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Blackberry Bun's Journal: Chapter 21
Quote:Chapter 21: Around The World

It was in the middle of Summer, one week after the trip to Old Man Winter, when Strawberry found an old building on the top of a small hill. The building's shape was like a cake similar to Angel Cake's house, although the building looked abandoned. Nobody knew who had built it and for what, but Strawberry spoke her idea out as the main group of five plus me stood right in front of the building.

"This building sure is old and could fall apart anytime. What are you going to do with this, huh Strawberry Shortcake?" Ginger asked.

"Let's fix this building!" Strawberry said in excitement.

"Huh? For what?" Huck asked.

"Yeah, what we're gonna do after that?" Angel asked.

"Who will use it?" Orange asked.

"We all will use it. We and all other friends!" Strawberry answered, still in excitement.

"Huh? What do you mean, Strawberry?" I asked.

"We all will use this as a clubhouse!" she answered.

"Clubhouse? What club?" Orange asked.

"What else? Friendship Club!" Strawberry answered.

"Friendship Club? What we're gonna do with a Friendship Club? I mean, we're all friends already," Angel asked.

"You see, this building is right on a place where every part of Strawberryland can come. Has any of you ever wanted to visit a friend or two, but can't decide who? Then you can just come to the clubhouse and see who is there, and also inviting anyone on the way. And also, we can use the clubhouse to gather everyone around Strawberryland to have a party. Isn't it berry great?" Strawberry said in high excitement.

"Well, now that you mention it..." Angel said, thinking for a moment. "That's a great idea!"

"Yeah, let's do this!" Orange said.

"But repairing this will be hard and take a long time," Huck said, looking at the building in doubt.

"If we work together, we can do it!" Strawberry said. "We all remember Blueberry's house, right?"

"You're right, Strawberry Shortcake! I'll go home and take my tools. Back in a flash!" Ginger said, going away.

And so, the six of us worked hard to repair the abandoned building. I didn't know how we did it, but the work seemed to progress much faster than I had thought. In the next one hour the building had been cleaned up from dust and trash, and the next thing to do was to fix broken parts. Again, that was done in one hour. After the broken parts were fixed, it was time to decorate the exterior.

"So, how we are going to decorate this building, huh anyone?" Ginger asked.

"How about decorating this with strawberries?" I suggested. "I mean, this is Strawberryland after all."

"Great idea. Let's do it," Orange said.

"Yeah, I agree with that," Angel said.

"Me too," Huck said.

So, the exterior of the building was decorated to be strawberry-themed with red paint job and all strawberries on it. It had been done in just two hours. After that it was time to fill the interior with furnitures and all. Most of them were made by Ginger and me in her factory, while a few were taken from our houses. With the help of Falcon and Telekinator for delivery, all were done in the next three hours.

"There! All done!" Ginger said in excitement.

"Nice work, Ginger," Orange said.

"Berry nice work, everyone!" Strawberry said, looking at the brand new building.

"What a nice clubhouse this building will become," Huck said.

"Hey, where's Blackberry?" Angel asked, looking around.

"Hey, everyone!" I said, approaching them from behind.

"Where were you?" Huck asked.

"I was making this," I replied, showing them a pink badge with a simple image of a strawberry on it. "A badge for our club."

"Wow, nice. So what does this badge do, huh Blackberry?" Ginger asked.

"Huh? What do you mean?" I asked.

"I know things you make are always full of surprises, like that flying car, the remote to lift things, even a badge that makes you disappear, am I right? So this badge also has a surprise for us, am I right again?" Ginger said.

"Well, uh... this badge... is the sign that each of us is a member of the Friendship Club," I replied.

"That's all?" Orange asked.

"Really? That's it? No superpower or flight or anything? Absolutely nothing at all?" Ginger asked.

"I really hoped for something better," Angel said.

Huck didn't say anything while still looking at the badge. Everything that had been said struck me like lightning bolts and rendered me completely speechless. I hadn't been aware that they had expected so much from me. All that had been in my mind while making the badge was to make something to mark that the person wearing it was a part of the Friendship Club. There was a silence for the next few seconds.

"That's a berry great badge, Blackberry!" Strawberry said, which quite surprised me. "May I try it on?"

"Uh... yeah, sure," I said, giving the badge to Strawberry, who immediately put it on her shirt.

"I like it berry much! Thank you, Blackberry!" she said. "It is great to have something to show that we are part of the club, right everyone?"

"Umm... yeah, sure," Angel said.

"Of course it is," Huck said.

"I think the same too," Orange said.

"Alright then. If it is settled, then you should make one for everyone all over Strawberryland, will you, huh Blackberry?" Ginger said.

"Well... sure, no problem," I said, shooting copy-mode Replicator, which I had been hiding behind my back, to Strawberry's chest. The green laser hit the badge she had put on, then I set Replicator into paste-mode and shot everyone else's chests including my own. In the end each of us had a badge on the chest.

