Previously, in The Absolutely Crazy Matriarchy:
…Despite the largeness of the crowd that had congregated in her living room (which
had expanded to include the mailman and the paper delivery girl) Suze managed to
block everything out and concentrate on the task at hand.
After some screeching and cursing of men in general, she delivered a healthy baby
…“Faceless pretender dims a light
Legacy continues bright
Prophecy that no-one hears
Event that every family fears
The empty heart, the dying day
One who bleeds shall fade away.”…
…“I’m in love with your sister. Deeply, ridiculously in love. People who are really in
love like that just don’t hurt each other.”
Adam nodded. “Lindsay’s been hurt before. I just wanted to be sure.”
“I’d rather cut off my painting arm than hurt Lindsay. She’s… well, if I believed in
soul mates, she’d be mine.”…
…Suze picked up the phone. “Suze Chandler speaking.”
“Hello?” There was a strange crackly noise over the line, like someone breathing.
Abruptly, there was a click and the line went dead….
And now we return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast.
Morning found Lindsay Chandler waking up in a strange bed.
It took her a few minutes to remember that she was back at home, in her mother’s
old room rather than her own.
Suze had obviously decided to do the decorating rather than trust Rin with the task,
because there were not enough clashing colours and the furniture all matched.
It was a far cry from the small room and murphy bed she’d shared with Zack, but it
was home now.
Lindsay dressed in a pair of overalls she’d found second-hand the previous day, and
was about to start on a new canvas when she remembered she’d promised to watch
Rissa while her mother was at work.
Resigned, she crossed to the nursery and woke Rissa gently. “Morning, Rissy Bear.
Breakfast time, then maybe we can work on that limited vocabulary of yours.”
Rissa grumbled and rolled over, trying to go back to sleep.
“Heh. Not a morning person, either? I think I like you.”
“Okay, Rissy. Lesson The First: How To Pronounce Your Big Sister’s Name Correctly.
Can you say ‘Lind-zee’?”
Rissa scrunched up her face. “Lin-zeee.”
“You left out the ‘duh’. Lin-d-zee.”
“And we’re back where we started.”
Lindsay sighed. “Guess ‘Lindy’ is close enough. How about ‘Adam’?”
This made Lindsay snicker. “I really need to let you loose on him when he gets back
from Outer Simsylvania or wherever he wandered off to.”
Lindsay was not the only one to pitch in with Rissa’s education.
“Up you get, Rissy. Just think, once you’ve gotten this walking thing under control
it’s only a matter of time before you can reach the cookie jar.”
Rissa did tire of learning her skills eventually, so as the sun started setting, Lindsay
took her outside just to play for a few hours.
She was really getting the hang of this parenting thing, she thought cheerfully as she
played peek-a-boo with Rissa for the thousandth time.
Just as Suze walked in the door, the phone rang.
The line crackled, then someone whispered “Susannah?” before hanging up.
Suze stared at the phone. Only one person ever called her Susannah.
“You going to bed, Gramma Rin? It’s nearly midnight.”
“No, I’m not really tired yet. I’ll stay up and keep an eye on Rissa in case she tries
crawling out of the crib in the middle of the night again.”
“Are you sure? Because I could keep watch if you wanted to get some sleep…”
“I’m okay, Lindsay-Lou. You go hit the sack.”
Lindsay smiled brilliantly at her grandmother. “Love you, Gramma.”
“I love you too, Linds. Now go sleep.”
Rin stood up once Lindsay had gone upstairs. “You can come out now. They’re all in
A hooded figure materialised behind her.
CORINNA CHANDLER, IT IS TIME.
Death raised his scythe.
YOUR MORTAL LIFE IS AT AN END, CORINNA CHANDLER. YOU MUST COME WITH ME NOW.
“You do know that the pink lei makes the whole bones and scythe thing look kinda
silly, right?” asked Rin.
Death made an odd noise like a sigh, proof that there was no-one, anthropomorphic
personification or not, that Rin could not frustrate.
YOU HAVE EARNED A PLACE IN THE AFTERLIFE, CORINNA. Death offered Rin a tropical
“I hope this is alcoholic.”
IT WOULD BE LETHAL IF YOU WERE STILL LIVING.
“Sweet. Are there attractive cabana boys in the afterlife? Because I don’t want to get
Death put a bony hand on Rin’s rapidly fading back. THERE ARE MANY YOUNG MALES IN
THE NEXT LIFE. I DARESAY YOU WILL BE SUFFICIENTLY OCCUPIED.
“Hot damn! I’m there!” Rin stepped forward eagerly and faded from sight.
This may be the last thing that I write for long
Can you hear me smiling when I sing this song?
For you and only you
As I leave will you be someone to say goodbye?
As I leave will you be someone to wipe your eye?
