Thursday, 30 January 2014

Chapter 13 - Gen 2 - Tapestry

~Day 6 & 7 ~

A very loud banging noise like the cage door or the metal door at the top of the steps is slamming and the sound of loud shouting creeps into my head and starts to wake me up.  As my mind starts drifting slowly between sleep and reality I just lie there listening to the argument that is going on somewhere quite close.

"What the hell did you do River?!  What the hell are you playing at?!"  I hear Maizie shouting quite angrily  "Just look at you ... you idiot!!  Get back up those steps and sort yourself out before anyone see's you looking like that ... especially that boy!!"

"No Maizie I am done with all your crap... I'm sick of playing your STUPID game, and its stopping right now, I'm not helping you keep your dirty secret anymore!! ... and this is the real me remember and if you don't like it ... you can lump it Maizie because this is how I was born so this is how I'm stopping from now on!!"  there is silence for a moment

"STOP calling me by my name I'm your Mother!!"  this makes River laugh quite loudly "I know your Gran taught you respect, so use it!!"

"Respect!!!  And you think I should have some for you!? Don't make me laugh!!  You might have given birth to me but you most certainly have never been my Mother!!"  he laughs again  "I'll start calling you Mother when you act like one and you start addressing me by the name you put on my birth certificate, or have you forgotten that name again already ... it does seem to have a habit of keep slipping your memory ... doesn't it!!" 

"I could curse that woman for telling you!!"  Maizie says quite angrily  "You should have stayed in Apple Hill you don't belong here!!"

"Oh you'd have loved that wouldn't you me staying out of the way,  ... well I didn't come here for you that's for certain ... I just wished I'd had the guts to tell him when I first got here instead of letting you talk me into this crap!!!"  he sounds angry  "Isn't it about time you also washed that muck out of your hair ... why do you even do it anyway?! ... but then that's something else you never intend to tell me ISN'T IT!!!!"

I heard the metal door slam quite loudly ... twice ... then it went quiet.  I wander what that argument was all about ... but whatever it was neither of them sounded very happy, River especially sounded really angry.

Lying on the comfortable soft bed with Honey feels like heaven for just a moment, I can feel her warn hand on my hip and she's breathing quietly behind me.  Before I open my eyes I could quite easily make believe that we are back at home, feeling the comfortable bed underneath me and the soft pillow underneath my head.  But I know I'm not at home after hearing River and Maizie arguing and that horrible smell in the air that is creeping into my nostrils both slap my aching head back out of fantasy and into reality again.

This isn't the first time that I've woken up since I lost it and they sedated me.  The first time I consciously was wide awake, Honey had been laughing at me, greeting me with a huge smile and calling me sleepy head like she always does.  She told me that  I had come out of the sedation, mumble to myself for a while, then I'd rolled over and fell straight back off to sleep again.  I'd fallen into a deep sleep that I'd so badly needed, being on the edge of total exhaustion because I've had no sleep since we arrived here.  We had talked for a while, that's when she told me we were going into our sixth day of being here, on one hand it surprised me ... six days ... but then on the other hand with the endless boredom it does actually feel like a lot longer than six days in a way.  We had talked for a short while then we both drifted back off to sleep.

I open my eyes and roll over slowly to glance at Honey, surprisingly the banging and shouting has not woken her up.  I disturbed her when I moved and she rolls over onto her back but she doesn't wake up.  Her face is quite peaceful, she is even smiling a little as she silently sleeps, I laugh to myself thinking she is obviously not dreaming about this place.  I don't want to disturb her again so I just carry on lying there thinking, too comfortable to move anyway, this bed definitely beats lying on that horrible hard bench.

I notice Honey is now hugging her stomach which makes me smile for a moment, Sunny is going to go ballistic when he finds out Honey is definitely pregnant, I wander how my Dad is going to react, I guess he's probably going to go off on one too!!  I close my eyes again, the only thing I'm dreading about going home is there reaction to the baby ... babies, I keep forgetting the vampberry's say there are two babies.   I wandering when this is all going to be over, Honey really needs to go home .... when are they going to let us out of here and why is it taking so long?  I wander how everyone is feeling back home?

I hear the metal door open and close and carry on lying there just listening to the footsteps coming down the stone steps, not really caring who it is anymore, but I presume it is either going to be Maizie or Jazz as I can only hear one set of foot steps echoing around the room and getting closer, usually if River is coming I'd hear two sets of foot steps.  I don't even open my eyes and look up until I hear the cage door being opened and I hear Manderine suddenly start laughing quite loudly at the person stepping into the case.

I sit up carefully trying not to wake Honey.  It's River who has walked into the cage, I'm surprised that he's now alone and he has the keys to the cage door in his hand while he's also trying to juggle bowls of food.  I wander why Manderine is continuously laughing at him.  I look at him and notice he's wearing glasses when he normally doesn't .... how childish is she if she is laughing at him for wearing glasses.  I look at his hair for a moment and it seems to be a much lighter shade of gray than it normally is, or am I just imagining it?

That's when I notice Cosmic float in through the bars .. obviously he must have been sent to watch over River, I know the vampberry's don't really trust River 100% because he is mortal like we are.  Cosmic just waves and smiles as he floats in and sits on the floor in his usual place cross legged like he does all the time.

I'm sat up on the bed and my head is aching and I feel numb.  I just stare down at the floor, I know I'm starting to go down hill, I'm surprised I've lasted this long without my medication, I really can't be bothered with anything, I just want to be left alone and shrink back into my own world and switch off.

"Afternoon" River says quite cheerully  "I thought you was never going to wake up, you've been out of it for well over 24 hours ... I think you have both got sleeping sickness!!"  he laughs as he tries to hand me a bowl of cereal.  I just sit there ignoring him and carry on staring at the floor.

"TAPESTRY!!"  I ignore him again so he grabs my arm and shakes me  "I know where you are going .... SNAP OUT OF IT!!"  he shouts at me, I look up at him for a moment before looking back at the floor ... how the hell would he know ... he doesn't have a clue!!

"Go away!!" I snap at him  "You know nothing!!"

"I'm a doctor remember I know more than you think .... Here eat this it will make you feel better."  he pushes the bowl at me and I shake my head at him "Come on Tap ... you need to eat!!"  I make a mental note of him now calling me Tap instead of Tapestry.  I hear a spoon clanking quite loudly on a dish, it's irritating me, I glace over at Manderine who has now stopped laughing and is eating a bowl of cereal like a maniac, she must be starving.  I stare at her wishing she would eat quietly and am just about to tell her to shut her noise up when I notice the state of her face, its covered in cuts and bruises and it looks like her lip is split.  River distracts me by pushing the bowl of cereal at me again.

"I don't want it, I'm not hungry"  I snap at him as he blocks my view of Manderine, I'm trying to look round him but he's totally blocking my view of her.

"I bet your Dad doesn't let you get away with not eating!!"  River says to me as he tries to push the bowl of cereal at me yet again - I hold my hand up to stop the bowl from coming any closer.

"He has no choice because I refuse to eat  ... but he does keep giving me this milk shake stuff to drink ... he thinks I'm stupid but I know he puts supplement stuff into the shake ... now you could get me some milkshake" I look up at him, he says he'll see what he can do but he's still trying to push the cereal on me and I'm starting to get angry  "I'll launch that bowl if you do that again" I look at him adamantly because I am NOT eating that cereal  

"Fine!!"  he snaps back at me

"What the hell happened to her face?"  I ask him glancing at Manderine again as he steps aside and puts the bowl down on the bench, which Manderine grabs and starts eating.  I'm just staring at her face thinking the vampberrys or Cosmic must have been amusing themselves with her again.

"You happened to her face!!"  River says to me, I glance back to him quickly  "You totally lost it yesterday, and she volunteered to be your punchbag because she kept taunting you while you were going off on one!"  he's also looking at Manderine now  "If she'd have kept her evil trap shut then you probably wouldn't have gone for her ... well that's what Honey recons anyway."

"I .... I ..... don't remember .... I switched off ...."  I am looking at her face very shocked and almost guiltily knowing that I'd actually done that to her.  Okay, I've hit people in the past, mainly Dad, Prelude and Mulberry, and I've smashed up furniture and stuff when my heads gone ... but I've never gone that far on a person before!!!!  Then my mind spins back to what set me off when I was crying and I jumped off the bench because River touched me, not thinking about Honey being lay on my legs ... it was the thought that I could have quite easily hurt her and the baby that unhinged me ... so why did I go and do that to her?! ... I'm struggling to take in that I've done that to Manderines face.

"I shouldn't worry, she was asking for it!!"  Cosmic is sat on the floor laughing  "She was pushing my buttons with what she was calling you and your Mother ... so I'm not surprised you went for her!!  That woman never knows when to stop!!"  Manderine is now glaring at me quite nastily now, oblivious to Cosmic sitting right by her, and I can see the full extent of her injuries, I seriously don't know what to think about what I've done.

"Crazy little phyco freak ... it should be you in the graveyard not my Storm!!!  It's all your fault he faded!!!"  she snapped at me quite angrily  "And my Pine, look at what you've done to him ... Fern told me you've turned him into a cabbage!!! You're a freak like your Mother and you need locking up or putting down!! I'll get you for this you little freak!!!"  She's making a mistake winding me up again, she's made me angry with what she has just said.

