Tag Archive | shanni

5.4 Open Doors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charles took care of Ghost.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When the smoke cleared, Veronica was a ghost.

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

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

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

Veronica chuckled. “Well, I try.”

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

But in the meantime, they headed to bed anyway.

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


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

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

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

4.54 Leisure

Leisure Day dawned on Avalon.

Charles was up at dawn to catch the plumpest fish.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charles appreciated the fact that it was an endangered species.

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

It was nice to have a name for yourself.

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

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

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

Every moment with her these days was worth enjoying.

You just never knew when it would be the last.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Hey,” he said.

“Hey,” Miyuki answered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

4.47 Second Chances

“So, you designed this place yourself?” Charles said as he looked their new home up and down.


“Designed the floorplans and supervised the construction!” Veronica said. “Surprise! I hope you like it!”

“It’s just the sort of thing you would have designed,” Charles had to admit. “And, it’s beautiful. It’ll just take some getting used to.”

“I made it with you in mind, my love,” Veronica said. “It has an outdoor dining room that doubles as shelter for an outdoor bed. We can sleep outside without getting soaked.”


Veronica smirked. “Really. I expect to be well-rewarded.”

The house also overlooked Isolde Falls. The view from the third story window was one of the most beautiful on the island.


Avalon was certainly… different. The more they wandered around to meet the locals, the more they realized just how different.



Charles spent a lot of time supervising the construction of the Charles Sample Sim Fu Academy.


Veronica hit the gym when she wasn’t working.




And she made a friend or two almost immediately.



It helped that she couldn’t get enough of Avalon’s residents, both professionally and personally.

The kids were less concerned with the exotic Avalonians. After all, Charles and Sky were strange enough that everyone pretty much took it in stride. The triplets started to settle into the house and make it their own.




Meanwhile, Shanni and Jeanna Yo were settling their family into Chateau Crumplebottom nearby. The boxes were barely unpacked when Charles and Veronica received an invitation to a wedding.

“We figured, why wait?” the note at the bottom said.

The ceremony was a small affair on the grounds of the chateau.

Shanni and Jeanna both wore white. “I’m a bride, and I’m old to boot,” Shanni said. “I can do whatever the hell I like.”


Jeanna took Shanni’s name and became a Crumplebottom, which let Shanni keep the same name as her children. “It also helps with the inheritance,” Shanni whispered to Charles. “I won’t be around forever, and I want to be sure Jeanna’s well taken care of. The money all passes down through Agnes. I do hope she wouldn’t mind.”

“I’m sure she’d approve,” Charles agreed.

After they tied the knot, the new Crumplebottoms took the family to the Sphinx nightclub, which they rented out for the afternoon.


The Avalonian bartender knew his job, and drinks flowed as fast as anyone could drink them.


The only person who didn’t seem to be having a great time was Jeannette Crumplebottom.


Whatever she thought of her new stepmother, she wasn’t talking.

Then Sky discovered the unused stage, which hosted a lovely grand piano. She couldn’t help but sit down and stroke the keys.


The soft musical noodling began to resolve itself into melodies under her fingers. She started to play louder without realizing it.


Suddenly, a voice cut through her thoughts.

“I don’t know if it’s too forward, but do you mind if I join you?”

Sky looked up to see her first-cousin-once-removed, Garry Crumplebottom.


“Oh” Sky said. “I didn’t want to bother anyone.”

“Are you kidding?” Garry said. “I’ve been dying to find someone to jam with.”

“I’ve never played with anyone,” Sky said, casting her eyes down shyly. “I don’t know if I’d be any good at jamming.”

“Let’s try and find out,” Garry said with a gentle smile.

So they tried.


It was if they cast a magic spell between them.


Sky had always loved music, but this… this was different. It was if she and Garry made an empathic connection, as if she knew what he’d play before he played it. The harmonies they built were far more than anything she had ever been able to do alone.

Soon the family began to drop what they were doing to come and listen.


When they finally stopped, Sky looked up to find everyone staring at her.

“I… I’m sorry,” she said. “I don’t know if we were allowed to play on the instruments. Are we in trouble?”

“Are you kidding?” Charles exclaimed. “I had no idea you were so talented!”

Sky blushed. “I didn’t know how to do it. Garry showed me how.”

Garry laughed. “You didn’t require much showing. You’re amazing, Coz.”


“We have to do this again,” Sky breathed as they got ready to go home. “Would you like to come over sometime to do more jamming!”

“Sure thing!” Garry said. “Just let me know when.”

Sky realized she’d found what she wanted to do with her life at last. Perhaps this move to Avalon was the right thing after all.


