Chapter 5.13: Moving home

Screenshot-3407We helped each other care for the babies during the first weeks – me, Myrtle and Tangerine. It was almost like we were a real family, even if we could never be just that. No real family is locked in a treatment centre and medicated on a schedule. But we were, we had to be, to not lose grasp of what was real and what was not.

Screenshot-3875Looking at the babies in their cribs made it bearable.

Petite is real, her tiny fingers are real and the happy gurgling sound she makes when she has just been fed is real. And Mars is real. His different cries are real. The loud, piercing and fierce cry when he’s hungry and the desperate cry when he wants comfort or closeness is real. My babies are real, and that is all that matters.

Screenshot-3421Tangerine watches how we provide for the babies and help us when we need it. I don’t know where she learned it, but she seems to know exactly how to be a mother, even though she’s never been one.

Screenshot-3876Myrtle, on the other hand, seems distant. She feeds the babies or change their diapers when asked but there is no spark of love in her eyes when she does it. Neither do she look at them with the same warmth as myself. I know it’s because she doesn’t want to attached. She knows that I will take them with me and leave the centre whereas she will have to stay. And I know it pains her. If I could, I would take her with me, but I know it won’t be possible. I know it because she has said so herself. She will never get out.

Screenshot-3868After a couple of months, Tangerine decided I was well enough to move back home with the twins. It came as a slap in the face even though I knew it was going to happen. It was scary and sad to leave the center, because it had become my safe haven and my home. Besides, moving back home meant I had to leave Myrtle behind and that was not something I had looked forward to.

Nontheless, it was exciting to bring the babies back to my old home.

I had redecorated my old bedroom to fit both of their cribs. Since I had now realized that Sonic needed no bed to sleep in, I had got rid of it and instead placed the mirror and the chess table where his bed used to be. The cribs, in their turn, were placed by the overlook to the ground floor. That way, I would hear them clearly even if I went downstairs when they slept. It would be a good arrangement, I was sure.

Screenshot-3874Screenshot-3869Mom and dad was a great help during the first time back at home. Not only did they help me to feed the babies and put them to sleep, they also helped me to not lose my mind when I was struck with sadness due to Myrtle’s absence. If it weren’t for my parents, I never would have overcome that initial barrier to an independent life outside of the center. It made me happy to see my babies with my parents too, because it reminded me of what family was, and why it was important.

Screenshot-3871Froly aged up shortly after my returning home, and not long after did he move out. It wasn’t surprising because Mars screamed all the time and there were few nights when anyone in the house could sleep through his cries. And just like that, all of my siblings had grown big and moved out to live their own lives. I couldn’t even imagine how that felt for mom and dad. I couldn’t even picture the twins moving away from me to form their own lives, and that was exactly what had just happened to mom and dad.

Petite and Mars probably reminded my parents of a far gone time, and I think it was partly because of that they were so eager to help me. That, and the fact that they were the kindest and most caring people I had ever met, of course.

Screenshot-3878Life proceeded, even if Myrtle was stuck at the center. I felt awkwardly lonely at times and I realized that except for Sonic and Myrtle, I had never really had any friends. I still had no friends except my family. Mom suggested that I could invite someone from work to join us for dinner, but they all thought I was crazy after everything that had happened. Dad suggested that I got myself a hobby, and I decided to start playing ranked chess games. It wasn’t exactly a way of gaining friends, but it was a way to keep myself occupied and in company of others.

That, along with my work as a paper boy, the twins and my family kept me busy for quite some time.

Screenshot-3881I had been living at home for a few months and I was slowly getting accustomed to it when tragedy struck at our home. I was in the livingroom when I heard mom gasp in shock up in the bedroom. The pure sound of her breath gave me goosebumps.

Something had happened.

Something terrible.

Screenshot-3884I raced up  the stairs, two steps at a time. It took me less than 15 seconds to get up there, but on the way several scenarios of what could have happened rushed through my head. Petite had stopped breathing. Mars had fallen out of the crib. Petite had crushed all of the family photos. Mars was choking on a button from his teddybear. One scenario was worse than the other.

However, none of the scenarios that rushed through my head was as bad as the one that actually happened. I put my hands before my mouth at the sight, as if that would silence the cry that came from my mouth.

Screenshot-3879 Screenshot-3880Before our eyes, dad was dying.

It was easy to see how life slowly left him and was replaced by nothing. It must have happened fast, but it felt as an eternity before dad ceased to be. I cried, out of grief and loss and pain whereas mom was quiet. She didn’t cry, but the loss and pain was evident in her eyes.

I sat down on the floor and memories of adventures with my father passed before me. There would be no more memories. These were all I had, and all that I would ever get. At that time, I couldn’t understand how I would ever be able to continue my life. Dad had always been there for me, and now he wouldn’t be anymore. There were so many things yet to encounter, so many more things we should have been able to do together.

Screenshot-3887Dad wouldn’t be there on the twins’ birthday. He wouldn’t teach them how to ride their bikes. He wouldn’t get to see them graduate or to go through their first love or first heartbreak. He wouldn’t be there when my siblings had their babies.

He wouldn’t be there when I married Myrtle.

I had never thought about marriage before, but when I thought about the things dad wouldn’t be there for, my marriage with Myrtle was one of them. And it was the most painful thing of them all. I would get married one day, and dad wouldn’t be there.

Screenshot-3889I cried for a long time while mom stood silent. Eventually, she started crying too. Perhaps it took her some time to understand that it was true. That dad was gone. When she finally broke in to tears, she sniffled a pained and sad “He’s gone”.

Life would go on somehow. We both knew that. Life had to go on, so it would. But we also knew that it would never be the same again. Dad had left a hole in our hearts and our lives that could never be filled with anything else. Eventually we would learn to cope with it, but for now we would do the only things that made sense. We would cry and mourn. We would wish that things were different and that dad would have gotten a few more days. We would be sure that we could never be healed. We would go over every memory we had of him. And we would honor his memory as best as we could. We would keep loving him even if he had ceased to be. We would do all of that, because it was the only things we could do.

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Chapter 5.12: A day out

This chapter will be mostly pictures and not much text. It’s simply a filler chapter in which we get to meet the extended Twist family. However, it still contains some very important events, and those are written out as normal. If you want to, you can listen to my favorite summer song while reading this, because it is a sunny and summery chapter.


Screenshot-3344It wasn’t easy for Myrtle to kneel at the end of her pregnancy. The big belly touched her knees already half way down. And yet, she fought against it and kneeled down to pet and feed Makro at least once every day. “Today is a big day, little one” she said happily. “It’s going to be good. I’m sure.”

It was a big day indeed. Tangerine had agreed on taking us to the beach for a day out with my family. For both Myrtle and Slate it would be the first day out of the center in years. We all looked forward to it very much, and me and Myrtle had been talking about it all week. Had Slate been able to talk, I’m sure he would have too. But he had simply smiled and nodded in agreement whenever me and Myrtle brought the subject up.

Screenshot-3356The weather was perfect, as always on Isla Caramello, and it was nice to see my family all gathered again. Even my aunts and uncles came from Fondant Fields. Some of them brought girlfriends and boyfriends, and all in all, we were one big happy family gathered there at the beach.

Screenshot-3346Cosmo, Salmon’s son, enjoyed the warm sea water and splashed around happily.

Screenshot-3349And Froly’s girlfriend Cyan came to spend the day with us.

Screenshot-3348Screenshot-3376And aunt Bittersweet along with her beloved Romeo.

Screenshot-3361Lavender was incredibly happy about spending the day on the beach and in the sun.

Screenshot-3355And aunt Watermelon smiled, even though she was limping as she walked with support on her cane. She looked so much older than the last time I saw her. In fact, she looked much older than any of her siblings, even though she was younger than both mom and Bittersweet.

Screenshot-3345Even Sonic was around, because in the stress of getting to the beach in time, both me and Tangerine forgot about my medication. It didn’t matter to me, I was just glad to have him around. After all, he was part of my family too. Real or not.

Screenshot-3357Uncle Salmon and Tosca came all the way from Fondant Fields.

Screenshot-3359My youngest brother brought a boombox and played loud Chinese music. It brought a summery and happy feeling to the whole beach.

Screenshot-3363And of course, Rhubarb came with the biggest smile he could master. He was always happy, my brother.

Screenshot-3371Screenshot-3372Our cousin Mystery had become a professional football player and Froly watched in awe as he showed off his skills.

Screenshot-3373Bittersweet was kind of a free spirit like my own mother, and it was easy to tell when she threw herself in to the water and swam. She looked peaceful in a way I had only ever seen mom do before.

Screenshot-3381I, myself, sat on one of the swings behind my whole family, just watching them. Myrtle stood by my side and I felt happy. More happy than I had felt in a long, long time. This was exactly how I had pictured life when I moved to the island. Carefree and warm days at the beach with people I cared for. This was the life I wanted for my kids.

Screenshot-3382Suddenly, Myrtle pointed at Tangerine and burst out in her famous hysterical laughter. “Oh my… I can’t even. Oh berry…” She tried to explain what she was laughing at between the chuckles, but could make out no full sentences. Instead of trying to understand her, I looked to what her finger was pointing at.

Screenshot-3364Screenshot-3365I nearly fell of the swing when I saw what she was laughing at. Tangerine stood a few feet away, totally eyeing Rhubarb from top to toe. I could almost hear her making smacking sounds as she checked him out. It was pretty clear that our therapist thought my brother to be a handsome one.

Screenshot-3375Soon, Tosca noticed the same thing and started giggling. It was probably not appropriate for my doctor to hit on my brother, but Tangerine did move closer to Rhubarb to speak with him. “Will she succeed?” I asked Myrtle, but she refused to tell me what their future held.

Screenshot-3370The day proceeded in the same peaceful and happy state as it had begun and it was a truly amazing day. One of the best days of my life, actually.

Screenshot-3391Everyone seemed to have a good time, and even as we interacted with each other and spent some quality time together, we also got time to just be on our own and enjoy the weather and the beach.

It was peaceful.

Screenshot-3383However, the peace was interrupted some time in the afternoon when Slate came running down the path leading from the island to the beach. I had never seen him be in a hurry before and it definitely caught my eye. However, what was really surprising was that he was screaming at the top of his lungs: “YEW! You fudging imbecile.”

Screenshot-3384I was surprised to hear his voice. But the anger of his insult was my most apparent feeling and I snapped instantly. Who was he to interrupt this perfect day by insulting me?

“What did you call me?” I yelled back and slammed my finger in to his chest with force that made him stumble backwards.

