Author Topic: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty ("Complete")  (Read 84933 times)

Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 41, 4/2)
« Reply #175 on: April 02, 2014, 07:11:23 PM »
FINALLY!!!! Sorry for the outburst, but wow... Holy crap, Trip.  I went through so many emotions reading that.  I can't imagine what it was like for you to write it.  Bravo, my dear.  Truly.  That was lovely and sad and heart-wrenching all at once.  And I like the song too.

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 41, 4/2)
« Reply #176 on: April 02, 2014, 08:07:54 PM »
Not all love stories are fairy tales, and indeed theirs was a twisted, broken path. Franco may have thought he loved Pansy, at one point. He might have felt something for Carmen, or maybe even the Knack sisters, but it was all a placebo...and by the time he figured it out the woman he truly loved was in the arms of another man. Not to say that it was all wrong. That Lily came out of Franco's relationship with Pansy was itself a wonderful thing, and there is no doubt that Hannah made a very lonely old man very happy in his last days, even if Tay didn't survive long enough to meet his son. But in the end, true love really did prevail...and it is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

Bravo. Simply bravo.

On a logistical note, you really did cut it close with Hannah, didn't you? By the time they could Try for Baby you had a window of what, two days before Grim came for Tay? That's just...wow.

And I'll have you know that, thanks to you, Mister Bayless is now on the top of my list of favorite sims. Darn you, Trip. :P



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Offline Littlesister

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 41, 4/2)
« Reply #177 on: April 03, 2014, 04:11:25 AM »
That was incredibly beautiful and raw, after everything they went through. I love the depth and ins and outs of their relationship, how it isn't the typical happy ever after. Stunning.
I also just have to say that Lily is a gorgeous teenager. It'll be interesting to see how her story plays out.

Offline Ausette

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 41, 4/2)
« Reply #178 on: April 04, 2014, 03:56:37 AM »
Oooh, I'm rather torn by this. On one hand, I'm so happy that Hannah and Franco have worked things out and can finally be together, but on the other I've grown quite attached to Tay and was looking forward to him and Hannah being resurrected at the end of the dynasty together. Ah well, I'll have to wait and see how it ends. I hope the Waverlys (and mortals) are happy whatever happens.  :)

And I agree that Lily is a gorgeous teenager. I absolutely love her everyday look; the Mohawk and the orange shirt are wonderful on her.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 42, 4/4)
« Reply #179 on: April 04, 2014, 06:31:43 PM »
FINALLY!!!! Sorry for the outburst, but wow... Holy crap, Trip.  I went through so many emotions reading that.  I can't imagine what it was like for you to write it.  Bravo, my dear.  Truly.  That was lovely and sad and heart-wrenching all at once.  And I like the song too.

I knew it would be a chapter to put a smile on the face of Frannah shippers. ;) But really, if it's even half as emotional for you as it was for me, then I think I did my job.

Not all love stories are fairy tales, and indeed theirs was a twisted, broken path. Franco may have thought he loved Pansy, at one point. He might have felt something for Carmen, or maybe even the Knack sisters, but it was all a placebo...and by the time he figured it out the woman he truly loved was in the arms of another man. Not to say that it was all wrong. That Lily came out of Franco's relationship with Pansy was itself a wonderful thing, and there is no doubt that Hannah made a very lonely old man very happy in his last days, even if Tay didn't survive long enough to meet his son. But in the end, true love really did prevail...and it is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

Bravo. Simply bravo.

On a logistical note, you really did cut it close with Hannah, didn't you? By the time they could Try for Baby you had a window of what, two days before Grim came for Tay? That's just...wow.

And I'll have you know that, thanks to you, Mister Bayless is now on the top of my list of favorite sims. Darn you, Trip. :P

I think that their struggle makes the end result much more worth reading about. They even kept me on my toes! I wanted them to end up together, but it took them until the end to agree.

I still count my blessings with how I managed to get a nooboo out of Hannah in that time frame! Similar luck came into play when it came to making Hannah herself; Harwood was 90 when she was conceived. It's a sad family trend.

That was incredibly beautiful and raw, after everything they went through. I love the depth and ins and outs of their relationship, how it isn't the typical happy ever after. Stunning.
I also just have to say that Lily is a gorgeous teenager. It'll be interesting to see how her story plays out.

Reliving all of their ups and downs made for quite an emotional writing experience. I'm glad you liked it!

