Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Chapter 32 - Gen 2 - Tapestry

As I walk quietly and slowly across the garden and up to the bench, where Crystal is sat holding Vanilla, I seriously think I am going mad for a moment.  I am trying to work out what Crystal is even doing here, at our house, when she is supposed to be at Affairs house.

I am really struggling to take in that she has crept into my room while I was asleep and taken the baby in the first place.  Why would she even do that?!  I hope that she does not think that Vanilla is a doll that she can play with!!  Oh Berry!!  Now I have started to think like my Dad, this reminds me of the time that I took off with Cotton without thinking, now I guess I know just how I made my Dad feel that day when he thought that Cotton had gone missing!!

Crystal is sat on the bench and she is singing quietly to Vanilla.  The song that she is singing I have never heard before, in fact I have never heard Crystal singing in all the time that I have known her.  I am not sure she has noticed me approaching her yet.

I watch Crystal, as she picks up the bottle that is standing on the grass by her feet and starts feeding Vanilla.  She even tips a bit of milk out of the bottle onto the back of her hand like she is testing how hot or cold the milk is - this shocks me!!  I am wandering if Crystal has taken a bottle out of the fridge with vanilla in it as a lucky guess, because Vanilla is drinking the milk without a problem.  I stand and watch her for a moment before I say anything. 

"Crystal?"  I say to her quietly.

I am scared of frightening Crystal because I know how she gets when she is scared. She does not know me, now she has had her memory wiped of me, and she is holding Vanilla which worries me.  I think about how she reacted to me just saying hello to her yesterday afternoon, she did a runner into the nursery to play with Cotton and Affairs Triplets.  I could not help but to go and stand by the door and watch her for a while, she did not notice me standing there watching her, and if she did she did not show it.

I should really be angry with Crystal for putting me through this fright of thinking that someone had taken off with my baby, but strangely I can not bring myself to be mad with her.  Probably because I am just so happy to see that they are both here safe and okay and my stress of thinking that they are both missing is over.  My stomach flips over, to me she looks beautiful sat there like she is, feeding Vanilla while she is still singing to her.

"Crystal?"  I say again when she ignores me the first time  "What are you doing with my baby?"

Crystal stops singing and stands up slowly, but she does not look at me as she continues to stare down at the baby while she carries on feeding the bottle to Vanilla, this makes me nervous!

"I am keeping the baby safe! From the bad lady!"  she says finally and quietly, but still she does not look at me, her gaze is focused on Vanilla. 

"What bad lady?"  I ask as I start to look around thinking that she might be talking about a spirit or even worse a vampberry.  I now know that Crystal calls vampberry's bad people.

"The bad lady, she said she is going to take the baby away to a new place!!"  I just stand staring at Crystal wide eyed.   "She came in the night to take the baby away, but I locked the door so she could not get us.  She has gone now!"

I am very puzzled by what she is saying, but I can only think that she might be talking about Strawberry - who else would want to take my baby away?!  She looks up at me slowly and timidly, I know that look of hers, she is scared and probably waiting for me to shout at her.  I smile at her and she smiles back.  I make the mistake of holding out my hands trying to take Vanilla off her and she steps backwards and away from me. The smile falls off her face and I can see that she is very nervous of me, which hurts me, but I have to keep reminding myself that she does not know me anymore.

"It's okay, I am not going to hurt you!"  I smile at her.

I am a little surprised watching what Crystal does next.  She has finished feeding the bottle to Vanilla, which strangely she hands to me.  She puts Vanilla up on her shoulder and starts to wind her properly.  I wander when and how she has learned to do that?!  All the time that she is patting Vanilla's back she does not take her eyes off me, she looks wary.

"Do you want to put Vanilla back in her cot for me, then you can tell me all about the bad lady."  I smile at her.

I doubt that she will let me take Vanilla off her, and I do not want to risk trying again.  I am very nervous of her getting scared and running off while she is still holding the baby, at least she is not screaming, like she normally would be.  She smiles at me and says okay, so I step aside and follow a short but safe distance behind her as she starts walking towards the back door of the house.  I am nervously waiting for her to suddenly leg it.

I notice that Winter and River must have gone through the front door and are strategically stood by the gate leading to the front of the house, while Sunny and Dad are stood over by the house close to the back door.  They have both exits from the garden covered, I think they might be prepared for her to run, like I am.  At the moment it is what is worrying me the most.  Crystal taking off in fright while she is still holding Vanilla and taking my baby with her, if only my mother or Affair were here, this would be so much easier.

