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Blackberry Bun's Journal: Chapter 23
#1
Quote:Chapter 23: Pearis


Two days have passed after my trip around the world with Peppermint. During the two days I had repaired Blackbird's recharger and put protection seals on the engine so it wouldn't have any more sand coming into it. I also made a new device named Speak All, the shape of which was a headset with a mike. If I wore it whenever someone spoke to me with a different language I didn't know, it would translate the language and I would hear everything in the language I knew. It also worked the other way so I would have no problem at all talking with anyone. I had made the device because I had known someday I would travel to a place where people speak in different languages.

After having lunch, I decided to go to the rooftop of my house and see the scenery around. I climbed the ladder which led to the rooftop and opened the trapdoor at its end. I then stood on the roof and saw that the scenery was quite enjoyable on that day, looking at the nice weather and the summer breeze I felt. I spent some minutes gazing at the scenery until I noticed something.

"A hot air balloon?" I thought, looking at the strawberry-shaped hot air balloon passing by. I then quickly came down into my house and returned to the roof with my spyglasses. I used it to take a closer look at the balloon and saw that the passengers were Strawberry and her two pets. I wondered where she was going to, but then I remembered something and decided to go to her house immediately.

I walked to Strawberry's house quite fast because I was curious about her sister. If Strawberry was away, then who would take care of Apple? With that in mind I kept walking towards her house. The trip went without anything happened on the way, and I arrived ten minutes later. I knocked on the door and then someone opened it. To my surprise, it was Huck who opened the door.

"Hi, Blackberry," he said.

"Hi, Huck. What are you doing here?" I asked.

"Strawberry is away visiting a new friend, and I take care of the house in the meantime," he answered. "Not much to do, though. Just a little cleaning up daily and then done."

"A new friend? Who?" I asked.

"I heard that the name was Crepes Suzette. She lives in a place named Pearis if I remember it right," he answered.

"I see. By the way, I wonder about Apple. Where is she now?" I asked.

"Apple stays in Blueberry Muffin's place for now," he replied.

"Strawberry left her sister just like that? That does not feel right for me," I said.

"Can't be helped. The trip might be too dangerous for her. That's what Strawberry said," he said.

"I think I'll visit her now," I said. "See you later."

"Wait. I'll go with you. I'm done cleaning anyway," he said.

Later, the two of us walked to Blueberry Valley to visit Blueberry Muffin and Apple Dumplin there. The trip went without anything happened on the way, and as we arrived we heard something from inside the house.

"Apple Dumplin' go!" a voice we recognized as Apple said.

"It might be dangerous, Apple. And you're still..." another voice we recognized as Blueberry said.

"Apple Dumplin' not too little!" Apple said.

We immediately entered the house to see what was happening. Once we entered, Apple noticed us and walked to me. Then she hugged my left leg.

"What's happening here?" I asked.

"Apple Dumplin' follow Strawberry," Apple said.

"Follow Strawberry? How?" I asked again.

"Blackberry car follow Strawberry," Apple replied.

"She wants to follow Strawberry with the help of your flying car. What was the name... Falcon wasn't it?" Blueberry said. "But I said..."

"Apple Dumplin' not too little!" Apple quickly interrupted, still hugging my leg. Then she started to pull my shirt. "Blackberry help Apple Dumplin'"

"Umm... I'd like to help but..." I said, pausing for a moment.

"Blackberry think Apple Dumplin' too little too?" Apple asked, looking at me with sore eyes.

"No. I mean... Falcon can't go that far," I replied. "It will run out of energy and fall into the ocean."

My last sentence unexpectedly depressed Apple very bad. I could see her sad face as she released her hug and walked away from me.

"Apple Dumplin' go sleep," Apple said with weak voice, and Blueberry took her into her bedroom. A few minutes later Blueberry returned to us.

"She's asleep now. But... she leaked some tears before that," Blueberry said.

"Pity..." I said.

Soon after, me and Huck left the place. On the way there was a conversation between us.

"I really feel bad about Apple," Huck said.

"Me too," I said.

"Is it true that Falcon can't go that far?" he asked.

"Yeah, it's true..." I said, pausing for a moment. "Although..."

"Although what?" he asked.

"Never mind. It's not possible," I replied, and then the two of us separated right in front of my house.

I spent the next hour thinking about Apple. Falcon indeed couldn't go all the way to Pearis because of its limited energy. Of course Blackbird could do that easily, but because it only had two seats that meant I would be the only one watching over her. I kinda hated to admit it, but Apple Dumplin' was indeed still too little to do such a long trip to a far away place. There had to be at least one other person watching her. So, I decided to modify Blackbird a little so it would have three seats instead of two. I had to sacrifice half of its speed, but it was still much faster than Falcon after the modification.

