Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Chapter 2.5: The One With The Strange Diseased Kid

   Hey guys, I was busy cleaning up my new apartment and was much too busy to even go on Tumblr, much less play The Sims! So no worries, I wasn’t about to run off and disappear again for like, a million years. This chapter was finished quite a while ago, but I didn’t upload it because I was gone all weekend for VANCON 2012 WOOOOOT!!! I had a photo-op with Richard Speight Jr. (swoon) and Jensen Ackles (double swoon) and generally had a great time with my friends, running around Sheraton and gasping whenever we saw Jim Beaver, because we ran into him a lot (not literally, thankfully, that would have been embarrassing).

   Last time on the Summers Legacy…
   Claudia and Riley grow up into children, and Riley is promptly sent off to boarding school by Stanley, because Stanley felt that Riley was going to go crazy if he stayed in the family house any longer what with everybody ignoring him. Bryony’s time was up but Thunder decided to save her and she earned a second chance at life, much to everybody’s joy. Deandre Keaton-Summers came around to visit and it’s nice to see that Clementine’s beauty and Jamal’s kind of cute derpiness mesh well together. Bryony then died in the bathroom the next day and everybody became very sad.
   Brooke found relief in setting herself on fire, while Azalea comforted herself by producing a daughter: Lucia. Claudia is overjoyed by this because she had been jealous of Avalon’s close relationship with Brooke. Speaking of the two older twins, Avalon and Brooke became teens and immediately set off to pursue their individual hobbies: Avalon got herself a bass and Brooke continued inventing like a crazy person.

   “Lu, don’t eat that!” Claudia exclaimed for the fifth time that day as she and Lucia played blocks in the nursery; Azalea and Stanley had both tasked her to take care of their younger sister while Avalon and Brooke were at the library for a study session. It was quite fun to get to know her baby sister better, though it would be better if Lucia didn’t keep trying to suffocate herself with the Legos.

   Although Stanley had been a little distant during the girls’ childhood due to his pressing schedule as a popular author, now that Brooke’s bedtime was significantly pushed back, he started being able to bond with his daughters again. Brooke, who had always liked Stanley the most out of all the adults in the house, loved to play pillow-fight with him, though Stanley was a little less-than-enthusiastic about Brooke’s activity of choice.
   Lucia loved playing with her sister but she was perfectly content to play with all the dolls that her parents had bought for her as well. She rarely spent time in her crib, as she was always crawling about excitedly, constantly entertained by the many toys in the nursery and without anyone she had to share them with.
   Brooke absolutely loved school and was always the first out of the door in the mornings, eager to get on the bus.
   “Avalon, hurry up!” Brooke yelled over her shoulder when she heard the honking of the bus in the driveway. “We’re going to be late for school!”
   Avalon, holding a plate of french toast in her hand, scoffed lightly in mild disgust. “Brooke, seriously, chill. It’s only 8:00.”

   That day, Claudia decided to phone her brother at the School of Love and Peace. He picked up very quickly and the two of them chatted happily away, Riley absorbing every piece of family gossip Claudia was telling him.
   “We’ve got a little sister now!” Claudia exclaimed after spending a half-hour regaling Riley with a tale of how Avalon had dragged Brooke to the cemetery for ‘ghost-watching’ a few nights back. “Her name’s Lucia and she’s absolutely adorable! I’ll e-mail you a picture!”
   Riley wasn’t too excited; he was a little upset about the fact that he and Claudia were no longer the ‘babies’ of the family.

   “Well, at least you get to go to an actual boarding school, Riley. We’re all stuck in boring public school.” Claudia pointed out, a little annoyed.

   The next day, Stanley decided he wanted to get a little closer to his other daughters, and he decided to start with Avalon. Brooke had assured him that Avalon wasn’t hard to talk to and, feeling confident, Stanley asked, “So, Avalon, what kind of hip music have you been listening to?”
   Brooke tried to ignore the sudden awkwardness at the table by pretending to be absolutely engrossed in her copy of To Kill A Mockingbird.   Stanley continued, “I’ve been listening to ABBA, they are an absolute delight. What kind of CDs do you girls like to listen to?”

   “No one listens to CDs anymore, Dad,” Avalon said slowly, looking up from her biology homework. “But uh, ABBA’s cool, I guess.”

