My name is Hebrides Botany. Yes, one of those Botanys. Are there any other Botanys,
I live with my Aunt Gardenia, the famous chef, and her husband Marty, my twin brother
Halcyon, my cousin (who is not Aunt Gardinea and Uncle Marty's kid) Hillary, and my cousin (who is
their kid) Heather.
Sucks to be me. Not as bad as it sucks to be Hillary, because he's a total looser, but still.
We had to move from our old home, which was big, cool, with lots of fun stuff, and ghosts, to
this new place. I've got some old family pics to paste in here, too. Totally not the famous pics. The
blackmail kind. Aunt Gardenia saves everything.
This is Hal and my Dad, Ginko, when he was pregnant with us. It's pretty obvious which side
of the family I get the black curls from and which side I get the green skin from, I think. Totally not
him being a CEO. He was probably talking to his future wife, though who knows? Aunt Gardenia
really went for the candid shots. Blackmail pics.
Blackmail because this is when Dad and Lois got married. She doesn't know about me and Hal.
They've got another kid, my half-brother, Horace. Lois is, by all acounts, a totally horrible mom.
Horace hates her, I mean, really hates her. You can't really hate someone you don't know. Hal swears
he doesn't remember the wedding. I do. I remember all those weddings. Hillary's totally better off,
even if he is a geek, with Aunt Gardenia, too. His mom, Aunt Gladioulus, had him with the mailman
before she got married.
Aunt Gardenia did everything for us a mother would've done, and Uncle Marty was really our
father. I get along better with Uncle Marty than I do with Aunt Gardenia: Unc says that's cause Aunt
Gardenia and I are so much alike but I really don't see it.
My Aunts, and Dad, thought they'd pretty much fixed everything, but I guess they hadn't. There
was stuff going wrong. I've heard there was something really wrong with Aunt Gladioulus before
Hillary was born and Dad too, and, you know, just stuff. And Miss Sunny, she's kind of in charge, sorta
like a president, I guess, said we'd all better move to a new place to be on the safe side.
There was one really freaky night when I was maybe five or so, when I was supposed to be
asleep along with my cousins and my twin, when I crawled out to the top of the stairs. I'm not sure
what all it was about, except that my Aunt Fleur-de-lis and her cult were there. And the next day the
family gravesite was empty. And then we left.
We left on a really big boat, the entire family, all together. I talked to Miss Sunny while the
other kids played. She was pretty much the first adult to ever take me seriously. The boat trip was cool
and all. The adults took all the benches and the teenagers hung out on the deck, and everyone else
played cops and robbers.
Miss Sunny promised me if I ever needed anything she would help me. The kid in the awful
purple sweater is my younger half-brother, Horace, and my great-great-great-great-great-grandparents
Ash and Kathleen are sitting in the center back seat. Since they--my great-x-5-grandparents had been
ghosts in the back yard until recently, it was kinda weird. But having Miss Sunny's promise made me
So we got settled into our new house, more or less. Me, Hillary, Halcyon, Heather, Aunt
Gardenia, and Uncle Marty, going clockwise around the table from 12. Aunt Gardenia is a really
awesome cook--who hasn't seen her show? But at this new town, she got a job as a secretary. And she
likes it. Weird, huh? Anyway, she's big on family dinners. Which were usually pretty horrible--the
food was good, but the company, ugh! Uncle Marty got a job as a construction foreman, and the cost
of getting us there, well, let's just say that they were pretty broke.
Hillary was totally a geek and dumb enough to start fights with me on top of it. I mean, really!
I've never pretended I was nice or anything. Pretty, popular, smart, yes, I'm all those, but I'm not nice.
He got a job cleaning rat cages at a science lab, that's how geeky he is.
Heather was pretty much a pushover, another geek, but she always hogged the bathroom in the
mornings. I mean, seriously, it takes me like no time in there: shower, lipstick, I'm done. How much
time does a girl need? It's not like she's a girly girl or anything, and we have only two bathrooms.
Another total geek, but she was cleaning fish tanks instead of rat cages. My twin, Hal, is much cooler.
