A Specter Legacy Prologue


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All good stories need a backstory, and here's Andy Specter's.

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A Specter Legacy Prologue

  1. 1. CH 0.0
  2. 2. Andy walked up the steps of the apartment with a tiny smile on his face. He’d had a lot of memories here, lots of good ones. He hoped things would stay that way, but realized that such a wish might be impractical, especially as he was about to break up with his girlfriend here. It was finally time to acknowledge that they were heading in two different directions. It shouldn’t be too bad, though, Andy thought to himself. Kiera was a reasonable woman.
  3. 3. He knocked on the door and waited a beat before he heard a shout from inside: “It’s open!” a female voice called out, and Andy walked inside to a comical sight.
  4. 4. He couldn’t help but chuckle at the sight of his girlfriend. She wasn’t the best of dancers. Hearing his voice, the woman asked, “Is that you, Andy?” before she peeked over her shoulder.
  5. 5. “Yup, it’s me, Kiera. How’ve you-” But Andy didn’t get much more in, as the woman’s squeal quickly drowned his words. “ANDY!!!!!!” she exclaimed happily.
  6. 6. Andy barely had a moment to register before the spunky blonde hurled herself at him. “Whoa,” he said, taking a step back to brace himself. Luckily, he was used to this sort of thing. Kiera was a regular ball of energy.
  7. 7. “Oh my Plumbbob! Where’ve you been Andy?! It’s been AGES! I’ve missed you SO much. And OMP, you missed the greatest party ever last night! You shoulda been there. Everyone one was asking about you and I was all like ‘OMP, I have no idea where he is, but he should like totally be here cuz this party is like EPIC’ and anyways where you been?!” “Mmmpf” was the only response that could be heard.
  8. 8. “Huh?” Kiera stopped squeezing Andy long enough to give him a questioning look. Andy, freeing himself from Kiera’s hair, took a breath and said “It’s good to see you. And I missed you, too.” “Oh.”
  9. 9. Jumping down, Kiera gave her boyfriend a glance over. “So what ya’ been up to, superstar? You’ve totally been avoiding me.” “No, I haven’t-” Kiera gave him a look. “Well, okay, not on purpose. I’ve been busy lately, with some work stuff.” “Work?” Kiera asked, surprised. “Since when do you work? I thought you only temped and picked up tips whenever you performed at the Lounge.”
  10. 10. “Well, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about. I’ve got a lot of stuff to tell you-” “I’ll say! And boy, do I have stuff to tell you! You should’ve SEEN what Lilly and Dom were doing on the couch last night, and of course, Amin couldn’t hold his juice and threw up in the bathroom AGAIN, and – Oh! OMP, how could I forget Sandy’s drunken strip-tease/karaoke number?! I’m telling you, it was EPIC, you-” “Kiera, hold on a second. I’m being serious; I’m trying to tell you about my plans.
  11. 11. “Plans? What plans?” “My plans. I’ve been thinking a lot about my future lately-” “Oh, those types of plans. Andy, you know I hate talking about the future. You gotta lighten up, live in the moment, concentrate on the-” “Kiera.”
  12. 12. “Look, I know you like to be spontaneous and that you’re all about having fun; it’s one of the things I like most about you. But I’m different. Or at least, I’m becoming different. The thing is Kiera, I’m at the point in my life where I want to settle down.” “Settle down?” Kiera cocked her head to the side. “What does that mean? Sounds ominous.” “It’s not. It means I’ve been thinking about buying a house. Getting a steady job even, maybe-”
  13. 13. “In other words, you wanna be boring and predictable.” “Kiera…” “What? That’s what it sounds like,” she shrugged. Andy sighed. “Look, Kiera, I wanna start a family soon-”
  14. 14. “Whoa, whoa, whoa! You KNOW I don’t do kids. I mean, maybe one day. Like one day far off. But that’s like forever from now, you know? I mean it’s a long, long, long, LONG ways away. Ages from now. I mean who really wants to spend their youth chasing after rugrats when they could be jetting all over the world or going after their dreams, you know? Not that I’m going anywhere any time soon, but hey, we could totally make that happen. HEY, you know we could go to-” “Kiera! Focus!” Andy tried to bring Kiera back to reality before she ran off on another tangent.
