Sunday, 15 March 2015

Chapter 40 - part 4 - Gen 2 - Tapestry

I am woken up quite abruptly, by a lot of bumping and banging going on in the bedroom.  I open my eyes a little irritated to be disturbed from the dream free sleep that, for once, I was actually enjoying.  I am wandering who, what, why and where the noise is coming from.

Straight away I see Crystal noisily scrambling around the bedroom like a clumsy oaf, if she is trying to be quiet, she is not doing a very good job of it.   She is opening the wardrobe and cupboard draws nosily, rummaging around inside them like a maniac, then slamming them shut.  I can see she keeps scratching her head in confusion and she is starting to get a little annoyed, obviously she is not finding what she appears to be desperately looking for.

I sit up slowly and start laughing at her quietly in my head, because I think, without even asking her, I probably already know exactly what she is looking for.  Pregnancy test kits.  If I had left them where she had hidden them, we would just be about to go through our normal every day performance that we go through every morning at home.  The test, the negative, the tantrum and the tears!!  Only the 6th day into our vacation, and she has broken her promise, I guessed that we would not go the whole two weeks without having to go through this!!  But it is not happening because I have disposed of the test kits,while she was not looking, because I guessed this would be coming!!

I watch her for a while, so engrossed with her search, she has not even noticed me being awake and watching her.  It is not until she starts looking under the bed and mattress that she notices that I am awake.

"Have you lost your ring?"  I laugh at her.

"No!!"  she smirks at me as she waves her hand around so that I can see her engagement ring.

"Well you won't find what you are looking for."  I laugh at her.

"Won't find what?"  she frowns at me while she tries to look innocent.

"The pregnancy test kits that you sneaked from the chemist when you went shopping with Forrest!!  I guess that is what you are looking for."  I frown at her as I watch her face doing somersaults.  "I knew you would not be able to stick to your word or keep your promise!!" 

"I need to check!!"  she frowns at me  "Where are they?"

"I binned them 3 days ago, in the outside bin, which has been emptied by the binmen, so they are long gone!!"  I smile at her as she scowls at me   "You can wait until you get home before you do another test!!  I don't want you crying for half the day when you get another negative, we said we wouldn't do this while we are on vacation!!"

"Says him who has just spent two days sulking and being moody!!"

She pulls a face at me and goes slamming out of the bedroom. 

While I want to laugh at her I know it is not funny because she is seriously driving herself crazy with it.  Obviously she did not listen to a damn thing I said to her last night.  She will take a test this morning, because of us sleeping together last night, even though she has been told so many times that pregnancies do not show up straight away, and when she sees another negative she will just get really upset about it.  She will then start to say because last night didn't work that we need to do it again.  I am sure she is almost verging on the edge of craziness!!

The door slamming wakes Vanilla up, and she starts to scream, so I jump off the bed and head in her direction.  I hear her go quiet instantly, so I think Crystal has beat me to it and when I open the bedroom door, I see she has and is carrying Vanilla into the living area.

"Daddddy!!"  she squeals   "Me want choccy puddin."

"Oh no!!  Not for breakfast you don't!!"  I laugh at her  "You have what Mommy says you are having and it won't be chocolate pudding!!"

Me and Crystal laugh at each other as she pouts.  We know that she is trying it on because she is asking me.  I had to admit to Crystal about giving into her with the chocolate pudding requests when she refuses to eat anything else.  Vanilla is now constantly trying it on with me with the chocolate pudding demands because she thinks I am going to keep giving into her.  Suddenly in her eyes I have become a chocolate pudding machine!!

Crystal puts her in her high chair and gives her some milk while she goes to make her breakfast.  After taking a shower, I take my medication with a carton of banana milk shake and give Crystal her medication then sit down and flick on the television, not interested in eating breakfast.  Crystal has quit even nagging me about it because she knows I will eat when I want to, not when I am supposed to.

As I sit mindlessly watching the children's channel, which Crystal has obviously had on for Vanilla, or probably herself.  I suddenly realize that I actually slept the whole night through without being woken up by my nightmare, which is a first since they started over three months ago.  Not even Vanilla had woken me up, which is unusual.

"Did Vanilla sleep straight through?"  I frown at Crystal  "She did not wake me crying."

"I had to get up to her a few times during the night."  she laughs  "You did not even stir, you was well out for the count!"

"Sorry!!"  I smile at her  "I guess I needed to catch up on some sleep, I've hardly slept for the past three nights."  she laughs at me  "What do you want to do today besides feeding the homeless people?"   

I think to stop Crystal from thinking about the baby thing all the time, I am going to have to keep her very busy and entertained.

"Anything, I'm not bothered."  she mumbles

"Forrest told me about some boat trips from down on the main beach.  One of the trips is in a glass bottom boat.  Vanilla can get to see the fish.  What do you think?"  

