Author Topic: Islands of Sunset Valley: Epilogue (Completed)  (Read 12389 times)

Offline Magz from Oz

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Islands of Sunset Valley: Epilogue (Completed)
« on: February 10, 2013, 12:43:28 AM »
Islands of Sunset Valley – Sequel to Duty Calls

Author’s Foreword:

After completing Duty Calls, (link here) I was itching to create a Fairy and really play with the Supernatural EP which so messed up my St Clair dynasty.  At the time my real life work involved gathering spatial data for a school called ‘Kalamia’ in north Queensland.  I really liked the way the word ‘Kalamia’ rolled off the tongue.  So I used it for my fairy’s surname.

From time to time, I returned to that old saved Duty Calls game file.  I waited until Brandon’s and Agnes’s child was born, a daughter I named Diana.



The next day was Love Day.  I sent them to the festival and they had fun with the Love Inspector and Brandon won King o’ the Dance. 





Satisfied that these two lovebirds were destined to be together-4-ever, I switched households to get Christopher Steel to max out his career. 

Expecting to read about his promotion in the newspaper, he also read that Agnes Crumplebottom had drowned.  Gasp!  Nooooooooo!



I changed households to see how Brandon was coping and well, quite frankly, he was not.  Unable to get the resurrected Agnes to remarry Brandon (apparently a known glitch), I found the idea for another story instead.

I hoped to introduce someone to be a new love interest and seriously considered Emma Hatch or Holly Alto of the dozen or so townies who seemed eager to console the young widower.

Meanwhile back in real life, I realised that the address for the school I was working on was, Kalamia Estates, Brandon, via Ayr.  It seemed an omen I could not ignore, so I rejected the idea of using Emma or Holly and instead moved my fairy, Faith Kalamia from Moonlight Falls to Sunset Valley. 

This is their story.

Spoiler Alert:  This is a love story.  No intrigue, no adventure – sorry about that – just a simple little love story, but I hope you’ll enjoy it anyway

“Islands of Sunset Valley” is a work of fiction. The St Clair and Kalamia characters, Simfield and many in-game incidents are a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.  Artistic or literary license is used extensively.

Members of the Forum, I welcome your comments on my story.   All reasonable constructive criticism is welcome.


Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Prologue
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2013, 01:10:47 AM »
Islands of Sunset Valley - Prologue

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.  If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were.  As well as if a manor of thine own or of thine friend's were.  Each man's death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”  Extracted from Meditations #17 – John Donne (1623)

Dear Diary,

I heard daddy cry again last night.  He hasn’t done that for a long time or perhaps I just haven’t heard him lately.  Every night, daddy just sits with mum’s tombstone and reads or talks to her.  Sometimes he plays his guitar or bass for her.  Each night he places a plate of Ambrosia on the table for her ghost to eat so she can return to us.  But her ghost doesn’t appear.  It never has.



I was only a toddler when mum, died. 



One afternoon, she went for a quick swim before her work shift.  Mum was fit and healthy, and not particularly tired, but she drowned.  Daddy was in the lower basement studying Alchemy as he often did in the afternoons back then.  Mr Koffi, who lives next door, told everyone he saw a blue flash of light and thought a meteor had landed close by but when he went out onto his rear patio he saw Grim by our pool taking mum’s life.

Daddy said he knew something was terribly wrong immediately he closed the Alchemy book. 



He said he felt his heart rip in two.  He ran up the stairs but couldn’t find mum.  He saw me in the nursery and picked me up.  Then he ran outside to find mum’s tombstone that Grim had placed beside the pool.



It’s been there ever since.  Daddy would not take mum’s gravestone to the cemetery.  He’s afraid if he moves it she won’t ever appear.  He didn’t even have a proper funeral for mum.  He told Uncle Chris he was going to bring her back so it wasn’t necessary.  Daddy did get contractors in to fill in the pool though, because he was worried I would go swimming alone and drown too.  Nana St Clair rearranged the outdoor furniture so the backyard doesn’t look quite so bare.

Daddy and I have an evening routine which is almost always the same.  After school we play chess or dominoes or sometimes we paint.  Then daddy cooks dinner while I do my homework. 



We have dinner together and watch some TV.



Then daddy reads me to sleep.  If it’s not raining or snowing, he works in his garden waiting for midnight. 



When the garden is dormant, he researches the internet or paints.  From midnight to dawn he waits for mum.  In the morning we have breakfast together.



When I go to school, daddy sells his harvested produce at the Al Fresco Street Market then he comes home and goes to sleep. 

I attend afterschool activities or I go home with my cousins Joshua Steel or Mortimer and Lexi Goth so daddy can sleep longer.  On the weekends, daddy uses energy drinks or an invigorating elixir to stay awake so we can spend the weekend together in the playground, go to the festival at the park or the movies or the art gallery.



Sometimes we go to the ball game or a concert or watch the performance.  I like the times when we just go fishing the most.



Aunt Jamie says daddy will wreck his health.  She said his Canadian (Edit by watcher: Circadian) rhythms are all out of whack and one day he’ll fall in a heap but he won’t listen to her or anybody.  She’s wrong; he listens to all of them but mostly ignores their advice.  He sits by mum’s grave every night, rain, hail and snow, winter, spring, summer and fall. 



Aunt Cornelia asked him to take mum’s tombstone to her house to be placed in their family graveyard so mum can be with her parents but daddy refused.  Uncle Chris and Uncle Gunther have both tried to talk to him but now they just keep an eye on him and mostly leave him be.



They did sneak over one weekend while we were out fishing at Recurve Strand and built a shelter over mum’s tombstone so daddy doesn’t sit out in the rain and snow.



Many friends and family came and went in those early days but daddy was polite but distant.  Most of his friends have stopped calling.  Even Aunt Cornelia rarely visits us now.  Uncle Chris, Aunty Jamie and Uncle Gunther take it in turns to call him every night.  They are the only townies daddy has any regular contact with and I’ve heard them say if it wasn’t for me, they’d leave him alone with his grief.



When Ms McIrish, our school teacher, set us an essay writing competition about people who cut themselves off and become islands, I wrote about him.

My dad was once the promontory that John Donne spoke of but gradually his ocean of grief washed away the clods connecting him to the mainland of humanity, now he is almost an island, connected only by me, the Isthmus of Diana.

I won the competition.  Ms McIrish gave me a lovely book.  I gave it to daddy to read to mum.

Diana Crumplebottom



Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler



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Anna33

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Prologue by Diana Crumplebottom
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2013, 07:23:06 AM »
Oh no! Agnes died!

I am really glad you are doing a sequel to Duty Calls I enjoyed that story, poor Agnes though.
Diana is cute by the way

Louise56

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Prologue by Diana Crumplebottom
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2013, 09:49:54 AM »
Poor Brandon! It is so sad that Agnes died. Diana is a lovely girl. :)

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Prologue by Diana Crumplebottom
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2013, 10:36:40 AM »
Poor Brandon. He hand Agnes had already been through so much, and for her life to be so tragically cut short. I'm already tearing up. :(

I love Diana so far. She has a good head on her shoulders for someone so young. Here's hoping for a lovely new beginning for her and her father.

Crystal

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Prologue by Diana Crumplebottom
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2013, 04:45:53 PM »
I laughed and sighed all the way through Duty Calls.  Now I'm crying my eyes out.  Great start by the way.  I'm wondering how you're going to turn this into a love story.  :'(

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Prologue by Diana Crumplebottom
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2013, 04:13:30 AM »
Thanks everyone.

I love Diana too.  But make no mistake she is Agnes's daughter and likes things her own way.  I'll leave you with this image while I prepare the next update as Brandon takes over the narrative.



And yes Crystal, I can turn any scenario into a love story.  I'm such a Hopeless Romantic.  Welcome to the forum.
Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler



Registered members do not see ads on this Forum. Register here.

