Author Topic: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty - The Open Sky (8/31/19)  (Read 9226 times)

Offline oshizu

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I love Kite as a child--he looks so much like Miko with Kestral's hair!

Lol, Akira! I hope that lady he greets on his evening stroll is a vampire who bites him!

Offline Deme

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Everyone (except maybe Akira) had a great birthday, but I really loved Johnny's story. I'm glad his presents made him come to a few realizations, and glad he's making friends with Bonnie. The new beard looks great!

Glad to hear it! It's one of my favorites of the bunch, as well. Additionally: I know, right? I was really surprised about the beard, and feel like shouting now any time I see him in some other dynasty "Please give him a real beard. A real beard! It will look good, I swear." But then I lose my nerve, and figure, to each their own... But seriously, anyone who sees this comment and wants Johnny Zest to look good: Consider. A proper goatee and not a soul patch.

I'm not completely caught up yet, but just wanted to pop in and say that I'm really enjoying this.  Your story is one of those that I like to "save" and binge read several updates at once.

You're doing such a good job at making these characters come to life.  Miko is my favorite so far, because how can you not love adorable, sweet Miko?  Kite is rapidly winning my affection, too.  And Akira?  Well, I just want to shake some sense into him!  But that means you are doing a good job of writing him.  Ha! 

Keep up the good work.  I'll be reading, and I'll try to get caught up and comment more frequently.  :)

This comment was really nice and uplifting! (They all are, but I appreciate your sending it from trying to catch up.) Thanks for letting me know how you like to read this, as well; it's pretty handy.

I'm really glad you like the characters; some of them took me a fair bit of soul-searching to get right, so hearing people wanting to shake the heck out of Akira (whose status as what I lovingly call a "burning garbage fire" and sort of extreme interpretation of his traits has looped back around and made him feel very special to me), or liking how sweet Miko is, really feels good.

I love Kite as a child--he looks so much like Miko with Kestral's hair!

Lol, Akira! I hope that lady he greets on his evening stroll is a vampire who bites him!

You know, I actually decided to look into it based on your comment, using a version of the family saved to my library... And actually, while there's a lot of clear Miko (those eyes, his lips), if I set both his parents to children, there's a whole heck of a lot of child-Kestral in his face shape: he doesn't have the same sort of roundness to his face Miko does even as a child, or the same sort of big cheekbones, while Child-Kestral's face is sort of sleek and pointy like Kite's. So he's actually more of a mix than he might first appear. What this combination of features will look like on a teen will be something to see!

Vampire yes, biting, no. Wouldn't that be a bad cap to the birthday, though... Goodness, but that sounds entertaining.
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Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"I'm getting ahead of myself..." (8/2/18)
« Reply #52 on: August 02, 2018, 08:52:38 AM »
Chapter 15: I'm Getting Ahead of Myself. By Several Lifestates.

With Kite going to school, Miko and I are freed up for a while to enjoy the weekdays…

Including some high-quality Chez Llama dates. Now, the waitstaff has kind of an issue about exactly what sort of booth-table situation to give for a date. Pros of this situation: This.
“Yaawwwwn, goodness, but they’re taking so long to get the food out.”
“Yes, five seconds is really long, isn’t it? Definitely super-duper yawnworthy,” Miko replies. Her eyes sparkle and linger on the ol’ reach-around underway. With a giggle, she adds, “Oh, my. It seems an impassable barrier is in my path! A hand!”


“I’ll have to go the opposite way, tee-hee, right into the warm arms of my love,” she adds, holding back an additional wave of giggles to snuggle up.
“Come on, babe. I can’t be smooth if you’re going to do it like that.”
“You’re always smooth to me. The ol-reach-around? Never smooth, and I love it.”
“Fine, fine…”


Eventually, we do get the food and more importantly food photos we came for. They only come to about 10-25 a pop, though; is this really what I want to contribute?

After school, Kite’s got some levels of creativity to grind out, and that’s a good idea… But I also ask him to go join Miko in chess. I mean, it’s just efficient if he can bounce around a little, and hit tomorrow’s homework with focused.

He and Miko talk for a while out on the side porch, just about this and that. I think Miko’s been introducing him to the show about the rock aliens, and I can see why he’d get into it; the lead’s very much a kumbaya-lets-all-hold-hands kinda sucker. But I also overheard stuff not about cartoons singing and crying (kid’s shows got real weird when I didn’t have people in my life to pay attention to them.)

“Hey… Hey, Ka-san... can ya’ spin me sumthin’, Ka-san?” Kite asks, looking down uneasily at the board, his eyes darting back up to Miko, and away.
“I can try! What is it, sweetie?” Miko doesn’t miss a beat (spin me? Who taught this kid to talk and how was it me?)
Kite clicks a piece onto the board before he works up his answer.
“How d’ya know if… If a, I donno, just a dude… How d’ya know if he’s, you know… a guy that’s, I mean, most a’the people I know aren’t nothin’ to blame, but…”
“Kite? It’s ok.” She reaches over and pats him on the shoulder, stopping him. “You don’t have to worry about how to ask it to me.”
“What makes a dude...good?” is what he eventually manages to ask, and Miko tilts her head thoughtfully.
“I think there’s a lot of ways to good person; even just caring for others is enough. But for me… I think a good person is someone who helps others with what matters to them,” she answers, to a thoughtful look from our boyo. What a sweet group of people I’ve got going on, the suckers. Good thing they’ve got me.


“Huh, so that’s the stairs up, huh? An’ if Ka-san’s not the goodest gooder I know, I donno who’d take that crown… So. Le’s...take a breather, ‘fore we start the go-go-go.”
Well, I for one think he’s doing great. It’s fun, seeing what he can rack up; I wish I’d had that sort of opportunity.


Speaking of… Guess who’s a drinkmaster now? C’est moi. I’ll need to build my charisma skill for more. So that’s something to do, at least.


“I hate my carpool…” Zest opens the door with that. Couldn’t even kick it, huh? “I hate them so much.”

“Someone decided they’d drop me off at the end of the road! While I’m at the end of my rope! I had to drudge all the way back here...When all I wanted to do was nap.”
“That’s rough, buddy.”

But once he’s gotten that rest (Phhh, the baby. He should have just let me summon the club.) he goes on to do it. He’s completed his original aspiration.

He’s a true comedian now.
“So, a girlfriend of mine tells me ‘Hey, A Streetcar Named Desire is being put on.’ And, like a good guy who occasionally woohoos her, I offer to take her to see it. I mean, it’s really a Stella play.”
Nevermind, I don’t know why he looks so accomplished. Zest is an enigma.


Nice going, kiddo. Kite’s first day at school got him up to a B; in light of that, I really don’t mind letting him wander off for the afternoon, even if there’s skilling to be done. I figure a kid’s got to do their kidding sometime, and I think he agrees.


It lets him meet a friend anyway (look, I can spy on my kid if I want to)...That’s Zest’s unfortunately-named Hobart, isn’t it?

“Man, that’s sure a name and some! S’allright if I call you Hob,” is what Kite asks, showing, I think, good sense. “‘S shorter, you know? An’ it’s a bit more fun to say, heheh.”
“Yeah, sure,” is Hob’s answer.
“Watcha’ doin~?”
“My dad asked me to join a club? And there’s not a meeting right now, or anything, but I wanted to see!” He waves a finger in explanation, bouncing on his heels.
“An’ you wanted to say hi t’yer old man, too, right?” Kite asks, trying to get a good look at Hobart’s face, where he loses his sort of ‘I’m an older kid talking to a younger kid’ cool.
“...I mean. Since he wants to. It wouldn’t be bad, right?”
“It’d be super cool, Hob; we’re talking frozen-over-pond cool… Well, it’s not that sorta chill right now, just regular-type cool, but while the sun’s a-bakin’ it’d prob’ly add a nice sorta feelin’...” He shook his head to dislodge the errant train of thought. “But Uncle Johnny’s out for a while. Sorry ‘bout that.”

And for a second, Hob doesn’t say anything, just sighs, and Kite gives him a look for a while, before reaching out a hand and giving him a little pat on the shoulder, resting his hand there for a while.

“Hey! You don’t gotta worry ‘bout it...Really. You’ll get other shots; you’re in the club, right?”
“Yeah, but Mom says Dad does a lot of things for a day,” comes the bitter reply.
“...Yeah. But c’mon! You can’t just give up, can you? ...Well, I guess if it don’t work out, nothin’ wrong in cuttin’, but… Uh… I think it’s important t’him. I do! He seemed...real happy to hang with Bonnie back a sunset or two back.” Kite stretched out. “...So it’d be nice t’see it through, you know? ‘Til then, why don’t we hang?”


“...Yeah. Yeah! Let’s hang out! You mentioned the pond earlier; you know how to skip stones?”
“Teach me, oh teacher-dude!”

And the two boys run out of the window’s view, down to the lake by the rod. I occasionally think I can hear them, but maybe not. Still, it’ll be good for Kite’s social skills (Like, level 10 good; nice one, kiddo)...


And by the time the night forces Hobart to go back home, the two are quickly the best of friends. Nice; I worry, since Hob’s older than Kite by a ways, you know? Gonna hope he gets a back-up in case of the worst, but I guess I’m getting ahead of myself. By several life stages. Most of them, really.


I’ve got social skills of my own to raise.

Meanwhile, while I guess Zest might just be sincere about this abrupt parenting thing…

He’s still not a monogamy type of guy. He’s just more responsible about that.

The next day, it looks like Miko and Akira are starting to patch some stuff up. Probably, I guess. I’d say he still looks peeved...

But that might just be his face.
“Ugh, I swear. I get the dumbest freelance work clients, and sometimes it feels like I’m only logging every other hour! And the hours!”
“That’s rough. What are the client like?” Miko asks.
“Get this: I had to make a banner that flashed, but wasn’t animated. Also, it couldn’t flash too much. Or too little. For a website about a cat!”
“Ooh! Was it a cute cat?”
“Not the point.” He considers it. “Adorable, really. With nice eyes.”
“Ooh, you’ll have to show me what you ultimately ended up doing instead of what she asked.”
Well, I guess I’m happy that they’re getting along better, since they were closer before they moved here, from all I know.

That said, there’s stuff I’m less happy about in my personal life.

Somewhere along the line, Kite and I lost track of what drawings he’s done, so his finishing that aspiration is getting delayed.
“Really, why does it even matter? They’re all drawings. You’ve done plenty. We ran out of room on the fridge.”
“I like drawin’ for a few more ticks, Mom. So it’s OK if I gotta spin out a few more...He’s got a good smile,” he adds, gesturing down to his drawing.
“Is that a monster or a person?”
Kite shrugs and waves a hand abstractly.
“Donno. Could be both -- he’s smilin’, that’s a person thing, right? But he’s orange, and I guess a person can have be orange, right? But they might be a monster-person, which, well, I’m figgerin’s better’n a person-monster. So both. A surfin’ monster-person-dude…’S it really important to you, Mom?”
I was sort of thinking categorically.
“Of course. I want the best outcome we can get, and that means getting these aspirations done. You’re only a kid once, after all. Let’s say person.”
“...Yeah. Sure thing, Mom.”

Not that these is his only artistic medium -- guess I know what I’d recommend for him down the line, if he’s taking suggestions -- but it is the tidiest.