  15. 15. “Look, I know you don’t want to have kids right now. I understand; you’re not really sure what you want to do with your life and you’re focusing on having fun and trying a bit of everything. Plus, I know how wrapped up in your magic studies you are, or at least, how you’re supposed to be. All that’s really important to you and I get that. You aren’t ready to settle down… But I am.” “…I don’t get it.” Kiera said, looking confused.
  16. 16. “I mean you wanna settle and marry and stuff, but you know I don’t. And you’re cool with my decision. So, like what are you trying to say? Because there is, like, no resolution. I mean, how are you going to marry and have kids if I don’t wanna marry and have kids yet? There’s like, no point to even bringing it up.”
  17. 17. “Oh, dear,” Andy muttered softly. “This is going to be harder than I thought… Okay, Kiera, think, sweetie. Real hard, okay?” Kiera stood there, staring at Andy for a minute or two. “…Wait. You’re not saying that we should break up?” Andy sighed and raised his brows. “OMP, you are!” “Yes, Kiera. That’s what I’m saying. I think we should break up.”
  18. 18. Kiera laughed nervously. “Is this some kind of a joke, Andybear? ‘Cuz if it is, it’s not funny.” “Why would I joke about something like this?” Andy looked at Kiera patiently. “But you can’t really… I mean… There’s just… You… But…” Kiera fumbled around, searching for the right words. “We’ve been going out for so long…” She finally managed to get out softly.
  19. 19. “…How can you be so willing to throw away everything we have without even trying to work things out?” “Kiera…” “Don’t I mean anything to you?”
  20. 20. “Of course you mean something to me. You will always mean something to me-” “Then I don’t understand why you won’t give me a chance! Okay, so maybe commitment scares me a bit right now, but we don’t have to rush and do everything all at once, right? I mean, it’s not like you need to have a baby tomorrow, right?” “Well, no…”
  21. 21. “Right, so we could take baby steps. We could- We could… We could move in together! We could make a commitment by getting a place together and talking about all that other stuff,” Kiera rushed out, relieved she’d thought of something. “Kiera, I do not think that’s a good idea.” “Why not, it sounds perfect!” “It sounds like a hasty decision, not like something you’d actually want to do.”
  22. 22. “How do you know, huh? Maybe it is something I’d like to do, or at least be okay with, especially if it meant the alternative was losing you forever!” Kiera suddenly looked worried. “Kiera, I’m not trying to hurt you, honest. I just… You shouldn’t move in with me just because you’re afraid of change.” “It’s not just change! Andy, don’t you realize that I… Don’t you know how I feel about you?”
  23. 23. “I do,” Andy replied. “And believe me, I care for you, too. But… It’s just finally time to admit that we’re going in different directions. We both want different things in our lives. At least right now.” “So why can’t one of us just wait for the other to catch up? Compromise, you know? Isn’t that what relationships are all about? We may be on different wavelengths now, but if given time, we’ll get back in sync.” “Or not…,” Andy muttered.
  24. 24. “What?” Kiera said faintly. She sounded hurt, too. Andy sighed. Trying to be gentle, he spoke up: “We might never get ‘back in sync’ so to speak, Kiera. We’re two very different people with very different goals. And staying together wouldn’t be fair to either of us - if I made you give up your dreams or you made me give up mine, one of us, or very likely the both of us, would be miserable. We both deserve to be happy and get what we really want.”
  25. 25. “I know exactly what I want Andy, and I know that I’d do anything for you, to stay with you. Let’s just face the facts, ‘k? You don’t really care that much about me.” “Kiera, I do care about you-” “If you did-” “It’s just that,” Andy continued, fighting to be heard. “You’re not exactly who I pictured settling down with.”
  26. 26. “You would- wait what?” Kiera paused, trying to process what she heard. “You what? What does that mean? Am I not good enough for you or something?” Andy rubbed his temples. That did not come out well at all. “No, that’s not what I meant. I… It’s just that you… have a lot of good qualities. Like the ability to find the best party on a Saturday night and the perfect place to eat for less than $20 at 3 o’clock in the morning for instance. You can make anyone laugh and have the uncanny ability to make anyone feel comfortable around you…”
  27. 27. “And that was great – you were – are – great. Oh, geez.” Andy took a breath. “What I mean is, that it was fine to date you while I was young, out on my own for the first time and stuff.” “You still are young!” Kiera butted in. “Well, yeah, but I want to buy a home and start a family now.” “What’s with all this family business! You don’t even like kids that much; you’re knowledge!”
