Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Chapter 41 - Part 1 - Gen 2 - Tapestry

I close my eyes, even though I am unable to sleep, and just lie there quietly thinking.  It helps to stop me from staring at the clock on the wall, that I have already been continuously watching for most of the night. The clock which seems to be irritatingly, taking an eternity to slowly tick towards the morning.

There is just too much continuously running through my head, to even think about sleeping, not that I am really being given the chance to sleep much.  Our bedroom has been a constant hive of activity all night.  Crystal keeps getting up to throw up, which disturbs both me and Snow, with her getting in and out of bed, especially if she does it quickly in her mad panic to reach the bathroom in time. Vanilla has woken up for a feed and nappy change, but is now in the nursery with Ocean, so she can at least get some sleep.  Snow, has created most of the problems.  As usually he has been putting up his 'I don't want to sleep performance'.  Snow is now lay in my arms, finally sleeping, however, I doubt it will be for very long.

To top it all off, every time I do close my eyes and drop off to sleep, I am woken by my nightmare, which has become very vivid and more frequent since I received that phone call from Shadow.   Shadow, the little boy from the cemetery, is now continuously haunting my sleep as well as every waking minute, because I seriously can not stop thinking about him, and especially wandering if I am an idiot or if that boy is actually mine.

I think that it was a very good job that I was in Sandy Shores when I received that phone call from Shadow.  If I had been in Sugar Valley, I would have just gone for it, straight away I would have been jumping on River, Dad, Sunny, Cosmic and Storm to question them, as well as, tearing straight round to the vampberry den to kick up a fuss, without even thinking about it first.

Now I have thought about it, I suddenly do not know who I can trust anymore!!  Let's face it, they have spent my whole life lying and hiding things from me, so why now should I expect it to be any different!!  They must be hiding this boys existence from me for a reason!!   It does not make sense that my Shadow would be a vampberry, but while everything points in that direction, him being a vampberry is the only thing that I can not work out and makes me think that I am a stupid idiot to even think that he could be my Shadow.

I do not know who I can even talk to about it, so that I can try to discover the truth about who he is.  I think if I try to tackle them, no doubt they will just continue to lie and cover him up, so I have kept that phone call and my discovery of this boys existence, completely to myself.  I need to work out a way to sneak into the vampberry den, and grab him, so that I can find out the truth, before they get the chance to hide him from me anymore.  I think if anyone is going to tell me the truth, it will be Lime, she will throw it at me just out of evil spite, but how can I get to her without the vampberrys or the spirits noticing me.

Since returning home, while I desperately want to go in search of the truth, I have had to stop myself and try to put it to the back of my mind for the time being at least, until things settle down a little.  There is already too much going on, as it is, for my head to handle, without adding to it.  If I am right about that boy being mine, my head is going to explode, I dread to think what I might do, but I doubt it will be pretty and I seriously can not afford to let that happen right now.

Crystal being so sick with this severe morning sickness and wandering how long it is going to last and the problems it might cause with the pregnancy, is now worrying me sick!!  We have a string of weddings coming as well as our own wedding to plan, which has now been made awkward by the pregnancy.  We either have to do it quickly before the baby bump appears or wait until after the baby has arrived, but I think the severe morning sickness is going to make that decision for us, I am sure the very last thing Crystal wants to be doing on her wedding day is constantly throwing up!!  Snow is hard work with all his oddities, especially his sleeping pattern, which is wearing me down and worrying me.  We also have to sort out his adoption, which Dad's solicitor is already in the process of dealing with.  My two weeks in Rainbow Valley and all the work related stuff coming at me, especially worrying about where my first solo single is going to land in the charts, when they are released later.  Getting Phoenix settled with Denim.  Corals babies are due any minute and all the fall out that is no doubt coming from that.  There is already way too much going on for my head to handle, so dealing with the little boy being hidden in the vampberry den will have to wait for another few weeks at least, until I return home from Rainbow Valley, if I am ever going to keep my head together and in one piece.

I feel Snow move, he bolts up into a sitting position instantly, so I open my eyes.  I glance at the clock and sigh quite loudly seeing that he has been asleep for all of fifteen minutes.  I quickly get the both of us up out of bed, so that he does not wake Crystal with his crying or screaming, and take him into the kitchen to feed him.

Yesterday, we spent virtually all day at the hospital with both Crystal and Snow, I had to leave Phoenix with Coral, which made me very nervous, knowing exactly what she is like.  Crystal was getting checked out by the fertility clinic and had the pregnancy confirmed.  They also showed concerns about her severe morning sickness, like River said, it would just be Crystals luck to have yet another problem!!

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is what they called it, severe morning sickness, which could go on for months.  So now we have this to worry about.  If left untreated, because of the inability to keep food down and dehydration, it could be harmful to both Crystal and the baby, or babies as they strongly pointed out to us, which would make it a greater concern.  Carrying multiples is something that can trigger this condition to occur in a pregnancy.  With the fertility treatment that she has been on and the family history of multiples on both sides, they highly doubt we will come out of this pregnancy with just one baby.  This we will not find out until her first scan, which I am now very nervous about.

I am preying there is only one, two at most, anymore and I don't know how we will cope with the two we have already got, especially Crystal, with me having to take days and weeks out and away from home, months when I go on tour, which I am now not looking forward to!!  I already hate the time I have missed with Vanilla, but on the other hand I will have weeks and months between singles and albums where I am not doing anything and can just stay at home full time.

Crystal ended up having to stop in the hospital for most of the day, she was admitted and given intravenous fluids because she was already very dehydrated from all the vomiting she had been doing.  This pregnancy I can see is not going to be plain sailing, but I do not have to worry too much, having three doctors in the house who can keep a close eye on her, is a great comfort to have.  This pregnancy lark is all new to me, in a way I'm scared and I really do not know what to expect.  Even though I have Vanilla, I was not here and did not see anything of Honey's pregnancy other than a week of mild morning sickness.  I did not have to witness the scans and check ups or what Honey went through. I did not have the worry about there being anything wrong with the babies or the worry that something might go wrong with the pregnancy.  This time I do and it is already not getting off to a good start with the severe morning sickness.

For me, the joy of finding out we had a baby on the way has quickly been replaced by the fear of what happened to Honey and Shadow.  I think I am now going to spend the next nine months worrying like hell, about Crystal and the baby, dreading that there is going to be a repeat of what happened to Honey and Shadow, well at least what they have told me happened.  If anything was to go wrong with this pregnancy I am not sure I could handle it, and I doubt that Crystal would either after what she has put herself through just to get pregnant in the first place!!

While we were at the hospital, Snow was also checked out medically, Dad had him in for ever test going, most of which they needed to do to create his medical records anyway.  He knows doctors who work at the Sandy Shores hospital so he got one of them to do a little checking for him and there is no record of any colourless children being born at that hospital for years, so we really don't have a clue who he might be and especially not what colour he should be. I felt really sorry for the little boy, who was obviously getting very frightened and distressed with all the prodding and poking that was going on with him. I thought he was never going to stop screaming after they took a little bit of his blood.  It brought back memories of all the tests I used to have to have when I had my regular six monthly check ups because of my premature size and conditions.  After yesterday, he must hate me for standing by and letting him have to go through it all.

While Dad says that he looks like a perfectly normal healthy little boy, who they have aged as a little younger than Vanilla, we have to wait for a few test results to come back to actually confirm it.  Dad is now also thinking like Crystal, that he just needs time to get used to a normal life and to catch up on the things that he has missed.  His sleeping, being verbally silent and eating habits he says will come with time.  He says I am worrying unnecessarily and reminds me I was just as awkward, if not worse, at his age and I have not turned out too badly.

After giving Snow a bottle of milk, I decide to take him into the living room and try again with his talking, while I wait for everyone to start getting up.  It was not long before River emerges, and I see him pottering around in the kitchen, through the fish tank, eating breakfast. When he has finished he comes and sits down on the couch close by.  He tells me that Cotton is helping Winter to get Vanilla and Ocean dressed before he just sits there quietly listening and watching me trying to get Snow to say something.  I am seriously not getting anything out of Snow, while he just sits there gormlessly staring at me.  I glance up at River and roll my eyes.

"It is no wander he does not want to talk, he uses all his vocal cords up screaming!!!"  River laughs  "Man that kid doesn't half cry some, I have heard him at it all night!!"

"I told you, he cat naps, he doesn't sleep, which means neither do I!!"

"Seriously Tap, you maybe need to relax and back off a little with trying to teach him to talk!!  You should let him settle in, give him a chance to get used to everyone, his new surroundings and life."  I frown at him  "Watching him just, I honestly do not think he can understand a single word you are saying to him.  If Crystal is right and he has been shut away, then he probably has not had any company or heard much conversation in his little life.  You just need to keep talking to him generally and he will learn a lot from just being around Ocean and Vanilla, I doubt you will get anything out of him trying to force it."  he laughs  "I am surprised you have not been poking around in his head to actually see what has been going on in his life so far."

