Author Topic: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty ("Complete")  (Read 203785 times)

Offline Trident

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 20, 2/14)
« Reply #75 on: February 15, 2014, 08:20:58 AM »
.......
Is Shark sticking his tongue out in the last picture, or is that just me?

Congrats on Annette's immortality!

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 20, 2/14)
« Reply #76 on: February 15, 2014, 09:16:40 AM »
One down, seven to go. Awesome job!

I really love how Shark's sculpture came out. It just...fits. :P



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Offline Rhoxi

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 20, 2/14)
« Reply #77 on: February 15, 2014, 11:42:41 AM »

And Annette passes the torch to Franco! The museum is looking great.

Offline Hallucination

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 20, 2/14)
« Reply #78 on: February 15, 2014, 03:50:09 PM »
Annette really isn't much of a mother, is she?
I'm not pedantic! I just believe in precision of language.

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Offline Trip

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 21, 2/15)
« Reply #79 on: February 15, 2014, 08:04:42 PM »
My first instinct was to congratulate you on Annette's immortality, but I guess that's a little redundant, seeings as you've done it four times since then.

Beyond that, wow. Julian is the most gorgeous toddler EVER.

Pretty much. ;)

Wasn't he? And he may or may not have produced one or several gorgeous toddlers of his own.

.......
Is Shark sticking his tongue out in the last picture, or is that just me?

Congrats on Annette's immortality!

He was! I think it was raining and Shark wanted to catch a drop.

One down, seven to go. Awesome job!

I really love how Shark's sculpture came out. It just...fits. :P

And I kept up the good work. ;)

It really does suit him.

And Annette passes the torch to Franco! The museum is looking great.

Thank you!

Annette really isn't much of a mother, is she?

I can't say she was the best one. Annette definitely turned that attitude around for later kids, though. Eventually, I found her autonomously taking care of nooboos more than anyone else. And I think she always cared deeply about Franco. Nowadays, they're always reminiscing on old times or chatting about their interests when I leave them alone.



Chapter 21: Prance Through the Pansies





Hannah stumbled out of the closet one afternoon, dressed in her best and perhaps not used to her new stiletto heels.

“I’m sorry. I can be a big klutz.”

Perhaps we need to see where this started.

Franco’s interest in the idea of an after-party waned by the end of the ceremony. Instead of enjoying a fine glass of nectar among company, he snuck away to take care of more important business. Into one of the family's Motive Mobiles he went, in search of a job as the next hot stylist.

He won the "Best Dressed" superlative at school for years in a row. That title got to his head the more he won it. What was once a quirk of his aesthetic turned into an obsession. He even begged his parents for a subscription to Vogue, as a Snowflake Day gift. In the end, it turned out to have the potential to make money. Thankfully, the salon had an opening on the afternoon of his graduation.



Well, unless Notzo Curious got to it first.

Notzo might have wanted the job, but the head of the salon wanted an even younger rookie. Stylists could be demanding, but one just out of high school wouldn't. Plus, Franco rocked the most stylish plaid slacks in town.

He had a good reason to miss that after party after all.



Even better, the party wasn't much of a party, and was a tame, child-friendly gathering. It had to have been, considering that Amy didn't put Julian to bed, but kept him out and snuggled him. She wouldn't let go of her precious little boy until the rest of the family begged her to. There was cake on the line.

Why yes, it was Julian’s birthday!



Amy stood over the cake with Julian hanging on, grasping her finger and giggling with his high-pitched little toddler giggle.



With the best of luck, that giggle would turn into a hearty Waverly laugh. He heard plenty of it during the party.



And with a mighty blow…



...Amy had to say good-bye to having a toddler. Julian just kept trying to blow out the candles with his tiny lungs. His mother held on for as long as possible. She never thought it would be the case, but she loved having a toddler. Sure, Franco grew up into a charming young man who would net himself a wife one day, but would they have kids? And would they have them in time for Amy for be their loving nanny?



It sometimes stunk, but it also produced cute children too.



