Chapter 4.12: Almost a real family

Screenshot-1198Being out traveling was a real blast for our family. And it wasn’t just the fact that we didn’t have to worry about mother coming to hunt us down, it was a lot of other things too. The sun warming your back even when you knew winter was coming around back at home, the matte colors that felt smooth in your eyes. The presence of the closest family – which, after all, was what really mattered.

Being part of a real family was something both me and my siblings had always lacked while growing up and finally being a family with strong love bonds was a real gift. I missed Bittersweet every day, but seeing Salmon or Watermelon interact with Yew made it all bearable. As did the knowledge of Bittersweet having a decent life at home with Romeo. They deserved each other and they would keep each other safe. Thunderbird had promised that mother would be after Lava, and from what we had heard so far Bittersweet and Romeo had been in no danger. Although, it would be a lie if I said I never worried for I did. I worried for Bittersweet every day and we talked on the phone on a regular basis. It would have been impossible living a relaxed life had I not known she was alive and safe.

Screenshot-1201Berrian treasured the time traveling around most of us all and he went for adventures each and every day, sometimes bringing Salmon with him for we wanted to give Salmon a billion experience to take with him as he grew in to a grown-up man. The two of them were still great friends and it made me happy to see them spend so much time together.

Screenshot-1202Like Berrian, Salmon loved to explore tombs and whenever the two of them went on a new adventure Salmon would come back to our camp with a certain spark to his eye which exposed how much he loved the adventures. I knew it was hard for both Salmon and Watermelon to be apart from their lovers and friends. They both became low and sad whenever there was a quiet time in our camp because it meant they had time to think of all the things they had left behind.

I did my best to comfort them with the promise of eventually going back, at least to visit them.

Screenshot-1207It wasn’t always easy. I was lonely a lot of the time because Berrian did what he could to keep my siblings busy and our sons needed their sleep. I didn’t mind too much, but I did miss Bittersweet awfully much at those times. It was hard to not hate mother then. My whole life she had forced me to chores and places I never thought about taking on myself. Except for Uni and Berrian, she had done all the important choices in my life and now I was stuck traveling the world because she threatened to hurt my family or take her son back and raise him to a killing machine.

Thinking about the things she could do to us, it was hard to even imagine us ever going back to Fondant Fields, even though we all knew we had to. And deep inside we also wanted to. Most of all, I didn’t want to keep Salmon and Watermelon from their friends and force them in to a life they didn’t want. I knew far too well what feelings that fueled and I never wanted them to hate me like I hated mother.

Screenshot-1217So we went back home. Occasionally and without and consistency. But when we had to go back home, we did. It probably wasn’t too hard to figure out when we were going back, because it mostly happened when big life changing events were supposed to be taking place.

Such happenings as Watermelon and Salmon’s prom. My two siblings looked absolutely smashing when they were ready to go and both of them were incredibly happy to even be able to go. They had never said that they wanted to, but I knew them well enough to know that prom was something none of them actually wanted to miss.

And most right, they both came back home giggling with excitement and talking non-stop to tell me everything that had happened during their epic night. Salmon and Tosca had been inseperable the entire night and I already knew that those two were as much soulmates as me and Berrian were. Watermelon had danced a few dances with Peridot, but there were still no sign of actual love between the two of them. Which, of course, didn’t matter for she was happy simply to be with him.

Screenshot-1212In fact, he was around our place mosty of the timewhen we were actually at home and Watermelon seemed pleased to have him around, too. She still talked and hung out alot with Celeste, but since the birth of her children it was good that my sister had yet another friend.

Screenshot-1213Lava and Yew were usually easy to keep track of as we mostly put them together on the floor along with a few toys to let them enjoy themselves. Yew played nice and easy at all times whereas Lava would wail and flail his arms whenever he didn’t get his ways. I couldn’t help but think part of mother’s stubbornness had been passed on to him. I could only hope that none of her evilness had done so too.

Screenshot-1026Screenshot-1025Once prom had passed we went on the road again. A new place awaited us. I liked to see it as though we were traveling and exploring rather than running away. Though, we all knew that running away was the main reason for our travels. That didn’t mean, however, that we couldn’t do our best to enjoy the adventures we got to go to.

Screenshot-1032 Screenshot-1034Screenshot-1033Screenshot-1035And enjoy them we did.

Screenshot-1214The next time we had to go back home was due to me being very pregnant and a pending birthday for Lava. It was stupid to go back home to celebrate Lava’s birthday for it was a huge risk. Mother would be sure to look for her son when she knew he was about to age up. But we went home anyway for we had sworn to give Lava a normal childhood and that meant a birthday party with family and friends. Mother excluded, of course.

Screenshot-1215Besides, my pregnancy was hard on me and my back hurt a lot. It was hard to be on the road when you had to stop and stretch your back and legs every fifteen minutes. And the camper beds weren’t very comfortable either. I hated to admit it, but the pregnancy forced me to seek the comfort of our home back in Fondant Fields.

Screenshot-1216Even though I knew Berrian disliked going back to the safety of the house he did it without complaining. For him, the adventurous and traveling kind of life we were living, although forced upon us, was everything he had ever dreamed of. I loved sharing it with him, but I couldn’t help but secretly wish that we could have set the rules ourselves.

He was a great help during my pregnancy and whenever I needed him to, he would come and take the kids to enlighten them. I never could have gone through life without him by my side. Never.

Screenshot-1218And I had to admit, I did enjoy coming back home to my garden, even if the death of one of the herb plants caused me to cry. I felt responsible for its death, even though it was really mother’s fault. Everything was her fault. Perhaps the pregnancy hormones played their part, too.

Screenshot-1219Berrian was a natural father and he played with Yew as though it was something he had been born to do. And Yew sure adored his father. I had a feeling that little one would grow up and be a lot like his father: perfect.

Screenshot-1226Before our next child was born, Watermelon aged up and decided to move out of the house. While she had been fine with going with us on our first travels she had never been that real traveler or explorer like Salmon or Berrian was. In fact, I think she was a lot more like me because she cared for the family and friends first and foremost. It came as no surprise when she told us she was moving to live with Celeste and her children as that family was as much Watermelon’s family as her real one were.

The hardest part with letting her go was the knowledge of leaving her behind when it was time for us to flee Fondant Fields again. Hopefully she would be just as safe as Bittersweet was and because Lava was coming with us, mother would leave them be.

Screenshot-1225Autumn was on the verge of leaving room for winter when little Rhubarb was born. He was, of course, perfect in every way. As soon as I laid my eyes on him, I knew I would come to love him with my whole heart.

Just like when Yew was born, Watermelon and Salmon helped each other to transform one of the bedrooms in the house in to a nursery for the newborn baby. There’s no way I could have wished for a better aunt or uncle for my kids. We were almost a real family now. With an extra baby to care for. Who also happened to be my brother and a vampire. And whom my own mother wanted to take from us and raise in to a killing machine. But almost a real family. Almost.

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.

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