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Old 5th Feb 2018, 4:18 AM #201
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I would need two big glasses of tequila!!! I love how you put random things like that in your story!!
Old 5th Feb 2018, 6:28 PM #202
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I love seeing y'alls theories and speculation--I've actually gotten some great ideas from them! And it is so fulfilling to read that y'all are invested and interested in the story! I can't thank you enough!

Originally Posted by Emerald1234
the body was carls,and that woman yukianna abbadon just looks naturally evil,is she a vampire? or an advanced circe beaker?

I am not sure if I should confirm or deny that about Carl yet . . . lol

You'll get a hint about Yukionna's demeanor and personality if you google her name!

Originally Posted by Shadow214
Good thing to see Dustin is okay after what happened.

Oh, me too! But I don't think even I am so cruel as to murder another member of the Broke family! lol

Originally Posted by simsample
Yes, she's a bad 'un (Abbadon) alright.

HAHA--I can't imagine I never thought of that! In my mind, it is pronounced, "Abba" like the band, and "don." Accent on first syllable.

Originally Posted by Emerald1234
i feel stupid for not realizing the pun until now

Me too! But again, I suggest you google that word--I was looking for bad names! Also Samael and Asmodeus! That will provide hints about the personalities of this family!

Originally Posted by kanzen
if Dustin and Lainey are going to La Fiesta Tech...

boy oh boy. I wanna see Angela get jealous. Not cos she loves him ofc. Just that she thinks she owns Justin ))

Now that is a really good idea. I had a bit different plan in mind for how to bring them together, but I think yours works better!

Originally Posted by Mom50409
I would need two big glasses of tequila!!! I love how you put random things like that in your story!!

Thanks so much! I try to keep a bit of humor in the story!
Old 8th Feb 2018, 4:32 AM #203
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Great chapter! Dustin is lucky he was rescued off the island by Carla!
Old 14th Feb 2018, 5:29 PM DefaultA Pleasant Story - Chapter Twenty Nine - The Rose Whispers of Passion #204
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A Pleasant Story
Chapter Twenty Nine
The Rose Whispers of Passion

Cyd Roseland came home from his job in the education career and played a game of fetch with his dog, Porthos, but as usual, his mind was on Mary-Sue Pleasant. He'd been enchanted with her since that day he'd met her at the mall, and thought of her often. Since they worked in the same career track he saw her quite a bit, but she never seemed more than simply friendly.

He went inside to make his dinner, and she continued to intrude on his thoughts. Maybe he could just call and ask her out to dinner. The worst she could say was "No."

He thought about it more as he ate his dinner, and finally decided he would take the risk. But not to take her out to dinner--something fun and casual.

He dialed the phone and when she answered asked her if she'd like to go bowling with him.

To his delight and amazement, she said yes!

Cyd changed and gussied up, then picked up Mary-Sue and escorted her to Sugar Cube Bowling lanes downtown. He was nervous, not least because he wasn't sure if Mary-Sue realized this was meant to be a real date, and not just friends hanging out. But she also seemed to be watching him carefully, almost judging him.

They laughed and chatted casually as they played, and Cyd felt a little worried that Mary-Sue only saw him as a bowling partner. He wanted to say something to indicate his interest in her, but he worried about coming off as too eager. Oh well, she seemed to be having fun, anyway.

After they finished their game, Mary-Sue turned to Cyd and said, "So there is something I've been wanting to tell you. I wasn't sure how much you knew about my past, but it was kind of difficult to bring up. It's a little complicated."

Cyd smiled at her encouragingly. "I'm happy to hear anything you'd like to tell me. I want to get to know you."

Mary-Sue said hesitantly, "So you know my husband and I divorced because he was unfaithful."

Cyd nodded.

"What I hadn't told you--and this is why I never invited you home to visit after work--is that my husband got our maid pregnant, and she and her son from my husband now live with me."

Cyd stared at her. "You mean to tell me that you took in your husband's mistress and his and her child?" His voice was a little sharp.

Mary-Sue was immediately defensive. "What was I supposed to do? She was a young kid and pregnant and had nowhere to . . . "

Cyd interrupted her, "Oh, no, I wasn't questioning or judging you! I was just surprised. I think that's a really nice thing of you to do!"

Mary-Sue stepped back and fanned herself a bit. "I'm glad you feel that way. I was really nervous about telling you. I wasn't sure if you'd judge me, or think it was too much drama to get involved with. I'm glad it doesn't bother you."

"Not at all!" Cyd said. "In fact, it makes me like you even more. You did know I like you, right?" He looked at her hopefully as he waited for her reply.

Mary-Sue suddenly felt about 16 years old--an uncertain teenager. She nodded at him shyly and smiled. "Me too," she said.

"Then how about a dance?" Cyd asked her.

"Here? At a bowling alley?" Mary-Sue chuckled.

"What better place," Cyd said. "We can rock to the beat of the falling pins."

Mary-Sue laughed as she moved into his arms. Cyd was happy.

When Cyd got home, Porthos greeted him at the door and sat up as if to say, "So how did it go?"

"Just fine, buddy," Cyd told him as he stroked his head.

"How about we go out for a walk?" Cyd asked him.

Porthos stretched and indicated his approval with a happy bark. "Let's go!" he said, in doggie language.

Over the next few days, Cyd took Mary-Sue out to all the fun places he could think of. They went dancing, and roller skating, and for a walk in the park. Mary-Sue introduced him to Kaylynn and Mitch, and enjoyed watching him interact with the busy toddler. He truly seemed to be a kind man who loved kids.

After their date playing poker, Cyd asked her tentatively if she might like to come back to his place, and Mary-Sue agreed.

As they relaxed on his bed, Mary-Sue said, "There is one thing I haven't told you. You know I have two girls in college, right?"

Cyd agreed, "Yes, Angela and Lilith."

"Right," Mary-Sue said, then continued, "So you know I must be pretty old to have daughters that age and well, I know you are pretty young and . . . "

"That doesn't matter to me," Cyd interrupted, "I don't really think about age like that. I'm more concerned about who a person is on the inside."

"I'm glad to hear that," Mary-Sue said as she snuggled up to him, "But how would you feel about it if I had two daughters in college AND I was younger than you are?"

Cyd laughed and said, "I'm not sure how you'd manage that, but sounds fun!"

Mary-Sue explained to him about the potion that Cassandra had given her and how it had made her much younger than when she started.

Cyd responded, "Well, how about we find out how well it worked? A young body with all that experience sounds . . . intriguing."

Based on his enthusiastic reaction, Mary-Sue figured Cyd thought her young body and old brain worked just fine.

As she left to go home, Mary-Sue reflected that she couldn't have found a better cure to help her get over the many years of heartbreak she'd suffered as Daniel's wife.

When he got home from work the next day, Cyd found his friends Herb and Faith Goodie waiting for him. He'd boarded with them briefly when he'd first moved to Pleasantview and they often dropped by just to chat and catch up. This time though, they seemed concerned about something, so he invited them in to talk.

After they were settled at the table Cyd said, "So what's wrong? You two seem worried."

Faith asked him, "Have you met your new neighbors, Cyd?"

Cyd shook his head. "I thought I noticed a family moving in, but I haven't gone over to meet them yet. I've been busy lately."

Faith continued, "It's a family, but a family of orphans. They are six kids who lost their parents. The two oldest are just teenagers, and they are trying to take care of their younger brothers and sisters all by themselves!"

Herb said, "We were coming over to visit you yesterday and we noticed some of them in the yard, so we introduced ourselves. The house is a mess, the older two have to keep skipping school to take care of the toddlers, and I'm afraid social services may take them all away if they don't get some help."

Cyd said immediately, "Well I want to help. Will you take me over and introduce me?"

Faith said she'd walk him over and Herb said he'd stay behind and play with Porthos. As they walked the few steps over to the house next door, Faith told him, "Their name is Newson. All the kids have names starting with 'G.' The older two want to try and keep their family together, but they are so tired."

As they approached the front door, Cyd commented that it seemed like a really nice house.

Faith explained, "They had an inheritance from their parents, but they spent most of it on the house and beds, so they don't have much left and can't hire a nanny for the younger kids."

Faith rang the bell, and a girl's voice called, "Come in!" and they entered. The large main room seemed to be full of kids, and toys, and laundry, and was messy, but Cyd observed that the kids all seemed happy and clean. Two toddlers and an older boy were playing with toys on the floor, while a teenage girl and her sister were playing chess.

Faith swooped in, calling out greetings, and introduced Cyd to the children. She picked up the little boy, Garrett, and invited Cyd to pick up the other toddler, Georgia. The teenagers Ginger and Gavin came over to meet Cyd, and then he met the middle children, Gabriella and Gallagher.