“Kite...Remember what I said about making messes? Don’t mess up the Chez Llama’s sidewalk unless it looks really cool or accomplishes something,” I say, holding the door open so he’ll head on inside for Miko’s birthday dinner.


The placemat is a much more productive choice. The cake was one I brought. I just thought it’d be nice to eat out.


Since I had work in a bit, and didn’t really have time for a party, we decided to have a family dinner. Actually a family dinner, without lunkhead 1 and lunkhead 2.
“It’s nice; and we’ll have time to spend together before I go to work,” I’m explaining as we wait for food. No yawning, this time. We’re not in a booth. “Admittedly, the food is…”
““‘Not as good as yours,’”” chorus the other two, stifling amusement.
“I call ‘em as I see ‘em. I’m a drinkmaster.”
“...That how it works?” ponders Kite, leaning back in his chair.
“You have to take what your mother says with a grain of salt every now and then, tee-hee. She’s like a peacock sometimes,” Miko leans across the cake to whisper. As if I can’t hear that! “Still, it makes her feel better.”
“Gotcha, Ka-san!”
“I will not stand for this indign-- Well. It is my color,” I say, my mock-pride boiling away. “Well, shall we get the most essential part out of the way first?”
The candles are lit, and our lady of the hour rises.


“Make a breeze of it, Ka-san!”
“One breeze, coming up! One, two, and a wish for three!”


I wonder what she wished for? ...This isn’t nearly present enough. Age-up wise, she wears it so well it hurts.
“Hold up, let me fix you a celebratory beverage.”
“That’s not a great use of time, is it?” Miki asks, straightening herself and settling in.
“Details. I’ll get you your real gift later. For now, a drink.”


I could get used to digs like these. Maybe it’s kind of sterile for my place, but I do like the piano.
I deliver my dear wife her drink before I head on out to work, and I walk away, hearing excited chatter.


“And that’s why we’ve got to smash the normative high-low art barrier,” Miko’s explaining, “We shouldn’t just reward one type of creativity! You should respect things like comics as worthy art, too.”
“Ohhhh, you’re sayin’ like video games?”
“Exactly; look at the graphics! The stories! The careful blending of interaction and music and all the junk like that! They’re unique and precious!” She’s pumping her fists excitedly, and even from the door, I can see that bright glint in her eye.
“Huh.... That’s nice as pie. Or cake, since it’s a birthday with one birthday-type cake t’spruce it up…Hm...” Kite drifts off for a moment, looking not towards the cake, but up at the ceiling. “That mean you wanna play some video games when we get home?”
“Do I ever! Now, since it’s my birthday, I get to be Yoshi.”
“Aww! ...But sure. ‘Cause birthdays.”
Happy birthday, Miko.
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Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"I'm Getting Ahead of Myself..." (8/2/18)
« Reply #53 on: August 03, 2018, 09:09:14 PM »
To celebrate my in-game Johnny Zest's 11th daughter, and because I saw a funny Onion headline, please enjoy this meme about old-school Zest:
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Offline oshizu

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"I'm Getting Ahead of Myself..." (8/2/18)
« Reply #54 on: August 03, 2018, 09:51:06 PM »
Happy birthday, Kestral!
She and Miko are both adults now! And Kite is growing up so nicely.
Would you remind me who Hob's mother is?
I vaguely feel like I once knew who she was, but I no longer remember. :(

Wow, 11 daughters? Excellent work, Great-Father-to-Be Johnny!

Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"I'm Getting Ahead of Myself..." (8/2/18)
« Reply #55 on: August 04, 2018, 12:45:06 AM »
(It was Miko's birthday this time, but hey! They are now both adults.)
Hob's mother is Maaike Haas; he's Bonnie's full brother (and they have another full sister), and Johnny's eldest child.


Hey, look at this!
I am super psyched about this project, and so have made a very lazy and sort of perfunctory map of the Zest family tree. Some of the images and traits, where there are some, aren't accurate to the present of my game. Others are withheld for being too far in the future for this story: I'm kind of trying not to rush too far ahead of the story, except with the fact that these sims exist, even if some of them won't even be born until Kite's a teenager. It's wide-spread, because Zest has been so good about daughters. Unlike some sims I could name. In this house. Since I rarely count out, or even really note, every pairing with the boys (because they generally aren't interesting, and it'd get super repetitive) I don't mind spoiling this a bit more than other things...But it's not required reading, and I'll try and point them out as I can.
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Offline MarianT

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"I'm Getting Ahead of Myself..." (8/2/18)
« Reply #56 on: August 04, 2018, 08:52:14 AM »
Happy birthday, Miko! And I love the headline for Johnny Zest.
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Offline oshizu

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"I'm Getting Ahead of Myself..." (8/2/18)
« Reply #57 on: August 04, 2018, 02:33:19 PM »
@Deme
The link to the Zest family tree took me to the PlumTree log-in page. :(

Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"I'm Getting Ahead of Myself..." (8/2/18)
« Reply #58 on: August 04, 2018, 03:17:31 PM »
@Deme
The link to the Zest family tree took me to the PlumTree log-in page. :(

Fixed, thank you!
A link in this reply as well.
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Offline Trip

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"I'm Getting Ahead of Myself..." (8/2/18)
« Reply #59 on: August 05, 2018, 01:19:12 AM »
I loooove the Plum Tree (used to be friendly with one of its creators actually!) but for every solution it offers for legacy/dynasty players it can't handle the super pollinator without the interface breaking a bit. Go Johnny! And Kite. I think he's one of my favorite dynasty kiddos now. He's just full of cheeky optimism and curiosity.
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Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"I'm Getting Ahead of Myself..." (8/2/18)
« Reply #60 on: August 05, 2018, 08:47:21 PM »
I loooove the Plum Tree (used to be friendly with one of its creators actually!) but for every solution it offers for legacy/dynasty players it can't handle the super pollinator without the interface breaking a bit. Go Johnny! And Kite. I think he's one of my favorite dynasty kiddos now. He's just full of cheeky optimism and curiosity.

It's trying its best! ...But I probably wouldn't use it to keep track of the Zesty Bunch over time.

Also, thank you! I'm enjoying Kite *immensely*, so I'm glad the sentiment is shared.
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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"I Should Hyperbole More Often" (8/5/18)
« Reply #61 on: August 05, 2018, 08:48:51 PM »
Chapter 16: I Should Hyperbole More Often

Now, I was at work, raising performance level and buying drink recipes off of beardy old men that night, so most of what I know about that evening is what Kite told me later.  The book? Is the pinnacle of beverage-making. Perfect. Beautiful.


Yaritza Behr -- who in my estimation is the prettiest of Zest’s kids I have seen, and also really badly named, I mean, I know I harp on this a lot, but Zest’s first couple of kids are just baffling...Though, to be fair, it’s not like Akira doesn’t have two Camrons already -- came over.

“My father.” She said that word, Kite told me, with a particular tone that he wasn’t sure if it was happy or nervous, but probably both. Which tells me that she’s never called anyone that before. “Invited me over to watch a movie together!”

“Aw, that’s sumthin’ super sugar sweet. You know the flick?” Kite asked.

“Ah. He asked me to pick, and I went with The First Unicorn. It’s the movie of my favorite book! It’s about the nature of eternal things, and so the nature of people as non-eternal things, and fairy tales and unicorns!”
I disapprove of this book. Humans can be plenty eternal if we want to be. People saying there’s something especially good about not existing one day that couldn’t be had by existing, but longer, are a bunch of defeatists.

“Huh. That’s got a real cool ring; you guys enjoy the flick!” Kite encouraged her inward.


Where they did enjoy the movie, actually. Mostly.


“I mean, they cut a lot out -- and I really liked the stuff they cut -- I think it’s still a great movie,” she was explaining to him afterwards.

“I’ll have to read it sometime. But right now, I’m reading a book about antigravity.” Now, other people are not as wise to the Zest as I am. I can see what’s happening.

“Really? Is it good?” The poor girl.

“Oh, I can’t put it down!”

“...Daaad.”
Zest laughed, stretching back on the couch, looking -- by all accounts -- very pleased with himself.

“But you know,” Zest added, because the nightmare was not yet over, “I think that unicorn needed a glass of water.”

“Dad…” The girl had learned her lesson.

“You know why, Yaritza?”


“Dad, please don’t. I’ll die of embarrassment on the spot if you do. Don’t, don’t, don’t!”

“Don’t what? I’m just thinking about what would help make that creature’s wistful ending a little happier.”

“Daaad…”


“I dunno… I think I should tell you, if you don’t know,” said Zest, relishing every moment. “Since she was a little horse.”
groan.

“That was terrible.” I should have asked Kite if she groaned, too, but that would have involved really getting involved with this story.

“You loved it, though.”
And she, traitor that she was, giggled.



Now, why Kite wanted to make sure I relayed this, and not that my high-quality child completed his first aspiration, the most important one (because it’s the first), I don’t know. Kids, right? But I’ll have to get a kid’s science table for him next.

We also, though, got something to help have some fun. This is not Miko’s birthday gift, but we are enjoying it.

If Zest would stop getting in the way.
“Every time you step in front of the screen, the monsters win,” I point out.

“Who knew I could destroy the world by eating breakfast on the couch? Maybe Mom was right; I should have been an evil overlord.”

“Your mom wanted you to be an evil overlord?” I turn my attention from the game to ask.

“She wanted me to go into business. Same thing. But I had a true vocation.”

“Honey, can you get back to the game?” Miko nudges me excitedly. “We’ve got a princess to save!”

After the princess turns out to be in another castle, I go out and make a round of my new friend, the Snagglefluster.

For an almighty drink, I kind of expected more… Spark. Fire, thunder, boom! But hey, it’s cheap and it helps me with my charisma. Though before I do…


“It’s time for a tickle attack!”

“Ke-Kestral!” She can barely stagger out my name, she’s laughing so hard, and frantically tries to guard her armpits from my hands, which is a prime tickle spot. “Hahahaha! Stop, stop! I can’t -- I can’t breathe! It’s too much!”
I stop and let her go, relaxing back onto the window seat.



“Just you wait, Kestral. Just you wait.” She grins, catching her breath, before slipping my arm around her shoulder.

“You’ll get me, your pretty, and my little dog, too?” And we settle like that for a while.
“Don’t make me sound so mean! No, I’ll just be a little tickle fairy...Waking you in the dead of night!”

“And that doesn’t sound mean to you?” Well, the solution would be not to sleep for a while… But then. I’d miss cuddling.

“You know I do it because I love you!” Miko replies, cheerfully springing up.


While getting his pre-work programming done, Akira’s finally logged -- or, I guess, logged in -- his 100 hours at the computer. Aspiration #2, complete! He is now a computer whiz. Good work, good work.

Wife snuggled, I got to practicing my stories.

I finished the last thing I need for my last promotion. Just one more work day… That’s several days away. Ugh.

I catch sight of something out of the corner of my eye and poke my head out of the side door.

“Not that I mind seeing you working on your mental skill, but you know we’ve got that science table, and Mr. Medical Emergency Bear, right? That’d be way more bang for your buck,” I point out. But then again, Kite needs a little kick in the pants sometimes. I probably shouldn’t be discouraging him.




