"Pelican Town to Sims Town" - A Stardew Valley, Sims 3 Fanfic

emorrillemorrill Posts: 7,472 Member
*UPDATE 4/14/2021* - Many of these beginning chapters have been a little revised and made better on my story blog as I've grown more as a writer. :blush: If you'd like to start reading over there (and make any comments here if you'd like) click HERE to head straight there or click on the link in my Signature. <3 ) Of course it's just fine to stay reading it here too. :)

As always Welcome new readers! :star: I hope you will enjoy this story as much as I've enjoyed writing it.

**This is still an ongoing story at the moment so once you catch up please hit the Star at the top right corner to add this story to your Bookmarks so you can be notified of when I have a new update posted. :) I hope to have this story completed before the end of 2021. 🤞 Only time will tell. ;) Enjoy and thank you again for being here. <3


Hello my fellow Sims 3 simmers. :blush:

This is my new story for the year 2020 and I hope you will enjoy it! :smiley:

If you aren't familiar with Stardew Valley I'll help you get a little familiar with it, and the characters, over the course of this first chapter. ;)

(Gonna type this like I would on my blog since I always copy from here and paste it over there. :p )



Pelican Town to Sims Town
A Stardew Valley Fanfiction

Disclaimer: "Stardew Valley" and it's respective characters in this story are the property of ConcernedApe - creator and game developer. I do not claim these characters as my own, original characters.
*There are some situations and events that will happen in this story that may trigger some unpleasant emotions or memories. As I always like to go for realism in my stories, please read at your own risk.*

Author's Note: This story stems from the gigantic world of my imagination. :) I know that some of you readers are HUGE fans of the "Stardew Valley" game (I love that you're here! <3 ) and most likely have a very deep connection to these characters and how you interpret their personalities, as well as who you think they should date, etc. I have the utmost respect for that and it's why I've done my very best to keep the characters personalities and histories as true to canon as possible. Just as I have my own connections to and feelings about these characters, I hope that in that regard you will greatly enjoy this story regardless of whether you agree with what happens or not. ;)

Before moving on I'd just like to throw in here how Marnie beautifully validates the basic Plot of my story straight from the game itself. :blush:

She asked if my character had met her neighbor, The Wizard, and then said:


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:mrgreen:

**********************


The Characters

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Stardew Valley, here are a couple of charts for you to get familiar with the names and faces of the characters involved in this story. :)

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**********************


Chapter 1


“Once you have completed the quest, then will you return. How long it takes to complete, will depend upon the hearts of each and every one of you…”

“WHAT IS THE QUEST!?”


The Wizard’s smirk and glowing eyes held their attention as the neon green smoke from the cauldron instantly shot upward, slamming into the ceiling before settling down upon them, encircling them, obstructing their view from anyone and everything.

Each person stood alone, trembling as flashes of electricity lit up in every direction within the smoke, as if it had just formed into one giant storm cloud, and they were in the center of it. They weren’t exactly sure what was happening and wondered if they should hold their breath to keep from suffocating. They soon discovered they couldn’t move and even if they could, where would they go? The smoke, or cloud, seemed to stretch on and on into eternity. They couldn’t utter any words either, for no one would hear them. Time seemed to stand still in this…plane of existence or whatever it was.

Soon their eyes closed, just for a few seconds. When they opened again, the thick smoke began to clear. Colors were beginning to appear; revealing various different household objects and decor as they gradually came into view. Another room they found themselves in.

When they felt the ability to move and speak again, each one was so mesmerized at this very unfamiliar place they landed in. They took a look around for a split second before spotting each other. Mouths then dropped. They didn’t appear the way they had always known each other, or themselves, to look. In an instant they all screamed.

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Once the initial shock passed, each girl naturally looked down and began observing herself, frozen in awe over how drastically different she appeared.
“How is this possible?” Maru asked in a barely audible voice.
“We look so…so,” Emily struggled to find the right word, “SMOOTH!”
“Yes!” Leah agreed. “Smooth and slim like a zucchini. This is strange!”
Haley kept uttering “OMG,” over and over again, and then lamented about how her beautiful body and clothes were ruined while the others made small comments about the differences in each other’s appearance. She was the first to speak for all of them by asking, “Where in Stardew Valley are we?”

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“Uhh,” Abigail started, still gazing around in silence trying to piece this mysterious puzzle together. “I think it’s pretty clear we’re not in Stardew Valley anymore…”

Penny gasped loudly in the background, holding her hand to her chest. It was growing tighter by the second, her heart palpitating behind it. She could feel her face growing pale and the blood pounding in her ears. “We’re never going to see Pelican Town again?” she whispered in a developing panic.
Leah turned to her and assured, “Sure we will sweetie. Remember what the Wizard said? If we--“
“My mother will be worried sick when she finds I’ve disappeared!” Penny exclaimed, panting. “She’ll search and search and…I won’t be found and…she’ll drink herself to death!”

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It was no mystery to the residents of Pelican Town that her mother, Pam, was a heavy drinker due to the woes of her past. Penny’s vision blurred as she trembled at the thought and before she (or Leah) could utter another word, her eyes rolled into her head and her body fell onto the floor with a loud thump. Leah gasped, unable to catch her in time.
“Oh! Penny!” Maru exclaimed, holding a hand to her mouth.

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The other three girls instantly turned at the sound and stared at Penny’s seemingly lifeless body with concern.

“Oh my gosh is she okay!?” Emily asked, as Maru crouched down by Penny’s side and took her hand, patting it, hoping to wake her.
“She fainted,” Maru informed, even though everyone knew that. “We can’t leave her here on the floor. Leah, help me get her to a bed.”
“Of course!” Leah said.
Abigail promptly stepped past them to find a bedroom and keep the door open for them while they carried Penny in. Thankfully a large, nicely decorated room with two single beds was only a few feet away.

The two sisters of the group, Haley and Emily, watched in pity as the two carried the sweet and kindhearted tutor to the children of Pelican Town into the room. Both didn’t know her very well, but they knew she was a good person and hoped she’d wake soon and be alright.
“I’m surprised that’s not you passed out in there,” Emily joked to her ever dramatic sister, pointing her thumb in the direction of the room.

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Hand on her hip, Haley scowled at her older sister and said, “Ha, ha.”
Emily’s bright smile then softened into a normal one. “So uh, that hug you gave me a few moments ago…that was quite…surprising.”
Haley’s cheeks flushed a little with embarrassment, but she tried to act casual by shrugging and saying, “Well, uh, you kinda looked a little freaked out so I thought I would, uh, let you know that I’m here too.” She tucked a bit of hair behind her ear.
Emily nodded, still grinning. “It’s almost like you were happy to see me here.”
“Oh shut up,” Haley said, lightly kicking Emily’s shoe. “I’m just happy we don’t have to keep the house clean while mom and dad are away for the time being.”
“We?” Emily corrected. “There was never any ‘we,’ when it came the housecleaning and you know it…”
Haley rolled her eyes and muttered, “Whatevs…”

Back in the bedroom, Maru and Leah looked down upon Penny with a sad look in their eyes. Abigail stood back by the door somewhat listening, but lost in her thoughts.
“Poor girl,” Leah said. “I wish I had caught her before hitting the floor, or better yet noticed that she was having a panic attack!”
“Don’t blame yourself,” Maru said, “we were all a little preoccupied with our anxieties in that moment.”

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“Do you think she’ll wake up soon?”
“I hope so. I’ve never seen a fainting spell last this long…Outside of the movies anyway.”
“Her face sure is sweaty.”
“Yeah,” she observed too, chewing on her lower lip. “If you can find a cold compress somewhere, or even a cool wet rag, that we can place on her forehead maybe that might help her regain consciousness.”

“Hey,” Abigail piped in. “I’m gonna go do a little investigating while you two take care of her alright? Let me know when she wakes up.”
“Will do,” Leah said as she walked on past her heading for the kitchen.

Outside the bedroom Emily approached Abigail just as she closed the door behind her. “Hey, is Penny okay?” she asked her.
“I’m not sure,” Abigail replied with a sigh. “She hasn’t woken up yet and I’m getting this feeling something else is wrong with her…”

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“Oh,” Emily said, an air of melancholy surrounding them. “Well how about I go outside and see what I might be able to find in nature that might help wake her up or calm her nerves. I read this amazing book back home about the healing properties of various plants and I’m sure all that Herbology stuff is the same here.”

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Abigail tried not to roll her eyes as she said, “I doubt herbs are going to help her Emily. If anything she needs a Doctor.”
“Please just…allow me to help,” Emily pleaded with her eyes, longing for something productive to do.

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“Okay…,”Abigail allowed with a sigh.

While Emily skipped away towards the back door, Haley had been studying her face in a mirror on the wall and asked, “Girl, do you know what in Stardew Valley this red spot is on my chin? It’s totally killing my flawless complexion!”
How am I supposed to know!? Abigail exclaimed in her head while approaching her. An investigation of this world and the town is definitely in order! And she was ready to do just that!

But then her stomach growled.

Meanwhile, when Leah returned to the bedroom with a cold rag, Maru sat on the edge of the bed and dabbed at Penny’s forehead with it.

“Why would the Wizard send us to an entirely different world than our own to go on some quest for him?” Leah asked her. “You think he was too chicken to do it himself?”
“No idea,” she replied, only partly paying attention. All she could think about was the well being of her dear friend.
“I knew he meddled with strange magic,” Leah continued, “but I didn’t know he had this kind of power! It’s rather frightening.”
“It really is. Something Mayor Lewis should—“
“Mmm,” the two heard Penny mumble. Their eyes lit up as her eyelids gradually began to open.

“Hey,” Maru softly greeted her with a smile. “You’re awake!”
Penny blinked at her for a second before carefully lifting herself up onto her elbows, groaning from the pain of the fall, to take a look around. Her heart started pounding again. “We’re still here?”
“Yes,” Maru answered.
“So it wasn’t all just a terrible dream?”
“…No.”

Penny then fell back onto the bed and began to hyperventilate again; her eyes darting this way and that. Maru hushed her while squeezing her hand. “It’s okay Penny. Just take some deep breaths,” she said. “You have nothing to fear. We’re all in this together and we’ll help each other do whatever it takes to return home.”

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Penny closed her eyes and shook her head. “No, you don’t understand!” she said with a choke. “I can’t be here. I have to be at home!”
“We know honey,” Leah said. “Your mom will be just fine. Gus will take care of her.”
“No,” Penny said, squeezing the tears out of her eyes now. “It’s not just her. I’m worried about Jas and Vincent. They need me! What will they do without me?”
“They’ll fare just fine,” Maru assured, stroking her cheek. “Relax.”
“I CAN’T RELAX!” she nearly shouted. “That psycho Wizard threw us into this netherworld to go on some ‘quest,’ he didn’t even have the decency to give us any details about and now…I…” she panted, “I mean…we…may never see our family and friends…again. I can’t,” she stopped to catch another breath, “I can’t do this! I’m so…so scared!”
“We’re all scared,” Maru told Penny, dabbing the wet cloth on her forehead again, hoping it’d calm her, “but right now I’m worried about you. I don’t want you passing out again so you need to please try to relax!”
“I’m trying!” she whispered breathlessly, closing her eyes. “But I just…can’t…,” her voice trailed off as her rapid breathing suddenly stopped and her head drooped down toward her chest.

“Penny!” Maru cried out, immediately checking her neck for a pulse. She let out a breath of relief when she felt one, and then gently shook her friend’s shoulder a bit. “Penny? Penny? Oh dear Leah I think she passed out again.” She squeezed at her forehead with her forefingers and expelled a breath.
“Bless her heart,” was all Leah could say. “I didn’t know she had anxiety like this.”
“Me neither,” Maru said, gently brushing away a strand of hair from Penny’s clammy forehead. “I’m not leaving her side until I know she’s stable. If there’s something else you’d rather be doing please go right on ahead. I sure appreciated your help.”
“No, I’ll stick around for a bit,” Leah said. “I need to be sure she’s okay too.”
Maru smiled and turned her gaze back toward Penny.

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Meanwhile, Abigail knew she couldn’t go investigating on an empty stomach. It took about 20 minutes for her to raid the refrigerator, which was miraculously stocked with enough food to last them a few days, and prepare a meal for everyone: chicken salad full of various healthy vegetables and sprinkled with cheese and spices.

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Haley, upon catching a whiff of it, expressed feeling “uber famished” herself and promptly grabbed a plate, while her sister returned “home” from the back door.

“So I got nothing from the plants out there!” Emily disappointingly informed, wiping the sweat from her brow with her arm, “but did you girls notice the garden we have out back? Many of the plants are growing in this giant greenhouse and there’s like every fruit tree you can imagine out there!”
“Gardening. Great!” Haley sarcastically said with a mouth full of food. “I was hoping we’d get away from that…”

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“Interesting,” Abigail thoughtfully said while gripping her chin; fascinated by the Wizard’s unimaginable powers and knowledge that he kept so cleverly hidden from the residents of Pelican Town. She started to wish she’d actually gotten to know him back home. She always had this strange desire to, but her parents, Pierre and Caroline, forbade her to make any contact with him. They said it was for her own safety, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that there was some other reason they were keeping secret from her. Her intuition was unlike any other and no one seemed to take notice of her special gift. Oftentimes she preferred it that way.

In five minutes time Abigail wolfed down the delicious salad and made her way into the bedroom where Penny lay before departing.

“Hey,” she greeted Leah and Maru. “Wow. Penny’s still not awake yet?”
“Oh no, she woke up briefly about a half hour ago,” Leah informed, “but she immediately started panicking again and we tried to calm her, but…she passed out again. Sorry we didn’t tell you.”
“Oh my gosh!” Abigail expressed. “Is that even normal, for someone to pass out twice like that?”
“I don’t know,” Maru replied, coming up from the bed and approaching her, “but something’s wrong with her Abigail and I’m getting really worried. Her pulse is erratic and her face is so pale and sweaty. I’m not sure what to do.” She’d been wracking her brain for minutes trying to remember what the good Doctor Harvey, whom she worked for back home, would do in this case.

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“That’s it!” Abigail declared, throwing one hand up and opening the bedroom door with the other. “I’m going to go find help! There’s gotta be a Doctor around here somewhere. No one is dying in this world, not on my watch!”
Leah’s eyes widened. “Would the Wizard really allow that to happen?”

Abigail froze in her tracks as she met eyes with Leah, and then Maru, within such a depressing silence. “I want to believe he wouldn’t,” she paused, “but we don’t know anything about him, and I don’t think he has any control over here. It’s all up to us to fend for ourselves and make it back home in one piece.”

Leah lowered her head. “Why did he do this to us?”
“I dunno, but we’ll have to discuss all that later,” Abigail said heading for the front door. “I’m going. Y’all stay here and don’t go anywhere until I get back!”
“What?” Maru exclaimed, following after her. “Surely you won’t go alone? Take someone with you!”
“Yeah,” Leah agreed.
“Not me!” Haley declared with a shake of her head.
“I’ll go with you!” Emily cried out, holding up her hand.
“No!” Abigail snapped. “I appreciate it Emily and no offense, but you’ll just slow me down. I can better search if I’m not worried about someone else to keep track of. I’ll be as quick as I can. Bye girls!”

When the door closed, all the girls stood in silence except for Hailey who was leaning against the bar picking at a fingernail. “Five pieces of Gold she doesn’t make it back before sundown,” she bet them.
“HALEY!” they all cried.

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“What!?” she asked, turning towards them. Their face expressions rather surprised her. “Oh c’mon girls, we all know she’s a freak! I bet the first thing she finds is a Graveyard and won’t be able to resist waiting until sundown at the chance to see a ghost, especially one from this mysterious new world.”

Maru folded her arms and shook her head. “I didn’t get the freak vibe from her at all,” she voiced. “She’s worried about Penny just as much as we are and is acting on it. And as I recall you didn’t jump at the chance to venture out there and find help.”
Emily’s eyebrows rose at the audacity.
“Whatever,” Haley disregarded, “y’all know I’m right,” and turned around to pick at her nail once more.

The remaining three girls shot glances at each other with pursed lips. They’d certainly heard all the gossip in the past about the strange, young, purple haired daughter to the local store owner and all the odd things she’d been seen doing – nibbling on gemstones as one example - and expressing belief in. They could only hope Abigail would not be tempted by new fascinations and stick to the task at hand.

They may have all resided for years in the same tiny town together, but there was still so much they didn't know about each other.


:)
Post edited by emorrill on
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Comments

  • ZeeGeeZeeGee Posts: 5,243 Member
    I don’t know anything about Stardew Valley, but from looking at your pictures you did a great job re-creating the characters. What a great idea to bring characters from another game into sims. Love it. ❤️
    The Sequel: FINALE

  • emorrillemorrill Posts: 7,472 Member
    @ZeeGee Thanks. :kissing_heart:



    Chapter 2

    A light, lukewarm breeze kissed Abigail’s cheeks as she stood tall and confident, walking along down the sidewalk towards the main road that led into town. She closed her eyes for a moment to breathe in the planet’s aroma through her nose and slowly released it through her mouth. There was no hint of any flower fragrance in the air, which would definitely indicate Spring, and it was a little too hot this mid afternoon for it to be. Summer, she thought with a smile. I wonder if this place has a beach. And what might its seashells look like? Oh the many wonders this world surely has to offer! She fully intended to do some crazy exploring at her earliest convenience, with or without any of the other girls, but right now…she was on a mission to get Penny some help.

    She took note of the many different houses that were in the same neighborhood as theirs and they all had an air of vacancy about them. No children played outside and there were no cars in the driveway, not even bikes. Hedges looked overgrown and the only flowers were weeds. It made her feel a little uneasy, worried that they were the only six people residing in this vast countryside. Nonsense, she assured herself, why would there be a town if there are no people to occupy it?

    When she reached the main road and stopped at the intersection, a sharp breeze fluffed her hair from a taxi that whipped on by heading toward town. Even a large truck was coming down the road toward her in the opposite lane. See! There are others around. What'd I tell ya! Gazing out at the spacious buildings in town – spacious to a Pelican Town resident anyway – she drew in a breath and said, “Aright Abby, let’s do this!”

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    But she froze in her tracks for a moment. She could sense a presence nearby…actually two...and felt a strong connection to them. Who from this world could she possibly feel such a deep connection to?

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    “ABBY!” she heard two very familiar male voices call out to her from behind. She turned in an instant and gasped.

    When their eyes met, her smile lit up brighter than the sun. “SEB! SAM!” she cried with excitement as the two men came running towards her.

    Sebastian practically threw himself into her outstretched arms and Abigail greatly welcomed him. “Oh Abby,” he said, squeezing her while pressing his cheek against hers. “You’re here!”

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    “Oh my gosh Seb,” she said, tears forming in her eyes, and then broke the embrace as Sam stepped closer to her. “And Sam,” she said, taking him into her arms as well and holding him tight. “My buddies!”
    “It’s so good to see you Abby!” Sam expressed.

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    “I can’t believe you guys are here too,” she said, stepping back a bit and wiping a tear from her eye. “I feared I’d never see you again!”

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    “We’re just as surprised to see you here too,” Sam said. “I mean, look at you!” he paused, studying her polished, curvy body with an approving grin.
    “Indeed,” Sebastian chimed in. “You look…wow, Abby.”

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    Abigail tried to hide a blush. “I hope that’s a good wow,” she asked, brushing some hair behind her ear.
    “Oh most definitely!” he assured, inching a little closer to her. “Your appearance in this world is so...lustrous, flawless, and…beautiful!
    Now she blushed.

