Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Blackberry's Second Journal: Chapter 9
Quote:Chapter 9: Berry Blossom Festival III

"Smell that berry blossom scent!" I said, taking a deep breath while lying down relaxing on Albatross' canopy.

"You know that I can't smell. I don't have a nose!" Albatross said.

"You have a nose," I said with a little laugh.

"All it has are the lightning cannon and the harpoon. Can't smell anything with that!" he said and we laughed.

"Hey, I just remembered," I said. "If I smell berry blossoms, then the Berry Blossom Festival will be held soon."

"Berry Blossom Festival?" he asked.

"It's a festival held to celebrate the berry blossoms blooming," I replied.

"Is the festival great?" he asked.

"Yeah, definitely," I said.

"What are the things you can do there?" he asked.

"Many things," I said. "Tea party, sing songs, play games..."

"Nothing then..." he said.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"I can do nothing there," he said. "I don't have human body. I can't drink tea and play games. Don't ask me to sing either. I have no idea about melody."

"Uh..." I said, speechless because of what he had just said.

"Never mind about all those," he said. "Watching from above will do fine for me."

"I wish I knew a way... Sorry," I said.

"Hey, I said never mind," he said.

"If you allow me... I'm going to walk around Strawberryland," I said, getting up and jumping down from the canopy.

"Why shouldn't I?" he said. "Be careful walking."

"Yeah got it," I said, leaving the place.

While walking, I kept thinking about Albatross. I had not been aware that his life was not as great as I had thought. Sure, being able to fly at incredible speed, travel through time, control gravity, and other things seemed neat. But not being able to do things normal human could do didn't sound great at all. I then started to wish that he became a normal human so he could have fun with me and everyone else, but it was of course impossible. I hadn't even figured out what he actually was anyway.

I kept walking without knowing where to go, and suddenly I heard someone playing trumpet nearby. I looked around and realized that I was near Peppermint's house, and the trumpet sound came from there. I then walked towards the house to check if it was Peppermint playing the trumpet. Once I arrived, I took a peek through the window and found that it was indeed Peppermint herself who played the trumpet.

"Nice playing, Peppermint," I said once she finished playing a song.

"Oh, hi Blackberry! Do you really think so?" she asked, opening the front door for me.

"Of course. You're really good at it," I said, coming in.

"The story was kinda different last week, though," she said, sitting down on a chair.

"Different?" I asked, sitting down on another chair.

"I think it's sorta better not to remember that," she said.

"If you say so," I said.

"Hey, you will come to the Berry Blossom Festival, right?" she asked.

"Why wouldn't I?" I said. "Time Remote II is no more."

"Oh yeah, I remember that," she said with a giggle. "We couldn't go to the first festival because we had to chase Apple."

"Glad that I could come to the second one in the following year," I said. "It was really great."

"And more peaceful according to our friends," she said. "The first one had Purple Pie Man ruining most of it."

"I hope for the best on this coming one," I said.

"Me too," she said, getting up. "I gotta practice!"

"Oh, so you'll be playing music on the stage?" I asked.

"Yeah, with Strawberry Jam!" she said. "Ginger's on vacation so I replace her."

"I see. I wish you luck then," I said, getting up.

"Thank you!" she said as I walked to the front door, leaving her to do her practice.

Three days later was the day of the festival. When I left my house in the morning, Albatross wasn't there at his place. I thought that he had already gone to watch the festival from above, so I went there without much concern. However, when I arrived I didn't see him anywhere.

"Could he be watching from very high above?" I thought, looking upwards but finding nothing.

"'ello t'ere, Blackberry!" someone greeted. It didn't take long for me to recognize that it was Crepes.

"Hello, Crepes," I said.

"T'ankz for inviting me 'ere! T'is iz my first time 'ere!" she said.

"You should thank Strawberry for that," I said. "I didn't do anything."

"It doezn't matter! Let'z 'ave fun wit' ot'ers!" she said, going away cheerfully.

"Hey, Blackberry!" someone else greeted. I looked at her and saw that it was Cherry.

"Cherry! It's been very long!" I said.

"Indeed! And I'm glad to see you again!" she said, giving me a hug.

"You still love hugging like before," I said.

"Cherry love hug!" she said, imitating what she had said in the past. Both of us had a little laugh, and then she left me cheerfully.

Not too long later, the band Strawberry Jam entered the stage. As Peppermint had said, Ginger was not there so she became the replacement. Strangely, Huck was on stage as well. He was holding a mic so I assumed he would be the vocal. I had no idea what to expect, so I just waited standing behind the rows of audiences.

With Strawberry giving a sign, the band started singing... a rap song. I had no idea what to say about that. The song felt strange for me, and truth to be told I was not really fond of it. Kinda ironic because they kept repeating the line 'Hope you like it', which sadly I didn't quite agree with.