Cute as he was, Julian was always a little jumpy and easily frightened. Lolly Racket herself threw a pool party to celebrate the birthday of her own daughter, and for the general love of swimming in tepid, chlorinated water. The whole family was invited, but Julian stood frozen on the walkway, biting his nails.

What could have been so bad inside? People buried in the basement (it was the Racket mansion, after all)? A horror movie on TV?



Bill shirtless and trolling on a forum? Exactly.



Speaking of Bill, he seemed to not care as much. In his old age and in Annette's too, they stuck by the promise on their wedding night to make the most of their time together. That turned out to be a little longer than they expected. Now that they were both old and saggy, with bodies that absolutely no one in Twinbrook wanted to see naked in a hot tub, the two of them enjoyed life and each other. While they still had the time to. And, to the detriment of everyone's retinas, while naked in a hot tub.

Franco, needless to say, was grossed out that one time he walked out to the deck and spotted his parents. All he wanted was a nap outside and a start on his summer tan. As much as he liked lounging around in the warm sun, he liked paintings too, and not just his own. The town's art museum had those, and a cute woman at the entrance was a pretty awesome bonus.

After he graduated high school before Hannah did, Hannah’s importance faded. She became more like a friend, albeit a friend of the opposite sex who happened to be drop-dead gorgeous and possibly crazy for him. Franco decided that it was time to explore the swampy waters of Twinbrook for the best of its fish.

That woman at the museum, to continue the metaphors, seemed like the catch of the day. In fact, she resembled Hannah from a distance, with black hair and tan skin. However, that one tied her hair back into a messy bun instead of cutting it short. In contrast to Hannah's slender build, the mystery woman came with a thicker frame that filled out her clothes. High school was a more distant memory, as the slightest hint of crow’s feet around her eyes said.

He approached her anyways. “The name’s Franco and I’m legal now.”

“A boy is talking to me!” Her fists clenched with excitement. Her eyes widened. She cheerfully carried herself.



Perhaps around the wrong person, though.



“Gross, excitement,” said Franco.

“Gross, a grouch,” she said.

He got her name before leaving, though, considering that he shared his first. Pansy Prudence.

As a response to Franco later moping over getting rejected again, Annette promised Franco that she’d make him brinner that night at the diner. In fact, she'd serve his favorites. Cheap diner fare was his guilty pleasure and all of ours, and he even picked favorites: vegetarian hash, and bacon on the side. Annette cooked him a double-serving. He seemed content with his fluffy frame, so there was no need to help him change that.



As a bonus to the meal, he met up with his half-brother after the busboy cleared his plate.

“Guess who’s Twinbrook’s next top designer?” Franco asked, taking a confident stance.

“Congrats, bro,” said Mark, in his resonating, husky voice, free from any teenage cracking. “I just got hired at the police station myself. I love nepotism.”

“So, anyone special in your life?”

“Nah. I can’t say that anyone catches my eye, it's not exactly a gay hub right now, and it’d just get in the way of work. What about you? Still seeing Carmen?” Franco shook his head no.

“Hannah?” After a moment of thought, another no.

“Don’t tell me that you’re single,” said Mark, “I can’t see you that way.”

“It’s just a temporary thing. I’m still looking for the right one.”

“Just get someone’s attention and jump right in!”

Franco then remembered the Moodlet Manager that barely fit in his pocket, right when a lovely young cook walked out the door. She smelled of stale bacon, and seemed to forget to clean a spot of pancake batter off her apron.



He turned the dial and pointed the manager towards her, his face clenched in stiff focus.

"See, I'm a genius with these things," muttered Mark.



“Thanks for the pick-me-up,” said Emerald Greenwood, “The chef makes me work.”

“I’ll relay that to her,” said Franco, “You know what I love?”

“What?”



He gazed deep into her eyes, locked in with puppy-esque eagerness. “Food! And women. I think this could be the start of something great.”

Emerald laughed. “You’re a good kid, I’m sure, but I’m taken.”

Foiled again.



