Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Chapter 43 - Gen 2 - Tapestry

I creep out of the nursery quietly on tip toes, armed with the baby monitor, slowly and carefully closing the door behind me, trying to make as least noise as I possibly can.  I am slightly amused with myself.

Snow is finally fast asleep and I am trying not to wake him up.  I stand outside the nursery door holding my breath, as I switch on the baby monitor, waiting for the screams and crying to start, but there are none coming.

I became a little frustrated trying to get Snow off to sleep earlier, as well as juggling my niece Poppy who was also squealing the place down for a feed, nappy change and mostly attention.  She did not seem to want to settle down and every time I put her down she cried to be picked back up again.   I could feel myself starting to get wound up and I was beginning to lose my temper a little, not so much with Snow or Poppy, but with Coral.  Coral had seriously wound me up, dumping me with the responsibility of her child again, without even asking, and I was angry with her, and starting to wind myself up with it, so annoyed with my selfish Sister!!

To cool myself down, I decided to go out for a walk and take Snow and Poppy for a ride out in the double buggy, where I knew Snow would fall asleep, for a little while at least.  I just needed a break from both Poppy and Snow's crying.  Snow tends to sleep in the buggy and the car, but as soon as you stop or try to take him out of his seat, he wakes up.  Vanilla as usual was not causing me the slightest problem.  She being asleep in our room with Crystal and I think the total opposite to Snow, she loves her sleep and would sleep all day if we let her.  

Bay and Slate, who were upstairs, because they have brought Amber round to visit Mom, helped me carry the buggy down the stairs.  We managed to do it successfully without waking either Snow or Poppy, so I just wheeled the buggy into the nursery and left Snow to sleep in the buggy while I put Poppy into a cot.  Snow slept for four hours in the buggy yesterday, which is a record for him.  If he sleeps for a few hours in his buggy tonight, I think I might just have found a way to crack his sleeping problem.  The only problem I will have then, is how do I get the buggy down the basement steps!!  Slate and Bay are not always going to be around to help me.

River comes walking down the stairs as I just stand laughing at myself.

"Tap are you still coming?  I am meeting Omri and Jazz in half an hour."  River raises his eyebrows  "Winter said she will keep an eye on your two and Crystal while we are out."  he looks over his shoulder and speaks quietly.  "If she asks, she thinks we are going bowling."

"You lied to Winter?!"  I am shocked

"I have no choice."  he looks down sheepishly  "She had the vampberry's wiped away remember, I normally try to arrange these meet ups when she is working lates, so I do not have to tell her anything.  When she is at work she doesn't know I've sneaked out for a few hours."

"You bad boy!!  You want to hope she doesn't catch you out and think you are having an affair!!"  I laugh at him playfully. "I am sorry, I can not come with you, Crystal is asleep and guess who is lumbered with Poppy AGAIN!!" 

"Seriously!!"  he rolls his eyes  "You need to put your foot down and learn to say No!!  Coral is taking you for a mug Tap!!  Where is she, I need to have a word with her, she can't keep dumping Poppy on you!!  You have Poppy all the time lately and Coral needs to take responsibility for her own daughter!!"

"You'll be wasting your breath, don't you think Dad has not already had that conversation with her twenty million times!!  She is out anyway, probably shagging half the town knowing her!"  I mumble sarcastically  "It is not like I have a lot of choice most of the time, just like tonight, Coral just dumped Poppy on our bed next to Crystal while she was asleep and I was in the kitchen feeding Vanilla and Snow.  I did not even realize Poppy was down here until she started crying and she woke Crystal up!!   I went looking for Coral but Mom says she has gone out all doled up.  The cheeky lying bitch even told Mom I had offered to baby sit!!  I am seriously going to swing for her when she gets back!!  Poppy could have rolled off the bed, Crystal could have rolled on top of her - anything could have happened, she does not even have to sense to put her into a cot!!"

"Coral is a serious joke!!  We seriously can not let this situation carry on!!  Where is Maize?  Poppy is just as much his responsibility."  River tuts.

"Oh you haven't heard the best have you!!  Coral has BANNED Maize from seeing Poppy because he would not walk out of work to look after Poppy when she wanted to go into town to get her nails done!!  She threw a right hissy fit with him over the phone and with Crystal for refusing to look after Poppy, apparently, while I was over in Apple Hill doing a radio interview.  I don't get why she couldn't just take Poppy with her!!  But I guess she doesn't know how to push a pushchair, like she doesn't seem to know how to do anything else baby related."  I snap sarcastically and River rolls his eyes and laughs  "Maize is on the verge of getting the sack, he is already on a warning because his head is all over the place because of Juni dumping him and Coral keeps dragging him out of work when I am not around and she can't find any other mug to look after Poppy.  I am seriously getting sick of her dumping Poppy in the nursery, on Crystal and our purple Granddad, who is not up to taking care of the baby, you know he is not well again, so obviously I always end up with Poppy."

"Yeah I know, Dad is worried about how sickly Grape is getting lately, he is very weak and unfortunately is starting to show his age."  River mumbles.

River looks concerned for a moment which worries me.  I have wandered lately if there is not something more serious going on with the old man's health that they are not telling me about.  I have noticed that he is spending a lot more time in bed and sleeps a lot.  He is not pottering around like he usually does.  When I asked Dad he just tells me it's old age.

"I will have a word with Coral and try and get Mosaic on her back, if she is going to listen to anyone it will be Mo!!"

