Chapter 2: What Ghosts Do

CW: Strong language, adult situations, violence, and references to sex (mostly sex jokes, but still).

Sims InTouch Magazine, San Myshuno

Penny

“Evil Chickens with Flaming Eyes?” Billie flashed a flirtatious smile. “Who wants to take that one?”

Penny tried hard not to roll her eyes. How had she ever dated this woman? She was a terrible sim.

“Mermaid Multi-level Marketing Scheme?”

And a terrible editor. 

Tom raised his hand for that story. He smirked at Penny as if he’d won the lottery, visions of interviewing half-naked sims with silk “tails” probably swimming through his head. The joke was him; the crazies that submitted those stories were never that attractive. Penny should know. After she and Billie broke up, she accepted any assignment that came with the promise of a beautiful woman. Every single one turned out to be a borderline catfish situation. 

“Loch Ness roams the Windenburg Sea. This one involves travel!”

A new reporter raised her hand, but Penny stopped her. “You think travel means luxury hotel and a per diem, but it’s actually a cash-only motel and discount coupon to whatever diner is nearby.” 

Billie gave her a look of censure. “Penny, this story could work for you. Don’t you have a friend who just moved to Windenburg?”

“Nope.” Penny took a seat on a nearby stool. This was why they didn’t work out. Billie could never separate business from personal. Once, Penny confessed her fear that this job would never get her a Starlight Accolade in journalism. Corporate called a meeting to discuss her commitment to the paper the very next day. 

“I know for a fact that your best friend is Alice and—”

“She’s dead.” 

Billie didn’t buy it, but Penny didn’t care. Tuning out the story assignments, she sent Alice a text. 

“Celebrity profile: Anastasia Barrister. Bonus points if you can dig up something scandalous.”

Penny looked up from her texting. It was the best of the options so far, and if she held out any longer, she could foresee another meeting with corporate in her future. “Fine, I’ll take that one.”

Elixirs and Brews, Glimmerbrook

Caleb

Akira bit into his pizza with gusto. “I know what you’re saying, but my original point still stands. Who the hell could fuck up a bunch of werewolves on a full moon, let alone take their teeth?” He made a face at Caleb’s bowl.

“What?” 

He motioned at the salad, “Are you seriously going to eat that?”

“I like salad,” he insisted, perhaps a little too vehemently. 

“Sure you do,” Akira laughed. “Vampires ain’t the boogeyman, regardless of what these Glimmerbrook fucks think. That’s offensive to the actual boogeyman.”

“Yes, but there’s only one boogeyman left,” Caleb countered. “There’s plenty of us. Not to mention witches think occult energy is an abomination.”

“Salad ain’t really gonna help with that,” Akira replied, “Besides, there are plenty of fae too. You don’t see them coming after me with pitchforks, and I dare you to say Titania is less bloodthirsty than old Vlad-y.”

“Did Titania convince the Aarbyville wizards to go to war with the dryads only to support the dryads because it was more fun and they had more gold?” Caleb hadn’t been alive during that war, but he heard about it. Wizards still referred to it as the “Great Betrayal.”

“Titania wishes she had pulled that off. Listen,” he tossed a piece of crust at Caleb’s head, “It wasn’t them.”

Caleb avoided his gaze. “You don’t know that.” Tearing out teeth seemed like his father’s brand of sadistic glee. And his mother could have pulled the whole thing off while holding a glass of nectar.

“I do know,” Akira said, “And so do you. There were no other creatures detected at the scene, a fact you yourself confirmed. We are not looking for a vampire; we are looking for a strong werewolf who had beef with the other packs.”

Growling almost drowned out the end of Akira’s statement. On the other side of the tavern, four werewolves were squaring off.

“Well,” Caleb whispered, “I think we found our first suspect.”

    14 comments
  • Snow ~
    February 9, 2022

    so I just noticed that I left my comment on my iPhone notes and forgot to actually post it -.-

    As the usual the werewolf scenes look awesome especially with the colour overlays ;U; I laughed so much at ‘for the love of llamas, don’t date your editor’ 😂 Jump on it Penny! Go find out the juicy gossip, before the corporate fucknuts accuse you of noncommitment for putting your wants and needs before your job!

