Saturday, March 2, 2013

Chapter 1.37

Chapter 1.37- Like a Dragon

            The following days went by peacefully and without much change in anyone’s routine. Winter had blown in bringing enough snow to bury the newspaper each morning and to make the landscape dazzling under the sun. Galen had managed to convince the school’s administration that they needed upgraded equipment in the computer lab, and Layla had set a new school record in track. The night of the full-moon Layla had come in late after a track meet. Galen was jealous. His precious new laptops were being put in the computer lab and Layla had seen then delivered.
            “Were the boxes in good shape? Were they handling them gently?”
            Laughing, Layla just shook her head.

            “Come on,” Galen pled, desperate for her to actually tell what she had witnessed. “Were they being gentle with them?”
            “Galen,” Layla finally relented. “As best I could tell, they were stacking them on a hand-truck with kid gloves. That’s all I could see. Really. You’ll just have to go and look tomorrow.”
            Helen was blank. All this hoopla over a machine was beyond her.
            Sighing, Galen continued, “I just hope that they have a few out in the morning. I really want to see how well they hold up, and especially if they measure up with the hype.”
            Finishing the stew Helen had made for dinner, he went to clean his plate.
            “You just never know who’s telling the truth on the web about what’s good and what’s not. And PlumbBob forbid some newbie get a little money and think what they’ve got is the best. They never know. And you never know if they’ve really got the know how or just the language.”
            During this, Buck had grabbed a dish of stew and went to sit by Layla.

            Buck had mostly ignored Galen’s diatribe on newbies and computers. It had been a few days since he had talked with him and he still wanted a word with Layla. But catching his daughter had proved all together a lot more difficult. Many nights she came home with only enough time for dinner before she fell into bed. Today’s snow had been too heavy for her to do her usual walk-about, and so she was doing her homework at home for once.
            “Alright young lady,” Buck started. “Are you planning on getting a rock from this young man you’ve been seeing?”
            “No,” He repeated blankly. “That was an awful fast answer. Are you sure you’re not just saying that to get me to leave you alone?”
            “Again, you’re way too quick on the draw,” Buck wasn’t going to be fooled. “You’re not planning on eloping and running away are you? I couldn’t bear to think you’d do that.”
            This time, it was Galen’s turn to slow down the clean-up of his dish, straining hard to hear over the running water. Layla’s answers had been very quietly spoken. He was only assuming he knew what she as saying based on Buck’s replies.

            “Then what is all the money for? Why are you going out in all-weathers to go and get more jewels? If you’re not saving up for a big wedding once you graduate, what's it for? I know Phedra is making her own money now and doesn’t need it. And Galen’s plans include him making his own money for himself so he doesn’t need it.”
            Layla hung her head, sighing. She really didn’t want to lie to her Daddy, but she didn’t want Galen to hear her honest answer. Things had been nice for a little while, quiet and easy just the way she liked. And if Galen heard her honest answer, wouldn’t he just tell Arden who’d tell everyone else? Wouldn’t her torture of boys constantly pressing her begin again? But she couldn’t lie to her Daddy.
            “Laydee-bug? What is the money for? What are you planning after graduation?” Buck’s frown went straight to her heart.

            Finally, forcing a smile, Layla dove in.
            “I’m going to buy an island all of my very own with it,” her smile broad though her eyes were hard and cold as ice. “I’m going to stay there in peace and quiet all the rest of my days. I’ll invite those who I love for visits and kick ‘em off as soon as I want to be left alone again.”      
            Buck looked at her reproachfully before returning to his dinner.
            “Fine,” Layla nodded as Galen gave up trying to pretend his dish needed further washing. “I have no plans to marry anyone right now. I don’t want to stay here in town. I’d like to see what else is out there in the world. See who else is out there. I don’t want to do what every other kid in school does, where all they do is graduate, get a job, marry their high school sweetheart, have kids, work, and die. I want more than that.”

            Galen knew her words were aimed right at him. And for the first time, he heard them, really heard them. Perhaps Buck’s talk with him had made him look a little more closely at his own motives. Maybe he was finally ready to hear Layla’s side of the story.
            Not to be deterred though, Galen gave up his charade and went to sit on the couch. Turning the tv on a fishing program, he turned the volume down low and hoped his Dad would continue to talk to Layla.
            Buck however, was mulling over his daughters words for himself. He’d hate to lose her. And she didn’t seem like the type to do what Phedra was doing. So how would she fare in the wider world, where talking to other people would most likely be required for survival?

