Friday, 9 January 2015

Chapter 35 - Gen 2 - Tapestry

Radioactive ...

I am just standing there, frozen in shock.

Like an idiot, I am just staring at Rocky who is now frowning back at me, with concern.  I notice he has a rolled up newspaper in his hand.  I guess now I do not have to ask why he is here.  I am guessing that he has obviously read something in a newspaper, about the abduction, that has brought him here.

I really did not expect that I would see Rocky for months yet.  I thought he would phone me when he was ready and I would have to fly out to Rainbow Valley or Berry Shores.  I definitely would never have expect Rocky to just turn up on my doorstep and so soon!!  Rocky told me he wanted to take three or four months out after his baby arrived.  When his maternity leave was over he said he would contact me.  He thought it would give me enough time to sort myself out from this 'bad place' that I kept telling him that I was in, he said then we could sort out my recording contract and get my career rolling.

Me and River have not even talked about how we are going to do this, or what we are going to say to Rocky.  I do not have a clue how we are going to cover up the time that Rocky and Grape know we were in Rainbow Valley.  I was counting on River to be the brains and to sort it all out!!

Winter had slips out of the room almost immediately, now I am really kicking myself for letting her go.  I should have asked her to alert River to Rocky being here, but I was too numb with shock to react quickly enough.  I am guessing River is busy with an upset Sunny somewhere, he might even have had to leave the house to go and find Sunny, so now I have to deal with this situation on my own.

What the hell am I going to say to him?!  I guess after he has read the newspaper, all I can do is tell him the truth, omitting our cold friends with sharp teeth of course.  I guess I should just feed Rocky with the same story that was fed to my purple Grandfather, that way I suppose I can not slip up in the future.  Rocky closes the door behind him and walks across the room to where I am still stood frozen.

"What the hell has been going on Tap?!"  he asks with concern as he walks towards me, I just stand there looking at him, seriously not knowing how to say it, or where to start.  "For a start I am guessing ... Winter Breeze was your 'absent' blue land lady in Rainbow."  he smirks at me for a moment before he starts to frowns at me.  "She was born and grew up in Rainbow, so what is she now doing in Sugar Valley?"

"Yeah ... Winter was our abscent land lady."  I laugh at him  "The land lady tag was just a cover, a fib we told everyone and you, not knowing if we could trust you with the colour mix thing.  She is actually River's long term girlfriend, they met in Apple Hill when she moved there to work."   Rocky's eyes widen  "She only moved back to Rainbow because her mother was ill and fading, otherwise they would have been married by now.  Winter now lives here because they have just had a baby together.  Ocean, their son, obviously is a blue and orange mixed berry."  I frown at him because of what he said about Winter being born and growing up in Rainbow, almost like he already knows her.  "Do you already know Winter?"

"Kind of.  Winter was my sisters best mate at school, they were as thick as thieves, did she not tell you?"  he raises his eyebrows at me as I shake my head at him.  "I think they have lost touch now though.  We grew up in Rainbow, so yeah, I have known of Winter forever, I have not seen her for years though!  She was very quiet when she brought me down here, she might not even remember me, I was probably an annoying spotty little kid the last time I saw her." he grins for a moment and speaks quietly  "Way back then, I use to have a crush on her, but for berrys sake, don't tell her!!  I have grown up since then!"

"Don't worry your secret is safe with me!!"  We both laugh for a moment.

I know he has an older brother and sister but I do not really know that much about them, other than they now both live in Berry Shores like Rocky does, and are both in mixed colour relationships, while their father, Gilbert Grape, still lives in Rainbow Valley because that is where Grape Studios is situated.  I am surprised because Winter has not mentioned that she knows Rocky's family to me.

"What the hell happened to your face Tap?"  Rocky asks and again I stay silent, I just pull a face at him.  He starts to wave the newspaper about as he frowns at me.  "Is any of this true?  Is this part of your 'bad place' that you kept telling me you was in?!  I know most of what they write in these papers is usually garbage, but I can see the state of your face is at least true, even if the rest of it really does not make any sense to me!!"

"I don't know how true it is, because I do not read remember."   I laugh at him 

Rocky laughs at me as he whacks my arm lightly with the newspaper.  He then opens up the newspaper to show me and I see my own face along with River's splashed all over the two pages that I am looking at.  Rocky hands me the newspaper and I frown down at the pictures, wandering when they were taken, while he explains basically what the newspaper article is saying.

I can see a picture of me inside the hospital  as well as outside this house with Dad, carrying Vanilla.  Reporters are very sneaky, I did not realize any of those photo's had even been taken and none of us have bothered to see what they have been saying in the newspapers since my return.  I honestly expected it to be yesterdays news by now and forgotten about.

"Please tell me you did not get that newspaper from Rainbow Valley!!"  I suddenly become scared that the abduction news has gone that far, because if it has we are in big trouble!!

"No I have been over in Apple Valley doing a promo, which I could not avoid, for my new album coming out next month.  I was in Raspberry Hill catching a connecting flight back home, when I spotted yours and River's faces all over the news stand."  he frowns at me  "I could not really ignore what I read in this newspaper, I had to come and check you are okay for myself, because some, no most of it, does not make any sense to me Tap when I know you have been in Rainbow for the past six months!!"

"How did you find out where I lived?"  I ask stupidly, still trying to avoid answering any of his question, while I think about how I am going to do this.

"Well it is not too hard is it, I am shocked by how small and dingy this town actually is!!  I could have shouted you from the other side of town and you would have heard me!!"

He laughs at me for a moment, he has told me, in the past, that he has been to Cherry Hill, the other colour mix town, but he has never been to Sugar Valley before.  I know now, after our time on the road, just how bad this town actually is, especially scenically and economically.

