From a Porcelain Doll

Sims challenges and stories, and other things from the mind of me..


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NOT DEAD YET

I swear, I still exist. I even started writing the next chapter at the beginning of summer last year.. I just, honestly, got bored with a legacy that I have 100% control over and started playing a wishacy and writing it out (it’s here if you want to read it, it doesn’t have plot or story, it’s just a narrative style). And then, when my wishacy game got all corrupted and seems to not want me to play, I got really bored of the game, even after getting Into the Future. All I’ve been doing is a modelling competition.

OH, and I’ve had a lot of real life stuff too. I tried doing NaNoWriMo, so that took up a lot of my writing time in November. After failing that I got into a major writing slump, so all I’ve really been doing is playing Final Fantasy 14 and watching Netflix and Hulu and wishing I felt like writing.

But now I’ve been in a major writing mood again, so I may be starting this up again. I’ve got ideas and stuff. I don’t guarantee anything, since my game is still acting up, but I’m going to try. Eventually, I WILL write more on this, I want to at least finish the first generation. It just might take me forever..

I LOVE YOU ALL.


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Good news!

I got TS3 all installed on my computer again, put all of my saves that I managed to rescue in, as well as my mods and everything, and my Hext legacy is SAFE!

IT’S HERE.

YAAAY. =D

The back-up save is safe, too. So I should be able to get a chapter out soon.


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Argh.

This was supposed to be a chapter. Does it look like a chapter?

No.

No, it doesn’t look like a chapter. Unless I am actually Briony, but I’m pretty sure I’m actually just Cyazura/Seraphaeli.

I had this brilliant plan to wait until summer, because one of my classes this quarter at my college I took creative writing, and then I would come back WITH A VENGEANCE. Or something. Either way, I planned to come back at this time and write, write, write! But no. My laptop had other plans, and fried my hard drive. My Dad said that my stuff is still safe, on an external hard drive, but I can’t play again until he gets my new hard drive installed in the laptop. I have no idea when he will get it all fixed up, and until he does I don’t have any way to get pictures.

So yeah, sorry to everyone eagerly awaiting a chapter, but at least I announced the hiatus this time, right?

I will probably write the chapters but just not publish them until I get pictures, so that when I do get the pictures I can just pop them all out. Since I’m all inspired and stuff. It always happens to me, I go for a long period without inspiration and then when I finally get it I can’t do anything about it. Curses!


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Hext Legacy – Chapter 1.6

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We didn’t celebrate Leisure Day. Well, not in a typical way at least – we spent the entire day talking about what in the watcher’s name my stalker was warning me against, and doing random activities to entertain ourselves. I didn’t go outside like I did the day before, though – partially because it was raining heavily. I decided I’d be a little more wary that day, though nothing ended up happening.

Nothing happened the day after that, either. Or the day after that, or the day after that, or the day after that, and once again, time passed and I kind of forgot about the writing on my window. Well, except that there was still a smudge on it where the words used to be. I relaxed slowly, but found myself getting more curious about my stalker, and I felt a little bad for hiring Norio to protect me from her. If I ever met her face-to-face, I hoped she was what I had begun to suspect she was. Just someone who knew something I didn’t, and was trying to protect me.

I’d have to apologize for running screaming from her, first, though.

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“Hey, Brie?”

“What, Nori?”

“Can you listen to this and tell me what you think?”

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I glanced up from the job application I was filling out, and looked at Norio, who was standing there holding his guitar, reading to play me.. whatever it was he was going to play me. Be it a song or just a short jingle of some sort. I eyed him for a moment, then glanced at the guitar, then looked back up at him and nodded my head. “Yeah, sure. I’m going to continue filling this out, though, okay?”

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He grinned at me, and then proceeded to pluck a few notes out. Not in any particular order, though, and I winced a bit. Was that what he wanted to show me? I certainly hoped not, because it was not pretty. I opened my mouth to voice my opinion, but he held up a hand before I could say anything, and then started into the actual song, which was better than I was expecting. It was more beautiful than I expected, and I found myself closing my eyes and listening, rather than continuing to fill out the form. I had thought he was more of a rock god type than an emotional music type? Guess you can’t judge a book from its cover.

After a little while, the music stopped and when I opened my eyes, he was staring at me with hope in his eyes. I smiled and nodded at him in encouragement, “That was beautiful. Did you write that?”

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At first he looked like he was going to claim it, puffing his chest out proudly, but then he shook his head. “Nope! That’s my little sister’s work. Well, she wrote the piano part, but I wrote the part for guitar,” he said, still sounding just as proud as he looked. A proud big brother.. I couldn’t help but smile.

Wait.

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“You have a little sister?” I asked, tilting my head curiously, the application forgotten on the table. He shifted from one foot to the other, and nodded his head, still looking pretty proud. “I didn’t know that. What’s her name?”

“Chiyo.” I could tell just from the tone in his voice that he was a great big brother – which made me wonder why he had never mentioned her before. “She’s the ambitious one of us. In fact, she has her entire future planned out – she’s going to be a musician/composer, famous in Simerica and Japan, married to a famous actress. I haven’t seen her for like, a year.. she’s off at a musical boarding school, right now. When she graduates, she’s going to be moving back to Japan for a while, too.”

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I looked back down at the application in my hands, then back up at him. I felt like a terrible person for thinking about myself when he obviously missed his little sister, but I couldn’t help but wonder if Tristan missed me. I knew Davinia did, because she loved me like I was really her sister, not just her sister-in-law. But I wanted to believe that Tristan missed me, too, like a good big brother should. I doubted it, though. The only person he loved was himself.. and Mother. Possibly his own wife, but his marriage was arranged, too, so I don’t know if he even liked Davinia.