    I love how Penny’s messing with Anastasia a bit. I don’t see this ending without some kind of argument or fight though. I did laugh when Penny mentioned her terrible taste, but that looked pretty brutal. Let’s hope she’s okay, or there might even be another work meeting on why her shattered bones are any reason not to come to work!

    Yup Caleb and I have that in common- years’ worth of experiences dealing with shitty people and the attitude of ‘if I’m really sickly polite about it to this person , they’ve got no ammo against me, but will still clutch at straws to find reasons tp blame me and, in the process, look ridiculous.’

    I honestly love how you wrote the scene of Vlad and Alice, and I like how their actions show as much about the characters as their words. I love how you play with tropes as well, it’s brilliant. There’s the element of mystery with Vlad but not in a way that’s overly serious, like in a lot of romantic vampire novels. Penny’s argument with Anastasia was amazing, especially calling her a ‘stuck-up bitch’ and the ‘you’re excused’. Penny doesn’t give a toss how famous someone id, she’ll still give them a kick up the ass. I love it. And Vlad’s reaction to being called a ‘stock-market bro’. Don’t get too upset Vlad, she could have called you an ‘NFT bro’ 😂

    • feroshgirl
      February 13, 2022

      Oh man, now I wish I would have written an NFT joke LOL! Gah, loved that you picked up on that subtlety with Caleb. On the one hand, it is sort of ridiculous (A vampire eating salads lol), but you can also see how vulnerable he is. He can tear out a creature’s throat and yet, he’s still trying to make himself small.

      I’m so glad you liked the Alice/Vlad meet cute. That scene was hard to get right! I must’ve rewritten it a thousand times. And Penny’s fight with Anastasia was just pure fun. We’re so early yet, but they are my fave couple to write so far.

      🙂 oh those werewolves. Always getting themselves into trouble…

    • Dolly Llama
      February 15, 2022

      HAHAHAHA, I’M ALSO HERE TO MAKE AN NFT JOKE

  • Dolly Llama
    February 15, 2022

    Gotta say—your readerbase must be older/wiser/straighter/less obnoxious because no one in the comments is yelling for Penny Pizzazz to step on them. And Alice, JESUS CHRIST, with those pants she may as well be wearing a bustle (Dolly to spouse: “hey what’s that Victorian ass extension called? I think it’s mentioned in either Into the Woods or Sunday“). But it’s improper to direct that kind of performative thirsting at straight people (~*respect boundaries*~).

    What in the Xiyuan is happening? Why are people throwing hot ghosts at her?! And she wants to get rid of them? Okay. From now on, Miss Barrister/Hell is now Reverse Xiyuan.

    Although the banter between Vlad and Alice is cute, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop b/c I’m not sure yet what makes Alice dangerous in this universe, other than the god-tier social skills one gets working retail. In fact, Penny, you need more tests. Especially given that “don’t date people who throw you” isn’t obvious. And finance bro? If only he’d said the three magic letters every woman waits for: NFT. Then it would be like Ritz crackers down there.

    I guess there are also werewolves in this chapter???

    Intrigued by this Caleb/Akira dynamic you’re exploring—it makes perfect sense for them to fall into these Good Cop Bad Cop roles, but I didn’t expect it because I’m so used to Himbo Cop Therapy Cop. In fact, I’m not sure why I don’t have more of an attachment to Caleb, given that he’s the wet-blanket party pooper of my dreams.

    Lastly: please let DoPEguy69 be Deacon. Please let DoPEguy69 be Deacon. Please let DoPEguy69 be Deacon. Fine, I’ll settle for Don or Mimsy. Please tell me their pfp is one of the Snoop Dogg drawings from Weed La Weed.

    • feroshgirl
      February 19, 2022

      Listen. The level of attraction I have to Penny Pizzazz is a problem. Anastasia chose well. Also, all bustles are called Victorian Ass Extensions now, it’s canon.

      What in the Xiyuan is happening? LOLOLOLOL. Anastasia is haunted by a gorge Victorian ghost which makes her freak out and attack Penny Pizzazz, who is also gorge and has the benefit of not being dead. Though, clearly, Anastasia doesn’t have Yuan’s level of commitment to pursuing ghostly encounters.

      You’re not quite sure what makes Alice dangerous in this universe? Who says she is dangerous?, I ask, voice growing increasingly high-pitched. (stay tuned)

      GODDAMN IT WHY DIDN’T I MAKE AN NFT JOKE?!?!?!?!