After the song was over, the festival continued. The band members had changed to their normal clothes and joined with the others. I myself pretty much enjoyed my time, but I was still concerned about the absence of Albatross. He could be indeed watching from very high above, but uncertainty kept me worried about him. I kept thinking about him while drinking a glass of juice given by Orange Blossom when Huck greeted me from behind.

"Hey, what's with the muse?" Huck said.

"Ah, nothing," I said.

"Anyway, who do you think will be the queen this time?" he asked.

"Who else?" I asked back.

"There's one thing about that, though," he said.

"What is it?" I asked.

"I want to let someone else be the queen this year," Strawberry said, coming suddenly.

"Seriously? Why?" I asked. "Everyone knows that you're the one most deserving for the title!"

"I know, and I'm berry thankful for that," Strawberry said. "But don't want to keep it for myself every single year! I want to share the feeling of having that title!"

"Well, if you say so..." Huck said.

"Have you announced it?" I asked.

"Not yet, but will do soon. See you later!" Strawberry said, leaving us. She then went to the main stage and turned on the mic.

"Well, that's Strawberry," I said. "She sure is overdosed from generosity pills."

"I second that," Huck said.

"Hello, everyone! I have a berry big thing I'd like to announce!" Strawberry said through the mic. Everyone immediately went towards the main stage and stood in front of it.

"First of all, I'm berry excited that we are now having the third Berry Blossom Festival!" she said, and everyone applauded. "However, I also want to say that I won't be the Berry Blossom Queen this year."

The last line caused some gasps among the audiences, and then some of them asked each other in confusion.

"Why, Strawberry? We all want you to be queen! You deserve that!" Raspberry asked, followed by agreement from the crowd.

"I'm berry grateful that you all think so, but I don't want to keep the title every single year! I want to share it with everyone else!" Strawberry replied.

"But how are you gonna choose the new queen?" Angel asked.

"I have a berry great idea for that!" Strawberry said. "Let's have a contest like in the first Berry Blossom Festival! But done properly this time, fair and square!"

Strawberry's last line caused the crowd to question each other.

"Strawberry, have you forgotten that the contest was entirely not about what it takes to be a queen?" Orange asked.

"Yeah, being a queen isn't about how smart, strong, and beautiful you are, am I right?" Ginger said.

"Of course I didn't forget!" Strawberry said. "The contest will be just for the fun of it. I know everyone deserves to be a queen already."

"Well..." Peppermint said. "I think it could work. But who's going to be the contestant?"

There was a silence among the crowd. It seemed that everybody was reluctant because they still thought that Strawberry was still the most deserving. It lasted for a while that Strawberry started to worry.

"I'm in!" Suddenly someone shouted. Everybody looked at the source and saw a girl they had not seen before. It was no doubt that I was the only one who knew that the girl was Pomegranate Parfait.

"Now the flow of time is really screwed..." I said silently. "Maybe I should just stop caring about it now."

Pomegranate then went on stage and approached Strawberry. The crowd were confused and they questioned each other about who she was.

"Who are you, new friend?" Strawberry asked kindly.

"My name is Pomegranate Parfait!" Pomegranate replied confidently.

"Alright, it turns out that we have a berry amazing newcomer in Strawberryland and she is going into the contest!" Strawberry announced. "Who is going to be Pomegranate's opponent?"

The crowd was still as reluctant as before, and then suddenly we heard another voice.

"May I come in even though I'm a boy?" the voice asked. Everybody looked towards the source and saw a boy nobody had ever seen before. Even I had no idea who the boy was. He was about the same age as Pomegranate.

"Why not? You can become the Berry Blossom King!" Strawberry said. The boy then went to the stage and stood next to Pomegranate. "What's your name?"

"I'm Alb..." he said, suddenly stopping his speech.

"Alb...?" Strawberry asked. The boy kept silent.

"Al... Almond," the boy said. "I'm Almond Cookie"

"Everyone, please give an applause to both the berry amazing newcomers of Strawberryland, and also our two contestants! Pomegranate Parfait and Almond Cookie!" Strawberry announced, and the crowd gave an applause.

"While I don't disagree with Strawberry letting someone else to be queen, giving it to a total newcomer is sorta a different story," Peppermint whispered to me while still applauding.

"That's Strawberry for you," I said.

The first round of the contest was a quiz. According to what I had heard, in the first festival Purple Pie Man had been the host and he had asked questions impossible for Strawberry to answer while ridiculously easy for her opponent Sour Grapes, such as 'What is Sour Grapes' favorite food?' and 'What time does Sour Grapes wakes up?'. This time, Strawberry was the host.

"The questions I have here are collected from everyone else," Strawberry said while holding small pieces of paper. "First question: What is the name of this land?"

