I bid you welcome to Sunset Valley; a place full of intrigue, suspicion, joys, politics, and life.
Watch as the last sun rays of the day lovingly caress the warm ocean sand, the high, woody tree tops and the gently sloping hills…It seems like the perfect place to start a new life; to raise a family, to build a home…
But is this exquisite vision of a perfect little town the real deal? As the sun sets; canvassing the beautiful little valley into a perfect, pretty picture, can we be sure that the calm and picturesque exterior is the same as what lies within Sunsets Depths? Let’s take a look and see, shall we?
Sunset has all the characters of a typical town;
The wealthy and ambitious,
The vain and cruel,
And the weird and neurotic.
But what has molded these people into who they are today? What has brought them to such extremes; driven them to such new lows? Well; to answer these questions, we’ll have to take a little peek into the murky depths of the past; we will have trace Sunset’s steps backwards and turn the clock back to around twenty years ago to look for the answers …
WELCOME…To Sunset Valley.
Queenie Landgraab cruised along the highway at her usual luxurious pace; with her husband by her side and her daughter behind her as they inched ever closer to their new life in Sunset Valley. ‘Are we there yet?,’ asked her teenage daughter, Nancy as the countryside slowly became sparser and more and more houses and factories could be seen along the sides.
Queenie sighed while Chester said, ‘No, darling, not yet, it’ll take us another half an hour, at most to get there; it’s nestled far away in the hills.’ ‘Yeah, fine,’ said Nancy as she plugged in her MP3 and stared mutely outside. Chester always took up responsibility when he knew that Queenie was on a short fuse.
Nancy had whined a lot as they left from home; she loved it there, and was NOT looking forward to her new life here. Queenie had finally yelled at her daughter to get dressed and packed; and the entire mood of the trip had soured because of the argument.
As the sun reached it’s midday peak, Queenie finally drove past a sign saying, ‘Welcome to Sunset Valley,’ and there, before them, lay one of the most beautiful valleys she’d ever seen. She and Chester gasped; even Nancy couldn’t help herself; she gaped at the scenic beauty of the little town; closeted away from pollution; isolated from rest of the world, almost like a secret haven.
As she drove deeper into town, she realized why she had been asked to relocate here in the first place. Though the valley had superb beauty, and would be a huge attraction for anyone wanting to settle down, everything was old and derelict. Not one park lay in sight, not a single lake or somewhere where people could enjoy themselves or take a little break from work existed.
‘We’re here!,’ she crowed in a cheery voice, as they finally reached the house that Victor had indicated was for them.
As they stood before the entrance, Queenie looked at her daughter while Chester gazed around at the huge house; all smiles. ‘Well, what do you think?,’ asked Queenie.
‘Beautiful,’ said Chester with a sigh. A smile lit up Nancy’s features. ‘Awesome. Where’s my room?,’ she said with a grin. The tension broke as everyone laughed.
Suddenly; Queenie’s mobile began to ring. ‘Whoops, urgent call, have to take that, you guys go exploring,’ she said as she flipped her phone open. Nancy rolled her eyes and went in to the kitchen while Chester went to check out stuff upstairs.
‘Hello, Queenie. Did you and your family reach safely?,’ asked The Richest Man in Sunset Valley in his warm, mellow voice.
‘Yes, Mr. Goth, we did. The house is beautiful, thank you!’
Victor Goth laughed. ‘My pleasure, Queenie. Now, you do remember why you’ve been asked to come here? Did you pay close attention to the area around you as you got into town? What did you think?’
‘Ermm…,’ Queenie stuttered. She didn’t want to seem rude on her first day in town and at work. ‘Well, it was…quaint.’ Static crackled as Victor sighed. ‘Queenie, you will be of no use to me if you hide the truth. I’ve asked you to come here because of your proficiency and skill in the area of designing; as well as aptitude for such things. Don’t kid me. We both know the town looks like shit.’
Queenie smiled. The fact that Victor was so ready to take criticism and accept whatever she had to say made her job here so much the better. She laughed; her high, social laugh, and Chester peeked across the corner at her for just a second then walked off.
‘Come, Mr. Goth, you’re being too hard on yourself. I’m sure with a little bit of renovation; paint jobs, and a couple of parks here and there would really make a huge difference to the place. I’m sure Sunset would attract more people eventually.’
‘I’m sure you’re right, Queenie. Now, about the business that you plan on beginning…. I’ve got a building ready for you. It’s the Doo Pease Cooperate Tower. What would you plan on calling your business, then?
‘Laangraab Industries,’ said Queenie succinctly. ‘I plan on selling…Well..EVERYTHING that I have to offer. You know how successful we are; our other branch is supervised by my husband’s brother….’
‘Yes, yes, I’m aware….when does work begin, then?,’asked Victor cautiously. He needed some one hard working and dedicated for this particular job. Queenie’s reputation preceeded her; and that was why he had hired her in the first place. ‘Why, as soon as possible! I’m planning on going to inspect Doo Peas the first thing tomorrow morning!’ ‘Good!,’ said Victor, well pleased.’
‘Also, Queenie, I wanted to update you on the present situation in town. Most of the families here have either died out, or have migrated elsewhere, and hence, Sunset Valley is almost on the brink of being completely deserted. That’s why we need people like YOU to improve this town and bring in more people around these parts…’
‘As you know, there are us, the Goths, we also have The Darlings, and newly married couple; THe Clavells.. All the other townies are just your average people, employed by me to keep this town atleast partly alive, and to ensure that everyone has all the services they require…I hope you really can improve things here, Queenie…’
‘Don’t worry about a thing, Mr. Goth. Within a while, we’ll have an astounding little town ready to absorb new immigrants…Together, we can make this place..perfect.’
‘I am sure of it, Queenie. I have complete faith in you. I have great visions for this place. I know you will help me and we will achieve this together. Now, I’m a bit busy, so that’s goodbye for now.’ ‘Goodbye Mr. Goth,’ said Queenie and the line went dead.
The Goths had been in Sunset for the past three generations; Victor’s grandfather, a very wealthy trade merchant, had retired and settled down in the scenic valley to live life large; and that he did, to the fullest possible.
The Goth Mansion; a large, imposing structure; built by Victor’s grand father, stood very close to the cemetery; casting it’s long shadows like outstretched fingers scrabbling for purchase, reaching towards it. It’s vast and spacious grounds and luxurious interior made it one of the most desirable lots in Sunset… But the Goths would never give away their ancestral home to anyone, for any price.
Gretle and Victor Goth were happily married for more than ten years now; and in that time, had been blessed with two lovely children; Gunther and Frida.
Gretle was a stay at home woman; but these days since the town had nothing and no one else around; she didn’t have much to do, apart from caring for her youngest daughter, Frida, who was just a couple of months old.
Gunther, on the other hand, attended The Community School For The Gifted; and, as expected of any Goth, excelled in all fields, from his education to most of his extra-curriculars.
Nothing disturbed the Goths, and they seemed like the epitome of the perfect family in Sunset Valley. Little did they know that soon; one member’s decisions and choices would change the rest of their lives forever…..
Unbeknown to our ambitious entrepreneur and powerful landholder, however, Queenie Landgraab’s popularity had already begun to attract families to Sunset; as quickly as bees to honey. Most people who had heard of the famous Mrs. Landgraab knew that wherever she walked, prosperity generally followed.
Eustace Kennedy smiled as his wife tickled their year old daughter and she giggled. Looking around, he felt that he had made the right choice, applying for the post of Squadron leader to Sunset’s Military Base.
Mainly due to with Queenie Landgraab’s move to Sunset, coinciding with the job offer, Eustace, didn’t regret his decision. He and everyone else around knew that the town would soon be seeing a lot of changes for the better, and it was best to relocate now, before there were no longer any lots available.
His wife also held a position in the force as a flight officer, and he knew that together, they could help prep up Sunset’s limited youth and defenses against anything any foreign bodies had to offer. Queenie’s secretary had already called him up, requesting a meeting between the couple and herself within the week.
Eustace sighed. He knew that he could begin a beautiful new life here, with his wife and little Erin by his side. Had he known the crucial role he would soon play in making and breaking the fortunes of some families and the trouble he’d attract because of it, he’d have carted his family and headed right back the way he came from, without giving Sunset Valley a second glance…
‘So WHAT if he winked at me?! I’m a damned waitress; it’s part of my job to ignore such shit and forget about it! Why the hell are you so fucking over possessive?! This is the last time I’m explaining this to you, Buster!,’ screamed Bessie Clavell in frustration. Her husband, Buster glared at her in anger and said, ‘Quit the job, Bess. I’m tired of the same crap day after day after day. You’re my wife; not some slut. I can’t take this anymore!’
‘Buster, how many times do I have to tell you? WE. NEED. THE. MONEY. This isn’t only about You and what YOU want! Can your income as a security guard pay the rent?’ When Buster didn’t meet her eyes, she crowed triumphantly. ‘I thought so. Until you get that promotion that you’ve been saying has been coming for the past 5 months, we’re stuck with this and we have to handle it,’ she hissed venomously.
‘Don’t you dare start on my job!,’ yelled Buster in reply. ‘That promotion is coming my way any day now. I’m trying the best I can, and if that’s not good enough, you can just go sell yourself to your friend at the restaurant, see how much he pays you for your additional ‘services.’’ With that, Buster tromped out of the room, leaving Bessie stunned into silence.
‘Where the hell do you think you’re going?’ she screamed hysterically. ‘Some place SANE,’ he muttered back.…’And far away from…this….’ He waved vaguely in the general direction of their tiny house, and to her. With that, he walked out of the door, leaving Bessie all alone in the quiet hallway.
She couldn’t help it; she ran to their room and curled up in a ball and cried….She couldn’t understand how it had all gone so wrong so fast… She almost laughed remembering their silly teenage plans of an easy and happy marriage, children born into a rich and prosperous family, and how they never, ever even once thought of how they would pay their bills, how they had to struggle to fill their plates each day, and the number of sacrifices they would make….just to eke out a living for themselves…
A tear trickled down her cheek as the light from the tiny window dimmed even further. She wished things could be easier; she wished there was some thing better out there, waiting for her to come and grab the opportunity by the horns. She wished…she could be happier.
Note:- Guys, hope you're all enjoying the read so far I've tried my level best to make the characters look as close to those on the sites as possible. Some of the pictures don't seem close because the sims died due to old age; whereas here, I needed them younger.... Any comments and reviews are welcome; I love it when you guys do that This story is MY version of what happened in Sunset Valley...I hope you like the story :D
Some chose to nibble at power, attempting to prise it away slowly, bit by bit from others greater and above themselves…
Some believe that the journey to power is an easy ascension; and they are sure that they can easily usurp it and keep it for themselves without any sort of barriers or resistance.
But what happens when these two groups of people are directly in the way of each other? What happens when their desires are opposing and contradictory, what happens when they are both as equally set and determined as the other?
Well, continue on below to find out WHAT HAPPENS…
WHEN TWO FORCES COLLIDE…….
‘Mrs. Landgraab will see you now,’ said the secretary as she passed them a glance before returning to her papers. The Kennedies rose from their seats in the waiting room and walked through the door; on which the sleek plaque engraved with the words, ‘Queenie Landgraab; CEO’ shone; into a comfy and newly furnished office.
There, across the table sat the most sought after and famous Queenie Landgraab. She passed them a cool and calculating look, before she rose and they shook hands.
‘Good afternoon, Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy. I believe I had asked you for an appointment at 12:30 P.M precisely. It seems like it’s exactly…’ She away at the large clock for a second before continuing, ’38 minutes past the stroke of the clock, which makes you both….. 8 minutes late,’ she said with disdain, looking over at the couple piercingly.
Eustace and Eithelia stared at Queenie in shock. They couldn’t believe that she could be so insulting to them both on the very first day. It didn’t exactly make the best of first impressions. Eustace quickly tried to blow it all over.
‘I’m sorry, Mrs. Landgraab, you see, we have a daughter who’s just a year old, and…’ ‘Hmm,’ said Queenie, waving a hand imperiously, clearly not paying him any attention. ‘Please, be seated.’ The Kennedies noticed that it was nowhere near a request; purely a demand.
‘Now, down to business! Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy, you’ve been asked to come meet me here today so that we could together discuss how we could improve the military security of this valley, in addition to attracting more youth to the military and the like…’
‘Why yes, Mrs. Landgraab!,’ began Eithelia enthusiastically. My husband and I have come up with some plans and procedures to improve the base as we see fit… The only thing we need is your permission and we can carry forward whatever we have in mind…’ Her voice faltered and died away when she noticed the cold smile playing Queenie’s lips. Something told her that she wouldn’t like what she heard next.
‘That’s all well and good, Eithelia, but we’re forgetting one small, minute detail here…. You see, just as you have so many, err, plans and aspirations for the military base, in the same way, I have already developed and perfected my own plans for the same, and I’ve received confirmation from Mr. Goth to go ahead with whatever I have in mind…’
Earnest cleared his throat and Queenie turned her attention to him. ‘With all due respect, ma’am, my wife and I come from an extensive military background. As far as I know, the same can’t be said about yourself. We do have certain theories and ideas in mind that we hope can help this town for the better.’
