Author Topic: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty - The Word Unsaid (9/25/20)  (Read 54751 times)

Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"The Shah of Snowfall" (10/19/18)
« Reply #90 on: October 22, 2018, 07:22:29 PM »
I know I've said it before, but I just love Kite!  And I was sooo glad Kest got rid of that one girl!  I wanted to slap her silly!  She is certainly not right for our Kite! (yes, I said our XD, I'm feeling very possessive of him for some reason).

And your possessiveness warms the cockles of my heart, it does. It's time to roll up our sleeves and get very discriminating about who should be with our boy!

Love all the teens being teens.  And Magpie is as cute as ever.

I was so startled when it happened, like "Wait, what, Kite, honey, what the heck are you even doing put your coat back on" ... But after a second, I realized that, duh. I had gathered up a bunch of teenagers and left them alone. Of course someone was going to do something dumb!

I just finished reading the first chapter and I already love it! Kestrel is so sassy and fun!

Thank you very much for reading, and for dropping a comment as you do! Kestral largely kicked off the whole enterprise by just bursting into my brain with that line, and everything else about her followed.
Stories In Progress:
The Avyan Immortal Dynasty

Offline ShyLilSimmer

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"The Shah of Snowfall" (10/19/18)
« Reply #91 on: October 23, 2018, 08:34:04 AM »

I just finished reading the first chapter and I already love it! Kestrel is so sassy and fun!

Thank you very much for reading, and for dropping a comment as you do! Kestral largely kicked off the whole enterprise by just bursting into my brain with that line, and everything else about her followed.

Yeah that happens to me too sometimes! She looks so cool too!

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Offline ShyLilSimmer

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty, Chapter 2: Fisherman, Ahoy!
« Reply #92 on: October 23, 2018, 08:50:39 AM »
Chapter 2: Fisherman, Ahoy!

“Booyah! Victory is mine! I warned you! Your girl does not lose!”

It was a good trip.

LOL when did Johnny become such a player? Miko is such a cutie and I really like this Gino NPC. Weird traits though. NPCs in Sims 4 make very little sense

Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"The Shah of Snowfall" (10/19/18)
« Reply #93 on: October 24, 2018, 01:00:56 AM »

LOL when did Johnny become such a player? Miko is such a cutie and I really like this Gino NPC. Weird traits though. NPCs in Sims 4 make very little sense

Someone's got to be a player, right? Well, maybe. An infinite multiverse of Johnny Zests must mean one of them is a player. And here we are... With a little nudging from one very goal-oriented lady, hee hee.

Randomness leads one to some odd but sometimes interesting sims, for sure.
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Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"That Guy" (10/25/18)
« Reply #94 on: October 25, 2018, 06:20:14 PM »
Chapter 25: That Guy

When I’m headin’ back on in, I check up Magpie’s room, seein’ as I figger he’d probably have caught all his Zs.

“Hey, hey!” He grabs me when I open the door, an’ gets me with a giggle.

“What’s shakin, bro?”

“You’re do the thing, right?” He asks me. Now, Kite’s got a coupl’a things, erryone needs some things, you know? So which one...

“What thing you got in mind?”

“You’re gonna tell a story! About the day!” An’ he means, natch, this little yarn I’m spinnin’ for you now. The little ‘family tradition’ we got here, I mean, you dig?

“Yeah, prob’bly. Why?”

“I wanna! I wanna tell!” He insists, gesturing to the little chair so he can get t’ talkin. An hey, who’m I to say ‘no way’? So settle down, too, an’ I’ll spin his words on his day f’r a bit.

“OK, so what happened?”

“Mom read me a story! ...Um…” He scrunches up his face all serious. “It was a good story! ‘Bout Movie Stars!”

“You wanna be a movie star, bro?”

“...I dunno,” he goes shy on me then. So file this as a maybe, arright? He’s back in his groove real quick. “But I wanna wear shiny clothes, an’ get my picture taken a bunch!”  He’s been miming a snapping a pic, so I mime up a camera -- not th’ phone kind --  back. “And Mom said ‘Just rember me in the… the… the axe-set-ants speech!’ So I’m gonna! You, too!”

Awww, trip, man.
“Real glad for it, bro. Anything else happen tonight?”


“Ka-san and I dance! An’ I told her about chicken butts!”

“About what?”

“Chicken butts!” He says again, ‘fore he’s solid gone to the giggle zone. ‘Ventually, he cools it, an’ keeps going. “An she says ‘well, we’ll shake our tail-feathers!’

“Ka-san’s good at dance,” he adds.

“Yeah, she is, innit she?”

“Yeah! There! That’s the story!”

“Good work, dude. Aces.” It takes a little work t’ get at his hair under the hoodie, but I can’t just let ‘im go unruffled, you dig? “That’ll sure set the scene.”

So, dude, that’s the story. Nothin’ else t’say right now, I just figgered he’d tell it better’n I could… Well, ok, I guess I’ll keep goin’; I’m sure I can dig up some stuff he wouldn’ta known yet, right?

...Well, a lotta stuff, if we’re hittin’ truth.

After seein’ Magpie off, I had t’ sit down an’ for real finish up this work. And funny enough, it’s Uncle Akira who comes on by to help out. He’s got the whole number thing counted out -- guess it’s the sorta stuff a programmer’s in the need-to-know for.

“Mucho Merci, Uncle Akira. You’re a swell dude f’r the hand,” I tell him as the math flies by. An that nets a sad laugh into his coffee.

“You think?...Because I’m pretty sure I’m not.” He sees I’m given him the looky-loo for that, so he’s gonna keep talkin’. “I want to be. I want to not hurt people. I’m just… I can’t convince myself to feel what I want to feel. I’ve thought a lot about it, and she’s right. It’s me. It’s always been me.”

“Aw, trip, Unc. I didn’t mean t’ bring up somethin’ hard. But hey,” I say, tryin’ to draw out somethin’ I can say. “Change’s gotta start with wantin’ it, right? So you’re at least gettin’ rollin, you dig?”

“Heh. why not,” is all he answers.

I wanna find some way a’ helping him out. If you think of somethin’, you gotta be sure to give Kite the deets, ok, my dude?

So’s while I’m out -- a lotta us’re out, I guess, so it’s just Uncle Johnny havin’ a time.

Specifically, Catarina Lynx dropped li’l Ashley off at our pad for a bit, right? But the time he’s havin’ aint a smooth  one with that.

“No! Mommy come back!”

“It’s OK, she’ll be back. She will, I promise. You’re just going to spend the morning with daddy for a bit, OK?” An for some kids, that’d be immediately enough, you dig? Not quite.

“No! Mommy!” She’s almost gonna cry before Unc figgers, hey, if he’s maybe not gotten a total grip on the whole thing with doin’ some of the rest of parentin’, he can fall back on his specialty.

“You know, that reminds me of a story about an egyptian who went to an old pyramid. Wanna guess why he did that?” He pats her head t’ console her.

“...No, why?”

“Because he wanted his mummy!”

And once she gets a hoot an’ giggle outta that, she’ll let him pick’er up and go on.

“Let’s go play until Mommy gets back, OK?”


An’ they had a pretty swell time f’r a while, puttin’ that slide to the work with all that swsh-swsh of snowsuits in the air.

“I’m still a work in progress, but I think I’ve got a grip on it,” was Uncle Johnny’s opinion when I asked him ‘bout it.

He had a little chance t’ say hi to another kid when she was headin’ home from school. Trip, that rub ya a little creepy, huh?  Sorry, I meant another one a’ his kids. Fiona, I think he said she was. Fiona Rosa.

“Keep up the homework, stay in school, only rebel and leave your family behind if we’re jerks about your life and you’ve finished school. Words to live by!”

“Alrighty! … Did you actually mean all of that?” She drops her pep fer a tick, with one a’ those smiles where you aren’t even real sure.

“I mean, I don’t want you to. But I’m just saying, if you’re going to disown yourself, please do it responsibly. I don’t want you ending up in a bad way,” he gives his far-out little speech.

“You’re so weird, dad,” she tells ‘im as she waves bye to head on to her mom’s pad, leavin’ him feelin sorta wistful, I guess.

...Hey, can I be real with you fer a tick? Just. It’s kinda. Trip, this is all kinda embarrassin’, huh? Go easy on your ol’ pal, won’tcha?

So, my grades are up, right? An’ I look at that card an’ I go “Oh, Mom’ll be over the moon.” An’ Ka-san’ll be on this, too, right?

 An I realize that the whole thing didn’t mean anythin’ to me. I wasn’t proud, or nothin. It just was, an’ now Mom’ll stop counting down the averages. I was just… Look, you know how you sorta come on different for different cats? Like, around my friends, I’m Kite the buddy, who’s gonna listen t’ everything an’ buck ya up. And that’s no put on, man! An’ around the ‘rents, I’m Kite the hard worker, you dig? Doin’ all those tasks f’r mom, an’ pickin’ up badges an keepin’ my nose outta trouble an’ all. And that’s no put on, either. Glad t’ make ‘em all happy, really, an’ if I just spewed the ever-word pudding, I’d just make a mess of things; it aint no drag not t’ get the chance to.

But it just feels…

Aww, trip, like, I donno. Nah, that aint it. I know. It’d just somethin’ I shouldn’t say, I guess, right? I’m just bein’ a dumb kid, prob’bly. You know, kinda grabby. So I just try an’ keep my hands busy, an’ my head busy, so mostly, I don’t put weight on anyone else’s shoulders, an I don’t get hung up.

