7.23 The Butterfly Effect

It had worked. Edmund had cured Marisela’s vampirism. Edmund was on top of the world.

High on his own success, he found the courage to call Joy Reacher and ask her out on a date. He felt most comfortable in darkness, he suggested a walk under the stars. She seemed to like the idea.

They walked to Persephone Hot Springs and stopped to gaze at the sky.

And each other.

Edmund had never felt so at ease. Even with Joy, who always left him feeling tongue-tied and cloudy-headed, he had fresh confidence.

Joy stood up suddenly. “It’s clouding over. I thing it’s going to rain. This is probably a signal we should call it a night.”

Edmund moved close to her. “I’ll see you again soon, I hope?”

She reached up to touch his face, tentatively, as they drew together. “Sure,” she said. “I had a nice time. I don’t find that many people who appreciate a long walk and some silence.”

Rain began to fall on their shoulders.

“Do you want me to go?” he asked. “I don’t mind the rain.”

She laughed softly. “You’ll get soaked,” she said, “And it’s starting to get colder.”

“I’ll call you,” he said.

 

Winston’s mentor, Tyrone Biggs, decided Winston was ready to begin performing his own shows. The only good thing about his debut was that almost nobody had showed up to see it.

He managed to keep a smile on his face until the end, through all the stumbles and failed stunts, but it felt like plastic molded onto his face.

When he dragged home, he found Vickie outside, having returned late from sailing.

“Wow, you look like your dog died,” Vickie said. That might have been a big close to home. Connery was getting old. “Are you all right?”

“It was awful,” Winston admitted. “I think maybe I made a big mistake. What if I’m not cut out to be a performer.”

“Hey,” Vickie said. She grabbed his shoulders and pulled him into a hug. “I’m sorry it sucked so much,” she said, “but I don’t believe for a minute you’re in the wrong career. You’re amazing.”

“Thanks,” Winston said. “I needed that.”

“Get some sleep,” Vickie said. “You’ve got to be exhausted.”

In the morning, Winston blew off steam by dueling with Edmund.

That probably wasn’t the best choice. He was out of practice, and let’s face it — Edmund was scary. But at least it made him eager to get back to acrobatics training.

Vickie still loved the feel of working with her hands. When she wasn’t out on the water, she was repairing or tinkering with something.

Either the traditional way, or the more creative Sample way.

She even took on the repair of her cousin Gamora’s weird sleep contraption. Considering there were no plans and she could identify half of the components, she thought the whole thing went off pretty well.

It was a good thing for Gamora. She was reminded several times that she could go back home to her dad, but she didn’t like being so far from her lab.

A shipwreck was discovered off the coast of Avalon. It was the Mango Marauder, a legendary pirate vessel that disappeared two hundred years ago with its hold full of treasure. Victoria couldn’t resist the chance to explore it before the site became a tourist site and all discoveries had been looted.

The wreck was in incredible shape. She could almost see what it was like as it sunk. And it was filled with beautiful sea life.

Dylan felt that his lifelong passions — photography, painting, and nectar making — were missing something after all the time. He decided to take up the guitar. “It’s never too late to pick up a new hobby,” he declared.

Andria and Connery appreciated his efforts, though the tunes were simple. “I love a man who isn’t afraid to learn a new skill.”

“Let’s take that new creativity upstairs,” she suggested.

The family received a surprising phone call from Dylan’s sister Abby and her husband Chaim.

“We’ve adopted a little boy!” they crowed in unison on the other end of the phone line.

“Wow,” Victoria said, stunned. “What led you to decide to do that… now?”

“We talked about it for a long time,” Abby admitted. “We couldn’t have children of our own, and then there just never seemed to be the right time with my acting career and Chaim’s work in law enforcement. We decided to finally do something before it was too late.”

Woo. Victoria hung up the phone and shared a look of astonishment with her mom.  Chaim was quite a bit younger than Abby, but he also retired from the police force quite a while ago.

