Author Topic: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty ("Complete")  (Read 84992 times)

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 85, 9/28)
« Reply #400 on: September 30, 2014, 06:20:49 PM »
Roaring Heights sims are almost all extremely gorgeous, women especially. Do I detect some townie genetics in Maeve or did you make her yourself? I actually really like the look of Tank too. He has a very expressive face for sure :D

Also, I started out sympathetic to Jo but the way she inner-monologues (and outer-dialogues) about Agnes makes me want to bonk her on the head. So good job creating engaging, flawed characters  ;D

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 85, 9/28)
« Reply #401 on: October 01, 2014, 02:50:20 AM »
Its a shame about your harddrive but I'm sure we all understand and will be waiting patiently... Hope they ship the right stuff!

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 86, 10/5)
« Reply #402 on: October 05, 2014, 07:55:33 PM »
So we reached 25,000 views. :D Thank you so much, guys!

Micro-B cable came in on Thursday, and my external hard drive is working well again. I've been distracted by other things too, so I'm glad to finally get a chapter out.



Roaring Heights sims are almost all extremely gorgeous, women especially. Do I detect some townie genetics in Maeve or did you make her yourself? I actually really like the look of Tank too. He has a very expressive face for sure :D

Also, I started out sympathetic to Jo but the way she inner-monologues (and outer-dialogues) about Agnes makes me want to bonk her on the head. So good job creating engaging, flawed characters  ;D

Maeve doesn't have any townie blood in her. Same goes for Tank. The latter was modeled off one of my co-workers, while Maeve was just reverse-engineered from Eileen/Eileen's mother.

Jo will probably ruffle some, or a lot, of feathers as we delve deeper into her past and mindset. She was never meant to be good, and coming from a father like that, how good could she be?

Its a shame about your harddrive but I'm sure we all understand and will be waiting patiently... Hope they ship the right stuff!

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Looks like they did! It's a much sturdier cable than what I had. :)



Chapter 86: The Waverly Files





As tumultuous as emotions are, I catch dad in one of my calm spots when we walk to their house. Roaring Heights darkens as we stroll along Sunburst Avenue, and a lone urban cricket chirps. Everyone is inside and quiet tonight on this street, except for dad and I. We have talking points beyond me trying to insinuate that he’s a disgusting pervert and him accusing me of being whiny. So instead of stabbing his habits straight in their hearts, I ask him how he’s enjoying this city, at least compared to Bridgeport.

“It’s new,” he says. “I like it. And we do have it to thank for being born, huh?”

I nod. We do, even if the situation is still blurry. I’m never going to get that story out of Roaring Heights. I won’t even understand it without some other context. Roaring Heights is a beautiful place, and Moira, while widowed and with a daughter in tow, isn’t a hopeless case. I’d have to contact Annette, if I could. Because she last rode away on a motorcycle, up into the hills of Twinbrook. That was five years ago. But I know who to thank. I have that.

“So, your new line of work,” I say, trailing off with a judging side-eye.

“Just so you know, I did the same thing to all of my co-workers back in the day.” I know, dad. I had to write about all of your exploits. Mum was not pleased to hear them. “I’m continuing a proud tradition, and catering to my testosterone. Little do you know that we both win in this.”

He gives me a sly, knowing look, with his intense brows. “So what trouble did you get into?”

“Your kind of trouble.”

“Which girl is it now?” he asks.

“The other kind of trouble, dad,” I say. “The family business that I swore up and down to you that I’d never join.”

He draws me in for the tightest hug he’s given me in about a century, right in the middle of the crosswalk. “I’m just so proud of my little jellybean,” he says, with a dramatic sniffle. I weakly hug him back. He’s full of man-cooties and bleeding androgens that I might catch if I linger on for too long.

“I still prefer writing,” I grumble. He takes it with good humor.

“There are some pretty sweet tales you get on the job. I know you’ll do fine.” Good thing we’re alone right now. This sort of encouragement isn’t what twins do, now do they?”

The walk from our flat to their proper house isn't far at all, and I soon knock on Eileen's door and hope that she answers instead of Arthur. I could see things getting awkward if he did. He's awake just for one man. Thankfully, she opens the door, already in her nightie, and without a hint of disgust towards dad. I probably surprised her more.

"Jo! I mean, come in. I'm not gonna be the only third wheel tonight if I can help it," she says.

"We'll just let the men do their thing," she continues, leading me out the back-patio and pool. Even the open night air smells like chlorine. We sit at the table, and Eileen offers to fetch me a lemonade.

"I'm good, plus business isn't exactly something that people talk about over sweet drinks," I say.



"Business? Unlike us, I thought that you learned your lesson."

"Sad I haven't. I thought Arthur already told you."



"Nah, he's been busy all day. Doing laundry, deep cleaning plasma, freshening up for tonight. Your brother, if he really is that, is a stickler for a good cologne and clean sheets."

I'm not even going to defend my fabricated story on that.

"He's pretty clean for a dirty young man," I say. "He's a terror. I don't know where he gets that from, but apparently the promiscuity runs in the family." It's infected us all, but I think that dad's a bad, bad case. He got it from his great-grandfather. "But look Ei, about business, your sister decided that I'm her best henchperson."

"Yeah, not surprised. She likes hiring friends for the job," Eileen says. "I always thought that you were here on vacation, though."

"Plans change. I'm liking it here."



"Well, hey! I'm here for you, then, if that's what you were wondering." I nod right back. "Wonderful! I can't wait for my new paychecks. I'm so thankful, I'll make you some dinner."

"I'm good."

"Well, I need to make it for tomorrow anyways. I like it cold."



Watching Eileen cut cheese into meltable chunks gets old after the first slice, so I wander around, in the direction of her office, which I have no intention of raiding. But my father, in all of his rotten glory, would.



He struts towards the door, and I follow him. He pulls a wrench out of his underwear (gross!), but doesn't have to use it, instead trying combinations of Eileen's birthday, her home address, pi and e to five decimal places, and finally just feeling for the tumblers inside.

"Dad, get out of there," I whisper. "You're a houseguest no matter what you do to Arthur."



"What she doesn't now won't hurt her. I need blackmail material, you know, just in case." He's intent on his focus on the safe, slowly turning the dial until he feels something unlock. After a few minutes of that, he opens the safe and his eyes go wide with delight. He shoves a manilla folder into my hands.

"For my precious jellybean," he smirks. "Crime pays and it pays well."

"Go to hell, daddy," I say, only half-joking. I want to put this folder back, but I instead tuck it under my shirt and slam the safe closed. Eileen doesn't check on me.

Maybe it's time to leave? Agnes probably doesn't like being left out, or being the third wheel, so I should care more. But I don't because I'm Jo, and I'm half of Phil, and my mum wasn't a saint either. I'm awful to the core and staying here.

I meander around the place instead, keeping out locked doors and sometimes ending up in one of four bathrooms. I think that’s overkill. But I can’t form a good critique of Eileen’s wallpaper choices either. Or are they Arthur’s? I shouldn’t think of him in terms of stereotypes, but he is the type of guy who would be at the helm of interior design choices.



One unlocked door opens to an empty room. Which isn’t empty. A staircase cuts into the floor and down into the foundation, down further into a basement. They put furniture down there. Maybe they meant to keep that door locked, but the blame is on them tonight.



It’s an analog hell in Roaring Heights, but Eileen and Arthur are a new, shining exception. A decrepit-looking old computer sits on a desk, and a gaming system from a few generations back is plugged into an outdated television. Modern movie posters adorn the walls. And my curiosity shines brighter than a cathode-ray monitor on its last legs. So I have to try that one out.



I’ve never seen an operating system like it. The interface is stripped down, but even I, Josephine technically from the future, recognize one program linked on the desktop: a generic DOS word processor.

My daughter introduced me to it back when she was in high school. She had DOSBox on her machine, and I asked her what sort of devilry she was doing to the computer. She used it for testing purposes and retro gaming, but she wanted me to join her in retro computing. DOSBox and an executable to a simple DOS word processor were on my laptop by the next morning. I got used to it, and used it exclusively. And I still do, even if the both of us have gone our separate, hostile ways.

I write a sentence and realize that I'm not in the mood for writing (gasp!) when there is gaming to be had on the television instead.



Static hisses when I turn it on, as it gets no signal in analog hell. But once I change the input channel, I get the screen for a skating game that was left in the console. It's old, but it's fun to control the skater and grind down the pipe.

Am I here to have fun, though? I could analyze why they have this stuff when no one else in Roaring Heights does, but the answer is hardly deep: Arthur already told me that he's from Moonlight Falls. He likes it here, I can tell, but even the most settled-in expats get homesick. Maybe one day I'll miss Twinbrook's humidity too.

Agnes might be right. I don't have much else to find out. Unless the corkboard in back of me has a story I've never read. And it won't hurt to check.



Pictures and blurbs hang from the board. The first court record tells me that it's more of Eileen's stuff, and that dad put in extra effort where we really shouldn't have. Eileen's folder is still tucked under my shirt and I haven't looked at it yet. Not even the title.

Eileen is a criminal lawyer, in both senses of the word. Cases pinned include assault of a law enforcement officer, herb-growing, weapons dealing, and various prohibtion-related charges. Only the last one is exclusive to Roaring Heights, of course. The others tell me a lot about Eileen's travel expenses, so thank goodness for her rich aunt and desperate clients. They're also all from this year, but I wasn't expecting young Eileen to have a decade of experience behind her either.

Most of it has no relevance other than confirming the nature of her profession. Then one hand-written note in the corner catches my eye.



Kevin Waverly

Court Date: 1.25.62

Yet another weapons smuggling charge.
I hate his smug face.


I shouldn't repeat other things she wrote about him, other than the written sigh of relief that he paid top-simoleon for her work. What I can and should repeat is that we share last names.

Like being related to my father, the Rackets, and the McGrails wasn't enough.