"I don't know, I have never been on a boat and me and Vanilla can't swim!!"  she says which makes me laugh.

"You don't need to swim sitting on a boat!!!"  I laugh at her  "Boats are perfectly safe as long as you are not stupid enough to lean too far over the side, then you might fall out!!  If you are worried, Vanilla can wear her armbands."  

I laugh because I doubt that Crystal will let me take Vanilla onto a boat without them.  Crystal just stands staring silently out of the kitchen window and says nothing.  I wander for a moment if she is not day dreaming or sulking over the pregnancy test kits.

"Tap, that red homeless guy from the park yesterday, he is sat outside."  she tells me as she turns to look at me.

I get up off the couch and put my arm round Crystal as I stand next to her and look out of the window.  I can see the homeless guy just sat on the sand not too far away from the decking, he is just staring down at the sand.  Seeing him reminds me that it is his birthday today. 

I tell Crystal that I will go out and see what he wants while she finishes giving Vanilla her breakfast.  I walk out of the front door, the noise of the door opening makes him jump to his feet and he starts to look at me awkwardly.  Almost like he thinks I might start to shout at him for being here. 

"Happy Birthday!"  I laugh at him as I walk towards him.  "So now you are 23."

"Oh berry, I had completely forgotten about that!!"  he half laughs at himself, then starts to look uncomfortable again. 

"Are you okay?"  I ask him as I smile at him.

"I am really really sorry!!"  he mumbles  "I really did not want to disturb you, or put this onto your shoulders, but ... I did not know what else to do, or who else to turn to.  I think only you might help her."

"Help who?"

"The girl.  I would not normally do this, but I seriously can not just ignore her and she really needs help that I can not give her!!"  he pulls a face at me  "Can you come with me please, I really need to show you."

He appears to be really nervous as he stands there just staring at me, which makes me wander why, I am not even sure that I should actually be trusting this guy.

I tell him to hang on for one second and I pop my head in through the door and tell Crystal that I won't be long.  I am wandering where he is taking me and why, he has not really explained, because he is nervous and on edge.  I think he feels really uncomfortable about asking for my help.  I can only presume that one of his homeless friends is hurt or ill.

"How did you know where I was staying?"

"You are Storm right?!"  I laugh and nod, not sure that I will ever get used to being called that name.  Storm himself, finds it highly amusing.  "You told me you was famous and I heard people in the park talking about the rock star who is in town, staying in the private beach house with his colourless girlfriend and the mixed berry kid.  As she is the only colourless adult I have ever seen, and I noticed your kid is yellow, I knew it had to be you they were talking about."  he frowns at me and seems to hesitate for a moment.  "Do you mind if I ask, why do you and the yellow kid have colourless eyes?" 

"That is a bit of a genetic mystery, albinism is usually an all or nothing thing, but my Mother is colourless, so I inherited them from her somehow and my daughter inherited them from me."  I smile at him as his eyes widen  "I am a mixed berry, my Dad is orange and my Mothers family is purple, but she was born colourless, and somehow me and my two sisters and brother ended up with our Mothers colourless eyes."  

He just smiles at me awkwardly, but at the same time he looks a little confused.  I do not think he knows what to say.  I presume I am probably the first mixed berry that he has ever seen, he obviously is a pure berry so for all I know he probably does not like those who lack colour, those who colour mix or mixed berries. 

"My name is Tapestry by the way.  Storm is just my stage name."

"I am Pheonix."  he smiles at me

Phoenix starts to lead the way to where he is taking me.  I follow him a short distance across the sand then onto the road, we start to walk along the pavement and away from the beach house.  I did not even think about putting shoes on, and I do not realize I am walking bare foot until we get onto the pavement and I step onto a stone which digs into the bottom of my foot painfully.  I really do not know how Crystal can walk around barefoot permanently. 

"So where are we going?"

"It is not far, just the next beach along from yours."  

I follow him along a small pathway that is starting to run away from the road, carefully watching where I am treading.  We walk between a collection of rocks that almost form an archway overhead and we walk out onto the sand of another beach, which my feet are very glad of.  As I glance around I can see that this beach is not half as nice as the beach attached to Forrest's beach house.

"It is just over there."  he points towards a collection of large rocks and overgrown bushes not too far away.  I can see that there is a bashed and broken up boat and some wooden barrels by where he has pointed.  "Hopefully she is still asleep behind the boat."

As we walk along the beach, to the place that he has pointed out to me,  I can not help but wander why, in a place like this, the homeless people do not take advantage of the sea and warm weather.  They could so easily clean themselves and their clothes in the water.  They could also catch fish to eat if they have a mind to and build a fire.  So I ask him.  

Phoenix tells me that they get arrested for 'polluting' the water and while most of them have tried it, at one time or another, thinking that they will get a roof over their heads for a night, a bed and a meal.  However, it does not work out that way.  They are thrown into an empty cage, like an animal, for twenty four hours which is outside, unsheltered and behind the police station, without a bed or blanket and they do not even get fed either.  The police do this to discourage them from continuously doing it, and it works because they do not do it again.

