Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Chapter 2.45- Burnt Toast

          All in all, for Mariah, the day had turned out to be pretty good. Roger hadn’t cried at all that afternoon during class, which meant she could hear everything Mrs.Byrd said. Since she could hear, she was able to finish all of her work on time. Finishing all of her work meant she had no homework today. And Mrs.Byrd had even praised her on how well her work was done. She got praised a lot for her work, (probably the teacher trying to ‘build her up,’) but it meant a lot today since it probably also meant Mrs.Byrd wouldn’t tattle on her for fighting. Put it all together and Mariah was feeling the happiest she’d been in a very long time.

          Too bad the feeling didn’t last. With a long way to go before she reached the front door she heard it. The raised and angry voices coming from inside made her stop in her tracks, stomach twisting as a scowl crept onto her face. Of all the days this was just her luck. Why couldn’t she ever be happy for more than a moment?

          The sight of her mother cowering in the kitchen met her the moment she walked in the door. Though she wasn’t yet used to seeing Layla home again it was still a relief to see her instead of Abuella Sabria. Too bad she could hear her.

As quietly as she could Mariah crept closer to the kitchen hoping she could catch her mother’s eye. Instead, Sabria’s tirade began to escalate and she began to be afraid of getting caught in the cross fire.
          So Mariah averted her eyes and walked on hoping to be ignored this time. She’d had enough of Abuella Sabria’s attentions the past few years her mother was away.

          Even though she’d reached the safety of her room Mariah remained tense. Her eyes swept the room searching intently for signs of anything that might have been disturbed. While her grandmother had lived in the house with her and her older sister Tiburcia she’d searched the girls rooms regularly, looking for who knows what.
          Tiburcia had moved out the moment she was old enough, her formerly good relationship with their grandmother destroyed. But that was also the moment Sabria latched onto Mariah, doing her utmost to ‘See.’

          She’d find even the tiniest bit of skin and then start going on and on about what the future would hold. How terrible Mariah would be, how she’d break her grandmothers heart and didn’t she love her grandmother? Didn’t she think lying was terrible? And how that because Sabria could See how Mariah really was that she’d never be able to fool her grandmother.

          Mariah clambered up onto her bed, listening to the continued sounds of Sabria’s rants as they drifted up the stairs.
          Now she was onto how Layla had taken the wrong course in her attempts to save Ignacio. Mariah snorted and rolled her eyes. The old fraud.
          Smirking, she reached down between the mattress and the wall and fished out a book she’d checked out from the library time and time again the past few months.

          At first, she’d checked out ‘Seances and Sixth Sense Abilities’ trembling in dread lest Abuella Sabria find out. That feeling lasted maybe a week, that was when the book finally started making sense to her. There was no such thing as a Seer, or a Psychic, or a Fortune Teller. It was all logic. Logic and paying attention to your surroundings, what was told to you before, and details others over looked.
Anyone could ‘predict’ something. And she’d been doing it to her classmates with varying degrees of success for the last week. Experimenting to see what could happen, and what her classmates reactions were.

          And here was a new nugget! If you could be subtle enough, you could get those gullible enough to believe in your psychic abilities to act upon it themselves!
          Mariah silently chortled, rocking in mirth on her bed until a new wave of angry voices reached her. What if Abuella Sabria had done just that to get Layla to kill her uncle and father?
          Slowly she lowered the book, a sneer curling her lip, fresh hatred for her Abuella surging through her.

          Closing the book she allowed herself to listen to the exchange between Sabria and her mother for a moment. As she concentrated on the words she tried to apply the tricks from the book to what she overheard.
          Then she recognize tip number 3. If you’re incorrect, turn the situation. Perhaps the Receiver didn’t properly handle the situation. The Seer is never wrong.
          Rolling her eyes, Mariah shook her head wondering how much longer Sabria would continue. Layla wasn’t really responding and Mariah hoped Sabria would finally tire of putting down her mother.

          And then she heard the happy sound of the front door slamming followed by silence. That didn’t take nearly as long as she’d thought it would. Perhaps now she could go back to being happy.
          Sounds of pots and pans clanging on the stove confirmed that the calm would continue and she hopped off of her bed ready for a little play time.

