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Wanderlust, a new Sims 2 building contest - posted on 3rd Feb 2018 at 3:19 AM
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Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#1 Old 24th Jan 2018 at 8:55 AM
Default A Pleasant Place
A Pleasant Place

Hi! I'm Brittany. I'm a long-time user on MTS and of TS2 at large, and finally scraped together the courage (audacity?) and drive to post some of the goings-on of my Megahood to a singular location instead of intermittently blowing up the "What's Happening?" thread over on the main discussion forum. My megahood is going on rotation number nine, which is a bit far into the cities' narratives, but I figure since we're all fairly familiar with the premades' circumstances that you'll excuse this egregious error in storytelling on my part. That said, I live for character-driven stories and good writing, so as I relay the happenings of my game, I'll tend to be a bit dramatic or narrative in the way I tell it. I hope that's fine. I mean, if it's not, you can just look at the pictures and make up a story in your mind to replace the monotonous walls of text between them. Either way.

The 'hood consists of Pleasantview and a custom Downtown creatively dubbed Downtown Pleasantview, which I imagine as one big city with a diverse population. Additionally, there is Bluewater Village, a medium-sized town with lots of commerce and not too many residents, Riverblossom Hills, a small village nestled way out in the country which mostly thrives off of agriculture, and Strangetown, which is a military town whose only residents are scientists, intelligence agents, and military personnel as well as their families -- save for that one old lady living in her sepulcher, Olive Specter; even the military couldn't drive her away from her family home. Each round revisits the middle class suburb that started it all, Pleasantview, and then hops around the towns and boroughs with vignettes of college life injected between towns.

In each of the homes, hovels, and hideaways of Pleasantview and its neighboring towns, life expands and implodes, unending, just behind closed doors. There are liars and lovers, dreamers and do-nothings, dear friends and desperate fanatics, all vying for "the good life", however they define it. Whatever their motives and whoever they may be, each sim rising each day within the 'hood sews themselves into the fabric of the community, and changes it for better or worse. You'll pick favorites. They'll sometimes disappoint you. Welcome.

It's a Pleasant Place.


The beginning of A Pleasant Place doesn't take place at the beginning, and it's not even in Pleasantview, either. It begins on the sun-splashed deck of a string of for-rent estates in Takemizu Village, as enjoyed by the Goth Family. It's their very first vacation, and while Alexander and Melody have a hard time getting comfortable in any new situation, their daughter, Curie, is much more flexible.

"Maybe we'll take some time to check back in with your family," Alex proposes, his smile good-natured and a tad nervous.

Melody is puzzled. "Now, sweetheart? It feels like we've just gotten here..."

"We have!" Curie adds and plucks her tea cup from the table.

Alexander and his wife take a beat to watch their daughter, their only child, as she relishes in her surroundings, seemingly untethered to the same anchors of home and responsibility shackled at their own ankles. They don't say so, but they'd love more than anything to preserve that sense of wonderment and presence for all her life.


Despite himself, Alexander pushes the issue and further fractures the mood. "For your sake, I meant. I know you're worried about them."

Melody lengthens her spine and refills the quaint little teacups with a sigh. When she exhales and takes a step outside herself, viewing the scene objectively, she feels serene. She's a scientist. She's a wife. A mother. Things should be good, should be just the right amount of challenging. She closes her eyes.

"Mama, I think Aunt Abby and Uncle Tom are okay." Curie says gently.

"Th-- Yes, that's what I'm trying to --"

Melody smiles in her own demure, winsome way, a mountain of resolve flaking away just beneath the expression on her face. "I think they're okay, too. We're going to trust they're okay from right now until we get back home, unless they call to let us know otherwise. We're in a new place for a short time. Let's live while we're living, hm?"


He knew it wasn't easy for her. It couldn't be. He watched her doze and wake herself throughout the past couple of years, and nothing had changed it -- not the visit to the temple in a foreign land, not the birth of their daughter, not the new pregnancy they were keeping under wraps. None of it. Unlike him, Melody had grown up in an incredibly close-knit family, and if losing her father after college had wounded the family, then losing her mother was like amputating a limb. It came on fast. It started with her kid sister Abigail trying to make her cry for help sound nonchalant:

"Oh, Mom's just been really out of it the past couple days, and I'm just a little worried, so maybeyouguysshouldjustmovein. Bye!"

