Author Topic: Life Of A: Writer --- Episode Six: Gasp UPDATED 04/01/20  (Read 563 times)

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Life Of A: Writer --- Episode Six: Gasp UPDATED 04/01/20
« on: August 26, 2019, 09:06:51 PM »

an original sims 3 story


***

Teasers



***

Seasons


Pilot
Thwack
Pop
Jingle
Shriek
Gasp

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Re: Life Of A: Writer --- New Series
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2019, 09:19:23 PM »
Hey guys,

It's been a while since I've been on. I took a little break since completing my previous story Divine Deception (if you haven't checked it out, you should definitely do so HERE ) to figure out what I wanted to do next. Well, I figured it out.


I should have the first episode up in the next little while!



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Re: Life Of A: Writer --- Pilot
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2019, 03:50:21 PM »

Cold. Unsettling. There's not much else I can say when the name Midnight Hollow comes to mind. Just speaking of it seems as repulsive as the place itself. Like somebody saying their first four-letter swear or the name Voldemort. The structures are easily sixteenth century—gothic. Beautiful, surely. But it’s like an illusion. The houses may look like they are hundreds of years old when in reality they can’t be more than a decade, their exteriors reproduced to look older than they really are. I should know. My name is Chasity Lennox and I've travelled around the world modeling in front of dozens of structures almost as old as time and these homes have nothing on them. Still, it keeps my mind busy as the town passes me by.

Cars. Houses. Pedestrians dressed in the strangest of clothing. It may be a couple of days until Spooky Day, but to begin dressing up so early…

Before I can ponder too much, the car comes to a halt and I am standing in front of my house. To call it home is far too early in whatever is between us... House and owner, shelter from horrible weather, money pit that is constantly draining my wallet? I have countless more and home isn't among them. My home is very much still where my heart lies back miles away in Twinbrook, where I grew up, where my family is and where everything I have ever known has been left behind. Well, I can’t say that’s completely true. My children are here with me as is my husband.

"I just love the architecture."

Speaking of which…

My eyes run down from the turrets high on the roof—reminiscent of Scooby-Doo, mind you—across the stone balconies, to the front door.

His name is Kameron. Dark hair, blue eyes and a stocky build. It's never been anything to do with vanity. Some women like that kind of thing. The strapping young man with muscles that concave into his body, making him look like a piece of art held tight inside the Louvre. For Kameron it's always been something of a necessity, however. Strength, power and the athletic skill to get the job done. He was a working firefighter when I first met him many years ago which until recently had him on a tight schedule. He was one of the best and I'm not just saying that because I am his wife and I have to. Awards and whathaveyous fill most of the moving truck and that's without the boxes I asked my parents to keep hold of. Now, however, he's changed professions and became a teacher. It sounds strange, I'm sure, what with the good he was doing and how in demand he was back home. But when a worrying wife is at his side, scared ****less every night, he did the worry wart inside of me a favour. Unfortunately for me, moving to Midnight Hollow was in his best interest for a great paying position at the University with benefits and whatnot.

Kameron turns and returns to my side, both hands dropping a suitcase on the ground and replacing them with each of my own.

"Look, I know you were—are—a little sceptical about the place, but trust me when I tell you it's all gonna' work out."

"I know," I say a little too enthusiastically. "Just, you know—change! You know how much I hate it." I try to joke it off even if the knot in my stomach says otherwise while I look the house up and down again. It's not like the place was cheap. Spent most of our savings on it. Spend money to make money, I guess.

"Chas, I mean it. It's just different and different can be really good."

I nod my head as he steals a peck on my cheek.

"And you're gonna' write that book, expose the modeling world for the hell it is and we're gonna' be happy. It's our fresh start where we don't have to keep looking over our shoulder all the time, you know?"

And I do know. Getting out of the modeling world wasn't hard, but it did leave me with a few scars emotionally.

I was shunned from the modeling world a few years ago after I took a stand against somebody much higher than me. Because of this, I was branded imbalanced and every media outlet out there was on me like a pack of wolves. Picking at my every flaw, twisting stories to make other stories, scandals upon scandals. The man I went up against told me he'd smear my image like paint on a canvas and he did just that. The whole story is a chaotic mess and one I've done my very best to keep hidden, buried deep down so as not to have to relive it again.

After some much-needed support from family, friends and my psychologist, I was urged to fight back. I had strengthened enough emotionally, and while I would never step foot in front of a camera again, I decided one way to get the modeling world back: a book about the dark side of modeling, a piece every young woman should read before even thinking about stepping foot in the realm that I regard as a living nightmare.

Watching Kameron grab the suitcases and head into the house, our two boys screaming and laughing at the top of their lungs, I hope he's right. He glances over his shoulder as he walks up the porch stairs.

"And what better place is there to write than this?"

