Chapter 6.21 – Endlessly

In the calm of night, I hear ’em. Can’t see ’em, but I know they’re there. Friends and neighbors, kindred spirits; disappeared, I don’t know where.   As a kid I went out lookin’ for this place where they’d go. I wasn’t sure if I’d find it, but sure enough I’d try. Sometimes I’d go all day – check’n the ground, check’n the sky. All day long I’d be out there, but I’d never have nothin’ to show.   In the calm of night, I hear ’em. Can’t see ’em, but I know they’re there. Friends and neighbors, kindred spirits; … Continue reading Chapter 6.21 – Endlessly

Chapter 6.20 – Renewal

As chapter six comes to an end, I cannot help but feel a little guilty for cheating Ben out of nearly half his chapter. The whole thing seemed more focused upon Kacey and the “big picture” than Ben. Still, I feel that Ben’s story has turned out to be one of the more compelling ones.   For all the difficulty I put him through, Ben came out fairly unscathed. After meeting Lisa that night, the romance heated up very, very quickly. He was with her later that night to turn away the hung-over boyfriend. She moved into the Estate the … Continue reading Chapter 6.20 – Renewal

Chapter 6.19 – Pain

Author’s Note: You may want to re-read the following chapters before reading this post. 2.19 – Accusations 2.20 – Madness 2.21 – Alone I apologize ahead of time that this may not flow exactly into chapter 2.20, but the intention is there. Consider it a bit of a retcon 😀 Kacey paces the rocky shoreline and weeps.   She simply cannot endure any more pain. Gerard is gone, and the artifact along with him. She had lost them both in the flood between realities. And while the pain of yet another loss further erodes her spirit, she cannot afford do quit. … Continue reading Chapter 6.19 – Pain

Chapter 6.18 – Sight

As Sarah continues to dominate the local music industry, she finds herself with more incoming band demos than she can handle alone.   So every couple of weeks, she invites Ben to her office. Together, they evaluate all the new demo tracks that have come across her desk. It takes the stress out of a job which should be anything but stressful. Working this way with Ben reminds her of a couple of teenagers sitting together, listening to the new records they just bought. She has learned that her brother makes his decision about a song within the first twenty seconds of listening to it. There are only a select few of … Continue reading Chapter 6.18 – Sight

Chapter 6.17 – Maelstrom

It is done.   But it was no easy task. Finding the machine was nothing compared to Kacey’s daunting effort afterwards. They opened the gate between realities and were immediately pulled into the maelstrom. Kacey was able to protect them from the worst of it. Honestly, Doc was unsure how she was able to do it. He was sure, however, that she would not able to keep up the titanic effort for long.   He had heard Kacey’s frantic voices telling him that she would not be able to continue shielding both men. Doc was willing to make the sacrifice to save Gerard, … Continue reading Chapter 6.17 – Maelstrom

Chapter 6.16 – Patient

As the overarching story comes to a climax, I find that I am tasked with putting into words, the act of repairing the universe. I had wondered if, perhaps, I’d painted myself into a corner this time. So, over the past few days, during my quiet daily commute through rural Nashville, I have contemplated how to approach the job. Now, I have always been a big fan of the KISS principal (Keep It Simple, Stupid). I could have attempted to write some verbose pseudoscientific word scramble, worthy of a Star Trek – Voyager episode. But I decided against that early during the planning. Then I realized … Continue reading Chapter 6.16 – Patient

Chapter 6.15 – Ambition

The shock of watching Maria vanish has lasted for weeks, and has led Ben to a very dark and somber place.   Normally, talking to Dr. Kennedy about these thoughts would help him through it. But as it turns out, she is gone too. This leaves him with only one outlet capable of comforting his fears about “the end”. He spends the vast majority of his time focused on music. Whether it be writing, playing instruments, singing, or simply listening; for Ben, it feels as though music is all he has left.   Though his parents insist that there never … Continue reading Chapter 6.15 – Ambition