So here we are! It didn’t take any time at all for Sky to come out of her shell. Of course, a lot of that had to do with the fact that children can’t play musical instruments (?!), but teens can. It’s nice to see her getting some screen time.

The new house is Utopia, downloaded from ModtheSims. The Samples will be living on a Steampunk theme for a while to match Veronica’s sense of style.

4.7 Ada Lovelace Day

Fabian’s little girl was becoming a woman. He wanted to give her the world, but he had to settle for a really big birthday party. He asked her where she wanted to celebrate, but that was just a gesture of affection. Everyone knew it would be at the art museum, of course.

Charles arrived early to set everything up before the guests arrived.

First was Adjo and Toya, with their eldest daughter Charmaine.

Charmaine insisted on bringing her new girlfriend, Jenna Yo.

Shanni, lovely as ever.

Agnes, rocking her fresh status as a respected elder.

And there was Veronica! She came after all!

She even brought her former roommate Trixi Ursine-Hodgins, who needed to get out with her newborn son Harrison. Trixi was Toya’s sister-in-law, and they exchanged a bit of family gossip.

“I’m so glad you came,” Charles said awkwardly to Veronica. “I know it’s kind of weird to come to a birthday party of someone you don’t know.”

Veronica laughed. “There will be cake and dancing, right? How could I say no?”

Everyone crowded around the birthday girl.

“Blow out the candles! Make a wish!”

Ada Lovelace, now a young adult. Her traits are: Artistic, Brave, Born Saleswoman, Easily Impressed, Insane.

“Now it’s time to party!”

“So,” Adjo said, “If you have a minute, could we talk about your intentions toward my daughter?”

“Jabari was so great when he tutored me in English. Do you think he would think I’m too weird to dance with?” Ada asked Charles in a whisper. “If that’s not too many ‘thinks’?”

“Jabari’s a great guy,” Charles said. “Go ask.”

“Wish me luck!”

“Are you having a good time?” Charles shouted over the music.

“Cake and dancing!” Veronica shouted back. “Just what I came for!”

They danced and laughed and visited until dawn, then they helped pick up the dirty dishes and clean the place up for the museum opening. By then, it felt like Veronica was one of the family herself.

Charles decided it was time to make his move. “I’d really like to see you again,” he said, reaching for her hand.

Veronica’s eyes went wide, and she shrank away. “I’m so sorry I gave you the wrong impression,” she said. “I have a boyfriend. Willem Yo. I think he works with your dad.”

Charles was so crushed he almost forgot to say anything. “Fabian’s my stepdad,” he said at last, quietly. “I’m glad you had a nice time.”


Every eligible woman in this bloody town appears to be in a relationship except Genvieve Goth, who is a Coward and not feasible no matter what her personality is!

On the positive side, Charmaine and Jenna have the honor of being our first progression-generated same-sex couple. I thought that StoryProgression was set to give sims a 30% chance of being gay. It turned out that 3 was, ahem, 3%. Whoops. I fixed it.

Man the entryway of the art museum has NO LIGHTS. I need to fix that.

Jabari Keaton did in fact come over and do homework with Ada, but I somehow failed to take screen shots. His aging seems to be delayed as well, because he reached adulthood only a couple of sim-days before Ada did.

3.45 Togetherness

Losing Lancelot came down on the Samples like an anvil.

Everyone was struggling and trying not to drag everyone else down.

They all soldiered through the days. But it was Layla who found herself in that empty bed every night.

She tried to put on a brave face, but she wasn’t really fooling anyone.

Everyone wanted to cheer her up. Charles tried his usual fare.

But she barely noticed.

Ada and Fabian dragged her to the art museum to get her out of the house.

Ada was in her element. “It’s so golden,” she whispered, “and the tiny golden men are singing to me.”

Fabian ran into none other than Mayor Tamara Donner. He was so bowled over that he followed her into the bathroom to interview her.

And Layla tried. She really did.

“What’s this thing again? Dadaist? Dada is a movement?”

When she got home, she declared that all she really wanted was a nice bubble bath. Before anyone else could react, Charles had teleported to the to the grocery store to pick up some bath soap.

And got himself picked up for being out after curfew.

When he got home, Zahra really let him have it.

Zahra was terrifying and unforgiving when she was angry.

But Charles was only trying to help. He carried around his resentment until it exploded.

“Do you have any idea the kind of energy your research equipment is wasting? Do you even care?? We all have to live on this planet too!”

Layla listened to the arguing going on downstairs and wracked her brain.

The grief and tension were ripping the family apart at the seams. Lance of all people would have been crushed. She had to think of something to draw them back together.