          Mariah played happily in her room, rejoicing in the toys Sabria usually wouldn’t let her play with since she spent most of her time grounded. But when a strange smell reached her nostrils she decided she’d better to down to see what her mother was up to.
          In the kitchen, Layla sat silently and still at the bar while a steady trickle of smoke seeped out of the oven.

          Mariah gasped.
          “Mom! Something’s burning!”
          Layla didn’t move.
          “Mooo-oooom!” Mariah yelled, and she ran over to shake her mother.
          “Wha- Oh! Oh oh no!”
          Smoke poured out as Layla opened the oven, making both of them cough. Mariah went and opened windows while Layla pulled whatever was in there out. 

          Finally, Mariah went to sit down watching as Layla scratched her head over the plate of whatever had survived the oven. The first time Layla had burnt something Mariah had ran to grab it out of the oven just as the social worker had walked in the door for a routine check in to make sure she was still being looked after. Mariah had barely managed to convince Mrs.Jensen she was alright and that it was a one time thing. It couldn't happen again.
          “Mom?” She asked tentatively.
          There was no answer. Instead, Layla continued to mutter over the plate of waffles.
          Mariah sighed as her stomach grumbled. She really hoped the waffles weren’t too badly burnt. She was kind of tired of calling for pizza, and breakfast for dinner was always a treat.

          When Layla finally came and sat next to her Mariah had a brief hope that perhaps her mother might be a little more together and might talk to her. That hope died a swift death though, when Layla sat stony and still.
          “Mom?” It took everything she had to break into that reverie, but she had to know how together her mother was today, especially after her grandmother’s barrage.
          “Mom?” A little louder this time and it made Layla jump as she turned to survey Mariah with wonder in her eyes.

          “Mom, are the waffles okay to eat for dinner?”
          Layla blinked and looked around.
          “The waffles didn’t burn. It was the toast I had under them,” she finally admitted. “The toast burnt.”
          Mariah sighed in relief before she became confused.

          “Toast?” Mariah asked. “Why did you have toast under the waffles?”
          “Daddy loves toast for breakfast, and the waffles would have made the toast soggy so I put it on the bottom rack. He’ll freak out if he finds out I burned it. So don’t tell him when he comes in okay, Tiburcia?”
          Mariah’s shoulders slumped. Her mom wasn’t here today. For a moment tears pricked her eyes and the corners of her mouth trembled. The last two days she’d had her mother and things were going so good! Why did Abuella Sabria have to ruin everything?

          “No,” Mariah was able to answer at last. “No, I won’t tell that you burned the toast.”
          Layla grinned as Mariah turned away, angry, sullen and disappointed.
          “I knew I could count on you not to tell him about burnt toast,” she said cheerily. “Now then, get your breakfast while it’s hot. You want to eat it before the bus arrives!”

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

So was anyone confused there? If you were I’m incredibly sorry.
          The quick n’ dirty version is Sabria was there yelling at Layla, blaming her for the death of both of her sons (in italics since I know y'all are going to ask.) Mariah then snuck upstairs and informed us that Tibi has already grown to YA and moved out. She also informed us that Sabria used Mariah as an Object for her Sight and proceeded to drop hints and clues that Mariah scoffed at (We'll find out later just what Sabria Saw when using Mariah as her medium.) Mariah also found a skeptics book about Seers that she’s using to shore up her disgust with her grandmother. Finally- Layla is just broken. She has good days and bad days, and on the bad days she can’t remember the time or the year or who people really are in an attempt to block the world out. I hated doing this one, but but but… It’ll work out in the end.

          And finally finally, because I want to keep this as transparent as possible, strictly speaking this is no longer Appaloosa Plains. I still love the town layout, and the look and feel but the small animal spawners were driving me nuts, as were the obscene amount of moonstone spawners, and then anything I had in town Showtime related kept glitching and lagging my game. So I shipped her into CAW, moved all the gem/metal/insect spawners around (since Layla is a 'collector' I've got their locations all memorized and had gotten bored with it,) deleted a few spawners, added a handful from the newer EPs (lesser value only,) deleted everything Showtime related, deleted that ginormous Equestrian Center in favor of a Rabbit Hole Rug at the training grounds, added some empty lots, fixed some routing and broken roads, then Portered the entire population over to my New Appaloosa Plains. So you'll start to see a lot of buildings not normally found in AP; one was the school last chapter and there will be 2 new buildings next chapter. Just wanted you to know.