“I hope he’s a good kid,” Andria said, “and that they know what they’re getting into at their age. I’m glad your dad just decided to take up the guitar!”

The next phone call that arrived was not nearly so much of a surprise. Judith wanted Vickie to be her Maid of Honor.

It was a small, intimate ceremony with just a few friends and family. After everyone recovered from the wedding and reception, the Jameses invited Vickie and Roderick out for their first night on the town as a married couple.

“Not bad for some bling I plan to wear for the rest of my life!” Mason declared as he showed off his wedding ring.

“I always knew you two were perfect together,” Vickie said. “You make such a great couple!”

“I’ll have your most romantic drink,” Mason said. Judith just grinned.

The bartender busted out his best moves.

“Late as usual,” Judith teased as she finally saw Roderick wander in the door.

“Thanks for saving a drink for me at least,” Rod said. “I have a good reason, since you didn’t ask.” He winked.

Rod drew himself up and puffed out his chest. “You’re looking at the new personal assistant to renowned director Derik Simborg on his new project Lizards Take Sim City!”

“Wow!” Victoria gasped. “That’s amazing! I’m so happy for you!” She had no idea who Derik Simborg was, and that sounded like a terrible movie, but Roderick was clearly proud enough to bust his buttons.

Across town, Winston got his parents out to the festival grounds for some summer fun. “Come on!” he shouted, “What kind of aim was that? You all need glasses!”

“Just you wait,” Dylan announced. “I already have glasses.”

“I think it’s starting to rain,” Cristina Pierce announced.

“I’m too wet to notice,” Andria said.

The evening at The Sphinx ended as it should have — with dancing.

Judith and Mason never stopped looking in each other’s eyes, and they kept up their romantic, swaying dance no matter what music was playing.

Victoria wondered how they must feel. Was love what she felt for Roderick? He was a fun dancer and good company, but the look in Judith’s eyes left her with a longing sadness. If she mentioned her feelings to Rod, he’d be crushed.

Then Mason stepped on Judith’s foot, and the mood was broken.

Just as well. This was more fun.

Meanwhile, the Time Machine crackled, and Emit Relevart stepped unexpectedly into Gamora’s basement lab.

“Hey there!” Gamora said. “You’ll never guess what I invented! Did you know that meteors can be attracted by –”

Emit’s face was livid. “What did you do?” he demanded.

Gamora’s stopped mid-sentence. “What are you talking about?”

“I warned you not to play with the time stream,” Emit said. “We created Oasis Landing as a safe future destination for travelers like yourself to visit so that you wouldn’t be tempted to experiment with things you don’t understand. Whatever you did, my timeline is now in catastrophe.”

“But… but I didn’t do anything with the time stream!” Gamora said. “I just invented a meteor magnet right here in the present! I was looking for a way to punish my mom…”

“I’m really not interested in your personal grudges,” Emit said. “Can you swear to me that your interplanetary invention contained no technology you learned from the future?”

Gamora froze. “I didn’t realize.”

“It looks like you better spend some time thinking about it,” Emit said. “When you’re done, meet me in what’s left of Oasis Landing, and I’ll see if I can clean up the literal mess you created.”

He turned around, jumped back into the Time Machine, and was gone.


If some of my previous posts seemed too short to me, this one probably should have been two posts, but I’m not going to take the time to break it out now :). At least everyone got a bit of screen time.

Story Progression went on a kind of crazy adoption spree, including some pretty old couples. It was nice to see Abby and Chaim have a kid. I was kind of surprised that they didn’t make one the traditional way, since neither of them had any counter-indicating traits, and kids are half of what this game is about. I don’t see how they can possibly live long enough to see this kid to adulthood, though.

Also, I tried to get Victoria et. al to dance ON THE DANCEFLOOR at the nightclub, but even though I clicked the dancefloor, they all decided to dance behind the bar. I took pics dodging the bartender. Sims.

