Author Topic: The Kindle Random Town Jump  (Read 13657 times)

Offline amaranthin

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Re: The Kindle Random Town Jump
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2019, 04:25:54 PM »
Chapter 13 – Esplanades & Esplanations

A certain teenage boy sticks around the Kindle household for a long time after Ash and Corrie’s birthday party is over. Marcelo Drudge sits at one of the outdoor party tables reading a book until the wee hours of the morning.

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Ash keeps a close eye on him while practicing his guitar.

Corrie wakes up around four in the morning and comes outside to play Gnubb.

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She stands awfully close to Marcelo while wearing her nightie…but Marcelo is absorbed in his book and apparently doesn’t notice. (God, I wish I’d thought to see what book he was reading.)

After Marcelo goes home around dawn, the rest of the family begins to stir, and Seraphina comes out into the backyard to find Corrie. This is unusual for several reasons: (a) Seraphina Hates the Outdoors, and only comes outside when necessary (or to flirt with a boy she likes); (b) Seraphina and Corrie aren’t even friends; (c) Seraphina is a moody teenager, and it’s six in the morning. What could she possibly have to talk to Corrie about?

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“Hey, Corrie…look, I know we haven’t talked much, but I need to talk to you about something. It’s…it’s about a boy.”

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“Whoa, you’re coming to ME with your boy troubles? I don’t think I’m the right person to––“

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“Actually, you’re the ONLY person I can talk to. I’m in love with a boy you used to date, and all his other exes are sort of my enemies.”

“Ohh. So…I take it you’re talking about Marcelo?”

“Yes.”

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“Okay, look. Marcelo and I have a long history together, so I know him pretty well. From what little information Ash has told me, it seems like you and Marcelo have been pretty off-and-on the last few months. That doesn’t surprise me.”

“Why not?”

“Because Marcelo…I mean, he’s Inappropriate, which is part of it. I am, too, so I understand. He tends to go wherever his urges take him, and do whatever he wants without thinking about the consequences. Sometimes he doesn’t think about how his actions affect the people he cares about. Like you.”

“You think he cares about me?”

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“Actually, I know he does. Marcelo likes to date around, but you're the only one he keeps going back to. He’s gone on secret dates with you, called you at weird hours––that sounds like more of a relationship than even he and I had when we were dating. Heck, he even stayed at your house all night…”

“Hang on. When did he do that?!"

“Last night. He just left a little while ago, before you got up.”

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“Oh. So, you’re saying I have a shot with him?”

“I think he cares about you more than he realizes. He just needs a bit of a wakeup call.”

Feeling brave and encouraged, Seraphina dresses up in her best dress (which she never got to wear to prom) and gives Marcelo a call. He agrees to meet her at the Twinbrook Esplanade that evening. You can tell she’s acting tooootally casual as she’s talking to him.

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“Oh hi, Marcelo! Soooo I was just wondering if you wanted to meet me, like, at the Esplanade? Sometime later? Not for anything serious, just—to chat, you know, and stuff.”

Seraphina and Marcelo meet at the Esplanade. Doesn’t Seraphina look darling in her little dress and big earrings? I’m getting teary-eyed over here!

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“Thanks for coming, Marcelo. There’s something I have to tell you…”

Marcelo looks very uncertain as Seraphina takes his hand.

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“Marcelo, I’m tired of all this wishy-washyness between us. I like you more than I’ve ever liked anyone, and I’ve liked a lot of people. And I…I think you like me too?”

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Marcelo responds by kissing her, so I guess we can take that as a yes!

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“I’m so happy, Marcelo! Now, I think it’s time we make this official. I want to stop dating around and just focus on you. So what I want to ask is, will you be my––“

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“Oops, sorry, gotta run!”

MARCELO ARE YOU KIDDING ME. This boy will show up for an ordinary party and stick around for HOURS, but won’t spend more than five minutes on a date with the girl he supposedly loves!

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Poor Seraphina watches him run away. At least now their feelings are out in the open. All she can do now is wait for the following day, when she can call him up and try again. *sigh*

As it turns out, though…that won’t exactly be possible. Marcelo ages up overnight, and by morning, Story Progression has paired him up with another townie. And you’ll never guess who.

No seriously. You never will.

It’s Amy Bull-Gwydd. Remember, flashily-dressed lady who kept trying to be the center of attention at Ash’s birthday party? Yeah. Apparently she was on the hunt for more than cake at that party. :o

At this point, Seraphina still has one more day left as a teen—a whole day in which she is powerless to do anything about Marcelo. Jeez, this has turned into quite the Jane-Austen-novel situation, hasn't it? As long as Marcelo doesn’t get married in the next 24 hours, there might be hope. At least I feel justified in trying to win him back, since he’s an ABSOLUTE LUNATIC to be dating Amy in the first place.

So what do we do?

In the end, it’s Corrie who takes things into her own hands. First, she goes and talks to Amy.

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She finds her at the library, of all places.

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“Hey Amy, what’s up? So we haven’t actually met before, but I’m here to tell you that you are absolutely insane to be dating a guy like Marcelo. He’s young, he’s stupid, and he’s actually in love with a girl who’s a liiiittle closer to him in age. Marcelo isn’t up for the challenge of raising three kids. You’re better off dating somebody responsible.”

“Wow, I had no idea! I’ll consider it. Thanks, Miss Sargeant!”

Amy peaces out before Corrie has a chance to ask her to break up with Marcelo (why is this a pattern lately?). I guess it’s a good thing, because if Amy HAD agreed to end the relationship, Corrie would have had to sacrifice her friendship with Marcelo and become enemies with him. (I checked her relationship panel shortly after she moved in, and she and Marcelo are actually good friends. Aww!)

With that seed of discord planted, Corrie next tracks down Marcelo. It takes several phone calls, and Marcelo is at work when Corrie calls him, but he agrees to meet her at the town square when he’s done.

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Corrie arrives early and picks up a book, knowing it’ll draw bookwormish Marcelo to her like a moth to a flame. (Or...a butterfly to a flower.)

And here he is! All grown up with droopy hair and one of the most unflattering work uniforms I’ve ever seen. Marcelo, did you tuck your button-down INTO your boxers?

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“Good afternoon, Corrie! You’re looking well.”

“And you’re looking like a complete idiot.”

“I’m sorry?”

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“I said you’re an idiot. And it’s not just your outfit. Marcelo, what are you doing with a woman like Amy Bull-Gwydd? First of all, she already has three kids and a long history with a man twice your age, and second of all—”

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“I don’t know what happened, Corrie! All of a sudden I’m an adult, and I have a full-time job as an Organ Donor, whatever that means, and my parents want me out of their house, and strange, colorfully-dressed women are showing up at my door at 3 a.m. asking me to go out with them. It’s all happening so fast and I don’t know how to control it!”