My mind is too busy wandering about how those in the coded world can be so mean with the homeless problem, to even question who she is, or what or who I am going to see when we reach the boat.  I think I nearly pass out with shock, when he points out the little toddler that is sleeping on the sand, and I realize what I am looking at.

"Is she colourless?"  I ask Phoenix who frowns at me strangely.  "Sorry, I am colourblind, I do not see colour.  I only know you are red because my girlfriend told me.  That toddler looks bright enough to my eyes to be colourless."

"Yes she is colourless."  he laughs

"Hell!!"  I snap too speechless to say anything else, while my mind takes it in properly.

"This is my patch, and where I sleep at night for most of the year."  he smiles at me  "She just appeared on this beach a few days ago during the night.  She woke me up crying and has been crawling around this place ever since.  She is hanging around me and I just do not know what to do."

"Has she just been dumped and left here?"  I frown at him.

"Yeah, I guess you know, they throw the ones that lack colour out onto the streets to get rid of them.  She will just be ignored by everyone now, and left out here until she fades."  he grimaces  "They don't even get a decent burrial!!  When she has faded, her body will be dumped way out at sea for the fish to eat."  he goes silent for a moment as he stands there scratching his head.  "I can not help but think, even with her lack of colour, she is still just a defenseless little kid and she does not stand a chance!!"

He genuinely looks sad as he is saying it.  He obviously is a pure berry with a heart and conscience.  I can feel my blood boiling and I am starting to get upset just looking at the little abandoned colourless toddler lying there.  

I seriously can not understanding how people can do it.  How can people not love their child, however they turn out, and so easily throw them out on the streets to fade?!  I did not understand it before but especially not now that I have Vanilla in my life, and a child that I did not chose to have to bury, my brain just can not comprehend how they can be so cruel.  I wander just how these people live with themselves!! 

"I have seen this once before.  There was a little boy, about her age, over on one of the other beaches quite a few years back now, when I was not very old myself.  It was winter and he faded after only a week, and it has seriously haunted me ever since."  he starts to look upset.  "I can not even explain how I felt when I saw this child appear, I seriously can not watch it happen again, especially not on my patch!!"  

Phoenix pulls a face at me and I can see this is really upsetting him, like it is upsetting me, we both stand silently watching the child sleeping, my mind is doing somersaults.  

"I do not know how to look after a kid, I can try but I can barely look after myself sometimes especially as far as food goes.  I have not even attempted to take that nappy off, because I can not get any new ones.  I tried with the money you gave me, but none of the shops selling nappies would let me in."  he rolls his eyes at me.  "That boat turned over is my only shelter in bad weather, and as you can see, it has had its days.  Being so young, she will never survive out on the streets in the winter anyway, it is hard enough for us adults."

"I know!!"  I mumble  "I will take her, you don't have to worry!!  She can come home with us, where she will be fine!!"  I smile at him  "I have a cousin who is colourless, he has triplets about her age who are also colourless, my girlfriend and my Mother, so she will not be on her own."

"Where on Berry's earth do you live?"  Phoenix asks, he has confusion written all over his face  "Only I seriously don't get it.  Why does the lack of colour not seem to bother you ... and how are there so many in your family, your Mom, your girlfriend, your cousin and his kids?  How do you not get into trouble for it, especially colour mixing?!  I did not even know that colourless berries ... "  he stumbles over his words  "I have just never seen an adult colourless berry before.  I did not know that they existed let alone had normal lives and children!!  I thought they all ended up like her, abandoned and left to fade away, because they are not right."

"I come from Sugar Valley, which is a colour mix town, where colour mixing is perfectly legal.  There are three colour mix towns and that is where the coded world dump those who colour mix and their mixed colour children."  I laugh at him as his eyes almost roll in his head.  "Colourless people are treated like human beings in colour mixed towns, we do not see anything wrong with them, because there is actually nothing wrong with them.  Just because their skin lacks the colour pigment does not make them any less human!!"   

I laugh at him, he has all sorts of expressions flashing across his face.  I think he realises that he could very well have really offended me with his comment about colourless people not being right.  He reminds me of Denim, it took him a while to get his head around the colourless thing, the problem with most pure berries out in the colour coded world, they do not see them and when they do they only know the stigma attached to them, they do not know the facts, they just need educating. 

"I'm sorry, I did not mean to be rude!!  I did not know that colour mix towns even existed!!  Colour mixing, mixed berries and colourless people, I just ... I was taught it was wrong ... a sin ... and nobody has ever said otherwise ... until you!"

