Saturday, 25 July 2015

Short Hiatus

I am sorry for the lack of chapters.

My Grandmother has passed away so I need to take a short time out, to clear my head.

I will be back as soon as I can.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Chapter 49 - Gen 2 - Tapestry

Honey is standing there scowling nastily at both me and Lime mainly, Sunny she seems to be ignoring for the most part.  Us three mortals are like scared rabbits frozen in car headlights, stood in front of Honey.  One of us, even all three of us, being hit by the vampberry could only be seconds away.  Seconds is all it will take for her to fly at us and we are too weak and defenseless to stop it.

I am very nervous, now knowing how evil she is, remembering the last time she was out of her cage, and our last encounter when she went for my throat.  Only this time there is nobody in the room to protect either me, Sunny or Lime from her if she goes off on one, other than Shadow, which does not fill me with a lot of confidence.  He might be a vampberry like she is, but he is just a toddler, we can't expect him to protect us.

Shadow is really not helping my nerves by standing there hissing and snarling at her nastily like a wild animal that is waiting to attack.  I really wish, at this moment in time, that I was stood right next to him so I can hold his hand and hear exactly what is going through Honey's mind.

     "Well this looks very cosy!!  Since when did this place turn into a doss house for mortals?"  Honey scoffs as she starts laughing and not in a nice way, it is more like an evil witches cackle.

The three of us just stand there and say nothing.  I think we are all too scared to move or speak, in case it triggers Honey into doing anything.  As long as she stays stood there, the three of us are safe!!  Honey has her head cocked to one side now and is intensely eying Lime, a frown washes over her face.  I am guessing she can hear the babies heart beat, and I can see she is confused by it.

     "How the hell did you get out of your cage Honey?"  Sunny snaps at her

Honey ignores Sunny too busy now glaring at Lime,

     "Who's is the brat bitch?"  she snaps at Lime now with an intense scowl on her face

Lime does not speak, but I don't think she needs to, Honey no doubt is listening to both Lime and Sunny's thoughts, and I bet they have both thought about Jazz, just like I have.  Honey roars very angrily suddenly as she instantly flies at Lime.

Honey moves so quickly it is just a blur to my eyes.  When the movement stops I can see that she now has a firm hold of Lime.  Lime screams as Honeys teeth sink into her neck.  I can almost feel her fear and pain, remembering I have been in exactly that situation myself before.

Me, Sunny and Shadow all fly at Honey at the same time, trying to stop her from draining the life out of Lime.  While me and Sunny are yelling at Honey to let her go, both of us trying to reason with her to stop.   At one time she would have listened to both me and Sunny, but not anymore.  She sinks her teeth even deeper into Limes neck. Sunny tries to pull Honey by the arm unsuccessfully and Shadow flies at her, biting into Honey's leg quite viciously, snarling as he does it.

Shadow continuously taking chunks out of her leg makes Honey suddenly let go of Lime, who falls to the floor.  I watch in horror as Honey forcefully kicks Shadow away, almost like he is a football, which sends him flying cross the room, landing on the couch.  It does not seem to bother him as he gets up and within seconds has flown back at Honey, attacking her again.

Honey goes for Lime again, but Sunny jumps in between them shouting at Honey while I drag Lime away, I think Sunny is the last one that Honey will hurt, and because of Jazz's baby, Lime is going to be the one that Honey wants most, followed by me. Where the hell are the vampberry's and spirits when we need them?!

Honey starts to yell back at Sunny who is stood right in front of her yelling in her face.  I watch in horror again, this time as Sunny fly across the room, Honey has literally picked him up and thrown him.  Sunny's whole body smashes into the wall with force, enough to send bricks and dust flying around him.  He drops to the floor like a lead weight.  He does not make a sound or move a muscle he looks like he has been knocked out cold.  Shadow lets out a really loud and nasty roar as he climbs onto the couch and flies straight at Honey's face. 

I watch Lime crawling, from behind the couch where I had dragged her too, over to Sunny,  She is screaming at Shadow to move away from Honey, like I am, but he is not listening as he continues to fly at and sink his teeth into Honey.  They start snarling and fighting like a pair of wild animals.

I start screaming at them in blind panic, as I watch Honey sink her teeth into Shadows arm.  Shadow is only a toddler, I am scared of what she might be able to do to him, terrified that she might dispose of him completely, even though he is trying his best to keep her away from us, really he does not stand a chance being so small.  She stands there shaking him almost like he is a rag doll while she holds him at arms length.  I run at her, all I want to do is get Shadow away from her.  As I hit honey, trying to distract her away from Shadow, she throws him, I watch him smash into the wall, but he just roars and comes flying straight back at her.

Within second she has me pinned on the floor.

Honey's hand tightens painfully around my throat and I am struggling to breath.  Why does she keep going for my throat?!  Honey hovers over me laughing which starts to irritate me along with all the other noises going on around me.  Shadow is snarling as he repeatedly sinks his teeth into Honey, and Lime is screaming, not only Shadow's name but also Sunny's, which I don't understand.

Without saying anything Honey's face just comes at me slowly, and I can't work out what she is doing, at first.  She tries to kiss me, but I stay tight lipped as I try to wriggle and move my mouth away from her cold lips.  She just glares nastily at me as she hovers above me, she is probably now hacked off that I have just refused to kiss her.

     "If I can't have you, then nobody will!!"  she mumbles

Honey suddenly releases the grip on my throat as her teeth sink painfully into my neck.

I close my eyes as I scream because of the pain running through my neck.  I remember this feeling and get a flash back of the last time I felt it, realizing that I had forgotten just how painful this was.  I am stupid, I have been stupid on two counts.  I could have dived through her eyes when she was hovering over me, and compelled her to stop, but I did not even think about my ability.  I also should have just responded to her kissing in a better way, by letting her kiss me and returning the kiss, then she would not be now sucking on my neck and draining the life out of me instead.   I always guessed my stupidity would finish me off in the end!!

I do not even try to fight her as I feel her sucking the blood and life out of me, I know there is nothing that I can do to stop her.  I think if it is going to happen then I just hope it comes quickly.  I am not scared of fading, because I know it is not the end, I just don't want to leave my mortal life right now!!

