Author Topic: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty ("Complete")  (Read 160750 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.
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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. :)

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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?!

Offline Rhoxi

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 23, 2/21)
« Reply #90 on: February 22, 2014, 10:57:54 AM »

 :'(

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 23, 2/21)
« Reply #91 on: February 25, 2014, 01:49:41 AM »
First off, I can't believe I didn't find this sooner! Bad Wolfy, bad!  Anyway, I thoroughly have enjoyed reading so far.  Absolutely brilliant Trip.  I love the fact that you included Agnes.  Bill and Annette's relationship was fantastic.  Can't say I'd have dealt with his cheating very well, but it seemed appropriate for the two of them.  And this last update... so sweet and so very sad at the same time.  This is most certainly bookmarked!

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 24, 2/21)
« Reply #92 on: February 25, 2014, 11:54:02 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. :)

Thank you!
Man, founders do have it tough having to wait for seven generations to complete their tasks before reuniting with loved ones. Even if founders date again, their lovers will just keep dying off until the dynasty is complete. It's pretty sad to think about. Yet, as emotional as this chapter was, I do admit laughing at "... Annette was still at work, expediting meals by the minute and slipping laxatives into the drinks of difficult customers." 

Annette actually never dated anyone after Bill died. She never seemed interested in anyone else. I guess she decided that losing once and never loving again was better than a series of heartbreak. Or something.

I like a bit of comic relief, what can I say?

How is Sagebear still alive at this point?!

Magic.

And the game just allowing her to live a long, long time.

:'(

I had trouble re-living that part of the dynasty too!

First off, I can't believe I didn't find this sooner! Bad Wolfy, bad!  Anyway, I thoroughly have enjoyed reading so far.  Absolutely brilliant Trip.  I love the fact that you included Agnes.  Bill and Annette's relationship was fantastic.  Can't say I'd have dealt with his cheating very well, but it seemed appropriate for the two of them.  And this last update... so sweet and so very sad at the same time.  This is most certainly bookmarked!

Getting my readers back makes me a happy writer! Thank you!

I got out of the writing groove for a bit. I'm extremely close to seeing generation seven in my dynasty, which means a little shift in priorities.



Chapter 24: Sparks



The Waverlys almost never had ghosts haunting at home. Annette very quickly, and quietly, buried Bill at an old ampitheatre that the family owned, and occasionally mourned there.

The night of Bill’s death was the exception to the no-ghost policy.

Shark, coming from a criminal family, knew a thing or two about discretely burying the dead, or stealing them in hopes of discrete burial. He did the latter a few nights prior, though not to cover up anything.



No, he just needed a sculpting subject, and he always regretted never getting his beloved mentor to strike a pose for him.



Then Shark came to his senses and realized that he was sculpting a ghost.

“Alright, this is weird,” said Shark.

“I’m still the same, aren’t I?” Harwood said, “I can’t believe that you’re old now. It really has been a while since I’ve been out.”

“I guess it has. Listen, Mr. Clay, I need one more mentorly favor from you, and it’s not about sculpting.”

“Okay?”

“How do you know when you’re in love?” Shark asked. Harwood stood, well, floated silently for a few minutes, deep in his mind, and with only one good answer.

“You’re asking the wrong spectre, and I swear that I was open to you about everything I did.” Harwood said, “It’s something that you really can’t describe, and when you think you’re in love, you’re really not. Do you need another pose?”

“I think I’m good. Hopefully you like the new cemetery. Full of garden lights and roses and stuff. Whatever aunt Annette thinks is respectful to the dead.”

Shark didn’t sleep that night. His birthday cake gave him quite the sugar rush, before he crashed on the couch that morning, lying on his tummy with his head resting on the arm of the couch. He slept through Amy and Julian playing morning video games, through Sagebear licking his fingers, and through an impassioned “You’d be less depressed we just talked!” from Annette and a grumbling “Oh my god, mum, just let me mourn” from Franco. When he woke up, Shark found a brown, knitted blanket over him. Definitely Annette trying to care. She thought that he became nocturnal as a coping mechanism. The real reasons were far more shallow.

He left a pink sticky-note on the fridge. Gonna see if I still like women. Please save me some leftovers. - Shark.