   Stanley, delighted at managing to close the distance between himself and Avalon, left to report to Azalea that his bonding session was a success. Claudia emerged from the kitchen with her dinner: leftover birthday cake.
   “Gosh, you two have been here for like, ever with your homework!” she exclaimed, seeing the twins engrossed in their respective work. “I’m so happy I’m in elementary school. All we have to do ever is like, book reports and the occasional art project.”
   Brooke and Avalon ignored her with the practiced ease of being older sisters.

   Although Brooke’s ban on the inventing table was lifted and she certainly didn’t have as many accidents as before, she was still prone to the occasional mess-up.

   One of Claudia’s favourite pasttimes was to pretend to be a racecar driver on the couch. She was pretending to be zooming along the track when she happened to see something particularly traumatizing out on the back porch.
   “Oh my god!” she screamed and to her woe, her sisters completely ignored her.

   Although Claudia was almost 15, the sight of her parents snogging on the porch was still something that she wasn’t particularly happy about seeing.
   Stanley and Azalea had been quite passionate about their relationship over the past days, what with Azalea trying to make sure Stanley didn’t leave her during his midlife crisis, and Stanley just so happy to be a family man after a successful bonding session with his daughter.

   “Gosh, I love you so much,” Stanley gushed to Azalea after giving her what he hoped was the best massage ever. “I’m so proud of her family.”
   Azalea felt herself blush a little at Stanley’s words but she hid it with her best poker face. “Well, dear, you shouldn’t be the only one taking credit.”

   The years fly by so fast. It seemed like only yesterday that Lucia was a crawling little toddler and now, she’s already in her first year of elementary school! She had a very unique sense of humour, and her jokes almost never fell flat.

   Lucia was particularly drawn to the karaoke machine that the family still had in the living room. She loved to sing all the songs on it, though she wasn’t the best singer yet. She was the only person in the house who consistently used the machine, as Avalon and Brooke had completely stopped singing on it upon entering high school.
   “She’s like a little Madonna,” Stanley had sighed happily as the sounds of Lucia belting out a Lady Gaga song drifted into the master bedroom.
   Azalea, who had just returned from a late night shift at the warehouse, was less amazed and more annoyed. “Well, tell your little ‘Madonna’ to tune it down. It’s nearly two in the morning.”

   Four girls couldn’t possibly fit in the ‘girl room’ so, upon Lucia entering elementary school and graduating from the nursery, Azalea and Stanley bought two beds to place in the ‘boy room’ that they had renovated for Riley. Lucia and Claudia were quite delighted to share a room without having to deal with the teenage angst of their older sisters.
   “I’m so excited to be sharing a room with you, Claudy!” exclaimed Lucia, who still insisted on calling Claudia by her nickname even though she was fully capable of saying ‘Claudia’ properly now.
   “Me too!” gushed Claudia. “I’m excited to be sharing a room with you, I mean! The old room is full of Avalon and Brooke’s clutter; I barely had any room to put any stuff of mine!”
   “Oh that must be horrible!” Lucia said with genuine horror, unable to imagine having to sleep amongst Brooke’s giant pile of metal widgets and having to deal with Avalon playing bass at the wee hours of morning. “I’m so glad that I was born later than you, Claudy, so I don’t have to deal with those two.”

   Meanwhile, Azalea was busy getting old.
   Heartwood finally gave birth to a filly that the family decided to name Wiccan (because Young Avengers has taken over my life). Azalea adored the baby unicorn and liked to play and feed her.
   Claudia grew up to be quite a beautiful teen, and she decided to keep her hair short for convenience’s sake. She developed a keen interest in sculpting, after a trip to the local art museum with her class during elementary school, and she loved to spend her time using the sculpting machine the family had bought during a major shopping spree some time ago.

   Now that she was allowed to use the kitchen, Claudia began to make easy meals for herself and the rest of her family, considering Azalea had went straight back to obsessing over her job. Stanley had been forbidden to step into the kitchen by Azalea during his first few years at the Summers house, considering every time he tried to touch the sink, it broke (Azalea feared that Stanley would break the stove and the house would catch on fire).
   Since Lucia was still a growing child, Claudia felt that she needed some actual nourishment, and so went out of her way to prepare autumn salad for her sister every day.
   “Claudy, salad again?” Lucia complained, poking at a slice of lettuce with a frown on her face.
   “It’s much better for you than those cake slices Mom insists on stocking the fridge with.” Claudia pointed out around a mouthful of bell peppers. “Now hurry up, you’ll be late for school.”

   Avalon had taken a page out of Claudia’s book and was quite interested in spending quality time with her youngest sister. Lucia was quite pleased to be welcomed in the family by a sister other than Claudia, and was very excited to receive help with her homework.

   Since the house was so cluttered with decorations, all of Claudia’s sculptures were sold immediately, much to her dismay. To make her feel a little better, Stanley allowed her to keep all of the earnings from her sales, and Claudia usually used the money to purchase new clothes or sculpting materials.

   One night, when Lucia was practicing a new Hannah Montana song on the karaoke machine, Azalea emerged grumpily from the master bedroom, having just gotten home from a long day at work.
   “Lucia, I’m trying to sleep, can you turn that thing down?” Azalea grouched angrily, glaring at Lucia with half-open eyes. “I’ve been awake since 8 in the morning and it’s nearly midnight. I’ve spent all day running around a warehouse. I would really like a nice sleep for once.”
   Lucia wasn’t too pleased that her mother, who usually didn’t bother caring for her children, was going to complain to her about her singing when she never said a word about Avalon’s music or Brooke’s loud inventing.
   The two of them fought over the issue until 2 in the morning, when Azalea angrily stomped off to bed, grounding Lucia from the karaoke machine for a week.
   When Bryony chose the heir of the Summers, she certainly forgot to take ‘maternal instinct’ into consideration when she decided Azalea would be the one to carry on the family name.

   This is Wiccan, a fully-grown unicorn now.

   Back when Stanley was in the culinary career track, he befriended a woman named Rosie Engel, who was of new money and had purchased the old Alto home after all the members moved out upon Vita Alto’s death. Stanley and Rosie still kept in touch, and when hearing the news that Rosie’s son is a  classmate of Lucia’s, Stanley was delighted and decided to send his daughter to the Engel residence and say hello.
   This is Lance Engel, who is wearing the most unfortunate and, frankly, terrifying Ricardio t-shirt in existence.
   After the two children introduced themselves, they proceeded to chat about anything and everything, finding that they had quite a few interests in common. Lucia then decided to ask Lance about something that had been bothering her for a while.
   “Lance, why do you never play outside with me when it’s daytime? I’m not allowed to stay out past 9, and we never get to do anything except talk in your house!” Lucia frowned, feeling upset since she had wanted to play basketball with her friend for quite some time.
   “I have a disease,” said Lance calmly. He had a very pleasant South London accent. “I have very sensitive skin and I can’t go outside in the sun for very long or I get burned.”

   “Wow, that sounds so scary!” Lucia cried. “I can’t imagine living without being able to go out and play!”
   Lance shrugged noncommittally. “You get used to it; I’ve been living with the condition forever.”
   “Wow.” Lucia repeated, at a loss of anything else to say. But she adapted quickly enough and playtime with Lance ended up usually being playing tag in the sprawling mansion, or playing Cops and Robbers in the spacious backyard.

   Like their mother, the Summers offspring were all night owls, preferring to perform leisure activities under the night sky. While this was fine and dandy for people like Avalon and Claudia, who kept their noisemaking to an absolute minimum, Brooke had recently invented a Miner, and loved to dig and explore what was underneath the family lot. This was, of course, to the great displeasure and general horror of the neighbours on Summerhill Court.
   “I’m real sorry,” Stanley apologized profusely the next morning when he received exasperated phonecalls from both the Engel house and the Landgraab house. “She’s a real sweetie, I’ll make sure she never uses that thing during the night ever again.”

   The sight of Azalea riding Heartwood around town had been jokingly compared to Death drawing his carriage down the streets, considering the only times she had rode the unicorn into town were days she caused fires.
   Today, however, she wasn’t about to use her messy arson technique. She approached the house of Stacie Hart (daughter of Gus and Dorie Hart) and Reese Bunch (a very distant relative of Lisa Bunch, who is Stanley’s mother, and therefore a minor relative of the Summers). Reese was Azalea’s coworker in the Organization, but the two of them were rivals for the promotion to Henchman. Azalea, worried that the Boss would promote Reese, who was quite useless when it came to physical jobs and barely competent at mental labour, decided to take matters into her own hands.

   “Hi, Azalea!” Reese greeted her pleasantly. “What brings you here?” He nervously glanced toward where Azalea had tied Heartwood to a tree, but figured Azalea wouldn’t set a fire while she was still inside the house.
   “Well, Reese, I heard from The Boss that he was planning on giving you a promotion and a raise tomorrow for your amazing work at the hospital raid yesterday.” Azalea said calmly, producing a beautifully wrapped present from behind her back. In reality, Reese hadn’t done anything worthy of compliment yesterday; he was an ultimately average employee and Azalea thought he lacked the punch needed to even be in the career. “This is a present I got for you as an early congratulations. No hard feelings, promise.”