It was her nature, just like Melody's, to downplay the personal stuff. They packed their things that day. This was their last opportunity to go off on a trip like this. They hadn't canceled the plans after Wanda met the Reaper. Just plowed right through. He watched her lovingly and sorrowfully as she slept. She was the head of her family now, and he couldn't imagine how that must have felt. She was really good and playing it off. Alexander, however, was abuzz with worry.


His sister Cassandra had had it rough. She'd ignored Mortimer's admonishing and married the suave and noncommittal Don Lothario only to have her heart broken again and again. She'd caught him cheating three times before she finally filed for divorce, and by that time, Dad was already dead. It only came out later that Don had been harboring a secret family in the city. Three whole kids with some random woman, all the while telling his wife at home she'd just have to "wait and see" about starting a family.

She did find love again, this time with a knowledgeable restaurateur named Jim Menon, and she finally, finally, had her baby. Two, in fact. She was ecstatic and overzealous; went on this tirade about restoring the old family mansion. And she did it! But now she's broke, and Alexander worries about keeping her at arms' length. They don't really have money to spare, either.

He felt like such a hypocrite. Not wanting to spare a cent for his sister while on an international vacation. What an ass.


From what he understood, though, his other siblings were walking dangerous lines as well. His father had remarried before his death to Dina Caliente, and she had two sons: Rafael and Santiago. Dina complained all the time of Santiago's laziness and his penchant for sneaking girls into the house, but she always talked glowingly about Rafael, her darling eldest son. He was a great kid, honestly, just terribly naive. He had dad's kind eyes and natural talent for pretty much anything he tried his hand at. Unfortunately, he also had dad's taste in women and Dina's desire to be loved by just about anybody. Apparently he's engaged now to an older girl named Tina who looks just like his mother? Ugh. Alexander didn't even want to think about that one.


And of course, there was the daunting new roles thrust upon him and his wife as heads of household and sole providers for two young people heading off for college. Melody was already a teen when Wanda and Stephen had had Abigail and Thomas, and so the twins have always viewed her as more of a know-it-all aunt or annoying girl their mom and dad kept comparing them to. There was a lot of work to be done. He understood why Melody had such problems sleeping.


Ones he didn't have, of course, as he frequently dithered and deliberated himself right into restful sleep. Curie, bless her, adores and admires her dad more than just about anything, and is always eager to share the things she learns in her books with him, whether he's conscious or not.

"Hey dad, did you know that sharks are the oldest living predator on Earth??"

"Curie, please let your dad sleep!"
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Lab Assistant
#2 Old 24th Jan 2018 at 4:34 PM
This is a nice beginning to your story, and I like all the detail. I also love that last picture of Curie reading.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#3 Old 24th Jan 2018 at 6:41 PM

A Pleasant Place
The Cookes

Julien Cooke is toiling away at yet another batch of comfort soup to combat the terrible flu floating around town in the chilly Autumn season. Already, his son and wife had been laid out by the cold twice, and he wasn't in the interest of catching it himself. Not today, at least.


His lovely wife Patricia Cooke, formerly Wan, is celebrating a birthday today, and a momentous one at that. She's had a long career as a journalist, chasing leads and interviewing prominent folks about town. For a long time, she pulled in a lot more money than Julien did himself. It was her investment that helped him open the restaurant, after all. Secretly, Julien hopes Patricia's impending elderhood will bring about her retirement. He likes the idea of her staying home and caring for Sebastien or taking reservations at the restaurant rather than knocking at the door of a suspected murderer or some other awful thing.

"So!" he begins beaming, "Looking forward to kicking back after tonight? Taking it easy?"

She grins, laughing. "Not on your life."