Queenie’s cold smile remained fixed in place. ‘I’m sure you do, Mr. Kennedy, but I repeat myself: I’ve already drawn up all that needs to be done in the military base. All you both need do is follow my instructions to the letter. Now, how hard can that be?’
For a few seconds, Earnest couldn’t understand what was happening. Then, when it finally dawned on him, he stared at her in disbelief. ‘She’s overriding us,’ he thought in shock. ‘She’s ignoring anything and everything we have in mind or plan to suggest, just to suit her own needs and hold power over us, and in turn, the entire military situation of this town…’
He opened his mouth to protest further, but his wife’s hand on his leg steadied him. ‘Thank you for your time, Mrs. Landgraab,’ said Eithelia crisply. ‘We will take a look at your plans, and will see whether they seem fitting to us or not.’
Queenie was immediately taken aback; it was obvious that she wasn’t used to her authority being circumvented. ‘Also, we are leaving a copy of our own work on your desk right now; I do hope you take the time to read what we have in mind; and see that, just like you, we only have the interests of Sunset at heart.’
The sarcasm dripping from her voice was almost palpable; it was clear to everyone present that Queenie had no one’s interests in mind but her own. With that, Queenie looked away from the two, signifying that the meeting was over.
Without a word of farewell or a second glance, the Kennedies rose and walked out of the room.
After they had left, Queenie allowed herself the privilege of a smile. They had proven tougher than she thought, but with a little more effort, they would soon be subdued and susceptible to whatever she had to offer them. She rose, and calmly threw the Kennedies’ dossier into the shredder. As she was doing this, her phone rang.
‘Hello, Queenie. How did your meeting with the Kennedies go?,’ asked Victor Goth. He was eager to find out what progress she had made so far.
‘It was very productive, Mr. Goth,’ lied Queenie sweetly. ‘We’ve already discussed and developed our stratagems together, and I know that they’ve made very fitting appointments.’
‘I’m glad to hear that, Queenie,’ said Mr. Goth warmly. ‘I do have some good news for you, myself. The renovations you had embarked on, attempting to convert Sunset’s small memorial are finished; Central Park now lies in it’s place. I hoped that you yourself would inaugurate it, seeing as it was all done by you, in the first place.’
‘Thank you, Mr. Goth, that would be such an honour!,’ gushed Queenie. When do you plan on having it?’ ‘Next Saturday evening, if that’s convenient with you.’ ‘Yes, sir, it is.’
Victor smiled. He had seen the newly christened Central Park, and he was astounded by the elegance Queenie had brought to the old memorial site. Pictures had already been leaked to the presses, ‘accidentally,’ of course, and due to that, more families had begun to move into Sunset.
‘Also, something else I’d like to update you on: you see, after news spread about the construction of Central Park, many people have recently moved or are moving in!’
‘The Crumplebottoms consist of the wealthy widowed Mrs. Crumplebottom, poor thing, and her two daughters, Cornelia and Agnes. We’ve also got Monica Wendyll, a single young woman, living alone, and old Sylvester Thompson. I’m sure we’ll all get to meet each other next weekend, at the inauguration.’
‘Definitely, sir. Thank you so much once again, for giving me this opportunity to inaugurate it myself. I won’t let you down.’
‘I know you won’t, Queenie. I’m looking forward to seeing you, with your family tomorrow. Take care, and goodbye!’
TO BE CONTINUED...
To such an extent that one entrepreneur, our own Queenie Landgraab, choses to change and modify THIS derelict ruin of a memorial site:-
All round Sunset Valley, and in truth, all over the nation, people were praising her name and exalting her on high. Appreciation came from all sides, and Queenie became the star of Sunset Valley…Little did she know that though she was THE woman of the day, her achievements and her talents remained of little worth to some closest to her…
‘What do you mean, “You aren’t coming?!”’, shouted Queenie at her adolescent daughter. ‘Don’t you understand how much this means to me? Don’t you care?!’ Nancy stood her ground and glared at her mother coolly. ‘Mom, I ain’t coming, and that’s final.’ Queenie stared at her daughter in disbelief and frustration.
‘Queenie…’ rumbled Chester’s slow, steadying voice. She calmed down immediately when she heard the voice of the man she loved. ‘But it’s not right, Chester, I’m her mother…’ Queenie’s voice broke at that. ‘She’s old enough, honey, she has a right to decide on her own.’ At this, Chester turned to Nancy as she met his level stare.
‘Now, young lady,’ he stated firmly. ‘If you don’t feel the need to come with us today, then you’re free to make your own choices.’‘But know this: This is one of the greatest moments of your mom’s life. Some of the others include getting married to me and having you.’
‘You are part of her; as she is you. It’s your duty to support her and be there for her today, and all the days of her life. That’s all that I’ve got to say.’ He glanced at her deep set eyes, and he knew that his speech hadn’t moved the young girl in the slightest.
Nancy turned away and ran as Chester slowly took Queenie’s hand in his own and walked her out of the door. Nancy clearly heard a choked sob behind her as the door closed.
‘I look quite the beauty,’ thought Prudence Crumplebottom as she admired herself in the mirror. ‘Perfect for the function. Let’s find out what secrets Sunset Valley has to hold…’ Since the sudden death of her husband, Prudence, left a wealthy widow, dedicated her life to gossip, intrigue and, in the process, further destroying and worsening other people’s relationships.
She had no wish to change her ways in this new town, or start a new life either. ‘Let’s go roll some heads!,’ she said to herself before walking out of the house, off to Central Park.
Central Park glowed as the sun slowly set, it’s fading light glinting off the small pond, reflecting off the newly built shining statues and lacquered woods of the avenues. Slowly, the few people who had been invited to this congregation of the elites of Sunset Valley started trickling in. As. the Sun finally fled beneath it’s horizon, Queenie Landgraab and her husband arrived; and Queenie took center stage, and began to address everyone who had gathered together.
‘A very good evening to one and all present here today, I’m Queenie Landgraab, and I welcome you all to the new and improved…Central Park!’ A huge smattering of applause followed her statement, coupled with a few whoops and whistles. In a short span of time, Queenie had gained great popularity in Sunset Valley. Victor smiled on her unselfishly from the front row and was glad for her.
‘As you all know, this meeting was called together by the person who is truly responsible for the success, financing and great and remarkable beauty of what you see in front of you, and that man is none other than our own mayor, Victor Goth!’ Another round of applause rang clear through the park.
‘Ladies and gentlemen, it has taken many months to renovate this park into what you see here before you today, and it is the first step towards the modernization of our own Sunset Valley. I assure you all, there will be much, MUCH more to come.’ Queenie smiled all round, and she bound many beaming their smiles back at her.
‘Friends, this park is for YOU. Therefore, it’s beauty, it’s maintenance, it’s everything depends on you. I ask you all to please do not litter. If anyone does find some one not obliging these rules, please do bring it to the notice of a member of our government, and I can promise you that the defaulter will be handled appropriately.’
‘Now, enough with all this hullaballoo on rules and the like. Let’s cut the red ribbon and be done with it, shall we?’ There were titters all round and with that, the crowd rose, giving her one last round of acclamation before she turned around and cut the ribbon cleanly in half. ‘Central Park is now open to one and all!,’ shouted Queenie before she descended the dais and began conversing with Victor Goth.
‘That was beautiful, Queenie, thank you, this is all thanks to you…’ Queenie laughed and waved her hand dismissively. ‘Oh shush now, Mr. Goth. Let’s just enjoy the party. No more formalities, please.’ Queenie’s good humour suddenly evaporated upon seeing the Kennedies walk towards them.
‘You take down Goth, I’ll handle the bitch. She can’t set us aside directly in front of Goth,’ muttered Earnest to his wife. ‘Gotcha,’ she said before they reached earshot of the pair.
‘Evening, ma’am, lovely speech…’ said Earnest quickly, and before she could respond, he continued, ‘I was wondering whether you took note of our proposals regarding the military schemes…’ But Queenie was too much of a match for him; she quickly side-stepped him, while at the same time, paying careful attention to what Eithelia was muttering in Victor’s ear.
‘Oh, come now, Mr. Kennedy. Business at a social gathering? Isn’t that too much, even for you two?’ Eithelia immediately felt silent as her husband flushed with temper.
‘Well, we wouldn’t have had to resort to these measures if it wasn’t for the fact that you completely ignored everything we both had to say!,’ said Earnest, his voice and temper rising. ‘Earnest, please, control yourself!,’ squawked the astounded Mr. Goth. ‘We’re at an inauguration here!’
‘Well, Mr. Goth, she has completely given you the wrong picture!,’ said Eithelia. She hasn’t even heard what we’ve had to say; she’s making us all play along to her tune.’ Mr. Goth just stared at the couple; dumbfounded.
‘Admit it, then!,’ said Earnest, quite besides himself with rage. Before Victor Goth; admit how you only care to suit your own interests! You’re selfish, lying, deceitful…’
‘ENOUGH!,’ screamed Queenie, as the buzz of conversation all around them ceased. ‘Eustace Kennedy, you will leave the premises now, or I will call the guards and ask them to help you find your way out. Be glad that it’s only this much this time; cross me the next and you’ll find yourself in much more trouble than this!’ With that, Queenie stalked off as Eithelia calmly led her husband away, back home.
‘What on earth was all that about?,’ whispered Prudence to her new acquaintance, Enrika Darling. ‘I have no clue; but I’m sure she didn’t invite them over for dinner!’ The pair giggled.
‘Gretle Goth looked ABSOLUTELY DIVINE tonight; I HAVE to find out where she got that gown from!,’ squealed Prudence.
‘But did you notice Ms. Wendyll tonight?,’ asked Enrika in a whisper. ‘She looked quite delightful, really. And what a modest, sweet tempered girl. Everyone absolutely LOVED her!’
‘That’s all well and good, darling, but what on earth happened to old Sylvester Thompson and those Clavells?’
‘Oh you know, Sylvester’s an old bore, I’m quite glad he didn’t turn up. Grouchy old pain, that one. As for the Clavells, you know they really don’t have any class in the least bit ,and I’VE heard that they can barely make ends meet!’ ‘Oh, do tell!,’ breathed Prudence, delighted at this new spill of gossip.
‘Prudence, darling, it’s been such a slice to meet you, but I have to leave now. I’m not quite feeling myself today. Do take care, I’ll call you tomorrow!’ ‘Goodbye, dear!,’ said Prudence as Enrika walked off. ‘Not overly bad for a day’s work,’ thought Prudence to herself. ‘I’ve acquainted myself well enough with most of the rich crowd around these parts…But I’ll need to get to old Gretle Goth to really move things up for this family. I’ll need a plan…’
‘I’ll kill her!,’ screamed Eustace. ‘I’ll; ground that thing to dust! She doesn’t know who she’s playing with! I’ll ruin her!’ ‘Eustace! Calm down, for God’s sake, you’ll wake the baby!,’ pleaded Eithelia.
‘We worked months… MONTHS on those plans, we hoped we could do something good for a new town, all we wanted was to try and help..and THIS is what we get back?! She humiliated us in public, Eithelia! How the fuck is that ok with you?!?!?’
‘It isn’t,’ she said quietly. ‘So, well why the heck are you letting this slide?’ ‘Did I say I was?,’ Eithelia retorted. When he remained silent, she said, ‘Look, we’ve lost this battle. But fighting and screaming over it isn’t gonna help either of us today. We’ve got to calm down and plan…. We’re going to take her down, and don’t you doubt it.’
‘But for now, let’s lie low… wait till we have something on her that we can use instead of losing our tempers like you did today… And when we have our ammunition; when we’ve gathered our weapons…we will throw every single part of it at her…and THEN we’ll see how she handles it…’
These relationships do not remain static. Many a times, positions are swapped; our priorities change, our values shift and our importance to each of these people alter with time. Those people who once held centre stage become people we hardly want to look at, and sometimes, the worst of enemies can become the best of friends…
Relationships are complex, difficult and always, ALWAYS intertwined. But what happens when you are new to a small, homely, beautiful little valley town, hoping to make the perfect life for yourself, yet you find that the people around you hate you for no rhyme or reason, simply for what you do and love?
Find out along with our newest family; The Altos discover IN Sunset Valley how…..
ACQUAINTANCES ARE MET, FRIENDSHIPS BUILT, AND ENEMIES ARE MADE…..
Newton Alto and his son smiled and watched as his wife, Leshandra walked around the house, assessing it critically from every possible angle… He knew when his wife was bought and he was happy; for he really did love the little house, and he hoped that she would too. He wanted to move in with all haste; he had already begun building up plans for his business in Sunset Valley….
Suddenly, Leshandra turned around to face her husband and son. ‘Boys,’ she said with a neutral expression on her face. ‘I’ve decided….’ The pair held their breath, waiting for her to pass her verdict…. A smile lit up her features. ‘Newton, when do we move in?’
Nick whooped while his parents hugged each other. ‘I knew you’d love it,’ whispered Newton to Leshandra. Together, they turned to look at Nick and smiled at his enthusiasm. ‘We’ll move within the week,’ said Newton. ‘This is a new stage in our lives, a new phase, and I know we’ll do it together, as a family.’
