Saturday, October 17, 2015

Chapter 49 - Passing the Torch

Bitter Melon left for school that morning with purpose.  It was her birthday.  The last day she'd have to sit through class..  the last day her parents could tell her what to do... the last day of her childhood & the first day of adulthood.

We'd stayed out at Acai's celebrating her new marriage until the wee hours of the morning.  Poor Carmen still had to wake up early to get to work.  I knew he'd be feeling it later.  Thankfully I could just sleep in.

Citron headed home with Marie Mae.  She'd invited him home with her to work on their research project together.  He just had to be home by 6 pm when Bitter's birthday party started.
He was sure his mouth dropped open when he met Marie's sisters, though.  Three sisters?  He'd never been so distracted from work in his whole life!(Black hair - Marie, Red hair - Amie, & Blonde hair - Lacie)

Carmen apparently couldn't wait to get home and slip into bed for a short nap.  -5

"Acai! Glad you could make it!" I said, immediately gazing at her hip line.  "So, that's a new outfit.  Anything you want to tell your mother?"

"Mooooom," Acai said with embarrassment.  She glanced around.  "So where's Citron?"

Citron had finished working on the project with Lacie, but still wasn't ready to head home.  He'd never been the focus of this many girls before.  He was really enjoying it.  They actually thought he was clever!

Bitter Melon, not even noticing her brother wasn't around, headed over to the cake to blow out the candles. 
She was celebrating with, or without him!

Carmen, you're killing me.... -5

Carmen had to see his daughter grow up, but soon after headed to bed.

Until someone else took advantage of the birthday cake.
Estevan Wolff...


"Look, let's blow this joint and do something crazy!" I told my newest cohort, the exceedingly handsome Estevan Wolff, and, hilariously, my brother-in-law.  That should give Freud plenty to think about!
"I'm in!" Estevan agreed eagerly. "What do you have in mind?"
My hands flew to the window of the cab as we approached the lot.  I clambered out of the taxi and ran towards the fortune teller's wagon, lost in the wonder of the moment.  "Oh! This is just like my Mom described it!" I said breathlessly, throwing my arms out to the side and spinning in circles.  "This is amazing!"  I gasped loudly.
"And THIS must be THE Jellybean Bush! My mom swears her life passed before her eyes!" I hurried towards it. "Isn't it gorgeous!"  

Estevan nervously glanced around.  "This really isn't the wild and crazy place I thought we'd go.  I was thinking more along the lines of going to The Grind and grabbing some drinks."
"Oh come on, don't be a scaredy-cat, try one!" I teased, grabbing one from the bush and popping it in my mouth.
Mmmm... it kind of tingles, she thought.

Estevan gamely proved his machoism by trying one, as well.  He swayed unsteadily on his feet.
"You okay?" I asked giddily, hoping to see him do something embarrassing.

Estevan lowered his head into the palm of his hand and pressed his fingers against his eyes. "Yeah, no, I'm fine. I just..." he trailed off as he shook his head.  Pinning me with a probing glance, he raked me up and down.  "How do you feel?" he asked, as though he was upset I wasn't having an adverse reaction.

I grinned at him.  "I'm perfectly..."  Immediately my legs clutched together.  Oh Plumbbob.  I had to pee. Like now.  Desperately I glanced around then ran across the lot towards the port-a-potty that was there.  I didn't even care how dirty it was, so long as I didn't have an accident in front of Estevan.

I heard him laughing at me as I sprinted away.
I returned to the spot where I left Estevan, attempting to appear as composed and serene as possible.

"Look, I'm feeling pretty tired after eating that jellybean.  I'm going home to have my mom check me out.." he said apologetically.  "Maybe we can get together later..."

I made a face and mimicked him. "Oh, look at me, I'm Estevan. I don't feel good after eating a jelly bean."  I held up my hand to pretend it was talking.  "I need my mommy to check my tummy."  I let out a hearty laugh, expecting Estevan to join in.

He was gazing at me as though I were crazy.  "Yeah, so, I'm gonna head. It was... something..."

