Chapter 4.11: A new life

This chapter is a bit more rushed than the ones I usually write. I do feel a bit bad about it but I really can’t be arsed to go back and take more pictures… Hopefully you’ll feel like you understand what’s going on anyway…


Screenshot-1137A couple of weeks after we came home from China I discovered that I was pregnant. We had known since day one that pregnancy was a risk when you had carefree sex like us. Protection had never been an option, if we got pregnant that was what was meant to be. So even though it wasn’t planned, it was the greatest gift I could think of. Just the thought of someone growing inside me was enough to get me in to tears. Even in this early stage of pregnancy, I loved that little baby with all my heart.

Screenshot-1145And Berrian loved it too. Whenever I gave him the chance he would rub my belly and talk sweet words to it. Before we went to sleep during nights he laid his head on my stomach and sang soft lullabies for our baby.

I cherished the thought of having a family with the man I considered my soulmate. For the first time in my life, I would be part of a real family.

Screenshot-1148Bittersweet was really supportive and excited too. Even though she had since long moved out of our house, she was still around a lot of the time. She was still my best friend so it really wasn’t that strange. Her and Romeo were going steady by now, but any advancing in their relationship from there was still far away as far as I knew.

“You’ll have a boy” she kept saying during the pregnancy and motivated it by the fact that all Twist’s that we knew of had boys as their first child. I really didn’t care whether it was a boy or a girl for I knew I would love my baby no matter what.

Screenshot-1150The pregnancy was pretty much a cloud of happiness and excitment and before we knew it my water broke and my contractions started. It all happened at breakfast in the kitchen and both Watermelon and Berrian freaked out when they realized what was about to happen.

It felt like an eternity passed before Berrian had gathered himself and our bags and was ready to take me to the hospital. At first we wanted to have a home birth because it felt the most natural, but when we read about it we realized it was a far greater risk for both me and the baby and in the end we didn’t want to risk anything.

Screenshot-1152They took great care for us on the hospital and after a long and painful delivery with me refusing any kind of drugs or medication until the very end, we had a little baby boy. It certainly seemed like the big brother gene ran strong in our blood, just like Bittersweet had noticed. Yew Twist was a perfect little baby with ten toes and ten fingers. The first few days both me and Berrian laid close to each other just watching our little baby, trying to grasp the fact that we had created something as perfect as him. It was an amazing feeling, really.

We got so much help at the hospital with getting prepared for taking our little baby home that when it was actually time it almost felt like we were stealing him from someone. How could we possibly take such a little being with us home and care for it without any help? Of course, I knew I could do it for I had done it before. Still, it was hard to understand that he was all ours.

Screenshot-1157When we got home Watermelon met us with the biggest smile on her lips. I remember it so well for I thought that I had never seen her smile like that in her life before. She seemed genuinely happy and even in the clouded state I was in, it was a great thing to see.

“I need to show you something” she said after the initial welcome home greetings. She raced the stairs to the upper floor and I  followed her slowly, still sore in every part of my body after delivering Yew. Watermelon stopped outside Taxus’ old room for a short moment before she slammed the door open. I almost lost my breath when I saw the room. It was completely changed from how it had looked the morning we went to the hospital. When it had all sunk in I started to cry.

“Me and Salmon did it” Watermelon said with a proud voice. “We mixed your colors because we didn’t know what the baby would look like. Do you like it?”

I sniffled in response and Berrian put his arms around me and pulled Watermelon too in to the hug. “It’s perfect, Melon” he said.

Screenshot-1158Watermelon sure did love her little nephew and I could see so much of my younger self in how she cared for the little baby. The difference was that she did it out of her own will while I had been forced in to it because no one else did.

During the first few weeks with our new family Watermelon went through a big change. It had started a long time ago but there was really a rush now. She went from being a rather closed and low young woman to become a much more open and happy one. I strongly suspected that Yew was part of the reason that she did change. I loved watching her interact with him and he loved being in her arms.

Screenshot-1161She even gained a few new friends, which really showed how much more accepting and social she had become. She hung out a lot with a boy called Peridot who was a few years younger than her. I realized that whatever relation she had with him was far from as good as the relation she had to Celeste, but it did her good to broaden her circuits. Especially now that Celeste had three kids and a lot less time for Watermelon.

It was safe to say that we all adored the new addition to our family and that he was a great gift for us. Everything was better when we had Yew to cuddle with and look at. Sure, he woke us up during the nights and his diapers smelled like shit, but the love and happiness he gave us was more than enough to make up for it.

Screenshot-1167We should had known, of course, that happiness and harmony has a way of not rooting in our family. Just a few weeks after Yew’s birth Thunderbird came to our house with a toddler in his arms.

At first, it was only surprising for I hadn’t seen Thunderbird during the past few years since mother’s rampage, but when the initial surprise had wore off I found myself irritated. What right did he have to show up at our house and disrupt our peace?

“You don’t look happy to see me” Thunderbird noted and I found myself lost for words. The only thing I could do was stare at the toddler in his arms. It was Thunderbird’s hair color alright, but the skin was far too light and pale to come from him. It almost looked like… But it couldn’t be, could it?

“This is Lava” Thunderbird continued and ruffled the toddlers hair. “And I need you to take care of him.”

Screenshot-1168Instantly my hands flew in the air in front of me. No no no, he did not need me to do that at all. With all my heart I wished he would just take back what he had just said and leave for if he didn’t, I would know that the boy in his arms were my brother. My much younger brother and I had not signed up for caring for any more siblings. I had my own baby now. My own family.

“Was this what you agreed to?” I wondered, remembering the frightening agreement Thunderbird had done with my mother after the killings.

He nodded, “She said I was a hypocrite for wanting to get rid of the fetus. It was murder too, in her book. If I let her keep it she would drink plasma. She kept her part of the deal during the pregnancy but she says that she has to eat ‘real food’ now to be a good mother. It wasn’t part of the deal so I need you to take Lava. Please.”

Screenshot-1171I couldn’t understand why my mother had wanted another child when she had never cared for the ones she already had, but I figured Thunderbird wouldn’t know either, so I didn’t care to even ask. The scene of mother killing Precious repeated itself before my eyes and I knew I couldn’t let that happen again. Without much thinking, I was suddenly holding Lava in my arms and somehow it felt familiar. I knew how to care for toddlers, I was good at it – even.

“I’m keeping her locked in for now” Thunderbird said and looked at Lava with sadness in his eyes. “I’ll hold her until she’s clean and perhaps when she’s accepted the terms we can take him back. Until she learns to really accept the plasma, this little one is better off with you, though. Unless we want him to grow up to be a monster, of course”

When Thunderbird left out house that day, I still felt confused and overwhelmed of what just had happened. Out of nowhere, I suddenly had another baby to care for. A vampire baby.

Screenshot-1178Except for the pointy fangs digging in to whatever soft toys provided for him, Lava was like any kid. He learned stuff every day and he laughed when someone tickled him and cried when he didn’t get his ways.

Both me and Berrian were on our toes about him though for we knew that some day his vampire genes would kick in and he would be a lot different than normal babies. Taking him in had perhaps been a rushed decision but luckily Berrian agreed that if we had to choose between taking care of Lava or letting him grow up to a killing machine in the hands of my mother, there wasn’t really much of a choice.

Screenshot-1196Watermelon adored her little baby brother too. It seemed like she adored every child she ever got to know and I found myself thinking that she would be a perfect mother one day.

About a week after we had taken Lava in to our family, Thunderbird called and asked us to come visit them. At first we were hesitant because mother had only ever given us trouble and I could not see what good it would make to visit her ever again. However, there was still a little part of me that hoped she was still capable of changing to a better person. After thinking it through together with Berrian, we decided to go. Lava was left in Watermelon’s care for I feared that mother would want to take him back and I didn’t want him to grow up like her. She would break him just like she had broken the rest of us.

Screenshot-1155Thunderbird led us out to the garage when we arrived  to his house and when he opened the doors I could barely believe my eyes. Inside the garage he housed a sturdy cage and inside the cage my mother sat on a stone bed. She looked nothing like the last time I saw  her. The dangerous and evil killer machine she used to be had faded and left was a pale and thin woman. Under her eyes big bags revealed that her body was running low on energy. Hadn’t it been that I knew the reason for her imprisonment I would have felt sorry for her. But now I felt nothing. She had brought this on herself.

She squirmed at us when we came in but soon went back to staring down at her own knees. “How is Lava?” she wondered. Her voice just managed to form the words and she sounded just as weak as she looked.

“He’s growing each day” I replied and was surprised by how strong my voice was. The sight of my mother locked in a cage affected me less than one could have imagined.

Screenshot-1154Mother sighed. “When will I get him back?”

“When you’re off the blood” Thunderbird replied before I could say anything. He made it sound like mother was on some heavy drug, which probably was about the same thing as being a vampire addicted to blood.

“He’s going to need to feed eventually. What will you do then, Coral?” Mother wondered and coughed afterwards. Speaking was obviously hard for her.

“One day at a time. He’ll have a normal childhood. That’s best for him” Berrian said and took my hand. We were in this together.

Mother sent a few hateful words after us while we stood there and after a while we just decided to leave. There was no gain in staying and it did not do any of us any good. We didn’t like each other and the less we had to do with each other, the better it would be for us both.

“I’ll have to release her eventually” Thunderbird explained before we left and both me and Berrian agreed. It wasn’t fair to keep her locked up even though she was a horrible vampire. “I will really try to keep her off the blood but I would suggest you take your family far from here when she’s learning to deal with her new diet. I don’t know what it is, but she’s been determined to raise Lava ever since she first found out she was pregnant. I don’t even want to imagine what could happen if they lived together. Two vampires like her? We can’t let that happen to Fondant Fields. And Lava deserves better. He’s my son too, after all.”

Screenshot-1184Screenshot-1185Thunderbird gave us some time to come up with a plan and during that time we made sure to always have people around. In the case of mother escaping her cage, it would be better to keep witnesses around. It was safe to say that I worried for my whole family, but I was quite sure not even mother would sink as low as to kill us all. Or kill in front of everyone. She cared too much of her reputation still.

Salmon decided we should host a pool party on leisure day and he went about inviting the people he thought would like to come. I was quite surprised when Ocean showed up. Not because she wasn’t invited, but because we apparently were half sisters. Father had left mother a long time ago because he found love in a woman who waited his child – this child was Ocean. She still lived a happy family life with both mother and father alive. It was a bit unfair, really. But she was a sweet girl so perhaps she deserved it.

