“Mommy, do you have to go? I don’t like it here. I want to go home.”
Evangeline had said taking Gemma to the conference would do here some good! That it would get her out of her shell! Instead Renata had been called to leave the conference early almost every day this past week to pick Gemma up from the tutor because she missed her mom.
“Gemma, it’s only for a few more days. And look, you’ll be with your new friends! You’ll be okay, baby, but mommy has to go now.”
“He~ey Gemma.” Isidore greets with a face full of concern. “How are you doing? We were all really worried about you when you left class early yesterday. I didn’t mean to hit you with the basketball.”
Gemma looks back at her mother longingly, knowing that as soon as she’s crossed the street to the conference centre Isidore and the other kids will go right back to being the jerks she knows they are.
And she’s right. As soon as Renata is out of sight, Isidore’s concern turns into a cruel grin and he’s engulfed with light as his body begins to shift into that of a werewolf.
Gemma isn’t the only human girl in the temporary school system the government set up for the visiting dignitaries and their children, but she is the only one terrified of her supernatural classmates. Isidore and a few of the others tend to take advantage of that on a daily basis.
She runs off crying and Isidore returns to his friends on the playground, feeling quite proud of himself. Leya just giggles to herself, shying away from his slightly intimidating appearance. She isn’t as scared of his werewolf appearance as the other kids are, but its still pretty gross.
“You know you really shouldn’t be so mean to her, Isi.”
“Oh whatever. You laughed too.” He growls at her without bothering to turn around. He knows his face grosses her out, and he doesn’t want to alarm his little sister.
It takes a few more minutes before one of their classmates, Connor comes back with his arm around a crying Gemma. “Got her. Who made her cry this time?”
Leya can’t rat out her brother so she keeps quiet, but Rosie has no such familial obligation. “Who else? It was Isidore again.”
Normally Isidore doesn’t go back into human form until a teacher threatens to call his mom, but a few days ago Autumn Mattell found he could force the little werewolf to go back to his human form with only a thought.
“Wh-what? How? … Goddamit, Autumn! Stop doing that!”
“No.” The little genie responds boredly before motioning towards the crying red head. “Now say sorry to Gemma or I’ll turn you into a toad.”
Autumn is a mixed occult, like Isidore. Unlike Isidore, Autumn inherited bits and pieces of his entire occult background rather than only one form’s abilities. None of the kids really know how far his abilities go, so they tend to listen to him when he makes a threat.
“Fine. Sorry Gemma.”
Isidore walks off in annoyance, and Gemma shrugs off Connor’s arm. “Th-thanks, Autumn. I’m sorry for being a cry baby all the time.”
“Don’t worry about it.” He dismisses. “Isidore is just a big bully. He only scares you because you react. I do it to Elise all the time. Just learn to ignore him and he’ll move on to someone else.”
“He’s only being nice to her cause he’s crushing on her.” Connor whispers to Leya while Gemma and Autumn are talking.” I can’t wait til she leaves. Her mom’s just a journalist anyway, she isn’t like us so I don’t even know why she’s here.”
Connor is a teleporter, like his mom, while Leya is a normal human like her dad and birth mom, but she’s here because her step mom is a witch. The majority of the kids in their class aren’t human, and they really look down on the ones who are. Leya isn’t bullied only because Isidore is a werewolf and her sort-of brother, so that makes her one of them. Same with Connor's sort-of sister Rosie.
Gemma however is free game.
After her talk with Autumn, she gather the courage to approach Isidore and confronts him about his behaviour. “Why are you always so mean to me? I haven’t ever done anything to you, and I try to stay away from you, but you keep coming up to my just to be mean and scare me. Why?”
“Cause you’re a giant baby.” He responds. “And you don’t even know what you SHOULD be scared of. You know my mom had to fight off a werewolf who wanted her dead when I was just a baby? He killed my uncle, but she was able to fight back and protect herself. What would you have done? Cried and let him eat you? Be happy that at the end of the week, you’re going back to your little town where the only monsters are the ones under your bed.”
He leaves Gemma to think about his words while the other girls play tag with Autumn and Connor.
“Was you mom really attacked by a werewolf?” Rosie asks, having overhead what Isidore said.
