The Fourth Day, Part Two (Elle)

Partridge in a Pear Tree Cottage | 4th of Simcember 

Elle checks the weather

I wonder what today’s weather will be like. 

“Help yourself to the TV or computer. I gotta scoot,” Cathy called from the kitchen. “I’m doing a lecture downstairs in the pub. You’re welcome to join.”

Elle settled on the backless couch. Why do people buy these things? They aren’t comfortable or practical. Where am I supposed to lean? Even so, she found the soothing teal color to be relaxing, reminding her of the beach in her home town. She could practically smell the sea-salt laden air, hear the cry of the gulls and the happy clamoring of children, and feel the warm, wet sand beneath her bare feet racing to the rocks to watch the seals lazing about beneath the warm Califorsimian sun. Elle sighed. Life was simpler.

“I’d love to,” she replied, clicking on the weather channel. “Thanks for the invite, but I think I want to do some exploring today. I’ll catch the next one for sure.”

“Suit yourself,” Cathy waved.

blizzard comingThe Sims National Weather Service declared snowy and cold conditions for most of the day. Elle sighed, wishing it was warmer for walking about town. She decided she wouldn’t let the temperature ruin her plans. Glancing about Cathy’s living room, she smiled, enjoying the Christmas decoration – a hearty pine tree, decked in festive colored balls, ribbons, peppermint sticks, and golden snowflakes, a matching pine bough decking the mentle with a shiny gold jingle bell, red, green, and white paper stars dangling over window panes, and the soft glow of creme brulee scented candles amidst sprigs of holly branches. A collection of Christmas cards sat atop the caramel colored trunk with bronze hinges.

“I guess Christmas is a few weeks away,” she mumbled to herself, feeling slightly depressed she wouldn’t be with family this year.

Her classes would start this evening, and extend through the Winter Holiday. Most students were on break for the month. Not me, she twisted her toe in the plum-colored area rug. That’s what I get for transferring halfway through the year. Feeling a little nosy, she flicked open a card, wondering about the nice things people wrote to Cathy. Most cards were from students, but she did notice one letter written in her cousin’s familiar handwriting. Elle smiled wistfully, figuring she should call her cousin and the kiddos. She tried to remind herself the end result of transferring schools would be worth it right as she heard the front door slam shut. Oh, I wonder what little present I could buy for my new host! 

“Cathy, is that you?” she called.

Jasper walks in

Jasper McCumber waltzed in, whistling a little Christmas tune.

While fields and flocks, rocks hills and plains 
Repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy… 

“Oh!” Elle gasped. “I wasn’t expecting to see you, Professor.”

“Hello Elle, did you settle in nicely?” Jasper inquired.

“I did, thank you,” Elle smiled. “I was just about to walk around town. Is it cold out?” She felt a little lazy just lounging on the couch.

lighting fire

“Oh yes, but nothing a young woman like yourself cannot handle,” Jasper remarked as he pulled a lighter from the mantle.

The young man on the television flashed a coy smile as he tried to convince viewers to purchase patio furniture. Elle covered her mouth and smothered a giggle. What a strange time of year to buy patio furniture! She thought she recognized the shirtless man with the frosted blonde curls posing before a umbrella-shaded table.

“What are you doing here?” she asked, switching her focus to the professor.

“Oh, I’m hosting a literary club,” Jasper replied.

“Here?” she squeaked and jumped up from the couch, wondering where everyone would sit.

“Yes, you’re welcome to join,” he replied. “Cathy always lets me use her living room.”

The thought of discussing books by the fire with a renowned writer and literary critic sounded tempting, but she didn’t want to intrude. She also had no idea what they had been reading or if she could even contribute.

“Oh no, I better scoot,” Elle replied. “Thank you anyhow.”

Brent something… the infomercial king, she recalled. Her cousin-in-law, Joseph Simself had invited the actor to a party once since he worked with Sims.tv.