  28. 28. “That doesn’t mean I can’t want a family. Kiera, can’t you understand that I need to find someone who thinks a bit like me, wants some of the things I want? Someone who can be serious. …And responsible.” Someone who wouldn’t be afraid of changing a dirty diaper or two, Andy thought to himself. “And you don’t think I can be any of those things?” “No, it’s that I know you don’t want to be any of those things.”
  29. 29. Kiera was a little stunned. Andy had never spoken this way to her before. He’d never been so - so… mean. “I- I could change-” Kiera tried again. “But I don’t want you to!” Andy sighed for what seemed like the hundredth time. “Kiera, look, it was nice while it lasted, but you and I aren’t going to work out. I do care about you, but it’s over between us - and, no, I’m not going to cheat on my wife.” Kiera closed her mouth and swallowed her unsaid comment. Andy just shook his head at her. “I’m not that type of guy, Kiera.”
  30. 30. “But you’re supposed to be my guy…” “Not anymore, Kiera. I had hoped – you know what? It doesn’t matter what I’d hoped. I just can’t be your boyfriend anymore, Kiera. I’m sorry, but we’re over. Goodbye.” And with that, Andy turned around and headed for the door. He knew he shouldn’t linger; it’d only make things more awkward. Things didn’t turn out like he’d planned, but sometimes life is like that.
  31. 31. Andy may have seemed at peace with everything, but Kiera felt far from the same. Inside, she was a wreck. Her head was still spinning, trying to figure out how the love of her life could just walk away with a terse goodbye. She and Andy had been through everything together; why didn’t he feel the same way about her? Why wasn’t his heart breaking at the thought of a future apart? How could she be rejected so easily? “F-Fine,” She choked out, speaking to Andy’s retreating back.
  32. 32. “Leave, see if I care,” she taunted. She swallowed, trying to come up with something, anything, really, that would hurt him as much as he hurt her. “You’ll be the sorry one; you’ll see. You’ll wish you had never let me go – You’ll be miserable without me.” And she desperately wished it would be so. All she could think of was Andy in pain, in absolute anguish without her until he could take it no more – and he’d come back. She wished for that more than anything at that moment. “You go have your stupid babies,” she continued. “Like I care about dumb stuff like family! I- I hope your stupid descendants all die!” At those words, a strange power filled the room, causing the air to crackle.
  33. 33. “Wha-” Kiera stared in a daze as power leapt from her finger and grew with a force she’d never seen before. She stumbled backwards as the energy ball stripped her magic from her and hurled itself forward. Towards Andy.
  34. 34. Helpless, Kiera could only stare in shock as the energy ball hit Andy and caused the man to start convulsing. His arms and legs flailed about as Andy’s face twisted in agony. His mouth was locked in a soundless scream as power whirled about him, burning every inch of his skin.
  35. 35. “No, stop!” Kiera yelled, finally finding her voice, but it was too late. The power glowed and deepened to a sinister green before being absorbed into Andy’s flesh. The convulsing grew more violent then, causing Andy’s eyes to roll up inside his head.
  36. 36. “Oh, my Plumbbob…” Kiera gaged, but forced herself to watch, trying to figure out what exactly was happening so that maybe, just maybe she could reverse it. Problem was, this- this thing was unlike any magic she’d ever seen before. “Please don’t die, Andy, don’t die on me…” she whispered.
  37. 37. Suddenly, as if on command, the convulsing stopped and Andy’s body swayed…
  38. 38. Before collapsing to the floor. Sparked to action, Kiera rushed to his side and checked to see if he was still breathing. He was. “Thank Plumbbob,” she whispered.
  39. 39. “Holy, crap, what have I done?!” she asked herself as reality sank in. Quickly, she made Andy as comfortable as possible then raced upstairs to grab her spellbook from her workroom. There had to be something on what she’d done.
  40. 40. Hours later, Andy woke slowly. He rubbed his eyes, trying to figure out where he was. A few seconds later the room came into focus.
