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 Berry's Story

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Lavelia
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Number of posts : 230
Age : 40
Location : Georgia now :P What can I say...I get around :P
Registration date : 2008-03-29

PostSubject: Berry's Story   Sat May 01, 2010 7:14 pm

"Berry! Beeerrrryyy," the auburn red haired girl's head turned as she heard her name called. She was kneeling near a wounded doe, her fingers tracing the doe's wound urging it to close. With a heavy sigh she stood, even as the last of the doe's injury vanished from sight and memory. A soft smile played across the slim girl's face even as she turned wholly and began to move in the direction of the voice. Behind her the doe rose slowly and moved onto shaky legs. Berry turned and began running towards 'home' even as the deer raced into the thicket bordering the tree-line.
Her 'family' thought she was strange; and it was true, she was. The woman who was her new 'mother' glared at her as she raced up the long driveway. From the look on the woman's face she could tell that she would get yelled at yet again for being insubordinate. She paused, panting, in front of this woman. She didn't hate her, Berry couldn't particularly HATE anyone but...she sure didn't like the pale-skinned, dark-haired woman. She stared up at her foster mother and panted out, "I'm here," her forest-green eyes looking up earnestly.
"Where have you been," the woman asked with a frowning-disapproving look plastered across her face, "dinner's done and everyone is WAITING on you."
Berry straightened, her breathing evening out as she responded, "I was walking," shrugging, her head tipped, "you could have gone ahead and eaten without me you know. Its not like I couldn't make up a plate later or something."
Jennith stared at the red-headed brat before her and huffed out on a breath, "while you are under MY roof you will abide by MY laws," then reached out and grabbed the small statured girl's arm in a vice-like grip, "since you've made all of us wait, YOU can clean the kitchen to make up for your tardiness," she shoved the petite girl into the house and smirked at the grunt of pain that emerged from Berry. In truth there was something about this...freakish child that she hated intensely. The moment she'd set eyes on her she'd despised her. But, she couldn't control who came into her home from the social services office. Questions might be raised about how she was 'dealing' with the children already in her home and really, she didn't want that. So she simply made the girl's life as difficult as she could.
Berry stumbled forward a few steps before her legs caught up with the rest of her body. She heaved a heavy sigh at the announcement of what her 'punishment' would be, already resigned to it. Everyone hated her here. She just didn't fit in with them. She was 'other' while they were what society deemed as being normal. She'd been thinking though and had decided that she just simply wanted to escape from this place. She took her place at the table, under the glares of the other kids and both of the adults. Everyone bowed their heads as Jennith took her seat and led the prayer, at which, Berry sighed silently. She hated the hypocrisy in this house.
In that moment she decided to leave it all behind. Her books were still at school so her backpack would have the space for the things she'd need. As the plan began to formulate in her mind and come together conversation spilled around her, swirling and ebbing as subjects came and went. The other kids talked about interesting things that had struck them as being note-worthy while the adults smiled slightly and listened absently as they carried on their own conversations.
Time passed and slowly everyone finished eating and stood and left the table. She smiled as she stood and began clearing the table. There were no extras to put away so it was strictly the dishes she would have to do tonight. Even as she worked her mind was racing. She realized she'd be able to slip out of her window after everyone was asleep tonight. The bedroom doors were locked but they were all allowed to have the window open at night...and her window had no screen. Easy.
She was standing at the sink when Mark, Jennith's husband slid up behind her, "why are you so...naughty Berry," he asked, his breath rasping on the back of her neck and making her skin crawl. He leaned forward until she was being almost crushed between his body and the sink as he reached for a glass she had JUST washed, "if you'd try to fit in I'm sure you'd have an...easier time of it," his other hand, concealed by both of their bodies slid around hers and between her legs, copping a feel until her elbow firmly and 'accidentally' slammed into his stomach causing him to back off with a muttered curse to which she simply said, "oh, sorry," as she held up a plate, showing that she'd been reaching into the water. Her eyes held an innocent look up into his angry ones.
Jennith walked into the kitchen and watched the by-play and scowled, "Mark. Gweneth needs help with her homework and Ira is having problems moving his bed around. Leave this brat here to her chores and go help one of them."