Elle swingsAfter a day of exploring the town, Elle plopped down on one of the swings in the backyard, feeling whimsical. Swings always reminded her of a happy childhood, a time when she was more carefree and content with her life. Her feet kicked the array of autumn leaves at her feet as she pushed off the ground, glancing heavenward. Somehow the half-cloudy sky didn’t even cause her to despair. This is why I’m here, she sighed. To start a better life. 

squealingElle couldn’t help but squeal a bit as she whirled through the air on a squeaking swing set, her gloved hands gripping the golden chains as she pumped her legs back and forth. With each motion, she reminded herself she could do this. She could start over. The past was in the past, and everything could begin anew.

Streets of Hollidaysburg | 4th of Simcember 

Elle wanders through townAs she waited for the ferry to arrive, she pulled out her phone and texted her cousin as she planned to do the night prior. I can’t believe I am roommates with Cathy Tea. Any advice, coz? 

grilled cheeseWhile she awaited a reply, Elle ordered a grilled cheese and a pineapple-mango juice from a street vendor.

“Pleasant evening, isn’t it?” she said.

“Indeed,” the vendor replied.

“Aren’t you cold?” she inquired, glancing at his exposed arms.

“Naw,” he laughed and shook his head. “Hot blood runs in my family.”

Elle munched on her food as she traveled across the lake to the university. Lizzie texted her back just as she stepped off the ferry.

Oh how exciting! I’ll have to make a trip out to see you both. We used to work together, you know. Just be yourself, Elle. Cathy’s an accepting person. Don’t worry about formalities. 

Elle quickly texted “thanks,” wiped a bit of cheese from her mouth, and headed up the dock to the university for her first evening of class – Introductory Poetry.

Elle sees GracieEvening class finished around six-thirty. Professor Claire Clutterbell released everyone early. Tonight was mostly an informal get-to-know one-another class, review of the syllabus and reading materials, and some introductory exercises. Elle was required to come up with a short haiku to describe herself as a class exercise. It was strange as Elle didn’t like to be the center of attention, but with only five classmates, the course felt more like a workshop than a full class. She could do it, Elle swallowed hard thinking back to her nerves as she recalled the poem she penned.

Hear tawny owls call
Herald the evening moon rise
How long will you wait? 

When Professor Clutterbell asked her what she thought the words meant, Elle explained the haiku reflected her love of music, her creative nature, and her desire to make the world a better, happier place. The owl represented her aspiration for wisdom and knowledge, and the fact that she was more of a night person.

Now as she strolled along the street in the early evening, Elle found herself contemplating the last line. Was it gentle inspiration meant to question the things of life? Was it the fierce whisper of her spirit aching for change? Was it the instinctive urge to rise and act? She twisted her lower lip. Professor Clutterbell praised her introspection, and yet somehow it felt incomplete. She wondered if she would ever feel whole.

girl glowingA young girl approached, beaming from ear to ear. Pointed ears, as a matter of fact. Elle half-smiled, wondering what the child wanted. She appeared to be glowing, an aura of pure white joy, something angelic and innocent like children should be. Her jingle bell attached to her cap jangled as she bobbed her head.

“How now brown cow!” the girl lifted her hand in greeting.

Elle frowned. I’m not a cow! she protested internally. Is she calling me a cow? And a brown cow at thatWhy would she call me that? Wait… cow… oh… I need to pick up some milk at the store. Cathy seemed to be out and I’d like some with my cereal tomorrow. In fact, I should pick up a few things. 

The girl seemed to wait endlessly, the earnest smile on her face never faltering. Elle relaxed into a bemused sigh and said the first words that came to mind.

Elocution lesson “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.”

The girl’s smile grew even wider, if that was possible. “Oh, thank you. We are learning about elocution in school. E-lo-cu-tion is a big word, don’t you think?”

And to think… I suspected she intended meanness, Elle shook her head.

“Hi, I’m Elle, what’s your name?”

“Gracie Goode. It’s alit…alit…alliteration,” she stumbled over the word. “See? That’s a big word too.”

“Yes, it is,” Elle smirked. “Do you make a habit of talking to strangers about alliteration and elocution?”

For the first time, the little angel frowned. “Mom wants me to be more careful about who I talk to. She’s says not everyone is good in the world like we are, but you just seemed like a good person. Are you good, Elle?” she wiggled her fingers.