"Luckily the taxi driver knew who you was and where you lived, he lives in this town but works out of town because he is a mixed berry but he is all one colour."  he rolls his eyes  "He says everyone knows who you are."  he starts laughing  "The driver described you as the towns naughtiest little shit, he said if there is ever any trouble in town you are usually at the root of it!!" 

"He is probably right!"  I laugh at him.  "I have had my moments, you are not the only one who is big on rebellion!!  I was particularly bad when I was a teenager, me and my cousin Storm have pulled some stunts."  I smirk at him and start to laugh with him.   Suddenly he punches me playfully on the arm with a grin on his face.   

"I could throttle you!!  Tapestry Peel, my ass!!  Why the HELL did you not tell me!!  YOU are one of the Sugar Valley Orchids!!  Tapestry ORCHID!!"  he rolls his eyes at me as I start to smirk at him.

"So Grape Orchid, what is he to you?  Grumpy mentioned that nobody has seen him in Rainbow for a while, he has just vanished without a word.  His wife vanished first now he has.  His neighbours say his youngest son, Mulberry, stripped his house, which is now empty and up for sale, everyone thinks the old drunk has faded."

"Mulberry is my uncle, and Grape Orchid is my purple Grandfather, my Mother being the colourless daughter of his that you told me about."

I laugh at the expression of utter shock that washes across his face.  I guess he must now be feeling stupid, if he is remembering the times he and Grumpy warned me to steer clear of Grape Orchid.  Especially on one of our trips to Grape studio's, to spend the day messing about in a recording studio, Rocky had told me all about Grape Orchid and how he had treated his family and in particular his colourless daughter.  At the time they did not have a clue that I was related to him,  and I had just let him carry on talking while I said nothing, leaving him to carry on thinking I did not have a clue who the old man or his colourless daughter and two sons were.

"Hell!!  You let me make a right fool of myself there didn't you!!"  he looks embarrassed

"Yes I know, I am sorry!!  I could not really tell you who I was at the time, not even the old man knew who I was himself then!"  I smile at him  "The old drunk is still very much alive and kicking, he also lives here now."  Rocky's eyes widen and I laugh at him  "Both of my purple Grandparents live here in separate houses because they are divorced now.  Gran lives with there oldest son Prelude and my Dad moved the old man here because he needed a liver transplant, which they were not going to give him in Rainbow Valley.  Stick around and you might see him, he is due home soon.  He is a reformed character these days, so I am told, I bet you have never seen him sober have you!!"

I smirk at Rocky and he starts laughing saying that he does not think he ever has seen him sober and doubts he will believe it until he sees it with his own eyes.  Grape Orchid just being in Sugar Valley with his family is hard enough for him to believe, knowing the old man of old and how he feels about colour mixing and lack of colour.  The old man has always been very down on Grumpy for colour mixing and Grumpy down on the old man for the way he treated my Mother, when he did try to help him by telling him he needed to move her to a colour mix town, the old man did not listen he just thought Grumpy was being nasty to him like everyone else was.

"So how is the baby?"  I ask jumping in, trying not to let him ask me any more awkward questions while I try to buy myself some more time to think. 

"Oh he is great!  He is completely green and we have called him Lyric."  he smiles  "He has inherited Grumpy's hair and eyes, which has pleased him no end!!"  he rolls his eyes.  I guess that has not impressed Rocky very much I know how rocky his relationship is with his father.  "He also has got Grumpy's and my skin too, so he looks like a pure green berry which is one good thing, I suppose, he will be free to roam the coded world without any hassle."

I am a little amused when he gets out his phone and shows me a picture of his baby.  His baby picture just looks like all the other baby pictures that I have seen, because of me being colourblind.  Like the ones on Rivers phone of Ocean and the one on my phone of Vanilla.  All of the babies look the same to me and grey, I can not tell each baby apart.  I start laughing and get my own phone out.

"I have one of those too!"  he starts really laughing at me as he looks at my phone.  "Only mine is a girl, all yellow with my colourless eyes and her name is Vanilla."

"So I read in the newspaper."  he frowns at me  "Tap why didn't you tell me?"

"I did not know I was coming home to a baby."  he frowns at me in a really strange way.  "It is a little complicated, I will explain everything to you once I have gotten over the shock of you being here!"

Vanilla starts to cry, her timing could not have been any better.  Like Rocky's eyes, my eyes automatically follow the noise and we both look towards the cot.  Crystal, who is still quietly lying on the bed, jumps to her feet and lifts Vanilla out of her cot.  I glance over at the clock and think that she might be due a feed.  I watch Crystal as she tries to comfort Vanilla and stop her from crying.

"I am glad to see you stuck to your word and you brought Crystal home with you."

Rocky smiles at me as he glances back at Crystal again.  I am not sure that her presence in the room had even registered with him until she had moved off the bed.

"I told you I would, there is no way that I could have left her in Rainbow Valley, when she would have a far better life here."  I smile at him

"She looks well!!  A lot less skittish and she seems to have put on weight since I last saw her."  he smiles at me.

"Yeah, she is settling into the colour mix towns way of life quite quickly, she has stopped screaming at everyone she does not know and calling them bad people."  we both laugh, I am remembering the first time that she saw Rocky, as I should imagine he is.

Crystal, who obviously can hear our conversation, turns and frowns at Rocky who smiles at her when she looks at him.  She appears to be very confused as she stares at Rocky.  I imagine it must be because he knows her name and has made it pretty obvious that he has seen her before.  She probably does not remember seeing him before, maybe he has not been in any of her dreams.  She walks over towards us as she constantly stares at Rocky in confusion.

"Tap, I need to ask, the baby's mother ... in the paper it said ..."  he starts to stumble over his words like he is struggling to say it, maybe in case what he has read in the paper is not true.  I think I can guess what he can not bring himself to say.