But today, I got hung up like you wouldn’t believe. Cuz it seems like it’ll go on forever, my dude. Just. Forever. Like all I wanna do is go runnin’ off into the woods an’ just never come back. But I wouldn’t, not for real, you dig, I just… Let’s say I ran, yeah? Would anyone know where I went? An’ would anyone come t’get me? An’ if they did, were they comin’ to get me, or comin’ to get how I come on? Is that even a real line I’m drawin? It’s kinda silly to want somethin’ like that, right? You can’t just go around testin’ cats on rules you made up, that is uncool, man.

I donno if he’s as worth comin’ for as Buddy-Kite or Hard Worker-Kite, but… ...But if no one ever finds that dude, right -- the Kite that’s just mine, you dig, who wants to be told all the time he’s the most righteous dude an’ so important 'cuz he's not sure even if it’d be a pain, and just wants to hold up the world in him an’ just be in the world so in himself, and aint sure if you’re diggin’ him, right here, that Kite --  If there’s no time they’re not coming for the other Kites, if I’m comin’ on forever and never get to be him…What’s gonna happen to that guy?

Anyway, tried writin’ some about it. Couldn’t scratch it out, not really. Not even sure I got it here, an’ I just gabbed your ear off. Thanks for that, my dude. Much Appreciation.

Anyhow, Outside, Unc’s invited over Hob an’ them.

Could go out an say somethin. Man, I been brought too low down for that, you dig? I’d just be a drag. So I just listen.

“So, the trick to not waking the llama is --”

“Don’t be dad?” Bonnie smiles kinda sarcastically.

“Who knew it resents success?” answers Uncle Johnny, shrugging. He pauses. “You kids are old enough you probably ought to think about your futures a little. Any ideas?”

“I would be interested in pursuing any number of fields,” is Yaritza’s answer. Most of th’ rest kinda shrug.

“Ah, still working on it, huh? No worries.” Though, if I had t’guess, Unc’s at a bit of a loss. Mom’s like that, too, you dig? But he goes on, softer, “My advice is to find what you want and just never stop chasing it. You’ll do great.”

‘Rents really worry about this stuff, huh? Yeah.

Once th’ game breaks up, a bunch of them wanna watch out for Magpie. The girls just love ‘im.

“He’s just so cute!” Squeals Alyson. “Hey, Magpie, want to play with me?”

“I got blocks.” I bet he’s smilin’ like crazy. All these folks payin’ attention just t’ him? Just the bee’s knees.

“He’s got blocks. Alright, Magpie, can you show me what block’s the one with the moon on it?” Bonnie’s got him on blocks, sounds like. He’s really got a grip on talking to dudes by the end a’ the night.

Extra so since Ka-san’s talkin’ to him after everyone else’s split, tellin’ him ‘bout birds.

“Now, I’m a city girl, so I always liked pigeons the best growing up! They have pretty colorful wings and grey wings. A lot of people think they’re bad, though.”

“Are they?”

“No. They are gentle friends. They’re all good birds, Magpie,” Ka-san says it like she’s thinkin’ of somethin’ kinda funny, an’ that’s enough for both of us to get a chuckle, on other sides of the wall. “They’re very shiny sometimes -- like Magpies, even though they’re different types of birds.”

“Like me?”

“You’re named after them, yeah. Magpies look like of like crows or blue jays, but in all black and white, with a pretty shine to their wings -- they can make a lot of sounds, like someone I know!”

“Like me!”

“That’s right.”

...Far-out thing to listen to, really. I guess that’ll pick me up a while. That’s what I’m thinkin, anyhoo. An then:

“Kite, I think it’s time you and I had a talk.”

“...Hey, hey, woah.” Like that isn’t sugar-sure to shock a cat! I can’t think of somethin’ I did to get her on me, but then she looks at me for a moment and says,

“Oh, right, no, not like that. It’s just need to know and you need to know; really, I’ve been putting it off. So don’t worry.” So watcha gonna do but pop a seat on her big bay window an’ give it a listen?

“Let’s cut to the chase: I’m never going to die.” She says such a far-out thing so plain, like she’s sayin’ it’s snowing out. “And, by my plan, neither will you.”

“Never-never, like, past heat-death-of-the-cosmos never, Mom? You’re putting me on,” I can’t help but laugh. She taps a digit to her chin, like I said somethin’ that’s really gettin’ wheels spinnin’.

“You have a point. I might have to negotiate at the heat death of the universe. But hey, could be interesting. Not fun, but living forever’s going to have awful times, too.” Trip to end all trips, man. “You can handle your own status via life or death then, naturally.”

“...I can’t now?”

“You can, which is why I need to talk to you about this.” Aint nothin’ I can say to that, my dude. Just waitin’ while her fingers tap-roll across her knee for a tick.

Then: “If one collects a family line of eight successive immortals -- people who have really proven themselves, not just, you know, grabbed some temporary fix without putting in the effort, like they think that gonna keep the reaper off their backs.” She rolls her eyes, “If you get eight, who’ve fulfilled their lives in all the ways someone can, then you’ve basically got perfect immortality, the bestowment of treasures, all of that. Some crazy ancient ritual thing the Reaper put into place. Weird, right? But it works. And I want in.”

‘Fulfilled their lives’ yadda yadda, huh? A feelin’ creeps in. Real heavy stuff. All of it’s buggin’ me out, if you gotta know… Like… I donno if I wanna live forever. Never thought ‘bout it. Trip, dude, time’s just a thing cats make up, right, if a day feels like an hour, aint that the same as only havin’ an hour? Heavy as the end of the world. But there’s somethin’ else, too. An I can’t smile thinkin’ it. I’ve gone stone cold.

“Just 8, huh? In a row?”

“That’s right.”

“An’ no one else.”

“Wouldn’t have the room. Housing laws are a pain. Maybe we’ll get a president and make some new ones a few generations down the line.” She shrugs.

“...What about Ka-san and Maggie?”

Only answer right away’s just a hiss of breath goin’ in through her teeth. An’, trip, I said the wrong thing -- and then I think, hey, scratch that trip, Kite. You asked the right thing! …’Cept she looks sad, an’ shuts her eyes. An I know then that it aint like she hadn’t thought about it.

“...It’s not like I’m killing them. It’s not. Besides, your mother’s not interested in running off for her own business like that. Kinda weird, if you ask me.”

 “It’ll only be for a while, and at the end, it’ll be worth it. It’s pretty dime-a-dozen to bring back a sim, everyone knows it. But when you do it, deal undertaken and all that? They get in on it. So it’ll be worth it. It will.”

Hey, dude, you gotta help me out. What do you say to that? This has all already happened, dig, but what’s a cat to say? I’m a deer in headlights out here, dude!

“...I care. Of course I do. But… That’s not enough to make me give up. Not when at the end is everything I’ve ever wanted: Everything, forever.” She’s starin’ off into something happenin’, some kinda thing only she really knows, ‘cept it’s in her like a hunger, and a kinda loneliness, and a loss. Don’t ask me why, man, I couldn’t tell you. Just that this is somethin’ Mom’s smashed her brains to make happen for her. Heck, maybe they already were, dig?

Even I can see, it’s somethin’ real important for her. An then she snaps back into firing along all Mom-style. Starts rattlin’ all the stuff you already know, right? ‘Bout what that’s gonna take. Hey, aint that all kinds of freaky that she’s been pushin’ me for this my whole life an’ I never noticed, like, dig this, I musta been flying backwards. Thinkin’ it was about me.

I’m trying to put somethin together the whole time. What matters t’me most. I do this, I’m spendin’ a while here, doin’ the rat race. Not gettin’ a chance to taste the lazy river wind where my heart takes me, not really gettin’ to follow my own groove and make somethin’ happen for me for a long, long time. Or Mom, an’ maybe Bro and Ka-san, down the line. An defendin’ that thing that’s her thing, you dig?

What Kite am I gonna be?

“I’ll leave the particulars of your path up to you, of course. I’m not a dictator, after all. Mostly...Though I’d recommend staying away from the garden. There’s only so far you can go without the plants needing caring for, I’m sad to say.”

“Now just a tick, Mom. It’s winter now, dig? Just… Give me ‘til Spring’s gotten its legs on that, sound cool?” Those plants look like they were waitin’ for someone. Not sure how to put it -- just that’s the vibe I get, you know? Left t’ their lifeless little corner.  Sure, the rows give you kinda a sense of season, but there’s no flow to it, you dig? No shade, and without shade, you can’t get real sun to mean nothin’. Flowers gettin’ buried under the trees, trees tanglin’ up their branches. It’s really somethin, man. But picture it: a cool pond with the water burblin away, the shade of trees, bright pops of flowers you see through the shed’s window. I think plants know how to handle a flip-out better’n people, for sure: they’re so cool we mark the coolness of other things by ‘em, right? But the roots run deep, an’ they soak up any noise you’re gonna put into ‘em. Makes ‘em real peaceful. Take an easel out, soak up the sun. You can really get somethin’ swinging that way, right?

...Maybe I just wanna see what I’ll grow outta me. Anyfroodle, I was on Mom’s thing, right?

Might as well.

“Of course, of course.” She nods, and then she drops me a real smile.

“Thanks, Kite. I’m glad you’re with me on this. You and Miko and...just everyone. It’s not something I expected, that’s for sure.. And finding it’s been a real treasure.”

“...Yeah, cool. I’ll see what I can get goin’, anyway, OK? I aint gonna brag and say I got this right off, you dig? But it could be somethin’, if you’re gonna have my back all the way.” An’ I smile, best I can. I can get into it, sure I can.