Gracie inquires about good Elle fumbled for words. Am I good? Don’t we all wonder that? 

“I’m literally good,” Gracie giggled. “I mean… my last name is Goode, spelled with an ‘e.’ What’s your last name?”

“Well, that’s fun,” Elle remarked. “My name is missing an ‘i’ but I pronounce my name Ell-ie. My last name is Greene.”

“That’s funny,” Gracie replied. “You’re wearing green.”

“And you’re wearing white,” Elle observed. “Are you sure your last name isn’t White?”

“No, silly,” Gracie laughed. “It’s Goode. Well, see ya around, Elle.”

As quickly as she appeared, she scampered off, but not before calling over her shoulder, “Elle? That’s a palin-drome.”

Elle smiled warmly. “Yes, yes it is.”


Author Notes: This story is getting to be quite long. It’s harder and harder to capture everything in game and meet the required number of Sims in one chapter. Some of it may also be this segment follows my Sim and so I’m getting a bit lost in that. 😉 I’m naturally introspective. Haha. I’m also riding the flow of my creativity right now. Hope you don’t mind. 

CathyTea‘s Jasper appeared in the home of Cathy Tea for a Page Turners club meeting. Elle would’ve liked to join but she’s not a club member, at least not yet. 

Elle is a communications major. I plan to have her attend various communications/writing classes. If you would like your Sim to attend a class with Elle, let me know, and I’ll try to make it happen in game. 🙂 This first one is Introductory Poetry. Professor Claire Clutterbell is a reference to an actual Sim from The Sims: Bustin’ Out. She is an expert in poetry, and once the poet laureate to the Leader of the Free World (a.k.a. the President of the Sim Nation). 

divanthesimmer‘s Gracie was highlighted, but I liked the image enough that I added it into the story. She approached Elle and said something in Simlish that almost sounded like “How now brown cow” which sparked this whole conversation. 

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The Third Day (Jasper)

A Little Christmas Carol Cottage | 3rd of Simcember

Jasper and the wood If woodworking be the food of love, sculpt on! Jasper was pleased to find one of his pen pal friends had mailed him a package. The humorous statement on the card was just the fuel he needed to return to a favorite pasttime of his – carving wood sculptures.

He recalled the boyhood days, whittling on the island in Windenburg. A true Deutchsim education. It is what his parents wanted for him. Yet summers on the island coast were spent with only the Great Outdoors as his teacher and the trees as his fellow classmates.

sanding

measuring

marking This dull Simcember morning was best spent indoors, sanding the wood to perfection, priming the piece inside for its grand reveal. Then a bit of measuring with a yellow tape from his dearly departed wife, and a few precise markings from a red ballpoint pen, a present from his students at the University of Hollidaysburg.

Jasper admires his handiwork At eleven on the dot, Jasper completed his work – two lovebirds in warm embrace. Let the bird sing without deciphering the song. The feathered friends would be the quiet companions for his lunch of peanut butter and jelly. Without the crusts, of course. It tasted better this way. He was an elderly man with simple tastes. He lit the four candles and breathed in their creamy vanilla scent among the fresh pine boughs from the forest he had collected the day before.

eating He chose to leave the birds in peace, retiring to the wide windowseat. Eyes closed, he said thanks. For the seedless raspberry jam. For the use of his hands. For the comfort of a cushioned seat. For the warmth of the heat rising from the furnace vent at his feet. For the freshness of a new day in his new home, decked in Christmastime cheer.

Evening arrived sooner than he would’ve expected. Jasper spent the day reading the classics in the crevices of his windowseat. He always wanted to have a home with a seat in the window. Around four, the sun started to set, and Jasper wrapped his legs in a warm blanket. Around seven, the shepherd stopped by.

Gerald arrives “Gerald, what brings you my way?” Jasper inquired, rolling a ball in the snow. “Join me.”