"I guess your parents really loved names that started with 'G'!" Cyd laughed.

The kids chuckled politely; this was a joke they'd heard before.

Cyd and Faith told the oldest ones that they'd look after the littles so they could get their homework done, so Gavin and Ginger sat down in the mess and got to work. It took them a long time; they hadn't had anyone available to teach them how to study.

When they'd finished, Cyd sat down to play a little chess with Ginger and talk to her about their situation.

"I'd really like to focus on my studies," she told him, "But it's really hard with all the kids to take care of. This house we got was maybe too expensive, but Gavin and I thought a nice safe place to live was important."

Cyd nodded. "And what would you like to do when you grow up? Do you have career plans?"

"I LOVE gaming," Ginger told him, but I am not sure if I'll ever be able to get started. I need to see all the younger kids off to college."

"Maybe we can come up with something to make it easier for you," Cyd told her.

"Let me help you right now," he said. "I think Georgia is ready for the potty!"

Ginger was happy to let Cyd take care of it, and continued practicing her game.

Then he got a bottle for Garrett, and was tickled by how cutely the baby bounced when he saw his dinner coming.

Cyd then put Georgia to bed while Ginger washed up and went to bed herself. Before she climbed in, she thanked Cyd and Faith for helping out.

"It's nice to go to bed without worrying about the little ones for once," she said through a huge yawn.

Cyd looked around the upstairs, and thought there'd be plenty of room for another bed in there. He didn't think he wanted to leave these poor kids alone to struggle.

He went downstairs to propose his idea to Gavin.

"It seems to be really hard for you guys," Cyd said, "And I was thinking I could maybe move in with you for a while until the little ones are older, at least."

Gavin seemed thrilled with the idea. "That would be great! Ginger and I are exhausted half the time, and our grades suck. I'll have to ask her about it, though."

Cyd told him that would be fine, but that he'd plan to stay there for the night at least, and watch the toddlers tomorrow so Ginger and Gavin wouldn't have to skip school.

He and Faith said goodbye, and Cyd told them he'd be back in a little once he had locked up his house.

Back home, he and the Goodies talked about the situation.

Faith said, "I can come over and help with cooking sometimes, and Herb can help with gardening and fixing things. But I think it's wonderful for you to offer to stay with them, Cyd. Herb and I thought about doing that, but keeping up with six kids would be a bit much at our ages."

Cyd started up suddenly. "What about Porthos? I don't think it's a good idea to bring him there--there's too much chaos right now."

Herb spoke immediately, "He can stay with us. He and I are good friends and it will be nice to have a dog around again."

Herb and Faith said goodnight, and Porthos trotted along happily. He liked everybody.

Cyd then picked up the phone to call Mary-Sue and let her know about his new possible living situation.

"I just couldn't leave them all there alone. I hope you understand," he told her.

"Of course," she said. "I know a little about taking care of people in trouble."

Cyd packed a bag and headed next door. He took care of the toddlers during the night so Ginger and Gavin could sleep, and when the middle kids woke up, he helped them with their homework before school.

When Ginger woke, refreshed for the first time in months, she was delighted to agree to the plan to have Cyd stay with them. She and Gavin and the middles headed off to school together the next morning, and Cyd called off from work so he could stay with the toddlers.

He was surprised at how easy he found it to care for the children while cleaning and organizing the house. He called Faith over to direct the new decor they needed, and she and Herb were happy to contribute some furniture.

When Gavin and Ginger got home from school, Cyd ran out excitedly to greet them.

First he showed Gavin the garden plots he'd installed; Ginger had told him that Gavin loved nature and Cyd wanted him to be able to enjoy his hobby.

Then he showed Ginger how Faith had gotten new seating for her chess table, as well as a comfy couch and chairs for a study area. He'd also organized the art supplies near the easel, and the whole area now looked tidy and welcoming.

"And now," Cyd said to them, "Time to learn how to study so your homework won't take so long anymore!"

Gavin went first while Ginger played with her chess set, then after a brief break to potty-train the toddlers, it was her turn.

Gabriella and Gallagher got home then, and both danced and cheered in front of Cyd to show him their A+ report cards.

Cyd cheered for them, then told the older ones that their turn would come soon, with a little hard work!

Faith and Herb came over that evening, and Faith offered to make dinner for the family. Cyd happily accepted, as his cooling skills were not yet beyond much more than mac and cheese.

She asked Cyd how everything was going and he shrugged, "I really can't believe how easy it is. I thought six kids would run me ragged, but they are so smart and so fun--and so helpful, it doesn't really seem like work. Georgia's a bit grumpy, so she's less cooperative with her potty training, but overall everything is fine."

Faith made spaghetti for everyone, and they all sat down at the new dining table to enjoy it together.

Herb told stories of assembling jigsaw puzzles while the children pretended to find it fascinating.

Gabriella finished first and asked to be excused. To Cyd she said, "Maybe we could go outside and you could swing me around? PLEASE?" she said. Cyd was happy to do so. He was so impressed that these kids could be so fun-loving after losing their parents.

The next day, it was time for Georgia and Garrett to have their childhood birthdays. Faith came over, then they waited until all the children were home from school for Gavin to bring Georgia to her cake. Benjamin Spitzig had come home from school with Gabriella, so they had a new friend to enjoy the party with them.

When Georgia had transformed into her childhood self, Cyd asked her what she'd like most for a birthday present.

"I like music, so maybe a piano?" She told him.

Cyd was a little worried about his finances, but figured she'd only have a few more birthdays in her life, and granted her wish. Georgia immediately started banging on the keys. Cyd winced. She'd need to work on her skill a little.

Then it was Garrett's turn, and Ginger brought her little brother to his cake.

When it was his turn to wish for a present, Garrett chose a telescope. Cyd bought the less-expensive model; in addition to the cost, he didn't want to take the risk that any of the kids would go visiting aliens!

Garrett didn't notice; he was thrilled!

When they all sat down together to have some birthday cake, Cyd listened to the kids chattering and laughing happily and thought this was the best thing he'd ever done in his life. Then Gallagher said to Georgia, "When I grow up, I'd like to get married and have kids, but I'd have to be engaged first."

Georgia told him, "You don't have to be engaged first. Cyd has six kids and he's not!" Then she laughed as if it was a joke.

Cyd smiled at her. "Maybe that's something I should change?"

Cyd was able to go back to work the next day as he could send all the children to school together during his work hours. When he got home, he was delighted to have been promoted and did a little celebration dance on the sidewalk.

That evening, Ginger and Gavin offered to watch their siblings so Cyd could have a date with Mary-Sue. He told them his plan, and they wished him luck!

They met at FM, a fun karaoke bar and restaurant, and Cyd greeted her as though he hadn't seen her in years.

When they went to sing together, Mary-Sue had trouble keeping her mind on the notes. Because of her love of music, she could sing very well; Cyd not so much. But it was fun, and he knew he was off-key, and they laughed together at his ineptitude.

Mary-Sue asked him how it was going with the kids, and he filled her in on all the details.

"I feel like this is the best thing I've ever done," he told her. "And it makes me realize I'm definitely a family man."

Mary-Sue took his hands and kissed him. "That's one of the things I like about you," she told him. "But you're also a hunk," she said as she moved closer to his body. "How about we have a little woo-hoo before dinner?"

"I don't think we have time to get home and back before our reservation," Cyd said.

Mary-Sue took his hand and led him to the nearby photo booth. "Oh, I think this will do," she said as she sat on the seat.

Cyd didn't need any more persuading.

They heard some cheering from outside the booth as they were getting busy, but then discovered that they had apparently aroused the attention of the Countess!

Mary-Sue didn't want to get in trouble with THAT one, so she made an effort to charm her a bit so as not to incite the ire of the undead.

The Countess seemed placated, but Cyd was a little concerned, so he said, "Um, we need to get downstairs for our dinner reservation, Mary-Sue."

When they were seated, he said to her, "Well THAT was a surprise. I must admit I wasn't expecting a public romp!"

Mary-Sue pretended to study her menu while chuckling to herself.

"Don't be a square," she told him, and laughed at his shocked expression.

"I didn't think I was a square," he bantered back at her. "I just didn't think YOU were an exhibitionist!"

"But you know what," he continued, "I love that about you. You are fun to be with and you keep me on my toes, and we laugh together, and we both like kids and well," he reached into his pocket and placed a small box on the table in front of her.

"Will you marry me?"

Mary-Sue admired the ring and gushed, "Oh Cyd, of course. I can't think of anything I'd like more. But what about the Newson kids? And Kaylynn and Mitch? Where would we live?"