I just stare at River for a moment.  I had not actually thought about doing that, I forget most of the time about the strange ability that I have.  I guess taking a look into Snow's head would not hurt, it might help us to understand him a little better.  River has now got me thinking about Shadow and the vampberry's and River is the best person to speak to so that I can fish for clues.

I pick Snow up and sit him in front of the xylophone and hand him the stick.   He starts to bash the toy straight away, without me showing him what to do, he seems to have worked out how to play with it finally.  When I can see he is happily playing away I move over to the couch and sit down next to River.  We both sit there quietly watching him for a moment.

 "River ... why can vampberry's not have children?"

"None of the organs in their body, other than their brain, actually work anymore, including their reproductive system, which no longer produce eggs or sperm.  Although they can still have a sex life, which baffles me, I can not quite work out how they still have erections."  he laughs quietly  "It is only the venom in their veins that keeps their body's going, and their organs not functioning anymore, is why they never get ill, or can't reproduce."  he starts laughing I think to himself  "If you think about it logically, how can you create something that is already faded!!"  he continues to laugh for a while then frowns at me in a strange way  "Why are you asking anyway?"

"I just wandered ... so a vampberry could not have a baby with a mortal?"

"No!!  The vampberry's reproductive system does not work remember."  he laughs  "That would be a very stupid and dangerous relationship for any mortal to get into, anyway!!   The strength of a vampberry would fade a mortal, especially in the heat of passion, if they don't catch hypothermia first!"  he starts to really laugh.  "I have heard Jazz and Celeste smashing up the place when they have been at it!  A mortal would not stand a chance with a vampberry." 

"What do you think would happen if a pregnant mortal was turned?" River frowns at me in a really strange way and just sits there, I think for a moment he is not going to answer my question, or maybe I have hit a nerve. 

One thing that has been playing on my mind since Shadow's phone call, and something I can not help but think ... they told me that Jazz bit Honey to keep her alive then Dad replaced all her blood to stop the venom from turning her.  What if they lied and she became a vampberry, it would make sense of why I thought she was there and I could hear her playing me up in the cemetery that night, and why Shadow is a vampberry, but then it would not make sense Vanilla not being one, or why nobody noticed she was a vampberry while she was pregnant.  So yet again I am probably just being stupid!!

"Berry knows, I have never heard of that being done."  he shrugs his shoulders  "I doubt either of them would survive, I doubt the baby would at least!!  I would image that the fetus would just stop growing in the womb when the venom takes hold."

"And what if a mortal baby was bitten and turned?"

"I would imagine the baby would fade, I doubt a babies body would take the transformation, it is supposed to be a very painful process according to Omri.  What would be the point of turning a baby anyway, when it would never grow, I should imagine it would stay as a baby forever.  Jazz will always be twenty, Omri will always be thirty.  Their bodies are frozen exactly how they were when they were turned, bar any illnesses, forever.  So it would not really make sense to turn a baby would it!"  he frowns at me  "Why all these questions about vampberrys and babies?  Please tell me you are not still thinking about that vampberry boy that you IMAGINED in the cemetery!!"

"No!"  I lie to him "I just wandered where vampire come from in the first place?  I know vampberry's are turned but if vampires are not born as babies and grow up, then where did the original vampires come from?"  I say to throw him off the scent.

"That is something that only the original's know and they do not give up that secret."  he scratches his head as he looks thoughtful for a moment.  "I have a theory, personally I think they were originally white berries, that somehow adapted themselves to survive."

"White berries?  They don't exist, do they?!"  I laugh at him

"Oh they did centuries ago, they were pretty much treated like colourless berries are today, they were wiped out of existence.  Society thought they were witches or something nonhuman, which if my theory is correct, is pretty much the case now, because they are vampires."  he laughs  "Don't you think it strange that all originals have the white skin, it is the black hair that I can not fathom, now there have never been any black berries as far as I know.  There are none that I have found back in history, and I have looked."

"Has anyone ever told you, you are a geek!!"  I laugh at him

"Yes you, many times!!"  he laughs

"River, how much about the abduction and the stuff with the vampberry's did you have wiped out of your memory?"

"Well I can not answer that question can I you wally!!"  he starts to laugh at me  "I had it wiped away remember!!"  he sits there really laughing at me, and I guess that was a pretty stupid question.

I can not help but think that if River and Dad know that boy exists, especially if he is my Shadow, that they would not be able to hide him from me.  I suspect they must have both had the boy wiped out of their memory.  Dad and River especially know exactly how it feels, they are both very angry with Maizie for hiding River's existence from Dad and it is something that they will never forgive her for.  I am not sure either of them would be able to live with themselves if they were consciously doing the same thing to me.

I laugh to myself thinking about Maizie, who River and Dad both think was faded by Manderine, when I know she is still rattling around in the vampberry den.  They even had the fact of her being a vampberry erased and both think that her body is yet to be found.  She now has a headstone in the cemetery, waiting for when it is found.  Only I know, it never will be found, because when Maizie's time is over, being a vampberry, she will just become a pile of dust!!

I guess in a way, I am just as bad as I think that they are, because I am hiding things and keeping secrets that would probably destroy them if they ever came out!! 

"Have you been to the den since our visit for the fake beating?"  I ask him.

"No and I don't plan to either!!"

"So where do you meet Omri, because I know you see him a lot, Storm has told me."  I frown at him.

"I go into the grounds, but not into the den itself.   We go up into the warehouse, there is a door round the other side."

"The warehouse?!  That can't be nice!!"  I pull a face  "Dad told me that place has been empty and derelict since he was a small boy."  I frown at him  "Who actually owns that place anyway?"

"Even though it is not a question I've ever asked, but I suspect that the vampberry's might because think about it, they would become very unstuck if whoever does own it decides to do something with the place!!  Who else would leave a building just sat there for decades rotting, that place could be a goldmine used properly"  he smiles at me

"I bet it is rank inside, that is one place we always wanted to get into as kids, but never did."  I laugh remembering how me and Storm tried to get into the grounds once, but it was impossible because of the high walls and solid metal fencing and gate.  Now knowing the vampberry's are underneath it, I am very glad that we did not get in. 

"It is not actually that bad inside, it is just a bare concrete building.  Jazz and Omri have kitted out one of the inside small windowless rooms, like a living room where we can chill.  It is actually quite cosy."  he laughs  "Jazz joins us most times, I think they like the chance of different company, what with only the two of them rattling around that place on their own with the spirits."  he smiles at me.

This makes me laugh in my head, because I am not even sure if he knows that Lime is still in that place and he definitely does not know Maizie is still there, and I doubt he even knows that boy exists either, which makes me wander just who else is lurking about in that den!

"Do Cosmic, Storm and Saffy go to this hideout of yours?"  

"Sometimes I think, they talk to Cos occasionally, I'm not sure I have ever known Storm there, and Saffy is there only generally when Sunny joins us, which is not too often.  Even Dad has been a few times."  he smiles at me  "Maybe you should come with me sometimes.  You know I really hate what they are, but it does not hurt to keep in their good books, you never know when you might need their help.  I still don't trust deep down that Celeste never told any of the other originals about you!!  We got away with it all too lightly for my liking!!"

"Yeah I guess.  After I return from Rainbow, you will have to let me know when you are meeting Omri and Jazz and I'll come with you."  I smile at him.

I say it even though I seriously have no intention of going with him to meet Omri and Jazz.  The very last thing I want to be doing is socializing with the vampberry's if I do not have to be.  However, I think I have just found the perfect time and a way to sneak into the vampberry den, so that I can poke around, while Jazz and Omri are not around to stop me!!

We are interrupted and our conversation about the vampberry's has to stop, when Vanilla and Ocean come walking into the room along with Cotton.  I do a double take when I see that someone has put Vanilla's hair in pigtails which is not the way that she usually wears it.

"Me pretties Daddy with ribbon!"  Vanilla says as she sits there grinning at me as she starts tugging on her pigtails quite forcefully.  I doubt those ribbons are stopping in her hair for very long! 

"Yes I can see!!  You look very pretty!!"  I laugh at her  "Don't pull them or they won't be pretties for very long!!"

"Cherry is coming after school to cut and style my hair ready for Juniper and Maize's wedding.  I am trying on my amazingly expensive bridesmaids dress AND she is going to paint my nails like Coral's on the wedding day!" she giggles

Cotton buts in, she hates anyone getting any compliments because she thinks she should be getting them all.  She is a right little diva and a snob!!  As usual she is bragging and fishing for compliments, I just roll my eyes at her as she waves her hand around, staring at it like her nails have already been painted.

I am amused that the little princess has already started with all the girly thing, clothes, shoes, hair and make up and all the other rubbish that women hoard.  She has also started demanding expensive presents from me, only yesterday she asked me to get her a designer handbag which costs a fortune.  She's got no chance!!  Not for the fact that I can not afford it, I now can, but because I am not going to encourage her ego and start spoiling her, she is spoiled enough and the more you give her the more she wants!!

