Chapter 5.17: Island Life

Okay, it has been ages since my last post. I kind of vanished in to that thing called life. September and October have been more than crazy for me. Both friends and relatives have passed away and I’ve also had to deal with some social issues at work. It has all been very energy and time consuming and I haven’t even thought about games. It seems to settle a bit now, and I’ve managed to type up this chapter. It might not be fully as good as what I’ve done previously, but at this point I just wanted to finish it. I still want to (and aim to) finish this legacy. It just has to be a bit slower for some time.

Thanks for sticking with me. You’re the best.


Screenshot-4040I loved my rowing boat, but when we moved to the island it was just not possible to keep it. Moving between our island and the main island took way too much time (and energy!) if I was going to row every time. So, as a treat to myself I got myself a motor boat instead. That way, it was actually possible to go between the two islands as much as we pleased. For instance, I could drop the kids off at school and collect them at the day’s end. It seemed an unnecessary risk to let them go with public transport when I could arrange it myself.

Screenshot-4014The twins adapted quickly and thought it was quite cool to live on an island. Though, they had promised to not tell their friends at school which island it was because “we wanted to keep it our secret”. The lie worked so far, but the twins would see through it eventually.

Soon, our lives fell in to a steady routine: I dropped the kids off at school, went back home and spent the day with Eden, picked the kids up from school, went home to cook them dinner while they did their homework. On the evenings we played video games or swam in the surrounding sea before I read them a goodnight story and tucked them in.

Screenshot-3997 Screenshot-3999Everything was just ordinary until it was time for Eden’s birthday. Mom, Lavender and Myrtle came over to celebrate and have some cake. It was the first time Myrtle visited us on the island and she was breath-taken by its beauty. I promised her she would live here one day but she listened only with half an ear.

“Let’s blow the candle” she said instead and grabbed Eden from his crib and walked up to the cake. I liked the fact that she was the one bringing him to the cake. I wanted her to be a part of the kids’ lives but it was hard as it was. We had to do the best we could.

Screenshot-3998Petite was excited about the “party” and mom had even brought some party horns to make it look like a real party. She blew as hard as she could and the silly sound from the horn brought a smile to my face.

“Happy birthday Eden!” she shouted and watched eagerly as Myrtle leaned forward and helped Eden blow the single candle on the cake.

Screenshot-4002“He looks a bit like you, daddy” Mars said when Eden had aged up. I could see what he meant, the red skin and the purple hair certainly came from me. However, in my opinion, Eden was far cuter and far more precious than myself.

Screenshot-4012Petite and Mars were probably most excited about the cake and as soon as Eden had blown the candle they grabbed a big bite each and went to munch on it in the sofa. Myrtle, on the other hand, loved the opportunity to do the everyday mom-chores. She decided to be the one to put Eden to bed and I stood in the doorway just peaking at her when she awkwardly, yet beautifully, prepared him for sleep.

“Mommy loves you” she said and kissed his forehead. Eden stretched his arms’ towards her, begging her to take him in her arms.

Screenshot-4011 Screenshot-4010 Screenshot-4009“Now sleep, little treasure” Myrtle said and put him in his crib. Once he laid down, she softly begun to sing a lullaby and I had to leave my lookout because it was sweet enough to bring tears to my eyes. It wasn’t fair that she couldn’t be here always. She was so good with the kids, and berry should know that I needed her.

Screenshot-4016 Screenshot-4018 Screenshot-4019During the days, it was just me and Eden at home (I had gotten some time off from work to be with my youngest child), and we worked endlessly on his necessary skills. He took to walking quickly and was soon tumbling around the house leaving myself sometimes losing track of him. Like Petite, he was adventurous and challenge himself more and more for every day.

I tried to improve my writing so that I could have a chance at a promotion at work. Dealing newspapers wasn’t a job I wanted to go back to, especially not now when vampires where out on the streets. I wanted something where I could be at the office or where I could do something more valuable. Perhaps I could get that job I had imagined myself having all those years ago. Perhaps I could one day write about how my children overcome the vampires. Wouldn’t that be something?

Screenshot-4024There was no sign of the vampires after we had moved to the island. Yet, I could not shake the feeling that they were out there, looking for us. Petite, Mars and Eden seemed to be safe out here and I was so grateful for finding the island and creating a place where we could be safe for now. However, with longer distance to the treatment center, we saw Myrtle less often than I would like. We went there at least once a week, but I would have wanted my kids to spend more time with their mother.

“Why doesn’t mommy live with us?” Petite wondered one morning and I found myself at loss for words. I should have known the question would come one day, but me and Myrtle had never discussed how we should tackle it. As far as Petite and Mars knew, Myrtle was staying at a hotel. Could I tell them that it was really a mental hospital?

Screenshot-4021“Because she’s staying at the hotel” I said and dodged the question.

Screenshot-4022“Told you he wouldn’t answer” Mars said and stuffed his mouth full of food.

“If you don’t ask you would never know!” Petite screamed at him and stuck her tongue out.

“No fighting at the table” I said.

Screenshot-4023Petite went silent and put her fork down on the table without even finishing her pancakes. “Really dad. We’re not babies anymore. Mommies and daddies should live together, everyone else’s does. So why doesn’t she want to live here with us?”

“She loves you” I replied, still dodging the question. This upset Petite and she shoved her chair backwards and left the table in anger.

Screenshot-4032After dropping the kids off at school that day I called Myrtle. I needed to give them a better answer, but I did not know what it should be.

“Oh for fudge’s sake Yew” Myrtle sighed at me in the other end of the line. “Just tell them the truth already. Or you’re just like everyone else. I thought you believed in me.”

“I do” I protested.

