Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Chapter 37 - Gen 2 - Tapestry

the next three chapters are a little detour that I have slipped in at the last moment.  Which is giving me time to try and solve a problem I have in game with crashing when I get into edit in town.  The next chapter in particular was inspired by a dream.


I am standing in the cemetery feeling a little out of place.

I know that everyone has accepted me into this and the extended family, and they now class me as one of them.  However, when you are attending one of their funerals, someone who you do not even know and everyone is crying around you, when you can not shed a tear, it makes you feel uncomfortable.

I did not know Cinnamon at all really, only in passing, he was one of the people that I avoided on purpose, but only because of him being a policeman.  From what I have heard about him he was a sound guy and it is a shame that I never got the chance to know him.  For those two years when I was in Sugar Valley, wearing my disguise and using a false name, the very last person I wanted to get close to is an officer of the law.  I am not sure that I ever actually spoke to him.  So for me to stand here crying would just be utterly ridiculous!!

The closest I ever got to Cinnamon was unfortunately on that horrible day when he was shot by Gravel.  I, along with Winter and a team of other trauma surgeons spent five long hours in the theatre with him, trying to repair the mess and damage that the two bullets had made to his chest and stomach.  He was very lucky to make it through the first round of surgery and he was hanging on with the help of life support and at one point we actually thought that he might just make it.  However a complication had him taken back into theatre, the second time round he was not so lucky, a few hours after being taken back to ICU he was pronounced brain stem dead.  Another tragic loss of a young life, when he had his whole life a head of him.

I stare over at Tapestry, who is standing not too far away from me, it is him that I am worrying about mainly today, he has taken Cinnamon's fading quite hard like all of the rest of the extended family.  On top of Honey and Shadow, I am not sure that he is strong enough to take it, because I do not think that he has even dealt with his own loss properly yet.  I told Dad that I would attend the funeral today, but only to keep a close eye on Tapestry and he is the only reason that I am here.

Tapestry is standing a little in front of me, holding Crystals hand.  I guess that Crystal is in exactly the same boat as I am, she knows very few of the people around her and especially not Cinnamon.  However, she is here for Tapestry because he wanted her here.  I hope that this is not going to be too much for her either.  I also have a worry that she might be the one to throw a wobble, this is the first time that she has been part of quite a large crowd and she is naturally very timid until you get to know her.

I really could do with Winter's hand to hold right now, but Winter got to stay at home, not knowing Cinnamon at all, and is looking after Ocean, Vanilla and Cotton.  Lilly is not here either, which upset Dad a little, but she blacked out because of the grief, an hour before we were due to leave for the funeral, so Grape, her father and Grandma Muffin are looking after her.  Everyone is worrying about Alpines state of mind, he is not good at the best of times with his brain damage, another victim of Lime's.  It must be hard enough having to bury one of your sons with a normal head, so with his brain damage he is very unstable and he could well lose it today.  It will actually be a miracle if today goes off without any hitches. It amuses me that they have bets on who is going to blow first, Tapestry or Alpine.

As I watch him, I notice that Tapestry seems to be looking a little agitated.  I can not see his face because his back is towards me, but I can see he keeps staring over at Honey, Shadow and Storm graves and he can not keep his feet still, his free hand is very fidgety.   I am keeping my distance because he has already had a go at me today for fussing over him, and I do not want to agitate him any more than he already is.

He suddenly turns round and snaps quite nastily at Strawberry who is stood right behind him, maybe a little too close for my liking.  I see Strawberry keeps leaning towards him occasionally like she is saying something in his ear.  Strawberry is not one of Tapestry's favourite people right now, and if I know Strawberry, I would lay bets on that she is winding him or Crystal up.  Strawberry has been read the riot act not too long ago for bullying Crystal and I know Strawberry and Tapestry have never really liked each other and only have to look at each other to rub each other up the wrong way.

I really would not be surprised if Strawberry is not stood there on purpose just so that she can keep coming out with those snidey comments of hers that she knows really wind Tapestry up.  The last thing we need is Strawberry setting him off today!!

If I go over to her, I will just end up having a go at her she gets under my skin a little too, I understand where Tapestry is coming from when he says she irritates the hell out of him.  The last thing I want to do is start an argument at a funeral!!  I stroll casually towards Sunny, while I keep my eye on Strawberry and Tapestry.  Tapestry turns round again and has another go at her, I can see that she is really getting on his nerves.  Sunny, who is standing not too far away from me with Ruby smiles at me when I approach.  However, he is not smiling when I tell him that I think that Strawberry is winding Tapestry and Crystal up.  He rolls his eyes at me as he makes his way straight over to her and drags her away from Tapestry, pulling her over to where most of the Shines are standing.  Scarlet catches my eye for a moment, she is particularly distraught, being engaged to Cinnamon and carrying his baby.  Life is so cruel sometimes.

I get distracted watching Bay and Slate together, they make me smile, twelve months ago none of us could have seen that one coming!!  Slate, who has been allowed to get out of the hospital for a few hours, is sat in a wheelchair, a blanket round him and Bay is fussing over him even though it is his brothers funeral that we are attending.  Slate seems to be giving Bay a welcome distraction from his grief.

I am actually very surprised that Dad allowed him to attend the funeral, it is not really such a good idea for him to be out so soon after the transplant.  Slate kicked up an almighty fuss apparently and even threatened to discharge himself if Dad did not let him attend the funeral.  Dad caved in, scared Slate would actually carry out his threat, his state of mind not being too good again at the moment because he is having to deal with the bombshell of Granite being his biological father, not Gravel, and he is having to watch his new found Dad still on life support not knowing if he is going to pull through.   I notice Dad is hovering very close to Slate keeping a very beady eye on him and I know that the minute this funeral is over Slate will be straight back into that hospital even if Dad has to drag him back there himself.

I stare at the group of men standing by and talking to Slate, Bay and Dad.  From their identical all brown colouring I can tell they are all Rocks.  There are four of them and I wander why they are here, they do not come from this town and I doubt they have ever seen let alone know Cinnamon.  Even though I have never seen them before, I think I can guess who they are because I have heard a lot about them recently especially from Dad. Turmeric, Shale, Silt and Thyme, Slate's Uncles and Gravel and Granite's brothers.  Why are they here exactly?  Maybe they feel guilty for what Gravel has done, just like Slate does.

Them being the brothers of the man who faded Cinnamon, there presence does not seem to be bothering anyone, as I watch most people stop and speak to them, but then nobody blames Slate for what Gravel has done, even when this whole thing, really has been all about Slate and his true identity of being Granites son and not Gravels.  I guess the Rocks, because of Slate, have been dragged into the extended family, there are two Rock babies being born into the family, Corals, and I know how fond of Granite, Dad is, being friends along with Forrest since they were small children.  I know that Dad is especially fond of Slate and treats him like a son, even though Slate and Coral are no longer together.  Stupidly I think Dad thought and hoped for a while that now Gravel is out of the way Slate and Coral might get back together ... I really can not see Bay letting that happen!!!

"Oh No!!  Tapestry is rocking!!"  I suddenly hear Mosaic say loudly.

I am now really kicking myself, for getting so distracted and taking my eyes off Tapestry.  When I look over at Tapestry he is no longer holding Crystals hand because his is holding his head and rocking.

Crystal backs away gingerly from him, she is confused as she watches him, like the rest of us, start to break down.  He starts to shout a little, almost like he is shouting at himself.  I have seen him do this only once before, in the vampberry den just before he went all psychotic on Lime.  We are in trouble!!

"Shit he is going to blow!!"  Mulberry shouts  "Someone move Crystal out of the way!!"