Now I have to wonder why that surname, of any. Surely Annette wasn't evading suspicion by taking it, not any more than she would have been keeping her name. Plus, she and Eileen are hardly the kind of twins that are polar-opposites. And I know they have some questions about the story my dad and I have for ourselves over here. I don't know what being a twin is like. But that's not the point.

I set her folder down on the coffee table. The title: The Waverly Files. At least dad is on to this mission too. I almost can't even hate the guy now, but I'll remember why we're on bad terms soon, won't I?

First: there are a lot of Waverlys, and they're all men. The X-chromosomes ruled in my own family, but I guess the world needs to balance itself.

Beyond the legal jargon, Eileen offers her own comments, written on notes and behind their backs. I hope.



Who hired Jerry for a smuggling job anyways? I hate having to save his butt all the time. Stupid Waverlys.



I'm not a feminist, but that pig named Jon needs get his hands tied up. No wonder his sons are the way they are.



Pete's gonna serve his time for that arsonry charge and I ain't even sorry for not helping him.



I'm pumped to help Taylor get some settlement over Shaun and it's not even supposed to be my job. Because I'm glad that waste of air is gone.



Rest in pieces, Shaun.



The last picture taped to the back contrasts with her words against Shaun. I still remember his mug from the night at the police station, though this is the first I've heard about him being gone, and about Eileen's honest opinions. Still, the picture in the back says nothing about his being a waste of air.

He can't be a waste. Just another piece of the puzzle that got lost under the couch.



The stairs creak and I scramble to hide the folder, but it's too late. Arthur spots me and takes a seat next to me, giving the folder a quick look.

"Listen," I say, but he quickly cuts me off.

"You apologize too much for these things. I know Ei gave that to you." No, but I'm liking where this is going. "They're not related to you. They're not a threat. You're fine, I'm fine, but I know she had a good reason for it."



"Yep, just needed to be reassured about this. I'm not one of them." Or so I thought, until I got to the last picture. I feel dirty now, beneath a smile as I look at a history I never knew, and still don't. What if Shaun really was a waste of air? Then I share a last name with a waste of air! And that meant that my great-great-great grandmother did the dirty with him, and that this story just got a whole new layer, and that grandpa Bill was ironically the more honest person in their relationship. "Did you know them?"

"Didn't want to. Got a black eye from Jon for being a fruit."

"Probably wouldn't think highly of me either. What sort of guy was Shaun?"

I swear that Arthur's heart has stopped, but just for a second. If he could drain the color from his teal cheeks, he would, but he knows and I know that things work differently when you're the color of wintermint candies.



"Eileen's just blunt. She never has a polite word for anyone! I wouldn't worry about Shaun. He's dead now anyways."

I show him the picture in the back, with Moira hugging him for a ride on his motorcycle. "But it seemed like he knew Moira, didn't he?"

"We all knew Shaun. He got his hands dirty around here."

"Betcha didn't ride on his bike, though."

"He's not even that attractive. I wouldn't. I don't know what Moira saw in him."

I shoot him a sly look after that. I caught you, you sneaky little cleaner. Now tell me more of grandma Annette's story so we can have some awkward work time after this.

"You know we have to work tomorrow night. I better get to bed," Arthur says. "I don't like to talk about Shaun. Ever. You can pester Moira all you like about it. Please leave me out of the conversation."

"Good night, then," I say. He rushes upstairs, and runs into my dad, who was apparently eavesdropping from the top of the stairs. I can't even blame him, half because I sympathize with curiosity, and half because Arthur is right about needing to sleep for tomorrow. I have an unknown kind of day ahead of me.

I might want to do this at our place instead. I walk back upstairs so I can say good-bye to Eileen, and so I can grab dad before he does something stupid with a criminal family. Eileen is nowhere on the first floor. Her stairs are not behind closed doors, so I have free-reign, of course.

She's in her bedroom. I just want to say good-night, hoping that she hasn't noticed the missing folder.

"G'night," I say, hastily, as I walk into her room. I turn away until she had to add something.

"Hey, don't leave yet!"



I shake with fear. She found the folder, she thinks that I'm the one who unearthed it. I'm toast, burned under her law and loopholes and her aunt's cane, and whatever else she can conjure up. It was a good life, Josephine.

"It's late. You can just sleep over," she continues. "We have a guest room two doors down the hall. I mean, if you're working with Arthur tomorrow, why not save part of the commute?"

Well, maybe because I have a romantic partner at home and a shaky relationship that the one small, moral part of me wants to save. And I'm saving maybe two blocks' worth of walking or driving, which isn't much.

But the bed back at the flat hurts a lot.

"That's all?" I ask.

"All I need to say. Tell me if anything's wrong with the bed."



She downs a deep-blue elixir before almost passing out sideways in bed.

As for me, I just have the tender lullaby of the silence of an analog hell, of Eileen's quiet breathing, and of dad extorting Arthur for information by threatening to carpet bomb his washing machines.

I tune him out and drift off.



Word Count for this chapter: 2,791
Word Count so far: 160,908

---

A few notes:

- The bit about a DOS word processor is a nod to author George R.R. Martin, who still uses one of those old things in 2014. DOS, standing for Disk Operating System, is an old way of computing. Emulators like DOSBox keep the tradition alive (it's largely used for gaming, but one of my programming professors had his own compiler that he wrote specifically for DOS). And yes, I have used WordStar, a DOS word processor, just to say I did.

- Phil's method of cracking the safe is a nod to one fun project Richard Feynman had going on during the Manhattan Project. He found a way to crack each locked file cabinet in Los Alamos, and he found out that a lot of people either left the combination at its default setting or used a common number like their birthday or pi. As for the other ways to safecracking (feeling the tumblers), I assume that Phil has had a lot of work with it. :P But Feynman's cracking was pretty cool and definitely worth learning about.

Also, the teacher I named Phil after told me that story about Feynman long ago, so it's a friendly nod to him too.

- I don't place incongruous technology in Roaring Heights for nothing.

Offline Brooke.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 86, 10/5)
« Reply #403 on: October 07, 2014, 06:09:04 AM »
Shaun is a hunk, don't hate me  ;D I really love Jo's reaction when she thinks she's busted. I really love these little details you include, the Richard Feynman video is really interesting.
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Offline ombradellarosa

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 86, 10/5)
« Reply #404 on: October 07, 2014, 06:05:28 PM »
I'm sure that great-grandfather comment was the clue you mentioned but I don't have the energy to figure it out yet.
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Offline Lisa46

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 86, 10/5)
« Reply #405 on: October 07, 2014, 06:31:24 PM »
Prediction: Phil will supermax science.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 86, 10/5)
« Reply #406 on: October 08, 2014, 02:31:47 PM »
Had an itch to reply. *shrug* No update yet, but I have some of it out of the way. :) Next chapter is yet another Roaring Heights one, and while they're really fun to write and plan out, getting everything set up takes forever.



Shaun is a hunk, don't hate me  ;D I really love Jo's reaction when she thinks she's busted. I really love these little details you include, the Richard Feynman video is really interesting.

I don't hate you for it. There were a lot of attractive baddies as time went on in the dynasty. Shaun makes really nice kids.

Feynman was an interesting guy, but I still think that the filing cabinet story is my favorite one.

I'm sure that great-grandfather comment was the clue you mentioned but I don't have the energy to figure it out yet.

It was. Give it some thought when you can. :)

It was only after writing it did I realize that someone might think that it's a pretty stupid clue, because Franco is also one of Phil's great-grandfathers and he has a promiscuous side too. But I wasn't referring to Franco, and I wasn't referring to Lincoln either (commitment issues, but not to the point of legendary womanizing).

You guys have to fill two more slots. ;)

Prediction: Phil will supermax science.

Actually yes. Good guess!

Athletic and logic (for his career) were free skills, and I had never fully supermaxed science before, so I thought it would be fun for Phil to do.



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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 87, 10/12)
« Reply #407 on: October 12, 2014, 04:25:22 PM »
I can explain my full week between updates in the footnotes.

Also, as a warning, I am aware that Josephine will act like a major baddie in this chapter. It was the point.



Chapter 87: Freebird





That whole night becomes a dream in a white room. I walk down the dim corridor of it. I wish I could say that this is new. The gentle classical piano even stuck around this time, creating the most magical cheating-fantasy nightmare that could be conjured.

Her café-au-lait skin is intact in my memory, and neither age nor the forces of rotting and dirt that I hope have struck her by now taint that memory. In fact, she’s three-and-a-half times more beautiful than I remember. Even in bed, she’s as well-dressed as any of Franco’s styling clients, even though he retired long before her time.



“Can’t shake the feeling, can you? Aren’t you glad to see your Kath again?” She gestures for me to join her.

“I’m glad to see that dress,” I say. “It’s better than your usual getup.” I approach her bed, past the glass partitions. Back in Twinbrook, she had a pretty face to contrast with her ghastly fashion sense.

“Back in a relationship?” she asks me. I nod. “I thought that you knew better than that.”

“I never learn, do I?”

“Well, I need to hold you again. Maybe squeeze a fancy car out of you.”

“Crashed the Vaguester?” I ask.

“It’s tempting to max the speed on those things, you know?” She opened up her arms and I fall into them, as I did so many times back home. She still has the feminine I fell in love with, as well as the soft hair. The grey eyes that squinted when she laughed.



“I’m a bad girl, but you left me all alone back home,” she says, as I relax.

“I know you are, but you’re my bad girl,” I say, groggy.

“But compared to your Aggie, I’m a friggin’ saint. I’m not gonna let you get hurt by another Simon.”

“Nah, she’s different.”

“She’s not. Hopeless romantic, small grey eyes, classy fashion sense, she’s your new Simon. And you need a new Katherine.”

“I don’t need you again. Not after all you did.”

“And I don’t need you. You can rot,” she says. “You coward. I need someone stronger in my life.” I feel a black eye forming again and dirt in my mouth. We’re back to that night, me crying on her floor, alone in the world just as I wished. My dream goes black.

Dad shakes me awake from the darkness. He’s still in his underwear.

“You did the nasty with a dry cleaner. Doesn’t he have some clothes for you?” I ask, still waking up.

