Romancing the Apocalypse Chapter 15 – Carpet CrawlersWelcome back to Romancing the Apocalypse! Episode 14 ushered in Generation 5, starring Rose the Honky Tonk Girl, with briefappearances also made by her younger twin sisters Rachel and Robin. Here’s your clue that their father’s years of stargazing willfinally pay off, so without further ado, the story of Generation 5’s growing years continues...Rules for Pinstar’s Apocalypse Challenge can be found at www.legacychallenge.com in Other Challenges. More things Apocalypse canbe found in the forums at www.boolprop.com.
“Steady... Yeah, you did it!”“Hurry, Rach, get Mom before I fall.”“Mom’s working late tonight.”“Tell Dad then.”Rachel imitated their dad’s snoring.“…Uh.”“I saw you do it, Robbi. Maybe they’ll watch you later tonight.”“…Nah, Mom’ll be too tired and all Dad cares about is the telescope.”Robin’s body began to wobble, and she let first one foot then the other fall to the floor…
So went the days for Robin and her twin sister Rachel. Their mother was working toward her Lifetime Want to become Chief ofStaff, in the footsteps of their Auntie Shannon. Their father spent all his nights on the roof hoping to get abducted by aliens, whichleft him energy to do little more than collapse on the bed each morning.
Their sister Rose, being the eldest and possessing beautiful long flowing hair and a rather unique sense of style, not to mention asweet twangy singing voice, had eclipsed much of the twins’ younger years.“Angela, I just want to thank you for bringing my gorgeous hair to our neighborhood.”“Aw, coming from you, Rose, that’s really sweet. I mean…”“I know what you mean. I, uh, don’t know what just got into me.”“So, it’s lovely playing chess and all, but…do you mind if I take a peek at your hot tub?”“Nah, go ahead.”“Thank you. Just for that I’ll be sure to keep you up-to-date on the latest styling tips.”*cough* Phone stalker.
Once Angela discovered the hot tub, she could be found there on many a fruitless night of stargazing. And…er…days...“Chssh, I’m relaxing…”Stay as long as you want, I think you deserve it. ;)“Okay, I think I will.”Angela (thepiepers5) writes “Tha Simple Life.”
Not that the twins were too lonely or unhappy. After all, they had been joined at the hip almost literally since birth. And being left totheir own devices had its upside, like on days when their uncle (hehe) Neil, son of Ciel and Nemo, rode the bus home with them afterschool.
Rachel and Robin were good girls, but started skipping their homework if left on their own for too long. Keeping up their grades wasone thing Knowledge Jane insisted on and started having them rise early with her so she could make sure they got it done and helpwhen they needed it.Except for that little blip, the twins mostly flew under everyone’s radar.
That isn’t to say there wasn’t resentment at taking a back seat to everyone else in the family.“I sure hope Dad never finds aliens or I bet they’ll think we’re really boring.”“You’re not boring, Rach. Am I boring?”“ ’Course not, Robbi, the best sister in the world can’t be boring.”
Saturday was their birthday, and Mark made a point to join them for breakfast.“Um, Dad?”“ ’sup, Rachel?”“I think you have a stalker.”“...Really?”“Yeah... when did the telescope start following you around?”“No, Rach, that’s Telly, Dad’s girlfriend. Don’t tell Mom, though, she’ll get jealous.”“A couple of comedians, eh?”The twins giggled at their shared joke.“Telly’s down here because I had to seal off the roof, it was snowing in the house last night. So anyway… we should do somethingspecial for your birthday.”“Yeah! But what?”“Hm... would you like to go fishing?”