            As Buck finished his meal, Layla looked up sharply.
            “I’d like a dragon too,” she said. “I’d like a dragon who could guard me from everyone who wants to force me to do what they want to do instead of listening to what I want. That’d be nice.”
            This statement left Buck a little confused. A dragon? And who is forcing her to do anything?
            Galen, however, flinched. This didn’t go completely unnoticed by Buck. So why would Galen be hurt by Layla’s words? Unless Galen was… Oh. A lightbulb flickered on in Buck’s head.
            “So where would you go when you left here?” Buck asked quietly hoping to turn the conversation a little.
            “I have no idea,” Layla bent back over her homework.

            Helen walked back into the room, scowling, but joining Galen on the couch to watch the fishing program. Slowly, sadly, Buck stood up his mind swirling.
            He really didn’t think Layla was ready for the world. She was just too shy to speak to others. And wanting out but not knowing where to go could be dangerous. What if she left just to leave and something happened to her? In the back of his mind, a suggestion formed itself. It would be painful, possibly humiliating, definitely humbling but what if… What if…
            Layla was in silent agony herself. She couldn’t bear that she might have hurt Galen’s feelings in any way. She shouldn’t have spouted off like that. But she was so tired of his pushing. Maybe she could find a way to make it up to him.

            An idea flashed behind Layla’s eyes. Jaw dropping a little, she looked up sharply. Helen was on the couch with Galen. Buck was in the room. Everything was quiet and comfortable. She could do it.
            “You know,” she said unnecessarily loudly. “You know if I had a computer, or if there was a computer in the house I could look up someplace, and then make plans.”
            Pausing, for dramatic effect was torture for Layla. Galen was looking at her as if she had lost her mind, though Helen’s angry surprise she had anticipated.

            “You know, we each have our own rooms now, maybe we should get to redo them how we want them. I can get a display case for some of the jewels I’ve kept, and Galen can put a computer in his to do his work. I could borrow it for some work too instead of going to the library. We’d both be home more if we had one. And in Galen’s room, you’d never have to see it, Mom. It could work”
            Buck sat down next to Helen, putting a hand on her thigh. The idea wasn’t so bad, and it might help Galen grow a little independence from his girlfriend.

            Elbowing Galen, Helen had an answer ready.
            “Untended electronics are a leading cause of house fires,” she said in a low, ominous voice. “I’m in here, or Buck is in here during the day to keep an eye on the tv and radio. In your room, alone, it could make the entire house go up in flames.”
            “No, it wouldn’t, Mom.” Exasperated, Layla flatly contradicted Helen.

            “Yes, it could,” Helen kept her voice low and quiet.
            Galen shot a look at Layla. Could it really catch their house on fire if they got a computer and kept it in his room?
            “When I was little the library was older, like our house,” not letting go, Helen continued her fright campaign against computers. “The town leader, my father, wanted to upgrade the computers in it. The first night they left them all plugged in, it all caught fire. Everything in it was destroyed. They said the computers caused it.”

            Still staring at Layla, Galen was a little frightened now. This annoyed Layla worse than anything. He should know that the story had an obvious flaw. The wiring in the house had been updated a long time ago. In mom’s story, the library was ancient and the wiring most likely couldn’t handle the computers.
            “Galen,” she said sharply. “Galen, the wiring in this house is up to code. We have barely anything plugged in. It could handle a computer and you know it.”
            “Galen, I could just as easily light a match and set the computer on fire myself.”

            “I will destroy with fire anything that comes in my house threatening my safety.”
            Finally, Galen had realized that Helen was just putting on instead of putting her foot down.
            “Computers are a threat to our way of life! Our information could be stolen! Our money pilfered! They’ll come in the night and rob us blind!”
            No one quite knew who this “they” was, but everyone knew that when Helen had her mind set on something there was no stopping how far she’d go to justify it.

            An idea struck Layla.
            “Ah! Yes! You’ll set the computer on fire, thus setting the house on fire, and Dad will run outside and pass out!”
            “Please, leave me out of this,” mumbled Buck.

            “Oh! Yeah! He can pass out on the doorstep, waking up only when the firefighters arrive, but after the journalist who will once again get a photo to put in the paper of the ‘dead guy’ at the scene of a fire!”
            As Buck begged the two to quit their outrageous tales Helen surveyed Layla from across the room.

            It was very clear that Layla had just spun this in favor of Galen getting a computer. She had planted the idea, watered it, and left it out to grow a little. And Helen had just played right into it. Without knowing what Layla wanted in return though, Helen was still a little leery of the idea of a computer in the house.
            Just what was it that Layla hoped to get out of it would continue to bother Helen for a while. She couldn’t imagine that this was pay back for something Layla already had.
            “Come on you two! Lay off an old man and his troubles! Look! Look at the TV! That guy caught a fish!”