“I’ll deal with that later. Can I take you home now?”

“But I’m saving commute time, silly.”

“Jo, I worked in this industry for a long, long, long time. If you can’t walk two blocks back to the house in order to clean up, get a good breakfast, and apologize to your girlfriend, then you might want to work a desk job instead. Plus, I can’t have you stealing my thunder as the other gay criminal.”

“I don’t want to be the person you are. Looking alike is enough. Plus, I think I smell coffee. I want their coffee.”



In the end, we can’t resist the allure the roasty smell of fresh morning coffee, though we hear the hissing and gurgling of a stovetop percolator first. Eileen watches it intently, with a mug right next to the stove so she can get the freshest cup of coffee from the batch.

“I made enough for four,” she said. “You guys like light roast?” We both shake our heads no.

“Too bad. Even if I am a beard, I still care about my gay husband and he won’t drink your dark nonsense. Have a light roast.”

Dad sucks it up and drinks his weak drink, but I make a face at the discolored hot water that they’re trying to pass off as coffee. Eileen makes a face back. “Can’t say that you’re good at cooking pasta either. Arthur told me that story, how you nearly burned down Moi’s place trying to make spaghetti.”

Looks like he omitted some details. What a fine new co-worker!

“Yeah, I suck at it. That’s what private chefs are for.”

Eileen gets up to take a shower and Arthur comes downstairs and relishes a cup of whatever that watery abomination is, and doesn’t look my dad in the eye.

“Come on, sunshine,” Eileen says to him, before leaving to clean up. “I don’t mind it, not even when you brought old man Simovich home. I’ll make sure to write in some gross PDA time with Tank for myself to make it up to you.”



“There’s just a lot of stuff at work. Bad witnesses five nights ago. Maeve’s being stingy with the bribe money account. And I have to help train the new one. Good coffee!” He keeps a dejected face as he finishes up his cup.

Dad gives him an evil smirk, complete with his waggling eyebrows, and I want to assume that Arthur gave him a rude gesture under the table. The coffee isn’t strong enough to wake up this teal beast, or dad had a good threat to say last night.

“Can’t wait to work with you,” I say.

“Moira will be here soon. 10 or 11. Just to work out and de-compress,” he says. “You do what you like until then.”

“That’s good, that’s good.” I still remember what he told me last night, about pestering Moira if I want information on her personal life, and he is right. Only Moira clutched on to Shaun during a motorcycle ride, when I assume that the rest of them took a bus or something. The pieces fit together. She married him and took his last name, and switched her other two around for fun. He fathered Bridget. It accounts for her blonde hair and strong nose, anyways.

Can she answer the rest? Sure. Can she give me the reason why she left this life here? Not directly.

I stare back into my empty cup of coffee. Where did that liquefied blandness go anyways?

“Have enough for another cup?” I ask Arthur.



Over half a cup more of what I should admit is really coffee, and the sudoku that neither of them try to solve, I de-compress before Moira’s presence and familiarly blue skin compress me again and force questions out. Numbers are filled in, one by one as I narrow them down. Even though dad likes a good puzzle, he leaves me alone, still looking evil. Which is par for course, but I thought we had a temporary truce going on.

“I know something that you don’t,” he taunts, when he’s sure that Eileen is out of earshot as she takes a hearty morning dump (or a dainty, womanly one, if she so pleases).

“All of those criminal secrets, I know.” We had to have been through this before.

“I know something about Moira that you don’t.” And I could choke him right there, snap his skinny little neck in two. But I’ll leave violent outbursts for other family members, or Tank if dad manages to anger him so.

“I know you won’t tell,” I say. “You keep secrets like Olive did. And that means I’ll get to them one day.”

“Fair enough. But I’ll gleefully watch your struggles to get them.”

“How about you get dressed and scram?” I ask dad. He obliges, oddly enough.

Most of the puzzle is solved before the doorbell rings at 9:30, which is too early for Moira. However, it is Saturday, so chauffeuring Bridget to school isn’t a consideration. So Moira might be an early-bird this morning, which is fine. I like her more and more as the days go on.

Eileen, the woman of the house, answers the door with a bone-chilling greeting. “Agnes, right?” she says. I almost drop my coffee up on my left foot. It just hits the floor instead and still shatters.

“Yes, here for Jo.” I hear it faintly. I pick up the shards of ceramic from the floor, because whatever will go on when she finds me will make enough of a bad houseguest. No reason to add to that by leaving an untouched mess.

“She’s in the living room. Serious issues?” Eileen asks. I can hear Agnes nod, or at least my neuroticism can.



The living room is right near the front door, so Agnes takes a seat next to me before I can escape out a window or into a nearby bathroom. She drops a large book between our feet, and Eight Ways is the only volume that can make such a loud thud. The green cover and gold lettering confirms it.

“Yeah, forgot about that,” I mutter, hoping to lighten the mood.



Agnes leans over and sighs. “I took a read, since you eventually wanted me to.”

“And that’s fine,” I say. “I take it that you read my part of the story too?” It’s the only part that can disappoint any reader and alienate a lover. It’s the only part that could kick me out of someone’s house and make me some new enemies.

It is the part that says that I, Josephine Fairhaven Waverly, was an unfaithful wife.



Sure, I had a good excuse, at least at the core. Simon, even with a pure heart and good intentions, and choppy red hair and harsh features that brought straight girls (and Arthur) to their knees, made my stomach uneasy. I couldn’t digest his stubble not could I pass his broad shoulders, no matter what he or anyone else wanted. I wasn’t lucky to be married to him, or fortunate to be part of a family that could attract anyone with our bricks of cash. I couldn’t take it.



It’s circumstances like that which make good, cornered Sapphists find their own greedy Katherines. Or at least this good one did that.

In all honesty, I was cruel to Simon. I lied to him for decades. I didn’t resurrect him. I also lied to Agnes about that, back in Sunset Valley when I finally put him to rest in the ground and in my mind. It’s all fine by me, but hopeless romantics are different creatures.

“Are you that type of person? Because I’m guessing you still are,” Agnes says. “I’m just another Simon to you, aren’t I.”

I could tell her that she isn’t, because she isn’t, and because I’m done with the Katherines of the world too.

But history repeats itself, and I’d still reach an arm out to the next Katherine in my life.

“Yes you are,” I say. “You’re the soppy romantic he is. And I can’t deal with that.”



She springs up from her seat. “I really cannot believe you. I was just your fling?”

“That’s what I was hoping for,” I say. I’d rather not lie this morning. I’ve done enough of that.



In fact, I crack a smile as she points her finger. An Agnes-sized weight (I’m thinking 130 pounds) slowly lifts off my over-burdened shoulders. Pound by pound, I feel like the Josephine I want to be again.

“Are you smiling?” she asks. I nod.

“I think this is for the best.”

“I’m leaving.”

“Well, you certainly have the money for it.”

That stung, but it was a good sting to make. Dad, dressed for the day and listening in like the invasive old tool he is, offers to be a good man for once and take her to the train station.



She hangs her head and cries a bit as she makes it down the long walkway. It hurts to watch it from the bay window, but I’m as weightless as a sheet of tissue paper now, and consider it more like the good pain after a workout.

Eileen is mopping up the coffee as it ends. “I’m sorry,” I say to her.

“I’m sorry too,” she says. I lounge on the couch and finish the sudoku and the kenken too, until the doorbell rings again and the peach fuzz on my arms and the stubble on my legs stands up again.



Moira walks in without bothering to wait to be greeted, with a solemn Bridget leading the way. I assume that she’s embarrassed over her mum not making an attempt to blend in to the fashion sense of the town, and instead opting for the timeless comfort of a long ponytail and a tank top. Regardless of how she’s dressed, my first day of work has started.

She, like Agnes, heads towards the living room, to her undressed twin.

“Hey, nice to see you again,” Eileen says. “And you brought the sprog!”

“She would throw a fit otherwise. How about a hug, sis?”



For the first time, I see these two acting like loving sisters. Perhaps sobriety has helped Moira a lot in that regard. She can walk in a straight line now.

They make an inappropriate joke regarding Arthur’s wild night and how he finally found a Waverly that will accept him, like friends always do about their besties/in-laws/legal husbands (I’ve probably made my share of them). It reminds me of what I should ask Moira about.



I shake her hand like a good underling first.

“You ready to sweat?” she asks. “If you’re an ex-marathoner, you know what it feels like.”

“As long as there are workout clothes,” I say. “Listen, before we take a run, can I just ask you about something that’s really been bothering me?”

“Sure!”

“So, I ended up reading about the Waverlys. The criminal ones, anyways. And there was this photo of you, and one of them-“

“You’re wondering if we were together?” she asks.

“I mean, I don’t care what it was-“

“Telling the story just helps me let go of it faster. Let’s hear it.”

Way back in the day (more like about a decade earlier), Moira was a misbehaving teenager. She went to prep school in Hidden Springs, with Eileen and Arthur. While those two had their own exploits, she pickpocketed the rich and stole a few cars. She narrowly avoided juvie. And at that point, Maeve made an unlikely ally.

It was sometime when the twins were teenagers that Maeve suffered a nearly-fatal injury that left her wrecked, especially her knees. Business stagnated as the Amazonian woman focused more on being mobile again than running an empire. She learned how to use a cane while packages of smuggled good remained unopened and unprocessed. At that point, most of her current crew still had school to worry about before crime.

Maeve turned towards Lucky Palms.

Shaun Waverly was a middle-aged kingpin, with a craggy face and washboard abs and a 350-pound bench press record. In spite of his age, his knees resembled those of a man half his age. Also, he came from a family of ungodly misogynists. Moira said this without flinching, or even thinking of it as anything more than a small character flaw. Shaun’s mother held no power, but she did hold a bad scar on her back from a rough time with her husband. Shaun’s three ex-wives had no good words for him. Marrying into the family was a dubious accomplishment.

He eyed Maeve suspiciously, as a woman holding her own in the crime world and holding it well even when she couldn’t hold up herself. But she showed him the packages and stamped down her cane. “Make anyone else your slave. But me? I’m your boss,” she told him.