Offline Magz from Oz

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Islands of Sunset Valley - Chapter 1: New Arrivals
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2013, 07:13:15 AM »
Islands of Sunset Valley – Chapter 1 – New Arrivals

My brother Chris came by early this morning and dropped off a book Diana ‘accidently’ left at his house yesterday.  She is always forgetting things at the houses of her aunts and uncles. 



She thinks I don’t know that she does this on purpose so Chris or Jamie or Gunter or Cornelia will call in and return them.  If she hasn’t purposely ‘forgotten’ something, one of them will drop by with a new book they bought at the consignment store or something they’d like me to fix or to get some perfect produce for a special meal. 

Most nights, one of them will phone me.  None of them are subtle, but I know they mean well. 



Despite Chris’s grouchiness sometimes, he has been my rock since Agnes passed.  He is busy with his own family especially their new twins, Mitchell and Shelly. 



Even though his promotion to an astronaut gives him a lot of time off, he never seems to begrudge spending some of it with me.  I’m glad he’s mostly stopped telling me to move on, because I can’t and I won’t give up.

I looked at the clock.  Since Diana likes to try every new recipe I learn, especially the international ones, I’d probably have just enough time to make a serving of crepes then it will be time to get Diana up for breakfast and send her to school.  Things are just a bit haywire these days.  For some inexplicable reason the school bus doesn’t arrive to collect her but this just makes it harder for me to send her to school and out of my sight.

I received the notice yesterday that the school had scheduled a field trip to the Mausoleum today and Diana is annoyed with me because I wouldn’t let her go.  It’s immaterial to me that all her cousins were going, but I’m still not taking that chance.  I take a chance everyday just letting her go to school.  I wanted to home school her but, the reality is, I sleep while she’s at school.  That’s my new night-time.

I spend my nights talking to or reading to Agnes.  I don’t know why everybody finds this behaviour strange.  Most married men spend their nights with their wives.  Mine is simply dead.  I can’t understand why her ghost doesn’t appear though, but someday I hope she will and eat the ambrosia I put out for her every night.  Surely Agnes knows how much I miss her and want her to come back.

Cornelia tells me that if Agnes was going to appear, she would have done so by now.  Cornelia lives on a lot full of tombstones and tells me there are many nights when no ghosts appear and frequently nights when only one will appear.

I checked out the website mum and dad talked about but no one seems to have difficulty with recalcitrant ghosts.  I must be doing something wrong.  I may have to find out if there is a way I can force Agnes’s ghost to appear so I can ask her to eat the Ambrosia.



Cornelia thinks I use Agnes as an excuse not to socialise but that’s not true.  I never had been drawn to the party crowd.  Diana and I show up for all the family birthdays.  Initially Cornelia tried to invite me to parties with lots of single women.  I went once to be polite and resented losing that precious time I should be spending with Diana, not some flirty friend of hers who thinks a widower needs female company.  Luckily for me Cornelia is now too busy with her daughter Lexi and her new career as a Private Investigator.

I have all the companionship I need.  Diana and I talk every day, over breakfast and dinner, playing chess and watching our special program on TV.  As a green thumb I can also talk to plants.  That’s enough for me.  At least the plants never tell me to move on.  I did get rid of the bees though.  I didn’t want Diana to get stung.  When I need honey for a recipe I harvest the bees at the elixir store.

The crepes are perfect, light and fluffy.  Watching Cookin’ Cable has other benefits than great quality time with Diana.  But whenever I have a bad night, so does she, and Diana will be late if she sleeps in any longer.



Even though I thought we had resolved this argument last night, Diana is still upset with me this morning and had to have one last try to change my mind while we ate breakfast.



“Daddy it’s so unfair,” she moped, “Everyone else gets to go to the Mausoleum, and I have an extra history class instead of the field trip.  Morty phoned me last night and said he and Lexi would keep an eye on me the whole time.  You know how protective he is about his sister.  He said he’d be doubly sure I was okay.  Please daddy, can I go?”

“Kitten, I just can’t take the chance.” I said, “If it was the Bistro or the Theatre or the Police Station, you know I’d let you go, but the Mausoleum is dangerous.  Sims can die in there.”

“Daddy, it’s a school trip!  Morty said the Principal has prepared a thorough risk assessment on the excursion.  It’s safe or the School Board wouldn’t allow it to happen.  Everyone else is going.” She pouted and begged with her eyes.

When she looks up at me with her mother’s eyes, I have to really fight myself to be firm.  “Honey, you’re all I have.  Please understand I can’t lose you too.  It’s time to leave.  Do you want me to drive you to school - it’s on my way to the Market?”

“No daddy, it’s not raining and I like my bike.”  Despite still being cross with me, Diana hugs me and kisses my cheek, “Love you daddy.  Sleep tight.”  My heart aches as she disappears out the door.



I clear the dishes and plan something special for dinner this evening, trying to make it up to Diana for missing the school trip.  I know Morty phoned Diana last night.  Despite seeing each other at school every day, the cousins phone each other most nights.  Chris told me this morning that Joshua volunteered to hold Diana’s hand every second, if it helped.  That only made me feel worse. 



The other person Diana is closest to is Chris’s son, Joshua.  They have a very special bond and not just because they’re cousins.  They talk on the phone every night, even those nights when Diana has already spent the afternoon at Chris’s house.  This worries Chris and Jamie too because Joshua says he’s going to marry Diana when they grow up. 

It was amusing at first but less so as time has cemented their relationship.  Jamie says Joshua and Diana can’t ever marry because Chris and I are biologically identical.  While first cousins can usually marry, they can’t if they are the children of identical twins.  Biologically it would be like Diana marrying her half brother and the law won’t allow it.



Chris worries a lot about Joshua and Diana.  He says Diana is too much like me and has co-dependency issues.  But I’m careful not to point out that every second sentence Joshua speaks is about Diana or how he can’t wait for his birthday and hopes the school holds off his prom until Diana ages so they can go to the prom together.



Joshua often asks Diana to show off her ballet moves.  Joshua said when they’re older, they’ll win King and Queen of the dance on Love Day.  Poor Joshua, he’s not the only cousin Diana has wrapped around her little finger.  Morty does just about anything she asks too.  Luckily for me, he’s too wrapped up in Bella Bachelor to notice his little cousin that way because there would be no impediment to them marrying when they grow up.



All this talk of Diana marrying is moot.  She’s not even a teen yet and God forbid, how am I ever going to survive raising a teenage daughter alone.  I have to find another way to resurrect Agnes’s ghost.  I never got the ‘Oh My Ghost’ opportunity which everyone said I should have.  But life has never been easy for me and I don’t expect that to change any time soon.

There just has to be another way.  The ambrosia method that dad told us about all those years ago doesn’t appear to be working for me.  I hadn’t progressed any further with the Alchemy either so there may be a supernatural method I don’t know about.  Learning Alchemy reminds me too much of why I missed saving Agnes from drowning.  I did, however, learn the alchemy recipe for Invigorating Elixir which is very useful given my gruelling schedule.  But Cornelia did say there was a level 10 Alchemist in Sunset Valley and I need to pursue this option.

After selling my produce at the Market, I made a quick trip to Aliester’s Elixirs and Sundrys to speak to the clerk to find out who the Alchemist is.  The clerk there is helpful with any information about alchemy but not about disclosing the identity of any of the alchemists who placed consignments. 



He told me most alchemists guarded their secrets and would be very reluctant to discuss recipes.



He was a talkative chap and said that he’s not aware of any elixir that can resurrect a ghost.  He suggested I research the supernatural at the Vault of Antiquity but he warned me it would take hours.  I browsed around the store but was really too tired to concentrate on the odd paraphernalia that abounded in this curious place.  Just as I was about to leave a young teen fairy wearing a black tux strode into the store. 