“The twins’ birthday is coming up,” she told the household. “It’s been so long since we were all together as a family. I think we should throw them a party.”

Everyone jumped to make it so.

The next evening, the Sample house was busting at the seams.

“I don’t know if Agnes said anything,” Shanni confided in Toya as they arrived. “I’m pregnant! Zahra referred us to a doctor who does work for the Science Center.”

“That’s fabulous!” Toya crowed. “Now that money isn’t so tight, Adjo and I are thinking about trying for another one. Let me tell you about babies….”

Adjo slipped away while the women gossiped to pay his respects.

There was hustle and bustle of catching up on everyone’s lives. Adjo and Toya had weathered the lean times, and Adjo was now in business for himself again as a local band manager. “These kids have talent like you wouldn’t believe,” he said. “All they need is one break, and we’re talking national attention, big name label, their voice on every radio station. This is for real.”

While the blood Samples were laughing and comparing notes, Agnes drifted up the stairs alone. Fabian watched her go. He followed and found her sitting on the upstairs couch, staring into space.

“This seat taken?” he asked, not waiting for an answer.

“You!” Agnes said. “What are you doing here? If your wife finds us alone, she’ll cut your balls off.”

“Yeah,” he said amiably. “So she tells me. So what are you doing here all alone?”

“It’s just a little intense down there. I needed a breather.”

“Tell me about it. How’s married life?”

Agnes sighed. “Complicated. It was so much easier with Erik. Or maybe I never got a chance to find out how hard it would be before he died. Don’t get me wrong. I love Shanni. But she’s… intense. And Shanni pregnant is almost more than I can handle. A woman with such a delicate mood should never have a condition that gives her extra mood swings.”

“I know what you mean,” Fabian said. “Monogamy is a lot of work, isn’t it? You might have noticed that Zahra’s the irresistible force AND the unmovable object. I wouldn’t change a thing, but sometimes I wonder how my life could have been different.”

“Yeah,” Agnes said. “I hear you.”

“So we’ve come to this,” Fabian said softly.

Agnes flinched. “Come to what?”

“Old friends. Sometimes old lovers make the best kind.”

She laughed. “Especially old lovers you’d never take back.”

“I deserved that. I think the cake is ready down there. Let’s get going before someone comes looking for us, and I lose my balls.”

And there were laughing, cheering, wishes pondered, and candles blown out.

Under the gaze of old loved ones.

Then cake.

And dancing.

“The thing about the orbital mind control lasers is that most people can’t see or hear them,” Ada told Shanni. “Except me. When the lasers are on, I can feel the heat on the back of my head.”

“I know just what you mean,” Shanni answered eagerly. “Like the invisible words the government inserts into news articles to control the way you think about them.”

“I had no idea you’d understand!”

It was early morning before they could bring themselves to say goodbye. The cloud had lifted from the house. There was cleaning to be done in the morning, but now was the time to unwind.

Layla headed to her empty bedroom with a feeling of peace and contentment. The feeling grew inside her until she realized it was something else entirely.

Layla’s time had come too, and she was ready to embrace it.

It was hard to say goodbye.

But this time, the ones left behind were ready to take comfort in each other.

Who is remembered, lives.


And then there were four. Layla left the household also at age 104 with Lifetime Happiness of (sob) 190,000. If I’d really processed how long she was going to live, I could have nudged her to 200,000. I tried at the end, but it wasn’t soon enough. Plus, she went the last day and a half without generating any wishes. Her last big wish was to throw that birthday party. Still, I don’t think there was enough time to get to the goal even if she’d been more helpful.

This is the last post for Generation 3. It seems kind of fitting that it should end with the farewell of Generation 2.

Generation 3 has been by far the most engaging generation so far. Everyone became a well-rounded personality. Everyone had a story arc. It felt more like a story than either 1 or 2. And you can certainly tell by how many posts I managed to generate for them. 45. Damn.

Oh, yeah, and it turns out that both Insane and Neurotic sims have the “Talk about Conspiracies” conversation option, and it gives them a relationship boost instead of a hit. Shanni and Ada really do understand each other in a special way :).

On to Charles!

3.42 White Wedding

Shanni and Agnes were married at 11am on a Friday, an odd compromise between Adjo and Layla’s work schedules. It wasn’t too difficult to find a venue for that time, at least.

Shanni had always dreamed of her all-eyes-on-you moment, resplendent in a white wedding gown. But now that she was marrying another woman, she had no idea what would be appropriate, and she tried not to care.