"Thanks, Blackberry," Orange said.

"Woow, you've made a copy-gun too? You're simply amazing, am I right?" Ginger said.

"Thanks, Blackberry. Umm... I'm sorry for what I said," Angel said.

I was silent for a few seconds, then I said, "Umm, no, it's fine. You didn't do anything wrong. Really."

And so, that was the beginning of the Friendship Club. Every once in a while, each resident of Strawberryland visits the clubhouse and most of the time at least one other friend would be there. In the clubhouse everyone could spend time talking, baking cookies, watching TV which I had provided with better antenna, taking a nap in the bedroom, or looking at the scenery around on the tower at the top with Huck's telescope which he had put there. All in all, Strawberry's Friendship Club was a great success.

One day, when I was walking to the clubhouse, I saw the main four girls throwing what seemed like the butterfly letters I had ever seen a long time before. I looked at the letters flying away, then I approached the girls.

"Hi, everyone," I greeted.

"Hi, Blackberry!" Strawberry replied.

"What letters are those, if I may ask?" I asked.

"Those are invitation letters," she replied.

"Invitation? For who and what?" I asked.

Then, I learned about Strawberry's idea to make more friends from outside Strawberryland and then to invite them in a big friendship festival. Hearing about her idea suddenly gave me an inspiration. I then immediately said my thanks and left the place towards my home.

I then spent the rest of the day working behind my house to put the inspiration into realization. Even when bed time came, the work was still half done. Because I didn't want to repeat what had happened when chasing Rainbow Sherbet, I decided to sleep and continue at the next day. Right after having breakfast at the next day, I immediately went to the back of my house and continued the work. I was concentrating so much on it that I didn't realize someone visited me until she greeted me.

"Hey, Blackberry. Working hard?" A voice I recognized as Peppermint said.

"Oh, hi Peppermint. It's a surprise that you come here," I said, stopping my work, which actually had just been finished.

"Have I been away from here for so long that you said that?" Peppermint said.

"Not really, but... yeah maybe," I replied.

"Hmph. Anyway, what are you working on now?" Peppermint asked, looking at the thing behind me.

"This is Falcon. I mean... this was Falcon," I replied.

"Your flying car? What have you done to it?" she asked, looking that the shape of the thing was so different than the Falcon she remembered.

"I modified it so it can fly much longer," I answered, then I told her about Strawberry's idea and how it gave me inspiration to travel around the planet and meet new friends along the way.

"So now your... Falcon can travel in longer distance?" Peppermint asked.

"Yes, although some things have to go. You see, now the seats are only enough for two," I said. "And this is not Falcon anymore. I'll give it a new name..."

"A new name, huh?" she said as I began to think.

"Blackbird," I said a few seconds later, snapping my finger.

"Yeah of course. This thing is black, and you made it to look like something between a car and a plane," Peppermint remarked and sighed.

"Is there something wrong?" I asked, noticing Peppermint's sigh and sore face.

"You know, I liked your old flying car. It helped us to chase Rainbow... and it saved her as well," she said, pausing for a moment and sighing.

"Umm... Peppermint..." I said, but she continued before I could say anything.

"I had good memories of it, and now that it is gone..." she said and paused again.

"Peppermint...?" I said, but she continued again.

"It's just... doesn't feel right..." she said, looking down.

"Hello, Peppermint? Could you hear me once?" I asked. "Falcon is still here."

"Huh? What do you mean?" she asked, a little bit surprised.

"Here," I said, taking Falcon's remote which was lying on the ground and pressed one button. The dark blue flying car everyone in Strawberryland had been knowing about appeared next to Blackbird out of its invisibility.

"Falcon...? But you said..." Peppermint said.

"Sorry, I should have said it earlier. You know this, right?" I said, pointing at one other thing lying on the ground.

"Your copy-gun...?" she said, looking at Replicator. Then a few seconds later her face expression changed from confusion to surprised. "Oh!"

"You realized it, I suppose?" I asked.

"You copied the car," she said.

"Yes, that Falcon is the one you remember. Blackbird is made from the copy," I said.

"Yeah, you should have said that earlier, silly! Now I have wasted my tears for nothing!" she said, wiping tears from her eyes with upset face.

"Yeah, I apologize. Care for a trip around the world with Blackbird for my apology?" I asked.

"Huh?" she asked, a little bit surprised.

"Blackbird is done. All that left is to make use of it," I answered. "So?"

"Well... uh... only the two of us?" she asked.

"Of course. There are only two seats. One at the front and one at the back," I replied.

"Well... umm... okay..." she said timidly. "But are you sure this is safe?"

"You can count on me," I answered, getting onboard.

"Alright," she said, getting onboard as well.

I then turned Blackbird's engine on. A small monitor in front of me displayed the map of the planet with a red arrow to mark the current position.