He got a job at a record shop. But still, a job! Such a waste of time when he could be doing more fun
Beach here is my great-great-great-great uncle. It's so weird that he's only a couple years older
than me. He's also really cute, but don't tell him I said so! I spent my time hanging out with people
while my cousins and brother sweated away at their jobs.
That led to trouble for me with Aunt Gardenia. She told me I was grounded until I started
showing some responsibility. Okay, it might've had something to do with a d-minus report card as well.
She and I just got along like cats and dogs. I mean, everything I did made her mad. Hillary
being stupid and picking fights with me was my fault, somehow, and yelling at Heather to hurry up and
get out of the bathroom was a bad thing, even though Heather'd made me miss the bus and caused me
to get that d-minus in the first place.
I was going nuts. Then I remembered Miss Sunny had said she'd help me, if I ever needed help.
Maybe, just maybe, I could get out of this place. She'd promised.
Miss Sunny lived in a small house that blended with the sand. It was a serene, quiet place. I
wondered if she were even home, and if she'd remember the child she'd made that promise for, or if
she'd feel bound to keep it.
"Hi, Miss Sunny, remember me?" I said. I sounded like an idiot, I'm sure.
"Of course I remember you: you're Hebrides, Ginko's daughter." she said quietly.
"I . . . I need to ask you a favor. I really need to get out of this place. Can you help me go to
college early?" I said.
"Hebrides, your grades are horrible. You're all but failing high school. Why would you want to
go to college early?" she said.
"I hate my family. Dad pretends Hal and I don't exist. Aunt Gardenia and I can't get along. My
cousins drive me nuts. I've got to leave. I've thought about running away . . . but there's no where to
go on this island and there's no way I'd get off it without help." I said.
"I see. I don't think you could do college level work." she said.
"I can, I really can. I'm smart. School's just sooo dull." I said.
"College does tend to be more interesting work, if you take the right courses." she said.
"I know! I want to be an artist. You understand what it's like, right? To need to get away from
home?" I asked.
"Well . . . you're right that I can probably help you go to college early. But . . ." she hesitated
"I'll do anything you want if you'll help me." she said.
"I promised I'd help you, back when you were little. I'm not sure that helping you run away
from your problems is the best sort of help for you, but there is something I need a hand with, and a
college student would have access to resources I normally wouldn't."
"You remember there were . . . problems in our old home. You were pretty young, you might
not . . . your Aunt Gladiolus came home from work invisible while she was pregnant with Horace, for
example. I'm seeing some early signs of the same sorts of things here. I need to know why. You'll
have access to scholarly works in college that I can't easily access here." she said.
"I'll see what I can find out." I said.
"Without letting your grades drop below a 4.0. I expect you to work your butt off, if I get you
in on early admisson. You won't qualify for any scholarships. I'll make sure you have enough grant
money to pay your first semester of tuition and housing fees, and after that you're on your own. I'd
suggest you pick up a part time job if you want any luxuries at all, or even not to have too rough a time
starting off after college." she said. It sounded like another lecture, and I got plenty of those at home.
"I can do it, Miss Sunny. I really can. And thank you so much for the chance." I said.
"You know, I believe you can. You're stuborn enough. Try not to let that nasty temper of yours
get you into too many fights at college. You'll have to explain, or not explain, this situation to your
family. I don't want anyone to know about what you're doing for me: we'd have panic in town. It was
bad enough before we moved, and if it's happening again . . . no. Don't even think about it around
"A cab will pick you up to go to college at 7 am tomorrow. Good luck." she said.
That was that. She'd said what she wanted to say to me, and I had to get back home before Aunt
Gardenia and Uncle Marty got home from work and found out I'd snuck out. I was still grounded after
all, even if no one seemed too clear as to how being grounded was supposed to work with all the rest of
the family at work.
The cab did indeed show up the next morning. I hadn't said anything to my family. Hal waved
goodbye to me from the front porch. I'd call him later from college and explain. Well, partially
College was great. I met lots of interesting people right away, such as Kendall in the grey
tanktop and Wendell in the blue Llamas jacket.
They weren't all that smart, most of the guys, but hey, they liked me. And I liked them.