“Oh, huh. Yeah, mental skill…” He says, momentarily lapsing into a thoughtful silence. Not a piece moves.

“It cool by you to do ‘em later? See, there’s this sun. ‘s Sort of the only one we got...If there’s a thing that’s fixed, ‘n not a little spruced up all the time. My teach was layin’ out those Socks of Locke’s.”

“Yeah, I’m aware of the sun. It has, in fact, been there for quite some time. What about it?” The sun is not news… That my kid’s getting lessons in metaphysics, now, that is news. Weird news.

“Well, teach was sayin’ that it’s a dog’s ways off.” Exactly what sort of ways is a dog’s ways, anyway? “An’ the light that’s settlin’ down across this porch of ours, right this second, and this second, and the next, each bit a’ that light flew for 8 minutes to get here.”

“I guess. What about that?”

“Well, that’s more than a meal takes t’ get here.”

“If it’s quick,” I scoff. Really, quick meals are a waste of everyone’s times; they’re really boring! ...Oh, and they’re not very filling. Point.

“Ok, OK, but y’see what I’m sayin?” He asks. Now, I have been studying parenting, I am an expert parent! So I do what any book on the subject and those fools on the forums say: I nod even though I have no clue. He pushes on. “I wanna savor the flavor. Welcome it to Earth a little.”

...Well, he’s certainly picking up that mental skill. Probably.
Even if I just say that, though, we take a little second to enjoy the sunlight, before I go on back inside. From here, you can see the bluffs, and the path through the woods out of the neighborhood, and even our own garden.


While Zest’s done getting us plants – for now – he’s still taking care of it. It’s a beautiful day out, too. Trees are nice and shady…
Ah. That’s the present, isn’t it? Heheheh.

“Thank you, Son and Sun. Gotta run!”

But since it’ll be a long and boring day while I wait to get all that I need for the present, Zest and I go to the gym. To work out, sure, but also to see if I can find, I dunno, maybe some old men? Some young women?

This is the best I can do.
“Heyyy, call me if you’re still alive after soom roomies of mine die, OK?”

“..Uh. Sure thing, pretty lady?”

“Not like that. Like that for someone else.” Sometimes, people can be so thick. Zest had no real luck, either.



...Some of the women Akira brings home are weird

Sometime in the dusk, I heard something from up above the house: a gasp.

He’s been having bad dreams. I don’t really know what I can do about it. Can’t take care of dream things, except in my dreams. Not helpful.

But when Kite has a bad dream -- not often, because sleep is for people who don’t have better things to do or are too lazy or out of the house to summon the club -- he doesn’t go running through the house, or seeing if we’re up. Not that I did at his age.

This time, he gets dressed, and he checks Mr. Emergency Bear. Or...Uh. ‘The Bearster.’ Anyway, to make sure Bearster is OK…


Which, you know. Toy bear.
“Arright; it checks out just peachy. You feelin’ ok, Bearster?” He says as he checks up on the bear’s heartbeat. You’d think that would worry kids. No one’s ever got a pulse with this doctor set.  “Nothin’ hurts? Yeah, sure. …I just. Catch some better Zs if I know all my dudes are dudin’ well.”
...He really is an empathetic kid.

It’s pretty much night when I get everything ready. And I really am satisfied with this little slice of thing. This little bit of perfect, where I want us to be together. That I know she wants.

“Miko? I got you your birthday gift.”

“Oh, Kestral. You didn’t need to,” she says, letting me take her hand. “But thanks.”

“I’ll decide what I need to do. Now, what was it you wanted me to say then?” I pose dramatically. As if I could ever forget. “Darling, come away with me!”

“We can woohoo in the shade of blossoming trees.”

She stops and looks at it, lit gently by carefully-shielded candles, tucked in amid the flowers I got planted. The air is all dogwood blossoms and little wildflowers, tinged with all her colors.


“You remembered that,” she says, laughing. Tears bead up brightly in her eyes. “Boy, I should hyperbole more often!”
 
“Of course I did. It was...Well, you said I could dazzle you. And I wanted to. I wanted to see you dazzled,” And when I’d say that for anyone else, I’d probably mean that I wanted them to know how amazing I am. Because, really, it should be evident. But here… I wanted to see that smile, and laugh with her about a memory of something now long-ago.

“Preen away, you peacock you… I’m really glad. You -- we’ve -- gotten so much closer to that dream of yours… And you haven’t decided that that’s all you needed me for,” she admits it almost shyly, face flushed almost the color of her hair.

“Never. It’s why it had to be you -- but to me, you’re even more important than you were when you said you wanted me to sweep you away. And just as beautiful,” I add. This seemed to settle her -- or, rather, unsettle her, bounce her up so her hat slips a little amid the flounce of her bob.

“Aww...You, too, Kestral,” She answers warmly, her eyes crinkling up with tenderness -- and excitement. “So what are you waiting for!?”



“You’ve made a place to come away to! I expect it used! Get moving!”

“Ooh! Yes ma’am!”


Unlike a lot of things I do, this isn’t a part of a big grand plan. It’s not going to pay off at some perfect moment, somewhere along the line.

This is a perfect moment, right here. Payoff: recieved. I can just hold her, leaves in our hair, the scratch of bark on my bare back, in the present.


But the future’s always coming, I suppose. And that night probably carries with it… More than its portion of a future.


“Woo-hoo! Well, that was last night. This is more a Ooh! Or a yay! Something positive besides the test, anyway.”


“Hey, Kestral… If your plans don’t call for another kid, you’re going to have to make a few adjustments,” is the first part of the news delivery. “Because we’ve got a bit more family to go!”

My plans didn’t say anything either way, honestly. But you know what I say?

“That’s awesome, Miko!”
I’d been thinking it’d be nice, to have another kid with her. Bring on parenting, round 2! We’re ready for this.
Stories In Progress:
The Avyan Immortal Dynasty

Offline oshizu

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"I Should Hyperbole More Often" (8/5/18)
« Reply #62 on: August 06, 2018, 12:23:13 AM »
Kestral and Miko are just so sweet together. Kestral and her wildly romantic ideas--love that little "getaway."
I'm beyond excited that they've decided on a second child.

Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"I Should Hyperbole More Often" (8/5/18)
« Reply #63 on: August 12, 2018, 09:56:53 PM »
Kestral and Miko are just so sweet together. Kestral and her wildly romantic ideas--love that little "getaway."
I'm beyond excited that they've decided on a second child.

Heeheee. I remember you mentioning after the wedding where you mentioned that Kestral isn't a romantic, but Miko's got enough for both? At that time, I thought forward to where we'd get to these events, and went "I don't know about thaaaat..." (Well, Miko is rather romantic) But I thought it was better for you to see it! Kestral's got her own love language than say that *then*.

Yeah...Second kids in Dynasties are kind of exciting, since there's not so reliable to find -- and these two are cute together, too. The idea was in-game Kestral's.
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The Avyan Immortal Dynasty

Offline Deme

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Chapter 17: Flowers and Stars... And Makeovers

“I don’ think a cat’s past gotta weigh him down, you know? Anythin’ that moves around gets a little scuffed up, but that doesn’t mean there’s no puttin’ some glitter back to it. Might even end up a prettier shine to it, all gold in the cracks. But that don’t mean I’m not thinkin’ about the pasts a’ cats close to me… So I figgered I’d ask this puzzler:”

“Where’s your road taken you, Catlico, my cat? What trip you been on that winded you up here? ‘Sit got ya down? Or is this your retirement, after long and happy days wanderin the world?”
But then, you can’t expext Catlico to fire off an answer. Doesn’t work that way. But still… It’s not like he’s missin’ one, all tucked up in his stitches.

I just thought that’d be a good start today! Didja like it? Just me an’ a cool cat who is also a cat. ‘Course, there’s other stuff t’do; Mom wants me gettin’ an A by the weekend, so we’re puttin’ our backs into a little project.

“Kite, this will rule the science fair,” Mom says, a big grin on her face as somethin’ bubbles. She’s prob’bly more revved-up than I am about it, but that’s Mom for you. 

“You think I should make some hibiscus fer the volcano’s sides and base?”

“Absolutely,” Mom nods. “It’ll look amazing.”
An I guess I’ll get just a bit revved up for it, too! Gotta lotta flowers t’make.

Now, thing ‘bout the flowers is, we’ve really got more fruits than flowers in our little garden; lotta blackberries, couple’a fruits, only a few flowers. But the fruits all start as flowers, ‘n the apple blossoms drift down through the air… Well, it’s no problem what use we make of them, right? An’ they’re mostly Uncle Johnny’s thing, but Ka-san’s been wanting to do a little green-fingerin’.


So she gives this lady a ring, this Jasmine Holiday -- I don’t think she’s family to Mom’s friend and Johnny’s girlfriend, they’re just both Holiday. An’ she says:
“Hi~! Jasmine, right? Nice to meet you! I’d really like some gardening help, and I heard you’re just the woman for it.”

So Jazzy swings on by.

“Hoo-ah! Let’s get you boosted! I wanna see those skills!”

“Well, this was forthright! OK! I’m going to garden so hard...You know, I don’t actually know anything that could happen due to gardening so hard…” Ka-san had to spend a tick or two on that one, before she decided on, “OK, got one! I’m going to garden so hard, we’ll have blackberries coming out of our nostrils!”

...So those tigers of the jungle gyms were on the up-and-up...You can grow a plant on inside if you munch some seeds, huh?...Course, thinkin’ on it, how would you know? If no doc took an X-ray snapshot, no one knows what’s growin’ in you… Maybe, even when there’s some bein’ worried and wonderin’ when you’re gonna get a break… Maybe there’s a flower in there, too. But wow, prob’bly not blackberries! That’d sting. Thorns. Anyhoodle, what was I on about?

Oh, yeah, Ka-san’s tryin’ somethin’ new! It’ll be fun t’see how it goes. As for me… Your boy Kite’s sneakin’ out tonight!


...To the corner...It’s hard to do a real sneak without wheels. But I can hang with the neigbs. This gal’s Carla -- Mom says that family’s pals with ours, so I was happy to meet someone from it!

“Name’s Kite; I’m sneakin’ out an’ hangin’ loose insteada penning down on my homework...” I’ll do it later, I mean it. You’re not gonna squeal on me to Mom, wouldja, pal? I’m not tryin’ to make her upset, I dig I need an A, you dig? But maybe I wanna be a kid sometimes, too. ‘Nough about that, though.

“I’m sneaking out, too!” says Carla. “Mom wanted me to stay in my room and ‘think about the trouble you cause when you take stuff that doesn’t belong to you.’”

“...Maybe you shoulda?” I point out. “I mean, I’m not gonna say you shouldn’t cause ‘a rules, they’re just yammerin’, but that’s gotta be a real bummer f’r people whose stuff got nabbed, right?”



“You sound just like Mom!...Kinda.”  She picks hefts up a big ol’ sigh. “I can’t help it! Besides, you being the youngest of, like, 7. I don’t get anything! I even have to have my older sister’s hair dooddads!”