"My girlfriend, Honey, she faded when the twins were born, along with Vanilla's twin brother, Shadow, who was stillborn."  he pulls a very pained expression, I guess he did not want to hear that it was actually true and he can probably feel my pain just having had a baby himself.  "Honey had a heart condition which we did not know about.  I am not sure why my son faded, just one of those things that can happen sometimes so my Dad says.  Honey was very ill towards the end of her pregnancy."

"Tap ... I am sorry!!  That is awful!!"


The door opens cutting off our conversation, which I am grateful for, and I am very relieved to see it is River who comes walking into the room.  Thankfully I think that Winter must have told him that Rocky is here.  I am really glad that he has turned up because I do not have a clue what to tell Rocky and what not to tell him, I am scared of putting my foot in it and saying the wrong thing, and even more scared that Rocky will not help to keep our secret.  I am thankful that River is here to rescue me, I know that he will sort it all out from here and he is bound to make a far better job of it than I will.

My Dad walks into the room behind River, which really surprises me because I thought that he was at work until later tonight.  After he has introduced himself to Rocky, Dad tells me that he has just brought my Mother and Grandfather back from the hospital and has walked straight into Sunny's drama, which he could do without because he is really busy with an on going drama at work right now.  It amuses me that Rocky, being a famous rock star, does not phase my Dad at all, but then I wander if he even knows who Rocky is properly.

I think maybe that Dad is down here to help River sort out our mess until he says that he has only come down here to borrow Crystal for a while because Sunny wants to talk to her now that he has calmed himself down.  Dad explains to Crystal that Sunny got angry because he is upset with what he thinks his parents have done and not with her.  I think that Sunny must think that he upset Crystal when he threw his wobbler and smashed his phone in front of her.

I take Vanilla off Crystal, who has gone back to intensely staring at Rocky, and tell her that she needs to go with my Dad to talk to Sunny.  At first she looks a little unsure and hesitant about going with him, I am not sure if it is Dad or Sunny that is worrying her.  When I tell her that my Mother is home and upstairs, Crystal starts to smile then and goes off with my Dad quite happily, I know that she feels really comfortable and safe around my Mother and has been looking forward to her coming home.

In a way I feel like I should be going with Crystal, but I really need to be down here too just in case River has any problems with Rocky.  I suddenly think, at least we do have one card up our sleeve if it does all go wrong with Rocky and he is not willing to help keep our secret.  I can erase his mind like I did with Crystal, I know all this memory wiping does not work like it is supposed to, but it is better than nothing.  I really do not want it to come to that, it is not just Rocky there is also Grumpy Grape too, and wiping myself out of both of their minds is wiping away any chance I might have had of a music career.

Vanilla starts to cry again, I put my bent finger in her mouth and she starts to instantly suck on it quite madly.  I look at River and tell him that she needs feeding.  River smiles at me and tells me to go and feed her and he will sort Rocky out.  This makes Rocky frown at the pair of us.  I tell them I will not be too long as I make my way out of the room without hesitation.

My head has started to hurt and I need time out to stop my head from going off on one.  I sigh with relief to myself as soon as the door is closed behind me, glad that it is not me who has to sort this mess out, but I am worried that it all might be about to blow up in our faces, we were so not prepared for this!!  Once River starts talking, there is no turning back.

At first I planned to leave River to it and hang about out here until he has finished.  However, while I am warming up Vanilla's bottle I change my mind and think that maybe I should really get back into my room.  I need to be listening to what River is telling Rocky, so I do not go saying something different or something I am not supposed to in the future.  I quietly will the bottle to hurry and warm up so that I can go back into my bedroom.  Anyway, I am very curious about just how River is going to explain the last six months of us being in Rainbow Valley away.

When I walk back into my room River and Rocky are sitting down on one of the sofa's and River is obviously doing all the talking.  I stand over by the other couch and quietly listen as I am feeding Vanilla her bottle.

I laugh to myself listening to River, in his usual geek style, he has started at the very beginning, something that I never would have thought about doing or telling him.  I listen quietly while River is explaining to Rocky, the vendetta that Lime has had against my Mother since boarding school, just because she is colourless and Lime's reign of terror that has followed ever since.  I find it strange hearing him call her Lime when she will always be Manderine in my head.

River is telling him about Lime fading Cosmic and Jazz, Mom losing her first baby, Ice's slashed up face, Alpine's hit and run brain damage, Mom going down the stairs, her coma and constant black outs.  About how Lime used and got her claws into Prelude to get to my Mother, and their unexpected twins born in prison which made her family.  He finishes off by telling him about Limes stint in prison until her escape when she attended Storms funeral, abducting me and Honey as hostages to aid her escape.

I cringe when River also mentions why Lime had it in for me in particular, he embarrassed me, by telling him about how she blames me for her three sons demise.  So Rocky hears about Forrest faded Storm protecting me, which landed Forrest in prison for the rest of his life, then I go and cave Pines head in, leaving him brain damaged, trying to stop him for repeatedly stabbing our other brother Mosaic, when we stupidly went after revenge for Storm fading.  I seriously wish he had not told him that stuff!!  I seriously know how stupid I was back then, now, and I hate being reminded of it!!  If I had kept away from Fern like I had been told, none of this would have happened, Storm especially would still be here and I think I will always feel guilty about what I have done to Pine!!

Listening to River telling Rocky all that he has, it does sound fairly shocking, almost like it is too much to be true.  It all sounds like the plot you might read in a book or see in a film.  Rocky is totally gripped listening to it all.

River then brings his Mother Maizie into it, he tells him how Lime and Maizie met and put their heads together because they had one thing in common, hating my Mother.   For Maizie it was not because of her lack of colour, it was because of the feelings that she still has for Dad and him loving my Mother and not her.  He explains how his Mother helped Lime with her prison escape, and how they plotted to abduct my Mother from the cemetery and fade her, but because she was not there like they expected, they grabbed Honey and me, taking us instead.