“Of course, kiddo. I’m with you ‘til the end of the line.”

Mom gave me some greenarinos to go get my room remade. Call it a late birthday or an’ early ‘guess we’re doin’ this real far-out thing’ present. Don’t worry about ol’ pal Mr. Jackalope, he’s still chillin’ here with me, of course, but a lot a’ the toys are for Magpie now. Bet he’ll like ‘em. Man, I really wanted those wind chimes, but I couldn’t sleep with ‘em, so they had to go. Gonna have to have some in the shed sometime. An’ the garden. Anywhere, really. But the rest looks great, don’t it?

Now, don’t you go worryin’ about Kite, OK? It aint all sobs and maudlin, the sky’s not darkenin’ (well, OK, it was night, but hey, you dig), world’s not endin’. It’s not like I’m doin’ something I don’t want to. Well. OK, Somethin’ I completely don’t want to, anyway. Gonna be a road, that’s for sure…

And nothin’ I said before really went away…

But hey. Before, I was just wonderin’ if it’d go on forever. Now I know: I’ll have a finish line, and after that, I’da done the best I could, an’ still have whatever I want left over.  I’ll really just get that Kite happenin’, opened up to the sky. If a day’s an hour if you think it’s an hour… Then I got the patience to wait a while, you dig? That’s ok, isn’t it?
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Offline Shewolf13

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"That Guy" (10/19/18)
« Reply #95 on: October 28, 2018, 11:51:12 PM »
Wow, heavy stuff! Poor Kite! I want to hug him and squeeze him and make it all better.

Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"That Guy" (10/19/18)
« Reply #96 on: November 10, 2018, 04:50:46 PM »
Wow, heavy stuff! Poor Kite! I want to hug him and squeeze him and make it all better.

Same, though... Which is probably a little odd for me to say, all things considered. It was a daunting chapter to work on...Which does not actually explain the long delay between updates, and I'm terribly sorry for that!
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Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"Some Quality Bumming" (11/10/18)
« Reply #97 on: November 10, 2018, 04:56:57 PM »
Chapter 26: Some Quality Bumming

Anyhoo, that’s a drag you don’t gotta worry on, arright? Aaah, lessee what I can rummage up f’r you?

“Hi-ho, honey!” Ka-san springs on Mom ‘fore givin’ her main squeeze a squeeze while she’s chillin’ by the bar.


“I may or may not have been playing Blue Moon 64 a lot this week. One of the bachelorettes uses it, I thought it sounded cute!” Ka-san’s explanation’s kinda shameless, huh? But Mom’s a bigger fan that way, you dig? An’ Kite’s not sure he’d wanna encourage shame on that. “Anyway, did you have that talk?”

“Of course; It went well. I’m a little worried about the whole plant business, but hey -- even if we wait a bit, we’ll still have time to switch.” Mom nods all pleased, and hey, if I don’t tell ‘er, an’ I won’t, then can you help keep that riff between us? “He’s bound to blaze through whatever he wants.”

“...Kest. Are you sure? Our sweetie’s sensitive. You’ve got to be sure you’re reading him carefully.” ‘Course Ka-san would think t’ look all through me like Kite’s nothin’ but a sheet of glass, man. She was watchin’ Mom’s face, an’ fer a second, little ol’ me peepin’ from a distance thought she’d wanna dig into it, an that’d cause a lotta trouble…

“I’m sure, I’m sure. Why wouldn’t he be?” So I’m glad that’s what Mom says. Trip, man…. Maybe I shoulda’ picked some other scene to tell you ‘bout, you dig? This one’s kinda a bummer. Well, Mom comes to superman this scene. “How was work?”

“Good, good! We’re collecting grant applications right now. Not sure what we’re granting, but the inner workings of charity are an enigma!” She plops down next to Mom. “Right now, I’m trying to pick my sixth skill. Singing, of course! Painting. Charisma. Logic. Parenting, I figure. I’m not exactly there, but I’ll get there!”

“Of course, of course. So number five… You’ve done enough gardening to get your feet under you. Might as well drive it home.”

“Sounds like a plan! This has been pretty fun, but I’ll miss playing chess with you for a while.”

“Why stop? I’ll win eventually. Mark my words,” Mom says, grinning, drawing Ka-san into a hug.

“I’ll keep leaving you in the dust, dear.”

Dig it: just a sweet little talk, in the end, my dude.

 Oh, huh… Guess this explains Mom’s room of food.

Yeah, that room. All glassed off so hands are off, you dig? Anyway, Mom says she’s gotten everything prepared in there. Trip, I’ve gotta think of what to put in… Maybe just some arts? Hm.

Anyway, check this:

“And this is how you do the monster mash! It’s not really in-season, but it’s a fun dance,” Uncle Akira’s givin’ Magpie some tips on how to really swing.

“Why?” But it’s time f’r a toddler to toddle.

“Well, it’s got a fun song for it, mostly.”

“Why?” Bro’s got that little sing-song tone, so he’s just askin’ to ask… An’ that just drags Uncle Akira stone cold, dude. Just frozen in place.

“...Oh plumbobs, no. Not again. Not again!” An’ Uncle Akira vamooses. Wonder what’s gotten under his skin there?

We had cats over durin’ the day, while I was chillin’ at school, much as school’s gonna, like, allow for chill.

Uncle Johnny invited over the ol’ third roomie, from what’s been dropped of Ka-san’s minglin’ singlin’ times, you dig? Darling Walsh. Which, uh, kinda makes Unc’s wooing her a little hard, you dig? He’s not so much a sweet-talker, but…

“Darling?” He gotta sweet-talk ‘er a little anyway, yeah?

“Oh, you flatterer.”

“That’s your name...But. I would like to ask if you’d be my girlfriend. I know, I can’t promise exclusivity, or anything of the sort, but I do like seeing you, and intend to keep liking seeing you.” Unc’s gotta lay out that pitch.

“...Oh, you flatterer.”

“Well, hey: No matter what, I’ll only have one Darling!”

“That was terrible!” But she was laughin’. “OK, OK. Sure.”

An’, hey, dude, dig this: Uncle Johnny weren’t even the only cat tryin’ to woo her that day. Mom’s in on the action, too! Not like that, though, let’s not get it twisted, yeah? I meant friendly-like.

But while she can grab a gal f’r lying down ‘n stargazin’ a little in the dusk, she can’t always think a’ somethin’ to gab on to make friends with, you dig? So she casts a line for a line ‘til:

“I really do appreciate you spending time with Zest,” is her conversation-starter, gettin’ her a kinda laugh outa Darling.

“What are you, his mother?”

“I think of myself as grand matriarch over this house. It’s practice. Anyway, someone has to be responsible.” A shrug squelches the snow around her, makin’ some funky angel wings.

“I see. Well, you make Miko happy, so who am I to judge?” She chuckles just a little


But it aint like they get real close, out there in the snow. Mom’s thinkin’ bout it, an’ now I guess I know why: she needs some more pals, right? Well, don’t we all, huh?

Mom had some kinda better luck earlier that day, you dig?

She managed to really get a groove goin’ with Haven Wheatley, workin’ her way in to bein’ good friends.

“And now, I’ve got everything I need. I’d like to deal with that whole ‘good faith effort’ thing, have some back-ups, yadda-yadda… But I. Am. Good!” Mom starts crackin’ up, just busting a gut. Leavin’ Haven with el zilcho in the clue department, dude.

“Yaay?” Poor Haven. But absolutely positively crazy-far out fer Mom, right? Right.

An for me, after we’ve got rung outta school, Christian invites me to the ruins that night.

“Pretty chill scene,” I tell ‘im. Puttin’ aside the very real chill here, with the snow still fallin’, I mean it’s smooth and quiet here, no one around f’r what feels like miles.

“Yeah; I think the deserted quality really makes it peaceful. Even grand castles have a time to crumble and be covered in snow,” he explains, while we crunch on through the snow. “Everything resets to 0.”

“...Guess so.” Yeah, maybe he’s got somethin’ groovin. It don’t sound that bad to me, really, but…

“Man, that don’t bum you out?”

“Sometimes.” He nods an’ stares on off. “I never claimed to be a man unbummable. I’d say it’s frankly one of my core modes of being; I bum, I look at pictures of puppies, repeat. It’s why I invited you, and not my brother. You get this stuff.”

Trip, man, glad he thinks so, dude. Glad he thinks so.

“Heh, figgers I’d get to be the guy who digs some quality bumming… I like this place bein’ quiet, too.” Yeah, it’s like the shed, ‘r goin’ out in our nice little paths in the area. Mom’s kinda modern sometimes, but, trip, my dudes, if she didn’t pick some of the prettiest sights t’ spend some time with, you dig?

“But sometimes it’s nice, you know? Whatever’s bothering me will pass. It’s freeing.” He stamps his feet in th’ cold. “And freezing!”

“Hey, we gotta bonfire pit, huh? Let’s light it up, just us two.”

I’m watchin’ the wood crumble on down. Reset to 0. But, hey, dig this: the ashes’ll help out the soil, right? It’s kinda 0, sure. But it aint like it ever was.

“Hey, you heard ‘bout that crazy lifehack vid with the charcoal an’ the peanut butter crystal? Yeah, that don’t really work. You gotta put some crazy pressure on real coal to weave somethin’ like that outta it. Diamonds aint really worth it, you dig? But I was thinkin’ bout that while spyin’ the wood break down an’ wonderin’ if people don’t just wanna re-make somethin’, you know? Or if it’s not a kinda hoodoo hoodone, you dig? Like, shazam! Somethin’ you didn’t imagine’s at your fingertips! I can dig that.”

