Thursday, November 11, 2010

Olivia - Gen 4 Ch 7

We are back from France, and I couldn't wait to test that stone key.
"Wow! looks like its gonna fit, Mom."
Ren, of course, was as curious as I was.

It slid right into place as if it was made for it. We heard the door creak eerily behind us.

I turned and saw a ghostly figure dressed in ancient garb. Ren raced to the door, and I was right behind him.

He stopped short right inside the doorway, but I was in my element, and stepped confidently up to the spectre.

I started my 'you've lived a full life' spiel, but she silenced me with a word.
"Hush now, young mortal, and listen. I and my companions have been trapped here, we know not how long. You have broken the seal on the door and set us free. For that we are grateful."

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Ren engrossed in the ancient writings hanging on the wall. 
But the apparition wasn't finished.
"I have but one small favor to ask of you." She glanced back and forth between me and Ren at this point, as if unsure to which of us to address her request. "Take our ashes to their final resting place, a place out in the wind and sun, and beneath the stars, so we can finally be at peace. Too long have we been underground and far from the things we love."

She turned and began to float away. Disconcerted, I called out.
"But how will we know the right place?"
As is from far away, her voice drifted back.
"The pendant... let the pendant guide you...."
I stared down at my pendant in amazement. It was very warm, and glowing more brightly than I had ever seen it. As the spirit retreated, the glow gradually faded until it was only a pendant again.
Ren and I just stood there in awe, staring at each other, for several minutes.
Ren was the first one to break the spell.
"Uh, so... I decided where I want to go for my birthday..."

We are all excited about the place Ren found for his birthday party. The Bonzai Lounge in Bridgeport has opened a satellite club here in Riverview! Since Mel's birthday is so close to his, he reluctantly agreed to share his night with his little brother. There's Darla sitting at the bar, and Ren's girlfriend Maureen with the short blond hair.

Why does Mel always look like he is scheming up some way to annoy Ren? Even when he is supposed to be making a wish!

Mel's friend Francesca Lessen watches with a rapt expression. I think she is sweet on him, and he certainly is growing into a handsome young man.

Next it was Ren's turn. He was so excited. Of course, he gets excited over pretty much anything, but an eighteenth birthday really is a big deal.

My baby is all grown up, and ordering his very first drink. He looks way to serious about it if you ask me!

Lane and I left the youngsters to their fun and danced the night away to some awesome piano music.

After we arrived home, I had one more thing to attend to. It was time to pass on my pendant. I called Ren out to the Sunflower Pond, just as my mom had done for me. I had never heard of the pendant being passed on to a son, but I had no daughters, and besides, it just felt right.

I related to him the whole story of the pendant, as much as I knew. He already had a notion of how special it was, as he had seen it's response the ancient spirit and her request.
"Thank you for your trust in me, mom. To carry on our family name means everything to me."

"May it lead you to what you seek" I replied, just as seriously.
I knew I had done the right thing, when I saw the pendant brighten as Ren placed it around his neck. And just for an instant, I caught sight of Sunflower, smiling happily from behind the cattails.
"Max says thank you!" The words seemed to be a whisper for my ears only. The ghosts in the basement were finally free.

Olivia - Gen 4 Ch 6

I kept my promise to Max, and I recruited Lane to help me clear the basement cave-in. Despite Max's insistence I really didn't expect to find anything. But much to our surprise, we uncovered a set of ancient stone steps leading downward.

We carefully made out way down the uneven, crumbling staircase, and out into a small room. The wall torches flared up as we entered, revealing a scene that reminded me of somewhere I'd been before.
"Deja Vu!" I murmured under my breath. "Strange underground hedge maze... somewhere in France... it's been almost eighteen years since we were there."

I tried the door, but it was locked, and so solid and heavy there was no way we were getting through without a bulldozer. So I pulled out my spirit locater so see if it would register any activity. It lit up like a Christmas tree! There was definitely something, or someone, incarcerated beyond that stone wall.

"Livie, looky here! It looks like one of those ancient key slots like we found in those... what were they.. Celtic ruins?"
Lane was right. It most certainly did. Maybe we could locate a key in Champs Les Sims, perhaps in the relic shop. And a change of scenery might be good for us all, especially Mel. He's been such a little terror lately.

He can be such a friendly little guy when he wants to be, but every once in a while he gets in these awful moods.  Unfortunately, being away in our little French cottage had no effect on his antics.

More often than not, Ren is the butt of his teasing.
"Eep! Dang it Mel! Leave me alone!"
"Ahahaha! You should'a seen yourself! You jumped two feet in the air!"

So I convinced Lane to keep Mel entertained, while I took Ren out to revisit those Celtic ruins.
"Ahahaha! I got you Dad! You're dead."
I'm sure they had a great time.

Meanwhile, Ren was fascinated by the ruins.
"This is amazing, mom! I can't believe we have a mini ruin like this under our house. How did it get there, I wonder?"
I had a feeling he would like this place. He's a perceptive sort of guy, and he's always loved a good mystery.

"Mom, come 'ere! Look what I found!I think this is a false wall!"
I came running. My hunch had been right. I had been all through this place but leave it to Ren to notice something I had missed.