  1. *sigh* Arguments at home aren't going to make it any better for anyone. It made me a little sad that Sabria was going off on Layla. And sadder still for a child to hope to be ignored because all that's going on. And poor Layla. As if she isn't already broken enough.

    Wow, I didn't realize Layla had been gone *years*. Mariah must be getting close to being a teen by now. WTH was Sabria searching their rooms for? Uh oh, Sabria's had more visions, this time of Mariah. You know I'm going to pester you about what, exactly, she's seen. I wonder that she can't see, though, the kind of influence and disturbance she's having in Mariah's life. Really, telling a child that she's going to be a terrible person doesn't seem right. Nevermind if said child fantasized about killing people back when she was a toddler, of course.

    I love how you decorated Mariah's room, btw.

    Now this is an interesting twist, Mariah's views on Sabria's Sight, and how Mariah is making predictions based on logic. Oh shit. Now that's really twisted to think Sabria might have intentionally brought about Iggy's death. Not that I think she did, I mean, but that Mariah even so much as had that thought. She's shaping up to be very manipulative, isn't she?

    Well thank goodness for toast! Dinner is saved! Breakfast? Man, it's tough seeing Layla like this. I had no idea she was *this* out of it. Sabria has no business yelling at her in this state. ugh. Layla doesn't even know what's real and what isn't! Where the hell does Sabria get off acting this way?

    I don't see how you're going to make this work out in the end!

    1. Yes, very close to a teen. In fact I think she's got only 1 and a half chapters before we see her as a teen.

      Sabria feels incredibly guilty over all that has happened. Only instead of feeling remorse with her guilt, she's hefting it onto others. She searched the house initially to find something, anything, that would point to Layla premeditating what happened. After that, it was just compulsion to make sure anything she Sees about the girls is true. She's not used to being not entirely correct on something so big and really doesn't want to lose her touch since it's also her livelihood.

      As to what she's been telling Mariah, she's trying to intimidate Mariah into taking another path. Since her coaxing of Layla backfired so badly, she's going direct. And yeah, lol. Mariah might not be a good person to try to intimidate.

      Aw, thanks!

      Yup. Mariah's child's mind is looking for the simplest solution, as well as a way to exonerate her mother. She was there and would have noticed Layla's hesitation. She also knew what it felt like to be standing there so helpless as Ignacio died. So for her, to shift blame to Sabria, and then to make it fit while Sabria was acting like she was was a simple step. And there's always plenty of skeptics out there to help bolster her views. Mariah is going to be very manipulative. She's going to be someone who likes to be in control 100% of the time.

      Yeah, Layla is in a bad way. She knows what's real when she decides to accept the past. On the days where she blocks it out, she blocks out everything. Now to hope that she fights the block or life for Mariah will be really interesting indeed.

      Ah, but you will! lol We're still getting to know Mariah at this point. We'll start weaving her story in a chapter tor two.

  2. Oh wow I felt just as tense as Mariah was when she heard the arguments in her home. I was thinking 'oh no what's happening now'. I was a little relieved to know that it was only Sabrina arguing with Layla, I mean that's not good either but at least no one was getting hurt physically.

    Mariah reading that skeptics book was very intriguing and I can't wait to see what's going to happen in connection to that.

    Man I thought the house was going to catch fire! I'm glad it was only burnt toast. Just scrape off the burnt part Layla it will be ok. I was sad to see her so out of it and even called Mariah Tiburcia. I really felt for Mariah in that scene. :(

    Great chapter.

    1. Yeah, she left the physical violence of the playground for the verbal violence of home. I'm not too sure she'd find either one better than the other right now though.

      That book has a lot to do with a lot of who she is and what she thinks of the rest of the world as a whole, her mother, her sister, and Roger excepted.

      Nah, Sabria's temper tantrum was enough excitement for this chapter. lol. Yeah, it's awful that Mariah is going to have to get used to that, and that Layla is that way. But... legacy. Nothing can be peaches and cream. That would be boring.

