Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Chapter 17 - Generation 2 - Tapestry

Who's They?

I'm just nodding off to sleep in the front seat of the car when I'm startled, I sit up straight quickly and my eyes snap open as I hear a very loud bang and I feel the car jolt ... for a moment I thought we had hit something or something had hit us.

I can hear River swearing under his breath as I spot the smoke coming from under the car bonnet.  The car starts to splutter to a holt just as River manages to pull it off the road and onto a dive bar car park.

"Great!!  This is all we need!!"  River shouts quite loudly as he thumps the steering wheel.

We both just sit silently watching the smoke pouring out from underneath the car bonnet ... I wander what we are going to do now, the car breaking down is one thing that has never even crossed my mind.   I glance over at River and start laughing at the expression on his  face as he starts repetitively banging his head off the steering wheel  "Tap its not funny ... now we are stuffed!!"

"I'm not laughing at the car you fool ... I'm laughing at you and I'm supposed to be the idiot here!!  he rolls his eyes and stops bashing his head off the steering wheel  "Lift the bonnet before you give yourself brain damage and take a look, you never know we might be able to fix it."  I say as I open the car door and get out of the car. River does the same and I walk round the car to where he's stood stressing.

"I'm a surgeon not a mechanic ..."  he says as he stands there rubbing his neck looking completely stressed out, he's not even attempting to look under the bonnet. "There is no point me even looking under that bonnet because I don't have the first clue about car engines!"

Storm tells me to pop the bonnet and he'll have a look.  I'd forgotten that Storm used to love messing around with cars, Prelude had brought him an old banger to play around with to stop him from messing under the bonnet of his own car.  I lift the bonnet and am almost choked by a cloud of hot smoke which engulfed me, I have to jump quickly backwards to get away from it.  Storm starts laughing as his head goes under the bonnet looking at the engine, not the slightest bit bothered by the cloud of smoke.  He told me straight away what the problem is.

"Storm says when was the last time you put oil or water in this car, the radiator has popped!!"  I tell River who stands there rolling his eyes.   He looks down at the car engine

"Which bit is the radiator?"  he frowns and I can't help but laugh at him because even I know a lot of the parts under the bonnet of a car ... River is just standing there looking completely confused.  I point to the radiator "Give me a human body any day ... that lot just looks dirty and complicated!"  he mumbles to himself ... I can't help but laugh at him as he is poking at the hole in the side of the radiator  "How did that happen?"

"No water ... you've obviously not checked the radiator since we left home!!"  I tell him as I drop the bonnet back down, he just shrugs and tells me the guy at the garage back home always does that sort of stuff for him including the oil and water.  "The radiator is where the water goes wally!!"  he just laughs to himself  "How can somebody so intelligent be so thick?  Even I know that much!!  I'm surprised you know how to put petrol into it!!"  I laugh at him.

"Okay clever clogs ... I just drive it ... do I really need to know how the damn thing works!!"  River says as he starts looking up and down the street. "We'll have to find a car repair place and see if they can fix it today."    He suddenly smiles and points at something  "Well look at that - we are in luck - we couldn't have broken down in a better place!!"  he says as he starts walking off down the street.

I lean on the back of the car, I'm waiting here until he come backs, I'm pretty tired from the travelling and can't be bothered to walk to the repair shop.  I watch River walking off up the road, he stops opposite the repair shop and seems to be talking to someone on his phone.  He's only on the phone for a short while then he crosses over the road and goes into the repair shop.  As soon as he's out of sight I light up a cigarette, he always gives me loads of earache when he sees me smoking, hopefully I'll have finished it before he gets back.  I look around for Storm and he's just hanging around by the front of the car.

I wander when this is all going to end.  We have been on the long road away from Sugar Valley for what seems like forever now, It is starting to feel like we are never getting home and I can hardly remember what life was like before the vampberry den.   The days turned into weeks, the weeks into a month, close onto two months and we are finally getting close to Rainbow Valley.  Only being able to travel during day light hours has really slowed us down.  Our life has basically been a very boring routine of spending our daytime's in the car on the road and night time hauled up in a grotty motel room, worrying about the resident vampberrys in town.

Thankfully we have not come into contact with any vampberrys since our one and only encounter with them in the very first motel room we stayed in.  Not being too far away from Rainbow Valley, the vampberry dens in this area are few and far between according to Jazz, the only ones we need to worry about are vampberrys following us from back home, but he doesn't think now that Celeste told anyone about me, he thinks we are now pretty safe, so we are now becoming pretty relaxed and are no longer looking over our shoulder for vampberrys all the time.  I argued that if Celeste told nobody about me then why can't we just go home ... but it's not that simple apparently ... when they are sure it's completely safe to go home, we will be told.