Pushing my thoughts down, I smiled sweetly at him. “I hope, if we stay in touch after this whole.. stalker thing, I can meet her sometime. Anyway, can I get back to this?” I asked, and motioned to my application, which still wasn’t even half full. I gotta admit, I enjoyed watching him look embarrassed as he nodded and picked his guitar back up.

“Oh. Right, sorry. I’ll go.. practice in a different room. Thanks for your opinion,” Norio said, before turning and walking back out of the room. I watched him for a moment, and chewed on my pen for a moment, then looked back at the application for a job that I really felt I had a chance at getting. It was just a part time job, but it was a start, right?

———————————————————————————-

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It was getting closer to fall, and the  air began to cool down. It had been a month or so since the words of warning were written on my window, and slowly I began to realize that I couldn’t remember the last time I felt my stalker’s gaze. Not specifically. I had felt her gaze a few times since the window message, never for long, but it didn’t happen every night. This should have been good news, and when I mentioned the fact that I had not felt her presence for a while to Norio, he seemed relieved and assured me that this was, indeed, a good thing.

It put me on edge.

Maybe it was just the fact that it was fall, though, and fall was the time that I always got.. well… edgy. Grumpy. Nervous. First there was Mother to worry about, with her need to me to succeed in school, as well as whatever other side classes she signed me up for that particular year – not to mention, attempting to keep her off my back about possibly sending me off to rich witch boarding school. Second, there was school itself. Being a high society witch in a high school full of middle class human teenagers.. it was hell, to put it lightly. I wasn’t like my brother. I didn’t flaunt my money, my family’s fame, or my witch status, and I kept to myself because Mother didn’t like for us.. no, me to socialize with the low-society “peasants.” It was like I had placed a bright red target on my back that flashed in big, neon letters, “BELITTLE ME WITH WORDS, IT’S NOT LIKE I’M A PERSON ANYWAY!”

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But this didn’t feel that way. This nervous energy felt unrelated to my Mother, or stupid adolescent fears of being compared to the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz. I couldn’t figure out what it was, though. I found myself staring out my windows a lot, knowing that there was something I was missing.

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“Briony?” I heard from behind me as I found myself staring out the window, yet again, in the direction of.. I didn’t know.

I didn’t even turn my head as I replied, “Nn?” I felt like.. I still had no idea.

“Have you gotten the mail yet? I would, since I probably have the right to since I get mail to, but it feels kinda wrong to since it IS officially your mailbox.. not mine.”

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Ah. The mail. I turned to look at Norio, finally, and shook my head, that I had, in fact, not gotten the mail. “No, I haven’t. I’ll go grab it – I’ll be back in a moment.” I walked into the foyer and grabbed slipped on a pair of shoes, then a jacket, slinking outside and over to the mailbox. The crisp morning air felt refreshing, distracting me from the thoughts of why I was so nervous. It was a surprisingly pleasant feeling – Starlight Shores had summer, fall, winter, and spring, of course, but the extent of fall and winter, as far as chilliness was concerned, was a day where we could wear pants outside instead of shorts or a skirt.

I had played with the thought of  snow angels, snowmen, snowball fights, and ice skating practically since the first day it rained in Moonlight Falls. Rain was weird enough for me, but snow! Really, flaky, pretty, cold snow! Not a freezing spell, either!

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Grabbing the mailbox’s.. door… lid.. what did people normally call that? A flap? Portal that leads to great disappointment when all that you discover, lying in wait for you, is a pile of bills asking for money that you don’t have? Whatever it’s called, I flipped it open and reached in, pulling out a small pile of bills wrapped in the newest copy of Spellbound Monthly. I flopped the magazine open, and glanced over the envelopes, flipping them over as I read who they were from. Bill, bill, junk, bill.. my name is not Jessica Coinin.. junk… wait, what’s..?

There was one letter. It wasn’t a bill, and I knew it was actually for me, because there was no address written on it. Just a single word, “Briony” written in a very mysterious writing. I narrowed my eyes at it, and stared for a few moments, then looked at the other side of the envelope. Just a plain envelope, nothing special. Whoever had put this in my mailbox either did it over night, or just after the mail came. I looked up from the mail in my hand, and peered around, not sure what I was looking for, because this wasn’t the handwriting of my stalker. I couldn’t see anyone that might have left this for me, so I slowly looked back down at it, then moved towards the front door.

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I dropped the rest of the mail onto the desk, and then ripped the envelope open, pulling out a single piece of paper – so it wasn’t a long-winded secret love letter or anything. Unfolding the paper, my eyes drifted to the top and I started to read.

My Bewitching Briony,

Why did you run from me? Do you know how very long it took me to find you? Tsk, tsk. I had to use all of the potions and spells in my arsenal, pertaining to locating people, in order to find you. Why here of all places? They’re backwards, here. But, anyway, now I have found you once more, and I will show you that your place is not here. It is with me. If you run again, I will find you, so don’t even try. 

N.

N.. there was no mistaking who “N” was, because I only knew one person who spoke to me like that. And called me “bewitching.”

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The note fell from my fingers, and I snapped my head towards the nearest window. So that was it. My stalker was warning me. She knew this was going to happen, she knew he had found me, and she knew he was coming for me. Maybe she’d even seen him searching town for me. I needed to find her and thank her – because of her, I knew that something like this was going to happen. Too bad I didn’t truly prepare myself, but at least I didn’t feel pure panic shoot through my veins.