At the next day, I immediately went to Blueberry's house after having breakfast. I saw that Apple was still quite depressed when I arrived there.

"Apple Dumplin' go..." Apple mumbled while sitting anxiously on a sofa.

"She still wants to follow Strawberry?" I whispered to Blueberry.

"Yes, she absoloo-tely wants to," she whispered me back.

"If let's say we can go to Pearis, would you let her?" I whispered.

"I would, if you take me as well. Strawberry entrusted Apple to me, and I absoloo-tely have to watch over her," she whispered back.

"I see... I suppose you have to start packing your bag now," I whispered, and then I approached Apple.

"Do you really want to go?" I asked Apple.

"Apple Dumplin' go," she replied.

"Okay, I'll help you," I said, which surprised her. "But promise me one thing."

"Apple Dumplin' promise!" she replied with excitement.

"I haven't even said it. Anyway, promise me to stay close to us, okay?" I said.

"Apple Dumplin' stay close," she replied, still in excitement.

"Your Falcon actually can go there?" Blueberry asked.

"Meet me at my house later and see for yourselves," I said. "Now I'll go home and prepare."

"Okay," Blueberry said as I left her house.

I went home and filled my backpack with all of my devices, then I waited for the two girls to come. Some minutes later I heard a doorbell and I opened the door. Indeed the guests below were Blueberry and Apple as expected.

"Okay, now that you are here, we can go immediately," I said, taking my backpack and then going down the ladder.

"Where Blackberry car?" Apple asked.

"Come with me," I said, walking to the back side of the house.

The two girls followed me to the back of my house. I could see Apple being cheerful again like the usual Apple I had been knowing. Blueberry was also happy to see that as she walked hand-in-hand with the little girl. Once we were near Blackbird, I took its remote from the side pocket of my backpack and pressed one button to reveal it from its invisibility. The two girls were quite surprised seeing the new vehicle.

"This no Blackberry car," Apple said.

"Yeah, this is absoloo-tely not Falcon," Blueberry said.

"This is Blackbird. I made it one week ago," I said.

"Oh, then where is Falcon?" Blueberry asked. I then took Falcon's remote from the other side pocket of my backpack and pressed the button to reveal it.

"It's right there. Like I said, Pearis is too far for Falcon so we will go there with Blackbird," I replied. "Come aboard."

Then all of us got onboard Blackbird with me sitting at the front as the pilot and the two girls sitting at the back side-by-side. I turned the engine on and as usual the monitor displayed the map of the planet and a flashing red arrow to mark the current position.

"Pearis, France," I said, and then a flashing green dot appeared at the east of current position. "Have you put your seatbelt on?"

"Yes," Blueberry replied.

"Apple Dumplin' too," Apple said.

"Okay. Hit it, Blackbird!" I said, and Blackbird floated high. There was a pause for a few seconds, and then it began accelerating. Like before, the acceleration pressed us all to our seats.

"Woooow!" Blueberry shouted.

"Aaaa!" Apple yelled.

"Hold on. It will pass soon," I said, and then a few seconds later the acceleration gradually ended. "All right. 30 minutes and we're there."

"That fast? This one is absoloo-tely better than Falcon," Blueberry said.

"Not really. There are some points where Falcon is better than Blackbird," I replied.

"What are they?" she asked.

"First. As you can see, there are only three seats," I replied. "I can't use this to bring many friends to travel with me,"

"Oh..." Blueberry said.

"Then, Blackbird is fast only in long distance trips. While flying around in an area it is very slow," I said.

"Apple understand," Apple said.

"Also, I can't call it to come to me like I can do with Falcon," I continued.

"Are there more?" Blueberry asked.

"Yeah. It can't become invisible while flying. And lastly, it doesn't have a harpoon," I said.

"Falcon has a harpoon? For what?" Blueberry asked.

"Its useful for many things," I replied, remembering what had happened around one year before in the Land of Dreams and also another occasion where the harpoon had saved Rainbow.

The trip continued without much conversation. Later Blackbird finally deccelerated, implying that the destination was near. Once it completely stopped, we looked around and saw that we were right above a big city. For me, the city felt like a pastry-themed Greenhill.

"Switch to manual," I said, and a steering wheel came out.

"Where are we going to land?" Blueberry asked.

"There's a lake over there," I replied, pointing at a visible lake on a distance. "Blackbird can float like a boat, so landing on water will not be a problem."

I then piloted Blackbird to land on the lake I had just seen. The landing was smooth and went without any trouble. I then docked it at the edge of the lake so all of us could get off on the ground instead of having to swim first. Once I finished docking, the three of us got off, but not without some people staring at us with confused face.

"Some people are looking at us," Blueberry said.