Everyone quickly backs away from Tapestry, it is almost comical how quickly everyone backs away and moves, a space opens up around them instantly, I guess they have all seen this before many times.  Prelude lurches into the clearing and grabs a very confused and frightened Crystal pulling her away as Dad rushes over to Tapestry.  Fudge I already know he is doing the wrong thing, he needs to be left alone!!  Honey was very insistent about that!!

"Dad leave him!!"  I shout but it is too late, Dad puts his arm around Tapestry.

Tapestry blows!!

He starts to yell at Dad saying that he let them fade, and asking why did he let them fade in amongst telling Dad how much he hates him.  This is a normal occurrence so I am told, Dad is always the whipping pole for Tapestry's outburst, if Dad is anywhere near him when he blows, he seems to vent a lot of his anger onto Dad for some reason.  I know, and I think Dad understands, that Tapestry really does not mean most of what he is yelling at Dad when he is in this state, especially the part about hating him.

"You let them fade ... I HATE YOU!!"  Tapestry yells at Dad  "I am SICK of you hiding everything from me and treating me like the idiot child!!  I did not even get to see him and it is all your fault!!!" he almost screams in Dads face  "But you saw him didn't you!!  DIDN'T YOU!!  YOU buried him before I could see him!!"

Tapestry pushes Dad away quite forcefully sending him flying backwards and he falls onto the grass.  I know instantly that Tapestry is talking about Honey and Shadow when he says 'them'.  I am a little surprised by what he is saying, not getting to see Shadow, in particular, seems to be seriously getting to him.  What Tapestry said has Sunny collapsing to the floor in a heap, he is breaking down, almost hysterically.

I hope to Berry, Tapestry is not about to say something he is not supposed to in front of all these people!!  He is blaming Dad publically for not getting to see Shadow ... and only we know why!!  He is like a ticking time bomb and I really do not want to be standing here to watch it go off, I have to do something, before it is too late.

I watch as Prelude, Mulberry and Mosaic run at him.  I guess they have had plenty of practice over the years in having to control him.  Dad is now busy picking himself up off the floor and dusting off his clothes while he watches Tapestry punch Mosaic which sends him flying.   Tapestry gets away from Mulberry and Prelude by giving them both a wack.  All the time he is yelling and screaming almost hysterically, while he is fighting the three of them off.  It scares me, just how strong Tapestry is when he goes into these rages, strong enough to even give the vampberrys a run for their money, which I have seen him with my own two eyes.

I can not help but wander if Storm and Cosmic are here and also in there trying to calm him down, I know that Storm hardly leaves his side.  Me and Tapestry have talked a lot about how he feels and what goes on during these outburst and he has told me that people touching him and the noise, especially people shouting at him, just makes it worse, until his mind just blacks out and he does not know what he is doing after that.  He seriously hates having to come round after one of these outburst and have to hear what he did while his mind was blacked out, because it is never pleasant.

It is like a cat fight.  Prelude, Mulberry and Mosaic are grabbing at him and shouting while he continues to fight them off.  I already know by grabbing and shouting at him they are seriously doing the wrong thing.

"JUST LEAVE HIM!!"  I yell at them as I am fumble in my pocket.  "Back away from him!!"  I shout at them as I pull out the syringe and bottle of sedative.  I really hoped that I would not need this today, but am now very glad that I bought it with me just in case.  "Have you lot not realized yet that you make him worse by grabbing and shouting at him!!"  I yell at them.

"Get off me Storm you Jerk!!"  Tapestry yells suddenly as he starts to wrestle with fresh air  "You and Cosmic need to back off and mind your own business!! Go polish your headstones or haunt somebody else!!"  he stands there scowling  "If you weren't so busy bugging me and Crystal you might have stopped Honey and Cinnamon from passing over  JERKS!!"

I cringe!!  I feel the blood drain away from me as I hear a few gasps and I am not surprised, he is there talking to his spirit friends in front of EVERYONE.  Prelude, Mulberry and Mosaic start to back away from Tapestry, I think more from the shock of what he is saying, more so than because I told them to. Tapestry stands there yelling at nobody, obviously none of us can see them but I know Storm and Cosmic are there somewhere in front of him.

I need to shut him up!!

As I start to run towards them I fill the syringe with sedative.  Tapestry, who is now loose, throw himself onto Honey and Shadows graves.  I think he might just sit there crying and shouting like he already is but he even surprises me by what he does next.   He gets down on his hands and knees and starts to dig frantically like a dog.  He is ripping up the grass with his bare hands, then the dirt, first Honey's grave, then he moves to Shadows where he remains digging like a maniac, handfuls of dirt are being flung everywhere.

Prelude and Mulberry are now trying to pull him away again, but he pushes them off and continues to dig.  I take a quick glance at Dad who is now almost distraught as he stands there watching.  It is not nice for any of us to watch him ripping up Honey and the babies graves, even if he is doing it because he is distraught with grief!!

I think I knew in the back of my mind there would be something coming, because I did not think that Tapestry had dealt with especially Shadow fading properly.  I know one thing that has really been eating him up, the fact that he was not here for their funerals when he should have been.  However, stood here watching him now, it was probably a very good job, I dread to think what he might have done if he had attended their funerals!!

As I walk quickly over to him I hear him saying over and over - the baby should not be in there - he is going to suffocate - he just wants to hold him - Vanilla needs her brother.  This really upsets me, it hit me right in the chest and the pain felt worse than the knife that had gone into my shoulder.  I quickly jab him in the leg with the syringe, he didn't even see me coming, hysterically rambling and digging.

Tapestry slumps onto the ground after only a few seconds and is out cold.  I just stand over him after I have placed him in the recovery position, tears streaming down my face, because I hate having to see him go through this and mostly what I heard him say has really got to me.  Now I am crying at Cinnamon's funeral, but for all the wrong reasons.

"I'll take him home." Dad says from behind me.  "What set him off."

"You putting your arm round him!!"  I raise my eyebrows at him and he just rolls his eyes.  "I am not sure what started it but I think Strawberry might have been winding him up just before he blew, but it is Shadow and not seeing him what is getting to him most I think."  Dad stands there rubbing the back of his neck as he stares down at Tapestry.  "You do realize don't you, this is the first time he has been in this cemetery since the day of Storms funeral when he was abducted and it's the first time he has seen Honey and Shadow's graves and Storms for that matter!!.   I know he has avoided coming here because he knew it would upset him seeing them and I never even gave it a thought!!"

"I nearly faded when I heard him talking to Storm and Cosmic!!" he laughs quietly  "Fudge!!  They are all going to start thinking he is insane again!"

"Let them, we both know he isn't!!"

I try to wipe the tears off my face as Dad says he never gave him being in this cemetery and seeing the graves a thought either, his mind has been way too preoccupied, since our return home, by everything that has been going on around Gravel, and the undercover police operation that has been going on for over a month around Mace and Gravel that only he and Granite knew about, outside of the police force.

I seriously can not believe the stuff that Dad has been carrying around on his shoulders all this time, it is a wander that he has not had a nervous breakdown!!  First all the deception of the abduction,  Honey and Shadow, then Corals antics with Gravel and Slates attempted suicide and its consequences, the undercover police operation that only he and Granite were privy too, now the aftermath of Gravels massacre, especially Cinnamon fading and Granite still being in a controlled coma.

"Maybe we should show him that photograph, the one of Shadow I sent to your phone."  Dad rubs his neck  "Obviously if not seeing the boy seems to be seriously getting to him, maybe that will help him get his head together!"

"I don't know if that will do him any good, it might just make it worse for him."  I pull a face really not knowing what to do for the best.  "You know he has already seen that photograph, and the boy, he just doesn't know it!!"  I roll my eyes at him  "He was messing with my phone and saw the pictures of Vanilla, Shadow and Ocean that you sent me.  Being colourblind he could not see they were three different babies, he thought they were all pictures of Ocean.  Obviously I had to let him carry on thinking that." 

