CW: Strong language, adult situations, violence, gore, sexual situations, characters experiencing grief.
ATTENTION! ATTENTION! Now that the Werewolves Game Pack is here, ALL BETS ARE OFF. EVERYBODY GONNA BE WEREWOLVES!
Jk, jk. But the werewolves I have in the story will look different from here on out, so just bear with me and pretend not to notice. Ditto for things like claw marks, scars, bites, and lore. I’m slowly trying to work it all in. Hopefully, it ends up being seamless.
In other news, I’m shoring up my donation list, and I’ll probably drop a link in one of next month’s posts because I’d love to add to the list if anyone has suggestions <3
And now, back to your regularly scheduled Simlit.
Nina’s Rental, Newcrest
Bella and Caleb were only temporary partners, their rhythm brand new. And yet, when they shared a look in the living room of Nina Caliente’s rental, the message was crystal clear:
The Calientes are grieving. Handle with care.
Bella suggested questioning them while they were cleaning out Nina’s house. The San Myshuno Police Department filmed all their interrogations, and Caleb made it clear that taking the Calientes to the Magic Realm for questioning was…well…out of the question.
That was another insane thing she’d recently learned. Vampires, witches, werewolves, and fae were among the dominant supernatural species (other creature-types were long extinct, or had such small numbers that they remained mostly hidden) and they had some sort of central ruling unit in a magical dimension. It was a wonder she was managing to keep her expression clear while Katrina was yelling at her.
“I don’t know who would want to kill Nina!” Katrina shouted, “You tell me! Aren’t you the fucking cops? Ain’t that your job?”
“Ma,” Dina said softly, her tone admonishing. “They are trying to help. Calm down. Why don’t you take another alleviation pill?”
“What’s that?” Bella asked.
“Smooths out her mood,” Dina replied, setting down a small bottle and pouring her mother a glass of orange juice. She pulled out a chair at the kitchen table and motioned for them all to join her.
Katrina argued, but when she swallowed the medication, her eyes went dull, and she slumped down in her chair. “My baby girl. My fuckin’ kid. I miss her every day, and I don’t think I can stand it.”
“I know,” Bella placed a hand over her heart. She didn’t have to pretend to feel compassion. She’d be out of her mind if something happened to Cassandra. “You can stand it. Because getting answers is the thing you can do for her now.”
“You aren’t werewolves,” Caleb began. “So how did Nina become one? And why didn’t she ever hook up with one of the local packs?”
“Local packs,” Dina scoffed, “You think becoming a supernatural comes with some sort of welcome guide? You guys keep your secrets good. So good that you forget more are joining your ranks every day, and you ain’t got no method for making sure they’re alright because how could you do that and still hide?”
Bella was prepared to defend Caleb, but he put a quelling hand on her arm. “You’re right. Nina was left on her own, and it put her in danger. We’ve never considered dealing with mortals who become supernaturals, save for making space for them should they find their way into our ranks. I can’t promise anything will change, but I will talk to the Sages.”
Katrina sighed. “I guess that’s the best we can hope for. It all started about a year or so ago. Nina was pumped about a first date.”
Sims InTouch Magazine Office, Downtown San Myshuno
Anastasia picked a piece of lint off her jeans. This was the most casual she had ever dressed, down to the baseball cap and sunglasses. It was all to keep the paparazzi at bay because she didn’t need an audience.
Fine. She always needed an audience, but Penny didn’t.
“Psst!” she hissed, frantically waving as the sim walked out of the building, “Hey! Over here!”
Penny paused and tracked back. “I know I keep saying this, but what the fuck are you doing here?”
“Shhh!” Anastasia grabbed her and pulled her around the corner of the building. “Do you want paparazzi here?”
Penny shuddered. “No.”
“Then keep your voice down. We’re going to the movies.”
Anastasia struck a pose. “Because I’m trying to date you.”
“Aren’t you with Jimena?”
Anastasia was proud of herself for a) remembering Jimena’s name and b) having had the foresight to break up with her. “Long over. I’m staying in a hotel while she cleans out the condo. So about that date?”
“You haven’t been back to your condo?”
“And risk running into her? No.”
Penny looked relieved. “You really are relentless.”