Simantics: Beware the Dead

I lost a bunch of Sims nonsense in my 3-year sabbatical, but here are a few good ones…

Victoria arrives at Sasha Saunders’s funeral to find the bereaved widower starting up a jam.

Buglar, beware. A ghost is coming for you.

We have at least one commando astronaut buried here.

“Did I hear something?” Emit wonders.

Head lock!

Boom.

Burglar, who is incidentally a werewolf, has learned her lesson.

Xia needs a nap.

 

 

7.22 Ashes to Ashes, Life from Death

Sasha Saunders-Ibari passed away after long illness. Daniel was by her side, holding her hand at the moment Grim was called.

The funeral was held at the local Cemetery.

“I’ve never known someone so passionate about living every day to the fullest,” Danial shared in his eulogy. “I’m blessed that she was in my life. The hole she leaves in my life will never truly be filled.”

Victoria was there to give her respects. Danial had been a treasured friend over the years. Her heart ached for Danial, and yet she was privately hopeful that now his life could begin again. He’d spent so much time setting himself aside to take care of Sasha, she wasn’t sure she fully knew himself anymore

When his eulogy was over, Danial finally broke down.

Vickie rushed to him and wrapped him in her arms.

“Sasha was blessed to have you too,” she said. “Never forget that. You stood by her even in the hardest moments.”

“Thanks,” Danial said. “We had so many plans we could never begin. I’ll let you in on a secret, though. We froze some of her eggs when she was healthier, and I’m considering carrying her child. We always wanted kids, but it didn’t seem like something we could take on while she was hospitalized. Maybe someday, her ghost will haunt us, and I could introduce our kid to their mom.”

“Wow,” Vickie said, internally shuddering at the thought of kids. “That’s a lot of responsibility to take on. Don’t go too fast, ok? Just be you for a while. You have time.”

Danial offered her a crooked smile. “I’ll keep that in mind.”

“When you’re ready, let’s hit the the club sometime. You’re a great dancer.”

 

“I think I found it!” Edmund whispered.

Buried in the Fae Council’s ancient tome, the last piece of the puzzle lay in the middle of a boring paragraph on ghosts and Ambrosia.

If it was right about the conflict between lay lines and the undead, all he needed to do would be….

Perfect.

He called Marisela Flynn immediately. “I’m sorry it’s late, but I think I have it. When can we meet?”

“I’ll make time right now,” Marisela said. “Meet me by the the entrance to the forest outside Vetinari’s Restaurant.”

Edmund blinked. “Now? Outside?” He looked out the window into the darkness. “You realize it’s pouring rain?”

“I don’t want my father involved,” Marisela said. “He won’t think to look for me there.”

“I can see why…” Edmund said. “All right. I’ll be there.”

He traveled as fast as his broom could take him.

They stood, sopping wet in the downpour, and Edmund tried to describe to her what he’d discovered.

“If I’m right, the shackles that have bound you will drop almost immediately.”

“All right then,” Marisela said. “What do you want me to do?”

“Give me a moment to connect with the lay lines running through your body,” Edmund said.

“Well, now I feel like an idiot,” Marisela said. “I hope this works.”

“Me too,” Edmund admitted. “Are you ready?”

“I’ve been ready for years,” Marisela said.

“Then…. NOW!”

“What…!” Marisela began as the blast of magic force struck her in the gut.

She stood transfixed as the glow in her eyes dimmed and the pallor of her skin gave way to the healthy, natural glow of blood pulsing beneath her skin.

She opened her mount to take a deep breath of air, revealing teeth remarkably devoid of points.

“You did it!” she exclaimed. “The vampirism is gone. I’m truly alive!”

Edmund looked more relieved than pleased. But her joy was infectious, and he couldn’t help smiling back at her. “I’m glad it worked,” he said.

“The curse is broken. I feel amazing. I can’t wait to tell Brock! We can have a family at last! Thank you. Thank you so much!” She threw herself at him and wrapped him in a tight hug.

“You’re welcome,” Edmund said puffed. “Enjoy the rest of your life.”