Screenshot-1183Bittersweet came with a big smile on her face. Ever since she and Romeo decided to go steady she had been a lot happier. The death of Precious seemed to have sunken in and she had gotten over it and come out strong. When she arrived for the pool party she was the first one to climb in to the pool. “First time I swim in this pool” she laughed. It was strange, but I had never swum in the pool either. That was mother’s place and I kept away from it. Besides, there was nothing wrong with the river if you cared for a swim.

Screenshot-1182“Eeeew, that’s gross” Salmon complained when Taxus and Hyacinth lovingly kissed each other in front of him. Those two were the only ones I knew of that shared the same passionate love as me and Berrian.

Screenshot-1188Obvoiously it wasn’t the actual kissing that was gross to Salmon for just minutes later he was sucking it up with Tosca by the pool. I had no problem watching signs of affection and love and seeing my brothers kiss just gave me a warm fuzzy feeling. Everyone deserved to feel love. It was the meaning of life, after all.

Screenshot-1189Watermelon had invited Peridot over and I was quite sure that love was growing between them two, too. It would probably take some time for Watermelon to trust anyone enough to love or be loved, but her relation with Peridot was definitely a step in the right direction.

Screenshot-1194It was great having my closest friends and family around and I knew I would miss them when we decided to leave. It was inevitable that we leave, though. Especially for Yew’s sake. He was our son and I would do anything to keep him safe. As would Berrian. Besides, the idea of being on the road wasn’t that horrible. In fact, it was a life we had both dreamed of but found no possibility of actually going for. If you refrained from looking at the reasons behind, it was lovely to finally have a chance to go and explore.

We had worked out a fine plan which involved a camper, our family and many new places. We just wanted to wait until Yew was a bit older as traveling with an infant sure could be a lot of work.

Screenshot-1192And before we knew it, Yew had grown big enough for us to actually put our plan to work.

Screenshot-1200We bought ourselves a camper and a car strong enough to drag it and hit the road. Our first stop was Egypt. I loved Egypt the last time we went there and I couldn’t wait to explore more of it. Bringing my whole family was just an extra treat.

We all knew we wouldn’t stay for very long as it was likely that mother went looking for us, determined to take Lava back. But what did it matter, as long as we could see new places? This was a new life. A good new life.

Chapter 4.2: Just for me

Screenshot-799I did my best to postpone leaving for Berryniversity. Not because I did not want to go, but because it felt like I was abandoning my siblings and I did not want that. They were my family after all. And I loved them. And with mother gone, someone had to care for them and cook for them and make sure things worked around here.

“Are you sure you will be okay?” I asked Bittersweet for the millionth time.

Screenshot-800“Yes, yes, yes, we will be okay. I know how to treat your garden too once winter is over. And besides, Taxus and Hyacinth promised to come over every now and then and check on us. We will be fine. You need to have a life, too, sister.”

“But you’re so young” I complained even though I knew she had been by my side the entire time and that she was perfectly capable of caring for the family on her own. Watermelon and Salmon were older now and didn’t need as much supervision as they used to. But it still felt wrong to leave them.

“And you are not as young and neither have you ever got to be young and you need to do something just for you. For once.”

Screenshot-798She hit my weak spot there. For as long as I could remember I had been doing things simply because they fell in my lap, and not because I desperately wanted to do them. And that is how life is, in a way. But now that my dear sister had applied for University for me and the admission note had fallen in my lap, I hesitated.

“Okay okay. But if you ever need me for anything, call and I’ll be right back home. Okay? And please do care for the garden, I know you love it just like I do.”

“It’ll be blooming like never before once you get back home” Bittersweet grinned and I hugged her. Oh how I loved her.

Screenshot-793Salmon had always preferred Bittersweet reading to him rather than myself. It was soothing now that I would soon be leaving them. It was bittersweet to watch them (no pun intended) for Bittersweet was pushing her own needs to the side just as I had always been doing too. She stepped in like the head of the family like she was destinied to do just that and when I thought about how I had always been doing the same thing I felt disappointed in mother. She had never been there for us. Definitely not emotionally and now, not even physically.

Screenshot-788On the day I was supposed to leave, Hyacinth came over to let us meet their son, Mystery. He had the same yellow skin as his grandmother Canary, which was quite fascinating. Seeing his tiny figure made it even harder to leave. I would miss his firsts of everything and when I got back he wouldn’t have a clue who I was.

“You know” Hyacinth said as she rocked back and forth in the chair in my room. “We’ll come here and look after them. Everything will be fine. It’s your turn to have some fun now. Relax, do things just for you. Okay?”

Screenshot-802Later that day uncle Blizzard came over to bid me farewell together with his youngest son, Calypso. All these goodbyes made it even tougher but when I saw how happy Salmon was when he saw his cousin, and alike best friend, I smiled. Salmon was the baby’s family and seeing him play and laugh with Calypso without any worries calmed me down. He was growing up and he would be just fine.

Screenshot-804Once everyone had left again. I sat down to enjoy a last salad of my own vegetables at the dinner table. There was nothing that made up for the taste of your self-grown vegetables. It wasn’t just the feeling of going out in your garden to pick them fresh for the cooking, but also the fact that you knew that there was nothing added. Not while growing and not after. That was a thing that was very rare these days.

Screenshot-803“I’ll miss this” I said out loud. Bittersweet nodded for she already knew I would.

“Sis, why don’t you bring some of that fruit with you. And some seeds? You can always plant them in your room.”

“Planting indoors? It’s not the same, is it?”

“I bet it’s still better than the sprayed vegetables you could buy at the store.”

My sister was right and once I had decided to bring both vegetables and seeds with me it suddenly felt a lot easier to leave. I had been dreading sprayed vegetables without even realizing so myself. But of course, I felt that nature itself was enough to keep any plant living green and producing ripes and the simple thought of polluting anything that lived with spray just so it would grow bigger or more colorful disgusted me. Nature was fine as it was, we were the real problem.

Screenshot-808 The things I brought with me could easily fit in a single suitcase. I had never understtod why people insisted of having so much stuff. I wouldn’t miss anything even if I left most of my home at home. I had some extra clothes, some books and my vegetables along with a few seeds. It was everything I needed, and should I ever figure that something was missing it would be possible to find it.

Screenshot-809 “Bye sis! Have fun, we’ll miss you!” Bittersweet waved behind me and I felt my eyes tear up. Not because it was sad to leave, but because I would miss them too. I loved my family.

Screenshot-810I heard her shouting her goodbyes all the way towards the car but I couldn’t force myself to look back. I had to leave, she wanted me to leave and I would do the best of it. For her and our younger siblings. And for myself. Mostly for myself.

Screenshot-816It was a long drive to Berryniversity and as we passed snowy bushes and white houses I decided to close my eyes and get some rest. It would be several hours and daytime until we arrived at the destination.

When I opened my eyes again the sun was rising over the horizon and we had left winter behind and driven right in to the warm summer. The realization made me smile for I much preferred the warm spring and summer when nature rose and lived for its fullest.

Another hour later we stopped outside a pink and green dormitory. A few students stood outside chatting with each other but overall it seemed quiet and peaceful. I felt excited when I walked towards the entrance and my new experience.

Screenshot-836My roommate was a strictly looking blue woman named Atlantic. She was a few years older than me but she seemed nice. We didn’t have much time for introducing ourselves to each other, though, for as soon as she had shaken my hand she excused herself and rushed off.

I didn’t mind being left on my own even if that too was a new experience for me. Not that I was all by myself for outside the door to our shared little room other student’s huffed and puffed in the stairs as they moved in to their respective rooms.

Screenshot-817My own bag had been easy to carry upstairs and I unpacked it fast. The most precious things I had brought were the planters and the seeds and when I placed them on the floor next to my bed the room suddenly felt a lot more homely.

I planted tomatoes, potatoes and mushrooms before I took off for the Meet and Greet.

Screenshot-822Everything in the University area was colored in bright and happy colors and when I pedaled towards the grey main buildings I smiled. Birds sang in the treetops and overall this seemed like the best place in the world. All the worries of my family back home disappeared to some box in the back parts of my brain. I wouldn’t need to worry while I was here for Bittersweet would care for them all and I would do just like she had told me to and enjoy myself.

Screenshot-825The main hall was really big and as I stepped inside I felt quite overwhelmed right away. Students talked with each other in the corners of the room and most of them seemed to already have their friends here. I felt quite lonely but tried to suppress it for I wanted this experience to be happy and it would simply not do anything good to start worry. I would get friends too, eventually.

Screenshot-823I walked up to one of the welcome tables to grab my schedule and the information I needed when a green llama suddenly appeared behind my back. He walked past me with confident steps as if the giant silly llama costume was the most common thing in the world to wear. When he was right next to me he turned to look at me and shot off a bright smile but didn’t say anything. I looked confused after him and then looked around but none of the other students seemed to have noticed him. Perhaps it was a common thing around here to walk around in giant green llama costumes. Who was I to judge?

Screenshot-827“You’re new?” a man’s voice asked and tapped my shoulder lightly. I turned around and saw a man about my own age with the friendliest smile one could ever have.

“How could you tell?” I smiled back.

“It’s your eyes” he replied. “Every new student looks at the things here in a curious way that no old students do. Being here for a term or more does that to you, you start taking the things for granted. Shame, because there is sure a lot to look at. I’m Romeo, by the way.” He offered me his hand and I took it.

“I’m Coral.”

Screenshot-828Romeo smiled again and I wondered if he was always that happy. He seemed like such a person, the kind who tried to be happy about everything and who tried to make the best of everything. A bit like me, perhaps. At least I liked to see myself like that, like I tried to do the best of everything without worrying too much.

“Nice to meet you Coral” Romeo said and I nodded in agreement. “Come, I’ll show you around a bit.”

Screenshot-831Romeo guided me upstairs where a few students were playing games together or just stood talking to each other. “Once the studies start, this place will be filled with studying students. These pool tables and the pong tables are rarely used other than during these first days actually. I’d say if you’re of the kind that wants to study in group this is the place to go. You’re not required to be as quiet as on the library and here is usually a few teachers running about who you can grab if you need to ask anything. It’s a rather nice place for studying, actually.”

“What do you study?” I asked, hoping he would be in the same class as me. It would be nice to know someone when the classes started the next day.