A few hours later, Kameron mentions the local Midnight Haunt festival. A flyer had been stuck in with our mail along with coupons for a nearby coffee shop and another flyer for the grand opening of a new toy shop on the other side of town. Of course Kameron had to bring up the festival in front of the kids and when they learned about costumes being more than welcome they wouldn't let it go. Kameron tries to soften the blow by telling me how it's an annual town outing to bring everybody closer.

"See? Says so on the flyer."

Of course it does. Before I can say yes or no, the boys are already in their costumes and ready to go at the door. Peter, the older of the two is dressed as a hotdog. Why a bloody hotdog? And Renaldo... well... he's the other one. I wish I could say his mismatched attire is part of his dressup, but sadly I can't. His mask is the only part of his gear today. The model inside me seeing this train wreck of an outfit hurts me in more ways than one.

We make it to the grounds in ten minutes. It's raining although it doesn't seem to bother anybody there. Makeup and face paints are running, costumes darken from getting wet yet that doesn't stop anybody from laughing and having a great time. It's a modest turnout. Haunted houses flash with strobe lights, troughs are filled with water and apples, pumpkins huddle on soft soil while men, women and children search for the most perfect ones to take home. I catch sight of a man in a hotdog outfit almost identical to Peter's. Obviously, Mommy's opinion when it comes to trendy costume wear should be kept silent. Peter seems to be much more in the loop than I.

I immediately feel a little self-conscious. Maybe I should have put on a costume. It seems rather silly, a grown woman nervous about her inability to fit in at a bloody town outing, but I can't deny how much happier I would be if I chose to put one on instead. That is, of course, if I had been able to find one that fits. I am pregnant you know, and quite ready to pop.

"You all right, honey?" Kameron's next to me, his arm around my shoulder like a protective swan over her babies.

"Yeah, just a little chilly. A little nervous too. Maybe I should go back home."

"No, you just need to loosen off a little. When's the last time we've been out?"

I know how it sounds—do I live under a rock? And I guess I should say I kinda have. Since the modeling incident, I've felt like a prisoner in my own home.

"Here," Kameron hands me a cup of cyder. "This place isn't Starlight Shores or Bridgeport. Look around you, Chas. These are Average Joes just wanting to spend time with family and friends. They don't care about us—probably dunno who we even are. They're your typical Bobs and Bettys."

I take a sip of the cyder.

"You're right." I take another sip. "You're right."

For a bit, I think Kameron's actually telling the truth, that we've actually distanced ourselves so far from the past that we can actually be normal. It takes some time, but between being with the kids, going into haunted houses and watching pie-eating contests—I can't believe it!—I actually feel like I can let my guard down. The kids are having a great time, so is Kameron. He's more interested in the log sawing contest where one team of two races another team at sawing a tree trunk.

After we finish another glass of cider, and we head over for a fun game of bobbing for apples, a photographer gets me in their sights.

"Chasity freakin' Lennox!"

A continuous string of clicks and flashes erupts next to us and I am blinded for a few moments, like a spark plug has gone off on the insides of my eyes. I fling my hands up to the sides of my face, pulling back as Kameron stands in front of me, cursing the paparazzi, threatening to punch his face in. The back of my throat swells up and as much as I try to soothe it, it aches and I struggle not to cry. This can't be happening. This has got to be some bad dream. Wake up, Chasity, WAKE UP!

CRASH!


For a moment, I think Kameron has actually done it: plowed the man between the eyes and throttled his a few more times for good measure. But as I look up, hands still shielding me from the men and women who have now surrounded us, I see Kameron, hands up defensively, yet it's his face that catches my attention. He isn't angry. He's shocked. And I follow his gaze to the downed man on the ground. Next to him a guitar lay in shambles.

"Get up, you lazy biggot!"

Standing over the man is a young woman—fire engine red hair and dressed in what looks like some military costume. She kicks him in the leg in an attempt to urge the man to start moving. Grumbling, he stumbles to his feet.

"And get the heck outta here, you 'ere me?" she continues. The man mutters something under his breath and she adds, "'ey, I can get'nother guitar if you wanna' keep mumblin'." The man runs off and the woman turns to Kameron and me. "You 'kay, hun?"

She introduces herself as Nadia Cho. Supposedly, she's been dealing with the paparazzi for years and has decided to take a stan against them. Nice girl and while I am clearly shaken, I can't say how thankful I am to have her here. We exchange formalities and she introduces me to her bandmates and a few of her friends. I don't know of them, but they seem to know me because of the scandals. Thankfully, they don't hold it against me.

As we get ready to go, Nadia tells me if either of us has any trouble with the paparazzi to let her know and she'll get rid of them for me. As she says, "We don't need their BS ruining what we got here."

Driving home with my boys and staring out the window, I realize maybe it won't be so bad here. I may actually be able to repair everything that's been damaged all those years ago. Still, as I rest my head against the headrest, I can't help but feel there is still something very off about the town, like something is lingering in the darkness, following me, just waiting to attack.