And all while his cousin had far better luck getting a cute chef to smooch him.

Things could look up from a streak of horrible misfires. Maybe Pansy forgave Franco? It was just a simple difference of personalities, after all.



If she didn’t forgive him before then, she obeyed at the utterance of “Bistro food, on me.” That afternoon, she ordered a creamy chowder, compared to Franco’s burger. After he gave Hannah his opinion on her ordering one at the Bistro when they were teens. He looked down at it, the cheese drooping and melting, and brown underside of the toasted bun.

One last reminder of her. Then he would clear his mind of his high school crush and find someone new, whether it was Pansy, or Emerald, or that Jones-Brown girl.

“You know, Pansy, I think we could be great friends,” said Franco.



She then swallowed the chowder the wrong way, with a potato chunk almost getting down her trachea, before a cough sent it down the right path.

“That was because I’m excited. I want a new friend,” said Pansy. “Anything fun to do at your place?”



Video games on the widescreen, of course! Pansy ended up beating Franco mercilessly at a game of Digital Go-Karts 2098. After throwing down the controller in despair, Franco looked up again for a brief moment, and into Pansy’s dark brown eyes. As much as he obsessed over Hannah’s blue eyes and slender, oval face, he finally appreciated something else. Pansy’s strong chin. Her hooked nose. The deep philtrum and steep bow of her upper lip. And of course, eyes the color of his mum's coffee.



“You said you were single, right?” asked Franco.

“Yeah. Are you…?”

“You bet.”



And so began something beautiful.



It retained its beauty for all of less than a year, until Hannah walked into his life again. She walked into it four inches taller, and with high school officially behind her.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,564
Word Count so far: 31,199

Revised on 2-24-2015.
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Offline Rhoxi

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 21, 2/15)
« Reply #80 on: February 16, 2014, 10:32:50 AM »

Franco's a bit of a player, I see, but Hannah's genes are too good to pass up!

Offline Trip

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 21, 2/15)
« Reply #81 on: February 17, 2014, 12:19:27 PM »
Franco's a bit of a player, I see, but Hannah's genes are too good to pass up!

He prefers "romance-addicted." ;) Franco keeps getting wishes to fall in love with random women in my current game.

I chose Hannah specifically because of her genes. It was a pretty close match between Hannah and Carmen for who I got to move in to the household, but in the end, Hannah's beauty got her the spot. She was just so pretty!

To everyone: I'm suffering from writer's block and "omg must play my dynasty"-itis. So it might be a few days before I have a new update.
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Offline Tiamet

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 21, 2/15)
« Reply #82 on: February 17, 2014, 02:22:26 PM »
He prefers "romance-addicted." ;) Franco keeps getting wishes to fall in love with random women in my current game.

I chose Hannah specifically because of her genes. It was a pretty close match between Hannah and Carmen for who I got to move in to the household, but in the end, Hannah's beauty got her the spot. She was just so pretty!

To everyone: I'm suffering from writer's block and "omg must play my dynasty"-itis. So it might be a few days before I have a new update.

Romance-addicted!  I really like that!

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 22, 2/19)
« Reply #83 on: February 19, 2014, 09:00:25 PM »
Romance-addicted!  I really like that!

I'm gonna use it to justify every awful thing my sims do. ;)



Chapter 22: Hannah Again



Franco met up with Hannah in one of the little back rooms in the Red Velvet Lounge. Bathed in light through a cerise-colored filter, and surrounded by so much romantic red, it would be a perfect place to propose. But that wasn’t enough to sway Franco and all of his hopeless romantic trappings when he had stoic denial on his side. He instead came clean to Hannah about his growing relationship with Pansy.



She took it as if he said that she was not truly awesome, trying to brush the insult off.

“Maybe you’re taking this the wrong way,” said Franco, “You still matter to me, but perhaps just as a friend.”

“So I’m being friendzoned?” she asked.

“If you want to think about it that way.”

Hannah just looked at him in silence. In spite of that silence, her eyes were always so expressive, and at that moment, they almost welled up with tears. “Does that mean that you still care about me?” she asked.

