Tag Archives: Papyrus Memorial Library (Sunset Valley)

A Visit to Sunset Valley: Questions from the Fans

Hi everyone, it’s been a hot minute since I posted here. I’m still working on setting up my TS3 game for the next story in Kass’ series. In the meantime, I have  some fun questions given to me by members of my Freezer Bunnies Reading Circle over on the forums.   I was going to answer everything over on the forums, but then it got a bit carried away so I’m sharing here for all my readers.  I sent my TS3 Simself to be the snoopy reporter and ask questions of this delightful cast.

Disclaimer: The answers are given based on where said reading circle is at in KCLKF (up through  Arc 12 or  chapter 1.33).  Really mild spoilers if you haven’t read that far.  Oh and a bit of breaking-the-fourth-wall humor.  Shout-out to all my reading circle peeps (you’re all mentioned below somewhere). Minor edit… apologies to Duvelina for not crediting her correctly. 

It’s a beautiful morning in Sunset Valley, Valverde.   The world appears to be peaceful as it is  just after the morning rush hour.  You can hear the low roar of ocean waves crashing against the soft sandy beaches and sweet sounds of swallows as they gather their families for the juicy gossip on the telephone wires.  No, not our gossip. Theirs. You know – like did you hear that  Chirpy McChatterbox was heard making amorous ticking sounds toward Hooty Howlin’ near the movie theater last weekend?  😉

While there are some clouds in sight, the skies are bright and beautiful.  Nothing can beat that tranquil blue!  I pause for a moment to drink in the sites, trying to ignore the Altos hideous Pepto-Bismol pink house on the hill. Tossing my empty paper cup  into the trash, I pop a mint to avoid coffee breath and head toward Central Park in downtown.

Gave my TS3 Simselfie a makeover… and put her in my favorite red plaid shirt. 🙂 Forgive what’s happening to Kass’ necklace here. I have no clue why it bugged out.

I caught up with the star  of The Krazy Crazy Life of Kassiopeia Fullbright.  We met on a park bench near the pond. I have to say it is a unique experience chatting with a character I’ve created.

Lizzie:  Hey Kass. Thanks for making time for this.

Kass: Sure. It’s an honor to chat with you, Lizzie.

Lizzie: No, the honor is mine. You’ve really brought my vision to life, and you’ve had some excellent input of your own . You’ve really taken charge of your life.

Kass: (smiles shyly) Wow… really? Um… that’s great to… hear. I haven’t been too sure… about a lotta things lately.

Lizzie: Well, let’s dive right in. Hope you don’t mind the cameras.

Kass: Not at all. I’m kinda used to them by now.

Lizzie: Really? They’re kinda weird for me. (clears throat) Okay… so first question is from ajmkv, writer and host of  the popular competitive reality TV show, Kev & Get It.

Kass:  Wow! He is a KCLKF fan?  Love that show. Ayesh and I watch it almost as religiously as Specific Hospital.

Lizzie: (smirks) I know. I can’t get enough of the juicy juicy drama.

Kass: (tilts head) Really? You strike me as more of a thriller and suspense kind-of gal.

Lizzie: (grins sheepishly) Guilty pleasure. Actually… if I’m being honest… a pleasure, pleasure. Not guilty at all. I also like a good fantasy. You should check out Tales from Camelot. Fantasy mixed with some excellent suspense.

Kass:  (pulls out her phone) Bookmarking it now.

Lizzie: Alright… the questions – ajmkv says, “A lot happened to you in these (most recent) Arcs. Lots of emotion, both negative and positive. Trying to stay positive, what is it that you’re most looking forward to in the next few days?”

Her expression brightens. She looks relieved by the question. Her face lights up with a smile and a flush creeps into her cheeks.

Kass: I… I’m really happy with my new boyfriend. His name is Davis, as you know.  I couldn’t have gotten through what I did recently without him.

Lizzie: He did seem to help out a lot, especially during that harrowing night  at your house.

Kass: Yeah… that mess… (laughs awkwardly) I’m just hoping for some down-time… baseball-free… with Davis.

Lizzie: Next question is from MercuryFoam of the exciting supernatural  thriller, Between 2 Worlds.

Kass: (places hand on her stomach and gasps) Cool! I had no idea so many writers were into my story. And Between 2 Worlds is awesome!

Lizzie: (smiles) I know how much you like crime stories.

Kass: Are you kidding? I have a huge collection back at the house. I don’t have enough bookcases.

Lizzie: Tell me about it.  I think I need a whole room devoted to my behemoth library.

We both laugh lightly, completely at ease with one another. I couldn’t imagine a better person to carry out this story near and dear to my heart.