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Re: Life Of A: Writer --- Pilot
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2019, 05:41:48 PM »
Such an interesting start, I'm so excited to see where this all leads!

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Re: Life Of A: Writer --- Pilot
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2019, 08:18:00 PM »
Such an interesting start, I'm so excited to see where this all leads!

Thanks for the support Jessie. I'm a little behind schedule--was hoping to have the finale completed for Halloween--but oh well!

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Re: Life Of A: Writer --- Thwack
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2019, 08:31:36 PM »


Bubbles form around me in thick globs, the scent of pomegranate encasing the bathroom like a lover’s embrace, warm, romantic even with the few candles I’ve lit on the surface of the tub. I can’t tell if it is because for once maybe my anxiety medication may be kicking in (doubtful seeing as I’ve been on it for years and it’s always seemed like it hasn’t done a **ed thing so why start now?) or if maybe, just maybe, I’ve been able to lower some walls in the past few weeks since we’ve moved to Midnight Hollow. My fears regarding the media have controlled me for so long, yet after making contact with the people here (one of them shoving the paparazzi where it hurts!) for once I actually feel like somebody other than close friends and family may have my back.

I allow my body to slip deeper into the cloud of bubbles even as my gaze drifts up to the vanity. Kameron’s there, getting ready for work. Well, maybe not exactly. He’s gotten ready for work, been ready for the last ten minutes and has spent the time since then more occupied on his actual looks. As I’ve said before, he’s not the vain type, neither of us are, but there’s no dismissing the fact that we’re both aging. It may be a girl thing, but I’ve always tried to check myself out in private when I know Kameron’s at work or with the kids. I’d hate for him to see me worrying about my looks, it could give him reason to do the same. But Kameron has been on a roll lately, checking his wrinkles, searching his hair for greys. I guess having my primary fear take a backseat for a bit has irritated some of my smaller ones, and it’s not like Kameron is some saint life just plopped in front of me for the taking. He was still very much in a relationship with his wife when I butted in and made him fall for me.

As if we are both thinking of the same time in our lives, our eyes connect in the mirror for a split moment and then there are constant knocks at the door. Children, excited children scream at the top of their lungs, wanting Kameron to hurry up because Uncle Kyle has finally arrived and they are that next step closer to World of Wonder. It’s Renando’s birthday today and Kameron’s bother flew in from Riverview to take them out for a very special day. Kyle and I have never been super close—probably because of the affair thing—but taking the kids out for a party day is a nice gesture for sure. While I was invited to go, he knows I’m not really ready for that and understands. The only catch is that I have to babysit his newborn son. It’s not my first time taking care of a baby and I can always use some extra practice before I pop myself.

Once they are all gone, it’s just Connor and me. I give him a bath, play with his toes, sing to him when he begins to cry. It’s strange how everything comes back so naturally even if I haven’t done it in a few years. And the smell—NOT THAT SMELL!!! No, the new baby smell. I hadn’t realized how much I missed being a mom, a baby’s mom until right now. With the older of my two heading into his teenage years in a few weeks and Renaldo’s birthday being today... There’s the anxiety again. Truly, they were irritated by my primary fear stepping down.

I set Connor down for a nap and head to my computer. Being one of the few times having the kids out of the house, I can finally get some writing done. I’ve made a hot tea, put on some background music (actually it’s classified as white noise—I like falling rain the most), turn on the baby monitor and take a seat. This is what I’ve been planning for since we moved all the way out here. Every night since move-in day I’ve been jotting down notes, ideas for chapters and every piece of horrible memory I allow myself to come face-to-face with. It’s a whole notebook. Speaking of which, I get up and grab that too! And I sit down, do some arm stretches and one for my back, a few breathing exercises—in and out, in and out—and close my eyes, ready to open my mind and spill everything I’ve got onto this blank, white canvas. And it doesn’t come. I can’t for the life of me figure out what to write. For an hour and thirty-three minutes I stare at the screen in hopes that something will form. But it doesn’t. And it’s infuriating. I never would have thought this would be the part of writing that would be the most frustrating. I thought it would be the continuous rejection from print houses or editors hitting the tender parts of my heart, my pride. Hell, that would be welcomed here when I’ve finished before I’ve even begun. Then Connor starts crying and it all goes south from there.

I decide I must need some fresh air so I put Connor in the stroller and head out the door. It’s not the nicest day outside, but at least it’s not raining. Thanksgiving is slowly approaching and the town begins to reflect it. The park where the boys and I attended now offers casual hay rides and the Halloween decorations have been taken down for the most part. Scarecrows and pumpkins still huddle close in empty spaces while jack-o-lanterns, cut-outs of ghosts and goblins, and the haunted house have been replaced with pens filled with turkeys and corn mazes manually designed for children and adults alike.