“Ah. Jasper, it is good to see you. You know your pond here has some of the best fishing in town. Sometimes I like to clear my head and commune with nature,” the shepherd of St. Nicholas Chapel spoke.

making snowman“I can understand,” Jasper smiled. “Ah dear nature—the mere remembrance, after a short forgetfulness, of the pine woods! I come to it as a hungry man to a crust of bread.”

“One of your poems?” Gerald asked, his eyes twinkling.

building snow “I should be so humbled to think you mistake me for Thoreau, but no, my son,” Jasper responded politely. “I merely quote the words of a great man.”

“I’ve read some of your works,” Gerald shook his head. “Don’t be so quick to dismiss yourself.”

snowman made Jasper slapped the man in a friendly gesture on the shoulder. “Thank you for making my place your Walden Pond. I think I will take my evening walk.”

“Don’t wander too far, Jasper. Wouldn’t want you to catch your death in the cold,” Gerald replied.

University of Hollidaysburg | 3rd of Simcember 

flags Yet Jasper wandered far. He liked his late evening walks. The world lay sleeping in the peaceful presence of snow. He found himself at the University, an impressive structure. He was grateful that the Provost requested he teach a semester as a visiting guest lecturer. The opportunity to shape young minds once again. Ah! he took a deep lung full of frosty air. He would be in his element.

It was nice to be semi out-of retirement. Jasper walked beneath the string of colored flags, indicating the various countries represented at the University of Hollidaysburg, a decent demographic. Windenburg had more, but then again, that school was in the Sim Union.

Jasper wanders

vera

cookies He went for a jolly stroll through the sacred hallways of knowledge before spotting another professor. She was a scientist first, academic second. He had met her the other day in the lunch hall over an intense discussion surrounding robots – science experiments or sentient beings? Jasper had little experience with technological inventions but nonetheless found Vera LeStrange an interesting person.

vera offers a cookie “What are you doing here this late?” he asked.

“Baking sugar cookies. The culinary classes have the best ovens, and my lodging doesn’t allow for a hot plate, let alone a stove,” Vera replied. “Have one.”

“These are delicious,” Jasper complimented, the fresh-baked, hot dessert from the oven warmed his body and soul.

“I enjoy the science of baking. I’ve been trying for the better part of my life to concoct the perfect cookie,” Vera said.

“You succeeded,” Jasper said with a wink. “In my book at least.”

meets Elle

The library was quiet. Only an attendant remained at the front desk when Jasper entered. He wandered the aisles in the company of Shakespeare and Dickens and the like. Tucked into a corner with one of his personal favorites, a book of essays by Margaret Fuller, was a young redhaired woman resting on a couch.

“Oh!” she exclaimed, sheepishly. “I didn’t think I’d be disturbed here.”

“I don’t blame you. Sleeping in a library surrounded by such classics,” Jasper replied. “I’ve done it myself a time or two.”

He was surprised when she pulled a duffel bag and a backpack from behind the couch.

“You’re Dr. McCumber, aren’t you?” she inquired as she stood.

“Uh I prefer Professor,” he replied, a hint of pink in his cheeks. “Or just Jasper will do.”

“I couldn’t possibly refer to you so informally,” she exclaimed. “I’m… uh…Elizabeth Green, but you can call me Elle.”

“A pleasure to meet you Elle,” he said, offering a warm, firm handshake. “Do you mind me asking why you are carrying your possessions?”

“Oh… uh… I’m a transfer from Califorsimia State,” she explained. “And student housing fell through for me, so here I am…” she laughed nervously. “…sleeping in the library.”

Jasper thought for a moment. “What if I told you I could find you some better lodging?”

Her eyes widened.

“At least until you can get on your feet and figure out student housing or some other arrangement,” Jasper added.

“I’d say thank you,” Elle said, surprised. “Thank you.”

Partridge in a Pear Tree Pub | 3rd of Simcember 

meeting CTThey traveled across town. He was still growing accustomed to the temperature changes from one side of town to another. The snow had melted and the air wasn’t quite as biting. His colleague was outside, of course, grilling franks on a red barbecue.

“Doesn’t wood smoke smell like Christmas!” she declared.

“Cathy, I brought you a possible tenant,” Jasper said, settling on a plump stack of colorful pillows.

