jump. (monthly simlits, november 2017)

note: this month’s prompt is “fear will by thy enemy”.  i really like the idea of expanding on victoria and nathan’s story, so here it is.

enjoy <3.

jump.

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we met in second grade.

it was at the local pool, and i was terrified.  i had always been slightly afraid of water, for whatever reason.  i didn’t like that i could submerge myself into something i couldn’t see the end of, nor the fact that so much of my body was on display.  so i sat, huddled near the end of the pool, trying not to cry as my mother and sister coaxed me from inside the foreboding waters.

“hi.”

a boy who looked around my age was suddenly next to me, looking equally as nervous.  “hi,” i said back. “i’m victoria.”

“i’m nathan,” apparently nathan said.  “are you okay?”

“yes,” i replied, but a single tear fell down my face.  “no.”

“what’s wrong?”

“i’m scared of the water,” i explained, “but mama really wants me to come in.”

nathan shrugged.  “can you swim?”

“i don’t know,” i answered, “i’ve never tried.”

“i think you should, it could be fun!”  he smiled, which made me smile.  “try it.”

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i nodded, and motioned for my mother to come over to catch me as i jumped in.  i turned back towards nathan, who hadn’t moved.  “aren’t you gonna come with me?”

“nah,” nathan smiled, “i can’t swim.”

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i knew him in high school, but he didn’t know me.

he had a reputation, and i didn’t, until i did.

actually, no one really knew me, until my sister was in an accident.  then suddenly everyone knew me, and it was overwhelming.  coping with the loss of my sister while dealing with a swarm of attention didn’t bode well for a good start to my senior year, and i soon found myself skipping class, just to get away from people.  too many people thought i was a broken little project, eager to help, when all i wanted was to get away.

it was different with nathan.  he was also a project, but not like me.  i couldn’t tell you how many times girls i’d seen girls crying in the bathroom over him, how many broken hearts he left in his wake.  he wasn’t the little boy who couldn’t swim, not anymore.  now he dove into a sea of girls every day, leaving one in worse shape than the last.  they all thought they could fix him, too.

maybe that’s what drove us together.

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he was in my spot.

i always sat next to the same tree every day during fifth period, just to take a breather.  my history professor always slept through the movies he’d show us, and i kept up with my work, so no one ever came looking for me.  and he was disrupting that.

“hey,” i said, sitting down next to him.  “you’re in my spot.”

he seemed legitimately surprised to see me, his book nearly falling out of his hands.  he composed himself a bit before talking.  “i didn’t realize it was anyone’s spot, i’m sorry.”

i sighed.  “it’s fine.”

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and then we sat in silence.  it was the most awkward experience of my life, sitting next to the most sought after guy in school just doing nothing.  he didn’t seem to know what to do, either, so i opted to just try zone everything out.

“have you ever read shakespeare?”

his question snapped me out of my trance.  “no,” i lied, trying to see where this was going to go.  “why?”  he didn’t have to know that’s all i ever read.

his hand accidentally brushed mine, and it took all of my will power not to dart away.  “nothing, you just look like you could be his muse.”

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it started out small.

i opened my locker one day, and a folded up piece of paper was sent sailing to the floor.  my heart lept out of my chest when i saw that sonnet fifteen was written in pretty cursive, followed by a wave of nausea.  i knew it was nathan, but he probably did this with all the girls.  i was already terrified of being taken advantage of, let alone to let this happen.

i threw the note in the trash.

the following day, sonnet eighteen was waiting for me.  i fought to contain my blush all day, but it didn’t work.  and he saw.  i know he saw.  and i knew he saw when i threw the note away, again.

i kept the note when he left sonnet one-hundred and forty-seven, because it was a favorite of mine.

i kept them all after that.

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he was in my spot again.

“i want to be with you,” he said abruptly.  “you must know that.”

i swallowed, because i wanted him, too.  but i wanted that little boy who gave me strength, not the man before me.  “you know that i know the stories.  you’ll use me because that’s all you know how to do.”

“no,” he shook his head, grabbing my hand.  “the rules don’t apply to you, they never did.”

“how do i know that?”  i snapped, turning away from him.

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“because,” he pulled me towards him, “i gave you support, right?  you couldn’t swim, but you jumped right in.  and i’ve never forgotten that.  and i’ll support you now.”

