Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Generation Five — Chapter Seven: Going Forward — At The Speed of Life

     Joseph was full of vigor, while only a short time ago, he felt the first pangs of slowing down. However, he figured out what his ancestors had done wrong. They waited, he surmised, until they were already in their Elder years before taking the Potion of Youth. In fact, as Erik told him, the Rock Star, himself, having used a variety of herbs his whole life, waited until he was nearly at twilight to try it. His life was extended, but at a stage where he was also accompanied by the aches and pains of his elder years. Yes, he was around to experience things in life he may not have experienced, his children growing up and having children of their own, but not at a level of quality that would allow for him to do more with them.
So, Joseph, taking the lesson taught, deemed it time, a few days off of becoming an Elder himself, to consume the Potion of Youth. And prior to the indignities of later life had fully set in. He was amazed at how reinvigorated he actually felt. And just how great he looked. Now, he may have enough time to finish his career. His most recent promotion, to that of Rising Comedian. Certainly, his aspiration of becoming a Joke Star had been fulfilled.

     Not only that, but his son, Rory, had managed to pull up his flagging grades to an acceptable B by graduation. The boy lost little time in asking his childhood sweetheart to marry him. So Rory was also proving time was not to be wasted. Birthdays came and went. Aubrey now a teen. Things were a tad hectic. And that menace of a Cowplant, Elsa, died. Finally.  But, not before it tried to consume his future daughter-in-law!  Joseph went out one morning to check on the plant, make sure it was well fed so no one else would suffer the loss of their loved one, only to find it was nothing more than a skeleton. That was a tad shocking, unexpected. Erik, who was by far, more attached to the thing, took it in stride.  

     “Sorry, Gramps. Elsa has gone to the great beyond. I think we should change her name to Bones.”

      “Don’t worry, son. We all did our best to maintain the garden. These things happen. Remember, there is a time for everything. A time to live; a time to die. It was Elsa’s time, I guess. Life goes on. And now I don’t have to worry so much.” With that, the ghost went for a swim.

        Once Rory and Ericka announced their engagement, Joseph made the wedding arrangements.    He already had been to the new Wedding Park in town. It was perfect. Completely decorated and setup for all the needs of a wedding event. A small kitchenette was also on site, along with a large DJ rig, dance floor and a bar in the far corner behind the wedding arch and seats. He was certain the couple would love it. 

While Ericka, an orphan, as it turned out, selected and tried on a multitude of gowns, Rory found just the right tuxedo. Aubrey helped with the choice of the bridesmaid’s attire. Even Erik got himself all shined up for the event. This would be the first time in a long time he didn’t bake the wedding cake, but he was okay with being a guest this time.
The early evening was glorious by the time the wedding party arrived at the venue. Lights strung from trees created a special romantic glow to the evening. The guests filed into the park, the hired help got busy with the refreshments. The only glitch in the affair was the inability for the mixologist to access the bar. It was completely surrounded by shrubbery. Joseph abruptly removed the offensive plant and the mixologist got to work. 

The ceremony was simple, but beautiful. The two stood before the arch, said their vows, exchanged rings, kissed, hugged and then cut the wedding cake. The guests sat at the tables and chairs, while others danced to the music provided by the professional DJ. Still others hung out in the corner by the bar. The night wore on, the wedding event quite the success. Soon, dawn broke slowly across the gloaming.  

     Understandably, the newlyweds quickly went home. Joseph did his best to clean up the venue, as per the rental agreement and then made his way home, too. With a new person in their household, there was an understandable need to make a few adjustments. Joseph contemplated seeking a loan so that their third floor could, once again, be converted to a small apartment to afford the young couple the privacy they deserved.
Before he could set these plans in motion, Ericka was announcing her Big News. 
“A baby? You’re having a baby. I must say that was quick,” Joseph said, secretly wondering if that’s why his son was so quick to pop the question, and so very anxious to be wed. She did have a baby bump already. Joseph shook it off. The couple were happily wed and that’s all that mattered. But, he did give his plans a longer, harder consideration. Was he up to having his sleep disrupted several times a night? His bedroom was just across the hallway from Rory’s room. Converting the third floor would require a huge sum of Simoleons. They had slowly dismantled and sold what had been the kitchen up there. Even the livingroom had been cannibalized as funds were needed. The only thing left was the three-quarter bath and the two bedrooms, unfurnished. 