Lily was as interesting as a sculptor could be, which doesn't really say much. :P

Oooh, I'm rather torn by this. On one hand, I'm so happy that Hannah and Franco have worked things out and can finally be together, but on the other I've grown quite attached to Tay and was looking forward to him and Hannah being resurrected at the end of the dynasty together. Ah well, I'll have to wait and see how it ends. I hope the Waverlys (and mortals) are happy whatever happens.  :)

And I agree that Lily is a gorgeous teenager. I absolutely love her everyday look; the Mohawk and the orange shirt are wonderful on her.

While I grew attached to Tay while writing this, while playing the game, he was mostly just a way for Hannah to gross out Franco and get a nooboo out of the deal. So my plan was always for Franco to realize that Hannah was his true love, whether while she lived or after resurrecting her. I do have an...unusual plan for resurrecting the mortals, and I honestly don't know how I'll fit Tay into it.

She was a fun teen to makeover! Helps that she has a face that works with short hair.



Chapter 42: Phoenix



“Looks like it’s time. You know, for that thing I have to do,” Franco said to Hannah. He still couldn’t take his eyes off her, from her wet eyes to her messed-up hair, and the large round bump under her shirt.

“I guess you should go home with me. I’m not leaving you alone again,” he said.

“I’d just cling to the back windshield if you forgot me.”

Franco took the driver’s seat, possibly a bad idea. He almost drove them off the bridge leading to Puddlewick Drive and all the mansions, while looking at Hannah instead of the road. Without any driving duties, she safely kept her eyes on Franco the whole time. No words, just her big blue eyes still not dry, and filled with admiration for the man in the driver’s seat.

He let her off by the front door, unable to go for a few seconds without latching on to her for a hug. He squeezed her as close as he could squeeze her, one arm around the back of her shoulders, the other around her lower back. For a few minutes, Franco held her close just to feel the sound of her breathing, confirming that she survived the worst part of her life.

“It’s going to be hard to be in the basement for an hour without you,” he said, “My mum doesn’t really suffice, you know?”

“I think I’ll live,” Hannah said, as she slowly let go of him. “I really did survive the worst.”

“And now you should take the time to take care of yourself. A nice hot bath, a nap, ice cream in the freezer, have it all if you want. Your focus should be on you now. And the little one too.”

He gave her a peck on the cheek before walking to the shed in the backyard.



Annette waited while dressed in her best, from her gloves to her heels, while Franco was down to his casual sweatervest.

“I thought you’d appreciate the effort,” said Annette.

“It’s not like you needed to,” Franco said, “I don’t even have a tie on.”

“Tie or not, your old mum’s getting impatient. I’m not eating this stuff alone again if I can help it. And I have work today, so get yourself downstairs. We’ll meet up down there. I have it all planned out!”

Franco opened the door to the dark shed. Aside from a couple of tiny windows, it was extremely dark, even as the bright autumn sun lit up every other corner of Twinbrook. Nothing was kept in the shed, except for spiral stairs down to the basement and whatever was down there.



What turned out to be down there were quite a few reflections of Franco. Young and fat, old and fat, and often dressed in something nice. Just the way he liked it.

“So this is what she likes,” he muttered to himself.



“And Shark needs to get on that teen sculpture,” he said, as he passed by Lily’s gallery.



“Yeah, they’ll all spend a lot of their time marveling at the art,” Annette said when Franco met her, one more set of stairs down. “It’s all nice, but I know how nice it is.”

“Geez, how long was I down there for?” he asked.

“An hour! Are you really that conceited? Looking at yourself six times.”

“What can I say? I make for a good statue.”

“I hope your ex-wife makes for a good statue too.” She pointed to one of the ice sculptures in front of them; Pansy in her younger days, in skinny jeans and a cropped jacket, posed pointing up to the ceiling, as if she discovered something revolutionary.



“I mean, Shark did a good job with her,” he said, “And I’m fine with her statue down here. She’s the mother to my daughter. I bet Lily will appreciate it when she’s down here with us.”



“But I think there’s one I like a lot better,” he continued.

“You are maturing, aren’t you? Anyways, the ambrosia is in the replicators. The buttons should speak for themselves.”



Although he accidentally synthesized an empty plate at first, Franco pressed the right buttons, from the arrow keys to select a meal to figuring out the difference between “Replicate” and “Nuke From Memory.”

Annette kept the head of the table clear for him.



Who didn’t want to feel like a king, after all?

“Doesn’t it taste like dirty socks?” she asked, “I just don’t want you to get turned off to it. The stuff’s an acquired taste.”