Following Moira’s 18th birthday, Shaun had a new mission in life. Still divorced and ready for wife #4, Shaun snatched up the blue devil for his own. At that point, his time with the McGrails was up. A strong military officer who did his service got the job instead. So at 20, Tank got his job and that was all the story I needed to know. But back to Shaun, he returned to his life in Lucky Palms and wanted Moira as backup for his family, when she entertained dreams of klepto supremacy as opposed to servitude

“Did that bother you?” I asked Moira.

“Family rules are family rules. But back to your question. Was I with him? Well…”



“…I married him, that’s what.”

Eileen cringes throughout the conversation, though in the back of the room and out of her sister’s sight. She took those notes seriously.

“And that was the happiest day of my life,” Moira continues. Eileen makes a gagging motion, as if her life as the fake wife of Arthur is much better.

“I mean, he wasn’t a bad husband, was he?” I ask.



“Only if I was a lesbo like you. Which I’m not. No, I loved my Shaun.”

“And I assume that Bridget is his daughter?”



“You better believe it. I wish he was around for longer to see her grow up, but she’s the best thing I’ve ever been given.”

Eileen stays silent through it all. “Moira, get a start on your workout. I’ll keep Bridget entertained. And I need to talk to Jo about some legal things.”

“Good. I’ve heard enough of them,” Moira says. She gives Bridget a kiss on the top of the head and makes sure that she knows to behave. Bridget wanders off to the fridge for a snack. And Eileen takes a seat.



“I don’t care that you looked through my stuff. I really don’t,” she says. “But I stand by whatever I say about those Waverlys. We know you’re not one of them, so don’t be offended because I hate a few people you share a name with.”

“None taken. I guess I got curious. Is all she said true?”

Eileen shakes her head. “We’ll save this for another time. I think Phil got a story about it out of Arthur last night, though. Poor guy doesn’t like telling the story either.”

“Understood.”

“So what is that book you keep reading?” She points to Eight Ways on the floor.

“Oh, just a family memoir.”

“Do I ever get to read it?”

“Not unless you want to be like Agnes. I was quite a jerk in a past life. I don’t blame her for it.”

“You’re holding up okay?” Eileen asks.

“Better than most.”

“I’ll be where they are,” I tell her.

“The basement,” she says. “I think you know now.”



Eileen and Bridget beat me anyways, with the allure of two-player video games bringing Bridget to a sprint. Eileen gestures towards the next room, which is filled with washing machines, dryers, and grunting athletes.



“Clothes. Are on the dryer,” Arthur says, in between chin-ups. Moira is determined to stop falling off the bar. I grab a loose shirt and shorts tailored for someone close enough to my size. They work for running.



I haven’t run in weeks. I start slow, and take note of the room. It smells like bleach, lavender, and there’s a tennis racket on the floor. And a picture on one of the dryers.



In a different setting, probably Hidden Springs, Eileen and Moira played tennis together. Not much else to gleam from it.

“Did you play tennis?” I ask Moira. She gets off the bar for a moment to answer me.

“You bet. And I still keep my stuff around in case I get the itch to again. Even if I don’t, I should care for it. I love my rackets.”

Oh, the strength it takes to not laugh at the unintentional pun.

“Turn up the speed, Boston girl,” she says.

“It’s Twinbrook, but sure.” Boston-qualifying would be nice, but I never got to that point. I should speed up, though. It’s just that the exercise here is so boring. No music, no books. Unless I bring either.

Well, I have something upstairs. They understand that I need to get something. I bring Eight Ways back down to the basement, and prop it up on the face of the treadmill where I left off.



With the words in front of me, I pick up the speed and the incline of the machine. At seven miles an hour, I feel that rush again. The bit of freedom I had in my old age.

Jo, you’re free now. Single, young, and running again. Even if I sold my soul to the mafia, I’m a freebird on amphetamines, with the family history in my hands and under my feet.

I’m a free Waverly.



Word Count for this chapter: 3,395
Word Count so far: 164,303

Boston-qualifying: for the uninformed, it means running at the qualifying time to enter the Boston Marathon.

So, distractions.

Well, I fell in love. And Skype dates take up a lot of my time now. I've had to take hiatuses from this story for worse reasons, and I'm indeed happy with how my life is going now. :)

The other reason is that these updates take a long time to do. I never shoot pictures in advance.

Offline CeresIn

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 87, 10/12)
« Reply #408 on: October 12, 2014, 11:14:02 PM »
Today I started reading your story, I must say that with so many chapters I hesitated for a few days (pure laziness). I'm glad I decided to do it, I read the first five chapters and I'm totally hooked.

Your founder is adorable in a strange way, both physically and psychically. I like her sarcastic way of seeing life.

Excellent story, very well written and with good pictures.

Offline ombradellarosa

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 87, 10/12)
« Reply #409 on: October 13, 2014, 03:08:18 AM »
Aww how wonderful, Trip! That's an excellent reason to be distracted.

Maybe I'm a baddie, but I didn't see Jo all that unsympathetically in this update. She doesn't want commitment, she was going to have to deal with it sometime, and Agnes did it for her. I don't much care for this Katherine though.  :-\
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By intl_incident                                                      By samoht04

Offline Brooke.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 87, 10/12)
« Reply #410 on: October 13, 2014, 04:05:41 AM »
Falling in love is a great distraction  ;)

We finally find out who Jo was mourning for in the beginning, I was wondering how long it would take. Also, I don't know if this was your intention or not but I loved the bare walls and the glass decor giving off Katherine's coldness.
Life State Dynasty: The Blackburns In Monte Vista (Complete)
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Offline Magpie2012

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 87, 10/12)
« Reply #411 on: October 13, 2014, 05:51:18 AM »
I second what Rosa said.

Plus falling in love is the best reason for delays.
because... Math *Pippin The Most Tenacious Simmer*

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Offline Ausette

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 87, 10/12)
« Reply #412 on: October 15, 2014, 07:43:06 PM »
Yay, go Trip! I'm so happy for you  ;D . Falling in love is the best.

It's a shame about poor Agnes, though. Oh well. I'm interested to see what this Kath is like.

Online Trip

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 88, 10/16)
« Reply #413 on: October 16, 2014, 08:05:36 PM »
Today I started reading your story, I must say that with so many chapters I hesitated for a few days (pure laziness). I'm glad I decided to do it, I read the first five chapters and I'm totally hooked.

Your founder is adorable in a strange way, both physically and psychically. I like her sarcastic way of seeing life.

Excellent story, very well written and with good pictures.

Thanks! I hope you enjoy the voyage, and be glad that you caught me at generation four instead of even later. :P

Aww how wonderful, Trip! That's an excellent reason to be distracted.

Maybe I'm a baddie, but I didn't see Jo all that unsympathetically in this update. She doesn't want commitment, she was going to have to deal with it sometime, and Agnes did it for her. I don't much care for this Katherine though.  :-\

I had mixed feelings on Jo's actions. I actually wanted her and Agnes to stay together a little longer, but I guess I play up traits a lot. And I have to control anywhere from five to eight or more sims at a time without Aggie in the picture. Always good to pare down!

As for Katherine, she was awful. The game specifically designed her to be.

Falling in love is a great distraction  ;)

We finally find out who Jo was mourning for in the beginning, I was wondering how long it would take. Also, I don't know if this was your intention or not but I loved the bare walls and the glass decor giving off Katherine's coldness.

I wasn't even thinking of the setting reflecting her personality. When I set up places in other realms, I use black for the afterlife, demonic realms, and whatnot, while I do the inverse for the mind. But I like your interpretation too.

I second what Rosa said.

Plus falling in love is the best reason for delays.

That it is! I'm much happier than I've been in a while. Except for the fact that school isn't helping me with updating more than once a week either. ::)

Yay, go Trip! I'm so happy for you  ;D . Falling in love is the best.

It's a shame about poor Agnes, though. Oh well. I'm interested to see what this Kath is like.

That it is! At least right now it is. It feels a lot better than my last relationship, which was seven special layers of awful.

Interested as you might be, I have a lot of material to cover first. :P



Chapter 88: Shrapnel Snow



Twinbrook started getting colder. Lily threw on a tangerine-colored pleather jacket and distressed jeans in faded black to feel young again, though getting the affections of the old men of the town wasn’t on her mind. Nor was it on theirs. Her face and charcoal-colored hair and retirement payments told a deeper story, after all.

Her heart was mended and wrapped in tape, which made it work well enough to get on with life and as painless as if she had a glass of water and two percocets. She was able to last for her first few years of life without knowing Bronson, after all, and she survived those first years without adult fun and vices to replace him. Now an old hag like the other two immortals, Lily indulged in drinks with her grandma, art museum trips with her father, and her usual hobbies.



It took forever, but she redid the wallpaper, until she realized that her eye for patterns became limited. As much as being able to scare Hephaestus in the morning with her unintentional camouflage would have been cool, she looked into a new pattern. But not before sculpting. The room filled up with ice sculptures each day. Hephaestus gave up trying to sculpt in his off-time from technical work for the theatre, though it gave him more time to work his way up from a roadie to an official stagehand.

Those parts were fine. Snow fell over the town, as it usually did after Spooky Day. Everyone else was out, and Lily demanded they stay out late so she could enjoy a night alone, or as alone as she could be with a bottle of cheap nectar.

She wouldn’t have minded it if Tegan was in that night, though. Her lime-tinted sunshine made for good company, with kind words and news about her job and inventions always on her tongue. However, even Tegan had things she prioritized more than her mother that night. Lily would cope. She needed to let her grown-up daughter have her space, no matter what heartbreaking things she could do with it.

The front door opened, still creaking on its hinges because no one bothered to oil them. Lily prepared to hide her nectar from Annette, assuming that the dinner rush was shorter than usual that night. When all she saw was blue and green and her lovely Tegan instead, Lily put her bottle on the counter in plain sight and greeted her with a hug.

“Have a good night, peapod?” Lily asked her.