I haven’t felt much like writing, but I’m playing like crazy. Hopefully this breaks the most recent block.

I managed the funeral using Ani’s “Have Coffee With Me,” following a tutorial she posted on YouTube long ago about staging a community meeting. The University podium has great animations, but I wish sims would spontaneously sit down and listen without the unwieldy lecture all tables.

7.21 In one place

Roderick was finishing film school and just starting out as grip in a movie crew. His eye was on directing. He knew almost every film Vickie had ever heard of and could dissect its cinematography, acting, and art style. And there were certain movies that he idolized that he was eager to share. Vickie found herself sitting in front of a screen more than she could ever recall doing before. When Rod talked about them, movies seemed like so much more than a mindless distraction.

He also pulled her into other intellectual hobbies. Vickie had always been a creature of action. She was happiest outside with salty ocean breeze blowing in her face. But she had to admit that there was something differently stimulating to staying in one place and *thinking* about things really hard.

When she tried to get Roderick out on the water, he begged off. “I get really seasick,” he admitted sheepishly.

That was all right. When the sea called her, Vickie wasn’t sure she wanted company anyway.

With a bit of cajoling, she did get Rod to join her in other active, outdoor fun.

Gamora got some welcome news. It wasn’t *good* news to anyone but her.

The asteroid strike had leveled half of Manisha and Ash Sample-Baerwyn’s house. Nobody had been killed, but their home insurance was balking at the wildly implausible event of an asteroid falling on someone’s house without damaging anything outside their property. There were lawsuits and assets held in dispute, and it was going to take years for everything to be sorted. Meanwhile, Manisha and Ash seemed to be staying separate hotel rooms for the moment.

Gamora took the afternoon to bask by the pool in the glow of victory and schadenfreude.

Manisha Kapoor Sample-Baerwyn chose not to be Gamora’s mother.

Now payback time had finally arrived.

Edmund finally earned permission to bring a few mystic tomes home to study on his own time. He delved deeper into the nature of life, death, and the anchoring of the soul.

He felt he was getting close to the revelation he needed.

That, however, was not it.

And we close with the couple who never lost that lovin’ feeling.


There’s no Winston! Also, none in the next post, so don’t hold your breath :(. Stuff will happen for him eventually?

It took me a while to figure out why Gamora spends most of her idle time in the pool. Hydration, duh.

Simantics: Screams in terror

Oh, hey, I have a fully-written Simantics interlude stuff in my drafts. What’s with that?


After Edmund read Marisela her fortune in the crystal ball, Marisela decided to go fishing.

Just for grins, Edmund joined her.

Marisela cam away with a pretty good catch.

Gamora has a great relationship with Connery, though it never seems to fit into the story. So here’s a pic of them playing together.

Thursten thinks that Winston’s walking mime is kinda sexy.

While I wasn’t looking, either Winston or his new admirer turned some random Sim into ice. I know Winston has the magic, but his admirer is clearly the evil one.

I LOVE the mime animations.

When Edmund decided to write his love letter to Joy, he wandered into another suite at the resort, where guests were already sleeping. No expectation of privacy in the Simworld.

In classic Sims style, the toddler brought to the resort shortly ended up trapped in a high chair with no parent anywhere on the floor to let her out.

Sharks get very aggressive here, and without a Sim to harass, they turn on each other.

*Screams in terror*

 

7.20 Chicken Little Was Right

Roderick called Vickie the morning after their movie to invite her out for bowling. Vickie had never been bowling, but how hard could it be?

“You know who is a naturally born bowler? This girl!”

“All right,” Rod said with a raised eyebrow, “Show me.”

“Grace in action. Watch this.”

“My foot slipped! What kind of floor is this??”

Roderick choked through his laughter, “You know you’re supposed to use special shoes for this right?”

“OK, Mr. Pro Bowler, show me how it’s done.”

“Yeah! That’s how it’s done!”

Vickie gaped at the score. “You hit like three pins! If that gets you excited, you can’t be much better at this than I am!”

