well, um have you seen those two graves next to Chrissy?”
I nodded. “I’ve seen them a few times, but not up close. Why?”
I stared at him for a second, trying to read his expression. Was this some kind of prank? How could he know my parents names? River wasn’t the kind to joke around like this. I rolled over on the bed and faced the wall.
“River, you’re being completely serious, right?” I asked.
“I am. And I um, talked to Flora.”
“What? She’s been dead longer than you’ve been alive. That’s impossible.” The last part was more to convince myself, I knew River wouldn’t make something like this up, but this sounded ridiculous.
I jumped up off the bed and grabbed my phone. If River wasn’t lying, I knew Basil and I had to go check.
“Mom what’re you doing?”
“Calling your uncle.” The phone rang a few times before he answered with a hushed hello. Basil was an aspiring author, and spent lots of time working in the library. “Basil, I need you to meet me at the cemetery in ten minutes.”
“What? Prim what’s up?”
“I’ll explain when you get there.” I hung up the phone and ran out the bedroom door.
“Prim, what’s going on?” Basil said breathlessly as he ran up behind me.
“It’s them.” I choked.
“What?” He looked down at the graves
“Flora Fae? Is that mom?” I nodded and his eyes widened. “Prim, how is this possible?”
“I-I don’t know. River told me he found this a few years ago.”
“Prim, Basil, what are you two doing here?” An eerie voice sounded from behind us.
“What’re you kids doing here?” A red, transparent figure repeated.
“Mom, dad? Is that you?” Basil cocked his head.
“It is. You can see us? Both of you?” We nodded, glancing at each other.
“We don’t have much time kids, we’ve got something we need to tell you.” My dad’s deep booming voice stated.
“Right, right. Okay, so I know you both know about my past, so I’m going to make this brief.” My mom started, but I stopped her.
“Wait, what do you mean we know about your past?”
“Don’t you remember dear, your friend came to you in a dream and told you everything.” I suddenly remember that dream I had the night after Chrissy passed. I had never given it much thought, I always assumed I was just grieving.
“Yea, but wasn’t that just a dream?”
“Just because its a dream doesn’t mean it’s not real.” My mother giggled.
My father stepped away from my mother, to let her explain whatever it was she was about to tell us.
“So you both know, I was next in line for the crown. Since the humans have taken control over you for now, I need one of you to continue the family line. Primrose, I know you already have children, so I want your family to continue our legacy. One day when we gain our control back from the humans, I want our family to take control again. You’ve already done your part, now all you need is to get one of your kids to pass it on.” She was talking so fast it made my brain buzz, but I understood what she was saying. She wasn’t asking a lot from me, but a lot from my son and his kids.
“Do you know how much longer they’re gonna be in power?” Basil inquired.
“No, we don’t. But we probably won’t gain our power back during your lifetime, or your children’s. It’s gonna take a long time, but we need to prepare them.” She responded, and he nodded. “Do you understand Primrose? This is extremely important.”
“Yea, I do.”
“Good. But if you have any more questions, you can come here at night. Sometimes we’re out but sometimes we’re not. You can always just call our names and we’ll be out as soon as possible.” She smiled and fingered her transparent braid. “We best be going now, Honey.” She turned to my dad and he nodded.
“Wait!” I burst without realizing. The looked at me curiously. “H-how is Chrissy?” I needed to know. A small smile played against my father’s face.
“She’s doing great.” He told me, and then they vanished.
“Did that really just happen?” Basil asked. I didn’t answer him, I knew the question wasn’t directed at me.
“That was a little heavy.” I remarked, he nodded.
“I don’t know.” I answered honestly.
“I can talk to them if you want.” Basil offered. I nodded, and pulled him toward me.
“I want River to pass it down to his kids, he’s more trustworthy.” I mumbled into his shoulder.
“Good choice.” We giggled, we both knew Poppy was a lot more trouble than her brother. “C’mon, let’s get you home. It’s getting cold.” He wrapped his arm around my shoulders and guided me out of the cemetery.
“Ugh, seriously Mom?” Poppy groaned as we approached the store. I felt bad about choosing River over her, so I decided to take her out for some mother-daughter bonding.
“What’s wrong with this place? I get all of my clothes here!”
“Yea, exactly.” She mumbled. I ignored her, and pulled her inside the building. I knew she wasn’t too thrilled to be here, one of her friends was having a pool party today. I would’ve let her go if it wasn’t about to rain.
“Oh Poppy, how do you like this shirt?” I asked, pulling a cute pink top off the rack.
“Gross mom. It’s way too conservative.” She snapped her gum and crossed her arms.
“It’s a t-shirt, Sweetheart.” She rolled her eyes. I knew she didn’t want to do this but her attitude was getting on my nerves. “Fine, I’ll go look in the tank top section.”
“This is so dumb.” She muttered under her breath as I was walking away. She must’ve thought I wouldn’t hear her.
“What was that Poppy?”
“No, I could’ve sworn that you said that this was dumb. Sorry I’m actually trying to spend time with you.” She swung around to face me.
“Forcing me to come with you to some shitty old store isn’t my idea of fun, Mom. I’d much rather be with my friends right now, but I have to spend my time with you! It sucks!” She screamed.
“I’m sorry I’m so terrible to be around, Poppy. I never see you anymore, you’re always out with your friends. I love you and I just wanted to spend some time with you.” It hurt, my own daughter not wanting to spend time with me.
“Liar. You don’t love me. If you loved me you would’ve picked me!”
“You can’t just pick my loser brother to do something so important, then expect me to forgive you with a dumb shopping trip? That’s not how it works, you can’t just buy my love!”