   “Uh, thanks?” Reese held the box nervously, not looking too excited about the idea of Azalea giving him something. “May I ask what you got me?”
   “Well, I made you a lemon meringue pie. I heard how much you love lemon meringue pies.”
   There was still wariness on Reese’s face but Azalea could see some delight in his eyes now. She knew that Stacie was a horrible cook and couldn’t bake to save her life, and Reese wasn’t any better. Rumours of Azalea’s wondrous culinary talent had spread throughout town and Reese had personally always wanted to sample some of Azalea’s cooking.
   “There’s nothing in it except love, and lemons.” Azalea added. “Anyway, I’ll be off. My children, you see, they’re getting ready for finals and I just have to be there for moral support. And Lucia, my youngest, she’s having a birthday soon and I have to help prepare the house. Bye, Reese.” She hoped her concerned-mother routine would help as she left the house, jumped lightly onto Heartwood’s back, and rode home.

   Meanwhile, Brooke’s week of near-continuous mining awarded her with a mysterious tunnel she had been dying to explore. Finally, on a warm weekend afternoon, she quickly finished all her homework and went for an underground adventure.

   Stanley was very invested in Lucia’s singing hobby, cheering her on constantly and always reassuring her whenever she sang offkey or her voice broke at the high notes.
   “You’d be the best singer in all of Simland!” cheered Stanley as Lucia curtsied after a particularly rousing rendition of Starships.
   And that was when Lucia realized her dream: to be the next Vocal Legend.

   Having hit what appeared to be a permanent writer’s block, Stanley contacted his editor to call it quits. The editor was sad to see Stanley leave but promised Stanley his weekly royalties nonetheless. Not used to being jobless, Stanley immediately started jobhunting again and managed to land a low-level job at a local business firm.

   The next day at work, the Organization was met with sad news: Reese Bunch had passed away after dying from a cyanide-laced piece of lemon meringue pie. Everyone was upset, and the Boss appointed Azalea to the position of Henchman, now that she was without competition. The meeting adjourned, and Azalea emerged from the warehouse with a light feeling in her chest, though she kept it from her face in case any of her coworkers caught on.

   During the middle of a lonely dinner, Brooke set down her fork, wiping icing off her face. She had opted to finish up the last slice of birthday cake while Avalon chose to eat some of Claudia’s autumn salad. She looked sadly around the empty table and sighed, “I wish Mom would make pasta again.”
   “Get Claudia to.” Avalon answered, not even bothering to stop eating as she looked up at her twin. “She’s getting pretty good; makes sense though, considering she’s doing most of the cooking for Lu.”
   “Claudia’s food is good,” Brooke agreed, thinking back to the small plate of pancakes Claudia had made for breakfast several days earlier when Brooke complained of a night of insomnia. “But Claudia’s food doesn’t have the same feel as Mom’s. Mom’s always tasted…I don’t know, professional. Claudia’s just tastes like someone mashed everything together in a bowl.”
   Avalon snorted lightly. “Don’t let Claudia hear that, she’ll flip. Anyway, Mom’s busy, so I guess we’ll just have to wait until she finishes whatever job she’s doing.”
   Brooke scowled, gathering up her dishes to put away. “I don’t get what Mom’s so obsessed about. Grandpapa’s dead, so it’s not like she can get any more back at him.”

   Although Claudia was not privy to Avalon and Brooke’s conversation about her cooking skills, she was certainly aware that she had plenty of room for improvement. Deciding that the cookbooks were absolutely no help, Claudia went to ask her mother if she had any cooking advice to bestow.
   “Well,” Azalea said, flipping hot-tub water out of her hair. “firstly, you have to measure properly, but not too properly, because otherwise your food will come out all boring and textbook. Then, you have to use your own garnish or personal spices, because otherwise your food will come out all boring and textbook. Really, just make sure your food’s not boring and textbook, and everyone will think you’re a master chef.”

   Claudia wasn’t convinced by Azalea’s advice. “But, Mom, I don’t think an amateur like myself should just go mess around with the recipe. What advice do you have for a beginner like myself?”
   Azalea shrugged. “I don’t know. I never used cookbooks back in my day, I always just went on what I felt was right.”
   Claudia sighed; it was no use asking Azalea for help if she relied solely on natural talent, whereas Claudia had none. “Mom, I’m sorry to say this, but you are of absolutely no help.”
   “Thanks, Claudia, I’m always glad to provide assistance.”