He opened the chest that was behind the wall, and barely visible under the ancient layers of fine dust, was a stone key. We looked at each other in amazement.
"Could this...?"
"It looks to be the same shape..."
I could hardly wait to get home to try it, but we still had a few days of vacation left.

Meanwhile, Ren had discovered Grandpa Gustave's story of the Abandoned Nectary. Another mystery that had him on the edge of his seat! He was incensed at the injustice of it all.  

It was our last day of vacation, and he insisted we go out to see the place. It was just as my mom had described it had looked when she visited as a little girl. We peeked in the windows and gawked at the huge antique fireplaces, and expanses of hardwood floors.

Ren caught some frogs in the pond.

And Mel hunted bugs in the yard.

"It's so beautiful here.."
"Not as beautiful as you, my sweet Livie.."
"Oh, Lane..."
Suddenly my phone interrupted us.
"Olivia? This is Charlotte Dutiel! I am so glad I caught you before you left!  Do you remember when you opened my secret garden years ago? I need your help desperately. I believe there is a ghost in my garden."
She sounded so upset, I had to go out to see if I could do anything. Besides, how could I resist attempting to banish a real French ghost?

I sensed a ghostly presence as soon as I entered Charlotte's secret garden. I tried to convince it to move on, but this spirit had a special request.
"Please place my bones in the tomb next to my beloved's, then I will be at peace."

I complied with the spirit's request, and as I laid his bones to rest, a sudden breeze came up from nowhere, and disturbed some debris in the corner of the room.

An ancient parchment floated down into my hand as I heard a fading whisper.
"May you find what you are seeking...."
It was almost time for our flight home, so I rushed back to the cottage and hastily slipped the parchment into the front cover of Grandpa Gustave's book. I gave the book to Ren for safe keeping as we headed to the airport.
This mystery will have to wait until we get home.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Olivia - Gen 4 Ch 5

We do love our birthday parties; it seems to be a Greenbow family tradition. Today we're combining Ren and Mel's big days. Mel was first. His grandpa was tickled pink to bring him to the cake.

Such a friendly little guy, but he just hates to have his hair cut. Odd, since he's not afraid of anything else, just those scissors. I finally gave up.

Then it was Ren's turn. He asked for the oddest things for his birthday - a magnifying glass and a fingerprint kit.  I managed to find the magnifying glass, but the fingerprint kit is gonna have to wait.

Not long after, Mom passed on...

... and Dad followed shortly after. We all missed them terribly, but I was also worried about the Nectary. Neither I nor Lane had any idea how to grow anything, and we had even less knowledge of how to turn it into nectar. I had been trying for years to think of a way to mechanize the whole process, but so far hadn't come up with anything better than the harvester I'd made when I was a kid.

One day as I was wandering around the house, missing my mom and dad, and mulling over my automation problem, I found myself in my mom's art room, staring at her last sculpture - she had finished it the day before she died. Suddenly I had a brilliant idea.

So while Lane took care of Mel, I went to work.

 Often I forgot the time and worked into the wee hours of the morning, after I returned from my ghost hunting jobs.
My persistence finally paid off... I had done it!

My simbot was almost complete.. now to program it. I set it's AI for gardening,cooking, and general repairs. I considered adding cleaning, but I then I remembered how annoyingly neat the maid is, and she is only here half the day. I don't think I could stand so much neatness around the clock.

Now to address a slight problem with asthetics. Let's see, it'll need some clothes, and some sort of synthetic skin, so it doesn't scare our nectary customers.

Much better! No way to disguise the eye-cameras though, so dark glasses will have to do. It says it's name is Benito... hmph. I didn't program that in there.

Let me see if i can fix that. Hmm.. it's AI seems to be ...

AIEEE...ow! Hmph... the AI is becoming more... self aware, I guess you might say.  I decided to let him keep his name.

At least the gardening program seems to be working well.

The cooking too, although after he cooks our food, it's rather disconcerting to watch him eat his own "meals."

I'll have to keep an eye on him though - he gave Ren's friend Maureen a scare when she looked up to see him staring at her with a wrench in his hand.

I can't believe it's time for Mel's birthday again. As you can see, he still won't let me touch his hair. And he's developed a bad habit of sneaking up behind me and scaring me. I feel bad for missing so much of his toddler years developing Benito. But things will change now.. I so want to make up for that time.

My latest invention - I finally perfected my spirit finder! My ghost hunting business has really picked up because of it.

I can always find them now, no matter how they try to hide.
"It's time to move on, spirit!"
But in the end I always convince them.

I couldnt wait to try the spirit finder by Max and Sunflower's graves. I know how constantly seeing them had affected mom, but hey,  I see ghosts every day at work, how bad could it be?

I sucked in my breath when I saw two spirits standing in the backyard... and were they... flirting with each other? I know in an instant they had to be my great-great-grandparents.

My heart beat more quickly as they noticed me. Sunflower drifted away, but Max approached. He spoke in the same animated way that mom always did when she was in one of her "moods".
"Olivia! Olivia! Can you hear me?"
"Yes... are you... Grandpa Max?"
"Of course I am! Now listen! this is important! You need to keep searching! They're waiting for you! Keep digging! Promise me!"
"Digging? You mean the cave-in in the basement?"
"Yes, the cave-in! Promise me?"
I slowly nodded my head, and he gave an audible sigh of relief.  I wonder what is so important about that cave-in. I guess it's time to find out.