Tag Archive | forest

5.45 Black and White Limousines

Prom day was here.

There were no more streamers to hang in the school gym. The vote had been held for the theme song. (“Unforgettable.” Again.) The ballots for prom king and queen had been distributed.

Dylan was finally left with enough time to be nervous.

He was going stag. That was no big deal. Half his friends were too. But what were they going to do? Hang out by the punch bowl and talk about the newspaper? Should he try to ask someone to dance. What if someone asked HIM to dance? What should he do?

“She promised me she was going to call you!” Abby snapped at Dylan. She seemed genuinely frustrated.

“What, my secret admirer?” Dylan asked.

“Of course. She just checked with me yesterday to be sure you still didn’t have a date. If she thinks I’m going to all the work to get you two together, she has another thing coming. I can help. I’m a good friend, but friendship only goes so far. This is trying my patience.”

Sawyer looked both perplexed and disgusted. “Why do you have to keep this stuff a secret from each other?” he asked. “Isn’t that like lying?”

“You’ll understand when you’re older.”

“I have no intention of behaving like an idiot when I’m your age,” Sawyer replied.

“On second thought,” Abby said, “maybe you won’t.”

Dion came to pick up Abby. He brought flowers and wore his best duds. Abby bestowed on him a radiant smile to show how much she approved. Dylan averted his eyes. He’d seen her practice that smile dozens of times in front of the mirror. It wasn’t nearly as spontaneous as it looked.

Abby herself had gone shopping for her prom dress no fewer than ten times, and she had four runner-up dresses still in her closet. It had to be earth tones to warm up her severe silver complexion, green to set off her hair, show skin but not too much skin, and accent her figure to best advantage.

Dylan had been in charge of renting the limousine, of course. Abby had pressured him to borrow the Marmalade staff limo. He’d refused to bring anything like that up to his mum, but in the end his Stepmom Plum had offered to let him use it.

Dylan kept to a classic look for himself, though he hated having anything around his neck.

Sawyer was just as happy to have his older siblings out of the house. While they were gone, there was a 100% reduction in teen angst.

He spent most of the evening figuring out how to disassemble the family cow toy.

When it got to be about time to return, he he decided to be somewhere else. He expected Dylan and Abby to be just as emotional as they had been when they left, and dealing with drama was so exhausting.

Now that the weather was cold, Avalon Springs was his favorite place.

It was beautiful, and nobody wanted to swim there when it was cold. He could work on his scientific experiments in peace.

Abby and Dylan were back just exactly at curfew. Both of them were bursting with emotion, just as Sawyer had predicted.

“I told you! I told you that you had an admirer!” Abby crowed.

Dylan was still dazed. “I probably would never have known if you didn’t force her to ask me for a dance.”

The girl in question was Corrina Shepherd, who sat next to Dylan in math. Early in the semester, she’d asked Dylan to copy his math homework, and he told her in no uncertain terms that he would not be a party to cheating. Those were the last words they’d exchanged until prom night when, under Abby’s thread of revealing her secret crush, she’d asked Dylan to dance. Then, on the dance floor, she’d confessed her feelings to him. They’d been inseparable for the rest of the night.

They were both too excited to sleep, so they grabbed breakfast before heading to bed.

“I really shouldn’t have been so worried about being voted prom queen,” Abby chattered cheerfully. “I mean, when you look at the running, I didn’t have that much competition. A sophisticated sense of style will always show through. And do you know that Dion asked me to be his girlfriend? He even called it ‘going steady!’ So quaint! He’s adorable, really. Of course, I said yes, but I don’t know how long I really want to tie myself down… Dylan? Are you listening?”

“I was just wondering what to do now,” Dylan admitted. “You never seem to worry about these things. But I’m just not sure if Corinna is the right girl.”

“She doesn’t have to be the right girl!” Abby exclaimed. “How will you know if you don’t try her on for size? Do you really expect to marry the first girl you date? You need to get some dating experience.”

Dylan thought of his mama, who had plenty of dating experience. Too much. All that experience certainly hadn’t helped Sky make good decisions. He saw his mum crying every night while his parents’ marriage fell apart, and he swore then he would never play games with someone else’s heart. When he made a commitment to a woman, he was going to abide by it. When he fell in love, it would be forever.

After she heard that all three children were safely in bed, Sky got up and headed downstairs to wait for Forest to come home. He was even more nocturnal now than he used to be. If she didn’t try hard, she never saw him at all.

“I wanted you to know that our house was broken into again,” she said. “You told me that we wouldn’t have to worry about that anymore.”

“I’m well aware of the problem,” Forest admitted. “I thought that I had my nemesis… under control… but it appears that he is more determined than I gave him credit for. It’s most impressive.”

“Impressive to you, maybe,” Sky retorted. “My children live here. I’m not going to let them be pawns in your power games.”

“I know, I know,” Forest said. “It may not look like it, but I do take my niece and nephews welfare very seriously. I have been thinking hard on this, and I believe I’ve devised a plan that will take my problems out of your life completely.”

“You’re kidding me,” Sky said.

Forest smiled wickedly, though he kept his lips pressed together. Sky never saw him grin openly anymore. There was something about him these days that gave her the chills, and that was saying a lot for a ghost woman.

“Yes,” Forest said. “I’ve been working under the belief for years that you would be safest with me here to protect you. I think the rules of the game have changed now, however. Now it’s time for the mountain to go to Mohammed.”

He seemed almost luminous when he said it. Sky’s blood ran cold. She didn’t know if she was sad or eager when she said, “Are you trying to say that you’re moving out?”

“Yes,” Forest agreed. “That’s exactly what I’m saying. I think I you’ll be safer now if I see personally to the containment of my nemesis.”

“You’re going to live with him?”

“As a manner of speaking. I think it’s going to be very entertaining for both of us.”