I follow Crystal quietly as she makes her way towards the back door.  When Dad and Sunny see her walking in their direction, they quickly slip off inside the house.  I continue to follow Crystal through the kitchen and she turns to walk down the steps leading down into the basement.  I laugh at Dad and Sunny who are now stood talking in front of the front door, again blocking her exit if she did still try to run, but she doesn't.  I am a little surprised that she seems to know her way around the house so well.

When she reaches the bottom of the basement steps, Crystal walks straight through the nursery and into my room.  Relief washes over me when I watch her place Vanilla down in her cot without a problem.  I stand nervously as I watch Crystal who remains leaning into the cot while she is talking to Vanilla.  She is gibbering away to her like Vanilla can understand the conversation that Crystal is having with her.  This makes me laugh a little.  Then I remember Dad telling me that she is baby and toddler mad, he thinks the toddlers especially are more on her wave length because she is naturally childish.

While I want to check that Vanilla is okay, I can see that she seems to be happy enough, especially as she is not crying.   Not that I know what I am doing looking after a baby anymore than Crystal does, but I have to be careful about how close I get to Crystal or how I talk to her because I am expecting her to run off any minute.  So I stand back at a distance and just watch.

"Are you going to shout at me?"  Crystal asks me suddenly, she looks nervous.

"No!!"  I smile at her  "But, I do need you to sit down and tell me about the bad lady!"

"Okay!"  she smiles at me

I watch her walk over to one of the couches and I notice that she is yawning as she sits down.  I ask her if it is alright for me to sit down next to her and she says it is okay and she smiles at me.  Maybe I am worrying a little too much, I seem more nervous of her than she does of me.  I seriously hate this, I wish I had not had to wipe her memories of me away.

"What happened to your face?"  she turns to look at me  "It looks nasty!!"

 "I was hit by a bad person."  I smile at her.

Crystal sits there just looking at me with a pained expression on her face and I wander what she is thinking about.

"Crystal, I need to know who the bad lady is?"  

"Cherry's sister, I can not remember her name.  She is yellow and red like Cherry."

"Strawberry?"  I ask her

"Yes, Strawberry"  she smiles at me

Crystal starts to explain to me what happened last night.  While they were eating dinner Strawberry turned up to see Cherry, she was upset because her boyfriend, Parsley, had broken up with her.  Crystal had listened to the argument going on between Cherry and her sister and she heard Strawberry saying she was going to take Vanilla away from me, because I can not look after her properly, and Cherry was shouting at her not to.

Crystal sneaked out and came here because the argument upset her, she hates hearing anyone argue and she wanted her teddy bear which she had left upstairs in her room.  She planned to just get her teddy out of her room then go back to Affairs, however, when she got here she decided she likes it here better, so she was going to stay and watch the television in her room.  Crystal said she was looking out of the window and she saw Strawberry coming and she panicked because she thought she was coming here to take Vanilla away, which she was.

She tells me that she ran down here and took Vanilla into the bathroom and locked the door so Strawberry could not get to them.  Strawberry banged on the door, she was calling her names and swearing at her and tried to get Crystal to unlock the door and give Vanilla to her.  Strawberry gave up after a while and left.  Crystal says she stayed in the bathroom until Vanilla started crying so she fed her and changed her nappy and took her up to her room and locked the door.  Vanilla slept on her bed while she watched out of the window to make sure Strawberry did not come back.

I am actually pretty shocked by what she is saying.  First that Strawberry would actually come here during the night and try to take Vanilla, but secondly that Crystal had the sense to do what she did, even though she could have made it a whole lot easier on herself, she should have woken me up.  She has been awake all night trying to protect Vanilla from Strawberry.

"Crystal, why didn't you wake me up when you saw Strawberry was coming?"  I laugh at her

"I thought you might shout at me!!"  she looks at me

"Silly!!  Of course I would not have shouted at you for looking after my baby!!"  I laugh at her but stop suddenly because of her reply.

"You have shouted at me before!"  she looks at me sheepishly  "Lots of times!"  now I am shocked, she should not know or remember that!!

"What?!  When?!"

"I think about you in my sleep!"  she smiles at me  "With your orange eyes and glasses.  You shouted at me for kissing you, for throwing my plate on the floor, for emptying the fridge, for seeing your snake in the shower...."