"Waste of time!!  Dad has already tried that, she is not listening to anyone, not even Granddad Muffin, Dad or Mo, I swear she is making Grandma Muffin ill and Mom is hardly even talking to her right now!!  Besides Coral is too selfish to be anyones Mother, the only person she gives a shit about is herself!!"  I roll my eyes  "I knew it would never work, it was a stupid idea of Mom and Dads thinking that Coral would start bonding with the baby, snap out of her stupidity and take care of the child properly!!  It was not the shock of the red baby or post natal depression - it is just who Coral is a selfish heartless bitch!!  They should have let Maize take Poppy, instead of bringing her home with Coral!!" 

Coral has to be the worst Mother ever, she practically neglects that baby!!  She spends no time with her at all and does nothing for her, she does not even feed her.  The most she ever does is carry her from one dumping point to the next.  When Poppy cries, rather than deal with her, she just walks away, ignoring her, and leaves someone else to deal with the crying baby.  She still has not changed one single nappy yet and I have clocked onto what she is doing, dumping Poppy constantly in OUR nursery and room and leaving us to deal with her daughter, especially at night, while she sleeps peacefully upstairs in her bed!!  She is making me so angry!!

She obviously does not want Poppy so I do not know why she does not let Maize take the baby, who does want her, like she gave Amber to Slate!!!  And they said I would be the irresponsible idiot who could not look after Vanilla!!  Right now I feel like I have three kids, Vanilla, Snow and Poppy - berry help us if Crystal is carrying more than one baby!!  The joke is Coral does not even work, so it is not like she does not have the time to look after her daughter, while those of us who are working do!!  Coral just can not be bothered and is living her life just like it was before the baby arrived.

"I am sick of her!!!  Not only is she constantly dumping on me and Crystal, she is constantly sponging off me too, while she can not be bothered to work and she swans around this house like she's still a kid and doesn't have a care in the world or a daughter to look after!!  Two daughters for that matter!!"  I can feel myself starting to get worked up again.  "You know she has not bothered to see or even inquire about Amber since she left the hospital!!  She knew Slate was bringing Amber round tonight, so she just goes out to avoid seeing either of them, she makes me sick!!  Cotton has done more for that kid, helping me feed, bath and change Poppy, unlike Coral who has not done a damn thing and it's her baby!!!"  I snap in anger  "SHE is being exactly who and what they said I would be, and it hacks me off that I do not hear any apologies coming off anyone for getting me so wrong!!  Wrong enough to be happy to leave me looking after HER kid most of the time!!  Berry, I now have THREE kids in there and only one of them is actually mine!!"  I point towards the nursery  "If it was me dumping Vanilla on her, I would have everyone constantly on my back, especially Dad ... but SHE is just swaning around still, like the little princess, and all I can see is she is getting away with it!!"

"Calm down Tap, you are going to burst a blood vessel!!  Don't think we haven't noticed and see how well you are doing handling your condition and being a grown up!! Dad is always banging on about how proud of you he is!!"  River starts laughing at me as he grabs my face and starts kissing my head.  "Maybe the baby needs telling we are proud that he is a big boy now!!" 

"Get off you sap!!"  I laugh at him as I wipe my brow.  "Don't think I was talking about you just then either, because I know if it wasn't for you I would still be that little twat wrapped in cotton wool and you keep Dad off my back to stop him from suffocating me!!"  he just smiles at me. 

"I know this situation with Coral is all getting totally out of hand!!  I will talk to Dad again tomorrow, he is half way there, but it is time he fully accepts that we seriously need to think about letting Maize take Poppy, it is obviously what is going to be best for Poppy."  he rolls his eyes  "In the mean time SAY NO!!  Coral is dumping on you because she knows you are stupid enough to look after Poppy for her!!  She has given up asking me and Winter because we tell her NO!!  She has only dumped Poppy in our room once, I went out, found her and dragged her back and made her take the baby, she has not done it to us again since!!"  This makes me laugh  "STOP giving her money too, she needs to learn to stand on her own two feet and you and Dad are not helping by giving into her all the time!!"

"I know I'm stupid, but I can't help it when she comes crying because she says she needs this that or the other for Poppy.  What am I supposed to do, let my niece go without when I can afford it?  That is what Coral keeps constantly throwing at me, she makes me feel guilty for refusing and so I just give it her now to save the headache, hoping she might actually be thinking about her daughter instead of herself!!"  I roll my eyes  "When I hear Poppy screaming the house down because Coral has just walked off and left her unattended, most of the time out of the house without even telling anyone, I'm sorry but I can't just ignore the baby crying!!"

"I understand that, but she is playing you, because she knows you have money and most of the time she isn't spending the money on Poppy and I think you know it!!  The amount of clothes shopping she is doing lately is ridiculous and I never see her buying anything for Poppy!!  All we can see is you doing it all!!   She also knows you go running the minute any of these kids cry, whether they are your responsibility or not, why do you think she always leaves Poppy in our nursery."  he laughs  "You proved just that when Amber was crying earlier on and you came bolting upstairs and most of the time you get to Ocean before me and Winter get the chance to!!"  he laughs  "Upstairs we were all laughing about you being Super Dad with your baby crying radar, I swear you have a switch that trips in your head every time you hear a baby crying, no matter who's baby it is, you just can't help yourself can you!!"  he starts laughing at me.

"I know, I can't help it!"

"Seriously Tap Coral has got you wrapped right around her finger and you don't even know it!!"  he laughs as he glances at the clock on the wall  "Sugar is that the time, I need to shoot!!"   he smiles at me.  "We will get this sorted out tomorrow, for your sake as much as Poppy's!!"