“Cathy?” his new friend exclaimed. “Like Professor Tea? Oh I’ve read some of your works.”

“Professor Cathy Tea, this is Elle Green from Califorsimia,” Jasper introduced.

Cathy eyes Jasper

Cathy eyed Jasper suspiciously. “She isn’t one of those who sings in the shower and sounds like a dying cat like my last roommate, is she?”

“And if she does, she’s got a good heart,” Jasper smiled. “I just know it.”

“Hey!” Elle protested. “I don’t have a bad singing voice!”

“Or someone who doesn’t know Chaucer from Charles Dickins?” Cathy darted an unrelenting glare at her fellow professor.

“As a matter of fact, I found her in the library among the classical giants, Cathy,” Jasper defended. “She needs a place to stay temporarily.”

“Aren’t we all just staying temporarily?” Cathy replied, her face relaxing. “…in this world. Come, sit, Elle. I am Cathy Tea. No need to call me Professor.”

“Oh… thank you,” Elle replied, hesitantly, taking a seat on the bench as if she weren’t sure what to make of the two teachers.

“Tell us about yourself,” Cathy said.

“Uh… what do you want to know?” Elle asked with a forced smile.

Elle and Jasper and Cathy “Relax,” Jasper chuckled. “We don’t bite. Why did you transfer to Hollidaysburg?”

“I wasn’t happy at Califorsimia State. I wasn’t challenging myself,” Elle replied, honestly.

“And thus, you traveled three thousand plus miles to challenge yourself,” Jasper said, more as a statement than a question.

“I suppose,” Elle chuckled.

“You should do more than suppose,” Jasper remarked. “If you’ve traveled this far… you should be certain.”

“Nonsense, Jasper,” Cathy interjected. “College is the time of uncertainty, of exploration, of testing the boundaries, and traversing the start of this grand journey to discovering one’s identity and purpose in this life.”

Jasper corrects Cathy “I guess that’s one way of looking at it,” Jasper grumbled. “I think college is a time of solidifying who you are and of making decisions that will shape the rest of your life. You need to plan ahead to make the best possible choices for your life. Too many students waste their time in college. You must always try your hardest and strive for excellence, and you will be successful. You are now an adult, Elle, for how long?”

“I’m nineteen,” Elle squeaked.

Elle and Cathy “Then my fair grey-haired friend, you and I disagree, but what else is new?” Cathy shrugged with a light laugh. “You may stay here, my dear,” she said with an earnest smile. “It would be a delight to have a young person in my home again.”

“Thank you,” Elle blushed.

Jasper chuckled to himself, shuffling across the yard as he waved good night. He knew his new friend would be alright. He rubbed his chin, amused. Even if that youngin’ Cathy still has much to learn.


Author Notes: Thanks for reading. That first line of the chapter was taken directly from the game. This was a fun chapter to write. Jasper and Cathy really were contrary to one another in game. I’m also excited that a variation of my Simself is the third person Jasper encountered meaning a chapter for my Simself will be next. Jasper first quotes Emerson and then Thoreau. This is taking me down memory lane with English lit. Jasper McCumber and Cathy Tea are submissions by Cathy Tea and Gerald Goode and Vega LeStrange is a submission by divanthesimmer. Hope you enjoyed. 

 

The Second Day, Pt. 2 (Page)

Llama Memorial Library | 2nd of Simcember 

Page and Carol

“Good morning, Miss Page,” the barista greeted in the uppermost floor of the Llama Memorial Library.

Page’s nose twitched every so slightly at the mention of ‘miss’ before her name. Why do people feel the need to define a person by their relationship status? 

“Good morning, Carol,” she replied, smoothing a smile across her face. “One cup of espresso. Make it a double.”

“Oh are you extra tired today, dear?” Carol said, prepping the beverage.

“I stayed up reading beautiful pyre poetry last night,” Page admitted. “Did you know it’s illegal for vampires to engage in the arts other than dancing and singing outside a hollow?”