Shame. Sebastien could really use the supervision given his cheeky, mischievous nature. As much as Mom and Dad adore him, they admit he's something of an acquired taste. He's prone to lying, cheating, and tearing things apart if you're not looking. The one thing he really takes care of is his chess set, an old birthday present. Even then, Julien has caught him swiping pieces off the board when his attentions are elsewhere during a game.

If he has any hangups about Patricia getting older, he hasn't expressed it to anyone. He keeps to himself when he isn't making trouble.


For the evening's festivities, Julien's purchased his wife a cake after years of her disappointment with his own attempts at baking.

"Maybe stick to entrees?" she'd told him once. Besides, she likes the super sugary storebought icing best anyway.

Everyone gathers round the kitchen island and hoots and haws in support of her. Her dearest friend Cleo Lee-Shikibu caught the train here from Riverblossom Hills, and she's the loudest and most enthusiastic for her friend's transition of all. She's like family.


Patricia ages gracefully and takes a generous piece of the cake. She's proud to sport her greying hair. It makes her feel more distinguished and respectable. She still remembers being laughed off by coworkers and clients back when she was just starting out, and is glad to have made her way up in the world.


The next day, Sebastien wanders sleepily down the steps and into the sitting area and plops himself beside Mom's friend Cleo. He looks at her a second, then opens his mouth.

"Your hair looks like a stormcloud."

At this, Cleo bursts out laughing. "Heh, I've never heard that one before."

He narrows his eyes a little. "Where's Aunt Camryn? I like her better than you."

She laughs again. "Hey, you and me both, kid. She had to do a late shift at the diner last night, I'll have her call you."

Sebastien tightens his lip a little at his Aunt Cleo. Nothing ever seemed to bother her.


Tara Kat had made the trip out from Riverblossom as well to visit the family for Patricia's birthday. She sneaks smirking glances at her friend across the table.

"Can I help you, Tara?" Patricia says flatly.

"I was just thinking, it's a shame about your acting career, Pat. To end it before it even began by getting old."

Patricia rolls her eyes. "Oh, ha-ha. Don't call me 'Pat', Kat."


Sensing Patricia's resolve wearing thin, Julien takes her hand and guided her into the kitchen, by far his favorite room in the house. He plants his hands at her hips and sings her praises, calling her brilliant, clever, endlessly impressive -- anything but beautiful, she hates reducing women to their looks over their accomplishments. He knows this now, after nearly wrecking their relationship by calling her "ravishing" on their second date. He's never made that mistake again.

"Hey. You're amazing."

She smirks. "You're pretty okay yourself, Cooke."

Come Visit A Pleasant Place.
Forum Resident
#4 Old 24th Jan 2018 at 6:57 PM
You have quite the story building! It's interesting to see what direction everyone's lives took in your version of Megahood (I was always terrified of Megahoods. I thought the sheer number of sims would drive me even crazier...). Your pictures are wonderful too! Can't wait to see what the other households and families are up to.

You can't lie to me. I play Town Of Salem.
Scholar
#5 Old 24th Jan 2018 at 8:08 PM Last edited by lordtyger9 : 24th Jan 2018 at 8:19 PM.
Hi Brittany Nice to have you with the rest of us.

A Pleasant Place seems interesting and you have good pictures.

I am looking forward to more about your game.

for info on changing the Mac Open File Limit check out my post here http://www.insimenator.org/index.ph...html#msg1628939
Curiosity killed the cat,
but satisfaction brought it back.
Lab Assistant
#6 Old 25th Jan 2018 at 4:17 PM
Patricia aged up beautifully. If it's the buttercream frosting she's talking about, I agree. Cake is simply a way to get frosting into my mouth!

Sebastian needs Aunt Cleo in his life as much as possible. She doesn't let him get to her and it's good for him to see he can't push everyone's buttons.

I like the relationship between Julian and Patricia, and Tara should just shut it.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#7 Old 26th Jan 2018 at 12:10 AM Last edited by bbostic8 : 26th Jan 2018 at 11:31 PM.