“Art” he replied and smiled even wider. “I did science last term but I was shit at it. I’m much better at arts. Honestly, I don’t know why I even chose Science in the first place.”

“I’m in science” I said and looked down.

“Oh, I was so sure you’d be an art student” Romeo smiled again and also looked down.

Screenshot-833“I mean, a girl with no shoes? Bound to be an artist” he continued and laughed a little.

“Oh. I just don’t like shoes” I said and wiggled my toes a little. “I like having the contact with the ground I walk. It makes me feel a lot more free and in touch with nature.”

Romeo narrowed his brows and I realized I must have sounded like a complete idiot. In touch with nature? But Romeo didn’t laugh at me, neither did he seem to think I was an idiot for he simply replied: “I think I’ll have to introduce you to my friends, Coral.”

Screenshot-830“Really?”

Romeo nodded and explained how they all had about the same views of nature and human impact as I did. His explanation gave me a warm fuzzy feeling in the pit of my stomach and I found myself wishing I could let Bittersweet meet him too. If Romeo and his friends were like me, they would also be like Bittersweet and she would like them. At least I found that I much liked Romeo.

When we finally said our goodbyes I was rather certain that I had just made my first friend except for Bittersweet and when I got to bed that night I fell asleep swiftly.


A big thanks to Minty for letting me use the absolutely adorable Romeo Parfait. He is a spare from the Alfalfa legacy

Chapter 4.1: A broken family

Screenshot-750I woke up one day and mother was nowhere to be found in the house. I didn’t think much about it because there had been times when she spent the night at some other place or mornings when she had to rush out for an emergency. It wasn’t weird that her bed was neatly made and no breakfast was prepared for any of us children.

No, I was used to making breakfast both for me and my younger siblings. And I rather enjoyed it, cooking with my own fruits and vegetables.

I didn’t think much about it the second day either. Or the third. On the fourth I started wondering, although not worrying. At least not until uncle Blizzard called and wondered why mother hadn’t showed up for work. I told him truthfully that I didn’t know. It probably worried him more than it worried me.

I tried calling her but her phone sprung to life in her bedroom. If it hadn’t been weird enough that she skipped work, it was certainly weird that she had left home without her phone. She had always had this constant need to be contactable. Leaving her phone was not like her at all. So I wondered, but I still didn’t worry. Nor did I miss her. She had never really been around in our childhood even when she was physically present. Not having her here was no real difference, really. Bittersweet felt the same way, and Watermelon never mentioned any of it. She, too, was used to being without mother and simply having me or Bittersweet taking care of her. Salmon was still too young to understand any of it.

Screenshot-782Several days later Thunderbird showed up at our house just to tell us that mother was with him and that she wouldn’t return home for a long time. I tried to ask for an explanation but he dodged every question as well as he could, only letting me know that we would be better off without her. That was probably true, no matter what the reason behind it was.

Screenshot-754We kept dealing with everyday chores the same way as we used to. It didn’t matter too much to me that mother was gone, for in reality she had always been absent. If it weren’t for her empty bed and the spring gnomes appearing everywhere in the house there was no proof she had ever been here. Except for us children, of course.

I did my best taking care of us all. Being the oldest meant I felt responsible. I worried nothing about myself or Bittersweet since we were both old enough to care for ourselves. But what would happen to Watermelon, who had just started school? Or Salmon, who was still only a toddler? I never asked to be their guardian, yet I never complained about it either. Now that this had fallen in my lap and I simply decided to deal with it as best as I could.

Screenshot-757Watermelon asked about mother at one point and even though it didn’t matter too much to me where she was or why she wasn’t here, it hurt to think that little Watermelon would have to keep wondering because I didn’t know the answer.

“Didn’t she love us?” she asked and tears welled up in her eyes. It hurt to tell her the truth, she was still so young, but she deserved to know.

“No, sweetie. Not enough. She only loved herself. We’ll be fine, I promise. You know we’ll take care of you.”

A single tear ran down my younger sister’s cheek and she wiped it off with the back of her hand before stomping hard with her little foot in the ground. “I hate her. She’s stupid!”

Screenshot-756“And she’s gone. Don’t worry honey. We will be fine, I promise.”

“I don’t have any parents anymore. That feels stupid. No mom and no dad.”

“You do have a father, Melon. He’s just not here very often… And you have a mother too, I suppose. And you have us, me and Bittersweet. We’re still a family.”

She shook her head again, which made her braid wobble from right to left causing a puff of wind to my face. “A broken family. I hate broken things.”

Screenshot-759 Screenshot-758That night Watermelon made herself comfortable in mother’s bed. She crawled under the sheets and inhaled deeply, taking in the remaining scent of mother’s perfume that had nestled itself in to the pillow. It made me feel uncomfortable being in that room for I was old enough to know that the bed was certainly well-used. But since it seemed to calm Watermelon down a bit, I didn’t complain and simply sat down on the edge of the bed and started reading her a goodnight story. I was determined to give her a childhood as normal as I could for I was scared that she would end up as broken as mother had always been if I didn’t.

I knew that this family had some seriously fudged up history and as it seemed, it wasn’t about to change yet.

Screenshot-755Bittersweet took a big responsibility too and we both cared for the younger kids as best as we could. We were definitely too young for this kind of responsibility but then again, it wasn’t like it was new to us just because mother wasn’t physically present anymore. We had been doing this for years already.

In contrast to Watermelon, Salmon didn’t seem to notice that something was even different. Perhaps he was too young to understand or perhaps he simply didn’t have many memories concerning mother yet. At least he was too young to understand that our family was different.

Screenshot-783A few days before my own and Salmon’s birthday Thunderbird came over again and said we needed to talk. He looked tired, which was strange for I had never seen him look tired before, and for what I knew vampires didn’t sleep and therefore shouldn’t be tired. He asked me to sit, but I preferred standing. I had just put the young ones to sleep and was about to finish the dishes and I just didn’t have time for any long conversation.

“I turned her” he blurted out when I refused to sit and I felt my whole face twist. What he had just said couldn’t be true, could it?

Screenshot-765“You did what?!”

He sighed and for a brief moment he looked even more tired than before. I tried reading his face but failed. “She tricked me in to it. Oh maker you should know I never wanted this Coral. Fudge, I know you deserve to have your mother around and everything and I should have learned to control myself but she smelled so good and the simple thought of having someone around who were like me. I couldn’t resist. But I regret it, I really do.”

I scratched my head for a moment and tried to wrap my mind around the facts that had just come to me. My mother was a vampire? If I thought this family was creepy and weird before, this took it to a whole new level. “So she won’t be coming back?”

Screenshot-784He shook his head again. “She’s so fudging impulsive. She’d bite anything that moves, I’ve kept her locked in until now but eventually she will need to get out and I’m not ready to release her here. I have to bring her out of town. Until she can control herself better. It’s not safe for anyone here with her trying to learn how to control her hunger. I’m so, so sorry I did this to you.”

Screenshot-764“Wow. This is… A lot to take in” I said because I did not know what else to say. It wasn’t so weird imagining a town without my mother (except for the fact that she had actually been a fine firefighter and it would be a loss to the department) but it was no doubt weird thinking that she was a vampire. I was just lucky I had known that Thunderbird was one in the first place for taking in the fact of supernatural life forms along with the news of your newly turned mother would most likely have been too much. I felt my face twist in to a displeased grimace, not because I would miss my mother very much but because I realized my own life would now evolve around cleaning up after mother’s mistakes. Before my own life had even started, I had two kids to care for.

I mean, I wanted kids one day. But not like this. Definitely not like this. I quickly released that thought, though, for it would do me no good spending my days thinking too much about it. I had always thought that things happen for a reason and that there is no real use to think of what could have been. I was good at adapting and making the best of what I had before me. This would be no different, I would manage just fine.

Screenshot-769Uncle Blizzard surprised us with coming over with the rest of the family for Salmon’s birthday. Even father came over for Salmon’s birthday and I couldn’t help but find it ironic that he cared so much more about us than mother had ever done, even if he was usually physically absent. He had probably been more present than mother anyhow.

We hadn’t initially planned for a party for it was tough enough to keep the house in shape while we were all in school and Salmon had a sitter. Mother’s savings were shrinking rapidly and I was very grateful for the garden I had laid out earlier for it provided us with enough ripes to keep us from going hungry. I don’t know what we would have done without it and I seriously feared the upcoming winter.

Screenshot-768Salmon seemed to always be happy and when Blizzard helped him to blow the candles of the cake they had brought a smile formed on his little face. I didn’t dare to tell my uncle that I didn’t like the cake and that it was filled with millions and billions of unhealthy additives. It was a nice gesture and for that I simply thanked them. I didn’t eat any of it, though.

It was probably weird for all of us to gather like this and not having mother around. When it came to hosting parties, she had been great. Not everything she had done had been stupid, even though most of it had been selfish. We celebrated like nothing was missing this day though and no one even spoke about her absence.

Hyacinth and Taxus were awaiting an addition to their family already, which really didn’t come as a surprise. They had been so eager to get married that I had been anticipating that pregnancy ever since the wedding. I was happy for them but also a bit jealous because they got to live their life as they wanted – without having to take care of mother’s leftovers. Not that I saw my younger siblings as leftovers for I really loved them. It was just the raising bit that annoyed me – I didn’t want to be their mother, I wanted to be their sister. Not that anything had really changed with mother’s disappearance when you really thought of it.

Screenshot-772When everyone had left I myself aged up with Bittersweet as my only witness. Watermelon and Salmon were both asleep and me and my sister had cleaned the place so it looked decent again. No sign of a party. The leftovers from the birthday cake went straight to the bin for I did not want to feed this family with additives. I wanted to know exactly what we ate and my own little garden along was more than enough to feed us all.

It felt weird having a grown-up body for I had been living as an adult for many years already. It was as if my physical body finally caught up with the circumstances I lived by.

Screenshot-762Bittersweet cried when she saw me and when I asked her why, she told me she wasn’t ready to see me leave but that she knew it was inevitable.

“I’m not leaving” I said. “How could I?”

She handed me a letter she had been hiding in her back pocket. It was crumbled but once I had straightened it out it was perfectly readable. ‘ADMISSION NOTE’ I read on the top and when I continued further I felt confused. Berryniversity had approved my application to their Science class – but I had never sent in an application. And I couldn’t go now – I had a family to care for.

“I applied for you” my sister said. “Suits you perfectly. You’ll get a chance to be young, meet some friends and get a degree and hopefully some job offers. When you get back home you can provide for this family. You have to go. You deserve it, sister.”

