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Blackberry Bun's Journal: Chapter 25
Quote:Chapter 25: A Festival of Friends

We arrived at Strawberryland 30 minutes later without any trouble. I then piloted Blackbird towards my home and landed smoothly there. Once all of us got off, I put it into invisibility like usual.

"We're home again at last," I said.

"Thanks for the trip, Blackberry," Blueberry said.

"Apple Dumplin' happy," Apple said.

"By the way, do you know when Strawberry might arrive here?" Blueberry asked.

"Well..." I said, pausing to think. "Around midnight maybe."

"Midnight? Are you sure?" she asked again.

"Not really, but even if I made a mistake it shouldn't be too far," I replied.

"That's absoloo-tely not a good time to arrive," she said.

"Yeah, she might fall asleep and forget to land," I said.

"We should tell this to other friends," she said. "Let's gather them all in the clubhouse."

"Okay. Let's use Falcon then," I said, taking Falcon's remote from my backpack.

The next thing we did was going to each house of other friends and taking them to the clubhouse. Everything took around half an hour until every single kid in Strawberryland were gathered in the clubhouse.

"All right. Now that everyone's here, what's the matter?" Raspberry asked when I arrived at the clubhouse with Apricot.

"Yeah, what are you gonna tell us?" Angel asked.

"Hmph, I bet it'll be just a waste of time," Peppermint said.

"Okay," Blueberry said, clearing her throat. "Everyone, we all know that Strawberry is away to Pearis, right?"

"Yeah," Orange said.

"Something happened to her?" Huck asked.

"She's on her way back here now," Blueberry said. "But Blackberry noticed something bad."

"Huh? What is it? Is there a wind coming to blow her balloon away? Or a storm going to flip it over? What is it, huh Blackberry Bun?" Ginger asked.

"It's not that bad. It's just that..." I said, pausing for a brief moment. "Her arrival here will be around midnight."

"It will?" Lemon asked.

"Wait! That's it?" Apricot asked.

"Are you asking us to prepare a welcome back party?" Peppermint asked. "In... midnight? Yeah, right."

"We can't do that. Midnight is over bedtime," Orange said, then she seemed to realize something. "Oh! Now I understand!"

"I just realized it too, matey," Rainbow said. "She might fall asleep on her balloon."

"Yes, and then there will be absoloo-tely nobody to land the balloon," Blueberry said.

"What we're gonna do?" Angel asked, seeming worried.

"Apple worry," Apple said.

"We are all worried, Apple. You're not alone," I said.

"I'm thinking of having all of us watching for her in turn tonight," Blueberry said.

"We all? How?" Lemon asked.

"Let's see..." I said, thinking. "There are... twelve of us, right?"

"Yeah, I think," Huck said, looking around and counting. Almost everybody else did the same.

"We'll split into three groups of four," I said.

"Huh? For what?" Raspberry asked.

"Yeah, what we're gonna do with three groups?" Angel asked.

"I remember three places where we can have a good view over Strawberryland. We will put one group on each place," I said.

"Where are the places?" Orange asked.

"The tower of this clubhouse, Huck's fort, and the rooftop of my house," I replied.

"Sounds worth a try," Peppermint said.

"Let's get going then! What are you waiting for, huh everyone?" Ginger said.

"Yeah, that will be cool," Apricot said

After everything were settled, each group went to the place it was assigned on. The three kids who were with me to watch on my rooftop were Orange, Peppermint, and Rainbow. When the four of us arrived at my house, the sky was starting to get dark.

"Okay, now who's first to watch?" I asked. "The others should get some sleep now."

"Hmph. I will, but first you have to show us the way to your rooftop," Peppermint said.

"Oh, okay. Come here," I replied, walking towards one switch on the wall. "This is the switch you have to use to go to the rooftop,"

I then pressed the switch, resulting a ladder to come down from the ceiling. Then I climbed it and opened the trapdoor at its end. The three girls followed me after that, and soon the four of us were on the rooftop of my house.

"What a beautiful view!" Orange said.

"Hey! I can see my boat!" Rainbow said, pointing to Punch Bowl Pond.

"I can see the clubhouse from here," Peppermint said, looking towards a direction.

"Okay, now that it's settled, let's get some sleep," I said.