"Ocean is having his hair cut too because he is starting to look like a pretty little girl!"  River laughs at Cotton.

"Well I hope Cherry is not planning to touch Vanilla's hair!!"  I frown at River who shakes his head  "Who has given my daughter a makeover this morning anyway?"

I frown at Cotton, not too sure that I really like Vanilla's hair tied up like that.  Now she actually does remind me of Honey because that is how I remember that she always used to wear her hair when we were little.  I remember because I always used to tug on her pigtails and pull the ribbons out and run off with them.

"Me!  I did her hair."  Cotton giggles  "She looks just like Honey with her hair down.  She looks much better like me!!"

"Cotton ... do you even remember Honey?"  I frown at Cotton, knowing she was only still a toddler when Honey faded and Vanilla was born.

"Yes, of course I do!!  She used to play with me all the time, when you went on holiday, and she lived here and had the babies growing in her belly."  She smirks at me.

"When I went on holiday?!"  I half frown and half snigger at River, not quite believing she has just called our abduction, a holiday.  "If that was a holiday, I am phoning the travel agents to complain!!"

"Shush big mouth!!  That is what she was told.  She was too young to understand."  River mumbles quietly under his breath as he slaps my arm lightly.

"Tappy I think you should take me to school today."  Cotton says in a matter of fact way, with that sickly smirk of her which makes River start chuckling quietly.  He knows as well as I do, the brat is off!!

"It is Tap or Tapestry NOT Tappy!!"  I snap at Cotton  "And No!!! I can not take you to school, I am not dressed and the school run is Rivers job!!"  I smirk at her sarcastically because I know she is not going to like it.

"Oh Pretty Pleeeeeeeease!!  I want you to take me to school!!  I like your car better, his is rubish and you play better music, River's music gives me a headache and his seats are all lumpy!!"  she whines in that sickly voice of hers, she reminds me so much of Coral, she annoys me.

How can she say his car is rubbish when it is virtually brand new and exactly the same as the one I drive around in all the time!!  The only difference in our two cars is the shade of orange and the number plate.  I guess she has her eye on the brand new car that the manufactures sent me that I have not attempted to drive yet.

"No madam!!"  River laughs  "I am taking you to school on the way to work like I normally do!!  I'm sorry my rubbish carriage isn't fit enough for our little princess.  If you don't like my music then I'll turn the radio off your majesty, and as for the seats, princess, you can always ride in the boot!!"  he smirks at her and she just pulls a face back.  I can not help but laugh at River, he gets her every time!!  "Tapestry is too busy to be playing your chauffeur, he is looking after Ocean, Vanilla and Snow because Crystal is too sick too."  he frowns and starts to rub his chin  "Actually, maybe we should start making you walk to school like most of the other kids have to!!"

Cotton stands there stamping her feet and pulling faces and calling us mean.  She is getting a right little madam.  Dad is doing exactly the same with Cotton as he did with Coral, he spoils her rotten.  If he was here in this room right now he would probably be telling me to get dressed and take her, because it's what she wants.  She is his little princess and can do no wrong in his eyes, while the rest of us know she is a total brat, even Mom says it!!  She has Dad wrapped around her little finger and he gives into her.  I know I can not talk because I was just as bad, if not worse.  I knew exactly how to play Dad to get what I wanted, but I did it in a different way, I was very verbal, loud and to the point, the girls are both slimy with it, playing games, they are one thing in front of Dad's face and something totally different behind his back.

When she sees she is not getting her own way, as she continues to argue with River, Cotton starts to throw one of her tantrum, saying spiteful things and starts swearing at us, which has me and River jumping up off our seat.  Amongst other things she called me a retarded idiot which obviously she has learned off Coral, because that is her favourite thing to call me.  A few things that she has just said should not be coming out of a little girls mouth especially not in front of the toddlers!!  This is the side of her that Dad does not see, she saves it for everyone else, then acts like the angelic innocent little angel when Dad is around.

"Just watch it young lady, before I wash your mouth out with soap!!  If Ocean or Vanilla repeat one single word of what you have just said I will make sure you are grounded for a whole month without pocket money!!"  River starts to tell her off.  "And don't worry, you won't get bored, I will find you plenty of nice jobs to do around the house!!"

"Whatever!!"  she pulls a face at River.  "You are not my Dad, you can't tell me what to do!!"

"You can quit with that attitude, it does not work with us!!!  We are the adults here and you will do as you are told!!"  River shouts at her "We all know why 'little miss I want to show off in front of my friends' wants her famous brother to take her to school don't we!!  So you can swan around school with that big head of yours!!  Well it is not happening!!  We are not changing our plans just to suit you and your ego!!"

"Yes and I'm not in the mood to be mobbed by a bunch of your screaming little school girl friends!!  I would much rather stay here and be changing shitty nappies!!"  I laugh at Cotton who stands there pouting with her arms crossed.  "It is bad enough that you keep bringing them down here to bug me!!  Well that is going to stop too!!"

"I'm telling Dad ... you just said shitty!!"

"Like you just didn't?!"  I laugh at her "Don't worry I will be telling him myself, and all the swear words and names you just threw at us!!"  I snap at her  "I am not having you speak words like that again in front of the toddlers, and if he does not do something about your filthy mouth, then I will!!"

"Tell him, see if I care, because he won't believe you anyway!!"  she sticks her tongue out at me.

"Oh yes he will, don't you worry!!"  I laugh at her  "Don't forget I invented tantrums and brat attacks and I can throw them a lot better than you can!!  I also know how to play Dad better than you do, so I would quit while you are ahead if I was you!!  You won't beat me with your stupid games, Coral invented them and I've seen them all before!!"  I snap at her  "And don't expect me to bring you anything back from Rainbow Valley this time either ... because you seriously don't deserve it!!"

"Cotton go and get your school bag, we need to be making a move!!  It's time our little brat princess number two was in school, or that's something else you will be getting into trouble for, being late!!"  River snaps as he shoves Cotton towards the door.

I watch River walk out of the room with a sulking Cotton in tow.  I feel like throttling the little brat, I just hope that her behaviour is not going to rub off on Vanilla!!  I laugh at myself sometimes, especially when I am telling Cotton off for things that she has said and done.  She makes me feel like a right hypocrite, stood there telling her off for things that I use to do myself, and not all that long again.  While half of the time I just want to laugh at what she has done and do not know how to deal with situations like a grown up should, I stand there listening to myself repeating exactly what my Dad used to say to me, because I don't know how else to do it.  I think being a parent for me with my head, is going to be hard work!!

I stare at the three toddlers, who with Phoenix's help when he surfaces, I am baby sitting for most of the day, even though I have tonnes to do before my flight out to Rainbow Valley in the morning.  The prospect of handling three toddlers together is a little daunting!!  Looking after the toddlers is something that Crystal would normally be doing, with my help when I am here,  but she is too sick too at the moment, and she needs all the rest she can get, which is going to cause some major problems for me until the morning sickness subsides.

This is where I get very annoyed, mainly with Coral, she could help out, but no!!  We all pitch in, in this house, especially with the kids, all of us except for Coral!!  After Gravel's psycho shootout, Coral moved back in here, and while everyone else is working and juggling Mom, Vanilla, Ocean, Cotton and now Snow, Coral can not be bothered to work or help out, and swans around the house like lady muck, as if she does not have a single care in the world.  Even Dad has lost all control of her!!  And they all said that I was going to be the burden!!  She expects everyone to run around for her and would rather dump on our aging Grandparents than lift a finger to help anyone.

She flatly refuses to have anything to do with the toddlers, for quite a few reasons but the main one being, her Mother, Sister, Niece and Nephew are not her responsibility or problem according to her, and she should not have to deal with them.  I am starting to get very suspicious of the way she reacts around the babies and toddlers, she won't go near them and more than not walks out of the room almost like she can not a bare them!!  I dread to think what is going to happen when her own twins arrive, especially if they are Gravels, then they will be living here with us, and I suspect it will be us looking after them, not her.

I take the three toddlers into the kitchen area so that I can give Ocean and Vanilla their breakfast.  I sit Snow in a high chair and give him a bowl of food the same as the other two even though I know he will probably not eat it.  We decided to do this hoping that he might copy Ocean and Vanilla and try to start eating solid food.

While Vanilla and Ocean are eating away, Snow amuses me, he just stares at the bowl of food that I have placed in front of him, then he stares up at me, almost like he is asking me with his face 'what the hell am I supposed to do with that!".

I pick up a spoon and try to feed Snow some of the food, but he just clamps his mouth shut and turns his head away.  I even eat a spoonful to show him, but he sits there shaking his head.  I seriously don't know what his problem is!!

"Daddy, Snowman he no like it."  Vanilla says suddenly

"Vanilla his name is SNOW not snowman!!"

 "Snow wants choccy puddin!"  she says as she grins at me. 

