Chapter 5.12: A day out

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was peaceful.

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

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

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

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

Screenshot-3386*SLAP!*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Chapter 4.17: The future

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

This chapter is written from a third person perspective. 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Is not. Just wait and see.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“And how is that working out for you?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Generation 4 Profiles

coral

Coral Twist

Traits: Absent Minded, Adventurous, Vegetarian, Eccentric, Commitment Issues, Avant Garde, Animal Lover
Favorites: Hip-hop, Aqua, Frogs Legs
Lifetime Wish: Seasoned Traveler

Coral has always looked down on her mother’s lifestyle. Consumption, consumption, consumption  It annoys her that berries don’t take more responsibility of the planet they live on. Coral prefers to make use of the resources rather than exchange them for something better. She grows her own food, but not more than what she and her family can eat. She rarely throws stuff away and occasionally searches the dumpsters for perfectly usable stuff. During her time at University she meets a boy with about the same priorities as her and that is the start of a life-long relationship – far from the normal family life.


taxus

Taxus Twist

Traits: Artistic, Savvy Sculptor, Couch Potato, Grumpy, Schmoozer
Favorites: Indie, Irish Green, Goopy Carbonara
Lifetime Wish: Renaissance Sim

Taxus met the love of his life while he was still just a toddler. Hyacinth was his best friend through life and once they were old enough they got married and then left the house he had been brought up in. He was never his mother’s favorite and they were probably both better off in separate ways. Taxus devotes his life to his own family and he wishes for many years of happiness and many children of his own. He knows he will be a much better parent than his mother ever was.

bittersweet

Bittersweet Twist

Traits: Clumsy, Excitable, Over-Emotional, Childish, Loves the Heat
Favorites: Kids, Red, Spaghetti
Lifetime Wish: The Zoologist

Bittersweet’s biggest role-model is her older sister. For as long as she can remember her sister has been the one to care for her and occasionally spend time with her. She developed a strong fascination for nature and its offerings in her early childhood and ever since it has kept growing. She’s especially fascinated in all the different life-forms that are sharing the world. She has a big collection of animals – everything from butterflies and bugs to cats – and she loves them with all her heart. She never hesitates to bring in another being in her life to care for.

watermelon

Watermelon Twist

Traits: Loves the cold, Artistic, Fire Immunity, Slob, Avant Garde, Loser
Favorites: Indie, Autumn Salad, Lime
Lifetime Wish: Master of the Arts

Watermelon wants to be just like her sisters when she grows up. She follows the path prepared for her by her older sisters and care for the garden they started as if it had been her very own baby. Her true heart does not lie within the gardening or the nature, though, even if she would never admit that fact to her sisters. No, Watermelon’s true passion is arts. She has a great eye for seeing the small details of any art work and eventually that lands her a job as an art appraiser. After that she tours the world along with her big love and together they explore both modern and ancient art and culture. It’s a relaxed way of living and Watermelon finds that she truly enjoys that.

salmon

Salmon Twist

Traits: Friendly, Genius, Fire Immunity, Snob, Heavy Sleeper, Loves the cold
Favorites: Soul, Key Lime Pie, Turquoise
Lifetime Wish: Perfect Student

Being the youngest of five siblings, and the only male in a family of five, Salmon is used to being pushed around. He rarely ever complains and simply does as told. He is the kindest, most warm-hearted boy one can imagine. All he’s ever wished for is a normal life, with a normal family. That all gets turned upside-down when he runs in to the love of his life during University. She is nothing like him but together they explore a life far from the normal life Salmon always dreamed of. And he treasures every minute of it.

Chapter 4.13: A nightmare

Screenshot-1231We should have known, of course, that coming back home to Fondant Fields to celebrate Lava’s birthday was a bad idea. Honestly, we did know, and yet we came back. In an attempt at giving the boy a normal childhood we brought him back to our old hometown to host a party with family and friends. It could have been a good idea, but it wasn’t.

I regret it with my whole heart. But I had hoped that it would pass without too much hassle. Of course, with the mother I had, I was wrong. Very wrong.

Screenshot-1238The party had been going on for an hour and laughter filled our kitchen. Bittersweet, Romeo, Watermelon, Celeste and her children had all come to celebrate Lava’s birthday and we were all playing a game of “Who am I?” when the the doorbell interrupted Bittersweet in the middle of a question.

I stumbled backwards in shock when I saw mother outside the door. “Hello” she said with a cold and calm voice. Her eyes revealed no sign of expressions and chills ran over my body. “I have a gift for my son for his birthday” she continued and I found myself frozen at the spot.

Screenshot-1239I was afraid of my mother, but the thought of what could happen if she got to meet Lava was even scarier than the thought of her fangs digging through my own neck so I stepped outside and closed the door behind me. “You need to leave” I hissed.

Mother stayed calm and she seemed empty of expressions as she coldly replied: “He’s my son”.

“You have no children” I snarled back, and felt my heartbeats race.

Screenshot-1241Mother stumbled back in pretended shock before a cold and heartless laughter escaped her lips. “You’re a fool if you think you can keep him from me forever. He’s a vampire, he’ll need me eventually. Just you wait.”

“Besides, I am his mother” she added afterwards. Be it that she scared me senseless but the ironic words about her actually being a mother disgusted me. I see myself as a forgiving and positive person, but forgiving mother for the childhood and life she had forced upon me and my siblings would never happen. She was as far from a mother you could be unless you counted the biological part. And honestly, being a mother concerned a lot more than just giving birth to a child. Being a mother is something that comes from your actions and thoughts, not from your womb. I had learned that the hard way.

Screenshot-1244I. NEED. YOU. TO. LEAVE.” I snarled with more power and furisoity than I had ever borught up before. “You have no part in my or my family’s life. It’s too late.”

Mother covered her face with her hands and laughed. “You think you can keep me away? From my son? You’re a true fool, Coral.”

As her words landed I heard the faint sound of footsteps behind me and when I turned around Lava was coming through the door. Instinctively I turned towards him and took a step in front of him so that mother would have to pass through my back if she wanted to reach him. I would not give up the poor boy without a fight for I had come to love him as my own son, despite his vampirism. “Mommy, who was that?” he wondered and looked straight at me with curiosity in his eyes.

Screenshot-1246I glanced over my shoulder and realized mother had fled the scene and I was left all alone with Lava. “That was someone who’s very bad” I replied and hushed my son indoors again. Once inside we made sure to secure every lock and every door. The party had naturally come to a halt and we were all quite worked up and scared of what just had happened. It had only been a fraction of time, but mother’s appearance affected us all anyhow.

“Her eyes were glowing kind of like mine” Lava noted once I had come back to the living room after securing all doors and windows. “Neither yours or daddy’s eyes glow like that” he said and I was surprised by his ability to notify such a small detail in the short time he had laid eyes on mother.

“Well…” I cleared my throat to prepare for a decent answer. I would have to tell him about his biological mother one day, but that day was not now. “She is your grandmother” I said instead and explained to him that she was a murderer and that we wanted nothing to do with her because of what she had previously done. Now, crime and bad guys was a concept Lava did understand after endless video game sessions with Salmon and cartoons. Good versus Bad was a concept that children learned even before they could walk and Lava nodded to show me that he had understood.

Screenshot-1253I had always been grateful for the family I had and even more so today, when we needed each other’s support. Salmon was, as always, a great help in the house and when it was time to put the babies to sleep he stepped in and sang Rhubarb to sleep. I myself was all too worked up and stressed to put anyone to sleep so I just sat in the sofa while Berrian and Salmon got the kids to bed.

It was hard to understand how mother could still affect our family after all these years. Lava had been with us for over five years and even though this was the first time mother actually came around and tried to get in touch with him, we had lived under the stress and fear for that to happen ever since Lava first arrived. It wasn’t hard to see why it teared on us, and I wanted nothing less than to find a solution that would let us free from mother’s iron hand.

Screenshot-1259“What did she want then?” Bittersweet asked me a few hours later when the kids had been put to sleep and I told her in detail about what had happened. My sister also lived in fear, although she had less of what mother was after because yet she had no children – and certainly not mother’s children. It must have been hard for her to understand the stress and fear I lived under when being responsible for Lava’s childhood and well-being. No matter, she did a good job at supporting me even when I traveled the world. I could never have wished for a better friend.