Tegan dumped a pile of tickets she was issued on to the table instead. Lily took a swig of nectar just to have the courage to process it.

“You certainly weren’t crashing any of the cars,” Lily said. “I taught you too well.”

“It is a little crappy,” said Tegan. “But I messed up a lot. And got this.” She put another slip on top of the already-large pile of tickets.

Distruption of peace, repeated.
Community Service: 30 Days

Signed, Christopher Greenwood. County Sheriff.


“To think I was his friend,” Lily snarled. “I voted for him and this is how he thanks me! What could you possibly disturb?”

“You know the fishing hole I bought last year?”

“Yeah. Does anyone live near it?”

“Apparently.”

As autumn graced Twinbrook with its golden glow and the smell of burning leaves and allspice to flavor pies and lattes to counter whatever could be rotting in the bog, Tegan did her thing. As vague as it could be for some, Tegan’s things were fixed. She worked, she invented, she went on a few lukewarm dates with Bryant and still stayed by his side because the “holding doors open for m’lady” hadn’t worn on her yet.

But that was all through the eyes of those close to Tegan. Only she was the closest to herself, and to her, life went on a good course. However, she tired of digging bits of trash out from underneath her fingernails, of brushing dirt and residue of beyond-rotten food from her knees, and generally of digging through garbage while still dressed in bows and high-heels decorated with bows. There had to be an easier way to get scrap.



On a particular autumn day, the morning rainclouds started to clear, and Twinbrook lit up. A rainbow spanned the sky. The citizens gained 50% more happiness as Twinbrook let up its hazy, dreary cloud cover for once, and made for a beautiful early afternoon.

Alas, Twinbrook was nothing without its own Waverlys causing mayhem.

Tegan never set out to be one of those mayhem-causing Waverlys, not even for the sake of saving her from nighttime dumpster-diving. But she considered her options, and the best one turned out to be violent and bright. She could do it at home, until it turned out that the backyard had little space for two rows of defunct fridges. Then she turned to the law, with Twinbrook’s laws concerning such destruction being a different way to say “do what thou wilt (to what you own, that is).” She looked towards real-estate instead, which was normal for a young Waverly to do. Where else would they get their riches? Not from fishing holes, but that didn’t stop Tegan from buying Elkhorn Fishing Hole.

“Changing interests, so late in the game?” Annette asked, when Tegan set the deed to the pond in front of her. “I know we’re rich, but wouldn’t you go for something more…useful? Profitable? It’s not a smart choice.”

“It’s smart for me. I’d rather not burn down someone else’s place, you know?”

“Okay. Talk to me about a real investment when you find one. And, burn down? Crap, peapod, what’s gotten into you?”



She would learn. With plastic explosives in hand, Tegan strapped them to one fridge that was chained to many fridges. Instead of filling up a landfill with them, various fridge disposal people were more than happy to let Tegan give them a new life and a beautiful, fiery end. She set a timer that ticked each second, and she ran to a safe distance away as the second ticked away. Soon, that trash would become treasure, in a way that benefitted both her and the lowly garbage workers.

Most of Twinbrook expected Tegan, the dainty, ribboned princess, to look away and not indulge in the sights of wanton destruction.



Fools! She looked on with wide-eyed glee, awaiting the glow of her carnage.



The blast delivered. It also delivered a hefty fine due to a noise complaint from the Nguyen family down the road, but Tegan paid that and sent the Nguyens an apology card and a few fine chocolates as well. If she was feeling normal, she would have stopped it there, but the rush from blowing up old appliances needed to be replicated.

So she did it again, with fines racking up each time.

She held true to doing it only on property owned by the family. Franco gave her clearance to blow up some old cars at the Grey Chiffon Lounge, as long as it was before happy hour there.



Light engulfed the whole lot and shrapnel broke some of the windows, but the family had to replace enough of them thanks to hoodlums with rocks to throw, even without Tegan blowing up whole automobiles. They weren’t angry. But the bartenders were and they goaded Franco and the law enforcement with another formal complaint against Tegan.



It sucked, because her new contraption, the Tessa 1.0.0.6, sucked even more and collected the scrap metal too until the parking lot was free of trash, if scuffed-up from a C-4 explosion. However, the employees were adamant that she was being a nuisance.

So on a normal day, she would listen to them too. But she kept at her detonation spree for a few weeks, accepting the fines as a cost of her new hobby. And the whole town was confused that one of the biggest charitable contributors in Twinbrook would blow up the whole town and use it being her property as an excuse. Her Racket ancestry was diluted by a few generations, which wasn’t enough to justify that. It came to a head that night, which made Tegan get her head back, and some guilt too.

“I’m so sorry, mum,” Tegan said, nearly crying.

“I’m not saying you were wrong,” Lily said. “But I guess I have to wonder why.”

“I wish I knew,” Tegan whispered, sounding choked. “I never meant to bother them. I need to make it up to them.”

“Do you know where you’re volunteering?”

“Enrichment for Senior Citizens, starting tomorrow.”

“I know that Janelle is always there and I need to catch up with her. I’ll help you with it.” She gave Tegan a long hug, wishing she could slap some sense into old Chris about the punishment. Tegan went upstairs, reportedly to go to bed, while Lily had a bottle of nectar to finish up.

While her mother engaged in the family’s favorite pastime, Tegan lay on her back, looking up at the design on the canopy of her bed. As she undressed and slipped into the sexy underwear and garters ensemble that was somehow more comfortable to sleep in, a ring fell from inside of her shirt. She still forgot that she kept it, a simple gold band with her birthstone in the center, stuffed inside of her bra rather than on one of her fingers.

It fit on her fingers without wiggle room or squeezing. However, it was always cold against her skin, even pressed up against her chest all day. Blowing up all of the old fridges in South Simnation wasn’t going to heat it up either.

It was just a piece of jewelry, after all, and a little ring couldn’t put a dent in the good things in her life, even if it was shot out of a cannon.



For one, well, Piper was still being cute, and Tegan came home each day from detonating junk cars to Hephaestus’ cloned little darling playing in the living room. Each day, the wriggly little toddler got cuter and cuter, building upon what started as a near-infinite source of cuteness.

That was the least hyperbolic description I could get from Tegan about little Piper, by the way.



Whatever, I don’t blame her, because even this narrator thinks that Piper was the cutest toddler in the household, even if all we had in my time were photos and an eyewitness account. However, her Goode genes were not enough to trump her evil doll-biting tendencies.



Or to stop her from being a fussy little worm, but Tegan said that she still thought that a fussy Piper was cuter than the second-cutest toddler in the world at their happiest.



But gushing over Piper alone didn’t hold up to what Tegan could say about her and an adult teaching her how to talk.



Especially about the particular adult that taught Piper how to talk.



As painful as it was, Tegan did her best to try and consider Hephaestus as nothing more than a friend and a budding guitarist who made her long sessions at the work bench vibrant and musical. Some of her friends dropped hints that she would be better off with him, but she wasn’t going to be a cheater. That was reserved for those evil Rackets (even though she trusted Annette that grandpa Bill was the best cheating jerk she could marry). And she wasn’t going to be promiscuous, as that was reserved for ladies with no self-respect (according to Bryant), for old men like grandpa Franco (according to himself), or for other Rackets like uncle Shark (according to everyone, and to Shark too if he was alive). So she held off on it and grit her fangs, putting on a smile.

Forgetting that pain, Tegan made huge strides at work. Her boss kept her late for a training session, as Twinbrook’s problems with full-fledged, human ghosts grew, and the rest of the trained hunters went on to better gigs in Moonlight Falls and elsewhere.

“Yes, you can actually bargain with them, Pollyanna,” her boss said. “I knew that it would bother you otherwise.”

Her first job was at none other than 19 Poker Flats Drive, at the end of the road. Bryant’s house. Seeing him could help her make up her mind, after all. She decided that was the night to make a decision.

“It’s…it has to be from the master bedroom,” Bryant said, shaking, as soon as she got to the front door. She took out a scanner.

“This will find it,” she said. “It better.”



It didn’t. She scanned the whole room without a single ghost coming out of the literal woodwork, and nothing haunted the carpets either.

“Alright, maybe it was the kitchen,” Bryant said. “I mean, it’s right below the master bedroom, right?” He wasn’t wrong.



He wasn’t wrong about the kitchen either, as a few seconds of sound waves roused a silver, opaque spirit, who was haunting the fridge in hopes of getting some yoghurt or Mountain Dew. Her body was draped in a medieval gown, and Tegan learned that night that Twinbrook was far older than she thought.

“Can I help you?” she asked the spirit, who turned towards her.

“It’s that sister of mine! Her line ended up ruling the Kingdom of the Two Streams.”

“Maybe it’s time to reconcile. Is she here?”

“Probably under the foundation. Shake your blasted technology some more.” Tegan honestly didn’t mind the scanner, but maybe that ghost had a point. Regardless, she walked in laps around the hallway until something blue rose from under her feet. A blue ghost, dressed the same, covered her ears.

“Oh, it’s one of those guys again,” the spirit grumbled. She spotted Tegan in her uniform and prepared some choice words.



“How about you guys stop meddling with our world, huh?” She was screaming at the poor ghost hunter, who thought that her job was about helping them. And darn it, she would make it about helping them.



“When did you guys pass away?” she asked the blue one. Both of them jumped off the mortal coil in the 17th century, while Tegan lived in the 22nd. Meanwhile, Bryant acted disgusted at the ghosts, but at least they were being dealt with.

“Man, the things I’ll do if you can get rid of them,” he muttered.

“Well, it’s been about 500 years, hasn’t it? Why haven’t you dropped the feud?” Tegan asked.

The grey one chimed in. “She was given the land north of the delta. Surely, someone from her family owns it, while mine has a little cabin in the bogs at most.”

“Actually, your kind don’t own any of it. That’s mostly my family’s property now.” Tegan turned as red as a lime-green woman could, which is to say, not much. However, the ghosts noticed that she was flustered in many ways, guilty of being in a family of new money and newer real estate.