“Poppy, is that what you think I’m doing? I thought you liked shopping, I wasn’t trying to buy your love.”
“I do, but not in dumpy places like this. I bet RIVER likes places like this, he’s such a little kiss up. You love him so much more than you love me, you should’ve taken him today instead of me.”
“Is that what you really think? I don’t love him more. I love you both equally. But if it’s really that terrible spending time with me, I guess we can go home.”
“Mom… Don’t try and guilt trip me.” She warned.
“I’m not, I’m just disappointed. I never really got to know my mom, I would’ve loved to do something like this with her.”
“God Mom, you’re making me feel bad.”
“Well you have been pretty rude.”
“I’m sorry” Poppy said as she pulled me into a hug.
“I’m sorry too, why don’t we go find a shop that you like?” I offered.
“I’d like that.”
“I wish everyday could be like this.” Clover sighed and laid he head on my shoulder. My parents were on a date that night, Poppy was out with some friends, Uncle Basil was at the library, and her dad was at some meeting for work. We had both houses to ourselves.
“Me too.” I kissed her forehead. “But we’ve only got a few years until we can move out together.”
“I know, I just wish it were sooner.”
“These years will fly by, I promise.” I kissed the tip of her nose softly, making her giggle.
“I hope so. It’s killing me, not being able to kiss you whenever I want.”
“You can kiss me now.” I murmured. We made out for a while after, and I couldn’t help but feel kinda weird about it, I was legal and she wasn’t. But no one had to know.
“Hey Babe, its almost ten, my parents are gonna be home soon.” I told her a little while later. She jumped off my lap and headed for the door.
“Oh shit, I’ve got so much homework.”
“Do you need help with it?” I offered.
“No I’m good. Walk me out?” She asked, and I nodded, pulling the door open for her.
She jumped into my arms when we stepped out the door. I almost tumbled backward, but I caught myself before I could.
“Night River.” She purred.
“Night Clo.” I kissed her hard then set her down. “Get home safe.” I joked, and she giggled and ran off.
The next morning I went out for coffee with a high school friend. I came home a bit earlier than I anticipated, and discovered something I really didn’t want to see.
My baby sister had her lips all over some punk in the middle of our room.
“Poppy, what the hell is going on in here?” I raged. She was barely fourteen and already had a boy alone in our room.
They jumped away from each other, both of them looking extremely guilty.
“H-hi River. How was c-coffee?” Poppy stammered nervously.
“Don’t change the subject Poppy, what the hell was going on in here?”
“Why do you care? Aloe is my boyfriend, I can kiss him if i want to!” She launched at me, her face scrunched up in fury.
“No you can’t, you’re only fourteen! You shouldn’t be near boys.”
“I don’t care what you say, you’re not my father!”
“Y-you’re gonna tell Daddy?”
“Of course I am! What else would I do?”
“You could keep it a secret!”
“I can’t keep this a secret, Poppy. This isn’t safe.”
“God River, why do you have to ruin everything for me?” She threw her hands in the air angrily.
“What have I ruined for you? Your chance of getting pregnant at fourteen?”
“Oh my god River, we were just kissing! You’re such a kill joy!”
“I don’t care!” I screamed back. I was glad we were so close with our neighbors, or they’d probably call the cops with all the screaming going on over here.
“You don’t know anything about love, Poppy. You’re way to young to even be thinking about it!”
“Oh yea? And what do you know about love, Mr. ‘I’ve never had a girlfriend'” She mocked. I narrowed my eyes. I wanted to scream that I did have a girlfriend, but I knew I couldn’t give us away like that.
“I know a lot more than you do!”
“I doubt it! Now leave us alone, we were having much more fun without you.”
“No.” I growled.
Suddenly, she swung at me, leaving a stinging feeling across my cheek.
“POPPY FAE, WHAT IS GOING ON IN HERE?” Our mother’s voice yelled from behind me. She must’ve heard us fighting. Hell I bet the entire town heard us fighting.
“I came home from coffee, and I found Poppy kissing this punk.” I gestured to the scared teenage boy hovering behind my sister.
“Poppy, I told you no boys in your room! Do you ever listen to me?” My mom lunged at her.
“That’s a stupid rule.”
“I don’t care if you think it’s stupid. I’m you’re mother and you will obey my rules, you understand me?”
“You can’t always tell me what to do!”
“As long as you’re living under my roof, you will listen to me.”
“Also, you can’t be hitting your brother.”
“Aw, does little baby River need his Mommy to stick up for him? How sad.” She mocked. I balled my fists and bit my tongue. She was really pissing me off.
“Poppy, you get this boy out of your room right now.” My mom’s voice growled, she sounded like a demon when she said it.
“Whatever, c’mon Aloe, let’s go to the beach.” She reached out for the boy’s hand but he didn’t grab it back.
“Oh hell no. You’re not going anywhere with him. You’re not going anywhere for a loooong time.”
“Why? Why? Are you serious Poppy? You’re grounded for a long time.” She put her fists on her hips and turned to the teenage boy. “And you, get the hell out of my house.” He nodded and ran out as fast as he could. Little punk.
“Thanks Mom, you just scared off my boyfriend! Now he’ll probably break up with me!” She cried, tears threatening to spill from her makeup rimmed eyes.
“I don’t care.” Mom screamed, and stomped out of the room. I quickly followed behind her, I didn’t want to be stuck in the room alongside the spawn of Satan.
A/N There are only one or two more chapters left of Primrose’s generation, then we can start on River’s. Thanks so much for reading, it means so much to me.