My foot is out the door and you can’t stop me now
As I go remember all the simple things you know
My mind is just a crutch and I still hope
That you will miss me when I’m gone
This is the last song
Somehow I knew that it would be this way
Somehow I knew that it would slowly fade
Now I am gone
Just try and stop me now
Will you need me now?
You’ll find a way somehow
You wanted to
I want it too
As I go remember all the simple things you know
My mind is just a crutch and I still hope
That you will miss me when I’m gone
This is the last song
Lyrics from ‘The Last Song’ by The All-American Rejects
Corinna Susan Chandler
Children: Justin Chandler (deceased), Susannah Chandler, James Chandler
Grandchildren: Lindsay Chandler, Adam Chandler, Clarissa Chandler, Eva Saunders
Rin, you were awesome. Whatever I threw at you, you bounced back and continued to
be the best damn Sim I’ve ever written or played. Here’s hoping you have an fabulous
time with all the attractive cabana boys in the Sim afterlife.
Suze got up early the next morning, as was her habit. The sun hadn’t even risen.
She had no doubt that her mother would be up already, playing some silly game with
Rissa or cooking something weird which would turn out delicious despite containing
both anchovies and strawberry jam.
She was wrong.
“Damn it, Mum! It’s not like you to sneak out without a bang!” she sobbed, tears
coursing down her face as she stood in front of Rin’s urn.
“Lindy? Where Gamma Win?” asked Clarissa that afternoon.
Lindsay bit her lip. “Gramma Rin… she’s gone. You’ll understand better some day,
but you’re a bit young to get it just yet.”
“She comin’ back?”
“Probably not, Rissy Bear.”
She hugged Rissa. “Wherever Gramma Rin is now, she still loves you and she misses
you. And she’s happy for us, because we’re still here.”
“So we’re just gonna have to soldier on without her. Okay?”
“Ah-kay. Wuv you, Lindy.”
“Love you too, monster. Come on, let’s go sneak some cookies from the kitchen.”
“At least I know what that prophecy meant,” said Lindsay offhandedly at breakfast.
“Oh shoot. I guess I didn’t tell you,” said Lindsay guiltily.
“You made an honest-to-Boolprop prophecy and you didn’t tell your own mother?
“I had other things on my mind! Like the fact that I was freaking out my boyfriend at
“Is it always boys with you?”
“I’m only joking, Lindsay. But I do wish you’d told me. What was it about?”
Lindsay snorted. “Oh, if only prophecies were clear-cut enough that we could
immediately ascertain their meanings. It was a sort of poem-y thing. Uh… ‘Faceless
pretender dims a light/Legacy continues bright/Prophecy that no-one hears/Event
that every family fears/The empty heart, the dying day/One who bleeds shall fade
Suze blinked. “And you think you know what this means?”
“Well, yeah. Didn’t we just live through an ‘event that every family fears’? We just
lost Gramma Rin.”
Suze nodded slowly. “You’re right.”
“And the ‘faceless pretender’… well, Death doesn’t really have a face. It’s just…
“So the prophecy is saying that even though Mother’s gone, the Legacy’s going to go
“I think so. There are a few pieces that don’t fit, like the unheard prophecy and
something else I said about Adam being missing, but I think that that just refers to
Adam not being here when Gramma died.”
“It sounds a bit strange that you’d predict something like that, though. I mean, why
wouldn’t the Legacy go well after Mother dies? Sure, we’ll miss her, but…”
Lindsay smirked. “Prophecies usually make sense?”
“Not if you believe the movies.”
Life went on as usual, even though Rin had left a gaping hole in their lives.
The art gallery was as profitable as ever. Suze found herself bribed into manning the
cash register while Lindsay ran around restocking the pottery displays and convincing
unimpressed customers to buy, buy, buy.
Lindsay found a day job drawing cartoons for the local newspaper, which she mostly
took for fun since the gallery was providing her with a tidy income.
Parker was a regular fixture in the house, coming over every other day for meals and
to see his daughter.
Lindsay was pleased to see that Parker was as close to being Alejandro’s polar
opposite as was possible. He spent as much time with Rissa as he could, trying to
avoid being an absent father at all costs.
He even started to become somewhat of a father figure to Lindsay, filling the gap left
by Alejandro’s absence. Things were going just fine.
That, of course, meant that something had to go wrong.
“C’mon, Rissy Bear. Wanna come outside and play? It rained last night, so there’s
plenty of puddles for you to get yourself dirty in.”
Rissa reached eagerly for Lindsay. “Puggles!”
“Yeah, I thought so. Up we go.”
Rissa giggled as she splashed around in the puddle she’d gravitated towards on the
front lawn. Lindsay smiled. Rissa looked like she was having a lot of fun.
Something red caught Lindsay’s eye. She looked up, and saw a familiar man in red
walking too casually towards the house.