When Agnes persuaded her to share her fantasies, she squeezed her hand with a gentle smile. “If a white wedding is what you want, then that’s what you’ll have. But you’re right. It will look silly if we both do the train and veil thing. It’s a bit silly for me to be even pretending to wear white at my second wedding.”

Instead, she wore the formalwear that Shanni had designed for them the day they met.

Shanni was shocked when she saw the wedding invitations.

“Mortimer? We’re inviting Mortimer?”

Agnes laughed. “You didn’t know that Cornelia Goth was my sister?”

Shanni blinked. “Your sister? She was nearly old enough to be your mother!”

Agnes shrugged. “I was a surprise baby. Nobody would have guessed I’d inherit the family money.”

“Then that means….”

“Your ex-boyfriend is about to be your nephew? Yes, indeed.”

What could you say to that?

“You’re stunning,” Adjo told her. “I always knew you’d be a beautiful bride.”

“I couldn’t have done it without you,” Shanni said.

“Nonsense. Maybe I helped you get there a little faster.”

Lancelot at last had a chance to be the father of the bride.

“Are you ready to do this?” he whispered to his youngest daughter, his eyes twinkling. “I can still sneak you out the back.”

Shanni cast a nervous glance at Agnes waiting for her. “No way back now. I better know what I’m doing.”

“Then let’s get this show on the road.” He took her hand and wrapped it around his arm. “Don’t worry if you feel a little woozy. I’ve been there myself. You can lean on me.”

Shanni felt her knees go weak as she took her first step and leaned into Lance’s shoulder. “Thanks, Daddy.”

Agnes and Shanni recited their simple vows.

And just like that, Shanni Sample became Shanni Crumplebottom.

On to the reception!

Much fun was had by all. The Samples were spreading out even more now. Everyone jumped at the chance to connect.

“I can’t tell you how great is to get a babysitter and hang out with adults for a while!” Toya confided in Ada.

“I’m about to be in high school,’ Ada reminded her. “I offer very reasonable babysitting rates.”

Charles, unfortunately, learned that asking Genvieve Goth to dance was a non-starter.

Mortimer caught Shanni alone for a moment to say, “I know I maybe wasn’t the most sensitive guy, but do you think we can put it all behind us?”

Shanni offered him a tight-lipped smile. “Well, we’re going to be seeing a lot more of each other,” she replied. “I think we can let bygones be bygones, nephew.”

That was just never going to get old.

“Let me know if you and Agnes are thinking about kids,” Zahra confided. “I can probably help. I don’t work in Mad Science for nothing.”

Shanni blushed. “We haven’t really talked about it, but… I’ll let you know.”

Only Fabian kept himself to the edges of the celebration.

“You don’t seem to be embracing the joy of the moment,” Layla pointed out as she took a break from dancing.

Fabian signed. “This is Agnes and Shanni’s time,” he said. “Agnes made it clear she never wanted to see me again. I’m only here because Zahra made me come. I don’t want to do anything that would make Agnes unhappy.”

Layla look up at Agnes’ face on the other side of the fountain. “I think you’d have to work pretty hard to make Agnes unhappy. If you’re looking to make amends, this might be a good time.”

Fabian thought for a few minutes. “All right then,” he said, took a deep breath and headed in the direction of the brides.

“I want you to know I couldn’t be happier for you and Shanni,” he told Agnes.

Agnes offered him a wry smile. “It seems like Shanni and I both have some unexpected family. Being enemies now would be a real pain in the butt.”

Fabian felt a grin spreading over his face. “Yeah,” he said. “You’re right about that.”

And that was that.

When the dust was settling and everyone was heading home, Layla looked wistfully at Lance. “Our last child is grown up and out of the house,” she said sadly. “We won’t ever have another.”

“That’s right,” Lance said. “We won’t ever have another child.” He gave her a wicked look. “But we sure can practice.”

(Better late that never! I don’t know what readers are left! CourtneyHelen might just be out for an extended holiday break. Lost Dreamer Girl’s blog disappeared right after I caught up on it. LDG? Are you still there??

Lance actually did start rolling a crazy number of naughty wishes about Layla right at the end of the wedding. Unfortunately, Layla had to go straight to work, so they had to be put on hold.

Mortimer came up to congratulate Shanni after she was married and actually out of the household, so that exchange was between two NPCs. It was pretty cute, all things considered.

And then there were six. It breaks my heart to say goodbye to Shanni, who was definitely my favorite out of Generation 3, but it was nice to get the household size back down again.)

3.41 Family Matters

When work nudged her toward more work with vertebrate life forms, Zahra discovered another common interest with Charles.

They’d never needed conversation, which was good because Zahra was so bad at it. But their silent time together said paragraphs.

