Charles Sample was a strange one, that’s for sure. He wasn’t the strangest thing that had ever happened in Sunset Valley. And heck, there were rumors that other towns in the area had vampire kids going to school. Next to that, he was small potatoes. Still, he raised a few eyebrows on his first day of school. At least, when his teachers and fellow students noticed him at all.
And that was really the problem. Charles was a master of the night.
But in the daytime, he just faded away.
He wanted more than anything to make the honor roll, and he worked hard on all his schoolwork.
But somehow his name never showed up on the rolls. It was like nobody noticed.
(He rolled an honor roll wish on his first day of school. He’s a teen now, he has an A, and he’s always done his homework, and he is STILL not on the honor roll.)
Being hard to notice had some distinct disadvantages. There were times when you just, well, needed privacy, and someone was likely to walk in on you.
Still, there were times when he wished he were even more invisible than he was.
Mom insisted they sit down to “family dinners,” but things were getting really bad.
She could barely exchange words with Charles’ stepdad Fabian without the bitterness coming through. Charles would just shrink down in his chair and hope that nobody noticed him until it was over.
Often it was Grandad who saved him. He’d fill the air with stories about his adventuring days, then jump up when the meal was done and come up with something for the two of them to do together. That way Charles had an excuse to get away.
Mom always noticed, of course. He felt so comfortable with her that they didn’t even need to fill the space with words. And that was good, because words were never really Zahra’s strong suit, and she knew it.
They shared a deep love for the garden and would keep her company while she weeded and harvested, but the Sims 3 is stupid and won’t let kids garden themselves, so he picked up fishing instead.
He wished he could remember his father better. There were wisps of memories left, but he could never quite tell which ones were real and which ones were just his imagination of his mother’s stories. The only thing he could be sure of was the impression of tender, luminescent eyes and an eerie voice deeper than his own. Mostly, it seemed he and his father had shared this half-ghost, half-mortal state. Cycl0n3 had been a couch potato in love with online computer games who never really saw much reason to leave the house. Charles felt confined the moment he stepped indoors. Computers annoyed and mystified him. He wanted to hike in the hills or bury his hands in the earth. Nature was what mattered. Still, it would’ve been nice if there were someone else around like him.
He and Fabian, on the other hand, had almost nothing to say to each other. Like Charles’ dad, Fabian didn’t see much point to leaving the house. He hung out on his computer when he got home. Fabian didn’t make him feel bad for not being his kid, and he didn’t seem to phased about the ghost thing. He’d had plenty of time to get used to the idea before he moved in. But the two of them just had almost nothing to talk about. It’s like they lived in separate domains. And that was before the cheating thing, and Mom crying when she thought nobody was watching her, and now Charles figured the best way to know Fabian was not at all.
One day, he was pretty sure that Tyrone Branch had invited him home from school, but when he got there, Tyrone seemed to forget him and wander away. Charles did his homework on their kitchen table and then drifted home, feeling lost and friendless. (Seriously. I didn’t get pics of this b/c it took me by surprise.)
But then Jabari Keaton was seated next to him in math class. Jabari noticed him and thought he was pretty cool. Soon they were going home from school together a lot
Jabari preferred to hang out watching TV, but he was willing to trade that off with games of tag in the back yard, so it was all good.
Plus, the Keatons gave him a place to escape when things got really tense at home.
And there were some other bits to being a ghost boy that he didn’t talk about much. They were his sort-of secret superpowers, and that made being different seem a whole lot more fun.
He could wish where he wanted to be.
And then he’d be there.
And being insubstantial on demand wasn’t too bad either.
He liked to think of himself as an almost-invisible superhero, ready to save the world. The world just needed to develop some problems he could save it from. Or maybe there were other adventures out there to be found.
(Eh, not my best chapter, but here’s a bit of a picture of the person Charles is starting to be. The pics of him teleporting didn’t come out well, and they turned out to be the only pics of Charles at Adjo’s wedding. I got so wrapped up in my technical problems I didn’t do half of what I wanted to do with that wedding.)