My eyes had been a lot easier than we expected to sort out, my prescription is so close to River's that I could actually see through his glasses, his eyesight being actually just a little worse than mine.  For a few days his glasses gave me headaches but when my eyes adjusted to them, from then on it was fine.  River bought some orange none prescription eye contacts which you can just pick up from any chemist ... so I now wear those so my eyes look orange and wear River's glasses so that I can actually see further than my nose.  I hated wearing the glasses at first, it reminded me of when I wore them as a child and the other children, especially Mosaic, used to call me names ... but after a while I got used to the glasses and now I don't actually mind them.

I lost my hat too after a lot of nagging and persuasion from River, he convinced me that losing my hat would throw people off looking at me twice, everyone back home would never dream of seeing me without a hat, I'm known to live it in, the last thing people will be looking for is a hat less boy wearing glasses ... and changing my appearance completely is the best way for nobody to recognize me ... and he was right, we did spot my picture in various news papers in quite a few towns in the first weeks of travelling ... so I lost my hat.

River too had to change his appearance, he's also known for wearing a hat and glasses in Apple Hill, long blue hair covering his face in Sugar Valley and blue contacts.  So now River walks around without his hat or glasses, as he is supposed to be an orange berry, his hair he cut to a completely different style to how people are used to seeing him and he looks a lot different ... even if he does look too much like Dad now that he spooks me sometimes, but nobody is used to seeing him that way and I doubt now that anyone would recognize either of us at a glance, especially me now that I'm a young adult, nobody but River and Storm have seen how I've grown up into an adult ... back home I will still be that teenage boy in their minds.

I feel like I've grown up a lot over the last few months, not only physically, after having my birthday, but also mentally.  In a way, even though I hate it, being away from home and especially Dad has helped me to stand on my own two feet a little more, River doesn't baby me like Dad does, his approach to me and my problems is totally different, my tantrums get me nowhere so I've stopped throwing them, I've learnt for a quiet life it's easier just to toe the line and I have learnt quite a few new things about my self that I've never noticed before ... especially that I am not quite the horrible person that everyone has always made me believe that I am.

I was quite a nightmare and a handful for River during the first few weeks of our travels ... I don't know why he didn't just walk away and leave me to it, at times I was uncontrollable.  I had quite a lot of emotional outburst, virtually one every day, trying too deal mainly with Honey fading, I let the two babies that we should have been having really get to me which totally unhinged me.  I was also struggling with what we are having to do, running away from home and the vamperrys, I found it hard to cope without Dad after speaking to him on the phone and the vampberry's had really scared me to the point where I was having nightmares and refused to sleep alone, me and River were squashed up in a single bed every night,  he gave up even trying to get me to sleep alone and started to check us into rooms with a double bed.

That is the only thing that I still haven't grown out of ... I still can not sleep alone today.  I swear a lot of the places where we stay think we are a gay couple, which we have a good giggle at.  As the weeks rolled on my emotional outbursts got less and less and I haven't actually had any at all since those first few weeks and I even find that I can control my temper better and I don't get irritated so much, but River says that's all part of growing up.  My problems will never go away, but being an adult, I should be able to control them better.

I've learnt quite a lot too while we've been on the road, besides gaining a brother that I can actually get on with and who cares about me like a brother should, I now finally know about what all the adults back home have been hiding from us kids all of our lives ... all the lies and the cover ups.  Storm filled me in on everything that Manderine / Lime has done to everyone since they were at school together, even River too got to learn a few new things about that horrible green woman that had been sat in the corner of our cage in the vampberry den.  It was pretty hard for me to take at first know that woman is single handedly responsible for so much suffering to people that I care about ... even my own problems and the way I turned out has apparently been laid at her door, if Mom had never gone down the stairs and into a coma while she was pregnant with us triplets, they think I might have been a normal baby.

Cosmic fading, Jazz becoming a vampberry, Mom and Cosmics baby buried in the cemetery, Alpines brain damage, the scars on Ice's face, Mom's coma and brain damage, she nearly faded Prelude, the way that Storm and Parsley arrived and them being born in prison, if all of her children had been told the truth from the start, Forrest probably would never have faded Storm, his own brother ... When you think about it ... even this trip that we are having to take is down to her ... if she hadn't snatched me and Honey from Storms funeral, we would never have come into contact with the vampberrys, Honey and our babies wouldn't have faded and I wouldn't have to be running for my life.

I didn't hear or notice River walking up to the car, he kicks my leg gently to get my attention which nearly makes me jump out of my skin, I was miles away.

"Well that's blown it ..."  he says looking at me when I get up to my feet.  "They can fix it, but it could take a few days, they need to order in the radiator, and we want to hope its just that simple, I could have done other damage to the car, they can't tell until they get it into the repair shop and take a look .... we should have been in Rainbow Valley by then ... instead we are going to be stuck here for two or three days!!" he really does not look happy!!

