Welcome back! In an incredibly brief recap,
Lillian Devereaux, the disowned heiress of
Generation Three made what she thought
was a triumphant return, revealing that in a
total ninja move, Mary was technically her
son Zane. Because of this, and the fact that
Mary is the heir, Lillian thought that by
default, that made her the legitimate
Generation Three heiress.
After she had finished monologuing, outing
Kitty as a SimSelf in the process, she was
preparing to kill Mary and claim Eden as her
own grandchild when the Grim Reaper
showed up and stopped her, only stating that
Lillian was wrong and that he would return to
Okay, so maybe that wasn't so brief.
Anyway, picking up where we last left off, I
bring you The Devereaux Legacy: Chapter
Four – Part 6 “On a Pale Horse.”
Lillian looked around in the area that she and
Thanatos had been walking. It felt as if they
had been traveling forever, yet at the same
time, it felt like it was only moments before
that the Grim Reaper had so rudely
interrupted her moment of triumph.
The area was devoid of all decoration except
for one tree, and that lone tree looked odd
against the strange orange sky and barren
ground. She stifled a sigh of impatience.
Though Thanatos was no longer touching her,
her powers were still suppressed, and she was
growing worried; a feeling most uncommon
Out of nowhere a tiny graveyard appeared,
guarded by a white horse, which seemed to
be eating invisible grass. The Grim Reaper
stepped forward and patted the horse on its
“Thank you for waiting, Palus. I told you I
would not be long.” The horse snorted in
what distinctly sounded like disgust. The
Grim Reaper chuckled a bit. “I know my
friend, but it was something I needed to do.
You ought to know by now that I am not the
same as your former master.”
As the horse nudged the Grim Reaper with its
head, Lillian spoke in an imperious tone,
irritated at being ignored. “Thanatos! I
demand that you tell me where we are! How
dare you interrupt my plans, you have no
right! Death is not to interfere with the
Without turning to look at her, the Grim
Reaper stated calmly, “You are in no position
to make demands. However, I will tell you
where we are. Through that gate is the
entrance to the Punished Realm, a Purgatory
if you will. You will take up residence there
for one generation and a day to assure that
you will not be able to legitimately lay claim
as an heir to the Devereaux family.”
”You cannot do that!”
Grim turned to look at her. “I can and will.
You do not have to step through the gate, but
you should know that if you do not, you will
expire here. It is only through my force of will
alone that you have not done so already.
However, I cannot remain here forever.”
Grim shrugged. “It is your choice.”
Lillian glared at Grim while he stared
impassively back. “Who do you think you
are?” she hissed. Grim ignored her question
and he asked one of his own.
“Tell me, did you love your son?” Lillian was
taken aback by the complete randomness of
“That has absolutely no bearing on what is
going on now. I will ask you again: Just who
do you think you are?” Again Grim deflected
her question and repeated his own.
“Did you love your son?”
Lillian sighed, vexed. “Why don’t you ask the
other bearers of Reaper Children--?”
“They are not standing here before me. You
are. Answer my question. Please, I would
like to know.”
She smirked. “Clearly you are not as
informed as you ought to be. Surely you
must mean to ask if I love my daughter.”
Grim shook his head. “I have already stated
that you are wrong in that assumption. Mary
is not Zane. Mary is Mary, another Reaper
Child clone who is very much loved by her
family, despite her flaws. For the third and
final time I will repeat my question: Did.
You. Love. Your. Son?!”
Lillian rolled her eyes at his insistence. “No.”
she stated plainly. “He was merely a means
to an end; a pawn for me to use as I tried to
reassert myself into my rightful place as heir.
He was flawed, however. He was not the evil
minion I had hoped for. He was too weak,
too kind, and too nice. I am ashamed that I
Her words were interrupted as Grim spoke a
single, magical word. Lillian’s mouth dropped
open in complete surprise.
Zane stared back at his mother, sadly. “I
never wanted to believe it. I thought if I loved
you enough that you would love me back. I
was young and naïve. I’ve grown up a bit
though, and I now understand that you are
incapable of loving anyone but yourself. I am
not flawed. You are.
“It is strange that you view my kindness as a
weakness, for it is that weakness that has
ultimately saved you. I cannot bring myself to
permanently remove you, but I also cannot
allow you to be a threat to the rest of my
family. So, I will leave you here, neutralized.
That is all I can do without drawing too much
Zane mounted the patiently waiting Palus,
clearly getting ready to leave. He turned back
to Lillian. “As I said, you need to go through
the gate if you want to…well it’s not
necessarily live, but if you want to survive.
You will only have a few moments after I
leave before you start actually dying. Believe
it or not, that would sadden me a great deal,
so I hope you will go through.”
He gave her one last, sad look. “Goodbye,
Momma.” At that, Zane, riding his pale horse,
Lillian felt the effects of the Dead Realm
immediately. Gasping for air, she stumbled
into the small graveyard as the gate shut
When she regained her composure she
glared at the small mausoleum, assuming that
the doorway to Purgatory was underneath
the lid. Grinding her teeth, she muttered,
“Setting me to the side won’t decrease the
anger, my son. I will most certainly make you
pay for this.” She lifted the lid and began
walking down the long stairway, the lid
closing over her.
Tina looked nervously at the Devereaux
house as she cuddled Karen against the cold.
