Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Generation Seven— Chapter Four: Sometimes Dreams Do Come True, Just Be Careful What You Wish For …

James made up his mind. Tired of dancing to another Sim’s tune — namely his boss telling him where and for whom he was going to cater, he wanted his own restaurant/bar. His main focus, after all, his main point of interest was still mixology. So, after hearing about a new place being built in Newcrest, one mid-morning he decided to go check it out. It was a small establishment, just three booths and a bar, but it was perfect.
 He could envision adding a dance floor and a small D J rig to liven the place up, if need be. Having never run his own place before, the size seemed so right for him. The price, also not impossible at §20,605. He already had nearly §12,000 saved up. James was aware, too, that he was due for a promotion, hoping beyond hope, that a nice bonus check would accompany such. He really wanted to be his own boss before his son, Trenton, became a teen, which would be very soon. So, he made a point of working hard, trying to be sure he was of the right frame of mind when he left for work, and everything possible to get that next promotion.

Carley even decided to get a real job, this time. She casually announced it was her dream to become an astronaut. James smiled, and then felt guilty for having sold the kit his father had purchased, which, when built, would have given his wife her very own space craft. Then they could both be their own bosses. Oh, well. The bills, which were way too high, had to be paid. Rory, himself, would have been the first to sell the kit, given their circumstances. He was always so very practical when it came to money matters.

James sighed. Things happen. Now, he just hoped he could fulfill his own dream.
Toward this end, he decided to tackle the job of cleaning up the third floor of their house, which had, in effect, become a very nicely finished attic. He spent hours rummaging through boxes and crates. After a time, Carley joined him.
“Hi,” she began, a nice tall, frosty glass of iced tea in her hand. “Find anything useful?”
“Actually, yes. There’s a great deal here I can sell and make a profit. Dad had all kinds of trinkets from his work. Some strange, alien looking guns. I think he called them Ray guns, but they might fetch a nice price when I sell them online.”
“My it’s hot up here,” Carley said, fanning the air with her hand. “Here, I thought you could use a cool drink.”
James took a long swig. Nodding, “That really hits the spot, thanks.”
Curious, she began to pick through a box or two, as well. “Huh, what do you suppose this odd looking apparatus is?” She held up a metal flat platform thing with four feet.
“Not sure. Hold it up so I can get a good shot of it, will you?” Carley did as he asked and James got a nice snapshot of the Cloning machine. “There’s three more over here,” he said.
After spending the rest of Saturday going through the ‘attic’, snapping photos on his phone and then researching the items online, he managed to sell everything at good prices. Pretty soon, less than a week, he had more than enough to purchase the Oak Alcove in Newcrest.
James was thrilled and terrified. Escrow closed and he went for his final walk-through. Turns out, the previous owner was operating on the fringe. James found out he needed at least one more table to open. Then there was the matter of hiring a staff. Pouring over the applications, of which there were quite a few, he read each of their qualifications and relied on what his gut told him, too. He hired a chef, a waiter, and a host. Tentatively, a couple of prospective customers stepped into the restaurant. James was quick to welcome them and introduce himself as the new owner/manager and then asked them to please be sure to drop by again, when they were formally open.

He also took some cash and sent his new chef for some basic training for her job. All of that out of the way, he began to set his menu. Papers spread across his diningroom table at home, he dragged his fingers through his thick red hair and then rested his head on his folded arms.
“Are you pretending to be a pirate, Dad?” Trenton asked. James sat up.
“No. No. This paperwork is just a little more than I bargained for. All I can tell you is, be careful what you wish for.”
“I think owning your own restaurant is pretty cool.”
“Yeah, it is pretty cool, but it’s also a lot of work.”

“That’s okay, Dad. You told me once, anything worth doing is worth doing well. And that it requires some elbow grease.” James smiled at that and just shook his head.
“You’ve completely mixed up your metaphors, but thank you, Son. If I can make this work, you’ll inherit a business when I’m gone.”
James got the promotion to Mixologist. The bonus was minimal, but it at least was enough to purchase that fourth booth. He opted for a straight one to fit along the back wall, in between the two corner booths. He went to work the next day, as normal, deciding that until he got his own place truly up and running, and hopefully turning a profit, he wasn’t going to quit his current job. Besides, when he looked at the schedule, he would have three successive days off. 