“I don’t even trying to understand you anymore, brother,” Sky said, shaking her head. “If moving in with your enemy will be fun for you and keep your scary business out of our lives, then don’t let me stand in your way.”

Forest chuckled. “It’s all arranged. I’ll be away by dawn.”

“That fast?” Sky said. “Is this goodbye?”

“I’m not going to vanish,” he said. “But I imagine we’ll be seeing a good deal less of each other.”

They stared at each other awkwardly. Then Sky opened her arms, and Forest’s face softened. They folded together in the first hug they’d shared since they were teenagers. “Good luck,” Sky said.

“Thank you for putting up with me all these years,” Forest said. “And most of all, thanks for not asking questions.”

In no more than an hour, Forest left the Sample estate. It was the last day he would call that place home.

But not before he made a few… alterations… to his uniform. The new version suited his sense of style much better.

The black limousine that had once been Sean Flynn’s drove him to the Flynn home. He didn’t warn Sean and Cynthia Flynn that he was coming. That would have spoiled all the fun.

The Flynn home just happened to be the very house that Veronica Sample had built for them with Forest was a teenager. Flynn had bought it a long time ago, and it was hard to believe that he hadn’t done it with Forest in mind.

So Forest’s life came full circle.


Sorry I wrapped Forest’s departure into the prom post. There wasn’t enough of it to really make it its own post.

So we give  fond farewell to Forest. This is very close to the state of gameplay, so he hasn’t had much chance to do much in story progression. I left him and Flynn as love interests just to see what would happen. It appears that Forest and Flynn can carry on their affair right under Flynn’s wife’s nose without any problems. Story Progression is not terribly savvy about these things. Forest also started an on-again-off-again thing with the elderly Jeannette Crumplebottom, who is Shanni’s eldest kid…. Forest’s first cousin once removed, I think. Icky. Jeannette’s a playgirl, though, and nothing will come of it. Plus I think she’s older than Cynthia Winter Flynn.

I lost my notification shots of prom, but it was pretty nondescript. The notable events were the ones I wrote about — Dion asking Abby to go steady and Dylan picking up a love interest. Corrina Shepherd is a babysitter service sim.

5.43 Social Climbing

Abby joined the drama club. She spent most of her free time playing with costuming and practicing her lines.

Dylan wanted to learn to drive. He was now the head student editor of the school newspaper, and he really needed to be able to get places on his own. He had four parents to pester for rides, but it really bothered him to make them schedule their lives around him.

It was prom time. Dylan signed up for the decoration committee. Abby walked the halls between classes with an ambitious sparkle in her eye.

“I’m going to be prom queen,” she confided in Dylan as he drove her home. “Have you thought about running for prom king?”

Dylan frowned. “Why would I want to be prom king? That’s just a popularity contest.”

“And what’s wrong with a popularity contest?” Abby demanded. “Being popular just means everyone likes you. It’s good when everyone likes you.”

“I guess it works for you,” Dylan said.

“Who are you going ask to be your date?”

“You don’t have to have a date to go to prom,” Dylan said. “That’s such an outdated idea.”

Abby gave her brother a sly look. “You never even try to date,” she said. “If you paid any attention at all, you’d probably know that someone in your class has a crush on you.”

Dylan hit the break a little too hard, throwing them against their seatbelts. “You what?”

“You cut a pretty nice figure, brother mine,” Abby said. “Of course somebody noticed.”


Abby tossed her hair. “Not my secret to tell,” she said. “I’m trying to get her to ask you to prom herself.”

One afternoon, Sawyer found the maid in the kitchen.

“I have taken an inventory of the leftovers in the refrigerator,” he told her, “and we are missing two slices of cake. My analysis indicates that you are the most likely to have eaten them.”

The maid was flabbergasted. “What are you talking about? Why would I eat your cake?”

“I don’t know why you ate our cake,” Sawyer said. “Why is irrelevant.”

“This isn’t fair! How do I know you didn’t eat it and are blaming it on me?”

Sawyer gave her a hard look. “Would I really bother telling you this if I ate it?”

She cringed. “Just don’t tell your moms I’ve been eating their food.”

“If it continues, I can’t be responsible for my actions,” Sawyer told her.

Abby thought long and hard on who would take her to the prom. Even though she could win prom queen regardless of who she went with, she knew that the right arm candy could be a big boost to her chances. She needed someone attractive, but not so attractive that he outshined her. It also helped if he had social connections and enough money to really dress up for the occasion.

She decided that her best candidate was Dion Callender-Doctor. She invited him over to her house after school to do homework together.

“Wow,” Dion said when she brought him in. “This is a really nice place.”

“I know, right?” she said. “The Samples have a long legacy. The family records go back to my great-great-great Grandparents, Susie and Connor Sample. She was a music legend, and he was an award-winning author. There are celebrities all over my family tree. We’ve had money for as long as anyone can remember. We’re really kind of like aristocracy.”

“That’s really impressive,” Dion said, though he seemed a little put off. “You wanted to do homework?”

“I know just the place. We have this picturesque arboretum just through that door. I always go there when I want to think clearly.”

Dion seemed to relax when he walked into the beautiful arboretum. “This really is beautiful,” he admitted.

“My mum and Uncle Hunter planted all the flowers,” Abby said.

“So what are you going to write for our history essay on the Fae Infusion Era?” Dion asked, getting out his notebook.

“I already wrote it,” Abby admitted, “but I have so ideas I didn’t want to use if you’d like them.”

Dion wasn’t terribly good at history, and Abby knew it. That’s why she had suggested they were on that subject. He was happy to let her dictate most of his essay for him.

“Thanks so much!” he said when they were done. “You’re really good at this. I think you might have saved my grade.”

Abby smiled graciously. “We make a pretty good team,” she said. “And I was thinking we’d be the most amazing couple at the prom if you would be my date.”