Cyd reassured her, "We can work it out however you want. We can wait for some of the Newson kids to go off to college, and there'd be room for all of us, or we can live part time wherever. Whatever works for you, and us."

Mary-Sue turned to him and said, "Then yes. Of course. I'd love to marry you."

Cyd stood and led her to the dance floor and they shared a slow dance as fiancés.

"This will be perfect," Mary-Sue told him.

Mary-Sue called a ride to go home then, and Cyd whistled happily to himself as he left to walk home. He passed the matchmaker as he left the club, and said to her, "No thanks! I won't need you!"

When Mary-Sue got home, she immediately told Kaylynn her good news.

"That's so wonderful!" Kaylynn squealed. "He seems really nice!"

"And I want you to know," Mary-Sue said, "That we both want to organize the living arrangements slowly, and you won't have to . . . "

She stopped suddenly, and gulped.

Kaylynn looked at her in concern, "Are you okay?"

Mary-Sue suddenly covered her mouth and ran for the toilet. She was in such a rush she couldn't even wait for the door to close before she threw up.

Mary-Sue flushed the toilet and wiped her face as she stood up. She stepped out of the bathroom and looked at Kaylynn.

"I know what that means,!" Kaylynn said. "Congratulations!"

Old 14th Feb 2018, 9:50 PM #205
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wiggle with joy..sure glad the story goes on!

Old 14th Feb 2018, 10:54 PM #206
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Mary Sue and Cyd. Hmmmm.... interesting combination. If the Newsons get involved in the college shenanigans that will be fun too.
Old 15th Feb 2018, 1:33 PM #207

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yay another baby! cyd and mary-sue seem like a great couple;but will tragedy happen? will the abbadons ruin this family too?

I May Be Life Dumb But I'm Sim Smart(mostly).
cats are better than humans and shall takeover earth in a couple of centuries after they evolve.
Old 16th Feb 2018, 3:18 PM #208
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PS: many sims have been injured by doors. In my hood it is now against city code to install a toilet against a wall that JOINS the wall the door is on.. Looking at the unfortunate picture, the toilet at fault can be corrected by just turning it so it is ON the same wall as the door.

Old 17th Feb 2018, 3:52 PM DefaultA Pleasant Story - Chapter Thirty - Expensive Peace #209
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A Pleasant Story
Chapter Thirty
Expensive Peace

The Goth household was holding a vigil. Dina had not been returned. Cassandra called Nina, who came right over to sit with them. They felt helpless and angry. It was almost worse than a death. When someone dies, there are procedures to follow and arrangements to make. An alien abduction led to no such closure. It was just a lot of waiting. Mortimer moved between anger and sadness and despair.

The doorbell rang at 6:30 that evening and Alexander went to answer it.

He returned to the living room accompanied by Stella Terrano, who said, "Salutations to all occupants of the dwelling of Mortimer Goth. My designation is Stella Terrano and I am gratified to be summoned for the consumption of sustenance."

Mortimer jumped up to greet her. "I am so sorry, Stella; I completely forgot you were coming. We've had a bit of an emergency here. My wife . . . my Dina . . . "

Mortimer sat down heavily. He couldn't continue.

Cassandra stood and introduced herself to Stella, then explained, "Stella, my stepmother was using the telescope last night and was abducted by . . . well . . . aliens. She hasn't come back. I'm sorry we all forgot you were coming, but we have been so worried about her."

Stella stood silent for a moment, as though processing the information.

"Theft of human Dina occurred in the previous evening?" Stella queried. Cassandra nodded.

Stella continued, "Most regrettable situation has transpired. I offer reparations by removal of self from dwelling."

Stella moved as though to leave, but Cassandra interrupted her. "Oh no, won't you please sit with us? There's nothing we can do but wait."

Stella sat on the couch next to Mortimer and looked pleasantly around at the others, then spoke.

"Confusion occurs with me. Why is despondency the prevailing affectation? Alien invitations are temporary occurrences, are they not?"

Mortimer looked at her sadly. "Not in this house, it appears. This is our second abduction. The other was many years ago. My wife Bella . . . "

Cassandra took over speaking. "My mother was abducted many years ago, and never returned. And now Dina is gone also. We don't know why they haven't been returned."

"Bewilderment is essential impression. My participation is that seizing is transitory. Permanence indicates unusual glitch." Stella paused again, pondering, then continued. "Similarities between the particular theft victims would indicate solution. Were affinities shared between Dina and Bella?"

Everyone spoke at once, saying things like "they weren't at all alike except they were both kind" and "They were very different," and then Alexander's voice cut through and said loudly, "My mother was nothing like HER!"

Mortimer didn't seem to notice, but Cassandra looked at him in surprise. She'd thought Alexander liked Dina. Maybe he was just sad about all the trauma he'd experienced.

Stella stood and said, "Departure is required. Investigation of accomplices must commence. A narrative will be delivered upon completion of interrogation."

Mortimer said, "Let me walk you to the door. I'm sorry our dinner didn't work out. Maybe another time."

Stella turned to him brightly and said "Agreeable conviviality at a forthcoming time would be enjoyable. Being in Mortimer's presence is gratifying. Good night."

Mortimer waved goodbye as she left, then returned to the living room.

The others were paying close attention as Nina said, "Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounded like Stella intends to talk to the aliens who abducted my sister. Is that what you guys heard her say?"

They all nodded slowly.

The next evening, Cassandra accepted an invitation to go out to dinner with Darren. She didn't want to leave her father alone, but he urged her to go. "I'll just do some reading and painting. It's okay. I want you to go. Take the car."

He tossed her the keys to Dina's sports car, and pushed her out the door. "Have fun," he said.

Cassandra picked up Darren and they drove to Londoste downtown. When they arrived, Cassandra took a few minutes to tell Darren about all the recent events, including what they thought Stella was going to try.

"So you think she's going to visit the aliens who took Dina?" he clarified.

Cassandra shrugged. "I'm not positive, but that's what it sounded like."

"Wow," Darren said, as they went in to get seated. "I guess she'd know how to find them, if anyone would. But I just thought of something . . . "

Darren stopped speaking as the server approached and they gave their orders.

As she left, Cassandra asked Darren, "What was it you were going to say about Stella?"

"Oh!" said Darren. "We don't know what happens when someone is abducted, right? They are usually gone for a few hours and men sometimes come back pregnant, but the abductees have no memory of what happened."

Cassandra nodded. "That's what I've heard."

Darren continued, "My son's old girlfriend, Lilith, told him about her experience. She remembered being taken away, and remembered returning, but didn't have any recollection of what had occurred while she was gone, or how long she was gone. But your Mom was . . . "

Darren stopped at the look of sadness on Cassandra's face and stroked her hand. "I'm sorry, we don't have to talk about your Mom."

Cassandra smiled at him. "It's okay. It just makes me sad to think about her."

Darren said, "My idea is . . . as far as we know, Dina and you Mom are the only two who haven't been returned right away. Why might that be? What do they have in common?"

Cassandra shook her head, "I don't know. Stella asked the same thing yesterday. They were very different people."

Darren went on, "I'm not sure what it could mean, but if we can find out why those two weren't returned, maybe we could figure out a way to get them back."

Cassandra look startled. "BOTH of them? Including my Mom? I can't imagine . . . I don't know what that would do to my Dad."

"I'm just babbling," Darren said. "I don't know if it's possible to get them back. I hope Stella will bring you some good news."

They finished their meals and paid for them, and Darren took her in his arms and kissed her.

"I know you don't want to be away from your Dad too long, but I wish you would come back to my place," he said to her.

Cassandra looked at him and considered, but then shook her head. "Some other time," she told him. "I want to, but with my Dad . . . "

"I understand," Darren said.

Cassandra drove Darren home, and they exchanged a fond farewell at Darren's house. Their goodbye was a bit wistful on his part, as he'd been hoping his relationship with Cassandra could move to the next level, but he'd take what he could get. He was happy that she seemed to trust him and depend on his support.

Cassandra continued driving and suddenly pulled over as she noticed Alexander walking down the street. She pulled over and directed him to get in.

"Where are you going?" she asked him.

Alexander shrugged. "I dunno. Just walking. Dad's driving me nuts. I just wanted to get out of there."

"What do you mean?" Cassandra asked, "What is he doing?"

"Talking crazy. He's babbling about Dina and Mom and aliens. I just got tired of it."

Cassandra said, "I'd better get home and check on him. Do you want to come with me?"

"Nah," Alexander said as he climbed out of the car. "I think I'll walk over to Dirk's and hang out for a while."

