Chapter 2.13: Getting accustomed

Screenshot-933It wasn’t easy adjusting to not having Oceana around, and it certainly wasn’t easy adjusting to being a father of triplets. And for most of the time, I was also taking care of my old man, as he seemed to get older and more confused for each day that passed by.

I was usually completely drained once the kids were asleep and dad put to bed in the evenings and I would just curl up to a small, piteous ball on the couch. Was it really fair? Even when colorless sims had the same rights as any ‘bow, my life was a misery. Okay, exagerration, at least I had the kids. But still, I felt lonely and sorry for myself.

Screenshot-937There was lots to be done with three toddlers in the house. Constantly a mouth to fill or a diaper to change and I had not been completely ready for it. I wasn’t prepared for doing it all by myself. I did my best, but some days it seemed like the kids didn’t get as much attention or care as they deserved, despite my tries. It was a wonder mom and dad had managed raising me and my siblings in the district where the standards had been… low.

Screenshot-944 Screenshot-955My friends all came over occasionally to help me with the kids, which I was indescribably happy about as it gave me a chance to get some well-needed rest. They all had different opinions on Oceana leaving me. Some thought it had been for the better and some were furious with Oceana for letting me do all the hard work on my own. I myself didn’t really blame Oceana, I just missed her. She had been my first, and only, love. Maybe the feelings hadn’t been as mutual as I had thought, since she so easily could leave me.

Bluebell took Oceana’s side, as did my brother. They said that since they too were parents they could imagine what it would be like having to worry about your kids safety when there’s an easy fix. According to them they would do the same thing if they had to, and they seemed sure I would have to, if it had been the other way around. Maybe I would, but I would have considered my options because I didn’t like being without Oceana.

Screenshot-954Mithos was the one to come over most frequently, and also the one to help me the most with the kids. In fact, he came over pretty much just to spend time with them. I imagine it was sort of training for him, as he was also about to be a father any day. He was a really caring and supportive uncle to my triplets and I honestly don’t know if I would have managed without his help. To think that he still had time for these little things with me and my kids even with his role as the mayor of town was fantastic. It made me feel… important.

Screenshot-942 Screenshot-941He and Cherry hadn’t even been an official couple for a year when Cherry suddenly ended up pregnant. It was a big surprise to all of us, and maybe most of all for Cherry and Mithos themselves, but they took it for what it was and prepared themselves in the ways they could. I was happy for them, Cherry was a nice girl and someone who could deserve my dear hero friend. I was eager to meet their little one, but I hoped it would wait until my own kids were a bit older. It would simply be more convenient if some of the kids could take care of themselves while we fussed over a new little baby.

Screenshot-960Cherry did pop before the triplets birthday, but fortunately it was only a few days before so there wasn’t really that many days for me to get it to work with the kids all by myself. It was hectic, but I managed. I even managed to squeaze in a visit to the new parents and their lovely little Canary.

Screenshot-965For the triplets birthday I invited Cinnamon and Mithos and my siblings and their families over to celebrate. Quite a big party for a loner like me, but I needed their support now that Oceana had left me. I was scared for my kids growing up and for time passing, because I feared that with time I would forget about Oceana or at least get over her, and I didn’t want to. I suppose I was also scared that she would forget about me. Maybe even forget about her own opinions and go back to agreeing with her family. The simple thought of her feeling disgust of her own kids was enough to make me cry. Those babies were perfect, why couldn’t she see that?!

The triplets aged up beautifully. Perfectly, actually. They probably got that from their mother, the perfect part.

Screenshot-957 Screenshot-959Spindle was already a teenager and his best friend was aunt Sweet Corn. They laughed and teased each other to no end. It was clear that friendship wasn’t limited by any boundaries of age. “Do you have any girlfriend yet, Spindle?” Sweet Corn teased while they were stuffing themselves full with cake.

Spindle stuck his tongue out, “Naha, do you have any boyfriend yet?”

I knew it was a sore toe for Sweets, but she just couldn’t find the right one. Ironically, I had found the right one for me but she had left me. I suppose we were in similar positions. Maybe one day she would find someone, or would it be impossible now that she was used to loneliness? In a way it suited her and it did leave her with enough energy to be the perfect aunt and my kids would certainly need that. A grownup girl in their lives.

Screenshot-958Pixie had a hard time dealing with losing friend after friend. It was understandable, of course, and I really felt for her. At least she was still putting on a brave smile and tagged along whenever we had a gathering. She was as much family as any of the guests of this party. It was comforting being with her too, as she reminded me so much about my own mother. They had been the best of friends, closer than I had ever been to any of my own friends. It had to be about as tough losing such a close friend as it had been for me to lose my mother.

Screenshot-956Cinnamon was, to my great joy, also pregnant. Even if it would be quite a few years between our kids (and Mithos’ little girl) it was a joy to share parenting with close friends. I mean, it was only natural that my priorities had changed after the triplets came in to my life and having my two best friends doing the very same journey by my side was probably the best thing to it. I knew I would love their babies with every part of my heart that was left after loving my own family.

My friends had all brought some gifts for them and we all worked hard to stuff it in to the tiny rooms in our house. I realized I would probably have to re-build the nursery either to another bedroom or some kind of playroom. It wasn’t like we would need a nursery again, anyway.

There was just one problem about re-building and that was that now that mom’s retirement money had stopped coming we weren’t exactly swimming in cash. And for Berry’s sake, I had three kids to provide! I would have to get a job. And so the next problem occurred; What would I do for a living? I wasn’t exactly good at anything.

Screenshot-964“Easy” Sweets said when I asked her and I narrowed my eyebrows, trying to form them in to a question mark. “You’re joining the police force, of course! You’re the best investigator in town, after all.”

As surprising as it may sound, the police force seemed to agree. Or at least they offered me a job. I suspect the investigations regarding Affair’s murder played a part, but the bigger part was probably the fact that they needed to hire more colorless’, ‘for a diversity in staff’.

Screenshot-987When Blizzard, Loquat and Soda Pop went for their first day in school, I went for my first day to work. I’m not sure who was the most nervous, but it was most likely me. At least they had each other to rely on while I was all by myself.

With the kids being older, life got easier for me. It was a relief realizing they could mostly care for themselves as long as I provided the essential food and love. And homework guidance, of course. I even found myself with a bit of spare time, which I hadn’t had since before they were born. Since I could spend it with Oceana, I thought to myself.

Screenshot-970I went to her house a couple of times. I rung the bell and waited for someone to open the door. I just wanted to see her, hear her voice. Tell her that the kids were beautiful. But she did the same thing as she had done to my phonecalls ever since she walked out of my house – she ignored it. The door remained shut no matter how much I wished for it to swing open. She had made her choice, and I was clearly not a part of it.

Screenshot-972 Screenshot-973Only one single time as I went there the door opened but it wasn’t Oceana who stood in the doorway, it was some blue ‘bow who hissed at me, something about Oceana not wanting anything to do with me. When I refused to leave he gave me a lesson. It had been many years since that had last happened, but it seemed the loathe of colorless wouldn’t budge easily.

Screenshot-974Two days later I found a note in the mail, “Remember Sundance, survival is most important! X” It didn’t matter that it wasn’t signed, I knew it was from Oceana anyway and it was just another way for her to tell me to forget about her and move on with my life.

Dad kept getting worse and there was nothing I could do about it. I had known for a long time that he was having trouble getting things straight, but when he mixed Loquat and Blizzard up, I realized just how bad it was. It seemed like not even the kids could slow his ageing and fading down anymore. I needed to prepare myself for losing him. Not that I had the slightest idea about how to do such a thing. I didn’t want to be left alone with the triplets, I couldn’t do it.

Screenshot-953But dad did pass away. He did leave me alone with the triplets. I would never be able to forgive him.

Screenshot-951 Screenshot-950 Screenshot-949We were all devastated.

Screenshot-977“Are both your mom and dad dead now?” Soda Pop asked one day a couple of weeks later and tears welled up my eyes. It hurt to think about them being gone and no matter how much time that passed, I still missed them.

“Yes they are” I replied, trying to remain strong in front of my child.

“What happens when you die?”

“You go to the place you wish to go to” I replied, aware that it was an abstract explanation. Soda Pop seemed pleased, though, and she skipped off, interrupting her brothers in some game. They did leave her out of their games occasionally, saying whatever they were playing wasn’t for girls. That was one of the few times I interfered in their games because it was probably not easy for her to be the only girl. I could only imagine what it would be like once she needed a girl-talk. Who would help her with that? Sweets or Cinnamon, perhaps?

Screenshot-975“Dad?” Soda Pop was standing right before me again, her innocent eyes looking straight at me. “Don’t we have a mom?”

I had known the question would come eventually but it felt like it was too soon. Although, wasn’t every part of your kids progression too soon? I didn’t know what to answer, Oceana had never told me how she wanted the story to be. I took a deep breath to earn myself some time, hoping the right answer would suddenly just appeared. Unfortunately, it didn’t. Even after two deep breaths I didn’t know what I was supposed to tell her. She was starting to look impatient, obviously expecting an answer. I decided to just take the bull by the horns. “Boys! Come here. I need to talk to you all about something.”

Screenshot-979The boys complained over having to interrupt their current game, but came to our side. “Everyone has a mother” I started once they were all close and listening. “You have the best mother of them all. I wish you could meet her. She looks a bit like all of you. Blizzard, you have the same skin as her and Soda, you have the exact same hair color. Loquat, you look mostly like me, but you have so much of her personality. Her name is Oceana and she is very brave.” I took a pause to gather myself, the part of her abandoning them, us, was still tough to me. I wasn’t even sure if I had accepted it myself and now I would have to get my kids to believe in it.

Screenshot-978“Sometimes, when you really love someone, you will have to make tough choices just to protect those you love. Your mother did that. Because her parents and her siblings are bad persons, she had to leave us to keep us safe. Her family hurt both me and her a couple of times before because they didn’t like berries without color. That was a common thing, actually. Oceana wasn’t like that and her family didn’t like that she turned her back on them. We were in love and they couldn’t accept it. When you were born, she left to keep us safe. Your mother loves you all very much, and that is why she isn’t with us anymore. Do you understand?”

I looked at my kids who had been listening close to the story and they all nodded insecure. They understood. It wasn’t until that moment I realized that I too understood. She had really left us to keep us safe. And ever since she did return to her family, I hadn’t been harassed a single time. And my kids were as safe as any kid. “I still love  her” I said, not particulary for the kids to hear but since they were the only ones around they did.

Screenshot-983“There is a boy at our school who says his parents say we are freaks because we are colorless” Loquat said quietly.