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“Wow, things are worse than I thought. Okay, you may be subject to the ebb and flow of Twinbrook’s population dynamics, but I’m not. Therefore, I am taking control of this situation. You’re going to move out of your parents’ house and live with some sane people who will help you get your life together. You’re going to work hard at your career and start saving money for the future. And…I think you need to lay off dating for a while. Take a breather, okay? Think things through.”

Somehow, she convinces him. Marcelo agrees to break up with Amy and to move in with the Kindles, at least until he figures out his life. I think he’s ready for a change. (And, as a sidenote, I think Corrie is going to make a great politician one day.)

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Somebody isn’t excited about the new member of the household, though.

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Ash: “Awww, you gotta be KIDDING me!”

Offline amaranthin

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Re: The Kindle Random Town Jump
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2019, 08:57:20 PM »
Chapter 14 – A New Game

Yeah, so Ash basically freaks out when he sees Marcelo arriving at his front door.

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“What do you MEAN my nemesis is going to be my roommate?!”

Technically he’s not your nemesis, Ash. I think you have to make a blood pact for that. Or maybe make official death threats? I’m not sure.

Ash is not in charge here, though. Corrie is, and Corrie says that Marcelo is moving in. Heck, even I’m subject to Corrie’s declarations. Whatever she says goes. *shrug*

So Marcelo gets a true Kindle makeover, and we finally get to learn all about him. Marcelo is a Brave, Inappropriate, Friendly, Lucky Bookworm. Isn’t that the most adorable personality? Between him and Corrie, I think we got some of the best townies in terms of traits. And appearances, for that matter. Basically, I knew what I was doing when I was slogging through all that teenage drama. But I digress.

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Marcelo’s favorites are Kids Music, a food I have forgotten, and the color aqua. His Lifetime Wish is to become a World-Renowned Surgeon, which explains why the game plunked him in the medical career.

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Seraphina: “Oh my god. Corrie…is that Marcelo?”

Corrie: “Why yes, it is! Fancy that! I wonder what he’s doing here?”

Marcelo helps himself to some veggie rolls and, in the process, encounters his enemy and his romantic interest in the same moment.

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“Oh, hi, guys! Uh…who made these veggie rolls? They look great!”

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Ash: “I will fight you again if you cross me, or if you do anything to my sister. And this time, I will win.”

I try to have everyone sit down for a family dinner, but it doesn’t work very well. They all get to eating at different times, and apparently Seraphina chooses ice cream instead of vegetables.

I mean, I’d probably want a big carton of ice cream, too, if I was in her situation.

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Marcelo: “Why hello there, Seraphina! How is your ice cream? Melty and delicious?”

Seraphina: “…”

Seraphina isn’t exactly upset that Marcelo is here, but she seems a bit…confused, perhaps? Overwhelmed? Twenty-four hours ago she was trying to ask a teenage Marcelo to be her boyfriend, and teenage Marcelo ran away without giving her an answer. And now, here he is, a handsome young adult who suddenly lives in her house. And is acting like yesterday never happened. Thus, Seraphina just sort of gazes blankly into the distance whenever Marcelo tries to talk to her.

The following day is Seraphina’s last day as a teenager. Naturally, she wakes up with a mood swing.

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“Uuuugghh, I’m so ready to be done with these HORMONES!”

I think we’re all ready for you to be done with those hormones, babe.

Seraphina heads downstairs and finds Marcelo sitting at her precious chess table.

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She could just walk on by and go get her cereal in the kitchen, but she’s Seraphina, the queen of chess, so naturally she can’t pass up a game, even at seven in the morning.

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“Ah, Seraphina, you truly are a natural! I’m honored that you’re taking the time to show me your moves.”

“I’m actually just destroying all of your moves, but...thanks.”

After an hour of playing chess, things start to feel a little less awkward between these two. They leave for work and school on fairly good terms.

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(It’s weird to see Marcelo in his work uniform while Seraphina is still a twiggy teenager in a pale pink jumper.)

Meanwhile, our other two young adults take separate trips to City Hall to start their respective careers. Corrie joins the political career and takes a class in charisma; Ash registers as a self-employed painter.

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“Ash? What are you doing here?”

“Same thing you are. Getting a job.”

“Well, we should have carpooled. This town really needs to establish better environmental regula—”

“Hey now, you didn’t tell me you were going to City Hall either!”

I love those two.

Blaise continues to handle various emergencies around town.

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For some reason she doesn’t wear her firefighter gear to this particular fire. I guess it’s nice to see her face for once?

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Or maybe she’s glitched because of the creepy floating cane in the backyard. Spoooky.

My policy on Marcelo and Seraphina, at least for now, is to just let them be and see what they do of their own accord. After such ups and downs in their teen years, I want to give them time to get used to each other and decide whether they’re actually serious about a relationship. There’s still time to change things before we move to the next town, after all.

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They start by autonomously playing catch after school and work are done for the day. Which is kind of really adorable, even if Seraphina is “Plagued by Nature” the whole time.

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And after dinner, it’s finally time for Seraphina to become a young adult. Everyone, the teen years are finally over! At least until next generation.

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For once, Corrie is truly justified in laughing at the birthday girl. That hair, that hot-pink-and-zebra-print dress––what a combo!

After a quick makeover, Seraphina looks like herself again. So many hairstyles look adorable on her, but I just couldn’t get past this one. It suits her.

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Seraphina’s final trait is, uh, definitely random—she becomes a Born Saleswoman. I honestly have no idea what we’re going to do with that one. As a quick review, her other traits are Genius, Hates the Outdoors, Light Sleeper, and (of course) Flirty.

Seraphina also decides that she wants to become a Chess Master. No surprise there! She’d probably be there already if I’d started having her compete in her teen years. (That probably would’ve been a better use of her time than chasing boys around, too…)

The first thing Seraphina does upon aging up?

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She turns to Marcelo and gives him this beautiful, beaming smile. :)

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The two of them chat a little, but mostly there’s a lot of ground-staring and feet-shuffling.

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Then, after a long silence…Seraphina initiates the first flirt. (Ignore Justin and Corrie arguing in the background. I think Corrie’s Inappropriate trait is starting to make itself known.)

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Justin: “How dare you wear a nightie this early in the day. IT’S ONLY 9:30 P.M.!”

Corrie: “Mr. Kindle, you literally live a nocturnal lifestyle. You have no say in when people on normal schedules decide to wear pajamas.”

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I think things may finally be falling into place between Marcelo and Seraphina––or at least starting to. Are they on the same page at last? We’ll have to wait and see!

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In the meantime, Ash has finally finished his dark-haired-woman painting. He spends some time gazing at it. Plans are forming in his head. Good plans.