‘Also,’ said the ever practical Leshandra, ‘We can open our own business here. Sunset’s resurfaced booming economy is just the place for us.’ Newton smiled at his wife’s enthusiasm. ‘Yes, my dear, but let’s get our house first!’
Gretle was, as usual, sitting on her couch, wondering what other small, insignificant task she could perform around the house to pass her time. Once her little daughter, Frida had fallen asleep for her afternoon siesta, she was left bored and irritable, as her thoughts quickly moved to the fact that she had nothing to do in this quaint little town at all, apart from ceaselessly cleaning everything in sight....
‘I need therapy,’ she thought to herself. ‘Or, better yet, maybe some ketchup…’ As she sat talking to herself, the bell rang, ceasing her babbling.
She rose, irritated. ‘It’s probably another one of those annoying sales-people, advertising for some cheap, two-bit company,’ she thought to herself. ‘Landgraab Industries holds Sunset Valley in it’s grasp; why can’t these people stop trying?’ With a sigh, she rose from the couch and walked across the elaborately decorated hallway to the door.
Gretle opened the door and recognized the woman standing before her as Mrs. Prudence Crumplebottom, the recently widowed mother of two daughters. She didn’t know much about them, apart from the little snippets Victor had mentioned here and there; adjectives like ‘class’, ‘prestige’ and most importantly, ‘rich’ resounded in her head.
‘Hello, Mrs. Crumplebottom,’ said Gretle cautiously, wondering what on earth this lady she barely knew wanted with her. Her first thought was that she wanted to meet Victor, perhaps to discuss some issue with her new house. ‘Is everything alright? Are you looking for my husband?’
Prudence laughed her high, shrill laugh and smiled winningly at Gretle. ‘Not at all, Gretle….May I call you Gretle, if that’s fine with you? We’re all neighbors now, after all, formalities are well beyond us, don’t you think?’ ‘Erm, yes....Mrs- I mean, Prudence. Would you like to come in?, stuttered Gretle. ‘That would be wonderful, thank you. The weather’s quite intolerable these days.’ She flashed her smile once again as they crossed the threshold together.
‘Oh my….’ Said Prudence as she entered the living room, quickly masking her grimace of envy with a smile of pleasure. ‘What a wonderful little mansion you have here.’ ‘Little is quite an understatement,’ she thought to herself. ‘It’s a damned mansion-maze! But I must appear to have seen bigger and better.’ Gretle flushed with pride, quite oblivious to her new guest’s thought process and happily said, ‘Yes,’ we’re quite proud of it. It’s the largest estate in town.’
‘I noticed,’ said Prudence sarcastically. Gretle failed to note the bitterness in her voice as she led her to the living room. As they both took their seats, she turned and looked at her visitor, politely waiting for her to begin a conversation, and more importantly, to explain why she was here.
Prudence said, ‘Well, Gretle, I’m sure you’re wondering what brought me here in the first place. You see, we both know that this town has nothing for house-wives like you and I to do. So I thought, why not acquaint myself with people around town, make friends….and I felt that you, like me, probably had nothing to do in the afternoons. So why not spend time together, talking, laughing, living, a little mature, sensible conversation just between us women? What do you think?’
Gretle was, to say the least, elated. Finally, a chance to do something other than clean and consider ketchup, a chance to do something other than walk through hallways filled with the dusty frames of her husband’s ancestors glaring down at her and old statues depicting various mythical beasts and figurines of the Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greece who remained untouched by time.
‘I absolutely love the idea,’ she said, smiling. ‘I’m so glad you stopped by today, Prudence. You’ve given me something to look forward to, come the weekend.’ Gretle walked Prudence to the main door. ‘You don’t have to thank me, Gretle,’ Prudence replied as she crossed the threshold once more. ‘I’m sure there’s a LOT that I’ll owe you in the end, too. Goodbye for now, see you in a couple of days!’ ‘Goodbye, Prudence!,’ said Gretle as she closed the door behind her.
Nancy Landgraab blinked back the tears from her eyes as the fight between her mother and she kept repeating itself in her head like a stuck record. She didn’t know how things had gotten so awful between them; she didn’t understand how it was all falling apart and how she could do nothing to put things back together again.
Her attention was diverted as she heard voices whispering close to her. As she looked up, she saw two girls from her class giggling, pointing and glancing towards her. It didn’t take a genius to figure out what they were talking about.
Nancy heard a mixture of phrases such as, ‘Landgraab girl,’ ‘troubled,’ and ‘insane’ thrown in at random. She held her head in her hands as she tried to block the sniggering teens and their mutters out. ‘It’s all so wrong,’ she thought to herself. ‘I wish we had never even moved…’
Things had undoubtedly taken a worse turn in Nancy’s life after moving to Sunset Valley. She had no friends here, mainly because of her mother’s status in society. A mixture of jealousy and fear kept everyone away from the daughter of the illustrious Queenie Landgraab. It had reached a point where Nancy had begun to think that it was her fault and something was wrong with her, and she would never fit in to society.
The bell rang and the two girls scrambled to get their bags. As they stalked past Nancy, they once again laughed at her openly before walking through the sleek wooden doors of Beaufort Academy.
Nancy suddenly made up her mind. She was tired of playing by the rules, tired of sitting around being the good girl. She decided that today, she wasn’t going to go home, mainly because she didn’t want to look at her mother anymore, she didn’t want to have to bite her lip while her father rambled on diplomatically, trying to patch things up between them both…
‘It’s time for a change,’ she thought. ‘They pushed me around and screwed my life up when I played by their rules…let’s see how they handle it while I do what I want…’ She’d always wanted to get stoned. She knew that now was her time, now was when she’d show them all what she was made of….
Tears seeped out of the corners of her eyes. She knew that the path she was taking would lead to her destruction, but it was worth it. What did she have left to live for, anyway?
It was Nick Alto’s first day at college, and he was running late as he rushed up the graveled path to the grand, ornately decorated entrance o Beaufort Academy. He was a bundle of emotions and nervous energy; wondering who his friends would be, if he would fit in and what changes he’d have to adapt to when he heard it.
Just as he was passing the fountain, he heard something that plucked at the very strings of his heart; a broken cry that was dismal but beautiful in the same beat; he felt the immediate need to comfort the soul of the person the voice belonged to. Something in the sound drew him ever closer. And though his stride slowed his heart beat faster as he reached the fountain, and that’s when he set eyes on her.
His first instinct was to reach up to her and hold her in his arms. She was, in all aspects, the most beautiful and exquisite thing he’d ever seen before. He gazed with longing as the light danced across her pale, slender fingers and the tear-streaked face. Her eyes, though brimming with tears, were the colour of almond and honey, and he felt desire well up in him as he noticed her full, luscious, pouting lips.
Something changed in Nick Alto then, on his first day at college. He knew, without a shred of doubt that today, he had passed from being a gangly adolescent into a full grown man.
She finally felt his gaze lingering on her, and she looked up at him with a start, and they looked at each other for awhile before he stumbled forward towards her. ‘What’s wrong?,’ he asked her gently, prodding hopefully, hoping she’d confide in him, for a minute, forgetting that they were complete strangers.
As he reached out towards her, she shrank back. ‘I’m fine,’ she half snapped, half gasped, choking back tears. ‘Nothing’s wrong, really…’ ‘You’re crying,’ he said quietly. ‘It’s fine ,really, I….’ She suddenly broke down mid sentence and he waited for her to gain control of herself before he said anything again. ‘You’re fine, huh?,’ he said, smiling. She laughed, a little then, a watery chuckle, and he couldn’t help noticing how wonderful the sound was again.
‘It’s my mother…we had a fight…..To tell the truth, we fight all the time; it’s become like part of my day now.’ ‘It happens, Hun. You both still love each other the same way at the end of the day, right?’ She nodded. ‘See? There we go. Parents are crazy, but so are we all, so what the heck.’ She laughed again. ‘What’s your name? I haven’t seen you around, you’re new here, aren’t you?,’ she asked him.
‘Nick. Nick Alto. And yes, we are, we just moved in three days ago. I’m guessing your Queenie Landgraab’s daughter, right?’ ‘How did you know?!,’ she asked, immediately taken aback. ‘Well, her posters are all over town, she’s famous, in case you didn’t notice. Also, you look exactly like her,’ he laughed, but stopped quickly when he saw a small frown mar her features.
'I’m not just Queenie Landgraab’s daughter you know,’ she said sharply. ‘There’s more to me than that. And my name’s Nancy Landgraab.’ ‘I’m sorry,’ he said quickly. I didn’t mean it that way…’ She sighed. ‘I know you didn’t. It’s alright, forget about it. Listen, let’s get to class, the bell went like 10 minutes ago.’
She picked up her rucksack and was about to head towards the double doors when she saw him hesitating. ‘What’s wrong?,’ she laughed, looking at him fumbling. ‘Well?,’ she said, raising an eyebrow, smiling at the same time. ‘Say it already, Nick, it looks like you’re choking on a fly!’
‘Would you… I mean are you? Errm, what I mean is…. What are you doing Saturday night?,’ he finished lamely, as his cheeks stung while he blushed. ‘Oh!,’ she said and to his relief, her skin flushed scarlet, too. He noted her high pallor and the line of her nape as the colour rose from her neck, and he felt the newly discovered thud-thud of first desire.
‘Nothing. Why?,’ she replied with a small smile. ‘Well, I was thinking, maybe…now that a couple of restaurants are open…. And since I’m new to this place; would you go out with me? To dinner, I mean?’ He held his breath, waiting for her response. ‘I’d love to,’ she said quickly with a smile. Though he was whooping from the inside, he contained himself and said, ‘Sounds great. I’ll pick you up at 7?’ She nodded and her smile grew wider as she said, ‘Now come on, let’s get to class. We’re late as it is.’
As she turned, and walked, leading the way, Nick did a quick victory dance before jogging along to catch up with her. Something told him that this was just the beginning of something new, something beautiful, and wherever it was headed, he knew he was going to love it.
Nancy felt the same way too… She didn’t feel the need to get drunk anymore. She felt that maybe there was something left for her to live for, after all…
Chester Landgraab sat at the center table in the deserted restaurant with a newspaper propped up against his salt shaker. He had taken refuge in the newly opened bistro because he was tired of the two women in his life squabbling with each other over every topic under the Sun. He needed some time alone, to withdraw, to be by himself, before he went insane.
So engrossed was he in his thoughts that he barely glanced up when the waitress strolled up to him and set his breakfast on the table. ‘Thank you,’ he muttered distractedly, not moving his eyes from the newspaper in his hands.
As she walked away, Bessie Clavell hit the legs of his chair. She gasped, and as she was about to fall to the floor, Chester, reflexes still sharp, jumped up and caught her before she collapsed.
‘Are you alright?,’ panted Chester, still stimulated by his adrenalin rush. ‘I’m fine, Mr. Landgraab, really, thank you….’ As they both righted themselves, Chester realized how close she was pressed to him just seconds ago, and he noticed the strong curves and sharp features of the very attractive woman. ‘Sit down for a second; you’re out of breath that was quite a shock there.’ ‘I’m alright, sir, please,’ she said. Chester waved aside her protests and forced her to take a seat opposite him.
Once she had drunk some water and had regained her colour and composure, he asked, ‘Are you sure you’re fine, Ms…?’ ‘Mrs… Mrs. Bessie Clavell, sir.’ She made a small moue of distaste as the words tumbled out of her mouth. ‘Oh, alright then,’ he said. ‘How long have you been married, you look...far too young for marriage.’
Rather than take offense, as he was afraid she might, she laughed, albeit very bitterly. ‘Four months and counting. We were…rather quick about it. We knew each other since college together and things just happened….’ ‘Too fast?’ Chester finished her sentence and nodded sympathetically when she put her head down.
It suddenly dawned on Bessie that she was sitting in a chair beside the husband of the most influential woman in town, talking about her marriage. It was too much for her. She rose abruptly, and surprisingly, he pushed his seat back and got up with her, too. ‘I’m sorry, I’ve spent too much time here already, and I have a job to do…’ ‘What, serve an empty restaurant?,’ laughed Chester.
She couldn’t help it; she found herself drawn in by him so easily; she chuckled reluctantly and stood beside him. ‘We’ve got to meet up some time once again,’ he mentioned casually. ‘Sir!,’ she exclaimed loudly. ‘Chester, please,’ he cut in, smiling at her, amused at her indignation.
‘Chester,’ she went on hurriedly, ‘We’re married. Both of us…’ ‘Now you’re thinking too much,’ he replied. ‘We would just happen to be at the same place at the same time, having dinner, and since we’ve already met each other before, we decide to sit together. Now, you tell me, how is that so wrong?’
When she didn’t reply he winked and continued, ‘I’ve got to leave now, but you take care of yourself, Bessie. I’ll see you around sometime.’ With that, he waved at her and walked out, leaving her with a mingled look of frustration and amusement on her face.
Queenie Landgraab was furious. She had come to Sunset Valley with the cool air and confidence of a successful entrepreneur on the brink of one of the biggest and most profitable decision of her life. She was sure that Sunset Valley would have nothing but ‘Landgraab Industries’ written on every shop, stall and mart around.