"It is fine!!"  I laugh at him  "It is not your fault, you have just been brainwashed by the colour coded twats, you just need educating a little!!   It might surprise you, but the lack of colour is actually due to a medical condition, Albinism.  That child's parents have both got a faulty gene which creates it.  The two faulty genes combined together, causes the lack of colour to come out in some of their childlren.  The parents cause the medical condition and the child suffers for it.  She more than likely will not have that faulty gene herself."

"Really, I always wandered how it happened!"  he laughs at me  "You said only some of their children, so are they not all colourless?"

"No, generally it is only one out of four of their children that are colourless.  My Mother has two purple brothers, she was the only one born colourless.  Obviously as you can see with me, colourless people don't have colourless children either, unless they and their partner both have the faulty gene, they have children the colour they are supposed to be.  My parents have orange and purple children."  his eyes widen, he looks shocked.

I love the way that fact always creates the same reaction of surprize!!  I laugh at him as he stands there scratching his head while he tries to take it all in, but I can see he is still confused by it all, but I am not surprised, I have never been very good at explaining things.

I start to make my way around the boat and towards the sleeping toddler.  As I do, even though I am barefoot and am not really making any noise, the toddler wakes up, sitting up quite quickly like she is startled.  She just sits and stares at me, and I can see her bottom lip quivering like she is about to cry.

As I try to pick her up she starts to cry, scream even and backs away from me a little, like she is scared.  Phoenix tells me that she has been crying a hell of a lot since she arrived here.

I have to crouch down and talk to her for a while before I can pick her up, and when I am holding her, she still continues to cry for a little while and tries to push me away, like she does not want me holding her.  She stares up at me, I imagine she might be trying to work out if I am going to hurt her.  I continue to talk to her and when I start singing one of Vanilla's nursery rhymes to her she quietens down a little and starts to relax.

"Have you seen anyone hanging around, keeping an eye on the child?"  I ask him.

"No, not a sole has been near since she arrived.  I have only really left her for a short time, worried she might go into the water.  Yesterday when you saw me trying to get some sleep in the park, I was taking a break from the constant crying, I couldn't take it anymore!!"  he laughs quietly to himself.  "That is why I though I had faded yesterday when I saw you looming over me with your colourless eyes.   I have not seen a colourless person since I was a child.  This kid turns up and then you, your kid and your colourless girlfriend appear, all three of you with colourless eyes, I thought I was going mad!!"  I laugh at him. 

"Did she have anything with her, a blanket, clothes, note, teddy?"  he frowns at me  "It might give us a clue as to what her name is or what colour her parents are."

"No."  he shakes his head  "Just in that nappy that is exactly how she was left."

As I am holding her, I can feel that her nappy is totally soaked, lumpy and heavy and she hums something chronic, like she must have filled her nappy half a dozen times over, the smell is almost making me heave.  She does not appear to be particularly dirty so I think all of the smell is coming out of her nappy.

I suddenly hear her little stomach growling quite loudly, she must be really hungry.

"Has she had no food since she has been here?"  I frown at Phoenix.

"I tried to give her some bread, but she acted like she did not know what to do with it."  he mumbles.  "I don't have a clue about how you look after a child that young or what they eat, not that we get a choice out on the streets!!"

"I need to get her back to the beach house, she needs milk!!"

"I am really sorry I had to leave you with this ..."  Phoenix mumbles

"It is fine!!"  I smile at him  

"Before you go ... I wanted to give you this back.  It is too much and it is not much use to me."  he holds out the money that I gave him yesterday.  It makes me feel horrible because I know now, after what Crystal told me, and he has already hinted that he can not spend it because the shops will not let him in to spend it, just like they would not let Crystal.  So I walked away from him yesterday, not really helping him at all.

"No you keep it, you need it more than I do!!"  I smile at him.  Even knowing what I know, I could never take it back off him, hoping that there must be at least one shop somewhere in this town that will serve him.  "You can come back to the beach house with me, you need feeding, just like she does."

"No I ... I have taken up enough of your time."  he mumbles quietly. 

"Don't argue, you are coming back with me, we can feed you, it is really not a problem!!"  I laugh remembering what we had been talking about last night.  "Me and Crystal planned to buy food today and feed some of you homeless people anyway." 

While we are walking back to the beach house I phone Rocky for some advice, because I am worried about how I am going to get the child back to Sugar Valley.  I don't even have to think about what is going to happen to this child, she will have to come home with us, because I can not leave her here!!

Rocky knows exactly what I have to do because he has already done it himself.  He has taken in and adopted two little colourless boys, who he has named Rhythm and Rhyme, that he has found at different times, abandoned out in the colour coded world.   He has actually taken seven colourless children home in total to date.  Obviously he could not look after all of them himself, so other people in Berry Shores have gladly taken the other children in, he has only kept two of them himself.  

Rocky laughs hysterically when I tell him about the child that I am holding.  He is not lauging because the child has been abandoned, but because he bet me it would not be very long before I ended up with an abandoned colourless child myself, and it looks like he was right.  We are both very much like minded and could never walk away and leave the child on the streets to fade, knowing taking it to a colour mix town would give it a completely different and much better life.

