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Blackberry's Second Journal: Chapter 20 (Final Chapter)
#1

Quote:Final Chapter: Hope for Happy Future


The movie ended with massive applause from the viewers in the studio. I couldn't believe myself that our movie, made from mixing some points of our adventures in Oz, could receive such applause. Soon after, a girl came to me looking hesitated.

"Umm... Are you Guardian Blackberry and Guardian Almond?" she asked.

"Why, yes we are," Almond said. "May we help you?"

"Uhh... Please sign this!" she said, thrusting a notepad with pen.

"Sure! Why not?" Almond said, taking the notepad and pen, and signing it. "You too, bro!"

"Oh, alright," I said, taking both things from Almond and signing it. "Here you go."

"Thank you!" she said happily, and then she left. Just seconds later, the rest of the crowd swarmed each and every one of us asking for autograph. The autograph frenzy lasted for quite a while, and even after we were done with the crowd inside the studio, outside the theater there were more crowds doing the same. I was very overwhelmed, but there was no other good choice besides keep smiling and giving what they wanted. During the course of the swarm, Sour Grapes, who was right next to me, seemed a bit strange. She handled the crowd nicely like the others, but she seemed to be daydreaming as well. I wanted to ask about it, but with the noisy crowd around even screaming will be useless. Suddenly, she seemed very surprised. Her hands stopped signing, which confused the people around her. She then ran through the crowd in front of her, into the arms of a man only I and Almond knew: Somnus. They hugged each other warmly like a couple reunited after being separate for a long time. As this happened, the crowd went into silence and all autograph signing came into a halt as all eyes stared at the couple.

"You came for me..." Sour Grapes said.

"Yes, dear. I am here for you," Somnus said. "And I want to tell you this again."

"Oh... you mean..." Sour Grapes said as Somnus released his hug, kneeled on one knee, and presented a sparkling ring in a box. Sour Grapes covered her face from nose to chin with her hands, her eyes leaked a few tears.

"Sour Grapes," Somnus said. "I want someone to pass through life with me at her side, as her companion. Will you do the honor, to be my wife?"

There was a silence for a moment as Sour Grapes held her tears. She then reached her hand to the ring, held Somnus' hand with the other hand, and then she smiled.

"Yes... Yes! I will!" Sour Grapes said while half sobbing with tears of happiness. Somnus then put the ring into Sour Grapes' ring finger, and the couple hugged again, kissing each other's lips. The crowd around them cheered and applauded, while I looked away the moment I saw it. But I knew for sure that it was the beginning of her happy life.

Months had passed after the event, and winter had come, although not snowing yet. Sour Grapes had changed her name into Stella Grapes, and she lived with both her husband and her brother in a house not far from the theater, which was thriving well thanks to Strawberry's successful movie. Pie Man sold his pies at the theater, and Strawberryland girls happily supplied him with berries and cooking recipes to spice up his shop with variety. His shop was very successful, and everyone was happy to see him finally succeeding to fulfill his dream without damaging Strawberryland.

"Hey, Almond," I said while lying down lazily on the sofa in my living room.

"Yeah?" Almond replied while doing the same on another sofa.

"Is this what Pomegranate meant when she said that?" I asked.

"You mean when she said that Pie Man would finally succeeded?" he asked back, and I nodded. "Probably. Come to think of it, she only said that he finally succeeded, not succeeded in taking over Strawberryland."

"I still wonder, though," I said. "Judging from her looks, she was about the same age as Mango and Persimmons. She should be born pretty soon, but there's no sign of Pie Man going to marry someone."

"I think you missed something, bro," Almond said.

"Huh? What?" I asked.

"She never said how many years in the future she came from. You have been assuming that she was from seven years ahead because we had just come home from that future," Almond said.

"Come to think of it, you're probably right," I said. "I still wonder about Pie Man's wife, though."

"The Berry Princess, right?" Almond said.

"Yeah, I've never heard of a Berry Princess before Jackfruit Jam told me. I don't even know who Cranberry Crisp is," I said.

"Hey, let's visit him and try asking," Almond suggested.

"Well, why not? We have nothing else to do anyway," I said, getting up and taking my jacket, fur hat, and gloves.

So, we went to the movie theater where Pie Man opened his shop. Even though there was no snow yet, it was already cold outside so I wore my winter outfit. To save time, we went there riding Albatross. When we arrived there, it was still quite early so the shop was not open yet. We entered the shop anyway because we knew that Pie Man should be in the kitchen at the back by then. The door bell rang as we entered.

"Sorry! You came too early! We are not open yet!" Pie Man's voice was heard from the back.

"We're just visiting you!" I replied. Soon enough, he came out from the kitchen.

"Oh, hello there, boys. What brings you here? Perhaps the smell of my new recipe?" he said, grinning. "Another one from the girls actually."