Screenshot-3385“You’re the fudging worst boyfriend ever. You should take some berry fudging care of Myrtle. You hear that? She’s…”

Screenshot-3386*SLAP!*

I slapped him before he could finish the sentence and I felt my face get redder with anger. “I’ve been good to her!” I screamed when Slate touched the cheek where I had just hit him. He still looked at me angry and shook his head.

“A good boyfriend wouldn’t let her give birth alone” he muttered.

Screenshot-3387“AND I WON”T!” I screamed and jumped at him. He was Myrtle’s friend, but as long as he insulted me, or questioned my ability to be a good boyfriend, I wouldn’t stand back. I had always thought of him as a freak, and the last few months’ friendship meant nothing if he thought he could tell me whatever he felt like.

Screenshot-3389I hadn’t expected him to be so strong, but Slate got the overhand easily and held my head in a steady grip under his arms. “That is just what you’re doing” he said between clenched teeth. “She’s having contractions and you’re down here fudging fighting with me. Worst. Boyfriend. Ever.”

Screenshot-3390He spat next to me before throwing me on the sand. “Now go to her” he finished before turning around and walking away. “She needs you.”

Screenshot-3394It took me a while to gather myself enough to understand what Slate had said. Contractions? But, when I looked around on the beach Myrtle was nowhere to be found.

Luckily, Lavender understood what was happening long before I did, and started running to catch up with Myrtle. I heard her screaming while running: “Myrtle, wait! We’re coming with you!”

Screenshot-3395In the end, it was Bittersweet who came to drag my arm and pull me back to reality. Myrtle was about to give birth. Now. And she needed me.

I don’t think I have ever run so fast before. But I ran, with all the speed I could master because I needed to catch up with my girl.

Screenshot-3396I caught her before we arrived at the hospital and my whole family soon joined us. Mom and dad sat in the waiting room while I helped Myrtle the best I could. Truthfully, there wasn’t much I could do and it pained me. She was hurting and she was struggling, and all I could do was watch and give her some cheering from the side.

It felt like an eternity before her struggles paid off and the first baby came screaming in to the world. A little baby girl. The next baby came with less effort just a few hours later. To me, it was a miracle how Myrtle could handle yet another birth so soon afterwards, but she did it without complaining. And so, a perfect little boy was born.

Screenshot-3397A few days later we could leave the hospital with our new family. Myrtle smiled proudly with the basket in her hand. Inside were treasures. Two perfect little babies.

It felt both perfectly right, and quite strange to bring our family back to the center. It was our home and it was where we had met. But would it be possible to raise our babies there?

Screenshot-3400Screenshot-3402Screenshot-3403Screenshot-3404Screenshot-3405Screenshot-3419Once we were back and had gotten the babies settled, we cuddled down in the sofa. Myrtle was exhausted, of course, and I was so proud of her. It had been magical to see her give birth to my babies. And it would be magical to raise them along with her.

Even though I had only known the babies for a few days I knew that Myrtle had been right. I would do anything for them. I already knew that the only thing that would ever matter was that Petite and Mars had the best father possible.


The babies are finally here! Petite is the girl and Mars is the boy. I am so excited to see them grow up. 

Chapter 5.11: Nausea and cookies

Screenshot-3265Myrtle loved the little puppy that lived at the center. Tangerine had brought it there to cheer the residents up, and for Myrtle it worked. She smiled and sweet-talked that little ball of fur as if it was her best friend.

Screenshot-3264“Who’s a cutie? Who’s a cutie?” she said in a silly voice. She was always being silly, I was used to that. However, I did not like that puppy as she did. Not that it wasn’t cute, because everyone thinks that puppies are cute. No, it was because it was blue. It reminded me so much about Sonic and it hurt to think that the little pointless furry thing was real, whereas my best friend was not. I wished it had been the other way around.

Screenshot-3262“Y’know, we could call it Sonic” Myrtle smiled. She tried to help because she knew how I felt. Of course, she also knew that I would never want to call the dog Sonic. There could be only one. Anyhow, it was a sweet gesture. “Or he could just keep Makro” she added after a while and smiled.

Screenshot-3259We had been an official couple for a few months only when Myrtle started to get morning sickness. “I didn’t see this in my visions” she groaned before kneeling before the toilet and letting out the contents of her gut.

You could not see it yet, but I didn’t need to. I knew because she knew. She was pregnant. It was happening. Future was coming.

Screenshot-3271 Screenshot-3276 Screenshot-3278Pregnancy was not easy for Myrtle. I had not experienced many pregnancies before. Not as closely as I experienced this one. But if every pregnancy was as hard as Myrtle’s, I couldn’t understand how there could be so many births. Myrtle walked with constant nausea and threw up several times each day. Also, she had cravings from another world.

Cookies.

When her cravings striked, she wouldn’t hesitate to kill for them. She’d do just about anything for a cookie. Just to throw it up as soon as she had swallowed it.

Screenshot-3281I loved her no less despite the new habits she grew. Just knowing that she went through this to deliver our child was enough to warm my heart and make me smile. I’d bring her as many cookies as I had to, just to keep her pleased.

“I never saw this fudging nausea in our future” she complained one day after having thrown up for the third time that day. “I hate not being prepared” she muttered.

“That’s how it is for everyone else” I smiled and stretched another cookie towards her. But she smashed it out of my hand and stomped on it, transforming it into a pile of crumbles.

Screenshot-3279“I never said I wanted to know how you all have it. I hate this. Fudge you for making me go through this, Yew Twist!”

Her mood swings were the one thing that I couldn’t stand about the pregnancy. We could be all fine one moment and the next she hated me and threw stuff at me. Tangerine said that it was normal, that Myrtle’s hormones went amok because her body worked hard to grow the fetus into a child. That I had to accept it, or at least ignore it.

Screenshot-3309Weeks passed and Myrtle’s belly grew. She became bigger for every day and it was hard to understand that it was our baby growing inside her that made her fat. With the speed she was getting bigger, our baby would be a giant once it was time.

Tangerine saw it too. “You’re growing big quickly” she said one morning and smiled. She was very kind and supportive and I think she looked forward to meeting the babies as much as we did. In some twisted way, she was our family too.

“You’re calling me fat?!” Myrtle complained loudly and made a pouty face. “I’m not fat. I’m fudging pregnant!”

Screenshot-3311“I’m not saying you’re fat, Myrtle. I know you’re pregnant. And you look great.”

Myrtle snorted and said nothing in reply. Instead, Tangerine spoke again: “I’d like to take you to a doctor, just to check on the baby. See that everything’s fine and so. It’s quite normal to do that.”

Screenshot-3310Myrtle snorted again, “I don’t need a doctor. I know that I’m fine. We’ll get healthy babies. I’ve seen it.”

I secretly rooted for Tangerine. Not because I thought there was something wrong with the baby, but because I thought perhaps a visit to the doctor could make it more real. Even though I knew there was a baby, my baby, inside Myrtle, I had trouble understanding it. It was surreal, I suppose.

Screenshot-3316Mom and dad started visiting frequently again when Myrtle was pregnant. They said they had missed me, but I knew they were only really looking forward to becoming grandparents. I couldn’t blame them. It was exciting, and they had always loved children. However, it was a bit nervous when they first came because when I introduced Myrtle as my girlfriend, she was already pregnant. They had of course seen her before, but never paid much attention to her because she had just been a cohabitant at the treatment center. Now, she was suddenly a big part of my life.

“It’s nice to meet you, Myrtle” dad said and stretched his hand towards her. He and mom were always so polite, and I wondered how that would turn out with Myrtle. She was… less polite and more impulsive.

Screenshot-3319“You too, gramps” she replied and smiled. “Y’know, you’re going to help Yew with these babies a lot because I cannot do much from here. They say I’m super sick so they’ll never let me out.” I held my breath, I wanted my parents to like Myrtle, but I was afraid that she’d scare them with her visions and her straightforwardness.

Screenshot-3315“We’ll do what we can” dad smiled. He seemed genuinely happy and I think that Myrtle had been approved at that point.

Screenshot-3324“Oouff” Myrtle bent forward in pain. “Those fudging kicks against the ribs” she muttered in pain.

“It’s kicking?” Dad looked at her curiously. His eyes almost sparkled.

“Yeah, it’ll break a bone in me one day. Wanna feel it?” Myrtle waited for no reply but took dad’s hand and placed it on her belly. “See, there. It’s pressing against you, can you feel it?”

Dad looked up at her and smiled. “This is so cool. I’ve always thought this is fascinating. A human inside a…” He stopped before finishing the sentence and looked at Myrtle with big eyes. He drew his hands to him self and looked terrified. “There’s… It has… Three?”

Screenshot-3321Myrtle placed her own hands on the belly and smiled peacefully. “Four hands, actually” she whispered. “We’re having twins.”

“Twins!?” It was news to me as well as to dad.

“Babies. Children. Always plural” Myrtle said and kept stroking her own belly. She looked content and happy and it made me a bit calmer.

After a moment the initial shock settled and I felt calmer. What difference could it make if there was one or two? I was going to be a father, that was all that mattered.

Chapter 5.9: Caving in

In the last chapter, Yew decided to play along and pretending he really was crazy to have a shot at eventually getting out of from the mental hospital. We’re picking up from around there now, to see what happens when he starts accepting the treatment Tangerine is offering.


Screenshot-3047During the first weeks at the treatment center, my family came to visit me on a daily basis. In a way, it was like a vacation at this place. I didn’t need to care for myself, didn’t need to fix myself food or clean. I didn’t even have to set my alarm in the mornings because Tangerine always woke me up for breakfast. As if that wasn’t enough, I got to spend my days playing games with my family. Thinking about it like that made it easier to accept being here. In that sense, I wasn’t a prisoner.

Screenshot-3044“So, how are you doing son?” dad asked one day when we were playing foosball for the umpteenth time. His voice chirped, but I could sense the worry beneath the surface. He worried for me. They all worried for me.

“I’m fine” I said, determined to not talk any more about my so-called problems. I preferred to stick to believing that they weren’t right and I preferred to think of this place as a vacation residence.

Screenshot-3048“You wouldn’t be here if you were fine” Lavender said harshly and gave her foosball stick a whirl that caused her plastic players to spin several turns. “I’m so sick and tired of us all pretending you’re not sick. Fudge bro, you will never get better unless you agree that you need this help. You are NOT fine” her voice pitched and as she walked from the game and sat down in a chair to pout just next to us her hand wiped off tears from her eyes.

Screenshot-3045“I think she’s right” dad said and stopped playing to simply look at me again. “You have to want this help, Yew. You have to realize that you need it.”

When my family left that day, I felt more beaten than I had done since I was first taken from my home. They had no intention of helping me out of here until I agreed to my sickness and consequently to Sonic being simply a hallucination. And I wasn’t ready for that.