Once the situation had been described it didn’t take Bittersweet long to realize we would soon have to leave again. We were just not safe while we stayed in Fondant Fields.

Berrian was kind of involved in the conversation but occasionally went upstairs when any of the kids groaned or mumbled in their sleep. He was a real guardian and tucked them in whenever he found that they had kicked their blankets off. I know it was both a way for him to steal yet another kiss from them as well as a reassurement that they were still sleeping safe in their beds.

Screenshot-1266While the fear for the possibility of our children getting snatched out of their beds was present, it almost felt like an impossibility for it was simply too frightening. Still, that was exactly what happened on the night after Lava’s birthday.

Berrian first noted that the door to Lava’s bedroom was slightly open and when he peaked inside he found the bed empty. Not wanting to stress himself too much, Berrian calmed himself by thinking that the oldest son had simply gone up to use the bathroom. It wasn’t until he had assured himself that both bathrooms were unoccupied and that Lava really was gone from the house that he came and told me about it. I panicked straight off and lost my mind. This was my worst nightmare coming true.

While I sat down, staring straight in front of me, picturing my son under the killing wings of my mother, Berrian remained focused and headed out to look for him. Perhaps he was still to be found.

Screenshot-1267While Coral was way too worried and stressed up to function normally, Berrian walked around town looking for their adopted son. Despite not having had anything to say in the matter of bringing the boy in to their family Berrian had come to love and care for him as though he were his own. May be it that Berrian wasn’t the typical family man and rather traveled and went on adventures, but that had never stopped him from loving his family to pieces. Like Coral, it scared him to think of what could happen if Lava had actually been kidnapped by his biological mother. And thinking about the possibility of the boy running out in to the night on his own scared him even more.

Berrian walked with determination and forced himself not to cry or worry too much. He simply needed to find the boy and since he couldn’t have been gone long until they discovered it, he hoped that he shouldn’t have made it very far. He walked for hours, looking behind bushes and trees, searching colorful backyards and secret hideouts but Lava was nowhere to be found. He refused to give up hope though and kept on walking. 

Several hours after he had left the house to look for the boy Berrian walked past the playground located just outside their own house. And there, inside the jungle gym stood the boy he had been looking for. 

Screenshot-1269All the worry he had been feeling made the relief of finding the boy come out in an angry tone and as he swiftly approached his son Berrian couldn’t help but curse at him. “Lava Twist! You get down here right now.” As soon as the first yelling words had left Berrian’s mouth he calmed down a bit. “We were so worried. Don’t you ever run away like that again.”

Screenshot-1268“You lied to me!” Lava yelled as he slid down the ladder of the jungle gym. “You lied about that woman. She’s not just my grandmother, she’s my mother and she needs me and I need her. I have the right to see her!”

Lava’s eyes were glowing in the dark and a determination Berrian had never seen in a kid before glowed around his son. He knew then, that no matter how hard they tried to raise Lava in to a normal child, he would always be different. He was a vampire, and that was something they could never change.

“I’m more like her than I am like any of you” Lava cried and tears welled up in his eyes. Be it that his family had never known, but he had known. He had always been different. His temper had been different and his urges had been different. And seeing the woman tonight had made that so much clearer. There were people like him out there, people who could teach him to control those feelings and urges his parents would never understand. He hated them for keeping him from that, from who he was.

Screenshot-1270“We were going to tell you eventually” Berrian sighed. He knew he was defeated and that the time had come. Lava was big enough to know, even if he wouldn’t be big enough to understand. And perhaps Berrian and Coral needed to change the way they brought him up, perhaps they too had to learn how to control a vampire’s urges and needs. For their son would always have stronger impulses and a more unstable mind than they did. Their oldest son would need to learn how to live with his differences, and if they wanted to keep him, they would have to work with him to figure something out.

“I’d say we get you back home to your momma so she can see that you’re safe. And once we’re there, I promise we will tell you everything” Berrian said and placed his arm around Lava’s shoulders. The boy didn’t fight it, instead he curled up against his father’s side and walked with him home. He was happy to have been found, and he was glad to know that they had worried. No matter what the crazy woman with the shining eyes told him through telepathy, his parents were Berrian and Coral. For they were the ones had come looking for him after all. Though, that didn’t change the fact that he was curious to what it meant to have shining eyes and pointy teeth. But he was sure he would find out eventually.

Screenshot-1271That night, Coral and Berrian did tell Lava everything they knew about vampires and his background. It wasn’t much, but they decided to not keep anything a secret anymore. Coral was still hesitant because she wanted the boy to grow up without any outside expectations to who he was to become. For her, the part of finding yourself and the person you want to be was the most important thing in life and she wanted to give her children a childhood were they felt free to become whoever they wanted. She hated the fact that perhaps being a vampire somehow limited Lava, but after some persuasion from Berrian she agreed to talk to the boy about the things they knew. And Lava was pleased to know, it was a true relief for him to find out that the want to bite his siblings in the neck was not simply him being a freak but actually part of his nature. And it was nice to hear his parents promising to support him in the attempts at having a normal life. 

After a long conversation, both Berrian and Coral tucked Lava in and stayed with him until he fell asleep. Berrian left after that, but Coral couldn’t get herself to leave Lava’s side and sat on his bed the entire night. It was impossible to shake off the fear she had felt when they realized that Lava was gone and she knew it had everything to do with her mother. As long as Soda Pop was around, Coral and her family would never be able to relax. And she knew right then that the only way of life they could possibly live was one where they kept moving from place to place. She knew right then something she had always known but never been able to accept: That her family would never be able to call a place home. 

Screenshot-1249We left early the day after Lava’s birthday. I hadn’t slept a single minute during the night which meant I was both exhausted and still stressed out from the night’s nightmare. It was a long drive and I managed to get some sleep even if I had to wake up just to count my children ever so often. I knew we were most likely safe once we had crossed the country borders, but I could never be sure and I swore that I would never wake up to find any of my children missing again.

Egypt had always felt like a home to us. I had always managed to relax there and I had always loved being there. That had changed now. Not even the warming sun or the matte colors could calm me down. I had become a nervous wreck. The days during the weeks closest to Lava’s disappearance I just sat mindlessly rocking back and forth at the front of our camper with Rhubarb in my arms. I refused to let him down for he was the weakest and most fragile out of all our kids.

Screenshot-1248I’ll admit that I stopped functioning as I should have. I was simply too scared. Mother had finally been able to push me over the edge. I had become a mother who was so scared for my children to get hurt that I had trouble letting them out of my sight. It was far from how I wanted to be. I wanted my children to explore life by themselves. To travel and meet new people and experience new things. And now I just kept them around the camper, refusing to let them even leave our little plot of land.

Berrian and Salmon did what they could to activate Lava and Yew but it wasn’t hard to see that my fears were tearing on us all. None of us were cut out to stay put like this. Especially not Berrian.

Screenshot-1251Yet, he did the best he could. He played catch with Lava and encouraged the fast reactions and powerful throws the kid managed. Whenever a vampire feat shined through Berrian did his best to point it out and praise it. It made me cringe. I had never asked for a vampire child and it made me sick to think of the things our poor child would have to go through. I had seen mother go through it in her transformation and I feared the day our son would refuse to eat anything but blood. But Berrian did wonders. As always. He found the good parts of Lava’s vampirism and he taught Lava to value them.

Screenshot-1250And Lava loved his father. Even though I was living in a bubble of fear I could see that the boy progressed and grew. He was on his way to finding himself and while I had trouble enjoying it, I could see that Berrian was proud.

And they tried to help me too. They talked to me, tried to take me on walks but I constantly worried that something would happen. Every step we took I felt sick and the further away from the camper we got, the more scared I became. I kind of lost myself and the only thing occupying my head and thoughts was the worry and the need to keep my family safe.

Screenshot-1260Months passed and before I knew it Salmon was growing up. I cried when he left us to go home and start his life with Tosca. I cried because I was losing him. Like I had lost so many before. I cried because he would no longer be around to help me with the kids and I cried because I would miss his wedding ad his life with Tosca. And I cried for the same thing applied to the rest of my siblings. But despite my crying, he went back home to Fondant Fields. I knew he was happy to for it had pained him to be apart from Tosca.

