Chapter 1.9: Maybe he’s born with it?

As a matter of fact, it turned out that all my worries had been for nothing. Quince Twist was born with a lovely yellow skin tone. Every time I laid my eyes on him, I was filled with a feeling so warm and so soft that it should have been illegal to even feel that way. And the sounds he could make, you should have heard them! He was a truly amazing and perfect little berry.

If I had thought little Bluebell smelled good, it was nothing compared to what I felt when I sniffed my own baby boy. I got some time off work for maternity leave and I could spend every hour of the first days in his room, just watching him sleep. The soft rising of his chest as he breathed made me calm and relaxed. His yellow skin added to the feeling.

“Maybe they were right all this time” I said to him and he gurgled as though he had understood. “Maybe white can’t transfer, after all.”

I can’t describe how grateful I was that he didn’t have a single little trace of white genes. It meant I didn’t have to worry about him being bullied or secluded from society. It meant that our loss in the election didn’t strike as hard as it could have. At least my baby, my son, wouldn’t have to endour the humiliating aspects of being born the wrong color.

Me and Quince spent a lot of time together with Pixie and Bluebell. We had celebrated Bluebell’s first birthday just some months before Quince was born and she was an adorable little toddler. I still loved her to bits.

“Bluebell, this is Quince” I said and stood in front of the portable crib we had left at Pixie’s place. “He’ll be like a brother to you. And you’re gonna be the best friends ever.”

“Daa, yaaa” she answered in her baby talk. I understood that it meant Yes, that she wanted to be friends with Quince.

“Friends?” Pixie laughed. “They’re gonna be lovers!”

We exploded in laughter because the pure thought of our babies falling in love was so heart warming and desired that we didn’t even dare to wish for it. As long as they were friends, it would be more than enough. Not that we thought they would be able to avoid it, since we were pretty much constantly hanging out.

When we were getting close to celebrate Quince’s first birthday I had been starting to throw up again. Whoever said that white berries wasn’t able to even get pregnant clearly talked wihout any knowledge whatsoever. Drover barely even had to look at me without knocking me up, it seemed.

“Honey, are you alright?” Drover stood outside the door, which I had slammed shut when I felt the contents of my gut were on their way up. There was just some things he didn’t need to see. He sounded worried, even though I guessed he must have realized what it was all about.

“This is the last time I’ll let you make me go through this!” I called out between the vomiting. This time around, I wasn’t worried. Not that it helped me get through, it only made the vomiting part so much worse because there wasn’t any cloud of worry to cover the feeling of stomach acid stinging in my throat.

I didn’t shine in my pregnancy. I was a living wreck. Constantly throwing up and not getting enough sleep because Quince always decided he was hungry just as I had fallen asleep, meaning I had to get back up to feed him. It was a fair deal since Drover was working, but some days I had trouble seeing the fair part.

“We’re going to need to build another room” Drover said the day before Quince’s birthday and nodded towards my growing belly. He was right, we didn’t have enough room as it was, unless I gave up my home gym — which I refused to do. The problem was that we couldn’t afford it. I hadn’t been working at all for the last year because of Quince and Drover wasn’t exactly well payed as a nurse.

“It’s impossible” I stated and Drover nodded in agreement. It would most definately be tough but I just knew that somehow we would make it work.

When Quince aged up we both nearly died of surprise. The little guy in front of us was looking happily at us with blue eyes and his hair was shining in a bright red color. There was no trace of white in him, but it seemed as my dad’s genes had been passed on to him. My hormones made me cry. My beloved father was living on in the shape of a perfect, healthy little boy. I was so happy!

I brought Quince with me to visit my father the very next day. “Look dad” I said happy. “He looks so much like you. I’m sorry I haven’t visited you in a while, but I’ve been so busy, you know? First with Whites and everything and then this little fella came in to my life. And we’re expecting again.”

I smiled and I felt happy. I had nearly forgotten how much I enjoyed coming here to talk to my dad. I promised myself I would visit more often from now. Quince began to gurgle, as if he was also trying to talk to daddy. I waited until he was silent again until I myself continued. “His name is Quince. I promise to tell him everything about you.”

Drover was, no surprise, the perfect father. He would hurry home from work and spend as much time as he possibly could with Quince before we had to put him to bed. Their favourite activity was reading. It even seemed as though Quince picked up a bit of talking that way. Sometimes he would point at one of the pictures in the book and look up at Drover just to try and say the right word.

“Eeeep?” he said and looked at Drover, who nodded encouraging. “That’s right, it’s a mouse!” Don’t ask me how he could understand the fairly weak tries of speach, but he did. Everytime Quince heard the word Yes after trying something he lit up in a happy face and started clapping his hands. I just loved watching them.

What surprised me the most about Quince, was that he seemed to take on the standing norms and values of our berry world all natural. He would dive in to his toy box, rummage around for a while and then happily come toddling to me with a yellow and red toy in his hand. Never any other color. I wondered what caused it, why my son just wanted to play with toys in his own color. Maybe we were born with it?

I took it up with Pixie one day and she just laughed at me. “Nah, it’s just a coincidence that he likes that truck” she insured. “Bluebell plays with toys of all color!”

“Then, what if my son grows up to be like them? What if he will also reject colorless sims?”

“You’re crazy. He won’t, he as the most perfect mother he could ever dream of. And she happens to be colorless. He just likes that toy, it has nothing to with its color” she promised and I did feel a bit less worried afterwards.