Dion blanched. “Wow,” he said. “I never thought someone as popular as you would ask me to the prom,” he said. “I’m really flattered. The thing is, I was planning to go with Sherman Ursine-Mentary.”

“That sounds really nice, and I know he’s your best friend,” Abby said, “but I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if you had a real date instead.”

Dion scowled. “We weren’t planning on going as friends,” he said.

Abby blanched. “Oh.”

“Look, I’m really flattered. Um, is there any chance you’d like to do something else sometime? Maybe go out to dinner? I think you’re really nice.”

Abby sighed, maybe just a bit theatrically. “I really like you,” she said. “And I just can’t get the thought out of my head of the two of us on the dance floor. I think we’d just be amazing together. I know it’s a terrible thing to ask, but do you think Sherman would be willing to go out with you some other time instead of prom?”

Dion seemed just a bit mesmerized by the picture she painted. “Yeah,” he said slowly, “we would look pretty great together.”

And that’s how Abby Sample landed her date to the prom. It’s also why Sherman Ursine-Mentary stopped speaking to her.

In the wee hours of the morning, when everyone else was asleep, a long black limousine drew up in front of the Sample estate.

Forest Sample stepped out into the pouring rain and thanked his new driver.

It had been an exciting night. Forest had led an army of minions into Sean Flynn’s office and escorted him out of the the underworld lair.

Flynn had been driven out into the rain alone, swearing that he would be back to retake his empire.

Whatever happened in the future, Forest had achieved his life’s ambition.

He was now the Emperor of Evil.


I couldn’t imagine Abby going to the prom without a date, and of course Story Progression has paired almost everyone off. So I had her pick an interesting guy she was heart-farting for and persuaded him to break up with his boyfriend. Dion is the child of January Callender and our Matt Smith/11th Doctor simalike. I’m not sure about his face. We’ll have to see if he grows into it. Have I mentioned how much I love the genetics in my town?

I’m kind of disappointed in the Evil career track. It was really just skilling. I think there should have been some kind of special interaction that you needed to do to get a job metric, like police officers have to file reports. Maybe intimidate people, win fights, or extract protection money.

Ah well. Forest made it. Sadly, this means that he, his bloodlust, and his messed up love affair will soon be leaving this legacy. He hung around a crazy amount for time for a spare, though. Gen 5 is almost over. And I really had him cranking on his LTW almost the whole time.

On the positive side, I have vampire aging on, but he’s still probably going to live for a couple more generations. I think he’s going to become the Sample legacy’s antihero protector.

5.42 Sweet Teen

Sky’s distant cousins the Crumplebottoms filled up Sky’s Sing-A-Gram schedule one week. A secret admirer sent a gift to Holly Crumplebottom-Yo (daughter of Shanni and her second wife Jeanna Yo).

She had grown into a truly beautiful woman with Sky’s great-grandfather Lance’s hair color.

Then Arya Crumplebottom sent her to serenade Garry.

Which met with a technical difficulty.

Xia, meanwhile, was a fighter pilot and training harder than ever.

And it seemed like there was a mountain of schoolwork. Dylan was largely independent, and it was difficult to tell what Sawyer needed, but Abby struggled a lot. Her heart was just not in books, numbers, and dates. Abby was a girl who needed to learn by doing.

Dylan was most fond of Riddle and took on most of his care. Training and grooming Riddle was what he did with most of the time he wasn’t studying.

One morning, Sawyer came down to breakfast to finish his homework in the garden before school.

Dylan did a double take. “What is that? A superhero costume?” he asked.

Sawyer gave him a penetrating stare. “I am simulating a much more intimidating, muscular body. It ought to scare off anyone who wants to stuff me into a locker.”

“Someone is stuffing you into lockers?” Dylan asked, concerned.

Sawyer scowled. “And my head into toilets. It stinks.”

“That has to be humiliating!” Dylan said, alarmed.

“No, I mean it stinks,” Sawyer said. “The toilets stink. I have to wash my hair in the sink or I smell all day.”

Dylan ran to get Sky and Xia. Xia was immediately on the phone to Chivalrous Preparatory School. “I can’t believe they’re letting this happen to a kid! And Sawyer has special needs!”

“I don’t have special needs,” Sawyer said, scowling. “I have a special brain.”

The flurry of parent-teacher meetings was probably how Abby’s birthday was forgotten until it was almost too late.

“I’m so sorry we can’t have a party,” Sky told Abby. “I’ll make it up to you. We’ll have a family trip to the park next week. Tonight I’ll bake you a cake.”

“Dylan got a party!” Abby protested. “Even Sawyer got a party, and he didn’t even like it. This is my big coming out as a high school girl! How can you do this to me!”

“I’m so sorry,” Sky. “I’d throw you a party if I could, but it’s too late, and we just can’t manage it. There has to be something I can do to make it up to you.”

Abby fled to her room to sulk.

It was not Sky’s day at all. When she headed down to the kitchen to bake, she discovered that the dish washer had broken a water line and was spraying soapy water all over. Worse, Sean Flynn was skulking around again. Riddle was at least keeping an eye on him. Sometimes it was really nice to have an overprotective dog.

“Xia!” Sky called out in despair.

Xia appeared, surveyed the situation, and rubbed Sky’s shoulders. “Relax. I know how to fix it.” She got to work and had the water line replaced in no time.

Meanwhile, Sky went to fetch Forest. “Your boy toy or whatever is in my kitchen. Could you do something about him?”

It wasn’t clear what was more disturbing — the state of the kitchen, or the people IN the kitchen.

Sky tried hard to focus on her task. This was her first cake from scratch, and Abby was already upset. The very last thing she could handle was disappointing her little girl any more.

