Friday, 18 April 2014

Chapter 26 - Part 2 - Gen 2 - Tapestry

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"DAD!!"  I didn't give him the chance to say anything else, I throw myself at him.

After he has finished hugging and kissing me and we have both calmed down a little he holds me at arms length and looks at me.  I see him frowning as he looks me up and down slowly.

"Fudge I didn't even recognize you ... I've still got that little boy in a hat in my head!! .... and what is with the glasses ... after all the fuss you used to kick up!!"  he starts frowning at me again then.

... oh here it comes!!  He is so predictable!!


"What has that brother of yours let you do to yourself!!"  I start laughing at him as he pulls gently on my earring, I might have known, he is going to disapprove of my clothes, hair, earrings and beard, he is such an old fashioned stuffed shirt!!  If I'd been at home he would never have let me get away with any of it.

"Why is your top all ripped, have you been fighting, you look like a scruff!!"  me and Mulberry both laugh at him as I tell him this is how I brought it out of the shop, it's the fashion these days "You definitely need a hair cut after we have got you back home ... and you best not have any tattoos!!"  he starts tugging at my hair and inspecting it closely while he pulls a face  "What in berry's name have you done to your hair?!"  he asks frowning at it.

"Cut the boy some slack Mango!!"  Mulberry starts laughing  "He looks okay to me ... you are such a nerd sometimes!!"  We both stand there laughing at him  "So River has been telling me ... he is going to be a rock star one day ... I think you might have to get used to his look ... it's part of the territory!!"  Dad rolls his eyes at us then stares over at the old man in the bed. 


I suddenly remember the concert tickets that Rocky has given me so while Dad is STILL moaning about my hair as he is picking all the papers up off the floor, that he has dropped, I go over to speak to Mulberry.

"Talking about rock stars ... please tell me you are still going to be here tomorrow night!!"  I say to Mulberry with a grin on my face, because I know he is going to like this.

Mulberry says he's not sure and looks at Dad, who is now stood staring at the old man, and mumbles that he wants to stay a few days as he's here so he can spend some time with River now he's finally getting the chance to actually see him, he says it without taking his eyes off the old man ... he looks deep in thought.

"Great!!  While Dad and River are doing some Daddy Son bonding and baby sitting Crystal .... me you and Denim can go out ... I've got tickets for Rocky's gig tomorrow night ... and back stage passes!!"  Mulberry starts grinning at me.  "and wait till you see my guitar!!"  I start telling Mulberry the story about how I got my Iconic Jam guitar for $300 out of a second hand shop.  We are both laughing our heads off imagining how Prelude is going to react when he see's it, he's been after one for years but could never afford one.

"It's okay you two stood there laughing ... now we have another really big problem don't we ... another headache you've caused us Tapestry!!"  he raises his eyebrows at me.  "The old man!!  How the fudge are we going to get around this one?!"  he sighs  "I for one am going to be very glad when this is all over, I'm sick of my head permanently hurting!!"


Me and Mulberry turn to stare at him for a moment, at first I'm not too sure what he's getting at, then it dawns on me, Dad plans to take the old man to Sugar Valley ... he's going to realize who I am the minute I get home and that I have been in Rainbow Valley for the past six months.  I hear Mulberry mutter fudge under his breath.

"You've only got yourselves to blame for this one ... Keep treating me like the idiot child and these things are going to happen!!  I'm sick of being kept in the dark because I'm always bumping into things I shouldn't!!  Then you have the cheek to blame me!!"  they both frown at first, but I can see Mulberry face changing he is dying to laugh at me  "If I'd known he was here in the first place I might have been able to avoid him completely, I didn't even know Grape Orchid existed until I picked him up out of the gutter passed out and bleeding ... he was just one of the regular drunks that I saw everyday in the bar where I work ... until Storm told me otherwise, it was just a good job Storm knew who he was or it could have been a disaster!!" I laugh at them "But even he was treating me like an idiot ... he helped me carry the old man home - THEN he decided to tell me!!"

They both look at each other in a very strange way, I presume it's me talking about Storm like he's a real person ... but he is to me ... to them he's faded and gone.  They probably think I'm now totally mad as they have never believed I can see ghosts, but I don't care what they think anymore because I know I'm not mad like they were making me believe I am.

"Where is Storm?  Is he here now?"  Mulberry asks me which surprises me  "We know you see and speak to Storm and Cosmic's spirits, Jazz and Maizie have told us."

"Oh so suddenly you believe I'm not the idiot imagining that I'm seeing ghosts now ... because Jazz and Maizie have told you!!"  I say to Dad sarcastically, I'm not sure why but all of a suddenly I'm starting to feel irritated.  "All those years I tried to tell you and you kept calling me an idiot ... and just to set the record straight finally it WAS Cosmic who pulled me and Mom out of the fire ... not me!!"  Dad just stands there looking at me saying nothing.  "and Storm is at home looking after Crystal ... she sees and speaks to spirits too!!  So now you have two crackpots to contend with!!"

"The old man."  I know Dad is now trying to get rid of the awkward silence that I've just created by getting snappy "Nobody even suggest Jazz either, because it's going to be weeks before we can get Jazz anywhere near him!!"  Dad says now rubbing his neck because he's all stressed out.

"I think you might just have to tell him the truth ... omitting our friends with fangs."  I know he likes me and I doubt the old man would want Mulberry especially going to prison, after what he has said to me tonight, I think he'd keep his mouth shut to get the chance to put things right with his family.

