Franklin was up to do his homework before the sun came up. He just prefers to do everything in the dark if he can. I think it’s the creature of the night genes he got from his father. Oh, his father. Sigh.
But he was in for a surprise. When the sun came up, he decided to go downstairs to get some blood for breakfast, but the way was blocked.
I guess Bungle was feeling a little passive-aggressive that morning.
Everyone else was able to get ready for school on their own.
I love it that they’re so independent these days. It lets me do other things with my life.
My kids were all very responsible. They went straight to school and stood around all morning trying to find the door, just like the rest of the kids in town. I’m so proud of them.
The cats are also taking care of themselves. We barely have to feed them. Goofy cleans up all the food that the kids drop when they’re feeding themselves, so we don’t have to deal with ants.
Micky hunts in the pond.
Minnie keeps with tradition.
Even Mikhail and Nova haven’t lost that lovin’ feeling.
They look so cute together, rolling around in the upstairs bathroom, which I haven’t cleaned in a generation.
So where was I?
Oh, right! Receiving the highest honor that the town can bestow on a civilian!
That’s right. Yours truly received the key to the city from the new mayor of Aurora Skies. The old one resigned on indictment for taking bribes. I might have had a little bit to do with that.
I knelt and let the new guy knight me. And the crowd went wild.
It was a perfect moment — the pinnacle of my career. Most folks don’t get this kind of recognition for their contribution to their town. Then again, most people probably don’t contribute as much as I do either.
“I hope we have a long and mutually beneficial relationship,” the mayor said. He shook my hand just a little too long. I think I should go wash it.
I was ready to celebrate, and there was only one way I could think of to do it. I headed over to the dojo.
Oskar Olsen. He was just where I expected him to be.
He greeted me so warmly. “Detective Wonderland! What a nice surprise!”
So here’s the deal. It turns out that Shawn Ivy knew what she was talking about after all. Ever since I conned intelligence out of him at his own football party, I hadn’t been able to get Oskar out of my head.
“I’ve been thinking of you every day,” I said. “I think we might really be able to make some fireworks. And by fireworks, I don’t mean lights in the sky.”
Oskar looked sad. “I really like you, Erin,” he said. “But you know I have a partner.”
I hesitated. Oskar had been with his boyfriend as long as I’d been living in Aurora Skies. They were a good couple. I needed to respect that.
Oh, to heck with all that.
“W-wow,” Oskar said. “That was amazing!”
If only Oskar’s boyfriend could see us now.
Then again, he’s not bad either. Maybe we could get him to join in.
“You guys are so cute!” a pregnant yogi exclaimed nearby. “Maybe you two will make some ghost babies together!”
Nothing doing. Nothing.
The kids had a convocation after school, so I had to leave before Oskar and I could really get rolling.
I found Irene at the caffeine again.
I think the proprietor of the school coffee shop is encouraging her. There’s just something about that guy.
But on to the convocation.
Franklin had a debate club…. recital?
OK, I confess. I don’t even remember what after school clubs they’re signed up for.
My kids better get some awards, because I cleared out my private investigator schedule for this.
Nope. Both got some kind of honorable mention.
I hope both my boys appreciate how much I love them. I could have made a lot of money solving a case, but I sat around watching them get a non-award for participation.
Then I loaded us up into the minivan to go home.
Except Gideon, who looked embarrassed and wanted to go home alone.
Good thing, too, because he really stank.
When I got home and counted the kids, I came up one short.
“Hey, where’s Justin?” I asked.
“He wanted to stay at school and sleep in the treehouse,” Helen told me.
Oooookay. I hope he remembers to wake up for class.
When we got home, Franklin and Helen headed outside for some one-on-one basketball.
“Can I join in?” I asked. “It seems like it would be a good time for some mom-kid bonding.”
Helen rolled her eyes. “Mom, how can we make two teams with three people?”
“Maybe I’ll be on both teams,” I said.
“I don’t think you get how this works,” Franklin said.
“Who cares!” I said. “Let’s just shoot some hoops!”
Then my phone rang.
“Hey Branden!” I said. “What? You want to wish Franklin a happy birthday? But it’s not Franklin’s –”
Self-peeing: 13 + 1 = 14
Huh. I totally thought I’d already posted this. I logged on to do my first post for Frankin’s generation, and I found this one still in my drafts! Well, here we sign off with Erin and prepare for a bold, new, impeccably stylish new torch holder.
Farewell, Erin. She had a precious short time as torch holder, since her eldest won the heir poll. It was a nice final day, where she got to receive the Key to the City *and* fulfill her wish to kiss Oskar Olsen that had been lingering since she heart-farted him while on a case. I was kind of hoping he’d call her for a date or something after she turned idiot and they’d develop some kind of romance, but as of this playing no go.
I’m going to miss her. She was a lot of fun. And she DID max her career, which was nice, even though she didn’t reach a LTW. I haven’t completely given up on that, btw. The Logic-and-Athletics LTW is something that in theory I can have Franklin push her to work on as an idiot. We’ll see.
Erin was actually in the process of calling for a birthday party when Franklin aged up. It was just after dark, and I thought I had more time. Whoops! Well, that’s about right for an ISBI anyway.
Oh, and as a nice touch, the key to the city ceremony actually WORKED! This is the third time I’ve triggered this opportunity, and both other times failed. It doesn’t work for the City Hall rabbithole rug OR any EA City Hall combined rabbitholes. Aurora Skies has a dedicated City Hall rabbithole, so I gave it one more shot. Dang, it’s cool. I wish it weren’t so finicky.
I’ve played several days of Franklin, and I’m trying to make sense of him. I guess we’ll see how his voice comes out in the next post.
Stay tuned for a cat heir poll, too! The departure of the spares will be good for clearing out the household for moar cat breeding.