"What has upset you so much?"  Dad frowns at me 

"Obviously I hate seeing him like this when he has been doing so well lately, but it was what Tap was saying while he was digging mostly!"  I explain to Dad what I hear him say and he stands there just stares at me with raises eyebrows  "I'll take him home, it's not fair for you to miss the funeral, you stay and look after Slate."

"You may as well take Crystal home too, she is in a right state over there, she does not understand any of this!!"  he rolls his eyes  "Maybe you should try to explain to her before my little broken boy wakes up."  he looks around him  "We will have to talk about this, and that photograph, at home when it is a little more private."

Prelude and Mulberry carry Tapestry to my car while I walk behind them with Crystal.

His little broken boy is going to hate himself when he wakes up!!


I start to come round and my head is hurting as it swims into consciousness.

I know straight away that I have been sedated.  I remember this feeling all too well, even though it has been a long time since I have felt this way.  I hate it!!  I continue to just lie there with my eyes closed and battle through the confusion trying to workout why I might be here in this place again.  Where I am does not even cross my mind.

Then I remember .. losing it at Cinnamon's funeral!!

Once I realize I am no longer in the cemetery but now at home lying on my bed, I moan out load as I roll over onto my back and hold my head because it is banging like it always does when I have an outburst.  Not looking forward to hearing about what I have done.

I am a little, no very annoyed!!  I hoped that I would never have another emotional outburst!!  I thought I had grown up and can and have been controlling it.  I have not had one of these outbursts since the vampberry den nearly a year ago and I have been through plenty of things that should have tipped me over the edge enough since to have them ... but I have controlled it.

I am very disappointed that I was very wrong and these outbursts are still possible.  This scares me for my future and my music career, now I am not so confident about myself!! 

What the hell have I done!!!  I can not help but notice that my hands are really stinging.

"So you are back with us then!!"  River laughs besides me.

I did not realize he was there, him speaking makes me jump and I open my eyes, turning my head to squint through the initial blurred vision at him.  River is lay next to me on the bed reading a book.  He smiles at me as he closes his book and puts it down on the bedside table.

"I'm Sorry!!"  I mumble quietly. 

"Why apologize, it is not like you can help it or do it on purpose!!"

I struggle to sit up, so that I can inspect my hurting hands.  I stare down at my sore hands as I turn them over quite a few times and wander in confusion how they managed to get into that state.  Both of my hands are throbbing, cut and bruised and I can not help but notice the underneath of a few of my nails are very dirty.

I glance at River and he is wearing one of his 'half hearted, sympathetic, I'll try not to uspet him' smiles.  I dread to think what he is going to say to me.

"Where are Crystal and Vanilla?"

"Vanilla is in the nursery with Ocean, don't worry about her me and Winter will look after her for the rest of the day and tonight, so you can get some sleep."  he smiles at me  "Crystal is upstairs in her old room, asleep, I have given her a sleeping tablet.  She got rather upset and I thought it best she sleep it off."

"Go on tell me because I know you are dying to!!"  I frown at him  "How did my hands get into this state?"

"Well the bruises on your knuckles probably match the shiners that Mosaic, Mulberry and Prelude will be wearing from tomorrow."  I laugh halfheartedly because that is nothing unusual really, I always end up smacking someone.  "I tried to clean your hands as best I could, sorry your nails have a little dirt under them still."

"Dirt?"  I frown as I look at my nails again, some of which are now broken.

"Yes dirt.  You tried to dig Honey and Shadow up with your bare hands."  he rolls his eyes as I stare at him wide eyed  "Unfortunately you made a bit of a mess of the plot, especially Shadows, but don't worry it is only surface damage, the grass will grow back, you did not get very far with your digging thankfully!!"  he smiles at me  "You blacked out didn't you."

"Obviously, I always do.  I heard Mo say I was rocking, someone put their arm round me ... I don't remember anything after that."

"You might guess it was Dad."  he laughs quietly  "He will have a bruised ass tomorrow, you launched him backwards, before you started yelling and screaming at him."

I just lie there not quite believing that I have done that.  I have done some things in my time when I have blacked out during an outburst, but trying to dig up the contents of graves has got to be right up there!!  I feel sick!!

"Please tell me everyone was not watching!"  I cringe.

"Unfortunately!!"  he smiles  "Don't worry, they understand."  I frown at him

"I doubt it, it will be a first if they do!!

"I'll tell you something that might make you feel a little better."  he smiles at me  "You aren't the only one who lost it today, because of grief.  Alpine put on quite a performance too so I have heard."  he laughs quietly  "You try digging up coffins and he tried to open one.  It's a good job both me and Dad went to that funeral armed with sedative!!  Prelude and Mulberry are black and blue apparently, Alpine put up quite a fight!!"  he smiles at me as I sit staring at him wide eyed again.  "Everyone understands its damaged brains not handling grief very well!!"  

I doubt that they will understand my performance at least, I am not sure I understand myself!!  I know why I might have done it, the grief drove me to it but if I had been in my right mind I never would have wanted to dig them up, or even make a mess of their graves.  River might think he understands and is being nice about it, but he has not seen how every one else reacts  yet to my outbursts.  I am still expecting everyone else to start coming and ripping shreds out of me like they usually do.  Most of them see my outbursts as trouble making attention seeking tantrums.

"Oh I need to warn you."  he laughs  "While you was out, you started yelling at Storm and Cosmic in front of everyone, at one point I think you might even have been fighting Storm off.  You said both of their names clearly for everyone to hear."

"Oh Great!!"  I put my head in my hands for a moment.  "Did I say anything I shouldn't?!"

"No not really, not that I heard."  he frowns at me  "What set you off Tap?"

"Too many things ..."

Cinnamon, fading and being at his funeral, was only a part of the problem.  Just being in that cemetery brought back Storms funeral and the last time that I was stood there, and how I felt that day, especially being abducted by Manderine, remembering how scared we had been especially in the first few days of being in the vampberry den in that cage.  Today it really did not help me that I had Storm's spirit standing next to me and when I glanced over at the row of headstones, Cosmic was stood where he was the day of Storms funeral, this also brought back unwanted memories and feelings of the day that Manderine abducted me and Honey.

All I remember is standing there, holding Crystals hand tightly trying not to look in the direction of the headstones, I did not want to see them because I knew how upset I would get and I had enough to deal with just being in that cemetery attending Cinnamon's funeral.

It just had to be Strawberry, behind me bitching in my ear, making snide comments about me not being able to look after Vanilla or about me not having been to visit Honey or the babies grave since I have returned home.  She actually grabbed my head and turned it in the direction of the gravestones so I had no choice but to see them.  Three new gravestones that I have never seen before, Storms, Honeys and Shadow's.  Strawberry was stood behind me, constantly in my ear going on until Sunny dragged her away, I am not really sure why, but I was very glad of it.  However, by then it was too late, the damage had already been done.

Once I had seen the graves, I struggled to keep my eyes off them after that, especially the smaller one which I presumed is the babies grave.  I have consciously avoided coming to the cemetery to visit the graves because I knew how much it was going to upset me.  Seeing their headstones and graves put the finally nail in both of their coffins, so to speak, especially Shadow's.  Suddenly them fading was realer than it has ever been.

I had not noticed that I was stood there numb.

I did not even expect the outburst myself, or think that it was a possibility anymore.  I should have known it was coming, I was stood there numb unable to cry, while the pain was building up and becoming too much for me to bare.  Crying is something I have done quite freely for a while, when I cry I let the emotional upset out, I know that now, when I do not cry it builds up in my head until it explodes and lets itself out that way, the wrong way - an outburst.

"Do you want to talk about it?"  I shake my head.

"You can not keep bottling it up!!  Tomorrow we seriously need to sit down and talk about it so you can deal with it properly."  he smiles at me  "It is Shadow isn't it?"