"Well, it sure smells good," I said, sniffing the air a bit. "Be careful not to toast it."

"No worries. The oven has a timer," he said. "So, what brings you here, boys?"

"Well, we're just wondering..." I said, hesitating to continue.

"What is it?" he asked.

"We want to know when you will get married!" Almond said.

"Hey, don't ask right out of the bat like that!" I said, hitting Almond with my elbow.

"Hahaha! I like your style, boy!" Pie Man said. "Though I'm still afraid of you, by the way."

"Come on, I'm just like any other kids of Strawberryland," Almond said. "As long as you don't cause any threat to them, that is."

"Yeah yeah, I know," he said. "Anyway, I have no idea about that."

"Nobody in your mind yet?" I asked.

"No. I'd rather think about my pie shop than a woman," he said. "Why are you so interested in that, boys?"

"No, nothing. We're just wondering," I said, trying to avoid further discussion. From that point I started to regret coming to the shop. "Sorry for bothering. We're taking our leave now,"

"Not so fast, kid!" Pie Man said, he then went behind his cashier desk and crouched there. We couldn't see what he was doing.

"Eh, what? Are you going to confine me again?" I asked awkwardly, which was because somehow the line Pie Man had just said reminded me about the events where he had captured and confined me.

"Huh? No, of course not. Why should you think like that?" Pie Man asked, still hidden behind the cashier desk.

"It's your own fault, don't you remember?" Almond said with arms folded and slightly upset face. "Three times, almost four."

"Yeah, I know. Sorry about that. Anyway, I want you to give this to Strawberry Shortcake," Pie Man said, standing up and putting a gift box on the desk. "I'll give you another of this later."

"Huh? What is this?" I asked.

"Let's just say that this is my apology for every harmful thing I have done," Pie Man said.

"I don't think you need to do that," I said. "And what's past is past. You don't have to give me anything too."

"Also, I don't think you owe any apology to her. Strawberry is just that forgiving," Almond said.

"But I still don't feel right if I don't do anything," Pie Man said.

"Well, I think it's better if you give it to her yourself," I said.

"I want to do that, but I cannot leave the shop," Pie Man said. "Ahh, alright. I'll close early today. But... could you do me a favor?"

"What is it?" I asked.

"I'm kinda... embarrassed," he said, looking away from me. "I need you two to accompany me."

"Alright, tell us the hour and we will be there," I said.

"Well, about two I think," Pie Man said while thinking.

"See you soon then," I said, and the two of us left the shop.

"So, what are we going to do now?" Almond asked. "It's still six hours before two."

"Well, how about going to a place you have never been there yet?" I said, taking Time Remote II from my pocket.

"Huh? What is that place?" he asked.

"The Land of Dreams," I said. The remote responded by creating a dimension door, and the two of us jumped in. We immediately came out right in front of PJ's cafe. Almond looked around and he seemed astonished.

"Wow, I have never seen this place! What is this place actually?" he asked.

"This is the place where dreams are made," I said, walking through the stairs to PJ's cafe.

"Dreams? What do you mean?" he asked, following me. Immediately, the front door of the cafe opened and PJ herself welcomed us.

"Welcome to PJ's! Table for two: Blackberry Bun and Almond Cookie," PJ said.

"It's been a long time! How are you?" I asked.

"I am as fine as ever!" PJ said. "Now please sit down and have your hot chocolate!"

"How did she know my name?" Almond whispered to me.

"I know many things, dear!" PJ said. "I also know that you are actually a soul fragment of a planet far, far away!"

"Well, that's right, but..." Almond said. "I'd rather be recognized as his brother."

"Don't worry, dear! You are what you want to be," PJ said as the two of us sat down. A glass of hot chocolate appeared right in front of me, probably because PJ knew that Almond didn't need to eat or drink anything.

"Bro, you haven't told me what this place actually is," Almond said.

"Just wait a minute. Someone else will come soon," I said.

"Who?" Almond asked.

"Well, it's still quite early in the morning, so it should be... Daisy Dawn," I said.

"You're wrong!" suddenly a fairy entered saying that. It was apparently Mary Midnight. "Also, Article 1C Paragraph 21. Exiled individuals who enters the Land of Dreams again are obliged to leave immediately."

"In addition, Paragraph 22. Refusal is not an option. Those who refuse will be forced to leave by all authorities of Dream Fairy Fields," another fairy, who apparently was Diana Dusk, entered.

"Fairies? And... exiled?" Almond asked, looking confused. There was a silence as the two fairies floated near my head with upset face and arms on their hip. The situation was quite awkward for me, but then both fairies hugged my face.

"It's been so long, Blackberry!" Mary said.

"We have been worried sick about you after you went into the black hole and never returned!" Diana said.

"Sorry about that," I said.

"In any case, you're now back, alive and well, and that's all that matters," Diana said.

"Where's Daisy?" I asked.

