Tag Archive | edmund

7.26 A different kind of person

Andria was waiting on the steps when Winston and Vickie returned from Barnacle Bay. “How was your vacation?” she asked, a sly look in her eye.

“The diving there was beautiful,” Vickie said. “I’ve never seen crystal caves like that…”

“And what about that boy of yours? Roderick is his name? Did you have fun with him?”

“Yeeeess… What are you getting at, Mom?”

“I just think he seems like a nice boy,” Andria said. “Maybe the kind of boy to settle down with and, you know, give me some grandkids.”

“Mom!” Vickie said. “That is way too personal!”

“I’m just not getting any younger,” Andria said. “I thought you could use a reminder.”

Vickie decided to go sailing for the rest of the day.

On the spur of the moment, Gamora called her dad and invited him to dinner. She and Sawyer didn’t see each other nearly as much as they used to.

“It’s nice to see you, but you don’t have to eat food to keep me company,” Sawyer said.

Gamora shrugged. “I like the irony of a plant chewing on meat.”

Gamora caught up on Sawyer’s genetic research, and she shared some carefully curated insights from the future. Neither of them brought up Gamora’s mother Manisha or the asteroid that had strangely hit her house. Gamora had to admit that it felt good. Her father was the closest she really had to a loved one, and she was aware of that in a way she’d never been before.

“We should do this more often,” she said as they got up to leave. “I want to know what the rainbow radiation does to your siminovium bacteria cultures.”

Sawyer opened his mouth to share more bacteria trivia when a fanfare erupted on the patio.

“You played the lottery,” Sawyer said. “And won?”

“I did!” Gamora crowed. “Isn’t it amazing?” She looked very pleased with herself and not nearly surprised enough.

Sawyer, on the other hand, didn’t look pleased at all.

“You did this with knowledge from the future!” he shouted at her. “Do you know what this could do to the space-time continuum? We could all dissolve into our component molecules? How dare you take that risk for some extra funding!”

“Oh that’s just great!” Gamora shouted back. “Can you give me a little credit? How stupid do you think I am? When is the last time you solved a tachyon combustion equation anyway?”

“I don’t do research that could blow up human lives,” Sawyer snarled.

“You did with me!”

They stood there for a long moment, staring at each other. Gamora could tell that underneath Sawyer’s scowl, her barb had hit home.

“I didn’t grow you to hurt anyone,” he said quietly. “I grew you because I wanted a child. A child who was just as special as I could make with science.”

“Wait,” she said. “I don’t want to fight. It’s not what you think.”

Sawyer let out his breath with a whoosh. “If you give me more data, I can think something else.”

“The future has already been contaminated,” Gamora said. She couldn’t bring herself to admit that it might be her fault. “I want to fix things, and the lottery is the first step. I wasn’t even sure that I’d be able to use information from the current future to inform this present. This experiment proves that the rest of my plans should work.”

Sawyer pondered this for a moment. “If what you say is true, it has enormous consequences to the Theory of the Immutability of Time Travel,” he said. “I won’t interfere with your scientific work, but I’d appreciate it if none of us die of time paradox.”

“You won’t,” Gamora said. “I’m going to make sure of it.”

Sawyer nodded. “1.5 million simoleons is a lot of money,” he said.

Gamora grinned. “Yes. It’s a lot more than I was expecting. With this kind of funding, I can expand my project.”

She bade her father goodbye and jumped on her hoverboard to return to her lab. She thought about Sawyer and Manisha and Manisha’s husband and their adopted kid. She heard Emit’s accusatory voice and remembered the trash piled up in the polluted haze of the future. She wondered which exact choices she had made were the most important to this time stream.

If she’d been a different kind of person, perhaps one who placed more value on her impact on others, what might have gone differently?

She wondered.

Vickie ventured back to the house around dinnertime. She found Winston in the living room, ready to leave for an evening performance. He looked anything but psyched to perform.

“Still no word from Luisa?” she asked?

Winston shook his head. “She’s not going to call,” he said. “I don’t know how I misread that whole situation. Why didn’t she just say she wasn’t into me? I thought… wow, I thought we really connected. I wish I knew what I did that drove her away.”

“Maybe she didn’t want to fight for your attention from all the other girls,” Vickie tried to tease him, but the look on his face told her that was a bad call.

Winston scowled. “I’m not that much of a player,” he said.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “There’s nothing wrong with you. I know you’ll find someone, and she’ll be lucky to have you for a boyfriend. Maybe… Luisa didn’t think she could handle something long-distance, but she didn’t want to wreck the moment when you were both having a such a good time. …Maybe she couldn’t facing hurting you when she could see what a great guy you were.”

