Chapter 5.8: Crazies

Screenshot-2670Tangerine woke me up early on my first morning at the treatment center and said that breakfast was served in the dining hall. It was confusing and scary to wake up at a place which was not my home and where I knew no one. I had not seen any of the other patients, but Tangerine had told me that there was currently two more full-time residents at this time.

I got dressed and walked down the stairs, towards the dining hall. I felt uneasy and uncomfortable and found myself wishing that Sonic had been there with me. Everything had been easier if Sonic was here too. A blue, furry little puppy came to greet me as I approached the dining hall but I couldn’t get myself to bend down and greet it back. I was simply too nervous.

Screenshot-2669It certainly didn’t help that one of the residents, a green girl with pointy ears and an undercut started laughing hysterically when I entered the dining hall. “Oh my berry, there you are. I’ve been wondering when you’d show up” she chuckled. I didn’t reply but instead went straight for the breakfast buffet. Everything about this place scared me.

The girl kept laughing when I dug in to my breakfast. She had a hysterical laughter that made me think she was crazy. Then I remembered where I was, and I decided that she was in fact crazy. Just as they thought I was. We were all crazy at this place. Except for Tangerine, of course. But then again, she had to be a bit crazy herself to be able to work with us.

“Myrtle, grab some breakfast instead of scaring our new friend” Tangerine said in a harsh voice. It got Myrtle to stop laughing out loud, but she kept an entertained smile on her lips as she grabbed herself some breakfast.

Screenshot-2671Except for Myrtle, there was also a black guy with an afro and sunglasses in the dining hall. He seemed to think it was hilarious that Myrtle laughed at me, and giggled himself.

“Let’s eat outside, Slate” Myrtle said and looked at the black guy, who said nothing but followed her outside. Like that, I was left on my own in the dining hall and I felt incredibly lonely. If those two were the ones I had to look forward to spending time with, this would not be a pleasant stay.

Screenshot-2673From inside the dining hall, I could see how Myrtle sat down casually on one of the picnic tables outside. With one foot on the bench she started eating her breakfast with her hands, “I don’t think Yew likes us” she said to Slate with her mouth full of food.

Slate looked at her with an empty look in his eyes and nodded lightly. Still, he said nothing. “He better get used to us. Or me, at least” Myrtle continued and filled her mouth with some more food. “And he will. I’ve seen it myself.” Slate smiled widely and nodded.

Screenshot-3031Somehow, I made it through breakfast and next I had a session with Tangerine. She showed me in to a small room containing a bookshelf, a lounging chair and an armchair. She pointed me towards the lounging chair and I sat down, a bit nervous of what was to come.

Screenshot-3032Tangerine asked me more questions of my past, of my relation to Aquamarine and about Sonic. I wondered when it was going to be my time to ask questions. My time to get answers. Though, I doubted it would come anytime soon. Aquamarine had sure succeeded in getting them all to think that I was some kind of psycho. In a way it was surrealistic. Nothing made sense.

“Why don’t you just ask Sonic about these things?” I said after the thirteenth question about our friendship. Clearly, they did not seem to care about the things I said, so perhaps it would be better to get them to talk to Sonic. Get his version of it all. There was no way they could argue that we were both nuts.

Screenshot-3033Tangerine leaned forward a bit. “That’s problematic, I’m afraid.” She seemed to hesitate a little before she went on. “You see Yew, we haven’t been able to find Sonic. There’s no record of his existence and…” Tangerine stopped talking and I lost my breath. They were the crazy ones, that was for sure now. How could she sit there, saying she wanted to help me, and yet denying the existence of the one person who could really prove my innocence? She had met him after all. He had been with me through this entire process.

“It’s hard for you to understand, isn’t it?” Tangerine looked at me again before standing. “I’m sure you will understand one day Yew. We will help you, that’s why you’re here.” I was angry and upset and sad and frustrated at the same time and didn’t know what to do. Clearly, my protests did little to help me. Perhaps I would be wiser to play their game.

Screenshot-3037Before I knew it, Tangerine had led me to another small room and placed me in a big machine that was going to “measure my brain activity”. The machine gave off a mechanical humming sound and the fact that it would soon be lowered towards my head to measure stuff going on in my brain was enough to drive me to the craziness they all accused me off. But, I would play their game. If that was my way out of here, I would.

Screenshot-3038Tangerine asked me questions of all kinds of things – for example my family, my house on the island, Sonic, Aquamarine, my interests and mostly then photographing – while the machine sent a blue light circling around my head. I did what I could to answer her questions truthfully, after all, there was nothing wrong with her questions.