Leya figures Rosie means her step mom. “Yeah. He was Isi’s grandpa.”
“So does that mean Isidore will become a monster too one day?”
“If he does, that means Connor might be one too one day. And you and me. We might be humans, but we could always buy guns.”
“Well honestly, I think this whole “Cure” business is just another way the Sim Nation governments are trying to control and discriminate against occults.” Says Karishma Day, the platinum blonde witch from Twinbrooke. “I mean, being a witch or a vampire or whatever isn’t an illness.”
It’s been a long day, and even the constant breaks aren’t helping with exhaustion that comes from listening to people talk for hours on end. And it doesn’t help that most people are using their break time to discuss this morning’s guest speaker and their pro-cure stance.
“I’m thinking of going up to speak after the break.” Gem decides. “Talk about how my mother used the vampirism cure to poison me and how taking away my choice to be cured or live as a vampire effected my childhood and how long it took me to come to terms with my fate.”
“I think that’s a fantastic idea!” Bayrose comments with a smile. “It’s pretty clear that not many people here have had first hand experience with the cure, while you have.”
A thunderous voice makes everybody look up as a bright pink presence enters the room. “I was told there would be ALCOHOL. Why is there no alcohol?”
The fairy wearing the brightest dress Bay has ever seen walks right up to their table, hands on her hips as she studies the table’s residents suspiciously. “Oh great. Pregnant people. So many goddam pregnant people. Is this why there is no alcohol? Is that guy pregnant? Holy cow, how the hell did you lot get a GUY pregnant? I’m not even mad! That’s amazing!”
They’ve been in Sunset Valley for a few months now, barely long enough for Gem to start showing. He and Bay thought they were hiding his belly well with loose shirts, but apparently not well enough.
“Oh my gosh, Kaity! You can’t point out a pregnant man! What if he’s just really fat or something?”
“Are you really fat or something?” Kaity asks.
Gem sighs as she takes a seat across the table. “No… got abducted right after my girlfriend and I got the invitation for the conference. I’m about 4 months along.”
“No worries, then!” She smiles. “Your baby boy will be absolutely adorable and sweet in every way. You’ll love him.”
“How do you know?” He asks.
“I can see the future.” She answers. “Not everyone appreciates what I can do, but it pays the bills.”
Bayrose always knew her brother wasn’t the only fortuneteller in the world, but this fairy doesn’t seem at all tortured by her abilities. She’s probably a fraud.
“My brother could see the future. He saw his friends and family dying and suffering and it made him go crazy.”
Kaity hesitates for a moment before speaking again. “I can understand that. When I was young I saw one of my friend’s futures and I wasn’t able to stop it from happening. It affected me for a long time, but you have to move on from those visions. If you let them eat at you, you will go crazy. My fiancee helped me figure that out. I’m lucky to have him.”
Her words bring back memories of Sophie, and how happy she and Blaine were for their year of marriage. “My brother married a good friend of mine. She understood his gift and they were very happy together.”
“Yeah, I figure those of us who get to adulthood with our sanity intact enough to get into a good relationship are the lucky ones.” Kaity agrees, seemingly deep in thought. “I never really thought about it growing up, but I guess I’m one of the more normal ones.”
“Well that’s a sad notion.” The other fairy seated at the table comments, absentmindedly rubbing her pregnant belly. She introduced herself earlier as Rose Breeze but Gem really doubts that’s her real name. “You know, I’ve heard rumours of this fortuneteller in my home town, Appaloosa Plains who can tell you how you are going to die, and keeps going on about some sort of upcoming war between occults and humans. I figured thats why this whole conference thing was called, but I don’t know. He might be a fraud.”
A low male voice interrupts the silence that follows Rose’s words. “Forgive the intrusion, but I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation…”
Gem doesn’t need to turn around to know who is walking towards them. The asshole who made Bayrose swoon their first night in town by kissing her hand and asking her for a dance. If it wasn’t for her introducing Gem as her fiancee right after the dance, he might have actually been mad at her.
“I’ve heard of this so called prophet as well. He was in my town for a while last year. Considering hoe much money he charges for his services, he has to be a fraud. And any of his predictions that supposedly came true can all be easily explained by self-fulfilling prophecy. I really doubt any one can actually see the future. Everyone who claims to is obviously just a fraud.”
