Monday, 31 December 2012

1.9. Life's Little Surpises

"What's that noise?" Scheherazade asked herself one evening.  It was odd not being at work, but she couldn't work while so visibly pregnant in any bar in town.  As much as she missed the hubbub, it was going to be quiet nights in for the foreseeable future.  She hoped she had saved enough.

The noise continued.  It sounded like a high pitched whine and was coming from the dumpsters next to the abandoned warehouse across the road.  Pulling on her coat, Scheherazade went to investigate.

Some of the kids in the neighbourhood had built an igloo in the empty parking yard and as Scheherazade got closer she found that the sound was definitely coming from by the dumpster.

The closer she got, the more certain she was that the sound was crying, crying muffled by the snow.  She most as fast as her unbalanced, pregnant body could carry her.

Bending down, she reached into the snow and picked up a small baby.  The little thing was freezing, having been wrapped in only a pink blanket that was soaked through with barely melted snow.

She hurried back inside, to the warmth of her house hoping that she had been quick enough.
"What to do, what to do?" Scheherazade asked herself before closing the door.  She too off the coat and held the frozen babe against her to gently warm it up.  Eventually, it had stopped crying.  She hoped that that was a good thing.  It had seemed to be moving more just before it had.  But what did she know?  She was only pregnant - and unexpectedly at that.  She didn't know about frozen babies in the snow.  She picked up the phone.  The local Adoption Authorities would know what to do with the baby.

"Well, Ma'am.  It looks like the baby is fine.  But there was a real risk of hypothermia.  You really should have called us before trying to leave you baby in a dumpster, not when you had second thoughts," stated the Social Worker.
"What?  I found the baby.  Somebody abandoned it, but it wasn't me!" gasped Scheherazade.
The Social Worker's eyes glanced down at Scheherazade's belly before they rolled upwards.  "Ma'am.  There is no need to lie.  I have seen it all the time.  Destitute mothers giving birth at home and then trying to call the Agency to report an abandoned baby.  Most aren't cruel enough to put them out in the snow first.  And it's not like you can hide your recent pregnancy just yet... even with a billowing shirt."
"Current pregnancy, " Scheherazade gritted her teeth as she spat out the words.  "Destitute?  How dare you judge me by the size of my home!  This, this is luxury compared to what some people have.  I have seen people who have everything that they could wish for and they still aren't happy.   They are miserable.  There is more to life than big fancy houses."
"Well, where this little one is going, there'll be neither.  There's been a baby boom in town recently and kids just aren't getting adopted.  It's a childhood in an institution for her," the Social Worker informed Scheherazade.

"Put her down then," Scheherazade blocked the Social Worker's path.
"Excuse me?"
"I said put her down."
The social worker put down the basket and then rose to meet Scheherazade's eyes.  "So, you admit it then? She's yours?"
"What happens if I admit that she's mine and if I want her?" Scheherazade asked.
"Since I'm here, I fill out the paperwork to register her birth.  We make a note of this incident for future record - should anything else be reported, we'll take the child away, but for now we'll just call it a post partum episode.  No real damage was done, but we'll be keeping an eye on you to make sure that you don't do anything else... rash."
"And what happens if I give birth to another child in a few days?"
"Look, I don't know why you are still trying to keep up the act.  If you don't want her, I'll take her away..."
"What happens?"
"I look like a right idiot, but since you're registered as her birth mother, there's not much we can do about it unless her biological mother comes forward and asks for DNA testing."
Scheherazade closed her eyes for a moment.  Another baby would be stretching it.  But she didn't want to see the institution this piece of work was from. "She's mine.  I'll... I'll keep her.  I don't want her to go away any more.  What do you need to know?"
The Social Worker smirked.  "Well, I can tell she was born earlier today.  Probably around 5 hours ago..."
"Almost exactly," Scheherazade chimed in.  She didn't even know what time it was now since she didn't have work.
"Your name?"
"Scheherazade Djinn."
"Really?  The Mixologist?" The Social Worker's eyebrow raised.
"How very interesting.  And who is the father?"
"I... I don't know." Scheherazade was not going to pull Zhan Su into her lie, even if he was the only man she had ever slept with.  His name would go on her unborn child's birth certificate, not her new foundling child.
"That's even more interesting."
Scheherazade sighed.  The smirk on the Social Worker's face told her that any privacy or confidentiality she thought she might have could not be counted on.  All of Starlight Shores would know within the week that she was an unwed mother.
The social worker continued, "And what are you naming the baby?"
"Gulnare.  Gulnare Djinn."
"Punishing her with her name then?"
"No!  It means Rose.  And I am naming her after the first great Arabian Queen in the tales."
"Look, I don't need to know.  Just sign here on the following pages..."