"It's her working hours now, and unfortunately there's nobody to take her place currently," Mary said.

"I see," I said. "Oh, by the way, let me introduce you two to Almond Cookie. My brother."

"Nice to meet you," Almond said.

"Nice to meet you too, Almond," Diana said. "However... what do you say, Mary? We have another outsider now."

"But looking at his origin, he can be within Deity category, right?" Mary said.

"Hey, I'm confused here," Almond said.

"I'll answer all your questions when we get back home," I said.

"Alright," Almond said.

"It's decided," Mary said. "Almond Cookie is of Deity category. Therefore, he is immune to our rules."

"Blackberry, like before, you're given until Strawberryland bed time for your visit," Diana said.

"I won't stay here for long. I only want to pass time until two, and also show Almond this place," I said.

"Ah, yes. I still don't know what this place actually is," Almond said.

"This is The Land of Dreams. A place where dreams are made, like I said before" I said.

"Yeah, I remember that," Almond said. "The thing is, I don't know what dreams are."

"Don't you dream when you sleep?" I asked.

"I don't know what it is. All I know is that whenever I fall asleep, poof! I'm already at the time I wake up, like skipping time," Almond said.

"Is it always like that?" I asked, and he nodded. I then looked at PJ, Mary, and Diana.

"Well," Mary said, thinking. "This is probably because he is not registered at the Dream Factory."

"It definitely is. The first time he came to this world, he was a sleepless spaceship. Even after having human body, he remained sleepless for a while. The automatic registration system missed him because of that," Diana said.

"Is there anything that can be done?" I asked.

"That's easy, dear," PJ said. "Take him to my brother, and he will take care of everything."

"Your brother? You mean... Sandman?" I asked.

"Why yes, haven't I told you? Or maybe I actually missed telling you? There are things I still can possibly miss, dear," PJ said.

"Let's just never mind that," I said. "So, Almond, do you want to dream?"

"Why not? I like trying something new," Almond said.

"I'll take you to the Dream Factory, Almond," Mary said.

"And I'll accompany you as your Dream Fairy, Blackberry," Diana said.

"I want to stay here now. Please both of you accompany Almond instead," I said.

"Alright if you say so," Diana said. "Let's go, Almond."

"Yeah," Almond said, and the three of them left PJ's cafe.

"So, what do you want to say, Dear?" PJ asked. "I believe you want to talk to me."

"That's right," I said. "I want to know more about... Somnus."

"Ah, my dear cousin. What do you want to know?" PJ asked.

"I just wonder, how did they meet?" I said. "I mean, an ordinary human, and someone from this land..."

"They have a long history, dear," PJ said. "All the way back to the time when she was still a little girl."

"That long?" I said.

"Both she and her brother had a troubled childhood, and my cousin felt that he couldn't just simply watch," PJ said. "On one occasion, he saved their lives from a life-threatening situation made by their own mother."

"That's just terrible," I said.

"You cannot expect any hospitality from anyone in Porcupine Peak, dear," PJ said.

"I really hope that island can finally find peace someday," I said.

"Even I am not certain about that, dear," PJ said. "I can see the future, but some kind of unknown power prevents me from seeing any future around the island."

"I feel that the island is much more than I have seen," I said.

"Indeed it is, dear!" PJ said. "And we are all the same as you, hoping that Porcupine Peak will eventually find peace."

"Blackberry!" suddenly someone said from behind me. I looked behind and saw that it was Daisy Dawn. Like the other fairies, she hugged my face. "I'm happy to see you again!"

"Me too, Daisy," I said. "And you came just at the right time. Could you bring me to Dream Factory?"

"Sure!" Daisy said.

Not much can be told after that. I went to Dream Factory, met the other fairies there along with Almond and Sandman, and then we spent time touring Land of Dreams until it was almost the time. With proper farewell, the two of us left the place and went straight to Strawberry's house. By coincidence, the two of us arrived at her house at the same time with Pie Man. The three of us then went to the front door and rang the doorbell. Soon, Strawberry came out.

"Oh, hi there, Blackberry, Almond, and Pie Man!" Strawberry said. "Please come in!"

All of us went into her guest room and sat on the sofa there. Within a minute, she came bringing drinks for all of us and after putting them on the table, she sat on a chair across us.

"What brings all of you here?" she asked. Me and Almond looked at Pie Man.

"Well, Strawberry Shortcake. I, am here, to give you this," Pie Man said timidly, putting his gift box on the table.

"Why, thank you berry much, Pie Man!" Strawberry said. "But why?"

"Well, I, it is, I mean..." Pie Man said timidly.

"Hmm?" Strawberry said, still with her usual smile.

"It's a gift of apology for all bad things I have done!" Pie Man said very fast, then he looked away.