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    Sam rolled his eyes. “Anyway,” he interrupted, “how’d you get here Abby? The Wizard?”
    “YES!” she cried. “Something about going on a quest for him--"
    “Yup!” the boys said in unison.
    “--and then throwing us into this whole different world,” she asked, gesturing toward the landscape and the sky. “What’s this all about?”

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    “No freaking clue,” Sam replied. “He was pretty vague on the details.”
    “YEAH he was!” she agreed.
    “Was it just you he sent or did he send others with you?” Sebastian asked.
    “Oh no, he called some other girls over to his tower from town as well, which,” she paused with a grimace, “at the time seemed a little creepy…”
    “Who?” Sam didn’t hesitate to ask.
    “Leah, Maru, Haley, Emily, and Penny,” she replied, counting with her fingers. “We just arrived here about an hour ago.”
    Maru…, Sebastian thought of his half-sister. So she’s here too.

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    Sam threw a look over at Sebastian. “We’ve been here for about two,” he said, “and we were also sent here with a few other guys from town. Our house is just up the hill,” he motioned with his head.
    “We finally decided to head out and go investigate the town,” Sebastian added.
    “Me too!” Abigail grinned. “So who all came with you?” she asked, facing Sebastian.
    “Alex, Shane, Harvey, and Elliott,” he replied.

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    So the six bachelors and six bachelorettes of Pelican Town the Wizard chose to send here together on a mysterious quest? Abigail thought, arms folded. Just what is he up to? But then her eyes widened as she instantly became aware of something. “Doctor Harvey is with you?” she asked in a tone of urgency.

    That took the two boys aback for a second. “Yeeeah,” Sebastian confirmed.
    “Unfortunately…” Sam muttered with an eye-roll.
    “No, fortunately!” Abigail corrected. “You two need to go back and get him and bring him over to our place immediately!”
    “Why?” Sebastian asked through a surprised chuckle. “What’s wrong?”
    “It’s Penny,” she revealed. “Not long after we…materialized, or whatever happened, into this world she fainted and so Maru and Leah took her into a room to look after her until she woke up. Well apparently she woke up, had a major freak out, and then fainted again…

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    …That just doesn’t sound good to me and Maru even expressed her body’s trippin’ out; that’s why she needs a Doctor. That’s actually who I was going into town to look for.”
    “Man that really su'cks for Penny,” Sam expressed, scratching at the back of his head. “Guess this event was a little too hard on her nerves.”
    Sebastian nodded in agreement.
    “Yeah well, she’s not getting any better so,” she paused, slapping at both boy’s arms to make sure she had their attention, “hurry and go get Harvey and meet us back at our place. It’s just down this road.”
    Sam peered in that direction. “Hold up,” he said. “There are a few houses down that road. Why don’t you come with us to get Harvey so you can lead us back to the right house. That will save a lot of time.”

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    “Oh…right,” Abigail agreed, somewhat scolding herself for not thinking that logically. “Okay then, let’s go!”

    ***********************

    “Hey Emily! Get your butt in here, I gotta show you something!” Haley called out to her sister from one of the bedrooms. When she didn’t hear an immediate response she huffed and began tapping her toe. A single minute passed and then she shouted in her high pitched, annoyed voice, “EMILY!”

    The door opened and in walked an irritated Emily herself. “I was in the bathroom Haley, geez! What is it?”
    “Check this bedroom out,” the blonde said, “I took a look at each of the three bedrooms in this place and this one seems to be the one that was created just for us!”
    “What now?” Emily asked in confusion.
    “Yeah! It’s like the bedroom Penny is in looks like it fits her style and interests, even Leah’s. The spacious bedroom upstairs, which totally should’ve been ours,” she rolled her eyes, “had like this chemistry table and telescope facing the window which obviously is for Maru, and there was this bed that had a galaxy-like patterned comforter on it that just screamed Abigail.”

    Arms folded with an arched eyebrow, Emily asked, “So you’re telling me that each bedroom has pretty much been assigned to two specific girls, and decorated to suit their unique interests?”
    “That’s what it looks like to me,” Haley replied with her palms in the air. “If you don’t believe me go check them out yourself.”
    “No…I believe you.” Fascinating. It would seem the Wizard knows more about us than we realize...
    “At first I was like, ‘What the hey!? I don’t get my own bedroom?’” Haley went on, “but thinking about that stingy Wizard I was like, ‘Of course not.’ Then I was thinking that if I had to share a bedroom with any of the girls here I would prefer it to be you so…”
    Emily cracked a smile, heart warmed by her sister’s comment.

    “But yeah, check it out,” Haley said again, “This room is totally divided, with separate wallpaper and everything! That gorgeous side over there naturally is mine,” she pointed, “and this side is obviously yours,” she said with a hint of disapproval in her voice.

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    Emily gasped. “There’s a dress form mannequin so I can make more clothes! Sweet!” But her excitement was very short lived as she thought on that for a moment. “How long exactly are we going to be here?” Her heart thumped wildly against her chest.

    Haley paid no mind to her question because she was already on her side of the room admiring herself in the tall, standing mirror situated in one of the corners.

    “Hey Emily,” she addressed, “do you think my butt looks bigger in this world?”
    Emily just shook her head as she approached her. “It looks the same as usual Haley…”

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    Not entirely convinced, Haley struck a few modeling poses in front of the mirror while Emily gladly shifted her gaze elsewhere. This sort of thing always reminded her of how much prettier and sexier her younger sister was than herself; not to mention more knowledgeable about fashion and how to rock it, despite her impressive talent in making her own clothes. Whenever she and Haley were in a public place together the men always seemed to eyeball and flock to Haley, married or not. Emily always tried hard not to let these things bother her, to see the beauty in herself that she certainly has, but society made it difficult to do. Even in a tiny, sheltered place like Pelican Town.

    “Oh yeah,” Haley said with a smirk, snapping Emily out of her thoughts. “There isn't any look I can't rock, even in a brand new world."

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    “Cool,” Emily glumly said, “I’m gonna head to the bar to make a drink. Would you like one?”
    “No thanks. You really should avoid those you know…”
    Emily rolled her eyes as she turned, leaving the room with fire in her eyes.

    Meanwhile, Leah was heading back to the bedroom after grabbing a snack and nearly bumped into Maru as she was exiting it.
    “She’s still out huh?” Leah asked her, referring to Penny.
    “Yup,” Maru sighed. “I do hope Abigail returns soon with a Doctor, or anyone who has more medical knowledge than myself.”
    Leah nodded. “Well, while I was getting a snack I figured you were probably hungry too so I grabbed a banana for you.” She held the fruit out to her.
    “Oh, thank you,” Maru said with a smile, taking it and tucking it into her back pocket. “It’s like you read my mind.”
    Leah beamed. “You’re welcome.”

    49437677732_a1d176b817_c.jpg

    The two stood in silence for a moment, Leah wondering why Maru wasn’t digging right into the banana if she was as hungry as she hinted at. “So…how are you doing?” she tenderly asked. “I imagine you have a lot weighing on your mind too since arriving here.” She gave her a slight, probing look, getting the feeling that Maru needed to talk.

    Maru sighed. “Yeah, I do. I’ve been thinking about my family and how they’re going to react when they find me missing…especially my dad. He’ll blame Sebastian I’m sure,” she said, lowering her head and shaking it. “I don’t understand why he treats him the way he does.”
    “Who?” Leah asked for clarification.
    “My dad, always neglecting Sebastian,” she answered, raising her head. “I love that he’s proud of me and always encouraging me to pursue my dreams – granted his overprotective nature can be a bit suffocating - but…I feel like all my happiness and success has come at Sebastian’s expense.”

    49437677877_3d78101618_c.jpg

    Leah gave her a mournful look, encouraging her on with her eyes.
    “My dad was always quick to help me with anything, cheering me on, and leaving Sebastian in the dark. That’s why my brother hates me--"
    “Oh sweetie, he doesn’t hate you.”
    “Yes he does…and if I were in his shoes I’d probably hate me too. He was a toddler when our mother remarried and I’m sure he was expecting a father who would love, care for, and spend time with him even though they aren’t blood related. Well come to find out his step-dad much prefers the child that shares his blood. The fault is my dad’s, so I shouldn’t blame myself, but…” She lowered her head again. “I just wish I could’ve told him how sorry I am about everything before I left…and that I don’t find joy in our dad’s favoritism.”

    Leah placed a comforting hand on Maru’s shoulder. “Make that your first priority when we return.”
    Maru smiled appreciatively. “Well...I guess I better get back to Penny’s side.”
    Leah nodded. “Of course. I’ll stay out here and keep watch for when Abigail returns.”
    "Thanks."

    When Leah found herself standing alone in the middle of the room, her thoughts wandered back to all the concerns she had for everyone she was close to back home…especially one man in particular. She was missing him in a way she never imagined she would. He was her best friend, the first to befriend her since moving to Pelican Town. Being a city girl she didn’t exactly know how to interact with small town folk, and it was awkward, but he just up and welcomed her with open arms; no questions asked and no judgment passed. Their personalities just clicked and every day since they’d find some way to see each other and hang out. They knew everything about each other and she couldn’t help wondering how was she going to survive in this place not being able to confide in the one person who truly knew her.

    How will I get through this without you? She thought with a frown.

    49457056882_654cf5c434_c.jpg



    :blush:
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  • emorrillemorrill Posts: 7,472 Member
    Author's Note: I hope that y'all will enjoy Chapter 3 and it's unexpected twist. :smirk: I would please ask that if there's something you don't care for in this chapter, or in all the ones following, kindly keep it to yourself. I've enjoyed the heck out of writing this chapter and am super proud of it, and I've been having some hard struggles in real life lately so I don't need any extra negativity. :pensive: Thank you. <3



    Chapter 3

    Leah was forced out of her thoughts when she heard Emily cry, “Blech,” who made her way to the bar, taking a drink from one of the bottles and instantly spitting it out.
    “What’s wrong?” Leah turned to ask.
    With a sour expression on her face, Emily replied, “I dunno what this is, but it’s certainly not an alcoholic beverage!”
    Leah shook her head with a chuckle. “Maybe it’s what alcoholic drinks taste like in this world?”
    “I doubt it,” Emily replied, a little burp escaping her mouth. “Oops! Excuse me. Oh yuck! That made me taste it again!”

    Chuckling louder, Leah’s gaze returned to the front door and her body startled a bit as it burst open. In came Abigail with an unexpected familiar face accompanying her. Leah gaped.
    “Harvey!?”
    Even Emily gasped at his presence.

    “Surprise!” Abigail chimed, throwing her palms in the air with a cheeky grin. “The bachelors of Pelican Town are here with us too!” Five other bodies approached from behind them.

    “Which room is Penny in?” Harvey asked, not wishing to waste anymore time.
    “Oh, this one,” Leah answered, pointing behind her and Harvey hastened his step in that direction.

    “Hey guys!” Emily greeted, stepping away from the bar.
    “Hey!” they all answered in different tones of excitement.
    Once Emily saw Alex she shouted, “Haley, get over here! You won’t believe who just arrived!”
    “You ladies look positively radiant,” the man with the longest hair of the group expressed, stepping forward. When Leah’s eyes met with his, her heart skipped a beat. She prayed this wasn’t her aching heart and mind playing tricks on her.

    “ALEX!” Haley squealed with joy once she entered the main room and took notice of her friend.
    “Haley!?” Alex exclaimed. “Woah girl...you’re lookin’ HOT as usual!”
    Haley jumped right into his outstretched and muscled arms. “Why thank you! You too!”

    In that moment Leah didn’t hesitate jumping into her best friend Elliott’s arms either. “Oh Elliott you’re here,” she breathed, “oh how I missed you!”
    “Leah,” he whispered beside her ear, “you have no idea how much I was missing you too!”

    49436981958_64e2e03aa3_c.jpg

    Shane stood alone behind them all, slouching, hands in his pockets and wearing that blank expression he always did. Emily hated for him to feel left out so she shot him a smile along with a little wave and he gave her a slight nod of acknowledgement. Ever the loner, she thought.

    Sebastian broke away from Abigail and Sam’s conversation to get a better look around and when he didn’t see her he turned and asked to anyone listening, “Where’s my sister?”
    Emily heard. “She’s in the bedroom with Penny, but I wouldn’t go in there now that Harvey’s there. You should wait until he’s done looking her over.”
    Sebastian shrugged in consent and took a seat at the nearest couch to wait.

    Conversation floated all around them, but Elliot and Leah heard nothing as they broke their embrace and gazed deeply into each other’s eyes.

    “Leah you look so beautiful!” Elliott remarked. “Usually I am a man of many words, but I can’t think of any right now that would adequately describe your exquisite beauty in this world.”

    49437677902_0b0e8ec946_c.jpg

    Leah’s cheeks turned a dark red. “Well you don’t look half bad yourself Elliott,” she stated. “As if all your wavy locks didn’t look lovely enough,” she ran her fingers through his hair for a second. “And they’re so soft.”
    Her touch sent a pleasurable shock wave through Elliott’s body.
    “So,” she started, drawing in a breath to calm her fluttering heart, “you guys answered the Wizard’s call to his tower too I see.”
    “Yup,” came the reply. “It seemed too intriguing not to.”
    “Indeed. But sending us to a whole different world? Isn’t this the most bizarre thing ever!?”
    “VERY bizarre!”
    “And oh my gosh I thought I was never going to see you again Elliott! Or at least not for months, heaven forbid, years! I mean,” she pressed her hand to her heart, “I was dying on the inside thinking about it!”

    Elliott would never wish for Leah to feel such torment, but those words pleased him. He inched closer to her as he revealed, “Oh Leah, my heart was breaking at the thought too.”
    “Really?” she beamed.
    “Yes. So much so, I sat down and wrote a poem about it while the guys were all bickering after our arrival.” He reached into his jacket pocket.
    Leah held a hand to her heart again. “You wrote a poem about me?” That was just about the sweetest thing anyone had ever done for her.
    “Well, sorta,” he answered shyly, unfolding the paper. “Would you like to hear it?”
    “Gladly!”

    Elliott lightly cleared his throat as he began to read:

    Nothing here seems good without you,
    Everything is so gloomy and blue,
    Why did this happen,
    Why are we apart?
    You are so special to me,
    You stay in my heart,
    I can't bear this distance now,
    I promise we’ll be together soon,
    If the fates will allow.


    Light tears formed in Leah’s eyes at the conclusion and her smile lit up her entire face.

    “I know it’s not that great,” Elliott blushed, tucking the paper back into his jacket pocket. “It’s just something I quickly jotted down to help calm my nerves.”
    “No,” Leah corrected, “it was absolutely beautiful and so incredibly sweet! You’ve filled my heart with so much warmth with those words.”
    “Well then, knowing that warms my heart too.” He blushed.

    49437677917_bd1f6a0f5a_c.jpg

    For a moment their hands brushed each others and Leah didn’t hesitate taking Elliott’s into hers. Noticing, Elliott glanced back up at her with a twinkle in his eye. He’d never looked so handsome to Leah before. She was beginning to feel a vast array of intimate emotions for her best friend in this moment that she never dreamed she’d ever feel for him and found it hard to keep them contained. “Come with me,” she whispered, leading him by the hand toward the stairs. Elliott’s face beamed as he gladly followed.

    Shane watched as the two practically tripped over each other while heading up the stairs and just shook his head with his mouth set in a hard line.

    Meanwhile, when Harvey gently knocked and opened the door to the bedroom, Maru looked over her shoulder to see who entered and her mouth dropped, quickly forming into a bright grin.
    “Doctor Harvey?” she asked in surprise. “Is that really you?”

    He returned the smile. “In the flesh,” he quipped, with his hands spread apart. “It’s good to see you Maru.”
    Maru rose from the bed and came to him, the two taking each other into a hug. “Thank goodness you’re here!” she expressed. “Oh this works out perfectly!”

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    When they broke their embrace, Harvey’s attention quickly returned to Penny. “Alright, bring me up to speed on everything that’s happened with Penny so far,” he said, grabbing a nearby chair and placing it beside the bed, sitting himself down. As Maru explained, he did a quick exam of the patient, taking particular notice of Penny’s shallow breathing and enlarged pupils.

    “It would appear she’s been in a state of shock ever since your arrival,” he informed, once Maru concluded speaking.
    Maru’s face instantly went pale. “Oh my gosh I didn’t even think about treating her for shock!” She slapped a hand upon her forehead, disappointed in herself. While she didn’t actually work alongside the good Doctor in the clinic, her job was in the lab and sometimes manning the front desk, she’d certainly learned a few things watching him in action. Treating for shock was always the first thing he did in most urgent cases that came through the door.
    “It can very easily be overlooked,” he said in a tone of comfort, “especially when another condition is so obviously present.”

    49437678617_56da845a0c_c.jpg

    “Did I fail her?” she worriedly asked. “Please tell me she’s going to be alright.”
    “No you didn’t fail her,” he replied, “and yes she will be.” He pulled the afghan from the other bed over Penny’s body to warm her. “She just needs to wake to get more oxygen into her system; and I wish I could see where her blood pressure is at.” He shook his head. “I’m going to need you to elevate her legs for a bit to get the blood flowing to her brain, while I keep an eye on her pulse and do my best to carefully wake her.”
    Maru nodded and did just that, gripping Penny’s ankles, and struggling to face Harvey while trying to keep her emotions in check.

    Looking up from his stethoscope and taking notice of her distress, Harvey reassured, “It’s alright Maru. You did very well caring for her under the circumstances.”
    Maru cracked a smile at him. “Thanks. And forgive me,” she sniffed, “my strength is weakening. There’s so much I’m worried about and it’s difficult to hold it all back.”
    Harvey nodded, understanding completely, and slung the stethoscope over the back of his neck again. “Would it help you feel better to know that your brother is here too?”

    Her eyes instantly lit up. “Yes, it does!” Oh thank goodness! Now I know dad isn’t ripping into him. “Is he okay?”
    “Yeah,” he replied. “Granted we were all feeling a bit frantic when we landed in this place, but once we gained our bearings, we’ve all been faring just fine. I think it really helped Sebastian to have his best buddy here with him.”
    Sam, she thought. Perfect!
    “He’s out there with the other guys if you want to see him. I’m sure he’ll be very happy to see you.”
    “Yeah,” she nodded, “but he can wait until I’m done assisting you. I promised Penny I wouldn’t leave her side and surely she’d wake up if I went out there.” Her eyes rolled with a smile.
    “True,” he chuckled. “Well, I’m seeing a little more color in her face so hopefully she’ll wake up momentarily.” He leaned over and took Penny’s hand, gently rubbing at it while whispering her name to help the process along.

    Meanwhile, when Leah and Elliott reached the top of the stairs he found them walking into a grand room, most likely a recreational area because of the TV, treadmill, and large bookcase, with two doors in the far corner which he assumed led to another bedroom and bathroom. Leah stopped in her tracks with her back turned to him, biting at a nail for a moment. He chuckled as he asked her, “Why have you brought me up here?”

    He watched her inquisitively as she paced for a few seconds and then turned to face him with an alluring smile. In a split second she lunged towards him, planting a deep and intense kiss upon his lips, gripping his back to hold him there. Even if his lips hadn’t been occupied, Elliott was speechless.

    49437454116_e1fb0b0311_c.jpg

    When she removed her lips from him she gazed into his eyes with that same alluring smile. Elliott’s mouth dropped hard like a cannonball and he just stared at her in shock.

    “L-Leah,” he stammered, “why did you...I-I thought you--”

    49437454141_3419757dc9_c.jpg

    “Elliott,” she stopped, gently pressing her finger upon his lips. “I know what you’re thinking and I know exactly what you’re going to say…”
    Elliott froze; his eyes, and heart, begging her to go on.

