“Aunt Bree,” Ayden said into his cell phone, once she finally picked up. Needing to consult with his rather Gifted old Aunt, he let the phone ring for awhile because she just didn’t move as quickly as she once did. “How are you? I haven’t seen you since Mom’s memorial. I’m sorry to hear you haven’t been well. Us? We’re doing okay. Things are a tad strange lately. I keep seeing dead Sims just about everywhere I go. I’ve seen the Grim Reaper, again, too. I was wondering, if you possibly might know what that means?”
When his aunt grew quiet on the other end, it made him worry. “So,” he continued, after she finally spoke again. “You see it as an omen of some sort? Yeah, that was my thinking, too. Thank you for your advice, Aunt Bree. No, I promise to keep in better touch. I love you, too. Bye-bye. And thanks again.”
Ayden got off the phone and began to pace. This was not good news. Last time he saw the Reaper milling about, he came home to have his mother pass away out on their drive. Now, he worried. There were just he and his brother and sister left. Alive, that is. And Patrice was her usual snappish self. Then suddenly one day she up and moved out. She hardly said two words to her brothers except to say, “I’m all packed up and after work tonight, I shall be moved out — entirely. If I think about it, I’ll send you a text with my new address.”
Ayden just gazed at her, not sure what to make of her announcement. He did have a rather snarky remark bounce through his thoughts, “don’t let the front door smack you on the fanny on your way out,” but in deference to his ghostly father, he keep his thoughts to himself. While he admitted things might be less chaotic with her gone, he was going to miss her cooking and her cleaning. He may even have to consider hiring a maid. Not that he could afford that, especially with one third of their income deleted. But, mostly, he worried. Was he about to lose her, too? With her not right under the same roof, how was he to protect her?
Having such a load on his young shoulders, he worked hard at the station doing his best to crack cases, and clear the scum front the streets of Willow Creek and other nearby vicinities. Admittedly, he had the huge utility bill hanging over his head, too, to think about, but he worked very hard that morning when he arrived at the police station. This wasn’t just a job for him, it was his career. Something he had dreamed about growing up. If he couldn’t be a caped hero, then he could be the normal sort. The kind who ran headlong into peril instead of away from it. A first responder. He was very busy analyzing evidence, in fact, when he heard a commotion going on in the squad room. By the time he got there to see what was going on, the room was packed. They all stood around poor old Rigoberto Devine, an Assistant, curled up on the floor, obviously dead. Ayden hardly knew him, but that didn’t keep the deep sadness from setting in. So many of his fellow policemen were sobbing outright. He felt the tears prick his own eyes.
He finally walked out of the room to get something positive done. He could tell he was on the cusp of finding just who this latest perp was. He went back to the machine and finished the analysis. Then he did a cross reference in the police data base. Striking gold, or so it felt, he found yet another clue and added it to the board. About that time he realized he was hungry.
Going upstairs to the break room, he bought a sandwich, a rather wilted looking BLT. He warily sniffed at it then took a bite. Again, a commotion could be heard. Ayden came flying down the stairs into the squad room to find old Jovan Sisk dead on the floor. A two-for? This left him incredibly sad. Both of these Sims were competent officers. The Department would sorely miss them. Aunt Bree had been correct in her assessment of his seeing the Reaper. She’d mentioned it could be interpreted as a Harbinger of death. Certainly, that proved the case both times he’d witnessed this apparition. This left him feeling a tad unnerved. Jittery, for a time. Finally, he decided to get back to work.
Ayden continued to concentrate on his case, even after the loss of Jovan, as a means of distraction. Someone had to keep working. Seems the entire department, not that they could be blamed, were held paralyzed by the sudden deaths. His fortitude and tenacity was recognized by their chief. He was promptly promoted to Senior Detective. Given a nice bonus and a few other perks, when he got home from work, Ayden decided to do some harvesting. Not only was the activity good therapy for chasing away the sadness, but after checking his bank account, he was still shy of the payment due. Checking the mail, he’d received the notice that if he didn’t pay up in another 24 hours, it would be lights out.
After a few hours’ work, he was pleased to be able to pay that huge bill, all 2,735 Simoleons of it. He continued harvesting and digging up stuff around his lot until the sun set. He wasn’t so sad anymore as he was tense. Then he went inside and showered. Hungry, he checked the fridge but there wasn’t any leftovers to reheat. Funny, there had been some leftover cake earlier … . Having a microwave meal didn’t appeal to him, either. So, Ayden decided to make himself some good ol’ mac and cheese. Comfort food. Despite how hard he’d worked at getting that tire off of his waistline and getting himself back in shape, he really needed a nice plate of mac and cheese. The day had been rather full, after all. But despite the few ghosts that gathered around the lost officers, he didn’t see the Reaper again. For that he was grateful. However the day wasn’t yet over, either.
Ayden was minding his own business, cooking up his dinner when suddenly a fire broke out. This dang old stove! Was it warm in here? Ayden wondered and then realized his clothing had caught fire. Trying his best not to panic, he swatted at the flames that challenged his clothing and threatened his life. Was he going to be death number three suffered by the Willow Creek Police Department? All in the very same day? Suddenly, he heard his old aunt’s voice, inside his head as if she were standing nearby, “Use the fire extinguisher,” she instructed. Looking up, he saw it on the wall and grabbed it. Turning it on himself, he carefully put out the flame. He was a mess. Blackened like so much fish on the grill. He was such a sight! This was certainly one for the books.