“It’s made from the most expensive ingredients on the market. I’m enjoying it for that reason alone!” He didn’t cringe once at the smell of deathfish, made worse by sitting in the replicator for quite a while. A small amount of research told him that deathfish were as expensive as their eggs. Annette didn’t have the heart to tell him that she got them for free.



He ate every bite with contentment, savoring the silky life fruit pulp, the smooth custard base that almost fell through his fork, and Annette’s secret spice blend. All while Annette’s face tensed up when she chewed, still unsure of the taste after all those years.



“Alright kid,” she said, rising from her seat in a rush of rainbows, “It’s your turn.”



“Just do the dishes,” he said, with his trademark scowl. Annette sat back down in defiance. The rainbows still engulfed him regardless, rejuvenating his digestive system, and eliminating maybe one wrinkle from his face. The whole thing felt insignificant, actually, as if he was cheated out of the deal.

“I know it feels like nothing,” Annette said, “But one or two hundred years from now, you’ll thank me. We might be old, but it’s better than the alternative!”

“Yeah, I’ll smile then.”



“But as I said, you’re here. It’s a smooth, kinda boring ride for the next few centuries. You’re up for it, right?” She looked her son in the eye, just for a split second. He still scowled, more than even his father could manage.

“I don’t want you to be miserable,” she continued, “We’re here for eternity and it’s not worth it if I have to look at you being grouchy all the time. If something’s wrong, let’s fix it before a century passes, okay?”

“I’m fine,” he said, “Grouchy is who I am. I’m feeling...well, I think things are going pretty well for me.”

“That’s great. No regrets now?”

He looked down the hall, right at the statue of Hannah and the commanding tenseness captured in her face with that pose, her delicate jawline, and even her lush eyelashes that were replicated in the statue.

“Not at all.”

Annette heard a car honk its horn, even two floors underground. “Looks like I’m out. Glad to hear that things went right for the two of you. I was rooting for you guys all along.”

Franco made his way to surface a little more slowly, perhaps appreciating the wallpaper, or slowed down and sapped of energy after a sleepless night. When he got inside the house, two chainsaws still buzzed, but kids’ music played on the stereo, and Pansy was curled up in a fetal position on the couch, with her head resting on the arm.

“Is this something we can talk about?” he asked her.

“Just time catching up with me.”

“Anything I can help with? Look, I’m always here for you to vent to. I don’t mind it. Honest.”

She stood up, approaching her ex-husband. Pansy’s brows were slightly furrowed, but only a little bit. In fact, she came off as deadpan. Her mouth forced itself into a slight frown.

“Notzo’s dead.” She then climbed the stairs and went to bed early.

Franco would have offered her a comforting hand if she wanted it, but he opened the door to Pansy’s bedroom (really Julian’s, but he got used to not sleeping), to see her really asleep, with the blanket pulled over her head.

“Good-night,” he whispered, but she didn’t wake up from it. He made a mental note to ask Annette to grill some hamburgers with lettuce and mango salsa, Pansy’s favorite toppings, just to cheer her up a bit. However, someone waited for him a few rooms over.



Hannah was awake. She didn’t take a hot bath and downed only half a pint of cookie dough ice cream, but she had a fulfilling nap in Franco’s bed, even in spite of her preference for softer mattresses (Franco liked them firm). When he sat down on the bed and fluffed his pillow, Hannah relaxed on top of the covers, with her hands folded on top of her belly and her eyes flirtatiously following Franco.

“I had a good nap, but I probably would have slept better with you,” she said, “Ready for a good night?”

“Ready for this one and plenty of others,” he said.



He put his arm around her, over her shoulder, while she rested her head on his shoulder. She used her free arm to hug Franco around his chubby waist, her other hand entirely occupied by his fingers and all the fat padding them.

“I missed moments like this,” she said, “I always liked the way you felt. Really soft and cuddly and, well, kind of dreamy!” She laughed a bit, almost out of embarrassment. “I shouldn’t be ashamed of it. I mean, where would you be without a woman who liked big men? Your mum couldn’t keep her hands off your dad, could she?”

“Oh believe me, I know.” He still remembered walking in on them skinny-dipping, or breaking the shower by being rough together, “Strange how you go from a little twig of a man to me in the space of a few hours.”

“I’m just that open-minded.”

“Are you open-minded about something else?” he asked, slyly winking at her. “You might look like you’re ready to pop, but we can still get under the covers.”