Mark sighed and walked away looking rather angry at the interruption. Berry simply looked innocently relieved. Jennith moved forward, her hand wrapping Berry's hair and tugging hard, "listen to me you little witch," her blue-black eyes held a threat, "stay away from my husband. Or you'll find yourself in a world of hurt," she pulled harder and Berry whimpered slightly. Then and only then did she release the girl's hair, turn, and walk away.
Berry blinked the tears back softly and returned to finishing the dishes. Heaving a sigh as she finished and stepped back. She walked slowly down the hall and entered her sterile room. Unlike the other kids she didn't have posters up; her room was strictly white with a cot and a few clothes. She hadn't been there long enough to even get a bed of her own yet or new clothes or anything. So leaving would be more a relief than something painful, plus..Mark kind of creeped her out. Like. Totally. His eyes always watched her and the other girls but especially her.
She blew the hair out of her eyes and listened as her door was locked from the outside. She slipped into her bathroom and stared at herself in the mirror wondering what about her seemed to bring out the worst in everyone. Sure she was short, but her skin seemed to hold a tan year round. Her eyes were a deep forest green and her hair was shoulder length. She thought she kind of looked like an odd pixie...not exactly beautiful; more exotic than anything really. With a shrug she turned and left the bathroom, locking the inner lock on the door as she did every evening, opened the window, packed her meagre belongings into her backpack and watched as night fell. She could hear rock music in the other kid's rooms and she just shook her head.
One by one the lights went out. Hers had been out for a while now but the others didn't go to sleep so early as she usually did. In truth mostly she just stared up at the ceiling until she got too tired to keep her eyes open. Carefully she slid her backpack out the window, using the sheet to ease it to the ground, not wanting to cause some sort of disturbance or arouse suspicion. Heaving a sigh she let the sheet drop onto her backpack. It was black and would help her blend, plus, it would serve to keep her warm if the weather turned like it was known to do around here.
She squeezed out the window easily and slid carefully, quietly, to the ground. She lifted the coarse sheet up and wrapped it around her even as she clasped her worn backpack to her. Her body lowered towards the ground and she raced across the open stretch of the yard and into the woods behind the house, blending with the moonless night easily. Her senses expanded outward and she 'moved' through the forest with an ease that no one in the house would ever imagine anyone could do. She had no idea where she'd go, no idea what she'd do now, but anything would be better than where she had just left.
Once she was well away from the house, sure that she hadn't been followed she slipped the sheet off from her. She opened the front part of her backpack and slid the sheet inside and withdrew a deep blue t-shirt with a black flower on the front. She smiled at it. No one knew this shirt. It was a memento of her father...the only thing she'd been allowed to keep after he'd died. She thought the flower was rather cute, which for her was a rare thing indeed considering she wouldn't normally be caught dead in a flowery shirt.
After changing shirts she slipped the other one into her backpack and slid the pack over her shoulders and began racing towards a sound that was like freedom in her ears. The long low whistle that sounded every night beckoned her forward until she saw it clearly in the night, the black shape moving deceptively slowly. She sped up as she spotted the open box car and struggled to catch it in order to clamber in. As she sidled up to the side of it a hand shot out and caught hers, pulling her up, helping her to get safely inside. The man was old, his eyes knowing, his grip solid on her hand. He tugged her up and in, using her own momentum to aid him.
She stared at him as she found solid steel beneath her body, her grin one of thanks as he aided her to her feet, helping her yet again, balancing her until she got used to the rocking motion of the car, "thank you mister," she stated sweetly, her smile gentle, her eyes kind.
He cleared his throat and patted her on the head, "wasn't nothing. You've no weight to ya," then shrugged and glanced away from her too keen eyes, "figured I've been given a hand up a few times. So I like to return the favor when I can."
She nodded and her smile widened to a toothy grin and she spontaneously hugged him, "thanks so very much! I was afraid I was gonna miss it," she pulled back as color infused her cheeks and she coughed a little, "I'm Berry."
He grinned, "well Miss Berry, it's surely nice to meet you. Glad I could help," he couldn't help it, he had to ruffle her hair. She reminded him of a child he'd long lost to an illness, though she looked different her SPIRIT was the same, "so where're you headin?"