I don’t know if it is because being out in public is still fresh to me or if it is something else, but I can’t shake this feeling something is off. I can’t exactly explain it. I felt it the night we all left these same grounds during the festival and headed home. Like something is lurking so close yet for the life of me I can’t put my finger on it, nor can I actually see it—

My phone rings, cutting my thoughts off and I reach into my pocket and bring it to my ear.

“Hello?”

“Hey, Hun, it’s me,” Kameron says through some very harsh static.

“Where are you? I can barely hear you.” When I can hear, I catch a lot of chatter, people in the background.

“—stuck on the subway. Problems.”

I press my lips together. They should have made it to the park an hour ago.

“How long until it’s back up and running?”

“Lookin’ like an hour, maybe two, which is why I’m calling: I won’t be able to pick up Ren’s gift and the cake. I’m close enough to the bakery that I can pick it up on our way home, but could you drop by the gift shop in town?”

It’s as if a chunk of ice hits the bottom of my stomach. I don’t let it to affect the tone of my voice, though.

“Of course. I’ll head there straight away.”

“Great, thanks. This way Kyle can stay to watch Ren open his presents and not have to hit the road immediately.”

We say goodbye and I turn the stroller.

“It looks like we’re going on a different adventure today,” I say to Connor and head in the opposite direction.

 The Golden Ticket Toy Shop must be a local store only because in somewhere like Twinbrook it would stick out like a sore thumb. It does help tremendously being wedged between stores selling furniture and doodads, their exteriors like something straight out of a children’s book. Still, the place, like the park, leaves me a little unsettled. Even if the toys inside are full of bright fun colours, and children are screaming and laughing at the top of their lungs, zooming in and out from behind counters, grabbing whatever their little hands can carry, I swear the creepy dolls are following me with their eyes and why are they so pale and haunted? I head inside, speak to the man behind the counter, grab what I need, pay and get out of there as fast as I can.

Getting home isn’t too difficult. It’s started to darken on me, possible storm clouds closing it, and I make sure to keep glancing over my shoulder to make sure nobody’s following me. I keep hearing footsteps and every time I look, it’s just me on the sidewalk and nobody else. By the time I get home, prepare and cook dinner and set the table, the boys have returned with arms full of toys they won at the park, beach towels they no doubt paid way too much for and hats that still have the tags sticking out the sides. Dinner is an ongoing dialogue about what they encountered at World of Wonder. There’s a lot of laughing and interrupting, “I’ve gotta’ tell you this story so that I can tell you that one.” Ren opens his presents: a video game console from his father and me, my parents mailed him mistletoe (I swear they can be so disconnected sometimes. It’s like they open up the buy catalogue and choose the first thing they see) and Kyle has gifted Ren an air hockey table.

For us it is a great night, the hardest part saying goodbye to Kyle and Connor and watching them pull out of the driveway and disappear into the distance. What I didn’t know and wouldn’t learn until much later was how a man was found dead at City Hall. Actually, it would end up being a mysterious man who went by the name John Doe who was found motionless on his front side late that night.

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Re: Life Of A: Writer --- Episode Three: Pop
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2020, 02:13:24 PM »


((Because of strong language, episode three can be found HERE !))

Reader's discretion is advised.



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Re: Life Of A: Writer --- Episode Three: Pop UPDATED 02/19/20
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2020, 06:21:08 PM »
I have a feeling Chasity will have to brace herself for nightly phone calls, an absent husband, and some creepy stuff capable of creating pink ghosts preying on her anxiety. Smile, Chasity, because I think it's just going downhill from here. Maybe it's just my cynical mind...
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Re: Life Of A: Writer --- Episode Three: Pop UPDATED 02/19/20
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2020, 12:12:01 PM »
I have a feeling Chasity will have to brace herself for nightly phone calls, an absent husband, and some creepy stuff capable of creating pink ghosts preying on her anxiety. Smile, Chasity, because I think it's just going downhill from here. Maybe it's just my cynical mind...

*Her world crumbling around her*

 :D "Great, everything's great!"  :D

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Re: Life Of A: Writer --- Episode Four: Jingle UPDATED 03/04/20
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2020, 02:32:37 PM »


Snowflake day is upon us many weeks later. The day where families come together, friends drink and be merry and children scream with excitement because the big man somehow managed to break into our house without anybody noticing. I'll admit, even when I was young, it baffled me that nobody, not even my parents, was able to catch Santa redhanded. Yet here I am so many years later with children of my own and they don't suspect a thing. They just barged into Kam's and my room at seven o'clock in the morning telling us that he was here and he left presents. Oh, what it was like to be young and none the wiser.