He worked hard, got a good night’s sleep and then on Tuesday, his first of three days off, he headed to Newcrest and the Oak Alcove. Strangely enough, he couldn’t open up. Turns out his staff had up and left him. Here he had paid out of his own pocket for his chef to have extra training, a whole §600 gone. He may as well have taken a match to the paper money. This was disheartening. James just wanted a chance to test his meddle. Could he even run such a place? Right away, he went over the additional applications and found three more people to replace the chef, the waiter and the host. He hired two females and a male. Then, instead of spending money on the chef’s training, he decided to ask her to work carefully. Then he offered additional training to his waiter. She was a bit taken aback, at first, thinking James found her inadequate, but he quickly smoothed that over.
Once her training was finished, which she would do on her off-time, he’d see about getting his new Host better trained for his job. Although to his credit, he wrangled the phone and the incoming patrons pretty well. Also, his chef seemed to be getting a grasp of the menu items. The place was busy. Three booths full and out of those three, only one seemed to have to wait overlong. James went to check on them.
“How are things here, ladies? Everything to your liking I hope?”
“Well, this place is really nice, but we ordered nearly half an hour ago.”
“Say no more,” James smiled. “I’ll speak to the wait staff and have your order made a priority. And, as an apology I do hope you’ll accept dessert on the house. Please choose whatever you’d like.”
Thankfully, just as James was stepping away from the table their order was delivered.  The two Sims looked very happy. 
Since a restaurant thrives on reviews, James was happy at the end of this first evening of operation to realize he’d already gotten a bump, from one star to two full stars. Now, he was cooking. He immediately took the perks he received and put them to good use. Being able to select from the finest fresh produce would, indeed, help the menu items be their best. This was a lot of work, but already he was feeling a sense of satisfaction. He just hoped he could turn a profit, enough to keep the restaurant and truly hand it down to Trenton, as planned.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Generation Seven — Chapter Three: A Case of Snatch and Run!

    “I see,” James said into his phone. Carley came into the dining room through the front foyer. She could tell by the tone in James’ voice that something was very wrong. The past twenty-four hours had been rough on the family. Kai Mena had called them from the Lab to tell them what had happened to Rory. Ericka was the first to react, which in her own odd manner, was to not react — at all. One would think she hadn’t been married to Rory for the past several years. Odd, that had he died at home, her reaction might have been — well, a reaction.

Carley frowned, wondering just where her mother-in-law was, hopefully upstairs resting. Rory’s unexpected demise came as quite a blow to the family. Carley was certain the majority of them were still in shock. “Okay, thank you, Kai. Yes, I do hope we can amend the situation. And soon. Goodbye.” James ended the call and slipped his cell phone into his front pants’ pocket.
“Amend what situation?” Carley asked. James stood on the opposite side of the dining room table. He didn’t answer, at first, obviously deep in thought.
“We can’t just come and claim Dad’s remains.”
“What do you mean? Why can’t we have his remains? I mean, I do understand he fried himself to death, and that perhaps he’s little more than ashes at this point, but that’s no reason to keep us from claiming him.”
“That was Kai Mena. He says they’re on lock-down.”
“Lock-down, what? That’s positively ridiculous. What’s going on down at that lab anyway? Is there something more to your father’s death than what they shared?”
“I — don’t know,” James ran a hand through his thick red hair and sighed heavily. “But, I think I may have a way for us to find out,” James suddenly sounded excited. He came to stand in front of Carley and took her by her upper arms. “I think it’s time you got a job.”
“Because your father has passed on? James, we agreed I could stay home and take care of Trenton. He’s just a wee boy. He needs his mother.”
“Stay with me on this, Carley. The lab suggests they’re on lock-down so we can’t have my father’s remains. What if you were to get a job there?”
“Are you asking me to be a spy? That’s your mother’s profession.”
“No, I’m asking you to take a job there, so that you can find Dad’s urn and bring him home.”
“But, if they’re on lock-down — how?”
“If you’re working for them, they have to let you in and then out again, right?”
“I-I guess. Where are you going with this?”
“All you have to do is get the job, go to work, find Dad’s urn and bring him home again. Easy-peasy.”
“Easy for you, maybe.” 