When he wasn’t fishing, Charles got Granddad to train Jabari Keaton in Sim-Fu.

Finally, someone his age to spar with.

(With the train ability, you can compel random NPCs to learn skills! Awesome!)

Ada, on the other hand, discovered her Easy Bake Oven.

When she had all the muffins she could carry, she went and found Fabian, who was sitting at the computer as usual. “Come on, Dad! You’re going to teach me entrepreneurship.”

“Queen to queen 4… What? I’m going to teach you what?”

“Oh, come on, Dad. I need an adult with me.”

So she dragged Fabian to the square and set up shop. Once Fabian got over the unpleasantness of being dragged out of his nice comfortable house, he found a wealth of opportunity.

Harvey Ursine, for example, couldn’t avoid talking to a guy whose brother-in-law just happened to be married to his daughter.

(And Fabian becomes the first character to actually MEET Harvey.)

Harvey was waiting for his new squeeze, Zelda Mae, to get off work. He took up with her within days of Rachel’s death. But you had to give the old bastard one thing — he never stepped out on her while she was alive. At least not so that anybody found out.

Mortimer Goth showed up at the theater on a date with Madison Langerak.

But he spent most of it complaining about Shanni.

Ada was a born saleswoman, and the crowd around her muffin stand lasted stretched down the block.

Fabian had to drag her home past her bedtime. “But there are still muffins left!” she cried.

And in all of this ebb and flow of daily life, Shanni was nowhere to be found.

She’d barely been home since things started between her and Agnes. She certainly hadn’t slept there.

There was a whole world to Agnes that she never let people see.

It only took a visit to the dark, half-decorated second bedroom to set Shanni thinking on the life Agnes had expected before her husband’s unfortunate accident turned her world upside down. No wonder she was so bitter now.

As she was coming down for breakfast, Agnes dashed out of the downstairs bathroom, looking embarrassed. “Don’t go in there dear. I’ve already called a repair man.”

When the repairman arrived, though, Shanni was in for a surprise.

“Adjo!” She gave her brother a big hug. “It’s been too long. Since when are you fixing toilets?”

(Seriously. If I knew Twallan was going to appoint Adjo as the down repairman, I would have taken a screen shot of Agnes breaking the toilet. It was funny.)

“Since Toya had another baby. You heard, right? Another girl. Her name is Starr.”

Shanni nodded. “Yeah, I heard.” She held her tongue on Adjo’s choice of names. “Congratulations! But appliance repair? I thought you were going to stay with busking and avoid working for The Man.”

Adjo looked to the floor. “Well, that doesn’t exactly pay for a growing family, does it?” The edge to his voice was something Shanni had never heard before. “Toya’s home on maternity leave, and I don’t want her asking her dad for money. I got work as a Roadie at the theater, and I’m picking up odd jobs where I can.”

There were bags under Adjo’s eyes, and he seemed pale and wan under his dark complexion. Shanni could barely find her voice. Adjo had always been so sure of what he wanted. She’d never entertained the possibility that things would be less than perfect for him. “Wow,” she said at last. “I’m sorry.”

Adjo forced a smile that quickly became the real deal. He was tired, not beat. “But enough about me,” he said. “What the hell are YOU doing here?”

Shanni flushed. “Um. About that. I’m kind of here with Agnes.”

Adjo blinked. “With Agnes? You meant WITH with?”

“Yeah. I haven’t told any of the family. I didn’t know how.”

“If you and Agnes are a couple, what’s so hard to say?”

“Well, it’s just that, I don’t know. People expect me to behave a certain way. And good grief, Zahra’s so straitlaced. She’ll completely freak out to see me with another woman.”

Adjo took her by the shoulders. “Look, the real question here is whether she makes you happy. If she does, then we’re all happy for you. Simple as that.”

After he left, Shanni kept on thinking. Adjo might be having a hard time, but he was still people-wise in a way she would never be. He’d taken all the confused thoughts dancing around in her head and made everything clear.

She was happy.

Shanni had dated cops and criminals, nice guys and bastards, smart and dumb, relaxed and ambitious. Nothing had ever stuck. Maybe she hadn’t found the right guy because he wasn’t a guy.

Suddenly, she knew what she wanted.

“Shanni, where are you?” Agnes called. “Come have breakfast.”

“Agnes,” Shanni said from the foyer. “Could you come here? I wanted to ask you something.”

When she got down on one knee, Agnes went white. “You don’t want to. You can’t possibly mean it.”

“I’ve never meant anything more in my life,” Shanni said, and she meant it.
Agnes held her breath while Shanni put the ring on her finger.