     Joseph decided he would talk it over with Gramps, and if he could get a loan to cover all of the expenses, known and hidden, he would get going on it. For now, he sat back and reveled in the fact he was going to be a Grandfather. Young enough to truly enjoy the experience. And that was something.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Generation Five — Chapter Six: Teenage Angst And Wishes That Go Awry

Joseph wasn’t so old that he didn’t recall how he was at Rory’s age. Ericka was a pretty little thing and he’d watched how his son interacted with her. One morning, Rory sat at the diningroom table across from him.
“Dad,” Rory said.
“Could we talk about something?’
“Sure, what do wish to talk about?”
“Ahem — w-w-w-woohoo. I’d like to know about it.”

So, the Question had finally been asked. Joseph drew in a breath and considered his answer. He and Jaylah agreed long before that it was proper to answer questions about this subject as honestly and directly as possible. Neither of them wanted their children to get this information off of the internet nor in the school yard where likely misinformation is all they’d get. Sadly, Jaylah wasn’t here to help him out, although he recognized his young son might be too embarrassed were his mother to explain things. He wondered if he should use the time-honored analogy of the Birds and the Bees…?

In the end Joseph told the boy how it all worked, without stammering through it too badly. He finished up the life-lesson with his short routine “The Worst Date”. While Rory seemed a bit uncomfortable at times, sometimes even awkward, the routine had him laughing. After that the boy went out.

Rory met Ericka at Magnolia Blossom Park. “Hey,” he said.
“Hey.” As the two strolled into the courtyard, Rory spied the Wishing Well. Hanging from the front of it was a ceramic cameo of a masculine face. The expression seemed amenable. Rory touched his pockets realizing he didn’t have many Simoleons on him, so he dared to make a wish anyway. Bothered by his flagging grades that never rose higher than a C no matter how much effort he put into it, he drew in a breath and said, “I wish for better grades.” The well seemed oblivious for a nano-second and then an eerie red mist flowed over the edges of the well, that ultimately became white as snow. The ‘face’ was suddenly cloaked under a hood. Rory’s phone went off at that moment. The vice-principal was calling to inform him, there was a momentary up-tick in Rory’s grade that made the faculty suspicious. “So, we figured you had hacked into the school computers and diddled with your grade. The school takes a very dim view on such shenanigans. Laziness like this will not be tolerated. Your grade has been dropped to its previous sad level and one lower to punish your insolence.”

    “W-what? Wait — I didn’t.” The line went dead, but Rory was so embarrassed he could hardly stand it. He just wanted to graduate with good grades, so he could be worthy of Ericka.  Now, he was going to have to work extra-hard just to pass. He ambled into the restroom and gazed at his miserable self. “How could you be so stupid! You’re not a stupid person. Now you’ve really done it.” And so his ‘pep-talk’ went. Basically unsuccessful. Rory sighed.
“Rory,” Ericka hollered, sticking her head just inside the facility. “I’ve made some burgers, are you hungry? Come on,” she said. They sat at a picnic table and ate, enjoying the moment. Rory told a few deprecating jokes on himself. They talked about a variety of things, their interests. The conversation got deep as the two got to know each other. He really liked her. 
The next afternoon, Sunday, Joseph was very glad he had off. Rory called up his new ‘friend’, inviting her over. They were sitting on the sofa in the livingroom, watching a movie on their very large screen TV. Joseph just happened to walk by and peer into the room. To be honest, he heard what sounded like his favorite movie, blaring from the front of the house. So, he grabbed his plate of food and made his way there. Rory and Ericka were getting rather cozy on the couch together. Just as he suspected. Rather nonchalantly, he seated himself on the opposite end of the couch. “Hey, this is my favorite part!” he said, distracting them, pointing at the over-large screen. “I thought I’d missed it.” He took a bite or two and tried not to grin. That certainly put the kibosh on any unnecessary groping. He figured he owed it to the girls’ parents. 

   The teens, instead, went out back to take a swim. Joseph could see them from the window in the office. There was a lot of splashing, giggling and such, but nothing untoward going on.  While they were enjoying the pool, Rory’s phone went off. Racing into the house to change his clothes, “Dad, there’s a rocking dance party going on at the Bluffs. Ericka and I are going. See you later!” 
The front door slammed before Joseph could get a word out. “Okay, don’t… do anything I wouldn’t do …” What a stupid remark, he thought. Of course he’d so something, if given the chance, he was a guy. Joseph shook his head and went about refining one of his newer routines. He texted Rory, to remind him not to stay out too late, it being a school night and all.  