“It’s all right,” Xia said gently. “I have the bakery on speed dial. We can order a professional cake and even pretend you backed it.”

“I’m going to do this myself,” Sky said through gritted teeth. She kept her back to Forest and Flynn while she worked.

The result was so good it amazed even Sky. Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and candied walnuts.

Abby herself perked up when she saw it. “Wow,” Abby she said. “You made that? You worked really hard for me, Mom.”

Sky gave her a hug. “That means a lot to me,” she said.

The family gathered around to welcome Abby into teenagerhood.

“This better be a great cake,” Abby said, “because I’m making a big wish!”

Abby was the first to take a slice. The cake looked as good inside as it did outside. Sky had outdone herself.

Everyone sat down and made delighted slurping noises.

“Thanks, Mom and Mum,” Abby said. “You really came through. Now when do we get to go shopping for birthday presents?”

“Um,” Xia said.


Abby is, at this point: Star Quality, Snob, Perfectionist, Brave. I don’t know what her fifth trait is going to be yet.

Forest and Flynn making out in the kitchen was autonomous and pretty entertaining.

Sawyer has a rough life. Losers get beat up at school and stuffed into lockers :(.

Gotta crank through these! Must. Get. To. Heir. Poll!

5.40 The Other Woman

Just like that, Forest was back at work. He and Flynn never spoke of the battle lines that were being drawn over control of the underworld. In fact, when they were together, they almost never spoke at all.

The day Flynn issued a direct order that Forest successfully countermanded, Flynn sent a furious summons to Forest to come to his office alone. To everyone’s surprise, Forest did so. When he left hours later, he was glad his suit covered up the rug burns. But the two of them hadn’t said a word.

Forest was also making his own booty calls.

This meant that in unguarded moments, Flynn could be found wandering around the Sample estate.

When Forest caught Dylan chatting with Flynn one morning, he took him aside and said in no uncertain terms to stay away. “He might show up in the hall in his boxer shorts, but he’s still dangerous.”

Meanwhile, Sky’s business was booming, but the thrill of the Sing-A-Grams was fading. One morning she had an audition for a wedding singer gig outside the chapel when she was caught completely by surprise.

It ruined her audition, and she lost the job.

Leah Marmalade walked by with barely a look, then seemed to have second thoughts and lingered at the gate, watching Sky.

“Come on!” Plum called. “The party is this way.”

Sky hurried to catch up with Leah without really knowing what she was going to say.

“Uh, hi. I didn’t expect to see you here.”

Leah shrugged uncomfortably. “A couple of friends are getting married,” she said. “It’s not like I stay away just because we’re divorced.”

“You’re having another child,” Sky said. “I guess you’re really happy.” It shouldn’t have hurt, but it did.

“I always wanted to carry a baby,” Leah said bitterly. “With you, I couldn’t because we could never plan anything. You didn’t even like being pregnant.”

Sky looked at the ground. “I’m sorry,” she said.
“Look, I’m going to be late for the ceremony,” Leah said. “You better go away.”

Sky watched her go, her heart squeezed so tight it might break all over again.

Before she went home, she slipped inside the chapel while the wedding was being conducted in the garden to down a glass of punch.

It tasted terrible. Perhaps it served her right.

At home, Xia still stole time on the Ghostwriter fandom forums to read what they said about Sky. Ghostwriter wasn’t performing as many gigs as it used to, and the forum had dwindled. The board on Sky’s woohoo life had few real observations these days and was mostly filled with wild speculation.

With Xia training hard as a fighter pilot and Sky performing in the evenings, Dylan spent a lot of time looking after Sawyer. Sky argued with him about it; they had plenty of money for a babysitter, and he shouldn’t be wasting his teenage years.

Dylan wouldn’t hear of it. “This is the proper thing for me to do,” he insisted.

“At least let us pay you for your time,” Sky insisted.

“Well, that’s not appropriate. You shouldn’t pay me for just doing what I should. We’re family.”

Sky took to slipping extra money in his wallet. Dylan must have noticed, but he let her do it.

In addition to the extra babysitting, Dylan became a photographer for the school newspaper. He spent his unauthorized babysitting money on a nice camera and spent long hours working on layout.

And after THAT, he took more practice exams for college placement.

“I don’t know what he’s trying to prove,” Sky worried to Xia. “I wish I knew how to help him have fun!”

Abby didn’t have much trouble having fun. She dressed as a princess and spent long hours sharing her dreams of glamor and fame with her dolls.

Sometimes she dragged her family into the living room to sit alongside her dolls for a big “performance,” which meant she danced and sang and everyone applauded wildly.

“Her singing voice is great,” Xia admitted to Sky. “I know where she got that.”

Sky shook her head. “I don’t sing anywhere near that well,” she admitted.

Sky continued to work on her domestic skills.

And kept working.

She was proud of her first real success. Too bad it was homemade dog food. At least Riddle ate like a king.

One evening, Forest received a mysterious phone call.

“I want to meet with you immediately,” a woman’s voice on the other end informed him.

“How did you get this number?” Forest demanded.

“This is Cynthia Flynn,” she said.

Forest hung up and went to meet her.

She chose the stadium — an odd, very public choice. Cynthia Flynn was an old woman. She had been married, apparently happily, to the Emperor of Evil for most of her adult life. She almost never ventured out in public.

The sun was setting, but it still was bright enough to sing Forest’s skin. He could smell himself burning. What could Flynn’s wife want with him?

“Good evening, Madam,” he began. “How can I help you?”

“You can get out of my Sean’s life right now!” Cynthia shouted.

Forest was caught completely off guard. “Mrs. Flynn! I don’t know what you mean.”

“All he can do is think about you. He doesn’t eat. He doesn’t sleep. I hear him speaking your name when he thinks I’m not listening. I don’t know what you’re doing, but you’re destroying him. My Sean is a good boy!”