  41. 41. He recognized the room; It was Kiera’s living room. But why was he asleep on the couch in her living room? Didn’t he come over to break up with her? What had happened? They were arguing then-
  42. 42. “Andy,” Kiera said tentatively as she approached him. She was so relieved he was awake. It had been hours and he had made no signs of improvement, no movement or anything. “Andy?” She asked again. Andy sat up. That was a bad idea; his head began pounding and Kiera’s voice wasn’t helping. What happened? He asked himself. He thought back and tried to piece things together.
  43. 43. Kiera hovered over Andy; she didn’t know what to do – it’s not like she was a doctor. She grew more and more worried the longer he didn’t say anything. He just sat there, holding his head and it was making her anxious. What if there was more damage than she thought? What if he never spoke again? What if- “K- ACK!” Andy tried to speak but ended up coughing. His throat was too dry. “Do you need some water?” Kiera asked. “I can get you some water, just hold on.”
  44. 44. Heading towards the kitchen, she paused to look back at Andy. This was all her fault. She hurt the man she loved the most and now he was in pain. And what’s more… What if she couldn’t ever fix it? An uneasy feeling settled over her. Shaking her head, she hurried to the kitchen to get Andy some water. Meanwhile, Andy tried to remember his last few moments of consciousness. He had said goodbye to Kiera – or tried to anyway. She was upset and kept ranting about something. He was at the door when this strange thing came out of nowhere…
  45. 45. “Here’s your water,” Kiera walked back into the living room only to be met with a very irate Andy. “I don’t want your flippin’ water!” He shouted and tried to push the glass away, but was soon plagued with a fit of coughs. Reluctantly, he accepted the water and gulped it down so he could continue his yelling. “You did something!” He finally managed to get out. “You- You cursed me!” Kiera stared apprehensively at Andy for a moment before nodding. “Yes, I think so.”
  46. 46. A little taken aback at her honesty, it took a moment before Andy could make his reply. “How could you?” “I didn’t mean to, honest! It was an accident. I was just thinking- or rather, I wasn’t thinking and- and-” She gulped. “My magic got away from me. I didn’t even know I could do that; it wasn’t intentional and I-”
  47. 47. “I don’t care about your excuses! You used magic on me! You cursed me. Just seconds after you were telling me how much you care about me and how you want me to reconsider breaking up with you, I might add. Well, you really showed me how you feel. It’s so good to know. ‘Scuse me if I want to get as far away from you as possible now.” “Wait, please; you have to stay!” “Why? So you can finish me off?”
  48. 48. “What, no- Andy, it was an accident, I swear! Please, you have to stay, maybe I can fix it-” “Maybe?” “Um, well… I’m not exactly sure what I did…” “WHAT?”
  49. 49. “That’s what I was trying to tell you – that spell, or curse or whatever, is unlike any magic I’ve ever seen or studied! I’m not quite sure what I did-” “How can you not know? You did it!” “But that’s just it! I don’t even know what I did- I told you, I didn’t mean to do a spell. And it’s not like life threatening curses are in The Witchiest Witch’s Spellbook for Beginners, you know. I don’t even start free form spells until chapter 10…”
  50. 50. “Great, so I’m cursed for life because you’re a slacker! Just what did you do to me anyway? Am I going to grow horns or something?” “Um…” “You don’t even know?!” “I’m trying here, okay? Doesn’t that count for something? That I’m trying to fix my mistakes?” Kiera took in Andy’s angry face. “I guess that’s a no.”
  51. 51. Kiera sighed. “Look, while you were passed out, I looked up curses in my magic books-” “Oh, really? Find anything interesting?” Choosing to ignore that comment, Kiera went on. “And basically, the way free form curses and spells work is that a witch’s power is given to whatever words are spoken during the incantation.”
  52. 52. “Meaning?” “Meaning that, um, whatever words I spoke, whatever I hoped for, will come true.” “So what did you say?” “Well, it looks like you’ll be okay, because I didn’t actually wish you any harm.” “What did you wish?”
  53. 53. “So, on the bright side, it looks like you’ll be completely fine- you don’t have anything to worry abo-” “Kiera! Just what the hell did you say?!” “I… I, um… Sort of, kinda, maybe… wishedthatallyourdescendantswoulddie.” Kiera rushed out in one big breath. Stunned, Andy, blinked at her. “You… wished what?”