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What was I going to do, though? I felt my legs start to buckle, and I eased myself down onto my couch. Was there anything I could do? Navin had found me, he knew where I lived, and had put this letter in my mailbox himself. Who knew how long I had until he would come barging in and drag me back home? Out of everyone, the only two people I truly feared could force me back to Starlight Shores were Mother, and Navin. They were the only ones that would “care” enough to search and bring me back, though, too.

What was I going to do?! I couldn’t go back, they couldn’t make me, I didn’t want to go back to that horrible place and be a good little trophy wife for Navin, becoming his puppet, not being my own person. I was myself. I needed to learn who myself WAS first, I hadn’t even gotten the chance.. I was too busy being afraid for my life from a stalker and worrying about finding a job – I had only just gotten a “job” as a local gardener for the little grocery store I went to! That wasn’t what I planned to do with my life, but it was better than being locked up in a house as a.. a…. SEX TOY. Because, knowing Navin, that’s what I would have to be. He didn’t care about money, so I would not be allowed a job. He didn’t care about talking with me, he made that perfectly clear. The Antema line would have to continue, so he would guarantee that I was always pregnant.

If he got me, he wouldn’t let me out of the house for fear of me running away.

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I couldn’t marry him, I couldn’t go back, I couldn’t, couldn’t, couldn’t, COULDN’T. I jumped back up to my feet and sent a text to Mr. Gai, “Help. New stalker, much scarier than the last one. Advice? He threatened me.”

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I paced as I waited for a reply, then finally walked into the music room, where I expected to find Norio – and I did. “Norio. Something serious is going on, I need to know you’re really, truly serious about being here to protect me.” I knew that there was a hint of fear to my voice, but I tried to keep it mostly determined.

He stood from the drums, and frowned at me in worried confusion, since I hadn’t been this serious, or worried, even over my first stalker. “Yeah, I am serious about it. Why? What’s going on? Did your stalker show back up? Is she threatening you?” He looked ready to go after her right there and then and I was very glad that he was so eager to defend me.

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“No, it isn’t her. I got a letter in the mail.. it was from…” Now that I thought about it, had I told him about my life in Starlight Shores? I was pretty sure I hadn’t, so I bit my lip, trying to think of how to describe it without telling him my whole life story. “.. my… fiance.”

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“Fiance…? As in, you are engaged? As in.. to be married?” he asked slowly, as if he suddenly was having trouble with English or something, which I knew he wasn’t. It was the concept that he was having trouble with. I shuffled my feet against the carpet nervously, and nodded my head. His face was blank, and I was kind of worried about what his reaction was going to be. I’d never seen him look this.. this… I wasn’t even sure what to call it. It was almost like anger, but it wasn’t quite, and it wasn’t disappointment, and it wasn’t nothing, either.

He stood there staring at me for the longest time, and I really began to wonder what was going on in that head of his. I’d never seen him freeze up this completely before. “Norio..?”

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“You could have mentioned this bit before, you know. The fact that you’re going to be married. How long have you been engaged? What’s his name? Why didn’t you tell me about this sooner? I imagine it probably is a somewhat new turn of events, since you probably wouldn’t have had me protect you from the big, bad stalker if you had him before. Jeez..” he sighed in what I thought sounded like aggravation, before running a hand back through his hair, and glaring at the ceiling, muttering something in Japanese, before looking back at me. “I should move out soon, right, give you and him ti-“

“Shut up already, would you?” I interrupted, tired of listening to his weird tirade. What was he so pissed about, anyway? If I had a good fiance, that would mean he could get on with his life. “I’ve been engaged to him since we were babies. An arranged marriage, Nori. Do you know about supernatural hierarchy? See, many supernaturals are old fashioned, and still have basically royalty. I’m the daughter of two very high-up witch families, and the witch high society still believes in arranged marriages.”

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He stared at me for a few moments, then seemed to blush and turn a bit awkward, which I got satisfaction out of – he deserved to feel awkward for that weird reaction. “Oh. So.. you HAVE to marry him, it’s not a case of… love. Sorry..”

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“Yeah,” I replied, and then sighed, walking over and sitting down on the keyboard bench, facing him. Now I had to explain the current situation. Where to start.. “See.. I didn’t want to marry him. I was suffocated, nearly literally, back where I came from. Starlight Shores. My Mother wanted me to be the perfect high society bitch – er, sorry, witch – and I didn’t want to. Being a high society witch, we have to behave a certain way. We are supposed to dress a certain way, spend time with certain people, and avoid certain others. Once we come of age, we get a mark,” I pulled my shirt down slightly to show him the tattoo on my chest, “from collarbone to.. well below the navel. It’s not naturally occurring, though, it’s applied with a spell from one of the young witch’s parents. It marks us forever as high society, and cannot be removed.”

Norio looked at my chest, where I showed the tattoo, and he stared longer than he should have, so I pulled my shirt back up as far as I could and gave him a look, clearing my throat. He looked back into my face and just gave me a crooked grin. “I always wondered what that was, because honestly, it didn’t seem very you. The tattoo on your back is much more you – the branches and.. stuff.” I nodded in agreement, having never much liked the tattoo completely marring my front, myself. I had planned, from a young age, that I wouldn’t get the tattoo – I’d leave before they could give it to me. But Mother knew that I didn’t want it, so she gave it to me while I was sleeping one night. To her horror, it came out pink – they come out different for ever witch, and often the witch changes their favorite color to match their tattoo.

“Yes, the one on my back I got while I was still living in Starlight Shores, as a small rebellion against Mother,” I chuckled, and went silent for a moment, before remembering why we were talking about this in the first place. My face hardened, and I looked back up at Norio. “Anyway, as I was wanting to say. You are serious about protecting me, you said that much, but are you not afraid to have a witch as an enemy? He will not be afraid to reduce you to nothing but a frog, or worse. Much worse. He wouldn’t hesitate to kill the man I’ve been living with since I moved here, even though we’re not.. you know, romantic.”

