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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 :).

7.17 Something in the air

OK, last posting spree lasted two posts, but I’m at it again!

———-

Winston’s first performance in the park gained him an audience of one.

Since she was the only person yet to put anything in his tip jar, he had no room to complain.

“Hello, sailor,” she said with a wink as he finished up. “Are you doing anything tonight?”

Winston had committed his entire evening to training with Tyrone.

Somehow, what came out of his mouth was, “Nothing much. Ever been to Steamshock? It’s a club not far from here with some great dancing.”

“Are you asking me out on a date?” she demanded.

“Well, yes, I thought that’s where this conversation was going.”

“Absolutely! Let’s go!”

 

Meanwhile, Gamora tested out her invention in other locations around town. She tried to make sure they weren’t very populated.

Afterward, she stopped by the nearby pub for a drink. She couldn’t appreciate the food of the flesh-folk, but she could drink juice and nectar, and it turned out she really liked them.

But then she looked up at the clock and realized she’d lost track of time. It looked like she’d missed an important appointment…

Emit Relevart wandered out of Gamora’s lab, wondering why she had missed their rendezvous.

“Ah!” he said to himself, “The perfect specimen of a 21-century raspberry! I must record its genome!”

Then he looked up to find something even more interesting. Dylan and Andria had sneaked out for some time alone.

“Excuse me!” Emit said. “I hate to interrupt, but I just have to know. How do two sims of such advanced age manage to keep such amazing drama in your relationship?”

“Who are you?” Andria asked, “and what are you doing in my greenhouse?”

Now that Edmund had persuaded the Fae Council to help him, at least a little bit, in his research to save Marisela, he had so much more research to do. That evening, he arrived at Monmouth Archive to consult the secret texts of the fae.

As he descended to the stacks, where the hidden entrance to the fae library was hidden,

he was unaware that someone else had decided to spend the evening reading old historical texts of a nonmagical variety.

“Hello, Edmund!” Joy said she descended the stairs into the stacks, “I didn’t expect to see you here!”

Edmund jumped. “Oh! Usually there’s nobody down here.”

“I’m working on a historical treatise on Medieval Avalon,” Joy said. “You know, the stuff most folks think is boring. I’m just fascinated.”

“Do you come down here a lot?” Edmund asked, feeling suddenly self-conscious.

“All the time,” Joy said. “Usually there’s nobody in the stacks. I love being down here, all alone, with just books for company.”

“Me too,” Edmund said. “I’m surprised we haven’t run into each other before now.”

Her eyes were such a luminescent aqua. It spoke of generations in her ancestry born on the magical soil of Avalon. Edmund couldn’t help feeling drawn closer…

He yanked his eyes away. He was sure he was being creepy.

“What are you researching?” Joy asked.

“Me, ah, just some esoteric details of the undead,” he said uneasily. “You probably wouldn’t find it very interesting.”

Joy sensed something in his voice and stiffened. “Don’t let me get in your way,” she said. “I’m sure you’re busy.”

“No,” Edmund said helplessly. I don’t mean –!”

At that moment, Edmund’s fire dragon flew to his arm and squawked for attention.

 

“What IS that?” Joy exclaimed.

“This is Kalai. She’s a fire dragonling,” Edmund said. “They’re supposed to be extinct, but I was able to track down an egg while my family was vacationing in France.”

“She’s amazing,” Joy breathed. “May I touch her?”

“I– I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Edmund said, drawing back. “She spits fire when she’s nervous.”

“Oh,” Joy said, clearly disappointed.

Kalai, annoyed at Edmund’s sudden movement, fluttered back into the air. Joy watched her circle around and land on the chandelier, watching them.

Edmund felt like he wasn’t striking the right tone in the conversation. “It’s really remarkable that we ran into each other like this. “Perhaps we can arrange to be in the stacks at the same time… more often?”

Joy smiled, and Edmund relaxed a little. “This place has so many secrets,” she said. “There are stories of supernatural events around Monmouth archive going back generations. I’d love to learn more about it.”

Edmund thought of the fae archive just beyond the secret door in the bookcase that Joy was standing. Should he tell her about it? His mother had laid so much groundwork to bring the fae out into the open, but would he jeopardize their help in his research?

How had he managed to move so close to her? Or had she moved close to him?

Edmund’s head was swimming. The next thing he knew, he was falling toward her, his mouth desperately seeking hers.