Pixie worked as my personal midwife, since I wasn’t allowed at the public hospitals since I was white (We weren’t supposed to breed!) and she did checkups on me regularly. I don’t know exactly how it worked, but she placed her hands on my belly and pushed and felt. She listened in a stetoscope for heartbeats to make sure they were regular. “Here’s a foot” she said and I nodded, “Ye, I felt that kick. It kicks a lot, this one!” I stated.

“Uhm Mallow…” Pixie started and by the sound of her voice I could tell she didn’t have good news. I looked at her with worry. “Either this baby has four feet, or you’re having twins…”

“Twins?!” Just great! We could barely afford raising two kids and now we were having three. Just great…

AN: I just want to add that I did not change any of Quince’s genetics. He aged up as a bald toddler and when I went in to CAS to give him some hair I was mighty surprised to see it red. It comes from Mallow’s father, Apple. It was a really pleasant surprise. 😀

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Chapter 1.8: Worries

“Ugh, stop the car!” I demanded and Minsk instantly pulled in to the side. He had barely stopped the car before I slammed the door open and threw myself out. I spilled the contents of my gut on the grass and wiped the sweat and leftover spews off with the back of my hand before I climbed back up in the truck.

“Sorry about that” I said, filled with shame. Not because I had thrown up, but because he had seen it.

“Are you alright?” Minsk asked worried. I refused to answer the question, because it must have been quite clear that I wasn’t.

“Just start the car, okay?” I said, remarkably annoyed over the fact that we were standing still because of me.

“You might wanna go check that, it’s been going on for some time now. Might be serious, you know?” Minsk probably meant well, even though I knew he was still annoyed by my white presence in the fire department. But check it up? Not really necesserary since I knew very well what it was. Not that I was going to tell him that, though. “Mhmm” I grunted in response, just to respond something.

Something serious? That was exactly what it was. Very serious, actually. So serious that I didn’t even know myself how to react to it. Pregnant? I had never even considered the option. Why would I? Being white and all..?

It scared me to death. Not so much the becoming a mother part, but the possibilty that this child inherited any of my white genes. I know they said it’s impossible, because my whiteness depends on mutations that won’t transfer, but it still scared me. As far as I knew, a white woman had never been pregnant before. There had never been any men interested in breeding on failures. Not the other way around either, for that matter.

“Drover…” I begun, voice only just able to make any sound at all.

“Yes hun” he replied, just as merrily as ever.

“Oh nevermind…” I couldn’t get myself to tell him. It wasn’t that I didn’t think he would approve or be happy. It was the opposite. I was afraid that he would indeed be happy and want to start planning a future with me. And he shouldn’t need to. I loved him too much to let him endure that.

Since Flax and our party Whites lost the election things had become even tougher for colorless. It had most likely been a reaction to the growing support of colorless’ that made Mayor Bloom decide to push even harder against colorless. His first change in law had been that we were no longer allowed to get married. Nor was colorless children allowed in public schools, instead he had started a special school for those colorless kids. Some people even thought it sounded good, but we saw through it. We realized that it wasn’t to protect us (as the supporters said) but rather the opposite. To seclude us.

How could I ever expect Drover to go through that?

“Don’t give me that” Drover said, obviously understanding that I did have something important to say. “Don’t scare me like this Mallow. Now you have me thinking it’s something serious!”

There it was again, the word! Serious.

“It is serious” I whispered, burying my face in my hands.

“What is it Mallow?”

I took a deep breath before deciding to just tell him, “I think I’m pregnant.”

“Pregnant?” Drover’s eyes shut wide open and it felt like a lifetime passed until he continued, “That’s wonderful!”

Yep, just the reaction I was scared of. I shut down my system when Drover started talking about us and the future, about the happy family we would be. I just couldn’t listen and it made me sad that I couldn’t share my fears of white genes with him. He wouldn’t understand, he just thought that this baby would be perfect. But I knew that even if we thought it was perfect even though it was white, most people would disagree.

“So, Pixie” I started just as she spun her attackers, shooting the little white plastic ball down my goal for the seventh time this game. “It seems as I’m pregnant”.

“Really?!” her happiness was pure and honest. “That’s lovely news, honey.”

I picked the ball up and placed it on the game board again and spun my middle row of players to start the game up again. I couldn’t take my eyes off the game because I didn’t want to let Pixie see the fear in my eyes. I didn’t consider the fact that Pixie knew me well enough to tell I wasn’t happy anyway.

“You’re not happy about it” she said. It wasn’t a question, just a matter of fact. “Why?”

“What if it’s white?” I worried and right after I poured my every worry and my worst fears out in front of my best friend. She provided as much comfort as she could, not that there was much to be said. It was as it was.

“You know” she said after a while and paused a moment in thoughts. “It might not actually be white, it could be true what they say. It might be all yellow. Or maybe blue or red, I mean because of your parents.”

“Maybe” I replied, still not convinced that this pregnancy wasn’t a curse. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be a mother, I had resigned myself to the idea already. But I knew what it was like growing up as a colorless berry and, for the love of the great, why would I want anyone else to go through that? It was even worse now. If this baby came out white, it wouldn’t even get to go to public school. It would be really pushed away from society, always forced to hide and not mix with colorful. It was a disgusting thought.

“You have to tell Drover about your worries, he deserves to know” Pixie demanded before I left that day. I knew she was right. But it was just so hard. He was so happy about this, I didn’t want to cloud his sky.

“But, it won’t be white, that’s impossible!” Drover said and hung on to what had been the truth for pretty much forever.

“Yea right. And colorless berries are failures and mutations and monsters!” I complained, trying the grumpy way to reason with him. I wanted to prove that the truth was very much in the observer’s eye and that the truth Fondant Fields knew, was far from the actual truth. I was no failure.