"No!!  It was Forrest's fault ... he was the one with the knife ... he was the one that stabbed and faded his own brother!!!  Storm was trying to stop him from slitting my throat and slashing my face up!!"  I shouted at her  "And Pine was asking for it, he stabbed my brother so I caved his skull in to stop him from stabbing him again!!!  While that was going on Jade nearly faded Honeys sister .... Your kids are the phyco's and like you they are the one's who need locking up not me!!!"  she stood up like she was going to go for me, with that evil look on her face, she's really riling me up, so I stand up to face her. "I doubt Prelude and Parsley will every speak to you again after this and neither will Fern if she's got any sense!!!" I snapped at her again and she takes a few angry steps towards me with her fists clenched.

"See I told you ... she NEVER knows when to stop that woman!!"  Cosmic says as he jumps up and he stops Manderine from going for me by slapping her pretty hard and she flies backwards into the wall.  She slid down the wall and just sat there on the stone cold floor suddenly looking very scared.  She knows Cosmic is here now!!  I just sit down on the bench glaring at her ... I really hate that woman!! ... I'll never understand how she can be Fern, Storm and Parsley's mother!!!

River was just stood there listening and watching, he looked very shocked I think more by what was being said than what Cosmic had just done.  He suddenly turned to Manderine  "Haven't you already been warned to stop winding him up .... you heard what Jazz said last night ... anymore and he's going to fade you .... leave Tapestry alone!!!"  he shouted at her quite nastily, she just sat there saying nothing, she knows Cosmic is in the room now so I doubt she'll move or speak again today.

River wanders off into the toilet and comes back moments later with a glass of water, he fidgets about in his pocket for a moment before sitting down on the bench beside me and hands me the glass as he holds out his other hand in front of me.  I look down at his hand and have to do a double take as I stare down at the collection of familiar tablets that he's holding out to me.  I look up at him  "How did you get those?" wandering how he has managed to get all of my medication ... every single tablet that I take.

"I went to hospital last night so that I could look at your medical records and get your prescription ... don't worry it's all correct."  he says and I laugh at him, because I can see it is.  "Although if I was your doctor I'm not sure I'd be giving you these!"  he says as he picks up one of the tablets and holds it between his two fingers so I can see it, "But I suppose your Dad knows best!" he frowns then puts the tablet back down on his hand with the other.  I frown at him because I couldn't even tell you the names of the tablets let alone what they do or why I'm taking them.

I take all the tablets off him without arguing and start swallowing them. "Now we'll give those a few hours to kick in then Jazz is going to come and try a few things with you."   he says as he stands up and takes the glass off me.  "Oh here, I've got something for you, I thought it might cheer you up and make you feel a little better."  he says as he pulls something out of his inside pocket carefully and hands it too me.  It's a photograph.  I stare down at it not quite believing what I'm looking at ... a photograph of Mom, Dad, Coral, Mosaic and me.

"How ....?"

"I lifted it off the wall in your Dads office when I was at the hospital sorting out your medication."  he smiles at me.  "and I borrowed a few of his books .... he's not going to be very happy with me when he catches up with me!!" he starts laughing

"You could have told him where we are!!!  Did you see him?"  he shook his head at me "River .... why are they keeping us here, why doesn't he just let us go home?"  he looks at me nervously for a moment then sat back down on the bench.

"Honey can go home right now ... "  he glances over at her  " ... all they need to do is wipe her memory and she's free to go ... in fact ... Jazz wanted to do it last night, but Honey kicked up a fuss, she wouldn't have none of it, she says she's not leaving here without you."  I glance over at Honey wandering why she would chose to stay when she gets the chance to go home, although I suppose if the tables were turned I wouldn't leave her here all on her own.   "You, however, it's you that's causing the hold up ... they can't wipe your memory because they can't get into it.  You see they can't let you out of here knowing that they exist or where they live ..."

"Bullshit ... they let you!!"  he rolled his eyes

"Yes because I work for them ... I'm what they call their pet ... they kind of trust me because of Maizie ... if I told anyone about the vampberrys they would fade me and who I'd told instantly."  he rubs his neck nervously  "and before you ask how would they know ... they'd know because they can read my mind and Jazz has that spirit friend of his follow me, I can't see him but I could bet my life he follows me everywhere!!"  Cosmic suddenly starts laughing really loudly

"Cosmic do you follow River when he's outside?"  I ask him, noticing Manderine nervously scrambling towards the bed because Cosmics name has been mentioned and she can see I'm talking to him, I'm looking at him so she can tell he's not too far away from where she is sitting.

"Yes, not all the time but I do quite a lot .... he's very clever tell him!!"  he's still laughing  "Wait till Jazz hears we've been rumbled!!"  I think he says more to himself

I hear Honey yawning quite loudly so I glance over at her.  she's rubbing her eyes and stretching as she sits up.  River jumps up and grabs the last bowl of cereal and quickly goes towards her.

"What the ...?!"  she is sitting there staring at River with wide eyes, she looks pretty shocked, I could swear I just saw him put his finger up to his lips like he's telling her to be quiet.

"Here read this"  he sits down on the bed as he smiles at her and hands her a piece of paper which she starts reading.  I ask what's going on and River says nothing for me to worry about, that irritates me,  Honey is still reading and I sit watching her wondering what they are up to.  She looks up at River wide eyed quite a few times while she is reading then looks back down at the paper.  What the fudge is she reading ... they know I can't read. They are trying to hide something from me I just know it!!  She looks up finally and says "okay" while she nods her head and smiles at him, passing him the paper back which he folded and put back in his pocket.

"What was that?"  I ask, Honey who looks at me a little too sheepishly but says nothing and suddenly she seems to be looking at River in an unusual way, she keeps taking sly glancing at River which I think is very strange.

"I've been doing some research on your condition."  he says glancing at Honey  "I wrote a list of things down that I can and can't give you to eat and drink, you know stuff that's not going to send you hyper and Honey was just checking it, she knows you better than I do."  Yeah like I believe that!!  Something fishy just went on there I swear it!!  I'll get it out of her later, and why can't she stop looking at him?!

After Honey ate her cereal she went straight back off to sleep again.  Why is she sleeping so much?  River sits down on the bench and picks up a book that I hadn't noticed was there until now.  He starts reading it and it goes very quiet.  I look at Cosmic who is standing up, he says something about needing to check on something as he floats through the wall that Manderine is sat up against.  I wander what is behind that wall, is it the outside?  I've never seen him go that way before.

River is sat on the bench next to me reading his book quietly, when I ask him what the book is about he says it's one of my Dad's books about colourblindness without looking up from the page he is reading.  I laugh in my head thinking, Dad is seriously not going to be happy, he gets really weird over how people treat books, and especially over people touching his books ... he definitely won't be happy with River for pinching some!!  I ask River a few more questions, all of them he answers without looking up from the book, he doesn't seem interested in talking so I don't bother to talk to him again.

I just sit next to him getting very bored ... I hate it when its quiet and I'm bored because I can't help thinking about home ... and even if I was going out of my mind with boredom I certainly wouldn't start a conversation with Manderine.  I can't help but keep staring at him, he looks totally strange to me today, his hair seems lighter and so do his clothes, his pants have never been the same shade of grey as his top before ... he is suddenly all the same shade of grey ... it's almost like he's now all the same colour.

"River did you do something to yourself, you look strange today?"  He quickly looks up from his book and his eyes narrow as he studies my face.

"No ..... it's probably just the glasses ... I've lost one of my contacts."  he says, giving me a weak smile then goes back to his book.

Jazz and Maizie, after what feels like many hours, come down the steps together and they are talking quietly to each other.

"Found anything River?"  Jazz asks as he opens the cage door and River again without looking up from the page he is reading says no he hasn't.  "Has he had his medication?"  River tell's him I have.  I'm not sure my head is working right today, I'm very paranoid of everything that is going on suddenly.   Especially whatever went on between Honey and River earlier.

"Tapestry I need you to come with me."  Jazz says as he's standing by the open door, I frown at him and start to get a little worried about where he is taking me  "It's okay, its nothing to worry about, I just want to see if I can get into that head of yours again now that you've had your medication,  so we can get you home ... we are not going anywhere just out here."

He takes my arm and leads me just outside the cage door and asks me to sit on the chair that seems to be permanently sat in the middle of the open space.  Maizie appears with another chair which she gives to Jazz and he sits down facing me quite close, this makes me nervous.  He starts explaining that he needs me to look him in the eye and to sit still, and if I can try to open my mind.  How the hell am I supposed to do that?  He tells me if it works, I'll go to sleep and the next time I wake up me and Honey will be at home.  I don't like this, I start looking around nervously.  I see Cosmic suddenly coming towards me, he's back from where ever he went.

"It's okay, he won't hurt you Tapestry, I'm right here!!"  I look at him for a moment  "I'll punch him if he does!"  Jazz starts laughing at him.

I look at Jazz and he puts his hands each side of my head and tells me to look him in the eyes  "This better not hurt!!"  I say as I look into his shining eyes, he laughs at me and says I shouldn't feel a thing.  We are staring each other in the eyes now, he tells me not to blink or to look away, as he takes his hands off my head, so I don't I just sit there still staring him the eyes ....I wander whats happening as we seem to be just sat there for ages because this is getting totally boring.

Suddenly I feel a strange sensation at the back of my eyes but it only seems to last for a moment then I notice Jazz's eyes seem to be getting brighter and brighter. He moans like he's in pain then tells me to look away quickly, so I do.  He shouts and jumps up stamping his foot hard down on the floor quite angrily and he's holding his head like its hurting him.