A Pleasant Place
The Pleasants

It's morning in Bluewater Village and Mary-Sue Pleasant can't seem to find a comfortable position to stand in while she waits for her guest to arrive. It's La Magnifique!, the finest restaurant for miles, and it's outside of Pleasantview -- the perfect place to meet and not be recognized. She had even gone to the trouble of reserving a table for a weekday brunch there, the slowest time of the week to make sure they'd be safe to meet. A moment of clarity washes over her and she wonders if this -- the thrumming of her heart and the discomfort all over -- is what Daniel felt when he cheated on her with the maid. She gets disgusted and extinguishes the idea entirely. This is different. She's single. He's--

"Darren."

He's jolly and seems to be in a good mood. He has more grey in his hair than black, now. Little creases form at the corners of his eyes. It's been a while.

"Mary-Sue, look at you out here in the cold! You could've waited for me inside."

She rolls her eyes. "Please, it's fine. I wanted to go in together."


When they get indoors, he gingerly wraps his arms around her and she responds in kind. He talks sweetly, happily, near her face, and she almost finds her way out of her mental fog.

"I'm so glad you called. You look great."

She smiles girlishly. "Well, I take care of myself when I can. You look good, too. Happy."

"I'm plenty happy! I'm a grandfather now."

"Oh my god, those girls don't tell me anything," Mary-Sue says, cursing her daughters for not gossiping more about their friends, "How many? When?"

He exudes pride as he talks about his son, Dirk, and his daughter-in-law Sandra, and their two children. "You see, Dirk is a hot-shot business tycoon now, and is renting a place downtown while he and Sandra have a house built. She comes from money; she's a Roth, from Riverblossom Hills, so she doesn't have to work. She's happy to care for the boys."

"That's wonderful, Darren."

"And my other kids, Reed and Olive, don't even get me started on them. Why, the other day, Rose --"

He watches Mary-Sue's face fall.


And he catches her lips in his.

"Let's not talk about them."


Long after her rendez-vous with Darren Dreamer, Mary-Sue swings open her front door to greet her daughter, Angela. She smiles keenly at her daughter and takes in her appearance. She's married now. She's cut her hair, started dressing a little more mature.

"Doctor Pleasant! Good to see you," Mary-Sue will never pass up an opportunity to brag about her daughter, the doctor. Amazing.

Angela gives a humble chuckle and steps inside. "Hey, Mom. How's retirement treating you?"

Mary-Sue tuts, "Oh, I'm bored to tears with it. All I do is play piano and walk the damn dog. This is how people lose their minds."

"Why don't you help Don at the casino?"

"With all those degenerates? Never."


Mary-Sue stoops down low and chatters away at her daughter's growing belly. She's elated to meet the little one, as much as she dislikes the very idea of its father. What a disappointment.

"Where's the DJ?" she says lowly.

"He's a master of ceremonies, Mom. He works late."

"Hm. Dirk Dreamer is a business tycoon. Did you know that?"

Angela sighs. "Yes, Mother, I do."

She smiles regardless of her mother's prodding and deriding. She's thankful to be close to her, especially during her pregnancy. She's a good mom in her own overbearing, highly critical way. Or at least, that's what Angela tells herself.

"And he's got two kids. Your sister really screwed that one up, didn't she?"

Angela maintains a tight-lipped smile.


Upstairs, Angela's twin sister Lilith unwinds with her fiance, Don Lothario, to some chill jams filtering in over the radio. She hears the commotion of Mary-Sue opening the door to greet Angela downstairs, and scoffs as the door slams shut and all grows quiet. They're talking about her, she just knows it. Her mother is a terrible gossip, and she knows Lilith hates being compared to other people, especially her sister.

Lilith's blood boils. Her teeth grit. She gets petty.

"You hear about my sister and her husband? ...Jake Martin?"

Don sputters a little bit of laughter. "The one you used to date, right?"

"It was college. Everyone was dating everyone."

"Sure," he says, bemused, "What about them?"

"They're having a baby! I mean, Angela? A mom? Seriously, whose idea was it for them to have a baby?"

Don chuckles warmly. "Maybe nobody's. Could be an accident. Good for them, though."

"How is that good? They're having a kid."