"Ah, come on! Don't be like that!"  I called to his retreating back.  "We haven't even gotten our fortunes told yet!"

He kept running.


"Well, I don't care if he's here or not. I'm still getting my fortune told!" I entered the rickety old wagon and plopped down in the seat, gazing all around at the shelves and knick-knacks.

Finally a woman shuffled out with a head full of pale white hair, that I was pretty sure was a knock-off wig, and a stooped gait.

I held my hand out to her.  "Tell me my future," I told her brashly.

The woman hemmed and hawed about waiting to hear from her spirit friends and needing more time and money before she could make a reading.

Finally, I left, disgusted by the obvious charade.  She was nothing more than a charlatan!  I was so disheartened because I'd been so sure that tonight my future would unfold.  Whatever untold force that drew me to the alchemist shop on the night the witches brew was available would make itself known to me.
But obviously, this was all childish fantasy!  This bottle of witches brew that I carried around was nothing more than a waste of money! An expensive bottle of fancy water that I'd been tricked into buying!
I pulled out the bottle and scowled as I threw it down to the ground.
But then... 

The green-tinted smokey haze seemed to shift around me, caressing me, whispering secrets in my ear...

A smile spread over my face.  I felt so powerful... so alive... I could feel the energy pulsing in me now.

With some unknown instinct, I swirled my fingers around I was amazed to see sparks of fire magically appear.
And then, in my hand, a magical apple formed where none had been.

Oh, how foolish I was to doubt myself and whatever mysterious hand that was guiding me!

Torch Holders: +1 (2) = 2 (Bitter Melon officially becomes the new torch-holder! Yay!)
Painting of Torch Holder: +5 (1) = 5
Sim Failing School: -5
Visit from Service Sim: -5
Passing Out: -5 (2) = -10 (Good job, Carmen)
Self-Urination: -5 (2) = -10 (Way to get the job done, Carmen)
Accidental Deaths: -10
Social Worker Visit: -15
Births: +5 (3) = 15
Twin Births: +10
Triplet Births: +15
Fulfilling LTW: +40
Achieving Honor Roll: +5 (1) = 5
Randomizing  LTW choice and trait for a generation: +10
Not using spares Happiness points for a generation: +10 (1) = 10 (Gen 1 spouse is officially retired & we never used any Happiness points for Carmen!)

Every 100,000 dollars: +20
NPS Spouse reach the top of their career: +40
Cheat Penalty: -10 (2) = -20

Total = -3 

Chapter 48 - Acai's Big Surprise

"Do we have any plans today?" I asked Carmen over breakfast.

Carmen shrugged, "Not that I can think of... just a lazy Sunday. Do you want to do anything?"
I wondered whether or not I should take another job today.  But, eventually decided against it.  It was one of the last days before Bitter Melon became an adult and I just wanted to enjoy this time with my family.

"Carmen!" I shouted excitedly, running out of the house.  "Acai's gone and married Bryant! They're throwing a party tonight!"

Carmen's brush dropped to the ground.  "Married?" he asked, dumb-founded.

"That's what she said!"

Carmen rubbed his chin suspiciously.  "That's awful quick..."

At 7 pm, I headed over to the Wolffs to attend Acai's party with the family.
"Can you believe it?" Acai asked in awe.  "I'm married!"

"We're so happy for you!" I told her, giving her a hug. 
As Acai left to mingle with her guests, I hunted down Bryant.  I left him with a very subtle warning, "If you hurt her, I will make your life hell."

"Mrs. Persimmon, I love Acai with my whole heart! I would never do anything to upset her!" he said fervently.
"Do you think we should go in now, Dad?' Citron asked.

Carmen nodded. "Sure, sure, let me just tell you one more thing..."

Bitter Melon could care less about hob-nobbing with the self-important Wolffs.  She cranked the stereo up and danced.
"Maybe you could go join her..." I suggested, brooking no refusal.

Estevan rubbed the back of his neck.  "Er.. okay.. Mrs. P. Sure..."
Estevan approached Bitter Melon.  "So.... I'm supposed to ask you to dance."