  54. 54. “Andy,” Kiera said softly, “It was an accident, I swear…” “No, no it wasn’t. That’s what you really wanted. You didn’t want me to be happy and follow my dreams, you wanted me to suffer-” “Andy, please. I can fix it! I think. We could work things out and try-” “Work things out? Why the hell would I want to trust you ever again? You cursed me!”
  55. 55. “Because… Because I’m your girl-” “Oh, no you’re not. I won’t ever make that mistake again. You are not my girlfriend anymore, and I can’t even fathom how you could think I’d want anything to do with you after what you did to me!” “But Andy-” “But nothing. I never want to see your face again. I don’t want to talk to you or have anything to do with you, ever.”
  56. 56. “But what about the curse? How are you gonna-” “I don’t know, but I’m not getting any help from you. You’ll probably only curse me again.” “Andy, I-” “Enough, Kiera. I don’t really care what you have to say anymore.” With that, Andy walked out the door, leaving Kiera standing in the middle of her living room with a stunned look on her face.
  57. 57. ***** After I stormed out of that wretched apartment, I wandered around town a bit before I finally decided to head over to the Lucky Shack. Because when you’ve had a day like I’ve had, you need to drown your sorrows in juice. Lots and lots of juice. Yeah, I was there a while. Who could blame me? I was freakin’ cursed. For life, as far as I knew. “Bartender,” I said, looking at my empty cup. “ Give me another one.”
  58. 58. “Okay,” she responded. “But this is your last one.” “Wha? Why?” I asked indignantly. “Well,” she shrugged. “You’ve been sitting there for a couple of hours. And honestly,” she glanced over the top of my head, eying the rest of the bar, “We get enough crazies in here.” “Hmpf.” I didn’t know what to make of that. Was this chick calling me a ‘crazy’?
  59. 59. “You’d drink, too, if you were cursed,” I muttered. “Cursed?” The bartender questioned as she fixed the drink. “What, the head evil witch get you?” “Huh, I wish. At least she woulda known what she was doing, you know?” She nodded noncommittally. “No, it was a stupid, hot-headed novice who may or may not have doomed my descendants to instant death upon birth.”
  60. 60. “Ouch,” she replied just before switching on the blender. Ouch. What an understatement. Still she seemed pensive as she poured a drink into a glass. “So you see my dilemma?” I prompted. “Yeah… But I still have to cut you off.” Hmpf. Figures. “Fine,” I reluctantly agreed. Then she stood still for a moment, looking me over.
  61. 61. “What?” I asked her. “Do you know how to fix it?” She said after a moment. Hmm, if I knew how to fix it, I wouldn’t be in this bar, would I? I almost told her that, but opted for a more polite ‘no’ instead. At that the bartender tapped her chin. “You should go see someone,” she said. “You know, another witch. Maybe he or she can reverse the curse.” “And just where am I supposed to find another witch?”
  62. 62. “Well, there’s one on the north side of town,” she responded before finally placing my drink in front of me. What, she put up a sign or something? I must have said this aloud, because the bartender answered me. “No, but there are a lot of rumors about her. People say she can do some… unique things.”
  63. 63. At that comment, I looked up. “What kind of things?” I asked suspiciously. “Well,” the bartender paused. “She knew you’d be here for one. She said a cursed soul with red hair and a black tee would come in here tonight. I thought she was crazy, but…” She shrugged as if to say ‘but here you are.’ “Anyway, she told me to give you her address.” She reached in her pocket for a slip of paper and put it beside my drink. Hmm. If she knew I’d be here, why didn’t she come meet me herself?
  64. 64. I must have said this aloud, too, because she shrugged again and replied: “Who knows? I hope your curse thingy works out, though,” she said as she walked over to help another customer. “Thanks, I guess,” I muttered.
  65. 65. Hmm. I mulled things over as I sipped my juice. It couldn’t hurt, I reasoned. I eyed the address. It wasn’t too far either. Okay, I’ll give a go, I told myself as I put the paper in my pocket. What did I have to lose?
  66. 66. ***** And so the next morning, I found myself walking up to a swanky building with an uneasy feeling in my stomach. It was weird. The place looked more like an office than the dwelling of a witch. Though I suppose a witch could live anywhere. Still, I couldn’t help but feel that I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into.
