Log 5.31: After School Snacks

“Whatcha doin’?” Freesia asked.

Fennel smiled, which only irritated his Hot-headed little sister.

“Not mad at me anymore, huh?” he asked.

5.30-hmph
“Hmph.”

Freesia glared, just to let him know she could still be mad if she felt like it.

“I’m sorting these plant samples so that I can try to identify them,” he answered finally, placing a few more unidentified plants on the table.

5.30-plants

“How are you gonna do that?” Freesia asked.

“Well, I’ve ruled out most of the likely toxins by color and leaf shape. Next, I’m going to taste them.”

5.30-yum-1
“You’re gonna taste them?”

Freesia’s eyes got big. “Isn’t that dangerous?”

“Yep. If I’m wrong, and Grim comes,” he added for impact, “you can have my stuff.

“Really??”

“Even your computer?”

“Yep, even my computer,” Fennel said. “Here goes!”

“WAIT!” Freesia yelled.

5.30-wait

“What about your bed?” she asked. “I like your bed better than mine.”

“You can have my bed too. Okay, I’m really gonna do it now.”

Fennel slowly raised the bloom to his mouth, closed his eyes and took a nibble.

5.30-yum-3

Freesia watched her brother closely for signs of imminent demise. He looked okay.. but she couldn’t be certain.

“How do you feel?” she asked.

“I feel great!”

“That wasn’t so bad,” he said.

“Aw, man.”

Fennel kept tasting until there was only one flower left. He seemed to be teasing her, now.

5.30-glare
“Goodbye, sweet sister.”

Freesia remained cautiously optimistic that this last sample might be the one that did her brother in. But it was obvious right away that that wasn’t gonna happen.

5.30-gomp
. . .
“That one tasted peppery!”

“I guess these weren’t the brother-killing variety after all,” Fennel said. “Good thing I ate them and not you!”

“I could eat one if I wanted,” said Freesia. “It’s no big deal.”

“Great!” he said. ” ‘Cause I saved one for you. Here, take it.”

Freesia was nervous, but she didn’t want to lose cred’ with her brother. She paused a moment, shut her eyes tight and slowly brought the stem end to her mouth.

5.31-wait

“Wait!!” he called out.

5.31-wait-2
“Not so fast, kid.”

“What do I get if you die?”

“You can have my homework,” she offered.

5.31-wait-3
“I already did like 5 problems though.”

“Hmm..” Fennel considered. “That’s not much, but I’ll take it. Go ahead, then.”

Freesia turned away and gulped it down before her brother could interrupt again.

5.31-wait-4

“Well?” Fennel asked when she’d finished. “How was it?”

Freesia took a deep breath and exhaled deeply, tasting the air as it left her lungs.

“That tasted like your socks smell,” she said.

Fennel laughed.

She sucked in breath again, the exhale even more pronounced.

*hhhuuuuuurk*
*Hhhuuuuuuhh*

“Now I have sock breath,” she said flatly.

“That sounds like a good nickname,” he joked. “May I call you ‘Sockbreath’ from now on?”

5.31-tasteslikeplum
. . .

Freesia stared at her brother for a good long minute before answering.

“No.”

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Log 5.30: Always Moving

After a short and sweet wedding, Landon and Brianna moved to Oasis Springs to start their life together, away from the legacy house.

5.30-bri-land

They couldn’t afford much, but with the addition of some interior paint & a few new furnishings the little Sandtrap Flat really did feel like their very own place.

5.30-bri-land-2

The Teslas are also moving on, but a bit further away than can be explained with a simple answer.

In the months since her assignment here, Casey Tesla had collected all the information she was asked to. But she never could figure out why she was sent here, or even where here was.

1-casey-1

“So you’ve never heard it called anything else, then? Just Willow Creek?”

1-casey-4

“Well, you know, they do call it other things over in Oasis Springs,” the letter carrier admitted. “Pillow Creek, Stepford, Shallow Creep–”

“That’s enough,” Casey interrupted irritably. “I get it.”

The surest thing Casey could tell is that whatever perceived threat brought her here must’ve been allayed somehow — there simply wasn’t anything going on in this quaint little town that a monkey couldn’t figure out. It certainly didn’t require a Spy Captain.

And Ravon Skinner, Stay-at-home Mom, is actually.. wait for it.. a Stay-at-home Mom.
And Ravon Skinner, Stay-at-home Mom, is actually.. Ravon Skinner, Stay-at-home Mom.

