Windowless, sparsely decorated, and dimly lit, the Belues’ new home was hardly promising. Daisy retched at the sight of it. She would have been safe in Sunset Valley. A spacious, grand manor, gloriously burning against the sunrise would have awaited her at the end of each leisurely day, cementing her thousands into the watercolor sky. If only Thornton hadn’t been married, she thought sourly as she followed Young Watson into the forlorn house.
The kitchen was empty aside from a rusty stove, absurdly loud refrigerator, crusty counters, and a crotchety, ancient table. The living room was nonexistent. Daisy’s jaw nearly smashed into the floor. Young Watson and Scarlett passed her smoothly, entering the back room together. Lips firmly pursed, Daisy followed.
Young Watson stood in the corner, flipping the pages of an antique leather bound book and occasionally glancing at the vacant cauldron to his left. Scarlett stood in the center of the room, hip cocked to the side, hand impatiently resting at her waist. “-so you don’t know what you’re mixing?” she was saying, and “Pixie sticks, cough syrup, and mushrooms.” Young Watson was responding, and Daisy decided she had had enough.
“You realize that this house is empty?” asked Daisy, acid dripping from her tongue to the hardwood floor. Scarlett let out a low whistle.
“Obviously,” said Young Watson. “Do you take me for an imbecile?”
“Young Watson’s got it all figured out,” said Scarlet. “Just because you’re not living like Princess Peach today doesn’t mean that it won’t get better later.”
“He just said that he doesn’t know what he’s mixing!” cried Daisy. “And besides, Princess Peach gets kidnapped by Bowser!”
“And lives in a goddamn castle,” laughed Scarlett. “We’ve to do this. It’s not like Young Watson’s any good at public relations, right Young Watson?”
Young Watson nodded his approval. “I don’t want to talk to them. That’s up to you guys.”-he paused before barking out their instructions-“Daisy, Scarlett, I want you to spread the word. Get everybody talking. Remind them that the world’s ending. Play up their fears, their vanity. Flirt a little, if you have to.”
“Scarlett won’t have a problem with that,” hissed Daisy.
“I’ll only flirt with people my age,” retorted Scarlett, rolling her eyes. ”We should assign Daisy to men fifty plus.”
“Too narrow,” stated Young Watson pointedly, as if reciting a well known fact. “You forgot to figure in wallet size, as well. I think that’s more important than the age.”
“Very funny,” said Daisy scathingly. “Do you really expect me to go spread the word now?”
“Yes,” said Young Watson. “The faster we get clients, the faster we’ll get modern plumbing, and we all like our modern plumbing.”
Swallowing her pride, Daisy agreed to help spread the word. A shower sounded much better than sulking in her bare room. “I’ll take the tavern,” said Scarlett. “You get the lounge, and I’ll meet you there when I’m finished.”
The women squandered the last of their money on separate cabs. As she climbed into the cab, Scarlett breathed a sigh of relief. Ever since high school, Daisy and Scarlett had barely been able to have a conversation without some sort of scathing insult, throwaway accusation, and occasional screaming match. It’s not my fault she’s a gold digging neurotic, thought Scarlett crossly. The cab screeched to a stop outside the tavern; Scarlett thanked the driver graciously.
Stepping into the tavern’s bright lights, Scarlett spotted her first target right away. He possessed the hairline of a forty year old, and the clothes of a twenty year old. Looking at his rapidly receding hairline, Scarlett decided that he probably didn’t have any friends, and therefore he was prime bait for advertising. With newfound knowledge at his disposal, he’d try to wow the other tavern patrons-Scarlett wouldn’t have to do any work at all. Putting on a worried face, Scarlett approached him. “Have you been watching TV?” she asked him, green eyes wide.
“I haven’t anyone to watch it with,” said the man mournfully. “It’s hard to make friends when you’re prematurely balding.”
“I’m so sorry,” replied Scarlett, stifling a yawn. “But certainly you’ve seen this advertisement at the bar! The one about the end of the world?”
He thought for a moment, and then answered with a question. “The end of the world?”