“That…that might settle a lot, actually,” the grey ghost said. “You’re as powerless as I am.”

“I don’t even have the king of Veronaville anymore,” said the blue one. “He cheated on me with some peasant wench from the Oasis.”

They were silent for a moment.

“Let’s settle this without the green one.” The two sisters shook hands and dissolved into the aether, hopefully never to bug Bryant or the neighbors again.

“Bizarre,” he said. “You did it!”

“I did.” Tegan was in awe at the quiet, empty house.

“I love you, you know?” Bryant said.

“I guess I didn’t.”

“I’ll repay you somehow.” They left with a quick kiss, as Twinbrook had more than enough hauntings to keep the newest ghostbuster busy all night, and Bryant needed some sleep now that his house was spirit-free.

But as well as that night ended, perhaps she made a mistake, a few days before getting her community service sentence.

As Twinbrook shined in bright white, the park in the center of town continued its festival, serving hot chocolate and snowball fights to Twinbrook citizens of all ages. For the young at heart, it also made for an excellent date. Tegan’s heart still looked in wonder at the falling snow. And in it, her heart saw snow angels, snowballs, snowmen, and things most sims left behind at a younger age. But she didn’t dress for the weather to stiffly stand around with a hot latte and a date.



However, her date turned out to not be too bad either. Bryant turned out to be sweet that afternoon. He bought the latte for her, and eagerly agreed to a snowball fight.

“Really?” she asked. “That’s so sweet of you.”

“I’ve been a bad gentleman to m’lady. Chivalry shouldn’t be dead.” And heck, she could afford the latte better than he could. Bryant wouldn’t let her win at the snowball fight, though. Not that it mattered, because it just meant that she could practice with the elders more to improve and beat him next time.

They shared a kiss in the falling snow, covered in even more snow from their friendly battle.

“You always surprise me, Bry,” Tegan said.

“Now you need to do the same to me.” He ran off to either get the snow off his jacket or take a leak after two cups of hot coffee. Tegan was at the end of her latte, which turned ice-cold after neglect. Perhaps she could surprise him with a fancy dinner that she could afford five or five hundred of, but she needed to get one urge settled first.



The cold snow did wonders there. Now for what to surprise Bryant with. She wracked her mind for ideas, until he age came up. As it turned out, Tegan forgot that she was later into her 20’s than she thought. And by that, she meant that she was 30. She didn’t celebrate it and just forgot for a while, until a friend reminded her.



Some weeks before that, it was Spooky Day, and Tegan dressed as the most dowdy bunny to attend a Spooky Day party. Instead of, say, a sexy romper or leotard and rabbit ears, she rented a comfy pink coverall from the Profiteers and painted her face. The host, her dear friend Anderson, couldn’t care less. He picked up the flight suit from his military job, which made him even lazier than Tegan.

“I’m a wingman, or I hope Horace will make me his,” Anderson said, when he shook Tegan’s hand. “Just a bunny?”

“It was my grandma’s idea,” she said. Grandma Bunny loved a good joke and loved a joke about her unusual name even more. She spent a century using it for costume ideas for herself.

Anderson almost suggested calling down his siblings and some friends for video games, until he remembered that Tegan was in the group, and that he had a question or a few for her. So he found the ball used for foosball and had a game with her, one-on-one.



And foosball? That was something she could enjoy. But she noticed that Anderson, usually easy-going, was tense and not hiding it.

“Anything bothering you?” she asked him.

“We’re getting old,” he muttered.

“20’s isn’t old.”

“I’m 29, that means you’re 30,” he said.

“Really? I mean, I shouldn’t forget these things, but I should have given you something for your 29th!”

“Yeah, but you’re 30. Thinking about making things serious with someone?”

“Bryant says we’re ‘Facebook Official,’ whatever that means. I don’t even use that blasted site.”



“Let’s cut to the chase. Are you gonna marry him?”

She stopped, realizing that her mind didn’t have an answer to that. Between inventions and more inventions, she had no room to think about that future. Even immortality seemed more tangible, especially as she smelled the pungent smell of ambrosia every now and again when the elders skipped their normal meals. They gave more hints towards immortality than Bryant did of perhaps wanting a future beyond a cold relationship.

“I dunno. The idea isn’t bad.”

Of course, she probably said that to save herself from explaining, and instead decided to leave the party early, though not early enough to hear Anderson try to tell her “well, my uncle Keon was wondering. He said that he’s a better choice than him, and geez, that man taught you math!”

As nice as Keon was, a lot of things sounded better than that!

Tegan wiped the snow off her back and ran across the street to the consignment shop, just before closing. The clerk was sweeping behind the counter.

“Sorry, I locked the till for the night,” he said.

“The last clerk was nicer about this,” Tegan said. “What happened to him?”

“Beats me. But I own the store now. Business is slow, and I have no reason to unlock the till.”

“But, what if I needed a ring?”

“A ring? Like how expensive of a ring? I did get one today. Some poor sucker needed to pay for a divorce.”

“It’s a guys’ ring, right?”

“Sure it is.”

“Works for an engagement?”

“You’re one of those women, huh?” the clerk asked.

“I guess I am!” Tegan would be the first woman in the family, blood or marriage, to lead the proposal. It wasn’t going to hurt the family to change the roles, and the elders would be more fine with the Curious name being passed on, rather than having an immortal Moreno around.

“But I have it,” Tegan said, fishing a lot of cash out of her coat. Twenty-thousand simoleons greeted the clerk, and his eyes lit up.

“I apologize. Have the ring! 24-karat gold, pretty sure it’s sapphire in the center. I’m not a jeweler, but I got a lot of money for this.”

“I think you deserved it.” Tegan eyed the piece with delight. “He’ll love it, I know he will.”

Bryant found here there right after closing, and already thought it was suspicious that the clerk left the door unlocked and a few good out on the shelves.

“That idiot,” Bryant muttered, as he took his jacket off. “You think you can just stay here all alone?”

“He wouldn’t leave me alone like this if it wasn’t safe, right?”

“Please, chivalry isn’t dead to me, but most of these thugs don’t even know the word. Do you think that Hephaestus would buy you a latte?” In fact, he did that plenty of times. He needed a pick-me-up after work and Tegan did too. But she wasn’t about to break her own euphoria with a fight.

“Point taken. There is a lot of bad in this world. But how about something to make you happy?”

“Alright, you got me guessing.” A loose top worked wondered for hiding things like jewelry.



She got down on her knees. “Well, we’re both growing up. You’re just turned 30, didn’t you?” He nodded.

“We can start thinking about the future!” She whipped out the box, opening it to reveal the shiny, refurbished ring inside that glittered in the lights kept on for the lovebirds.

“Shouldn’t I be doing this to you?” Bryant asked.

“I didn’t want you to have to buy the ring,” she said. “It’s the best I could find.”

“I mean, it’s lovely, but…but chivalry-“

“You do enough of that for me. I think I can be the knight sometimes.”

On any other day, Bryant would dig into his deep sack of misogyny to counter that statement, but heck, he had an expensive ring in front of his eyes! And a very earnest Tegan asking him to take it.



“Oh honey, I don’t care either. I think it’s great!” He even jumped up and down like an excited child.



He locked her in a hug once the ring was squeezed onto one of his thick fingers, but Tegan promised to find a jeweler to resize it for him. Even with a band of metal making one finger numb, Bryant held on and smiled, eyes closed.

“I’ll get you something nice too,” he said in her ear. “And by that, I mean a nice ring.” True to his words, Tegan found a golden ring with a large opal at the main gem. Surely, he dropped a lot of money on it. And that was almost enough to guilt Tegan into staying.

But she put her ring in a box that night, tired of its sickly cold feel against her skin. She briefly devised ways to recycle it for…someone else. Anyone else. Because not all of the rings and chivalry and euphoria in the world was going to win her over to Bryant, and even Tegan could see that, starting that night.

Maybe the sage elders of the town would give her some insight.



Word Count for this chapter: 4,132 (first chapter to break 4,000 words!)
Word Count so far: 168,435

And if you're annoyed with Tegan being thick in the head about Bryant, don't worry, because she actually does something about it soon. The sage elders of the town might get through to her where you enraged readers fail. :P

I'll fully admit to just wanting some fluff in this chapter, hence a random section about cute little Piper. Not that I think any of you mind.

Notes:

- The name I gave to Tegan's harvester has a deeper meaning. The name "Tessa" actually means..."harvester." It was also originally going to be Tegan's name, but I decided against it for personal reasons. The numbers were pretty random, though.

- I calculated Tegan as being in the 22nd Century like so:
  • The dynasty started in 2057.
  • I'd say that Franco was born within six to ten years of it starting. So in the 2060's
  • Franco was 40 when Lily was born (just after his adult birthday). Making Lily born in the early 2100's.
  • Lily was about 37 when Tegan was born (right before her adult birthday). Still the 22nd century.
  • If Tegan is 30 in this chapter, then she's still in the 22nd century. Around 2167 - 2173.

Why they haven't cured cancer in their universe is anyone's guess.

Offline Brooke.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 88, 10/16)
« Reply #414 on: October 17, 2014, 07:25:34 AM »
I just want to stamp on Bryant and burn off his eyebrows. Thank goodness you had screenshots of Piper to calm me down.
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Offline Rikki8528

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 88, 10/16)
« Reply #415 on: October 17, 2014, 11:08:05 AM »
Piper is so cute! I want to steal her.  ;D

Also, love is the best kind of distraction, definitely.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 88, 10/16)
« Reply #416 on: October 17, 2014, 01:28:06 PM »
Argh. Bryant. I want to put on my metalhead boots and stomp and stomp and stomp on his face. And Tegan has passed "too nice for her own good" and is now firmly in the "spineless and not very bright" territory for me. Also as a person with Commitment Issues trait myself I can sympathize with Jo, but way to be a jerk about it to Agnes, girl, jeeesus  ???