Winston hadn’t given up on his teppanyaki performance.

This was his dream skill — performance cooking. All his practice was paying off.

It also kept the household in a backlog of food that they could barely eat before it went bad.

“You know,” Winston mused over his teppanyaki breakfast, “I bet I could work this into my act. A bit more knife-throwing, maybe, and a treat to hand out to the audience at the end. I wonder…”

Manisha and Ash Sample-Baerwyn moved into a new house. Gamora knew where it was as soon as they set foot inside.

There was talk of adopting a child. Manisha hadn’t been interested in the child she HAD — the weird leafy one — but she’d consider becoming a mother to a normal kid.

She gathered fallen stardust. This would improve double the strength of the cosmic magnet.

If Gamora had any qualms, learning about the kid resolved them.

She was ready.

Manisha’s new husband Ash wasn’t the brightest bulb in the box. He didn’t know what she looked like, so she didn’t need much disguise to be sure Manisha wouldn’t guess who she was from anything he said.

The most important part was to be sure her leafiest bits were well covered.

Earning his trust was child’s play.

Across the courtyard of Percival’s Provisions, Gamora’s sort-of mentor watched. His eyes were hidding, as always, but a sardonic, approving smile crossed his lips.

Then she gasped in almost-authentic terror. “Look at that! In the sky!” she cried.

“What!” Ash echoed. “What is it!”

She pointed to some gray-shadowed, lumpy clouds in the distance. “You see those! They’re headed straight for us! The sky is falling!”

Ash’s eyes widened as he looked where she pointed. “I’ve never seen anything like that! You think we’re in danger?”

“I don’t know how much longer we have left before it hits,” Gamora hissed. “Get your family to safety.”

She MIGHT have used just a little bit of psychedelic pollen to help convince him.

On the other side of Avalon, Winston had upgraded to an audience of two.

“If you think this is good now, just wait until you see me slice vegetables while juggling!”

Late that night, Gamora crept back to the Sample-Baerwyn house. She could hear Ash and Gamora arguing through the closed window. She couldn’t make out the words, but she could guess what they were arguing about.

From the cover of the hydrangeas, she lifted the cosmic magnet and pointed it to the night sky.

It was time to prove Ash’s fears correct.


Gamora’s revenge on her mother finally starts coming to fruition. It’s been fun to working that in with her objectives for her LTW.

I fired up my game for the first time in years. I am determined to finish this legacy!

7.19 Out of the Blue

Annnnd…. The “new” Gutenberg drag-and-drop editor freaked out at my external image links. Figured out how to disable it, and away we go!


As soon as they returned home, Winston insisted on installing a teppanyaki grill in the kitchen so that he could show off his new skills.

It didn’t work out quite as well as it had in class.

Training with Tyrone Biggs was uncompromising, rain or shine. “I think I’m ready to book my first gig,” Winston told Tyrone, standing in a mud puddle in a downpour after a training session.

“Is that really your best move?” Tyrone asked. “I think you need to work a little harder first.”

Inspiration struck Gamora.

She could use her father’s research contacts to increase the power of her space magnet.

The equations wrote themselves.

This was brilliant.

The possibilities were endless.

WHAM.

Hmm.

Perhaps the parameters needed a bit more adjustment.

“Vickie. I didn’t expect to see you here!”

“What can I say, Rod?” Victoria said. “Even I have to go grocery shopping sometimes.”

“Maybe it was fate that we both needed to grab a jug of milk at the same time,” he said.

“Do you think so?” she asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Do you have some extra time,” he asked, “or do you have to rush home to pour milk on your cereal?”

“I might have be free for the evening,” she admitted.

 

“Come on then! There’s a movie you just have to see!”

“I took a class from this director at film school,” Rodney said. “This is his debut work. He use of light and closeups just really grabs me every time.”

“Film school?” Victoria said. “I don’t think you mentioned that before.”