Winston gave her a probing look. “Things are not going well with Rod, are they?” he asked.

Vickie cringed. “I didn’t mean to make this conversation all about me.”

“Here’s to two wrecks on the love train.”

Edmund waited patiently at the market until nearly midnight. The plaza was nearly deserted, save for a few sims who drifted in and out according to the theater’s schedule.

Finally his quarry arrived.

Edmund placed a bookmark in his book and rose deliberately. “Anton Pierce!” he called across the plaza.

The other man looked around to see who was calling him. “That’s my name,” he growled. “Or so they tell me.”

“You’ve troubled Avalon for more than three generations,” Edmund said. “Your time is up.”

Anton met Edmund’s gaze with unnerving, luminescent eyes. “Oh. Now I understand. I heard of you and what you did to Marisella Flynn. I wondered when I would see you.”

“I’m going to clean up this town, one vampire at a time,” Edmund said. “Now is your turn.”

Before Anton could react, he raised his hands.

Anton was caught mid-strike. Terror flashed across a face that had not shown fear in a very long time.

As the magic enveloped him, color returned to his deathly skin, and the glow in his eyes faded. He let out a surprised sound, half-grunt, half-growl.  “Yarrrrgh… that–”

“This feels amazing…”

“I– I never thought I’d be saying this,” Anton stammered. “But thank you. I had forgotten what it was like to be alive. It’s wonderful.”

Edmund smiled. “I didn’t expect to say this either, but you’re welcome.”

Anton took a deep breath, clearly relishing the air in his lungs.

Without another word, he got back into his car and drove away.


Andria met Victoria at the front steps after her return from vacation travel to ask her for grandchildren. Way to go, mom. LOL.

The whole winning the lottery animation is bizzarre. You get showered with confetti and a gigantic check appears from nowhere. There are no other sims involved. There wasn’t much of a way to build a story around that, so I just hung a lampshade on it.

Edmund is actually using the strong cure elixirs made by Andria to cure vampirism. Cure elixirs are supposed to apply to his Healer LTW. Unfortunately, it appears that the ONLY thing that applies to this wish is reversing transformation curses. Too bad. So out-of-story his doing a lot of transforming sims in and out of frog state.

7.25 All the romance

Dawn in Oasis Landing was pretty much the same as dusk – orange-gray hazy and the stink of pollution.

Gamora was ready to put this place behind her. Permanently.

Gamora rose early, not that early and late looked all that different. She had one more place to go before she returned to the time machine — the Oasis Landing Library.

She needed to now a lot more about the future history that brought her here.

That errand finished, she found herself on the roof of the visitor’s center, staring again at the enigmatic glow of Emit Relevart’s little holiday project.

“All right,” she said to herself. “I hope this works.”

And then she was home, with a backache this time.

“Are you here for the Simfeset?” the asked the proprietor of Coffee Under the Sea. “What name should I put on the list?”

“Twisted Tiberious,” Winston said brightly. “Maybe you’ve heard of me.”

The proprietress chuckled as she pocketed his entry fee. “Nope, and I never heard of that guy either. You’re up after the magic act.”

Winston had to admit that Josie Sample-Ursine’s performance was getting pretty polished these days.

The vanishing cabinet routine still could use some work, though.

Winston hated to admit it, but watching Josie screw up made him feel more confident. If the vanishing-cabinet-that-wasn’t was the best he was up against, this contest was his to lose.

Which he did.

The prize went to Daniel Ibari.

When Winston trudged home for a shower, he found Gamora and Victoria’s boyfriend having a shouting match on the porch.

“I don’t care who you’re sleeping with, you step on my flowers, I will cut you!”

“So, you live her too? Vickie didn’t say anything about a wicked — is your hair made out of leaves?”

“None of your business!”

Winston shoved his way between them. “Pardon me, I actually do live here.”

When he made it through the door, he found Victoria standing in the middle of the living room, glowering at her phone. “I have got to get out of here for a while,” she declared.

“I’m coming with you,” said Winston.

“Did someone say vacation?” Roderick chimed in. “I’ve heard you plan some truly amazing vacations.”

So she took them to Barnacle Bay, a lovely seaside village turned resort town.

Gamora was not invited, but she made it clear she had other plans anyway.

Victoria found them rooms at The Blue Bridle Inn, a cozy bed and breakfast that had been renovated in recent years and now billed itself as a luxury hotel.