“It’s better than trying to break into the place and getting arrested. Because that’s my only other option.” Carley looked into his handsome face, his brown eyes. He was clearly counting on her for this. She took a deep breath and let it out again. Nodding, ever so slowly.
And that’s how it came to be that Carley took a job at SimsLab. She got up that morning, grabbed a bite to eat, showered, and paced back and forth, nervously until it was time to head off to the desert for her very first, ever, day of work. Her biggest fear, she would get caught. An urn wasn’t exactly a knickknack, after all. A small something or other that could be easily overlooked. The type of things she normally snatched. The importance of it was overwhelming.
“Now, remember,” James said, again holding her by the shoulders. “All you have to do is locate the urn, grab it, and bring it home.”
“What if they try to stop me?”
“Easy, just quit and race home again.”
“Of course, why didn’t I think of that…”
Carley stood just outside of the lab, rubbing her clammy hands together.  It was a pretty day, blue skies, a slight breeze.  A reddish sand desert that stretched on and on and on, meeting the horizon in the far-off distance. She realized she was in the middle of nowhere. She just had to find the urn, grab it, quit, and go home, she reminded herself for the umpteenth time. She hardly slept last night, coming to the conclusion, she wasn’t exactly spy material. But she loved James, and she loved old Rory. Least thing she could do was to bring him home again. Taking a deep breath, she squared her shoulders, pushed open the front door, and went inside.  The lab had a rather utilitarian look to it. A large warehouse with various weird pipes and do-dads she could never explain in a thousand years. A weird humming, thumping sound coming from — somewhere. A person greeted her from the front desk.
“Hi, you must be the new person,”
“Yes,” Carley smiled nervously, taking a few tentative steps toward the desk.
“Welcome to SimsLab. Here’s your badge. Make sure you wear it at all times. And if that little circle changes color beat feet out of the area. Mean’s we’ve got a radiation leak.”
“Oh, radiation? Yikes. Not so friendly a workspace, is it?”
“No, not really. Our Lab Leader just fried himself. We left him where he fell. Well, not exactly,” the receptionist said, seeing the horrified look on Carley’s pretty face. “I mean, he’s been properly interred and we left the urn right there.” She pointed to the inner sanctum. Carley walked passed the desk down the narrow hallway, all the while pinning her badge onto her bluish lab coat. She found a door just opposite the radar left standing in the passageway. She had a moment’s thought to snatch that, too, just because it looked interesting.
Stepping through the door on her left, the work space was cluttered with equipment. Some funny odd thing that could be a porthole of sorts, the chemistry table, just steps away, and beyond that in a corner of the room,  a round mechanical thingie.

The whole place just looked so odd. There near the chemistry table, stood a gorgeous golden urn. That had to be it. Already creeped out by the place she scooped up the urn, hiding it under her long lab coat and raced down the hallway again toward the exit.  “I quit!” she called, waving at the receptionist, flinging the badge at her in passing, her heart thumping as she went. Why did the door seem so very far away?
“Well, you wouldn’t be the first,” said the receptionist.
At last, she made it home again. Panting, sweating buckets, she carefully set the urn inside the door. “James!” she called, hoping he hadn’t gone off to work, yet. “I did it, I’ve got it. Your Dad is home. James, are you here?”
James was upstairs busy repairing his grandfather, Joseph’s, computer. He heard the front door open and shut and then heard Carley calling. He got up, and ran down the stairs to the first floor. Carley stood, waiting.
“You’re back early,” he said.
“Yeah, it was easier than I thought. I just snatched it and ran. Now, we need to place him out in the yard with the rest of your forebears.” She picked up the urn and headed out back. There near the tree, but on the west side of it, she placed Rory, whose urn instantly became a tombstone.
Carley walked very fast. James found himself having to jog to keep up with her. His wife was a woman on a mission, he decided. But, then again, she was a bit of a Klepto, so despite how initially nervous she was, this really was something only she could do. He caught up with her, hugged her and then gave her a hip bump.