Screenshot-1261He told me that Tosca had pretty much moved in when he came home but that Tosca also had a hard time accepting him growing up. She was certain that he would leave her once he aged up and gained new perspectives. It was a silly fear, of course, for Salmon would never dream of anyone but Tosca. And he promised her time after time that he would wait for her. Always.

Screenshot-1262It did little to calm Tosca down, though. And I should know. Promises don’t do wonders, only yourself ca overcome your fear and worries. I still hadn’t managed and perhaps Tosca wouldn’t manage either until she was grown up and able to actually form a family with Salmon.

Screenshot-1265And perhaps she was right to worry for Salmon was a gorgeous and amazing man. Tosca was lucky to have snatched him early for he could probably get whichever girl he wanted. Of course, I knew that the only girl for him was Tosca. And I was happy for them. But sad in the same time because her getting him meant that I lost him. I had gotten used to having him around and we would surely miss him now that he started his own adventure.

Chapter 4.12: Almost a real family

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter 4.10: Caretaker

Screenshot-1092It felt as if someone had turned my life upside-down and shaken the container after the confrontation with mother. The night after was pretty much sleepless and I found myself tossing and turning even though Berrian kept his arm around me the entire night. The next morning I sent Watermelon and Salmon off for school without telling them of the events that had taken place the night before. I would of course tell them, eventually. First, I wanted to visit Bittersweet and tell her about it. It was crazy to think that I had watched her father getting killed by our mother.

When we arrived at her house Romeo was already there and judging by their facial expressions, they had already heard the news.

Screenshot-1094“I never knew him” Bittersweet sighed. Her eyes were red as if she had been crying, which honestly was the right thing to do. “I suppose it shouldn’t matter, but it does” she said and Romeo started stroking her back.

“I’m sorry sister” I said. It was a poor attempt to comfort her but I knew that there was nothing I could do. No words would bring her father back or make her mother a decent berry.

Screenshot-1093I had never felt awkward around these people before. The room consisted of my best friends and most beloved ‘bows in the entire world, yet an awkward silence filled the room. The only thing to break it was the occasional sighs from Bittersweet and the sound of skin brushing against clothes as Romeo stroke her back.

“It happened fast, I’m sure he didn’t feel any pain” I said after a while. Another poor attempt at providing comfort. It didn’t matter, Bittersweet only glanced at me quickly before going back to staring in to the wall in front of her.

Me and Berrian stayed for an hour or two but there was nothing anyone of us could do to make it all feel better. In the end Bittersweet commanded that we go home before Watermelon and Salmon got home to an empty house. We would have some explaining to do once they got home, that was for sure.

Screenshot-1172Telling my younger siblings about what had happened proved to be a lot easier than talking to Bittersweet. Salmon had no memories of mother what-so-ever and merely reacted to the very fact that his mother was a murderer. Watermelon in her turn already despised mother so the news simply added to the hate she was already feeling. I promised myself I would keep being the best substitute mother I could for my siblings, they would sure need it.

The next few days were a blur of arranging a secret funeral for Precious (who had been taken care of by Thunderbird and whom the town therefore knew nothing about), supporting Bittersweet and caring for my younger siblings while also trying to get back to a normal life myself. I knew it would never be the same again after watching my mother so cold-hearted kill a man, but I had to make the best out of it.

When the spring festival was upon us I decided to make it a family outing and we did our best to pretend that we were all alright.

Screenshot-1098Watermelon met up with her best friend Celeste, who I had got to know fairly well by now. Celeste had the misfortune of getting pregnant in her early teenage years and had decided to keep the baby. A few weeks before the whole incident with mother she had given birth to a little baby girl named Surf. Whenever Watermelon looked at the little baby there was a spark in her eyes which I had never seen before and my sister seemed to soften up to that little one in a way that was not like her usual character. It was satisfying to see, to say the least.

Screenshot-1099Salmon in his turn met up with a girl from his class who I had never met before but of whom I had heard lots of things. Tosca Thorn was a cute girl with a face full of adorable freckles, who seemed to have a personality which was nowhere as soft and cute as her looks. From what I understood Salmon was having some pretty strong feelings for this girl but he was unsure whether she felt the same way. I kind of wondered what that was like for I had never experienced a first love which wasn’t mutual.

Screenshot-1100Me and Berrian stayed at the back for a while to make sure both Watermelon and Salmon were alright. It was quite fascinating to just stand there holding hands watching my younger siblings interact with ‘bows they cared deeply for.

Tosca soon took Salmon’s hand and pulled him with her indoors which made him blush and quickly stumble after her. Watermelon needed no guardian while she was with Celeste so when Salmon was no longer to be seen me and Berrian went indoors to amuse ourselves, too.

Screenshot-1109Inside the festival building there was a “love machine” which said it could measure how true the love between two berries were. Of course it was simply a way to rob the festival visitors of their money, but me and Berrian decided we had to try in non-the-less.

When Berrian’s hand touched mine electricity ran through my body. Even after all the time we had been together, I was still just as in love with him as I had been the first time. If this machine didn’t explode by our touch it was sure broken.

Screenshot-1110It was silly, really, but when the lights climbed to the very top of the machine – letting us know our love was burning – both me and Berrian started clapping our hands. It wasn’t like we didn’t know our love was pure before, but it still felt good.

It also felt good to forget about the tumult in our lives and feel genuinely happy for a short moment.

Screenshot-1106When we turned around we saw that Salmon was in the rollerskating rink with Tosca and they were holding each other’s hands and skating around in a circle. It sure was sweet to watch them and whenever Salmon’s face was turned towards us I could see how a big smile covered his face. It was nice to see him smiling despite everything that had happened the latest time in his life.

Screenshot-1108Me and Berrian stood and watched Salmon spinning around with Tosca for a long time before Watermelon came running  towards us and asking if it was alright that she headed back home. Celeste had to leave to put Raindrop to sleep and Watermelon felt no need to stay now that her best (and only) friend had left. I was still worried about her, but she did seem happier than she used to, so I said she could go and promised to be back home before too long.

Screenshot-1111I didn’t intentionally follow Salmon and his friend around, but the festival building wasn’t very big and they didn’t try very hard to hide from my curious eyes so I did catch the two of them holding hands on the upper floor later that day. I found myself wishing their relation would work out well and made a mental note to make sure Tosca wouldn’t hurt my younger brother. He deserved to be happy for he was the sweetest young boy I could think of.

Screenshot-1112Not that Tosca seemed to have any intention of hurting him for she too smiled and looked happy as their arms swayed from one side to the other. It was incredibly sweet to watch really and I almost felt jealous for not experiencing that young love that the two of them seemed to do. I had never had time for love or friendships during my teenage years and seeing before me what I had lost was sad. Then again, the love I had experienced – and still experienced – was far greater than any young love could have ever been. There was no reason for me to feel sorry for what had been.

Screenshot-1113Before we left for home, Salmon found the courage to steal a kiss from Tosca. I almost let out a loud “Naaw”  but managed to control myself. Instead, I squeazed Berrian’s hand extra hard and felt extremely grateful for everything that still was in my life.

Perhaps life wasn’t perfect and perhaps I had the worst possible mother, but there was still so many things to be grateful for.

Screenshot-1139When we got home Watermelon had placed herself in the mud bath in mother’s spa in the back of the garden. She sure didn’t seem too upset about the latest events since she could do such a trivial thing as take a relaxing mud bath. That was good, of course.

Screenshot-1177Even though our life was pretty much turned upside-down by mother’s actions Berrian kept being restless and eager for new adventures. He behaved exemplary the first few weeks and was a great support for our entire family but once the initial shock had blown past he started planning a new trip. I was eager to go with him too, for I desperately needed to get my mind on something brighter than the last weeks incidents but I was also hesitant to the idea of leaving Watermelon and Salmon alone at home.

In the end, Berrian came with the idea of letting both Watermelon and Salmon go with us to China. Once that was decided I couldn’t wait until we were on our way.