"Never mind, what's a few more days."  I say not sure why he is getting so stressed out when we have already been on the road for nearly two months ... until he reminds me Winter is going mental right now, she's already had to turn down a transfer to Sugar Valley because we are heading in her direction, and it could be years before another one comes up, and she's getting really annoyed at how long it's taking us to get there ... annoyed that if we'd flown to Rainbow Valley we could have been there in a day ... but of course we couldn't just jumped on a plane because of me, I don't even have a passport being a mixed berry, I'd never be able to get one. Us flying anyway would have lead the police straight to our whereabouts.  Which has always made me wander how we are going to get home without it taking as many months to travel back.  I've always been scared of the answer River might give me so I've never asked him.  Winter also worries me, I bet she hates me already before she's even met me, all of this is my fault and I'm messing up her life, as well as River's ... his life has been ruined already because he's doing this for me.

"Then we need to hope they don't check the car out and get suspicious ... that car could well blow open our whereabouts, but I don't see what choice we have, we don't have enough money to buy another car, Winter can't come out and fetch us at short notice, it will be a week before she can get here!!  Our only other option is walk, the nearest train station is 20 miles away!!"  he thumps the back of the car  "Berry knows why I was so stupid ... you could have reminded me I needed to check the oil and water!!"

"ME remind YOU!!"  I laugh at him, he looks at me and starts laughing with me.  "We could always ask Dad to send us some money!"  he just looks at me gone out ... then says what and wait a week for the carrier pigeon to deliver it ... he says he has got money in his own bank, only he can't access it or they'll know where we are straight away, we can't risk getting Dad involved, there is already too many other things going on.

That irritates me for a moment because I know they are always plotting and planning things back home ... but I'm never privy to what they are up to ... I'm still being kept in the dark over everything.  I get my weekly talk with Dad and that's it, he still talks to me like I'm three years old and River is always on the phone to them all the time moving himself out of my earshot, I suspect sometimes he gets to speak to Dad more than once a week even though he won't admit it, I'm sure he does.

"You've been smoking again haven't you!!"  he sighs  Busted ... now for the earache!!  "You bloody reek of it!!  I'm warning you Tapestry ... you can pack it in right now!!! ... you said you would once the packet was empty .... and when did you get this packet? ... I'm not stupid, I think I know why you are always so eager to go in and pay for the petrol ... its not to stretch your legs, its so you can buy crafty packets of fags!!"

"Stop nagging ... it's still the same packet ... anyone would think I was a chain smoker by the way you carry on ...  it's probably been three days since I last had a fag and I said I'd stop when I finished this packet ... there is one left so chill your beans!!"

"Well you better make that one your last and I mean it ... from now on every time you smoke you can sleep in the car, I'm sick of stinking you!!!  I'm sick of telling you how bad it is for your health, besides, I'm warning you I'm not having Dad laying into me because you are smoking!!  Just when I think you are growing up ... you always go and do something stupid!!"

I start laughing at him ... me and Storm have been smoking on and off since we were about 10 years old and Dad never caught us or even noticed, and its not like we've ever been serious smokers I can go for weeks without even touching one ... really I don't even know why I do it ... when I was a kid it was just the thrill of doing something rebellious, like drinking and most things me and Storm did together that we shouldn't have been doing.  It's just something I do when I think about it ... it's not like I'm addicted to it, or even enjoy it that much.  Exactly why do I still do it?

I take the fag packet out of my pocket open it and show him the one fag, I screw the packet and fag up in front of him then threw them into the bushes  "Happy now ... I just quit smoking!!"

"Just make sure it stays that way!!" he snaps at me

Storm came floating out of the dive bar wall  "They have rooms in this place, tell River, I don't know why they call it a dive bar, because it's far from it inside."  he says which makes me laugh, when some of the places we have stayed in on our travels have been downright chronic, but we've had to do everything we can to make what money we do have last.  He slouches against the car.

I now find myself struggling to look at Storm without feeling sorry for the life he's lost, especially for the things he now can't do and will never be able to do in the future, like get married and have children.  He is still a teenager, he will always be a teenager.  I've had my birthday and am no longer a teenager, Storm is very close age wise to me, he too should have been a young adult now, if he'd still be alive.

"Storm says there are rooms here."  River glances towards the dive bar and pulls a face

"No, I don't fancy a room over a noisy pub, we'll never get any sleep!! and it will probably stink of stale beer just like quite a few we've already stayed in remember, it's bad enough that I have to smell you stinking of fag smoke!!"  I laugh at him he couldn't resist getting that dig in!!  "There is a nice looking place I noticed just down from the repair shop ... I think we'll go check that out instead."  he says as he nudges me as he is lifting the car boot and starts taking the bags out.

