When All Else Fails...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

When the Kane Family made the bold decision to move away from Riverview County to the quaint (if you want to call it that) town of Twinbrook, Meredith thought that it would mean the end of all their problems.

No, not the problems of day to day life -- of course there was going to be disasters and fights and stress over money, but... those were normal concerns. It was the more granduer concerns that had landed in their lap that Meredith had hoped would disappear. When she was told of her husband's adultery, she was convinced that Twinbrook would begin to aim him towards faithfulness. When Jebidiah was wrongly accused for the murder of Carl Strummer, she was convinced that Twinbrook would be a place where they would never find him. And, when she awoke that cold, dark night next to the dead body of Chandra Hawkins, the perpetrator who framed her husband, she was convinced that Twinbrook was the only place she could go to completely forget the events that took place...

...but she was wrong. Much to Meredith's horror, she was not forgetting what had happened: she was only just beginning to remember.

"Mom, why aren't you dressed yet?!"

Meredith groaned as she came down the steps; the voice had come from her son Travis, who was cradling his sister in his arms. He was still smiling, but he had a knowing, pointed look on his face that was usually supposed to go from a mother to her son, not the other way around. "I'm just trying to get things picked up before I get ready, the house is a disaster and--"

"Mom, you're going to be late. What's Dad going to think if you stand him up on your first date in years? Just go, I'll take care of the cleaning."

She laughed, shaking her head at her son. "The likelihood of you even putting a plate in the sink is next to nothing, dear. But, I suppose it can all wait until morning. You're going to be okay with Brad and Amelia?"

"Yes, mooomm," Travis sighed, rolling his eyes. "I'm not a kid anymore. I can handle it!

Meredith was not completely convinced, but Travis was right about one thing: she was running out of time. In fact, once she actually took a look at the clock, she found herself showering and slipping on her dress so fast that she almost left the house with mismatched shoes. She was able to make it to the bistro without any serious wardrobe malfunctions, though -- and when she arrived, she found Jebidiah waiting for her as he'd said.

"A suit? Wow, Jeb, I haven't seen you in one of them since... Since..." Mere tapped her lip, not quite able to place it.

Jebidiah laughed, habitually dusting his coat sleeve as he looked down at himself. "Our wedding, maybe?"

"No... It was... Your work party, when--" But she cut herself off. Both of them turned a little green at the memory of what happened at that party, but Meredith quickly put a stopper on that mood by reaching up to stroke his cheek. "You look very handsome, sweetheart."

"Wish I had the words to express how pretty you are, Mere... But you know you're always pretty to me."

Meanwhile, at home, Travis decided that a little takeout was a fantastic solution to his mother's complaints about his lack of dish-washing...

... and he was able to keep both Amelia and Bradley entertained until they returned home. Meredith wasn't exactly impressed that he managed -- she was more relieved than anything... but still thankful.

"We're gonna be okay, right, Jeb?" she asked as they settled by the fire, his arm wrapped tightly around her. Their bellies were full, and it had been a lovely evening -- but they both knew that this is the sort of thing that, being loners, they enjoyed the most. Not the fancy dinners, the dressing up... Just sitting, alone, quietly resting against each other.

"We never were not going to be okay, honey. We just had a few bumps in the road, is all."

"Haha, right," Meredith replied, tilting her head to face his. "You're either a terrible liar or terribly misinformed."

He chuckled, and after a moment, responded with with a coy, "I think I prefer 'terribly optimistic.' By the way... What were you doing downstairs last night? You were making an awful lot of noise..."

"Oh... I just, you know... Was making pancakes. Midnight snack. Nothing major."


Early-early that morning...

"Raaaaaaaah!" The ghost of Chandra seemed to float several inches higher when Meredith decided it was time to do some 'spooking' of her own. "See? How do you like that, you miserable excuse for a poltergeist!"

"I didn't ask to come here, Meredith!" The dissonant voices that came from Chandra's transparent mouth were no less menacing to Meredith than the last time she heard them. "And I didn't ask to die!"

"Well," Meredith started, furiously yelling despite the fact she knew how late it was. "Then leave! Go! Get out of my life! Out of my husband's life! We don't want you here!"

"How do you know that, Meredith? Maybe he misses me..." Chandra began to laugh again, her glowing purple lips sneering as she pointed her finger right back towards her accuser. "It's not like things between you and Jeb are as picture perfect as you said they were... Any day now, he's going to realize the mistake he's made, and run back to his old life... the career he loved... the career that you  made him give up..."

That did it. Meredith had had enough with Chandra's filthy lies and attempts at manipulation -- the woman was just as insane in death as she was in life, and corporeal or no, it was time to give this haunting a taste of her own medicine.


"Mere? Something wrong?"