So, I along with Orange and Rainbow went to sleep on one sofa in the living room of my house while Peppermint stayed on the rooftop to watch for Strawberry's balloon. I didn't know how well the other groups were doing, especially the group with Apple because I knew Apple wouldn't be able to stay awake so that group pretty much only had three people, but I really hoped they were doing well.

Peppermint walked around my rooftop, occasionally using the binoculars I had left there. She didn't know how much time had passed during her turn, but she felt like she had been there for hours.

"Heh, the things you do for your friends," she mumbled in anxiety, still walking back and forth on my rooftop. She kept doing that for a while until later she came down to wake Rainbow up and switch with her.

"Rise and shine, kid!" she said, shaking Rainbow's shoulder.

"Huh...? Aye Aye, Captain," Rainbow replied, slowly getting up.

"You better do it right!" Peppermint said, and then she went to sleep on the part of the sofa where Rainbow had slept.

Rainbow then went up to the rooftop with drowsy eyes, leaving the rest of us sleeping on the sofa. It turned out that Peppermint couldn't stay still in her sleep because she kicked me several times, waking me up. In the end she fell to my side, forcing me to get away from the sofa. I couldn't sleep again after that, so I decided to switch with the one on the rooftop. I climbed the ladder to the rooftop, only to find Rainbow asleep there.

"Hey, Rainbow," I said, shaking her a little. She slowly woke up.

"Uh... Oh, I fell asleep? Sorry..." she said.

"Go back to sleep. I'll take it from here," I said.

"Oh, okay..." she said, yawning and walking to the trapdoor.

Once she was gone, I watched around for a while, occasionally using the binoculars. It only took a few minutes until drowsiness attacked, and I couldn't help sitting on the rooftop. In another few minutes I lied down and finally succumbed to the drowsiness.

"Hey, wake up you lazy bum!" A voice woke me up, and I recognized it as Peppermint's voice.

"You fell asleep too, matey?" Rainbow said.

"I didn't even get to watch," Orange said.

I slowly woke up, realizing that the sky was already bright. I had missed my watch, and that could mean bad things to Strawberry.

"Oh my, we better check on other groups and hope they did fine," I said.

"I don't think they did if you ask me," Peppermint said.

We then quickly went to Huck's fort, the closest of the two other places. When we arrived there, it turned out that Peppermint's thought was true. All four kids who had been placed there, to be exact Huck, Ginger, Angel, and Raspberry, were fast asleep.

"Hey, wake up, lazy bums!" Peppermint shouted, which woke them up in surprise.

"Huh? What?! What happened?" Huck asked.

"Yeah, what happened?" Angel asked.

"Come on, you all! Did you forget what you were doing last night?" Peppermint asked in upset tone.

"Yeah I remember of course. we are supposed to watch over Strawberry's balloon, am I right?" Ginger said. "But hey, I didn't get to watch at all. Nope, not ever did. Someone fell asleep, am I right again?"

"I watched for her last night, and then I switched with... Angel Cake," Raspberry said, then everybody else looked towards Angel Cake, who seemed to be timid at that time.

"Umm... Yeah... I fell asleep again after Raspberry woke me up... I'm sorry," she said, looking down.

"What's done is done. Our group fell asleep too, and I take all the blame," I said. "Let's go to the last group and hope they did well."

The eight of us then quickly went to the clubhouse. The situation there was not any better, because we saw Blueberry, Apple, and Lemon being fast asleep in the clubhouse's bedroom. I also found Apricot being fast asleep on the tower. After waking them up, we all gathered in the main room.

"So, none of the groups made it?" Blueberry asked.

"Seems so," I said.

"Apple worry," Apple said.

"What we're gonna do now?" Angel asked.

All of us fell into a silence, having no idea about what to do, when suddenly something happened.

"Hi, everyone! I'm back!" a voice we all recognized as Strawberry greeted loudly. We looked upon the front door, and indeed it was Strawberry who came. She was still wearing the new outfit I had seen briefly at the previous day.

"My, oh my! It's our friend Strawberry Shortcake! How was your trip, huh Strawberry Shortcake? And how did you get this nice dress, huh Strawberry Shortcake?" Ginger asked.

"Yeah, Strawberry. How did you get that?" Angel asked, seeming relieved.

"Crepes Suzette made this for me! Isn't this berry nice?" Strawberry said.

"Yeah, it sure is," Angel said.