Screenshot-3035“Hm, that’s interesting” Tangerine replied from time to time and scribbled down notes on a paper in her hands. After a short while, the blue light from the machine stopped and I was released from it.

“I’m going to be perfectly straight with you Yew” Tangerine said and looked down at her notes. “Your brain activity is severely heightened whenever we speak about Sonic and your photographing. More interestingly, it is the activity in your right brain half that shoots through the roof. When it comes to photography, that is somewhat expected since photography in its self is a creative activity. However, when you speak about your family your brain activity is divided almost equally between your two brain halves, with a little more activity on your left, logical, side. That being said, your brain seems to remember people mostly in a logical sense. The interesting thing is that any time we talk about Sonic, there is a majorly increased activity in your right brain half. That means you use a more creative approach when you think and talk about Sonic than you do of any other person.”

Screenshot-3036“Mhm?” I had heard what Tangerine had said but I could not understand what it meant.

“Yew, I think Sonic is a creation of your imagination” Tangerine stated after a short pause. “That explains why he is missing from your photos.”

Screenshot-2678After the session with Tangerine I only had to kill a small amount of time before Sonic came to visit. I showed him around the house quickly before we settled in a sofa on the second floor. “You’ve gotten yourself in to quite the mess” Sonic said. There was nothing I could do but agree. Things were definitely a mess.

“You have to get me out of here” I begged. “Aquamarine have them thinking I’m crazy. It must look as though I am, too. Sonic, you have to help me. You’re smart, you’ll figure something out. Right?”

Screenshot-2676“Oh my, you really are crazy” Myrtle stood by the sofa almost where Sonic was sitting and she stared at me with wide-open eyes. “Do you often talk to yourself?” she wondered.

“Do you often interrupt others’ business?” I countered.

“You’ll have to get a grip of yourself. Really. We can’t have our babies growing up in here. And they’ll never let me out.”

I only listened to what she was saying with half an ear because I was still trying to keep the conversation flowing with Sonic. I needed him to survive this place. I tried ignoring Myrtle and kept talking to Sonic, but she remained standing in front of us. After a while she started laughing at me again.

“Oh cheese” she said and caught her breath. I was already getting sick and tired of that hysterical and annoying laughter. “You are much worse than I’d thought you’d be. I had not seen this coming. You really do need the help.”

By then, Sonic stood up and left and I had just had it with her, “Why don’t you just leave me be?!” I screamed and went to hide in my own room. As I walked up the stairs I could hear her laughing after me. As if there was anything fun about anything at this place.

Screenshot-3039Later that day Lavender came to visit. She had grown so much since I last saw her and was now almost as tall as me. Her hair had grown tremendously and she was no longer the little sister I remembered. She was a fully grown up woman and I realized when I saw her that I had missed her. And the rest of the family, of course.

“How are you?” She wondered and smiled briefly.

“Dunno” I asked. It was the closest thing to an answer I could get.

Screenshot-3040“Mom and dad are making us all move here” she continued. “I bet Mulberry and Froly will come to visit you any day. Heck, even uncle Salmon and his family are moving here. And Watermelon and Bittersweet too. They’re making a great deal about this, y’know.”

“Why? To help me? Get me out?” I was still not sure if they were all playing a part in Aquamarine and Tangerine’s game or if they sincerely wanted to help me.

“Well… It doesn’t help that Lava is on a rampage back home either. In a way, we were all looking for a reason to get out of there. Until someone does something, Fondant Fields ain’t safe for no one. Salmon don’t want his kids to grow up there and none of us others want to start a family there. This place isn’t too bad. And I mean, you kind of need our support, I guess?”

Screenshot-3041“I need help to get out. And to get my son back” I replied truthfully.

Lavender sighed and rolled her eyes, “Stop that crap about your fudging son” she said. “You never had a son, just drop it already.”

“Hunter” I complained but Lavender just sighed again.

“If you truly believe that you’re in deeper shit than I thought.” Her mocking tone instantly reminded me of the little sister she was. Always putting herself in the spotlight, always complaining about whatever. She was still so much younger than me, in body and mind.

Screenshot-3042“No, seriously bro’, you need to get your shit together. This place ain’t no fun. There’s so much to do on this island it’s just a waste that you’re rottin’ away in ‘ere.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about” I pouted. There was no shit to get together. No way of me getting out of here unless they helped me. And right now, she wasn’t helping at all.