"All right," Cassandra said, "But don't be out too late, okay?"

"Yeah," Alexander said as he walked away slowly.

Cassandra wanted to talk to her brother more, but she was worried about her Dad and didn't want him to be alone if he was upset.

As she pulled into the driveway and got out, she saw her Dad come running out of the house, yelling.

"What are you doing with her car?" he said angrily, "This is Dina's car and . . . "

Cassandra began to interrupt to remind him he'd told her to take it, but then he continued, "I don't think you should be driving it, Bella!"

Cassandra looked at him in horror and said, "Dad, it's me, Cassandra. Bella's gone and . . . "

"None of your excuses!" Mortimer shouted. "You shouldn't be driving Dina's car!"

"Dad," Cassandra said gently, "It's me. I'm Cassandra. Dina and Bella are gone."

Mortimer suddenly started and opened his eyes wide. Then he looked at Cassandra and actually saw her for herself.

"Oh, I'm so sorry honey. I guess I was just upset."

"It's okay Dad," she said as she gave him a hug. "It will be okay. Why don't you go up to bed now? It's late."

Mortimer nodded and moved into the house and up the stairs. Cassandra sat down heavily in a living room chair.

Mortimer began to go into his bedroom, but then turned and continued up the stairs to the roof. He looked through the lens of the telescope hopefully, and began to quietly call out, "Bella? Dina? Are you out there?"

Cassandra waited downstairs until Alexander came home and tried to talk with him, but he said he was tired and just wanted to go to bed. She kissed him goodnight and headed up the stairs to check on her father. When she found his bedroom empty, she continued up to the roof, where she figured he'd be.

He turned away from the telescope as she approached and looked off into the distance.

"I was just hoping," he said. "Maybe I'd see them."

"I know, Dad, it's okay. Come down to bed now." Cassandra took his arm and guided him down to his bedroom. He seemed confused, but followed her directions and climbed into bed.

Cassandra went downstairs to make a call.

"Information? I'd like the number for a therapist."

The next morning, Cassandra drove Mortimer to the therapist's office and sat in the waiting room while he went in.

Mortimer entered the office when his name was called.

A red-headed woman with pointy ears said, "Mr. Goth? I'm Doctor Abbadon. Lamashtu Abbadon. Would you like to have a seat?"

Mortimer sat on the comfortable lounging chair and Dr. Abbadon sat next to him.

"So what should I say?" he asked.

"You say whatever you want. Or nothing," she replied. "This isn't like a regular doctor's office where you are being examined. I will tell you that your daughter was concerned that you've experienced some recent trauma, so if you'd like to talk about that, that's what I'm here for."

Mortimer liked her; her voice was calm and soothing.

He said, "I've lost two wives to alien abduction. I don't know where they are--they could be living on alien planets somewhere."

"How does that make you feel?" Dr. Abbadon asked. "That your wives were abducted by aliens?"

"Well, like crap, obviously," Mortimer replied. "I missed my first wife Bella, for years, and it took me a long time to love again. Then I loved my second wife Dina just as much, and right after we got married, she was taken."

"And what do you think about that?" Dr. Abbadon asked.

Mortimer looked at her. Was she kidding?

"I think it's unfair, of course," Mortimer told her.

"It does seem so," she replied. "Tell me about your second wife. What was she like?"

Mortimer sighed as he thought of her. "Dina was very beautiful. I mean, movie-star beautiful. Everyone thought so. I couldn't believe she was even interested in me. At first I just thought she was after my money, but after I got to know her I realized that wasn't true. She even signed a pre-nuptial agreement so that I would know she didn't care about my money."

"To be clear that I understand whether or not your beliefs were realistic or fantasy, how many simoleons did you have that you'd believe Dina was a gold-digger?" Lamashtu asked.

"My family is very old and established; I had over 500,000 simoleons. But Dina didn't want any of it. She didn't even ask me to buy her things."

"How very interesting," Dr. Abbadon said as she stood and moved behind Mortimer. "Why don't you tell me more about her. I just need to stretch a little."

As Mortimer began to speak about Dina and his love for her, Dr. Abbadon removed a voodoo doll from her inventory behind Mortimer's back and began to cast a spell.

Mortimer felt a slight tingle as the spell took effect, but not enough to feel alarmed.

She sat back down and said to Mortimer, "Now why don't you tell me about all the things you'd like to buy? If you simply think of them, they will appear. Then you could pick them up and have them with you. I think you would like to buy many expensive things."

Mortimer answered in a wooden, almost robotic, voice. "Yes. I would like to buy things. I will buy many expensive things. It would be good to have many expensive things."

Mortimer then began to list the most expensive items he could think of from the Pleasantview shops, and they began to appear in Dr. Abbadon's office. Periodically he stopped listing things, and she would remind him to put them in his inventory, then encouraged him to continue buying.

He bought dozens of very expensive things until finally he heard the "ding" that meant he did not have any simoleons left to purchase more.

"Well then," said Dr. Abbadon. "That's some good work there, Mr. Goth! I think now you should stand and put all those items into a gift box for me."

"Yes," said Mortimer, in that same wooden voice, "I think I should stand and put those things into a gift box for you."

"Very good, Mr., Goth," she said, as Mortimer handed her a collection worth more than 500,000 simoleons. "Very good indeed. I think now you will forget that we've had this discussion, you will feel refreshed and much more at peace."

"Yes," he said, "I feel at peace."

"You would like to go home now and be at peace."

Yes," he repeated, "I am at peace."

Lamashtu waved at Mortimer as he exited the office, then dialed her phone.

"Hey," she said, when it was answered, "You'll never believe what I got."

Back at home, Cassandra asked her father how the therapy session had gone.

"It was good," Mortimer said, "I feel at peace."

Last edited by grumpy_otter : 17th Feb 2018 at 4:06 PM.
Old 17th Feb 2018, 4:26 PM #210

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NOOOO MORTIMER WHY!!! of course it was another abbadon...someone ought to execute them all.

stella's getting better at her english,is she mortimers next wife?

I May Be Life Dumb But I'm Sim Smart(mostly).
cats are better than humans and shall takeover earth in a couple of centuries after they evolve.
Old 18th Feb 2018, 4:04 AM #211
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and they're back

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Old 18th Feb 2018, 3:48 PM #212

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Grumpy_Otter, I have to ask, have you been taking inspiration from Star Trek: Voyager's Seven of Nine for Stella's interesting sentence structure? I can almost hear Seven saying the exact same things!

And as for the "therapist", I howled when I saw the name! Definitely "A Bad 'Un", however you wish to pronounce it
Keep it up!

No need to use my full name, "Selly" will do just fine.

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Old 21st Feb 2018, 1:44 PM #213
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Originally Posted by Selly_2009
Grumpy_Otter, I have to ask, have you been taking inspiration from Star Trek: Voyager's Seven of Nine for Stella's interesting sentence structure? I can almost hear Seven saying the exact same things!

And as for the "therapist", I howled when I saw the name! Definitely "A Bad 'Un", however you wish to pronounce it
Keep it up!

What a great idea! I am a huge Voyager fan, but I wasn't consciously aware of channeling Seven. I started with a Yoda-like idea, then used a thesaurus to find alternate words for common things. But I love that I may have been influenced by my Borg sister.

And thanks for the nice comments. :-)
Old 21st Feb 2018, 7:29 PM #214
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Talented, you are. Also tricksy

Old 21st Feb 2018, 8:38 PM #215
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I'm still loving this, @grumpy_otter !
Old 22nd Feb 2018, 2:04 AM #216
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Oooo, the twists and turns!!!
Old 27th Feb 2018, 3:22 PM #217
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Just wanted to say hi and sorry that my pace of posting has slowed--much like Carla and Kaylie experienced, my family suddenly and unexpectedly expanded and five new people were added to my home. So necessarily, my Sims playing has had to take a back seat to caring for all the new arrivals. But I am still working on it--it will just move more slowly for a while.

Thank you all for all the supportive comments--this has been a super-fun journey!
Old 20th Mar 2018, 2:02 PM DefaultA Pleasant Story - Chapter Thirty One - Investigating Cows #218
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A Pleasant Story
Chapter Thirty One
Investigating Cows

Carla returned home from a walk to find Kaylie and a stranger sitting at the kitchen table, surrounded by tools. And a cow.

Kaylie looked up brightly and said, "Carla, this is my friend, Madeline Starchaser. We've done some work together and she just came by to . . . visit."

After they greeted each other, Kaylie said, "Madeline is an expert on . . . trees. She has some ideas for the yard. Why. Don't. We. Go. Outside. And. Talk. About. It."