Someone threw a party. A formal party. Shark, unlike his aunt and uncle, always respected dress codes. He came in at a late hour, when the neo-soul and pop-laced singer-songwriter music was the loudest thing in the room and hardly any hors d'oeuvres were left on the counter. As long as Annette followed his orders about leftovers, he didn’t care at all about the food. Shark just folded his arms over his chest and waited for his woman.



At last, Gala Ball fluffed her pillow and took her place at the other side of the bed.

“I knew you’d come around,” said Gala, “I see you at the diner all the time, and yeah, you’re the hottest guy I ever cook hash for.”



“I already knew that,” said Shark, with a chuckle, “And I think you know what I want.”



He kept his plain-clothes on under the tuxedo, as not to draw attention to himself when he left. Gala put a spring in his step, but not a spark in his heart.



Good thing that his cousin found something to put a spark in his heart. After Annette bought the Bistro and made it the diner’s fancy extension and a nice stream of profits, she didn’t mind her son eating there at all. Even every date with Bill, with them eating gourmet soups in the candlelight, gave her a bit of guilt for not giving money to her own restaurant, if taking away any of the weirdness of eating at one’s own restaurant and trusting some amateur to not mess up their order. Regardless, Pansy and Franco loved the place, and their prize-winning grilled prawns. After a day at the police station for her, answering calls at the local 911 call center, and a day at the salon for Franco, fussing over hair dye colors and whether to do streaks or ombre, the two of them needed a good, early dinner.

While they waited for their meals, Pansy said “You know, I really have never felt this way about another guy. You’re something special to me, Franco.” He just fiddled with the straw to the glass of iced tea he paid 3 extra simoleons for but didn’t really drink from.

“You lost your dad a few years ago, right?” asked Franco.

“Yeah. I heard about your loss. It’s a shame. He was the best guy in the department. Are you looking for advice?” asked Pansy.

“Yeah.”

“Wait it out and remember the good times. It’s cliched, but that’s how I dealt with it. My dad raised me and my brother by himself. I’ll always remember him getting two kids ready for school, making breakfast for three, and still getting to work on time. He lived a great life, and now that’s all I think of.”

“I’ll have to deal with a lot of death,” said Franco.

“Don’t be so negative. Maybe you need someone to live with, if you know what I mean.” Pansy gave him a sly wink, while motioning to get the check.

“It’s a weird setup, just so you know.”

“I’m open.”



Franco said it all at a whisper. How he and his mum were very special sims who got to live forever, on account of some deal Annette made, the story of which changed every time she said it. Pansy would get a good, if finite life, and that it was a binding contract for her. But one that gave her access to, what, a million or more simoleons at that point?

“Just because you and your menfolk think most girls are golddiggers doesn’t mean that I’m one,” said Pansy, “I’m doing this for a higher reason.”

“And?”

“Your huge flatscreen! I can watch movies and count every pore! Of course it’s because I love you. Can you do one favor for me when I get home, though?”



As it turned out, Franco caught Pansy on her birthday. Instead of waiting to naturally age up, she let her body instinctively react to the presence of a simple yellow cake with candles instead.



And then Franco worked his styling magic, not for the last time that week. Even disregarding his job, someone always wanted new outfits for their birthday, and Franco became the household’s de facto stylist. He took the title with a bit of pride.



Because the next day, Julian ran downstairs. Amy promised cake for breakfast, before he had to go to school.



It was a pretty plain birthday in the Waverly house. Home-baked cakes, and the baker laughing behind him.



Julian got dressed and came out of the closet as an angry-looking kid, and a spitting image of Sinbad, while Annette and Amy talked over generous slices of cake. “He looks so much like his dad, but I really hope that he turns out differently. I mean, maybe like your son? Franco was always a good kid.”

“Franco is a mopey, picky, disagreeable young man. I wouldn’t trade him for anything. And you better think the same about Julian,” said Annette, muffled by a mouthful of devil’s food cake (Franco really wanted her to perfect those) and pointing her fork at Amy. “I’ll take my flawed descendants over my old family.”

“Which was?”

“Non-existent, as far as you know. This is better.”



As it turned out, Julian was quiet, shy, and still a big fan of painting. Sinbad failed all of his high school art classes, so Julian apparently got something nice from his mother after all.



Hannah had different passions, ones that eventually landed her some sort of job. She sang choir since elementary school, and almost went to Sims University on a full-ride for the fine arts. That was, until she realized that being a fine arts major meant liking many forms of art and not just the most technical aspects of music. All that mattered to Hannah, when she belted out soulful sing-a-grams, was sheet music and keeping her vocal coach’s lessons in mind.