Screenshot-785 Screenshot-786I tried to make her change her mind but she was set on me leaving even though it made her worried and sad. In a way I think I was glad that she kind of pushed me out, for I would never have left her otherwise. I explained to Watermelon that it was only for a short time and that I would be back home before she was a teenager and then we would be together for as long as she wanted. And Bittersweet promised to be there for her until I came home. I would miss my siblings for sure, but once I started getting set for leaving I also started to look forward to it. This was what fate had in store for me – and I would simply embrace it, like always.

Chapter 3.16: Tying the knot

Screenshot-650One day when I got home from a call-out I found Lychee in Salmon’s nursery. “What are you doing here?” I asked and felt both angry and sad at the same time. It was adorable watching him snuggle with Salmon but it made me sad to think he had chosen to be involved with another family. I wanted that help I saw in front of me and my kids would do good with a man in the house.

Screenshot-651“I didn’t know we had a son” Lychee replied after a while and kissed Salmon on his tiny little mouth. My heart almost stopped from the cuteness.

“I have a son” I corrected him. “You’ve chosen another family so Salmon is my son.”

Lychee slowly turned to look at me. “Soda, I still love these kids and I won’t stop coming to see them. Don’t you understand that?”

“You will once you have your other child. The love child” I pouted. Lychee promised me he wouldn’t but I knew he was lying. Why would he go through the effort of coming back to Fondant Fields when he had everything he needed in Briocheport?

Screenshot-652You never really stop working when you’re the Fire Chief and when I did such a simple thing as eat a dinner with my oldest nephew at the diner a fire broke loose at the table next to us. It was Jewel’s best friend, Deluge, who was playing with his napkin when it suddenly caught fire and when he raised the napkin in panic over his head his hair also caught fire.

Screenshot-653Everyone at the diner jumped up from their seats and started crying in panic. I felt the usual adrenaline kick that always came with a fire but I remained calm. I knew how to deal with fires by now. I took out my extinguisher and started putting the fire out. The small portable extinguisher I always brought with me was far from as effective as the ones I was used to and it seemed like the flames got higher instead of dying out even though I pushed the extinguisher to its full effect.

Someone called my co-workers and it felt like it took forever for them to get here. Drops of sweat ran down my forehead and the only two sounds I could hear was the hungry flames spreading across the young boy’s body and Jewel’s desperate cries, begging me to save his friend.

Screenshot-656I did everything I could, but the fire was too strong and soon the little boy collapsed on the ground. It wasn’t until the fire was completely put out that I realized he was already gone. It was my first, and biggest, failure as a firefighter.

Screenshot-655I had never been very affected by other bow’s misery or destinies but seeing the young boy die before me broke my heart. I was a good firefighter and the fact that a young boy with his whole life ahead of him could die at my watch was unbelievable. Jewel cried and cried and cried behind me and the sound of that just added to the feeling of failure that I felt.

What kind of woman was I? I couldn’t even take my nephew out for dinner without getting him scarred for life.

Screenshot-657I could do nothing to comfort him. I knew nothing of the pain he was going through even though my life had been so much longer and even though I had been through a few losses of my own. “He was my best friend” Jewel sniffed and buried his face in his hands. The thought of losing Plum or Canary pierced my heart like a knife. How could I put him in this situation. It was my fault. I should have done better. I should have saved his friend.

When I brought him back home, in a crying and broken mess, Blizzard promised me it wasn’t my fault. He said that I had done everything I could – but I knew he couldn’t know because he hadn’t been there. Maybe there was something I could have done?

Screenshot-658A few days later Bittersweet celebrated her birthday. I couldn’t celebrate and only cheered half-heartedly as she blew the candles of her cake. I hadn’t been able to forgive myself for letting the young boy die.

Screenshot-659Bittersweet looked a lot like Precious now that her pudgy child cheeks disappeared and her more grownup facial structure took its place. It was my coloring, but she was sure her father’s daughter. I smiled faintly. It still hurt to think I had lost him and that I had to raise our child by myself, but I realized that he was still around – in our daughter. A part of her was him and even if I never wanted a family or dreamed of children, it was rather amazing to see how genetics were passed down. She was sure a mix of the both of us, just like Coral was a true mix of myself and Lychee.

I felt a little bit of curiosity towards seeing the other two kids grow up too.

Screenshot-660And speaking of grown-up kids… It wasn’t rare that Taxus brought Hyacinth with him home from school. In fact, it was more rare that she didn’t come with him. Their eyes sparkled when they looked at each other in a way I had never felt my own eyes sparkle. They were young, but they loved each other.

“We’re getting married” Taxus announced one day and I just nodded. I wasn’t surprised.

Screenshot-661“I know we’re young” he continued and Hyacinth rolled her thumbs nervously next to him. “But we want to do it. We’re meant to be together.”

“I know” I said. It made perfect sense and was no doubt the truth.

Screenshot-664“But they’re too young” Plum said a couple of days later when we discussed the matter.

I agreed, even though I also thought it made sense to let them get married. I mean, only the two of them could know if it was really true love, right?

“Hyacinth is only fifteen! It’s too early.” Plum started walking back and forth in the room and I could tell it was upsetting her to realize that her little girl was growing up. She had no other, she couldn’t hold on to the childhood like I could because of my other kids. With Hyacinth aging, it became so clear that we were aging too. And Plum wasn’t ready.

Screenshot-665“I can’t believe she’s grown so much” Plum said and looked sad. “Felt like yesterday she came in to my life.”

“You can be glad she’s older and can take care of herself” I said just as Watermelon started crying hysterically for what seemed like no reason at all.

Screenshot-666Plum went to pick her up and played air-plane with her. She still enjoyed my kids’ young age. She still adored them. It struck me that she had become such a good mother over the years. She was like a second mother to all of my kids, and soon Taxus would technically be her son-in-law. Our families would officially be tied together. It was a pleasant thought.

Screenshot-667We agreed to help them with the marriage under the condition that they waited until they had both finished high school. Knowing how funny time was, that would pretty much be tomorrow.

Screenshot-668And once both Taxus and Hyacinth had graduated they started preparing themselves for the upcoming wedding. I was pretty much as excited as them about the whole deal and spent a lot of time helping them pick out the right cake and setup a reception area in our garden. And the time before the wedding passed very fast and when my son and his fiance took a picture the last day before becoming a true family I actually shed a tear.

It was just so sweet to see.

Screenshot-672On the day of Taxus’ wedding our closest family and friends gathered in the garden. Since it was really a bond between two families of friends, no guests had to really pick a side or anything. It was just a logical bond declared official. I was happy to see my son marry a Spring. From what I understood, our two families had always been close and a marriage was a fine next step.

Although, it did pain me to realize I had a son old enough to get married. How old did that make me?

Screenshot-671Not a single eye was dry that day. It was touching to see Taxus and Hyacinth declare their love for each other.

Screenshot-678 Screenshot-676The whole gathering swooned as the two lovebirds shared their vows and for the first time in my life, I realized that perhaps there was such a thing as love. It certainly seemed true to the two under the wedding arch. It was the only possible explanation to why their eyes sparkled like they did when they looked at each other.

Screenshot-675Taxus looked as if he couldn’t believe that it was actually happening when he slid the ring on Hyacinth’s finger. And in all honesty, I could barely believe it myself. Hyacinth was stunning, while Taxus was modest – at the best.

Screenshot-673Screenshot-674Still, Hyacinth smiled when she slid the ring on Taxus finger without even the slightest of hesitation. She was sure that he was the one.

Screenshot-677It made me happy. All my life, I had just wished for my kids to be happy. I clearly saw that Taxus was just that in Hyacinth’s arms. It made proud of myself when I understood that all those years I had done everything I needed to push Taxus towards the future where he belonged – to the girl he was meant to be with. I had been a good enough mother – even though I never knew how to.

Screenshot-679After the ceremony the two of them just stood looking lovingly in to each others’ eyes. It was as if they were trying to understand that this was the beginning, that they would always get to be together. I couldn’t believe it myself.

Screenshot-680Screenshot-681Once the sun set we moved the party inside where we could all cheer on Taxus while he cut the cake. Bittersweet seemed incredibly happy for her big brother’s sake. But then again, Bittersweet was pretty much always happy about something.

In the end of the day, Hyacinth was named Twist and Taxus had married his princess and the guests all had a good time. It had been a good day.


Okay, the writing for the wedding is kind of meh, but I just couldn’t get it right. Since it’s not really that important for the rest of the story I let it be. Taxus is now moved out of the household along with his Hyacinth. They actually moved in with uncle Loquat – which I assume has to do with StoryProgression trying to keep the Founder house in the family. In a way it makes sense because Taxus isn’t that much different from Loquat in the sense that they are both quiet but incredibly friendly men.

There will be an Heir Vote up before too long now since Coral is also getting close to become a YA. Keep your eyes open!

Chapter 3.15: Déjà vu

Screenshot-577True to his word, Lychee came around whenever he had business in Fondant Fields and always made sure to spend some time with his daughter. It was sweet watching them two forming a bond I had never been able to form with any of the children. It was also nice getting under the sheets with him and get to feel wanted and attractive if only for that particular night.

Screenshot-572Hyacinth and Taxus’ friendship lasted through elementary school and to high school until it took a little turn and they got romantically involved. I was thrilled about it. My son couldn’t possibly have chosen a better girl to have by his side than my best friends’ daughter.

Screenshot-573I didn’t intentionally snoop on them but they were rather open with showing off their affections so it was hard not to notice them.

Screenshot-574Hyacinth was definitely the one to take the most initiatives and I think Taxus was rather insecure of himself, although I couldn’t for my life figure where that came from. It was certainly not something he had inherited from me and from what I knew about his father he was anything but insecure too.

Plum suggested that it did have to do with how little attention I had shown him during his early years but that didn’t really make any sense. He had always got everything he asked for.

Screenshot-588I myself had earned another promotion and was now among the top squad firefighters and I had earned myself a new, mighty suit to show off in. Shame I never really got any use for the old firefighter card anymore, though. Not that my progress within the career went by unnoticed because I got stopped out on the streets occasionally just to get praise for what I did for this town.

Screenshot-589 Screenshot-590I was very busy with work and kids and transforming my house in to a home, which was getting easier with every promotion and the raised salary, but when I did have some time to spare I used it as always – by hanging out with friends and family. Blizzard and Spray had recently had a little baby boy who they named Jewel and he was actually quite cute. He had the same skin color as Blizzard and Spray’s orange hair.