“But…” Drover started again but fell in to silence again. I sighed and felt tears burning in my eyes, I wasn’t sure if Drover would understand the importance of my feelings, I didn’t know if he was with Whites enough for this.

“If it does come out white, it won’t matter” he suddenly said and I looked at him confused and angry.

“Won’t matter?! It sure as Berry will matter ’cause everyone will hate it and then it’ll be bullied and before we know it, it’ll hate itself!” Pregnancy hormones made everything ten times worse and I was crying when I had finished the last sentence.

“Not everyone will hate it Mallow. And by the time it’s old enough for school and stuff Flax will be the mayor in town and we won’t have to worry. Besides I will love it with every little particle of my body, and so will Pixie and Flax.”

“And I” I sniffed.

“And that might just be enough” he finished.

The last few weeks before the pregnacy I was the same worrying mess again. I would go in to the nursery and just look around at all the yellow and white furniture in there. Drover had insisted that we kept white in the room even though that was what scared me the most. I didn’t want my baby to endour the disadvantages of being colorless.

“I promise to love you whatever color you are, little one” I said comforting and stroke my belly gently. I felt a respons in the form of a kick against my hands and I smiled. I knew we would love every bit of it, no matter what color it was.

Just moments later I started crying. It didn’t matter that we would love it. Not if it was born white. A baby needed support and it needed to be able to go to school and have friends and if this little one came out white it wouldn’t get those chances. I cursed myself for taking the risk.

Chapter 1.7: The election

It was an early morning when my phone buzzed and vibrated to life. The name Laser Lemon on the screen told me I was about to get some news on my best friend’s pregnancy. I hurried to answer, not yet knowing whether I should expect happy or sad news. I braced myself, “Hey Laser, ‘sup?” His tone immediately made me relax, it was a proud, happy Laser Lemon on the other end of the line.

“A girl, really?” I smiled widely at the news. Apparantly, Pixie had delivered a healthy, blue-skinned little angel just the other night and they now invited me over, to be the first one to meet her outside of the family. It was a big honor to me.

“Didn’t I tell you so?” I said and carefully lifted the little miracle up. She was the most precious little berry I had ever seen. She looked at me with her big eyes and flapped her long eye lashes and I felt how my heart basically melted. “Oh, Marshmallow will spoil you rotten, little miracle” I said and placed a light finger on her tiny, perfect nose.

I had heard how the smell of infants were special and magical, but I had never felt it myself. Until now. I couldn’t stop sniffing her or looking at her. When her little tiny hand reached for one of my fingers I thought my face would crack from the wide smile I formed.

I sighed happily and handed her over to the proud mother in front of me, my best friend Pixie. “She’s perfect Pixie!” I stated and Pixie stretched her back and hugged her baby tight. “I know she’s amazing” she sighed content. “I can’t believe I’m a mother, but then again it feels like she’s been her forever and I would never cope a day without her.”

“What are you going to call her?” I wondered.

“I let Laser decide” she begun. “And he says she’s a Bluebell. Isn’t that the most perfect name ever?”

“It feels as though I was born to be a mother” Pixie said later as she was feeding little Bluebell.

“Maybe you were?” I replied, still having trouble to stop looking at the miracle in her arms. “I can’t really see myself as a mother, though.”

“What?! You would be a fantastic mother!” Pixie protested. “But now, you have to fill me in on what’s happening between you and Drover! It feels like I’ve missed a decade in your lives!”

I chuckled, she was right. With how sudden our relation had changed, she had indeed missed a lot! “Well, you know he moved in with me, right?” Pixie nodded and I continued, “I suppose it was meant to happen eventually. I mean, we were constantly hanging out. And I think I tried to suppress my feelings because you know, I’m white and he’s yellow and I shouldn’t get my hopes up. Yada, yada, you know? I mean, why would someone with color want to stand being with a colorless when things are as they are? But then, he isn’t like everyone else and when he asked me if he could move in I kind of went with it and kissed him.”

I continued by telling her how we had continued kissing and how good it felt. I even went in to some details that I won’t share here, but let’s just say, she knew very well were I and Drover was standing when we were done.

“Little Bluebell, I have to go to work now. But make sure you take care of your momma here alright? You’re a lucky girl to have such a mother” I cooed just before I left. It was hard leaving them. I just loved Pixie so much and Bluebell was a true joy to be around.

I could tell I would soon be back, possibly bringing Drover with me.

I still loved my job, but some days it was tough to drag myself there. Days like this, when a little blue-skinned perfect girl was left behind in my best friends’ house, for example. But in the end, someone had to make sure this town was safe from fires, right?

On a completely different note, Flax had celebrated his 18th birthday a couple of days ago and he was looking mighty good as an adult. With his charismatic skills I just knew he would be able to snare both one and two girls. He always had a smile on his face, even though the election coming up in a few weeks stressed him out.

“What if no-one votes for me?!” he freaked when he came to visit and I always calmed him down with saying he would at least get one vote, from me. And I usually added that I was fairly certain Drover would vote for him as well. This did usually calm him down a bit, ’cause even if he really wanted to be elected, he would at least manage to stay afloat if he at least got a couple of votes.

“You know, we actually do have a chance” he said a while later and I couldn’t help but smile. His mood changed as a rollercoaster nowadays.

“I know, last measurement showed us having quite a good chance” I agreed, referring to the measurement where Whites had placed at a much approved second place. We knew they were never certain these measurements, but that only fed our hopes. If we could place second in a measurement we were actually able to win!