She laughed slightly absently straightening her hair, her head tipping to the side as she considered momentarily, "I think I'll head to Las Vegas for now," nodding for a moment as the decision was made and reinforced in her mind.
"Ahh," he nodded, "I'll be passing through there. Its not so safe for young girls there," he stated worriedly, his eyes looking her over, "but...it is a good place to get lost though."
She stared at him, it was dark but...it was obvious to her keen sighted eyes that he'd lived a long, hard life. His hair was long and white and scruffy, his face grizzled and his eyes were too knowing for her own comfort but...she smiled at him anyways, "I'll be ok. A place to...disappear is exactly what I want right now."
"Well its definitely a good one, that's for sure. Just...," he hesitated, "take care, please. Its got a...bad reputation of people like us going permanently missing," he walked over and eased down, his back against the inside wall of the car.
She moved and sat down across from him with a sigh. Miles passed in silence as she watched the landscape change. She shivered as the train began to climb up the mountains separating where she'd left from where she was going. She glanced over at the man as he now slept. She was too excited to sleep. She reached into her pack and pulled out the sheet, covering up to push off the chill a bit. Eventually her eyes drooped, her head nodded, and she drifted to sleep shivering slightly from the chill. She didn't even notice when he stood and pulled out a blanket from HIS sack and wrapped her up in it.
He watched her sleep as morning passed into afternoon and then early evening. It was beginning to warm as they came out from the mountains. She had slipped over and was now laying on her side, the expression on her face said more for where she was coming from than anything else. There was no smile there, a youthful innocence yes, but it was intermixed with an expression that said she'd seen much. He shook his head. A child like that should NEVER have to experience the bad in the world. In that time he decided he'd do what he could to help her until she got where she was going. Soon it'd be time to get off the train and switch to another one but he'd see her onto the one she'd need to catch.
She grumbled a little and shifted causing him to smile and shake his head. Yes. He'd definitely ensure she made her train. He considered for a little while and grinned. He knew JUST who to entrust her to. Sharpy would do. They both of them watched over the younger railers and Sharpy tended the stretch through Nevada and the rest of the central states. He jumped as she muttered and sat up suddenly, looking around in confusion.
"Good evening little one," he grinned out as she groaned and stretched, "mmm yeah. Takes a little while to get used to sleeping on hard floors. Sure you don't want to go back home?"
She shook her head vehemently, "I'm positive. I refuse to go back there," her tone of voice cluing him in even more...the peculiar note in her voice catching his attention even as she said, "I'm better off here."
He nodded, not really understanding and yet understanding perfectly, "sometimes it's best to move forward," he glanced up and out the door as the train began to slow, "ahh," reaching out he took his blanket back as she held it out to him, "its just about time to transfer trains," he gestured, "you should wrap the sheet tightly around you," he demonstrated with his blanket, "we'll have to jump and the sheet will protect you as you land."
She listened and copied how he fastened the blanket around himself, moving to the door and watching as the train slowed more, "so we...jump off then? Here?"
He nodded, "yup," he stood behind her, "now," and jumped just after she did, tucking his body up so as to land with a minimum of damage then shouted over to her, "You ok?"
She laughed as she flew through the air, as her body hit and tumbled across the ground. She grimaced a bit as her bruised arm hit a rock but over all she found it fun. She glanced over after she came to a complete stop and staggered up to her feet and walked forward stating breathlessly, "that was fun."
His eyes stared as he stood, checking her over and making sure she wasn't hurt before nodding, "it can be. But you have to be careful in some places as to where you jump. Some places have more rocks than others. Those times it's best to jump into water instead if you can. Otherwise you're better off finding something to hide behind or beneath until the car is stopped and the checker has gone on."
She listened avidly. She wasn't stupid. Learning from someone who KNEW what to do was better than acting the idiot and ignoring the information he gave out.
He grinned and gestured for her to follow her, "now you gotta be careful. Not all who ride the rails are like me. Some are down right nasty buggers and would take everything you have for themselves. You gotta learn how to tell them apart. Otherwise you'll be in trouble. I've a friend who'll help you get to Las Vegas. He should be arriving soon, if he's on the right train. If not, I'll put you on YOUR train before I go catch mine."