“Thank you, my lovely wife! I knew you could do it.”
“Yeah, well, I’ve had a little practice, here and there. And it helps they didn’t seem too interested in chasing after me. They all seemed so focused on whatever they were doing. I’ve never seen people so oblivious to what’s going on around them before. Gave me the creeps.”

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Generation Seven — Chapter Two: 'Tinker, Tinnker, Soldier, Spy', er Mad Scientist? — The Official Transfer of the Patriarchy

     James knew there was something up with his father. Rory was increasingly more eccentric in his behavior. Delighting, in fact, at how he treated his co-workers, as he would laugh about how he’d made Kai the Laboratory “maid”, and caused the others to change, at his will, into non-work attire, or to sit or to eat whenever suited him at the moment. He and his bevy of Ray Guns. Casting judgments upon them for their notion of “formal wear” if it didn’t match his own ideals. The son just shook his head. And some called James a snob. Now, he, at least, knew where he got that trait. 

Certainly, Rory had achieved the level of  Mad Scientist. Truly astonishing, he wasn’t the father James had known growing up. Something had twisted in his old brain. Simnility? Now, that was a worry.
Rory spent nearly his whole weekend off going from one neighborhood to the next, collecting Chrysanthemums, and a various other flora. Looking for metals, crystals and collectibles, almost with a vengeance — or as if he knew his time remaining was short. This was after the whole family, as it existed, went out to breakfast at Millie’s just down the road. Even Jaron and Johnny were there, as well as Aubrey. They had a great time together, laughing, talking and just enjoying themselves. Again, it left James wondering if Rory knew something the rest did not. 

Come Monday morning, Rory was up, had breakfasted, and even made himself that Pre-Work cup of coffee. James noted, as he cooked up breakfast for the rest of the family, that Rory’s cup was to-go. “Well, I’m out of here,” Rory said, paper cup in hand. “Let’s see what madness I’m up to today, eh?”
“Madness, Dad?” James turned around too slowly. He heard the front door close, and Rory was gone.
Regret filled his throat as he answered his cell phone, “Hello?”
“James, this is Kai. I’m down at the lab. I’m afraid I have some bad news for you.”

“B-b-bad news? What’s happened? Is Dad all right?”
“Are you sitting down?”
“No, why?”
“You better take a seat.”
“No, just tell me what’s up, and stop playing word games.”
“Suit yourself. Your Dad has been acting quirky, lately. Today, he did something really dumb, too. Something only a first level techie might do. He decided to hit the Red Button.”
“The red — what?”
“Button, not once but three times. He ignored that fact that the first time made him dazed. Same with the second try. Third time, well, I’m sorry, son, but he electrocuted himself. He’s gone.”

    With that, James all but fell into a chair. His ears refused to hear the words Kai spoke. This was unbelievable to him and the last words his father uttered as he left for work, now danced through his brain. 'What madness he'd be up to …' How was he to tell the family? Their father and grandfather, and brother had toasted himself to a crisp — quite possibly by his own doing? James couldn’t accept this. His father had a high regard for life. He most certainly had to be mad, totally insane, to have done such a thing.
He wondered, too, just how to go about getting his father’s urn. He knew Rory’s co-workers would likely leave it at the lab. But, he belonged right here, in the family cemetery in the far north corner of their property. With all of the others. Then it dawned on him. Maybe he could entice his wife, Carley, to take a job in the Science career, just long enough to grab the urn and bring it home? Rory needed to be home. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Generation Seven— Chapter One: A Rocky Start


    James and Carley had been engaged for a few days. James got a job in the culinary field, hoping to make the jump from cook to mixologist in short order, so he practiced both cooking and mixing drinks. He and Carley had only had woohoo once, so he was stunned when she made her announcement. He was upstairs in the “family room” where most of the partying took place. It was also where they kept their bar, for this reason. 
     “James, I have Big News,” she began.
James looked up from the bar where he was trying very hard to replicate a drink he’d tasted recently. “You found the dress you wish to wear to our wedding?”
“No, not that kind of Big News. Big  Big News.”
“We’re getting married in just a few days, don’t you think you should try to find a dress?”
“Oh, I will,” she said. James set the cocktail shaker down.
“So,” he said. “Just what is this news, then?”  
“Brace yourself. I’m pregnant.”
“What? You can’t be pregnant. We only woohooed once.”  