I just stand and watch as River leaves, I stare after him and watch him walking up the stairs until he has disappeared out of my sight.


I start to feel my nerves jangling, I have been waiting impatiently and nervously, all day for River to leave to meet his vampberry friends in their secret hide out.  I have also, after returning from Rainbow Valley, had to sit and wait for nearly a week for tonight to come round, while I have been going out of my mind for the past month, dying to get into that vampberry den to get to Shadow.  I think since Granite told me that boy has my hair, I know that boy is mine, I just need to hear someone say it and tell me the truth.  I also need to find out why they are hiding him from me and why he is a vampberry - these two things alone are driving me to distraction!!

Now I am annoyed!!  I think about Poppy and Snow in the nursery, while Poppy and Snow were a good excuse for me to use for why I am not going with River, they are now causing me a problem, because I seriously need to go out.  While I can safely leave Vanilla with Crystal, because it is highly unlikely that she will wake up during the night and disturb Crystal, who is still constantly suffering with the chronic morning sickness.  Snow and Poppy are a whole different story, both of them very demanding.

I seriously need to go to the vampberry den, I can not miss this opportunity of knowing that Jazz and Omri are not going to be around, to stop me from getting to Shadow.  If I am ever going to get the chance of trying to find out the truth, it is tonight, and I am not sure that my willpower can hold out any longer, and especially not until the next time that River sneaks off to meet them in another weeks time!!

I snap open my phone.

I open my contact list and stand there for a while trying to find the right number.  My first call goes to the wrong person, I ended up calling Mint, who just laughs at me when I tell her I did not mean to call her and have pressed the wrong 'M' in my contact list.  They know what I am like, I am always doing it, and that probably isn't the first time Mint has heard me say that to her over the phone.

I call the right person with my second attempt.  When he answers his phone, he mumbles hello into his phone almost like a manic depressant!!

"Maize what are you doing?"  I ask him  "Are you busy?"

"No I am bored out of my skull!!  I am just watching television, and before you even ask, no I can not afford to go out, your sister has bled me bone dry again!"  he mumbles miserably

"Well you can come round here and look after your daughter!!"

"Has she lifted my ban!?"  he seems to perk up

"No, I am lifting your ban, seeing as it is me who looks after your daughter more than either of you two ever do!!  I'm sick of it, you two must think I have nothing better to do!!  Forget my own kids, my chronically sick pregnant girlfriend and my career!!"  I snap at him  "I am looking after Poppy now, when I have more important things to be doing, while her so called Mother is out there partying and her so called Dad is sat at home watching a chick flick!!  It is not funny from where I am standing!!"  I snap  "I don't get how I ended up taking responsibility for the result of your dirty sex affair!!"

"Wow Tap!!  Chill!!  You know I would have Poppy all the time if I could, but that bitch won't even let me see her half the time, and when she does let me see her she is usually dragging me out of work to do it!!  What do you expect me to do?  Constantly bang down your door kicking off.  If I do, I've then got your Dad, my Dad, you, Mo, River and berry knows who else on my back for upsetting Lilly and causing a commotion!!  Half the time I'm too scared to come round yours, in case I bump into one of your purple Uncles, every time Mulberry see's me he kicks my ass!!"  he snaps  "I seriously can not do right for doing wrong at the moment and I am sick of it!!  She is my daughter and I have to fight everyone just to get to see her because of that bitch!!"

"Sorry!!  I guess I should not be taking it out on you!!"  I mumble  "It's time you stood up to Coral!! Poppy is your daughter, if you want her, you should fight for her, do what Slate did, because unless you do, all I can see is me and Crystal are going to end up with Poppy, because Coral has absolutely nothing to do with her, we are doing it all!!  Coral just neglects her!!"

"I wish I could do what Slate did, but I don't have a rich Daddy like he has to foot his bills!!  I can't afford Solicitors and shit to fight her in court, she is already taking most of my wages for Poppy as it is."  he mumbles.  "I've already had some legal advice and because we are not married, I have no parental rights what so ever as far as Poppy goes unless she says so, and you know she will fight me all the way just to spite me!!  You saw the performance we had just to get her to put my name on her birth certificate, your Dad had to take me and the paternity test to force the issue, because she sat there like a prize bitch telling the registrar I am not Poppy's Father!!  She is doing everything she can to try and keep me away from Poppy ... like she has not already ruined my life enough!!"

"No you did that all by yourself Maize, if you had not been shagging Coral behind Juni's back then you wouldn't be in this mess would you!!  You would be happily married to my cousin who's heart you have broken instead!!"

"Don't start Tap!!  Do you think I do not know what I have done, or heard everyone telling me what an idiot I have been over and over!!  I have also got the bruises to prove it!!  The only good thing to come out of all of this for me is Poppy and even just getting to see her is a total nightmare.  Yeah I would love to take Poppy off Coral, but I can't afford it and I doubt your Dad would let me do it anyway!!" 

"I wouldn't be so sure about that, he was fine with what Slate did, he actually helped him, he and Granite were the ones who went to the solicitors to get the papers drawn up, and it has actually turned out to be in Amber's best interest, seeing how she neglects Poppy!!   Dad is as annoyed with the way Coral is behaving more than most of us, especially how she is with Poppy!!  Both me and River think you should have Poppy and Dad is coming round to the idea!!"  Maize just laughs for a moment, I'm not sure he believes me.  "You know what, I will bloody pay your solicitors fees if that is what it is going to take to get Poppy a full time parent who is going to look after her properly!!"

"Are you joking?!"

