Author Topic: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Eleven  (Read 8188 times)

Offline DeLouche

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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Four
« Reply #50 on: September 17, 2012, 07:41:47 PM »
Chapter Four: The path of true love

Connie was almost delirious with joy. She was going to marry the most handsome, kind, gentle and talented man in the whole Island, and possibly the whole world! She admitted privately that there may be one or two more impressive men somewhere, but one would probably have to search other continents, before squashing the thought as unworthy.

And was that the sound of his voice she heard? She grinned to herself - he still sang sea shanties, but tried to cut out anything he thought too crude for a woman's ears, in deference to her. Secretly, she quite enjoyed hearing the songs that men sang when women weren't there, but she wouldn't dream of telling him so.

"Ahoy there, my lovely Connie! And what a beautiful day for planning our wedding! I have taken the liberty of bringing you a bridal gift, my darling. I hope you like it, but I can always exchange it if necessary."



Connie opened the box in delight, and gasped as she drew out a beautiful flowing dress, the colour of the sea in spring.

"It is so wonderful, and you are so generous," she said, leaning in to kiss him. "It is exactly the colour I love best."

Seal barked happily as they embraced.



"I cannot wait for our wedding, my darling," said Peter. "Only one week from today."

"Certainly, when one has no family, weddings are a lot easier to organise," sighed Constance, having one of her moments of melancholy. "I do wish that my mother and father could have met you and given their seal of approval - as they certainly would have, by the way."



Peter looked at her gravely. "I too wish my parents could be here. After my father drowned, my mother moved back to London, and I have not seen her or my sisters for many a year."

Connie sighed again. "My father drowned too, not three miles from here. He drowned in a great storm." She did not want to give more details. After his death, many people had come up to her and called him 'hero', and all the while she had thought fiercely to herself that she wished he had been no hero, but had left the captain's children to drown, and come home safely. She could barely admit to herself even now how her sorrow had driven her to such cruel thoughts.

Peter looked up sharply. "My father too. He was captain of a ship called the Mary Rose. She foundered off some rocks on this very island. My sister and I were on board, and would have drowned too, but by the grace, we were saved by a local man. A fisherman, I was told, but after we were rescued, my mother brought us home as soon as she could, and I was never able to find him and thank him."

It was as though he had poured a bucket of ice water over her on the hottest summer day. She gasped, and swayed on her feet.

"You? You and your sister were those children? That man who rescued you was my father, and the best man who ever lived. For years I hated you for his death, and I hated myself for hating you."

Peter's face had gone white. "Connie..."

"No. You have said plenty. Go. I cannot look at you."



Peter stepped back, shocked.

"Very well. I am sorry for grieving you so sorely, Connie. I can only apologise for bringing such grief into your life, and bringing sorrow to your heart. I cannot blame you, but I will wait for word from you before our wedding."



"Wedding?" Connie fair shrieked this word. "There will be no wedding. Leave now, before I set Seal on you."

Seal was whimpering, and looked in no state to drive off anyone, but Peter just nodded and left.

Connie stood and watched him go. When he was out of sight, she wept. She did not know how long she wept for. She was not aware of moving, but she found herself mechanically plucking fruits from her trees and bushes. How could he, her love, her soon-to-be husband, have caused her father's death? She felt as though the world had tilted on its axis. How could love come from death? Was she only to lose one love to pay for another?




She fell into her accustomed rhythm of harvesting, and felt her breathing slow, and her mind begin to quiet. She remembered the look on Peter's face when she had told him to leave - told him she would not marry him! He had caused her more pain than he ever knew, but had he not lost his father too? And the pain she caused him was not unknowing or unhelped, but deliberate - she had not looked to be cruel, but the pain and rage had made it all too easy.

She went to bed uneasy in her mind that evening. The raven cawed outside her window all night, and Seal was uncustomarily morose. She recalled a phrase she had heard once; the long dark night of the soul. Well, she was looking at her soul, and while she was not in the pits of despair as she remembered she had once been, it was still not a comfortable feeling to look at oneself, and see one's faults honestly. She had been unfair, and unkind - and wrong too, for she did want to marry him. Even as she had shouted at him, he had respected her wishes, and renewed his loyalty.

It seemed an age before the sun dawned again, but when it did, she had made a decision.