“My Darling, that’s all it takes.”
This rattled James. He worked all the harder at gaining the proper skills to get a promotion. He would have another mouth to feed before too long. He and Carley went to the brand new Wedding Venue/Bar in Newcrest. They had a look around at the facility and really liked what they saw. The main floor was set up for a wedding ceremony; before you reached the wedding arch, if you made a left turn at the middle of the aisle, there was a cozy sitting area and beyond that two restrooms. Taking a right on that same aisle, it was set up with fancy white draped tables and chairs. Just beyond this area was a kitchen for the caterers to do their work. 
On a very nice neutral gray clothed draped two-tiered table, was a pedestal to show off the wedding cake. Downstairs was a full bar, a DJ rig and a dance floor, besides comfy seating where Sims could sit and chat. All-in-all, it was lovely. James watched Carley’s face. She smiled, and he knew they’d found the location for their wedding. He made a down payment to the proprietor to hold their chosen date.

A short time later, it was the Day. The invitations
had all gone out, the caterer and mixologist and a D J all hired. Everyone was dressed in their very best attire. Carley chose a beautiful black gown, which surprised him to some extent, but any more these days, a Sim wore what they wanted to their wedding. More like Times’ past, he realized. Either way, she looked lovely.  The gown fit nicely despite her pregnant belly which by now was huge. She looked as if she was about to burst. The time had arrived and James strolled up to the wedding arch, allowing himself to fantasized about weddings for just a moment. Pretty soon, Carley walked down the aisle, smiling and nodding as she recognized friends and family.
They weren’t long in front of the arch when Carley’s expression turned from radiant to one of sheer pain. 

“Carley,” James whispered. “What’s wrong?” 

“I’ll be right back,” she whispered. “I really, really have to use the restroom I don’t think I can wait.”
“O–okay,” he said. Smiling awkwardly as she walked back down the aisle and turned right. “Huh, Nature calls,” he told the guests with a shrug. True to her word, she wasn’t gone long. Again, she joined him at the wedding arch. Finally, the guests settled into the benches to watch as the couple quickly said their vows, and exchanged rings.
“OH,” Carley moaned, clutching at her extended belly. “I DOOOOO.”
“What’s the matter with you,” James said.  

“Let’s just finish the ceremony, quick. I’ve gone into labor.”
“Are you sure? Shouldn’t I get you to the hospital, instead?”
“What? So we can tell our son, he has really bad timing and his sudden appearance wrecked our wedding? I won’t do that to HIMMMMM.” 

“And, now, with the powers invested in me, and for the fact I’m standing right here, I pronounce you Sim and wife,” Kai said, quickly, bringing the ceremony to it’s proper conclusion.
“Ladies, and GentleSims, I present to you Mister and Mrs. James Cantrell. Now on with the par–Tay!”

           James kissed his bride and the two scurried out of the hall and to the hospital. Trenton was a human-toned Sim. Healthy, plump and rather good-looking according to his adoring parents. After just a few short hours, James brought his wife and new son home again.
“I’m so sorry we didn’t get to enjoy our wedding reception,” Carley said.
“Don’t worry about it. We’ll just throw a party here. I’ll have Gramps bake a fancy cake and we’ll just pretend. Okay? Right now, I just want to enjoy our little son.”
“I love you so much, James. We’re going to have a great life together, despite how it began.”
“That’s my girl.”  

Generation Six — Chapter Eight: Close Encounter of the Weird Kind…

    Rory woke up early. He was focused and ready, after another three days off of work, to get back to the lab and continue on with his experimentation. He had yet another breakthrough, his sixteenth one, and found himself full of eager anticipation. He just knew that today was the day.