Forest stood for a moment, stunned. He didn’t know whether to scorn or pity her.

“Mrs. Flynn,” he began. “You realize that your husband hasn’t aged since you married him, don’t you? Do you enjoy having a boy toy in your old age?”

Cynthia scowled at him. “That’s none of your business!”

“I’m afraid it is my business, Madam. You, on the other hand, are not my business. I can see that your husband keeps you happy, and I have no intention of hurting you. My problem with Mr. Flynn is purely…. business.”

Cynthia scowled. “You’re a wicked man. You leave him alone!”

Forest couldn’t help but laugh. “*I’m* wicked?” he said. “Has your husband ever really smiled at you?”

With that, he grinned, showing off his new fangs in the best possible light.

Cynthia’s eyes widened when she saw them, but she didn’t seem frightened exactly.

“I see there’s no reasoning with you,” she said. “My Sean will just have to destroy you.” And she turned and left.

It was the most bizarre interview Forest could remember in his life, and he’d had plenty of truly bizarre interviews.


Not long after Forest started boinking her husband, Cynthia called Forest up for a date. I couldn’t resist accepting. Sims romance system for the win.

Cynthia, by the way, is a simalike of Miley Cyrus — created long before she had the big change in her image :). She and Flynn never had any kids.

Sadly, I don’t have very many pictures of child Abby that I haven’t used. Most of her childhood was lost in the deleted pictures.

I’m really trying to crank through the last of this generation to get to the heir poll!

5.39 Checkmate

It was time.

Forest hadn’t fully come into his new powers, but he couldn’t wait any longer. Flynn knew something was up. Given enough time, he could use his wisdom and vast experience with this form to defeat Forest before the fight had really begun.

He spent all night, while his senses were sharpest, pouring over old tomes and preparing dark magic.

He chose dawn to make his move. A longer confrontation would almost certainly work in Flynn’s favor. This way, he would have limited time before the sun forced them both to take cover.

It was now or never.

The incantation echoed in his head as if he were on a sound stage. He’d never felt power like this.

And it worked.

Flynn stumbled as he appeared. He was so completely taken by surprise that for a moment, his face was unguarded. For a split second, Forest saw fear.

“Good morning,” Forest said. “I think it’s time to renegotiate my position in your operation.”

Flynn knew immediately that Forest had changed without Forest bearing his teeth or taking off his mirrored glasses. Forest could feel Flynn’s power from here, and certainly Flynn could do the same. All secrets were revealed. Now Forest could only hope his calculations about Flynn were correct.

“You,” Flynn said. “It’s all been you, hasn’t it? I should have known when I heard about your conduct during the police raid.”

“Maybe you should have known,” Forest agreed. “But it’s too late now. Now your power over me is broken. And you brought my family into this. That’s not something I can forgive.”

Flynn hesitated. “All right,” he said. “But you’re not going to choose the time and place to fight me.”  He turned and ran. The sun had not quiet risen, and his powers were still at their strongest. He moved almost faster than Forest could see.

Forest swore. Strategic retreat was one thing he’d never expected Flynn to do.

He summoned all of his fledgeling power and started to move. For a second, he was faster than Flynn, but a second was all that he needed.

He, reached out, grabbed the older vampire by the shoulder, and swung him around.

The eyes that met Forest’s were that of a monster. Flynn raised his hand to strike.

Forest reached out and blocked, grabbing Flynn by the wrist. The force of the blow jarred his arm and shoulder. Flynn was still more powerful. All Forest could do was hope he could end this without revealing how much that burst of speed had weakened him.

Forest clung to Flynn’s wrist as Flynn pulled back, dragging them closer together.

Flynn growled deep in his throat, the sound of a cornered panther. “If you think you can bite me,” he hissed, “you’re going to be disappointed.”

Forest grinned. The light of the rising sun glinted off his new fangs. “I know,” he said. “I have something entirely different in mind.”

Flynn staggered back, stunned.

Then, without saying a word, he stepped back into Forest’s arms.

Forest had never been able to let go of the fear that the way that Flynn made him feel was just power that Flynn wielded to keep him under control.

It turned out that their attraction was the one thing for both of them that was completely normal

The sun was getting hotter. Forest caught Flynn’s wrist and led him inside to his room.


Took me a while to get myself together to write this one! I hope it meets expectations :).

The Summon Acquainted spell from the Ravendancer Book of Spells is the only one I’ve ever found a use for. There are a couple of other attack spells which looked like they could be entertaining, but they seem to only operate on rooms of sims rather than a single one. Forest has never been that broad-spectrum.

Yesterday, I played through Sawyer’s teen birthday. Dylan will be an adult in 2 days. I pretty much have to do an heir poll, but I’d REALLY like to try to catch up first so you can get to know the characters. I think they’ve all turned out with pretty strong personalities, and for the first time I don’t have a strong favorite going in.

5.38 Stairway to Somewhere

Dylan had big plans. As soon as he started high school, he began taking practice advanced placement exams for university.

He wasn’t terribly thrilled by his scores, though. Sky tried to remind him that he’d just begun high school. Maybe he’d be more ready for university when he was further in his current classes.

Dylan wasn’t terribly moved by this argument. He was ready to be grown up, and he was ready for it now. He began joining after school study groups to boost his placement scores.

Forest had a few suggestions about where Dylan might direct his ambition.

Dylan even thought about it for a while.

But it was really just a hypothetical exercise that he was using to be polite. Dylan found the very idea of breaking the law pretty upsetting. He tried to stay away from his uncle’s pretty unjust form of justice as much as possible. Besides, Uncle Forest was just extra creepy lately.

Sawyer still seemed to be happiest alone in his room, grouping his blocks by color and building them into symmetrical geometric shapes.

Sky was having some success on socializing him, though.