As soon as we walk into the beach house Crystal glances at me and I see her face drop.  I think she knows straight away, without me having to tell her, what is going on when she sees the colourless child in my arms.

Crystal just stands silently listening to me explaining what Phoenix had told me.  She can not take her eyes off the child and I can see that she is getting upset as well as angry.  She herself was basically this child, nearly thirty years ago.

"See!!  This world is definitely not fair!!"  she snaps  "Someone else who does not want and just throws away their baby when we are struggling to have one!!"  I can hear her voice cracking  "This makes me hate your sister and my parents even more!!"   she snaps then starts to cry  "What is going to happen to her?!  We can't even take her on a plane without a passport and we can't just leave her out there!!"

"Crystal please don't start getting upset!!  I've spoken to Rocky and he says it will be easy for me to get papers for her, he has done it loads of time, remember Rhythm and Rhyme.   So we will be able to take her home with us!!"  She smiles at me through her tears.  "We can look after her and adopt her if you want, or if you don't want to, we can find her a home in Sugar Valley, someone will take her in."

"Of course I want to!!"  she smiles at me  "So can she live with us?"

"Yes if that's what you want!!"  she grins at me. 

"SNOWMAN!!"  Vanilla starts squealing and laughing as she points at the child that I am holding.  "Daddy me want Snowman!!"

Both me and Crystal look at Vanilla and start to laugh at her.

"No Vanilla, she is not a snowman!!"  I laugh at her  "She is a little girl just like you and she is colourless like Affair, Mommy and Nanny!!" 

"Snowman like Magi!"  Vanilla giggles

I laugh at her pointing out that this little girl is like her cousin Magnolia, Affairs daughter.  Vanilla and Magnolia are very close, while she does not really bother with her other two colourless cousins.  We have a sneaky feeling that it is because Magnolia can also see the spirits.  Saffron pointed something out to me that I had never noticed, some of our colourless eyes are shinier than others.  All of us with the shiney whiter eyes, Crystal, me, Vanilla and Magnolia can see the spirits.  Those with the dull colourless eyes, Mom, Mosaic, Coral, Cotton, Affair, Moon and Sugar can not see the spirits.


Rocky had told me to report finding the child to the police.  He said that they will not be remotely interested about the colourless child being abandoned, and they will probably tell me to remove the child from the building, worried that I might be planning to leave it there with them, because they will not want the hassle of having to deal with it.  He said if I did actually leave the child with them, they would just go and dump it back out on the streets anyway. 

I did not really see the point of reporting the abandoned child to the police, it is not like the child's parents or coded world even care about what happens to this child because of it's lack of colour, social services will not even get involved with this child, they too will just wash their hands of it.  He says I have to do everything legally, it is better to be safe than sorry, for my sake, so I do not get accused of abducting the child in future, which is not likely but always possible.  At the end of the day she is still somebody's child and they could have a change of heart.  He says I also have to do it for the child's sake, just in case the parents do have a change of heart and go looking for the child, but that is also highly unlikely, but not impossible.  Personally I do not think they deserve to have the child, if they can go as far as to dump it like they have in the first place.  What is stopping them from doing it again!!

Rocky had then told me to take the child to the Town Hall and explain that I want papers and a passport for it, because I am taking it to Sugar Valley.  He says they will jump at the chance of getting the child out of town, so I should get the papers and passport there and then after only a short wait.  He tells me that I should not have any problems but if I do, he will fly out and throw his weight around, his fame usually gets him exactly what he wants.

As it is Sunday, I know the Town Hall will not be open, so today I can only take the child to the police station, the Town Hall will have to wait until tomorrow.  While I want to get it done and out of the way straight away, I know that the child desperately needs feeding, cleaning up and dressing before I go taking her anywhere.

Crystal who has finished giving Vanilla her breakfast and has made Phoenix and the child something decent to eat, comes in to watch me bathing the child, while she waits to feed her.

"She does not mind having a bath.  She has no bruises and is not all that dirty.  She must have only been on the streets for the couple of days that Phoenix knows to."  I smile at Crystal, who suddenly bursts out laughing almost hysterically.

"Have you got your contacts in?"  I frown at her and tell her that I have.  "Well maybe you need to get your prescription checked, either that or River needs to give you some sex ed!!"  she is almost double up in hysterics.  "Berry Tap, you crack me up!!"

"What?!"  I frown at her in confusion.

"Did you not even notice when you took her nappy off?"  I shake my head and shrug, still not understanding what has her so amused or what she is getting at.  "Oh Tap, sometimes you are totally useless!!  That little girl has a snake!!"  she laughs  

"Ooops!!"  I burst out laughing as I lift the child out of the water, just long enough to check.  I can see straight away, it is not a girl at all, it is actually a little boy.  "I was too busy trying to peel the nappy and 2 days worth of poop off her his ass to even check the front bits!!"  we both stand there really laughing at my stupidity.