The doorbell ringing snaps me out of my thoughts. I am standing at the counter, half my arm shoved inside a turkey while the other one is holding the other end. I call for somebody to answer the door but between the boys playing their new video game system and Kam upstairs hooking up the karaoke machine his parents sent from Sunset Valley, nobody seems to hear me and I end up having the pull away from tonight's meal, rinse my hands clean and answer the door myself.

Olive Spenser is on the other side, a plate of egg rolls in her hand and a big smile on her face.

In the few months since my family moved here, I haven't gotten to know many people. Mainly I've spent my time unpacking and trying to be a good mother by juggling three children, four if I count Kam. I met Olive one day when I drove Renaldo to school after he'd missed the bus. She says she recognized me from the Halloween festival back a while ago, though for the life of me I couldn't and still can't remember if I met her or not. It didn't matter all that much. She asked me if I wanted to get a cup of coffee that day and since then we've become good friends.

"Happy Snowflake day!" she says and pulls me into a hug.

"Same to you!" I say, and I'm looking around. She's the only one at my doorstep. She has a young boy, the same age as Renaldo, whom I told her to bring along. Actually, I told her to bring her whole family foolishly before I learned that it was only her and her son N.S. Her husband Ichabod passed not yet a year ago in an electrical accident.

"Where's your son?" I finally ask.

"Oh, he's just in the car. He's going to help our nanny bring some of the presents. You don't mind that I invited her, do you?"

"No, of course not. The more the merrier. Renaldo is so excited that N.S. is coming. It's nice that they've gotten so close at school. I--"

"Happy Snowflake day," says a sultry voice and I actually am paralysed at what I see...

When Olive brought up her nanny, I was expecting an older lady with nobody other than herself to be around on this very day. Empty and lonely on the inside and a strong urge to full it by being around other families. Call me old fashioned, but this woman, this doll...! Long hair pours over this child's shoulders the colour of rubies, big doe eyes and a body that would make any woman jealous. In what world is she not busy on Snowflake day?

"Chasity," says Olive and I actually have to shake myself to snap out of it, "this is Rose Thorne."

"Rose Thorne?" I repeat. Her parents must have had a sense of humour.

"What a pleasure it is to finally meet you," she says to me, grabbing my hand and shaking it. "Olive has told me so much about you."

"All good I hope."

Rose giggles girlishly and passes me a bottle of red wine. "Thank you so much for having me."

I don't know what it is about her that I don't like. It could be that every sentence ends with what sounds like a question. It could be that weird way she keeps giggling like a schoolgirl. But I think it is more of the fact that she reminds me of those girls back home that all joined me on the road to fame through modelling and that leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. I almost immediately open the bottle of wine once we all gather inside and try to wash it away.

Both families join in the afternoon while the turkey is cooking for some fun activities. We have a snowball fight, make snowmen and angels and take pictures that we all know we will never print.

We also skate on the rink Kam has been working on for weeks. I am surprised how solid the ice is for how mild the weather has been leading up to today. It's only been the last few weeks that things have gotten deeply cold. I'm not the greatest in a pair of skates. Thankfully, neither is Olive or Kam. The three of us get laughed at by the children as they literally skate circles around us. Kam is probably the worst of the three of us and while I have tried to help him to his feet countless times, he drags me to the ground not once, not twice, but several times. I end up abandoning him and working with Olive to keep upright on the opposite side of the rink.

"Looks like he just needed a little help," Olive says as we spin together. I follow her gaze and notice Rose and Kam mirroring us, though neither of them are looking our way.

"I've got to continue dinner," I say with haste, letting go of Olive's hands and hoping not to fall down again. "The turkey must be almost ready and the vegetables still need doing."

After undoing my skates, getting my shoes back on and trudging back inside, it's not long before I am back in front of the oven. Olive has followed me inside and she's helping me with what's left to do.

"I'm sorry," she finally says after a few minutes of silence between us. "That was a really stupid thing for me to say."

"No, it's fine," I assure her. I scoop chopped carrots into a pot and place it on the stove.

"I shouldn't have brought her, I know." She turns and looks out the window and the others playing around. "I'm sorry, it wasn't appropriate. I should have known after what you said a few weeks ago."

I press my lips together. She's talking about my encounter with Gretchen. I spoke to her about it a few days after left this very house and told Olive how much it affected me.

"When I mentioned Rose helping Kam on the rink, I didn't mean how it sounded."

I also mentioned to her how Gretchen said how Kam looking for somebody else was a pattern of his and that karma will come around to me too. I told her all of it and obviously Olive sees the parallels.

Olive's prattling now.

"Olive, I get it. It's fine! Okay? It's fine."

Olive nods and continues mashing potatoes. "Has she come by since?"

"No, thankfully. Kam signed the papers and mailed them out the next day and not even a call from her. I really hate how easily she can get into my head, though."

"Don't let her get into your head. There are people out there with the ability to destroy us and letting them get into our heads is like opening the door for them."