I guess River did pave the way quite nicely for our lies and he does not leave anything out, even explaining his own childhood and his Mothers spiteful games.  How he grew up without any parents because she dumped him on his Grandmother to bring up and how Dad did not even know he existed while he grew up not even knowing who his Father was until his fading Grandmother, told him two years ago.  He makes Lime and Maizie out both to be evil bitches, before he even started to tell him any of the lies. 

Then he gets to the tricky part for me, where the lies and exaggeration start to creep in.  He tells Rocky how he has sat back hiding in the shadows not telling anyone who he is, but had no choice to come out into the open when he accidentally stumbled upon Maizie and Lime holding me and Honey hostage in Apple Hill.  River starts to take the story down the same route and feeds Rocky with exactly what has been fed to the old man and the police.

The story of lies that I worry about getting wrong in the future.  River tells Rocky that Lime held me and him captive for months just out of spite to upset My Mother and our Dad.  He tells him that we had to watch Lime fading his Mother and us thinking that she has faded Honey, when she actually dumped her unconscious in Apple Hill, before she took me and him down into the sewers and held us tied up and captive.  River tells him the lies about the abuse we suffered from Lime and how we escaped, like the old man and the police have heard, then he gives him a reason for why we ran and did not come home and why we had to temporarily let our family think we were still with Lime when we had actually got away.

River starts to relax a little when the majority of the lies were out there, and what he has left to tell him is not too far from the truth.  Explaining to Rocky that we fled to Winters in Rainbow and that we were only meant to be hiding out there for a short time, until he went and stupidly broke his ribs and back in a car accident, which left him bed ridden and us stuck in Rainbow Valley for six months while he recovered, as he knows and saw himself.  He tells Rocky that once the lie to our family had started by letting them think we were still missing and being held by Lime, there was no way we could come out and tell the truth without causing all sorts of trouble for ourselves  So we had no choice but to hide out until he was physically fit to come home and re-enact our escape six months later than it actually happened. 

River joked about me being an uncontrollable idiot, running around and attracting attention to myself, which has caused added problems, like himself and Grape, my Grandfather, Crystal and Denim, when I should have been keeping my head down.  River ask Rocky to keep our secret quite cleverly mentioning to Rocky that without his and Grapes help of forgetting that we have been in Rainbow Valley for the last six months that there is no way I can even think about this music career that they are offering me.  Me going public and them not forgetting the last six months, will get us locked up and upset a hell of a lot of people, and at the end of the day we have not asked for any of this, we have all been suffering all our lives because of those two women, and we don't want it to continue by Ocean and Vanilla having to suffer because of it.  

I think I realize then that River must have already well thought this out, probably with Dad's help, because he had given Rocky a believable explanation, omitting the vampberrys of course, and in not time at all without any stumbles.  Before I knew it, it was out there and done.  Rocky seemed to take it all in and amused me when he asked River only a few questions, he wanted to know why I was left to believe that Honey was faded when she was still alive and what happened to Lime.  River had an answer for both of his questions, which  he answered quickly with a smile on his face and without batting an eyelid.

"So I guess the beat up faces, was a set up to make everyone think Lime had done it recently miss treating you."  Rocky smiles at River.

"Yes, that is exactly right."  River laughs  "We actually beat each other up before we resurfaced, however, this is pretty much how we did actually look when we did escape her."

"I will have to remember never to upset either of you two in future then!!"  Rocky laughs

Me and River just look at each other and burst out laughing.  If only he knew the truth about how our faces really got into this state!!  What amuses me most about this whole thing, is that everyone has swallowed our lies so easily and believes them.  If we had told them the whole truth, I doubt they would even have believed us!!

I suddenly feel like I am getting ready to play the last deceptive act of the abduction, which is going to be putting this whole situation finally to bed, so that I can forget about it and get on with my life.   Hopefully this is going to be the last of the deception and after this I hope that nothing else will come up that will cause us any problems.

I leave Sunny, Crystal and River looking after Vanilla while I grab my guitar and make my way out of the house with the old man, my purple Grandfather, in tow.  While I am driving to the park in my new car, I am still under my Dad's supervision order, so I needed to take someone with me who has a driving license, and as the old man is in on the deception he got to come with me.

I am on my way to staging a very public meeting with Rocky, which will be officially the first time that we have met.  The story that we will tell in the future is that Rocky who was passing through Sugar Valley spotted me busking in the park.  He is going to turn up in the park while I appear to everyone who knows me, to just be spending the afternoon busking in the park, just like I used to do before me and Honey were abducted from the cemetery by Manderine.

Thankfully Rocky is happy to play along and forget that he has known that we were in Rainbow Valley for the last six months instead of in the sewers being held captive like the rest of the world and our family think.  Rocky being happy to keep our secrets is a great relief to both me and River, especially me, without Rocky playing along I would never have been able to follow my dreams and at least try for a career in music.

Suddenly I feel like a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders and that I am suddenly capable of achieving anything that I want!!

When I get to the park I am pleased to see that it is pretty busy, like I hoped it would be seeing as it is the weekend.  There are plenty of witnesses around to see what is about to happen.  I spot Affair and Cherry over by the swings with the triplets, which amuses me, and I point them out to the old man.  He goes hobbling over to them, I was worried that he might get bored just sat watching me playing the guitar, now he has something to occupy him for a while.  As I stand, in my usual spot in the park, playing my guitar, I watch the old man as he is pushing one of the triplets on the swings while he talks to Affair.

I start to get a little irritated as my stomach is tying itself in knots, I am getting nervous and just hope that this is going to go to plan.  It feels like I have been in the park for ages, and it seems to be taking Rocky ages to appear.  I hate waiting.  I keep my eye on the road as well as on the old man because I know that Winter is dropping Rocky off close to the park.