"Choccy puddin Yay!!"  Ocean starts squealing  "Me want it!!" 

I can not help but wander what all the fuss is about with this chocolate pudding!!  It comes in a box and you add water to it.  I have even tried it and it doesn't taste anything like chocolate to me and I don't think it is even nice!!

"No chocolate pudding!"  I laugh at Vanilla as she puts her spoon down and folds her arms.  What she really means is she wants, and now she has set Ocean off to do her dirty work trying to get it.  "You crafty madam I know your game and it is not going to get you chocolate pudding!!"

"Yacky me no like!!"  she says as she starts to push her bowl away, which amuses me, because a few minutes ago it was perfectly fine when she was shoveling it down her!!  I have to quickly grab for her bowl and pick it up to stop her from pushing it over the edge of the high chair table and onto the floor.  "Me wants choccy puddin."

"Oh no!!  Don't start that again just because Mommy is not here!!  NO chocolate pudding, eat what you have got."  I place the bowl down in front of her but keep my hand on it just in case she tries to do it again.  "If you eat all your breakfast then you can have chocolate pudding at dinnertime!!"

Vanilla pouts a little, but when I hand her the spoon she starts to eat again.  Ocean never stopped eating only long enough to talk which makes me laugh, he is actually pretty quiet most of the time and never any trouble.  He loves his food and eats anything and everything that you give him, he would probably eat his breakfast and chocolate pudding if I gave it him.

Suddenly I hear a smash.  I turn to look at Snow and he is trying to lean over the side of his high chair and staring down at the dish that he has just pushed off the table and onto the floor.  Typical, he can not copy Vanilla eating, but he can copy trying to push the dish away and onto the floor!!  Now I have a right mess to clean up!!

"Naughty Snowman!!"  Vanilla giggles

"Yes Naughty Snow!!"  

I maybe said it a little too loudly and sharply, but it was more of a warning to Vanilla, because I can see her hands on the edge of her bowl like she is planning to push her dish onto the floor like Snow just has.  My sharpness starts Snow screaming, which then makes Ocean jump and he starts crying.  While I try to get a squirming Snow out of his highchair to quieten his screaming down, which I hope will stop Ocean from crying.  I hear another smash!!  Vanilla has decided to top it off by sneakily pushing her bowl onto the floor.  She just sits there with a grin on her face.  The little madam!!

"Right that's it!!  No chocolate pudding for any of you today!!"  I shout out  "Vanilla you are a Naughty girl!!"

I stand and watch now as all three toddlers are sat in their high chair crying.  As I stare at Ocean I don't know whether to laugh or cry, watching him sat there crying but still continuing to shovel food into his mouth.  I do not know which way to turn first, I have only got one pair of hands!!  Who's bright idea was it to leave me in charge of three toddlers!!  I think at dinner time I am going to have to feed them one at a time!!

After stopping them all from crying and cleaning up the mess I settle the three toddlers down in the living room with some toys. It tickles me how quickly they stop crying and start playing, laughing and nattering away like nothing has ever happened, while I am now stressed out.

In a way having Snow here is a help.  I strategically sat him in between Ocean and Vanilla to keep them apart.  Usually by now, Vanilla would have been attacking Ocean, and they would have started fighting.  I seriously do not understand why Ocean and Vanilla do not get on and can not play nicely together.  We can all see that it is Vanilla who starts it every time, I really don't know what her problem is with him.  She has not once been spiteful to Snow since he arrived. 

Just as I am about to sit down and watch the television, so that I can chill my head out, my phone starts to ring.  The ring tone tells me that it is Rocky so I answer the call straight away.

"Well have you heard?"  Rocky laughs at me, he sounds rather cheerful.

"Heard what?"

"Man it is Monday morning ... wake up ... tell me you have NOT got the radio on?"  he starts to tut down the phone at me then starts laughing.  "I thought you would have had your ear pinned to the Top 40!!"

Suddenly I remember now he reminds me, shit, the music charts, so distracted with the toddlers, they have totally slipped my mind!"

"Fudge no!!  I got kind of distracted with something, feeding three messy toddlers."

I laugh at him even though my stomach has started to tie itself in knots, waiting to hear what he has obviously phoned to tell me - where my single has landed in the charts, if anywhere.

"So go on tell me ... how bad is it?  How badly did it crash and burn!?"  I ask nervously.

"BAD?!  It is bloody brilliant!!  You have lift off!!  Number one baby!!  You did it!!"

"Get lost!!"  I snap at him, I think he is having me on  "You are joking me right?"

"NO!!  TAP it went straight in at number one!!"  he starts laughing.  "Straight up!!"

I just stand there with my mouth wide open, in total shock, and unable to speak.

"Grumpy is jumping through hoops as we speak, I have already had a round of earache and 'I told you so' off him!!  Although he is very miffed that I am the one taking the credit for finding you!!"  Rocky laughs at me  "I told you, you would do it ... you are awesome!!"

"Well thanks, you are not so bad yourself!"  I laugh at him.  "But I still recon you are having me on!!  Number one, I did not even expect it to get into the top ten!!"

"Shut up, you smashed it!!  As if I would joke about a thing like that, trust me, and it gets better, you know our last joint single that started to drop, it's gone back up four places.  You have two singles in the top ten so it is all good!!"

"Really!!  I think I'm dreaming and am going to wake up in a minute!!"  I mumble still not quite believing it.  Rocky just laughs at me.

"So are your bags packed and ready?!  We have got some serious recording to do, for our double album, as well as a few video's to shoot!!  We seriously need to get it out there while we are on a roll!!"  he laughs  "We might have to extend your visit to three, maybe even four weeks.  Grumpy says his phone is ringing off the hook already, he has got to speak to Prelude and give him the contacts to sort out dates and times but the TV appearances and Magazine interviews are lining up for you ALONE already, on top of the Rocky Storm ones, everyone is very curious about the new bright eyed boy in town so the more you put yourself out there, the better it gets!"

"Great!!"  I mumble

"Don't sound so enthusiastic!!"  I can hear the concern in his voice.  "Tap, you are worrying me!!  I thought you would be as excited as I am ... what's up?"

"I am okay!!  I am just still in shock I think and this is all just really bad timing!!  My cousin and Vanilla's Uncle are getting married in two weeks, so both me and Prelude will need to get back for that, because it is not like either of us can miss it!!"  I mumble  "Plus, Crystal is very sick!!  I'm already worried about leaving her for two weeks with both kids, Snow is hard work all on his own, now you want to extend my stay out there."

"The wedding you can fly back for then return after it's finished.  We will just have to pencil that day out of your schedule.  Crystal is sick?  Nothing serious I hope."

"Morning sickness, but in typical Crystal style, she has it chronic, morning noon and night and it is draining her and knocking her about!!"

"Morning sickness!?"  he laughs  "You dog!!  You kept that quiet!!"

"We have only known a few days, I'm not sure that it has properly sunk in yet either!!"

"Congratulations!!  Engaged and pregnant, wait till the press get hold of that!"  he laughs  "I bet the baby is one great weight off your mind.  See you have even smashed your baby problem, it looks like you are on a roll at the moment Tap!!!"  he laughs

"Yeah, which is all coming a little too thick and fast for my head to take!!"  I laugh at him  "You know what my head is like!!"

"Why don't you bring Vanilla with you, to lighten Crystal's load. I guess it is too early to be unsettling Snow again and taking him somewhere different!!"

"Just a little, we need to get him into a routine and he needs to realise this is his home, it is bad enough that I am having to leave him for a few weeks.  Besides if I brought him with me, I'd be too tired to do anything, the little man hardly sleeps."  I mumble  "I don't really want to bring Vanilla if I have to keep palming her off on strangers, you know I don't feel comfortable with that, besides I want to help Phoenix settle in at Denims, without getting him to baby sit Vanilla all the time, it's not really fair on him or Denim."

"There won't be a problem, Lacey and Lyric are taking a trip out to Rainbow with me this time, my sister is looking after Rhythm and Rhymn with it being term time, and we are staying at Dad's. You know Lace is always happy to look after Vanilla while we are working, she keeps Lyric amused, together they are never a problem.  I get the feeling Lyric might drive us cuckoo if you appear without her anyway, we already hear 'Nilla' a thousand times a day even when she is not here.

"I guess if Lacey doesn't mind, giving Crystal one less kid to look after will help, even if I am leaving her with the worst one."  I laugh

"You won't have any trouble getting her a seat on the plane either, because of her age, the airline will just get you to pay for a ticket for her and have her sitting on your lap."

"Yeah I have already learned that bringing Snow home!!"

"Good, that's sorted then. Now cheer up.  NUMBER ONE baby!!"  he starts laughing  "I have got to shoot, I should be in a meeting and I am already late.  I will see you tomorrow.  We are heading over to Rainbow tonight, so I will pick you up from the airport tomorrow."  he starts really laughing  "Expect to be mobbed!!"