Suddenly, I hear a loud roar and Honey moves off me, and her teeth rip out of my skin painfully with her sudden retreat.  My eyes snap open and I see her being dragged away from me by Jazz.  I have never been so happy to see him in my life!!  I struggle to sit up, feeling very dizzy while I'm holding my neck.  Shadow dives onto my lap and lies on me.  I can see he is crying, so I put my arms around him and hold him tight.

I sit on the carpet and watch, something that seems to play out in very slow motion right in front of me.  Jazz is stood behind her, he has a tight grip on her and a very strange expression on his face, one that I have never seen him wearing before.  I think I am seeing the cold, callous evil vampberry in him for the very first time.

Honey lets out the most awful roar and scream that I have ever heard in my life.  The sound coming from her goes straight through me and actually hurts my ears.  Suddenly Honey just starts to fall to pieces, she disintegrates right in front of my eyes. until she is nothing but a dark pile of dust on the carpet.  I have seen this before, when me and Storm disposed of the three vampberry's in the alley way in Sandlewood Heights, so I know exactly what is happening and what it means.  Jazz is stood there with what looks like a small broken wooden stick in his hand.

The room seems to go deadly silent for a moment before Lime bursts into tears and starts screaming, which makes Jazz fly straight over to her.  I just sit on the carpet numb, holding Shadow tight while I stare at the pile of dust on the carpet, that once was Honey.  I think that is when the shock and realization sets in ... now I know she really has gone ... forever!!

Jazz has just disposed of Honey permanently.

While Jazz checks that Lime is not too badly hurt, she explains everything that happened.  Jazz bites into her wrist to taste her blood, to make sure Honey did not release any venom.  I guess I also have that coming, more bite marks.  I just stare numbly at the piece of wood that Jazz has dropped on the carpet, not far from Honey's remains.  I realize he has pulled apart and destroyed one of Shadow's rocking horses, for the wood off the rocker, which is now lay in pieces on the floor.

     "Leave him Lime, he has gone."  I hear Jazz mumbling miserably behind me.  "There really is nothing that can be done for him now."

Lime starts to really cry, which at first I find strange, because I am not sure that what Jazz has just said has sunk into to my brain properly.

     "Aren't you at least going to check him and try to do something."  Lime says frantically
     "There is no point Lime, Sunny's lights have gone out completely, he is totally silent.  It is too late, even for turning."  Jazz starts choking and cracking up, which I think is what makes it hit me.

Sunny has faded!!

I just continue to sit on the carpet, now frozen in shock as I turn away from Honey's remains to look over at Sunny's body.  At first I can not understand how he has faded, then I remember how hard he had hit the wall, a hell of a lot harder than River had hit the wall when I watch him being thrown by a vampberry. 

Hell!!  How is Crystal going to take this?!  Vanilla!!  I can feel the tears starting to sting the back of my eyes, and I let them roll down my cheeks, forcing them to come to stop my head from going, thinking more so about how that could have quite easily been River the day we encountered the vampberrys in the alley way and they smashed him up the wall.  I could quite easily have lost River that day like we are losing Sunny now.  Sunny fading is going to upset a lot of people in the extended family, it is going to be like Storm and Cinnamon fading all over again!

I watch as Jazz gently pulls Lime up to her feet, he kisses her face and neck, putting his hand on her stomach as he stands listening, I presume to the baby.  He hugs Lime and tells her the baby is fine, she just stands there and continues to cry, while I just continue to sit numbly watching.

I suddenly remember Honey biting Shadow and check his arm, there is not even a mark.  As I frown down at his arm, I wander if I had imagined her biting him.  Shadow mumbles quietly, telling me that vampberrys, unlike mortals, any wounds or damage to their bodies repairs itself in seconds.  Vampberry's can not be hurt, only disposed of.  I knew that!!  I just was not thinking straight, doubting what I thought I saw.

Jazz comes over to me then and takes Shadow off me and looks him over then helps me up to my feet.  He checks my neck and asks me if I am alright and I just nod as I stand there staring at him like a dumb idiot.  He takes my wrist and bites into it, but it is nowhere near as painful, he does it gently and does not go in very deep.  He smiles at me as he wipes his mouth and tells me I am all clear.  Thankfully Honey did not try to turn either of us, she was only trying to suck the life out of both me and Lime.

Jazz moves away with Shadow and I hear him talking to him behind me.

I hear Jazz explaining to Shadow what has just happened to Honey, I don't think that he has seen a vampberry disintegrate before.  He tells him he's a clever brave boy for trying to protect the three of us, then he starts saying something about Sunny, but I stop listening and get lost in my own thoughts as I stand, like Lime just staring at Sunny's body.

I can not help but think that without Shadow being here, both me and Lime would have probably been lying next to Sunny.  He hampered Honey's progress and slowed her down, with his constant attacking.  Shadow definitely stopped Honey from draining Lime, I think she only dropped Lime to get rid of Shadow's nuisance.  However, Sunny out of the three of us is the last one that I thought Honey would fade, I can not help but wander if she meant to fade him or if it was accidental.

I hear Jazz get out his phone and he starts making a few phone calls, River, Omri, Maizie, he is trying to round everyone up while I just continue to numbly stare at Sunny's body.

Storm floats into the room, Jazz tells him quickly what has happened and tells him to round up the other spirits, especially Saffy, and to let Omri out of Honey's cage.  Storm exchanges a painful glance with me before he leaves the room again.  I stand there still not really taking in what has happened, I can not help but watch Shadow who is now sat on the floor playing with a dolls house like nothing has happened.

      "Tap ... I'm sorry about Honey."  Jazz mumbles  "I had no choice for all our sakes!!   You can see what she has done to Sunny, and you would have gone with him if I hadn't stopped her when I did ... Shadow, Vanilla, Lime, Crystal, berry knows who else she would have gone for, we both have unborn babies at stake here!!"  he sighs  "I could have thrown her back in her cage, but she could have got lose again in the future, none of us were safe with her here, she was so uncontrollable and unpredictable."

I just stare at him, I know he is right, but still it does not make it any better.  I hated seeing what she had become since she was turned, it hurt that she was not my Honey anymore, but at least she was still here and I hoped in time she might calm down and become a little more like her old self.  I have only just got used to her still being here and now I will have to grieve all over again, because now she really has gone.  Even though I did not love her in the true sense of the word, I loved her in a different way, she was my rock and best friend for the best part of my life, she is the Mother of my children, and I would give anything to have the old Honey back right now.  Instead I have to accept that now, finally, she has gone forever.

