The Hare and the Hedgehog Coffee Shop
“You’re moping,” Ben observed.
“I am not moping,” Alice huffed. “I just don’t want to talk about it. Or him.”
Dumping her empty espresso cup on her way out of the Hare and Hedgehog, Alice rubbed her tired eyes. Even though the In Between Inn gave out free meals, it came with a side of interrogation, leaving Alice with no choice but to get up two hours early and trudge across town for her coffee.
What kind of sims, even supernatural ones, asked for a minute-by-minute replay of a night out?
Do you want me to start with the part where I happily let him put his hands down my pants or the part where he accidentally whispered his dead wife’s name? Alice thought bitterly.
She could feel Ben angling to make a comment.
“Come on,” she declared, “Let’s go check in and see what fresh baking hell awaits us.”
“I need a place that sells easels,” Vlad demanded. “And an axe…preferably dipped in hydra blood. You know witches, don’t you?”
William coughed and nearly spit out his coffee. “What are you on about?”
“Hiring a witch, William, keep up! Caleb is off doing sages knows what. You’re my next best choice. The blood of hydra doesn’t just appear on an axe by itself.”
It was times like these that William was thankful he didn’t have a pulse to give him away. Tobias always told him that keeping secrets was still manipulation. It was not until now that William was beginning to agree. Was he helping or manipulating? Guilt had made him begin to doubt himself.
“What earthly reason could you have to for an axe dipped in hydra blood? And an easel?” William asked, stalling while he tried to get his thoughts back into some kind order. “What are you—?”
“Romance,” Vlad snapped, cutting him off. “It’s called romance.”
As Vlad disappeared in a cloud of black smoke, William leaned back in his chair and contemplated offering himself up to one of the local bands of vampire slayers.
A true death had to be better than dealing with all of this.
The Von Haunt Estate
“Folks, this week we are talking BREAD. B-R-E-A-D! It’s the best of all the weeks and we can’t wait to kick it off with you!” Rory announced. “First up, your signature dish! Something special from your own recipe store that will wow the judges and knock their socks off!”
With his brightly colored suit and arms spread wide, Alice thought Rory looked kind of like a half-plucked peacock preparing for flight. Why did he need to spell out the word bread?
Today was the real start of competition. No more practice rounds. Alice looked around at her cast mates, making note of their behaviors:
Dylan was anxiously covering his face and reciting measurements under his breath, Giancarlo was making eyes at the judge, Jimena was reviewing selfies with Rory, and Bailee was watching Deacon dig into a batch of her homemade cookies.
“You’ll have today to prep your recipes,” Summer, explained. She was the only producer who smiled. “Then we’ll meet back here tomorrow for filming. Also, please check your time slot for your confessionals! We’ll need that footage when we cut the episode together.”
Jimena was, of course, in rare form. “I love baking bread! It’s so soothing! I can’t wait to hear everyone’s recipe ideas. Alice, what stale block of carbohydrates are you planning to throw together?”
Even though Alice gave her the finger(s), she did worry.
“What’s the plan?” she hissed, once she and Ben were alone. “And don’t say magic. That shit is making me nauseous and I can’t be having cupcakes pop out of the sky on camera.”
“Good point,” Ben surmised.
“I just wish I knew someone who actually baked,” Alice complained. “Everything Contessa’s chef gave me is way too fancy to pull out this early in the game.”
“We could get a family recipe.”
Alice rolled her eyes. “I am not calling my family. Mom’s saying is “box mix or bust.”
“Well, actually, it’s: I’m the world’s foremost research scientist on momentum conservation and cloning, and I don’t have time for that so ask your father.”
Alice laughed. That was a more accurate portrayal of Valeria Martin.
“But we don’t have to get a family recipe from your family. And no one said the family member had to be alive.”
Laurel and Hodges Funeral Home
“I feel like this is a terrible idea,” Alice said, as she glanced at the funeral home’s ornate double doors.
“Not terrible! We head in, we blend, we get some food and then we slip into the back and interview the body. Bing Bang Boom: Barbara Jean’s banana bread recipe.”