After we end the call I just stand there, still very numb with shock, not really knowing what or how I feel.  MY solo single going straight to number one!!!  Just me, on my own, without Rocky's help!! Berry!!  I seriously never expected that!!

It is not like it is the first time that I have experienced sitting at the top of the charts, but before they were joint efforts with Rocky.  Two of our joint songs that are going onto our double album of new stuff, Rocky threw out there to see how they would go.  They both went to number one, but I did not really believe that had anything to do with me, it is nothing unusual for Rocky, he is used to it, just having his name on the cover will send it up the charts, he has an army of fans that buy his music however it sounds, I know because I used to be one of them.

"Yo Storm what's happening?"  Storm comes floating through the wall, laughing at himself, he now finds it funny to call me Storm all the time.  "Is Tapestry in a better mood today?"

"No not really!!" I mumble

He stands laughing at me, my moods have never really bothered Storm.  I have been a little 'offish' with everyone since returning home from vacation, especially those who I know, or think, are hiding the existence of Shadow from me.  Storm being the one that I am angriest with most, we swore no secrets, and if I am right about who that boy is, me and him are going to be seriously falling out.

I feel like having it out with him right now, but have to stop myself.  I seriously can not afford to mess my head up until after I have returned home from Rainbow Valley, especially not now, with my single being at number one, because I now know I already have got total chaos and a very hectic few weeks, month even, ahead of me and my head will not have room for anything else.

"You're late, where have you been?"  I frown at him.

We set a curfew for the spirits, because Storm especially kept floating through our bedroom wall at very inappropriate moments.  All of the spirits have been banned from coming into our room between 9pm and 9am.  Usually Storm appears like clockwork every morning at 9.01am, but not this morning.

"Checking on Parsley's miserable face!!"  he laughs  "I seriously don't know what is wrong with him lately, he needs a kick up the backside!!"

"Is he still spitting the dummy over Prelude and Elderberry's twins news?"

"Yeah, he was grumpy enough when he thought it was just one baby, he is seriously not happy knowing there are two babies coming!!"  he starts laughing  "Anyway misery guts ... talking about baby bumps ... drama is heading in your direction and it is about to land any minute now!!"  he starts laughing and I just frown at him 

"Boy are you in for a right treat!!  Although, I suggest you grab some ear plugs because you are seriously going to need them!!"  he sniggers, still not telling me what is going on.

I do not have time to think or even ask Storm what is happening.  Suddenly the door bursts open with quite a force.  I am surprised that it is Dad who comes rushing into the room like a herd of elephants.

"Tap I need you to hurry up and get dressed!!"  .

"Why?"  I just frown at him and wander why he is getting into such a flap.

"Coral has gone into labour, the babies are coming!!  I need you to drive us to the hospital.  River and Winter are at work so Crystal and Phoenix are going to have to watch Vanilla, Snow, Ocean and your Mother ...."  I but in and don't let him finish his sentence.

"Crystal is still asleep and not up to looking after everyone right now!!"  I start to protest

"Don't panic, it is only until Sunny and Ruby get here.  They are on their way round, to sort out the kids and to sit with your Mom until we get back!!"  he laughs  "Saffron is upstairs with Atlas, he's been trying to get in touch with you but he says your phone has been engaged for ages.  He wants to know if they can take Vanilla out for the day seeing as you've been away and he hasn't seen her for a few weeks?  I told him I didn't think there would be a problem, it will actually help us out right now, but I thought I better check before I let him take her."

"Yeah of course it is fine. Tell Saffron I'll phone him in a bit to sort out what time he is bringing her back?  Oh by the way I'm taking Vanilla to Rainbow with me tomorrow."  Dad starts to rub his neck anxiously  "We'll talk about that later, come on Tap, chop chop, get dressed, we need to get your sister to the hospital today not tomorrow!!"

I stand laughing at Dad as he starts flapping again, he picks up Vanilla and tells me he'll be back down for Snow and Ocean, once he's taken Vanilla up to Saffron.  He goes to walk out the door forgetting something.

"Dad, don't forget her bag ... its in the nursery, the one with the big smiley face on it."  he laughs at me sarcastically, it is usually him having to remind me. "You'll have to grab some bottles out the fridge too, there is baby food already in the bag.

I run and get Snow some clothes and dress him while I am waiting for Dad to return, I know he is only going upstairs, but he might get cold if he is sat in just his nappy while I am away.  Dad rushes back in, minutes later, out of breath.  He scoops Snow and Ocean up, one in each arm, and starts to rush out again.  Me and Storm just stand there howling at him, because he now can not open the door because he has his hands full and he seems to be having a right flap.

"Storm will get the door for you!"  I laugh at him as he stands there pulling faces at the door

"If Storm is here, tell him to get upstairs and help Phoenix watch Lilly and the kids until Sunny gets here!!"  This amuses me and I laugh  "TAPESTRY MOVE IT!!!!"  he snaps  "Be upstairs and dressed in two minutes or you will be driving us to the hospital dressed like that!!"

Dad rushes through the doorway after Storm has opened the door for him.

"Thanks Storm."  he mutters as he rushes off.

It is unlike Dad to get himself into a panic over something medical.  I also don't get why he just doesn't drive her to the hospital himself or phone an ambulance, why does he need me?!

I can see I am in for another fun day at the hospital ... NOT!! 

Just a quick note - I did plan to get part 2 out the day after this part, however, I am struggling with some of the pictures so you might not see part 2 until next week.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Chapter 40 - part 5 - Gen 2 - Tapestry

The rest of our vacation seemed to flying by very quickly.  Before I know it we only have two days remaining in Sandy Shores before we are due to fly home.  Shadow's photograph aside, and my two days of sulking, I have really enjoyed this vacation and in a way don't want it to end.  I now am totally in love with the sun, sea and sand, I could quite happily live like this forever, and can see why Forrest loves this place so much.

The most amusing and challenging thing about the vacation was getting Crystal to go out onto the sea in a boat.  She was too scared because she can not swim.  I have been dying to take Vanilla and Snow on the glass bottom boat trip, but Crystal has refused to go.  She would not even let me go alone, or let me and Phoenix take either of the kids on the trip because neither of them can swim.  She thinks it is not safe, not even them wearing armbands persuaded her.

Forrest has a small rowing boat, which has been sat anchored close to the beach house, bobbing about on the water, which has been driving me mad.  While Phoenix watched the kids I carried Crystal kicking and screaming onto the boat, determined to get Vanilla on that boat trip, because she is fascinated by the fish in the tank at home, so I think she in particular would really enjoy it.  I also wanted to show Crystal boats are relatively safe, even if you can not swim.  

After sitting on the boat for a while she calmed down and even let me row it out a little way.  Secretly I think she even started to enjoy it, even though she did not admit it, and she finally agreed that we could take that boat trip the next day.

We decided to take the boat trip after dinner so me, Phoenix and the two kids spent the morning just lazing around the beach house, while Crystal made a start on our packing to go home.  I tried to help her but she shooed me away, telling me I am interfering and packing necessary things that we would need over the next few days.

I am starting to get a little nervous, knowing what is a head of me.  Only a few short days after arriving home after this vacation, I am due to fly out to Rainbow Valley, with Prelude, ready for the madness that will come with the release of my solo single, which is now out there.  So any spare minute that I am getting now, I am continuously playing it.

Vanilla and Snow are sat not too far away, playing together, on the decking, where I can see them.  Snow is clanking away on the xylophone and Vanilla is playing with the shape block toy and nattering away to the still silent little boy.  Phoenix and Crystal are stood watching me playing and singing.

I have been playing the same song over and over when I notice Crystal start pulling face.  I think they might be aimed at me because she is fed up of hearing me playing the same song, but it is not like I am making her stand there and watch me!!   Getting fed up of the repetitiveness myself, I decided to start playing some other stuff.

My change in songs still does not improve her face pulling, her hand keeps rubbing across her stomach, she no longer looks happy, and I am beginning to think she might even be in pain.  She is not saying anything, so I just continue to watch her.  

As I see her holding her stomach and grimacing, I get a sudden dreaded feeling, and wander if she has stomach cramps because she might be about to start a period, which is very late and well overdue, which is nothing unusual because they are so random and irregular.  I dread them because they are never very pleasant for her and put her into a totally fowl mood, because that is a sure sign that there is no baby.  She has surprisingly actually calmed down, but only a little, in that department, I think she might be finally listening and has not pushed me too much to be baby making outside of the days when I say we can.

Suddenly Crystal starts to run off, she looks like she is heading in the direction of the beach house, but suddenly stops, she doubles over and I watch her throwing up in the sand.  This turns my stomach a little and I stop playing as I watch her bent over continuously throwing up like she is never going to stop!!  Me and Phoenix just look at each other and pull faces, he goes off onto the decking to play with the kids.

When Crystal does stop throwing up, she straightens herself up and wipes her mouth with the back of her hand.  She stands pulling faces at me for a moment before she is off and running into the beach house quickly, still holding her stomach and mouth.