"FUDGE!!"  he says as he keeps a hold of his head  "Maizie he did it again, he threw it back at me and I couldn't break eye contact!!"  I look at Maizie who's face is twisted as she chews on her lip.  "How the hell is he doing that?"  he lets go of his head and asks me what I was thinking about

"Nothing I was just wandering what's happening because I was getting bored and I noticed your eyes were getting brighter."  he laughs and asks me if I felt anything "Nothing much, my eyes did feel strange for a moment but it didn't hurt."  he stands scratching his head for a moment and asked me what kind of strange?  "I don't know, just strange?!"  I say because I really don't know how I can explain that feeling.

"This seriously shouldn't be happening!!  It's like he's got a barrier there stopping anything from getting past it."  he says to Maizie as he just stands staring down at me "Maizie sit down."  she frowns at him  "I want to try something."  he pulls me up off the seat and takes me to the far corner of the room away from Maizie and starts whispering.  He tells me when I sit back down he wants me to look Maizie in the eyes, to concentrate and to keep telling her in my head to fetch you a glass of water. I look up at him a little puzzles thinking everyone has gone totally mad today  "Remember don't tell her with your mouth, just with your head."

I go back over to the chair and sit down.  He snaps at Maizie who is slouching in the chair picking at her nails, she sits up and looks at me.  "Make eye contact with each other"  he says so we do.  I want to laugh I think this is stupid and remember what Jazz said so I say in my head "Go fetch me a glass of water ... bitch"  she just sits there doing nothing which I expected, he must be mad if he thinks this is going to work!!

Jazz tells me to concentrate and keep saying it in my head, I'm intensely staring into her eyes thinking this is just stupid and I'm getting irritated,  suddenly my eyes feel strange for a moment again like they did with Jazz.  I say it again angrily in my head because I don't like how my eyes are feeling "bitch fetch me a glass of water"  I look at Jazz and am just about to say this is stupid when Maizie suddenly stands up quite abruptly knocking the chair flying backwards.  I watch her as she starts walking towards the cage door

"Maizie?!"  Jazz says to her and she totally ignores him. "MAIZIE!?" still she ignores him.  Suddenly he bursts out laughing  "FUDGE!! You've done it ... you've only gone and done it!!"  he's laughing really hard still as we watch Maizie open the cage door and walk into the bathroom.

"What did I do?"  I'm really confused.

"You've compelled her - you've taken control of her mind - she's doing exactly what you told her to do."  What the fudge ... I don't understand because as far as I'm concerned I didn't do anything.  I seriously think everyone has definitely gone mad today!!  I said in my head go fetch a glass of water ... I doubt very much that she will ... I'm laughing till I see that she actually does.  I'm a little gob smacked!!

A few second later she walks out holding a glass of water, Jazz is now standing there with his mouth open and a smile on his face both at the same time.  He looks totally amazed.  She comes out of the cage and brings me the water and just stands there in front of me.  Jazz pulls me aside again as Maizie appears to be standing there is some kind of trance.  What he does next shocks me for a moment, he takes the glass of water off me and throws it at Maizie.  The water hits her and she doesn't even flinch, he looks at me and frowns.

"How the hell did you do that Tapestry?"  I shrug my shoulders because I don't have a clue. "Not even I can do that to her, this is stupid!!"  He starts whispering to me again telling me to tell her to fetch you the book River is reading.

Jazz sits Maizie down on the chair and holds her head for a moment so that she's looking directly at me  "Now Tap"  he says so I stare her in the eyes again, I wait until I feel that strange sensation again in my eyes so I think it angrily  "Fetch me River's book bitch!"  

She stands up straight away sending the chair flying again.  Jazz starts laughing immediately and says  "This is totally amazing!!"  Maizie walks into the cage and I have to laugh when she snatches Rivers book from right under his nose, he looks up at her quite angrily, Honey, who has now woken up, and Manderine are both laughing at River who is a little confused, he was so engrossed in the book he hasn't been watching what's going on.  Maizie walks out of the cage and hands me the book.

He stands in front of Maizie and waves his hand in front of her face and clicks his fingers, she just stands there, so she grabs her head and looks her in the eyes, I watch both of their eyes light up for a second, but she still stands there.  "This is fudging ridiculous!!"  he says as he sits her on the seat.

"You'll have to do it" he says looking at me  "Tell her she's free to go .. in your head"  I make eye contact with her again and wait for my eyes to feel strange again  "You're free to go now BITCH!!"  I say angrily in my head.  She slumps back into the chair for a moment looking a little dazed, then she suddenly jumps up.

"Don't EVER call me a bitch again!!"  she snaps as she points at me angrily.  Jazz starts laughing.

"Now what the hell are we going to do ... we can not get into his head, but he can get into ours ... this is insane ... he's like an original in mortal form!!"  he turns to Maizie and asks her if she felt me in her head

"Yes I felt him, and heard him, just like an original."  she scratches her head

"River get out here!"  Jazz says to him.  River walks out the cage and he tells him to sit on the seat oposite me.  "I want to see if he can do it to a mortal ... if he can get into a vampberry head like an original he should have no problem getting into a mortal head and Cos get ready because you're next."  Cosmic starts laughing hysterically, telling Jazz he's lost the plot ... I glance at him  "Okay, it probably won't work with you, but I've got to try it ... you know this boy isn't normal for a mortal ... he could be capable of anything!!"

He turns to me then and tells us to look into each others eyes, I realize he hasn't told me what to say in my head to River, who's frowning at me as he takes off his glasses.  I was just about to ask Jazz what to think when I heard a strange female voice shout his name.

"JAZZ?!"  Jazz spins round at speed to face her.  The sound of him moving so quickly hurts my ears for a moment.

I hadn't seen or heard the woman coming, I hadn't even heard the metal door at the top of the stairs make any noise, and I'm not sure anyone else had either.  I'm looking at the woman and she appears very strange.  Her hair is as long as Honey's which is very very dark to me it looks black and her skin in comparison is really pale... her clothes too are very very strange.  I notice her eyes aren't shining, and I think for a moment she can't be a vampberry, but her eyes are strange they look like they might even be different colours one is light and the other is dark.

"Celeste ... honey .... I wasn't expecting you back for another week!!"  I can't see Jazz's face but I can see hers, she looks very angry, and I can she straight away when she opens her mouth to speak that she is actually another vampberry, she has the teeth, but why aren't her eyes shining?  River suddenly jumps up off the chair and stands by me grabbing my arm, he looks really worried.

"I'll give you honey .... Just what the hell is going on here??"  I see her looking around, she frowns as she looks at Manderine, Honey then River.  She moves Jazz aside who has tried to step in front of me like he's trying to hide me.  She stands in front of me just staring down at me sitting on the chair.  "Loose him River and move away"  she snaps and I glance at River who lets go of my arm and backs away very nervously, he looks scared.  I look back up at the new vampberry.

"Why is this mortal boy totally silent?"  nobody speaks everyone just stares at her, not even Jazz seems to have the nerve to speak.  She stands there staring down at me, I can't stop staring at her eyes, one is a lot darker than the other and both of her eyes have what look like .... patterns in them ....  one of them looks like it doesn't even have a pupil .... they are the strangest eyes I've ever seen!!

She grabs my chin quite roughly, holding it firmly with her ice cold hands and leans towards me ... she looks into my eyes, and I know what she's doing she's trying to read my mind.  So I stare back, I'm beginning to like this game ..... I'm distracted for a moment, by her wierd eyes as I study them up close.  I keep staring and wait for my eyes to feel strange then I think  "GET OUT OF MY HEAD BITCH AND GO AWAY"  She shakes her head suddenly and looks away from me holding her head for a moment.  She just stands there saying and doing nothing, I'm laughing in my head because I think I just did to her what I did to Maizie.

She suddenly grabs me by the arm pulling me roughly up off my seat and pushes me towards the cage  "Get in there boy!!"  she hisses at me giving me a strong push which sends me flying into the cage, I hear the cage door slam behind me as I land on the stone floor face down, nearly smacking my chin on the stone cobbles.

"Jazz, Maizie, Cosmic UPSTAIRS NOW!!!"  she shouts. "You too River!!"

Fudge!!! Who the hell is that?!


Thursday, 23 January 2014

Side Story ~ Mango 4

When Gravel hit the play button, we sat for a few seconds watching my empty office.

Then the door opens and 'River' walks in. Gravel hits the pause button and freezes the footage on a very clear view of him.  I stand up and move closer to the screen.  Fudge!!!  Obviously I can't see his colour, but I can see him  ... and I'm struggling to take in what I'm looking at .... if I had any doubt at all before about that boy being my son it has now all completely gone.

He's dressed just like he is in one of the photographs that his Grandmothers sister gave me.  He is wearing the same hat, which tickles me for a moment thinking about Tapestry's hat obsession.  'River's hair is off his face and he's wearing glasses, pretty similar to the ones I wear sometimes when I need a break from my contacts. I just stand there staring at him for a few moments, trying to take him in. I'm looking at my eldest son for the very first time ... I should have seen him when he was a baby and now I'm looking at a grown man.

Gravel looks at me, "I need you to watch this carefully shout out if you see anything you think you might be able to explain." he says as he hits the play button.  I watch as 'River' drops the large bag that he has in his hand onto the floor then he locks the office door from the inside.  He moves quickly towards the computer and turns it on and sits there for ages concentrating on the screen, I can't see the screen or what he's doing, but he looks like he's reading through something. Then he stands up and moves towards the printer, paper starts coming out of the machine which he's picking up glancing at them quickly before putting them in a neat pile on my desk ... I wander what he's printed off, Gravel asks me if I have any idea what it might be and I shrug my shoulders, because it could be absolutely anything.

