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Blackberry Bun's Journal: Chapter 17
Quote:Chapter 17: Distressed

It has been one month since the Berry Blossom Festival day, and the blossoms had been replaced by half-ripe berries over the month. I couldn't leave my house that day because I had accidentally twisted my ankle two days before, and two days prior to that I had used Phoenix Tear to heal an injured squirrel so I had to wait until either my ankle heals itself naturally or Phoenix Tear finishes recharging. Nobody knew about my injury because I didn't want to worry everyone else, and maybe because of pride as well. I just didn't like being pitied by someone else, let alone by all my friends.

On that day, I decided to repair my Time Remote Mark II. Actually I could just make a new one, but repairing the old one was much faster. The catch is, while repairing I had to be extra careful because it would emit electricity waves in the process of repairing. While I was concentrating on the repair, someone rang the doorbell but I didn't hear it. Because of no response, the guest curiously and quietly opened the door and took a look inside. After that the guest approached me and started a conversation.

"Hey, Blackberry. Working hard?" the guest asked.

"Oh, hi Huck," I replied, stopping my work and turned my chair facing him. "Not really, just doing something to let time pass."

"What is this?" he asked, taking the Time Remote Mark II and ended up getting zapped by the electricity waves.

"Not again..." I said, facepalming.

"Whoa, what was that?" he asked in surprise.

"Something for playing pranks," I said.

"Oh, really?" he asked.

"Of course...not! This is my Time Remote Mark II, and I was repairing it. Now you just repeated the accident," I said.

"What accident?" he asked.

"The accident that erased your memory, remember?" I said.

"What?! So I'm going to forget everything about you?! All memories of us will be gone?!" he asked, starting to panic.

"Calm down, I'll check," I replied, taking Time Monitor from the shelf. I then put it on the table in the living room and turned it on. Although it was not so clear, I could see the effect of the shock to Huck.

"What's going to happen to me?" he asked.

"This time it's not so bad. You will only forget the looks of all friends but your memories of them will remain," I said.

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"Well, what's my name?" I asked back.

"Of course you are...wait...what's your name? Who are you?" he asked, implying that the memory loss had already happened.

"Blackberry Bun," I said.

"Oh yes! You are Blackberry!" he said. "Now I remember!"

"Now you see what I mean? You still remember that you have a friend with the name ``Blackberry Bun`` and you still have your memories of him. But you forgot his looks, so even if the person is in front of you, you won't recognize him until he says his name," I explained. "And the same applies to all other people you know."

"I think I understand, but it's still confusing," he said.

"You remember Strawberry Shortcake?" I asked. "All your adventures with her and all?"

"Yes of course," he replied.

"What kind of hat she wears? What color is her shirt and pants? What color is her hair?" I asked.

"Well... I don't know..." He replied, pausing for a brief moment. "Okay, now I understand what you mean, but it will be embarassing if I have to ask for their names again."

"The best thing is if I go with you and whisper their names everytime we see someone, but look at my foot," I said, pointing at my left foot which was covered in bandages. "I accidentally twisted my ankle two days ago and I had used Phoenix Tear two days prior to heal an injured squirrel."

"I guess I have no choice now..." he said.

"Oh wait! Camera Drone!" I suddenly remembered.

"What?" he asked, wondering.

I brought Huck to my bedroom, where I had put the monitor which saved all photos taken by Camera Drone, a device I had made a few days after the first time I had seen the kids who were then my friends. I turned the monitor on and let Huck examine all the photos displayed there. I also told him who had what name and it only took a couple of minutes until Huck memorized them all.

"All right, now the problem is over," I said.

"You sure?" he asked.

"Maybe you'll feel a little bit strange at the first time, but there will be no problem," I said.

"Okay if you say so," he said.

"So far the only photos not saved by this monitor are photos of myself and you," I said.

"Wait, I can understand if there aren't any photos of yourself, but why me too?" he asked.

"I don't know. The drone takes pictures randomly, and it still does," I replied, shrugging.

Soon after, Huck left my place because he didn't want the strange feelings of memory loss to stay any longer. He headed to the berry fields which Strawberry and some other friends were supposed to tend every midday. Right after he left, I activated Eagle Eye to watch over Huck for that day.

When he arrived at the berry fields, I was surprised that instead of the girls I saw Purple Pie Man there. Huck of course didn't recognize him because I didn't have any photos of Purple Pie Man and Sour Grapes from my Camera Drone. I listened to their conversation and learned about a nearby dance studio where Strawberry and the others were. Huck seemed to be convinced to go there so I controlled Eagle Eye to immediately fly to the place.