“Then tell them.”

Screenshot-4031“That you’re crazy? That I’m crazy?” I felt my voice shiver.

“We’re not crazy. They need the truth. My visions, the vampires. Their task. They’re ready for it.”

I loved that woman so much. The truth. Of course our children deserved the truth. I had been stupid to think anything else.

Screenshot-4028That afternoon I played with Eden outdoors while I went through what I would tell the twins once they got home. I even practiced it on Eden a few times and he smiled back at me, as if he approved of my words. The truth. It was so simple, yet so hard.

Screenshot-4043When the twins got home we sat down on a blanket on our own beach. I gave them some sandwiches, some watermelon and juice before telling them that I needed to speak with them.

“About mommy?” Petite asked and looked at me. Eden twisted a little as if it pained him that his sister was so straight-forward.

“Yes, about Myrtle” I said.

Screenshot-4044“Your mother is a very special berry” I said and Petite looked at me with curious eyes. Something about the way she was looking at me told me that they were indeed ready for the story that I was about to unfold. She looked so understanding and for a brief moment I wondered when she had become that big.

“Your mother knows many things. More things than anyone else. She even know some things that has yet not happened” I said.

“The future?” Mars sounded skeptic but Petite nodded.

“Yes, she can sometimes see the future” I said and nodded. Mars shook his head in disbelief but I continued the story. “When she was young, she saw some things that would happen that frightened people around her and they started calling her crazy. She had trouble knowing what things were actually visions of the future and what things had actually happened, so I think that sometimes her stories did indeed sound crazy. In the end, her parents sent her to a special hospital were they treat crazy people. But she was never crazy, she just had a gift that no-one else did. So now she’s stuck there.”

Screenshot-4045I continued by telling them the truth about how I met Myrtle and about Sonic (although I never told them about the incident when I kidnapped Hunter, because it was definitely not something I was proud of) and they both listened carefully without interrupting. I also told them about my family, and the threats that our family was facing.

It was easier than I thought it would be to tell my children about all the fears and all the chaos that surrounded us. And when I finished with saying that Myrtle had seen “our children” taking care of the vampires they both smiled.

“I bet it will be me” Petite said and smiled with pride.

Screenshot-4048It was as if a rock lifted from my shoulders that afternoon. I had not understood just how much it stressed me out to keep the secret from my children. How much it had pained me and burdened me. It was nice to share it with them.

I felt happy that afternoon. My kids were so brave, so understanding and so ready.

Screenshot-4003A few weeks later Lavender came over and told us that Cashmere was going to become a big sister. The news didn’t frighten me as much this time. Seeing Petite and Mars so ready for the fight ahead had given me new courage. We would overcome our dangers. Eventually.

Screenshot-4004Screenshot-4006Lavender’s pregnancy felt exciting in a way no pregnancy had felt before. Mom felt it too and she made awkward, happy, humming sounds when I leaned in to listen to whoever was hiding inside my sisters belly. This was what mom had wanted all her life. A happy family with tight bonds. Shame that it couldn’t always be like this.

Screenshot-4026Screenshot-4027Eden shared bedroom with Petite and Mars and most of the time it worked out fine. However, some nights Eden cried and cried and woke both twins up. They did not appreciate it, yet they never yelled at him. Instead, they tended to stand by his crib offering him soothing words. I’ve said it before, but it can be said again: My children were so, so perfect.

Screenshot-4015“I want to have a sleepover party” Petite looked at me with innocent, begging eyes. The thought of inviting people outside of the family to our house still scared me. It would ruin our cover if it got known where we were living. How long would it be until Soda Pop found us if we started exposing ourselves like that? At the same time, I didn’t know how long I could keep the children locked away like I did. I wanted a safe and normal childhood for them, and what we had was not normal.

“You know we can’t” I said, even though it pained me to do so.

“But it’s our friends” Petite said. “None of them will harm us.”

I don’t know how she did it, but in the end she had convinced me and we started planning for a sleepover party. Their friends would come home with them after school and go with them to school the day after. No-one but the kids would know where our island was. Not even the parents. That was the deal. It surprised me that there was parents who would willingly leave their children in someone else’s care for a night without even knowing where they were. Then I remembered that other parents didn’t live with the same threats as me. Their children were not hunted by vampires and wanted in a fudging vampire army.

It would do my kids good to have something normal. To almost be like everyone else for a night.

Screenshot-4033Our little house was filled with kids on the night of the slumber party. There were kids all over the place. They laughed loudly, no sign of worry in their voices and I found myself enjoying the chaos. This was so peaceful, their worries so small. It had been a good idea to invite them all over.

Screenshot-4034Screenshot-4036 Screenshot-4035 Screenshot-4038 Screenshot-4037

Chapter 5.16: I would die for them

Screenshot-3973When it was time for the twins’ birthday, me and mom decided to celebrate it just with the four of us. We simply did not want to risk gaining the vampires’ attention by hosting a big party. It hurt to think that my kids needed to be secluded from everyday matters, but if that was what it took to keep them safe, I had to do it.

It was only for a limited time anyway, I thought to myself and longed for the island retreat to be finished. I did most of the work myself, because any chance for Soda Pop to track us was a risk not worth taking.

Screenshot-3974“And blow as hard as you can” mother said and leaned over Mars’s cake to take him closer to the candles. Her voice pulled me back to the present and when Mars blew out his candles he sent a shower of saliva over the cake. It was gross and cute at the same time. Mom just smiled at her grandson and put him down on the ground. She was the best and I was so grateful to have her in my life.

Screenshot-3975Screenshot-3976“Me too!” Petite said and clapped her little hand against my chest. “Petty blow!”