Anyfroodle, that’s just wheel-spinnin, broken up by him askin’:

“You like fire, don’t you?”

“I’onno, guess so. ‘S just nice. Sides, leaves sorta a nice big open space, you dig? Hard t’ get a lot a’ those. Lets me get a nice ball a’ wool-gathered, you know? Gotta work on your brains.”

“Right, right. That’s what I like about your house. And...hanging out with you, I guess.” He’s chucklin’ along, shakin’ his head.

“It definitely feels like I get a brain workout.”

An’ I kinda flinch ‘cuz, look, my
 dude, I get I aint exactly the dude of the most crystal-clear like persuasion, you dig?

“...Sorry. I c’n cool my jets. Jets cooled, consider ‘em icicles, you dig? If that’s a problem.”

“Hey. Hey… Don’t worry about it.” He stretched. “I mean, you listen to me, even when I’m contemplating how we’re all cosmically insignificant and you don’t try and go ‘Don’t be silly, Christian.’”

“Trip, like, who’m I to fight yer sense of all us little dots in a great big honkin’ universe, dude?”

“Exactly! And that’s, you know, kind of… special. To me. I like it.”

Hugs are nice, man. Hugs are just good, an’ I kinda really relax there. Yeah. Just me an’ a pal, huggin’ it out.

It’s a while later I ask:

“That ever bug you? Gettin’ turned around an’ everythin’ ending up in a gloomy swamp?” Somehow, I’m thinkin’ ‘bout Uncle Akira when I say it, ‘cuz, like, that’s kinda a different kettle a’ fish, but… Sometimes, people get trapped by who they are, you dig? Sartre and junk -- trip, man, that cat was crazy. He really had it goin’ on, he had a thing… An’ I kinda get that thing, thinkin’ about it.

“Hmm...Sometimes.” He shrugs. “I thought about doing something about it for a while, but then… I am myself. I’m OK with that, the ups and the downs.”

“Best way to be, my man.” We fist-bump, as ya do. “...But what were you thinkin’ a doin?”

“Oh, well, they recently came out with this medicine. Changes a person around. Here, let me pull it up.”

On his little black box there he’s got the scoop on this juice, see? A Retraitin’ potion. Sounds like a trip, man, but… Maybe I could talk to Akira ‘bout it, right? It’s not like it’s bad f’r a guy to want a hand changin’, not when he wants to change. Trip, we can work a little hoodoo here, you dig?

After that, Christian’s got t’ split, an I’m headin’ out soon, too… But not before I take a little time, smash a few curfews, leave a mark on th’ night, ready to melt ‘r fill in after just a tick. Groovy, dude, just Groovy.

Speakin’ a “groove,” I carried that vibe on back home, started puttin’ it down on canvas. Doin’ a kind of crystal-from-charcoal, plants-from-ashes thing, you dig? As we’re gonna express through some tiny kinda landscape thing gettin’ neither charcoal or crystal in it. Got enough crystal on the shed window. I figger, yeah, I could put the easel somewhere else now, party’s died down… But why’s I gotta do that? It’s got a good vibe.

Sorta started settin’ up, me an’ the shed. Cuz we can chill. Ranger Jackalope can chill here, too, an’ some old sketches, some paint supplies, yeah. It’s a groovy little place for just the world an’ me… From a distance, sorta.

I aint the only one goin’ up in the world (I did say, right, like, that I finished an aspiration tier thing, yeah? Didn’t? Oops.)

Uncle Johnny got another promotion, just takin’ him one from the top, yeah?

“Alright, Zest. I’ll listen tonight -- you’ve earned my full attention.” Even Mom’s givin’ the old nod to Unc there!

“Well, lookee here, I’m so flattered, madam! But hey, every audience needs a heckler. We could upgrade that a stage, but this is a family show! Now, the important thing to remember about a comedy show is that they take time; comedy is all about… Hmm… What was it… Any of you folks out there… No… Oh, yeah! Timing!”


“Yes, it’s all about timing. Really, an essential part of it is taking your audience, walking them through a long, slow build-up, when you think they know exactly what’s about to happen and leaving them in anti...”



“...climax! Yes, a good old anti-climax; works every time. There’s some parts of my routine that are in need of a bit of refining, though. Once you get the fine off, it’s really hard to get it back! Take my joke about construction: I’m still working on it!” Well, I’d laugh, but Mom just buries her head in her hand as he’s smilin’ away at ‘er.

“...You’ve earned my full pity and regret.” He’ll get her nod for the promo, but not the jokes. Poor Uncle Johnny.

Anyway, time to tuck in. It aint like we get a lotta sleep in the dovecote here, you dig, but tomorrow's a long one, so, like, gotta get in at least an eye shut, dude.

Maggie most of all; he’s just got a little bit longer ‘fore he’s a kid.

We’re doin’ a little work around the house, fillin’ in that stairwell an’ movin’ the old bookcase around.

It aint exactly spring fer the remodel, but hey! New Years Eve is tonight! Gotta get everythin’ ready to bid farewell to another slice of time. Get some lights poppin’, get a banner wavin’, the year's crumblin' down to zero.
Stories In Progress:
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Offline Shewolf13

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"Some Quality Bumming" (11/10/18)
« Reply #98 on: November 17, 2018, 12:05:25 PM »
D'awww, man, I just want to cuddle Kite!  He really is just such a good guy.  Love his little shed ^^

Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"Some Quality Bumming" (11/10/18)
« Reply #99 on: November 20, 2018, 04:00:45 PM »
Things I am always here for: Kite fans, and really everything I have done and/or plan to do with that section of the lot. I am so proud of my plans.
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Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"New Year Don't Sound Like a Word" (11/21/18)
« Reply #100 on: November 21, 2018, 09:57:46 PM »
Chapter 27: New Year Don't Sound Like a Word

Sos, we got a New Years Eve scene poppin’! Not ‘xactamundo, like, though: Not evenin’ just yet, so it’s like some kinda limbo, you dig -- not New Years Eve, not New Years Day, but the dawn a’ the night, the start a’ the end.

So what comes after, huh? Everyone’s ponderin’ that. Me? Your good buddy Kite’d like t’ knock out that scouting needs doing. Then I got a little time t’ myself… But we don’t get frogs ‘round here, so, uh, guess I gotta get grillin’ for that last badge.

But let’s see ‘bout everyone else.

Uncle Johnny?
“I think I’d like to raise a skill! Sure, I’ve got my comedy, but always keep improving, right?”

I asked Ka-san ‘bout it, an’ she said, “Oh! I’m glad you asked! I think I’ve finally got the end of Renaissance Sim within my reach! Let’s go all the way, and seize it with all our strength!... Or something like that, hee hee.” 

“You’ve got it all snug in the bag! It’ll get done before you blink, dig?”

“I dig. The last level’s the most annoying, thouuuugh. Oh, well; I’ll worry about it tomorrow, mostly.”

“And what’s the thing for you, Mom?”

“I think fulfilling an aspiration tier would be the hardest. I don’t know if I’d finish Friend of the World, might want to save it, but a few extra points never hurt. Besides, I’d like to pick up a last person or two *anyway*.”

Course, there’s one more cat who needs some catchin’ up on. Trip, man. Shocker of shocks, I find the cat himself down in our groovy little sunken garden, chillin’ in both the literal an’ figurative senses.

“What’s happenin’?” An, now, do I wanna bring up what Christian an’ I’s riff from the other day? I’m sorta puzzlin’ on how to sort that out an’ talk on it, face all scrunched up, before he stretches an’ answers,

“My resolution for next year is to try and get my life in order… And I have no idea on how to do that or what that looks like. So I’m going to take care of my body. Sound body, sound mind.”

...Ooh, trip...Man’s gotta do somethin’ bout that.

“...Or something,” he adds, sighin’.

“Man, a thousand cranes f’r you, my dude.” I just don’t know how t’ start ‘xactly. I’ll mull on it.

As I’m headin’ back in, I hear somethin ala

“Now, father, if you intend to beat Alyson, you need to manage the timing of your buttons to something like… It appears a half-note after the main beat of the melody, and use your superior range to avoid her grips,” Yaritza, grown up a little more, coachin’ Uncle on his gaming. Crazy smart chick, you dig? Always has been.

Guess Uncle invited the fam over, since it’s a holiday an’ all.

“Why are you helping him?!” Asks Alyson from where she’s poundin’ Uncle’s dance-fighter into the dust digital.

“He needs the help.” Man, that causes both girls to nod in curly-headed synchronicity.

“Girls, be nice…” Pleads their poor old man. Sorry, pops… It’s a bad scene, man… or a groovy one, you dig?

Since we got the company over, I end up gettin’ grabbed by Hob an’ Bonnie, cuz they’re needin’ a third an’ I’m glad to oblige.

“We have got to have a party,” repeats Hob f’r the third time since we all sat down, ‘fore he risks it for the biscuit, pullin’ a side piece.

“What are we doing now?” asks Bonnie. A middle piece gets pulled.