Hmmm...A puzzler, aint it? I don’t have a sister or brother from the same mothers, an’ wouldn’t mind sharin’ the love… I’m a mi casa es su casa sorta casa-haver, if ya get right down to it, but… Everyone’s gotta have somethin’ a’ their own, so says the ‘rents. I don’t have my own thing, but that’s no weight on my back; I got time. But for her… If there was somethin’ she could have, would that be just the right medicine? Well, worth a shot.

“Why doncha hang at my place f’r a bit?...Don’t take anythin’ of the moms’ or nothin. And we’ll work somethin’ out!”

Course, she wasn’t the only cat I let in that night! Trip, aint it a bummer we don’t get cats here? But I also let in a kid, name a’ Star Jang… But she had her sights set on seein’ Uncle Akira.


“Dad’s my dad, but Mom told me! Mom told me you’re my dad,” she says it a little boastful -- guess it was a scoop she cracked, huh? But Uncle Akira doesn’t dig that, not one bit; I thought he was gonna go digging into the couch seats, paw out a burrow for himself!

“...Don’t worry about that. Let your Dad be your dad… She won’t leave him, anyway. It might as well be true; who knows?” Now he’s sighin, too. “I thought what we had was special…”

An the two a’ them sit in silent as lambs a tick. Star’s heels hit the back of the couch, thud, thud, thud as she swings her legs. Uncle’s eyes go rovin’ all over the house, and don’t come back for a while.


“...So. School. I have heard. Is a thing kids still do these days.”

“Yeah. Yeah. I’m not going truant, and neither is my sister.”

“Sister.” That’s how he says it -- not a question in sight, all flat, dude!

“Her name’s Kiera. We’re twins, but if you get us mixed up, I’ll tell Dad and Dad’ll punch you!”

“...Alright.” And I think she holds Uncle hostage f’r a while after that!

But there’s one other dude out in the neighborhood tonight, who I don’t accidentally let in t’confront their absent bio-dad! (I’m here promisin’ you folks they’ve met.)


An’ that’s my good buddy Hob.

“Oh, hey! You hit Teen!”

“Teen hit me, is more like it. Mind if I hang out with you for a while? If my siblings pull me down into their pile of mis-matched clothes one more time, I’ll go nuts.”

“Hob, if I mind, I’m outta mine,” an’ I show my best boy on home. Uncle Johnny tosses us up a wave, an’ Mom said somethin’ like:
 “It begins. The beatings with the bad outfit stick begins.”
An’ that aint cool! Folks gotta strut their own stuff, whatever that stuff ends up being.

...Even if Hob’s none too keen on the glad rags he’s got on his own self. But we shuffle on out to the chess board, since Mom’ll give a grin if I work on that, an’ it’s a two-dude game, anyway.

“How was the B-day?”

“Alright. I made a resolution to try and, I dunno… Think a bit more about other people. I mean, I thought about people -- but what they’re up to, that sort of thing. This is more… How to make people happy.”



“That’s good stuff, man!” I lean forward, all a-grin and butterflies. There’s that sorta flower. “I think it’s real important, makin’ just one someone bloom… Even if it’s kinda hard sometime; it all adds up to the world, petal by petal, ya dig?”

“I think so,” Hob says, smile tuggin’ at his lips. “You know...Actually, it was you getting me to think about this. What you said about Dad, and the rest. You’re a good, Kite. And I thought I wanted to be like that.”

Trip, man. I didn’t do nothin’ special. Don’t think I’m braggin’ just ‘cause I’m telling you this… But it felt real nice. Gotta hide that I’m red as tomato, man! ‘Ventually, knee-deep into this game of chess, he says,

“I’d really like to get this look sorted out, though!”

An’ that gives Kite a real rainshower in the brainscape, dude! ‘Cause I’m all,
“I think we got a closet chock-full a’ spare duds, dude! Let’s go tryin’ em on!”

And he’s all,
“It’s not my siblings, so sure!”


An’ we get him looking real sharp. That’s best for monday through sunday, in my book!

“Ah. Certainly makes a guy feel like himself. I’ll see you later, Kite!”

“Catch ya later, Hob.”

An’ that gives your buddy Kite an idea. I grab Carla where she’s hangin’ in my room and run her to the closet.

“I got an idea!”

One swirl a’ makeovers later, an’ I got her somethin’ a’ hers:

“Yer own hair doodlybobbers!”

Her feet shuffle, an’ she’s suddenly decidin’ she better inspect ‘em while she’s tuggin’ the newly freed ends of her hair.


“This looks...Kinda silly, doesn’t it? These girly flowers. This loose hair look. It’s...  Kinda out of place, huh?”

“You think? ‘M sorry… But the ways I sees it, it looks really nice, cause you look really nice in ‘em. There’s no such thing as too girly, I think.”

“Nah, I mean, my style’s kinda rough...It probably looks wierd.”


“Rough aint bad, though; ‘s not like you’re rockin’ food stains. The flowers pop, an’ you look cute. You wanna try again, though?” I ask, tryin’ to think if I saw anythin’ else that’d look nice on her.

“No… No. This is… I like them, I just think I look dumb in them.”

I think she smiled a little, though, right? But she wouldn’t let me take ‘em off, either.

“Let’s watch the skies, then; we’ve got the whole starfield to look at, an’ they’re nice tonight, all far out there.”

An she goes along...F’r a bit.


“Look, I gotta go. I… I should probably head home. Do something else with my hair.”

“Arright. Sorry, Carla. Hope you find somethin’ you like better. I’ll find a star for you, too.”

“...You’re a wierdo, Kite Avyan.”

...An that’s arright by Kite. Even if, I guess, it means bein’ left alone with the stars. Then again, there’s a buncha stars an’ just one of Kite… Don’t say ‘thank goodness,’ now, OK? Nah, you’re not like that, just chain-pulling...Wouldn’t’a minded the company, though.


The moms’ eventually borrow the chess table when Mom gets home, an’ I can hear em flirtin’ for a while. I don’t think Ka-san’s gonna get to to lay out some sweet plays when Mom’s layin’ out the sweetness.

“Hmm...I think I should tell him something, don’t you?” Ka-san says when Mom’s left fumin’ at the board.

“Yeah. He should know. If he asks the hard stuff, send him my way. I’ll set the kiddo straight.”

“Hmmm… Debatable! Thanks, hun,” Ka-san says. An’ I finally did my homework, so she catches me down by the art corner.


“Kite… I have something important to tell you.” She takes a breath and grins. “You’re going to have a little brother or sister!”

“My schemes work better if it’s a brother!” Comes a ringin’ shout from Mom.



“Wow! Really, Ka-san?” I guess that’d click a few things into place, but wow! I wonder what they’ll have goin’ on one day.

“They’re right here in my tummy right now.”

“...Can...Can I feel?”

“Of course, sweetie!”


I got kinda worried I’d do somethin’ wrong. Tummies aint hard, ya dig? That can’t protect a baby much.

“They kicked!”

“How rude!” Ka-san said, with a laugh. “I guess they wanted to feel you back.”
Well, then, heya! Guess we’re pals already, alright, pal? That’s what I decided.

Sun’s still gotta rise, schoolbell’s still gotta ring! And while I’m dancin’ to the classroom bell’s tune, Mom got a ring by some of her people, to a really cool party!


...So they said.
“It’s noon, Maximiliano. Noon. There’s no one even here,” was the sorta thing Mom’d say to that.

“Give it time! I’ll make it up to you, I swear!” Says ol’ Maxy.

“Well, nevermind that. Ulrike! How’ve you been?” Mom turned up the charm offensive to ten. ‘Course, the party couldn’t wait to get started forever, even if it sure did take a while. I’ve never really been partyin’, so I’ll just nod an’ smile ‘bout what Mom says on the topic, you dig? An’ she said it eventually picked right on up, an’ they all got to groove down!


More importantly, says Mom -- an’ I think so too -- she an’ Ulrike got to be better friends. I think that’s all I got for now, so we’ll talk again later, cool? Take care, dudes.
Stories In Progress:
The Avyan Immortal Dynasty

Offline BallerinaHippo

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I'm all caught up!  For now, anyway.   ;)

I still love Miko and Kestral's relationship, and also Kite's relationship with "the moms."  Kite is turning out to be quite the little philosopher.  He's pretty good at giving makeovers, too!  Can't wait to see his interactions with a younger brother or sister.

Offline Deme

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I'm all caught up!  For now, anyway.   ;)

I still love Miko and Kestral's relationship, and also Kite's relationship with "the moms."  Kite is turning out to be quite the little philosopher.  He's pretty good at giving makeovers, too!  Can't wait to see his interactions with a younger brother or sister.

Excellent! I'm looking forward to it, too!

I need to give more makeovers, to be honest. For one, because I've added some hair color CC that it could be fun to sprinkle into the population. For another, because the bad looks are very real. I mean, Teen!Julian Munch has the cat ear hair, and it looks so wrong.
Stories In Progress:
The Avyan Immortal Dynasty

Offline Deme

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Kite’s brought home his A! His museum will be impressive indeed. I wonder what he’ll put in it… I think that since the stuff he could make as a child are so cheap, I’ll save talking to him about it until he’s a teen. But since he’s done a good job, and because with Whiz Kid done he’s left with that one that involves a jungle gym and Social Butterfly, I figured a day at the park would be a nice reward!


And since we’re here, I invited up the younger Munches, the Levin-Munches, if you will, and their mother. We were only missing Soren.


Though he came along. At least someone in this family doesn’t have cornrows before a makeover, which seem to have spread across the kids and mostly looks bad with their skintones. And so, I applaud that limited judge of hair fashion. While they’re off playing, Zest takes some time of his own.


“Are you any good at chess, Bonnie?” He asks, looking at the table between them.
“No. Dad, are you?” She asked, moving a piece arbitrarily.
“Can’t say that I am just yet… But I’m up to learn if you are!” I don’t see a grin like that on Zest often.
“You’re on!”

...Though within thirty minutes, they’re both more than willing to call the whole thing off. This park really needs another game, but I’m not going to worry about it now. Bonnie’s not the only Zest spawn at the park, either.


Anabelle Proctor here’s just passing through, but Zest did stop by to say hi to her on her way.

As for me…

“How’ve you been?” I ask my coworker and erstwhile… Is there a word for the spouse of an old man who lives in your house? We work at the same place, even if we’re in different roles there. Mine is cooler. But anyway, even though that’s the case, it’s hard to check up on someone when you should be making another Sim Island Iced Tea, aka the worst cocktail. Get that thing out of my face.

“Oh, busy, busy,” she says, sighing. “I’m now I think rather glad Gunther never left the nest, even if it means the nest, so to speak, is very full.”
There is a moment of silence between us, in between talking about that freaking Gretchen, the hostess. She’s very whiny, is the short of it.

“Just take control of your life!” Is my summation of my thoughts about Gretchen.

“You’ve got a nice family,” she says, lifting her head to watch her kids playing with Kite, rather than the clouds.

“Yours, too. It’s nice to see them all play; he should have friends.” For one, the extra aspiration points. For another, dynasty reasons. Very important, though I wouldn’t rely on Julian. Maybe Carla or Kate or Soren, but Julian’s older enough than him that I wouldn’t count on it. And anyway… It keeps me having to beat up too many schoolkids. Let’s not pretend -- a kid who’s as odd as Kite’s gonna have some punks coming his way. I did, too, but for different reasons. And then they learned a lesson or two about messing with me, and they only had to use tissue up their noses a few times before I got it through their skulls. Ahhh, the memories. Of taking names.