“We’re gonna learn how to fish?”“I know it’s not as good as having a real birthday party with real birthday cake, but…”“Yay, it sounds like fun!”“Of course, I do have to get some sleep first…”
"But that’ll take forever! We always have to wait around for you. It’s boring!”Knowing this was true, Mark lowered his eyes.“I know, and I’m sorry.”He glanced at each girl, tapping his finger on the table.“…I know, I have an idea…”
“You don’t have any plans today, do you, pumpkin? I want you to take the girls fishing for their birthday.”“Fishing?” Rose scoffed.“But Da-ad, you were gonna take us!”“Surely it’ll be just as fun spending the day with your big sister? And what’s wrong with fishing?”“Two things off the top of my head. One, it’s lame. And two, I don’t know how to fish.”“No problem. Call Grampa Jake, I’m sure he’ll be happy to teach you. You can meet him at the fishing hole.”“Not to mention this isn’t how I pictured spending my day off?”“C’mon, Rosey-Posey, it’s their birthday. And you know how much fun you always have with your grampa.”“That was years ago! Im not exactly a kid anymore, y’know.”Mark couldn’t stifle a yawn. “Sorry, I am wiped. Make you a deal, pumpkin... what if you can take the car?”“.....”“Rose.”"Urgh. Come on, you two, go get your coats... time to blow this joint.”That settled, Mark said, “Night, girls,” and headed up the stairs.“But Dad!”“March, twits!”
“Keep an eye out for Grampa.”“Eh, it’s kinda hot out here…”“We’re not going back to change, so deal!”“Meanie.”“That’s my name...”“ *sigh* don’t wear it out.”“There he is…”“Grampa!”The twins dashed and Rose scuffed to the pond.
Jake threaded a worm onto each girls hook.“Watch carefully cuz after this, youre on your own.”“But, Grampa, it’s gross!”“And I feel sorry for the worm!”Rose scowled.“Man up, ladies!”
“I’m hot.”“I’m bored.”“Zip it! We’re gonna have fun if it kills us. Or you. Got me?”
“Whee, I got one! Eeew, he’s slimy!”“There’s a reason for that slimy feel, it helps them swim faster,” Jake explained.Robin tentatively ran a finger along the fish’s side.“Whad’ya think? Still icky?”“It’s not too bad, I guess.”
“ *sniff* But he’s never gonna swim again…”“Are you kidding me?”“ *sniff* Shut up, Rose.”
“Yeehaw. Looks like our work here is done, time to put an end to this oh-so-fun day…”“No fair, not ’til I catch one too!” Rachel shouted.“Consider yourself lucky you got a boot…”“I’ll tell Dad how mean you were on our birthday…”“…I’ll let you get away with that, consider it my present to you. Hurry up though, it’s hot out here!”
“Wow, I caught the biggest one! Looky, Rose!”“Neato... the mouth on it’ll fit your head nicely.”“Eeeek!” Rachel squealed and dropped the fish.
“Everyone had enough? Are we agreed that we are done fishing for good?”“Yes! Never again!”“Pack it up then. And I expect glowing reports for Dad.”
Upon returning from their rather hellish birthday outing, Rachel and Robin became teens.
“Im lookin’ for luuvvv, lots ’n lots o’ luuvv.”“What was that?”“Nothing, Mom.”Rachel rolled Romance and wants 20 Simultaneous Lovers.“Lorin, you haven’t even bothered to mention my personality yet!”Eep, sorry! Rachel is 5/10/10/3/4.
“How many WooHoos? Let me count the Sims…”“What was that?”“Nothing, Mom, I…poked my finger with a hook.”Obviously, Robin had to roll fricking fracking Romance as well. I dont know if I can pull off even one of these, let alone two. *whimper*“Personality please.”Sorry! I didnt mean to ignore you when you were little, honest! Robin is 10/7/9/3/5. Better?“Hehe, you know what they say about payback.”
“Eat my dust, Rosey-Posey.”“ *grrrr* My one Nice point demands that I get back at you for this!”“Don’t worry, Rach, I’ve got your back!”
Jane reached her Lifetime Want just in time to put a crimp in the twins’ plans to start having some real fun.