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I expected Norio to back out, make an excuse, run to his room and pack his backs. He’s a coward, and this was a very dangerous situation. I knew Navin was unstable, and unafraid to do whatever it took to get me back. Instead, Norio just stared at me with wide eyes. Or.. what I guessed were probably wide eyes. “Okay.. I’m guessing.. he threatened you. And you want me to protect you from him.”

“Well, yes, and no. He did threaten me,” I said, hesitating, then continued, “and I want you to.. help keep me safe. I don’t want you to protect me all on your own. I know you can’t, not against Navin – my fiance. He’s got a huge temper, he’s unstable, and believes that I am his property. He doesn’t care what he has to do to claim me. So I’m gonna see if I can get some extra help to protect me, I already texted Kieran – Mr. Gai, the one that is actually paying you. I’m not completely defenseless, either, I am a witch.”

“Yeah, you are..” he trailed off, and went silent for a little bit, watching me. I watched him back, and I felt like I was missing something as his eyes seemed to glaze over in deep thought. He pursed his lips, then looked down and away from me. “Can.. I think about this for a little bit? This.. is different than what I was hired for. You’ve been outright threatened, and I was mostly just around to call the cops with your original stalker..”

Better than I hoped for. “Yeah. You can. If you decide that this isn’t what you signed up for and want to move out before things get serious, you can.” I tried to sound understanding, but to be perfectly honest, I was a little hurt that he was thinking about backing out now at the end. He said he was serious about protecting me, but when it actually came down to it, he wasn’t reliable. What was this past summer for, then?

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With that, he moved away from the drum set, and turned, heading up the stairs, and I watched him go. What was I going to do, now? I couldn’t rely on Kieran to do everything for me, especially since he had a family of his own, and I hadn’t even heard back from him yet.

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I don’t know how long I sat on the bench, but I do know that eventually, I turned around and started plinking out some notes to distract myself. That was one of things Mother forced me to learn – piano. Because it’s a high society skill, of course. I never got very good at it, but I was good enough to not sound like a zombie rat dancing over the keys. I hummed each note I hit, trying to make sure it sounded okay. Eventually, I got lost in the playing, just as I was hoping I would. Norio still hadn’t come downstairs, and I was sure it was because he was packing.

“I do believe I have a suggestion, if you are willing to listen.”

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I opened my mouth to reply, before realization hit, and I slammed my hands down on the keys, eyes WIDE. That. Isn’t. Norio.

My heart rate picked up, and I stayed still, praying that I had heard wrong. I had to have. But then I heard a shuffling of clothes as someone shifted their stance, and I closed my eyes. I had heard right. There was a person in my house, not Norio.. and thankfully not Navin, because this voice was female. But that left me with one option, that I didn’t much like either.

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Slowly, oh so slowly, I turned, and lifted my gaze, to meet the gaze that I had been constantly under since I moved to Moonlight Falls. My stalker had somehow gotten into my house, and was standing right there. Smiling at me. How could she be here? She was a vampire, and it was the middle of the morning.

I guess that was the least of my worries..

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“Please, don’t panic. I never meant to scare you, really, Brie, I just.. well, I’ll get to that when it’s necessary. Right now you’re in a bit of a pickle and need a solution, yes? Well, I’m the girl for you!” she flashed a fangy grin at me, and winked, and I blinked back at her, almost immediately put at ease. This was my stalker? I knew she was, she looked exactly the same as the night she approached me. But.. she didn’t seem that threatening. I guess I really was right about the gaze not being threatening, then.

“.. how? What do you mean?”

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“Wellllll, you need help and protection, right? We can help each other,” she explained, and grabbed my hands, pulling me to my feet. “I don’t want that bad man to take you away and break your spirit. I am a vampire, I am better protection than the human boy upstairs, and I have my own separate reasons for wanting to protect you, too. And I need a place to stay – I’ve been living in the mausoleum far too long now, I need a better place. Don’t worry, I have a job, so I wouldn’t be a freeloader, either! What do you say?”

Well, that explained the ripped clothing. She was homeless – except she had a job, so.. okay, none of that really made sense to me, but I decided to just accept that. I opened my mouth to object, because this was a person that stalked me for months, and then barges into my house uninvited. I should just file a restraining order against her, but what she said made sense, and as I have mentioned, I was never the best at knowing what was good for me. So as I opened my mouth to say no way in hell, I said, “okay.”

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She looked so excited I almost wondered if she was stalking me just so she could live in my house – I also wondered if she was a mental hospital escapee. Would make sense with the ripped clothes, living in a mausoleum, and stalker behavior. “Great! You will not regret this decision, Briony! I have to go grab some stuff from my mausoleum, I will be back at nightfall.” she said, turning to leave.

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“Wait a sec!” I exclaimed, reaching out and catching her by the back of her shirt – I half expected her to turned around in a vampire rage and devour me, but she just turned and looked at me with wide, curious eyes.

“Yes?”

“Can you at least tell me your name, even if you’re not going to.. you know, explain pretty much anything else?”

She smiled a moment, before nodding her head. “Oh, right! I’m Haukea Bellerose, but you can call me whatever you please. See you tonight!” With that, she turned, and.. disappeared.