“Oh, you’re so eager little one. Okay, okay” I smiled. Petite was far more talkative than Mars and she was constantly eager to try new things. She had surprised both me and mom by climbing out of her crib just a few weeks ago. Mars had never tried something like that, he was a rather calm and still child.

But Petite, boy, had she kept us busy. ‘Little Daredevil’ mom used to call her and it was certainly an appropriate nickname. She threw herself head first in to any challenge in front of her.

“Okay, blow the candles” I said and leaned forward to help her put out the light. However, she quickly proved that she needed no help and before I had begun blowing myself, she had already finished the job.

Screenshot-3977“Well done” I laughed and put her down on the ground next to her brother. They both giggled and clapped their hands and as I looked at them I was filled with love. My babies, my perfectly perfect little babies. Already so big. They grew too fast. Before I knew it they would be old enough to deal with the vampires. Tears welled up in my eyes at the thought of it. Petite and Mars would never get the chance to be just normal teenagers with normal teenager problems – they would be stuck with a task that no ‘bow should ever need to be stuck with. My kids would need to save the world one day.

Suddenly, I realized that it would be my task to prepare them for that. But how could I? What parenting was needed to make my kids ready for the problems they would have to face? How could I teach them to take care of a problem I had only ever run from myself? It was something I would never know.

Screenshot-3981 Screenshot-3982Unsurprisingly, they both grew up to amazing children. I pulled my camera up and as I prepared to take their picture, Mars put his arm around Petite’s shoulders and pulled her closer. The picture ended up being amazing, of course.

It was convenient to see them being friends because it meant that their future task would be easier. They would not have to go through it alone because they had each other. What a team.

When I put them to bed that night, I told them that I loved them very much. I needed to remember to tell them often because with the dangers surrounding us, I could never be sure to get another chance at saying it. Supid world and stupid problems.

Screenshot-3914Soda Pop came to our front door just hours after the twins had gone to sleep. Mom had gone to sleep as well and the sun had just set in the horizon. I was just making myself comfortable in the sofa in front of some silly comedy about a man who never aged.

Screenshot-3915Every muscle in my body tensed at the sound of the doorbell. I had never seen Soda Pop before, but when I first saw her this time I knew instantly that it was her.

Soda Pop Twist.

My grandmother.

The vampire who wanted my children. 

Screenshot-3929I wasn’t even scared when I went out to meet her. I should have been, of course. But all I could think of was to keep my children safe. If I got myself killed in the process did not matter, as long as I prevented her from getting to my kids.

“Get the fudge of my property” I hissed and my body was pumping with adrenaline.

Soda Pop smiled, but she looked far from friendly. “I came to congratulate Mars and Petite” she said.

I took one step closer to her and waved my arms by my side as if I was a rooster picking a fight, “Get off my property” I snarled again.

Screenshot-3927“Jeez, relax. I wouldn’t do anything rash if I were you” Soda Pop said.

“Can you just leave? No one likes you anyway.”

“Yew Twist” Soda Pop sighed. “Just let me talk to your children and no one will get harmed. It’s easy like that”.

Screenshot-3931Her cold white eyes stared at me. It felt nearly like they stared through me. Like she could see every thought in my brain through my eyes. Perhaps she could, what did I know?

“You’ll never get close to them” I snarled back and clenched my fists in front of me.

Soda Pop suddenly exploded, “And you think you can keep me from that? Hahaha, you silly weak little thing. I always get what I want. Always.”

“Not this time” I replied calmly. I would die for my children, if I needed to.

Screenshot-3932“You stupid, petty human!” Soda Pop yelled and slammed her body against mine. She was a lot stronger than me and my body hit the ground with a loud thump. I felt, and heard, some of the bones in my back cracking loudly but I felt no pain.

“I’ll kill you if I have to” Soda Pop snarled and scratched my face. I felt numb. There was nothing I could do except taking her beating. Whatever happened, I would not let her in my house. She would not get to my kids.

Screenshot-3935“Just say the word and you’ll be free again” she said and pulled me up in a standing position. She held my head secured under her arm and I tried to get a few punches in against her body. I don’t think she even felt them because there was no strength in my body. It was all transformed into willpower and I just waited for her to kill me.

Mom will keep the twins safe. Mom will keep the twins safe. I repeated it like a mantra inside my head. It wouldn’t matter if I died. The house on the island was almost finished and mom would keep the twins safe.

I would die for them.

It was okay.

Screenshot-3936Suddenly though, Soda Pop kicked me in the back and let me go. “You stupid idiot. I’ll get the babies eventually” she said. I massaged the lower part of my back where her heel had hit me and before I had turned around to curse at her she was gone. I had survived. And I was still human.

Screenshot-3994I slept uneasy that night, tossed and turned and reacted to every little sound outside the window. When mom got up from bed I joined her in the livingroom and told her about what had happened last night. Of course, she was shocked to hear about it.

“I don’t know what to do” I said, feeling like I had lost and that everything was meaningless. Soda Pop had been right, she would get what she wanted. She always did. And she was so much stronger than me, there was no way we could stop her.

Screenshot-3996“You know exactly what to do” mom replied and smiled faintly. “You’ve got the island.”

“But when she finds it, we’re doomed.”

“Hopefully she doesn’t. Took her some time to find you here, didn’t it? Perhaps the twins will be old enough to care for themselves once it happens” mom said. I hoped she was right, but I could not know for sure. The only thing I did know for sure was that my kids were in greater danger than I had originally thought.

“Wait for Myrtle to birth your child and then move” mom continued. All these years she had devoted her life to keeping us safe. And she still did. I nodded, to show that I agreed. I would take my children and run, as soon as I could.