Even after having three kids myself I was a bit uneasy being with toddlers. They seemed so fragile and would start crying for the smallest thing.

Screenshot-593It seemed that it was only yesterday Bittersweet and Coral celebrated their last birthday and yet the time for another one had come. Bittersweet went first because I couldn’t wait to see her grow up to a child and leave me with no babies or toddlers to care for. It had certainly been a long time since that happened last.

Once little Bittersweet had aged up she grabbed one of the partyhorns and started cheering on her older sister for all that her lungs could manage.

Screenshot-592And Coral aged up and once again surprised me with her stunning looks. She looked so much with Lychee and it was funny because I had never really considered Lychee himself to be a looker. I realized looking at my daughter that he had to be, though.

Screenshot-594Poor little Bittersweet didn’t have an easy time being the minor of the family and she seemed to constantly be jumped upon, especially by Taxus. I guess that’s just how teenagers are but it still surprised me since he had been really caring about her when she was a toddler.

Screenshot-598When Bittersweet went for her first school day I had a bit of a déjà vu. I hoped it would be simply food poisoning, but I feared that I was once again pregnant.

My fears soon got real as I started showing off another baby bump. My kids all thought it was weird, and I didn’t blame them. It wasn’t like I had been the best parent to them, and yet I was going to go through it all again.

As for the father this time, I knew it had to be either Lychee or Thunderbird as they had been my only partners during the past few months. I had no idea whether vampires could breed and certainly not whether they could in that case breed with berries. I tried to ask Thunderbird about it without revealing my own suspicions that he could be the father of my own unborn child, but of course that did not go very well.

Screenshot-604Both he and Lychee interacted with my belly after that as if the baby inside was theirs.

Thunderbird himself wasn’t sure whether vampires and normal berries could reproduce either but it seemed to make him even more excited. I suppose the thought of being the first of the kind made him excited and it honestly made me quite excited as well, even though it also made me worried. I knew nothing about vampires except what Thunderbird himself had shared with me and I was quite sure that he hadn’t explained it all.

Screenshot-600Taxus never rebelled against me after aging up to a teenager, but Coral did – in her own way. She decided to become a vegetarian, which in my ears was rather weird. Anyhow, when she asked me for a plot of land in the garden to grow her own vegetables, I agreed and bought her everything she would need to get started. I even went about and bought her a recycling bin, which I promised to try to learn myself.

Screenshot-599She rummaged through town for seeds lying about and picked whatever ripes she could plant seeds from and started growing her own little garden. I didn’t understand how she could find it fun to crawl on the ground getting dirty, but she certainly seemed to enjoy.

Screenshot-602She tended to those plants as if they had been living things and I simply couldn’t understand what the joy in it was. Still, I let her be at it as it eased the stress on myself trying to keep her occupied. Bittersweet liked being out there and watch her older sister and she kept asking questions about the process. It was a good thing because it meant I was left mostly to care for myself.

Screenshot-603During the third trimester of my pregnancy the whole family took a trip down to the festival lot. The snow was lying wet and heavy on the ground, telling us that spring was right around the corner.

Taxus and Hyacinth couldn’t keep their hands off each other and were seen sucking faces pretty much the entire day.

Screenshot-606I myself gathered spring eggs around the lot.

Screenshot-609Screenshot-608And Coral… Well I’m not sure where she gets everything from but she is certainly a lot different from me. Why would anyone dive willingly down to a container? “We need to be more careful about the world” she simply said. “Way too much things gets thrown away even though it’s perfectly usable.”

I just shook my head, that was definitely something I would never understand. She had only needed to ask and I would have given her anything she wanted. But no! She wanted to search for it herself, in the dumpsters. She even brought some of the stuff she found with her home! I considered forbidding the stuff to get through our front door but then Bittersweet was overly happy about the new side table she got for her room and I caved in.

Screenshot-610Later that night I went in to labour. Perhaps it had been the stress over the new garbage furnitures in my home or perhaps it was simply time. With the fear of it being a vampire child, I decided to head to the hospital this time and I called both Lychee and Thunderbird, asking them to be there.

Screenshot-611In the end it was Lychee who got to head home with us. A few tests had been run on the baby and both Lychee and Thunderbird and as such we found out that Lychee was the father of the child.

Thunderbird looked a bit sad when we got the news but he shrugged it off and left us alone shortly afterwards. In a way I was relieved that my baby was no vampire since I had no clue how to raise a vampire. At least I had some experience with normal babies, even if I never pretended to be an expert. Lychee loved the baby with all his heart and just as he had done when he found out that Coral was his, he came over frequently to check on his new daughter. He was also the one to choose the name for her: Watermelon.

He still had lots of work to do with his record company in Briocheport and even though he said he would want to be around more often, he just couldn’t leave his job unattended for long periods of time. I was secretly happy about this since I was certainly not ready to live the normal family life.

Screenshot-620And with Lychee away, I was free to keep spending time with Thunderbird. He kept going in to look at Watermelon and I figured he was imagining a scenario where she was his and not Lychee’s. I never approached him about it and he never brought it up, but surely he had to feel rather lonely with everyone aging around him. I couldn’t even imagine how many friends he must have lost along the way. I don’t think I could have done it.

One day he suddenly announced that he couldn’t do it anymore, that it hurt him to see Watermelon and not be her father. That his hopes of having a baby had been so high and were now crushed in to dust and that he needed to get away. I never saw him again.

Screenshot-614I told Canary and Plum about it of course the next time they came over. They just shrugged though, unable to understand how I could even want to have all these men in my life. According to them I had to settle and start providing a decent life for my children.

Screenshot-615“Isn’t that what we have said too, mom?” Coral teased and looked up at us. I twisted my body back and forth. They simply didn’t understand, did they?

Screenshot-613“I’m serious Soda” Canary said when I started shaking my head. “You can’t go on like this. You’re not a teenager anymore. You’re a grownup woman with four kids to care for. You have to accept that.”

Screenshot-621Maybe they had a point. After all, Coral and Taxus did take a great responsibility at home and were constantly checking on Watermelon. Especially Coral, who must have loved the fact that they were real siblings with the same parents.

Screenshot-617 Screenshot-618Bittersweet kept looking up to her older sister and did whatever she could to impress on her. Usually Coral let her help in the garden but sometimes she grew tired of her and sent her away to ‘fish or something’.

The few times Bittersweet actually brought some catches home they made use of it as fertilizer in the garden and if they didn’t Bittersweet just put her catches in a tank in her room. There was never even the faintest idea of us actually eating them.

Screenshot-638 Screenshot-639In fact, Bittersweet brought a lot of stuff home that she had found in the nature. Bugs included. They were gross but as long as she cared for them herself I didn’t complain.

Screenshot-619Like her older sister, Bittersweet enjoyed the nature and what it had to offer. She often repeated her older sister’s words about taking care of the earth and the world and be careful with its resources. Words far too big to come from a young child as herself. It was pretty clear that I was not her biggest role-model, even though I was the best firefighter in this town.

Screenshot-625Sometimes the two girls went out to fish together and I knew that it was the best thing Bittersweet knew. She loved it whenever her older sister gave her credit for anything, and just hanging out with her was the greatest pleasure the younger girl could imagine.

Screenshot-626It was during such a day, when the two girls were out fishing and Taxus visiting Hyacinth that I realized I was pregnant again. I had never heard of a woman as fertile as myself and that was the worst curse I could think of. I never wanted a child and yet I had more than anyone I knew.

Screenshot-627I had almost forgot how much babies scream but Watermelon made sure to remind me. She seemed to cry constantly, always demanding something. I was stupid to even get in to the position of awaiting another child. I swore to myself to never woohoo again in my life. I couldn’t go through this anymore.

Screenshot-630When Lychee came over the next time he gave me a bouquet of red flowers, which made me suspicious because he had never bothered with anything of the kind before. Could he really have figured that I was pregnant before I even told him?

“I have to tell you something” he said once I had put the flowers in a vase.

Screenshot-631“I’m having another child” he said.

“How could you know?”

“What?”

“How did you know we are having another one? I never told you.”

Screenshot-634“Oh” his smile faded and his shoulders started to slouch. “You’re pregnant?” he whispered and I suddenly understood that he had not been referring to me in the first place.

Screenshot-632“Fudge!” I screamed and felt the tears burning in my eyes. I couldn’t go through this! Not again and certainly not alone. “Yes Lychee. Yes I’m fudging pregnant!” I screamed and it was loud enough to wake Watermelon who started crying as well.

Screenshot-636“It’ll be alright” he promised. “I’ll still send you some money…”

Money? I sniffed. Money would do no good to keep me sane with another child in the house. But what could I do?

“I need your help with this Lychee” I whispered, admitting my own shortcoming out loud for the first time.

Screenshot-635“I’ll send money. You’ll be fine” he said again. It was certainly not the words I had wanted to hear. “But Soda, you and I… It was never love. We just needed each other and we took advantage of each other. And now I’ve found love again and I never thought that was possible after Butterfly Bush but I’m feeling happy and she’s having my child. I need to be with her.”

I had heard these words before, hadn’t I?

Screenshot-633I started to cry when I realized there was nothing I could do and Lychee picked Watermelon up from her crib and left me alone in the nursery. “I hope you’ll find the right one sometime too. You deserve it, Soda” he said when he left the room.

I felt miserable. Truly, truly miserable.

Screenshot-645When we celebrated Watermelon’s birthday it was done with only my family and friends gathered. No fathers.

Screenshot-646She had my nose and a couple of thin locks of my hair color. And my mother’s eyes. I shrugged, it was a shame anything of my mother had to live on in my own kids. Taxus had her eyes and now Watermelon as well.

Screenshot-647It was a quiet and still celebration with people who knew pretty much everything about each other and who enjoyed each others’ company.

Screenshot-648The last kid I would ever had was born a few days later. It was a little boy with my pale skin. I decided to name him Salmon.

Screenshot-649The last baby. I swore to myself to never again enjoy the sensual and sweet thing that was known as woohoo. I seemed to be cursed with fertility and I did not want to risk another baby or we would outgrow the house I loved so much.

It was a soothing feeling, knowing that Salmon would be the last and it actually made it bearable to go up in the middle of the night to feed him or change his diaper. I even found myself smiling now and then while carrying him. It wasn’t so bad when you knew you would never have to do it again and instead I could enjoy the moments we shared, making them something worth remembering.