Ironically the tips seem to be flying into my guitar case a lot more than normal today, tips which I do not really want.  Busking has always been my means, in the past, to get extra money to buy the things that our parents did not know about or approve of, like to buy the fags and booze that me and Storm wanted.  Back then when I wanted it, it never came this fast.

I think today I am attracting more attention because everyone is gawking at me and the state of my face, this is only the second time that I have been out in public since I returned home.  A few people make the odd comment and speak to me which is also starting to irritate me, like at the hospital, everyone suddenly has something to say to me.  I think them throwing tips into my guitar case is their way of getting close enough to speak to me.  I laugh to myself thinking I am soon going to be giving them something else to talk about!!

I spot Rocky over by the grocery store, waiting for the traffic to clear so that he can cross the road towards the park.  I try not to watch him but am amused as I watch him getting ambushed before he even gets to cross the road.  He has already been spotted and recognized by the looks of the girls round him.  I can not help but think that has to be very annoying!!  He escapes the girls and crosses the road only to be ambushed by two men as he walks into the park.

Now everyone in the park seems to be looking in his direction, only me and the old man are not taking any notice of him, even Affair and Cherry seem to be whispering to each other as they look over in his direction.  I doubt that we have ever had a famous person step foot in Sugar Valley before, this town is far from a tourist attraction, originally a small run down town where people caught colour mixing and mixed berries were dumped.  Even if these people do not know who Rocky is, I know that he is giving everyone a reason to stare at him ... his clothes!!  Even here in a colour mix town we tend to stick to our own colour in clothing, so I am told, not only is Rocky wearing green and teal clothes, but also black, he has black striped trousers which just is not done.  I remember he told me he had a boatload of those trousers made especially.

Rocky who is armed with a pen is signing autographs on anything thrust at him and having his picture taken, out comes everyone's phone it seems, he is hardly left alone for a minute.  When and if my music career does take off, I really am not looking forward to all this rubbish coming to me, even though I doubt I will ever be as famous as Rocky is.  I will just be happy to be actually earning my own living from something that I love doing, music, and not having to rely on Dad for the rest of my life, which they have all told me is what will happen ... I am never going to amount to anything and will always need Dad or Mosaic to look after me, so they say ...

I intend to prove them all very wrong, and right now I actually think that I can do it too!! 

I laugh to myself, it has actually already started and only Dad and River know it.  Only this morning River waved a bank statement in front of my face while he choked, because of how much money was in the account.  My account.  Money that has already come in from two of the mashed up songs of Rocky's that have been released into the charts, where my identity is 'anonymous'.  I could not read the statement so River had to tell me just how much I had earned so far, and even I was shocked.

My mind focuses on Affair for a moment as I glance up and look at him.  He sings, and I think a lot better than I do, it is just a shame that he is colourless.  I feel sorry for him suddenly, he would have loved a career in music, but for him I guess that wish is impossible!!   Being a mixed berry is one thing out in the colour coded world, being a berry who lacks colour is a totally different story!!  I wander just how he would go down being colourless, if he had the chance to be in my shoes??  Not very well, I do not doubt!!  I suddenly have visions of him in my mind being booed off stage and having stuff thrown at him, as well as the verbal abuse, so that he does not even get the chance to open his mouth and sing.  I guess he could always take the anonymous route like I have going on with Rocky and some of his songs, he might not get to sing for a living, but he can still play some part in music.

My mind has wandered off like it does sometimes, as I think about Affair and watch the old man who is still pushing one of the triplets on the swings.  I suddenly remember Rocky who has slipped my mind for a moment and I have to look around for him.  I spot him now stood back on his own, he has managed to fight off the hoards of admirers, and he is just watching me playing.

Just to take the mickey I have been playing only his songs since I pulled out my guitar,  my mashed up versions of his songs, which is actually nothing unusual.  I used to mainly play Rocky's songs here in this park before I even met him, I never would have imagined one day that he would actually be stood here listening to me doing it!!  I wander if anyone in the park will notice this, I know that Affair will know they are Rocky's songs, and it will probably amuse him, but I wander if anyone else will notice, other than Rocky himself of course.

This suddenly feels awkward again, even worse than when he stood watching me playing in Rainbow Valley.  He does not phase me anymore, it is the suspense that is killing me more, wandering just how long I have to stand here playing and pretending that I have not spotted him watching me.  I glance at him and notice his face is wearing a serious expression, which puzzles me a little, and I wander what he is thinking.

After playing another two of his songs while I have tried to pretend he is not there, by continuing to watch the old man by the swings.  I start to get a little irritated and look in his direction and pull a face at him, he smirks at me then and starts to walk towards me.  I am forgetting the nerves because I am just thinking thank berry!!  I stop playing when he stops in front of me.  There is nobody anywhere within earshot of us having a conversation so I do not suppose that it matters what we really say to each other.

"I think I love you!!"  I raise my eyebrows at him and stare at him wide eyes

"Errrr should I be worried?!"  I ask him nervously 

"No you idiot, not like that!!  I am not a wuss!!"  we both start laughing, me more for the fact that he has said the word 'wuss'.  I have only ever heard Prelude and the old man using it before, as Rocky has just said it I presume that it must be a Rainbow Valley thing.

"Thank berry, I thought you had gone all funny on me for a moment!!"  

"No, you have just given me a wicked idea!!"  I frown at him  "You know how the old has beens always throw a handful of their sad old untouched songs on a best of albums, when everything is going down hill for them.  Well I am going to go one better and you are going to help me, and WE are going to make a killing!!"

"You are not exactly an old has been yet."  I laugh at him

"No I know, but you are a genius and you don't even know it!!  Your version of  'Only the Roses'  has just blown my socks off!!   You have taken my songs and made them your own and I want to do a bit of joint recycling."  he smirks at me  "An album of your mashed up versions of my old hits!!"  he smiles  "The songs will have to be totally re-recorded, lyrically and musically, you play, I'll sing with no more hiding behind your anonymous!!  If the first mash up album goes okay, we could do a few, we split the royalties 50/50 I recon it is easy money for polished old rope!!  What do you think?"