    “Right before I moved to Pelican Town,” she began, “I was so lost and depressed. I didn’t even know who I was anymore. I tried to make something of myself in the city, explored many things, even had what I thought to be a strong relationship, and...one day everything just suddenly fell apart. I needed a change of pace, a change of scenery; a place where I could really focus on me and grow in my artistic talents.” Then she chuckled, “I don’t know why I’m saying this because you know all this, but,” she paused, locking eyes with him and inching closer. “Ever since that fateful day when I arrived in town and you offered your friendship to me, you opened my eyes to the beauties of life and all its possibilities. You believed in me...when no one else in my life ever really did. Throughout our friendship many things about myself have changed. Even some...interests have changed,” she said, taking his hand and gripping it tightly. “And finding myself in this new world just a couple of hours ago, without you, I felt this gaping hole in my heart, just like I felt when I left the city. And I suddenly realized it was because I was missing the one person that completes me in my life. The missing piece to my heart's puzzle. The one I was destined to be with all those years ago, I just couldn’t see it.” She smiled with tears weighing upon her eyelids. “You.”

    Elliott’s cheeks flushed as his smile lit up in the purest of joys. “Really?” he asked, just to be sure. “You want to be with me? Romantically?”
    “Yes, silly!” she chuckled, then went back to being serious. “I love you Elliott. I’m sorry it took us being apart for me to finally see that. And that adorable little poem you wrote for me back there made me fall even harder for you.”
    “Oh Leah,” he whispered, pressing his forehead upon hers, “I have always been in love with you. Since the moment I first laid eyes on you. I never thought this would ever happen and...my heart has had this chronic ache ever since. But...you are my best friend and...I wanted to be respectful.”
    “Oh you were!” she expressed, gently lifting his chin. “You really were! And that’s another reason why I love you so much! Elliott, I don’t ever want to feel like I’ve lost you again!”
    “You won’t,” he promised. “Come ‘ere.” And he pulled her in close to him…

    49437677962_5389f6c7f2_c.jpg

    ...and opened his mouth to hers, caressing his lips upon her lips, in a kiss he’d been practicing in his dreams for years.

    49437677992_24a70ed03f_c.jpg

    They gripped each others shoulders so as to pull the other in for another kiss after each and every breath. They drank deeply of each other, making up for lost time.

    49436982108_c05950810a_c.jpg


    Please continue reading the remainder of this chapter on my Blog...
    (You'll have to scroll down a bit to where I left off here...sorry about that.)


    :blush:
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  • ZeeGeeZeeGee Posts: 5,243 Member
    I'm not sure why anyone would be negative about your story. Even though I don't know the characters, the pictures are beautiful and the story is fun. :heart: And your writing is amazing, as always. I think you missed your calling. :wink:
    The Sequel: FINALE

  • emorrillemorrill Posts: 7,472 Member
    ZeeGee wrote: »
    I'm not sure why anyone would be negative about your story. Even though I don't know the characters, the pictures are beautiful and the story is fun. :heart: And your writing is amazing, as always. I think you missed your calling. :wink:

    @ZeeGee I was moody that day when I wrote that...have had some struggles lately. :disappointed: That being said when you're writing fanfictions there's always a risk that diehards will not agree with the way you portray the characters that they've come to love and connect with so much too...

    Thank you for reading and for your sweet comments. <3 You brighten my day. :kissing_heart:

    Chapter 4 will be posted soon! :mrgreen:
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  • ZeeGeeZeeGee Posts: 5,243 Member
    @emorrill Sorry you're struggling. I feel your pain truly. Anyway, now I understand why you would say that. Because I have no attachment to the characters and don't know any back story their past doesn't matter to me. :)
    The Sequel: FINALE

  • emorrillemorrill Posts: 7,472 Member
    Alrighty everyone, Chapter 4 is here! :mrgreen:

    This was an extremely enjoyable Chapter to write, but also a very challenging one. ;) (I'll spare you all the details and get right to it. :p ) I hope it gives you as many laughs as I had while writing it. :lol:

    It will be broken up into 2 Parts due to it being too long for one post. Enjoy! :mrgreen:


    Chapter 4

    When Harvey and Maru exited the bedroom, Harvey went straight ahead to round up as many of their hometown friends as he could, while Maru turned toward the living area and found Sebastian sitting on one of the couches. When their eyes met, they both widened in surprise and Sebastian rose from the couch to greet her.
    “Maru,” he said, approaching. “Thank goodness you’re here safe, and that it’s really you!”
    “I was just about to say the same thing to you,” Maru said.

    For a moment, they both hesitated in giving each other a hug. Mostly because of the fact that they didn’t do that...ever, and also because of Sebastian’s sudden change in attitude.

    “Maru what were you thinking heading over to the Wizard’s tower?” he practically yelled at her. “If anything were to have happened to you dad would’ve tanned my hide for sure!”

    49527071818_10b42d6755_c.jpg

    Maru knew that and wasn’t sure why she found herself responding so defensively. “Hey! I wasn’t the only one who heeded the call to his tower! You’re here too you know, so don’t lecture me about making the same mistake you did!”

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    Her brother froze for a second with contempt written all over his face.

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    “Still,” he responded with, “it’s different with me, and the other guys, going in there. It’s a whole different scenario when he calls a young woman into his tower, let alone my little sister!”
    “I knew he wasn’t going to do anything creepy,” she said, arms folded and rolling her eyes. “Besides even if he had, I can take care of myself.”
    “Yeah right,” he retorted. “You may think you can, but you’re still young and innocent Maru.”
    “Oh so you view me the same way dad does? Like I’m still a child?”
    “Hell no!” He took that as an insult. “It’s just the fact is, if anything bad happens to you dad immediately throws the blame on me! I’m the one who gets the flak for it. So why can’t you just think about that for once, before you go gallivanting into some place you shouldn’t be!?”

    Maru snapped her mouth shut and just looked down at the floor. Arguing is not what she had in mind when being reunited with her older brother. His reaction was very much justified and in regards to the very concern she addressed with Leah earlier; feeling horrible and worried about it. It was high time things changed between her and her brother. They were no doubt going to need each other now more than ever being stranded in this world for a time.

    “You’re right,” she began with, “I should’ve been more thoughtful of you and...I’m sorry I haven’t been.”
    Sebastian gave her a surprised and questionable look.
    “You think I haven’t noticed the way dad favors me over you? You think that I love the heck out of that? And his doting? Well, I don’t,” she revealed, “in fact his overbearing nature drives me bonkers sometimes to be honest with you, but more than that...I always wished he would’ve given the same care and attention to you. He really should have.”

    49527071618_886be83f7a_c.jpg

    Sebastian looked down with his hands in his pockets, digging at the floor with the tip of his shoe.
    “You want to know the first thing that came into my mind when I arrived here?” Maru continued. “The thought about how much dad was going to kill you for my disappearance when you clearly had nothing to do with it. And I found myself wishing I could tell you how sorry I am about this. About everything, especially when I feared I’d be stuck here for a long time.” She looked away, batting her eyelids to keep the tears away. “I couldn’t bear the thought of what he was doing to you!”

    Sebastian looked up at her, touched by her words. He began to feel a great remorse; mostly for always keeping himself shut away in his room and never properly getting to know his little sister, assuming that she looked down on him the same way his step-father did. “I don’t know what to say,” he quietly said. “I didn’t think you felt that way. I’m...I’m sorry.”

    Maru cracked a smile. “Thanks...Sebby.”
    “Oh please, don’t you go calling me that too…”
    She laughed. “Okay, okay, I won’t. But seriously,” she paused, “I’m really sorry for the way dad has always treated you Sebastian. Hopefully now that we’ve both disappeared he is seeing the error of his ways.”
    “Yeah,” he said with a huff. “He’s probably having a freak out and doesn’t know who to let it out on since I’m not there. Take that dad…”
    Maru stifled a chuckle, agreeing. “Well...I’m really glad you’re here, and not just because I’m relieved to know dad isn’t clobbering you.”
    He smiled. “Truthfully Maru I’d rather you not be here,” he said, “because we don’t know how dangerous this place might be, but...you’re right in that you aren’t a child anymore. And I heard about how well you took care of Penny in a time of panic so,” he dug at the floor with his shoe again, “I guess I’m glad you’re here too.”

    Maru smiled brightly and opened her arms out to him. Sebastian felt a little awkward in doing it, but it seemed like the natural thing to do in this moment. They hugged. For the first time either of them could remember.

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    Meanwhile upstairs, Elliott and Leah continued to blissfully cuddle in the nude on the bed, until they heard Harvey’s voice call from behind the door.

    “Leah? Elliott? You two up here?”

    The two lovers instantly pulled the covers over their bodies. “Don’t come in here!” Leah shouted. Elliott gave her a wide eyed look as if to say, “What the heck was that for!?” She just rapidly shook her head and shrugged.

    “What are you guys doing?” Harvey casually asked.

    There was a long pause as the two tried to think of something believable to say. “Uhh,” Elliott uttered, “Leah found that the shower was dripping so I offered to help her fix it. But we kinda made it worse and got all wet so we're helping to dry each other off.”
    “What!?” Leah mouthed to him.
    He too responded with a head shake and a shrug.

    Harvey raised an eyebrow for a second, but brushed it off by saying, “Okay...well could you two hurry please because I’ve called all of us to a meeting downstairs.”
    “Got it!” Leah promptly acknowledged, “We will. Thanks Harvey!” She hoped that would get him out of the way and it worked.

    She and Elliott giggled as they worked on getting their clothes back on.

    *************************

    Part 2 in the next post. :)

    It's loaded with dialogue and not as many pictures so I hope y'all don't mind. LOTS of important and funny info will be revealed! :lol:
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  • emorrillemorrill Posts: 7,472 Member
    edited February 2020
    Chapter 4 Continued...

    “Alrighty, do we have everyone here?” Harvey asked, glancing amongst the crowd and counting.
    “All except for Leah and Elliott,” Haley remarked, smacking on some gum she found in her bedroom end table.
    “Gee I wonder why?” Shane muttered.
    “Sorry everyone, we’re coming!” Leah declared, racing down the stairs brushing at her hair with her fingers, Elliott trailing behind her. Everyone in the room gave the two a questionable look. They both sat down in the empty loveseat facing Harvey which they were surprised a couple of the others hadn’t chosen to sit on instead of in a chair or on the floor.

    “Nice of you two to join us,” Harvey said with a little smile and then cleared his throat. “Alright so I’ve called all of us here together so that we can discuss this ‘quest’ the Wizard sent us on in this new world.”

    49527141713_d9a91ed10b_c.jpg

    What quest!?” Sam blurted out.
    “Yeah!” Alex added. “I don’t recall him giving us any details about it, unless one of you heard something I didn’t.” Haley nodded at his comment.
    “That’s exactly why I’ve brought us together to discuss it,” Harvey said, “but first, let’s talk about what happened, from the beginning, that brought us all here. Starting at the beginning should jog all of our memories.” He then looked over at the guys sitting on the left to the guys sitting on his right. “Guys do you mind if I’m the spokesperson for all of us on how we were summoned to the tower?” They all nodded, except for Shane.

    “Yes, I mind,” the lone wolf of the group replied, “because the ladies might be interested to hear each of our accounts about it.”
    “They’re pretty much the same,” Harvey interposed, annoyed by Shane’s minding which he knew he was only doing to pester him.
    But Shane ignored his comment. “Besides who made you the leader here anyway?”
    “It kinda makes sense since he’s the oldest,” Sam voiced.
    “What?” Sebastian asked him, “I thought Elliott was the oldest.”

    All eyes glanced over at Elliott and the man simply scrunched up his nose and shook his head with a knowing smile. Sam shot Sebastian a wide, happy grin, feeling victorious.

    “Look this isn’t a matter of me being the oldest or not, or trying to be the leader,” Harvey said, “I just thought it would be a good idea for all of us to come together and discuss this so that we’re all on the same page and can figure out what exactly this quest is all about.” All the girls nodded to that.
    “Whatever…,” Shane muttered again.
    “Shane knock it off and let the man speak,” Elliott firmly addressed.
    Shane glared at him. “Make me bard boy!”
    Elliott’s mouth dropped in surprise at his name call. “I’m not a bard,” he countered, “I’m a writer!”
    “Well you sure look like one to me!”
    “Hey!” Leah cut in, eyeballing Shane. “No one talks to my boyfriend like that!”
    “WHAT!?” everyone cried out, staring at the new couple.

    A dead silence filled the room as Leah tried to gather what she was going to say.

    “Yes,” she began with, “Elliott and I are officially a couple now.” She gripped his hand and turned toward him with a loving smile. “It took us being apart like this to realize just how much we love each other. And we didn’t want to waste anymore time.” Elliott returned the smile with a blush and wrapped his arm around her, bringing her in for a cuddle.
    “Aww!” Emily faintly squealed.

    49437454351_2c63c18800_c.jpg

    Sam leaned back in his chair with his legs crossed, picking at the cuticles on his fingers as he said, “I guess it’s not too surprising since you two have always paired off together at the seasonal festivals.”
    “Yup, and they totally had s'ex upstairs,” Shane muttered again.
    “Alright…,” Abigail stopped all of them, particularly Shane. “Please continue the discussion Harvey.”
    Shane shook his head with an eye roll.

    Harvey just stood there with a furrowed brow, still trying to process all that was said and revealed, but snapped out of his thoughts quickly. “Okay so from the beginning,” he restarted, “we were all going about our everyday business until we received a telepathic beckon from the Wizard right?” They all nodded their heads. “Saying something like, ‘I need you to come to my tower immediately. I have an important quest for you to embark on. Please make haste.’”
    “That’s what we heard too, right ladies?” Abigail confirmed. They all said, “Yes.”
    But then Haley added, “It was trippy! I was all like, ‘Who the blazes is talking to me,’ and then he kept repeating it over and over again until I said, ‘Fine! Okay! I’m coming!’”
    “Ditto,” Alex added, “It took me a few seconds to filter it out since my Grandpa was screaming at the TV as usual.” He shook his head. “I don’t think the Wizard would’ve taken No for an answer.”
    “The fact that he reached us telepathically is mind boggling,” Maru uttered, staring at the coffee table.
    “Mind blowingly AWESOME!” Abigail chimed in. “Oh how his powers intrigue me! It didn’t take me long at all to acquiesce to his request!”
    “Aqua what now?” Shane asked with a confused look.
    “Nothing,” she dismissed.
    Emily glanced past Harvey and replied to Shane, “She means she immediately heeded the Wizard’s call with excitement.”
    Shane pinched at the bridge of his nose. “Such big words...my brain can’t handle it.”

    “Anyway,” Harvey said, “summoning us individually, the Wizard made it sound like it was a quest just for us, which I think was the idea to get us all intrigued about it so we wouldn’t refuse.”
    Sebastian and Maru shot glances at each other, confirming to each other that that was the reason they both went to the tower.
    “So it was only natural that we all were quite surprised to see the rest of you arriving at the tower with us,” Harvey went on. They all gave off different face expressions to that. “And now we know that he summoned us guys first, because you ladies arrived here...an hour behind us? Is that right Abigail?”
    “Yes,” she answered.
    “Why he didn’t send all twelve of us off together, I’ll never know, but it’s not important.”

    49437678237_6b7b0a628b_c.jpg

    “Maybe that would’ve required too much brain power that he doesn’t possess,” Sam said with a chortle. Sebastian playfully swatted his friend’s leg in agreement, chuckling too.
    “Perhaps,” Harvey acknowledged. “I don’t know how it was for you ladies, but once all six of us men arrived, the Wizard appeared out of nowhere before his bubbling cauldron and smiled, almost slyly, before thanking us for coming.”
    “Yup,” Haley confirmed, “and that’s when I felt creeped out!”
    “That’s when I started to feel a little nervous too,” Leah added.
    “Understandable,” Harvey said, “so tell us ladies what happened next for all of you?”

    The girls all glanced over at Abigail for some reason, as if they deemed her the spokesperson for them. In a small way, the young woman was touched. “Well,” she cleared her throat, “he asked us if we wouldn’t mind him starting off with a chant and we all just kinda stared at him mindlessly and nodded.”
    “Uh huh,” Harvey acknowledged, stroking the edge of his mustache. “Then what happened?”
    Abigail lowered her gaze from him, her forehead wrinkling, deeply searching through her memories and then suddenly recollecting. “I remember the cauldron glowing brighter and brighter the more he chanted. He spoke in some strange language I’ve never heard before. Beneath the green smoke I could faintly see a dark blue liquid with white specks on the surface, like the nighttime sky. Then when he finished the chant he said something like, ‘The six of you I have chosen to embark on a quest of ...enlightenment’...I think that was the word.”
    “That’s right!” Emily blurted out. “I remember him saying that word too.”
    “I really don’t,” Haley admitted, “I was just standing there thinking, ‘Ugh get on with the details of the quest already!’”
    “I was standing there thinking the same thing,” Alex said, looking up at her with a blushed smile.

    “What else did he say?” Harvey encouraged on.
    Abigail’s brow wrinkled again. “I’m not sure...I’m surprised I even remembered all that because I didn’t earlier…”

    49436982303_4ecf8cbe42_c.jpg

    “Well after he said that,” Harvey continued, “I remember him saying, ‘once you allow yourself to become enlightened then will you discover what will give you the greatest happiness in your life.’”
    “He said that to you guys?” Maru asked, biting on a nail. “I'm pretty sure I would've remembered something like that.” Then she turned to her brother. “Do you remember hearing that too Sebastian?”
    Sebastian froze guiltily for a second as he shot a glance at Sam and Sam met his gaze with the same expression. “Uhh, no, sorry,” he replied, “Sam and I were kinda feeling giddy about the whole adventure so we weren't really paying attention. We were all like, ‘Sweet! We’re going on a quest for the Wizard! Rock on!’ And we high-fived.” To which they did right in that second.
    Maru squeezed at her forehead with her forefingers and whispered, “Unbelievable.”

    “Okay!” Haley addressed with her hands spread out, “Did any of the rest of you catch what Harvey and Abigail heard?”
    The others just shook their heads, with Shane saying, “I think most of us just didn’t give a cr’ap about his wizardly mumbo jumbo and just wanted him to tell us what we were supposed to do on this quest.”
    “Yes!” half of them concurred.
    “He didn’t really give us the chance to ask any questions though,” Elliott said, “because it was towards the end of that ‘mumbo jumbo’ that the smoke began to rise from the cauldron and engulf us.”
    “Yes, but what he said at the end there is key,” Harvey stated, gripping his chin. “‘Once you have completed the quest, then will you return. How long it takes to complete will depend upon the hearts of each and every one of you.’”
    "Ohhh," they all said, remembering that part now.
    “My gosh Harvey how do you remember all this?” Emily asked, rubbing at her temples.
    “Compliments of medical school,” he said, looking down at her with a grin.
    “Alright then so what does it all MEAN?” Elliott frankly asked.

    Silence once again filled the room as everyone thought for a moment.