“Why would it not? Instead of me using you to bounce pick-up lines off, I get to care about you as a person instead. I’ll find love somewhere else, you will too, and it will all be just fine.”



“You make a pretty nice case, Mr. Waverly,” she said, with a small laugh.



“See? I can be awesome too. How’s stuff going on at home?” he asked.

“Awful, as usual. Ignacio has always been annoying, and mum...I just don’t want to talk about her any more. It's like she doesn't even have a normal voice. She just yells a lot...you've probably seen it. Got a new mattress, though. It’s memory foam.”

“I think we have a spare bed with a nice mattress at my place,” said Franco.

"Wait, are you serious?"

“Why yes. And you and my mum get along, right?”

“She seems fine.”

“So how about we change things? I want to have a roommate before I settle down anyways. And don't worry, mum loves houseguests.”

She drew him in for a friendly bear-hug. “Oh my god, Franco, you’re a lifesaver."



Access to whatever clothing she desired and some professional hair extensions just sweetened the deal. Besides, Franco needed the practice. He might have styled himself since childhood, but Hannah was his first attempt at doing it for someone else. He even incorporated things such as colors that weren’t grey. He learned how to pick out a skirt, with some help from Amy.



Work was the next day, after all, and Franco wasn't going to go in as a true amateur. His first client was none other than his mother’s old friend, Tim Burre. Even if Franco bombed it and messed up the hair-dye, or gave him a blue shirt instead of an orange one, or even thought that makeup on men was universally a good idea, Tim would be gentle and give him a good review. Or he would face the wrath of Annette, which entailed her spitting in his food next time he came to the diner.



It was enough of a success, though he had a few doubts about the pajamas.



Meanwhile, the women at home just relaxed while the men worked. Annette and Amy welcomed Hannah's young blood into their girl time.



Girl time aside, Hannah ended up getting duped into being Annette’s new gardening hand soon after. Bill’s work in the forensics department kept him at work late, and he came home stiff and too exhausted to garden. Instead of watering the plants, he took the time to go upstairs and cuddle with his wife while he was still alive to do it. The literal fruits of their work could not shrivel and wilt. Hannah got the job of making sure they didn't. She watered the plants without a peep, basking in the warm glow of the flame fruits.

Hannah lolled around the house for her first few weeks as an honorary Waverly. She made no effort to find herself a new lover, or make new friends, or get an official job. Girl time, gardening, and the rest seemed pointless.



The extent of her efforts extended to her going to the gym to call Parker, her half-brother and lifelong friend, instead of doing it from the comfort of her new home. All while Franco was out finding his true love.



Blue raspberry-flavored snow-cones, of course.



And Pansy too. Hannah or not, that hadn't changed and he felt like a success. He always gazed deep into her brown eyes when they met, flirtatiously begging her for affection while she chuckled, flirted back, and batted her eyelashes.



It seemed like Franco finally managed to charm someone with his sappy romantic ways. Pansy smiled at him that day in the park, and kept her smile throughout the afternoon.



He even landed a quick, shy kiss, with Pansy’s nose digging into his soft cheek and their lips barely touching. But from that moment, he knew that she fit all of his criteria for the perfect woman: tan, with black hair, and a conflicting personality.



Therefore, it only made sense for him to ask for something serious.



And kiss his new girlfriend good-bye right away. She had to go home for dinner after all, because her older brother managed to not ruin a microwave meal for two that evening. However, Pansy had enough time for a long, slow kiss, squeezing her chubby new boyfriend tight like a python.

Franco would have meandered across the street to the art museum, if a little red-haired kid wasn’t standing near the concession stands all alone. Amy forgot to pick up Julian from school, and he had the sense to run somewhere safe.

“Hey kid, mind staying here with me for a bit?” he asked Julian.

“Sure. Can I rollerskate?”

“Of course you can. Just rent some skates and meet me there.”



Julian then learned that skating was a learned skill, losing his balance and once falling on his rear.