Screenshot-3995“Sometimes you have to leave things behind to protect the ones you love” mom said and I could hear sadness in her voice. Had it been like that for her? Had she been in pain every time she had to move? Had it pained her to leave Bittersweet behind? Of course it had. Why had I never understood that before? The sacrifices she and dad had made, just to keep us all safe. I owed everything to them.

“Lavender!” It struck me then. Lavender had a child too and I didn’t know if Soda Pop had visited her as well. I didn’t even know if my sister was alive.

Mom jumped off the sofa and called Lavender straight away. Luckily, she was safe.

“There’s no room for Lavender in the island house” I said when mom returned.

“I’ll be with her” mom said and touched my arm. “You’ll be fine, Yew. It’s time for me to move on. Your sister needs me now.”

I knew that mom was right and that Lavender would need her more than me. Still, it brought tears to my eyes when I thought about living without mom again. She had been there for me whenever I needed it. When I got ill, when I met Myrtle, when the twins were born, when dad died. When the vampires came. And now she wouldn’t be with us anymore. But it was the right thing to do. Me and my kids would be safe on the island.

Screenshot-3984Eden was born shortly thereafter. He looked so much like myself. Red skin, white eyes and a small patch of purple hair on his little head. The first time I held him my heart melted. What was it with babies that touched the very inside of one’s body? They were magical and fragile and true miracles. To think that part of this one came from me, it was hard to understand. How could two broken ‘bows like myself and Myrtle create something so perfect?

I brought him back to the house and left mom to look after him and the twins while I went to check on Lavender and her family. I would be leaving the main island to live at my safe haven within days, and I wanted to make sure that Lavender was okay.

Screenshot-3993“I can’t believe she came to your house?” Lavender was still startled about Soda Pop’s visit and the was the first thing she said when I came to visit them. I had already told her the story of our grandmother’s visit several times, including the fact that she had actually left without harming any of us seriously. However, it did little to calm my younger sister down.

“I could never protect Cashmere if she came here” Lavender continued and her worry was obvious.

Screenshot-3991I was worried too. Anything else would have been stupid. Cashmere sat on the floor close to us and played with her feet. She was a happy child and I feared what would happen to her if Soda Pop got to her. Would she be happy still? Would she become a deadly monster? The only way of not getting the thoughts drive me crazy was to put them aside and try to convince myself that none of our children would ever be taken by the vampires. Somehow, we would beat them.

“Well, mom will help you” I said. “And you have Mountain too. You’ll be fine.”

Screenshot-3992“Why does this happen to our family? It’s not fair!” Lavender said. “First you go and kidnap some fudging kid because you’re totally fudged up in the head and then some fudging vampires threaten to take our kids. Fudge!”

“We’ll manage” I said. It hurt to hear her curse about me and my past. I had overcome it, and it wasn’t fair of her to hold me against something I did while I was sick. Still, I couldn’t blame her. She worried for her daughter’s safety and she had the right to. Besides, my own issues had no doubt affected her and my other siblings too. Our lives were sure filled with enough drama to lay ground for some stupid soap opera. Perhaps one day it would get better.

Screenshot-3985Screenshot-3986When I got back home, mom had put the twins to bed and was now by Eden’s crib. I could see that she was crying while she hugged my newborn. “I’ll miss you” she sniffed.

“It’s for the best” I said. I don’t know if I tried to convince myself or mom the most. It didn’t seem to work on any of us anyway.

“We’ll be fine” mom said and put Eden down in the crib. She threw one last glance at him before turning the lights off and leaving the room. That night, we sat in silence next to each other in the livingroom. Some silly action movie played on the TV but even though I watched it, I couldn’t say what it was about because my thoughts were elsewhere.

It was going to be alright. It had to be.

Screenshot-3987Mom left early the next morning and when the kids woke up she was already gone. I didn’t know how I was supposed to tell them that we were moving so I pretended to read the newspaper while we ate breakfast. Petite ate her yoghurt in silence while Mars pretended he was some kind of ruler over some kind of kingdom. I don’t know.

Eventually, I had to tell them. I folded the newspaper in half and put it on the table in front of me. “We’re moving” I said. Just straight like that because I didn’t know how else I would say it.

“Will we get our own room?” Petite wondered.

“You will share with Mars and Eden” I replied.

“But not with you?”

“No.”

“Cool!”

Like that the conversation was over. They held no affectionate memories of this house and to them moving was just another exciting adventure.

Screenshot-3983I had already furnished the house on the island so I simply told the twins to bring their favorite toys. They could fill a backpack each, but anything else had to be left behind. There were no complains, and they simply wanted to bring their teddy bears. All in all, it went much smoother than I had expected and soon I could point from the boat to our new home.

“A whole island, just for us?!” Petite was stoked about it, but I wondered how long that would be true. Eventually, they would start feeling secluded and lonely. It would be tough to keep that from happening, but I would do my best.

“Yea, the whole island is ours” I said and secured the boat on the back of the house.

“This is awesome!” Petite shouted and ran off. Mars followed her, but he wasn’t as excited as his sister. At least not until he discovered a seashell on the beach. His discovery made him clap his hands in excitement and that was all it took for them to appreciate our new home.

This was it. Our new start. We would be safe here.

It would be fine.


Eden is the last child needed in Yew’s generation and now I’m just waiting for him to grow old enough to get a personality. ^^ I might host a heir vote as per usual, or I might choose the heir myself because one of them fits better for next generation’s rolls. But we’ll see.