Carla understood her immediately and said, "Oh. Yes. That is. A good idea."

When they were gathered in the yard, Madeline immediately began explaining to Carla what she'd learned. "I took the cow apart and was able to trace the tracking signal. There are two locations with receptors--a house on the outside of town, and the bank building. The cow has no receptors itself, so it is simply transmitting audio. But what it means is that somebody at the bank and that house can listen to everything going on in any place that has a cow. That is, assuming every cow is the same."

Carla thanked her for the work she'd done, then asked, "Is there any way we can identify where the cows are?"

Madeline shook her head. "Unless I can get access to the receptors, I can't trace where all the signals are coming from. So the only way to find the cows is . . . find the cows."

"That means a house-to-house search," Carla said. "I'm not working tomorrow, so I guess I know what I'll be doing while the boys are at school."

Madeline told her to look for a small panel where the cow's udder would be, that would indicate it was an electronic device and not just a sculpture.

"Speaking of the boys," Kaylie said, "It's time for Benjamin's birthday cake! Let's go back inside."

"Just watch what you say," Madeline cautioned. "You don't want to give whoever is listening any private information."

They went inside and called everyone to gather around and cheer Benjamin on to his teenage self.

As everyone watched, Benjamin blew out his candles and twirled into a teenager. He chose popularity as his aspiration, since that was what inspired him more than anything. He shrugged at the clothes he was given, though.

"Moms!" he laughed as he admired his new teenage muscles. "Can I have some money to go to the mall with? I have GOT to get some better clothes!"

Kaylie told him, "Sure! You choose something that makes you happy. You can go tomorrow after school."

Dustin spoke up then, after congratulating Benjamin. "Can I call Lainey and invite her for a visit? She said she'd see if her parents would let her come."

Kaylie and Carla glanced at each other, then both nodded. "That's fine, Dustin, " Kaylie said. "We'll find some space for her. If her parents are okay with . . . "

But Dustin wasn't listening anymore--he had run to the phone as soon as he heard "fine" and was already excitedly telling Lainey that it was okay for her to come.

He was disappointed however. Lainey was saying, "I'm so sorry Dustin, but my parents said I am too young to go for a three-day visit. But listen, I got accepted to college and I am going to go today. If you can also go soon, we can meet there."

"Oh gosh," Dustin said, "that would be great! Académie Le Tour, right?"

Lainey replied, "No, I was not accepted there. I got in to Sim State University. They are good also."

"Well I can go there, too!" Dustin exclaimed. He was privately a little relieved not to go to Académie Le Tour, since he knew that was where Angela had gone. He didn't really want to risk running into her.

"Well, I will leave now, and hope to see you soon," she said, and hung up.

Dustin was thinking quickly. Would Kaylie and Carla let him go to college right now?

He began explaining his plan to them.

"So Lainey is going to college right now and her parents won't let her visit and I have the Young Entrepreneur's Scholarship and the Orphan Assistance so I'll have enough money and Sim State is a really good school and . . . "

Carla interrupted him, "It's not the money, Dustin. It's just that we weren't expecting it so soon."

Kaylie added, "But if that is what you want, I don't think it's a bad idea. We can help you pack and . . . "

Dustin grabbed her and hugged her and said, "Thank you! Thank you!"

He ran to his room and packed his bed and his picture of his mom, then ran back to the phone to call the college. He got his expected scholarships, then called the van to pick him up.

He hugged all his brothers, then they all gathered to see him off.

To Beau he said, "I hope you choose Sim State, too! I'll save you space in my dorm!"

As the van pulled away, Beau followed Dustin outside alone and waved sadly. He felt a little lost without his big brother. He wiped his eyes and went inside, determined to be a good big brother to Benjamin and Tom, just like Dustin had been to him.

The next day, Carla began her cow search at the Traveller's home. In addition to looking for the transmitter, she wanted to ask about the necklace Dustin had gotten from them. Dustin had told her that he hadn't found it in the jewelry display at Twikkii Island where they said they had gotten it.

Trent came out and greeted her and asked about how all the boys were doing, and she gave him the news about Dustin going off to college, then asked about the necklace.

"It wasn't on Twikkii Island?" he pondered. "Well, my family and I have traveled all over, so it is possible we got that one at Takemizu Village or Three lakes. I thought I remembered getting it on the island, but I could be wrong."

Carla thanked him for the information, then continued, "I was wondering if I could take a look around your house. We've been worried about possible . . . " she suddenly paused. She hadn't come up with a cover story for why she wanted to search peoples' houses, and she didn't want anyone to know about the cows yet, in case they'd say something that would tip off the listeners.

She thought quickly, and went on, "We've been worried about broken water pipes because of the danger of water build-up and . . . toxic mold," she finished lamely.

Trent didn't seem to find her story odd though, and invited her in.

Carla looked around carefully as she walked in, but didn't spot a cow. Trent called her into the kitchen to show her the sink.

As she entered the kitchen, she saw the cow immediately, sitting innocently on the counter. Her work in this house was done, but Trent, trying to be helpful, then showed her around to every bathroom in the house, helping her search for "toxic mold."

"I need to come up with a better cover story," Carla said to herself as she left, "or I am going to become intimately familiar with the plumbing in every home in Pleasantview!"

At the next home she visited, Carla was better prepared, and simply told Tara Kat that she worked for the police force and was trying to meet everyone in the neighborhood to become familiar with their homes and locations in case of burglaries.

Tara invited her right in and was happy to meet her and showed her around her home.

Carla spotted the cow right away, but took a little time to meet Tara's housemates, three kitties.

First there was Mickey.

Then she met Faline.

Finally she met Samantha, and commented to Tara that her kitties were certainly strikingly colored!

Tara laughed. "They've all become tops in their professions, and that made it possible to give them interesting coats. Samantha is in show business so she got stars, but I gave the other two colors also so they wouldn't be jealous."

Carla thanked her for her time, then headed for the Kim household. Robert invited her in and introduced her to their dog Gabby, their cat Cheech, and then said, "And this is our newest addition, our daughter, Little."

Carla laughed and said, "Little Kim?"

Robert nodded seriously. "I am not sure why everyone seems to find her name amusing. My wife Cynthia is working, but she'd be happy to meet you some other time."

Carla wandered casually through the house and found a cow in the kitchen, where she also met Justin Kim, Robert and Cynthia's son.

"Hey, it's nice to meet you!" she said. "Can I ask you something? Your Dad looks really familiar but I didn't want to mention it."

"Yeah," Justin said. "He and Mom were in a TV show about space. She played the captain of a starship that was lost and he played the leader of a rebellion that got lost too. They meet up and he becomes her first officer."

"Oh yeah," Carla said, "I remember that! I was always hoping those two would hook up on the show!"

"I think everyone did," Justin explained. "But the producers didn't pay much attention to what the fans wanted."

"So how did they end up in Pleasantview?" Carla asked him.

"They did the show for a while after I was born, but decided it was too hard to have a family and be famous. So they retired and we moved here. They've got normal careers now."

Little came up to Carla as she was getting ready to leave and asked for some attention. Carla obliged and snuggled the small girl. It made her feel a little wistful--maybe she and Kaylie could have a girl one day. Once things calmed down!

Carla's next stop was the police station. She already knew there was a cow there, but she hadn't been able to reach Carl since returning from Twikkii Island with Dustin, and she'd been worried a little based on Dustin's description of the body he'd found.

She walked into the empty lobby and confirmed that the cow had a panel underneath. It was definitely a listening device.

A little nervously, she called out for Carl, who was supposed to be there based on the last schedule she'd seen. But she was nervous--what if he didn't answer?

She breathed a sigh of relief as Carl came into the lobby from the hallway.

"Hello sister!" He said in his strange and oddly formal voice. "It is good to see you! But what are you doing here? You are not working here today, are you?"

Carla hesitated before she replied. She knew the cow was listening, but she had to find out if Carl was drugged, or being controlled somehow. She didn't know what to say. She paced a little as she thought, and suddenly got an idea. When they were kids, they'd had a cat named "Hat and Scarf," a name Carl had come up with as a joke because "Mittens" was such a common name for cats.

She said to him, "I was just thinking about that cat we used to have, remember? Her name was Snowball, right? She was funny!"

Carl looked at her for a moment, then replied, "Oh yes! I remember Snowball. She was a great cat."

Carla's heart dropped into her stomach. She didn't know what it was yet, but she'd confirmed that something was very wrong with Carl.

Carl continued, "I have a break now. Would you like to take a walk with me?"

As much as she'd like to spend time with her brother and find out what was wrong with him, Carla had too many houses left to visit. She shook her head and said, "Not today, Carl. I've got some errands to run."