“I dunno what to do” Lavender sighed. “But you need to pull yourself together. Get outta this. Take whatever help they’re offerin’ you.”

I sighed. They were all part of the same plan. They were all convinced I was completely crazy. But I would get out of here, somehow. Get my son back, somehow. Even if that meant I had to play their stupid game. I had to become the crazy one.

Finally a new chapter! I just wanted to say that I know nothing about how Yew’s mental illness would look in real life. What I describe is simply a made-up condition. That being said, it does obviously have similarities with conditions that are existing in out world. Likewise, I don’t know exactly how left and right brain halves work and what their purpose is. I just wrote from whatever I could find on my first Google search and I am aware that it may not reflect any real facts. What I’m trying to say is that this is fiction and that I’m not claiming to know of the real facts behind what’s presented in this fictional work.

Also, Lavender is as you can see a YA and have accordingly been moved out of the household. She does live on Isla Caramello though, and I hope to report more on how she’s doing and what she is up to. The same goes for the rest of the family now that they’re actually in the “right” town.

And, because Sonic deserves better than being reduced to just an imaginary friend, I’ve added him to the Downloads section. Feel free to use him in your own games and stories, I think he should get the chance to be real and have a real future. 

Thanks for reading and commenting. I love you all and I very much appreciate every single comment you give me. ❤


Chapter 5.7: Getting Help

Ah, I felt such a strange feeling of satisfaction after reading about your confusion after the last chapter. Sorry. I’m horrible, I know. And then I’ve kept you waiting for this chapter for like… forever. My life went quite hectic with the start of the new semester at Uni. However, I finally got this done! There’s not that much clarification in this chapter because it would be too long if I added even more, I wanted it published instead of postponing it further.

Screenshot-2514I was led down stairs, through some narrow corridors and was eventually put in a cell. My head was spinning too fast to make any sense of the feelings I had. I was confused. Lost.

I lost the sense of time almost immediately. Possibly even before I was put in the cell. I couldn’t tell if it had been hours or days since I came here, but the cell felt cold and frightening. It was definitely not a place I wanted to stay in. And why should I? I heard some of the officers talk and I knew they suspected me for terrible acts. I don’t know if I was mostly angry or hurt that Aquamarine would force me to go through this. A regular custody case would have been much easier. And more fair.

Some times I was brought out from the cell and to a questioning room. Police officers glared at me and wanted me to confess kidnapping Hunter. It made no sense. I couldn’t confess something that I had not done. Hunter was my son and it had been my right to have him at my place. I understood that Aquamarine wanted to share the parenting with Jacinto and that she wanted me out of their lives, but this way was just wrong. I had not deserved this. The questionings lasted until the officers gave up and brought me back down in my cell.

Had it been days? Had it been hours? I couldn’t tell.

Screenshot-2629Though, eventually mom and dad came to visit along with Sonic and a woman I had never seen before. Two officers stood outside the cell watching us as we talked to each other. I was not allowed privacy even when I met my family.

“You need help, son” dad said and hugged mother’s hand on the other side of the bars. Sonic stood behind them and said nothing, but I could see that he was hurting too.

“You have to get me out of here. I want my son back” I replied. They were the only chance I had.

Screenshot-2630Mom closed her eyes and took a deep breath, but neither she or dad said anything. A few moments passed and then the unknown woman started to speak, “Yew” she said and looked at me with caring and calm eyes. “My name is Tangerine Blossom, and I am here to help you.”

Screenshot-2631“Can you get me my son back?” I asked, hope raising within me.

Tangerine smiled. There was something about her that made me feel calm. Even though I knew nothing about her, I trusted her. “We’ll get you out of here to begin with” she said.

Screenshot-2632After saying a temporary goodbye to my parents, me and Tangerine were escorted to a questioning room by a muscular and grumpy officer. “Holler if you need me” he said to Tangerine before he closed the door and left us to talk.

Tangerine looked at me and I started fiddling with my hands under the table. Suddenly, the whole situation felt uneasy. “Yew, do you even know why you’re here?” Tangerine asked after a short moment.

I sighed, it was hard to accept that Aquamarine was the devil herself, but there was no other truth. “Because I’ve been tricked” I said. “Aqua tries to keep me from my son. It’s not right.”

Screenshot-2633“How long would you say have you known Aquamarine?”

“Since I moved here. We started dating almost immediately.”

“Yew, I might have to tell you some things that will be hard for you to understand. But I can help you make sense of it all. But, before that happens, I have to know that you really want my help. And it is very important that you are being honest with me the entire time. Do you think you could do that?”