      Thank you!

  3. Mariah really is shaping into a most interesting heir.
    I really loved Sabria, but the heavy guilt trip she's putting on Mariah all the time is just sad and wrong. And no doubt fueling Mariah's interpretation of events. I mean, Sabria is obviously willing to manipulate people with her sight, so it's natural that Mariah could see Layla as being manipulated that way too.

    1. Sabria is just dealing with her feelings of guilt in a very reactionary way. Reactionary because she was quite impotent when it came to all of that.

      Yup! Exactly. And Mariah seeing this manipulation and what it gains Sabria is keen to try the same thing, though in her mind she's doing the exact opposite. Her views on the world are more than a little skewed, and how she lives her life will be too.

  4. Awe, poor Mariah! I feel so sorry for her, after losing her father. (I know that happened two chapters ago but I caught up a few days ago so...)
    I was a little confused when Layla started talking about how Ignacio liked toast, and honestly wondered if he was still alive somehow. but that last thing with her calling Mariah Tiburcia... Has Layla gone slightly insane? Well, I don't mean insane insane but, yeah. Do you know what I mean?
    Anyway, great chapter!

    1. Hi! Welcome and Congrats on making it through my ridiculously long generation 2!

      She's certainly had a tough go of life early on hasn't she?

      Yes. Layla has gone slightly insane, you're quite right. Basically, what it amounts to is that Layla has days where she accepts what's going on, and what has happened. On those days she's defeated and depressed, but she's aware. When she can't handle that anymore she blocks it all out. On those days she's distant and confused and, yes, slightly insane. That's a very apt description of what's going on. And remember, Layla has bad at avoiding responsibility and unpleasantness instead of meeting it head on. So this is also something not quite new.

      Aw! Thank you!

  5. I made it! Finally!

    I LOVE MARIAH'S ROOM! So bright and colourful. Doesn't match her much at all! ha.

    :'( Layla. It really is sad to see her like that. It makes perfect sense that she'd 'go' like she has, though. Survivors guilt, plus the fact she didn't pull the trigger soon enough to save him. She must've really loved him, more than she was willing to show most of the time. I hope she can have more good than bad soon. Is she recieving help?

    Wow, Sabria put Mariah through a lot! Sounds like she somehow blames the girls, too? Or maybe it was just that they both have Iggy's genes? I don't know, but she clearly wasn't treating them fairly. I used to like Sabria, just thought she was a bit of a busy body, but now I don't like her at all. Surely she knows how Layla is? Why shout at her like that?

    Mariah doesn't believe that Sabria can See, then? I wonder how that will affect them and their relationship in future.

    1. LOL! Here I'd got through so much trouble to pick out muted shades and deep dark colors for her room. Ah well. I think we've long since proven that my design sense is questionable at best. HA!

      Indeed, Layla really did love Ignacio. She loved him very very much and depended on him almost totally. And don't forget that she's never been good at coping with loss, preferring to lock it away instead of dealing with it. And as for if she's receiving help, we'll get to hear about that from Mariah next chapter.

      No, Sabria is just frantically trying to make sure everything is going to go alright for them. Her methods are questionable right now because she's still very very bitter about the loss of her sons and how all of that came about. She blames herself to a degree, only she's refusing to face that guilt and is instead hoisting it off onto those around her. And she actually doesn't know just how bad Layla is. Partly because when Layla was incarcerated she wasn't as bad as she is now. And right now there is no way Mariah will let on how bad Layla has gotten. So it's really still her busy body coming out, only with a very bitter woman behind it.

      No. Mariah believes it's all fluff and pretend. Why? Because it's easier to find something to blame with a someone she already dislikes attached. And that could indeed be a big part of why Sabria then rode Mariah so hard.

  6. Oh dear, poor Mariah and poor Layla.

    I'm not liking Sabria at all right now, there's no way she should be treating Layla the way she is, expecially given how broken Layla is at the moment. If anyone (other than Raul) "caused" this situation it's her for telling Layla about what she saw.