I’m sorry about the hopping back and forth between partners in this generation but StoryProgression does not seem to approve of Soda’s lifestyle and pairs her partners up whenever I think I’ve come to a decision. Depending on who will be the next heir this is most likely the last time she has to go through a lover leaving her for someone else. Lychee got a daughter with the other woman – I’ll add her to the familytree eventually just for you all to see. 

Lychee and Coral are actually Best Friends, which makes Coral the only of the three older kids to be friends with her father. And holy schmoly is she a gorgeous teenager?! She did roll the Vegetarian trait as well as the wish to learn gardening – which is really good for the story in the next generation as I will need a garden but couldn’t for my life figure a way to let Soda Pop start it. That being said, Coral is not named heir yet. I want to see the other children grow before deciding whether to throw an heir vote or before I decide the heir on my own. 🙂

And sorry to everyone who was rooting for Thunderbird. He simply couldn’t knock her up, even though I used ‘Try for Baby’. It seems it wasn’t meant to be. Luckily he’s a vampire so we don’t have to count him out off the family tree yet. 😉

Soda Pop has reached level 10 of the firefighter career and can now work from home. I found it incredibly funny when she autonomously changed in to her career outfit and went to check herself out in the mirror. That, dear readers, is Soda Pop in a nutshell!

I now have six bedrooms in the house and Soda Pop’s own is the only one which isn’t properly furnished. That shall be done with the next paycheck she receives and after that I will build a swimming pool and a spa in her garden and once that’s done I think I’ve fulfilled the Luxury roll.

Here’s a picture of the newly decorated laundry room (don’t ask me why I prioritized this because I have no idea. I like it, though. It only needs some paintings now):

Screenshot-595 Screenshot-596

Chapter 3.13: Long time no see

Screenshot-444I took Bittersweet with me to Sweet Pastry just a few days after she was born. I was almost sure that if Appletini saw her niece with her own eyes she wouldn’t be able to deny the fact that Precious was the father.

“A girl?” Appletini said and smiled as soon as she was done serving her customer. I nodded as a reply.

Screenshot-445“This is Bittersweet, your niece.”

Appletini sighed and looked down, avoiding eye contact. “You have to stop that Soda. You can’t keep saying you’ve given birth to my brother’s kids every time you have a new baby.”

“But this time it’s true, I swear!” I said and stretched Bittersweet towards her. “Look, it is Precious’ daughter. You can see it, can’t you?”

Screenshot-448“She’s cute, but please, for my sake, and your own, stop saying it’s Precious’.” Her hands dropped down to her sides and as my eyes followed them I saw that her belly was looking a bit swollen. It was really subtle, but it sure did look like a baby bump. I should know one when I saw one. When she noticed that I was looking she tugged a bit at her shirt, pulling it down as if she was trying to cover up.

I wanted to ask her about it, but I figured she would probably just force me to leave if I did. Instead I said, “It is Precious daughter, I’m not lying. He came to my house and we made a baby. He could even confirm it if you asked him.”

Screenshot-447“Look, I don’t know why you’re so obsessed with my brother because really, he’s bad news. I don’t even talk to him that much. And I won’t have him either confirm or deny that baby. It’s none of my business really.” Her voice reared up at the end and once she was done talking she rubbed her lower back. It should have been an innocent gesture but I knew exactly why she did it. Because that spot she had rubbed was the exact spot where my back had been hurting during the first few weeks, and especially when I got worked up about something.

I knew for sure right then, Appletini was pregnant. Bittersweet was going to have a cousin.

Screenshot-446“Look, I really need your help” I said. “I don’t know how to get in touch with your brother and he should at least know that he has a baby, that he is a father now. It’s only fair.”

Appletini just shook her head and walked off behind the counter. I wouldn’t give up so easily though and I followed her, “Just give me his phone number, please?”

In the end she caved in and scribbled down his number on an old receipt. I hung on to it as if it was the most valuable of treasures – which in my case, it was.

Screenshot-457I never found the courage to actually call Precious that day, because really, what should I say? It was most likely the last chance I would get and I did not want to blow it. I needed him. So. bad.

The next day I started dialing his number three times but interrupted the call every time. Why was it so hard? The fourth time I actually managed to keep the phone to my ear for two signals before I hung up. I sighed and put the phone back in my pocket. I couldn’t do it. I didn’t know how. I needed to see him, needed to look him in the face when I told him about Bittersweet. In fact, he probably needed to see her himself. But how on earth could I make that happen?

Screenshot-459“Just do it already” I eventually thought to myself and dialed the number for a fifth time, this time around without hanging up before his answering machine took the call. I hung up again, there was no way I would tell him the big news over the machine.

Screenshot-458Since I had finally gathered enough courage to actually do something, I decided to not let that opportunity slip and sent him a text saying I needed to talk to see him. I did not know if he would reply and in all honesty I doubted it. He was like me, he walked away once he got what he wanted. Fudge.

I waited several days and just kept looking at my phone every other minute. I imagined it vibrating when it didn’t and when it actually did I was only disappointed when it wasn’t Precious. I was going rather crazy over the whole thing.

Screenshot-454I went to see Appletini a couple of times too but it only made me hurt more to see her. She was in a lucky relationship with the father of her baby and she always looked so happy. And she looked so much like Precious too. Perhaps I tried to be her friend only to be able to get to Precious in the end. I don’t even know myself any more.

Precious Pastry. It was the only one, and the only thing, I could think of.

Screenshot-432Taxus was rarely ever at home now that he was old enough to go to school. Ever since the day I bought him his bike he was constantly exploring our town. It was nice to have him out of the house. I felt rather cramped with all these kids around. And besides my obsession with Precious felt huge too, it was as if it needed a whole room of its own. Don’t ask me how that works, but it was about how it felt.

Screenshot-416And so, before I knew it summer had passed and the leaves on the trees were turning red and yellow and then fell down from their branches. I found myself surprised by this because I hadn’t realized how much time had passed. All I had done for weeks was feed kids, work and think about Precious.

I decided to host a costume party just to get my mind on something different, if only for a night.

I dressed myself and Coral up as bunnies and Taxus decided he wanted to be an alien. I was nowhere near as excited as I used to be for a party.

Screenshot-423Canary, Plum and Hyacinth arrived first. I can’t even try to describe how much I love that family. Seriously, if it weren’t for them I would never survive my own days. Both Plum and Canary was there for me whenever I needed it and they had helped me with my kids so much that I owed them my life.

Screenshot-429While Canary cuddled with Bittersweet I got a phone call from my cousin Butterfly Bush who wondered if she could bring her new boyfriend who was just visiting from Briocheport. I said honestly that I would love it if she did.

Screenshot-420She came as a zebra, or something. I don’t even know. She looked quite silly, however and she even managed to scare Coral just by stepping in to the nursery.

She was smiling and you realized just by looking at her that she was very much in love, and that she was happy.

Screenshot-417I had not expected her to introduce Lychee as her boyfriend, though, and I was startled to say the least. And he just smiled when he said hi, as if it was the most normal thing in the world that he was at my costume party.

I cringed, this would be quite the party once he realized he had a daughter in this house – with the cousin of his new girlfriend. “Hey Lychee” I said and managed a smile.

“Long time no see” he said with confidence. “I hope you had a good time in Briocheport.”

Screenshot-418I glanced over at Coral who was now sitting happily on the floor. She giggled a little and pounded her toy rabbit to the floor. Lychee looked over at her too and it wasn’t until then I realized that the room was empty, except for myself, Lychee and our daughter.

Screenshot-419“I didn’t know you had kids” he said without letting his eyes leave Coral.

“Uhm, ye.. Three actually” I said and nodded, desperately trying to come up with a way to get him to look at me and not at the wall behind Coral. I had begun hanging the trophies from the father’s in their respective room and right now it seemed like an incredibly stupid idea. If Lychee saw himself on the wall above the changing table he would do the maths and realize Coral was his daughter. I didn’t want that to happen. That would risk the relationship between him and my cousin and she seemed so happy.

Screenshot-427As on delivery Mustard and Canary came in to the room at that very moment and with that the awkwardness was gone. I couldn’t stop worry that Lychee would ask about the photos though and as soon as I got a moment I took them down and placed them upside down on the changing table.

The party was a success despite the awkward knowledge of my cousin dating the father of one of my children. Neither Plum or Canary (who were the only ones who knew for sure) said anything. Did I mention that I love them?

Screenshot-438Screenshot-439After the costume party I went back to thinking about Precious and how I could get him to come see me. Very few things could distract my thoughts, but one of them was work, I loved the excitement of the station and the probability of a sudden alarm. While I was there I could forget the fact that Precious really didn’t seem to want to meet me since he never replied to the text or answered the few times I dared to call.

Several months passed without me hearing from him and it was soon time for yet another batch of birthdays, Coral’s and Bittersweet’s to be precise:

Screenshot-461Dad came but he cried the entire night because mom passed away a few weeks earlier. It didn’t affect me except for the fact that it was sad to see my father so upset.

Screenshot-464Before I brought Coral to the cake I stood with her in front of the pictures of me and Lychee and I told her that he was her father. She gurgled something in response, but like Taxus she never learned how to actually speak.

Screenshot-465Lychee came in while we stood in front of the pictures and when he saw them he smiled. “Hah, you kept them!”

I felt my cheeks turned red and I didn’t dare to turn around and look at him as I replied, “Yea, I did.”

He didn’t say anything more in the matter even though I’m fairly sure he understood. Her age was just right and she had his skin and his facial structure and his adorable downhill-nose. Not that I would enlighten him of the matter, of course.

Screenshot-467 Screenshot-468I helped Coral blow the candles while our friends and family cheered in the back.

Screenshot-469Dad’s old friend Thunderbird had even come to celebrate the birthdays. He looked incredibly young to be my father’s friend – but I guess that’s just how it is with vampires. I hadn’t met him much and I think he tagged along just because dad was hurting and needed support and I certainly approved because he was really nice to look at, handsome as he was.

Screenshot-470Coral grew up to be a very cute little girl and yet again I found myself astonished with how adorable that downhill-nose was. Lychee had good genes, that was one thing that I could be happy about.

“Is she mine?” Lychee whispered while we were watching her taking her first steps as a child and I blushed again. “I just need to know” he whispered again, so low that it was impossible for anyone but me to hear.