"I let that door open a lot over the years. I don't expect you to understand."

Olive snorts. "You know people think I killed my first fiance after he left me at the altar, right?" She doesn't let me answer. "Is Kam coming home on time?"

"Yes."

"Is he making excuses, making late calls, staying overtime as Gretchen suggested?"

"No."

"Then maybe Gretchen was wrong."

"Maybe," I say, draining what's left of my wine glass and filling it up again for the fourth time. "Maybe."

I call everybody in for dinner after the table is set and we eat. I notice N.S. walk into the kitchen in the middle of dessert.
"N, where are you going?" Olive asks, leaning back in her chair in an attempt to get a better look at where he's going. He mumbles something back at her, something nobody, myself included can understand. He's completely out of my line of sight, but from where Olive sits, she can see him. "N!" Olive doesn't get a response. Her frustration burns through her cheeks, though I watch as she forces a smile on her face, slapping her napkin on the table and getting to her feet. "Be right back," she says in a reassuring tone.

"Hey, Hun, do we have whip cream for the pie?" Kam asks me from across the table.

"Oh, yeah, of course," I say, though a bit slurrish, and I am back on my feet. I forgot to bring it out. As I make my way back into the kitchen I spot Olive and N at the garbage by the window.

"You're not going to find something like that here, Subject!" Olive says sharply even if very quietly. "They are not like us. They're outsiders."

"But I need something!" N whines. "I'm getting shaky."

"Not now! Go back and eat your pie and we will talk when we get home."

I have just made it to the fridge and pull the door open. "If you guys are looking for the whip cream, I'm getting it right now."

Olive spins around to face me, the colour draining from her face. "Uh, no," she recovers as fast as she can. "N was just looking for more meat. He's a typical child carnivore."

"There's more turkey if you want more," I tell them. I motion to the platter on the counter.

"Not that," N mutters as he storms back into the dining room.

Olive laughs it off or at least tries to. "Children."

After opening presents, Olive and the others go home. I have to tell the boys to go to bed even though they are transfixed on their video games and after feeding the newborn, go to bed myself. Kam is already in bed, reading on his tablet.

"Fun day," I say as I take off my clothes and put on my sleepwear.

"Yeah, it was nice. Nice to meet some of the people you've spoken about. Olive and her son seem nice. Rose too."

As I take a seat on the edge of the bed, I pump a glob of hand moisturizer in my palm and begin working it in. "Well, I never met Rose before today. I didn't even know she was coming to be completely honest."

"It turned out to be a pleasant surprise nonetheless."

I chuckle under my breath. "I'm sure she did." As I lean back, I notice Kam cock his head toward me.

"What's that supposed to mean?"

I open my mouth to speak. Heck, there are so many things I want to say to him, accuse him of. But I shut my mouth almost immediately.

"What is it, Chas?"

"Nothing."

"Chas, you've been acting weird all night."

I try and think about what all I want to say to him. It's all rather hurtful and even though it is hard to detect, I know it would be the alcohol talking and not my clear mind. I decide on something else.

"I'm having second thoughts about this place--"

"Again with this," he says albeit a little exaggeratedly. "We go through this almost every night. I know you have a high anxiety with everything especially after all that happened back home, I get it, but are we really going to have a problem with every place we go?"

"But you haven't heard what I've got."

If Kam could roll his eyes any harder than a schoolgirl... But he motions for me to go on and I tell him. I tell him what I overheard in the kitchen.

"Really?" I wish Kam spoke with excitement, but it is obvious he thinks my findings are lacklustre at best.

"She called us outsiders!" I counter.

"She was speaking to a child--her child, who was having a tantrum. She probably wanted to get to the cause before making a scene."

"I can't believe you right now," I say, pulling at the sheets and kicking them apart with my feet so that I can slip in between them.

"And I can't believe all you did was drink all night."

"I had a few drinks," I snap at him. "Pardon me for letting a little loose after having to carry our daughter around for nine months. Life knows I needed it."

"You were an embarrassment during dinner--"

"What? Because I forgot the whip cream?"

"You could barely hold your head from hitting the plate. Slurring your words and talking over others."

"Well, is it possible that maybe you googling the nanny may have had something to do with it?"

"What are you going on about now?"

"Rose! Rose!" Ugh, just the sound of her name makes me want to throttle everybody within a ten-mile radius. "All day, next to her you were!"

"She was a guest who was with people she'd never met before."

"Ha! Isn't that how it always goes? I had to make her feel special, make her comfortable? Blah, blah, blah!"

Kam shakes his head and puts his tablet on the table next to him and gets up.

"Where are you going?" I demand.

"I'm going to give you a moment or maybe a few since it is so clear you need one."

And then he leaves the room. I listen to him walk down the stairs and slam the front door.


