Monday, 23 October 2017

Chapter 60d - Gen 2 - Granite

I stand staring thoughtfully at the large solid wood wardrobe in front of me, that I now annoyingly need to move.  My mind will never rest, wandering what, if anything, is hidden under the floorboards, until I have actually taken a look.

I know it is going to be very difficult, moving that wardrobe, probably impossible, even the doors weigh a tonne when you open them.

I am never going to move that wardrobe on my own, and it is not like I can call anyone in to help me, without explaining what I am doing, which I would rather not be doing.

          "Oh Fudge ... how the hell am I ever going to move that wardrobe on my own ... with the weight of all your dresses and high heeled shoes in it!!  I will be bursting a blood vessel or giving myself a hernia!!"
          "Sod off you twat!!"  Mace laughs at me  "Take the clothes out to lighten the load."
           "Yeah right!!  That is not going to help me much is it!!  You did have to go and buy a solid wooden monstrosity, when I said a small one!"  I tut at him  
           "Not this again!!  It was on sale, 80% off,  because it was the last one!!  It cost less than your poxy small one would have."  he smiles at me sarcastically
           "So you keep saying!"  I roll my eyes at him  "I am surprised it has not gone through the floorboards the weight of it ... then you just had to go and put it on top of my hidey hole!"
           "Well that will teach you to be so sneaky!!"  he laughs at me
           "How the hell did you get it in here anyway?"
           "Four delivery men brought it in."  he mumbles quietly
           "Exactly ... FOUR ... I am NEVER going to do this on my own, am I!!"

Suddenly I get the stupidest idea, as I stare at Mace.  I snigger as I quickly snap open my phone.

            "Tapestry, just the man!"  I laugh as he answers the phone  "Is Sunny still with you, or is he lurking about here again spying on us?"
            "He is here, playing with Vanilla, why?"

            "Can Nilla actually see Sunny too?"
            "Yeah she can, Crystal and Magnolia see the spirits too."  he laughs quietly  
            "That is strange, I wander why only you four and Alpine can see them?"
            "River thinks it is something to do with our over bright colourless eyes, and Alpine because of the brain damage probably."  he mumbles  "Anyway, why are you asking about Sunny?"
            "I kind of need some help.  I need to move a very heavy solid wood wardrobe in our bedroom, and I can not do it alone.
            "Is nobody home to help you?"
            "Yeah, but I can not really ask anyone to come in and help me, without explaining what I am up to.  It is a bit tricky, I would rather they didn't know."  
            "Let me guess ... you and your hidey holes!!"  he laughs quietly  
            "Yeah, you've got it!"  I chuckle  "I thought Sunny could help me move the wardrobe, with  maybe a few more of your other spirit friends.  It took four guys to bring it in, so I will probably need as many spirits."
           "Seriously you are cracking me up!!"  Tapestry starts to howl down the phone  "What are you trying to do give Mace a heart attack?!!
           "No.  I have tried to talk to Mace about the ghost thing, but he is having none of it!!  Maybe if he sees them moving the wardrobe, he might at least start listening."
           "Oh Fudge!!  I would pay good money to see his face when the wardrobe moves, and if I was not baby sitting, I would be round to watch!!"  he continues to laugh  "Okay, I will get Sunny to round up a few of the spirits and get your wardrobe moved!!"
           "Thanks Tap!!"  I laugh 
           "Where exactly do you want this wardrobe moving to?"
           "Not far, tell them to put it flat against the wall, next to the sofa.  I will pull the cot away from the wall so there is room for the wardrobe."
           "Okay!"  he laughs  "Expect the wardrobe to start levitating very soon!!" 

When I snap my phone shut, I am still laughing at Tapestry who was howling when the call cut off.  Mace is sat on the bed wearing the strangest expression on his face, and really, I can not say I blame him. 

          "Did I SERIOUSLY just hear you asking Tapestry to send ghosts round here to move that wardrobe?"  his eyes are nearly popping out of his head
          "Yes you did!!"  I smirk at him
          "You are OFF YOUR HEAD and Tapestry is mad for encouraging you!!  he laughs at me

I laugh as I take Clay out of his cot and hand him to Mace, so that I can pull the cot away from the wall to leave room for the wardrobe.  Clay continues to sleep, so I put him back into his cot, which is now right at the end of the bed.