Screenshot-3255I was still not convinced that I was in fact crazy, nor could they ever convince me that Sonic was an imaginary product. Tangerine had showed me photo albums from my youth, where no pictures of Sonic could be found. I agreed that it was weird, but Sonic had never enjoyed the spotlight. He had always cringed whenever I pulled the camera out and because I was his friend, I never forced him to be in any of the pictures.

However, Tangerine did what she could to convince me that he was, in fact, a product of my mind. A hallucination. Just as she tried to convince me that my relationship with Aquamarine had been. She tried to prove it through my own photographs, through talks. Through brain scans and brain activity. But I wouldn’t buy it.

Screenshot-3050As a part of my treatment Tangerine forbid me to use my camera. She locked it in a safe in her office and would only return it to me once my hallucinations were gone. According to her, the photographing fed the hallucinations. She thought that I somehow lived through the pictures I took, rather than through the experiences I made. As if there was a difference.

I felt crippled without my camera. Pictures and documentation had always been my way of living. “Photographs are not always the entire truth, Yew” Tangerine said when I complained. “They are only the truth when you cease to give them additional meaning. They don’t tell stories, they only show motives.” I felt empty without my camera and without my pictures, and as part of my healing process, Tangerine convinced me to paint. She thought that painting could soothe me, while making sure I was aware of the pictures being drawn from my imagination and my own interpretation. Something she thought I failed to do with photographs. Perhaps she was right.  I was sure that photographs showed me the truth. They had to, since I couldn’t interfere with their motives and thus they showed what really was.

Painting was alright. I liked the simple act of putting a picture to the things I experiences. Though, it wasn’t the same as photographing. The creations I did with the brush were far from as beautiful or real as the creations I did with my camera. Though, that did not stop me from continuing to paint. After all, it was better than not putting pictures to my experiences at all.

Screenshot-3077Another step of my treatment was medication. Pills. Two in the morning, one at lunch and two in the evening.

I was hesitant to taking them at first, but with Tangerine keeping a constant lookout for my improvements and my willingness to get better, there was not much use in complaining. I tried it at first but she had simply called for extra help and shoved them down my throat. Or mixed them with my food. Whatever she had to do to make sure I took them. After a while I caved in and swallowed them whenever she asked me to. It couldn’t make much difference since there was nothing for them to cure, anyway.

Screenshot-3052After the first weeks at the centre, the daily visits from my family ceased to be. They still took turns to visit me in the weekends, but I think they were getting settled on the island and started forming their own lives here. I missed them and I felt lonely. Mulberry was struggling himself, I knew that from way back. He had never felt at home in our family and had always searched for his place in this world. It was a wonder he hadn’t been taken in for tests or treatment himself, with how different he was from any other berry. It wasn’t strange that he had trouble supporting me even when he were sent here to spend time with me. In a way, it was easier when he were here because he didn’t bother me too much with questions about my treatment or my illness, instead he kept to himself.

Screenshot-3256Until I spoke to him, that was. “I’m just waiting for my birthday and then I’ll go back home” he said.

“Isn’t Lava causing chaos back there?” I wondered and was surprised to realize that I cared about my brother’s safety. We had never been close.

“Fondant Fields was never my home” my brother replied. “I’m going up there, to my own kind. I belong there.” Mulberry pointed towards the sky and my eyes followed his finger.

I thought a lot of what Mulberry had said after that day. About feeling at home and belonging, and I realized that what he had said about Fondant Fields was as true for me as it was for him. I had spent most of my life there but it still didn’t feel as home. No place had felt like home until I moved to Isla Caramello with Sonic, and now they tried to take that away from me too. It just wasn’t fair. We deserved a home, and we deserved to be happy – both me and my brother.

While Mulberry had his future before him and in reach, my own future had been taken away from me. Instead of living my life I was stuck in a mental hospital with crazy people and my family and friends came to visit less and less often. Naturally, it got lonely.

Screenshot-3056Eventually, it got so lonely that I caved in and started interacting with the other residents. Or, to be precise: Myrtle. She had been following me around since my first day here, laughing at me and saying incomprehensible things about babies and friendship and who-knows-what. There was no doubt that she was crazy, but unfortunately, Slate never spoke a word and therefore, Myrtle was the best company I could get.

“I wondered when you’d cave in” Myrtle laughed the first time I spoke to her. There can be no-one else who laughs like she does. It was loud and bright and hysterical and it sent goosebumps to whoever was close enough to hear it. I hated it.

“Why do they keep you in here?” I wondered and tried to ignore her implications and her terrible laugh.

“Same reason they keep you here” she smiled. “I’m supposedly crazy.”

“I’m not crazy” I muttered in response but Myrtle didn’t seem to hear it and just went on:

Screenshot-3054“Y’know, I’ll be helping you to get better. We’ll be great friends” she smiled and I felt my stomach twist. “You’ll get out of eventually if you just realize how crazy you are. There’s actually a cure for you.”

“I’m not crazy” I complained loudly which caused Myrtle to laugh hysterically again and I had to cover my ears because her laughter was so horrible. “Stop it!” I cried.

“You’re the craziest one here, I think” she said and kept laughing. “In contrast to Slate who just refuses to speak, or myself who’s just misunderstood, you actually are crazy. You talk to yourself and you hallucinate and you’re the craziest one I’ve ever seen. At least there’s a cure for you.”

I pouted, I was not crazier than her and Slate. I was not. “What makes me crazy if you’re not. You look fudging maniac to me.”

She smiled brightly, showing off a set of perfectly white teeth. “I know!” She almost sounded proud to be called a maniac, which obviously made no sense.

Screenshot-3053“So why are you here, then?” I wondered again, knowing nothing of how to actually make friends in here. Was it a socially accepted thing to ask her why she had been placed in care here? Honestly, I don’t think I even cared. I just wanted someone to talk to and since Slate never said a word, and Tangerine kept measuring my every word, Myrtle was my only choice.

“Because I always tell the truth and it makes people scared. I know more about most people than they do themselves.” Myrtle smiled again and her voice sounded less intimidating now. “That’s how I know that you will realize eventually that your friend is not real and once you do, you will start getting better and eventually they will let you out of here. And that’s how I know we’ll be friends and eventually lovers.”

“Lovers?” I almost spat the word out. It sounded poisonous. “You really are crazy.”

Myrtle laughed again. “See, I told you. I tell you what will happen and it frightens you so to protect yourself you say I’m crazy.”

“I’ll never be your lover.”

“Just you wait and see” Myrtle said.

Screenshot-3063She was crazy alright, but since my family visited me less and less often I hung out with her anyhow. Even Sonic came to visit me less often, which hurt me even more. He had always been the one I considered my best friend and closest family and now he had almost abandoned me too. The more I hung out with Myrtle, the more I realized she was actually quite alright despite her horrible laugh and her implications about us becoming lovers. I could hang out with her and talk with her, but falling in love with her was still not something that would happen.

“What is your friend’s name again?” Myrtle asked one day. We had talked a lot about Sonic, but it had mostly been me defending his very existence and Myrtle laughing it off.

“Sonic” I replied and felt my stomach twist. It hurt so much to think that he lived his life without me now.

Screenshot-3270“You’re not seeing him much anymore” said Myrtle as if it was the most casual thing in the world. As if it did not mean that my best friend had abandoned me.

“I suppose he thinks I’m crazy too” I replied sadly.

“Or perhaps he really is a hallucination and your meds keep you from seeing him” Myrtle challenged. “You miss him, don’t you?”

The sudden sensitivity in Myrtle’s voice caught me off guard and my eyes started tearing up. I didn’t know when Myrtle passed the line and became my friend, but right now she understood me better than anyone. I swallowed and kept from looking at her, afraid that I might break and cry if I did. “You’ve changed since you got here” she continued. “You look scared now, lost – almost. You shouldn’t be ’cause he’s always with you, y’know.”

Screenshot-3269“He was my best friend” I whispered. “My best fudging friend and now he doesn’t even care to visit me. I’ve lost everything. This place is hell on earth, let me tell you.” I shouted now. And cried.

Tangerine was there in an instant and took me under her arms to lead me away in to her room. “What happened?” she asked once we were there. I said nothing. It didn’t matter, she couldn’t help me get him back.

Screenshot-3289“Is it about Sonic?” Tangerine wondered and handed me a napkin. I dried my eyes and looked at her, so caring and so warm. She was a good person.

“Why doesn’t he visit me anymore?” I wondered and fiddled with the napkin in my hands. “I miss him.”

Screenshot-3411Tangerine decided to cut down my medication the next day and I was allowed to skip the two morning pills. Instead, she wondered if I’d like to paint a portrait of Sonic. She thought it could do me good to have part of him in my life even if he came to visit me less often. Perhaps she realized that I needed him.

I was so happy to see him that day. I threw myself in his arms and cried on his shoulder. “I’ve missed you so much!” I said.

Screenshot-3412“Woah there.” Sonic laughed. “It’s like you haven’t seen me in ages. Relax buddy, I’ll always be by your side. You’re my best friend.” It was so great to have him back.

Screenshot-3414 Screenshot-3416Tangerine stood with us by the easels on the top floor and watched me as I portrayed Sonic on the canvas before me. Had I looked at her I would have seen how surprised she was to see how careful I measured and painted Sonic’s every feature. It had to be perfect. Tangerine had been right about that, I needed the support of Sonic in my life. Always.

I was really happy with the painting when it was done. It looked just like him. He stayed for a while afterwards to hang out, and when he finally left I had new energy and a new will for life. I swallowed my lunch pill with ease that day. Knowing that Sonic had not left me was such a relief.

Screenshot-3061“He came back I saw” Myrtle said and sat down next to me for lunch. I nodded in response. Myrtle stuffed her mouth full of food with her bare hands and then kept talking, causing some of her stew to drip down on her lap. “T-ld yo schoo” she mumbled.

“You say a lot of crazy stuff. It’s hard to believe you sometimes” I smiled. She was definitely a mess and a crazy girl, but right now she couldn’t pull me down. I felt good today.

“C’mon Yew!” she complained loudly and licked her fingers of left-over stew. “I tell you, I know the truth. We’ll be lovers and it will be what finally cures you. Our babies. You will want to protect them. You’ll do anything.” She dug her hands down the bowl of stew again and stuffed more in to her mouth.

“You’re crazy” I said and shook my head, upon which she smiled widely so that stew was running out of the corners of her mouth.

“Schoo aa’ yoo” she chuckled happily, as if we were exchanging compliments.

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.

