Monday, 10 February 2014

Chapter 15 - Gen 2 - Tapestry

I feel myself drifting in and out of something, I'm not really sure if it's a dream or reality.

It comes in waves for only a short time and then disappears again.

Am I still fading?

I don't feel alone, it's like someone is holding me but I don't know who. I can feel the warmth from their body burning into me, and I feel really comfortable, warm and safe for a very short time before I slip back into the cold lonely darkness again.

This keeps happening and I can't work out what it is.

Sometimes when I drift out of the cold darkness I can hear quiet talking or singing but I can't work out who the voice belongs to and I can't open my eyes.  It only lasts for a fleeting moment then the darkness takes me away again.

It kind of reminds me of my favourite memory ..... being a toddler, close to the open fire which I could always hear crackling, being held tightly in the arms of either my Gran or Dad, while they rocked in the rocking chair trying to get me off to sleep or after one of my emotional outbursts or tantrums.  They would be singing and talking quietly to me, as they tried to calm me down.  I used to love that feeling, as we rocked backwards and forwards, the sound of the fire, the warmth coming from their body, I used to like, and still remember, the the smell coming from their clothes as they held me really close to them ... it always made me feel warm and safe ... loved instead of hated.

I've always felt so alone stuck in my own little world which isn't the same as everyone else's, I think I knew from a very early age I was different and everyone hates what I am ... there was only ever this time when I used to feel loved instead of hated ...

Now while I'm drifting in and out of the darkness, I get that same warm safe feeling for a few moments, before the darkness takes it away again - but I guess what is happening now is all just a dream because I can't hear the crackling fire.

I start to open my eyes very slowly, disappointed that my dream has now completely disappeared and it's very quiet, the singing has stopped, the warmth of someone holding me has also gone and I feel cold and alone again, I want that warm comfortable feeling back again but its completely gone now.

I knew I would be dreaming it and it wouldn't be real!

I am really confused it's very quiet and very dark ... I can't see anything at first as my eyes don't seem to be adjusting to the darkness, a strange flickering of light, like a candle flickering, starts creeping into my vision but I think it's all in my head because I can't make out any of my surroundings so I close my eyes again and just lie there for a while concentrating on the throbbing in my head.

I feel an irritating pain especially in my neck and my face, but my whole body feels bruised and battered like it usually does the day after I've been fighting and I've had a good kicking.  I slowly reach up to my face wandering why it is hurting so much.  As I run my fingers over my cheekbone, I wince as I touch my swollen tender face.  I let my hand move down to my neck which is where most of the pain is coming from, that too feels the same as my face, swollen and tender, I run my fingers over something strange ... stitches ... it feels like I have a row of stitches in my neck.  How did that happen?

Then I remember .... the vampberrys and their painful teeth ... Why haven't I faded .. or have I?

The pains in my neck are from the vampberry's teeth and my face, that must have happened when the vampberry let me go, I relive the pain of my face smashing into the stone floor.  My head is aching and I can't make sense of where I am or what has happened to me ... I can't even work out if I'm alive or faded, why is it so dark and quiet?!  I notice this place smells differently, that horrible smell of the vampberry den has now gone, this place smells a lot better.

I lie there just listening and after a short while I start to hear a faint rustling noise and can't work out what the noise might be.  I listen carefully but whoever or whatever it is doesn't sound close enough for me to even work out what the noise might be.  I wander if it's a person and if it is ... who it is?  Where am I? and why haven't I faded ...  or have I?  Oh Berry I hope it isn't a vampberry!!  The noise stops suddenly and everything goes eerily quiet again.  Honey where is Honey?  I start to move my arm around slowly trying to feel around for her, the last thing that I remember was that her body was lying on the floor next to mine.

I instantly know something isn't quite right when I can feel something soft under my fingers and not the stone floor like I expected.  I open my eyes again as it shocks me not to be feeling the stone cold floor, I dig my fingers into something soft and thick, I'm lying on something soft like a couch or bed ... the bed in the vampberry den probably, but this place doesn't smell like the vampberry den.  I feel around, the soft object isn't very big, I feel over the edge and I let my hand drop down to the floor beneath me and I find myself being surprised again, the stone floor isn't there again, I can feel a soft carpet under my fingers instead.

I lie still waiting for my eyes to adjust to the darkness, I turn my head to the side and spot a window right in front of me, the curtains are drawn but are not completely closed too, there is a slight crack between them letting in the slightest bit of moonlight into the room. I can just make out a few items of furniture, two sofas, a table, a big pot plant ... it's like I'm in someones livingroom ... but who's ... I don't recognize this place. Windows, now I know this definitely is not the vampberry den nor is it home either, so my mind is confused and I think about Honey again.

I start feeling around again carefully, moving my hand further away from me, trying to find Honey. I feel out with my left hand as far as I can reach but I can't find her so I try with my right hand.  This hand only finds the back of the couch that I'm lying on.