"No I am being deadly serious!!  You go and see a solicitor, and I will pay for it!!  Actually you should use the same solicitor as Slate did, they can draw up the same papers as they did for him, which Dad will be happy with.  You need to get it done properly, like Slate did, otherwise she is just going to continuously play games with you using Poppy as the bait.  Not that she really wants Poppy anyway, but she will be losing her cash machine, so she will probably play up, and like you said fight you all the way just for the spite of it!!"  I laugh thinking Coral is seriously not going to like losing her cash supply because that is all Poppy is to her.  "However much it costs, just send me the bill and I'll sort it!!"

"You seriously would do that Tap?!   I will pay you back!!  It might take a while, but I promise, I will pay you back every single penny!!"

"Forget the money, I don't care about that!!  You do not have to pay me back!!  It is not like I can not afford it or am even going to miss it, it is coming in so fast, I don't know what the hell I am ever going to do with it all!!  Poppy needs one of her parents to look after her properly, here she is just being passed from pillar to post, and it is not going to be good for her when she gets older!!  You can see what it has done to Slates head, being minus a parent and at the moment Poppy has neither!!"

"What do you mean, she has neither, and what did you mean earlier when you said Coral neglects Poppy?"  he sounds confused

"Coral has absolutely nothing to do with Poppy, other than dumping her on somebody else.  As it is, and at the rate it is going, Poppy will think me and Crystal are her parents because we seriously have her all the time.  I even chose her name for berry's sake because Coral only ever calls her Brat!!  I am the one getting up all through the night, every night, to feed her, not Coral, and when I'm not here it's left to Crystal, Winter and River, because she dumps Poppy in the nursery with our kids while she swans off to bed upstairs, where she can't hear her crying, that's if she even bothers to come home!!  Do you know Coral has not even changed a single one of Poppy's nappies yet?!"  I laugh  "And I hate to tell you, while she's bleeding you dry, she's also sponging off me and Dad constantly and all the money goes on herself, while I am buying all Poppys clothes, milk, nappies and all the other stuff she needs because Coral certainly isn't!!  She doesn't even know how to make a babies bottle up let alone feed it to her!!"

"Seriously!!??  Is it really that bad?"

"Yes it is!!  She is no Mother to Poppy at all, I have seen her treat dolls better in the past!!  Poppy is just a weapon she uses to throw at you and bleed money from us all, so that she can continue to sit on her lazy ass doing jack shit and swanning around like the princess she thinks she is!!"  This makes Maize laugh  "We have all spoken to her until we are blue in the face and she just does not give a shit about the kid.  You know she has not even held Amber once yet, not even when she was born, Coral is just not interested in either of her babies!!  If she had her way, she would be putting Poppy up for adoption, but we won't let it happen, especially not Dad."

"She's a bitch!!  She is telling me a whole different story."

"Yeah I bet she is!!"  I laugh  "Just get your ass round here Maize, I need to do something important.  Don't worry, neither of my Purple Uncles are here, Prelude is over in Apple Valley on music business for me and he's taken Mulberry with him."

"Okay, I'm on my way!"  he laughs at me.

As soon as I switched off my phone, Crystal came wandering out of the kitchen, heading towards the nursery door.  She smiles at me, because it was me she was looking for.  I am surprised to see that she is up.  As I put my arms around her, she tells me not to kiss her because she has just been sick again and has not brushed her teeth.  I laugh at her because of what she has just said, but I am also amused by the dress that she is wearing.

"Where is Snow?"

"He's asleep in the nursery in the double buggy."  I smile at her  "Don't go in there, I want to see how long he will sleep for, providing Poppy does not wake him up that is."  she rolls her eyes  "What is with the dress?"  I start laughing at her  "Suddenly you look like my Mother!!"

"My clothes are getting tight and uncomfortable.  Your Mom lent me some of her baby dresses until I buy my own."  This makes me really start laughing and she frowns at me.

"Fudge Crystal, you are not going to show for months yet!!"  I carry on laughing at her.

"Well what is that then!!"  she pouts as she sticks her stomach out.

"That isn't baby that is all the peaches and apricots you keep eating!!"

I laugh as I rub her stomach.  I am a little surprised, when I notice it is a little more bloated than it normal is, she does actually look like she is getting a little podgy belly. 

"I am surprised that you are not full of wind and don't have the shits, the amount of fruit you are eating!!  That baby is going to come out looking like a peach or an apricot."
"Winter says my belly might be growing and showing already because I am stick thin and there is more than one baby in there."  she smiles at me  "She is betting three because you are a triplet and you have already had twins."

"Oh No!!  Don't say that!!  There is only ONE baby in there!!"  I laugh at her, more hoping there is only one, even though the probability is that there will be more.  "The rest is not babies but wind and fruit!!"

"I quite like those names."  she says as she is laughing at me. 

"What ... Wind and Fruit?!"  I frown at her

"No silly!!  Peach and Apricot."  she starts laughing at me hysterically

"Well write them down on that long list of yours then."  I laugh at her  "We have months yet and by then you will have changed your mind a million times."  she rolls her eyes.  "You know we can't really chose a name until the baby arrives anyway, not until we see what colour he is."

"He ... don't you mean She!!"  she smirks at me.

I laugh at her because she is so excited about this baby, it is a none stop topic of conversation with her.  Crystal is already making a list of orange, yellow and white baby names for girls and boys, and it is already a mile long.  She has come up with all the names so far, I have not thought of any, because I think that there is plenty of time for that yet.