My second day on campus I got my billing statement. I immediately saw why Miss Sunny had
suggested a part-time job. I had no idea college was so expensive! I'd thought at least I'd have some
money over to get new clothes: almost nothing I'd brought with me even fit right, and what did clashed
horribly. It was so embarrasing having to wear it, though nearly everyone else was just as bad.
Thinking about Miss Sunny made me remember I'd agreed to work on her project as well. And
I did. She was right about there being more information available, but most of it didn't seem relevent.
What was seemed really weird: some sort of multiple dimensions and things that happened in one
affecting things in another. Totally Heather and Hillary stuff, not me. I wasn't sure I was the right
person for this project at all.
Mostly I had fun. Kendall was sweet and a good dancer.
Not a bad kisser, either. Though we didn't stay together for long. He was fine for a first
boyfriend, but he really wasn't long term dating material.
I took Miss Sunny's advice and got a job tending bar at a local bar. The pay was poor, but hey,
it was something. Money is nice to have, and I guess you don't really realize that until you haven't got
Of course I didn't let that interfere with having fun. Swimming was great, and the best way to
get fit. It didn't even feel like work.
I saved enough money to get a top that looked better with my skirt, some jewelry, and some nail
polish. That was good enough for a while. I didn't forget about studying, either, and kept my gpa up
just as Miss Sunny had demanded. It really wasn't hard, now that classes were so much more
I found more information for Miss Sunny in my history assignments, of all places. Who
would've thought those dusty old tomes had something relevent to life today? Well, relevent to
anything, except my grades, really! I wrote it all down, with references and all.
I kept in touch with Hal by phone. He wasn't much interested in hanging out on campus: he
was busy with work, school, and his friends in high school. He was having a great time. He's the sort
of guy who gets along with everyone, you know? But we stayed best friends, which is as it should be
Even the dumber guys in the dorm quite liked me.
And the serious, studious types didn't take that much to pull out of their shells once I got the
hang of it. Those were fun times.
I stayed trim and fit, too. Looks matter, especially in dealing with guys. I wanted to be a
famous artist, but being photogenic wouldn't hurt any. Even if I was green.
I worked hard for all my skills, harder than I'd ever worked in my life.
At night I slept like a log. Life was going well for me.
I got a better job, at a small club down town. They needed a dj and I was good. I could've gone
into radio if I wanted to at that point. I didn't, but I could've. I made lots of money there, and I had
plenty of spending money now.
I called Miss Sunny just to make sure she knew I was still working on her project. I didn't want
her to think I'd forgotten. Also, to tell her how great my grades were.
And then I met Colin Grey. We just fit perfectly. He was smart. He was funny. He was
romantic. He was an exchange student, there with his twin brother and little brother. He was perfect.
He'd never heard of my family. The first thing everyone asks is "Botany, like Freesia the pop
icon?" He never asked about Great-Aunt Freesia.
We were so much alike it was scary, and we hung out all the time.
This didn't keep me from my studies, however. I even took piano lessons.
I kept working on Miss Sunny's project, too. I realized why she'd asked me, now. I wasn't
going to go "Oooh, multiple universe theory, ooh!" I was going to actually dig down and see if it made
any sense. Which it did. That was freaky. Like in some other universe Colin might never have come
on exchange and we might not have met.
Already I couldn't imagine life without Colin. Fortunately, he felt the same way.
He bought me jewelry--silver, because he said it set off my eyes and hair. And he begged me to
grow my hair out: he loves long hair on a woman. It made me look a lot like my Aunt Gardenia, which
I'd never realized. Uncle Marty had always said we were too alike. Aunt Gardenia had told me I was
beautiful, and now, I could see that I really was. Not in the normal way, because I'd never look quite
normal, but in my own way.
He's kind of old fashioned in some ways, and I guess I'm a bit of a fool about him. I had five
other men trying to get me into their beds at this point, but he was saying no. Not unless we got
married. So I proposed.
"Colin, you don't want to sleep with me unless we get married. So marry me."
He laughed and said yes. It was more than a bit silly, but that's how we've always been together,
and I hope always will be.
Kendall was a little slow to realize things were over between us, and got all mad at Marty, who
just wasn't taking that from anyone.
Hello, I'm on the phone with my fiance here talking about where we're going to live together,
and you guys are fighting because Kendall thinks Marty's trying to steal me?