"Well, Pie Man, I'm berry grateful for this, and I appreciate seeing you doing this berry much," Strawberry said. "But you don't need to go this far to apologize to me, and anyone else. Indeed the things you have done have been wrong, and I have been upset at times, but everything has become a past and now you have the pie shop you have been dreaming of without causing any bad things to Strawberryland! Everyone is happy, and that is all I want to see!"

"Well, I guess, thank you. That means a lot for me," Pie Man said. "Still, please accept this."

"Thank you berry much, Pie Man!" Strawberry said. "I'll get us something to eat, then!"

Strawberry then took the gift box and then she went to the kitchen. A minute later, the doorbell rang.

"I'm berry sorry, but could one of you please answer it for me?" Strawberry said from the kitchen. "I can't take my hands off right now."

"I'll get the door for you," Pie Man said, getting up and going to the door. He then opened it, and from the guest room the two of us could see that the new guest was a lady in gown whom we have never seen before. However, the color and style of her hair, and also her eye color, reminded me of Seaberry Delight.

"Excuse me, is Strawberry Shortcake here?" the lady asked.

"Uh.. yes.. this is her house," Pie Man said timidly. "And indeed she is here."

"Ah, let me introduce myself. My name is Cranberry Crisp," the lady said, which surprised me and Almond.

"P-Please come in," Pie Man said. As the two of them entered the house, both me and Almond went to Strawberry who was still in the kitchen.

"Who came, Blackberry?" she asked.

"Maybe it's better if you delay the food a bit," I said.

"Huh?" Strawberry asked. She then looked at Pie Man and Cranberry, who sat side by side on the sofa. Both of them looked timid and blushing. "Oh, I see. But who is that lady?"

"Strawberry, I need to say this to you," I said. "When destiny calls you, you must be strong. You will always have the support from everyone."

"What are you saying, Blackberry? You sound like my life is going to change forever," Strawberry said.

"You will know soon enough, Strawberry," I said. "We will just leave now. See you later."

After I said the line, both me and Almond immediately rushed out and left the place. After we were far enough, we slowed down to walking pace towards my house.

"Well, I guess we have the answer now," Almond said.

"Yeah," I said. "And this is also definitely the beginning of a drastic change in Strawberry's life."

"What do you feel about that, brother?" Almond asked.

"No matter what, I believe she will still be the Strawberry Shortcake we all know and love," I said. "I got a hunch, though, that someday she will carve a history on Strawberryland."

"Why? How do you know that?" Almond asked.

"I just know," I said. I then noticed that snow started falling. "Look, Almond."

"Ahh, snow," Almond said. "This is the first time I see snow in Strawberryland. As Almond I mean."

"I wonder how the land will become by tomorrow," I said, looking up.

At the next morning, the two of us woke up and realized that the entire land was covered in snow. As far as eyes could see, everything was white. After I had my breakfast, the two of us went out of my house to have a tour around snowy Strawberryland.

"Wow, the snow became this thick overnight," Almond said as I went down the ladder. "Wonderful."

"Everything looks so different and new," I said as we walked to where Arrowhead was parked.

"It's like having a big white sheet of paper to draw on," Almond said.

"Indeed, full of possibilities," I said, getting on Arrowhead.

"So, what are we waiting for?" Almond asked, sitting behind me.

"Let's go exploring!" I said, turning the engine on, and then we were off to explore the white Strawberryland, always hopeful for a good and happy future for all.


--The End--

Prudie, if it's not too much to ask, I'd like a more thorough comment for this final chapter

[Image: TheGrapesChildrenSig.png]
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#2

Blackberry Bun Wrote:Prudie, if it's not too much to ask, I'd like a more thorough comment for this final chapter

You'll get it, of course. Was planning on that.
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#3

First of all, Sandy, I just want to thank you. Thank you for years of recording ... years, keeping the series alive, and even giving tribute to me and mine. I always worry my reviews aren't adequate because I don't think I'm any good at reviewing fiction, and I work better if I can make marks on the paper itself.

I'm going to do exactly that; meaning, I'm going to write on the paper itself. I'll be using a purple "pen".

Blackberry Bun Wrote:
Quote:Final Chapter: Hope for a Happy Future


The movie ended with massive applause from the viewers in the studio. I couldn't believe myself that our movie, made from mixing some points of our adventures in Oz, could receive such applause. Soon after, a girl came to me looking hesitated.

"Umm... Are you Guardian Blackberry and Guardian Almond?" she asked.

"Why, yes we are," Almond said. "May we help you?"

"Uhh... Please sign this!" she said, thrusting a notepad with pen.

"Sure! Why not?" Almond said, taking the notepad and pen, and signing it. "You too, bro!"

"Oh, all right," I said, taking both things from Almond and signing it. "Here you go."