Chapter 5.6: Taken

Screenshot-2249The times when I got to have Hunter at my place were rare, but when they did happen we made sure to make the best of them. He was such a precious little kid and it was amazing thinking that he was mine. I loved being his father.

Screenshot-2250He looked a lot like his mother. He had her skin and her hair. And those pink eyes must have come from her family too. She had beautiful green eyes, but there were sure pink in her family. Jacinto had pink eyes. Somehow it hurt to think that Hunter had got genes from him whereas I could not be seen in my son at all. Not that it really mattered, he was mine after all.

I had learned quickly that Hunter enjoyed “the Claw”. When I first raised my hand above his head his underlip shivered and he looked like he was going to cry, but then as soon as I started to tickle him he exploded in laughter. It was the cutest sound I had ever heard.

Screenshot-2251I couldn’t help but laugh myself. Entertaining him was so easy and I was good at it.


Meanwhile:

Screenshot-2257-1“The police have no further leads in the tragedy with the kidnapped two-year old Hunter White and the family is now begging the public for any leads.”

Screenshot-2257The TV screen switched from the usual news studio and to a clip of two devastated berries. The woman on the screen covered her face in her hands and cried hysterically. The man held his arms around her in comfort while he spoke to the screen:

“We just want our son back. Please, if you have seen anything let us or the police know.”

Screenshot-2257-1The screen switched back to the studio and the anchorman had sad eyes when he spoke about the kidnapping that had taken place two days earlier.

“Hunter Spectrum was last seen two days ago, at noon, in the park with his mother. He was wearing a green play suit by the time he went missing. The mother has reported that Hunter was taken off a spring rider when she looked away for two seconds. The police have searched for leads but haven’t found any trace of the kidnapper or the toddler. Now they all turn to the public for any leads that can help them bring Hunter back to his parents.”


Screenshot-2256I was just about to take Hunter off the spring rider when my phone rang. Hunter loved that rider so he sure didn’t complain for that little extra time of fun. I answered the phone while keeping a protecting hand on Hunter’s back.

“Is Hunter gone?” Mother spoke fast and I could tell she was worried.

Screenshot-2253“No, he’s right here” I replied, trying to sound comforting.

“But they said on the news that he was kidnapped. Aquamarine was crying and all.” Mom was still speaking fast, as if my words hadn’t managed to comfort her the slightest.

“Well, that’s silly” I said. “Hunter is right here, on the spring rider in the garden.”

I lowered the phone so that Hunter could say something. He laughed right in to the phone. When I took the phone back to my ear mom was crying. “We were so worried” she said.

“No worries. He’s here and he’s all safe.”


In Fondant Fields:

Screenshot-2311“This is Coral Twist from Fondant Fields. I’m just calling to let you know that Hunter, that child gone missing, he’s home safe with his father.”

Screenshot-2312“What? No. That’s my grandson and he is currently with his father. I just spoke to them on the phone.”

“I told you, I just spoke to them. They’re fine.”

Screenshot-2314“I have any leads? I… He’s safe, I’m telling you.”

“If I? If…”

*click*

Berrian looked at his lover who stood staring at the phone in her hand. She seemed lost for words. Instead of persuading her in to speaking, he walked up to her and gave her a hug. After all these years, he could tell when she needed a hug.

Screenshot-2316“They said Hunter is still missing. But I spoke to him. I spoke to them both. They’re fine.”

Berrian kept hugging her. Both because she needed the comfort, but also because he felt confused himself. Why would Aquamarine report Hunter missing when he was simply with Yew?

“We never met Aquamarine” Coral said after a while and pushed Berrian away. “We never met her!” She started crying when the realization hit her.

Screenshot-2307While Coral fueled a grudge against the woman who had decided to play her son in the cruelest way possible, Berrian went up to Yew’s old room to think. The walls were still covered with the pictures Yew had taken. His documentation. Berrian looked around, as if searching for some kind of help.

Minutes passed. 

Screenshot-2308And then he was struck with a thought. If it was Yew’s life that was documented on these walls, why wasn’t there a single picture of Sonic? Berrian looked through every photo album in the room. They contained pictures of everything and nothing. There were hundreds of photos, but not a single one of Sonic.

Screenshot-2309When Berrian came back downstairs, Coral sat by the computer. She looked at him with red eyes once she realized he was there. “She hasn’t reported Yew as the father” she said with a voice that could barely carry its message. 

There were things Berrian and Coral didn’t know about their son. They realized that this afternoon, and it was painful. All those pictures. Yew’s fascination over everything going on in town, whether or not he had anything to do with it. The fact that they had never met Aquamarine. Or Sonic. Or even Jacinto.  It all made sense when put together.

That afternoon, they packed the family in to the car and drove all the way to Isla Caramello. They had realized that their son needed help. And they had realized that they had failed yet another son. Mistakenly, they had let their son wander to the edge and jump. They had not been there to guide him, and now, they were determined to help him get out of it. They refused to lose him.


Hours later in Isla Caramello:

Screenshot-2265I played with Hunter out in my garden the entire afternoon. It was great spending time with him at my own house. I could finally feel like a real father, instead of someone who met his girlfriend and son only out in public. And when the sun started setting and Hunter started to look tired, we went inside and I gave him his bottle. He was such a happy and content kid. Whatever you did for him, he would smile at you and make your heart melt.

Screenshot-2259“Yew…” Mother’s voice took me by surprise. I hadn’t expected them to come here, though it was a nice surprise that they did. It was nice living on my own, but I missed them a lot occasionally. I patted Hunter on the head and stood up to greet my parents properly. Mother looked at Hunter and she had the saddest look on her face. I couldn’t understand why. Hunter was here and he was safe.

Screenshot-2262“Nothing has happened” I said and smiled, trying my best to comfort her but it did little to cheer her up. She just kept looking at me with those sad eyes and it wasn’t until then I realized that perhaps something had happened to them. Perhaps they weren’t here for me or Hunter’s sake. “Or did something happen?”

“Yew, what is Hunter doing here?” she asked. It confused me, obviously.

“What do you mean? He’s where he should be.”

Screenshot-2263Tears started rolling down mom’s cheeks. “Oh, Yew” she said and shook her head.

Hunter gurgled on the floor and when I looked down on him he smiled. Then he crawled to dad and pulled at his leg and raised his arms towards him. Dad bent down and lifted him up. It was beautiful to watch them and I smiled. “Oh, Yew” mom whimpered again. Tears were rolling freely down her cheeks by now.

Screenshot-2261“Son, do you really not know what we’re saying?” dad asked. Hunter clung to him as if they were already the best of friends.

“I don’t understand” I confessed. It was all very confusing.

“You’ll get help soon” dad said and looked at me. His eyes expressed sorrow and regret.

Screenshot-2403A while later there was a knock on the door. Before I could get there to open it, it was swung open and two police officers stormed in. After them came Aquamarine and Jacinto.

Screenshot-2402Aquamarine ran straight for Hunter and snatched him from dad’s arms. And after that I don’t know what happened because Jacinto jumped me. “You monster!” he yelled as he beat me. I was too confused to do anything back and he landed one fist after the other in my face. It stung when my lip burst and I could feel the taste of blood in my mouth.

“You fudging monster!” he cried again and I felt myself being pulled off him. When I looked up my vision was clouded. Jacinto had got some well-aimed hits in and my face was hurting. At the other side of the room one of the officers held Jacinto in the same way I was being held myself. Aquamarine stood in the corner of the room, hugging Hunter close. She cried. Mom and dad looked sad too.

Screenshot-2404“You are under arrest” the officer behind my back said and started pushing me out of the room. “You have the right to remain silent. Everything you say, can, and will, be used against you.”

The last thing I saw before being forced out of the house was how father fell in to mother’s arms as they both started to cry.

Chapter 5.3: Family visit

Screenshot-1816I had been going to the thrift shop on a daily basis the last week because I had found a new love at that place. Even though the girl behind the counter was cute, she was not the center of my attention. It was a Gladiator QX40. At their normal price such an investment would be worth about five of my monthly salaries as a paperboy, and thus beyond my reach. But there, at the thrift shop, it was a bargain. Still too expensive for what I had saved, but within reach before too long. Unless someone else grabbed it before me, of course.

It was a nervous venture going there before I could make sure the Gladiator was still there. Rose, who worked there, smiled at me whenever I got there and by now I didn’t even need to ask. She knew why I came. “Still here,” she said and nodded towards the shelf behind her head. It was a mighty camera and right now I couldn’t think of anything I wanted more than that.

Screenshot-1817I took extra hours at work just to be able to save up money quicker. Obviously, calling mom and dad asking for help would have been easier but also less independent. I wanted to earn it myself. Handing out newspapers was neither fancy nor fun. It didn’t even pay me well but I worked hard. 

I even worked hard enough to earn a promotion, which got me off the streets and in to the actual office. The promotion itself wasn’t what made me the most happy, though. It was the bonus that followed. A bonus that got me enough to actually get the camera. I felt proud and excited when I entered the thrift shop that day and Rose must have seen it. “Today is the big day, isn’t it?” She smiled and I returned the gesture. It was indeed a big day.

Just a couple of minutes later I held the treasure in my hands. My own Gladiator.

Screenshot-1820That night, me and Sonic went to the pub to celebrate. He bought me fancy cocktails at the bar and we sipped them like kings. It was only a camera, but to me it felt like a huge victory.

Screenshot-1826When Aquamarine joined us after work we had already downed quite a few drinks and I was already feeling it. Sonic beamed when Aqua entered the pub and run to greet her in a big hug. I expected him to come back to me afterwards, or at least let me greet her, but he stayed with her. I was stranded behind them and Aquamarine didn’t even seem to notice that I was there.

A few seconds passed and I watched them interact with each other. Aquamarine laughed as Sonic kissed her on the cheek. Sonic kept his hand on her shoulder. He leaned in and whispered something in her ear. They took each others hands. Sonic took a step closer to her and I heard them both giggle. It made me sick.

He was supposed to be my best friend and yet he had the guts to flirt with her right before my eyes.

Screenshot-1829I went up to them and shoved Aquamarine to the side with my left arm. Sonic took a step back and opened his mouth to speak, but before he said anything I shoved him backwards. “That’s my girl” I hissed.

Screenshot-1830“Anyone said something else?” Sonic replied and shoved me back. His eyes were black and I could tell he wouldn’t back off. Neither would I. I wouldn’t just stand to the side while my best friend seduced my girl friend. No, that would not happen.

Screenshot-1831Screenshot-1833I had never been in a fight before and I would never have guessed my first one would be with Sonic. Yet, that was exactly what happened. We rolled around on the pub floor, kicking and punching whatever body parts we could reach. Both of us trying to prove that we had been right. She was my girl and he should have known.