“You know, I never would have done this if it weren’t for you” he suddenly said and smiled. “You are awesome, Marshmallow. Don’t you ever let someone tell you different.” I blushed because it wasn’t exactly everyday business to me to get such compliments. In fact, it hadn’t been that long since I got my first compliment outside of family. Life had definitely changed quite quickly for me.

The day of the election we gathered a whole group of Whites at my place to watch the counting of votes. It was a joyful, exciting evening and we watched the diagrammes change on my tv-screen slowly as more and more votes were counted.

As the bars changed, so did our moods. It would have been fun to watch from the outside. Happy faces – Sad faces – Happy Faces – Sad faces.

At first, it seemed as though it would be an even fight between Whites and Mayor Bloom, but as time passed by it got more and more clear to us that we weren’t going to win. You could feel how the tension in my livingroom made the air vibrate. Nobody said anything but we probably all had the same thought in mind: We failed.

Pomelo was the first to speak, “Oh well, there’s always another chance in two years, right?” That was the straw that broke the camel’s back and Flax jumped up, demanding to get Pomelo out of his sight. The disappointment laid like a shell all around him but it was the most clear in his eyes, which was tearing up.

Pomelo didn’t need to be told twice and was out of my house faster than you could have said Marshmallow Puff. I myself, tried my best to comfort Flax while the other members of Whites also started to make their leave. Soon, it was only me, Flax and Drover left. Being fairly alone calmed Flax down and eventually, he was calm enough to sit down again. I knew better than to try anything of the kind Pomelo had, as it would only put even more light on the fact that we didn’t win.

“Can I sleep on your couch tonight” Flax asked several hours later, after having cried, screamed and sat in silence. “I just don’t want to go out at all tonight.” I looked towards the bedroom door, where Drover had gone to sleep about an hour ago, before I nodded in response. That’s what friends do, stick up for each other.

“Thanks love” Flax said and gave me a peck on the cheek. After that he fell asleep almost instantly and I remained seated in the livingroom just watching him sleep for a while. Little Flax, all grown up.

Chapter 1.6: Take a chance

We spent nearly every waken moment working on Flax’s campaign. We knew just how important the election was, and just how much he could get done if he was elected. Not to mention, it was one of his biggest goals in life. We made sure everyone was constantly doing what they did best, whether that be sketching on our posters, talking to other berries or following the other parties campaigns. We had high hopes on the upcoming campaign and there was this feeling surrounding us: We might actually have a chance.

To top it all off, Pixie was expecting a little addition. I was so happy for her and Laser Lemon and I knew they would be the most amazing parents ever.

“It’s a girl, I just know it” I said after having one of my frequent conversations with the embryo. Pixie just laughed and pointed out that it was impossible for me to know since they didn’t even know themselves. But oh well, I just had a feeling that she would give birth to a beautiful blueskinned girl.

Drover was just as excited as I was about Pixie’s upcoming addition and was pretty much always around. He was like one of those girlfriends you have that always have good advices on how to handle the downsides of pregnancy and he always brought her ice-cream when one of her cravings hit. He was like a mix between best friend and boyfriend, I suppose.

If I wasn’t putting fires out, working with the campaign or spending time with Pixie and her soon to be baby, I was on the phone. Even though I wished to stay in the back of the whole political thing everybody kept pushing me forward and upwards. They needed me to be in the front line because Fondant Fields knew me. Both because of who my father was, but also because I had quickly proved myself as a brave and skilled firefighter. I was someone, even though my lack of color somehow blurred that image.

“So what do you say?” Flax asked me. To him, my opinions weighed heavy and he always wanted my support in the desicions needed to be done.

“I don’t know Flax… I think it’s better if our actions try to not upset the town. We have to prove our statement without stepping on their toes, you know?”

“I guess you’re right” he sighed. “But what should we do then?”

“Do we really need to do much more? We’ve done protests, TV-interviews and we have those lovely posters all over town” I answered, feeling less and less energetic for the whole campaign the more they kept dragging me to the front. I just wanted to tag along, you know?

“Way to be positive Marsh. No one agrees with us yet. I don’t exactly feel like getting zero votes!?”

“Calm down Flax. You won’t be getting zero votes. You know that. Many people agree with us and you know that too. I have to go now, okay? See you tomorrow, though.”

“Bye then.”

He hung up on me before I had even got the phone off my ear. Poor Flax, he was so stressed out about this all that he was starting to look less and less like himself. It was just that it was so important to him and I think his self-esteem was at stake. My doorbell rang just shortly after we finished our phone call and Drover smiled widely as he walked in:

“I’ve missed you” he said and I agreed, I had missed him too, even though it had only been a couple of hours since we last saw each other. Each time I looked at Drover I felt pride but I also felt insecure. I knew he was alive because of me, and that obviously made me proud of my actions, but insecure because I didn’t know if his feelings for me were true or just gratitude.

“Mallow” he started and took my hands in his. Tingles of joy shot through my body. It felt good, but in the same time I felt extremely defenseless and weak. How did I end up feeling like this with Drover? How did he manage to get me to expose myself in this way? “I was thinking… I might be rushing this now but. You know, I live with my brother. Brother! I’m 25 years old and I live with my brother!”

“Mhm” I said and swung our hands from left to right.

“So, since I spend most of my time here anyway, would you mind if I moved in?”

“You know Drover?” I asked, blushing because feelings I tried to suppress managed to break through. “There’s something I want to try.”

“And what’s that?” he wondered.

I took a chance, right there and then. Let it make or break, I thought. I leaned in and placed my white lips right on his warm, yellow, inviting ones. And boy it felt good.