“you remember,” i breathed, looking up at him.  “you remember.”

“i could never forget you.”

anxiety slid through my veins as his face grew closer to mine, every inch instilling fear in me.  “you’re not good for me.”

“no,” he agreed, “probably not.”

“and people are going to talk about us, and they’re going to tell me things, real things.”

“they are,” he agreed again, “but you know you’re different.”

i swallowed.  this was the scariest thing i’d ever experienced in my life.  i took a breath, and looked him in the eyes. “i grant i never saw a goddess go, my mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground, and yet, by heaven-”

“-i think my love as rare, as any she belied with false compare.”

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i was asking him to jump in.

and he dove.

*~*~*

holy god, it was so hard to make this just 1000 words.  i think i really like the idea of expanding on these two lol, so maybe i will over on my tumblr, but idk.  i hope you enjoyed ❤

monthly simlits is over here.

 

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Generation Six, Chapter Five [Your Heart Beats Wildly Within Me]

Generation Six, Chapter Five,

{Your Heart Beats Wildly Within Me}

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To say I was terrified of the jump was putting it lightly.

Boris legitimately had me hang on to his back, and then descended from my balcony in such a manner that the only thing I could fathom at the time was how precise it was.  As if it was in his daily ritual to jump from three stories.  Not to mention he didn’t utter a single complaint or break any bones, so any and all thoughts I had about him possibly being human were sent to the chopping block immediately.

It was like a fairy tale, a princess being rescued from her tower–but this time, it wasn’t a handsome prince rescuing me.  It was some sort of monster.  A beautiful monster.

As the distance between us and the only home I ever knew grew further, anxiety festered in my chest.  I knew what I wanted, I knew I wanted adventure, I knew I wanted to go with Boris.  I wanted to see the world, literally and figuratively.  All I had ever known was well decorated walls and a sheltered life style.   I knew the public barely knew what I looked like, let alone my significance.  I loved my family dearly-but I had to do something for myself.

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We didn’t stop for what seemed like hours.  The world seemed to pass by as a blur as I clung to Boris’ back and it all felt like a dream.  Finally, he let me down, just as dawn appeared to break in the sky.  “We should stop for now,”  Boris said, “Make camp and move again at dusk.”

He reached into the small pouch attached to his belt, and I had to blink a few times to fully comprehend what he pulled out.   A large pack emerged from within, easily ten times the size of the pouch.  I felt my jaw drop, and Boris looked up at me sheepishly.  “It’s an extension charm.”

“Um, okay,”  I sputtered.  “Any other magic tricks that I should know about?”

Boris smiled.  “No, little Rose.  Not really.”

Boris set up camp quicker than my eyes could see, as if it had happened in mere moments.  After he was finished, he clapped his hands together, satisfied with his work.  I merely eyed him from where I stood.

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“What?”  He asked, again, looking bashful.  “Okay, so maybe there are…a few more magic tricks that I can do.”

I merely looked away from him, trying to wrap my head around the last few minutes.  None of it was logical.  None of it.  I decided it was best to drop it and let it marinate some more before I assaulted him with too many questions.  “Where are we going?”

He smiled.  “My dear, have you ever heard of the Wanderer’s Forest?”

“I’m not sure,”  I answered, “Though I believe there is an account of my great-great-great grandmother talking of such a place when she was married.  But no one really knows where.”

“That’s because there’s no set place for it.  It doesn’t exist in this time or the next, only in it’s own.  And that’s where we’re going.”

The foliage around me suggested that we weren’t that far off.  “Are we close?”

Boris nodded, securing his pouch now that everything had been emptied.  “Very.”

“How can you tell, if it doesn’t exist?”

Boris gave me a thoughtful look.  “Magic has a way of finding magic.”  When he didn’t elaborate, I gave him a cold stare, which in turn earned me a more elaborate answer.  “I think you know that I’m not human.  I have abilities that others do not.  I can do many things that normal person cannot grasp.  And because of this, I can navigate the forest.”

“I see,”  I murmured, “And what happens when we get there?”

“Why Rose,”  Boris said, looking at me eagerly.  “Anything you want.”