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A/N: HI EBERYBODY. =D I know this chapter took foreeeeeeever, but I’m finally getting back to the original plot I had for this generation. XD Seriously, Briony, Norio, and Haukea decided to do their own thing. I’m still kind of debating doing one part of the plot that I have had since the beginning, because it might be too much drama, but I don’t know. Also? Briony is driving me insane!! Briony isn’t attracted to the guy I want her to be attracted to, she’s attracted to – and rolling romantic wishes for – the guy that I DON’T want her to be with. And I’m sorry the continuity errors in this chapter, but this took place over about a Sim week because at every possible turn the game was giving me trouble. First there was no mail when I wanted Brie to get the mail, then when I tried to have her and Norio chat in the music room they ALWAYS went to the foyer so I had to moveobjects them back to the music room, and, and.. AGH.

Anyway, I hope to get a chapter out before several months this time! I don’t promise anything, but I want to stick with this, so.. yeah! I also hope to get a Swing With Me chapter up soon.


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Sorry!

Sorry it’s been a month (exactly) since I posted a chapter in this. My goodness. =/ I have lots of excuses, like the fact that school likes to try and eat my free time, I’ve been sick since the first full week of January (I can’t think to write plot when I’m sick – though I’m finally almost better), and I’ve been really kind of addicted to my ISBI family (which was actually founded by Kieran Gai, haha). >.>

Also, I’ve been kind of stuck because I’m not entirely sure how to get to where I want to go from this point in the story. I rushed it a little and the plot is going in a slightly different direction than I have written in my notes. XD

BUT I have the first few paragraphs written and since I’m feeling better I should be writing on it soon. I want to be sure it’s good (or as good as I can get it), so I don’t want to write when I really don’t want to.


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I made another thing.

Since I can’t write chapters in this when I have ideas for other things in my head, I have a habit of starting other stories while I’m working ones that I want to be sure and continue. Almost as soon as I had published the prologue and first chapter for this one, I got an idea for another legacy.. except not a regular legacy like this one, a rainbowcy. So I made the blog and wrote half the prologue then decided that it was a bad idea and quit.

But then I read another rainbowcy and it inspired me again and I looked back at my rainbowcy, and I remembered why I was so excited about it. So I finished the prologue today, added in the last few pictures, and.. well… now I’m posting it here.

Here: http://swingwithmerainbow.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/dont-let-go/


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Hext Legacy – Chapter 1.5

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Norio wasn’t awake when I arrived home, but he was on the top floor so I knew my stalker wouldn’t be able to see me through the window up there.  I burst through the front door of my house and straight back to the back room, up the stairs, and to the boy room, shutting the door quietly and collapsing in front of it as soon as I saw that Norio was fast asleep in one of the beds.  Tucking my legs in close to myself, I covered my face, trying to catch my frightened, erratic breathing.  What I didn’t expect to find when I did that was damp cheeks.  When I hiccuped, I realized that I was crying out of fear – I had just known that the vampire was going to get me, just like my nightmares, that I had completely reacted on instinct.

I really felt pathetic, but I sat there for more hours than I should have, just silently sniffling and panicking.  Maybe I wasn’t brave.  Maybe I just seemed brave because I was actually.. really quite sheltered for most of my life.  It was a terrible childhood, but it was also a sheltered one.  I had no idea what sex even required until Navin explained it to me, because Mother refused to let me take the school’s sex ed class.

By the time I decided I should go to bed, my head was starting to nod from exhaustion.  I really didn’t want to sleep in my own bed, so I went to my room and grabbed my nightie, changing in there real quick before trotting back upstairs.

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Instead of sleeping in the other bed, I just climbed the ladder on Norio’s bunk bed, wanting to be as close to someone as I could be.  Though, after I thought about it, I was directly in front of the window and anyone looking in could see me so it probably wasn’t the smartest of ideas, but at the time I just wanted to be close to a big, strong.. boy-man.  Once settled in between the covers, it didn’t take me very long to drift off to dream land.

Mercifully, I had absolutely no dreams about my stalker despite actually meeting her for the first time.

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When I woke up, the first thing that ran through my mind was, “oh shoot, the ceiling collapsed!” when I saw said ceiling so close to my face.  It didn’t take too long for me to remember where I was and why the ceiling was so close, and I sighed deeply, snuggling into my covers when I did.  I would have stayed there, but I hadn’t eaten since the night before when I went to the bistro.  I was famished.  After a few moments, I convinced myself that food was important, and I climbed out of bed, then down the bed ladder.

When I got down the ladder, I didn’t see what I expected  to see.  I expected that Norio had already gone downstairs, gotten breakfast, gone out to get out of the “retina scarring” Barbie-house.  Also, I expect him to have made his bed, but that was probably too much to ask from a boy who has barely moved out of his parents’ house (not that I could talk.. but bed making was ingrained into me).  Instead of finding any of these things, I saw said boy, still in what I assumed was his sleepwear, leaning against the opposite ladder and seeming like he was waiting for something.  Was he waiting for me to wake up?  I certainly didn’t think so, but when he heard me climb down the ladder, he stood away from the bed and glanced underneath the top bunk at me.  He smiled softly at me, and I couldn’t help but smile back as I walked around the end of the bed.

When I got around to the other side, I started feeling really.. shy and awkward, which is really not me.  But I was embarrassed at my obvious cowardice and childish behavior of running to the nearest person and sleeping with them.  I was afraid he was going to make fun of me, despite this exact thing being why he was here in the first place.

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“Hey,” he greeted me, and I muttered a quiet ‘hello’ back at him, noticing that he wasn’t wearing his glasses.  Because of this fact, I could see the genuine concern reflected in his eyes.  Also, I could see that his eyes were deep, dark pools of liquid chocolate, even prettier than the waiter from the bistro’s eyes.  Not that I was going to mention that unless he proved himself worthy.  And, at the time, flirting was the last thing on my mind.  “Are you okay?”

