Chapter 13: Academic Blues

CW: Strong language, adult situations, violence, gore, sexual situations, depictions of grief, trauma, and severe depression, partial implied nudity.

Vlad’s House, Henford-on-Bagley


“I have been telling you about Lilith’s conference for months,” Latimer said, pointing at the binder on the table. “It’s on the calendar.”

“I don’t remember seeing it,” Vlad replied, “And regardless, just because it’s on the calendar doesn’t mean I’ve agreed to it.”

“That is exactly what it means! You think I’m adding things for my damn health?”

How was Vlad to know? He made Latimer’s doctor’s appointments on his phone, like a sane creature, using the shared calendar. “Lilith has been a full professor a hundred times,” he argued.

“Not a hundred,” Latimer threw his pen down on the table. “And now she’s an early career professor seeking tenure. She needs the support of colleagues in the field, which, buddy boy, is you. Isn’t this what you got your Ph.D. for?” 

Vlad got it because he’d been bored, and attending school with Lilith sounded like a fun bonding opportunity. In reality, they just fought all the time about who had a more accurate memory of the Queen of Windenburg’s coronation. Vampires were terrible history majors.

With a resigned sigh, he dialed Alice, trying not to grimace as he lied about his plans. When he ended the call, Latimer was staring at him.

“I don’t think I’ve ever heard a stupider thing come out of your mouth.”

“I am not stupid. I’m—”

“On a business trip because you’re ‘freelancing business?’” Latimer made mocking quotation marks.

“Fuck,” Vlad pinched his brow, “I am stupid.”

Alice’s House, Windenburg


It was probably for the best that Vlad canceled; Gwendolyn was being especially defiant. Alice enjoyed all the stress-relieving sex and the whirlwind dates, but what she really needed was to complain about her kid and sleep. And maybe pee without—

“Mommy!” a tiny fist banged on the door, “Strangers!”

“Gwendolyn, your babysitter is not a stranger,” Alice reached for the toilet paper, cursing silently under her breath when she realized the roll was almost empty.

“Mommy, what you doing?” 

Besides blissfully remembering a time when she could be alone in the bathroom? Alice forced her jaw to unclench. “Gwendolyn, we talked about this.” 

“About what?”

Was she fucking serious? “When mommy is in the bathroom, she just needs to be alone for a few minutes to do what she needs to do,” Alice explained cheerfully.


That question would be the death of her.

“Mommy? I open door!” Gwendolyn began rattling the knob. “Mommy need help? I help! Gwendolyn help!”

“No! Gwendolyn, stop!” Alice’s voice came out sharper than she intended. Blinking back exhausted tears, she sighed and softened it, “Mommy is fine; please just wait a minute.”

She flushed, washed her hands, and followed with a splash of cold water on her face for good measure. “You are a boss,” she whispered to her reflection, “You will not be brought to tears by a toddler.”


“Yes, I’m coming!”

Alice marched down the hall and flung open the door with a determined grunt. She peered down at the two men standing at the base of her steps. One was in dark robes with an eye patch, and the other was dressed in an old pirate suit. “Who are you?”

The man in the pirate suit gave a dramatic bow. “B’Olli—uh, Ben, at your service!”

“You gotta be fucking kidding me,” the man in the dark robes muttered.

“Where is Mrs. Specter?” Alice asked, patting her pockets for her phone.

“She caught the ferry,” Ben replied.


“Er… passed on,” he corrected. 

“Oh.” Alice wasn’t exactly friendly with her babysitter, but it was still sad that she died. “And you’re her replacement? Who is this?” She gestured at the man with the eye patch. 

Ben’s mouth split into a wide grin. “My assistant. Donald. Donald…er, Don Lothario.”

“Nope,” the alleged “Don” replied, “Abso-fucking-lutely not. My name is Grim, and that’s what you, Alice, will call me.”

“She can’t call you Grim,” Ben hissed at his colleague. “We talked about this!”

“Talked about what?” Alice’s eyes darted back and forth between them.

Don or Grim, or whatever his name was, rolled his eyes. “Apparently, you can’t call me Grim, and I, despite our longstanding tradition cannot comment on the overall perkiness of your—”

Ben elbowed him.

“Nothing,” he choked out. “I would never mention your tits.”

These two motherfuckers.

They didn’t scare Alice, probably because she was cracked in the head. In fact, her natural instinct was to put them in their place, but she had Gwendolyn to think about. The number one rule of parenthood: do not leave your kids with weirdos. “Okay, guys, I don’t know what sort of cosplay convention you wandered away from, but I’m just going to call the babysitting agency and—”

“Children love costumes! It’s a thing that the agency is trying.” Before Alice could react, Ben reached into his coat pocket and shoved a bunch of papers into her hand. “Here, official documentation and clearances signed by the highest power in the Universe.”

He grabbed her shoulders and spun them, so they switched places, “Everything is on the up and up. Your tiny terror could not be safer! Now, get going before you’re late for work.”

  • Yimiki
    Nov 15, 2022

    Welcome back! 😄

    Freelancing business 😆 So far, Alice seems to be the better improvisor in a pinch. Or is it the better liar in a pinch? Eh. They don’t seem to be mutually exclusive with those two. To be fair, Alice, even the most stone-cold of bosses are no match for Tiny Toddler Terror.

    BEN! I weirdly missed him, infuriating as he was the first time around. Hm, he does look significantly less… healthy? Is that the word? And Grim downright knows the “previous” world to, it seems. Curious. Why are they specifically there for Gwendolyn, I wonder.

