Tag Archive | charles

5.16 Sweet Chariot

“Forest.” Hunter slid into the seat next to his brother, looking troubled.

“I’m here,” Forest said.

“I just got off the phone with Eliana,” Hunter said. “She says her boss called her up right before work and laid her off with no explanation. Her dad is furious, and she’s really upset.”

So at least part of his plan had worked. “That sounds about right,” Forest said.

“You did that, didn’t you?” Hunter asked.

“I might have had something to do with it,” Forest admitted.

Hunter looked earnestly at his brother. “Was she in danger? I hate seeing her so upset, but if it was for her own good….”

“I think it is better for her to get as far away from that job as possible,” Forest said. “I don’t know what was going on, but I’m sure it wasn’t good for her.”

Hunter sighed. “Thanks, big brother.”

“I’d say it was no big deal,” Forest said bleakly, “but the whole thing was actually a pain in the ass.”

Hunter turned and really looked at Forest for the first time and was suddenly worried. “Are you all right? You look like you might be getting sick.”

Forest was suddenly torn. Hunter was such a simple spirit, and he needed to be protected from Forest’s life. But for the first time, Forest wasn’t even sure he could protect himself, much less Hunter. He had never asked anyone for help, not even his family, but now he really needed it.

Forest looked down at his empty plate. He thought of Ali, who might not be gone if he had confided in her even a little bit. He took a deep breath to try to explain.

Only a gurgling sound came out.

What had Flynn done to him?

He couldn’t describe what had happened last night. He couldn’t ask Hunter for help.

“I think I need to lie down,” he finally managed. He slipped off the barstool and fled downstairs to his bedroom.

Later that afternoon, Charles’s beloved cat Ghost said his final goodbye.

And little Dylan had his first birthday.

All that emotion was enough to make Charles restless, and he persuaded Veronica to go with him on a spur-of-the-moment trip to Egypt.

They got some much-needed time together.

And some even more needed peace and quiet.

And the spare time to focus on some important hobbies they hadn’t been getting enough of.

Then Veronica sent Charles off to satisfy his explorer blood.

While he was gone, Veronica discovered that news of her work in spiritism had spread all over the globe. Travelers from their camp were asking for her autograph.

Of of her admirers, a local named Tahiya, ended up becoming a pretty good friend.

They spent a lot of time playing games and talking.

And of course, she had enough pictures of Dylan to show everyone in town.

Charles’s adventures were a lot of work, sometimes grueling work.

And he never told Veronica the just how much danger he found there.

She would only have worried.

He might have felt his age in France, but not here. Here he was ready to take on the world.

Charles reached the end of his vacation feeling that he had at last found what he was looking for. He hadn’t even realized he was looking for something in particular before now. It was hard to put into words, but the best way he could describe it was that he had uncovered secret beauty that had been lost for thousands of years, and he would keep it with him wherever he went next. That granted these lost places another lease on immortality.

He returned from the tombs in high spirits, and for their last night in Egypt, he organized the explorers in the camp for a rousing battle of water balloons.

The laughter and companionship seemed like just the right way to say goodbye.

While Charles and Veronica were gone, Dylan learned his first word, “dumbbell.” Leah didn’t know what he meant by that either.

Forest spent most of his time in his room working tirelessly on some project he wouldn’t talk to his family about.

Eliana took Hunter home to introduce to her family.

The morning after Charles and Veronica returned, Dylan was up howling in the wee hours of the morning.

Sky and Leah held each other tight, longing for just a little bit more sleep.

So Charles slipped downstairs to give his little man some attention.

He felt so delighted with everything, he was floating off the ground the way he used to do when he was a teenager — before he’d gotten better at passing for a normal human.

Before the sun game up was the best time to fish, so he left Dylan with his toys where he could check on him through the window and slipped out to see what he could catch in the icy water.

He’d done this a thousand times before in dozens of different places, but he couldn’t recall ever feeling so content before.

Then he just knew it was time. He packed up his fishing rod.

And wandered into the house. It was suddenly very important that he see Veronica, and he knew he didn’t have much time.

He wasn’t quite fast enough. As he stood at the foot of the stairs on his way to their bedroom, the Netherworld called to him.

And this time he had to go.

Veronica slept on and dreamed sweet dreams.

When she woke up, Charles wasn’t there. It was strange but not unheard of.

So the Samples carried on their routine through the morning before Veronica decided to go looking for her husband.

It didn’t take her long to find him.

The buried Charles’s ashes in the family cemetery with his ancestors.

He may have been one of the most successful members of his family, but he hated fancy monuments. His marker was small and modest, nestled in the earth.

The Samples would never be the same without him.

Goodbye, old friend.


Sob. Well, we knew it had to happen sometime.

Charles got sucked back to the Netherworld at the age of 92 with Lifetime Happiness of 370,000. Yes, my friends, that’s THREE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY THOUSAND.

He almost didn’t finish his lifetime wish. I got tired of going on vacation, and he had one more trip to finish to get the Visa 3 in Egypt. He needed an extra trip there because he didn’t get some Visa points that he should have gotten when he was a teenager traveling with Lance.

This trip was filled with entirely unnecessary drama. I sent him for 8 days, since that should have been more than enough for him to get the points he needed. He spent four of them in one really fun enormous tomb. Then he got to the end of the tomb, and the OPPORTUNITY GLITCHED OUT. He couldn’t return the relic to the townie to collect the enormous pile of Visa points it was worth. Apparently, there is a glitch where if a townie gives you an adventure and then dies before it’s completed, the game doesn’t always assign the opportunity to a new townie. This tomb was the end of a fairly long quest chain that started on Charles’s last trip to Egypt. Apparently EA StoryProgression killed the relevant townie in the interval. I tried everything, and there didn’t seem to be any way to fix it. I still have the stupid relic (Relic of Eternity I think), and you can’t even sell it for money. Argh.