"FORGET THAT!! Tap you don't know what this man is like!!"  Mulberry snaps at me

"You know what ... I don't even know what we are stressing for!!"  Dad starts laughing suddenly  "I am half expecting him to come legging it straight back here anyway when he's well enough ... you know what he's like Mulberry - it will take him minutes to upset everyone, he won't hack all the mixed berries, the sight of Lilly and Affair will just send him off on one, as long as he doesn't see Tapestry in Sugar Valley ... we might never need to do anything just let him come right back here to his miserable life!!"


"Don't forget there is Winter too!! and the old man saw River tonight when he went to ours looking for Winter."  I tell them  "He knows Winter... he's seen River, he knows River is my brother ... the minute he see's River or their blue and orange baby ...  I doubt it will take him long to work it all out!!" 
 
Dad frowns at me and asks how well does he know Winter ... he's all stressed out again now, he thought for a moment this was going to be easy but it isn't!!

"Not too well, he was after her because he wanted to talk to a doctor about his liver problem ... but I think you also might be very disappointed about him coming back here ... his liver problem has scared him, he's also very lonely ... he's told me tonight he loves and misses his kids ... I think he wants to put things right with everyone but he thinks it's too late, he thinks you will just slam the door in his face!! ... so you need to keep thinking ... I'm not sure he's the same man that you last saw 20 years ago!!"

The door opens and the conversation has to stop when the two doctors walk in, the doctor who was here before and another one who I presume is the consultant that Dad has demanded to see.  Dad switches straight back into obnoxious mode with both of the doctors, me and Mulberry both sit down watching and listening to him ... he makes me laugh ... it is no wander River was too scared to approach him if this is how he has seen watching him operate at work.  I'm seeing a side to my Dad that I've never seen before.

"Who are you anyway, Dr Muffin ... his doctor?"  the new doctor is frowning and asks Dad who starts laughing   

"No, I'm not his doctor, I'm his Son in Law and your worst nightmare, because you are NOT brushing me off with any of your colour coded flannel ... "  I see the consultant glances at the old man then at Dad, I'm guessing he's just spotted the colour difference as his face changes almost to a look of disgust.

"Look I don't know who you think you are ... but you can't come throwing your weight around in this hospital and threatening to do transplants using my staffs organs!!"  the new doctor snaps at him ... how pathetic ... like Dad would actually do that!!  By the look on the consultants face you would think he has taken the threat seriously.


"I'll throw my weight around wherever and whenever I feel like it ... especially in this farce of a place that you call a hospital ... I am usually a reasonable man, but I'm also not going to be fobbed off with this incompetent rubbish you are trying to sell me ... like I told your staff here ... that old man has as much right to live as anyone ... I don't much like the old drunken berry hole much myself ... but you want to put him down like a dog and I am not having it!!    Now you are telling me I can't have him transferred to Sugar Valley ... what kind of bullshit is this?!"  Dad is now getting angry ... I've never heard him swear so much.

"I'm sorry but we have no nursing staff who would be willing to accompany the patient into a colour mix town!!"  he almost spat out the words colour mix.  Dad really laughs for a while and I'm not even sure what has amused him so much.

"Fudge berry ... heaven forbid they might catch something ... well you don't need to worry your brainwashed brain cells for one second longer ... I'm medically trained enough to accompany the patient into a colour mix town all on my own!!"  Dad spat the word colour mix back at him

"We can't just let you take off with a patient you could be anybody!!"  the doctor snaps  "That is providing the patient actually want to go to a colour mix town with you!!"  

 I can see that Dad is now getting very angry ... I see him doing that thing that he does ... he looks away from the conversation for a moment and gets a strange look on his face, he's done it to me a million times, and he does it usually before he looks back at the person he's talking to and goes off on one.



"Are you actually trying to be awkward on purpose ... suddenly you care about the patient well being and feelings - a patient who I might add you want to just leave there to fade - as for whether he want's to go to Sugar Valley, unless you haven't noticed he's not in any fit state to make that decision right now, so I'm making it for him and if that's not good enough for you, his son is standing right there and his decision will be the same as mine ... and I hardly see the old man refusing to go to Sugar Valley where we WILL be giving him the new liver that he needs to keep him out of his coffin  ... which you have probably already got ready and waiting for him downstairs with his name neatly written on it!!"  Dad is killing me and I'm dying to laugh but I know that I can't.

"No I'm sorry ... like I said ..."   the consultant starts but Dad just cuts him off

"I don't care what you've said and I'm sick of standing here listening to your bullshit excuses!!"  This really makes me laugh because they are hardly able to get a word in edgeways, Dad is doing all the talking "I'll introduce myself shall I, I'm Dr Mango Muffin - Head of Neurology and Chief Neurosurgeon at Sugar Valley Hospital, so I'd say I'm well over qualified for the job of transporting a patient wouldn't you!!" 

"Well we only have your say so about that!!"  Dad suddenly starts laughing quite loudly

"I don't even know why I'm bothering to stand here wasting my time and arguing the toss with you two when I can just go straight over your heads anyway!!"  he's now getting very snappy "... and mark my words, if I have to do that then your heads will be rolling!!  This is a hospital not a veterinary practice ... you two are obviously working in the wrong profession!!"