*~*~*

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Thoughts spinning, I laid down in the extravagant tent and tried to rest.  Boris had instructed me to stay within the camp and disappeared,  riddling me with anxiety.  He was being very secretive about where he was going, but promised to be back before the sun rose completely.  Nothing was making sense, but if I was being honest with myself, it was thrilling.  I couldn’t remember ever being outside this long, or away from my family.  If I were truly to rule this country,  I would be woefully unprepared if I had continued to merely live in my home and never being seen.  I needed to experience things on my own, for once in my life.

Sleep alluded me, so I pulled my sweater back on and sat at the fire Boris had made, digging my hands into the grass and relishing the feeling.  The sky was a beautiful sight, the air was fresh, and the sounds of the forest made it a tranquil scene.  I found myself in a lull before I heard the distinct sound of a branch snapping.

Logically, I knew it was probably Boris.  We hadn’t seen anyone else during our travels, and it no one would be looking for me yet.  We still had a few hours before the cavalry would be released, or at least, I hoped it’d be a few more hours.  There was always a possibility…

So instead of preparing a warm welcome for Boris, I prepared myself to run.

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“Rose?”

I released the breath I hadn’t realized I was holding, a wave of relief washing over me when Boris came in to view.  He didn’t share the sentiment, however, and wore a weary look.

“Did something happen while I was gone?”

I shook my head, and rose to greet him.  “No, I was just…prepared for anything, I guess.”

Boris gave me a small smile before furrowing his brow.  He tilted his head a bit and surveyed the area, which only caused me to go on edge again.  “You didn’t see anyone else while I was gone?”

“If I had, I would’ve told you.”  I said, definitely not liking the look on his face.  “What can you sense that I can’t?”

He shook his head, and his smile returned, this time in full force.  My heart fluttered at the sight, and I felt secure again.

“It’s nothing, Rose,”  He said, suddenly pulling me into an embrace.

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Nothing at all.

*~*~*

lol it’s definitely something.

Oh hey, I forgot I had this chapter written already!  Totally could’ve released this eons ago.  Sorry!

Also Cicely is so PRETTY oh my god

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-Haley

Generation Six, Chapter Four [Your Hand In Mine]

Generation Six, Chapter Four

{Your Hand In Mine}

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My sight had been restored one week before my eighteenth birthday.  The illusion of time had been distorted for me, but I knew–because Boris had told me.

I had stopped dreaming of my parents.  I only dreamt of him.  And honestly, it wasn’t so bad.  Though I missed my parents dearly, Boris was a comfort I never knew I was missing out on.  He led me through the forest I had always been in, telling me stories of his world.  He also provided me sympathy when the real world became too much to bare, when I locked up and shook over the memory of what could have been, what my parents were to me.  He apologized for hurting me, but he never really did.  If anything, he gave me a chance at a new life, painted with the memories of my parents, and I could grow into it.

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“There’s a lot of responsibility coming my way,”  I had said one night, my hand in his as he guided me through thick reeds and spring flowers.  “I was born into something much bigger than myself.”

Boris didn’t turn to look at me, but I heard him chuckle.  “You have no idea.”

He let go of my hand to dart over a rock, and then waited for me.  He reminded me of a cat, with how quick and nimble he was, which didn’t really match his appearance at all.  I wouldn’t call him intimidating, but he certainly didn’t appear to be a kitten.

“I’m literally a princess,”  I said, taking his hand again. “I have every idea.  I don’t have a choice, but that’s alright.”

“What if you did?”

“What?” I countered, letting go. That amount contact alone was enough to make me blush, and I didn’t really fully understand what happened to me when he held my hand. “What do you mean?”

“You’ll see soon enough.”

I frowned.  He was always saying things like that.  “You’re very cryptic.”

“Cryptic?  Do you realize where you are?”

“Do you?

The familiar inky black began to curl around us, a tell-tale sign that I was going to wake up.  Boris turned around and waved.

“See you soon, Rose.”

*~*~*

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I woke on the morning of my birthday to the sound of what I could only describe as a duck dying…or drowning…or something. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I rose to see Auntie Lucuma and Grandpa beaming at me, sound makers attached to their mouths which appeared to be the source of the duck in distress.  Regardless, I smiled anyways.

“What’s this?”  I said, eyeing them.  The two grown adults appeared to be absolutely glowing with glee.

“It’s your birthday, silly!”  Auntie Lucuma said, jumping in place.  “We have to celebrate!”

“I really don’t need anything special,” I started, but Grandpa cut me off.