So now he had four days left to get the points he needed, and time was very tight. I sent him on the Adventure chain for the Tomb of Queen Hapshepsut, which is supposed to be pretty cool. But before he even got into the tomb, he was given a task to take a portrait of a townie, and I couldn’t get it to register as a portrait. He had a camera, and he’d ask the girl to pose, but when he took the picture it was listed as being something near her — the fountain, the shopping area, a group of people standing in the background, whatever. I read up on Photography and couldn’t figure THAT out. Maybe he needed to have the skill??

Now we had MORE time lost. I gave up exploring tombs and sent him on the dumb adventures to pick up minerals and deliver messages to people. He can do that very fast because he can teleport. It still looked like he might not get enough Visa points, and while I’d had a fantastic time exploring that tomb for the glitched Adventure, I am really done with World Adventures and REALLY didn’t want to take another trip. Besides that, Charles was 90, and I didn’t want to assume he’d get another chance.

He got to the Visa point total halfway through his last day in Egypt. His Lifetime Wish was complete. I heaved a huge sigh of relief and sent him to base camp for a water balloon fight he’d been wishing for.

And then he really did die before he was eligible to travel again.

92 is the exact age I have my Sim lifetime set to. I had to use Twallan’s SP to set Charles to age again because EA in its infinite wisdom decided that playable ghosts should be immortal. Apparently SP sends ghosts back to the Netherworld the *instant* the lifespan runs out rather than just giving them a chance of death every day like mortal sims.

Whatever the case, he might have died “young,” but I think he doubled his actual life lived with all the travel, so he doesn’t have much complaints. The Seasoned Traveler LTW is one of the highest-point ones in the game — 60k — so I was going to try to see if I could get him to 300k points. Then he spent his last two trips rolling absolutely insanely high-point wishes. He had at least 4 1500-point wishes to defeat mummies who were attacking him anyway. Something like *12k* to reach Visa Level 3, which he had to do anyway. Etc. So he was over 300k before he even reached his lifetime wish.

Charles has been my favorite sim so far. I guess it seems only right that he died the happiest.

However, playable ghosts carry their gravestones with them, so they get the gravestone of someone with 0 happiness points. I think Charles would have appreciated the modesty.

5.14 What Price

Hunter took a deep breath. “Forest, I need to ask you something.”

Forest was dragged out of a complicated calculation about the expected return and feasibility of moving into a new method of black market distribution. “Huh? Sure.”

“I don’t know how to say this,” Hunter began awkwardly, “but I’ve been doing some reading at the spiritualist shop. I know you’re into some serious stuff.”

Forest started to think of how he could deny any accusation of wrongdoing. Better to let Hunter play his hand. He shrugged and smiled. “I try to keep my hands in a lot of stuff.”

“You might be the only person who can help,” Hunter said.

Forest was stunned. Help? This wasn’t where he expected the conversation to go at all. “Tell me,” he said.

“There’s this girl. Eliana. She was behind us in high school. I went over to see her last night, and…”

Out poured the description of the frightening stranger and Eliana’s contradictory behavior. “I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m sure it’s something supernatural. I can’t describe what it was like to be around this guy, and his eyes–“

Forest knew those eyes. Hunter didn’t need to describe them. “I’ll do what I can,” Forest said quickly.

“Thank you,” Hunter said breathlessly. “I know you’re involved in some stuff you don’t want to talk about, but do you have any idea what happened there? Is Eliana in any danger?”

Forest offered up his best comforting smile. “I’ll see what I can find out,” he said, “but you shouldn’t let yourself worry too much. She’s probably OK.”

Hunter nodded. “Let me know if you learn anything.”

“Sure,” Forest said. “Thanks.”

“For what?” Hunter asked, perplexed.

Forest kept his face unreadable. “For coming to me.”

“You’re my brother, Forest,” Hunter replied. “I trust you.”

When Hunter had gone, Forest sat back to think.

So Hunter was sweet on Eliana Baerwyn, Sean Flynn’s new personal assistant.

Flynn had hired Eliana last month, and it was obvious there was some kind of back room dealing going on, though Forest didn’t know what it was. Eliana’s father, Robbin Baerwyn, had turned up on business expenses on a regular basis. He and Flynn had some kind of pay-for-favors thing going on. But whatever deal had involved Eliana was much bigger. Now Valerie Ursine-Mentary, one of Flynn’s high-ranked minions, was meeting with Robbin regularly.

All of this would be none of Forest’s business, except for Hunter.

If there was one guy who really believed that blood was thicker than water, it was Hunter. He wasn’t stupid, but he trusted Forest anyway, and he chose not to ask uncomfortable questions. 
Forest set his coffee mug down on the table so gently that it made no sound. Being too interested in someone Flynn found interesting was dangerous. Hunter was the kind of white knight who just might try to ride in and get himself badly hurt. Forest would have to find some way to direct his brother’s attention someplace safer.

The next day was Snowflake Day. With a hungry baby living with them, half the household was up at dawn to the sun rise over the glittering snow. Not a bad day for a holiday.

Enigma was up with the sun to attend to her newly-built pack of local dogs.

There were citizens to protect, small creatures to hunt, and newspapers to destroy.

The whole Sample family, human and canine, packed themselves up for a day at Avalon Festival Grounds. Ghostwriter planned a holiday performance that was not to be missed.

Charles was eager to show his baby grandson the celebration. Veronica had some kind of tournament she wanted to compete in.

Everyone had their own kind of fun in mind for the afternoon, even Enigma.

Adam was late, so Sky and Leah got started on duo music without him.

Forest listened with half an ear. He was still mulling the problem of Hunter over in his mind.
So when he looked up from his phone, he was caught completely by surprise.
“Uh, hi. I didn’t mean to surprise you. I was just trying to get to… the concessions…”
There had to be something he could say that would evoke some tenderness from her. “It’s good to see you,” he managed.
There was pity in Ali’s eyes. “Forest….”
But her attention had already left him.

“Adam!” she said. “I heard you were going to perform today. I can’t wait to hear you play!”

Oh. That’s why she was here. Forest should have guessed.

Forest stepped back silently as his rival drew near.