"Yeah, it sounds like a plan!!"  I laugh at him.  "Does that mean you are shelving our original plans for the double album."

"Oh no we are still doing that!!  We can do both!!  I have already written the lyrics for three songs which I want you to listen to."  he smiles at me   "Actually you are going to be very busy for a while,  You might get sick of the sight of me, you will have three projects on the go, the double album of new stuff, and the mash ups of old stuff with me, and then there will be your own solo stuff.  Grumpy has put me in charge of showing you the ropes."

Rocky smirks then he amuses me by holding his hand out for me to shake.

"I am Rocky Giggs by the way!"  he smirks at me "As this is the first time we are officially meeting, I guess we should put on a show for the gawkers!!"  he mumbles to me as I shake his hand and smile at him.

"If you expect me to pretend to pass out Mr Rock God, you can forget it!!"  I mumble back and he starts laughing at me.

"Would you like me to sign your nice shiny guitar for you?"  he teases me.  "I have a really nice permanent marker in my inside pocket."

"Touch my guitar with your pen and you won't be playing your guitar ever again!"  I smirk at him and he just stands there laughing at me.  "I think we should go and sit on the bench over there.  Don't you get sick of being stared at constantly, most people in this park have not taken their eyes off you since you arrived!"  I say to him as I start to collect all the tip money together, put it in my pocket and put my guitar away.

"You will have to get used to plenty of staring in the future yourself Tap" he smiles as he follows me and we walk over to the bench.  "You get used to the staring after a while to the point where you will hardly notice it."  he glances round the park for a moment  "Besides it is exactly what we need today, everyone seeing us here together."

We sit down on the bench and I take a quick look around, I can not believe that most of the people in the park are still just stood there watching us.  I laugh suddenly as I glance over at Affair and Cherry who are also gawking while the old man is oblivious and trying to push all three of the triplets on the swings.

"Can you see the old man over there by the swings."  I say to Rocky who looks over in that direction.

"Well I'll be damned, I wish Grumpy was here right now to see this!!  He is never going to believe me when I tell him!!  I might just take a picture of him to show Grumpy!"  he laughs but I can see that he is surprised as he is watching Grape Orchid interacting with the three colourless triplets.  "Are they your family?"

"Yes, the colourless guy is Affair, my cousin, he is my Uncle Preludes son, the colourless Grandchild that sent the old man even more off his rocker on top of my colourless Mother!!"  Rocky smiles at me  "The yellow and red woman with him is Cherry his wife and the three toddlers are their colourless triplets."  I smile at Rocky  "My girlfriend Honey was Cherry's youngest sisters."

"So was Honey also yellow and red?"  he asks me

"No, Honey was all yellow like her Dad.  Vanilla has her skin and hair ... they tell me Shadow, the faded baby, he was orange, skin and hair, but he had the red eyes from Ruby, Honey's Mother."

"You know we don't have to talk about it if you don't want to!!  Sorry, I should not have started asking questions, I guess it must be very painful for you!"

"It's fine, I am not going to crack up or anything, I have done all my grieving, don't get me wrong it still hurts, but I have got my head together with it all now!  It is not like I can change anything and bring them back."  he smiles at me sympathetically.

"Your Dad and River say it is okay if I stay at yours for the next two or three days.  I planned to check into a motel but River says there is only one in town and it is not advisable.." 

I smile at him a little surprised that he would even want to stick around for a few days when he is supposed to be home spending time with his new baby.   River is right, the only motel in this town is a dump, it rarely has any guests, it is not often that we have people staying here from out of town who do not have friends or family to stay with.  I ask him why he would want to stop in this dump for a few days, Rocky laughs and rolls his eyes at me   

"Grumpy phoned just after you left for the park, that is why it took me so long to get here.  He is jumping up and down finding out that I am here with you."  he starts laughing  "He wants me to stay here until we sort out your recording contract, so he is getting all the necessary paperwork sent here by carrier, which could take a few days."  he smiles at me  "I am not sure he is going to rest until he knows he has got your signature on that paperwork!"  Rocky laughs  "He has been like a dog after a bone since he spotted you in the park, he has been giving me a headache, constantly on my back to get it sorted out!!"   he smiles at me  "I think he is terrified that Apple are going to snag you from right under his nose!!"

All I can do is grin stupidly at him, especially when he tells me that he has filled Grumpy in and he knows the score and more than willing to keep stum about the past six months, in exchange for my signature on that recording contract.  My recording contract - it is actually happening!!

While there are a hundred things I want to say, I can not say anything because a group of giggling girls are approaching the bench where we are sat.  Even though I know who all of them are, I stay sitting on the bench and just smile at them and a few of them say hello to me while Rocky stands and goes through the rigmarole of signing things and having his photo taken with the girls.  I just watch a little bewildered and wander just what satisfaction they actually get from autographs and photographs of a famous person.  The girls skip off giggling and Rocky sits down laughing. 

"You know the girls are going to make mince meat of you, being single, you will have them throwing themselves at you!!"  he starts laughing  "You will think you have faded and gone to heaven, especially if you play with them.  They will try every trick in the book to try and get their claws into you." 


"I am not exactly single."

"Really!?"   he raises his eyebrows at me in surprise.  

"Me and Crystal are kind of getting there."  he smirks at me

"Well you don't waste any time do you!!"  he laughs at me

"I know you might be thinking, it is too soon after Honey, but I have spent the last eight months grieving over her and both babies, even if it was a little premature.  Somehow, Vanilla being here makes it a lot easier to bare."  I smile at him.  "Also, if I am totally honest, we were just stupid teenagers, and I know now that I never really loved Honey even though I thought I did at the time. With Crystal it is something totally different, I do love her."