“Nonsense, you only turn eighteen once, and Wonderland knows that when I turned eighteen,”

“Right,”  Auntie Lucuma sighed, glaring at Grandpa.  “I’m sure that Cici doesn’t need to know any of that, old man.”  She elbowed him in the ribs, which earned a groan from him, and she returned to smiling.  “We baked you a cake.”

“A cake,”  I murmured, “That’s so nice-“

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Grandpa cut in.  “Actually, your grandmother and I baked a cake.  Your aunt ruined three.”

Once again, my grandpa was elbowed in the ribs.

“Well,”  Auntie Lucuma said.  “Come downstairs when you’re ready.  We have a whole day planned for you!”

I smiled at them as they left my room, the two already bickering over frosting and who exactly do you think you are telling her how horrible I am at baking.

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The smile fell as soon as the door closed, and I turned my arms over to see the scars that had begun to fade.  It was strange, knowing I did that to myself, felt myself do it, but never actually saw how it happened.  If I were to brush a finger over the scars, they would burn and ache.  Strange.

It was nothing compared to the sick feeling in my chest that wound it’s way into my heart as I lifted the covers and padded over to my desk, my mind foggy.

Mama died eighteen years ago today.

I’d read enough books to understand what grief was.  It was what I felt when I woke up from seeing my parents, it was what I saw in Auntie Lucuma’s eyes when we visited their graves, and it’s what made my grandmother’s hands shake on the day of her coronation.

No one had ever outright told me that I was the reason that she was dead, but it was obvious, logical, really.  The anniversary of her death was on my birthday, after all.  Even if time was a touchy subject in Wonderland, those two things were still absolute.  She must have died bringing me into the world.

If only she were here now.

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But now that I knew her, I knew what she would say now.  She wouldn’t want me dwelling on the past, wouldn’t want me to think any less of myself because of what happened.  She would want me to grow and be stronger because of it, and not let her sacrifice go to waste.

I wouldn’t.   But that didn’t mean I wasn’t allowed to mourn.

So when I pulled my sweater on over my head, tears were flowing freely down my face.  When I pulled my socks on to my feet and up my legs, my heart ached for the woman I had come to know.  And when I turned to the mirror to fix my hair…

I held in a scream, because Boris stood behind me.

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“Oh my-”  I cried, before quickly quieting myself.  Boris was staring at me with such intensity that I had to look away, but my anger boiled under my skin.  “What are you doing here?  You scared me!  And how long have you been there?”

“Long enough.”  Boris said, moving towards me.  My heart pounded against my rib cage with each step he took, and I had to actually clutch a hand to my chest for the sake of my sanity.  If he noticed, he was too kind to remark upon it.  “Happy birthday.”

“Thanks,” I spat, crossing my arms.  “Is this another dream?  This isn’t our usual venue.”

Boris’ lips turned up into his Cheshire grin.  “I’m very real,”  he held out his arm as he drew nearer,  and I was positive that my entire body would turn into a puddle at any moment.  “Touch me.”

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“That hardly seems appropriate,”  I whispered, my eyes returning to his.  They were such a violet intensity that it took my breath away.  His smile only grew.

“You’re not going to believe me if you don’t.”

Well, he was right.  “Fine.”

Time seemed to stop as I closed the distance between us, gently pressing my fingertips on the edge of his forearm.  He was cold to the touch, but still sent electricity through my palms to my veins.  The next thing I noticed is how firm he felt, how strong he probably was.  He had wisps of hair sprouting down his arms that I curled my fingertips into. I gently lifted my hand to rest over his heart, before I realized how memorized I had been. Looking back up, I realized he hadn’t taken his eyes off of me, and I flushed under his gaze. “What?”

“You’re just very beautiful.”

“Oh,”  I whispered, face burning.  “Um-“

“I have a present for you, Rose.”

“Funny, I don’t see a present,”  I said, trying to tone down my excitement.  I couldn’t help it.  The man of my literal dreams was here, in the flesh, wishing me happy birthday, and he got me a present?

Boris flashed me a smile.  “I want you to come with me.”

“Where?”  I blurted without hesitation, but quickly bit my tongue.  It was slightly absurd that I’d just agree to follow a man with no destination anyways, or even ask for details.  Even if I trusted him.  Even if I felt like I was compelled to follow this man to the ends of the earth.

