Chapter 8.4 – Supervision

Amber tries her best to comfort Luke while struggling to make sense of his panicked sobs.
Whatever frightened him had been so intense, that it sent him running hysterically to his room, where he sat trembling for hours. Luke is not able to verbalize what he had seen. And despite her efforts to downplay its significance, the event has somehow changed him. Thinking back to her own childhood, she remembers the feeling all too well. There was no way for her to “turn off” the flow of stimulus to her heightened senses. It was overwhelming at times. Lacking both direction and wisdom, she found herself wandering into dangerous circumstances.
But she had never witnessed any gruesome visions, been haunted by ghosts, or experienced the unnatural stamina her son possesses. He does not seem to ever get tired unless he is far away from home. And it worries Amber. The regular camping trips she plans for the family are probably more for her benefit than Luke’s. But at least he is able to sleep, even if she isn’t.
There is no question in Amber’s mind that the elusive explanation lies within the uniquness she has sensed about this place. There is an almost cosmic air of finality that continues to build in and around the estate. The problem, is that she does not know whether it is a good thing, or a bad thing. What she does know, is it has everything to do with Luke’s ability to go without sleep.
Right now, guiding and assisting Luke will be the most effective way for her to keep him out of harm’s way. She considers her options for a short time, then decides that the best place to start is right at the beginning. Grandma Faith had given her a box containing more than a hundred years worth of family history. It had once led her to making a startling discovery, which broke the case in her classroom cheating mystery. But it also revealed a much deeper (and more sinister) plot. Unfortunately, Amber had been completely focused, and maybe a little obsessed, on Julian. She had never thought to look through any of the other artifacts.
She spends the next few days cleaning out the box, and transferring delicate and aged items into binders and boxes specifically made for collectors. She carefully examines many of the treasures inside. When Amber was a teen, she had read parts of the diary written by Moira McAllister. The scattered musings and mathematical scribbles make about as much sense now as they did back then. The letters from Ciara to David, however, bring tears to her eyes; as do the newspaper clippings detailing her death from a car bomb.
As Amber continues looking though her family’s past, it occurs to her that they have been hunted for quite some time. The genius twin sisters, Deirdre and Claire, had both died under suspicious circumstances inside their shared apartment. Amber had never even heard about Mark Barimen’s daring escape from a middle-eastern militant training camp, where he had been held prisoner. Newspaper clippings about his return and subsequent confrontation with a superior officer capture her attention, and lead her to various other articles about curious goings-on inside an abandoned mine not far from Fort Gnome.
Both David and Hope had kept articles about seismic activity in Sunset Valley. After a little bit of outside research, Amber learns that the coordinates place the epicenter of both events inside the abandoned mine. One such event, when Mark was a child, coincided with the deaths of many soldiers and scientists. Could Luke’s fascination about the military base be more than just a childhood fixation?
None of the heirs (herself included) had ever kept a real diary, so peicing together their stories has been challenging. She types furiously on the computer, recording her findings, scanning photos and articles, and highlighting points she thinks to be important. Most of the information she’s been able to glean, has come from the descriptions and notes written on the backs of photographs. When Amber begins sorting through and arranging them by date, she makes another, very strange discovery.
Throughout the generations, there has been some photographic or written reference to a young woman named Kacey. She is first pictured with David Barimen, and had evidently been his girlfriend sometime before Ciara. But then she is mentioned again by David when he was much older. He was adamant that he had seen her, and that she had not aged. She is present again when Great Grandma Hope was a teen, and can be seen in a grainy photograph taken by Hope’s sister at the hospital.
Kacey had even lived right here at the estate for some time with Grandma Faith, before she was married to Grandpa Jimmy. The last reference is possibly the most curious. It is a song about Kacey, written by her father on notebook paper. The song has never seen the light of day, and Amber is likely the only other sim to have seen it. Probably with good reason, too. It puts to music, some kind of dramatic, otherworldly journey Kacey had embarked upon to save the universe. Not your typical Grayswandir fare.
How can one woman, who appears never to have aged past twenty, reach across the generations? Amber kicks herself for not digging deeper into this information while she was a still a child, and while she possessed her borrowed gifts. Grandma Faith is the only sim still alive who has seen this curious woman. But she is very, very old, and just has not been the same woman since Grandpa Jimmy’s passing.
Amber breathes a heavy sigh. This is Luke’s mystery to solve. Even now, she gets the sense that her part in this is complete, and she has done exactly what was set out for her to do.  Still, Amber may be able to provide Luke with the guidance and direction she lacked as a teen. Another thing she can provide for him is clear boundaries. She decides that if Luke is to be awake at night, he should not be alone. She vows to be available for him, napping throughout the day if she needs to.
He will be a teen very soon, and she can only imagine what trouble he will be able to get himself into, without supervision, during the wee hours of the morning.

2 thoughts on “Chapter 8.4 – Supervision

  1. Aww! I feel soooooo bad for Luke! He’s just a young child yet he’s so anxious and sensitive. I think him growing up into a teenager will only make matters worse, but I hope, for his sake that things get better! I really love his character and it’s a shame to see him acting this way. It’s also very clear to see how Amber cares about him and wants to help him but just doesn’t know how.

    Great update, and I can’t wait for the next chapter! Excited to see Luke become a teenager..


    1. Yep, Luke has a huge burden to carry. As the end comes closer, we’ll learn about the whole back story through his eyes. I’m really excited to see this all finally coming together!
      Thanks for the comment!


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