“Where the hell did you learn the phrase “bing bang boom?”
“I have my ways.” Ben insisted smugly, before admitting that he had watched an entire season of the cooking show where the host always talked about going to Flavortown. No matter how hard Alice tried, he could not be convinced that “Flavortown” was a metaphor.
“We’ll see about that,” he said cryptically.
Regardless of the existence (or non-existence) of Flavortown, Alice was still not sure how she let herself get talked into this insane plan. Barbara Jean Jeffries was a renowned celebrity pastry chef. She had a veritable empire of baking that all started in her home kitchen back in Willow Creek. She had passed away after a long bout with llama flu and her funeral was scheduled for this morning.
Of all the plans that involved using her power, Alice supposed this was most reasonable one. Contrary to popular belief, ghosts didn’t usually pop out of dead bodies right away. And when they did, you never knew what you were going to get: poltergeists, banshees, orbs. The recently dead could be raised without much conflict or fanfare.
Still, creeping through the front doors of the funeral home reminded Alice of her various stints at the StrangerVille County jail. Detective Mary would not be pleased to hear that she was getting arrested again.
“But they confiscated our ritual skulls!”
“We were arrested for “naked cult practices,” Alice reminded him.
“Disturbing the peace,” Ben corrected.
“Naked. Cult. Practices.” Alice shook her head, “It doesn’t matter. We can’t talk about this right now.”
She crossed the entryway and peered into the main vestibule. Rows of sims filled the small space, and there were enough flowers in the room to fill a parade float.
The worse part was something so obvious about funerals, Alice was embarrassed she forgot about it: everyone was dressed to the nines.
“Ben,” she said softly, looking down at her cut-off button down and jeans, “We have a problem.”
Agnes Crumplebottom’s Ladies’ Fashions
Agnes Crumplebottom’s Ladies Fashions was a small, garishly decorated shop, conveniently located next to the funeral home. From the moment Alice stepped into the store, she could sense something was wrong. Instead of the typical “how can I help you,” the place was filled with the sounds of hysterical crying.
“Umm…is everything okay? I just need a dress…to wear to the funeral I’m sneaking into so I can get a recipe from a dead celebrity chef,” Alice said, murmuring the last part under her breath.
“When you say it like that, it does sound like a crime!” Ben accused.
“It is not a crime!”
The sniffling paused. “A-are you a c-criminal?” a voice called out.
Alice was not a criminal…per se. Though she had broken some laws and yes, had been arrested, all the laws she broke were all stupid and mostly Ben’s fault and she wasn’t even on probation anymore so everyone just needed to relax.
“I’m not a criminal,” Alice called back.
“You haven’t been arrested?”
What the fuck?
“I have not recently been arrested, no. Is there like…I just want to buy a dress or a suit or something…” she again looked down at her clothes, “nice.”
Alice followed the sobbing sound upstairs to find a small blonde woman dressed impeccably in an off-the shoulder gown and fur stole.
“This is the source of the crying? I say we move on. She could really bring the whole vibe of the Underworld down,” Ben predicted.
“Hush!” Alice snapped.
The woman looked up, giving her a strange look. “I mean, are you okay?” Alice continued in a softer voice.
The woman sniffled. “Yes…no…my girlfriend just broke up with me and I…I don’t know what to do!”
The crying began again and Alice noticed, with no small amount of panic, that the room was beginning to vibrate. A crack formed in the paisley wallpaper as the painting on the wall crashed to the ground.
“Oh dear, a whole Potion of Emotional Instability bottle? She’s been bamboozled by a witch,” Ben said sadly.
Alice gave the woman her back. “What the heck are you talking about?”
“Potion of Emotional Instability, temporarily causes your emotions to surge to dangerous levels. The bottle is empty and the room is vibrating. She’s like a ticking time bomb.”
Alice bit her lip and kept her whisper very low. “So what does that mean? What are we supposed to do?”
“Decursify her. Or run, I guess.”