We are also arguing playfully over what sex the baby is going to be.  She thinks it is a girl while I am saying I think it is a boy.  She wants a girl, and I don't really care what it is, I am just saying it is a boy to wind her up.  We are both waiting impatiently for her first scan, when they might be able to tell us what sex the baby is, along with how many there are.

"Listen I am going out for a bit."

"Where?"  she pulls a face at me.

"I promised River I would go out with him tonight, but I had to knock him back, at the last minute, because of having Poppy."  I roll my eyes at her  "He stropped off in a mood, and he has gone off on his own, so I've asked Maize to come round to look after Poppy, so you are not disturbed and I can catch River up.  I did promise him."

"Where are you going?"

"Bowling."  I smile at her.

"Well don't get drinking and doing anything silly!!  Snow has speech therapy tomorrow remember and you will have to take him I don't think they will appreciate me throwing up all over the place!!"

"Like River would let me drink!!"  I laugh at her 

Crystal takes herself back off to bed, and I feel a little guilty, because I have now gone and done what River did and lied about where I am going, but I can not really tell her the truth.  If I told her I was going to the vampberry den, I doubt she would have let me go, and she will think I am nuts if I tell her why I am going there.  Which makes me think - what the hell am I going to do if I am right about Shadow, how the hell am I ever going to tell her!!

Maize is knocking on the front door in less than ten minutes, out of breath, I think he must have ran all the way without stopping.  We ended up having a quick chat again about him going for custody of Poppy and me paying for it.  I am not sure he can believe or understand why I would fight in his corner instead of Corals, but like I told him I am not fighting in any ones corner, I am trying to do what is best for Poppy.

I leave Maize happily looking after his daughter, as well as Snow, who he offered to watch for me to save Crystal being disturbed, which I was banking on.  I leave the house and make my way towards the vampberry den.

As I start to walk through the streets I am constantly watching over my shoulder to make sure that I am not being followed by any paparazzi, which is a big problem that I have these days.  I am now very suspicious of anyone that I do not already know.  Thankfully the streets are quiet and there is nobody around, so I start to run.

As I quickly make my way across the quiet meadow and towards the large rock that hides the doorway in the wall, my stomach starts rolling over.  I am wandering just how much trouble I am about to walk myself into.

I stand for ages while I catch my breath, behind the rock, in the meadow, just listening to the silence around me, before I can pluck up the courage to go inside the grounds.  I know once I have stepped foot through the wall and into the grounds of the warehouse, there is no going back.  I think what worries me most, if I am right about Shadow, which I am almost certain that I am, the vampberry's are hiding him from me for a reason, so how are they going to react when they discover I have uncovered the truth.

I hold my breath as I hit the brick that opens the wall.  I do not have the luxury of checking to see if there is anyone in the grounds, vampberry or spirit, I have no choice but to just slip inside quickly before the wall shuts again.  Still holding my breath I see that thankfully there is nobody in the grounds.  I only have to worry about the three spirits and Maizie seeing me, knowing that Jazz and Omri are out of the way for a few hours.  I automatically stare up at the warehouse windows, thinking about them being in there somewhere, and hope that they are not looking out of any of those windows to see me.

I run quickly across to the door, and push the buttons in a V shape - three down the left hand side, the middle button on the bottom row, then three up the right hand side.  River unwittingly showed me that combination opens all of the doors inside the den, when I watched him doing it the last time I was here, however, I just never imagined that I would be having to do it, never planning on stepping foot into this place again.   I am just hoping that they have not changed the combination, because if they have changed it, then I am stuffed and I do not know how I am getting into the den!!

Thankfully, the door opens silently, so I quickly slip inside and just stand there listening to the door sliding shut very quietly behind me, very relieved that nobody is in the corridor to see me.

Now to find Shadow, when I do not have a clue where to even start looking for him!!

I stand and listen carefully and all I can hear is the crackling of the torch flames that light up the corridor.  I shudder from the cold, just the feel of the place and that revolting smell of stale blood hits my nostrils that I hoped I would never have to smell again, bringing with it memories that I would much rather forget!!

I start walking quietly down the corridor, on tiptoes, trying not to make any noise that might alert Maizie to me being here.  I just have to hope that none of the three spirits happen to float through a wall close to where I am so that they spot me.  I know that they will not hurt me, they will even protect me, but there is always the chance that they will try to stop me or alert Jazz to my presence in the den, after all, they are hiding Shadow from me too.

I make my way quietly to the stairway that I know leads down to the next level, where the vampberry's living room is.  That is the room that worries me most, the room Maizie is most likely to be in, but also possibly where Shadow might be.  Someone has to be watching the boy while Jazz and Omri are out, so that only leaves Maizie to look after him, unless one of the three spirits are with him.  I creep down the staircase, careful when I reach the bottom to check that there is nobody in the corridor before I step out into it.

I think about Lime being down in the basement.  I know that she is still here because Shadow talked about her a lot, he said that she is his friend.  I have been told, if Lime ever gets out of here it will only be when she has faded and I will know because her body will surface.  We would have been warned if she had escaped and was on the loose, so I can safely bet she is definitely still here.  I am not kicking myself for not fishing with Sunny, for information about Lime, but we always avoid any talk about the vampberries or what happened during the abduction, even though Sunny like me is the only one who has had nothing wiped away. 

I think that maybe Lime is my best bet of finding Shadow, she might know where he is or at the  least she should be able to enlighten me on the truth.  The basement is another two floors down, and I know the way because Mulberry took me down there the last time that I was here.  I decide to try and get to her first and just hope that she does not start screaming at me like she usually does and alert Maizie to me being here. 