She sat down at her table (for yes, she had a table now - Peter had brought his friends along to build her a small hut in her field, and had fixed some broken furniture for her - for, as he had said laughingly, until he gave her a mansion, they would need somewhere to live), and laboriously scratched out a letter.



Mye dearest Peter

Please forgive mee, afore I did notte treat you Kindly. I have Wronged you, and offer you my Contrit Contrishun Sincere Appologies. You are a Goode man and True, and it woulde bee more honour than I am Worthe were you to forgive mee and marrye me as you once honoured me by askinge.

Yours Forever
Constance Cabot

She sealed the letter, and tied it to the raven's leg, sending it flying with her hopes of happiness.



By her foot, she heard a muffled bark. She looked down, and Seal dropped a stone by her foot, and wagged his tail.

"What's this," she smiled at her dog. She looked more closely at the rock, and realised that parts of it gleamed red... like rubies. Seal barked again, and nudged it with his nose.

"Rubies?" she gasped.

Seal yipped excitedly, and ran in a circle.

"A wedding present, perhaps" a voice seemed to whisper in her mind's ear. She looked around sharply, but there was no-one there but the wind.

Offline DeLouche

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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Four
« Reply #51 on: September 17, 2012, 08:22:17 PM »
Chapter Five: Beginning happily ever after.



The wedding was widely agreed to be most charming, considering. True, the bride had no family, but she did have a certain radiance that the happiest brides have (and it was wrongly assumed to be for the same reason). The groom too had few attendants, but he stood as tall and proud as any man, and several maidens sighed to see him so thoroughly besotted with his bride. There were more flowers than people in the chapel, but the air was filled with the scent of summer blooms, and when the happy couple exchanged vows, there were more than a few tears shed.







After the simple ceremony, Peter pulled Connie aside.



"Now I've promised to love, honour and cherish you, Mrs Devlin, til death us do part," he grinned "I also promise this. I will always do my best to behave towards you with all the love I feel right now, and I will always bring you wildflowers when I see any worthy of your beauty.

"Flatterer," Connie laughed giddily. "I've married you now, you don't need your pretty words to make me smile. I have you by my side, and need no more to be happy. The flowers, however, are quite lovely, and I thank you, my darling husband."



They laughed again, drunk on love, and ran out to eat the cake, which the old wives had baked, and pressed on them with murmers of 'a fruitful marriage'.



The occasion was so filled with warmth and affection that some uninvited guests showed, and were likewise offered cake, somewhat to their surprise.



Everyone left feeling full and blissful, none more so than the bride and groom. They went back to Connie's hut, and that night they were not divided.




It was not many months thereafter that Connie felt a flutter in her stomach. She brushed over it, but before long, it was clear that she was expecting. Peter was of course overjoyed.

"A little girl, who looks just like her mother," he said dreamily.

"No," said Connie firmly. "A little boy, as kind and as gentle as his father."



Peter looked after Connie as tenderly as he knew how for the next months. He promised that she would have all the care she needed, that when it was her time, he would bring the doctor well in advance, that she would have bed rest for days beforehand, that he personally would see to everything, until Connie was half-convinced that he meant to give birth himself.

When it happened though, it was a surprise. Connie had had one of her wakeful nights, tossing and turning in the warm bed. Eventually she got up, as silently as she ever had as a child, and went outside to breathe the cool night air. Suddenly, she felt a sharp twinge in her abdomen. She breathed in deeply and evenly, as she remembered from half-heard, whispered conversations between her mother's friends.



The pain came again, and she cried out. Peter came running almost instantly, thrown into a complete disarray."I will go at once for the doctor," he babbled. "Old mother Picot will lend me her horse, and I will be back with help in no time at all. Just... hold it as long as you can..."

"Don't be foolish, Peter," Connie gasped between the pains, which were coming thick and fast now. "Bring... Mother Picot instead... She's had six living of her own, and seen... ow.... many more into the world."



But Peter had already fled in panic, desperate to ensure 'proper' help.



Before he had returned, Connie had walked to Mother Picot's herself, and together, they brought a squalling baby girl into the world. When mistress Picot laid the baby in her arms, Connie was unprepared for the tidal wave of protectiveness and worship that washed over her. She knew that her life would never be her own again, and she laid it gladly at the feet of this tiny - but very loud - scrap of humanity.