Great!!  So we have to lug these heavy bags down the road when we could just stay here!!  I grab two of the bag while he grabs the others and he locks up the car.

After dropping the keys into the repair shop we checked into the motel River had seen and we go through the same routine as he always does, locking doors, closing curtains, telling me to take a shower, not to forget my teeth and giving me my medication.  He makes me laugh, I think sometimes he forgets that I'm an adult now and I don't need to keep being reminded to take a shower and brush my teeth all the time ... that is something not even Dad had to do when I was back home.

River rolls his eyes at me as I ignore his request and sit down on the carpet and start adding to the drawing that I've been doing for a few days, I look up at him and laugh, I think sometimes he regrets buying me this sketchpad.  Drawing is something that I've only been doing for a few weeks, something that River encouraged, and I do actually enjoy it for short periods of time,  he said just because I'm colourblind and dyslexic doesn't mean I can't draw and especially sketch with a grey pencil.  Of course I have to hear his reasoning on the subject .... one of the most creative artists in history was dyslexic, Leonardo DaVinci, although he wasn't colourblind like I am, but the attention to detail in his sketches and paintings was incredibly precise ... which is the flip side of dsylexia ... the gift of dyslexia according to River.  It doesn't look like much of a gift from where I am sitting!!!  He really makes me laugh sometimes, I think River is an even bigger nerd than Dad is!!

River is right even though I don't like to admit it to him, I can draw and sketch because it doesn't involve colour, I can duplicate an objects detail quite accurately ... something I've never noticed before, I think in pictures not words, so I do take in every bit of detail, something a none dyslexic person wouldn't do ... even though I don't think what I draw is very good, but River recons it's better than anything he could draw and with lots of practice I can only get better ... but I'm not holding my breath!!

After a while I put down the pad, stand up and glance at River who is stretched out on the bed his head is already buried deep in a book ... I'm surprised his head doesn't explode from all the stuff that he reads ... he'll spend the rest of the day and night lay there reading if I don't irritate him into putting his book down.

"It's early yet, I don't fancy being cooped up in this room all afternoon and evening, yet again we don't even have a television, lets go out and have some fun and do something different for a change!!  You said yourself we can start relaxing now, there aren't any vampberry dens for miles!!"  I say as I throw myself forcefully on the bed purposefully making it bounce, he hates it when I do that, he looks up, a little annoyed, from his book.

It's alright for him he can read, and yet again we have no television in the room so no doubt I'm going to be lay here twiddling my thumbs, bored out of my skull all night while he's not interested in talking because he's too busy reading and Storm is outside as bored as I am on vampberry watch.  There is only so much drawing that I can do.

"Like what?"  he says frowning at me

"I don't know - window shopping, cinema, bowling, pub, club ......"

"Wow!!  Slow down ... alcohol and your medication don't mix!"   I start moaning that I am sick of being cooped up bored out of my brain, it's no fun living with a bookworm and it's driving me insane.  For once can't we just go out and enjoy ourselves for a change, something we haven't done since all this started!!  I reminded him we haven't even celebrated my birthday yet and I bet Mosaic and Coral did!!

"Pretty please .... you know you are my favourite brother!!"  I say in a baby voice to him, he laughs and rolls his eyes at me

"You don't want to let Mosaic hear you saying that!!"

"He wouldn't care ... he hates me ... I'm 'Daddies spoiled brat' remember ... although Mo might be a little sore that I get on with his best buddy!!"  I laugh  "Oh come on!!  I'm sure you can stop being a nerd for one night!!"  he laughs again and surprisingly says okay without any arguing, I can have a couple of drinks and that's it!  Yeah ... we'll see!!

"Tell your ghost to get his glad rags on"  River says as he walks into the bathroom.

This made me and Storm really laugh.

On the way to finding a place to drink we walked passed a small row of shops.  I would have been quite happy going to the dive bar we saw future up the road but River insisted on going the other way, because the guy at the motel had told him there was a bowling alley further up the road, so that is were we are headed.  As we walked past the first shop I was glancing through the windows and a guitar caught my eye, so I stopped to look at it.  Now I'm really glad we walked this way!!  River carried on walking not realizing I'd stopped to look in the shop window ... I had to call him back.

"How much is the guitar?"  I asked River and he told me $300.

I nearly fell through the floor, not sure I'd heard him properly I asked him to repeat the price, which he did and again he said $300.

"River .... Get it for me ... PLEASE ... and I'll pay it all back in tips I earn from busking!!"  I say still staring at the guitar wandering why it is so cheap.

River starts laughing at me and asks me if I can even play the guitar.  "Of course I can play ... I can play any musical instrument I pick up!!"