“Uh, was that alright with you?” I mumbled afterwards, almost ashamed of myself for throwing myself over him like that.

“You can do that again, if you want to” he smiled.

And we did. Only that this time we hungered for more. All the insecurity that had been blurring that first kiss was as blown away now that we both knew that this was something that was okay (and sought after!) from both sides. My lips greedily explored his while my hands rubbed his back, exploring every inch of it. There was a passion and a curiosity to our every moves and I never wanted to let go.

Eventually, I did, obviously. It’s literally impossible to kiss forever, even though you know you want to.

“Was that a yes?” Drover winked and I suddenly remembered his initial question. “I think so” I said and that was that. Drover was officially movin in with me.

Chapter 1.5: White ‘bows are also ‘bows

At first, it blew my mind when I realized just how big Flax’s “group of friends” was. It wasn’t exactly a group of friends anymore, it was more like a real political organization. The members came from many different corners of the society, even though the teenagers were still a majority. They all wanted me to be the person in charge, but I was much more confident to stay a bit in the background. I thought it would have more power if it was colorful ‘bows who lead us.

Flax, who was the brain behind it all, kept on leading the group. Our meetings (which seemed more like family gatherings) took place in our homes and the amount of members showing up varied. The important part was that we were growing and that we had a clear manifest: Colorless deserves the same rights as colorful!

Flax was, despite his young age, a terrific leader. He had all the qualities needed and his big dream of becoming a known political one day was probably not that far away. I sometimes envied him because he had all that time ahead of him. The time to chase his goal. Maybe I had been to ambitious while I was young, because it felt like I had reached everything I had ever dreamed of already. I needed something new to work for, ’cause that’s how I work. I need something to keep myself pushing forward.

At first I didn’t realize I already had something that I was pushing for, but the insight slowly crept upon me. Drover.

Saving him from that fire had just been the first step. Now I needed him around me constantly. Partly because he kept telling me how awesome I was and how thankful he was for everything I had done. And partly because I was thankful for meeting him and because he was quite awesome too.

We were like missing pieces of a puzzle, instantly fitting together. He was the best friend one could imagine. And friendship was something I hadn’t explored so far in my life. It would be an interesting journey.

And of course, we had our little group with our little mission. After all these years trying to prove the value of colorless berries it was strange having a whole group of them by my side, trying to do the same thing. I must say, it made it less important for me. See, I felt like I had already succeeded – there existed berries who accepted me as a real berry, even though I was white. I could settle with that, even though there was still lots to be done.

But I wasn’t lonely anymore, and that’s what really mattered.

“We’ll go to the city hall today” Flax said eagerly and waved a big sign above his head, excitement accessorizing every word he said. Some people clapped their hands by the idea and some just stood quiet and still. Flax lowered his voice in to a dark whisper and continued, “It’s time that we show them. It’s time to out our existence.”

We walked as a group towards the city hall. Our white clothes shined bright in contrast to the colorful surroundings and berries passing by couldn’t help but to stare at us. There was a tense, exciting atmosphere surrounding us. We walked in silence, only the occasional whispers between some of our comrades to break the complete silence.

Once we arrived we raised our signs and waited for Flax to go first. At the sound of his voice we all started chanting: “Colorless is beautiful!” “Rights for white!” “White is a color!”

It was a truly uplifting feeling being apart of this happening. I spent a short moment thinking about my father and I realized that he would be proud of me. That there was lots he would be proud of. I smiled and yelled higher than anyone else: “WHITE ‘BOWS ARE ALSO ‘BOWS!”

Later that night we held a little party at my place (which, by the way was starting to look more and more like a home for each day). It was a cheerful evening with many laughs and as I looked around and realized that these were all my friends I felt a warm feeling rush through my body, which left me with a goofy grin on my face.

“We did it!” Drover threw himself around my neck, lifted me up and span around in a hug. I’m not sure if we really accomplished anything of value with our protest but we did get a few encouraging words from other ‘bows passing by. The hug from Drover felt good non-the-less.

When he put me back down he kept his hands on my shoulders and looked straight at me, “You’re an amazing friend, Mallow. And the bravest berry I’ve ever met. I hope you know that you mean the world to me.” We hugged each other again, a long warming hug that sent tingles through my body. He was surely something special, this Drover guy.

And so the party continued.

“Could you all listen for a moment” Flax had jumped on to my kitchen table to speak. “In two months I’ll be celebrating my 18th birthday and take the step in to adulthood. I want to thank you all for joining me in this group. It’s an honor seeing so many of you fight for the rights of colorless.” He was met with applauds and whistles.

“I’ve decided to turn this in to a real political party” he continued once everyone was listening again. “The next election is in eight months and by that time I’ll be old enough to have a ruling spot in the government. So, what I’m saying is: Will you all have my back as I hunt down all those oldfashioned opinions and create a new, better place for ALL BERRIES?!

I thought my house would collapse by the hubbub. Everyone went absolutely nuts of excitement and the YEEEEEES! that followed Flax’s speech was probably heard all over Fondant Fields.

Chapter 1.4: Six weeks

“Is she awake yet?” The voice was nothing but a blur. It somehow seemed familiar but I couldn’t place it. Not in the condition I was, barely even aware of my surroundings. It was all mostly a blur.

“Nope, still unconscious” another voice, this one completely unknown to me, replied.

“Promise to call if she wakes up, okay? I have to go” The first voice said and then I heard the faint sound of footsteps and a door closing.

“How is she?” It was a third voice. Worried.