Don shakes his head, still jovial, but a little offended. "...Did you forget I have kids? I mean, I know it's easy to just not think about 'cause they're not here, but..."

"Oh, right," Lilith wrinkles her brow, "Uh, sorry."


Don drapes his arm behind Lilith's back and pulls her into him, knitting his fingers between hers, "Don't worry about it."

She can't keep herself from grinning widely, her heart hammering away at her chest.

"Having kids isn't the end of the world. I used to think it was when I was your age. That was what killed my first marriage, actually."

"I thought banging the whole neighborhood killed your first marriage," Lilith says with a snorting laugh.

Don guffaws, clamping his eyes shut. "That too."


Lilith loves being with Don. He's fun and uncomplicated, and he never judges her like her family does, never brings up her father. He's a cool, suave older guy with lots of experience who can maneuver his way through pretty much any situation. Everything seems effortless with Don. He owns the most successful business in the city, the Casa Casanova casino, and thinks nothing of it. He's a casual drinker, a terrible flirt, and an incredible gambler; absolutely perfect, in Lilith's eyes. Well, a lot of people's eyes, but she doesn't mind, so long as they keep their god damn hands to themselves.


A few days later, Lilith catches a glimpse of her mother in Angela's old bedroom. She approaches the open doorway, hesitant, and then steps fully into the room.

Mary-Sue halts entirely and rises to meet her daughter. "Hey you."

"Heh. Hey yourself. I, uh, kinda wanted to...to talk?"

Mary-Sue hitches a brow. "That's what we're doing, isn't it?"

Lilith wriggles uncomfortably under her mom's full attention. She isn't used to it and it only makes her feel seen, in the worst way. "It's about Angela. Well, kind of."

Mary-Sue nods her head.

"Y'know how I laughed and said she was a huge idiot for getting pregnant with that fucking potato Jake Martin?"

Her mother crosses her arms and suppresses a smirk. "I can't say I disagree."

"Well, maybe..." Lilith inhales sharply and looks her in the eye, "Maybe I'm a huge idiot too."

Mary-Sue shakes her head, pinches her brow. "I...what?"

"I'm pregnant."

Come Visit A Pleasant Place.
Scholar
#8 Old 26th Jan 2018 at 7:22 PM
Oh I love the bits with Angela and Lillith, those sisters are a riot. I love your Pictures and I love the story lines you have going with the Pleasants et al.

I do forward to more on your game, I love your story lines so far, funny and interesting. I admire those who do manage to do their story lines in their posts.

I have an Überhood too, in my case I had started Strangetown and Bluewater Village quite a while ago and I just recently added three others, I do know that it is going to be a long time before I do a complete rotation as I have over 80 housesholds to cycle through and I don’t do short rotations. I don’t really do story lines exactly, I just like to show how the sims are doing.

for info on changing the Mac Open File Limit check out my post here http://www.insimenator.org/index.ph...html#msg1628939
Curiosity killed the cat,
but satisfaction brought it back.
Link Ninja
#9 Old 26th Jan 2018 at 8:03 PM
I like how to tell the story, you are en exquisite writer, and your pictures are fantastic! I like Don's look with a long beard.

I had to laugh out loud at this line
Quote:
"Y'know how I laughed and said she was a huge idiot for getting pregnant with that fucking potato Jake Martin?"


I have no idea who Wanda and Stephen are though in relation to the narrative (I'm not a pre-made player, so I only know the famous ones like Don, the Pleasant family and Caliente sisters) but I can understand who the rest of the people are from how you have explained relations.

Uh oh! My social bar is low - that's why I posted today.

Scholar
#10 Old 26th Jan 2018 at 8:23 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charmful
I like how to tell the story, you are en exquisite writer, and your pictures are fantastic! I like Don's look with a long beard.

I had to laugh out loud at this line


I have no idea who Wanda and Stephen are though in relation to the narrative (I'm not a pre-made player, so I only know the famous ones like Don, the Pleasant family and Caliente sisters) but I can understand who the rest of the people are from how you have explained relations.