I try to roll over onto my side so that I can get up off the couch  A sudden pain tears through my right arm which makes me cry out quite loudly and I have to roll back over onto my back.  My crying out has disturbed somebody or something and in the background I can hear a noise which is getting louder and closer.  The pain in my arm is becoming unbearable.  With my other hand I try to feel the bend of my arm, where the pain is coming from, something is taped to the bend of my arm and I can feel a tube. I don't understand what is going on.

Suddenly a face that I recognize appears over me in the darkness, which makes me jump.

"SShhhh" he says as he puts his finger up to his lips and touches my head briefly. He moves away then quickly and I can feel him messing with my arm.  The pain stops suddenly.

"Dad?"  the face hovers over me again for a moment, he's there just looking down at me without saying anything, he looks like my Dad but at the same time he doesn't this confuses me  "Dad?" I say again which makes him laugh quietly.

"No, Tap, I'm River remember, I need you to keep very quiet and lie really still for me."  of course as soon as he spoke I knew it was River and not my Dad straight away, even if he did look like him for a split second in my mind. "You have pulled the IV out of your arm, I need to put it back in, I'll try not to hurt you, but it's not easy in the dark." he says quietly as I feel him sticking a needle into my arm which makes me wince.  He mutters sorry quietly.  I'm wandering why he is stumbling about in the dark, why doesn't he just put the light on?

I wander for a moment where the blood is coming from that is going into my arm, I looked up and thats when I noticed the bag of blood hanging on a hook on the wall above the couch that I'm lying on, the tube is pushed between the cushions of the couch and that's how I'd pulled it out so easily.

"What happened, where ........"  I ask him quite loudly and his hand comes quickly across my face to gently cover my mouth to silence me, he leans down close to me and starts whispering.

"We are hiding out, I've got you out of that horrible vampberry den, we are in my house in Apple Hill at the moment, we both needed blood, as soon as it's done we have to get out of here and keep on running!!"  he smiles at me, his hair is now off his face and he's wearing a hat.  It is the first time I've seen his face clearly, even though I can't see him properly because there is hardly any light.  He looks .... familiar .... but strange.  Apple Hill? Where is Apple Hill and how did we get here?  How did he get me away from the vampberry's?

"Where is Apple Hill?"  he tells me it is the next town across from Sugar Valley, the place where he was born.  This confuses me for a moment, I thought Sugar Valley was the only colour mix town, so wouldn't this be a colour coded town ... so how could he have been born in Apple Hill, a place I've never even heard of, not that I could tell you any of the towns that do surround Sugar Valley, being a mixed berry I'm not allowed out into the outside world so it has never really interested me.  I was just about to ask him how he could have been born in Apple Hill with him being a mixed berry when I was distracted by the tape across the bend in his arm like he's just had a bloodtest, then I remember he said we both needed blood.

"Why did you need blood, did the vampberrys get you too?"  I ask him quietly

"No I had to give you a lot of my blood quickly .... don't worry we are the same blood group, I stole your medical records remember."  he says and I laugh, he's such a nerd ... like that would even have bothered me, my blood group would never have even crossed my mind.  "I need you to stay very quiet, the vampires or the police could be here any minute and we need to get away from them before either of them do catch up with us."

"Let the police come ....take me home River!!"  I whisper back

"Sorry I can't take you home, Celeste wants you faded, she says you are too dangerous for them to let you live because you can get into their heads and they can't get into yours, so we need to hide out for a while, get you out of this town and as far away from Sugar Valley as we can get and quickly ... they will be coming after you, Jazz is trying to sort it all out and make it safe so we can get you home." 

River takes my wrist and starts checking my pulse, I keep forgetting he's a doctor I don't know why  "Do you feel any bad pain anywhere other than your neck or your face?"  I tell him I feel like I've had a good kicking but its not bad pain more of an ache.

"Now you're awake, I'll just wait for that to empty a little more then I'll remove it"  he says as he stays kneeling on the carpet infront of me watching the blood.

"Can you phone my Dad?" he laughs at me "I want to go home!!"

"I want you to go home too ... and you will ... but not just yet!!  It isn't safe did you not hear what I just said about the vampberrys and originals coming after you, if you go home they will follow you there, everyone could get hurt, they'll fade everyone until they've got to you, that's why we need to run as far from Sugar Valley as we can to keep you and everyone else safe."

River stands up and pulls the tube out of  the needle thing sticking out of my arm, he removes the tape that's holding it down then removes the needle then bends my arm up so my hand is on my shoulder telling me to keep it there.  I watch him take the empty blood bag down off the wall, then walks off out of the room, but he's only gone for a really short time, he returns with a plaster that he puts over the hole where the needle was.

He sits down on the carpet next to me and just smiles at me.  Oh here we go with his creepy grins!!  I still think he's seriously wierd even though I am beginning to like him ... he doesn't treat me like most people do, it doesn't seem to bother him that I'm a pain in the backside most of the time!!  but the thing I like about him most is that he does actually answer all of my questions.