Coral has now been moved out of the household and she lives with Lavender and her family. Also, I couldn’t fit it in the actual chapter, but Bittersweet has passed away. Coral has taken it quite badly and has been mourning a lot in game. It’s heartbreaking. 😦

Chapter 5.15: All you can do is run

Screenshot-3910I tried to focus on caring for my babies and to devote my thoughts to their progress instead of my brother’s and Soda’s impending attack. Needless to say, it was impossible. Even as I sat with Petite to teach her new words my mind drifted and I ended up being absent from the moment. I couldn’t let them become soldiers in a vampire army. But how could I stop it?

Screenshot-3911“Vamp-eyh” Petite suddenly said and looked at me with thoughtful eyes. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back and instead of trying unsuccessfully to teach my children the necessities, I placed them in the twin carrier and headed to the treatment center. Myrtle would know what to do. She always knew.

Screenshot-3963“He said we could beat them” I said, referring to Rhubarb, and looked at Myrtle with disbelief in my eyes. Raindrop’s visit had occupied my thoughts ever since it happened three days ago. It was nice to finally be with Myrtle and go through what had happened. She looked sad but still she nodded slowly:

“We can. But not yet.”

“How? When?” I was desperate. The image of Petite and Mars as vampire soldiers were glued to my eyelids and it kept me awake during the nights. If I wasn’t crazy before, then this was certainly capable of driving me insane.

“When the kids are old enough to help. They’re the only ones who can do anything about this. You’ll have to keep them safe until then. It’s the only chance we have.”

Screenshot-3944I looked down at Petite. She was busy playing a game with Makro, which consisted of her crying as loud as she could, and him jumping at her to lick her in the face. She was so small, way too small to be the solution to the problem with my ancestor vampires. It would be an eternity before she could do anything about it and I didn’t know how I could possibly keep them safe if Soda really wanted to get to them. It seemed impossible.

Screenshot-3959When I got back home that day my sister was sitting next to mom in the sofa. When I walked through the door mother clapped her hands together and said cheerfully: “Well, that’s just some fantastic news, honey”. Judging by my sister’s swollen belly, I knew what those news were even without them telling me. However, I didn’t find them fantastic at all.

Screenshot-3950 Screenshot-3949Mars, who had recently learned how to walk, tumbled towards the toy box in the other end of the room and laboriously opened the lid. Once it slammed open, he crawled in to it and messed about for a short while before peaking up the edge with his favorite dinosaur in his hand. His smile was genuine, something that could not be said about the one I tried to master when congratulating my sister.

Screenshot-3960Apparently, Lavender noticed my fake smile because she snapped: “Jeez, I’ll go to the bathroom” before getting up from the sofa and leaving for the bathroom. Mom remained seated and watched how Lavender closed the door to the bathroom before turning to me.

“You could at least pretend to be happy” she hissed quietly.

“I did” I said in protest and shook my head.

It was silent for a short moment before mom began to cry. “There is something fudging wrong when I cannot be happy about my daughter’s pregnancy” she sniffed. I agreed. Something was incredibly messed up in our lives. And now I needed not only to worry about my own children, but also about Lavender’s coming child.

“This is not on you” said mom, as if she could read my thoughts. “You have your family. Lavender can take care of herself.”

“But she doesn’t know” I said.

Screenshot-3958Mom never got the chance to reply because Lavender opened the bathroom door at that moment.

“What is it I don’t know?” she asked and sat down next to mom again. I shook my head and picked my kids up again and went upstairs. This was not a conversation I wished to participate in. It was not on me, like mom had said. As I left the room I heard how mother begun telling Lavender about Raindrop’s visit and Myrtle’s visions but once I got upstairs, I closed my eyes and focused on what I needed to do, for myself and my family. I could not stand to listen to how Lavender panicked. I had enough on my own plate.

Screenshot-3912Lava came to our house a few weeks later. Sun was just setting behind the hills and the twins had just been put to bed when he walked up to our front door. I saw him from the window and went down to meet him before he would manage to ring the bell.

Screenshot-3922I was not happy to see him.

“Long time no see” Lava grinned, perhaps in an attempt to make me feel better about his presence. It did not work.

Screenshot-3921Instead, I thrust my index finger to his chest, ignoring the part of me that told me to be careful. “You are not welcome here!” I hissed.

Lava stumbled backwards by the force of my finger, which, I supposed, meant it had taken him by surprise.

“I want you to leave. Now.” I continued and took a step forward to minimize the distance between us again.

“Easy now” Lava growled and his sharp fangs glowed in the corners of his mouth. It did not frighten me. All I could think of was that I needed to keep my children safe.

Screenshot-3923“Leave my property” I hissed back and took another step towards him and tried to make myself look as big as possible. Lava growled again, but his eyes showed hesitation.

“I did not come to fight” he said. “I came to warn you.”

“I don’t need your warnings!”

Screenshot-3924Lava suddenly exploded. He took a step closer to me faster than I could react to and his face was close to mine in an instant. “Then you’re stupid, Yew. My mother knows about your babies and she will get to them if you’re not careful. She’s stronger than anything you know. There’s nothing you can do to stop her. All you can do is run. And even that won’t help forever.”

The anger ran off me. Lava uttered the worries I had kept hidden within me ever since Raindrop first came to warn us. If Soda Pop wanted my children, there was nothing I could do to stop it. I was only an insane ‘bow who pretended he knew how to care for babies. The hopelessness overwhelmed me and I did what anyone would do when being told that their family is doomed.

Screenshot-3934I blamed the messenger.

I should have known I would get my ass kicked by my vampire brother, but in the moment I did not care. I wanted to hurt him. Bad.

“Just try to not let her catch you” Lava said before he escaped after kicking my butt.