"Just one little lie and my reputation, but you're safe now," Scheherazade spoke to the little pink baby.

"I'll get another cot in the morning.  It's going to be difficult, but we'll manage.  You may not be rich or famous, but you have a family." Scheherazade held the baby up high until she cooed.  This little baby was her daughter now, no matter what happened.

A few days went by.  Scheherazade practicing what the books suggested with "Gully".  It was difficult with her unborn baby squirming and kicking in her belly, but her new daughter needed her too.

One night she woke up, yet again to the sound of screaming, but it was not Gully needing a bottle or needing a change or a cuddle.  The cry had come from her own lips.  She was going into labour.

She got out of bed and reached for her overnight case and the phone to call a taxi, but then she realized - she could not leave Gully home alone, what if her baby needed her?

Like it or not, she was having the baby at home.  And if she didn't stop screaming, she'd wake Gully soon.

A few Sim Fu katas helped keep the worst of the pain at bay for a while...

...until her mind wondered to her work.  How was she going to do this?  Two babies?  And her alone?  How would she keep her job?  Babysitters were expensive, they could cost more than what she was paid.

The magic sparkles over came her and all thoughts of work were gone.

The baby was coming.

Scheherazade held her new daughter in her arms as the sparkles disappeared.  Looking at her for the first time.

She had her father's skin...

... and the most beautiful smile.  Shen.  She would name her Shen.

Generation One: Revealed
Family Structure: Mixed Single
Number of children: 2
Primary Income: Mixologist
Secondary Income(s): N/A
Generation Goal: ?
Miscellaneous Fun: Multi-cultural

Random Bonus Shot(s):

For a New Year's "treat" there are two random shots (OK, I just couldn't decide which one to use).

No, Scheherazade!  That is not how you hold a baby!

I agree, someone asking you on a date when you are that heavily pregnant with someone else's child is a terrible idea... but my word!  The FACE!

Happy New Year everyone!  1 hour to go here, so I thought I'd start off with some new babies for the new year.  ^^ Blog has now caught up to play, so I have to play a bit until I can write again.  Though with the boyfriend playing Starcraft, I may just bring in the New Year with Sims!  :D

1.8. Substitution Solution?

"My dearest, Sun.  I got home safely and miss you already...  No, no, why am I bothering?" Scheherazade sighed to herself and put the letter paper away.  "Sun and I... we can't be together.  But..." She shivered.  She could almost feel the time for her to find a solution ticking away.  "... there must be another solution.  Someone else."

She stared at the wall, as an innocent offer came back to her memory.  Could he have been... maybe, if he felt about her, if she could convince herself to feel for him... that would free her from the remainder of the curse?  Scheherazade picked up the phone.  She felt sick and scared and nervous as she started dialling the number.

Scheherazade took a deep drink of the Romantic Drink.  She had made a batch before he arrives.  Zhan Su.  If she was not mistaken, he had been a little taken with her.  Perhaps her heart could be fulfilled with him.  Perhaps she could replace her Sun with Zhan.  He had certainly been eager to fly over at her invitation.  She felt sick and scared and the drink would give her liquid courage.  Your heart was supposed to make you feel all weird before you met your heart's desire?  Right?  The sound of a taxi crunched on the snow outside.  She had better go to meet him.

"Hi Zhan," Scheherazade said, walking out to greet him.
"Miss Djinn!" he squealed, " Thank you so much for your invitation!  This is... this is snow?  It is amazing!  And it melts on your tongue."
She smiled at him, "Just wait until nobody warns you to change into outerwear.  You did bring some right?"