“...I wish he could have seen them grow up a little more,” she adds, with an abrupt wistfulness. Help. Someone. Please? That’s when I mention something I’ve had in the works for a bit.


“...I had his ashes buried here… Used a few favors to set up a little something.” You’d be surprised what you can get when your wife used to do fundraising and you were the one who called the mayor about his son trying to get drinks with a fake ID, without any news media or police finding out… Yet.

“What?” She sits bolt upright.

“Right over there, under that cherry tree.”


The first of many.

“...He seemed like a sunflower kind of guy. Seemed, I dunno. Respectful.”

It’s really what I could think to say, before leaving her almost alone, staring at the grave from over the fence. I say almost, because Miko sees the look on her face -- comforted and devastated again all at once. I might have done the wrong thing.

“We miss him, too. He was a great friend,” she says, gently placing a hand on Mila’s shoulder before pulling it away to try and wipe her eyes. “Sometimes… I go to clean the fishtanks and I… They were his fish. I think that they were his fish!”



And then they are both crying, and I leave them to it for a while, because I am not interrupting a pregnant woman’s crying time. But eventually, I console Miko and grill something up for her for a bit -- just sort of general there-thering. Look, I don’t know. But!



Hasn’t Mila earned a chance to grieve by herself a while? This may be the first time she’s really had that. I certainly dragged my feet.


I can entertain the kids while she does that. Or, well, join the entertainment, already in progress.

“The great kraken lurks in the depths, waiting to pounce on the ship!” Does the kraken pounce? Are krakens pouncers?

“Avast! Captain Julian! There’s a kraken at the starboard bow!” Shouts one of the two gunners.


“Cannoneer Kite, prepare to fire!” Shouts the ship’s captain. Now, in my opinion, Kite oughta be captain, but they’re having fun, so what do I know? Lots, actually, but that doesn’t matter.

“Aye-yup, Cap’n-boss-man,” answers Kite as he mimes lighting the cannon’s fuse.

“That’s Captain-boss-man, sir!”

“...Nah, it aint,” he answers with a faint smile.

After the formidable and beautiful kraken is slain and banished to the oceanic depths, Kite and I both take a break! He takes a break to talk to Kate Munch.



“So’s I was thinkin’ bout aliens a coupla’ sunsets back --” He’s saying, before being cut off. Rude.

“Do you think aliens exist? I haven’t seen any in our neighborhood!”

“Sure, they gotta, right? Couple’a specks like us got as much business as aliens, an’ about as big in the cosmos, ‘less they’re giant aliens. Trip, man -- they could get pretty big, huh?”

“I don’t think I’m a speck,” she said, with the certainty of a girl who’s going places. You tell… Hm. Well, tell my son that, but gently. He is also not a speck. “I’m very important. Even aliens should know that, if they exist.”

“Got a point there,” he laughs, stretching out on the back. This gets Kate to narrow her eyes.

“You’re just saying that,” she said.

“Nah! Nah! If I were just sayin’ that, I wouldn’t say it; wouldn’ta said anything ‘bout specks to start, right? Cause I’d want you t’like me, I’da said ‘nah, I don’t believe in stuff like aliens,’ but I did: that’s just how your friendly neighborhood Kite sees it. So you gotta point,” he affirmed again, considering -- if I had to guess -- the cosmic significance of aliens. “‘F I see any, I’ll let ‘em know all ‘bout my important bud Kate, ‘kay?”

“Great! Let me know if you do!” She pumps her fists, completely charmed. Atta boy.

I myself am doing my own charming.


“So what made you apply to join the flock in the first place?” I ask Penny, who I called up for juuust this purpose. Also, to keep everyone pumped. Multi-tasking.

“The stories I was getting about your club were really unique and interesting, but your membership is really exclusive! It seemed like just the sort of group my followers would be interested in hearing about.”

Do we really do anything? Is cleaning cool now? Eh, well. Let my fame spread!
“That’s great. I’m really happy to have you around. You’ve never broken anything. You don’t get my bar messy,” I add, thinking of a certain red-haired lout who I’m stuck with for a while. “Also, you’ve got a great sense of style. A certain type of woman just needs bold tones, don’t you think?”

“Absolutely, girl!  Style is so important. You’ve got to keep up the hippest trends, and right now? This whole scheme that’s going around is really innovative and fun, so I’m hoping it sticks around for a bit…”

And I think at this point, we can call our good friendship forged.


Zest’s ended up even playing with kids that aren’t his -- well, some of them, anyway. With Carla, Yaritza, and Bonnie there is the other Jang sister, whichever that is… One of them has a weird name, says the woman who named her son Kite. But really, Star is just an odd name.

“The ship must contend with… The dreaded Purple-spottled flarbledeegook!” I hear him shout. Only to be met down with Yaritza’s:

“Dad! Be a real sea monster!” and Bonnie’s back-up shout of:

“Yeah, Dad!”

And this gives Zest a moment’s pause for mock-offense.

“And how do you girls know that’s not a real sea monster?” He puffed out his chest and stood proudly, the ship game grinding to a halt. “Ask me anything, I can prove it’s a real sea monster!”

All sea monsters are fictional, by the way. Just so we're clear.

“What do Purple-spottled flarbledeegooks eat?” asks Bonnie.

“Fish and Ships, of course!” And I, for one, realize that he has been thinking up sea monster jokes since he was asked to play, and they’re going to hear them. And Yaritza realizes it, too.

“Daaaad!”

“What? I’m not kraken you up?”

“Dad.”

“I just can’t fathom the problem… But I guess if that’s how it is, there are other fish in the sea.” He paused, for a moment. “Ok, that one was just lazy, I apologize. You guys deserve better.”

“As long as you admit it,” says Yaritza.

“I thought the kraken one was funny, Dad,” adds Bonnie, leaning up against the canon.

“True, but I spoiled your game! Being a killjoy is against the very ethos of my craft! I’ll be good.”

“Ohhhhh.” The voice comes from Carla, who suddenly looks up from some deep concentration. “It’s like fish and chips!”

To revive the game, Zest ends up dragging me into it.


So he’s the Purple whatever, and I’m, I dunno, I just make grrr noises. I did my part for Kite, who at this point is spending some time with the eldest of the Levin-Munches.


“The trick t’the teach is to think of somethin’ inneresting ‘bout the flots-of-em, just put a real shine on the thing. Then, she’ll pick on the vibes, you’ll sync to her vibes, it’ll all groove,” Kite’s explaining to Julian when I start dropping in.

“So, I just make whatever she’s saying sound cool to me?” Julian’s question is met with a bunch of nods.

“Got your boy an A, an’ thass prob’bly a bolt from the blue!...But sometimes, you gotta do stuff that maybe aint your bag, dig? But you gotta just… Make it your bag. Bag it like groceries. Yer a brainiac, Jules, if you wanna be,” Kite insists, giving the other boy a pat on the back. That’s not enough to get them to friends for Social Butterfly, though, but that’s all the time we have tonight.



We come home to a fresh remodel; I’d been meaning to have a nice fireplace we could decorate for a while now, and a little chimney up the houses’ side. Besides, it’ll be nice, even if it means shifting a few things to the back porch rather than the side one.




“Hey, Mom,” Kite asks me, “Say you got bud one and bud two, an’ their steaming over somethin’ and it’s gettin’ real rough. Whaddya do to cool it off?”
Ah, a mediation question. Lemee roll up my sleeves and get some character values into the boy!

“Well, step one, you decide if it’s stupid. Then, you explain to them that they’re being stupid, and how. Then, since you’re sticking your nose in, you tell them how to fix it, and try to get people to move on in the way you want them to. That probably means thinking about what they want for a while.” This is the basic Kestral method of sticking your nose in someone’s business! “But if someone wants your help with a friend, you’ve got to approach that a little more sympathetically. Part of the whole thing is listening. Got all that?”

Kite nods, hesitantly.

“So youse gotta ponder out what’s on the loose wig… An’ you lay it all out for ‘em so they see what you’re seein’... An’ what’s gotta go down to make it square, an’ listen to make sure it’s really square, and not jus’ paperin’ it over, an’ then when everyone’s got the best happy endin’ they can muster up, you, I dunno, go do somethin’ nice? Maybe ice-cream… Maybe somethin’ rocky-roadish, ‘cuz friendship’s got all the chunks an’ it’s all gotta go together, and aint life a rocky road?...You think other ice cream’s good for other stuff?”

“If you’re going to put it like that.” I consider this conversation in full. “Would you like some ice cream, Kite?”

“Sure would!”


Miko did some painting, and one of them is just so cute that we have to hang it in what’ll be our nursery. I doubt it’ll be big enough to be a real bedroom; we might have to shuffle some things around.


In the meanwhile, this Robot is destroying things with its laser-eyes and just looks so happy. It’s wonderful. In the meanwhile, we’ll try to build up the cash to flesh out the nursery -- it’s where Gino’s room was.



Miko’s moving onto her third job -- I don’t know if she’ll stay with this one, or if she’ll go back, but here she is!
“Your social media star! Mikoooooo rides again!”

The next day, Zest has plans to invite a woman he’s met over.

“How do you deal romantically, Johnny?” Akira asks while Zest waits. “Doesn’t it hurt, getting your hopes dashed?”

“...What, you mean about how slow promotions are? I’m getting there, and nothing’s dashed just yet. I’m going to make it to the top! You should actually do your daily tasks more.”

“I mean romantically!”

“Oh. That’s because I only hope to have a nice time with a cool lady, Akira! It doesn’t have to be the be-all and end-all of my life. I’ve got my work, for one, and my friends, and…” He smiles a little to himself. “I guess I’ve got some love in my life, after all. Monogamy’s a hassle.”

“It’s not, though! ...You just wouldn’t get it,” Akira insists, over Johnny’s chuckle.

Of course, after a while, Zest actually loses track of his guest for the day. She just went off somewhere on her own, and he decided that that was fine. Because he got another call, for another guest..

“Hey, Johnny, it’s Jade Rosa. Mind watching Fiona for a bit?”

“Sure thing, drop her off here for the day.”



“Up you go!”

“Up! Up!” She’s a giggly little thing, one of Zest’s few dark-haired kids. Actually, I think it’s just her and Hob.

The thing is, I knew where his *other* guest of the day, one Haven Wheatley, went.


She went to talk to my wife instead.
“I left the room so he’d follow me. He’s not following me. Does that mean he doesn’t like me?

“No, no, it’s ok! You’re a great woman, I can tell!...He probably just didn’t know we added that back door. It wasn’t here before!” Miko explains, gesturing to the new back door, which, yeah, we did just add it. “Anyway, why don’t you hang out and play chess with me for a while instead?”

“It’ll serve him right!” Haven agrees, sharing a grin...Before Miko abruptly gets up.

“Right after the baby’s done dancing on my bladder. BRB! Oh, come on and come already, baby!”

Poor Miko. It’s gotta be soon, right?

If you’re wondering what Zest was doing when not realizing where his date went… He’s reading books about underpants, that’s what.

“‘Zachary Zebra did not like buttons, or snaps, or sleeves, or slippers, or zillions of zippers. But he did like underwear.’”