He stepped toward her and took her arm, leading her outside.

"I insist," he said. "We have so much to catch up on."

Carla resisted a little, but he was stronger and led her out into the courtyard. He pulled her to a spot far from the door to the police station, then released her arm and leaned close to her.

"All right," he whispered in his normal voice, "What do you know?"

Carla was startled. "Carl! Are you okay? What's going on? I thought you were, well . . . "

"Do you think 'Hat and Scarf' is a name I wouldn't remember?" he said. "Now again, tell me what you know."

"I know we had to come out here because the cow is listening," she said.

Carl nodded. "That's why I played along with 'Snowball.' We don't want to tip them off that we know anything. So far I've got them fooled that I'm working for them. I've been acting dim-witted to throw them off."

"Well you did it well. I thought you'd turned into an idiot or they were drugging you or something," Carla said.

"I need to get back inside so they don't get suspicious," Carl said, "So tell me quickly what you know."

Carla explained to him what she'd been doing, about Dustin's work and what they'd found on Twikkii Island. When she mentioned the body, Carl nodded.

"That's Seth Abbadon. He did something to anger Yukionna and she had him 'taken care of.' She runs the whole family in their various enterprises--all illegal. They moved into Pleasantview about a year ago, and they've been slowly taking over. "

Carla interrupted to ask him for more details but he said, "Later--let's meet up somewhere safe. You keep identifying the houses with cows and I'll call you when I get off work."

Carla gave him a hug of relief and left to continue her search. She was so glad that Carl was okay, but she was also worried that he was undercover with such a family. Playing at double agent was a dangerous game.

She continued on her cow search and next visited the Ottomas home. She met Peter outside and gave him her story and he was friendly and welcoming.

As he led her inside, she scanned for the cow and spotted one over the mantel of the fireplace and one in the kitchen. She could have made an excuse and left quickly, but Peter was busy introducing her to his family.

"These are the twins, Sandy and Billy," he said, as he gestured toward two children standing near the door.

Carla jumped slightly in surprise. They were a pair of . . . interesting-looking children.

She recovered and said, "It's nice to meet you!"

The children stared at her blankly.

Carla was saved from trying to make conversation by Peter calling her over to a piano where a teenage girl was playing.

"This is my daughter Sharla," he said. Sharla nodded at Carla briefly, but continued on with her playing.

Peter then waved toward a chess board and said, "And that's Tommy. He just had his childhood birthday a few days ago."

Samantha Ottomas then came over and introduced herself, and Carla noticed she was pregnant.

"Wow," she said, "Four kids and another on the way! You have a full house here!"

Samantha laughed. "You don't know the half of it! Our son David just went to college at Sim State and Peter's mother lives with us, too."

Carla said, "My Dustin just left for Sim State last night! Maybe he'll meet David there!"

"I'm sorry you can't meet my mother," Peter said, "but she has a new boyfriend and has been spending a lot of time out of the house. I hope she'll spend more time home once the new baby comes--we could use some help then! But she might be having too much fun."

Dora was.

Carla wandered over to the fireplace so she could confirm that the cow had the transmitter panel. They'd all had it so far, and this one was no exception. She wanted to know how all these cows had made their way into peoples' homes, but didn't want to ask where the listeners might hear. She didn't want anyone getting suspicious about her motives.

She stopped in shock at a sudden thought. If they were listening, they'd heard her cover stories, and knew that she'd first said "toxic mold" and had changed her story later. "Dammit," she thought to herself. "That was careless. Well, I can't do anything about it now. Maybe they don't listen to everything."

Carla said goodbye to the many members of the Ottomas family and headed to Nina Caliente's. Kaylie had given her some information ahead of time since Nina had told her about doing deliveries for the Abbadon family, so Carla asked her about that while they spoke outside.

"I did one delivery for them and they paid me, but I quit right after that. Brandi's death seemed too coincidental to me since Dustin had also been doing deliveries. Speaking of that, have they found Brandi's killer yet?"

Carla shook her head. "Nothing yet. The investigators are working on it, but keep hitting dead ends. It is almost like the killer disappeared."

Nina asked Carla inside for a drink, and Carla accepted simply to confirm the presence of a cow. She was not surprised to see one--it looked like this town was completely wired! She needed to figure out a way to interview the people who had worked for the Abbadons without the cow hearing.

While they were talking, Carla's cell rang and Carl told her he'd be busy that night and they could meet tomorrow.

""But don't you have a friend with the SCIA?" he asked her.

"Yeah," she replied, carefully, aware the cow was listening to her side of the conversation. "My friend John from school. I was going to contact him about this--I think we need help."

"I was going to suggest the same thing," Carl said. "Call him tonight and see if he can investigate."

Carla thanked Nina for the drink and headed to the mall to search for cows there. She thought she remembered seeing one in the hair salon, but wanted to confirm.

As she entered the mall and walked toward the salon, a man was loudly yelling from the center platform, but Carla was focused on her mission and ignored his ranting.

His voice carried in her ears as she passed by.

"And lo as it is written, 'this is chemistry: that we walk in obedience to the commands of plumbob. As you have heard from the loading screen, plumbob's command is that you walk in chemistry. There are many deceivers, who do not acknowledge plumbob and any such person is the deceiver and the anti-plumbob.'"

Carla found a cow in the salon as she'd expected, then went to the home of Priya and Alec Thomason. They were both nuts about cooking and working to become celebrity chefs. Carla remembered meeting Priya's ex-husband Sanjay at Brandi's memorial.

After the usual introductions and chit-chat, Carla wandered casually through their home and without surprise, found the expected cow. This was becoming routine. She'd be more surprised to not find a cow!

Carla's last stop that day was the large and creepy house on the outskirts of town that Dustin had told her about and that Madeline had said was where one of the receivers was.

Her search was stopped by two large and vicious guard dogs, and she decided she didn't want to risk getting chewed. She headed home to write up her findings for Carl.

She finished her report, then picked up the phone to call her friend John, her friend from school who was a bigshot with SCIA. She chose her words carefully since she knew the cow was listening.

"Hey John! It's Carla Copper! Well, Spitzig now."

"Yeah, I got married."

John was delighted to hear her news and she didn't even have to invent a reason to meet up with him away from a cow as he immediately proposed a lunch together.

"It's so great to hear from you, Carla!" John was saying, "I'd love to see you--do you want to have lunch sometime? There are some nice restaurants here in Desiderata Valley, or I could meet you in Pleasantview. What works for you?"

Carla was relieved--it would be nice to have a friend helping her solve this mystery--someone she trusted and could help her with his connections.

Old 20th Mar 2018, 2:04 PM #219
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Sorry again about the long delay--just as my home life was getting under control, I jammed my thumb--really badly. So I was all wrapped up for a while and couldn't type! But here's a new chapter, and I hope to keep moving at a good place now!
Old 20th Mar 2018, 8:29 PM #220

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oh yay another update! i hope eventually,the abbadons get what they deserve and i keep thinking carla will get killed...

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Old 21st Mar 2018, 5:21 PM #221
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Yea, the story continues!

Old 21st Mar 2018, 11:12 PM #222
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Ouhhh! John Mole. Yes! The plot thickens. I am glad Carl is OK. Brandi was bad enough.
Old 26th Mar 2018, 8:44 PM DefaultA Pleasant Story - Chapter Thirty Two - An Unpleasant Surprise #223
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A Pleasant Story
Chapter Thirty Two
An Unpleasant Surprise

Kaylynn swept Mitch into her arms and snuggled him tightly. She couldn't believe that he'd become a child in only a few minutes. The birthday guests were invited and Mary-Sue was outside, anxiously awaiting Lilith's arrival. She hadn't seen her since she'd left her at college, and was looking forward to hearing how her studies were going.

Mary-Sue ran to greet Lilith when she arrived and gave her a big hug.

"I'm so happy to see you!" Mary-Sue exclaimed. "How is school going! I want to hear everything!"

Lilith laughed and said, "We talk on the phone almost every day, Mom. I think I've kept you up to date! But everything's fine. I like my classes and I like my housemates. In fact, I brought one with me!"

Lilith gestured and Mary-Sue jumped a bit to realize that she was introducing her to an odd-looking person. Lilith had told her that her roommate was an alien, but she hadn't expected her to be quite so . . . green.

"Mom," Lilith continued, "this is Stella Terrano, my roommate at school."

Mary-Sue extended her hand and shook Stella's and said, "It's nice to meet you."

Stella replied, "Greetings to you, parental unit of Lilith Pleasant. I am much gratified to be summoned to the natal celebration for the brother of Lilith."