"Why did you think it was a girl in the first place, you wally?"  Crystal giggles at me.   "I think even Vanilla spotted it was a boy, calling him snowman!!"

"Pheonix said it was a girl.  The child's hair is girly long so I did not question it!!"  I laugh  "HE definitely needs a hair cut!!"

"That dress is no good for him either!!"  we both start laughing at the frilly dress I have pulled out of Vanilla's clothes draw and put close by, which I had been planning to dress the child in after the bath.  

The little boy seemed to take to Crystal straight away and a lot better than he had taken to me at first.  I think that her lack of colour might have made him feel a little more comfortable, he seems to have a fascination of keep touching her skin.  Vanilla sat close by and just quietly watched him, she seems to be very curious of the little boy.  She amuses me by keep calling him Snowman, when I have never heard her calling any of Affairs triplets that, when they are colourless just the same as this little boy is.

After dressing him in some of Vanilla's clothes that do not look too girly, Crystal tried, without a lot of success, to feed him some solid baby food.  He did not seem to know how to eat the food off a spoon, and when Crystal managed to get some into his mouth, he just spat it all out.  Phoenix said that is just exactly what he did to the bread that he had tried to feed him.  We think he is almost acting like he has never been given solid food before.  He drank a bottle of milk straight away without any problems.  As soon as he was handed it, he took it and knew exactly what to do with it.  We suspect that milk is all he has ever been given.

I tried to explain to Vanilla that the little boy would be living with us from now on and he would be coming home with us.  I told her that me and Crystal would be his new Mommy and Daddy and she would be his new big sister.  I said big sister even though we don't have a clue how old he is, he could be older than Vanilla for all we know, but he definitely acts like he is younger from what we have seen so far.  I avoided using the brother word in case she started to mention Shadow after what Sunny and Dad have told her.  

Vanilla sat and listened, I do not know if she took any of what I was telling her in or if she even understood it.  I am actually worried about how she might react to him when she realizes that he will be a permanent fixture and taking some of our attention away from her, especially thinking about how she reacts to any attention that we give to Ocean.

After the little boy had finished his bottle of milk I left Crystal looking after Vanilla while I took the little boy into town.  Not knowing where the police station was, Phoenix came with me so that he could show me, he also pointed out where the town hall is to me.  I laughed at the pap taking pictures of us, and I wander if I am not rocking the boat a little too much, now wandering through town with a homeless tramp and a colourless child, but still it did not stop me from being hassled for autographs and photographs, which highly amused Phoenix who could not quite understand what was going on!!

As Rocky had predicted, as soon as I walked into the police station with the little boy, the desk sergeant started to throw a fit the second that I told them I had found the little boy abandoned on the beach.  He actually told me to go and put the little boy back where I had found him.  I felt like punching him because he would not have said that if the child had been a colour!!  He was pretty relieved when I told him I was not leaving him there, I was keeping him, taking  him home to Sugar Valley with me and that I just wanted to report it, in case the boys parents came looking for him.  He laughed at me almost hysterically, before he wrote the incident into a large book, taking down my name, address and telephone number, then shood me and the child out of the building.  

We were hardly in the place for five minutes, and I was a little surprised when I got outside to find that Phoenix, who said he would wait outside, had gone.  I looked around for him and he was nowhere to be seen. In a way I suspected that he might sneak off.  He seems very uncomfortable being around me, I do not understand why in his position he gets so embarrassed and feels uncomfortable about accepting any help that I am trying to give him.   

While I was in town I grabbed a few things including some new clothes for Phoenix.  Feeling a little silly having to ask people to point out the red shop, so that I knew I was getting him the right colour clothes.  I also made a few phone calls.

While I am sat watching Vanilla and the little boy sat playing together with their two new dolls that I grabbed for them while I was in town, I can not help but keep thinking about Phoenix and the way he just sneaked off.

I decided to go and find Phoenix.  I can not help but think that he, as a person, deserves better!!  He seems like a kind and caring person, a pure berry with a heart and conscience!!  After what he has done for the abandoned little boy, asking for my help, which he obviously felt uncomfortable about doing, when he could just have left the boy to fade like everyone else would.  Even with what he has been taught and believes about people who lacks colour, he put that aside and looked past it, he can see that underneath the lack of colour, there is just an innocent and defenseless child there, which is something the rest of the coded world do not see.  I feel like I can not just leave Phoenix out on the streets to rot.

It did not take me long to find him, he was sleeping on his 'patch' as he had called it, on the beach where I collected the little boy from earlier.  I told him to come back with me for a meal, and just like earlier he was a little hesitant, but eventually followed me back to the beach house.  I asked him why he had just taken off from outside the police station and he said he did not want to impose on me.  He feels that if he hangs around he might make me feel obliged to help him, even if I do not want to.  This made me laugh a little, especially in light of what I have planned for him.