“This is just a normal Saturday afternoon. It doesn’t count,” ‘s his answer. Which, like, fair, man, but…

“Aint party a place of mind? Like, you go somewhere, and it’s night, an’ everyone’s in their best, and you got your tunes driftin’ out, and someone’s brought snacks, an’ it’s just a full on-scene, right? Got loads of cats… But you don’t know a single cat in the joint, so you hang back sippin’ whatever you’ve got and you’re losin’ your cool, an’ it’s all as square as a business meeting ‘bout paperclips.” I lay out my point on it. Not like you can’t have a perfectly good party, just you an’ a cat or two -- real cool dudes, ones who really dig you, right? I kinda might like a party like that a little more. It’s a type of happenin’ you don’t get every day, like a special occasion. “Like, the milky way’ll spin like any record, man, if you watch it slow enough, you dig?”

“...A fair point, my friend. Probably. And, of course, I love hanging around with everyone. Someone has to catch the gossip. But! Consider, Kite: We could have fireworks! We could count down as the ball drops! Someone could make a toast! That sort of thing. That’d be an important part of the journey as teenagers.”

“Someone’ll have to stay with mom, so I think I’m okay,” answers Bonnie, takin’ another piece. The llama’s still out.

“And you, Kite?”

“I’m downerooni, my dude.”

“Shame neither of us have a girlfriend --”

“Eh, or a beef. Or general smoocher, dig?... I don’t think that kinda junk really matters,” I just gotta say, before sittin’ back an’ tryin’ another pull. ‘M buildin’ a little side tower.

“Amended, amended. Or a boyfriend or other form of datemate for Kite. It’s not really New Years without a midnight kiss.”

Now, my dude, A coupl’a shape in the kitchen window told me, midnight or naw, I think we’re about to get covered, dig? Lemee sit the scene.
Mom’s been mixin’ drinks. There aint a gold in it, not f’r a holiday, so she aint sure her evenin’ plans. But she figgered, ‘eh, might as well stockpile.

“Heeeeey, sweetheart.” ‘Course, I think Ka-san’s been gettin’ into the stocks. She grooves up t’ Mom, croonin’ the line -- and then she’s lost in giggleville. Trip, man, just crackin’ up like an egg. “Sorry -- try -- hee hee -- Trying to be smooth, heeheee, but that -- just too --haahahaa.”

Mom smiles at ‘er, takes a sip, an there’s an A-OK in her peepers, dig?

“I thought you were doing well, babe. But hey… You just leave the smooth to me.”  She reaches over an reels ka-san in by hookin’ her mitts on the small a’ Ka-san’s back.

“I really should! I would have just glomped you,” she says, shakin’ her head an’ cracking up again, fittin’ like, trip, man, just a perfect thing into Mom’s squeeze.

“And there’s no problem there. After all, you’re plenty seductive as it is.”

And it aint midnight yet, but the ways I see it, they’re just gettin’ a head start.

Eventually, everyone swaps partners; Mom and Ulises come out an’ join me puttin’ the llama’s pad back together after totally trashin’ it, man.

“These things are always such a jumble,” Mom’s sayin as we try an jam everythin’ in there. “How are you even supposed to re-assemble it correctly?”

“There gotta be a wrong or right? If the Llama’s fallen out, it’s all cool all the same.” I ask, to her givin’ her noggin a shake.

“There are a specific number of pieces. It’d be easy to lose them.”

“This is a weird family,” is Ulises’s observation.

“Naturally. An ordinary family wouldn’t suit me,” says Mom, smilin. Then the thought a’ charmin’ crosses her mind, an’ she goes in for the “So tell me about yourself: I know your mom, of course, but you can’t figure out a kid from their parents.”

“Yeah, or we’d all be interested in wordplay,” he answers. An’ we kinda keep goin’ on like this a while.

Inside, Unc’s spendin’ time with Hob ‘n Rosa ‘n Yaritza still.

“So how was your year, Dad?” Hob’s sayin. Like, Rosa’s grooving with the game, see, so the rest of ‘em are just kinda watchin’ an’ chatting.

“I think I could have gotten farther. I’m sure to get the last promotion I need soon! ...Well, I say that, but hours have gotten weird. The venues decided that time flies, so they should throw their clocks out the window.” Ooh, that’s a kinda sly chain-puller, dig? He looks over an thinks a beat more, and says, “It got better as it flew along, though.”

An’ he sits back an he takes in the couch around him, an he’s got that smile of a dude who’s got something happening, you dig? A cat who knows somethin’ all to himself. The fire crackles on an’ he says,

“I think this year will be better than the last.”

The scene’s gotta scatter eventually. In a little lull as night falls, Ka-san’s watchin’ out for Magpie. He’s gettin’ better at dreamin’ big every day.

So he ended up takin’ charge a’ the story.
“And then! The princess an’ the dragon flew away!”

“Did they, now?” Ka-san asks with, like, the most 500-watt smile you ever saw.

“Yeah!... What next?” he asks, wrigglin’ in his seat; trip, man, thinkin’ the book’s gonna know the end of the story he’s tellin’. But, hey. He’s got Ka-san on his side.

“...Well, then, they had many fun adventures, and lived happily ever after, honey,” she tells ‘im. “Now, I bet we can go inside and get nice and warm.”

And from there, we all gathered round f’r a little toast. Weren’t 12-O yet, but, hey, not like that’s a problem. It’s Ka-san’s jam, so lemmee lay on you what she said.

“So much has happened this year. We tend to think of years as long things -- epochs, changing of the guards, such a huge chunk of someone’s life. And that’s all true. But they’re also nothing more than matters of weather. The things we’ve done this year, the bonds we’ve made, the things we’ve learned… The family we’ve built. They won’t be thrown out as the new year begins. They’ll just go around the sun once more. I look forward to another year!” She raised the glass so, just fer a moment, it all caught the light, bright and new an’ shinin.

“I dig it, Ka-san. I dig. Propalots.” Time’s always runnin’ along, true ‘nough -- not in big chunks, but just little things you gotta keep an eye peeled on. I got sparklin’ juice this time, drag, right, but it’ll slosh ‘s well as anything, and it’ll clink when it’s up against the rest.

“Wonderful toast, Miko,” says Mom. “I’m ready for another ride around the sky. You coming with?”

“As long…” An Ka-san don’t break it out; she don’t wanna break the moment, dig? But the truth’s the truth, dude… Everyone ‘cept me an’ Maggie’s last birthday’s in Spring. It’s a trip, man.  It aint no time f’r the blues tonight, yeah? So she’s gonna say somethin’ that I think’s gotta be much, much longer. “As long as you’ll have me.”

An’ that’s when I got Hob ringin’ me about a scene he’s got goin’ down in San Myshuno -- little end a’ the Year get-together in their ooh-la-la park, yeah? Fireworks, an all that jazz.

“Dude, think I can cram in my folks an’ their cats?”

“Sure, bring Dad and them. I’ll bring Diya, too!”

An’ that, like, seems like a killer start to a real New Years bash, my dudes.

But b’fore I can just chill an’ watch the ball drop, I gotta clear what’s been rattlin’ around ol’ Kite’s noggin all day. So I grab Uncle Akira an’ we have a sit-down outside.

“So...I was, uh, like, kinda thinkin’. ‘Bout what you were sayin’ earlier, an’ earlier, an’ earlier.” Trip, man, this is gonna feel like I’m kool-aid manning my way through his life, huh? Well, Oh Yeah!, my dude. “‘Bout not knowing how to get a groove an’ make it happenin’ how you want, dig?”

“Oh, you were worried about that? Look, it’s… Maybe it’s fine. Maybe I don’t have to do anything. How do I know it’s not her... “ An’ that stops him cold a second. “I’m doing it again, aren’t I?”


He sighs.

“It’s nice that you were thinking on it. I… I do want to call her. So I guess I’ll take what advice I can get.”

“So, see, like, my dude Christian was spinnin’ me a story ‘bout this potion, kinda a medicine thing. Sorta changes a cat around a little, helps break up ol’ thinkin, letcha get your ducks in a row how you want...Donno if it’d be what might do you a solid, but thought I’d say. It aint a thing where you’re not the one steering, it’s not a bad trip, man.”

“Huh. That is a thought. You’re kind of a granola kid -- I didn’t think you’d suggest something like that,” he says with a little smile.

“Aint no harm in wantin’ help of a pharmaceutical nature; you gotta do what you need.” Kite aint gonna harp on someone doin’ what’ll help ‘em, you dig?

“Yeah Well. I’ll think about what I want. Go hang out with your friends.”

“Peace, man.” Yeah, yeah. OK, thass all Kite’s gonna muster… But you know who I saw runnin’ around?

A little wolf pup, you dig? He’s probably ready t’ be a kid on his own; he’s gotten zippy, on top of it all. An’ that’ll sure be, like, a far-out thing.

Diya an’ Hob are already inside, chillin’ as some tunes turn. Mom’s perched behind the bar.

“There we go, New Years party unlocked! Hooray for youth!” Hob flings out his arms with a crazy  gusto.

“Hooray for youth!” Chimes in Diya. “Why invite me, though?”

“Well, we’re clubmates, right? Or close enough. The more people for a hang-out, the better.” Man, I love the guy, but I gotta take a gripe with that stone-cold drag of a sentence, you dig? Eh, well. Different drums, right?

“A real thing’s somethin’ you gotta ‘preciate, dig? Besides, you’re a cool chick; what’s gotta have a reason?”I ask, tiltin’ my head.

“Alright, then! Oh, oh, Kite, you should get a picture with us!” She grabs me an’ my phone at once, holdin it up ‘till I take it. Now, if we’re gonna do this, we might as well, y’know, make it totally groovy, so I spend a while fiddlin’ with it. Checkin’ poses.

Shudder clicks.

“So, got it?”

“Great, great!” She nods. “Wait, are you actually doing a peace sign?”

