In the Night

Monday, September 20, 2010

As evening falls about the town of Twinbrook, the innocence of daylight falls with it. The mask we wear in the open is shed, and the things we don't necessarily want others to know become unveiled.

It is in the darkness that the truth takes light, where secrets lie dormant, and true intentions are concealed. What guilty secrets are the inhabitants of this sleepy town keeping from their peers? What plots are brewing behind closed doors?

It's a question that's pondered quite often in this town, where gossips dwell and snoops love to peek through windows... And it's a question that just might finally get some answers.

But, those answers may just be a path to another strange -- and elusive -- mystery.

Amelia Kane always loved to bike in this direction of town. Although she never considered her family "poor", especially not when comparing to her best friend Alesha's household, it always felt as if she was escaping to someplace where money was never a worry, where everyone lived in luxury and peace.

Of course, what Amelia didn't know is that being rich comes with a price of it's own -- and most of them are never, if ever, at peace. But... Well, a girl can dream; of what she'd seen of her Grandmother's home, being rich certainly had it's perks.

But it wasn't her Grandmother's house she was headed to, today. Instead, it was someone entirely new in her life that she was going to visit, and as an excitable young girl, Amelia could barely keep the smile off her face.

"Hi, Mrs. Leman!" she said in a squeaky voice when Carolina Leman answered the door. "Naomi asked me to come over. Is it already if I come in?"

"Ooh, of course, you must be Amelia," Carolina responded, although regarding the little girl suspiciously. "We've been expecting you... Naomi's waiting for you just inside."

Sure enough, Naomi was just inside the door, waiting for Amelia with a small smile on her face. Amelia did a little bounce up and down with joy; Naomi seemed cheerful enough, but Amelia could never tell with her.

"So, whatcha wanna do tonight?" Amelia asked, feeling really chipper about being at her new friend's house for the first time.

"Well, we were just about to eat... Then we can go watch movies in my room or somethin'."

Amelia couldn't help but squeal a little. Her own TV in her room?! How cool was that! "Sounds good to me... I was thinkin' though, do you think we could invite Alesha over too? I think it'd be a lotta fun if she was over with us..."

"Alesha?" Naomi asked, laughing a little. "You mean that chubby girl that can barely afford new shoes and always smells funny?" Naomi continued to laugh. "Why would you want her to come over?"

"Oh, well, I uh--" Amelia stuttered. "I dunno, I mean -- what was I thinking? 'Course I don't want her to come over. It was just... a joke, you know."

Amelia gulped a little back as Naomi went into the other room to grab her food; Amelia followed after, her guilt hanging like a rock in her stomach.

As she sat down and began to stuff her face with salad, Naomi's dad turned to Amelia and watched her, a little amused. "So, Amelia.... Amelia Kane, right?" When she nodded in response -- her mouth clearly full of food -- he continued with, "I know Kane is a fairly common last name, but I was curious... Does your dad happen to be Jebidiah Kane, the private investigator?"

After swallowing her food, Amelia paused for a second, her eyes fixed on her plate, as she was still embarrassed about her suggestion to Naomi.

"Oh, y-yeah," Amelia stuttered out. "That's him. He's a crimefighter... Just like a cop! Except he works whenever he wants to and stuff. You met him?"

"No, no, I haven't," Mr. Leman responded with a rather blank expression. "But I've been meaning to be introduced ever since we've moved into town... I've heard quite a few things about your father. He sounds like someone I would be very interested in meeting."

Amelia gobbled through the rest of her food as fast as possible, as Naomi kept sending her funny looks across the table. "Well, thank you for dinner, Mr. Leman! I really appreciate you guys having me over!" She realized, after she'd spoken, that she'd practically screamed her enthusiasm at him -- it was probably pretty obvious that she was growing more nervous being here by the minute.

After putting her plate away, she gave Mr. Leman one last grin before disappearing upstairs with Naomi -- Thomas merely watching her as she left,  a vagrant smile on his face.

"Man, I can't believe you have your own flatscreen in your bedroom!" Amelia said in awe, giddily bouncing  a bit on the bed as Naomi climbed up to sit next to her.

"Well, my parents give me pretty much anything I want," Naomi said with a shrug. "My dad's a real sucker for us kids, he's really easy to win over."

Amelia smiled weakily in response, her eyes still fixed on the TV. "I guess my dad gives me whatever I want, too... Sometimes..." But, probably not a flatscreen in her room.