"Hast tha give thought to a name yet?" enquired Mother Picot, washing her hands.

Constance had only thought of Joseph Peter for a boy, but as she looked into her baby's eyes, she knew the answer.

"She shall be called Patience. She will need it, dealing with men!" Constance giggled, in joy and exhaustion.





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SimBlip

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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Four
« Reply #52 on: September 17, 2012, 08:22:37 PM »
Absolutely brilliant, Delouche!
The discovery of Peter Devlin's origins was bound to be shocking and hurtful. This conflict cannot have been easy to handle - for writer and character alike. You have done Peter, Constance and yourself justice with astonishing flair.
I love your eye for detail. Your pictures, your prose and dialogues, a misspelled letter from Constance... it all adds up to a most elegantly construed period drama.  :D

Edit: This comment was meant for chapter four. I'm delighted with a sequel so soon. Off to read chapter five!

Offline DeLouche

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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Five
« Reply #53 on: September 17, 2012, 08:31:59 PM »
Thank you SimBlip :) And you predicted it! I knew who he was, but not exactly how Connie would find out, or react, until I started writing it. After a while, the characters take over.

Something I noticed that I thought was really sweet: when Constance and Peter first started dating, Connie got a wish to woohoo with him for 350 points. I didn't let them (I'm playing it as faithfully to the times as I can, which is annoying when you consider all the labour-saving devices that have been invented over the last two centuries). As they got married, she popped a wish for First Woohoo With Peter... for 2,500 points! I hadn't seen that before, and I was very touched by it. And of course, it was a nice LTH bonus :)

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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Five
« Reply #54 on: September 17, 2012, 08:40:19 PM »
Wow, two chapters in a row! And both are masterfully done yet again; but then again, you are the one writing it, so it should naturally be expected that these chapters are amazing. ;D

Slight kidding aside ;), I really love your story, DeLouche. It's a nice, refreshing take on an Immortal Dynasty, and I find myself enjoying it very much.

Keep up the wonderful work! :D

-Phoenix

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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Five
« Reply #55 on: September 17, 2012, 08:44:23 PM »
I think everybody knew, this gorgeous couple would make up. It was very clever to proceed with the wedding at once. The effect of such happiness after the tears earlier on is infectious.
The cabin pictures of the wedding night are evocative. I loved the deer tiptoeing in for their share of cake.
And then... thank goodness for midwives like Mrs Picot! :)

PS.
I love the 'woohoo for the first time' wish too! And good on you for staying within the time's moral value system!

Offline Posidem

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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Five
« Reply #56 on: September 17, 2012, 11:10:15 PM »
Oh. My. Gawd. I think I just cried a little. But then, I saw them get married, and was jumping with joy! Good job!    :D



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Offline Audren

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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Five
« Reply #57 on: September 18, 2012, 06:36:38 AM »
Congratulations, Constance and Peter! Welcome, Patience! She will certainly need it in a Dynasty!  :P (Reminds me of a story I was told. I'll PM it to you so as to stay on topic)

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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Five
« Reply #58 on: September 18, 2012, 10:53:18 AM »
Congratulations on the wedding and welcome little Patience. Wonderful updates!

Offline Sunnysabjes

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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Five
« Reply #59 on: September 19, 2012, 04:36:03 AM »
Great update! Congratulations on little Patience!

Offline DeLouche

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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Five
« Reply #60 on: September 19, 2012, 07:23:34 PM »
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Slight kidding aside ;), I really love your story, DeLouche. It's a nice, refreshing take on an Immortal Dynasty, and I find myself enjoying it very much.

Thanks Phoenix :) It's an interesting way to play the game, and also to write, although it needs a certain amount of pre-planning - still, planning out the story is a big part of the fun for me :)

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The cabin pictures of the wedding night are evocative. I loved the deer tiptoeing in for their share of cake.
And then... thank goodness for midwives like Mrs Picot! :)

PS.
I love the 'woohoo for the first time' wish too! And good on you for staying within the time's moral value system!

The deer were so cute! I'd not seen two together before, so I had to take a picture... I love the way the game presents you with these moments that, even though unplanned, need to need to be written in :) As for the woohoo - Connie is most definitely Good and in any case, had plenty to do before she could get married ;D

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Oh. My. Gawd. I think I just cried a little. But then, I saw them get married, and was jumping with joy! Good job!    :D

Ha, thanks Posidem  ;D I hated having them fight, but nothing can stand in the path of true love.