Not like he had a good teacher, either.



Eventually, Franco decided to hold on to someone else for support while he got used to the feel of roller-skating. He spinned in the center with the thorn in Hannah’s side and his own old school friend, Ignacio. Julian just did laps around the rink by his lonesome. Another young girl stood off to the side, outside of the rink, but Julian didn’t say a word to her. Not even a word about her. He just skated laps until he didn’t fall over, and even laughed a bit.



Skating was a good way to take a break from his new hobby.



If only Franco’s new job could be as easy. Ignacio came in for a makeover the soon after and cried when he saw his new hairstyle. Not tears of joy, considering that Franco didn’t get a tip from him that afternoon and his boss said nothing about a promotion with Franco's poor work that day. It was his only makeover that day, because he had big plans for the night and needed to prepare. His cousin Shark’s elder birthday had arrived. Their long invite list would be there and everyone would have a blast. Maybe he could even ask Pansy to take the other half of his king-size bed.



It started out nice. Guests chattered, and Pansy arrived. She found Hannah and had a chat with her over the sounds of Lolly's guitar work. They got along as well as a girlfriend and an ex could.



That was nice, but if only everything could be that nice.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,259
Word Count so far: 32,458

Revised on 2-24-2015.

Hannah's traits were Brave, Diva, Can't Stands Art, Clumsy, and Unlucky. None of them were ever changed. I had enough artists anyways. :P

As a side-note, Annette is in the Swap Shop! Download her and have fun.
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Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 22, 2/19)
« Reply #84 on: February 20, 2014, 12:05:03 AM »
Mr. Bill! Oh nooooo!  :'(

Offline Trident

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 22, 2/19)
« Reply #85 on: February 20, 2014, 05:00:14 PM »
Noooooo!!!! Not Bill!!!!  :'(

Franco, get your act together! Pansy? Really?! That nose, man. THAT NOSE. I don't know why, but it haunts me.

Offline Rhoxi

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 22, 2/19)
« Reply #86 on: February 20, 2014, 08:18:28 PM »

Aw, Bill! Poor Annette!  :-\

On a side note, I really like the way you use patterns. Makes me realize I use way to many solids and should try to mix things up a bit.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 23, 2/21)
« Reply #87 on: February 21, 2014, 12:09:27 AM »
Mr. Bill! Oh nooooo!  :'(

After so many deaths in my dynasty, I think that Bill's still stands as one of the hardest for me to deal with. Even if he did live a long life.

Noooooo!!!! Not Bill!!!!  :'(

Franco, get your act together! Pansy? Really?! That nose, man. THAT NOSE. I don't know why, but it haunts me.

I wanted him to like Emerald instead, but he never threw any wishes for her and went crazy for Pansy instead.

And please. I encountered worse noses in the dynasty than Pansy's. :P

Aw, Bill! Poor Annette!  :-\

On a side note, I really like the way you use patterns. Makes me realize I use way to many solids and should try to mix things up a bit.

I used to use a lot of solid colors too, until I read the De D'Onlyns and noticed that Juxt went pattern-crazy on her sims to great effect.



Chapter 23: Remembering Uncle Bill





The Reaper, as tall and hooded as usual, looked down at his new subject and stamped the end of his scythe’s handle on the floor. Bill, now a spectre, knelt in submission towards the figure.

“Knocking means that you can speak, mortal,” said Grim, “I thought with your family, you would know something about me by now.”

“I ran out of the room whenever that happened,” said Bill, “Listen, I don’t want this to happen right now.”

“Why not? You were the oldest man in Twinbrook, and you lived a good life,” said Grim.



“You don’t get it! I just want my wife here!” begged Bill, “I...I don’t want to leave her without saying good-bye.”



Amy looked at the Reaper sternly. “Come on,” she said, “Just give in to that one request. You can take him whenever you want after that, right?”

“I am on a tight schedule, and you are next in this household, so I suggest that you keep quiet,” said Grim. Red eyes flashed from underneath his hood. Amy clenched her mouth shut.