I got arrested one night my senior year. I really hadn't done anything wrong.
It turned out to be an elaborate prank by my friends, a number of whom were in a secret society.
I was happy to be a member: these sorts of connections are good to have, and these guys have a
reputation for making sure their members get jobs.
I bumped into Grandmother Margaret, the rockstar, in the club I worked in.
"You're doing quite well there, Hebrides. It's nice to see my talent was passed along." she said.
"Thanks, Grandmother. Look, I've got something I need your advice on. You're good at the
family stuff." I said.
"Something to do with the diamond you're wearing?"
Trust Grandmother to notice.
"With the guy who gave it to me. I mean, I gave him one, so he got me one too." I said.
"Explain from the top, Hebrides." Grandmother said.
"Colin's an exchange student. Miss Sunny, though he calls her Miss Bee, is an old family friend
of his and arranged for him and his brothers to come study here. He's a wonderful guy, Grandmother,
perfect for me." I said.
"By which you mean he has enough spine to stand up to you. That's good. You wouldn't do
well with a wuss." Grandmother said.
She was right about that.
"But his family's kind of weird. He says his dad is Death."
"One of your fathers is an alien, my dear. I hardly think weird parantage is a reason to turn
down a man who is otherwise right for you."
"He says his mom's a witch. I think he really believes she is. I don't believe in witches."
"Do you believe Colin lies to you?" Grandmother asked.
"Well, no. That's the problem."
"If his father is Death, I don't see why his mother couldn't be a witch. Obviously his homeland
is slightly different than ours. I'm not sure why you'd find his mother being a witch less believable than
you having two fathers." Grandmother said.
"It has never hurt our family to have your Aunt Fleur-de-lis have an in with Death. It has, in
fact, saved us a great deal of heartache. I don't see any problems with your young man, on the basis of
his parentage. I hardly think Miss Sunny would have invited him to study abroad here if he weren't a
fine, upstanding young gentleman." Grandmother said.
Trust Grandmother to get to the point.
"I suppose having Death for a parent really isn't any weirder than an alien. It's not like I'll meet
his mother any time soon, either. Thanks, Grandmother." I said.
With what I'd gleaned from Colin about his home, I was able to find even more data for Miss
Sunny. It was starting to look quite nasty, too.
I also found I'd inheirated the Botany sense of style. Doesn't Fannie look pretty now? I made
so many friends at college, but Fannie and I had a lot in common: we both had boys following us
I'd never been happier in my life. Colin is everything to me. Graduation was coming all too
soon. I didn't really want to return to the real world: college was so wonderful. Colin did want to get
married and have a baby, or maybe two, since we were both twins, and both had twins in our families.
His mom wasn't, but his aunts were. He even had two sets of triplets among his cousins, as well as
more twins. My dad was a twin as well, so yeah, twins could likely be in our future. I'd be okay with a
baby or two: I'm not saying I'm looking forward to pregnancy, but twins could be cool. Two for the
price of one and all.
There was just one more thing to do before finals: finish up my research for Miss Sunny.
People exist in multiple dimensions, you see. The problem is when they know what they're doing in
both. Um . . . like if the me in this dimension is writing her term paper but the me in some other
dimension is making out with Colin, and the me in this dimension knows what other-me is up to. It's
not a problem if I don't know, only if I do, because everyone is multi-dimensional or something.
I don't know how one would go about finding out what one's other-dimensional counterparts are
doing, let alone finding out if someone else could. I really wasn't sure that Miss Sunny could do
anything, except try to stave off panic. I couldn't find any suggestions, well, solutions. People have
been murdered on suspicion of cross-dimensionality before, but we're past such barbaric times now.
I invited Miss Sunny over to share my findings with her. She was polite, as always, and oddly
a little distant. I gave her my research.
We talked a bit about the sources I'd found. She was particularly interested in the old books.
Then she said goodbye. She had some things she needed to do, and I should keep in touch. I
didn't guess I wouldn't be able to. I wonder now if she did?
I settled down to read about fire suppression techniques: it seemed possibly useful, and, well, I
was too excited to sleep. I was planning a huge graduation party after the ceremony.