The door opens and a man wearing a suit walks in with two security guards ... Oops!!!  Now I wander what he's going to do, this is going to be interesting.  The suit guy looks very serious when he walks into the room.

"So what's the problem?" he glances at Dad and smiles politely  "Dr Curd, Dr Midnight, where exactly is this mad man that you wanted security to remove from the building?"


"Dr Strong, we called security because this man just threaten to do the patients transplant himself using Dr Curds liver"  The consultant points at Dad ... does he even know how pathetic he sounds?!  "He claims he's a doctor and thinks he can come in here and throw his weight around just because he doesn't like the decision we've made."

Dr Strong steps in front of Dad and crosses his arms and stands there just staring at him, so Dad does the same, he crosses his arms and stares back ... I thought for a moment it is all going to kick off and Dad is going to end up being thrown out of the hospital ... suddenly they both start laughing quite loudly at each other.

"Oh Mango ... mate, you never change do you!!"  he carries on laughing  "You know this reminds me of that time you threatened to amputate all of my fingers in theatre because you didn't like the way I was doing a valve replacement and I wouldn't step away from the patient when you told me to!!"  they both start laughing  "Only I wasn't stupid enough to think you would actually carry out that threat!!  Even when you had the scalpel hovering over my hand!!"  he stops laughing and starts glaring at the two doctors.

So it's not just me who thinks they are being pathetic!  

"It's okay I'll deal with this!!  The mad man's bark is far worse than his bite!!"  the man in the suit starts laughing again as he waves the security guards away and they leave the room.

Dad who hasn't stopped laughing yet shakes Dr Strong's hand and hugs him.  I'm smiling and laughing in my head, Dad is just so jammy to already know the bloke in the suit!!  The looks on the faces of the other two doctors is classic ... I'm finding it very hard to keep the laughter in my head!!

"Mango what are you doing here ... are you finally gracing us with your surgical skills?  I heard on the grapevine you will be doing the rounds here soon like your old man."



"No that doesn't start until next month ... I'm on a mercy mission at the moment ... Perry please tell me you've not transferred to this joke of a place!!"  Perry laughs and says unfortunately  "You should have stayed in Apple Hill - this is a veterinary practise not a hospital!!"

"Dr Strong do you know this guy?!"  the consultant asks him, which I think is a pretty stupid question when even I have picked up on that fact!!  I'm beginning to think he might be as thick as two short planks!!

"Yes, I do know him ... and if you read your medical journals properly - so should you!! ... this is Spicey Muffin's son!! ... he's also one of the best neurosurgeons on the planet so you'll find this mad man has every right to claim he's a doctor and throw his weight around wherever he wants to!!  This hospital especially has been trying to lure him away from Sugar Valley for close on 20 years ... I'm not sure Dr Leech will be too impressed to find out you have been upsetting Dr Muffin, seeing as we have only just managed to pursuit him to start training our surgeons!!"

I heard one of the doctors mumble  'Oh Fudge!!'

 "How is your Dad Mango? I haven't seen him for a while."  I know my Granddad is a world renown surgeon and being a pure berry he is able to leave Sugar Valley freely and is quite often away at different hospitals doing surgical training ... I guess these two must know him. 

"He's okay thanks ... he's due out here in a few weeks."  he laughs  "Maybe I ought to warn him, this place needs a shake up!!  The vets need weeding out!!  They will definitely be getting weeded out on my watch!!"  Dr Strong starts laughing suddenly 

"Dr Midnight ... It seems you've just introduced yourself to your new Mentor ... seeing as you are moving onto Neurology in a few weeks and Dr Muffin here is taking over from Dr Farmer next month."  Dr Midnight just looks down at the floor while Dad starts laughing  ... and off he goes



"Suddenly I'm looking forward to doing the rounds here!!"  he says smirking at Dr Midnight, I think that doctor might have just shot himself in the foot playing Dad up, I'm guessing he's in for a hard time in the future!!  "Which should be a lesson learnt, always make sure you know who you are talking to before you go judging them and winding them up by threaten to put down one of their family members, because you never know when it might just come back to bite you in the arse!!"  I thought he had finished but he had something else to say  "Not that you should be putting down anyone's family, you are Doctors, trained to save every life possible ... not to judge them then play executioner just because you don't like the families lifestyle!!  If this is how you lot work in this place ... it won't be for much longer ... I'll be making sure of that!!"  he laughs again  "And you two unwittingly have just given me the perfect amo to fight my case ... because it is an example of what not to do and I'll be using it as so ... I'm afraid gentlemen this little incident today might just be following you around for a very long time to come!!"

I see my Dad glaring at the two doctors who are now looking very sheepish.  I'm howling in my head ... he got half a lecture in there!!!  Not that I really understood the last part of it.

"What actually is the problem Mango?"  Perry asks.

"My father in law here, apparently is too old and too much of a drunk to have a liver transplant, a purple liver that they say they won't be able to find in time - which is fair enough if that's the colour rubbish here ... so I want him moving to Sugar Valley where he will get a transplant within days of arriving.  Then we get to the crunch ... This might just amuse you Perry ... APPARENTLY none of your staff are willing to go into a colour mix town ... but I'll overlook it if that's how they have been brainwashed. 

"Now that is very strange!!"  Dr Strong scowls at the two doctors  "especially as we are shipping patients to Sugar Valley all the time ... particularly difficult neurology cases for Dr Muffin here to deal with!!  So ... would either of you like to explain that one to me?!"  he asks but he doesn't get an answer, the two doctors both just stand there silently looking very uncomfortable.