“I’d rather sleep first. Plus, nothing wrong a bit of morning woohoo tomorrow, right?” Hannah turned over on her left side, pulling the covers up and sinking into the soft, hardly-used pillow on her side. Franco came back into the bedroom after a few minutes, in his bathrobe. After losing a night of sleep, he couldn’t blame Hannah for wanting it. He still got close to her, though, lying down on his left side too and pressing himself right up against her back. He found her right hand and clutched on to it.

“It’s easy to fall asleep with you,” she said, with a yawn, “Like sleeping on a cloud.”

“Looks like this will work out after all,” he said. For an hour or two, Hannah fell asleep and woke up intermittently. Franco got in and out of bed intermittently all the while. A snack before bedtime, then being surprised by prom night being that night and escorting Lily out the door to the limo rented for her and her only. He finally returned, ready to sleep, to a somewhat-awake Hannah.

“You know, it’s my birthday today,” she said, in a low, tired tone. “I’m a little scared now.”

“Why?” asked Franco.

“Wonder what it means for the nooboo.”

She soon found out. She sprung out of bed very suddenly, seized up by pain and pressure in her abdomen.



“Okay, no more wondering!” she exclaimed.



“Franco, just help me!”



He panicked. Considering that he missed his own daughter’s birth, he never witnessed one and devolved into senseless panic and fear when it came time for his stepson to be born.



All the noise woke Pansy up, much to her chagrin. Or so she thought that was what woke her up.

She always thought that her dad’s name was a little odd. Phoenix Prudence; why the mythology theme? But death and instant rebirth marked his life, taking his wife during childbirth and leaving him with newborn Pansy in return. Once she learned the story, Pansy understood a little more, even though the name was likely a coincidence, and misplaced, because he didn't die or get reborn.

Of course, she knew that Hannah was pregnant. The new nooboo supplies and the sonogram picture hanging from a magnet on the fridge told the story without Hannah actually needing to.

Death. Rebirth. Pansy remembered, finally, that she was 90 at the time. And Notzo was the same age as her.



“I’d think this is crap, but in all honesty, I’m ready,” she said, once the whole situation was made clear.

Franco heard something, even though he was six feet away from a screaming, laboring Hannah. He walked to Pansy’s room, where he heard the noises coming from. It sounded like a spectral vacuum or spiritual white noise, deafeningly loud and enough to be heard over Hannah and from a few rooms over.



“Crap, not tonight,” he said, holding back a tear.

Grim, unusually cordial, opened the door to the bedroom. “Ms. Prudence, I made sure not to be late.”

“Let’s do this in the next room, Grimmy,” she said, “I’m gonna say what I need to in private.” However, she failed to realize that the walls were pretty flimsy for a such a big house. Franco heard it all.



“Just be kind! It’s been a hard life. No infernal toilets or whatever nasty things you have down there for me, okay?” Pansy was on her knees before the one in the black robes.

“I wasn’t planning on it. I’ve been watching. You were a great police officer, an excellent mother, a good girlfriend. Why should we let Notzo wait much longer? He’s been waiting since noon.”



“Well," she said, hanging her head down and laughing a bit, "I guess I’ll just dive in.”

Franco went out to place her tombstone that night. Grim left her with the big obelisk that matched the other three in the family plot. After heaving the hunk of stone down to its location, he tried to rush home in order to help bring his stepson into the world.



But before he could get in the police cruiser, Hannah had that covered by herself.



In a rush of sparkles and rainbows, and with a big push, Hannah held up a gurgling little boy, with ruddy skin and his father’s indigo eyes.

“Goodness, you’re a cutie,” she said to him, choked to a whisper again.

She held him close to her bosom. Her little package of joy, reaching out at her loose strands of hair with perfect little hands.

“Hey there Hephaestus. I’m...oh my god, you're just amazing. That's all.”



Word Count for this chapter: 2,430
Word Count so far: 61,198

Hephaestus was named in honor of a sim from a very old game. The original Hephaestus was an ex-IF (made over to look unique, of course), and my first inventor. In Greek mythology, Hephaestus is the god of craftsman, blacksmiths, and other related things, including sculptors, and what else would I use a new mortal kid for? :P Considering that Hephaestus is also described as malformed or even ugly, it made a bit of cruel sense to name a Bayless kid after him.

(Though, aside from the comment about his eye color, the genes Hephaestus got will be under wraps until he's a toddler. Horrible or hunky, what will he be?)