“Yes,” Anastasia narrowed her eyes, “And I’ve recently learned that’s not a compliment.”
Ohh that intro machinima…That must be the worst, your first proper turn, having no idea who or what might have gotten hurt in the process. All those claw marks… And even in all that’s going on, still worrying about making her parents proud. What a mess of emotions. I’d probably be a mix of ‘Oh fuck who I did I kill?’ and ‘I’m a monster’ and ‘everyone would hate me’ too. Too early in for the ‘actually this is damn cool’ phase. : P
I like the idea that there were countless supernatural species in the past but not all of them are still around. I have that going with the dragons that they existed but are long dead. I’m so excited to see how you work all of the new lore in hhhhh. I get the vibe that you’ve gone for the angle that mortals to supernaturals aren’t just straight away accepted into supernatural communities, and I imagine there’s a lot of ‘purism’ of sorts going on, the sort of ‘we were here first’ mentality. Meaning Penny will probably be feeling pretty darn lonely soon enough.
I laughed out loud at the ‘going to the movies because I’M TRYING TO DATE YOU’ that’s just such an Anastasia way of asking somebody out 😂 Katrina getting left to fend for herself too early is going to mean she’ll delay the (mostly) inevitable, but moreso than just letting the kids go, letting them go in the sense of letting them go off and do their own thing as opposed to just moving out. Although parents can be annoying with concerns when you’re younger, there’s also the side that you would not forgive yourself if you let them have their freedom and this led to something terrible. You’d feel responsible for it all. The way Nina talks about the guy though, it’s all so…red flag. Idealised I think is the world I’m looking for. Those dreams of moving to Sulani and such… there’s a sort of juxtaposition between Nina’s almost American Dream-ish outlook of moving to Sulani and getting rich, and Katrina’s more realistic, less idyllic situation.
Wowie, 950 years of life. 26 is already stressful enough X_X I love Anastasia’s ‘I vant to suck your blood!’ thing so much. I sort of relate to Anastasia in the sense that my idea of clear communication isn’t the same as everyone else’s, and that when I’m trying to do things in people’s favour it ends up being the wrong way to deal with it anyway. The fact that she’s going on Lilith’s advice as well, it might come across as slightly fake potentially but it’s from the heart. It’s trying to do whatever you can to get your feelings across when it’s incredibly difficult for you to do so. Hmm, ‘dazzling’ eh Bella? Gosh I can imagine how that’d go down with Mortimer if something were to start between those two. And Cassandra.
Bella’s face is about the same as mine when you realise that Caleb’s risk of giving into his Dark Form too much would likely strengthen his vampiric powers. Who’s to say his vampiric charm wouldn’t make him capable of some similar dark shit to what he said about Vlad. Ohhhh shit yeah I had this feeling but never mentioned it, that with Johnny not necessarily being a ‘true’ Landgraab, maybe he had powers that they didn’t…
I love the silent movie feel of the last machinima. WOOOOAAAHHH the next chapter looks like it’ll be a fun one indeed > : )
Okay, hello, and hi. I am FINALLY catching up on comments.
Penny’s denial about her wolfiness definitely put her in a tough situation with her first turn. Oooh, you caught that moment with her parents! I don’t know when Penny’s gonna shift from “I’m a monster” to “this is damn cool,” but you’re right. It’s a bit early. And I suspect she’ll need to work through some of her approval issues to get there.
<3 Glad you liked the machinima! I decided to add it at the last minute like a lunatic, so it threw off all my writing.
Oh man, the new werewolf lore has thrown my story into chaos, but I think (hope) I can make it work. Yes, the lore with the dragons being long gone is so smart. It's like if you ever want to pull one out, you can. But you don't have to worry about accounting for them all the time. That was why I made a lot of supernatural species extinct or close to it. Then I can mostly use the species the game has lore and animations for.
HAHAHA! Listen, Ana does not have the information about how to be subtle. I'm glad the Caliente family stuff read as poignant to you. I actually really like them as premades, and I wanted to do more than just make them Don's exes.
Oh god, if Red Flag was a person, Nina would have been dating him. She reminds me of another character who made some pretty questionable dating choices...
<3 - yeah, I have a soft spot for people who struggle with communication. I think Vlad and Ana both have this issue. They try hard, but it doesn't always land!