“I haven’t seen you since high school,” Adam said. “I didn’t expect to see you here.”
“I took a job as an assistant at Mighty Pen Monastery,” Ali said. “The hours were really long. I have more time now. I was thinking maybe we could take some time to, you know, talk again.”

“You want to talk?” Adam demanded. “After I called you every night for weeks, and you refused to answer?”
“I’m sorry, Adam,” Ali begged. “I never meant to hurt you. It was complicated.”

“If it was complicated, YOU made it that way!” Adam shouted. “You were everything to me, and I never even got to find out what drove you away. If you wanted to talk, you missed your chance!”

“Adam, I…” Ali almost whispered.

“I came here to make music,” Adam said. “Maybe you should go home.”

Ali hung her head, and Forest could see the tears drip twinkle as the fell into the snow.

Adam turned and walked away. He didn’t even look in her direction as he set up his drums.
Ali stayed for the whole performance. She watched Adam, and Forest watched her. 

It gave him a lot of time to think, mostly about love — the joy and pain and ecstasy that it caused, the sacrifices one felt compelled to make for it.

When he looked at Ali, he felt like his heart would explode. If he never had her again, at least she had once belonged to him, and he would never forget.

And Adam. It was for this imperceptive fool that Ali had broken Forest’s spell. If Adam continued to fail to appreciate Ali now that she was free, did Forest have an opening to lure her back of her own free will? So many variables.

At the other end of the festival grounds, there was more for Forest to consider.

For Hunter and Eliana, the rest of the world might as well not exist. They were so unconsciously beautiful together. And they might not know it themselves, but they were already deeply in love.

Forest shoved his hands into his pockets. He knew what he had to do. He made quick goodbyes to his family and headed home to prepare.


Wow, when Adam walked onto the lot, Ali tried to talk to him, and he immediately started shouting at her. He even slapped her! I was so taken by surprise that I was only able to get a snap of the head-spinny aftermath.

That is one raw, heartbroken boy.

5.10 Homestead

It didn’t take much deciding. If Sky and Leah were going to raise this child together, Leah would move in with Sky and not the other way round. Leah was from a large family herself. In addition to her parents Arthrit and Mazuki and her younger sister Miyuki, she had a teenage brother Raen and kid brother just starting elementary school. Her parents had started their family young and weren’t even sure they were done yet. The Samples, on the other hand, were all adult. Baby-on-the-way would never want for care. In fact, if anything, there was a danger the poor kid would suffocate under too much affection.

But as winter descended on Avalon with a vengeance, it became clear that the newer, larger household just couldn’t stay where they were. Charles and Veronica were already sleeping on a bedroll in the basement. Sky’s room fit a single bed with no room for expansion. And let’s just forget about a nursery.
No one wanted to bring the idea up to Veronica that they abandon the home she had designed and worked on herself. In the end, Veronica had to call the issue. “I have a lot more years of creation ahead of me,” she said. “You just see what I do with the next place.” So they started looking for a place to live that was a bit more scalable.
“We have quite a lot of money, really,” Sky suggested. “Why don’t we get a much bigger, nicer place? Not that this place isn’t nice, Mom.”
“I’d like someplace a little more rural,” Hunter said. “I need to be able to raise more produce if I’m going to expand this business.”
“Just so long as there’s a good dark basement for my research,” Forest said.
With those parameters, they cast about the island until they happened in Windemere Cottage, an agricultural estate in a less-developed area that had laid vacant for some years.
Sky was still barely showing by the time they were packing up to leave.
If Veronica felt badly about leaving her biggest creation behind, she never said anything. She did stand on the step of their new home for a while to look out at the tip of the top tower that you could see in the distance. But even then, she didn’t seem sad. More… admiring, perhaps. 
They had found a buyer for the place. Some couple named Sean and Cynthia Flynn.
“This is the master bedroom?” Leah gasped when Sky showed her the space. “It’s so elegant and cozy. And so much velvet!”
“And the bed is so soft!”
Sky beamed. “I’m so glad you like it!”
“Shall we give it a whirl?”
In light of the fact that they’d have to move their bedroom back indoors, Veronica did extra work on her bedroom.
Charles was very appreciative.
The boys set up their bedrooms in the large, comfortable basement.
Hunter began to set up his winter greenhouse in the barn.
To his surprise, Leah followed him there.
“Could you use any help?” she asked brightly. 
Hunter scuffed his foot. “Well, I can’t pay you,” he said sheepishly. “I’m barely breaking even right now.”
Leah shrugged. “I don’t need money,” she said. “I just love to work with plants.”
“Well, sure then!”
They worked together in near silence for hours. Hunter couldn’t remember when he last felt so comfortable with someone.
Sky hadn’t done too badly on her choice of baby mama.
Since there was a baby on the way, Leah bowed to Sky’s hopeful pressure and quit her job at the police academy. It was a grueling job with long hours that didn’t pay very much, and it seemed more important to have the time to spend with the baby when it arrived.

Since there was no child just yet, she found herself with a lot of spare time. When she wasn’t helping Hunter in the garden, she decorated the nursery.
“Wow,” Sky said. “It’s so pink.”
Leah clapped her handes and squealed. “I knew you’d like it!”
“But what if it’s not a girl?”
“Sky!” Leah said. “I’m surprised at you. It’s terribly sexist to think that a boy can’t appreciate pink. Pink is such a nice color.”
“Yeah,” Forest piped up. “What’s wrong with pink? It’s a great color for anyone.” That pretty much ended the discussion. Who was going to argue with Forest about manliness?

Hunter didn’t say anything. He just looked.
But he was grateful that when he stumbled over the pink mermaid doll, Enigma was there to catch his fall.
There was even something for feline family.
And canine.
And avian.
The pond had fish in it, to Charles’s delight.
All he had to do was cut a hole in the ice.