“Wazzat s’pposed to mean?” I ask, blinkin’.

“Nothing, it’s just cute. Old-fashioned, maybe.”

“Sometimes, I think Kite might have arrived from some sort of time warp,” my totally turncoat main man’s gotta say, ‘fore addin. “Maybe from an alternate timeline.”

I play at staggerin’ back like he’s hit me good.

“...Man, you cats puttin’ a dude down.”

“It’s cute!” She’s gonna repeat.

“I didn’t mean anything mean by it. You’re just something else,” an, look, I know he’s on the level when he says it, arright? 

“All is gravy, my dude.” A cat’s gotta have some chill ‘bout these things, you dig?

“Well, let’s dance!” Diya says, already gettin’ ready to move on to the next thing.

“Wait! I need to change into something a bit more party ready.” Hob bursts out ‘fore we move on.

“It’s fine, it’s fine! It’s cold, anyway!”

“Not as cold as Windernburg, I’m roasting. I put something together for tonight.”

“...Sure a look, man. I’m diggin’ the print.”  Duuuude, what happened to those looks I pulled for you? What’s a guy gotta do but shake his head an’ support his bestie, even when his bestie’s just pulled the squarest rags in squaresville, you dig? ‘Course, I meant it on the print. That helps.

“It’s maybe a little tourist,” he concedes. “But now the party can begin!”

We groove out for a while while the folks do… Trip, man, folk stuff. Guess I sorta forgot, huh? My bad, my bad. I donno if this is really siezin’ a moment of youth, right? ‘Cuz Mom’s gonna run a scene like this all the time. But then, hey: maybe it’s what you make it. Maybe youth’s just puttin’ aside a worry you got until later, an’ havin’ a chunk a’ now, long as a summer afternoon an’ short as a summer afternoon, all for expanding your feelings out into its shape, so the memory sets whole an’ shiny like that. I could dig that.

It’s gettin’ the end of the year now. Everyone’s watching the ball on the tube.


Happy new year, my dude. Had a nice one yourself that year?... Yeah, yeah, I dig. Peace in the new one, all th’ same.

Another New Year’s kiss.
“Happy New Year, babe.”

“Happy new year!”

“Thanks for thinking of me, kid. Happy New Year.”

“’S casual, Unc. Why wouldn’t I?”

“Well, they really dropped the ball on that one!”

“Zest. I’m going to thank you for your help this year, which I remind you is not my normal thing, and we’re all going to pretend you never said that.”

“That’s just giving me a chance to say it again!”

“Have a groovy New Year, Ka-san. Mom.”

“Happy New Year, sweetheart. You’re going to do amazing this year.”

“Of course he will. He’s our boy.”

The party breaks up. We head on home. Trip, man. New Year don’t even sound like a word no more. An’ our little guest who just enjoyed the park’s got one thing to say to close out the ol’ year:

“I wanna party, too! Me too!”

Ka-san laughs.

“Of course you’ll get a chance to. It’s your birthday later, after all.”

Stories In Progress:
The Avyan Immortal Dynasty

Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"Yer Second Introduction" (11/25/18)
« Reply #101 on: November 25, 2018, 09:07:29 PM »
Chapter 28: Yer Second Introduction

Dig it: the air’s soft this morning -- cold, sure, the dew’s snappin’ chill on the grass -- but the snow’s meltin’ down, an’ the light’s gone soft an’ gold, not a high-beam slicin’ out a coupla’ hours. Light that’s gonna hang a while. Things touchin’ turnin’ green.

Look, see what I’m sayin? Everythin’ through those windows’re so gentle. It puts somethin’ tender in you, spins it out into, aw, trip, whatchacall it? Fancy? I dig, I dig. Yeah, let’s go turnin’ it out into fancy. The first day a’ spring comes in loaded up with a bunch a spring days on its back -- the scent a flowers as the ground bursts out in firework colors, the afternoons spent out amid the grass, the air teasin’ at a warmth it don’t got yet. After bein’ cooped up in scarves an’ by fireplaces all winter, you suddenly get all expansive, an’ maybe you start thinkin’ bout sharin’ that grab-bag a’ days somehow. That’s what fancy means, right?

...Not like Ol’ Kite’s -- I mean, ha ha, trip, Kite don’t really got nobody to think fancy for, just yet. An’ that’s cool, you dig? Donno what I’d do with somethin’ like that. But, you know. It can be the other kinds a’ expansive, an’ that’s enough, too. You know, kinda like… Cats, maybe. Not the cat kinda cat, but the cat kinda… That one don’t work so well, huh? Like the factual sorta cat, not the cat you’ve got inside. ‘Course, all the cats know where it’s at. But they’ve got that big ol’ elastic stretch from a nap, yeah? That’s a kinda’ expansion. An’ starin at nothin’ for a while, watchin dust settle through the air…

...Trip, I was goin’ somewhere. Anydoodle. That’s a nice paintin’. Gonna keep it for the room.

So, what’s a guy gonna do for Spring ‘sides landscapes, huh? Well, landscapin, for a start.

See, a guy’s gotta pick a few rewards for his mom’s whole shebang. An...Well, it was kinda bogus,  havin’ that whole winter an’ spendin’ most of it just bundlin’ up because The Man’s gotta hold you hand over fist just fer a little power of a thermostatin’ sort… And there was nothing real I could do for it.

An’ I aint down for that. That’s not cool. So, I got myself a money tree seed.

Which brings your pal here to part 2: It’s spring, which means it’s time to do good on my whole shebang f’r takin’ care of the garden as a thing. Now, bummer alert, the snow meltin’ didn’t help ‘em need waterin’ or weedin’. So, plan 2.

Plant the plants t’ water myself.

“Great idea, kiddo, but…” when I look up, I see Mom standin’ back a distance away, watchin me at work. “You’re going to have to plant a lot of plants for this.”

“That’s cool, though. Big green garden… Wouldn’t that be sweet? Just real swell.”

“Then do what you need, honey.”

Course, we’ve got a birthday t’ get to, but before that, I oughta mentioned that while your truly had some downtime…

Uncle Johnny had himself some out time, an trip, man, what a horde! He an’ Hob had a whole cluster a’ kids with ‘em to hang. I think that’s… You know ‘bout Alyson and Fiona, so the little principessa there’s Sherry Bjergson. An’ behind her’s Kaden Holiday. Funny thing, we gotta bunch of Kaden’s. Not in Uncle Johnny’s tree, but Uncle Akira’s got ‘bout three, give or take a spellin’. We aint so close to them, an’ that’s just dragsville, aint it? Even if them houses are busy, it’s gotta… Just be kinda sad, growin’ up without someone who oughta be there.

I hope what I said’ll help him come through for ‘em. They don’t deserve that.

“I forgot that a not insignificant portion of our club, and all the other little siblings, were younger than me?” Hob just sinks his head into his arms, before liftin’ ‘em up. “Should have gone to the cafe. You think they’d let everyone drink coffee?”

“Now, that’s setting the bar low, Hob.” Don’t pretend Unc wasn’t grinnin’ after that. Cat stole a canary style. “It’s not like this is a kid unfriendly place, in the end. Windenburg might be too boring for kids. Now, let’s run after some munchkins!”

‘Course, spendin’ the afternoon runnin’ after them an’ gettin’ em to clean up paint spills aplenty got him through his resolution on the back a’ parentin.

By the time everyone else was back home, Mom was off t’work.

So I had to do the bakin’ for bro’s cake. Side-by-side with Mom’s, it’s nothin’ fancy, but it’ll get the celebration rollin’.

Groovin’ out a series of honks on the ol’ horn’ll, too, accompanying the puff of Magpie blowin’ out his candles.

Trip, but he splits to the mirror ‘fore I can blink. But lemmee give you yer second introduction to my bro.

Magpie Avyan. Kind of an outgoin’ kid, and that aint a surprise for real.

Got a real bold kinda look, an’ when he comes back to ask, bouncin’ on his toes,
“Now! We’re going to get a real bedroom for me, right?”

An’ we all try an’ figger out the money scrapin (an we manage, sure.)...

It ends up carryin’ through to his pad up on Floor 2, an’ that’s eventually met with a bright,
“Wow! Wondiferous, even! It’s perfecto!” as Magpie bursts on through all hurricane-like.

While we were at it, kinda,

We ended up fixin’ up a chiller bedroom upstairs for Uncle Akira, so that where we had Magpie’s nursery, we have…

A kinda bare-bones little study. Ka-san shrugs and says,
“Your mom wanted to leave some things for other people to really decorate, one day.”

I dig, I dig. The future’s gonna clock in later or later, huh?

‘Course, while we’re peepin’ that, Magpie’s gone out to meet some dudes, see the neighborhood.

“Hello! I’m Magpie!”

“Oh, hey, look at that. It’s Kite’s little brother.” Star gives Keira a nudge.

“How cute. Heya, we’re friends of your brother’s,” says Keira. And aint that nice to hear? I know ‘m closer to one Jang sis than the other.

“Exactly! But…” Magpie puts on his thinkin’ cap fer a tick there. “Isn’t it just as true to say that Kite’s my big brother? Maybe even better, with who you’re talking to in mind?”

“...Uh… Probably?” Star didn’t know what she was ‘sposed to say to that. “Well, I knew him first. And we’re friends.”

“Then we should be friends, too, okay? Please keep being friends with Bro, but be friends with me, too!”

“Ahahaha, sure, Magpie.”

He’s gettin’ a handle on folks, so he just ends up speedin’ on through the meet-an’-greet stuff. Course, once Mom gets home from work, she’s gotta call ‘im in for a look.