Oops!!  I think those two doctors have just been caught out for telling big porkies!! 

"The cat has obviously run away with their tongues Perry!!"  Dad breaks the silence when no explanation is coming from either doctor. Oh berry!! I've never wanted to laugh so much in my life!!    "Anyway, as well you know Perry I am more than capable and qualified to transport the patient ... but even that is not good enough apparently!!  I'm just being dealt one stupid excuse after another because their ONLY intention seems to be to leave the old man there to fade ... but I think we all know what the real problem is here don't we!! ... the excuses started flying thick and fast once they realized he has a colour mix family!!  From the moment they phoned Sugar Valley after his son the old man has been a condemned man!!"  

 Dad suddenly starts laughing quite loudly and turns to face the two doctors with his arms folded, who both now can't even look him in the face properly.

 "I wouldn't mind but that old man always has and always will stick strictly to the colour code ... he has a purple wife and purple children ... it's not him doing the colour mixing  ... it's public knowledge that I am the mixed berry here doing the colour mixing  ... theoretically it's me you should be trying to put down ... not the old man lying in that bed over there ... he's one of your sort ... narrow minded and brainwashed!!"


"Right you two ...GET IT SORTED!!"  Dr Strong turns round and snaps at the consultant  "Anything that Dr Muffin wants or asks for, get it done ... including your liver if he asks for it again!!  Don't think this is the last of it either ... you can both report to my office at close of play!!"  he turns back round to Dad as the two doctors scurry out of the room rather quickly  "I'm sorry Mango, you know you can put in an official complaint if you want to."  Dad starts laughing

"Worrying over his liver and his next round of surgical training should keep them both sweating for a while ... don't think he's getting an easy ride when I've got him in my theatre!!"  they both start laughing "Is this seriously how they operate in this place ... you know before I married Lilly I was weeks away from a transfer to this place, I would never have hacked working in this hospital if this is the way they treat the patients!!"

"I have had quite a shock to the system myself since I've been here, Apple Hill being so close to Sugar Valley, the colour code is a lot slacker there as you know ... here it's a total nightmare ... you are right I should have stayed where I was ... I was a lot happier!!" 

"You know, just as a heads up, there is a vacancy coming up soon that's right up your street, Walker is retiring in four months, they'll be advertising soon!!  You've always said you wouldn't mind transferring to Sugar Valley."  they smile at each other "You know I will always put in a good word for you!!"

"Thanks Mango, I'll definitely keep my eye open for that ... I really do need to move back in that direction ... I doubt I'll last long out here, I'm not sure my nerves can take it!!"  he starts laughing  "They'll be jumping on you soon ... I hear you've just poached our Dr Breeze from trauma, pretty thing she is!!  If I do get to move to Sugar valley she'll think I'm following her around ... she's was at Apple Hill for a while too."  Dad starts laughing quite loudly

"Yes she is a pretty thing ... but hands off Perry that one is out of bounds!! ... she's just made me a Granddad and is soon to be my daughter in law!!"  Dad starts laughing while Perry looks surprised  

"Really!!?? ..."  he starts laughing  "I knew Winter was up to something ... she's been telling everyone here the babies Dad lives in Apple Hill, I think she forgets I was at Apple Hill at the same time as she was ... I've kept my mouth shut even though I knew something didn't quite add us ... there was a big rumour going around when we were at Apple Hill about her and one of the orange doctors ...we suspected there was some colour mixing going on behind closed doors ... when the rumour started flying around quite loudly she shipped out here and Dr Lane ..."  he frowns at Dad suddenly and stops speaking for a moment before he finishes his sentence very slowly like he's just realized something or is trying to work something out  "...moved to Sugar Valley."  Dad starts laughing


"Yes Dr Lane is my eldest son from a previous relationship ... he's not one of Lilly's ... I'm not sure you ever met Maizie." 

"No can't say I did ... Oh Berry!!!  I know Mango quite well, although it has been quite a while since I've seen him ... well I am shocked ... you kept that one quiet!!  and so did he for that matter!!  How did I not see it, he has your name too, thinking about it now it's so damn obvious!! you look so alike!!"  he's laughing   

"Well I guess we should deal with the job in hand ..." Dad says to him suddenly like he's trying to change the subject ... I am actually surprised he has been standing there talking about Winter and River.

"Yes ... I can authorize your Father in Laws transplant here if you want, I know you'll happily bi pass all of their colour rubbish and take the first available liver ... like you said we can get you one within days."

"No, I still want to move him out to Sugar Valley it will make my life a lot easier if he's there ... besides I'm not sure I'd trust these clowns with him now!!"  they just smile at each other for a moment "I just hope they realize I'm not standing for any of this colour rubbish when I'm here surgical training!!"  he starts laughing  "I'll be telling them to stick it quick smart ... they can keep on shipping in the difficult cases to me like they already do ... but if they want me to train their student doctors they'll have to ship them into Sugar Valley too along with the patients!!  ... which is why I don't know where those two get off telling me they have no nursing staff willing to go into a colour mix town!!"

"Don't worry I'll be having strong word with them!!  I know you are right ... the minute they heard the old mans family is in Sugar Valley they condemned him!!  The hatred of colour mixing in this town is particularly bad!! but I think you know yourself, here at this hospital it's only the lower ranks that are particularly bad with their narrow minded views!!" 