I quickly and quietly move to the top of the staircase that leads down to the next level and slowly creep my way down the steps.  As I get to the bottom of the steps I stop suddenly when I step out into the corridor.  I hear a noise which makes me freeze for a moment while I stand and listen.  It sounds like a pinging noise but it is only very quiet.

Suddenly I hear a door open, which makes me panic a little.  I quickly jump back onto the steps and I pin myself flat against the wall, knowing that it will hide me from the view of the corridor, but it might not hide me if whoever it is, is about to walk up the stairs and past me.  I can feel my nerves starting to jangle scared that I am probably only moments away from being seen.

The door opening tells me it can only be a vampberry and not one of the spirits.  Spirits do not open doors they just float through walls, so I guess it can only be Maizie.  Thankfully, she can not hear or smell me, with me being silent to the vampberry's, so there is only the noise from my shoes or her actually seeing me that will alert her to my presence in the den.

The pinging noise becomes very clear to my ears with the door opening.  I can now hear what definitely sounds like a xylophone being played quite well.  The tune that is being played amuses me for a moment ... Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  I have tried to teach Vanilla to play that so many times and she just does not get it.

I think I have just found Shadow.

"Shadow I will be two minutes, Gangy needs the toilet.  Remember, DO NOT leave this room while I am away or there will be big trouble!!"  he laughs  "Remember what you have been told, anymore walk abouts, and no presents for a month!!

I am very shocked, I was wrong about it being Maizie, because I hear Sunny's voice, and there is seriously no mistaking it!!  He told me and Crystal that he was spending the day and night in Sugar Falls with his parents and possibly staying over... obviously that was a lie!!  He has probably been here all day visiting his Grandson.  Suddenly I feel sick!!

"Okay Gangy!"  I hear the little boy say.  "Me be good boy!"

Hearing the little boy's familiar voice makes me smile, but only for a moment.  It suddenly hits me, Vanilla also calls Sunny Gangy, when none of his other Grandchildren do!!

I stand frozen against the wall.  I can actually feel myself starting to shake and it is not because of the cold.  It is the shock.  What I have just heard, has just removed any last scrap of doubt that I have in my mind about who that little boy is!!  Now I know why Sunny spends so much time here supposedly with Jazz.

He IS MY Shadow!!

I hear the door close and listen nervously to Sunny's footsteps that sound like they are walking away from me as they get quieter and quieter.  When I can not hear the sound of the footsteps anymore I quickly move out into the corridor.  I can get to Shadow before Sunny gets back ... if I only knew which door Sunny had come out of and which room Shadow is in!!  Oh Fudge!!

I stand staring down the corridor at five doors, it could be any of them!!  Hell which room is Shadow in.  I hope by Sunny leaving Shadow alone in the room he knows that there is nobody close by who he could have asked to keep an eye on the boy.  Shadow is no longer playing the xylophone so I have no clue now to help me find him, I have just got to go for it and try all the doors.

I move quickly to the first door, I open it as quietly as I can.  It is just a small, cold, dark and empty room with nothing in it.  I quickly close the door again, trying to be as quiet as possible even though it is not easy with me being in a hurry to find him before Sunny returns.  Not that he will stop me now from getting to the boy, he is mortal like me so I can knock his block off if I have to!!

I remember that the boy can hear my thoughts, I am not silent to him like I am to everyone else.  I start to think loudly in my head.  'Where are you Shadow?"

As I am moving towards the second door and start turning the handle to open it, I suddenly hear another door opening which has me throwing myself against the wall again in panic, not that it is going to hide me now I am out in the open corridor, it was just an automatic reaction.  I think I am now stuffed, I still do not know where Maizie is!!  She is my only real worry, I would hate her to stop me now that I am so close.

To my relief I see Shadow step out into the corridor.

"Me's here Tappy!!"  he grins at me

I laugh because he actually heard me and responded by coming out to show me where he is.  I quickly run and pick him up, darting into the room he came out of and shut the door.  There is a key in the lock so I quickly turn it and put the key in my pocket.

"Has you come to find me?"  Shadow grins at me.
"Yes."  I laugh at him

I stare at his face for a moment, I can now see how much like Vanilla he is, they have the same nose, mouth and face shape, my Grandmother Muffins face shape, just like both me and Dad.  I don't need to be told this boy is my son - I know he is!!

I just hold him close for a moment, surprised that the first emotion that I feel is relief, relief that he is actually here and not buried in the cemetery where they have told me he is.  He is getting to live his life!!  I can not help but feel the coldness coming from him as it burns through my clothes and makes me shudder, which turns my relief into anger because he is a vampberry.


"Shadow is Sunny your yellow Grandad?" 

I am not sure why I think to start asking him questions, but my head is swimming and I do not know what else to do to stop myself from cracking up and turning into a blubbering wreck.  I wander what and if he actually knows anything?!  It is not like I can just ask him outright if he knows who his real Dad is ... he is just a toddler I bet he knows nothing and would not understand.

"Yes, Gangy has gone to the toilet."  he grins at me  "Me uses my potty chair like a big boy!"  I laugh at him.

"What is your Mommy's name?"

"Honey.  Me no like her, she's a nasty liar!!  She no like Shadow."  he says dramatically.

"Where is your Mommy Shadow?"

"Downstairs in her cage.  She been naughty again!"

This shocks me, Honey is still here!!  She has not faded at all just like Shadow!!  I knew they were lying to me about the heart problem that they said she had!!  That night in the cemetery, I was actually hearing her voice and not imagining it, she was there!!  I stare at the boy for a moment and wander why they are hiding him from me and why is he a vampberry.  Hell and I was working my way down to Lime, I would have had the shock of my life seeing Honey down there!!