“I never lie” I replied.

Screenshot-2634“That is what I think too” Tangerine said and smiled. “And that is what makes me think I can help you.”

“It seems I could do with some help” I joked and looked around. It was a fitting joke, but also the hurtful truth. I needed help to get out of this place.

“If that is what you want, you will have to trust me” Tangerine continued. Her eyes told me that it would not be easy. But I was ready to fight. Oh, I was.

Screenshot-2516I spent the days leading up to the trial by walking from the bed to the toilet in the other corner of the room. It was by no means a satisfying way of spending my time, but I had little other options. Being a prisoner sucked. Sonic did come and hang with me a few times, but it just wasn’t the same when he couldn’t come in to the cell. And, Tangerine also came to talk to me at least once per day. She asked me all kinds of questions about my life both here in Isla Caramello, and the life I had lived back home in Fondant Fields.

Screenshot-2658The trial was just awful. Aquamarine and Jacinto held each others’ hands and looked at me with disgusted frowns. To them, I was a monster. I wondered when I had become that. I wondered what had changed our initial relation. But I couldn’t figure it out. It was a mystery.

Screenshot-2660I was called as a witness and I swore to tell the truth, and nothing but the truth. I told them how me and Sonic had met Aquamarine at the beach and how she later had become my girlfriend. I told them about the pregnancy and how Jacinto kept coming in between. I told them how much I loved Hunter and how I treasured the time I got to spent with him. I told them just how important he was to me. I also told them about the work me and Sonic was doing, without revealing too much before the story was published. To summarize, I told them how my life had shaped up since I got to Isla Caramello.

Yet, I was ruled guilty for the kidnapping. I was a kidnapper.

From there on I shut off. I could see Tangerine giving a statement for my case and I could see how different important berries checked their notes and took new notes. But I could not hear anything except the echo of the word Kidnapper.

Eventually, I was led out the door by two police officers. Tangerine walked next to us but no one else was allowed to join us. Mother and father cried. And my siblings, who had all come to support me, also cried. Only Sonic, who sat in the back of the room, waved to me as I left. I raised my hand and waved back.

Screenshot-2662“What happened?” I asked Tangerine once we were left alone.

She made me sit down in a chair in front of her and kneeled before me before she spoke. “Yew, I know this will be hard to understand. But you will understand it eventually, with my help.” She paused for a second during which she kept looking me straight in the eye. “You have a serious dysfunction. Not everything that happens in your life, happens outside of your body. You make things up. Not intentional, but things happen inside your head. I will help you understand what things are real and what things are not, but you will have to work with me. Okay?”

Screenshot-2661I stared at her, unable to process what she was saying.

“You are not Hunter’s father and you were never Aquamarine’s boyfriend. That means that you really did kidnap him.”

“I’m not a kidnapper” I whispered.

“I know” Tangerine said. “You are not well, Yew. We will help you get through this. Until you are feeling better, you have to come with me.”

Screenshot-2655I think I protested but I’m not sure. However, I was brought to a huge house and locked in to a room. It was a lot better than the cell I had been living in for the latest time, but I was still a prisoner. I sat down on the floor with my arms around my knees and my head was spinning. The last few days had been just too much. I did not understand, and it scared me.

Outside my door I could hear Tangerine talk: “It’s going to take time and it’s going to be tough for him. But I do think he will get better. Delusions and hallucinations are really not that bad once the patient understands that it’s not real. He’s going to need your support to get through it, though. Some of his hallucinations are quite long gone, and he might have trouble letting go of them. You are all going to work hard too, remember that he cannot help it. He’s not stupid, he’s not stubborn, he’s simply sick.”

“But he will get better, right?” It was dad’s voice and it was weak and cracking.

“As soon as he is ready to” Tangerine replied.

So, perhaps some things got clearer? I’ll add some further clarifications: Yew really did kidnap Hunter. Aquamarine was never his girlfriend, she was together with Jacinto the entire time and Hunter is their son. However, the story that has been told earlier, with Yew being Aquamarine’s boyfriend and Hunter their son, is really how Yew perceived it. To clarify even more: He imagined it so.

And, I’m adding this here because I’m not sure if it will get much space in the forthcoming story: Yew is not a journalist. He is still a paper boy.

I’m sorry Sonic isn’t in the pictures even though he is mentioned in the text. He refused to cooperate this chapter. Sigh.

And lastly, the lovely Tangerine is made by nirar22. I think she is lovely, don’t you? The starring guest page is updated accordingly.

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