I blinked at the question, and looked up from my awkward dust-particle brushing, peering at him through my eyelashes.  Did he just ask me if I was okay?  My smile grew a little less awkward and a little more grateful – and coy.  “Yeah.. I’m okay.  I just.. last night didn’t go real well.”

“Yeah, I know you stayed out pretty late.  What happened?  If you don’t mind reliving it, that is,” he asked, and I sighed lightly, wondering why he was even curious.  “In case you are forgetting, I was hired to take care of you, so I should probably do it.”

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“Right, of course. Well,” I started off, and felt myself start blushing a little, hating to admit my fear.  If he was here, though, that meant he already knew I was a little bit afraid, and so I would have to suck it up and just tell him what happened.  Sighing deeply, I reached up and scratched my head, avoiding his beautiful gaze.  “I, uh.. when I left the bistro – that’s where I went when I left – I wasn’t being watched.  My stalker wasn’t around so, you know, I decided to stick around for a while.  I went to the park.”

I heard him make a sound through his teeth, and I glanced at him, seeing an incredulous look on his face.  “You’re being stalked, and you went to the park.. after dark?”

I scowled at him, and then poked at his stupid yellow shirt.  “Hey, I never professed to be particularly intelligent!  Did you want to hear the story or not?”

He raised his hands in defense and rolled his eyes to the ceiling and then back to me.  “Sorry, sorry!  Go on.”

Thank you.  As I was saying,” I brought my arm back and crossed my arms over my chest.  “I went to the park, and harvested some of the public plants.  Then I.. practiced some chess..”  As if I was actually going to tell him I had a severe case of kleptomania.  “.. and I saw her.  My stalker was sitting on the fountain, watching me, and then she was approaching me and I.. I couldn’t think of what to do so my feet thought before I could and I fled.  She followed me, but not like a vampire normally does, and so I ran straight up here to your room and after I stopped panicking I still didn’t feel like sleeping where my stalker could.. see me.”

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Suddenly, a strong, warm hand was enclosed around mine and I blinked, looking down at the link between us.  His hand was soft, but I felt calluses on his fingers, where he had put many long hours in on his guitar.  I knew he played guitar at least, because that was one of the things he had with him when he got here the day before.  As his thumb caressed the back of my hand, my cheeks prickled with heat.

“Next time.. wake me up.  This is what I was hired for, you know,” he told me, and squeezed my hand once, before letting go of it.  As soon as the warmth from his hand was off of mine I immediately moved my other hand to grab that one, rubbing where his had been.  He noticed me do this, and smiled that somewhat obnoxious smirk-like smile.  “Sorry, I have a habit of flirting with pretty girls when they’re in distress.  And, it’s especially difficult to keep from it when you’re just in.. that.”

Okay, romance gone.  I scrunched up my face and blushed brightly, proceeding to cover myself up as much as I could.  I couldn’t believe I was nearly naked in front of an attractive guy.  Oh. My. Goodness.  “You could have reminded me in a LESS CREEPY WAY, you jerk!”  I hissed, and he just snickered at me.  His mirth was interrupted by the sound of a car horn honking outside, and I jumped slightly, being taken completely by surprise.  Who would that be?  I didn’t remember inviting anyone over, and I was entirely certain that Norio wouldn’t invite his friends over to a “Barbie-house.”  What time was it, anyway?  I found myself glancing around the room to find the time, but evidently a clock was not something Kearn thought to include in the boy room.  Well, once I had children I’d have to remember to add an alarm clock.  “Who on earth could that be?”  I voiced my thoughts, looking back at Norio who was now looking a little nervous.

“Oh crap!  That’s my ride,” he cried, before shoving me towards the door.  “I need to get out, girly, I’m gonna be late for work!”

I didn’t like being pushed around in my own house, and I certainly didn’t appreciate being called “girly” instead of Brie (I was so close to telling him to call me Ms. Hext), but I did as was told because.. well, maybe he’d help pay for groceries or power or things, since he had two jobs.  Cooperation could get a person a lot of places in life.  Including jail and dead, but I knew when to be uncooperative.

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After I left the room, I remembered that I was seriously starving so I went downstairs, not bothering to get dressed.  He had already seen me in my nightie, it’s not like changing now would make much of a difference, and he was going to be leaving anyhow.  I headed towards the kitchen from the music room, deciding to cut through the living room so I could get a look at Norio’s carpool.  Not that it really gave me a good idea of where he worked, but maybe if it was a big, fancy Margaret Vaguester I wouldn’t feel too bad asking for some help with things.

Before I got to the foyer to look, though, he darted past me like a fox from the hounds, waving over his shoulder as he flew out the door.  “I’ll be back around nine thirty, see you later Brie!”  Then he was gone before I got the chance to even think of a reply.  Not sure I would have thought of a reply, though, since all my brain could concentrate on was.. what kind of a job required leather pants like those?

I wouldn’t mind seeing him in them again.

I broke free from my contemplations long enough to finally head to the kitchen to make myself breakfast.  Or.. I glanced at the clock, lunch, I guess.  Since it was after 3 PM.

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Days passed.  A week.  Two, three more weeks.  Things didn’t change a lot between Norio and I after that morning where he squeezed my hand, we mostly just avoided each other unless either of us were bored.  At breakfast, I ate in the dining room and he ate in the living room like the slob he is.  In the afternoon, he went to work – I learned quickly that he worked as a “fan” for a local band that was working its way up to the top.  The more fans they had, the more popular they would be, or at least that’s how Norio explained it to me. I debated getting a job there myself, but often times those that worked as “fans” went on to work at the theater and I wasn’t much of a musician.