  67. 67. Nothing about the place was particularly suspicious – the grounds looked nice, immaculate and well-kept. The fountain was impressive and the walkway was spotless. And yet, to my mind, those bright flowers were concealing something sinister.
  68. 68. “Come on, Andy, pull yourself together,” I tried reassuring myself as I reached for the door handle. “You’ve got to find a way to lift this curse, so there’s nothing wrong with this place and you’re just being silly.” I stepped inside the building.
  69. 69. Where I was once again surprised. I was definitely in a lobby, and while the room gave off a high tech and professional air, there definitely were some idiosyncrasies. Like the teen at the reception desk. She was yawing as I walked up to her. “Um…” I wasn’t quite sure what to say. “I’m here because-”
  70. 70. “Uh, huh,” she cut me off before turning to her computer and tapping some keys. “You’re right on time. Feel free to take a seat and I’ll call you when she’s ready.” “But… who’s this ‘she’? And how-” “Boss will explain everything when you go in to see her. I’m just an intern, so I’m not at liberty to answer any of your questions. All I do is answer the phone, m’kay?”
  71. 71. “Okay, then...” I turned around to look at the lobby. ‘Right on time’ she had said. But how could I be on time if I didn’t have an appointment? The chairs looked comfy, but I opted to loiter near the desk instead. I was still a bit uneasy, and I wanted to try and get a peak at the computer so- “Holy crap, is that a pool on the other side of that glass?”
  72. 72. “Yup,” the teen responded. “And you can go up now.” She pointed to the elevator in the corner. “What is this place?” I couldn’t help but ask her. She pointed to a stack of business cards on the edge of her desk. I took one as I walked to the elevator. ‘Sim Studios, a division of DragonStar, Inc.’ it read. What the hell? It sounded like a production company… More confused than ever, I went into the elevator.
  73. 73. The elevator let me out in a small hallway with one door. After a quick knock, I found myself in an empty office. I took a seat, not sure what or who to expect.
  74. 74. I didn’t have to wait long before a woman walked in. She was young, probably still in college, but she was no assistant. She sat down opposite me. “Uh, excuse me, but… Well, I was given your address by someone, a bartender, actually, but I don’t think I-” “Andy,” she said firmly, cutting me off. “Relax. We’ll get to your questions in time.”
  75. 75. “Huh. Um, how do you know my name? I don’t even remember giving it to the receptionist-” “That’s because I gave it to her.” She paused, then heaved a big sigh. “Look, I’m only going to say this once: I really can’t answer your questions on how I know what I know, but compared to you, let’s just say I’m omniscient and omnipotent, okay? Now on to business. I hear you’re cursed.”
  76. 76. I sat back in my chair, confused, but deciding to go with the flow for now. I didn’t know too much, but she, whoever she was, obviously wanted something from me – a fact I might be able to use to my advantage. “Yeah, I cursed,” I finally answered her. “At least I think so. Listen, what should I call you?” “Oh, I’m sorry; I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Kelyns. But you can call me KB,” she smiled. There was evil behind that smile, I was sure.
  77. 77. “Right. Well, KB, I’m not too sure what exactly is wrong with me, but since the witch that did it had said-” “All your descendents will die, or something like that, right? Yeah, I know. Listen the way curses like that works means that her words will come true, so-” “Wait, wait, wait – how did you know that?”
  78. 78. “I told ya, kid, I’m omniscient. Look, we aren’t going to get anywhere if you don’t pay attention.” Kid? Kid? I was several years older than her and she was calling me kid??? “So about the curse,” she continued. “Basically, right now, your descendants are all doomed-” “But you can fix it, right?” I looked at her expectantly.
  79. 79. “I can’t undo her curse-” “Then what am I here for?” “I can, however, alter it.” “Alter it.” I said skeptically. “Yes. Haven’t you ever read a fairytale or story where an evil witch curses someone?”
  80. 80. “Well, in the stories, the good witch can’t undo a spell another witch has done; they can only alter the spell. The same is true in real life. I can’t undo the spell, but I can alter it.” “To what,” I asked suspiciously. “Well… I won’t be able to save all of your children, but I can save a few-”
  81. 81. “What? Look, what do you want?” I interrupted. “Huh?” “What’s in it for you? Why help me? Why lead me here?” KB gave a tiny smile. Again, a flash of evil. “Okay, Andy,” she said. “I’ll be upfront. I want you to start a legacy.”