'River' seems to get very distracted by something, the photographs on the wall, he wanders away from the printer and stands staring at the photographs for what seems like ages, he takes his time to look at them all in turn.  I think about the photo's they are mainly of the kids and Lilly, I take my eyes off the monitor for a second and automatically glance over at the wall, I'm a little surprized to see one of the photo frames is now empty, the only one that had a picture of me in it.  How had I not noticed that was missing when I was in here the other day.

"Stop that!!"  I say to Gravel and he hits the pause button  "There is a photo missing!!  The one of me and Lilly with the three kids." we both just stare over towards the photographs in silence for a moment, at first I find it kind of creepy that he should take a photo, because I wasn't really thinking about it logically.

"Yeah that's just about to come up on the footage ..." he looks up at me and he doesn't look too worried  "Maybe he just wanted a picture of the family, I presume he wouldn't have one ... the only time to worry is if your kids and all the others off his phone records think he's a creepy stalker ... but your son did phone him today and he's been having regular contact with all of the names on that list for well over 12 months, so I doubt that will be the case!!" 

"You ready?"  he says as his finger hovers over the play button, I nod and the footage starts moving again.  Like Gravel says, we watch him take the picture frame down carefully off the wall, he opens up the frame takes out the photo which he stands looking at for a while before he puts it carefully inside his bag then he goes back to hang the empty frame back up on the wall, after he's put it back together, and even takes his time to straighten the frame up.

'River' then moves back to the printer and takes off all the papers and starts to flick through them, scanning each page quickly before he places them with the others on the desk, all but one which he still has in his hand.  He goes back to the desk and starts opening the draws - he pulls out the prescription pad and starts writing out Tapestry's script, he's referring to the paper he's kept aside from the others .. then it clicks.

"I think that might have been Tapestry's whole medical records that he's printed off there ... the pile of papers looks big enough!!  See he's writing out his prescription from one of the pieces of paper."  I say to Gravel who hits the pause button and he starts scribbling notes down on the pad he has in front of him. He looks up and frowns at me.

"Don't you doctors print off all your prescriptions now?"  he is right we do as a rule  "Why did he not just print it off the computer?"

"He would have had to do it manually because it's only been a few weeks since Tapestry's repeat prescription was filled so the system wouldn't have let him print one off, Tapestrys repeat is three monthly."

"So wouldn't the pharmacy question a handwritten prescription?"  he asks me while he's still scribbling

"They do sometimes, depends on who's signed it most of the time ....."  I scratch my head for a moment, that is a very good question when they definitely would question and refuse to fill a script that has been hand written or come off the computer when it's authorized and cashed with the same signature, I always have to get Forrest or Griffin to authorize Tapestry's scripts.   "I don't suppose you know what name did he sign the script in?"  He told me to hang on and starts rooting through the folder he has with him, saying he has a photocopy of the script.  He pulls it out and places it on the desk, the signature on the front of the script is Mango Muffin his false name River Lane on the back.  He's made a very poor attempt at forging my signature, I'm surprised that pharmacy didn't pick up on that!!

"Although if you look at this, that is actually his usual signature with his last name omitted."  he shows me a piece of paper that has his signature on "But still his intention would have been to make them think it was your signature by omitting his surname, ... and it's still forgery which ever way you look at it."

"You know these offences are slowly starting to stack up against this boy of yours .... he's already looking at a lot of time!!  I didn't want to tell you this because I know it's going to worry you but ... your office was not the first stop he made when he came into the hospital,  he paid pathology a visit first, we've got it all on cctv, he walked into pathology and lifted a load of blood bags, that's what's in that bag he's carrying."

"WHAT?!"  I suddenly got very worried, there is only one reason why he would want blood, if someone is hurt and needs it  "What blood group did he take ... do pathology know?"

"They haven't come back to me ... they are doing an audit as we speak."  Alarm bells start ringing in my head and inwardly I'm panicking, this doesn't sound good ... I've got all sorts of horrible visions running through my head!!  Is that why he wants Tapestry's medical records, to find out his blood group because he's been hurt?  "Mango we need to watch the rest of this, then we'll talk later ... try not to worry too much!!"  he says as he hits the play button again.

Try not to worry!! ... that's easy for him to say ... it's not his son that they have got!!

'River' puts the script on top of the pile of paper he's collecting on the desk then turns to look at the books on my shelves.  He puts his finger on each book as he seems to be reading the titles of each book carefully.  He picks out a book and opens it and starts flicking through it.  He discards that book then goes back to the shelf.  "There are five journals and a book missing, I noticed the other day when I was in here."  I tell Gravel and he snaps that I should have told him as soon as I realized, and said I needed to tell him what the books were if I know, so I told him, he starts scribbling again but lets the cctv footage keep running so I kept watching it.  I watch as 'River' makes his way through the books, some he puts back, some he puts down on the desk after he's flicked through them and I slowly watch as six of my books go into his bag.

While he's at the bookshelf he takes out one of my folders, which I recognize instantly because, when Tapestry was a toddler he had got hold of a marker pen and decided to decorate that folder a few pieces of furniture and the wall with scribble while I wasn't looking and I've never bothered to change the folder.  I watch as 'River' starts looking through the folder.  That's the paperwork that I had to pick up off the floor ... Lilly's coma notes that I kept while she was at home for the 3 years in a coma.  I wander why he was looking at those?  Gravel asks me what is in that folder so I told him.

Suddenly 'River' seems to panic as he quickly crouches down onto the floor dropping the folder and all the papers spill out all over the floor ... so that's how he made a mess.  He shuffles himself across the floor and sits crouched against the wall.  I'm so busy watching him I don't understand why he's doing that.  I ask Gravel and he tells me to look at the door.  A face is at the door that I recognize, hospital security, he's peering through the glass section of the door and shines his torch into the room.  "I've watched it a few times, the security guy tried the door handle, that's what made him jump."  Gravel tells me.

'River' sits there for ages waiting for the security guy to go,  he gets up nervously, and stands there for a while before he moves again.  I thought that might be the end of it then when he picks up the pile of papers off the desk and puts them into the bag and stuffs the script into his pocket.  He picks up the bag and starts heading towards the door, but he stops then and stands there rubbing his neck, this makes me laugh because I always do that when I'm stressing over something and I'm always being told off at home for doing it.  He stands there staring over at the photographs again.

'River' suddenly drops the bag and moves quickly back to the desk and starts rooting around in the draws again.  I get the impression that he was just going to leave then with the script, Tapestry's medical records and the books, but something seems to be troubling him .... which stops him.

He pulls out an envelope and writes a quick single word on it.  He then roots around and pulls out some paper which he starts to write on, when he's finished he reads it folds the paper and puts it into the envelope.  He then pulls something out of his back pocket and drops it into the envelope. He went to seal the envelope then looked over towards the photo frames on the wall again for a moment, he put the envelope down, he pulls the scissors out of my pen tub and cuts off a chunk of his hair and then sits there wrapping an elastic band around it, he actually cuts the elastic band and sits there and carefully ties a bow with the elastic band.  I laugh quite loudly, his mind must works like mine because I think I already know what he's doing and why.

Grape frowns at me "You find that funny?! ... I think that is VERY STRANGE behaviour!!"  we both carry on watching, he drops the hair into a specimen tub writes something on the label then puts the tub down.  His hat comes off then we sit watching as he winds some hair round one of his fingers then just pulls a chunk of his hair out of his scalp, he winces for a moment then inspects the end of the hair and smiles.  "Fudge that boy is not right in the head!!"  Grape mumbles

"Actually he's quite the opposite ... that's pretty genius!!"  I laugh Gravel carries on frowning at me like I've gone mad.

'River' then places the hair carefully into the specimen tub with the rest, puts the lid on and drops it into the envelope seals it then looks around for a moment as he puts his hat back on.    He stands there again rubbing his neck like he's in two minds about something, suddenly he starts looking around the room, and stops when he's looking at the cctv camera, he just stands there and smiles at it.  Gravel hit the pause button.

"Did you see that!?"  I can't help but laugh, I look up at the camera as an automatic reaction and notice a tiny light flashing on it  "He works here ... he'd know they were active when the lights flashing ... do you think he smiled because he's happy it's all on tape?"

"Berry only knows what's going through that boys mind Mango!!"  I think Gravel is still reeling from what he did with the hair.  "I've seen some things in my time, but that hair takes the biscuit!!"

"Do you have that envelope?"  I ask him and Grape says no he was hoping that I'd received it in the mail maybe, I shake my head because I haven't.

"So the hair ... would you like to explain why you found that amuzing and so genius?"  Gravel frowns at me.  I stand up and move over to the wall and take one of the photo frames down and place it on the desk in front of him.  He just stares down at it then looks up at me.

"My Mother did that for me, the first time the triplets had their hair cut ...  she does some really strange things sometimes."  I stare down at the three clumps of the triplets baby hair each tied up with a neat bow, their names neatly written underneath their hair obviously for my benefit being colourblind.  River must have spotted that when he was looking at the photo frames  "I think he meant it as a clue for me to his identity ... he's trying to tell me he's my child ... he wouldn't know I've already worked it out ... I think he's guessing the minute I saw that hair tied in a bow I'd think about that and see what he's trying to tell me."  I pointed to the frame on the desk containing the triplets hair  "and of course, once I have worked it out ... he'd know I can actually prove it, he's given me exactly what I need ... I can run a DNA test.  You need hair roots, that's why he just tore a chunk of his hair out.  Marigold in pathology told me his passion seems to be forensic pathology, he'd know all about DNA testing, its one of the jobs he does in the path lab."  I scratch my head   "I need that hair!!"