Joy jerked her head back. “Edmund? What are you doing??”

His throat clogged with humiliation. “I’m so sorry!” he gasped. “I didn’t mean to take liberties! I don’t know what came over me.”

“It’s all right,” Joy said. “You just… you just took me by surprise.”

Edmund looked to the floor. “I’m sorry,” he said again.

“Really,” she said, “it’s fine. But I — I think I have to go home now.”

Joy turned and hurried up the stairs out of the stacks.

Edmund found himself alone in the stacks again.

Now, suddenly, the isolation he normally enjoyed felt oppressive. Lonely.

He’d come for a reason, hadn’t he? His hand found the latch in the secret door, and he stepped into the fae archives.

Research, that was it. He wanted to do research.


Generation 7 spares and their romantic encounters.

 

After that bizarre date, where Joy happily traded romantic socials with Edmund and then rejected his first kiss, not once but actually twice, this is what the game had to say:

Edmund’s not a very romantic person. He has attraction notifications for both Joy and Marisela, and I was curious to see if any of them would turn into romances. He has now rolled a wish for a first kiss with Joy. And Joy appears to like him just fine, but she rejects his advances.

I believe she’s Unflirty, which means Edmund is probably going to have to be dedicated to win her heart.

Half of the interaction was autonomous, during which time Edmund brought out his dragon to show her. It was kind of a nonsequitur, but I thought I’d include it anyway :).

 

Winston’s date won’t go anywhere. She’s some service sim who showed up and flirted with him. He took her out on a date that lasted about two minutes before she got tired and went home. I didn’t bother to look up her name. She looks to be the first of many in Winston’s life….

7.16 No time to waste

Dylan rose early, dressed in his tuxedo, and cleaned the house. He had to do something with all his proud energy. It was a very special day.

Edmund had to be called home from the fae caravan, where he spent most of his time these days, brooding on the magnitude of the magic he still needed to learn for his project.

Victoria, on the other hand, was eager to be distracted.

Her online dating options looked truly terrible. She wondered if she would ever find love or if she really cared to.

It was time to set aside all those distractions. It was graduation day!

Winston received his diploma from his cooking magnet school.

His talent for cooking more than made up for his lack of interest in most academic subjects.

Gamora was much less interested in the proceedings.

A diploma was only a scrap of paper, after all. The most important thing was that she was free to pursue her own projects.

After the ceremony, Andria and Dylan took a nice long bike ride home together. Sure, they weren’t exactly dressed for it, but they were too old to care much about appearances anyway.

Edmund stayed behind, engrossed in a book his fae mentors had loaned him.

He was so animated while he read that he attracted quite an audience.

Winston knew exactly what he wanted to do, and he wasted no time. He didn’t even bother going home to change.

“You’re Tyrone Batts, the premier acrobat in Avalon,” Winston said.

“Retired,” Tyrone said.

“I want to be your apprentice,” Winston finished.

“I wasn’t planning on taking on any more students,” Tyrone said thoughtfully.

“Please please please!” Winston said. “I’ll be the model student.”

“Perhaps on a probationary basis,” Tyrone said.

“Anything,” Winston pled.

“All right, you’ll start with mime,” Tyrone said.

“Great!” Winston exclaimed. “You won’t regret this. When should I –”

“First lesson is right now,” Tyrone said. “We begin with mime.”

 

“We have a lot to work on,” Tyrone said.

“Ooof,” Winston said.

Gamora, on the other hand, celebrated her graduation at the seaside, alone. In the rain.

She had a new invention to test out.


Here’s another one! Let’s see how long I can make it go!

A bit of the two characters who have gotten less attention recently. I’m trying to get all the spares to their LTWs, so you’ll need to hear more from them. Then again, I’ve never fully decided what Winston’s LTW should be. Cooking or acrobatics? Argh.

I should have notes for a Gossip Column someplace. I’ll see what I can do.

7.15 Much to learn

Edmund wrote his mother’s directions down on a scrap of paper. He didn’t much hold with fancy smartphones. It was something he and Andria had in common.

She could tell him the way to the gypsy caravan without a moment’s thought, though she hadn’t been there in years herself.

“Always be reverent,” she warned him. “No matter how rude and condescending they are. They talk down to us because they are powerful enough to do whatever they like, and they know it. But they’re not entirely capricious. They’ll listen to you, and they might help.”