Well, the girls did have a fun night, even if Amelia wasn't able to spend the night; they laughed at comedies, almost made it 10 minutes into a thriller, and Amelia found it odd to notice that neither parent bothered them the entire time they were watching movies.

Kinda strange, if you asked her -- she couldn't remember the last time she did anything at home without her mom nervously breaking in to make sure no one had stubbed their toe.

Still, Amelia couldn't help but feel her guilt growing about Alesha; she didn't have to include her best friend in everything, but she had a sinking feeling that Naomi didn't want to include her in anything... And she had just enough foresight to realize that that may not end up well for anybody.

But, at least she didn't have to worry about it for now.

As Amelia came home and tucked herself neatly into bed, her older brother was only getting started on his nighttime activities on the other side of her bedroom window.

Up above, the stars twinkled and danced, and Bradley couldn't help but feel immensly important -- and immensely trivial -- while looking up at them. He spent most nights out here, trying to escape the sour looks from his brother and the sympathetic stares of his parents. Brad didn't mind Amelia, so much, but she was too young to understand, too young to really care...

But, perhaps that's why he actually could stand to be around her: of all the people in his life, she's the only one who remained unaffected by what had happened to Emerald... She was a solid rock, a small piece of what life was like before everything was shattered into pieces.

It was chilly, but he didn't mind. Their house wasn't the greatest for stargazing, either, but he made do with what little he could see; the constellations were nice little logical constructs, nice little distractions from everyday life.

I mean, really; they were all mathmatically swirling bodies, orbits and stardust and back holes and planets and... and...

... and memories.

He couldn't escape her.

Everything he did, everywhere he went, she was there -- it was as comforting as it was painful. His heart throbbed bitterly as he stared into his telescope, staring at a galaxy that Emerald had been able to pinpoint with her naked eye, her finger pointed upwards to plainfully gloat to him that finally, she knew something that he didn't.

Bradley couldn't take it anymore.

Screw the laws of underage driving -- he couldn't stand being in this house anymore.

He quietly escaped to the yard, started the car, and disappeared down the road and out of sight of their house. He knew it wouldn't matter how gently he pressed the gas pedal, the car would still be loud -- but he desperately hoped that his parents wouldn't know he'd escaped until morning...

... because, he knew he wouldn't be back until morning. There was only one place that Brad could sleep tonight... only one place that he could be.

And that, that was by her side.

For a moment, silence permeated the building like a hot stench. Even the crickets outside couldn't penetrate the tensity that was binding everyone in the room, making the hairs stick up at the back of their necks, and their muscles tensed to react to the slightest aggravation.

They were having a terrible disagreement.

"I highly doubt my dad's going to go for this," Shark Racket finally said with an unease voice. "With the way the cops have been on our tail lately, it's just asking for trouble."

"Of course it's asking for trouble!" Sinbad finally exploded. "It's impossible! It's... It's stupid! I'm not putting myself on the line on some false chance that we're actually able to pull this through."

"You're not even going to consider it, Sinbad?" Marta asked in a quiet, seductive tone. "You haven't even heard all the details."

"Goddammit Marta, I don't need to hear the details!" Sinbad yelled, grabbing his head in anger. "Even if we didn't have to worry about the cops being on us constantly lately, we're dealing with the Lemans, here! No one messes with the Lemans! Ever since they arrived in town, they've had a complete monopoly on all the enterprise moving in and out of Twinbrook... Compared to them, we're just buttonless scrubs, Marta."

After a moment, Sinbad finally cooled down, and turned to Marta with a blank look. "So?"

"So," she said with a confident shrug. "We're only ever going to be buttonless scrubs unless we actually take some advice from someone that knows what they're doing."

"Yeah, but how do we know we can trust him?" Sinbad growled, still rubbing the back of his neck ferociously.

"Because," came the voice from the silent man waiting in the corner of the room, a mere observer as he waited for the moment when the other three were finally ready to hear him speak. "I need you -- all of you -- to get what I want."


Unknown September 20, 2010 at 11:27 PM  

Ach! This came out much later than I anticipated. I ended up getting pulled into doing something all night, and wasn't able to finish this until too late. Booo. I guess September is not going to be a very post-heavy month!