“Let’s drop our bags behind the counter and get out on the water!” Vickie exclaimed as they burst through the front doors.

Rod grabbed hold of her hand. “Let’s check out our rooms first,” he said. Vickie shrugged and allowed him to lead her up the stairs, hauling her rollerbag behind her.

He opened the door with a flourish, and Vickie looked around. Rod puffed out his chest. “I slipped the receptionist a 20 and got us the honeymoon suite,” he said.

“This is our first trip away as a couple. I want us to have all the romance.” He pulled her into his arms.

Victoria fumbled with her bag. “Um, just give me a sec,” she said, finding a corner to stash it behind her. “Now I’m ready.” Roderick grinned a pulled her in for a kiss.

“You sure you want to go back outside?” he murmured in her ear. “The bed looks so comfortable.”

Vickie hesitated, processing what he said. Sure, the room looked nice, and the bed might be more comfortable that the one she had at home, but it wasn’t SO different. Why would she go on vacation just to stay inside?

“A bit later?” she asked sheepishly. “We can’t go sailing after the sun goes down.”

Rod’s smile didn’t falter, but his eyes showed his disappointment. “Sure, make me wait,” he teased.

They changed quickly and ran out the back deck to the semi-private beach. Victoria’s face lit up. “They have windsurfing!” She dashed down into the stand where the resort offered complimentary surfboards. Ankle deep in the water, she looked back to Roderick. “Join me?”

“I’ve never windsurfed,” he admitted.

“I could give you some pointers,” Vickie suggested.

“That’s all right. I’m still a bit jetlagged. I’ll just watch you.”

She was on the sea with the wind in her hair within minutes, feeling free as she never did on the shore.

Rod grabbed a cocktail from the bar and sat down to sun himself. As he sipped his drink, his eyes drank in Victoria’s expert movements too and fro across the waves. “She’s amazing,” he whispered to himself. “I’m so lucky.”

Edmund settled for some lower-key swimming.

Winston, on the other hand, was distracted before he made it out the door.

“Hey there,” the hot blonde called as she caught him as he walked past the bar. “New to Barnacle Bay?”

He took in her face and body in a glance and moved closer. “Never been here before in my life. Do you have advice?”

She smirked. “My friend and I were just heading to the hot tub.”

“You know?” that sounds like a great idea to me too.

The rest of the family never really missed him.

The sun was well below the horizon when Vickie returned to the short, and Rod was waiting for her.

“Did you have a nice time?” she asked. “You didn’t have to stay sitting around the whole time.”

Rod waved her worries away. “Not at all. The sun felt wonderful.”

“Well, I’m famished,” Vickie continued. “I wonder what’s at the buffet.”

“So… I was thinking,” Rod said with a twinkle in his eye. “What say we call room service? It’d be nice to get some time alone together on our first night.”

That didn’t seem like such a bad idea. Vickie met his seductive glance with one of her own.

“All right then,” she said. “I think I can be persuaded.” She blew him a kiss.

“Is it getting hot in here?” Rod asked, fanning himself. He took her hand, and she could barely get up the stairs fast enough.

At the top of the stairs, Roderick held the door to the honeymoon suite open for her. “Ladies first.”

Vickie laughed. “Don’t be full of such crap.”

He looked into her eyes, the teasing crinkle smoothing from the edges of his to show the longing he tried to keep hidden. He adored to the depths of his soul, and she could feel it. He drew close to her, and she nestled into his arms. “Is it all right?” he asked in a small voice. “I don’t mean to be a jerk.”

She rested her head on his shoulder and breathed in the scent of him. “No,” she said. “You’re being sweet.

She pulled away and drew them to the bed.

This part, this part felt good. They fit together so well.

Vickie had to admit that Rod had been right. This place, and this bed, were a very nice place to spend part of her vacation.

As they came up for air, Roderick drew back and gazed into her eyes. “Oh, Victoria,” he whispered. “I love you.”

She froze. “You… I mean I…”

“Shh,” Rod said, “You don’t have to say anything.”

So she didn’t. She let her mind shut off and fell back into the easy part, the part that always felt right.

But she lay awake, curled against him, long after she could feel the gentle rise and fall of his breath as he slept.

He loved her. What did it mean? What should she do? What was she supposed to feel?

Was this what love felt like?

She rose at dawn. Rod murmured muzzy nonsense against her lips as she kissed him.

Then she grabbed her gear and made out to the beach for an early dive.

The air was chill, and thick mist rolled in from the sea.

