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Blackberry's Second Journal: Chapter 2
Quote:Chapter 2: The Chase

"Licorice Whip? The horsenapper you once told me about?" Peppermint asked.

"That's right," I said. "It seems that he has returned."

"Oh man, that guy again," Huck said.

"Coco is in danger! We have to help her!" Strawberry said, seeming very worried.

"Yeah, we must hurry!" Angel said.

"I know! But we have no idea where Licorice has gone to," I said. "I don't even know why he kidnapped Coco."

"Alright alright, everyone step away and give me room to think, will ya?" Ginger said while walking around. "Hmm, we all know that the no good Licorice Whip needs horses for his circus, am I right? That's why he wanted the horses on Ice Cream Island, am I right again?"

"That's true," Orange said.

"But now it is much much harder for him to get the horses, am I right? That's because Raven now guards the island and he encourages the horses there to stand against him whenever he comes, am I right again?" Ginger said.

"That's also right. But I was glad that he never returned and they have never had to fight him," Angel said.

"Hey, don't tell me that..." I said, realizing something.

"What is it, Blackberry?" Strawberry asked.

"He's probably going to use Coco to capture the horses," I replied, which made everyone other than Ginger gasped.

"Yep, you're absolutely right. Either threatening the horses using Coco as hostage, or using Coco to deceive the horses, either way he's going to capture the horses on Ice Cream Island again!" Ginger said.

"No, we can't let that happen!" Strawberry said

"We have to go to Ice Cream Island and stop him!" Huck said.

"Everyone, to Albatross!" I said, starting to run towards where I had parked Albatross. Everyone else followed except Strawberry.

"Papaya, you should stay and rest. You're hurt," Strawberry said.

"But I..." Papaya said before Strawberry interrupted.

"We will bring Coco back. I promise," Strawberry said.

"Oh... Okay... But you must bring her back!" Papaya said.

"We will!" Strawberry said, starting to catch us up. Once she got onboard Albatross, I closed the hatch and started the engine. Then with high speed Albatross flew towards Ice Cream Island. We then arrived there in less than one minute, and I immediately landed on one open field. We then jumped off Albatross and looked around. The island seemed peaceful like nothing bad had ever happened.

"Hey, kids! I haven't seen you for years!" A familiar voice greeted us.

"Raven!" Strawberry shouted in joy as Raven approached us from above.

"I heard from other kids that all of you have been mysteriously missing. Where have you been? And what about this amazing new flying vehicle?" Raven asked.

"Well, it's a long story," Huck said. "But this is not the right time to talk about that!"

"Huh? What happened?" Raven asked.

"What? Nothing bad happened here?" Angel asked.

"No, this island has been as peaceful as ever," Raven replied. "What's wrong?"

Immediately, I realized that we had made a wrong conclusion. Licorice had kidnapped Coco not to use her to capture the horses on the island, but for a different reason.

"To put it simply, your boss has returned and he has kidnapped our friend Coco Calypso," I said, which surprised him.

"What?! He kidnapped Coco?! Spumoni won't be happy to hear this!" he said.

"Spumoni?" Orange asked.

"Well, you know that every once in a while Coco and Seaberry come to visit this island, right? While you all were missing, one horse grew to like Coco very much that ever since then they became very close! Not only that, Seaberry also got Pistachio to like her!" Raven said.

"Alright, we understand. But now that we have thought it wrong, what should we do?" Peppermint asked everyone else.

"I think our best bet is to return to Coco's house and rethink about it," I said, and everyone else agreed.

"Raven, let us know immediately if he comes here with Coco," I said as everyone else got onboard Albatross.

"Ok, do your best to get her back!" Raven said. I nodded and went to follow everyone else. Within the next minute, we arrived at Seaberry shore again. After we jumped off, to our surprise, we noticed Seaberry sitting on a stone and weeping. We then immediately approached her.

"Seaberry! What happened?" Strawberry asked. Seaberry then lifted her face and I could notice a deep sadness on her face.

"Strawberry? Is that you?" Seaberry asked.

"Yes, it's me! Tell us what happened!" Strawberry said, and then Seaberry hugged her crying.

"He took them away from me!" Seaberry said.

"Them? He kidnapped someone else besides Coco?" Huck asked.

"Not only Coco, but the mermaids as well!" Seaberry said, still hugging Strawberry and crying.