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Boris took my hands in his.  “Before you agree, you must know something.  I want to take you on adventures you’ve never known, Rose.  I want you to see the world for all it’s worth, because you deserve all of it.  And it will be yours, in time.  You’re the heir to an ancient throne and I hope you realize that.”

I swallowed.  “I could never forget such a thing.”

He knelt before me, still holding my hand.  “So you must know I would never let any harm come to you, lest your family line were to die.  I will protect you, always, until my dying breath, because I am yours.”  He dropped his head, as if he was worshiping me, and I felt as though it might make me fly away. “However, because we made a binding contract, you must come with me.  Something awful will happen if you don’t.”

“Like what?”  I asked, suddenly feeling like a giant weight was pressing down on my chest.

“When you make a contract with…someone like me, and you break it, one of us will die.”

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“Oh,”  I whispered.  “That certainly narrows down the options, doesn’t it?”

Boris nodded.  “I’m afraid so.”

I crossed my arms and considered my options.  He hadn’t specified who died, really, but my intuition told me that it wouldn’t be him.  But where were we going?  And for how long?  I had an obligation to claim the throne when it was time.  Not to mention, my family would search the ends of the earth for me.  “So when do we leave?”

“Well, now, preferably.  But I realize you probably want to spend your birthday with your family.”  Boris said, who seemed taken aback that I had agreed so quickly.  “As long as we leave before midnight, it should be fine.”

“Does something happen at midnight?”  I asked, though I already knew the answer.

“When the clock strikes twelve, that is when one of us will die.”

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I nodded.  “Oddly enough, that makes sense.”

“That’s typically how these things go,”  Boris offered me a smile that I couldn’t help but return.  “When you are ready, we will go.”

“Where are we going?”  I blurted, trying to quell the feeling of nausea in my stomach.

“Why, my Rose, everywhere.”

*~*~*

I almost regret walking down the stairs, because every moment spent with my family only made my heart ache.  I was leaving them, for real this time, and I had no idea when I would see them again.  Auntie Lucuma’s smile and grandpa’s soft eyes followed me everywhere through the day, and even my grandmother was happy.  I knew the weight of the crown was always pressing heavily on her shoulders, but seeing her laugh with the rest of us made her seem more human than normal.

But I knew, that later, I would be breaking all of their hearts, and the thought broke my own a thousand times over.

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I bade everyone goodnight earlier than usual, but no one questioned it.  I wasn’t surprised at all to see Boris in my room, gazing out of my window overlooking our backyard.  He turned almost immediately at my presence, looking almost solemn.  “Ready to go?”

“Yeah,”  I said, grabbing a bag of clothes and other necessities.  “Just let me do one more thing.”

“Of course.”

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Mama,

I’m finally going on my own adventure.  Even though I’m almost forced to go, I’m happy to.  I feel like I can trust Boris, even if I really wish he would’ve revealed to me the details of our contract before I agreed.  Although, I was a child, so I’m not sure I would’ve really understood it.

I wouldn’t trade the memories I’ve made with you and daddy for the world, though.  This will be worth it, I know that in my heart.  And there is always the promise of return.  I’ll be back for you, and make you and daddy proud of the woman I will have become.  I only hope everyone else will understand, and not try to follow me.  The world barely knows about my existence as it is, so hopefully there won’t be a nation wide panic like with… well, you know, daddy.

I don’t have much more time left.  I need to go.   I love you mama, sweet dreams.

Love,

Cicely Rose Liddell.

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*~*~*

Kinda long, but necessary, lol.  Next chapter might be a time skip?  So Cicely will actually be aged up to a young adult.  Also the way the Liddell house was built, this was actually Summer’s room since she was going to be the Juliet, and it has a balcony.  (That’s also why there’s like pink stuff lol.)  So they wouldn’t be detected, Boris just threw Cicely on his back and they hopped off the thing!  (cus he’s magic and stuff.)

Anyways, thanks for reading ❤

-Haley

 

i’m coming, too. (monthly simlits, september 2017)

note: my entry for september’s monthly simlit challenge.  not to like, spoil anything, but the theme gets pretty dark towards the end. you’ve been warned! i was listening to this song x  while writing this.  probably doesn’t even fit?  lol anyways.

enjoy. ❤

i’m coming, too.