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 Moving along. Galen had his turn being questioned by Buck, now it’s Layla’s turn. I loved that she loves dragons. Lol. Normally, I really don’t like shooting anything full moon night. That light is just awful. But they did this all autonomously and I couldn’t resist.


  1. I wet myself.

    Galen panicking over laptops, you putting things like "All this hoopla over a machine was beyond her", Buck asking Layla if she was going to elope with Anthony, Layla being a little manipulative devil, Helen burning things (I loled so hard when I saw that pic in the actual story!)...
    What a wild ride!

    So... Will they get a computer? If they do will it open the world up to Galen and get him away from 'the Bitch'? And will Helen burn it, and Buck end up passed out on the doorstep again? Is Layla really going to travel, or was the island idea a double bluff?

    Also, I totally forgot Buck was an elder. I read the bit where he sits down, the picture wasn't on screen yet. I scrolled down a little and was like "who the...? Oh yeah..." :'(

    1. lol! You'll just have to see coming up what all is going on and what will happen. You'll see the answers to all of those questions in the coming chapters. I promise.
      Aw. Yes. Buck is an elder still. He will be for the rest of his sim days. lol
      Helen and her technophobia trip me out! I love it when she walks into a room and someone is watching the tv. One of the tantrums she throws it sounds like she says "Aw! Sniggle Fritz!" I laugh every time and sometimes do it just to see if she'll say it again.

  2. I want an island and a dragon, too.
    LOL, though, with Helen threatening to burn things with fire...maybe Layla doesn't need a dragon. Or maybe she to fight off Helen, lol.

    1. Lol! I think you'd need the dragon just to fight of angry Helen! :D The dragon love was so random and I loved it. Loved it! I've never had a sim have that in their speech bubble before and it made me so happy!

    2. Sims with the childish trait talk about dragons all the time. Otherwise, it is pretty rare. Fairies will use it in their 'tell fairy tale' interaction.
      I always love seeing it, too.

    3. Oh that's interesting! I didn't know that! She doesn't have the childish trait, though so I must have just gotten lucky.
      Maybe she's wanting a computer to read your Summerdream blog at home where she can drool over beefy, yummy dragons in private. I must have just missed the memo to write that in. lol

  3. Well played, Layla, well played. hehe, it probably *would* get Galen away from Arden a little more. The whole impromptu conversation was pretty funny--but the whole dragon and island thing gave me more ideas for Layla and ouroboros is a dragon, after all :D She couldn't exactly own Ouroboros, but maybe she could one day own a resort there.

    I still wanna know what she's gonna do with her 'boyfriend'!

    1. It's coming! I swear! I'm going to post Monday and Wednesday this week, so we'll even see Anthony once or twice before the crazy starts.
      Ooooohhh! I didn't know that about Ouroboros! That's awesome that I did that on accident! Actually, I didn't on the island bit. I knew what I was doing with that one. lol. There's even more of that coming up, too!

  4. Love the discussion between Layla and Buck, and Helen's reaction to the suggestion of a computer was hilarious!

    1. I could hardly believe the faces she pulled! And Galen played along So wonderfully. lol. I may still be using poses for some scenes but you've got to admit that what they do spontaneously is often far better!

  5. What a funny chapter! I love Helen's crazy aversions to computers. Other electronics are fine...but computers? NO WAY! LMAO.

    1. Actually, she usually throws the best fits if the TV is on when she's in the room. She has one that sounds like she cries "SniggleFritz!" I love it! Though the radio is ok. I do not get that one.

  6. ^^ Oh, well, the radio doesn't have a secret recording device to monitor your life for the government. Televisions are much easier because we all stare so openly at the screens. It's Behind the screens that we need to fear.
    Makes sense, don't it? :P

    So, other than the b.s. I just jokingly typed up in response to your response up there, I'm a little confused. It's okay, really. I can be a little confused. I'm still freaking sick. Been sick for over a month now. But they getting a computer or not?
    And yeah, it was probably faulty wiring. Good gracious, Helen would go ballistic in my step-father's office! He not only has 3 computers going at once, but an entire SERVER for something or other. He does Internet security, crazy smart. However, it really, really can get hot in there, even with his liquid cooling doodah stuff. (Real technical terms here) Helen would be convinced the house would burn to the ground at any second!

    I hope, like many others, that they do get a computer, mostly for Galen to get away from Arden.

    1. Ssshhhh! Don't tell Helen that! LOL

      Oh no! Being sick sucks. :(
      My dad works on computers from home, too. And his office is southfacing in Mississippi so he had a separate a/c system installed just for that room. Even then, it still struggles on some days. Crazy how hot all those things can get!

      They are. I think the confusion clears up in a chapter or two, but yeah. They will, and for just that reason. To see if Galen can loosen Arden's talons a little bit.