Lizzie: Actually whoops! Didn’t read my notes correctly.  Sorry about that.  Duvelina asks,  “Do you know what you want to study in college already?”

Kass: (cracks her knuckles) Heh… you’d think I would’ve made up my mind by now, right? I’m a down-to-the-wire kinda girl, you know.

Lizzie: Yes, I do. (points to self) Fatal flaw.

Kass: Yeah. I thought about business like Nonno.  Though flipping houses isn’t exactly what I’m thinking. Maybe something like business… law? I don’t know. (bites lower lip) Is that too ambitious?

Lizzie: Not at all. If you put your mind to it.

Kass: Thanks. I also thought about communications like you, or writing. I think I did pretty good at writing for the school paper. And I guess I could always teach.

Lizzie: Duvelina also asks… wow! I really didn’t read that right. Must not have had enough coffee this morning. Not a morning person.

Kass: Go by the Jolt later. Granny Jade will fix you up.

Lizzie: Thanks. Okay.  Duvelina’s question – “Where do you see yourself in  5 to 10 years? How do you feel about moving away from Sunset Valley for college?”

Kass: (smiles and scrunches her nose) Yeah, everyone’s kinda asking me that now days.  Standard adult question I guess.

Lizzie: Something like that.

Kass: I can definitely answer that last one. I am excited, but also nervous. I’ve wanted to go to Edgewater for the last four years of my life. Nonno is an alumnus and so is Davis. (flushes again) A lot of important people have graduated from there, and the town is home to my favorite Sim National football team.

Lizzie: (pumps fist in the air) Go Saints!

Kass:   I’m a little worried I’ll miss my friends… and my sisters… (expression sobers) Especially my sisters. I know how much they… uh… need me. But um… (rubs head) Five to ten years. That’s a long way out. I don’t know what I’m gonna have for dinner tomorrow night or where I might be crashing on the weekend. A lot’s going on around here. I don’t know if I can… answer that.   I mean, did you know what you wanted when you were my age?

Lizzie: (stops and thinks for a minute) I had ideas… I  planned on studying communications. I bounced around for a bit in college and came back to communications. No. I guess I didn’t know where I saw myself in five to ten years after college. Sure didn’t expect to be where I am now, but I’m blessed.

Lizzie: I can give you some advice. Don’t be afraid to experiment. To try new things and different things. Find a mentor. Someone who can help you talk through what you want, your interests, the future. Don’t worry too much about the people you leave behind. This is your time. Enjoy your uni years. They go by quick. Sometimes it takes awhile to know what you want.  You’ll figure it out, Kass. I believe in you.

Kass: Thank you.

Lizzie: I couldn’t ask for a better leading lady.

Kass: (puts hand to heart) I think that’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.

Next I headed to Papyrus Memorial Library. Andi was there, studying. She pulled out her earbuds when I arrived.

Lizzie: What are you listening to?

Andi:  Tchaikovsky’s  Waltz of Flowers from The Nutcracker.  (smiles) It helps me concentrate. It’s early, but I’m looking forward to cooler temperatures.

Lizzie: Hey, no judging here. Today’s pretty nice though.

Andi: Really? (looks out the window) I’ve been cooped up in here for awhile. I saved up simos to get a laptop, but our internet at home is snail’s pace so I came here.

Lizzie: You can’t be studying, can you? School’s out.

Andi: Summer school. I’m taking Calc I and II just to get them over with.

Lizzie: (clicks her tongue) Ah. Math!

Andi: It’s not so bad. It’s actually kinda fun.

Lizzie: (laughs) Says you… that’s cool you saved up for a laptop.

Andi: Yeah, the next thing I want to do is save up to visit Liz Ridley’s restaurant in Brindleton Bay. That’ll be a good chunk of moula.

Lizzie:  Oh, she and I share the same name. And yes, I’ve heard her food is to die for!  Okay, hey, the reason I’m here is  your fans have asked some questions.

Andi: You mean someone likes my music?

Lizzie: Sort of. It’s from ajmkv: “What’s it like to be so wise? Tell me your secrets, queen!”

Andi: (throws hands in the air) Uh…. what? I’m not… wise… (blushes deeply) not like… wait… really? Someone said that about me?

Lizzie: (smiles and nods)

Andi: (gasps and gulps) Uh my secrets? I dunno… I’m just me…

Andi: (stands up abruptly and looks at her naked wrist) Uh… (forces a laugh) Would you look at the time? I just remembered I have brunch plans.

Lizzie: What about the question?

Andi: I don’t even know how to answer that.  (quickly gathers her personal items and makes an exit)

Next I managed to catch Ayesha walking out of Sharma Day Spa.

Lizzie: Hey girl!

Ayesha: (turns and grins) Hey Liz, what’s up?