She sincerely hoped, with all of her heart, that
Mary wasn’t home. She just wanted to find
out what happened to Goopy as he hadn’t
been around for a while.
She suspected that Goopy had found another
girlfriend since Karen took up a lot of her
time. But he promised that he would help
pay for the baby. Tina had no food at home
and she had been fired from her job since she
couldn’t afford a babysitter, which forced her
to stay home with the child.
So, she had the wild hope that maybe if
Goopy saw his other daughter, he would feel
guilty enough to start paying for Karen’s
needs. It was the last thing she could think of
Holding her breath, she was about to ring the
doorbell when the door was thrown open.
Sebastian stormed out, followed by Kitty.
“Sebby, where are you going?” Kitty asked
him in a panicked voice, reaching out to grab
“Gee Kit, you’re God, don’t you know exactly
what I’m going to do every second of the
day?” Sebastian angrily shouted, jerking his
arm away from her.
“I told you that-”
“You told me a lot of things! I can’t believe
that I actually ever believed a single word that
ever came out of your mouth!”
“Sebastian, that’s not fair! I love-”
“NO! I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT!”
Tina tried to make herself inconspicuous,
wishing that she had chosen a different day to
come over. She slowly started to back away
when Sebastian noticed her.
“What do you want?” he asked through
As she silently prayed for the earth to swallow
her whole, Tina opened her mouth to answer.
Karen beat her to the punch, though.
“Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy,” the child
repeated over and over.
Kitty raised her hand to her brow. “Oh, Tina,”
she whispered, “now is not the time.”
Sebastian’s eyes narrowed as he looked at the
toddler in Tina’s arms.
“You know who she…wait, of COURSE you
know who she is! Well, I don’t need to be a
GOD to know that this is the useless tramp
that my esteemed son-in-law has been
WooHooing with on the side. Let me guess,
you’re in some sort of trouble that only the
heroic Goopy can solve because he’s so
dreamy, right? Well, fine then!” He grabbed
Tina’s arm and ushered her into the house.
Sebastian practically dragged her into the
dining room where Goopy had made himself
a feast of grilled cheese sandwiches. Smiling
vacantly up at Tina, Goopy said, “Would you
care for a grilled cheese sandwich? It helps
purify the mind, body, and soul. They taste
Tina shook her head, horrified. “N..No thank
Goopy shrugged. “Your loss,” and he fell into
his meal, clearly pleased that he didn’t have
“Take him,” Sebastian angrily told her. “God
knows that we don’t want him. Go ahead,
take your sweet babboo home with you.
That’s what you want, right?”
“Sebastian,” Kitty started to say.
“No! I’m not talking to you, Kitty! I‘m talking
to her! What do you want? You want
money? Well, let me inform you that Goopy
only brought about a thousand simoleons.
We can give you that much as well as Goopy
himself! What a bargain! ”
“I’m sorry,” Tina said. “I’m real sorry. I made
a mistake. This…this isn’t the house I was
supposed to come to. I don’t know who that
man is…” A thousand simoleons? That won’t
even cover rent! She miserably thought to
“So you’re a liar, too. The world is full of
them. Whatever.” Sebastian cast one final
glare at Kitty, then stormed out of the house.
Kitty wiped a tear from her eye as Tina began
to slowly make her way to the door. “I’m
sorry,” Tina whispered.
“I’m sorry too, Tina. This…this was not a
good day for extra confrontation. But, you
Hope completely gone from her eyes, Tina
grimly nodded, seeing Kitty pick up the
phone before she walked out the door.
“Why are you worried?” Keith asked me.
“You have that Bat Box thing if he gets out of
“I'm not going to Smite him! It'll just make
him hate me more!”
“Well...can I Smite him then? I've always
wanted to use that thing, but you won't let
“There is a very good reason for that, you
know. I wouldn't have anybody left alive if I
let you use it!”
Keith muttered something under his breath
about that being the entire point, but I tuned
him out. Instead, I thought about the phone
call I had just received from Kitty, the first one
she's ever made the entire time she's been in
my world. All she said to me was, 'He knows,
and he's on his way over.'
I didn't get the entire story, but to tell the
truth, I really didn't need it. I mean, come on,
I am the author. That didn't make me feel
any better, knowing that Sebastian was going
to hate me like his grandfather, Josh, did.
And that hurt, because I liked Sebastian so
much more than I ever liked my founder.
I took a deep breath when I heard him
pounding on my door.
As I opened it, I couldn't help but wince
when I saw how angry he looked. “Hi
Sebastian,” I began.
“Cut the crap. Did you kill Tristen so Kitty
could come in and marry me?”
I sighed. “Why don't you come in-”
“NO! I want you to tell me! Did you?”
“Sebastian, there is not an easy way to
“I NEED TO KNOW!”
I sighed again, waving my hand behind my
back as I heard Keith start to get up. “Yes
and no,” I finally answered.
“What the HELL is that supposed to mean?”
“Like I said, there is no easy way to answer
that. Why don't you come in and then I'll try
He stormed past me as I shut the door behind
him, stalling for time, looking for the right
words. Finally, I turned to face him. Before I
could say anything, Sebastian took a deep
breath, preparing to shout at me.
“Be quiet,” I firmly told him. “I won't have
you yelling at me.”
I could see him struggling to regain his
composure while I waited patiently. “Why?”
He finally asked, simply.