It seemed like just the right place for the Samples.
While Veronica was full of more pregnancy advice and horror stories than Sky could handle, Charles took it upon himself to take care of her. He was always near to make sure she was warm, fed, and comfortable.
Their new home was wood heated, so this often meant he trailed his daughter around and stoked the fire wherever she was.
The prospect of a grandchild was clearly on his mind a lot. On one hand, how could he not be delighted? On the other, it was a solid reminder that they were growing older. He sometimes had trouble believing he was old enough to have a child, much less a grandchild.
It turned out that the place was not quite as perfect as it first appeared. Some of it was in disrepair, and not always in obvious ways.
They discovered too late that the living room fireplace was not vented properly.
Leah was terrified when she saw the flames. She shrieked and cried.
The Samples were largely annoyed.
Charles and Forest dealt with the immediate problem.
Though the aftermath would take a lot more time for a lot less reward. 

Nobody was hurt, though, and the Samples knew better than to take that for granted.
Veronica immediately got out her tools. “All right, then,” she said. “You’re going to be harmless as a kitten when my grandbaby gets here!”
Leah threw herself into Sky’s arms, choking on tears. “I was terrified for you and the baby! I’m so glad you’re all right!”
“It’s all right, love,” Sky said. “It’s all right. We took care of it. Don’t cry.”
“I don’t want to be jerk,” Hunter said. “But could you two please go to your room?”
Leah is an Artistic, Hopeless Romantic, Green Thumb, Schmoozer who Loves the Outdoors. She is quite seriously the Sample dream-in-law. I’m a bit perplexed as to why Story Progression assigned her to law enforcement, though. 
This is mostly slice of life transitional stuff to show off the new lot. I loved this place and wish it could have worked out better. But as you’ll see, not so much. Primarily, the problem was that the landscaping was so elaborate that there was almost no place you could do anything outdoors. No flat places. Too bad.
The nursery came with the lot, but Leah’s favorite color turns out to the spiceberry, which is essentially pink. I guess spiceberry would be the “bashful” in “blush and bashful.” (You foreigners can look that up :). )
Tangentially, I don’t think I ever mentioned it, but you might have noticed anyway. Forest’s favorite color is pink. I find this very entertaining and always make sure he’s wearing the color someplace.
Oh, yeah, and the Mai family is in fact large and still growing. I created the family from four anime sims I downloaded from ModtheSims, who I assembled into parents and two teenagers. The child Raen is actually the genetic product of his parents. (And he turned out very nice — I’ve seen him around town.) Then I forgot and left both parents as YA. They’re madly in love and still cranking out kids.

5.9 Escape to Reality

After Veronica’s little freezing incident, it wasn’t a big surprise that a cold winter was coming. It descended on the Sample house almost overnight, bringing beautiful snow and ice with it.

Veronica set Charles and herself up with a bedroll in the basement, which was hardly living in the style they had become accustomed.

Veronica was spending more time at a desk processing research and less time out in the field these days, but she relished her field assignments when they came.

And there were always new discoveries to be made.

Ghostly snow prints in the kitchen….hmmm….

Eventually the nagging cold combined with Charles’s wanderlust. Charles booked tickets

And the two swinging seniors escaped to France for a long vacation.

It had been a long time since they’d had so much time to spend on each other. What to do first?

Oh, right.

The hotel had trouble with random people wandering into hotel rooms, but the elder Samples didn’t particularly care if rude people got a show.

The skies were so dark in Shang Simla that you could see the stars in a way you simply couldn’t at home.

Around the town, Charles even happened to run into his old flame.

After so many years, the spark was still there with Berthe. But they had their own lives and were too wise to do anything about it.

She did invite him back to her house, however, and they enjoyed a nice afternoon of tea and catching up on each other’s lives.

And then there were adventures.

If Charles was losing his touch, he wasn’t going to admit it to anyone, even himself.

But he did take some breaks in between scorching flame traps and sleeping gas traps to enjoy the simpler things in life.

Meanwhile, Sky tried to reconcile herself to domestic life. What was it that mothers did, anyway? They probably had to be able to cook healthy, nutritious meals for their offspring.

Oh, dear.

Wow, it probably wasn’t supposed to smoke.

All, right, her child was just going to have to live on pizza.

When the doorbell rang, Sky fully expected it to be pizza delivery. Instead, to her shock, it was Leah.

“C-come in,” Sky stammered at the door. “It’s freezing out there.”

“Yeah,” Leah said. “I think I need a heavier coat!”

She stepped inside, stomping the snow off her shoes.

“I, I thought maybe I should give you some space,” Sky ventured.

Leah nodded. “Yeah, that was probably a good idea. I had a lot to think about.”

“I swear I’m not lying to you,” Sky said. “It’s really your baby. I didn’t cheat on you.”

“I’ve been doing a lot of thinking,” Leah said. “And I’ve decided to trust you. I mean, who could make this stuff up?”

“Leah!” Sky threw herself into her girlfriend’s arms. “You’re amazing!”

“I love you so much,” Leah breathed.

“And we’re having a baby!”


Not the best organized post, but what I had to work with was kind of eclectic. I couldn’t NOT post Veronica on the bannister.

5.6 Chills

It was morning, and Ghost was up to his favorite hobby.

The temperature dropped suddenly in the night. Avalon was setting a new low temperature record. Even Charles and Veronica, who were very good at keeping each other warm, were starting to feel it.

Sky had been out late with Leah again, but she slept poorly. She felt like her insides were tying themselves into knots. There was no point to trying to sleep longer, so she might as well take the opportunity to paint the sunrise.

“This frost chills all the way to my bones!” Veronica growled a she got up, also earlier than she had intended.

“Well, you *are* getting older,” Charles pointed out. “You bones probably chill a lot easier than they used to.” His eyes twinkled as he said it. Charles never really felt the cold himself.

“I am NOT getting older!” Veronica declared. “I can take on anything I could when I was 20. I dare you to let me prove it to yoouuueerrg.” The last word was hard to make out over the chattering of her teeth.

Then something unexpected happened. Veronica stopped shivering. In fact, she stopped moving altogether.

“What the–” she said in a strained voice.

KEEE-RUNK! Over she fell, landing on the frost-hardened ground with a thunk.

“Are you all right?” Charles asked. “Did you freeze up?”

“Will you hush up and get something to warm me up with??”

