Chapter 14: A Day In the Life of Latimer Jones

CW: Strong language, adult situations, depictions of grief, trauma, and severe depression

Vlad’s House, Henford-on-Bagley

Latimer, 8:00 a.m.

Latimer Jones remembered the fire—the licking heat and twist of flame. Once, he’d been one of fourteen. After the fire, he was one, a number so miserable he took every possible avenue to avoid it. 

His mother, llamas rest her soul, always said that gods, if they existed, were fickle and untrustworthy. She was right. As one of five boys crammed into a hayloft, desperate for a bit of privacy, Latimer made the mistake of praying for quiet. He’d hoped to be left behind while everyone went to church or to win the lottery and buy his family a bigger house.

Instead, the gods gave him fire. 

Not having learned his lesson, he prayed again—this time for a new family. In their infinite humor, the gods gave him a rowdy pack of immortal creatures whose love and devotion came without a sense of time or value for life, and thus, he was still alone.

Now Latimer Jones did not pray. Not to the universe, not to the llamas, and sure as fuck not to any imaginary gods.

It was a slow shuffle to the shower, followed by the shame of using the chair Vlad installed last summer after Latimer slipped in the tub. He dressed, kissed Betty’s portrait, and thought of her final letter.

When I go, Latimer Jones, you better not throw me a funeral. Have a celebration, and don’t forget to do all my favorite things. In fact, you won’t forget, because I’ve written you a list.

Latimer half chuckled as he climbed the stairs to Vlad’s room. Betty never understood how far gone he was for her. When they first started dating, she hid little notes for him to find at the canteen in between his shifts. Latimer read them so often he memorized them. This last letter was no different. He knew the list by heart.

“Have you seen my watch?” Vlad asked, “The one Betty gave me for Winterfest in ‘82?” He knelt, rattling his bedside table as he tugged open the drawer.

“Do I look like the keeper of your things? How the hell is it you don’t sleep and yet you’re the one who ain’t ready?”

Vlad rose to his feet in one smooth movement. There was a glint in his eye. Had been since the day he returned from Lilith’s conference. “It takes time to achieve this level of casual elegance.”

“You can’t go out like this,” Latimer said quietly, “Not silver-eyed and spoiling for a fight.”

“If you’re worried about a ‘Slaughter Summer’ repeat, don’t. I’m off of bubble blowers and insane ex-wives with lilac-colored hair.”

The remark was so flippant that what little patience Latimer had evaporated. “Don’t get fresh with me because you broke your promise!”

“And don’t chastise me like I’m some errant teenager,” Vlad made a slashing motion with his hand. “I haven’t broken anything.”

Take him out in the world, Latty; he needs it. And I’m counting on you. 

“She wanted this day for you, you know. To make sure you stay connected because how could you learn about sims if you ain’t never been one and my lord and llamas, every fuckin’ thing has to be about you.”

“I—”

“You made a mockery of it,” Latimer cried. Sorrow and fury warred for dominance in the back of his throat. He rasped his next words as if he could peel the heat off them to take away the hurt. “This is the time I have to be sad about my wife. The time that should be for me to mourn, and instead, I’m out here taking care of you. Can’t bring you nowhere because there’s too much temptation.”

“I’m not a dog,” Vlad bit out, “And as for mockery, I’ll—”

“No, let me tell you what I’ll do. I’ll go make her favorite breakfast and go to the grave, and you’ll stay here doing whatever the fuck it is you always do. And if you step outside this property line, I’ll grab my shotgun and shoot you myself.”

Vlad stilled. “You’d attempt to kill me if I crossed you on this?”

Most sims didn’t realize threats were a language. They communicated hopes, dreams, fears, and boundaries. They asked questions. Gave answers. Latimer hadn’t understood the complex web of violent promises and declarations until he found himself the mortal member of a vampiric family.

Now he was fluent. 

He looked Vlad dead in the eye, expression steely. “In. A. Heartbeat.”


Downstairs, Latimer clanged around the kitchen. Cooking was Vlad’s forte; the vampire had been fussing over his meals since the day they met.