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Offline mpart

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Re: The Kindle Random Town Jump
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2019, 12:20:02 PM »
I absolutely adore Blaise and her pyromaniac firefighting saving ways.
I laughed when Ash got the dramatic trait. It's SO fitting. Seraphina is gorgeous and I hope her and Marcelo work out, but I have to say, Corrie is the real MVP.
This story is fantastic and I'm excited to see what happens!

Offline amaranthin

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Re: The Kindle Random Town Jump
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2019, 08:17:07 PM »
Quote
I absolutely adore Blaise and her pyromaniac firefighting saving ways.
I laughed when Ash got the dramatic trait. It's SO fitting. Seraphina is gorgeous and I hope her and Marcelo work out, but I have to say, Corrie is the real MVP.
This story is fantastic and I'm excited to see what happens!

I adore Blaise too! She turned out to be so much funnier than I ever expected. She's a delight to play (and a de-light to make puns about, heh heh).

I know, Ash's dramatic trait is so perfect! I have yet to get a good screenshot of him doing the dramatic poses, but I'll make sure to. It cracks me up every time. Corrie is another character that surprised me with her complexity and interesting-ness. I'm excited to see what she gets up to in the future. :)

Thank you so much as always for your comments! I really appreciate them ;D

Offline amaranthin

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Re: The Kindle Random Town Jump
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2019, 08:35:39 PM »
Chapter 15 – Pink Zebra Stripes

For the first time in a very long time, my game actually throws a graduation ceremony––which is perfect, because we have FOUR GRADUATES to celebrate!

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I enjoy Corrie's grad photo in particular, because it looks like your typical school picture from, like, elementary school: dead eyes, awkward fixed smile, looking just past the camera instead of right at it. (Also, look, I figured out how to make photo collages! It saves so much space!)

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The Kindle kids have done excellent work, in spite of their rather wild teen years. Seraphina graduates with highest honor and is voted Most Popular. Not surprising. Ash graduates with highest honor, is Valedictorian, and is named Most Likely to Become a Rock Star.

Corrie and Marcelo do well, too, although I didn’t get pictures of them throwing their diplomas (and I don’t want to go overboard on the collages even though I’m SO EXCITED I figured out how to do them). Both Corrie and Marcelo graduate with honor; Marcelo is named Most Likely to Write a Best-Selling Novel, and Corrie is voted Most Likely to Get Married.

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Ash: “Most likely to get married, eh?”

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“…What do you say we go ahead and make that happen?”

“Oh, Ash! YES!”

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Corrie accepts and admires her sparkly new ring as some of her fellow graduates look on with regret.

With a wedding on the way, it’s time to throw a party! I haven’t thrown a bachelorette party in a long time. And since we’re leaving town soon, we may as well enjoy our neighbors while we can.

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Of course, no bachelorette party is complete without someone going into labor...I guess.

Ash kindly volunteers to drive Zo Welhoff-Bayless to the hospital.

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“Hey, thanks for giving me an excuse to escape this party! As much as I want to see my fiancée opening gifts of lingerie and getting drenched in nectar…well…maybe I should have stayed…”

“Just...get in the car, please..."

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The party gets off to a raucous start. Penny Pincher-Peddler immediately starts dancing on the backyard tables. Amy Bull-Gwydd, back again for round two, watches her blankly with that shark-like stare. *shudder*

Corrie joins the fray in her fancy white dress and veil thingy. She pops a wish to ask someone to make a toast, so I check her relationship panel to see who her closest friend is. And, um…it’s Marcelo.

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“Hey, Marcelo? I have a huge favor to ask. Do you think you’d be willing to make a to—“

“Say no more.”

“I didn’t even—“

“I got this, Cor. I got this!”

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*ahem, ahem* “Attention, everyone! Party guests! Friends and family! Strange men in leather pants! I’d like to say a few words about our lovely bride-to-be.”

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“Now, most of you know Corrie and I, but you may not know that she and I were once lovers. Yes, it's true! For approximately two days in high school, we attempted to turn our lifelong friendship into something more. But alas, it was not to be––for Ash Kindle came along and convinced Corrie to break up with me, and now...NOW, folks, she's marrying that very guy! Ha ha! Funny how that works, isn't it?"

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“Anyway, don't worry––I'm happy for Corrie and Ash now, even though Ash and I still pop wishes to fight each other constantly. I think it’s amazing that through all this complication, Corrie and Ash have found a love that is simple. They love each other. They are a perfect match. And without them, I never would have met—well—never mind. Anyway, let’s raise our glasses to Corrie!”

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“Whoa, hey, what are you doing?! We didn’t talk about this!”

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“Of course we didn’t! It’s a surprise! YAAAHHHH!”

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Robin Banks: “Attention bride-to-be and friend. Please stop your nectar-spewing now. It is our time to dance.”

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My favorite part of the whole bachelorette party is right here. The strippers start to dance, and behind them, Seraphina and her dad are simultaneously SO EXCITED to watch the show.

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Uh…wait, is one of the guests in her underwear…? Who—

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*jaw drop*

Corrie! What the—? What are you...? Are you...are you okay?!?

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Oh. Oh, dear.

Well then. I have a lot of questions. Such as, where did Corrie get those pink-zebra-striped undergarments? (Certainly not from me.) Where did she learn to dance like that? And most importantly, is she DRUNK?

I don’t remember this from other bachelorette parties I’ve thrown in the sims. Dancing on tables, sure. But brides-to-be donning strange, animal-print, out-of-character underwear for the occasion? Never.

Anyway. Now that we’re all scarred for life, let’s see what the rest of the party is doing.

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Amy Bull-Gwydd is dancing with Justin, and possibly hypnotizing him. There's that disconcertingly dead glare again.

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The dancing lasts loooong into the night. Nobody even thinks of stopping until it starts to get light out. (“Light out” is here referring to the sun, not the mysterious electronic lights suspended in midair over the strippers.)

Sometime around 4 am, I find Corrie (still in her pink zebra knickers) and her future mother-in-law sitting in the dining room.

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“So, Corrie, how’s your bachelorette party going? What have you been up to?”

“I have no idea.”

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Around the same time, the guests start passing out from exhaustion. Actually, they kind of all do it at once––THONK, THONK, THONK. (Penny manages to pass out four times in total. Four. Times.)

The two strippers eventually make their way inside. Instead of passing out on the grass, they opt for an alternative: coffee. (And the always-invigorating fumes of rotting salmon.)

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Robin Banks: “Wow. What a night, eh?”
Harry Chester: “Yeah. I love our job.”

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Justin: “Good morning, gentlemen! Mind if I join you?”

Now, since I have no desire to know what Justin and two male strippers talked about, I’m going to leave this chapter right here. Big things are happening next time—see ya then!