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Congratulations, Constance and Peter! Welcome, Patience! She will certainly need it in a Dynasty!  :P (Reminds me of a story I was told. I'll PM it to you so as to stay on topic)

She will certainly need patience Audren, but I have no doubt she'll play her part of the Dynasty wonderfully :) Loved the story, it may make an appearance at some point, depending on how things go...

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Congratulations on the wedding and welcome little Patience. Wonderful updates!

Thanks Joanne! She is such a cutie :)

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Great update! Congratulations on little Patience!

Thanks Sunnysabjes :)


OK, so, my computer is playing up a bit at the moment - I've played a bit further into the game, have some screenshots, but the next chapter will be encompassing quite a lot of game time, and I've not got what I need yet. I hope to have an update by the weekend, if all goes well. The game is unfortunately bugging out a bit in build mode (i.e. crashing to desktop), and I think it's related to some of the other bugs I've had recently, so play is slow, but I'm getting there :) And the requirements are getting completed too, which is the main thing!

Offline Toni

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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Five
« Reply #61 on: September 20, 2012, 02:02:44 AM »
Welcome to the pixalated world of sims Patience. Though by the life-likeness of this story I'm doubting the pixalated part.

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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Five
« Reply #62 on: September 20, 2012, 04:05:40 AM »
Didn't have a book to read before bed so thought I'd pop in to the forum to she who has written what.  Found your story, read all five chapters and am bummed out that that's all there was!  I totally understand why but I just kept wanting more.  What an excellent story you're writing.  Yes, the scenery is great and yes the pictures are lovely but the writing is what has grabbed my heart.  Excellent!
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Offline DeLouche

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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Five
« Reply #63 on: September 21, 2012, 06:57:20 AM »
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Welcome to the pixalated world of sims Patience. Though by the life-likeness of this story I'm doubting the pixalated part.

Oh, they're pretty convinced they're real as well ;)

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Didn't have a book to read before bed so thought I'd pop in to the forum to she who has written what.  Found your story, read all five chapters and am bummed out that that's all there was!  I totally understand why but I just kept wanting more.  What an excellent story you're writing.  Yes, the scenery is great and yes the pictures are lovely but the writing is what has grabbed my heart.  Excellent!

Really glad you like it, Joria! It's probably going to take a while to finish this Dynasty, as I can't play all that often, and I'm currently experiencing a rather nasty issue where the game crashes to desktop every time I try and lay some flooring in Build mode, but the game, as I said, is actually coming along ok (Connie is now a decent way along to achieving her goals, and Patience has learned all her toddler skills and had her portrait done), and I hope to have some decent screenies and a new chapter this weekend!

Offline DeLouche

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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Five
« Reply #64 on: September 23, 2012, 06:32:25 PM »
Chapter 6

Life slipped by as if in a happy dream for the new Devlin family. Connie gardened; Peter fished and painted; and Patience was adored.



She grew larger and stronger under the watchful eyes of her parents and Seal, and before long, she could say a few earnest words to her parents.




 Peter was wont to tell Connie gleefully, "Didn't I tell you? I knew she would be a beautiful little girl, the spit of her mother". Connie could only laugh in response, for in truth, she thought her little girl the most beautiful work of human art ever to draw breath, but saw more likeness in her to Peter, in her open manner and zest for making friends. She was flanked always by either her rag doll or Seal, who guarded her tenderly.




Life was full of small happy surprises, of the kind that brought Connie so much joy. Seal would occasionally wander off for an hour or two, generally returning to drop a rock at Connie's feet; a rock which would invariably turn out to contain a precious metal or gem, and relieved their life of many of the financial woes which trouble young newly-weds. On one of these expeditions, he returned without a single rock, but with a girl-pup, whose owner was more than happy to gift her to Connie and Peter.



Peter called Connie out to the headland one day and unveiled a portrait that he had painted of her soon after they first met. Not long after Patience was born, he gave Connie another painting, this time of Connie in her wedding gown, but with the few lines that her face had gathered since looking after an excitable toddler.