I nodded slightly, “Yes. But you have to be with Bush” I whispered back.

Lychee nodded, “I know. I’m no father.”

“I know” I whispered back and then went to grab a piece of cake before anyone would start wondering what we were doing.

Screenshot-475Bittersweet looked a lot like me when she grew up but she did have Precious’ pointy ears, which I was happy about because it would make it easier to convince him that she was indeed his daughter – once I got the opportunity.

Screenshot-471 Screenshot-472 Screenshot-473Coral didn’t even eat any cake before heading back in to her room. She climbed on top of her rocking horse and seemed to pretend that she was a cowboy. She looked funny. And cute.

I realized again that I actually did like her.

Screenshot-478I kept waiting for a reply from Precious but nothing ever came. I had almost given it up all together when Appletini called to tell me she had her baby, a little boy who she and Blackeye named Ferrari. As soon as I heard the news I rushed over to her house to meet the little one. Appletini herself was at work so Blackeye just showed me in to where Ferrari was lying content and happy in his crib.

I picked him up and looked at him. He had that freckly red skin that both Appletini and Precious had and I thought it was rather unfair that Bittersweet hadn’t inherited it too. It was just way too adorable.

Screenshot-476I had brought Bittersweet with me but she did not approve of being left alone in the kitchen while I inspected the newborn baby and after just a short moment I had to rush out to get her.

Screenshot-484Appletini came home while I was still there and at the sight of me she looked rather nervous. Or in fact, that nervous look was pretty much her natural look. “Oh, Soda Pop… Hi” she stammered when she saw me.

“Hey, congratulations on your baby” I said and smiled.

Screenshot-485“Uhm… Thanks. But really Soda… I must ask you to leave, you can’t just come here whenever you want. You have to call first.”

Screenshot-486“Wowow, look Apple, I just came to see him and congratulate you. This has nothing to do with your brother!” It was true but the words had barely left my lips until the front door was opened and Precious stood in the doorway. My heart skipped a beat at the sight of him and I felt my cheeks turn red. He looked at me startled and then at his sister in a questioning way. She just shrugged.

The next moment he had scooped Bittersweet up in his arms and tickled her before turning to me, “Another baby, huh?”

Screenshot-481I blushed. This was it.

“Uhm, yes…” I stammered. It was incredibly hard to utter the fateful words. “And… this time… she really is yours.”

Precious took a long look at Bittersweet and it was almost possible to see his brain working to process the news. “Why should I believe you this time?” he finally asked.

Screenshot-483“I can prove it!” I said.

“And how is that?”

“We take a DNA-test. You will see. She really is yours.”

Screenshot-479“And why would I agree to that?”

My heart sank. He had a point, why should he?

“Because she is your daughter Precious. She really is.”

Screenshot-482He suddenly looked incredibly sad and Bittersweet decided to rest her little head against his shoulder as if she was trying to comfort her father. “I knew you lied with Coral. She couldn’t have been my daughter. But this one here, she actually can. And no, I wouldn’t want to give you the pleasure. You ruined that by lying in the first place.” He paused and handed me my daughter. “She is yours. The only thing I want to do here in Fondant Fields now is to be a good uncle to Ferrari. I won’t stay. And you can’t force me to take any test. That’s final.”

My whole world crashed at that moment.

Screenshot-487“You will” I snarled. “You will take responsibility and you will come visit her because she is your daughter and she deserves to know you. You don’t know what it’s like to grow up with only one parent, do you? Well, I have news for you, I DO! And I am not letting Bittersweet go through that. You will come and visit, DNA-test or not. And that, Precious Pastry, is final!”

I had never thought about it that way before, but now that I said it to Precious, I realized it was true. My kids deserved to get to know their fathers and I would do whatever I could to make that happen from now on.


Once again StoryProgression decided to lead the way in this story. I wasn’t entirely sure whether to let Precious or Lychee be the guy wanting to know their kid (and as such be around for more baby making 😉 ) but then SP knocked Appletini up at the same time as it paired Lychee and Butterfly Bush (Soda Pop’s cousin) up and as such the “decision” was made. Lychee will definitely be around for as long and he and Butterfly Bush are together and Precious will also come to visit now and then. And since I have rolled 5 kids, only time will tell who the next father(s) will be.

I’m sure you’ve all figured by now, but Soda Pop’s generation will be longer that the previous ones. I would guess we end up at around 20 chapters or so.

Chapter 3.9: Then be a father

Screenshot-175It was still early when I got out of the house to be picked up by the department carpool. The babysitter practically lived at our place because I worked so much. It wasn’t something I was prepared to change either. I had come to the conclusion that my job wasn’t just a good way to charm men but also something I really enjoyed doing. Besides, I really needed the money.

Since Plum and Canary had Hyacinth they seemed to have less time for me, which meant I put even more time in to my job.

Screenshot-176There was an excitement even to the dull days at the department. You could be casually keeping the truck or the alarms in shape, or relaxing on the upper floor with your co-workers, or working out in the yard and still there was this feeling inside you. You knew that the alarm could sound any second at it kept you on your toes. It was exciting.

Besides, my closest boss was my brother Blizzard, who was not just a good fireman but also a darn good boss.

Screenshot-177The treadmill made a familiar mechanical and steady sound. I remembered how I used to frown upon that sound when we still lived at home and Blizzard had pretty much been obsessed with working out. Maybe we weren’t so different after all?

I liked the feeling when the muscles in my legs burned from being challenged but I was also careful to not overstrain them because I knew there could be a big fire and the need to carry a heavy man three stairs down just seconds later. It was a balance everyone at the department had learned to control the hard way. We had all been to at least one alarm where our forces were barely enough. I was getting quite good at it, actually.

Screenshot-178On one of my vacant days I decided to bring Taxus with me to the Spring residence. It was nice going there because of how crowded the place was. I could just put Taxus down on the floor and someone would entertain him, letting me focus on catching up with my two best friends.

Screenshot-179“He stinks, doesn’t he?” I asked Canary who met us with a displeasing look on her face. It wasn’t until I saw her face that I realized there was a rather pungent smell coming from my son and that I hadn’t changed his diaper since waking up. Truth be told, I tried to change it as rarely as I could because it was pretty disgusting.

“Give him to me” Canary said and took him from my arms before I could reply or do something. She didn’t even invite me in, but I followed her anyway and watched her descend up the stairs with my boy without another word. It was a relief to see him disappear from my sight.

Screenshot-188When they came down again Taxus was dressed in shorts and a sweater instead of the pajamas he had been wearing when we came. He frowned when he looked at me.

“You have to get a grip about this” Canary said and shook her head. I knew she looked down on me for how I handled my parenting, but I never asked for a kid and I didn’t know how to be a mother. I wasn’t cut for it like she was.

Screenshot-183“It’s easy for you to say” I said to defend myself. “You actually had a mother to teach you!”

Because really, how could I know how to be a mother when no-one had been there to show me how to? It wasn’t my fault.

Screenshot-180“Then be a father” Canary’s father – Mithos – stepped up in front of me and said, clearly agreeing with his daughter in that I needed to step up my game. “You had a great father, learn from him.”

I shook my head. Did they really think I didn’t try? “I’m supposed to be a mother, not a father” I protested.

“There’s not really a difference in those two jobs” Mithos said and glanced back at our kids who were playing at the little table. Taxus was chewing on a red block while Hyacinth talked with adorable one-word-sentences and told her friend what the names of the different shapes were. She was two years younger than Taxus and still talked a lot better than him.

“I’m giving him everything he needs” I said when the realization hit me. I was a failure as a mother.

Screenshot-182“It’s not just about toys” Mithos said and walked towards Barley who had wondered something about different political ideologies for his school work. Good for him to have an expert father in the matter.

Canary stepped closer to me and out her hand on my shoulder. It actually did feel comforting, just as I suspect she wanted it to. “You know that we will help you, right?”

I hugged her. What would I do without my friends?

“But really, you need to invest in him. Emotionally. He needs love.”

I nodded slowly, trying to understand what I was doing wrong. I spoiled him, which was a way of showing love. Wasn’t it?

Screenshot-184We stood in silence just watching the two kids play for a while. The rest of the Spring family left the room which resulted in a rather peaceful atmosphere. Taxus and Hyacinth were good friends and played nicely together. Hyacinth was a real sweetheart, just like her two mothers. After a few moments of silence Canary turned towards me, “I’m probably a bit too pushy here, but…” she blushed a bit. “Are you pregnant again?”

“What?”

“Well, you have that look in your eyes. The same as with Taxus. They get a certain glow which makes you look both happy and terrified at the same time.”

Screenshot-185“I’m not pregnant!” I protested and waved my hands in front of me. I couldn’t be, right?

“Are you sure?” Canary asked and a small smile played on her lips. “Because it’s there now. It’s kind of glassy.”

“I… I don’t know” I stammered. I mean, I hadn’t been very careful with Lychee because there hadn’t really been time for careful, but I couldn’t be pregnant again, could I?

“I knew it!” Canary exclaimed, sounding much too happy than what was fitting for this situation. I pressed my fingers against my temples, trying to push away the headache that was now creeping upon me. I had barely had time to get on my feet after having Taxus and it would be incredibly bad if I was pregnant again.

“Look at it as another chance” Canary tried and hugged me. It felt weird. Just shortly afterwards I excused myself and headed back home.

Screenshot-189“Pregnant” I muttered to myself, feeling completely bummed out by the whole thing. Canary had been right, I was pregnant. And with Lychee Button’s kid of all possible men. It didn’t even matter that he was a famous record company owner, I didn’t want to birth his kid. Besides, I hated how they had pulled me off work again and now I was stuck at home, with my son and a baby on the way.

It’s safe to say that this was not how I wanted my life to be.

Screenshot-199Plum still came over pretty much every day. Sometimes she brought Canary and Hyacinth with her and sometimes she came alone. She was practically in love with my son. Way more than I was. But then again, she didn’t need to keep a constant look on him like I did. She could simply enjoy the good moments with him without the need for any deeper responsibility. I wanted to have it that way too.

And Taxus seemed to love his aunt Plum. He was laughing and giggling while in her arms. He rarely ever smiled at me.

Screenshot-198“So you’re going to be a big brother are you Taxus?” Plum’s voice transformed in to a lighter, more playful one which was more suited to get Taxus’ attention. I couldn’t understand how every single berry could be so easily transformed if you just put a baby in their arms. Didn’t people care about their own identities? That was what made me different. No baby could change who I was.