When the satellite arrived at the place, I could briefly see from the window that the teacher of that studio was no other than Sour Grapes in disguise. However, Pie Man's berry birds were suspicious about the satellite and attempted to attack. I had no other choice than withdrawing it back to the berry fields and see what Pie Man was doing over there, although I could already guess that he was going to steal all the berries.

My guess was true after all. One by one he took the ripe berries from the bushes and loaded them into his carriage. I suspected that the dance studio was made as a distraction so he could freely steal all the berries. However, the amount of berries on the field was very large so if he wanted to completely empty the fields he would need more than one day, maybe even a week. There was nothing I could do because I couldn't even walk out of my house. The accident that had just happened has broken Time Remote Mark II into a pile of useless scrap metal, and I just realized that making a new one was actually impossible at that moment because I ran out of materials. In conclusion, I had no other choice than waiting until I could walk freely again.

The next three days were spent only for waiting and occasionally watching over Pie Man. He had gone through nearly half the berry fields and strangely nobody noticed. I knew that Strawberry, Angel, Orange, Ginger, and Huck were distracted by the fake dance studio, but how about Raspberry, Lemon, Blueberry, Rainbow, Apricot, and Peppermint? With that question in mind I controlled the satellite to fly to each of their home.

The first stop was Blueberry's house. In there I saw her reading books, and there was a big pile of them next to her. It was obvious that she would not get out of her house for the next few days. Then the next stop was Raspberry's house which was also a fitness center, and in there I saw her training hard with one equipment. Once she finished, she took a note and wrote something.

"Okay, this one is still in good condition," she said before sitting on a bench. She seemed quite tired.

"Can't believe there are still a lot of them to be checked. This will take another three days at best," she said, looking at all the equipments around her.

It was clear that Raspberry was out of the question, so I flew the satellite to the next stop: Lemon's house which was also a beauty salon. I saw a lot of dwarfs, fairies and other creatures similar to the ones I had seen in Holidayland although they were all female this time, and they made quite a long queue into the house. I flew the satellite into the house to see what was happening there. Once inside I saw Lemon treating one female dwarf.

Looking at the amount of customers, Lemon was also out of the question, so the next stop was Apricot's house. However, Apricot was nowhere to be found. I gave up looking for her so I flew the satellite to Peppermint's house. Peppermint was also nowhere to be found, so I flew the satellite to the last stop, which was Rainbow's boat. Once again, the person I was looking for was nowhere to be found, and this time I couldn't even find the boat. Wondering about that I flew the satellite high into the sky so I could get wider views on all the rivers in Strawberryland. I searched for a couple of minutes until I finally found her boat. However, there was another boat nearby. The other boat was better said as a junk scrap metal, looking at its very bad condition. I attempted to get a closer look, but once again the satellite was attacked by berry birds so I had to withdraw it.

I thought that there was something with that boat, so I decided to go there and check. Phoenix Tear had recharged, but because my leg has recovered, although there was still some minor pain when walking, I decided not to use it. In preparation for repelling the berry birds I brought Scarecrow with me.

I walked all the way to the place where the boat was. When I came near, I put Scarecrow near a bush and activated it. The device worked perfectly and the berry birds in the area flew away. Then I got onboard the boat and examined it to find any hint about Rainbow's boat nearby. However, when I was looking around, suddenly the berry birds came back and attacked me. They didn't physically attack me, but having them flying around my head with a lot of noise was really annoying. I also wondered why Scarecrow suddenly stopped working but I was too busy driving the birds away myself.

"I suppose this thing of yours is the one driving all my minions away, kid?" a voice said. I looked at the source and it was Pie Man himself. Scarecrow was in the grip of his right hand.

"Uh-oh, busted," I thought, immediately trying to run away. However, because of the berry birds' attack I tripped on something and fell down hard to the wooden floor of the boat's deck.

"Come on, kid. I will not hurt you so bad. That is, if you don't resist," he said, throwing Scarecrow into the river and approaching me.

It was the very first time I directly faced the villain Strawberry and the others had faced bravely. Unlike them, I was afraid of his evil presence and voice. Because of the fright I couldn't do anything so I just decided to bear with anything he would do to me.

He pulled me to make me stand up, but the fall that had just happened apparently had twisted my ankle again, so I immediately fell down again with pain in my left leg. He seemed to notice the pain.