Instead, however, a month and a half after she and her family had slowly begun to take root in the town and as she cast her webs and spun her toils across the length and breadth of it, merrily gaining control of the entirety of it in the process, just as she thought that nothing could stop her and the rich, embroidered rug of smugness was fitting snugly on her shoulders, she encountered the first strains of resistance.
Through her web and network of connections, she heard tell of a new fangled family; the Altos in the vicinity who had enquired around town in the hopes of starting a business here. All the details acquired on the family and it’s history lay in a thick file on her desk, it’s contents strewn across the breadth of her office, having been thoroughly read and reread more times than could be counted.
‘Nothing and I mean nothing will stand in the way of the expansion of Landgraab Industries,’ Queenie muttered to herself as she stood looking across the innocent, beautiful town that was slowly closing in her grasp. ‘And I’ll make sure of it….’
The next day found Queenie in her car, speeding across town, on her way to The Alto household. Her thoughts were a blur as she made an imaginary check list of things she wanted to know about them that hadn’t already been covered by her files. She knew that she had to be cautious, because though her power, authority and importance was steadily rising every day, her hubris was not so great so as to believe that she remained untouchable.
In case they won over the town, in case she failed, Queenie would need to suck up to these people till she regained control of that which she believed was rightly hers, and so, caution was a necessity for her survival.
As she stood on the porch of the newly built house which she herself had commissioned almost a month ago, she admired the polished oak wood and the architectural design of the house, in general. She was a great lover of fine building, and with a stab of jealousy, she knew for a fact that the house was probably one of the finest and most expensive from among the newly built ones in town.
As she stood contemplating the beauty of the house, the front door opened, and there stood whom she presumed was Newton Alto, himself. Everyone knew Queenie around town, whether they were new or not. Her pictures along with Victor Goth’s were scattered all over town, and in each and every government building in Sunset. A look of recognition mixed with shock flickered across his face before he replaced it with a wide smile and greeted her.
‘Mrs. Landgraab, so pleased to meet you!,’ said Newton Alto jovially. ‘To what do we owe this great pleasure?’ Newton knew how important a person Queenie was and he was wary of her. She could have dispatched one of her secretaries here had she needed to meet him for any official purposes; such a person was not one who would make personal calls around town regularly. He knew that she had to have come here for a reason, and he wanted to know what that reason was.
Queenie smiled and said, ‘Hello, Mr. Alto. It seems you’ve already heard of me, so I don’t think there need be any introductions on my part. As for the reasons for my visit, I’ve come here to welcome you and your family to Sunset Valley!’
Realizing that she preferred to play with her food before eating it, Newton gave her his widest grin before stepping aside and saying, ‘Please come on in, you’re most welcome here.’ He followed her past the threshold into his new abode.
‘Leshandra, dear!,’ said Nick in an unusually high pitched voice that didn’t sound like it belonged to him. ‘We have a visitor…’
When Leshandra had heard the bell, she didn’t know who to expect. They had moved in just two days ago, and there was no one they knew in town. Reading at the back porch, she knew Newton would open the door.
A few minutes later, when she heard his terse voice call out to her, she knew immediately that something was amiss. Nineteen years of marriage gave her enough right to say that she could fathom from the very tones of his voice when all was not well.
As she walked quickly across the hallway to the front door, she was stunned to a stop when she saw Queenie Landgraab standing on her front carpet with a broad toad like grin on her lips.
‘Oh!,’ exclaimed Leshandra as she gaped stupidly at her guest. Only when her husband cleared his throat lightly did she start; she hitched a fake smile on her face already too late and walked forward to greet Queenie.
‘Mrs. Landgraab!,’ said Leshandra. ‘Wonderful to have you over. Please, come in.’ Leshandra, once again in control of the situation, led the way to the living room.
‘Ahhh, wonderful, very quaint,’ exclaimed Queenie with a smile as they settled in. ‘So, tell me, Alto, what brought you and your family here to Sunset Valley?’ ‘Nothing in particular, really,’ said Newton reluctantly. ‘We heard that it was…expanding recently and we had always wanted to move. A new environment, a new life, a fresh start…That kind of thing.’
‘Really?,’ said Queenie disbelievingly, raising her eyebrows. Because from what I’d heard, it seems that you have come here in the hopes that you would be able to start a new business.’ Queenie gave a little laugh that did not sound even slightly humorous.
The Altos were stunned into silence. ‘How the hell is she so well informed?,’ thought Nick to himself. Meanwhile being the brains in this family and operation, Leshandra’s mind was already two steps ahead of her husband’s. ‘She knows why we’re here; she knows that we want to set up a business rivaling her empire, and she isn’t pleased,’ she thought. ‘How she knows is irrelevant; but the very fact that she does isn’t any good news for us.’
‘Yes, Mrs. Landgraab,’ she said out loud, trying to maintain the civility of the conversation. ‘But mostly, we just want to live peacefully here, let our son have a wonderful time in college and….’ She stopped when she noticed the cold smile playing on Queenie’s lips.
‘I’m so happy you’ve decided to join us here, in Sunset Valley,’ said Queenie, her voice icy cold, ‘I wish you all the best of luck in your…endeavor.’
Queenie rose and was about to walk out of the door when she turned around and looked at the couple disdainfully; still seated in shock at their settee and said, ‘Oh, one last thing… Did you two know that Landgraab Industries has been around for the past 40 years? The experience, prestige and talent that we possess can be replaced by no one and nothing else. Just wanted to let you know.’ With that, she swept out of the front door.
‘What on earth was all that about?,’ demanded Newton of his wife. ‘What did she mean by it?,’ ‘What it means,’ said Leshandra grimly, ‘Is that we’re in trouble.’
Queenie wasn’t threatened by the Altos; on the contrary, being in the business so long, she could spot those who had the flair for it and those who did not; and she was sure that these two most certainly did not possess it.
She felt that she didn’t need to get involved at all; she felt assured that their business would fail all on it’s own account, and, as a result, she didn’t believe the need to spell their doom had arisen…..yet. As she walked to her car, her cell phone rang.
‘Hello, Queenie, how are you keeping?,’ said Mr. Goth, excitedly. Without waiting for her to answer, he continued, ‘I wanted to let you know that your plan’s worked! You already know about the families that have moved in so far, but more and more just keep trickling in! We’ve got 2 more already; the Wainwrights and the Bachelors!’
‘The Wainwrights are exactly the couple we’ve been looking for, Queenie! Top scientists who’ve relocated and who can begin work on the repair of the old broken down Science and Research Facility!’ Also, the Bachelors are just two young souls trying to fit in; not really married, but they are aspiring writers and our newspapers need good editors.’
‘That’s wonderful, Mr. Goth! I’m so happy to hear all that! Didn’t I tell you I’d get more people and pep the city up?,’ she gloated, savoring the taste of her own success. ‘Yes, yes, Queenie, thank you so much, once again for all that you’ve done for Sunset! I also wanted to let you know that I’m hiking your salary. Meet me tomorrow for further details. I have to leave now, but I’ll see you tomorrow! Take care!’
The line clicked dead. ‘Thank you so much, Victor Goth…. But I wonder how long it’s going to be till I’m the one making decisions on YOUR pay rise……,’ she said to the dead line before putting her cell phone away with a grin.
Meanwhile, at another part of town, far away from the rest of Sunset Valley, Old Sylvester Thompson lived in his own private world, rarely stepping outside his front door, doing nothing that involved anyone other than himself. Rumors had already begun to circulate about him; some said he was a retired army chief, who had seen too many grizzly battles and far too much bloodshed, and this forced him into a life of isolation and solitude.
Others said he was probably a convict, hiding from the law, hoping that Sunset Valley would protect him from the ghosts of his past. Yet others believed that he was just an old, insane, cracked up, drunken man and it was better for society and Sunset in general if he stayed behind closed doors…
None of them were even close to the truth, close to knowing who he was, and the mysteries of his past… None of them would ever know what secrets he held, and worse, what lay hidden beneath the quiet, cool composure of a lonely old man and what impact he could have on each of their lives, had he chose to do so…..
If only they knew….
Sorry this chapter took so long, guys been so busy with R/L and college has begun! Hope you enjoyed it, though...Rate and comment as you see fit! :D
The Observant Lefty.
Originally Posted by catharsis108
very intriguing story approach, and it's great seeing the already deceased walking the earth as adults again. you used the ghosts and aged them down, i take it? anyway, can't wait to find out more! (:
I'm thrilled you like the story and the concept behind it! Funnily enough; no I didn't use the ghosts; what I DID do was create each and everyone of them purely frome theur pictures on sims wiki! very tasking and time consuming!! The story has a past and a future part; so once I'n done with the past I'll forward 30 years and we'll be opening at where The Sims 3 actually begins!!! thanks for the views and U'm thrilled you like it
It’s spring time in Sunset Valley, and along with this, the most aphrodisiac of seasons brings along with it a whole new share of problems for our favourite townies; decisions to be made, feelings to be accounted for and problems to be faced… and worse; to be solved.
Through these beautiful, sunlit days, scented with the fresh essence of pine needles and buzzing honeycombs, many Sunsetters will discover many new found truths; some of which will lead to deeper and more profound self discoveries…. Because, at the end of the day, who will not go that extra mile for a little love…..or perhaps, just a little bit of lust?
Nick Alto stood nervously waiting for his date to turn up. The two had decided to meet at the Bistro for a small and cozy dinner; and Nick was still astounded by the fact that she had actually agreed. He felt that a girl like her was well beyond him; and the more he got to know her, the more he was sure of it. She walked with an air of quiet, simple grace and affection for all around her, and the more time he spent with her, the happier he seemed to be.
He was startled as he heard a quiet cough on the other side of him. He whirled around, and what he saw rooted him to the spot.
Nancy Landgraab stood before him, wearing a midnight blue dress, her hair tied back in an elegant bun with a few of her curls falling delicately before her face, vividly bringing out the color of her dark green eyes with just a slight trace of eye shadow that made them glint in the darkness. A simple heart shaped pendant adorned her otherwise bare neck. The simplicity, innocence and purity of her radiated from within and seemed to fill the entire area around them both. She looked; in all truth, simply beautiful.
He reacted out to her on instinct; without a thought; he walked up to her and hugged her. He felt her arms reach out to hold him, and he felt a fierce joy knowing that she was holding onto him just as he was, her. Reluctantly, he let go of her as they walked to one of the tables together.
After sitting down and placing their orders, they looked at each other and smiled. For Nick, simply being around her was enough to make him smile; it was something about the way she looked; the way she smiled, the way she laughed that made him wish he was the cause for all those thoughts and emotions running through her mind.
‘Thank you for coming today,’ he said softly. ‘I didn’t think…,’ he broke off, embarrassed. ‘You didn’t think what, Nick?,’ she asked him quietly, smiling. They sounded like two birds in a dove cote; intimate and close, and every word felt like it had meaning and value attached to it. ‘I didn’t think you’d come today,’ he finished.
She looked at him for a second and then said, ‘That’s funny. Because I didn’t think YOU would turn up. I felt like… Maybe it didn’t really mean anything, maybe you had forgotten…’ ‘No, don’t say that,’ he said, anxious to make her understand how wrong she was. ‘Any guy would turn up to get a chance to meet you, just be with you… Because I know I would.’
He saw her blush with pleasure and they smiled at each other, quite lost in their quiet moment together. From there, they grew more comfortable in each other’s presence; and they began to talk of normal things, general things, and they laughed and joked just as any two friends would; but the atmosphere was always, constantly tinged with an undercurrent of something more, something else…
They talked about things at home; and slowly she opened up before him, as a flower would to the caressing rays of a weak winter sun after a rain shower. She talked about home; about her family, how things were between all of them, and he felt for her as he would for any friend opening their heart out to him… Except here, the feelings of compassion and need for understanding was stronger and much, much more powerful.
Nancy, in her turn, felt loved and comforted in his presence. Her need for protection felt satisfied with him around her; somehow; something that her frigid father and busy, career-oriented mother never had time to give her.
NOTE:- Before you guys continue with this chapter, I want you to know that the writing of a partof this, till where I denote, was massively influenced by the song; Secret Valentine- We The Kings as the author; I suggest you take the time to play the music alongside you wihle you read the story, as this will give you the full impact of the song.
It was the start of something beautiful; a teenage love for the first time, that fermented and grew like the heady scent of crushed grapes in heat; perfuming the atmosphere and sparking all around them. It was a promise of something more, something better; something that had a future in it’s own right.
Nancy and Nick finished their dinner; though one could not help but notice that neither of them really knew or cared what they had eaten; for the feeling of fullness within them both emanated from being in each other’s presence; and not in what they ate.
As they reached Nancy’s home, Nick and she walked up to the porch. They turned to face each other before the door, hand in hand, smiling. Their emotions were splayed across their faces openly, without any attempt at concealment, and they knew that that moment, that second, lasted a millennium for them both.
“Thank you, Nick,” said Nancy as she smiled lovingly at him. “No, thank YOU, Nancy. Today was beautiful…. I… I want so many more days just like today.”
“I do too. And we’ll have them…. All of that… and so much more…..”