"It's time it was stamped out completely ... they definately shouldn't be allowed to get away with treating the patients like they wanted to treat the old man!!" 

Dad and Perry walk out of the room together nattering.

As soon as they left the room I couldn't help but howl with laughter, Mulberry too is laughing his head off.  I'm serious glad that I don't work for him if this is how he carries on all the time ... even though I know he was in the right with this.


I can't help but think that what Rocky was telling me about the hypocrites turning a blind eye to mixed berries with fame, money and power doesn't just exist in the music world ... it must be  happening in all walks of life ... and it's been going on right under my nose with my own Dad and I've never even noticed it ... he leaves Sugar Valley quite often going to different hospitals to do difficult surgical cases, My Granddad does surgical training, which I've just learned my Dad is starting soon.  From what I've just been listening too, it sounds like my Dad must be highly respected in his profession .... Everyone must know he lives in Sugar Valley, everyone must know my Dad is a mixed berry and he definitely isn't trying to hide it, he's not hiding his colour mix family or his disgust of the colour code ... yet the powers that be are turning a blind eye to my Dad being out openly in their world.

"I told you your Dad was on the case!!"  Mulberry laughs  "He kills me!!"

I stop laughing thinking about something that Dad had said about him being a condemned man from the moment they had to phone Sugar Valley after Mulberry ... I can't help but wonder if this is all my fault ... I told them Mulberrys name and address in Sugar Valley.

"Is this all my fault, I told them you lived in Sugar Valley?! ... should I not have told them?!  Dad said that's what condemned him, them finding out he has a colour mix family."

"Don't be stupid ... you did exactly the right thing ... I doubt we would have know he was on his way out otherwise!!"  he studies the look on my face for a moment   "See you would beat yourself up thinking that it's your fault, because you have a conscience  ... that's the difference between our two worlds ... they don't have a conscience because they are too busy being narrow minded  ... they would rather just leave him there to fade than break their precious rules ... for berry's sake they have even dressed him in purple pyjamas!!"  That seems to have tickled Mulberry who starts laughing as he stares down at the old man. 

"You was brought up in this world so why don't you think like they do."

"Probably because of Lilly, I was only a toddler when they sent her away and she was just a child, but I can remember it vividly, she gave me more love and kindness in the short time she was there than my parents did my whole life ... Prelude was evil until Affair arrived, that's what woke him up, because he does actually love his kid unconditionally, which is how it should be, unlike the old man who couldn't even look at Lilly half the time ... colour has never meant anything to me because of Lilly, she was the kindest and most caring person I knew ... this coded world and most of the people in it are very cold and mean!!  So I know which world I'd much rather live in!!"  he goes quiet for a moment as he stares down at the old man  



 I also stare down at the old man  "I don't get it ... Mulberry why is Dad fighting for the old man like this ... I thought everyone hated him and he hates us?"

"He is family  ... and no doubt the old man won't thank us when he wakes up and finds out we are moving him to Sugar Valley and he's getting a liver that hasn't come out of a purple berry, or for saving his life and keeping him alive ... but your Dad will do it anyway ... even though he knows it will all probably get thrown back in his face."

"Because he wouldn't be able to live with himself if he just left him there to rot"  I mumble more to myself because that is how I get myself.  Mulberry starts laughing at me.

"Exactly ... and that's the difference between our two worlds, we don't belong in this world and he doesn't belong in ours!! ... you've picked the old man up out of the gutter twice now ... you know if the tables had been turned he would have looked at your colour and just walked on by and left you lying there!!  You are not a person you are just a colour."

"Actually I think you just might be surprised when he does wake up!!"  Mulberry frowns at me  "Loneliness and death knocking on his door has scared him ... I think you might find he has a totally different attitude now ... as far as his family goes at least!!"

"Him never!!!"

"Honestly ... " 

I start to tell him about the conversation me and the old man had in the bar where I work earlier tonight.  Mulberry just stands there staring at me with a strange look on his face ... I don't think he is believing one word of it ... but I believe what the old man said to me, but only because he didn't know who he was talking to.


 The old man's coughing makes me and Mulberry go quiet ...  

"Tapestry!!"  he calls out to me so I walk over to the bed.  "Son I need some water."  I pour some out of the jug that is sitting on the bedside cupboard, and hold the glass out to him, he props himself up and tries to take the glass but his hand is really shaking so I put the glass to his mouth and he drinks some  "I knew you'd still be here ... you're a good boy!!"  he says as he lies back on the pillow, I hear Mulberry laughing behind me. "Who are you talking to?"  I just stand there not knowing what to say, I look over at Mulberry who just rolls his eyes.

"Me Dad."  Mulberry says as he steps up closer to the bed so that the old man can see him.

"Mulberry? ... is that you?!"  he tries to sit up  "How did you get here son?"  he looks really surprised, Mulberry says on a plane which makes me laugh  "Don't be funny boy, how did you know I was in here?"

"Your friend here told the hospital your kids live in Sugar Valley ... so the hospital contacted me telling me you are about to peg it ... so I thought I'd come and wave goodbye.".

The old man starts laughing, he seems to find it amusing, he grabs my arm gently.