I bit my lip. “There was something wrong
with her. At least, I thought it was contained
only in her. London Bridge was showing
signs of instability and I sincerely thought that
the things wrong with her was the main issue.
I panicked. I thought that if she were
removed, I would be able to save all of
“I was new. I had all of these wild and crazy
ideas for my world which didn't pan out in
the end. I was showing my world in a
completely different manner to the other
people in SimSelf World than I do now.
When Tristen became, um, we'll call it sick, I
was at the end of my rope, frustrated. I was
being too heavy handed when dealing with
your family, but I couldn't undo the damage,
both to you and to my world. I panicked.”
Sebastian flopped down upon my couch,
ignoring the evil eye Keith was giving him.
“So where does Kitty come into all of this?”
I shrugged. “To be honest, she had good
timing. She's liked you ever since you were a
teenager. Of course, she didn't know that
you had graduated college and were already
married as SimSelf World didn't know it at
“She also didn't know that London Bridge
was collapsing when she asked if she could
have you in her world. I did, however. So I
asked if she not only wanted you in her
world, but if she wanted to also be in mine.
Sebastian, she jumped at the opportunity,
probably squeeing the entire time.”
“So...so you traded me like-”
“Like a baseball card, yes. The analogy has
been used elsewhere. Believe me kiddo, you
are not the first Sim to become Self Aware,
nor are you the first Sim to be angry and hurt
by that revelation. Nor are you the first Sim
to decide to confront their creator,
demanding answers. To be honest, I doubt
you'll be the last.”
“Jeebus H. Crikey! It must be so nice and
easy sitting up on your little throne dictating
everything that happens!”
“Nice? Easy? Sebastian, I'm not even
scratching the surface of what being the
creator of a universe entails! There's rebuilds,
file corruption, flashing blue custom content,
bad meshes, looking for decent genetics,
portraits that go bad, good grammar, and
proper spelling. Heck, that's only the
technical side of it!
“The presentation side, when done right,
involves getting invested in your characters.
Do you realize that your family is the first
family I've ever really cared about? Did you
know that your mother and Aunt Savannah
are the first Sims I've ever cried over? My
God! Do you know how depressed I'm going
to be when you and Kitty die? I'm going to
be a wreck! Being a creator means loving
your creation, because if the creator doesn't,
then the other people in SimSelf World won't
“So no, Sebastian, it's not nice and easy. It
kind of sucks and I can only hope that in the
end, it will be worth it. And do you know
why I'm telling you this? It's because I know
you so well, that when you are done being
angry with me, Kitty, and the world, that the
Knowledge Sim part of you might find the
entire concept fascinating.”
Sebastian sunk his head into his hands. “You
made my life miserable on purpose,” he
angrily whispered. I crouched down so I
could look him in the eye.
“I'm sorry, I really am. I felt really, really bad
about doing it. But if you look at it closely,
you've actually lived a very happy life
afterwards. I kept Lillian away from you for a
good portion of it for one, and secondly, Kitty
suited you so much better, I made sure of it!
You got to pursue not just one lifetime wish,
but two, and your skills are all maxed out.
“My God, Sebastian, you've practically led
the perfect Knowledge Sim life! That's only
here, I would like to add. I'm sure that in
Kitty's world, you will be treated even better,
as guest Legacy Sims usually are!”
I sat down on the couch next to him, as the
crouching position had started killing my
knees. “I'm sorry, Sebastian. I should have
not withdrawn like I did, but I hope you'll
understand when I continue to stay
withdrawn.” I sighed for the umpteenth time
“I've learned a lot in these last few months,
and I've learned how to not be so heavy
handed. Believe it or not, ever since you all
arrived in Pleasantview, most of the things
that you've experienced were done by your
own free will. Heck, even Amelia meeting
and falling in love with Miles was done by
free will, as much as I hated to see it.”
Sebastian contemplated what I said. “But,
you told me that Kitty liked me, way back
when, at the bar.”
I smiled. “Yeah, I did. You looked like you
needed a confidence booster.” He smiled
softly at the memory.
“Don't be mad at Kitty,” I continued. “I told
her not to tell you anything otherwise she
would have been kicked out of my creation.
It's not her fault. Also, when you go home,
tell her that I said she can answer all of your
questions regarding anything involving the
He stood up, getting ready to leave. I rose
with him. “By the way, Sebastian? I know
that you might not want to do me any favors,
but could you kind of keep Goopy around?”
He sputtered. “Why?!”
“Okay, see, I kind of want his Grilled Cheese
Platinum Tombstone. I'm not doing this for
points, but it would still be nice to have. Lock
him up in a different room, keep him away
from Mary, whatever. It's not a very popular
decision, I know, but I can think of a couple
of SimSelves who might like to be imported
just so they can dance on his grave,” I
explained to him, not even bothering to hide
behind the fourth wall any longer.
“I'll make sure that most of his fears come
true,” I added in to sweeten the pot.
“But, then he won't die a happy death, thus
earning you the tombstone!”
I grinned widely. “Well, after the incident
with Lillian, he took it upon himself to wish
for Eternal Happiness. It's all good.”
His lips twitched. “I'll run it by Kitty.”
“Good. Oh, there's one more thing,” I said.
Before he could say no, I pulled him into the
hug that I had been desperately wanting to
give him ever since he became heir. I tried
very hard not to think about his rapidly
dwindling life bar, but was unsuccessful.