Bitter Melon pursed her lips and glanced down at the floor.  "Err... ok..."
Soon, their awkwardness melted away and the two teens were having fun.

Citron had just flushed when Acai burst into the bathroom.  "HEY! I'm in here!" he squeaked in surprise.

"Move!" Acai grunted as she fell to her knees and began puking.

Citron scrunched his face as he watched his sister throwing up.  "Um...are you okay?"

"Their wedding certainly caught us off guard!" I told Acai's new mother-in-law, Morgana Wolff.  "Those two kids are just crazy in love, aren't they?"

Morgana pursed her lips. "Mmm...  We tried to talk some sense into Bryant, but he just wouldn't be reasoned with..."
I was instantly offended. "What do you mean? Acai's perfect!"

Morgana passive-aggressively attempted to back-pedal, "Oh, Acai is just perfectly lovely! We just question the speed of the nuptials..."

I eyed Morgana angrily.  "What are you implying?" I snapped.
Morgana made a face showing her disdain.  "Oh, I think you know!"

Oh, she did not know who she was messing with! Unlike her, I didn't care about making a big scene at a fancy hoity-toity party.  I opened my mouth to let the first inappropriate thing I could think of fly out...
But, then Acai was at my side, giving me a moment to pause...
"Mom, thanks again for coming! Have you spoken with Kerry yet? He was just telling me about how you saved him from the awful rumor," Acai said while tactfully pulling me away from Morgana.

Knowing how important this was to her, I let it go... this time...

I might not mind a big scene, but Acai would be mortified. 

"It was a beautiful reception, wasn't it?" Carmen asked.

I smiled back at him, unwilling to tell him about Acai's snobbish in-laws yet, or their suspicions regarding Acai's fertility.  There would be time...

"Estevan danced with me!" Bitter gushed, changing the subject for me.

Citron rolled his eyes, "He's your brother-in-law now. It's not like you can date him."

Now it was Bitter Melon's turn to roll her eyes.  "Who said anything about dating?" she asked tartly.  "Besides, I could date him if I wanted to. It's not like he's my brother now or anything."
"Scientifically speaking..." Citron trailed off as he followed behind Bitter Melon, lecturing her about probabilities and statistical analyses regarding marriage lines.

"I love you," Carmen said, reaching for my hands & ignoring the children.
Together, we sat down on the front lawn (which I'm sure the Altos & the Landgraabs loved!) and ended our evening gazing at stars and reminiscing about the past.

Torch Holders: +1 (1) = 1
Painting of Torch Holder: +5 (1) = 5
Sim Failing School: -5
Visit from Service Sim: -5
Passing Out: -5 (1) = -5
Self-Urination: -5 (1) = -5

Accidental Deaths: -10
Social Worker Visit: -15
Births: +5 (3) = 15
Twin Births: +10
Triplet Births: +15
Fulfilling LTW: +40
Achieving Honor Roll: +5 (1) = 5
Randomizing  LTW choice and trait for a generation: +10
Not using spares Happiness points for a generation: +10
Every 100,000 dollars: +20
NPS Spouse reach the top of their career: +40
Cheat Penalty: -10 (2) = -20

Total = -4 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Chapter 47 - A Game of Telephone

Carmen woke earlier than the rest of the household by habit.  He saw a few dirty plates that had been left on the desk and sighed.  He guessed the plates didn't get washed after the whole 'broken sink' debacle.
He scooped them up and went to the closest sink.
"BITTER MELON!" he yelled, somehow managing to keep hold on the plates.

"Bitter! If you pull one more prank in this household, I swear to Plumbbob, I am going to ship you off to boarding school!"

Bitter gasped.  "But I haven't set anything lately!"

"Well then, you need to remember where each and every single one of your pranks have been set! Because I swear..."  I glanced down and saw the puddle.  "Did you have an accident?!"

Bitter reared back with affront, "NO! I've been potty-trained since I was a baby!"

"Citron?" I asked.

Citron glanced up from his homework.  "Not I."

"Then who was it?" I demanded.