I slowly opened my eyes and sat up. I felt a bit dizzy, quite a lot disoriented and stiff. I carefully stretched my arms out and noticed that my body felt sore, hurt and weak. The walls around me were colorful so I knew I could not possibly be at my own place, so then, where was I?

“She’s awake!” The third voice belonged to a man and he seemed incredibly happy to see me awake. He was familiar, but I still didn’t manage to place him.

“Shh. Take it easy, let her wake up before you attack her” the woman to whom the second voice belonged said. Her voice was serious but still with a jokeful tone.

“Sorry” the yellow man mumbled and sat down at the couch next to me again. By now I had almost my full vision back, even though I still felt confused and dizzy. The walls were all painted in a warm orange tone and the floor in a complementing blue. Judging by the colors, I would say the place belonged to the woman who had just spoken. She had a cold blue skintone and yellow hair with orange tops. Her ears pointed backwards. She looked just like any normal ‘bow, except for her shining white dress.

“Who are you?” I wondered. My voice was weak which I guessed depended on it not being used in a while. I cleared my throat while listening to their answers.

“I’m Drover” the yellow guy stated. “And the blue bossy girl over there is Pixie” he continued with a joking, mocking tone in his voice. Not that it was a big surprise, but I could tell that the two of them were friends.

“You’re dressed in white” I pointed out, even though I was already fairly certain that they were aware of this.

“So are you” Drover replied and smiled.

“You’ll have to excuse him” Pixie said and moved closer. “He’s just been so eager to meet you. We’re Flax’s friends. We took care of you after the fire. Or, I mean, I did. Drover just came over to see that you were okay. You had him worried.”

“What happened?” I asked, having no memory of what actually had happened, except that Drover was the guy who my co-workers wanted us to leave in the house, burning to death. Apparantly, since he was all alive before me, I had managed to get him out of the house before I passed out.

“You saved my life, that’s what happened!” Drover was happy. He seemed to be a man of energy, from the little I had seen of him. Pixie, on the other hand, seemed more calm and relaxed. I noticed that she giggled everytime Drover’s energy shined through while he spoke. I stood up to look at her, motioning for her to explain to me.

“You went in after him when everyone thought it was already too late” Pixie explained. “You shouldn’t have gone in again. Not after getting Hybrid out, but you did. Drover lives because of you. I thought you wouldn’t make it… We couldn’t keep you at the hospital, we needed you to get better so I signed you out. I’ll probably lose my job if they find out, but you deserved the best of treatment after what you did. But since you’re colorless they wouldn’t have bothered too much. You were there for weeks without getting better and in the end me and Blueberry, I mean your mom, decided it was better to check you out and bring you here.”

“My mother was here?” I asked, even though I had already figured she had been the first voice.

“Aye, you just missed her” Drover said and confirmed what I already knew.

“We’ve been going shifts taking care of you” Pixie continued. “And we noticed you got better almost right after you got here. Drover has been here pretty much all the time, guarding by your side. And me, Blueberry and Flax has taken turns to come in and look after you. It’s good to have you back.”

“How long have I been gone?” I asked and realized I didn’t know what day or date it was.

“About six weeks. Long time…” Drover answered. Pixie nodded next to him, as if she was confirming what he said. Six weeks… That was indeed a long time.

It was enough time for a lot of things to happen, I found out later. Such as myself earning another promotion at work and a special thanks from the government for saving the lives of two berries. Enough time for Flax’s little rebellion group to grow a lot bigger (which they apparantly had me to thank for, for being a colorless hero) and enough time for my own bills being piled up and the repo-man coming to my house, stealing two kitchen chairs. Okay, the last part wasn’t exactly a good thing, but all in all most of the changes seemed to be good.

I learned that both Drover and Pixie was my friends, even though I didn’t exactly know them. It took only a few hours for me to learn to trust them. Except for my parents, they were my first friends. I had to remember to call Flax and thank him some day.

Pixie, I soon learned was one of my mother’s co-workers and also one of her best friends. She had been one of the first to join Flax’s group of colorless colored ‘bows. She knew pretty much everything about me and held me as one of her biggest inspirational sources. It was weird meeting berries who looked at you that way. But I couldn’t not like Pixie. She was easy to talk to, relaxing to be around and kind beyond worlds.

Drover was, just as I had first thought, an energetic man with a heart of gold. His brother Hybrid had told him several times about how I fought my co-workers to get back in to save him and he, in his turn, had passed the story on to me. He had shamefully admitted that he had been one of the many berries who hated us colorless but that he had changed his mind right after hearing about me. He explained that it was a big lie he had been raised upon and that he didn’t actually think much about it. But apparantly, I was the living proof of colorless good berries. Since they brought me to Pixie’s house he hadn’t left my side once because he wanted to be there when I woke up, to be able to thank me personally. He had joined the rebellions as soon as he was signed out of the hospital himself.

My mother had in fact been a member of Flax’s rebellious group the entire time without telling me. She wanted me to make my own decision even though she had known right away that it was the right thing to do. She told me she would always fight for mine, and others of my kinds’, rights.

Flax was the proudest and youngest rebellion leader one could ever imagine and his help in making sure I got better was something I would never be able to return. Despite his young age, I had to admit that he was now one of my best friends.

I myself decided to join their group just shortly after, only to discover that I had a lot of friends in town that I didn’t know about. This was just the beginning.

Chapter 1.3: Less colorful

Everywhere I went I saw colors, colors and some more colors. Even though I had lived my entire life in this town, it still amazed me to see that there was pretty much nothing that was allowed to be colorless. They had even started forbidding vanilla ice-cream because it lacked color. What was the most fascinating was that no-one complained, everybody just bought the lie as it was. Everybody silently agreed to the standing norms through their non-actions.