However, I was very proud of myself that
when I spoke, he couldn't hear the thickness
that had suddenly appeared in my throat.
“Tell Kitty to show you the visual link to her
world. I know that you will find it fascinating.
Also, if you and yours ever have any
questions, they can always come and talk to
me. I might not be dictating everything like I
did before, and I might not be able to answer
them directly, but I will be here, even if it's
just for me to apologize to them.”
Bewildered, Sebastian just nodded and left.
As I watched him walk down my front steps, I
realized that I had essentially said goodbye to
him; goodbye to my Sim who had been there
almost from the very beginning.
Their lives are so brief, and it was just going
to get more and more painful with each heir I
would have to say goodbye to.
When he got home, Sebastian made his way
into the living room. Kitty hadn't noticed that
he was standing there yet, so he was able to
observe her as she disconsolately poked at
the fire in the fireplace.
Now that he had been reminded of it, he
could once again sense the 'more there'
feeling that had always accompanied her.
But...that was just Kitty, the woman he had
been married to for all of these years. That
was part of her and one of the first things that
had attracted him to her.
A startling revelation entered his mind: Kitty
had aged with him! He never thought about
it before; the fact that his author had
remained young. But if his author and Kitty
were both SimSelves...
He walked over to her as Kitty warily turned
to him. Silently he caressed her cheek.
“You knew that by marrying me you wouldn't
be an immortal, didn't you?” he asked.
Kitty half shrugged. “I had a feeling.
Typically, the spouse to a legacy heir ages
and dies along with them. So, yeah, I kind of
Gently, he kissed her, feeling her familiar form
in his arms. “Thank you,” he whispered, “and
I'm sorry. I was an idiot.”
“Yeah, you were, but you're forgiven,” she
replied back before accepting another kiss
Mary lay on the bed, staring blankly at the
ceiling as she willed herself not to cry. Her
life was not as happy and perfect as she had
wished for when she was a child. She half
listened for Eden to wake up from her nap,
and instead she heard someone enter the
bedroom, but not through the door.
She didn’t look over when she felt the bed shift
as someone sat down upon it. She could feel
exactly who it was, though apparently he was
not wearing his regular robes. “So, have you
come here to kill me?”
“I do not kill people. I only collect their souls
when their time comes,” Zane responded
“Semantics. Then, have you come here to
“It is not just semantics. There is quite a bit of
a difference. But no, I am not here to collect
you. At least not today or tomorrow either. In
fact, I’m sure you’ll live out a nice and long life
before it is time for me to collect you, so you
“Then what do you want?”
“I wanted to see how you were doing, to be
honest. Family Sim habits die hard.”
“Well, my life is miserable. I have a husband
who has been cheating on me and is now a
Grilled Cheese Sim. I have a mother who is
not my mother and a father who is my
mother. A brother who is not only not my
twin, but only a half brother to boot. I’m a
freak of nature and to top it all off, apparently
I’m really a boy.”
Zane sat eerily still as he listened to her mini
rant, appearing not to breathe. When she
was finished, his lips quirked slightly and he
said, “Well, you most certainly are not a boy.
You are lacking in some rather essential
equipment to be called as such.”
“No. That witch woman said that I was her
son. I just happened to be reborn as a girl.”
“You are not her son either. That very
coveted title belongs to me,” he responded
“Well, either way, my life isn’t perfect!”
Mary angrily got up from the bed to leave the
room. Zane stood himself in front of her.
“Perfection? You wanted a perfect life? It
seems to me that you have had a rather idyllic
existence here, but nothing can ever be
“Look at me! Do you know what I wanted
most in life? I wanted to be loved. That’s it! I
wanted to literally marry the girl next door. I
wanted to have six kids and watch them all
get married and then, I wanted to grow old
and die with the love of my life. Instead, I
was raised by a woman who admitted that I
was just a pawn for her to play with and she
murdered me in a failed attempt to achieve a
“So, now I am stuck in a limbo existence,
never to age, never to marry, never to have
kids. I’m a Grim Reaper for God’s sake; I
collect souls for a living. Souls that include
my own family members!”
Zane collected himself and looked Mary
squarely in the eye. “It has never been in my
nature to complain, I want you to know that.
But, you really ought to put things into
perspective here. Now, come downstairs
with me. I’m breaking all sorts of rules by
talking with you already, so I might as well
break some more. I promised that I would
explain everything, and I really only want to
tell it once.”
He turned on his heel and walked towards
Mary followed him and asked, “So…you’re
Zane looked down at the floor and idly
dragged his foot across the carpet.
“Yeah. I am.”
“Oh. I’m sorry…”
He shrugged. “I would be lying if I told you
that it is not a big deal, because it is. But, the
more I get used to the idea, the more I find
the situation somewhat tolerable. Given my
prior circumstances, being dead is almost
better. Almost, but not quite.” He looked up
at her and gave her a half smile. “Besides, I
kind of came up with a compromise. I’m
pretty sure Ruth and Jezebel won’t tattle on
Zane shook his head. “Like I said, I’ll explain
to everyone downstairs. Come.” And he
walked out the door.
The two of them walked into the living room
to find Sebastian and Kitty cuddling on the
couch. Mary was about to interrupt them
when she glanced over at the Grim Reaper
and noticed a peculiar expression on his face;
an expression of wistfulness.
Why does he care? She thought suddenly.
What is his interest in this family?