"Your having me on Tap!!  How can you when you can't read and have the attention span of a gold fish ... you'd never read sheet music or remember how to play a piece of music off by heart?"  he says frowning at me, then he starts laughing.  I suppose I can't blame him for thinking I'm having him on!!

"I don't read sheet music ... I don't need to ... trust me I can play any musical instrument that I pick up, the piano and guitar I'm really good at ... ask Storm ..."  he starts laughing at me again, yeah telling him to ask Storm was a stupid thing for me to say because he can't, I know he won't believe me until I prove it to him.

"Okay  ... I'll prove it to you!!"  I say to him as I start to walk into the shop laughing at him.  He starts shouting at me quite loudly saying I need to stop I can't go into that shop and so does Storm strangely, but I ignore them both, eager to prove to River that I can play that guitar.

I had only taken a few steps into the shop when a middle aged man came flying quickly across the shop towards me holding his hand up

"Sorry sir you can't come in here!!"  he says looking me up and down almost like I'm a piece of trash.  So I look down at myself for a moment wandering what his problem is, I can only think it's my clothes, then I look around the shop, it looks like some kind of tatty old second hand shop to me, so why can't I go in there exactly.  I frown at him.

"What's your problem mate?!"  I snap at him  "Am I not dressed well enough for you or something ... my top is ripped because it's the fashion ... I'm not a tramp ... if that's your problem!!"  River runs into the shop and tries to grab my arm and pull me out but I shrug him off me, I'm beginning to wander what everyone's problem is ... Storm and River are also telling me I can't go into that shop ... everyone is starting to irritate me.  "So come on MATE!!  Why can't I come into your poxy shop?!"

"Well MATE unless you are blind and utterly stupid ... you can not only see the colour but there is also a very big sign above the door that tells you this is a GREEN shop ... not an orange shop so YOU can't come in here!!"  I've never heard so much rubbish in my life, I'm orange so I can't go into his GREEN shop?!  Then it registered what he'd actually said to me and I start laughing

"Actually MATE I am both colourblind and dyslexic and all I want out of your GREY shop with the big sign of gibberish over the door is that guitar in the window!!"  he starts laughing at me and tells me to pull the other one and sling my hook before he calls the police.

"Actually, he seriously is both colourblind and dyslexic ... I'm sorry ... he didn't realise!!"  River says  "We come from a very small town and we don't have colour shops, he's never even seen a colour shop before ... I'm sorry we'll leave now!!"  he says grabbing me quite forcefully with the help of Storm and tugs me out of the shop.  With the pair of them pulling and pushing at me I had no choice but to leave the shop.  Storm is already having fits of laughter before we get through the shop door.

"What The Fudge!?"  I snap at River, "Do orange berrys have a decease that fades off green berry's or something?! Im orange so I can't go into his poxy green shop ... I've never heard such rubbish!!"  I'm highly confused. He pulls me round the corner away from the shop window and bursts up laughing.  I'm not finding this very funny so why is he  .. and Storm for that matter??!!  I glare at them both.

"All I want out of your Grey shop with the big sign of gibberish over the door is that guitar in the window"  he repeats what I'd said in the shop and double's up laughing almost hysterically holding his stomach, he's like it for ages and I'm getting very annoyed because he's not telling me why that just happened.

"For Berry's sake ... STOP laughing and tell me what's funny ... because I don't think it is!!"  I snap at him

He straightens himself up and tries to talk through his laughter  "I'm sorry Tap, it's not your fault, I should have warned you ... they have colour coded shops, everything in that shop is green, you can only go into and buy from your own colour shop ... like you can only wear your own colour clothes!"  I've never heard anything so ridiculous ... they really go that far?!

"So I can't buy that green guitar because I'm orange."  he shakes his head and says no I can't and I couldn't go out in public playing it either seeing an orange berry playing a green guitar would cause offense and I'd probably get arrested for it ... I'll have to look for one in an orange shop.  "Well that is just downright pathetic and  just great, how am I supposed know which are the orange shops, to me all these shops are grey with gibberish over the door!!  I suppose you are going to tell me in a minute I can only talk to orange berry's too!!"

"No, they don't go that far yet! but I'm surprised they don't!!!"  he says still laughing.  "I'm sorry Tap, I keep forgetting you come from a colour mix town and you don't know how these colour coded towns work ... especially as I've pretty much sheltered you since we left Apple Hill."  This is the first time I've actually been anywhere near a shop since we left the vampberry den, I've always stayed in the car with Storm while River has nipped into shops to get what we need, at first he couldn't trust me not to do anything stupid, then it just became a habbit.

"You do know don't you, you can't go chatting up anyone who isn't orange either, in the horrible colour coded world outside of Sugar Valley ... you are only allowed to date and marry your own colour ... for berry's sake never tell anyone Honey is yellow or Winter is blue ... or we'll both get locked up!!"  He said something that hit me like a slap in the face.