He had the most gloriously bright green wings.  He dropped off a consignment of elixirs to the clerk and hurried out.  Thinking he may lead me to the level 10 Alchemist, I tried to introduce myself to the teen but he was obviously in a hurry.  I did notice that he drove off in an expensive black car.  He was sure an odd character, dressed in a black tux, long straggly black hair and driving a black car.  Was he a goth fairy?  I guess not or his wings would be black. 



Also a Bwan Speedster YL was not the average car around town especially for a teen.  To my knowledge only Thornton Wolff and Agnes ever drove them.  Someone had to know where I could find him.

I was too tired to drive around town hoping to locate his house so decided to try to meet him after school.  I went to bed and set the alarm early.  I arrived at the school just before 2:00 p.m. but he didn’t come out.  Maybe he had an extracurricular activity.  In that case, I was wasting my time.  Then I remembered the excursion.  I decided to wait until 3:00 p.m. for Diana to finish school. When Diana walked through the door and saw me waiting, her smile was all I needed to lift my spirits.



Diana enveloped me in a hug and together we went over to the festival at the park and had a bit of fun with a water-balloon-fight, some roller skating and a soccer shootout before going home to homework and a late dinner.



Over dinner that evening, I asked Diana, “Have you seen a teenage fairy who wears a black tux?” 

Diana said, “Oh yeah!  The whole school was talking about the Kalamia’s.  The two older brothers go to my school.  The oldest is Julian.  He’s got all the girls’ attention which upsets Morty because Bella likes him.  He drives a black sports car.  The middle boy is Keith.  He is my age and he also wears a black tux to school.  There’s something wrong with Keith.  I think he must be really sick.  He has to wear dark glasses even inside the classroom and his skin is almost grey.  His voice is really strange too.  They don’t talk much.”



Diana paused to eat a bite, “And you’d never guess what, they didn’t go on the school excursion today either, so I got to see them up close and personal for the first time.  Julian spent recess and the lunch break tossing a ball with his brother.  You’d like him daddy, he has such beautiful manners.  Julian really looks after Keith and it is no wonder that Bella really likes him.  Morty is my cousin and I love him but he can be so grumpy sometimes.”

“That was the best risotto ever, daddy.” Diane said when she finished her dinner but she continued with the conversation, “Keith is really freaky smart.  He must be a genius.  I think he could be at level 10 in Logic already.  All the girls in my class vie for his attention, but he doesn’t talk at all unless the teacher asks a question.”

“Have you seen their parents?” I asked casually.

Diane shook her head and grinned gleefully, “No and nobody has.  It’s all a deep dark mystery.”

“Do you know where they live?  Maybe we could invite them over for dinner sometime” I asked trying to sound casual.

“Well good luck with that.  Apparently they don’t ‘do’ invitations and you don’t ‘do’ dinner parties, so what gives?” Diana asked disbelievingly.

I sighed; Diana sometimes had a way of seeing right through me.  “Okay to be truthful, I know nothing about the supernatural and researching the supernatural takes hours I don’t have to spare, so I thought maybe a fairy could tell me if there was another way to make your mother’s ghost appear.”

Diana shrugged, “I guess it can’t hurt to ask.  Bella said they live in that new house built on the vacant lot on Summer Hill Court.”

“The dynasty lot!  Are they a dynasty?  When did a house get built there?” I asked.

“I don’t know daddy!  I’m just a kid!” Diana retorted and hugged me.  “Thanks daddy, I had a nice time this afternoon.  Why don’t you ask Uncle Gunther about the Kalamias?”

“Good idea, honey, do you want help with anything?” I asked as she raced into the hall.

“Nope.  I just want to tell Joshua about the Kalamia’s” she replied, “Call me when our show on Cookin’ Cable starts.”  I don’t know how she heard a word of her phone call because the upstairs rocked to her favourite kids’ band at maximum decibels.  Heaven help me when she becomes a teenager.

Since Gunther Goth changed careers and went into politics, he’s probably the best person to ask about newcomers in Sunset Valley.  After stacking the dishwasher I rang Gunther and asked him about the Kalamias.  Gunther told me the old dynasty lot was bought three days ago.  As far as he knew there was only a Mrs Kalamia and her children in the house.



I thanked him and he asked how we were doing.  I said we were fine.  I told him to tell Morty that Diana and I spent the afternoon at the festival and she’d forgiven me for not letting her go on the school trip.  Then Gunther surprised me by telling me that Cornelia and he were expecting again.  Clearly Cornelia and he had put their marriage back together and I assumed that Cornelia would age up any day since Lexi was born.  Maybe this nooboo is one of those change-of-life babies. 

Next I rang an ex-arch enemy, if there’s anyone with their finger on the pulse in this town it’s Vita Alto.  And she lived on Summer Hill Court too.  Now that Vita is a good Sim, she’s revitalised the social events in this town and is actually quite a useful friend, especially if one overlooks her persistent matchmaking efforts among the townies, me included.



Vita cheerfully said, “The Kalamia’s are filthy rich and in mourning.  It appears Mr Elias Kalamia passed away only very recently.”  Well that explained the boys wearing black tuxes.  I wonder how long they were expected to be in mourning.

Vita was full of information about the pretty young Mrs Kalamia who was clearly not as Greek as her name suggests.  “Her name is Faith.  She is a redhead and a fairy.  I swear I have my work cut out trying to keep Nick from going over there every second of the day just to see if poor Mrs Kalamia needs anything but he brings back such juicy gossip.”

“The Kalamia’s have a big children’s playground, lots of vegetable gardens, a good size fishing pond, and a large barn with a horse trough.  We have not seen any pets though.  They also have a big entertainment patio but so far they have not had any parties that we know about.”

Vita asked, “Have you read the article in the paper that Holly’s husband died?”

“Uh... no,” I replied, “I don’t read the newspapers anymore but Cornelia told me about his death.  I rang Holly to offer my condolences.”

Vita said, “I’d be happy to mind Diana if you wanted to take Holly out to dinner some time?”

“Thank you Vita but no.” I responded, “I saw Holly at the pool only the day before yesterday and we talked.  Holly and I are friends, Vita, good friends and that was all we’ll ever be.”



“Well as long as you’re single, I still have hopes for you two.” I wanted to correct Vita that I was not single but she waffled on for a time about her latest campaign before she eventually said goodbye. 



I told Diana when I read her to sleep that I will contact the Kalamias if I could.  She wished me luck.





As I did my evening chores, I resolved to meet the elusive Mrs Kalamia, not because she was young and pretty but because she was a fairy and an alchemist.  But if the Kalamia’s only moved to Sunset Valley three days ago, who was the level 10 alchemist that Cornelia bought the elixirs from that changed VJ Alvi and Vita Alto into being good Sims. 

There was someone else in this valley who may be able to help me but as they say, ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’.  At least now I knew where I could find one skilled alchemist...

Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Crystal

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Prologue by Diana Crumplebottom
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2013, 04:55:27 PM »
Thanks everyone.

I love Diana too.  But make no mistake she is Agnes's daughter and likes things her own way.  I'll leave you with this image while I prepare the next update as Brandon takes over the narrative.




Diana is so like Agnes.  I think she has more than her cousins twisted round her little fingers.  I always pegged Brandon for a softy but he makes a great dad.

Louise56

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 1: New Arrivals
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2013, 06:03:21 AM »
The Kalamia family sound very mysterious, I can't wait to find out more about them. :)

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 1: New Arrivals
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2013, 12:41:58 PM »
I can understand the whole over-protective father thing with all that Brandon has been through. It's good that he has that network of support from his and Agnes's family.

I still can't get over the fact that Agnes is gone. One thing that I truly hate about EA's story progression sometimes. Just out of curiosity, who was Holly's spouse and how did he die?

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 1: New Arrivals
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2013, 02:57:39 PM »
I can understand the whole over-protective father thing with all that Brandon has been through. It's good that he has that network of support from his and Agnes's family.

I still can't get over the fact that Agnes is gone. One thing that I truly hate about EA's story progression sometimes. Just out of curiosity, who was Holly's spouse and how did he die?