Your first, spring love….. The Best and most beautiful one you’ll ever have, something that you’ll never forget. Each and every moment will flash vividly before you, colouring every single day of your life after it; till death; and, sometimes, when you’re alone out there, sitting and thinking, it will be the reason for that smile, the reason for that tear, quickly hidden….
Right in the middle of this life…
Love comes along….
And gives you a fairytale…
Two young lovers, in the prime of their youth; celebrate their 18th spring in the joy that is love… But in the same town; quite near the same place at the same time, two people who barely knew each other were meeting together; but their intentions were not as pure…. In fact, far from it…
‘Chester, what on earth is wrong with you?! Why did you ask to meet me here, in the middle of the night?,’ asked Bessie Clavell urgently. She had left Buster alone in bed after popping two heavy sedatives into his evening drink, thus assuring that he wouldn’t wake up for a long time.
‘You know why, Bessie. The moment we met, we felt something… We both knew it, and boy, was it strong. ‘I didn’t feel anything, Chester,’ said Bessie, averting her eyes from his face. ‘Who are you kidding, Bessie?,’ said Chester with a small smile that was partially hidden by the big hat that he was wearing to protect him from instant recognition.
‘We can’t do this,’ she said frantically, fighting like a drowning woman; grasping at straws. ‘Look at our left hands! Wedding rings, Chester! You’re married! You have a daughter who’s less than ten years older than me! Your wife is THE Queenie Landgraab!’ ‘How does that matter, Bessie? Just give this one chance. ONE chance is all I’m asking. We have something here, let’s see where this goes.’
‘I can’t, Chester, I can’t do this, I’m married to him, I love him…’ ‘The same man you can’t live with, Bessie? The same person who you fight with everyday and who you regret marrying? Does he make you happy?’
She didn’t respond, but looked away as the tears filled her eyes. Slowly, he reached out to her and took her small, delicate hands in his big, rough ones. Slowly, painstakingly, she nodded her head in assent as Chester smiled roguishly as she fell into his arms.
Victor Goth stepped out of City Hall, rubbing his eyes. It had been a long day, and he missed his bed. His phone rang and he picked up his wife, Gretle’s call. ‘Hello, darling, I’m out; I’ll be home in fifteen minutes.’ ‘Alright, love, dinner’s waiting for you. See you soon.’ The line clicked dead.
As Victor descended the steps; a strange feeling came over him; almost as if he was being watched. He looked around him and when he saw no one, he shivered and continued his descent along the stairs. Nonetheless, he felt ill at ease and made his way quickly to his car.
As Victor sped away, the man walked out of the shadows and made a call. ‘He’s just left the building. Do you want me to tail him all the way home or is this enough for today?’ ‘You’re done for today, Pietroff,’ said a woman’s clipped voice on the other side. But don’t forget how much you’re being paid for this. I want you on his case EVERY single day, as much as possible.’ ‘Got it,’ he replied before disconnecting the phone and walking quietly off.
Monica Wendyll smiled as she stood leaning calmly against the pillar at City Hall. ‘Looks like there’s more to this town than meets the eye,’ she said to herself quietly. ‘I wonder who wants to keep tabs on Old Goth. Anyway, with time, I’m sure I’ll find out.’
Tonight was a rather important night for Sunset Valley.
The air was now a little warmer and the night a little bit brighter because First love blossomed into existence in the merry little town.
At the same time, two others found comfort in each other due to the brokenness of their own marriages… .What is left to be seen is how long what they have will last….and whether it is better defined as love or lust….
Also, we see that there are things happening in Sunset Valley that seem to hint at something that lies beyond your average town. Sinister things, dark things; games of politics and rivalry. What is all this about? Is Victor Goth in trouble?
Find out more in The Upcoming Chapter 5:- Secrets Whispered Into The Night…
The night is a perfect time to meddle; to tamper with evidence; and to formulate and plan against enemy and friend alike; for the cover and cloak of anonymity it naturally provides all with gives the innocent rest and the wicked protection so as to plot against those in quiet and peaceful slumber; and to prevent them from sleeping in peace ever again.
In the darkness of the night; secrets are slowly brewed, distilled and dispensed, like little vials of seemingly innocent poison, sealed and stoppered to be used against the very brewers by whose hands they were concocted.
Watch now, how, as night dawns on Sunset Valley, those who feel that peace and satisfaction lie only in ruining that of others, achieve their twisted ways with the help of their one greatest ally; The Night.
Secrets Whispered Into The Night…
Newton Alto was on an unexpected high. He had, with great difficulty, finally set up the rival business he so longed to begin for many years, right in the heart of Sunset Valley. The best part? Business was booming. Now that the novelty of a new brand name with a famous CEO at it’s head had worn off, Landgraab Industries was not all that it had cracked up to be.
Prices were exorbitant and price rises, frequent; the quality of goods was acceptable but not extraordinarily so; and for all the money that the people paid, what they got back was very limited in deed. The Altos’ new business, however small and simple, was fair and honest, and shoppers looked to their products instead for fairer pricing and better quality.
The pride and joy Newton was filled with was inexpressible. The simple truth that, bit by bit, he was beating and breaking the town’s monopoly, and in turn, Queenie’s hold over it brought him immense joy and satisfaction. It was something that was unthinkable earlier and Newton had every right to revel in this new found joy.
But right now, that wasn’t all that was going on in his mind. Something was vaguely different about his son these days; something he just couldn’t put his finger on. Nick was behaving more responsible and mature than he ever had, and the way he conducted and held himself had changed drastically in the last couple of weeks.
He was happy, because maybe his little Nicky was finally growing up.
At the same time; Newton had found and discovered a piece of information that brought him immense happiness, and not to mention possible great future profits. Because he was sure that this time, he had found something that even Queenie Landgraab; with all her contacts and networks had no knowledge of; something that was purely his own information; a lamp hidden under a bed; and this time, he was going to beat her to it.
He would capitalize on this knowledge and he knew that if he was successful, the gains would be tremendous in future.
Quietly, he walked out of the front door without wanting to wake his sleeping wife and son. He would go; do what he had to and return home without anyone being the wiser, because in case he failed, Queenie did not need to know what he knew. Her methods of coaxing could be much more persuasive than whatever he had to offer the person in question, and if he did not acquire his gem, he would prefer it lost in the dust than in her hands.
Meanwhile, the person who Newton Alto feared most, the most dreaded, despised Queenie Landgraab was not at home, plotting and scheming, as many expected her to do; on the contrary, she was on the roads, taking a quiet, solitary walk with only the moonlight for companionship.
She walked with shoulders downturned, head bent and brow furrowed; and not one person save a family member would recognize her with her hair unkempt and sans make up. Most prominently, the lack of the familiar glinting eyes and curved smile made one wonder how this person could be the same woman she was in office.
Queenie, however many would like to deny it, was a human being, with the same needs, aspirations and hopes as many others. She felt the need to survive and stay a cut above the rest because of the natural insecurities that had always plagued her.
Maintaining her ice cold, diamond like demeanor to the world and allowing no one to challenge her capabilities and authority permitted her to mask the in depth workings of her mind to everyone around; just as a stage performer’s true persona is never exuded from beneath the mask; because she knew and dreaded her short comings more than anyone else could or ever would.
She stopped walking as she thought about all that was, had been, and what would be. For once, her mind was not on the office or at work; the calculations, the incomes, the expenditures, her employees’ performance, not on graphs…but on family.
Chester was gone. Apparently some old friends were meeting up out of town and he had to leave at the last minute. The relationship they lead was monotonous and dull; lacking in even the most basic physical intimacies that any married couple shared. He did not bother telling her when he’d be back and they had not even shared a parting smile; for he told her of his imminent departure through phone.
Queenie really did not have anyone else to blame but herself. Her own sense of self-doubt and insecurity lead her to aim for the highest levels achievable at work and as a result, she had done what she always hoped not to do: fail in parenting and as a good spouse to her husband, the man she married for love.
She buried her face in her hands. She had tried hard to fight the battle that raged within herself but somehow, she could never do it. Chester was never supportive or understanding enough. Sometimes, she wondered why he had even asked her to marry him in the first place.
She sighed as she walked onwards, though her feet dragged on a little more and her breathing came along a little shorter. As she turned the bend and walked past Sylvester Thompson’s house, she was shocked to see the lights still on at this hour, and even more shocked to find Newton Alto’s car parked in the driveway.
She frowned as she stood thinking. As far as she knew, these two had no business collaborating in the middle of the night together. Till today, few had even seen Sylvester Thompson’s face in Sunset Valley, and Newton had never even expressed any interest in him before.
She sighed. She was drained and tired after a long day and she had taken this walk to spend some time with herself; mulling over her thoughts. At this point, she couldn’t care less about any political machinations taking place in and around town. Suddenly feeling very weary, she turned on her heel and walked back the way home.
Victor Goth stood waiting impatiently for his client behind City Hall. The call he received was urgent and desperate, and he knew he would receive a good amount of money for all the services he would provide her with.
Finally, after what seemed like ages, Denise Masters came walking up the disheveled path, to their by now familiar meeting spot. ‘On time, as usual, Denise?,’ he greeted her sarcastically. ‘Enough with your witty criticisms, Victor. You know by now that being fashionably late is something I excel at.’
‘Forget the pleasantries. Do you have what I’ve taken all this trouble to arrange this meeting for?,’ Victor asked her seriously. ‘Oh, I do, Victor, I most certainly do. Here is your money,’ she said as she passed him a heavy purse full of crisp simoleons, which he duly opened and checked before putting away in his suit pocket. ‘Just to reconfirm; this will guarantee that the agreement between our party and you stands? We will have your weight for the passing of our bill? When parliament reopens this summer?’
‘Oh, you leave all that to me, Denise, your job here is done. Rest assured that I will do mine. Politics is not an easy game to play, under most normal circumstances, but when a little extra ‘push’ is concerned…..’ He rattled the purse which she had just passed him as the coins clinked together merrily. ‘Agreed,’ she replied. ‘ I have to leave now, I have some business to attend to elsewhere. We’ll stay in touch.’ ‘What on earth would you have to be doing at this time of the night, Masters?,’ he scoffed at her.
‘Oh, a concert or two, some banks to rob, and let’s not forget, I have to walk the dog,’ she replied before turning around and stalking off. ‘And you call me sarcastic,’ he chuckled to her retreating back before he started to walk away.
Pietroff grinned to himself, as he waited for the revving of two smooth, expensive engines to rumble into the distance before getting up from his crouch and flipping his phone open. He had taken a great risk doing what he did today, but he was sure his employer would pay him finely for it.
‘Pietroff, what do you do with all the money I give you? For God’s sake, buy a watch; look at the time, it’s past midnight!,’ said an angry voice on the other side.
‘Trust me, Mrs. Crumplebottom; when I’m done with what I’ve gotta say, you’re gonna have to offer me a pay rise,’ he said with a sinister chuckle.
As Victor quietly made his way home, submerged in his own thoughts, and thrilled by the large sum of money he had received for such a seemingly simple task, he decided to take a joy ride around town, simply for the pleasure of roaming around in the quiet, still, chilly night.
All the members of Sunset Valley were fast asleep, lost in their own personal dream worlds, lulled into a sense of security and assurance. Victor did not expect anyone to be awake at this hour; and the town lay quiet in the stillness of the cool night air.
He looked around at the town he and his family had founded and built up with pride. So what if he took a little extra cut off the meat for himself? He deserved it, for all that he endeavored and all that he had given Sunset. It was almost his right.
As he cruised around town, finally heading in the direction for home, he noticed a glinting light in the distance. His curiosity aroused, he directed the smooth, expensive steering with ease towards it.
He was perplexed when he realized that the light came from none other than Sylvester Thompson’s house. Unable to contain himself, he wondered what could keep the old timer up this late at night. He parked his car right there in the middle of the road, not concerned about blocking any traffic at this time and got out.
He knocked on the front door, once, then twice. When he received no reply at all, and no noise escaped from the house into the quiet calm of the night, he went to the window and cautiously peered through them, into the cheap and poorly furnished home.
Nothing within looked out of place, except a pool of dark liquid on the floor, which he couldn’t quite see properly due to the dim lighting. However, Victor, felt goose bumps prickle his flesh. Something wasn’t right here, something he just couldn’t put his finger on.
‘Mr. Thompson?,’ he called out quietly, not wanting to disturb the quiet, restful solace that the other people were in. ‘Hello? Is everything alright in there?’
Victor turned away from the door to think. In case of emergencies, due to the post of Mayor that he occupied in Sunset Valley, Victor possessed a Master Key that would unlock all front doors of any of the houses in town. He knew that it might come under an invasion of privacy, but he felt that what he was about to do could pass as concern for one of his fellow members. With this self- reassurance, he made up his mind.
He turned back to the door and unlocked it, cautiously entering the house. There was not a noise or a scarper in and around the place; it looked plain and dead, with nothing but the barest and cheapest furnishings around the tiny living room and attached kitchen.
He heard a steady dripping sound in the corner, and the sickly sweet smell of cloying blood. Then, his eyes turned to the corner of the room.
What he saw there made him scream in horror and fall back.
His stomach turned and his breath caught; he whipped around, stumbled and ran out of the front door; falling to the floor and retching. He heard a quick metallic clink, a whispered curse and the sound of heavy thumping feet behind him. He knew that if he lay where he was, paralyzed by shock and terror, he would be forfeiting his life to the sinister presence that occupied the house.