This suddenly makes me angry!!  I am not bothered about her leaving me, but Vanilla, how could she just leave Vanilla like that, as well as hide and take Shadow away from me!!   Why is she hiding here and letting her own family think that she has faded!?  Why has she let them turn Shadow into a vampberry?!  I see Shadow frowning at me, he must be listening to my thoughts.

"Is Honey in the cage with Lime?"

"No she has her own cage!!  She tries to drain Lime!!  Honey is always naughty!!"  he says dramatically.  Honey tries to drain Lime?!?!  Oh Fudge!! 

"Shadow ... Is Honey a vampberry?"

"Yes like me."  he grinsI am shocked again, Shadow and Honey are both vampberrys!!

"You's mortal like Lime, me smells your blood, me no like blood, it tastes yucky!!" 

 He  pulls a face and sticks his tongue out which reminds me of him doing it in the cemetery when he was talking about lemons.  He told me he liked banana's.  I frown at him for a moment, he is a vampberry and he does not like blood?  Vampberry's eat blood not food, so how would he know what banana's and lemons taste like.

"Me eats Limes food ... me likes it better."  he grins at me, obviously he is listening to my thoughts.  "Me likes choccy pudding."  he grins at me again.

Oh berry!!  Chocolate pudding!!  This makes me laugh, I am haunted by the stuff!!  I can not help but wander where would the vampberry's get chocolate pudding from?!  Who does the shopping in this place now that River is not here anymore.

"Gangy goes food shopping, he buys me choccy pudding and sweeties."  Shadow grins at me.  Of course!!  I am not thinking straight and keep forgetting about Sunny!!  "Who is River?  Me hears his name - Daddy and Omri goes to see him in the hideout."  he frowns at me.  This boy is far from stupid!!

"River is my brother."

Suddenly the door bangs, which makes me jump, for a moment I had forgotten my surroundings.  I can hear the handle being turned frantically.  We both automatically glance towards the door  I am annoyed, that I have hardly got to ask him anything. 

"Shadow open this door!!"  Sunny shouts

I put my finger over my lips and tell him in my head to be quiet.  I tell him we are playing hide and seek with Granddad.  Shadow just grins at me then giggles.

"Open this door now you little monkey!!"  Sunny shouts again  "SHADOW!!"

"He thinks me hurtin."  Shadow whispers to me.  I laugh quietly

~ Keep quiet Shadow please!! ~ I say to him in my head and he just grins at me.

"Gangy phoning Daddy Jazz."  he whispers quietly in my ear.  We stand there quietly as Sunny goes quiet out in the corridor for a moment, then we hear him banging on the door again.

"SHADOW ... OPEN THIS DOOR NOW!!"  Sunny is now shouting angrily.  "Your Dad is coming and he is going to be livid with you if you still have this door locked when he gets here!!"  I start to feel a little hacked off hearing Sunny calling Jazz Shadow's Dad!!

"You is my real Daddy."  Shadow says suddenly.  "Jazz is my pretend Daddy." 

I just stare at him, not so totally shocked by what he has just said, but I am shocked to hear it coming out of his mouth and that he knows.

"How do you know?"

"Me hears them say it and think it.  They hides me!!"  he says waving his arms around dramatically which makes me laugh.  "Lime and Honey tells me secrets.  Everybody thinks it, and you do!!"  he grins at me  "You wanna hears it?"

Shadow places his cold hand on my cheek and for a moment I wander what he is doing as I can feel my skin burning painfully underneath his hand.  Suddenly my head starts to hurt and my vision blurs slightly as I start to hear voices ...  in my head.   A voice that I know and recognize all too well.  I just stand there stunned as I concentrate on what my Dad's voice is saying clearly in my head.

"I DON'T like this anymore than you do River!!  What sort of life is Tapestry going to have knowing that Honey and Shadow are vampberrys and we especially have to think about the other baby too - she is normal remember and she especially needs protecting from this immortal world!!"   my Dad says  "What good is it going to do Tapestry to know his son is a vampberry - do you really want him to have to carry the burden of having to hide Shadow away from EVERYONE especially his daughter, for the rest of his life?  He can't have his memories erased like the rest of us remember ... It's best he never knows about his son being here in the first place!!"

Suddenly the voice changes and I can hear Jazz's voice instead of my Dad's

"Omri there is nothing normal about Shadow, he is special ... just look at him for berry's sake ... he is running around in the sunlight, growing, eating, and sleeping just like a mortal!!  He is already showing signs that his vampire abilities are greater than an originals, hell some of the things he is doing, I have never seen or heard of before!!  What is that face touching thing that he does all about?!  He fried my brain the first time he did it to me, he doesn't even need eye contact to get into anyone's head, and he connects physically with spirits for berry's sake, who does that?!"

"Okay, I guess I can see some of the points you are making.  Can you get into his head because I can't!!"  I hear somebody else, a voice that I can only presume is Omri's

"No, he throws it straight back at me and laughs while he is doing it, the little monkey!!"   I hear them both laughing  "Just like Tapestry, Shadow has special abilities and I seriously would not be surprised if he has not inherited some of it from Tapestry being his biological Father, who for a mortal is seriously something else!!  It is almost like they both have a foot in both the mortal and immortal worlds, both of them doing things they seriously should not be able to do!!"  Jazz laughs nervously  "You know it scares me, if Tapestry and Shadow do ever get together, jointly I am frightened about what they might be capable of doing together, especially if they get that Father and Son bond going between them!!"  