Shaking her head and trying to ignore the
brotherly bond she felt with the supernatural
being, she managed to clear her throat loud
enough to get her parents' attention.
“Mama, Daddy, I think the Grim Reaper
wants to talk to us.”
Zane put on a sweet smile when Sebastian
and Kitty approached him. Before he could
greet them however, Sebastian blurted out,
“Are you here to kill us?”
“I do not kill people!” Zane responded, hurt.
“I promised that I would come back and
explain some things to you...and stuff,” he
finished with a mumble.
Sebastian looked at him with a suspicious
glare, but before he could retort, Kitty let out
“Is that? OH MY GOD!” And then Kitty did
something that Sebastian, in all of his years of
knowing her, had never seen before. She let
out a squee and threw her arms around the
“ZANE!” she cried with glee. Zane gratefully
hugged Kitty in return, pleased at the physical
affection that was bestowed upon him.
Mary crossed her arms with a confused look
while Sebastian said to no one in particular,
“How bad is it to admit that this is not the
weirdest thing I've seen today?”
“Sebby! This is Zane! Your nephew!”
Sebastian arched his eyebrow and pointedly
looked at Zane. “All the more reason to not
trust him then, wouldn't you think?”
Kitty rolled her eyes in exasperation.
“Sebastian, remember that I would know. I
can say, for a fact, that Zane is statistically
three times nicer than you are. He doesn't
have a mean bone in his body!”
“He is Lillian's son. It could be a trap.”
Zane shook his head, his face expressionless,
but the hurt still emanated from him. “No, I
am not a trap. Momma had nothing to do
with this and I made sure that she...” he
paused. “Well, that is not entirely true. She
did have something to do with my being a
Grim Reaper, but she did not know that
would happen. I...removed her for now.
That's what I wanted to tell you.”
“Wait, you’re the Grim Reaper?” Kitty asked.
A look of dawning comprehension crossed
her face. “Ohhhhh,” she said and she
laughed a little to herself, nodding in
approval. “It all makes sense now.” Zane
“I’m glad you approve,” he said dryly.
“But…but, that doesn’t make sense!” Mary
finally spoke. “Why do I feel…” she trailed
off, embarrassed. She never revealed to
anyone about the weird bond she felt to the
Grim Reaper whenever he showed up to
“Why do you feel a bond with me?” Zane
gently asked. Mary nodded. “I have a theory
that you would feel the same, to a lesser
degree, to any Reaper Clone,” Zane
answered. “I think you feel it much more
strongly with me because I am a Grim
“This is not to say that were you to appear in
another dimension, that you would feel that
same bond with that dimension’s Reaper,
though. I think that with my being both-”
“You mean there’s more than one of you?”
Sebastian blurted out, not being able to help
himself. Zane nodded.
“There’s two in every dimension: one for
people, and one for pets,” he replied. “I
haven’t met my pet collecting counter part
yet, as nobody in this dimension owns one.”
“And so you decided that when you grew up,
you wanted to collect souls for a living. How
very morbid, and how very much like
someone who is Lillian’s son!”
A horrified expression crossed Zane’s face.
“N..no. That is not how it happened! My
God! You know what it was like being her
brother! Imagine what is was like being her
child; a child completely opposite of her! I
didn’t want this, not at all! It…it was random,
I think; my becoming a Reaper.”
”You see, my mother partly succeeded in
extracting the Reaper DNA from me, but it
killed me in the process."
“When this dimension’s Reaper came to
collect me, there was a weird shifting. I found
myself standing, as an adult, in her place, and
she in mine. The last I saw of her was her
waving at me, looking relieved.”
”Suddenly, I was in an…office? There were a
bunch of other Grim Reapers running around
in a panic. From what I overheard, one of
their own, an insane one apparently, had just
gotten sued and they had to give up one of
the souls they had collected in exchange for
someone who was not scheduled to die;
something about keeping the books
balanced, but I didn’t understand what that
”Anyway, a rather bored looking receptionist
greeted me and asked me where I wanted to
be assigned. The only place I could think of
was here, as I wasn’t aware at the time that
there were multiple dimensions. She had me
sign a piece of paper, and told me to go
down the hall so I could get my regalia.”
”The person there was rather brisk when they
handed me everything. All I gleaned from
them was that my Hula Girls would train me,
and I had to collect an undetermined amount
of souls before I could move on to the
"The next thing I knew, I was in my pocket of
the Dead Realm and my Hula Girls were
there to greet me. I’ve been in training ever
Zane made his way to a chair and sat down
upon it, resting his head on his fingers. "I'm
not very good at my job," Zane stated bluntly,
"and I never really intend to be."
The rest of the family joined him. "What are
you talking about? You seem to be very kind
and sweet, something that none of the other
Grim Reapers that I've read about really are."
This was from Kitty, who looked over at
Sebastian guiltily. Sebastian just shrugged.
"That's my point. Ruth and Jezebel are
constantly scolding me for taking too much
time consoling my assignments. They think I
ought to be like the other Reapers: Cold,
impassive, uncaring. I can't be though. It
might be because I'm still close to my
humanity." The tone of his voice plainly
stated that he didn’t see this as a fault as he
"Reapers are alerted when someone is
scheduled to die. They show up and wait for
the event to happen, never to interfere. For
someone dying of old age, that's not a big
problem. It becomes a problem in other
"Accidents that could have been easily
prevented had someone been paying
"The worst though is suicides, to be quite
honest, as we are notified around the time
that the victim starts to contemplate the act.
