First off, thanks everyone for the congratulations! I’m super happy about getting accepted into this graduate school! ^_^ It’s a great school and near where I already live. No moving!
Second, you may have noticed that the menu bar looks a bit different. If not, you can just take my word for it, IT’S DIFFERENT. I made more “About” pages and a quasi-table-of-contents. The posts page is now the first listing in the dropdown of Chronicles. I hope this doesn’t confuse anyone. Let me know what you think!
Third, this may be the longest chapter I’ve ever written. I thought about chopping it in half, but I couldn’t find a nice place to cut it. It seemed that real life was going too well, so Sims life decided to hit the fan. It got frustrating, creepy and panicky one right after the other.
Everything was all so wrong!
Since the twins and Donovan started high school in September, I’d been by the Bunch residence several times. I’d chat with Dr. Bunch a bit, have tea, then head home. Darlene never showed up. Finally, Dr. Bunch told me she’d started dating Hank Goddard. Goddard! The playboy old enough to be her father! The guy that had at least three kids scattered about the valley! One of ‘em my age!
When Dr. Bunch told me, it felt like the ground beneath my feet had vanished. The world stopped. And all my dreams shattered. Even as a teenager, I knew I wanted to be with her, Darlene Bunch, for the rest of my life. She was smart and pretty and feisty and opinionated and kind and shy and sweet and everything all at once! I wanted to marry her, have kids with her, grow old with her. Live my life with her!
I wanted to track Darleen down and ask what was up. I wanted to see her! I wanted to talk to her! I wanted to pick up where we’d left off with our first kiss in the autumn rain outside the movie theatre!
But I’d left her. In an email. Sent at 3 am. And then vanished for four years. And she’d moved on. And that was that.
I’d be lying if I said I never searched for her face at a festival. Or did a double-take every time I caught sight of long blonde hair. But I tried to let it be. I really did. Even though it hurt. Fuck, did it hurt.
I kept visiting Dr. Bunch. It seemed to make her happy. Her husband had passed away recently and four of her six kids had left the nest.
Arlo had moved in with the Funke girl. Lisa was working in the military now. Ethan was living happily married to Holly Alto with four boys and another on the way. Faye and Marc were still at home, only recently graduated from high school, but weren’t often at home. And Darlene was living with Hank Goddard, her boyfriend.
Maybe I would’ve done something about it if the whole world hadn’t come crashing down all at once.
It started with a rainy afternoon. Everyone was at home, piddling about in some fashion or another.
Donovan had taken to canning the fruits of Shaye’s labors.
Lucy was in the studio, painting, as usual. Medea was moping about in her room. She’d been more moody than usual lately, but I hadn’t really had time to think about it.
And Chloe was, where else, downstairs poking about with mechanisms and whathaveyou.
I think Lucky got stuck outside at some point, maybe startled by the thunder. So, as Shaye was mumbling about bumbleleaf in her room, I went out to drag him back inside. Well, I noticed that the light in the garage was on. I thought Medea just hadn’t bothered to shut it off after working on the car. So, I went to shut it off and check that the doors were all sealed from the rain.
Water damage turned out to be the least of my worries.
She was much older than I remembered, and age hadn’t been kind to her.
“Excuse me! What the hell are you doing here?!”
The shock and confusion on her face were quickly replaced with anger.
“Show some respect, boy! But I shouldn’t have expected anything more from you Mayfields!” She spat the word like a bad taste from her mouth.
“I know it was you! You ruined all my hard work! That alien project was mine!” she screeched at me. “And you stole it from me!”
Then she smiled triumphantly. “But I’m here to get it back!” She poked a boney finger at my chest. “You’ll be sorry!”
I took a deep breath. This was bad. We were supposed to be free of her! Think, Thomas! “Actually, Dr. Funke, you should be sorry. This is private property you’re trespassing on. I could have you arrested and charged with attempted theft.”
She took a few steps back. Confusion crossed her pinched face again, but then she glared. “That’s the way you play, huh?!”
“The law is the law,” I replied steadily. “If you leave now, without fuss, I won’t call the police.”
She glared at me again, but stomped outside. I watched her get in her car and drive away before closing down the garage doors.
Chloe was waiting for me at the side door. “I’ve already called the police,” she said. “She’s been here before.”
“What?! When?!” Why hadn’t Chloe told me?!
She bit her lip. “She took a few pictures of the house, then left…” she trailed off and shrugged.
“Why didn’t you call the police?!”
Chloe looked up at me. “I wasn’t sure it was her. And the police dislike false claims.”
I opened my mouth, but a police car pulled up to the house before I could say a word.
We both spoke with the police officers. They questioned us about the events of today and last week. Chloe showed them where she had first seen Funke, snooping about the back deck. I introduced the officers to Donovan and explained the situation. He showed them his certificate of independence, birth certificate and social security card.
After a few hours, and all our siblings had gathered on the front porch to observe, the officers apologized and assured us that they’d handle it and that that would be the end of it.