Offline experience

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Re: Life Of A: Writer --- Episode Five: Shriek UPDATED 03/11/20
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2020, 02:24:54 PM »


Twelve hours later I stand on the sidewalk looking up at Olive Specter's home. I won't say I'm shocked. There was a little piece of doubt inside of me that told me coming here wouldn't be some big hole in the middle of the town that everybody skimmed over each time they passed by. But hearing Olive's son talk about my family being some outsider as they put it forced me to come and see what's up. And no, nothing out of the ordinary, at least from street view anyway. No portals leading to the underworld. No flashing beams looking to take me into outer space. Nope, just a lovely house covered in icicles and beautiful wooden carvings.

It doesn't stop me, though. I open the gates at the front and walk through them.

I make my way up the steps of the wrap-around deck. Snow is still falling, has been falling since late last night, though light, from the looks of it, nobody has come or left this property since maybe before the gathering last night for Snowflake Day. I allow my thoughts to swarm as I peek inside the nearest window. Lights are out and everything is closed up. I shrug the possibility off somewhat, doing my very best to be somewhat pessimistic that my brain isn't trying to play tricks on me. I know something was off last night, but there are plenty of possibilities as to why Olive may not have come home last night. They did have the nanny, that overly sweet Rose Thorne... Olive probably drove her home... Maybe Rose lived out of town--

I stop dead in my tracks as my eyes turn to pinpricks, zoning in on the stone feet from me. A gravestone in the backyard? I take cautionary steps down the stairs of the deck and make my way over.

"Here lies Ichabod Specter," I mutter, kneeling down and putting my hand on the cold surface of the stone to support me. I knew Olive's husband had passed recently, but she never mentioned anything about having his stone in the backyard. Last time he was brought up in conversation, she said how she and NS would be taking a drive out of town to go see his grave. I actually have to pat the ground beneath me to see if the soil is soft. It's hard. Of course it's hard. It's winter and the last few weeks have been absolutely freezing.

My mind is spinning with countless ideas of where this gravestone came from and why Olive would lie to me about it. I stand quickly, stepping away from the stone as one though keeps prodding my brain like a jackhammer: Did Olive dig up her husband's grave that day and have it transferred here? It may be unimaginable to me, but maybe...

Kam would say I am completely overreacting, and sure he'd be right. In what world would somebody as kind of Olive steal her husband's grave or gravestone and bring it all the way home.

Okay, I tell myself, clapping my hands together and turning around in a pace-like manner, now you're overreacting, that's completely out of this world.

I've decided I need to leave. When Kam is in my head without being around me, my conscience is telling me something and this time it's telling me my imagination is getting the better of me. He was right last night to not believe me. Last night being blitzed out of my mind, anything and everything sounded plausible. Now, pushing aside my determination, I can see how insane I actually sound.

I'm about to head back up to the deck and back to the roadside when I spot a garbage can. "Last thing," I tell myself and head for it.

I expect it to stink when I lift the lid so I don't know why I am surprised when the odour hits me like a brick wall. There's the smell of old greens, like celery or lettuce that's spent much too long in the pantry. Old chicken makes an appearance as I dig around. But there is something else. It's potent, much more so than anything else in the garbage to the point where it almost makes me gag. It reminds me of my childhood for some reason. Metallic almost. The image of my early years in public school come to mind, of me and my friends on the playground, hanging upside down on the monkey bars, my hands getting sweaty as I would spin around and flip off, the scent on my hands... For the life of me I can't place it exactly and why would I be smelling it now?

Before I can figure it out, I hear a car pull up in the driveway. A quick look around the corner, I realize it's Olive.

Heart hammering like an 808 drum, I plant the lid of the garbage back on as fast as I can and use the snow to clean off my gloves. Too little time! I pull them off, bundle them inside out and stuff them in the bottom of my pocket.

"Chasity?"

I've made it all the way back to the front door as Olive is making it through the gates. "Hi, Olive!" I say with a wave.

"What are you doing here?" She may be asking me, but her eyes are following my trail in the snow to the backyard.

"I just wanted to come over to apologize for last night." Before Olive can say anything, I add, "for my drinking. I'm sorry if I made you or your son or Rose feel uncomfortable. Control got a little away from me." I, too, glance down at the path in the snow. "So I just wanted to come and say that to you. I knocked on the front door and nobody answered and I didn't know if you used the front door or the side door. From where I come from people are more inclined to use a side door, so I tried that too, and now I'm babbling. Sorry, I just wanted to say that I'm sorry and that I understand if I made you so uncomfortable last night that you don't want to have me around anymore or--"

"You are babbling," Olive says as she walks past me and unlocks her door. "Are you coming in for a coffee?"

As she is setting up, she shows me to the living room and tells me to make myself comfortable. There is a photo album on the coffee table. I pick it up and flip through it. There are countless pictures, most of them of NS as a baby and Olive being the glowing mother in every opportunity to be by his side.