He spent a little time calibrating the Worm Tunnel, as the team called it, for short, figuring it had to be ever so slightly off. So close and yet so far. He made a serum, or two. Had fun pulling some pranks on his coworkers, ray gun in hand. Setup a beehive mind set for the town, this time granting them overall happiness, in his most benevolent mood. Power was beginning to sink its ambitious claws into him. No longer content with the daily innovations, he wanted more. He wanted a name. He wanted to be… FEARED.
Sadly, that day passed without his making a fully successful contact. His calculations had to be off. Even the tiniest fraction could put him light years off course.

     When Rory returned home again, he realized why the day seemed so special. He erroneously connected it with endless possibilities of success, when it was really just his birthday. He walked into the house to a nice birthday celebration. A cake, complete with enough lit candles to start the house on fire, family, warm hugs, and again an all but burning cake bidding him to save it from an oncoming meltdown. Smiling, he nodded his head at his family. 
        “Go ahead, Dad,” little Jett said. “Make a wish and blow out the candles.”
“Yes, before the room sets fire,” Ericka said.
“Okay, okay, let me grab some breath. You know us old geezers have a hard time of it,” he joked. Leaning over, he blew so hard the frosting almost lifted off. In a heartbeat, Rory spun himself around. Sparkles circled him, as if he was in a transporter from that old Sci-Fi TV show. His hair turned gray, instantaneously. And he, soon discovered, his lower back had a crick in it.
“Oh, ow,” he said, involuntarily bending over, putting a hand on the aching hip.
“Happy Birthday, Dad” James said, giving the Elder a hug. They all shared cake, and conversation. Pretty soon, it was time for Jett to get to bed, and Rory decided, he, too, would get some sleep. Tomorrow, he told himself. He’d be successful tomorrow.

     Back at the lab, the next day, Rory finely tuned the Worm Tunnel, after the strangest dream. The figures still danced in his head. Utilizing them, he then set out to make Alien Contact. The device, was, after all, a bit of a radio. He just needed the correct frequency. The portal filled with swirls of murky green and white. He watched and he waited. Then he jumped back as all at once a female alien stepped right through the swirls and on into the lab!
      “Oh, ah-ah, I did it!” he called to his co-workers, who gathered around to get a good look. “My… name… is… Rory,” he said, placing a hand over his chest. The female just stared at him and blinked her black eyes at him a few times. “Roar…ee,” he tried again.
“Roar –ee. Hew-mon?”
“Yes! And…you …are”
“Welcome … to…our…laboratory, Shine Gleetma.”
“How came I, here?”
“Ah, well, I just set the frequency,” Rory said, demonstrating by working the dials on the device. “And, you picked up on the waves and, well, here you are.”
“I go back now.”
“Not going to stay, even for a little bit?”
“You Zzyzxian. I Sixam.”
“Is there a difference? Alien is alien, after all. So, your skin is green and mine is lavender. Aren’t you the same? I’m mostly Sim. And we come in a variety of colors, but we’re still Sims. Can’t help it if my great-grandfather was abducted and impregnated. Why hold it against me? I have many questions. Like, why are half of my children of hew-mon skin tone, and the other half lavender like me? Huh, can you answer me that?”
“So like children, you are. Keep your questions. I go now. I will not be your prisoner of war.”
“War? Wait, what war?”
“Sixam and Zzyzx.” 
“Fine,” Rory frowned. “Go ahead and leave, I won’t stop you. I’ll merely call you back at another time,” he mumbled. The Alien just glared at him through those black eyes, turned and walked back through the murky swirls and was gone. “Well, that was weird.”