"Okay! okay ! ... I am sorry!!"

I do not know whether to laugh or cry!!  I just stare at her not quite believing that she has just said all of that!!  Hell!!  Did I not wipe her memories away properly?  She thinks about me in her sleep - she dreams about me.  She still does not get that what she thinks about in her sleep is called a dream.  I hope she is not just dreaming about the bad parts of our time together.  She should not be dreaming about any parts of our time together - should she?!

I ask her if she remembers me and she says she can only remember seeing me twice, but she sees me all the time in her sleep.  I am a little puzzled by that until she explains to me that she saw me getting out of the car and walking into the hospital with Winter and a spirit.  I did not go back far enough.  I wiped away from when she was lay on the bench watching me crying, if I had looked back a little further I would have seen the first time that she actually saw me in Rainbow Valley, I presumed she had only seen me running out of the hospital crying and sitting down on the bench.  That might have been the first time I saw her, but it was not the first time that she saw me!!

I knew what her second memory of me would be before she even told me, because I did, naughtily, leave one minute of her memories intact, that I should really have wiped away.  When we were in the side room on our own in the vampberry den, when I told her that I loved her, it made me feel better about wiping all her memories of us away.  She giggles when she tells me about this memory.  I just want to grab her and kiss her but I do not dare in case she runs off screaming.

So if she only has two physical memories of seeing me what is she dreaming about?  How can she be dreaming about me and things that we have done together in Rainbow Valley, when all of those memories have been wiped away.  I wander if Jazz knows this can or does happen?!

Crystal starts to tell me about some of the dreams that she has been having.  I am a little amused by some of the things that she has been dreaming about, but at the same time I am worried by just how much her dreams are making her remember, of our time together in Rainbow Valley.   While I am very worried that she remembers any of this, secretly I am a little happy.  I had visions of it taking me months to get us back to where we were, somehow I think it is going to be a lot easier than I thought.  The problem is getting her to understand that these dreams of hers have to be kept a secret.  I know she kept my colourless eyes a secret while we were in Rainbow Valley, but I wander if she can keep all of these dreams a secret?

I hear one of the bedroom doors open and I turn to look at who has just entered the room.  My Dad walks into the room, he mumbles that he is just checking on Vanilla. I guessed he would do before too long somehow!!

"Me made cakes in the blue kitchen!"  she giggles  "Winter told us off because we made a mess all over the kitchen and she made you clean it all up!"  she grins at me.

"No, she told us both to clean up but you ran off and left me with all the mess!!"  I laugh at her,  then I wander if I should have just done that!!  Me remembering with her is just confirming to her that these dreams of hers are real, that we did really do these things together.  Maybe I should really be telling her that these dreams of hers are not real!!

"I went into our orange bedroom dancing with your spirit!"  she giggles  "Can we make some cakes in your kitchen?"  she asks with a grin on her face  "I like making cakes!!"

I roll my eyes at my Dad who is stood there frowning at what Crystal is saying.  I am starting to become very alarmed by what she is saying - she should not remember that she loves to make cakes - she should not even remember making cakes so how does she remember that she loves to make them, if I have removed her memories!!??  I think I seriously need to speak to Jazz about this.  She yawns again. 

"Maybe we can make some cakes later, but first I think you need to get some sleep because you are tired, you have been awake all night."  I smile at her, she pulls one of her faces.

"I am okay!!  I want to make cakes!!"  she mumbles as she starts to pull on the sleeve of my dressing gown.  I realize that she now seems to be perfectly comfortable with me, almost like me removing her memories of me has made no difference to her as far as I am concerned.  I remember it did not take her long to feel comfortable with me in Rainbow Valley.

I know there will soon be a tantrum coming if I do not let her make some cakes, but she is tired and likely to burn the kitchen down, she gets easily distracted like I do, quite a few times we managed to burn the cakes we were cooking too busy doing other things.  I need to distract her away from the cakes somehow!!

I wander if she will let me get close enough to her so that I can get into her head.  I could try to distract her the way I usually do and have a poke through her memory while I am at it!!  There is no point me having this mind reading ability if I do not use it.

"First one to blink is a sissy!!"  I laugh at her and she laughs back.

She looks at me and moves closer to me, her eyes widen and lock on mine.  I know now she will just sit there staring at me, she always wins this game, I am always the first one to blink or look away.  I am not really playing the game with her as I do what I did in the vampberry den, I focus on her pupils and dive through them.