Screenshot-1118Just as when we had been to Egypt, Berrian arranged a camp for us to live far from the normal tourist spots. It was a beautiful spot just steps from a breathtaking waterfall. The climate was a lot more humid than it had been in Egypt but way hotter than back home in Fondant Fields.

As soon as we stepped on the soft grass of the camping spot I felt the troubles from back home disappear to the very back of my head and an adventures lust and excitement took its place. It was indeed a very welcome change.

Screenshot-1122We begun our vacation with grilling some lunch over the open fire. Both Watermelon and Salmon looked happy to be here and I was already starting to believe that this vacation was the best thing we could have possibly done in our situation. Back at home Bittersweet had Romeo, so she would be fine.

While we sat by the fire Berrian told my siblings some of his tomb exploring stories which made them both eager to come with us to one of the tombs close by. Berrian promised to teach them as much as possible once we were there.

Screenshot-1123Later that afternoon Berrian lead us all to a tomb close to our camp. According to his words it was a great tomb for beginners and would therefore suit both me and my siblings well. I suspected it wasn’t exactly the most exciting adventure for him but he seemed glad to take us all.

When we got down in the dark and moist tomb I quickly realized what he had meant the last time we went exploring and he told me that it was easy to see the leads once you knew what to look for. Huge statues stood along the walls and on the ground you could see areas that were lighter than the rest of the floor – a clear sign that it was something special about it.

Screenshot-1124Berrian commanded Watermelon to move the statue towards the lighter spot on the ground and her whole body lit up when she got a task as important as that. She used her full strength to even be able to move the statue but not once did she ask for help. When the statue started to move we all clapped our hands and Watermelon gained new strength which helped her get the statue in place. A rumble was heard and soon after another part of the floor sparkled slightly.

Screenshot-1126“What was that?” Salmon wondered, eyes wide with what could be either fear or curiosity. It surprised me how calm I felt myself for the last time I had been exploring with Berrian I had been a lot less relaxed.

“It was the sound of us being on the right track” Berrian smiled. “Salmon, do you see that stone in the floor that looks a bit different from the others. Go stand on it.”

Screenshot-1125After searching for the right stone for a little while, Salmon found it and placed his feet steadily on it. At first nothing happened and Salmon looked as though he was ashamed, perhaps he thought he had somehow failed.

“You might be too light, jump a little” Berrian said and Salmon did as he was told which caused a loud breaking sound in the room. Just seconds later a hidden door was revealed in the far side of the room and we all went through it.

Screenshot-1127The next room was small and huge piles of rocks and stones laid in the corners. A wooden door was locked securely by a giant rusty padlock. Watermelon and Salmon looked around curiously, mesmerized by the splendor of the place. I myself felt a bit taken, too. It was amazing to think that these places were built eternities ago.

Berrian did not stop to take the surroundings in, though, and instantly started to dig through one of the stone piles. It looked sweaty but once the stone started to give in a marked floor tile was revealed so I suppose it was worth the hassle. Berrian himself stood on the marked spot and a hole appeared in the wall next to Watermelon.

Screenshot-1128Screenshot-1129After a nod from Berrian she reached her arm in to the hole, at which I held my breathe for the memory of Berrian’s insect covered arm came to my mind. Watermelon almost had her full arm in the hole as she searched for something. When her hand touched something solid her face first turned in fear but when she realized she could pull it she smiled and looked victorious.

With a click the giant padlock opened itself and fell to the ground, leaving the wooden door unlocked and free for us to enter.

Screenshot-1130We came in to another small room with a strange pool in the middle. The water inside the pool looked surprisingly fresh and clear. Yet, this was the first time Berrian told us to step back and let him handle the puzzle that would lead us forward. “We’ll have to swim down this well” he said and nodded towards it while keeping his arm out to prevent us from getting too close. “Sometimes they’re awefully deep and I’ve even encountered obstacles on the way to the other end. I’m sure there is another end, though, there always is.”

Screenshot-1131Before I could say anything or try to stop him, Berrian had jumped high in the air and dove down the pool with a big splash. Watermelon went up to the pool and looked down after him but announced directly that she could not see him.

Salmon looked at me with fear in his eyes and I tried my best to stay calm although it felt like an eternity before a door appeared in the wall next to us. We stayed in the room with the pool until Berrian came back the same way he had disappeared with a big stone statue in his hand and a content smile on his face. “Finders keepers” he grinned before leading us through the newly open door and back to the camp.

Screenshot-1132The next day we took my siblings to the kind of exploring I had found I enjoyed the best in Egypt: We went to pick fruits and vegetables from the local open gardens. I could see quite clear that none of my companions enjoyed this kind of traveling as much as I did, but no one complained and they even helped me pick the fruits.

Watermelon found some kind of wooden doll which Berrian told her was a martial arts training dummy and once he had showed her the little he knew of the chinese sport she was hooked. While the rest of us tasted the exotic fruits she had several boxing rounds against that dummy. She seemed happy and that made me happy, too.

Screenshot-1135When we got back to the camp Berrian and I took some time for ourself inside our tent while Salmon and Watermelon prepared the fire so we could cook up some dinner. I felt no need to hide the fact that me and Berrian had sex with each other for I considered it such a natural part of any ‘bows life.

Life is too short to not do the things that makes you feel good. That was my most important motto.

Screenshot-1136After a fire roasted dinner we remained seated by the fire just talking and wathing the flames play with each other. I was curious to what my siblings thought of the relaxed way of living that came with traveling and exploring and was pleased to know that they had both had a good time.

Watermelon’s favourite experience had been the martial arts dummy while Salmon’s had been the tomb exploring.

All in all, it had been a good trip but when it started to close in to our journey home, the stress about mother slowly came back. I did not want to go back to that, it had been way too good to forget about it for some time. Still, I had a garden at home that needed my care. And both Salmon and Watermelon had friends they needed to get back to. I wouldn’t uproot them by deciding to stay traveling, even if that was what both me and Berrian really wanted.


Actually, Celeste has three babies already. Surf is the middle kid. Her older sister is named Raindrop and her younger sister is Baby Blue.

And how cute is Tosca, who Salmon was paired up with on prom? I can’t wait to see them two produce some babies. ❤ And speaking of babies… Generation 5 is on its way!

Also, while traveling I bend the rules for “Home Made” since I let my sims eat raw ingredients simply grilled over a fire. I reckon that’s fine since the time away doesn’t really count since they don’t age. They still cook everything from their own ingredients while they are home. 🙂

Chapter 4.7: In love with you

Warning: This chapter is NSFW. It contains a detailed description of a sexual encounter. If you’d rather not read such a thing I recommend you read the censored version on the official forum.


Screenshot-1076It was the middle of night and almost all of Fondant Fields was asleep. Stars twinkled on the dark blue night sky and the wind sang soft lullabies for the leaves on the trees. In the yellow and teal house that housed the Twist family two teenagers, one child and a visiting adult had all gone to bed. The house was as silent as the rest of the town. 

Screenshot-1078But Watermelon Twist did not sleep. 

No, Watermelon Twist laid awake and wondered why no one liked her. Why the people who should care for her always disappeared from her life and if perhaps it was her fault. She often wondered about this and usually came to the conclusion that she had to be the cause, somehow. She did not know, though, what she did wrong. She never tried to push anyone away in the first place and yet they constantly left her. 

Hours had passed since she first went to bed and she was certain that everyone else was fast asleep by now. Her sister, Bittersweet, was most likely tucked in under her covers and so was her baby brother. They both seemed happy and content, even though they were as abandoned as herself. Perhaps they, too, knew that she was the one to blame for everything. Perhaps sleep came easy for them because they knew it wasn’t their fault. 

Screenshot-1080The last two nights had been special. Not because she had trouble sleeping, for that was just normal, but because there was a grown-up ‘bow in the house who had no reason to stay, but did it non-the-less. Watermelon did not know why she got up from her bed because it never helped her to fall asleep once she got back, but still she pushed the covers off of her and got up. 

The house was silent and still, as houses are when they are sleeping, and Watermelon walked with light and soundless steps as she left her room.

Screenshot-1081She sneaked in to her older brother’s old room and closed the door soundless behind her. In the bed laid Romeo, sleeping peacefully. She stood and watched him for a moment, his chest rising and sinking in a rhythm that calmed her. 

