Wednesday, April 29, 2015

If Only

Story and Screenshots by Shannon Simsfan 
Submitted at for the April 2015 Super-Short Story Contest. 

"What in the world am I doing here?"

Esli stared into the campfire, thinking if he concentrated hard enough, maybe he would teleport himself to his bedroom, or turn invisible, or be abducted on the spot.  If only he hadn't been dazzled by Jane's friendliness, her charm...

He had mistimed arrival at the school bus stop by a minute.  A single minute was apparently, in this case, a critical unit of time.  Jane had given him that smile, and he couldn't resist breaking his promise to himself not to talk to popular kids.  And now he had been duped into going into the wilderness with a whole group of them.  Jane was so comfortable in her own skin, and put everyone around her at ease, too.  The big mystery was, why in the world did Jane go out of her way to befriend him?

The popular kids.  They were a different species.  They had a different language.  How was he supposed to know what they were talking about, what was funny when they laughed?  Much less, how was he supposed to know what to say to sound normal, less freakish?  So instead of talking, which was risky, Esli let himself get lost in his own thoughts.

If only he was normal, or had ever been normal. His real mother had given him up, sent him to live here, where he knew he wasn't really wanted, didn't really fit in.

Sure, the doctors were able to help him look "normal" on the outside, but that didn't change how he felt on the inside.  How would he ever feel normal when he wasn't even from this planet?

The preschool teacher asked for a conference with Esli's mother, saying that she would like to see him initiate play with other kids, not hang back so much.  In grade school, he poured himself into learning, to escape social interaction.  It was too painful to be different and he felt inferior.  Now, as a teen, how was he supposed to figure out who he was, or how he could be part of society?

"Earth to Esli!" Jim said, waving his hand in front of Esli's face.  "We're playing truth or dare. It's your turn, dude."

Esli excused himself to go get a drink from the cooler.  Taking a deep breath, he decided to just stay there, in the dark, away from the group.  He felt safer there, away from the chatter and the easy camaraderie of the others.  He was starting to embrace the identity of being a loner, to enjoy being that guy who seems mysterious and cool.  He wondered how long it would be before they'd start pressuring him to come back to the fire.

If only they were like he was. Then he wouldn't be alone.  If only they were aliens.

Jim stopped chatting and looked up from the campfire, peering into the dark.  He strained to see if Esli was within earshot.

"If only he was an alien, too," Jim said to the others, shaking his head.

The End

For the contest, stories were required to be between 500 and 800 words, with a teen theme, and exactly two original, unaltered screen shots from a Sims game.  

For the contest, we were only allowed two screenshots.  The final two screenshots were added for this blog edition of the story.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Open House: Cacey's Victorian

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While I'm busy scurrying behind the scenes to get everything ready for their reunion with Delaney's family, I thought I'd share the tour of the new home I built for Cacey.

Cacey is fourteen days older than Delaney, so it is time for Cacey to age to elder, and the triplets are about four days older than Ewan, so they will be young adults soon after being reunited with Delaney's family.  Time moved a little differently in the Wolff Legacy, and the triplets are still kids, so I have some catching up to do. before they are officially back in town.

So, here's a tour of Cacey's rambling, Victorian-style home.

Their home is next door to Bob and Eliza Pancakes, two doors down from my Simself's family, and across the street from First Church.  It has lots of fishing spots just outside their door.  (Gavin loves to fish).    Once I build something I like directly across the street from Cacey's house, this little area will be just how I want it!

This is the side view of the house, that faces the river. 

And this is the back, that faces the canal.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Take Me to the Moon 4.14: Growing Pains

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Ewan Tesla is about halfway through his teen years; Elise Tesla just became a teen.

From the Journal of Elise Tesla

 Let me tell you, finally being a teenager isn't all it's cracked up to be sometimes.   One thing that would revolutionize my life, is if my mom wasn't so weird.  

   I just asked her to give me some gardening tips so I can use some of the plants in scientific experiments.  But she drives me insane, going on about the fact that she's a Space Ranger, how she learned more about botany since going into space than she ever learned on earth.

She's told us a million times about how she walked on Sixam, the alien planet.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Take Me to the Moon 4.13: Mean Girls

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Delaney came back from her first mission to the alien planet, Sixam, to find her youngest child, Eric, no longer in his bassinet, but a few years older.

Eric was an inquisitive, creative little kid, and when Delaney enthused about how much she loved going on space missions, he seemed a little distressed at the idea.  After all, his mom had missed his whole life up till now!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Take Me to the Moon 4.12: I Only Meant to Stay a While

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This post is meant to be viewed while playing the music on the player to the right, and scrolled through in pace with the lyrics.  Eventually, I hope to replace this post with a slideshow but it is taking time to work out the technical issues.  Thanks!

Electric Light Orchestra

"Just on the border of your waking mind
There lies... Another time
Where darkness & light are one
And as you tread the halls of sanity
You feel so glad to be
Unable to go beyond

I have a message
From another time...

(Pause scrolling through the post, and music will transition to the song Twilight...)

The visions dancing in my mind 
The early dawn, the shades of time 

 Twilight crawling through my windowpane 

Am I awake or do I dream,

The strangest pictures I have seen 

Night is day and twilight's gone away

With your head held high and your scarlet lies 

You came down to me from the open skies 

It's either real or it's a dream 
There's nothing that is in between

Twilight, I only meant to stay awhile 

Twilight, I gave you Time to steal my mind 
Away from me.

Across the night I saw your face 

You disappeared without a trace 

You brought me here, but can you take me back

Inside the image of your light 

That now is day and once was night 

You lead me here and then you go away.

It's either real or it's a dream, there's nothing that is in between.

Twilight, Twilight, Twilight

I give you Time
to steal my mind

Away from me

You brought me here now can you take me back again?
With your head held high and your scarlet lies,
you came down to me from the open skies

It's either real or its a dream, there's nothing that is in between

Twilight, I only meant to stay awhile
Twilight, I give you Time,
to steal my mind

I only meant to stay a while

 I only meant to stay awhile 

Twilight, Twilight, Twilight, Twilight

pause scrolling as the Epilogue begins)

You should be so happy
You should be so glad
21st century man.

Though you ride on the wheels of tomorrow
You still wander the fields of your sorrow.

Time, Time, Time, Time.

All text in this post is directly quoted from the album Time by Electric Light Orchestra, Released 1981, Jet Records.