I try to remember everything that Jazz told me the last time that I did this, and start to scroll back through her memories.  I carefully rewind back through her memories of last night, I stop when I get to where she is eating and Strawberry walks in.  I listen to the argument that Cherry and Strawberry had while Crystal stood listening in another room, this made me laugh a little especially the end part of the conversation.  I watch Crystal walk here, and everything happened just like she said it did, only now I am watching it in detail.  Strawberry coming down the stairs and chasing Crystal into the bathroom.  I laugh when I hear the conversation that went on between River and Winter over the locked or stuck bathroom door and know that Crystal heard Winter reminding River that Vanilla's bottles were the ones on the top shelf.  Crystal actually fed Vanilla twice through the night, winded her and changed her nappy twice, she looked after Vanilla better than I thought she would!!

Once I have watched everything that happened with Vanilla last night, I start to rewind at speed, trying to find Rainbow Valley in her memories. When I get there I find where she is on the bench outside the hospital and watch what she told me about.

I laugh at Storm, he is stood half in half out of the car, I do not remember him doing that, I think that is what might have attracted her attention first, because that is what she was watching.  She sees me and Winter getting out of the car and walking into the hospital.  I missed this because I did not rewind far enough when I was wiping her memories.  That memory stops abruptly then it flashes to the vampberry den, that one minute that I left intact I see in a flash, I see her coming round straight after I have wiped her memory and she is scared because she does not know me, she runs and is tackled to the floor and everything goes black.  Then she is waking up in the hospital screaming at the doctors leaning over her.

I pull out of her head then.  A little puzzled by her dreams because I did wipe away all of her memories properly, they have gone except for the two that she mentioned.  So if those memories have gone, how is she seeing everything in her dreams?  It does not make sense!!

"I win!!  You are the sissy!!"  she starts laughing at me as she jigs around on the seat like an excited child.  "Can we make cakes now?"  I roll my eyes at her, I had hoped she would have forgotten about the cakes!!

"No!!  You have to sleep first, then we can make cakes!!"  I smile at her  "I need to shower, get dressed, take my medication and make some bottles for Vanilla.  I will do that while you sleep, THEN we can make cakes!!"

I suddenly feel like I am back in Rainbow Valley with her as I watch her pulling one of her 'I am not happy with what you are saying' faces as she stands up, huffs and stomping off.  I thought she might storm out of the room to go to her bedroom but she doesn't, surprisingly she stomps off towards my bed and she throws herself onto the bed in a mood.  I can not help but laugh at her.  I sit watching her as she screws up her face and closes her eyes.

Dad who is holding Vanilla and is still stood over by the cot starts to walk towards me a look of concern written all over his face.

"I have phone Affair and told him she is here with you."  he frowns at me  "I am not sure I liked the conversation I just heard you two having!!" 

"Me neither!!!  It is madness!!!  I thought I had not erased her memories properly, but I have just played our blinking game with her, like I did in the vampberry den and read her memories."  he rolls his eyes at me, I am still not sure he believes all the stuff that I am supposed to be able to do.  "Her memories have all gone, except for one of me that I missed, what I thought was the first time she saw me, it was not, she saw me once before that, but all she saw was me, Winter and Storm going into the hospital."  he laughs at me probably for mentioning Storm.  I am not going to tell him or Jazz about the one memory that I left on purpose. "All her memories of our time together in Rainbow Valley have gone - but she is remembering everything in her dreams.  She is dreaming about us - how does that work?"

Dad really starts laughing for a moment.  I know that the brain and nervous system are what he specializes in at work.  However, he can not give me an answer to that question as he can not even take in the fact that reading minds, compelling, erasing and rewriting memories is even possible, that I am seeing ghosts, and there are vampires running around ... all this defies everything he knows about the human body and his medical training.

He shocks me as he screws his face up for a moment then mumbles thoughtfully that this might account for some of the wacky dreams he has been having lately.  I frown at him, confused, and ask him if and why he would have had his memory wiped.  Is that not just a little suspicious?!  River has told me that only me, himself, Sunny and my Dad know about the den, Jazz and that they are the only ones that I can talk to about Jazz and the vampberrys.  So what has he had wiped?!