She nodded as she followed, her eyes widening as she entered an odd camp. There were many people young and old. Some were trading clothing for coats or food. With a shocked stare she took it all in. Some were packing up, others were settling in. She stared around, though her feet kept following him, bumping into him as he stopped and drawing her attention back to where she was instead of what was going on around her.
He grinned as he felt her slam into his back, chuckling as he hailed someone even more grizzly than himself, "Weeelll!! Sharpy! You old salt! How've you been?"
Sharpy glanced up and his expression changed and he laughed, "Rocky! Man! I've been good. The rails have been excellent," he noticed the girl peeking out from behind his old friend and he turned his smiling Irish eyes onto her, "well now...who've you got there Rocky," and chuckled softly as she darted shyly behind Rocky.
Rocky glanced around and tugged her out from behind him, "This here's little Miss Berry. Berry, this here is my oldest friend and a life long railer. Sharpy, I picked her up around Ohio/Illinois way."
She stared at Sharpy with wide eyes and stammered out, "N-nice to meet you sir," falling back on manners when nothing else came to mind. She smiled hesitantly at him and held out her hand to shake as she'd been taught by her mother so long ago.
"Well now, we've a polite Miss here, don't we," he exclaimed as his large hands engulfed her small one. His baby blue eyes sparkled out from the sea of hair covering his face. He took in her befuddled expression and his mouth quirked up into a small amused smirk though his eyes filled with hidden curiosity as she began looking around.
Berry could feel...something. She could hear a crying, feel pain emanating from somewhere off to her left. Her eyes widened as a scruffy boy, couldn't be older than ten, came shuffling up with tear-filled eyes carrying what looked to be a very sick fluffball.
Sharpy stepped forward, "what's up, scruff?"
"Can you help fluffy," the child's voice asked with a tremor that tugged on Berry's heart strings, "he hit the ground hard under me," his head dipped down and he sniffled.
The older man moved forward and touched the fluffy puppy and after a few minutes sighed and stepped back, "I cant fix what's wrong with him...his ribs are busted and I think one's punctured his lung," he winced as the boy began to wail. It always hurt. These lost kids became attached to things that got hurt because of the life they lived. Over the years he'd been tempted to turn the young ones into the local social services office but he knew that some were FLEEING that failing system and he had yet to do it. Instead he and his cronies tended to take the youngsters under their wings until the kids found someplace to stay...some town to fade into...some life to live.
Berry stepped forward, sensing the elder men's sorrow and the boy's despair. She reached forward, lightly sliding her fingers into the puppy's so soft fur even as she began to do for the puppy what she had done for the injured doe just the other day. Her power followed her finger's movements and slowly the puppy's breathing eased, his eyes lost that dieing glaze, his nose became moist and wet as the damage was...reversed. She whispered softly, "make sure to be more careful when you jump from the train from now on, ok," her eyes now a light sea-foam green as the fell on and locked onto the boy's grey eyes. She waited until the boy nodded solemnly before smiling.
Rocky watched Berry's fingers move, watched the dog heal right before his eyes. He caught Sharpy's eyes with his own and both men nodded to each other imperceptibly; communicating to each other without words. They'd been friends for so long that just looking at each other they kind of knew what they were thinking and it usually made things simple that way. Rocky cleared his throat, "anyways, Berry," he started, calling her attention to him, "Sharpy here'll get you safely to Las Vegas. I gotta run if I'm gonna get my train but," he ruffled her hair, "you take care girl."
Berry nodded and hugged him, "thanks," she smiled softly up at him and backed away slightly, watching as he turned and walked off. She turned to Sharpy and tipped her head to the side asked, "you're going to Vegas too?"
He chuckled and nodded, "in a way. I ride the Vegas rails. And...it's almost time to catch OUR train," he packed up swiftly, pausing a moment and handing her a granola bar before finishing up, "hurry and eat that, we gotta move."