"IS yellow ... don't you mean WAS yellow!!"  he mumbled 'you know what I mean' and walked away so I couldn't see the look on his face.

We decided to go into a nice quiet looking bar a few doors away from the bowling alley, River's way to control my drinking no doubt, two in there then we are spending the rest of the night bowling.  As soon as we walked in I spot the piano, but I had actually heard it first, from outside, being played quite badly.  I followed River up to the bar laughing to myself thinking I'll show him I can play that piano when that guy stops butchering that piece of music.

"He's butchering that piece of music!!"  I say to River who frowns at me, but says nothing as he turns to the guy behind the bar to order our drinks.  The guy playing the piano keeps hitting some really bad bum notes and it's really starting to irritate me!!  I have missed not being home and not being able to play the piano or the guitar when I want to ... which is most of the time ... I am actually itching to get my hands on that piano keyboard  "I can't stand it anymore!!"  I say to River as I wander over to the piano, he shouts after me but I ignore him.

"Hey mate ... you're killing that piece!!"  the bloke on the piano looks up at me and frowns  "You keep hitting bum notes ... you are killing it!!"

he stares up at me for a moment then stops playing and stands up.

"Go on then mate ... if you think you can do any better ... go for it ... let's hear you play that piece!!" he waves his hand towards the piano and snatches the sheet music away for the piece he was playing and stands smirking at me as he starts folding it up.  He must of  thought he was being clever  ... thinking I'm not going to be able to play it without the sheet music, probably hoping I'd back down and clear off ... well he's got another think coming!!

"Don't need your sheets, I can't read them anyway!!"  I laugh as I sit down and start playing the same piece of music that he was playing, a piece I've played probably a millions times before back home, it's Dads favourite piece of music and I play it mainly when I'm trying to suck up to him.

After only a few minutes I hear the guy swearing under his breath as he walks away.  I laugh to myself as I carry on playing quite happily, thinking he's not shifting me off this piano again until we leave and go bowling.

A pint glass is put down on the top of the piano and I look up to see River standing there staring at me wide eyed.  "I told you!!"  I laugh at the expression of shock on his face.

"How the fudge are you even doing that Tap?"  he asks me quite shocked  I tell him just from listening to Dad playing, he frowns at me "But how Tap can you read sheet music?"

"Obviously not you wally!!"  I say to him and he looks up to the stand and rolls his eyes, he can probably see whatever sheet music is there is not the piece of music I'm playing.  "No I can't read it, I don't know how I do it ... I play by ear and I just feel the music ... when Dad buys new music sheets, he plays it for me once then I've got it.  I've been playing the piano like this since I was a child, he doesn't like it because he's says I can play better than he can."   He was also pretty surprised that Dad also plays the piano, he didn't know.

"I play the piano too"  he says and starts laughing  "But not as well as you do I don't think!!"  he scratches his head  "What other instruments can you play?"  so I told him anything ... guitar, base, violin, drums  "and you play them the same as the piano?" I told him pretty much yes.

"Guitar music isn't exactly piano music is it, so how do you learn that?"

"Storm and his Dad, Prelude, my Uncle, he's a guitarist in a band .. I listen to him mostly and I listen to a lot of rock music."  he smiles at me.

"I've heard you singing, you are pretty good at that too aren't you!!"  he smiles at me  "Okay, well I suppose I'll have to see about getting you that guitar that you wanted .... but not that green one!!" he starts laughing.

Oh ... I AM getting that green one ... he just doesn't know it yet!!!

We start taking it in turns to play ... while he drinks, I play and visa versa ... he doesn't need sheet music either and he, likes me, knows a lot of piano pieces.  I'm quite amused, neither of us knowing the other one played, we are both passionate about music and we've talked about a lot of things but I don't know why the subject of music and musical instruments has never come up before now.

We start to laugh after a while as we suddenly realize we are getting a steady stream of free drinks brought for us by people inside the bar.  First two pints were put on the piano, and we thought the woman who bought them us was just being very kind, we'd almost finished those and was really surprised when someone else brought us another two drinks over  ... we actually spent all night in that bar happily playing the piano and drinking free beer.  We were having so much fun that neither of us mentioned going to the bowling alley and River didn't even notice how much we were actually drinking ... way too much for me.

Half way through the night, when I was making my way to the toilet a man from behind the bar called me over. He told me he was the landlord and I thought at first he was going to have a go at me for us hogging the piano all night, but it was quite the opposite, he wanted to know if either of us or both of us wanted a job playing the piano regularly.  I was a little surprised by him saying that.  He said that our piano playing was actually attracting people into the bar ... they hadn't been this busy in ages ... this really made me laugh, he even said he'd pay us for tonight if we stayed until midnight.  I told him to go and speak to River while I went to the toilet ... I wasn't going to make the decision ... I really don't know if River would go for it? ... I laughed to myself all the time I am using the bathroom ... being paid to play the piano which I love doing, kind of amused me.