Chapter 6.14 – Machine

Ben watches while Maria expertly gains entry into a locked car they had come across while running, and he finds himself contemplating how he managed to get into this situation.   Both Ben and Maria knew they were going to eventually get caught on foot. He couldn’t argue with her reasoning that it would be logical for them to take a car and leave town before anybody notices they are missing. But still, Ben could not condone stealing a car. Not only would it serve to compound their existing troubles, but it is plain and simply wrong. He only relents to the idea when she tells him that she will … Continue reading Chapter 6.14 – Machine

Chapter 6.13 – Bridge

It finally makes sense.   Kacey has manipulated everything… the dreams, the temporal loop, the meeting with Faith, and who knows what else? But why him? He was nothing more than a homeless, vagrant eccentric; living a miserable existence on the streets of France. How did Kacey even know he existed? Or was the artifact responsible?   He had been comfortable believing the dreams he shared with Hope were echoes from the future caused by the temporal loop. At least it seems romantic compared to the cold truth. He was little more than a tool deemed best capable of facilitating Kacey’s rescue. And he followed the piper’s flute … Continue reading Chapter 6.13 – Bridge

Chapter 6.12 – Butterflies

Doc gives the all-clear signal to Gerard through the open door, then quietly sits down next to Kacey.   Having lived on the streets all his life, Doc has become very familiar with the signs of emotional defeat; when a sim’s spirit has been completely crushed. This is what he sees when looking at Kacey. There are no tears to cry, and no dignity left to preserve; she appears as a sim who has surrendered to despair. Still, there is some sign of hope. Although she has said nothing, he can sense through her body language that she is glad … Continue reading Chapter 6.12 – Butterflies

Chapter 6.11 – Smoke

Ben spends weeks at the hospital, quickly learing that cooperation is the key to avoid being given his “medicine”.    —   Faith and Jimmy come to visit him almost every day, and often leave in tears when they learn that his “problem” has not improved. He’s not sure what the doctors are saying to make them think so. Ben has not said a word to anybody about “end of the world” stuff, and he has done his best to steer clear of the topic with his new doctors. He has seen Dr. Kennedy around the hospital, but she has avoided him since the night Maria was … Continue reading Chapter 6.11 – Smoke

Chapter 6.10 – Connection

  It is shortly past midnight when Ben wakes up in an unfamiliar hospital bed.   His head is still swimming from the sedatives, and he doesn’t remember much about what happened after Sarah yelled at him. All he knows is that he seriously freaked out, and caused some major damage. He really doesn’t know where the rage came from, and he starts to feel guilt about the trouble he has caused. This is not how he wants things to be. He doesn’t want to be the troubled, high-maintenance kid any more. But even now, he cannot suppress the feeling that … Continue reading Chapter 6.10 – Connection

Chapter 6.9 – Cabin

The combination of Doc’s tired eyes and tricks played by shadows cast in the moonlight, make for difficult hiking through the dense woods that line the seashore. Had it not been as simple of keeping the shoreline in sight through the woods, he would have become hopelessly lost. It is difficult for Doc to fathom that a thriving town should be here in place of the woods. He has given up trying to come up with a scientific explanation for now. Whatever is happening defies the laws of physics, nature, and mathematics. There is a high probability that the dreams he and Hope … Continue reading Chapter 6.9 – Cabin

Chapter 6.8 – Map

A small hotel on the main highway leading into Sim City acts as a staging area for Doc and Gerard as they travel to Sunset Valley. They find themselves with quite a problem, however. It seems nobody has ever heard of Sunset Valley. After the long flight from France and a gruelling rush-hour commute out of the big city, Doc feels his patience being tested like never before. He showers in his tiny efficiency room, wondering how many more curve-balls are going to be thrown at him. As if in spite, the water goes ice-cold part way through his shower. — … Continue reading Chapter 6.8 – Map

Chapter 6.7 – List

Ben finds himself standing alone at the beach, strumming at the strings of Papa Mark’s old guitar. The ability comes to him with amazing ease and quickness. Perhaps the countless hours spent banging on that old xylophone as a toddler weren’t such a waste of time after all. He allows his anxieties about the disappearing world to also disappear as he plucks out melodies fresh from his imagination. It almost feels as though he can repel the forces consuming his world with nothing more than a guitar. A new door has been opened for him, providing a way for him to lose himself … Continue reading Chapter 6.7 – List