She hung it above their bed, and that evening, she asked him why he had painted her that way.



"Connie, to me you are as beautiful as the day I first met you. The lines on your face read like beautful memories written on your face; memories of a life we have shared for the past few year, and that I hope to share with you for many more. I wanted... I wanted to stop time, to record the years as they pass... They pass all too quickly."

Connie took a sharp intake of breath at this.

"That's... that's what my father told me," she murmered. She held Peter close to her. "He told me... after he died. He wanted... he wanted me to live, to love others and be loved, to create and nurture life."

"And aren't you, my sweet? Don't you grow life out of the cold earth? Didn't you bring Patience into this world? And," he laughed gently "your plants are known island-wide now for their taste, and old mother Pcicot swears that their flesh is sweeter than any vegetable has a right to be. You might as well own the grocers, as your produce brings their whole store to shame."

Connie smiled and stroked his hair, and they fell asleep, but his words echoed in her mind. The next morning, she asked Peter to mind Patience, and not let her toddle off as he painted, and set off for town. In the folds of her gown, she had tied the profits from her vegetable garden. She came back that evening with a secret smile on her face, and waited for Peter to ask her about her day.



When he did, she waved her hand nonchalantly, and told him that, according to his sterling advice, she had bought the grocer out. Oh, and she had also laid down some money on the patch of headland with the fishing pond.



"But... my dear, you are hardly used to business," Peter stuttered, somewhat taken aback by his wife's decisive action.

"Dear Peter, I merely followed your advice. You have often said how I should sell my produce in town; that the gentry would be glad of a regular supply of, though I say it myself, the ripest fruit on the Island."

"Did I... I did tell you that!" After his first surprise, Peter was enthusiastic. "My dear wife, you are a fine example to us all. You were absolutely right to follow my advice, and I am very proud of your initiative."

Connie smiled to herself.

"And, my dear," she said, "I know how much you love fishing, so I thought that you could manage the pond; there is a goodly supply of fish there, and it is close enough that you will be able to paint while you wait for the fish to bite."

Peter was beside himself at this new evidence of his wife's thoughtfulness and kindness.



"My dearest Constance," he said tenderly. "You never fail to amaze me."



Punctuated by these moments of sweetness, life passed quickly. Patience grew into a young girl, surrounded by her family and their friends. Mother Picot baked a cake, a gorgeous confection topped with pale sugared icing, as Connie was no more skilled in the kitchen than the day she married, a fact which caused Peter much mirth, and Connie several sighs.



The puppy grew up, and before long, she gave birth to a litter of puppies. Seal was enormously proud, and trod carefully around the new arrivals to lick his mate's ear. Patience was as proud as could be of the litter, and when Connie and Peter insisted that they be weaned out and  passed to local farmers for working dogs, she insisted that one be allowed to stay with her.

"I will feed him and train him and love him and clean up after him, and you will not have any complaints, from anywhere, about either of our behaviour" she vowed, to her parents' amusement.

The puppy, who Patience named Starfish after seeing him trip and sprawl out on the floor, was indeed as charming and intelligent as Seal had ever been, and the two were quickly inseparable.



 

Offline MissPlumbBob

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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Six
« Reply #65 on: September 23, 2012, 07:07:28 PM »
I really do adore this story. Been reading since the beginning. My favorite is the romance between Connie and Peter; it's so... Romantic! ;D
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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Six
« Reply #66 on: September 23, 2012, 07:56:14 PM »
So much cuteness abound! ;D Although I get the feeling that this may not last... or maybe it will! Who knows (well, other than you, DeLouche :P)?

Loved this chapter! Can't wait for more! :)

-Phoenix

Offline forever_mone

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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Six
« Reply #67 on: September 23, 2012, 11:36:53 PM »
I just started this story and so far, I really do enjoy it! As others have said, the romance between Connie and Peter is very well done. Lovely work!

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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Six
« Reply #68 on: September 24, 2012, 12:34:02 AM »
You are an awesome writer! I am enjoying every word of this story!

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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Six
« Reply #69 on: September 24, 2012, 06:03:11 AM »
The love between Connie and Peter are so special. Patience grew up to a lovely child, did te doggie tackle her in the last picture? ;D

Offline Audren

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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Six
« Reply #70 on: September 24, 2012, 07:16:46 AM »
Happy birthday, Patience! That must've been one strong dog to tackle her!  :P

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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Six
« Reply #71 on: September 24, 2012, 08:53:09 AM »
This is one of the BEST ever sims stories I've ever read, seriously:)!