    Alex spoke first. “So the Wizard vaguely said that this quest is about becoming enlightened in something in this world? And in so doing we will find the happiness we’ve always been searching for?”
    “That is correct,” Harvey pointed at him with the finger that was resting on his chin.
    “Way to go,” Haley complimented her friend, playfully bumping her elbow against his shoulder. Alex blushed.
    “As far as I’m concerned,” Shane chimed in, “I already found all the happiness I need in Pelican Town.”
    “Oh really?” Abigail asked him, with folded arms and an arched brow. Harvey and Emily glanced over at him with a similar look.
    “...Yes,” Shane responded, hesitating to meet everyone’s gaze as he did.
    Then Emily looked thoughtful. “That’s the thing...why would he send us here to find the greatest happiness in our lives. Couldn’t we just have easily been able to find that in Pelican Town? Or in the whole of Stardew Valley?”
    “Apparently not,” Harvey said, having had the same thought.
    “I mean, that’s where our life is...it’s our home,” Emily continued. “What does this world have to offer that our world doesn’t?” The others nodded.
    “I don’t think it’s a matter of what it has to offer, but that it’s not some place...comfortable.”
    “What’s that supposed to mean?”

    All eyes were glued on Harvey, except for Shane who just slumped into the couch with his arms folded and scowling, wishing for this meeting to be over already.
    “Harvey?” Maru encouraged.
    The doctor sighed. “So this is just my deduction which could quite possibly be incorrect so if the rest of you have any other thoughts, I welcome it. I think,” he paused, “this quest is meant to help us personally, not to help the Wizard. He sent us to this whole different world to challenge us, to help us grow in some way; maybe discover something about ourselves we don’t know is there. Because I don’t know about the rest of you, but I felt like I was in an awful stagnant state in my life back home.” They all lowered their eyes, clearly feeling the same; Shane included. “Maybe the Wizard took notice of that and is giving us this opportunity as a push in the right direction. And whatever we’re meant to learn or discover here will send us back home and lead us to that true happiness we’ve always desired in our lives.” He shrugged. “That’s what I think.”

    49436982338_f13e4a5573_c.jpg

    There were a few nods of agreement.
    “But if this quest is supposed to help us as an individual grow,” Alex stepped in, “why did the Wizard feel the need to send all of us here together?”
    Before Harvey could answer, Elliott answered, “Maybe it’s because we need each other to find life’s greatest happiness.” He looked over at Leah and kissed her forehead.
    “I agree,” Harvey said, “we’re here to help and support each other. That’s why I think he concluded his little speech with ‘how long it will take to complete this quest will depend upon the hearts of each and every one of you.’ Helping someone comes from the heart. However it could very easily mean something much more than that.”
    “Your deduction makes a lot of sense Harvey,” Leah chimed in, leaning forward with her fingers laced together, “and it may very well be correct, but I can’t help thinking...why would the Wizard want to help us? What’s in it for him? As far as I know he’s a cold and arrogant man who's never had any interest in the residents of Pelican Town, let alone our personal lives.”
    “Perhaps he wants to change that,” Abigail spoke, her voice soft, facing away from everyone. She found herself really liking that idea and hoped it was true, especially since she always felt this strange connection to the mysterious Wizard.

    “So we still don’t have a definite answer as to what this quest is,” Haley said with a hint of frustration. “Or even if it’s a quest at all! No offense to your thoughts Harvey, but I want the specifics. What exactly do we all have to do to get out of here?”
    “I’m with her,” Sam added. Sebastian nodded his head too.
    “We all want the specifics Haley,” Harvey acknowledged, “but we don’t have them. There’s a reason the Wizard didn’t give us much information which proves we’re supposed to discover the details and purpose of this quest together. My thought was just one idea, yet I could be way off. That’s why I suggest that first thing tomorrow we break up into groups and explore parts of the town and the countryside. Get familiar with it and meet some of the town residents. I’m sure there’s tons of clues out there that will help us figure out what we’re supposed to do to complete this quest. We are supposed to become ‘enlightened’ after all.”
    “Oh you’re sure to become super enlightened with all those drugs you’re carrying on yourself Harvey,” Shane muttered just loud enough for everyone to hear.
    “WHAT!?” everyone cried out.
    Medicinal drugs,” Harvey immediately corrected.
    “Suuuure,” Shane countered, “he’s got like five filled syringes within his inner jacket pocket. Yeah! Those be rocket fuel!”
    “Like I said, they are emergency medical drugs,” Harvey reiterated, turning his gaze to face the others. “The Wizard summoned me to go on some unknown quest, so I felt the need to be prepared in case of an emergency.” Most of them nodded their heads at his cleverness.

    49437454496_d12996f4e7_c.jpg

    “What kind of meds are they?” Elliott curiously asked.
    “Epinephrine, Adrenaline, a Sedative, a Tranquilizer, and some Antivenom,” the doctor replied, “though I doubt the latter will do any good here…”
    “How’d you know he had all that Shane?” Sam asked.
    “Caught a glimpse of them when he was frantically checking all of our pulses after we arrived for whatever reason,” Shane replied with a scoff. “Like ANY of us wanted you touching us Harvey!”
    Harvey shrugged with his hands spread apart. “I just wanted to make sure our bodies transferred over properly and were functioning normally.”
    “Well, checking your own pulse would’ve been proof enough geez,” Shane expressed.
    “I know,” Harvey sighed, “and I apologize to all of you guys for that. I just panicked a bit and...I guess I’m so used to looking after all of you that I inherently wanted to make sure you were alright.” They all lowered their heads, while Shane just shook his in disbelief. “So, back to the original subject, are we all in agreement that a thorough investigation of this world tomorrow is in order?”
    “Yes,” some replied, others simply nodded.

    “I’m just wondering how long we’re going to be here,” Maru said with some anxiety. “It could be months...even as long as a year.”
    There was a hushed silence.

    49437454381_ca61e8f15c_c.jpg

    “I know…,” Harvey spoke, trying to stay strong in his demeanor, “and we will need to prepare ourselves for that. Which is why we must learn everything about this place as soon as possible and cooperate with each other the best we can, even when some of us don’t particularly like each other.” He shot a slight glance at the man sitting on his right.
    “You got that right,” Shane declared, referring to just about everyone in the room, but mostly to Harvey.

    “Something tells me we’re gonna be here for a while,” Sam said, “because why else would the Wizard set up our bedrooms to include stuff that we enjoy? Is that how the rooms are for you ladies? Like there’s a drum set in the room that I share with Sebastian and there’s even a keyboard and guitar.” He and Sebastian high-fived at that awesomeness again. “Although I didn’t find a skateboard…” He frowned.
    “Ditto,” Alex added. “I got all this workout equipment in my room, even a football was nestled in the corner for me to throw around! I mean, how did the Wizard know?”
    “Oh we totally discovered the same in our bedrooms here. Isn’t that right Emily?” Haley asked, shooting a smirk at her sister for that validation. Emily simply nodded.
    “I didn’t notice that in the room upstairs,” Leah said. “Which bedroom is mine?”
    “That’s because you were too busy getting--”
    “Enough Shane!” Harvey snapped at.
    “You share a room down here with Penny,” Haley informed Leah. “The room across from yours is mine and Emily’s and Maru and Abigail yours is the room upstairs.”
    Maru and Abigail glanced at each other and just shrugged. “Did you happen to see a flute up there by chance?” Abigail asked Leah.
    “No sweetie, I’m sorry,” she replied and Abigail frowned. “However there is a very nice telescope up there for you Maru.” She winked. “Guess I did notice that.”
    Maru smiled, but then she gaped. “Oh my...whose bed did you two do it in!?”
    All parties involved went bug eyed and Leah instantly spit out, “I’ll change the sheets I promise!”

    Soon there was a whole plethora of conversations going around and Harvey felt the need to hush them. “Alright everyone, let’s keep it down,” he said, gesturing with his hands. “Penny’s trying to sleep on the other side of that wall.”

    49437678212_5572d3e174_c.jpg

    “So are we done here?” Sam asked Harvey with a hint of a whine. “I’m starving! And tired.”
    “Yes, we are,” Harvey answered with a sigh, “this was a great discussion everyone. Thank you. Let’s make sure we get plenty of rest tonight because it’s going to be a long day tomorrow.”

    They all stood up from their seats and continued to engage in some light conversation - mostly about plans for tomorrow - then the guys would return to their house so they could all turn in for the night.

    49436982403_cbdfdcd0fd_c.jpg

    Shane, keeping his distance as always, wiped the sweat from his brow and glared while saying, “This blows! I’m gonna go find me a Bar!”

    49437678322_1e7d0049a4_c.jpg

    “I really don’t think that’s a good idea,” Abigail said, overhearing.
    “Mind your own business Wiccan! I can do what I want!”
    “She’s right Shane,” Harvey said, coming over with Emily following behind him. “We still don’t know what dangers might be out there so it’s even more unwise to go venturing out in the dark. You can join some of us who are investigating the town tomorrow and we’ll find the Bar then, alright? You can wait.”
    Shane folded his arms with an eye-roll and muttered, “Yeah, whatever.”

    Harvey and Abigail stepped away to converse with some of the others while Emily carefully approached Shane. “You know, I’d love to have a drink right now too,” she said, hands clasped behind her back, “because goodness knows this situation definitely calls for it! But...we can be strong without it for now.” She craned her neck to the side, trying to make eye contact with him. “You got this!”
    Shane shot her an unamused look and then glanced away again while shaking his head.

    He was beginning to feel a great deal of anxiety, along with some tremors - which is why he mostly kept his hands in his pockets - and the fears going through his mind began to terrify him. Beads of sweat formed upon his brow again and it annoyed him. Weakness, in any form, was something he’d never allow the others to see.

    Over my dead body...



    :blush:

    A wrap up "Shane song," I feel is appropriate to leave here. (I have a few just for him. :p )
    Linkin Park may not be everyone's cup of tea, and usually they aren't mine, but over the years I've discovered they have some pretty deep and meaningful music.
    49824480951_0fc6391d25.jpg
  • emorrillemorrill Posts: 7,472 Member
    Chapter 5
    Part 1

    Just before the men departed from the ladies’ humble, otherworldly abode that evening, it was decided who would be doing the investigating tomorrow and who would be staying behind at the houses to gather various information from there. Harvey wanted at least one person to stay behind at each house in case one of them needed to return home due to an emergency and would need some help. Also he felt it good to have someone around in case any random visitors showed up at their doorsteps for whatever reason. It would be a great way to interview a local, and hopefully be a good thing making themselves known to the general public.

    Abigail chimed in to express finding what she assumed to be a handheld gaming device sitting deep within one of her pockets. Her two guy friends cried out, “Seriously!?” as they reached into their pockets and found the same device too. “Sweet! Playing a video game anywhere we go? Rock on!” Not everyone shared their enthusiasm for gaming on the go though, particularly Harvey and Maru, for they felt there had to be an even greater and more purposeful use for the small electronic device.

    Upon closer inspection Maru quickly discovered that the device was a wireless telephone, with all of their numbers miraculously programmed in, and much smaller and more portable than the ones they were used to back home. Everyone found that to be even more cool, particularly Haley who scared everyone with her scream-like outburst while they were checking out their new phones.
    OMG! You can write little messages to people and send them off! Check this out!”

    49593255727_c0ded0cb14_c.jpg

    One press on the screen and soon Alex’s phone made a little chime and lit up to show Haley’s message to him. He shot her a smile after reading it.

    “Ooooooh!” They all breathed in fascination.

    49592513913_34a761f30c_c.jpg

    “These are perfect!” Harvey declared. “They will be most helpful in keeping us in touch with each other, especially during our explorations in the morning.”

    Right after Harvey spoke, Shane somehow dropped his phone and cursed under his breath as he bent himself down to pick it up. The Doctor lifted an eyebrow at him, wondering. Once Shane stood upright and saw that all eyes were on him, he asked in a rather rude tone, “What? These things don’t have a very good grip on them.”
    “Totally!” Abigail agreed. “And with my butterfingers that’s double the chance I’m gonna--,” and as soon as she said that, she dropped the phone. Instead of instantly going to pick it up like Shane did, she just stood there with her hands behind her back wearing a very cheesy grin on her face with flushed cheeks. They all chuckled.

    “These are the spiffiest things ever!” Emily declared, tapping and swiping away on her phone. “I could see myself getting addicted to this thing pretty quickly!”
    “They will most likely require some charging,” Maru gathered, “at least every night. I wonder how we do that?”
    They all thought for a second. “Well, there’s wall outlets here too,” Alex said, “so maybe there’s a way for us to plug these into them.”
    “Perhaps,” Maru said, drawing her lower lip between her teeth as she more thoroughly inspected the phone. “It doesn’t have a plug, but it looks like a much smaller plug goes into it through this port here. So maybe that has a cord that connects into the wall.”
    “Guess we’ll find that in the kitchen,” Haley expected.
    “Or our bedrooms,” Leah said with a little shrug.
    “Yeah I vote the cords are in the bedroom,” Sam said, “that’s where I’d be charging my phone every night.” Then he turned to his buddy. “Quick Seb! Let’s head back to the house and see if I’m right! That’ll be so RAD!” And they bolted for the door.

    “Hey! Wait for the rest of us!” Harvey called out to them, but they were already heading off down the road. Shane had promptly followed after them, as well as Alex. Elliott stayed behind for a moment to hold Leah and kiss her goodbye.

    Harvey then turned to face Abigail with a sigh and said, “Alright. I’ll be here first thing in the morning to check on Penny, probably around eight.” Abigail nodded. “Then right after that we’ll lead our investigative parties into the town and countryside alright?”

    49593013061_6dd869e1f2_c.jpg

    “Yes sir,” she replied, throwing out a playful salute.
    Harvey smiled. “You ladies have a good night,” he wished them and turned towards the door. Elliott stood aside to let Harvey out first and then blew a kiss toward Leah before exiting and shutting the door behind him.

    ***************************


    Early the next morning, Harvey arrived at 8 o’clock sharp and Abigail was quite impressed with, although not expecting, his punctuality. Glad I didn’t wait long to get myself dressed once I woke up! She shuddered to think.

    Once Harvey stepped over the threshold his eyes met with Leah’s, standing a few feet before him, who was in a silk nightie and just about ready to enter the bathroom for a shower. His face flushed a little, but his presence didn’t seem to bother Leah at all. “Oh you’re here,” she addressed him, “I just woke Penny up and told her you’d be here any minute and that she should get dressed.”
    He nodded.
    “So I’d give her a couple of minutes…”
    Harvey simply nodded again. He wasn’t used to seeing a woman so exposed, except for in a professional setting like his clinic, and he rubbed at the back of his neck while thinking, Perhaps I should’ve called to let them know I was on my way over. Then again I did say…

    “You’re thinking you should’ve given us a little heads up call before your arrival huh?” Abigail asked him with a smirk, interrupting his thoughts.
    “How’d you know?” he asked, his arm falling back down to his side.
    She shrugged. “Lucky guess.”
    “Well I told you I’d be here at 8 o’clock. I just assumed you’d tell the other girls.”
    “I did, but you said you’d be here around 8 o’clock, not AT! Besides, since when are Doctors on time for appointments?”
    Harvey shot her an unamused look, but wasn’t too insulted by her comment as it was more often true than not. “I apologize for not being more specific,” he said, “I just assumed that...you know what? Nevermind.” He always had a hard time understanding women and would forget that they don’t think along the same lines as he does.
    “No I should’ve advised the girls to be all up and dressed long before eight,” Abigail said, “I’m just not used to telling anyone what to do, even something as simple as this, and half of these ladies are older than me.” She sighed. “It’s not going to be easy with all of us living under one roof like this. It feels like Summer girls camp when I was a teen all over again…” Her eyes bugged out at the thought.
    “Ohh I understand,” Harvey said, with a muffled chuckle. “Back at our place it’s like a very un-enjoyable Boy Scout Campout where everyone’s bickering with each other because they don’t really want to be there.”
    Abigail burst out laughing! “Oh man,” she whispered, rubbing at her eyes. Her dad once told some humorous stories about those Campouts when he was a boy. “Anyway, I’ll bet Penny’s ready for you now,” and said, gesturing her head towards the bedroom.

    Harvey stopped before the door for a second to compose himself and then lightly knocked on it. “Come in,” he could faintly hear Penny say.
    “It’s me, Harvey,” he informed while slowly entering. He froze a few feet before her bed when he discovered her still laying upon it in her somewhat revealing pajamas.
    “Oh...Doctor,” she greeted, lifting her head up a bit. Her heart suddenly fluttered. “You arrived sooner than I was expecting.”

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    “Forgive me,” Harvey said with a flustered look, “I should’ve allowed you more time to get dressed…”
    “No, it’s alright,” she assured. “I sat up for a moment to do so, but,” she paused, “I got really lightheaded so I laid back down.”

    “I see,” Harvey said, pulling the chair close to the bed again. “Did you sleep well last night?” He asked while sitting himself down.
    “I did for the most part,” came the reply. “I woke up a couple of times tossing and turning. I think it's because I’m not used to this bed.”
    Harvey cracked a smile as he’d done the same last night in his new bed. “Were you feeling any nausea then? Or now?”
    “No, just lightheaded.”
    “Have you had anything to eat or drink yet this morning?”
    She nervously shook her head.
    He noticed and thought it was a little cute. “I want you to drink a lot of water today okay? At least eight glasses full; that should ease your lightheadedness considerably.”
    She then nodded.
    “Alright then, how about you try sitting up again so I can take a better look at you.”

    Hearing him say that made Penny blush a little, but she knew he was being totally professional while she was being completely silly. She told herself to quit crushing on him, but seeing him in this new world light kept making her heart go pitter-patter and was keeping her anxious thoughts at bay and...she rather liked it. Not to mention that’s just what she needed right now; a distraction from her worries.

    Carefully she sat herself up and once she did she rubbed at her forehead, feeling wobbly. She took in a few breaths to help keep herself erect and conscious.
    “You alright?” Harvey asked, placing a caring hand on her arm while trying to look into her eyes.
    “Yeah,” she replied, boring her fingers into her forehead. “Oof, I’ve never felt this lightheaded in all my life!”
    “It’ll get better soon once you start moving around and get re-hydrated,” he said, while reaching into his coat pocket. “Alright look at my nose here while I shine this light into your eyes. Good.”
    She meant to look at his nose, but she got lost in his beautiful hazel eyes instead. He went on to feel at her neck a bit and then took her left wrist to check her pulse. She caught him cracking a smile as he stared down at his watch counting and she wasn’t sure why.

    “So how do you feel mentally?” he asked, stopping the check-up for a moment and looking her in the eye, his fingers laced together in his lap. He wanted to assure her she had his undivided attention.
    “Well...I definitely feel a lot less freaked out than yesterday,” she replied. “It’s really a comfort to know more of you from Pelican Town are here too.”
    He nodded. “Anything feeling overwhelming to you? Even something simple like getting out of bed or dressed?”
    “No,” she answered, shaking her head. “Mostly I’m just worried about what’s going to happen to us here or what I’m meant to do here. And I’ll always be concerned about my mom, Jas and Vincent back home. I can’t help that.”
    “Of course not,” Harvey sympathized. “And speaking of, let me tell you everything we discussed as a group last night and what we think this quest is all about.”

    Penny listened very intently.

    49593013141_8b006c655a_c.jpg

    “I see,” she said when he was done, staring down at the floor. “I can’t imagine what greater happiness I’d find here, since it’s given me nothing but anxiety. I was really happy and enjoying life back in Pelican Town. I mean...for the most part. I was finally beginning to discover my purpose there.”
    “I could see you were,” he smiled, “but the Wizard seems to think we all need something better in our lives and this was the way to make it happen so,” he sighed, “here we are.”
    “Well who is he to say what I need in my life?” she asked rather bluntly. “He doesn’t know me!” She closed her eyes and lowered her head again. “Why did he do this?” A tear tried to escape from her eye.
    “That’s still the greatest mystery,” Harvey replied, “but all we can do is focus on accomplishing this quest as quickly as possible so we can return home as soon as possible. Do you feel like you’re up to it? Like you can handle it?”
    “I don’t know…,” she sniffed. “I want to be...but I don’t think I’m strong enough for this.”