"I have it with me, Miss Djinn.  Should I put it on now?" he asked eagerly.
"Sure, actually, you know what, just hold on a second.  Call me Scheherazade.  I remember you were talking about being willing to assist me in finding the flow of my heart... and... I.... would very much like it if I could take you up on that offer." Scheherazade's mouth felt as if she had stuffed it full of dry cotton.
"I would be honoured, Miss Djinn, I mean, Scheherazade!" he gasped delightedly.
"Great, well... how about if you put that coat on and we hang out for a bit.  Snow is new to you, huh?"

They stayed outside playing in the snow until quite late, and were sitting in it, exhausted, watching the moon rise.

"It is most magnificent how one's breathe turns to steam in this weather.  It is almost as the steam from  The Great Dragon Cave's Maw, except not scaldingly hot," Zhan commented.
Scheherazade flinched at his words.  Memories of her trip in the cave - her kiss with Sun thereafter.  She felt sick.  Terribly, terribly sick.  She looked to the sky.  It was almost as if she could see her own plumbob, her connection to the Sim-ess and her actions didn't quite feel natural.  She felt as if someone in her head was directing her to get another drink, to restore the warmth again.  "Let's go inside, I prepared some cocktails earlier..."

"This is delicious, Miss Dj... Scheherazade.  We do not have these drinks, these cocktails, back home..." Zhan paused.
Scheherazade was beginning to feel the effects of her second drink too - the slow fuzzy warmth working its way up her body.  The slight numbness... the almost halo around Zhan.  She could only imagine how he was seeing her right now.

"Is... everything alright Scheherazade?  You look beautiful... but distant, sad..."

Scheherazade walked over to him.  "I'm just... nervous.  I mean, I hardly know you, we're hardly even friends yet..."

"Do not fear, Scheherazade.  I have no intention of breaking your heart.  I am not the man who plays games with the most precious jewel he has met.  I will do whatever it takes to make you happy.  Even if it means never returning home, I will do whatever it takes," he passionately stated.
Even with the Romantic Drink doing its magic, part of Scheherazade felt dead.  Emotionless.  Zhan was not Sun.  She reached over for another drink.

It was a good couple of drinks later. "Soooooo, I wass jus thinkin that you are the most incredibly romantic man I have met.  Talking to you tonight has shown me... and I am looking for my heart's desire... my true partner an when you meet your heart's desire you're supposed to feel all not normal and strange and..."

"... and my heart wants you, Zhan.  I can tell by how I feel all strange inside and how scared I am."
"You... need not be afraid, Sche-hair-zade, I want to be here... with you."
"... then follow me. Imma gonna do what my heart tells me it wants."

"Are... are you sure that this is what you want, Sche?  Now?  So soon?"

"I'm sure.  Why deny my heart?..."

"... It wants you, Zun."
"You are sure?"
"Stop talking."

"I am the luckiest man to have you, my beautiful jewel."

Clearly it was what her heart wanted.  She had never felt so scared in all her life.

Breakfast the next morning was strained.
"So, how was your breakfast.  Did you like your waffles?" Scheherazade ventured carefully.
"Zhan.  My name is Zhan." It sounded like he barely got the words out. He stood up.  "It was delicious.  I should get dressed."

Scheherazade waited for him to emerge from the bathroom.  The shower had been going for quite some time.  She couldn't imagine what he was doing in there unless he was sloughing off his skin.  She put on her coat once more and went to check on her mail.  When she got back, he was waiting at the door with his suitcase.
"What... what's going on?" Scheherazade asked, shocked.
"I am sorry, Scheherazade.  I am not the kind of man who would sleep with a woman and run out on her.  But I cannot be who you want me to be.  I am brave.  I would do almost anything for you.  But I won't do that." he stated calmly.
"Do what? I don't understand..." tears started welling up in Scheherazade's eyes.  How could he do this to her?  Her chance to make her heart happy?
He looked devastated too and he reached over and embraced her.