"There is more to watch Mango ... what he does next probably makes sense now it sure as hell didn't before!!"  he laughs as he hits the play button again

The footage starts moving again 'River' is stood smiling up at the camera then he says something  ... we can't hear what he said but it looks like he says "fuck it!!"  I frown thinking maybe he's not so happy about the camera being active after all.  He moves quickly away from where he's standing and moves over to the side I have visions of him grabbing something to smash the camera, not that it will make any difference now because the camera has already caught everything he's done, but he doesn't and he really surprises me with what he does next.

He grabs a syringe and a blood vile and takes some blood from his arm.  Fudge ... he's going the whole hog with this now isn't he!!  He writes on the vile, he unseals the envelope drops in the vial then sellotapes the envelope back up again.  He moves away from the desk, picks up the bag still with the envelope in his hand and walks out of the office after unlocking the door.

"Gravel I need that envelope!!"

"Like I said I hoped you'd get it in the mail ... but maybe he changed his mind and decided not to give you that envelope after all ... I'm not sure what he does after he leaves your office I haven't watched the rest of the cctv footage yet." 

"I hate to say this but he would have been pretty stupid to put a blood vile in the post ... they are easily smashed and he's far from stupid .... my guess would be that he's dropped it in my pigeon hole here at work."  I haven't opened it since Tapestry went missing so I told him I'd go and check and ran out of the office.

I wander back into the office, a pile of internal mail in my hands, kicking myself for not checking my pigeon hole two days ago, if that envelope is in here I would have found it then, the morning after he paid my office a visit. I drop the mail on the desk and start rooting through it.  I pull out five envelopes with the neurology stamp in the top left hand corner - knowing he's used an envelope from my desk it would have that stamp on the envelope.  It jumped straight out at me ... while the other four are flat this one isn't. I look down at the one word written on the front of the envelope.  "Dad"  Fudge!!  I hold it up to Gravel  "This is it"

I open the envelope and pull out the specimen tub, turning it over I see the hair tied in an elastic band bow along with the loose hair. On the label he's written his name Mango Muffin Lane.  Also in the envelope is the blood vial and his driving licence card which has his name, date of birth, Apple Hill address and photo.  I stare at the photo, he appears on it exactly how he does in one of the photo's and on the cctv with the hat and the glasses ... that must be how he normally dresses when he's not wearing his disguise.

I take the piece of paper out of the envelope and read what he's written on it.

That upset me for a moment .... not only has he confirmed what I suspected that he is actually my son ... the words "I'm sorry I am your son" and "Please don't think badly of me!" keep going round and round in my head. Does he mean don't think badly of him because he is my son?  The more I think about it the more it upsets me.  "I'm sorry I am your son"   Why is he sorry? .... it's almost like he thinks he's telling me something that I wouldn't want to hear ... and he's sorry! ... is that why he's just sat back and not said anything ... does he think I wouldn't have wanted to know him?  Why the blood and the hair, he should know the hair would have been enough to prove it ... so why the blood too?  What is it with him and blood? The pathology department that he seems happy to sit in, the blood bags, his blood ... why do I get the feeling that all this blood means something?!

He's sat there quietly for two years, I wander if he would ever have told me if this hadn't happened to Tapestry.  He's spent 2 years trying to hide who he is and now he drops his disguise and does this?  The way he blatantly got Tapestry's medication from the hospital, the way he's blatantly been going around town, he wanted us to find out who he is ... he wanted us to know his name, maybe he hoped the police would work out his true identity and that I would somehow figure it out once I found out he's Maizies son and how old he is .... his real name should have been enough to trigger my head off.  Just in case that didn't work he left me this ..... his Apple Hill driving license, which also gives me his name, date of birth and a very clear picture of him.  The hair, blood and the note that actually tells me, he wrote Dad on the envelope ... he is definitely trying to tell me who he is ... and not to worry.

"Mango?"  Gravel makes me jump, I hadn't realized I was just sat there deep in thought.

"Sorry!"  I hand Gravel the note and sit quietly while he reads it, he looks up at me and frowns

"Okay ... so now I'm confused ... why the hair tied in a bow which you thought was a clue, if he's just going to tell you who he is in this note?"  I laugh at him for a moment

"I'm colourblind so you tell me .... I doubt very much he know's I'm colourblind ... but I think you can see that his hair is identical to Corals, Tapestry's and mine ... I get the feeling as well as telling me, he's trying hard to prove it, almost like he thinks he has to prove it ... I guess he thinks I might not believe him, that might explain whey he's never told me."  I laugh at him as he stares down at the hair again "... and you've got your proof right there that it's definitely Maizie!!"  he starts laughing

"You sure you don't want to quit medicine?!"  he smirks at me   "Your brain is definitely working a lot quicker than mine today!!"

"No you're okay, your job would just give me a constant headache!!" we both sit laughing for a moment "It's all well and good knowing who he is Gravel ... but how are we going to find them ...  if he's gone this far why do you think he didn't just tell us where they are? 

"I doubt it will take us long .... it looks like he is not doing any of this for the wrong reasons, and from what I know about this Manderine woman, she is pretty dangerous, combined with Maizie and her past history ... I'm guessing they don't have a clue about what your boy is up to ... anything could be happening in a hostage situation and you don't know what they might be threatening him with, or what sort of hold they have over him, they might think he's with them in this and he could be pulling the wool over their eyes ... until we've got them we'll never know ... we just have to keep following the trail he's leaving us and hope he makes another move soon ... we will get them eventually!!  Two days ago we had absolutely nothing and it was looking very grim .... now we've got plenty to work on .... they are in this town somewhere Mango, and we will find them!!"  

Gravel starts to pack everything away in his folder including the disc out of the computer containing the cctv footage.  While he's doing that I'm setting another wheel in motion to put my mind completely at rest.  I transfer the hair tied in a bow into a new specimen tub and put it back in the envelope.  I take the specimen tub with his name on and hair roots in and start rooting around in my filing cabinet for the DNA form that I need ... I know ive got some in here somewhere.  I find them and pull one out, pushing back the attached plastic sample bag out of the way so that I can fill in the forms.  As I tick the paternity test box I think to myself, this is something I never thought I would ever be doing!!  This is insane!!

Gravel stands watching me as I walk over to the tubs and pull out a syringe and blood vial and start taking some of my own blood ... wandering why 'River' also took blood after the hair, does he think I wouldn't believe him when he told me he is my son?  I laugh as I watch Gravel turn away at the sight of the needle.  I drop his hair and both of our bloods into the sample bag and seal it.

"You done?"  he asks as I start scribbling a note out on a piece of paper for the lab, asking them to fast track it because it's urgent and to phone me the minute that the results are done.

"I just need to drop this off at the lab on the way out."  I start thinking about everyone at home and how they are going to react to this ... especially Lilly!  I know myself now that DNA test is just a formality, I know already what the result is going to be.  "Can I ask a favour - when you start interviewing everyone ... can you keep his real identity quiet, just until I've spoken to my wife, I really don't want her hearing about this from anyone else."  he said he'd try but couldn't promise anything, and suggested I do it quickly because once the press get wind of this, the whole town is going to know ... the press are going to have a field day when they find out 'River' is also my son ... combined with my ex-girlfriend and sister in law, he thinks my name and reputation might even get a little blackened because of all this.

As soon as we got to my house the first person we bumped into when we walked through the front door is Mulberry.   I asked after Lilly and Cotton, I didn't want her hearing this just yet until I've had to the chance to sit down and talk to about it properly.

"My Moms got Cotton in the nursery and your Mom has just taken Lilly up to bed ... she has really not been good today, she's been switching on and off like a light bulb again!!"  Great this is all I need,  but I'm glad she is not going to be around to listen to this, she's going to get hysterical once she finds out that there is a third person involved and that Coral and Mosaic are friends with the guy who is also a suspect in Tapestry's disappearance.  "Where have you been anyway?  I think you not telling her or any of us what you've been up to for the past few days isn't helping ... she thinks you're hiding something bad from her!!"

"I've been at the hospital with Gravel, the police officer dealing with the case ... we need to talk to you about something."

"Is it Tap? have they found him?"  he asks  "Please tell me he's not ...."  I realize when I see the look on his face I've kind of made him think the worse telling him I've been at the hospital with the police.

I take Mulberry into the kitchen,  where Gravel is waiting for us.  He sits down and I put the photo of River on the table in front of Mulberry, the photo that I'd borrowed from the hospital which is still in my pocket.  Sunny walks into the kitchen and I told him to sit down because he needed to hear this too.

"Why do you have a photo of River?"  Mulberry asks frowning at me as Sunny stares down at the photo

"I've seen that guy, he hangs around with Cherry and Affair."  Sunny says

"Sunny that's River Lane!"  I tell Sunny quickly, he was there with me when the police told us about his involvement.  He looks at me and his eyes widened and he starts scratching his head.

"Mulberry how do you know Mr Lane?" Gravel asks Mulberry as he holds his hand up to Sunny, I presume to acknowledge that he's heard him and is asking him to hang fire for a moment.