    “Hey,” Harvey said, gently lifting her chin and brushing away a tear. “I’ll admit I don’t feel like I’m strong enough for this either, but you Penny...you’re a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for.” She stared at him curiously. “These past six years I’ve seen you endure many hardships, some that would knock most people down hard, and yet you always walk away from them with your head held high, a smile on your face, and burying yourself in the service of others. To me that’s a rare gift to have. You haven’t lost it being here. You can DO this!”

    Penny smiled brightly at him with a blush, her heart fluttering once again. His sweet words buoyed her up and almost literally took her breath away, especially the touch of his finger on her chin. “Thank you,” she said, as he removed his finger, working to catch her breath for a much different reason than anxiety. “And forgive me for not properly thanking you earlier for looking after me. I’m sorry to have been a bother…”
    “You weren’t,” he assured, “and I’m glad I was here to help.”
    “I wish there was some way I could repay you...”
    “You don’t have to repay me,” he said, with a dismissive wave of his hand. “I’m a doctor, it’s what I do.”
    “Still, I have to find a way to repay you. It doesn’t feel right not to,” she continued breathlessly. “Wow,” she paused, holding her hand to her heart, “I don’t know why I can’t seem to catch my breath again; I’m not feeling anxious!” That's right, don't give yourself away!
    “Here,” Harvey said, taking her hands. “Let’s try standing up and we’ll practice that breathing technique again okay?”
    “O-Okay.”
    “Steady now…”

    They did the breathing exercise together for a good couple of minutes until Harvey felt she was relaxed enough to take a quick listen to her heart. Penny had her eyes closed, focusing on relaxing and taking those deep breaths when Harvey jokingly stated, “Heeey, it’s a normal heartbeat!” Penny’s eyes shot open as they were met with Harvey’s smile. She couldn’t control what her heart did next, as usual.

    “Aaaand there it goes again,” Harvey playfully continued with a smirk, removing the stethoscope from her chest and then draping it over his neck.

    49593255917_87bb3e7ce3_c.jpg

    Now Penny’s cheeks really got red! “Oh gosh,” she whispered in embarrassment, facepalming and chuckling. “Ohhh I’m so sorry Doctor. Really, I am.”
    Harvey just stood there grinning with his arms folded and let out a sigh. “So what do I have to do to get you to not feel so nervous around me anymore?”

    Penny’s heart fluttered more wildly than it had earlier, being presented with this rare, golden opportunity. She laced her fingers together behind her back and smiled coyly at him with her head tilted. “Well...maybe if we spent a little more time together,” she hesitated at her boldness, “and became friends...then the fact that you being a doctor wouldn’t make me feel so nervous anymore.” Though she knew perfectly well her racing heart was no longer the result of “White Coat Syndrome.”
    Harvey nodded in thought for a moment. “I like that idea.” Now he was blushing. “And I’ll start off this new friendship by insisting you call me Harvey.” He smiled.
    The hopeless romantic side of Penny felt like squealing, but she managed to keep herself well composed. “Well, Harvey, whatever you all discover out there that looks like a great place to have dinner or a good spot to hang out, be sure to let me know.”
    “Will do.”

    49592514218_796e417bbf_c.jpg

    At that moment Penny seemed to have lost her footing, feeling a touch of dizziness, and Harvey instinctively reached out to catch her while saying, “Woah...careful…”

    He held her so closely that their faces were mere inches from each other. Staring into each other’s eyes for a moment they both blushed and then quickly stepped back from each other, nervously scratching at their heads.
    “So...umm...you should take it easy today alright,” Harvey counseled her, “Lay down and rest if you need to and I’ll go get you a glass of water.”
    “No,” she stopped him, softly placing her hand on his arm. “Don’t worry about it, I’ll get it. Promise.” She smiled. “You should really get going with the exploring. I’m sure the others are waiting for you.”
    He returned the smile with a nod. “If you start feeling any worse give me a call right away okay? And I’ll be here. If you feel some anxiety coming on, don’t forget to breathe.” He winked.
    “I won’t,” she grinned, her face beaming. “Guess I’ll...see you later?”
    “Yeah. See ya,” he said and turned toward the door. When he opened it he looked back at her with a little smile and then closed it behind him.

    Penny stepped backward a couple of feet until her calves hit the bed and allowed herself to blissfully fall back onto it. Feeling so love-struck she couldn’t stop smiling while staring up at the ceiling, the image of Harvey and his flirting back with her consuming her mind. That was a pleasant surprise. I guess his interest in Maru has passed? She thought for a split second and then shrugged it off. She felt like a giddy teenage girl again swooning over her first real crush, wanting nothing else in the world, but to BE with him! It’d been years since she ever felt this way about a guy, almost to the point that she’d forgotten what it felt like to fall in love. Was she falling in love? She couldn’t be sure. Harvey was the last guy on her attraction radar so how did he suddenly jump to the front here and now? Perhaps because he is an actual MAN compared to other guys she dated in her life thus far and that aroused her. Or maybe it was due to his gentle, compassionate nature and caring personality. Either way she found herself falling head over heels for him and he seemed to reciprocate her affection. She began to wonder, her smile finally chilling out, would dating Harvey be a way for me to find that happiness I’ve been missing in my life? She pondered on the thought.

    Oh surely there's more to it than that! Besides...what does the Wizard know about love?





    Gonna end this with a cute, and very accurate, song to express just how Penny is feeling laying on her bed there. ;) Give it a quick listen.

    Any of y'all remember The Wilkinson's? I LOVED their music back in the day! <3


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  • emorrillemorrill Posts: 7,472 Member
    Continuation of Chapter 5


    Just as Penny finished getting herself dressed she heard another knock at the door. Her heart raced at the thought of it being Harvey again, but most likely it’s not, she thought. “Come in.”

    “Hey,” Maru sweetly said as she entered the room. “We’re just about to head out, but I wanted to see how you’re doing first.”
    Penny’s smile beamed. “You’re so sweet. And seriously the bestest friend a girl could ask for.” The two gave each other a hug and afterward Penny sat herself back down on the bed again, still feeling a little lightheaded. “Thank you for looking after me, I’m feeling tons better,” she happily informed her friend, “except for this lightheaded feeling, but Harvey says that should ease up once I get rehydrated.”
    “I’m so glad,” Maru expressed, “and speaking of Harvey, I ran into him when he was on his way out of the house and...he had this giant smile on his face. I swear I haven’t seen him grin like that in...ever!”
    “Oh?” Penny asked, hiding a blushed smirk.
    “Yeeeah,” Maru said looking at her with a smirk as well. “What were you two talking about in here?”
    “Nothing really,” Penny replied, nervous to meet her gaze while twirling one of her bun-like ponytails.
    Maru folded her arms. “Something tells me more than a check-up was going on in here…”
    Penny’s mouth dropped in surprise. “It was nothing like that!” she exclaimed. “Seriously! We were just flirting a tiny bit…”
    “Harvey? Flirting? He’s awful at that!”
    “He really wasn’t…,” she blissfully said, staring into the wall and reliving that beautiful moment.

    Hearing that surprised Maru, more so than the fact that Penny was flirting with him out of all the guys, and it felt strange for her to realize she may not know Harvey as well as she thought; or her best friend for that matter. Was something in this world coaxing everyone toward another side of themselves? Is this all part of the Wizard’s plan? She shook her head, hoping not, and felt even more determined to research the heck out of this place. She could sense mystery everywhere.

    “You okay?” Penny asked her.
    “Hmm? Oh, uh...yeah,” Maru replied, “I just got a little lost in some thoughts there.”

    49592514288_8fe7ef8aa3_c.jpg

    Penny surveyed her for a moment. “I hope that my flirting with Harvey doesn’t bother you…”

    Now THAT took Maru by surprise! Her eyes widened as she asked, “Why would that bother me?”
    “Oh...I dunno,” Penny hesitated for a moment. “It’s just we both know Harvey’s had feelings for you in the past and I know you were never interested in return I just...always wondered…”
    “I don’t think he ever had any serious feelings for me,” Maru countered. “He just asked me one time if I’d like to go to lunch with him and it made me feel a little uneasy,” she paused. “I mean my immediate thought at the time was, ‘Uhh, he’s my boss and like...10 years older than me! Eww.’”
    Normally Penny would’ve chuckled at that, but instead she frowned. “He’s 10 years older than me too...are you implying there’s something wrong with that?”
    “No! Well...okay...maybe a tiny bit. It’s just such a big age gap. But then again,” she scratched at her temple, “I guess age doesn’t really matter the older we get so...and I’ve never pegged him to be the cradle robber type.”
    “He’s definitely not. And really, if you think about it, there’s not a whole lot of options in the single ladies department for him in a tiny town like home.”
    Maru shrugged. “Good point.” Why didn’t I think about that?
    “So,” Penny continued, eyeballing her carefully, “I was thinking of asking him out. Do you think I should?”
    “Of course!” Maru quickly expressed, “I think you two would have a lot of fun together.”
    “You seriously don’t have any feelings for him?” Penny had to double check. “I mean, I know you Maru. We’ve known each other our whole lives and you’re my best friend. It’s because of that that I wouldn’t ever want to do anything to hurt you.”

    Maru looked her friend directly in the eye with a gentle smile and said, “Penny trust me...I’ve never had any feelings for Harvey. He’s always just been my work buddy and fellow geek,” she chuckled. “Really, you have nothing to worry about,” she assured with a dismissive wave of her hand.

    49593013261_9ee763aa59_c.jpg

    “But thank you for being so considerate,” she added.
    “You’re welcome,” Penny smiled, then glanced away for a moment with a lovesick sigh. “Oh Maru...I never thought I’d ever feel this way about him since he always made me so nervous, but,” she paused, heart fluttering, “I really like him.” She met her gaze again. “He’s so much more charming than I ever imagined him to be. I can’t stop thinking about him.”

    49593256122_9c67f3b160_c.jpg

    “Aww, well then go for him girl!” Maru said, playfully swatting at her friend’s shoulder. “Harvey’s a great guy and you two would make such a cute couple.”
    “Oh...well...uh,” Penny uttered shyly, standing up from the bed, “I dunno if he’s looking at becoming a couple, but I certainly wouldn’t mind it.” She grinned happily.
    “Well you said he was flirting back with you right? So...that certainly means there’s potential for you two to hook up. Plus that man’s not getting any younger and he knows it!”
    They both laughed.

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    “Thanks girl,” Penny said, giving her dear friend a hug.
    “You’re welcome sweetie,” Maru said, squeezing her for a second and then breaking the embrace. “I keep wondering if there’s something in the air around here...Elliott and Leah suddenly hook up, Haley and Alex seem to be flirting more than usual, and now here you and Harvey are crushing on each other.”
    “I know,” Penny breathed. “It’s wonderful isn’t it?”

    “...Sure,” Maru said, then looked away in thought, feeling a sinking in her stomach. She really wanted to say, Honestly, it feels suspicious. And I don’t like it.

    ****************************

    On this day of exploration it was decided that Abigail, Leah and Maru would go out and explore different areas of the countryside, collecting plants, rocks, gems, soil, insects, and other small wildlife to study to help them gain more knowledge about the world. With Maru in possession of a chemistry table and Harvey in possession of a rather fascinating “ZRX-9000 Science Research Station” they figured there had to be a reason for that. Whether for studying or analyzing - to aid in that “enlightenment” the Wizard mentioned - or for some other purposeful reasons they didn’t have any way of knowing and figured it best to be prepared with an inventory of items.

    On the guys end it was decided that Harvey, Alex and Shane would brave the town, meeting the locals and checking out the buildings and resources available to them. Sebastian and Sam gladly offered to be the ones to stay behind at the house in case anyone came over for a visit, but mostly it was so they could jam out on all those new instruments in their room that were familiar to them, yet so foreign at the same time. Elliott mentioned discovering something called the “World-wide Web” on the computer when he was typing down some thoughts on living in a new world and found it to be a treasure trove of billions of information and knowledge. “I’m sure to find out ALL about this planet’s history,” he said, “and I’ll report back anything important and helpful that I find.”

    Two vehicles sat parked out in front of the men’s house, a large truck and a motorcycle which Sebastian was overjoyed to discover! However Harvey advised that he control himself from riding it until they familiarized themselves more with the town and countryside. Sebastian obeyed, much to his displeasure, but knew it was the wise thing to do. In the meantime he would just polish it up like he did often with his motorcycle back home.

    So Harvey, Alex and Shane squeezed themselves into the truck, Shane insisting that Alex sit between him and Harvey, and headed toward the town. Harvey found his driving skills to be a little rusty, but got back into the hang of it in no time.

    Their first stop was the Grocery Store to see what was available there to meet their everyday necessities. Even though they all knew life in this world is really no different than life back home, except for the more advanced technology, Harvey was still determined to leave no stone unturned in their quest to familiarize themselves with this place. Shane was none too thrilled at Harvey’s choice for the first stop. He was losing patience more and more by the minute since he woke for the day, wanting nothing more than to find a bar. I guess they wouldn’t serve me a drink this early in the morning anyway, he thought with a miffed eye-roll, but then his eyes lit up. Maybe they have an alcoholic beverage section here in the store! They should! SCORE! He promptly exited the truck.

    “Move it Harvey!” he ordered, whipping right past the Doctor to enter through the door first. He faintly heard Harvey say, “Geez,” as he almost lost his footing, but Shane didn’t care. His tunnel vision was leading him to only one thing.

    The light at the end of the tunnel opened fully to reveal a wide range of colorful bottles, nestled in the back corner of the store where alcoholic beverages were usually kept, even at the Joja Mart where he worked as a stock-person back home. Shane studied them all carefully. It came as no surprise that the names were odd, but they all ended with the word ‘Juice.’

    49646526812_e8bf06a7ce_c.jpg

    “What the hell is all this Juice stuff!?” he spoke just a hair above a whisper and kept on inspecting the bottles, grabbing each one and turning it over to read the exact ingredients. “This is NOT the area where juice is located!” He began to feel an impending panic, his breath growing heavy and his hands trembling more rapidly, as not even the word “alcohol” was showing up anywhere on the bottles.

    “Son of a B***h!” he muttered through gritted teeth.

    49645715523_b8bb63d51e_c.jpg

    On the other side of the store Alex declared a little louder than he intended, “Oh good they have some.”
    “What is that?” Harvey asked from the medicine aisle, looking over the top of the shelves at him.
    Alex blushed for a second. “Feminine hygiene products. Haley asked me if I would check and see if they have some here at the stores.”
    Harvey’s eyebrows rose. “Are you sure she doesn’t need you to pick some up for her?”
    The color drained from Alex’s face. “I don’t...think so,” he nervously replied, whipping out his phone. “I think I’ll message her and ask.”
    Harvey nodded in agreement and looked back down at the shelf, expressing a tiny chuckle as he continued to study the items on it. The names were different, but he got the general idea of what each box or bottle was supposed to treat. Then he heard a slight squeaking sound as Shane came to a halt in front of the checkout counter.

    “Welcome to Darris Teeter’s Grocery,” the lady greeted him. “Is there anything I can help you find?”
    That’s the same exact thing she said when we walked in, Harvey thought with an arched brow. And in the same exact tone too...
    “Yes, actually,” Shane replied in frustration. “Where are your alcoholic beverages?”
    The lady stared at him blankly, head co’cked, with that ever present smile on her face. “I’m not sure what you mean?”
    “ALCOHOL!” Shane shouted, his hands outstretched. “Beer! Wine! Vodka! Whiskey! Rum! Any of those ringing a bell? Or are you really that stupid!?”
    “Alright Shane,” Harvey stopped, stepping forward and lowering Shane’s arm. He spoke softly towards his ear, “The names could be different here; everything else is. Let me handle this.” Shane grumbled, turning away, as Harvey stepped closer to greet the lady. “Hi,” he began, “you’ll have to excuse him. We come from WAY out of town and it would seem you all carry a wide variety of items that we aren’t familiar with. If someone wanted to say...drink something that would make them feel really good, like as a release from all of their problems, what might the name of those beverages be?”

    The lady gave off the same, robotic expression. “I don’t understand. Is there anything I can help you find?”

    Pursing his lips for a moment, Harvey decided to try a different approach. “I’m sorry I haven’t properly introduced myself,” he said, holding out his hand. “My name is Harvey and you are?”
    Alex and Shane shot each other a glance as if to say, “What the hell is he doing?”
    The lady took his hand and answered, “Roxanne.”
    Harvey continued to hold her hand while placing his other hand over it. “Roxanne...that’s a very pretty name. And this is a wonderful little establishment you have here.”
    “Thank you! It’s my father’s store.”
    “Oh really?” Harvey said with wide eyes while continuing to grip her hand. “Well do tell him that I’ve never seen a finer grocery store in all my life with such a great layout and fully stocked shelves.”
    “Stocked shelves my a**,” Shane muttered.
    “I will do that,” the lady smiled, not pulling her hand away much to all three of the men’s surprise.
    A sinking feeling started to develop in Harvey’s stomach for a few seconds before finally releasing the woman’s hand. “So...uh…” he stammered, “what does your family like to do outside of manning the store? We’d love to hear about some fun and recreational places to visit here.”
    “Nothing,” came the simple reply with a shrug. “I hope you enjoyed your visit here at Darris Teeter’s Grocery. Have a lovely day. Come again soon!” She waved.

    The three men shot each other some confused glances and then promptly turned and exited the store.

    Outside, Harvey gripped his chin in thought, while Alex and Shane shared some of their thoughts about that interesting experience.

    49592514643_d9110e7781_c.jpg

    “Did that girl seem a little off to you?” Alex asked the both of them.
    “I’ll say!” Shane said without hesitation. “Who doesn’t know what an alcoholic beverage is? I’d say that chick is a few cards short of a full deck!”
    Alex laughed.
    “She’s cuckoo for Stardew Puffs I tell ya!”

    49593013496_0284fb734c_c.jpg

    “Maybe,” Alex said then paused to think. “She seemed kinda...robotic.”
    “Precisely,” Harvey said. “You two stay here for a second, I’m gonna go back in there and test something.”
    Shane rolled his eyes while stepping out of Harvey’s way as he entered the store again. “Really Harvey? Can’t you just give your nerdy brain a rest for a while?”
    “I won’t be long,” the Doctor replied.

    49592514538_5097f3154d_c.jpg

    Once the door closed, Shane and Alex shot each other a look of curiosity, but brushed it off quickly. Shane then shoved his hands into his pockets and glanced around at the buildings, the pigeons flying overhead, and the scenery, shaking a little bit. Alex found that odd.
    “You okay man?” he asked, feeling an unusual concern for this guy whom he almost always didn’t get along with.
    “Yeah!” Shane replied with a hint of irritation. “Why do you ask?”
    “Sorry it just...looked like you were shivering or something when it’s pretty hot out here.”
    “I’m not shivering, I just had one of those random muscle spasms. You should know which kind I’m talking about Mr. Athletic.”
    “Yeah I do,” Alex promptly answered, which he would’ve said even if he hadn’t. He could see he angered the beast and wasn’t sure why.
    “I’m fine!” Shane felt to asservate. “I’ll be even more so once Harvey gets his a** back out here so we can find a bar! Or I'll leave you both and find it myself!”
    Hmm…

    Right after Shane said that, the door to the store opened and out came Harvey, saying goodbye to the cashier lady. He wore a blank expression on his face and didn’t even acknowledge his two companions as he walked right on past them, stopping before the street, and sighing, staring out at the clouds hovering over the mountains in the distance. For a few seconds, no one spoke; and no vehicles drove by either. There was just the silence of nature, except for the sound of a gentle breeze rustling the leaves on the nearby trees.