Friday, August 5, 2016

Generation Six — Chapter Seven: A Timely Nudge

    Rory continued to work very hard. So hard that he got two promotions fairly close together. First they made him the Laboratory Leader, in which he made a valiant attempt to not abuse his new-found power. Although he admitted to having a streak of mischief wherein he would use mind control on his co-workers to make them either, sit, eat or to even change their clothing. He was shocked and amazed at what one female considered “formal wear”. Not at his formal event! No, thank you, ma’am.  
He even took care, being the neat-nick he was, to make sure he mind-controlled someone to do the daily cleaning of the lab. A tidy lab is a happy lab, he would chortle just before he used his ray on the chosen victim. He also admitted to picking on Kai for this chore more often than the others. What could he say? Kai was good at it. Apparently, his leadership was so well-received by the upper echelon, that he was promoted yet again. He now bore the title of Pioneer of New Technologies.
The Patriarch of the Cantrell family, was beginning to feel Time catching up to him. His heir, James, now a young adult Sim was unattached. Clare Mena, just wasn’t the one. Rory sighed. Getting home from the lab one early evening, James met him out front of the house. Perfect, Rory thought. The time had just presented itself to him.
“James,” he said, “just the Sim I was looking for.”
“Dad,” James smiled.
“Two things. One, have you found a job, yet? And two, what are your prospects for marriage?”
“Mm-mm–marriage? You expect me to get married?” the boy slowly backed away.
“Yes, you’re my chosen Heir, and soon you’ll be the Patriarch of this family. That means you must lead the way and keep the lineage going. Our resident ghost, Gramps, is the Founder of this branch of the family. You don’t want to let him down now, do you? Be a Sim. Find a nice young female and make a family. Once you do that, I’ll hand over the reigns to you.”

James just looked at Rory. “You’re kidding, right? You’ve had a hard day at work, and you’re just looking for a laugh. Sometimes, you remind me of Grandpa.”  James continued to laugh as he walked around to the back yard.  The boys were busy playing on the Slippery Slide. Rory decided to change into his swimsuit and join in on the fun. He also  noticed Aubrey was there and greeted her with a smile. He also saw Clare Mena in the line as they all awaited their turn on the wet mat.
“James,” he called out, as he came down the patio steps.  When James looked up, Rory, flagged him over. The youth left his place in line and gave his father his attention.
“Just so you don’t misunderstand, I wasn’t telling you to marry Clare. I recognize she’s merely a friend. Just don’t let her tie you down. Keep looking. I do know the right Sim is out there just for you. Okay?”
“Okay, Dad. I hear you.”  
A few days later, James went to Magnolia Park. The Whispering Wishing Well was there, and as he approached it, the face on the front seemed benevolent enough in expression. So, he decided to wish for a romance. A tad dubious, as once again the ‘face’ became hooded like the Grim Reaper. He recalled his first attempt back in high school, resulted in a teen girl appearing out of the distance, bearing a huge grudge against someone, and all the anger a Sim could muster that she didn’t mind spreading around. Suffice it to say, she was not the best company for a guy who just wished to go dancing and have a good time.
Happily, what happened was that his phone rang. “Hello?”
“James, it’s Aubrey, I hear there’s a rockin’ party at the bar, want to go?”
“Yeah, sure, I’ll meet you there.” Yes, James rubbed his hands together.
The ‘bar’ was actually a venue oftentimes rented for various occasions, weddings being one of them. “Aubrey,” he greeted upon seeing his aunt. Quickly, he took to the dance floor. Before long a gorgeous female Sim wandered through the dancers. James, spun around and smiled at her.
“Hey, hello,”
“Oh, hi.”
“James,” he said, offering his hand.
“Carly.  Carly Pease.” She was very pretty with dark hair.  Lean, but not skinny.
“Carly,” he said, letting her name roll off of his tongue. “So, what sort of work do you do?”
“Work? Ah, well, nothing just yet. I’m-ah-you might say, in between jobs. And you?”
“Okay, I’ve yet to venture into the job market, but I’m liking the idea of becoming a mixologist. My mother is in the culinary field, and so was my grandmother — whose name was also Karly. How funny is that, eh?”
“I guess there are a few of us around.”
“Feel like dancing?”
“Sure.” They took to the dance floor and all but danced their feet off. James really liked Carly, so before they went their separate ways, they exchanged phone numbers. 
“All right, I’ll call you,” he said.  
The attraction was very strong between them. James, not willing to allow the spark to sputter out and possibly die, was quick to invite her out again. She met him at the park. This time the two flirted, a lot.  “Be my girl?” James said. And gave her a rose.
“Marry me?” he held up a ring.
“We just met and you bought me a ring already?”
“Well? Will you?”
Carly jumped up and down excitedly. “Yes, yes, yes!” she slipped the ring onto her finger. He kissed her, she jumped into his arms, and then he whispered sweet nothings into her ear. They both got so very flirty with all of the banter, he took her home to his house, stole into his late grandfather’s room, locked the door and jumped into the bed with her. Which wasn’t exactly a smart way to go about things. Sadly, he totally forgot about protection and the multiple ghosts that came out on a nightly basis.  