"Oh, and it's berry rare to see everyone here together. Is there a party here?" Strawberry asked. Nobody answered so there was a brief silence.

"Umm, yeah. There is," Peppermint said suddenly.

"Really? What party is it?" Strawberry asked.

"What else? A welcome back party for you!" Peppermint replied, which surprised Strawberry and everyone else quite a bit.

"Yeah... That's... right," Raspberry said.

"It is?" Lemon asked right before Raspberry quickly handgagged her mouth.

"Welcome back, Strawberry," I said.

"Oh, that's berry nice of you all. Thank you berry much, everyone!" Strawberry said.

So, the next few hours were spent having an ''Emergency Welcome Back Party'' thanks to Peppermint's quick thinking. During the few hours everyone attacked Strawberry with questions on how her trip had been, and Strawberry answered them all with pleasure. During those few hours everyone learned about the things which had happened in Strawberry's trip to Pearis.

"By the way, how did you know that I was coming?" Strawberry asked.

"Well, looks like it's now my turn to tell tales," I said, then I told her about my trip to follow her along with Blueberry and Apple. From my tales she learned about Blackbird, how her balloon's sandbag almost had harmed someone, and also the existence of another new friend from Pearis.

"We saw your balloon leaving Chez Crepes, so I could estimate when you would arrive here," I said, ending my tale.

"Yeah, but he somewhat did a mistake. He said you would have arrived last midnight," Raspberry said.

"We waited all the night watching for you, worrying that you would fall asleep on the balloon and fly over Strawberryland," Huck said.

"Not really, though. We all fell asleep," Blueberry said.

"Well, actually..." Strawberry said. "Blackberry was berry right."

"Huh, what do you mean, Strawberry Shortcake?" Ginger asked.

"We arrived at midnight," Strawberry replied. "Custard and Pupcake fell asleep, but I didn't."

"You didn't?" Lemon said.

"If you didn't fall asleep, then..." Angel said.

"Then that means all our worries were for nothing. Hmph!" Peppermint said, looking at me.

I could feel that everyone's eyes were looking at me and Blueberry. Both of us had made them all worried so much that they were willing to abandon sleep, but it all had been for nothing. There was a silence for a few seconds, and then Strawberry spoke out.

"Thank you everyone..." Strawberry said, starting to leak tears smiling. "I'm... berry happy to know that you all cared so much for me."

"Uh... no, it was nothing," Huck said.

"Yeah, Strawberry. It was no problem for us," Orange said.

"Still, I'm berry grateful to you all," Strawberry said, then she yawned.

"Are you tired, Strawberry? You should rest now," I said.

"Yeah, I think I still could use some sleep after all my adventures," she said.

"You can use the bedroom here if you're too tired to walk home, am I right?" Ginger said.

"Don't worry. I can walk home," Strawberry said, walking to the front door. "See you later, everyone."

"Wait! Let me take you there," I said, following her and calling Falcon at the same time.

"Thank you, Blackberry," she said as Falcon came landing near us.

Both of us got onboard and then I piloted Falcon towards Strawberry's house. The trip only lasted a little over one minute so there was no conversation. After I had landed Falcon, Strawberry got off and went into her house waving her hand to me. I did the same to her and then I departed back to the clubhouse. After landing there, I got off and went inside. Everyone were still inside as I entered, and they all looked at me in silence.

"Okay, everyone. I'm sorry that I have made you all worried for nothing," I said.

"No, it was not for nothing," Orange said.

"Yeah, we've made Strawberry happy," Angel said.

"And it all thanks to you, Blackberry," Huck said, putting his hand on my shoulder. So, all ended well for that day.

At the next day, I decided to visit the clubhouse again after having breakfast because I wanted to compare the difference between the scenery on its tower and on my own rooftop, especially because I had never used the clubhouse's tower before. When I arrived there, Strawberry was there along with her pets and the other three main girls. They seemed to be making decorations.

"Hi, everyone," I greeted as I entered.

"Hi, Blackberry!" Strawberry greeted back.

"Is there going to be a party here?" I asked, looking at all the decorations they were making.

"Well, not really. You see, we don't know when and what time the friendship festival will take place, am I right? That's because we don't know when and what time the new friends will come, am I right again?" Ginger said.

"So, we're gonna prepare some early decorations for it," Angel said.

