Chapter 4.1 – Talk

Hope watches through the classroom window as her friends pile onto the school bus to go home.
She has earned another detention cleaning bug cages after school. The weird thing is that she isn’t really a bad kid at all. The teacher really does like her, and she makes straight A’s. But it’s her amazing ability to talk incessantly that gets her into trouble every time. Hope really does try to keep it under control, but there is just so much to say …she just can’t help it!
Today, for instance, Alex Lum and Cynthia Donner were planning a bake sale in front of their house after school. Cynthia makes some delicious cookies, but she really doesn’t know who in the school to talk to about this kind of stuff. The cookies aren’t just going to sell themselves, so she decided to provide a little help in the word-of-mouth department.
Hope guesses she might have waited until after the grammar lesson to ask Cynthia whether the cookies were peanut butter or not. Because Michael Wan loves peanut butter, but not chocolate chip. And Michael was going to bring his girlfriend, Sonya, who has six brothers and sisters. Hope wasn’t too sure which of them liked peanut butter, though. Anyhow, it seemed really important at the time. Certainly more important than her learning about gerunds.
Her work is interrupted by the sound of sirens from the road, outside. She stands on the tips of her toes to find the source of the commotion. The talk around town has been about how the lack of rain (or weather for that matter) in Sunset Valley has sparked numerous deadly fires lately. It has kept the town’s brand new fire engine very busy. With nobody else around to listen, the bugs seem content in hearing Hope boast about how her mom keeps all the plants watered and green at their house, so no fires break out.
Having cleaned the stinky bug cages, Hope dashes out of the school and hops on her bike. There won’t be enough daytime left visit with some of the retirees who spend the day fishing at the beach. She has so many questions to ask, and things to learn from them. They usually seem pretty quiet, but she’s happy to cheer them up with all kinds of stories from school. She figures that they must have some kind of elder-sims meeting right around the same time school lets out, because a lot of them seem to leave in a hurry whenever she gets there.
Just as she is about to start peddling for home, she spots Ms. Melissa, Jon Bateman’s mom, sitting in the park across from school. She runs over to say hello. Jon has a crush on Cynthia Donner, and he would love to know about the cookie sale. After exchanging some great gossip, and learning that Mark Barimen is filthy rich (…who knew?), she sees it is starting to get dark.
Mei is unhappy when Hope finally coasts into the driveway just as the last sliver of sunlight disappears beneath the horizon. But her mood quickly brightens when her gregarious daughter begins an excited dramatization depicting the events of her day. Mei forgets about the teacher’s phone call, the detention, and the grounding that she was going to be sure to enforce this time around. With Mark out of town, Hope helps tend to her sister, Dara; then volunteers to do the dishes. Having finished tending to Dara, Mei helps Hope with her homework. It is the kind of bonding that Mei cherishes more than anything.
It is nearly impossible for her to remain cross with Hope. Yes, she is quite talkative, possibly to a fault. She is a lot like Elizabeth. But where her niece focuses the energy into her workouts, Hope cannot seem to focus at all. Hope eventually dozes off while watching TV with her mother. Mei smiles involuntarily as Hope mumbles something about catching catfish. Even in sleep, she has plenty to say. Any thought of reprimand evaporates as she carries her daughter upstairs and tucks her into bed. For now, she will allow Hope the benefit of the doubt.
She promises herself that the next time Hope gets in trouble, she will stick to her resolve, and punish her darling, little motor-mouth.

8 thoughts on “Chapter 4.1 – Talk

  1. Loved this update. Hope is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. As far as catching up, I’ve read through the first generation’s story and hope to start on the second soon. You are a gifted writer, and I’m anxious where Hope’s story will take her.

    Two questions: (1) how do you get pictures of inside the school? and (2) what is the theme of your blog? I really like it, and may use it for later blogs (After the Bakers, of course)

    Keep going,



    1. Thanks bro! I appreciate the feedback!
      As for the school, I used my favorite trick of taking a copy of the main game and bending the rules to get the pics. I demolished the school in the copy and build a little one-room residence. I moved Hope and Mei into the property and got my pictures, then deleted the copy.
      There really is no theme, so to speak. Just a nod to my favorite author, Roger Zelazny. I have “patterned” (heh, a little Zelazny humor there) my writing style from his. He was a superbly witty author whose works where addicting to read. If you can find it, I highly recommend “Lord of Light”.


  2. Aww, I love Hope. She’s exactly the kind of precocious little girl that I’d love to have some day. That picture of her in front of the butterflies where she’s rubbing her chin is so precious.

    I love that she’s a little chatterbox. Can’t wait to read the next chapter.



  3. Awww….I love Hope already! I can actually relate to her, I was a little chatterbox in school when I was younger. It disappeared once I hit Junior High, but yea..lots of staying afterschool. XDD


  4. Hope is really being loved by everyone isn’t she? I guess that includes me though ! 😛 The pictures you took throughout this chapter were really well taken! You’ve done a good job writing this chapter, as usual.



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