    “What’s wrong?” Alex finally asked. “What was it you were testing out?”

    Harvey sighed again and then glanced over his shoulder at them as he replied, “When I went back in there that lady greeted me in the very same way and tone she greeted us twice before. There was no, ‘Oh hey you’re back,’ or ‘Did you forget something?’ So I asked her, ‘You don’t remember me? I was just in here a few seconds ago.’ Then she replied, ‘Nope,’ and repeated the greeting.’” He stared back at the clouds again.
    Alex was surprised for a moment, but then shrugged. “Maybe she has short term memory loss?”
    “No, it’s not that,” Harvey said. “This doesn’t make any sense…”
    “Well you’re a doctor Harvey,” Shane mocked, “figure it out.”
    “I did.”

    Now the two stared at his backside with great curiosity.

    Harvey finally turned to face them and revealed in a grim voice, “She’s not real.”

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    Alex’s eyes widened.
    “What!?” Shane cried. “Have you finally lost your marbles Harvey? How can she NOT be real? We could see her, talk with her, and you even touched her! Which by the way you held onto her hand for a disturbingly long time!”
    “Because I was discreetly checking for a pulse. There wasn’t one.”
    “What is it with you in checking everyone’s pulse! Leave us all the hell alone!”
    “I had a suspicion so I--”
    “Can’t you just quit playing doctor for like ONE second in your life and--”
    “Shut up Shane!” Alex ordered. “And let the man talk.”
    “Excuse me!?”
    “Harvey, are you sure she had no pulse? I mean, she looked pretty darn real and lifelike to me.”
    “Positive,” the doctor replied. “Her skin was unusually cold too. That woman in there is not a living, breathing human being.”
    There was a pause. “So...are you saying she’s an android?”
    “Possibly.” He stroked his mustache. “Which would be really quite fascinating, but at the same time,” he paused, “I have a bad feeling about this.” Alex’s eyes bored into his, begging for an explanation; Shane simply didn’t care. “Let’s just hope she’s the only android around here. If in fact that’s what she is.”
    Alex’s brow furrowed, unsure of what he meant by that.
    “We should be on our way…”
    “‘Bout time!” Shane emphatically agreed.

    ***************************





    To be continued... :)
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  • KevinL5275KevinL5275 Posts: 2,278 Member
    Oh oh oh!! A new Emily story!! Whoohooo! And now I understand your Harvey signature pic. :)

    Can't wait to catch up.
    I'm a 46 year old married man, with a beautiful wife, and a simverted personality.
    My Sims 3 Pictures
  • emorrillemorrill Posts: 7,472 Member
    KevinL5275 wrote: »
    Oh oh oh!! A new Emily story!! Whoohooo! And now I understand your Harvey signature pic. :)

    Can't wait to catch up.

    @KevinL5275 ^Yup. :blush: Thanks for reading buddy. :)
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  • KevinL5275KevinL5275 Posts: 2,278 Member
    I finally got caught up, and as usual your sim-women are beautiful. :D Are they new or recreations of other sims?

    I don't know Stardew Valley either, but I have heard of it. Good luck in writing more!
    I'm a 46 year old married man, with a beautiful wife, and a simverted personality.
    My Sims 3 Pictures
  • SquirrelTail15SquirrelTail15 Posts: 258 Member
    edited March 2020
    YAS! I am an avid Stardew player and this is great. P.S. Add in more of the townies - remember the whole clint/emily thing?
    Also Abby's clothes are perfect - the match the game really well.
    banner.png
  • emorrillemorrill Posts: 7,472 Member
    KevinL5275 wrote: »
    I finally got caught up, and as usual your sim-women are beautiful. :D Are they new or recreations of other sims?

    I don't know Stardew Valley either, but I have heard of it. Good luck in writing more!

    @KevinL5275 ^Thanks buddy. :blush: They are new creations that I based off looking at Stardew Valley pics of them. :)

    I hope to write more soon, but...the leisure in my life has come to a drastic halt due to the fact that I have to homeschool now for the next couple of weeks. :pensive: I really feel school will be out for good afterward...I don't think they're going to contain this COVID-19 in a matter of three weeks... *sigh* This is all so CRAZY! :fearful:

    YAS! I am an avid Stardew player and this is great. P.S. Add in more of the townies - remember the whole clint/emily thing?
    Also Abby's clothes are perfect - the match the game really well.

    @SquirrelTail15 Hey! :smiley: Thanks for popping in and thanks for reading. :blush: I always enjoy seeing what other Stardew Valley fans think of my story (as long as their comments are nice. ;):p ). Hee hee.

    I'm very well aware of the Clint and Emily thing. :smirk: But no I won't be creating the other characters. This story just focuses on the 6 bachelors and 6 bachelorettes. :) Just WHAT does the Wizard have in store for them in this whole new world? ;)

    Thank you. It's an EA Store outfit and I was pleasantly surprised just how well it resembled Abby's normal outfit. :)
    Hopefully I can write up the remainder of Chapter 5 soon. Stay Tuned!
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  • PalmArrowPalmArrow Posts: 4,176 Member
    I just came back to the forum after a while and your thread was one of the first things I checked. I love the updates - so many moments are adorable and funny (like everyone playing with their smartphones!), but some moments are also creepy in a very intriguing way. It was smart of Harvey to check for the cashier's pulse!
  • emorrillemorrill Posts: 7,472 Member
    PalmArrow wrote: »
    I just came back to the forum after a while and your thread was one of the first things I checked. I love the updates - so many moments are adorable and funny (like everyone playing with their smartphones!), but some moments are also creepy in a very intriguing way. It was smart of Harvey to check for the cashier's pulse!

    @PalmArrow Hey lady! :smiley: Long time no see! Hope you're doing well. <3 Gosh it's crazy in the world right now isn't it? :fearful:

    Aww, my story thread was one of the first you checked? That warms my heart. :kissing_heart: Thank you for reading and I'm glad you enjoyed it. :) These past few chapters have been fun to write and I've died laughing in certain parts! :lol: I hope I can continue on with Chapter 5 and finish it soon in my free time (which is the evenings now since I've gotta homeschool daughter and the school has a pretty strict curriculum we gotta adhere to... :pensive: )
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  • emorrillemorrill Posts: 7,472 Member
    edited April 2020
    Hey friends. :) Sorry it took SO long to get this out, but...you can understand with how crazy everything's been the past month. I'm glad I'm feeling better enough to write. <3

    Hope y'all enjoy! :blush:

    When we last left off, Harvey, Alex and Shane just discovered that the cashier lady at the Grocery Store is an Android or...something. :grey_question:



    Pelican Town to Sims Town
    Continuation of Chapter 5...


    Meanwhile, Abigail, Leah and Maru loaded themselves up into one of the vehicles that was also provided for them and made their way toward the hills behind their home. If there was any place to go foraging and find various rocks and soil, it would be in those hills.

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    The sky held a salmon pink glow as they followed the road up into the hills, which would soon become a cerulean hue once the sun made its way above the horizon.

    The road came to an end before a medium sized lake, surrounded by a dusty terrain spotted with rocks and dead grasses, with a skinny, multi-colored waterfall, much to the girl’s surprise, raining down into it from three giant boulders. Whether the water came from a natural source or was the work of magic they couldn’t be sure and didn’t think too hard on it. They just stood in awe over its glimmering beauty.

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    “Is that...rainbow water?” Leah asked curiously with peered eyes.
    “It’s breathtaking!” Abigail whispered. This world is spectacular!
    “No, not literal rainbow water,” Maru answered, studying the whole scene very carefully, “or else the water in the lake would also be rainbow colored. See how the water falls into a rainbow glow on the surface of the water,” she pointed, “yet the colors do not spread. Interesting…”
    “Fascinating,” Leah breathed.
    “It could be the way the light is reflecting off the water droplets, therefore producing a rainbow effect,” Maru intelligently concluded. But wait...the sun hasn’t fully risen into the sky yet...Hmm?
    “That or it’s a magical waterfall,” Abigail continued to admire. “I wonder if it’s really even water or just an illusion. I’d love to get a closer look!”
    “That may be dangerous,” Maru cautioned, snapping out of her thoughts. “Look how steep the slope is below those giant boulders. I wouldn’t recommend it.”
    Abigail did notice and curled her lower lip between her teeth in disappointment. If I could just get close enough, she thought, then I could...no. There’s not enough cover. Nevermind. She sighed.

    “Let’s get to work,” Maru directed, “we’ve got a lot to collect.”
    The other two nodded, pulling out a crumpled up grocery bag from their pockets.
    “Okay, you two will be collecting plants, grasses, seeds, and any other bits of vegetation that you feel might aid us,” Maru began. “If something looks neat or even odd, grab it. We don’t want to miss anything. We’ll work on collecting insects after we do that.”
    The two ladies nodded in acknowledgement again.
    “While you two are foraging I’m going to collect soil samples, and a sample of this lake water, as well as do a little fishing,” she smiled. This was the one time she was thankful her dad took her out fishing as a kid.
    Abigail took a quick look around and noticed a fence behind the waterfall that stretched out many feet on each side. “I think I might sneak over that fence and collect stuff too,” she said. “Lots of greener vegetation over there; should be some good stuff.”
    “Sounds good,” Maru nodded. “We’ll hit up some other areas around the countryside too, but for now let’s get to work as quickly as possible here while still being thorough in our search.”

    When Maru turned her back to the girls for a moment, Abigail leaned towards Leah and whispered in her ear, “She’s starting to sound like Harvey.”
    “Oh I know!” Leah whispered back with a snicker, thinking the same. “She’s been working with him for WAY too long!”
    “Almost to the point that they’re starting to look like each other!”
    “Just like an old married couple!”
    Their chuckles got louder.
    “You know, I bet those two will--” Abigail started.

    “What’s so funny?” Maru asked them.
    Instantly the ridiculous grins appeared. “Nothing,” Leah replied. “We’ll...uh...get to the foraging now.”
    “Yup!” Abigail chimed in. “Don’t want to waste anymore time!”
    “Okaaay,” Maru acknowledged, shooting them a questionable look. She watched them gather for a few seconds and then turned and made for the car.

    She pulled out a handy little scanner doo-dad from the backseat that she found resting on the chemistry table in her bedroom she shared with Abigail. She wasn’t sure how to use it, but after fiddling with it a bit she was able to figure a few things out.

    “Okay,” she whispered, stepping closer to the lake. “Let’s see what kind of reading I get from the lake water here.”

    49592515838_39a71ebf65_c.jpg

    The handheld device’s ability to collect various amounts of informative and scientific data on whatever it was being aimed at, even at a far distance, was beyond fascinating! The budding little inventor that is Maru, found herself geeking out all over it. It was a relief to see that many things from this world were made up of the same molecular structure as things similar to it in their world back home. That would certainly make doing research and studying much easier! I must pass this info on to Harvey, she thought, it should ease his mind a bit.

    She knelt down and gathered a hefty sample of water into one of the test tubes she carried in her pocket, sealed it, and then went on to collect different colors of soil from all around the lake. With all of the tubes safely placed in the car’s backseat cup holders, she grabbed the fishing rod - also found in her room - and stood near the edge of the lake and cast the line.

    49592513873_d17959f2c4_c.jpg

    While she fished, Abigail picked up some fallen leaves from a large crimson colored tree. In the corner of her eye the rainbow waterfall continued to flow and greatly called out to her, but she would have to ignore it for now.

    When she made her way to the fence line, she took a quick look from the left to the right, making sure no strangers were around to witness her jump over it.

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    When the coast was clear, she stepped up onto the middle fence post, carefully swung her other leg over, and landed on the other side with ease. She smiled while gazing at all the clusters of pine trees and went right on collecting the needles, cones, a long piece of bark, and even a solid drip of sap.

    The forested area seemed unusually quiet. Normally there’d be the random sound of a bird chirping, cicadas singing, or a gentle breeze rustling the leaves. There was none of that, only silence and there was quite a vast forest spread out in front of her. It felt a little unsettling, but at the same time she didn’t sense an air of danger. The dried pine needles cracked beneath her feet, piercing the silence, as she inched her way deeper into the trees to collect whatever else she might find. She stumbled upon a patch of mushrooms, hoping they weren’t poisonous, even some growing on the trees producing little platforms, but one thing she knew for certain is that some could be used for medicinal purposes so she collected as much as she could store.

    As she continued on her way she suddenly crashed into some unseen force that sent her flying backward and landing onto her back. “Ow!” she cried out, even though the collision didn’t hurt much. It felt like she ran into a gel padded wall. Carefully getting back onto her feet she peered ahead, still seeing the vast forest, but knew better than to keep walking forward. She reached out her hand, her forefingers raised, inching forward until they indeed met with something solid. It felt like a soft, invisible sheet and her touch created a ripple that spread out far into the treetops. Her mouth dropped in awe and question as she watched. Is this some kind of a barrier? Why is it here? Then her heart really pounded. Are we living in a giant bubble? But...why!? Breathing heavily now she whipped out her phone and called Harvey.

    When he answered she started off by saying, “You’re not going to believe this...but I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.”

    Meanwhile on the other side of the fence, Maru finished fishing, capturing three different kinds of fish, and then went on to forage as well.

    49592513728_eff64486b8_c.jpg

    Across the waterfall from her, Leah happened upon a rather large seed lying on the ground.

    49593012576_3bea9c5b40_c.jpg

    It seemed more like a pod, perhaps containing other smaller seeds in it, but she couldn’t be sure. She was tempted to pry or crack it open to see, but figured she better not and just dropped it into her bag. Then she sighed, staring off towards the town. Is it really necessary for us to gather all this stuff? Surely the stores have all that we need. I wonder what kind of information Elliott has gathered from the computer? She smiled and closed her eyes, thinking of her love and missing him once again. Maybe I should call him?

    “Maru! Leah!” Abigail called out. “You girl’s have gotta see this!”

    I guess I’ll just see him when we get back.

    *******************************


    Back at the guy’s house, Elliott was completely immersed in the "World-Wide-Web," finding all sorts of information on the history of the world and town where they currently resided.

    49593257142_0c7955e279_c.jpg

    His eyes glued to the screen, he returned to some notes he’d been taking in a separate word document and naturally he wrote it all up like a story. He read it aloud to himself in a whisper to refresh his mind, “The town of Appaloosa started out as a cowboy ranch town in the Midwest of Deserta - southern continent of Simthaer - on the edge of a major highway. As time passed, the town degenerated into nearly a ghost town when a few city slickers arrived turning the area into a bustling hub of activity. With their bags of gold they retrofitted the town with modern amenities while eagerly believing they’d acquired their own slice of country paradise. The clash between the old and the new is relatively apparent, with some elderly die-hards clinging to the remaining vestiges of life as they knew it.”

    Hmm, he stopped to think, glancing up and staring at the blank wall. A bustling hub of activity? I’m really not getting that vibe here, but...maybe it’s just me.

    His concentration and thoughts were continually being disrupted by the sound of music coming from the room next to his.

    Sebastian and Sam were jamming out on the various musical instruments in their room, getting familiar with them, ultimately settling on the electric guitar and drums. The drums were Sam’s favorite instrument to play, next to the guitar. Sebastian normally played keyboard and only recently learned to play guitar due to the fact that Sam had been wanting to start a band with him and Abigail for a while and expressed sometimes wanting to play the drums depending on the song. Sebastian also wrote up a couple of songs for their soon to be band and Sam wrote out the guitar and drum parts, leaving Sebastian to figure out the keyboard part later. They practiced the songs so much back home that they had them memorized and couldn’t wait to jam them out in this new world. The two were indeed a talented pair of virtuosos.

    “The extra strings on this guitar are so flippin’ sweet!” Sebastian expressed to his buddy, lightly plucking at them. “More notes for us to learn and experiment with.”
    “Fo sho!” Sam concurred. “Let’s see how we can add those extra notes into your ‘Nutcase’ song.”
    “Yeah! Let’s do it!”

    “Time to wing it!” Sam declared, raising his drumsticks in the air. “You ready?”
    Sebastian positioned his fingers and nodded.
    Then Sam counted while hitting the sticks together, “One, two, three, four…”

    The sounds from the guitar strings instantly permeated the room, producing a catchy Rock tune as Sebastian began singing the lyrics. He wouldn’t call himself a great singer, but he wasn’t terrible. Soon Sam would join in on the drums.

    49592515548_8a82bf9015_c.jpg

    49736776618_4bee76bb4a_c.jpg

    The first few bars of the song sounded pretty good to Elliott through the wall, but after hearing it being replayed over and over and over again during his research, the key changing each time, began to wear on his nerves. Nevertheless he pressed on. He was just too darn curious about this world and didn’t wish to cause any contention in the household on their second day here, even though it would surely happen. He still shuddered to think about living for months with these guys when he was so used to living on his own.

    “Okay that time it didn’t sound so good,” Sebastian expressed with a grimace.
    “Yeah, the verse notes sounded alright, but the chorus suc’ked,” Sam said.
    Looking thoughtful, Sebastian then said, “The time I played it in this new E-flat major sounded righteous!” He re-positioned his fingers over the guitar strings. “Let me see if I can remember...”
    “True!” Sam pointed with his drumstick. “Alrighty, from the top then?”
    “Yeah.”

    Thinking the guys had finally taken a break in playing, that ever familiar Rock sound once again rang in Elliott’s ears. His fingers slammed down onto the keyboard with his forehead nearly following suit. He’d had enough!

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    He jumped up from his chair and headed straight for the other bedroom door. Raising his fist to knock he suddenly stopped himself. Something within him told him to chill because he was somewhat of a musician himself and could respect a good jam while trying to experiment with a song. And obviously the two young men weren’t trying to bother him. It wouldn’t be fair or kind to just burst in there and yell at them, especially when he really had no authority to do so. This is something he would just have to learn to get used to.

    He lowered his head with a sigh and thought, I swear those boys act like teenagers and it drives me nuts! Or am I just turning into an old man prematurely? He cracked a smile. Nah...let them keep thinking Harvey is the oldest and authoritative one here. I refuse to get too involved in anything, especially drama. Standing up straight and clearing his throat he calmly opened the door, approaching the situation in a different manner now.

    “Hey,” Elliott addressed through the music. “Could you guys maybe take a break from playing for a bit? I can’t concentrate on my research.” He paused, seeing the guys acknowledge, but choosing to finish the song before stopping. “Besides...we’re all supposed to be exploring and discovering all we can about this place today.”

    49737335216_317a9bde36_c.jpg

    “We are discovering something about this place,” Sam spoke in between drum beats, “the musical instruments!” He threw out a cheesy grin.
    “They’re pretty much the same as they are in our world,” Elliott retorted.
    “No,” Sebastian corrected, “they are quite different. For example, this guitar has six strings instead of four. Can you believe that!?”
    That prompted Elliott to glance over at the keyboard to study and see if it too had more keys than his piano back home.
    “That means there’s more musical notes to discover,” Sebastian went on with a grin.
    “And that's so rad!” Sam added. “Wait until I get my hands on that guitar!”
    “Besides Elliott, this is enlightening ourselves is it not?”
    “What he said!”

    Elliott just stared at them both with his mouth in a hard line and a raised bow, not willing to give them the pleasure of admitting they are right, but rather...doing something else. “I’ll show you two what key this song belongs in.” And he headed straight for the keyboard, sitting himself down.

    Sam and Sebastian shot each other some bright-eyed looks of wonder as they kept on playing.