"Take these and try and get some sleep.  We will look after Vanilla tonight."  he smiles

He starts to rumage about in his pocket then holds out his hand and I see two of those white pills on his hand.  He knows that I took two earlier so it must be alright for me to take more.  I don't argue with him I just take them.

"On a brighter note.  Prelude dropped a box off for you earlier, CD's.  It is in your music room."  I frown at him  "Rocky thought he would surprise you."  he laughs  "One of those joint songs of yours, he has released it into the charts to see how it floats."  he grins at me then laughs.  "Mo phoned in a right flap not long ago because it was on the radio about an hour ago!" 

"Get lost!!"  he laughs at me.  "You are joking!!"

"No joke!!   Rocky phoned you earlier, I had to answer your phone."  he smiles at me  "I told him you was asleep and had just got back from a funeral, so he is going to ring you back tomorrow."  I go to jump off the bed and he grabs my arm to stop me  "Tap ... you seriously need to deal with whatever is going on in your head regarding Shadow before it drags you down and before this career of yours kicks off!!  In less than a week you are due to fly out to Rainbow remember, I'm going to be worried sick ...."

"I know!!  Don't stress, today was just a blip, I'll be okay!!"  I smile at him but he pulls a face  "If it makes you feel better, tomorrow we'll talk!!  Now I seriously need to go see these CD's!"

River laughs at me and lets go of my arm. I dive off the bed and run off to see what is in the box.  About fifty CD singles.  I take one out of the box and just stare at it.  I can not read any of the writing on the CD cover so I stick it into the CD player and listen to it.  I sit there listening to it feeling a little numb, not sure I will ever get used to hearing the sound of my own singing voice.

I start to feel those pills making me feel alittle mongy so I decided to go and try to get some sleep.  When I wake up again I am very surprised that I am alone in the bed.  I glance at the clock and notice it is after eleven o clock, I have been asleep for hours.  I expected Crystal to be in bed with me when I woke up.  It is strange how quickly you get used to things, her not being there does not seem right.

I jump off the bed and go into the nursery to check on Vanilla, she is sleeping peacefully so I just stand there staring at her for a while but do not disturb her.  As I stand watching her sleeping my mind can not help but drift to Shadow, wandering what he would look like if he had lived and that he should be in the empty cot and not in a box in the ground.  I have to walk away to stop myself from thinking about him and getting myself all upset again, so I go in search of Crystal.

I found Crystal up in her room also fast asleep.  As River said he and Winter would look after Vanilla tonight, I debated on just jumping into bed with Crystal.  However, I have been sleeping most of the day and night so I am now wide awake and would only lie there tossing and turning, disturbing Crystal, while my mind runs riot, driving myself crazy with my thoughts.  I doubt that I will sleep anymore tonight and head back down stairs to leave her sleep in peace.

I head down to the kitchen to grab a drink.

As I spin around from the fridge something catches my eye.  A bottle of wine and two glasses are sat on the kitchen counter.  At first I laugh thinking River is trying to be romantic again.  However, I had noticed when I grabbed the milkshake that there were another two bottles of that wine in the fridge chilling.  River and Winter drink a lot of wine.  I presume they never got to drink the wine because they will both be fast asleep by now - it's lights out at 11 for River, he is such a nerd he still has a set bed time.

I sit down at the kitchen counter and start drinking the banana milkshake.  I feel ... very down.  Today has brought up a lot of things that I have tried to keep inside hoping that they would go away.  I can feel myself starting to get upset while I sit there thinking about today's events.  Honey and Shadow are really playing on my mind.

Me trying to dig up Shadows grave is also already really playing on my mind and pricking my conscience, I feel really bad for doing it.  I dread to think what Sunny and Ruby especially must have been thinking and feeling having to stand there watching me trying to dig up their Daughter and Grandchild.  I really am not looking forward to hearing what Sunny has to say on the matter.

I need something to shut my head off and music would usually do that for me.  However, at this late time of night if I start playing my guitar or the piano I might just get my purple Grandfather chasing me around the apartment with his walking stick, that is if River does not get me first!!

That bottle of wine keeps almost calling out to me.  I can not help but keep glancing at it.

I am very tempted.

I jump down off the stool leaving my carton on the counter.

I grab the bottle of wine and head off out of the house.


Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Chapter 36 part 2 - Gen 2 - Tapestry


Rocky, totally oblivious of the chaos occurring in this house not long before he returned, breezed in and totally changed the whole atmosphere in the house with his energy.  Which really helped most of us put to the back of our minds what had gone on, and especially what Coral had said.  I felt a little guilty for not staying with Crystal but Sunny and Vanilla were with her and she did not look too upset when I left her.  I am actually beginning to get a little jealous that Sunny is spending a lot more time with Crystal and my daughter than I am, but that is only mainly because Rocky has been keeping me very very busy.

Rocky makes me laugh, acting like an excited child as he and Prelude struggled into the house with a load of musical equipment that he had managed to find, unexpectedly, in Sugar Falls.  I had only expected him to return with some strings for my Iconic Jam guitar, nobody in Sugar Valley stocks them because they are too expensive and not called for, and I am scared of breaking the only one's that I have on the guitar.  I already have all the instruments that I need, the equipment that he brought in is for sound, recording and mixing, which with my disadvantages are going to be more than helpful and essential for me to work at home.

While he shows me how it all works, we mess around with one of the mash up tracks that we have decided we are definitely, putting onto the album.  While the guitar part has been mashed up, the same has to be done with all the other instruments that appear on the original track.  So while he plays the guitar, I am messing around with the keyboard part to lay on the track.

"How much did all this equipment cost?"  I frown at him

"Don't worry about it, I got Grumpy to pay for it all, and he did it quite happily!!  They are tools of the trade which you need."  he starts laughing   "All you need now is someone who can work closely with you lyrically, two heads are always better than one, unfortunately I can not be around all the time!!  You need someone who can read and write sheet music."  he rolls his eyes  "Not many people have your talent of playing totally by ear straight off the cuff!!"  his face twists up  "I guess Prelude is going to have to be your man again for the time being, until we get you out to Rainbow and get you a backing band together!"  he smiles at me  "I want to see what you can come up with between now and then, we have two albums of new stuff to fill, yours and our double album."

"No, Prelude has enough to do!!  I already have the perfect person in mind who can help me with the lyrics and sheet music.  It is right up his street too!!"  his eyebrows raise  "Affair, Preludes son."

"Awww your singing colourless cousin."  he goes quiet for a moment "Now wouldn't that just be something!!"  he smirks at me, with a twinkle in his eye.  "Actually, he has got some voice, he could and should ghost, it can now all be kept on backing track, but you will not be able to take him out with you without stiring up a right storm!!"

Rocky smirks and we both laugh for a moment, I am laughing at his use of the word Storm.  I can see the expression on his face, the one that I have already learned that he wears just before he comes up with one of his bright ideas, his brain is ticking!!

"Don't think I don't know what is going through that rebellious mind of yours right now!!"  I smirk at him  "Yeah, he can ghost, but just imagine if it ever leaked out!!  That could just be the spark to kick off that Rocky Storm you wanted, the one to rock that boat that Grumpy won't let you rock!!"  I start laughing  "Just imagine though ... the idiots would not know what they are listening to or throwing their money at when they buy the records!!"

"You are so bad, and so right Tap!!  I love it!!"  he is howling  "Rocky Storm!!  Oh Berry, Tap you are a genius!!"  he is laughing so much he can hardly talk  "I think we might just be able to kick up that blizzard after all!!" 

We both start having hysterics, we have to stop playing while we double up in stitches.  I am joking, but I get a sneaky feeling that Rocky is being serious!!