   Avalon and Lucia were becoming quite good friends, both sharing a love for music (Lucia was more excited about pop and rock, while Avalon was quite content with a soothing classical or jazz).

   Claudia, in a conscious effort to be Lucia’s ‘nurturing maternal figure’ since Azalea obviously wasn’t interested, often tried to pose Lucia what she thought were mother-like questions during their daily homework sessions.
   “So, Lucia, how was school today?” Claudia asked, looking up from her homework to try and make eye contact. Lucia kept her eyes down on her maths.
   “It was okay,” Lucia shrugged. “Lance and I played Cops and Robbers but then he started feeling ill. So I took him back to the school and then read in the library.”
   “Oh. You’re really good friends with the Engel boy?”
   “Yeah, he’s my bestest friend in the world.”
   Claudia had previously considered herself Lucia’s ‘bestest friend’ so she was a little put-out. She figured it was the age gap, and that things would get better when Lucia entered high school as well.
   “What do you want for dinner tomorrow, Lucia? I can make something for you, if you like.”
   “No, thanks, Claudy. I’m going to Lance’s tomorrow; they’re making chicken noodle soup!”
   “I can make chicken noodle soup. I can get Mom to teach me.”
   “No, Claudy, I already promised Lance.” Lucia frowned, and then looked up at Claudia. “Are you okay? Why are you asking me so many questions.”
   Claudia shrugged. “No reason.” but she was feeling quite jealous that she appeared to have lost her closest friend and confidante.

   How Avalon and Brooke spend a night without homework together.
   It was 1 in the morning during Azalea’s workout that she received a phonecall from the distinguished Darlene Landgraab. She was intrigued, considering Darlene was calling the number Azalea used for her work, and she was sure the only people who knew about her number were her coworkers. She wasn’t too surprised, however, considering Darlene was Stanley’s aunt.
   “Hello, Darlene, this is Azalea Summers. What can I do for you?” Azalea asked cordially.
   “Azalea, hi, I heard from Lisa who heard from Stanley about your, er, career, as you might call it. As a member of your extended family, I would very much like to offer you a quick and rather easy job. For $30,000, I would like you to get rid of Abel McIrish; he’s writing up a rather unscrupulous article about the Landgraab family and we certainly cannot have that!”
   Azalea frowned thoughtfully; she wasn’t too worried about Darlene selling her out since Darlene surely wouldn’t dare rat out the wife of her own nephew. She was a little curious about Darlene’s definition of ‘get rid’, and so she asked for clarification.
   “Oh, you know, I don’t mind. I just want him out of the way.” sniffed Darlene. “The Landgraab family has been in a bit of trouble lately after the Engels moved into town. Goodness, and I thought we would be the head honcho of Sunset Valley after the Alto household separated. Ah, well. Anyway, Mrs. Summers, I hope you accept my one-time offer; I’m offering you a lot more money than I deem normal for such a simple task.”
   Azalea accepted the job quite happily, already working on a plan in her head.

   This is Kristy Ursine-Summers, the daughter of Lindy Ursine and Nyra Summers.

   With Brooke spending almost all her time with Avalon and Claudia persistently trying to mother Lucia, the only time the two sisters could spend any time with each other was when they worked on their separate hobbies outside the house. Even then, however, the sounds from their respective stations were so loud that they couldn’t be bothered to try and shout over the cacophony.
   What’s happening with Avalon, you ask?
   Avalon Summers has been asked out on a date by childhood friend Anissa Langerak, and Brooke had excitedly agreed for Avalon. Now Avalon is stressing out like crazy!
   Will Avalon’s first forage into romance end with heartbreak, or will she be the first of Generation 3 to find love?

   Yes, hey, chapter’s FINALLY UP YAAAAAY.
   I’ve narrowed Gen 3 heir down to two people: Avalon or Lucia. Mainly because I’m a little tired of seeing the purply hair that Bryony had. Like, I don’t want that to be a Summers trademark or family trait or something because, well, I got tired of it lol. I liked it on Brooke though, that hairstyle made it work real well.
   It took me FOREVER to realize that Avalon got her blonde from Lisa; I assumed for some reason it was just a random genetic mutation. I’m really partial to Lucia though, because I am in love with Stanley’s hair colour and Avalon’s is easy to breed back into the family if I ever want a blonde heir.

   - Avalon’s date with Anissa and the shocking conclusion… wait, ALREADY?!
   - Lucia takes her relationship with Lance Engel to the next level
   - Azalea takes ‘Evil Overlord To-Be’ to the next step

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