Chapter 9.3 – Altercation

 Author’s Note: After nine generations in Sunset Valley, I’ve found that a very interesting thing has happened. The vast majority of families now living in the town are somehow related to the legacy family. Four bloodlines seem to have really been very prolific:

  • Doc and Hope – they had five kids together, and the offspring from those children are all over the place.
  • Mary Upchurch  – Mary was Mark’s sister. She and her sister Elizabeth were the last kids between David and Ciara. Again, there are quite a few Upchurch family branches in town.
  • Tina Mann  – Tina was Faith’s daughter, born at the same time as Amber. Tina had five children. Makayla is the middle child. Her older brother and sister have started families of their own, as well.
  • Nava – By far the most extensive family tree in Sunset Valley. Dara (Hope’s sister) and Richard only had one child; but Nava offspring are virtually everywhere.
One of the great ironies of life, is that childhood lasts forever in the eyes of a child. But from the point of view of their parents, it disappears all too quickly.
 
As years stroll past, sims in the Barimen household struggle to find peace. Any hopes that Noah and Adam might strike common ground to foster the bond of brotherhood, are fleeting at best. Noah’s mean-streak is mostly to blame for the ongoing feud. Though Adam, at times, can come across as slightly high-and-mighty; especially when he begins lecturing his brother about being Good.
 
Makayla was present for the boys’ birth, and she understands that Adam is something different and special. But his glowing, angelic wings had not appeared since toddler-hood, and he shows no indication that he remembers anything about his otherworldly origins. She often wonders to herself whether he understands that he is not like other sims.
 
Socially, the boys are polar opposites. Adam has grown to be one of the most popular and well-liked kids at school. There is no questioning the natural leadership and charisma he possesses. And while he is far more social than his father ever was, he displays Luke’s gracious humility and charm.
 
Then there is Noah, who has chosen to travel a different path than the vast majority of Barimens before him. An outside observer might explain his propensity toward wrongdoing as “lashing out” at the trauma over being separated from Anna at such a young age. Whatever the cause, one thing is clear. He despises his brother, and he goes out of his way to make misery for Makayla and Luke.
 
However improbable it may seem (considering how Noah is only a child), Makayla cannot help but sometimes wonder whether the little creep is driving them toward a chaotic family implosion, just so he can stand back and enjoy the carnage. Some days, the tension caused by Noah’s antics is unbearable.
 
And, if things weren’t troubled enough already, Makayla soon realizes that she has become increasingly dependent upon the innocuous hugs Luke provides when consoling her. It is particularly evident when she is at her weakest, worn down by Noah’s wiles. She catches herself somewhat awkwardly embracing Luke in return.
 
Granted, she and Luke are both desirable, young adults with a lot in common. They’ve managed to keep their friendship grounded and platonic for years. But at times, the attraction is undeniable. Makayla suspects that extracting herself out of this situation would be sensible, if not outright advisable. But Leaving now would crush Adam, and set Luke into an emotional tailspin.
 
Still, she sometimes contemplates finding a man she can settle down with to start her own family. But, then, there is an uneasy sense that she’s already found him; and he is hopelessly out of reach. Despite her emotional battle, Makayla decides that she is exactly where she needs to be. She calls up her inner-strength and willpower to overcome the temptations, and finish the job she has started.
 
The decision is selfless and commendable. But Makayla does not entirely comprehend its scope until late, one evening, when she is working at her office at Doo Peas. There had been no contact with Anna since the first few months of her incarceration. The only information she is able to glean, is that Anna had been placed in the mental ward, where contact with family is prohibited. Neat trick, that.
 
Military legal code is far different than civil law. Nonetheless, Makayla has made it her mission to find a way to get Anna released. Obviously, it’s just simply the right thing to do. But personally, keeping Anna in the forefront of her thoughts provides Makayla the reality check needed to remind her that Luke is a distant cousin; and also a married man.
 
Makayla rubs her eyes and directs her tired gaze to the clock. She’d lost track of time and it is getting pretty late. She stands, stretches, and begins to pack her things. Then a faint sound causes her to take pause. It sounds a little bit like a men’s church choir, with booming baritones and trumpeting tenors. When the floor abruptly shifts beneath her feet, Makayla lunges out to the desk to steady herself from falling.
 
Adam’s voice, crying in long wails, grows in volume until it sounds like he is right next to her. She can also hear Noah, laughing maniacally some distance behind him.
 
Her office instantly  becomes flooded in an otherworldly, golden light. Then, sobbing in gulps, Adam launches himself into Makayla; burying his face into her midsection. The golden light vanishes as quickly as it appeared. The angelic voices fade, until only Adam’s muffled sobs remain.
 
Even in the subdued lighting of her office, Makayla can see thick globs of blood flowing from a deep gash on top of his head. Amazingly, she does not panic. She manages to piece together something about Noah frightening Adam out of bed, then some kind of altercation, then Adam falling down the stairs.
 
Makayla frowns and comforts Adam. How on earth did he get here? Never mind that. She needs to get him to the emergency room; and quickly. A picture of Noah’s wicked, little face comes to mind and she sneers involuntarily.
 
It’s a miracle Adam wasn’t killed.
 
Reid has been acting really weird, lately. Adam’s birthday is in just a few days, and he hasn’t said much of anything about it. All he does is talk about that stupid, old mine.
 
His kid sister, Kacey, hasn’t been quite the same either. The three of them sit together at Reid’s dinner table, doing homework. When she glances up at Adam, her eyes widen and something like a smile tries to emerge on her pretty face. This goes on for some time, with Kacey continually making a point to look at him, as though she were periodically checking to see if he was still there.
 
Reid finishes his homework then sternly announces that he has work to do on the computer. He shoots an suspicious glare at Adam, then a warning glance at Kacey. Something here is not right.
 
After Reid leaves the room, Kacey’s musical voice, now colored with worry and stress, nervously whispers out to Adam. She asks a really strange question – who are you?
 
Adam stands, approaches Kacey, then cocks his head. Wearing what is sure to be a confused expression, he chuckles and begins to make a joke about it. But then, it doesn’t seem quite so funny; because he was about to say his name was David. He steps forward, sensing Kacey’s anxiety, and realizes that this is no laughing matter. He pauses, stutters, then tells her his name is Adam.
 
She smiles a quick, sad smile. Then her eyes begin to fill with tears.
 
Adam, please stay with me. I’m really scared…
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5 thoughts on “Chapter 9.3 – Altercation

  1. Kacey’s scared, and I’m confused!

    Is Adam…time travelling? Inserting himself into other people’s bodies? And just what happened to Makayla? I must say all this has my head spinning really rapidly…

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    • Sorry about the confusion…
      Adam is beginning to display his very unusual ability to move throughout spacetime at will. He’s the same kind of “being” as Kacey, and we saw what kinds of things she was able to do back in Chapter 6.
      The “memories” are going to be a tool I use throughout the chapter, so I don’t want to give too much away. Don’t forget that Adam IS the entity, and he has experienced everything his “hosts” have experienced.

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  2. absolutely love the story Zox your still one hell of a writer 🙂 I’¨m so looking forward to the next part 😀 btw my blog has been updated with a new legacy so feel free to check it out when you got time 😉 oh and how did you do those “flashback” pictures you used for this part? I’ve always wanted to know how one does that

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  3. Thanks blaze!
    I use an open-source image editor called GIMP (you can get it from sourceforge.net). I desaturate the image by about 20%, then apply a filter called “softglow”, to give it that diffused lighting look. Finally, I add “fuzzy border”.

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