But for the rest of the day, she still lazed around the house, usually occupying the rocking chair. However, on occasion, said something profound.

“Let’s go to France,” she said one morning. “I’m bored, the lovebirds need some time together, and I can drink nectar until the world makes sense to me.”



It was oddly persuasive. Maybe that was because Annette heard "nectar" and yelled "HELL YEAH I'M IN." She already smelled of nectar, but the allure of France's finest drove her to pack her bags later that night. The rest of the household followed. It seemed like a fun idea.



Franco ignored the two gorgeous women on vacation with him in exchange for a day puzzling out the secret passages in the old, countryside mansions. He had his heart set on one of them...he hoped! But someone else was trying his hand at finding a beautiful woman for himself, as the options back home weren't doing it for him.

And no, it wasn't Julian. Girls seemed to scare him into running fifty feet in the opposite direction.



Shark was more open. He thought it would be a woman. However, Shark came across a handsome man instead. He was Jules Fournier, an amateur angler. At first, Shark's jaw dropped, but he had to be realistic for a second. Was he enough of a charming silver fox to woo someone so much younger than him? That pillow fight would tell him, perhaps.



It worked in Shark’s favor.  What was love? Shark had no way to quantify it, or realistically hold onto it if he was  falling for a man who lived a ten-hour flight away. Jules looked smitten by old Shark, though. It was enough to convince him for the trip.

At least things between him and Gala were far from serious.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,941
Word Count so far: 36,136

Revised on 3-1-2015. I got all giddy towards my girlfriend over getting to write about Bisexual Shark (TM) again.

Oh Shark. He went crazy for Jules and I decided that it meant that he really found true love. He and Gala got very busy, though. ;)

As some of you might know, I failed a dynasty attempt last year because a ghost on-lot ate ambrosia. I keep them all at Willowglen Ampitheatre now, but Harwood's special enough to get one chance to haunt at home. I needed his sculpture for the basement! He really did haunt right after Bill died.

Finally, Pansy is an original townie who starts out as an excitable, slobby toddler. She gained Never Nude, Good, and Photographer's Eye later in her life, which wasn't too bad at all. Her LTW was Dynamic DNA Profiler. She liked Turquoise (got really sick of that color), Hamburgers, and Kids' Music.
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Offline hazelnut

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 24, 2/25)
« Reply #93 on: February 25, 2014, 12:43:51 PM »
Aw! Shark and Jules are so sweet together.

Also (and rather irrelevantly), I love your blue/purple recolour of that leafy pattern from Generations on that panelled wall.  I've never managed to get it to look good with changed colours.

Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 24, 2/25)
« Reply #94 on: February 25, 2014, 04:24:00 PM »
Hehehehe, leave it to Shark to find his true love in the same gender.  It's incredibly sweet and loved the fact that Harwood got to come out and be immortalized in ice, even after he'd already left the mortal coil!

I do have a quick question regarding your strategy.  So, you ensured there was a plethora of spousal choices by using your male helpers as pollinators, correct?  I'm currently doing some planning to start a new Dynasty, and one of the things I've always been afraid of is running out of spousal material.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 24, 2/25)
« Reply #95 on: February 25, 2014, 06:09:50 PM »
Wow, I never realized you could even sculpt a ghost. I learned something new today.

Now the next question on my mind is this: Pansy or Hannah? I suppose that too will be answered in time, won't it? ;)

Offline Rhoxi

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 24, 2/25)
« Reply #96 on: February 25, 2014, 08:18:17 PM »

Franco could still make good use of Hannah's genes, but for some reason I'm guessing Julian will do that instead. Of course, Trip could just tricksy by moving in Pansy for Franco.

Aw, I'm glad Shark figured things out! I thought he was going to fall for Annette and pine unrequited. This is much better, even if long-distance relationships aren't ideal.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 25, 3/3)
« Reply #97 on: March 03, 2014, 12:57:27 AM »
I took a small hiatus, but for a good reason. My game was mercilessly taken over by this little cutie-pie (minor spoilers in the link). Why write when you're busy playing? ;)

Aw! Shark and Jules are so sweet together.

Also (and rather irrelevantly), I love your blue/purple recolour of that leafy pattern from Generations on that panelled wall.  I've never managed to get it to look good with changed colours.