He no longer pulled away when she held him, but when she tickled, it often took him a long time to remember to laugh.

Sky’s performance at the park pavilion was on that kind of creepy night that made your bones shiver.

Still, it was pretty well-attended.

She sang her heart out.

Crowd reaction was all over the map, from cheers to smiles to people checking their phones. Some of the listeners in the back might as well have been dead.

Xia tried to make up the difference with her own cheers. So much so that when Sky took her bow, she could tell how much of the response was Xia’s.

It was pretty embarrassing. She’d hoped her performance debut would be more… positive.

She made the second set into a Ghostwriter performance. The clouds opened up as she stepped down from the stage, but they’d played in worse. A lot of the crowd ran for cover, but the dedicated fans stayed to listen.

They had a new keyboardist now, Cliffton Hodgins, son of Sky’s long-suffering obstetrician Dr. Sebastian Hodgins.

At home, Dylan was now older enough to be in charge while Sky and Xia were out. He made sure Sawyer was in bed on time, but Abby was not about to let him boss her around. She stayed up playing queen until her parents came home. Dylan tried to ignore her and focus on his studies.

In the living room, the Sample ancestors were having a reunion. They mostly spent it playing video games together.

And then there were more Sing-O-Grams.

Her great-nephew Tomas Sample-Royale bought one to cheer up his roommate, Charlotte Stemple.

It seemed to be mostly a friend thing, since Charlotte most definitely preferred women.

Even with the lesbian community starved for new blood, Sky couldn’t muster the slightest attraction to Charlotte.

It was almost like they were sisters.

And then there was the time her bubble-maker exploded while she was performing for Faith Cagley.

Becoming a singing star was incredibly hard work.

Just some slice-of-life stuff. There are a few better views of teen Dylan. 
Yes, that was a zombie attending Sky’s park performance. The performance was a bomb — probably early performances are often a bomb. But the effect was that she got a high relationship with everyone who watched while they were watching, then took a nasty hit to those relationships at the end because the performance sucked. This resulted in a great notification window that I’ve lost, telling Sky that she wasn’t spending time with the zombie, and it wasn’t her friend anymore.

Sorry about how dark the stage was. Once you’ve set up a stage for a performance, you don’t get another chance to edit it. I clearly did not light it up properly. I’m still trying to figure out how to do that.

I probably shouldn’t show so many Sing-O-Grams, but I JUST LOVE THEM. 
I also don’t using show ghost shots, but that was all four generations hanging out in one room, and it was so cute.

5.37 Adjustment

It was so easy. It was even fun.

Forest’s first prey offered no resistance at all. All Forest had to do was strike up a conversation and gaze into his eyes. Soon, he was reaching out, as if unconsciously, to stroke his fingers.

Ace Wilde poured his soul out to Forest while his wife was getting a makeover at the salon.

He was delicious.

As far as Forest knew, Ace’s wife never found out.

After that, Forest did get a makeover. Something he thought was more suitable to his ascendant position in the underworld.

He also rearranged his bedroom. He tried not to be too conspicuous in moving around the new equipment while his family could watch. Fortunately, they never ventured into his room.

Being a creature of the night had entirely different comfort requirements.

He also enjoyed the extra strength and endurance the new form granted him. It compensated for the uncomfortable feeling of his skin burning if he stepped outside during daylight. It was a good thing he did most of his work at night anyway.

Hunting was fun, but he really didn’t need to do it all that often. Some of Hunter’s exotic produce quenched his thirst in a pinch. It was interesting that something so entirely vegetable could taste so much like blood.

The adjustment period couldn’t last long, however, Flynn had to know something was going on. He was pushing the fight to Forest.
Twice in the last week, Sky and Xia had caught prowlers around the house. Sky was no slouch herself, but with a military officer and trained guard dog in the house, the burglar alarm had been kind of redundant. Flynn had to be testing the waters before making a much more decisive move against Forest’s stronghold.

Forest couldn’t let that happen when his family could be caught in the crossfire.

It was time to do something before Flynn could act next.


I’ve been playing sine 2009, and I NEVER had a burglar in any game I played. Then the Samples had three in succession — like one every other night. (The pics of the first two were lost, of course.) That certainly seemed like a signal that Flynn was mustering his forces.

Of course, with this family, it was a race to see who would beat up the burglar first.

Reinstall update: I spent like three hours yesterday evening copying to the new Windows partition and updating my mods. After all my fretting about the installers for my custom worlds, they were exactly where I would have put them if I’d remembered I put them someplace ;). I loaded up and confirmed that the Samples are OK. Woot!

I do seem to have lost the folder I was keeping my user interface captures in. That just means that I don’t have much material for Simantics, and I may be missing some zingers for the Wonderlands. Considering that I’m restoring after a full system wipe, I’ll take it.

5.35 Metamorphosis

Forest was dying inside, and it wasn’t a figure of speech.

The feeling spread from the bite on his arm and settled in his stomach. Then it extended upward and grabbed hold of his heart, a cold hand squeezing tighter every day. He could feel his heartbeat slowing. Every time he took his temperature, the reading was lower than the last.

It didn’t hurt, really. It seemed strange that it didn’t.

The story of the police raid on Flynn’s hideout spread from the moment Flynn’s minions were released. Forest had been escorted out of the holding cell to meet with the chief of police. Hours later, he had been dragged back, unable to stand, and Flynn’s entire staff was released without a single charge being filed. Nobody knew what Forest had done to engineer their release. When anyone asked, he just smiled.

The raid itself was devastating to Flynn’s reputation. Forest didn’t even need to sew the seeds of dissent — everywhere, he heard rumors that Flynn’s power had waned. The underworld was ready for a new Emperor, and Forest was their chosen heir.

Everything was going the way he planned.