"I see. Anyway, I'm going to the tower for now, and after I'm done I will come down to help you," I said.

"Okay, Blackberry. Be careful there," Orange said.

I then climbed the stairset to the second floor. As I climbed the stairs, I still could hear Custard saying "This glue is so... sticky. How many decorations are we going to make, Strawberry?" but I didn't hear anything more after that because I was already too far from the bottom by then.

I arrived at the tower of the clubhouse, and I tried the telescope right away. The view was indeed enjoyable, but because the telescope was static I couldn't use it to take a look at the other way. Then I looked around without the telescope, and compared with the view on the rooftop of my house I personally preferred the view on this tower. Probably it was because of the clubhouse being placed on a hill, unlike my house which was located at a lowland. While enjoying the scenery, I noticed three butterfly letters coming to the clubhouse. They then entered the main room below and I didn't know what happened there next. I then went down the stairs to see if the butterfly letters were what I had thought of. As I arrived down, Angel Cake left the clubhouse.

"Where is she going?" I asked.

"The guests are coming, and Angel Cake going to make a friendship cake for the festival," Strawberry said.

"The guests? Who are they?" I asked.

"Crepes Suzette is one of them," she said.

"Then there's one with the name Frosty Puff. She's coming all the way from South Pole," Orange said.

"Also there's one coming from deep in a rain forest. Her name is Tangerina Torta," Ginger said.

"And also someone named Tea Blossom. She's coming from the whole other side of the planet," Strawberry said.

"Heh, so they are finally coming," I said.

"Huh? What do you mean, huh Blackberry Bun?" Ginger asked.

"Those three pictures on the wall are the ones you all just mentioned," I said, pointing at the three pictures at the wall Peppermint had drawn.

"Oh? I thought those are the pictures of imaginary friends put by someone," Orange said, looking at the pictures.

"Yeah, me too. Did you thought so too, huh Strawberry Shortcake?" Ginger asked.

"Well, I did," Strawberry said, pausing for a brief moment. "But sometimes I believed that they were true."

"They are, I met them while I was putting Blackbird into its first use," I said. "Peppermint was with me as well, and she made those pictures."

"Why didn't you tell us?" Orange asked.

"Well, I wanted to let it become a surprise," I said. "But I changed my mind just now."

"Well, okay. Anyway, we're done here so now we are going to my house to prepare there. Are you coming with us, Blackberry?" Strawberry asked.

"I think I will go to Angel Cake. Maybe she could use some help," I replied.

I then left the clubhouse first and walked towards Angel Cake's house. When I arrived there she seemed flustered. I could notice her having quite a bit of trouble looking at the mess in the kitchen.

"Hi there, Angel Cake," I greeted.

"Oh, hi, Blackberry," she greeted back.

"Do you need some help?" I asked.

"No, I can do it all by myself. No sweat!" she replied.

"No sweat, huh? No sugar, no flour, and no eggs as well I see," I said, looking at the empty bowls and shelves in her kitchen.

"Well, okay. Actually I kinda need some help," She said timidly. "But I told them I could do this alone."

"Alright. I'll give you the ingredients you need. I still have plenty in my kitchen and I'm not going to use them anytime soon anyway," I offered.

"Thanks, Blackberry," she said.

"I'm going home to take them first. I think you should go to Strawberry's house and tell your friends that you need some help," I said.

"Well, I..." she said, looking down.

"It's your call. Anyway, see you soon," I said, leaving her house.

I then walked to my house to take all the ingredients I had there. Once I arrived there I put them all, along with my kitchen utensils, in my backpack and went back to Angel Cake's house using Blackbird. When I arrived there she was nowhere to be found, but soon I saw her coming along with Tangerina Torta.

"Tangerina Torta! How have you been?" I greeted.

"Hiya, Blackberry Bun!" she replied in excitement.

"Huh? You know each other already?" Angel asked, wondering.

"Yes, we met one week ago," I answered. "Anyway, I have the ingredients for you,"

"Thank you, Blackberry," she said.

The three of us then went inside the house. After Angel Cake showed the room for her guest, Tangerina stayed there to unpack her bag while Angel Cake and me went to the kitchen. I took all the ingredients and utensils from my backpack and put them on the table there.

"What are these?" Angel asked, looking at the utensils. "I already have those of my own."