Rory and Ericka made their way toward the music and began to dance. Pretty soon others flocked around them. Some spectres of Sims past, and others still living. After a time, Rory, who was already weary and needing sleep, found a stack of wood all set up for a bonfire. He went over to it, lit it and then called for Ericka to join him. The two stood there, enjoying the blaze, arm in arm. Before long, they were feeling Very Flirty, and being the undisciplined teens that they were, looked around for a ‘private’ place to ‘fool around’. They found a bush where they could both fit into and had some fun.
The night ebbed and soon the two decided it was time to leave. Rory made up his mind. He was going to marry Ericka, probably shortly after they graduated. Then he nearly panicked. What if he didn’t graduate? He thought about approaching the well again, with an offering, to try to undo the damage he’d wrought. But, should it backfire again — he only had six days to go. Rory hit the books and worked as hard as he could. He had to do something. One day he would become the Patriarch of the Family and as it had the others who preceded him, that weight came to bear heavily on his young shoulders.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Generation Five — Chapter Five: Of Dinner Dates and Birthday Cakes …

Joseph felt very lucky to have the brothers he had.   After he’d lost Jaylah, he knew he was withdrawing from everybody and everything. His jokes no longer seemed funny, even to himself. Life had lost its luster. As he sat at his desk, feeling rather sorry for himself, his pocket began to chirp.

“Hello,” he said into the cell phone.
“Hey, Joseph, this is Josiah, remember me, your brother?  Neither Jameson or I have heard from you in awhile. I was thinking we should go out to Chez Llama for dinner and discuss how you’re doing.”
“I’m not sure I want to talk about it, but the kids and I will meet you there.”
Joseph dressed up, since the Chez Llama was so posh, and instructed his children to do the same. “Because we’re going out for dinner, that’s why.”
   As Joseph walked up the steps of the restaurant, he saw the reminder on his phone calendar. Today was Rory’s birthday. How could he forget like that? The boy was becoming a teen. This was a big deal, and he forgot? His younger brother was right to call him out. Quickly, he turned this impromptu dinner date into a small birthday party. Gramps showed up, as did Jameson, Rory’s friend from school, Ericka Borden, and a few others. Joseph secured a table, ordered food for the group and they commenced the celebration.

“I was worried, but now I see you’re just fine,” Josiah said, taking a seat.
“I’m so fine, I almost forgot today is Rory’s birthday. This is so last-minute, but mum’s the word, okay.”
Josiah drew his fingers over his lips, twisted the key of the invisible lock and threw is over his shoulder. “You didn’t hear it from me,” he whispered.

While they were awaiting the food, Joseph jumped up the steps and took the mike, launching into a short, but excellent routine. The crowd seemed pleased. Rory’s smile was huge. After Joseph came back to the table, the grand piano on the same platform broke out into some jazzie music. All by itself, or so some would think. The Cantrell’s knew it was Gramps.
Dinner was finished, the kids danced to the music. Joseph ordered a cake from the waiter, along with some birthday candles. Once he had them in place, he called Rory back to the table, so the boy could make a wish and blow out his candles. He did so, and presto! Right before everyone’s eyes, the child became a teen.
Joseph couldn’t be more proud. Maybe now that he was older, he could convince Rory to stop playing with the Cowplant, and with that perhaps Aubrey would stop it, too. He wanted that — thing out of his yard. He was just sorry Gramps was so attached to the beast.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Generation Five — Chapter Four: A Precautionary Tale …

    Erik grew increasingly nervous having the Cowplant in the garden. While he continued to care for it, playing with it and petting it like an animal, sometimes the plant refused to be fed. He would offer it the meat it required, but it would actually shake that giant cow’s head at him, with its mouth tightly shut like an obstinate toddler, refusing to eat it’s vegetables. Twice, now, Erik had come to check on the plant, hearing the cow bell jangling. To his horror, a piece of cake extended from its mouth on a tentacle, trying to entice someone over to it.