I think Wanda and Stephen are the Tinker Family. Wanda and Stephen have one daughter, named Melody, they live in Bluewater Village and they have a home business of a Toy Shop if my memory serves me right, I am getting old so not really sure.

for info on changing the Mac Open File Limit check out my post here http://www.insimenator.org/index.ph...html#msg1628939
Curiosity killed the cat,
but satisfaction brought it back.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#11 Old 26th Jan 2018 at 11:46 PM Last edited by bbostic8 : 27th Jan 2018 at 1:10 AM.
@Charmful, I take your compliment of my writing to heart. It's my passion, and I'm happy (and nervous!!) to share it with all of you. Wanda and Stephen Tinker are premades from Bluewater Village who owned a toy store, run out of their home. At the start of the game they are about 3/4 of the way through adulthood, and have a teenage daughter named Melody. She is the wife and mother of Alexander Goth and Curie Goth, respectively, as seen in the first "vignette", we'll call it, of A Pleasant Place. As of the events of A Pleasant Place, Wanda and Stephen have both died fairly recently. They had two more children after Melody, the kids shown in the first vignette, Abigail and Thomas "Tom" Tinker.

@lordtyger9, it's sincerely a pleasure to write, not only for the Pleasants, but for the characters in A Pleasant Place overall. Their characters come alive so easily, and I blow through these like nothing. Thank you for your lovely comments. And you were right about Wanda and Stephen!

Come Visit A Pleasant Place.
Lab Assistant
#12 Old 27th Jan 2018 at 9:10 PM
Quote:
Oh, I'm bored to tears with it. All I do is play piano and walk the damn dog. This is how people lose their minds.


Quote:
She's a good mom in her own overbearing, highly critical way. Or at least, that's what Angela tells herself.


Quote:
I thought banging the whole neighborhood killed your first marriage


These made me laugh! I like your writing style and I have the same sarcastic sense of humor.

I'm worried Mary-Sue is going to end up hurt with a broken heart again. And Lillith! Karma just kicked her in the butt after all her snottiness about Angela's pregnancy.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#13 Old 30th Jan 2018 at 6:22 AM


As a fair warning to everyone reading, this vignette is pretty long compared to the previous ones! I would prefer not to divide it into parts, as I like the organization of having a 1 family:1post ratio, so I will instead throw a bunch of the pictures under a spoiler tag to keep the post reasonable in length and at least a little bit more aesthetically pleasing. If anyone experiences any problems with the format, or you frankly don't care how long the post is, let me know. Thanks!

A Pleasant Place
The Dreamers


The Dreamers believe that one's home is one's haven. It's a sanctuary from the outside world, head quarters for beloved family members to return to and regroup, a nest for its younger members to grow, learn, and eventually meander away. The best thing about the Dreamer house is its capacity for memory. Little reminders of every resident of the house remain in the walls, the creaky floorboards, the homey smell that encompasses all who enter. Bits and pieces of the family remain long after they're gone. It's a little romantic, a little comforting, and a little painful, too. But what is home if not romance, comfort, and pain dressed up in wood and brick?



Rose Greenman, who isn't really a Dreamer herself, but who loves and nurtures them like one, has made her mark with a garden. It overlooks the weeping willow in the backyard, which was Darleen Dreamer's mark left long ago. She used to prune it every day, and have picnics with her husband and child beneath it in the Summer. Darren had told her that once with love and sorrow in his eyes. Rose remembers the moment well, because that was also the moment she decided she loved him.

Rose doesn't mind Darleen's tree or her grave. She waves hello each morning when she waters her plants, and always gives her a nod when her work is done and she goes back inside. The climb onto the porch is getting harder for her these days. The aches are new; she never used to have them as a plantsim. But she's a human now -- a real person with blood and flesh and an expiration date. It's exhilarating and new. Someday she'll die like Darleen, and she knows she'd want someone to say hello and dust the leaves off of her every once in a while, so she does as much for her when Darren and Dirk are busy.