Offline deedee_828

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Re: The Kindle Random Town Jump
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2019, 12:11:55 AM »
Too funny, the bride-to-be in the striped underwear! I had a bachelor party in my TJ game and the groom-to-be was in underwear too! At a location party. And several of the other guests to. What is up with that? I kept having to change them back to formal wear with MC!

Offline amaranthin

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Re: The Kindle Random Town Jump
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2019, 05:17:47 PM »
Quote
Too funny, the bride-to-be in the striped underwear! I had a bachelor party in my TJ game and the groom-to-be was in underwear too! At a location party. And several of the other guests to. What is up with that? I kept having to change them back to formal wear with MC!

That's hilarious that you had the same thing happen in your game! And slightly reassuring, too. The whole thing really freaked me out at first. It was such an un-Corrie-like thing for her to do!



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Offline amaranthin

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Re: The Kindle Random Town Jump
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2019, 05:54:39 PM »
Chapter 16 – Reasons to Wear a White Dress

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Seraphina: “So…why’d you bring us all here, Corrie?”
Ash: “It’s awfully pretty here…are we having a maypole celebration or something?”
Marcelo: “I’m pretty sure the maypole object only comes with the Seasons expansion pack, and isn’t interactive anyway.”
Ash: “Oh. Bummer.”

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Ash: “You want us to wear our formalwear? Interesting...oh wow, is that a new dress?”

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Ash: “Hey, look, an arch covered in vines!”
Corrie: “It’s a wedding arch, idiot. Come on, we’re getting married.”

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At least the mother and father of the groom have figured out what’s going on. They start weeping before the others even make it to the ceremony spot.

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Ash Kindle and Corrie Sargeant get married at dusk in the flickering lights and shadows of Willowglen Amphitheatre. It’s a small wedding—only the Kindles, Marcelo, and a few random townies who were already at the lot are in attendance—but it’s perfect for Ash and Corrie, who are really only there for each other.

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Ash looks happier than I've ever seen him before. Awww. :)

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Seraphina and Marcelo are completely in sync with their reactions to the wedding. Are they adorable, or are they adorable?

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Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Kindle!

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Seriously, isn’t this lot beautiful? It even looks pretty on my laptop with my extremely low visual quality settings!

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When the ceremony ends, Ash immediately does his favorite thing: he pulls out his guitar and serenades his new wife. (I'm going to pretend that Corrie is just feeling bashful and hiding in a book.)

As the guests start to trickle away into the night, Seraphina pulls Marcelo aside to one of the upper levels of the amphitheatre.

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“Marcelo, can I talk to you?”
“Of course, Ser. What's up?"

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“So…watching my brother get married has got me thinking. Ever since I became a teenager, I’ve been casually dating around, flirting with whoever, not taking any relationship very seriously. Part of it was just for fun, but I think all along, I was looking for the one person I would want to give it all up for.”

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“And…I’ve finally figured out that one person is you. I’ve had crushes on a lot of people, but my feelings for you have never wavered. My mom would say you’re the person I’m always going back to. I guess what I’m trying to say is that…I love you, Marcelo Drudge.”

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“I’ve been wanting to hear you say that for a long time, Seraphina Kindle.”

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Awww! At long last, these two admit their feelings for each other and become an official couple.

…And become engaged.

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“Seraphina! Al-Already?!”

“Well, the scenery is just so perfect! And we’re moving to the next town really soon, so we gotta move fast. Marcelo, will you marry me?”

“Of course I will! Yes!"

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So much love is happening in this little forest glen! Ash and Corrie decide to stay put for the night and have their honeymoon right there in the glen, with the help of a nice big tent from buydebug.

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“Ohmigosh, we're gonna––I’m about to––w-woohoo––with Corrie Sargeant! AAAHHHH!”

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Based on how Ash and Corrie emerge from the tent the next morning, I’m not sure how well their wedding night went. Ah well, first woohoos can be rough for even the most compatible couples. They’ll have plenty of opportunities to improve in the future. ;)

The family spends the next day packing and preparing for the move to the next town. In the evening, Seraphina sneaks downtown, then calls Marcelo to tell him to meet her at the Red Rendezvous.

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“Well, I’m here. What’s going on? And why are you wearing that white dress?”

“Is it really that hard to guess at this point?”

“…”

“Okay…let’s just go upstairs.”

Seraphina leads Marcelo to one of the normally-empty upper floors of the Red Rendezvous. The top floor has been furnished and decorated just enough for a late-night elopement.

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Seraphina and Marcelo say their vows and exchange rings in their own little private ceremony.

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The upper floors of the building are super glitchy, though, and everytime I adjust the camera to get a different screenshot, the walls, floors, and ceilings disappear. So for much of the ceremony it looks like Seraphina and Marcelo get married in midair, surrounded by floating windows while standing on a floating rug. It’s kind of romantic, now that I think about it.

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Ah, there we go. The walls are back, and our favorite Drudge is now a Kindle. Congratulations, you two!

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Seraphina and Marcelo retreat to a fluffy queen bed that has mysteriously appeared nearby. They spend their last night in Twinbrook as husband and wife, overlooking the lights of the town they've always called home.

Offline amaranthin

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Re: The Kindle Random Town Jump
« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2019, 09:36:55 PM »
Chapter 17 – A Sunny Beginning

It’s time, everyone. We have arrived at the first town jump in this Random Town Jump!

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The Kindles say goodbye to their house in Twinbrook. (Don’t mind Seraphina. She insisted on a sassy pose, for some reason.)

And the Kindles move to…

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Sunset Valley! I haven’t played in this town in ages, and it holds a lot of nostalgia for me, as I imagine it does for most players. Also, I’m excited for some real sunlight. Twinbrook always feels so smoggy and dreary to me.

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The Kindles choose a spacious lot in the hills just outside town with a view of the ocean from their backyard, and I build them this house that I can’t decide if I like or not. I think I like it. I think. (I couldn’t get a real roof to look remotely okay with those diagonal walls, so I went with this not-roof instead. The jury’s still out, you could say.)

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Here’s the main floor. I was feeling pretty cramped in the Twinbrook house, so naturally I made this one way too big. Oops. (Also, it’s sparsely furnished right now, partially because it’s so gigantic and partially because I was impatient to start playing. More decorations and such will appear gradually.)

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And here’s the upstairs. The house has four bathrooms and three bedrooms, which should give us plenty of room for a growing family.

The family heads in to check out their new digs.

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Justin: “I’m not sure about this house. I'm already feeling rather stuck.”

As everybody gets settled, the two young men of the household have a significant moment together.

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“So, Ash…now that we’re all grown up and stuff, I was wondering if you’d be willing to make a truce with me. We’ve been enemies for so long, but we’re brothers now. I’m ready to make peace with the past if you are.”

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Ash: “Yeah, sounds good! In order to make a truce, you have to put your head between my hands and then I have to clap excitedly.”