"Do you see how my boy speaks to me!!" he says as he has another one of his coughing fits, I give him some more water when he stops coughing.  Mulberry just stands there staring at him, almost like he's numb. "Mulberry I'm going to adopt this boy ... he's okay for an orange!!"  the old man starts laughing and so does Mulberry for a moment before I watch his face switch.

"So why did you collapse tonight Dad ... I bet you was out getting slaughtered again wasn't you after you have been told you need to quit the drinking ..."   Mulberry is talking to the old man quite nastily like he does to Prelude when he is hammered, I really don't think there is a need for it, he knows how ill the old man is, it's a little too late to be having a go at him now.

"Mulberry he hasn't actually had a drink since last week because he's been in the hospital and he's sat drinking water with me all night!!"

"Well you do surprise me Tap .... if that is even true, I'd bet anything his water was laced with vodka!!"  he starts laughing  "You know Tap when I was a kid he quite often used to give me his vodka laced coffee by mistake ... he laces everything with vodka even the milk in his cereal, he's disgusting, and the idiot didn't think I knew he was a pathetic drunk!!  Just like my brother!!"

"The boy is right Mulberry, honestly I haven't had a drink since last week!!"  the old man holds his very shaky hands out in front of him  "Look I'm clucking!!"

 "It still doesn't change the fact Dad that you are just a selfish drunks like Prelude ... well maybe now you might see what you've done to yourself now its too late!!" 

I've just realized we are slipping up in front of the old man, we have both called each other by our names ... shouldn't we be acting like we don't know each other.


The door opens and Dad walks back into the room on his own with a smile on his face, his eyes firmly fixed on the paperwork in his hand which he is reading as he walks along, he's like a robot, he never stops.  

"Right it's all sorted ... Monday morning, the air ambulance will be picking the old man up ... You know the old bugger is actually in pretty good shape for his age other than his liver and he has got a chest infection." 

So that is what all the coughing has been about tonight, a chest infections, I don't know why I didn't think about it, Crystal did a lot of coughing when she had hers. 

"So Tapestry me and Mulberry have two days to spend with you and River before we go home with your Granddad ... I suppose I should call Prelude and you mother ... "

I just stand there cringing as Dad rattles on ... Mulberry tries to wave at him to shut him up but its too late and he's not really paying much attention his head still buried in paperwork.

"MANGO!!"  Mulberry shouts him to try and stop him from saying anything else, even though it is already too late, he's already said too much.

"What?"  he looks up from the paperwork and frowns at Mulberry for shouting at him 

 He walks up to the bed and he spots that the old man is awake.

Oops!!


The old man just lies there silently staring at the three of us for a while, not one of us daring to speak, he looks at me then looks at Dad then he starts laughing.

"How did I not see it ... he's one of Lilly's boys isn't he!! ... Tapestry you should have told me!!"  he says frowning at me, he signals with his hand for me to move closer to him  "Wisty told me you have colourless eyes ... are you wearing orange contacts?"  he asks still frowning at me.

"Yes ..."  he's still frowning at me

"River, so who is River, you've been telling me he's your brother but how can he be ... Wisty has never mentioned him before?"  he starts chuckling to himself "Is he your boyfriend?"  Mulberry starts howling and I have to laugh quite loudly myself.

"I'm not really gay ... I'm surprised you can even remember that you was totally hammered and you kept on and on asking me if I am gay because of my long hair and the water I was drinking ... I just said yes to shut you up!!."  he starts laughing quite loudly  "River is my half brother ... he's Dad's son, he has a different Mom ... he's older than us and he's also Mulberry's best mate!!"  he just smiles at me 

"You have been here for six months ... you little monkey ... you knew who I was too didn't you!!"  he starts frowning at me then  "Why in berry's name didn't you tell me who you are?!  You could have told me earlier when I was telling you all that stuff!!"

I just stand there staring at him I don't really know what to say ... he should never have found out who I am ... Dad definitely can't blame me for this one, he's the one who's just let the cat out of the bag.

"He didn't tell you because we told him not too ... you two were never meant to cross paths!!  Since your paths did cross, we've told him to keep well away from you ... quite frankly we didn't think you would be interested or want to know after the way you reacted to Storm!!"  Dad says to him, the old man is now just staring at the paperwork in Dads hand and appears to be really confused

"That was nearly 20 years ago ... is an old man not allowed to change his mind?!"  he says, Mulberry and Dad just look at each other with raised eyebrows "Mango why are you here?"


Dad looks at him in surprise then starts to explain to him that he needs his liver transplant sooner than the doctor thought, his liver is deteriorating very quickly and he needs the transplant straight away or he's probably got three weeks left at the most.  How they are refusing to give him the  transplant that he needs at this hospital because of his age and drinking problems and that they recon they won't be able to get a liver from a purple donor in time anyway.

".... so we are taking you to Sugar Valley, where you will get a transplant with whatever colour liver comes along first and I'll probably be doing the transplant surgery myself"  the old man just lies there looking at Dad without saying anything  " You will be seeing a lot of mixed berry doctors and nurses at the hospital including Mulberry's blue wife who also works there ... So if you have got any moaning to do you can get it off your chest right now because I'm not having you showing me up when we get to the hospital in Sugar Valley where I have to work!!the old man frowns at him for a moment.

"No moaning ... just a question ... why are you doing this for me?"

