What Lies Hidden

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

While Bradley Kane was still growing in his mother's tummy, she learned a very dangerous secret about her husband: he was a criminal. Her accidental discovery prompted her to do some very devious things... From trying to discover more specifics about his true career, to hiding this secret for him, to uncovering the identity of the woman who tried to frame him

It is then possible to speculate that it may be because of Meredith's inability to keep her nose out of anyone's business that she passed on such untamed curiosity to her unborn son. Bradley, the boy constantly trying to discover more about how the world works, always spying on his brother's activities, always poking the bugs to see how they react...

However, as plausible an explanation as it may seem, it may be entirely irrelevent: for, when you discover your own mother may have had a hand in covering up someone's death... you don't have to be Bradley Kane to be a little curious.

These days, the Kane household had more than it's fair share of tension...

... but, almost all of it was between the two boys. In fact, Brad and Travis were arguing so often, and over some of the most trivial things, that both parents had completely given up trying to stop them. Jebidiah assumed that eventually, they'd wear themselves out... Meredith, a bit more optimistic, liked to imagine that eventually they'd have nothing left to fight about, and would end up leaving each other alone.

Well, at least Meredith was partly accurate; these days, they mostly avoided one another... but she was wrong to assume that the silence meant that their quarrel was near to being over.

It was a rather calm weekend when Bradley finally got the courage to approach his mother. It took a couple of tries for her to finally hear him over the sound of the video games she'd been playing all afternoon.

"Hey, Mom!" Bradley finally called plaintively, exasperation in his voice. "Can I talk to you for a minute?"

Groaning -- assuming that Brad yet again was tattle-tailing on Travis for something ridiculous -- tossed down the controller and let out a rather irritated, "What?"

"It's... it's kinda important. Can we talk in private?"

Even though they already were in private, since no one else was wasting their weekend at home, Meredith obliged when Bradley led her into the bathroom, closing the door quietly behind them.

She looked completely unamused when she said, "So, what's all this about?"

"Mom... What do you know about Chandra Hawkins?"

"Ch-Chandra Hawkins?" Meredith stared at her son in disbelief. "Where did you hear that name?"

"I read it, in a newspaper article," Brad responded slowly, trying not to be phased too much by his mother's reaction. "I was doing some research for a school project, about the town we used to live in when I was really little... And I saw a Missing Person report about her that dated about the same time that we left Riverview."


"And... Well, I was wondering if you knew her?"

"N... No, of course I didn't," Meredith said, backing away and shaking her head. "And if you're smart, you'll never mention that name again in this house. Do you hear me, Bradley?"

"But Mom--"

"N-n-no buts about this, B-Bradley!" As she finished those words, her whole body began to shake visibly, in such a way that Bradley had never seen his mother react before. She had neurotic breakdowns occasionally, sure... But not like this. Never like this.

"Mom, are you alright?" Brad knelt down to look at her face, just enough to see tears welling up in the corners of her eyes. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you, I just... I just thought..."

Before he could finish his sentence, Meredith gently pushed him away, and wiped a tear from the corner of her eye. "Well, you thought wrong. No one in this family knows anything about... Chandra... And it'd be best if you forgot everything you heard about her."

As she turned to leave, she turned her head over her shoulder and muttered, "There's a reason we left Riverview, Bradley... Reasons that are better off left where we came from."

As Bradley watched his mother try to leave the room with poise, a rock began sinking even deeper in his stomach. His mother was a horrible liar, but he got the funny feeling that she wasn't just trying to lie... That underneath all she'd said was a thinly veiled threat.

But, for all the fear he felt at Meredith's shaky words, he was still determined  to discover what had happened to Chandra Hawkins... And he believed he had an idea how.

"Well, isn't that a face I haven't seen in a while," Travis hollered as he saw a platinum blonde set of pigtails approaching him across the beach, where he'd been spending his afternoon lounging in the sun.

A smile was spread widely across his cousin's cheeky face. For a moment, Travis was intensely glad to see June, the girl who'd been his best friend since they were in diapers...

... but the moment she was within slapping range, he suddenly regretted not running when he had the chance.

"What the heck were you thinking?!" June growled as she smacked Travis once upside the head, her smile fading instantly into a poisonous scowl. "Are you really that thick, Travis?!"

"Hey!" Travis retorted at the slap, instantly becoming equally angry. "What the heck are you even talking about?!"