Anyways, I ended up cutting back on a little bit of the content of this post just so I could squeeze it out before I fell asleep. You're not missing much -- only thing that happened was Eva came by the house to ask Meredith why Amelia and Alesha weren't hanging out as much, and to tell her that she got a new job working at the school as a teacher. Yay.

PiB - Nicarra September 21, 2010 at 12:57 AM  

Oh my stars and plumbobs. Thomas, sweet flirty Thomas is leader of a group Marta is worried about?

Now that idea is a shock! His spouse is a good choice for it, Carolina has a tendency toward crime everytime I put here in a game.

Amelia is so cute when she's excited but is she going to hurt her best friend for the sake of the new friend. Or is the embarrassment of this first time a bit much. (Thomas is a sucker for his kids, that always rings true)

Poor Brad sneaking out to sleep beside Em the only way he can. :(

Love Marta coming back, with her gang of thieves. And the probably not very mysterious guy who is waiting to talk to them. LOL

Great update, but you knew I'd love it didn't you?

Unknown September 21, 2010 at 1:11 AM  

Hehehe, yes, I had to say I was pretty confident you'd get a kick out if it. ^^

Although, who ever said that it was Thomas that was the leader of said group? :-O Sinbad did just say 'The Lemans'... For all we know, little boy Lamont is the ringleader! *cackles*

Brad sleeping by Emerald was so sweet. Even with my curfew reduction mod, I ended up getting him caught by the cops... So I just sent him back out there, and sent Jeb with him so that I could finish getting screenshots. I did end up keeping him there the whole night. He did not enjoy school the next day. ;D

PiB - Nicarra September 21, 2010 at 1:35 AM  

Thomas did say he'd be very interested in meeting Jeb Kane. So, yeah, I suppose it could be Carolina leading the gang but somehow....

Lamont? I think I'm safe in assuming that the kids would *not* be leading a gang Marta worried about.

I'm not surprised that the cops caught Brad. They seem very keen on curfew, not so keen on actual crime!

Anonymous,  September 21, 2010 at 8:39 AM  

Amelia, Amelia. Caught between a new friend and old. The new friend being a spoiled snob and the old having the unfortunate problem of being poor. Alesha will be okay in the long run but it's going to hurt quite a bit when she finds out. :(

Marta, Marta, Marta. You should listen to Sinbad. Getting mixed up with Jeb is never a good idea. Something always goes kablooey. Stubborn girl never listens to anyone.

Unknown September 21, 2010 at 11:29 AM  

Well, I was incredibly surprised when I discovered that both Carolina *and* Thomas were in the Criminal career. I'm pretty sure Carolina is ahead of him, and, since she's the evil one... I think it's pry safe to say that she's influencing him, and he follows her lead because he loves her oh-so-much.

Except, she's the Town Bike, so... Potential problem there. Haha. ;D

I think Marta's tired of being the underdog, Chrysame. ;) The criminals on the other side of the 'division split' are all much higher in the career track, I can't imagine she's all that happy about it.

Which... brings me to what I probably should have revealed at the beginning of these comments: Twallan's big Kablooie.

I switched to Farah's household for *2 SECONDS*... I come back to Jeb, and he's no longer a PI. He's level freaking *6* in the Criminal career. So not only did it switch his careers, it promoted him higher than most of the current criminals. So... I decided. Well. Why the heck not. If Jeb wants a change in scenery, I'll give him a change in scenery!!

PiB - Nicarra September 21, 2010 at 2:07 PM  

LOL at the big Kablooie. Jeb is just a natural talent in the field. Can't argue with that.

I doubt Thomas cares about her extramarital activities. I hate to think how many times he's been the town casanova in various games.

Bet the Lemans make a damn fine criminal team.

PiB - Nicarra September 21, 2010 at 3:53 PM  

I keep misreading the title of this post as Into the Night

Because of this piece of music

Deema316 September 21, 2010 at 4:21 PM  

Oh my, great as always.
I read part of this before I left this morning but decided to wait until I came home and finished reading befor commenting.
Poor Alesha. I just know Naomi is going to say something to her to hurt her feelings. Such a little snob. Amelia did what most girls her age would have done in the same situation. I'm just glad she has a conscience and that it is bothering her.

I'm getting really worried about Bradley. I see a Mad Scientist in the making here. He's losing it big time.

That's Jeb who stepped out of the corner. I just know it.