Milton Alto so I'm guessing he was Milton Tong and she must have proposed.  I didn't put them together, EA did.  I always felt she could do better than that.   I'm assuming he died in a fire because the newspaper said his smoking remains were found etc.  When I was playing Chris, I had him or Jamie read the newspapers and it was a string of obituaries every day.  Sorry, but all of the Bunches except Darlene (who lives with Leighton Sekemoto) have died and the Landgraab's left town.  I picked up the households I wanted for the story and moved them into a fresh Sunset Valley game because too many people were dead!
Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 2: The Fairy
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2013, 04:35:08 PM »
Islands of Sunset Valley – Chapter 2: The Fairy

In the morning, after getting Diana up and off to school, I dropped by the Al Fresco Street Market to sell my produce but the prices they were offering today were lower than normal.  My merchant friend advised me he had another supplier who also produced perfect vegetables.  It was the law of economics, supply and demand.  He now had an oversupply of perfect produce and couldn’t offer me a better price unless the demand rose to meet the oversupply.



“Who is the other supplier?” I asked.  My friendly merchant pointed to a redheaded fairy at another stall.



Unless Sunset Valley acquired another redheaded fairy, the elusive Mrs Kalamia was right there at the Market.  She wore a short black dress.  If her mourning clothes were meant to keep men away they were doomed to failure, she was clearly an attractive woman, from the tip of her pert red curls to her sensible court shoes.  Her green wings looked amazing against the black dress.  I gave her my most charming introduction that somehow ended up talking about toothpaste.  I don’t think I’ll ever figure out how I came up with that topic.  Perhaps it had something to do with her lovely smile?



“Mrs Kalamia,” I said smiling my most good neighbourly smile, “I’m a professional gardener.  I understand that we are both selling produce at this market.  Can we discuss strategy on our produce because neither of us will get a good price unless we agree to supply particular produce and not undercut each other?” She smiled at me with emerald green eyes so reminiscent of my mother, I was momentarily speechless.
 
“Please, call me Faith,” she said disarmingly.  Her voice had the same mellow timbre as my mother’s too.  I looked at her face closely for the first time.  Oh my God, replace Faith’s short red curls with my mother’s blond locks and shrink down Faith’s well proportioned body onto my mother’s thin frame, delete the green iridescent wings, and you’d have an Audrey St Clair clone.  Well almost.  Slight adjustment on the nose, different brows and fuller lips, but Faith was so very like mum in looks.  No wonder Nick Alto couldn’t stop finding excuses to meet the lovely widow.  He constantly hit on mum the whole time mum and dad had been in Sunset Valley!

Just then her stomach grumbled.  “Oh I’m so sorry.  I haven’t eaten this morning,” she said.  “Why don’t we grab a coffee and a bite at the Coffeehouse and discuss strategy.”

“Okay,” I readily agreed, “I’m almost done here, I’ll meet you there.”  Then to my astonishment, I watched as she drove off in a police cruiser.  I followed moments later in my own cruiser.



We met up at the coffeehouse and she smiled when she saw my choice of wheels.  “I hope nobody thinks this is a bust!” I joked.  She laughed, it captivated me that she sounded just like mum when she laughed too. 

“Well, you know cops and donuts.  A cruiser or two is almost mandatory to get served here.” She quipped grinning.  I liked her sense of humour.



Over coffee, I made the usual attempt at small talk.  I asked her where she was from.  She said she’d lived in Moonlight Falls all her life.  I asked her whether she had a career.  She replied that she was a Five-Star Chef.  A cook who raises perfect vegetables.  We did have a lot in common. 

She asked me if I was single?  I said “yes” when I meant to say I was married.  I was mentally berating myself and she had to repeat her next question.  She asked me what my star sign was.  Apparently my star sign was compatible with hers.  I never believed in that stuff. 

I asked her “How did you acquire the police cruiser?”

“My late husband Elias was a police officer.  On his death the cruiser passed to me.  My son now uses my car as driving a police cruiser to school was too weird even for him.”  She laughed and I felt almost giddy hearing the familiar sound.

“I saw your son yesterday at the elixir store,” I said.  I wondered whether he was her son or her step-son?  She’s too young to be the mother of a teenage boy, surely.  I thought this topic would be a good segue to talking about elixirs but she rattled on about her children before I could get a word in edgeways.  My mind started drifting, I was tired and I had to refocus to listen to what she was saying hoping she would give me another opportunity to bring up the topic about elixirs.

“Julian’s such a sweet boy.” She said, “He’s always looking to find ways to ease my burdens.  Today he arranged a babysitter so I could get out and not go stir crazy.” She paused and we both started to say something at the same time. 

“Ladies first,” I said so she continued.



“Umm... if you’re not busy, I’ve got the babysitter for the whole day, I know it’s too early for a performance or a show, do you want to catch a tour of the theatre or something.”  She smiled wide eyed at me but it felt like she was beguiling me with her voice and her eyes and her perfect smile and her perfect everything.

My mouth said, “I’d love to” when my mind was trying to find the words to tell her I was immune to her charms.  But since I didn’t want to offend her before I could ask her about elixirs, I thought the ‘date’ might be worthwhile.  When we arrived at the theatre, she told me how much she loved music.  Faith was a virtuoso and her lifetime wish had been to be a One-Sim Band.  Her love of music was yet another similarity to my mother.

But unlike my mother, Faith was no shy retiring violet.  She told me straight up she found me attractive and began flirting.  She gave me flowers for heaven’s sake!  I was too surprised to respond. 



I’m so rusty at these romantic interactions maybe I did say something to encourage her or maybe she simply took my astonishment as a ‘yes’ and leaned in and confessed her attraction to me. 

Then she kissed me.  Oh my!  There wasn’t anybody about, but I could still feel the heat in my cheeks.  I couldn’t believe I was blushing. 



Then she kissed me again, wrapping her arms around me.  Inexplicably I found myself kissing her back.  Wordlessly she took my hand and we went into the quiet empty theatre.



Instantly I knew this was a mistake and I felt tense.  In the darkened theatre, she turned on a blue aura which she said was soothing and gradually my tension ebbed away.  As we toured she rattled off facts and figures of the history of vaudeville and cinematic music.  She was a walking talking encyclopaedia on music.  I was lulled into a false sense of security with her mellow voice and the aura when she whispered something in my ear, my mind went totally blank.  I haven’t got a clue what she said.  I wasn’t prepared for what happened next and I was swept away in a kaleidoscope of sensations.



Afterwards, she said she had to go as school would be out soon, and she wanted to be home for her children.  She asked me to call on her soon.  I assured her I would.  Faith looked at me with a slightly calculating glint in her eye and the tilt of her head, smiled broadly and kissed me goodbye.  Then she strode off, and the aura of calm faded leaving me feeling awkward and embarrassed.



I don’t know why they call it the stride of pride.  I wasn’t going to move an inch for the next two hours.  There was no way I was going to walk around like that for all of Sunset Valley to witness my appalling behaviour.  I couldn’t believe I had done that.  I felt sickened.  Instead I grabbed my guitar and plucked away at some tunes to cover my shame.



When the time passed, I drove home to find Diana had already finished her homework and had made herself a plate of cookies on the toy oven.

I asked if she wanted to go out for dinner. “No thanks dad”, she said coolly, “I’m going to paint.”  I knew I was in trouble when she called me dad.  It was my mother’s equivalent of using my full name.  Diana went off to the little artist’s nook beside my old bedroom and turned the radio up loud, really loud.

I went upstairs and saw her sitting there staring into space.  I turned the radio off.  “That Cookin’ Cable show we like to watch is starting, do you want to watch it with me.” I asked.



“No” she replied without looking at me.

“Honey please say whatever it is you want to say to me but don’t shut me out like this,” I said.



