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Chapter One: Infatuation

Warnings: Maize drops a few real curse words.


“Room 303, hallway B, Deluge building,” I repeated the words under my breath; both in an attempt to memorize them and drown out the whispers that haunted me down the hall.

The decision to stay in Willow Creek for an additional week was already biting me in the ass. I had missed Sugar Spring University’s freshman orientation in order to say farewell to my friends back home. and spend one last weekend with my parents. As a result, I found myself hopelessly lost. To make matters worse, conversations stopped mid-tempo when I approached, only to pick up again after I passed. Everyone wanted to talk about me but no one wanted to talk to me.

I fished out a piece of paper from my hoodie, hoping the college provided map would help me orient myself. The map showed the three buildings that composed the campus, each larger than the last. Besides helping me gain my bearings, the map also provided some interesting facts about each building; what year they were built, what studies took place inside, which prominent family had donated towards its construction. The latter was easy, each building shared the family’s surname – Matisse, Prelude, and Endive.

A solid mass rammed into my shoulder, sending me sprawling onto the floor. I hissed in pain, knees throbbing from the sudden impact, but grateful my skull hadn’t been cracked open, brains spewed across the polished tile. That would have been quite the mess for the janitor.

Laughter erupted, dancing circles around me as a trio of berries came into view. A red woman and pink man stood on either side of my assailant, in a V-shaped formation. Their leader was purple, hair short and well kept, lavender eyes darkened with resentment. “Watch where you’re going, color-traitor.” He spat in my direction, and more laughter erupted at his remark.

His accusation was ridiculous, as I hadn’t been going anywhere, but I rose to my feet with a forced smile, “Color-traitor?”

More laughter filled the hallway, swallowing my question beneath its haughty depths. The trio left, the red-haired woman mouthing ‘watch yourself’ before she scampered to catch up with the two men.

I wasn’t sure if it was a warning or threat.

I took a moment to catch my breath, clear my head, and refocus on my destination: Room 303, Hallway B. Only, I didn’t know where the map had gone. “Shit.”

“You stand out enough without using foreign curse words.” I spun around and came face to face with a girl about my age. One hand rested on a jutted hip while the other held out a piece of paper.

I took the map, equal parts thankful and confused. Berry’s official language was English, of that I was certain,“Foreign curse words?”

Her eyes were wide-set and round, though unimpressed, as a single green brow arched delicately over her diamond features, “That’s what I said.”

“But aren’t you speaking English right now?”

“Yes.”

“Then -”

She snorted, cutting the words off my tongue, “Dialects. We use a different dialect of English than…. wherever you’re from. The vernacular that southern women in America use to censor themselves, those types of phrases are used in our dialect to swear.”

I thought back to the screaming of my second-grade teacher after she stubbed her toe, “Like mother fudger?”

She rolled her eyes, expression steeped in boredom, “You stumbled upon one of the worst ones there, didn’t you?”  

“Oh, sorry.” I apologized, but she was already heading down the hall. I followed, quickly falling into place beside her. Though her tone had been condescending, she had been the first person to willingly speak to me since I boarded my plane. “Thank you. For finding my map.”

She glanced at me; looked like she was going to say something. Instead, she elongated her strides.

I did the same. 

Finally, she stopped, whirling to face me, “Why are you following me like a stray dog?”

“Well, I am lost like one.” I flashed her a wide smile. She stared back, expressionless.

“Go find someone else to imprint on.”

“That’s ducks, not dogs.” I corrected.

She groaned, pinching the bridge of her narrow nose, “Room 303, right?”


“How did you-”

“You were reciting it like a mantra earlier. Anyways, it’s right there,” She pointed at a door on the right, three doors down from us, “Now if you excuse me, I have my own class to attend.”

“Thank you …” It was only then, after she had entered her classroom, that I realized I had never caught her name, “Damn it.”

***  

Despite getting lost and the short confrontation, I was on time for my first college class. It was a fairly small room, bloated with easels and about a dozen students. I headed towards the nearest available canvas, my pace picking up as I passed the purple terror and his red companion from earlier.

“I wonder if they have that genetic disorder?”