Lizzie: Oh not too much. Staying busy. Working a lot. Trying to keep up with the fans.

Ayesha: Sounds rough. What can I do you for?

Lizzie: Ajmkv would like to know: “WHERE ARE YOU, GIRL? I miss you!” (arches her brows) Ooo… I hope I did that right. I think I was practically screaming.

Ayesha:  (smiles and scrunches her face) Aww I miss you too… wait… who are you?

Lizzie: Ajmkv. He’s one of your fans.

I gave Ayesha a lip piercing in the second story. Honestly, I forgot all about it until I had to transfer over my saved Sims from my old game and I noticed it.

Ayesha: Right…  (strikes a pose)  oh I’ve got so many fans. It’s hard to keep track. And where have I been? (runs hand through her hair)  I just got a lip piercing. What do ya think?

Lizzie: Uh…

Ayesha: So did I like forget to give him my digits or something?

Lizzie: I think he means since Kass is busy with Davis and family drama, and then the  break-in that happened the other night.

Ayesha: Oh my gawd! What break-in? I gotta go call Kass.  Seriously, you holding out on me, Liz?

Lizzie: (winces) Not intentionally.

Ayesha: Oh and if you see my Mama… you never saw (points at her mouth) This! Or my… uh… (looks down) crop top… or ripped jeans… actually… (lifts finger) better say you didn’t see me.

Lizzie: (pretends to zip lips) Your secret is safe with me.  And it looks fab!

Ayesha: (runs away and waves) Thanks, girl! Oh and feel free to give ajmkv my digits. He can call anytime.

I have no idea what my Simself was doing here. And here’s the unedited Molly, River, and Sandi.

Since it was lunchtime, I headed across the street to load up on the greasy goodness of Hogan’s Deep-Fried Diner. Two words. Mozzarella balls. Take it from me. Try the Ranch. Not the marinara.

As I approach Gage, I recognize the two ladies he’s talking to as Molly French and River McIrish. The teen is carrying sweet baby Sandi.

Gage: Yes, and I just got accepted to Northwestern in Windy City.

This version of Gage is wearing glasses. Okay… I learned something new. He usually wears contacts, I guess. 😉

Lizzie: (pumps fist in the air and jumps up and down) Whoo! Whoo! Go  Wiley Wildcats!

Gage: (arches a brow) Uh yeah! Wildcats!

Lizzie: Sorry I’m in a school spirit mood today.

Molly: And you are?

Gage: This is Lizzie. We go way back. She gave me a chance in The Krazy Crazy Life

Lizzie: Yeah, Gage was the first character to crash my story. And  I let him.

Molly and River laugh awkwardly. They say goodbye. Now’s my chance to ask Gage some questions.

I have no idea why my Simself always looks gigantic. I’m not that tall. Haha.

Gage sneezes.

Lizzie: Ah, bless you. Someone is thinking of you.  Which is perfect… I have questions for you from fans.

Gage:  Sure.

Lizzie: First up from MercuryFoam – “You were determined to get to know your roots better, but when you confessed to Kass, you told her you were alright with staying put and not pursuing your studies in… was it Riverview?”

Gage: (interrupts) No, Windy City! How could you forget?  I’ve only wanted to go to Northwestern my whole life!

Lizzie: Uh… I’m not finished. (continues reading)  “Anyway, what made you suddenly realise your feelings for Kass and I must say it’s surprisingly strong if you could make that comment. So I’d like if you could explain that part too.”

Gage: (blushes) Oh yeah, well, I’ve known Kass for a really long time. She was my first friend in Sunset Valley, and the only kid who was kind to me at church and school. Kid… haha. We’re adults now.

Gage: (lifts hand) I think it was when we went to homecoming together last October. I don’t know. I’d never looked at her that way before, but she was beautiful. And well… (scratches back of head) I think I’ve always cared about her. I just didn’t really realize it until I knew we were both gonna be apart. I do want to meet my family and stuff, but I’d like to have some nice memories with Kass before she leaves and I leave. You know… and I think, we could be really good together. And sometimes people can make long distance work, right?

Lizzie: Next question from ajmkv – “What do you think of Madison? Or you at all interested in her? Or could you be if Kass said no to your advances?”

Gage: (waves arms) Wait… Kass said no?

Lizzie: I didn’t say that. Uh… she hasn’t answered you yet.

Gage: Why would she say no?

Lizzie: Gage, did you miss the question?

Gage: She isn’t going to say no is she?

Lizzie: (sighs and puts hands toward her chest) Gage, focus. The question. Madison???

Ah vanilla Sunset Valley! What wild patterns on that wall at the gym! And the room is so bare and empty.