Vladislaus likes to cook, Latty, so let him. It’s good for him to find a thing he loves. And besides, you’d burn water if it was possible. 

“You needn’t flip the number over,” Vlad called out from the doorway.

Startled, Latimer looked up. “Careful how you sneak up on old folks; you nearly gave me a damn heart attack.”

“I didn’t kill anyone,” he continued. 

“Then what did you do?”

“Torture a misogynist who insulted my daughter’s intelligence, but mostly I had phone sex with Alice and watched him cry and squirm.”

Vladislaus—” 

“Fine, I licked my claws and fed from him a little, but it will soothe you to know he tasted ghastly, and I spent the rest of the trip drinking plasma fruit shakes as promised.”

As far as Latimer was concerned, a little light torture did break Vlad’s promise, but he didn’t argue. Betty believed there was no such thing as “all or nothing.” 

Mark my words, Latimer Jones. If promises could be unmade in a single night, every fool would make them.

Even after Vlad’s last break up with Ethren had him wearing the same clothes for days on end and draining the neighbors, Betty had been undaunted. She dragged them to Henford-on-Bagley, demanded Vlad purchase this manor, and then set him to restore it with a nigh impossible list of renovations. It consumed his every hour for three years, and they didn’t lose a single neighbor.

“Let me do that,” Vlad insisted, reaching for the pan.

“I’m fine,” Latimer grunted, though his eggs were starting to give off an alarming amount of black smoke.

“You are not. Go make yourself useful and brew the coffee. And put on Morning Chat,” he added, “They’re interviewing Clive Beeden about his pending retirement from StrangerVille base, and I want to bask in my utter disdain for him.”

“You and your feuds,” Latimer muttered, stepping aside.

“It was your feud first.” 

That was technically true, but Latimer still felt his cheeks grow hot. “Yeah, well, I didn’t ask you to do what you did!”

“No, you did not,” Vlad replied calmly, as he lowered the temperature on the burner, “But as we both know, he hurt you, and I cannot abide that.” 

Vlad once told him that his response to Clive Beeden was restrained, which was how Latimer learned that vampires had very different definitions for things. Clive had three busted ribs, a broken nose, fractured arm, cracked jaw, ruptured spleen, and a shattered ankle by the time Vlad finished with him. “Restrained,” was not a word Latimer would have used.  

“So, where on the list do you want to start?” In Vlad’s capable hands, Latimer’s burning mess had turned into something mouthwatering. “There’s actually a showing of Some Like it A Certain Temperature, so we could enjoy it in the theater instead of on VHS.”

Actually, Latty, I don’t care what you do. I mean, obviously, I do. I made a list. But on the off chance that I’m wrong, you should have fun. No crying over me, though; I’m still firm on that point.

“Nowhere,” Latimer went to the cabinet and pulled out his flask. “I wanna get a haircut and get blitzed.”

    6 comments
  • Dragoncat
    November 14, 2022

    Aww, interesting seeing things from Latimer Jones’ perspective and how much history him and Vlad have together. LOL, and you even did the tag: “Best Friends Forever.”
    That tag makes me a little sad, though. Latimer Jones is not going to live forever. I’m trying not to think about it, but one day he’s gonna be gone.

    I also love the videos. Like, geez- they are sooo good. Speaking of which, just a thought, but I love the poses you use for everyone. Like, even just looking at the images of the chapters below this one, Vlad has a certain way of staring and looking around.

    I’m writing a simlit at the moment -very slowly- and it’s interesting figuring out peoples body language. I’ve never written a story with pictures of the characters before, so it’s quite new figuring out which poses to use and when to just use the games natural poses.

    Anyway, can’t wait to see the next chapter!

    • feroshgirl
      November 15, 2022

      Haha thank you for noticing my tags, which are completely unhinged <3

      You are right, this is a chapter drenched in mortality. Latimer is not going to live forever, he is an old man, and he has refused to be turned. I'm not sure Vlad is ready for this. I mean, I think I can say confidently, he is not ready.