"If you like, you can use them. They can do their job faster than any other utensils of the same kind," I said. "I made them all myself. Just be careful not to..."

"Blackberry, you have been helping me alot," she interrupted, pausing for a moment. "But no, thanks. I'm gonna make the cakes with my own utensils."

"Okay, but I'll leave them here in case you change your mind," I said. "See you later."

"Where are you going?" she asked.

"Pearis. I don't want her to miss this," I replied, which she understood clearly.

After leaving Angel Cake's house, I got on Blackbird and ordered it to go to Pearis. With the usual keyword, Blackbird departed to Pearis. 30 minutes later I arrived in Pearis and landed on the usual lake. It seemed that the people had gotten used to Blackbird because nobody stopped to stare at me anymore. I then walked towards Cherry's house hoping that she would be there so I could just take her to Strawberryland without having to look for her first. Once I arrived there I took Speak All from my backpack and put it on my head, then I knocked on the door.

"Blackberry!" A voice I recognized as Cherry called from behind.

"Cherry!" I said as I turned around and approached her. "How have you been?"

"Cherry fine," she answered. "Where other friends?"

"They are all in Strawberryland. Would you like to come there?" I said. "There will be a friendship festival there."

"Friendship festival?" she asked.

"There are lots of new friends you have never seen before," I said.

"More friends?" she asked.

"Yes. So, would you like to come?" I asked.

"Cherry come!" she said in excitement.

So, everything was settled and the two of us departed to Strawberryland. The flight went without any trouble and we arrived 30 minutes later. However, as I piloted Blackbird over Angel Cake's house, I saw that the house and the ground in front of it had been flooded with doughs. I then landed Blackbird on nearby clean ground and got off along with Cherry, whom I had given Speak All to. We then approached the group who were standing near the edge of dough flood.

"What happened here?" I asked.

"Well, I had a big little accident," Angel replied.

"How accident?" Cherry asked.

"Well, I had to start over because of another little accident. I ran outta time so I used the things Blackberry had lend to me," Angel said.

"And you used them all in maximum power I guess?" I said, and she nodded with guilty feeling. "Yeah, that was the thing I wanted to tell you. Maximum power can cause something like this."

I didn't know what to say next because I was probably the one to blame as well for not properly warning Angel Cake. There was a silence for a few seconds, then I remembered something.

"By the way, where's Strawberry?" I asked.

"Well, she got really depressed and told us to call the festival off, then she left us. I sure could feel that she was really sad, right everyone? So what should we do now, huh everyone?" Ginger said.

"Yeah, maybe zee iz crying now in 'er 'ouse," Crepes said.

"Maybe we should go to her and cheer her up," Frosty said.

"But what about the festival? Is it really cancelled?" Tangerina asked.

"No, it is not and it will not be," I said. "Let's clean all these up and make the cake again, all together this time."

"You're right, Blackberry. Nothing will stop us, nope, not ever will!" Ginger said.

"But what about Strawberry?" Orange asked.

"I will go. It was my fault anyway for not being honest from the start," Angel said, taking her apron and chef hat off. Then she walked away leaving the rest of the group to do all the cleaning up. It was not that difficult, though. With everyone working together, and also with the help of Ginger's cleaning machine, the cleaning up only took less than one hour. Angel Cake returned right at the time we were done.

"Wow, you all have cleaned my house so fast. Thank you berry much!" she said.

"It was no problem. Nope, not at all!" Ginger said.

"Anyway, how's Strawberry?" I asked.

"She's fine. She will come with Tea Blossom soon, and then we can start making the friendship cake together," Angel replied.

"That's good to hear. I will get other friends to come here in the meantime," I said.

"Cherry go with Blackberry?" Cherry asked, pulling my shirt.

"Okay if you want to," I replied. "Shall we go now?"

"We go," Cherry said.

Then, the two of us left Angel Cake's house to invite the remaining friends who were yet to come. To be exact, they were Huck, Blueberry, Raspberry, Lemon, Apricot, Rainbow, and Peppermint. We walked to their homes and asked them to come with us to the festival, and all of them agreed with pleasure. As the nine of us arrived at Strawberry's house, where the festival was supposed to be held, we saw that they had finished making the friendship cake. So, all of us approached them and let the wonderful fun time to start.

--End of Chapter 25--
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