Author Note: I’ve been wanting to write about Kass’s story on the road, the time lapse between KCLKF and KFLL. If you are curious about timeline, this series, formerly known as My Year on the Road, takes place post-KCLKF and pre-KFLL. Interludes & Solitude takes place simultaneously with From Riverview with Love.
Why the switch-up? There are several reasons. 1) I lost content with my game this summer and needed to reinstall the game a few times. 2) I have some things planned for the upcoming conclusion of KFLL and I changed some things in retrospect so I wanted to fill in the gaps. 3) I’m writing about Gage in FRWL and his story overlaps Kass’s.
I plan to release chapters about Kass’s time on the road with her father. If you need a bit of context, you can reread the final chapter of KCKLF here. I will be writing more of KFLL soon.
Bells clanged softly in the distance signaling the start of another week. I stirred beneath the covers of my top bunk. Sometime during the night the sticky heat of the Simojave desert had dissipated enough to cause me to grab the blanket. I slid out from under the covers, peeking my head underneath the lacy white curtains. My suspicions confirmed, I flopped back on my stomach. The mid-morning sun was high in the sky and I had overslept again.
I crossed my legs, resting my feet on my tiny shelf at the foot of my bed. I dangled my arm over the side, propping my arm on my pillow, and yawned a few times. This had become a habit of mine, lounging on the bed listening to church bells. I enjoyed the pleasant melodies. Noon on a Sunday morning like clockwork the bells clanged, signifying the Angelican service at St. Astrid’s across town was let out.
I fingered the wooden frame of my bunk, thinking about my routine. Not much had changed for me since Dad and I moved to the Palms. There was always plenty to do at night, but the daytime heat kept most people indoors.
Once a booming silver town, Lucky Palms had been built on the hopes and dreams of families, adventurers, and entrepreneurs seeking to start over fresh in the West. I had heard the story probably a fifty times since Dad and I settled here in Simuly.
Three brothers discovered a treasure map in a tunnel beneath Bay City. Armed with enough rations to last a month, they traveled into the desert. After twenty-seven days, the brothers were tired, thirsty, and weary from their travels. They happened upon a wondrous and whimsical well. The three brothers cast their wishes into the well – the oldest wished for wealth, the middle for power, and the youngest for love.
The youngest brother found true love, stayed, and built the city, still standing to this day. Post the Silver Rush, the town became a paradise for casinos until the taxes forced them to relocate. Lucky Palms dwindled to an oasis for rest, relaxation, and recreation.
After living in the Palms for a month, I was no longer just a visitor. The magic of the tales had worn off a little, but it was still fun to hear the tourists gush over the stories. I liked to wander and watch the nightlife while dad was working. He enjoyed his new job as a caterer with the Sahara Corporation. People said the water in the Palms was positively therapeutic and I was beginning to agree. Despite dad’s hair loss and occasional bouts of muscle spasms and weakness, he seemed to be thriving and staving off the EXCES.
I lazily slid off the bed, trying to avoid thudding on the floor. I didn’t want to wake dad since he probably arrived home around four or five in the morning. Some days he didn’t get home until six or seven. His company catered all night bars and casino events. I slid into four-by-four bathroom, pulling off my Edgewater Saints jersey and shorts and stepped into the shower.
Icy cold water poured from the pipes, but I didn’t complain. The air in the camper was already thick. That meant one thing. An air conditioning tube probably went faulty. I made a mental note to stop at the hardware store if banging the unit outside didn’t help. I rubbed my eyes, washing off yesterday’s makeup. I was still tired, in spite of having slept nine hours. These three-in-the-morning bedtimes were catching up with me.
Last night, I had been engrossed in another epic biography called Where’s Bella? It was written by Bella Bachelor Goth’s son, Alexander. When it was published last year, some insisted the book was a publicity stunt, though I preferred to think otherwise. I could feel the pain of a hurting, confused boy between the words trying to cope in the midst of living with celebrity parents and later the disappearance of his mother. Dad still hadn’t been home when I finished, and I crawled into bed, hoping to see his truck lights flash across the window. They hadn’t.