Screenshot-981“It’s good mom is protecting us” Blizzard said and Loquat and Soda Pop nodded in agreement.

Screenshot-969Time passed by. Days became weeks and weeks became months. I wasn’t as tired anymore, even though I worked fulltime at the police now. Even though it was hard to accept, dad’s death had been a relief in a way. No more embarrassing mix-ups for his sake, and no more caring for him for my sake. He had finally found peace, and was finally with mom again. I don’t think he had ever managed to leave her side and had probably had one foot on the other side ever since she passed. Maybe he just stuck around long enough to see that I was doing okay with the kids. Would have been typically him, actually.

What I loved the most about my life was the goodnight stories. The triplets were all tucked down in their beds and the only light came from the lamp by Soda’s bed. There was excitement in the air and I remembered how much I had enjoyed reading when I was younger. Sharing that one passion with my kids was a fantastic thing. It usually didn’t take more than a few pages until the kids were all asleep and I could take a round, kissing them all on their foreheads. I didn’t know if it was the actual reading or the kissing part I liked the most, but I loved the nightly routine no matter.

Screenshot-984“I love you daddy” Loquat said during one of those nightly routines and the expression “my heart melted” suddenly became so real. I loved these little ones with all my heart and I would do whatever I had to in order to keep them safe. Oceana, Bluebell and Quince had all been right. Whatever I had to.


Sundance’s Misc. Fun and Generational Goal was Fighter / Social Bunny. I kind of combined them, making him get attacked every time he went out to do something with his friends.

Chapter 2.12: And then there were three

I was so proud of myself since I knew it was now only a matter of time until Tiber’s punishment was raised with a couple of years and Heliotrope would join his cousin in jail. The investigation me and Cinnamon had done would lead to exactly that, the police had promised us. Since we had a recording of Heliotrope admitting the murder of Affair, it would be impossible for any lawyer to get him to walk free. Justice, at last. I was eager to tell Oceana the great news and I hurried home, hoping she would be there.

Screenshot-806I found her in the bathroom, door unlocked. She looked sad, almost depressed. “Is everything alright?” I wondered, wanting to make sure nothing had happened in my abscense. The good news could wait another moment.

“No, it’s not alright” she replied and turned to look at me. A pearl of sweat was rolling down her forehead.

Screenshot-837“Anything particular?” I asked, thinking it could possibly be the same worry she had been plagued with for the last months. She shook her head, a sign she didn’t want to talk about it. I put my hand on her upperarm and smiled, “Okay, but listen, I have great news!”

A slight smile formed on her face, “What’s that?”

“We finally found a way to tie Tiber and Heliotrope to the murder of Affair. It’s waterproof, they’ll both be convicted for it!” I could barely contain my excitement, but the reaction from Oceana was far from what I had expected:

Screenshot-805*Blllerrrrgh*

I looked away to not embarrass her and once she stood up again she looked at me, “You did what?”

I wasn’t sure if she was happy, angry or just modest, but I tried to transfer some of my own excitement through encouraging words, “It’s true! Your safe! They’ll both get long punishments and you’ll be free. They won’t be able to hurt you!”

I told her the complete story of what had happened this very day and once I was done she turned her back on me and covered her face in her hands, it almost looked like she was crying, but she couldn’t be, right? “I can’t believe you did such a thing” she eventually said and it hurt. After everything I did for her, she thanked me like that?

“Don’t you get it Sunny? It doesn’t matter if they’re in prison or not. There’s always someone else to do their work. If we fight them, it’ll only get worse. Don’t you understand? They’re powerful. Mighty powerful.”

Screenshot-838“B-but they’ll be behind bars” I stammered. If this wasn’t enough for her to feel safe, I had no idea what was. What else could I do?

“And that’ll make them hate you, us, even more. I can’t believe you did this…” she was definitely crying now and I felt my own anger rising. Way to be thankful! I didn’t know what to say, so I left her in the bathroom. Tears was welling up in my own eyes, why couldn’t she just be thankful? Didn’t she know I had risked my life for her?

Screenshot-833I hid in the nursery, not knowing whether I should be angry or sad, or keep being happy for the success in the Affair-case. It was confusing, that was what it was.

Screenshot-836After some time, mom came in and sat down on the toy box in front of me, “Don’t be so hard on her” she said and looked at me. “Or on yourself. You did what you thought was right, and I’m glad Affair finally could have some justice. But Oceana, she… She has reasons to worry. You should talk to her instead of hiding.”

I watched my mother leave the room again. Always so wise. I couldn’t imagine that there would eventually be a day when she was no longer around. She was my guiding star and had always been.

Screenshot-722“Sunny!” Oceana looked happier when I got out in the livingroom again and I wondered if maybe mom had talked to her as well. I walked up in front of her, waiting for her to explain herself. She surprised me again, “I’m pregnant.” The first syllables were said in a happy tone but the last ones were more like a deep sigh. I think her actual uttering explained exactly how she felt about the entire situation.

“Pregnant?” I asked, even though I was certain I had heard the last time. Oceana nodded.

She. Was. Pregnant.

“I’m becoming a father?” The question was silly because I obviously were, but it was still hard to wrap my brain around it.

Screenshot-721No one bothered to answer my question and mom came swooping Oceana under her wings, turning her back against me. It was obvious that they wanted to bond like women, and that I had no place in their little conversation. “Look, here’s Sundance as a little baby. Look at those chubby cheeks!” Mom pulled out the baby pictures and within an instant she and Oceana was wrapped up in a conversation about babies, diapers and well… me. I felt extremely left out and went to do what I always did when I needed to think, I cooked.

Screenshot-719Screenshot-720I heard them babble on behind my back and I tried to not feel too left out. Ater all, there were things in a pregnancy that I couldn’t know a squat about. And to be honest, it seemed to brighten Oceana’s mood up, and that was probably for the better.

They were truly bonding, and I was happy for that. Mom had been wishing for more grandchildren ever since Spindle was born and I knew it was like a dream coming true for her knowing that Oceana was pregnant.

Screenshot-817Oceana herself had more mixed thoughts about the whole thing, I could tell. She put on a happy face in front of my mother, but I knew since before that she was scared of having kids. Not because she would become a mother, but because she was constantly worried that someone should harm her or me, and having to worry for a kid on top of that would simply be too much.

“It’ll be fine” I promised and smiled. I myself was happy as a clam. I would have a baby. A baby.

Screenshot-816“It’s not fine!” Oceana snorted. Stop saying it’s fine when it isn’t!”

Moodswings. I had read about them but it didn’t mean they were easy to tackle. “I think it will be fine” I said again.

“In that case you’re stupid” Oceana muttered and turned her eyes towards the TV, avoiding my face.

Screenshot-814“Well, you certainly seem happy around my mother. Maybe you two should raise the kids then!” I suddenly snapped. I don’t know where it came from, but I had finally had it!

Oceana softened up and looked at me, “Because she doesn’t know me like you do. It’s her dream, Sunny! But you know I can’t do it. I can be myself with you. No pretending, just plain old me.”

Oh, wasn’t she one with the words in her mouth.

Screenshot-819

Screenshot-840It was a grey and cold evening when the new election was taking place. The raindrops bounced off the asphalt like bouncy balls and only the bravest berry would ever dare to leave the comfort of their house. Now, the supporters of Spectrum were obviously among those brave ones since we all defied the weather and gathered at The Blank Slate to hold our election night watch party. We had never been as close to a victory as we were this particular night. There was a hopeful atmosphere vibrating at the place.

Screenshot-839My friends were all walking around with happy, yet anxious, smiles on their faces. Oceana was huge, looking as if she was about to pop any day now. Mithos was the happiest of us all, the proud smile was pretty much glued to his face as he mingled around, making sure everyone was having a nice time.

“You ready to rule the town then?” I asked Mithos when he came up to me.

“Don’t jinx it!” He replied in a serious tone, although his eyes were still smiling. I had a good feeling about this election.

Screenshot-842We all knew the first hour of counted votes wouldn’t make or break anything so to ease our nerves we danced. It made time fly, and we sure needed that. We were all so anxious about the results. If we didn’t win this time, we would never win. The circumstances couldn’t possibly be any better than they were at this very moment.

Screenshot-841Dad was trying to do some maths in his head. Somehow he was sure that he could calculate the final scores if he just thought hard enough. It was a hard thing to accept, but he was getting older and older and with that, more and more confused. Poor thing.

Screenshot-844When the votes were closing in to be all counted, we had a 4 percent lead on Mayor Bloom’s replacement assistance. It was a good lead, but nothing was secured yet. Quince decided to lower the music and raise the volume of the big screen hanging in the middle of the room. Everybody in the pub when silent and held their thumbs so hard that their knuckles turned white.

It was nerv-wrecking, really.

Our lead grew to 6 percent.

Shrunk to 5 again.

And then suddenly took a leap up to 7.

Screenshot-847That was when the pub exploded in a unison HOORAY. We had done it, we had finally conquered over the racism. Spectrum would from this day on, rule the town for a couple of years. The music pumped on and everyone started hugging each other and sharing high-fives. It was the most fantastic experience I had ever had.

Screenshot-850Mithos, was of course, the happiest of us all. Mayor Spring.

The party continued for several hours and it was  f a n t a s t i c.

Screenshot-821When the party finally ended over at The Blank Slate we were extremely excited about the sudden success that sleep would be impossible. Me and Oceana sat down outside our house, just staring up at the stars in the sky. I loved being close to her. Loved the possibilities that had opened up before us this very evening. Things would never be the same again, I knew that for sure.

Yet, Oceana managed to surprise me, by ruling out just how much things would change.

Screenshot-823“Sunny” her voice was weak and shaky, which I thought was weird a night like this. “My family won’t like these turnouts…”

“They don’t have much choice now. With Mithos as mayor their money won’t be able to buy them advantages anymore” I promised.

Oceana sighed, “You just don’t get it, do you?”

I didn’t say anything because I didn’t feel like fighting with her this night. She was the one who didn’t get it! She was safe, I had made sure of that. It was getting tiresome listening to her worries day and night.

Screenshot-824“They won’t ever leave me. Or you” she continued. “I know them Sunny. They won’t care if they’re punished for it, if they get a chance to avenge my betrayal they will take it. They’re so many, even if Tiber and Heliotrope are locked up there will always be someone else to go after me, or you. Or the baby.”

“But I’ll protect you!” I protested.

“Can’t you just listen, please?” Tears rolled down her cheeks. “You could try, but it’s no guarantee for our safety, or the baby’s safety. There’s only one thing that can keep you and the baby safe, and I’ve decided to do it.”