Offline Rhoxi

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 42, 4/4)
« Reply #180 on: April 04, 2014, 07:34:41 PM »

Just enjoyed getting caught up on the last couple of chapters. Franco and Hannah finally working things out was just so, so beautiful. There's something really bittersweet, too, about Pansy dying right when little Heph is being born and just after Franco becomes immortal. All this death and birth and love overlapping. Glad things finally came together for Franco. A sad life is sad enough, without also having to be an elder for the next few centuries to look back on it all.

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 42, 4/4)
« Reply #181 on: April 04, 2014, 07:52:00 PM »
A warm welcome to Hephaestus. Hmm...sounds like we have a new sculptor in the making. :) I can't wait to see him in the post-larval stage!

So wait...Pansy and Notzo, both toddlers at the beginning of the game, are dead. Tay, a child at the beginning of the game, is also dead. Shark Racket, a teen-almost-YA at the beginning of the game, is still alive and kicking.

Rackets must be long lived. ;)



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Offline Hallucination

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 42, 4/4)
« Reply #182 on: April 04, 2014, 07:52:37 PM »
If Hephaestus ends up, well, looking like the half-Bayless he is, I'm sure everybody will get so attached his stranger features will be endearing.
I'm not pedantic! I just believe in precision of language.

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Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 42, 4/4)
« Reply #183 on: April 05, 2014, 12:57:39 AM »
Wow, not sure whether Pansy dying when Hephaestus was born is a good omen or a bad one XD  After all, Jeffrey dying meant Hannah could have a nooboo, so... who knows.  As far as whether he's a hunk or not... hm... I'm gonna say hunk and hope I'm right XD  Another great chapter Trip ^^

Offline hazelnut

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 42, 4/4)
« Reply #184 on: April 05, 2014, 11:04:16 AM »
Just caught up on the last few chapters.  So glad it worked out in the end for Franco and Hannah.  And welcome to Hephaestus :)

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 42, 4/4)
« Reply #185 on: April 05, 2014, 10:04:28 PM »
A warm welcome to Hephaestus. Hmm...sounds like we have a new sculptor in the making. :) I can't wait to see him in the post-larval stage!

So wait...Pansy and Notzo, both toddlers at the beginning of the game, are dead. Tay, a child at the beginning of the game, is also dead. Shark Racket, a teen-almost-YA at the beginning of the game, is still alive and kicking.

Rackets must be long lived. ;)

The Rackets must be long lived! Evil never dies!

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 42, 4/4)
« Reply #186 on: April 11, 2014, 08:44:48 PM »
Just enjoyed getting caught up on the last couple of chapters. Franco and Hannah finally working things out was just so, so beautiful. There's something really bittersweet, too, about Pansy dying right when little Heph is being born and just after Franco becomes immortal. All this death and birth and love overlapping. Glad things finally came together for Franco. A sad life is sad enough, without also having to be an elder for the next few centuries to look back on it all.

Thanks for catching up! It was quite a strange, emotional time for the family. I'm glad that Franco got his happy ending just in time; some other immortals had to wait longer.

A warm welcome to Hephaestus. Hmm...sounds like we have a new sculptor in the making. :) I can't wait to see him in the post-larval stage!

So wait...Pansy and Notzo, both toddlers at the beginning of the game, are dead. Tay, a child at the beginning of the game, is also dead. Shark Racket, a teen-almost-YA at the beginning of the game, is still alive and kicking.

Rackets must be long lived. ;)

I guess so! I think Emerald Greenwood and Parker Prudence might have outlived Shark, but he was longer-lived than Bill, which is saying something. :P

If Hephaestus ends up, well, looking like the half-Bayless he is, I'm sure everybody will get so attached his stranger features will be endearing.

That's the mentality I approached it with. Plus, what's Twinbrook without having some fun with genes?

Wow, not sure whether Pansy dying when Hephaestus was born is a good omen or a bad one XD  After all, Jeffrey dying meant Hannah could have a nooboo, so... who knows.  As far as whether he's a hunk or not... hm... I'm gonna say hunk and hope I'm right XD  Another great chapter Trip ^^

I actually wanted to make Hephaestus some sort of necromancer/medium, due to all of the death in his life, but he sculpted too much for me to have time to pursue that storyline. :P

Just caught up on the last few chapters.  So glad it worked out in the end for Franco and Hannah.  And welcome to Hephaestus :)

Thank you!

The Rackets must be long lived! Evil never dies!