“It’s good to finally have normal hours… and spend more time with my beautiful daughters.”“Great,” Robin gritted. “Um, can Rachel and I go downtown after school today?”“That depends... are you caught up on your homework?”“They are not,” Rose informed their mom with a smirk.Jane looked at Rose. “What about you?”“Going to be.”Frowning, Jane said, “Then no, definitely not.”“But Mom!” Robin was genuinely crushed.“You are all old enough to be responsible for your homework, and I refuse to play the nagging game. Of course, if you need helpwith your studies, that’s a different story.”“Thanks a lot, Rose.”“Look, if you want to bring your friends here, fine, it’s just…there’s plenty for all of you to do without wasting time downtown.”
“I mean seriously, what do you girls want to do with your life? Are you even thinking about going to college?”“I guess I haven’t thought about it,” Robin said.Rachel pressed her foot down on Robin’s.“Actually, Mom, I think Robbi and I should definitely go to college.”“Excellent! What about you, Rose?”“Do I have to? I mean, you don’t need college to be a General, right?”“Well, you certainly don’t have to, but college is good for every career. And you are not going to be a General until you liftsomething useful!”“I have a brain, Mom, of course I know that! The truth is, I don’t know if I even want to go to college.”“You know how I feel, but it’s up to you, I guess.”“Well, we want to go to college for sure," Rachel declared, giving Robin a meaningful look.A light bulb came on.“...Yes! Yes, that’s us... college bound,” Robin agreed enthusiastically.“Well!” Jane beamed at the twins. “Guess Ill get ready for work now.”
Jane’s satisfaction was evident, but Rose was burning with curiosity.“Okay, what’s up, you two?”“Don’t know what you’re talking about,” Rachel mumbled around a mouthful of cereal.“Oh, there’s something going on, all right! Come on, let me in on it.”“…..”“…..Please?”“…..”That was it. Rose’s limited capacity for patience finally ran out.“Okay, what is it? Or should I put a bug in Mom’s ear?”
“No, don’t do that!”Finally getting somewhere! “And why exactly shouldn’t I?”“Robbi-i, don’t!”“It’s no use, she’ll tell her, I know she will,” Robin said, defeat in her voice.Rose was pleased that she had finally found a tactic that worked. Eagerly she waited for the mystery to be unveiled…“…It’s the kind of…snake she is.”Rose gaped and looked down. Oh, that hurt. She made a quick recovery and looked up again, eyes narrowed into slits. If that’s whatthey thought of her…Her demeanor went from razzing to merciless. “Tell me now, or I’ll…” She scooted her chair back and started to rise.“Sit down! Okay! We rolled, uh, you know, and…”“Aha! You guys wouldn’t be hiding something like becoming a Celebrity Chef or... Lemme guess! It has a two? And a zero?”“.....”“Both of you?”“.....”“Hehe! Oh my, Mom’ll have you in the Orb so fast…”“NO!! Don’t even mention the Orb! Couldn’t you…help us out a teensy bit? Cuz you know Mom’ll freak and... that’s what sisters dofor each other, right?”
Snakes don’t, though.“...Nnnno can do,” Rose said coyly.“You’d better not tell her!”“Now where would the fun be in that? Watching you guys suffer, really suffer, that sounds like fun...”Rachel glared at Rose.“So yeah, your secret’s safe with me... as long as you stay on my good side. And play by Mom’s rules.”“You’ll get yours one day, Rosey-Posey.”“ *sigh* Not impressed so far...”“Ugh! Okay, you win.”“Ahh, music to my ears.”
Little did the twins know that things for them were about to take a turn for the worse...
“Did ya see it, honey?!”“Uh, no, Mom. Who gets abducted at 7:30? Sheesh!”“Oh my gosh, after all these years! All those wasted nights. Yes! Yes! Yes!”
“ *sigh* I still don’t see anything.”“Mom, show a little dignity. And ew, what’s with those skivvies?”“Oh, hehe! Keep an eye out for him while I’m getting decent.”