He asks me if I feel up to eating something and I shake my head.  He rolls his eyes and laughs.

"Why did it take so long for Cosmic to come when I first started shouting for help?" he frowns at me for a moment before he starts explaining what happened.

Jazz had suspected that Celeste was planning something behind his back when she went out hunting with her guards and wouldn't let him go out with them.  So they got prepared for it and planned to break me and Honey out of the den at dawn.  Celeste only had two guards with her ... so they thought ... when they came back from hunting the three of them came in and sat down and acted normally so they didn't suspect anything.  They didn't realize that she had actually brought four guards back with her and that two of them were sneaking down to the cage to dispose of us.  Cosmic had brought another spirit into help who was hiding himself from Celeste and her two guards so they didn't know he was there ... it was the other spirit that spotted that she had sneaked in the other two guards and what they were up to.  Jazz and Maizie were already fighting the two guards upstairs before I started screaming for help, they had to get rid of those two before they could even get down to the ones hurting me and Honey.

"I had to keep right out of the way because I'm mortal, there was nothing I could do until it calmed down, Cosmic was fighting Celeste and Storm went down to stop the vampire from draining you, I'm really glad that extra spirit came or we wound never have got to you in time."

"STORM?!"  Did you just say STORM?!"  Fudge I thought I'd heard him, I thought I was hallucinating ... but I wasn't ... Storm WAS there!!  It wasn't Cosmic like I'd thought, it was actually Storm.

"Yes ... he was Parsley's twin brother wasn't he ... your cousin."  I frown, how would he even know Parsley's name, this guy is seriously creeping me out by how much he seems to know about my family ... so I ask him how would he even know that.

"Oh ... I ... err know Parsley, from the bowling Alley, I go there quite often, I bump into him there sometimes, I heard his brother had faded."  he's got his head down and seems to be drawing patterns in the carpet with his fingers like he's feeling uncomfortable.  I wander if he knows Mosaic and Coral, they live in that place ... they are always going bowling with the 'gang' that I'm excluded from because they can't be arsed to deal with my problems ... unlike Honey and Storm ... who I've now both lost!!  I'm alone again!!

I closed my eyes and think about those damn vampberrys.  Me and my STUPID brain has gotten us into trouble again!!!  This has all happened because of me again, not being normal, why couldn't I have just been normal like everybody else ... why did I have to be different?!

River starts moving around again, I try to sit up but I feel giddy.  He's stumbling around in the dark and I can hear him opening draws and rooting around in them like he's searching for something.  I ask him what he's doing, he says he's looking for Maizie's bank card she said it was in here but he can't find it, he's getting a few things together, because we need to be going soon and we could be away for quite a while.

I lie there thinking about home while he continues to search through the room, I feel like I'm never going to get there!!  I watch River creeping around the room and wander why he's doing this?  Why is he taking me away, what about his life, what about his job at the hosptial, why is he taking me away and putting himself in danger for me when I hardly know the bloke?!

I asked about Honey even though I've been trying to avoid the reality ... hoping I'd got it all wrong and she hasn't gone ... hoping she is here too.  At first he didn't say anything, he moved across the room back towards me and I noticed him put down quite a large bag by me.  He sat down on the carpet next to me again.

"I'm sorry ... I had to leave her ... there was nothing I could do for her ... you ... you do know she's gone ... don't you!? ... Tapestry I'm sorry!!!  She's gone."  I can hear him stammering like he is really struggling to get the words out .... I didn't say anything I just let the tears start falling and curl myself up into a ball and start to cry.

"Tap ... I'm sorry!!"

I lay there crying for ages, River had sat by me for a while, he started stroking my arm, at first it didn't bother me but after a while it started to irritate me so I shrugged him off me and told him to get lost and leave me alone quite nastily.   He removed his hands off me but he still sat there quietly for a few more minutes before I heard him move away and it went really quiet, I couldn't hear him moving around anymore, I presume he left the room.  This suddenly made me worry a little, I'd just told him to leave me alone, what if he does, I'm scared of the vampberrys coming back ... I can feel myself starting to panic ... he wouldn't just leave me would he?

"Here take these and drink this."  He says suddenly making me jump.  He crouches down by me and watches as I roll over to look at him.  He has my medication in one hand and a carton in the other  "It's milkshake."  he says as he hands it to me giggling to himself.  He helps me to sit up slowly, my head still feels a little dizzy.  I take the tablets with the milkshake wandering if he's put supplement stuff in the banana milk shake because it tastes strange, I remember telling him that's what my Dad does when I refuse to eat.

"How did you know banana is my favourite?"  I ask him which makes him laugh saying he didn't it was just a good guess, but banana is his favourite too so that's the only flavour he has.  Suddenly I thought I could hear somebody else laughing coming from somewhere else in the room.  I thought at first I must be imagining it or it could have even been River laughing so I ignored it.

"You've put supplement shit in this shake haven't you!!"  I say to him and River smiles at me before I watch him drinking out of the carton he has in his own hand.  I hear the laugh again a little louder this time.  I know it was not River, he was drinking, the laughing is coming from the corner of the room.