River is laughing to himself when I get back to the piano.

He told me he'd accepted the two days work or three depending on how long they take to repair the car.  "See you was moaning only the other day you'll never get a job with your problems, you've got one already!!"  he says smiling at me.  "I can think of quite a few places back home where you can get a job with your musical tallent!!"

I am actually surprised that River agreed to take the work, but he says what else have we got to do here while we are hanging around waiting for the car to be repaired, I've got to start somewhere and we both enjoy it so why not!!  Somehow I get the feeling he's only done this for my benefit, to prove to me I can work like everyone else, even with my problems.

I'm not sure he's even thought about all these drinks that we keep getting bought for us.  Just as I thought it another two pints were put down on the piano.  We both just looked at them and laughed ... this was not exactly what we had planned when we left our motel room earlier, we had planned on two drinks then a night bowling, its ended up us getting paid to play the piano all night and free drinks to boot.

I look around suddenly remembering Storm, I wander where he is because I hadn't seen him for a while, I feel a little guilty for not thinking about him for ages, but I know piano music is not really his thing so I'm not surprised he hasn't been hanging around with us.

Then I noticed he is causing mischief over by the dart board, knocking peoples darts flying off course before they hit the board.  He's laughing his head off, it looks like he's found his own entertainment.

At midnight, we staggered out of the bar ... as soon as the fresh air hit us we both realized we had both drank just a little bit too much ... it was only then that River commented on me having way more than two pints.  We both started laughing hysterically as we stumbled down the road holding each other up, arguing playfully over just how many we had actually had to drink, me trying to convince him I'd only had three, of course he was having none of it.  Storm is dancing around us laughing at the state that we are in.

We were both hungry, we had planned to eat at the bowling alley, but we never got there.   Being so intoxicated we both literally fell into the kebab shop, both of us tripping up the step and landing flat on our faces ,River sprawled across the top of me after he landed on my knocking the wind out of me, he rolled off me and onto his back next to me and we both just lay on the floor laughing hysterically ... we were both totally hammered!!

The guy from behind the counter came round to help us get up off the floor, because we were holding up other people who are trying to get into the kebab shop.  I thought he was going to throw us out for being drunk and disorderly, but he didn't.  I vaguely remember him saying something like he sees people like us in here all the time.

We ordered food then went and sat outside on the bench to eat it.  After we'd finished eating we carried on sitting there talking rubbish, not caring about the dark, what time it is or even what we are talking about ... whatever River is saying to me is just going over my head, my head too full of alcohol to take in what he's saying and I think he's in exactly the same state as I am.

I remember thinking ... I've never had so much fun and if only Dad could see us now he would go ballistic at us both!!  I could just imagine the lecture we would be getting right now.

We had made a little detour to get to the kebab shop, so once we had finished eating and putting the world to rights waffling rubbish, we started off again, staggering down a dark alley which took us back onto the street that our motel is on.

We were just talking stupidity and laughing, so smashed we didn't have a care in the world, it was the first time either of us had been out in the dark since we set off from Apple Hill, the dark hours have scared both of us for the past few months, but tonight neither of us have even noticed or commented on the fact we are out past midnight stumbling around like a pair of idiots in the dark.

I'm not sure how we managed to find our way back to the motel safely.  As soon as we got into our room we both threw ourselves onto the bed fully clothed and passed out.

Waking up the next morning with the hangover from hell, is not much fun!!  I open my eyes and just lie on the bed as my head is swimming around.  I can hear the shower running in the bathroom River is already up.

I sit up and as I do my stomach rolls and my head starts swimming, I sit for a few minutes waiting for my head to settle a little before I scramble off the bed and stumble my way clumsily over towards the coffee machine, to make myself a coffee.  Something I've never quite got, why most of the rooms we stay in have a coffee machine, but no television.

I sit down and start drinking it, after only just a few mouthfuls my stomach starts rolling really badly again, and I start feeling really sick, I have to put down the coffee quickly as I start to heave.

I barge through the bathroom door and just about make it to the toilet before I start throwing up violently.

River shouts at me as he jumps out of the shower and grabs a towel which he puts round himself.  At first he wasn't too amused at me barging in on his shower, but as he stood there dripping water all over the tiled floor watching me with my head down the toilet he starts laughing.

"That will teach you to drink too much!!  Three pints my arse!!"  he laughs at me, I'm amused that he remembers are debate from when we first left the bar last night ... I'm wandering why he doesn't feel ill, we both drank the same amount last night  "Last night was a one off ... its flavoured water for you from now on!!"