Within twenty minutes, I had dressed, brushed my teeth, fixed my makeup, and straightened my hair, although I was convinced it would be wavy again in a few hours. Last week, Dad had opted for a strange hair cut. He said he wanted something fresh and interesting, and claimed everyone was strange in the Palms. I think he just wanted to feel better about his hair loss. Since I was already at the hairdresser’s with dad, I decided to get some of my own hair cut. I was happy with the shorter style.
I shuffled to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator. A plate of cold plums, a head of lettuce, a few slices of cheese, mushroom caps, a handful of cherry tomatoes, a few salad dressings, and a half of grapefruit filled the plastic shelves. I opened the cupboard and noticed my honeyed Llama O’s were suspiciously missing. Dad must have finished them this morning. I decided to go out, run some errands, and get some food.
I zigzagged across town on my bike. Dad must have caught a ride home with one of his coworkers this morning and left the truck parked at the Sahara Corporation. He did that when their catering gigs were on the opposite side of town, or when he was too exhausted to drive. Dad did get tireder much faster with his medication.
I found the pickup parked where it always was – behind the building near the dumpsters. I dropped my bicycle in the flat bed and slid into the driver’s seat, pulling my extra set of keys from my pocket. The air-conditioned cab was a welcome relief as I pulled out of the lot. I didn’t drive far. On Sundays, the Star Lucky Cafe at the Lucky Simoleon Casino and Resort served an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet until 2pm. I had ninety Simos on me and decided I could afford the granola, lowfat yogurt, and fresh fruit.
“Table for one?” the hostess asked me in a much-too-chipper tone.
She was new. I hadn’t seen her before. I came here frequently. She held up a single finger as if to rub in the fact that I was alone.
“Yes,” I sighed heavily.
I was seated in the back, behind a giant potted plant, as if my solitary dining wasn’t already awkward. The hostess dropped a menu, assured me the waiter would be right over, and cleared the extra napkin with silverware, another reminder I was alone. It was always table for one when dad worked overnights. I could’ve probably just grabbed something from the grocery store, but I really hated eating on the go. Plus there was a certain familiarity to always eating at my table for one every other day.
“Kass, baby, you’re looking mighty fine this afternoon,” one of the waiters approached her table with a pot of coffee. “How about a date?”
I scowled. “Indy, you’re always asking me that.”
“Oh yeah, well one of these days you’re going to give into my charm,” he offered a lazy smile. “Coffee?”
“Always,” I sighed, closing and opening my eyes slowly. “But today I don’t have the Simos.”
“What? No Simos for coffee?” he exclaimed, and poured a cup anyway. “On the house.”
“No, really, it’s fine, I’ll just have the granola bowl,” I replied.
“Nonsense. What’s the great Kassiopeia going to do without coffee?” he added a small amount of cream and ripped open 2 bags of sugar and stirred the drink.
“Um… I can add my own…” I laughed awkwardly. “And I don’t think I’m great.”
“Yes, but I know how you like it now… and you are… you’re going to write the great SimNation novel and you will look back one day and say you knew me when.”
“I think it works the other way around.”
“Right… well, I knew you then.”
“You know me now.”
“Do I know you?” he grinned and leaned into the table. “How about a rendezvous later then? Get to know each other better?”
“How many ways can I say no to you, Indiana Abernathy?” I dropped my head on the table, exasperated.
“Pick you up at eight?” he said more as a statement than a question, and added, “Granola bowl,” as he walked away before I could protest.
Additional Author Notes:
- Simojave Desert is my Simworld version of the Mojave Desert of California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah.
- I modified the story of the origins of Lucky Palms, but the story is very similar to the one found here and here.
- Where’s Bella? is a children’s book you can read in The Sims 3. I decided to give it more context and make it an biography of Bella Bachelor Goth written by her son, Alexander.
- The Star Lucky Cafe is available for download here.