Charles smiled blandly and went to get a hair dryer.

“That did not happen,” Veronica said when she could get to her feet. “We may have to rethink our sleeping arrangement.”

Sky, watching from the garden, couldn’t help but giggle. But when she tried, it suddenly turned into a gag. She felt terrible.

Almost as if — but that was impossible. Impossible!



Couple of short posts lined up because I didn’t really want to mix up the different moods.

HOPEFULLY they’ll be out quickly.

5.4 Open Doors

Things only seemed to get more intense for Sky and Leah.

They liked to keep things adventurous, and they were always sneaking away to woohoo in strange and exciting locations.

When Leah wasn’t around, Sky was usually thinking about her.

Hunter was also in a pretty good mood, though he didn’t talk much about details.

Forecasts warned that this would be a record-breaking winter in Avalon. Hunter stored most of his seeds and moved a few important plants into a makeshift greenhouse to last out the cold.

But the thing that his family noticed most was that he was suddenly spending a lot of time sending email on the computer. Sky thought she heard him say something about Eliana Baerwyn. She still had another term left in high school, so email seemed like a good place to talk.

Meanwhile, time passed for the Samples. Veronica and Forest bonded over chess — it was a good thing to fall back on when they couldn’t find much to talk about.

Charles took care of Ghost.

And one day Veronica’s phone rang. When she answered, it was the Mayor of Avalon on the line. They wanted to give her the key to the city as a tribute to all her work with the supernatural.

It took a lot to floor Veronica Krane Sample, but this definitely was it.

On the day of the ceremony, the old Motive Mobile pulled up at the gates of Camelot.

Sky took the chance to entertain the crowd before the ceremony began. If nothing else, it was a good way to increase her visibility.

Shanni made it to the ceremony. “I’m getting too old for this sort of thing,” she admitted. “But then again, I’m getting too old for a lot of things these days.” It was hard to take her seriously when she said that while she was holding her toddler daughter Holly.

Jeannette was there, along with Shanni’s elder daughter with Jeanna, Renee.

Jeanna and Shanni had shared a long and loving marriage after all, which was more than Shanni thought she was offering when they got married. They took every day as a gift.

It was a gift that couldn’t keep giving forever, unfortunately. This was the last time Shanni spent time with her extended family. She died quietly in her sleep not long after. Since she and Jeanna were married, she’d been saying, “If I die in bed with a hot younger woman, I’ll consider myself lucky.” And that’s exactly how it worked out.

As the clock struck 4pm, Veronica stepped into the Great Hall and accepted the award from the major, who she’d never met before. He shook her hand warmly and thanked her for everything she’d done for supernatural understanding within Avalon and throughout the simworld.

Veronica, who had been thinking for a long time about how she would respond, grinned and said, “Yes. About that.”

She walked out of the hall onto the lawn, held up a flask filled with colored liquid. “This is my latest invention, and I think it might help with supernatural understanding.” Then she threw it at her feet. The crowd gasped as Veronica was enveloped in glowing smoke.

When the smoke cleared, Veronica was a ghost.

“I wanted to know what it’s like,” she declared in a voice that echoed like Charles’s. Then she floated over to her bemused husband.

He seemed awfully human and solid by comparison. But neither of them was really paying attention any longer.

“You always surprise me,” Charles said breathlessly when they returned home.

Veronica chuckled. “Well, I try.”

Then she was suddenly solid again. “Oh, that’s not fair!” Veronica exclaimed. “I was hoping it would at least last long enough for me to take you to bed. Now I’ll have to make another one!”

But in the meantime, they headed to bed anyway.

[I had a picture of the key, but I can’t seem to find it. I’ll put it in a post at some point.]


This was a really cute end-of-career award opportunity that got totally borked in some later expansion. I ran it about five times, and the Mayor disappeared every time without giving Veronica the key. I assumed this had something to do with the Jynx rabbithole rug I was using for City Hall, but no — when I looked it up online, this opportunity has been borked for ages. So I built a story out of it and gave Veronica the key using buydebug. 🙂

And, once again, how the heck did Hunter get to be so hot??

This is where I finally had to kill Shanni manually. She was caught in some kind of in-between glitch where half the system thought she was dead and the other half did not. I felt bed doing it; she’s a favorite of mine. But she’d already lived an unnaturally long life, so it was way past time. I didn’t even know that Renee existed until this sequence. I was only aware of Holly, who was an adoptee I replaced with a genetic child by both of them — I couldn’t figure out why Jeanna was adopting, and when I went into MasterController to fix it, I discovered Shanni listed under dead sims. Renee certainly looks like she’s a genetic child of Shanni’s though.

5.2 Work Your Way Up

The Charles Sample Martial Arts Academy barely needed Charles’s time anymore. Sometimes he felt like his biggest contribution these days was to hang his name on the door.

Charles was now a Grand Master, and he had blessed several Masters in the Sample Spirit branch of Sim Fu. They were doing most of the teaching now.

That was really how it should be. He didn’t want to be indispensable. He wanted to build something that would live on after he was gone. It looked like that was already happening. It made him feel good, though sometimes just a little bit lonely.

Of course, if he needed a bit of an ego boost, there were always students who desperately wanted to take lessons from him and him alone. Ariel Hodgins was that kind of student.

“Do you mind if I take a picture?” Ariel asked one day after their lesson. “I’ve always wanted a record of my hero doing, you know, every day stuff.”

“Uh, sure,” Charles said. “I was just going to send some email.”

“Thank you!” Ariel cried! “I’ll keep this on my phone forever!”

Her enthusiasm was good and cute until she started calling him up at home, hoping to get him to go out on a date.

Boundaries. Charles needed to set clearer ones, obviously.

Hunter was now pretty sure what he wanted to do when he grew up. Using his classes in sustainable food production from the Round Table Academy, he’d taken over the garden started by his great-grandmother Layla and made it thrive.

And it didn’t hurt that he knew exactly what to do with the food he produced. The Sample family was eating in style these days.

But it did take something of a sales pitch. “I was thinking I could turn this isn’t a business,” he told his parents. “Locally grown, sustainable food, and maybe some guidelines on how to prepare it. It’s just that, um, I can’t really afford the kind of land it would take to do this on my own yet. If I could continue to live with you guys while I get on my feet, I’m sure I could make it worth your while.”

“Just keep cooking!” Veronica declared between mouthfuls.

Charles watched Hunter with his gentle smile, but his eyes were alight with pride. “You didn’t fall far from the tree, did you?” he said quietly. “I think your mother agrees with me that you can stay as long as you like. It’s not like we’re so eager to kick you out.

Hunter beamed. “Thanks Dad, Mom! You won’t regret it, I swear.”

“We couldn’t possibly regret helping you follow your dreams,” Charles said.

So with some advice from his father on self-employment, Hunter headed down to Avalon’s Great Hall to fill out a lot of very tedious paperwork.

He was now a certified organic farmer! Well, he would be once the inspections and certification process were done.

After that, it was just a matter of finding customers! No big deal, right? Well, seeing as he hated talking to people he didn’t know, that would be the hardest part. But he was going to give it his best try.

Sky and Leah were seeing a lot of each other, and that meant really a lot.

“The thing is,” Sky said, “If we practice really hard, I think we could make a living with our music. You’re a great jazz pianist. I think we have a shot at this.”

Leah was more skeptical. “Most garage bands never make it out of the garage,” she said. “I don’t think I’m ready to give up a day job.”

Leah was in training to be a police officer, and her work hours were only going to get longer once she got out of the police academy. Sky figured that she had until Leah graduated to persuade her to quit.

So they spent most of their time practicing. And practicing. And practicing.

Enigma appreciated the music the most. Sometimes she came down to join in.

“She isn’t half bad,” Leah pointed out. “I’m not sure if that says good things about our music, though.”

Actually, they were starting to sound pretty good. Charles sometimes came down to the basement just to groove.

“You really shouldn’t ever dance where I can see you, Dad,” Sky pointed out.

Charles rolled his eyes. “You think you can make me self-conscious just because you’re my daughter? In my day, I creeped out more hipsters than you before breakfast. Just shut up and play.”

“I think we can do this!” Sky said as they were wrapping up one evening.

“I think you’re right!” Leah squealed. They threw themselves into each other’s arms.

“Do you think you’d consider it?” Sky said for the dozenth time. “Just consider making a living as a musician? With me?”

Leah took a deep breath. “I’m thinking about it. It’s just such a big leap of faith. I’m not sure I’m ready.” Then she looked deep into Sky’s eyes. “But I think I know one thing I AM ready for.”

Sky gulped. “Really? With me?” She was exhilarated and terrified all at the same time.

Leah giggled. “Who else do you think I’d want to do it with? I only have eyes for you.”

“You’re amazing,” Sky breathed. “And beautiful. And sexy. And a whole bunch of adjectives I can’t think of right now.” And she lost herself in Leah’s kisses.

Then, abruptly, she pulled back, looking embarrassed. “Um,” she said. “There’s this problem of where. My bedroom is so tiny.”

Leah pulled her close. “Then let’s get creative.”

And they did.

“Oh, hey,” Charles said when he came downstairs the next morning. “I thought you’d gone home.”

“Ah,” Leah said, casting about for where Sky had gone. “No, I, um, didn’t”

Charles raised his eyebrows. “Ah, I see. Well, I hope you and Sky had a very nice time.”

Well THAT was awkward.


Sky and Leah really are very cute together :).

5.0 Passing the Torch to Sky

Charles sat down at the academy to work on some financial records and was met with a nasty surprise.

“Yes!” Forest said to himself as his smartphone pinged that his trap was sprung. “I set that trojan last year. How often does Dad run his finances anyway?”

“You have got to be kidding me,” was Charles’s only response. “An ape?”

Veronica was busy with a new invention that helped the stove learn how to make better meals and teach the chefs.

“But wait!” she suddenly exclaimed to thin air. “We’re forgetting something important.” She dove for her phone and scheduled a party.

It was to be held in the clubhouse of the Little Cottage Park. All the extended family was invited. Darrin Wu-Ursine arrived with the happy regards of his pregnant wife Azaela, Zahn Wu’s niece.

Shanni was still kicking. “I wouldn’t miss this for the world!” she declared. “Nothing tells you’re old like watching your great niece and nephews grow up.”

She was approaching 100, had raised two families, and didn’t look a day over 80.

Oh, and of course there were a couple of party crashers who just showed up to get free cake.

This time, Sky took the first turn.

Though nobody said it explicitly, everyone knew that she would be the one to care for her parents in their advancing age and carry on the family line. Why? Close families just know these things sometimes.

Then it was Hunter’s turn.

He and Sky met eyes across the room and shared a private smile that was all their own.

And at last Forest, who had dashed over to the party after work in his bookstore clerk uniform, or as he liked to call it, his “monkey suit.”

During the mad scramble for cake and ice cream, the three siblings of honor carved out a place for themselves together.

“This is it,” Sky said. “Now we’re going to go out to live in the big scary adult world together. Do you think we can handle it?” It was kind of a trick question. Sky knew exactly what she wanted to do with her life, and the fact that she could finally start doing it made her giddy with excitement.

“I’m ready for the challenge,” Hunter said. “Life is all about finding beauty, and I think I’ve learned a lot about how to look this year.” Indeed, this kid who had barely managed to get out of middle school without being held back a grade had finished Round Table Culinary Institute near the top of his class. Hunter was just as quiet as always, but it was a more confident quiet than it once was.

Forest just smiled that unsettling smile of his and took another bite of cake.


And here it is! Generation 5!!! Can you believe it? I’m not sure I can.

I have to actually update the Story So Far page, which needs pretty much Charles’s entire life story.

I included the bits in the beginning because Charles did autonomously trigger some prank that had been set on the academy computer while I wasn’t watching. Then Forest got a “Successful prank!” moodlet while he was at school. I guess he must’ve set it while he was at the academy peeing himself while talking to Ali, though I hadn’t realized he’d gone that long on autonomy. I found the whole little episode very entertaining.