    They didn’t even have to start the song over, Elliott jumped right in on the keyboard, knowing exactly when to, leading it into a key change that hadn’t been attempted yet and the other two naturally followed suit. The more Sebastian played in the new key the more he began to approve of it and soon...he began to love it. He and Sam now jammed louder and with more feeling than before. “Fantastic!” Sebastian gleefully voiced.

    “Wow Elliott,” Sam began, “I’d heard you played the piano some, but I didn’t know you were this good!”
    “You should totally join our band!” Sebastian blurted out in excitement, without fully thinking about that first.
    Sam rapidly shook his head ‘no’ at him.
    “Not on your life kid,” Elliott said, secretly loving the feeling of the music pulsing through his soul from each fingertip. He leaned his head back and closed his eyes for a moment, smiling. It’d been too long since he played and he missed it more than he realized.

    49733176341_14fc6a5a26_c.jpg

    Yeah, I still got it!

    *****************************

    :blush:


    To be continued...

    Author's Note: The song Sam and Sebastian were playing I imagined to sound something similar to this song:

    :p
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  • emorrillemorrill Posts: 7,472 Member
    Pelican Town to Sims Town
    Continuation of Chapter 5...


    After they finished foraging all around the lake, Abigail, Leah, and Maru got back into the car and traveled down to the base of the hills where they happened upon a walking path that led...somewhere. Their curiosity was piqued. It was now midday and the outside temperature was rising quickly. Walking the path in the heat with barely any trees around to provide shade didn’t sound too appealing to Leah, who never cared for hot weather to begin with. “I say if the trail is longer than a mile we turn back,” she suggested. “Besides I’m almost out of water.” They each felt guilty for not packing more.

    During their mile walk they all happened upon a few different gemstones sitting around on the grass just off the path which seemed...interesting to them all, but mostly to Abigail. Finding these was too easy, she thought with a raised brow. Then her eyes caught hold upon a tall and massive structure; a water tower. “Oh wow!” she breathed and darted towards it to get a closer look. Leah and Maru followed.

    “Oh my goodness isn’t it amazing!?” Abigail asked, clasping her hands together in excitement.
    Leah glanced over at Maru and asked, “Are you seeing just a water tower too?”
    “Yup,” came the reply.
    “Okay. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't hallucinating from the heat or something…”
    Maru stifled a chuckle.

    49592513608_374df5bfea_c.jpg

    “Sorry girls,” Abigail said, somewhat overhearing, “I know it’s not the usual thing to get excited about, but I’ve only ever seen one in books and they were always kinda cool to me. I’m gonna go stand underneath it! Join me if you want.” And off she went.

    Leah and Maru stayed put, standing side by side gazing up at the tower. A light breeze kissed at their cheeks.
    “Well,” Maru started with a sigh, “you mentioned being almost out of water so…,” she gestured with her head and winked.
    “NO thanks!” Leah emphatically voiced. “I’d rather drink from the lake back there than that smelly, stagnant water that’s been in that tower for goodness knows how long!”
    Maru laughed. She felt exactly the same.

    *****************************


    Back at the girl’s house, Emily had been hard at work harvesting the fruits and vegetables that were ready out in the backyard, while Haley hung out on her bed surfing the World-Wide Web from her cell phone, teetering her legs and blowing gum bubbles. Penny was taking it easy, per Harvey’s orders, and sat on the couch reading some books while sipping on water at the same time. Once noon approached they were all hungry and joined up in the kitchen to find something to eat.

    At the table, upon finishing her lunch, Haley groaned, “I’m so bored!” Emily just rolled her eyes. “Hey Emily, will you let me play with your hair?”
    “No,” her sister answered with a hint of annoyance. It’d been asked many times before. “I don’t know why you keep asking me, you know I don’t like it.”
    “Well maybe because it’s fun and,” she then mumbled, “you could use a new style.”
    Emily heard and shot her a look.
    “Or at least let me put some make-up on you. I promise to use only the colors you want.”
    “No…”
    “Oooh, are you offering a makeover?” Penny asked in her ever soft tone. “That sounds like fun!”

    Haley glanced over at Penny with wide eyes and a bright grin, like she’d just seen a giant diamond. “You'd like a makeover? Because girl I’ve been wanting to play with your hair for a LONG time!”
    Penny wasn’t exactly sure what she meant by that, but she smiled and replied, “Sure. I’d love to get some ideas on how to better style my hair. I figure I’m about due for a new look.” She cupped one of her loose buns with a blush and might’ve been thinking about wanting to surprise Harvey.
    “Yeah girl because pony buns are SO ten years ago,” Haley said with a dismissive wave. “No offense…”
    “None taken. I’ve kinda kept this same look since I was 16 so…”
    “Well what are we waiting for?” Haley asked, holding out her hands. “Come with muah!” And she led Penny into the bedroom like an excited schoolgirl at recess.
    Emily lowered her head and thought, Oh boy…

    Haley pulled a chair up to the vanity and bid Penny sit down. Then she stood directly behind her, studying her, as they both stared into the large mirror.

    49752208977_7e412bb4f1_c.jpg

    “Okay,” the blonde began, “so what we want to do is give you a more womanly look since you’re not in the schoolhouse tutoring kids anymore and...you’re in your twenties now, right?”
    “Yes. Twenty-two.”
    “Perfect! I have just the right look in mind for you. Let me go plug in the curling iron and then I’ll give your hair a good brush while it’s heating up!”
    “O-Okay,” Penny said, suddenly feeling a little nervous.
    Emily passed by Haley while entering the room and sat herself down in a nearby chair. She and Penny exchanged smiles for a moment and then she said, “There’s no going back now,” and winked.
    “Yeeeah. Should I be nervous?”
    “No. She’s the best,” Emily sincerely replied.
    “Alrighty!” Haley practically squealed upon entering the room again with a brush in hand. “Out with the old Penny and in with the new!”
    Oh dear, Penny thought, with a gulp, I hope this is a good idea…

    Haley pulled the hair ties out of Penny’s hair more forcefully than she cared for, but could tell Haley was already enjoying herself. That always made Penny happy, helping others feel happy. The three girls made small talk as Haley ran many brush strokes through Penny’s fine, auburn hair. The time soon came to use the curling iron and Haley didn’t use it as much as Penny, and Emily, were expecting; just curling the ends of her hair and bangs.

    When she finished, she set down the curling iron and sighed while saying, “Well...it’s done. What do you think Penny?”
    “Wow!” came the whispered response.
    “I think you look fabulous!”
    “Beautiful,” Emily added.

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    Penny’s smile beamed while gazing at her reflection. For a moment she could hardly believe it was her. She felt prettier than she’d ever felt before, and more confident. Like a woman. I wonder what my mom would think of it? She dismissed the thought rather quickly though...because she knew exactly what the reaction would be.

    “Well? Do you like it?” Haley asked, feeling a little antsy.
    “I love it,” Penny expressed, “I feel like a whole new person.”
    “Yeah yeah girl! That’s the point!”

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    “The guys will be lining up outside the door just to ask you out,” Emily said with a wink.
    Penny blushed and pulled at the end of her hair a bit while looking away. “Oh I doubt that…”
    Then Emily playfully slapped her shoulder. “Yeah right! One of them is bound to get all googly-eyed over your new look like say...I dunno...SAM!”
    Penny whipped her head around and faced her with a look of shock.
    “Ohhhh yeah!” Haley chimed in. “I forgot about what that little squirt Vincent was going around and telling people.”
    The color drained from Penny’s face. “What was he telling people?” she asked, heart pounding.

    Now it was Haley who playfully slapped Penny’s shoulder. “Like you don’t know!” she exclaimed. “How he saw his older brother pinning you against a tree and--”
    “No,” Emily corrected, “he wasn’t pinning her against the tree, he was lifting her up into the tree and ‘they sat on a branch for hours flirting.’” She grinned at Penny. “Those were his words not mine.”
    Penny facepalmed. “Vincent saw that?” she whispered. “And told everyone about it?”
    “So it DID happen!?” Haley about squealed. “Oh now you gotta give us the details girl! What were you two doing up there?” She smirked.

    “Nothing!” Penny replied with a tone, her hand slapping down upon her lap. She felt mortified by the implication that’d been going around town against her knowledge. “We were just climbing a tree together, like we always did as kids, chatting about...oh I don’t even remember what we were chatting about.” Then she looked both of them straight in the eye. “Sam and I are just friends, nothing more. Sure I had a crush on him when I was thirteen, but...he never showed any interest in return so that faded and we continued on as friends.”

    Emily’s eyes lowered in remorse. “I’m sorry Penny...I didn’t mean to upset you.”
    “I’m sorry too,” Haley added.
    “It’s okay,” Penny kindly assured. “I can understand both of your curiosity.”
    “And if I’m being honest,” Emily added, “I had a hard time believing you and Sam were an item. You two are like total opposites to me.”
    “Well you know what they say? Opposites attract,” Haley said, picking at her nail.
    “Not in this case,” Penny politely said, then smiled. “I can see how Vincent misread what he saw. He’d sometimes ask me if I would ever become his big sister.” She chuckled, with a glimmer in her eye. “I love that kid. I miss him…” Now the smile disappeared as she tried not to let her emotions get the best of her again.
    Emily placed a comforting hand upon Penny’s and smiled.
    “I will say this, that Sam is mighty fine,” Haley said, fiddling with Penny’s hair again. “He and Alex both are. The best looking of the bunch I say!”
    Hearing that, Penny and Emily looked away for a moment, disagreeing.

    Once the short silence passed, Penny spoke. “Say Haley, do you have any cute outfits I could try on to go with my new look?”
    Haley’s face beamed. “I thought you would never ask!” She then had Penny stand in front of the floor mirror to get a better look at her.

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    “Hmm,” she mumbled, gripping her chin. “While I agree that yellow is a great color on you, it’s bright and screams energy, which is so not complimentary to your calm and quiet personality. We need something lighter, and I don’t want to go with any shade of green because it’s such a commonplace color for redheads.”
    Emily just shook her head with a slight grin.
    “Let me see what I can find here…”

    After trying on numerous different tops, Penny and Haley finally settled on one they both agreed with. Not only did it match with her hair, but with the darker shade of red in her skirt as well. Haley picked out a few accessories to go with it, as well as promptly ditching her stockings and fuchsia pumps for some matching strap heels. Lastly she applied a little makeup.

    “That should do it,” Haley concluded, gazing into the mirror with Penny.

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    “Girl you look amaze! Not to mention that top really shows off your amazing cleavage!”
    “HALEY!” Emily cried. “My gosh…”
    Penny blushed.
    “What!?” Haley cried, with her hands spread out. “‘If ya got it, flaunt it’ right? And this girl’s GOT it! It’s about time she flaunts it.”
    Emily gave her an unamused look. “There’s nothing wrong with being modest about it,” then she addressed Penny. “That aside, you really look stunning Penny. You’re gonna surprise everyone with your new look.”
    “Thanks,” came the sweet reply. I sure hope so… She then turned and gave Haley a hug, thanking her as well.

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    “It was my pleasure,” Haley said, giving her a quick squeeze before breaking the embrace. “Come back to me anytime you wanna change up your look.”
    “I think I’ll stick with this one for now, but thanks.”
    Emily came over and gave Penny a hug too. “Now go take on this new world sweetie!”
    “That’s the plan,” Penny said with a grin.

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    She now had a feeling that great things were going to come to pass for her here. So many opportunities had already opened themselves up before her. It felt glorious and freeing, something she really hadn’t felt in years. Her anxiety was gone and replaced with a renewed hope in the future.

    Jas and Vincent, take care sweeties. You’ll always hold a special place in my heart. And mom...I hope you know that I understand and...I forgive you for it. I pray you’ll be there to greet me when I return.

    ******************************


    Continued in the next post (hopefully :lol: ) below! 👇
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  • emorrillemorrill Posts: 7,472 Member
    Continuation of Chapter 5...

    Author's Disclaimer:
    There's a little bit of cursing in this one and references to addiction withdrawals.



    As the day wore on into the late afternoon, Abigail, Leah and Maru found themselves in a dusty area, surrounded by a low chain link fence, just down the hill from an old vacant gas station and gift shop. The enormous statue of some reptilian creature they just passed intrigued them, but also gave them the chills. But what was even more chilling, was running into skeletal remains of possibly just such a creature and they instantly froze in their tracks.

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    “Does this mean those giant reptiles actually exist!?” Leah asked with a shiver.
    “These are SO cool!” Maru said with excitement.
    “On the bright side Leah, this one is dead,” Abigail grinned.
    “NO! They HAVE to be extinct! Please oh please God let them be!” Leah cried, eyes closed and hands clapped together in prayer.
    “They most likely are,” Maru assured, stepping closer and placing her hand upon one of the bones. “These bones look ancient; and are fossilized. I’m gonna give one a quick scan with my handy dandy scanner here.” After a minute doing that, she informed, “Yup. These bones are 68 million years old.”
    “Oh thank you Lord!” Leah praised.
    “And they’re known as Dinosaurs,” Maru read on. “And they are indeed classified as reptiles.” She continued reading on in her head. “Hmm, this is fascinating. The existence of these creatures is WAY cool! But yeah, wouldn’t want to be alive during the same time as they were.”
    Leah shuddered again.
    “Do you think a fragment of these fossilized bones will be of any use to us?” Abigail asked.
    “Useful? I doubt it, but definitely great for studying and analyzing.”
    Abigail whipped out her phone again. “I’ll call Harvey again and ask just to be sure. He kinda blew me off earlier when I asked what his thoughts are on the barrier I ran into because something came up on his end I guess.” She shrugged and dialed.

    “Hey it’s me again,” she greeted when Harvey answered. “Why did you blow me off earlier?”
    “Sorry about that,” Harvey said, “we were trying to have a discussion with a guy at City Hall and...it wasn’t going so well.”
    “How do you mean?”
    “It’s,” he hesitated, “too much to explain over the phone, we’ll have to meet again as a group and talk about it later.”
    Her brows furrowed. “Okaaay. So anyway I called to tell you that we happened upon some 68 million year old bones from these giant reptiles called Dinosaurs!”
    “Really? That’s awesome!”
    “Yeah, so should we grab a fragment of one of these things? Will it be useful to us in any way or just for studying?”
    “It’s possible both. But yeah please do grab some fragments, I’d love to take a look at it.”
    “I figured as much,” she smiled. Definitely keeping one for myself!

    “So you guys haven’t run into any magical barriers too?” Abigail then asked him.
    “Nope,” he replied. “I doubt there will be any in town, but I’m sure if we traveled far out in the opposite direction from the hills we would.”
    “And what are your thoughts on the barrier?”
    “Well, it’s now apparent that magic is involved in this world. Perhaps the Wizard is trying to keep us contained into one area of it for the purpose of the quest.”
    “Ugh...that just makes me feel claustrophobic!”
    “It certainly creates a suffocating feeling for sure.”
    “But WHY though? And is this even a real world out in the cosmos or just one the Wizard created to watch us in like a snowglobe!?”
    “I don’t know Abigail, we’ll have to figure that out later. Right now I’m trying to find out where the Hospital is…”

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    “Yeah and you shouldn’t be driving and talking on the phone at the same time Harvey!” Shane raised his voice to purposely reach Abigail, straight through Alex’s ear it seemed.
    “Oh you’re driving?” Abigail asked. “You coulda told me that…”
    “Well we’d just gotten in the truck when you called and I didn’t want to ‘blow you off’ again,” Harvey said, “Plus I’m driving so slow here in town that I figured--”
    “He figured that HE, mister high and mighty, is okay to do it when normally he’d get after US for doing it!” Shane leaned over to yell once again into the phone.
    Harvey sighed. “I gotta go…,” he told Abigail, with an unamused look.
    “Yeah, good idea. Catch up with you guys later!”

    Shane leaned back into his seat, arms folded and with a proud smirk, but the feeling was short lived. As he watched the same buildings pass by again out the window, he let out an exasperated sigh. “Why do we need to find the Hospital right now anyway? None of us are dying or anything…”
    “Because,” Harvey snipped, carefully studying each building, “I wanna make sure I’m not the only living Physician around here.” I sure hope I’m not…

    He was still trying to recover from what the three of them were continuing to discover. When they stopped by the Library, Gym, Art Studio, City Hall, and other random offices and stores, they encountered the same android-like persons as the woman in the Grocery Store; carrying very little intelligence with pre-programmed responses. And they were all just manning the front desks, there were no other workers or residents mingling around. It was quickly becoming apparent that the twelve of them from Pelican Town were the only living and intelligent life forms on this planet...at least in this town, which seemed to be shut off from the rest of the world, as Abigail had recently informed. Harvey wasn’t ready to believe it, or to accept it, for many concerning reasons.

    Having gone up and down the streets of the small town a couple of more times and not discovering any sort of medical clinic (“Hey! There’s the Bar!” Shane exclaimed), Harvey pulled the truck over, stepped out and abruptly closed the door behind him, leaving the other two within. He wove his hands together behind his head and stared off into the distance, trying to catch his breath. Alex shot a questionable look at Shane, who just scowled and sunk back into his seat.

    Why are there no medical clinics or a Hospital here? Why aren’t there any real people? And why the barrier? Harvey asked in his mind.

    49752208782_729ca9cbaf_c.jpg

    He gazed up toward the sky. “It doesn’t make any sense!” he voiced. “WHY!?”

    Then he lowered his head. What is the meaning of all this? This is not what we signed up for. We were just supposed to go on a quest; do a favor for the Wizard. He sighed. God help us...if You’re even there.

    “Harvey?” Alex gently asked, he and Shane approaching him from behind. “You okay?”

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    Quickly pulling himself together, the Doctor replied, “Yeah. I will be.”
    Shane folded his arms. “Are you seriously getting emotional over the fact that there’s no Hospital?” he asked while rolling his eyes. “We’re not gonna need one.”
    “You don’t know that…”
    “The Wizard is playing some game with us in this made up world. We’ll solve it eventually without hurting ourselves.”
    “Again, you don’t know that.”
    “Don’t treat me like some mo'ron Harvey! I’m smarter than you think!”
    “He’s not saying you’re a mo'ron Shane,” Alex stepped in. “Harvey, it makes sense there aren’t any medical clinics here because the residents aren’t human.”
    “But WE’RE human. The Wizard knows this.”

    Alex gulped. “Well, if anything does happen to any of us...we’ve got you. You’ve been patching us up back home for a while now.”
    “True, but,” Harvey paused to turn and face them, his bangs plastered to his forehead from the perspiration, “there’s only so much I can do. I’m no specialist or surgeon and beyond that I have no medical supplies. The Grocery store had nothing except for band-aids and a few pills to cure a headache and alleviate allergy symptoms.” His tone grew louder. “I don’t have much to check basic vitals with. I can’t run tests. I don’t have any needles or thread for sutures, nothing to start an IV with or IV fluids. Hell I don’t even have a defibrillator! I have NOTHING!” The two stared at him blankly now. “We don’t know what’s out there,” he said, pointing behind him, “what dangerous wildlife there is or foreign illnesses to our systems. You two understanding now!?” His wet bangs now dangled over his stressed eyes, giving off that mad scientist look. It made what he was implicating pierce into Shane and Alex’s minds all the more.