    One evening, very late, Joseph got home from work and went out the backdoor of the house on his way to the plant.  Realizing that once again, the plant refused the offered meat, Erik made a point to detain Joseph. He was able to distract him long enough for Joe to change his mind. Instead, he went back inside and started working on a new routine.  
Erik breathed a momentary sigh of relieve, but when he tried to feed the plant, it refused. Again! He made sure to instruct Joseph and Jaylah on the dangers of this alien — thing that he increasingly distrusted. Most of all he wanted to be certain the little children in the house were safe from it.
Alerted to the dangers, Joseph brought both of his little ones outdoors schooling them in the perils of this plant.
“So,” he said, “What do you do if you see the Cowplant dangling a piece of cake from its mouth?”
“Run and get an adult to feed it,” Rory said.
“Very good. And, Aubrey, do you ever take the cake?” 
“No, Elsa might eat you, instead. Is it like taking candy from a stranger?” she asked.
“I’ve named her Elsa,” the girl said, with a nod.
“What a dorky name for a Cowplant!” Rory laughed hard and long.
     "Yes," Joseph intervened, "it's very much like taking candy from a stranger. So, see to it that you don't take the cake, under any circumstances. Just remember, the plant will try to fool you into thinking you want the cake."

One evening, Jaylah came home from work. She was feeling very, very tense. Things at the restaurant kept going from bad to worse. They were short-staffed after two of their servers called in sick at the last minute, plus one chef actually got sick in the kitchen and had to be sent home. The orders kept backing up, the dishwasher broke down one more time and she found herself over stuffing the machine so they wouldn’t fall further behind. Being the  Head Dishwasher, she couldn’t allow that to happen. 
As she approached the house, a light tinkling of a cow’s bell caught her attention. She found herself drawn to it, in fact, despite Erik’s admonitions to ignore it. The cake floated in front of the Cowplants’ face.  
The plant made some little noises, too. Almost a cooing sound. Quite hungry by this point, she did what they had all been instructed not to do. She reached for that enticing piece of cake. Before she knew it she was whipped backwards and swallowed up!
What was that story about someone named Jonah? Jaylah kicked, scratched, shouted and make such a ruckus that she found herself being regurgitated right out of the thing’s mouth, in a slimy, icky stream of saliva! 
Sitting on the lawn in front of that beast, she felt grateful to be alive, but in bad need of a shower. After this hideous experience, she and Joseph once again drilled the children on the need for safety.

“And what if the plant offers a tantalizing piece of cake?” Jaylah said, to her wide-eyed children.
“Run! Don’t take it” Aubrey said.
“That’s right,” Jaylah confirmed. “Mama got very lucky. She was tired, hungry and not thinking right. It could be that since she was in such a sour, foul mood, that she didn’t taste too good to the Cowplant.”
“Do you think that’s why he spit you out again?” Rory said.
She spit Mama out again,” Aubrey stomped her little foot.  “She has an utter. Boy cows don’t.”
“You haven’t even started school yet. What makes you think you’re so bright,” the brother said.
“Mama, Rory’s being mean to me again.”
Days went by, turning into weeks. Aubrey started school and the two children met new friends. Rory brought Ericka Bordan home with him one day. He’d brought a different girl home, prior, but the two didn’t seem to hit it off. Ericka enjoyed cloud-gazing with Rory, which make Jaylah a tad apprehensive. In only a short time, Rory would be thirteen. The time seemed to by flying by. 

Again, Jaylah returned from work. Stressed out, initially, she went inside, had some of the leftovers for dinner and after chatting with both Erik and Joseph, she found herself in a happy mood again. The night was a pleasant one, warm, but with a nice cool breeze. She stepped out onto the patio to enjoy it. Glancing over she heard the cow bell jingling, again. Odd, she thought, knowing that Erik had made sure the thing ate, these past several days. Not allowing it to refuse a meal. Yet, she came off of the patio and over to the giant plant.
Once again, a piece of cake dangled in front of the beast. For some less than intelligent reason, Jaylah felt herself lured into taking it. Fully aware of what could happen, too.  Unable to stop herself, as if the creature was willing her to do so, she wrapped both hands onto the cake and before she could even squeal, she was whipped inside of the beastly plant’s mouth again!
Erik, Joseph, and a few of the spectres that haunted them nightly came running. Joseph felt his heart in his throat at the sight of Grimmie standing by the banister of the patio overlooking the dreaded plant.
“Jaylah!” Joseph shouted, looking around for her. He ran across the patio, down the steps and around to the side. “Jaylah, where are you? Oh, gawd, no,” he said, gazing at the horrid look of satisfaction on the plant’s big mug. Grimmie floated on down, through the railing to stand before the plant.
“Please,” Joseph said, hands clasped tightly together, as he got down on a knee. “Spare Jaylah. Spare my wife, please. We have two young children. Please, send her back to me.” 
At first, Grimmie nodded and Joseph fully expected Jaylah to be spewed, slimy but alive and well, out of Elsa’s mouth, for a second time. Elsa was far too sweet a name for this monster. Instead, what he got was a tombstone.  He looked at the headstone, at Grimmie and then at the plant. What? “But you agreed. You said she’d be back. All I have of her is this stone. What kind of a deal is that? You lied to me. I should take you apart myself. Feed you limb by limb to this horrid monster of a plant. Must be from the planet Hell.”
“Perhaps, you’d care to try for the Black Widow?” Grimmie said. “All you have to do to achieve it, is outlive five spouses.” Came Grimmie’s remark.  Joseph, instead, milked the cow, and took the glass, full of the essence — all that was left of his beloved wife, inside.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Generation Five — Chapter Three: Promotions, Commotions and Growth