Screenshot-3968It took me quite some time before I dared leaving my kids even for brief moments, but after some time mom reminded me that she had managed to keep me and my siblings safe throughout our entire life so Petite and Mars would be safe with her. In the beginning I left them just for short times, but as days passed by I slowly dared leaving them more and more. Mom was a great babysitter and my kids would be safe with her. I hoped.

It did me good to get away for myself now and then. If not only to not be driven insane with worry and stress from raising the twins. They were adorable, but also demanding.

Screenshot-3969Most of my lone time consisted of me getting in my boat and rowing out on the sea. I found that the sea breeze and the sound of the clucking water calmed my nerves. Also, I felt safe out on the sea. Untouchable.

Again, I found myself dreaming of a future in which me and Myrtle could be married and live with out children on one of the smaller islands surrounding the main island. I was almost sure that we would be safe out there. Lava and Soda Pop would never find us out there, would they?

Screenshot-3966It came as a shock when I saw the tiny island in front of me. From what I could see where I approached, it was barely nothing except a small, grass-covered slope. My heart beat faster as I got closer. I had never been out here before, and from the maps I had seen of the area, there should be no islands out here. Yet, there, before my eyes, was a perfect little desert island. I rowed around it and found that the other side was more flat.

Perhaps flat enough to build a house on, I thought to myself.

I jumped in from the boat to swim the last bit to the island and dragged the boat after me in a rope secured in the front. I went ashore on the flat side of the island and pulled the boat up. Once there, I tied the rope in a palm tree swaying in the wind. Except for a few palm trees, some bushes and a small pond, the island was empty. It was really not much to see, but in my eyes it was the greatest treasure I could imagine. An island that only I knew about, an island that was absent from all local maps and on which I could build my family a house and a future life. It was the island that would keep us safe.

Screenshot-3049“I found it!” I yelled even before I came in to Myrtle’s room at the center. Her eyes opened up and she raised one eyebrow.

“What, Yew?”

“I found an island and we will be safe there” I continued, still too excited to notice that Myrtle herself were far from happy. “I’m going to build us a house there and then we can live there and be safe. It’ll be great!” I could not remember the last time I felt so positive as I did to my newly born idea. In my head, nothing could go wrong.

Screenshot-3962“I hope you’re right” Myrtle said and looked down. There was a faint smile on her face, but it was hard to tell if it was genuine or if it was filled with worry. Her hands slowly caressed her stomach and a few quiet moments passed until my excitement had settled enough for me to notice the swelling her hands were moving over.

“You’re pregnant?” I questioned and the excitement ran off me in an instant and was replaced with the far too recognizable worry that had filled my life for the past months. I wanted another child, but the world our kids were born in to were dangerous and it felt almost selfish to bring more lives in to it.

“I’ve never seen this island” she said and looked back up at me. It knew it was an attempt to sooth my nerves, but it helped nonetheless. If she hadn’t seen my island in her visions, it was actually possible that it would work. I could bring my family there and we could raise our kids in safety until they were old enough to put a stop to whatever Lava and Soda Pop were up to.

“You haven’t?”

Screenshot-3957 Screenshot-3956Myrtle closed the distance between us and wrapped her arms around my neck and I drowned in her eyes.

“I knew you would find a way to keep them safe” she whispered before closing the gap between our lips.


Author’s Notes: It was quite the surprise that Yew found the deserted island when he went out with his boat. He was on his way to some park, I think, when he stumbled upon it. Actually, it happened quite some time ago, but I thought it would be a nice solution to how to keep his family safe once the vampires returned. I don’t know if you guys have played with IP much and found the different islands, but this one is really tiny. I’ve built the house on it, but it can just barely hold the small family.

Also, as mentioned in this chapter, Myrtle cannot always predict the future and sometimes even she gets surprised by some events. She knew all along that Yew would keep their babies safe, but she did not know how. I imagine her being a bit worried that it took him so long after the twins’ birth to come up with a plan. Perhaps she was even starting to doubt her own vision. That was why her new pregnancy was worrying her. 

And my last note for now; I really hate the Fighter roll. I’ll never play it again. I don’t like keeping enemies for my sims. 😦

Chapter 5.14: Never let them in

Life went on even without dad. It was hard and painful, but for every day that passed his death became easier to cope with. At the same time, everyday chores became easier to deal with. And one day, it no longer hurt to get out of bed. I still missed my father, and I would keep missing him for as long as I lived, but one day, it was suddenly bearable. I could go up and feed my babies without breaking at the seams. I could go on with my life.

It took months to get there and by the time I thought my life could proceed, it was time for the twins’ birthday.

Screenshot-3890Their birthday was also the first time that Myrtle was allowed to come visit us. We had, of course, visited her numerous times in the months before that, but it was exciting to have her visit us at home. Especially for her. It was the first she visited anyone in several years. “I brought pizza” Myrtle said happily when she entered our house in company of Tangerine and Slate. “Tangerine said it’s appropriate to bring something when invited to a party, and we all know I want to be appropriate“. Myrtle chuckled at her own joke and I laughed too, she was definitely the least appropriate person I knew, even if she brought pizza.

Screenshot-3891“You can put it on the table” mom said without even looking at Myrtle. Dad’s death still held her in iron claws and it was more common to see her sad and down than the opposite. Today was extra hard because it was one of those days when we both wished dad would have been there. It was the twins’ first birthday. A milestone.

Myrtle put the plate on the table and went up to my mother and hugged her. “I’m so, so sorry. He was great. I liked him.” Mother didn’t hug back and she didn’t reply. She just sniffled, wiped tears from her eyes and went upstairs to the babies.