Sky and Hunter’s age-up looks were actually pretty good, just not suitable to their personalities. Forest’s, on the other hand, was the kind of sim awesomeness that makes me wonder if my ISBI should follow DragonWife’s a make all the idiots dress themselves. Get a load of that kilt.

I cannot believe Hunter aged up so hot. *fans self*

Oh, and it turned out that Shanni was bugged, and it took me a long time to discover it. SP thought she was dead, but somehow her death sequence didn’t complete, and she was stuck wandering around town essentially immortal. I’ve caught that happening to two more sims since (Martin Luther Butterfield-Callender and Willem Yo, if you’re curious.) In fact, I’m not completely sure if ANY sim who dies off-screen is actually dying. The only way I found to fix it was to click a sim who is actually on the screen and use the sim’s NRaas menu to force kill her, which I did I think the next time she came up. But the good news is that she had a *very* long life, and she saw her eldest daughter with Jeanna age into a teen.

4.55 Enchanted Evening

Ada and Alberto Sample-Royale welcomed their son Tomas into the world with an after-the-fact baby shower.

“Don’t bring gifts, but wear your swimsuits!” Ada exclaimed on the phone. “It will be fun!”

“I didn’t think you had a pool,” Charles said.

“We don’t have a pool. Why would you think we had a pool?”

“Never mind.”

The party was in the evening, which seemed like an odd schedule for a baby.

“Isn’t it past Tomas’s bedtime?” Veronica asked in passing.

“Oh, he sleeps all day and is awake during the night.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Veronica said, remembering the difficult days when the triplets had been babies.

Ada looked puzzled. “Why are you sorry? Do you need to sleep too?”

Veronica smiled. Insanity aside, Ada and Alberto were both self-employed, so maybe the kid’s sleep schedule really didn’t bother them.

Tomas wiggled and gurgled and did adorable baby things on his play mat while everyone cooed at him.

The only one who wasn’t cooing was Jeremiah, who wasn’t pleased about loosing his place as Ada and Alberto’s baby.

It had been such a long time since Charles had held a baby. He dandled his nephew and reminisced about how delightful little ones were without a shred of irony. Parents are so forgetful about the baby stage.

Maybe all the sleep deprivation helps keep the long-term memories from forming. Probably better for everyone.

Once Tomas had gone to bed, Charles and Veronica found a good use for their swimwear.

Prom had rolled around, and Hunter still wasn’t sure what he was going to do. He had no date and no prospects of one, and the idea of standing around feeling self-conscious in a loud, dark room filled with other teenagers gave him shivers. But everyone talked about prom. Perhaps it would be better to go, even if he had a bad time, just so he wouldn’t regret it later.

But wow, it was a lot of people all in one place.

Then, while visiting the dog park with Enigma the morning before the dance, he found an unexpected answer.

Eliana Baerwyn, who was the class a year behind Hunter in school. She met his eyes from across the park, then dropped her gaze with a flush. It was like an electric shock ran through Hunter. He stumbled over a rock, a clump of grass, and a dog bowl trying to get closer to her.

“Hi,” he said. “You’re, um, here early.”

“I had to bring PJ back in time for me to get ready for prom.”

Hunter cringed inside. “So you’re going too?”

She nodded. “Weston Mentary asked me.” She sighed. Then she perked up. “Are you going? Maybe I’ll see you there!”

Hunter gulped. “Sure I’m going! I don’t have a date, but all kinds of people go stag.”

She beamed “I’m so glad.”

An hour passed while they talked about their dogs. Eliana glanced at her watch and gasped. “I have to go get ready!”

“Oh!” Hunter exclaimed. “Goodbye!”

“I’ll see you in a few hours!” Eliana cried as she dashed away.

Well that settled that. Now he had to come up with something to wear.

When he returned to the house, Sky and Forest’s dates were already there. Apparently everyone was going to change in the basement.

Leah was gushing with anticipation, but Ali was mostly quiet and distant. There was some kind of tension between her and Sky that he didn’t understand.

Then everyone scurried away to do their hair and makeup.

Veronica and Charles were thrilled to help Hunter dig up something that wouldn’t embarrass him at prom. It turned out that an old coat of Charles’s worked pretty well, and though Hunter carried more weigh than his father, you wouldn’t notice if he left it unfastened.

“You look dashing,” Veronica said. “My baby is growing up to be such a ladykiller!”


Charles gave his son an elbow nudge. “She’s just teasing you. Have a good time.”

All right then. Showtime.

Well, Forest and Sky had a perfect evening.

For Hunter, it was pretty much the way he expected. It was dark, the music was loud, and he couldn’t work up the nerve to ask anyone to dance. Lots of them were there stag, but they weren’t the kind of people who usually talked to him.

Well, at least he’d never wonder if he’d missed the pinnacle of teenagerhood because he didn’t go.

As the dance let out, he was the first one out the door, and he hung around the schoolyard waiting for his lovestruck brother and sister to finish lingering over the last dance.

“Hey,” came a quiet voice.

“Eliana! I thought you’d be in there dancing with Weston.”

Eliana blushed. “Well, you know, it’s really loud in there. It really wasn’t my thing.”

Hunter was so wrapped up in talking to Eliana that he didn’t even notice when Forest and Sky emerged with their dates, waved to him, gave up, and headed home without him.

In fact, he didn’t notice till the curfew police showed up to round up the stragglers and drag them home.

Veronica was a tornado. “We helped you go to prom, and you get dropped off by the cops! This is the kind of thanks we get!”

“I’m so sorry,” Hunter begged. “I just got to talking to this girl, and I lost track of time…”

Veronica’s face lit up. “You were talking to a girl? Well, that’s different!”

“You’re a nut, Mom, but I love you.”

“The feeling’s mutual.”

Forest, Hunter, and Sky all dragged themselves to bed at dawn, then slept late the next morning with excited romantic dreams dancing through their heads.


And this, believe it or not, is the LAST POST for Generation 4.

