Chapter 2, Part 2: Greetings from the Shadow Monster

Notes:

Usually, October is MY MONTH. I plan all sorts of over-the-top Halloween-y fun. But between work being very crazy and trying to buy a house, I admit that just getting chapters out is a challenge. Still, I might get my life together for something appropriately spooky before the end of the month. In the meantime, enjoy…

Mikel’s Ship

Anastasia

The vampire, formerly known as Miss Hell, did not know how to start her own story. Memories, after a long time, tended to be disjointed. The way you moved through the world—that was the thing that got stuck. It became a habit to be secretive or violent or a survivor.

“I was loved.” She didn’t know why, but that felt important to say. “My parents were not terrible; my family did not abuse me. I was loved.”

Mikel scratched his cheek, tone dubious, “I don’t think I’ve ever met a single vampire who became that way happily.”

“I wasn’t happy…not that I was unhappy…I just…I was born in a different time,” she said finally. “My parents indulged me, encouraged me even, but the expectation was that I would marry, start a family and raise a bunch of children who would repeat the same process. The future I wanted didn’t much figure into the equation, and at 18, I was fool enough to believe that made me special.”

The alien laughed, but it came out bitter, “Yeah, even on Sixam, growing up is all about understanding exactly how little we’re all worth.”

Anastasia stared at him. She had no experience with aliens, but she knew all about wounded men. “I don’t think poorly of myself,” she clarified, “I just mean, my restlessness wasn’t singular. The things I wanted—more excitement, more freedom, they’re exactly what every young sim wants. Somnus knew that. It’s how he bought my loyalty.”

The Underworld

Alice

If this were a movie, there would have been fast-paced orchestral music playing.

The “action violins,” as Alice liked to think of them, would have kicked in right when she cast a small wind storm—

—and keened loudly when that same wind storm hurtled her downward with such speed that she landed in a heap at Vlad’s feet.

Why was her life like this?

“Are you hurt?” he asked, kneeling beside her.

“No,” which was a lie. Her pride was hurt. And her head…and her stupid shoulder. The pain was…the sound was…what the hell was that sound?

“It’s your shoulder,” Vlad said, helping her up, “I can hear it.”

“What?” The room dipped and spun, and that cracking sound—”Why can we hear it? We’re not supposed to hear it! What is that?”

“Healing,” he cupped her face, “You dislocated your shoulder and splintered the bone. That sound is your body trying to repair itself.”

No. Fuck no. “That’s not how healing works,” she cried, eyes darting around, “It’s supposed to be magic and quick, and this is—”

“Slow. Brutal. I know; that’s why I’m going to reset the bone.”

Alice jerked, sending sharp pangs shooting up and down her arm. “No! Are you crazy? Are you out of your mind?”

“Yes,” Vlad replied, shoving her shoulder back into place with expert efficiency.

She screamed, a string of expletives pouring out of her mouth. This was immortality?

Eventually, the pain went from white-hot to a dull throb. Vlad dabbed the sweat from her brow, “Better?”

“How did you know?” she whispered, enjoying the cool relief of his hands.

“Supernatural healing is fine for wounds but hell for bones and tendons. Such is immortal life.” 

Fine? This did not strike Alice as fine. “This happening to immortal creatures all the time? Is everyone just in agony constantly?”

Vlad hesitated.

“Fuck? What else don’t I know? Can’t command my power, don’t know shit about my own body,” she started pulling away. 

Alice.”

“No.” She had to get out of here, get some air.

“Alice, stop. I’ve had centuries to—”

“I just need to breathe, assuming that’s a thing I still know how to do,” she snapped, heading towards the door.

“Don’t move,” he shouted, grabbing at her sweater.

The stupidity she had been feeling morphed from embarrassment to anger. “Stop trying to help me! I get it! I’m—”

He snatched her back just as an urn and a large headstone crashed to the floor, narrowly missing her.

    4 comments
  • Snow ~
    October 11, 2021

    Apologies if this comment is all over the place, my brain is just X_X fried RN.
    ‘rowing up is all about understanding exactly how little we’re all worth.’ Yikes, such a good way to put it. ;-; The thought of hearing the sound of your body fixing itself is just… XC That’s actually a good point concerning immortality that I never thought about. In a dark way, at least if you’re mortal a horrible, horrible injury won’t hurt ever. Not the case if you’re immortal I guess. Owch. Hey, Alice, even gods make errors sometimes! You’ll get there!
    So if I’m understanding this right, when Ben gave up his godhood that the God of Agriculture died as well? And the place in poor repair that was left to Alice, was thrown together by Ben? The shadow dog is cool but freaky. Of course Gwen wants to keep the pet shadow dog. I’m sure Vlad is ecstatic. XD the ending though…Vlad playing off unravelling deep fears and his past as just being hungry. I’m wondering just what it will take to get rid of the shadow beast though. Soon Alice will properly get used to her powers, though!