Screenshot-3895When it was time to blow the candles Sonic suddenly came outside to watch. By now, I was aware that he only appeared on the days when I had forgotten my medication, and it seemed the stress of arranging the twins birthday party had made me forget today’s dose. Not that I minded much, I quite enjoyed seeing my old friend. Especially on such a special day as today, and even more so since another important person from my life was missing. Sonic’s presence made it less obvious that our family was forever broken.

Screenshot-3896We let Mars go first and once the single candle on his cake was blown out, I placed him on the ground and watched him age up. Myrtle, Tangerine, Slate and Sonic cheered and shouted excitedly as Mars transformed, but mom stood silent and with her arms hanging loose by her sides. It was not a cheerful event for her. It was the first birthday after dad’s death and she was hurting more than anyone. She would never be whole again. I knew that because I was going through something similar every day. Myrtle was alive and well, but she was still very much absent from my life.

Screenshot-3897My thoughts were soon interrupted by a gurgling sound and when I looked down Mars looked back at me with big eyes. His ears were pointy and along with the big eyes they showed clearly who his mother was. Except for those features, he was very much a Twist boy. He had my red skin, my mother’s light blue hair and her light eye color. He was beautiful.

Next, we let Petite blow her candle. She too aged up to a beautiful little being. Her green skin and green eyes had the exact same color as Myrtle’s and her light blue hair was, like Mars’s, a product of my own bloodline. The two little beings filled my heart with a warmth I had never experienced before and when Myrtle sneaked up behind me to hug me tight I forgot all about life’s misery and felt just pure happiness. “This family is fudging great” Myrtle whispered and hugged me tighter. I turned around slowly to kiss her. She was right, our family was perfect in all its brokenness.

Screenshot-3898Time passed and for every day, mom seemed to get better and better. I knew she would never forget about dad and that she would never be okay, but I hoped she would start appreciating life again. I hoped, with all my heart, that her last years would be spent in happiness, and that she would not only wait for her death to come. I thought that perhaps there was a chance that Petite, or Mars, could make her want to live another day.

I watched mom interact with my children every day. She smiled at them a lot, which was great to see because there wasn’t much else that made her smile these days.

Screenshot-3900 Screenshot-3901Honestly, there were many reasons to smile at my children. They were constantly up to something and they constantly discovered new things. Seeing them grow was amazing and it gave me so much joy. I only wished Myrtle would have been by my side to experience it too. But she was not. We visited her often, but we couldn’t always be with her. And when it came to seeing the kids grow, no time except always was enough. They learned so much and they grew so much when Myrtle wasn’t around that it hurt. Imagining how it must hurt Myrtle was even worse.

She loved her children but she couldn’t be with them. Because someone, somewhere at some point, had decided that there was one way of being that was normal and that anything that differed from that way was abnormal. That abnormal needed treatment and that abnormal was to be locked in. It was strange to think that anyone could fail to see Myrtle’s magnificence. Her way of being different defined her, and I loved it. She would have been no harm to me, or my children. Yet, she was denied the essence of life. She was denied her family, just because she could see the future. Because people were afraid of what was different.

Screenshot-3902“I love you” I said first thing when she visited us the next time. “I love you just as you are.” I took her hand and twirled her around, as in a dance before I lowered her towards the floor with my left arm supporting her back. Myrtle laughed and smiled.

Screenshot-3903Before she could say anything, I leaned in and kissed her. My precious beloved girl.

“I love you too, crazy” she said once I had helped her get up on her feet again. “But now I wanna go. Come on.”

Screenshot-3904Tangerine had agreed on letting us go to the beach for a day. She would be close by in case anything happened, but all in all me and Myrtle would be on our own. Apparently, I had been well enough to be trusted to take care of my girlfriend.

Mom would watch the twins. She had been overjoyed when I asked her, and I suspect it was because it made her feel important. Like she was needed. And that day, on the beach, was the first time she smiled genuinely since dad passed away.

Screenshot-3907While mom played with the twins in the sea, me and Myrtle rowed out on open water. I had bought the rowing boat when I first moved to Isla Caramello, but I had never used it before this day. It was exciting to be out on the water alone with Myrtle. It was the first time ever that we were alone together and therefore, this was our first date. I giggled when the thought struck me; We had two kids together and yet this was our first date.

“Why are you laughing?” Myrtle asked and stretched her leg as to kick me. The boat rocked when Myrtle moved and she cried and quickly put her foot back underneath her. I couldn’t help but laugh at her.

“Don’t fudging laugh! We could have died!” Myrtle yelled and stared at me with big eyes. It struck me that it was the first time I had ever seen her scared and somehow it made me love her even more.

“Then sit still” I winked and kept on rowing, taking us further out on the sea and further away from the beach. I wanted us to be completely alone now that we had the chance.

Screenshot-3906Myrtle calmed down after a while and seemed to relax a bit. It was nice to row when she sat in front of me and while we rowed in silence, I remembered how much I loved the sea and why I moved to Isla Caramello in the first place. This was how I had pictured life. The main island where my house was located was beautiful, but it was nothing compared to the smaller islands that surrounded it.

“One day we’ll live out here” I said to break the silence. Myrtle looked terrified at first and I understood that the fear she had shown in the beginning of our tour was bigger than I had first thought. Water frightened her, I could see it in her eyes. “On one of the islands” I continued, to calm her down.

“I won’t” she said sadly and looked down.

“You will” I retorted. “I’ll get you out one day.”

“I’d like that, but I know it won’t happen” she whispered back and twisted her hands in her lap.

Screenshot-3908“It might” I said, desperate to hold on to the hope I felt. Perhaps it could happen. If I kept being fine and she kept laying low. Myrtle could see the future and the truth, but in the future I saw, I was going to marry her and live with her and our children on one of the smaller islands. I refused to let her visions rob me of that dream.