As much as Travis loved his cousin, there was one thing about her he simply couldn't stand -- her insanely violent temper. Where July was a boring, calm little puddle, June was an unpredictable fiery windstorm that was impossible to prepare yourself for. He found it hilarious, usually... But usually, it wasn't directed towards him.

"Your big, fat, thick skull, Travis! Your inability to make any competent decision in your entire life! First you screw over Emerald like a big, fat idiot, then you jump right back in with a girl you dumped for a reason, and all the while not once calling your BEST FRIEND to ask, 'Oh, so hey, do you think this is a good idea, June?' Or even to tell her how you've been?! No, it's not okay, Travis!"

There was a part of Travis that had a hard time not laughing at June's inability to contain herself, but it was overwhelmed by both his irritation at what she said... as well as a bit of shame. "Look, my decisions are mine to make, June," Travis grumbled in response. "I  already have one mother trying to protect me from anything interesting in life... I don't need another."

After a deep sigh, he added, "But, I could've at least not tried to hide from you when I was all basket-casey and stuff. I just didn't want you to see me all mopey and unhappy, alright?"

"I understand, Travis," June said, her smile returning -- and this time, a bit more genuine. "I just don't like it when you shut me out when I want to be there for you. But... so long as you realize it was selfish of you, and you're sorry, then I'll consider forgiving you."

'Uuugh,' Travis thought to himself. 'Not that tone of voice...' Sighing, he groaned, "What do you want..."

"Oh, trust me... This time, it's actually something you'll really enjoy."

After June quietly explained to Travis what was on her mind, the two broke down into dorky giggles, masking their faces to try and hide their devilish delight.

"Yeah, I think you're right, June," Travis said with a smirk on his lips. "I think that's right up my alley."

The crickets seemed to have come alive from nothing, filling the void silence with a steady hum of incomprehensible conversations. Incomprehensible to July and Bradley, anyways.

With all the town's noises left behind and only it's distant light as a reminder of its existence on the horizon, the two teenagers felt at peace out in the wild. Apprehensive on the reasons why they were even there, but otherwise... content. No boyfriends/girlfriends to worry about, parents to avoid, enemies to tolerate... It was as peaceful as it could get, in Twinbrook.

"So what exactly do you expect to happen, Brad?" July's voice was a little shaky, but at least she was much calmer than the last time they'd been here.

"I'm not exactly sure, to be honest. We heard a scream coming from the hill the last time we were here... Maybe there'll be some way to contact whoever's scream that was."

"Do you really think it was Chandra's?"

"I don't know... But my mom was totally spooked when I brought the name up to her. If she really is dead, and she really is buried here..."

There was an uncomfortable silence -- minus the crickets -- for a long while after that, until July finally asked, "So... what was Emerald like? When she was alive, I mean. I never really got to know her."

For a moment, July didn't think he would actually answer, but once he turned his eyes away and gazed into the fire, a change seemed to come over him.

"She was kind. Generous. Believed that everything in life was connected... I know it sounds silly, but she really was one of the best people I'll ever know. And incredibly brave. She never held anything back... You knew she really cared when she'd tell you whatever was on her mind, even if you didn't want to hear it..."

His voice faded away for a moment, but began again after his gaze turned deeper into the flames. "Sometimes, if I listen really hard, I can still hear her nagging me to recycle, or daring me to race her to the beach, or pointing out which constellation she found last night... I know it sounds crazy, but I still think part of her is alive, somewhere."

"Well, it may be possible," July said with a shrug. "Maybe she's living on in your memories of her. They always say that the ones we love never really leave us... That they're always with us, so long as we keep them in our heart."

Brad snorted with sarcastic laughter, before pushing himself up from the ground. "Yeah, I guess. I s'pose it doesn't really matter now, though. She's gone, and that's that."

As July got up to try and stop him from charging off, the same feeling of cold surprise spread over both their veins, freezing them in place.

Deep in the woods, upon the hill they were looking up to, a deep moan seemed to emit and echo across the pond. As it subsided, another chill crossed the cousins' backs, reminding them breathe.

"W-Was that--?"

Before Brad could finish even his short question, the moan began again, this time more earnest, louder, and pained.

"Y-y-yes Brad, I think it was," July stuttered as she bit her fingernails to try and keep her teeth from chattering.

"Did it come from the hill?" Brad asked, his voice cracking. "I-I couldn't tell..."

"I-I think so," July whispered between clenched teeth.