"Nothing for you to worry about!!"  he says awkwardly then starts to laugh  "I couldn't tell you even if I wanted to can I, because whatever it is has been wiped away!"  I roll my eyes at him, I guess he does have a point!!  He pulls a face at me then.  "All of this vampire stuff is giving me a damn migraine!!  You are just going to have to speak to Jazz, and get this sorted!!  I can not think straight right now!!"  he looks unusually defeated and worn out.  "I have got too much going on at work already without having to worry about Crystal remembering you in Rainbow Valley and if this is going to blow it all up in our face - when I thought we had pulled it off and it was all behind us!!"

"I'll speak to Jazz!"  I am a little shocked that he is leaving me to sort it out, it is very unlike him.  "What is going on at work to wear you down?"  I frown at him

"Oh, you will find out soon enough like everyone else!"  he rolls his eyes and changes the subject quickly.  "So did Crystal tell you why she took Vanilla and scared us half to death?"  he tuts  "I hope she is not going to make a habit of wandering off with the babies!!"

"Don't you get having a go at her!!!  I will have a word with her, I will make sure she does not do it again!"  he frowns at me.

"She actually did me a huge favour ... without Crystal,  Strawberry would have come in here and taken Vanilla away hours before any of us would have even noticed!!  We would probably be half way to Berry Shores by now chasing her down!!"

I explain to him what she had told me about Strawberry and what I had seen and heard while I was reading Crystals memories of last night.  He was pretty shocked, like I was, that Strawberry actually did come here during the night and try to take Vanilla.

He tells me that they knew Strawberry was a little unhinged by Honey fading and wanted Vanilla, but they did not think she would take it this far.  As soon as Honey faded straight away Strawberry said she would look after the baby, and they agreed that she could if I never came home.  However, they knew I would be coming home, they agreed with her just to keep her quiet and it stopped all the speculating over who would take the baby if I did not come home, which was really upsetting my Mother apparently.  They expected once I had returned home, her having Vanilla would not be mentioned again by Strawberry. 

I tell him that I think that this is far from over, I would not be surprised if Strawberry does not try it again.  I tell him that I think that it is about time we started to lock the front door and stopped running an open house for everyone to just walk into.  He laughs at me but agreed that we will have to start keeping the front door locked from now on.

He suddenly becomes a little amused as he stands there smiling at me.  He starts laughing to himself as he puts Vanilla back in her cot.  I am just beginning to think that he might be realizing that I have grown up a lot and am not that stupid child anymore.  Then he goes and blows it!!

"Don't you even think about getting naked and horizontal with that girl until you have sorted out some contraception."  he walks over to the door and opens it   "And do not forget to take your medication!"  

He closes the door behind him.  I feel like throwing something at the door.

Storm finally appears in my room, he makes me jump talking to Vanilla.  This is the first time that I have seen him since we returned from Rainbow Valley and were in the vampberry den for the night, then I only saw him for a few minutes before Cosmic dragged him away.

"Well you are not as ugly as your Dad!"  Storm laughs at Vanilla as he holds her up like he is inspecting her.   "I wander what silly name he has given you!"

"Her name is Vanilla."  I tell him and he laughs  "So finally you remember me then!!  Where have you been Storm?"

"I have had a lot of catching up to do, places to go, people to see."  he smirks at me  "I thought you might need some space, we have been together constantly for the past nine months!!"  he turns and looks at me  "Man your sister is a piece of work!!  I am shocked she has dumped Slate for Gravel!!  Mace is pretty fit though!!  Man do I wish I was not faded sometimes!!"  I frown at him I do not have a clue who Mace is so I ask him.  "Gravel has a gay brother - Granite, Mace is Granites boyfriend, he is well cute!!"

"If you say so."  I laugh at him, I am just glad he can finally be honest with me.  "So I guess you have been stalking Bay and Slate then if you have been hanging around the Rock lot."  he frowns at me for a moment. 

"Naaah, the hospital is one place I have not been yet.  I have heard Slate is in the hospital, but I think it is best I do not see him don't you!!  I have avoided the place anyway because the evil Granddad is in there."  This amuses me.  "and I have not run into Bay yet."

I do not think he knows yet, or I am sure he would have said something, he is going to be gutted when he finds out about Bay and Slate being in a relationship.  While I am still struggling to believe it, especially Slate suddenly turning from straight to gay, it is all everyone is talking about, especially Dad, who sees them more than most, being Slates Doctor.  I am surprised that Storm has not heard anyone talking about it.  I know that it is going to upset him, and it won't be Bay having a new boyfriend that will bother him, it will be Slate. 