“And what’s that?”

“I’ll go back to them.”

“GO BACK?!” I stood up, and felt furios. Out of everything she could have thought of, this was her idea? “You’re leaving me?”

She cried even more, it was getting hysterical. “I do it for you Sunny. Once the baby is here I’ll leave it with you and I’ll crawl back to them. If they think I’ve reconsidered, they’ll leave you alone. And you can raise the baby. It’s the only way. If anything happened to this little one I could never forgive myself. I love you, Sundance. I love you.”

Screenshot-851I couldn’t just simply accept the fact that Oceana would disappear out of my life, even if her reason was to protect me and the baby. It didn’t make any sense. There had to be some other way? I complained over at Quince’s place, hoping that he would have any advice on what I could do.

“She says it’s the only way. That the baby will be safe if she just goes back there. But there has to be another way, right?”

Screenshot-852“She’s going back?!” Quince seemed as upset as I had been over Oceana’s idea. No wonder, I suppose… Her plan was actually to go back to the family who had haunted us for years, who had killed Affair.

“I don’t know what to do” I admitted, feeling more and more depressed over the thought. Here I stood, thinking I had known Oceana, that she had been different, and yet she was willing to go back to her old, horrible family, just like that. “I can’t lose her. I can’t raise a baby on my own!”

Screenshot-853Quince scratched the back of his head in thoughts and mumbled a bit for himself. “Well, maybe…”

“Maybe what?”

“Maybe it’s not a bad plan… I mean, those berryholes went after her even with our protection. You can’t imagine what it’s like to have a kid Sunny. Not until you actually have one. You’ll do anything to keep it safe.”

“Even abandon it?”

“If that’s what it takes. If I had to abandon Spindle to make sure he was safe, I’d do it. It wouldn’t be easy, but I’d do it.”

It felt as if Quince was letting me down. It made me angry thinking that everyone backed her decision up. Cinnamon had been upset over it at first, but she also agreed it would keep the baby safe in the end and that it therefore would be worth it. I hoped sincerely that she would change her mind once the baby was here.

Screenshot-834It became a long and almost unbearable fall. The simple thought of Oceana leaving me was depressing. I really tried to talk her out of it, but it seemed impossible. On top of the problem with Oceana, dad seemed to get worse and worse for each day. He would go out in the garden to rake leaves for hours. It was almost as if he forgot about everything around him. All he could care of was that rake and the thought of getting the leaves gathered in a neat pile.

A simple little puff of air had the leaves whirl around, causing a mess on our lawn again, which had him start all over. I think he missed most of the pregnancy all together and I wasn’t even sure if he was aware of the fact that he would be a grandfather again around winter.

I was excited to meet the baby, but the constant worry of Oceana actually keeping her promise and leaving us gave me mixed feelings. I wanted the little one to be born, but I didn’t want to lose Oceana. Time became a funny thing, it seemed to move both too fast and too slow.

Screenshot-796 Screenshot-795Mom had been looking forward to the birth since she first found out and it was nice to see her care for Oceana, giving tips on how to raise kids or how to ease the pregnancy aches. I had been looking forward to see her with my kid and that made it even more sad when she passed away with winter around the corner. She practically stumbled at the finish line and she would never get to feel the smell of a newborn baby.

It was almost impossible to accept the fact that she wouldn’t be around.

Screenshot-848Just a few weeks after mom’s death, it was time. Pixie came around to handle the delivery and Oceana surprised us by giving birth to not one, not two, but three healthy little babies. Triplets! Mom would have been thrilled!

I was happy to see the perfect little ones, but the fear of Oceana possible leave clouded the happiness. For the first few weeks I thought she had changed her mind, but once the kids were old enough to be fed through the bottle she packed her bags and waved us goodbye. “I love you Sundance, and I love our kids. Please remember to tell them that. I leave because I love them, nothing else, okay?”

I cried for a full day after that. In just a few weeks I had lost two of the most important girls in my life. Would I ever be able to survive that?

Dad snapped out of his confusion whenever he was with the babies, which was lucky because I couldn’t have managed on my own. But he was there, like a father should and helped me get through the initial sorrow.

Screenshot-857And as time passed, I learned to be happy for what I had. Soda Pop, Loquat and Blizzard were the cutest, most adorable and fantastic babies I had ever seen. Even though it was hard to get by without Oceana’s support, they gave me happiness and comfort. It made me feel a bit better, thinking a bit of Oceana lived in these kids.

Chapter 2.11: Home

Screenshot-793“Look at it!” Mom was shining with joy as she pointed at a small white house with a broken fence surrounding it. “Home, it’s our home!”

It was weird entering a place that should be filled with emotions and memories, but which was blank to me. I had no memories from this place, neither did it feel like home. For as long as I could remember my home had been in the district. I tried my best to act as happy as I was supposed to and entered the house. It was dusty and it smelled trapped but I had to admit it still looked nicer than the shack in the district. It surprised me that there was still an old computer and an old TV after all these years.

Mom and dad was swirling around in a hug, laughter escaping their mouths. This had to be about the happiest day of their life and in the confusion I felt, that was something I could be genuinely happy about. ‘I’ll get used to it’ I thought and did a tour in the small house, in my new home.

Screenshot-704I took a walkabout in the house, trying to find something I remembered, something that could remind me of a life outside the district. I found nothing. I sat down in a rocking chair in one of the nurseries. It had to be Quince’s because there was only one crib while there were two in the other. So, this was it. My new home. My new life.

It had been a good start, I had to admit that much. Oceana had been released from the hospital after two days of observation when the doctors were sure her breathing was stabilized and functioning as normal. Quince and Sweets had been released from custody the day after the rebellion, along with the rest of our friends, with no punishments. We all suspected they would be held under close observation by the police for a while, though. Mayor Bloom had been forced to step down from his post as Mayor, and were simply Mr. Bloom by now. His assistant had taken the vacant spot, while a new election was being planned. I had never heard of an election during a term, but with the ruling circumstances there really was no other choice. Yes, things were looking brighter than ever and now I had a real home.

Screenshot-798Mom decided we would throw a homecoming party. We all agreed that it was a good idea since we had finally managed to succeed in our political plan. We were no longer secluded because of our color. It was a giant step in the right direction. It would also be the first party in many, many years that we could host in a real home instead of at the pub. That alone was worth celebrating.

To my big surprise, the stereo still worked after all the years it had not been used. I shifted through mom and dad’s old record collection and came up with a mix of Indie, Rock, Jazz and RnB that would suit pretty much everyone. I can’t say I was a master when it came to music, but I was quite sure I was better than mom and dad.

While I prepared the music, mom was swirling around in front of a mirror, trying some of her old clothes on. She had been doing that regularly the last few days. I was a bit jealous because I couldn’t feel the same homecoming feeling as her and dad. I wanted to be happy in the same way as they were. It wasn’t like I could try my old clothes on to remember past days either, since they were all baby clothes. Oh well…

Screenshot-799Pretty much all of our friends came for the party and it was a good night. Quince mixed a few drinks and placed them on the dining table so that everyone could just help themselves. “I want to raise a toast” Cinnamon suddenly exclaimed and threw her arm around Oceana’s body in a friendly gesture. Someone lowered the volume of the stereo while Cinnamon got to speak, “This girl, my friends, is the bravest girl I know. I want to raise a toast for her, for putting her berryhole brother in prison – where he belongs! To Oceana!”

The party cheered and emptied their glasses for Oceana’s sake. I did the same, even though I could see it was hard for Oceana. She hated her brother alright, but reporting him and getting him arrested had put another nail in the coffin between her and her family. I knew it was hard, because even if she despised them, they were her family and now they hated her. The world might have become a better place for colorless berries, but because of the latest happenings it was a lot more dangerous to Oceana. Still, she smiled as Cinnamon talked and when the rest of us drank what we had in our glasses, she did so too.

Screenshot-800Screenshot-803Later that evening it was Flax’s turn to raise a toast. He cleared his throat and started speaking once everyone was quiet. He had quite the power in our little circuit because he was the leader of our party and all. “I’m proud of you all for getting us here” he said.

Mithos, who stood next to him, rocked back and forth on his heels. After a short rhetorical pause, Flax continued, “I’m not as young as I used to be. I know you can see it, but I can certainly feel it. Berry, my joints are stiff as a lollipop in the mornings and I do all kind of morging gymnastics to even get out of bed. Because of this, it’s time for me to hand the leadership over. It hasn’t been an easy choice, but the guy who will be taking over is a fantastic young boy with just the right amount of fighting spirit. We deliberated together, and have decided to re-name the party as well. Whites stood for the justice of colorless, but with how far we have come now, we want to focus on equality for every ‘bow regardless of color instead. Hence, the new name of the party is Spectrum. And now my friends, please all all raise your glasses in a toast for Mithos Spring, the perfect new leader for our politics!”

Screenshot-802It came as a surprise to most of us, but Mithos just smiled proudly and emptied his glass. Not that he wasn’t a perfect leader because I sure couldn’t imagine anyone better suited, but because it was hard to accept that Flax (and hence my parents) were getting to the point where they needed to hand responsibilities over. Shouldn’t they be around forever?

No wonder, it was an epic party that night. There was just so much to celebrate. We kept going the whole night.


Screenshot-705 Screenshot-706Having a real home had it’s advantages, I realized quickly. Not only did it mean a higher portion of safety and feeling of belonging but it also meant I could invite friends over. And the friend I most enjoyed being with, was Oceana. I think she needed me as much as I needed her. And we had great fun! It almost felt as though we were normal ‘bows now, living free in the world, having friends.

Although, Oceana was still scared. Putting her brother in prison had most likely been that final straw that broke the camel’s back. She just knew her family was after her now. She had betrayed them and in their eyes, she was the one belonging in jail, not Tiber.

“He only got nine months” she told me and the fear and worry made her eyes wander back and forth, as if she was keeping a lookout. Not that she wasn’t safe in our home, but I guess she must have felt constantly scared now. “What will happen after those months, Sunny?” I promised her it would be fine, but deep down inside I wasn’t so sure.

Screenshot-707Although, there were moments when the fear lifted its grip around her and she could be goofy, happy and playsome. It didn’t matter which Oceana she showed, I loved her anyway. I have to admit though, it was easier hanging out with the happy Oceana than the constantly scared one.

Screenshot-708Since she was scared of being at her own house, and alone, she spent a great deal of time at our place. It was almost as if she was a part of our family, although we were still no official couple, so calling her family would be a bit over the top. But it was nice, eating dinner together and talking about unessential things.