They stood frozen for another second, before Brad finally worked up the courage from deep within him -- remembering what Emerald would have done -- and suddenly hissed: "Let's go!"

Up the hill they ran, their footsteps pressing hard on damp earth that gave little resistance to their steady incline. "Brad, slow down!" July tried to whisper up to him, her breath already panting heavily. "I can't keep up!"

"Just come on!" he threw over his shoulder as they finally rounded to the top of the hill.

When they got there, everything was pitch black. The fire too far away to cast any glow around them, everything felt thick with shadows... Neither of them could see anything within immediate vacinity of the gravestone.

"Braaaaaad, I'm s-scared," July stuttered as she faced her back to him, still trying to huddle near him for protection.

"Sssh! Do you see anything? It's all clear on this side..."

"N-n-no, nothing..."

They turned around to face each other, though their eyes still kept darting over each other's shoulders. "I swear, I thought I heard something," Brad muttered under his breath.

"You weren't imagining things, I know I heard something," July responded, shivering.

But, in their discussion, they missed the sound of black footprints creeping up behind them...

... and the shadowed bodies poised to attack.


Two yells permeated the countryside as both July and Bradley had their wits scared out of them, clutching their beating hearts as if they were going to pop out of their chests.

"Aaaaa ha hahahaaaaa, we so got you!" Travis hollered with laughter as he gave June a thumbs up, signifiying that they'd completed their mission.

"That was amazing! Man, you two are SUCH pansies!" June howled, clutching her sides from laughing so hard.

"Are you retarded?!" Brad said, rounding on Travis. "We're trying to be quiet, here! What the heck did you have to go and do that fo--"

"Whoa, whoa dude, just chiilll, we were just having a little bit of fun..."

"How did you even know we were out here?!" Bradley growled.

"I guess that's my fault," July said unhappily, scowling at her older sister. "I told June where we were going, in case something happened... Clearly she doesn't know what the meaning of trust is, though."

"Oh, please. Just because you have no sense of humor," June said with a roll of her eyes.

Suddenly, they all turned when a noise seemed to erupt from the earth beneath them, making the blood in their feet throb with fear...
... it seemed to come from no where, yet everywhere...
... and even Travis abandoned his shame as they huddled together in fright.

A blood-curdling scream could be heard resounding across the hills only moments later, as a woman appeared before them, stretched, and smiled:
"Oh, please... Humor is totally overrated."


PiB - Nicarra November 11, 2010 at 12:24 AM  

Ah, another update. Travis and Brad still argue when left alone together...so not good.

Meredith is such a bad liar. Not surprising that Brad saw through it. Especially the "No, I don't know anything and you shouldn't mention that name in this house." I mean, honestly if the name means nothing, there is no problem mentioning it...

June slapping Travis was fun. :) He deserves a few slaps, as does Brad.

Interesting end. The kids try to freak each other out but who scared the heck out of all of them...a ghost we've met before?

Unknown November 11, 2010 at 2:41 AM  

Hey PiB -- Btw, welcome back from vacation! :D

Travis and Brad are constantly at it if I leave them alone long enough. Brad engages in conversation with Travis a lot and tries really hard to be nice (because of his Friendly trait), but Travis won't have any of that... And then they start arguing.. And don't stop... I have to break up their fights a lot.

Meredith = worst liar ever. I'm sure being put on the spot and being caught off guard made it worse, but still. Awful liar. She's about as believable as the 5 year old that swears they didn't take the cookie from cookie jar, yet has crumbs all over their face... ;D

The ghost is most certainly Chandra, but I wanted to wait until next post to show her. I actually just noticed that in both posts, she made noise/appeared when the teens were talking about their "lovers"... Which actually makes a lot of sense, considering it was her heartbreak that sort of led to her demise.

/ramble... Kinda sad, how much I missed my Sims. Ha.

mmmcheezy225 November 11, 2010 at 9:42 AM  

And the plot thickens.

I guess the she should have known that burying Chandra wouldn't keep her away, assuming that it is indeed Chandra...I just wonder how Mere will deal. She almost had a panic attack when Brad simply mentioned her name, just imagine what'll happen when she discovers that Chandra is terrorizing her kids!

Di Al Martini November 11, 2010 at 10:25 AM  

Wow, that was suspenseful. Love it. It's quite fun to read about the teenagers prank part and it was sad to read about Brad's feeling for Emerald. He's still in love with her, and I guess he will always be. Poor Meredith. I guess that she's a bit panic on how to keep Brad curiosity off from Chandra's gravestone.