Crystal comes skipping childishly into the living room, where me Rocky and River are sat talking after we have eaten.  She has an infectious big grin on her face, she is generally cheerful anyway, but this grin looks bigger than normal, which surprises me especially after the kick off that happened not too long ago upstairs. I can not help but smile at her while I am wandering why she looks so happy.

She just dives onto me, she throws herself across my lap, not caring that she is not only sat on me, but she is partially sitting on Rocky too, I have to lift her legs up that she innocently stretches across Rocky's lap.  She is holding out her arm to show me something.  I stare at the tape and cotton wool in the crease of her arm.  It looks like she has had another blood test.  I frown at her wandering why.

"Your Dad has taken some of my blood to send off with Sunny's blood for a brother test."  she smiles at me.  "Sunny says if I am his sister then my name is Magnolia Crystal Shine, but I don't like it!!"  She pulls a face  "I think he can keep his names, I am going to keep just Crystal, what do I need three names for anyway!!"

I laugh at her for a moment, this also makes River and Rocky laugh, she says things so innocently sometimes you can not help but be amused.  Some of the things that Rocky says also amuse me, I think he must have a very active imagination.  He thinks that Crystal possibly turning out to be Sunny's sister is one mental one in a million coincidence which means my life is fated and I was put on this earth for a reason.  I was meant to go to Rainbow Valley, I was destined to be spotted by Grumpy and I was destined to spot Crystal, and the abduction was life's way of getting me there.  If only he knew the half of it!!

He also thinks that our paths were meant to cross, because he says that I have given even him a new lease of life, he was getting tired, bored and had lost all his inspiration for his career, meeting me has changed all that.  This I really do not understand!!

River explains to me that he was talking to Sunny earlier and Sunny is confident about her identity, but he wants medical proof that Crystal is actually his sister, before they get carried away with it, just in case it turns out she is not.  Although he doubts it now, there is just too much that makes her so obviously the baby that his parents dumped.  River is going with Sunny and they are driving over to Sugar Falls later so he can take blood off Sunny's parents too.  They are running a paternity test on Crystal just to make sure they share the same parents.

"We are wandering if Crystal should come with us, to see Sunny's parents?"  River says quite casually, which takes me by surprise.  "I know Sunny's Mother wants to see her."

"NO WAY!!  That woman has got SOME DAMN NERVE after she just dumped her like she did!!!  Next you will be telling me they want to move to Sugar Valley and play happy families, well they can get lost!!"

I snap quite angrily at River, without even thinking about Crystal being sat on my lap and listening, or that it is not really my decision to make, it is hers.  I am really surprised that Sunny is even considering taking Crystal over to Sugar Falls to see his parents, he is so livid with his parents right now he can hardly bring himself to speak to them, let alone look at them.   

"I think it is too soon!!  I think Crystal needs to get her head around it properly first." I frown at River  "Don't you think we should wait until it has been actually confirmed!!"  

I look at Crystal and she just buries her face in my neck.  I ask her if she wants to go with them to see Sunny's parents, thinking this is just my opinion, maybe she feels differently.  Crystal says no straight away as she shakes her head quite violently.

"There see, you have got your answer."  I smile at River.  "Anyway don't people usually get counseling in these sort of situations?"

"Ewwww look at you, Mr Sensible all of a sudden!!"  he laughs  "What do you know about counseling?"

"You are asking me about counseling!!"  I laugh at him  "Every time I sneezed Dad sent me off for some kind of counseling.  I am surprised he has not shipped Crystal and Sunny off already!!  Or me, because of everything that happened with the abduction, Honey and Shadow!!"

I remember something and start to really laugh which makes River's eyebrows nearly launch themselves into space, they shot up so quick, probably because I just started laughing after mentioning Shadow.

"The best sessions I had were when they sent me to a shrink because I said I can see ghosts and that a ghost saved me and Mom from the fire, that she started in the kitchen when she blacked out."  I grin at River.  Rocky starts really laughing, if ONLY he knew!!  "These counselors know nothing and talk rubbish most of the time, and that one definitely did.  My ghost went with me to my sessions, I guess he thought it would be amusing, and it was!!  If the councellor had said to me, oh yes I can see your transparent friend sat next to you, I would have listened to him.  Instead he told me I am imagining things and there was nothing there, when I could see and hear the ghost perfectly fine laughing his head off at the stupid man!!  It is no wander I was a confused child!!"

Rocky is howling at me, telling me if I don't make it in music, I should become a comedian. River just rolls his eyes at me because he knows that I am talking about Cosmic and not trying to be funny, I am being serious because I do actually see ghosts. Crystal giggles as she sits up, I hold my breath thinking maybe I should not have mentioned our spirit friends around Crystal, I expected her to say something about them, and join in with the conversation.  However, she proves again that she can keep secrets, by not saying anything.  She does now know that us seeing them is a secret between us and she can not go around telling everyone she see's them or they will think she is mental, because nobody else can see them.

"I am going shopping with Winter and Ocean when River goes out with Sunny."  Crystal mumbles to me  "Can I take Nilla shopping?"

"Nilla?"  I frown at her

"Vanilla."  she smiles at me.  I knew who she meant, it was her shortening her name that I was frowning at.  When I ask her where calling her Nilla has come from, she says that is what Cotton calls her.  "Winter is taking Ocean, so can I take Vanilla shopping? Pleeeease!!"

"Eerr yes I guess."  I say even though I do not feel completely comfortable about it, but how do I say no without hurting her feelings, she loves looking after Vanilla.  It is not that I do not trust Crystal, I just think taking her out makes it easier for Strawberry to snatch her, especially now that I know there is still a chance of that happening after what Crystal revealed earlier.

"Here you can buy her those frilly dresses you keep on about."  I smile at her as I pull some money out of my pocket and give it to her,  "And whatever you want for yourself."

She stares at the money in her hand for a moment, almost like she does not know what it is, even though I know she does.  She tries to give it me back while she is shaking her head.  I think I know why.

"It is okay, you can spend money in Sugar Valley, they will let colourless people go into the shops and buy things here."  I smile at her

"Really?!"  she grins at me.

"Yes and your teddy bear still has that $40, in his shirt pocket, that I gave you in Rainbow Valley, remember."  I laugh  "You should buy yourself a purse to keep it in."

I have noticed that she does not really have many girlie things yet, she just has the necessities.  Not used to having them, I guess that she would not know that woman usually have thousands of pairs of shoes, handbags and all the jewellery, clothes, makeup and nail stuff that they hoard.  Crystal grins and kisses me then jumps off my lap in excitement, saying she is going to get Vanilla ready to go out and she runs into my bedroom where Vanilla is sleeping in her cot.  River raises his eyes at me, I think I knew what he is going to say before the words even came out of his mouth.

"Is that wise letting her take Vanilla out?"  he frowns at me

"She is not an idiot you know!!  She knows how to look after Vanilla perfectly well as you have seen for yourself, besides she will be with Winter, it is not like she will be going out on her own!!"  he smiles at me  "You said yourself she is far from stupid."

"Well if you think she is okay."  he says but still pulls a face  "It is also not a good idea that you are reminding her about your time together in Rainbow Valley!!  She is supposed to be forgetting about it and she can't if you keep bringing it up."

"She is fine!!  She knows our time together in Rainbow Valley is a secret and she can not tell anyone that I have been there.  She does know how to keep secrets, she is keeping quite a few right now."  I smirk at him as he frowns at me and asks what secrets.  This I thought was a little stupid coming from him, how does he know they are secrets that I can tell him in front of Rocky!?.  "From the day she woke up after her illness, she knew about my colourless eyes and the photograph you got for me, I showed her both and told her about Mom and Affair, why do you think she attached herself to me so quickly when she would not let anyone else anywhere near her?!  She felt safe with me because she knew behind those orange contacts that I had colourless eyes."  I smile at him and he rolls his eyes at me.  "So did she ever tell you or Denim about my eyes, Mom, Affair or that photograph?"