That pattern recolors weirdly. It works for the wallpaper, though. Looks nice in white and blue/lilac, and had just the right ratio of fun to tastefulness.

I never played with Pansy's family, but it's really cool to see what she looks like all grown up. I wonder how her brother turned out...

Whoever Franco chooses, both Hannah and Pansy will contribute some interesting genetics into the Waverly mix.

I know that Parker Prudence was one of Franco's makeover victims, but I didn't get a good shot of him. He's a weird-looking kid. And it's funny that the two women that Franco liked both had brothers named Parker!

Hehehehe, leave it to Shark to find his true love in the same gender.  It's incredibly sweet and loved the fact that Harwood got to come out and be immortalized in ice, even after he'd already left the mortal coil!

I do have a quick question regarding your strategy.  So, you ensured there was a plethora of spousal choices by using your male helpers as pollinators, correct?  I'm currently doing some planning to start a new Dynasty, and one of the things I've always been afraid of is running out of spousal material.

I don't control his wish panel. :P

Ah, if only I made a guide to the art of townie genes. But yeah, I had any men in the house contribute their genes to the town, as well as a rotating cast of elderly original townie men moved in for the sole purpose of making nooboos around town.

Wow, I never realized you could even sculpt a ghost. I learned something new today.

Now the next question on my mind is this: Pansy or Hannah? I suppose that too will be answered in time, won't it? ;)

I'm glad you can sculpt ghosts! Harwood couldn't be properly immortalized without the trick. He couldn't sculpt himself, and Shark didn't finish Ice Personality before he passed away.

Hmm, yeah. I'll answer it sooner or later.

Franco could still make good use of Hannah's genes, but for some reason I'm guessing Julian will do that instead. Of course, Trip could just tricksy by moving in Pansy for Franco.

Aw, I'm glad Shark figured things out! I thought he was going to fall for Annette and pine unrequited. This is much better, even if long-distance relationships aren't ideal.

I'm very tricksy! And keeping my lips sealed about what happened to Hannah and Pansy (though Pansy's story will be revealed pretty soon).

I actually thought he would go for Annette too.



Chapter 25: Don't Be Eileen



France was a nice place.



While Shark found his love, Franco found secret doors in labyrinths under mansions and art museums. While not exactly a graceful or limber man, or someone who could fit into tight crawlspaces, he pushed through tombs with sheer force. And read the plaques, like any adult could do. If only he tried harder in his French classes back in high school.



After that, he came home at odd hours to a hug from his girlfriend.



Although he once fell asleep in the wrong bed. In his defense, Hannah wasn’t there when he crawled under the blankets. He had a glass of nectar, on his mum. Very much asleep and placated by alcohol, he snuggled next to whoever was there. It could be Amy for all he cared; a sleepy Franco never had good judgment. In the end, he thought that he got a free body pillow.



Needless to say, Pansy walked into the bedroom while the two were sleepy and had a mouthful for Franco the following morning. Not even Annette’s breakfast crepes, stuffed with locally-sourced cheese and topped with the best French produce, dulled Pansy’s anger at her boyfriend. Why couldn't be choose a single bed like the rest of them? Franco had the easy answer: the double bed had a better mattress and his feet didn't dangle off the end.

“I don't care. I was okay with you having a female roomie, but I will not stand for her taking my place! Behave yourself,” Pansy wagged her finger at Franco. “Or I’m packing my bags.”



“Look, bring this up with Hannah,” said Franco, “I do love you. She’s just having trouble getting her mind around that. I mean, how can I know exactly how she feels? Maybe I just need to clear my mind of her. Honey-pie, uh, wanna go tomb-raiding?”

By tomb-raiding, he meant “semi-unwarranted searching of someone’s basement,” but some of the French had weird requests. The owner suspected that his house was under a burial site, and Franco was the man to investigate. Making it a team effort was fine too.



“You just can’t stand not looking at your own pretty face, huh?” asked Pansy.

“Shut up,” Franco said, examining what he thought was his first wrinkle, or a too-visible pore. “How good is that nectar?”

“It’s nectar. How am I supposed to care?”

“Is there a year on it?”

“2095. Cormier Vineyards. Look, I don’t know a thing about nectar.”

“Then how do you expect to stay with me? Offering me something from a recent batch?” asked Franco, with a chuckle. “I kid. I’ll take some anyways.” Pansy filled up the glasses to the halfway-point with rosy-colored, transparent nectar. Franco took one, noting its sweet aroma. One sip, and it was rather sweet. It burned his tongue a bit, confirming to him that it was actual alcohol, but was still sweet. Rather new-tasting, as he expected. Above all, it couldn't have been more than 10 simoleons.