"Oh, no, nothing," she responded to Jebidiah, giving him a quick peck on the lips. "They were just really good pancakes."

Once the weekend rolled around again, the Kanes attempted to make the best of their free time that they could, even if it really wasn't all fun and games.

Bradley made his first major -- and rather impressive -- invention...

... Meredith had to tackle her first laundry malfunction...

... Travis went to work building up his muscles to keep in shape for his next sports competition...

... and Jebidiah got a phonecall for his first case in several days. And, who else was the man-in-need than Justin Kayes, who seemed incredibly troubled once Jebidiah met with him in person.

"It's sort of embarrassing, really," he'd explained to Jeb, his voice sounding as tired as his rumpled hair looked. "See, I've been getting these... love letters... and everything was going amazing, I really felt as if I'd gotten a connection with this woman. But, once we'd agreed to go away together, she just... up and disappeared. I haven't heard from her since. Before I run off and pursue someone else, I need to know if I'm ever going to hear from her again."

"Well," Jebidiah said after Justin explained his predicament. "Give me the name and the address, and I'll see what I can find out."

After he'd scratched those down on a pad of paper and left Justin to his worries, he decided to follow the usual course of action: talk to the locals.

"Kat Hunter, you said?" was the response from the first woman she asked. "No, haven't heard from her in some time. In fact, it's a bit troubling. See, she's been writing these letters to my brother, he's quite upset over how suddenly she cut him off..."

And it was a similar response from several others he asked. What the Plumbbob?! How could she be dating so many men at once?

As he tried to scope out another local to interrigate, he spotted his favorite police inside-source in the corner of the gym: Tana. "Hey, mind stopping to chat for a minute? Need to talk to you 'bout something."

"Yeah, sure thing, just a sec," Tana responded as she shut off the treadmill, wiping the sweat off her brow with a towel she turned to approach him.

His suspicions were correct: according to Tana, there was a rather bothersome female con-artist in town that was hoodwinking many men into dishing out money and romance to meet her own selfish ends, using poor Kat Hunter's name and address to do so from. "We've been trying to pin her for some time, but there's no real evidence of any foul play... that we have, at least. If you're able to procure some, though..."

Well, after Tana said that, there was only one thing left to do:

His favorite investigative activity yet. Some fingerprints on the rogue letters would do the trick, and what he found on the actual Kat Hunter could come in useful later, if he was feeling strapped for cash...

Once all the evidence was put together, it was time to nail the perpatrator: a resident actress at the town theatre. In a way, Jeb found the woman's crime elegant... almost poetic. An actress, posing as another woman in order to woo every single man in town. Too bad it had done nothing good for the real Kat Hunter.

Justin, though, was not happy to hear the news. "It's just... I've had such horrible luck with love, lately. There's this one woman who I've got my eyes on, but it just wasn't meant to be... And when all else failed, this Kat woman seemed like the answer. But now, I learn it was all just a lie... Man, I guess I'm just not meant to find that special someone."

"Waaah, waaah," Jebidiah thought, listening to Justin's whimpering only as long as it took to get paid. "I'm glad all of my clients aren't this mopey."

It wasn't just Jebidiah that was spending his afternoon in investigation, though: Meredith had a problem -- a serious problem -- and she had no one left to confide in but her sister.

"I don't know what you want me to tell you, Mere," Tana said with a shrug, honestly confused about what her sister was telling her. "I don't know anything about ghosts. Heck, I wouldn't even believe they existed if we hadn't grown up in the old Remington mansion... Short of hiring some sort of Ghostbuster to get rid of her, I'm not sure there's a whole lot you can do."

"You don't understand, Tana," Meredith insisted, the mental strain coming through quite obvious in her voice. "If I'm not already insane from seeing her night after night after night, I'm going to be real soon. I need to get rid of her, but I can't hire a ghost hunter, Jeb would find out. But, there's this I don't understand... she said something about how she didn't want to come here, but that doesn't make sense -- why would she be here if she wasn't actively trying to haunt me, and torture me?!"

"I don't kn-- Oh... Oh no. Wait." A worried look came over Tana's face, and as she looked up at her sister, she bit her lip. "You know that old canister I gave you, before we left Riverview?"

"Yeah, what about it?"

"Did you open it?"

"No, of course not... You told me not to."

"Good. And make sure it stays that way. What's in there is very, very important, but... Chandra may be tied to... I can't really explain... It doesn't even really make sense... But..."

"No. Tana, you don't have to say anymore." Meredith took a deep breath, and hung her head loosely from her neck. To Meredith's chagrin, she suddenly realized that she'd known what was in that can all along, she had only wanted not to know. "... I think I understand."

As Meredith walked home, she kept closing her eyes, deeply drawing in breath to build the courage for what she knew had to be done. Once the backyard came into view, she walked up to her youngest son's greatest project, and looked at it with a weary gaze.

