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Blackberry's Second Journal: Chapter 11a
Quote:Chapter 11a: Blackberry's Path

Almond and I parted ways to search for Randy, our friend who suddenly hated us for unknown reason and went away. Almond went with Mary, Randy's friend next door, while I went alone because I was more familiar to the area than Almond who came there for the first time. While walking, I kept wondering why Randy suddenly hated us even though he had been still nice the last time I had met him. Maybe something had happened during my years long absence? Or maybe he was mad because I had not visited him for years? In the end, there was no way I could figure out the reason without asking Randy himself.

My first search point was the old house where an old lady lived with a ghost named Sarah. When I arrived there, I was quite surprised that the old house no longer looked old and haunted. The house was clean and neatly painted, and the broken windows had been fixed, unlike the house I remembered. I knocked on the door, but there was no answer. I knocked again, and there was still no answer at all.

"Hey, aren't you... David?" suddenly someone asked from behind. I turned around and saw that it was Randy's father.

"Randy's father? It's been a long time!" I said.

"What are you doing here?" he asked.

"I'm looking for the old lady who lives here," I said.

"Oh..." he said. "Let's sit down for a bit."

Both of us then sat on the stairs right in front of the door of the house. The father looked a bit sad, which gave me a bad feeling.

"Is there something wrong?" I asked.

"I'm sorry to say this, David," he said. "The lady who lived here, is no longer here..."

"What...?" I asked. "You mean she's..."

"She became one with the stars two years ago," he said, looking to the sky. There was a silence for a moment.

"How come? And why this house is now very clean and tidy?" I asked.

"Her time had come, like any other old human" he said. "This house was inherited to her distant relative, and he had been taking good care of it ever since then."

"I see..." I said.

"Ah, there he is!" he said, pointing to a man walking from the distance. It was a rather fat man with thick dark brown beard. He wore green jacket with yellow shirt underneath and blue jeans.

"Him?" I asked.

"Yes," he said. He then stood up and approached the man once he got close to us. "Hello."

"DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!" The man replied with a thunderous roar which surprised me, but Randy's father was not so surprised.

"People in town call him Mr. Daa because of that roar," he said, looking at me. "Why don't you greet him?"

"Uh, hello," I said reluctantly.

"Ahhh...." the man said, smiling. He then entered the house.

"He cannot talk properly because his tongue is handicapped," Randy's father said. "But he's very nice and helpful, and he loves kids."

"That's pretty sad," I said.

"Ah, I have to go now," he said, looking at his watch.

"Be careful on your way," I said.

"You too, and don't hesitate to visit us again," he said, and then he left waving his hand.

"Now, where next?" I said to myself. Then I remembered the antique store in the nearby dark alley. I tried going there and explored the dark alley, but no matter how hard I looked I couldn't find the antique store. However, I occasionally felt that someone or something was watching me during my exploration. I couldn't find the watcher either, so I gave up and left the dark alley. I then couldn't decide where to go next. Orgel House was not in walking distance, so it was not an option. I had been able to go there in my first visit because the Hippopotamus Truck had given me a ride, but the truck was not with me this time.

"Maybe I should try the park," I said. "Maybe Almond is there as well."

I then walked to the park. While walking, I kept wondering about Sarah and Papa Rat, who had lived with the deceased old lady. What had happened to them? Had they moved somewhere else? Or were they still living in the house secretly? I was still thinking about it too much by the time I arrived at the park that I didn't notice a bicycle coming.

"Watch out!" I heard a voice of a girl. I looked and saw a teenage girl speeding with her bicycle towards me. She almost hit me with her bicycle, but she narrowly evaded. However, as the result she hit an iron fence and got thrown off from her bicycle. To my surprise, she sommersaulted and landed on her feet.

"I'm sorry! Are you alright?" I asked, running to her.

"Don't worry. I'm just fine. I'm the one who should say sorry," she said, retrieving her bicycle. "I'm looking for my missing cousin so I wasn't paying attention."

"Hey, we're pretty much the same!" I said. "I'm looking for my missing friend."

"Huh? Hmm...." she said, thinking. "Are you... David?"