"Mermaids?" Peppermint asked. "The ones who look just like some of you?"

"I think that's right," I said.

"Please calm down, Seaberry. Could you tell us what happened?" Strawberry asked.

"Okay..." Seaberry said, still sobbing a bit. "I was playing together with the mermaids under the sea when we heard someone calling from above."

"Under the sea? How can you play with mermaids under the sea? I mean, how can you breathe?" Peppermint asked.

"I... can breathe underwater," Seaberry said. "I have never told anyone because it makes me... too different."

"Ok, sorry for the interruption," Peppermint said.

"I went to the surface to check first, and then I saw the horrible thing," Seaberry said.

"What was it?" Angel asked.

"It was a man on a ship, and next to him was Coco in an iron cage," Seaberry said.

"How horrible!" Orange said.

"He called me mermaid and told me to call other mermaids to come, or he would throw the cage into the water," Seaberry said.

"That was mean! Yep it sure was!" Ginger said.

"I panicked and went to the mermaids, and then I told them everything," Seaberry said.

"And then what did they say?" Apple asked.

"They realized that there were no choice, so they decided to do what he had said," Seaberry said. "Mermaid Seaberry told me to stay underwater."

"She took your place, or maybe we should say that you had taken her place at first and then she took it back?" Ginger asked. "But never mind!"

"From afar, the last thing I saw was the mermaids being put into sealed aquariums on the ship which sailed away..." Seaberry said and she started to cry again.

"The mermaids..." I said. "I didn't think about that. Mermaids will surely become a spectacular circus attraction."

"We have to chase Licorice Whip and save our friends!" Strawberry said.

"I know, but how can we chase him if we don't know where he is going to right now?" I said.

"Did you hear anything from him, Seaberry?" Angel asked.

"Oh, I think I heard him saying about going to his home first!" Seaberry said. "But that's all I could hear..."

"That doesn't make any difference. We don't know where that no good man lives," Peppermint said.

"No, it does make a difference," Strawberry said.

"What? How?" Orange asked.

"Yeah, Strawberry. Apple Dumplin' don't understand," Apple said.

"Oh, I see what you mean," I said. "Raven definitely knows where he lives."

"Well then, to Albatross again?" Huck asked.

"Let me go with you!" Seaberry said. "Coco is my friend too, and I have to save her!"

"Ok, let's go everyone!" I said, and immediately we all got onboard Albatross. At that time I was glad that Albatross had enough seats for nine people besides myself. Soon, I started the engine and we arrived back at Ice Cream Island within the next minute. After landing and jumping out from Albatross, Raven approached us from above like before.

"Hey kids! Did you made it?" Raven asked.

"No, but now we need your help," I said.

"Huh? What is it?" he asked, and then I told him everything. "I see, then he must be going to Licorice Lagoon."

"Licorice Lagoon?" Strawberry asked.

"Yeah, like its name, it's a lagoon and it's located quite far from here," Raven said.

"Which way?" I asked.

"Well, it's kinda hard to explain. It's been years since the last time I have been there and I'm starting to forget," Raven said.

"Please, we need your help to save Coco!" Strawberry said.

"Maybe you can come with us to show us the way?" Huck suggested.

"That's a good idea," Raven said.

"Then let's hurry," I said, and all of us went onboard Albatross. Raven sat on my shoulder so he could show the way while I pilot the airship. However, because Raven had nearly forgotten the way for real, the flight to Licorice Lagoon took hours. By the time we arrived, it was already late afternoon.

"There it is!" Raven said, pointing below. Indeed there was a lagoon there with hills surrounding most of the inner side, while at the outer side the lagoon is separated from the sea by a barrier island, although not fully separated. There was a channel between the barrier island and the mainland, wide enough for a ship to go through into the lagoon. All the lands around the lagoon, including the barrier island, were green with plants and the water were blue. Together, they created a very beautiful scenery.

"Umm, are you sure this is the place?" Peppermint asked, looking at the lagoon below.

"Yes, why is that?" Raven asked.

"It's kinda hard to believe," Angel said, also looking at the lagoon.

"Yeah, I honestly can't believe such a mean man lives in such a beautiful place," Huck said.

"Oh, that's because of his daughter," Raven said, which surprised everyone else.

"Whoa whoa whoa, did you just say 'his daughter'? That no good mean horsenapper has a daughter? My, this sure is shocking, yep it sure is!" Ginger said.