Marcelo: “Righto. Ready when you are!”

So uh, yeah. That happens. And good timing, too. I have finally chosen the heir for this generation, after a great deal of waffling. (I guess I just had to waffle over everything this generation.)

And here it is: Ash is the heir. Hooray! For a long time, I was really leaning towards Seraphina, but then, two things happened. First of all, Corrie happened. Once she moved into the household, I absolutely fell in love with her as a character. I don’t know what it is about her, but somehow she developed a strong personality and voice almost immediately. I realized pretty quickly that I didn’t want to let her go. (Also, she’s in the political career, which is one of my favorites because PARTIES.) And secondly, I started thinking about what Ash and Seraphina would want for themselves. Ash is the family man; he has a stay-at-home career and will be perfectly happy raising his kids and making his art and music. Seraphina is a bit spunkier, more independent, less willing to be tied down to a legacy-like lifestyle. I think she’ll ultimately be happier living her own life (with Marcelo by her side). And don’t worry—we’ll be seeing plenty of Seraphina and Marcelo. I intend to have them visit as often as possible. :) I’m going to miss them!

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Seraphina gets started on her LTW of Chess Master. Her first chess opponent is Judy Bunch, whom I don’t know if I’ve ever seen as an adult because she always seems to age up so fast when I play in Sunset Valley. (Seraphina destroys her in chess, as expected.)

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Corrie will start as a politician at City Hall the next morning, but for now she has a full day to start getting to know the citizens of Sunset Valley. She first heads to a house around the corner and meets the McIrishes and Frenches.

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Well…she tries to meet the Frenches. Before Corrie even introduces herself to Molly, Molly walks up and slaps her. Um…welcome to Sunset Valley?

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Corrie: “Wow. I’m not even going to TRY to earn YOUR vote.”

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That evening, the family sits down for their first meal in the new town.

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It’s around bedtime that same day that I discover that Ash has his own personal glitch in this house. For some reason, whenever he’s on the second floor, the game thinks he’s on the first floor. So he appears to be walking around in the sky when I have the camera on the first floor. (He also descends directly through his bedroom floor to get down a level, but it’s hard to get a screenshot of that.)

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Monday morning dawns and Corrie and Marcelo are off to their first days of work. Good luck, guys! I don’t know why Corrie’s office insisted she wear her graduation cap and gown for her first day. Maybe it’s like a “ha ha, you’re a rookie” thing?

Oh yeah, it’s also Blaise’s first day at the Sunset Valley fire station. She gets to the firehouse and goes to find her coworkers, and they are…

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…Cornelia Goth and Yumi Sekemoto? Really?

Well, maybe they’ll prove to be tougher (and more athletic) than they look. Blaise spends a chunk of the first day training Cornelia on the weight machine (not pictured at Cornelia’s request), so at least she helps give one of her coworkers a boost.

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Ash settles into his work as a painter. He’s at level 6 or 7 of the career already (and level 9 of the skill). Based on this particular painting, I think he’s feeling inspired by his new home (in spite of its complete lack of decor).

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Since Seraphina and Marcelo will be moving out soon to start their own lives, they decide to get started on a family.

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It takes a few tries, but eventually, chimes are heard. We have a new baby Kindle on the way!

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The next day, Blaise, who has already maxed handiness and athletic, reaches level 10 of the gardening skill at the library and finally becomes a Renaissance Sim. Praise for Blaise!

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In the evening, the family sits down for one last meal together before the younger Kindles depart. Justin whips up some of his famous key lime pie for the occasion. Why did I buy such a big dining room table again?

And then the goodbyes commence.

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“Bye, Ash. Thanks for deciding to cool off about us.”

“No worries, man. I can always rekindle my anger.”

Rekindle? Really?”

“Yep, really. Now please get out of my house, bro."

Seraphina gives her sister-in-law a very affectionate thumbs up.

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“Thanks for everything, big sister.”

“Anytime, little sister.”

After everyone has hugged everyone, as is essential in most human farewell rituals, Seraphina puts in a call to the real estate office.

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“Hi. My husband and I would like your smallest, least attractive house, please.”

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And off they go to start a new life. Bye, lovelies! We’ll see you soon.


Offline amaranthin

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Re: The Kindle Random Town Jump
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2019, 05:10:39 PM »
Chapter 18 – And Then There Were Babies

Blaise and Justin are both nearing the ends of their lives (at least according to their life bars). And they are just as smitten with each other as ever.

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“Hey Justin…guess what? I’m still a firefighter.”

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Although that bicep flex isn’t doing much for Blaise, Justin responds by tackling his wife onto their bed in a fit of romantic yearning. Good to know you guys are doing well!

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While playing chess on the computer one afternoon, Justin reaches level 10 of the logic skill and becomes the Tinkerer he’s always longed to be (glitchy finger and all).

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Ash has begun to play his guitar for tips downtown. He sets up outside the theater one day, and I leave him alone for a bit. When I check back, I hear sirens. And screaming.

Several yards away from where Ash is standing, I find THIS:

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Why hello, every citizen of Sunset Valley! If you haven't guessed, a building is on fire. At first I can’t tell which one, because everyone is just clumped together all along this block from the bookstore to the grocery store. And Ash is calmly standing in the middle of it all, strumming away contentedly.

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Then Fire Chief Kindle emerges from the grocery store. (I guess that's why Ash remained calm––he knew his mama was handling the emergency.) The sirens fade. The crowd starts to calm. And Blaise looks at everybody like, “What are you all screaming about?”

Turns out it was just one of Blaise’s rabbithole “building disasters” or whatever. And Sunset Valley just happens to have a lot of active, out-and-about townies. (That's one of the reasons I like it so much.)

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Ash and Corrie are feeling lovey-dovey and decide to start their family, now that there’s plenty of room in the household. (The Hopeless Romantic “Gaze Into Eyes” interaction is one of my favorites in the game. It’s so adorable.)

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They conduct their business under the approving eye of the Unnamed Dark Haired Dame Who Is Totally Not Supposed To Be Corrie.

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Blaise experiences her first large house fire since moving here. It’s at the Alto villa, and is glitched to the point where Blaise literally runs around the outside of the house for TEN HOURS trying to put out all the window fires. She never gets to them all. The Altos should definitely be dead. Thankfully, I’ve never had any emergency victims actually die in-game, and we are spared from that potential lawsuit (although Blaise does get a grade of F for this particular emergency).

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This is the only picture I have demonstrating that Ash masters the painting skill.

“Wow, I’m at level 10 already? That doesn’t seem right…”

Yeah, that’s what I thought. But hey, here we are! Congrats!

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Soon, Corrie discovers that she’s pregnant and refuses to spin into the pregnancy outfit I spent ten minutes designing for her. Whatever. Clearly, Corrie does what she wants.

