Nathaniel got up from his desk in the office where he was working on his latest book. Hungry, he was crossing through the long, formal dining room on his way to the kitchen. He stopped in his tracks midway, hearing the low, ominous humming sound emanating from above the house. He didn’t need to look to see what it was. He knew, he’d heard it twice before. Which was good, since he found his feet more or less glued to the hardwood floor. He couldn’t move if he wanted to and wondered if he was paralyzed in the same manner when caught in that beam of light? His heart thumped almost to that ominous pulsation. He broke out into a sweat. The children!
Glancing about him, he quickly realized all three were in the same room with him. Sitting in the corner of the dining room, just outside of the office, Marc and Janeille were playing a game of chess, with Megan kibitzing as she watched them play. Sophia came into the room, moments later, a plate of steaming food in her hand, ready to eat. Pretty soon he could hear Jaylen laughing as he watched a kids show out in the livingroom. That left Gramps.
Where was he? Nathaniel realized he'd been so engrossed in his writing, he hadn't see Gramps in quite some time.
“Gramps?” Nathaniel called out, trying not to panic. The last time the aliens were here they threatened to take the children away. His children. Were they now in the process of kidnaping his already deceased grandfather? Would they try to use the spectre of his ancestor as a bargaining chip?
Nathaniel searched the house, all three floors, top to bottom. No Gramps. He chanced going out back to their private family cemetery plot. Often Erik could be found there, mourning either Zoe, or sometimes even Jade. The ghost was very sensitive and very sweet. Nathaniel wished he had known him when he was alive. He hated to think the aliens had him captive, possibly torturing him. Oh, the nightmares …
As if by design, several of the home’s appliances went Ka-blewey. Erik generally was the one to make these repairs. Jaylen had long since gone to bed. So, Nathaniel rolled up his sleeves and tackled one job after the next. First the downstairs toilet overflowed. Then the sink in that bathroom sprung a leak. The dishwasher decided to wet the kitchen floor — for once Nathaniel praised his grandfather for having chosen real stone flooring. Linoleum would have split under this small flood. Nathaniel carefully mopped up this water before he tried fixing the appliance, understanding that water and electricity didn’t mix. Despite his cautious approach, he came away from this repair feeling dazed. He’d been zapped. But at least he’d finally pulled the dwelling back together, and tackled the Great Flood of Cantrell House. Not a bad title, he may have to write another How-To.
The work was a tad exhausting, but at least, he was kept occupied. And so distracted, he wasn’t thinking, for once. Which was a good thing, he decided.
After hours had gone by, Nathaniel was alerted to the same haunting thrumming, pulsating sound again above the roof. Shortly thereafter, Erik floated his way inside the house again.
“Gramps!” Nathaniel greeted the entity, with a big hug. “Are you okay?”
“Nathaniel, please forgive me for ever teasing you about your unfortunate experiences with those, those… beings. I can only hope my great-grandchildren won’t grow up to be so sinister in their aspirations. It’s my opinion, they wish to take over our planet through interbreeding.”
“And that’s putting it kindly. Did they hurt you in any way?” Nathaniel looked over his ghostly grandfather. “They didn’t go near your navel, did they?”
“No, no. I think they perceived I was too old and too dead a specimen for their usage.”
“Good. For once I think I’m glad you are dearly departed.”
“Me, too. But, if you don’t mind, I would like to get in a bit of shut-eye.”
“Certainly. I understand. I’m just glad you’re okay.”
“I think so. Goodnight, Nate.”
“Good night, Gramps.”
Shortly thereafter, Nathaniel celebrated his birthday. He was now a full adult. Two Sim days later, so did Jaylen. While Nathaniel’s birthday consisted of a cake and a few congratulatory texts from friends, he made sure to throw a bash for his younger brother. Falling on a weekend as it did, made it easier to do. He didn’t have to worry how late the children stayed up, as they, too, were included in the guest list.
Nathaniel was quick to show off his dance moves, perhaps to prove he wasn’t ‘over the hill’ just yet. He did get his brother to kick up his heels for a bit. The most fun he had, was when Marc joined him on the dance floor. After the birthdays were over for another year, Nathaniel concentrated on the house. He decided the roof needed replacing.
Jaylen worked hard and was soon promoted. He was also given a choice of positions. He could become a Trainer or he could try his hand at Sports. Jaylen chose the Sports track. He continued to workout, but one day he saw a rather curious thing. He recalled how his father and his now late grand Auntie Bree had the Gift of second-sight. His father’s was more pronounced in the visitation of ghostly entities. Auntie Bree would get visions of future events. Jaylen punched at the bag, trying very hard to ignore the thing working out next to him. Perhaps, it meant nothing and would go away. Fearing ridicule, he said nothing about this obscure event.
A few Sim days later, he was very grieved when his sister-in-law passed away very early one morning. He sometimes wondered if she was okay, mentally, or if Sim-senility had taken over her mind. She was cooking at the stove when suddenly a fire broke out. He was just in the other room and heard her whimpering oddly while trying to put it out. He grabbed the other extinguisher their father insisted they keep, and ran to help her. It was Sim days before they could replace the stove. But, at least she didn’t burn the kitchen down. Insurance was nothing short of a joke. The family cleaned up the mess. And, now she was gone.
Sad, sad thing. He felt for his older brother. Nathaniel had already gone through the emotional wringer. What more could this Sim take?