      I'm so glad you enjoy the videos! They are a labor of love and madness <3

      Ughhh I could talk about characters and body language for conservatively a million hours. First of all, hooray for writing simlit! I look forward to checking it out when you are done. I have a set of poses that are mostly for Vlad, mainly because I want to visually communicate his presence. Also, since we don't have height sliders in the sims, I try to use ones that make him appear tall and wiry, which is how I imagine him in my head. For me, the hardest thing about the game animations is that they are one-note. They work really well for big scenes or walking, but when I want to have an emotional conversation, it's limiting. My basic rule is that if I really need characters to show personality or have a big moment, I'll use poses. If it's just them doing something lowkey, or the game really does have an animation that is perfect, I won't worry about it.

      Thank you for reading!

      • Dragoncat
        November 15, 2022

        I don’t think anyone is truly ready for death. It’s tough, having a friend or close loved one die.
        And throughout this chapter, I can tell that Latimer is getting up there in years.

        And I reeeeally need to reread this series properly. I have the same problems with webcomics or fanfic, which releases chapters slowly, that I forget key details. So I don’t know what’s going on some of the time here, but I’m happy to be included and I’m enjoying it.

        As for poses, I’m doing the same thing. I have sets of poses for certain characters, and that seems to work.

        And ugh, the movements in Sims 4 are very one note, so I use them sparingly or for if someone is walking. (I also had to find and download a mod to stop Sims from looking at their phones while walking because of the High School update! AHHH!)

      • feroshgirl
        November 16, 2022

        That mod is a lifesaver! I also have one that just tones down phone use in general. It’s a bit ridiculous.

        Haha, I get exactly what you mean! I know a SimLit author who does a little “here’s what you missed” post and I’ve always wanted to emulate that. I just can never get my shit together 😂

        I’m glad the ride is still entertaining!

  • Yimiki
    November 18, 2022

    I really feel for Latimer in this chapter. He’s lost his family, he’s gained a new one that is utterly alien to his own perception of life, and he’s in perpetual mourning for his partner. I understand his frustration in having to deal with Vlad and his dangers, instead of just being left to mourn on his own. But Vlad also seems to be the one thing that is keeping him from slipping off the edge these days. And there’s a decades-old bond there that’s made permanent by Betty’s influence. Those two have a unique relationship.

    Aww. He loves him too. Took a whole day and throwing up on the bed to get to that point of honesty but they did reach it. That last scene is just heartwarming.

    I’ve always wondered why people don’t want their loved ones to mourn them after death. They lose an incredibly valuable connection to them, you, and they’ll never be able to be around you or speak to you again. Mourning acknowledges that. Telling someone they shouldn’t mourn you, to me, is like telling them not to value the relationship they lost when you died. Does that make sense?

    Slaughter summer with bubble blowers and an insane Ex-wife that sounds suspiciously like Miko, huh? I wonder what happened there.

    I can’t watch the videos during work break, but I’ll eagerly get to both of them after work ends 😄

  • Snow ~
    November 20, 2022

    Ohhh no, Latimer’s backstory hurt ;-; The sole survivor and all the guilt that comes with it. And oof at that argument X_X There we go, fancy new haircut! Suits him! All of these memories of the past catching up w him it just…hurts ;-;

    That admission on top of all that X_X but still, I guess after so many years you just have to accept your monstrous side, and let’s face it who’s gonna have normal emotions after hundreds of years? You really would just end up faking them as best as possible for whatever the best outcome is, and detach yourself from others over fear of eventually losing them. Though IDK actually…after that scene after he has the traumatic dream maybe Vlad really is telling the whole truth there at the end. It’s hard to explain properly but I guess there’s a difference between feeling love and showing it, and you can technically do one without the other. Even if Vlad doesn’t feel anything much, he still (most of the time) knows how to show he ‘cares’. I feel that. You just kinda go by context and hope it comes across the right way which it rarely does. The fun combo of a spicy brain + neurodivergency huh? XD

    I did love the bar scene though, and Vlad just acting like Latimer is just a senile (and drunk) old man XD

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