Except that the long-lived Rackets were pretty law-abidng. Reformed evil never dies. ;)



Forgot to post Franco's stats at the end, so here you go:

Generation Two: Franco Waverly
Supermax: Painting
Career: Stylist
LTW: Fashion Phenomenon
LTRs: Opportunistic, Extra Creative, Fertility Treatment
Ops: Deliver a Painting to France, The Complete Circuit, Business of Decor, Interior Decor, Deliver a Painting to Egypt, Paparazzi!
Building: Franco’s Foot Massages (previously Sharma Day Spa)
Property: Grey Chiffon Lounge (previously Red Velvet Lounge)
Best Friends: Hannah Carlton, Carmen Kindle, Parker Castor, Emerald Greenwood, Mark Sargeant (half-brother), Robert Castor (fairy)
Museum Pieces: Done!
Immortalized at 75 Days



And Trip's Big Announcement:

Okay, I don't have an update. And my big announcement is "I don't feel like updating!" I ended up having to rearrange some story ideas (my original one was, shall we say, highly contrived), and I have to rewrite a few things, plus do some building in Roaring Heights that I really, really want to put off as far as possible.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 43, 4/20)
« Reply #187 on: April 20, 2014, 12:57:42 AM »
Thanks for everyone's patience! It's been a really bad two weeks for me, but somehow, I turned 20 yesterday and felt better. :D



Chapter 43: Can't See It





I spent the day inside my flat, basking in the summer sun through the large windows, and letting natural light illuminate the pages of my book. I also did laundry, attempted to get a tan, took a cold bath to relieve my sunburn (dark ancestry be darned! It doesn’t matter when you’re the color of nooboo formula), and nearly pulled my hat over my face as I discretely got myself a sandwich at the diner. I watched the sunset over the water, and the golden reflection on the surface was more exciting than a re-read.

And I’ll be honest, I need a break from reading this.

I can’t claim a good relationship with Annette. Maybe when I was young, as a toddler dressed in a red tunic and bloomers, with my hair tied up in two red bows, or as a child when I did all of my reading for school a week early and read at a high school level by the time I got long division. Maybe then, grandma Annette and I were on good terms. I always ate her cooking, and thanked her twice when she made my favorite potato and truffle torte for dinner. She read my books, and only after we started mutually hating each other did she realize that her favorite villain in my own Tears of Steel spoke a lot like her, and had a taste for plum jam and renoit grape cobbler.

All I should say is that while she supported Franco through his difficult romantic life, her response to me being trapped in a loveless relationship was pretty close to “suck it up.”

It’s a different time and place now, I guess. In Roaring Heights, I guess I can find a nice woman, unlike what I coped with in Twinbrook. Hopefully, one with a love for flings, as opposed to love, and one who sees my fangs as a way to spice up an ordinary kiss. I won’t find her if I stay in the flat and refuse to talk to anyone but a waiter, when I need a pot of unsweetened chamomile tea. And the one person who will talk to me? It’s a man with a business card.

I keep Arthur’s card on the dresser, within reach if I notice a stain anywhere. It’s designed in simple black and white, much like his blazer. A & A Cleaners and Industrial Laundry. You stain, we gain! While the pesto panini I had for dinner the night before didn’t drip and ruin my clothes with pesky olive oil, he might have something else. I know he does. Why else would he write on the back, in his own handwriting, “Plasma? Motor oil? Ask about our deep clean!”

I don’t need a deep clean either. Just something loose and social. And in the one place with a prohibition on juice, illegal too.

In the morning, after the sun rises, Arthur is probably cleaning clothes, or at least cleaning up the shop. If he’s a smart criminal handyman, he probably saves his other cleaning for the night.



After following the address, I learn that Arthur has a pretty nice taste in business locations.



And that he is indeed a dry-cleaner.



Business is slow this morning, and Arthur sits at the counter with the day’s newspaper, instead of helping a customer. He reads the Local Events section, and without a pen at the counter, I doubt the daily sudoku is his thing.

“Geez, the pollen around here,” I mutter, after a sneeze, “Mind if I ask you a question?”



“No problem. We offer dry-cleaning, wet-cleaning, spot removal, and whatever you can think of. Well, I offer it today. The other half is gone on an errand.”

“You know darn well that my clothes are spotless.”



“We have to go into the back for other things,” he says. He leads me through one of the rooms of clothes, past racks of clean shirts waiting to be claimed and the smell of detergent that floods the area. Arthur opens the door to a place with calming aqua walls and counters with mostly empty tops, and watcher-knows-what inside.