During his rare trips to the hideout, Forest avoided Flynn. He was sure that if the Emperor could see the way he was changing, Flynn would kill him outright. Avoiding didn’t turn out to be hard. Flynn spent much of his time secured in his armored underground office. The rest he spent… elsewhere.

As the Change progressed, Forest became more and more restless. He knew he should stay inside, away from prying eyes and innocents, until he was sure of his new form. But he couldn’t manage it. He wanted — needed — to be where other people were. Normal, hot-blooded people.

That’s why he was at Tinkerbell’s Beautique talking to a Stylist when the vice finally released in his chest. His heart stopped beating.

Suddenly, Forest was thirsty.


I intended to cover more time with this post, but it felt like it ought to end here.

The transformation into a vampire turned out to be WAY cooler than I expected. I don’t think screenshots can really capture it. And, sadly, I lost all my screenshots of it anyway :(. I actually caught one in a memory, which I posted to my EA account.

The reason for this Sample hiatus is that I got hung up when I realized that I actually had pictures for them in three separate folders, all numbered the same (of course). There was also a lot of duplication. I really have no idea how this got so messed up. I had to figure out what I had and how to get them consolidated. And, being me, I decided to learn python so that I could write a script to rename the files so they could all go into the folder with the rest of Gen 5. Don’t laugh too hard.

The good news is that I have one important scene I thought I’d lost.

We’re almost to the end of the missing pictures. I have about half of the pictures needed for the next post. After that, it’s back to normal.

5.30 Descending

[First post of lost pictures. I used what I had.]

Flynn’s smuggling operation had a series of high-profile busts. Valuable contraband was confiscated. Smugglers went to jail. Flynn’s name turned up in interrogation after interrogation, but there was never enough evidence to indict.

Police Chief William Pierce’s stern, unsmiling picture was on the front page of the paper almost every day.

Flynn began mole-hunting. Minion after minion was called into his office for a “private interview.” Everyone left addled and unnerved, but Flynn took action against no one.

Forest entered his interview with almost too much confidence. Flynn sat him down and questioned him. Forest could feel the feathers of Flynn’s supernatural probing on the edges of his mind. But, as expected, Flynn found nothing. Forest was a good minion, after all. Flynn had already bound his obedience with blood.

Cops were really putting a squeeze on operations. Flynn ordered everyone to lie low for a while. Smuggling operations were to be placed on full stop. Nobody show up to work, everyone focus on being as normal as possible.

The very evening Flynn handed out those instructions, there was a full-scale raid on the Hideout.

Minions stepped out of Flynn’s offices in the graveyard catacombs straight into the arms of waiting police officers. Dozens were cuffed and taken in for questioning. Most were released. Several disappeared immediately afterward — the police might not have been able to make a charge stick, but they were certainly frightening enough to send the more timid minions packing their bags with plans to find legal employment elsewhere.

Forest was part of the haul.

He walked calmly into the cacophony. He didn’t resist when cops grabbed him, cuffed him, and shoved him into the back of a patrol car. What was the point in fighting anyway? It would just give the cops more grounds to indict him.

Everyone in the operation knew Forest was not to be trifled with. The crowd of nervous minions in the holding cell made way for him. He sat down on the most comfortable bench to wait.
About half an hour later, a uniformed cop unlocked the cell. “Forest Sample,” she said. “Chief wants to talk to you personally.”
Forest stood up. The harsh lights reflected off his glasses, making his face even more unreadable. He followed the cop out of the cell.
Chief Pierce’s office was dimly lit as always. Pierce looked up from his desk as Forest was escorted in. He silently looked Forest over as he waved the cop out of the room.
“I trust your ride wasn’t too uncomfortable,” Pierce said. “Please, take a seat. I took the liberty of setting up the chess board. It’s your move.”
Forest chuckled dryly. “Avalon police accommodations are first class,” he said. “At least I didn’t have to eat anything.” He slid into a cushioned seat in front of the chess table, which was laid out with the current game he and Pierce were playing. He scanned the board to take in Pierce’s most recent move. “Oh, that was clever.”
“Check,” Pierce said smugly as he stood up. “But I don’t think mate just yet.”
Forest nodded. “Not just yet.” He picked up one of Pierce’s rooks and replaced it with his knight. “But I think we are due to review our agreement.”
“Hmmmm?” Pierce took the seat across from Forest and saw what he had done. “Dammit. I guess I couldn’t keep that piece forever.” He slid a bishop across the board.
“I paid you the fee we agreed on,” Forest said. “Now you owe me.”
Pierce looked up and stared intently at Forest. His eyes were luminescent in the dim light. Forest didn’t flinch. He was used to it.
Then the police chief grinned broadly, the dangerous primal grin he would never show to the newspaper photographers. His long, sharp canines glinted. “All right then. This is your last chance to bail out.”
Forest advanced his knight again. “Check,” he said, “and, I think, mate.”
Pierce looked over the board and grunted. “You got me again,” he said. “I guess that just seals the deal.” He stood up. “Do you have someplace in mind?”
Forest also rose. Wordlessly, not trusting himself to speak, he took off his jacket and rolled up his sleeve. He offered his arm, palm up, to Pierce.
Pierce nodded. “You’ll want to brace yourself. This,” he said with a wicked smile, “is really going to hurt.” He took Forest’s arm in both hands, bared his teeth in an animal snarl, and sank them into the flesh of Forest’s wrist.
Forest gasped. Red and black fluttered across his vision. He felt himself falling into a dark pit. Falling… falling… until his knees gave out, and he collapsed to the floor of Pierce’s office.
Somehow I failed to get it in the narrative, but Pierce has been using his vampire wiles to give Forest limited protection from Flynn. That’s how Forest has been able to feed information to Pierce at all as well as why Flynn hasn’t detected it. Basically, Forest can’t exactly fight for himself, so he’s made himself a double-agent minion for one vampire against the other. For a price.
Sadly, all the pictures of Forest meeting with Pierce are gone. Too bad because William Pierce/Buffy’s Spike is always nice to look at. Even the blue-skinned version in Avalon.
I had a little interlude in mind where Pierce talks about his choice to go into law enforcement, plus being married (actually engaged — they never did get married) to a vampire slayer. But I have no pictures for that stuff, and it’s time to move along. I do find it entertaining that StoryProgression made Spike a cop. Talk about a corruptible cop.