Unfortunately, Gage wandered off muttering under his breath about calling Kass. Uh oh! I may have lit a fuse too early. It didn’t matter. After that deep-fried lunch, I was in the mood to work off some calories. I headed to 28-Hour Wellness Gym and ran into none other than Davis. He shyly told me he didn’t feel comfortable swimming in the Riviera’s pool so he worked out here at the public gym.

Davis: Hi Lizzie. It’s good to see you.

Kass: Yeah, good to see you too. I have a question for you from ajmkv.

Davis: Is that one of the guys who hangs out in the coffee shop?

Kass: A virtual reading circle actually.

Davis: Okay. Shoot.

Kass: Ajmkv asks – “What about Kass do you like the most so far? We’ve all noticed you staring at her in her swimsuit, at her luscious red hair, and her pretty face, but what would you pick as her best attribute?”

I was so mad! Hearts appeared around Lizzie and Davis. GAH! NO! Not cool. I even have a retuned attraction mod so I know when Sims hearts appear, they “really” like each other. Oh… well… I guess I have a type.  😳 This is even pre-Davis makeover. Haha.

Davis: Oh a gentleman never kisses and tells.

Lizzie: This isn’t about kissing. (suddenly a little flustered***) Who said anything about kissing?

Davis: I think it’s a bit personal,  but I’ll say this… Kass is more than her beauty. She’s a kind and intelligent woman who goes above and beyond for the people she cares about. I really like and admire her for that. And she’s close with her family. It’s really beautiful to watch. I’m not sure about her mom though. She’s… it’s not my place to judge actually.

Lizzie: So her best… attribute? (wondering if it’s hot in here all the sudden – all that pool humidity)

Davis: Definitely the way she takes care of others.

Note the danger! 🤭

I made a quick exit, suddenly feeling weird about shapes randomly appearing above my head. What next? Thought bubbles!

Before heading to the Fullbright-Riviera home, I had one more spot in downtown – Community School for the Gifted. Maybe I could take take a cool dip in the school pool. But before that, I poked my head into the janitor’s closet. Just to take a quick look around.

Lizzie: Ah ha!  Found you!

Clark: (startled, drops hands in lap) Don’t sneak up on a person like that, Liz.

Lizzie: Sorry. Uh hey… ajmkv would like to know – “WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOU SNEAKY SAUSAGE?” (rubs throat) Oh, that’s hard on the voicebox.  Do you have any water?

Clark: (looks confused) Sneaky? Sau-sage? (crosses arms and spins around on his stool)  No, I’m not even going to dignify that with an answer.

I head over to the Fullbright-Riviera residence. Carina is just getting home from her afternoon shift at the movies. She picked up a second summer job at Wilsonoff Community Theater, saving money for some concert tickets that she and her bestie want to attend.  She motions to the adjacent lounge chair. As I sit down, I notice Cari was kind enough to bring us snacks.

Cari: Andi said you were in town.

Lizzie: Thanks for the soda.

Cari: What? No popcorn!

Lizzie: No… yuck!  No offense. But I hate butter popcorn.

Cari: (sighs) You and Kass both.

Carina took a phone call. How rude, right? A Sim wouldn’t stay where she was supposed to. *face palm*

Lizzie:  Carina, will you get off the phone so I can ask you a question?

Cari: And you’re not gonna believe it, Lisa! We had an INTRUDER! Twice. I thought I would lose my mind, but Kass like tore off after the guy like a mamma bear protecting cubs. I thought she’d break her ankle running down that hill. Oh and Kass’ new guy is really cool. He stayed and made sure we were all okay.

Lizzie: Cari!

Cari: Wait, omg! I didn’t tell you. Yeah, Kass is dating this dish. He’s super hot and…

Lizzie: (clears throat) CARINA!

Cari: (turns around and glares) Oh, gotta go Lisa. Somebody’s in need of something… I know… again.

Lizzie: (shakes head)

Cari: What is it? Make it snappy. I’m in demand.

Lizzie: Do you mind answering a question from a reader?

Cari: Make it quick. I got things to do. Namely like have you heard the dish on the Villareals lately?  It may be a work of fiction, but I don’t care. This is juicy stuff.  I, for one, want to know if Hugo is ever going to find out what’s going on with Nelson.

Lizzie: (giggles) I wonder that too, but Cari, focus, girl. Okay… ajmkv would like to know… “Are you upset that you’ve had to take a caretaking role in your household? Buying the groceries and things like that, I mean. Do you wish Kass and/or Andi should help out a little bit more or do you not mind doing these things?”

Cari: (rolls eyes)  Like for reals? I am invaluable around here and I put in soooooo much effort and do I ever get thanked for it? Like no… like never!