“That sounds great, Robin, I can really hear the improvement.”“It helps me feel closer to him. D’you think it can help him find his way back?”“Mm, don’t know about that, but it certainly helps toward your Creativity scholarship.”Robin strummed the Rock Hammer violently.In college we’ll be free, in college we’ll be free, in college…
“I hope neglecting my girls was worth it to you… Thanks a lot, Lorin.”My first alien baby? Heck yeah, it was worth it!“Your alien baby?”Okay, our alien baby.
“Welcome back, Dad!”“What a sight, three beautiful young women to welcome me home.”“Hehe! Are you okay? You look okay.”“I feel all right, no lasting damage, not yet anyway…”“Mom was so excited, but we were worried about you.”“No need to worry anymore. C’mon, let’s find her.”
“Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark…” Jane whispered, squeezing him tightly.“It’s official, Jane, Telly and I have broken up for good.”“I know, babe. You must be exhausted. Let’s relax for a while… and talk, if you want to.”
“.....”“Babe, it’s okay.”“.....”“Mark?”“...This is too weird. What if the girls think I’m a freak?”
“You are not a freak. And we will talk to the girls. Together.”“.....”“And they will understand.”“.....”“Babe, you are not alone.”“.....”
“I know it sounds a bit impulsive, but… what if... we were pregnant together? Then you wouldn’t have to do this alone.”“.....”“ *sigh* Okay, forget I said that. Do you want to be alo...?”“You would do that for me?”“Get pregnant? Of course! Besides, the new baby should have someone to grow up with, don’t you agree?”
“I do. I do agree.”“It’s settled then.”“Jane, you are an amazing woman. How did I get so lucky?”“You’re good for me, Mark. And you love me. And I love you. So shut up and kiss me, fool!”
Mark experienced all the joys of pregnancy, and Jane was with him every step of the way.
Meanwhile, it was time for someone to grow up... sort of.Rose cast a furtive glance over at Jane.“Rachel... Rach…” she said in a low voice, “I want you to know that I... I’ve grown up and uh... I really don’t want to see you andRobin... Robbi... suffer all that much. I mean, that was just stupid immature sister crap.”“Uh, thanks... I guess…”“I uh... hope we can be friends... now that I’m gonna be... you know, more mature…”“Okaaay..?”“And one more thing…”
“Here’s one for the road, sucker!”“Rose, you are rotten to the core! Oh man, that hurts!”“Sorry, couldn’t help myself... I swear it’ll never happen again.”“Damn right, because you’ll never get the chance! JERK! Have fun on your birthday.”“But I really mean it…” Rose said to thin air as Rachel stormed out of the room.Rose sighed and headed for the wardrobe. There was nothing to do but get dressed before her party guests arrived...
“Well well, who will the Honky Tonk Girl surprise us with this fine day?”“Haha, you’ll just have to wait and see.”Her parents were meditating and her sisters were obviously not going to make an appearance.“I guess it’s just us, Grampa.”“Yup, you ’n me, kid.”Rose felt the familiar tingle of the sparklies...
“You are not helping! I need encouragement here!”“Okay okay. It’s very...colorful.”“And..?”“It, uh, fits... and umm, it’ll probably be nice and cool in the summer... except for the muffler and the... leg warmer... thingies…”“GRAMPA!!”“I have nothing to work with here, Princess.”“ *grrrr* ”“Have some mercy on your poor grampa… can I go?”“...Yeah yeah, go.”
“There are no words for this...this thing! My sisters hate me! Maybe I should’ve gone to college!”
“Ro-ose, I’m fashionably la-ate, but I’m here nooow…”“ *gasp* I don’t think I can face her. I don’t think I can face anyone!”“Ro-ose, is the party up there?”“…I’ll be right down!”