“That’s interesting, dear,” Carol replied, sounding less than enthusiastic.

espressoPage tried to enjoy the cup of espresso, a little weak for her taste. Carol Goode wasn’t the best barista on staff, by far, but she was mostly pleasant. As a shepherd’s wife, Carol knew more about religious and faith literature than anyone else in town, save the shepherd himself, which was partly why Page kept her around. Page liked employing staff with expertise in various written works.

“Will we see you at Sunday services?” Carol inquired.

“Oh perhaps,” Page said. “I might be taking a trip.”

“Oh that’s lovely,” Carol smiled. “With friends?”

“No… alone…” Page replied, wincing.

Always alone. She wasn’t sure how her father would take another person at his grave. It would be nice to introduce him someday to a romantic partner, but until then, she trekked to his final resting place alone.

Page places a book on the shelfPage outside with books

Page busied herself with work, straightening shelves, stocking literature, and bringing extra books outside to the Christmas Book Fair table.

“Mara Jean, you can’t mix books about music with books about outer space,” she corrected the teenage volunteer at the booth.

“It’s freezing out here,” the girl with the short reddish-brown hair complained.

“Isn’t the snow a lovely place to find a new friend?” Page mused.

“A new friend?” Mara Jean made a face and crossed her arms over her tight blue sweater.

“You know… a character in a book,” Page continued. “Maybe you should wear more layers next time, dear. Why don’t you finish up here and then come in and get a cup of hot cocoa?”

“Oh great!” Mara Jean said, suddenly motivated.

writing a novelPage took her place behind the front desk, and began checking her emails as Mara Jean walked inside. The teenager waved in gratitude in her direction, and then bounced upstairs, her hot pink pants catching Page’s eye. Maybe I need to wear brighter colors. It’s more youthful. She didn’t have much luck at the Lounge the night before, although she did see her new acquaintance, Sugar Maple Bough.

“Some old guy is outside asking for a head librarian,” Mara Jean said, leaning against the desk and resting her head on her arm in annoyance.

“Mara Jean, what did we say?” Page quirked her head and gave a disapproving look.

“Treat all library patrons with respect,” Mara Jean sighed.

“Which means…” Page probed.

“Don’t call people old,” Mara Jean rolled her eyes. “Look, I told him we were closing, but he insisted.”

Page stood and held up her hand. “I’ll handle it.”

Page meets Jasper Page tried to ignore the biting chill at her ankles, wishing she had the sense to wear her coat before trekking outside in ballet flats. Her feet would surely soak. The “old guy” Mara Jean referred to stood near the book carts, his silvery white hair hanging long curling round his neck. He was smiling beneath a snowy white ‘stash and beard. His thin blue blazer couldn’t possibly keep him warm.

“How can I help you, sir?”

“Oh please, call me Jasper,” he replied softly. “Jasper McCumber. I am new in town.”

“You are?” she fiddled with her glasses. “Welcome to Hollidaysburg. I am Page Turner. I am the head librarian.”

“Why thank you,” Jasper remarked. “This town is so full of Christmas spirit. What a wonderful tribute to the goodness of Simkind. It makes one’s heart happy, does it not?”

Page blinked, clutching her phone in hand. “I suppose, yes.”

And here I was miserable most of today and this man seems so peaceful.

“Do you have plans for Christmastide?” he inquired, his question slightly personal for a man she only just met, but somehow she didn’t mind.

“Probably my usual takeout dinner from The Gingerbread House and then a movie at the Tinsel on the Tree Theatre,” she replied.

Jasper gasps
Jasper quotes“What! Oh my!” he gasped. “That is not Christmas!” he cleared his throat and stretched his neck like a swan before continuing in a deep, dramatic tone, “Why do you flee so soon, sir, to the theaters, lecture-rooms, and museums of the city? If you will stay here awhile I will promise you strange sights. You shall walk on water; all these brooks and rivers and ponds shall be your highway. You shall see the whole earth covered a foot or more deep with purest white crystals …and all the trees and stubble glittering in icy armor.”