“Oh dad, how could you?”  Diana sobbed.  “I had to hear it from Carina Ursine who I thought was my friend.  At first I didn’t understand what the others were saying and dad, it was just horrible!  I though you wanted to talk to Mrs Kalamia about elixirs not woohoo with her on a public lot!”  Then Diana stood up and stormed into her bedroom slamming and locking the door behind her.

I went downstairs and ate a solitary dinner choking down food I wasn’t tasting before giving up and just clearing it away.  Then I went outside to Agnes’s tombstone and hung my head and wept.  I didn’t notice Chris arrive until he handed me a handkerchief.  “You want to talk about this?” he said quietly.



“No,” I said but still he stood there and waited for me.  Eventually the tears subsided and I turned to him.  “I don’t know how it is that there’s nobody within cooee to witness anything, but the whole town knows what I do, the minute I do it.  Okay, hit me with it, I deserve it.  What are the gossips saying about me?”



“Apart from the fact that you’ve hooked up with a pretty fairy and woohooed in the theatre, nothing much.  They’re actually mostly on your side.  Every single man in the town and probably a few married ones are green with envy though,” he replied dryly.  “I always expected the dam wall to crack someday but I never expected a total and complete catastrophic failure.”

“Look Brandon, you’re a widower not a monk.  It’s been six long years.  She’s a widow.  You two are both lonely grieving adults, but that type of mutual consolation shouldn’t be a public spectacle.  You have Diana to think about and your fairy has children of her own.  They don’t need to hear this about their mother,” Chris cautioned.

“I know that Chris.  Oh dear God!  I still can’t believe I did that!  I knew it was insanity.  Faith turned on this blue aura which she said was soothing.  It was amazing.  I felt so light and carefree.  She whispered something in my ear and it felt like every shred of common sense had been vaporised.  All the tension of the last six years just drained away and her kisses could melt the polar icecaps in a nanosecond.  I didn’t stand a chance.” 



“This wasn’t like the night Agnes proposed.  I knew what I was doing but I couldn’t stop it.  It’s no excuse that she came on to me like a train, I should have stopped it but I couldn’t.  I couldn’t because I didn’t want to.  Do you think fairies can cast a love spell or something?” I asked

“How should I know?” he answered.  “What are you going to do now?”

“I’m open to suggestions.” I answered truthfully.

“How about Diana come stay with us for the weekend.  It’s Joshua’s birthday on Sunday.  You have until then to sort yourself out.  If Diana wants to talk to you before then, she’s got her cell phone.”

“Okay if Diana wants to stay over at your place tonight, that’ll give me some breathing space.  But the weekends are our special time.  Let’s ask her about tonight?” I said.

“Don’t bother,” Chris said, “she rang Jamie asking if she could come over for the whole weekend.”

“Are you sure she said the whole weekend?” I asked glumly.

“Yes, she asked Jamie not Joshua.  Brandon, for all our sakes, give up this madness with Agnes.  You’re alive.  Be grateful for that.  You have Diana now but daughters grow up.  Find someone else.  Your fairy must really like you because I’m certain you wouldn’t have initiated what happened in the theatre.  I hope she’s a Hopeless Romantic and not just flirty.”

“She’s not my fairy!” I exclaimed, “I don’t think she’s a Hopeless Romantic.  I know she’s a Virtuoso, a Natural Cook and a Bookworm.”



“All good solid worthy traits,” Chris said.  “When are you seeing her again?”

“I’m not.” I replied.

“Fine Brandon, have it your way!  But now the women of Sunset Valley know you’re amenable to living female company, you’re going to get bombarded with love letters and date requests again.  Date one of them,” he said.



“Chris, we’re not having this conversation,” I said emphatically.

“Okay,” he said giving in too easily.  “But don’t think for one minute that our mother isn’t going to hear about this.”  I groaned.  That’s the last thing I need!

I sighed, “Let’s see if Diana still wants to go home with you?” 

Chris and I went inside to find Diana waiting in the hall.  She went up to Chris and hugged him. 



Then she muttered, “Can we go now Uncle Chris?”

“Do you have a hug for your dad?” Chris asked but Diana just burrowed further into Chris and clung to him.  I had to bite my lips hard to stem the tears I felt smarting the back of my eyes.  I felt shattered.  The weekends were our special time together and it seems Diana couldn’t stand to be with me.  I couldn’t stand to be with me either but I had no choice. 

Chris said to Diana, “Why don’t you wait for me in the car.  I want a quick word with your dad?”  Diana glared at me and walked out the door.

The tears that previously stung the back of my eyes now fell unfettered down my cheeks.  I turned away from Chris and stumbled.  Chris caught me and I cried into his shoulder.



"Brandon, for heaven’s sake!  You’re killing yourself continuing like this.  Is that what you want?  To be dead like Agnes?  Chris said harshly.

“No,” I mumbled. “I just want her back.”

Chris shook me, “I know you do, but Brandon, she’s NOT coming back.  Ghosts appear all the time but she doesn’t.  So while you’re sorting out this mess with your fairy, think about why Agnes doesn’t come back.  There must be a reason for that.  And don’t forget Joshua’s party on Sunday.  Bring a plate and if you don’t screw it up, bring your fairy.  I want to see the dam-buster for myself.”

“She’s not my fairy!” I said annoyed.

“Yes... she... is!” Chris said emphasising each word.  “She’s your romantic interest or you couldn’t do what you did and you know it!  Sunday!  2:00 PM!  Be there!”  Chris abruptly turned and left.



I cleaned up the kitchen and tried to garden but my heart wasn’t in it.  I tried to think about what Chris said about Agnes not coming back for a reason and I just couldn’t find any.  I know she loved me.  If she could, I know she’d come back.  I really must be doing something wrong.



I went out the back and grabbed a deck chair and took it over to Agnes’s tombstone.  I waited til midnight then I demanded that she come here right now because I had never needed her more than I did now.

I sat in my chair and talked to her tombstone until I was hoarse.  I waited for hours but sometime around 4:00 a.m., I drifted off to sleep.  Agnes’s ghost did not appear.

Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Offline Candy

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 2: The Fairy
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2013, 05:33:28 AM »
I don't trust that Faith Kalamia! I bet she's going to do something bad to Brandon!
Living and Loving Life!

Louise56

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 2: The Fairy
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2013, 06:56:21 AM »
Poor Brandon, he didn't stand a chance! I hope Agnes appear at some point.

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 2: The Fairy
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2013, 10:52:11 AM »
Oh Brandon, what have you gotten yourself into? :P That would be so incredibly awkward being in Diana's shoes. I hope that her weekend with uncle Chris will help her calm down and think through things a bit.

Offline yruvian

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 2: The Fairy
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2013, 11:49:06 AM »
Poor Brandon... it seems like someone's got him on her wish-list... and she's not taking no for an answer.

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 3: Confrontations
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2013, 03:11:14 PM »
Islands of Sunset Valley – Chapter 3: Confrontations

I woke with dawn barely rolling in over the sea.  I resolved there and then to tell Faith I’m not her romantic interest but perhaps we could still be friends.  Now was as good a time as any since I figured most gardeners were always up early to pick the freshest produce.  Then I must find the other Alchemist in Sunset Valley to get the information I needed or make the time to go to the Vault of Antiquity and research it myself.



I drove over to Faith’s house but the house seemed too quiet in the crisp morning air.  Maybe I was too early.  Then I heard a rustle over in the gardens on the left.  I looked over the hedge and it was Faith, in her very fetching sleepwear, harvesting the produce from the trees.  Faith, who was so like my mother, was wearing the same sleepwear outfit that my mother wears but in green not black.  On mum that outfit made me uncomfortable because it was inappropriate to see one’s half dressed mother, on Faith it made me extremely uncomfortable because she looked so incredibly gorgeous.



She looked up at me and smiled as I approached.  “You’re early”, she said as she walked up to me. “I wasn’t expecting you quite this soon.”  She leaned in to kiss me but I moved away.  Hurt flashed across her expressive green eyes before they turned icy cold.  “I don’t understand Brandon?”