"Because unfortunately, you are family ... and it's what I do ... I'm giving you one last chance to put things right with your family because I know it is what both of your sons want ... but I'm warning you if I hear you call Lilly, Affair or any of your mixed berry grandchildren one single name you will be straight out of the door and on a plane back here quicker than you can blink ... and if I see one drop of alcohol pass your lips I'll be removing that new liver of yours with my bare hands!!"

"That's fair enough!!"  the old man smiles at Dad  "It's about time ... I've been waiting for years to see the Grandchildren that I haven't seen yet!!"  I can hear Mulberry laughing almost sarcastically behind me. "and if they have all turned out like this one here ... then it's going to be just fine!!  You won't be hearing a peep out of me!!" 

What have I actually done for him to like me?! but I have to laugh to myself, according to my family, I am the worst one who causes all the trouble, so if he thinks I've turned out okay then he is going to think all the rest of his Grandchildren are saints and angels!! 

"Mango I seriously think you might need to examine his brain, I think he's got dementia!!"  Mulberry is finding the old mans attitude highly amusing and Dad is just staring at him wide eyed.

  
Dad walks over to the corner of the room and is making a phone call, it sounds like he's talking to someone at Sugar Valley hospital and making the arrangements for the old mans liver transplant. 

"Tapestry ... Well this is a turn up for the books!!"  the old man says as he nudges me  "Above and beyond ... See I told you, he is not so bad!!  and not a word about the house!!"  he winks at me and we both start laughing, Mulberry frowns at us.

"Somebody like to let me in on the joke?"  he frowns at me  "You two seem awfully pally to say you were supposed to have been keeping away from him Tap!!"

"You leave the boy alone ... he's a good boy ... he's done nothing but keep picking me up off the floor!!"  he winks at me  "I see him sitting in the corner all night working, minding his old business playing away on his piano drinking his flavoured water ... if I'd known who he was I would have pestered him a lot more often!!"

"Are you feeling alright Dad, have you had a brain transplant in our absence?!"  Mulberry is frowning at him in a strange way.

I notice Dad has now finished his phone call and is stood there watching us like he's deep in thought again.


I move away from the bed because I can hear what the old man is saying to Mulberry and think I should give them some space.  I go over to Dad because something is bugging me, but he gets in first before I have chance to speak.

"Have you seriously only been drinking flavoured water?  Or is he just covering for you?"  he gives me a strange look.  I roll my eyes at him

"No he isn't covering for me!!  Why would he?!  I haven't touched a drop of alcohol since my birthday ... test my blood if you want because no doubt you won't believe anything I say!!"  I hold my arm out in front of him and he just laughs at me.  "Why did you tell that Doctor about Winter and River wasn't it a little risky?"

"I didn't really have a lot of choice, that's the problem, everyone knows everyone else in these hospitals, me and Perry have been good friends for year ... once he mentioned Winter I couldn't really ignore it and brush it off could I when he finds out later on River is my son and Winter will be my daughter in law he's going to be wandering why I didn't say anything, he could well get suspicious."  he starts laughing  "Besides he needed telling, you don't know what that mans like, he's a damn good doctor but he's a rat where women are concerned ... it was him saying she's pretty that set me off ... its never good when Perry thinks someones pretty ... he's got a really nice wife at home but he's still had more affairs with doctors and nurses than I've had birthdays!! he's always colour mixing himself!! and we've already had one too many disastrous relationship break ups in our family lately!!"

"Who?"

"Oh never you mind, you'll find out soon enough when you get home!!"  he starts laughing  "We need to concentrate on what's going on here not what's going on back home!!"  he says staring at the old man.  Here he goes ... what is he not telling me now ... I can't even be bothered to try getting it out of him ... I'm too tired. "We need to start worrying about what we are going to tell the old man!!"


Mulberry and the old man are now talking quite normally, I notice Mulberry take out his wallet and he is showing him something ... I realize he's showing him a photograph when I hear the old man asking what's wrong with the woman's face, so I guess he's talking about Ice and Mulberry's reply was that Preludes green bitch slashed her face up for fun not long after they left school.

Dad wandered over to speak to the old man for a while before we head off home, I just sit in one of the chairs watching and listening to them in amusement, especially the constant wide eyed stare that is fixed on my Dads face.  The old man is actually quite funny when he's sober, some of the things he is saying to them are making me really laugh.

I think Dad and Mulberry are both a little shocked by how the old man is reacting, especially to me, and how 'nice' he is being to them.  On the way to the car they are debating over how long this new attitude of his is going to last.  They don't believe that when he's got Lilly and Affair and all his mixed berry children around him that he will be able to keep this new attitude of his up or hold his tongue ... which apparently is very viscous once he gets going.


As we are walking across the car park to the car, Dad is waving the car keys around in his hand while he's talking to Mulberry, I snatch them off him with a smirk on my face when we get to the car and tell him I'll drive home.

"Oh no you damn well won't!!"  he snaps at me trying to snatch the keys back, I'm seriously going to enjoy what he's got coming to him!!  I'm not that helpless little child wrapped in cotton wool that he has created anymore ... I can look after myself and do things that he said I'd never be able to do ... driving being one of them ... being away from him for these past nine months has done me more good than he realizes, I actually think it is what I needed to do, otherwise I would always have been trapped in that dependent world of his making.

"I've been driving LEGALLY for months and besides you don't know where we live!!"  he stares at me with a frown on his face as I jump into the drivers seat and start the engine, then he starts moaning at me to get out of the car he's too tired for my games, he thinks that I'm playing him up.  "Suit yourself then walk, it's no skin off my nose!!"