This was before Flax told me about their rebellious little circle of friends, of course. I started seeing the colorless berries more and more. Some used white details in their otherwise colorful outfits while others were more brave and dressed completely colorless. If you knew to look for it, you could see that white was sneaking its way in to our colorful world little by little. The realization made me smile.

I noticed how these colorless colored berries exchanged looks, subtle so that no one would notice unless they were actually looking for it. Small nods in each others direction, innocent smiles and the like. I soon started as well, everytime I saw someone wearing white I nodded in their direction or smiled as though they were distant friends of mine. It was as though we had a little family on our own. It felt good.

Now that feeling, of course, did not follow me to work. There I was still being treated as something infected that needed quarantine. In all honesty, I don’t think I would want those people to be my friends, they were all too narrow-minded. Speaking with Flax made me realize that there actually were people that didn’t think I was disgusting or a shame for our world. Now, I had of course always known this myself, but just knowing there were others who agreed with me was a fantastic thing.

Working as a firefighter can be dramatic, stressful and exciting but most of the time it’s quite dull. There is a lot of downtime between the calls, where all we do is work in our own physical perfection, hang out with each other or make sure trucks and alarms are functioning properly. Now, these two last tasks are probably the most dull and the least attractive tasks we have. For some reason, I found myself doing this a lot. And I mean a lot.

I got better and better at it, though, so I suppose it did bring something good with it. It also helped my boss in deciding I had deserved the promotion when there was an opening. Which, of course irritated my co-workers to no end.

“You don’t deserve it. Stupid vanilla!” they said.

Now, I’m not exactly known to remain silent so I took a deep breath before I went in to protection mode. “Maybe I’m just better than you, Bubble. Guess you’ll have to work harder.” His final delivering blow was low. Something about the boss feeling pity for my lack of color, father, looks and class. And of course, topping it all of with: “You’ll never be as good as him”. Him, obviously referring to my father.

Some things are just hard to take. Talking bad about my father, for instance. Or telling me there are things I can’t do. I just couldn’t take it. I didn’t even find the energy or will to reflect his words, they just sank right in under my skin. I could feel how the tip of my mouth went from widely smiling to vibrating. I had to turn around to not cry. That would have been an embarrasment worth remembering. I wouldn’t let them have that to relish.

It took me some days to get back on track after that, but when I did, I was stronger and more determined than ever. I would show them. I would succeed. They would soon learn that I was already better than my father. That I would be willing to sacrifice just as much as he had done. They would see.

Little did I know that I would get the opportunity to prove myself just a couple of days later. (What are the odds, huh?) The alarm sounded and the call sounded BIG FIRE. I knew what it meant when a fire was classified as big. It meant lives were in danger, that there were berries trapped in the burning building and that we would have to really push ourselves to the limits to succeed in the task ahead.

Our group leader, Minsk, waved his hand, motioning for us to get dressed quicker. To get on the road quicker. “Go, go, go! Big fire! Big fire! You can do this, go, go, go!”

I knew that seconds could mean the difference between life or death so I got dressed quicker than I had ever before and were in my truck, on my way before anyone else. Adrenaline pumped in my body as I drove there and I could feel my heart beating in the same rythm as the sirenes of my truck. This was the greatest adventure of my life, so far. Right then, it didn’t matter at all what color I was or that the world flashing by my windows shined with bright, vivid colors while I didn’t. All that mattered was the lives we would soon save.

I was the first to arrive at the scene and I had never seen anything like it. Big, hungry flames threw themselves out of the windows of the house and from inside I could hear berries screaming in fear of their lives. The fire crackled and sound of wood falling and breaking turned the scene in to a real emergency.

Without hesitation I pulled out the hose and started to put out the fires in the windows, knowing this would most likely be the best way for those berries inside to get out. It felt like an eternity before the water from the hose started to ease the flames. I pushed it to its limits, still trying to push it even more. I knew I wouldn’t let them die in there, I would make sure.

Sweat was dripping from my temples, running down my cheeks and my body was working beyond its limits. I knew I pushed myself hard, possibly harder than would have been possible if I hadn’t been so empowered by adrenaline. I had already managed to secure two of the windows when the rest of my group arrived at the scene.

“Check the back, I’m going in!” I yelled towards them and it didn’t matter that I was the colorless one, they obeyed and rushed towards the back of the house while I myself ran towards the door. I pulled the handle down, only to find that it was locked from the inside. I knew the seconds were ticking and as fast as I possibly could I got back to my truck, pulled out the fire axe and went back to the door.

Two powerful chops at the lock later the door gave in and I could finally make my way inside the house. Judging by the amount of smoke in the house I could once again tell we were working with tiny marginals here. I needed to do everything right. I put my hand in front of my mouth to breathe through it and moved crouched and fast through the house. It was hard to see with all the smoke blurring my vision and causing my eyes to tear up but there was no time to think about it.

“We’re coming to get you!” I yelled and listened careful after a reply. Any hint to where in the house they were would help a bunch.

“In here!” A man called and I figured he had locked himself in one of the rooms next to the one I was in. I didn’t know if there was anyone else in the house and I knew I had to make a quick decision in where to go. I decided to get the man who answered my call to safety. With a quick kick the door budged and swung open. The man was literally jumping from one foot to the other in panic with his hands waving above his head. “Help! HELP ME!” he cried out.