         "We just need to wait now."  I mumble as I get back onto the bed
         "Seriously, you have gone mad!!"  he frowns at me  
         "You won't think I am mad for long, when you see that wardrobe moving!!"  I laugh at him
         "How do you know these ghosts of yours can even move that wardrobe."
         "I know because Sunny has already moved something for me."  I smile at him  "After I brought it, I hid your engagement ring upstairs in Atlas's room, in the hidey hole.   When I went into it, I spotted the vodka and coke, but I didn't have time to get rid of it."  he frowns at me  "I had to leave it there and quickly put the floorboard, carpet and cupboard back, because I could hear Atlas and Saffron coming up the stairs ..."
          "So it is still in there."  he frowns at me, jumping in without letting me finish
          "No!!  Sunny was watching me, he got rid of the vodka and coke, to stop me from getting tempted."
          "Sod off!!"  he laughs at me
          "Honestly, Sunny got rid of the drugs and booze .... he told Tap, who had a word with me."  I smile at him
          "Shut up!!"  he starts to really laugh at me then he stops suddenly as his face twists up  "Was you tempted ... by the drugs and booze?"
          "No ... I wasn't!"  I smile at him 

I laugh at him as he is watching me suspiciously, I can tell by the expression on his face, that he doesn't believe me. 

I glance at the cot that is now at the bottom of the bed, and watch Clay sleeping.  I can still feel Mace staring at me.  I know I need to move the conversation away from the booze and drugs, or he is never going to stop going on about it.

         "You know, we should leave that cot there."  I smile at him  "It is a lot easier for you to get to, without having to drag yourself off the bed and into your chair."
         "Yeah I guess."  he smiles
         "So when did Clay last have a feed?"
         "About ten minutes before you got in from work."  he mumbles 
         "Did he keep you awake much last night?"
         "Yes!!  That is why the little monkey is zonked out now!!!"  he laughs 
         "Have you given any thought about what Clay is going to call us when he grows up?  Uncle, Dad or by our names."  I mumble quietly.
          "I don't know, I haven't really thought that far a head."  he laughs at me  "I guess he will just end up copying what Jasmine and Slate call us ... so you best had have words with your Son!!  The wind up merchant has started to call me Mommy Mace, which isn't funny!!"
          "Oh it is!!"  I start howling at him, but have to stop because I can see he isn't impressed.  "Okay I'll have a word with Slate."  I tut quietly  "Maybe we should talk about Clay.  Something is troubling me ... is it fair that that little boy has to grow up knowing what his parents are!  Should we even tell him who his parents are?" 
         "What choice do we have, it's not like we can hide Gravel and Tarragon and say we created him ... "  he laughs quietly before his face twists  "Don't you think we have had enough lies!!  Hiding everything from him while he is growing up is only going to upset him if and when the truth comes out, and it will eventually!"
          "I know but it's not fair that he has to grow up with the burden of knowing that his parents are evil twisted murderers."
          "So were mine .... "  he rolls his eyes  "It did not do me any harm knowing, it made me hate them and not want to be like them.  I think we have a perfect example of what not to do right in front of us ... Prelude and Parsley."  I frown at him  "They hid the truth about Manderine from Parsley and Storm ... they were going into prison regularly to visit her while they were growing up, thinking their Mother was something that she isn't.  Storm faded because of the lies and it has messed Parsley's head up big time, having to learn the truth about her.  Having to find out everything she has done and especially having to see her true colours, with his own eyes!!"

          "So you think we should tell him the truth about everything."
          "Yes, he needs to understand how evil, twisted and wrong his parents are and we need to discourage him from having anything to do with them!!  Hopefully, as long as we bring him up in the right way,  he will have the sense to keep away from them."
          "We just don't let him see them full stop!!"
          "We can't force him, and curiosity is going to have him going to see his parents at least once in his lifetime.  It has to be his choice, and we are going to have to handle him very carefully, or he might start rebelling and turn on us .... you of all people know about kicking back and being rebellious!"  he smirks at me  "The very last thing we need is him turning out like Gravel or Tarragon!!  The poor kid is at a disadvantage before he even starts, he has BOTH of their evil genes, so he could naturally turn out like them, no matter what we do or how we bring him up ... that is my main worry!!"
          "Yeah."  I mumble as I bite my lip, because that is my main worry too!!