Alice shook her head. She could not summon up that kind of power (what the hell was decursify anyways?) and risk puking all over the floor when she still needed to get that recipe. And she couldn’t very well leave the woman here to die, even if she did “bring the whole vibe of the Underworld down.”
There had to be another way.
“Hey, what’s your name?”
“Agnes C-Crumplebottom. My whole family is cursed. We all end up like this!”
Before Agnes could launch into another round of sobbing, Alice put her hand up. “Your family is not cursed. Falling for someone stupid and underserving is the mortal condition.”
When had she started referring to sims as mortals?
Agnes’s crying subsided a little bit. “It is?”
“Yeah, it is,” Alice confirmed, warming up to an idea that was percolatingin the back of her head. She needed to dampen Agnes’s emotions. Make her chill out until the effects of the potion wore off.
“Agnes, you don’t happen to have a bubble blower lying around do you?”
“This is madness, Vladislaus, even for you. You can’t tell me that you’d rather go to your death than wear a coat in a different color,” William chastised.
Vlad gave him a look that said he would indeed prefer to go to his death, and do so gladly.
“You’re no wee babe, this is not the sort of thing that has to end in violence,” he tried.
Vlad only growled, the glint in his eye indicating that he was a half-second from turning. Was it just his imagination, or had his friend grown more unstable in the last six months?
William looked around the small dressing room. The walls would not survive the wings.
“Listen here you bloody devil,” he spat, “You want to scare Alice off with a never-ending parade of black, be my guest!”
Vlad straightened, smiling in response—a smug, mephistophelian sort of thing that didn’t look bothered in the least by William’s outburst.
“So testy! I’m not unreasonable. I just wanted it to be clear that the day I wear the color yellow is the day I lay waste to this entire village.”
“You could’ve just said no,” William grumbled.
Agnes Crumplebottom’s Ladies’ Fashions
For reasons Alice did not want to explore, Agnes did have a bubble blower…
—In her murder basement that did not look like it belonged underneath such a quaint little shop.
“I’m a wendigo,” she explained apologetically.
A wendigo? Alice gave an involuntary wince and thought very loudly (not for the first time) about how Ben had royally fucked her by leaving important information out.
“Not all the time!” she held up her hands. “Just on the weekends. I have to eat and sims get really messy once you get to the entrails.”
“It’s fine!” Alice avowed, using her best, “the customer is always right, even when they are discussing entrails” voice.
After getting settled at the bubble blower, Agnes continued explaining about her girlfriend.
“She was sweet at first but then turned out to be a total bitch! I thought she was into me but she was just like the rest of her kind.”
She puffed, blowing out a string of bubbles. “Witches don’t like wendigos. Actually, no one likes wendigos. I mean you don’t seem to have a problem with us, right?”
“What? Me? No. None of my business, really…this…nope,” Alice stammered.
Agnes coughed and waved a hand. “Anyways, we only hung out when she was blitzed.”
Alice laughed, thinking of Kyle. “I’m in no place to judge. I boned a dude who called himself Cat’s Meow.”
She shivered, thinking of his smarmy face as he told her that while he didn’t have money, he could “get money.”
“Terrible self-inflicted nicknames. Sounds like my ex: ‘Witch’s Broom.’ What happened?” Agnes asked, reaching to refill the bubble blower.
“Well, I ignored the fact that he got money from a house where a guy chased after us yelling about the llama-fucker who stole his stash—”
“Don’t forget the inauspicious placement of the mailbox. That was a sign,” Ben added.
Alice ignored him. “And I went with him while we spent all that stolen money on nectar and jukebox songs and Passionfruit Potion for the bubble blower. And then after we were blitzed on shots and high as kites, I told him one true thing about myself and he made me believe that it was okay.”
Alice paused to take huff, another thought occurring to her. “No, he didn’t make me believe. I wanted to believe, but the only thing he actually said was that I was ‘smokeshow and we should fuck.’”
Agnes coughed, and drew her eyebrows together. “Was it good?”