    After a moment of silence, Harvey brushed the bangs away from his eyes and continued in a softer tone, “I’m not going to trust that the Wizard has removed all harm in this world from us or if so, will protect us from it. He is not that powerful.”
    Alex lightly nodded, some of the concern rubbing off on him. “We’ll figure everything out Harvey. We’ll be alright,” he said to comfort himself more than anything.
    “I say we could all use a drink,” Shane expressed, with his arms still folded. “Unless you don’t drink Doctor?” he disrespectfully asked Harvey with a raised eyebrow.
    Harvey met his gaze with a stern look and replied, “I drink...just responsibly.”
    If he was implying anything, Shane didn’t care to acknowledge it. He was just finally happy to get his way. “Alright then, let’s head on over to the Bar! The day is done and we have certainly carried it.” He then swung on his heel and made for the truck, promptly getting himself in.

    Alex and Harvey shot each other a curious expression at the term Shane just used, not sure if he knew exactly what it meant, or if it was even truly accurate, but they both shrugged it off and got back into the truck themselves.

    ******************************


    When Harvey pulled up to the bar, Shane gazed upon it from the window like he’d just found buried treasure.

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    Finally, he thought, pulling the elastic cuffs from his sleeves further down over his shaking hands. He could no longer control them now and it’d taken a great deal of deteriorating mental effort to do so. Soon this will all be over and I’ll be just fine.

    Upon entering through the swinging doors Shane stopped right before the bar, drawing in a breath and exhaling it pleasurably. He could swear it smelled just like the Stardrop Saloon back home. The guy behind the bar was mindlessly drying the glasses; he expected as much.

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    Alex took a seat at the end of the bar, reading the available drinks from a small chalkboard on the wall. Harvey stood between him and Shane, thinking it probably best that he refrain from drinking since he had already become the designated driver.

    “Bartender,” Shane happily addressed while sitting down, “get me a ‘Boilermaker.’”

    49593256482_d7c773a087_c.jpg

    The man stared blankly at him for a moment and said, “I don’t know that kind of drink. What can I get for you this evening?”
    Harvey couldn’t help cracking a smile while Shane facepalmed. “Just give me the strongest drink you have.”
    “You got it!”

    In no time at all the bartender shook up a drink and poured it into a martini glass, sliding it before Shane. It was lime green in color which he found to be a bit strange for their strongest drink, but this world was bizarre and at this point he didn’t care. He promptly lifted the glass and began to drink.

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    No sooner had the liquid touched his taste buds that he abruptly spit it out, projectiling forward, and barely missing the bartender. It certainly caught everyone’s attention. “What the HELL is this!?” he cried, wiping at his lips. “This isn’t beer or whatever the hell you machines call it over here!”
    Harvey came up to Shane’s side. “It probably contains a different form of alcohol.”
    “No! I KNOW alcoholic beverages, and yes I can even pick up on a foreign style of it, and this ISN’T one!”
    “Shane you can’t possibly--”
    “Oh yeah Mister smarty-pants if you don’t believe me try one yourself!”
    Harvey sighed and reached for Shane’s drink.
    “Not mine! Order your own!”
    Begrudgingly Harvey ordered a completely different drink and took a small sip of it.

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    Licking his lips a bit he said, “Hmm. Delicious. That’s the healthiest bar drink I’ve ever tasted.”
    “Shut up Harvey!” Shane murmured while rubbing at his forehead.
    “You’re right though Shane, this doesn’t taste alcoholic at all. It almost tastes like...juice.”

    In that moment, Shane froze; the color draining from his face, beads of sweat dripping from his brow and his heart pounding within his chest. Genuine fear radiated in his eyes as he gazed at his reflection in the bar mirror and he could feel his airway becoming constricted. Oh no…

    “Bartender,” he addressed again with a choke, “What are the names of your drinks here?”
    The man paused to think for a second before replying. “Spritz Juice, Martini Juice, Daiquiri Juice--”
    “That’s enough,” he stopped. “Juice?” he then questioned, staring at him with a twitch in his eye. “ALL of your drinks are made out of JUICE? The stuff squeezed from fruits!? Even in a BAR!?”
    “Yes sir. Squeezed only from the perfect quality fruits,” came the cheeky reply.

    Shane was fuming. Crimson red outlined his vision. Unable to control his rage any longer he sprang forward and grabbed the man by his shirt collar, bringing his face before his, causing numerous glasses to fall and break onto the floor.
    “Hey! Shane!” Harvey addressed, gripping his chest to pull him back. Alex rushed over to help.
    “Quit with the bull sh'it!” Shane hissed in the man’s face.
    The mechanical man simply stared at him in terror, not uttering a word.
    “Are you telling me that there’s not a FRICKING drop of alcohol in this entire town!? Da'mn you all and the Wizard to HELL!”
    “SHANE!” Harvey shouted, finally pulling him away from the bartender. He gripped his wrists to better hold him in place and ordered, “That’s enough!”

    Surrendering, mostly from his own weakness, Shane hated meeting Harvey’s gaze as he tried to catch his breath. His chest rose and fell rapidly like he’d just run a marathon and Harvey could feel his pulse palpitating through his wrists and witnessed beads of sweat rolling past his bloodshot eyes and down his cheeks. Realization suddenly set in and the Doctor couldn’t believe he didn’t recognize it sooner. “Shane...you’re really not okay are you?”

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    “Get your hands off me!” Shane fumed, jerking free from Harvey’s grasp, and dashed toward the swinging doors. He kicked the trash can over with great force before shoving the doors open and exiting.
    “Shane, where are you going?” Alex called out.
    “Home,” came the sharp reply. “Screw all this investigating, I’m DONE!”

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    Alex and Harvey stood still, watching him disappear with sorrow in their eyes.

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    “Geez,” Alex whispered, then glanced upward from hearing the hail rattling on the roof. “We can’t let him walk all the way home in this.”
    “He’s not really giving us a choice,” Harvey said, pulling out his phone and searching through his contacts.
    “But he might get hit by a car or something! You saw how he was staggering!”
    “I know, and that’s why we’re going to stealthily follow him home. If that’s actually where he’s going.” He held the phone up to his ear and waited for Elliott to answer.

    “Hey, we’re done for the day and heading back. Shane will arrive there before us.”
    “Huh? Why?” Elliott asked.
    “He’s in deep distress because he’s suffering from alcohol withdrawal and decided to walk home. We’re gonna trail behind him a ways to make sure he does, but once he steps through the door I need you to approach him calmly and keep a close eye on him. Make sure he doesn’t attempt anything...crazy.”

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    Alex’s eyes widened, same with Elliott’s on the other line.
    “Once we get there I’ll see what I can do to help him.”
    “Okaaay, but...I doubt he’s gonna let you near him Harvey, especially when he’s feeling like cr’ap. It’s no mystery he doesn’t like you.”
    “I know,” Harvey sighed, “and that’s why I’ll need help from you and the other guys. He’s gonna need to be closely monitored for the next few days because...he’s gonna get a whole lot worse before he gets better. He’s going to need all the care and support we can give him.”

    ******************************
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  • KevinL5275KevinL5275 Posts: 2,278 Member
    Oh wow, cool, TWO updates!! I love it.

    Penny looks great, but poor Shane. I hope he is able to kick that habit.
    I'm a 46 year old married man, with a beautiful wife, and a simverted personality.
    My Sims 3 Pictures
  • emorrillemorrill Posts: 7,472 Member
    KevinL5275 wrote: »
    Oh wow, cool, TWO updates!! I love it.

    Penny looks great, but poor Shane. I hope he is able to kick that habit.

    @KevinL5275 I'm glad seeing two updates filled you with happy. :blush: Thanks for stopping by again and reading.

    Yeah...Shane's got a rough road ahead of him. :pensive: And as hard as it is to make any character go through such a challenge, I'm very much looking forward to writing it! It's excites me! :smiley:

    (I hope that doesn't sound terrible, but I think you know what I mean. :p )
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  • meerkattimemeerkattime Posts: 198 Member
    @emorrill Took me a while to catch up with the story but I did :). Exciting and a little bit scary - I wonder what happened to the residents of the town... I really like it how you recreated the Stardew Valley characters - they look spot on.

    I wish I could take a closer look at that rainbow waterfall too, lol. So the girls are gossiping about Maru and Harvey... Little do they know that Harvey might have other plans for his love life. Maru and Harvey might be a good match, but perhaps they've been working too long together to see each other that way anymore. The waterfall seems to appeal to Abigail more than to the others... I wonder if there's a special reason for that.
    They really seem to be inside a game since the world has invisible walls around it.

    The world wide web would definitely be an exciting thing for someone who has never seen it. I hope it gives them some answers. A bustling hub of activity, and yet there's no one around. What happened to all the people? Strange. Nice to see the guys having fun discovering the instruments. Elliott looks handsome playing the keyboard. I guess he deserved a break from the research.

    I must say I like Penny's cute pony buns, but what Haley did to her hair looks beautiful. I'm sure Harvey approves ;). Penny's newly found confidence seems to be a step towards the happiness she's supposed to find on the quest.

    I wouldn't want to see the creature those enormous bones belong to... Good to hear they are 68 million years old ;).

    Shane does look like he's not feeling well in the picture where he's looking at Harvey with his red eyes. Smart of Harvey to call Elliott. I hope Shane feels better soon.
  • emorrillemorrill Posts: 7,472 Member
    @meerkattime Hey girl. :smiley: Thanks for popping in and reading. I know there was a lot to catch up on. :kissing_heart:
    I loved your comments! They made me smile :smirk: and chuckle. :lol:

    I like Penny's pony buns too so they won't completely disappear. ;) She just needed to do something to boost her confidence a bit.

    Yeah poor Shane has a rough road ahead of him. :pensive: Hopefully he'll allow someone in to help him......
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  • emorrillemorrill Posts: 7,472 Member
    The beginning of Chapter 6 is here! :smiley:

    Author's Note:
    Depictions of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, depression and suicidal thoughts are in this chapter. Please read at your own risk if these are sensitive topics to you. <3

    Enjoy! :)



    Pelican Town to Sims Town

    Chapter 6

    Elliott stood in the foyer of the guy’s house, back pressed against the wall and reading a romance novel, while waiting for Shane’s return. It was a fantastic read, but he couldn’t focus on it as well as he would’ve liked because of the thoughts that kept popping into his mind on how he was going to approach Shane once he arrived. He didn’t particularly like the guy, most in town didn’t, so he never really associated with him. Therefore when Harvey asked him to keep a close eye on Shane, he was somewhat unwilling and at a loss as to what to say or do to help him.

    Soon though all thoughts of Shane disappeared as a particularly erotic scene began unfolding in the novel and Elliott’s eyes were glued to the words on the pages. A bright grin gradually formed as he envisioned the two characters being him and Leah.

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    Suddenly, Shane burst through one of the front doors, startling Elliott, and promptly kicked it closed behind him with great force. It was a miracle the glass didn’t shatter. Sam and Sebastian watching TV on the other side of the house even jumped at the slam. Shane made a beeline for his bedroom, fists clenched, and face red with rage.

    “Hey Shane,” Elliott felt to acknowledge, not looking up from the book, “how’s it going?”
    “Pi'ss off!” came the sharp reply and he slammed his bedroom door closed.
    Elliott’s eyebrows jumped for a moment. “That went well…”

    Inside the bedroom Shane paced the floor, unable to control the tremors any longer and it was driving him insane! Violent thoughts kept trying to enter his mind and he tried with whatever strength he could muster to push them out. He threw his hands upon his temples, boring his fingernails into his head while continuing to pace and pace. Stop. He breathlessly ordered. Just stop!

    There was a knock at the door which sounded much louder to Shane than it was. “GO AWAY!” he fumed.

    “Shane, it’s Elliott,” the man spoke in a tone of concern. “What’s going on man?”
    “I told you to go away!”

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    “Where’s Harvey and Alex?” he asked, playing like he didn’t know anything.
    “I dunno! Probably carrying on in their pointless exploration.”
    “You guys were supposed to stay together. What happened?”
    “NOTHING! I just got tired of exploring and dealing with Harvey so I bailed. Now leave me alone!”
    Elliott pressed his arm against the door, drawing in a breath. “Look Shane, whatever’s bothering you man we’re here to help okay. I mean it. I’ll check back on you in a little bit.”
    “Like hell you will! I don’t need any of your help!”
    “I think you do...”
    With one last breath, Shane shouted, “I just wanna be left ALONE alright! Is that too much to ask!? And if any of you come in here I’ll kill you!”

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    Elliott’s eyebrows rose again as he released a big sigh. Sebastian then approached him, with Sam following behind. “What’s going on?”
    “Shane’s going through alcohol withdrawal,” Elliott replied in a whisper. “And it’s pretty bad from Harvey’s tone about it.”
    “Seriously?” Sam asked, munching on a granola bar. “I thought you only get withdrawals from sugar and drugs.”
    Sebastian turned his gaze toward Sam with an incredulous look. “Geez, how stupid are you?”
    “What!?” he innocently asked with his arms spread apart. “I don’t know anything about alcohol. My parents and school taught me to stay far away from that stuff. Unlike some people,” he muttered that last part.
    “Hey,” Elliott sharply addressed Sam in a whisper, “not everyone who consumes alcohol gets addicted, like myself, and just because someone wishes to indulge in it doesn’t make them a bad person.” Sam shut his mouth and looked away.

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    Elliott now addressed them both. “Look, I don’t care for Shane any more than you guys do, but...we need to put our self righteous judgements aside and take care of him right now alright? He’s one of us...and he needs help! It’s been long overdue honestly.”
    “Sounds like he doesn’t want our help,” Sebastian noted.
    “Whether he wants it or not doesn’t matter,” Elliott countered, “he’s not himself right now and probably doesn’t know what he wants, except for a drink. We just need to be here for him and make sure he doesn’t hurt himself. Got it?”
    The two boys nodded.
    “I know this won’t be easy...but we have to try. Or,” he gravely paused, “he could die.”

    On the other side of the door, Shane slumped down to the floor beside his bed. He pressed his forehead into his knees, the heat from it seeming to burn and cool them at the same time from the perspiration. His entire body shivered and it wasn’t just from the withdrawal and impending fever. A sudden fear of the unknown overtook his entire mind, except for a tiny, shining image of hope. The face of someone very important to him.

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    “Jas,” he whispered, squeezing his eyes closed to block the tears; he’d gotten pretty good at doing that. The tremors continued to nag at him and he leaned his head back, eyes closed toward the ceiling, trying to control his breathing. “I don’t know…if I’m going to make it kid. But I will try.” He lowered his head to where his chin now rested upon his knee. “I have to keep my promise...That’s right Shane...focus on the promise. Focus on her. Focus...focus.”

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    But the intense desire for a drink hit him hard again, causing a quick, upper body spasm, which made it all the more difficult to focus on anything else. He could feel the deepest, darkest side of his depression gradually creeping in, seeping through all his internal defenses, and without the “medication” to hold it back...he feared losing complete control over his mind. That’s what terrified him to the very core; it wasn’t the thought of never having a drink again. At least while drunk he felt somewhat in control, not totally incapacitated. His body shook and shivered harder and faster. No, I won’t let you take over again. I WON’T!

    Because he knew that if it did...there’s no telling what he might unconsciously do.

    *****************************

    A few minutes later, Harvey and Alex returned home and Elliott informed them that Shane had shut himself in his room and that Sebastian and Sam were now on board to watch over him and help in any way they could. Harvey was pleased to hear it.

    Even though he figured it would probably be best, and help ease the situation, if they all just gave Shane some space, Harvey was still very concerned about his health and suggested they all focus more on aiding in his physical needs than mental for the time being because...he wasn’t allowing any of them in in that department. And probably never would. They all nodded in agreement.

    Sebastian and Sam offered to make a salad for dinner since they “can’t cook worth a darn,” and as they did that, Harvey found a couple of water bottles in the kitchen and bravely approached Shane’s door.

    “Get lost!” came the sharp response to the knock.
    Harvey sighed. “Shane, I’m not trying to bother you, I just brought you some water to drink.”
    “Don’t need any.”
    “Well, since you’re so set on staying in your room I think you do.”
    There was a pause. “Well, I’ll step out when I need to take a pi'ss and I’ll drink something then alright!”
    Harvey shook his head. “Shane you need more fluids than that in your system right now. You’re dehydrated and that’s only going to make this experience even worse.”
    “Save your medical advice for someone who cares, Harvey. And I don’t drink water, it su'cks!”
    “I know,” Harvey lightly responded, pressing his fingers upon his forehead while trying to keep his cool. “But could you please just do this one thing I am asking of you and I won’t ask you to do anything else. Please? I’m opening the door…”

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    Harvey barely opened the door a few inches, when Shane abruptly pulled it open all the way and hissed, “Fine!” while grabbing the bottles and then slamming the door in Harvey’s face. The doctor just shook his head and walked away.

    While holding the bottle of tasteless and boring liquid in his shaking hand, Shane couldn’t deny his extreme thirst. Imagine it’s your favorite drink, he told himself with his eyes closed, and it’s gonna taste good! Drawing in a breath, he unscrewed the cap and promptly took a drink. After two gulps he spit out the rest. “Oh G*d!” he whined in disgust, wiping his mouth with his jacket sleeve and slamming the bottle onto the desk. He stooped down to the floor and onto his knees moaning. Soon he found himself lying in the fetal position, his body continuing to shake uncontrollably. He squeezed his eyes shut, imploring himself to breathe and take control and never succumb.

    While struggling in the pit, he failed to hear Sebastian knock on the door and after not getting a response, the young man opened it up and peeked in. “Dude are you alright?” he asked Shane, but there was still no answer. Shane just lay there, shaking and whispering words that couldn’t be made out. Sebastian wanted to help, but didn’t know how...so he simply said, “I brought you some dinner. I’ll just leave it here if you feel like eating.” And that’s just what he did, before gently closing the door.

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    “Harvey,” Sebastian addressed while returning to the dinner table, “Shane’s trippin’ in there. He’s on the floor and shaking.”
    Harvey nearly choked on his food. “Is he having a seizure!?” he cried, bursting up from his chair.
    “No,” Sebastian stopped him with his hands raised, “sorry I didn’t word that right. He’s like shivering, all curled up on the floor and whispering stuff to himself.”
    “Are you sure?
    “Yes!”
    “How would you know what a seizure looks like?” Sam asked his buddy.
    “Because! I’ve seen the movies!”
    “Sometimes it’s not the same,” Harvey interjected. “I’m gonna go take a peek to be sure.”

    A minute later, Harvey returned and informed everyone, “He’s not having a seizure, thank goodness. But he’s having some intense tremors which is normal,” and sat himself down.
    “Can’t you do anything?” Sebastian asked.
    Harvey sighed. “There’s really not much I can do…”
    “Yeah,” Elliott spoke out, “and even if there were Shane won’t let you touch him with a 10 foot pole!”
    “Why?” Sam asked. “What’s he got against you Harvey anyway?”
    “I honestly don’t know,” the Doctor replied, “it could be any number of things, but right now I’m just trying to respect his wishes. If I can gain his trust, he might finally allow me in.”
    “But what if he gets worse during that time?” Sebastian asked.

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    “Then I’ll intervene,” Harvey assured, “and that is exactly why I need you guys to take turns discreetly checking up on him hourly and report back to me.”
    “Even at night?” Sam asked.
    “Yes.”
    “Aw man!”
    “And while you guys are doing that I’m going to be up studying all those medical books in my bedroom. There’s gotta be something I can find or compound around here that can help ease some of his symptoms.” He gripped his chin for a moment, stroking his mustache with his forefinger in thought. “He may need an IV so I’ll have to figure out how to craft one of those...I dunno.” He shook his head. If only there were a hospital around! This has the potential to become very serious. And without me knowing his prior medical history...

    “Well,” Elliott said, looking down at his latest text message, “Leah says the girls are on their way over here to discuss everything you all discovered out there today. We better clean up.”
    *****************************



    To be continued...
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