"He's my mate, he's the one I usually go drinking with on a Friday night why?"   Mulberry frowns at me

"Mulberry how have I never heard any mention of this River guy?" I ask him

"I don't know?!  he looks at me gone out  "I'm surprised you've never seen us together ... he hangs out at ours quite often and he baby sits Blueberry for us sometimes when our regular sitter is busy, Blueberry loves him.  A lot of us know him ... I don't know how you don't ... he's Mosaic's best buddy!!"

Gravel explains to him that he is now a third suspect in the abduction case saying they have strong and conclusive evidence that puts him into the frame.  Mulberry just sits there looking at him like he's gone mad for a moment.

"Don't be stupid!!!"  he laughs  "Not River ... that guy wouldn't hurt a fly ... you must have got him mixed up with somebody else!!"  he looks at both of our faces like he thinks we are having him on but we are both staring seriously back at him "You are joking me right, you have to be .... not River .... he just wouldn't!!"  he frowns as he looks back down at his photograph and mumbles  "Fudge! he's been baby sitting my boy!"  Sunny has a really worried look on his face but he's keeping quiet ... wait till he hears its not just Cherry he knows.

"Do you still have his text messages on your phone from this morning."  he pulls a confused face at Gravel  "We've pulled your phone number off his phone record and we can see you Coral and Mosaic have had contact with him today."  Sunny looks at me his eyes nearly popping out of his head.

"He text to say he couldn't make it tonight, we'd arranged to meet at the divebar ... he said he is tied up, something about his brother being in trouble and he's trying to help him get out of it ..... here see for yourself."  he says as he hands his phone to Gravel  "I didn't actually know he had a brother he's never mentioned one before!!"  me and Gravel exchange a quick glance

"He's definitely trying to get his point across isn't he Mango!!!"  I just smile at him, he turns to Sunny then  "I'll need you to round up some of your kids Sunny .... they too have been having regular phone contact with Mr Lane over the past 12 months ... and what about you, do you know him?"

"Not personally, only to say hello too in passing."  he says looking wide eyed and worried across the table at me again. "Which of my kids know him?" Gravel starts flicking back in his pad to get Sunny's kids names.

"Strawberry, Maize, Carmine and Cherry."  he stood up and gave me another worried look saying he would round them up, pulling his phone out of his pocket as he walked out of the kitchen.  He looks really stressed out, I'm going to have to tell him the truth about 'River' probably before I tell Lilly, to put his mind at rest a little.  Gravel looks over at me and pulls a face.

"Mango I suggest you go speak to your wife."  I told him I would as soon as he'd spoken to Coral and Mosaic.  I know I can't put this off much longer.

Coral, Mosaic, and Parsley were questioned by Gravel along with his own son Slate, who as we predicted is still here with Coral ... their first reaction was exactly the same as Mulberry's all four of them said they didn't believe River would be capable of being involved in Tapestry and Honey's disappearance.  All of the kids know him from the bowling Alley, I remember Marigold saying something about him going bowling.  They generally meet River at the bowling Alley twice a week, and apparently Mosaic is really good friends with him more than most.  Parsley apparently bumped into him and sat talking to him about Tapestry in the meadow the night he went to the hospital to get Tapestry's prescription.

How have I never heard this guys name mentioned and why do I not know what my kids are up to when they are out of the house?!  Is this my own fault, because I've always had to put more time and attention into Tapestry that I've been neglecting my other two kids?

I just sit there numbly, struggling to know what to think anymore ... River says he is looking after Tapestry and Honey, he's trying to get them home ... I have to try and believe that even though I'm not so sure I should.  I really can't believe he's been slowly worming his way into everyone lives, he's been getting to know them slyly, he's everyone's mate and nobody has a bad word to say about him and they really can't believe that he'd be involved in helping to take Tapestry and Honey.

While he's been getting to know my family and friends ... why has he avoided me?!

Why didn't he just tell me who he is?!

I'm really relieved that he appears to be looking after Tap and Honey, but at the same time I have another worry ... I don't just have Tapestry to worry about anymore ... I have him too.

Just what is Lime and Maizie putting them through, how are they living from day to day, it can't be good if 'River' is having to play games and leave a trail of clues, what is stopping him from coming out and just telling us where they are?

What is stopping him from breaking them out and bringing them home?  

and Just how am I going to tell my family about who he really is?!


There will be more Mango chapters to come after we've been back to Tapestry for a while.

Sorry about the lighting in the few photo's at the bottom - there was a full moon going on in the game and I wasn't going to wait another 24 sim hours just to take 5 pics. 

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Side Story - Mango 3

~Day 8~

Today it's been a week and a day since Tapestry and Honey disappeared.

After spending a very long and tiring day yesterday in Apple Hill and after having yet another sleepless night, I'm sat with 'River's life on paper in front of me stretched out on the kitchen table. Birth and medical records, a copy of his birth certificate which of course says father unknown, his school records, his employment records from Apple Hill and quite a lot of photographs of various stages of his life, anything I could find on the boy I'd got it in front of me.

I am never going to rest until I know for certain he is my son.

I'm just sat here looking at an adult photograph of him and I'm not even sure I can describe how I'm feeling ... there are too many emotions running through me.

Luckily I managed to track down his grandmothers sister who is the only living relative of Maizie's that I could find, she eventually gave me a lot of information on Maizie and 'River' after a very rocky start.  When she opened the door and I told her I was an old boyfriend of Maizies and I gave her my name the first words out of her mouth were like a hard punch in the stomach  "Oh finally, you come to pay your son some attention!!" she said quite nastily  "Well he's not here Mango's in Sugar Valley with his Mother!!  Go bang down Maizies door!!!  You've both dumped on that boy, it's a wander he's turned out as well as he has .... you should be ashamed of yourself!!!"

I thought she was going to slam the door in my face at first.  Her attitude towards me was not pleasant to start with, I dread to think what Maizie might have been saying about me to her family.  Once I explained the situation, that I had only just found out that 'River' existed she calmed right down saying "Yeah, I could just imagine that is something that Maizie would do, that girl has always been trouble!"  then she invited me in.  I asked how she knew I was 'Rivers' father, she said Maizie had told her Mother about me, it was hard to forget my name with 'River' sharing the same name and she said any idiot can see it, he's looks just like me.

I was very shocked to find out that Maizie's Mother had not faded when she was a child like she had told me.  Why lie and tell people that your own Mother has faded when she hasn't?!  I'm seriously beginning to think that Maizie is one warped woman and virtually everything about her is a lie ... what the hell did I nearly get myself mixed up in I wander!!  Maizie's Mother faded only two years ago and she is the person who has brought River up since he was a baby.

I couldn't bring myself to tell her anything about Tapestry's abduction and 'River's' involvement, she is a very old woman and I could just imagine hearing something like that might help see her off!!  She seems to be very fond of 'River' so I kept it to myself, even though I get the feeling when the police uncover 'Rivers' identity, they will also be banging down this woman's door, I'm actually surprised I beat them to it.

She told me 'River' is my son ... do I really need any more proof?

Maize apparently is a pure orange berry by birth, she showed me pictures of her, one of which I have in front of me - not that I can see it, but I needed to bring one home so that someone could confirm it for me, which my Mother did.  One thing I don't understand is why the pretense - she made herself out to be a mixed berry - why?  I would never have noticed being colourblind that her eyes weren't blue at night when she took out her contacts - is that why she always insisted on our bedroom door being locked at night? so my Mother didn't walk in and see her orange eyes, I bet it must have been really convenient for her living with two colourblind people, me and my Dad.  She must have used the hair dye and coloured contacts trick to cover up the fact that she is actually a pure orange berry - why?  Why would she even do that? Why would she not tell me and just how did I never notice the box's of hair dye??

Then there is Maizies semi disappearance, she had not been seen by any of her family for the past 10 years.  There are those 10 years again where she has had no medical attention from either Sugar Valley or Apple Hill.  Not even 'River' saw her apparantly they only spoke on the phone.  This seems a little strange to me.  The only thing I can think is that she moved quite a distance away ... but why leave your child behind ... why didn't she just give him to me if she didn't want him?!

'River's' Grandmother brought him up, not Maizie, he spent his whole life up until two years ago in Apple Hill while Maizie was living in Sugar Valley.  I can feel my heart breaking ... all that time he had no parents, if I'd even known he existed he would have been with me, Maizie obviously didn't want him ... I was never even given the choice!!  This makes me very angry!!

'River'  left Apple Hill two years ago and moved to Sugar Valley after his Grandmother faded.  Even though Maize didn't have anything to do with his upbringing she was in constant contact with him apparantly, so the Grandmothers Sister thought nothing of 'River' coming to live in Sugar Valley with his birth Mother after her sister faded.

So 'River' who's real name is Mango, odds on was going to be born completely orange with both me and Maizie being completely orange, the only bit of colour that could have been thrown up was my Mothers purple hair and eye colour but it didn't.  I think for a moment, if only that purple had surfaced, Maizie would have had no choice but to move him to Sugar Valley, if he had been a mixed berry then I would have found out about my son's existence a lot sooner!!   As 'River' by birth is a pure orange berry Maizie was able to keep him in Apple Hill - away from me - but why?