     "How did she get out?"
     "Omri.  She told him the tap in her sink was broke so he went into her cage to look.  She took him by surprise when the door was open, she knocked him across the room, and by the time he was up and on his feet she had locked him in.  Thankfully she did not destroy him!!  He phoned me to tell me she was loose, luckily I came straight down here."

My eyes drift to Shadow, who is really puzzling me.  After what he has just witnessed, Honey being disposed of and knowing Sunny has faded, who he was close too, yet he is sat there playing like nothing, he is even singing away to himself.  Emotionally he is like a mortal, he feels and he crys, I would have expected him to be very upset right now, especially over Sunny.

     "It is okay Dad!"  Shadow looks up at me  "Nasty Honey can not hurt us any more, and Daddy says we will see Granddad Sunny later, he will come back as a ghosty soon."

Of course he will, and I was not thinking about it logically, and that is why Shadow is not upset. River comes rushing into the room.  Of course his first concern is me and especially if I am going to lose it.  He stares in horror at my neck and starts to fuss but I brush him off, telling him I am fine and have to assure him that I am not going to have an outburst.

He takes a quick look at Limes neck before he goes over to check Sunny's body.  It is Lime who tells River what happened, I am struggle to even speak and string a sentence together at the moment.  We all stand silently and watch him checking Sunny over..  It does not take him long to stand up with a glum look on his face, Shadow goes over to River.

     "From what I can see he has a slight head injury, however his neck is visibly badly broken and that is probably what is responsible for him fading. "  River says quietly.

Now he has said it, you can actually see it.  The horrible angle that Sunny's head is lying at, in comparison to his body and his neck looks bulged and strange.  I can not help but think this is just a little ironic.  Saffy has told me that a broken neck is why he faded, which he suffered when Sunny pushed him out of the tree, while they were arguing over Saffy being gay.  Now Sunny has faded in exactly the same way.

     "Was he struggling to breath at all, does anyone know?"  River asks no one in particular
     "No, there was no asphyxiation"  Shadow answers him  "I heard his heart stop immediately, he was faded before he even hit the floor. If his neck is broken then he probably faded due to spinal shock."
     "Well get you little man!!"  River stares at Shadow wide eyed as he picks him up  "And what do you know about spinal shock?"
      "Spinal Shock = occurs when the cord is severely injured or transected, cut or torn in half.  There is a sudden loss of nerve supply to the entire body, including the blood vessels and heart.  The patient may suffer a profound and sudden drop in blood pressure.  The patient fades almost instantaneously."  Shadow grins at River.  "I have read all your medical journals, which reminds me, I need you to bring me some new ones."
     "Well the little doctor here has got the diagnosis spot on."  River is still staring at Shadow wide eyed as he starts to chuckle.  "Tap, how the hell did you manage to create this little brain box?!"

I step away from River and Jazz and just watch and listen quietly as everyone starts to pile into the room.  My head is swimming and I almost feel like I am in some kind of lethargic daze.  Omri is mortified he thinks this is his fault because he was stupid enough to fall for her trick, but none of us blame him or think it is his fault.  It is Honey and nobody else to blame.

Cosmic and Saffy take Sunny's body into another room which I am glad off, otherwise I would have just stood there continuously staring at it.  I hear Jazz telling them to sit and wait for his spirit to leave his body.  I know already what they are probably planning to do, stop him from passing over and adding him to their growing army of spirits.

For the time being Dad is being kept out of this and in the dark about Sunny's passing, because we all know how much this is going to upset him, along with the rest of their school 'gang'.  Even though Sunny irritates the hell out of Jazz, I can see how cut up he is about this, like Cosmic, they know him losing his mortal life is not the end for him, but still they are upset.  Even Lime seems to be struggling with it, she has not stopped crying yet.  The ten of them have always had a mad close bond going on with them. 

River, who has stepped into Dad's normal shoes of sorting out the mess, is right in the middle of the conversation, as they start plotting and decide on how and where they are going to leave Sunny's body to be found.  Somewhere, where it is plausable for him to have fallen to have broken his neck and obtained the injury to the back of his head.  The best place they think is at the bottom of some steps.  River throws a spanner in the works when he says that it needs to be done immediately because the time that he faded can be worked out during an autopsy, which his body will have to have to determine the exact cause of death.

I switch my head off from their conversation, not sure that I can listen to much more of it, especially as my eyes have now wandered to Honey's remains that are still sat on the carpet, which everyone seems to be forgetting and ignoring, which is beginning to nark me.  As I stand there I suddenly feel myself swaying and I go light headed, I feel dizzy as well as sick, and my vision starts to blur and I know I am passing out.  I black out before I hit the floor.

I wake up lying on the bed with a blood drip in my arm.  Shadow is sitting by me on the bed, holding my arm while he is  talking to Lime, who also has a drip in her arm.  In all the commotion of Sunny fading nobody had thought about the blood that Honey had drained out of the both of us, or even how much she might have taken.  Obviously she must have taken a little more out of me than I thought, and that is probably been why I have not really been with it since.  I feel the stitches pull in my neck as I turn my head, and guess that either River or Maizie have been sewing while I was out.

While River forces me to eat toast and drink milkshake, we have a chat, and he tells me what is happening and what I have to do.  I try to pull myself together and take Shadow into the living room to watch some television, hoping to take mind off things.  My eyes automatically search out Honey's remains on the carpet but they are not there.  Seeing they have gone, I start to panic.

     "It's okay Dad!  Mommy has swept up Honey's ashes and put them in a jar for you.  She thinks you might want to bury them with her headstone in the cemetery."  Shadow smiles at me.

I just smile back at him as we sit down to watch a movie on the Disney channel, and for once Shadow sits quietly and does not natter his way thought it, not that I can really concentrate on it anyway. 

Sunny's body has already been taken from the den, and placed at the bottom of the steep steps that lead down into the meadow from the road that divides the meadow and the woods.  Luckily they are not used too often and are over on the other side of the meadow quite a distance away from the warehouse, which hides this den underneath.  It was the only thing that they could do in the daylight and quickly enough so that his time of fading did not appear suspicious.  Cosmic and Saffy have gone with his body, to catch his spirit when it wakes up.  Glimmer has gone to watch over Crystal while Storm is hanging around me, but at a distance and he is very quiet, knowing not to bug me too much in these kind of situations because he knows I might lose it.