Edmund rehearsed what he was going to say many times before he knocked at the door. If he was lucky, the fae — his mother’s people — would recognize him as their own. If he wasn’t, what did he have to lose? Did he have anything to lose?

“You have much to learn, and clearly your mother is not going to teach you,” they said. “We will answer your questions, but we will do it in our own time. Until then, you will learn what we want to teach you.”

Edmund could not have wished for more.

“It’s sweet of you to make me hot cocoa!” Victoria told him that evening. “You’re not usually the most domestic kind of guy.”

“I’m very good and putting mugs in the new hot beverage machine and pushing the ‘cocoa’ button,” Edmund said.

“I’m not sure, but it seems like you might want to talk about something,” Victoria said.

“You’re right,” Edmund said. “You’re a lot better with people than I am.”

Vickie raised her eyebrows. “I think you might be the first person who actually thinks I’m good with people.”

“I want to help someone, but I don’t know if she wants my help,” Edmund said. “I’m nervous about asking her, but at this point I need her to work with me.”

Victoria took a long sip of cocoa. “I’m really not that good with people,” she said.

“Maybe it’s just that I’m so very bad at it,” Edmund said darkly.

“I can listen, though,” Victoria said. “I mean, if you want to work through your ideas for how to talk to her.”

“That’s a brilliant idea,” Edmund said.

The following evening, he knocked nervously on the door of a Victorian bungalow.

He had spent many long nights of research simply tracking down where she lived. He had no idea how she would react when she saw him.

Marisela Flynn was in front of his eyes so fast that Edmund wasn’t sure whether had blinked too long or she bewitched him.

“We seem to keep finding each other,” she said, eyeing him. “But this doesn’t seem to be happenstance.”

Edmund swallowed. “I want to help you,” he said.

“You think I need help?” she asked, raising an arched eyebrow.

Edmund forced himself to look her straight in her sinister, luminescent eyes. “Can you tell me you don’t?”

Her lips twitched. “Touché. What, exactly, makes you think you have some way to help me?”

“I don’t know, but I think I might,” he said. “Can you trust me?”

“Trust,” she said slowly. “I haven’t thought about that in a long time. I’ll follow where you lead and won’t hurt you, for now, if that’s the assurance you need.”

He led her back the way he’d come that morning, but as they drew closer to the fae caravan, Marisela slowed down.

“The fae are the enemy of my kind. Do you want to get me killed?” she demanded.

“You have my protection,” Edmund said with more confidence than he felt.

Marisela chucked darkly. “Well, that settles all my worries.”

“Please sit down,” Edmund said, gesturing at an ornate table that held a huge crystal ball.

“Are you going to tell my fortune,” Marisela asked.

“No,” Edmund retorted, “but I might learn something to help your future. Please let me concentrate.”

Then he fumbled his first burst of magic and nearly dropped the priceless magical artifact on the ground. Keep it together, he warned himself silently. Please keep it together.

Marisela was abruptly riveted by the orb. “I can see my father!” she whispered.

“He’s your sire,” Edmund said. “It’s because of him that you are a vampire.”

“He wanted an enforcer for his battle with his ancient nemesis,” Marisela said bitterly. “My father has been at war with another vampire for control of the underworld for generations. I wouldn’t help him. Now I’m alone.”

“Think about him,” Edmund instructed, growing more confident. “He’s your tie to the undead. I have to learn about that connection.”

“That’s not hard,” Marisela said darkly. “I spend most of my time thinking about him.”

They stared at the orb in silence for a long time. Mists swirled within it. Sparks flew around it.

At last he let it fall back to its cradle and stood up. His dragon flew down to rest on his arm, squawking fondly. He stroked her scaly head thoughtfully.

“Are we done here?” Marisela asked. “Did you learn what you need to know?”

“I’ve learned all I can,” Edmund said.

“Do you still think you can help me?” Marisela asked, her voice carefully neutral.

“Maybe,” Edmund admitted. “But we won’t know until I try. Do you want me to try?”

Marisela didn’t hesitate. “Yes.”


So, it’s been a long time. I hope it won’t be so long until the next post. I know at least one person is still reading!

It’s been a really difficult year. It seems like life has been one drama after another, and there hasn’t been emotional energy for anything creative. It feels good to want to do something. I miss my Sims.