 

“Oh, wow,” Rodney said. “I didn’t? I’ve been studying so hard that sometimes I forget there’s life off the screen!”

“Take a look at that shot,” he continued, reverence in his voice. “Some day, I am going to make a film with this kind of power, something that reminds us that deep inside we’re all romantics.”

“Did you like it?” he asked as the credits scrolled, his voice a bit brittle.

“I thought it was beautiful,” Victoria admitted. “I guess I don’t think that much about romance, even though I like to flirt. This movie did touch something in me.”

“I’m so glad!” Rodney exclaimed. “It’s hard to share art. You never know how people are going to react to things that–”

“–mean so much–”

“Oh, Victoria….”

 


Hey, it’s not as long as some of my posts, but it moves things forward!

While I was away….

I still don’t have a post ready, but I’m trying to get there!

In the meantime, I’d like to share a big piece of what I was doing while I wasn’t simming. I learned how to fanedit movies and made one that I’m really proud of.

Like most folks who got into fanediting in the last decade, I made The Hobbit. Obviously, I think it’s the best Hobbit, or I wouldn’t have made another one ;-). It’s about the length of a Middle Earth theater movie, and it’s intended to stick to the book mood of an action-adventure youth story rather than being a thematic prequel to The Lord of the Rings. Most other edits I found wanted to go dark. I want to go light.

Here’s a link that tells more about it and has a download if that’s your thing:

The Hobbit: Back Once Again

Is anyone out there?

Hello. This blog has languished for a year, and I’ve been absent from the Sims blogging community. I came back to discover that an auto-update of WordPress by my ISP broke the site. A support-ticket later, it’s back, though I don’t have any analytics running yet.

I wonder if there are any subscriptions to this blog by people who are still reading. It probably won’t have a huge effect on whether I finish the story — I’m pretty determined to get to the 10th generation. Still, it would be exciting find out.

I kind of thought I’d eventually move to Sims 4, but it looks like if I move off Sims 3 at all, it’ll be to skip a version to 5. Now I better appreciate all those Sims 2 players who never made the leap. Ha.

ETA: Removed dead blogs from blogroll! That’s a sign of being alive!

I have one post laid out in drafts with a few paragraphs written and, I’m pretty sure, screenshots for several more. I know I can still run the game because my kid forked my Wonderland save and has suddenly started wanting to play it — she just got one of Franklin’s paramours pregnant in her alternate universe, which is probably not too different from what I’ll do when get to that game. In this legacy, Vicky hasn’t produced any babies yet in gameplay, but I’m starting to get impatient with her.

7.18 Surf and Sail

Restlessness descended on the Sample household. Perhaps it was inevitable for a well-to-do family where nobody had a steady job.

It was late in the morning, and two young adults without steady jobs were engaged in a vicious table tennis championship.

Dear old Connery’s food bowl was almost empty, and he wanted everyone to know.

Victoria came downstairs after loosing to Winston in 3 games out of 5 and launched into a snippy conversation with Edmund about the noise he made casting spells at night while she was trying to sleep.

In the middle of all of the drama, Dylan brought in the newspaper

and found the only quiet spot to read it.

At noon, and still in her nightgown, Victoria was struck by inspiration.

“I know just the thing we need!” she declared. “A vacation! Tickets to Sunlit Tides are on sale. We should jump on it while they’re still cheap.”

“Another tropical vacation?” Edmund said. “There are other places we could visit, you know.”

“If you have a better idea, you can make the travel arrangements yourself,” Victoria said.

“Hmmm,” Edmund said, “I think there might actually be some research I could do in Sunlit Tides.”

“You don’t mind if we sit this out?” Dylan asked his daughter. “These old bones just don’t enjoy airline travel as much as they used to.”

“Sure, Daddy,” Victoria said. “You take care of yourself!”

Once they were gone, Dylan and Andria let on their real plans. “The whole house to ourselves!” Dylan said.

Andria gave him a sultry look. “Whatever will we do with ourselves all alone?”