But the fabled undersea crystal canyon glittered with its own light.

It was just as beautiful as she’d been led to believe.

Back at the hotel, Winston made it downstairs as far as the masseur.

Then he spent some time at the bar, which was hosting a karaoke night…. well, karaoke afternoon.

After a few drinks, he teamed up with a local sim to sing a few ballads.

He thought she’d said her name was Luisa Libros. She was pretty hot. Oh, and she had a pretty good voice.

At least he thought so. The peanut gallery wasn’t so sure.

He thought he felt a connection, but there had been so MANY hot women at the resort he’d connected with. She headed out before he could ask for her number.

Edmund took in the view from his room and pondered the meaning of life.

When Victoria returned from diving, she found Roderick in an alcove off of the dining room.

“Did you realize they have a  screening theater here?” he told Vickie excitedly. “The proprietress says they host a film festival in the fall. We should totally come back then! Here, you should really see this. This director uses light like I’ve never seen. It’s almost film noire, except not really.”

“Oh, wow,” Vickie said. “I’m so glad you had a good time. But did you go outside at all?”

Rod blushed. “Well, I… no, no I didn’t. Their film collection has some classics I’ve never seen before.”

“Wow,” she said.

He patted the seat beside him. “You should sit down and rest. I’d love to share this film with you.”

“Thanks,” she said, “But I’m pretty tired after diving, and I’m crusted with salt. I’ll see you at dinner.”

They called an early night.

Which was a good thing because a couple of drunk regulars woke everyone up with a loud pillow fight at one AM.

Winston was back in the hot tub for the evening when he was met with a surprise.

“Luisa? I thought you went home!”

“I did go home silly. It wasn’t far away. I thought I’d come back and see if you were still around.”

“I’m still around,” Winston said. “Definitely still here!”

She turned out to be just as fun as she was hot. They were up late, laughing and talking.

He couldn’t imagine the vacation could go better.

In the morning, Vickie caught Winston at breakfast. “How was the night?” she asked slyly. “You sure seemed to be having a great time when I went to bed. Who was the girl?”

“Luisa,” Winston said, “And… I think I need to spend more time in this town. Maybe a lot more time.”

“My wild and crazy brother couldn’t be taking some girl seriously?” she asked.

“Come on,” Winston wheedled. “I’m not that wild and crazy.”

“Says you.”

“I’m really not feeling so hot,” Rod admitted. “I think I’m coming down with something. Air travel, the hotel, you just never know what you might be exposed to.”

“Don’t worry about me, though. There’s a special screening this afternoon, and I hear they booked the mayor.”

Vickie leaned in to kiss him, then thought the better of it. “Just so long as you’re having a good time,” she said.

“Don’t worry about me,” Rod said. “Everything your brothers told me about your vacationing is true. I’m having a fabulous time.”

So she left him watching a science fiction robot thriller

and went cave diving.

Winston spent his last evening in Barnacle Bay out under the stars with Luisa.

“I’d really like to see more of you,” he told her earnestly.

She gave him a secretive smile. “Well, you have my number.”

“I’ll call as soon as I get home.”

“I’ll be here.”

He did call as soon as he was back in his room. The phone number she gave him connected to a local restaurant.

He never saw her again, and he never found out why.


I wrote a post! I wrote a post!

Yeah… so Winston and Luisa REALLY hit it off. I thought he’d finally found The One and was going to get into a serious relationship.

The NRaas Traveler erased their entire relationship when he returned home. Sadly, the whole travel process was glitchy going and coming.

I’m sure that if I sent him back, the whole romance would have been right there waiting for him, but I took it as a sign that the story was going somewhere else.

7.23 The Butterfly Effect

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

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

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

And each other.

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

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

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

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

Rain began to fall on their shoulders.

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

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

“I’ll call you,” he said.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The bartender busted out his best moves.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I’m too wet to notice,” Andria said.

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

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

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

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

Just as well. This was more fun.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gamora froze. “I didn’t realize.”

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

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


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

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

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

7.22 Ashes to Ashes, Life from Death

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

The funeral was held at the local Cemetery.

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

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

When his eulogy was over, Danial finally broke down.

Vickie rushed to him and wrapped him in her arms.

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

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

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

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

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

 

“I think I found it!” Edmund whispered.

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

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

Perfect.

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

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

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

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

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

He traveled as fast as his broom could take him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Then…. NOW!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

7.21 In one place

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now payback time had finally arrived.

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

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

That, however, was not it.

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


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

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

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!

7.18 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.