I ask Phoenix if he can stay outside and keep an eye on the kids and follow her inside.  Vanilla in particular has a very bad habit of wandering off down towards the water, so we can not take our eyes off her for a second.

As I walk into the beach house, I hear her before I see her.  She is in the bathroom throwing up again.  The sound and sight of her on her hands and knees with her head down the toilet is turning my stomach and I think if she does not stop soon, I am going to be joining her!!

I start to wander what she might have eaten that has made her so sick.  We have tried to be careful and stick to normal food, Forrest has seriously warned us about eating seafood, especially if we are cooking it ourselves, so we have avoided it and stuck to what we know.  Besides the odd Pizza or a meal out in the Bistro, Crystal has been doing most of the cooking.  My Grandmother has been teaching Crystal how to cook and she is actually turning out to be very good at it. 

Everything that Crystal has eaten over the past few days, me and Phoenix have also eaten and neither of us are sick ... yet.

"Are you okay?"  I ask her when she finally stops vomiting and flushes the toilet. 

"Not really!!"  she mumbles as she wipes her mouth  "I feel terribly sick!!"

"You have probably eaten something dodgy!!"  I smile at her sympathetically  "You might even have overdone it in the sun, you did sunbath most of yesterday!!"

"Yeah probably, because it is never going to be a baby is it!!"  she laughs sarcastically.

Fudge, I never even gave that a thought. I thought about her period but not the fact that she could actually be pregnant and this is morning sickness.  My mind flies back to Honey, throwing up for half of the day, everyday, when we were in the vampberry den.  It could be, but then I am going to keep my mouth shut, because I don't want to encourage her into thinking that and start her off.  I am actually surprised that she does not already think she might be pregnant, and is not loudly demanding a pregnancy test!!

"Maybe I got sea sick from the boat!"  she says suddenly and because of how seriously she says it, she has me doubled over in hysterics!!  It took me ages to calm down enough to actually speak, while she just stands there scowling at me in confusion.

"Crystal you went on the boat last night, if you was going to get sea sick you would have done it last night when you was on the boat, or just after you got out of it, you wally!!"  

She rolls her eyes at me and I am howling with laughter at her again, because she seriously thought she might be sea sick!!  Crystal just stands there pulling faces at me while I laugh, but I soon stopped laughing when she bends over the toilet again and has another bout of throwing up. 

"Maybe you should go back to bed and try to sleep it off, if you are still the same in the morning, we will have to get you to the doctors before we go home."  

I know Dad always gives sickness 24 hours before he starts to worry about it, and at home it would have been so easy just to get Dad, River or Winter to take a look at her.  Crystal smiles at me and agrees and takes herself off to bed with a glass of water.

Me and Phoenix spent the day trying to keep the kids occupied, indoors because I am now worrying about the sun, it has been a lot hotter these past few days, and maybe a little too hot for them to be sat out in it at their age.  I was a little disappointed because of Crystal finally braving going out in the rowing boat last night, we had planned to take the boat trip in the glass bottom boat, today.  After nearly two weeks of trying, just as I get Crystal to agree to it, she goes and gets sick!!  I felt like we could not really go out anywhere now because I did not want to leave Crystal in the beach house alone while she is being sick just in case it develops into something more than just vomiting.

Phoenix amuses me a little because I still do not think he can fully get his head around the colourless thing, he makes a beeline for Vanilla every time.  I think he feels a lot more comfortable with her, being a mixed berry, than he does with Snow being colourless.  However, Phoenix keeping Vanilla occupied has given me the chance to work on trying to teach Snow how to walk and talk without Vanilla getting too jealous of me spending so much time with him.

In such a short space of time, Phoenix is now almost like part of our little family.  He has scrubbed himself up and is learning to live a normal life again, and excited about what lies ahead of him, especially checking out Sugar Valley, which should be quite an eye opener for him!! 

He will be coming home to Sugar Valley with us only temporarily, then he will be flying out to Rainbow Valley with me, when I am due out there for work, and he will be moving in with Denim.  Phoenix is going to be a little more of a challenge for Denim, with him only being eleven when he landed on the streets, education wise he is very behind, he can read and write like an eleven year old, but knows little of much else, he missed out on his teenage education years and has a lot to learn, just like Crystal did, he knows very little about how the world works.

Having Phoenix around is a little like having another child in the house, which suddenly makes me feel like a grown up!!  Me and Crystal are virtually having to play Mom and Dad with him.   He has to be reminded to take showers, change his clothes and brush his teeth, and tidy up after himself,  just like a child, and everything is a learning curve for him, he especially struggles with all of the electrical equipment and does not have the slightest idea about how to cook anything, most things we have to do for him.  Sometimes he forgets things have to be cooked, he will quite happily open a tin and eat the contents cold and uncooked, or try to eat something raw, because that is what he has been used too for half of his life.  Watching him chewing on a dirty raw potato, like it was an apple, was quite comical.

While his head is pretty sensible most of the time, when it comes to living a civilized life, he is a little at a loss.  Not only is he out of practice but his mind still works a little too much like an eleven year olds most of the time, and when they were alive his parents did most things for him, being a child, so he never learned to be anything other than a carefree eleven year old, being taken care of by his parents.

Phoenix is worried and thinks he will not be able to look after himself in the civilized world, which to me is stupid thinking!!  If I can do it, anyone can!!  He has Crystal as a perfect example in front of him, who knew even less about how the world worked, and I know he has it in him, he just needs to believe in himself, he would never have survived on the streets for eleven years if he didn't!!  Right now he is scared that he is going to mess things up and land himself back out onto the streets.

He is overly fascinated with the television and the xbox, and can not get enough of them.  Neither of which he said he had as a child, when his parents were alive, which I found very strange, because he is not much older than me, so they were around and available then, it was not like in my Grandparents time, when very few people had a television and games consoles did not exist.  When he told me that his Father was a Vicar and he had a very sheltered and strict religious upbringing by his parents, I did not know whether to laugh or cry.  

He used to live in the house next to the church over on the other side of Sandy Shores.  Televisions, game consoles, not even the radio was allowed in his house, the only music he ever heard back then was the choir and the hymns being sang in church, he was even home schooled, so sheltered away from the sins of the world.   Needless to say, after what happened to his parents and the homeless life he had been dealt, he lost the faith that he continuously had rammed down his throat by his parents, and he no longer believes in Berry or religion.


Crystal got up quite a few times during the daytime to throw up, then she went straight back to bed and did nothing but sleep.  

The sickness lasted all day and night, which I secretly became very disappointed about.  I was hoping she might be pregnant, but as the sickness has lasted all day and into the night then I think it can not possibly be morning sickness, and kick myself for allowing myself to be stupid enough to even think it possibly could be.  

So I now think she has to be ill.  She must have a bug, could have overdone it in the sun, or it is something she ate, which worries me, if she has a bug, I am worried about her passing it onto Vanilla and Snow.  The thought of her being like this tomorrow night for our plane ride home, also worries me, how often she is being sick, it is going to create a nightmare!!  I can see her throwing up all over the airport, as well as spending all of her time during the flight in the plane toilets. 

She got up for a short time in the evening, I hoped it was because she was feeling better, but she said she wasn't and felt just as bad.   She wanted to spend some time with the kids who she had hardly seen all day.   She just lay on the couch quietly and watched the kids playing, as well as tried to watch the movie that me and Phoenix are watching on the television.  However, she was not up for long, she was soon running for the toilet to be sick, then she went back to bed.

As Crystal is still sick, I am on night feed duty alone with both kids, and while Vanilla is not being a problem, Snow is being an awkward little nightmare like he has been most nights since he has arrived.  It is 3am in the morning, I have not had a wink of sleep yet because of him, and am sat out on the sand with Snow who just does not seem to want to sleep.

I think he is really struggling to settle into our way of life properly, we are not sure what kind of life he has had so far, but we get the feeling that it has not been a nice one.  Crystal has been reliving what she can remember of her early life, which is quite vivid in her memory, because it affected her so much it scared her mentally.  Crystal thinks that this little boy might have been treated very much in the same way.  Shut away alone, starved of love, comfort, attention and company.  Compared to Vanilla sometimes he is a very strange child, but I guess that is understandable. 

The first few days that he was with us, he acted like he did not want to be touched by us, backing and shying away from us, especially me, always trying to hold himself at arms length away from us.  Then he suddenly switched, almost like he could see that we were going to treat him differently and he has now become very clingy.  The second that he is left alone in a room he starts to scream the place down, now he loves to be held and that is the only way we can get him to sleep most of the time.  Even if we are just popping to the toilet, we have to take him with us, he now hates being left alone for a second.


He is happy when Vanilla is awake, and when he is with her he is no trouble, but the moment that she wanders away from him or she is in her cot and asleep that is when the trouble starts.  It is almost like he is scared if he takes his eyes off us for a second we might disappear and not come back.