Why would she want to hide my child from me?  That's the thing that I really don't understand!!  Was it spite?  I think back to the last argument we had, she caught me nearly kissing Lilly, I say nearly because if Maizie hadn't stood there screaming I would have kissed Lilly .. I seriously hated her for interrupting that moment.  Me and Maizie spent the whole day fighting ... which was nothing new really, we fought like cat and dog constantly most of the time over nothing.  This time was different, for once she actually had a valid reason for being mad with me ... I'd had enough and she gave me an ultimatum ... she made me chose between her and Lilly, and of course I chose Lilly even though I didn't think we would ever have the future that I wanted together.  I finally admitted to Maizie exactly how I felt about her, she was just a distraction to take my mind off Lilly ... OH BERRY!!! ... I asked for this didn't I!!!

I suddenly remember something she had said to me that I didn't take any notice of at the time ... and haven't given a second thought to since ... but now I know it must actually have meant something, and I didn't even know or realize.   She'd asked me "What if we had a baby would it make a difference?" and I told her  "No!! The very last thing I would ever want is a child with her ... I've always loved Lilly and there is nothing she could ever do to compete with that!"  Maizie had thrown something at me, she's said  "Fine if that's what you want!! quite nastily then she started packing her bags and I was happy to watch her knowing I would finally be rid of her ... she must have known ... she walked out of my house KNOWING she was pregnant ... Hell!!  She left and never told me because of what I'd said to her!!!

I pick up a photograph off the table, one of a teenage 'River' and just stare at it.  I have loads of photographs of the boy from various stages of his life that his Grandmothers sister gave me. This photo of him really leave me in no doubt, he couldn't look more like me at that age if he tried to!!  My Mother confirming that 'River' has my exact shade of orange hair, just like Tapestry, he is actually so much like Tapestry all through his childhood photographs it's quite frightening, the photo's of them both at around the age of 10, I'm actually struggling to tell them apart. I don't really see any of Maizie in 'River' at all physically and apparantly there isn't any colourwise either, Maizie is a different orange to me, her hair and her eyes are more like a watery orange according to my Mother he's got none of her colouring, it's all mine.

I think I already know he's my son and there is only Maizie that can tell me otherwise.

Me and both of my parents, the three of us work at the hospital and we can't believe that he has been right under our nose for the past two years and we've never noticed him.  All three of us have been in pathology and never taken the slightest bit of notice of him.  My Dad has actually spoken to him quite a few times and he hasn't noticed anything, when I showed him the picture from the hospital he said "Oh that's Deepwater .. never knew his name was River." I thought he was going to have a coronary when I told him he is Maizie's son and probably mine and his name is actually Mango Muffin Lane.

The more I find out about him the more I'm certain, without even meeting him I can already tell from what bits of information I do have on him, he is a lot like me in every way ... there are just too many coincidences for him not to be. He was the school nerd with the intelligence and glasses, his eyesight is a bag of shit like mine, one thing he isn't is colourblind.  His school record was very much like mine, and he excelled in music like I did.

Then there is his medical career - why did he chose a career in medicine?  His medical career to date kind of bewilders me, while he was employed and worked in the Hospital in Apple Hill he had worked his way quickly up to being a Trauma Surgeon.   When he started at the hospital in Sugar Valley he started from scratch again under his new identity of 'River' Lane, taking the same exams he's already taken and passed .. this makes sense, he couldn't use his real identity because he would have blown his cover.  What doesn't make sense is why sit as a registrar  in pathology when he's done higher jobs and is capable of much more, and has been offered much higher positions.  Why Pathology?  That has to be one of the worst departments in the hospital ... for me anyway!!   It's like he's sat there basically avoiding main stream surgery, even though he's obviously keeping his hand in doing autopsy's.  Is he avoiding surgery because that is where all of our paths would definitely have crossed - I get the feeling he was trying to avoid and even hide himself from me and my parents.  Why?

Has he been sat there watching me and this family for the past two years?

This makes me scared ... suddenly I wander ... is he's involved with Lime and Maizie in taking Tapestry, one of my other children, just to spite me ... maybe he hates me for not being there for him ... even worse, what if he hates Tapestry because I have been there for him.  Does 'River' know that I didn't even know he existed, or has Maizie fed him with a load of rubbish telling him I didn't care and didn't want to know.

Then I think about him going to the lengths of getting Tapestry his correct medication, is that a good thing or a bad thing, I thought it was a good thing at first , but now I'm not so sure, maybe they just can't handle him without his medication.  The books ... it has to be him who took those books from my office, that must have been what he was looking for ... information on Tapestry's problems ... is that a good or bad thing, I really can't work it out.

Something screams out to me, the way he blatantly accessed medical records from my computer to get the script, he's actually signed the script, was that a cry for help, a clue or stupidity ... he is not apparently a stupid person and he must know there are ways to access medical records at the hospital and cash scripts without actually stamping your identity all over it and leaving a blatant trail.  He's a natural doctor, you can see that clearly from both of his work records ... he has to be a caring person to work in the medical field ..... surely he can't be involved in this for bad reasons ... can he?!  If he isn't doing this for bad reasons, why is he even there at all and why doesn't he just bring Tapestry home?

I'm not sure of how much more of this I can actually take!!  I need to try and stop thinking about this because I am driving myself crazy!!!

What did I actually do to deserve all this crap that I keep getting thrown at me?!  I lost my temper and swept my arm across the table flinging some of the papers flying around the room.  I put my head down on the table and start to cry.

None of this is going to help bring Tapestry back is it.

My phone starts ringing I pull it out of my pocket and answer it without looking at it.  It's Gravel's voice that says hello to me.  I am pretty good friends with Gravel I've known him since we were kids, not only have I been his doctor in the past but he also happens to be the main police officer dealing with the case, so I quickly sit up hoping they've found them.

"Don't get too excited Mango, we haven't found Tapestry."  he went quiet for a moment and carried on speaking when I didn't reply.  "We have uncovered quite a bit of information on Mr Lane, including his real identity, which I really need to talk to you about, and I want to go through a few things with you."

"Okay, where do you want me here or at the station?"

"No actually, could you meet me in your office at the hospital, I was examining the cc tv at the hospital, to collect for evidence and ..... his behavour while he was in your office was pretty strange to say the least, I want you to take a look at the cctv to see if you can help shed some light on what he might have been up to."

When I walk into my office Gravel is already in there sat behind the desk engrossed with something on my computer.

"Can you lock the door mate, so we aren't disturbed."  he says without taking his eyes off the screen.  As I walk round my desk I see he is watching the cc tv footage.  He hits pause stops what he's watching and then just sits there looking at me for a moment in a very strangest way.

"I'll let you know where we are up to before we watch the cctv  ... I also have a few things I want to run by you too, you're not in any rush to get off anywhere are you? ... work?"

"No I'm taking time out I can't concentrate with this going on, I'm all yours for as long as you need me."  he smiles at me

I think you might want to sit down mate!!"  he says to me and gestures towards the chair next to my desk, so I do, even though it feels strange to be sitting in this seat instead of my own.

"I'm not sure I'm liking this, the strange look, telling me I might want to sit down ..."  I say nervously half expecting he's going to give me some really bad news.

"No! No! it's fine mate honestly ... no bad news, just ignore me ... it's just something about this River guy it's playing on my mind ... hence the strange look, but I'll explain that later ... we'll deal with Miss Lane first."

"We are drawing a total blank with Maizie."  he scratches his head " All trace of Maizie stops 10 years ago here and in Apple Hill where she originates from.  It's almost like she just vanished off the face of the earth, medical, dental, employment, phone records, her bank accounts have been untouched."  he smiles at me  "Everything in her name ceased being active 10 years ago, nobody has seen her and according to her neighbours the house she owns sat empty for about 8 years before Mr Lane moved into it.  I don't suppose you've seen her?"  I've already thought about this and I can't say I've seen her since the twins were born which has been way more than 10 years.

"No mate, I bet its been 16 years since I've seen her."

"We have put out quite a very wide search for any activity by Miss Lane, which is possible as it's just come to light she is actually a pure orange berry by birth,  but at the moment there is just nothing coming back.  I have officers interviewing all the witnesses from the funeral again ... we only have the say so of two witnesses who say that it was actually Maizie Lane who was Manderine Orchid's accomplice.  As far as she is concerned it's looking very suspisious ... if this had come to light under normal circumstances we would be treating her disappearance as a missing persons ... possible murder case."

"Couldn't she have been using a false identity like River, they seem to know how to pull it off!?"  he said its a possibility but untouched bank accounts that contain sizable funds and empty premises that contain no trace of her is never a good sign. "So what are you saying ... it might NOT have been Maizie who helped snatched our kids?"

"We don't know Mango ... it's all very suspicious, she vanishes without a trace, not even her family in Apple Hill have seen her in the past 10 years, then she just suddenly pops up out of nowhere ... we have no solid proof that it was Miss Lane we only have two eye witnesses who actually say they recognized her and only one of those witnesses spoke to her briefly."

"Sunny and Prelude"  I ask him, because I already know they were the only two there that actually knew Maizie.  Everyone else - Ruby, Caramel, Alpine, me, Lilly and my parents - who would have know who she was ... we were all not there when Lime snatched the kids.

"Yes, and your brother in law was the only one to talk to her."

"If Prelude says it was Maizie ... it was definitely Maizie!!  He knows Maizie very well, from when I used to date her and Maizie was their social worker when the twins were born in prison.  Prelude told me Maizie and Lime have been in constant contact since then, they have become very good friends ... maybe the prison has a record of her visiting Lime ..."

"Mango why do you keep refering to your sister in law as Lime?"