“But you might change your mind. When you meet my husband’s ghost–“

“Hush,” Shanni said. “Wait till you meet my nephew.”

(I’m so glad you guys enjoyed Shanni’s big reveal! So here’s the gameplay story behind it. Shanni is a Hopeless Romantic. It turns out that if you ever want to play a Wishacy with no challenge to it, make your heir a Hopeless Romantic. Shanni had tons of romantic wishes, but they were almost never for specific people. The only guy she ever spontaneously had a romantic wish for was actually Michael Bachelor, her first boyfriend. All other times, she just rolled high-point wishes to be in a relationship, and if she talked to anyone for very long, she’d roll a wish to kiss him. So she wasn’t going to tell me who she wanted to settle down with after she fulfilled her LTW. I had to look for cues from the story.

And, well, Agnes was one great big cue. She kept popping up in Shanni’s life. More than that, her “secret” trait is ALSO Hopeless Romantic. It seemed like the two of them were a perfect match that was just a little bit less than obvious.

Now, the Heartbreaker LTW is phrased, “Be the girlfriend of 10 different sims.” It does NOT say, “Break up with 10 different sims.” So I figured that once Shanni became Agnes’ girlfriend, her LTW should be fulfilled. Except that once they made a commitment, she didn’t get it. I was getting pretty ticked off. Agnes was the choice. I didn’t want her to have to break up with the love of her life, wait for things to cool down, and then start the relationship up again. And it wasn’t FAIR because that’s not what the LTW said. Even more annoyingly, her commitment tally was 10/10. She needed to be the girlfriend of 10 different sims; the tally SAID she was the girlfriend of 10 different sims, and yet she hadn’t been granted the wish.

In a fit of impulse, I had Shanni propose, since that’s what she was going to do anyway. And lo-and-behold, as soon as Agnes accepted, Shanni got her LTW. It appears that the actual wish is to STOP being the girlfriend of 10 different sims. How you stop being a girlfriend can go either way :).

But wow. Heartbreaker is one heck of a LTW to try to complete with spare. She barely went to work the last couple of days because I was ready to be done and just rolling her through the relationships :).)

3.40 A New Woman

The day after she wrecked a customer’s makeover because her thoughts were on Mortimer, Shanni met Agnes for lunch. To her surprise, she found herself pouring out her soul.

Agnes’s face melted into sympathy when Shanni spoke of her own heartbreak. Underneath the woman’s harsh exterior was a heart that had been broken not so long ago.

“Now, Shanni my dear,” she said conspiratorially over her toasted french sausage, “I can see that you are not the same timid girl who Mortimer Goth walked all over. You just need to convince yourself of that. I think you need to confront him yourself.”

“Honestly? You don’t think that’s kind of trashy?”

Agnes laughed dismissively. “The line between trashy and powerful is all about style. You’ll do it, and what’s more, you’ll come to my place right afterward to tell me how it went. Trust me. You’ll be the better for it.”

So Shanni found herself the one place she never expected to be: Goth Manor.

It was difficult to even figure out which door was the front door, and the doorbell echoed cavernously inside.

Mortimer answered the door. He might be a high school graduate now, but he looked pretty much the same as he hand in school.

“I wanted to drop by to congratulate you,” she said lamely as he sized her up at the door.

“Come in! Come in! I never expected to see you here. Can I show you around? Would you like to hear about the book I’m writing? Dad has already lined up a publisher.”

Wow. He was hot for her, and he wasn’t even trying to hide it. Then again, he’d always been like that, right up until he snubbed her.

“I was just kind of curious. When I graduated, we had this conversation about older women.” She smiled a sultry smile. She’d gotten a lot better at that since school.

“Oh? Did I say something about older women? Older women are delightful. They have lots of experience.”

Shanni laughed at him.

“Huh?” Mortimer asked. “What?”

“Do you have any idea how sleezy that line is?” Shanni said.

Mortimer looked like he’d been smacked. “What are you doing here? You came here to insult me?”

“I came to see how I felt,” Shanni retorted. “In high school, I would have done anything to get you to like me. Now I have no idea why I cared.”

And with that, she turned around and walked out of Goth Manor and out of Mortimer’s life.

It had been so easy. The magic of her memory of him had stripped away as soon as he’d opened his mouth. What a transparent, skeezy looser. She could do so much better.

That evening, she kept her promise and dropped by Agnes’s estate.

To her surprise, Agnes was outside with Parker Langerak, who was making the most amazing lover’s eyes at her.

“Shanni Sample!” Agnes exclaimed when their eyes met. “You didn’t waste any time at all. Do come inside and tell me all about it. Parker, I had a nice time. I’ll call you.” She headed into the mansion, beckoning Shanni to follow.