"I do believe I love you, Miss Scheherazade Djinn, " his voice wavering. "But to convince myself that you love me, that would be a lie.  You... spoke in your sleep last night.  You confessed you love for Sun.  I thought you meant Zhan - me. But then you said Young.  I am not Sun Young.  I cannot be her for you.  And I cannot force myself to live a lie, pretending that you truly want me.  It will be better... for you as well... if I leave.  Perhaps you can get in touch with Sun... not just somebody whose name sounds like hers.  I am sorry Scheherazade, but I must go."

Scheherazade spent the rest of the day crying, until she could throw herself into her shift at the club.

A few days later, she started feeling ill.

She couldn't keep her meals down.  And had the strangest cravings - like ice-cream and spaghetti.  A quick doctor's visit confirmed it.  She was pregnant.  And Zhan was not answering the number she had had for him any more.

Generation One: Revealed
Family Structure: Single
Number of children: 2
Primary Income: Mixologist
Secondary Income(s): N/A
Generation Goal: ?
Miscellaneous Fun: Multi-cultural

Random Bonus Shot:

Poor Zhan really thought that Scheherazade was hot.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

1.7. Finding Flow

Scheherazade sighed and leaned against the wall.  The baths in the monastery were soothing, even if they had not completely solved her problem.  She looked down at herself in the water.  Blue.  Still blue.  She splashed the water on her face and was surprised when they encountered her nose sooner than expected.  Feeling about her face it felt normal once more.  It was her face again.  She reached for her hair - back to its normal blue and purple hues.  It seems that the water had worked, partially.  She would have to follow up with Sun Young as Zhan Su had advised.

The general store was cool and filed with the scents of fruits, vegetable and spices.  Scheherazade had waited for other customers to leave before she had approached the woman behind the counter.
"Are... are you Sun Young?" Scheherazade forced the words out.  Her heart was racing and she felt a little light headed.  If this avenue did not work out, she did not know what she would do.

"Who is asking and why?" The woman behind the counter stepped back cautiously as Scheherazade approached.
"My name is Scheherazade.  Zhan Su suggested that I speak with you.  I was cursed by another genie.  I've managed to undo some of it... but...." Scheherazade started rattling the explanation out as fast as possible.
"Peace.  Slow down.  Zhan Su is a trusted colleague.  If he sent you, I can speak.  Now, explain to me exactly what has happened to you."
Taking a deep breathe, Scheherazade launched into her tale yet again.

Sun Young shook her head.  "In a curse this powerful, the waters at the monastery are but a temporary measure if they did not remove it completely.  It is quite likely that you would have lost your mind and free will were it not for the fairy dust that you were carrying on yourself at the time.  You need something more ancient and powerful than the monastery waters.  But it would be foolhardy to suggest it.  The trip can be dangerous."

"I can deal with danger, " Scheherazade was resolute.  "I am not slowly becoming a slave again, or being forever haunted by my past.  I am a free genie.  What is it?  Where must I go and what must I do?"
"There is a pool of dragon tears, they are pure and holy.  If it is in the power of water to remove your curse, they will do so. However," Sun Young paused, "They are located in the depths of the dragon - you must enter its maw and face the trials within.  They can be deadly."
"I would rather die free than risk the curse slowly bending my mind after it has bent my appearance.  Thank you."
"Wait!" exclaimed Sun Young, "It is dangerous to go alone - here, take this."  And she pressed a small, heavy parcel into Scheherazade's hand.

The Great Dragon Cave loomed in front of her, its bejeweled eyes glowing in the night.  Scheherazade felt infinitely small.  The pool of tears, however, was not going to find itself.  Scheherazade climbed up the tongue and into the dragon's maw.  

After braving holes filled with bugs, crackling lightning, uncovering old ways covered in rockslides and more, Scheherazade found a door.  Suddenly the parcel that Sun had given her made sense.  She took out the key shaped rock and slotted it into the wall beside the door.  An eerie glow emanated from it and the lock of the door.  She opened it and found a small pool, also glowing eerily.

She stood on the edge and stared into it.  The depths could not be seen.  Even the walls of the pool disappeared in its glow.  Were these really dragon tears?  How did so many get collected in one place?  And how would it remove her curse.  Scheherazade fought back a yawn - she was exhausted, but she was so close now.  She did not have much time left  in Shang Simla, she was going home the next day.

