Chapter 9.5 – Interests

Nine generations of Barimens, spanning nearly two-hundred years, have lived on a bluff in Sunset Valley, overlooking the sea.
 
Adam Barimen, the ninth generation heir to the Barimen Estate, contemplates what he had been told by the woman who birthed him. Under normal circumstances, Anna would have been considered his mother. But things being as they are, it would be difficult for her to qualify as such. She had carried his physical form (presumably, a form that he had unconsciously chosen himself), and then bore him into this world. But that is the extent of their relation. To put it in simple terms, Adam is not human.
 
This, perhaps, is the only reason that Makayla and Luke give any merit to Adam’s account of the ill-fated visit to Anna. Noah has maliciously refused to corroborate Adam’s account of their mother’s death, if for no other reason, than to oppose his brother. In the long-run, however, it proved to be unnecessary. Makayla expertly wielded her considerable litigious clout, and pressed Fort Gnome with a blistering legal assault.
 
Months later, Anna’s remains are returned to the family with an apology. Anna had committed suicide ten years ago. But due to a clerical error, her records had been mixed up with those of another prisoner.
 
As Adam grows older, the memories of his formless past have begun to solidify. They are much more than memories, however. He is somehow able to consciously re-visit them, and interact with others by proxy. He has visited several of David Barimen’s memories in this fashion. And what’s more, Kacey is able to see him – not as David Barimen, but as himself, Adam. There is something amazing and special about her.
 
Adam has also discovered that he is able to travel through space and time as easily as a sim walks to the mailbox. It happened for the first time inadvertently, when he was injured during a fight with Noah. He had fled to Makayla, the sim who he’d always considered to be his mother.
 
Noah was able to deduce what had happened, and convinced Adam to use his ability to visit Anna. To be honest, it can’t all be blamed on Noah. Adam had often wondered about his birth-mother. He does not remember much about her, with the exception of one very special memory from when he was an infant. She was nursing him, and he remembers her beautiful, green eyes, and a warm smile that he can still visualize to this day. That memory proved to be sufficient enough for Adam to walk a few steps through spacetime to find her.
  
A short time later, he watched the life drain from those same eyes. The experience was traumatic, and he will never be the same because of it. But what she had told him with her dying breath, left an even larger impact upon his psyche. If what she told him is true, then he must somehow find a way to warn Kacey, the girl with silvery hair. Anna’s final words were a warning for Luke and Adam to leave Sunset Valley and hide; but he has no intention of hiding. He intends to stand…
 
…and fight.
 
The boys’ teen birthday arrive amid very little celebration; mostly, due to Noah’s continued struggles.
 
Since witnessing Anna’s death, Noah rarely says anything. But his malicious glare speaks volumes. He’d hated Adam already; but that night, when they visited a dying Anna, something snapped inside his mind. Noah’s annoying, attention-seeking pranks have become more secretive. And more dangerous.
 
At times, it is difficult to determine who Noah hates more, Makayla or Adam. He’d resented Makayla since childhood, and would often seek to play her and Luke against each other. But after the news of Anna’s death, the relationship between Luke and his closest, oldest friend had slowly warmed into an affectionate romance. This has only caused Noah to sink deeper into his twisted world, adding Luke to his list of perceived foes.
 
Luke and Makayla had tried to hide it, at first. But there are some things that just cannot go unnoticed, even inside a home as huge as the estate. The truth is, Adam couldn’t be happier. From his perspective, it brings everything full-circle. Obviously, he cannot begin to imagine the pain Luke must have felt when Anna was sentenced to spend her adult life in military confinement. And news of her death must have been crushing. But if anything, Luke is resilient. The transformation of his relationship with Makayla was restrained and respectful of Anna’s memory; or as Makayla often describes it – adorable.
 
Emergence into his teen years affords Adam some measure of independence. He has proved himself to be a responsible and dependable teen. Of course, it’s likely that he’s at least a hundred years older than any sim in Sunset Valley. But developmentally and physically, he’s still just a teen – and prone to those insurmountable hormonal rampages that all teens suffer. Adam chuckles, remembering what his biology teacher had said regarding her theory about aliens taking over the brains of teenage sims. If she only knew…
 
After learning to drive, Adam is given the opportunity to stay with his grandparents in South Sim Beach for a few weeks during summer vacation. Adam’s girlfriend, Flora, had asked her parents if she could go with him. Oddly, her parents agreed to let her go (possibly, the aliens never gave them their brains back). The fact of the matter is that their daughter is dating an heir to one of the wealthiest families in Sim Nation. What else where they going to say? They agreed with the stipulation that they keep separate sleeping arrangements throughout the trip.
 
Flora is a little bit on the wild side, and does not hesitate for a moment when the opportunity to do something rebellious presents itself. The trip should have taken only about twelve hours of driving time. But the teens do more stopping than driving. And when it starts to get dark, they’ve progressed less than half-way. Both teens understand what would likely happen if they were to make an overnight stop. The mischievous grin on Flora’s face betrays the fact that this was her plan all along.
 