Almond pressed the bell button first. "Strawberryland!"

"That is correct! ten points for you! Next question: Umm... what is my name...?" Strawberry said, reluctantly reading her paper, probably a bit surprised by the question.

Pomegranate was faster. "Berry Princess!"

"I'm berry flattered, Pomegranate. But that's not my name. What is your answer, Almond?" Strawberry asked.

"Strawberry Shortcake isn't it?" he said.

"That is correct! Another ten points for you! Next question: How many boys are there in here?"

Almond was first. "Two!"

"Sorry, Almond. But I don't think that is correct," Strawberry said, and then she looked at Pomegranate.

"Three. Huckleberry Pie, Blackberry Bun, and Almond Cookie," Pomegranate said. "I bet you forgot to count yourself, Almond."

"How did she know our name?" Huck whispered to me.

"I have no idea," I replied with a lie.

"That is correct, Pomegranate! Now the score is 20 for Almond and 10 for Pomegranate. Next question, and this is worth twenty points: How many of us live in a treehouse?" Strawberry said.

Almond was first. "Wild guess. Two?"

"That is correct! Orange Blossom and Blackberry Bun live in a treehouse! Now it is 40 for Almond and 10 for Pomegranate! Don't give up, Pomegranate!" Strawberry said.

"I never said I would," Pomegranate said.

"Okay, next question and this is worth twenty too: What is the name of my little sister?" Strawberry said.

Pomegranate was faster. "Apple Dumplin'!"

"She knew Apple's name too? When and how did she know that?" Huck whispered.

"Don't ask me," I replied.

"Correct! Now the score is 40 for Almond and 30 for Pomegranate! The next question I pick will be the final question and it will be worth thirty. So whoever answers this correctly will win the round!" Strawberry said, randomly picking one piece of paper from her hand. "The final question is... When is... Sour Grapes'... birthday...?"

The question surprised every audience including Strawberry herself, but what was more surprising for them was Pomegranate immediately and confidently pressing the button.

"1 April!" she said, which surprised most of the audience even further because it was correct.

"That is correct! Pomegranate is the winner of this round! Congratulations!" Strawberry said.

"Hold on a second! Something is very wrong here!" Raspberry interrupted, standing up. "How is it possible that Pomegranate knows our names and also the birthday of Sour Grapes?!"

"Yeah, there's no way a newcomer can know all of those!" Angel said, standing up as well.

"There should be some kind of explanation!" Peppermint said, also standing up. The rest of the crowd then questioned each other and they seemed to agree that something was wrong for them.

"Please everyone, calm down! You're scaring her!" Strawberry shouted, putting the crowd into silence. Everyone looked at Pomegranate, who looked startled at the reaction of the crowd.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you," Raspberry said.

"Me too. I was just... confused and wondering," Angel said.

"Yeah... I'm sorry," Peppermint said.

Pomegranate was silent and her face seemed like she could start crying anytime soon. Strawberry then approached Pomegranate and gave her a warm hug. I couldn't see Pomegranate's face, but she seemed to be crying on Strawberry's chest. What I saw made me realize that as mischievous as she was, Pomegranate was still just a little girl after all.

"Pomegranate," Strawberry said, still hugging Pomegranate. "Our friends still want some explanation from you, but you don't have to explain if you don't want to."

"I... I... want... Blackberry," Pomegranate said. Strawberry then called me to come, which I complied.

"She wants you," Strawberry said with Pomegranate still in her hug.

"You explain," Pomegranate said, releasing the hug and facing towards the crowd with watery eyes. She immediately wiped them dry with her hand.

"Everyone..." I said to the crowd with my hands on Pomegranate's shoulders. "Meet Pomegranate Parfait, daughter of Purple Pie Man."

The crowd reacted to my last line with a big 'What!?'.

"She came from the future seven years ahead of our time to see what the past is like," I said, then suddenly Pomegranate took something from her pocket and held it high. A blinding light came from it, making me unable to see anything. The next thing I saw was my whole view being tinted green and everything was frozen like the flow of time had been stopped. Pomegranate was still standing next to me, and she was not tinted green like the rest.

"Too much drama," Pomegranate said, pressing some buttons on what looked like a remote.

"You've been acting? What is that thing? And why didn't I get frozen?" I asked.

"Yeah, I've been acting. I wanted to see how nice the friends here are towards a total newcomer. Not that impressive, but still fine," she replied. "Though I must say that Strawberry's hug felt kinda... warm."

"Everyone really fell for that," I said.

"This is Time Remote III. Your future self lent it to me. It can also freeze time, but it won't work on the one holding the remote, and yourself," she replied, holding the remote high. Another bright light came out, but not as blinding as before.

"What did you just do?" I asked as the light faded out.