"Well, I have to say that she's not really his daughter. He kinda adopted her," Raven said.

"Okay, I know we are now wondering a lot of things, but we have to save the details for later and save Coco now," I said.

"Oh yes, you're right!" Orange said.

"So, where does he live exactly?" I asked.

"See that small beach over there?" Raven said, pointing. Indeed there was a small beach at the inner side of the lagoon. I also could see a small pier and a cabin near it.

"That cabin, right?" I asked.

"That's right," Raven said. I then flew Albatross towards the pier. There was no ship anywhere on the lagoon, so I could assume that Licorice Whip was either not arrived yet or had already gone again. I then landed Albatross on the water next to the pier, and soon everyone jumped out from Albatross to the pier.

"Let's check the house out," I said. Everyone agreed and then we all walked towards the cabin. When we get close, suddenly the front door opened and a girl came out. The girl was a bit older than Apple Dumplin'. She wore brown beret hat with a muffin-shaped ornament on it. She had short straight brown hair, and I could see that her eyes are brown as well. Her clothing in general implied that she was themed around brown and light brown color, with a little bit of yellow mixed in.

"Who's there?" the girl asked. Before we could say anything, Raven approached her.

"It's me, Cinnamon. Don't you remember me?" Raven asked.

"Raven? Is that really you?" the girl said, then she jumped in excitement. "Raven! I'm so happy to see you again! Give me a hug!"

"You have grown so big since the last time I saw you," Raven said as the girl hugged her.

"And you haven't changed at all!" the girl said. "And I see that you didn't come here alone."

"Ah yes," Raven said as the girl let go of her hug. "Everyone, meet Cinnamon Muffin. Daughter of Licorice Whip."

"Hi, Cinnamon," Strawberry said.

"Oh, I have to tell you one thing," Raven said. "She was born blind."

"What? She doesn't look so," Peppermint said.

"This might sound strange for you all, but I gain sight everytime the moon and the sun are together in the sky," Cinnamon said, and all of us looked to the sky. Indeed the moon was there together with the sun.

"That means every night it's total darkness for you?" Angel asked.

"That's right," Cinnamon said, smiling. "But don't feel bad for me. I'm already used to it!"

"You're strong," Orange said.

"Yeah, I would feel much worse if I were you," Huck said.

"Speaking of bad, my father did it again," Cinnamon said, and her face turned from happy to upset. "He brought here a girl in a cage, put the cage in locked basement, and left just like that!"

"That's Coco!" Seaberry said.

"You know her?" Cinnamon asked.

"She's our friend! She's the reason we come here!" I said.

"Take us to her, please!" Strawberry said.

"Well, I'd like to, but the basement is locked and my father brought the key with him," Cinnamon said.

"Just take us there, will you?" Peppermint said.

"Alright," Cinnamon said. "Please come in."

We then entered the cabin together. The inside of the cabin was neat and well-furnished, but because our main focus was Coco we didn't pay much attention. Cinnamon brought us to a staircase leading to the basement. At the end of the staircase I could see a closed door. Because the staircase was narrow, only I, Cinnamon, and Seaberry went into the staircase.

"This is the basement," Cinnamon said.

"Coco! Are you there? Can you hear me?" Seaberry shouted, knocking the door hard.

"Seaberry? Is that you?" a familiar voice answered from inside.

"Yes, we came here for you!" Seaberry shouted.

"Alright, I'll open the door," I said, taking Key Master from my pocket. I then inserted the device into the door's keyhole, and with a clicking sound the door opened. We then entered the room and we saw Coco in a cage. The cage was quite small that even though Coco was not tied up she couldn't move around much. The cage was not even tall enough for her to stand up, so she had to sit down. Once again, with Key Master I opened the lock of the cage and Seaberry opened it. The two then had a big hug.

"I thought I have lost you," Seaberry said.

"Me too," Coco said.

Because Coco had been locked in a small cage for hours, she didn't feel well about her body. Cinnamon then lent her bedroom for Coco to rest, and Seaberry kept her company. The rest of us gathered in the living room where there were enough chairs and sofa for us to sit.

"She's resting now," Cinnamon said as she approached us. "Thank you for your help."

"It is us who must thank you," I said. "You showed us where she was held."

"If I haven't, you would have forced your way in anyway," Cinnamon said, sitting down next to me on a sofa.