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your call has been forwarded to an automated voice messaging system-

“hey, it’s me again.  haven’t heard from you in awhile.  things haven’t been the same since the last time we talked.  i was hoping we could talk again.  call me back whenever, okay?”

your call has been forwarded to an automated voice messaging system-

“um, hey.  i know, it’s not like me to bother you like this, but i really wanted to talk to you.  it feels like you’re ignoring me, which i guess is fine. it’s not the end of the world or anything.  call me back.”

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your call has been forwarded to an automated voice messaging system-

“it’s like you’re gone.  just hopped off the face of the earth.  like some fucked up vacation.  except you’re gone for good this time, aren’t you?  call me back.”

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your call has been forwarded to an automated voice messaging system-

“still on that vacation?  funny, you said you’d never leave me.  that you’d never leave my side, and you’d make all the pain go away.  well the pain is still here, and you’re not.  i didn’t realize how many lies you told me until it was too late, ’till i was too far gone.  were all these memories lies?  that night you took me to the beach and kissed me for the first time, was that a lie, too?  those love letters you slipped into my locker senior year, or the ring you gave me, is that a lie?  is this real, baby? has it ever been real?  call me back.”

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your call has been forwarded to an automated voice messaging system-

“still on a vacation, i see.  was it to get away from me?  was i too much for you?  i guess if i was, you deserve a vacation.  i feel like i need one too, now.  i thought what we had was real, baby.  but i see it now, i did this to you. i did this, didn’t i?  call me back, please.”

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your call has been forwarded to an automated voice messaging system-

“i’m sorry.  i’m sorry.  i’m so sorry.  i’m sorry about what i said, i knew it would hurt you and i said it anyways.  i shouldn’t have.  i take it back, okay?  i take it back.  i just need you to talk to me again.  i need you.  i didn’t realize how much i needed you until you were gone, okay?  i love you.  call me back.”

your call has been forwarded to an automated voice messaging system-

“you know what?  i can’t believe you.  i can’t believe you would do this to me.  you haven’t come back from your stupid vacation and it’s tearing me up inside.  do you understand what you’re doing to me?  to us?  i finally took off my ring.  maybe now people will stop looking at me like i’m some sad, kicked puppy.  they’re talking.  they’re all talking.  i don’t think they’ll ever stop.  call me back. please.”

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your call has been forwarded to an automated voice messaging system-

  “i don’t even remember what your voice sounds like anymore.  you never even set up your voicemail so your actual voice was on it, which is just like you.  you didn’t even want to meet my parents, or tell anyone we were actually dating, because of how private you were.  but i loved you anyways.  and you met my parents eventually.  even if it was years later at our engagement party.  i put my ring back on, by the way.  it hurt too much when it was off, like i was taking off my actual finger.  that’s so fucked, right?  i still love you. i’ll never stop. call me back.”

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your call has been forwarded to an automated voice messaging system-

“you’re back.  even if it was in a casket.  at a funeral.  your funeral.  i’ve never seen your mom cry before, you know that?  she was always such a bitch to me, but she hugged me.  she finally acknowledged me, just like how i have to acknowledge that you’re actually gone.  you didn’t even look like you.  i’m just amazed that they found you at all.  you’re vacation to the beach must have gone horribly wrong, huh?  for you to be caught up in a current and dragged all the way to the other side town.  you can’t even swim, nathan.  you told me that in second grade.  so why’d you do it?  was it because of our fight?  i should’ve never let you leave alone.  i saw the signs before that night, i saw your razor and still-full pill bottle.  i just didn’t know how to help you. you told me i could never save you, so did you ever want to be saved? were you already too far gone?  i know you won’t call me back, but i still hope it’s you every time my screen lights up.  i love you.”

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your call has been forwarded to an automated voice messaging system-

“i’m coming too, nathan.  i want to go on vacation with you.”

voicemail is full at this time.  please try again later.

*~*~*

thanks for reading ❤  monthly simlits is found over here x.

-Haley

 

Generation Six, Chapter Three [You Led Me Down This Path]

NOTE: I just wanted to get this out, because it’s been forever since I updated.  There’s no pictures because I apparently overloaded my game with cc and it won’t even uninstall stuff/start, so I’m still figuring that out.  Sorry.  As always, the dash is where a picture would be.