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All in all, life got pretty average.  Yes, my stalker still came around at night, but whenever she came around I hid.  Sometimes upstairs, sometimes in the game room, but it was always in a place she wouldn’t see me.  I never went outside at night anymore, despite the beautiful stars.  It wasn’t worth what could happen.

During the day, however, was a whole other story and I went outside whenever I needed to.  Actually, I went outside more often than I necessarily needed to, because I longed to feel at least a little free.  Mostly, I did chores outside.  I took the trash out probably more often than I needed to, I hung the laundry out to dry instead of using my drier..

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Of course, chores weren’t the only things I did outside.  On particularly hot days I stayed inside and tried to find jobs, but on the days that were really warm but not unbearable I played outside.  I’m a natural collector, so when I find things like bugs I grab ’em.  Unfortunately, no really rare bugs have showed up on my lawn for me to sell to science, but lady bugs are cute and I kept them in jars for a while before deciding that they needed to live their short little lives free.  Reminded me of myself, back at my parents’ house too much.

Most days, before Norio went to work, he would play a childish prank on me that wound up with us playing a game.  Sometimes he’d hit me in the head with a pillow, but most of the time it was water balloons.  He learned not to do the water balloons inside after I threw a curse at him for it, though.  My house was sacred, there would be NO water fights inside.

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Then, his carpool would show up and I’d tend to my garden.

Tending my garden from 2 o’clock on took me moderately late into the evening, and because of that I got to where I knew approximately when my stalker came by.  It was around 7 to 8 PM, so I could stay out until it just started to get dark, then I had to retreat indoors, at which point I hid, doing random things, until Norio got home.  Downstairs was also a regular hiding place for me, and at those times I would practice my magic, because though there was a lot to do down there.. well, I wanted to learn more about my abilities.

The days that I finished gardening at least two hours before it would get dark I ended up driving to the grocery store and sold my produce.  I happened to snatch some things off the shelf while I was there, and then I’d sell those things, too.  I felt like I should have felt bad for it, but I didn’t.

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When Norio finally got back home, I would come out of hiding and hang out with him – if he wasn’t practicing his music, that is.  Those nights, we usually watched a movie or an episode or two of a show either of us liked.  We actually had similar tastes, surprisingly.  Actually, I think it surprised him more than it surprised me, since I liked fantasy and sci-fi as much as I liked romance, so I didn’t argue when he would suggest something like.. Lord of the Rings, or Doctor Who.  We would watch something for a while, and Norio demonstrated his inability to keep his dirty shoes off my nice clean couch.

After watching a movie, we usually played the video games that Norio brought with him – I already owned a game system, but didn’t have any games that he would enjoy.  The only one I was even kind of good at was Tekken, and that was because it didn’t require a lot of actual strategy.  All I had to do was mash buttons and my character would beat his to a pulp.  Any racing game, though, I sucked at so badly that I usually ragequit and then Norio laughed at me and then I stormed to bed.

The first month Norio was living with me proceeded that way.  Things weren’t nearly as eventful as my first two weeks in town, and I really quite liked it.  My stalker even seemed to back off a little, and I was beginning to really settled in.

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On a ridiculously early July morning, the day before Leisure Day, I found myself waking up before I was ready to.

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At first I couldn’t figure out why I had woken up so early, and I tried to roll over, go back to sleep.  It didn’t work, because there was something niggling at the back of my mind, and I couldn’t drift back into a state of blissful unawareness.  I don’t know how long I laid there, but finally I let out a long, low breath and rolled onto my left side, sitting up.  I wasn’t wide awake, though, so my eyes were closed until I was upright on my bed, and when I finally managed to pry them open, my gaze stopped froze on my window.

“What the..?” I mumbled, squinting my eyes to check if I was really seeing right.

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There were words on my window.  Someone had written.. on my window.  On the outside of my window, in absolutely.. beautiful handwriting.  Not sloppy, like you’d imagine from one writing a backwards message on a window.  It was too swirly and intricate and beautiful to be a modern young adult guy’s handwriting, so there was no way in hell that it was Norio (I’d seen his writing and it wasn’t legible).

Plus, what it said was.. not something he would say.

“Be prepared.  Be wary.  Be careful, Briony.”

What was that supposed to mean?  Was that a threat?  What did it mean?  I was pretty sure, at this point, that I could go to the police for this, since there was likely a vampire, or at least a werewolf, in the MFPD.  I SHOULD have gone to the police immediately, had them start a city wide search for her.  But for some reason, I just stood there.. staring at the letters on my window.  I was creeped out, big time, but for some reason it didn’t make me run screaming to Norio, or dial 911.

Why warn me?  How did she know my- wait, vampire.  Right.  Superhuman hearing, mind reading.

Also, why the jumping jabberwockies would she write on my freaking window!? 

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The gears in my brain were turning, spinning, whirring, and thoughts were practically pouring out my ears.  Norio wasn’t awake yet after I saw the words, and so I needed something to busy myself with.  I dressed in my brand new gardening clothes, completely distracted so I nearly put on my swimsuit instead, and then headed outside to take care of my fruits, veggies, and fungi.  I knew I probably should avoid the outdoors, but.. for some reason, I felt like it wasn’t a big deal for me to go outside.  It wasn’t like it was dark out still, anyway.

As I tended my little garden/orchard, I let myself get lost in thought about the words on my window.  I felt goosebumps prickle my skin as I thought about them again, and shuddered slightly.  They were creepy, but for some reason, like the gaze, they didn’t feel threatening.  The way they were worded didn’t seem like she was warning me against herself, but against something else.  Was I completely misinterpreting her stalking?  Was she actually.. keeping an eye on me?  Like she thought I needed protected from something?  Or someone?