     Joseph’s confidence was growing, daily, along with his most recent promotion to Comedian.  He didn’t even mind turning thirty. After his mother passed, he made certain to keep his family together. Jameson called him up and the two went out to breakfast one morning at the newest restaurant in town.  The place, Chez Llama, was rather posh, so he dressed for the occasion. He’d met his wife there one evening after work, and made use of the microphone to entertain and to try out a new routine. He’d practiced on Gramps. His efforts were well received, his jokes getting better. So much so, he chose to refine his older routines. After seeing the photos Jaylah had snapped of him, he also decided to refine himself— which meant he needed to get trim.  Being in the Entertainment field, it was all but a requirement.

While all of this was happening, Rory had gone from baby to a child in grade school. Where had the time gone, Joseph asked? The boy was bright. Almost too bright for his own good. Alone, experimenting at his new science lab table, suddenly something — or someone, since the place was largely haunted, drew him from his desk where he worked, to the child’s bedroom. The lab station was on fire!  

    Thankfully, able to put out the flames quickly, no one was hurt. Jaylah escorting Rory out of the house. But it got Joseph thinking. He only had the one child. What if Rory had been killed? Joseph was the Patriarch, it was up to him to keep the family going. He made up his mind after this scare to see if his wife was up to having another child. What could it hurt, after all? Joseph loved children. And, he had a duty. 

        “So, whaddya say, up to trying for another one?”  
“Another one? What?”
“Yeah, let’s ditch the birth control and go for it. Let’s have another child. Rory shouldn’t grow up alone. I had my brothers growing up. Still do.”
“Well, … I am just getting back into the swing of things at work. But, you’re right. What will Rory do when we’re both gone? He’ll be alone. Okay, I’m game.”
To his delight and surprise Jaylah was quite amenable to the idea of another child. They had a great deal of fun out in the hot tub, suffice it to say. Within a very short time, she was sharing with him the Big News.  
     They moved Rory into Joseph’s old room, so they could repair the fire damage and get it ready for the little newcomer.  
Before long, Joseph became aware of more construction going on at the other end of town. A diner was going in. Once it was open, he gathered up his son and invited his two brothers out to breakfast. He would have brought Jaylah along, too, but she’d only just gotten off of the late shift and was remarkably tired. He left her a short note, saying he was taking Rory out for the day, for her to rest and they would catch up later. 
The new diner, Millie’s, was a quaint country-style place. The service was prompt, the food of good quality. Joseph even liked the coffee. After their meal the Cantrell men went off to the park in Oasis Springs, Desert Bloom. The men goofed around with Rory as he pretended to be the captain of a starship, both Joseph and Josiah acting as space monsters trying to attack the ship. After a time, they wandered over to a small spring to fish. Joseph caught a minnow, and Rory, first time at fishing, caught a very rare Cowplant seed.

Just as expected, when father and son returned home, Eric was enticed by the Cowplant seed. With Rory’s okay, he went and planted it in their garden. Talking to it, he fertilized it, and gave the rest of the garden its due attention. Within a short time, Erik was able to evolve the Cowplant that went to nice in quality. It was such a cute little plant. Big cow’s head and all. 
Jaylah continued to work, and was just on her way home for the evening, having left early, because she’d gone into labor. For a moment, she contemplated calling Joseph at work, but after glancing at the clock realized he would be home shortly anyway. No sense in making him anxious.
Joseph came in and immediately grabbed a bite to eat. He often fasted prior to a gig, learning that a full stomach might induce him to vomit. Nerves, that he still suffered from! There were just enough servings of the sausage and peppers he had grilled up the night before to go around. He and Rory ate together. Rory finished up his homework, and did the extra-credit, too. Joseph headed upstairs to work on a new routine. In a very short time, Jaylah presented him with a baby daughter. Aubrey. She was a beautiful shade of lavender, with haunting light eyes. He suspected he was going to have to beat the boys off with a stick, once she got older. For now, she was his precious little princess.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Generation Five — Chapter Two: Comings In and Goings Out