Once someone pulled us apart Aquamarine had left the pub. I looked for her outside but couldn’t find her. I called her, but she didn’t answer.

Screenshot-1819My celebration night obviously didn’t end up like I had wanted. The camera was luckily unharmed after the fight, but both Sonic and Aquamarine had fled the scene. I could only hope they hadn’t done so together.

foto-12A few days later mom and dad came to visit and they ended up being the first ‘bows I took a picture of with my new Gladiator. It kind of shocked me to see how old they had become in just the short time since I last saw them. Mom’s previously fragrant blue hair had faded and now was now more grey than blue. Besides, both mom and dad were wrinkly and looked tired. Aging was inevitable, I knew that, but it was still weird to see my own parents look that old. However, they didn’t seem to mind too much themselves and I envied the love and bond between them. There hadn’t been a single time during my lifetime that I had seen them disagree or fight. They were truly meant for each other and having them as my parents was a blessing.

I couldn’t help but wonder if I was meant to be with Aquamarine in that same way. I certainly hoped so.

Screenshot-1840My siblings all came with mom and dad as well. It was great seeing them, but my little house sure got crowded with them all here at the same time. Luckily, they were not to stay at my place but rather at one of the resorts in town. I’m not sure we would have made it through the week if they had all stayed here the entire time. I had got used to living on my own quite quick, it seemed. Truth be told, I didn’t see that much of my siblings during the week at all. They were all too busy exploring the island on their own. Not too strange considering exploration had always been encouraged by our parents.

Screenshot-1879 Screenshot-1880Mom and dad, on the other hand,  decided to stay at my place. They said they had not come here to explore, but to let me show the surroundings. I didn’t mind too much, although I’ll confess that it was strange stepping through my door in the morning to see them both make out in their underwear. They had never been much for hiding their affections.

Screenshot-1858We got through one whole day before my parents asked about Aquamarine. “When are you introducing us?” mom asked. She had been admiring the pictures in my home during the afternoon and it wasn’t the least strange that she wanted to meet my girlfriend as well. Unfortunately, it was impossible to arrange this week.

Screenshot-1859“I’m afraid she’s away with her family this week” I said truthfully. Aquamarine’s family had bonds that my family had never had. They did all kinds of things together and this specific week, they were out sailing. “I’m sorry. I wish you could meet her.”

“Oh, no worries” dad said and smiled. “You’ll introduce us eventually, right? It’s no rush.”

“And you’re sure Sonic won’t mind having us two old folks staying here?” mom asked after having swallowed the fact she wouldn’t get to meet Aquamarine this time around.

“Oh.” I had to swallow to get rid of the lump in my throat. Sonic had not been home since we had that fight at the pub a few days ago and it was starting to worry me. I knew mom and dad would notice my worry so I decided to just be honest about it and tell them what had happened.

Screenshot-1837

The next day I took mom and dad to the Rocky Reefs for some snorkeling. Having my parents around was a relief now that Sonic was missing and Aquamarine was spending time with her family. Had my own family not been here I would have become even more worried about my and Sonic’s friendship and I would just have been sitting around missing Aquamarine.

The water around the reefs were crystal clear and you could see all the way to the seabed. It wasn’t unusual to see all kinds of fish and anemones just through snorkeling. Actually, diving was only necessary if you wanted to explore the underwater caves, and that was probably not the first thing you showed your old parents.

Screenshot-1838They were both excited about the snorkeling, though. Despite all their travels it was something they had never tried before. Dad got the hang of it rather quickly but mom had some trouble with sticking her snorkel below the water at first. I almost thought she would give up before she suddenly managed to do it right.

We stayed out all day. Even though it was almost fall the water was still warm. It wasn’t until it became too dark to see below the surface that we called it a day and headed back home.

Screenshot-1755Back home Lavender was sitting reading and humming to herself in my livingroom. It was weird seeing anyone else but Sonic in my house when I wasn’t there. But I guess Lavender was welcome. When she saw us coming she put the book down and went to greet us.

“I love this place” she beamed. Her happiness could not be mistaken. “I met this really cute boy today, down in the park. I’ve never met someone as polite as him ever before.”

Lavender had always been open with her relations and always ready to jump head first towards whatever boy had just caught her interest. I wasn’t surprised that she had already met someone here on the island, and neither was mom and dad.

Screenshot-1851The next day I took mom and dad scuba-diving. We decided to go back to the Rocky Reefs to also get to explore the place from under the water. I wasn’t a very skilled diver but after living on the island I knew a thing or two that mom and dad could impossibly know. It was weird being the more experienced one but I enjoyed it. I told them what history I knew about the reefs and I pointed out fishes we encountered.

All in all, it was a great experience and after that first day, mom and dad were ready to continue exploring the island’s underwater on their own. I was more than happy to be on my own since it meant I could take my Gladiator for a tour around the island.

Screenshot-1860Having my siblings coming and going to the house as they pleased was not only enjoyable. Especially not when Froly got some time on his own. I had never really got to know him when we were younger but I’m quite sure he was a spawn of the devil himself.

Screenshot-1861 Screenshot-1862It was either that or that he was simply a horrible person. I couldn’t see any other reason for him to mess with my bathroom sink so it would explode over the next person trying to use it. I kind of regretted my hospitality…

Screenshot-1866Mulberry, on the other hand, kept mostly to himself. He had always been an outcast in the family. Literally, of course, but also because of his personality. It was as if he didn’t really want to fit in or socialize with us. I actually think he was missing something. Perhaps he felt rootless? At least, he was constantly looking for clues about his background. The search history on my computer led to all kinds of strange supernatural forums. I knew of course that supernatural things were most real – my own family was a living proof of that, but some of the things that those forums suggested was a joke. In a way I understood that it must hurt Mulberry to see how others laugh at the idea of his existence and others trying to prove it through badly processed photos or other silly things. I wondered if perhaps Mulberry wanted to back to wherever he originated from. I kind of thought so.

Screenshot-1857Before my family went back to Fondant Fields we celebrated Rhubarb’s birthday. Like Mulberry, Rhubarb stuck mostly to himself and preferred to stay out of the spotlight. I could already see him moving to a house on his own with a bunch of rescued stray animals, which was the plan he had of life. Mom said he made her proud because he reminded her of Bittersweet. It was true, they were equally smitten by animals and equally concerned about others’ wellbeing. I liked to think that me and Rhubarb could have made good friends but the truth is that I was probably way too shallow for him. He was a lot more thoughtful than myself.

Screenshot-1846Lavender went on a date with Durian on the night before going back home. He took her to one of the more romantic ponds on the island and I had to refrain from telling mom and dad that several teenagers had lost their virginity up there. Not that I think mom and dad would have mind since they wanted us to experience life at its fullest. They were more likely to encourage it and I think that was an even stronger reason not to tell them.

Screenshot-1842They had a nice evening up there and Lavender fell in love with the boy by her side. In her opinion he was caring and polite and most loveable. That was of course not the truth, which she also learned as the night progressed. But at first, she fell in love with him.

Screenshot-1841“This place is beautiful” she said and smiled brightly.

“I know” Durian replied and looked down at his hands. He had brought her here for the same reason any boy brought a girl up there but now it didn’t feel right. Lavender would go back to Fondant Fields the next day and Lily wouldn’t have to know. Lavender was gorgeous and also most willing, he knew that much. He would be stupid to back off now. He had imagined and pushed for sex for so long but Lily just never gave in. So why did he hesitate now that he had the chance?

Screenshot-1843Lavender kept talking about how beautiful and romantic the place was and Durian listened while debating with himself of what he wanted of this night. Perhaps he and Lily wasn’t meant to be? And if they were, he could still do it with Lavender without anyone ever knowing. It was a too good opportunity to pass out on, wasn’t it?

Lavender soon stood up and took Durian’s hands. She knew of course why she had been taken to this place. There could only be one reason for a boy, or girl, to bring anyone up here. Especially when they were just two. She felt excited about it. She wanted this.

Screenshot-1846But when she leaned in to kiss Durin he pulled away. Perhaps he was stupid not to take the opportunity before him, but then be it. Lily trusted him and even if he wasn’t completely in love with her, he wasn’t going to hurt her like this. He had to do it the right way.

Screenshot-1845“I’m sorry” he said and took a step back. “I can’t do this. I… I have a girlfriend.”

Screenshot-1847Lavender was hurt. She hadn’t expected to be turned down. “Then why the fudge did you bring me up here for?”

Durian couldn’t give her any good answer. He mumbled something about ‘doing it right’ and ‘another time’ before he turned around and walked away.

Screenshot-1848Lavender felt beaten. She rarely got these opportunities and she had been looking forward to finally trying sex. It seemed she would have to wait even longer. And Durian could rest assure that there would be no next time. She was not about to wait for him or come back for him. She could get someone else.

Screenshot-1722My family left the next day and just a few hours later Sonic came back home. It was a sweet reunion and we both apologized to each other.

It was great having him back. Isla Caramello just wasn’t the same without him by my side.

Generation Finale: Belonging

Screenshot-1638Gone.

Just like that, gone.

It had been weeks since we realized that Lava had gone missing and we had made the entire town search for him. The searches only led us to the conclusion that Lava had, in fact, left on his own will. After everything we had done for him, after all the love – he had still just left without saying goodbye. He was with mother now. We had seen it ourselves when we went there to ask for him. And he was not coming back home. It pained me to admit, but he seemed happy there. With mother, Thunderbird and Raindrop.

I did my best to stay strong for the rest of my family but it was hard. I had lost a son. Berrian had lost a son. And our kids had all lost a brother. It wasn’t strange that we all felt bad about it. Our family wasn’t whole without Lava. We really missed him.

In a strange way, this what pretty much what me and Berrian wanted of our kids. We wanted them to grow up and make choices for themselves, be who they wanted to be and make any mistakes themselves and learn from them. I hoped that Lava would learn that being with mother was a mistake before it was too late. And even if a part of me thought that we had done everything we could with Lava, I still wondered if we could have done more?

We learned from it. We learned that we could always do more in telling our kids about who we saw them as and better at treasuring them for who they were. Accepting that they were different and that it was something good. With Lava, we had done everything we could to make him live outside of his vampirism and that had clearly not worked. That was why he was with mother now, he wanted to be a vampire.

Screenshot-1636And because Lava had run away from us, we realized that we needed to tell Mulberry of who he was. What it was that made him different from us and from his siblings. It would do us no good dodging his questions. He deserved to know. He needed to know, in order to grow up and be satisfied with himself. And that was why Berrian bought home a telescope and told Mulberry to stay up late. He was going to show him.