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“I have good news, Ash. I got a promotion earlier today! Also I’m pregnant.”

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“Corrie, that’s wonderful! I have news too! I just mastered the painting skill, apparently!”

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Corrie prepares for motherhood by practicing her ghost-story-telling skills. She does this autonomously, when there’s nobody else in the house but her. In her defense, she makes some excellent scary faces.

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“Yes, Corrie was alone in the house that day…OR WAS SHE??

I mean, there was a baby in her belly, so...no, not technically?

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While we have a master handyman and a master handywoman (can they be handypeople?) in the household, I put Blaise and Justin to work upgrading all our appliances. Mostly so I can bring that fully-upgraded stove to future towns. Heh heh.

Exciting news from the other Kindles in town—Seraphina and Marcelo are parents! Seraphina gives birth to a baby boy named Trinity a couple days after she moves out. (I’ve never seen the game produce such a cool name on its own.)

Seraphina comes over to visit, wearing her cap and gown for some reason. She just started working at the hospital, where they specialize in horrible level 1 career outfits, so maybe that’s why?

She doesn’t bother to bring her new son with her, though. Whatever. It’s fine.

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Blaise: “Allow me to share with you all about my new grandchild. His name is Trinity, and I have no idea what he looks like because his mother hasn’t shown him to me yet––”

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Grandmotherly gripes aside, Seraphina is overjoyed to learn that her sister-in-law is pregnant as well. The two young moms are excited that the Kindle cousins will be able to grow up together.

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How many cousins, though? Hopefully multiple! Corrie spends most of her pregnancy parked in front of the kids station on the TV with kids radio blaring in the background. She’s also force-fed as many apples as she can handle, since both she and Ash want a boy.

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Ash often joins his wife for a cuddle while she’s being brainwashed by dancing rabbits.

“I think you’re going to be a great mom, Corrie.”

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“Thanks. You know, I really feel like I’m learning a lot from this channel. Maybe I will be a great mom!”

The next day, the inevitable happens.

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“Corrie! You can’t have the baby yet! I’m not done painting your pregnancy portrait!”

It’s true, he’s not. But Corrie takes charge as usual and leads the way out to the car.

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“I don’t care about my pregnancy portrait. Take me to the hospital.”

“Okay, okay! Jeez, slow down!”

Only Corrie can outrun a nervous husband while in labor.

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And apparently Ash is too freaked out to drive, because in the end, Corrie drives him to the hospital.

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A few hours later, Ash and Corrie re-emerge (and climb into a very dark taxi) with twin boys in their arms. Hooray! Everyone, say hello to Caspian and Nile, the newest Kindles. :)

Offline mpart

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Re: The Kindle Random Town Jump
« Reply #25 on: June 28, 2019, 06:31:59 PM »
Ah yes, being driven to the hospital by the pregnant woman giving birth because he's too busy freaking out. Oh Ash. XD Corrie is the perfect fit for him. While I'm sad Seraphina and Marcelo moved out, I do have to say Ash is definitely suited for being a legacy heir.
I'm excited to see what Sunset Valley has in store for the Kindles!

Offline amaranthin

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Re: The Kindle Random Town Jump
« Reply #26 on: July 03, 2019, 10:13:36 PM »
Chapter 19 – A Lot Of Toddling

The new Kindle babies arrive home with their parents late that night.

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Blaise: “Welcome back, Corrie! What’s that you got there?”
Corrie: “A hot dog. Jeez, Mom, what does it look like I've got?"

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Awwww. These two make adorable parents. They both know exactly what their new babies need as soon as they need it. Ahh, blessed game mechanics.

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I think Corrie is pretty happy to be a mom.

And Ash? How are you feeling?

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Ash: *delirious grin*

Uh, all right. :o

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Caspian and Nile are very popular babies. The adults of the household are literally queueing up to change their diapers and snuggle them.

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Grandpa Justin knows best, though—he sneaks in when everyone else is distracted and gets as many snuggles as he wants.

After the boys are born and settled, Corrie and Blaise take Nile (I was hoping they’d bring both babies, but alas, sims are dumb) across town to visit some old friends.

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Marcelo: “Good to see you, Corrie!”
Corrie: “You too, Marcelo. Burning waffles as always, I see.”
Marcelo: “You know it.”

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Seraphina: “Pssst. Corrie. Our babies look exactly the same.”
Corrie: “I know, it’s like they’re twins!”
Seraphina: “Ha ha, good one!”

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Because the baby stage is boring as heck, let’s skip ahead to the boys’ first birthday.

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Here’s Caspian! Caspian was born with one trait from each of his grandparents—he’s an Athletic Light Sleeper. He likes Pop, Vegetarian Lobster Thermidor, and Sea Foam.

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Nile is a Good Couch Potato who likes Latin music, Vegetarian Fish and Chips, and the color Spice Brown (but I’ve decided he actually prefers red). And he was born with the signature Kindle hair! Hooray! I think both boys most resemble Corrie, although Caspian inherited his daddy’s itty bitty mouth. So there’s that.

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The toddler training begins in earnest. Granny Blaise takes control of the toilet training. She handles emergencies well, both fire- and bladder-related.

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Ash gets VERY excited when Caspian babbles his first nonsense words.

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Caspian: *pig noises*
Ash: "That's my boy, YES!"

Okay I’m actually a bit concerned about both of you?

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Grandpa Justin doesn’t do much of the toddler training, but he helps keep the toddlers happy / properly scared for their lives.

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Once both boys learn to talk, they spend a lot of time playing blocks together. I really wish this thing moved the friendship bar faster. You’d think that after four straight days of babbling at each other, two toddlers would be more than “acquaintances”.

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Walking comes next. Corrie takes charge here.

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Both boys also become proficient at the peg box and only the peg box, because I completely forget about the xylophone, I guess. Oops.

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Blaise and Justin are making good use of their twilight years. One of their favorite things to do is play catch together. Justin always initiates, and he doesn’t seem to mind when Blaise throws a 40-mph fastball directly at his stomach. He just loves spending time with his wife. :'(

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Although Ash is a naturally good parent, he…isn’t such a natural at using the stroller. But then again, nobody is.

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Speaking of parenting, Ash and Corrie apparently can’t get enough of it. They both pop wishes to have another child. Hey, why not?

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Seraphina’s pregnant again, too! (I didn’t think she’d have more than one child, since the game plunked her in a house with only one extra bed.)

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Corrie actually runs into the whole other Kindle family at the library that same day. She gets to meet Trinity as a toddler. Looks like he got the Kindle fire hair too!

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While she’s downtown, Corrie is suddenly overcome with a strange feeling in her stomach.

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Gobias Koffi: “Ewwww, a local representative vomiting! Cannot unsee! Cannot unsee!”