"Probably they are not used to seeing a vehicle like Blackbird," I said, putting Blackbird into invisibility. "I say just ignore them."

"Oh, alright," Blueberry said, and the three of us walked away from that place.

The walk inside the city didn't feel so great for me, probably because I had seen and walked in a big city before. However, for Blueberry who had never seen such, and for Apple who had not seen much of Greenhill, the walk seemed to be an astonishing one.

"Is Strawberry here already?" Blueberry asked.

"I don't know. But looking at the speed of her balloon, she should be here..." I said, pausing for a moment to think. "Well, about now."

"Apple Dumplin' see Strawberry," Apple said.

"What? Where?" Blueberry asked.

"Strawberry balloon," Apple replied, pointing upward.

All of us looked upwards and indeed we saw a strawberry-shaped hot air balloon I recognized as the same one I had seen at the previous day. However, I noticed a huge hole on it.

"It looks like trouble," I said.

Then, to make matters worse for people below, Strawberry started to drop sandbags. The first one dropped on the ground, but I saw her going to drop the second one right above a little girl whose age was just slightly older than Apple.

"Telekinator!" I shouted and my backpack threw it right into my grip. I then quickly used it so the sandbag stopped right above the girl's head. Then I slowly moved the sandbag to the ground. The girl seemed to notice everything happening.

"Are you okay?" I asked, approaching the girl. Blueberry and Apple followed me as well.

"Merci!" the girl replied.

"Uh... what?" I asked.

"It looks like the language here is different," Blueberry said.

"Oh I see. Speak All!" I said and my backpack threw the device into my grip. I then wore it on my head and turned it on.

"What is that, Blackberry?" Blueberry asked.

"Something I made two days ago," I replied, then I asked the little girl again. "Are you okay?"

"Me fine. Thank you," the girl replied.

"I'm Blackberry Bun. What's your name?" I asked.

"Me Cherry Cuddler," the girl replied. "And me go home now."

The girl then left us waving her hand, and we did the same too.

"You know, I was confused seeing you speaking in her language all of the sudden," Blueberry said.

"Apple Dumplin' too," Apple said.

"This is Speak All, and I suppose you already know what this is for," I said, pointing at the headset I wore and throwing Telekinator for my backpack to suck. "I guess I'll keep wearing this for now."

"Yeah. By the way, who was she?" Blueberry asked.

"Her name was Cherry Cuddler," I replied. "Anyway, let's go to Strawberry."

"Yeah, let's go," she said.

The three of us then walked towards where Strawberry's balloon seemed to had fallen. On the way we saw another sandbag on the road, but we couldn't find the balloon or Strawberry herself.

"Where could she be?" Blueberry asked.

"I don't know," I answered.

"Apple Dumplin' not know," Apple said.

"Let's ask around," I said, looking around to see if there was any people to ask.

"You're the only one who can," Blueberry said.

I then asked some people around if they had seen the hot air balloon. After asking some people, I returned to Blueberry and Apple.

"They said she had gone that way along with another girl," I said, pointing to a direction.

"Another girl? Who?" Blueberry asked.

"I was lucky. One person recognized the girl as Crepes Suzette, the owner of a nearby boutique named Chez Crepes," I replied. "And she's also the new friend Strawberry wanted to visit, looking at the name."

"That's absoloo-tely good to hear. Let's go now," she said.

The three of us then walked towards the boutique one person had mentioned. Because all of us had never been in Pearis, there were some occasions where we got lost and had to ask around again. In the end we finally found the building with ``Chez Crepes`` on it.

"There it is," I said.

"Let's go in," Blueberry said.

"Apple Dumplin' can not wait," Apple said.

I knocked on the door a few times, but there was no response at all. Out of curiosity, I tried opening the door and it turned out that it was not locked. All of us then quietly went inside to see if there was anybody there. However, we couldn't find any people inside.

"Where are they now?" I said, wondering.

"Well..." Blueberry said, pausing for a moment. "Maybe they are walking around the city now."

"That's possible. Maybe we can walk around the city as well and see if we can meet her along the way by chance. What do you think?" I asked.

"Apple like walk around," Apple said.

"That's an absoloo-tely good idea," Blueberry said.

So, the three of us walked around the city for sightseeing while also hoping to meet Strawberry on the way. We enjoyed the walk very much that without our knowing it started to get dark. Luck was not on our side because even after the night arrived we hadn't met Strawberry.

"It's night now, but..." Blueberry said, pausing for a moment. "Why Apple isn't sleepy yet?"

"Apple not sleepy," Apple said.

"Different time zone. In Strawberryland now there are still some hours before bedtime," I answered.

"Oh, I see," Blueberry said.

"Apple Dumplin' not understand," Apple said.

