When I rose at dusk, it was to the sound of wailing in the lawn outside our townhouse.
Our next-door neighbor died. It was so sad. I don’t actually remember her name. She was just a drone to expectations who reached the end of her time.
I vow to never be a drone to anything.
After collecting her soul, the Grim Reaper walked to our front door, opened it, and walked straight inside.
I followed after. “Wait, I know you’re the collector of the dead, but everyone dead here is still alive. You know what I mean. You can’t just barge into our home without cause!”
Then he started cleaning the house.
Actually, I see no reason to stand on personal boundaries at a time like this.
“I just have to shake your hand,” I said. “I’m a huge fan of your work. You collect the dead with such a timeless sense of style.”
“Who are you?” Grim rasped.
“I guess you probably don’t have much cause to pay attention to me, since I won’t be heading to the Netherworld any time soon,” I said, “but I was hoping to get some advice from one undead to another. Do you have any children? Have you ever wanted any? Because I’m starting to feel the oddest need to contribute myself to the next generation.”
“Eeeeee….” Grim said, and disappeared.
I watched my elderly cats play with each other, and I felt even more lonely. Somehow, after being mates all these years, they knew how to keep the magic.
I had so much inherent magic, and yet I was still without a mate.
I practiced some basic charms and thought about my future. Who should I spent it with? Was it Evan? Jiao? Someone else? How do I choose?
Well, I could think of one thing to do to address my romantic angst for the moment — throw a party. I called all my family and a few choice friends.
Cousin Rosie arrived first.
Then Gideon. He didn’t bring his girlfriend, though. That’s just as well.
Uncle Christof, rocking that cowboy hat.
Mom wasn’t there, however. She was on a date with Khalid, the high school barista. I hope Imogen wasn’t jealous.
Then again, it’s kind of hard to tell with Imogen right now.
Both of my newly-minted vampires attended. I didn’t invite Crissy McDonough, but apparently she’s already figured out the vampiric art of party crashing.
“Hey Franklin!” Jiao shouted. “Your party sucks!”
“Pardon me,” I said. “I think I hear Evan ringing the doorbell.”
“All right everyone,” Helen said with a casual yawn, “is everyone ready for the main event?”
She headed out to the back yard to find her birthday cake.
We all trooped out to stand in the hydrangea bushes to cheer her into adulthood.
Apparently everyone else thought it was a great party.
Helen blew out her candles.
And launched herself into the next stage of her unlife.
Her first act as an adult was to complain about the broken hot tub.
“Imogen, you’re the handy one,” I said. “You could try to fix the hot tub.”
“Are you kidding? In my state, I’d probably get electrocuted and die.”
“You could go take a shower.”
“Oh, that’s too much work.”
“Do you ever clean up around here, dear?” Aunt Deanne demanded.
“Is this mocha?” Uncle Christof asked. “Mocha cake is my favorite!”
Jiao, Franklin, and Rosie brought their cake slices inside.
Everyone said it was one of the best birthday cakes they’d ever tasted. Mom would be thrilled, since she baked it.
Everyone except Gideon, of course, who didn’t get a slice.
At least he took some time to catch up with our kid brother after he was denied at the cake plate.
All family visiting didn’t go so well. Deanne accused Helen of being a monster in front of everyone. On her birthday.
“I don’t mean to brag, but Franklin is really into me,” Jiao confided in Imogen.
“I hate to break it to you, but right now he looks like he’s really into that green guy,” Imogen said.
I looked deeply into Evan Clark’s eyes. “I need to ask you something,” I said. “I’ve been waiting to ask you this for a long time. Too long.”
Evan leaned close. “Ask me,” he said.
“Would you start a band with me?”
Evan dug it.
“You’re going to play music?” Rosie said. “In front of people? This I’ve got to see!” She burst out laughing.
“Glad to know I have your support,” I said.
I headed upstairs for some air, and I found Lin Valstrom hanging out up there.
“Hey,” I said. “What are you doing away from the party?” It’s going great downstairs.”
“Actually,” she said, “I was kind of hoping to get you alone to talk about us.”
“Us?” I said. “I’m so sorry, Linn. There is no us. I’ve moved on.”
“You’ve moved on?” Linn said. “Why didn’t you talk to me?”
“I thought that failing to call you for weeks would have made the message pretty clear.”
“But you turned me into a vampire,” Linn said. “I thought you wanted to be with me for eternity.”
“That’s a common misconception,” I explained patiently. “Most times a vampire sires another vampire, It’s not for eternal companionship.”
“You’re a jerk, Franklin Wonderland,” she said, “and I don’t need you.”
“Great,” I said. “That’s just what I was hoping for.” And I headed back downstairs to the party.
Behind me, I could hear her say, “But you sure throw an amazing party. Invite me next time.”
In the kitchen, Aunt Deanne’s side of the family was hanging around with my second vampire conquest, Chrissy McDonough, who was bragging about her new sensual life as a creature of the night.
In addition to vampire speed and long life, she has a new, very young boyfriend.
Clearly, she appreciates the gift I gave her.
The rest of the party had moved to the basement to listen to Jiao play the keyboard.
I had to admit that she was pretty good. Imogen was so wrapped up in the music that she almost lost track of basic bodily functions. Fortunately for the carpets, she did make it to the bathroom in time.
“Wow!” Evan said. “You’re almost as good as I am!”
Watching them, I suddenly had an idea.
“Jiao,” I said. “Could I have a word with you?”
“Actually,” Jiao said. “We’re all leaving now.”
She headed up the stairs. But I knew in that moment that I couldn’t let her walk out without talking to me yet again.
I raced up the stairs with vampire speed. “Wait! Jiao! I need to talk to you!”
Jiao stopped at the doorway. “Okay,” she said. “Talk to me.”
“Boo!” Aunt Caitlin shouted. “It sucks that this party is over!”
I’m not entirely sure that Aunt Caitlin knows where she is anymore. She’s getting on in years.
“Jiao, would you join a band with me and Evan Clark?”
She thought about it for a moment. “Actually, that’s a great idea!”
So we said goodbye and promised to get together to rehearse very soon.
Inside, I discovered that nobody had been paying attention to Justin’s beadtime. He was so exhausted he couldn’t see where he was walking.
Which led to the expected result.
Imogen broke everything in the bathroom. And she’s supposed to be the Handy one.
At least she finally took a shower, so she doesn’t look like the fallout from a nuclear holocaust anymore.
My friends and family left an enormous mess for me to clean up. And what is that orange ball anyway? Is it supposed to be food?
Taking the time to clean up gave me some precious quiet time to think.
All this time, I’ve been trying to decide whether I should convince Evan Clark or Jiao Hatfield to be my mate. But wasn’t that just being slave to default monogamy? Why did I have to choose?
Couldn’t I have them both?
At last I could sleep the sleep of the dead. No worries.
Fails: Passing Out 23 + 1 = 24
Long post for this challenge, but a lot happened at the party!
Franklin wishes for both Jiao and Evan a lot, so I gave up trying to choose. Franklin’s an Avant Garde sim. Why should he be constrained by social expectations??
Generation 3 shall be an extra kind of dysfunctional, and Generation 4 will get extra genetic diversity. So there!.
Oh, and Franklin has been spawning all sorts of wishes about starting a band and asking Evan and Jiao to join it, so I guess that’s what he’s going to be doing :).