"Err No."  he says and I just smirk at him.

"Well then!!  Stop stressing Daddy Clone!!"

Later that evening after driving Rocky to the airport in Raspberry Hill, so that he could catch his flight home, I was glad of Rivers company in the car for the journey back home.  Especially with him knowing the way, me never having driven to the airport before or knowing Raspberry Hill at all.  I have to learn this journey because it will be one that I will be making a lot in the future, flying out to Rainbow Valley, Berry Shores or wherever else in the world I will need to go via an airplane.

When we reach home I go straight to my room thinking that Crystal would be in there with Vanilla but she isn't. I found them both upstairs in her bedroom.

"Why are we sleeping up here again tonight?  Rocky has gone home."  I frown at her  "Or don't you want to sleep with me?"

"The sheets need changing, your Gran is washing bed clothes tomorrow, so she said she will change the sheets then."  she laughs  "I left it because you said I made the bed lumpy when I did the sheets.  I laugh at her quietly because she says the funniest things sometimes.  I had actually moaned that the mattress was lumpy not her bed making, but I am not going to explain it to her now.

We had decided that Rocky would use my room while he was stopping in our house, it was better for him to have the run of the apartment, where he could have a bit more privacy, instead of running up and down the stairs all the time and getting hassled by whoever was upstairs.  It was not fair to evict the old man out of his room down there on his first few night home, so I said I would move up to Crystals room until Rocky returned home.  After we had hauled a cot into Crystals room it was really not that different to being in my own room, other than when Vanilla wakes up during the night we have to run up and down two sets of stairs to sort her bottles out, and this mattress is not as comfortable as mine.

"Leave her Tap!!"  Crystal whispers to me as I lean in the cot to look at Vanilla.  "I have not long fed and changed her, she is sleeping, do not wake her up."  she sits up and gets off the bed and frowns at me.  "You didn't tuck her blanket tight did you, you will make her too hot, the heating is on full blast again!!"

"I did not touch her blanket, I am just checking her."  I whisper as I move towards Crystal and away from the cot  "I have hardly seen her today.  I am sorry I did not mean to leave Vanilla so much for you to look after!!  Things will get back to normal now that Rocky has gone home."

"It is okay!!!"  she smiles at me.  "I like being her Mommy, but I do miss you when you are not here."

I laugh at her as I put my arms round her and start kissing her.  After a short time, we move to the bed, Crystal straight away goes back to watching the television which I did not even realise was on when I came into the room, she has the volume down so low, so as not to wake Vanilla,  I can hardly hear it.  I throw myself on the bed next to her.

She amazes me everyday with things that she is doing, especially when it comes to Vanilla.  The feral, clueless Crystal that I found in Rainbow Valley is slowly disappearing and once she gets how something works, she is actually quite bright and sensible.  She is still very childish sometimes, but I think that is just her nature and she will spend the rest of her life living out the childhood that she never had.  The way she switches from childish to adult is instant, one minute she can be playing with the dolls house, the next she is up and doing something very grown up.  She is more than perfectly capable of taking care of Vanilla, almost like she is her child and it is a natural instinct, she always knows the right things to do, better than I do sometimes.

"Crystal where is your teddy bear?"  I noticed it is not in Vanilla's cot, Crystal is not hugging it like she normally would be and it is not sitting on the bed between the pillows either.

"In the garden."  she smiles at me  "Your Gran found me a tin and I buried him in the garden where Strawberry can not find him."

"Fudge Crystal!!"  I stare at her wide eyed, remembering how she buried the teddy bear in the wood to keep him safe.  "First thing in the morning we are going to go and dig him up!!"  she frowns at me like she does not like the idea.  "It rains a lot more here than it does in Rainbow Valley, he will rot if you leave him in the ground!!"  I laugh  "Fudge Crystal, there are plenty of ways to keep him safe inside the house without burying him out in the garden!!"

I feel mentally drained!!  I lie back on the bed and close my eyes, while I laugh quietly to myself.  Doubting that she used a spade, and imagining she has been on her hands and knees digging the hole, to bury the bear in, with her hands.

Since Crystals hospital visit then returning home to Sunny's discovery and bombshell of her possibly being his sister, it has not stopped for me with Rocky landing on the doorstep.  I have hardly had time to think about either of Crystals situations properly, let alone talk them through properly with her.  I know that she is enjoying spending time with Sunny, but I am not exactly sure how she feels about it all.  She has not mentioned what the hospital told her, at all since, which is what worries me the most.  Now we have all this rubbish with Coral and Strawberry and how it is affecting her, and it must be if burying her teddy bear in the back garden is anything to go by!!

"Crystal you do know that all the stuff that Coral and Strawberry said about me is lies and rubbish don't you!!"  I say to her as I continue to lie there without opening my eyes.

"Yes!"  she giggles "Sunny told me Coral and Strawberry are spiteful liars and I have to ignore them.  He said if you did do any of that cheating stuff he would break your legs!!"

"That's nice to know!!"  I lie there laughing at what Sunny has said about breaking my legs.

I keep hearing Crystal giggling quietly and at first I ignore it while I lie there, my mind flitting about from one thing to the other, finding it hard to concentrate on any one thing.  The giggling is getting louder and she has now started to nudge me.

I open my eyes and prop myself up, initially I am just watching her giggling at the television which she points at when she sees that she has got my attention.  My eyes glance at the television screen and I nearly choke at what she is giggling at.

"They are getting naked!" 

"Yes I can see!!"  I laugh at her  "What the fudge are you watching!!  Turn it off you should not be watching that!!" 

"Why not?  I am old enough and it is not like I do not know what they are doing!!"  she frowns at me  "Why can't I watch it?"
"You just shouldn't watch other people doing it!!" 

 I do not know what else to say to her, not even really knowing why I told her she should not be watching it in the first place.  I think I flapped, knowing exactly what Crystal is like, the television is always providing us with awkward situation and makes Crystal ask loads of questions, questions I struggle to answer without answering them stupidly and making the situation worse.

"If that was true they would not put it on the television for us to watch!"  she starts really laughing.  I guess she has got me there!!  "People was always coming into the woods to do it, but I didn't understand what they were doing then!"

"Please tell me you haven't been watching people doing it in the woods!"

I stare at Crystal wide eyed, she nods her head as she grins at me, we both start having hysterics.  After a while of us rolling around on the bed laughing she jumps up off the bed and switches off the television.  I glance over at Vanilla, for a moment I had forgotten she is asleep in the room, luckily our laughing did not wake her up.

"There is a lock on my door."  she smirks at me as she moves away from the television and over to the door to turns the lock.  "We can get naked again, without River walking in this time!"  before I even have time to react to what she has just said her top is off and on the floor.

"WOW!! Slow down!!"  I laugh at her. I am thinking if she is trying to push our relationship over the line then I am not going to stop her or complain, but she is going to take some of the fun out of it, if she undresses herself.

"No, I have to show you!"  she starts giggling as her skirt quickly comes off and joins her top on the bedroom floor.  She is now stood there in just her underwear grinning.  "It is new, do you like it?"

Oh fudge!!  She starts dancing around the room parading her new underwear that is a lot more sexy than anything that I have ever seen her wear before, not that I have really seen that much of her underwear.  I am used to seeing her in just plain stuff and those blue nightdress's that once were Winters, which she is very attached to, when she goes to bed.

I just lie there silently watching her prancing around, very amused.  I am not exactly sure what she is doing.  I can not work out if this is supposed to be some seductive act after the conversation we have just had, or if she is just showing off her underwear like an excited child having something new.

"Well?"  she frowns at me when I don't say anything  "Do you like it?"

"Yes, it is very nice!!"

"My granny pants are in the draw!"  she smiles at me and I start laughing.  Granny pants, where has she got that from?  "Winter said you will like this a lot better."