“If we don’t start curing supernaturals”-Scarlett’s voice dropped to a whisper-“the whole planet’s going to go boom-kadda-boom. Thankfully, I’ve heard rumors of a cure.”
“Thank God!” cried the man. “Where is it found?”
Scarlett slipped him a card with the Belue family name, address, and her telephone number. “Be sure to spread the word. We wouldn’t want the world ending on us, would we?”
It’s not the end of the world, thought Daisy weakly, if he has a few wrinkles. His suit reeked of luxury, and his beard spoke of a wealth that defied common courtesy. He lacked Thornton’s chiseled jaw and burning eyes, but claimed a certain security and lonely availability that Thornton couldn’t dream of. The facial hair betrayed his kingly, yet empty bed. Daisy would relieve him from his solitude-for a hefty price. “Hi,” she said, smiling uncomfortably. Introductions had never been her forte. “I’m Daisy.”
“Chester,” he replied. “I like yer frock.”
As Daisy opened her mouth to reply, Scarlett entered the room. A shuffling, wild-eyed werewolf approached her immediately; Daisy could barely hold back a smirk. “Thank you,” she said a little too loudly. “It’s designer, but so is your suit, right?”
“Yep,” said Chester, clearing his throat. “It most certainly is.”
Scarlett rolled her eyes and feigned gagging. “Excuse me,” she said to the werewolf. She’d already informed him about their fledgling business, and he’d solemnly agreed to stop by the next night. “I think I need a drink.”
Without an apology, she stepped around the werewolf and to the bar. Scarlett poured herself a glass. It was odd, she thought suddenly, the Moonlight Falls tavern lacked somebody at the counter. Any decent tavern should have at least three barmaids, each one prettier than the last to concentrate the customers on their ascending beauty rather than the quality of their liquor.
Eyeing a well groomed, brooding vampire, Scarlett set down her glass. She crossed the room to him and let her eyes soak in his exposed collarbones, tousled hair, and puffy lips. “Have you heard about the apocalypse?” she asked, voice low, woozy.
“Yes,” said the vampire gravely. “The end is inevitable, isn’t it?”
“Not quite,” said Scarlett. With a wink, she added, “The cure’s at my place. Would you like to come back and see?”
The vampire whistled a forgotten tune, grinned widely, and nodded. Skepticism stood no chance against the promise of love. “Hey, Daisy!” shouted Scarlett. “This gentleman has just offered us a ride home.”
Daisy tore herself away from Chester, and head bowed low, joined Scarlett and the vampire. “I’d get a ride myself,” hissed Daisy, “if we could afford the damn fare.”
Scarlett rolled her eyes. “Soon, Daisy. Soon.”
Very soon, thought Young Watson as he poured a vial of sludge he’d discovered in the backyard into the rusty cauldron. He stirred the liquid furiously and tried not to breathe through his nose. The front door slammed shut. “Hurry!” Young Watson muttered. “You can’t lose your profit!”
The cauldron belched a puff of foul smoke, and Young Watson closed his eyes, smiling to himself. Was there anything that he couldn’t do? “I don’t think so,” answered Young Watson.
He marched from the study only to be greeted by a chorus of climbing screams and a horrified Daisy. “Young Watson!” she wailed. “Isn’t it horrible?”
He grabbed a plate of waffles and sat down beside her. He wolfed them down as if he hadn’t eaten for a week, and spoke between hurried gulps. “Mostly annoying,” he replied.
“It’s repulsive! If Scarlett had any manners, she’d keep her climaxes to herself,” said Daisy indignantly.
“That is impossible,” said Young Watson. Suddenly, the house went silent.
“Great,” sighed Daisy. “When do you suppose they’ll start round two?”
To her surprise, the vampire emerged from Scarlett’s bedroom. “I’m ready for my cure,” he said pleasantly. Young Watson grinned.
“Now if you’ll just stand in front of the door,” said Young Watson, “right there, yes.”
He threw the elixir to the floor at the vampire’s foot, and a harsh blue mist enveloped the creature. Blinking his eyes in confusion, the vampire coughed, inhaling the fumes, and then yawned. “How long does this take to work?” he asked groggily.
