Chapter 14: A Day In the Life of Latimer Jones

Vlad’s House, Henford-on-Bagley

Latimer, 12:00 a.m.

He didn’t remember taking his clothes off or putting on his pajamas, but somehow, he was back in bed, Vlad lying next to him.

“These ain’t my sheets,” Latimer mumbled, “I’m in your bed?”

“Yes,” Vlad replied tiredly, “You decided to heave up Jonah all over your bed, so now you are tucked in with me while your mattress is drying.”

“I don’t know a Matt. Is he new?”

Vlad groaned, “For the love of occult Latimer Jones, please go to sleep.”


Latimer, 3:30 A.m.

“I dreamed of the fire,” Latimer whispered, his voice thick with some emotion he wasn’t expecting. 

It was long ago. So long ago. And yet

“This time, the whole family made it out. Coop agreed to show me how to salsa, and Hosa taught me to drive just like he promised. I made moonshine with my sister Ethel and danced at her wedding. Started a business. Wrote that book. Married Betty, became a grandfather, had a right fine time.”

“And then?” Vlad’s voice was gentle in the dark. 

“And then the man in white told me to wake up. And I realized there was no you in that dream, and I didn’t know whether to be sad or relieved.” A tear tracked down Latimer’s face. “I miss her. I miss everyone. I’m old and alone, and I’m stuck here with you, and I don’t know whether to love you or hate you for it.” 

Vlad put an arm around him. “It is possible, Latimer Jones, to feel many things at once. And they may all be true.” He sighed, “I remembered you from that poor excuse for infantry training. You didn’t fear me, and you were not interested in putting up with my shit. That’s why I didn’t kill you. I liked you. I thought we might be friends.”

“And because you were full.”

He cracked a smile, “And because I was full.”

Latimer leaned his head on Vlad’s shoulder, and although the vampire’s skin was ice cold, it was comforting.

“Five out of ten on the scale of truth and a hundred percent of my effort to pretend not to be what I am because I love you,” Vlad whispered, “And make no mistake, that love is binding. Fire and brimstone could rain down from the heavens, and I would still be here in the morning.”

You won’t be alone, Latty. You carry me in your heart and I am leaving in you in the best of care.

The tension he was holding in his muscles relaxed. Latimer wiped a tear. “Well, if I’m stuck with you, then I’ll be wanting pancakes for breakfast, with real butter—none of that unsalted shit you been trying to feed me.”

Vlad chuckled, “Sixty-five years and your demands have only grown more outrageous. Fine, pancakes with real butter. This time.” The vampire reached for his hand to help him out of bed, and for once, Latimer did not make a fuss.

“I love you too, you know.”

“I know,” Vlad replied.

“And it wasn’t all bad, this life we’ve had,” he gently elbowed his old friend, waggling his eyebrows, “In fact, it’s been one hell of a ride.”

NEXT TIME, ON THE STRAUDS:

Trailer Song: “Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande


CREDITS

In addition to the  CC I regularly use in the game and buildings from the Fleuralia Save File, I also used the following builds and custom content:

POSES & ANIMATIONS

Nightmares Mini Pose-Pack by WyattsSims

Getting Dressed Posepack by Natalia-Auditore

Reaching by StarrySimsie

Barbershop Poses by rethdis-love

  • Accessories by soloriya

Drunk Tonight by Siimplysims

Firelight by Natalia-Auditore

MACHINIMA CREDITS – Video 1

Song: “Beggin’” by Madcon

Animations & Mods

Everyone Can Hit Sims with Purse Mod by Cepzid Sims

Animation Pack #22 by Sovasims 

Animation Pack #11 by Sinnora Sims 4

Slow Motion Action Jumps by Steven Studios

The Sims 4- Pickup and Carry animation- “Unconscious” by ShineBrightGamer

Shocked/Scared Animation Idle by Steven Studios

Loss of a Loved One Animation by Gordon Sims 4

Random Collision by Grindana Sims 4

Exclusive Pack #14 by Sovasims

Long Emotion Idles by Steven Studios

Animation Pack #17 by Sinnora Sims 4

Animation Pack #24 by Purpura Sims

Beats with Bat Animation by LUKA

  • Baseball Bat by RJ

Animation Pack #10 by SovaSims

Couple Walking by Utopya Sims

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching by Steven Studios

Animation Pack #3 by Sinnora Sims

Realistic Face Slap Animation by Steven Studios

Pack #30 by Sova Sims

Pack #24 by Sova Sims

Accessory Box by Chaotic Peach

Invisible Sim by Snaitf (be sure to download the Invisible Teeth by OBJ)

Yas Kween Werk! Animation by Steven Studios

Conversation on a bench by LUKA

Please Don’t Go Animation by Shinebrightersims

Sadness Animations by Expressive Girl

BlackPink Venom Challenge Dance by Steven Studios

Got Shot by MercuryFoam

Slow Dance Animation by MercuryFoam

Hospital #1 Animations by Purpura Sims

Hospital Furniture by AnotherSimsStory

Celebrate Hi 5 by Steven Studios

Survivor Apocalyspe by Steven Studios

Nightmare Animation by MST

Caring Animation by MST

A Kiss on the Floor by LUKA

Builds

Barbershop by theindysimmy

Army Barracks by Cyvin_Tyranea

Zombie Apocalypse City by calpaca17

Supernatural Research Lab by Squeakers02 (original build by Daskane06)

Vacuous Green by HellowWildflowerr

1960s Prarie Style by xsaplq56

1990s Family House by danielsimmer

Hospital by 1HoneyHaze1

Chalet Champ De Lavande by BeeOlivee

Outdoor Wedding Venue by NesoiSims

Lavender Garden Courtyard by 4nxieti

Accessories & Clothing

Johnny Hair by JohnnySims

Lana Hair by ImVikai

Mandy Hair by Clumsyalien

Ursula Robe by Clumsyalien

Asteria Hat by Clumsyalien

Terra Pants by Clumsyalien

Reagan Jacket by Clumsyalien

Joan Jacket by Cowconuts

Pam Dress by Sentate

Elishka Shoes by Madlen

Tea Rose Dress and Sola Veil by Plumbob Tea Society

Inspiration for Looks:

MMCC Lookbooks – The 80s by emma

1980s male lookbook by Valmuen

MACHINIMA CREDITS – Video 2

Song: “Mess Around” by Ray Charles

Agree or Disagree animation by ShineBrightGamer

Sneaky Idles by Steven Studios

Standing Talk Pack by LUKA

Cheer Pack by Steven Studios

Pack #5 by Rascgal

Personal Animations #2 by SovaSims

Animation #18 by Sinnora Sims

Sneak out the Window Animation by LUKA

Vintage Microphone by TyrAVB

Talk and Punch by LUKA

Animation Pack #19 by Sinnora Sims

Sims 4 Hangout Poses by Radioactive

Animation Pack #38 by SovaSims

Uninvited Guest by Gaming Tweety

Clothing & Accessories

Riekus Valentines Day Gifts by Leosims

Teacup and plate by Neutral Supply

Book by MOC

Guitar by Studio K

Male Vintage Swimwear by Leh Gaming

1950s Casual Outfit by lucydels98

1950s Dress by HappyLife Sims

Earth Angel Dress by Gilded Ghosts

Calenthe Outfit by Madlen

Colette Outfit by Madlen

Laughing on the floor animation by Simsalaland

Builds

Retro Pool by JelloJanie14

    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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