Lizzie: Cari that wasn’t the question.

So I asked my real-life sister, whom Carina is based on, which of the Too Good at Goodbye characters she found attractive. I just showed her pictures and she picked Hugo.

Cari: I know, right? So I wish my sisters wouldn’t be so obsessed with their boy toys, but whachagonnado? They’re at that age. (looks at her nails)

Lizzie: (beneath her breath) You’re at that age!

Cari: I guess I have to live vicariously through my magazines. Hugo. He’s got a lot of loving, but man, is he nice to look at!

Lizzie: (looks away thinking about her “weird” connection earlier) Uh….

Cari: Okay, I’ll say this. (straightens in seat) Kass isn’t half bad and she does do stuff… sometimes. (glares) But don’t tell her I said that!

The day and my questions are drawing to a close. Cari told me that her mamma was most likely sleeping all day again, even though it was nearly four in the afternoon.  I hesitated when I heard sniffling.

Lizzie: Amy?

Amy: (muffled) What? Who is it? Go away?

Lizzie: Amy, it’s me. Lizzie. I have some questions from readers for you.

Amy: (gasps) Readers? Is that like some cult thing? Palm readers? Mind readers? Not interested.

Lizzie: No… not a cult. A club. Or a circle. That is…  uh readers… like people who read stories, you know?

Amy: Not now, Lizzie. I’m not decent. Um… and why are they reading about me?

Lizzie: Are you willing to answer their questions?

Amy: Like what?

Lizzie: Let’s start with something light and fun. Mercuryfoam asks: “Sorry for super personal and intrusive question, but am I right to assume Clark the first man you’ve been with since Howard?”

Amy: (straightens immediately)  That is very personal. Yes. He’s the first man I’ve dated since my ex.

Lizzie: Okay, continuing… “Why do you find him attractive? (Besides his accent and guitar playing ofc).”

Amy: What accent? (sighs and rubs her face) I’m getting a headache. Can you hurry this up?

Lizzie: But you didn’t answer the question.

Amy: I don’t know why this is important. I’m tired. I need to get some things done today. Okay uh…  (shakes head) Clark takes good care of me. And my girls. They don’t see that yet, but he does and he will. He’s a good man. They just need to give him a chance.

Lizzie: Not exactly the answer I was looking for, but that’s better than nothing. Okay, next question. ajmkv asks: “What was running through your mind after THAT confrontation with Andi? Was it like your body took over?”

Amy: (softly starts crying)

Lizzie: (sighs and silently leans into the wall) Amy, are you okay?

Amy: (snaps)  I don’t have to justify myself to you! Or to anyone! Oh! (covers her face)

Lizzie: Amy, will you let me in?

Forgive my laziness. I didn’t reset up the Amy’s room like it was before. Nor did I add curtains everywhere. Eek!

After what feels like eternity, Amy opens the door and lets me walk into the bedroom. She explains that it’s very plain right now because she’s redecorating. A minimalist. I guess I hit the set later on in the story. I don’t really pay any attention to the surroundings. I’m more concerned about the woman who is obviously in pain.

Amy: I’m so ashamed. I hit my own daughter. Now they all hate me and they’ll probably never come back. Oh what have I done?

Lizzie: Hey now… it’s okay. Cari is actually out on the porch.

Amy: She is? Oh… don’t let her see me. I’m a terrible mother.

Lizzie: (sighs) I’m not a mother unless you count four cats.

Amy: (peeks out from behind her hand) You have four cats?

No clue what happened to her nightgown there. 😅

Lizzie: (half-smiles and sits on the bed) Yeah, but the point is, I’m not a mother so I don’t fully understand the pressure you’re under, but I know it’s a lot. And I think you’re trying and maybe someone like Clark is…try-ing… to help ease the burden, hmm?

Amy: Yeah, he is pretty helpful. The girls don’t know it yet, but he’s really good with kids. Kind. Patient. A good provider. I… miss… that around here. I feel like I’ve slowly lost myself over the years and he’s helping me come back. And now I just lost it last night when someone violated our home, and I was scared. I wasn’t thinking.

Lizzie: You were concerned and scared last night. I get it.

Amy: (buries her face in her hands) That’s no excuse for violence. My mamma never hit me.

Lizzie: I’m sure the girls will forgive you.

Amy: (whispers) I hope so.

Again… towering Lizzie for the win! Don’t worry. I fixed it after this scene.

Lizzie: It’s gonna be okay, Amy. You’ll work things out with them in time.

Amy: Isn’t that a spoiler?

Lizzie: (smirks and looks at her shoes) Yeah, maybe it is. I don’t care. I think it’s okay to give the readers some hope.