"You can choose where to go. You can see the map as well, right?" I said.

"Yeah I can see that of course," she replied, looking at another monitor in front of her. "But you decide first."

"No, you decide first," I replied.

"You want to argue over this all day? I insist you first," she said.

"Well... alright," I said. "Let's go to a close place first... here!" I continued, touching a part of the map with my finger. Then a text appeared on both monitor, displaying the name of the place I had just pointed. "Tangerine Bosque... I have been there once, but whatever. Hit it, Blackbird!"

After I had said that, Blackbird floated high and then turned around until it faced the direction towards Tangerine Bosque. There was a pause for a moment, then Blackbird accelerated. The acceleration was so high that both of us were pressed to the seats quite hard, but then the acceleration decreased as Blackbird reached its maximum speed.

"At this speed we will arrive in... around ten minutes," I said.

"You said you have been there once. When, and how?" Peppermint asked.

"It was last autumn. I intended to go to Lower Lollipop with Falcon, but I went too far. I didn't land, though," I replied.

"You said Falcon? But..." Peppermint asked.

"Tangerine Bosque is still close enough for Falcon, but it took one and a half hour to go there, and another one and a half hour to go back," I replied. "Not to mention that Falcon's energy almost ran out after that trip,"

"Oh, I see," she said, and then there was no conversation until Blackbird decelerated, implying that Tangerine Bosque was close. Some seconds later Blackbird came to a complete stop high above ground and we looked around. There was nothing but trees below, but at a distance we could see a beach.

"Switch to manual," I said, and a steering wheel came out from below the map.

"Huh? You haven't been driving it?" Peppermint asked.

"Blackbird is auto-pilot when travelling at high speed, and manual when flying around slowly like now," I replied. "We can't land in a forest. Let's land on that beach."

I then smoothly landed Blackbird at the beach. After both of us got off, I noticed something on the ground.

"Isn't this..." I said, picking the thing up. "One of Strawberry's butterfly letters?"

"You mean the invitation letters they sent yesterday?" Peppermint asked.

"Indeed, looks like this one didn't make it to anyone's hands," I said, looking that it didn't move anymore. "Too bad."

"Yeah, too bad. But whatever, this place doesn't look like something with someone inside anyway," Peppermint said.

"Let's at least look around," I said, putting the poor letter into my pocket.

We then walked into the forest. It was not so long until we found a place with some houses either on ground or on a tree.

"So there's someone here after all," I said.

"Someone lives in the middle of a... forest? Yeah right," Peppermint said.

"Let's try giving this letter," I said, walking towards the houses. "Hello! Anybody here?!"

"I'm here!" there was an answer from above. I looked upwards and saw a girl at the balcony of one tree house. The girl had long orange hair with green bandana around her forehead. She then went down and approached the two of us.

"Hiya, I'm Tangerina Torta," the girl said.

"I'm Blackberry Bun," I said. "This is Peppermint Fizz."

"Uh-huh. Yeah, hi," Peppermint said.

"Welcome to Tangerine Bosque," Tangerina said as a monkey came and jumped into her. "And this is my pet monkey Banana Bongo,"

"It's nice to know you both. By the way, have you received a letter like this?" I said as I gave the butterfly letter to Tangerina.

"Well, no. Let me see," she said and then she took a few minutes to read the letter. "Strawberryland? Is it far from here?"

"Well... kinda," I answered.

"It does not matter! I always like to have new friends!" she said in excitement. "I'll definitely come! But not now, though."

"Why not?" I asked.

"I have this special flower and I need to take special care of it everyday. I'll look for someone else to take care of it for me first and then I can go. It can be tomorrow or next week, or even the week after that. I'm not sure," she replied.

"Special flower?" Peppermint asked.

"Yes, it blooms only once every ten years! The last time it bloomed was five years ago. That's what I heard from the one who lived here before," she replied.

"I see," I said.

"I'll send a reply letter once I can come there," she said.

"Alright. Then it is time for us to go," I said.

"Oh, why so soon?" she asked.

"We are going to meet more new friends. I'm sure we will meet again in Strawberryland," I replied.

"Okay, then. I'll see you again soon," she said, and we went back to where Blackbird was parked. When we arrived both of us got onboard and I turned its engine on. It went smoothly at first but then it floated high and accelerated without me giving order, not to mention that there were disturbances on the monitor and the flight went with a lot of vibrations.

"What's wrong with this thing?" Peppermint asked.

"I don't know. I..." I said when I suddenly remembered something. "Oh, no..."

"What is it?" Peppermint asked.

"I didn't put protection seals on the engine. Sand from the beach is in it now..." I said with pale face.

"What?! Can't you do something?! Anything?! We are heading right into the South Pole!" Peppermint said, looking at the disturbed map.

"I can't! All we can do now is just wait until it stops by itself!" I said as Blackbird carried us away without any of us being able to stop it.

--End of Chapter 21--
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