"Oh she did, did she?!"  I am a little surprised  "And when did she say that?"

"When we went shopping, she saw this in white and orange so she showed me how to buy it."  she smiles as she runs her hand across her underwear almost like she is proud of it.  I guess she probably would be if that is the first thing that she has ever purchased from a shop in her life.

She throws herself on the bed and crawls over me.

"Did you pay for it yourself?"

"Yes and I got Nilla some yellow and white dresses."  she grins at me  "They let me spend money!!"  I laugh at her.  "Winter found some in blue and orange so she brought some for River too."  I burst out laughing.

"What?!  River wears that kind of underwear."  I ask through a fit of giggling.

I laugh knowing ... well hoping! ... that he does not wear womens underwear, but because of the way that she had said it, it sounds like that is what she was saying.

"No silly!! River likes to look at it and take it off!!  Winter wears it!!"  she laughs  "Your Mom has some too because your Dad likes it."

This has me rolling around on the bed again in hysterics, just trying to image how my prudey Dad might react to Mom wearing sexy underwear.  Actually, I can not imagine!! 

"You know Crystal I don't think you are supposed to be repeating these girly conversations, about peoples sex lives and sexy underwear, that you have with Winter or anyone else!!  I do not really want to know what my brother gets up to in the bedroom and especially not my Mom and Dad!!"  she frowns at me, I am not sure she understands  "Just do me a favour, DON'T go telling everyone what we are doing and saying in here - it is private!!"

"Winter and your Mom asked and I told them we are not doing anything!!  That is why Winter helped me to buy this underwear, she says to help wake you up!!"  she smiles at me.  "I have to tell her if it works!!"

 "Oh Fudge!!" 

I throw my head back onto the bed and start having hysterics again.  I seriously dread to think what Winter and MY MOM have been asking and filling her head with!!  I get the feeling it is all Winter and she sounds like she is on a mission to get us laid!!  I am a little surprised at my Mom asking those sort of questions, as far as she knows we have only just met, I haven't known her long enough for Mom to be asking her those questions.  Winter I can understand because she knows what has been going on and that I have known Crystal for over six months.

I am stupid!!  I suddenly realize when I think about it properly.  I am actually very surprised that River or Dad have not pulled me up about it.  Crystal has been sleeping in my room since day two of me returning home, which was way too soon!!  So I guess everyone would probably be asking the question, wandering what the hell is going on!!!

I was supposed to take this slowly with Crystal once we got to Sugar Valley, I honestly thought it would be months before I got her back, I did not expect it to be instant.

"Forget what Winter says!!   What exactly do YOU want me to do with this new underwear of yours?"

"Take it off!"  she grins at me.

I guess I can not argue with that!! I pull her towards me and start to kiss her.  I just hope she is ready and really does understands what we are about to do.

I am suddenly startled awake.  I think by a voice calling my name right behind me which makes my eyes snap open in fright.  The bedroom door is locked, so there should be nobody in here, or was I dreaming?   I close my eyes thinking I am imagining things, I lie there for a moment and there is just silence so I try to go back to sleep.

"Tap wake up!!"  No I was not dreaming!!  I hear Storms voice.  "Come on Man shake your bones you deaf git!!  We have drama!!"

"Get lost Storm you idiot!!"  I mumble quietly trying not to wake up Crystal.  "Can it not wait until morning?  You jerk!!"

I guess I should have known who it would have been, only spirits can get through locked doors.  I am a little surprised that he is back so soon, I thought he would be away for weeks, it has been what?  Four days, and he is back already. 

"It is morning, virtually!!"  Storm laughs behind me  "Vanilla was crying.  You two are both too out of it to hear her or the drama going on downstairs!!"


I slide my arm out from underneath Crystal carefully and sit up, trying not to wake her up. I start to rub my eyes not quite believing what I am seeing.  Storm has Vanilla and he is feeding her a bottle.  I am very surprised that her crying did not wake either of us up, it is unusual.  I am very glad that the last time Vanilla had woken us for a feed we had both put clothes on, or it could have been very embarrassing Storm coming in here and finding us totally naked.

"You know you really need to stop coming into our room when the door is locked!!"  he starts laughing at me  "I am sick of Dad and River walking in on us, we are never going to get any privacy from you are we!!  The door is locked for a reason!!"

"Yeah I bet it is!!  Like I go around trying door handles to walk into rooms, and how was I supposed to know you two are at it already!!"  he smirks at me before he looks back at Vanilla.  "How the hell did you manage to reel her back in so quickly?!

"Storm I said I didn't want you picking Vanilla up because you are going to scare her!!"  I snap at him ignoring his last question, because I actually do not know the answer to that question myself.

"Is she crying like she is scared?  No!!"  he says in that sarcastic way of his.   "She stopped crying when I picked her up.  She looks at me and follows me with her eyes, this kid CAN sees me, I do not care what you say!!"  he laughs at me.

"Still I wish you wouldn't until we are sure!!"  

"How come you are up here?"

"Rocky has stayed over for a few days to sort out my recording contract, he has been using my room.  He went home earlier."   I frown at Storm as I have been watching Vanilla drinking the bottle of milk without a problem.  "Where did you get that bottle from?"  

"Eww, get you!!  So you are going for it then!!  Mr rock star!!"  he grins at me  "Top shelf of the fridge downstairs.  Yes it is one with vanilla in it and don't worry I warmed it up properly!!"  he starts to laugh  "The hardest part was doing it and sneaking the bottle upstairs without anyone seeing me doing it."

"Yes I am going for it, I have signed my recording contract already."  he grins at me  "Listen I need to talk to you about something before you hear it from someone else." he frowns at me  "I asked your Dad and Parsley and they said it was okay, they actually quite liked it.  I would have asked you but you were not here so I couldn't, and I have signed the papers now so I can not change it, even if you do not like it."  I hesitate for a moment  "I am using your name."

"What do you mean?"  he frowns at me

"My stage name is Storm."   he laughs  

"It is fine, awkward, but fine!"  I frown at him  "Well don't think I will not be tagging along when you are playing rock star, because I am not missing a minute of what you get up to in your new rock star life!!"  he grins at me  "Besides you know every time I leave you alone for five minutes you get yourself into some sort of trouble!!"

"I have to make it first and there is no saying I will!!"

I watch Storm with amusement, but am still very uncomfortable about him messing with Vanilla, he thinks she can see him, but I don't know.  He starts to bounce her up and down after he has finished feeding and winded her, I am waiting for her to throw up, because of the way he is jigging her about. 

"Oh you will make it!!"  he laughs  "I bet my Dad is spitting feathers, how has your new guitar gone down with him?"

"Not good, he hates me!!"  we both laugh for a moment.  "But I have cheered him up a little, I have told him, when I make my first million I will buy him one, and ... he is quitting his job soon and coming with me."  Storm frowns at me intensely "He is going to be my Personal Manager."

I need a Personal Manager anyway, but I have an added disadvantage with my problems, especially being out in the coded world, colourblind and unable to read and write.  I am going to seriously need help and someone to watch my back, and deal with a lot of things that I can not do myself, with my disabilities, someone that I can really trust.

Prelude seemed the perfect person, he is a pure berry who has lived out in the coded world and knows exactly how it works.  He has worked in the music world and been part of a band and knows roughly how it all works and what his job as a Personal Manager will entail.  Being my Uncle he knows me inside out, especially as far as my medical conditions go, he knows how to handle me if I go off on one.  There is the added bonus, he will protect me, being family, better than anyone else would, if any trouble crops up.  Having Prelude with me when I go out on the road, will also stop Dad stressing so much, which he has already started to do.

"You two together is trouble!!"  Storms laughs  "Both of you go off on one too easily!!"