Page flushed, though she was not sure why. It was a tradition she had with her father – to see a new movie in theaters on Christmas Day. Even in his final year, when so close to death, they managed to get written permission from his physician to visit the movies. That last movie they saw together was a special re-screening of Lost Dog’s Journey Home. Page hadn’t seen the movie since. She couldn’t bring herself to ruin a memory of her dad, or risk bawling buckets of tears on the couch with only a box of tissues to keep her company.

“Oh…Thoreau on Nature,” she exclaimed, recalling the words from her readings.

“From his Sage Words on Finding Harmony with the Natural World,” Jasper confirmed.

“So I should skate on ice this Christmas, huh, Jasper?” she said, snarkily.

Jasper shook his head. “You should see where the world takes you. Should Mother Nature take you across a frozen highway or a crystalline lake, then you should oblige her. Inspiration often comes among the snowy branches. Who knows what wonders you mind’s eye could conjure!”

Admits to the novelist“Actually,” she admitted, proudly. “I am writing a novel.”

“How wonderful!” Jasper said, genuinely.

Truth is, I’m writing five, but they are only snippets of ideas, half-outlines, and rough drafts, she sighed internally.

“Now what can I help you with?” she offered.

“You see, this is all rather embarrassing,” he began. “I made a presumption that the head librarian would be of a certain wisdom and maturity… and er…I thought he or she… would understand my dilemma and look kindly on my technologically challenged brain.”

“You thought I would be elderly,” Page smirked. “What do you need, Jasper? I promise I won’t laugh.”

“I am looking for a recipe for the perfect apple pie,” Jasper said. “You see my students called me ancient because I did not want to look up a recipe on the world wide web, but I prefer the tangible nature of books, the scent of gently aged pages and the feel…”

Page shows him her phone

“…of the smooth paper against your skin,” Page finished for him, a big smile on her face. “Oh I so understand your preference. It’s not a dilemma. Still, I’d be happy to show you what recipe books we have in stock right here on my phone.”

“Right there?” he repeated. “On your screen? You have the whole library at your fingertips,” he said, in awe, as she scrolled through pages to find just what he was looking for.

“You see. Here… we can go to the second floor, third section, and you can find a whole number of books on cooking and time-tested recipes,” she explained. “I can come with you if you’d like.”

“I think I shall come back tomorrow,” he said, suddenly.

“Oh?”

“Are you working?”

“Yes.”

Jasper compliments Page “Good, I shall return in the morning and apply for a library card,” Jasper declared. “Pleasure to meet you Page, the head librarian,” he waved his hands in dramatic gesture.  “I hope you don’t think this too forward but you have a lovely head.”

Page raised her hands to her face sure that her cheeks were as red as her hair. He had spoken her name… just her first name… first. No Missus. No Miss. No Librarian title. Just Page. This pleased her. She would look forward to Jasper’s visit the following morning.

“See you tomorrow,” she lifted her hand and waved, feeling awkward as she did so.

He merely grinned as he swaggered away in confidence and walked down the snow-covered steps of the library. Oh how I wish I could be that confident! To be forward with my thoughts and intentions. To walk with my head high as if I know what I’m doing. To compliment a stranger. 

Page says goodbye “And all the trees…” she repeated in whisper. “…glittering in icy armor.”


Author Notes: Thank you for reading. Page and Carol are creations by divanthesimmer. Jasper is a submission by CathyTea. Each character feels real and their personalities are so distinct in my game. It is fun to watch the game play. I like to write these characters as if we are already in the middle of their story.

For those of you who don’t know, ‘pyres” are the official name for vampire Sims. It’s what they call themselves. Page is an expert in vampire or ‘pyre’ lore. Pyres/vampires are heavily regulated by the Sim government. You can read more in depth here

Jasper was the second Sim to show up at the library (of the characters submitted – I’m not following townies… yet). He was in a flirty mood most of his time around Page, so I ran with it. He told a dramatic tale in game and immediately followed it up by declaring his undying love. Uh… um? Jasper… a little quick right? It was still lovely, so I had him quote Henry David Thoreau, on whom he is an expert. Page was flattered and pleased, and then Jasper discussed cooking (hence apple pie), paid her a compliment, and then quickly left on a cheerful note. I look forward to following him in the next chapter.