I watched as Berrian guided Mulberry towards the telescope and a rush of love flowed through me as he put his own hands on top of Mulberry’s and gazed up in the sky together with him. “There are so many stars” Mulberry said fascinated.

“And planets” Berrian added. “I was there once.”

“You were?” Mulberry had a hard time believing it, I could tell. He was always very careful and quiet, our youngest son, and he was not much for stories or fantasies. He was, in fact, a very down-to-earth and hands-on little guy. He believed in facts, nothing else.

Screenshot-1637“And you are from there, too” Berrian continued. “Somewhere out there, on a planet where the trees are yellow and purple and where there is no grass and the waters are almost green. And almost every one living there has the same green skin color as you do. And they have those big, beautiful dark eyes. Just like you.”

“So I don’t belong here?” Mulberry had a  sad tone to his voice and Berrian instantly placed his hand on his back in a comforting gesture.

“Just because you’re not from here doesn’t mean you don’t belong here. You’re my son and I love you. And Coral loves you too.”

“Is she not my mother?” Mulberry asked and glanced over towards where I was sitting. It stung a bit, but it was not him pushing me away. He simply tried to understand.

“She is not your biological mother, but she is still your mother” Berrian explained.

Screenshot-1635“It’s so big up there” Mulberry said after a while. Berrian had left him on his own to discover the endless and mighty night sky, though we were still seated just next to him. He needed us at this time, and we were not to let him down.

“Can I ever go and see that planet?” Mulberry asked later and I did not know what to answer. Was it even possible?

“We don’t know how to get there” Berrian confessed. “I wish I could take you, but I don’t know how. They picked me up and brought me there and I don’t know how. Perhaps they will pick you up at some point, too.”

“I hope so, I think I’d like it there. With all the stars,” Mulberry said and went back to gazing up towards the stars. I hated the thought of Mulberry leaving to be with his kind. It was far too alike what Lava had done and if it was true that me and Berrian failed to meet our kids for who they were, that would be the biggest failure of my life. I hated to think about the world as a place only for the ones who fit the norm. I surely hoped that we had come longer than that. My ancestors hadn’t fought for nothing, had they?

Screenshot-1644And it was around the same time that Yew told me and Berrian about the plans he had together with Sonic of moving to a new town once he had celebrated his birthday. I mean, we wanted our kids to discover life and all the possibilities offered, but I had hoped they would all do it a bit closer to me. I hated the thought of them all leaving me. I needed them.

Yet, I couldn’t do anything but encourage the dreams they had. And because of that, I smiled when Yew said he was looking for a house. I smiled even though the thought of him being an eternity from us broke my heart. I had always treasured family and therefore it hurt to think that ours were breaking apart. Be it that it was of free will and for the better of my kids, but we would no longer be together.

Screenshot-1641I spent as much time as I could with Yew in the time leading up to his birthday and I learned a lot of it. Mostly about him and his dreams, but also about things I’d rather not think about.

Yew had a habit of documenting his life, and the walls of his rooms were covered in pictures he had taken around town. Every now and then he switched them around to show some new happenings or new experiences. It was a way of following his life when I went in there to watch the pictures. One day a new, big photo had taken a place on the wall. At first, I didn’t understand what it was that I saw, but slowly it became clear to me that Yew’s newest picture was of Raindrop. And she looked just like a vampire. She had the glowing eyes and the bite mark on her neck. It scared me. I knew a bit about vampires by now and I knew for instance that one did not simply become a vampire. Someone had turned her, and I figured that someone was most likely my son.

Screenshot-1643I thought about the meaning of it by myself at first, but couldn’t for my life figure out what it meant. Lava had most likely turned his friend. But was it her wish? Was it Lava’s wish? Was it perhaps mother’s wish? And why would anyone want to turn a sweet girl like Raindrop? Whatever reason, it scared me.

Berrian said it was nothing. Raindrop and Lava wanted to be together so naturally she had to become a vampire too, but I wasn’t so convinced.

A while later we saw another vampire in town. It wasn’t someone I knew or had typically noticed before but it was a vampire for sure.

Screenshot-1642I discussed the matter with my siblings too. It worried me to no end that new vampires were seen around town and I was fairly certain (though, I couldn’t know for sure) that it was mother and Lava who was behind it all. I tried to get in touch with Thunderbird but he never answered my calls.

Watermelon was worried too. After living with Celeste and her children for all these years they had become her family. Now, Raindrop was a vampire and that meant they had lost one of their daughters. And Bittersweet told me that she sometimes heard sneaking outside her house in the nights. She worried for her dogs but not for herself. And Salmon, he worried of course. He worried as much as I did, for he had kids too. Two young sons who he would do anything to protect. He had a family of his own and he wouldn’t let anything hurt it. But we all agreed that we knew little about how to protect ourselves from vampires, should we ever need it. All we had done previously was to run from it.

Even Lavender, who couldn’t have remembered much of how we previously moved around to get away from mother, worried. “Will we have to move again?” she wondered and I didn’t know what to answer because I didn’t know myself yet. I could not understand what it all meant.

Screenshot-1645Yew celebrated his birthday much too soon. I was still wrapped up in my worry of what had become of Lava and the rising of the vampires in our town. So far, they didn’t seem as a direct threat but I worried what might become of it. I worried so much that I forgot to think about Yew’s aging and his upcoming move. And so one day he just stood there in front of us, all grown up. “I’m leaving now” he said and gave Berrian a piece of paper with his new address on it.

Berrian looked so sad when he watched our son leave the house and I almost thought he would start to cry. I almost started to cry, too. Our first-born, already grown up and ready to live his life. “Isla Caramello” Berrian whispered and showed me the address. “That’s light years from here.”

Screenshot-1646He was right. Isla Caramello was a far way from here and that meant we would get to see our son far less often than we would have wanted. I couldn’t contain myself and ran through the front door only to shout after him: “Don’t forget to call and write. We will miss you!” Yew stopped before the taxi that awaited him and turned around to look at me. He opened his arms and invited me in to a hug.

“I’ll be fine” he said comforting. “And you’ll be too. I’ll write often. I like to write.”

“See you, son” I said and let him go. It was time for him to chase his own dreams. We would all be fine.


Challenge notes: This is the end of Coral’s generation and next chapter will be written from Yew’s POV. Coral hasn’t fulfilled her Deadbeat Parents roll yet so we will see more of Yew’s siblings. In my game they are all living in the same house in Isla Paradiso, but story-wise Yew lives with Sonic in IP while Coral and the rest of the family is still in Fondant Fields. This will all be connected story-wise eventually. It will hopefully make sense by then.

Also, I haven’t written much about Coral’s career at all but she has really been slacking in-game, too. She’s just not a working-type. 

I’m going to England 16th to 30th of November and have no gaming computer there. Therefore, Yew’s story won’t start until I get back home. I have something very special planned for this generation and hopefully it will be worth the wait! 🙂

Chapter 4.17: The future

I realized just before posting this chapter that its title may make you think that the newest expansion will be seen here. Such is not the case, sorry. 😉 This chapter simply contains a lot of story about the kids – who all, in a way – are the future of the Twist family. One of them definitely more than the others, but that will be up to you to choose. 

This chapter is written from a third person perspective. 


Screenshot-1395Mulberry was hiding up in Lava’s room. He didn’t like it very much when Froly had friends over. Or when anyone else in the family had friends over, for that matter. ‘Bows outside of the family always looked at him with such weird eyes. As if he was some kind of freak. Perhaps he was? It was true that he looked nothing like the rest of his family, or anyone else he knew for that matter. Yet, his mother and father always said that he was a miracle. But miracles should be something good and to him it didn’t seem as the world thought of him as good. More-so, it usually felt like he was from some other planet or something. He had asked his father about that at one time but he hadn’t wanted to hear anything of it. He had just said that Mulberry was his son and that they all loved him very much. Not much of an answer, was it?

Screenshot-1408“Your brother is weird” Hydrangea said to Froly, who couldn’t really disagree, even though he didn’t know what brother she referred to. Was it the vampire one, the crazy one or the alien? No matter, he sure had weird brothers. Rhubarb was probably the only one, except himself of course, who could be considered normal.

“It doesn’t matter because you will never marry them. You will marry me” he said and smiled.

Screenshot-1409“What? No, that’s gross!”

“Is not! I will give you pretty things and kiss you and we will have lots of fun and be in love” Froly declared. Despite his young age, he knew quite a bit about love after having grown up in a family where his parents never hesitated to show each other affection while the kids were around. Besides, he had read many stories and the strongest and coolest guy always got the girls he wanted. And he was cool and one day he would be strong, too.

Screenshot-1410“You know, being married is awesome and that is what people do sometimes when they’re in love and want kids. Mom and dad are not married even if they are in love, but it’s because they think it’s silly. But really, it’s not silly at all because it shows that you always want to be together. You will see, one day we will be married” Froly continued proudly, making it very clear that Hydrangea had little to say in the matter.

“You’re crazy Froly. We are related. You can’t marry your second cousin. That’s gross.”

“Is not. Just wait and see.”

Screenshot-1399Out on the front Lavender was busy playing with the puddles that the spring rain had brought. She loved it when the splashes sent drops to her face and she couldn’t contain her giggles as her clothes got wet from the rain water. “Hey aunt Tosca!” she cried when she caught sight of her aunt coming closer to the house, though she couldn’t for her life get herself from stop jumping around in the puddle.

Screenshot-1402Tosca barely managed to get a mumbling ‘Hey’ out before she had to bend over and puke. Lavender watched her curiously, she hadn’t seen a grownup throw up before and it made her a bit confused. When she was sick herself she always had to stay in bed and she couldn’t wrap her head around why Tosca wasn’t staying at home in her bed if she was sick.

Then Lavender thought that perhaps Tosca had come over to stay in a bed in their house because she didn’t want to infect little Sapling. Lavender still waited eagerly to get to see the baby. She liked babies and how small they were. They almost looked like dolls though her mother had said that you couldn’t keep them upside down like you could with dolls. Lavender knew that now because she was older, but when Froly had been a tiny little baby she had sometimes begged to get to play with him as her doll because he cried like real babies and that was way more fun than her silent dolls. Of course, she had known that he cried like a real baby because he was a real baby. It had just been a bit hard to understand why she couldn’t use him as a toy. That did not mean that she was stupid, thank you very much.

Screenshot-1403Yew, in his turn, was hanging out in the centre park in the shadows of the birch trees. Him and Sonic were engaged in a tight chess match. Yew liked it when Sonic found time in his busy schedule to hang out with him, though it was quite rare. Between school, after school activities and an extra job there was only so much time left. Sometimes Yew even considered going to school himself, though he always thought against it in the end. He was skilled with words already and he knew nothing else he needed to learn. At least not that he couldn’t learn outside of those school walls. 