NOTE 9/29/17: Hey look, pictures! *Cutting TW*

Generation Six, Chapter Three,

{You Led Me Down This Path}

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“She’s almost the age where he…”

“Do we know why? With him, we never knew, but her…”

“Not her, we can’t lose her too.”

*~*~*

Death is stoic.

I didn’t know what it’d truly be like; but I never imagined it to be this.  Dark, winding pathways with no end in sight–a foul smell so pungent it made my eyes water and nose wrinkle in disgust.  I had expected to be greeted by my mama and daddy, smiles on their faces.  Maybe even the owner of that voice, so mysterious and enchanting, waiting for me at the wispy gates of the afterlife.  I’d forever be in that grove, with colorful trees and bountiful gardens, my fingers tangled with the weeds and the dirt and greeted by the smell of honey and a hurricane of flowery fragrances.

Every door I took led to more nothingness, an endless void cast out in front of me.  It was like I was in a tape on rewind, everything looking the same over and over again.

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“Absolem is dead.

Melodic soon after.

Then it is you, little rose….”

My vision blurred as a new voice surrounded me, my head pounding with memories.  Cutting off my hair, because I couldn’t see it anyways and it was always in my way.  Grandma smiling at me when I took my first steps.  Falling asleep on Auntie Lucuma’s shoulder during an event.  Grandpa telling me stories that never really seemed real.  Losing my sight.  Seeing my parents. Glowing eyes.

Boris.

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It came rushing back to me, my mind unraveling and pulling itself back together.  Making a deal with a strange man so I could dream about my parents, his eyes hauntingly beautiful, his voice enamoring.  Not fully understanding what exactly I was in for.

“So you remember.”

I turned around to see him, standing a few feet from me.  His eyes (…eye?) were the brightest thing in the room…(if this was a room.)  Speaking of.

“Where am I?”  I asked, my voice trembling.  I hadn’t even realized how terrified I was of the abyss until right now.  Terrified of the unknown.

“Where you wanted to be,”  He said simply, as if that was enough.  “I thought you wanted this.”

“I wanted my parents,”  I bit back, my eyes prickling with unshed tears.  “I thought…”

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“You thought, Rose.  There is so much you don’t know.”

I bit my lip, expecting to taste copper in my mouth, but felt nothing.  “I don’t understand.”

Boris frowned. “I hope you know, I never intended for you to get hurt.  I only want what’s best for you.  You are every bit as mine as I am yours.”

“Yours?”  I said, taking a step back.  “Yours?

“I am yours, Rose, and you are mine.  You agreed to this, and it’s time for you to fufill your side of the deal.”

My legs felt like they would fall from under me, guilt welling up in my stomach.  “I’m sorry, but I can’t.  I’m dead.  None of this is real.”

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“Oh Rose,” He said, “You’re very real.  You’re as real as it gets.”

“Please,” I pleaded, falling to my knees.  “I just want to be with my parents.  I want them to be real, too.”

Boris was beside in me in a blink of an eye, wrapping his arms around me. “They were real, Rose.  They have always been real.  They are within you, part of you.  Nothing, absolutely nothing, will change that.  It is why you can see them.  But it is not time for you to join them.”

“What-“

“It’s time to wake up, Rose.”

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I woke, gasping for air as the void disappeared and was replaced with sterile white lights and antiseptic brilliance.  I sat upright and immediately regret it, my arms crying beneath my weight.  It took me a moment to realize I wasn’t in my bed, or anywhere familiar, for that matter.  Looking down, I saw that my arms were riddled with lines, and upon touching them, I winced.

Had I done that to myself?

My head swam and sunk as I laid back down, trying to comprehend everything that had been happening to me, but I was incredibly tired.  As always, I needed to go back to sleep.

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This time when I drifted off,  I was back in the grove.  But a surprised Boris was the one who greeted me, not my parents.  “Rose, what are you doing here?”

“I fell back asleep.”  I said, sitting in the flowers.  “But I’m alive, aren’t I?”

Boris sat next to me.  “Yes, very much so.  But you did have a very good go at making that statement false. Did you really think that was the answer?”

I looked away from him.  “I’m not sure.  I don’t know what to make of any of this.  I just want to be with my parents.”

“It’s not your time, Rose.  Not for awhile.  But it will be, as it would be for anyone.  Can you not accept that?”