“Can you just prolong this a little?” asked Bill, “She means so much to me and I didn’t even say good-bye when she left for work today.”

“Not tonight, Mr. Racket.” He tapped Bill on the back with the sharp end of his scythe, digging in a tiny bit, enough to scratch the skin if he wasn’t a spectre. “I can make this cut deeper if you do not follow orders and take the leap.”

Reluctantly, Bill left the mortal world after that. Annette was still at work, expediting meals by the minute and slipping laxatives into the drinks of difficult customers. With that energy, it was clear that she was unaware of what happened. Amy gave her a text message with the news, though, which Annette received after her shift. For a few minutes, she stood in place in the back of the diner, unable to take off her uniform or form words to react. Her mouth was agape. Her hands loosened and couldn't grip the phone, allowing to crash down onto the pavement below.

She couldn’t even drive that night and called a taxi instead. The starless sky and gathering stormclouds passed by the car and by Annette's blank stare. She handed the driver a 20 simoleon note and didn’t even bother to get the change back before listlessly making her way up the stairs. She got to the porch just fine. Up the stairs again to the second floor, how did she do that? But Annette did, to find a place where she could weep alone.



The rain fell and Annette sat at the chessboard, letting herself get soaked.



All while missing her nephew’s elder birthday.



Unlike his aunt, or really anyone else at the party, Shark kept his best birthday face on while he thought of a wish. He even smiled a little bit before exhaling and blowing out the candles.



He kept that smile while taking a twirl into the next stage of his life.



And even kept his composure for a new wardrobe, though his scrawny old body brought his mood down by a considerable amount.

The one-man party went on not too far below Annette’s feet, and she couldn’t hear it through the floorboards and drywall. She just let the rain soak her shirt, soak her pants, soak her hair until the ends curled, and flood the soles of her sandals. It soaked all while she held back tears and distracted herself with how the white queen was in trouble from a rogue bishop.



Solitude got to her though. Annette needed a shoulder to cry on.



She got downstairs without collapsing into tears while Shark practiced his flirtatious jokes in the mirror, admiring how sharp he still looked after all.

“You are one handsome silver fox!” he told himself.



His aunt finally crying at that moment was surely a coincidence. Shark hid in the living room. Annette wanted to talk, and given the circumstances, talk good things about Shark’s lifelong enemy.

“Hey kid, can I have a moment with you?” she asked him, while Shark tapped his fingers on the couch cushion, hoping to avoid that question.



No, he did not want that.

“You don’t have a choice either. I might be your uncle’s widow now, but that doesn’t mean I’m not your aunt,” said Annette, “I still get to order you around.”

“Really?” asked Shark.

“For the rest of your days. Matriarchal privilege and such.” The two of them took a seat, looking out the big windows.

“You know, it’s been so long since we first built this place,” said Annette. “I almost don’t remember when we didn’t have windows there. But those were some weird days. I was young, you were young, Bill was kind of young-ish, we were poor...poorer than we are now, anyways.”

"Yeah, those wonderful days. I cared about sculpting. I liked that old man you lived with. I mean, it was certainly better than sharing a life with...someone else."

"Yeah, I know you hated Bill. Believe me, I wish I had someone more understanding to talk with," she said.



Shark looked away and pouted. “Bill’s a difficult subject to talk about. I know that he mattered to you and Franco, but you're right 'cause things were...tense, long before you came here. But now I can’t even remember why I hated him. I've wracked my mind for the answer, but it's not there. I hated him because I hated him.”

“Was it the same with him? I dunno. He trash-talked you a lot too," said Annette. "Wondered if we could just let you starve. I guess he also hated you because he hated you. But, I never agreed with him. Don't you dare think that I did."

"You always seemed a lot nicer."

"And you did too. I wish I was a better aunt to you."

"You do?" Shark asked.



“If they were better between you, then maybe things would be better between us two,” said Annette. “Christ, you’re my nephew! We should have been friends from the start.”