All she had to do was submerge herself in the waters.  All she had to do was jump in.

"It... it duh... it didn't work, " Scheherazade sobbed in despair.  Sun pulled her closer and hugged her.  "I found the pool, I used the key... but it... I'm... it didn't go away!"  Scheherazade clung onto Sun desperately.

"Peace, Scheherazade, peace."  Sun pulled her closer.  "It has worked.  It has halted any further progress by the curse.  It is unfortunate that it could not restore more - but now we know for certain that the flow that must be restored is your own."
"What... what does that even mean?  I tried at the Sim Fu academy, but that got me nowhere," Scheherazade's sobs started abating as the warmth of the hug and the warmth of Sun's hands seemed to melt away some of her anguish.
Sun snorted with derision, "The Sim Fu academy focuses too much on bringing people into flow with their philosophies and their discipline.  Every person has their own flow.  Their own heart and their own dreams should guide them.  Bring yourself in line with your heart and your dreams and your flow will be restored. What are your dreams?  What does your heart want?"
Scheherazade's stomach felt like she was on a rollercoaster.  So much to take in, so fast. Focus on the questions at hand.  "My... my dream is to be a famous Mixologist.  To make drinks for the rich and famous in Starlight Shores,  I want to be so famous that somebody makes a movie about me one day.  I already have tons of friends, but - my Mixologist skills need more attention."  She swallowed as best she could, her throat felt like she had not drunk for days.  "My heart... I have no idea what my heart wants."
Sun agreed sadly, "Hearts can be difficult things.  They do not make it easy for us to discover what they want.  So instead we blunder around until they encourage us to do something particularly... crazy....  When you get strange ideas in your head.  When the ordinary makes you nervous as if you are betting your entire future on one word or action - that is normally when you are dealing with your heart's desire.When you achieve it, you will know that you have it"
Scheherazade took a deep breathe.  The heart was irrantional and made you scared of what you wanted?  Odd... but maybe... the nervousness rose in her throat like bile.  She felt faint from the sheer idiocy of the idea, but surely that meant that she had to try?

She leaned forwards and gently kissed Sun.

Sun pulled her closer and their kiss deepened.  Minutes, seconds, days, an instant.  Time ceased to exist.  Scheherazade's heart hurt from the sheer joy and exhilaration and relief.  Her heart's desire, she had found  it.  

As they pulled apart, Scheherazade peered in Sun's eyes as if to look into her soul.  "Come with me, Sun," she whispered.
A tear ran down Sun's cheek as she reached up and held Scheherazade's face.
"I cannot, Scheherazade," her voice cracked with sadness, "my dreams are here.  This store.  This land.  Stay with me."
"But," hurt and confusion started welling up and replacing Scheherazade's joy, "I can't stay here.  There aren't any Mixologists in Shang Simla.  I could never... My dreams."
Sun leaned forward and kissed her gently.  "I cannot be the Sim to fulfill your heart.  To do so will shatter one of our dreams.  That will not allow you to achieve the flow you need.  It would mean that one of us has compromised ourselves, who we are.  As much as it pains me," Sun was fighting back sobs now, "we must part.  Our hearts will find others.  Mine, here in Shang Simla - yours n Starlight Shores."
Fighting back her own tears as they parted, Scheherazade hoped that Sun was right.

Generation One: Revealed
Family Structure: ?
Number of children: ?
Primary Income: Mixologist
Secondary Income(s): ?
Generation Goal: ?
Miscellaneous Fun: ?

Random Bonus Shot:

And I thought Scheherazade had the monopoly on silly faces... guess I was completely wrong.  But wow - are these two suited to each other.

Really.  All of their interactions?  Completely autonomous.  I was stunned when out of the blue they started flirting, kissing, hugging, and were romantic interests from acquaintances in next to no time.

It breaks my heart that I don't have Woohooer or a mod like that installed, so I can't LET them be together.  there would be no heirs.

Note: I have never been to a WA world before so I just HAD to go check out a few adventures.  All spoils were appropriately disposed of, except for souvenirs.  Shera needs something to remember the love of her life by.