Chapter 8.14 – Giant

The star of fame only burns hot and bright for a short time, then it quietly fades away into obscurity; drowned out by the new and younger stars that proceed it.
 
Ben, Lisa, and their band Grayswinder, had all been household names at one time. But as it is with all things, the experience has finally come to an end. Artheritis has ravaged Ben’s ability to play the guitar. And Lisa’s legendary voice has become weak and tired. They are neither bitter nor resentful – just simply accepting of the fact that they have little else to do now, but retire.
 
Ben’s sister, Sarah, has come back to Sunset Valley as well. Her children are grown, and have moved off to far away places. The Baltic Sea village where she had lived for much of her adult life, became nothing more than a lonely gravestone for her late husband Ricky; and a reminder of the consuming grudge that she has kept against her niece. Sarah has little to show for her aloofness, other than lost time with family and hurt feelings. The rift will take time to repair, and there will likely be some rough patches. But at least the most difficult step has been taken.
 
Ben and Lisa, along with Sarah, now live inside a luxurious beachfront property where they plan to live their remaining years in relaxation; free from the throngs paparazzi that had hounded them relentlessly during their climb to super-stardom. Luke has never spent much time with his grandparents. They would come to visit between tours and recording sessions, but they would never stay long enough to establish any kind of real relationship with their grandson.
 
Luke accepts the invitation to their retirement party at the beach house. But he already feels awkward, even before arriving. If his suspicions are right, there are going to be a ton of sims there, and he’s just not in the right frame of mind for mingling. Anna and one of the recruits who had been out dancing with them last night, both failed to report for duty this morning. Luke picked up their slack. But he is still bothered by the encounter after the bar closed.
 
Even more disturbing than the thought of Anna going home with the next closest warm body after Luke, is the curious observation that their commanding officer seemed genuinely shocked to see him ready to work this morning. It was almost as though the commander had been expecting (if not looking forward to) him being MIA. Luke diplomatically expressed his concern over this observation, stopping short of accusing the commander of setting the scene to get Luke discharged.
 
In the end, after all was said and done, it actually turned out to be a good day. Luke’s ability to perform his own duties, plus those of his missing colleagues, has attracted the attention of brass ranking above his commander. And now that he is on the radar, his future at Fort Gnome just became a lot more promising.
 
When Luke arrives at the party, he notices Sandi immediately. She makes eye contact with him, but quickly looks away and continues her conversation, giving away little or no reaction.
 
Luke spots Alex, who has had a birthday since the last time they saw each other. Luke laughs and greets Alex with a strong hand-shake and a slap on the shoulder. Alex had signed a big contract with the Llamas to fill in a hole at the end of their batting line-up. He is a guaranteed RBI in most cases, and plays a pretty good second base. They talk baseball for awhile before Luke asks what the deal is with Sandi, wondering out-loud why she hasn’t come over to chat.
 
Alex shrugs. She’s not the same Sandi they knew in school. All she talks about now is politics and changing Sunset Valley. She’s not even here for the party, but to drum up support for some new law she wants to pass.
 
Just as Alex begins to tell him some gossip about her showing up everywhere just to push her plan, Luke hears Sandi’s voice grow louder. She is having words with Ben, who appears to be gently asking her to either stay and enjoy the party, or leave. Luke uses the opportunity to greet his grandfather and ask Sandi what the problem is.
 
Sandi speaks while turning away, without looking at Luke. She announces in an aggravated tone that she was just leaving. Luke follows her to the door. Then, addressing her as a council-woman rather than his old friend, he asks if she could spare a moment.
 
She hesitates but does not turn to face him. She cocks her head slightly, revealing the muscles in her neck and shoulders tensing up. He senses immediately that something his not right. This is the work of her father.
 
He ignores the haze of tears threatening to burst from her eyes as he steps in front of her and makes eye contact. She motions him to the foyer where they go, then stand, facing each other. Luke states plainly that she has not returned his calls. Her breathing becomes rapid and her face glows red with frustration. She curls her lip and accuses him of assaulting her father. Luke nods suggesting that it may be possible, depending upon whose account she believes. Luke suspects there is no value in providing his version of events, just now.
 
He invites her to come inside and enjoy some time with old friends; especially friends who miss her and want desperately to work toward patching things up.
 
Sandi had started to search his face and eyes while wearing an absent expression, allowing her tension to relax somewhat. But then, as though she were a marionette whose strings are being being pulled by a hidden manipulator, she jerks backward and sticks her nose up into the air. She points her finger into his chest and unloads.
 
He represents everything she despises about sims; clinging to outdated belief systems that get in the way of society progressing out of the dark ages, and hording wealth that rightfully belongs to Sunset Valley.
 
Before Luke can respond, Sandi growls in a manner that is far too much like her father. She tells him that she plans on bringing down the old way of doing things.
 
And he is going to be the first giant that falls.
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7 thoughts on “Chapter 8.14 – Giant

  1. Woooahh Sandi. I’m not liking her anymore -_- besides having a generic sim face she also has been drawn to the dark side. No one will take away the Barimen fortune again! >=[ hehe, but I liked that last line. She will take an axe to him and say “timberrr!”
    Anyway, I hope there’s a 3rd choice for Luke’s lady friend :3
    Where did you get Sandi’s hair from? It’s beautiful! 😛

    Like

    • I’ve been doing cooperative writing and simming for a long time, but mostly with sci-fi themes. I’m in no particular hurry to finish anything. I just enjoy telling the story 🙂

      Like

  2. I would like to believe that Sandi is redeemable, but I fear that she is not. Even if Luke manages to break her father’s hold on her, what would she be left with?

    I’d like to see Luke find some other girl, but I think he won’t until he saves Sandi.

    Like

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