 “Why did you do this to me if this was going to happen?”  I said, suddenly standing up.  “You gave me this, you showed me this.  Was this because you wanted me to be happy?”

My sudden outburst left me standing in front of Boris, and I felt my cheeks heat up under his gaze.  I realized what I had done, and quietly sat back down, embarrassed that I would even think of talking back to him.  Stupid Rose.

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“My little Rose, I have always wanted you to be happy.  That is why I gifted you with the sight, to see past the veil.  Were you not happy when you were with them?”

“You don’t understand,”  I nearly cried, stifling a sob.  “I don’t belong up there.  I belong with them.”

Boris pulled me to him, and I didn’t resist, though I didn’t really understand what was happening.  Feeling his skin against mine felt so good, so natural.  Had I ever been held like this?  “You’re wrong, Rose,”  He said, running fingers through my hair and rubbing my back.  He placed a gentle kiss to my forehead, my heart hammering against my chest.

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You belong with me.”

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This time when I woke up, I wasn’t alone.  Auntie Lucuma was at my side, my grandparents on the other side of the room.  Groggily, I looked down to see I was in the same bed, with the same scars and same clothing.  I tried to move, but my entire body didn’t want to listen, so I settled for laying there, watching my grandparents whisper to each other, sad expressions on their faces.  Auntie Lucuma was dozing softly next to me, her head resting on my bed, her hand on mine.  I wondered if she had been holding it as I slept.

I inched my fingers near hers and wound my pinky around her thumb and pulled.  It was enough for her to stir, and blink sleepily until she realized what I was doing.  “Cicely?”  She whispered, taking my hand in hers.  “Are you awake?”

I tried to reply, but my tongue felt like sandpaper in my mouth.  How long had I been asleep?  I wrestled with my lips until I was finally able to croak out a response.  “Water. Please.”

Auntie Lucuma helped me sit up and rapidly tried to fulfill my request.  She held a paper cup to my lips and I drank greedily, tears filling my eyes.  Even after I had tried to leave her, she was taking care of me.

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I managed to push her hand away when I was finished, and was able to sit up on my own.  My grandparents were at my side as well, everyone looking at me expectantly.  Grandpa was the first to break the silence.

“You gave us quite the scare there, Cici.”  He said, standing up.  “How do you feel?”

I blinked a few times, the colors in the room seeming too bright.  “I’m okay.  How long was I asleep?”

Everyone looked at each other, having a conversation that I couldn’t make sense of.  Finally, Auntie Lucuma sighed.

“First, you have to promise that you’re never, ever, ever, going to do that to us ever again.”

I nodded, swallowing.  Being awake was more trouble than it was worth.  “I won’t.”

She relaxed a bit, sitting back.  “You’ve been asleep for I think, what, a week?”  She counted her fingers before looking back down at me.  “At least five days.”

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It had felt like so much less than that.  Like minutes.  “Really?”

“Yes, really,”  My grandmother said,   “They had to put you under.  You just didn’t wake up.”

“Oh,” I murmured.  “I’m sorry.”

Auntie Lucuma began to cry and she leaned back over me.  “Why are you apologizing?  We’re sorry, Cici.  We’re sorry we weren’t here for you.”

I didn’t really know how to respond.  It wasn’t like I could really go in to detail.  “How long have you all been here?  You all look very tired.”

The room went silent.  Everyone began looking at each other again, and it only further fueled my confusion.  “What?”

“Cicely,”  My grandmother said, very slowly, “Could you say that again?”

“I said you all look very tired,” I repeated.  “What about it?”

Auntie Lucuma began to cry harder, and grandpa looked like his eyes were going to pop out of his head.  Grandma merely studied me with her piercing blue eyes, so identical to my daddy’s that it made my heart ache.

“Cicely, can you see us?”

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“Yes, I can see you, why are you-”  I stopped mid sentence, finally realizing what was going on.

I blinked a few more times for good measure.  It had been so long since I’d seen any of the people in the room, their colors actually seemed to be blinding.  It was hard to look at, but it was there.  Grandma’s pretty pink hair and Grandpa’s old, fading scar.  Auntie Lucuma’s orange eyes and soft, green complexion.  My own skin, somewhere between porcelain and sun-scorched.

Even though I was awake, I could see.

So what did that mean?

*~*~*

 Hey wow look it’s a chapter

-Haley