Great to see Carolina, even if she is the town bike, and Thomas and Marta. Town bike really doesn't surprise me and it looks like she corrupted Thomas.

Unknown September 21, 2010 at 4:49 PM  

Jeb really does fit with the criminal profession better. It means I can focus on Meredith's career a bit more now, too... Though, it's a tad annoying, because now time doesn't really move as fast, with him awake when everyone else is asleep. I just make him hack for extra money, though.

Also -- great music, PiB. Love that song. :)

Dee -- Naomi sure seems like a snob, doesn't she? I always say this quite a bit in my blog, but, don't always judge a book by it's cover. ^^

Brad sure is going loony, though. You'll see a bit more of that next post, too. The kid's a mess. :( Time is progressing rather slowly in the blog technically, right now, so this really is still just a couple weeks after her death. It'll still take him quite a bit of time to recover.

Carolina, Thomas, and Marta will all make some more appearances over time, I can guarantee. I can't say for certain when and how often yet, though. ;)

Deema316 September 21, 2010 at 5:00 PM  

I know how you feel when all are asleep except one. if it's an adult I too find something for them to do. If it's a toddler or baby in a crib, I speed it up. I wish they would bring back toddlers escaping from their cribs.

Hmmmm, since you said that about Naomi, maybe she just isn't getting enough attention and that's her way of hiding her true feelings?

I do still feel sorry for Bradley, but, I am getting worried about him. Still waiting for him to travel through time. :)

I love your story whether my sim is in it or not.

PiB - Nicarra September 21, 2010 at 6:17 PM  

When they quit a job, it does say they may not be able to join at the same level again. Jeb was at the top of the profession, he took a serious hit against that but story progression seems to have taken into account that he was once level 10.

And Crime suits him far better than justice. :)

I managed to buy a used copy of the Twin Peaks cd - lots of great music on that.

Poor Brad, the kid is just slowly going to bits.

I should hope that Carolina, Thomas and Marta reappear this season. They seem to have made it into the plot!

Anonymous,  September 21, 2010 at 7:26 PM  

Great song, PiB. Thank you for sharing it.

It's difficult to get things done when the sims are on different sleep cycles. But, I agree with PiB. The criminal track suits Jeb.

Simhuggles for Brad.

Di Al Martini September 22, 2010 at 6:29 AM  

Great update, Kaleeko. I'm very enjoying to read this. As always, your writing is excellent.

Having a new friend is wonderful, - The merrier the happier-
but unfortunately they could not get along together.

Alesha might be poor, but she's a kindhearted girl. I'm glad that Amelia felt guilty about it.

Naomi is very pretty. She's so lucky to have so many expensive stuff in her room (even her own Flat screen TV), but we will see about it later. Unfortunately, those things made her a bit snob, sort of.

Ooh, and biggest hug goes to Bradley. He's just getting deeper and deeper, sinking, in the past and sorrow. But, even in the sorrow and regret, someone can make great inventions.

Wonderful screenshots! I love them. I wonder who is the man in the corner of the room. I thought that Jeb had that jacket and ring... probably.

Jen September 23, 2010 at 10:50 PM  

Oh wow! Super chapter Kaleeko!

I have to say this first.. That pic of Brad sleeping on the park bench beside Emerald's plaque is the sweetest and saddest shot. :(
Makes me wonder what he's going taking out the family car and just what is going get up to?

Amelia is acting like a real snob. I think she is going to learn the hard way about what real friendship means.

And what's up with the Lemans? Those last scenes have really sparked my curiosity! ;)

Jen September 23, 2010 at 10:55 PM  

Hmm... I just read some of the comments above and oh goody! Jeb is back in the criminal career. lol
He was a great PI but I just can't imagine him as anything else. :D

Unknown September 24, 2010 at 11:24 AM  

Thanks, Jen!

Amelia's not intentionally acting like a snob, she just has an "aims to please" complex and isn't really sure how to react when New Friend says Old Friend is bad.

Yes, yes, what *is* going on with the Lemans...? ;)

I kinda miss Jeb being in the PI career, because it's nice story fodder and he can work whenever I want him to, but he was made to be a criminal. It just *works* for him.

PiB - Nicarra September 24, 2010 at 2:11 PM  

Waits anxiously for the answer to the Leman question.

Jeb made a cute PI but crime is his passion, so to speak.

I see you've been updating the cast page a bit since I last looked. Marta and Naomi are up.

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