“Did I interrupt your date?” Shanni asked awkwardly.

Agnes laughed. “Parker thinks he’s going to get some. I usually just let him decorate the lawn. All men are pigs, but some of them oink louder than others.”

“Now then, I was just going to make myself some spaghetti bolognese. Do tell me the story while I cook.”

So shanni sat at the bar and described the encounter with Mortimer. The idea of Agnes Crumplebottom doing her own cooking was hilarious somehow, but the big mansion was looming, dark, and empty. Clearly the legendary heiress was too much of a tightward to keep a staff.

When Shanni’s story was done, they sat down to dinner at the long formal dining table.

“Now tell me I was right,” Agnes said. “You feel much better now.”

Shanni laughed. She felt like a weight had been lifted from her self-esteem. “Yes, you’re right. I never would have guessed! I feel like a new woman.”

Shanni was a new woman, and everything felt possible.

Anything at all.

Including things she’d never dared to imagine.

(And *drumroll* Agnes is Shanni’s SO number 10!

The shot of Shanni leaving Goth Manor with Mortimer looking after her is actually a cheat scene from when she arrived, not when she left. When Shanni rang the doorbell, for some reason the game decided they both couldn’t stand on the stoop together. So it walked them both out all the way to the garage to greet each other. First Shanni walked the whole way, then Mortimer. But the image was just too good not to use.)

3.38 A Bit of Advice

(Two posts for the price of one because I have some posting time. It’s been a rough week.)

Shanni couldn’t believe how long it had been since she’d seen her brother face-to-face. Adjo and Toya had a lovely little starter home overlooking the sea, and he talked it up to her on the phone every chance he got. It was high time she went to see Adjo in his new digs.

It really was a lovely little place. Very rustic.

When she raised her hand to knock on the door, it opened suddenly, and she found herself about to punch Adjo in the face. “Oh!” she cried. “I’m sorry!”

“Hey sis!” Adjo said in a rush. “Great to see you! I gotta head to work.”

“But,” Shanni said at his retreating back. “This is your day off. We were going to do lunch!”

“Sorry!” Adjo called over his shoulder. “I’ll catch up with you later!”

Wow. He looked stressed. Shanni couldn’t bring herself to be mad at him. She hoped he was OK.

Toya emerged from the house as Adjo disappeared. “Hey there! Want to come in to meet Charmaine? Did he tell you were expecting again?”

“You’re what? So soon?”

Toya laughed. “Well, it wasn’t exactly planned. But Adjo wanted a big family. Might as well get the maternity leave over with in one dose, eh?”

Wow. Adjo was going to be a daddy. Again.

“Actually,” Shanni said, “I think work’s calling me.” Shanni headed to work and tried to distract herself. Israel Bauer dropped by on her break. “Hey there! I graduated and have a job and everything! Any chance you’re free for lunch?”

(I have only one picture, and it’s not terribly flattering.)

“Actually, I just had lunch,” Shanni admitted.

Israel was not to be distracted. “Dinner then. Maybe we can hit the theater. What do you think?”

Shanni laughed. “You’re the most persistent guy I’ve ever met. OK, you’re out of school and fair game. It’s a date.”

They had a nice time, though Shanni didn’t exactly feel the pangs of love in her chest by the time they got out of the diner. She had a chance to catch up on Israel’s life, and it had be a rough one so far. His mother Devin Bauer got sick not long after Antonio died, and she died when he was in elementary school. He’d been bounced from one foster home to the next, finally setting down with Malika Williams and her two daughters. It was quite a sob story, but he told it with a smile.

(Seriously, the poor kid has been in Twallan’s “Last One Standing” routine TWICE. Devin died, he got moved in with a foster parent, then THEY died, and he ended up in Malika’s house. I don’t know why Devin died so soon. She was a life stage younger than Antonio when they got married, but I have to guess she was actually just days from becoming an elder back when I photographed Layla visiting her in Gen 2.)

“Want to head back to my place for a nightcap?” Israel suggested after dinner. “I like the sound of the word ‘nightcap.’ It’s so old style.”

“Sure,” Shanni said. There was something about this guy…. it wasn’t love, but she was intrigued.

They headed to the Williams house.

Malika’s older daughter Lisette just happened to back from a date of her own.

The four of them awkwardly shared the front lawn for after-date flirts. Shanni noticed that Israel was constantly looking over her shoulder to see what Lisette was doing.


“This isn’t about me at all, is it,” she demanded of Israel. “You’re doing all of this to make your foster-sister jealous.”