I'm sure Mortimer will handle Bella cheating on him completely calmly and reasonably!
Hehe, if Johnny ain't a real Landgraab, who is he?
Your dark form theories are very interesting...
Man, that video with Penny is INTENSE. The aftermath of her rage. Coming down from that high. From that (possible) realization. The what-the-fuck-is-happening is REAL. And you did an excellent job pinpointing on what emotions Penny is experiencing and showing them; the chaos and destruction of her beautiful metamorphosis into Destructo-Penny, Thirst-Trap Extraordinaire! Like I cannot wait to see her in her wolf form (except we do get a tiny snippet in the last video, and muhgawd MORE PLEASE).
I must start out expressing concern for a pill that instantly takes effect and the recipient’s eyes go dull. Great that Katrina was able to calm down, but uhhhhh… does the cost outweigh the price? I’m thinking NO.
My second concern is Ana in those normie clothes. Ugh. My skin crawls for her. As cute as she looks, she looks rightfully uncomfortable. The price she pays to court Penny so that there isn’t any papa-paparazzi is god-level. Or goddess-level. And I’m just leaving that there. Ana, you are taking one for the team so that you can be a team-player in some putt putt golf. I admire your go-get-HER attitude. GOLF CLAP!
“You haven’t been back to your condo?”
“And risk running into her? No.”
Penny looked relieved. “You really are relentless.”
^^ My automatic thought was that Penny’s relief was due to Ana not discovering the mess she made when she went she-wolf. It’s one thing for Ana to get excited over being tossed like a ragdoll by Penny, it’s another thing for her to get wet b/c she probably started a stack-leak in her condo from ripping the sink and throwing it into another room. Anyways, is her relief due to that or is she relieved that Ana isn’t with Jimena anymore or IS IT SOMETHING ELSE? Also, relief doesn’t look like something Penny’s had yet. Good thing Ana is gonna show her a golf swing or two.
One of my favorite lines ever: Penny paused and tracked back. “I know I keep saying this, but what the fuck are you doing here?”
Coupled with the screen shot of her being absolutely confused LMAO. Like I don’t blame Penny. Hot celeb practically stalking Penny. Like that has got to be something a little out of the ordinary (but that’s thematic in these stories). I guess I also really like that line b/c Penny isn’t into that shit. Like she has a moral code. She won’t entertain Ana wanting to date her with Jimena attached to Ana. Imagine the career boost alone that Penny could get dating Ana, or having ANA as a connection?! Not to mention she’s clearly attracted to Ana. Man, that would have been hard to watch if Ana made an ultimatum, b/c Penny wouldn’t have caved and I would not get to witness the beauty and chaos of these two worlds colliding … WHICH I CANNOT WAIT. When is it Sunday next, already?!?!
CALEB: “he realized how little he knew about her.” UH, what??? Like WHAT info DOES he have? I’m assuming this has something to do with the Goth’s family-connection? Or maybe just Bella’s connection? Or is there MORE to what Caleb knows about Bella…like say…on a personally interested level 😉 Or is it *just* his observations of her thus far? Hmmmm. The mind wonders and wanders.
“If she told you about it,” Caleb added, surprised when Bella chuckled.
I’m wondering is Caleb just inept in certain topics (young women/romance/this time period) or is it deeper? Is he just secretive (perhaps b/c he *had* to be given his family) or is it just part of him? Or maybe it’s nothing….nothing to see here… moving on…
That flashback scene to ONE YEAR ago was SHOCKING to me. Dina… holy hell she aged SO MUCH in 1 year. Yo, they need to forget the werewolf connection and look for whoever sold her Meth. Dina looks like she had a diet of meth for the past year. *shudder*
Damn, how old was Katrina when her mom tossed her from the house? Was she already pregnant? >..< Well, sign me up for the sports channel because I am tuning into THE OPEN (omg even the golf world championship sounds dirty).
epic chapter!!!!!! CANNOT WAIT. PINS AND NEEDLES.
Yaaasss you feel the intensity! Good. I added it at the last minute lol. God, destro-penny is her new nickname.
I’m glad you’re concerned for Katrina. She has got a lot going on. As does Ana, in those clothes she hates. I love that neither she more Vlad has any chill.