He got up and ran, opening the door of his car and driving, horror freezing his face; his mouth remained open and wide, a silent scream of horror that seemed to have no end. He could not hear any noise behind him at all; and nothing disturbed the dark night, save the thumping of his heart, which, filled up the entire emptiness around him. He drove on and on and when he reached his home, and finally stopped the car; collapsed against the steering wheel and fell into a stupor.
He didn’t know how long he lay there, but finally when some strength returned to him, he rose shakily and stood out of the car. He looked all around him, his eyes trying their level best to penetrate the darkness, in search of something, anything that moved, but nothing save the quiet chirping of crickets and croaking of frogs made any sound at all.
Victor Goth was afraid. He was afraid to move. He knew that he was in danger, danger of the most terrible kind. He was afraid for his life. And he knew who he should fear. But he did not possess the courage to do anything about it.
THE NEXT MORNING….
Most Sunset citizens, as they woke up that morning did not think anything had changed in the slightest. Their daily rituals remained unmoved; their pattern did not vary from any other ordinary day. Their expectations for the new rising dawn were as simple and limited as they always had been since the last day. Little did they know, that this morning, all their lives were about to change forever…..
However, they were not to know this until just before breakfast, where all the television sets were turned to The Sunset News...
‘Oh my God…’
‘No, no, this can’t be happening….’
‘Not here, not in Sunset….’
"The police were contacted early this morning…."
‘Alerted by the alleged crime….’
'They've found him...'
'OF THE MURDER OF SYLVESTER THOMPSON IN SUNSET VALLEY.'
anyway, all i can say that even if you are lacking comments (i think thanks to the format here which "hides" the "please comment" portion), the number of views you managed to gather in just 6 posts should also be a form of encouragement!! it's a good number, and shows that there are people reading your story. (:
The night took Sunset Valley in it’s embrace, caressing the small town gently, clutching on to even it’s fringes; blanketing it, lulling it, trying to put the disquieted town in a soundless slumber. However, sleep was the one thing that evaded the members of this town; for in light of the recent murder of one of it’s oldest and seemingly innocent members, no one could sleep soundly any longer.
No body could think why a poor, albeit, introverted senior citizen would be murdered, and in such a brutal fashion. Hit multiple times on the head with a flat, blunt object and then shot thrice in the heart was NOT, they said, a good way to go. No one could fathom what brought the evil hand down on a man who had done nothing out of the ordinary in this new town, save keep his distance from the rest of it’s members.
Everyone tossed and turned, and everyone wondered what would happen next; for if there was no apparent rhyme or reason for Sylvester Thompson’s life to be cut short, who or what stopped the person who had done this to target them, their families next?
However, one thing united all our Sunset Valley citizens and that was a burning curiosity. The curiosity to know the facts, the burning desire to find out who had committed this atrocious crime in their quiet, secluded valley, who had disturbed the stillness and tranquility that permeated their town.
But was this the only secret that lay hidden in the murky depths of Sunset’s Pool of Secrets? Everyone hungered to understand more, Everyone was In Search of The Truth. But how many would find it?
IN SEARCH OF THE TRUTH
The morning after the news broke out, City Hall was, to put it lightly, in turmoil. Clerks carrying reports from the coroner, clerks carrying orders from Headquarters, clerks running pell mell, being summoned by panicky voices in narrow, dingy cubicles… Noises, voices, surges of emotion and occasional swearing issued from City Hall that day, and no one, not even the Mayor could set any of the hustle and bustle right.
In another part of town, Earnest Kennedy jogged, panting away at his treadmill. He jogged; imagining himself to be putting distance between himself and all the doubts and pains that plagued him. He jogged harder, trying to run away from all the pressure and frustration that was threatening to crash over him like waves on a sun-kissed, salt smelling beach; the only difference being that waves lap gently, lovingly, passionately against the destination that they travel miles to be destroyed against; but the waves that Ernest experienced were stronger, larger, greater, possessing an all consuming quality; enveloping him in themselves; threatening never to let go.
He hopped off the treadmill lithely; breaking his daily routine in an impassioned fury at his present circumstances. He knew that his bank account would not support another move elsewhere; he had leaned so heavily on his job here and the freedom and rights that he and his wife expected, and now he saw that more stood in the way of their ambitions than anything else ever had before. In addition to all this, with the apparent murder of his neighbour, he lay trembling in bed most nights, unable to sleep; his wife tossing and turning beside him, too, though neither of them broke the spell of silence, simply because there was nothing to say.
Neither could comfort the other, for the fears they faced were one and the same. Who next? Was it them? They twitched and flinched every time there was even the slightest of noises in and around the house; the wood beams cooling, the fridge in it’s cycle, the washing machine… Everything made their hairs stand on end.
They were trapped in this tiny little town; their dreams of ambition and power had become their own personal nightmare, and now, they could not even run away from the shadows gathering at the corners of their lives. They feared for Erin, their baby, who lay sleeping soundlessly in the room next to theirs. Who could veil the truth under the false curtain of idiocy, so as to suggest that a murderer would not touch an innocent babe in her cradle?
He shook his head; dispelling the now familiar thoughts that plagued him on a daily basis away; as if dismissing a pack of intent flies around him. He couldn’t let himself think that way; he couldn’t amble down that path again, for the questions were recurring, never ending, and the more the circle of thoughts flooded his mind, the more insane he felt every passing day.
He looked at his wrist-watch. It was only 07:00 A.M; they had a few more hours left before they were expected at the base. He walked towards the kitchen, wanting to prepare a light post- exercise snack, when he was startled by the door bell ringing. He looked at his watch again incredulously; the time had remained unchanged, not that he had expected it to, but nonetheless, a visitor at this hour was shocking, if not inappropriate altogether.
He rushed to the door and yanked it open before whoever it was rang again; not wanting his sleeping child to be woken up. He was astounded when he came face to face with the person standing there, before his eyes.
‘Good morning, Mr. Kennedy,’ said Inspector Buster Clavell gravely as he took in the whole of Earnest Kennedy in a glance. Earnest stood gaping, in response, thinking of something to say, but his mouth did not form any words. His pulse quickened with the natural fear that any and all of us experience when a police inspector is at close-range; the fear of authority, and, worse, the fear of misguided, corruption that can break families and ruin lives. Not that Inspector Clavell’s record was anything but perfect, but we have all heard our share of stories, and this is what made Mr. Kennedy check before his own doorstep.
Finally, painfully, after choking back the fear that had arisen within him like vomit and after several coughs to clear his throat, he said in a voice that didn’t sound much like his own, ‘Hello Inspector, how may I help you this morning?’ He shifted in his shoes, tensed, wondering what Clavell was doing here again...
‘I think it’s best that we discuss these matters indoors, Mr. Kennedy; may I come in?’ He strode into the house without waiting for a reply, and the fear rose in Earnest’s body; from somewhere near his stomach; and it coiled and touched his heart, making it race, striking like a serpent. When he looked down at his hands, he saw them trembling. He tucked them away behind his back and checked at the irrationality of his fear.
As they stepped across the threshold, Eithelia walked into their foyer and she froze in her tracks, staring at Buster Clavell with a bemused expression. Then, slowly, her lips twisted in a grimace of contempt. ‘Officer,’ she nodded, forced to acknowledge the figure of authority that stood before her. She was irritated that he would come to visit them in the first place, even after the round of rigorous questioning that the couple had undergone the previous day.
They had quizzed, counter questioned, cross referenced, compared and analyzed notes as well as the statement that she had provided them with, and finally, when they could squeeze no more information out of them, and they had convinced themselves that the couple could not have had any involvement in the murder, they had walked out of the house, leaving the two behind, frustrated and mentally exhausted.
Thus, his presence could not easily be absorbed once again. In fact, he was as unwanted here as a family of rats in a pantry, though that did not deter him in the slightest from advancing on the family. Since neither of the Kennedies appeared to want to invite him further into their abode, he sighed and walked towards the living room, with the couple padding quietly behind him.
No one bothered sitting; it was obvious to everyone present that this was far from a social visit. Buster shifted his grey-blue gaze from husband to wife and then back again. The silence in the room was loud and intrusive; and Earnest shivered slightly as a drop of sweat, now turned ice-cold in fear, broke from the top of his neck and slipped down his spine; like a bad dream breaking into the peaceful slumber of his subconscious.
‘Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy, let’s not waste any time on formalities,’ he said rapidly. ‘I must make it clear to you that in light of the fact that you both were the closest possible neighbours to Mr. Thompson, I have obtained a search warrant for your house, which, as I’m sure you good people know, allows me to look more closely into each and every room of your house…’
Earnest’s breathing became more ragged and Eithelia’s eyes narrowed into small, cat-like slits as she glared at the man before her. ‘So, we’re criminals now, are we, Inspector? Is that what you’re implying? What gives you the right to invade our homes and privacy this way?’ ‘I’m sorry, Mrs. Kennedy,’ he replied, ‘But in a case such as this where nothing is adding up, we want to close all loose ends possible, and sadly, your family remains one of them. We have no other leads. Please cooperate with us.’
Eithelia said nothing, for what could she do against the power of the law? She stalked away, silently contemplating the various ways and household appliances she could use to murder the Inspector in the kitchen when his back was turned. Buster, on the other hand, wasted no time whatsoever and began searching the house with a dithering Earnest in his wake.
He passed through room after room mercilessly, opening and feeling his way through drawers, cupboards, shelves and cabinets with professional ease. He thoroughly analyzed every nook and corner of the house, but somehow, he managed to disturb nothing. His pace never slowed nor quickened, his grasp never slackened nor tightened; this was a man who knew what he wanted and what he was looking for and would cease at nothing to find it.
Earnest’s pulse throbbed. He knew that they had nothing to hide, and there was no incriminating evidence, (apart from, perhaps, his wife’s laundry mixed with his,) that could suggest anything out of the ordinary taking place in their house-hold. But irrational fear had latched itself firmly in his belly and refused to budge, no matter how much reasoning he used against it.
Meanwhile, Buster grew more and more dissatisfied as he passed from room to room. Most serial killers always had some keep sake or memory of their murders; like some gruesome hunting trophy displayed proudly in a living room. It would generally lie in a place that was easily accessible in their homes. Murderers just couldn’t help such things, such tiny, minute details and tid-bits here and there. However, when no such items or hints lay in the obvious hiding spots at the Kennedy Household, he grew frustrated. He had gone through a lot of trouble to get this warrant and this was the last loop hole left; everyone else had their water tight alibis ready and well prepared.
Finally, after looking and assessing every room twice over, with a nervous Earnest breathing down his neck, Buster was forced to concede defeat. He turned to him and said, ‘Thank you for your cooperation, Mr. Kennedy. I’m sorry if we’ve inconvenienced you in any way.’ Earnest nodded tersely, not trusting himself to speak.
As he walked the Inspector out the door, however, he paused and looked across the yard at the old shed which the Kennedies used to store old, unwanted junk that would most probably remain untouched forever, though it was oft pretended that some of it could someday be of some use. He had half a mind to forget about it and leave, but then he wanted no stones left unturned in his search. ‘Is that your shed?,’ he asked Earnest.
Earnest, who had looked relieved at the apparent departure of this severe looking Inspector, grimaced at the realization that he was not quite rid of him as yet and replied bitingly, ‘Why, yes. Yes, it is. Would you like to see if there are any bodies hidden in there, too? Or perhaps some guns or other such arms and ammunition?’ Apart from the slight pulsing of a vein in his temple, Buster ignored the sarcasm and walked towards the tiny shed.
The moment the shed door creaked open, he knew he had struck gold. Both men froze, one in thrilled anticipation and one in disbelieving shock as the sick scent of blood struck their nostrils. Slowly, cautiously, the inspector flipped the light switch on.
Lying directly against the wall opposite them lay a spade, with some other common gardening implements scattered around it. Blood smattered the walls and the spade and metallic head looked grievously battered. Sylvester Thompson was mauled at the head by a flat, unpolished object. The spade definitely counted as a flat, unpolished object.
The Inspector turned to Earnest. Shock animated every single line of his face, and he had aged ten years in the past 10 seconds. ‘Earnest Kennedy, you are under arrest,’ said Buster with a triumphant grin as he brought out the handcuffs.
Boyd and Susan Wainwright stood whispering quietly in their house, both forgetting that there was no one around who could hear them. ‘Susie, we’ve just moved here. We can’t leave now, look at this place, it’s bigger than anything we could ever have expected! Look at our salaries! They NEED us here, they’re paying us by the bucket. We have everything we want...One little incident..’ ‘It isn’t ONE little incident, Boyd,’ she replied back fiercely, a delicate frown marring her features, ‘It’s murder in cold blood, plain and simple. We can’t stick around a town like this, what are you thinking, we aren’t safe. We should leave…’
‘What’ll worry you next? A dead crow on the streets? Listen to yourself, love; you aren’t even half-convinced. Look, it’s a beautiful, peaceful valley. Nothing like this has ever occurred in it’s history before. We’ve been directly hired by Queenie Landgraab herself, we’re fresher scientists in a vast and dominated field and this is probably a chance that most people in our places would kill for!