"It is good for you if your crazed fans know you are off the dating market, and you will be safe with Crystal, I doubt she will ever be demanding or even knows what famous means right now."  he smiles at me.  "I watch a lot of my famous friends, the woman hanging off their arm are so high maintenance and so obviously only there because of who they are.  If they were not famous these women would never have given them a second glance.  That is what you have to be careful of, the woman wanting you for your fame and fortune and not for yourself, but it is so easy to fall into that trap!!"  he smiles at me  "I have always been very lucky in that respect, I was dating Lacey in school, I know she loves me for me, she does not actually like me being famous, she hates it and would rather I had a normal job!!"

"Oh berry, that is all I need!!"   I pull a face and he frowns at me  "You talking about crazy women, and there is a preying mantis walking in our direction."  I snigger as I watch Strawberry approach us.  "This will be interesting!!"

"I'm guessing another one of Honey's sisters judging by her colour."

"Yes, unfortunately!!"

"So!?  Where is my neice Tap, have you forgotten or lost her already!!"  she snaps at me.  I can always rely on Strawberry to be a bitch.  "or have you just dumped her on someone so you can shirk your responsibilities!!"  I just stare at her  "So where is she?  Do you even know?!"

"Not that it is any of your business where my daughter is!!  but if you really must know Vanilla is with Crystal and ...."  she cuts in without letting me finish my sentence.

"Oh so the town idiot leaves her with an even bigger idiot!!  That girl only has half a brain cell, she can't even use a knife and fork properly, and you say you can look after Vanilla!!"  she scoffs.  "You know Vanilla will end up with me once you have hurt her or gotten bored of her!!  You can not even look after yourself for berry's sake!!"

"Wind your neck in bitch, it is time you dropped this rubbish!!  You will never get your hands on my daughter!!  If you continue to carry on like this you will not even get to play Aunty because if I get my way she will have nothing to do with you!!  You will only fill her head with rubbish bad mouthing me and I don't want her round the likes of you anyway ... so back off!!"   Just looking at Strawberry's condescending face is making me so angry!!  She has got a nerve!!  "You can leave Crystal alone too, she is far from being an idiot!!!  And if you bothered to let me finish my sentence Vanilla and Crystal are with your Dad and River, now get lost, I am busy!!"  I snap at her  "Go and throw stones at someone else!!"

"Yeah you look really busy to me sat on the park bench yacking while you leave some other mug to look after your baby!!"  she says sarcastically  "Got a job yet?  You have got a daughter to support now remember ... oh silly me, Daddy will still be supporting you while you dump your baby to play that damn guitar in the park!!"  she starts laughing  "Prelude has not shut up about that expensive guitar that Daddie has bought the undeserving spoiled brat for his birthday!!  I bet you are stupid enough to think you can busk for a living."

"You are SOOO clever Straw, you guessed!!  I am going to be playing my guitar to earn my pennies!!"  I smirk at her sarcastically as I pull the handful of change I earned busking out of my pocket.   "Look, I have earned enough today busking to buy a packet of nappies!! If I am lucky, this afternoon I might earn a bit more so I can buy a tin of baby milk!!"  I snap as I throw the change at her feet.  "Here go buy yourself an extra large gob stopper, it might keep your tongue occupied for five minutes!!" 

This has Rocky really laughing out loud which gets Strawberry looking in his direction.  I almost wander for a moment if she had forgotten he was sat there, too wrapped up with bitching at me. 

"Soooo who is your new cute friend?"  the way she says it and the way she looks at Rocky winds me up.  Like she is some sleezy hooker looking for a punter. 

"Like you do not already know who he is!!"  I snap at her  "Cute?!!  Stop playing your game slut, get your autograph or photograph and sling your hook, because that is all you are getting!!   We are not interested in joining your long list of conquests!!  He is happily married and I know where you have been."  I start laughing  "Besides aren't we a little too young for your tastes these days!!  There are plenty of other men Gravel's age knocking around town, go and sniff them!!"

"You think you are SOOO funny don't you Tapestry!!"  she snaps  "Berry knows what my stupid sister ever saw in you!" 

"And thank berry my cousin FINALLY came to his senses and dumped your cheating ass, before he caught something fatal!!"  I snap at her.   "If you have just came over here to pee me off and show me up, well you have succeeded, so now you can go"  she just continues to stand there, hand on hip and starts laughing at me "Seriously Straw, get lost will you!!  You need to go away and take a really good look at yourself before you go throwing stones at other people!!" 

"Screw you Tap!!"  She turns round and starts to walk away slowly, laughing as she goes.

"You wished!!"

She turns round and sticks her finger up at me then walks off.  Rocky just looks at me with his eyebrows raised.

"Okay!!"  he says and starts laughing.

"I told you it would be interesting."  I laugh  "She is Honey's twin sister and has always hated me with a passion and the feeling is mutual!!  She has tried to snatch Vanilla since I have been back, she thinks that she would do a better job of looking after Vanilla and is trying to convince everyone that Honey would have wanted her to have Vanilla and not me, because I am the dyslexic idiot with ADHD!!"  I roll my eyes at him  "She is also aptly named Strawberry Tart because she is the town bike, she has and will let anyone take a ride!!" 

"And have you?"  he asks with a grin on his face

"NO WAY!!!  I can't stand the bitch just as much as she can't stand me!!"  I laugh  "Not that that would stop her, buy her a drink and she'll do anything!!  But I know where she has been, my brother, cousins and most of my friends my age have been through it!!  She is disgusting!!"

"Well, do not be surprised if she suddenly wants to become your best friend, once you career takes off and you are out there!!"   Rocky laughs for a moment as he continues to watch her doing her 'slut' walk across the park.  "I would lay bets on her being one of the first trying to get her claws into you, She looks the sort!!"