Rose has left her mark in a couple of other ways as well. She's got three children in all: Daisy, her oldest, was born a plantsim, but made the decision to become human and chase life in her own way. She's a college graduate and an aspiring scientist living out in Strangetown. She doesn't call much. Then there's Reed, the only boy, who lives in the Dreamer house with her and Darren. He's terribly charming and gregarious, the most disarming person you'd ever meet. He seems to know everyone. And finally, there's Olive. She's small, cheeky, and very gentle for her age.

Darren, who has a son named Dirk from his marriage to Darleen, is also very proud, but a lot more considerate about when, where, and how best to boast about his kids. Rose is unabashedly arrogant about all of her children.



"Hey, good afternoon Mr. Burb. How's it going?" says Reed, taking his neighbors hand in his.

Reed likes his neighbor okay. He lives across the street with his girlfriend, although he used to have a wife and a daughter who lived there too. Reed grew up sipping on homemade lemonade sold from an overturned apple crate in Mr. Burb's front yard. He remembers the little girl selling it was named Lucy, and that she always had friends over, but he was never allowed to play because he was too little. She shipped off to college sometime after that, and her mom left seemingly overnight after that.

John offers an amused smile and gives his hand a firm shake. "Hi, Reed. It's going pretty well."



"So, uh," John rasps, though his smile remains, "How's school?"

Reed coughs a laugh and bats the question away with his hand. "Oh man, Mr. Burb, it hasn't been that long since you talked to a kid, has it?"

"Oh boy, did I mess up already?" the man laughs, "Kids don't talk about school anymore?"

"It's an easy question for an adult to make conversation with someone younger than them. We hate it. Haven't you noticed you always get the same answer, no matter who you're talking to?"

John chuckles and nods his head.

"'Good'," they say in unison, mocking the soulless monotone with which it is always regurgitated out by some poor kid subject to the question by an adult who feels awkward. They share a laugh.

"You're probably here for my mom, right?"

John nods.



When Reed swivels around to guide his neighbor onto the porch, he's surprised to find his mother waiting there. He clicks his tongue and points his thumbs to the sky with a smile.

"Hey Mom! Mr. Burb is here to see you."

Rose nods, and flashes her neighbor a look. "Hi, John."

He looks stern and solemn suddenly, Reed notices. He disregards it and steals away inside.



As the door clicks behind Reed, John's chest deflates and he expels a breath. He places a palm to his chest, sucks in a gulp of air, and looks Rose Greenman in the eyes.

"Rose, I know it's been a long time, and I know I have no excuse not to see you," he sputters, "I mean, I live across the street for Christ's sake, I just felt so bad. I mean, I thought being around you would make me feel guilty. Maybe make you feel guilty? I don't know. I'm just sorry. I'm sorry."

Rose gives a small and airy laugh and little wrinkles fold at the corners of her eyes. "You don't need an excuse either way. It's your life too, and I respect whether that includes me or doesn't. I'm not hurt."

John voices his relief with a sigh. "I just -- I never meant for all of this. I didn't think-- I wasn't thinking, and now so many things have changed."

Rose agrees.

"I haven't even -- God, I'm such an ass. How are you? How have you been, Rose?"

Rose looks at John and sees the same young father who knocked at her door on the first day of the school year with a smile. She had just fled Riverblossom Hills with Daisy, just left her ex-husband behind, as well as her leaves and vines. Darren, who John had really come over to see, was away at work, and John was quite surprised to find a woman and a little girl living in the house where that quiet widower and his teenage son were living. His smile had faltered for only a second before he shook her hand and introduced himself.

I'm John, he'd said and smiled at the little girl hugging her leg, Welcome to the neighborhood.

After that, he invited her and Darren to join the school board's PTA meetings hosted at his house each week. Darren was always too busy, but Rose always made time to see John. After a while, the PTA meetings became lunch dates, the lunch dates became evening phone calls, the phone calls became something different entirely, and then John's marriage was ruined.



Rose frowns at the memory and the tugging of her heart. "Do you have some time? I think there's someone you should meet."

John's stomach collapses through to the center of the Earth and his mouth runs dry. "Wh-what?"