Taxus had left her. Her mother had left her. And her eldest sister had left her. Twice. But Romeo was there.

It was weird thinking about him being here, when he had no obligations. When Coral and Berrian left, Romeo had stayed on his own will and he had really cared for them all during the past two days. They had been eating dinners together, they had played video games together and it had almost felt like they were a real family. Except for Celeste, Romeo was the first person who had really shown Watermelon that he liked her and cared for her. It was something she really needed. She wanted him to stay, forever.

Screenshot-1082Without thinking, and without making any sound, Watermelon slipped out of her underwear and left them in a pile right beneath her. Her nipples stiffened as she removed her bra and let them meet the open air. She shivered quickly and then slowly made her way towards the bed. She moved soundless and without thinking. 

Romeo was attractive, but that was not why she carefully pulled the covers away from him. Every move was done slowly for she did not wish to wake him up. He whimpered a little as the warmth and protective covers were removed from his body but he remained asleep. She did not do this because she was in love with him, but because she wanted him to know that she wished for him to stay, that she needed her.

Screenshot-1083Slowly and carefully Watermelon climbed up in the bed and straddled the sleeping Romeo. With her right hand she began to fondle his penis. Romeo whimpered with pleasure and when Watermelon felt his penis harden in her hand she felt satisfied. She had never touched a penis before and getting proof of the fact that she knew how to satisfy a man at her first try made her smile. Her left hand drew circles across his chest and beneath her she felt how Romeo’s hips started to push against her own. It felt good. 

Screenshot-1084Watermelon had started to become sexually aroused herself by the sound of Romeo’s agitated groans and she continued to move her right hand up and down his penis while pushing her hips closer to his. She was just about to pull Romeo’s underpants off when he woke up enough to realize what was going on. It had only been a few moments and in his sleepy grogginess he had simply enjoyed the touches which at first had seemed like a dream.

When he opened his eyes and saw Watermelon sitting naked on top of him he felt startled and started to sit up while pushing her off of him. “No. No” he whispered to announce that he did not want this. He could have yelled at her, but he did not want to wake the rest of the house.

Screenshot-1085Watermelon slid off Romeo and curled up at the foot side of the bed. “I’m sorry” she whispered and started to cry. “I just don’t want you to leave” she sobbed.

“Don’t cry” Romeo whispered and crawled closer to her and held her head against his chest. The two sat like that, Watermelon crying in to Romeo’s shoulder until there were no more tears  to be cried. She felt ashamed of what she had done and couldn’t for her life remember why she had done it in the first place. But Romeo understood that the tough facade she put up was nothing but a role. He understood that the girl next to him was broken and sad and needed someone who cared for her. He somehow wished that he could be that one, but he also knew that he couldn’t. Watermelon needed her family and she had simply turned to him when they had failed to be there for her.

“I’m sorry” Watermelon whispered again. “I just want someone to like me. Please don’t tell them. Please don’t tell anyone I did this. They will only hate me more.”

Romeo knew that none of her sisters really hated Watermelon and he did what he could to calm her down. But he also made a promise to try to help her, and to not tell anyone about what had just happened.

Later that night he helped the broken Watermelon to get back in to her clothes and back in her bed. There he sat with her and stroked her forehead until she fell asleep while promising that he would help her, that she would be okay.

Screenshot-968When we arrived back home after our trip I felt like I was floating on some cotton candy clouds. After the childhood I had, it was amazing to feel happy and loved and to appreciate life. It was feelings I had never known existed until I left my home and met Romeo and Berrian.  I mean, I had been pretty content with how things were, but this was certainly better.

Back home winter was slowly starting to give way for spring and it was still rather cold. At least, it was a lot colder than it had been in Al Simhara. I shivered when my bare feet first touched the cold ground and Berrian sent me a look as if saying ‘I told you to wear shoes’, but I ignored it.

We found Bittersweet and Romeo in the backyard, by the big pool in our garden which mother had worked hard to build only to leave home just weeks after it was completed. It hadn’t been used much at all since then for all I knew. However, now Bittersweet and Romeo stood next to it, so caught up in their own conversation that they failed to notice our homecoming.

Screenshot-967It seemed like even when they did notice us, they didn’t want to drop their conversation. Perhaps it should have made me sad, but it only made me happy because it meant they truly did get on well.

Bittersweet had this big genuine smile all over her face which basically made my day. I had longed for seeing her happy, and it seemed Romeo did have that impact on her. Instead of interrupting whatever they were talking about, we just waved a quick hello and continued to search for the rest of my family.

Screenshot-978We found Watermelon inside the sauna together with our cousin Pineapple (Loquat’s only son). Unlike Bittersweet, she did not seem very happy. Not that it came as a big surprise for I had learned that she was rarely happy. In fact, she was in the middle of lecturing poor Pineapple for Berry knows what. She didn’t even stop at the sight of us and it is fairly possibly that our presence just made the whole thing worse.

We were on our way indoors to find Salmon when Pineapple came stomping past us, “I’m done!” he shouted back to Watermelon who walked with angry, stomping steps in to the house and up to her room.

It turned out that Salmon wasn’t at home at all so our search for him went by without any result. I was glad that he had friends to visit though, as it meant that he somewhere could get an idea of what a normal family was. Uncle Blizzard’s family – where I suspected he was right now – sure was just normal.

After not finding Salmon and trying to stay out of Watermelon’s way I went to the kitchen to stuff the fridge full of the fruits and vegetables I had brought home from Egypt. Once spring really came and the ground softened up a bit I would plant some of them to see if I could make them grow in my own garden.

Screenshot-986Romeo came in to the kitchen a short while later. Alone, without Bittersweet which seemed weird at first but then wasn’t since he was really my friend in the first place. “You had a good time?” he wondered and I nodded eagerly and told him everything about my new experience.

“And how about you?” I wondered once I was done with my story. “Thanks again, it means the world to me that you stayed here. I still feel bad about asking in the first place.”

“No worries” Romeo smiled. “I’ve had a great time actually. But there’s something we need to talk about.”

“And what’s that?”

Screenshot-1086“Well, you see…” he blushed a bit before continuing, which certainly wasn’t a common thing for him to do. “Did you know I was in love with you?”

What he said really caught me off guard and I felt my body stiffen. Romeo was in love with me? All those times we had been sitting naked by a fire, close to each other – had he been in love with me then? All those times he watched me kiss Berrian, had that hurt him? Had I hurt him? I looked over Romeo’s shoulder towards Berrian who stood just a few feet further away. He looked as surprised as I felt but seemed to decide not to say anything about it.

“Was” Romeo clarified. “I’m happy that you’re with Berrian. I’ve always been happy about that. You two are perfect for each other. You never felt for me that way and I knew it. That’s why I never said anything about it.”

“I… I didn’t know” I mumbled, suddenly feeling uneasy in his presence. Why did he tell me this now?

“How could you?” Romeo smiled, showing no sign of ever being hurt. “Don’t worry. I’ve been fine. I am fine.”

“Why are you telling me this now?”

Romeo blushed again and looked down quickly before looking at me again. “Because I just got to know Bittersweet and she… She is just like you but – no offence – better.”

Screenshot-988“Really?” I felt my face light up in a big smile. This was everything I could have asked for.

“She’s just so fun and friendly and… pretty. And she’s soon celebrating her birthday and I won’t have to feel like a creep or anything. So, I’d like to know if you’re okay with me asking her out. After her birthday, of course?”

I threw myself around his neck as a token of how happy his simple question made me. “That would be the most amazing thing!”

Romeo hugged me back and as he did Berrian cleared his throat behind us. “You’re not going to hurt her, are you? You’re really over Coral?” Romeo let go of me and turned towards Berrian, who continued: “Because Berry forgive me if you use Bittersweet as a way to get close to Coral and you end up hurting anyone of them. Should you do that, Romeo, rest assure that I will forget we were ever friends.”

“Relax buddy” Romeo said and placed a hand on Berrian’s shoulder. “I won’t steal your girl, neither do I have any intention of hurting her sister.”

“I sure hope so, I’d hate to lose you as a friend” Berrian replied and relaxed a little. I gave him a thankful look for I had failed to think about the possibility of Romeo using my sister to get close to me. It seemed like such an absurd thought when it came to Romeo that I didn’t even worry. I was thankful knowing that Berrian would choose family first, though.