We’re heading the entire research centre, and the government here has to either be very stupid or extremely trusting to allow people like us with NO experience, with fresh new degrees to hold positions of such importance! Leaving now would be worse than folly, Susie, it’s the best break we could ever get. Let’s stay, just for some more time. Nothing in life comes without a fair share of risk involved. Let’s wait it out. Please?’
She sighed, but Boyd knew when he had won. He hugged her hard, and with a pang of guilt, he knew that the decision they had taken was not something that she wanted; it was, in fact, it was something that terrified her. But he had no choice. This was their chance of a lifetime, and he was not about to waste it because of his wife’s timid heart.
The bell rang, making both of them jump. The sun was just setting; the weak pinkish yellow rays lent it’s natural, unselfish beauty to their expensive teak-wood furniture through the windows. ‘I’ll get it,’ he said to Susan. She nodded, staying behind a minute to regain her composure.
Boyd opened the door and there, before him stood a young couple, probably in their 20s. Upon seeing him, they smiled. ‘Yes?,’ he asked them, perplexed. He had seen either one or both of them almost every weekend, grocery shopping, but they had never actually come up to him and introduced themselves. ‘Mr. Boyd Wainwright?,’ asked the man in a deep, gravelly voice. ‘That’s me,’ he replied carefully. How may I help you two?’
‘Mr. Boyd, we’ve come here in need of your professional assistance,’ said the woman in an almost equally rough, masculine voice. May we talk to you about this inside?’ ‘Yes, do come in, erm, your names?’ ‘I’m Milton and this is my partner, Enriqueta,’ he said. ‘Alright then, Milton and Enriqueta, please come in.’
After they had seated themselves in the living room and the appropriate introductions with Susan had been made, Susan asked them, ‘What is it that you needed our help with, Milton and Enriqueta?’ ‘It’s difficult for us to explain this to you, Susan,’ Milton began quietly, ‘Especially since you are, after all, a woman of science. But we’ve realized that we need professional help and right now, you both are the only ones we can talk to about this…’
‘Tell us then, Milton,’ said Boyd gently. ‘We’ll try our best to help you out with whatever it is you both are going through.’ He sighed. ‘I don’t expect you to believe us, Mr. and Mrs. Wainwright,’ he said softly, ‘But the story goes like this. We’re relatively new to this town. Both of us are writers. Money had been running scare where we came from and, so we decided to move here as we heard that Sunset needed columnists for The Sunset Times, so we’ve applied for it. We’ve bought a small home for ourselves with whatever little we could pool together. However, things aren’t…. normal within….’
He looked at Enriqueta helplessly, who held his hand as she continued their story. ‘When we first got there, things were fine. The house was just what we needed, quiet, safe, secluded and peaceful. However, after a week, THINGS seemed to happen in and around it… Like it had a life of it’s own…..’ ‘What do you mean?,’ asked Susan sharply. ‘I can’t follow what you’re trying to say here…’ ‘Things move around, Mrs. Wainwright,’ said Milton frantically. ‘Furniture sometimes turns up in completely different rooms overnight, sounds, creaks, groans and moans resound through the house later in the evening, and sometimes… Sometimes, we feel like we’re being watched.’
‘Stuff and nonsense, my dear,’ said Susan exasperatedly. ‘I am sure you both are imagining such things. Science does not support supernatural phenomenon. It might be a robber or some practical joker; I suggest you have your locks changed and your windows bolted shut before you sleep. ‘We’ve tried all of that, ma’am,’ Milton replied. ‘We’ve tried everything possible. And if it was a robber, why has nothing been taken away?’
‘Well, how else can one explain something like this?,’ asked Boyd rationally. ‘It’s the stuff of legends and stories, my friends.’ ‘Well, that’s why we’ve come to you both, haven’t we?,’ said the young woman soothingly. ‘We can’t begin to understand these things. Nothing has harmed us as such yet, but living like this is, honestly, driving us both quite mad. We want a solutio, and we thought you scientists could help us find out what’s going on here… We don’t expect you to take us on our word,’ she said hastily as Susan’s eyes sharpened and her mouth opened to reply, ‘All we ask is that you both come stay with us, for just a couple of days and see what we’re talking about.’
Boyd replied before his wife could begin; ‘Thank you for bringing this to our notice, Milton, Enriqueta. We’ll have to talk about this together before we decide what we want to do. Can you both come here, at the same time tomorrow?’ ‘That’s alright with us,’ said Milton, relieved. ‘Thank you for considering this. I know it must be hard for you scienctists to delve into something so unknown and irregular to you… We’ll see ourselves out and will be back tomorrow for your answer. Goodbye.’
After the door closed behind them, Boyd turned to his wife. ‘No, Boyd,’ she said firmly, when she saw that familiar hopeful spark in his eyes. His expression did not alter before he continued, ‘Sue, you and I both know that we’re going to do this. It’s another experience altogether. I don’t believe in one word of this, either, I think they’re probably just easily spooked by normal, everyday stuff, or they just want media attention. Whatever it may be, it’s something we should do!’
‘Boyd, this is ridiculous! What are you even implying? That we actually go stay with a couple we’ve met just ONCE and about whom we know nothing of to hunt for ghosts?! What’s gotten into you?!’ ‘It’s a small town, love, everyone knows everyone else. I’m sure someone knows them and I’m sure they’re fine .They’re young and simple. What’s the worst that could happen?’ She sighed. ‘Fine, then,’ she replied grumpily. ‘But know that I’m doing this just for you.’
Boyd smiled; his quiet, winning smile, and her heart melted as it always had done for him. He leaned forward and kissed her and he felt her lips turn upwards underneath his as he held her hand and led her towards their bedroom.
Catharsis108 and Janelle 43: Thank you SO, SO much for your positive feedback! I was quite losing hope, wondering if no one was even reading. But thank you so much for responding I hope you like this chapter and the ones that come after it! :D
The Observant Lefty.
""They feared for Erin, their baby, who lay sleeping soundlessly in the room next to theirs. Who could veil the truth under the false curtain of idiocy, so as to suggest that a murderer would not touch an innocent babe in her cradle?""
^ I loved that line the most
A smile twisted the corners of Monica Wendyll’s lips as she stood before the Crumplebottom House; sparks of electricity darting across her limbs in eager anticipation of what she was about to do. Slowly, after looking around to see if anybody was watching, she reached into her pocket and retrieved the skeleton key from her inner jacket pocket. Now brimming with confidence, she reached out and pushed it into the elaborately designed lock before her. Holding her breath, hoping, praying, she turned the key. Her luck held, and the lock’s inner mechanism shifted, producing a satisfactory ‘click’ as it opened, and the door slid forward, revealing an empty, unlit passageway.
Luring the family away while Monica did what she had to had proven to be an easy task. Prudence Crumplebottom’s I.Q was only ever high enough to provide for gossip, intrigue and scandal; and that was what she derived maximum pleasure from. It was also the reason why she had set a tail on Victor Goth. The politician, she felt, was the best possible target to provide her with scandal, but she had never expected to collect THIS much against the man. Her mind did not provide for any higher intellectual processes, and this fact soon became obvious to Monica when she made the call.
As a teenager, Prudence had tried almost every single contact, resource, method and scheme available to her to try and become a model for in truth, any fashion industry possible. Sadly, whatever she tried and however much influence she used always resulted in the same dead-end for her: No one would take her up. A wide variety of excuses, dismissals and denials were issued, but every rejection letter somehow had one thing in common: Prudence was too short.
When the realization finally sunk into the young teen’s head, she dissolved into a storm of tears, tempers and tantrums, which until her dying day, she referred to as her ‘Great Depression.’ It lasted for two days in total. Her parents, having grown sick of the moaning, breaking and sobbing sounds emanating from her room decided to buy her a sleek yellow car to keep her quiet, and that it did. When she ‘resurfaced’ from her G.D, she made a vow to herself and to the World, which stated that whatever else happened in life, she would have at least one daughter, and come, what may that daughter would somehow become a model.
When Monica called The Crumplebottom Residence from a payphone outside town in a fake, high pitched Italian accent, however, she was not aware of all this history. Luck was on her side when she weighed the two different possible fake calls she had in mind and found that a Children’s Italian Fashion Industry was more likely to be believed as opposed to winning an award for Best Kept Cutlery in Sunset Valley. Prudence did not need telling twice; the moment she put down the phone, she dressed up BOTH her daughters and rushed to the café where she had been told a representative from the company was supposed to meet her.
Monica stole into the house, shutting the door quickly behind her. She looked in to all the rooms adjoining the hallway. Finally, deciding that she was better off searching upstairs in the bedrooms, she walked up; ears pricked for the slightest of sounds suggesting that a muttering, frustrated Prudence had returned home. Though she was used to breaking into houses like this by now, the thrill of it never failed to buzz her. Illegal activities always had this wonderful way of bringing her deep and greater satisfaction than anything else on earth.
She crept into what seemed like Prudence’s room and walked over to the viciously cluttered desk. Lipsticks, bills and a bag of cookies lay strewn on it. A magazine lay opened to a page with a title that read: “Shaving V.S Waxing; The Debate Continues.” Smiling at Prudence’s vanity, Monica pushed the mess aside before delving into the drawers. A few minutes later, she was rewarded, just as she had hoped, with a tightly sealed brown folder. The words, ‘Victor Goth,’ were written neatly in bold black marker across it. She knew that inside it lay every single scrap of knowledge and evidence that Prudence had accumulated against Victor from the tailer she had set on him. She smirked to herself. ‘You just make it so easy, Crumplebottom. I wonder how much your parents had to bribe Simon to marry you. Probably explains why he died.’
She stuffed the folder into her jacket pocket and with the picture perfect memory that had always served her so well in the past, she placed everything just as it was before retracing her steps backwards. After peeking out of the window to check once again if no one was around, she walked out the front door, locking it behind her. She walked home at her usual leisurely pace, whistling, secretly congratulating herself on a job well done, when she saw a car come smoothly up the road towards her. ‘Evening!,’ she called out merrily. ‘Wonderful day to be around, don’t you think?’ Frustrated, annoyed and pink in the face, Prudence didn’t bother to respond. Furious after waiting for more than an hour for the Italian to turn up, she merely nodded in acknowledgment and continued on her way, not noticing the giggles that Monica was trying her hardest to contain as she walked on.
A couple of minutes later, as she strolled into Central Park, her good cheer evaporated when she came across a mother holding a gurgling child close to her heart. Her mood took a further downswing when she recognized the woman as none other than Gretle Goth and her daughter, Frida. The child was Victor’s, and this knowledge did nothing to please her. She gazed at the pair hungrily as Gretle tickled her little daughter and the girl replied with a delighted, high pitched squeal that made everyone around turn and smile for a second. Shivering despite the warm leather jacket she wore, she turned on her heel and strode out of the park.
Angry tears filled her eyes, which she brushed away quickly. Tears were for the weak, tears were for the broken, and Monica refused to accept that she was either. She had long known that she would never be able to have children. Monica had never wanted a companion or a life partner; she had never felt the need for such dependencies. However, the desire to create life, to produce another being from herself, to procreate was something that she had always wanted; more than anything else in the world.
She had tried everything. Initially, she had felt that the men she bedded were incapable, but after more than 10 failed attempts, all with different people had produced no result, she had decided to seek professional help. This was when she learned the truth about herself. She was infertile, and the chances of her having a child were almost none, and nothing that science had in it’s vast arsenal could possibly help her. The effect this knowledge took on her psyche was immense; her one desire, the sole thing she wanted most in the world was nigh on impossible, and depression sunk in. Sleepless nights, muttered words, tears shed and months later, she recovered, but the bitterness never left her.
The overpowering distress creeping over her felt like a shadow of a large predator, looming ahead, hoping to gobble her whole. She fought back against it and the roiling emotions subsided for a time. Anger filled her in it’s place. She hated politicians. She hated everything about them, and Victor Goth was the perfect model of one; strong, proud, untouchable and convincing. No one knew the other side of him, the greedy, power hungry man that he was. She smiled to herself. Most of what she had come to Sunset to do was accomplished… However, there was just one piece of the puzzle that remained to be slotted in, and once that was done, she would leave the town forever, with none ever the wiser….
Buster shifted nervously as the cast of The Sunset News prepared for their late night broadcast. He had decided that instead of being badgered by every citizen around town for the latest news on the murder, this was the best way possible to make a public statement.
‘Inspector, you’re live in 5…4…3…2…1’
‘Citizens of Sunset Valley,’ he addressed the people of the town, visualizing some of them in his mind’s eye as he spoke. ‘Recent events in town have probably kept all of you on the edge. As Inspector of the police force here, I implore you all; do not panic. Our forensics are, at this very moment, working their hardest to find Sylvester Thompson’s murderers. I ask you all to take all the necessary precautions such as locking your doors after sunset, not straying out late at night alone, and most importantly reporting any and all suspicious behavior by any, including your family, to the police.’
‘In retrospection, I realize that you all need proof that we are trying our hardest to locate the killer, and this is why I will now reveal to you all that we have detained Earnest Kennedy, in charge of military defense for Sunset Valley as a probable suspect. His wife, Eithelia Kennedy will take up charge in his absence, until he is convicted, or all accusations against him are cleared.’