I always finish reading your chapters wanting to give the main characters a kick in the head. Great job  :D

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 89, 10/17)
« Reply #417 on: October 18, 2014, 01:31:00 AM »
I just want to stamp on Bryant and burn off his eyebrows. Thank goodness you had screenshots of Piper to calm me down.

She's good at doing that.

Piper is so cute! I want to steal her.  ;D

Also, love is the best kind of distraction, definitely.

I'll share her young adult form when the time comes and hope that's good enough.

It really is a great distraction.

Argh. Bryant. I want to put on my metalhead boots and stomp and stomp and stomp on his face. And Tegan has passed "too nice for her own good" and is now firmly in the "spineless and not very bright" territory for me. Also as a person with Commitment Issues trait myself I can sympathize with Jo, but way to be a jerk about it to Agnes, girl, jeeesus  ???

I always finish reading your chapters wanting to give the main characters a kick in the head. Great job  :D

Better your metalhead boots than mine! Mine are old and falling apart. Probably not good for stomping the awful.

She's definitely worn out any sympathy, though I always pictured Tegan as being book-smart and rather dumb in every other way.

It's actually meant as a contrast to an immortal I had in a previous, failed attempt. That one was in a similar situation with her true love and a fiance she didn't really want, but the way it played out was as her being needlessly cruel to a boring but good enough guy because she just needed the dangerous, older original townie offspring instead (she was also the fourth immortal and an inventor. Look how original I always am! :P). I was pretty disgusted after that and I needed spineless, not-so-cunning Tegan to cleanse my palate.

Good thing she learns her lesson...



Chapter 89: Stupid and Scared



Tegan got up early the next day, in order to shower and smell minty-fresh for the elders in town. In spite of the circumstances, she was excited to serve coffee for her mum's peers instead of spending the day doing darn near anything else.

Lily, on the other hand, had friends. With Lilith and Loki dead and gone (rest their souls), she had precious few years to create a few new memories with those who still lived on to play dominoes at The Red Rendezvous in the morning. Or, she could tell at them, but only one old man was on her metaphorical hit list.



While Tegan brewed coffee, Lily watched a riveting game of dominoes between two of her best friends, her beloved half-sister, and someone who could quickly become an enemy.



Christopher Greenwood, who levied the punishment in the first place, decided that his day off was best spent with a game of dominoes catered to by a destructive nuisance. He needed to see how it would work out, after all, just in case he needed to transfer her to garbage clean-up duty instead.



But Tegan made her coffee with love. “Anyone want some?” No answers, because the game was at its end and all of the elders focused on their tiles.



When it ended, Tristan Jones-Brown ran off, leaving Tegan with a spare cup of coffee. Lily turned it down, so Tegan could enjoy it herself.

“I think you can tend to the old ladies yourself, peapod,” Lily said. “I want to catch up with Chris about things.”

“Will do, mum,” Tegan replied. “Coffee, ladies?”

“I don’t want you to waste good coffee, Tegan. Of course I’ll have some,” Janelle said. She grabbed Octavia by the arm and her striped sweater sleeve, as she was staring obliviously into the corner. “Pretty sure she can fix up some tea for you, Tavi.”

“Got some chai?” Octavia asked.

Tegan poured a cup of hot water with a sachet of chai, taken black. Janelle grabbed a lukewarm cup of coffee, saying that she didn’t care, even if it was in the middle of a snowstorm and a cold Twinbrook winter. Flakes gathered outside again.

“You sure?” Tegan asked.

“Honey, I take it this way all the time,” answered Janelle. “Don’t kill yourself over it.”



Tegan planned on leaving the old ladies to themselves, and Octavia was quite okay with that, sipping tea at her own table while muttering about government conspiracies. Perhaps Janelle had enough of that, because she approached her eldest niece, who sat at a table in the window.

“It’s been so long since I’ve talked to you. You’re so grown up!” Janelle gushed.

“I missed you too, auntie. I shouldn’t judge you by your job so much.” Janelle, and Octavia too, had recently retired from a career of money laundering for an herb operation in Willow Creek. They never found themselves in handcuffs or even at odds with Christopher, Octavia’s twin and the county sheriff, but it was time to hang up the act.

“Hey, can’t control being part Racket!” Janelle said. “I’m glad you’ve gotten past that, anyways. Still ghost-hunting?” Tegan nodded. “Still in the market, if you catch my drift?”

She forgot to wear her ring that day, or so she said. “Though my ring would get in the way. I’m still looking for a good wedding date, however.”

“I knew that you and Hephaestus would get hitched,” Janelle said, with a grin. “He’s a great cousin to have.” Tegan froze at that statement.

“Um, well, it’s not him,” she said, trying to save herself in case Bryant was listening somehow. “Do you know Bryant Moreno? Brown skin, jet-black hair, green eyes? His dad wrote a conspiracy blog?” Janelle’s face tensed up.



“Oh god, that loathesome toad.” Octavia growled those words. “Janelle speak some sense into your niece before they get hitched and I snap his neck.”

“She’s not serious about that, is she?” Tegan asked.



Octavia sank back into mocking Senator Lionel, who represented half of Simsouri and was admittedly doing a terrible job by voting no on a minimum wage reform bill. He also put a chip in Octavia’s brain, if she was to be believed. So Tegan initially assumed that the answer was a little more ambiguous.



“Well, we were talking about that, before we knew that you went further,” said Janelle, with a serious glare in her Racket eyes. “Look, you might just be my niece, but you’re my little sugarplum too, and I know Bryant. He was one of aunt Nellie’s students, remember? I heard stories about that little snot as he grew up and not even Nell could deal with him. She can deal with a lot of crap, you know. But this guy? He wasn’t ever nice to any female students ever, even under your nose. Apparently he continues this a lot, talks crap about ‘hussies’ behind your back, talks crap about fat girls, fit girls, confident girls, lesbians who clearly weren’t giving into his wishes, you name it.”



“I know he’s not perfect, but I can’t be mean to him.”

“Stop it right there, peapod. Stop being a thick idiot and use that beautiful brain of yours! You say it’s kindness and the good of your heart, but I think you’re just being oblivious and honestly quite scared for someone who wrangles ghosts by night.”

“Look, auntie, I still have hope in him-“

“Give it all up and stop being dense.”

“But the good of humanity-“

“You’re talking to an ex-criminal. I know that there ain’t any good left in humanity. In fact, it might be better for humanity to stop enabling a grade-A bag of slime and be a friggin’ hedonist for once.”

“But-“

“No more buts. I know you love Hephaestus. I know you love him with that big, bleeding heart of yours, and I would otherwise be fine with you rejecting that because he’s family or something. Not for Bryant, though. And guess who’s heart breaks more in this case? Bryant doesn’t care about you. Heph does. I’m his cousin, aren’t I?”

“You are,” Tegan said, meekly.

“Just…just do it. Kiss Hephaestus so hard right in front of Bryant’s face. Sneak into the guy’s house and do Heph in his bed. I don’t care what it takes,” Janelle said. “And if Lily has a fit over it, she’ll get an earful from me. Little does anyone else know that I can persuade her like no one else. It’s a sister thing.”

“Do you want some more coffee?” she asked Janelle.

“Make it hot this time.”

Meanwhile, Lily and Chris took a walk downtown to try and mend their broken friendship. She accepted Tegan’s punishment better when he described the deafening capabilities of an explosion. “She can go to uni and do it there. It’s tough to enforce noise regulations with a town full of partying young monsters,” said Chris.

“I’ll be sure to tell her,” Lily said, rolling her eyes. They stopped at the winter festival, mostly because Chris wanted to teach Lily how to snowboard on the half-pipe there. But they barely were past the perimeter of the park before Lily had to address her real transgression with Chris.



Some time before, Christopher proposed marriage to the beautiful, young Louise Coddle, and Lily ignored the large age gap because approximately none of her friends got to that stage in their life. Chris had that ring, and a fiancée with labor screams loud enough to send a whole venue into panic, and a set of perfect twin girls at the end of that day. He and Louise had their family of four little girls and love between them, and Lily had hope.

Annette warned her about it.

“Chris,” Lily said, her voice dropping. “There’s this rumor going around, about you and Chelle. Your fiancée’s sister. Did…did you sleep with her?”



“Yeah, what’s the big deal?” Chris asked. “One of the best nights of my life.”



“Okay, what sort of guy do you have to do be to cheat on Lou? I can’t believe you, and being so open about it?”



“Don’t use that tone on your sheriff,” Chris retorted, wagging his finger in her face. “I’m a grown man. I finally have the ability to win over some women, for whatever reason, and you want to take that away from me, Lil? Some friend you are.”

“I might be a bad friend, but you’re a much worse lover. I’m so glad I never danced with you at prom.”

“And where are you in your old age? No one dates your granny, and you’re not exactly the best grey hag in town either. Get off my back about Chelle.”

“You little snot rag,” she growled, clenching her fists. She was aimed for under his jaw, until something hit her instead.



Chris slapped Lily with the back of his hand, dazing her and saving his face for another day.

“Can’t help this feeling,” he said. Lily decided that she’d deal with him another day, or let karma work its magic instead. After all she had things to do, and a Tristan to track down. He ran away, but Lily was not about to let her childhood best friend and the last of the real Jones-Browns (she had nothing against Piper, but she was 98% sure that Tris came from a real womb) run away just so Lily couldn’t ever speak with him again. The old man became so elusive in his old age.

She then remembered the personality behind his black eyes and grey, half-shaved hair.



At sunset, she found him at one of his usual spots, in the public cemetery atop one of the tallest (but still kind of low) hills in Twinbrook. Tristan, like he tended to do, brooded in the falling snow.

“Tris! I almost missed you,” Lily said to his, breaking his deep thoughts. But those were worth breaking over Lily, sweet Lily, his best friend since he was five years old.

“Do I get a hug?” he asked her. “I never get loving hugs, or meaningful ones.”

“We’ll go for the latter.”



Still, being in the friendly, meaningful embrace of the sweet Tristan made Lily smile her wide, excited smile. “You still have a strong squeeze for a man your age. How do you do it?”