Screenshot-1087“And there’s something else” Romeo said and looked around the room. “We need to talk about Watermelon.”

“Watermelon?”

“She’s not very happy” Romeo said and continued to look around, for what I realized was Watermelon.

Screenshot-1088“She’s not?”

I was silent while Romeo told me about how Watermelon had broken down in to tears one evening and told him how she felt abandoned and how she believed it was all her fault. It hurt to think that I had played a part in abandoning her and make her feel unwanted. I promised myself, and Romeo, to hereafter try harder to make Watermelon feel like a part of this family. I had never wanted her, or Bittersweet or Salmon, to feel like I didn’t love them, for I really did. With my whole heart, I loved my family.

Screenshot-1020Both Salmon and Bittersweet celebrated their birthdays a few days later. Salmon looked a lot like uncle Loquat but he had father’s red hair and uncle Blizzard’s green eyes. He was a cute boy. And kind beyond worlds. And always so positive. A great young man he was, my younger brother.

Screenshot-989Bittersweet aged up pretty, too. She didn’t want neither party or recognition over her aging and simply transitioned on her own in her bedroom before coming downstairs to show off her new looks. I was extremely excited over her aging since it meant Romeo would soon be asking her out.

I had promised to not say anything, but it was hard keeping my mouth shut when the best thing possibly could soon be happening.

Screenshot-990“Wow, look at you” I said when she had placed her both feet on the ground floor.

“Seems I grew taller than you” she said and stretched with a happy grin on her face. If she was ever disappointed in me and Berrian leaving, she had refrained from telling me, and we were the best of friends again.

“Tell me, sister” I started. “How do you like Romeo?”

Screenshot-993“What do you mean?” she wondered.

“Exactly that. How do you like him?”

“I suppose he’s okay.”

I felt my heart sting. Okay was not enough. “Just okay?”

“We had a good time while you were gone. He’s quite fun” she replied without showing much emotions at all. I wondered if perhaps she was trying to make me feel nervous about it all or if she simply didn’t feel much about him.

“He looks quite good too, doesn’t he?” I asked, trying my best to get some more information out of her.

“I thought you didn’t look at him that way” Bittersweet teased and I had to drop it. I didn’t want to risk revealing Romeo’s plan before he had a chance to ask her himself.


Thank you heaven for giving me the idea of letting Watermelon “seduce” Romeo. 🙂 It worked out fairly well to tell a bit of her sad story.

I also wanted to show you all in this chapter that Berrian is not really so distant when it comes to Coral’s family and deep down inside he really do care for them all. He’s just restless and eager to go on adventures, which obviously sometimes affect others in a bad way.

Chapter 4.6: Finders keepers

First of all, this chapter contains a new type of writing because part of the story is told from a narrative perspective where Coral isn’t present. It’s a technique I will be using some in this generation overall because there will be events where she isn’t present to tell about the happenings. It’s marked with italic writing and is also written in third-person rather than first-person.

Secondly, this is a really long chapter but I didn’t want to cut it in two because this generation will already be crazy long. Sorry about it and I hope you enjoy.


Screenshot-985Even if Bittersweet was still annoyed with my lack of phone calls while I was away, she did soften up rather quick. The bird I had brought home instantly made a nest in her heart and the way she talked to it and cared for it only reminded me of how good she had always been with the younger kids. Still, I knew it wasn’t easy to run a household as young as she was. I knew for I had done it myself for a very long time. It felt distant now, but I had done it alright.

I did what I could to ease her work while I was at home for I wanted her to have a life too. She had given me the greatest opportunity I could have ever wished for and it was only fair that I returned the favor. But Bittersweet rarely went out. She never hung out with any friends her own age, which I guessed depended on the simple fact that she didn’t have any. She had cared for the family when there was no-one else to do it, and now she suffered the consequences.

She named the bird Rainbow because of all the different colors of its feathers. There was something special about Bittersweet, let me tell you, for she talked to that bird as if she could really understand what it was saying. And the bird chirped back as if it could really understand what she was saying. And there was no need for Bittersweet to cage the bird, she simply put a small tree in her room and let Rainbow fly around as he pleased. It was rather fascinating to see, actually.

Screenshot-919Every day without Berrian was a burden for me and it was lovely when he finally arrived at our house with the few belongings he decided to bring. Like me, he didn’t feel the need to own stuff just for the simple satisfaction of actually owning it. We only needed the very basics.

“I can’t wait to introduce you to everyone” I said and drowned in his dreamy, happy eyes.

“If they’re anything close to as fantastic as you describe them I can’t wait to meet them either” he replied.

The truth was that no words could ever describe how much I loved my siblings so he would simply have to learn by himself what it was that made them so fantastic.

Screenshot-916First of all I introduced him to Bittersweet for she was the most precious friend I had besides the ones Berrian already knew. As they shook each other’s hands I felt strangely nervous even though I was sure they would like each other.

Bittersweet needed to like him for she needed more friends. If I could help with that I would, even if it was as easy as introduce her to Berrian. In fact, if they became friends it would be about the best thing that could happen for they were the two ‘bows I cared most for in the whole world.

Screenshot-918They took a liking to each other right away, which was only natural since neither of them was very hard to like. It warmed my heart to see them lean in and giggle together. Although, Bittersweet also got a bit serious when she told him it wasn’t fair that he was stealing me away from her. It sounded like a joke, and I’m sure Berrian took it as a joke, but I understood that she did kind of mean it.

And I had to say I understood her. I would feel the same way if it was the other way around.

Screenshot-921If Bittersweet liked Berrian, it was nothing compared to how Salmon greeted him as a member of our family right away. I had always worried most about Salmon for he was so young when mother left and there had never been an adult in his life. He had needed to rely on his two elder sisters to provide for him, which we of course had done as well as we could, but surely there had to be something missing in his life. For instance, he had never had much guidance from an older man. Except for what uncle Blizzard provided when Salmon played with Calypso. Or what Taxus provided the few times he came to visit.

He rarely ever came around, Taxus, for he had his own family now. A family who actually loved him and I knew he had sworn to not repeat mother’s mistakes and I was also sure that he was the most loving husband and father one could think of.

Screenshot-922It was interesting to see Berrian try to beat Salmon at video games. As far as I knew, Berrian didn’t care much for technology or video games but yet he threw himself straight in to the game and actually tried his best to give Salmon a fair game. Not that it mattered for Salmon was a natural with that controller.

I stood just watching them play together and it was a lovely sight. It was amazing to think that my siblings welcomed Berrian to the family with their arms wide open.

Screenshot-998Of course, that was before I tried to introduce him to Watermelon. I didn’t know much about her, but it came clear to me during the introduction that she was a hot-headed young lady. Instead of shaking Berrian’s hand she twisted her face and snarled at him, making it very clear that she was not happy to have him in her home.

Screenshot-984As a matter of fact, Watermelon seemed to be constantly grumpy unless her best friend Celeste was around. When Celeste did come with her home after school she was a whole different person who even had a smile on her face.

Screenshot-979Celeste was, they told me, a far-away relative to us: Grandfather Sundance had a brother named Quince – who in his turn had a son called Mustard and Celeste was Mustard’s daughter. That made her our… second cousin or something?

No matter, she had a great impact on my youngest sister – who despite my worries about Salmon – seemed to be the one hurting the most of all the drama in our family. Perhaps she had been old enough to remember mother being suddenly gone and she was certainly old enough to remember me leaving the family, but perhaps not old enough to understand why I did it. And unless she did, I had done the same thing as mother had in her eyes. It hurt to think about, so I just relished the times when Celeste was around since Watermelon seemed so trouble-free and happy then.

Screenshot-980Celeste was a great girl. She had en energy quite like the one Romeo had and always managed to bring joy and laughter to our house. Perhaps it had to do simply with the fact that Watermelon didn’t pout – or perhaps Celeste was simply a person to bring happiness wherever she went.

Screenshot-928I quickly got used to having Berrian around and I found that having him close made me a better person. He completed me in a way that is hard to describe in words, but which sure did feel like one of the most precious gifts ever.