“A year,” said Young Watson confidently. “That will be $1,000 please.”
Another day came, bringing with it the promise of another thousand dollars. The morning whirled past uneventfully, skimming over lunch and breakfast with the minimal interest of a lumberjack in a antique store. It was not until dinner and the dawn of the full moon that the snowball began rolling down the hill.
“Rose,” admonished Daisy, “I know one is supposed to devour a good book, but I’m sure whoever said that didn’t mean literally.”
“I love romance novels,” mumbled Rose, nearly incoherently. “They’re delicious.”
“They’re pure, sticky fluff,” said Young Watson. “They must taste like marshmallows.”
“Like couch, actually,” said Rose.
“We’d be getting a couch,” said Daisy sourly, “if Scarlett didn’t have to pay the stupid bills.”
Outside, Scarlett scribbled her signature on their utilities bill. Blissfully unaware of the werewolf, she ground the pen into the paper, desperately willing it to spew an extra spurt of ink. After the unattended tavern, she doubted that Moonlight Falls had a general store, or even a lonely gas station to purchase a new pen at.
The werewolf squinted and shivered; his muscles rippled beneath his wrinkled lab coat. The moon beat down on his burgeoning beard, and illuminated the yellow gleam behind his ghostly eyes. He gazed hard at Scarlett from behind his low hanging bangs. Her bob spoke of a daring sexuality, her green eyes of a reckless self-confidence, and her clothes of a wealth past its expiration date. His stomach churned. He’d known her type-all flaunt and no tangible purpose. Useless, careless women using up useless, careless men.
Still, he couldn’t help but admire the curve of her breast, the glow of her thighs… They captured his imagination as if a masterfully woven tale told over a seductive fire. His bit his lip, wincing at the salty river of blood flowing under his restless tongue. “Shit,” muttered the werewolf and Scarlett jumped, nearly dropped her bills.
“I’m sorry,” she said shakily. “I was so deep into the bills that I mustn’t have seen you there. You’re here for the cure, aren’t you?”
His eyes crawled from her breasts to her mouth. Soft, pink, utterly deplorable. He hated her, yet he saw everything beautiful in her, as if she had bloomed into a poisonous butterfly. “Yes.”
“My brother’s just finishing up dinner,” said Scarlett. “He’ll be out in a moment.”
A pause stretched through the darkness; Scarlett shifted her weight from foot to foot, and her emerald eyes darted from the door to the werewolf. The night closed in around her. “You don’t like me, do you?” asked the werewolf, breaking the gap between their words.
“I, um, wouldn’t know,” said Scarlett uncomfortably. The werewolf’s face had begun to contort and sprout a new layer of hair. She felt as if she were about to vomit, but could not place why. ”I hardly know you.”
A miserable human being, thought the werewolf. He was certain she’d slept with men she knew less. She was wicked to the core, but yet those breasts rising gently with the rush of each new breath… He had to wrench his eyes away, reclaiming her frightened face. “Correct,” he said gruffly.
“Look,” said Scarlett quickly, taking a step back. “Here comes Young Watson.”
“He doesn’t look young,” said the werewolf. “He looks older than you.”
Ignoring his comment (The Belues loathed having their traditions questioned), Scarlett began walking briskly towards the house, eyes to the ground, arms wrapped around her body. Young Watson raised his eyebrows. He would ask her about it later, he decided. Business came first. “Hello,” he said to the werewolf. “Money first.”
Charm would never go on Young Watson’s résumé. Begrudgingly the werewolf handed over his money, and drank in the fumes of an odd, misty elixir. He sniffed deeply, wondering why it tasted strangely like old water. Pondering this over, the werewolf bid Young Watson goodbye, and continued on his way.
Business exploded as the weeks spun on. Witches brought their children, their sisters, their husbands, and their wives. Werewolves brought the whole pack, and vampires the whole coven. Fairies came alone, humming tingling songs. They were Young Watson’s favorites. Sweet promises of knowledge and solitude danced from their lips, and Young Watson drank in it all, thirsting for more language, more numbers, more facts, more answers. More, more, more. He thrived on their mystical, unearthly kisses; they lured him to his bed, and he wanted nothing more than to oblige. It almost hurt to mislead them, but the green bills bursting from Young Watson’s pockets more than made up for his ethical ache.
