It’s been a little while but here is what happened last time…
Brooke and seven strange men found themselves stranded at a remote house with a disabled vehicle and no phone service.
Early the next morning Connor Vetinari found himself confronted by an unknown entity and cast into a pocket dimension with no
exit and no bathroom.
For Brooke morning came early. While she had slept well enough through most of the night, as soon as the sun had just begun
to creep above the horizon she found herself wide awake. The sun's light filtered through low clouds that threatened yet more
rain and the dusty windows filling the room with an orange light.
“I've got to get home,” she said to herself as she made the bed. “Both of my moms have to be worried about me and after what
happened to Kira, they're sure to call the police. And Brooke, she'll be freaked out if I'm missing!” She brushed her hand over her
eyes. Her adopted family's problems weighed heavily on her mind. This short post graduation trip was supposed to be for her to
relax and clear her mind but it had done anything but that.
Downstairs the boys had spread themselves out through the house sleeping on anything that would accommodate them.
Bernardo had lucked out in getting the small love seat in the parlor. While it was small and a bit uncomfortable, he had the room
to himself so it was quiet. Or at least it was until now...
Fred bolted upright at the scream. “Huh? Wassit?” He looked around the room quickly. Upstairs he could hear someone running
and there was yelling from the foyer. “Juno! Wake up!”
Juno's eyes opened briefly and he rubbed his nose. “The sun's barely up. Wake me in an hour.”
“Something is happening. Get up.” Fred pushed himself off the chaise and headed for the stairs.
Brooke heard the scream that came from just outside her door and she rushed out to the landing.
Only to encounter Will and Jay charging up the stairs with the others close behind.
Jay cast a quick glance around the landing, “Are you okay?”
Brooke looked confused. “I'm fine. What's going on?”
Byte was the one to point out the problem, “Where's Connor?”
Will looked around, “He was sleeping in the dining room with Jay and I. I didn't see him when we ran out.”
Jay also glanced around at the group, “Neither did I. Connor! Where are you man?!” There was no reply.
Fred looked around and then said quietly, “He's not here.” Somehow he knew that for certain. Connor Vetinari was gone.
Juno was still half asleep but even he knew that you don't just assume that sort of thing. “You can't really say that until we search
the place. He might have gone outside to get some fresh air or went looking for help down the road.”
Fred grimaced, “Yes, I can say that. He was standing right where I am now just seconds ago. I can smell his cologne and... there
was someone else here too.”
“So where is he then?”
Fred shrugged, “Gone. He's not here now.”
That wasn't a sufficient answer for Brooke, “Gone? Gone where?”
“I'm really not sure.” Fred looked around at all the skeptical faces around him. For the first time in his life he felt weirder than
“Right. There is obviously something you are not telling us Fred. Where did Connor go?”
“Like I said, I don't know for sure. But I can tell you that both Connor and a ghost were on this landing seconds ago.”
“Are you a psychic or something?”
“I... No. I just know a lot about ghosts.” He wasn't sure if it was a good idea to bring up his parentage.
Despite his vague answer, Brooke knew there was more to Fred Pie than met the eye. She had too many family members tied
up with the occult to accept Fred's deflection of her question.
They were all confused but Jay spoke up first. “I've never heard of a ghost kidnapping someone. They pop out and scare you
sometimes and I've heard of sims dying from that, but never has someone disappeared because of a ghost.”
Berni was also less than convinced, “Yeah. I call bullshit on that one Fred. He has to be here somewhere. Maybe we should
search the house before jumping to conclusions.”
“No one goes alone. Let's split up into small groups and look around. Let me put on some clothes and we'll get started.” Brooke
turned on her heel and headed into the bedroom where her suitcase was.
Jay and Fred decided to start their search in the bathroom, which unbeknownst to them had been Connor’s destination before he
“So, if you're not a psychic then are you a warlock?”
“Why do you care?”
“I don't care particularly except that you keep popping up with all this ghost stuff and now one of us is missing. You're acting
Jay was right, he was acting weird. “Maybe. But you don't really know me so how can you judge if I'm any weirder than normal?”
“I guess I can't.”
“I don't suppose there's any chance that you guys might just trust me on this and take my word about Connor being gone.
Without asking all the personal questions?,” he added as an afterthought.
“Not really, no. Too many things can happen when you take something for granted. Trust me. I've been down that road.” Jay
glanced around as if looking for something he lost. “I think.”
“Then... I don't really have anything else to say.”
“Look, I have strange and unusual people in my family too. My brother's a warlock. My sister-in-law is a witch. I bet if we asked
everyone else they would say they have a similar situation. Why are you hiding something that might help us get out of here?”
“For one, I don't think it would really help. The best suggestion I've had was from yesterday when I said we should leave. Two... I
don't know if I really understand it myself. Things have changed for me recently and I'm not sure about some things.”
“I know what you mean about things changing. I feel like I had a different life before yesterday. I remember some of my family but
not all of it. Something's missing.”
Fred nodded. “Definitely. I don't think we're in Kansas anymore Toto.”
“What's that supposed to mean?”
After quickly changing into some thing a bit more comfortable than the miniskirt and heels she wore the day before, Brooke
joined up with Byte to search the other part of the second and third floors. Their first stop was the nursery.
Brooke looked around at all the sweet little stuffed toys and dolls that were carefully packed away and stacked in a corner. “This
room feel so sad.”
Byte studied her back. “I guess whoever lived here last had a little girl.”
“But the walls are blue. It's almost like they didn't finish decorating for the baby.”
“I highly doubt that Connor is stuffed into any of these boxes, unless he's in pieces,” he joked. Brooke visibly stiffened in front of
him and through he couldn't see the frown on her face, he did sense a change in her demeanor. “It was just a joke.”
Brooke nodded and looked down. “We should move on to upstairs.”
“You seem a little sad sometimes Brooke. Is there anything wrong? I mean, short of being stranded with seven strangers and no
She turned to face him. “You seem like a nice guy Byte when you're not fidgeting or scowling at things but I don't know you well
enough to talk about my problems. It's nothing personal.”
“I understand. I'm kind of a tough guy to get close to.”
“You should smile more. You have a nice smile.”
“Yes, you do. Let's go upstairs and keep looking.”
Downstairs Juno, William and Bernardo had joined up to search the lower floor.
“Nothing in the living room or parlor and I didn't see Connor out by the pool or hot tubs. He's just vanished.”
Will wandered in from the dining room, “His stuff including his phone is still in the dining room near where he went to sleep. This
is way too weird.”
Berni nodded, “Yeah really weird. And what's up with the nerdy guy...”
“Fred,” Juno interrupted.
“Yeah Fred, being all mysterious. It make me think he might be behind it all.”
“But why? What's the reasoning behind it if it's him?” None of it made sense to Will.
“The girl, maybe?”
“I don't think so. Yesterday he was awkward and shy around her and he seems like a nice enough guy. So, either he's an
amazing actor or someone else is to blame for all of this.”
“How about Jay? He had plenty of time with the Jeep before he picked us up and he and Brooke had a pretty tense conversation
in the dining room yesterday.”
Will considered this. Jay was very adamant about him staying away from Brooke... “Did he tell either of you guys to stay away
from her?” Both Juno and Berni shook their heads no. “We should keep an eye on him then.”
Juno pointed at the back door, “We should check the shed for Connor.”
The trio headed out into the yard to complete their search.
The search of the shed was quick as it was small and filled with boxes of assorted junk but no sign of Connor.
“Nope. No sign of him.”
Brooke and the others had come out to join up with them.
“I think we need to go find some help. All of us together. There was a gas station back at the last detour sign. It should only take
us an hour to get there.” She was very worried about Connor even though she hardly knew him.
Byte nodded, “I don't want to stay here anymore. Let's go call the police. They can find Connor.”
Fred looked over at Byte, “That's unlikely but I still agree with us leaving. Jay?”
He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. Something struck him as wrong with leaving a man missing but what else could they
do? Something was distinctly wrong in this house and none of them were safe. “I say we go and bring someone back who's
better prepared to deal with this.”
Fred looked up at the gray clouds. “I do think we should head out before the next storm hits. Some of those lightning strikes
yesterday were awfully close.”
It was Juno who said what everyone else was thinking, “I don't care how much lightning falls from the sky. I'm not coming back
With everyone in agreement the seven of them set off across the yard to head down the quiet road that had dumped them in this
At the edge of the property Will had moved ahead of the others and was therefore first to encounter a hard yet flexible field that
prevented him from stepping over the line. The impact wasn't painful just surprising and the others stopped short as Will bounced
backward a step.
“Oh my gosh! Will are you alright?”
Juno looked at the visible disturbance caused by William's impact as it spread outward in a bubble around the house. “Fantastic!
Now some kind of force field? What's next, flying monkeys?”
Will shook his head trying to respond to Brooke's question but he couldn't quite seem to manage it. There was this tingling
That grew into an itching and his body jerked as electricity erupted across his skin.
It happened so fast, that by the time anyone realized Will was in trouble he had already dropped to his knees from the intense
Jay knelt down next to William's now prone body and reached out to check for a pulse.
“Is he alright?” Brooke's voice was barely a whisper.
There was a pulse and Jay released the breath he didn't realize he was holding. “He's still alive. Help me get him inside.”
Berni stopped him, “I thought we were leaving.”
“Would you like to be the guinea pig and go next? 'Cause I'm not keen on being barbequed. Byte help me lift him. We'll take him
in and put him on the chaise to rest. Hopefully he's only stunned.” Byte and Jay picked up William's limp form and headed for the
The rest of the group followed behind worried and confused. Now it seemed, none of them could leave without risking serious
William was made a comfortable as possible and everyone stood about arguing over what to do next, when Fred suddenly
turned and walked out the back door. Brooke watched him go then stood to follow him after a few minutes. She found him
examining the back side of the solar panels that seemed to provide the house with electricity.
“What are you doing?”
“Well, I'm thinking I might be able to boost the signal strength of my cell phone if I use some extra juice from this power panel. If it
works I might be able to make a call out. Assuming of course that this force field thing isn't blocking everything.”
“You really are pretty smart. How is it that you know so much about ghosts?,” she asked as she sat down on the grass.
Fred leaned down to pick up a screw driver to loosen a connection on the back of the panel. “Have any of you considered that I
don't want to discuss that?”
Brooke looked over the odd assortment of tools and parts at his feet. “Where did you find all this stuff?”
“The shed. It's full almost to the rafters with miscellaneous junk.”
She picked up a hex nut and rolled it over in her hand examining the shape and color. “You don't have to be embarrassed about
being different. Lots of people have unique things they can do.”
“Ah, other than being an orphan, no. But I have lots of adopted relatives that do. There's nothing you can say that would freak me
He succeed in removing the access panel cover and dropped it to the ground before reaching in to pull out bundles of wiring to
examine. “An orphan huh? What happened to your real parents?”
“I don't know. I guess I was just a baby and I don't have any memory of them. Just my two moms.”
He glanced up at her, “Two moms?”
“Yeah... They're married. You know...”
Brooke frowned at him, “They love each other. There's nothing wrong with that.”
“I wasn't judging. I myself have two fathers.”
“And you're not an alien? Are you adopted too?”
“How is that possible?”
Fred shrugged and separated out the wires he was looking for. That was stupid Fred. Now you have to explain. “It's possible to
do but requires some particular knowledge.”
“Why won't you just tell me?”
“Because I don't know that I really understand it myself and it's not important to what's happening right now.”
His continued evasiveness bugged her. “So you think a ghost is responsible for all this craziness.”
“I do. That tomb over in the side yard mostly likely belongs to it. What bugs me, is why it is keeping us here and what happened
to Connor. Jay was right, it's never been documented that ghosts can abduct people.”
“I think you're wrong about that. I remember reading about a family that was terrorized by a ghost and a child went missing.”
He looked up at her. “Where did you see this?”
“At college. A book in the library. My Uncle Darwin told me that it was a rare case.”
“That can't be right.” Something was definitely different now.
“It's just what I read. Can we find a way to talk to this ghost and find out what it wants?”
“Maybe. If it wants to speak with us.” He finished his wiring changes and attached a charging cable to the modification. “Hand me
the phone. Let's see if this works.”
Brooke stood and handed him the phone that had been laying on the concrete.
He connected the phone and pressed the on button. A loud crackling sound issued from the speaker and small sparks erupted
from the battery case turning the phone into a useless piece of plastic.
“Damn! Too much juice. I need a better power converter.”
“Well, it was a good try. If you want you can use my phone to try again.”
Fred dropped the slagged phone on the concrete and shrugged. “I'll have to dig through the shed and see if there is anything
newer than 1980's tech in there. Or... maybe I can dampen the output from the panel itself. I'll have to think about it.”
Brooke gave him a sweet half smile, “I'm going to go in and check on Will. Let us know if you need any help.”
He picked up a ratchet and prepared to remove more panels from the back of the solar collector. “Let everyone know that the
power may go out for a while.”
Back inside Will was experiencing what could best be described as an electroshock hangover. His ears were filled with a distinct
buzzing sound interspersed with snippets of loud conversation and the clicking of something plastic. His muscles ached from
head to toe. He had to admit that even his toughest basketball game in college hadn't even come close to the exhaustion he felt
With his eyes still squeezed closed, he pushed himself into a sitting position.
“It lives.” Brooke's voice cut through the ringing. “How do you feel?”
He ran his fingers through his hair and opened his eyes one at a time, wincing as the light flooded in and made the headache
worse. “Like the night after a two day frat party. Am I still alive?”
She settled next to him, “Yes, fortunately. You took quite a shock.”
“I'm guessing that we can't leave, can we?”
“It looks that way. Fred's trying to boost the signal on a cell phone so we can try and call for help. I'm not so sure it's going to
work though. He's already fried one phone.”
Will glanced over at the card table where Juno, Jay, Berni and Byte were playing a hand of poker. That's the clinking sound I was
hearing. He squeezed his eyes closed trying to clear the fog from his brain. “Is he still convinced that a ghost is responsible?”
“Yeah. Why, have you got a different theory?”
“Well, I thought I did but after walking into that... force field or whatever it was, I'm not so sure.”
“What was your theory.”
He rubbed a tingly spot on his shoulder and winced again. “I,” he lowered his voice, “thought that maybe Jay had set all this up.”
“You what?” She was a little too loud and he glanced over at the poker table where Jay sat with his back to them.
“Shhh. Not so loud.”
Brooke closed her eyes and sighed, “Why on earth would he do that?”
“It's just that... he had access to the Jeep before any of the rest of us. He missed a detour sign and drug us all the way out here
and then he gets all pushy about me not trusting you because you're a romance sim like him. Connor vanishes this morning
without a trace and he had been checking you out too. It's like he's eliminating all the competition.”
She pressed her fingers to the bridge of her nose. Here it comes. “I'm afraid to ask, competition for what?”
“Well, for you of course.”
“Seriously!” Will tried to shush her but she wasn't having any of it. “No. Now you listen to me.” She raised her voice, “All of you
listen to me. I am not some sort of easy hussy that can be talked into jumping into bed with any guy I meet and I'm not some kind
of prize to be acquired. I'm sick and tired of all you men treating me like a... a plaything. I have a brain and an education. I
graduated at the top of my class at law school and I know how to make your lives miserable!”
Over at the table Jay slowly pulled his winnings from the last hand towards him. Quietly to the rest of the players, “Is she yelling
Berni smiled, “Yep. Fuori di testa*.”
“She's even more beautiful when she's angry but I think she's serious. You guys haven't been harassing her, have you? Because
if you have I'll...,” Byte trailed off trying to think up a suitable torture.
“You'll what? Scrub us to death with that green scour pad you keep in your pocket?” Juno chuckled.
“It would hurt and I'd pour salt in the wounds.”
Juno smiled and shuffled the cards, “I think Fred's right about you. You're about as far away from being a serial killer as I am from
*Italian slang- Literally to be out of one's head
“I am not objectifying you! It was a theory I had, until I was electrocuted while walking down the street. You're over reacting!”
“Over reacting? I am not over reacting. Since the moment I walked out of the door of my cabin, you lot have been ogling me and
making suggestive comments. Now, you want to tell me that someone has set all this up to get at me? How am I supposed to
Her shift in mood made his head spin even more. “I just...,” he sighed. “We look at you because you're beautiful! Don't you know
that? Please calm down.”
The group of men at the table grew quiet waiting for her response.
“I'm not over reacting,” she knew better than that but it made her so mad when guys looked at her like she was a juicy steak or
an expensive car.
“You are just a little bit, but I mean, I suppose I understand. It would annoy me if everyone treated me like a dumb jock. I wasn't
trying to upset you but you asked me what I had been thinking.”
Brooke bit at her lip nervously. She was being petulant and Will didn't deserve her venom. “I'm sorry. It's just that this is the last
thing I needed in my life right now and I'm not too comfortable being stuck up here with a bunch of strange men.”
“I don't think any of us would hurt you Brooke. Compete for your attention, yes. But hurt you, never.”
She sank her shoulders realizing how silly the outburst had been. Then, “You really think I'm beautiful?”
“Do you not own a mirror?”
Fred wandered over to the large tomb that rested some what randomly in the side yard of the house. The tomb meant someone
cared enough to bury the deceased but the placement was strange. Almost as if there had been no planning in the burial. At
some point someone had planted tulip bulbs to decorate the grave and over the years they had spread a bit. He knelt down to
read the engraving. “Here lies Andrea Hudson. Beloved wife and mother. Too soon was she taken away.”
Fred considered the statement and the feelings he had been having ever since arriving the day before. She must have died a
violent death, the family wasn't prepared to lose her. I wonder why the house is empty now. She had a husband and at least one
child. “You must be the presence I sense Andrea. If you are responsible for Connor's disappearance and trapping us here, you
must have a reason. I don't suppose you would discuss it with me?”
A soft breeze pushed the tulips around but he heard no response.
“We didn't come here to bother you. All we want to do is leave. Will you let us leave?”
Again there was no answer and Fred closed his eyes and tried to focus his mind. His reaper abilities had never been this strong
before. Somehow something had changed in him somewhere between Three Lakes and this house. He could feel the ghost's
presence and her anger. No, anger wasn't the right word. Loss, heartbreak, separation, pain. Those were the right words. This
ghost was missing something. “Please talk to me. Maybe I can help you find what you've lost.”
“Wrong. All wrong.”
The voice startled him and his eyes snapped open. “What's wrong?”
“You are. All wrong. For her.”
The voice seemed to be behind him and he stood and turned looking for the source. “Her? Are you talking about Brooke or
“Wrong, wrong, wrong.”
“What's wrong with me? Why won't you let us leave Andrea?”
“You'll just have to go.”
He scanned the yard looking for any sign of the ghost. “Go where?”
“Goodbye Freddie Pie.”
It happened in a flash and Fred had no time to react.
He found himself hovering in empty space. The sensation of being shoved under water passed...
And he fell landing with a grunt on what felt to be a solid surface next to an extremely surprised Connor, who leapt at the surprise
appearance and stumbled backward over his own feet.
Fred pushed himself up slowly, “Ow, that hurt.”
“You're telling me.” Connor rubbed his sore tail bone.
He looked around him dazed by the sudden transition. “Where are we? Wait, Connor?!”
“We've been looking everywhere for you. Are you all right?”
“As fine as a sim can be after being trapped with no one to talk to or any kind of bathroom. How long have I been here?”
“Most of a day. Everyone heard you yell but we could find any sign of you. We even tried to leave the house to go get help and
couldn't. It seems we are all trapped.” Fred looked around them. “Is there anything here at all?”
“Nope. Just stars and this weird red squiggly line. I'm kinda glad to see you.”
“I'm pretty sure I won't be the only other to be sent here. That house is haunted by a ghost that is weeding out all the bad mates
“Mate? Dude, she's just a girl in our van pool to the airport. None of us signed a marriage contract.”
“I know, but for some reason the ghost said I was 'all wrong for her'. I assume she meant Brooke.”
“You can get us out of here, right? You pay attention to all this paranormal stuff.”
Fred shrugged. He knew that his other father was the Grim Reaper and that he could transverse between the afterlife and the
mortal plane easily. What he didn't know was if he was capable of the same thing. Also, where were they exactly? If this was the
afterlife it seemed a little underwhelming. “I have no idea.”
“That's not very reassuring.” Connor leaned a bit closer, “I'd stay out of that area over there. You might encounter something
Back at the house...
“Fred?! Fred where are you?”
Berni groaned and stared up into the clouds. “Another one? What is this? The twilight zone?”
Will scanned the yard, “Fred?!”
Brooke felt her heart drop. She had just been out here talking to him and now he was gone. “It's my fault.”
Byte felt his anger rise at the unknown assailant. Whoever they are they were picking them off one at a time and that made him
feel helpless. An emotion he never enjoyed feeling. “It can't possibly be your fault Brooke. You were inside with all the rest of us.”
“I left him out here alone. I should have stayed.”
“You couldn't possibly have known this would happen. Don't beat yourself up over it.” Juno all the sudden felt very tired. He liked
Fred and Connor. “All we can hope is that wherever they are, they're not being hurt.” He sighed. “What do we do now?”
Brooke stared at the tomb. “Fred thought that we might be able to try and communicate with the ghost, find out what it wants.
Maybe if we can speak to it, it will let us all go.”
“And how do you suggest we do that?”
She shook her head, “I don't know.”
“I don't know about the rest of you, but I left my crystal ball and incense at home.”
Juno narrowed his eyes, “That's enough Byte. Sarcasm isn't going to help us.”
Byte started to snap back a reply but bit his tongue instead. Juno was right, they needed to stay level headed if they were going
to find a way out of this. “Okay. Why don't we head back inside and look for clues about who used to live here. Maybe that will
give us something to go on.” Everyone nodded and walked back towards the house, numb with the sense of helplessness their
current predicament caused.
Brooke hung back looking at the tomb thoughtfully and Jay stayed not wanting anyone to be alone after everything that had
“Are you okay?” It was the second time today that he had asked her that question.
“She sighed and closed her eyes. “What if it really is all my fault?”
“How do you mean?”
“Weird things happen in my adopted family. It's like they're cursed or something. Maybe, some of that bad luck rubbed off on
Jay considered the possibility “So... a ghost pulls you and seven others to a decrepit old house and holds you all hostage and
you think it's some kind of curse?”
“That could happen, right?”
He looked at her beautiful face that was full of doubt and confusion and smiled slightly, “Only in a bad movie. There has to be
something else. Maybe your family has an enemy, someone who wants you out of the way?”
She looked up into his face and the familiar sensations of attraction flooded her veins. Damn it! She shook her head to try and
clear her lust filled thoughts. He smells so good. Even in day old clothes.
Jay too felt the lusty pull of attraction. He couldn't help himself, he reached up to caress her cheek. Pausing only centimeters
away from her skin in case she rejected the contact. She didn't. “You are so pretty. If things were different...”
She nodded and reached up to press his hand to her face. “We'd be all over each other like rutting pigs.” She stepped back from
his caress her heart pounding in her chest. “Do you hate it as much as I do?”
Jay dropped his hand. “Sometimes I really do. That doesn't mean I wouldn't like to get to know you better, when this is all over.”
She nodded, “Maybe. I...” She was going to say that she hated the way he made he feel. That she detested the way her flesh
seem to develop it's own mind when around other romance sims. She had been there before and while it might have been fun for
a little while, the passion would soon fade leaving two people who really had nothing left in common in it's wake. It was possible
that it might be different with Jay, but how could you know? “Let's see how things go. It may be that by the time this is all over,
you might hate my guts.”
“I think that's pretty unlikely. But you're right, now is not the time for flirting. Let's see if we can go find some answers.”
They head for the back porch to join the others in their newest search for clues.
“Guys? There's food again.” Byte considered his choices and opted for the less suspicious jello.
Brooke plated up a salad, “It seems our host only knows how to prepare three dishes.”
Juno stared at the jello dessert closely. “What are these things floating in here?”
“I think that's supposed to be fruit.”
He considered the idea that the food might be drugged as the “fruit” as Brooke named it looked suspiciously a bit like little
capsules suspended cherry flavored goo. Finally he shrugged, “If I'm gonna die it might as well be well fed.”
She and Byte were soon quickly joined by the others. “So did anyone find anything that could help?”
Juno swallowed quickly, “Some really old photos. I mean like Victorian era stuff. There were a few newer ones that look like they
were taken here in this house but there's no names or anything on them.”
Jay added, “The attic has dozens of boxes and trunks to go through. Mostly toys and old clothes. I'll have to go back up and keep
looking but it looks like most of the really personal stuff has been removed from the house.”
“I don't understand, why would someone take some things and leave all the rest. There some really valuable antiques in this
“Maybe the ghost wouldn't let them take everything.” Juno knew that ghosts could be really possessive of furniture
“Maybe.” Brooke picked at her salad, her mind trying to make sense of the puzzle. There was something that they were missing.
“All this searching is a waste of time. No ghost is gonna just let us walk away if it wants something.” Berni's scowl darkened the
“That's the point Berni. We need to find out what she wants.”
“She? What makes you think it's a woman?”
Brooke pointed her fork back over her shoulder in the direction of the tomb, “The tomb outside belongs to a woman named
Andrea Hudson. It's a good guess that it's her ghost since there aren't any other tombs on the property.”
“I still say we have a better chance just finding a way out. Screw the ghost!”
Berni's attitude was wearing on Brooke's nerves. “William was almost killed when we tried to leave. It would be stupid to try that
again. So, unless you have some sort of actual idea to get us out of here, we're going to stick with Fred's idea. It's the safest.”
Berni snorted, “What makes you think Fred isn't in on all of this along with Morgan there?.” Jay looked up from his food with
alarm. “This could be some sort of plot to extort a ransom from all our families and the ghost shtick is just a ruse. Conner saw
something he shouldn't have and they stashed him somewhere.”
“Seriously? Jay said he wasn't involved and I believe him and Fred is way too nice to hurt anyone without a really good cause.”
“Where I come from money is a 'good cause'. Your family's rich ain't it?”
“Yes, but I don't...”
“And you green man, how well off are your folks?”
“Well, we don't hurt for anything.”
“So they could afford a ransom?”
“I suppose but I ...”
“And you, Red? Family well off?”
“Ah, yes.” Byte looked over at Jay, “I don't think you are on the right track Berni. Jay's a really nice guy.”
Jay looked up, “Thank you.”
“You're welcome. You're just being paranoid Bernardo. I think Fred is right, wherever he is.”
“If he's so nice then why does William here think Jay is trying to prevent him from hooking up with Brooke?”
Will looked up sharply at Brooke whose eyes had narrowed a bit. “I... We already discussed this. I did kind of think that Jay might
be involved before I was nearly electrocuted. Honest.” He looked at Jay, “All I said was that you were really pushy about Brooke
not being the right kind of girl for me and that you seemed to have a thing for her.”
Jay nodded, “I did do that. And it was inappropriate but unrelated to what is going on. If I offended you Will, I apologize.”
“Me too. I made a huge assumption.” Everyone chewed their food in silence for a while before Will continued. “Anyone have
anymore good ideas that don't involve kidnap plots?”
“I don't. All we can do is try to find a way to communicate with Andrea and hope that Fred and Connor are okay.”
The rest of the meal was spent quietly, everyone focused on their own thoughts and fears.
After helping to clear up the dishes, Will found Brooke staring absently out a window in the kitchen. “None of this is your fault
“How can you be so sure of that? You don't know me at all.”
“I'd really like to though.”
“That's just your hormones talking. Jay's right about us romance sims being treacherous. We tend to hurt people we don't want
She couldn't see the crooked grin he gave her. “Still. You seem like someone I would enjoy spending time with. You like sports
and you're smart. We have a lot of things in common.”
She turned to face him. “I like you too. You're very handsome and I wouldn't mind getting to know you better as well. This just
isn't the time or place for it.”
“True. But on the other hand, if all this hadn't happened I would have ogled you on the way to the airport and gotten on my plane
never to see you again.” His grin grew into a full smile.
“I'm not the cheerleader type,” she warned.
“That's good. I've never gone for the cheerleader type. Too chipper.”
She broke into a small smile. “I've never dated a jock. They tend to be too vapid.”
“I can see that. We can't all be intelligent, charming and athletic.”
She laughed at his ego, “So...”
“Will you go out to dinner with me when we get out of this? If we get out of this.”
“I might consider it. Assuming you can live with my more lascivious whims.”
He took her hand and pulled it up to his lips. “I think I could live with it as long as you know that I am a little bit of the jealous
sort.” He kissed her hand and she laughed at the formal, almost archaic gesture. His green eyes danced with amusement at her
reaction. “I'm not willing to share my girls with anyone.”
“I'm not that kind of romance sim Will. But don't get too attached just yet. I only agreed to have dinner with you. Not get married.”
“Fair enough.” He kissed her hand again, sending chills down her spine. “Until later, my lady.” He turned and headed for the
parlor where Byte was playing darts. Brooke studied his frame as he walked away.
I couldn't find one good man at college and now it seems I've hit the jackpot. How much weirder can this week get?
“Mmph! Juno!” She had wandered outside hoping to find anything that might help her contact their captor only to be quickly
grabbed by Juno in an overenthusiastic hug and kiss. “What are you doing?”
He released her and stepped back.
“What the hell?! Is there something in the water up here making you guys horny?”
“Sorry about the ambush. I just really, really wanted to kiss you before one of us disappears.”
She blinked. Juno was maybe the oddest of all of the men she was stuck here with. Always smiling, always happy. “You could
have asked first.”
“You might have said no. Honest, I'm not as creepy as that kiss might make me seem but I can't compete with William and Jay.
I'm green, have no nose and have a tendency to hug anything that moves. I'm not athletic, I'm not handsome or charming...”
“I disagree. You're actually quite charming. A little over enthusiastic maybe, but very sweet. Any girl would consider herself lucky
to be on your arm.”
“Really?” He considered the possibility that she was teasing.
“Really. But in the future I would suggest that you ask first before kissing someone you just met. It's a little weird otherwise.”
“What are you doing out here all by yourself?”
“I was looking at that tomb and thinking about some of those pictures I found. Is it possible that you might be related to the
“Me? I don't know. I was adopted and don't remember anything of my previous family. Why?”
“The shape of your nose and the color of your hair is very close to some of the women in the photos. It would explain a great
deal if this ghost thinks you are family and she did have a child according to the epitaph. Ghosts are possessive of things they
owned in life. Some of my ancestors have been haunting some of the beds in our home for generations. So it would make sense
that if this ghost feels you belong to her that she's pulled you here.”
“But why is she carrying some of us off?”
“I don't know. But I bet that if you try to talk to her she would tell you the truth.”
“So it is my fault.”
He frowned a little, “Not really. But if Fred's theory is right, you can fix it.”
As the day passed tensions in the house definitely increased. It was feeling of helplessness that attacked the group the most
leaving nerves raw and patience in short supply. It was Berni that was the first to crack.
“I can’t stand all this waiting around! We’ve got to do something!”
Jay frowned, “I think we are all up for any good suggestions Berni. What should we do? Hmm?”
“I don’t know. Maybe we should pop open that tomb and take a look inside. At the very least it would get the ghost to make an
Brooke looked at Bernardo shocked. “I can’t believe you are suggesting desecrating a grave. First, eww. And second, it’s just
wrong. Besides what would we find other than a decaying body?”
He looked down at his hands. The boredom and sense of helplessness had made him edgy. Plus, the tension in the house
between Brooke and the others was annoying. He didn’t find anything about her attractive at all. “I just want to leave!”
“Then leave you shall. My home has no room for a man like you!” The disembodied voice echoed through the hall for everyone
Brooke and the others looked around confused by the voice. “Who are you! What do you want from us!,” she replied.
“Hush now baby. Mommy knows best. Baby should cover her eyes- this is going to be scary.”
They all looked around confused.
It happened so suddenly and before anyone could really react Berni had been dragged by his feet into the wall leaving a
momentary image of his torso being consumed by the wallpaper.
Jay lunged to grab ahold of Berni before he vanished but was milliseconds to slow.
“Rude little monsters get what they deserve!”
“Oh my god! Berni! Stop it, please! They’re my friends.” She scanned the house straining to hear some kind of response but there
was nothing to hear but the creaking of the aged floorboards in the hall and the stunned breathing of the five people who
remained within. “It is all my fault. She thinks she’s my mom.”
“Ahh! Help me!”
Fred and Connor who had been busy searching their strangely empty prison came running at the sound of a new voice echoing
through the area. “Whoa! Berni! What happened?,” Connor yelled.
“It attacked me! She called me a monster! Me!” He looked at their shocked faces, “What? What’s wrong? Did she mess with my
“Dude, you’re sticking halfway through a wall.”
Fred nodded, “It’s true. Look.”
Bernardo looked down at his chest only to find the lower half of his body was still embedded in the nebulous fabric of the room.
He felt the panic start to rise, “Ahh! My legs! I can’t feel my legs!”
“Berni you need to calm down. We’ll help you get out.”
Connor raised an eyebrow and leaned closer to Fred, “Are you sure we can pull him out without pulling him in half?”
“What?!” That wasn’t what Berni needed to hear.
Fred put up a hand, “You’ll be fine. The strength needed to pull a sim body apart is extremely high. We could even come close to
that amount of force.”
“Just get me out of here!”
Fred and Connor each took an arm and pulled. At first there was no movement but after a few tries Berni’s legs slide free of the
field and he slumped to the floor.
His feet and other parts were slightly numb put all seemed to be still attached and functional.
“The bitch jumped me from behind and pulled me through a wall. That’s what happened.”
“Did she say anything?”
“She called me a “rude little monster”, which I highly resent and she called herself Brooke’s “mommy”.”
Fred nodded, “I was right. This is about Brooke’s real family. I guess “Mommy” didn’t find you suitable for her daughter either.”
“Like I care. She wasn’t my type anyway. Way too uppity.” He rubbed his legs then held out his hands, “Help me up. I think I can
Fred and Connor took his hands and pulled his to a standing position.
Connor frowned and shook his head, “If the ghost is eliminating the less suitable guys for Brooke then why was I sent here first? I
hardly got a chance to know her and this… uh, Berni didn’t like her at all and he’s third to go.”
Fred shook his head, “I don’t know. I was just getting to know her myself. I guess we are here until it’s all sorted out.”
“We are going to get to leave, right?”
“That’s a good question. I have no idea.” Fred looked around at the unchanging scenery. If there was a way out it wasn’t an
Back in the house…
There was no point in searching for Bernardo. He wasn’t missing, he had been taken. Right in front of everyone’s eyes. Byte did
his best to hide his worries from the rest of the remaining group. He knew he was next.
Night fell and nervous habit led Byte to occupy his mind with the only thing that ever really made him comfortable when he was
It was silly but it helped to pass the time.
The others played cards or listened to Brooke play her violin. The haunting melody sang through the house as he worked making
him think that under different circumstances this house could be a very happy place.
In another place, he wondered, was it possible for Brooke to like someone like him? Maybe even fall in love with him? He could be
gentle and kind to the right person given the chance.
“I’m sorry Byte. She’s just not right for you.”
He paused. This time the voice was soft and gentle. “I’m next to go.”
“I’m afraid so, yes.”
He dropped the brush and sank to his knees.
He looked up at the ghostly image that hovered before him. “Did you kill Berni?”
“Of course not. I only hurt him a little.”
Byte closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “Are you going to let us all go when it’s over?”
The ghost arched a well groomed eyebrow, “I might consider it. Time to go.”
The was no sound to alert the others of Byte’s circumstance and in a flash…
The room was empty except for the ghostly image of Andrea Hudson.
So ends part two of my little tale. The above picture is included because I really liked it. William really looks like he could kick
It’s been a long break between updates for this I know but I’m finally moving forward again with this project. The final part
including the nuptials should be out in a few weeks now that my computer issues are fixed and my volunteer efforts have quieted
down some. Due to the software conversion the first 2/3’s of this presentation may have a slightly different appearance but I’m
now back to using MS PowerPoint which I like much more than Open Office.
Comments or suggestions are of course welcome and encouraged. I’m not the best writer and love the opportunity to improve.
Until next time- Thanks for reading and if you are thinking about adding a pet to your household, please adopt.