He tried to keep a straight face while finishing it up.



If only Pansy could.

“You’re still angry at me,” he said, “Fine. Be that way. I don’t care that you don’t trust me when I say that things between Hannah and I are over.”

“Cut your sarcasm and finish this basement with me. It's your job.”



As it turned out, Pansy fit into tight spaces pretty well. She squeezed behind a boulder for a pile of gold coins while Franco examined the walls for more secret entrances.



She was a keeper, alright.



Meanwhile, Hannah went back into her rut of not caring about anything but hobbies like gardening, which she still didn’t take seriously. She spent many lazy days at the cafe instead. Annette cared much more about the garden, but was too busy with recipe books to harvest grapes at the nectary. What a shame. Other than the nectar, she couldn't shut up about the foreign grapes she could grow.



As for the other three, they spent days keeping themselves at the art museum. Shark had Jules to keep him busy when he got restless, but Amy and Julian still went to the art museum when he was out. They swore that there were still exhibits they never saw.



If days at the art museum kept Julian from obsessing over the sink, Amy would do it. She worried about those habits of his.



Franco was determined to give his family something to do other than exhaust all of the activities at the base camp. The French government granted VISAs only to sims that proved themselves capable and beneficial to the nation. Annette’s cooking was decried as simple and foreign, perhaps true for the head chef at a greasy spoon. Therefore, it was up to Franco to further raid the tombs.



But it filled him with wonder.



It also filled him with creepy-crawly things that were just the proof France needed that he was stupid enough to raid awful, bug-ridden places for the benefit of the nation. Permission granted. He could buy a new home.



The home was secondary to the artists’ garden, but the base camp wouldn’t allow him to build one there. Of course, there was a kitchen too, for Annette, right near the stairwell. Because of that, everybody sleeping on the second floor could wake up to the smell of fresh bacon and rich French toast in the morning.

One morning, Franco was the only one to walk down the stairs to the smell of eggs, sausages, and hash browns. Why, it was a traditional Twinbrook breakfast! Annette served him a plate. She cooked enough for four, enough to sate a big eater and her own drunk hunger. Franco took a whiff; his mother was drunk in the morning.

"Mum, are you drunk right now?" he asked. It wouldn't be polite to assume such things.

"I'm not drunk, I'm mourning. My gawd, Franco," she said.

"It's been a few years now," he said. "Don't make this a habit."

"I bet you'll need this too! Because you're doomed with that nagging Pansy."

"Don't be ridiculous. Compared to dad cheating on you, she's a keeper." In spite of his confident statement, Franco just picked at his food like an unsure man. His plate still had plenty of eggs and potatoes by the time Annette cleared it.

“See, I knew it. This nectar helps me so much,” said Annette as she scrubbed the grease from the plate. “She wants to get serious, you want to get serious, and yet you really don’t want to get serious. I mean, there has to be a word for it, but this darn nectar ain't helping me there."

“Stop knowing me so well,” said Franco, “I just want the time to forget about being in love with Hannah. I was, at one point, but I need to find a way to tell myself that I don’t. Then I can marry Pansy and make her happy.”

“That's stupid. How about I tell you a story instead,” said Annette, slurring the last word. “Since everyone is out.”

“You know, what else can I do? It's come down to listening to a morning drunk.”

“Alright kiddo, you can stop complaining.. You don’t know much about my early life and you don’t need to. But I had a friend named Eileen. Darn, didn't everyone want to be her? She was so smart and pretty, charismatic and could get any guy she wanted. Much like this fat young man next to me, amirite?"

"Mother...this isn't a time for petty jabs," Franco said.

"It's always a time for that, for real. But you know, Eileen squandered so much of her pretty, pretty perfection. She was always chums with this Moonlight Falls guy...screw it, this ain't time for pseudonyms. His name was Arthur. Also handsome, friendly, stylish...of course he was gay. That closet had no door, 'cept maybe to his family. Those two got it in them that they needed to hide it best they could. And they could've gotten married to anyone. But they got hitched to each other. What a waste. And you know what happened to Arthur? Drowned. Eileen? Heart failure at 23. Bless their hearts."