“Heeeheee. You said ‘underwear.” Fiona is lost in giggles at the mere mention of the word which, and I know this because Kite liked it, is going to appear probably more than any other word in this story about animals in underwear.

“Oh, did I ever choose right.”


Since I’ve got some time on my hands, I’m reading more filling fare, taking up a little research into Vampires; most of it’s completely useless to me, but at the highest peak, well, that could be useful to the dynasty down the line. Vampires need to get their fangs clipped before they kiss my descendants.


I’m not the only one working on skills, either. Miko’s making some pretty good gardening progress researching the plants we have around -- I should see if there’s anything I can do, besides play part-time chess partner -- to help her with her efforts; it’s good to see her really working to experience the world!
Stories In Progress:
The Avyan Immortal Dynasty

Offline Shewolf13

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Woo, got caught up!  Oh man... I don't even know where to start!  I sobbed like a baby with Gino, I'm not gonna lie.  I love Zest and his arc with the kids.  I ADORE Kite.  I can't wait to see how he grows up.  It will be interesting with how laid back he is and how opposite of that Kes is.  Miko and Kes are just too cute together!  Brilliant and can't wait to read more!

Offline Deme

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Woo, got caught up!  Oh man... I don't even know where to start!  I sobbed like a baby with Gino, I'm not gonna lie.  I love Zest and his arc with the kids.  I ADORE Kite.  I can't wait to see how he grows up.  It will be interesting with how laid back he is and how opposite of that Kes is.  Miko and Kes are just too cute together!  Brilliant and can't wait to read more!

Aww, thank you! This really made my, well, frankly, my week. It's really wonderful hearing about parts of the story that were especially moving or interesting to you, especially when they're some of my favorite parts. I'm looking forward to sharing more! ...Starting with finally getting to post-Seasons content, right  now~
Stories In Progress:
The Avyan Immortal Dynasty

Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"The World Began with Snow" (8/25/18)
« Reply #70 on: August 25, 2018, 09:48:56 PM »
Chapter 19: The World Began with Snow

When the cold snaps all rubber band-style like this, just reminds you Winter’s real, doncha think? Prowling on down. What, Mom never mentioned the weather? Trip, don’t know what to tell you. If I spend a tick on it, got her style on it, though, don’t it? No need to be down, I’mma take care a’ you for all your weather channel needs, alright?

So’s I was sayin’, it got cold real quick ‘round here.



Our cozy pad got covered in a thin layer of snow while I was catchin’ Zs, an’ that meant there was a sick scramble f’r the poor plants; they aint used to cold that toothy. You’ve already peeped what Mom did about that, right?





Yeah, she set up this groovtacular little garden shed! Got a couple’a other trowel-types in there, some worktables, lotta good nice space, big windows. The frost’s gettin’ in on gardenin’ too, all fern-fingers up along the sides of those windows, ‘till you’ve got walls a’ that shed painted with ice. ‘S got spots f’r more plants, an’ fer those ol’ perpetual-smilin’ flowers. Y’know the ones I mean, right? Got little skull mugs on ‘em, purple petals, that kinda thing. Dunno if someone bred ‘em f’r that, originally-like. Uncle Johnny says they’re grafted, originally… Y’think you could make flowers for the other parts a’ life? Flowers for… I guess fallin’ in love, right, or havin’ kids, or growin’ old, or wonderin’ if you’ll know what you want later, when you don’t know now. ...None a’ those times really got skulls, now, do they? Eh. I guess they got roses for love, anyway. Well, they’re neat flowers; they like the cold, cause it makes things boney, too.



An we got a swingset! A swingset! Had t’make a little playground room, but aint that just the sweetest thing? Lookin’ forward t’it, when it’s warm enough.


An’ that’s when those galaxies in Mom’s eyes started turnin’.

“I know just what to do while we’re working!”

She says, ‘fore she starts tearin’ up and replacin’ the kitchen in a hurricane a’ tiles. Looks pretty nice, though.




An’ when that gets done, we unpacked a couple a’ boxes an’ put together a little somethin’ for the sib upcomin’. Mom an’ Ka-san give each other worried looks, an’ Mom says,

“We shouldn’t have sold so much from the original nursery.”

“We should have planned a larger room,” says Ka-san, layin’ a hand on the little wall ‘tween our room an the li’l bro/sis/whatever’s space in her. She shrugs, though, an’ the other on Mom’s shoulder, smilin cuz she picked up what I dug, that Mom was tryin’ hard to keep her face like an arrow. “We’ll have to divvy up the second floor when they become a child, alright? We can get the money for that in a jiffy!”

“Yeah. I was hoping to reduce the clutter -- so I guess we’ll probably do this again later, since it’ll be a while until there’s another kid in the house.”

An’ last, least when it breaks down t’ stuff we did ‘cause of the snap, th’ stores got some winter glad rags; and f’r some reason, some other seasons -- gotta get ready for suns and sums, even if it’s ice cold!



Mom plucked out a new swimsuit, while she’s at it. Stylin’, if Mom’s the type t’lounge on a pool’s tile shores, bouncin’ the sun like it’s sand.



Ka-san’s got a swank new headpiece, an’ a freezer bunny sweater, all swank and cozy. I know kids who’d say a sweater like that’s ‘lame’ and ‘emberassin,’ but they don’t know! If it makes Ka-san smile, it’s somethin’ to be proud of.


Uncle Akira’s rockin’ the black, an’ the jacket’s kinda like his normal look anyhoo.




Someone’s gotta rock the Hawaiian shirt, and I dig absotively that it’s Uncle Johnny.


An’ then there’s me, and that hand-shirt’ll hands-down bite it ‘fore we get a day hot ‘nough for it, but it’d be a bummer not to have it, ya dig? But the shirt’s gotta be bummed, right? It aint gonna be worn by th’first person to want it. Should pass it off t’a charity when I’m done, give it a new start! Hope you find a summer day somewhere, Handshi.

Tomorrow’s a ways off, tho; there’s still some today left, ya dig?



An’ in this today, Mom’s put up a new piece a’ furniture in my room. Sorta a corkboard.

“The scouts have set up a chapter in Windenburg,” she tells me. An’ I’m like,

“Cool, good for ‘em. I’ll put in a hope they have a far-out time.” An I mean it. Can’t say I’m real in’erested, but maybe I’ll see more dudes my age around, right, and they’ll be havin’ their own sorta time?  I mean, if that’s your thing, it’s not my thing to put a bucket on it, but it aint my thing, you dig? It’s got no flow t’ it, an I think I kinda wanna float. You can’t trade the sun on the porch f’r a badge, you dig?


“I want you to sign up. My research says that activities like that add investment to our long-term goals,” she answers, then she gives it a good ponder f’r a second. “It’ll have good results. Well, technically, it doesn’t change the results…”

But she crouches down next t’me, an’ gives me a big, honest look in the eyes. Mom’s real serious here! You ever see a cat gettin’ chased, or gettin’ ready for a real desperate pounce that’s gotta have its claws crossed to work? Mom’s got her tail up like that, her eyes focused like that. ‘S funny, when it feels like chasin’ and gettin’ chased that way, but it’s the same rise to run, maybe? I’d wanna ask a cat. I’d wanna ask Mom.

“But if you’re going to do something important, shouldn’t you put your all into it? It’s a waste of time to go halfway.”

An’ I can’t shoot it back right away. Cuz I’ll be level with you with what’s rattlin’ around my dome: This the sorta thing it’d be OK to do what I want ‘bout it? ‘Cuz, I know what I wanna do… But Mom don’t pass out a real serious look like that f’r nothin. And I guess I do a pretty good job a’ passin’ for a good person, but…  I’m sorry. I’m really, really, bone-deep sorry. I’m not such a good kid, t’ always want what’s right, what’ll really help Mom with whatever that thing chasin’ her is.

Woops! Nah, nah, y’r buddy Kite’s all fine here. Just got away from me a little. It’s cool, it’s cool, ‘s all cool, my dudes.

“Arright. I’ll see what I can swing there, ‘kay? Long as I don’t gotta wear a uniform.” Cause that, that, man, I really can’t dig! Kite’s gotta vibe he’s chasin’, remember?

“You probably won’t. Most of the time, anyway. It’s really lame, right?” Mom asks, an’ we grin ‘bout the understanding that man, those are sure some threads that do not jive. An I feel a little better when she says, “You’ll have plenty of time to get badges, so don’t sweat it; you can fit things in a little at a time.”



So I ring ‘em up, and get all signed up. There are people in it I dunno, looks like, an’ that’s cool.


And, long as I don’t gotta do something that aint my jive, it’s fun t’get praised for somethin’! ...Cept I guess without the praise. An a little patch a’ fabric, instead. Well.



Now, that’s a guy just floatin. Doin’ what he wants, when he wants...
I don’t know why he wants t’ not use a stool or a seat or a sofa ‘r somethin. But trip, who’m I to judge?

Anyhoodle, got some good news, too!

Uncle Johnny’s got a promotion! He’s a master of roasts, a toaster of toasts! … I donno what a roast is, but he’s real glad to be masterin’ em at last, so I’ll wrap up a round of claps for him!

An’ the news continued into the night.

Ka-san got woken up by a jolt, in the middle of what Mom would call “One of our rare actual sleeps,” when we’re get a night t’ just chill without the club for a bit. Everybody’s gotta dream… Anyhoo, guess what time it was?


Time for the baby!
“Ow!” Poor Ka-san. “In...Phhhh….Out...Haaaa...Nh.”

“...On the one hand, do you need to go to the hospital? On the other hand, that doctor was a chump and I will exorcise him if he gets near you.” Mom looks worried, whatever she says.

“No, I can -- nhh -- do a -- home birth this time. You’re -- ow -- much...calmer. Than last time.”
 
“No one’s trying to take out your organs this time!” She’s snappin’ like the cold there, but Ka-san could prob’bly use a little cool. It’s kinda nerve-wrackin’, thinkin’ bout all this, an’ that’s about when the grown-ups tellin’ me this story got all foggy ‘bout it,  and anyway ‘s how they say it...


I got a new baby brother.

“After all this work, I get to pick the bird this time! So he’s Magpie. Perfect little Magpie.” Ka-san holds onto him f’r a while, whisperin’ soft little feathers of words ov’r him, ‘til it’s Mom’s turn.

An’ Mom laughs. Mom’s chain is pulled, and she loses it -- and it’s wack, hittin’ her like an earthquake, an’ trip!  I’ve never seen someone laugh and look so -- so --  sad. It’s all mixed up in that wack smile, man, that snow-meltin’ smile, that last fall leaf smile. Who knew Mom could look that way, huh? You mighta. News to me, though.


“I really signed myself up for something hard, didn’t I?” She stops laughin’ when she finally gets that out. Just holds him close t’ her, his fun-sized fingers wrapped ‘round her hand, “I didn’t think about it…Sorry… Some things are worth a little pain, right, kiddo? Right.”

I didn’t get a chance to meet ‘im right away, though; Uncle Johnny called up th’ club, and while they were cruisin’ up, Miss Penny spotted somethin’, an she shouted it out loud enough for everyone to get an earful:

“Hey, come look! Kestral, get a load of this! It’s starting to snow!”