I was starting to wonder if I was going to get to play prom. It ran on the last day before the triplets aged up, and some glitch canceled it, so I had to restore from a previous save and do a Reset Homeworld. Turns out that’s a very useful option buried in the NRaas menus on City Hall. I think it was under MasterController.

As it was, the crowd in front of the school was such that I could barely get all three through the door before prom was over. Speaking of the bad routing behavior in this game. I really hope they work on that in Sims 4. I pretty much had to choose who would get actual time at the dance, and Hunter lost out. He was only there for about 10 sim-minutes, but he got his picture.

I’d kind of hoped that the prom would pair Hunter up with someone, but as it turned out he had this lightning flash from the attraction system on the day of the dance anyway. Eliana is a 10 out of 10, and he finds her “Devastatingly attractive.”

The next post will be birthdays. Woo.

4.54 Leisure

Leisure Day dawned on Avalon.

Charles was up at dawn to catch the plumpest fish.

When he made it home with his catch, Veronica was waiting for him. “We are going to thumb our noses at old age,” she said.

“What do you have in mind?” Charles asked warily. Veronica was the one prone to midlife crisis.

She laughed. “Something wild and crazy, but you’ll like it,” she said. She loaded him up into the Vaguester, and off they zoomed.

“This is Tinkerbell’s Beautique,” Charles said.

“I knew you were a smart boy,” Veronica agreed.

The plan was to be inked together as a sort of romantic tribute to each other. Charles hadn’t gotten a tattoo in a long time, and Veronica was right — he liked the idea.

But a little help to dull the pain wouldn’t hurt.

It turned out that he and one of the tattoo artists had a lot in common.

Veronica had to haul him away to actually choose a design.

They settled on an Avalonian flying mouse. Veronica loved the imagery of a creature flying free.

Charles appreciated the fact that it was an endangered species.

When they were done, someone recognized Veronica from her lecture series on the spirit world.

It was nice to have a name for yourself.

Forest, Hunter, and Sky hooked up with their Crumplebottom cousins for a trip to the Little Cottage Park for the Summer Festival.

Jeanna was staying home to rest. “She’s pregnant,” Shanni confided in stunned excitement. “I can’t believe she wanted to have my baby. She never ceases to amaze me.”

Shanni might be elderly, but you wouldn’t know it to watch her behave. When Forest saw Ali walk into the park, he slipped away to talk to her, and Shanni took his place.

Every moment with her these days was worth enjoying.

You just never knew when it would be the last.

Forest was completely captivated by Ali. She was the most amazing creature he had ever owned.

The best part was that the spell hadn’t changed her at all. She was the same brilliant imagination and ambitious business mind. It was just that now, the sun rose and set in his eyes. He could talk to her for hours and never run out of things to talk about.

Sky saw them together, gazing into each other’s eyes, and she thought of Adam. As the water balloon fight broke up, she headed over, breathless and dripping, to join the conversation. “Hey there, Ali!” she quipped. “I’ve been seeing you around a lot recently, and I wanted to know your intentions toward my brother.”

Forest rolled his eyes. “Come ON, sis.”

“Well, I was really talking to Ali,” Sky said. “Ali? What’s up? How’s it going?”

Ali blinked and turned disdainful eyes on Sky. “Excuse me? I’m kind of busy here.”

“Nothing,” Sky said coldly. Wow, she really was a bitch. What did Adam see in her?

She stalked off and grabbed Hunter by the arm. “Come on,” she said. “We’re going roller skating.”

“*I*’m going to roller skate?” Hunter scoffed. “You have got to be kidding.”

Then he saw Miyuki Mai turn up with skates, and he changed his mind.

Ali had to head home, and Forest tried a bit of skating himself. He turned out to be better at it than either Sky or Hunter.

Charles and Veronica showed up, with freshly swollen tattoos to join in the last of the fun.

Hunter struggled a few times around the roller rink, and when he saw Miyuki take a break, he jumped at the chance to get off and talk to her. The excuse to take off the wheeled shoes of death was a great way to overcome his shyness.

“Hey,” he said.

“Hey,” Miyuki answered.

All right, Forest and Sky could do it. What did he have to lose? All she could says was no. And laugh in his face. But let’s be reasonable. Miyuki wasn’t the kind of girl to laugh in his face.

“I want you to know I really like you,” Hunter said. “Really. A lot. A whole lot.”

Dang it, get your foot out of your mouth already! “I mean — are you going to prom with anyone?”

“Wow, Hunter, you’re such a great guy,” Miyuki said. She didn’t look happy, though. She looked embarrassed.

“But you’re going with someone else?” Hunter prompted despondently.

“I wish I were going with you,” Miyuki said, “but i just don’t like you like that. I can’t. You see– I was going to ask Alice Bookabet, but she already has a date.”

“Oh,” Hunter said. “Oh! I see. Yeah, I guess it wouldn’t work out.” He didn’t know whether to feel good that she didn’t laugh at him or embarrassed that he didn’t catch the hint earlier that she only liked girls.

“You should go anyway,” Miyuki said. “You don’t have to have a date to go to the dance. I’m going to go without one. You never know what might happen.”

“Thanks,” Hunter said. “I’ll think about it.”


It turns out that StoryProgression rolled Miyuki was gay, so poor Hunter’s crush was never going to work out.

I’m not sure why Charles’s new tattoo is not on the shot of him eating a snowcone. I could have sworn it was taken after his trip to the tattoo parlor.

Charles and Veronica both rolled wishes to get a tattoo at about the same time, so I thought it would be fun if they got matching ones as part of aging up.

I am very displeased with how the tattoo turned out on Charles, which I’ll probably fix with MasterController rather than making a plot item. It’s a really cute image, and it looks good on Veronica (need a pic), but apparently the tattoos only look good on that metal skintone at maximum opacity.

I haven’t seen anything in StoryProgression updates from Ariel in ages. I think she’s still seeing Puzzle, and now they’re living together. Apparently she doesn’t roll romantic wishes here either. But she REALLY has the hots for Charles. Heh.