“ *GASP!* Oi, you poor, poor thing.”“It’s really not that bad, right, Lucy?”“.....”“I said, ‘right, Lucy?’”“It’s utterly hideous, Rose! And you need to go buy something decent. Something you. Something with...boots.”“Booootssss… *sigh* Of course, that’s exactly what I need...boots…”
“But for now just stick with jammies, and burn that... whatever that is. And, uh, call if you need a match.”“Whew, you really saved my arse this birthday, Lucy…”
Time for a triple birthday!“What should I call you, boo-be-boo-be-boo? How about Rhea? Yes, Rhea is the name for a pretty girl like you!”
"Would you like to go for a little stroll to the bathroom?"
“Robin, I’d like you to meet your new sister, Rhea.”“Hellooo there. She’s awesome, Dad.”“Uh-oh… could you please scoot over?”
“Dad, that’s disgusting. What was wrong with the bedroom?”“It’s what you girls do, isn’t it?”“I...wouldn’t...know.”“Ah, but you will one day.”Not at the rate I’m going.“Dad, I do not want to talk about this. So… is it a boy or girl?”“He’s a boy. Hmm, what’s a good ‘R’ name...?”“Do we have to do another ‘R’ name?”“I guess not.”“Then what about... Juno’s a cool name and it sounds kinda spacey.”“I agree, Juno’s a great name.”
And a few hours later Jane gave birth to her fourth girl.“I’m going to call you Jenny, cuz it sounds so cute with Juno. Juno-Jenny, Jenny-Juno, Juno-Jenny…”
“I am so glad you girls have a head start on your scholarships. We’re really going to need your help with three babies.”“Especially three whiny cry-y ones. I’m about ready to cry myself.”“But babies can’t help it.”“Were we this bad?”“Well, no, actually…”
“Oh, I’m gonna go stark raving mad. How could they do this to us?”
“Psst, Rach, I’m gonna look for a job.”“A job?!” Rachel whispered back. “Don’tcha have enough to do already?”“I’ve gotta get out of the house. I’ve gotta meet some guys... heck, I’d be happy to meet one guy.”“But Mom said she needs us.”“One word: Overachiever.”“Genius. Shell lap it up.”“Heh, I know. What about you?”“...No, I still hold out hope for the bus.”“I’m dying here.”“Me too, Robbi. Just hang in there a little longer, we can get through this.”
“Mom, I know you said you need help with the babies, but… can I get a job?”“Babe, our Robin’s going to be an overachiever!”“S-weet. Pookie-wookie.”“So can I? Now?”“Absolutely. Actually, your dad and I have agreed that we should both stay home with the babies. You girls must be feeling a bitcooped up here, hopefully we can take some of the pressure off.”“Cool! Can Rachel and I go downtown?”“I don’t want the two of you downtown alone.”“…..”“I think you’ll find work is an excellent place to make new friends, though.”“Gee, I never thought of that. Okay, I’m gonna go see what’s on the computer.”“Good luck, Robin. You’ve made us very proud parents today.”
Three days of incessant crying later, three babies were growing up.
“Three babies, Mark. Three! If you ever do this to me again, I will beat the living crap out of you.”“You’re doing that now, darlin’. And it was supposed to be two. And it was your idea.”“Well... don’t let it happen again.”
Smart Milk + one snap dragon + two stay-at-home parents +
Criminal locked = time to get useless toy-making badges, but hey, I’ve never had a Water Wiggler before!
Things had deteriorated so much between Rose and her sisters, Robin wasn’t aware that Rose also worked at the paper when shetook a job in Journalism.“Well well, if it isn’t the Overachiever.”“Can’t do any worse than you.”“Psshh... Internet Movie Critic... big deal.”“At least they promote me. Did you ever think they don’t like you because you’re so nasty?”“They like me just fine.”
“And if everyone likes you so much, how come they don’t come home with you? That was the plan, right? Meet guys at work?”“Shut up, Rose.”
“They don’t like me? Well, I don’t like them either. I’m quitting.”