"Some memory alteration to preserve the flow of time," she replied. "They won't remember ever seeing me."

"By the way, did you say my future self lent that remote to you?" I asked.

"Yeah, with warnings like I've told you the first time we met," she replied. "He also warned me about a chance to temporarily losing some memories after each time travel."

"That explains why you said you had never stolen the Sun Stone when we met for the second time," I said.

"Yeah, I guess so," she said.

"I suppose that makes me king by default, then," suddenly we heard Almond speaking. Both of us were surprised by the fact that Almond was not affected by the time freeze.

"Alright, that surprised me," Pomegranate said. "Who, or what are you?"

"You can try guessing," he said as he walked towards us. To his surprise, I approached him and hugged him. "Hey, what are you doing...?"

"I'm happy that you now can have fun with others just like me... Albatross," I said.

"Albatross?" Pomegranate said, seeming surprised again. "That boy is your ship?"

"Heh, I guess I have given the answer away when Strawberry asked for my name," he said with a little laugh. "But call me Almond when I'm like this, okay?"

"Sure, Almond. I'm happy for you in any case," I said, then I released my hug. Pomegranate then immediately approached him and pinched both his cheeks.

"Hey, that hurts! What are you doing?" he asked. Pomegranate then released the pinch.

"Sorry! I just can't believe what I see now!" she said. "Anyway, the time freeze will be over soon. See you next time!"

After saying those, Pomegranate created a vortex and disappeared into it. Immediately after she disappeared, the time freeze was over and my view was no longer tinted green. Everybody else looked at us, seeming a bit confused.

"What are you waiting for?!" I shouted, grabbing Almond's right hand and holding it high. "Applause to the winner of the first round!"

Immediately, the crowd and Strawberry applauded.

"Are you sure about this?" Almond whispered.

"As sure as I can be," I whispered back.

"Congratulations, Almond!" Strawberry said. "But it is berry strange that I don't remember who your opponent was."

"It was me, don't you remember? You're tired, maybe we should take a short break before continuing to the next round?" I said.

"Maybe you're right," she said, then she noticed stains of Pomegranate's tears on her shirt. "Why my shirt is a bit wet?"

"You were sweating," I said. "This stage is a bit hot with all the spotlights."

"Oh yeah, you're berry right!" she said.

"Looks like we got away," Almond whispered.

"I hope so," I whispered back. "By the way, looks like you are even more mysterious than I have ever thought."

"Hehehe, good luck figuring me out," he said with a smirk.

--End of Chapter 9--
[Image: TheGrapesChildrenSig.png]
Reading this made me smile Big Grin and good grief, am I ever curious about what Albatross is! This doesn't seem like you just made it up as you went along. It seems well-planned, and after rereading older chapters, I am again very impressed with your improved storytelling. This chapter was a lot of fun.

Blackberry and Albatross' dishonesty about the events after Pomegranate left is something that I admit did feel awkward, although I'm not entirely sure why. I know, I know they had no choice in the matter and Blackberry did try to explain beforehand.

Oh, and who wrote each of those odd questions for the trivia contest?
Stella Grapes Wrote:Reading this made me smile Big Grin and good grief, am I ever curious about what Albatross is!
It will be revealed soon enough. I won't drag things all the way to the final chapter (If there's any). Concealing mysteries is quite tiring.

Stella Grapes Wrote:This doesn't seem like you just made it up as you went along. It seems well-planned, and after rereading older chapters, I am again very impressed with your improved storytelling. This chapter was a lot of fun.
I seriously made things up as I wrote. Maybe I'm just so AWESOME? :lol: :mrgreen:
Never mind, I mustn't get cocky.

Btw, I'm kinda curious on how you distinguish between a well-planned and a made-up-as-written writing.

Stella Grapes Wrote:Oh, and who wrote each of those odd questions for the trivia contest?
Some of the odder kids maybe? =P
[Image: TheGrapesChildrenSig.png]
Blackberry Bun Wrote:Btw, I'm kinda curious on how you distinguish between a well-planned and a made-up-as-written writing.

I can tell when certain people, especially my family, are making things up without any plans. There tends to not be pattern and purpose to what's being told then, or it rings of things I wrote when I was younger. A long time ago, I wrote a story about me and other people going on exciting adventures. It ended with everyone drowning in quicksand in Africa, because I couldn't think of a way to write the characters out of that. I tried to make up another story as I went along, and it ended with falling to death from a ferris wheel.

You seem like you have ultimate reveals and destinations in mind for loose ends, if not for an entire grand ending just yet.

Dear Childhood Self,

Why was everyone important to the stories in the exact same situations when they died and why was everyone in hopeless positions to save anyone? Why did you never think to go back and edit those details? Did you not know what editing was?

With Love,
Your Adult Self

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)