It is his sleeping habits that puzzle us a little.  He would rather sleep on the floor than in a cot.  He screams the place down if we even try to put him into one, or to bed like Vanilla.  Vanilla will sit or lie and natter to herself until she falls asleep, he just sits there screaming from the second he is put into the cot.  We can not work out if he has only ever lived his life on the floor, or if he is scared of the confines of the cot, because he has never been in one or has spent his life constantly in one, either way he is terrified of cots.

He screams so much, just even at the sight of one if he thinks that is where we are putting him, we can not even attempt to put him to bed at the same time as Vanilla, so while we are putting her to bed at her usual time, he is having to stay up so she can get some sleep.   He does not have a set sleeping pattern, he cat naps, not sleeping for long periods of time and does not seem to know the difference between day and night.

To stop him from keeping Vanilla awake with his crying and screaming, we have to keep him in our room.  The only place that he seems to be able to sleep comfortably other than on the floor, is in bed with us, which I know is not a good habit to let him get into, but it is the only way we seem to be able to get any sleep ourselves at the moment.   We are hoping when we get him home and into a routine we can get his sleeping problems sorted out.

Other than the crying and screaming, he is pretty much silent, there is no laughing or nattering, most of the time he just sits there looking at us with a gormless look especially when we are speaking to him, almost like we are speaking a foreign language to him.  He can not do half of the things that Vanilla does, we still can not get him to eat solid food, and trying to teach him to walk and talk is just not happening.   I think this little boy is going to be hard work and we are going to need the patience of saints. 

I can not wait to get him back home so that medically Dad can take a good look at him, because I am worried that there might be something wrong with him, but Crystal thinks he just needs time to get used to a normal life and to catch up.   I hope she is right.

As I stroll slowly along the beach holding Snow, while I am singing to him, he lies his head on my chest, which is a sign that he might be thinking about going to sleep.  I can not help but think that Crystal is really going to have her work cut out for her when I am away working and she has to look after the two toddlers on her own, especially with the way that Snow is right now.  I am due to go to Rainbow Valley in a few days and if she is still sick like this, she is never going to cope!!

When I glance down at Snow again, he has finally nodded off to sleep on me.

I take Snow into the bedroom where Vanilla is sleeping, I can not let him come to bed with me, like he normally would, just in case whatever is wrong with Crystal is catching.  The only good thing about having him in bed with us, it has stopped Crystal from constantly pestering me to be making babies, which amuses me a little.  There is no way that I can put him into the cot without starting him off so I have to make the floor comfortable for him.  I disturb Snow a little messing about in the room, while I am still holding him.  After rigging up a make shift bed for him on the floor using the mattress out of his cot, I have to lie on the floor with him until he falls back off to sleep again.

I tiptoe out of the room, taking the baby monitor and holding my breath, trying not to wake him, doubting that it will be long before he is screaming the place down and waking Vanilla up, when he realizes I am no longer there with him.  

I wander back out onto the beach, worrying about Crystal and how ill she might be.  I think I need to talk to River about it, he's a doctor he might be able to give me some idea about what it might be.  I stare at my phone, and hesitate, especially because of the time, but I have not really spoken to anyone at home since the photograph issue.  I have only spoken to Dad once briefly, because I had to explain to him about Phoenix and Snow coming back with us, and I refused to talk about the photographs.  

I search down my contacts for the big 'R' and hit the dial button.

"Oh Finally!!"  River starts laughing down the phone  "My little brother finally graces me with a phone call and he does it at stupid o'clock in the morning!!"  he laughs, I am surprised he is not shouting at me for waking me up!!  "Although it's no wander you haven't had time to phone me or answer my calls, Dad has been telling me about the eventful time you are having out there with the engagement, Phoenix and Snow!!  You just can't help yourself can you!!"  River continues laughing  "So have you finished spitting the dummy with me and are you talking to me again now?"

"Only because Crystal is sick."  I mumble

"How sick?"

"She keeps throwing up quite badly, she can't keep anything down, not even water, she has been like it all day, and all she wants to do is sleep."

"Well if she is still like it in the morning, take her to see a doctors, you will probably have to take her to the hospital seeing as you are out of town."  he mumbles  "What has she been eating, I hope you have kept away from the sea food!! 

"We only had squid and crab when Forrest was here, but that was nearly two weeks ago now.  She has been eating exactly the same things as me and Phoenix and we are both fine.

"Does she have a temperature, any chest or stomach pain, shakes, sweating, dizziness, headaches?"

"No none of that!!  Her temperature is fine and she has no pains, she just feels sick all the time and keeps throwing up."

"What about her bowls, constipation, the runs?"

"No they are normal." 

"Mmm that's interesting, so she just feels and is sick?"

"Yeah, thats all, other than she's washed out and tired."

"I take it she is still on her neurotic pregnancy test mission every morning without fail.  As we have heard no baby news, I am guessing she is still not pregnant, so we can rule morning sickness out."

"She has not actually taken a test since we have been out here, I banned her, but it can not be that, she has been sick all day and night, she would have stopped by dinnertime if she was pregnant."

"Who's told you that you wally!!"  River laughs  "Just because it is called morning sickness, it doesn't mean it only happens in the mornings.  For a majority it does, some don't get any morning sickness at all, but some get it really bad, morning noon and night - which would just be about Crystal's luck!!"  he laughs  "I suggest you get a test done, just to confirm or rule it out, it is the first thing the doctor should do anyway, with her lack of other symptoms."

"So it could actually be morning sickness?"
"It could be if her only symptom is the nausea, but, it is more than likely not if she still has you at it like rabbits!!"  he laughs  "I've told you I would imagine you are firing blanks now, how often you are performing!!"

"Actually I think I have finally talked some sense into her.  She is on a sex ban."  River starts howling at me  "So no we have not been at it like rabbits we have been doing it like the hospital told us to, once every three days."

"I'm shocked you have actually got her to listen finally - now you might actually get somewhere - but don't expect it to be instant Tap!!"

"I know, unlike Crystal, I have been listening!!  I know it might take us years."  I laugh at him  "What if she is pregnant, then what do I do?" 

"Oh Tap!!"  he starts howling at me  "It's not like you haven't been there before!"

"No idiot, I meant about her being sick as badly as she is."

"There is nothing you can do, if it is morning sickness, it will pass eventually."  he carries on laughing  "Just get her to do a test in the morning, if she is not pregnant then get her to the hospital."  he goes quiet for a moment  "Oh and if by some miracle you have actually done it and she is pregnant, then stop her medication straight away.  You are home tomorrow night, so we will deal with the rest when she gets home."

After the call with River has ended I just stand on the sand staring out at the sea and listening to the waves crashing onto the rocks and beach, while my mind goes off on one over what River has just said. 

"Tap what are you doing out here?  It is the middle of the night"  I hear Crystal behind me  "Who was you on the phone too?  I saw you through the window."

"I was talking to River about your sickness."   I smile at her  "Snow has had me up all night, he has finally gone to sleep, but I don't know how long for.  I have put the cot mattress on the floor and I had to lay on the floor with him until he went to sleep.  I could not let him come to bed with me because of you being sick. "  I roll my eyes  "Are you feeling better?"

"Not really, I've just been sick again!"  she pulls a face

"Is the supermarket here open 24 hours?"  she frowns at me and says she thinks so  "Are you up to watching the kids while I just pop to the supermarket, I'll be quick."

"What do you want from the supermarket?"

"River says we need to do a pregnancy test, it could be morning sickness, if all you are feeling is sick without any other symptoms."  she just laughs at me sarcastically which surprises me  "If you are not pregnant, then I've got to take you to see a doctor."

"That will teach you trying to be clever!!"  she laughs  "I had some test kits and you binned them, if you had left them alone, we would know already!!!"

"Okay!  Okay!!  But I can't take all the blame, if you had been listening in the first place then I would not have disposed of them!!  I am sick of watching you getting upset over every negative you get, we came on vacation to get a break from this remember!!" 

It only took me about half an hour to run to the supermarket, buy a handful of pregnancy test kits and return to the beach house.  While Crystal goes to the toilet, I wait out on the beach, pacing about nervously.  I never normally bother too much when she is taking the tests at home in the mornings, probably because I am always expecting nothing other than the negative that we get ever time.  For some reason this test is really bothering me, maybe because of the sickness, I am hoping that there is more of a chance than normal, that she might actually be pregnant this time.   

I seriously want this sickness to be morning sickness, because it will mean all our stress of this baby problem is over, and I might finally get the old Crystal back.  Also if she is pregnant then it means that she is not ill which is what is worrying me more right now.  

I know I can hope that this time it is going to be different, but all I am really expecting is yet another negative and Crystal to come out here crying her eyes out, because we are never going to get that lucky, especially not so soon!!

Suddenly I hear Crystal scream as she burst out of the doors and comes running towards me.  I can not judge by her face what the test might say, but she is not crying.