The language was mind-blowing and I really love how you developed your characters into realistic flesh-and-blood people without just concentrating on the challenge. As somehow above me said, it reas more like a novel than a story.

Hoping to read more soon!
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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Six
« Reply #72 on: September 24, 2012, 02:49:49 PM »
Wonderful, DeLouche! The Devlin family delights me no end.
The dynasty rules are beautifully woven into the rich tapestry of this story. Everything seems to fall into place naturally. :)

Offline DeLouche

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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Six
« Reply #73 on: September 24, 2012, 05:52:09 PM »
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I really do adore this story. Been reading since the beginning. My favorite is the romance between Connie and Peter; it's so... Romantic! ;D

Really glad you like it MissPlumBob :) I think they're an adorable couple.

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So much cuteness abound! ;D Although I get the feeling that this may not last... or maybe it will! Who knows (well, other than you, DeLouche :P)?

I don't know what you could be talking about ;) Well, I think the cuteness will last, anyway. For a while. Probably.

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You are an awesome writer! I am enjoying every word of this story!

Thank you so much jude :)

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The love between Connie and Peter are so special. Patience grew up to a lovely child, did te doggie tackle her in the last picture? ;D

Yes! It was so sweet, the puppy ran for about 3 or 4 minutes to reach her, while Patience stood there (patiently), and then it leapt up on its tiny puppy legs and the look on her face was hilarious  :D

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Happy birthday, Patience! That must've been one strong dog to tackle her!

Ha, it had the element of surprise on its side ;D

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The language was mind-blowing and I really love how you developed your characters into realistic flesh-and-blood people without just concentrating on the challenge. As somehow above me said, it reas more like a novel than a story.

Hoping to read more soon!

I'm really glad you're enjoying it :) It a fun way of writing, and my way of writing is very character-based, so the Sims is perfect for stories :) Another chapter will be up... soon!

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The dynasty rules are beautifully woven into the rich tapestry of this story. Everything seems to fall into place naturally.

Well, that's what I'm aiming for - it's a bit of a challenge trying to make these Dynasty rules part of the plot :)

Offline DeLouche

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Re: The Green Dolphin Dynasty: Chapter Seven
« Reply #74 on: September 24, 2012, 05:58:38 PM »
Chapter Seven



Patience, like Connie before her, loved spending time in the kitchen with her parents. However, where Connie had revelled in being outside, and had loved the kitchen because it was where her mother was to be found, Patience felt happiest when surrounded by the four walls that she knew so well.  There was always something interesting there – whether it was Seal asleep under the table, Starfish begging for scraps, her father excitedly describing the aesthetic beauty of the fish he had caught, or Connie stewing vegetables. Privately, she thought that the vegetables might taste better if Connie left them raw, rather than trying to cook them, but she kept this thought to herself, and asked Connie to teach her how to cook. This could have been like asking Queen Victoria to show her how to sweep floors, but Patience wisely treated her mother the way that Connie treated Peter, and allowed her to think that it was all her own idea to add a pinch of spice to a cake, or a  handful of flour to thicken the soup.



Connie, while she could tend her garden with unflagging interest and tenderness, would often forget about the pot bubbling on the stove until a thick black smoke filled the house, so Patience quickly grew to recognise the smell of the edge of burning, and rescued many a pot by dragging it off the heat in the nick of time. Peter was effusively complimentary about Connie’s improved cooking, which would have hurt Patty’s feelings, had he not tipped her the ghost of a wink before telling Connie how incredibly proud he was of her culinary skills.



Peter had predicted truly when he told Connie that their child would look like her; indeed, the two only grew more similar as time went by. The only discernible difference was that instead of Connie’s clear blue eyes, Patty had green eyes. Neither Peter nor Connie could remember any of their family having eyes the colour of trees reflected in the sea, but occasionally, when Patience’s eyes caught the light, Connie was reminded of a dark night long ago, when she had decided that she could go on no longer, and had been pushed to shore by…. what, exactly? She never entertained these thoughts too long, preferring instead to concentrate on admiring her daughter’s distinctive eye colour.