Shadow is visibly tired, he is sitting on my lap and he is fighting sleep, occasionally his head nods and he jumps, waking himself back up again.  He does this a lot, and Dad has laughed watching him doing it, saying he gets that from me, I used to be exactly the same he said, he thinks I was always too scared that I was going to miss something by being asleep.  I, like Shadow, used to be a nightmare to get off to sleep.  I try to put Shadow in his cot but he won't have any of it, even climbing out of it, so I take him over to the rocking chair and try to rock him to sleep, which is something I remember I used to love when I was a child.

I feel a little trapped, I can not appear at home before I am scheduled to, and I am not due home until tomorrow night.  I feel like I should be at home, for Crystal and Vanilla, when the news of Sunny fading breaks out, but they have told me I have to stay put.  If I turn up before I am supposed to, it might look a little suspicious, I might even become a suspect if the police are in anyway suspicious over his death.  They think Crimson and Elderberry might dig into the cause of his death a little deeper than they need too, being family and police officers.  Finding an answer for why he was using those particular steps is going to be a question on everyone's lips. 

I suddenly feel like I am caught up in another web of lies and deceit, just like after the abduction, and it really worries me.  Now all I can do is sit here and wait for my phone to start ringing off the hook, like I know it will when Sunny's body has been found

I hate that I can not be there for Crystal, Vanilla and Snow when I know they will need me.


Saturday, 4 July 2015

Chapter 48 - Gen 2 - Tapestry

I have sneaked back into Sugar Valley completely undercover and in secret.  Officially I am not back in town for another two days yet, as far as my family at home are concerned.  Something that I have had to do to spend more than just a few hours with Shadow!!  I hate all the lies and deceit, especially having to lie to Crystal, Vanilla and Snow!!

I drop my bags down in the small cold room, and start taking off my disguise - the jacket, hoody, shoes, clothes, hat, glasses and remove the orange contacts that I was wearing to slip back into my home town unnoticed, most of which I bought off a homeless guy in Berry Plains after I bought him a whole new load of clothes.  I looked like a travelling busking bum, with my tatty clothes and battered guitar case that I brought from a charity shop.  Surprisingly the disguise worked!!  Not a single person clocked onto who I am, not even the taxi driver, who knows me very well, that dropped me off near to the park.  The hoody hood hid most of my face so nobody could see my face properly for the most part, and I only spoke when I had to.

Just as I am fastening up my shoes my phone starts to ring.  I am amused to hear the ring tone that I have set for Shadow.  I answer the phone but say nothing - testing him out.  He has strict instructions not to speak until he knows it is me answering the phone.  Up until now he has managed to do it ever time.  I have warned him that it might not always be me answering the phone, especially if I am at home, and if he messes up I will have to take the phone off him.

     "Speak little man."  I laugh into the phone
     "Can you bring me some juice out of the fridge on the way past the kitchen please Dad."  Shadow laughs  "And crisps I am hungry."
     "You are always hungry!!"  I laugh, guessing he can hear that I am now inside the den.  "You cheeky little monkey, what did your last slave fade of?"
     "He has not faded yet.  Thanks Dad!!"  he giggles then cuts the call off.

I can not help but laugh at him.

Sunny, Dad and River know what I am up to and that I am sneaking into town, but nobody else does.  The three of them have bets on whether I can actually pull it off, and as usual, only River has faith in me to do it!!  Dad and Sunny did not think that I could get from Berry Shores to here without being recognized, which I have surprisingly managed to do, and yet again, proved them wrong!!

I have been out in Berry Shores for a few weeks with Rocky, putting the final touches to our joint album.  There was no need for Prelude to come with me this time, so I traveled alone which has given me the opportunity to slip out of existence for the next 48 hours, so that I can spend a few days with Shadow.  The thought of living in this place for the next two days is not a nice one, even if I will get to be with Shadow.

Shadow had got very upset when I told him I could not visit him for a few weeks because I was away working.  While I found it quite cute, It broke my heart to see him crying his little heart out because he did not want me to go.  I seriously hate this situation and wished there was something that I could do to change it!!  I ended up having to buy him a phone so that he could talk to me all the time that I was away.  A phone of his own is something that he has wanted for a while anyway, apparently, so it put a smile on his face for a little while.  He has already phoned me half a dozen times today asking what time I will get here.

I am finding Shadow very strange to get my head around, and not because he is a vampberry.  He is only a toddler in body, but his mind is far from being child like.  Talking to him is like talking to a much older child, adult even sometimes, he is so clever he astounds me most of the time, and a lot of the time he makes me feel stupid and thick.  I am just glad that neither Vanilla or Shadow have inherited any of my disabilities.

After doing a detour to the kitchen Shadow is waiting for me out in the corridor, right outside the kitchen and living room door, ready to pounce.  The little monkey could have fetched his own juice and crisps.  He is excited to see me and runs at me, he throws himself at me with force and knocks me flying onto my backside, which he thinks is hysterical.  Once I have picked myself up and dusted myself off, I pick him up.

     "Sorry!!  I forget you are just a mortal weakling."  he giggles at me  "I'll be careful next time!!"
     "Yes, because the last thing I need is broken bones right now!!  I am due to go on tour in a month and I could really do without broken arms, legs or worse!!"
     "Tour ... doesn't that mean you will be traveling?  How long are you going to be away for?"  he pulls a pouty face
     "Two months."  I cringe as I watch his face drop  "Don't worry, it will fly by and I'll speak to you every day on the phone.  River is going to show us how to use Face Time on the computer."
     "It's not the same!!"  he mumbles
     "I know but I'm sorry, its my job, it is something that I have to do to promote the album!!"  I smile at him  "If I could take you with me I would, but you know that is impossible!!"
      "Is Nilla going with you?"  I frown at him wandering why he is calling her Nilla suddenly  "Storm calls her Nilla." he answers my question obviously listening to my thoughts.
      "No she is not coming with me this time."