“Isn’t it great?” he says, cheering, “Every criminal likes this place. We’re clean and no one suspects a thing. I think you’ll like my services...Jo, am I right?”

He’s not letting the criminal suspicions go, is he? At this point, I shouldn’t care. I had a clean police record back in Twinbrook, and an even cleaner one in this time. Anything beyond a cursory investigations should tell everybody that I’m an innocent citizen, who just happens to be the color of toothpaste and is able to land someone in the hospital if I bite down hard enough.



“This has to stop,” I tell Arthur, “I know it sounds suspicious to keep saying that I’m not a criminal, but I’m not here for that.”

“I’ll try to take it, but why are you here? Your clothes look clean. And I’ll admit, you don’t look like the plasma and gore type.”



“I’m begging you, give me something to do tonight,” I say, knees bent as I plead for a party recommendation so I can get a glass of that sweet, prohibited juice, “You don’t know what it’s like being stuck in the flat all day.”

“No problem. I’m a big fan of Dandy’s parties myself. Big, lavish, everyone’s there. And it’s illegal, but the police don’t dare bring those parties down. The juice is always the best,” Arthur says.

“What, a big, popular, touristy thing?” I ask, “Listen, I’m not here for that. Anywhere nice and small?”

“I mean, those are everywhere, but…”

“...You’re risking a bit, you know?” he says, “I mean, the whole town thinks you’re one of us. And the police are all over small parties on a slow night. One drink and you're suspect. You’re going to land your rear in jail going to one of those.”



“I need to dip my toes into the scene somewhere. Just give me an address?”

Arthur stands there in thought, stroking the three-day stubble he maintains.

“Anywhere but 52 Sunburst Street. Cassat. She’s a madwoman, I tell you. She almost busted me while getting my services to clean up. But I think that’s the only party tonight.”

“I’ll take it,” I say.



“Good luck, then. How about I give you a hand? You can’t change your color. But you can get out of that miniskirt.” He shoves a pile of red clothes into my hands. “Your pick, Jo.”



I think about it.



I take his advice.

While I check my fangs, he thumbs through a book. The pages rustle in a distinctive manner, due to the thinness of the pages. I glance behind my back to see him reading from a green book. My green book.

“Hey, get your hands off that!” I nearly swat the volume from his hands, “What chapter did you read, anyways?”

“I dunno. Some parts with you and a cute red-haired guy. And the parts where you did the dirty with that fairy,” he smirks, “You bagged a hot one.”

“Who? Kath?” I ask, referring to an old lover of mine.

“No, she doesn’t do it for me. I mean the red-haired one! He was a hottie.”



“Oh god!” I exclaim, “How the hell can you think that?”

“I know you can’t see it. But you grabbed a hot one” he says. I then look at the picture above his desk.



He's right, I don't see it. I also don't want to be reminded of him, my husband, but I won't burden Arthur with that story just yet.



Arthur poses with another woman, four times. She scares him, or they slyly look at each other. Each pose is as platonic as possible. Of course, I’d just spend the entire time marveling at his lady-friend if I was in the photobooth with her instead. Her tilted, blue eyes and the bow of her upper lip are certainly easy to appreciate.

“Is that you wife?” I ask, pointing to the picture.

“That’s her. My Eileen. Did you marry your best friend? That’s exactly what it feels like.”

“Marrying someone you’re friends with but not attracted to in the slightest?” I ask.

“Exactly.” He shoves the book back towards my chest, “It’s a sensitive issue. I care about Eileen like no one else. But it’s pretty obvious that I’m having my way with other men on the side.”



“Never thought I’d sympathize with you that way,” I say, “But I think you bagged a stunner yourself.”

“I know I can’t see it.”

I spend the rest of the day at my flat, ironing my nice dress for the night. It no longer smells like our closet back in Twinbrook, nor like me (it shouldn’t; I wore it once), though the silk is very wrinkled. Thankfully, if my dad taught me anything, it was how to iron silk.



As I told Arthur, I took the challenge to go to Cassat’s party. Ms. Cassat acts friendly when I first meet her, shaking my hand and looking quite ignorant to, erm, the elephant in the tummy room.



We talk for a bit, and for one moment, I think that Arthur got her all wrong.



But should I trust the look she gives me from behind the bar, blending drinks for her thirsty guests?



After one glass of juice, I can’t form an answer.