  82. 82. “A legacy?” “Yes.” “A legacy in which people die every generation.” “People die all the time in legacies.” “Yeah, but usually the oldest generation is dying, not the youngest.”
  83. 83. “I just don’t see what’s in this for me-” “Didn’t you tell your girlfriend - excuse me, ex-girlfriend, now isn’t it? Didn’t you tell her you wanted to start a family and settle down? Well, here’s your chance to have one. It’s practically guaranteed.” “Yeah, and so is the death of my children. Look, I just don’t think I could have kids knowing that one or more of them will die and that I’m the reason.”
  84. 84. “Andy,” KB said forcefully. “This all may seem a bit unorthodox, but remember no one really knows when they are going to die. Even if you hadn’t been cursed, there’s no guarantee that your children would live long, happy lives. They could live forever and be miserable. Some great calamity could befall them. You never know. My point is that there are no sure things in life. The only thing you can do is live your life and make the best of any situation. You must ‘enjoy the moment with all your might...whether it’s gloomy, whether it’s bright.’ So to speak.”
  85. 85. “Whatever happens will happen,” she continued, “And this legacy will happen. I’ve already invested a lot in this. Now, I’ve drafted a contract here, and I think you will find most of the terms agreeable. But you have to realize, Andy, that you only have two options.” “Oh, really?” “Yes. You can either take this opportunity to negotiate or find yourself fighting against chance, if you will.”
  86. 86. I knew she was evil. I guess there was no real harm in looking at this thing, was there? I mean, if she wanted me to do this, there had to be some perks in there, right? “There will be death in your family. How much or how often, I can’t exactly say. But as for potential heirs – Well, let me explain it this way. Your family will be collecting ghost colors –” “Collecting?”
  87. 87. “For lack of a better term, yes. Spares will provide new ghost colors and with each color, a new immunity. After ten generations, and all the ghost colors, the family will have enough immunity to permanently lift the curse. To ensure fairness, the spare chosen to be the generation’s ghost color will be chosen in the same manner and method that the heir is chosen. But any direct descendant of the main family line eligible for heirship who refuses to participate in the competition for heirship forfeits their chance to be heir and consequently, automatically becomes part of the family’s ghost collection. The heir selection process will then proceed normally.”
  88. 88. “After the heir selection is over, the remaining spares will become creatures.” “To build up ‘immunity’ in the family?” KB shrugged. “Not really, I just think it’d be fun to have clans of each creature. But if you want to think of things that way, go ahead. It certainly couldn’t hurt to have a few supernaturals in the family.” Ignoring my eye-roll, she went on.
  89. 89. For the next hour or so, KB and I went over the ‘contract.’ She explained all the rules to me and told me what things would be expected of myself and future heirs. She was very forthright and answered all my questions, but there was one thing she wouldn’t tell me: what the selection process for the heirs would be. She described it as an ‘ordeal’ and told me each generation would face a new task, but that was all she said. That part of the contract would remain undisclosed until I signed.
  90. 90. “Well, that pretty much sums up all the more unusual aspects of the contract; everything else is pretty much legacy standard. Now that I’ve explained everything we can begin the negotiations. Is there anything you’d like to see in the contract? Besides the obvious, of course.” The more I had thought about it, the more I had realized that she was right about making the most of life. And since she seemed pretty sure that this legacy would happen with or without my consent, I figured it might be to my advantage to negotiate while I still had the chance. “I do have some considerations…”
  91. 91. “Naturally, I want the best for my future children and myself.” “Naturally.” “And this is one way I can guarantee some happiness for my family?” I raised a brow. She didn’t object, so I continued. “I have heard of legacies, heard of strict families in which sims are forced to marry for genetics, job positions, or wealth. I don’t want that for my family. I want to marry for true love and I want all my descendants to have that choice.”