"DON'T!!  You are putting me off my music career!!!"  We both sit laughing for a moment

"Talking about names, what are you going to call yourself?"  I frown at him  "Tapestry does not quite cut it as a rock star name, does it!  When you say Tapestry it automatically makes you think about sewing and wool pictures, not someone who is about to come out on stage with a loud guitar and kick up a storm!!"  I laugh at him for a moment  "Ziggy's real name is Beetroot Crumble and Creed's is Carrot Juice.  I think both of their parents must have had a sence of humour!!"  this makes me laugh even louder, but now I do see what he means!!

"Funny you should say Storm!!  That was my faded cousins name, Storm Orchid."  I smile at him.  "He along with Honey were my best mates, now they have both gone."

"You and your family have really been through some shit haven't you!!"  I just pull a glum face at him.  "You know Storm is actually a pretty good name to use!!"  he grins at me  "Storm Orchid sounds a lot better than sewing Orchid!!"  we both start laughing  "You can even drop the Orchid, most of us are known by only one name.  Of course you don't have to change your name at all, it is just a suggestion!!  Most do have a stage name because it helps a little to keep your work and private life separated.  I have never had that privilege, Grumpy giving me an apt name at birth!!"

"I'll think about it."  I smile at him  "I am guessing quickly before I sign these papers?"

"Yep, you have got it.  It would help if you have your stage name in mind when you are signing them."  he smiles at me  "So we have a few days to come up with something."

"Yeah, signing papers, and autographs, I am dreading it!!"  I pull a face at him  "I am an idiot, I can not even write my own name, this is not going to be fun for me!!"

"You SERIOUSLY need to stop calling yourself an idiot!!"  he pulls a face at me  "and I would not stress about it, my autograph signature is just an R and a squiggle.  I am sure you can manage that - one letter and scribble?"  he raises his eyebrows at me.

"Yeah, I guess!"  I smile at him

While Rocky is being pestered again by a small group of people who have been hanging around in the park for a while, I am watching the old man and notice he seems to be getting a little tired.  I watch him hobble over to one of the benches and he slumps down onto it.  I think the triplets have worn him out.  I hope he has not over done it, he was only discharged from the hospital earlier today and he has collapsed on me enough already for one life time.

I stand up when Rocky has finished being pestered and is left alone.  I ask him if he thinks we have sat here long enough for people to see us and he nods.  I glance over at the old man who now has one of the triplets on his lap and appears to be reading her a story from a book.  This amuses me and Rocky when I point it out.  Rocky laughs quietly as he is looking around the park and says that my cousin and his wife are the only people left in the park that have not pestered him yet.

"That surprises me, Affair is a mental Rocky fan, it was him who got me into your albums!"  I laugh at Rocky  "You know he sings and a lot better than I do!!"  Rocky raises his eyebrows at me  "Shame he is colourless!!" 

Rocky just rolls his eyes at me and looks glumly over towards Affair for a moment.  I really do not think that he needs to say anything else unfortunately, for Affair being colourless, it really is the impossible dream.

I frown at Rocky as he starts to mess about in the inside of his jacket.  He pulls out a CD and his pen, he pulls out the cover, signs it then hands it too me after he has pushed the cover back into the case and tells me to give it to Affair.  I stare at the case and Rocky starts laughing, telling me it is his new album, which has not been released yet, it is not due out for another few weeks.

"I should not really be giving this out yet, but, tell him he has got the first signed copy."  he smiles at me  "Little does he know the anonymous on four of these songs is little old you!"  he winks at me as I hand him my guitar to hold.  As I start to move away he grabs my jacket to stop me from walking off.

"Hey Tap"  he says with enthusiasm and a smirk on his face as he hands me his phone.  "While you are over there take a picture of the old man for me to text to Grumpy!!"  Rocky starts laughing then singing which has me howling at him. 

♪♫ Grumpy Grape needs to see that Sour Grape has Finally seen the light! ♫♪

"Sour Grape!!  Fudge!!  Mulberry will love that!!"  I can hardly talk for laughing  "You could always invite Grumpy over, if he is so eager to get me to sign this paperwork, he can bring it with him and see the old man for himself!!"  I start to really laugh at Rocky who suddenly has a mischievous look on his face almost like he is thinking about it.

"NO!!  Not a good idea!!  He would probably jump straight on a plane if I asked him but, if I know my old man, that paperwork is probably already well on it's way!!!  Trust me he is going to give you one hell of a headache once he has got you on his books, so you should make the most of what little freedom from him that you have left!!"  he starts to really laugh  "Besides, you do not know what it is like when my old man and your Grandfather get together, they rip shreds out of each other!!"  he laughs  "It is hard to imagine, but they use to be really good mates once, so I have been told, before your Mother was born!!"

I start laughing as I am walking off in Affairs direction to give him the CD, while I am carrying Rocky's phone to get the photographic evidence that he wants.

The look on Affairs face when I gave him the CD, was priceless.

Song ~ Radioactive (Acoustic Cover) ~ Daughtry


  1. I love so much about this chapter ^^
    I will never get tired or Rocky. I have to say though that I had a brain fart when Lyric was mentioned. I was like "Yay, it's Lyric!" Then I remembered that that Lyric isn't my Lyric XD (Merlot, Merlot, Merlot, Merlot...I gotta remember that, haha)

    The whole reunion scene in the park was awesome, as was Rocky giving Tap the CD for Affair. How nice ^^

    1. I am glad you enjoyed it :)
      Yes you must remember - you renamed the little fella (who is still brewing in belly) Merlot is not due to hatch yet :)
      Talking about Merlot reminds me that I played with Prelude and Elderberry in a mess about file a week back, I will have to put the mess about pics up for you to see :)
      I love Rocky, he is probably my favourite born in game sim, miffed that he is not mine though!! He is Whitewaves boy who I just can not leave alone!!