And whilst Connie and her daughter were both down-to-earth in their own fashion, it could not be denied that Patience was far more practical in many ways. It was Patience who noticed when the stove or sink needed cleaning, and cleaned it upon the instant, chuntering happily to herself or Seal. It was Patience that, as she had vowed, trained Starfish, until he was every bit the hunter his father was, with the same propensity for bringing back valuables. “I should have called you Pirate” she said lovingly to him one day, as he dropped an ancient looking gold piece in front of her. And it was Patience who gradually took over the household cooking. Connie barely noticed that she spent less and less time at the stove, as her garden absorbed her – a fact which probably explained the quality of her cooking.



Patience was, above all, an ordinary child. She had ordinary brown hair and freckles. She was domestic by nature, prone to gossiping with her friends in the schoolyard, diligent in her housework, practical in her outlook, and reasonably well-behaved. Patience enjoyed her mother’s tales, but she did not believe in ghosts. When she thought about them, which wasn’t very often, she thought that they were probably the result of not dusting enough, and eating cheese too late in the evening. So, when she woke up one night to find a ghost in her bedroom, she assumed that she was in fact dreaming.
“I’m sorry, you’ll have to leave,” she announced straight away. “I don’t believe in ghosts, and I’m certain that this is a dream, but I’m afraid you’re making the place look dusty.”
The apparition chuckled.
“So like your mam ye look. I’ll wager ye make her and your pa as happy as she made me and Marie.”
Patience was not easily silenced, and she ploughed on, “I do not mean to be impertinent, sir, but you are dripping on the floor, and I will have to mop that up, so please, if you would be so kind, could you move along?”
“I thought this were all a dream?” The phantom chuckled again “Ye won’t have to do no mopping, dearie, dream or no – this is wraith water, and will be gone as soon as I am. Drowned, I did, and I carry the memory still.”
Patience could think of nothing to say to this, so merely responded politely “I am terribly sorry to hear that sir, I do hope you are feeling better now.”
The apparition, who laughed more than Patience thought any ghost would, guffawed at this.
“That’s a good girl. I feel no pain now, so fret not, pretty child. I wanted to tell ye summat. Ye be a good girl, Patty, and ye’ll be a good woman too, I think. Connie needs ‘ee, Patty. She don’t know it yet, she’s half forgotten what I told her years back, but she’ll remember soon enough. She’s all well and good when it comes to the outdoors – there’s not a blade of grass on this island she hasn’t trod. And what she don’t know about gardening ain’t worth knowing. And that father of yourn – he’s all well and good when it comes to fishing and pictures and whatnot. But it needs to come together child, d’ye see?”
“Yes,” Patience lied.
“Nonsense. Ye think I’m speaking blather. Tell me the truth now: d’ye see?”
“No, sir, I do not know what you are talking about, and I think that I have dreamed enough – this is sounding too fantastical.” Patty was losing patience with the ghost.
“Tell the truth and shame the devil! Well done Patty,” the ghost said gently. “But ye will see. Ye will make the dish that preserves life. Yer father and mother, with their fishing and their vegetables, are halfway there, and there’s few enough that could get that far. But ye’ll need to bring it together, Patty. Don’t forget now.”
“I won’t forget,” said Patience fervently. Dream or not, she knew she would remember this visitation.
“Good lass. Oh, and I’ve a message for Connie too. Tell her to remember what I said about the graveyard. Tell her there’s treasure there for them as care to seek it. One treasure for her, and one for yer father. Can you remember that? Will ‘ee tell her?” The ghost was fading, and the voice was sounding more hollow every word.
“I will tell her,” said Patience.
“Good lass. Ye’ll be fine, I know….”
Patience was left alone in the dark room. She was not afraid, for she had felt no hint of malice or ill-will in what she believed to be her dream. She fell asleep, more puzzled than troubled, still wondering what she had seen.
 
In the bright light of day, Patience decided not to mention her dream to her parents just yet. True, she had promised the wraith she would tell her mother about the graveyard, and she was not given to breaking promises lightly, but as the day wore on, she decided that it had just been a particularly memorable dream, and after all, who could make a promise to a dream? Foolish thoughts were best chased away with practical work, and so she got dressed briskly, and went to scrub the already-gleaming cooking pots.