If looks could kill, the vampire would be a pile of ash by now. “Excuse me? Frauds? Who the hell is this joker?”
“Gregorio Raven.” Bayrose explains as the vampire pointedly ignores Kaity’s questions. “He’s annoying, but he’ll grow on you eventually.”
“He still hasn’t grown on me.” Gem mutters but both girls ignore him.
“I don’t mean to insult.” Gregorio explains after a long glare from Karishma (the blonde witch). “But you must admit that this man’s predictions and expectation of payment are quite convenient. What kind of fortuneteller would act like that?”
“Anyone trying to make a living in this world.” Karishma sighs. “It’s hard enough to live in this world as an occult with all the racism against our kind. Imagine looking different as well? I’m sure asking for money in return for his predictions is the only way he and his family can survive.”
“How do you know he has a family?” Kaity asks.
“I’ve spoken with his wife.” Karishma answers. “Pretty girl with some very awesome red hair. It’s what drew me to her. She says she’s a genie so people are always trying to capture her, or take their son away because he looks so strange so the only way they can make money is through his predictions.”
“That’s mighty convenient.”
This time the questions come from Gem. “How does he look strange? An extra leg or something?”
“He’s blue. Like his dad.”
Bayrose doesn’t say anything, she just stands up abruptly, almost toppling her chair over.
It gets the attention of most of the room and the table falls silent. Kaity tries to speak but Bayrose silences her with a finger. “Sorry, the room is just getting kind of warm. I need some air.”
The conference attracted numerous camera crews for the first month, less the second. Now the only press present are the few journalist personally invited to attend the actual talks and events. Its a relief what Bayrose exits the building to find the surrounding area completely abandoned.
She always knew her brother was out there somewhere. Part of her hoped that their mother had found him, that they’d settled down somewhere nice where no one knew what he could see and that she was helping him with Evan and that he would be happy. Knowing that he was moving from town to town, selling his visions to keep his head above water, and already re-married? She wasn’t sure how she felt about all that.
“Hey, you okay?”
She thought she wanted to be alone, but seeing Gem coming out of the building after her actually makes her smile. “I don’t know.”
“You know, it might not be him. Dora isn’t the only frost fairy in the world.”
“I wish I could believe it wasn’t him, but lets face it. Fortune telling is one of the rarer gifts for mutts to be born with, only half-witches ever get it, and only Frost fairies are blue. We know that Blaine’s son was blue and is with him… it’s him.”
Gem takes a moment to think about his next words. “Okay, so its him. So what?”
“From what I can tell, he’s been moving from town to town and only stays for a few weeks at a time. Would you see us go after him while we’re both expecting?” He pauses, placing a hand on Bay’s not yet obvious belly bump. She’s farther along now than she’s ever made it before and both are quietly hopeful that this will finally be their miracle baby.
“I can’t just abandon him, Gem. What if he needs me?”
“Then he will come back home.” He answers. “Blaine may be your brother, but he’s also a grown man. He left because he needed space, and if you find him before he’s ready to come back on his own he may not react like you want him to. We have to trust his judgement, and Karishma may not have been telling the whole story. You know she can be a bit dramatic.”
He hasn’t put all her fears to rest, but he has helped. Like always, he knows exactly what to say to calm her down. She loves him. If she hadn’t realized that before the trip, she certainly knows it now. This trip was such a good idea.
Title of the chapter: Everybody Talks by Neon Trees. I wanted a rumours time song and this is the best one I could find.
Look! Happy! : D Big thanks to Heaven, Gemma and FutureCarrie for letting me use their lovely sims. Sorry to Heaven for abusing Gemma (the sim) more than I thought I would. I guess Isi is just a big bully.
Kaity was so much fun to write. No wonder you're having such a hard time letting her go, Gemma (the writer). I hope I did her justice.
The other sims featured in this chapter; Karishma Day, Gregorio Raven and Rose Breeze are all original sims from my new story blog "Bringing Back Magic". So far only Rose has a chapter out, but Greogrio and Karishma's stories will follow soon. They're each doing their own procreation themed challenge and if you squint closely and tip your head to the side you may see where this story is going.
No spoilers. : )