As I was thinking this and watering my apple tree, I felt eyes on myself and I nearly turned and threw my watering can at said eyes, but I stopped myself when I realized that I heard somewhat heavy footsteps, too.  Then my gate creaked.

“Morning,” I greeted, not even turning around because I knew his walk.

Norio stopped in his walk, and I smirked a bit to myself at the fact that he couldn’t sneak up and scare me.  He really should have known better, after this month and trying to scare me.  After all, I could tell that I had a vampiric stalker, did he really think I wouldn’t notice a clumsy, bland human?  After a moment, he sighed and I could hear him kick at the dirt.  “Yeah, that.  Something happened, didn’t it?  I heard you slam the front door this morning.. what, around 7?”

“Sorry if I woke you.”  I apologized, not replying to his actual question yet.

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I moved on to the next tree in the line and proceeded to start watering it, too (I enchanted the watering can to never run out of water). Instead of taking the hint of I-don’t-want-to-talk-about-it, Norio walked right up beside me and stopped there.  Knowing him, he was probably making some sort of unhappy face at my response.  At least the kid tried to do his job, right?  Too bad he wasn’t very good at the whole brave thing.  I found out about a week ago that he was a big chicken; his reaction to the horror movie I decided to watch was laughable.  I’m surprised he didn’t soil himself, honestly.  And he’s afraid of the dark.  Which, really, isn’t an unreasonable fear if you’re a bland human, since pretty much.. everything in the dark is out to get you.  Zombies, vampires, witches, werewolves, wolves, big cats.. yeah, I might have been afraid if I were just human, too.

Anyway, back to the garden.

I ignored the boy very pointedly, watering my plant and started to hum to myself to drown him out.

“Come on, Brie, what happened this morning?  Or last night?  Or whatever?  I don’t get paid if I can’t do my job, and I can’t do my job if you don’t tell me anything.”

“It’s all about the pay for you, isn’t it?”  I mumbled, pushing past him to the next tree.  It bothered me that, after a month, he still only cared to ask me what the matter was based on his salary.  I knew that was why he was with me, but I wanted a genuine friend, and so far I had none.  “Fine, whatever.  There are words on my window.  From my stalker.  It freaked me out a little, but the words made me think so I wanted to come out here and ruminate.”

“And.. what-i-nate?” he questioned my word choice, and again I debated watering him with my watering can.  Too bad he’d enjoy it, since it was.. probably about a billion degrees outside.

“Ruminate: verb.  To think deeply about something.  Synonyms – if you know what that word means, that is – meditate, reflect, muse, ponder, contemplate.”  I spoke slowly, so that perhaps his little brain might understand.

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“Okay, I get it, wha-”  Before he finished talking, I turned and headed towards my mandrake plant.  Honestly, I didn’t want to talk about the words on my window.  I wanted to think about the words, not talk bout things with someone who didn’t even actually care.  I heard him grunt in annoyance that I didn’t let him finish, and smirked to myself.  He deserved it.  I wanted him to care about my well being, not his stupid paycheck.  “Why are you so NONCHALANT about this?!”  Whooa, little boy knows big words like nonchalant.  I’m so proud.  “I’m sorry I asked about ruminate, but I honestly didn’t know what it was!  Now I want to talk serious, please, stop doing stuff with your damn garden and talk with me.  Don’t you think we should do something about the message?  What did it say?”

“It said to be prepared, be wary, and be careful.  It ended with my name.  If you want to read it, it’s on my bedroom window, as I said,” I replied to the first part, then finally decided to stop being over-emotional about the lack of friendship between us.  I shouldn’t have expected anything more than tolerance.  “It.. really doesn’t sound particularly threatening, to me..”

“Are you KIDDING?  It says to be careful and you think it doesn’t sound threatening?  Briony, that’s like a page right out of Evil Stalkers 101!  Freak your stalkees out by threatening them with the words ‘be careful’!  I thought we watched enough movies in these last few weeks that you’d KNOW that!”  he exclaimed, showing his cowardice and making me sigh a bit, turning to face him, now that we were having an actual conversation.

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“Nori,”  I started, and he blinked at me, since I had never called him anything but his full name before.  “Calm down.  Think about it more.  Be prepared?  Be wary?  That sounds more like warning against something else coming.  Not ‘I’m gonna get you Briony, watch your back.’  Don’t you think?  And she never felt threatening in her.. watching me.”

He stared at me blankly for a good long time, before narrowing his eyes in what I guessed was confusion.  “I guess I don’t really.. get why you had me hired, then.”

“Does it even matter to you?  You’re getting money and a free place to stay.”

He shook his head, then ruffled his hair, and smoothed it back into place – he had a habit of that, I’d noticed.  ” I guess not.  What do you want to do about the writing on the window, then?  Ignore it?”

I fidgeted with my bracelet, since I didn’t have my dress strings to twirl at the moment.  What did I want to do about the words on the window?  I hadn’t really decided yet at that point, because what could I do, really?  To be honest, I thought about waiting until after dark so I could talk to her.  If she wanted to kill me, she would have done so already.. right?  “I.. I don’t know.  I guess all I really can do is be prepared, wary, and careful.”

“Of WHAT?”

“I don’t know.”

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A/N: HEY. It’s almost midnight, so Happy New Year everyone! I guess this is sorta my New Years post, but I’m not sure I would really call it that. It’s extra long! Not extra good, just extra long. XD Hope you enjoyed it!