“What’s your point? Did you just have the urge to drop a story? Is life so boring now that dad’s gone?” asked Franco, with a sneer.

“Yeesh grumpy-pants, I have a point. Gawd. So, was it worth it to protect him? Oh hell no. His family, as it turned out, didn't care much at all for some conservative old imps. They got themselves all guilty and sad over nothin'." Her southern accent came out in full-force. "So why be that? Don't waste your youth on somethin' bad like Pansy. Use your charm, hun. You're so young and handsome, with all the nice things in front of you. Be kind to you." She smiled and leaned back in her chair, full of drunken bliss. "And dear god, kiddo, promise me this. Don't be Eileen."

"Uh, okay mum," he said. "Remember to lay on your side, not on your back."

Annette heeded that advice, considering that she was alive and hungover after a nap that day.



Franco, however, ignored what she had to say. Annette didn't have anything left to tell him after that. Why should she? He could handle it like an adult.





After reading that chapter, I nap on the train seat, only to wake up a few minutes later because the hard pleather and cheap foam stuffing messes with my back. So much for a sleep schedule; it’s nighttime already and I can’t sleep at all with that seat-induced kink in my neck. I guess I will have time to sleep in Roaring Heights, maybe buy an extra pillow to cushion my neck kink.



And then it hits me. Eileen.

The name recurred a few times beyond that. Eileen, she was a lawyer. Annette once had to play that role for dad, and what other identity did she use than that of one Eileen Stone? She even gave a twisted version of that speech to me, but granted, I wasn't the potential Eileen.

How could I have forgotten about those times? Was Annette in her will? Entrusted with a marble griffin, of all things? Or, was Eileen her own past shame? That seems like the most likely scenario. Her regrets had to go somewhere, channeled through a sockpuppet. And I think more...that maybe was her griffin. It was her parting gift to us, so we could figure this past of hers out for ourselves.

If grandpa Franco gave that to my dad, maybe he had something to tell me about Eileen. Annette, who is Eileen. It sounds more convincing the more I repeat it.



All I see outside are trees, often indicative of a dead spot. The conductor fiddles with his smartphone over in one of the seats at the end of the car.

“Are we in the dead spot yet?” I ask.

“Nah. Not for another half an hour. Not like you’ll disturb anyone with a call!” His voice resonates through the very-empty train car.

“Thanks.” I take out my phone, scrolling to the bottom of the contacts list and one “Wormwood.”

Of course that’s grandpa Franco's nickname; to my dad, anyways. They had a strange work-relationship. I didn't, and I just called him Franco like a normal person. And if I'm remembering this right, he’s in a different time zone. He's waking up late in the morning to his wife cooking him breakfast (I’d be surprised if any of us immortals learned to cook). He was never much of a night owl.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,942
Word Count so far: 38,078

Revised on 3-1-2015. Yay for drunk Annette.
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Offline Rhoxi

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 25, 3/3)
« Reply #98 on: March 03, 2014, 01:53:36 PM »

Well this is an interesting twist! Poor Franco. He seems confused, and like things aren't going to work out very well for him. I guess this means Josephine is the fourth? For some reason I was thinking she was number six? Or is "grandfather" not to be taken literally; more like great-great-grandfather?

Offline Trip

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 26, 3/8)
« Reply #99 on: March 08, 2014, 07:45:52 PM »
Well this is an interesting twist! Poor Franco. He seems confused, and like things aren't going to work out very well for him. I guess this means Josephine is the fourth? For some reason I was thinking she was number six? Or is "grandfather" not to be taken literally; more like great-great-grandfather?

Josephine is the sixth and grandpa isn't meant to be a literal title for Franco, yes. In my notes/half-written passages, Jo uses the placeholder of "my grandmother/father" for generation four, but not for someone like Franco, which I guess is my way of separating things.

So, another five day break, and all for an interlude chapter. I just wasn't feeling it, and I had midterms and a post-midterm marathon session to get generation seven to young adulthood. But I need a bit of time out-of-game to sort out what #7 needs to do. And make some more plans for another project, but that's a secret. ;)



Chapter 26: Milk Pitchers and Law Textbooks





“Jo?” he answers, “How the hell did you get my number?”

“Dad came to visit. Stole his phone after he passed out juiced on the floor.”

“Typical Phil,” he sighs, “What is it?”

“Reading the book again,” I say, “Well, taking a break now. I’m at the part where you guys first go to France. Proposing to Pansy, you know, that stuff. And I know you love it when other people read about you.”