A strange expression suddenly flashes across Mace's face, and I can literally see his colour changing.

          "GRAN!!  The ...  the ... wardrobe!!"  he starts to choke, as he grabs my arm and his eyes widen in shock.

I glance towards the wardrobe, and see what he is seeing.  

The wardrobe is now off the ground and just hanging there, suspended in mid air.  I hear Mace choking while his grip is tightening on my arm.  

We watch the wardrobe moving slowly, from where it was sitting, to where I wanted it.

I am a little numb as I watch the wardrobe settle down onto the carpet.  I am now staring at the wardrobe that just seemingly moved itself to our eyes.  Even for me, it is hard to take in, already believing that the spirits exist and are here.  I dread to think what Mace must be thinking and feeling right now. 

             "Thanks Sunny!!"  I laugh out loud.
             "OMG!!!"  Mace chokes  "Did that really just happen!!"
             "Yes it did!"  I laugh at him  
             "Oh Fudge!!"
             "Now do you believe that I am not going crazy when I say ghosts are real!" 

His face is a picture, and I can not help but laugh at him, as I move his hand to loosen the painfully tight grip that he still has on my arm.  He starts to look around warily.

            "Do you think they are still here?"
            "I don't have a clue!!"  I smile as I scan the room even though I know it is pointless  "I just wish that I could see them like Tapestry can."
            "Who do you think it was?"  Mace frowns at me  "Has Tapestry told you how many there are?"
            "He has told me he sees lots of ghosts everywhere.  But I know they have Sunny and his twin brother Saffron, Storm, Cosmic, and Glimmer hanging out in there house regularly."
            "Who is Glimmer?"  Mace frowns at me
            "I don't know, he never said."  I smile at him  "So do you believe me now?"
            "I ... eerrrr ..." 

Mace just stares at me in confusion, I don't think he knows what to say.

            "Where are you going?!"  he grabs for my arm as I sit up and start to slide off the bed.
            "Don't worry the ghosts are not going to hurt you!!"   I smirk at him  "We need to get this hidey hole checked out!"

I stand and stare at the carpet for a moment, only just realising for the first time, that this carpet has been changed over the last twenty years, just like the carpet upstairs.  How did Forrest never see or investigate the broken floorboard here or upstairs.

          "You are a dodgy sneak!"  Mace laughs at me as he watches me pulling back the carpet

I stand staring at the floor boards which are not how I expected to find them, they are really confusing me.

           "Says you, who had an art gallery going on in our garage loft space on the sly!"  I mumble as I pull more of the carpet back to expose more of the floorboards.  "Something is not right here!!"
           "Why, what's wrong?"
           "There should only be one broken floorboard .... there are now six."  I frown at Mace for a second as I watch him trying to get off the bed and into his wheelchair.  "I know for a fact there should only be one broken floorboard ... because I broke it.  This floor was solid before then, because we had all brand new floorboards put down in this room!!  It was doing that, that gave me the idea that I could hide stuff in the space under the floorboards.  This floor should still be solid."
           "It has been over twenty years!!  Maybe over time, the floorboards have been broken from wear and tear, it happens."  he mumbles as he wheels himself up next to me.
           "Naah, I doubt it, unless Forrest has had an elephant living in here."  I laugh  "This has always been the dining room until you started to use it as a bedroom.  This room has never been used ... maybe once a year at Christmas when his parents and sister came for Christmas dinner.  He told me he has hardly every been in this room over the years, only to air it out occasionally, just like he never set foot in our old bedroom."
           "Who is in your old bedroom now?"
           "Atlas and Saff."  I mumble   

I get down on my knees and pull up the only floorboard that I think should be broken.  I am expecting the floor space underneath to be empty ... but it is not - far from it!!  It is packed with stuff, none of it mine.  This can only be Gravels ...