An you know what? It was. Just little flurries at first, soft an white and wish-ready as falling stars. Everythin’ was all real chill, the snow takin’ cold bites outta the sound.


“Wow…” I’m tellin’ ya, takes my breath away. It was special -- the first snow a’ the year, that anyone was up for, anyway. Special in a buncha ways; the same in ‘em, too: Just a quiet, groovy little world, turnin’ on and on into another night, bigger every minute. ‘Cept it’s not the same world it was, remindin’ you of it like the winter. ‘Cause for my little bro, the world began with snow.
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The Avyan Immortal Dynasty

Offline Shewolf13

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Oh man oh man... I got all choked up.  Somehow, it's more poignant, more REAL coming from Kite's perspective, that moment that Kes realizes that her second child can't come with her into immortality.  I seriously do love Kite.

Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"The World Began with Snow" (8/25/18)
« Reply #72 on: August 26, 2018, 02:31:02 PM »
Oh man oh man... I got all choked up.  Somehow, it's more poignant, more REAL coming from Kite's perspective, that moment that Kes realizes that her second child can't come with her into immortality.  I seriously do love Kite.

He is a good boy and I am pleased he's landed so well. (He is also, in my future, fun to dress.)

As for that scene, this clip about sums up my feeling while writing it. I think Kestral knew, on a factual level, this detail the whole time; she knows the rules, and isn't, mostly, squeamish about them. But there is knowing, and there is understanding.
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Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"Winter Allergies" (9/8/18)
« Reply #73 on: September 08, 2018, 11:18:27 AM »
A small note before we begin: Thanks for your patience, everyone. I've had a stressful couple of weeks, but I'm glad to get back to this.

Chapter 20: Winter Allergies!

With Kite in the scouts, he’s ending up doing a lot more scampering around the house. Working on our science table until he gets bored (not long, but hey, it gets the job done, so I won’t complain), making little crafts...


Giving those crafts to our clubmates.
“While I was workin’ on it, you popped in the dome as someone who’d dig it, Ms. Penny.”
“Thanks, Kite! It’s a great card.”


While he talks to her until he’s made an adult friend, the rest of us settle in for movie night. Not perfectly, since it ends up kind of cold, but while normally, I just dismiss the club after getting what I want…


Watching a few movies like this isn’t a bad way to spend an evening at all. It is way too cold, though; I didn’t think about how sharp a windenburg winter could get…

“That’s it. Between flicks, I am changing into something that’s not going to make my toes fall off.”

“Oh, well, I’ll get cozy, too, then,” Miko says, rising up with me, a smile on her face. So, then, she plans to ambush me while I’m vulnerable… She picked up a devious streak somewhere, I say, as if I don’t know exactly from whom she learned her tactics. However...She can’t possibly get the draw on me.

“...I wonder if they’ll actually change clothes,” comments Maximiliano as we depart. I intend to, at some point; if I were just using this as a chance for sneaky woohoo, I wouldn’t be thinking about frostbite.


Our good mood follows us back to the couch. The movie goes on completely in the background.

“So how’s the social media-ing been going?” Hey, trade secret to anyone who follows her. I’m the one who does all the latte art. If you don’t follow her, what’s wrong with you?

“It’s going great! Sure, I get some creepy replies sometime, and some marriage proposals, but there’s a really sweet community, too! It’s fun encouraging everyone!”

“Oh, yeah?”

“That’s right! I want the little community around my stuff to be one where people can be supportive of each other’s feelings. I had a guy ask me for love advice, but what he really needed was support for his courage.”

That sounds about right; relationships take moxie.

“But I bet you’d have great romantic tips.”



“You managed to charm me, after all.” We laugh at my fantastically self-important line. But it is true, you know.

“Can you guys just watch the movie?” someone points out. Their eyes are wet, which explains exactly why I don’t want to.

Sad stories… I mean, look at this. You know the owner can’t return…

So… So the dog’ll keep waiting… And waiting….



Snfff. Winter allergies sure are a thing, huh? Dust, I guess. Yeah. You’re all cooped up… So there’s dust.

“Kestral… Isn’t it so sad?” Miko asks, sniffling.

“Winter allergies!”

Kite wandered off at some point, but a quick trip by the kitchen fills me in.


“Hey, Magpie...Trip, this is wierd, you know? You aint gonna remember meetin’ me…But you’d remmber not meetin’ me...An’ I’m bumpuzzled tryin’ to make somethin’ of it…Oh, Hey, you got a good smile.”
He is met with a gurgling baby-laugh. 
“Yeah, yeah. Let’s keep that up, huh? Your bro Kite’ll try an’ make that happen.”
It does a heart good to think they’ll get along. Well, Kite’s the type to get along with a cactus. Sibling rivalry can keep you sharp, but sibling hate’s just a long headache. I’ll be honest, wh knows what having sibling love does to you? We’ll find out.

OK, enough goofing off. I’ve got studies to get to.

I’ll spare you the dry stuff -- everything at my level’s completely useless to me. Do they expect me to go “Woah, plasma packs, that’s amazing!” like no one’s ever wanted a bloody mary, emphasis on the bloody?

Better yet: I know Zest invited Haven Wheatley back over. I think this is my chance to seize the day!

“So Haven, tell me about yourself.”

“Well, I guess you could say I’m a bit of a jealous type, but you know, that’s unfair, I --”

“You poor girl.” I can’t think of anyone she’s less suited for than Zest.

“People keep saying that! I don’t get it!” She says, clearly upset. Yeah, it’s time to switch gears before it bugs her or she sinks in. If Zest messes this up while I’m still in need of good friends, I will personally destroy him.

“Heeey! How about a present?”

 “What?”


I’m not above bribery. Especially not with junk from my pockets. But one woman’s trash is another woman’s boost in connections. And I’m right, of course.

There’s just a little time to enjoy the snow, while I figure out my next move.

I need to do a little more schmoozing. I could let Miko and Zest keep counting as my good friends, sure; if I were going to wimp out. I need to get my last promotion, sure, sure. And I need to flesh out the museum a bit more, so I’ll need to organize some dinners…

It’s pretty fun, planning in the snow. Playing. Whichever.


But is that going to be my ticket? Really? Those photos are pretty, but they’re not worth very much. Sure, the worth of an immortal’s family museum is just bragging rights.

But what sort of chump doesn’t want to brag? Bragging ‘rights’ are really ‘rewards,’ where you get to seize your aggrandizement. I want better. But what?

While I’m working on that, Kite’s taking a chance to work towards another badge.

It stands to reason. It’s kind of a weird Father Winter he’s got there, but on the other hand, are you really going to obey simcola in your child’s cards? Or, uh, Father Winter himself, I guess, but he doesn’t get an opinion.


And when Magpie’s on his own for a bit (By the way, all the ways I could think of to say that? Sounded terrible.) sometimes Kite’ll play with him.

And that’s great, it’s adorable, and I’m very happy, but… Kite needs more friends. For one, because social butterfly won’t fulfill itself. For another, because heirs don’t make more heirs, because human cloning is not a viable heir-production method.

So I made a club.


It’s probably not the greatest idea to make them all girls, but if he wants to change that as he gets older, that’ll be fine. To be honest, the club clearly needs some work, because…


That girl, with the earrings and the hat? I thought that look would be right, but I spoke to her a little. Evil. That’s not gonna fly here… I might have to take care of that.

“What?” Asks Bonnie in the middle of some discussion, someone I might encourage if it wouldn’t make my grandbaby cousins with half of whatever will come next. “Potted plants can’t be cute!”

“Sure y’can. They can all be cute, by plant-type standards that don’t cop to no human ways,” is Kite’s blase answer.

“...What makes a potted plant cute?”

“Cute’s, like, not a feelin’ you can measure with a stick or grade like homework… It’s kinda a wobbly thing… All up in the heart, you know?” He pauses for a beat. “Real good color -- that could be when a plant’s rockin’ its cutest look.”

An odd talk, for sure, but... hey, it lets him make a few more friends, so more power to my boy here.

And, you know what? I know what I’m going to do about the museum. I just need to run a few tests…

This chicken is worth basically 16 food photos, if I’m being generous and not saying 40. The value’s a little tricky to learn, but not impossible. It won’t go bad. I can do better, of course. But…


I set up the museum for it, a little glassed-off room, lit by curtains, where the plates will sit, being worth money and soaking up attention *forever.* People will drool over this, and never have it. Excellent.

That settled, I can… Is Kite at the drawing table again? This is time where he really needs to be working on his typing. We’re so close, and he’s also running a little low on time.


“Typing isn’t going to practice itself, you know,” I point out to him. “Badge-getting can wait.”

“Yeah, nah, this aint for a badge, Mom.” Kite looked at it for a while before he put the crayon down.

“What’s it for, then?” I mean, I can’t really think of what he’d be getting out of…

“It can be it on its lonesome, ‘s I guess why. A thing’s at its bees knees-est when it’s its own thing unto itself, you dig?” He smiled brightly, like always, and pushed back his chair. And I thought there was something that worried me, that I couldn’t name. “Course, Kite’s not up to Kitin’ unto himself...Uh. Kinda weird to that. Um. Like… Mom’s just Mom, all on her lonesome. Like that. So maybe I gotta put in a little self-improvement.”
Well, I am basically self-propelled and self-promoting, but… Wait! That’s not the important part! … I have no idea what to say. Even when I was sort struggling, as a kid, I sort of already recognized myself, and what I wanted. It was just a matter of grabbing it.

So I don’t know what to say, but… Hey.

“If you don’t think you’re there yet, you’ll grab it in your own way, just keep at it!”



I’ve got plenty of faith, even if I see him wandering off every now and again. And I have to hide that craft table for a bit. You’ll thank me later!

Also important: OK, so I might have committed to doing food -- and better food than that chicken, that’s getting tossed. But I still want to try with drinks.  Besides, gotta keep the skills fresh for work.



Oh. Ok. I, uh, really need to...uhh… Wow, that smoke burns..

...Nobody saw that.
Stories In Progress:
The Avyan Immortal Dynasty

Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"All My Stupid Housemates" (9/16/18)
« Reply #74 on: September 16, 2018, 05:09:07 PM »
Chapter 21: All My Stupid Housemates

OK, today’s the day. Time to roll up my sleeves. It’s the day of my last party.

Well, for requirements. I mean, I still want to have parties. That sounds more final than I really meant it -- what I mean is, it’s time to make up for that party that someone (Zest) ruined with his prenatal panic. While I’m getting ready -- baking a cake, preparing drinks, and so on, I overhear that Akira has a guest.


“It’s just so -- so frustrating!” is the emotional stance of one Eliza Pancakes, wife of the least interesting sim in the world. Akira makes a nonspecific noise of emotional sympathy. “When we were young, it was all exciting! And marrying Bob would let me move out of my parents’ house. I still care about him, really, I do!”

“I know,” answers Akira very gravely.

“My marriage is just a prison.”

“I understand how that feels. You wish someone could be who they were to you forever. And you can’t think of them that way anymore.”

“Exactly!”

Time for me to get a sock to hang on their door. I’ll just borrow Zest’s.
Let’s get the party started!



“Isn’t this a small shindig, Kest?” Johnny asks me while we dance. That’s three; that should be enough.