Just after two the lights went out. No flicker, nothing. Just off.
I looked out the window: all the lights on campus were off. I couldn't see the glow from the
lights on the Big Island, either, that we normally saw at night. The power plant was down. What to
By six the lights hadn't come back on. I asked my friends to keep an eye on things at the dorm
and went down to the secret society. Those guys had ins with other society members in high places.
But no one had heard anything, though I was the next-to-last society member to get there.
Cecil, Colin's baby brother, thought maybe there'd been a jailbreak. He's such a goof.
Colin asked if I thought graduation would still be going forward. There were new freshmen
arriving that afternoon, after all, it had to. It would take more than the lights being down to stop the
new students from coming in.
My phone rang.
"Hal! You're okay? What's going on?"
My twin was crying.
"It's complicated, Heb. Miss Sunny's dead." he said.
He explained: Miss Sunny had asked Aunt Gardenia if she could adopt him. Aunt and Uncle
were having trouble with finances, and Miss Sunny wasn't. She knew everyone, and Hal thought she'd
be able to help him get a great start on life. So he and Aunt and Uncle had agreed. He'd moved in,
everything had been going smoothly.
He'd gone to bed at the normal time: she'd stayed up with a book. He'd been woken about two
am by her dog howling. He'd found her body in the front yard. He'd had to call on his cell phone: the
regular phones weren't working, and yes, there was no power on Big Island either.
We sat down to talk it over. Cedric, being practical, suggested that I move into the safe house
the society had back on Small Island. It wasn't great, but it was decent enough for a single person. I
could stay there until the electricity came back on and my atm card would work again: kind of hard to
rent an apartment with no bank access. Colin and Cedric had another sememster to go, and Cedric was
planning on a Master's degree after that. Cecil had a couple more years. None of the other society
members were graduating that day, so I'd be alone.
The society had a special phone which Colin said they usually called their dad on, but when I
picked it up, thinking I could find out how Miss Sunny had died, at least, there was no dial tone.
I gave Colin a hug goodbye, promising I'd see him soon.
And I left the society for the last time.
I canceled the party, there didn't seem any point to it now, and headed off to the safe house.
I let Colin know I'd arrived safely, and that it was freezing cold. Of course, it was the middle of
winter. That's the trouble with winter graduations. And, well, the society could have done a little better
with the insulation and all, and there wasn't any heating at all. But I was doing all right.
He came by to see me when he could, and it was great to see him. That's great-great-aunt
Echinacea there, by the wolf. Colin was concerned about the wolves, but they seemed harmless. I'd
found a job in the newspaper: oddly, while the phones rarely worked and there was no electricity, the
postal service and the local daily both managed to get things through.
I worked hard while I waited for Colin to graduate, and eventually became a top chef at a local
restaurant. It was hard work, too, as we had to rely on intermitent fuel deliveries to do our cooking.
The next day I got a rare call from Colin that he'd finished up and was on his way to join me.
I'd never been so glad to see him, and he was pretty glad to see me, too.
We exchanged vows then and there in the snow, which had really hung on well past the normal
season. I honestly didn't think too much of it, then.
Colin was with me, what could possibly go wrong now?
Thanks to all the wonderful creators of mods and custom content I use. I'm honestly not sure
what by who shows up in this, but default replacements are mostly by Hysterical Paroxism, and much
of my hair is by Nouk. Furniture might be by Maylin, and clothes that show up here may be
Fanseelamb, Cocomama, Fakepeeps, and All About Style. I'll track down specific items if anyone
wants to know.
Have Hebrides on free will with Hillary. The Botanys were my first, unpublished Apocalypse,
and Heb is from the post-end generation.
Have Colin all excited because he's skilling body. Both are Aires Romance sims, Heb's LTW is
Artist and her stats are 10/10/10/0/0, Colin's is 20 Lovers with 10/10/10/9/0. Colin is from an
unpublished legacy attempt of mine, yes, he's a reaper child, along with his brothers. Love those guys
and really don't play their home neighborhood.
We've had the same number of aspiration failures as nice points so far, and since these two have
three bolts they're very stalky and platinum. Hebrides lifted Culinary. Tune in next time for Grim and
Poli Tech's grandbabies!