“And I’d like another child with you” I said. The words surprised myself as much as they surprised Myrtle.

“Perhaps one day.” Myrtle smiled briefly before looking down. She sat like that for a while, silent with her eyes looking down at the bottom of the boat and I could sense that something was troubling her.

Screenshot-3909“Yew…” Myrtle begun and chewed nervously on her upper lip before she continued. “The vampires. You must never let them in. Can you promise me that?”

The vampires. I had not given much thought to the things she had said about the vampires and my brother many years ago. Not since she said it, but now that she mentioned it, it all came rushing back. My brother would cause the death of our species? That truth could not be true. “What have you seen?” I demanded and turned the boat around. I wanted to take us back to the beach and our children as fast as I could.

“Just… Don’t let them in. They can’t hurt you if you don’t let them in the house. Okay?”

“Lava? He wouldn’t hurt me.” I said it without believing it myself. I wanted to believe it, but I knew it wasn’t true. The Lava I knew was long gone.

“He’s not the same anymore. He’s a pawn, remember? Just don’t let him in. Or any other vampire for that matter. Okay?”

“What will they do to us? Our children?” Panic rose within me and my heart beat fast. I rowed as quickly as I could, but it wasn’t quick enough. I wanted to be back on the beach now.

“Hopefully nothing. My visions might be wrong. There’s always more than one truth.”

“But you’ve never been wrong before” I complained. Myrtle said nothing in response, but her silence was answer enough. She had, indeed, never been wrong before.

It took way too long, but eventually we got back to the beach and I could see that mom and the twins were alright. Still, I couldn’t shake the fear of what would happen if the vampires found us. I knew there were many of them by now. Soda Pop and Lava raised an army, they had been working on that for years and by now all of Fondant Fields could be turned. Before we parted that day, I promised to never, ever, let a vampire in to our house. We didn’t know if it would help, but for now it was the only thing we could do.

Screenshot-3892I had told mom about Myrtle’s visions because she needed to know it was important that we never let the vampires inside, should they show up on our doorstep. Of course, mom said we were crazy to even think Lava or Soda would come after us now, after all these years, but I persisted in making her promise to never let them in. Eventually she budged and made her promise.

A few weeks later, I heard mother cry in the kitchen and when I ran there, I saw Rhubarb along with Rainbow outside my front door.

Raindrop. A vampire.

My heart started racing as I walked towards the door and opened it slowly. “You cannot come in” I said and closed the door behind me. I didn’t care if she ripped me apart as long as the twins were safe inside.

Screenshot-3893“You’re smart” she said and nodded. Rhubarb turned his head and looked away and I wondered if he’d been as smart or if he had let her in.

“I came to warn you” Raindrop continued. “Soda knows about the twins and you need to keep them safe. Never let her in. Ever.”

“I’m not stupid” I hissed and felt the blood pulsing in my temples. “And you should get the fudge off this island. No one wants you here!”

Rhubarb looked at me with tired eyes. “She never asked for this. We’ll help her. I’ll help her.”

I looked at him, terrified. “And they say I’m crazy?! Fudge sake Rhubie. She’s a vampire. She’ll rip you apart!”

Screenshot-3894Raindrop complained: “I can control myself, I’m nothing like them! I’d never hurt anyone.”

I shook my head in disbelief. “You’re a vampire. That’s all I need to know.”

“I’ve never hurt anyone. Thunderbird helped me and that’s why he’s dead. They killed him for helping me control my hunger. I feed on plasma. That’s it. Never blood. Ever.”‘

Rhubarb looked at me again. “Yew, just don’t let them in. Take care of your babies. I’ll take care of Raindrop. You just care for your family, okay? They want the babies, nothing else.”

“Why?”

“Because babies are formable. They make good soldiers.”

Petite and Mars as vampire soldiers? I shuddered at the thought. I would never let that happen. Ever. They were my babies and I would do whatever it took to keep them safe.

“We can beat them” Rhubarb said before tugging at Raindrop’s arm to get her to leave with him. He didn’t believe his own words, but I had to believe them to keep functioning. They were the only comfort I had right now.


Author’s Note: Okay, this chapter might be a little confusing but I’m trying to tie the story with Lava together. He joined Soda Pop long ago because he felt she was the only one who truly understood him and his needs. The reason why they want babies is that they have found out that vampires who are turned at a low age make better blood suckers. People who are turned at older age seem to be more successful in staying away from blood and living on plasma. Soda Pop is an exception and why she is, they do not know. I picture it being because of two reasons: 1. She is incredibly impulsive, 2. She is evil and manipulative.

In addition to the above reasons, Soda Pop actually cares for family, even if it’s in a sick way, and she wants her bloodline to follow in her steps. Hence she is chasing babies born in her legacy. That also explains why she kept chasing Coral and Berrian around when they had their children. Both to get Lava back and to take her grandchildren along in her journey. Also: Yes, Soda Pop killed Thunderbird because he stood in the way of her plans. He helped Raindrop after Lava turned her and that caused him his death. Now, Raindrop tries to help the ones she can just as Thunderbird did. For now, that meant going after Yew to warn him about Soda’s plans. Of course, Raindrop doesn’t know about Myrtle and her visions.

I know the story might have holes in it but I hadn’t decided beforehand how to tie it together, and now that I’m trying I find it quite hard. If there’s anything you wonder about or anything that doesn’t make sense, please do ask and I’ll see if I can answer it. Both for your sake, but also for my own. I might have left a few too many loose threads in this story. Hopefully I’ll tie some of them together eventually.

And, as a last note; The Downloads page has been updated as I’ve added Lavender, Rhubarb, Froly and Yew to it.

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.

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! 🙂

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