But it wasn’t.
Two days later, someone broke in.
Dr. Funke wasn’t one to give up. But she couldn’t touch us. Not as long as we responded logically and within the law. Thomas had been verbally abused by her, and I had seen her taking pictures of Donovan cooking, taking out the trash, and living his life, exhibiting textbook examples of stalking.
However, I made a grave error. I assumed we were safe.
I had never installed a security system into the house. It seemed an unnecessary waste of money. Especially as we lived so far away from town, even the mailman rarely saw reason to visit! And, after all, the police were only a phone call away.
Fortunately, I’ve always slept rather lightly, so Lucky’s whimpers of fear woke me up. I opened my bedroom door and he darted in and hid under my bed. At first I thought it was just another autumn rain. The thunder often startled the canine. But then I heard the footsteps.
I know the sound of every one of my siblings’ footfalls, from Lucy’s dainty steps to Donovan’s bubbly bouncing. And this wasn’t any of those.
I peaked around the corner and saw him, most definitely a burglar, shoving our television into a bag!
I crept back, eased open Thomas’s bedroom door and shook him awake.
“Wha—” he yawned and rubbed his eyes. “Chloe? What’s—”
“Shhh!” I hissed, dragging him bodily out of his bed. “There’s a stranger in the living room. I believe it to be a thief and he’s very near!”
We both froze as a soft clinking sound carried into the room. The burglar had moved onto the nectar stache. Which implied him to be approximately 3 meters from our current position.
Thomas, now wide awake, leapt for his phone and began dialing. “Get me the police! Yes? I need to report a robbery. Right now! Yes, he’s right outside the room! The police!”
“Scram dog!” came a deep growl and Lucky shot passed the door, only to come creeping back, whimpering and tail between his legs, but desperately trying to keep the thief from climbing the stairs. Brave dog. I’d have to get him a treat later.
While Thomas struggled to get in contact with the police through the emergency operator, I crept out the door to help Lucky stall the thief.
“I said scram!” and the thief aimed another kick at dear Lucky.
“Excuse me!” I called out. “Would you happen to know the difference between Potassium and Uranium?”
The burglar stared at me. “Whuh?”
I spouted the next thing that came to mind. “Or perhaps the location of where I could obtain a sampling of Acer Pseudoplatanus?”
“Look, lady, I don’t have ti—”
“But it’s really quite fascinating and necessary towards my on-going research into the fragility of the Sunset Mountains ecological system!” I interjected quickly. “The soil composition alone is deteriorating into a mess of magnetite, Plagioclase Feldspar, and—”
“What the fuck is wrong with you?!” the burglar shouted at me. “I’m robbing you!”
“Could I have a blood sample?!” I shrieked.
Just then, the door burst open and a policewoman rushed inside. She tackled the burglar to the ground as he leapt at me.
“Chloe!” Thomas screamed as the two fought. He shoved me around the corner, out of reach, then whirled around. “You guys stay up there!”
Our siblings had all gathered at the top of the stairs. Medea glared down the stairwell as Lucy and Donovan peered over her shoulders. Shaye crouched in front of them.
The policewoman apprehended the aspiring malefactor and escorted him out to her cruiser and waiting partner.
Then she asked Thomas and I a few questions, made sure our belongings were returned, and recommended that we install a burglar alarm.
Then she left, taking the burglar with her.
“First Funke, now robbers?!” Medea stormed as soon as Officer Edmonds had left.
Thomas and I shared a glance. First Funke, then robbers? Was it a coincidence?
Yeah, Sabrina Funke returned to stalk the Mayfields and then they get robbed. I can’t make this shit up.
So, notes on this chapter:
I was so frustrated with Darlene being taken that I didn’t get a picture of the pop-up. I’m hoping THAT relationship doesn’t last long. But on the off-chance it does, I’ve got Thomas signed up for online dating. He’s good friends with the girl with the weird lips and Sandi French, so there’s those possibilities.
Apparently, the game saw fit to make Sabrina Funke a paparazzi after she retired and assigned her to Thomas, who’s a 1-star celebrity (I have NO idea how). She entered our garage to work on the car, and Thomas went out to tell her “Stop Doing That”. I hadn’t even noticed her before then!
Pro Tip: You know how you usually can’t interact with burglars at all? Well, you need a Nerd! They can’t do much, but they CAN challenge the robber to a Trivia Challenge! The robber will stop everything and be challenged. Then the action will be canceled, but you can queue it back up easily, effectively distracting the robber until the cops arrive! 😀 Nerd power FTW!
Also, as you may have seen in my last post, I finally got around to making a family photo for generation 2. You can check the finished version out in the Family Album. I used poses, guys! POSES! I’m a kool kid now! XD I’m still refusing to use them for story-telling, but for family photos it was actually pretty fun! Will definitely continue making them for each generation.
Thanks for reading! ^_^