"You know, if Raven hasn't said it I would have not believed that you're his daughter," Angel said. "I mean, you're so nice and kind to us."

"Yeah, you're so different than your father," Peppermint said.

"I don't want to talk bad about your father, but look at what he has just done," Huck said.

"I know," Cinnamon said. "I wanted to stop him, but I owe him my life."

"Owe him your life?" Strawberry asked.

"Maybe I should tell my tale," Cinnamon said. "When I was very little, I had no friend. Other kids didn't like me at all because I was too different,"

"Because of your eyes?" Apple asked.

"That was one reason, but the main reason was..." Cinnamon said, pausing for a moment. "Because I was nice and kind. Other kids saw that as disgusting."

"What?! What kind of kids would think like that?!" Peppermint said, seeming surprised and upset.

"That was the truth," Cinnamon said. "Ah, sorry. A minute," she continued, and then she put up her sunglasses. "The sun has set. I'm now blind again."

"It must have been so hard for you," Orange said.

"That's right. But one day, he came to me and asked if I liked circus," Cinnamon said. "I said yes, and then he told me that he owned a circus and he was looking for someone to help him running it."

"A circus of stolen animals," Peppermint said.

"I didn't know that at that time. He offered me the place, and I accepted it gladly. He then brought me to this place where I have been living until now," Cinnamon said.

"When did you know that he is not a good person?" I asked.

"Around five years ago," Cinnamon replied. "He brought stolen horses, and I was against it. But then I realized that I couldn't oppose him. He brought me here to this beautiful place and he has been taking good care of me. What a faithless daughter I am if I ever do that."

"And then what happened to the horses, huh?" Ginger asked.

"He left bringing them saying about getting more, and a week later he came back bringing none. He said that some meddling kids, including Raven, had taken them from him," Cinnamon said, and everyone else seemed to realize that the "meddling kids" were themselves. "Ah, I see that some of you are the kids."

"Huh? How did you know?" Angel asked.

"I heard some gasps, and then some of you had increased heartbeats," Cinnamon said.

"You could hear those?" Apple asked.

"Whenever I become blind, my hearing improves," Cinnamon replied. "Moving on, I was glad because the poor horses were free, but I was also sad that I have lost my only friend."

"You mean... me?" Raven asked, and Cinnamon nodded. "Sorry..."

"It's all right, Raven. You did the right thing," Cinnamon said. "There's no need to feel bad about it."

"What happened after that?" Strawberry asked. "I know he came again once and caused flood to the island, but after it was over I have never heard anything about him again."

"He came home angry, speaking about getting revenge someday," Cinnamon replied. "But I convinced him to calm down and rest for a while. We have been living peacefully for some years afterwards, until he saw them."

"Them?" Angel asked.

"The mermaids," Cinnamon replied. "We were fishing together on our ship when he saw mermaids on a distance. I had sight at that time and I saw the mermaids too."

"Let me guess, the thought about making a circus of mermaids suddenly came to him, am I right?" Ginger said.

"That was one," Cinnamon said. "But he also said that one mermaid looked just like one of the meddling kids, and that reminded him of his old anger."

"That would be Mermaid Strawberry," I said. "Anyway, we have to save the mermaids now. Do you know where he is headed?"

"He said about going to reopen his circus in his birthplace, which is also my birthplace," Cinnamon said.

"Where is that?" I asked.

"Porcupine Peak," Cinnamon said, which greatly surprised everyone else.

"What?! That place?" Peppermint said.

"Isn't that also the hometown of Purple Pie Man and Sour Grapes?" Orange asked.

"It sure is," Huck said.

"Apple Dumplin' does not like the sound of that," Apple said.

"We should go right now!" Angel said.

"No, wait!" Cinnamon said. "It's late already. You all should rest first."

"Yeah, I think you're right," I said. "There's no use trying to save them if we are too tired."

After the conversation, everyone agreed to rest for the night. Because of the lack of enough beds, some of us had to sleep either on a sofa or on the floor with carpet. I could sense that the next day would be a long day.

--End of Chapter 2--
[Image: TheGrapesChildrenSig.png]
This chapter was a fantastic combination of our ideas. I like it very much. I think I said that the shift caused by thinking that X was the problem when Y was happening instead was realistic. I also think I said I would be afraid to sleep lest Licorice Whip returned!
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