While I stand wandering whether I should tell him about Bay and Slate, or not, I watch as Storm starts to play with Vanilla.  He is talking to her and pulling faces at her and laughing at himself.  I forget sometimes that he is a spirit, and I think so does he himself sometimes.

"Storm you know, you really should not be picking Vanilla up like that.  You are going to frighten her to death.  She can not see you remember,  I think you should put her down."

"You know - I think this kid can actually see me!!"  I laugh at him

"Don't be stupid!!"  I snap at him  "Just because I can see you, it does not mean that she will stupid!!"

"LOOK!"  he says as he puts Vanilla close to his face, she puts her hands out almost like she is touching his cheeks and she giggles as he pulls faces and makes funny noises at her.  Just like she does with me when I do the same to her.  "Usually kids scream when I pick them up, because they can not see me.  I honestly think she can see me!!"

I stand and watch as he continues to play with her.  Really not feeling comfortable with it.  I can maybe see what he is getting at because she does appear to be paying attention to Storm.  I laugh, thinking knowing my luck she is as stupid as I am and probably does not realize that there is nobody there holding her. I dismiss what he is staying as stupid!!

Storm puts Vanilla back down in her cot and comes over to the couch and sits down next to me.  When he came in I had been playing one of my xbox games with the volume muted because of Crystal and Vanilla both being asleep, while I waited for one or both of them to wake up.

"I need to tell you something."  he smiles at me  "Me and Cosmic are going away for a while.  So we will not be around for a week or two probably.."  I frown at him.

He tells me that Jazz is sending them back to Rainbow Valley to do some ghost hunting.  This makes me laugh a little.  Jazz wants them to try and find the spirit that Crystal had mentioned, they are going to search Rainbow Valley and Amber Meadow for him and if they find him, try to bring him back here.

"Whatever for?!"  I frown at Storm

"I don't know!  Jazz has got some silly idea into his head that he might be the spirit of Sunny's faded brother, because his name is Saffron Shine, he is a teenage spirit, and Sunny was born in Amber Meadow like Crystal thinks she was and Jazz thinks this spirit might have followed her from Amber Meadow.."  he laughs  "But even if it is not Sunny's brother, which we doubt he will be, Jazz wants us to bring him back so he can pick his brains about the vampberry's that were chasing Crystal."  he rolls his eyes at me  "Jazz thinks he might know the vampberrys and might have some idea why you two can see and communicate with spirits when nobody else can."

"Talking of spirits."  I pull a face at him  "I don't suppose you have seen Honey's spirit hanging around?"  He pulls a really strange face at me.

"No!  Cosmic has been watching out for her since she faded.. I am sorry Tap, it looks like she has passed straight over."  he frowns at me  "Anyway, why are you bothering about Honey when I see you have already started reeling in sleeping beauty over there."  He looks over at Crystal and starts to laugh.  "You need to forget about Honey!"

"It is not like I can forget about Honey in a hurry can I?!  When besides you she has been my best and only friend for all my life and we have a baby together!!"  he stares at me silently for a moment.

"Well you need to try and forget, and DO NOT even ask about the babies spirit,  because babies, toddlers they all pass straight over, Cos has never seen anything younger than a child, neither has Jazz!!"  he smiles at me  "Levi is about as young as you will ever see!"

Storm reminds me about Denims son's spirit who was just a child when he faded.  I sit silently for a moment.  I am not sure that I had even thought about the babies spirit, not until he mentioned it.  I do not understand Honey, why didn't she stay like Storm?!  I thought she might have hung around because of Vanilla.  Maybe she passed over with the other baby instead. Why the hell did he have to remind me about the other baby.

"I actually need to talk to Jazz ..."

"Tap PLEASE DO NOT try going to the den!!  Especially when me and Cosmic are not around!!"  he snaps at me and buts in before I had finished speaking.  "You seriously need to forget and keep well away from that place.  It only takes an original or another vampberry to be there and they spot you are silence and it will start all over again!!"  I laugh at him because I have no intention of going anywhere near that place ever again if I can help it!!

"Don't stress!!  I was going to phone him!!"  I laugh at him and he rolls his eyes at me.