Screenshot-712“So, are you two ever going to bring us any grandchildren?”

Screenshot-711I pretty much choked on my hot dog. Sometimes I hated my mother, but that was just her way. She didn’t do cotton candy wrapped words.

Screenshot-710“I think that would be rather unfair” Oceana replied, without looking the slightest offended. “To them, I mean. With my family, those poor kids would be pretty much haunted. I couldn’t do that.”

It was as if a rock collapsed on my shoulders. Sure, I knew she was scared her family would come after her and I had never really considered having a family with her, but getting it put so straight wasn’t fair. I mean, there was still the possibility, right? I knew from that moment that if Oceana were to ever have a proper future, where she wouldn’t have to be constantly afraid, I would have to do something. I would create a world where she could be safe.

Screenshot-807The only thing that came to my mind, was trying to talk some sense in to her family. I knew it wouldn’t be easy but if there was even the slightest chance that Oceana would feel safer afterwards, it was worth a try. So, I gathered enough courage to visit the Sourz residence again. It was the first time I went there since we egged the place, and it brought back a few memories. This time I came with good intentions though.

Screenshot-825I pressed the door bell and it wasn’t until then I realized what a stupid idea this was, if I got hurt it certainly wouldn’t get any better for Oceana. Although, it was too late to back out now. Heliotrope opened the door and the disgust that flooded to his eyes when he saw me was impossible to miss. He snarled, “You!”

“I just wanted to ask you to leave Oceana alone, she’s had it hard enough” I stuttered. I really tried to be polite and friendly but with a man in front of you with such a clear hate for you, it’s hard to not tremble a bit.

“Scram, vanilla freak!” He slammed the door shut. Well, that didn’t go as planned but at least I didn’t get hurt in the process.

Screenshot-827With no other idea to how I could make the world a better place foe the girl I had fallen in love with, I went back to the Sourz residence the next day. Since I hadn’t been hurt the day before, I had found new courage and this time around, I wasn’t as scared when I pressed the door bell. Once again, Heliotrope opened the door and looked furious by the plain sight of me. “I told you to leave us be” he sputtered.

“And I want you to promise to leave Oceana alone” I answered, just stammering a bit.

Heliotrope stared at me deadly and it almost felt as if his eyes made burn marks on my body. “I just wish Tiber would have killed her, like he killed your purple friend” Heliotrope hissed slowly between gritted teeth and took a step out on the porch, closing the door behind him, In a matter of seconds, he had pushed me backwards so that I was lying defenseless on their porch. He jumped me and started to beat me up, angry words escaping his mouth in the process. “I just wish he would have killed her” he whispered again once he stood up and gave me some room to breathe. “She’s a disgrace to this family.” With those final words, he left me on the porch and walked back in to the house.

Screenshot-832I cleaned myself up at the gym on my way home, not wanting anyone to see that I had been beaten up. Least of all Oceana, who I suspected was at our house as usual.

It seemed like my little washup at the gym had done wonders because not once that evening did Oceana hint anything about a possible fight. In fact, she seemed to be a bit out of her game, which had me wonder if anything had happened to her this specific day. When I asked, she just waved it away though, saying she was just being tired.

We went to bed early that night and Oceana fell asleep fast while I myself tossed from one side to the other, sleep not willing to catch me at all. I presumed it had to do with my worries for Oceana. It couldn’t be easy on the poor thing walking around with constant worry. And what if Heliotrope finally got to her? What if he actually put any action in to the words he had tossed after me today? What if he actually wanted her dead? I couldn’t keep a constant lookout around Oceana and if Heliotrope really wanted to kill her, what would stop him?

I had an uneasy sleep that night. Nightmare after nightmare haunted me, each and everyone including me losing Oceana from my life. When I woke up I had to look at her twice, and actually touch her once, before I was certain that she was in fact still here.

I needed to do something.

Screenshot-828It was Cinnamon, of course it was Cinnamon, who came up with the final idea. It was stupid, but it could possibly work. After much deliberation I had decided to tell her about my worries and about my encounters with Heliotrope. It was too tough carrying it all by myself and the fact that I couldn’t come up with anything to keep Oceana real safe troubled me. Once I had shared it with Cinnamon, it felt a bit better.

She offered to help me, and I was grateful. So it happened that I rang the door bell at the Sourz residence for the third time in a very short time. With Cinnamon by my side it felt a teeny bit safer, and without her there, I probably never would have dared. While waiting for the door to open I gently touched the contents of my pocket, making sure it was all in place. The purple, fury, eyes that stared at me when the door opened gave me the chills but Cinnamon tackled me gently to make me speak. “You have one last chance. Promise to not harm Oceana, to leave her alone.”

Screenshot-826Heliotrope sneered, “I’m pretty sure I’ve already stated my opinion in this matter.”

“You can’t kill her for thinking differently” I stated.

Heliotrope laughed. It was a mean, evil and menacing laugh, “Ha! We can’t? Well, we managed with that purple waster, didn’t we?”

Cinnamon took my hand and squeazed it gently. I knew it meant I had to press on, “She’s your sister, Heliotrope!”

“I don’t give a damn about ‘bows showing any sympathy for freaks! They deserve to die and if I can help cleanse this town from their filthy existense, I’ll gladly do it again. What was his name, Affair?, he deserved to die. And so do you and everyone who cares for you. YOU ARE FREAKS!”

Screenshot-830Cinnamon kicked his chins before he had time to attack us and as he bent down in pain we ran. We ran as fast as we could, as far away as possible and when we finally stopped we looked at each other and smiled wide before embracing each other in a hug. It had succeeded, he had walked straight in to the trap!

Screenshot-831I pulled out the phone from my pocket and pressed Stop, to stop the recording.

I clenched the phone in my hands when we walked towards the police station, knowing that it held the future of my life, and foremost – Oceana’s life. Not even the stupid police force of Fondant Fields could resist a recognition. Heliotrope would soon be joining his brother where they both belonged and they wouldn’t get out anytime soon.

Chapter 2.9: The background

Screenshot-457 “Are you a couple now, or what?” Cinnamon looked at me with suspicious eyes and even though I had got that question several times during the last few weeks, I still didn’t know what to respond. I just shook my head.

Couple? No, no, surely you would know if you were a couple with someone, right? I did meet Oceana a lot, but I met Cinnamon, Sweets, Quince and Mithos a lot too, and I were no couple with either of them. Besides, Oceana would let go of my hand and take a step to the side as soon as someone appeared further ahead on the boardwalk, almost as if she was embarrassed by my company. No, we were not a couple, even if we kissed and cuddled now and then.

Screenshot-458“You don’t know if you’re a couple?” Cinnamon raised her eyebrows and it made me feel like an idiot. How could I not know for sure?

Screenshot-581Later that day, when mom had come home to the district, I decided to ask her for advice. She usually had the answers to all my questions, she was old and wise.

“How you know if you’re a couple?” Mom scratched her head and repeated the question to herself a few times. After a moment she chuckled, “Oh, you’ll have to ask her I’m afraid, dear.”

“Ask her?” My heart started beating in ultra rapid speed and I thought for a moment that I might pass out. I couldn’t possibly ask Oceana if we were a couple! I mean, if I did, that meant I kind of thought we were, right? And if her answer to the question would be no, I would be forever embarrassed. Nope, I couldn’t do it.

Screenshot-584“Who is this lucky berry, son?” Mom asked and I could tell she was excited by the thought of a potential love interest of mine. Ever since Spindle was born, she had been bugging me and Sweets about how we needed to also find someone, so that she could have more of those joyful little bundles of love. The thing was that I was too shy to dare take any initiative to romantic actions (unless Quince ‘poisoned’ me with his mixology magic) and Sweets couldn’t settle for one single boy. She was constantly seen with a new berry on her arm.

“Oh” I twisted my body back and forth, trying to guard myself from the question.

“Is it Cinnamon?” Mom pressed on and smiled. “She’s real cute.”

“Cinnamon?!” Had I been drinking something at that moment I would have spit it all out over the table. Cinnamon? “It’s not Cinnamon” I promised, which made mom even more curious.

Screenshot-585“Her name’s Oceana” Sweet Corn announced just as she came through the front door. Without another word, she walked through the livingroom and in to our shared bedroom. Sometimes, I hated her. Who was she to reveal my secrets? Not that I would ever confront her about it, though.

“I can pretend I never heard that” mom smiled. It was a true mother-smile, one that held pride, love, care and respect.

“Please do” I sighed. “I don’t know what we are, and until I do for sure, it’s nothing. Okay. No hopes?”

Screenshot-586“No hopes” Mom turned around to start working on the dishes and I prepared to make my leave. “Good luck with Oceana” mom said jokingly before I was out of hearing reach and I think I blushed from my toes and to my forehead. I hurried in to my bedroom before mom would say anything else that could embarrass me.

Screenshot-592 “Look, Sunny” Sweets started before I had time to say anything. “You’re going to see Oceana tonight, right?”

“I don’t know. What’s it to you?”

Screenshot-593“Well, I kinda hoped you would… I need the whole family out of here tonight, because… Well, because.”

“Surprises?” I asked hopeful. You were never too old for surprises.

“You could say that” Sweets answered and looked smug. “I’ve booked mom and dad a night at the spa. Bluebell’s working alone tonight. And they deserve it, after everything they’ve done. They’ll be the first colorless visiting the spa in 25 years. Quite cool.”

Even if I hated my sister from time to time, I still loved her to pieces most of the time. You would probably think she was selfish, but she was the complete opposite. She would do pretty much anything for her friends or family, at least if she gained something from it. And sometimes, she  was a bit blunt and fast forward, still she meant well most of the times. “I got it!” She exclaimed and interrupted my thoughts. “You’re going to take Oceana out for dinner tonight and I’m paying!”

Screenshot-589I hesitated for a moment, this wasn’t like Sweets. Usually when she was being this kind and generous, she gained something out of it. Only this time I couldn’t see what that could be. “Okay, but I don’t owe you anything for it, okay?”

“Nope, I’m just trying to be nice and show my family some love” her face lit up in a big smile and even though I didn’t know why, it felt like I had been lured in to a trap.

“Oh, and you can’t take her to the pub ’cause Quincie closes it tonight. Y’know, he has to take care of Spindle when Bluebell works and neither Mithos or Thunderbird could fill in for him tonight. You could go to the Flyin’ Burrito. I’m sure Oceana would love their karaoke machine.”

Screenshot-587They were closing The Blank Slate tonight? There was definitely something up, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around what it was. And truth be told, I was just happy to spend more time with Oceana, so I didn’t think about it too much.