"How time flies by," Olive says as she makes it next to me with a steaming cup of coffee.

"I was just noticing how many photos you are in with NS. You guys are very close."

"Always have been. He is very special."

"Of course."

Olive smiles and nods, taking a sip of her coffee, though it would seem her mind is somewhere else. "Ichabod wasn't around very much and when he passed NS wasn't old enough to understand what was going on. I mean, it may only have been a year, but Ichabod lack of being there as NS grew kind of made little difference."

I don't know what to say, so I just sit there, listening.

"I'm sure you saw his gravestone out back."

It feels as if a crater has dropped to the pit of my stomach.

"I lied to you. I know I told you I travelled out of town to see him, but not many people take me having my husband buried in my backyard well. Thankfully, those kinds of people aren't around here long, but you... you're different."

"I'm different?" I say, draining what's left of my coffee.

"I knew it when I first met you. There's an aura about you that fits in so perfect here in Midnight. You're not squeaky clean and from the moment I laid eyes on you, I knew you weren't one to hide it. Most people have the immediate intuition to defend themselves and pretend to be something they very much can't. They hide their true selves for fear of being judged, for fear of an inability to embrace what we really are and what we are meant to become."

I don't completely understand what she is talking about. There are parts that describe me trying to deal with the anxiety that has come from the hell I went through in regards to my modelling life. But the part where she brings up what I am meant to become...? I pretend to know what she is talking about. I don't know what else to do. So when I catch a glance at the time, I realize how late it is and how I need to get home.

By the time I get home, my brain has spent how many minutes going over and over the conversation with Olive. Finally, as I park the car, seeing Kam walking up the steps pushes the thoughts away. I'm surprised to see him. We haven't spoken a word since last night when he barged out of the house and slept in an igloo the kids build during Snowflake Day.

"Kam," I say, pushing my door closed. He turns around with a look on his face that doesn't look hateful.

"Where did you go?" he asks me, but I don't answer him.

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry for last night for making a fool of myself and you and everybody. My brain has been fried for a while now and I guess letting loose last night was the only thing I felt I could do."

"Chas--"

"No, I get it. I shouldn't have said I felt uncomfortable in this town. It's crazy, I know, but while I can't say I understand everything about the place, nobody seems to be on top of me or questioning me about every little thing I do. It's not bad..."

"Really?" This time when he says it, he doesn't seem to be unimpressed, not like last night. No, he seems somewhat surprised. "That's fantastic. I couldn't be happier." He doesn't seem ecstatic, but that's probably just me overplaying it.

I'm about to walk with him into the house when a thought hits me.

"Hey, you know Peter can babysit the other two tonight. Did you want to grab a bite to eat in the village tonight? It'll just be the two of us. We haven't done anything for us in a long time."

He's thinking about it for a moment--probably to figure out his schedule for the rest of the day--and finally says, "Uh, yeah, okay, yeah."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah, that would be lovely. I just have to run a few errands and drop off a paper at work and be back in an hour?"

"Okay, great!" I start walking to the front door. "I'm just going to get out of these clothes, have a shower and I'll be eagerly waiting, okay?"

"Okay," he says, walking to the car and getting into it.

"Okay!" I clap my hands and hurry into the house.

I let Peter know that he's on for babysitting tonight. He complains, which I expected, and I boogy up the stairs to the bedroom, pulling the clip from my hair as letting the golden locks fall to my shoulders. There is an excitement inside of me that I haven't felt in a long time. A longing, a love for Kameron and a want to spend time with him. I felt this first when we started dating, again when he proposed and again when we got married. Modelling got in the way a bit and everything cooled off especially when kids were added into the equation. But this! This alone time is what we need. What we have always needed and finally my anxiety is be shaped so that I no longer have to fear what people are going to think of me or how I need to pretend. Maybe this is exactly what Olive was talking about. Maybe this town really is absolutely perfect for my mind and soul because I can finally be who I am meant to become!

Pulling off my coat, I open the door to my bedroom and all excitement has vanished from my body and dread, horror and all anxiety I thought I could fend off comes crashing in.

I scream at the top of my lungs as I look at the dead body in the middle of my bedroom.

Offline Agathon

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Re: Life Of A: Writer --- Episode Six: Gasp UPDATED 03/18/20
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2020, 01:31:49 PM »
I have to say, Kam is quite the go-getter. If he has been equally enterprising around the house, Chasity might find that some parts of the house is a lot more scary when the light bulbs doesn't get changed. Who will she lean on now in the wee hours of the night, when the walls are closing in on her? She can't call Olive all the time...
Worlds Apart - Can Be Found Here

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Re: Life Of A: Writer --- Episode Six: Gasp UPDATED 04/01/20
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2020, 11:31:58 AM »


((Because of strong language and mild sensitive situations, episode six can be found HERE !))

Reader's discretion is advised.