            "Oh Hell!!"  I snap as I quickly start to pull up the other broken floor boards.  Every board that I pull up, exposes even more stuff and I really do not like what I am looking at.
            "What's up?"
            "Take a look for yourself ... and I will tell you now, none of this shit is mine!!  As far as I'm concerned, this should be empty"  I stare at Mace wide eyed, before I push his chair forward so he can see into the hole properly.  "Just don't even try to touch anything!!  The last thing we need is our fingerprints on any of this shit!!"
             "Oh Shit!!"  Mace stares at me wide eyed after he's cast his eyes over what I have been looking at.
             "You was right, he has been using it!!  He has obviously been stashing his shit in this house ... because I doubt very much that any of this is Forrests!!"  I stare a Mace  "What about if there is more, somewhere else in this room, or this house."
            "What a Berry Hole!!"  he snaps  "What about if someone else had found this, especially after he moved - Forrest could have copped for all this!!"
             "I know - and the Berry Hole would have let him take the rap for it too!!"
             "Do you think Forrest knew he was stashing this stuff here?"
             "I highly doubt it!!"  I laugh  "He used to scream the place down if he so much as found a spliff in this house.  He found a flick knife in my pocket once, he kicked me out and wouldn't let me back in for a week."  I laugh quietly  "Besides he would have told the police if he had know this was here."
             "How could Gravel hide this much stuff here without Forrest seeing him doing it?"
             "I presume because Gravel had a key to this house just like we had a key to his ... he would have plenty of opportunity, with Forrest living here alone, any time Forrest was at work, he could have come in here without being noticed or disturbed.  I bet Gravel has been collecting this stuff up for years a bit at a time!"  

We both remain there, quietly staring in disbelief at the contents of the hole.  I feel suddenly like I'm staring into Aladin's cave!!  There is no doubting that what we are looking at can only belong to Gravel.  

I can see quite a few guns and knives, one is still stained with dry blood.  There are wads of bank notes, a few piles of jewellery, bank books, passports and what look like fake ID's.  There are blocks and bags of different drugs, which disturb me.  I see quite a few envelopes and piles of papers that I would love to look at but dare not touch.

I laugh suddenly when I spot something amusing for me at least.

             "Oh look Mace Woods.  I am guessing that is your original police murder file, that El thinks Gravel has destroyed!"  we look at each other and start laughing
             "Really we shouldn't laugh that guy faded, just so that I could have his identity."
             "I know."  I mumble  "Did you honestly not know that the real Mace Wood was going to be faded for that reason."
             "No!!  I've already told you ... Gravel grabbed me coming out of work, he dragged me off, literally giving me no notice or warning.  He put his passport, ID and papers in my hand and told me this is now me and I'm off to Cherry to lie low and baby sit you.  He literally took me to the airport right there and then, he threatened to fade both Tami and Jasmine if I didn't go!!"  he frowns at you  "Don't you believe me?!"
             "Baby I'm sorry, of course I believe you!!"
             "Even T has told you ... Gravel got T to pull your house mate advert the day after you placed it, so nobody would enquire about it.  He had it all planned, but I was the last to find out, when it was forced on me."
             "He is a berry hole!!"  I mumble as we both stare back into the hole.
             "Dad is going to be happy, as well as very upset!!" he starts to choke and get upset himself.  "I can see Tami's necklaces and bracelet." 
             "Where?"  I frown at him and he points to one of the piles of jewellery."