"Sshhh did you hear that?"  I whisper to River who is still sat down by me on the carpet drinking milkshake, he frowns at me and asks what  "Somebody is in here I just heard them laughing!"  he frowns and says he hasn't heard anything.  "I have definitely heard someone laughing twice"  River scrambles to his feet suddenly looking really worried and mumbles a few swear words under his breath.

I see him grab something from close by that looks like a baseball bat.  I hear the laughing again even louder this time, it is almost hysterical laughter  "Over there, can't you hear it?!"  I point in the direction that I can now hear the constant laughing coming from, but that corner of the room is pitch black and I can't see a thing.  Now I'm starting to get really scared especially when I hear River mumble that he knew we'd already stayed here too long as he starts creeping in that direction slowly holding the baseball bat in front of him.  I'm really scared now that the vampberry's have found us already ... I'm not sure I can go through all that again!!

Suddenly a figure moves silently out of the shadow into the beam of moonlight coming through the curtains, it scared me at first until my eyes focused properly and I realized it is the figure of a spirit and not a person, the laughter has stopped now.

I blink quite a few times ... it is not Cosmic ... I can hardly believe what I'm looking at ... Storm's transparent figure ... he's just floating there with a grin on his face.

"Its Okay Tap ... it's only me." he says laughing again

"STORM!!"  It's okay River it's only Storm"  I look at Storm who seems to be highly amused with himself and starts laughing again while River is swearing quietly to himself.  I shout at him for scaring us.  "BERRY HOLE!!   Storm you scared us half to death we thought you was a vampberry!!"

"SSSHHH Tap be quiet!!"  River snaps quietly  "I think it's time we get moving out of here!!"  he says as he starts grabbing a few things from around me and stuffing them into the bag before he scurries off out of the room.

"Sorry Cuz!! Just keeping you on your toes!!"  Storm says as he laughs again, "Wow!!  Cosmic said you would be able to see and hear me, but I didn't believe him ... has anyone ever told you Tapestry ... you are one serious freak!!"  he carries on laughing as he sits down opposite me and I can't help but just sit there and grin stupidly at him ... he'll never understand just how happy I am to see him right now!!!  It's like he's made me feel a hundred times better just being here.  "What you grinning at idiot!?" he says in his normal playful tone.

"You!!"  I smile at him  "It's like you've never faded."  He grunted and said it doesn't feel like it from where he's sitting!!  It doesn't look like it from where I'm sitting either but he is still here, sat right in front of me.  I can see him, talk to him ... he is still Storm and we can still hang out together, it's like he never left ... I've got my best friend back who I thought I'd lost forever.  I think about Honey, and realize suddenly, she could be there waiting for me when I get home, she could also be in Storms world right now, if I'm lucky I'll get to keep them both forever even if they are only spirits .. to me because I can see and hear spirts ...they are still there ... I suppose that is one good think about not being normal like everyone else!!!

"I can't leave you alone for a minute can I Tap ... look at you, you've gone and got yourself into a whole heap of trouble already!!!"  he sits there smirking at me "Jazz sent me to go with you on your little trip ... just in case any vamp's show up!"   he smiles at me.  "I'm not your official vampberry fader!!"  he laughs.

Suddenly I don't feel so bad, just having Storm here makes a world of difference, I just want to hug him to death but I know my arms will just go straight threw him.  I had been worring about any vampberry finding us while I had been crying and I'd been wishing that River had just left me to fade like Honey.  I know I can do that eye game with them, but it's not like they are going to sit still long enough for me to do it. I could quite easily tell them to get lost and go and fade Celeste instead if I was strong enough to hold them down, but I'm not strong enough to even try it. I know if any vampberrys do find me and River we can't fight them, but I do know being a spirit Storm can fight them and they can't fight back because they can't even touch him, Cosmic has told me all about it.

"I've always said you are a wuss ... I beat that vamp up no problem!!"  he starts laughing

"Storm that's not even funny!!"  I snap at him

"Sorry ... just trying to put a smile on your face!! I guess that was a bit below the belt ... I'm sorry Tap I didn't think did I!!"

"What happened to Manderine?"  I ask him and he pulls quite a face.

"Don't know ... don't care!!"  I am a little surprised by his reaction  "After what she's done ... there is only one place she's going .... Hell!!  I don't even blame Forrest for what he did to me, he's actually a victim in all this too ... at the end of the day everything is down to that woman and she deserves to rot!!"  I'm seriously shocked by what I'm hearing him say, I've never heard him say anything bad about her before, not that I've ever really heard him say that much if anything about her in the past, he's always been very cagey about his Mother ... so I never really expected this.  "If I'd known then what I know now, I'd never have wasted all that time visiting the evil cow in prison!!  My Dad must be seriously off his rocker loving that woman!!"

"Well I'm glad you know what she's done ... because as usual I'm being treated like the idiot ... Honey knew but she wouldn't tell me, not even Cosmic would .. EVERYONE hides it from me." I hear him grunt.