“Are you trying to guilt me, Jo? I acted out of instinct. Then, later with you, whenever. Please hang up now.”

I never got that man.

We had a difficult past, the two of us. In fact, we were very similar people. Wronging spouses, sleeping around, trying to justify it all. If it wasn’t my dad and every bit of evil he could inflict on Franco, I wouldn’t even have the courage to speak to the man right now. He couldn’t fathom the way I romanced, perhaps. Whether it was the lack of emotional connection on my end or my absolute lack of justification, he was almost livid with me, until dad happened to walk by at the right time. Such was the relationship between a serial monogamist and a dirty cheater.



“I think I have a bigger problem,” I say, “Apparently dad met you last year and you gave him a marble griffin as a parting gift. And I’m at the conversation between you can Annette, and I was kind of wondering about the name.”



“The ‘don’t be Eileen’ speech? Goodness, you’re not going to get any extra context about that from me. I have no clue who that Eileen is. And if she was dead at 23, you won’t find it.” The train’s engine purrs loudly beneath my feet, enough to be heard over the phone. “Are you on a train? Trying to find Eileen?”

“Maybe just some clues. Is that the only Eileen-thing that Annette left you?”

“She left me with some trinkets. You know what, I’ll dig them out for you. The kid is taking a nap.”

Kid? I really haven’t been in touch with grandpa Franco, not knowing that he had a new little one, but then again, I expected nothing else from him. Where would I be without grandpa Franco, and a multitude of chubby-cheeked, colorful great-great-aunts and uncles for me to go to school with?

The sound changes a bit. Suddenly, background noise fills the message. Speakerphone. A shower running, Italian opera over the stereo, then birds chirping, and finally a shovel hitting the ground for the first time.

“So literally dig it up?” I say with a chuckle.



“You bet. Mum put it in a chest, and there isn’t really much room in the house for it.” His voice is accompanied by dirt hitting the ground, and finally rusty metal against wood, probably his chest.



“Alright, I’m in,” he said, “She put all the stuff in a suitcase, so I just need to haul that out too.”

For a few minutes after he hauls the suitcase from out of the chest, it’s just him faintly over speakerphone, rustling through a suticase occasionally muttering “that’s not it,” and more often, important things he finds.

“There’s a ring in here. ‘Eileen & Arthur 6/6/56.’ A milk pitcher, ‘Roaring Heights 2050. For Eileen.’ More stuff with her name on it than I thought. An old white shirt with her name on the tag, a carving knife, a law textbook, a bottle of very awful perfume. I don’t know what went through Eileen’s mind when writing the will. But yeah, more Eileen stuff than I ever thought about.”

“Quite a friendship they had, then,” I say, “Thanks for the tips.”



Franco sighs, grumbles, still takes it all negatively. “I know you still hate me.”

“I don’t hate you,” I say, “I’m just hopelessly ambivalent.”

“You still think I’m a hypocrite,” he sighs.



“I do, I do. But I just hate what happened to the family. I used to get along with everyone, and now? I don’t even know where you live. My last call with my daughter ended in a shouting match. I feel like I’ve ruined everything.”



“And I think that is where we have a lot of things in common. I want to get along with everybody, but I have to be realistic. I’ve burned too many bridges to deserve that. Hard as it is to admit, I miss you.” His message gets garbled as we approach the dead zone, a little sooner than expected.



“I miss you too,” I whisper before hanging up, then realizing that the conductor was watching me the entire time from under the brim of his navy-blue, standard SNTA hat.

“Sorry about that,” I say, “Family issues.”

“Believe me, I know. The wife and I are trying to get the family together for a reunion, but try doing that on my schedule, and with two estranged kids and bickering nieces and nephews. Everything’s easy compared to that.”

Perhaps. But he has a wife. Not that marriage doesn’t create a chill across my skin and nail-biting nervousness for me, but some family by his side puts him in a better situation.

He pulls out a newspaper. “We’re definitely in the dead zone. I hope you got it all out of your system."

“For now.”



I just retire to my book again. Maybe I could use a reunion after this Eileen case is put to rest. See if time apart has healed the wounds.



I mean, who knows what news I’ve missed?



Word Count for this chapter: 925
Word Count so far: 32,679

This chapter skipped the revision cycle, for now, because I honestly don't like it enough to try and salvage it.
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