With my own garden growing, providing us with what food our family could eat, we found that we did not need to work to get around. Although, Berrian did talk a lot about all the amazing places he wanted to take me and I knew that we would need some money to make it work, even though Berrian promised me he had it covered.

He had been staying at our house for a week when Romeo called and asked if he could come visit us. By this time Berrian was almost climbing the walls with restlessness and each day he wondered when we could leave for our first trip. I think he did understand that I couldn’t walk away in my siblings again but it still made him jumpy. Having Romeo over would hopefully ease some of his tensions and get his mind off the fact that he was for the time being stuck at one place.

Screenshot-972“Romeo, one of my friends from Uni, is coming to visit” I told Bittersweet during breakfast the next morning. I could barely contain my excitement over having Romeo over and Bittersweet, of course, noticed.

“You sure didn’t rest while you were there, did you?”

“Oh, you will see when he gets here” I replied and smiled. “He is the most amazing person. I mean, he is really, really great. I know you’ll like him. You really will!”

Screenshot-973Bittersweet stuffed her mouth full with waffles before speaking. “Did’n– knrghw — yehwre –” she paused and swallowed the food. “– such a Casanova.”

“Excuse me?” I turned to look at her and raised my brows.

“I thought Berrian was the one? And now you’re telling me there’s someone else, someone who’s as amazing as him?”

Screenshot-974“Oh” I blushed slightly and turned to the kitchen counter again. “Not like that, Romeo is just a friend. But a great one. The second best, actually.”

“Second?”

“No one could ever take your place, you know that.”

Screenshot-965All of my siblings were in school when Romeo arrived and Berrian was glued to the TV on the upper floor, trying to master the game so that he would eventually have a chance against Salmon. I hugged my friend tight and we both smiled widely at each other. It hadn’t been long since the graduation but I had sure missed him since and judging by how tight his hug was, he had missed me too.

We spent a few minutes just catching up before I showed him the house. He would be sleeping in Taxus’ old room while he stayed which suited him just fine. Once the tour had come to a stop, we were back in my old room. It hadn’t been used much since Berrian came here because we preferred sleeping in mother’s double bed to sharing my single one or having separate bedrooms. But I still liked my room and as always, it was everyone’s favorite hangout spot because of the rocking chair.

Screenshot-966“So, you and Berrian are like– exclusive now?” Romeo asked and smiled. Of course it wasn’t a serious question for he knew very well we had been exclusive ever since we first met. No one could deny it.

“It’s great having him around. And you too, Romeo” I replied.

“I should never have introduced you to him. Who should I be with now?” Romeo winked and I couldn’t quite figure out whether he was being serious or not. Our relation had never been to the romantic side, even if he was attractive and nice to hang out with.

“I’m serious. Kind of” he continued and I felt my jaw drop. “I mean, I’m really glad you and Berrian are together. You are perfect for each other, after all. I just… I wish there was someone for me too. It gets lonely. Especially now that you two have each other.”

“You’ll find someone, eventually. Probably when you least expect it. And really, even if it’s wonderful, it’s not the biggest deal. As long as you have berries around you for who you care for and who cares for you, you’ll be fine. I was perfectly happy when it was just you and me too. And you can always be with us, if you want to.”

Romeo smiled, “An eternity as the third wheel. Sounds awesome.”

Screenshot-914“You know what’s great?” Berrian said later that evening, once Romeo had been introduced to everybody.

“Having Romeo here again?” I guessed.

“Nah-ah. Or well, yeah… Now that Romeo is here we can leave. I know him, he won’t mind staying here to care for your family while we go for a short trip. It’s only for a few days after all.” Berrian beamed over his own idea but I was more hesitant. I rarely had any reason to work against my love, but after having had the conversation I did with Romeo earlier, I couldn’t just agree that it was a great idea.

“I think he came to see us… Not my family” I said but the smile on Berrian’s face didn’t fade.

“We’ll be back! It’s only for a few days. He hasn’t got anything better to do anyway. And I need to go, we’ve been here for too long already. There’s so much to see! We can’t just wait for it unless we want to risk growing old without having seen everything there is to see out there. You do realize, right?”

Screenshot-987We asked Romeo about it later that night, even though I still had a bad feeling about it. It simply didn’t feel fair, but Romeo just scratched the back of his head and said: “I suppose I could.”

I know it meant he wasn’t overly happy with the task we had given him, but since he didn’t object we just went with it and started planning for our trip. Or rather, Berrian started filling me in on what he had already planned since long. I would just tag along and let him show me the beauty of traveling and exploring.

Screenshot-925Berrian told his newest best friend Salmon about it all and promised we would be back before his birthday. It had been my one condition – we wouldn’t miss any birthdays while traveling for the younger kids probably still considered me their prime parent and I couldn’t take it all away from them.

Salmon seemed pleased knowing we would be back to celebrate his birthday and he also got along well with Romeo so it would be alright. Bittersweet naturally pouted a bit, but like Salmon she had connected to Romeo straight away so she wasn’t as upset as I had feared since she knew Romeo would be there with them. Watermelon simply didn’t seem to care whether I was at home or not, and just shrugged when we announced we were leaving.

When we were on our way I let go of all the guilt and embraced the thought of exploring a new place by the side of my true love. It all made me very excited.

Screenshot-930As soon as my eyes caught sight of the sandy land that was Egypt my heart flopped and I felt a rush of happiness fly through my body. It looked nothing like the worlds I knew. There were no vibrant bright colors wherever you looked and it was a bit strange to adapt to. Everything kind of blended together since it all followed the same matte color scheme. It sure was beautiful.

Screenshot-931I kept trying to look at everything at one as we walked in to a camp where several tents were placed. Berrian smiled at how hungry my eyes were and I started to understand why he loved this so much.

“This.. This is beautiful” I gasped and took a few running steps to catch up with Berrian and entwine my fingers with his.

Screenshot-932“This is nothing. Just you wait until you see our camp” he replied and smiled.

This was nothing? It had to impossible for any place to be more perfect than this, and yet Berrian said it was nothing. I tightened my grip of his hand and pulled myself closer to him. “Our camp?”

“It’s no adventure staying at the prepared camps, is it?”

Screenshot-934It was only a short walk, but I never would have found the place unless Berrian guided me. We walked through some thick growth and behind some big rocks before a quiet little spot close to the river laid in front of us. A single tent stood already in place next to a fire pit. It looked deserted and yet oddly live-able.

“Ah, I knew I could count on Camel” Berrian said as we stepped in to the camp.

“Camel?”

“Met him when I was here last time, asked him to set a tent up for us here. Less time spent preparing our camp means more time for exploring. What do you say, just ditch our things here and then get going right away?”

Screenshot-935“Hold it there a bit. You’re stressing me out. Can you just tell me a bit about this place. I feel like I’m lost.”

Even if I wanted to explore the tombs and pyramids with Berrian, I first wanted to make sure I knew what I was getting myself in to. It seemed like he sometimes forgot about the fact that I hadn’t been traveling before while he was very experienced himself. He would have to take it slow and guide me through it rather than just pushing me in to it.

“We’re in Al Simhara. You know that already” he said slightly disappointed.

I didn’t want to disappoint him and I was really excited for the exploring to begin but I was also worried because I didn’t know what I should expect. Berrian smiled and took my hand, “Love, I could tell you everything there is to know about this place and you wouldn’t know what to expect anyway. There’s no way any story can tell you what it’s like when you really see it for yourself. I promise you though, that I will tell you everything I know about every single place we visit.”

Screenshot-936Even if Berrian’s word didn’t really ease my nerves, we did as he wanted and just left our belongings in the tent before heading towards our first adventure. I had heard about The Great Sphinx before but I could never have guessed that it would be as big and mighty as it was when we got there. Standing next to it, I couldn’t even see above its feet.

Screenshot-940“It’s huge” I said and looked up as we progressed towards the entrance Berrian promised laid between the statue’s front legs. Like our hidden camp, it was such a thing that you never would know about unless someone told you because the whole statue looked to be made out of solid rocks. Non-the-less a door slid to the side as we got closer, revealing a dark corridor where flames were shooting up from the floor.