She nodded her thanks and swiftly downed the crunchy morsel. She was used to eating little and so it filled her up rather swiftly. When he moved she followed closely, careful to not get separated from his side. It didn't even take them five minutes to get out of the camp as they followed a set of tracks to where a train was resting. The checker walked down past the box cars and out of sight and Berry moved as Sharpy did, climbing up inside and mimicked him as he buried himself beneath the loose hay. She watched as the checker peeped into the car, checked his watch, pulled up his radio and said something she couldn't quite catch. A few moments later the train began moving, slowly at first, then with increasing speed.
Sharpy unburied himself and grunted, "there. Now. It's not gonna take more than a few hours to get to Vegas, girl. So best to rest now while you can," he pulled a wad of bills out of a hidden pocket and pulled some off and handed them to her with a gruff, "here. You'll need a little cash to keep hunger at bay until you figure out what you want to do...where you fit in."
She stared at the wad of bills and accepted them hesitantly, "but...dont you....need it," she asked softly.
"Naw. I've my own system now. I've enough to get me by when I have a need child. 'Sides," he shrugged, "you need it far more than I do. I simply ride the rails wherever they go. You...you're gonna be settling down in that big city. It wont be easy."
She simply nodded, gratitude shining from bright eyes as she leaned back against the wall of the car, tucking the cash into her front pocket. The motion of the train soon made her eyes drift closed on a soft sigh.
He watched her, concern strong in his gaze. She had an..unusual way about her. He studied her profile and realized that, aside from the hair and eyes she could pass strongly for a native of some sort. He'd seen a great many things in his days and was good at spotting heritage. The red hair and green eyes could be Irish, but he was betting on a solid Scottish line. She looked far too fey for her to be Irish. And...she had a power he found strange and was glad that she wasn't going to be riding the rails. For someone like her they could be very dangerous indeed. With so many unscrupulous individuals around he decided that she'd be far safer NOT riding and settling down in Vegas.
A few hours stretched by and the sky brightened as they neared the city. He reached over and shook her lightly to wake her saying gruffly, "we're almost there," and gestured towards the outside and the bright, artificially lit up skyline.
She rubbed her eyes, pulled out her sheet and wrapped herself up as Rocky had shown her watching as the car began to slow down. She didn't wait for his 'NOW' to jump, instead she leaped when she felt it was safe. Then she stood and stared at the departing car and the man waving from the door. She laughed and waved back as the train vanished into the desert before turning and walking towards the city.
The neon signs lit the city, turning the darkest of night into an odd day. She had put away her sheet and found her way to the strip, staring with wide eyes around her. The music blaring out of the casino's caused her to dance a little bit as she moved along the sidewalks. As she moved somewhat away from the main strip her eyes landed on an odd store. Her head tipped as she moved forward. It was open and so she entered. Her nose crinkled slightly as her eyes roved, taking in the various stones, herbs, liquids, and books. Her fingers slid along a few of the stones. She could feel the power within her react to them and she lifted it. It wasn't expensive.
The elderly woman watched this child with knowing eyes. Her eyes flicked to the flower on the girl's t-shirt and her mouth quirked up. It was obvious that the shirt wasn't hers...it was far too large for such a small girl. She continued watching as the girl swayed to the low sounds flowing from the shop's speakers even as the girl touched the many stones and crystals, lifted and smelled the herbs, and even looked at the spines of the various books that lined the shelves.
Berry was humming softly. She liked this place. It had a good feel to it that was very peaceful. She jumped though, when the owner spoke.
"Good day, child. How are you finding my wares," the old woman laughed softly to herself as the girl jumped, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to startle you."
"It's ok," Berry stated, a smile growing. She had a feeling that things were about to change for her, "I like this shop. Its got a good feel to it. Peaceful. Soothing."
The Crone nodded and smiled happily at the child's assessment. Her hand reached out and touched the red hair gently and felt the power in the girl that wore a shirt carrying her people's symbol. The girl didn't shy away, rather, she moved slightly into the caress and the woman stated gently, "welcome home."
Berry glanced over at the elderly shopkeeper and smiled at her words, "I'm...home," she asked hesitantly but...the feeling inside her was telling her that yes, she'd found a home here. That she was wholly welcome and her eyes shimmered, "I'm Berry, Grandmother."

FIN
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