It was late at night, and Fennel Wolff, middle child of the three 6th-generation heirs hopeful to his legacy family, sat alone by the campfire he’d constructed on the back of the property.
As he watched the little embers jump and dance in the moonlight, he turned his roasting stick slowly, careful to evenly heat each side of his skewered harvest over the flames.
It was a bit like making popcorn – when the crackle and hiss started to fade, he knew it was just about ready. Fennel straightened up, gathering resolve for the next step of the task ahead.
He was going to have to eat the things.
In his quest to become a true outdoorsman, Fennel had already done a lot of things that gentler folk might turn away from. He’d crawled into dark and brambled tunnels, nibbled toxic shrooms, been covered head to toe in an itchy, burning rash, and now, he was about to dine on roasted beetles for the first time.
Being of a scientific mind, he understood the good sense in eating these abundant, high-protein morsels. But there was still something a little unsettling about feasting on critters he’d seen scurrying around just moments prior. Imagining actually crunching down on one – popping the juicy, now-swollen carcass between his strong molars, tasting the tang of whatever organs the insect was possessed of as they emptied into his mouth – that was a bit gross, even for him.
There’s no way past but through, he thought. And he took a bite.
The texture proved a bit unpleasant, as imagined. But they didn’t taste all that bad.
. . .
Inside the house, his 2-minutes-older twin sister Forsythia was working on a skill she’d been teaching herself.
Well, she’d been trying to teach herself, anyway.
Soon she would be old enough to pursue her true calling and join the Comedian career. But for now, having another skill she could employ while she hung out at the club seemed smart. That way if some chump was hogging the mic she could maybe pick up some tips working the bar.
Yeah, she needed some practice yet, but Mixology wasn’t Rocket Science – she knew she’d get it eventually.
Besides, most folks didn’t complain about the drinks as long as there was enough juice in the cup. And she looked pretty damned cool behind the bar.
. . .
And then there was Freesia.
A girl whose aloof manner belies an inner need for belonging (or at least, a strong compulsion for social activity), Freesia has no shortage of acquaintances and friends.
Watching her interact with the other children is weird. She builds relationships quickly, but doesn’t seem very concerned with keeping them. Somewhere midway she detaches and takes on a conductor role – you can imagine she’s talking them into all sorts of interesting, potentially unwise things.
The one exception to all this strange detachment is Ace Sloan, whose mother Reagan moved from a world filled with intrigue and danger to ours to find that her prior life as a maid had left her uniquely suited for the mundane pleasures of family life. I find Reagan to be quite magical, and she has a really great kid.
It often seems that certain of my sims can sense my regard for other sims. Or maybe it’s just that I pay more attention to those and my overactive imagination fills in the blanks. Either way, something was up with Freesia and the Sloans.
Ace got under Freesia’s skin somehow.
They have these little push-and-give challenges, where it looks like Freesia’s being stubborn and jerky and is eventually won over by her little friend’s refusal to give credence to her flaws.
It’s cute as hell.
I try not to wish for things, not for myself or for those I care for. Something about skipping all the steps – of coming right out and requesting a thing – makes me feel like I’m cheating on a test of faith, or humility or something. But if I were on my death bed and needed to shout out a final plea for those left behind, and there was no risk of it going bad, monkey’s-paw like, it might be for this: that you would have just one steadfast friend who sees good in you even when you’re kind of being an ass.
Someone to be your best friend, forever.