"You're hurt, kid?" he asked, and I didn't answer. Then he sighed and said, "Get on my back!"

He turned around and crouched so I could get on his back. Because I had no other choice anyway I decided to obey and got on his back. He then carried me on his back towards Rainbow's boat. Once we were onboard, he put me on one of the chairs in the main deck and went into the cabins. Shortly later he came back bringing a first aid box.

"Give me your leg," he said, opening the box. "You're lucky that the girl has one of these."

The next few minutes were spent for him giving treatment to my leg. A big question appeared in my head, which was why the evil Purple Pie Man did something that nice to me? I had been thinking that he was a no good villain who caused nothing but trouble to Strawberryland, but right at that moment I became very confused.

"Done. Be thankful that when I was little I had a sister who often got injured," he said as he finished. I was still speechless.

"Don't get me wrong kid. I did this just to make sure that you will still be fine once I release you later," he said.

I didn't resist at all when he later tied my hands and threw me into the storage room of Rainbow's boat. He then immediately shut the trap door tight and locked it firmly. The light inside the storage room was quite dim and I could not see much in there.

"All right, now Blackberry is here. Who will be next?" a voice said, which I recognized as Peppermint. I looked upon the source and I saw not only her, but also the other two missing girls, Rainbow and Apricot. Their hands were also tied to the back like me, except Rainbow whose hands were tied to the front.

"Probably I'm the last. The others are too busy for themselves," I said. "May I know what happened to you all?"

"Well, I was sailing around Strawberryland when I saw this strange boat. I anchored Rainbow Float and walked onto it to check, and when I was looking around I got attacked by these strange birds and then that man caught me," Rainbow answered. "That happened two days ago I think."

"Hmph, I saw him stealing all berries in the berry fields, but when I was going to tell that to everyone else his birds noticed and attacked me. And you know what happened next," Peppermint said. "It happened yesterday."

"I'm the same as Peppermint, but it happened this morning," Apricot said.

"I guess we are all stuck here until who knows when, huh?" Peppermint said. "That no good Pie Man!"

"Umm... I don't know if you will believe this but..." I said as I told them all about what had happened to me.

"He did that? So after all he has a good side too," Apricot said.

"But don't be fooled. Look at what he did to us, and to Strawberryland," Peppermint said.

"Yeah, but still..." I said, pausing for a moment. "Anyway, we have to find a way to get out of here and tell everyone."

"I know, but you see, this knot is too tight. I cannot release it," Rainbow answered, looking at the ropes which tied her hands. "And the door is locked from the outside."

"Hmm... By the way, don't you feel hungry after being locked here for two days?" I asked Rainbow.

"This storage room has plenty of food for us to eat, and he knows it," she answered, and I looked around. Indeed there was a lot of food in there. "Glad that he tied my hands to the front so I could still grab the food and help everyone else."

"Why only you? Why not all of us so we can just help ourselves when we want to eat? It's sorta embarassing you know, having you to feed me," Peppermint said.

"I feel the same too, but do we have any choice?" Apricot said.

"Okay, calm down everyone. I know a way to get out of here," I said. "But we have to do it fast or the berry birds will get in the way."

"What? How?" Peppermint asked.

"Rainbow, can you take something from my pocket? It looks like a key," I told Rainbow, and she dug through my pocket until she found Key Master.

"This?" Rainbow asked, showing me the device.

"Yes. Okay, here's the plan. You see the purple button on that device?" I said.

"Hmm...yes," she replied.

"Aim the device to the trap door above and press the button. The door will open," I said.

"But the birds will notice," she said.

"That's why I said we must do it fast. Once the door is opened, quickly go to the cockpit of this boat with Peppermint and Apricot, and sail this boat away as soon as possible," I replied.

"How about you?" she asked.

"I can't walk well you see? Only the three of you can do it," I answered.

"Sounds worth a try. Better than doing nothing," Peppermint remarked.

"Yeah, that will be cool," Apricot said. "I will take care of the anchor."

"Okay, you ready?" I said.

"Yeah," all three girls answered.

"Then let's do it," I said.

As planned, Rainbow pressed Key Master's overcharge button which then made the device shot a laser beam to the trap door above. Then the door opened and the three girls climbed the stairs with haste. Because of my leg, I only could follow them by walking slowly. By the time I got out of the storage room I saw Rainbow and Peppermint in the cockpit preparing to sail away while Apricot was trying to raise the anchor. I could see them having difficulties because they had to do everything with tied hands. I looked towards another direction and noticed a flock of berry birds coming.