"Yeah well, if they'd told us in the first place then maybe some of the stuff wouldn't have happened .... if you want to know ... I'll tell you ... but you aren't going to like it!!" Finally!!  Someone is going to tell me!!  "But I think it might have to wait till laters!"  he says as he points towards the door

I turn to see River scurring back into the room with another bulging bag.  "We should be making tracks."  he says as he puts the bag down by the door.  I can't help but laugh at him, its like he's been packing for a holiday.  He knees down close to me and asked me how I'm feeling.  I tell him I'm good.  Which I am, I actually feel okay, Storm has brought me out of myself, I've forgotten about all my aches and pains until I just think about them.

He has my jacket in his hand which he starts to put on me, he is  dressing me like I'm a child who's not capable of doing it for myself. I just laugh at him thinking he fusses too much just like Dad.  Once he's got my jacket on he helps me up onto my feet, I don't feel so dizzy now but my legs still feel a little weak, he grabs the bag and holds my arm and starts leading me through the house.

In the darkness I can see we are walking through a small kitchen towards the back door which he unlocks when we reach it.  We walk across a small stone paved area then he opens another door and pushes me gently through it, I realize it's a garage which has a car sitting in it.  He opens the back door and tells me to get in while he opens the boot and throws in one of the bags.  I watch him run out of the garage and minutes later he's back with two other bags which also go into the boot which he closes.  He throws a smaller bag into the front of the car.

"You need to lie down, and if anyone comes to the car ... keep your eyes CLOSED ... whatever you do, DON'T look at anyone until we've sorted your eyes out - we are in a colour coded town, there is no other mixed berry town for 10,000 miles like Sugar Valley .. nobody can see you're a mixed berry or we'll have other problems to contend with!!"  I lay down and he threw a blanket over me.

I had not even given a thought to where we are going and that the world outside Sugar Valley is colour coded and I wouldn't be very welcome in it.  I should not even be in Apple Hill!!  Fudge!! Well what about River, isn't he a mixed berry too?!  Why can they see him and not me?  I get distracted, I laugh suddenly as I see Storm sitting in the passenger seat pulling faces and grinning back at me.  River frowns at me and asks what's so funny.

"You've got a passenger ... Storm has hopped in the front with you!!"  he rolls his eyes  "Did you know he was coming with us?"

"Yes I heard Jazz telling him to go with us, that's why I'm not so worried, he CAN dispose of the vampberry's unlike us!!"  he laughs  "Just tell him to keep his hands to himself, especially off me and the radio, I don't want him changing stations or turning it up ... he might make me jump and I'm jumpy enough without him spooking me out all the time!!"  that guy is such a nerd!!!   I start laughing

When we pull out of the garage, I notice it is still fairly dark outside, and the streets seem fairly quiet as we speed along without having to stop, only for traffic lights.  I can't really see a lot, I just lie there watching the tops of the street lamps, buildings and trees flashing past the window.  It took me quite a while to realise that the back windows of the car are tinted, when I look out of the front window and it's not actually so dark out as I first thought, not as dark as it looks through the tinted windows.  I laugh to myself for being such an idiot. I sit up and River tells me to lie back down, my eyes he reminds me.

"The windows are tinted, nobody can see me!!" I start moaning

"The front windows aren't tinted .... Tap we can't take any risks, if they don't lock us both up they'll ship you straight back to Sugar Valley being the closest colour mix town and that is the very LAST place you need to be right now!!!"  I lie down and do as I'm told without arguing any more, I hear Storm laughing from the front of the car, and I know he's laughing at me for doing as I'm told ... neither of us have ever been very good at taking authority from adults.  I wander how he is planning to sort my eyes out?  I realize I only have the one pair of contacts that I'm wearing I've got no new ones to change them ...  then we are going to be in trouble because I won't be able to see anything ... I'm as blind as a bat without them.

We hadn't been driving for too long when he suddenly pulls the car up outside a tall building, he jumps out and takes the bag with him.  I wander what he's doing at first until I see him walk up to a cash point.  I can't see what he's doing  very well so I lie back down and wait for him to return which he does after a while, he throws the bag on the floor as he jumps into the car, locks the door then sets off without saying anything.

We seem to have been driving for hours none stop, but it could have been longer because I did go to sleep for a while because I was getting bored, Storm and River are very quiet in the front of the car and neither of them seemed interested in talking.  I'm not really sure how long I went to sleep for because it's now daylight and it looks quite bright out so I could have been sleeping for quite a while.

I lie there on the back seat just watching the world going by through the side window and wander where we are going, River has the radio on quite low and I'm listening to it on and off, humming and singing songs that I know, ignoring songs that I don't know.  I'm sick of not being able to see anything so I shuffle myself up into a semi sitting position, keeping my head below the window, my back is leaning against the door and my legs stretched out resting on the handle of the other door so that I get a better view of everything flashing by in the window.