“I’ve more guests coming; Ulrike, some Munches. But this is all we need for dancing.”

“Ruthless.”

“If it works out,” Miko chirps in, “It’ll be a fun party, so it’s OK if Kestral gets very… determined about it all!”

“That’s right. I’m fire up today!”


Included in our Munch guests are the Munch-Levin girls. Kite can entertain them and any other kids who wander in for a bit.

“OK, Kite, you think you’re mister makeover, right?” is what I hear Carla asking.

“Nah, Mister Makeover’s my dad.”

“...You don’t have a dad,” adds Kate.

“Trip, got me there! So the crown’s up fer grabs… But you can’t makeover fer bigwigs on loose wigs, you digs?”

“What can you makeover for?” Carla asks. “Because my sister needs help.”

“I -- I do not!”

“Let ol’ Kite dust ya off yer feet t’ a new look… Maybe you’re a red kinda cat, Kate.”

“Red, huh?... We’ll see. Maybe later?”

“Yeah, yeah. You don’t gotta let your sis push you to it; you’re gonna look like you, an’ that’s pretty great, doncha think?”

And no one can say much to that.


And the remaining Munches invited to this party are…

“Have you met Lucas?” Mila asks.

“Apparently; I had his contact info, anyway.” Do I remember this? No, not at all. But I thought I could have him as a possibility. “Seemed like he knew a little punker than our countryside fare.”

“Phshaw. I wouldn’t say punker --”

“You wouldn’t,” agreed his mother. “It’s ‘more punk.’ He’s gotten into his brother’s musical tastes.”

This caused him to glance at Mila for a long time, before conceding.

“Ok, much more punk. Yeah. It’s a great neighborhood, if, you know, a little sleepy. I’m surprised you picked to live here!”

“Easy cherry access and local angelfish supplies.” I answer in a beat. Also, it’s kinda pretty. Besides… I spent a long time in kinda grungy spots.


I make the rounds. Actually, I’m getting nervous.



“Did I leave enough time before work?” I ask Miko, pulled outside. The air’s cold as the underside of an igloo, geeze! “We’ve really got to hurry.”

“It’ll be fine, we’ll do fine. It’s in the bag, just go, drink some drinks, have fun! We can have lots of parties if this one doesn’t turn out!” She says to calm me down. “We’ve got a lot of time. We still do, OK? Besides, gold is only given to fun parties! Now, we’ve got the good party frenzy, so off I go!”


Sadly for her, the kids are at the good party frenzy. My poor wife. But she can at least root along.

“One of the girls grabbed Princess Berry, Kite.”

“Kate’s playin’ with her, since she likes th’ pink,” answers Kite, who has himself selected to play as Oldbones the...Skeleton-turtle thing? Well, OK.

“Princess Berry’s the best, though, so you’ve got an uphill battle ahead!”

“That’s right, Kite!” Declares an interchangeable Jang twin. Let’s say that one’s Star. We didn’t even invite her; how do these girls keep sneaking in?

“‘M always down fer a party on whatever side a’ the hill ya want.”

“That’s the spirit, honey!” Miko’s going to root him on. Though if I recall, isn’t that princess only dangerous as an AI?



While I’m following this from the corner of my eye, the sound of ice in a tumbler catches my attention.


“A drink for the hostess,” Mila says, passing me a drink.
“This feels wrong and backwards, but ok.”


In the meanwhile, the party game’s heated up, and comes to crown Kate its queen.

“An’ the queen’s gotta get some glad rags t’ celebrate!”

“Oh, alright, alright…”


All told, the look isn’t bad at all. A girl in dark reds and golds.

I hear a door open, and Akira and Eliza step out of his closed room.

“You’re a lioness; you don’t deserve to be caged,” Akira’s saying, his voice so low and earnest the party chatter barely parts around it. Ulrike, though -- Ulrike goes so quiet.
“I can’t leave him,” Eliza protests. Ulrike walks a little closer.
“I know. Just… You can have a refuge here. With me.” He balks for a second, and it hits me *he hasn’t even noticed the room*. The idiot. The imbecile.

The person ruining my party for a guest leans forward. And kisses Eliza, right on the lips.


Right in front of his first girlfriend.

“Is this what you’re up to when you think I’m not around, Akira? After all your high-and-mighty talk?”

“Ulrike.” Like his whole brain was grinding to a halt.

“Uh, Akira, what’s going on here?” Eliza asked she realizes her clandestine smooch with another man rather lacked, you know, any form of secrecy.

“He’s my boyfriend, Mrs. Pancakes.” Ulrike’s voice was shaking. “Or he was. He’s now… Under review.”

“I should go.” And with that, one Mrs. Pancakes flees the scene, back to the least interesting sim in the world, leaving the unhappy couple to stare each other down.

“...I can explain,” said Akira. You know. Like a liar. Whose social life just got blown to smithereens.

“I’d like to see you try, Akira!” Ulrike’s voice cracks like ice; just once before its tone lowered all at once. “I really would.”

...But…
It’s time for work! So I’d have to catch up to my new soap opera later. The party’s not at gold. I am in hot water here.

...There’s nothing I can do but trust.

“Miko, I am begging you: help me. Bring this home!”

“I’ve got your back!” She shouts, and waves me out.


Of course, while I had to wait some hours to learn this myself, I can still fill you in on what happened on the next episode of All My Stupid Housemates.

Those two pulled themselves away from most of the party to talk alone.


“Okay, the thing is…” Akira started. It was a strong start. He didn’t have a strong follow-up. “...I don’t think any woman I’ve met is the woman I can trust with my heart. I believe it -- every time! I really thought, I really hoped...That you were someone special. But then I just can’t stop thinking about the things I don’t know. The sides of a person you don’t see, and then I realize I was just wrong!”

“...So you look for someone else,” and I am told she said it so final that it was like an anchor getting dropped into the bottom of the sea. “And so you just don’t tell me that you, Akira Kibo, a cheater, don’t trust me.

“Yeah. that’s my fault. It’s… Probably all my fault, and I’m sorry.”  He reaches for something just out of reach; that’s how it was told to me, and I’m thinking it wasn’t physical. Guys like that don’t go for a physical reach, he’s not a hand-talker. But he searches anyway. “I just -- kept wanting something. I still do. I should have just made a clean break. But, and this is going to sound crazy --”

“Too late for that,” she interjects. “The problem’s you; that’s the thread here, you know. No matter who someone is, it’s not secure enough for you. If you want something, it’s got to be from you.”

He sighs, and shakes off something he’d had, denied he’d had, this whole time. He shakes his head with dejection, and folds up his hands.

“...You’re probably right. I’m sorry. But I still do like you.”

They sit for a moment in silence. Tears slide down Ulrike’s face just to get wiped away.

“Oh, forbidden words, I still like you, too. I’m nuts.” She laughs, and it’s a heart-breaking enough sound, like something breaking a little. It is almost a sob. “There’s just something about you… But… Are we even friends? Do you even have friends, Akira?”

He doesn’t know how to answer that. He leans back on the couch he’d earned, in that little stretch of room occupies so much of his life. He had a couch to show for it. Some machine parts. I’m not counting the kids; he doesn’t believe in the kids.

“I’m sorry,” he tries. “...Could we...still be together?”

“Yeah, I get that, but…”



They’re interrupted then by a bright, cheerful shout, bursting into their conversation.

“Gooooold!” The last chess piece was in place. Two sims had played a game. Miko fistpumps the air, celebrating her well-earned triumph, since she did it! She brought it home for me! “Ooh, it’s fun for me to be the one ensuring dynastic success!”


And they watch this, down to Miko’s cute victory dance a few minutes later.

“See that?” asks Ulrike, over her shoulder. She sounds resigned now, atop of something. “That’s someone who loves somebody. That’s not us.”

“So you’re dumping me. Yeah, that’s fair. I know I keep saying it, but… I guess I wasn’t thinking about anyone but what would make me happy. And I’m sorry for that.”

“I’m not exactly dumping you,” she says, and now, I have it on good two-drink authority that she was kicking herself about it. “But just… Don’t call me until you get yourself sorted out. I don’t want a relationship I can’t trust, and I don’t want a relationship where no one trusts me.”

And she leaves, before the party’s even done.

And Akira tells me this over too many drinks all through that night, just pouring his guts out. He doesn’t know what it is he can want. What he can have. How to make things right. There are times when a barkeeper needs to give advice. But here’s the secret: the advice is usually something your patron really already knows. What they really want is someone to rubberduck at, or someone to nudge them down the path they don’t have the nerve for.

A time like this, a bartender’s gotta listen. Besides, then I get to tell you. But just to be clear, what I tell you’s in total confidence, got it?

But let’s rewind a little. Party’s over, night’s young, I’m at work, Kite and Magpie’re asleep or something. Stranger things have happened.



A still lost Akira tags along with Miko to the gym, since she got invited out by Katarina Lynx.

“I’m actually surprised you invited me -- I didn’t take you for a gym rat much… Or that you took me for one, either!” Miko comments once they’ve gotten into it, in between quick grabs for breath. 8 skills being raised up, and some trimmings, but athletics aren’t some of them. “As I’m sure -- the burning -- in my lungs -- can attest!”



“All the more reason to invite you. If I were going with someone super fit, I’d just get embarrassed,” is Katarina’s response. Everyone around them, except maybe noted computer man Akira Kibo, did more working out than them -- that was pretty clear. “Better us two get a start together, right?”

“That makes -- sense then… Buuut~” Somehow, she managed to elongate a vowel while running. Babe. “Doesn’t that mean you -- should be running, too?”

“Ahhh…”

“The whip goes crack, crack! Hop to!”

I’m told that it was...Maybe a more productive trip than Katarina expected.

But enough of that. Yes, yes, the independence of my family is great and all! But!

Give it up for the queen.


Celebrate your celebrity mixologist, boys, girls, assortments, animals, universe!
 
Man, if feels good to get that done. My triumph’s in sight! The finish line’s just a few weeks away!

“Babe, give me some sugar!” I declare as I kick open the door. Frankly, it’s a crying shame I don’t have confetti. I deserve confetti.

“Not until you ask nicely, barkeep,” Miko answers, giving me a grin. I can’t help but laugh.

“OK, okay. Please praise me for my wonderful feats and hail the conquering heroine!”

“Of course. Good work, my lady knight!”



For my noble quest’s fulfillment so near at hand, or whatever, there’s naturally a little more than sugar for our celebration.

There’s also a few improvements to the yard with my bonus.



Really unseasonable improvements, I admit. But we’ve needed a pool, and it’s a good season if for hot-tubbing and the fire, right? The sunken garden was Miko’s idea, because, I quote,

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see the plants through the water? I’d like to be a mermaid for a little while like that.”

And so, here we are. We’ve got a yoga mat down there for right now, though.


There’s one final thing to say about the household… It’s time for my littlest fella to age up a little.


Man, he’s just going to grow like a weed, isn’t he? He’s such a little charmer, though. A huggy kid, too.


He’s got my hair, or close to it anyway, but Miko’s eyes win out in the end.

...Well, that’s not a bad thing. 


He’s absolutely precious in that hoodie, isn’t he?
Stories In Progress:
The Avyan Immortal Dynasty

 

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