"Thank you!" she said happily, and then she left. Just seconds later, the rest of the crowd swarmed each and every one of us asking for autograph. The autograph frenzy lasted for quite a while, and even after we were done with the crowd inside the studio, outside the theater there were more crowds doing the same. I was very overwhelmed, but there was no other good choice besides keep smiling and giving what they wanted. During the course of the swarm, Sour Grapes, who was right next to me, seemed a bit strange. She handled the crowd nicely like the others, but she seemed to be daydreaming as well. I wanted to ask about it, but with the noisy crowd around even screaming will be useless. Suddenly, she seemed very surprised. Her hands stopped signing, which confused the people around her. She then ran through the crowd in front of her, into the arms of a man only I and Almond knew: Somnus. They hugged each other warmly like a couple reunited after being separate for a long time. As this happened, the crowd went into silence and all autograph signing came into a halt as all eyes stared at the couple.

"You came for me..." Sour Grapes said.

"Yes, dear. I am here for you," Somnus said. "And I want to tell you this again."

"Oh... you mean..." Sour Grapes said as Somnus released his hug, kneeled on one knee, and presented a sparkling ring in a box. Sour Grapes covered her face from nose to chin with her hands, her eyes leaked a few tears.

"Sour Grapes," Somnus said. "I want someone to pass through life with me at her side, as her companion. Will you do the honor, to be my wife?"

There was a silence for a moment as Sour Grapes held her tears. She then reached her hand to the ring, held Somnus' hand with the other hand, and then she smiled.

"Yes... Yes! I will!" Sour Grapes said while half sobbing with tears of happiness. Somnus then put the ring into Sour Grapes' ring finger, and the couple hugged again, kissing each other's lips. The crowd around them cheered and applauded, while I looked away the moment I saw it. Awh, kid, aren't you twelve or thirteen years old now? But I knew for sure that it was the beginning of her happy life.

You're really awesome, good sir. I'm honored.

Months had passed after the event, and winter had come, although not snowing yet. Sour Grapes had changed her name into Stella Grapes, and she lived with both her husband and her brother in a house not far from the theater (thanks for remembering!), which was thriving well thanks to Strawberry's successful movie. Pie Man sold his pies at the theater, and Strawberryland girls happily supplied him with berries and cooking recipes to spice up his shop with variety. His shop was very successful, and everyone was happy to see him finally succeeding to fulfill his dream without damaging Strawberryland.

"Hey, Almond," I said while lying down lazily on the sofa in my living room.

"Yeah?" Almond replied while doing the same on another sofa.

"Is this what Pomegranate meant when she said that?" I asked.

"You mean when she said that Pie Man would finally succeeded?" he asked back, and I nodded. "Probably. Come to think of it, she only said that he finally succeeded, not succeeded in taking over Strawberryland."

"I still wonder, though," I said. "Judging from her looks, she was about the same age as Mango and Persimmons. She should be born pretty soon, but there's no sign of Pie Man going to marry someone."

"I think you missed something, bro," Almond said.

"Huh? What?" I asked.

"She never said how many years in the future she came from. You have been assuming that she was from seven years ahead because we had just come home from that future," Almond said.

For the record:
Mango, Persimmons, and Jack were born in Summer 2009. They can sometimes seem a little young for their age, although the girls do not look young for their age. Pomegranate was born in March 2011. She does seem a few years older than her age in an undefinable way (inherited from her mother), albeit not emotionally mature (inherited from her father).


"Come to think of it, you're probably right," I said. "I still wonder about Pie Man's wife, though."

"The Berry Princess, right?" Almond said.

"Yeah, I've never heard of a Berry Princess before Jackfruit Jam told me. I don't even know who Cranberry Crisp is," I said.

"Hey, let's visit him and try asking," Almond suggested.

"Well, why not? We have nothing else to do anyway," I said, getting up and taking my jacket, fur hat, and gloves.

So, we went to the movie theater where Pie Man opened his shop. Even though there was no snow yet, it was already cold outside so I wore my winter outfit. To save time, we went there riding Albatross. When we arrived there, it was still quite early so the shop was not open yet. We entered the shop anyway because we knew that Pie Man should be in the kitchen at the back by then. The door bell rang as we entered.

"Sorry! You came too early! We are not open yet!" Pie Man's voice was heard from the back.

"We're just visiting you!" I replied. Soon enough, he came out from the kitchen.

"Oh, hello there, boys. What brings you here? Perhaps the smell of my new recipe?" he said, grinning. "Another one from the girls actually."

"Well, it sure smells good," I said, sniffing the air a bit. "Be careful not to toast it."

"No worries. The oven has a timer," he said. "So, what brings you here, boys?"

"Well, we're just wondering..." I said, hesitating to continue.

"What is it?" he asked.

"We want to know when you will get married!" Almond said.

"Hey, don't ask right out of the bat like that!" I said, hitting Almond with my elbow.

"Hahaha! I like your style, boy!" Pie Man said. "Though I'm still afraid of you, by the way."

I laughed reading this part!