"Good!!  You know it is not just yourself you are putting in danger don't you, if the originals find out about you, they will take Vanilla too because she is your child and Crystal because she is just like you.  Jazz, Maizie, and Omri, they will be disposed of instantly for keeping you a secret." he laughs at me  "Just keep thinking about the bite scar that you now have on your neck ... next time you might not be so lucky!!"

"I do know I am not stupid!!"  I smile at him 
"Do me a favour Tap, NEVER trust the vampberry's, not even Jazz!!  Cos will tell you the same when he gets the chance.  At the end of the day they are nasty blood sucking creatures, and they CAN NOT be trusted."  he frowns at me  "What do you want to talk to Jazz about anyway?"

I explain to Storm about Crystal having her memory erased but she is still dreaming about the things that we did in our time together in Rainbow Valley, including himself.   The dreams are making her remember things that we want her to forget.  I tell him that I do not think it is just Crystal either, Dad has hinted that he is having strange dreams lately.

"You know I am beginning to think that there might be a flaw in the vampberry's memory wiping that the vampberry's do not even know about themselves.  I bet they have never held onto one of their victims long enough to even notice!!"

"You know you might be right!!  It is obvious that Crystal's brain is still storing the memories somewhere after they have been removed for them to come back via dreams"  he starts laughing  "Almost like a computer - the brain could have a back up."

We both sit there laughing for a moment then he suddenly starts to look really worried.

"Whatever you do, DO NOT tell Jazz about the dreams or what you are thinking about there being a flaw!!"  he frowns at me  "I am not even sure you should tell Cosmic either!!"  I frown at him  "You know how tight Cosmic and Jazz are, he is likely to tell Jazz and I do not think any of you will be safe if the vampberry's find this out!"

I sit frowning at him because at first I am not sure why he is suddenly looking so worried.  He explains that memory wiping is what keeps the vampberrys a little humane and mortals safer, instead of fading all the mortals that come across them, they wipe their memories and release them.  Even though they would rather drain and dispose of their victims, wiping memories and releasing them has helped to keep their existence hidden because bloodless bodies are not being found on the streets, which is what would happen if they were not wiping their memories and releasing them.

"Just think what would happen, if you are right and their is a flaw with their memory wiping.  They think they are keeping their existence hidden by wiping memories, if they knew it did not work they would stop doing it and just fade their victims instead."  Storm pulls a face at me  "Winter, River, Mulberry, Crystal, Sunny, your Dad .... they have all had stuff wiped ... what about if Jazz turns on them, and he well might if he thinks that memory wiping is not keeping his secrets safe!!"

"What have Dad, River and everyone else had wiped?"  I frown at him  "Surely Jazz wouldn't turn on Dad it is because he is mates with Dad and Sunny that he has stuck his neck out for us like he has!!"

"JUST TRUST ME ON THIS!!!  The whole reason he has stuck his neck out in the first place is because he thinks he can wipe memories to keep secrets safe!!  You seriously need to forget about the vampberrys, and definitely keep your mouth shut about the dreams, then no harm will come to you or anyone!!"  he pulls a face  "You need to remember Vamperry's can NEVER be trusted not even Jazz!!  Just look what has happened to Celeste, she has gone, they have disposed of her!!   Jazz  really loved her, but still when it came down to it, he looked after number 1 - himself!!" 

Storm starts to look around the room then quite shiftily.  I can only presume he is checking to see if Cosmic is about, besides me and Crystal there is nobody else who could hear what he is saying.

"Between me and you, we have had our orders off Jazz, we are to watch you 24/7 and if we hear you talking, we are to tell Jazz ... Tap he has no choice but to trust at the moment that you will keep your mouth shut, and I have heard him talking to Omri and Maizie ... if he finds out you have been talking one word about their existence outside of the few who already know ... he is going to dispose of you, without even me and Cos knowing until it is over.  That is how sly he is!!  Obviously I am never going to grass you up to Jazz, I am not sure that Cos would either, but you can never take that chance.  Trust me the quicker you forget about the blood suckers the better!!"

Storm left with Cosmic, who popped into repeat some of what Storm had told me, in particular not to go anywhere near the vampberry den, especially with Storm and himself not being around.   They went off on their travels to Rainbow Valley on Jazz's ghost hunting mission, which I find very amusing.   It makes me wander how Crystal will react if they do actually mange to bring her childhood spirit back with them.