Screenshot-610The Flyin’ Burrito was a decent place. It was small and somewhat cozy, and the owners didn’t hate us colorless. Except for the Blank Slate, it was one of the very few places we could go to without too much worry. It was a better place to go for dinner than The Blank Slate too and their (surprise!) burritos were pretty much famous. My favorite was the vegetarian one. It had the perfect mix of vegetables and the perfect amount of sauce – it wasn’t too dry, neither too smeary.

Oceana went there every night she didn’t come to our pub, because of their karaoke machine. She had a secret dream of one day becoming a famous singer but she never told anyone about that dream. I think one part of her were ashamed of it, because she wasn’t the typical fame-seeking girl. I knew only because I asked her once, after one of our duets at The Blank Slate. She admitted with flushing red cheeks that she was indeed hoping to break through one day. She has a fitting name for it, Oceana Reef. It’s quite catchy, right?

We enjoyed a nice meal while listening to a few talented, and some more not-so-talented, karaoke singers. I hoped that Oceana wouldn’t want me to sing with her because doing it at The Blank Slate among friends and family was one thing and doing it at the Flyin’ Burrito among strangers a completely different thing. She would most likely sing but she was talented and I wasn’t. And hearing all the not-so-talented singers during our meal had me realize it was a bit embarrassing, especially those ones who really thought they did have talent. At least I wouldn’t count to that category.

Screenshot-601The question about what we were, laid like a leaf on my tongue. I wanted to let it out, but it also scared me. I knew I had to do it, though, because walking around and not knowing was pretty much driving me crazy. Once the waitress had removed our plates from the table I decided to finally do it. “So, Oceana, there’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you…”

“Mhm?” Her emerald eyes smiled at me and stirred up an inferno of butterflies at the pit of my stomach.

“Are we.. I mean, are you… What are…” There were so many ways to say it, and neither seemed to fit. I cleared my throat and went with the next thing that came to my mind, “Are we a couple?”

Screenshot-599The smile in Oceana’s eyes disappeared and she looked down while scratching the back of her head, “Oh, that…” It felt as if my heart was shattered in to a million little pieces, but what had I expected? That she would want to be with me? I only brought bad luck to those I cared for, or those who cared for me. “Sunny, there’s something I haven’t told you.”

My head started to spin. There was something she hadn’t told me. I had no clue what it could be, but I figured it couldn’t be good. “What is it?” I whispered, not even sure I wanted to hear the answer.

Screenshot-598Oceana stood up, and I just followed her lead and stood up too. She looked me straight in the eyes and it seemed as there was sadness in her eyes, or maybe my eyes betrayed me. I was nervously waiting for her to speak and when she finally did I let out my breath. I wasn’t even aware that I had been holding it. “My name hasn’t always been Oceana Reef” she started and looked at me, searching for some reaction in my face. I don’t know how I looked, I just wanted to hear more.

Screenshot-613“I was born in to a rich and powerful family. I had a good childhood with lots of love and lots of toys. I thought that was how life was supposed to be. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I was starting to doubt my family’s politics. There was nothing wrong with treating others bad if they didn’t have your standards or live by your rules, according to my family. Were you born in to a family that lacked money, power or… color, you were simply less valuable to the community. The more you earn, the more taxes the town earns from you and therefore you have a greater value. It was important to them to keep a good bloodline, to respect what had been in our blood for generations. And that was always color. I lived by that until I was old enough to question it, and whenever I raised the question they tried to shut me down. I couldn’t see how a ‘bow could be of less value just because they lacked color.”

Screenshot-612She took a short pause, looking at me with an apologetically face. I didn’t say anything, I wanted to hear the rest of the story. She continued, “It took a couple of years of arguments and disagreements until I had enough. I moved out of the house, cut the loose bonds that were left and changed my surname. That was when I went from being Oceana Sourz, to becoming Oceana Reef. I still hear from my family sometimes, and I think they still care for me. I’ve been making a deal with my brother, who you know as Tiber. He has promised to not hurt me or my friends if I leave him be. We have lived by that word since then, but I’m not sure he would approve of your… lack of color. In their eyes, I’m still a Sourz, and they wouldn’t look to lightly on me if I ‘infested’ the bloodline. It’s not that I don’t like you, I do, I really do! But Sunny, they’re dangerous berries. I couldn’t do that to you. It’s one thing to be friends, a whole other thing to be a couple. They just wouldn’t allow and we would both get in trouble. I’m sorry, it just can’t happen.”

She cried once she was done and I waited a moment or two before doing anything, still not quite sure what her story meant. It just didn’t make sense that this wonderful girl could have anything to do with the berryhole Tiber and yet she stood right before me, telling me that he was her brother.

Screenshot-614“But, I think I’m in love with you.” It was the first thing that came out of my mouth and I was surprised myself. Not because it wasn’t true because that I was sure of, but because it didn’t make any sense to say that now. Oceana’s right hand wiped a tear out of the corner of her eye and she looked at me. She looked so hurt, so damaged. I couldn’t help but think it was my fault. I had done it again, brought bad luck to a berry I cared for.

I didn’t know what to do, I had never been in a situation like this before, so I did the first thing that came to my mind: I embraced her in a hug. “The worst thing is that I think I’m in love with you two” she whispered. My shirt got wet of tears and we probably stood there for several minutes, just finding comfort in each other’s arms.

Screenshot-625When we finally pulled out of the hug, I think we both felt a bit better. Oceana guided me out of the place and through a nearby park while keeping a constant lookout. I suspect of her brother or his friends. She stopped in front a small house and took my hand, “They might not approve of you, but that doesn’t mean I can’t sneak you in to my house, does it?”

Saying I had never thought about sex with Oceana would be a lie, because she was probably the prettiest and sexiest girl I had ever seen. But that it should be like it was, I could never have imagined that. In my dreams it had been after the marriage, in a romantic setting with lit candles and rose petals around the bed. What really happened was that it was quick and dirty. And I still didn’t know whether we were a couple or not. I did know that her brother hated me with a burning fury, though.


Meanwhile at District 0:

Screenshot-616 Screenshot-618 Screenshot-620What Sweet Corn hadn’t told Sundance, was that she did indeed have a motive for wanting her family out from the district this very night. Along with the growth of Cinnamon’s blog, more and more berries joined the rebellion and more and more berries fought for colorless’ rights. It had all started as a rumour, but when it reached Sweet Corn’s eyes she had decided within an instant that if there was ever a hint of truth the rumour, she wouldn’t miss it for her life. It had been a few days of long wait, but when the day was finally here, Sweet Corn and her friends were ready for the fight. After making sure her family (Quince not included) were safe, she armed herself with bricks from the inside of the district and met up with the rest of the rebellion. They went together and didn’t stop until they were right outside the walls of District 0.

This was it, the district was going down. Bricks were thrown, fists, nails and kicks were used until they bled. The atmosphere was vibrating with power, never had the rebellions been this openly hostile, and never had it been closer. When the first few bricks in the walls caved in the group of berries were empowered and new power was added to their cause. As more and more rebellions joined the definite uprising, the walls slowly caved in for the violence and the district seemed less and less fenced.

People stormed over the collapsed walls, getting more aid from within the district and with the combined forces of colorless and their every supporter, the walls finally went down. The district was finally a part of Fondant Fields again and the symbolic value they had presented had been torn apart. It was the first step of many to come.

The uprisings didn’t go by unnoticed and as the rebellious berries celebrated their victory, antagonists were gathering their forces to push them back. It would evolve in to a bloody dispute and both sides knew that the outcome of this night would set the bars for the future.

Screenshot-621Screenshot-624 Screenshot-623 Screenshot-622 The antagonists managed to get to the district and the violent disorder quickly and the whole scene turned in to a battlefield. Sweet Corn was jumped by a young pink boy and she cackled hysterically while waving her fists in front of her. The pink boy cried in pain as the fists landed on his cheeks, nose and eyes. He hadn’t expected that she would be such a fighter. Cinnamon in her turn took a leap towards Tiber and wrestled him down while spitting him in the face and delivering punch after punch to his face and abdomen. Mithos was jumped by Heliotrope and the two of them rolled around in the dust for what seemed like ages, cries escaping their mouths in the process.

Dust swirled around the scene, making it hard to see what was really going on. The local TV-station stood on the opposite side of the road, reporting live from the events and the police force came as quick as they could, trying to calm the place down. The rebellions were really on a streak this evening though, and wouldn’t let themselves calm down.

“I think Fondant Fields finally had enough. I bet District 0 will be settled tonight” the reporter said and looked with serious eyes to the TV audience. “Mayor Bloom will be in big trouble if he tries to continue as before after this big dispute. How many fighters can it be? It’s at least a hundreds of them. It’s hard to say which side is bigger, but from where I stand it seems it’s the rebellions. Fondant Fields, remember where you heard it first. This was Caramel Honey, reporting for Rainbow News from District 0. Or should we say, former District 0?”

The police managed to dissociate the fighters eventually and they were all placed in vans and driven to custody, where they all got to spend the night. As for the residents in the district, a new future awaited them.

Chapter 2.7: A Savior

Happy Holidays everyone!

I’ve been visiting my family for Christmas and now I’m back home. My fiance gifted me Seasons and I absolutely love it so far. I’ve changed my default eyes in this chapter and therefore the sims will all have new eyes somewhere in the middle of the chapter. I hope you don’t mind too much. 🙂


Screenshot-279It was a regular night at the pub. I honestly don’t know why I kept going there, since I much preferred the loneliness in the district. I guess it must have been some kind of quest to seem normal and social. I didn’t convince myself very well, but my friends seemed convinced and that was what really mattered.

“Who’s that?” I asked my brother and pointed towards a teal lady standing next to Bluebell at the bar. They didn’t seem to talk to each other, but I figured Quince should know who she was anyway, since he worked here. He knew pretty much everyone who came here. I don’t know why she caught my eye, but I knew I had never seen her here before.

“Why you ask?” he teased and hit me jokingly in the side. “She’s quite cute, isn’t she?”

Screenshot-283I felt how I blushed and I nodded. “I suppose.”

“That’s Oceana, let’s go over there.” He started walking towards the bar and my curiosity got hold on me and I followed him. He stopped a couple of steps before the girls and I stopped next to him.

Screenshot-284Screenshot-286Sometimes, my brother is a jerk and he finds joy in doing immature things. It shouldn’t really had come as a surprise when he pushed me so that I fell straight in to Oceana. I blushed and looked up at her. “Sorry” I mumbled and looked around to give Quince a killing look. He just smiled victoriously.

“That’s okay” Oceana smiled at me for a brief moment before turning around towards the bar again.