Penny, as you can probably surmise, is wound pretty tightly. I think it’s safe to say she isn’t keen on Ana discovering her destroyed condo lol!
I think you are the devil in Penny’s shoulder when it comes to Ana 😈
Okay, so Caleb basically knows Bella is another officer. He’s probably vaguely familiar with the Goths, but he’s pretty much been hanging in the magic realm/glimmerbrook since the 1890s.
But uh, yeah, Caleb’s interest is clear 🍆
Hahaha I think Caleb just doesn’t know shit about having teenagers and vampires keep secrets as a matter of tradition.
Dina just lost her kid! She is having a hard time 😂😂😂
Oh just you wait. I think you’ll be happy, angry, and then happy again next chapter.
SOME of my comment did not post so here is part 2 and sorry for any confusion from the last paragraph.
Damn, how old was Katrina when her mom tossed her from the house? Was she already pregnant? Ugh this stings. Tossing out young women onto the streets that are not financially stable is prey for sex-traffickers. Gawd, thankfully Katrina, although struggling, looks like she managed to successfully make her and her girls’ lives much better than hers. Although, now she gets to punish herself for the rest of her life in mommy-guilt. Good thing there are pills for that, right?
Katrina should have pushed to know SOMETHING about her date. Yup, the mom-guilt is in her veins and there are pills to dull the hurt. ….yikes.
Penana – “You mean to watch movies? And when? This place looks like it hasn’t been touched in like 30 years.”
Ana: Let me show you what else hasn’t been touched in like 30 years” *cue porno music*
Okay, THAT is out of my system.
Okay no I found another revision that I want to make. Not saying yours wasn’t already perfect, but I’m just doing this to be silly….
Penny turned, eyes wide as dinner plates, “You….you’re….”
Daaaaaamn, Ana has quite the acting roots that would rival the Barrymores’. I mean, it’s just *her* rather than actual ancestors, but still. Penny took it quite well. When Ana flashed her fangs my horny-little-heart did flip flops. AND WHEN SHE HELD HER. Dear goddess (I’m referring to you, Ferosh). You keep TEASING. Or is that Penny? Hmmm.
Penny is honestly not thinking clearly. She got pissed about *how* Ana decided to prove that Ana’s a vampire, but honestly WHAT could she have done to 1) proven it to Penny AND 2) Penny accept the proof? NOTHING. I’m going with not a damn thing. Penny would be pissed no matter what Ana had done because… well …. Penny doesn’t want to process what has happened to Penny and she doesn’t need more proof that what happened to her actually transpired. Deny, deny, deny, and be pissed at Ana for pushing Penny out of her denial. Like, I get it, but unfortunately, this isn’t something she can stuff down and let it wear (no pun intended) at her for years/decades until it has consumed her. This trauma is quicker than that, and this trauma is going to turn her into a werewolf without her consent.
“I feel fine. I feel as good as anyone can feel being attracted to a dangerous predator with no reflection.” Fersoh, your Penny is showing. Whether or not she is your self-sim she is certainly you.
“If you wanted someone who wasn’t going to ask questions, you shouldn’t have tried dating a journalist, and if you wanted someone who was going to sleep with you while you’re still getting your emotional shit together, you shouldn’t have tried to date me.” SNORT. Penny is feisty af. But she certainly speaks the truth. There is clearly more than her exterior that Ana must find…. delicious.
“You know, your vampire side. How do you suppress it?” This just got into Dexter/Dark Passenger territory and I am LIVING for this, except….. yeah, what Ana says. It’s there. She may pass as human but she isn’t, and neither is Penny. Will Penny accept herself? Will the people in her life? I’m really curious where you will take this as Penny is a queer female/POC.
“Do you want plasma?” Penny bit her lip, “I mean do you want my plasma?”
“Want. Need. Crave.”
^^ Want. Need. Crave. Needs to be the title of a #1 best selling book that sells that saying as a sexual revolution slogan.
“I’m not,” Bella said quickly.
Caleb glanced down at her wedding ring.
She flushed. “I’m not busy,” she repeated, unsure of what she meant. Sometimes she felt like two Bellas. The one who followed her heart and dreams and the other who chose Mortimer and everything that came with it.