Israel cringed. “I didn’t mean it that way. I was… trying to get over her.”

Shanni glanced surreptitiously at Lisette, who turned out to be glancing surreptitiously at Israel. It was something out of a sitcom. “I’m not sure who is trying harder to make who jealous,” she told him. “Watch.”

She pulled Israel close, but made sure he had a good view of Lisette.

“Watch her make with the green-eyed monster.”

“Oh,” Israel said. “Do you think she really cares.”

“I think the two of you should have a long talk.”

“Wow,” Israel said. “You’re not mad at me for dragging you through this?”

Shanni suppressed a sigh. When had she gotten to be everyone’s dating counselor? “No. It’s OK.”

“When I saw you with Mortimer in high school, I knew you were something special,” Israel said. “You really are.”

Mortimer. “Ah, Mortimer was in your graduating class, wasn’t he?” she asked, trying to sound unconcerned.

“Oh, yeah. He has big plans to be a writer now that he’s out. Want me to say hi to him for you?”

“No, uh, that’s OK. Let’s talk later!”

Shanni got out of there and headed home as quickly as she could.

Mortimer. The wound was as fresh as it had been the day of her birthday.

And it was still on her mind at work the next day.

This had to end. It was time to do something.

(I thought the end of Shanni’s date with Israel was HILARIOUS, and it was totally not staged. I had not idea Israel and his foster-sister were romantic interests. After this, I really wanted to see Israel and Lisette get married, and I considered forcing it for story cuteness, but while I was contemplating, he got involved with the Sharpes, and the rest is history.)

3.36 Rebound

Zahra didn’t give up inventing when she went back to work, though it did have to be put on the backburner. One weekend, she found herself out of scrap and headed to the junkyard to scavenge.

While she was working in a corner, she heard voices in the office.

“Hey, hon. We were looking for some privacy. I was hoping you’d remember who helped you buy that new car.”

It was Toya’s voice.

Then Harvey. “So the mayor appreciated our donation to her campaign…”

Zahra slipped out the back. This was definitely not her fight.

(I TOTALLY DID NOT STAGE THAT. While Zahra was at the junk yard, the Ursines walked in to the office. Toya talked to the only other person in the room, and she left. Then Harvey sat down at the desk, and they started talking. Awesome. Jess isn’t even Harvey’s kid, and I figured he was clean. Heh.)

She returned later that evening to find that Fabian had invited Hank over.

“He’s totally not over that thing with Pauline cheating on him,” Fabian whispered behind his hand. “I figured this would cheer him up.”

Shanni came home from work, and they played a game on the lawn.

During which time, Shanni and Hank got to talking.

Fabian couldn’t believe it. Shanni and Hank? Seriously?

He tried to head things off at the pass, but Hank didn’t appreciate his concern.

“I know it hurts that Pauline cheated on you–” Fabian began in his best sympathetic voice.

“Sort of like Zahra felt when you cheated on her?” Hank demanded. Fabian had to let it go.

Meanwhile, Charles pulled Zahra aside.

“I’m old enough to learn herbology,” he said. “I want to learn all you can teach me.”

Zahra started him off on helping with the harvest.

(I thought that Charles harvesting the huge garden would teach him a gardening skill, but no. I had to send him to a class after school later. Bah.)

Things got late, and Fabian and Zahra headed off to bed. They had to be up early to work the next day. But Hank lingered.

Shanni didn’t mind listening to him rant about Pauline. She really seemed to appreciate what he was saying.

And things went to the logical conclusion.

Hank lay beside Shanni and dreamed of Pauline.

In the morning, he felt terribly guilty.

“About last night –” he began awkwardly.

Shanni laughed. “You can tell her you got back at her,” she said. “I knew this was a fling thing. You never lied to me about how you felt about her.”

“Wow,” Hank said. “I didn’t expect you to be so understanding.”

She gave him a hug and felt good. It was the first time she’d ever been friends with an ex.

Later, Fabian ran into Pauline while on plain clothes patrol outside the theater.

They were old friends, and they got to talking.

“Hank and I broke up,” Pauline told him.

“I know,” Fabian said. “I think you should know that he and Shanni–“

“Oh, I know all about that,” Pauline said. “We got back together after that. Then we broke up again.”


(Hank and Pauline are SO VOLATILE in my game. As of this writing, they’ve given up on each other and are dating other people. I’m considering pollinating Pauline with Twallan’s mod because I don’t think either of them are going to manage to reproduce, and I’d like to have their genes around. It’s not at all unbelievable that they’d produce an illegitimate child, since they’ve gotten together and broken up at least a half-dozen times so far.)