"Look!!"  she squeals as she holds out the stick to me

"I can't read remember!"

"It says Pregnant!!"  she starts laughing  "I did all of them and they all said the same!!" 

"Seriously?!"  I am shocked

"Yes we are getting a baby!!"  she squeals.

She throws herself into my arms as she is squealing with excitement, while I am still a little numb from the shock.  I am not sure that the baby news has hit me properly yet, I seriously can not believe it or take it in.  Even though I was hoping, I was still expecting tears, not this!!   Crystal had taken me a little off guard when she dived at me and I only just caught her, I nearly dropped her, trying to keep my feet firmly planted on the floor after she hit me with quite a force.

"Should you be bouncing about like an idiot?"  I laugh at her  "I think you need to start being a bit more careful now if you are pregnant!"

"IF!!  I am!!  Put me down!!"  Crystal starts to giggle  "I need to phone Lilly!"

"It is too late to be phoning my Mom now!!"  I laugh at her  "Wait until in the morning if you can't wait until we get home."

She starts dancing around in excitement which makes me laugh at first.  As I watch her jumping around like a coiled spring, I begin to worry about how I am going to calm her down, now that she is pregnant, how am I going to stop her from constantly bouncing around like a hyperactive child, which she does most of the time with her childish nature.  

Crystal stops jumping about and doubles over suddenly and starts throwing up in the sand again.  Relief suddenly washes over me, knowing I do not have to worry about her being ill anymore, because she isn't.  I think that is when it hit me properly!!  Oh Berry!!  We have done it ... we are having a baby!!

"I'm going to phone your Mom!"  she says as she wipes her mouth, she now does not seem bothered about being sick anymore, she has a huge grin on her face.

Before I get the chance to stop her she is off running towards the beach house in excitement, heading for her phone.  I am not sure that either of my parents will be too impressed about Crystal waking them up at this time, even with the baby news.  I start to chase after Crystal, trying to stop her from bombarding everyone with phone calls, if I know Crystal, my Mother will not be the only person she will be phoning.  

I have to stop chasing her when my phone suddenly starts ringing.  It is a very strange time in the morning for anyone to be phoning me, so I guess it must be important so I just answer the call straight away without checking to see who it is.

When I say hello there is a short silence before anyone speaks.

"Hello ... me Shadow."

I just stand there, shocked, confused, even thinking I'm going mad, hearing what is obviously a child's voice that I know I have heard before.  His voice haunts my dreams.  I suddenly become scared that I am dreaming the baby news and this phone call.  I pinch my arm really hard just to check that I am actually awake and not asleep and dreaming.

"HELLO!!"  he says again  "Tappy is you there?"

"Yes I'm here."  I mumble, hardly able to speak.

"What you doing Tappy?"  he asks and I just stand there silently not quite believing this call is happening.  "Is you still my friend?"

"Yes."  I mumble.

"Me and Stormie sees you singin loud with your green friend on the television.  I have a green friend like you."

I almost choke!!  

He mentioned Storm, calling him Stormie just like Vanilla and Magnolia do.  So he must be able to see spirits too.  Does he actually know that he has phoned me, he is calling me Tappy like he did in the cemetery.  He says he has seen me singing on the television with Rocky, he must know he is talking to me.   How the hell did he get my phone number?  Is he even old enough to know how to use a phone?  

This is just stupid!!


Suddenly I hear someone talking in the background.

"Shadow who are you talking to?"  I think I am going even madder because the person who spoke and is now laughing his head off sounded just like Cosmic.  "Hey mate, the little monkey has only gone and lifted your phone again!!"  It is Cosmic!!

"How the hell does he keep doing it without me even noticing!!  You know he only went and phoned Sunny the other day, asking him to come round!!  I should never have let Lime teach him how to read!!"  somebody else speaks.  

Again I recognize this different voice straight way.  Hearing Jazz's voice sends really cold shivers through me, realizing that this call is coming from the vampberry den and Jazz's phone!!

"Shadow what have I told you, my phone is NOT a toy and you are NOT to keep playing with it!!" 

"Me wants to talk ...."  the little boy starts to say

"Yes we know Mr Chatterbox, you always want to talk!!"  Jazz laughs  "If you want to speak to your Granddad, you know you have to wait until he has the time to come round and see you!!"  Jazz says seriously  "I have told you, you can not keep phoning your Granddad to ask him to come round, especially not at this time, he will be asleep!!" 

"No Daddy, me speak to Tappy!!"

"Since when ... has your cat had a phone!!"  Jazz and Cosmic both start howling with laughter  "Tappy is downstairs curled up and asleep on Lime's bed, so I will take you down to meow with him if you like!  Your cat does not have a phone, so you are just wasting my battery AGAIN!!"  Jazz continues to laugh and the little boy laughs with him.  "Now give me my phone you little monster before I tickle your bones!!"

The boy squeals with laughter and the call is cut off.

As the call cuts off, my mind starts to explode.  Something suddenly comes back to me from the night in the cemetery.  Shadow had been playing with my phone, him just saying  'Hello me Shadow'  reminds me of that.  I wander why I had forgotten and not remembered that part of our conversation when he was playing with my phone.  

Suddenly I think about him seeing the photograph of Vanilla and thinking she was in the phone.  I took a photograph of him didn't I!?  Something else that I have not remembered until now.

I start to flick back through the mountains of photographs that I have taken since that night, trying to find it.   As I plough through the photographs ... this vacation, pictures of Snow, Vanilla, Ocean, Lyric, Crystal, photographs I have taken while I have been out on the road at work ... I am doubting myself, wandering if I really did take a photograph of him or am I just imagining it.

Suddenly I stop, as I stare in confusion at a photograph of Honey and my babies graves which I really do not remember taking.  I have to tilt my phone to look at the photo properly, because the photo was taken from a strange angle.

I flick back to the next photograph ... and there he is!!!  

I am staring at a photograph of the little boy from the cemetery.  Shadow is sat there smiling at me.  His eyes are shining, I knew I had not imagined this!!  All this time I have had this photograph on my phone, and my stupid brain had not remembered or even thought about it!!  

As I look closely at the photograph I spot something that shocks me.  I pull the phone closer to my eyes, just to double check that I am not seeing things.  Not only are his eyes shining, but I spot the two pointed fangs, either side of his mouth, that are hanging slightly over his bottom lip.  He just told me he sees Storm!!  He was very cold.  I have thought since that night, about the strange wind that I was hearing and blowing over me, and I think now that it sounded like the noise a vampberry makes when it moves at speed.  I thought that night in the cemetery he was hearing my thoughts, which I think might be my imagination, because not even the originals can hear me, I am silent to them.  He is in the vampberry den with Jazz, for berry's sake!!

That kid definitely has to be a vampberry!!!

Vampberry babies do not exist ... my ass!!  

As I continue to stare at the photograph of Shadow, I get the nasty feeling that I might have just uncovered more of their cover ups and lies!!  

Sunny said I was sat in the cemetery talking to myself, but I wasn't, this photograph proves it, so why did he tell me otherwise?!   Why ever since that night, have I had Storm, Cosmic, River, Dad and Sunny constantly pecking my head trying to convince me that this boy is not real, when he so obviously is!!

Why would they want to hide the existence of this boy from me?  Sunny obviously knows him according to what Jazz said??  Storm and Cosmic, neither of them have ever mentioned this boy to me, why?  

The more I think about it, the weirder it gets.  Why does my baby and this boy have the same name??  He also has the same colouring, all orange with red eyes.  A lot of things that have been said are bugging me.  He called Jazz, Daddy ... since when!?  According to River vampires reproductive systems don't work, so Jazz being the boys Dad, is impossible!!  The Granddad that keeps being mentioned is also really bugging me, if he sleeps he is mortal.  Jazz thinking that Shadow was phoning his Granddad to ask him to visit, not realizing he had actually called me.  Jazz also mentioned that Shadow had lifted his phone before and called Sunny to ask him to visit.  I am sure that Shadow said his Granddad was yellow when he was sat there teaching me my colours ... is Sunny actually Shadow's Granddad?!  

I think about something that he said when I asked him where his parents were and he had pointed towards the bushes and said  "There, me hears them.  Daddy is mad again!!  Honey naughty, she bring me outside and she burn Shadow!!"  Saying Daddy I now know he was talking about Jazz, so Honey is that his mothers name?!  Honey ...

Alarm bells start ringing in my head, something seriously is not right here!!  

What I am starting to think, even for me is seriously stupid!!

Sunny ... Honey ... Is that boy .... my Shadow?!

I need to confront them and find out the truth!!  Now that I have thought that, I am seriously going to drive myself crazy until I find out!!  I know I am probably being an idiot but ... there are just too many things that point my head in that direction.
I now know that I definitely have the proof to prove that the little boy in the cemetery was not the drunken hallucination that they said I was having ... me sitting there talking to him was real ... he is real!!

I also now know exactly where to find him ... in the vampberry den!!