^^ Her husband gave no fucks when she fell to the ground. She needs to give no fucks as she lets Caleb toss her to the ground with his body. TeamBellaCaleb. IF the vamp was good enough for Bella in Twilight, GD-it he’s good enough for THIS Bella too!
“My uncle is a master. His vampiric allure is so strong that he could make a mortal walk across glass or light themselves on fire if they believed it would please him.
WELP I gooped my shorts.
“Supernaturals,” Caleb said in a way that made her realize her mistake. Good god if THAT isn’t a way to not say THOSE PEOPLE. THEM. Good job classifying in THE WORSE way possible, Bella, in front of someone who FALLS into that category. Oh the cringe of her EPIC mistake.
“So the Landgraabs are witches?”
“That’s just it,” he replied, “They’re not.”
Bella thought about Malcolm and his last words to her. She was sure the little snot-nosed brat was brushing her off, but he was actually giving her a clue:
Johnny Zest is not a real Landgraab.
Well this can just go in several directions. Does that mean his FATHER was not Landgraab? Does that mean Johnny was adopted? Was he disowned? What exactly is the meaning behind the word REAL? sigh, waiting is such sweet sorrow.
OKAY THAT END VIDEO felt like secret code. You terrorize with your teasing…. and I like it . Well, sign me up for the sports channel because I am tuning into THE OPEN (omg even the golf world championship sounds dirty).
And YOU’LL be a werewolf! And YOU”LL be a werewolf! EVERYONE’LL BE A WEREWOLF!
*cough* right. Back to the chapter.
Oof, poor Penny. Waking up to that kind of mess while having no idea what is going on and what is happening to you… or knowing, but being so fearful that you’re in outright denial of it. She’s spiralling and needs help, bad. Too bad that the only person that knows, really knows, what’s going on with her is Anastasia, who is… well, she’s trying. Maybe she’ll do better than I’m expecting here. I’ll keep an open mind. Yes. Open mind. Open. 😆
Sounds like Caleb is very much not over his teenage secrecy phase yet, despite his age and general sulkiness. Oof, Tommy has red flag written all over him. Alias, tempting with money, gifts and promises… none of that sounds good. Oh gods and coming back beaten up afterwards too. So that’s how she turned into a werewolf. And then she attacked Penny, maybe when she’d lost control, and Anastasia killed her for revenge.. is that right? I think that’s right. Poor girl. I wonder what Real Number One means.
Open mind! Open mind! 😫
Well, that’s one way to break the whole “I’m-a-vampire” news to Penny. Props to her for not actually being surprised about it either, and piecing it together way before Anastasia started dropping hints. That also makes me wonder if the swaying and swooning was done deliberately just so Anastasia would wrap her arms around her, lol. Yes tell her Penny! Anastasia you’re being way too thirsty 🤣 LOLOLOL no emotional shit to get together, suuuuuuure, Ana, suuuuure.
Oh dear. Bella. Bella no. Caleb no. BAD. BAD. Well actually Caleb has no idea she’s married with kids, does he? Besides the very obvious wedding ring. Hoo boy. Bella is torn and very clearly leaning towards the adventurous side. This is going to end spectacularly.
[“My uncle is a master. His vampiric allure is so strong that he could make a mortal walk across glass or light themselves on fire if they believed it would please him.] Dear lordy, Caleb witnessed both of those things in person, didn’t he?
Everyone deserves to be a werewolf (a better looking one now that I’ve got that cc your recommended. Thanks!)
Ana is trying to help in the best way she knows how, given that she’s a 950 year old murder happy vampire who does not understand feelings.
I think describing Penny as spiraling is perfect. Yes.
Yeah, you pretty much sussed out the whole sad Nina story 🙁
Haha!!! Open mind!!! Ana can never be too thirsty when it comes to Penny, can she? I had so much fun writing this scene and I didn’t say it, but yeah, the swooning was definitely in hopes of having Ana catch her 😉
I think Ana is truly mystified by the phrase “get your emotional shit together.” She can barely remember Jimena’s name, let alone feel anything for her.
Bella is *fine*! She is going to make good decisions. Just look at her track record 😈
Yeah, Caleb doesn’t know she’s married with kids but he can put the the pieces together. The question is if he cares.