“And to make sure you go to school with homework in the bag,” she says. She an’ Ka-san split some tutoring up Solomon style -- trip, that’s not gonna land when talkin’ bout actual-factual kids, huh? Well, Ka-san’s cheerin me on an Mom’s keepin’ Magpie to the grindstone.  I know it aint like with me, where the grade’s gotta make or break a museum or nothin, but that kinda makes the drag a little sweeter, too, dig? Like… She’d want it f’r any kid.

“Mean! Cruel!” Not that I do not dig my bro’s fightin’ the man on this. He cries out as he’s lookin’ down his vocab sheet, spottin’ words to throw in that’d get a little more pizzazz in the jazz. “Unjust! A tragedy!”

“Fight the power, bro,” I toss out somewhere into it.

“Honey, what’s so bad about it?”

“It’s the worst! The worst of the worst! It’s… Boring! I could die, and I’d be dead, and you’d all cry and throw roses on my grave, because that’s how boring it is. You would say 'if only we hadn't made him do homework, what a treasure the world is losing.'”

“Good news,” answered Mom. “Death by boredom has never been reported.”

“Mom’s so cold!” Magpie’s got a hand-in-hand grip goin’. “To die, unmourned by even my own family!”

Ka-san giggles ‘fore tappin’ a bit of the numberin’ I’ve got down. Drag, man.

“Hey, this cat can wail,” I offer to ‘im.

“I knew you’d help me, brother,” he says, all sorts a’ satisfied.

“‘Mourn’ was onna yer vocabulary words, right? That teach tossed the same prep material. Straight hand-me-down city.”

“Huh. How’d you not die, then?” He flops onto his finished page.

“Yeah, nah, I totally bit it. All the dust had a chomp-mark on it,” I say, all real-calm while a certain bro of mine’s eyes are buggin’ out.

“But I rose from the grave, dig? An’ now I prowl the full moon nights, eaten’ vegetables… An’ gettin’ the munchies fer brains!”

“Yikes!” Dig it: he’s got a serious zoinks-face goin’, an then he stops an’ thinks about it. “No way!”

“Whatcha got to say I aint? Hair’s a good zombie green.”

“You’re too much like the sun. Dead things can’t be like that.”

“...Aww, trip, man. That’s real sweet.” I ruffle his hair, over his shoutin’ bout the style, man, an start headin’ on out. I got a great bro, you dig?

Someone else thinks so, too, ‘cuz I hear the folks mid-cuddle on their seat. On my way out.

“We have great kids, don’t we?” That’s Mom.

“We do! You know…” Ka-san brings her in closer, ‘till they’re cheekin’, you dig? “I think if teenage-me could see me, maybe in via Dolorean because that’d be cool, all happily married, two kids, in a pretty house out in the countryside… She’d probably say something like ‘flip over a landmine and explode, normie!’ … But she’d be silly and bitter. I’m glad to have gotten something beyond her dreams!” Mom chuckles. “What about you, honey?”

“You mean if teenage me could see me? ...She’d be stoked.” Trip, aint that just like her? “One, I look great. Two, I’ve got a cute wife -- and wow, just knowing I could like girls and still qualify for girlhood? Would do a lot for teen-me. But I’ve got a wonderfully cute wife, so, points. And third, I’m going to get everything I want.”

“That’s great, then. Poor little baby Kestral, worrying about that.”

Amen to that, Ka-san. ‘M glad Mom ended up really knockin’ it outta the park, dig?
“Yeah… Still, you know what? I think I still might have managed to beat out her best dreams, anyway. Because my wife isn’t just cute. And my kids aren’t just good kids. You’re wonderful. You’re all wonderful.”

An’ that’s where I left ‘em.  Probably a little personal to be listenin’ in on, man, but a guy’s gotta walk past their room on the way out, yeah? An… I think it’s somethin’ I want you to know Mom said. Alla it.

But, uh. Not to interrupt, you know, sorta the warm-fuzzy-good chill a’ the story, because you know your dude Kite’s always down fer that, but… So we had Alyson over, dig? An’ she wanted to learn some kid science, dig?

So that’s what’s happenin.

An once she got the fire goin’, she just vamooses, walkin’ out like nothin’ happened. Totally innocent, never dropped no chemicals on no electric outlets or nothin’. Prolly fer the best, I mean, you don’t wanna scare a kid, but… But what ‘bout our kid here?


“Oh, forbidden words!”

“...You guys,” Mom said, tryin’ not to get too uncool, given it aint no one left’s fault. Bro said it kinda came out through ‘er teeth, you dig? “I leave you alone. For five seconds. And this happens, and you just… stand there. why are you like this?”

“Kestral, it’s a fire!” is what Unc shouted.

“I...can see that, Zest.”

“That’s why I’m fixing the problem. With the fire extinguisher. Used to extinguish fires, that fire extinguisher. ”

All’s said an’ done, Mom knocks it out, no big, you dig?

“Because I’m amazing.”

‘Course, everyone else up split, you dig? They figgered, better to cool their heels out where it’s cool.

“Whew...That was scary… I think my heart’s gonna pop out of my chest!”

“I know, right?” Uncle Akira wound up for the put down, an, like, that’s not cool, dude. “‘Why are you like this?’ Well, I dunno, Kestral. Maybe because some people have fear!”

...Oh, you wanna know what Kite was doing, not chillin’ out by the street? Trip, it’s nothin’ much, yeah? Just doin’ my thing…

Catchin’ fish for my last badge. Guess that’s somethin’ to celebrate, huh? Just gotta put it on the board, my dude.

Stories In Progress:
The Avyan Immortal Dynasty

Offline BallerinaHippo

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"Yer Second Introduction" (11/25/18)
« Reply #102 on: November 26, 2018, 12:07:35 AM »
I totally laughed out loud at the fire scene.   ;D  Everyone's personality was on display so perfectly.  And Alyson trying to slip out unnoticed after setting fire to someone else's house.  Not cool, girl, but also completely believable.

Also, Magpie is a cutie.  No surprise there.

Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"Yer Second Introduction" (11/25/18)
« Reply #103 on: November 27, 2018, 11:27:48 AM »
I totally laughed out loud at the fire scene.   ;D  Everyone's personality was on display so perfectly.  And Alyson trying to slip out unnoticed after setting fire to someone else's house.  Not cool, girl, but also completely believable.

Also, Magpie is a cutie.  No surprise there.

It was fun to write! That little arsonist... I guess she made things... Muy Caliente. ... I'll show myself out.

Indeed not.
Stories In Progress:
The Avyan Immortal Dynasty

Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty - "This is a Video Game Thing..." (11/30/18)
« Reply #104 on: November 30, 2018, 03:20:35 PM »
Chapter 29: This Is a Video Game Thing, Isn't It?

Hey, you! Good news!

Kite finished his scouting. Great, right? Without any frogs in our neighborhood, it was kind of annoying to handle that outdoor badge in winter. But he’s going to have a killer museum. Absolutely a knock-out. Sure, that is functionally useless, but hey! Working hard for the best is its own reward, provided you win.

He could be working a bit more on his painting, though, I mean, really. Sometimes, I get the impression he only paints when he’s actually inspired. I get this idea because he’s definitely doing that.

Also, hey, New Year’s Resolution -- done. Speaking of…

Jeeze, you think Akira’d look happy to know he’d lost the weight. But he probably walked by the Faust/Haas House and noticed no one was home and he’s in a tailspin about it. You know, the usual.

I told him I thought that’s what he was pouting about.

“...Forbidden words, you’re right!”

So, today, I’m on a mission. I need a new friend for this tier of Friend of The World -- I’m not completing it, yadda-yadda just in case, but it is my resolution. Also, I need good friends. Up first:

This dope.

“Heeeeeeyyyy, Don, buddy. How’s my favorite Lothario?” That’s a lie, Zest’s my favorite lothario and you never heard me say that. He’s gotten a little less lothario-ish, so maybe he doesn’t count anymore anyway

“Your favorite? You flatter me. But! I’m doing OK! Your street’s great for jogging, you know that?”

“It does have a good roads, inclines, scenery, that kind of thing.”

“Yeah. I was a city girl growing up, so I wanted something a little different.” Big, and peaceful, and expansive. Shame we can’t own an apartment on the side, though; it’d let a kid do something with that, and that’s a fun life. Eh. I’ll save it for when we’re wrapped up here. “Also, there’s an angelfish fishing spot just right there, and that’s the important thing.“

“You like fishing?” He asked, blinking.

“Not really, but it needs doing, so I might as well do it as efficiently as possible, location-wise.”

“You’re a funny lady. Hey, that offer still open for moving in one day?”

I think about this. Look, I looked up that one writer guy in San Myshuno up on, and there’s some real lookers on that family tree. I need to keep my options open. But right now, I’ve got a guy in front of me, and how to handle that…

“Would you say we’re friends, Lothario?”

“Uh, yeah. Good friends, even.”

“Well, thank you. Put ‘er here, pal.”


“We’ll see,” I tell him.

I could have stopped at regular friendship, and gotten to level 10 Charisma still out of the bargain, but this way, I don’t have to count Miko. Who, yes, is my best friend in the world, but it’s kind of nepotism-y to count her. I want my stuff in order.

For the same reason, I grab Sonja Fryre. Didn’t I have to set up an elaborate chain of real estate shenanigans so I could move into where her house used to be? No, wait, that’s the Fyres. You understand my confusion.

“I’m so glad you’re my good friend who I’ve never personally wronged in some sort of housing scheme.”