Amy: (hugs herself) Yeah, alright. Hey, you wanna stay for dinner?

Lizzie: What’s for dinner?

Amy: Waffles.

Lizzie: (laughs) Sure, I’ve heard all about Amy’s famous burnt waffles.

Author Notes: That’s all for now, folks! Thanks for reading. Feel free to send more questions if you like.   What other things would you like to see? Would you like to see more interviews? More of my TS3 Simselfie running around? A sneak peek at my character and townie makeovers? Shorts in the KCLKF world? I’m enjoying messing around in my game.  

1.110 Uncovering Lies (KCLKF)

Wednesday, July 11, 2415 | Sunset Valley, Valverde 

I don’t have a key. 

Kass waited for a few minutes for her father to hobble to the door. He smiled tiredly and leaned against the frame as soon as he was inside. She turned around when she realized he didn’t follow her.

“You okay?”

“I’ve got this pain in my neck today,” he replied, massaging his shoulder. “Are you okay? You were up late last night?”

She bobbed her head, yawning for the first time that morning. “Yeah, just trouble sleeping so I thought I’d work on some stuff.”

“Your essay?” he asked.

Kass frowned. She might miss the deadline for her communications scholarship if she wasn’t careful. Her essay was due in less than two weeks. She considered calling the university and delaying her entrance. The last week in October sounded more and more appealing, especially as she tried to figure out some things in her life. Things being an understatement. 

She shook her head and ran a hand through her ponytail. “No, internship stuff. I’m finishing up a few things now that Jennifer…”

“I’m so sorry, Kass,” Howard said, appearing genuinely grieved. “I know the internship meant a lot to you. It must be hard with the horrible circumstances.”

More like I’m not sure how I feel about Jennifer being gone than the loss of the job, but… 

“Something like that,” she tilted her head.

Howard limped to the kitchen, offering breakfast and some fresh-squeezed tart cherry juice. Good for your joints after running, he said with a stretched smile. She could tell he was in pain today.

Kass accepted the latter as she stopped to inspect a collection of black-and-white photographs dotting the wall. The house, Kate’s house, appeared immaculate. Nothing cluttered the floor in the entryway. No smudges on any of the many windows. Nothing littering the stairwell. Even the pictures appeared cold, sterile snapshots of nature and architecture, not a single photograph of Kate and her dad, or any people for that matter.

“Are you sure you don’t want eggs?” Howard called around the corner. “Or bacon? Or waffles? Waffles used to be your favorite when you were a little girl.”

Kass sighed, pleased he remembered. “Yeah… I still love waffles…”

She recalled the burnt aftertaste of her mamma’s poor replication, and decided her father’s famous, at least in the Fullbright household, breakfasts.

“Okay, Dad, make me waffles,” she conceded.

“Then waffles it is,” Howard coughed, and slapped his hand on the counter as he tried to regain his balance.

“Dad?” Kass exclaimed.

“I’m fine… I’m fine…” he assured, taking a moment to grab the cabinet handle to steady himself. “Some days I’m tireder than others…” he pulled the cherry juice from the shelf. “Here… help yourself…” he nodded to the cupboard.

Kass picked out two glasses. It was strange to see her father suffering from the effects of EXCES. His muscle weakness, aches, and pains all pointed to an age beyond his forty-five years. Her nonno, with his therapies, seemed to bounce back quicker than her own dad, and he was quite a bit older. She worried her father would have to eventually use a cane or even a wheelchair if the disease continued to leech his energy.

Howard dropped an egg. The shell shattered into many tiny white shards, the yolk splashing on the floor.

“Let me get that,” Kass said, glancing around for a towel.

Like other rooms in the house, the kitchen was rather sparse. She managed to find a tea towel in one of the drawers near the stove.

“No,” Howard said, bending slowly to pick up the pieces. “It’s okay.”

He nearly slipped.

“Dad, seriously” Kass insisted, grabbing his arm. “Let me clean it up.”

She tried not to gasp. His muscles felt like gelatin, lacking substance. Her father was morphing into a skin-and-bones man.

“Here, you…” she snagged a bar stool with her free hand. “…sit here and I’ll finish mixing the waffle batter.”

“Thank you, daughter,” Howard relaxed into the seat, pink rising in his cheeks.

Kass turned away to give her father a moment to collect himself. He laid his hands in his lap as she cracked an egg into the mixing bowl.

“Do you still experiment with food?” she inquired, trying to distract.

“Yeah,” Howard said. “I like to try different toppings. It makes it special.”

“I remember your hot dogs,” Kass replied.

“You do?” he replied, a hopefulness raising in his tone. “Katelyn doesn’t like hot dogs, but I still like the meat. Reminds me of Scouts.”