I will just say Caleb has witnessed a lot.
Ferosh. DAAAMN. It’s time to break character protocol and collect my long-term thoughts because I think what I have to say needs to be said.
SUPERNATURAL: You know I am not a big sci-fi or fantasy reader, and you know this is the series that changed my mind. So here comes a tiny essay on why that is and what BBD/UFV/The Strauds did to convince me.
I think my issues from fantasy stem from being annoyed in childhood about the way fantasy writing tended to focus on a few main concepts and then bludgeon them to death. I saw it as like organized religion: there’s room for people to develop their own spirituality, but when the powers that be keep saying This Is The Way, it discourages people from straying from that path and coming up with their own, more creative, ideas. Truly new ideas get crushed while derivative works remain. You know what exemplifies that trend? Vampires. Fucking vampires! Being a natural lucid dreamer who has coherent dreams, I can and have come up with a personal alternative to vampires literally in my sleep. (My brain called them “bread people” and they come with a whooooole post worth of dreamed-up lore.) But if I wrote a story about bread people, would anyone read it? No, it’d be an unfamiliar concept from an unfamiliar writer. Too much. Back to vampires. Werewolves, too: god! Come up with your own thing.
And then there’s BBD.
What I didn’t understand about narrative fiction then, and what I’ve come to appreciate now, is its role in helping the author and readers process the world around them. I saw ‘vampires’ as a restrictive concept that took space away from other concepts. I didn’t understand why. What they represented didn’t appeal to me or make sense. But when my noise-sensitive self saw Vlad flinch because his vampiric hearing picked up on disruptive sounds from another room, that’s the first time I understood that vampires were a tool.
This chapter absolutely drives it home. Caleb picking up on Bella using the word “symptoms” like supernatural powers are a disease. (Like how people refer to the way my own brain works. Like how there is something fundamentally “wrong” with me that I can’t change.) Being supernatural! It’s when you feel like there’s a wall between you and everyone else because your mind and body don’t work or maybe don’t look like theirs, so you try desperately to fit in! It’s when you realize there is something about you that is different from those around you and you desperately want to connect and fit in, but there’s no instruction manual. It’s when your loved ones don’t know how to handle you and are looking to you to teach them, but you’re not even sure what to teach because you’re still trying to process your own needs and figuring out how to relate to yourself. It’s when you see outdated media references to yourself made by outsiders who didn’t get it but are so acclimated and jaded that you roll your eyes and joke about it. It’s when you can see the similarities between what you’ve gone through and what others are going through and know exactly where someone else is in their journey. It’s fielding the same 20 questions for the rest of your life. Yep! Being supernatural! That’s what supernatural is!!
I get it now. I finally get it. Not sure if I’ve said this yet, but this series is my gold standard for how supernaturals should be handled, and is THE work that opened my eyes to the genre’s potential. There is so much insightful character development here, it is making the readers undergo character development.
God, okay, that was the least neurotypical set of paragraphs ever. Onto the character notes.
XIYUAN: Holy shit, a Xiyuan cameo! I’m so flattered. Most people would not recognize the trash Penny runs through on the San Myshuno sidewalk as a reference to a character from another work but it totally landed.
BELLA: That was a sex look. She and Caleb are gonna have sex. Sorry. “WooHoo.” Sexpression aside, everyone’s feelings are taken into account during these hard conversations between her and Caleb, and holy hell, both of us know EXACTLY WHY you are able to do this so well.
KATARINA: Her unique form of yelling-grieving is doing it for me, as is the existence of magic pills for self-medication. And the snapshot of what a loving, supportive family looks like under financial stress.
JIMENA: LOVE that everything with Jimena is happening offscreen. i don’t think that’ll be the case for long.
CALEB: Oh, look at you showcasing your high sensitivity to language, realizing Katrina and Dina can’t talk about Nina in past tense! Makes him feel more cohesive, given that we’ve seen that sensitivity working both ways in this chapter. One trait making him better at his job and making it harder to talk to Bella.
PENNY: Staaaap. Having her say “what ails you?” The lists? She’s such a dork, staaahp. It’s not possible for me to fall in love with her any more. What are you doing?!