My mind is skipping around thinking about a lot of things including what might be going on back home in among humming and singing to the tunes on the radio. Then the news comes on, I'm a little irritated because the music has stopped and some stupid man is talking about the weather and normal news rubbish.

Then something catches my attention that makes me sit up.

"Police are stepping up their search for the three suspects in connection with the abduction of the two teenagers from the Sugar Valley Cemetery last week.  Manderine Orchid, and Maizie Lane are believed to be holding the teenagers against their will and the police would also like to speak to Mango Lane in connection with this case. If anyone has any information about the three suspects whereabouts they are to contact their local police immediately.  Meanwhile there has been a breakthrough in this case after one of the teenagers was found in the early hours of this morning ... Miss Honey Sunshine was found ... "

River leans forward and quickly turns the radio off  and shouts "Fudge!!"  quite loudly, I don't even wander why because I'm angry with him for turning it off.  I shout at him to turn it back on which he refuses to do.

"They are not going to tell us anything we don't already know, are they Tap!?  and what they do know is not exactly what is really going on here so why listen to it and upset yourself?!"  he looks at me through the rear view mirror  "Lie down Tap!!"

I lean back agains the door, for a moment I'm replaying what I'd heard in my head, wandering what they had done with Honey's body ... how had she been found? and where?  Oh Berry ... I can just imagine what is going on back home now, especially with me still missing ... but I never really imagined that they would even miss me not being there, after all, all I ever do is cause everyone problems, I bet there are happy that I'm not there anymore!!!  My mind goes back to Honey, wandering where she was found, I stew over it for a few more minutes, especially that I am not even going to be able to be at her funeral, before I ask River what he thinks they might have done with her.

"I don't know Tap, they usually leave memory wiped mortals somewhere where they can be found quickly before they wake up, like in the park or the meadow, I've even known them leave them close to the hospital ... they usually completely dispose of faded bodies so they are never found ... but they have found Honey so I presume they did the same with Honey as they would a memory wiped mortal."  he says quietly.

I see him adjust the mirror slightly so he can see me in it, he keeps looking at me nervously in the rear view mirror ... is he waiting for me to kick off or something?!  Hearing Honey's name does upset me but I keep telling myself she's going to be a spirit like Storm waiting for me when I get home ... this stops me from getting so upset.  It's the babies I can't afford to start really thinking about ... because I know if I do ... that is going to unhinge me.

"Who's Mango Lane?"  I ask after a while, something else that I've been trying to work out.  Storm laughs and River says nothing he just keeps looking at me in between watching the road in the rear view mirror.  "River who is he and why do the police want to speak to him?"  There is still silence coming from the front of the car, I notice Storm is now looking in my direction. "Storm do you know who Mango Lane is?"

"Yeah man, but HE needs to tell you himself!!  I don't know why he hasn't already told you - it's not like it's a secret anymore - everybody back home knows exactly who he is!!"  Storm says looking at River, I'm not sure why because it's not like River can hear him.

"Why does River need to tell me himself and tell me what - what does everyone know?"

"What did that spirit just say to you Tap?"  I repeated what Storm had just said to me.  "Thanks Storm!!" he snapped out loadly which made Storm start laughing.

He suddenly swung the car off the road.  "I'll just nip in here and get us something to eat then I'll tell you."  I look out of the window and smile when I realize where we are, he's just pulled into a McBerry's car park.  "Stay with him Storm and keep your head down Tap ... your eyes remember!!"  he says as he jumps out of the car locking the door behind him.

"Berry hole!!"  Storm says so I frown at him thinking he's swearing at River  "You're getting McBerry's and I can't eat them any more!!"  he says

"Don't you eat?"  I ask him and he starts laughing quite hysterically at me, telling me he doesn't eat, sleep, or do any of the normal stuff like showers, toilet, brushing his teeth ... there isn't a need for him to do it anymore.   I had never even thought about that part of being faded before ... that would actually be pretty cool!!  We natter on about stupid stuff until River gets back.  He unlocks the door and jumps in quickly locking the door again.  I notice he's parked the car in the far corner of the car park and we are facing a tall hedge.

"We're in luck, they've got banana shake."  he says as he passes one to me, then hands me the bag that has a burger and fries in.  I smile at him and start eating the fries straight away.  I hear him laugh at me so I look up.  "I see we are getting no argument over you eating that!"

"Yeah ... we are not allowed to eat junk food ... Dad doesn't let us ... I only get McBerry's when Prelude or Mulberry sneak me one!"  he starts laughing  "If he let me eat McBerry's I would eat every day"

"Yeah until the novelty wears off!!  Are you in any pain?"  I tell him my neck still hurts a lot but nothing else.  He starts rooting around in his bag and pulls out some pain killers and told me to take them.  He said my neck is starting to go black, its going to be very bruised and sore for a while.  He starts eating his fries quietly.

"So who is Mango Lane ?"  I mumble through a mouthful of burger.