Sex was not a matter of love or passion to Young Watson. The knowledge that accompanied was much better than any pleasure he derived from the fairy form. He loved their encyclopedic minds, and they loved his unshakeable pride. In the mind of a fairy, they and Young Watson were of the same mold; only one lacked the touch of nature’s magic. Naturally, Young Watson disagreed. He voiced his concern over the dinner table. “They have wings,” he said, “and I do not. Therefore, we are not cut from the same stone.”
“You think so?” asked Scarlett, chuckling. “You think too literally, Young Watson.”
“Chili isn’t chilly,” huffed Rose.
“No,” said Young Watson, voice quavering. Steam shot from his ears and his face began to swell. “In fact it’s…
“Way to go, Dragon Breath,” laughed Scarlett. A rush redder than her name bloomed from her throat to her cheeks, and her eyes widened. Flames burst from her mouth towards the eldest Belue child. Rose merely blinked and thought of sheep before taking another bite.
“Who’s Dragon Breath now?” taunted Young Watson, waggling his eyebrows.
“Not me,” said Rose plainly. She gulped, and her jaw dropped. Her face flushed scarlet. “Oh no.”
She had tempted fate, and fate smacked the alien girl with a middle finger to the throat. Fire spewed from open mouth and scorched the table. Thankfully, Young Watson had managed to save enough money between furniture and cab fares to pay for a new table. They all laughed merrily and tossed the chili con carne into the trash. The bank could support them, and they would support each other. “We’re all we have,” Young Watson said, and Scarlett and Rose heartily agreed. With a toast and a smile, the three siblings departed for separate rooms.
Rose went to her room, changed clothes, knelt on the cold floor, and began to tend her tomatoes. Soon, she hoped, she’d be able to feed their family without even leaving the house. After a few minutes of pruning, she stood back, admired her work, and crawled into bed. Rose was asleep before the moon hit the sky. She dreamed of romance novels, of blooming vegetables, but most importantly, she dreamed of fields of sheep.
Daisy was at the bar, drinking and forgetting. Chester hadn’t answered her calls for a week, but she’d spotted a handsome man on the dance floor, penniless and alluring. Another gulp down and she waltzed to him, glorious and alone in her drunken abandon.
Young Watson squeezed his eyes shut. He would remember this recipe if he had to cut his heart out with a plastic spoon. “Beneficial to fairies” read the text. For a moment, he wondered if he was beginning to care for the fragile creatures, but then shook his head. It was business-nothing more.
Scarlett sat at the piano, tapping out a long lost melody. Her grandfather used to hum it, she faintly remembered, while he was assembling the pieces of his failed robot. She smiled to herself. Grandpa Bender would have liked to see them now-he loved making money in illegitimate ways, and she was certain he would be proud of his grandchildren’s trade. In a way, Scarlett was proud of them, too. They’d lifted themselves from the claws of poverty, and through clever use of common alchemy, were rapidly advancing to the luxuries they aspired to become. “All is well,” whispered Scarlett to herself, resting her fingers on the keys. “All is well.”
Footsteps pounded up the front steps, and Scarlett glanced behind her. They paused before making their way to the front door. The doorbell rang once, twice, three times. Scarlett rose to answer it.
Next time…IS A MYSTERY!!!
Voxtrot – “Raised By Wolves”
And now it’s heir poll time! The post will be up in a few minutes on here, Sims and Friends, and the forum. I’m going to keep the poll open while I’m in St. Louis for a few days, and hopefully I can get the next chapter out during January. It’s going to be a busy month, but fingers are crossed!
Merry Christmas from me and the Belues! (: (or a PC happy holidays!)
Also Rose got her ass handed to her by Watson’s fairy for no apparent reason. I was playing with Daisy for two minutes, glanced over at the kitchen, and found a fight going on! I guess there’s some sort of secret fairy alien rivalry going on here.