"How did you know?" I asked. "So I guess we're looking for the same person."

"I just visited his house and I heard about what happened from his mother," she said. "Yes, we're looking for the same kid. I'm Catherine, his cousin."

"Do you know where he might be headed?" I asked.

"I'm not really sure. He has a lot of places to go," she said. "This park is one, but I couldn't find him here."

"I looked for him near the formerly haunted house, but he's not there either," I said.

"I see..." she said. "Where could he had gone?"

"Maybe Orgel House? But the distance is quite far, so maybe not?" I said.

"He might have taken a bus ride," she said. "In here buses are free of charge for children under 10."

"Is that so? Then maybe that place is worth a visit," I said. "But I'm already over that age."

"I'll give you a ride!" she said, getting on her bicycle. "Come!"

"Thanks!" I said, then I sat behind her on her bicycle. The ride to the Orgel House didn't take too long and I got to enjoy a good sea scenery while on the way. When we arrived, I saw that Orgel House had not changed at all, still the same building on the sea side. After Catherine parked her bicycle, both of us entered through the main door and started searching. However, the search was no success.

"Looks like he's not here," I said while both of us were walking at the hallway.

"Let's take a short rest," Catherine said. "I'm kinda tired after the ride. You're quite heavy, you know."

"Good idea. I haven't been here after all, so might as well take a tour," I said.

"Huh? But you knew this place," she said, wondering.

"I once came here, but I went straight to the balcony through the side walkway. I've never seen the inside of the building," I said.

"Then you should come here," she said, directly walking to a door. "Inside this room is one of the many Greenhill miracles."

We entered the room and found the musician of the house in there, playing his large bass violin while the old-looking organ-like instrument next to him was playing a matching song by itself. Right above the instrument there were a number of musician miniatures which also played a song by themselves. I recognized the miniatures as the same ones I had seen in the antique store.

"See? The musician only played his bass. The rest played by themselves!" Catherine said in excitement, just as the music ended.

"The instrument is a machine, so no wonder," I said. "But the miniatures are sure wonders."

"Unfortunately, they are beginning to end..." the musician said.

"End? What do you mean?" Catherine asked.

"Lately, they don't want to play anymore. I often had to play only with the instrument, and it doesn't sound happy when that happens" he said, looking at the instrument and the miniatures above it.

"How come?" she asked.

"It seems people no longer believe in miracles," he replied with a sigh. "And that is very unfortunate."

"But they just played," I said.

"They seem to play only in the presence of someone who truly believes in miracles," he said. "I believe, but truth to be told, I'm not fully certain."

"I think I believe, but maybe not? I'm not sure either," Catherine said. Then she and the musician looked at me.

"Huh? Me?" I said. "Yes, I believe in miracles. But I didn't think I would qualify for them."

After saying those, I began to think that the term might be, in other words, people who could see ChaCha and his friends. But as far as I knew, the only one who could besides me and the Strawberryland kids was Randy himself. Could it be that Randy was actually there, or it was true that I qualified for the miniatures? While I was still thinking, suddenly the door opened and someone entered. It was a guy in his early-mid twenties. He had black hair and wore glasses with thick frame. His shirt, pants, and shoes were all black, and he wore a chain necklace with a metal scorpion figure on it.

"Oh, hi Uncle!" Catherine greeted him.

"Hey, Catherine. How're you doing?" the guy replied with a smile.

"I'm just fine," Catherine replied. "David, this is my friend. His real name is not Uncle, but we call him Uncle."

"Hi," I said. It didn't take long until we then told Uncle about what was happening and the fact that we were looking for Randy.

"I see. I'll help too," Uncle said.

"Thank you!" Catherine said.

"You can ride in my car," Uncle said, looking at me.

"Thanks," I said.

"Huh? What about me?" Catherine asked.

"If you want to leave your bike here, go ahead and join us" Uncle said.

"Oh yeah I forgot!" Catherine said and we laughed a bit. Soon, we left the place after giving proper farewell to the musician. In the parking area, I saw that Uncle's car was a black sports car which looked a bit old, but also very well maintained. It seemed to be able to run much faster than Leopard.