Crystal had made macaroni cheese, which he said was his favourite when he was a child, he sat and ate two bowls full while I sat outside and chatted with him as he ate.  It amused me that he refused to go inside the beach house even when I said he could.  It also surprised me that he actually ate in a civilized way, not like a starving maniac like Crystal used to and still does sometimes when she forgets herself.

"So do you know the green guy who owns this place now?"  he asks me

"Yeah Forrest, he's one of my Dad's oldest and best friends."  I smile at him  "He lives in Sugar Valley, he was actually born there but he is a pure berry."

"Oh ... so are all you people from Sugar Valley strange in some way and on the kind and helpful side?" 

"What do you mean by strange?"  I frown at him.

"Sorry, I've done it again haven't I, mixed berries look strange to me and that green guy, his ears are well strange!!"  he laughs and I laugh with him

"If you think me and Vanilla look strange, you have seen nothing yet, my sister is purple with orange hair and colourless eyes, my brother is orange with purple hair and colourless eyes."  he smiles at me.  "Forrests ears are unusual, they run in his family, his Mother and Sister have them.  There is a past down tale about them having elves in their distant past, but I don't think he even believes that himself!!"

"For more years than I can remember, every so often, on my patch, I am left things - nice food piles, money, blankets in the winter, useful things like a tin opener, mugs, forks, spoons, a razor.  I have quite a collection of useful objects hidden in one of those barrels on my patch, even these clothes were left for me."  he smiles at me as he pulls on his clothes  "These things always seem to appear when that green guy is staying here, so I have suspected for a long time it was him."

"Yeah that sounds like something that Forrest would do."  I laugh at him  "In colour mix towns we don't leave anyone to be homeless, he would have hated seeing you on the streets!" 

"He has been coming here since I was a kid.  He tried to talk to me a few times when I was in my early teens, but I always legged it because his ears freaked me out!!  With him being green I though he was an alien or something not human!!"  he laughs at himself and I laugh with him  "Of course I don't think that now, I've grown up a little and I think that is why he leaves me stuff when I am not around to see him doing it, he must think I am scared of him."

 "You know you probably shot yourself in the foot there not talking to Forrest!!"  I laugh at him  "If you had spoken to Forrest back then, I would lay bets on him taking you off the streets, especially with you being a kid."
I sat and explained to him about how colour mix towns are so drastically different to any out in the coded world, and especially how the people are.  We are like one big family who look out for each other, and the homeless just do not exist, because we would never let it happen, not even to a stranger who wanders into our town.  After he had finished eating Crystal cleaned away the plates then came and sat with us.

"On that note, I have brought you some new clothes."  I smile at him  "So you can go inside and take a shower and get yourself cleaned up."  Crystal frowns at me.

"Tap, what are you doing? I thought we had talked about this homeless thing."  she says quietly as she looks at me with concern.

"It is fine, don't stress!!"  I smile at her  "I phoned Denim, it is all sorted."

"You just can't help yourself can you!!"  Crystal laughs at me  "I just knew you would be plotting to find a way to do it again!!"

"I think I should go."  Phoenix stands up suddenly and starts to look uncomfortable  "I have outstayed my welcome and I'm sorry, it is obvious you don't want me here, and I quite understand ..... I'm sorry!!"  he says to Crystal and goes to walk away.

"Phoenix sit down, you don't have to go anywhere!!" I tell him as I frown at Crystal.

"Listen I don't want to cause an argument between you two.  You have been kind to me and I am really grateful for the meals you have given me today ...."

"Phoenix, you are not causing any arguments and you can stay!!"  Crystal smiles at him.  "I really don't mind you being here, you miss understood me!!  I was not trying to send you away or stop Tapestry from helping you!!"  Crystal says to him which makes him frown at her  "Sit back down and I'll explain."

He seems a little hesitant and when I tell him to sit down again, he does.

"Tapestry tries to help everyone who is in trouble, but sometimes he goes the wrong way about it and does not realize he is doing more harm than good.  I was just worried and checking that he was not doing the wrong thing for you."  she laughs  "I used to be homeless like you until Tapestry took me off the streets, so I know exactly what giving you showers, meals, clean clothes and a bed to sleep in for only a few nights will do to you when you have to go back onto the streets again"  she smiles at him

"She was worried that I was going to mess you up letting you stay here for a few days then send you back onto the streets, but I am not."  I smile at him  "I have asked Forrest and it is fine by him for you to stay here with us until we go home, then I have got you a place to live permanently so that you can come off the streets, but it will mean you moving to Rainbow Valley."

Pheonix's mouth drops open and his eyes widen to the point where they almost pop out of his head which makes me laugh at him.  I do not even give him a chance to say anything, I explain to him about Denim.  