Not knowing what to do, I went back over to my brother. “Why did you do that?” I hissed.

Screenshot-282“Relax, Sunny. She’s kind and cute and you like her. It’s no big deal.”

“To me it is” I pouted. “That’s not how I do things.”

Screenshot-288Both Quince and Bluebell laughed at me because I got annoyed, which annoyed me even more, even though I knew they did it with love, and not to be mean. It was just that sometimes it felt like no-one actually took me seriously. And that annoyed me to no end. I never really got over it that night, and in the end I decided to just go home. It wasn’t fun to hang out with your friends when all they did was make fun of you.

Screenshot-289The next day I met up with Cinnamon. We had kept following the Sourz cousins around town, mapping out their affairs and whereabouts. The more we investigated, the more we learned that they were indeed two shady berries. Their facade was spotless and perfect, but we quickly realized that they were a lot dirtier beneath the surface and we wanted to make sure it got public. It just wasn’t right that two of the town’s most powerful ‘bows could get away with being such berryholes.

Screenshot-407What they did, could most fittingly be described as organized crime. They had younger colorful ‘bows running dirty errands for them, who they seemed to pay with cash in alleys and places far from the city’s more populated areas. They snuck in to warehouses in the old harbor and exited minutes later one by one. They visited pubs and shops which mystically burnt to the ground just days later. People they had been in touch with got hurt. The list could go on forever. But as stated, it can be summarized with the words shady, evil and criminal.

Many of the happenings were investigated by the police but the evidence never led towards the cousins. There was always someone younger, less valuable berry to take the blame and we soon realized that Tiber and Heliotrope were the top of what could be described as a pyramide. Getting to them would be both risky and hard, but we were determined to succeed.

Screenshot-404Our snooping didn’t go by unnoticed and more than once someone saw us and decided to give us a lesson. Physical lesson, I mean. We got attacked (or warned, as they preferred to put it) now and then, and I came home with bruises, scratches and bloody wounds which had mom and dad wonder about my business. They understood, though, and even though I got hurt, they never tried to make me stop. We all knew it was for a good cause, and it would take more than a few bruises or blood to make me stop.

I can’t say I was the pushy one and without Cinnamon by my side, I probably would have given up a long time ago. But not only was she an inspirational source, she was also a skilled detective and she surprised me time after time with finding new clues and leads. Her blog grew for every new entry she posted and as it did, so did the support for colorless’ rights.

Screenshot-405It was a warm summer day when we had managed to find out that one of their shady deals would take place at the junkyard. We were safely hidden behind a worn-out drawer and waited for something to happen. I don’t exactly know what we had to expect, but we knew something was up and we would make sure to document it all.

When a young boy, about 14 years old, knocked on the door while keeping a constant lookout we both knew this was it. The cousins came out of the little office and took a quick look around before whispering something in the boy’s ear. He shook his head as a response and even from my distance I could see how a confident smile grew on Tiber’s face. The boy handed the Sourz cousins a brown paper bag and in exchange he received a pile of money. Once the exchange had been made, Tiber and Heliotrope hurried away and the boy was standing still, looking nervous and he kept looking at his watch. It was as though he was waiting for something.

Screenshot-411“Let’s go talk to him” Cinnamon whispered and blew our cover by standing up and starting to approach the boy. Fear gripped me, and I followed my friend. I wouldn’t let her get hurt.

“Hey” she said with her ordinary confident and happy voice and the boy looked even more nervous and he started tapping his fingers rythmically against his left arm. “Do you know when the Sourz will be back? I have something for them” Cinnamon continued.

Screenshot-409“You work for them?” the boy asked surprised and immediately bit his lip afterwards. “I mean, no. I don’t know. I’m just here to… Uhm, throw some stuff.”

Screenshot-408“Oh, I just thought you were, you know. With them.” Cinnamon kept going and I was perplex, I didn’t know how she could be so calm while lying straight in to the poor boy’s eyes.

The boy shook his head and panic showed in his face. “I don’t know” he stammered and pushed his way passed us to leave. As he did, I pulled the camera out of my pocket and shot a picture of his angry, nervous face. We always wanted to have pictures to go along with the blog posts because it added a bigger sense of truth.

I turned around and watched him leave. “We know about the money!” I called after him. Cinnamon shot me a deadly stare and I realized it had probably been a bad move, but I just couldn’t let crime pass right before my eyes like that.

We parted ways shortly after, because Cinnamon wanted to get home and finish the blog post about what had just happened. She took the camera with her, so that she would be able to post both text and pictures straight away. We knew that the young boy had most likely robbed one of the stores in town and the bag he handed the Sourz contained either clothes, shoes, electronics or something else that the cousins wanted to sell. Judging by how big the pile of money had been, I figured it was something with a decent value.

Screenshot-413On my way home, I passed Fondant Gardens and right before the main entrance, I heard the young boy’s voice. “Thay have my fudging picture and they know! Fudge, fudge, FUDGE, this is bad!” he said.

I peaked around the corner and saw the boy from earlier along with another, pink, boy. The pink boy was standing with his face turned to the entrance and by the look in his eyes, I understood that he had seen me. “Did you say he was white with yellow hair?” he wondered, without leaving me with his eyes. The blue boy clenched his fists and nodded.

Screenshot-414“Is it him?” The pink boy was pointing straight at me and as soon as the blue boy had turned around and laid his eyes on me, he started moving towards me. “Yes, it’s him!”

Uh-oh.

Within an instant they were both standing right before me and the blue boy kept clenching his fists while the pink boy cursed unstoppable. It was words I was used to; Brainless white, Vanilla, Freak. In a way, it was surprising that they still hurt, after all this time.

Screenshot-416I tried to stand up for myself. After all, I had learned some things by hanging out with my siblings, Cinnamon and Mithos. And of course, my parents would never forgive me if I didn’t try to defend myself.

Screenshot-417“Take his camera, Flirt” the blue boy shouted and his palm hit my cheek so fast that there was no time for me to react. The pink boy jumped on me and I fell to the ground. The blue boy followed and even though I was bigger, there was no way I could defend myself against the two teenage boys’ fists and punches. I felt like a sack of sand and while they beat me, they kept throwing warnings after me. Warnings that I had heard several times before.

“Oil Fir and Flirt Branch!” A girl’s voice suddenly pierced through the night and the two boys stopped themselves.

Screenshot-415I brushed the dirt off my clothes and stood up again. The girl moved closer to us and she looked furious. I recognized her from the Blank Slate, she was the one who Quince had pushed me in to. “What the fudge are you doing?! Two against one, huh?”

“But we… He has pictures” the blue boy, who was apparently named Oil, begun, but was soon interrupted by Oceana again. “I don’t care. He’s my friend, and you’re not allowed to hurt my friends!”

“We didn’t know” Flirt mumbled and the two of them ran away, like scared mice. I could barely believe my eyes.

Screenshot-420“Look, I’m sorry about that” said Oceana and waved her hands in front of her. “They know they can’t hurt my friends, but sometimes they just… Well, sorry. I don’t think it’ll happen again.”

Friends? For whatever reason, there was a swarm of butterflies in my stomach. “It’s worth it” I heard myself saying. “It always is. It serves its cause. There’ll be a change, eventually.”

“I know” Oceana sighed. “But it’s not right that you should get hurt in the meantime.”

Screenshot-421She raised her hand and for a moment I was sure she would hit me. I mean, even though our support grew, it was still more common to feel disgust by colorless. But Oceana didn’t hit me, she traced her fingers slow and soft against my cheek. “You look awful” she said and wiped the blood of my face.

I practically floated back to the district that night.


Oceana is made by the very talented smurfilssimblr and Heliotrope is created by westrangers.

Generation 2 Profiles

Sundance Twist

Traits: Loner, Clumsy, Unlucky, Natural Cook, Perfectionist
Favorites: Tofu Dog, Lime, Indie
Lifetime wish: The Culinary Librarian

Sundance is a quiet boy who prefers to stay on his own and watch others from a safe distance. He blames himself for the creation of District 0, because he was the one to really fuel the grudge when he was shown in a TV show. Since that day he has tried to stay in the shadow of Fondant Fields and does as little as he can to be seen. Despite his tries, he continously happens to be involved in trouble.


Spares:

Quince Twist

Traits: Friendly, Loves the Outdoors, Evil, No sense of humor
Favorites: Grilled Cheese, Lilac, Indie
Lifetime Wish: Master Mixologist

Quince is a typical big brother, he has sworn to always protect his younger siblings and until this day he has lived by that word. He has decided to join the uprisings and he works endlessly on recruiting more rebellions inside District 0. Along with his three best friends Mithos, Thunderbird and Affair, Quince starts the supporter pub The Blank Slate. At the pub he  works as a mixologist while staying true to his words about protecting his younger siblings. He also works hard in the uprisings towards colorless’s rights.

Sweet Corn Twist

Traits: Mean spirited, Couch Potato, Excitable, Loves the Outdoors
Favorites: Veggie burger, Lilac, Latino
Lifetime Wish:  Emperor of Evil

Sweet Corn is a girl who finds happiness in just about everything. Around grown-ups Sweet Corn always show her best behaviour and their image of her is always a bright and good one. She is a real eye-servant, though, and finds joy in other peoples misery. Her colorless figure makes most people think less of her but Sweet Corn always mirrors their reactions. She has a hard shell that few manages to get through. She is determined to never let anyone trample her toes.

Chapter 2.5: Sourz

Screenshot-211“No way I’m coming with you to hang out with that berryhole!” Sweet Corn yelled at me. She was clearly not happy with the cooperation I had started with Cinnamon. She even called me a traitor when I told her about it. In my head, that accusation didn’t make any sense. How could one be a traitor if they worked for the same goal?

“Fine, I’ll go on my own then” I ended the conversation by walking out of the room and towards the library where I would meet up with Cinnamon. Sometimes I didn’t get my sister, and the fact that we were twins was unbelievable sometimes.

Screenshot-228“You’re late” Cinnamon stated and looked at her watch when I approached the stairs up to the library where she was waiting for me. I looked at my own watch, it was 10.02 which meant I was two minutes late. I shrugged and walked past her in to the library. It seemed like the little healing our relation had got the other day wasn’t enough for her to trust me completely. We would have to work on that.

Screenshot-233Cinnamon took place in front of one of the computers and looked around before hastily typing something in to the browser. She ended up on a plain blue page with a search box in the middle. In the search box she typed Sourz and hit enter. After a moment of loading time, a list of articles appeared on the screen. “This is all the articles published about that family during the last two years” Cinnamon explained and scrolled through the links without clicking on a single one.