"Well come on in and meet him," Mary-Sue said. "And I'm sure he wants to see his big sister, too."

As they moved toward the house, Mary-Sue said to Lilith, "Have you heard from your sister? I invited her, of course, but she said she was too busy studying to come."

Lilith shook her head. "I haven't talked to her since before she went to college. And I don't really expect to hear from her."

Mary-Sue shook her head sadly. "I was hoping a bit of maturity would get rid of some of her resentment. Oh well."

She walked into the house and introduced Stella to Kaylynn and Mitch.

Mitch seemed to take to Stella immediately, and held up his arms for her to pick him up.

"So diminutive a creature I did not expect. This is the initial immature human I have met," Stella said, not unkindly.

Stella reached down and picked him up, then tossed him into the air. Mitch squealed with excitement and Lilith laughed.

"Is he small? What are children like on your planet, Stella?" Lilith asked her.

"Our progeny are incubated in fibrous husks until maturity," Stella said. "Emergence occurs at approximately twice this dimension."

"Fibrous husks?" Lilith repeated. "That sounds . . . interesting."

"Interesting it is, in comparison to universal forms of reproductions. My colleagues have discovered many diverse forms of maturation across the galaxy," Stella explained.

Stella had set Mitch down while she spoke to Lilith, but Mitch held his arms out to her insistently, and Stella complied by throwing him in the air again.

"Looks like you have a new friend, Stella!" Lilith said

Mitch was squealing happily as he flew through the air, then seemed to notice Lilith for the first time and held his arms out to her. Lilith picked him up him and snuggled him and Mitch grabbed on to her and made his cute baby noises.

"I guess he didn't forget you while you were away," Kaylynn told her.

Lilith smiled and asked, "Can I bring him to the cake?"

Kaylynn looked around and saw that the other guests had all arrived and smiled and nodded to Lilith.

"Gather round everyone--it's time!" she told the group.

Lilith held Mitch at the cake as the other guests began to cheer him into his childhood form.

Stella stood quietly, observing the commotion of all the adults, and wondered if it was appropriate to join in. On her planet, the emergence of the young from their husks was a much more somber, though still joyful, occasion.

She shrugged her shoulders and began to holler and twirl the noisemaker she found in her hand. She cheered as loudly as the others as Lilith helped Mitch blow out the candles on his cake and then set him on the floor.

Mitch tottered uncertainly, then jumped into his child shape and did a little dance of happiness.

Kaylynn reached down to give him a big hug as all the guests cheered their congratulations.

Mitch immediately ran over to Lilith and asked her to play with him and she took him outside to swing him around as he squealed happily.

"You can't toss me in the air anymore, but this is better!" He declared happily.

As the sun went down, they went back inside to socialize with the other guests, and Mitch talked to Carla about flags.

"I was there the day you were born," she told him. "I am so glad I could be here for this birthday!"

Mitch ran from person to person talking and chatting in his pleasant way, then grabbed Lilith for a dance. Aside from his Mom, he thought he loved his big sister more than anyone.

Mary-Sue then called everyone to come have some birthday cake, and Mitch scarfed his down quickly, then looked around the room.

Suddenly he screamed and ran to the window. "Mom! Mom!" he yelled, "There's an old man out there!"

Kaylynn jumped up and went to the window with him, but shook her said. "I don't see anyone, honey. Are you sure you saw someone?"

Mitch pointed out and said, "He was right there! He must have run away when he saw me."

The party was over then, and Mitch and Kaylynn and Mary-Sue said goodbye to all the guests. Mitch wanted especially to talk to Stella again so he said to Lilith, "Maybe I could come visit your college sometimes."

Lilith nodded. "Sure! That would be fun. I've got exams soon, but maybe next semester you could come."

Stella said to him "Many compliments, miniature sibling of Lilith. It is my optimism that our journeys will rendezvous subsequently."

Mitch looked at her and squinched his eyebrows. "Huh?" he said.

Lilith laughed. "She means she hopes you two will meet again."

"Oh!" Mitch said, "Yeah, me too, Stella!"

When the guests were gone, Mary-Sue looked out the window where Mitch had said he'd seen someone, and noticed a strange figure walking away from the house. "That couldn't be . . . could it?" she wondered.

The next day, Kaylynn took Mitch to the mall so he could choose an outfit for himself that he liked. When he emerged from the dressing room, she complimented him on his choice.

"It's like your dress, Mom," he explained. You have angles and I have diamonds and the color is almost the same, sort of."

"Well that's great, honey. As long as you like it!" Kaylynn told him.

As they exited the mall, Mitch suddenly paused and looked back. He'd heard a man yelling behind him and stopped to listen.

"Whatever you do," the man was yelling, "work at it with all your heart as working for plumbob, and not for your simly desires!"

Mitch's jaw dropped and he yelled at Kaylynn, "Mom! Mom!"

But she was already through the doors to the mall so he ran after her. "Mom! That man back there--the one yelling--he's the man I saw last night looking in the window!"

Kaylynn walked to the door and looked through. The man seemed vaguely familiar, but she couldn't place him. She hoped he wasn't dangerous; he seemed a bit crazy.

She turned back to Mitch. "I see him honey. If he bothers us again I'll take care of it. But let's get home now."

As they walked home, Mitch stopped in front of an abandoned building and asked, "What's this place, Mom? It looks spooky."

Kaylynn looked at it. "It's just an abandoned building, not spooky. Those trees are just dead because no one has taken care of them."

"Can we go in an look around?" Mitch asked.

"I guess so," Kaylynn said. "Just be careful not to fall through any of the holes."

They stepped carefully up on the porch. Despite the fact that there were gaps in the deck, and missing stairs, Kaylynn noticed that the building seemed to be in pretty good shape--it just needed a bit of work. It must have been beautiful when it was built. She loved the stone and woodwork on the walls.

They walked inside and looked at the furniture and equipment that was piled up haphazardly in the main room.

"What do you suppose used to be here?" Mitch asked her.

"It looks like a restaurant or a bakery," Kaylynn told him. "Those are food display cases. And those are kitchen counters for cooking."

"It's really cool," Mitch said. "I'd like it if you fixed it up."

Kaylynn nodded, the germ of an idea beginning to form in her mind. She opened a door to her left and found a dirty and stripped bathroom area.

It needed a lot of work, and she hadn't planned to have her own place so soon, but how perfect could it be? There was a large kitchen, an ample dining room, and maybe in this condition it wouldn't cost too much.

As they walked back outside, Kaylynn took a last look. "It could be really elegant," she thought to herself. "Maybe someday."

They turned to go and continued home.

When they got home, they were greeted with a pleasant surprise. Mary-Sue was definitely pregnant!

"Congratulations!" Kaylynn told her. "Have you told Cyd yet?"

Mary-Sue shook her head. "There's so much going on right now. I don't really want to think about it at the moment. But I'll let him know soon. Did you and Mitch have a nice outing?"

Kaylynn nodded vigorously, and told Mary-Sue about the strange man they'd seen at the mall. "I had the weirdest feeling looking at him. He seemed really familiar."

Mary-Sue said, "I had the same feeling last night. I'd like to know what he's up to."

Mitch ran up then and was told the news about Mary-Sue's pregnancy. He immediately began talking to her stomach.

"Hi baby! I'll be your big brother! Even though I'm not really your big brother! We'll have fun!"

Mary-Sue smiled at him as he ran off to play with his toys.

Kaylynn said, "We saw the neatest place on the way home. It looked like it used to be a restaurant but it was all run-down. I'll have to look it up and find out how much it is and maybe I can save enough to buy it."

Mary-Sue said, "Why wait? You're working and I'm sure you could get a bank loan for it. I could co-sign with the house as collateral."

"Are you kidding?" Kaylynn said. "Really?"

"Why not?" Mary-Sue said. "I've eaten your cooking! I'd bet it will be the best place in town!"

Kaylynn hugged her and then ran to the computer to check the real estate listings and found that it was priced at 23,000 simoleons.

"That's not super-cheap," Mary-Sue said, but it's manageable. This house is worth 150, at least. Why don't we walk down to the bank right now?"

Kaylynn called a nanny to watch Mitch, then she and Mary-Sue walked over to the Pleasantview National Bank. As they approached the front doors she commented, "Boy, they sure like to make this place look intimidating, don't they?"

Mary-Sue nodded her agreement.

They entered the large, echoing lobby and approached a woman sitting at a desk near the door.

She stared at them with large, odd eyes.

"Hi," Mary-Sue said, "We'd like to speak to someone about getting a loan to purchase property? Can you help us?"