             "Are you sure that is Tami's jewellery?!"
             "Of course I am sure!!!"  he snaps almost like he is irritated.  "She never took that locket off and I bought her that bracelet.  Jasmine has an identical baby one."  
             "Okay, okay, keep your hair on!!" I laugh at him wandering why he just got so ratty.
             "You need to fetch Dad ... and we need to get Crimson and El round here."
             "Yeah, I know we do, but ..."  I pull a face at him  "What about the guns upstairs ... "
             "Leave them up there .... we need to deal with those on the quiet later!"
             "I don't think we can .... you know don't you, that the police are probably going to rip this whole house apart now, floorboard by floorboard!!"  I roll my eyes  "They will wash this being here, but they might start getting suspicious of the bathroom, which they are bound to find."
             "You could always move them and put them with this lot, then it will just look like Gravel has had them all along, then you will be in the clear."  he laughs sarcastically  "Gravel should pay for everything, you disposing of them lets him off the hook ... really the police need to find them!"
              "Nice idea but .... I spoke to Dad about his gun not long after I came in from work ... he will suss something straight away if he sees it in the bag.  How are we going to explain us pulling up these floorboards in the first place?   Isn't it all going to be all very suspect anyway, especially it all being hidden under the floorboards in our room of all places!!"
              "I guess we can only tell Dad the truth, he will sort it out, and know the best thing to do.  After all we have not done anything wrong here other than you stupidly hiding those guns twenty odd years ago.  It is not like you played any part in the job!!"  he frowns at me  "We need to speak to Dad NOW, explain about the guns and show him this before we drag Crimson and El into it.  We can't sit on it, or then it will start to look suspicious!!"
              "I will go and fetch him."  I mumble as I take a deep breath and head for the door. 

  When I walk back into the bedroom Mace is still sitting there, staring into the hole.

         "I expected you to bring Dad in with you."  he frowns at me
         "I have told him I need a word, but he has just popped to the chemist for his insulin.  It couldn't wait.  He will be in as soon as he gets back."  I mumble
         "Okay."  he smiles at me
         "Mace am I doing the right thing telling Dad the truth about those guns ... what about if he arrests me - the last thing I need or want is to go back to prison!!"
        "Don't be stupid!"  he laughs at me  "Dad won't arrest you ... he will help you sort it out!!"
        "Says he who has let Gravel abuse him since the age of fifteen rather than ask Dad for help, because you was too scared to!!"
        "That was completely different and you know it!!"  he tuts at me  "As long as you have not faded anyone, he will help you.  I did fade someone, my cousin remember, so I knew damn well he would have arrested and locked me up for that!  Fading is something that he will never help anyone cover up, not even his own family." 
        "I have been told he has never tolerated any of his kids breaking the law, so why would he help me ... when I so obviously did break the law twenty five years ago.  Okay I didn't take part in the job, but berry I still have the evidence, withholding it being a serious crime in itself!!"
        "No he doesn't tolerate it!!  He will probably go ballistic and give you verbal hell over it for ages.  He will punish you in his own way and not let you live it down for a long time.  However, that doesn't mean he won't help you to get out of it, or that he hasn't got a few of us out of scrapes over the years, especially Silt!"  he laughs  "He was far from an angel when he was growing up!"
       "I don't know if I can take the risk!!"
       "Seriously, you can, trust me!!"

I just stare at him, not knowing if I should.        

         "What about if you are wrong?"
         "Trust me I won't be!!"
         "Are you seriously willing to take the gamble, knowing if you are wrong, you are putting Slate, Jasmine and Clays futures at risk!  What is going to happen to them when we are BOTH locked up!?""
         "You are worrying too much - don't you think Dad cares about their future too!!  He is trying to hold this family together, not blow it apart!!"  he laughs at me  "If it makes you feel better, if the worst does happen ... I will take the wrap for the guns ... I'm doing time anyway ..."
         "SOD OFF Mace you TWAT!!"  I snap at him angrily  "That is NEVER happening!!  I would not be able to live with myself if you did extra time for me ... I need you out here not in there!!"
         "The very last thing Dad wants to see is you losing everything and locked up again!!  We all know what you did in the past was fueled by drugs, alcohol, Gravel's games and a messed up head thanks to your green thing!!  I don't think you realise how proud of you he is right now ... because of how you have managed to turn your life around, especially knowing you are having to fight your addiction every day to do it and keep it that way!!  Honestly, he will not want to push you back there or punish you for your past stupidity now!!"
         "He would never help me dispose of those guns ... they are attached to a serious crime for berry's sake!!"  I laugh at him sarcastically.
         "You are right about that, he won't agree with disposing of them, and he wouldn't help you do it.  He will make sure those guns find a way into the hands of the law, so whoever can be punished  ... but he will find a way to clean you out of it ..."  he laughs pointing at Gravel's stash  "We have the perfect solution right there!!  Gravel ran the mob, he ordered the job, he probably used one of those guns, if you are right about his involvement in the job.  Nobody will question Gravel having the guns all this time ... let him take the wrap for ihis own shit!!"