Screenshot-232“Hm, doesn’t seem to contain anything out of the ordinary” she mumbled and kept scrolling. “Sourz open a new gallery. Sourz new hospital for children.” She kept reading some of what I suspected were headlines while scrolling. Within no time she had come to the bottom of the page.

“Nothing?” I wondered, still not quite understanding what she was doing, or what she was looking for.

Screenshot-231“I’ll have to go further back” she replied and went back to the first page where she clicked a few boxes, that I hadn’t noticed earlier, and hit Enter once again.

A new list of articles appeared and I stepped closer to the screen to help her read them as she scrolled. Most of them were about donations made by the family, or companies started by them. It was clear that they had a good reputation in town and that they had a lot of power. I was starting to think this wouldn’t lead anywhere when another headline caught my eye. “Wait, stop there!” I shouted and pointed at the screen. Cinnamon looked around worried, but it seemed like no one cared about my little outburst.

“Sourz cousins in trouble” I read out loud and Cinnamon’s eyes grew wide in shock as she clicked on the link. It took us to a newspaper based in Briocheport and the article reported how the Sourz cousins Tiber and Heliotrope had been in a brawl at one of the more fancy clubs in Briocheport. The brawl escalated and in the end Tiber had pulled a gun to threaten the guy who they had fought with. The whole story ended with a fired gun and a ‘bow with a shot damaged leg.

Screenshot-234This. Is. Unbelievable” Cinnamon gasped and looked at me. “Do you realize what this means?”

“That they’re capable of such heavy crimes?” I guessed and Cinnamon nodded eagerly.

“I’ll print this and we’ll show your brother those pictures used in the article” she continued and almost jumped out of the chair out of excitement.

Screenshot-237After that breakthrough, we parted ways. There is only so much time you can spend with someone you don’t actually trust before you need to be on your own. I think Cinnamon still found it hard to accept that me and Sweets had been the ones to suspect the Sourz at first. And by now, it certainly seemed possible that they could be guilty. With the newly acquired pictures with me, I decided to head straight to The Blank Slate and talk to Quince. That was the natural next step and depending on what he said, we could either have reached the turning point, or we could be back at square one. It made me feel quite nervous.

“Sup bro?” Quince smiled and waved across the room as I entered the pub. “Where’s Sweets? It’s not common to see you here without her.”

“Uhm, we had a little fight this morning. Nothing major. Look, I need to talk to you…” He moved over to the side of the bar where I lowered my voice to talk to him, “I think we found something.”

Screenshot-238“Really?” His face lit up in a smile, but there was a sadness behind it. The sadness that had plagued him ever since he lost his best friend, if we had made progress in the case it would possibly make him feel a bit better.

“Look” I handed him the article and the printed pictures and watched him examine it.Once he was done he looked up with tearful eyes:

Screenshot-235“This is them. Sunny, these are the guys who killed Affair. I can’t believe you did it Sunny! Oh how they are gonna pay!” He wiped tears out of his eyes with the back of his hand, excused himself to Mithos and pulled me outside.

Screenshot-240The september air was cool and the skin on my arms grumbled. I shivered and was surprised to see that Quince seemed indifferent to the cold. “How did you find them?” he wondered and looked at me with the same sad eyes as before.

“We just thought it would make sense if it were them. With their history and all… And Cinnamon found the article. I think she’s a hacker or something…”

“I’ll take it from here. I need to avenge Affair on my own” Quince’s voice was firm and hard and it almost looked like he was boiling on the inside. I had never seen my brother look so angry and hurt. I was suddenly struck by fear that he would do something very, very stupid.

Screenshot-244“No” I said calm. “You’re not going to let them hurt you that easy Quincie. I started this, and I’ll finish it. Along with Cinnamon and Sweets. You should focus on the pub. I promise, we’ll take care of this.”

He seemed surprised by the strength in my tone, and to be fair I was surprised myself. I don’t know where I found the courage, but I just knew I wouldn’t let my brother get hurt. After all, I was the one who got us all in to this mess, it was only fair that I was also the one to get us out of it.

“But… What makes you think I would put you in such danger?” Quince was grasping for a straw, something to hold on to. Something to make me change my mind, but I was determined enough to not cave for his tries. Besides…

Screenshot-245“You’re going to be a father, Quince! And I’m not letting that little kiddo grow up without a father. And you’re not going to risk that either. It wouldn’t be fair against Bluebell or that little one.”

Quince lowered his head, I had most definitely hit his weak point. “At least promise to be careful, okay?”

Chapter 2.4: Researchs

Screenshot-227I did start my own researchs. Or rather, we started our own researchs. There was no way I could do it without Sweets, not because I desperately craved her help, but because she wouldn’t let me do something that exciting on my own.

The first few steps were easy as we were in the “inner circle” where the murder had taken place. Quince told us it was two men who killed Affair. He didn’t exactly know who they were, but he knew that one of them was a teal berry and the other one was purple. He also thought that they were no more than a couple of years older than him. Those few steps had been easy, as had it been to question the berries we knew had been at The Blank Slate at the time. The thing was that those steps didn’t provide any more information than what Quince could give us.

So, after just a day, we were stuck. We didn’t know how to continue, especially not since the actual murder had taken place many years ago and every potential trace that could have been left on the crime scene was since long gone. We didn’t exactly work in a professional way, but we did what we could by mapping out all purple and teal male ‘bows in Fondant Fields. There were more than you would imagine, but still an amount that was actually possible to investigate within a decent amount of time.

Screenshot-218The first approach was actually Sweet Corn’s idea. She wanted to see if any of them were real antagonists so she simply walked up to a few of them, trying to make conversation. Unfortunately for us, most berries were still having racist thoughts so we couldn’t exclude more than a few ‘bows that way. In our world, a ‘bow who cared top help us couldn’t be guilty of that one aweful crime.

After two weeks of investigating we had a list with names on potential offenders. It consisted of 12 names, mixed between purple and teal berries. Some of them were known to us, especially to mention the Sourz family, where two of the cousins were exactly teal and purple. Even though we tried not to, I must say they ended up on the top of our suspected list. The Sourz were known for being madly color racists and every kid born in that house was fueled the same thoughts with the breast milk. It was safe to say, they really hated us.

As if the family’s long-term political views wasn’t enough, they were also one of the most influental families in Fondant Fields. If they wished to keep the police of their back, all they had to do was say so. Their money pretty much ruled this town. Besides, momma Sourz was the secretary of Mayor Bloom. They were a powerful, rich and pure racist family, from who nothing good could come.

Screenshot-216“Why don’t we just ask them?” Sweets said and sighed. Being stuck didn’t suit her person, she demanded action of life and she must have gone in to this whole thing thinking it would be an endless adventure of excitement and suspense.

Screenshot-215“Because they won’t tell you the truth. They’re actually more likely to hurt you if you accuse them” I explained, as calm as always when it came to my sister. As much as I loved her, there were times when she really got on my nerves with her restlessness.

“Then what do we do?!”

Screenshot-213“We wait, observe. Map out what happened, where people went after the shooting. We talk to the police, try to figure why they never cared.”

Screenshot-217“Sounds boring!”

“Ye, but that’s because it’s smart.”

But Sweets was right, it was boring. We followed teal and purple berries around for a few days, without quite knowing what we were looking for. They went to work, shopping, fishing, partying just like any ordinary ‘bow. None of them really seemed to be potential killers. But then, two of them probably was and we never really observed any interaction between any of them and colorless ‘bows. Not other than when Sweets was asking for made up directions and we watched them all ignore her, one way or another.

Screenshot-220Even I got bored eventually. I had never tried solving a crime before and I had no clue of what I was supposed to do. We took our retreat to The Blank Slate, where Quince offered comfort in form of drinks and encouraging words. And best of all, I could clear my thoughts by playing darts. I had recently discovered how much I enjoyed it, mostly because no one else ever played so I could be on my own, in the background. But also because it offered peace for my mind, a pause from everything else.

That’s not to say I was very good at it, ’cause I sure wasn’t. In fact, I was happy if the dart even hit the board. No matter, I enjoyed it and I couldn’t think of many other things that I enjoyed doing because it was fun to me, and not because someone else wanted me to do it.

Screenshot-223“Uhm…” Someone cleared her throat behind me just as I was about to throw my last dart in this set and it made me lose focus so the dart flew in to the stone wall next to the board with a loud sound. I sighed, just my luck.

Screenshot-222I turned around and saw Cinnamon standing there, scratching her head and blushing slightly. “So, I hear you’re researching too” she said and dropped her hand in front of her. Her body rocked back and forth and she actually seemed nervous.

“Mhm” I mumbled and went towards the dart board to pick up my darts for another set. I was still a bit frightened of her since she screamed at me that one time.

“Are you getting anywhere?”

“I thought that was a topic you’re not supposed to talk about in the open” I snapped, annoyed because she got to make her own rules in this matter.

Screenshot-226“Well, there’s no one else close” she said and twisted her body. “I just… Maybe we could help each other out? Cooperate?

I stopped trying to play and turned around again. Even though she somewhat scared me, I knew we needed her help. Three brains would be better than two, besides, she probably had some ideas already and I just wanted the whole thing solved so I could go back to doing nothing with a clear consience again. “What made you change your mind?” I wondered.

“I don’t know. Guess you seem quite cool” she shrugged.

Screenshot-224“You really think the Sourz did it?” she asked me a while later. I don’t know if she played darts with me because she felt like she had things to make up for, or if she actually liked it. But I must say, she had more talent than me.

“I don’t know. It seems possible. I mean, they do hate colorless. They always have.”

“But still, the most powerful family in Fondant Fields? Not even them could get away with murder!”

I laughed, “You’re forgetting that whoever did this actually did get away with murder. Easily.”

“I mean, they must have some kind of conscience. Even them.”

“You don’t think they did it?”

Screenshot-143“Well, the thought crossed my mind. But I… Dunno. Do they have access to guns?”

“Doesn’t every privilegied family in this town do?”

WEd finished the game and Cinnamon pretty much humiliated me with several bulls-eyes. It was fun, though, and it felt like we had got a fresh start. We promised to meet again tomorrow, just to investigate the Sourz family even more. We wanted as much information as we could possibly gather, and our main goal was to find their passport pictures to show Quince. With some luck, he could tell us if they were the ones who had done it.

Chapter 2.2: Secret investigations

The other day I happened to walk in to our shared bedroom just as Bluebell and Quince shared a kiss. It made me confused because Bluebell is in an official relationship with some Tyrian guy. Maybe she had forgotten? Or maybe it didn’t matter at the moment? Both my elder brother and Bluebell surely didn’t seem to be thinking of him right now.