"Why aren't you sick?"  I ask him between bouts of throwing up

"Your condition and medication don't help you know that and you are not used to drinking that much it's no wander you are sick!!"  he sighs  "I should never have let you drink that much last night ... I should have known better!!  but it definately won't be happening again!!"

There is a quiet knock at the door and I wander who on earth it could be.  River goes to answer the door.  As I stumble out of the bathroom he is just closing the door and he has a tray in his hand "Room service"  he says  "You'll feel better after you've eaten some breakfast ... I've ordered you some dry toast."

I stand in the doorway of the bathroom watching him eating cereal, just looking at the food has me running back into the bathroom to throw up again.

Of course I'm going to be refusing to eat any of that ... I don't do breakfast at the best of times ... I'd never keep any food down right now.

River wanders around the room like there is nothing wrong with him while I have the hangover from hell which I end up sleeping off for the rest of the morning and part of the afternoon.  Every time I open my eyes he's lay on the bed next to me reading his book.  My head is still banging when I sit up but I don't feel sick anymore.  He gives me painkillers for my headache.

We were due at the bar for a nights piano playing at 6pm, we basically had 3 hours of playing each until midnight but we planned to do the same as the night before, take it in turns on and off .... WITHOUT the drinking.  I laugh to myself because if tonight is anything like last night I don't know how we are going to avoid it with people just buying and bringing us drinks.  Of course, River had already got that all sorted out ... he had a word with the landlord, we now have a tips jar on the bar and on top of the piano, which ironically were empty pint glasses.  So instead of drinks we got tips instead, River did have a few pints during the night but I was strictly kept on flavoured water, and I drank a few cups of coffee too in between, but it didn't actually bother me because I still felt like shit and didn't want to wake up tomorrow feeling like I've felt all day today.

Drinking coffee amuses me, while Dad has always been very anti me drinking it at all, River has a different spin on it, in moderation coffee is good for people with my condition because it has a calming effect.  I like coffee so I'm not going to argue with him if he lets me drink it without giving me earache over it, as long as I don't drink it too much.  I wander sometimes if it isn't the coffee that is helping me control my temper,  I'm not so irritable, and I can control my tantrums and outbursts a lot better now.

River bought us some bar food and I had more coffee out of the tips jar and I did actually feel a lot better after I'd eaten it and I kept it down, the painkillers that I'd taken earlier had worked on my headache so by the end of the night I was feeling almost normal again.

We enjoyed our night playing the piano even without the alcohol and our six hours in the pub flew by.  Storm again spent the night again causing mischief with people playing darts, I think what amused him most was the amount of people who went to the bar complaining that the darts and flights are faulty and they need changing.  When he got bored with the dartboard, he came and started causing mischief with me ... dancing on top of the piano, I could have throttled him at one point because he kept making me laugh and he was distracting me from playing the piano and I couldn't really shout at him without making myself look mental.

We actually ran over time playing and didn't leave the bar until after 1 am in the morning.  River said he is hungry again, he's always hungry I don't know how he eats so much.  We wandered over to the kebab shop that we made a fool of ourselves in the night before to get ourselves a bag of chips to eat on the way back to the motel.  We walk down the alleyway arms linked and talking as we are sharing the chips that I'm holding.

Suddenly Storms starts shouting from behind me.

There is a sudden blur and a noise that I unfortunately recognize straight away which makes me shudder.

I drop the bag of chips all over the floor as the shock of what is happening hits me.

Stood right in front of me and River ... are three men and there eyes are shining brightly.



Song: Who's They - Daughtry


  1. Oh it is so nice to see Tap all grown up. I was cracking up at them getting toasted and playing the piano. I knew this chapter was to good to be true....something was coming I could feel it. They let their guard down for too long!

    Those vamps look familiar ;-)

    1. LOL - yes I much prefer him all grown up!! I enjoyed writing the boozy part - they thought they could relax now moving away from where the vampberrys are supposed to be - its just a good job those three didn't appear the night before!!

      Yes :D I know you've seen those three vamp's before :D Im working on a familiar faces page - as I might be using other EA premades in the future berried - I have to drag Marty into this somehow - he's had a finger in all my other legacy's so far - lmao ... so you never know - he might appear with a bit part one day!!

  2. Oh Tap grew up in all the time that he's had to be away from home. Cool! It's nice Tap and River got a job, but maybe they should have been more careful when they left so late at night, maybe had Storm do some checking before leaving the bar every night. Them falling on the floor in the kebab shop was pretty funny, LOL.

    1. They thought they could relax, they should have been free of the posibility of bumping into any vampberrys - but obviously they was wrong!! It is quite amusing how everyone is picking out the part where they fell on the floor in the kebab shop ... because I giggled myself silly while I was writing that because I could actually see them doing it myself in my head.