When Casey learned that there’d been some recent developments back home that required her special skillset, she was perfectly happy to resign this mystery to the ages. While leaving a stone unturned would normally bother her, if it meant being able to reconnect with her niece Delaney and the rest of her extended family again, she’d ditch this place in a heartbeat.

“So.. Funny story.”

“What would you say if I told you I’ve been offered a chance to move back home?” Casey asked her husband, Gavin.

“Well,” he pondered, “We’ve done it once and the kids were fine; I suppose it wouldn’t be too difficult to move again.”

“I mean, of course we can – let’s do it!”

. . .

Others are staying where they’re at, but taking advantage of new opportunities.

Once the lab on the edge of town opened its doors, Joel Skinner was first in line to join the new Science career.

5.30-science

5.30-science-1

5.30-science-2

Joel’s natural interests align quite well with scientific discovery; he’s coming up with ideas for new inventions all the time.

5.30-joel

His wife Ravon is considerably less lonely, now that she and Edelweiss are friends.

“Look! There’s a diamond tiara.”
“I just keep seeing plums – like that one right there.”
“Goodness.. that is quite a nice plum.”

. . .

And those who expected that the worst was coming are living as though it has indeed.

5.30-apocalypse
“Gah! You ain’t an alien, are ya?”

When I visited the Sloans, I found that Reagan and Ferretface had broken up. Not sure what happened, but he was always Tense from being in a relationship whenever I played them before, so perhaps he’d finally had enough. Reagan seemed just fine with the whole thing though – in fact, she’d somehow landed herself a rank 9 writing career without a single point of writing skill. ;D

“Neat trick, mom..”

Ace spends a lot of time observing his parents. While he and his mom have developed a kind of “don’t ask, don’t tell” silent understanding, his pop Stuart requires a bit more.. maintenance.

5.30-stuart

“Dad,” Stuart asked gently, “why won’t you take a shower?”

“I told ya! We can’t use the water – it ain’t safe!”

“Not ’til somebody gets to the top of the Journalist career and busts the lid off’a what the government did to the water supply!” Stuart ranted.

“We’re not in an Apocalypse Challenge, Dad – this is a Legacy save.”

“Totally different ruleset!”

Stuart rounded the counter and sat on the stool next to his son.

“You kids today have it way too easy.”

“Of course the apocalypse is challenging, boy,” Stuart said, “or else they wouldn’t call it the apocalypse!”



Note: You can follow the Tesla family (and I highly recommend that you do!) at the Simdale Valley Post.

Log 5.29: Kids Rule

This post was supposed to culminate some kind of romantic saga thing, but that party done got crashed.

imagine some relevant buildup prior to this
(Something about meeting on this spot; this not being their story, but finding each other anyway and –)

See, I wasn’t watching the clock. Little miss thing got home from school at the worst moment and Confidently marched right through the middle of the darn proposal.

5.29-will-y
(Something about him never thinking he’d actually be wearing one of these, and –)

Not being allowed to reload the save is one Legacy rule I stick to, so this is what we’d have to work with. But I wasn’t upset. The directed action taking place on the porch suddenly seemed unimportant. I had to know where the little beast was going.

5.29-im-home
(Don’t worry, pretty sure he said yes. I’ll check on them in a sec, I swear.)

Freesia continued her march clean through the house. In through the front door..

5.29-boss

5.29-boss-2

5.29-boss-3

5.29-boss-4

And out through the back.

And we arrived here, at the archway leading to the graveyard.

5.29-graveyard

Freesia didn’t go inside. Just stood there grinning.

What does it mean? Is she trying to remind me that life is short? Does she miss the ancestral cowplant? Is it just some random pathing error?

I decide that I have no freakin’ idea. But it fascinates me. I start looking around for clues.

5.29-graveyard-2

No queued actions. Nothing in there that a child can interact with but the graves. Except, then I checked the active tombstones and realized that they were all dead now – no ghost associations left. Culled to hunks of cement.

Gone too were all neighborhood ghosts from our relationship panels. By now we’d had quite a lot of those, so this was going to be a big dent in the population. Weird!

I went to look for the little rugrat, to thank her for pointing this out to me & see if she needed anything else, but she’d already gone on to other things.

5.29-space-pirate

Okay, kid. You’re a space pirate. You do what you want. I get it.  I should go back and try to stitch that whole Landon and Brianna thing back together.

Let’s see.. backtrack to the gym.. some kind of screenshot to capture their “these two sims really do dig each other – I didn’t make that up” vibe..

5.29-proof-2

Maybe a joke referring back to a previous post to derail the moment..

"How do you feel about monks?"
“Wait — I need to ask you something important. What are your thoughts on monks?”