I am excited and nervous about our first tour.  I am glad that the Rocky Storm album is going out first rather than my own solo one.  Touring is all new to me and I will get to learn the ropes on this tour with Rocky who has done it many times before.  It is the time that I am having to spend away from home that I am not looking forward to, especially with Crystal being pregnant, a tour that we kept short for just that reason. 

It always upsets me when Shadow mentions Vanilla, and he does it a lot.  I really hate that I have to keep Shadow and Vanilla apart, and especially hate that I can not take him home with me, where he should be.  I am really struggling with this whole situation.  I give myself headaches agonizing over whether Vanilla and Shadow should ever meet when they are older.  I don't worry about Shadow, it is Vanilla, I do not really want her to know about this world, because if she knows about it she might get involved in it, and it has not done me a lot of good so far!! 

     "Are you really sleeping over?"  he asks me in excitement
     "Yes!"  I laugh at him  "For two days.  Who told you, it was supposed to be a surprise."
     "Nobody, I hear them thinking remember."  he grins at me  "Did you bring your guitar?"
     "Yes I've brought it"  I laugh at him

I find it a little ironic that Shadow is into music and appears to have inherited my musical talent, when Vanilla is not interested in it at all.  Even for a toddler he sings really well and he can play a lot of tunes on his xylophone, I know when he gets older I am going to have to have to buy him a load of musical instruments, he is already asking for them, and wants me to teach him how to play the guitar.  It makes me think about what kind of life he is going to have, and makes me really sad that he will never be able to have a normal life, marriage, children, a career, all he has to look forward to are centuries of being a blood sucking vampire trapped in this place.

I hand him one of the first copies of the finished Rocky Storm album, that is being released in a few weeks time.  He grins at me as he takes the CD off me that I just pulled out of my jacket and he starts to inspect it, opening the cover and starts to read what is inside, which is more than I can do.

While we walk down the corridor and the two flights of stairs to get to Shadows rooms with me carrying him, he drinks the carton of juice really quickly and starts on the crisps.  While he is eating I tell him about the house I am buying out in Berry Shores and where I will be going on the up and coming tour, taking advantage of his silence because when he is eating and sleeping, that is the only time he stops talking and you can get a word in edgeways most of the time.

He screws up the empty crisp packet, and stuffs it into my jacket pocket which amuses me.  I just stare at him wide eyed and laugh at him as he grins at me cheekily.

     "Dad, I need to warn you.  It is like a war zone in this place right now!"  Shadow tuts  "They are giving me a right headache with their shouting!!"  he says dramatically.
     "Why what is going on?"
     "Mommy and Daddy have made a baby and everyone is mad with them."  he starts laughing
     "Don't be silly, vampberry's can not make babies!!"
     "Oh yes they can!"  he laughs  "Daddy did not realize he was not firing blanks."
     "And what do you know about firing blanks?"  I snigger as I stare at him wide eyed
     "Plenty."  he grins at me  "I know exactly how babies are made and how the male and female reproduction organs work.  I can tell you if you like."
     "No you are okay, I think I know how it works!!"  I laugh at him

He frightens me sometimes by how much and what he knows, far more than a child should at his age!!  Shadow has always got his head stuck in a book, I've even seen him researching things on the internet. 

River and Dad are loving the new little family geek, their conversations together are way over my head, I can not understand a lot of the vocabulary that they use when they are talking to each other.   Shadow's Granddad and Uncle are both fueling his thirst for knowledge and information, by supplying him with all the books that he wants and asks for, especially medical journals, which amuses me no end.

I do not like some of the things that he sees, reads or has to hear, however there is nothing that can be done about it.  There is nothing that can be hidden from him, he's hearing everyone's thoughts, not even the adult content can be kept censored away from him.  He is so sensible and intelligent, there is nothing that gets past him and nothing that he probably has not seen, heard or knows about already.

     "Have you seen your Mom while I have been away?"  I ask him wandering if by some miracle Honey has calmed down any.
     "NO and I don't intend to!!!"  he snaps  "I don't like nasty Honey and she is NOT my Mom!!  My Mommy is green!!"
     "I might go down and see if I can talk to her again while I am here."  I mumble out loud because I know that he is listening to what I am thinking anyway.
     "OH NO YOU WON'T!!"  he frowns at me  "She's nasty, she has not calmed down any, she has got worse if anything!!  Even Daddy keeps away from her, and so should you, she wants to fade you remember!!"
     "Okay, okay keep your shirt on!!  It was just an idea."  I laugh at him trying to lighten the mood, because he now looks cross.  Suddenly I feel like the child being told off by a parent.
     "A VERY silly idea Dad!!"

It makes me really sad to hear him saying he does not like Honey, even though I can understand why, she is still his Mother at the end of the day, and if she was not a vampberry she would be her old sweet self and she would have loved both Vanilla and Shadow.

We decide to sit down to watch the television together.  I thought it would give me a chance to chill out, relax and switch my head off for a few hours.  I need to unwind after a very busy few weeks, as well as I feel a little drained probably from jet lag.

Shadow crawls onto my lap and has the controls and starts to flick about all the music channels which really irritate me, Storm was always a terrible channel hopper, and I used to hate it, the moment you start getting an interest in something, it has gone because the channel has been switched.

At first the cold coming from Shadow's body, as he sits on my lap, is very unpleasant, it stings my legs and makes me shiver.  However I know that the longer that he sits on my lap, the warmer he will get until he does not feel that cold to me anymore.  It is not my body getting used to his coldness either, it is Shadow and another one of the strange things that he does that none of the other vampberry's do.  His body seems to absorb and retain heat, especially other peoples body heat and the heat from the sun.  It is like his body warms up and adjusts it's temperature to suit its surroundings, when he is in contact with warm objects.  Jazz really can not get his head around it.

Shadow stops flicking channels suddenly and I see why.  We sit watching the music video for the newest Rocky Storm song that is in the charts.  I seriously hate seeing and hearing myself on the television.  Shadow sits there singing away like he knows the song already which surprises me.