"Come on, I'm just like any other kids of Strawberryland," Almond said. "As long as you don't cause any threat to them, that is."

"Yeah yeah, I know," he said. "Anyway, I have no idea about that."

"Nobody in your mind yet?" I asked.

"No. I'd rather think about my pie shop than a woman," he said. "Why are you so interested in that, boys?"

"No, nothing. We're just wondering," I said, trying to avoid further discussion. From that point I started to regret coming to the shop. "Sorry for bothering. We're taking our leave now."

"Not so fast, kid!" Pie Man said, he then went behind his cashier desk and crouched there. We couldn't see what he was doing.

"Eh, what? Are you going to confine me again?" I asked awkwardly, which was because somehow the line Pie Man had just said reminded me about the events where he had captured and confined me. My thoughts went there, too.

"Huh? No, of course not. Why should you think like that?" Pie Man asked, still hidden behind the cashier desk.

"It's your own fault, don't you remember?" Almond said with arms folded and slightly upset face. "Three times, almost four."

"Yeah, I know. Sorry about that. Anyway, I want you to give this to Strawberry Shortcake," Pie Man said, standing up and putting a gift box on the desk. "I'll give you another of this later."

"Huh? What is this?" I asked.

"Let's just say that this is my apology for every harmful thing I have done," Pie Man said.

"I don't think you need to do that," I said. "And what's past is past. You don't have to give me anything, either."

"Also, I don't think you owe any apology to her. Strawberry is just that forgiving," Almond said.

"But I still don't feel right if I don't do anything," Pie Man said.

"Well, I think it's better if you give it to her yourself," I said.

"I want to do that, but I cannot leave the shop," Pie Man said. "Ahh, alright. I'll close early today. But... could you do me a favor?"

"What is it?" I asked.

"I'm kinda... embarrassed," he said, looking away from me. "I need you two to accompany me."

"Alright, tell us the hour and we will be there," I said.

"Well, about two I think," Pie Man said while thinking.

"See you soon then," I said, and the two of us left the shop.

"So, what are we going to do now?" Almond asked. "It's still six hours before two."

"Well, how about going to a place you have never been there yet?" I said, taking Time Remote II from my pocket.

"Huh? What is that place?" he asked.

"The Land of Dreams," I said. The remote responded by creating a dimension door, and the two of us jumped in. We immediately came out right in front of PJ's cafe. Almond looked around and he seemed astonished.

"Wow, I have never seen this place! What is this place actually?" he asked.

"This is the place where dreams are made," I said, walking through the stairs to PJ's cafe.

"Dreams? What do you mean?" he asked, following me. Immediately, the front door of the cafe opened and PJ herself welcomed us. I take it Almond and Somnus have yet to have conversations.

"Welcome to PJ's! Table for two: Blackberry Bun and Almond Cookie," PJ said.

"It's been a long time! How are you?" I asked.

"I am as fine as ever!" PJ said. "Now please sit down and have your hot chocolate!"

"How did she know my name?" Almond whispered to me.

"I know many things, dear!" PJ said. "I also know that you are actually a soul fragment of a planet far, far away!"

"Well, that's right, but..." Almond said. "I'd rather be recognized as his brother."

"Don't worry, dear! You are what you want to be," PJ said as the two of us sat down. A glass of hot chocolate appeared right in front of me, probably because PJ knew that Almond didn't need to eat or drink anything.

"Bro, you haven't told me what this place actually is," Almond said.

"Just wait a minute. Someone else will come soon," I said.

"Who?" Almond asked.

"Well, it's still quite early in the morning, so it should be... Daisy Dawn," I said.

"You're wrong!" suddenly a fairy entered saying that. It was apparently Mary Midnight. "Also, Article 1C Paragraph 21. Exiled individuals who enters the Land of Dreams again are obliged to leave immediately."

"In addition, Paragraph 22. Refusal is not an option. Those who refuse will be forced to leave by all authorities of Dream Fairy Fields," another fairy, who apparently was Diana Dusk, entered.

"Fairies? And... exiled?" Almond asked, looking confused. There was a silence as the two fairies floated near my head with upset face and arms on their hip. The situation was quite awkward for me, but then both fairies hugged my face.

"It's been so long, Blackberry!" Mary said.

"We have been worried sick about you after you went into the black hole and never returned!" Diana said.

"Sorry about that," I said.

"In any case, you're now back, alive and well, and that's all that matters," Diana said.

"Where's Daisy?" I asked.

"It's her working hours now, and unfortunately there's nobody to take her place currently," Mary said.

"I see," I said. "Oh, by the way, let me introduce you two to Almond Cookie. My brother."

"Nice to meet you," Almond said.

"Nice to meet you too, Almond," Diana said. "However... what do you say, Mary? We have another outsider now."

"But looking at his origin, he can be within Deity category, right?" Mary said.

"Hey, I'm confused here," Almond said.