Politicians are people too, mister. Now shut up and go buy us some coffee. (Do you know how long it took me to figure out that pun? Way too long.)


Offline amaranthin

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Re: The Kindle Random Town Jump
« Reply #27 on: July 04, 2019, 12:06:43 PM »
Chapter 20 – The Blaze

It happens on Friday night. Blaise and Justin are flirting in the kitchen, as they so often are, when Blaise starts feeling a little funny.

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Blaise: *sniff* “Whooof, what’s that smell? It smells like death!

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“Ohhhh.”

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I knew this was coming (Blaise is about 97 at this point), but I’m never prepared for the spouse’s reaction. Poor Justin’s heart is ripped apart as he watches his wife die before his eyes. :'(

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I know, I know, Justin. Don’t worry, you’ll see her again soon—it won’t be long before you join her! There, isn’t that encouraging?

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The family gathers round and Blaise begs Grim for the chance to put out a few more fires and save a few more lives. Alas, it’s her turn to be extinguished.

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Blaise: "Hey Justin, watch this! I'm going to jump over you as I dive into my urn!"

Oh, Blaise. Always the daredevil. Always fearless. Rest in peace, my precious founder.

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After it’s over, Ash responds in his own way by pouring his grief into music. He plays a strangely upbeat tune in memory of his mother while Justin bobs to the beat.

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A few seconds later, the camera jumps again (and my heartrate with it)—but it’s just Corrie discovering that she’s pregnant. Looks like a new life has begun where another has ended!

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Although Ash and Corrie are happy to be expecting again, the pain of Blaise’s death is still fresh enough to cast a shadow on their joy. Or…at least on Corrie’s. Ash, what on earth are you clapping and cackling about?

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Oh.

Yep, that’s three camera jumps in the span of about five minutes. Corrie transitions from crying over Blaise to laughing at her husband’s middle-aged transformation.

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Corrie: “You lost...all your...your hair! Hahahaha!” *wheeze*
Ash: “Please stop.”

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Corrie: “On second thought, it’s so ugly I feel sick.”

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As Corrie runs to the bathroom to throw up, Ash is launched into a midlife crisis. Not surprising, after he watches his mother die, finds out his wife is pregnant, and becomes middle-aged all in one day. Ignoring Ash’s first wish to divorce Corrie, I let him grow out a bit of facial hair to make up for the temporary hair loss. Judging by his autonomous preening in front of the mirror, he’s all right with it.

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Later, I interrupt Ash in the middle of cooking some goopy carbonara in order to have him go feed Caspian. He walks away from the stove and…a fire breaks out. The butler is kind enough to alert me with her screaming.

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I think this is the first fire in Kindle family history, and this is when I suddenly feel really sad about Blaise’s death. If Blaise had been here for the fire, she would have (a) gone crazy with excitement, and (b) put it out like the expert firefighter she was. I mean, the fire gets put out regardless, but…I’m really sad that Blaise missed out on the first Kindle blaze. :(

The firefighter arrives after the fire is put out.

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“Hi. I came straight here when I heard there was a fire at the Kindle house. Where is the famous Mrs. Kindle? I’ve always wanted to meet her.”

“Mrs. Kindle? She’s upstairs, but she may be asl—“

“Ooh, upstairs! Thank you.”

The firefighter runs up and bursts into Corrie’s bedroom...where she seemingly puts two and two together.

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“What do you MEAN Blaise Kindle is dead? I never got her autograph! NOOOOOOO!!!”

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NPC firefighters aren’t the only ones having trouble adjusting to Blaise’s death. Justin hardly knows what to do with himself over the next few days. He goes out to visit Blaise in the garden often.

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Out on her second maternity leave, Corrie spends her time meeting the people of Sunset Valley. She finds a particular friend in Agnes Crumplebottom, her next-door neighbor, who autonomously comforts her amid her grief.

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Agnes also happens to be the mother of one of the many potential spouses for our boys. Look at this little cutie! And you’ll never guess what her name is, or who her father is.

Fine, I’ll tell you. Her name is Gladys. Can you believe it? Agnes Crumplebottom had a daughter named Gladys Crumplebottom. How perfect is that? And Gladys’s father, of all people, is Xander Clavell. ??? I couldn't put together a less likely couple if I tried.

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As the mourning period comes to an end and a certain double birthday looms, Corrie and Ash redouble their efforts in training their sons to walk, talk, and potty.

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I notice that Nile makes this adorably weirded-out face whenever his daddy tosses him in the air. If I knew he didn’t have the Neurotic trait, I’d think he had the Neurotic trait.

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And Justin doesn’t have to wait long before his love makes an appearance as a ghost.

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Our poor little Light Sleeper does NOT appreciate his dead grandmother disturbing his slumber, though. He screams the night away as Justin woos his wife with ghostly pickup lines.

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Granny Blaise wants nothing more than to keep her grandsons awake all night, I guess. After Justin goes back to bed, she spends the next few hours until dawn doing squats to hip-hop music. Very considerate, Blaise.

Next time, we have a couple of new Kindles to meet and some birthdays to celebrate! (Also, Happy Fourth to my fellow Americans out there!)

Offline amaranthin

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Re: The Kindle Random Town Jump
« Reply #28 on: July 06, 2019, 10:40:15 PM »
Chapter 21 – Boys & Butlers

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In her adventures schmoozing with townspeople, Corrie meets a number of women who are pregnant just like her. So many potential spouses! She and Emma Hatch get along swimmingly and talk about their mutual nausea and cravings for ice cream.

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Poor, dramatic Ash is having a hard time adjusting to adulthood. I swear, young man, you have the flattest stomach of all time for someone who doesn’t work out! There is no need for that face!

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A protest breaks out downtown one evening (against thievery, I guess, or else masquerade balls), and both Kindles take advantage of the crowds and use them for their own ends. Ash plays his guitar for some hefty tips; Corrie gets to know more citizens and starts planting seeds of her political ideas.

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This also works out well when Corrie goes into labor—she has a nice audience that’s already worked itself into a political frenzy. The townsfolk transition effortlessly into a medical frenzy as Corrie’s contractions start in earnest.

And what’s the husband’s reaction to all of this?

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“Yay, my wife has become so popular already! I can’t wait to see her get elected!”

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I guess Ash is just a little slow to realize what’s going on. It’s not until Corrie strides off down the street towards the car that the panic hits him.

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In any case, the Kindles make it to the hospital and come out a couple hours later with their third child, Rhone. It’s another boy! I’ve never seen a baby wheeled out of the hospital in a stroller before and it might be the cutest thing of all time. Look how happy he is!

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“Uh…babe? That’s not how you push a stroller.”
“Shut your mouth, Ash. You can’t do it either and you know it.”