Victoria’s discount vacation package was good for a suite at the Holiday Village Resort.

“Quirky,” Winston said as he surveyed the outside.

“What’s wrong with quirky?” Victoria demanded.

“I didn’t say there was anything wrong, did I?” Winston said.

There certainly wasn’t anything wrong for Winston. The receptionist walked into the room to check them in, and it was clear she liked what she saw.

“Room for three!” Victoria said. “Under Sample.”

“Sample,” the receptionist said, looking over Victoria’s shoulder at her brothers standing behind. “You’re siblings, right? Not a romantic getaway? Just asking so we… give you the right experience. Right.”

Victoria got the room key and eagerly headed upstairs to see their suite.

Winston, on the other hand, was caught with the sudden need to show off his physique.

After all, now he had an audience.

In the morning, Winston was still flirting.

And his audience was almost too appreciative.

Edmund spent his time at the buffet, trying to pretend that he and Winston were not related.

Winston wasn’t the only one who turned heads, though. He was just the only one who was excited by it.

“What are we going to do with our first day?” Victoria said, trying to ignore the stares from the tourist who had sat down, uninvited, at their breakfast table.

To her relief, he finally took the hint.

“So guess, what?” Winston said, “There’s a culinary school here that specializes in Asian and Polynesian cuisine. I’m going to take a cooking class!”

Victoria’s face lit up.

“You know, Winston, that gives me a great idea!”

“Both of you have fun,” Edmund said. “I have some books to read.”

Winston rolled his eyes. “You know how to have a good time, brother.”

Edmund was indeed off to read books. The Fae Council had turned him on to an archive of the arcane arts hidden in Sunlit Tides. Such things were always hidden unless you were taught to look for them.

He had to plead with the proprietor to convince him that he was qualified to access the collection. The names of the Fae Council of Avalon didn’t hold much power out here. But Edmund was persistent.

He wasn’t disappointed.

There was information here on vampires that he’d never guessed at.

But he also found himself… lonely. It was an unfamiliar feeling. He wondered what Joy thought of him, if she thought anything at all.

The sky opened up in a tropical downpour, but Victoria was undaunted.

She enrolled in a sailing class at the marina.

She hoped it wasn’t too touristy.

She wanted to learn some serious sailing.

She wasn’t too disappointed in the class, but she had exceeded all they could teach her by the time it was half over. She was a natural.

It was just her, the ocean, and the wind. It was like a dream come true.

But the best part was the unlimited boat rental that came with the class.

Now she could go anywhere on the island, not just the parts reserved for tourists.

True to his word, Winston enrolled in a Teppanyaki class.

It was like someone had designed a culinary tradition with Winston in mind.

Part cooking.

Part showmanship.

And plenty of excuse to relax with a resort massage.

 

All three returned, exhausted, to their suite at night.

Tired or not, Winston had plenty of time to spend texting his admirer before bed.

While Winston was absorbed in his phone, Victoria and Edmund drifted out to the balcony to look out at the ocean.

After a while, Victoria turned to watch Edmund watching her. “You want to ask me an uncomfortable question about talking to people, don’t you?” she said.

“Not this time, really,” Edmund said. “I’m try to ask myself instead.”

Victoria smiled at him. “You’ll do better that way. You can’t get that girl out of your head, huh? The one you want to help?”

“Actually,” Edmund admitted. “I was thinking of someone else.”

Victoria raised her eyebrows. “Wow, two girls in your life. You’re turning into a social butterfly.”

Edmund chuckled. “What about you? Whenever I see you in public, you have at least one man following you. Why is it you haven’t found true love by now?”

Victoria sighed. “That’s just the problem, isn’t it? I don’t even know what they like so much about me.”

“That’s because you can’t see yourself,” Edmund said.

In the morning, when his brother and sister headed down to breakfast, Edmund found a private room to write.

He wasn’t sure how to express to Joy the way he felt about her, but he hoped that if practiced writing them out, he could get better at it.

Victoria made good use of her freedom of the sea.