“Aww, that’s sweet. And weirdly specific.”

Ha! No in-household friends need to count! Now, all I need is for none of these putzes to screw this up for me.

Do you hear me, Maximilliano? I need. You. to be. Remotely competent.

Of course, I’m talking to you, so he cannot hear me. It’s more of a putting it out there thing.

Let’s see, what else has been going on… Oh, yeah. Well, I’ll save that for the bit where Miko got home from work, but while we were waiting on that, we got a dinner invite.

Or Zest did. I just tagged along with the kids.

“Really? You’ll really go actually out with me?!” Oh, plumbob, look at Summer there. She’s so happy. ...Well, who am I to judge, right?

“Of course! I mean, you are my girlfriend.” Is that even true, Zest? Can you keep track? Because, yes, I am documenting your hilariously distended family tree, but I’m not even trying to figure out your relationships with the women.

“And we’re coming, too.” I chime in, grabbing a kid with each arm.

“...That is less exciting. But I guess this is sort of in a family kind of way, too,” she says with a little laugh. “So let’s do more of a family restaurant!”

A more family restaurant it was. Which is a shame, I’d love to collect more recipes, but I did just invite ourselves here.

And Kite took the chance to make good on something he did earlier.
“Like, I know it’s runnin’ late ‘n all, but I figgered I oughta get my bro somethin’ f’r his birthday, dig? So I painted up somethin’ fer you...Not sure if it’s your thing, dig, but I thought it’d look nice in your pad.”

A big smile spreads over Magpie’s face when he sees it. He shakes his head and grabs Kite to sit him back down.

“It’s awesome, and I won’t hear another bad word about it, okay?” You know, he sounds a little like me when he’s scolding his brother through a big. It’s cute. “I’m gonna hang it above my desk and it’ll be great!”

“Groovy. Glad you like it, bro.”

He did hang it above his desk later.

It’s a little out place, but who knows? It’s the sort of thing he can grow into. Also, good work, my son. Finding a use for those emotion paintings you need to work on for your aspiration. Good, good.

So, the food’s taking forever, Miko’s going to be home any minute, and I really want to show her my surprise! And that’s when this takes a turn for the worse.

The food splatters all over the paving, turning quickly from some perfectly serviceable, if drab, entrees into indeterminate mush. The waitress begins to sob.

“Okay, that’s it. We’re going home. Say goodbye, Zest.”

“Goodbye, Zest,” he offers with that grin that makes me really sure he should never know about that thing I definitely didn’t say earlier, you can’t prove it. “Well, I guess we’re heading out, Summer. We’ve got the bill, so take care! It was nice seeing you!”

“You, too.”

We do manage to get home before Miko, so that’s a plus.

I pull Magpie aside for some chess while we wait, but then he’s got that look in his eyes, just after our second game.

“You know? I’m not sure I wanna be a whiz kid. So I’m not playing!” He springs up out of his seat. This is not ideal. I mean, he could get homework done while focused tonight.

“...Well, OK. Make sure to get done your homework.” I mean, if he’s going to insist, right? I’d still like him to, but who knows, maybe we can fit it in slowly over time, right?

I think he’s probably happier playing with his toys, sending robot adventurers to the planet of Love. Whatever that is.

Kite’s been trying out that little meditation stool we got for his room. I should probably work on my own Wellness, huh? I’m not a crystals and chakras kinda gal, but fertility massages would be handy to provide on-demand.

Then I hear Miko get home, and I know it’s time for that surprise I wanted to show her all day.

“I was planning on saving it for when you finished Renaissance Sim, but you’re close enough, and well,” I try and explain lamely as we walk up the stairs. It’s visible from the stairwell. “It *is* rebate day.”

So I threw this together. It’s not exactly perfect, I mean, but… Well.
“It’s for you.” I thought it would make her happy.

Her hug, topped with that perfect little extra squeeze she likes, plunges me into the depths of relief.
“Oh, honey! I love it! Let’s go test it out, let’s go!”

She says that, but we end up trying to decide who gets first song on the couch for a bit.

“Really, I wanna see you try!”

“You don’t. You’re much better than I am, as much as it pains me to admit. Besides, we can do a duet later.”

She considers this, tapping her chin and grinning at my admission. Yeah, yeah, yuk it up Miko. I am not lady allmighty over all I survey yet.

“We should get the boys involved. Our boys,” she adds, realizing I sometimes have called our local clown lothario gang ‘the boys.’

“Alright. Let’s make it a family karaoke night. But… You first.”

She needs no further invitation, springing up to stage.

The song’s a fairly low-key one, a little odd, really, until she, grinning with anticipation, hits the chorus.
“You’ll never see it coooommmiiin~!
You’ll see that my mind is too fast for eyes
You’re done iiiiiiiin~
By the time it’s hit you, your last surprise~”

...I swear I’ve heard no fewer than 50 1-minute stretches of this song. This is a video game thing, isn’t it?

When that’s done, applause -- well-earned -- and all, I go fetch Kite.
“You’re singing next.”

“Arright, arright. Nice digs you pulled together, you dig? It’s far-out, an’... Mom’s gonna get a kick outta that.” He shuffled up, grinning. 

“Alright, I wanna hear what this is going to sound like.” Because he is my precious son and I’m going to have to be in his company for lifetimes, I probably will keep my teasing about what the results will be for this to myself, that’s my thinking here.

His pick is kind of a folksy number, slow and melancholic.

“With a holy host of others standin' around me
Still I'm on the dark side of the moon
And it seems like it goes on like this forever
You must forgive me, if I'm up and gone to
Carolina in my mind

In my mind I'm goin' to Carolina
Can't you see the sunshine?
Can't you just feel the moonshine?
Ain't is just like a friend of mine
To hit me from behind
Yes, I'm gone to Carolina in my mind”

“That was sure something, Kite.”

“Aw, if ya say’smuch,” he says, sheepishly smilin’ to the applause of the lot of us. Magpie settles down with a sigh, applause done. He makes no effort for the mic, and I nudge him with an elbow.

“You’re not gonna sing, sprout?”

“I’d like to wait until my voice changes -- rather than become accostumed to something that won’t last. It’d be too good not to be over.”

“...If you say so.” Accostumed. That’s wonderful. Aaah, my children are fantastic… He’s probably enough like me that he’d want to hide his nerves. Not that I’ve ever done this, you understand, it’s just what I would do if it did happen. You get what I mean, of course.

“Now, now, mothers mine! Let’s hear it!” Magpie insists as he kicks his legs against the couch.

“Yeah, dudes, let’s hit it.”

“It sounds like they want a performance,” Miko says, taking my hand with a little giggle.

“Who am I to disappoint?”

Miko’s pick this time -- technically, the guy’s role here, opening the song is a bit low for her, but she’s good enough to adapt it on the fly.
“I thought that dreams belonged to other women
'Cause each time I got close, they'd fall apart again”

Not for the first time. I’m caught just a little off-guard by how naturally she moves through it, how beautifully she moves through it, like a dolphin cutting through the water. If I could press that into my heart, I think it’d already be stamped there.

“I feel my heart a-beating in secrecy
I face the nights alone, oh how could I have known?”

“”In all my life I only needed you””

“”Oh, almost paradise
We're knocking on heaven's door
Almost paradise
How could we ask for more?
I swear that I could see forever in your eyes

“Bravo! Bravo!” Magpie showers us in a round of applause, while Kite just grins in a quiet way from what, somehow, became the back, despite being perfectly even, spatially. He snaps his fingers appreciatively.

“You did wonderfully,” Miko said with a smile.

“Of course. I had a great lead to follow.” I pull her in for a quick kiss, as we see the end of family Karaoke night, round 1.

Kite goes out, and I spot him off in the distance, lying up under some lanterns he’d hung, sighing. I wonder if he’s thinking about his own romantic prospects. I am, anyway. The way I see it, that Christian Bheeda boy seems fond enough of him -- that situation’s not unworkable, with tech these days -- that Diya is, we have established, very cute… Either of them would be suitable candidates. But Kite doesn’t seem to like anyone in particular. If I ask him who he liked, he’d probably say “all those cats an’ chicks an’ dudes out there.”

 People who are pleasant to everyone without ulterior motives are hard to pick romances for. Still, we’re in no rush.

Hey, for once our plants actually needed watering! It’s good to see he stands a reasonable chance of actually making progress with that… I’m glad that worked out, though.

Even if it’s still cold out, his garden is really coming into bloom with the spring.

Something else came into bloom this morning, too.

“I really should stop putting it off,” I hear him say, getting up, the retraiting potion in hand. I get it; making big life changes is, if you’re not as awesome as I am presently, kind of scary. You want things to go better, but what if they don’t? What then? You did something that’s going to be forever, and it was worthless. So I’m not going to interfere with this. I watch him sneak off, up the stairs, to some private corner of the house.

All the kids are at school. He’s waited long enough.

“Down the hatch.”

I wonder what that feels like, just letting something quietly shuffle your thoughts into order. After this, I think he kind of leant into the inherent geekiness of his career, you know? Something to fill the time spent stewing in jealousy for 14 hours a day. He drinks it without fanfare, and for a moment, the room is quiet.

And then he says:
“...No one ever actually did anything... that looked like they were doing anything wrong... did they? It… It really was… I was the only one doing junk like that! It was all me, the whole time!”

The last horse finally crosses the finish line. Well, good luck, shmuck. You’ve still got a road ahead sorting this out.
Stories In Progress:
The Avyan Immortal Dynasty