I tell him about Denim also being homeless until I took him off the streets and he now rents my sister in laws house in Rainbow Valley and is basically running a homeless shelter, doing for others what I did for him.  He takes in homeless people, helps them to find a job and gets them back onto their feet, so that they can eventually get their own place and lead a normal life.  I tell him that I have a bedroom there which I stay in when I am in Rainbow Valley for work, which Phoenix can take and live in until he has sorted himself out, which Denim will help him to do.  I remind him that Strawberry Fields is not too far from Rainbow Valley, so he will have the opportunity to try and hunt down any relatives that he might still have there.  

Obviously when I go to the Town Hall tomorrow, to sort out the little boy, Phoenix will have to come with me, to get a copy of his papers and sort out a passport for himself, which should not be too hard as he would have had one when he was eleven to fly from Strawberry Fields to Sandy Shores when he moved here with his parents.

Pheonix just sits there stunned into silence I do not think he can believe what he is hearing or knows what to say.  I half expected him to start protesting like he normally does, but he doesn't just sat there dumbstruck and shocked.

After Phoenix has got over the shock, which takes him a while, Crystal makes up Forrest's bed with clean sheets for him while he takes a shower and cleans himself up.  He can't sleep in his new clothes so I give him a pair of my shorts to wear and he gladly, almost eagerly, goes off to spend his first night in a comfortable bed since he was eleven years old.  It tickled me that he wanted to go to bed so early.

Me and Crystal are sat out on the beach watching Vanilla and the little boy sat playing together before we put them to bed.  Vanilla is nattering away to the little boy who is silently watching her most of the time, he seems to be watching and trying to copy the things that she is doing.  He does not seem to be able to walk or talk and today he has really struggled playing with the toys, like he had never had any to play with before.  After sitting and watching Vanilla he seems to be getting the hang of things slowly. 

Vanilla seems to be playing with him quite happily, she does not seem to be bothered about this new little boy who has suddenly appeared and invaded her space.  She is playing with him like she does with Lyric and Magnolia, he is getting none of the treatment that Ocean gets from her.  She keeps making me laugh because she still keeps calling the little boy snowman.

"If we are keeping him, I still want a baby of our own!"  Crystal says quietly

"Yes, I know!!"  I laugh at her, I secretly hoped that with the appearance of this little boy, and now having two children to look after, it might make her relax a little and take her mind off the baby problem a little bit more.   "I hope you was listening to what I said last night, because you have another two days, so don't even start with that!!"

"I wasn't, I was just saying."  she smiles at me  "Just because we have that little boy as well as Vanilla now, I still want to keep trying for a baby."  she rolls her eyes  "In two days time!!"   

I laugh at her, hoping she might finally be listening and getting it!!

"Crystal that little boy needs a name, which we will have to decide on before I take him to the Town Hall to sort out his passport and papers tomorrow."

"He needs clothes too, he can't keep wearing Vanilla's clothes!!"  she looks up and laughs at me  "especially not her dresses!!"  She is still ribbing me for not noticing he was a boy when I put him in the bath.

"He needs a lot of things, including a haircut!!  I can sort his hair out tomorrow but everything else can wait until we get him home.  He will have to make do with Vanilla's clothes, we won't get any white ones for him out in the coded world"  I laugh  "So what do you want to call him?"

"I do not have a clue, but I think I know what Vanilla might want to call him!!"  she starts to laugh.

"Vanilla, what is the little boys name?"  I ask her

"SNOWMAN!!"  She shouts which has both me and Crystal really laughing.  I think we both knew she was going to say exactly that, because that is what she has been calling him all day.

"Seriously we can't call him Snowman!!"  I laugh  "I do not want to be permanently reminded of that damn song!!"

"Snowman look."  Vanilla says to the little boy and he looks up and watches Vanilla who is showing him how to bite and beat the doll up, which he starts to copy.

"We might not have a lot of choice but to call him Snowman!!"  Crystal giggles  "He has started to react and respond to that name have you noticed!!" 

"NO!!  We are NOT calling him Snowman!!"  I roll my eyes as Crystal just giggles at me  "I guess I could live with calling him Snow as long as we drop the man!!"

"Snow sounds okay to me."  Crystal smiles at me.  

"Okay, Snow it is then."  

"Now all we need to do is get madam to drop the 'man'."



  1. Aww. What a sad thing to see another little one abandoned, but at the same time the chapter is very happy since we get the knowledge that both Phoenix and Snow(man) are going to be well taken care of.
    And Tapestry thinking Snow was a girl! XD
    I wonder, is Snow meant to be related to someone we've already met? Or is he is just a random, abandoned child?

    1. You know Tapestry, always trying to play mr fix it!!
      Lol - I thought that might be amusing, Snow did look very much like a girl with that hair.
      No Snow is just a random child with no connection to anyone you know.