"I'll answer all your questions when we get back home," I said.

"Alright," Almond said.

"It's decided," Mary said. "Almond Cookie is of Deity category. Therefore, he is immune to our rules."

"Blackberry, like before, you're given until Strawberryland bed time for your visit," Diana said.

"I won't stay here for long. I only want to pass time until two, and also show Almond this place," I said.

"Ah, yes. I still don't know what this place actually is," Almond said.

"This is The Land of Dreams. A place where dreams are made, like I said before" I said.

"Yeah, I remember that," Almond said. "The thing is, I don't know what dreams are."

"Don't you dream when you sleep?" I asked.

"I don't know what it is. All I know is that whenever I fall asleep, poof! I'm already at the time I wake up, like skipping time," Almond said.

"Is it always like that?" I asked, and he nodded. I then looked at PJ, Mary, and Diana.

"Well," Mary said, thinking. "This is probably because he is not registered at the Dream Factory."

"It definitely is. The first time he came to this world, he was a sleepless spaceship. Even after having human body, he remained sleepless for a while. The automatic registration system missed him because of that," Diana said.

"Is there anything that can be done?" I asked.

"That's easy, dear," PJ said. "Take him to my brother, and he will take care of everything."

"Your brother? You mean... Sandman?" I asked.

"Why yes, haven't I told you? Or maybe I actually missed telling you? There are things I still can possibly miss, dear," PJ said.

"Let's just never mind that," I said. "So, Almond, do you want to dream?"

"Why not? I like trying something new," Almond said.

"I'll take you to the Dream Factory, Almond," Mary said.

"And I'll accompany you as your Dream Fairy, Blackberry," Diana said.

"I want to stay here now. Please both of you accompany Almond instead," I said.

"Alright if you say so," Diana said. "Let's go, Almond."

"Yeah," Almond said, and the three of them left PJ's cafe.

"So, what do you want to say, Dear?" PJ asked. "I believe you want to talk to me."

"That's right," I said. "I want to know more about... Somnus."

"Ah, my dear cousin. What do you want to know?" PJ asked.

"I just wonder, how did they meet?" I said. "I mean, an ordinary human, and someone from this land..."

"They have a long history, dear," PJ said. "All the way back to the time when she was still a little girl."

"That long?" I said.

"Both she and her brother had a troubled childhood, and my cousin felt that he couldn't just simply watch," PJ said. "On one occasion, he saved their lives from a life-threatening situation made by their own mother."

"That's just terrible," I said.

"You cannot expect any hospitality from anyone in Porcupine Peak, dear," PJ said.

"I really hope that island can finally find peace someday," I said.

"Even I am not certain about that, dear," PJ said. "I can see the future, but some kind of unknown power prevents me from seeing any future around the island."

"I feel that the island is much more than I have seen," I said.

"Indeed it is, dear!" PJ said. "And we are all the same as you, hoping that Porcupine Peak will eventually find peace."

"Blackberry!" suddenly someone said from behind me. I looked behind and saw that it was Daisy Dawn. Like the other fairies, she hugged my face. "I'm happy to see you again!"

"Me too, Daisy," I said. "And you came just at the right time. Could you bring me to Dream Factory?"

"Sure!" Daisy said.

Again, thank you for incorporating so many of my ideas and so forth.

Not much can be told after that. I went to Dream Factory, met the other fairies there along with Almond and Sandman, and then we spent time touring Land of Dreams until it was almost the time. With proper farewell, the two of us left the place and went straight to Strawberry's house. By coincidence, the two of us arrived at her house at the same time with Pie Man. The three of us then went to the front door and rang the doorbell. Soon, Strawberry came out.

"Oh, hi there, Blackberry, Almond, and Pie Man!" Strawberry said. "Please come in!"

All of us went into her guest room and sat on the sofa there. Within a minute, she came bringing drinks for all of us and after putting them on the table, she sat on a chair across us.

"What brings all of you here?" she asked. Me and Almond looked at Pie Man.

"Well, Strawberry Shortcake. I, am here, to give you this," Pie Man said timidly, putting his gift box on the table.

"Why, thank you berry much, Pie Man!" Strawberry said. "But why?"

"Well, I, it is, I mean..." Pie Man said timidly.

"Hmm?" Strawberry said, still with her usual smile.

"It's a gift of apology for all bad things I have done!" Pie Man said very fast, then he looked away.

"Well, Pie Man, I'm berry grateful for this, and I appreciate seeing you doing this berry much," Strawberry said. "But you don't need to go this far to apologize to me, and anyone else. Indeed the things you have done have been wrong, and I have been upset at times, but everything has become a past and now you have the pie shop you have been dreaming of without causing any bad things to Strawberryland! Everyone is happy, and that is all I want to see!"

"Well, I guess, thank you. That means a lot for me," Pie Man said. "Still, please accept this."