I suddenly start to worry, Storm has given me quite a lot to think about, and the more I think about it, that more I start to become scared.  I think Storm has stopped me just in time from doing something really stupid!!!  Storm is right, I should not say anything to Jazz about the dreams.  I am an idiot, I would have just spoken to Jazz about it without even thinking it through.  If Jazz found out that the memory wiping is flawed, then he could well  just fade Crystal, Mulberry and Winter especially to keep their existence a secret.

Crystal woke up with Vanilla, who was screaming for a feed, Crystal was hungry too, so I took her upstairs and my Grandmother cooked her something while I gave Vanilla a bath and feed.  After I had put Vanilla down to sleep, I went upstairs to check on Crystal, she was happily playing with Cotton, which must have distracted her from the cake making that she wanted to do, so I left her to it.  I did not see Crystal for the rest of the afternoon, or evening, which she spent with Cotton and my Grandmother.  It amuses me that she seems quite comfortable in this house even without my Mother being here, which surprises me. 

I am just putting Vanilla down in her cot after a feed and nappy change, while I am thinking about going to bed myself,  when the door opens and Crystal comes in.  She does not say anything, she just stands there hugging her teddy bear.  She almost looks nervous.

"Crystal are you okay?"

"I am keeping the baby safe!  For when you go to sleep, in case the bad lady comes back again!"  she smiles at me  "You do not have a lock on your doors!" 

I stand there laughing at her for a moment, how cute is she!?  I think she must be intending to stay in my room watching the baby all night while I am sleeping like she did last night.  It amuses me for someone so childish and she is still fairly uncivilized that she should pay so much attention to which doors have lock and which do not.  I also wander why Crystal is so worried and intent on stopping Strawberry from taking Vanilla away.

I think the door locks must stem from when she locked herself in the bathroom at Winters house and got herself stuck in there, which frightened her.  Luckily Storm was available to go inside the bathroom and unlock the door otherwise I would have had to break the door down.  After that I had to teach her how to lock and unlock doors so she did not get herself stuck again.  

"It is okay, you do not have too sit here all night watching Vanilla!"  I smile at her  "The front and back doors are both locked and Strawberry has been warned by my Dad and Sunny, she will not try to take Vanilla again!!"

I say that to Crystal to make her feel better, but I am not so confident myself that just because Strawberry has been warned, that she will actually stay away and leave Vanilla alone.  I am not sure that I have heard the last of Strawberry's ranting yet.  Crystal continues to stand there looking a little uncomfortable.

"Vanilla does not have a Mommy ... can I be her Mommy?"  she asks quietly

Oh Berry!!  This cracks me up!!

At times like this I wish my brain worked a lot better, I am lost for words.  I do not know what to say to Crystal or how to say it.  I am not even sure she understands what she is asking or what she has just said. 

"You can help me take care of Vanilla if you want."  I mumble to her, because I do not know what else to say to her.

"Can I take Vanilla to sleep in my room?"  she asks shyly " My door has a lock."

"No, she has to stay down here with me and sleep in her cot."  I smile at her but she pulls one of her faces  "You can sleep in here with her if you want to."

Me telling her that she can sleep in my room soon puts the smile back on her face.  This reminds me that I need to talk to her about not taking Vanilla off anywhere without telling me first.  I do not want another repeat of this mornings fright, of waking up and finding her cot empty, I do not think that my nerves could take it.  I tell her and I think, I hope, she understands.

I laugh at Crystal as she straight away lies down on my bed hugging her teddy bear and watching Vanilla, almost like she might lie there all night watching her to make sure Strawberry does not come and take her away.

I realize what I have done then, I am wandering where I am going to sleep because I doubt that I can even attempt to sleep on that bed with her tonight, I am still not really sure how comfortable she is being around me.

I guess I am sleeping on the couch tonight!!



  1. I think it's great that Crystal is getting comfortable with Tap so soon. It is really cute that she wants to protect Nilla. The snake in the shower part had me rolling!!

  2. It's nice to see Crystal trusting Tap again. I'm glad Storm warned Tap about Jazz. I hate to think Jazz as a bad guy but he has other concerns and things to hide now. I'm really curious about the dreams now and I hope Mango doesn't mention the dreams to Jazz.

  3. Ooh, I'm trying not to read ahead. I've just realized Tap can probably fix his mom somehow. I know this story has been published for years and no one is probably reading the comments anymore but I love this story and wish I'd found it sooner!