Because death doesn't happen everyday in
our assigned dimensions, we have the time to
go on suicide watch. We watch and wait,
essentially hovering like vultures.”
"Are they going to do it? Aren't they? How
are they going to do it? Will it be fast and
painless? Or will it be slow and agonizing?"
"Sometimes though, fortunately, the Sim will
gain enough perspective to realize that their
current misery will pass. They decide against
ending their lives and instead will do
something that will change their current
situation. So, the Reaper on suicide watch will
"I would like to think that those Sims who
decide against suicide are rewarded with
happy lives. That is my hope anyway."
"Thank God I haven't encountered that yet. I
don't think I could stand impassively by while
someone contemplated ending their valuable
life." Zane shuddered slightly.
“Do you know that this is the second time
today that I’ve heard from an immortal that
their job sucks?” Sebastian asked, again to
no one in particular. Zane shrugged in
“It’s not an ideal situation, believe me. As I
already stated to Mary, I would rather have
had a normal life, completely lived out, with
numerous children and a wife who loved me.
Never in my life did I want to be an immortal
who has to watch their loved ones die.”
Sebastian looked at Zane, still not completely
trusting him. “What happens to suicides?” he
whispered. Zane shuddered again.
“They go to the Punished Realm where they
have to live their lives all over again, only in a
more depressing situation. It’s always winter
there, and they live in shacks above the
ground. They live in utter hopelessness.
“It’s…it is a terrible place and I hope that
someday the situation will be changed.”
Zane looked at his uncle and kindly
responded to Sebastian’s unasked question.
“She didn’t commit suicide, she was
murdered. She isn’t there, I checked.”
Sebastian looked gratefully at his nephew and
nodded when Kitty whispered, “See? Three
times nicer than you. Not a mean bone in his
Mary listened patiently to all of this, but the
Family Sim part of her needed a question
answered. “So, what are you to me then?
My brother? My cousin?” Zane smiled.
“We're first cousins. For us, the Reaper DNA
is all the same, so for relations we go by who
our birth parents are. You have Uncle
Sebastian’s eyes, while I have my mother’s
coloring. You and I statistically have similar
personalities and aspirations, but that was
merely coincidental. I apologize for not
having a more complicated answer than
”Okay, I may believe that you aren’t like your
mother, but that still doesn’t answer the
question of what you want.” Sebastian said.
“I want a family,” Zane simply answered. “I
want to visit on my off time. I want to get to
know you guys; I always did, ever since I was
a little kid. I would have to say that the only
benefit of my being immortal is that I can also
watch out for you and do my best to protect
“Momma can only stay where I placed her
for a short amount of time before it gets
noticed. I want to be there and make sure
that she does nothing to harm you in the
future, and I can be there to stop her. I’m not
asking for love, but maybe you guys could
learn to like me?” Zane winced at how
childish that sounded.
Kitty sighed at the third degree everyone was
giving Zane. She got up and hugged him.
“We would absolutely love it, and it has
nothing to do with you being able to protect
us. You don’t need to do anything for us to
win our affection. We aren’t your mother.”
A huge grin spread across Zane’s face.
“Really? Thank you!”
“Do you want to stay for dinner? I mean, do
you need to eat-?” Kitty stopped,
embarrassed, not wanting to throw the fact
that Zane was technically dead in his face.
Zane just continued to grin.
“I don’t need to, but I can! That would be
great!” His expression fell as his Grim Phone
started to ring.
He pulled it out and looked at the text
message he received. “Oh no, I spoke too
soon about not having to deal with-” The
color drained from his face. “I have to go!
Right now! I’m sorry!”
Before anybody could respond, Zane bolted
as fast as he could out the door.
Tina scrubbed the tears off her face again.
Over and over she repeated the same words
in her head.
When she was younger, she had been
brightly optimistic whenever she thought
about her future. Never in a million years did
she think that she was going to be an unwed
mother in a dumpy apartment with no job.
There was nothing worse than the feeling of
absolutely knowing that nobody would miss
her were she to fall off the face of the planet.
Of course, that wasn't entirely true. She
knew that her daughter loved her; but what
kind of life would Karen have when she was
always just on this side of being taken away
by the Social Worker?
That was another word that popped into
Tina's head as she looked at herself in the
She had nothing left.
Well, nothing other than the sleeping pills and
some leftover wine, that is.
Her hand trembling slightly, Tina picked up
the glass and took a deep breath. She looked
over at Karen, who was sucking on her
She'll be better off without me, she'll be better
off without me, Tina kept repeating to herself,
gathering her courage.
Finally, she raised the glass to her lips.
The toddler crawled over to where Tina had
fallen. “Mama?” Karen asked, curious at the
new game her mother was apparently playing.
When her mother didn't respond, a tear trailed
down her cheek and her lips trembled.
Karen was loudly crying when a strange, dark
figure rushed into the room.
“No! Oh God! No, no, no, no, no!” Zane
cried in a panicked tone. “It was too fast! Oh
At that moment, he saw Tina's chest raise
with a shallow breath.
Wasting no time, Zane immediately pulled
out his hourglass and activated it. Tina's chest
stopped rising, mid-breath. Zane hung his
head in relief; she was suspended for the time
being, assuring the fact that the breath she
was about to take wasn't going to be the last
Mind racing, Zane contemplated what he
wanted to do. His thoughts were interrupted
by Karen's crying.