Unknown November 11, 2010 at 12:11 PM  

@ cheezy: Meredith would definitely have a full-out panic attack if she knew what her kids were doing. Good thing that she doesn't... She's too busy sitting at home worrying over what Brad said to notice that her kids aren't even home.

I adore Meredith, but she really leaves much to be desired as a mother. ;)

@ MJ: Brad definitely still has tremendous feelings for Emerald. I doubt he'll ever completely get over her, but, even I don't completely know his future yet.

Meredith has such a hard time dealing with such things. She was pretty sure that Chandra, and everyone who knew about it, was completely gone or staying quiet... She's still pretty shell-shocked. At least, by now, she realizes what a blunder she made in what she said to Brad... Heh.

Deema316 November 11, 2010 at 3:45 PM  

I read this this morning but didn't have time to comment. Awesome as always.
Oh my, what lies Chandra will be telling if she gets the chance. Even dead I fear she will try to get revenge.
Shame on Travis and July. :)
Poor Meredith. The past is catching up with her.

Anonymous,  November 11, 2010 at 6:12 PM  

July is so cute. Especially when she pulls the scaredy cat routine. I think I luvs her.

On the other hand, I like Travis less and less. I'm enjoying this arc but I miss Jeb. JEEEEEBBB!!!

Unknown November 11, 2010 at 6:24 PM  

@Dee: Thanks! And, you can bet your bonnet Chandra will have a lot to say... A lot of very negative things, too. ;)

I feel a bit bad for Meredith, but especially when it comes to your kids, sometimes honesty is the best policy. Especially now that both boys are probably old enough to handle the truth.

@Chrysame: I adore July! She's very sweet... A bit boring in terms of traits, but she and Brad have always been great friends. I definitely think she'll be inheriting the coward trait next, though. ;)

Travis is... hard to like. I'm pretty sure before the end of the season there'll be even more reasons to dislike him, but... He's still Brad's brother, and still somewhat good at heart. Just AWFULLY stupid and selfish.

I'll see if I can squeeze in some Jeb, soon! I just realized that my 'story map' doesn't really put him in the spotlight much until the end, which I must remedy. I'll make sure you get your Jeb-fix! :D

PiB - Nicarra November 11, 2010 at 6:27 PM  

Jebbbb, come out, come out, wherever you are.

damn, I think he hides from me. I have no idea why - just cause he gets to be a fashion model in one blog and slightly dead in another.

BTW - don't know about Meredith as a mom but Jeb is a good dad. I saw him tending a baby of Susie's at the party when she celebrating her marriage to Wyatt (both Wyatt and Jeb were downstairs tending babies when Sam visited.) Later when he married her, he was down with the kids of his own accord - before there was one of his own in the mix.

Unknown November 11, 2010 at 6:30 PM  

Oooh, cute. :D Jeb was always a pretty good dad in my game, as well. Evil doesn't necessarily make bad parents!

I think Meredith's issue is that as a childish Sim, she's more of a 'buddy' to her kids than a 'parent'.

But yes, PiB -- I think that being a fashion model may have made Jeb's Loner trait go wild. ;) He just doesn't like the spotlight! (Still... He makes a wonderfully hilarious Sim to torture with fashion!)

PiB - Nicarra November 11, 2010 at 6:42 PM  

Poor Jeb, I told you he'd get special treatment in my game. Torture by fashion has to be the most innocuous of them. His affair with Thomas the most unexpected. LOL

Of course, lot's of Sims qualify for some version of special treatment including forced marriages, forced babies and the occasional death scene might be required. Ollie and Wyatt have had all of the above.

And of course, the worst of all is poor poor Sammy. He never knows what to expect this time around.

Jen November 19, 2010 at 4:45 AM  

Oh I so loved ending! June and Travis scaring Brad and July, aghahahaha! Too funny and then they get the crap scared out of themselves! lol
Very entertaining.

I think Meredith's mistakes are going to catch up to her very soon. Maybe she should keep an eye on Brad before he finds out too much.

Great update! ;)

Unknown November 19, 2010 at 6:43 AM  

Thanks, Jennifer! :D

Putting together the screenshots for that night was a lot of fun. That whole scene, and with Chandra, was too funny, I'm glad you found them entertaining. :D

I find that neither of the Kane parents spend as much time keeping an eye on their kids as they should. Meredith especially!

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