“You were a Scout?” Kass asked, stirring the batter with a big wooden spoon. “I didn’t know that.”

“Yeah, for two summers, then I quit because your Granny Penny needed me at home and I could make money delivering papers,” he answered. “But we used to roast hot dogs over a campfire. I can still smell the smoke.”

“Mmm… sounds lovely,” Kass replied. “The one food I actually like burnt. Too pink and it grosses me out.”

“Really?” Howard remarked as he leaned over and reached in the drawer to pull out a knife. “Here… get the strawberries from the fridge, will ya? I think there are some pistachios in the pantry too. The combination is delicious.”

Kass arched a brow at the mention of ‘pistachios.’ It didn’t seem fair to despise a food simply because it shared a name with the woman her father had an affair with, but she had avoided the greenish cashew-like nut for that very reason. She felt the heat rise in her cheeks, and hoped her father would assume she was flushed from the stovetop.

“Strawberries and pistachios sound good,” she managed, forcing herself to swallow any illogical resentment.

It was mid morning when Kass arrived at Papyrus Memorial Library. The stately brick building was named for an Alsim saint in a city government attempt to appear tolerant. A few generations back, the Landgrabbs had donated the land to the city, but the building was rededicated when Kass was in middle school. Of course, their name was listed on a prominent plaque near the entrance, along with the SimNational state seal flapping proudly on deep blue flags. Nancy Landgrabb, in particular, wanted to appear progressive, but deep down, Kass surmised she wanted the glory that accompanied her family’s good deeds.

Another prominent Sunset Valley family, the Goths, supported the upkeep and maintenance of the building as well as reading programs through one of their many foundations, Fountain of Knowledge. Kass appreciated the vast wealth of learning available through this public resource, especially because her dad couldn’t remember the WiFi password. She twisted her face as she stopped to tie her shoe on the top step. How was he entertaining himself all day without internet? Curiosity claimed the better of her, and she wanted to do some research. Unfortunately, her data was low on her phone plan, and she didn’t have her PeachySoft laptop. And her usual hotspot for utilizing public wireless was out of the question – Jade’s Java Jolt. She didn’t want to chance an encounter with Davis… or Gage.

A young librarian with boyish short red hair and dark gothic makeup helped Kass settle in the information room. The woman, whose nametag read Emma, explained in a boorish monotone that after entering her library card number Kass could log-into the communal computer for an unlimited amount of time so long as no one else needed the device. Thank you public library! Kass smiled as typed the sixteen digit unique library code and then the name ‘Morgana Goth’ into the S’moggle search bar. This morning’s encounter was enough to pique her interest.

Over two million results popped. Kass’ eyes widened. Most of the first two pages appeared to reference a ‘Morgana Goth,’ a strikingly beautiful dancer from the late 21st century. She clicked on an link, scanning the article about how she drove two men to madness when they competed for her affections. Most dismissed the story as a folk tale, but the legend was compounded by Morgana’s mysterious disappearance. Kass leaned in the desk chair, rolling back from the desk. Another Goth who strangely vanished? Like Bella, many people theorized Morgana was abducted by aliens. Too weird. A strange and sudden chill crept down Kass’ bare arms.

She narrowed her search to the more modern Morgana, adding ‘Sunset Valley’ to her query. More accurate results revealed various articles about the pediatric surgeon before referencing the woman’s personal life. Born Morgana Miranda Goth, the woman was the younger sister of Mortimer and Gunther Goth, the respective CEO and CFO of MorcuCorp, a global import-export business and research conglomerate. Kass kept clicking, finding different internet entries about conspiracy theories regarding MorcuCorp and the Goth family in general. She noted Morgana changed her name during a civil ceremony at the courthouse when she married Thornton Wolfe, at the time an “up-and-coming accounting expert,” according to an article. I wonder if Delores knows him. 

A query entry for Jazzilyn Alto produced shorter results. Most content on the first five pages were dedicated to campaign information. Kass clicked on a video titled ‘Blue For You’ dated three weeks prior.

I am here for the Sunset Valley people. Born and raised in a blue-collar family. I know the value of hard work. I know what it’s like to keep your nose to the grind to get by. I know how disruptive this election can be and how you roll your eyes and you just want to get back to your daily lives.

This brought a few awkward chuckles from the crowd. The camera panned the rally attendants.

You matter. It may be easy to forget but you are the one who makes the decisions in our town. It’s your voice. It’s your vote. It’s not politicians who shape your future. It’s the waitress who pours your cup of coffee. It’s the janitor who cleans the toilets at the high school.

Kass couldn’t help but think of Clark. He was on security detail for Jazzilyn, wasn’t he? She narrowed her eyes and paused, scanning back through the audience, but she didn’t see his face. She did see Detectives Goddard and Hunter on crowd control. Do they have any other cops in this town? 