"You know I am a lot better these days and Prelude is not so bad when he is off the booze, which he is now because Elderberry would batter him!!"  Storm laughs  "The old man's liver problems and Slate's alcohol poisoning has hit home hard with your Dad and he swears he is never touching another drop."

"Yeah right!!"

"Dad trusts him to stick to his word.  Your Dad apparently did stop drinking stupidly and in moderation when you two were born, he kept himself out of trouble and he was a good Dad and looked after you didn't he!!  He only started drinking again seriously because you faded, it cut him up that much, and Manderine's antics."

"I guess!!"

"Why the hell are you back from Rainbow so soon anyway?"  I ask him  "You said you would be away for weeks, what happened with your ghost hunting?"

"We found Crystals spirit pretty much straight away with Levi's help."  Storm grins at me  "Saffy tried to knock both mine and Cosmic's blocks off for jumping in his and Magnolia's box's!!"  He explained that they had a nose in the graves because they can tell which spirits have passed over and which haven't and obviously which graves are false graves and have no bones.  "You are never going to guess who he is!!"

"I think I might ... Saffron Shine is Sunnys brother and Crystal is their sister!"  Storm looks very shocked at me saying that.

"How the fudge do you know that?  Has Jazz told you?"

"No, Sunny suspects it because of that yellow teddy bear which actually has Saffron's name sewn on the shirt, and a lullaby that Crystal was singing that Sunny's Mom made up apparently.  His parents have admitted to dumping a colourless child outside the childrens home, and there are too many coincidences for her not to be his sister."  I frown at him  "Did you bring Saffy home with you?"

"Yes.  He came here with me and Cos to see you and Crystal, but Cos took him to the Den, out of the way, because of all the drama going on downstairs.  Jazz wants to speak to him about the vampberry's chasing Crystal anyway."

"What drama Storm?"

"Gravel has gone psycho apparently, he has lost the plot, gone crazy and shot a load of people, trying to stop some big secret that he has from coming out."

"What!? Who? Where? When?"

"In his house ..."  my blood runs cold, Coral lives in that house!!  I might hate her at the moment, but she is still my sister and I would never want anything bad to happen to her.  "Your Grandparents, Dad, Ice, Winter and River all had to rush into the hospital, it was bedlam down stairs!!"


"She is okay, I think."

"YOU ONLY THINK!!"  I snap at him  "Why have you just stood here yacking about rubbish when you knew all this Storm you jerk!!"

"Calm down Man!!"  he laughs at me  "It was not Coral your Dad was in a tizzy over, so I presume she must be fine!"

He starts to explain to me that he heard Dad telling River and Winter as he was getting them up.  Mace is at deaths door and Coral went in the first ambulance with him, a while before a load of other bodies were brought out of the house on stretchers, some in body bags.  I just stand staring at him wide eyed in shock.

"I heard him mention, Elderberry shooting Gravel to stop him from shooting Forrest, but I do know for definite Granite and Cinnamon have been shot, your Dad was in pieces over them downstairs."

"WHAT?!  NO?!  Cinn is not .....?"  he says he does not know  "FUDGE STORM!!  You should have told me the minute you woke me up!!"

I snap open my phone and tell Storm to hit Corals number which he does straight away.  I was surprised the phone was not switch off, and after only about four rings the phone is answered.  I am really surprised when it is not Coral who answers the phone, but Forrest, and he is just as surprised at me being at this end of the phone.

"Berry Tapestry!!  You are home!!"

I am a little puzzled by him saying that and wander how he does not already know.  I ask him why he is answering Corals phone.  He starts to blabber on, saying that Coral must have slipped Granite her phone when she left with Mace, but he had not seen her do it in all of the confusion.  Forrest says he found the phone in Granites pocket when he got to the hospital with him.  I am very confused.  I ask him if she is okay and where is she.

"Tap I really don't know, she might be in maternity, it is manic here, I heard someone say she threw a wobble and got hysterical in the ambulance but I don't know."  he sounds like he is crying so I ask him who has been shot and what sparked Gravel off?  I really do not understand what has happened.

"Tap it is complicated, you will soon find out like everyone else!!  Gravel beat Mace to within an inch of his life, then he shot Granite, Atlas, two policemen and Cinnamon before Elderberry shot Gravel and the old man."  Who the hell is Atlas and what old man?

"How is Cinn?  What did he do to Coral?"

"Gran talked Gravel into letting Coral walk out the house with Mace, so he did not touch her but she has had one hell of a fright, she was in the house while Gravel was holding us hostage and he did pointed the gun at her at one point!!"

"BERRY HOLE She is pregnant!!"

"Cinn is not good Tap, he will be lucky if he makes it, Gravel shot him twice, medically in bad places."  I ask him where my Dad is as I start choking.  "Your Dad is in theatre with both Granite and Slate."  he is virtually sobbing down the phone now

"Slate??  What the hell is wrong with Slate?!"

"Don't panic, they have taken him into theatre with Granite, so they can do his transplant,. They don't think Gran is going to make it so I've given them consent to take his kidney while it is still live, just in case.  If Granite fades his kidney is no good for Slate.


"Tap I have to go, Bay is climbing the walls worrying about Slate and Cinn, and I can't think straight not with Granite and Slate in theatre."

"Are you good friends with Granite?"  I ask because a few things that he has said about Granite have confused me and he seems to wobble more every time he mentions his name.

"I have been married to the idiot since we were eighteen!!."

"WHAT!?  W.T.F!!  I thought Mace and Granite ..."

"Yeah they are, but he is still my husband, it is a long story.  Tap come in and help me with Bay, you are his mate aren't you, you sorted him out when Storm faded, I really can't deal with him right now I can hardly cope with myself!!  Then you can find Coral ... and DON'T forget to take your meds!!!"

When I cut the call off I stand staring at the phone for a moment.  Shocked by what Forrest has told me but very amused that he has reminded me to take my medication!!

"What is wrong with Slate?"  Storm is now worried.  Hell Storm still does not know about Slate and Bay being together yet!!

"Slate is having his transplant, they are taking Granites kidney just in case.  Storm stay here!!  Bay is in a tizzy, I need to get to the hospital ..."

I suddenly remember Mom, Cotton and Vanilla, I can not just go running out of the house.  Storm tells me not to stress over Mom and Cotton because Mulberry came and took them round to his house.  Juniper and Maize are downstairs looking after Ocean, so I can get them to keep their eye on Vanilla and Crystal.

"You do not let my baby out of your sigh for a second!!  Crystal can look after her perfectly fine but if Strawberry comes into this house, lock her in the bathroom or something just keep her away from Vanilla."  he frowns at me so I quickly have to explain about her trying and still threatening to snatch the baby  "Fudge Storm, you should have woken me earlier you twat and you let me stand here yacking!!"

"You know fading is not such a bad thing, look at me ..."  I just give him an evil look  "Besides your Dad did not want you woken up, he thought you might freak out and go off on one."

"Yeah I bet he did!!"  I snap.  It suddenly hits me, it is going to be just like last time, the whole extended family waiting at the hospital to hear news about Storm after he was stabbed.  Only this time it is going to be Cinnamon and Slate.  I suddenly remember what Forrest told me.  "Fudge I need to take my meds or I will freak out!!"

"I've put it on the table with the glass of water all ready and waiting for you!!"  he smiles at me  "Listen Tap, if ... you know, the worst happens, with Cinn ... or Slate."  he looks down  "Let Juni know straight away ... I'll skip down to the morgue and see if I can catch ...."  I did not let him finish his sentence.

"SHUT UP!! Jerk!!  Don't talk like that!!"

After waking Crystal to tell her where I am going, I quickly get dressed and run down stairs to ask Juniper and Maize to keep there eye on Crystal and Vanilla before I run out of the house and all the way to the hospital without stopping.

Just as my life starts to look rosy!!

I can not help but wander when all of this shit is ever going to stop!!