"You'll understand in time," I said.

While still walking, suddenly we heard a dog barking and a girl screaming. We immediately ran towards the source of the voice, and found a wild dog cornering a little girl who was no other than Cherry Cuddler.

"Cherry!" I shouted.

"Blackberry! Cherry scared!" Cherry said, trembling and leaking tears. I immediately ran to her, grabbed her, and brought her running away from the dog. The dog chased the two of us and it kept doing that until I finally ran out of stamina in an alleyway. The dog then cornered us both, making the situation hopeless.

"Cherry scared..." Cherry said, sobbing.

"I'll protect you, Cherry," I said, hugging her even though I was trembling as well.

"There you are!" we heard a voice. We looked on the source and found out that it was from a dog catcher. He then ran towards the dog, ready to use his net to catch the dog. The dog seemed aware of the dog catcher and immediately ran away. The catcher kept chasing the dog, leaving both of us in the alley. However, later he returned without the dog.

"Heh, that dog sure can run," he said with upset face. "Are you two okay?"

"Cherry Cuddler fine," Cherry replied.

"How about you, boy?" he asked.

"I... I'm just fine," I replied, running out of breath.

"Glad to hear that. Stray dogs often cause trouble," he said, and suddenly rain fell down so the three of us decided to take shelter under a nearby canopy.

"You catch stray dogs everyday?" I asked.

"Yes, and I just caught a poodle a few minutes ago," he replied.

"A poodle?" I asked.

"That one seemed like a lost dog. I'll put an announcement at the pound so the owner can retrieve the dog later," he said.

"Oh, I see," I said.

"Rain stop," Cherry said, noticing that the rain had stopped.

"If you two are okay, I guess I can leave you here now," he said.

"Yes, thank you for the help, sir," I said.

"You're welcome," he replied and then he left us.

"Thank you, Blackberry," Cherry said.

"I... I did nothing," I replied.

"You tried," she said.

"Well... okay, you're welcome. But now I'm separated from my friends," I said, realizing that I had left Blueberry and Apple.

"Blackberry friend?" she asked.

"Yeah, I hope they won't get into trouble," I said. "Let's look for them."

The two of us then walked in the alley for some minutes until we saw the dog catcher we had met before. He seemed to be upset, looking at the cage on his truck.

"Hello again, sir. Something wrong happened?" I asked.

"Yeah. The poodle escaped somehow," he answered, pointing at the opened cage.

"Escape?" Cherry said.

"I'll go looking for the dog," he said.

"By the way, sir. Have you seen my friends? A girl in blue with blueberry hat, and a little girl in yellow with apple images on it," I asked.

"Hmm... no. I have just seen a girl in strawberry hat, but no girl in blueberry hat," he replied.

"Strawberry hat? That could be my friend as well! Where did she go?" I asked.

"That way," he replied, pointing to a direction.

"I see. Thank you, sir!" I said, immediately walking to the direction.

"You're welcome," he replied and left the place as well.

The two of us walked towards the direction, only to end up lost again. Cherry actually knew the place because she had been living there, but because we were looking for Blueberry and Apple or Strawberry, and we didn't know where they were, that was the same as lost.

"Stop! Thief!" suddenly we heard a voice.

"What was that?" I said, wondering.

"Cherry not know," Cherry said.

We looked around to see if we could find out what was going on, and saw a bus running wild towards us. We immediately stepped aside to avoid it, and to my surprise I could recognize the driver as Strawberry. Not long after that, someone I assumed to be the real driver of the bus passed by running while yelling the same words I had heard.

"What is Strawberry doing? Stealing a bus?" I thought, wondering.

"Blackberry!" someone, whose voice I recognized as Blueberry, said from behind. "I was looking for you!"

"Blackberry no leave us again," Apple said.

"Sorry, but that was an emergency," I replied.

"Blackberry friend?" Cherry asked.

"Yes. This is Blueberry Muffin, and this is Apple Dumplin'" I answered.

"Apple Dumplin' tired," Apple said, yawning.

"Oh, it's almost her bedtime, isn't it?" Blueberry said. "We don't bring anything for sleeping. We have no choice other than returning to Strawberryland."

"Well, by coincidence the lake where I have parked Blackbird is right there," I said, pointing to a lake I recognized as the place I had parked Blackbird at.

"Cherry tired too," Cherry said, yawning.

"Oh, we'll take you to your home first. Where is it?" I asked.

"Cherry home close. Cherry walk alone," she said, then she left us waving her hand and we did the same.

After Cherry disappeared from our sight, all of us agreed to return to Strawberryland and come back to Pearis at the next day. I didn't tell Blueberry and Apple about what I had seen. I could only hope Strawberry didn't get into big trouble.

--End of Chapter 23--
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