To find the treasures hidden under the surface.

Sunlit Tides was home to some awe-inspiring aquatic antiquities sites off the beaten path.

And in the dark depths of old ruins,

she was sure she saw someone watching her intently.

She tried to wave, but the figure swam away.

Winston discovered his admirer worked evenings at the resort bar.

So he took a sudden interest in exotic drinks.

“I’ve never had a drink that smoked before!”

“Here goes!”

“Wow, it’s pretty good!”

“I was sure you wouldn’t lead me wrong!”

At that, even his captive audience had to roll her eyes.

“Ok, sorry, that was laying it on a little think, even for me.”

She had to laugh at that.

One evening, Victoria came down to see what the fuss was about.

“How are you doing, brother dear? I wanted to know where you’ve been disappearing to all this time.”

“Enjoying some great drinks! Try something. I didn’t know you could do such crazy things with juice!”

“OK, I do have to try. Make me something.”

“Do you have a favorite drink?” the bartender asked.

“Not really. Surprise me.”

She was surprised all right.

She sneaked off to pour the rest of the drink in a planter and headed to bed.

Winston didn’t come up to the room until after Victoria and Edmund were sound asleep. He seemed to be doing just fine with his vacation romance.

They spent their last day together, lounging at the boardwalk.

Enjoying each other’s company.

And playing in the ocean.

Winston even tested out some new moves.

Which went over very well.

After the afternoon on the boardwalk, they took in dinner and a show at a tiki bar near the resort.

The performer turned out a be an acrobat, which Winston seemed to find complicated — he wasn’t sure if he felt threatened or wanted to take this as an educational opportunity.

But someone unexpected caught the acrobat’s eye, even as she performed on the stage.

Edmund couldn’t have been more surprised.

The show was popular, and the waitstaff seated a solo guest at the table with the Sample trio. That turned out to be unfortunate.

Victoria wasn’t quite sure what she’d said wrong, but apparently her smalltalk wasn’t up to snuff.

The stranger was incredibly insulted.

“Hey, I didn’t mean it,” Victoria said awkwardly. “No harm no foul?

“You can stop kicking me under the table any time now.”

“Get your hand out of my face!”

The whole thing could have been a whole lot more fun if it had been just the three of them.

After the show, Winston went over to introduce himself to the performer. It was always good to network in his profession. Plus, she was cute, and Winston always noticed cute.

“It’s so nice to meet you!” she said. “But isn’t that your sister in a fistfight over there?”

As a matter-of-fact, it was.

“Get her, Vickie!” Edmund shouted. “Don’t let her push you around!”

He never knew he had it in him.

Vickie didn’t start the fight, but she knew how to finish it.

And she couldn’t resist the parting shot.

“Take that!”

“Eeek! What did you do to me??”

“Just a little cold shoulder,” Victoria said.

“Come on guys. I’m tired. Let’s go home.”


Ha! This one was hard to write. I took WAY too many pictures of a vacation that wasn’t terribly plotty to begin with, and then they ended up all mixed up and hard to sort out. I didn’t bother to track the names of the walk-on characters, and I’m afraid I’ll never publish this if I make myself go back to look.

The lovely resort was “The Village” Holiday Resort.

On the first night, I saw a Showtime performance at one of the venues I’d dropped in Sunlit Tides, but then I had the class problem of no performer on the stage. So then I went back to NRaas and figured out to get some performers so that it would work properly. It’s a mod interaction with something in the NRaas suite such that there are no Showtime performers assigned. It annoys me that this is default behavior. Sure, Showtime recruits way too many performers, but I do like a few!

This doesn’t advance much in the way of plot, but Vickie has a dive-based LTW, and I can’t bring myself to have her do all her diving in the one dive lot I’ve managed to plant on Avalon. So, more vacations in store! I did love some of the autonomous adventures the characters got themselves into. The fight on the final day was classic.

Also, Edmund has it bad for Joy. He rolled a wish to send her a love letter :).