       "I want to believe what you are saying ... but I don't know!!"
       "Why did you take the guns off Fudge?" he frowns at me  "The Granite I remember would have refused!!  He never would have been so ready to take or hide a murder weapon .. so why did you?"
       "Because .... he thrust them at me while I was more bothered about getting the little boy away from him, that he was battering half to death.  Arguing with him over disposing of his poxy guns, wouldn't have got you away from him!"
       "Why hide them in the bathroom?"
       "While we sorted you out, I had to do something with them, so Leafy didn't see them."  he frowns at me  "You was in a right mess, mentally and physically.  For berry sake you was only six and he beat you like he would a grown bloke!!  Even Forrest, the pedophobe, was alarmed and concerned over what he had done to you."
        "Why did you keep them this long?"
        "At first it was because I couldn't let go of that gun, it spooked me, I made myself believe it was Dad's gun.  Then I was not given a choice after that, thanks to Gravel and his games!!"  I pull a face at him  "I was forced away from here, banged up and have been away for over twenty years, because I thought I had to be, to keep Gravel, Forrest and Amber safe ... I haven't really had the chance to dispose of them since, have I!"
        "We have been back over nine months?"  he frowns at me
        "I TOTALLY forgot about them over the years - trying to forget about my past!!"
        "How can you forget about hiding ten guns?"  he frowns at me
        "I don't know!!"  I snap  "I guess I don't trust any of my memories from the time I was in a permanent drug or alcohol induced haze!!  So I have blocked them out, not really knowing if they were actually real memories, alcohol hallucinations or drug trips."   I frown at him  "What is with the interrogation ... why are you doing this Mace?"
        "I am trying to show you .... Really what have you done that is so wrong?"  he laughs at me 

           "You tell me ... because I can not see past the fact I have hidden vital evidence from a mass murder, for all this time!!"
           "You didn't play any part in that mass murder, there is no blood on your hands, which is the main thing!!  You only took the guns in the first place to protect me from my abusive berry hole of a parent, when you normally wouldn't have touched them!!  You had a sentimentally stupid moment over Dad's gun, then you was locked up, you have not been here to get rid of them!!  When Dad knows the whole story, and why you did what you did, he will see what you did was not done with any bad intention.  You don't have a criminal bone in your body, and yet again you was a pawn in Fudge and Gravel's games, so you don't really need punishing for it!!"
           "That won't matter what either you or Dad think of me personally, you are both bias!!  All the law will see, is that I did hide and withheld the evidence!!"
           "You haven't even thought yet have you, you keeping those guns all this time and safe, has turned out to be a good thing, it has done the police a massive favour!"
         "Are you mad!!"  I stare at him in disbelief!
         "No - not one of the mob were ever arrested for their involvement in that job, and especially not for any of the murders!!  I presume it is still an unsolved crime ... you are giving them the evidence that they need to finally put the case to bed."
         "And that matters because ...?!"  I laugh at him sarcastically
         "Think of all the families of everyone that was needlessly murdered during that job ... still wandering who faded their loved ones.   The families who are probably still being eaten up with frustration and anger because nobody has yet been caught and punished for it.  Exactly the way that I feel about whoever murdered my Mother!!  I will never get closer or be able to get over it, until I know who and why and that whoever it was is punished for it.  It will be exactly the same for all of those families."  I just stare at him blankly  "That will be more important to your Dad, than punishing you for your past drunken and sentimental stupidity!!!"  he smirks at me  "That is why I know he will clean you out of the picture!"
        "Why are you so sure about all this!"  I frown at him
        "You really don't know your Dad at all do you!"  he chuckles quietly  "Well I do, he has been my Dad in every way possible, since I was eleven years old .... I know him inside out and especially how his mind works.  Besides, he has a very weak spot were you are concerned, I think he would do anything to protect you!!  Trust me, everything is going to be okay!!"

        "Well I hope you are right about all this - or I am screwed!!"