"I had hoped you'd forget about that!"  there is silence for a while then he sighs quite loudly as he turns in his seat to face me  "Mango Lane is me."  I start coughing

"Your name is River?!"  I frown at him.

"River is just the name I use in Sunset Valley ..... the name on my birth certificate is Mango Muffin Lane"  This makes me laugh quite loudly because he has the same name as my Dad

"So why River when you're name is Mango?" he rolls his eyes

"I'm getting 101 questions now aren't I?"  I nod and smile at him, he sits there studying me for a moment "Okay .. I guess I've got no choice but to just tell you everything now the cat is out of the bag  ... Thank you Storm!!"  he says looking in the direction of the passenger seat.  "Maizie thought it would be amusing to name me after my Dad, Mango Muffin, then not even bother to tell him that I even existed."  I frown at him

"You said you didn't know who your .... Dad .... is"  something snaps in my brain while I'm looking at his face, didn't he just say he was named after his Dad!?  "Hang on ... did you just say Mango Muffin is your Dad's name?!"

"Yes ... I lied when I told you I didn't know who my Dad is, because I do ... but I've never spoken to him, he didn't know I existed and I've only actually known WHO he is for two years and that is why I came to Sugar Valley because that's where he lives with his other three, sorry four children."  I just sit staring at him, I'm trying to slow my brain down because it's working double time.  He is talking abou MY DAD isn't he!? ... How many Mango Muffin's are there in Sugar Valley exactly ..... only one that I know .... and my Dad has four children ... Fudge!!!

"What colour are you again?"  he says completely orange like his Dad and Granddad ...all these answers that he's giving me only add up to one thing.   "What happened to the blue?"  he says when he's in Sugar Valley he uses blue hair dye and blue contacts to look more like Maizie, he knows he looks like his Dad and he's been trying to hide behind his hair hoping nobody will notice, especially him.  I carry on sitting there staring at him ... Fudge!!  He does look like my Dad!? ... I want to say it but I think I'm just connecting up the dots wrong!  The only thing I can't get past is Maizie.  My Dad and Maizie?!  NEVER!!!  When did this happen exactly ... if My Dad is his Dad ... why has he been hiding it ... Did Dad have an affair with Maizie behind my Mom's back?!  This sends my head going!!

"Fudge berry ... Tap he's your damn brother ... don't you get it!!"  Storm suddenly says from the front  "I don't know how you can't see it, look at him for berry's sake!!"

"Storm ... He is so NOT my brother!!"  I snap back at him even though that is what I am beginning to think myself.  "Maizie and my Dad!!??  Mom and Dad met at school when they were kids, even you know that!!  He can't be!! Dad just wouldn't!!"  I've now convinced myself that Dad has been messing about with Maizie without Mom knowing and this is why they have been hiding River ... we have always been told that our parents have been together since school ... my head is now spinning just thinking about it.

"Yeah well, I do have other stuff to tell you remember .... they lied to us kids about a lot of things Tap ... River is your brother ... Trust me I've been hanging out at yours ... everyone knows about him now ... even your Dad ... he's gone ballistic ... he's going to fade Maizie when he catches up with her because she never told him she was pregnant with his kid!!  He's even done a DNA test ... River is definitely Mango's kid!!"

"What's he saying?"  River asks and I ignore him because my head is starting to go  "Tapestry?"  I carry on ignoring him as I start to hold my head because it's starting to hurt ... it's swimming and I can't stop it ... my head is only just managing to deal with Honey ... this is all too much for my head to take!!  How can he be my brother!!!

"Fudge it!! ... I knew this would happen ... Thanks Storm!!! I wasn't going to tell him yet on top of Honey and everything else, I knew he wouldn't take it!!"

I quickly flick the lock on the car door and swing the door open and set off running across the car park.

I need to get away to clear my head to stop me from losing it ... I'm not even sure why this is getting to me so much ... It's not the fact of River being my brother, it's Dad and Maizie, if he has been messing about with her behind Mom's back ... this changes the person who Dad has always been in my head and I think that's what I can't deal with ... I've already got everything that has happened since Storm faded going on in my head, the vampberry, Honey, the babies, having to run away ... now this ... there is just way too much for my head to deal with all at once.

I don't get very far because I still feel a little weak and I'm wrestled to the ground by Storm who starts shouting at me to stop being an idiot for once in my life.  I hit the floor pretty hard and it knocked the wind out of me, I don't have the strength to get up and start running again.  I just lie there and start crying as Storm starts shouting at me, telling me to lie still and close my eyes, reminding me the vampberrys are after me and I'm being a total idiot making a show of myself in front of loads of people who have probably just seen my eyes which is going to get me and River into a load of trouble.

I know what he's saying is right so I just lie there and close my eyes.

River runs up quickly and picks me up off the floor and starts brushing down my pants around my knees like I'm a naughty child who has just fallen over because he was running too fast, but I guess that is how it must look to people, they can't see Storm like I do, and I know there are people watching me, Storm told me.  He puts his arms around me pulling my head towards his chest and stands there holding me.