“Let me count who I’ve practiced on. Camilla, Lucy, Greta, Latoya, Judith, Jessica…I might run out of fingers.”

Lily let go. “Oh,” she said. “This late in the game?”

“I don’t know what’s gotten into me,” Tristan said. “It was never meant to be like this. I didn’t want to be the playboy, but that’s who I am. It’s crushing. I quit three months ago.”

“At least you’re there,” said Lily. “Geez, Tris, what got into you?”

“Can we go by the fence to talk about this? I want to have a nice view of the town while I do it.”

“Whatever works.”



“Okay, Lily,” Tristan said. “If it’s all behind me now, I can share it with you. I was turning 75 at the time, looking old, never really had a good relationship with anyone. Then Camilla, my neighbor, comes along and kisses me. Out of the blue. And, wow! It felt so good, so I had to take more and more, with the maid and a bartender and some girl on my trip to Starlight Shores. Like, getting high off excitement, that’s it.”

“I understand. Just that I don’t approve,” Lily said. “Uh, I know of someone getting older who had a kinda similar situation to you.” She had to dodge using his name, though. “It’s Harold, from the Simsouri Sculptors Union. Any advice I can give to him?”



Tristan rubbed his chin in deep thought. “Never, ever be scared. Never, ever get drunk off love,” Tris said. “Tell him my story and hope that he doesn’t make my mistakes.”

“There’s a whole afterlife for you to be a better man,” Lily said. “Dark, but I think you’ll be the greatest spirit they’ve had.”

“Not a bad goal!” he said, with a laugh. “I’ll do my best over there. Have fun in immortality.”

“I’ll do my best without you guys,” Lily said.



She walked away from a Tristan who was enthralled by the falling snow on his bare hands. At least he was happy. Lily, on the other hand, couldn’t make sense of her feelings.

She thought that she would never warm up to Hephaestus the in-law being a thing, and that night, she still didn’t. Lily also held her tongue when she saw Annette again that night at dinner, not quite ready to admit that her old gram was right about the old men of town. Saving Hephaestus from being one of them was noble. Lily was on board with it, for the sake of helping her favorite and least-favorite stepbrother.

Still, she held her tongue for a while, piercing it with her fangs. Her stomach twisted itself in knots and threatened to send dinner back where it came from, no matter how much Lily saw of the other side. Half her heart still wanted a new in-law, maybe a dark horse lurking in the barn, and it held on to her so tightly. She slept on the feeling.

Little did she know that Tegan took a walk in the snow, to the fishing hole that still smelled like burning metal. Snow did wonders at hiding the charred wood she left behind. A shirtless man sat on a bench she forgot she put there. He wore a lilac sarong.

“Fancy meeting you here,” she said.

“Take a seat, peapod,” said Heph. “I feel like we’ve been too distant lately.”

“I’m so sorry for that.”



“Well, tell me what’s up,” said Hephaestus.

“Second thoughts. I’m confused, and I don’t know if I’m seeing the light or being plunged into the darkness.”

“Is this about Bryant?” he asked.

“It’s about you too. Do…do you love me?”

“You’re my shining star. I mean, heck, you’re my everything. I live for you no matter who you’re with, no matter what mistakes you make, or whatever darkness you’re taking a wrong turn into.”

“So, it’s safe to say I love you too.”



He pulled her in close with his right arm. “I was waiting for that, for a while.”

“I haven’t broken anything off yet. I’m scared. Aunt Janelle is right. I’m stupid and scared silly about everything now, and I’m already 30! I shouldn’t be like this.”

“Nothing wrong with either,” Heph said. “You’re my precious peapod no matter how stupid you are. You’re more than your mistakes.”

“Even if I’m being cruel here?”

“Even if you are.”



He looked her in the eyes and nearly melted while his whole body was pricked with goosebumps from the cold winter air hitting his bare skin. “I don’t care about any of it. I just want you in my arms for the rest of my life.”



Word Count for this chapter: 2,498
Word Count so far: 170,933

Offline Brooke.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 89, 10/18)
« Reply #418 on: October 18, 2014, 06:11:04 AM »
Yes! Love the ending of this update, hope you post the next part soon 'cause I'm dying to know hwat'll happen  ;D
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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 89, 10/18)
« Reply #419 on: October 18, 2014, 06:24:49 AM »
All hail the Aunt Janelle. For she is wise and wonderful, and may Bryant fall off of a bridge, never to be heard from again, with her blessing.
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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 89, 10/18)
« Reply #420 on: October 19, 2014, 04:03:46 PM »
Aaaaw, Aunt Janelle, you favorite audience surrogate character you <3 But I'm dreading what Bryant will do when Tegan breaks it to him. And by 'dreading' I mean 'waiting with excited glee'

In other unrelated news, I was going through some of the previous chapters playing spot-the-foreshadowing and spotted this instead:

“I can’t believe you!” was the only response, “Why can’t you enjoy your mother’s death like I did?”

It's Hannah arguing with Lily, and I think she means that she'd enjoyed her own mother's death, so Lily should feel the same. But it took me a while to get the full meaning, and the first idea I got from it was Hannah saying she enjoyed the death of Lily's mother and thinks Lily should feel the same.

So she sounded like a sociopath to me instead of just self-absorbed  :D I thought I'd mention it in case you wanted to clarify that somehow...

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 89, 10/18)
« Reply #421 on: October 19, 2014, 05:40:03 PM »
Well it's about time! It took Tegan long enough!
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Offline Rikki8528

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 89, 10/18)
« Reply #422 on: October 20, 2014, 02:22:10 PM »
Aaaaw, Aunt Janelle, you favorite audience surrogate character you <3 But I'm dreading what Bryant will do when Tegan breaks it to him. And by 'dreading' I mean 'waiting with excited glee'

In other unrelated news, I was going through some of the previous chapters playing spot-the-foreshadowing and spotted this instead:

“I can’t believe you!” was the only response, “Why can’t you enjoy your mother’s death like I did?”

It's Hannah arguing with Lily, and I think she means that she'd enjoyed her own mother's death, so Lily should feel the same. But it took me a while to get the full meaning, and the first idea I got from it was Hannah saying she enjoyed the death of Lily's mother and thinks Lily should feel the same.

So she sounded like a sociopath to me instead of just self-absorbed  :D I thought I'd mention it in case you wanted to clarify that somehow...
OH, I get that now.  ::) I thought it was Lily's mother...

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 89, 10/17)
« Reply #423 on: October 20, 2014, 08:18:52 PM »


Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks Lily's head looks kind of disproportionately large in this picture. Because I'm so fixated on it I'm not really absorbing the rest of the update.
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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 89, 10/18)
« Reply #424 on: October 21, 2014, 11:03:09 AM »
Yes! Love the ending of this update, hope you post the next part soon 'cause I'm dying to know hwat'll happen  ;D

Afraid not. I have a Philosophy essay that is killing me instead. :(

But thanks!

All hail the Aunt Janelle. For she is wise and wonderful, and may Bryant fall off of a bridge, never to be heard from again, with her blessing.

Janelle is not the aunt we deserve, but the aunt we need.

As for Bryant, nobody is shaken off easily in Waverly-land...

Aaaaw, Aunt Janelle, you favorite audience surrogate character you <3 But I'm dreading what Bryant will do when Tegan breaks it to him. And by 'dreading' I mean 'waiting with excited glee'

[insert my evil laugh here]

It will be dreadful and infuriating, for sure!

In other unrelated news, I was going through some of the previous chapters playing spot-the-foreshadowing and spotted this instead:

“I can’t believe you!” was the only response, “Why can’t you enjoy your mother’s death like I did?”

It's Hannah arguing with Lily, and I think she means that she'd enjoyed her own mother's death, so Lily should feel the same. But it took me a while to get the full meaning, and the first idea I got from it was Hannah saying she enjoyed the death of Lily's mother and thinks Lily should feel the same.

So she sounded like a sociopath to me instead of just self-absorbed  :D I thought I'd mention it in case you wanted to clarify that somehow...

OH, I get that now.  ::) I thought it was Lily's mother...

Alright, time for clarifying! And my own long-winded analysis.

The line was in reference to Chapter 30 (I think), when Hannah's mother died. I did a poor job with this (in my opinion), but I tried to include some subtext that Sofia was an awful and possibly abusive mum to Hannah. Whatever it was, they were never on good terms and Hannah was quite happy when Sofia passed away. She was happy at her mum's death.

Now, her line to Lily stems from how I don't think Hannah had a good reference of what a healthy mother/child relationship looked like. She saw her own bad one, and saw Franco and Annette, who had a lot of disagreements and very conflicting personalities. When I was writing that dialogue, it was to show that Hannah had no idea of how mothers usually acted towards their children, and concluded that Pansy and Lily weren't on good terms either, even though they actually were close right to the end.

Plus, Hannah saw Pansy as a frigid downer on everyone's life, so she was close-minded enough to think that everyone saw her that way. But, I doubt that Hannah reveled in glee when Pansy died either. She was distracted at the time (labor does that), and didn't react much either way.

Finally, its placement as a line spoken right after Hephaestus was born shows that Hannah came into motherhood with her own shortcomings, which she does recognize in the rest of Chapter 45, when she whines to Franco about her feelings about being subpar. As time goes on, she improves as a stepmother to Lily. Her line about how Lily should have enjoyed Pansy's death is meant to be Hannah's low point as a stepmother.

I wasn't meaning to make her a sociopath, though.

Also, any questions about the story/the ~deep, true meaning~ of something I wrote are always welcome. I'm not taking any literature classes this semester (finished my requirements for those :(), so this will be the next best thing.

Well it's about time! It took Tegan long enough!

Yep! And it's just the first step of many.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks Lily's head looks kind of disproportionately large in this picture. Because I'm so fixated on it I'm not really absorbing the rest of the update.

It does! Pansy had a rather long, chubby/rounded face, with a big chin, which she passed on to Lily. Lily ended up with a smaller frame than either of her parents, so her head just looks big.

I guarantee that it would look even more out of proportion if she inherited Franco's jaw instead. :P

 

anything