‘Till we have further information, there is nothing else that can be said as of yet. Take heart, my friends. We are with you all in this time of fear and suspicion. We’re all in this together.’
Catharsis 108; as usual, thank you so much for your feedback and comments; always makes my day Yes, well a military commander is expected to remain in tip-top shape, isn't he? As for the planted evidence theory, I can't say much, now, can I, for that would just ruin the suspense of the entire thing! But all will be understood, in time :P
As for the rest of my readers, I love all the feedback and comments you have to give me, so it's all more than welcome I've tried my best, experimenting with various writing styles and things like that. This is a learning experience for me, too, so please help me along that path by commenting and giving feedback as much as possible. Thanks,
The Observant Lefty.
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People had begun to move on… Some of them, perhaps moving on a little faster than necessary…. In particular, two young love birds who were looking well ahead of the troubled times, envisaging a future for themselves that, perhaps destiny never had in mind…
MUTTERING AND MARRIAGE
‘Nick, where are we going? Stop rushing, will you? These heels hurt!,’ exclaimed Nancy as Nick led her, blindfolded to their destination. Nancy felt her feet stumble over the old cobbles on the road and Nick’s strong arms around her, holding her steady, and then she him pressing her down, and she stopped walking. She heard the slow click of a door being opened quickly and then he moved them both forward again.
‘Ready, now?,’ he whispered to her quietly. ‘Open your eyes when I say so. Alright then? Open.’
Nancy gasped as the scene before her met her eyes. A beautiful table for two was laid out before them, with soft, gentle music playing in the background. The curtains of the massive window across the table were drawn wide open, allowing the moon to bathe everything in the room in a gently lulling light. Nick beamed at her as she turned to him, her mouth agape with amazement. ‘Happy anniversary, Nancy,’ he said, a smile playing on his lips.
Tears filled her eyes as her face broke into a smile to reflect his. ‘I thought you’d forgotten,’ she whispered. ‘I couldn’t even if I wanted to,’ he whispered back, as soft as her. ‘It’s the most important day of my life till date; I couldn’t forget it for the world.’
‘Where is this place? I don’t recognize it!,’ she exclaimed. ‘It’s a tiny house that the Goths owned but weren’t doing anything with, so I asked them to rent it out to me for a night. Do you like it?’ She smiled back at him. ‘I do. It’s perfect. Thank you.’
He caressed her cheek gently, and she closed her eyes, reveling in his touch. Suddenly, she felt him withdraw. Frowning, she opened her eyes, and gave a little shout when she saw him down on his knees before her.
‘Nancy, from the moment I saw you exactly one year ago, I felt something, the likes of which I’ve never felt before, and which I only feel when you’re with me. It’s something I just can’t describe; feelings of total abandon, joy, and confidence in my ability to do anything. Over time, the feeling’s just grown and whenever we’ve been away in this past year, I long for you, and the strength that you give me in a way that I can’t describe. Looking at the stars one night, alone, I caught myself smiling at all the good times we’ve spent together, all the laughs, the smiles, the hugs, the kisses…. And it was then I realized that I couldn’t handle being without you anymore.’
‘I know we’re young, and we’ve still got a few more months left till we finally graduate and stand on our own feet, but before I make the transition into what they call, ‘real life,’ I need you to be there beside me. I don’t know where I’m going, or what I plan to do. All I know is this: I love you, Nancy, and you mean the world and more to me. You’re the one thing that I’m so sure of right now, the ONE thing that I know I can’t not have in my life. Nancy Landgraab, will you marry me?’
Happy tears streaked down her face as she choked the words out. ‘Yes, Nick, yes. I feel the same way. I love you.’ With that, he slid the ring on her warm finger, and he rose to embrace her.
After they broke apart, albeit unwillingly, a look of dawning shock struck Nancy as she realized that she was now an engaged woman. Another wave of shock hit her when she realized that she didn’t regret it in the least bit. She thought of her parents, and she gulped as she imagined telling them that she was engaged to Nick. Her mother had stomached the fact that they were dating with great difficulty and persuasion. She was the sole heiress to their more than moderate amassed fortune, and Queenie was ever on the lookout for suitable boys of her age and status to get her married to. When she realized that the heir to Landgraab Industries’ biggest competitors in Sunset Valley, Altos & Co. was dating her daughter, she flew into a rage the likes of which Nancy had rarely seen her in before.
‘Nick…. My mom.’ His smile faltered a bit, but he hitched it back firmly in place. ‘I’ve thought of all of that, baby. For now, let’s keep this our secret, alright? We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Nothing and no one can stand in the way of what we have, even if it’s our own family. We love each other, and that’s all that matters.’
Little did he know how wrong he was, little did either of them expect the twist of events that fate had in store for them.
Boyd and Susan sat facing each other across the living room, Susan looking flustered, Boyd’s face remained impassive. He sat in silence, because he was tired out after more than an hour of reasoning and arguing with his wife on the same issue that had resurfaced once again, after being forgotten for so many months.
The day after the Bachelors had met them found the Wainwrights waiting for them with their answer. However, the couple never turned up. The next day, Enriqueta called up to tell them that they would have to delay their meeting. ‘For how long?,’ exclaimed Boyd. ‘About seven months in total, Boyd,’ she replied serenely. You see, I’m pregnant. We’ll get in touch with you when things are.. clearer to us.’ With that, she ended the call, not waiting for a response from him. The Wainwrights realized that the couple needed time and space and so, never called back. Soon, work, time and other things took prime position in their minds and they forgot all about the Bachelors. Until yesterday.
‘I just don’t see the point anymore, Boyd,’ she muttered grumpily. They were obviously not very keen on our help the first time…’ ‘She was pregnant, Sue,’ he said impatiently. ‘Surely, you can’t blame her for that!’ ‘Well, she let it happen, didn’t she?,’ Sue grumbled. ‘Look, you’ve agreed once already, there’s no reason to back out now…’ ‘That was seven months ago!,’ she snapped. ‘Besides, you know the sensitivity of the project we’re working on right now, nothing can distract us, and taking leave would be an incredibly stupid course of action!’ ‘
This is something worth looking into. It isn’t an opportunity that comes knocking on a daily basis.’ ‘Can we honestly trust the junior scientists to continue on without us?,’ she replied quietly. ‘I think we’ve trained them well enough. Stop worrying, Sue, let’s do this.’ She sighed. ‘Fine, then, make the call.’ Boyd grinned at her victoriously before picking his phone up.
Chester opened his eyes slowly, allowing his body to experience the first rays of the Sun that glorious morning. His sleep had been uninterrupted and dreamless, owing to a result of absolute exertion the night before. He stretched, and then turned to look at the reason for the labours of the night before sleeping beside him. Bessie remained sleeping soundlessly, blissfully unaware of the world around her. She looked radiant and angelic as she always had, and as usual, Chester hated having to wake her. However, it was almost time for him to go back home, and so he gently shook her till she stirred.
‘Wake up, sleeping beauty,’ he chuckled deeply as she stretched like a cat and with a moan, tried to pull the covers back over her head. ‘He grabbed at them before she could however, and she opened her eyes to look at him. It’s time I head back home from this ‘business trip.‘ ‘Do we HAVE to go back?,’ she groaned. ‘Yes, babe, we do. Look at the time. They’ll be looking for us by now.’ ‘Not mine, she muttered now, her gaze slowly sharpening. ‘He’s probably still dead drunk from when I left him last night.’
Chester sighed in reply. Truth be told, he didn’t think Queenie cared a damn for where he was, either. Day by day, he wondered if what he was doing was wrong at all. These days, when he looked into his wife’s eyes, he saw the look of a stranger, not the woman he had married all those years ago for love. There was a demented glint in the liquid amber that suggested greed, greed for more power, for more wealth, for more of everything. It scared him.
‘Sometimes I don’t know why I go back, either. But then I remember Nancy and I know that there’s still something worth fighting for. I love her, Bess. That’s what counts. That’s what matters.’ Bessie’s expression softened, and then sharpened again. ‘Well, at least you have something to go back to. Buster doesn’t love me, I wonder if he ever has.’ She looked away, tears filling her eyes. He reached out to her, awkwardly patting her on the knees. ‘Hey, don’t say that. I’m sure he still does, in his own way.’
He paused for a second, shaking his head at the absurdity of the situation; him comforting his lover from an extramarital affair saying that her husband still loved her. She looked at him, lovely as ever, eyes filled with tears. ‘Then why doesn’t he show it? Why does he keep fighting with me, all day long, every minute, every second…’ ‘Because you both are struggling. It’s hard for him too, to be helpless the way he is. Just... give it time.’
‘Chester…. What about us? What comes after this? What’s going to happen? What if we’re found out, what if we-,’ he cut her short, silencing her with a finger to her lips. ‘Shh…,’ he said softly. ‘Don’t go down that path. Don’t think. Just do. Let it go, gorgeous. Breathe.’ She exhaled smoothly. ‘There, that’s better. Forget everything. Relax.’ She melted into his arms and he pushed her down into the bed, slowly undressing her again.
That night, Victor walked down City Hall’s steps two at a time, anxious to be home. It was late already, and for a person of his importance, being out alone was never a good thing. He froze on the steps, however, when he saw who awaited him down below.
‘Hello Mr. Goth,’ said Monica with a razor sharp smile. ‘Long time no see. How’s the family keeping?’ Victor stood, frozen in horror, trying to make his numb body move, but no part of him would respond. Finally, he managed to choke out the words,’ What do you want?’ She laughed at that, a high, piercing laugh, which made his hair stand on end. ‘Oh you’ll know soon enough, Vicky, all in good time. For now, before we proceed, I wanted to show you a couple of pretty pictures, along with a few notes and papers that I have with me. Here.’
Trembling, he reached out for the folder that she held in her gloved hands and opened it. Within were pictures… Pictures of… ‘That’s right, pictures of you. With a wide variety of people at secret meeting spots placed all over Sunset Valley,’ she said succinctly. ‘You’ll notice the times and dates, and the subsequent results of these meetings…. Sometimes in politics, sometimes in the courts of law…. A case won to the other side, a certain political deadlock miraculously resolved…Your influence is stretched very wide, Vicky. Very wide, indeed. I’ll say this much though: I’m impressed.’ He reacted on instinct, tearing up all the photos and papers that he held in his hands and then turning around and running for dear life.
The cocking of a gun a few paces behind him made him stop dead in his tracks. ‘Well, now you’re just proving stupider than you look!,’ she said gleefully. ‘I would’ve thought you were smarter than that. Did you HONESTLY think those were the only copies I had with me? And did you really feel I’d let you get away that easily? I’ve come here with a purpose, Vicky, but I swear, give me a reason, and I’ll shoot all these bullets through your head. Now, turn. Slowly, with your hands where I can see ‘em.’
He turned on the spot, his face coloured with nothing but terror. ‘I can have you destroyed,’ he stammered. ‘You’ll be in jail before the night is out, if I wanted you to be.’ She laughed again, the sound resounding through the silent town like a gunshot. ‘Really? Well, what stopped you? You’ve had a little more than seven months to do it. Well? Cat got your tongue? You see, Vicky, even if you tried, nothing would happen to me, ‘cos you’re not the only one with friends in high places. I would be alerted the moment you opened your mouth, and I’d be skipping town scot free the next.’
‘Now, I gave you long enough to see if you’d do anything, and when you didn’t, I realized you were afraid of me and rightly so. I’m here for a little while longer. I’ve still got work left to do in your town, and till then, you keep your mouth shut, and I’ll do the same. If not…’
She drew closer to him, jabbing him in the ribs with her gun. ‘You take a bullet to your brain. Understood?’ He nodded meekly in reply. ‘Now, let’s get things sorted out between us. You’ve been on ‘free reign’ mode for long enough. From this day, you take orders from no one but me. Am I clear?’ He nodded, not able to say or do anything else for fear. ‘Good. You can go now. Say “thank you”.’ ‘T-thank you,’ said the terrified Lord Mayor of Sunset Valley. ‘Wait!’ She sighed and turned around. ‘What now? A treat for good behavior?’ ‘What business do you have here that needs taking care of? When will you be gone?’
She smiled at that, her teeth glinting wickedly in the moonlight. ‘That’s for me to know and for you to find out, Vick. Till then, know that it’s nothing…..Now scram!’ After he turned and half-stumbled and half-ran, she muttered to herself. ‘Nothing… Nothing but bringing you down.’
Hey, everyone, I'm sorry this update took longer than usual. Writer's block hit me and I couldn't even write a nursery rhyme However, hoped you like this chapter brtaylor2000 and Kathwynn: I'm glad you guys are enjoying yourselves and the read your comments made my day, keep 'em coming and tell me how you think the writing and stuff is Thanks,
The Observant Lefty.
366 alexandria: Thank you for your comment!!! I'm glad you're enjoying it so much! All of you out there rate my story too. Helps attract more viewers and stuff Thanks again Wil lbe posting the next chapter within a week for sure!
What Happens in Sunset Valley- Present Story
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Keep up the excellent work.
Be true to yourself, only your opinion of yourself truly counts.
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