     "Why is that lady all over you?"  Shadow asks pointing at the screen  "Who is she?"
     "She is just a dancer."  I laugh at him
     "She looks more like a pole dancer with hardly any clothes on, and you are the pole!"  this really makes me laugh because that is actually how I had felt at the time while we were shooting the video.
     "It is just a music video, and part of her dance act, she is only dancing round me for a minute, see she's moved away now."  I frown at him  "Anyway what do you know about pole dancers?!"
     "Pole dancing - a form of entertainment in which a scantily dressed woman dances erotically, turning on and posing against a vertically fixed pole on a stage.  A type of erotic dance performed around a fixed vertical pole"
     "You have been reading the dictionary again!"  I laugh at him 
     "Yeah, but I have seen lots of them in different movies."  he grins at me   "They try to look sexy and men throw money at them."  

     "I am surprised they have not banned that song and especially the video!"  he starts laughing
     "What?!"  I frown then laugh at him  "You think it should be banned because of the scantily dressed dancers?"
     "No silly!!"  he starts having hysterics at me  "It is the statement you are making metaphorically, I doubt it goes down too well in the colour coded world.  You would have to be 'colourblind' or stupid not to see it!!  The song is bad enough on it's own, but the video really helps to smack it home."  I stare at him wide eyed  "Anyone would think you and Rocky are trying to stir up a rebellion against the Colour Code!!"
     "So go on clever clogs, how did you work that out?"

I laugh at Shadow, surprised that he can actually see the underlying meaning to that song, something that not even Grumpy Grape spotted until it was too late and already out there in the charts.  He kicked off at both me and Rocky royal style!!

     "You are not using the word colourblind in it's literal sense of being medically unable to see colour, you are using it as in the choice to be blind to colour.  You with your orange and white clothes, Rocky with his green and black clothes, those dancer draped all over you and Rocky are not exactly orange or green are they.  You have stamped colour mixing all over it, you've even switched guitars!!"  he starts laughing  "I've studied the Colour Code and that song is a little rebellious!!"

"You little geek!!"  I laugh at him  "I seriously don't know where you get your brains from!!"

As soon as the song is finished he starts flicking the music channels again constantly until he finds another one of my music video's.  I am amused that he sits there singing again.

     "You sing!"  he glances at me
     "Seriously Shadow, I need to give my vocal cords a rest, I have just spent two weeks constantly singing, and I don't really want to sit here all day watching myself on the television!"  I laugh at him  "Can't we just watch a movie instead, because your channel hopping is driving me nuts!!"    

Shadow tuts at me as he picks up the remote and flicks to the movie channel listings and finds a movie that is just starting.

     "Yay!!  I have been waiting to see this movie, I have watched the other four."  he grins at me.  "Storm will be mad when he finds out he has missed it!"
     "What film is this, remember I don't read."
     "Wrong Turn V."  he grins at me  "It's a horror movie."
     "I might have known if Storm has anything to do with it!"  I roll my eyes at him.  "Aren't you a little too young to be watching horror movies?"
     "No, they don't scare me!"  he laughs  "I am a vampire remember!"  he hisses and shows me his teeth then starts to giggle at me.

After about fifteen minutes I sit irritated because I do not have a clue about what has happened in the movie so far, because I can not hear half of what is being said on the television because Shadow is constantly nattering, distracting me, constantly telling me all about what happens in Wrong Turn one, two, three and four.


     "Shush!!  Motor mouth, do you ever give your mouth a rest!?"  I laugh at Shadow  "Doesn't it ever get tired?!"
     "No!"  he laughs
     "I can not get into this movie because you don't stop nattering!!  My brain is not like yours, I can only concentrate on one thing at a time.  Unless I am singing and playing my guitar, then it can do two."
     "Sorry Dad!"  he says laughing at me  "Daddy says I talk too much."
     "Yeah and he is right ... you don't even stop talking in your sleep either do you!!"
     "I don't know because I am asleep."  he giggles at me
     "I'll do you a deal, sit and watch this movie WITHOUT talking and I'll get you that keyboard you want."
     "Okay."  he grins at me.

He makes me laugh when he lies on my sucking his fingers.  I would not normally like him doing that and I would tell Snow and Vanilla off for doing it, especially if they have been crawling around on the floor, but if it keeps Shadow quiet then he can do it.

I only count to 15 in my head before his fingers have left his mouth and he starts rattling again.

     "Oh no, she is getting her boobs out ... she is going to fade!!"  Shadow starts chuckling as he points at the television.  "Silly woman, keep your clothes on!!"  he shouts at the screen.
     "What?!"  I frown at him.

I was actually starting to become uncomfortable with the direction that the movie was taking - I could see it was probably heading towards a sex scene.  I am a little disturbed by what he has just said.

     "They always fade when they start getting naked, something or someone will come and get them in a minute, all these horror movies are the same, they get faded while they are having sex." 

Seriously I can not believe he has just said that.  I am just about to say something when he starts to laugh hysterically.

     "See look .. I told you, the inbred ugly men are coming to get them!!"  he tuts  "That will teach them to do it in a silly place!!"

When I look back at the screen I am pretty shocked by what he is sat there watching.  A full blown sex scene, that leaves nothing to the imagination.  I grab his head and turn it away from the screen so he has to stop watching it.

   "You shouldn't be watching that!!"
    "Why not?"  he mumbles "It's not like I have not seen it before, and that was quite tame, it's not exactly pornographic, I have seen worse on the adult channels!!"
     "SERIOUSLY!!"  I stare at him wide eyed  "I am going to have words with Jazz about what he is letting you watch!!  You should not even know what pornographic is let alone have seen any!!"  I am shocked
     "I see and hear it in all your heads, it is not like you can hide it from me."  he giggles  "And you have just sat and let me watch an 18 rated movie!!"  he smirks at me
     "Only because I can't read you crafty little monkey!!!"  I roll my eyes at him  "You are not watching the rest of that movie!!"
     "What are we going to watch then?"  he pouts
     "Try the sports channels, we can't get into trouble with sports, then you can natter all you like and it won't matter!!"

After Shadow pulls a face at me for making him turn the movie off, he does a little flicking around the sports channels, and we are now sat watching a football match.  While Shadow has finally gone quiet because he is so engrossed in the game of football, however, for me, the distracting noise has not stopped.  All I can now hear in the background is Cosmic and Jazz having an argument.

