6.1 Rites of Passage

Sky had been passing as human most of her life, blending in fairly well with the people of Avalon. As she grew older, this just didn’t seem as important as it once had.  First she stopped being sure she walked on the ground all the time. As she saw her Elder birthday approaching, she let her opaque form drop more and more.

Her ghostliness turned out to have an extra benefit for night concerts.

She was a little more nervous to show this side of herself to Xia.

But Xia thought it was fantastic.

“I can’t believe you didn’t do this before!” Xia said. “I’m always discovering new ways that you’re amazing.”

Deep in Sky’s psyche was still the lonely child whom everyone thought was creepy. That child really needed Xia.

Things were a little rockier in Dylan’s love life.

“What do you mean we need to take a break until I graduate?” Andria demanded.

“Well, you see, now I’m an adult, and you’re still a teenager,” Dylan said. “It’s just not seemly for us to be in a relationship.”

“You have to be kidding me! We’re the same people we were before your birthday! Nothing’s changed!”


Dylan hated upsetting Andria. She was the light of his life. But this was too important. He had to stick to his guns.
“Look at it this way,” he said. “I’m now old enough to be your teacher at school. There’s no way a relationship between us can be conducted on equal terms while I am of legal age of adulthood and you are not. I would be taking advantage of you, and I won’t do that.”

Andria sighed. “Dylan, sometimes I don’t know what century you get your code of conduct,” she said. “There’s no way I can talk you out of this nonsense?”

Dylan gulped. “I’m afraid I’m immovable,” he said.

“All right,” Andria said. “We’ll play it your way. It’s only one more term of school.”

Dylan breathed a sign of relief. For a moment, he’d been terrified that he would lose her. “Thank you, from the bottom of my heart,” he said. “I’ll make it up to you as soon as you reach your majority.”


“You’ll start making it up to me before that,” Andria said. “You’re taking me out to dinner. As friends, of course. You’re going to make it nice, and you’re going to pick up the tab.”
“I always pick up the tab,” Dylan said.

Dylan’s career was going better. As soon as he was old enough to go into business, he started marketing his services as a photographer. He had a few contacts he’d built through the school newspaper, and they delivered some portfolio-building work rather quickly.

The Stemple-Mais wanted a photo shoot of their new baby.

They were living in the house once owned by Dylan’s late great-aunt Ada.

The house was incredibly crowded. Apparently, Garry Crumplebottom had maintained an open home policy with his step mother Jeanna and his half-sisters. After Shanni’s death, Jeanna remarried Miyuki Mai, and Miyuki had also moved into Chateau Crumplebottom. They never had children. Jeanna’s two daughters with Shanni had been enough for her.

Then, when Jeanna died, there’d been some kind of falling out, and the entire collection of Crumplebottom non-heirs had moved out as a group.

Miyuki lived here with her second wife, Charlotte Stemple-Mai (not pictured).

They also roomed with Shanni’s daughters from her marriage to Jeanna

Holly


And Renee

Now there was a new generation, Miyuki and Charlotte’s daughter Monica.

It was interesting to spend some time catching up with his distant relatives and family connections. Dylan couldn’t imagine living in such a small house with so many people, but all he had to do was take pictures. That was hard enough to do.

Avalon held a Simfest at the park pavilion, and Sky decided to enter.

While she was waiting, she was roped into being a barely voluntary volunteer for a magician who was performing ahead of her.

It turned out to be useful that she was part ghost.

It protected her from the puncture wound.

Then it was Sky’s turn to perform.

The response was overwhelming.

Sky won the Simfest hands down.

The cheering crowd was heady.

Sky loved music of any kind, but the lure of stardom kept her performing solo.

After she calmed down from the adulation, Sky returned home, had a snack, and went to bed alone. A bit of an anticlimax. She wished she could share her victory with Xia.

But Xia had other plans. Abby had persuaded her to go out mother-daughter clubbing.

Without Sky to hold her back, Xia’s party instincts got out of hand. Abby had never seen her mum let go like this, and she liked it.

Xia used her ID to buy Abby some juice, though only one glass.

They even did the bubble bar together.

Abby had to admit that she didn’t care for the taste. It was just the whole naughtiness of underage bubbling that excited her.

After a while of bubbling, Xia could barely walk straight.

“I am so pumped!” she shouted to no one in particular.

“Now I gotta go pee!”

Sky ordered some shrimp cocktail at the bar while she waited.

But Xia, who was juiced and bubbled half out of her mind, never came back. She left the club and staggered home instead.

When Xia returned home without Abby, Dylan came looking for her.

“This is what comes of a night of debauchery,” he said severely. “Maybe you’ll think about this sort of thing the next time you decide to let it go at a nightclub.”

“Thanks, big brother,” Abby said sincerely. “I’ve learned my lesson.”

She meant it — it was so comforting to know that she had a responsible brother looking out for her. And she had learned a lesson, just not the one Dylan wanted her to learn. She’d learned to always carry cab fare when she went out.

———-

Don’t be too hard on Xia! It was a group outing fail!

I totally should have used MC to change Andria’s dress for her argument with Dylan. I can’t see that dress without thinking, “Pregnancy!” Of course, she’s a teenager, and I have no plans to ever turn on teen pregnancy.

I keep wanting to type “Sinfest” instead of “Simfest.” Whoops.

0 thoughts on “6.1 Rites of Passage

  1. Bwahahaha, Dylan's sense of properness cracks me up! The pictures went perfectly with his little speech. In some ways, he's really just as neurotic as Sawyer.

    Was Sky's surrender to her more ghostly nature her idea or yours?

  2. I am so in love with Dylan. He's naive and chivalrous and absurd all in one :).

    You COULD say Sky's surrender to ghostliness was her idea. Since Charles was a teenager, I've been using DebugEnabler to turn off his and Sky's ghost shader. It had to be done every time I loaded the game. But somewhere in there, it stuck. Charles and Sky retained the ability to walk through walls, but their ghost shader was turned off permanently, and their walk style was set to normal human.

    Then, in some reset, it all went back to normal. Sky started floating and sparkling again, and I had to turn off her ghost shader every time I loaded the game.

    So then I started forgetting to do it. And then I noticed that she looked pretty awesome singing at night as a ghost :).

  3. Yeah, none of Sky's kids are ghosts, though I'm saying the silver skintone only comes from ghost genes. I read someplace that ghostliness could only be inherited down to grandchildren. Cycl0ne Sw0rd was the founding ghost, and Sky is his granddaughter.

    OTOH, I'm pretty sure that other supernatural states don't work that way. If a parent has the supernatural state, then there's a 50% chance it'll be passed on to the child. So I don't know if Sky COULD have had ghost kids and didn't or if her ghost genes "expired."

  4. Oh, man! I forgot to comment here – so sorry!

    I really like the idea that Sky can really be herself right now. She seems to have found the perfect women with Xia, as she accepts and completely respects this other side of her. It has been so long since Sky went in her ghostly form that I almost forgot about it! Now she can live the rest of her life in peace. 🙂

  5. Ha! I can totally see Dylan as a freelance photographer for a 1930s newspaper. Perfect job for him 🙂

    It's so strange to see Sky in her 'ghost garb'. She'll probably like it more when she reaches elder hood. A perfect way to hide those wrinkles and grey hair. Also, I can't work out if Xia is an awesome mum or an incredibly irresponsible one. A bit of both probably …

  6. Dylan seems like such a great guy! I understand why it must be conflicting for him, and the part about Andria picking up the tab made me laugh 😛 I really like this story 🙂

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