"Please DONT kick off Tap, people are watching us ... your eyes remember!!!"  He says quietly as he's holding onto me tightly, I just stand there tears rolling down my face.  He starts walking me slowly back towards the car while I'm still holding my head down and keeping my eyes closed.  My knees hurting and I'm limping, suddenly River swings me up into his arms and carries me quickly back to the car.

"Is everything okay?"  I hear a woman ask as he lies me down on the back seat of the car and covers me with the blanket.  He mutters nosy old bat under his breath.

"Yes, he's fine, he's just scraped his knee a little!"  I heard River say  "He's my little brother, he's just a little upset, our Mother faded recently and he's not coping with it too well, he's disabled and he doesn't deal with emotional stuff very well!!"  I heard River saying as I lie there with my eyes shut tight, I know he's having to try and lie his way out of trouble, I'm still holding my head because it's hurting as I'm worrying now hoping the woman hasn't seen my eyes, even if it might be a little too late, I've already been stupid, anyone could have seen my colourless eyes as I was running across the car park.  "I thought a trip to McBerry's might cheer him up a little, it usually does, but I was silly I should never have brought him out ... it's too soon for him!!"  I can hear River still talking to the woman as he closes the back door of the car just as it closed I heard the woman apologizing to him, I'm not sure why she would do that .... I'm the idiot here!!!

River jumps back into the car swearing under his breath after he's closed his door. He starts the car up and drives out of the car park.  "DON'T EVER pull a stunt like that again!!"  he snaps quite loudly.  "For Berry's sake I just hope nobody saw your eyes or we'll have the police after us right now!! Tapestry you can't attract attention to us like that again!!!"  I hear him bang the steering wheel in temper  "I knew I should have flicked the child locks on the back doors!!  he mumbled I think more to himself.

When we have driven a short distance away he starts trying to mess about in the bag that's he's now thrown on the seat with Storm which normally would have made me laugh, he's messing about inside Storms transparent figure and he doesn't even know it.  The tears are streaming down my face and my head is banging.  He pulls the car over when we are well away from McBerry's and he starts rooting around in the bag properly, he pulls a few things out and I can see what he's planning on doing ... not again!!

"You don't touch me with that!!"  I say to him because I know he's about to sedate me.

"I'm sorry Tap, I've got no choice after that little stunt you just pulled ... a sleep will do you good, it'll give you a chance to calm your head down, so you don't go doing anything else as stupid!!"

"I'm sorry!!  I won't do it again!!"

"I know it's my fault I upset you, I didn't want you to find out that I'm your brother like this!! and I'm sorry, I know you've already got enough to deal with."  he smiles at me  "We are on the run remember from the police and vampberry's ... you are a mixed berry in a colour coded town ... I've already got the police after me because they think I helped abduct you ... if they catch me they'll lock me straight up and ship you straight back to Sugar Valley ... all I'm trying to do here is keep you alive and I can't do that if you keep pulling stunts like that and putting us into danger ... what were you even thinking?!"

"I run sometimes when my head can't take it, it helps me clear it ... I'm sorry please don't sedate me ... I'm sick of being sedated it's what Dad always does and I HATE IT!! ... Just drive ... please!!!  I'll go to sleep!!"  he looks at me before he knocks the car into gear, I think he can see I've calmed down.

"Okay .... go to sleep ... any more stunts like that in future and I WILL be sedating you!!"

The car starts moving off again, I roll over onto my side, close my eyes and pull the blanket up over my head so I'm in the dark.

I hope sleep will come quickly so I can stop thinking.

I'll fight - Daughtry


  1. Ah poor Tap! All these problems boil down to it being generation one's fault....tsk...tsk...They should have dealt with Lime properly and they shouldn't have lied to the kids. But then that would make for a boring story now wouldn't

    1. Yes!! Generation 2 are definitely paying for Generation 1's mistakes and it's far from over yet. Tapestry is now all mixed up and Storm hasn't even started to tell him yet what shes done (rolls eyes)

  2. Well, he's slowly learning the truth. Poor Tap. I feel so bad for him.

    I got a good laugh thinking about River messing with Storms insides. Lol!

    I really can't wait to see how this all pans out! It's exciting!

    1. LOL - yeah River rooting around in Storm tickled me too when I wrote it.

  3. Aww Tapestry, it sucks to be lied to about most everything for your entire life. o.O
    LOL, that last picture, River really, really looks like Mango.
    I wonder if Storm and River will tell Tap that Maizie didn't have an affair with Mango, that they dated before Lilly and Mango got together.

    1. I know its frightening how the three of them - River - Mango and Tapestry are soooo alike - my game loves giving me clones!! Tapestry as a young adult with Mango's hair - I can only tell Mango and Tap apart by the eyes facially - That is why Tap is getting a hair style that makes him totally different!! Tap gets his thinness from Lilly - so he does look different.
      Yes they lie to him about everything - and its not over yet - the biggest one is yet to come o.0