I reverse the car out of the parking space and ask him through the window if he's walking.  He calls me a cheeky sod because it's his hire car but gets into the back of the car anyway while Mulberry jumps in the front laughing and I drive home with Dad looking very nervous in the back.


I sit bolt upright in bed, my ears are ringing with the sound of Crystals loud screaming.

River also sits up very quickly next to me, frowning at me in confusion as he rubs his eyes.  I know he will be wandering why I am sleeping in his bed and not in my own.

Boy has he got a surprise coming!!


After arriving home from the hospital in the middle of the night, I had to find somewhere for Mulberry and Dad to sleep, so I told them both to sleep in my room and I'd jump in with River.

Dad jumped into my bed and Mulberry jumped into the spare bed that had been put in the corner of the room for River to sleep in, which Crystal wouldn't let him use when he came out of the hospital ... she didn't want him in our room so he ended up in Winters room just to keep the peace and to stop her screaming.

Being so tired, I never even gave Crystal sleeping in the room a second thought, and how she would react when she woke up this morning to find two strange men sleeping in her room instead of me.

Me and River both dive out of bed and run out of the bedroom, Denim also comes running out of his room.  Just in time to see Dad come tearing out of the my bedroom into the hall.  He looks like he's in shock, Mulberry follows close behind him, he is howling with laughter as the door slams loudly and forcefully behind him, Crystal is now yelling the house down instead of screaming ... she's telling them to get out.

River is now frozen in shock, he had no idea Dad and Mulberry were here.

"Fudge!!"  Dad stands there as Mulberry is howling at him. 

"Mango I think you went as colourless as she is!!"  Mulberry can hardly speak for laughing.  "You wait till I get home and tell my sister you've had another woman in your bed!!"  he's doubled up and howling



"You will do no such thing!!  You saw exactly what happened!!"  Dad is definitely not amused  "It's bad enough that I've got a strange woman crawling into my bed asking if we can do hugs ... then when I speak to her she bursts my eardrums screaming at me and tries to scratch my eyes out!!"  Mulberry is now almost on the floor in hysterics.  "I wouldn't mind but she was the one who climbed into MY bed!!"  he says as he turns and spots River then just stands staring at him.

"Crystal must have thought she was getting into bed with me!"  I laugh at Dad  "She does it sometimes when she has nightmares."

Me and Denim are now both laughing with Mulberry.  The thought of Crystal getting into bed with Dad asking for hugs is just hilarious!!

Poor River is still frozen to the spot just staring at Dad, who is now starting back at him.


"Tapestry have you been bringing more strays home?"  Denim asks while he's still laughing, he must be wandering who these two strange men are.

"Yeah sorry Denim ... this is our Dad and .... River's best mate, Mulberry"  I nearly said Uncle, but avoided it, even though Mulberry has already put his big foot into it he's virtually told Denim that our Dad shares the same bed as his sister ... I'm not sure if Denim picked up on that but I did.

"T-A-P-E-S-T-R-Y!!"  Crystal is now screaming me from inside the bedroom.

I open the door and Crystal is stood there screaming her head off, as soon as she sees me she throws herself into my arms, she jumps on me and wraps her arms and legs around me ... she is crying quite badly and keeps repeating bad men over and over.


I've now stopped laughing, it's no longer funny because I can see how upset she is.  I feel really bad for not thinking last night, I should have known that she would have been scared to death finding two strange men in the room.

I carry her over to the bed and sit down on the floor with her, she's in a right mess.  I hold her till she calms down and tell her they are not bad men, the orange man is my Dad and the purple man is my Uncle.   She just frowns at me and keeps shaking her head.


Oh Fudge ... what have I done to her!!




~~~~~~

6 comments:

  1. Mango is the best! He sure put those doctors in their place...lol I think it is going to take Mango a long time to realize that Tap doesn't need his coddling anymore. Poor Crystal must be traumatized by waking up to that and I have expected River to pass out from seeing his dad.

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    1. Lol - I think I love Mango, seriously!! I want to immortalize him but I cant :( I think Im going to cry for a week when it's his turn to fade away out of this.
      Yes he is going to struggle to realize he doesn't have to coddle Tap anymore.
      ingame - It is really weird having River and Mango together - I'm struggling to tell them apart from a distance.

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  2. Huh, I could have sworn I commented on this. I guess I only did so in my mind ヽ(´ー`)┌

    Gotta say once again that I love the chapter. Mango really is just amazing- save for his little slip-up revealing Tap, but I can forgive him. I have a feeling Grape will be willing to keep his mouth shut for everyone's safety anyway. His chance at making up with his family is going to run away fast if he ends up getting people thrown in jail XD
    Was hoping to see more of Mango and River interacting, but it was rather amusing to see them just staring at each other.
    Poor Crystal. Girl has got it tough.

    Can't wait for the next chapter! \(^o^)/

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    1. Aww, my smiley got cut in half :(

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  3. LOL I thoroughly enjoyed how Mango's doctor friend put those other doctors in their place. Ahh yeah... Crystal, how confused she must be. No wonder she doesn't believe Mulberry could be related to Tap.

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  4. Aww. . .poor Crystal! She is really confused, but her getting into bed with Mango was hilarious!

    So happy to see Mango with Tap again. And the way he dealt with those doctors. . .awesome!

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