Unwilling to fail on his end of the bargain, Adam subtly pushes through spacetime as they drive toward the nearest hotel. And much to Flora’s dismay, they arrive in South Sim Beach eight hours sooner than they should have. Adam shrugs off the impossible feat, and gives credit to the fuel booster he had used before leaving.
 
 —
 
 —
 
 —
 
Amber and Wendell show the teens all of the tourist traps and shopping venues. And even though they’re both quite a bit older, his grandparents understand that young love also needs some quiet time. It’s those times that Adam and Flora spend together, alone on the beach, they enjoy the most.
 
 —
 
It is late one evening, when the teens are too preoccupied with a very steamy make-out session to realize that it is well after their curfew. The police are a lot more relaxed here, and Adam is quite sure that they could easily spend the night on the beach without incident.
 
Adam’s mind races and his gut twists with the anxiety of having choose between two very conflicting outcomes. There is a line in the sand, and Flora has already leaped across it. Adam hesitates and considers consequences of doing something so risky. Then, within the blink of an eye, the decision seems wholly unimportant. His surroundings begin to gently shift into something less tangible; and Flora seems to fade away into the distance, even as she continues to entice Adam with her increasingly bold affections.
The police in Sunset Valley are quite a bit more strict when it comes to curfew. Kacey barely makes it through his bedroom window, before a police spotlight shines into the room. She giggles excitedly, then kisses him firmly on the mouth. Still breathing heavily from her sprint away from police, Kacey stops, opens her eyes and takes a cautious step backward.
Author’s Note: See Chapter 2.13
 
She surrenders a shy smile upon recognising Adam. She is no longer the little girl from David’s earlier memories. She is even more beautiful now. They stare at each other for a moment. Then, after feeling a draft, Adam realizes that he is wearing only his boxers.
 
He leaps to grab a pillow, blanket, or anything else to conceal himself. Kacey laughs at his reaction. With Adam scrambling to pull on a pair of pants, Kacey lets her hair down, then asks if he remembers their past few nights together.
 
Adam meekly shakes his head. She closes the space between them with a few graceful steps, then gently kisses him on the lips. Afterwards, with her eyes still closed, she smiles and whispers that his kisses are different than David’s. She opens her eyes and touches his silvery hair. She smiles again, absently murmuring that he’s not like other sims. He is the same her.
 
Adam tentatively takes Kacey’s hands into his. He manages to choke out the words that the two of them are somehow connected. He tells her about being David’s distant descendant, and that he cannot control when he comes to visit. She quiets him with another kiss.
 
Their physical voices remain perfectly silent. And it’s doubtful they would have spoken, even if they were able to find the words to describe what they hear. The booming voices of their ancestors have emerged and started singing in unison, weaving together an otherworldly harmony. The resulting hymn shakes the earth beneath their feet. And it easily moves them both to tears. They stand like this, locked in an embrace, for a long time.
 
Then, when Adam senses it is about to end, he kisses her wet cheeks, strokes her slivery hair, and promises that that he will not rest until he finds her.
 
Fire consumes without hesitation and without discrimination; hypnotically and addictively.
 
Somewhere within a small, nameless suburb of Sunset Valley, Noah stands inside the tree-line, just out of sight. Emotionless, he admires his work of art. The flames defiantly resist the efforts of firefighters to extinguish them. Another canister of fuel ignites inside the burning farmhouse, bringing a smile to Noah’s face. That was the master bedroom.
 
A cold chill interrupts his enjoyment. A spirit has joined him. Is it the spirit of a sim trapped within the burning house? Could he possibly be that fortunate? No. The spirit is old, angry, and evil. Noah likes him already. Its chilling inner voice grates over Noah, while dreadful, icy fingers probe his defective mind. He compliments Noah for producing such a fine work, which clearly bears the mark of a prodigy. Another explosion produces a small mushroom cloud, and a wide grin on Noah’s face.
 
That accounts for all five residents. No escape. Impressive.
 
The spirit introduces himself as Corwin, and he suspects they likely share some very intriguing common interests.
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4 thoughts on “Chapter 9.5 – Interests

  1. >:O Noah killed his parents?? What the heck! Through all that Luke’s been through, I wouldn’t have thought that was his end. Also, I was hoping Adam wouldn’t go for a girl like Flora. Darn. Good think he likes Kacey ^_^

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    • Heh, It wasn’t Luke and Makayla. Just an unfortunate, random sim-family in the neighborhood.
      Edit – okay, gave the story a little tweak to clarify that the fire was not at the estate. Sorry for the confusion. 😛

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  2. not much to say here other than Zox has delivered once again 🙂 you may think I’m just speaking bull when I say that your quite the artist when it comes to writing stories and like I said in the previous chapter your gonna be a writer for sure once the right people notice your talents keep em coming I’m looking forward to the next chapter already.

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