The front door swings open again and the manufactured scent of cheap cologne drowns the air. Reed clucks his tongue and points playfully at the two as he descends the stairs. "Hi guys! Bye guys!"

John jumps out of his skin, but Rose seems collected.

"Where're you going?" she asks.

"I've got a date! Jill and I are going clothes shopping."

"Well, have fun!" she calls after him.

"Don't wait up!" he calls back.

Rose turns back to John with a boastful, proud smile. "He does what he wants."

John gulps. "Just like you."


Come Visit A Pleasant Place.
Scholar
#14 Old 31st Jan 2018 at 12:51 AM
I don't mind how long someone's post is. I would rather that you have some of the pictures under a spoiler tag or an infobutton than to have it split into parts.

I split my posts on a particular family because I have a very large number of pictures and MTS simply won't let me post all of them in one post, and besides I like to break them into parts.

I enjoyed reading your writing and looking at your pictures.

Though I would like for you to tell us what happened to make Rose Greenman divorce her husband, I don't think you told us so far.

Olive is really pretty.

for info on changing the Mac Open File Limit check out my post here http://www.insimenator.org/index.ph...html#msg1628939
Curiosity killed the cat,
but satisfaction brought it back.
Link Ninja
#15 Old 31st Jan 2018 at 2:43 AM
@bbostic8 I am glad you are sharing your writing with us. You have such a lovely way of writing prose, description, and narrative. Some of the more poetic lines I found and enjoyed from this last vignette was:

Quote:
Little reminders of every resident of the house remain in the walls, the creaky floorboards, the homey smell that encompasses all who enter.

Quote:
Some time passes and the two release Olive to tend to her toys and scour the floorboards for pieces of food and treasures fallen from people's pockets.

Quote:
He wonders for a moment, smelling Mary-Sue's perfume billow up from the collar of his shirt, if there's even anything worth arguing about anymore.


And like lordtyger, I am curious on some of the subjects you teased, such as subjects of Rose's divorce, Darleen's death, and the affair of Rose and John.

Uh oh! My social bar is low - that's why I posted today.

Lab Assistant
#16 Old 31st Jan 2018 at 4:23 PM
I won't repeat what lordtyger and Charmful said, but I agree completely.

Your writing really sets both a scene and a mood, and leaves me wanting more. So much quiet (for now?) drama is going on, and I look forward to seeing it play out.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#17 Old 11th Feb 2018 at 7:35 AM
Default A Pleasant Place: The Burbs


A Pleasant Place
The Burbs


Bathing in the shadow of swaying palms, the Burb household is, presently, a happy one. Its walls have seen the beginnings and collapse of families past and present. Where once the walls rang with tense, angry voices and wailing sobs, there is now comfortable silence, even the soothing tones of music and laughter. Today, the head of household, John Burb, welcomes someone new.


Come Visit A Pleasant Place.
Lab Assistant
#18 Old 11th Feb 2018 at 8:59 PM
I love Erin! She says what she's thinking, for good or ill, and seems to hide nothing. She's very good for both John and Mary. I hope John can see his way to telling Erin the truth, because I think she can handle it.

Mary seems like she needs the boost in confidence Erin is trying to give her. Life is going to be okay, and maybe even good.
Scholar
#19 Old 12th Feb 2018 at 12:37 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cher64
I love Erin! She says what she's thinking, for good or ill, and seems to hide nothing. She's very good for both John and Mary. I hope John can see his way to telling Erin the truth, because I think she can handle it.

Mary seems like she needs the boost in confidence Erin is trying to give her. Life is going to be okay, and maybe even good.


I agree with what Cher is saying.

Also Oh Erin Beaker is one of my favourites, I have her married to one of my Aliens.

I really like how Erin Beaker is in your game and I like how she looks too. I think Mary is quite interesting and I am going to love learning more about her. John was quite interesting as well. I really loved learning more of their stories.

for info on changing the Mac Open File Limit check out my post here http://www.insimenator.org/index.ph...html#msg1628939
Curiosity killed the cat,
but satisfaction brought it back.
 
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