Sucks that I couldn’t.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,576
Word Count so far: 62,774

Offline Hallucination

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 43, 4/20)
« Reply #188 on: April 20, 2014, 01:45:20 AM »
Whatever. Annette is still Eileen. I've decided it, and so it shall be!  ;D I like that Jo cast her mother as the villain in her novels. Can't blame her, though, as my grandmother shows up in a fair few of my short stories. Ah, well. Sinbad's got some STRONG genes in your game. I wish my half-Rotters took as strongly after him. By the way, is the initial in Jo's nickname going to be explained at some point? Given your attention to detail, I was assuming it would be, but I was rereading some posts and it started to bother me. Anyway, happy belated birthday! Just think, in roughly 40 years you can get a senior discount at a movie theater!  ;)
I'm not pedantic! I just believe in precision of language.

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Offline Rhoxi

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 43, 4/20)
« Reply #189 on: April 22, 2014, 07:21:12 PM »

Interesting. I somehow doubt Julian is alive and young by Gen 6, but man! That kid sure does look like him. Good to see that those handsome genes carried on.

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 43, 4/20)
« Reply #190 on: April 22, 2014, 08:25:25 PM »
Oh boy, Jo...what did you get yourself into this time? :P

Offline ajm242

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 43, 4/20)
« Reply #191 on: April 23, 2014, 07:24:45 AM »
I started reading this story a couple days ago and I have finally caught up. I love the story, and it seems very well thought out. I will be interested in reading more.

Online Trip

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Sorry for the unexpected hiatus, but I can explain!

Well, do I need to? Some of you might know this already, but in regards to my dynasty, well...

...I won.

That is to say, I finished playing the dynasty. I decided to take a break from writing to finally get it out of the way. I guess I have no excuse to not write now. I have updates in the works, so the wait shouldn't be another month.

But yes, I finally completed an immortal dynasty. It took only two years of trying! I like that this was the attempt that got me there, though.

So, now onto replies:



Whatever. Annette is still Eileen. I've decided it, and so it shall be!  ;D I like that Jo cast her mother as the villain in her novels. Can't blame her, though, as my grandmother shows up in a fair few of my short stories. Ah, well. Sinbad's got some STRONG genes in your game. I wish my half-Rotters took as strongly after him. By the way, is the initial in Jo's nickname going to be explained at some point? Given your attention to detail, I was assuming it would be, but I was rereading some posts and it started to bother me. Anyway, happy belated birthday! Just think, in roughly 40 years you can get a senior discount at a movie theater!  ;)

To be fair, that was my original twist, but I re-thought some things and Eileen is a separate, not-rainbow person.

I'm shocked with how long those genes stuck around for! I love Sinbad, so seeing his descendants still keep nearly everything from him was just fine.

You mean her pen-name? I do plan to explain the first initial she uses, but it's not some big, esoteric plot point either. :P

I'll stick with my student discounts for now, though.

Interesting. I somehow doubt Julian is alive and young by Gen 6, but man! That kid sure does look like him. Good to see that those handsome genes carried on.

Ah yes, there's no hiding that kid's ancestry. He was good-looking! And he made a gorgeous generation seven heiress for me. ;)

Oh boy, Jo...what did you get yourself into this time? :P

Debauchery and fines for bad behavior, that's what!

I started reading this story a couple days ago and I have finally caught up. I love the story, and it seems very well thought out. I will be interested in reading more.

Thank you so much!

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Congratulations on finally defeating the immortal dynasty challenge! I know it's been a long time coming and many attempts. Awesome!

Sent from my C6916 using Tapatalk


Online Trip

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Yep, and it's in the Hall of Fame now too! (towards the bottom; I'm third-from-last because it's done alphabetically by username)

There are some spoilers lurking in my entry, so proceed with caution.

Offline sunshine_2406

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Congratulations Trip! I'm glad you finally did it :) I can't wait to read the rest of it now.
From the moment I fell down that rabbit hole I've been told what I must do and who I must be. I've been shrunk, stretched, scratched and stuffed into a teapot. I've been accused of being Alice, and of not being Alice, but this is my dream. I'll decide where it goes from here.

Offline Metropolis Man

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Our very own Dynasty pro, Trip, finally completed her own!

*stands up and cheers*

Woot!

Great job, girl!


Offline Rhoxi

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Excellent! Congratulations on making the Hall of Fame, and I can't wait to read the rest of the Waverly's journey to get there!  8)

Offline Nandarelle

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Congratulations, Trip!

 

anything