"The birds are coming! Hurry!" I shouted.

"We are ready here! Apricot, raise the anchor now!" Rainbow replied

"I'm on it!" Apricot replied, still struggling to raise the anchor. "Come help me, someone!"

While trying to ignore the pain on my leg, I quickly approached Apricot and helped her in raising the anchor. It was still difficult but the anchor finally showed itself out from the water surface. The boat then started to move and sailed away just in time. We all cheered in joy as we knew we had escaped from Pie Man's grasp. Then Rainbow took a scissor from one shelf and used it to cut the ropes on our hands. However, the joy did not last long because later Rainbow realized something.

"The wheel is not working!" she said.

"What?! We will end up in open seas if it keeps going this way!" Peppermint shouted.

"I can't even turn off the engine now! It looks like it has been sabotaged!" Rainbow said.

"That no good Pie Man!" Peppermint said. "Drop the anchor now!"

Apricot dropped the anchor, but because it was dropped while the boat was sailing in high speed the rope couldn't stand the force made by the speed of the boat and broke, leaving the anchor at the bottom of the river. The boat slowed down for a moment but then it sped up again towards the open seas.

"Now that's just great," Peppermint said.

"Our only option is to repair the engine and the wheel now," Rainbow said.

"Can you do it?" Apricot asked.

"I'll try, although I don't know how long it will take," Rainbow replied.

"I'll help," I offered.

Repairing the engine was easier said than done. Because we had to repair it while it was still running, some parts were too dangerous to reach. There was no other choice than breaking the engine down with force and violence, and then repair it again. The whole process took two nights, and by the time the boat was finally ready to sail again I could bet that Pie Man had already emptied the berry fields. I regretted not bringing Falcon's remote with me, but what's done was done and we sailed back to Punch Bowl Pond anyway.

"Hey, how can you dock the boat if you have no anchor now?" I asked Rainbow.

"I have another, but I need help bringing it from the storage room because it is much heavier than the one that we lost," she answered.

"I'll help," Apricot said.

"Yeah okay, I will help too," Peppermint said.

The three of them went down to the storage room and came back with a new anchor. I could see them struggling to bring it to its place. That time I wished that I had brought Telekinator, but because I didn't I could only watch. Once the boat was anchored, we all got off and decided to tell Strawberry about Pie Man's evil plan although we knew it was already too late.

"Wait! Blackberry, he cannot walk," Apricot said.

"Don't worry. I will catch up later. Just go now," I replied.

"Hmph, I will go with you," Peppermint said, and everyone else agreed.

Peppermint and I walked towards my house first because I had to heal my leg with Phoenix Tear first. Once we arrived in front of the tree, I unhid the ladder and climbed to the inside of my house. In there I immediately used Phoenix Tear on my leg and walked back out to catch up with Rainbow and Apricot.

"Maybe they are still in the fake dance studio. I forgot to tell Rainbow and Apricot about that," I said.

"Oh, that Rita Rutabaga... I suppose she is Sour Grapes in disguise huh?" Peppermint said.

"You knew?" I asked.

"Strawberry told me about that studio. She invited me to come along but I was not interested," she replied.

"Oh I see..." I said.

The two of us went to the dance studio assuming that Strawberry and the others were there. When we arrived there we saw the main five waving hands to Sour Grapes, who also waved her hand to them. What we saw had left a big question in our mind, so after Sour Grapes disappeared from sight we approached the main five. By coincidence Apricot and Rainbow arrived with us as well.

"Hey Blackberry, Peppermint, Apricot, Rainbow," Strawberry greeted.

"Once again you missed something awesome, am I right? You often miss things, am I right again?" Ginger said.

"How can we not miss it if we had been locked up by Pie Man?" Peppermint said, which surprised all the main five. Then the four of us told them what had happened to each of us.

"But never mind that. We all are here safe and sound now," I said and the other three agreed with me.

"Now I want to ask about what just happened. You know, that Sour Grapes..." I said.

From Strawberry I learned that Sour Grapes had softened up and turned into their side. She had helped them to sneak the stolen berries out of Pie Man's carriage and in exchange put sunflowers in. However, I doubted if it would last for long. Sour Grapes was Pie Man's sister, and the bonds between siblings were not something that can be easily ignored. However, because for that moment all had ended well, I decided to put that aside. I could only hope for the best of the two siblings...

--End of Chapter 17--
[Image: TheGrapesChildrenSig.png]
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