I rolled my eyes at their comment, continuing down the tight row, adjusting my posture as I walked in order to keep my head held high.

“She has too. She is colorless, after all.”

“Looks like all the freaks got accepted this year.”

At the realization that they weren’t talking about me I found myself glancing around the room, attempting to locate the poor soul that found herself at the wrong end of their jabs. I didn’t find the ‘freak’ that they described, but the most beautiful individual I had ever seen.

I can’t tell you what it is about her.

Maybe the curls of her hair.

The flutter of her lashes.

Or the way her delicate hands grip a brush.

What I can tell you is from that day forward I was infatuated.


A/N: For any original readers of mine, this is what you can sort of expect from generation one. The Same overall plot line, just much more fleshed out than the original.

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Prologue: Not Berry Enough

“Look at him.”

“What is he wearing?”

“Why would someone do that?”

“Should someone tell an elder?”

“It’s not technically against the law.”

The onslaught of whispers ricocheted off me as I made my way past the center of Sugar Spring University with my head held high. Curiosity dosed with venom was second nature for all races, it seemed.

You see, I grew up in Willow Creek – home to Vanilla’s and three Berries: Me, my mom and my pops. I was always sort of an outsider there. After all, I was the only child, and eventually teen, Berry in the entire populous. You can’t really blame Vanilla’s for being startled when a yellow individual walks into a room. And when I say yellow I mean completely yellow: hair, eyes, skin, even my unmentionables! Though, my classmates never saw that area.

According to my father, Vanilla’s were not allowed into the country of Berry and Berries were only allowed to leave under special circumstances. My pops said we were a special circumstance, though he never told me why. My mother was more tight-lipped than pops, and always seemed irritated when I brought it up, so eventually, I dropped it. Despite the secretive nature of my parents – and apparently my entire race – I was raised in the Berry culture. Taught that we were supposed to marry within our color. Taught to wear my own color. Hell, I was even named Maize because it is yellow.

The divide between Vanilla’s and Berry’s was thick, and the lack of exposure lead to a lot of teasing and bullying from my classmates. I blamed them when I was young but soon realized that their hate stemmed from the unknown. I was awkward, but I forced myself to keep trying. Eventually, I made a few friends. We had a misfit connection, like many teenagers, and they certainly weren’t the brightest or most popular, but then again, neither was I. The important thing was that we accepted each other, we looked out for each other, and that they taught me to embrace myself. Like many of them, I appreciated an alternative style. In particular, I was fond of the color black and, though it rebelled against everything I was taught, they encouraged me to express myself through my clothing.

I started wearing my normal clothing in the morning, stashing black ones in my backpack. When I arrived at school I would rush to the nearest restroom, change into clothing I liked, and then swap back into my parental approved attire before heading home. I hid it from my parents for years – three years to be exact – but every secret gets exposed eventually.

My secret came to light when the school bully sucker punched me. The fight was over before it began, with me collapsed onto cement outside of second period and a crowd of Vanilla’s laughing at my misfortune. Even though I didn’t lay a finger on the guy – literally – the school called my parents and they… well, they freaked.

Not because I was sporting a black eye and a few new lumps on my face. No, because I was wearing black. How dare I not dress like a Berry? How dare I embrace a culture that was not our own? Their disappointment was stifling, and it only grew worse when my mother went through my dresser and found an entire wardrobe filled with the offensive color. Over the next few days, I overheard my parents debating their options, but they soon decided that a simple grounding wouldn’t fix the problem.

In a desperate attempt to get me to act more like a Berry and less like a Vanilla, they shipped me off to their Berry filled home town. It took almost an entire year before I was properly vetted and allowed access into the country. By then I was old enough to refuse. However, I had long wondered what the country of Berry was truly like, and I didn’t have anything going for me in Willow Creek. 

So, here I am.

Guess I wasn’t Sim enough to be accepted in Willow Creek and not Berry enough to be accepted in Sugar Springs.


A/N: Special thanks to: Pammiechick, Skcaga6, bellagorrilla, thejennifer and cecerose for creating most of the Berries in these scenes!