The woman hesitated as she looked them up and down, then nodded.

"You'll need to see Ms. Abbadon, our manager," she said. "She's at the desk at the back of the building. Go ahead."

She gestured with her right hand toward the columns in the middle of the lobby.

As they walked toward the rear of the building Mary-Sue looked up toward the balcony and saw an eerie-looking man watching them. She shuddered and followed Kaylynn toward the desk where a thin, pale woman sat.

Mary-Sue approached her and said, "Ms. Abbadon? We wanted to talk about a real estate loan. This is Kaylynn Langerak and I am Mary-Sue Pleasant."

"Pleasant?" The woman asked. "Are you the wife of Daniel Pleasant?"

Mary-Sue nodded. "I was, but we're divorced now."

"I am very glad you came in," Ms. Abbadon continued. "We were getting ready to initiate foreclosure proceedings. The mortgage has not been paid for some time."

"What?" Mary-Sue asked, "What mortgage? We didn't have a mortgage."

Ms. Abbadon explained, "Daniel Pleasant applied for a mortgage on your home about two years ago. He'd kept up the payments until fairly recently, but now the loan is in default."

Mary-Sue gasped. "How much did he borrow?"

"The amount currently owed is over 100,000 simoleons. I'll need to consult the paperwork to give you the exact amount. But in order to prevent foreclosure you will need to make a payment within the week."

Ms. Abbadon stood and walked over to Mary-Sue. "Would you like me to check the paperwork? Can you make a payment today?"

Mary-Sue staggered back a bit and swayed off balance. She felt like she might faint. That damn Daniel!

"Can I get back to you? I need to check my accounts."

"Of course," Ms. Abbadon said, "but don't leave it too long. You have four days."

Mary-Sue nodded, and swayed again, and suddenly Kaylynn was next to her, grabbing her arm and leading her to a couch in the waiting area.

"Here," she said, "sit down until you feel better."

Mary-Sue sank onto the couch and shook her head in disbelief.

"I knew he was a liar, and a cheat, but I never thought he'd put us in debt like this. That bastard!"

Kaylynn nodded sympathetically.

"Why don't we go home," she suggested. "We'll figure something out."

Mary-Sue nodded and stood. Her dizziness had passed and now she wanted nothing more than to find Daniel and figure out what he'd done to them.

Kaylynn spoke, "Have you heard anything from Daniel since he was in jail? Do you know if he has any money?"

Mary-Sue shook her head. "I was just glad to have him out of our lives. I never thought he'd leave us in the lurch like this. Damn. Let's go home. I can call Carla. Maybe she can help."

They walked out past a man typing at a computer terminal and Kaylynn thought to herself that the people working at this bank sure were strange-looking.

When they arrived home, Kaylynn dismissed the nanny and went to work, but Mary-Sue's call to Carla was delayed by the presence of Cassandra, who was delighted to learn of Mary-Sue's condition and immediately began talking to her stomach, as everyone seemed to enjoy doing these days.

Cassandra said, "Remember when we met Cyd at the mall that day? I bet you never thought it would turn out like this!"

Mary-Sue nodded distractedly. "I know, he's really great, but I've got other troubles right now."

What's wrong?" Cassandra said, "Tell me about it."

Mary-Sue nodded, but said, "Let me sit down. It hasn't been the greatest day."

When they were settled on the couch, Mary-Sue told her about the day's discoveries including Kaylynn's discovery of the restaurant, and their visit to the bank.

When Mary-Sue told her about the mortgage on the house, Cassandra jumped up and seethed through clenched teeth, "That asshole. Well, don't worry. I am going to take care of this." She pulled her cell phone from her inventory and began to dial.

Mary-Sue began to speak but Cassandra waved for silence.

She listened to Cassandra's side of the conversation curiously.

"This is Cassandra Goth. I want to make a transfer."

"Mary-Sue Pleasant."

"200,000 Simoleons."

Mary-Sue started to object; it sounded like Cassandra was going to give her a fortune! She began to stand but was suddenly startled by Cassandra shrieking.

"WHAT?! He did WHAT?! Oh my plumbob, WHEN!?"

"How much is left?"

"Are you kidding me?"

"All right, tomorrow. See you then."

She hung up the phone and turned to Mary-Sue angrily.

"I've got no money left. There's less than 1000 simoleons in the bank. My Dad depleted our account three days ago. There's nothing left."

"How can that be?" Mary-Sue asked her. "What did he buy?"

"I don't know," Cassandra replied. "I am going home now to ask him, and then meet with our accountant tomorrow. I can't believe this!"

She took a deep breath. "I'm so sorry," she continued. "I thought I'd be able to help you."

Mary-Sue gave her a hug and said reassuringly, "It's okay--I'm going to call Carla and see if she can investigate, or find out if it was even legal. You go ahead, and let me know what you find out."

Cassandra nodded and left, muttering to herself.

Mary-Sue then called Carla, who came right over and gave her a hug of congratulations about the baby.

Mary-Sue then began to tell her about the troubles with the mortgage.

"I can't believe he could even take out a mortgage without my signature--I thought the house was in both our names!"

"Do you think he could have forged your signature?" Carla asked her.

"I suppose so," Mary-Sue replied. "I just find that hard to believe. I never thought he'd steal from me and the twins like that."

"Maybe he thought he'd be able to pay it back before you found out," Carla suggested.

"Maybe," Mary-Sue replied. "It's still slimy though. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Daniel has always been bad at managing his simoleons."

She shook her head and continued. "And now poor Cassandra is having the same problems."

She filled Carla in about what she knew about the Goth family finances.

Carla thanked her for the information and promised to investigate. As she left, Carla thought about what they'd said and thought maybe it would have been better to go outside so the cow couldn't hear them. "Oh well," she thought. "If the Abbadons are behind this, they know about it anyway."

Mary-Sue then called Cyd; she couldn't wait any longer to tell him about the baby.

When he answered she said, "Can you come over? I have some news."

He was delighted to hear from her and said he'd come over right away.

When he arrived and saw her maternity wear, he immediately began jumping up and down and squealing like an excited kid.

"Really?" Mary-Sue asked. "You're okay with this?"

"You bet!" he shouted. "kids are the best! This is awesome!"

Mary-Sue grabbed him and kissed him in relief. What a lucky day when she'd met him!

When she released him he looked at her carefully and said, "But are you okay? You don't look happy. Is something wrong?"

Mary-Sue told him all the horrible news about the money and the restaurant and the mortgage. Cyd was sympathetic, but urged her not to worry.

"Listen, he said, "I have an idea. If I sell my house, there should be plenty to . . . "

"Oh no Cyd, you can't do that," Mary-Sue objected.

He responded, "It makes sense, though. I'm not living there anymore, and the Newson's have a big house. The oldest kids will be going to college soon, and you and the baby could move in with us. Then you could just give this house to the bank instead of trying to pay off Daniel's debt. Or sell it and pay off the mortgage anyway. And there might even be enough to invest in Kaylynn's restaurant."

Mary-Sue thought about what he'd said. Just having him be hopeful and positive made her feel better. But then she stopped and said, "Kaylynn and Mitch. What would they do?"

Cyd didn't hesitate, "They can come too!"

"Is there enough room?" she asked him.

"We'll make room!" Cyd announced.

Mary-Sue grabbed him gratefully and hugged him.

"Thank you so much," she told him. "I've been so worried. You make me feel like everything will work out."

"It WILL work out," he said. "We can do it!"

Their embrace was interrupted by Mitch racing out of the house past them.

"Hi Cyd!" he yelled as he ran past, "Mom's home!"

He ran up to his mother's carpool and gave her a big hug as she climbed out in her hostess uniform.

"Welcome home, Mom!" he shouted, then raced back into the house to play.

Mary-Sue and Cyd greeted Kaylynn and began to explain their plans.

"Are you sure?" Kaylynn asked them. "That's a whole lot of kids in one house. And are you sure you want to sell this one, Mary-Sue?"

Mary-Sue nodded. "I don't really have a sentimental attachment here. It was where Daniel lived. If the girls were still here it might be different, but since they're gone, I think it would be nice to have a new place. With you and Mitch."

The women said goodbye to Cyd, who was going to go home and make arrangements to sell his house, and went into the foyer where Mitch was working industriously on a drawing..

Kaylynn turned to Mary-Sue and said, "I don't think I've said this enough. I am so sorry about how our friendship started, but I can't regret it now. I am so glad you and the girls became part of my life."

Mary-Sue smiled at her. "I think we'll do okay."

Old 28th Mar 2018, 12:24 AM #224
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Yep, love it. But hope for a happy-ever-after!


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