"Lime is the name she used all through school and that's the name we used for her to hide everything she's done from the kids for Storm and Parsley's sake, to them and the rest of the kids the twins mother was called Manderine, the bad lady was called Lime, but Tapestry didn't know anything he was always kept in the dark because of his disabilities ... and if you don't mind I'd rather you not call her my sister in law ... that woman is nothing to us  ... Prelude was an idiot to let her get her claws into him!!!"  he just smiles at me but I can imagine what he's thinking ... my so called sister in law and my ex girlfriend snatching my child ... it doesn't look good on me does it!!!!  and it gets worse wait till he finds out this River guy is probably my son!!  It's just a good job he actually knows me!!

"I will check with the prison, that's quite a good point you made there about prison visits."  he starts scribbling on his pad

"It has to be Maizie ... or how else would Maizie's son get dragged into this!!"  he frowned at me for a moment then I realized what I'd said.

"Mango how would you know Mr Lane is Maizie's son?"

"Mango Muffin Lane ... I already know his real name."  I say to him and he looks a little surprised  "I've been doing some digging of my own .... and I think ... I think ... he actually might be my son.

"Mate, you said you don't know this guy?" he frowns at me suspisciously

"Yeah well I don't ... I have never seen or spoken to him ... I didn't even know he existed until two days ago, I spotted his birth on Maizies medical records and just followed the trail ... and if I'm right and he is my son when I get my hands on Maizie you will be locking me up ... you'll be getting that murder case you mentioned!!"

Gravel just laughs at me, as I start explaining to him how soon after our break up he was born and my visit to his Grandmothers sister's in Apple Hill and all the coincidences that make me believe he's my son.  I placed the folder containing most of the papers and photographs that I'd collected up in front of him which he starts flicking through.  I'd left Maizie's and Rivers birth and medical records at home, because I really shouldn't have those, even though I just realized I've slipped up and told him I've looked at Maizies medical records, but he didn't bat an eyelid so maybe he hasn't thought about it.

"You should quit medicine and become a detective!"  he smirks at me as he's flicking through the papers.  "I'll need to keep these if you don't mind, just until the case is closed, then you can have them back."  he suddenly looks up at me and bursts out laughing  "Oh man ... this brings back memories!!"  he holds up a photo of 'River' when he was a teenager  "That kid is the spit of you at that age!!"  he carries on laughing  "You know I never did understood why your parents sent you off to that boarding school, I seriously used to miss you back then!!"

"Yeah I suppose you was my best mate at the time ...You know I was a mistake, they never planned any kids, they are both too career minded, I was being passed from pillow to post with the crazy shifts they work and they thought I needed some stability ... I hated it, but looking back, Lime aside, I'm glad they did .... I'd never have met Lilly and the others otherwise!!"

"You know I'm really glad you found out about Mango junior for yourself ... I thought I was going crazy for a while and I was dreading even broaching the subject with you!! ... I remember you dating Maizie and when I saw the boys real name it did make me wander, then when I saw him on the cctv, I had to do a double take ... that boy looks just like you!! ... especially now he is walking around town in his real colours"  I frown at him  "He's lost his disguise, the blue's gone, when he entered the hospital two days ago he was completely orange, I suspect so nobody here at the hospital would recognize him if they bumped into him."  He squinted at me for a moment  "Mango, how may I ask did you find out his real identity?  How did you get all this information .... I hope you haven't been doing anything illegal!!"  Oh Fudge!!

"Okay ... I hold my hands up ... I did look at Maizies medical records when I shouldn't .... and that's how I spotted the baby and she was born in Apple Hill .... so I went to Apple Hill ... everything else I did was perfectly legal!!"  I wasn't going to tell him I'd done most of it from here and accessed River's medical and birth records as well and how I'd actually got them, because what I have done is illegal and he'll do me for sure!!

"I'll just pretend I didn't hear that Mango, as long as you don't go repeating it to anyone else!!! .... I think we had better move on don't you."  he gave me a cross look before he carried on speaking ... boy am I glad we are mates!!

"All we had on Mr Lane was the address the hospital have for him.  As you probably know that house is owned by Maizie, in view of her suspicious disappearance and both of their suspected involvement in this, we raided the property yesterday.  We found not a single trace of Maizie at all not even any clothes.  Everything is Mr Lanes.  We found a lot of mail from his Apple Hill address, a property he owns, which he has forwarded to the Sugar Valley address.  We found his real identity quite easily, and once we got hold of his birth records everything started falling into place.  You'll be pleased to know he's squeaky clean, he's got no previous, not even a caution, we are a little hampered as we don't even have his fingerprints on record ... Maizie on the other hand has got quite a colourful and checkered past on record!!"


"Oh yes, I can't give you any details obviously, but that ex girlfriend of yours is VERY well known by the Apple Hill mob!!"  he smiles at me  "Unlike his Mother, I'm not sure Mango junior even knows what he's doing ... he's made no attempt to hide his real identity in his own home from what we can see."  he stops for a moment  "He is not hiding his identity around town either for that matter ... he's using a debit card to an account in his real name which makes us believe they are still in Sugar Valley somewhere, as he's using it only here and nowhere else. In the past week he's popped up in quite a few places, besides his trip to the hospital he's been food shopping, brought petrol and this morning he's done more food shopping and he's been in the chemist. It's looking very much like Mango junior is going to be our key to catching them because he is being very careless.

"I wander if he's not leaving a trail on purpose."

"He might be, but he might just be out of his depth  .... which brings me to his phone records"  he looks at me nervously  "I need you to look at them."  he starts rooting around in his folder and pulls out quite a few sheets of paper.  "This is a list of numbers he's been calling and texting quite regularly over the past 12 months."  He puts a piece of paper in front of me which contains a handwritten list of numbers and names.

I read the first two and instantly start panicking.

"NO!! ... NO!!  I'm not having this ... I have to go home"  I say as I stand up abruptly knocking the chair flying, he grabs my arm and tells me to sit back down.

"Mango there is no need for you to panic - I know exactly what you might be thinking and if it makes you feel a little more comfortable I'll send a patrol car to sit outside your house, but quite frankly I think if he was going to do anything he would have done it before now!!  I knew you'd panic, but don't forget I have a vested interest in that girl of yours and I'm no worried!!"  he smiles at me for a moment  "Mango junior has been sending and receiving text and calls from most of these numbers for well over 12 months." I just stare at him not sure I can think straight anymore  "As soon as we are done here, I'll come home with you because I'll need to start interviewing them all, starting with your two."  he pats me on the shoulder  "I need to know which of these are relatives or close associates. "

I look down at the list and see a lot of names that I recognize, a few from the hospital and others around town but I start reading out the names that really bother me, - Coral, Mosaic, Parsley, Strawberry, Carmine, Cinnamon, Fudge, Maize, Affair, Cherry, Juniper, Mulberry, Ice - I start to feel sick ... what the hell is going on here!!!  I look up at Gravel, disbelief on my face

"It appears Mango junior has been very busy getting to know your family and friends!! I guessed you might be a little surprised, there are a lot of Orchids on that list."

"SHOCKED more like it ... is there only me who doesn't actually know him?!"  I scratch my head, I seriously can't take this in  "It's not just the Orchids, its the Shines and the Forrests ... we are one big extended family ... and I worry about him having contact with any of them if he's doing this for the wrong reasons!!"

"I need you to confirm how they are related to Tapestry and Honey."  I look at the list again.

"Mulberry and Ice are his Uncle and Aunt ... Parsley, Affair and Juniper are his cousins and you know Mosaic and Coral are his brother and sister."  I wait for him to stop scribbling "Strawberry, Maize, Carmine and Cherry are Honeys siblings, and the only other two I'm worried about are Cinnamon and Fudge they are Alpines kids."  I scratched my head for a moment I notice Tapestry nor Honeys names or numbers are on this list.

"I need to speak to Mulberry and your two in particular because they have all had contact with Mr Lane today according to his phone records"   WHAT!?  This just get's better every minute!!

"TODAY!?"  I seriously don't believe this and it's really starting to worry me

"Yes Mosaic called him, Coral and Mulberry exchanged a few texts with him."

"You know if Coral knows him, what about your boy, those two are attached at the hip these days!?"  Coral has been dating Gravel's son Slate for about 12  months now and these days they are always together.

"Yes I know that has already crossed my mind even though Slates number doesn't appear on his phone records, but like you said, Coral and Slate are inseparable lately so I think he's bound to know of him if Coral knows him!!"  he looks up at me worried for a moment  "Slate stayed over at yours last night didn't he ..?"  I nodded and told him I'd seen him at breakfast

"Hopefully I'll catch up with him later at yours!!"  he smiled at me  "One more question, according to his neighbours Mango junior appears to be dating someone ... a very pale blue woman, she seems to come and go from time to time, she appears to live with him for short periods then disappears again ... we suspect she is someone from out of town, but I don't suppose anyone on that list jumps out at you as a possible candidate"

"You are asking the wrong person mate, I'm colourblind remember, I can hardly remember what colour you are."  he laughs at me

"Yeah I forget that ... I'm Brown and Grey mate."  he laughs again  "Okay ... nervermind, I'm hoping someone on this list might know who she is."  he starts packing away the papers he's got all over my desk keeping only his notepad and pen out.  "So to the cctv then ... I'll just rewind this then we are set to go."

"Okay"  I am actually dreading this ... actually seeing him, it is going to make it all too real.

"You ready?"  I nod and he hits play.


I thought I'd just tell you 'River' was a little present created by sp around the time I was playing in Preludes house with Lilly and Cosmic had just died - Mango was not in the active house :)  so he is a born in game sim.  I just never imagined I'd actually get to use him.