Glancing at Tina to make sure that she was
successfully suspended, he calmly walked
over to the crying child and knelt down.
“Hello there, little one,” he said softly, taking
care not to scare the child. Karen stopped
crying momentarily and looked at Zane as he
peered just as intently at her. A stabbing hurt
crossed his chest and he smiled sadly.
In a different world, she could have been
mine, he realized. The hurt in his heart
pressed down on him more; he would have
suffocated from it, if he had actually needed
to breathe, that is.
Another realization hit him: he could not let
this child be taken away by the Social
Worker! He wasn't completely sure how it
was in other dimensions, and he sincerely
hoped it was vastly different , but in this one,
children get taken away; never to return,
never to be adopted.
In a snap decision, Zane gathered Karen into
his arms and held her, pretending for a
moment that she was his and his life was
normal. Taking another glance at Tina's
suspended form, he nodded to himself.
He walked out the door with Karen in his
arms, confident that Tina was safe in her time
bubble and would remain so until he
returned. Gently rocking the child, he
whispered to her, “Do you want to go on a
Frances was confused, as well as a bit
irritated, when he heard someone knock on
his door only to have nobody there when he
looked out of the peephole. Opening the
door quickly, he was certain that he would
catch one of the juvenile delinquent children
stealing his newspaper.
There was nobody there, though.
Frances stepped into the hallway, muttering
about ding-dong-ditchers when he heard a
small sound. Perplexed, he looked around
and then down at the ground. His mouth
dropped open and he called out, “Malcolm,
come out here please.”
Malcolm came out into the hallway and
looked to where Frances was staring. “Good
Lord! Wh..what, who, is that?”
Karen reached her small arms up towards
Frances. She was tired, cranky, hungry, and
most important of all, lonely. “Up! Up!” She
cried, desperately wanting to be snuggled.
Frances picked the toddler up and noticed a
note attached to her dress. Shifting the child
to his hip, he read the note and then handed
it to Malcolm.
‘Dear Frances and Malcolm. I know that you
have been seeking a child to adopt and I
hope you don’t mind that I chose this one for
you. Her name is Karen. I know that you
gentlemen will treat her well and will give her
a good home. I have no doubt what-so-ever
that you will give her all the love and
attention she deserves.’
“There is no signature,” Malcolm murmured.
“That is strange. We’ve been rejected by the
adoption agencies because of...” he trailed off
and shook his head. “Where did she come
Frances turned to face him. “Mal, I know that
this sounds rather inappropriate when talking
about a child but, can we keep her? I believe
that whoever left this child for us did it with
the best of intentions. I am certainly not one
to believe in divine intervention, but perhaps
this…gift…was arranged for us by a higher
power? Please do say yes.”
Malcolm looked at Frances’ hopeful
expression and then at the child who was
resting her head on Frances’ shoulder, playing
with one of the buttons on his sweater. A grin
broke out across his face.
“Well, yeah, of course we’ll keep her! It’s
what we have been wanting. Naturally, we’ll
have to move to a bigger place now. She’ll
need a bedroom of her own and lots of room
to run around outside. I’ll start looking for
new houses immediately!”
Frances smiled in return. “And I will pick up
some basic childcare equipment. Mal, we’re
fathers! I just wish I knew who did this for us,
so we can properly thank them…”
Zane sat beside the bed he had placed Tina
upon. He wasn’t exactly sure how long she
would be out, but he knew that she wasn’t
dead. He still needed to reassure himself
though and he kept hovering over her to
make sure she was still breathing.
He knew that she wouldn’t die as long as she
was in the boundaries of his estate, but he
didn’t know how long he would be able to
keep her there before the council found out.
And then what would happen? Would Tina
be forced back onto the mortal realm for
those last seconds of her life? What would
happen to him? How badly would they
Zane leaned forward and placed his head
into his hands. They felt like his regular hands,
even though they looked like bones to
everyone else. Realizing that his Reaper attire
would probably scare Tina, he was about to
utter the magical command that would shift
his appearance to his regular self, when he
heard a small moan from her.
Her eyes fluttered open and blinked a few
times as she tried to sit up and see in the
gloomy light. She slightly recoiled when she
saw what appeared to be the visage of Death
sitting calmly next to her.
Giving a small scream, Tina attempted to get
out of the bed. Her legs wouldn’t support
her and she stumbled to the floor.
Zane helped her to her feet while she
struggled against him. “Get away from me
Death! I don’t want you near me!”
Zane cocked his head and simply asked,
“Then why did you kill yourself?”
Tina paused in her struggles. “So, I am dead
“Not entirely. A few more seconds on the
mortal realm and you would have been.
However, I have granted you sanctuary. I will
ask again: why did you kill yourself?”
Tina pushed Zane away. “It’s not any of your
“All matters of death most certainly are!”
“You wouldn’t understand. My life sucked!
My parents didn’t pay attention to me, my
boyfriends all treated me like crap, and I
couldn’t afford to take care of my daughter
anymore. Actually, she’s better off without
me in her life. Nobody ever loved me! So
there! That’s why!”
Zane could feel anger building up. “You
didn’t try! You were always selfish! You didn’t
kill yourself for your daughter’s sake. You
killed yourself because you thought it was the
easy way out! You. NEVER. Tried!”