It was time for this to end, for better, or for worse. Even though she wasn't entirely confident she knew what she was doing... It was time to take matters into her own hands.


Unknown July 17, 2010 at 12:36 AM  

Yay! Finally, the plot begins to thicken. I've had to moosh a lot of what happened together in order to not have this drag too slow, but luckily, you're probably not missing out on much. :)

Two things:
I added an 'Archive' page, for.. No real reason. Probably me being anal, or bored, or both. ;) Nothing major, mainly just there for people who are new to the blog and need to catch up. Link is on the Link Bar! Surprisingly. ;)

Second, Oh my gosh, the resolution: http://lh5.ggpht.com/_ulSjHtbEl5c/TD_FVnWfcDI/AAAAAAAAHWI/a-j3z9OnYv4/Screenshot-314.jpg

Di Al Martini July 17, 2010 at 1:01 AM  

Yay! I am so glad for the resolution. And, yes, Justin is so mopey.
Mere's fight with Chandra was hilarious.
Oh, what was the last line meant? Well, can't wait to figure it out on the next update.

Unknown July 17, 2010 at 4:55 AM  

Hehehe. Well, I was mainly gleeing over the resolution of the image, since my new monitor makes all my scaled-down screenshots super smooth, but that image is actually from when Jeb and Mere finally get their "final resolution".. Still a ways down the road yet. ;D But at least they've made progress!

And, speaking of resolution, fixed the wonky pixellation on my header image... And added a background. May change it again later... hmm.

Writing about that fight was funny, especially since Meredith /did/ actually have pancakes. Chandra made them (since she is perpetually starving, as a hunger-death-ghost), but Meredith got to her before she could eat them, let out the can of whoop-@$$, and then ate Chandra's pancakes. How much more victorious can you get than that?

Dee July 17, 2010 at 7:05 AM  

I just love Travis expressions. Especially the one while looking at the pizza. Travis is going to be the fixer upper.
Oooh, what's about to happen? I know something is. Jeb's going to find out about Chandra sooner or later and their newly found peace is going to go up in a puff of smoke.

I love the fight scene.

Unknown July 17, 2010 at 7:48 AM  

Thank you, Dee. :)

Travis definitely turned out pretty cute! Yeah, I would probably call him a fixer-upper in regards to his parents, but... he's going to end up having issues of his own pretty soon.

Hee... Yes, puff of smoke indeed. ;) The Kanes just can't catch a break.

Dee July 17, 2010 at 8:00 AM  

Oh, I can't wait to find out what those "issues" are.

Anonymous,  July 17, 2010 at 9:22 AM  

Is Justin pining over the woman he met in the laundrymat? You better not call him names, Jeb. That man might be wooing (What an awesome word!) your wife if you don't behave.

Ah, to be young and to be able to put away a pizza with no consequences. Travis certainly looks happy. He does have great expressions.

Are all the pictures in the house EA or painted by Meredith. The small one in the laundry room is very lovely.

The mysterious can was mentioned. Yay!! What's in that sucker?!

Unknown July 17, 2010 at 3:07 PM  

They do love their pizza, too, since they all got the 'Pizza Appreciator' trait from Jeb's biological dad. :D

The pictures in the house are quite a mix of Meredith-paintings, EA paintings, and photos, but that one in particular is actually CC. I've never really liked using too much CC, but I have a serious weakness for paintings, kids clothes, pregnancy clothes, and tattoos, because I never felt the game had enough options. As more content is added, though, I'll gradually remove all my CC, like I did with hair.

I really like the one in the laundry room, though. :) Not sure I'll ever get rid of that.

Unknown July 31, 2010 at 6:55 PM  

Wait, what? What's in the can?

I mean, I figured it might be Chandra's ashes, but why would that be important? And why would Tana ask Mere to keep them?

I guess I should keep reading and see if it makes sense...

Unknown July 31, 2010 at 8:00 PM  

Welcome, Rinestone!

Yep! It's revealed later. ;) "Technically" they're ashes in-game, but... Ya know. Creative liberty and all that jazz, haha. :D

Jen August 12, 2010 at 11:20 PM  

Hahaha to Meredith telling Jeb she was making pancakes!

I'm so love the shots you take, especially when there are several photo frames with in that shot of their family. So sweet and homely! ;)

Loved this one but onto the next... :)

Unknown August 13, 2010 at 1:23 AM  

Aww, thanks! I'm glad you notice that, because even though I made the house just to pass my satisfaction, its cool to have someone notice the details I put in.

I spent quite a bit of time on this house agonizing over all the little details, because I wanted my Sims to live in a house that seemed "real". And I just love photos... My house IRL is plastered with photos, too, hehe.

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