     "If there is any justice in this world, that baby will be a vampire and it will chew her insides up good and proper!!  And I hope it damn well hurts her!!"  I hear Cosmic yelling  "After what she did to me and Lilly - she deserves her baby to fade!!"
     "That is MY baby too remember!!"  I hear Jazz yelling 
     "I'm sorry Jazz, I am finding it very hard to have any sympathy for you right now!!"  Cosmic snaps  "Lime Soda, seriously!?  After everything she has done to all of us!!  You have taken her being your pet WAY too far!!  You make me sick!!  Well I hope when you are standing staring at the spot where your vampire baby is buried that you will understand just how I am feeling and just how low you have stooped!!"

Shadow looks up at me and laughs

     "I told you!!  It has been like this all day."  he pulls a face at me.  "Omri, Cos, Storm, River and both my yellow and orange Granddads have been kicking off at them, especially at Daddy."
     "Where is your green Mommy anyway?"
     "Mommy is in their bedroom trying to get some sleep, but they keep waking her up with their yelling."  he rolls his eyes  "Daddy won't leave her alone for a second, he's neurotic over the heart beat stopping.

I hear a door slamming and Lime starts yelling because she is sick of being continuously woken up.  Jazz comes into the living room and throws himself onto the couch quite forcefully which makes the coach shake.  I sit cringing expecting and waiting for the couch to break and fall to pieces underneath me, but it doesn't.

      "Now even she is yelling at me!!  I can't do right for doing wrong!!"  Jazz mumbles as he looks at me, Lime has obviously kicked him out of the bedroom  "And you can shut up Tap, before you even say anything, I've had and heard enough!!"
     "I wasn't going to say a word!"  I laugh at him.  "It is not your fault that you did not know you weren't firing blanks!!  I know how you feel, being kept in the dark then getting yourself into trouble in your ignorance - thats the story of my life!!"
     "You are a strange one Tapestry!!"  he pulls a face at me  "You are the only one who has not kicked off at me yet!!!"
     "I've got enough problems of my own without worrying about yours!!"  I laugh at him  "Just as long as this does not affect Shadow, I am not bothered!!"
     "Don't worry it won't!!  Keeping Lime safe and alive for Shadow's sake is our main priority.  That is why if the babies heart does stop beating, making it evident it is a vampberry, then we are terminating the pregnancy straight away. "  Jazz mumbles

I just stare at him quietly, not really knowing what to say to that.

     "While you are here and I think about it - something Honey said weeks ago is continuously bugging me ... I want to get close to Vanilla ..." he starts to say
     "OH NO!!"  I snap at him  "She is not having ANYTHING to do with this place or your world!!"
     "I don't mean for you to bring her here, I don't even want her to see me ... I just want to get close enough to her to see if she is silent like you and Crystal.  She see's spirits doesn't she - and I am wandering if she has any of your abilities."
     "No Jazz!!  You can forget about Vanilla right now!!  The only reason I am here is because of Shadow, I was quite happily forgetting about this place, you vampberrys and my abilities until I found out you was hiding my son away from me.  I know how dangerous it is for me being here, and I am not putting her in the same danger of even finding out this world exists, just to satisfy your curiosity."
     "It is not for curiosity reasons, I, WE, need to be prepared for what could possibly come in the future.  Say the Originals find out about Shadow and especially you.  I don't doubt that they will check out your children to make sure that you have not passed on your strange abilities onto them.  It is already obvious to me that you already have, with Vanilla seeing and communicating with spirits ... Her just being Shadow's twin will probably draw their attention to her.  Then there is your baby with Crystal, who is another silent spirit seeing mortal like you, so odds on you two will produce another child with the same oddities and abilities." 

I just stare at him for a moment

     "Whether you like it or not Tap, Vanilla might have to learn about this world, that she is unwittingly a part of, especially if she is silent and has any of your abilities, because like you, she will need to be looking over her shoulder at all times."
     "Why do you say that?"  I frown at him
     "You are running around freely now in the colour coded world, and taking her with you, where there are vampberries also running around, it only takes one to get close enough to spot your silence and you will have the Originals down on you like a tonne of bricks.  When you were just going to be sat quietly in Sugar Valley, I was not so worried, however, you are famous now, and while I trust that you will keep our existence a secret verbally, you have put yourself right out there for the whole world to see, which is worrying the HELL out of me!!"  he pulls a face  "Then there is Shadow, do you seriously think you can keep him and Vanilla apart forever?"
     "I want to for her sake, she can live quite happily without knowing about this world or any abilities that she might have, just like I was oblivious to it all, until I was dragged into this place.  However,  I am scared, if she ever finds out about Honey and Shadow being here, that she will hate me for hiding them from her."  I pull a face at him  "Either way, If she has to find out about this world, then I hope it is later rather than sooner, when she is old enough to be sensible with it ... we are struggling to keep her from talking freely and openly to the four spirits who keep wandering around our house, because she is not old enough to understand, that only we can see them!!"

We sit silently for a moment as my mind starts racing.

Shadow stands up on my lap, holding my neck and jumps up and down as he shouts 'shoot' 'shoot' at the television and starts to get excited when a goal is scored.  Me and Jazz both laugh at him for a moment.  I decide to get something off my chest that has been really playing on my mind.
    "I am not sure that I can keep Shadow a secret from Crystal for much longer.  I am struggling enough with this situation, and I could do with her by my side instead of in the dark.  I really hate lying to her about it, like now, she thinks I am in Berry Shores still!!"
     "I don't like the idea of you telling anyone else, there are already too many mortals running around this place who know about our existence.  Everyone who knows is in danger just from being here and knowing."
     "She is in danger anyway isn't she - she is silent and sees spirits, you say that me and Vanilla need to be looking over our shoulder all the time, doesn't the same apply to Crystal?"  I frown at him and he just stares at me for a moment.
     "Yeah ... I guess, the same does apply to Crystal."  he pulls a face
     "So I can tell her?"
     "How can I trust that she will keep this a secret."
     "She will!!  She keeps the spirits a secret, she is not stupid she knows there is a chunk of her memory missing and I have something to do with it, she even knows who the 'bad men' as she calls them are who were chasing her all her childhood."  I laugh at him  "I'm thick but sometimes Jazz you are even thicker!!"  he pulls a face at me
     "What the hell is that supposed to mean."