"Thank you berry much, Pie Man!" Strawberry said. "I'll get us something to eat, then!"

Strawberry then took the gift box and then she went to the kitchen. A minute later, the doorbell rang.

"I'm berry sorry, but could one of you please answer it for me?" Strawberry said from the kitchen. "I can't take my hands off right now."

"I'll get the door for you," Pie Man said, getting up and going to the door. He then opened it, and from the guest room the two of us could see that the new guest was a lady in gown whom we have never seen before. However, the color and style of her hair, and also her eye color, reminded me of Seaberry Delight.

"Excuse me, is Strawberry Shortcake here?" the lady asked.

"Uh.. yes.. this is her house," Pie Man said timidly. "And indeed she is here."

"Ah, let me introduce myself. My name is Cranberry Crisp," the lady said, which surprised me and Almond.

"P-Please come in," Pie Man said. As the two of them entered the house, both me and Almond went to Strawberry who was still in the kitchen.

I love the way you brought Pie Man to where Cranberry Crisp would come. In-character, in my opinion, and very cute!

"Who came, Blackberry?" she asked.

"Maybe it's better if you delay the food a bit," I said.

"Huh?" Strawberry asked. She then looked at Pie Man and Cranberry, who sat side by side on the sofa. Both of them looked timid and blushing. "Oh, I see. But who is that lady?"

"Strawberry, I need to say this to you," I said. "When destiny calls you, you must be strong. You will always have the support from everyone."

"What are you saying, Blackberry? You sound like my life is going to change forever," Strawberry said.

"You will know soon enough, Strawberry," I said. "We will just leave now. See you later."

After I said the line, both me and Almond immediately rushed out and left the place. ... Why? :lol: After we were far enough, we slowed down to walking pace towards my house.

"Well, I guess we have the answer now," Almond said.

"Yeah," I said. "And this is also definitely the beginning of a drastic change in Strawberry's life."

"What do you feel about that, brother?" Almond asked.

"No matter what, I believe she will still be the Strawberry Shortcake we all know and love," I said. "I got a hunch, though, that someday she will carve a history on Strawberryland."

"Why? How do you know that?" Almond asked.

"I just know," I said. I then noticed that snow started falling. "Look, Almond."

"Ahh, snow," Almond said. "This is the first time I see snow in Strawberryland. As Almond I mean."

"I wonder how the land will become by tomorrow," I said, looking up.

At the next morning, the two of us woke up and realized that the entire land was covered in snow. As far as eyes could see, everything was white. After I had my breakfast, the two of us went out of my house to have a tour around snowy Strawberryland.

"Wow, the snow became this thick overnight," Almond said as I went down the ladder. "Wonderful."

"Everything looks so different and new," I said as we walked to where Arrowhead was parked.

"It's like having a big white sheet of paper to draw on," Almond said.

"Indeed, full of possibilities," I said, getting on Arrowhead.

"So, what are we waiting for?" Almond asked, sitting behind me.

"Let's go exploring!" I said, turning the engine on, and then we were off to explore the white Strawberryland, always hopeful for a good and happy future for all.


--The End--

You're likely annoyed with my saying thank you. Thank you again, anyway. I wish I had more to say. You've done well.

In the Oz journal, will Blackberry be recording events as they occur, after his second journal, or a combination thereof?
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#4

Stella Grapes Wrote:Awh, kid, aren't you twelve or thirteen years old now?
Blackberry is usually calm and collected, but he is really that childish when it comes to romance. :lol:

Stella Grapes Wrote:For the record:
Mango, Persimmons, and Jack were born in Summer 2009. They can sometimes seem a little young for their age, although the girls do not look young for their age. Pomegranate was born in March 2011. She does seem a few years older than her age in an undefinable way (inherited from her mother), albeit not emotionally mature (inherited from her father).
If the Pomegranate seen in some chapters of this journal is really from seven years ahead, she would be 4 years old, which is kinda too young even for her to do all she has done. Just my opinion.

Stella Grapes Wrote:I take it Almond and Somnus have yet to have conversations.
Before this, Almond was still Albatross when Somnus was present. Furthermore, he was still concentrating on regenerating his thrusters. So, they pretty much didn't meet at that time.

Stella Grapes Wrote:In the Oz journal, will Blackberry be recording events as they occur, after his second journal, or a combination thereof?
The former I think. In other words, the same writing style I've always been doing.

Stella Grapes Wrote:First of all, Sandy, I just want to thank you. Thank you for years of recording ... years, keeping the series alive, and even giving tribute to me and mine.
And thank you too, for being the only one who has commented all the way from the beginning till this point. Other people stopped at certain point, and never seen again. If any of those "other people" read this, I want to say that I still appreciate the short fun time I had.

Prudie, now how the story continues depends on your series. I'm still eager to see it and hope it will happen soon. Wink

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#5

That file is ... somewhere! *blush*
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