  92. 92. KB nodded. “Three bolt couples. I think I can make that happen. Go on.” “Well, I also want to ensure that my family has as much fun and happiness as possible, given the- the circumstances. So I want parties for every birthday, family vacations every generation, and if there are going to be generational family celebrations, bow about one not surrounding the heirship and death?” At this KB had started to frown. Perhaps I was asking for too much. But really, who could blame me? She was asking for a lot, too. I mean-
  93. 93. “Well,” KB finally spoke up. “Another family celebration I don’t mind; it’s the birthday parties that will be really tedious. I don’t usually hold parties for infant birthdays. Not to mention that earning enough money for a vacation will be really difficult for the first generation… And yet,” she mused, “Life is more interesting with challenges… So why not? Deal.” Relieved, I let out a great sigh. “Great. There’s more, though.” This would be a tough sell, I knew. Legacies were famous for “skill grinding.”
  94. 94. “I don’t want my family wasting their childhood trying to earn skill points. They should be able to have fun, you know? So no skill grinding. I mean, if they’re doing something they like and happen to earn skill points, fine. But skilling shouldn’t be their life. And while we’re at it, teens should be able to have fun, too. At least one outing or date on a community lot each would nice and I think you should limit the skilling scholarships to one, if any.” I held my breath again, unsure of her reaction. But to my surprise, she smiled. “Sure, that’s fine,” she said casually.
  95. 95. “…Really?” “Well, yeah. It makes sense considering that the heir won’t be chosen until all candidates are teens. It’d be pointless for them to spend their childhoods skilling up if they aren’t even going to be heir.” Hmm. I didn’t think of it like that. I guess I needn’t have worried after all. Well, the negotiations being done, KB and I went ahead and signed the contract. My curse would be lifted. Somewhat. It was my only option, though. My only chance to have kids. …Right?
  96. 96. “Any last questions?” She asked as we wrapped things up. “Yeah, just one. Why the contract? It’s not how legacies are usually done.” At this KB sighed and actually looked quite guilty. “I won’t go into details, but… The last… project that I worked on turned out to be a bit of a mess. This way, the contract lets you know where I stand and hints at what you might expect. You know everything you need to know, including the fact that I will not be meddling on your behalf. I’ll be your friend, your confidant, if you want. But I’m not changing the rules.”
  97. 97. “What do you mean?” “I mean, that this contract, this legacy, and its rules, however bizarre, are serious. There will be no exceptions or special circumstances. If you or your descendants violate the terms of this contract, the appropriate violent and irrational judgment will be swiftly enacted on all violators. “…Wait, what? Why didn’t you tell me that before I signed the contract?”
  98. 98. “I did! I mean I am. I think I’ve tried to be very honest and give you as much info as possible before you sign. It’s exactly why I’m telling you the consequences of breaking the contract now.” “KB,” I grumbled frustratedly, “I signed the contract three minutes ago!” “…Oh. Oopsie!” She shrugged. “Oh, well.”
  99. 99. “What do you mean ‘Oh, well?’ I just signed the life of my children away and now you tell me that I can’t ever get out of this contract?! You- You tricked me.” “I mostly certainly did not. I gave you a copy of the contract; you had a chance to read it, modify it, and ask any questions. No one forced you to sign it and I never told you that you needed to make a decision today. You signed of your own free will, buddy, so don’t blame me for your oversight and hasty decisions. “But… But…”
  100. 100. “Face it, Andy, this legacy is already in progress. You signed up to be the founder and the contract allows me to document the process. Now, you’ll be taken to your new home tomorrow and given a new last name.” “But-” KB ignored me. “You’ll be moving to a new neighborhood, too, so hopefully no stalker ex-girlfriends. A residence has already been picked out for you.” “But you can’t-” “I can, because you signed. That’s the end of it.”
  101. 101. This sucks! I turned to go before I remembered something. “How do I reach you, if there’s any problems?” KB brightened at the new topic. “Well, I’ll be moving, too, but really, all you have to do is think.” “Huh?”
  102. 102. “Hmm, how to explain? …Well, I guess you could say I have telepathy; you think it, I hear it and sometimes you can hear my responses, too. Now if that’s all, I’ll say goodbye; you’ve an early day tomorrow. Oh, and good luck. You’ll need it with the extreme start and all. That definitely makes the well-dressed handicap difficult.” “What? I don’t remember signing up for any of that!” “Dude. Did you read anything in the contract?”
  103. 103. “Oh, crap, what the hell did I get myself into?” ****** Hmm, well, to find that out, readers will just have to wait until chapter one! Later simmers and happy reading! “Am I going to hear commentary in my head all of the time now?”