“Perhaps,” said Shark. Water droplets raced to the bottom of the window, and more drops dripped from the roof, but the rain got a little quieter as the night went on. For a few minutes, Shark listened to the rain and the conversation stopped. He tried not to make too much eye contact with his aunt Annette.

“You know, it's gonna be different here without that man,” he said, “No matter how we felt about each other, he was always a part of my life. He and dad worked opposite shifts. So when dad was out at night stealing stuff, uncle Bill would always watch over Lolly and I. Not that I remember much of it, but he was a pretty good sitter. And he always played kids’ music and our silly kids’ games without any complaints.”

"The guy raised a good son too. I could have guessed that," said Annette.

"It's a shame that I only remember a little bit of that."

“So, what happened?”

“It’s easier to be critical when you get older. I guess for me, anyways. He always got along with Lolly. But after a while, he just felt like a miserable, angry kid that never grew up. He always lashed out at mum and dad, and grandpa. Always and always. But...but I guess you came into his life. And he changed. I don't want to admit it, but I noticed it from the start. I just held on to being his enemy."

“Are you saying that I salvaged your uncle?” asked Annette.



Shark sighed. “Fine. You bet you did. I never saw him love anyone; hell, anything before he met you.”

Annette turned towards her nephew, absolutely beaming, tears streaming down her cheeks. She held his left hand with both of hers, looking at him with intense, familial love in her eyes.

“I told you so,” she whispered.

Shark had enough energy in him for one more sculpture before a nap, though only after indulging in an extra helping of birthday cake and running off a double-dose of sugar. Annette couldn’t bring herself to have a slice. She walked towards the painting room, tapping on the glass door three times to no response. With that silence, she opened it up and craned her neck.



Franco was there, but he kept himself busy and his head down. All his mother did that night was whisper “Take care of yourself. That’s all.” He might have nodded, or he just moved his head to better concentrate on the neck as opposed to the nose on the portrait.

She almost started climbing the stairs when she heard Sagebear whimper a tiny bit.



The ancient dog lay on her back on the dog bed by the door, eyes open and sleepless without her best friend to give her a tummy rub.

“Oh, you old girl,” she whispered, hugging Sagebear’s neck and crying into it. "I wish he was still here for you." She wanted to say something else to her old hound, but she just held on for a good three minutes until her dog wriggled out of the headlock.

She could have gotten to sleep straight after that, but Annette headed to the kitchen instead. Counters and drawers filled the room, with most of them full of knife sets and exotic spices. One, on the half-wall that faced the breakfast nook, had something fun instead. Its adjacent drawers had nectar and cooking nectar, but that one? Annette called its contents "party drinks." It wasn't her first time breaking into them. Guests loved them.

They were bottles of hard liquor. Flasks too. She grabbed the first bottle of gin that she found and drank a few shots' worth.

Annette finally got back upstairs to her bedroom and changed out of her clothes and into her comfy nightshirt. She looked up at the picture to the right of her bed. Her and Bill, sharing a kiss in Egypt.



She climbed into bed that night alone, for the first of many lonely nights. She had twice as much bed to herself and absolute silence without Bill snoring next to her. Annette still curled up on just her half of the bed, waiting for the gin to loosen her up or knock her out.

Loneliness and alcohol; those two adjustments changed her.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,737
Word Count so far: 34,195

Revised on 2-24-2015. I'm always gonna like this chapter because it's the one that "humanized" Shark for me.

The interesting thing about this attempt is that it was the first one where my founder's spouse managed to survive to ambrosia day and beyond. It definitely forced a new perspective for me on how my founder deals with death.
No respect, no chance, cease and desist when I chant-

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Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 23, 2/21)
« Reply #88 on: February 21, 2014, 12:22:27 AM »
I'm glad that Annette and Shark have reconciled, and that Shark has now come to terms with his Uncle Bill.

Tear-inducing...poignant...and very, very well-written. Fantastic update, Trip. :)

jsiberian

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 23, 2/21)
« Reply #89 on: February 21, 2014, 09:46:18 PM »
How is Sagebear still alive at this point?!