It’s the men and women in blue who patrol our streets and firefighters who respond to emergency calls who keep us safe. It’s the everyday people, the blue collars, who keep our society running from behind the scenes. They are the unsung heroes. They are the real decision makers. Their voice… your voice… it matters. Your vote… your voice…matters.

The audience clapped and cheered. Kass twisted her lower lip and tilted her head. Ms. Alto was telling people what they wanted to hear, but it wasn’t inherently bad. Make it matter, Jazzilyn repeated as her husband appeared at her side. The couple squeezed hands and lifted them in a sign of united triumph to the crowd.

Too bad Bert isn’t blue collar, Kass smirked. The Alto family wasn’t exactly hurting for money, but his philandering ways were hurting Jazzilyn’s campaign. Kass caved to a clickbait article. Two days ago, Nancy Landgrabb scathingly accused her opposition of hypocrisy for spouting working class family values when Jazzilyn’s own husband was openly cheating. Jazzilyn’s response appeared in several local media sources, from The Bay City Buzz to SBN’s official website. Bert sat at his wife’s side, appearing apologetic, as Jazzilyn assured the public that they were working through their marital issues, and that he had only strayed once a long time ago.

I wonder if Morgana knows that. Kass’ heart fell, flopping into a mangled heap at her feet. It was a lie. It had to be a lie. Or else Jazzilyn was the world’s biggest idiot. Either way, her statement didn’t sit well with Kass. And what about Madison? Bert had at least two extramarital affairs, and Jazzilyn couldn’t be that big of a dunce. Just this morning, Morgana loudly declared in an argument with her husband that Bert wanted children with her.  Beware the Altos, Madison warned. Kass thought that meant Bert, but now she wasn’t so sure. According to inherited notes from Jennifer, the father of the baby was hundreds of miles away at a casino during Madison’s time of death. Should she be wary of Jazzilyn? Thornton had said he didn’t trust her.

What was she supposed to say? she wrestled with her internal turmoil. If she admitted to Bert’s recent cheating, it would be political suicide. She could kiss her big mayoral aspirations goodbye. Kass snapped the browser closed as she jerked back in her chair, ignoring her gurgling stomach. She wondered if Morgana knew about Madison… and the baby. Jazzilyn had to know. At least about the affair. But the baby? The media never caught wind of Madison’s pregnancy. Probably for the best. It couldn’t be a coincidence that Morgana argued with her husband about wanting children in the driveway this morning, or that she referenced Jazzilyn’s infertility.

It was all too weird to be coincidental, wasn’t it? Someone wanted Madison dead because they felt threatened? Exposed? Angry? Someone killed Jennifer for the same reasons. And then there was Joel. The undercover cop’s informant. The jewel thief. How did he fit into all this? She didn’t buy the ‘suicide by fire’ story with Madison or the Sunnyside Smolder ‘accidentally’ killing someone like Madison and Joel, and definitely not Jennifer. That was deliberate. This whole thing was bigger than an arsonist. She didn’t know why or how she knew that, but she did.

Bert was in the middle of all this, but Kass couldn’t help but feel the baby was the key to figuring out everything. I’m missing something here. She ran a hand through her hair, messing her ponytail.  If Bert wasn’t a killer, that left only two prime suspects. The wife. Or the other mistress. 

Author Notes: Thanks for reading. In the original story, Kass researched the Goth family and this chapter was focused on her EXCES research. This time it didn’t feel right so I wrote a brand new chapter. As I’m trying to advance the story, I wanted to focus on clues related to Madison and Jennifer’s death. 

A few quick notes.

  • School is year-round in SimNation. Students have a 9-week summer break, and each school term is 7 weeks long. First term begins the last week of August and ends second week in October. Students then receive a 1-week fall break before resuming second term in the last week in October. 
  • Alsim or Al-Sim is the third largest religion on Simterra. I do try to be respectful toward different religious and cultural beliefs. Alsim is a loose blending of African and Asian religious and spiritual practices and beliefs. Papyrus is a type of plant material used as a thicker paper, first used in Egypt and then it spread throughout the Mediterranean. In AlSim, Papyrus is a saint associated with good news, joyous announcements, and storytelling. 
  • Morgana Goth is a minor Sim mentioned in The Sims franchise. The younger Morgana Goth-Wolfe is named for her ancestor. 
  • MorcuCorp is a company mentioned in The Sims franchise. 
  • SBN stands for Sims Broadcasting Network.
  • Oh and yes, the librarian was Emma Hatch, a townie in Sunset Valley. Her lifetime wish is to be The Culinary Librarian.