After getting the man out my team-leader gave me a well-deserved pat on my shoulder. “Well done Mallow” he said and smiled. “Now take some rest.” It was already dark, which meant I must have worked here for many hours. I could feel that my body was exhausted but as I looked at the house, which was still in massive flames I knew there was no time for rest. I looked around and saw that the rest of the team had also gathered around us, everybody looking after the man I had just rescued, waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

“What are you all doing here?” I wondered angry. “The house is still on fire!”

Minsk shook his head “It’s too late.”

I sighed. We had done all we could and it hadn’t been enough. The failure was devastating and as I watched the house shining in bright yellow, red and orange flames I thought to myself that Bubble had been right. I would never be as good as my father. “My brother is in there” the rescued man suddenly whispered. His voice was weak and worn out but his eyes were looking straight at me, begging me to do something. “You have to save him” he said and fell back in to silence.

I didn’t even wait a second to move but instantly felt an arm around me. “No Mallow. It’s too late. We can’t do anything.”

“WE CAN! Let go of me!” I yelled in a fierce voice. Minsk was strong when he held me but I was empowered with something beyond berries and managed to break free.

“I’M NOT LETTING HIM DIE!” I called out as I ran away. It was impossible for them to stop me but I heard them screaming after me, asking me to turn around. But I couldn’t just leave him. I had to at least try and save him. That’s what my father would have done.


AN: I’m sorry Marshmallow suddenly has different firefighter clothes, please don’t think about it. I couldn’t change them to what she was wearing at the actual emergency scene when I needed to take the last pic for the chapter. 😦

Chapter 1.2: Lonely

I could hear them talk behind my back. In fact, they talked in front of me too. The macho-berries (men, of course) who worked at the fire station found it silly, ridiculous and down right disgusting that someone like me had been offered a job there. The fact that I had been the most qualified applicant, both regarding education and physical capabilities seemed to go by un-noticed. What mattered was color, or rather, my lack of color and the fact that I was a girl.

They didn’t even budge by the fact that my father had been one of the most talented fire fighters in town. A hero, if you so wish. I knew I would follow his path, but there was no one else believing in me. Not even my mother. After the tragic event with my father she had followed his path and begged me to choose another job. One that wasn’t so dangerous. Little did she know, that the danger that came with the job was what pulled me there.

My father died in a big fire four years ago. He died a hero and have been grieved by the majority of ‘bows in town. Little Flax (who’s not so little anymore) and his parents constantly comes to my father’s grave to make sure it’s decorated okay. I’ve met them there several times, it’s almost as though they are my own family. Because my father saved Flax from a gruesome death in that fire, they seem to feel like they owe us something. I bet that’s why they accept me as a normal berry, even though I’m colorless.

I won’t lie though, I did feel like they were responsible for my father’s death for many years. I couldn’t stand seeing Flax grow and knowing that my father died, saving him. I’ve learned to accept that now and I know that if I got the opportunity, I would do the exact same thing. That’s the beauty with this job.

The first time the alarm sounded I almost choked on my sandwich. The adrenaline that instantly started rushing through my body is indescribable. We have no more than 90 seconds to get dressed, get in our trucks and be on our way from the moment the alarm sounds. I knew I’d manage it, but the rush that comes out of that pressure is amazing non-the-less. When we got to the right house we quickly figured it was only a small fire and that it would be easy enough to put it out. It was a good enough first mission, I’d say.

It was my hope that for every fire I helped distinguish I would prove, once and for all, that colorless berries are equals to colorful berries. Honestly, it’s unbelievable that such racism exist still today. I guess it also has to do with the fact that colorless berries feed it too, just by dressing in color. We should be proud of who we are. Maybe I can be a role-model, someone to look up to. I’ll be the new hero in town.

I’ve never really had any friends. Understandable, when you consider the fact that colorless berries usually are treated as though they have some disease. They all seem so scared, as if they were afraid that my lack of color would somehow infect them.

The thing was, though, that now that I had moved out from my mother’s home, it would easily get quite lonely. I had no-one to talk to. And so far, the other firefighters treated me just as they would treat any colorless sim. They simply ignored me and made sure to stay out of my way. It was the first time I found myself wishing I had a friend.

“I miss you dad” I stood by his grave and talked to him. I often came here to talk to him. He had, after all, been the best friend I’ve ever had. Even though he discouraged my firefighter dream, he had always stood up for me and believed in me. He was not only the hero in town, but also the hero in my life. “I hate how they ignore me. I wish you were here to tell me I’m valuable. Dad, I need you.”

“I could tell you that” a young man’s voice said and I noticed a pair of feet moving closer. As I looked up I saw Flax’s smiling face.

“Times are changing” he said. “Most people my age don’t agree with those old sayings. We know better.”

I smiled, it was rather cute with the naive teenagers. Their fate in future, their certainity in a changing world. “Thanks…”

“Look” he suddenly said in a much more eager tone and took a swirl in front of me. I don’t know how I could possibly have missed it. He was all dressed in white.

“Why?” I wondered, curiosity catching me.

“Many of us do it” he answered proud. “We’re making a statement… I think we are about… 15 already!” He was shining with pride. A colorful berry dressed in white, there was still lots for a woman’s eyes to see. I had never heard of anything of its kind. Colorless berries in color, sure. But this?

“It isn’t just teenagers” he continued, still with pride in his voice. “You should come! You could be like our leader!”

“I don’t think so Flax…” I said, knowing that I had my hands full with my new job and trying to get approved by my co-workers. “But I appreciate the gesture” I said and stood up. I waved him goodbye and started to make a leave.

“At least keep your eyes open!” He shouted after me. “You might notice lots of people dressing colorless!”

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