Screenshot-1405“You’ll graduate soon” Yew said between and moved his pawn two steps forward. He couldn’t wait until Sonic was out from school and left with more time for him. It became quite lonely and boring only waiting for him to have some free-time. 

“And you’re celebrating your birthday” Sonic replies. “We should do something after that. Get out of here.”

Yew considered it for a moment. Get out of here? He had rarely even been here in the first place, though that also meant it wasn’t exactly his home. “Where would we go?”

Screenshot-1406Sonic smiled quickly before turning his attention back to the game. “We could go anywhere. Do anything. The world is the limit.”

A short moment of silence fell around them as Sonic contemplated his next move. For not going to school at all, Yew was awfully smart and played the game well. His brain seemed to work in ways not too common for the usual teenager and that was what Sonic liked about him. Yew was unique. “We could get a house in sunny place and spend our days on the beach, watch girls in their bikinis and just sip nectar” Sonic said after a while and smiled sheepishly. “And we could write. I know we both like writing.”

Yew smiled too, the idea didn’t seem too bad and he really did like writing. If he were ever to have a job, he wanted it to be with words. What else could he do?

Screenshot-1510Rhubarb held the little baby up in front of him. It was amazing, how one could be so small and yet look like a real person. Rhubarb liked children, he had always done, so when Salmon and Tosca asked him if he could babysit Sapling a few nights per week he had agreed on the spot. He enjoyed those nights. Watching Sapling sleep and perhaps write a bit. It was quiet in his uncle’s house when there was just him and Sapling there. And the cats, of course, but they made little noise. Rhubarb felt strangely a lot at home there and he thought that perhaps that was somewhat of a future he could see for himself. A little house, some cats and perhaps one day a kid. 

Screenshot-1511It wasn’t hard to care for babies. They were predictable. Food, clean diapers, lots of hugs and even more sleep. That kept them happy. They were like cats, in a way. With the obvious difference that they grew up, of course. But that was predictable still. He barely dared think about it, but yet Rhubarb thought that he would make a really good father one day. 

Screenshot-1509Salmon and Tosca were grateful for the help they got from Rhubarb and they made sure to praise him after every night. They knew, of course, that Rhubarb did it because he enjoyed it, but that didn’t mean that he wasn’t eligible for praise. 

Screenshot-1507And many nights, Rhubarb even stuck around after they had come home just because he enjoyed hearing them talk about the excitement in awaiting another baby. He liked being a small part of it. To drop name suggestions and hear them discuss what approach was better to eventually teach Sapling to speak. It was new to him because his own parents had never, as far as he knew, taught him or his siblings to speak. It had all come to them anyway.

Screenshot-1513Tosca went in to labor one night when Rhubarb was there and it was a big experience for him. She wailed so loud that she awoke little Sapling and Rhubarb couldn’t for his life figure how she would ever be able to get through those pains. It was so obvious that it was troublesome and uncle Salmon almost carried his wife out the door that night. 

He sat on their couch waiting, anxious to hear from them about the new baby. Sapling was easy to put to sleep again and while Rhubarb got no sleep that night, Sapling didn’t seem to understand that his life was about to change too and slept peacefully the whole night. The next afternoon Salmon got back home, announcing that they had got another perfectly healthy little baby boy. It made Rhubarb surprisingly happy and when Salmon also revealed that they had, in fact, chosen one of the names Rhubarb had suggested, Cosmo, he was even happier.

Screenshot-1517Lavender met the news of her new little cousin with mixed feelings. Cosmo had been born on the same day as herself and she now feared that he would overshine her own birthday. Though, no matter if he took the spotlight it felt good to be a teenager because she had really longed for it. She saw boyfriends, kisses, parties and loads of fun in her own future.

Screenshot-1502It was also getting closer to Lava’s birthday and a few days before, Thunderbird decided to check in on him. It was unbelievable that his son was already about to face the world on his own. Thunderbird had regretted so many times that he didn’t simply put Soda Pop out once their son was born, but even though Soda Pop was a lethal and horrible vampire, Thunderbird couldn’t stand the thought of killing her. He couldn’t stand the thought of killing anyone. But he hated her for keeping him from Lava. He hated that he had to be there and keep her in shack instead of raising his son. Berry should know that a teenage vampire could have needed his father. Now, Lava was nearly all grown up and Thunderbird didn’t know him, and likewise, Lava knew little of Thunderbird.

Though, even if Lava knew little of Thunderbird firsthand, he knew quite a bit from the information Soda Pop gave him. As such, he knew that Thunderbird frowned upon the actual vampirism and that he tried to persuade Soda to refrain from drinking blood. It sounded an awful lot like what his own parents tried to push upon him and that said quite a bit. He was who he was, after all. Despite that, Lava was still curious on his biological father since he too was a vampire. There was surely things Lava could learn from him, even if he advocated another kind of life than what Lava wanted for himself.

“Hello son” Thunderbird said as he entered Lava’s room a few days before his birthday. Looking around, Thunderbird could see that not much had happened in the room since he had first left Lava there. Not surprising, since the family had just recently returned to Fondant Fields. Just because Lava being left in their care. Coral and Berrian had surely done everything in their power to provide a better life for Lava.

Screenshot-1345“What are you doing here?” Lava wondered. He found himself curious, though Soda Pop consistently tried to keep him on edge. She had her suspicions on why Thunderbird had decided to go visit Lava and she did not like it one bit. Lava was her son. Thunderbird had just been a piece in her game. Thunderbird said something about congratulating his son on his birthday. And something about missing him. Though the real reason for his visit was something entirely different.

“I heard you have a girlfriend now” Thunderbird said. Soda Pop hadn’t managed to keep it a secret and the mere existence of a human girlfriend in a teenage vampire’s life was enough to send chills through Thunder’s body. 

“Raindrop” Lava declared with pride in his voice. To him, it didn’t matter that Raindrop was hypnotized in to the relation. She was still his girlfriend.

“And how is that working out for you?”

“Just fine, thank you” Lava said, hearing Soda Pop cursing at Thunderbird inside his head. It was confusing to talk to them both at once. 

“She’s a human” Thunderbird said and wrinkled his brows. “You must be careful. You’re so much stronger than her.”

“Not for much longer” Lava smiled. The four words were enough for Thunderbird to take a step back. The few words revealed so much. Not for much longer. Thunderbird knew exactly what it meant and the reason behind Soda Pop’s strong wish for a baby suddenly crashed down on him. She had never wanted a family. She wanted an army. And Lava was just an easy way to get there. His tries of talking sense in to Lava after the realization were useless. Lava was determined already. Brainwashed, if you so wish. Thunderbird left the Twist home beaten that day. He was the only one who could even hope to put a stop to the two and he needed a new plan. Even though Lava had been raised in a home full of love, he had become exactly the young man Thunderbird feared he would be. 

Screenshot-1500Lava felt confused that night. Though, he had decided. Two more days, then he would be out of there. He would leave the family he had always been living with to be with his biological parents. And Raindrop would be his forever. It had been Soda Pop’s idea initially, but it had appealed to Lava instantly. Raindrop hadn’t complained when he told her either. She would be a good vampire.

Lava sneaked in to Lavender’s room that night. She was the only one of his younger sibling’s who slept on the upper floor and whom he could get to without risking to wake their parents up. Lavender looked so at peace where she slept in her bed and Lava sat down on her bed. Soda Pop had tried convincing him to turn them all. She wanted their whole family to be together but Lava simply couldn’t. He loved the idea of a big vampire clan, of a town of vampires, but he couldn’t let his siblings go through it. He cared for them all too much. They were who they were, and he was who he was. They were no vampires. He would never let Soda Pop get them. Anyone else was fine, but not his family.

Screenshot-1516Lava aged up two days later and he left his old home before anyone else had woken up. There was a lump in his throat but he tried to suppress it. He was way too much different to them, they would all be better apart. And he had such an exciting future ahead of him. He and his real mother would create amazing things together, starting with Raindrop.

“Welcome, son” his mother smiled when he got to her house. Their house. His new home.

Chapter 4.16: Born to be

First of all I just want to thank you all for sticking around and reading and commenting. I love you all!

Next, I want you to know that some of this chapter will be written from a third-person point of view. When that is the case the text will be in italic and I hope it won’t be too confusing. When the text is not in italic we are reading from Coral’s point of view. The reason is that some things in this chapter happens outside of Coral’s knowledge. I hope it will make sense. 🙂


Screenshot-1390Lava had hoped that coming back to Fondant Fields would finally give him the opportunity to get a real friend. Someone who wasn’t his crazy brother Yew. It had pained him when he realized that the kids in Fondant Fields were far from accepting towards ‘bows who fell outside the norm. It seemed like despite the fact that a lot had happened since Lava’s ancestor Marshmallow Puff was frowned upon for being colorless, the town was still plagued with little understanding for those ‘bows who were not “normal”. But Lava had really tried to seem normal, still it had only taken a few days for the teenagers in Fondant Fields to see through him. After that he was the freak. No one wanted to be friends with the freak.

He really tried. He wanted to make his family happy and he knew that Coral and Berrian’s worst fear was that he would fall for his vampirism and become more like his biological mother. So he had tried for all of his life to be normal. To not be a vampire. Though, it was hard when the only one really accepting him for who he was, was Soda Pop – his biological mother. Everyone else just tried to get him to suppress himself. 

Screenshot-1389“I don’t want to be your friend, you fudging freak!” Raindrop cried when Lava for the hundredth time tried to get close to her. It pained him, knowing that it was because of his vampirism he had trouble getting along with anyone. He scared them because he wasn’t like them. Raindrop left the park along with the rest of the teenagers who had come to hang out and Lava was left alone. 

He had never felt lonelier than he did in Fondant Fields, and this was supposed to be their home. No one understood him. It made it hard to ignore the attempts Soda Pop made to communicate with him. She understood what he was going through and she accepted him for the vampire he was.

Screenshot-1400When Raindrop and the other teenagers had left the park Lava sat down on the swings. It was far too common for him to be left on his own like this. Much more common than he would have liked it to be. He couldn’t understand what he was doing wrong. All his life he had followed Berrian and Coral’s words, really doing his best to fit in and be normal. He didn’t want to be a monster, neither did he want to be a freak. Though, it seemed like despite his effort that was exactly what his peers thought of him. 

“You know, you could always make them like you.” Lava didn’t even bother looking around to find the source of the voice for he knew very well that it was only present in his own head. He knew the voice very well, it was one that he had tried to shut out for the most part of his life since it belonged to the woman he had always been told to stay away from. Not that it had done him any good so far. He was simply a confused, angry and lonely teenager.