“I…” Alice hesitated. Even now, the embarrassment of that whole weekend burned her. “No. He fell asleep five minutes into the process. He saved me in his cellphone under the name ‘hot weird girl’ and he didn’t even take me back to his house to have sex! His buddy’s mom came home early and the whole thing was a horror show.”
Agnes laughed and after a moment, Alice joined in too. The shop had stopped vibrating.
“Sages above, that makes me feel so much better! Listen, I can help you get that dress. You’ll be the best dressed person at that…” Agnes trailed off. “Where are you going?”
“Uh…funeral,” Alice mumbled.
“You’ll be the best dressed person at that funeral! I’m actually really pretty damn good at what I do when I’m not crying over my broken heart.”
She stood and brushed herself off. “You’re way better than that witch who took my money and sold me that bullshit potion. I hope you find someone who doesn’t make you feel like a weirdo and actually cares about you.”
Alice tried to smile, but damn it if her heart didn’t think about Vlad.
Caleb gazed out of the window, considering his options. “This is a waking nightmare,” he whispered to no one in particular.
No one was listening anyways. They were all too preoccupied with “his highness.”
A commotion sounded. He followed the receptionist back to the shampoo stations, hoping she wouldn’t scream again.
He hoped in vain.
“Are you kidding me?” Caleb yelled, loud enough that the receptionist actually stopped her screaming.
With an irritated growl, he stormed over to Vladislaus, careful to step over the body of the stylist. Maybe she could still be revived. It would cost a fortune and necromancers were notorious cheats. Yet another task for him to attend to.
“If you drain another creature, so help me, you royal asshole, I will get my swords and do it myself!”
Vlad flashed his fangs, the look on his face halfway between delight and fury. The sage-forsaken sociopath was enjoying himself!
“Go on, Caleb. Try it. I dare you.”
Laurel and Hodges Funeral Home
Finally properly attired, Alice stepped into the vestibule, her heels clicking on the tile floor. Agnes hadn’t lied, she was great at her job. Alice looked like a 1950s pinup and felt like one too.
After her conversation with Agnes, she felt even more guilt over losing it on Vlad. She knew it was tied to her own shit. Alice groaned. Things were better when they were 100% Vlad’s fault and 0% hers. Now it felt more like 70-30, Vlad. Why did she want him to reveal everything about himself to her? He didn’t owe her that kind of intimacy so soon.
“Excuse me,” she whispered to the old man sitting next to her. “What time does this funeral start?”
“Oh, I’d say anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours from now. Can’t rush these kinds of things. The Women’s Auxiliary Committee has to prepare the repast, you know.”
Alice’s eyes bulged as she looked up at the clock. She’d had time to get blazed with Agnes and get a dang makeover and the funeral still wasn’t about to start? Change of plans, she had to talk to with Barbara Jean Jeffries now.
Faking a coughing fit, she got up from her chair and walked down the aisle. Reaching inside her pocket, she wrapped her fingers around a hair clip. Perfect.
“I thought you weren’t a criminal,” Ben mocked.
“I’m not,” Alice said, narrowing her eyes. “Raising the dead is impossible so technically it’s not a crime.”
Simcity 4 Funeral Chapel Items by necrodog
Funeral Chapel Items Poses by necrodog
Paloma Dress by Colores Urbanos
Cafe Mini Pose Pack by Catsblob
Mug by Solori
Male Poses 01 by Helgatisha
Bachelorette party by Sim_plyreality
Male Stand poses 4 by Natalia-Auditore
Untamed Hair by SheSpeaksSimlish
Emotions 1-9 by Simmerberlin
From the Sims 4 Gallery
(TS3) Agnes Crumplebottom by SIMURA111
Dignity Funeral Parlor by whyeverr
Grandma’s Closet by b0nny_bonbon
L.A.W. Police Station by EmvySims
Vintage Famous Closet by big_head9218
Hair Salon by LouLou_0303
Thanks to gtre115 for putting some police officers with uniforms on the gallery! Saved me a ton of time!