“This is the Sphinx” Berrian said and kept walking forward. “It was built over 4000 years ago as what is mostly believed to be a marker of the Equinox. I don’t know what to believe, other than I think it’s filled with secrets and treasures worth looking for.”

Screenshot-943We made our way through the flames: Berrian went to stand on a spot on the ground which he said was “marked” in a way while telling me to swim through a small pool and push a statue until it revealed an entrance. All in all we made it through rather quick and I was surprised by how well-guarded the place was and by how easy Berrian knew how to get around it.

“It’s easy when you know what you’re looking for” he simply said. What we had just done was a wonder to me, while to the experienced explorer by my side it was no big deal.

Once we had gotten through the first obstacle we stood in a big, dusty room only lit by a few torches hanging on the walls which Berrian easily lit with the matches he had brought. As he made his way around the room, lighting the torches and gently touching all the walls to look for hidden passages I felt a strong love build up inside me. It was no wonder that I loved this man.

Screenshot-944He walked around the entire room stroking the walls without finding anyway to get further and I thought that perhaps this was it. The room we stood in was amazing as it was with its massive stone constructions and high ceilings. Just thinking about the fact that this whole place had been built by hand several thousands years ago was overwhelming.

“I can’t believe someone built this” I said and looked around.

“Slaves” Berrian said matter-of-factly. “Poor things most likely had to work until they died and no one thought it was weird. It’s still an amazing building, of course.”

“Mhmm” I nodded.

Berrian continued to search the room by crawling on the ground and I was pretty much mesmerized just by looking at him move through the room with such determination. His whole body shined with joy and it was easy to tell that this was his true element. He belonged here. My thoughts were soon interrupted by a happy and content cry from Berrian: “Aha!” He laid with his arm stuck down in a hole in the floor.

Screenshot-945Another cry escaped his lips just a short moment later and he pulled his arm up with such speed that I had a hard time understanding what was happening. Berrian shook his arm wildly by his side and I soon realized that it was covered with bugs and insects and I too started flailing my arms around. “Get those off of you!” I cried. “They could be dangerous!”

He managed to shake them all off and didn’t seem to have been caused any harm which was a true relief. “Happens” he said without any trail in his voice that he had just experienced a near-death-moment. I almost lost my breath when he sat down on his knees and lowered his arm down the hole again. “I’m quite sure I felt a switch down here” he mumbled and just seconds later a loud rumbling sound was heard.

Screenshot-946“I knew it!” he cried out in joy and ran over to the wall from where the sound had come. He pushed brick after brick on the wall and after what felt like an eternity the door gave in and swung open.

Screenshot-947“Look at this Coral!” he exclaimed as we entered the secret room. Piles of old golden coins laid shattered on the floor beneath a pillar which held an old rusty bowl.

I followed him in to the room and looked around at all the treasures hidden here. It was hard to imagine that we were perhaps the only ones who had ever seen this. Even if the old rusty bowl didn’t look like it, it was most likely worth more than anything I had ever own in my life. If it had been hidden in here when the statue was built, it meant that it was about 4000 years old. It was crazy to think about.

Screenshot-942“This place is…” I was literally lost for words. “This is the most amazing place I have ever seen” I said instead. Berrian nodded and started to walk through the room and pick up the gold coins from the ground, putting them in his pockets.

“Are you sure you’re allowed to take them?” I wondered, fairly certain that the coins and treasures belonged here.

“Whatever’s in here doesn’t belong to anyone. Finders keepers.”

“But it’s… history. You can’t just take it, can you?”

“It’s what I do. I collect the things and sell them to museums. Then I use the money to see more places. It’s a fair deal. Now come, I’m sure here’s another room.”

Screenshot-948A rumbling sound echoed in the room, but this time it came from my own stomach rather than the stone walls.

“Oh, you are getting hungry” Berrian said and kept walking. “Just this last room, then we’ll head back to camp and have some dinner, okay?”

Screenshot-949When we got out from the Sphinx it was already dark, it seemed like hours had passed while we were exploring the underground tomb. Berrian had laid his hands on several piles of golden coins as well as some relics and he were happy as a clam when we returned to the camp. I was happy, too, for I had just had one of the best experiences in my life. It had been a pure joy watching Berrian explore and the old building was simply breathtaking.

And cooking our food over the open fire in the camp was beautiful, too. Even if it wasn’t as good as my home-cooked meals.

Screenshot-950“I’ve had a great day” I said later and wrapped myself up in Berrian’s arms. “Thanks for showing me all of this.”

“It was my pleasure” he replied and kissed me softly. Even after the amount of kisses we had already shared his kiss still managed to set my body on fire and we soon took it to the tent:

Screenshot-951Screenshot-952Sex wasn’t a big thing for us. It had never been, it was simply a natural way of going with your feelings. Still, it was of course a big thing because it was good. Magical, almost.

Screenshot-954The next morning we grilled some of the vegetables I had brought from home for breakfast and Berrian told me he wanted to visit another tomb today.

“I loved going with you yesterday” I said and took a bite from my potato, which didn’t really taste like a potato since it wasn’t completely cooked and tasted mealy and hard. “But I think I want to see some things above ground today.”

“Oh… I forget that you haven’t been here before. It feels like you’ve always been with me. There’s a great garden just up the hill here, I think you’ll like it. I kind of know the guy who runs it and I’m sure he’ll let you pick some of the fruits and bring home if you’ll like?” And like that it was decided: I went to visit the garden while Berrian would go explore another tomb.

Screenshot-960When we had said goodbye and Berrian promised to be careful I started walking up the hill after Berrian’s directions and after a while a neatly planned garden came in to view. The simple sight of it made me feel so at home that I started running towards it.

Screenshot-963It felt just like being home, in my own garden, when I gently picked some of the fruits down. There were some plants I had never seen before, growing fruits you could only buy at the stores at home and I treated the rare fruits just like Berrian had treated his treasures the other day.

Several hours passed while I was in that garden but to me it felt like only a few short minutes. I simply loved gardening and I couldn’t wait to get back home and plant some of my new fruits and vegetables.

Screenshot-964Screenshot-961Screenshot-962While Coral was busy picking fruits and vegetables from the Egyptian garden Berrian went for another treasure hunt. His searches led him down through a maze of hidden doors and fire traps. Without Coral by his side, Berrian was able to move much faster through the tomb. Unlike Coral, he had seen a lot of awful things down tombs like this before and when he stumbled upon the remains of a human skeleton he was happy that Coral was not with him. He knew that Coral had in fact enjoyed exploring the Sphinx with him, but he also knew that she was a lot more scared of the dangers in the tombs than he was, and he didn’t want her to worry about him. For all he knew, worry only led to dangers. It was better to just push on and focus on what laid ahead.

After having emptied several rooms on their treasures Berrian finally came to a room where a big stone chest stood in the middle. The lid of the chest was heavy and laid sturdy in place but with enough will he managed to get it to open. A sparkling beam came to his view and he carefully leaned down and laid his hands on an old relic in the shape of an eagle. 

Screenshot-956It was still light outside when both me and Berrian were back at our camp. Even though I hadn’t been by his side the entire day I still felt like I had. Unless he were here, I wouldn’t be either, which meant that we were here together even if we were separated for a few hours.

Screenshot-957“How has your day been?” Berrian asked and his eyes were still the kindest and most amazing ones I had ever seen.

“It was lovely!” I exclaimed and went on to tell him everything about the garden and the smell of the fresh fruits. He listened closely while I talked without interrupting and yet again I realized how lucky I was to have reeled this guy in. He was perfect, just perfect. “I could totally live like this. Just you and me, perhaps a bunch of kids, and the nature.”

“Uhm, you might want to take your food out of the fire now” he said once I was quiet long enough to let him speak.

Screenshot-959I looked at my stick on which three black, burnt potatoes announced that I had been focusing too much on the past and too little on the future during the last few minutes.

“But we have to get ourself a decent stove if it should work” I joked and swallowed the potatoes which tasted anything but good. Berrian just laughed and nodded:

“Sure, if you let me live like this I can live with having a real stove.”

Chapter 4.2: Just for me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“How could you tell?” I smiled back.

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

“I’m Coral.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Screenshot-830“Really?”

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

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


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

Chapter 4.1: A broken family

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Screenshot-765“You did what?!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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