"What!?  How?! ... did you just do that?"  I frown at him a little stunned when he removes his hand off my cheek, the voices in my head stop, the pain in my head disappears and my vision clears instantly.  Somehow it is like he has just relayed conversations that he has heard onto me!!  He did not need to make eye contact he did it through just touch.

"Me special boy, me shows you!"  he grins at me  "Me hears everything they say and thinks!!"

"Can you hear Honey, Maizie, Jazz and Omri thinking?"  I frown at him

"Yes me hears them!"  he puts his finger over his lips and makes that Shhh noise  "Me keeps secret, Lime says so or Jazz will be mad and might sends me away!!"

"Do the vampberrys not know you can hear them thinking?"  I ask wandering if I had misunderstood what he has just said.

Shadow shakes his head in denial then giggles.  I am a little surprised by this, and also that Lime knows and is telling him to keep it a secret.  So I wander why he is now telling me?

"Only me can hears you, so you can keeps secrets in your head from them!!"  he grins at me as he answers the question that I just asked in my head.  This boy is far from stupid, in fact he is damn clever!! 

"Shadow you need to do something for me!!  It is VERY VERY Important.  When Jazz gets here, you have to tell me if he thinks nasty things!!  You have to tell me if he wants to hurt or fade me okay."

"Okay."  he grins at me  "Me tells you!"

I just hope to hell he understands and does warn me.  If it is going to get nasty, I have no choice but to put my life in this little boys hands, it is not like I can just walk away and pretend that Shadow is not here.  I think I've known for weeks that this boy is mine ... I have to face them and have it out with them sometime, I just do not have a clue how they are going to react.  I could have just walked into my own execution!!  Now I rue not having this out with Storm and getting him to help me, he could at least of protected me from the vampberry's stood here alone I don't stand a chance if they do go for me!!

"SHADOW!!"  Jazz starts shouting as he bangs on the door so violently I can see it shaking.

My nerves start jangling to the point where I can feel myself shaking.  All I can do is stand and wait for him to come through that locked door.  I ask Shadow quietly where the other door leads in the room and he says his bedroom.  I have nowhere to run, not that I can, I need to face this, even if it ends up being the very last thing that I do ... in mortal form at least.  I am actually no longer scared of fading, because I know I can step into Storms world, it is the pain of getting there and becoming a vampberry that scares the hell out of me, neither of which I want!!

"Sunny go and check that Shadow has not taken himself off outside again.  Damn spirits are never around when you need them."  I hear Jazz saying faintly through the thick door.  Sunny mumbles something that I can not quiet hear, it just sounds like a muffled noise.  

"JUST DO IT SUNNY!!"  He roars at him.  "You left the damn key in the door for him to turn in the first place IDIOT!!  Just get out of my sight Sunny ... You and that damn daughter of yours are slowly driving me TOTALLY INSANE!!!  You are lucky I have not disposed of her ... and you!!  But mark my words, if anything has happened to that boy I WILL!!!!

Jazz sounds VERY angry, which is the last thing that I need right now.  I now worry more that when he see's me with Shadow he is just going to lose it completely!!  Seconds later the door is hit very violently, I presume because Jazz is charging at it trying to break it open.  I could just call out to him and unlock the door for him, but I am worried that he might smash me like he is smashing that door, standing here staying quiet, I am just prolonging the agony.  The second hit has the door swinging open violently with force.

Jazz rushes into the room and stops dead when he sees me stood there holding Shadow.  He is shocked, obviously with me being silent to the vampberry's he would not have know I was in here without seeing me, which he now is.

I stand nervously holding my breath as I watch what looks like a million different expressions washing over Jazz's face.  I do not really have a clue which way this is going to go.

Jazz walks up to me and stops right in front of me.

Waiting for his reaction is killing me, it seems to be taking forever to come!!

Shadow places his cold hand on my face.



  1. Lol, there we go. Poppy. Another shared name between us :D I find this especially amusing because Poppy was the original name of Amaranth's mother. If you go to my Studio and read his details there, you can even see that I used that name in his description. I simply created him a long time ago before I had all his family details finalized, and I forgot to change that description after I went with Desire for his mom's name instead XD

    Ohhhh boy, Tap. You should have planned more backup when you walked into a place where you know you could risk being hurt or killed XD Hopefully, Jazz is somewhat understanding.
    From the hints you've given me about Vanilla's generation, it doesn't make sense that you'd kill him off here anyway XD

    1. I know I was laughing my head off when you used Poppy too - I chose that name originally for my red heir but a few weeks back when I wrote the chapter I couldn't think of a nice name to use so I just used that because my hubby was banging on about the Poppys he is growing in the garden and I couldn't get it out of my head - which I know I am really going to regret when I get to my red generation unless it is far enough away to reuse the name.
      I've had that chapter written for a week before hand and when I saw yours pop up the day before mine was going out - I nearly went in and changed her name LOL But like we have said before - it will happen!!

      Yeah he could potentially be walking into a lot of trouble - he doesn't even have one of the spirits for back up - but you know Tap!! While he has for once sat and thought it all through properly instead of steaming right in - too busy hiding it from everyone.
      LOL - but he could be a spirit for Vanila's generation - as she see him - bet you didn't think of that one did you ^^ ha! ha! but you are right - I am not killing it off he has a few more things happening before we move onto Vanilla - but I am not telling you if there is trouble and how much ^^

  2. Just wanted you to know that I've nominated you for a Liebster Award. Details here:


  3. Wooow, I love it! Enjoy the week honey!

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  4. I nominated you for the Liebster Award. :)