Rachel’s luck with meeting boys wasn’t going any better, but she hoped that was about to change when Tyson McCarthy walked bythe house one afternoon.“Tyson!” she said breathlessly.“Hey, Rachel, I was hoping this was your house.”“Would you like to come in? Wait, my parents are up there. It’s such a beautiful day, would you like to hang out here? Go on anouting? You know, where they won’t bug us?”“Uh... I really just kinda wanted to see the aliens.”She felt her aspiration dip a little further into red.“We don’t like people doing that to my brother and sister. So no, you can’t.”“Whatever,” he said and walked away.Rachel’s eyes burned. “ *sniff* This sucks.”
Their consolation was each day that passed, each milestone reached, brought them closer to the day they would jubilantly arrive atcollege.
Rheas cheekbones smoothed out nicely... shes cute!
“Woo-oo, Jenny copied me!”“Can we be twins?”“Okay… just remember, I was first!”
“Two more days and we’re home free.”“I am counting the minutes.”
After the kids went to bed, Mark and Jane asked the twins to join them for a midnight snack.“Go on, babe, tell them.”“Tell us what?”“We planned a surprise for you. As a thank you for all your scholastic achievements and your help with the babies.”“What kind of surprise?”“It’s a vacation!” Jane squealed.“.....”“.....”“...Well?”“…Who’s going?”“Everyone but Rose. She’s doing so well at her new job, she’s decided to skip the vacation and stay home.”That bit of news alone would have pleased the twins no end under normal circumstances. But these were not normal circumstances.These were aspiration-deprived girls heading steadily to the breaking point.Before Robin could stop herself, she blurted out, “But we’re really looking forward to college… really, the sooner the better.”“I don’t understand. It’s only one week. Why wouldn’t you want a little break from classes before you start college?”
“I uh…” Robin fidgeted, unable to look at her mother.“Robin?”“.....”Rachel rushed in to fill the void. “I think it’s a great idea. Robbi’s just tired… you know how hard she works.”“.....”“What is going on?”“Isn’t that right, Robbi. You’re just tired?”Rachel pressed Robin’s foot, which seemed to do the trick. She took a deep calming breath and looked Jane straight in the eye.“...I guess I am kinda tired,” she said with a yawn and a sheepish smile.“Are you sure that’s all it is?”“Oh yes, definitely sure.”“…It’s settled then. A vacation will do us all a world of good.”“...Yeah...thanks, Mom, Dad.”
“Hey, you said you were gonna be nicer to us.”“Who told you that?”“Um... nobody?” Jenny squeaked.
“Bet I can max my Body before you.”“Nuh-uh.”“Yuh-huh.”“Race you!”“Okay, but remember, I’m always first.”
And with Rose a much happier camper in the Law career, now at Level 8 International Corporate Lawyer, and Rachel and Robin oneday from becoming adults, I’ll leave you with a little segue into the inspiration behind the title I gave this chapter. I love the song andthis generation’s kids to pieces, and for me the two became intertwined.Happy Holidays, and thanks for reading!Please click below to play along with the next part:Genesis - The Carpet Crawlers - YouTube
There is lambswool under my naked feet.The wool is soft and warm,- gives off some kind of heat.A salamander scurries into flame to be destroyed.Imaginary creatures are trapped in birth on celluloid.
The fleas cling to the golden fleece,Hoping they’ll find peace.
Each thought and gesture are caught in celluloid.There’s no hiding in my memory.There’s no room to avoid.
The crawlers cover the floor in the red ochre corridor.For my second sight of people, they’ve more lifeblood than before.
They’re moving in time to a heavy wooden door,Where the needle’s eye is winking, closing in on the poor.
Mild mannered supermen are held in kryptonite,And the wise and foolish virgins giggle with their bodies glowing bright.Through the door a harvest feast is lit by candlelight;It’s the bottom of a staircase that spirals out of sight.