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Rhone is welcomed into the Kindle household. Corrie is getting antsy and is eager to get back to work, I can tell—her coworkers are always calling to check in on her, and she keeps popping wishes to advance in her career (or else quit her job, but we don't talk about that). Soon, Corrie, soon! Just a few more days.

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Caspian and Nile are doing well as they near the end of their toddler years. With their skills all taken care of, they spend their days playing with toys and chatting over the blocks table.

(Caspian is evidently the goofier of the two—I keep catching him making weird faces whilst doing normal activities, like in the blocks table picture above.)

Well, okay, Nile makes weird faces too.

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Corrie: “Look, sweetie, Mama’s having a birthday! See the sparkles?”
Nile: “...?”

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Justin’s thriving as well in his old age. He misses Blaise, but he’s enjoying some peace and quiet now that his family is more financially stable and he can take the occasional night off from hacking. When he gets a little Stir Crazy, I send him to the beach to get some fresh air. (I wonder if Cornelia Goth is trying to get a tan. I wonder if that’s even possible for a Goth.)

Corrie takes advantage of her downtime and becomes best friends with her boss, Tori Kimura-Koffi.

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Tori: “If you want a raise when you come back to City Hall, you’re gonna have to beat me in this Mario Kart race!”
Corrie: “Uh...what?”

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“Well, okay then.” *VROOOOOOOM*

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On the day of the twins’ birthday, we have a strange visitor to the house: a new butler. Yes, that sleeping woman in the background is the old butler. The new butler arrives before the old one shows any signs of leaving. I think this new one might be possessed. Look at her eyes!

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Ignoring that weirdness for a moment, let’s watch Caspian blow out his candles!

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A birthday is enough to rouse the old butler from her bed. She appears in the kitchen with no pants on, because apparently the new butler stole her uniform? I don’t know.

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Caspian becomes a child in a shower of sparkles.

And the new butler makes her move.

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“Booooo! You’re obsolete, underwear lady! Go check into a nursing home! BOOOOO!”

Well, I’m trying not to be too concerned. The game probably just sent us an extra butler by mistake. Maybe if I resetsim on the new butler she’ll go back to wherever she—

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Hey! What did you do, new butler?!

So our new butler apparently has powers beyond her NPC status. She boos the old butler and within seconds, the old butler vanishes into thin air without a trace. Um…okay. I guess we’re stuck with new butler now. I am shooketh. :o

Anyway…let’s get back to the birthdays?

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Nile ages up after his brother.

And here are our handsome young lads!

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Caspian becomes a Kleptomaniac. Hmmm. A thieving, athletic light sleeper—do we have a future professional criminal on our hands?

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And Nile becomes—very excitingly—a Light Sleeper too. Now both twins can stay up all night together! Yay!

Offline amaranthin

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Re: The Kindle Random Town Jump
« Reply #29 on: July 08, 2019, 09:11:50 PM »
Chapter 22 – Half-Made Pasta

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Nile wishes to learn to fish. He…has a hard time with it. Or gets really into it. It's hard to tell.

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Awww, don’t look like that, kiddo! It’ll get easier with practice.

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All Caspian wants to do, meanwhile, is have his parents and grandfather read him bedtime stories. Seriously, he spends HOURS every evening going from person to person, asking for a story, until the interaction disappears and he has to start over. I can’t help wondering if he’s making them disappear on purpose, for some klepto-related reason. ???

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Seraphina and Marcelo have gotten busy and had another baby. Corrie runs into Marcelo and baby Margo down at the park.

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Aaaaand she tries to kiss him. Corrie, come on, we’ve talked about this! I spent WEEKS in-game orchestrating your love life, precisely so this wouldn’t happen!

At least Marcelo, even though he’s Inappropriate too, has the conscience to reject his sister-in-law’s advances. Oi. I think I’d like to fast-forward through the rest of Corrie’s midlife crisis, please and thank you. (At least this satisfies her wish to flirt with someone else.)

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The fun events continue with yet another kitchen fire. Man, Blaise is really missing out. I’m pretty sure this one is caused by Rhone’s birthday cake going up in flames.

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Although our new butler looks awfully relieved. A little too relieved. I still don't trust you, lady.

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Our same firefighter friend shows up again, several minutes after the fire is put out. It’s like she doesn’t even care about rescuing the Kindles anymore, now that Blaise the Great is dead.

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Well, before we can re-do Rhone’s birthday, the older boys have to head off to their first day of school. Good luck, kids! Meet some potential spouses nice friends!

Rhone’s cake candles do not explode the second time around, and we finally get to see what the newest Kindle looks like.

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Corrie's a little excited that her son is finally growing out of the infant stage. Almost as excited as me.

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He’s a cutie! Rhone is Eccentric and Neurotic, which, you could argue, are almost synonyms anywhere except in the Sims. His favorite things are pop music, Goopy Carbonara, and lime green.

Toddler spam / toddler training montage begins now:

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And some bonus toddler spam!

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This is cousin Margo—she grows up into a toddler around the same time as Rhone. Isn’t she adorable? And she got Justin’s faintly-red-streaked black hair!

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Nile and Caspian take boyhood by the horns and have a great time with it. They do their homework, make friends at school, play a lot of video games together…

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…and still make time to hug their parents.

Justin, meanwhile, is preoccupied with another round of butler drama. Something about the butler (or possibly our kitchen) is glitched, because the butler keeps starting to prepare meals and then leaving them unfinished. Over and over and over. By the time I realize what’s happening, there are about nine bowls of half-made pasta on all the countertops, and Lana here has drained probably a hundred dollars in ingredient costs from our family bank account.

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Understandably, I guess, she’s a bit miffed when Justin dismisses her.

“I can’t help it! I’m afraid of your stove, okay?! I admit it! Ever since the fire I’ve been too afraid to go near it! Not that I caused the fire, or anything...I'm just afraid I'll start another one! I mean––that is––you––YOU CAN'T FIRE ME!"

Justin lets her go anyway, because I tell him to. I clear all the half-prepared meals away so Justin can actually cook a meal for his family. All is well again.

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Or not. Of course, the game sends over yet another butler almost instantly. And what does he do? He starts cooking. Sorry, dude, you’re gonna have to find work elsewhere. (And I remember to cancel the butler service this time.)

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Corrie is nearing the end of her midlife crisis at last. She’s had a difficult time, popping several impossible wishes and spending every spare moment in front of the mirror checking for wrinkles.

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Of course, her body image problems aren’t helped by her current work outfit. She worked so hard for her last promotion, and she has to wear THIS??

To close out this chapter, let’s enjoy some more toddler spam. Because Rhone is just too cute. (Or maybe it’s just the hair. Or the onesie that I designed myself. Yes, I know it's adorable, thank you very much.)

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This little cutie isn’t too far from aging up. We’ve got more excitement coming! Stay tuned!