“You can do whatever you want. You have the power. You’re a vampire, not a freak. Let me teach you” the voice continued and since Lava was sick and tired of always losing he finally caved in. He would no longer suppress his vampirism, instead he would embrace it. He would be the boy he was born to be.

Screenshot-1362It wasn’t hard to see why Lava decided to just use his vampirism instead of suppressing it after all the hurt his peers made him go through. Being who he was born to be was simply so much easier than trying to be someone else. So, after accepting the fact that he was a vampire he followed the teenagers to the town centre. As expected, he wasn’t very welcome and as expected, Raindrop was the one to let him know. Lava didn’t know for sure, but he thought that Raindrop’s opinions weighed heavy in the teenager group and there was also something about her that he really liked. So, Lava went for Raindrop. If he could make her like him, easier times would follow.

“Didn’t we ask you to go away” Raindrop snarled and barely looked at him when she spoke.

“I just want us to be friends” Lava replied and did his best to not look victorious just yet. Though, he knew, even if he had never tried, that Raindrop would never be able to resist. He was strong. He could feel it.

“Well, I don’t want to be your friend. I just want you to stay the fudge away from me. You freak.”

Screenshot-1363Hearing Raindrop once again calling him freak was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Without knowing exactly what he was doing Lava fixed his eyes on Raindrop. Inside his head Soda Pop told him exactly what to say, all while chuckling victoriously. 

“I think you actually want to be my friend. In fact, you actually like me very much” Lava said, copying the words from Soda Pop.

Screenshot-1364Raindrop was lost in Lava’s eyes. Her mouth slowly opened, revealing a perfect set of white teeth. Even though she didn’t typically want to listen to what he was telling her, it was impossible not to. ‘I actually want to be his friend and I actually do like him quite a lot’ she thought to herself, confused to why she had failed to see that before. 

Screenshot-1365Blueberry who had been sitting right next to the two, trying to get the last part of his homework done, jumped up at the sight of how Lava seemed to harass Raindrop. “What part of leave us alone didn’t you understand you freak?!” he yelled and hit Lava hard on the shoulder. Blueberry wasn’t usually a fighter, neither was he a tough ‘bow. Though, he liked Raindrop a lot and would do anything he could to keep her safe.

Screenshot-1368“You really think you can tell me what to do?” Lava growled once he was done with Raindrop and crouched at Blueberry’s legs, showing off his pointy fangs. It was not something he would have done an hour ago, but the newly found strength in being a vampire had changed him. It was powerful to see Blueberry shake in fear as Lava threatened him. And it was powerful to see how Raindrop looked at him with admiring eyes instead of disgust.

Being a vampire was far better than being a freak.

Screenshot-1370It didn’t take much effort to get poor Blueberry to pass out. He had always known that Lava was a freak and a monster, but he had never seen it so up close before and naturally, it scared him. Before dropping to the ground, he saw his life pass before his eyes, so sure that Lava would rip him in parts, ending his miserable life just there and then.

Screenshot-1343After that night, Lava made it a habit to now and then remind Raindrop about the fact that she liked him. Perhaps it wasn’t friendship in its right meaning, but it was a lot better than feeling lonely. 

Though, it shall be said that Soda Pop had something completely different from friendship in mind. For now, Lava shut those words out, but he was also afraid that she was right. Friendship, or even romance, would never be enough. He wanted Raindrop by his side, forever. That was the only way he, and his biological mother, had any chance of changing Fondant Field’s opinion on vampires.


Coral’s POV:

Screenshot-1337We had pretty much settled back home in Fondant Fields by the time Froly was born. He was a small child, much smaller than the rest of his siblings had ever been. Though, despite that, he still came with the same amount of love in to our family.

It was scary feeling at home in the house and town for I knew mother was out there, biding her time. Lava would never be safe here, we all knew that. Still, we stayed. For the rest of the children would feel better having their aunts and their uncle around. And having a real, stable home gave them all the time to get some friends.

Screenshot-1344In fact, Lava was the one who first got himself a friend. The girl who he decided to befriend was by no means unknown to us since it was Celeste’s (Watermelon’s best friend’s) daughter Raindrop. Their friendship would never have been a possibility had we not decided to stay in Fondant Fields, for then they would never have met in the first place. It was easy to tell when you looked at Lava that he treasured the friendship with Raindrop and it did us all good to see him grow in to a teenager with friends, just like any teenager. It was almost possible to forget about his vampirism that way.

Screenshot-1334Screenshot-1335And our little miracle baby Mulberry grew in a steady pace too. It felt as though he had just recently came in to our family but already was he grabbing things on his own and seemed to be aware of his surroundings. Seeing Mulberry grow made me realize I would never get used to their aging. It really was a magic experience. In a way, it felt like yesterday that I met Berrian for the first time, but in another way it felt like he and our family had always been a part of my life. I felt at home with them all by my side.

Screenshot-1383Lavender was a lot different from her brothers. She reminded me so much of the Romeo and Berrian I had first got to know. She was just as eager for new experiences as Romeo had always been and just like him, she was a perky little girl. It was impossible to keep the names of her new friends straight and it surprised me every time she brought someone new home. We never forced her, or any of the other kids, to school – yet Lavender went there of her own will for she wanted to meet new friends and learn new things.

“This is my home” she declared proudly once any of her friends had made their way in to our home. In contrast to her elder brothers, Lavender didn’t seem to remember much of the life before when we moved from town to town, never being able to call any single place our home. To her it seemed like this house in Fondant Fields with pictures of our ancestors covering the walls was her only home. Or perhaps she so proudly presented this like her home because she had missed having a stable place to grow up. Whatever reason, I saw so clearly in her that it did my children good with some stability. And so far so good.

Screenshot-1385Lavender jumped head first in to every new game her friends taught her. The sound of her giggles were more common than any other sound in the house and we all grew accustomed to it. Nearly to the point where we all found it strange when Lavender’s happiness failed to echo between the walls.

Even though Lavender had played rock-paper-scissors several times, she seemed to always lose. Despite that, she still found it fun to play.

Screenshot-1386Though, upon losing she never failed to look surprised. “You cheated!” she always complained afterwards whereby most of her friends would deny with a giggle. Macchiato, however, did not. “Let’s play again” he said and smiled victoriously.

“I lost again” Lavender sighed once the game was over and Macchiato laughed at her. “You cheat, don’t you?” Lavender asked, starting to lose the interest in the game since Macchiato didn’t seem to laugh with her but more-so at her.

Screenshot-1387Before Macchiato had time to clear himself Lava had stormed down the stairs to support his sister. “You better treat my sister nice or I’ll show you!” he growled with his fangs exposed. Macchiato stopped laughing in an instant and stammered something inaudible in response.

“Ah, stop it Lava!” Lavender cried. By now, she was getting sick and tired of her elder brothers constantly coming to her rescue whenever they thought she needed it. So far, she hadn’t needed it a single time and all their rescue plans did was to scare her friends away. This time was no exception and Macchiato was soon on his way home and Lavender knew she had most likely lost yet another friend. It made her sad, though she didn’t let it get to her for she was happy to have her brothers around even if they were berryholes sometimes.

Screenshot-1393Yew talked a lot about one of the friends he had made upon returning to Fondant Fields. His name was Sonic and from what Yew told us he was a creative person who played a lot with words. Apparently he worked a lot outside of school so he was busy most of the times, which meant it was hard for Yew to bring him home for introductions. Not that it mattered, the important part was that he had someone by his side. I knew exactly how important friends were, for Romeo had been a lifesaver to me. Knowing that my kids had friends on their own made me incredibly happy and I looked forward to them all sharing experiences and memories with me eventually.

Screenshot-1372Though Rhubarb preferred sticking to himself or to hang out with any of the younger boys. That was perfectly fine too. It was after all what I myself had done for most of my life too, before I met Romeo and Berrian. Besides, it was a great help having Rhubarb feeding the toddlers or changing their diapers. It left me with more time to care for the garden.

And get a job. I never thought that day would come when I got myself a job but now that we were more or less stationed in Fondant Fields we needed extra money to pay the bills. Berrian could no longer search for treasures to sell so I signed up for a job. In fact, Romeo fixed it for me. It consisted of looking at different pieces of art and tell whether it was an original piece or simply a copy. In the future there could be the possibility to appraise it too, but for that I needed more experience.

Screenshot-1373So, while I worked and Berrian cared for the house and the younger kids, Rhubarb helped him. He seemed to be especially fond of Froly, which was good for Berrian was definitely more fond of his little miracle baby. I understood – it was after all the only baby he had carried himself for several months – though I still found it a bit annoying. You weren’t supposed to play favorites with your kids. They were all equal.

Screenshot-1379Little Froly grew bigger for each day too and while I loved seeing him become a ‘bow with his own personality and interests it pained me to realize that he was the last child I would get to watch grow. Me and Berrian had never discussed how many kids we wanted or if we even wanted kids, yet it had been exciting and welcome every time a new child came in to our lives. But now, we were both getting old and it was fairly certain that our time had passed. There would be no more offsprings from us.

It shouldn’t have bothered me like it did for we had the most perfect family one could have wished for. But yet, it did.

Screenshot-1382I was so happy with my children and the berries they were becoming. In many senses they were so alike each other, and in other they were so different. We were a family for sure, and I loved it.

Rhubarb was growing in to such a calm and collected young man. It was peaceful to see because my own life had always been surrounded with drama. But Rhubarb seemed to shut any hint of drama out. He was always polite and always so thoughtful. Perhaps he would be a big thinker one day.

Screenshot-1380He sat on his own a lot of the time, writing stories or journal entries. He seemed determined to put words to all the feelings and happenings that were part of his life and I felt so proud when I watched him. This was far from anything that we could have encouraged him in to if we had tried to intervene with his aging. Neither me or Berrian were any beings of words, but still Rhubarb had found his peace in just that. He was growing in to exactly the man he was born to be.

Screenshot-1374The few times when he weren’t either writing at home or taking care of his younger brothers, he went out to the centre park where several stray cats roamed around. Like Bittersweet (who by that time had seven cats) Rhubarb had a really big heart and he did what he could to provide a better life for those poor stray cats.

Screenshot-1378I know I’ve said it many times already, but I was so proud of my family. So, so proud. Of each and every one of the kids.


So, that’s pretty much Lava’s story. He is soon a YA and will therefore soon move out of the house. You’ve also got to know the rest of the kids a bit better. I hope to have a mini-chapter from Yew’s POV out before the heir vote, but I’m not sure if I manage because I have so much school work to do. Hopefully. The Family Pictures page is updated with this generation’s picture.

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