I cleared my throat loudly because it felt as though I was spying at them or something. They both they glanced at me and smiled mysteriously, as if we shared a secret. I felt a bit uncomfortable and blushed.

Quince and Bluebell giggled and then they wrapped themselves together and shared a much more passionate kiss. It was gross and I left the room. I just couldn’t stand looking at them like that, it was gross and a bit unfair. It made me feel quite lonely.

Sweet Corn was always hanging out with someone, even though that someone changed quite often. All that mattered to her, was that they had the same political views. And at The Blank Slate pretty much everyone did, alas, everyone was her friend.

I usually didn’t mind being lonely or on my own, in fact I often enjoyed that more. But there was something about Bluebell and Quince hooking up that made me feel at unease. I think it was the fact that it was her. She was supposed to be our friend. Not his girlfriend.

The next thing I heard was my brother is yelling his lungs off and Bluebell trying to calm him down. From what I could hear through the walls she tried to explain that even though she loved him deeply she couldn’t have a relationship with him at this point, because she also loved Tyrian. It seemed like Quince had trouble accepting that…

A couple of weeks later Sweet Corn rushed in to our room and slammed the door shut. After looking around to make sure no one but me was in the room, she leaned in to whisper in my ear, “I heard that there’s a girl of our age who is looking in to Affair’s death all by herself.”

“What?”

“She’s going to solve it. Catch the killers and make them pay!”

I scratched my head confused. A girl of our age was going to avenge Affair? It sounded ridiculous, why would anyone bother? Although, it also sounded amazing and thrilling. To be fair, it was probably the only chance there was.

We told Quince about the rumours as well . If anyone could figure out who the girl was, or if it was even true, it was him. Working at the supporters pub meant he knew pretty much everything about the uprisings and the rumours. He also had a way of finding out which rumours were just rumours and which were actually true. He had of course already heard that there was such a rumour and we made him promise to find out whether it was true, and if so, who she was.

It took him three days.

“You two better get your white butts over here” he said excitedly. “It’s true and I know who she is.”

When I clicked the red button to end the phone call, Sweets was already on her way out. She had already figured exactly what the phone call said. “Hurry then, Sunny!”

I hated when she or anyone else called me Sunny, but they kept doing it. Sometimes it was as though my opinions didn’t really matter. Pretty much all of our friends called me Sunny. I was actually starting to get used to it. “Come on then!” Sweets yelled again and I hurried after her.

It was a quiet night at the pub and we sat down by the bar where Quince and Mithos was joking around with each other. It was nice to see that they could still enjoy their pub and feel relaxed and at ease behind the bar. Of course, security was higher and they had both got themselves bullet proof vests. “So, who is it?” Sweets wanted to know and looked around. There were a few people dancing but overall it seemed extremely silent this evening.

Quince leaned over the bar and whispered in to Sweet’s ear. Her eyes widened and she turned around, I followed her eyes to find out who the girl was.  “No way?” Sweet Corn said and raised her eyebrows. “She looks way too wimpy!”

“It’s true” Quince smiled triumphantly.

They were looking at an orange girl of our age. She looked kind and lonely and was currently busy scribbling some things down on a paper. When she looked up again she noticed us all staring at her, which made her blush and she look back down in to her papers. “You’ve got to be kidding me?” Sweet Corn said again and punched Quince jokingly.

“Thunder!” Quince cried and our friend soon came stumbling down the stairs and joined us at the bar. “Isn’t that the girl investigating Affair’s death?” Quince continued and pointed at the orange berry.

“Aye, it very much is. Her name’s Cinnamon.”

Sweet Corn needed no more convincing and jumped down from her bar stool and strode up to Cinnamon. “Hey, I’m Sweet Corn.”

“I know” Cinnamon sighed and scraped her papers together, hiding its contents from Sweet Corn’s curious eyes. “I’m a bit busy here.”

“You’re trying to find Affair’s killers?” Sweets demanded to know. Cinnamon instantly put her hand in front of Sweet’s mouth, hushing her to be silent.

“Are you out of your mind!? Do you have any idea what would happen if the wrong ‘bows found out what I’m doing?”

“Relax, cake. Those people wouldn’t dream of spending time here.”

“Don’t you cake me! And you can never be sure enough” Cinnamon ended the conversation right there and put all of her papers down her backpack. She gave my sister another deadly stare before she turned on her heel and left The Blank Slate.

Quince and Mithos couldn’t help themselves and started laughing out loud. Sweets was known to usually get want she wanted in our circuits and apparantly they found it hilarious that someone had eventually brought her back to earth. Sweet Corn herself did not find the event amusing at all and she slammed her fist in the bar when she got back. “Get me a drink!” she demanded and Quince pulled himself together and did as he was ordered.

“What was her problem anyway?” Sweets dwelled even hours later and Quince and Mithos had a hard time keeping themself from laughing. I just shook my head and remained silent. In fact, I didn’t dare to say anything because I was leaning towards agreeing more with Cinnamon. She was on a very dangerous task and if the wrong persons found out, she would be in so much trouble. If Sweets, Quince and Mithos found that amusing, so be it, but I found it rather scary.

I still hadn’t managed to shake the feeling of guilt over Affair’s death, and since Cinnamon was trying to solve that very crime, she also fell in my conscience. If something happened to her because of her investigations, it would also be my fault. The realization made me sigh loud.

“What’s up, champ?” Mithos wondered. He had called me ‘champ’ since forever and even though I had kind of grown out of that nickname, he kept true to it.

“Just thinking” I muttered.

“Wow, that must be a first” Sweet Corn said ironically and smiled. I knew they all thought I spent too much time thinking but I guess that was what made me different from them.

The evening went on and I just couldn’t shake the worry I felt for Cinnamon. Even though I didn’t know her, I surely didn’t want her to encounter any problems because of her investigations. I couldn’t carry the guilt from that too.

Chapter 2.1: Where it all began

You should never start a story with the words ‘It all began when…’. It may be a common way to start a story but it’s never true. Nothing ever starts somewhere. Every event always evolves from previous events and therefore it’s impossible to say that all started anywhere. Yet, every story has to start somewhere so you have to make that choice anyway. Mine starts when Affair dies:

It was one of the normal saturday evenings. I was at The Blank Slate along with Sweet Corn, Mithos and their friends. Quince and Affair were the ones manning the bar that night. As usual, it was a nice atmosphere. People were happy at The Blank Slate and ever since the grand opening on my birthday it had been the perfect place for us colorless and our supporters. It had always worked just as it was intended.

We had a great time until Sweets had one too many juices (Quince thought it was hilarious to serve her drinks despite her young age) and I had to take my responsibility as a brother to get her back home safe. I didn’t mind that much to be honest, she was quite fun to watch and I thought a night at home could be just as entertaining as a night at the pub. So, I didn’t complain, I just brought her home. Without telling mom and dad anything about her state, might I add.

After putting her to sleep, I enjoyed myself with some reading. It was calm and relaxing laying in my bed just getting lost in the book’s world. Sweets snoring functioned as a quite nice sound effect.

I fell asleep before Quince came home so I could never see him (nor hear him) as he sat on the edge of the bed crying.

In fact, I didn’t notice his crying until I woke up the next day by him spinning back and forth in bed, whimpering. It took me a moment to realize the whimpering was in fact crying. When I did realize, I went to wake him up, thinking he must have had a nightmare.

The look in his eyes as he opened them is something I will never forget. They say the eyes are a reflection to a berry’s soul and if that’s so, I’m really worried about my elder brother. “What is it, Quincie?” I wondered, already knowing that something was terribly wrong.

“He’s dead” Quince sobbed and started crying hysterically.

I didn’t even ask who it was or what it was, instead I ran in to my parents bedroom to wake them up. “Quince needs you. NOW!” I yelled and they both jumped out of bed, realizing I would never wake them in such a manner unless it was an emergency. I followed them as they hurried in to our bedroom.

“What’s the matter Quince?” mom asked, fear and worry filling her voice.

“He’s dead” Quince sobbed. “Thee-eey ki-ii-ii-lled hi-iim.”

“Who’s dead and who killed him?” Dad asked, managing to stay calm.

Quince kept sobbing but managed to get out that it was Affair who had been killed. That two antagonists had managed to get to The Blank Slate just an hour before closing time the previous night and that they had shot Affair in the back, with the words, “This is how much colorless are worth!” It obviously triggered panic among all the guests at the pub and Quince himself had just managed to duck behind the bar when the second bullet pierced one of the bottles behind him. The two antagonists then disappeared from the scene.

I never had a personal relation to Affair but my family was hurting after his death. Especially Quince, who had been the one to watch Affair take his final breath and the one to hear his final words. I knew them all too well because Quince kept whispering them uneasy as he spun back and forth in nightmares. “Never give up, Quincie. Keep fighting.”

I didn’t hurt that much. But I did feel something else. A feeling that was well-known to me, it was probably the feeling I knew best. Guilt. District 0 was my fault and District 0 fueled the grudge against colorless and their supporters and that was what killed Affair. Alas, Affair died because of me.

I had learned to live with the guilt from District 0 on my shoulders, but it would be impossible to also carry the guilt of a young man’s death. Yet, that was what expected from me.

Some say that a ‘bow will never have to go through more than he or she actually can and that the stronger ‘bows will have more to carry. I don’t know who or what force does the calculations for that, but I knew there had been a miscalculation when it came to me. I wasn’t strong. I couldn’t carry all of this.

Affair’s death became big news and the fact that it was a political murder raised a question Fondant Fields had been struggling with for decades. Was it really that bad wanting rights for colorless? 

Despite that, the killers were never found. In fact, no one officially seemed to look for them. At least, neither me or my siblings were ever questioned by the police. And out of our friends and supporters, no one else had been either.

The fact was that even when Quince called the police and gave a signalment, nothing happened. It should have been easy to catch them since the murder happened in front of many witnesses. But, since it was a supporter of colorless who died, no one cared enough. Or rather, no one was allowed to care enough.

The Blank Slate was never shut down even though it had been revealed. I guess it was because if they would have decided to shut it down, they would also have admitted that something happened there, and since there seemed to be no plans of solving the crime, they couldn’t close the pub either.

So, things kept going on as they had been, only that the difference was that Affair had been killed because of his political opinions. And even though Mayor Bloom tried to keep the whole event a secret, words started to spread.

The number of new members to Flax’s party shot through the roof as a consequence and the general public started to question Mayor Bloom and his restrictions against colorless. Despite the sad event it was, it became a much-needed fuel in the fight.

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