Screenshot-193The full moon was shining bright over my little house. I had always been a night owl and this particular night was no exception. It had been hours since Taxus fell in to his deep slumber and as I was fiddling with the kitchen sink, trying to come up with a way to prevent it from ever breaking, I could hear the faint sounds of baby whimpers from his nursery. It wasn’t easy, but I had to admit to myself that there was something cute and love-able about that sound. He seemed pleased.

Taxus whimpering and the metallic sound of my wrench against the kitchen sink was the only thing heard through the house. It was calm and peaceful and even outside the house it seemed quiet. I wasn’t much of a loner, but this silence was rather soothing anyway.

Screenshot-192A sharp pain in the lower parts of my belly made me drop the wrench with a CLANG down in the kitchen sink. I knew this pain, I had been through it before.

I wanted to scream but I was afraid to wake Taxus up so instead I just clutched my hands against my stomach and focused on breathing. In through the nose and out through the mouth.

The baby was coming. 

Now.

Screenshot-194It was a couple of weeks early and I wasn’t prepared. There was no nursery prepared in the house because I still had time. At least, I had thought there was more time. A quick glance at the clock on my wall told me it was 3.15 am. The middle of the night. I couldn’t call anyone simply to ask for help at this hour so I did what I had done with Taxus:

I gathered some towels and then sat down on the floor in the kitchen, spread my legs apart and continued to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth. The body works in mysterious ways and even though you think the pain is too much you manage to keep fighting. I pushed when my body so demanded and tried to stay away from pushing otherwise. I don’t know why, it just seemed like the right thing to do and had worked just fine with Taxus.

Screenshot-195The clock showed 4.30 when the sound of a baby’s first scream caught my eyes and I started crying by pure exhaustion. I had made it. I had a daughter now.

Her crying woke Taxus up and he too started crying. I couldn’t go to him though because the little girl in my arms needed me more.

Screenshot-196She was so beautiful. Surprisingly, I felt rather happy about her presence and when I curled her up in my arms and snuggled her close I realized exactly what it meant to feel happiness after a birth. “I’m going to call you Coral” I whispered, still keeping the tiny baby close to my chin. I was proud of myself.

And then I realized I had nowhere to put her. Instead I just walked in to Taxus room and stroke his chin with one hand while still clutching on to my little baby girl with the other. He stopped crying once he realized he wasn’t alone.

That night I slept in the rocking chair i Taxus room with Coral in my arms and it was the first time I felt any happiness about being a mother.

Screenshot-197Plum came over the very next day and forced me to go get some sleep while she looked after the two kids. I didn’t object, I was exhausted. “She’s so adorable” Plum said before I walked out of the room and to my bedroom. I couldn’t find the energy to even respond.

“Hello Coral, I’m your aunt Plum”  she whispered and took the girl in her arms. Taxus was on the floor playing with his toy blocks but he kept throwing glances towards the little baby. It had to be confusing to him.

They had to share crib until I had bought another one, which was on top of my to-do-list. After some rest.

Chapter 3.7: Keeping promises

Screenshot-118Just a few weeks after Taxus was born spring came to town. The snow melted in to puddles and the grass started turning green again. The sun had never felt as warm and soft as it did that spring. It was refreshing and it felt like I was given another chance.

With spring, came of course spring festival. While I felt that autumn and winter festivals were quite boring and childish, the spring festival was one I had always looked forward to throughout my whole life. This year was no exception. While I prepared to head out Loquat came over and offered to babysit Taxus. It was surprising to realize that he, out of all people, seemed to be the one to most happily look after my son.

Screenshot-100That was except for Plum and Canary, of course, but they were going with me to the festival. I met up with Plum and judging by her dripping umbrella I figured it must have rained pretty bad in her part of town. Here it was only a few tiny drops that fell on the ground. Not really the amount that forced you to have an umbrella in the first place.

“Ready?” Plum asked and smiled. And berry was I ready. This was the first party I went to since I got pregnant with Taxus. I was starting to get all shaky by the lack of dancing, laughing and kissing already.

Screenshot-103We hit the dance floor right off, where Canary was already swaying her hips. The battle for the title of Spring Festival Dancing Queen was on! We all knew one of us three would win since that had been the case ever since we were teenagers and first entered. The big question was only which of us it would be.

After the pregnancy with Taxus and the feeling of being fat, ugly and downright disgusting, I desperately needed the title this year.

Screenshot-104Plum was backing off a bit, knowing that I needed the boost at this time, needed to feel desired and pretty. But Canary just danced away, giving her very best to steal the title away from me. I don’t know if she didn’t know just how gross I had been feeling or if she simply didn’t care, but for whatever reason she clearly wouldn’t just let me win.

I needed to do my very best.

Screenshot-106Luckily for me, there was a whistle behind my back, followed by a “You go Soda!” I recognized the voice even before I turned around and saw Fandango’s pink being. He was still rather hot after all the years since high school, but he was also a bit pathetic and still thrived upon his high school popularity. He simply didn’t seem to grow up.

But as for now, I couldn’t be picky so I went up to him and started dancing closely with him. He was a good dancer, I knew that since prom.

Screenshot-108The rest of the group on the dance floor gave us space and all danced in a cramped spot in one of the corners of the dance floor. In a way, it’s silly that we could still have ‘fame’ because of our high school popularity, but that’s how things go in small towns I guess.

The realization felt good.

Screenshot-109No one would have been surprised after prom if we two had ended up as a couple (and I think that was what Fandango still hoped for) but I had other plans. Bigger plans.

It still felt good dancing to him there, having a large area of the floor and many pairs of eyes looking at us, admiring our beauty. It was exactly what I needed after the pregnancy.

Once the winners were announced, it didn’t exactly come as a big surprise that it was us.

Screenshot-112Fandango pulled me with him inside afterwards, saying we needed to go to the love tester. It struck me there and then that he was most likely in love with me. It must have been the way he looked at me, as if I was a grand prize or a fair princess. I loved it.

Screenshot-111I put my hand on the hande of the tester and Fandango looked at me, whispering “Are you ready?” before his hand enveloped mine and we both pulled the handle towards us and looked up at the meter.

Fandango’s hand was warm and a little bit sweaty. While we waited for the tester to calculate our love he kept throwing glances at me. I loved the attention and the feeling of being desired. I met his eyes at one point, wondering if maybe Taxus was his. I hoped not because with the way Fandango looked at me, he would most likely want to be a part of a family. He would want to be by my side to raise our son and I did not want to settle like that. But perhaps I could just give him Taxus and get rid of the problem, just like Plum had suggested in the first place.

Screenshot-113My thoughts were soon interrupted by the tester making a ringing sound. The heart at the top flashed in red and the meter showed that the love between me and Fandango was burning. He turned to look at me, a wide smile spread on his face. “No surprise, huh?” he whispered and gave me a peck on the cheek.

I felt myself blushing. This type of attention was exactly what I needed. The next step came natural and once we were done I realized that he wasn’t exactly a sex god like Precious, which I had of course known all along, but the simple attention and desire it gave me did a great job to pull me back on my feet.

I wasn’t just a mother. I was still Soda Pop Twist.

Screenshot-121Canary went straight home after the festival but Plum followed me home. Said she had something important to talk to me about. We waved Loquat goodbye and even before we were seated in the kitchen Plum began to speak.

“So, you know me and Canary…” she begun, her voice shaking a bit as if she was nervous. “We kind of got engaged yesterday.”

“You what?!”

Screenshot-124“Well, we’ve been in love for quite some time I think but I don’t know. It’s not an easy step to take… But anyway, ever since you got pregnant with Taxus Canary has been talking about future and marriage and kids and everything. She wants it all.”

There was a pause where I sat down. This was pretty big news. “And you want that too?”

Plum scratched the back of her head and looked down, “I think so.”

Screenshot-122“But kids..? That’s quite impossible, isn’t it?”

“Ehm” Plum cleared her throat and blurted out, “She’s kind of pregnant already.”

“She is?!”

“Ye, she’s gone through insemination. We don’t know who the donor is but he’s supposed to be purple. She wanted the kid to resemble me too… And once she knew it had been successful she proposed and I… Well, I said yes.”

The news sunk in slowly. Even if I had seen them make out at one point it was still a lot to take in. My two best friends were getting married and expected a baby. And I hadn’t known anything about it. And still, I felt happy for them. If this what what they wanted, then it was the right thing.

“I’m happy for you” I said and hugged her. “Congratulations.”

Screenshot-123 “We’re still going to Briocheport, though!” Plum promised and smiled. “We just have to wait until the baby is born.”

Screenshot-125While we waited for Plum and Canary’s baby to be born, Taxus celebrated his first birthday. It was a relief to see him grow up because the hair on his head clearly told me it wasn’t Fandango’s baby and that I didn’t need to worry about him deciding we needed to be a family. My son, clearly originated from Starburst Shores and Flamenco. It was a bit funny to think that he had been conceived in a photo automate.

Screenshot-127Plum came over every day to hang out with me and play with Taxus. I think everyone around me was more happy about that little boy than I was. He was still an obstacle in my life. Maybe that would change once Plum and Canary had their baby too. Our lives had to change by then, didn’t they?

Not that I wanted them to, or looked forward to it, of course.

Screenshot-128They had a daughter shortly after Taxus’ birthday. The donor had clearly been purple and must have had about the same skin as Plum because little Hyacinth seemed to have the exact same color as her second mother. Her eyes were a dark shade of purple and truth be told, she was quite adorable. And most of all, she brought joy to her mothers — my best friends — and for that I loved her.

Plum had moved in with the Spring family and their house was really crowded by now. They seemed to be a big and happy family though, so I guess it was all good.

Screenshot-130I was a bit worried that Plum wouldn’t wanna go to Briocheport now that she was a parent. But that was not the case. We left just a few weeks after Hyacinth’s birth and Canary stayed at my place taking care of the two children.

Screenshot-131Briocheport. The city without boundaries. The city that never sleeps. The big city.

I was extremely excited to be here and I just knew this trip would prove be the best thing in my life so far. This was probably where I belonged. I was no smalltown girl, this was my dream city.


AN: My dear friend StoryProgression pushed Plum and Canary in to a relationship while they were all teenagers and I never broke them up, thinking it would happen eventually anyway. However, it didn’t and when I installed Woohooer Canary got pregnant within a few in-game-hours. I decided to go with it. They are now also engaged, just as in the story. 

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