Looky-loo’s everyone of them. “W-w-what was that?” Carly said, daring to peek out from underneath the covers.
“Don’t worry about it, it’s probably my long, late great-grandmother.”
“What are you saying? Is – is the place haunted or something?” She heard another noise and pulled the covers back over her head.
“Or something. Want to move-in? It’s a big place, plenty of room.”
“And — h-h-how many ghosts?”
“I’ve never actually counted, to be honest. Don’t worry, the only damage they do is to wreck the plumbing, for which my Gramps goes around and fixes. Daily.”
“Oh. Well, okay. I’ll move in.”
“Great. Wonderful! Well get your things tomorrow.”


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Generation Six — Chapter Six: Swiftly Fly the Days …

     Rory and Ericka had their fourth child, Jett, who turned out to also be lavender in skin tone. This threw Rory’s theory entirely out-of-the-window. He felt sure about all the data he’d collected, his analysis, and yet half of his children were human Sim toned and the other half lavender like him. The only things the four had in common, in fact, were that they all had their parents’ red hair, and that they were all boys.
The Cantrell lineage still remained a majority of males. He thought about having yet another child, in the hopes a girl might present herself, but he was getting up there in days and while Ericka was still rather young — he wasn’t sure how she did it, but she was just now approaching her adulthood. Likely, it was just time to concentrate on his career.
In the interim, James and Johnny, while neither of them were scholars, were lively teens. James had a female Sim for a friend, Clare Mena, but so far, Rory couldn’t tell if there was a young romance going on under his nose or if this friendship, somehow remained platonic. If so, he was going to have to have a talk with that boy. Until he got himself into a serious relationship, Rory felt it incumbent on himself to remain the Patriarch. 
With the event of Jett, Rory sought a Nanny. Gramps, while immortal, seemed to be showing signs of slowing down. He slept a lot. He still kept on top of the constantly broken plumbing in this place. Perhaps, because this house had been his, from its inception. Rory just wanted to give the friendly, loving spectre a bit of a break. Babies could be tedious, after all.
The Nanny hung around even during James’ birthday party. Rory did notice the Nanny made sure Jaron completed his homework. And during the full swing of the festivities, Rory also saw him busily spraying under all four boys’ beds. At one point, he even heard him speaking to someone, or something. “So nice to see you again,” the Nanny said. Rory thought about firing the guy. He sounded a tad crazy. Or he took his job so seriously, he simply didn’t have a life. Maybe that’s why he chose to ‘hang out’ for the evening.

Rory sat down and watched a bit of television. Things were changing. His boys were growing up, even little Jett, a baby just moments ago, was ready for school. He shook his head. The days just flew by. Ericka joined him, sitting on the couch.
“Watcha watching?” she said, as she plopped down next to him, endangering the bowl of popcorn she carried.
“Just channel surfing.”
“You all right? You seem a little melancholy.”

“I just can’t get over how quickly the children are growing. Soon, Johnny will be out of school, too. James is a young adult. He’ll have to make a decision about his career. Marry a nice girl, settle down. Make us grandparents. I don’t know, guess I’m just a little tired. Last night was some party, eh?”
“Hm. I think everybody had fun.”
“I’m sorry Clare opted to miss it. I thought those two were friends.”
Friends, yes,” Ericka said, “but I don’t think there’s much of a spark between them.”
“None, that I’ve detected, anyway.” Ericka yawned. “I’m going to go to bed.”
“Yeah, me too. I’ll be right up.” Rory snapped off the large-screen TV and followed his wife up to bed.