    I'm rather worried by the book Mariah's reading there, and even more by the way she's reacting to it. Mind you, there's a grain of truth in some of what the book says even if you take precognition to be true - a lot of the stories I read which involve it also involve lots of warnings that by acting on what you "see" (or telling others about it) you can in fact inadvertently bring it about. Speaking of which, it appears Sabria's been seeing stuff about Tibi and Mariah, and treating them badly as a result, but the very way in which she's been treating Mariah could almost be designed to push Mariah into fulfilling the little you've told us about what she's claiming to have seen!

    1. Sabria is just acting out of bitterness and guilt. She's not acting like she should be and, to a degree, she knows that. It's why she kept trying to use Tiburcia and Mariah as her Mediums. She was looking for something she could encourage that would be okay. We only heard how she reacted to what she saw about Mariah. Though we she also told us that Sabria and Tiburcia's relationship was destroyed, we don't know over what.

      And I kind of think blame goes a lot of ways in this one. Raul could have been a braver man when he was caught. Or even have stayed true to himself and his cause. Instead it lead him to comfort and riches, and made him into a worse man. Sabria pushed and pushed until someone acted out of worry for her children. Layla reacted as Sabria intended and pushed Ignacio more. Ignacio reacted by seeking the protection that ended up killing his brother. In all- if they had all done as Ignacio had advised many many chapters ago and just lived their lives, perhaps they would all still be living their lives.

      And that is exactly why Mariah is reading that book. She's searching for something grounded to attach to what happened in front of her very eyes. Something to explain how such atrocities could occur.

      Is Sabria consciously pushing Mariah in the right direction for her future? To a degree, she could be. It could also be that Mariah will one day recognize that as well. ;) Nicely done on catching that.

  7. It is interesting how people deal with guilt/death so differently. Layla has completely shut down (I feel so bad for her, I hope she is eventually able to come back to the land of the living) and Sabria turns into Ultra-Control Freak, and Mariah, poor Mariah, she gets the brunt of it. She's just trying to make sense of it all.
    I really like Mariah, she has a lot of depth to her, and makes a great heir. =)

    1. I kind of hope Layla comes back too. But I bet she'll never fully heal or be her old self again. Sabria is just desperate that nothing else bad can happen without her preventing it if she can. Mariah is a lot of fun. She's very observant, she's very quick and sharp, and yet through it all she hasn't lost that sense that there has to be a balance, a justice, in the world. I love how she looks for the reasons behind it all, that's something I really admire about her. She's not just going to accept it at face value like her mom. And yeah, she's proving to be a really fun heir.

  8. I'm jealous you can do all that CAW stuff. I tried that and got so frustrated when I got to the 'routable' and 'un-routable' thingies. I just load everyone I wanna keep in the bin and do a do-over 'hood or outright move them. I have a Champs les Sims base world that includes all the tombs... Talk about lag! That's when I learned ho two really use the sledgehammer tool.

    Poor Mariah. I'll bet Sabria ain't happy, but blaming Lalya won't bring her sons back. She could have forced the situation to happen by being so doom and gloom. I honestly believe that.
    Understandable that Layla is broken. I would be too.

    1. Aw. I'm sorry CAW is a bitch to you. CAW *is* a bitch though. Thank goodness for the sledge hammer tool! xD

      Sabria had a huge hand in making it come about. Most likely Ignacio would have gone along with Raul until he was ready to hang up his fishing pole/nets for good. Sabria also managed to overlook the potential death of *both* of her sons by being so focused on a single outcome. She should have known better than that.

      Yeah. She's very broken, very understandably.

  9. I don't think the explanation in the end was actually necessary - you did a great job showing us everything through Mariah's eyes! A really good chapter yet again!

    I guess Sabria's powers are actually supposed to be real, but I love how Mariah's book cast some doubt onto them and made everythig that happened look a bit ambiguous now. Or maybe I'm just too much of a sceptic!

    That scene when Layla called Mariah Tiburcia choked me up a little :( Things are tough for these ladies now!

    1. Aaah! Sabria and her powers wasn't just a question then, it's a question still. ;) Stay tuned! lol. and hey. Skeptical is awesome. Mariah is skeptical too.

      :( Yeah. Things are truly tough for them both.