      Werewolves are everywhere, man. And yes, Caleb is tailor-made for you? He’s all: “guys, but the sign says…” JK JK, writing him and Akira is a lot of fun. As if writing Bella/Deacon lol.

      God, I don’t know what making Deacon DoPEguy69 would do to my story structure but I’m also okay with making that canon too.

      • Dolly Llama
        February 21, 2022

        “Ghostly encounters”.. dammit.

  • Yimiki
    February 21, 2022

    [“Not to mention witches think occult energy is an abomination.”]
    But… but they’re… they would use occult energy themselves to cast spells and… whu? *brain-broke*
    … or is that a specific term that relates to vampires only? Hmm. Not enough information. Need more chapters. 😁 Oh geez, the werewolves are an aggressive lot, aren’t they? Or maybe it’s just the drunk ones hanging out in a bar.

    Aw, seeing Vlad having this good of a relationship with a normal human is so endearing to see. Even if they met through death and destruction. He seems genuinely worried over his mortality, too. I wonder if Latimer is joking with the “turn me as an old man and I’ll become more dangerous than you” or if there’s some real truth to when a sim is turned. Ha! Even alternate universes don’t seem capable of keeping Vlad and Alice apart. I’m ready to get back on this roller coaster.

    Anastasia is seeing ghosts. Harmful ghosts? Must be, if the XXXX-year old vampire is scared by them. But also sims that look like normal sims… were they just crowding around because she’s famous, or was Penny unable to see those as well? LOL Penny, you do have curious taste. She’s about to get in waaaaay over her head, I can feel it.

    Centuries of experience dealing with unreasonable creatures. That’s probably daddy Vlad. And mummy Ana. And sister Lilith. And probably Morgyn as well this guy just can’t catch a break, can he?

    Aaaah yes, there they go. Alive and Vlad just can’t stay away from each other, it seems. Heh. In a weird way, this is really nostalgic. Like seeing their first meeting all over again. Probably because it is. Alternate universes are odd. I’m having a blast, though. 😁

    Dope guy 69 has a point. 😂🤣

    • feroshgirl
      February 22, 2022

      HAHA, you are my true north for when I need to tighten up my v soft magic system. All will be revealed in a few chapters. I could say its because I wanted to do more story than worldbuilding, but honestly, I feel like I’m faking it until I make it with magic lore.

      I feel like Vlad is more human in this story, like he’s not living in an isolated mansion, and more vulnerable because of it. Like I think it’s taking everything he has to just give Latimer the life he wants and not to interfere even though it is almost definitely driving him insane. For the record, every simlit I have written ends up with these two characters together so no, not even AU can tear them apart! LOL, I have just a regular save and I put down Alice and Vlad intending to have them live separate lives and maybe eventually run into each other so I could use the wedding pack (SIGH. Wishful thinking). I made Alice a paranormal investigator and the first house she had to clean up was Vlad’s. They immediately clicked and were BFFs in five minutes.

      Penny knows it’s not a good idea to be attracted to the sexy, slightly unhinged actress who is secretly a vampire, but she can’t stop herself. Also, I’m more worried about what will happen when/if Anastasia decides she wants Penny.

      (yeah, there is only one ghost. The rest were sims who will not get out of the shot because Get Famous is obnoxious with paparazzi and fans when you are a global superstar)

      Haha, yeah, I don’t think there is a single creature in Caleb’s family that is not completely mad in one way or another. Even William, who always seems like the sane one, is not.

      Yay! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it. Buckle up! If Dopeguy69 is right, we’re in for a wild ride.

  • Ninja Pink Sex
    April 7, 2022

    Those SS of the wolves fighting was brilliant. I especially liked that the wolves had different colored pelts. Little details big 😀
    I appreciate the backstory of Latimer and Vlad. I know the “meet-cute” was referencing Alice and Vlad, but I like that there was another meet that was cute in its own way. Actually, maybe the meet-cute was referencing Anastasia and Penny…. I mean Anastasia did mention that Penny was the only one that ruffled her feathers (Not her words, but I’m wondering if she actually DOES want Penny “ruffling” her “feathers”).
    Can we REWIND??? Vlad has a brother? Did I miss something? I need more info on William! SHOW ME THE WILLIE!
    “There is no look,” Vlad declared, unable to tear his gaze away. She was…he didn’t have the words for what she was, but he wanted. MMmm,mmmm,mmmm. Dessert is served.
    DID THAT GHOST COP A FEEL ON PENNY’S ARM?!
    Penny is thirsting for Anastasia. Seems like Penny and Alice both want to taste the undead 😉
    “Let’s try this again.” “Fuck you.” hahahahah
    THAT LOOK ON CALEB’S FACE THOUGH when he says “I assure you I’m not. But if you’d like me to be wrong about something, if it would really give you pleasure to see me strung up by my incorrect assumptions, then provide your alibi, and if it checks out, you can be on your merry way, my embarrassment a balm to your senses.”