“Faith, we have to talk.  Would you please get dressed?” I said turning my back on her.  Now that I was actually here, breaking this relationship off was going to be so much more difficult than I imagined.  I knew what I had to do but somewhere deep inside I didn’t want to.

She walked over to the outdoor shower and showered wearing the tiniest white bikini.  I’m sure I’ve seen dental floss bigger than those tiny scraps of material.  I couldn’t not watch her as she showered - and she knew it! 




I realised if she hadn’t wanted me watching her she would have gone inside to change.  Faith dressed in a blue top with white slacks instead of her black dress.  The top looked modest from the front but when she turned around, I saw the wretched thing was nearly backless.  She came back to me and said equably, “There... better?”

“Hardly” I replied through almost clenched teeth.  I could see she knew the effect she had on me and enjoyed my discomfiture.

“What do you want?” Faith asked.  “To collude about price fixing?  I thought we arranged all that yesterday.  Talk fast,” she sighed.  “I have a lot to do” and continued to harvest her plants.

“Since you don’t know this town, it’s quite the gossip mill and I’m afraid our incident yesterday is now all over town.  My daughter knows and I’m sure your children will too, if not this weekend, then when school goes back on Monday.”

“Oh,” she said looking up from her plants as she bit on her bottom lip.  Oh dear heaven, how I wished she didn’t do that.  Those lips were made for kissing not biting.  “We hardly know anyone so I haven’t heard the gossip.  Why, dear Mr Alto and Mr Koffi came calling just last evening and neither breathed a word.”



“Oh, Faith you are too beautiful to be so naïve.” I chastised.  “Nick Alto and Gobias Koffi probably have other plans for you and upsetting you isn’t among them.”  She looked down at her hands while a small smile played on her lips.  I realised too late that she had gotten the reaction she wanted.  I was jealous... ridiculously so.  Why was she baiting me?

“Brandon, I just want to finish here.  Why don’t you make us a coffee and we can talk?  That door just there leads to the kitchen.”  She pointed to the double doors I could see through the hedge.  “The coffee machine is just beside the sink.  Bring the coffee to the children’s play area you passed when you came in.  I’ll be there soon.”  I went into the house and put the coffee on as instructed because I really needed a coffee myself.  I berated myself for not just saying “it’s over” and leaving.  Being near her was so bittersweet.  Just looking at her made me want to hold her and kiss her, not say goodbye.  I really was just prolonging my own agony.



Making the coffee, I saw a painting through the kitchen archway and went to examine it, not because I was particularly nosy or curious but because it’s just one of those things one casually does while waiting.  I walked through the archway into the hall and unwittingly stepped into my private hell!

In an instant I realised I knew every inch of this house.  With a bizarre sinking feeling, I looked into the formal lounge and dining area.  I felt every ounce of colour leave my face.  I walked towards the front door and saw a familiar lounge on the right. 



I turned left.  There was the children’s playroom, the walkthrough bathroom, the nursery.  I didn’t need to go in to know they were there.  I walked into the master bedroom.  Through the master bedroom were the master bathroom and the little conservatory.  I walked through the conservatory toward the big barn Vita mentioned, but everything else about the layout of the house was almost identical.  The brickwork and the wallpapers were different, most of the furniture was different too - but this house was the St Clair mansion, ‘Casa Blanco’.



It did have an even more breathtaking view than Simfield.  Sunset Valley had the ocean as a backdrop whereas Simfield had the river, the rolling plains and the mountains.  There I stood in the backyard looking back to a facsimile of the house I grew up in, inhabited by a fairy who was also a facsimile of my mother.  Moreover this fairy seemed intent on manipulating me for unknown reasons.  I felt sick to my stomach.

Dynasty founder Anthony had said how all the men in the family envied my father on his choice of a bride.  Could Faith be my vindictive great-great-grandmother Annette with plastic surgery to look like Audrey?  I didn’t know how plastic surgery worked but I knew you could get it at the hospital.

Had great-great-grandmother Annette been a redhead?  I remember seeing her portraits in the family museum but I don’t recall ever noticing the colour of her hair.  She had grey hair all the time I lived in that house.  Even if she wasn’t a redhead, hair is the easiest part of the body to disguise.  A simple store bought dye can do that in an hour.

I needed answers but I wasn’t sure I was going to like the answers I would hear.  I needed Chris to be here with me.  I was about to phone him when I heard my mother’s voice behind me, “Oh there you are!  I wondered where you went to.  Amazing view isn’t it?” 



Only it wasn’t my mother, it was Faith talking to me.  When I close my eyes or hear her voice behind me like I did just then, it was my mother’s voice.  Is it possible to change the timbre of one’s voice to emulate another?  Why not!  Mimics do that all the time. 

I decided to be casual and remembered something Agnes was fond of saying, ‘You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.’  Tamping down my rising fear, I pasted on my most charming smile and said, “Nice house you have here.  I know of one very like it in Simfield.” Faith was smiling at me again which was a relief.  I hated hurting her feelings.



“Yes, the Price’s mansion, ‘Casa Blanco’.  I was in Simfield recently on a family matter and I went to a fairy party at the mansion and fell in love with the house.  Norman and Annette were kind enough to give me the name of the architects.  I bought the plan from Luis Blanco Associates and built it here for my family.

“The Price mansion?” I asked, “You mean the St Clair mansion?”



Faith shrugged, “Well it’s occupied by Norman and Annette Price so I just meant it as their house.”  So Annette married her dark wizard.  That can’t be good.

“My apologies, I knew Annette when she was Annette St Clair,” I said as casually as I could make my voice, “What did you make of them?”



She hesitated for a moment, “How well did you know them?” She asked.

“Norman; not at all, I never met him.  Annette, I knew all my life.” I replied.

“Did you like her?” Faith asked.

“Not particularly,” I replied evenly.

Faith sighed, “Oh good.  Neither did I.  Don’t get me wrong, she was hospitable but she had a way of putting people down, which I’m sure she thought was witty and amusing, but I found it insensitive and off-putting.  Norman was similarly unkind in his manner of addressing people.  I thought they were two peas in a pod and well suited.”  Just then Faith’s phone rang. “Would you please excuse me a moment, this is a call I must take.”

She walked over to the patio area where a wedding arch took pride of place against the amazing backdrop of the ocean view.  While I waited for Faith to finish her call, on a whim I dialled the house in Simfield.  After only a few rings, the phone answered with a very familiar voice. “Hello, Annette Price speaking.”  I half expected a wave of nausea at hearing that hateful voice, but I didn’t.  I really had moved on from that.

“Hello great-great-grandmother Annette, this is Brandon.” I said relieved to look over and see Faith pacing as she listened to her caller.



“Hello Brandon, you can knock off calling me so many greats, I’m younger than you now,” she chortled, “When are you going to return my fridge?”

“Your father gave his fridge to my father,” I answered evenly, “It’s not mine to return.”

“Horse feathers!” she snorted, “My father said he gave the fridge to you, but I want it back.”

“I’m sorry but it seems your father wanted me to have it and it would be ungrateful of me to reject his generosity by returning it to you.” I replied mildly.  “I just called to wish you and Norman well.  I only recently heard the news.”

“Well thanks, I think.  I heard you were a widower with a small daughter.  I’m sorry to hear that.  I suppose you’ve heard that my father and my son Andrew passed.” She said the words but there wasn’t a shred of real regret in her voice.



I watched as Faith did some quirky little flying somersault and flittered over to me.  “No,” I replied, “But it wasn’t unexpected.  Goodbye grandmother, I wish you well.”  I said politely and hung up.  My relief was almost palpable; Faith was clearly not my great-great-grandmother Annette masquerading as my mother’s double. 



Faith came up to me vibrating happiness with a bright radiant smile.  Her phone call was obviously good news.  She smiled beguilingly at me and my heartbeat accelerated. 



Blood pounded in my ears as she reached out and touched me.  She held my head and looked into my eyes. 



I thought she was going to kiss me.  I wanted her to kiss me but instead, she said, “I don’t know how to ask this politely, so I’ll be blunt, I want to have your baby.”


Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Crystal

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 3: Confrontations
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2013, 04:38:59 PM »
Nooooooo Brandon.  Run far - run fast.

Louise56

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 3: Confrontations
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2013, 02:57:00 AM »
There is something very sinister about Faith. Why does she remind him of his mother? He must get out of there and fast!

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 4: Bizarre Requests
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2013, 02:51:35 PM »
Islands of Sunset Valley – Chapter 4: Bizarre Requests

I’m sure I heard her clearly but I still reeled at her words, “You want to run that past me again?” I asked.



“My phone call was from the hospital.  If I want a baby girl I have to try to get pregnant today or tomorrow.  I haven’t yet chosen a sperm donor from their registry but you have very good genes and I think we could make a beautiful baby together.  So would you please be my sperm donor?” she pleaded.



I had realised earlier that Faith had some sort of agenda that involved me, but I did not see this coming!  “What!” I responded in a voice two octaves too high, “No! Faith, I can’t.”



“Oh?” she pouted, “Why not?”

“Because I have a daughter and this affects more than just you or me.  Have you discussed this with your sons?” I was so incensed at her lack of appreciation of my side of things, I wasn’t sure I was even coherent. 



“I’ve talked it over with Julian and Keith.  Julian wanted to help me pick out the father but he had some odd ideas about what’s attractive.  He thinks Leighton Sekemoto would be a good candidate but his son, Sam is bald.  I don’t want a bald daughter.”



This is like watching a train wreck.  I know I should walk away but I’m rooted to the spot.  “I’m sure a daughter wouldn’t be bald.  Leighton’s a nice guy.  He’s got good traits.” I said weakly but all the while thinking if I ever saw him anywhere within a mile of Faith, I’d be jealous.  How does she push my buttons so effortlessly?

“Wouldn’t it be better to go with someone you don’t know as the sperm donor?” I asked.  I really cannot believe I’m having this conversation so calmly.  There is no way on Earth that I could ever look at Faith’s new baby and not be mentally scanning the male population trying to find a match. 

“Too many risks.  Please would you reconsider?” she pleaded with emerald eyes that so enchanted me 



I guess the unknown is risky.  One could end up with children who look like Arlo Bunch.  Nice kid for sure, but if he was mine, I’d be giving him rhinoplasty as a graduation present.  “Can you give me some time, I need to make a phone call?” 

Faith nodded, “Would you like another coffee?”

“Could I just have a glass of water please?” I responded.  The colder the better, I thought - because pretty soon I was going to need to pour it over myself.  I was seriously contemplating this matter.  Did I somehow acquire the insane trait?  I couldn’t understand it myself but I was resentful of anyone being her baby’s father but me.  I needed time to think about why I felt like that.



If I walked away and she went ahead with her plans, I think I’d shatter into a million pieces.  Where’s Dr Simgund when I need him?  Deep breaths, Brandon, I told myself.  I was way too tired to deal with this.  Feed the brain some oxygen.  This can’t actually be happening.  I close my eyes, breathe deep and open them again.  Yep.  Still here.  Still happening.  Oh God!  Keep calm and carry on!



I rang Diana’s cell phone and she answered immediately.  “Hello daddy, I rang the house but there was no answer, where are you?”  Progress - I was back to being called daddy again.



“I’m not home right now kitten, can we talk?” I replied.

“We’re talking.  Are you at the Markets?” Diana asked.

“No.  Do you want to meet me at the beach so we can talk?” I said.

“Are you at the Kalamia’s house?” Diana asked her voice sharpening.



I couldn’t lie to my daughter, “Yes honey, I needed to talk to Faith and now I need to talk to you.”

“Did you break up with her?” Diana asked.

“Not exactly.  I...” I started to reply but the line went dead. 



Well I had my answer.  I just had to tell Faith I couldn’t do what she wanted.  And if I wanted to win my daughter back, it looked like I had to break up with the one woman who managed to make me happy to be a man in six long years.  Since that had been my intention all morning, I should have been resigned to it but I felt like a knife had been run right through me.  Whoever said “life was not meant to be easy” must have been reading my bio.



All too soon Faith was back with a cool glass of water.  I drank it straight down.  “I can’t be your sperm donor.” I blurted out bluntly before I could lose my nerve.  “I don’t think Diana wants a replacement for her mother and I can’t do this any other way.  My first priority is my daughter.  I’m sorry but I can’t help you.” 



There, I had said it: I had refused to father Faith’s child, but I still couldn’t take the final step and break up with her no matter how much I told myself I had to.  Part of me just couldn’t let that tiny sliver of hope die.

“Okay...” she said, “Thanks for being honest.  Would you help me pick out a sperm donor?” she said in a tone which suggested she had no idea that she had just twisted that metaphorical knife through my heart.



“You ask the impossible!” I said heatedly and walked away feeling eviscerated and raw.  I didn’t look back.  I couldn’t.



My heart was breaking all over again and it was my own stupid fault.  As I walked past the kitchen, young Julian Kalamia came out the door.  He was radiating the blue soothing aura.



“Mr Crumplebottom, can I have a moment of your time, Sir?” he asked.

This was the last thing I needed!  He seemed a very nice boy and it would have been churlish to refuse so polite a request.  Also, I owed him an apology for what I did to his mother’s reputation, so I nodded wondering when I was ever going to get a break.  Julian gestured toward the children’s play area I passed earlier and I followed him through the garden gate.  We sat on a couple of deck chairs. 

He was still wearing the black tux with a green vest to match his wings.  I wondered how long it was since his father died.  Why was Faith in such a huge hurry to have another baby?  Being a sole parent was hell on wheels with just one child.  More must be next to impossible.  “Please forgive my mother,” he said civilly, “She has difficulty dealing with rejection and especially from you.” 

He looked at me as if expecting some sort of a response.  I didn’t know quite what to say and I didn’t know why he thought my rejection was worse than any other. “I don’t know your mother well enough to comment,” I said.



“On the contrary, Sir, I believe you know my mother very well.” Wow, from the mouths of babes, I thought.  He said the words without one ounce of judgement or suggestion in his voice.  I don’t know how he managed that but I flushed red to the roots of my hair.  I owed this boy an apology, I wasn’t that sure I owed him any explanation especially as I didn’t have one.

“Um... yeah.  I need to apologise to you for that.  I had no desire to drag your mother’s name through the town gossip mill.  They are ferocious in this town and I have inadvertently given her a reputation she doesn’t deserve.  I’d like to make it up to you and your brother but I don’t know how.”

“You can give her what she wants, Sir.” He suggested.  His face, his tone of voice and his manner gave no indication that he had just completely maxed out my weird-o-metre.  Is this earthy approach to procreation a fairy thing?  Can’t anyone but me see how ridiculous and precarious this situation is? 

I’ve already unintentionally given Faith a naughty reputation.  I can’t deliberately make it worse by fathering her baby out of wedlock.  I’m just not ready to take that step because it means I must let go of Agnes.  Besides, nobody would believe the sperm-donor story, especially after the theatre fiasco.  This town with its insatiable gossip mill will distort everything and believe the worst.  Moreover, I can’t do this to Diana or me.  But I can’t say this to her son.  I shouldn’t even be having this conversation with this boy but my feet seemed reluctant to get up and walk away.  I am also fighting to stay awake in this cosy deck chair and being calmed by his soothing aura doesn’t help me fight my need for sleep.

“Please don’t call me Sir.  Call me Brandon or Mr Crumplebottom.  I can’t do as your mother asks.  I have a daughter who is not happy with me right now and I won’t make things worse by... umm... well... you know.” I said failing terribly at trying to explain things.  He’s a teen but that seemed irrelevant.  I wouldn’t have been able to find the words to explain this to an adult.

“Do you not find my mother attractive?” he asked, “most men do.”

“Of course I find her attractive.  Any man still breathing would.” I retorted, “Since you’re being so personal.  May I be personal in return?”  He nodded a response and gesture which I found peculiar but in keeping with his formal manner and speech.

“Why do you want to help her find a sperm donor?” I asked.  “Surely it’s too soon since your father died to be rushing in and having another baby.”

“My father died when I was six.  My mother likes to have babies.  I would prefer that she acquire the babies she desires without acquiring the husbands who die and make her grieve,” he said.  His words, so insightful and his voice tempered with such consideration, completely freaked me out.  I would have expected that sort of maturity in perspective from my father, not a teen half my age.  Also something struck me as strange; I was sure Vita had said Faith was a recent widow.

I really had to pinch myself.  I couldn’t possibly be having this conversation with this young teen.  “So how old are you, sixteen... seventeen?” I asked.

“Fifteen,” was his reply.  So that made it that Faith had been a widow for nine years.

“Tell me about your father.” I asked.

“Why?” he asked, answering my question with a question.

“I’d like to find the measure of the man your mother chose to marry.  Was your father a fairy too?” I asked.

“No, he was not,” Julian answered.  “My father was a genius.  He was very well read.  He liked to fix things.  He helped my mother in the garden. He invented things and sculpted.  He loved to play chess.  He liked to collect things...” Julian droned away in his soft mellow voice but I, being completely exhausted and cocooned in the soothing aura he projected, fell asleep in that comfortable deck chair...



Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Crystal

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 4: Bizarre Requests
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2013, 04:24:46 PM »
Wake up Brandon!  Get the heck out of there before you fall prey to that odd family!

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 5: In Too Deep
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2013, 09:26:05 PM »
Islands of Sunset Valley – Chapter 5: In Too Deep

I awoke to the soft touch of Faith shaking me awake.



“You shouldn’t fall asleep in the sun or you’ll burn up.  Come into the house quickly to cool down,” she instructed.  I realised I was feeling very warm and even felt a bit wobbly on my feet.

I stumbled and clutched at Faith as she guided me into the cool confines of the house.  “Into a cold shower would be best,” she said.  Definitely, I thought, I don’t ever recall feeling so lightheaded.



Faith steered me through the master bedroom and then into the bathroom.  I found her nearness exciting.  When she tried to help me out of my clothes, I held her hand to stop her feather like touches make my heart beat erratically.  “I can take it from here.” I said.

“I don’t think you should be left alone,” she said.

I shook my head and shouldn’t have because the room spun alarmingly.  “Faith, please leave?” I asked.  Watching her shower was one thing, her watching me was too much.



“No.  I’m too frightened of what may happen if I don’t keep an eye on you every second.  I’m staying!” she said her voice full of concern.  It was no longer the sun that I was worried about that would cause me to spontaneously combust.

“No Faith,” I said my voice thick with emotion. “If you don’t leave now, you know what’ll happen?”

“Oh?” she said initially confused.  I watched as comprehension dawned in her eyes and a smile spread over her face, “Oh yes please.”  My willpower dissolved into dust.  I gathered her in my arms and kissed her.



She looked into my eyes.  “Are you sure?  I don’t want you regretting this again?” she asked, her emerald green eyes searching mine.

I kissed her again in response.  Again she stopped me and held my head in her hands, “Brandon I need to hear the words from your lips.” 



She shouldn’t have mentioned lips.  Any chance I had to reach sanity flew out the window.  I realised then, with my last shred of perfect clarity, that I was more than half-way in love with this unconventional fairy.  “Faith, join me in the shower.  Please,” I said.  She kissed me then took my hand and pulled me into the shower.  I was sure the earth moved.  Even if it didn’t, the shower most certainly rocked on its base.

“Do you feel better?” she asked concerned I was still unsteady on my feet after our shower.  I nodded my head but the room still spun around wildly.  “Maybe another shower would help?” she suggested.

“With you or without you?” I asked.

“Without me,” she replied.  “I think you need to cool down.”

“Wouldn’t be half as much fun,” I said, my voice resonating with feeling.  I kissed her again.

“Can we try for a baby this time?”she asked.



“No,” I replied but she still went willingly with me into the shower a second time.  This shower definitely has dodgy fixings.  I’ll have a go at attending to that later.

“How do you feel now?” Faith asked.

“Better” I said but I stumbled again and was clearly still too unsteady on my feet.  She suggested I lie down and steered me toward her bed.  Then she joined me on the bed and cuddled into me. 



I felt her featherlike kisses against my hair.  I don’t know what was more dizzying, the slight sunstroke, her nearness or realising just how deep my feelings ran in so short a time. 



But Faith was not long content with mere cuddles and we began making out.  I found her utterly irresistible.  “Now can we try for a baby?” she asked.



I stood up, because I was so close to giving in to her demands.  She plays me like the master virtuoso she is.  When I’m with her it’s too easy to just go with the heat of the moment and forget about everything else.  But a baby is too big a deal with enormous consequences.  Ignoring them is wrong on so many levels. 



“No, Faith.” I said as I plucked her off the bed and gathered her in my arms.  It was high time I took the upper hand for a change.  I looked directly into her emerald green eyes and said to her, “I’m sure the guys who register as sperm donors have excellent reasons for doing so but being a father is not something I can do in absentia.  So Faith, unless I’m your husband, I won’t father your child.”  I got down on one knee, “Marry me Faith.  No child of mine is going to be born out of wedlock.”



“Oh Brandon, I can’t.” She said tears now glistening in her eyes.

“Why not?” I asked pole-axed by her refusal.

“I promised Julian, I wouldn’t marry the first man who asked me.  He doesn’t want another step-father who’ll die and break our hearts again.”

“How many husbands have you had?” I asked stepping away from her and hoping the distance would give my brain space to think rationally.



“Two,” she replied.

“What happened?” I asked.

“My first husband was Julian and Keith’s father.  He was older than me but he enjoyed collecting butterflies and rocks and things for me.  One day he was out in the mountains collecting insects when he died.  I was teaching Keith to walk but I knew as soon as he died.”  I could relate to that; I knew as soon as Agnes died. 

“Spontaneous combustion or from the cold?” I asked. 

“Neither, he died of old age but he wasn’t even really old.  Neither was Elias, he died early one night as we were preparing to go to an award night at the school.  Elias was asked to look the other way at some criminal activity at the hospital but he couldn’t.  He went back to the hospital because something bothered him.  They said he had a heart attack.  But I know the criminal element murdered him and hospital helped cover it up.” She looked unhappily up at me.



“When did Elias die?” I asked.

“Recently?” she said obscurely.

“How recently?” I persevered.

“What does it matter? My husband is dead.  I want another baby but I promised Julian I wouldn’t put him and Keith through that level of grief again.



“I’m sorry for your and their loss,” I said meaning it.  I can be just as stubborn as my brother will verify, so I held her and looked into her eyes, “Despite what Julian thinks now, in years to come, it won’t be fair to the child or you or me.  Julian’s hurting from the loss of his father and now his step-father.  It’s understandable but not realistic that you promised him that.  I’m sure he won’t hold you to it.”



She started to say something but I kissed her until she found me irresistible.  Two can play this game. 



Then I said, “I promised myself I wouldn’t marry again but I’m willing to take that step for propriety if you’re willing to meet me half way.  So how about you marry the second guy to ask you... me.  I’ve been falling in love with you since the second I met you.  Faith Kalamia, will you marry me?”



Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Crystal

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 5: In Too Deep
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2013, 11:48:31 PM »
Oi Brandon, you're not thinking with the right part of your anatomy!

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 4: In Too Deep
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2013, 12:14:56 AM »
Excellent chapter. It's definitely got me intrigued...and worried! :P

There is something wrong here. Something very, very wrong. What on earth is Diana going to say or think? I know there must be more than meets the eye...