    Oh! Ethren the ex! My gods he does have a lot of… err, appeal. Did we learn why they split up in the first place? We haven’t yet, right? Wha- is that Miko? 😧 Nah, surely I didn’t see that right. Interesting bit of lore about the origins of werewolves and vampires there…

    With all the trouble that seeing dead people could bring, having someone get increasingly mad because they’re not getting a drink they can’t enjoy had not crossed my mind. Maybe they’ll realise it when someone sits down in their seat… though pearl lady doesn’t seem aware enough for that either.

    I should probably feel bad for the poor sod who’s about to get torn limb from limb by Vlad there. He’s hiding some pretty mysoginistic views under his “research” but that doesn’t warrant whatever brutal death is about to… well. If that helps calm Vlad down, then it helps calm Vlad down, doesn’t it? And the guy is still alive! I think! Maybe!

    Oh dear. Snapped a shot and then sent it over without thinking, and now he’s seen Gwendolyn. Let’s see how that plays out. Something tells me Vlad won’t mind nearly as much as Alice thinks he will. Bwahaha small boobies 😆 Gwen is adorable.

    • feroshgirl
      Nov 15, 2022

      Thank you! I am slowly returning to life and getting back into simlit again! I took a few weeks just to play the game without any worries of producing anything and it was glorious. I was admittedly burnt out. I hear there has been some Tales of Camelot in my absence so I am eager to catch up. Onto your comment!

      Ha! Alice is definitely smoother than Vlad, though I think he’s just exhausted by pretending with her. I think they are both exhausted by pretending with each other, which is why they need that kick in the butt to just be honest with each other.

      Mommy has small boobies is the best toddler line I’ve ever written LOL.

      And you’re right, Gwendolyn is not for the faint of heart. I don’t know anyone who could handle her, Vlad included.

      Haha, I do think if you saw the dead everywhere they’d be more annoying that scary. At this point, Alice is just like: can you all please stop talking at once and don’t bother me!

      I love that you “almost” felt bad, but couldn’t quite summon it up. I mean, I wrote it and SAME.

      I think if anything, Vlad is more enamored. We know he loves kids LOL

      • Yimiki
        Nov 18, 2022

        Just playing the sims with no screenshotting responsibilities is wonderful sometimes. I do that every once in a while, too. Glad to hear you’ve recharged a bit 😄 Haha, there has been, but it’ll still be there whenever 😗

        And now I want to see a filler episode with all of your cast just trying to handle Gwendolyn’s toddlerness, lol. Morgyn, Lilith, Caleb, Bella, Anastasia, Penny…. and they have to do it without harming the kid. I wonder how long they’d last before they go (even more) mental 😂 Mortimer, William and Vlad seem like they could actually pull it off, so they’re not allowed to participate. 🤣

  • Snow ~
    Nov 19, 2022

    Sorry I’m so late to these chapters ;-;
    I love Gwen constantly interrupting Alice when she’s trying to pee. Toddlers never need something when you’re not busy XD Ah yes, the joys of the toddler ‘why?’ BECAUSE I SAID SO KID! Ah yes the return of B’ollithranon! And now all of the wondrous crazy stuff from BBD is gonna bleed right into Strauds and I’m here for it. Ohh gosh I don’t even want to THINK about Olive Specter as a babysitter XD So much I can’t say cuz I don’t wanna spoil BB for other readers but yeah maybe Ben is not the best person to have as a babysitter. Then again…possibly a better option than Olive Specter!

    Even someone with as much life knowledge as Vlad seems so out of place in one of those pretentious-ass conventions.
    ‘No, I have not read this obscure-ass paper and could not give less of a fuck.’
    ‘No please! Discuss it with me! You HAVE to know how much smarter I am than you! I got full marks in a spelling test in Year Four!’

    Yes here he is, glorious Ethren Reyes! I love that he’s half-vampire, so damn much. And that flirty edge. Kinda like when Penny’s traumatic experiences slipped in during convo and now we’re seeing it with Vlad as well…I love how you tied in the Werewolves pack lore with the Magic Realm lore so much aaaa! Now that I think about it it makes the spellcasters seem a lot more terrifying to know that witches created werewolves and vampires. Sort of like their own little murderous Frankenstein’s monsters.
    Yess Vlad, go feral > : )

    Ohhhh I wonder what that energy was? Has the uhh…powers / senses she had before in another universe come back in some way? I like the tie of magic and logic as well, since often magic there is not really anything sort of logic-wise or explainable about it, it just…is. I wonder if trying to apply a ‘definite answers’ mathematical edge to magic would help Lilith understand it better, or if it’s misplaced effort. For me magic isn’t supposed to be wholly understood, but then that would come with vampirism wouldn’t it? You have all the time in the world, why wouldn’t you make an effort to try and understand every little thing and boil it all down to some kind of formula?

    I really love the vampire / patriarchal energy thing as well from the vampire tome, since that’s something that ties in with my own vampire lore and that will come up in a soon-later chapter- that privileged men make good vampires and are less regretful of vampirism because in reality, it’s little new to them. Because they have never had to hide their chaos, they’ve never had to tone themselves down, their violence is almost always justified on the grand scale. It’s no different to before the turning other than the immortality and the drinking blood.

    I love that they’ve both had fucked-up days and they’re both like ‘yeah it was alright honey!’ XD ‘100 Kinky Things You Might Be Into With Convenient Product Placement From Our Sponsors’ list’ made me laugh so fucking hard XD Right alongside ‘You Are Perfect The Way You Are Queen! Now Buy This £4k Dress Or Men Won’t Want To Fuck You.’ GWEN! TIMING! Ohhh my gosh XD And the ‘mommy has small boobies!’ I’m gone XD

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