Joseph was ecstatic when Jaylah gave him the news. He was going to be a daddy. This lifted his spirits which had never really rose too much after his father died. Gramps was still around, but his younger twin brothers had opted to move out, leaving just the four of them to rattle around in that huge house. Karly was still miffed at him for his sudden, surprise elopement, but, since she and Jaylah worked at the same restaurant in town, they were finally building a bridge of friendship. With the news of a little one on the way, the bounce in Karly’s step returned. She seemed almost like a new person.
Inspired by his recent promotion, Joseph continued to work on his comedy routine, finding amusement in the little things of life again — and the humor. He began writing up a new routine, in fact, including the woes of being the expectant father. Jaylah had all kinds of strange cravings and so he worked these into his routine as well as his required task to fulfill these ‘requests’ at all hours of the day, or night. He could only imagine what life with a baby in the house would add to his repertoire. And he looked forward to it.

     Finally, the happy day arrived. Well, it was happy for Joseph. Jaylah was in a great deal of pain. Joseph went to work, not realizing Jaylah’s discomfort was the onset of her labor. That this day was the day. Karly called him. Joseph gazed at his audience, his pocket making unrelenting chirping sounds.  
“Ha-ha!” he smiled, nervously, he normally kept the phone off and in his dressing room. Tonight was an anomaly. The audience twittered along with his obvious discomfort. Joseph retrieved his phone, “Downright demanding, isn’t it? Who could it be, we’re all here?” he said, clicking on the phone. “Yes, do you hear that?” he held the phone out toward the crowd. “That’s my audience. I’m working right now. Can I call you back?”
“Don’t you dare hang up on me!” Karly shouted. Her voice came over the phone so loud the audience could hear it.  Joseph pulled the phone away, shaking his head and swizzling a fingertip in his ear. They laughed. Uproariously, believing this was a new routine unfolding before their eyes.
Joseph put the phone back to his ear. His expression changed to one of concern. Then one of sheer fright. Then to outright panic. “What? She’s what?” He glanced over at his boss. “I have to go? I’m going to be a mother — I mean, my baby’s taking the first flight out of the womb. Well, can’t you hit the pause button or something?” He shouted down at the phone. He glanced back over at his boss who stood in the wings, arms folded across his chest., just shaking his head at the C-list-er standing before a hot mike. “For Pete’s sake the stork refuses to wait!”
The audience helped him out, “Go, go, go, go, go!” they chanted until his boss finally took the mike and introduced the next Act.
“You’ve been a great audience, thank you very much!”
By the time Joseph walked through his front door, the deed was done. Jaylah presented him with his new son. They named him Rory, after that evening’s crowd. 

He was a beautiful little boy, healthy. A very light shade of lavender. The alien genes were quite strong, Joseph decided. Two days off of work and with little sleep he dragged himself back to the theater. He worked hard on this newest routine to the audience’s delight. Joseph was promoted to Opening Act.
He barely got started at this level when the unthinkable happened. He knew Karly was slowing down. She was 115 at her last birthday and everyone began to joke about just how long she might remain with them. Not long enough. Joseph found her on the floor of her bedroom, too late to call for help. Grimmie stood over her menacingly. He hated Grimmie. Grimmie The Thief, the Reaper of what once was alive. Grimmie who stole his parents from him one right after another.   

    Joseph took the loss of his mother very hard. Upstairs, where many a party was held over the years, he stood staring at the bar. He approached it, slowly, walked around the back and began to mix himself a drink. He had no clue of what he was doing, really. He just wanted something to numb the pain. Juice. Juice was just the thing. He would have drink, after drink, after drink, until he couldn’t feel anything anymore.
He was just so sad. Jaylah was equally sad, to the point neither could help the other. He chatted with his brothers, called the sadness hotline. Nothing helped. He sat down to write some new material, but nothing was funny.  He even tried to pull a few pranks on Gramps. Getting himself into the proper work mood just wasn’t happening. He resorted to a potion to stabilize his overall mood. It really didn’t work too well. Almost time for work, he knew he had to do something. So, he sat in front of his special emotive lamp, trying to find his playful side. Instead, he ended up hysterical. Told a few more jokes to Gramps and finally was ready for work. He was happy, at least.