5.26 Paths Apart

Word of Hunter’s produce got around, and one day he got the phone call of his life. The Round Table, Avalon’s premier restaurant, offered him a contract as a supplier.

Hunter had finally made it. His business was successful.

Moreover, he was going to have to move out of the Sample estate, and soon. He needed to expand his garden if I was going to meet the demands of his contract.

The puppies continued to be adorable.

Abby was learning more every day.

Her first word was “ball,” but she seemed to mean it in a kind of extravagant way.

Eliana threw herself into her new job at the Sufficiently Advanced Technology Center. You could find her studying scientific experiments almost any time she wasn’t at work.

The more she relaxed and felt safe, the more she seemed discover a second childhood.

She and Dylan were especially fond of each other. He needed someone to help him lighten up and remember how to be childish.

Forest worked hard. Pretty much all the time. His family sometimes didn’t see him for days.

Hunter kept to his evening patrols several evenings a week. It has been so long now since he had seen the unicorn that he sometimes wondered if he’d imagined it. Still, he couldn’t let it go.

Then one day, out in a pouring rainstorm, he finally hit pay dirt.

The creature was even more captivating than he remembered. All his plans and research fell out of his head, and he could only get soaked in the rain and stare at it.

The stallion seemed to laugh at him, but it was an affectionate kind of laugh. Before it disappeared, Hunter heard one sentence in his head. My name is Meteor. Then it was gone.

Leah was avoiding Sky. It was hard to miss it. She wasn’t arguing or acting angry. She just wasn’t around. She retreated from looking after Abby, leaving Sky responsible for the toddler’s skills.

She and Plum Marmalade had stayed in touch. The day after the Love Day birthday party, she called Plum up and invited her to the Magic Mirror Art Gallery to hang out for an afternoon. Plum accepted immediately. It was the first time they’d met face-to-face since that night outside the Sample house.

Plum seemed delighted to see her.

Just as before, a sense of instinctive trust seemed to pull them together. Leah had fought it before, wanting to believe that Sky’s love was true, but now she just felt so…. tired of it all.
She confessed how depressed and lonely she felt. She didn’t work for the police anymore because Sky had wanted to focus on their music, but Ghostwriter hadn’t had that many gigs in quite a while. Dylan was her pride and joy, but he was growing older and didn’t need a mommy leaning over his shoulder all the time.
And Abby….

It came pouring out almost before she realized what she was saying. Abby was Xia’s daughter.

Plum took the news very, very badly.

Leah was struck with guilt for breaking the news to Plum. But it was true. Shouldn’t Plum know?

She reached out hesitantly and took hold of Plum’s shoulder. “I know what you’re going through,” she said quietly. “We can survive this together.”

Plum forced a grateful smile through her tears. “Thanks,” she said. “I can’t tell you how much that means to me.”

Later that night, Veronica decided relax after a long day’s work at her inventing table with one of her old favorite hobbies — skinny dipping.

What she hadn’t realized was just how tired…. and perhaps how old she had become.

She was out in the middle of the pool before she realized how much work it was to tread water. She tried to swim back to the edge, but her arms got heavier with every stroke. She opened her mouth to call for help, and water came rushing in.

It happened so fast that she had gone under before anyone in the house knew something was wrong.

The family was stunned and devastated. But at least everyone was there to see her off.

Veronica was 105. At some level, her children knew that this could come at any time, even if they tried not to think about it. Being able to say goodbye softened the blow a little bit. It was more than they’d gotten with Charles.

When Veronica was gone, Sky stood by the swimming pool and sobbed.

Though almost nobody ever swam in it, Sky had always thought the pool was a sort of elegant status symbol. Suddenly she hated it.

The next morning, she called a meeting with a contractor and laid out plans to tear out the pool and expand the arboretum.

Veronica was laid to rest beside Charles. Perhaps they would help them find each other faster in the Netherworld.


Well, it had to happen somehow, but I didn’t expect to lose Veronica that way. She was incredibly old. I think 105 was her final age, but I’d have to look it up to be sure. That was older than Lancelot and Layla, who were vegetarians. I gave up trying to get her to 200k happiness points, though. She left the game with close to 180k.

I thought it was cute that elderly Veronica was still skinny dipping autonomously, so I took that shot and went off to have Sky paint portraits. Then the camera was yanked back to Veronica gulping water. I directed her to leave the pool and got repeated route failures. Then Overwatch detected her as being unroutable, and she was reset to another location STILL drowning.

Apparently that pool was a death trap. It could have been caused by the fact that the arboretum was made with some fancy build mode hacks. I think the next house the Samples live in will be made without hacks if possible.

I suppose I could have reset her, but I thought — if Veronica had to go, wouldn’t she get a kick out of being a funky ghost? She’s the first non-old-age ghost in the Sample ancestry.

Also, Grim was glitched and never showed up. After everyone waited sobbing all night, I was forced to use MasterController to force kill Veronica’s ghost and have Sky retrieve her from the mausoleum. Perhaps that was why Veronica grew to be that old to begin with. I reset all the sims in town after that, but I guess I won’t know if Grim is functioning properly until someone else in the active family dies. Hopefully that won’t be for a long time. Townies are dying of old age just fine.

At any rate, trust Veronica to make a splash with her exit.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be as fond of a sim couple as I was of Charles and Veronica.