And then we should probably let them kiss..

5.29-proof
(Any moment n–)

But my heart just wasn’t in it. I wondered what Freesia was up to.

I'm leaving you alone - why don't you leave me alone?
“Seriously? Do I have to do everything around here?”

Oof. Sorry, again. She’s just so compelling. So very self-contained and driven. I mean, she’s out there playing space pirate by herself in the middle of the night. That’s kinda badass, right?

Although, is she offering to do everything around here? ‘Cause I’d be down with that.

"Just put, 'And they lived happily ever after.'"
“Okay, but you have to put what I say and nothing else.”

Alright, I’ll do it. You’ve got a deal.

"They'll be fine."
“Ok. Here we go.”

Once upon a time, some people met on a doorstep.
It wasn’t their house, but they basically lived there.
Some stuff happened – some of it was bad but mostly it was good.
They fell in love.

And they lived happily ever after.

5.29-whatever

5.29-propose

5.29-wed-fullbody

5.29-ring

5.29-the-end

5.29-victor-victoria
“You’re welcome.”

. . .

Note: If you’d like a sweet newlywed couple that probably wouldn’t mind getting the heck out of Dodge for your game, Brianna and Landon Clemons-Purdue can be found on the gallery under Origin ID Ehhwot.

Log 5.28: Settle Down Already

Aside from having to find creative ways to contain a lifetime of impure thoughts, possibly the most unpleasant aspect of “retiring” from Serial Romance is that you don’t lose the instinct. It stays with you like an extra sense. Only what was meant to be a tool in your Ultimate Romantic Predator arsenal becomes an instrument of crippling empathy.

"It's cool, don't tell me - I feel everything."
I’ve evolved.. I can now feel up the air.

Perhaps it’s simply that spending all that time trying not to think or feel or do things makes you highly sensitized to them. No longer an active participant, you become an unintentional voyeur whether you want to be one or not. What was two strangers enjoying the tickling curiosity from standing a little too close in the elevator becomes a ménage à trois when you step aboard. That cashier idly fantasizing about someone as she presses the change into your hand? You might as well be doing a freaking mind meld – her desire becomes yours with the quarters.

"When did I become the plumming crotch whisperer?"
“When did I become the freaking plum whisperer?”

I suppose, with practice and patience, one could hone this into a harmless passive feeding skill of sorts. Suck up a little of that energy, like some kind of benign libido vampire, to help keep your own impulses at bay. But, that wouldn’t quite be “retiring” — how long before you’d need to feed for real?

No, better to help folks help themselves when you can – scratch the itch, silence the longing – so you can get out of the damned elevator, ASAP.

And now I'm plumming Cupid. Great.
“And now I’m plumming Cupid. Great.”

After weeks of absorbing her angst, Edelweiss finally confronted her roommate and close friend, Brianna.

"Yo, pancakes - let's talk."
“Yo, pancakes – sit down, we’re having a talk.”
"O.. kay.."
“O.. kay?”

Brianna sat down at the counter.

"You guys are driving me nuts." 
“The bear. Is trying. To hibernate.”

Brianna was lost.

“What?”

“He wants to be with you too, you know that, right?”

“The.. bear?” Brianna asked, getting a wee bit creeped out.

"Oh, I don't know - YOUR BOYFRIEND?"
“Well, kinda! I suppose, in a way!”

“No,” said Ede, refocusing. “Landon! Red hair, dimples, cute girlfriend? You two have been walking around in this swirling vortex of almost something for weeks now, and it’s driving me plumming nuts!”

“Oh.” Brianna blushed a little. Maybe she wasn’t ready to face this yet, but that was too bad, darnit.

“Look,” Ede said, “If you wanna live here ’til we’re both old’n grey and just have walker races all day that’s cool with me. But, he’s looking for a place, you’re looking for a place. I know you both dig each other. What’s the freaking problem, here?”

Brianna  sighed.

5.28-bri-ede
“I’m conflicted.”

Ede tried to harness her patience so that she could help her friend.

“I’m listening,” she said.

My family is pretty traditional about this stuff,” Brianna explained. “It never applied to me, exactly – I mean, it’s not like anyone ever sat me down and told me what kind of relationship to have – but, since I’ve been getting into this whole violin thing, and especially since I basically left everyone behind, that stuff all seems really important now. I feel like I need to set an example, if that makes sense.”

“It would be easy to move in together and just continue what we’re doing,” she continued, “I’d probably even be really happy. But it also feels like shacking up with my boyfriend would be disrespectful – like I owe it to grandpa, and mom, and everybody to aim for the whole package, y’know?”