"Well you only got me to wipe her memory only so far, she still has the vampberrys running around in her head from her childhood, because you got me to leave them in there."
     "Oh fudge!!"  he mumbles as he rolls his eyes
     "She knows the scar on her arm and my neck were done by a vampberry."  I laugh again  "She knows that there are not just mortals and spirits in this world, and vampberrys were not all she was fighting and dodging as a child, she knows about the wereberry's, she has seen them, she calls them shiny eyed dogs, they run around in Rainbow Valley at night."  I smile at him  "So she is already keeping a lot of immortal world secrets, and I seriously need her to know about Shadow!!  I can not look her in the eyes properly, scared she might dive through them and see for herself, you forget she has the same abilities as me, she just does not realize it yet."
     "What do you mean?"  he frowns at me
     "I have felt her, falling through my eyes.  I have broken eye contact to stop her and I don't think she realizes what she is doing but I think if I let her, she could get into my head quite easily, just like Shadow does."  I smile at him  "If she can get into my head when you vampberry's can not, then logically she should be able to compel and everything else that I can do."

     "Hell you two are strange mortals!!"  he pulls a face and laughs  "In that case, yes I think you better had tell her, I want you to bring her into the den, I need to find out what she is capable of."
     "Not until after the baby is born!!  I am not having her upset by anything or anywhere near this place while she is pregnant!!  Not that I want her here at all, but I know when I tell her about Shadow, she will want to see him, I doubt she will believe it until she does see him."  he laughs at me  "I will tell her about Shadow after the baby has arrived.  We went through hell to get this baby, and her pregnancy is not a nice one, so I don't want to take any risks that might put the baby in danger or upsetting Crystal."
     "Yeah, I know that feeling!!"  he laughs at me, then his face drops and he starts to look glum  "We are kind of in the same boat on the baby front, however, I think my boat is going to sink.  Your baby will be fine, I'm sure!!" 
     "Fingers crossed so should yours, it has a 50% chance of being mortal doesn't it?"
     "Hell No!!  I wished the odds were that simple!!"  he pulls a face  "According to Maizie there is only a 1% chance of it being mortal.  So it is most likely to be a vampire, so it will not survive, unless it is a 50/50 mortal / vampire slit like Shadow, but we can not take the risk with Limes life to find out."

I can not help but feel really sorry for him, I thought it was bad enough being in my shoes, but being in his shoes right now, must be a very awful place!!

After an uncomfortable night and hardly any sleep, I feel drained.  It is not that the bed was uncomfortable, because it wasn't.  I think it was more for the fact that I know I have slept in that particular bed before, with Honey, back when we were teenagers and captive in this den.  Even though the bed has now been brought upstairs and put in Shadows room for me, it still did not make a difference.

The whole experience of sleeping here again, the cold, the smell, just the feel of the place, brought back a lot of unwanted memories that I would rather forget.  I spent a lot of time just watching Shadow sleeping, who played up and insisted on sleeping in the bed with me.  The cold coming from his body had not helped me a lot either at first until he warmed up, or the constant jabbering that he does in his sleep, funnily just like Vanilla does, they both talks a lot in his sleep.

The whole set up of this den amuses me, while there is only one kitchen in the whole place, upstairs where the other vampberry's live, Shadow has his own floor and set of rooms, where he lives with Lime and Jazz.  So Shadow has to go upstairs to eat which Omri or Lime usually take care of, as they both do most of the cooking in this place.  The cooking and housework was something that soley Omri took care of before Lime was given the freedom from her cage, now they both do it, but neither of them complain because they are both neat freaks, which is something that has really surprised me about Lime.

When me and Shadow make our way back downstairs and walk into the living room, after breakfast, Lime and Jazz are sat on the couch together talking quietly.  He has his arm around her and she has her arm and hand on his leg.  I am not sure I am ever going to get used to seeing those two all loved up, or how different Lime is now to the way that she used to be.  Jazz sits laughing at me, he can see Shadow's hand on my face, I think he knows that I am listening to their thoughts.

     "Shadow can you do a very important job for me."  he smiles at Shadow  "Can you listen to babies heart beat while I go upstairs and feed.  I won't be long."
     "Okay Daddy."
     "Tell me straight away if the heart beat stops.  You remember how important it is don't you?"
     "Yes Daddy!"  Shadow laughs at him
     "Aren't you fussing just a little too much Charming?!"  Lime laughs at Jazz  "Twelve to fourteen weeks is the time that we need to worry, which is weeks away.  Isn't it just a little too early to be getting paranoid over the heartbeat now?"
     "I'm not entirely sure I can believe everything that Maizie says completely.  It is better being safe than sorry!!"  he frowns at her  "I can't help but keep thinking about Shadow, his heart stopped beating virtually straight away when the venom took a hold of him, Honey was not anywhere close to twelve or fourteen weeks when Shadows heart stopped beating."
     "Seriously you are going to constantly suffocate me from now on aren't you!"
     "Yep!"  he rolls his eyes at her.

Jazz gets up off the couch, a worried look on his face.  I know that he is scared of leaving Lime alone for a minute without a vampberry presence listening to the heart beat.  He flashes out of the room and says he will not be long, which I don't doubt.

I had not noticed that Lime has a sick bowl on the floor by her feet, until she promptly leans over and starts to throw up in it.  This makes my stomach turn, which is full of unwanted cereal that I have just had to sit and eat to keep Shadow happy, even though I was not really hungry.  My eating breakfast was in exchange for him drinking the one bottle of blood that Jazz insists he has every day, even though Shadow hates it and thinks he can live without.

     "Charming!!  You might have warned me!"  I mumble as I hold my stomach which is now doing somersaults  "I've just eaten breakfast!"
     "Sorry!!"  she manages to mumble before she starts throwing up again  "Blame the sprog!!"

Like I do not hear enough projectile vomiting at home already with Crystal continuously throwing up still!!  Sunny walks into the room and he starts to laugh at me standing holding my stomach and heaving, I am afraid that the cereal that is weighing heavily on my stomach is about to come back up.

Me and Sunny had only been stood talking for a few minutes, while Lime played with Shadow.  Suddenly the door flies open violently and then slams shut with force.  We all turn to look to see who has come into the room in such a hurry. 

On seeing who has entered the room I become instantly scared.

Honey is standing there and she looks very angry as she glares at Lime then me.

Shadow stands up and starts to hiss at her, baring his teeth, which makes me even more nervous.

How the hell did she get loose?!

More to the point, without any of the spirits or vampberry's here, how much trouble are we in?!