Chapter 7.25 – Vigil

Amber enjoys the warm sea breeze while relaxing on the beach below the Barimen Estate.
She signs the letter she has written to Julian, both to thank him for guiding Wendell, and to tell him of her decision to return his portrait back to the museum from where it went missing many years ago. Possessing no more substance than brittle wood and worn canvas, Julian had somehow stood between her, Brand, and death. It is the least she can do for his trouble.
Amber corks the bottle containing her letter and casts it into the sea.
This place has a story to tell. The crashing waves and squealing sea birds continuously tell the tale in a language she cannot understand. Something happened here. Or maybe it is going to happen. She’s not entirely sure. She smiles when her unborn child stretches, as if to protest the increasingly cramped quarters. She whispers her quiet reassurance that there will be no more mystery solving for momma.
It is an odd sensation, feeling compelled to allow a mystery remain a mystery. Grandma Faith had told her she would experience some fundamental changes in her manner of thinking during pregnancy. Parenthood changes a sim, she had said. Amber knows this to be a fact. The uncanny focus she had attained seems to have faded, and she finds herself missing details that would have screamed out to her before. But she is not concerned.
Over time, she has come to understand that her gifts were never hers at all. They were just borrowed. The knowledge and the skills she has amassed still remain fully intact. But the profound talents that allowed her to gain them so quickly, have already moved on to her child. And so has the formless presence that had once provided them to her.
Amber is, in fact, the first of her in her line to understand the significance of what her family has been tasked with. Ironically, it was the gifts themselves that led her to grasp the reality of it. They are the caretakers of an an unborn life; something very different than the sims of this world. Having been hunted nearly to extinction, its kind is critically endangered. It has done this for many generations, moving from sim to sim as it gestates; perhaps to increase the odds of its survival. Amber is not sure what it is, but she knows that it must be protected. And, as its guardians, so must her family.
None of the Barimen ancestors have gained more tangible benefit from this curious arrangement than Amber. And yet, the Barimen family is not the first to shoulder such an incredible responsibility. There have been others over the eons; all discovered and killed before birth. Only one in some ten-thousand years has managed to live long enough reach maturity.
The McAllister family had emigrated from a blighted Europe to seek prosperity in Sunset Valley. Before her death, a ninth generation McAllister (the last of her bloodline), had secretly given birth to twins while alone inside a tiny, log cabin. One of the children was her own flesh and blood; a baby boy she named Julian. The other child was something wondrous beyond description, and clearly had not originated from this world. She hid the otherworldly child from her greedy husband, but was tragically killed in a house fire shortly thereafter. And when she died, knowledge of the hidden child died with her.
There is still time before another such being is born. But that time must be used to defend and protect, as well as love and nurture. There is no doubt that Amber will stand between her child and any threat of harm, as any diligent mother would. But the things she defends against will not be simple schoolyard bullies or skinned knees.
Amber’s story concludes with the birth of Luke Barimen. It finishes in much the same way it began, with her grandmother, Faith, and her “sisters” providing support and love in lieu of absentee parents. She and Wendell always graciously accept the invitations for family gatherings at Grandma Faith’s house. But no such functions are held at the Barimen Estate.
It remains an empty reminder of everything Amber has lost. But more importantly, it is a guardhouse from where she stands tireless vigil; protecting both Luke and the being that depends upon his survival for its own. Amber celebrates the joys of her new family, showing Wendell and Luke the kind of devotion she has always enjoyed. But silently in her heart, she ponders a foreboding intuition, and pledges to risk her own life to protect theirs. Because deep inside, she knows that Brand had been nothing more than the alpha-dog among a pack of elite foxhounds.
And she also knows that the hunter is not far behind.

5 thoughts on “Chapter 7.25 – Vigil

  1. I can’t believe it’s almost over! I mean, sure there’s still 2 (or is it 3? Are you supposed to run through generation 10 or stop once they’re born?) generations left but man, it’s been a long time coming. I’m almost hoping it doesn’t end at all!


    1. Thanks audio! Yeah, two years down. It seems kinda weird, really. I plan on going through the end of Chapter 9. I have the remaining plot finished, and Chapter 9 will be almost completely scripted. That is, events in-game will have little to do with the actual posts.
      I’m tossing around ideas for an apocolypse challenge next, but will likely catch up on some reading and commenting on my blogroll first.


  2. A beautiful, mysterious, yet revealing ending to the 7th generation. Well done Zoxell! This was another amazing generation. I am so curious about this otherworldly being that lives because the Barimen children live. I cant wait to read more about that and Luke’s generation. :]

    Also, I loved the ending shots with (LOL..Figures!) and finding the bottle with the note. It was touching.


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