"Well, get in," Uncle said, unlocking the doors.

"Okay," I said, getting in. We then left the parking area after waving hand with Catherine.

"It's a very nice car," I said, trying to open a conversation.

"It's old, though," he replied while still driving.

"Why are you called Uncle?" I asked.

"Because I want to," he replied. "And why are you called David... Blackberry Bun?"

"Huh?" I said. His last sentence really surprised me. "I... I mean..."

"Relax," he said with a giggle. "Randy is my best friend. He told me a lot of things about you."

"Things about me? Everything? And you believe?" I asked.

"Yeah, everything, and I believe," he said. "If you ask why, it's because I'm pretty much the same as him."

"The same as him?" I asked.

"This car..." he said. "...was my late brother."

"Eh?" I said, surprised again.

"It's a long story, and I don't feel like telling it," he said.

"Alright," I said. "But you said 'was'? Does that mean...?"

"Yeah, his soul has become one with the stars now," he said. "It happened two years ago."

"How come?" I asked.

"I have no idea," he said. "It seemed that on that day, all souls possessing inanimate objects returned to the stars without warning."

"How did you know that he really returned there?" I asked.

"I had a dream of him telling me that it was time for him to go back to the stars," he replied. "The dream felt so real, so I knew that it was true."

"Wait! You said 'all'? Does that mean... ChaCha too?" I asked. Uncle weakly nodded.

"Poor Randy. He was so shocked," he said.

"Yeah, losing his best friend like that..." I said.

"There's something more about that, though," he said.

"What is it?" I asked.

"Actually, Randy was starting to forget about ChaCha at that time," he said, which surprised me.

"Why?" I asked.

"He grew up like any other kid, and eventually ChaCha became too small for him to ride. So he started playing outside without bringing ChaCha, and little by little ChaCha became forgotten," he said.

"That's pretty sad," I said.

"Indeed," he said. "But like people said, 'You don't know what you've got until it's gone.'"

"By the way, where are we going now?" I asked.

"Like I said, I'll help looking for him," he said. "As you can see, it's almost sunset. He probably has returned home already, so let's look there first."

"You're probably right," I said. "And I promised my brother to return there by sunset."

"Oh, you have a brother?" he asked.

"Yes, and I love him very much," I said.

"Take a good care of him. Don't repeat my mistake..." he said. "Ah, never mind. I believe you won't."

So, we went back to Randy's house hoping that he had really returned home. When we arrived, I saw Almond already there standing around and waiting. My search for Randy was pretty much a failure, and I hoped Almond had been luckier than me.

--To Be Continued--
[Image: TheGrapesChildrenSig.png]
I must say that, trying to start the review at the moment, I am laughing a bit, because I have no idea what the people in Greenhill are like.

I cannot think to comment with very much.

• There are a lot, and I mean a lot, of sad things in this part. It seems like the point of this part was to be depressing. I hope there is a reason for this being, as you said, a downer.

• Are there alternate versions of yourself in every world you would potentially cross over with, and is there a reason why Uncle is Greenhill's Blackberry?
First of all, thank you! Big Grin
  • Truth to be told, I have no idea why my past self (About 5 years ago) thought it should be a downer. I have a notepad file listing a plan for chapters to write, and the final chapter was planned to be the event where every soul possessing inanimate objects return to the stars. It was even planned to happen when Randy was still 4 years old, but I decided to modify it to 6 years old for this story.

  • No, I don't think so.

    Uncle was added in my fanfic of this anime just because I felt like it. His background story is indeed completely depressing. His parents were divorced, his father later passed away because of sickness, his brother died from an accident right after the father's funeral, and his mother's whereabouts is unknown. Don't ask me, I have no idea why my past self thought about those heartbreaking things. I completely forgot

I had the files of the unfinished fanfic, but unfortunately all data was lost after I formatted my old laptop. The folder containing the files was hidden and Ctrl+A didn't detect hidden folders when I copied my documents to external hard disk.
[Image: TheGrapesChildrenSig.png]
Why do I have this feeling that you were hiding depression five years ago?
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