  • Snow ~
    October 11, 2021

    Apologies if this comment is all over the place, my brain is just X_X fried RN.
    Also apologies if this comment comes up twice, it didn’t work the first time for some reason?
    ‘rowing up is all about understanding exactly how little we’re all worth.’ Yikes, such a good way to put it. ;-; The thought of hearing the sound of your body fixing itself is just… XC That’s actually a good point concerning immortality that I never thought about. In a dark way, at least if you’re mortal a horrible, horrible injury won’t hurt ever. Not the case if you’re immortal I guess. Owch. Hey, Alice, even gods make errors sometimes! You’ll get there!
    So if I’m understanding this right, when Ben gave up his godhood that the God of Agriculture died as well? And the place in poor repair that was left to Alice, was thrown together by Ben? The shadow dog is cool but freaky. Of course Gwen wants to keep the pet shadow dog. I’m sure Vlad is ecstatic. XD the ending though…Vlad playing off unravelling deep fears and his past as just being hungry. I’m wondering just what it will take to get rid of the shadow beast though. Soon Alice will properly get used to her powers, though!

    • feroshgirl
      October 13, 2021

      Haha, my brain is either all over the place or a pile of mush at the moment, so I can relate! The comment did come up twice but WordPress has been acting wonky lately, so I don’t think it’s you.

      Oh Mikel, what a sad dude you are!!! Hahaha, he is a lil bit angsty, but every once in a while he lets some observation slip that makes you do a double-take.

      Alice is learning so much! Painfully! Terribly! I have confidence in her ability to land on her feet, but she is sort of going through a rough patch at the moment. I’m glad that immortal injuries sounded horrible. I’m doing all I can to make sure I don’t overpower my characters too much. Yes, you can heal, but at what cost?

      Yes, when Ben was forced to give up his godhood, he still needed more time to get things ready. Alice wasn’t going to be born for like a few more centuries. His brother, the God of Agriculture, gave up his godhood to try and buy Ben some more time. In fact, Ben’s whole family did this, which is why Alice is technically the God of Death, Agriculture, Nectar, Fertility, and Resurrection. Ben built the Underworld but he was in the midst of a complete breakdown on account of losing his whole family, so…you know…it’s not the best construction job.

      LOL Vlad is like, so not interested in keeping this dog. I think he’s a bit overwhelmed because he’s dealing with Gwendolyn and all of his..er…issues.

      So interesting that you said deep fears.

      SO INTERESTING.

      Anyways, I think Alice is gonna get a handle on her power too! And I think they are stuck with that shadow beast dog so long as Gwendolyn wants it…which is probably forever….to Vlad’s chagrin.

  • Dolly Llama
    October 12, 2021

    The first character up is supernatural healing logistics. I have so many questions. Do immortals go through strength and flexibility training faster because their muscles rebuild faster? Does telomerase—wait, cancer doesn’t exist in the Sims universe—I mean does p53—wait, cancer doesn’t exist in the Sims universe—I mean, wow, cancer not existing in the Sims universe removes a whole lot of snags for the immortals. Though I would also read a story where, after 300 years, the vampires have a bunch of benign growths everywhere and much of their odd behavior could be explained by a brain scan. My point is, is Jimmy’s thesis work going to involve immortal cell samples? I’d say Valeria should look into it but that’s not her field.

    Welp! That’s all the insightful stuff (? arguable) out of the way, and the rest of the comment is just random garbage. For example, the Anastasia/Gwendolyn connection was by far the most important part of this chapter, but “ooooh, let’s watch how this plays out” isn’t much of a take to read. Though now we know why she was trying to steal the child.

    B’Unsenburneron—you’re still calling it ‘copulation’? After the shit you pulled? That said, I assume “once I found him shaping the same blade of grass for a decade” is not a personal attack, and yet it SURE FEELS LIKE ONE. God of Agriculture? So that’s where the extended Persephone joke comes in. Lol.

    Poor Vlad, getting caretaker fatigue. And roped into getting a dog, too. I’ll be honest, I SHRIEKED at the prospect of Vlad braiding Gwendolyn’s hair. It was only after the chapter ended that I realized how hard that would be in the medium. As for the dog, do shadow dogs eat bunnies? 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁

    Hey, Kpop Hunger is back! Unless I’m forgetting things, which is quite likely: is that starvation reference a clue as to what Vlad’s mother did?

    Grim’s getting some character development—I wonder if he’s always been this flirty, or it’s a coping mechanism for having to witness the origin of death, or whatever. Should we chant ‘flashback’ together? Let’s all chant ‘flashback’ together.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: