So I'm back, with some lovely young ladies and some poor photoshop skills. Hope you enjoy!
Our protagonist is Hebrides Botany, and she's just married the love of her life, Colin Grey.
Hebrides is, of course, half-alien, and Colin is a Reaper child. This is, of course, an Apocalypse, with
Heb as the founder, and . . . I think that's all the recap you've absolutely got to have. Oh, Heb lifted
Culinary. Yep, that's it. I promise it'll make more sense if you read the prologue.
I shouldn't have been surprised to be pregnant right away: it had become impossible to obtain
contraceptives, but I was.
Colin was absolutely thrilled. He had twelve cousins and his two brothers, and his mom had
made her home with his uncle, so there had been seven children in the house, and apparently they'd
gotten along most of the time. He loved big families.
He tried playing peekaboo.
"I don't think the baby can see you yet, love." I told him.
I went into labor after getting out of the car from work one day.
Colin was right there as well, which was a very good thing, because in just a few minutes I had given
birth to not one but three baby girls! I suppose it makes some sense, since we are both twins ourselves,
but three . . . I'm still not sure how we survived those early days.
Here are the triplets together. We didn't normally put them on the floor, of course, but we
wanted to take a picture of our little miracles together: Isis, Proserpine, and Tuonela.
It wasn't long before they were toddlers. The phone still didn't work well, so we couldn't have a
proper party, but we had a little family affair. This is Isis, the eldest.
I'm Colin. I'll have to backtrack some years to fill in the blanks. Near as I can tell, Hebrides
wrote in her diary right up until the day she lost it.
The girls had gone off to school that morning. It was Hecate's first day and the triplets' last.
The high school had been closed due to a lack of students. People were sending their little ones to
school because it was safer than leaving them home while they worked. But they were keeping their
teens home for the same reason. Crime was rampant. I wasn't happy about the girls going to school at
all: my mother, aunts, and uncle had been homeschooled. Hebrides loved her job, though, and I
couldn't stand the thought of not providing for my family. I knew if I quit they'd never hire me again.
I soon had three beautiful teens instead of four adorable children. Hecate wasn't all that
impressed. Isis is in the long skirt with the too-short top. Proserpine is in the much-to-short dress, but
at least had the sense to wear tights, and Tuonela is in the entirely practical sweatsuit.
I think the girls had already adopted Kim the stray cat by then, though my memory's not quite
clear on that.
Anyway, the day of the triplets' birthday was the day Hebrides lost it. Which, I suppose, is the
only reason I felt free to read her diary. I almost wish I hadn't. I loved her so much. The worst part is
she never admitted, even to herself, what she'd done. How do you forgive someone who doesn't admit
they need to be forgiven? I don't have any answers, and yet I must, if only for the girls' sakes.
Hebrides tried, even then, to cling to what she remembered as normal. Hecate slept in with me
for a while: she was scared of the change in her mother. I'm not sure reading recipes was exactly a
comforting bedtime story. It would have been worse if Hecate had realized her mother was holding an
encyclopedia and reciting the recipes from memory.
The girls were all really close, and Hecate really looked up to Iris, who capably stepped into
most of the role of her mother. Proserpine, however, took over the cooking. This is a mixed blessing:
Proserpine is a talented cook and has never scorched a meal, let alone started a fire; however,
Proserpine only cooks grilled cheese sandwiches. I'd never thought of grilled cheese as a breakfast
food before. I don't believe we've eaten anything but grilled cheese since.
The girls spent a lot of time at the chess table, but they never actually played chess. I'm not sure
any of us even know the rules!
Instead, like I did as a child, they tried to trick each other into looking away and switch the
pieces around. They'll look back at this and laugh someday.
They've learned verbal and slight of hand skills.
Those should come in useful in this frozen hell.
They've also learned how to tell when someone is lying. A skill I thought I'd mastered, but
It wasn't long before Hecate was a beautiful young lady as well.
It became pretty obvious the girls were lonely for other young people, cooped up in the house
with us all the time.
They were thrilled to see the wolf pack that lived in our neighborhood as well. This was when I
picked up Hebrides' diary and my world fell apart. Why did she write down everything she did, yet
never reflect on it? In spite of how horrible our living conditions are, it seems like she never drew the
obvious conclusions. I wish she'd recorded the details she gave to Miss Bee as well.
But life goes on, and I held it together for the girls' sakes. It wasn't long before Kim had
become a rescue pet. With four teens catering to her every whim, how could she do otherwise?
That same day I was elected to the Hall of Fame.
For some reason this made me realize how foolish I'd been not to have the girls practicing their
basic physical skills and I sent them to the rooftop with some lengths of scrap rope to start getting in
shape. It's a dangerous world out there.
I had also reached my elder years. I didn't have the hideous weight of guilt Hebrides had
carried all this time, only the much more recent horror to consider. Further, I believed I figured out
what had actually happened when Miss Bee died. Either way, my mind stayed intact.
The eternal winter was my first clue, though it probably should have been the intermittent
phone service. The difficulty of getting, well, anything, but especially building materials or high
quality goods was another clue. The omnipresent fear. The power failure. The inability to conceive of
things like jump-rope. The school closures. Hebrides' own family's history. We were in the throes of
an Apocalypse. Now how to explain this . . . extra-dimensional knowledge of mine to the girls? I
hadn't made any secret of my father . . . but this went far beyond that. This was betraying Miss Bee's
other confidences. I didn't feel I had any choice.
I wasn't sure how to tell them what I knew. So I'm writing it down, just in case. I fully plan to
tell them everything. I don't remember all the rules, of course, but I remember some. Enough to
remember that there are things we just won't be able to conceive of. Things we won't be able to do, or
have, or remember, even. I remember dancing with Hebrides in college, but I don't remember how we
did it. I can't remember how to tell a single joke. The girls have to be warned: they have to watch
when people die. Tombstones won't be moveable. They have to be super careful at work, because if
they get fired they'll be blacklisted, and if they ever miss a day they'll be fired. It will be winter for a
very long time. And there's something, something to do with reaching a high level job in order to fix
things. I guess like me being elected to the Hall of Fame and then remembering how to jump rope.
This was Hebrides' family's story, not mine. But I don't know her relatives, most of them, at all.
Hebrides had always been afraid to have her brother over. I called Halcyon and told him I
would pick him up. I got my brothers at the same time, and some other old friends I wanted the girls to
meet. The girls had to keep in touch with Halcyon: he was our only hope of getting Miss Bee back and
ending this. Once Hebrides and I were gone, he'd be the only one who remembered her: he wasn't
aging: her household never ages. She'd planned well, Miss Bee had. She always did. Had she done
this knowing what would happen, or suspecting? Halcyon also had the contact information for their
other relatives: those who had lived during an Apocalypse before. Hebrides had never questioned how
her distant ancestors had died and come back to life. I didn't have to question that part. My father had
told me about that.
Hebrides was not happy with me, but the girls were thrilled to meet their uncles. They were
also thrilled that Halcyon has their same skin tone. They always felt a little odd at school.
I knew this was probably my last chance to see my brothers. My twin Cedric, now so much
younger than I, knew it as well. He's actually the older of the two of us, but he hasn't aged while I
I'm not sure if Cecil realized that this was goodbye, but he has been very good about calling to
talk to the girls every time he can get a line through. He gets through nearly every day, too. Cecil has
always been determined. I understand that's a trait often associated with his name.
Tuonela really wanted to be a lawyer, but settled for a job as a golf caddy, which was all she
found in the paper.
Isis was lucky enough to find a job in Education right away. She'd been planning on that for a
long time. She told me she wanted to find the right man and have children, and she wanted her
children to go to college, unlike her. That about broke my heart. I knew, even if she didn't, how
unlikely it was that she'd ever get married.
Hecate, my youngest, grew up in the snow. She'd been desperately chasing some man, trying to
make friends. Poor baby. It's been rough on her, not having her mother be sane since she was a tot.
Proserpine, well, she really hasn't changed at all. She also struggled to find a job, any job. Half
the days the newspaper has no listings at all, and even when it does they aren't very good. She's
probably talking to Cecil. My brother truly did call every day to make friends with the girls.
Here's a photo of Isis and Tuonela getting home from work together. It was rare that Tuonela
worked the same shift in those days as anyone else did.
Little Hecate met this man, Timothy Griffith, when she was still a teen. He came by again after
she was an adult and she latched onto him desperately. I wasn't sure about him at first, but he's turned
out to be a quiet, scholarly sort who works hard, learns easily, and really adores her. We hardly notice
him in the house. Don't get me wrong, he's not a wimp, he just doesn't need to be noticed to be happy.
Occasionally Hebrides pulled a brief moment of lucidity on me.
"Are you still happy we got married?" she asked.
That was best left unanswered. Fortunately, I've always been good at distracting her.
Mostly, though, she wasn't with us. Like when she tried to tell a visibly pregnant Hecate about
the birds and the bees over chess. I'd had that very awkward conversation with the girls years before.
Hecate told me later that she doesn't remember her mother before. I'm glad Hebrides doesn't know any
of this. Half the time she doesn't remember which girl is which, and I'm not sure she ever has noticed
Proserpine finally got a job. Military had never been something she'd wanted to do, but it was
something. Sometimes, anything is better than nothing. She'd wanted to be a doctor or a scientist, or,
after struggling so long to find work, a journalist.
Hecate had found an entry level job as a mailroom technician. My girl never missed a day of
work while she was pregnant. I'm so proud of her.
I told her so over a game of chess, and it wasn't more than a few minutes later . . .
We welcomed a new baby into the world. This is baby Adrian, named after my grandfather. I
had no idea that Hecate had planned to honor him like that. I never knew him in life, though I knew
much of him, and of course talked to him in ghost form many times. Ghosts can be unnerving
conversational partners, though Grandfather Adrian, by all accounts, was unnerving in life as well.
Hebrides seemed aware of the new baby, though she never talked to him or held him.
But with new beginnings also come endings. Hebrides had a long and complicated life, and left
a mixed legacy. It's best to focus on the positives: four beautiful daughters and a charming grandson.
And me, a husband from Elsewhere.
"Uncle. Your father sends his greetings."
"But I'm not here for you, Nephew."
"I know. Watch out, Hebrides isn't nice."
"Shush, Nephew. I know all of that. Sunny says 'Hi.' and 'Good job.' But enough of you.
Hebrides, my dear, what would you say to a nice tropical vacation? I packed a suitcase with everything
That was that. Hebrides took the drink eagerly, of course. They always do. If Miss Bee had
been there, I could've smacked her. Except, of course, that one doesn't hit a lady. 'Good job'? What is
that about? How, in any way, could my life be considered a good job?
Have a NICE toddler being cute.
Lots of stats for you:
Hebrides: Romance/Popularity, 10/10/10/0/0, LTW Artist
Colin: Romance 10/10/10/9/0 LTW 20 Lovers
Isis is a Family/Knowledge 9/10/5/9/0, LTW graduate 3 kids
Proserpine is a Knowledge/Grilled Cheese 10/7/10/0/0, LTW Eat 200 sandwiches
Tuonela is a Romance/Wealth 10/1/10/7/2, LTW The Law
Hecate is a Family/Popularity 7/10/10/0/0 LTW 6 Grand-kids
Timothy (spouse)is a Knowledge 9/2/6/3/5 LTW Max 7 skills
Baby Adrian is 9/2/10/8/6
Colin: "I am the best Romance sim ever because I roll 'Meet Someone New' repeatedly when
my wife gives birth to triplets and never 'Fear having Baby' or "Fear changing Diaper'. I rock!"
Lifts so far: Hebrides/Culinary, Colin/Athletic, and Kim/Pet Service.
Gen 2 careers are currently: Isis/Education, Proserpine/Military, Tuonela/Medical,
Hecate/Business, and Timothy/Law. Timothy married in with a highish Culinary position.
I have many glitchy pictures: Nellie and Catie would like you to know that this is NOT a safe
housework technique. Thanks for reading! Next time: more cute Adrian and hopefully a sibling or
several. Skins and eyes, and some hair by Hysterical Paroxysm, other hairs by
Melodie9/Layana/Gwillewyn and Nouk, hacks by Pescado and . . . I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff. Ask