"Dad?" Bitter Melon suggested with a shrug.
Carmen walked back inside, dripping wet & leaving puddles in his wake.

Bitter Melon spent the afternoon painting a rather bright and cheery picture.  She leaned back and eyed it critically.  "It's crap.  A stinking load of crap," she said sourly.

"Dad, I just need to get through my chemistry homework! You can't keep interrupting me every 5 minutes!"  Citron complained. 

"I'm sorry," Cameron said.  "I'd just remembered a funny joke I'd heard the other day..."

Bitter Melon crept through the house, trying to be as quiet as possible.
"Bitter!"  Carmen said after he managed to speak again.  "You could've given me a heart attack!"
Bitter rolled her eyes.  "Aw, come on, Dad. It was just a joke!"

Citron was finally able to finish his organic chemistry homework and decided to attempt an experiment with the new lab station his parents had purchased for him.  (Citon's Teen Command)
He swirled the contents in the beaker and slowly added the solutions together, watching to see if there was a response.

Bitter Melon swirled the dark red colors onto the black background and smiled.  "Much better," she said, pleased with the dark art she was creating.

Dark Art, she thought with irony.  She thought of the bottle of Witches Brew she carried with her since she'd been drawn to the little Alchemist's shop that night.

I checked my watch, fairly certain I could finish this case up before night fall.  People these days, I thought with a sigh.  Always so worried about what so and so said about them!  Kerry Alto wanted to hire me to quash a rumor that's been floating around.

Apparently his father-in-law, Nick referred to Kerry as a llama-brained-gnome-herder... whatever that is.  Kerry's insisting that it's insulting & that I need to do something about it.
I knew the best way to make a difference was to hit all the big families in town.

First stop was to visit his sister, Holly Alto Landgraab.  "Apparently your dad's been mouthing off and Kerry's worried everyone will think he really is a.." I tried to remember the exact insult. "Llama-brained.. goat-herder..."  I shrugged. Close enough.

Holly laughed. "Oh, I know he's not!" she assured me.  "I know how my father is."
My next stop was the Goths.  "Bella, I wanted to speak to you about Kerry Alto.  You might have heard a few rumors..."

Bella nodded, adding in a shocked voice, "I couldn't believe what they said he did to those poor gnomes! I knew it had to be some sort of mistake!"

"Umm.. wait... what did you hear?" I asked.

Bella whispered the rumor to me and my mouth dropped.  "Let me assure you, that is far from the truth!"

This was like some sort of horrible telephone game where the message gets more and more twisted!
I needed to put an end to it once and for all.
One last stop...
"Tamara!" I smiled.  "There's something I need your help with..."

"Anything for you, Simone!"

"It's as good as done," I told Kerry.  "At least until the next time Nick blows off at the mouth."

Kerry frowned and scratched his head. "Ohhh.... yeah...."

Back at home I kissed my husband hello and then retired to our bedroom.  Our love life had certainly gotten a bump in our golden years!  I guess Carmen really didn't want another child!
"Scram!" I told Bitter Melon as we settle on the mattress.
"Ew. That's so gross!" Bitter groused.  "You guys aren't supposed to do it. You're too old!"
We snickered like teenagers. 

"Says who?" I joked.

His experiment didn't go quite as planned.
Citron sat at the chess table and went over where he'd gone wrong.  Was it the hydrogen or liquid ice that caused that reaction?

Torch Holders: +1 (1) = 1
Painting of Torch Holder: +5 (1) = 5
Sim Failing School: -5
Visit from Service Sim: -5
Passing Out: -5 (1) = -5
Self-Urination: -5 (1) = -5

Accidental Deaths: -10
Social Worker Visit: -15
Births: +5 (3) = 15
Twin Births: +10
Triplet Births: +15
Fulfilling LTW: +40
Achieving Honor Roll: +5 (1) = 5
Randomizing  LTW choice and trait for a generation: +10
Not using spares Happiness points for a generation: +10
Every 100,000 dollars: +20
NPS Spouse reach the top of their career: +40
Cheat Penalty: -10 (2) = -20

Total = -4