    Vladislaus sighed and rolled his eyes. “I am unattached,” he jerked his head in his father’s direction, “but I’ll give you one guess as to why.” BAHAHAHAHAHA. OMG VLad! You’re hot AND funny. I’m just gonna fangirl all over Vlad now.
    I like that Alice’s first guess to Vlad’s fangs was that he was into cosplay. BAHAHAHA.

    “What are you doing?”
    “Oh, me?” Penny rubbed her chest, where a bruise was forming. “I’m just trying to find who the fuck you think you’re talking to.”
    LOOK, those two get together, they are going to have MIND-BENDING woohoo. LIke they will tear the F outta each other and I AM DOWN to watch THAT performance of a lifetime.
    “And another fucking thing, Miss Barrister, the next time someone tries to help you, the phrase you’re looking for is not ‘I could have fucking killed you,’ it’s thank you.”
    Yup. Woohoo is gonna be lit with those two.

    His lips twitched. “I assure you, Alice Martin, there is nothing you could pick that I wouldn’t consume.” I responded with an audible “Oh, my.”

    I like that she had to catalog that image for her next hot shower. Mmm, Mmm, Alice.

    He looked delighted and possibly turned on. Or maybe that was her horny imagination? BAHAHAHA. Alice is RELATABLE.

    This motherfucker. Alice didn’t know whether to be annoyed that he drank it without complaint or impressed.
    ^^ Whatever drought she had going on was a marshland now.

    GOODNESS. VLAD. What you do!

    LMAO Anastasia had to Google about ghosts. DEAD. LMAOLAMAKALANLANL

    • feroshgirl
      April 11, 2022

      I am so glad you enjoyed reading this chapter, I had a blast writing it! You know, I never even thought about Vlad/Latimer as a meet-cute, but you’re so right. I guess my brain was thinking of it as part of the theme. They are like the grumpy old man duo of my dreams and I have so much fun writing all of their scenes.

      If you love the Penny/Anastasia dynamic, you’re in good company. I think we’re all collectively in love with Penny and yes, when they finally hook up it is going to be EXPLOSIVE (but also maybe dangerous?). hehe.

      You’ll soon learn that Vlad/Alice are just two lovesick crazy people trying really hard to keep their craziness in check. I think this is Vlad at his most charming…kind of…I mean I think he’s also charming covered in the blood of his enemies but clearly I’ve got the same problem Alice does lol.

      If Google doesn’t have an answer to your ghost problems? Who does?!?!?!

      oh man, hang on for the rest of the ride!

      • Ninja Pink Sex
        April 13, 2022

        Hahaha Latimer are Vlad are just so much fun to read.
        I CAN’T WAIT FOR THAT BOMB TO DROP
        idk I think it’s kinda charming to be covered in the blood of one’s enemies lol I don’t think that’s a cause for concern. That’s therapy! :p

        Hahaha I guess maybe Ghostbusters? Old school Google lol

        HOLDING!!!!

  • Ninja Pink Sex
    April 8, 2022

    I’m embarrassed for myself, and probaby shouldn’t admit this, but when I loaded my game I FOUND PENNY PIZZAZZ in San Myshuno. *faint*

    • feroshgirl
      April 11, 2022

      omg yes! most of my characters are sims 4 premades that I’ve put my own “twist” on 🙂

      • Ninja Pink Sex
        April 13, 2022

        I love how twisted and twisty you make these characters. Since I’m what one would call a n00b to Sims 4, I am only familiar with sims that were around in S1 and S2 :} So, of course, The Goth family is like Sims dynasty, and I really REALLY like what you do with Bella. She’s so badass and more than just a pretty chick in a red dress.

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