Ede let loose a laugh.

“Well,” she said loudly, “that’s not a problem!”

It came out a bit more on the brash side than she intended. Brianna clenched her fists.

5.28-bri-wtf

“It’s not?? Well gee, thanks! I feel better already!”

“I mean plum,” Bri ranted on, “why didn’t I come to you sooner?!”

“I meant,” Ede said fondly, “your boyfriend pretty much wants the whole storybook, tacky greeting card experience.”

“Really?” Bri asked.

“Only for his whole damn life.”

“Oh.”

Ede gave her a minute before continuing.

5.28-pretty-lady

“If you’re sure about this,” Ede said, “he may need a little nudge. He’s not exactly fared well living next door to me his whole life.”

Brianna chuckled, “not many would!”

“Thanks a lot!” Ede laughed.

“I’m just playing,” Bri said. “You know I love you guys.”

“And we love you too, pancakes. Now go get yourself a happy damn ending already!”

"I might just do that!"
“I’ll give you ’til Friday – they’re having a 2 for 1 sale on walkers this weekend.”

“Soon,” Bri laughed. “Some of us actually have to work today!”

. . .

It was true, Ede had the day off. House all to herself. It felt.. weird.

Hmm, what should I do? I could do anything!
Hmm, what should I do? I could do anything!
But not that.
Or I could just do that.

After spending the rest of the morning wrestling the plumbing into submission, the idea of pampering herself seemed naive. Her dream of taking a nice hot bath faded away, and was replaced by a yen to Friendly-interact with a certain someone who’d been displaying certain inclinations towards a certain mailman. So she donned her magic diaper once again, grabbed her bow and arrows and headed off on her fool quest.

5.28-hello

She wasn’t gonna shoot her or anything, mind. She was just drawn.

5.28-hello-2

Ravon Skinner opened the door and looked past Edelweiss hopefully for a second.

5.28-ravon-wave
” Hello, M– “

“It’s just me,” Ede smiled.

“Oh.”

Ravon covered her disappointment with hospitality and invited Edelweiss inside.

5.28-hello-3

“I was going to bring brownies, but I seem to have lost the recipe,” Ede said with a smirk.

Ravon kept her at arm’s length with politeness.

“Oh, no need.”

Edelweiss noticed that Ravon’s shape had returned to normal – she’d been quite pregnant last time she’d seen her.

“Congratulations on your new arrival, by the way!”

5,28-beautiful-ravon

Ravon lit up at that. “Oh! Do you want to see the girls?”

Girls – that’s great! Sure!”

As is often the case in Skinnerville proper, our Skinners had another set of twins!

5.28-mo-skinners

“Oh, they’re sleeping,” Ede noticed. “Some other time then.”

“Don’t be silly, darling,” said Ravon. “Come.”

5.28-anahi-skinner
“Who’s mommy’s little princess?”

Ede followed Ravon’s lead, and was soon lost in baby cuteness herself.

You look just like your beautiful mama.
“You are just perfect.”

The squeeing and cooing over little Gretchen and Anahi proved to be a pretty decent icebreaker.

"I like to just watch them sleep sometimes, but it's hard to resist those little toes!"
“I like to just watch them sleep sometimes, but it’s hard to resist those little toes!”

And so it was that the two most dangerous vixens in town found themselves chatting and laughing together well into the afternoon.

5.28-kinship
“I wish we’d talked sooner!”

Ravon shared her excitement over some local rumors.

"Have you heard? There is going to be a new boutique opening in the area soon - maybe several!"
“Have you heard? There may be a new boutique opening in the area soon!”

And Ede made an invitation for an actual friendship.

"We should get the kids together soon. My Freesia is just about your sons' age."
“We should get the kids together. My Freesia is just about your sons’ age.”

It was nearly time for the children to be home from school and Edelweiss felt that nice hot bath within her grasp again, so she finally made to leave for home. Ravon saw her to the door.

"Would you come again sometime?"
“Would you like to come again sometime?”

“This was nice,” Ravon said earnestly. “Thank you.”

“Thank you for having me.”

"I have Tuesday off."
“I have next Tuesday off.”

“I’m sorry,” she said. “About before.”

Ede smiled. “No need.”

"Tuesday's perfect. I'll look up a brownie recipe."
“Tuesday’s perfect. I’ll look up a brownie recipe!”

For those itches that can’t quite be reached, sometimes kindness, laughter and baby pictures’ll work in a pinch. It feels different, but it’s still pretty darn good.