Tina tried to protest. “Yes I did…”
Zane interrupted, his anger evident in his
voice as he grabbed and shook her. “Do you
know what they do to suicides? DO YOU?!”
Zane realized that he had been yelling in the
Reaper voice, something that he had vowed
he would never do, as it scared people too
much. He cleared his throat. “I’m sorry,” he
said quietly, and he let her go.
Tina looked at him curiously. “Why do you
Zane looked at her wearily, not that she could
see his expression through his cowl.
“Because you were wrong when you said that
no one loved you. Karen loves you, and…
God help me…I do, too.”
“What do you --?”
Tina's words were cut off as the Grim Reaper
pulled her close and kissed her. She was
surprised to find that instead of kissing a skull,
she felt soft lips pressing themselves firmly
upon her own.
She was even more surprised that she found
herself returning the kiss just as fervently.
Zane pulled away abruptly. “Oh God! I’m
sorry. I’m so sorry!” He hastily turned and
stumbled to the door.
Tina’s hand touched her lips as sudden
flashes of memories played before her eyes.
Memories of one other person who, up until
that point, she had forgotten. Her mind
scrambled for a name to the face. Finally, she
found it. “Zane?”
Her voice echoed in an empty room as she
heard the thud of the door closing.
Zane stepped into what he supposed was his
own bedroom, though he didn't really need
to sleep in it. He had realized on his way that
he was still in his Reaper attire and he silently
cursed himself as he switched to his normal
He hadn't meant to scare her.
Blushing at his stupidity, he noticed that his
room wasn't empty. Collecting himself, he
looked at his visitors.
“I do not want to hear it. I know that what I
did today was wrong, so I do not need to
hear it from you.”
“Rough day, Thanatos?” Jezebel asked as she
leaned on the pillows present on the bed.
Her sister, Ruth, looked at him and gave a
Zane had enough practice in life to know
how to hide his irritation. “Please do not call
me that. I have told you that I prefer my
given name, not the name of the office,” he
“We're sorry. Old habits die hard; your
predecessor always insisted on Thanatos. So,
how was your day today, Zane?” Ruth
amended in a soothing manner.
“It depends on how you look at it, I suppose.
I mean, if you found out that your mother
never loved you and someone that you loved
dearly ended their life out of selfishness, it
would not be considered a good day. But
that might just be me.” He shrugged, trying
to be nonchalant but failing miserably.
The girls immediately got up and put their
arms around him.
“This job is always hard on nice Family Sims
like us,” Ruth whispered in his ear as she
kissed him on his cheek.
“But we can make you feel so much better, if
you would let us,” Jezebel, the obvious
Romance Sim, murmured seductively.
Zane bore their attentions for a moment or
two before he broke away.
“I told you that I am not interested. Not now,
Jezebel placed her hands on her hips and
shook her head. “You can't keep her here
forever. You know that every single thing you
did today is a separate, punishable, offense.
But, bringing a mortal here, instead of taking
her soul, is the worst one of all!”
Zane rubbed his brow. “I can't let her go
there. She made a mistake; she doesn't know.
She doesn't deserve to be punished for not
knowing. I...I can't lose her forever.”
“You can only use the 'I'm new to this' excuse
for so long, Zane. You know you aren't
supposed to get involved,” Ruth gently
lectured. “That is why office holders are
usually assigned to different dimensions than
the ones they come from. The fact that they
allowed you to pick this one just shows that
they weren't really paying attention. If you
keep interfering like you have been, they are
going to notice sooner or later.”
“Then there is the fact that she doesn't even
really remember you, and she just might not
feel the same way about you as you do for
her. You are running the risk of punishment
for probably nothing,” Jezebel bluntly
Stung by the comment, but realizing the truth
behind her words, Zane lay down on the bed
“I know,” he finally admitted. “But, maybe
she'll come around?” He groaned. “Oh God,
what am I going to do?”
“Well you could always go back to her room,
woo her then WooHoo her,” Jezebel teased
playfully as the two of them sat at his feet,
giving him identical smiles. “Maybe by doing
that, you can jog her memory.”
Zane blushed furiously. “Uh, I don't think so,
as we...I... never...” he cleared his throat,
“Oh that's so sweet!” Ruth grinned. “You're
saving yourself for love. You just don't see
Zane decided that he had enough of the two
sisters. They could never decide whether to
lecture him like a son, treat him like a brother,
or seduce him like a wayward lover. He
snapped at them, exasperated.
“Don't you guys have somewhere else to be
right now? I thought you guys had your own
room!” He wanted to be left alone to think
things through and he had been hoping that
the girls would get the hint and leave.
“Nope,” Ruth answered.
“You gave our room to Tina,” Jezebel
“So you're stuck with us for now,” Ruth
continued, stifling a giggle.
“Roomie,” Jezebel finished, not bothering to
hide her amusement any longer.
Zane groaned again.
“Poor Zane,” the girls said in unison.
“Poor Zane,” he echoed, closing his eyes and
shaking his head.
Hooray! Zane is back! Do you know how
much I have wanted to blurt out over the last
few months that Zane was the new Grim
Reaper every time I was asked to show him
more, or was asked where he was? I hope
you all liked his come back!
Thank you all so much for reading. A special
thanks to Tribebohemian, as always, for
donating Kitty to me.
Until next time, Happy Simming!