“Alejandro?” she called, surprised. She’d only met her father a handful of times, but
she was sure it was him.
Alejandro spotted her, and a look of panic crossed his face.
Alejandro ignored Lindsay’s yell and bolted before she could catch up to him.
“Right, then. That’s not good.” Lindsay picked Rissa up. “That’s enough puggles for
“Who were dat?” asked Rissa curiously.
“Nobody I know,” said Lindsay truthfully.
After putting Clarissa in her crib for her afternoon nap, Lindsay sought out Suze.
“Mum, I was out in the front yard today playing with Rissa, and I swear I saw Dad. I
mean, I’m pretty sure it was him. I haven’t exactly seen him since I was little since
he’s such a gigantic ass…”
“HOLE, but he kinda looked like Adam,” continued Lindsay, as if Suze hadn’t spoken.
“Y’know, if Adam was a floppy-haired deadbeat idiot. And when I called out to him,
“Maybe it wasn’t him, then,” said Suze, but she looked suspiciously distressed.
“I can see from your face that you think it’s him. Why would he be here? Doesn’t he
live downtown in some crappy trailer nowadays?”
“I don’t know, but I’ve been seeing him around a bit lately.”
“And you were planning on telling me about this… when?”
“I was going to, really, but then Mother died and, well… it didn’t seem important. But
I’ve been seeing him walk past the house a lot, and I’ve been getting strange phone
calls that I think are from him.”
“Tell Fire about it,” Lindsay said promptly.
“I’m not making a mountain out of this, Lindsay. He broke up with me, remember?”
“So you’re just going to wait until something bad happens, are you?”
A concerned ‘woof’ from floor level interrupted.
“I need to go walk Maia,” said Suze.
“This conversation isn’t over, Mum,” said Lindsay.
“I know, I just… can we do this later? I can’t think straight now.”
“I’m getting worried about Mum, Gramma. She’s still blind where Alejandro’s
concerned. You’re not here to smack her over the head and tell her to stop being
wishy-washy about someone who might or might not be stalking her, and she won’t
listen to me when I try.” Lindsay sighed. “You never really mentioned how hard being
heir was, so I figured it’d be easy. Guess it was one of those hundred things you just
took in your stride.”
The smooth marble headstone did not reply. Lindsay knew it wouldn’t, but that
didn’t stop her from wishing that it would.
The next day, Parker arrived to take Suze out to a new bar and coffee house
The atmosphere was pleasant enough, and the coffee was nice, but Suze spotted
something that made the afternoon go straight downhill.
“Uh, Parker. Don’t turn around. I think my ex is at the bar.”
Parker scowled. “The son of a bitch who’s been emotionally abusing you since you
left college?” He moved as if to get up.
“Parker, no. Just let it be. He lives around here, so it’s probably a coincidence.”
“I don’t believe in coincidence when it comes to my girlfriend’s exes. Especially not
the crazy ones.”
But as Parker got out of his seat, Alejandro walked out of the bar, a little too
“See? It’s okay.”
Parker shook his head. “You’re too willing to ignore the worst in people, Suze. Has he
been stalking you?”
“Yes. No. I don’t know. Maybe?”
She hugged Parker. “If Alejandro thinks that he’s going to get back together with me
by stalking me, he’s dead wrong. Besides, I love you, not him. He lost his chance.”
Parker hugged her back, but the worry and anger never left his eyes.
“Come on. I need to do some grocery shopping before we head back,” said Suze.
“We’re out of milk again, and Lindsay says she wants orange juice.”
“Hmm. Parker, could you go get me some mince? I think I’ll make spaghetti for us
Parker smiled. “Sure. Sounds good.” He wandered over to the meat section.
Suze stayed and contemplated the bagged apples. Maybe she could make an apple
Her musings were interrupted by footsteps and a familiar voice behind her.
“Susannah. At last, we can talk.”
Suze turned around and switched straight to ‘furious’ mode.
“Oh, so the best way you could think of to talk with me was to stalk me. What the
hell is wrong with you?”
Alejandro scowled. “I have been trying to talk myself into talking to you! I was wrong
to treat you the way I did, Susannah. I want us to be together again.”
“You’re too late, Alejandro. I’ve moved on. I have a wonderful man in my life who
has shown me just how badly you treated me, and we have a beautiful daughter
together. You lost out.”
“Don’t be foolish! You truly love me, Susannah. Or was our time together a lie?”
“It wasn’t a lie, but it’s not going to happen again. People change, Alejandro. I’ve
changed. I don’t love you any more.”
“You do, Susannah.”
He moved to hug her.
“Get the HELL away from me!” yelled Suze. “Have you gone completely crazy? You
can’t decide people’s feelings for them!”
“And if I’m not mistaken, that sounds like my boyfriend coming to kick your pathetic
ass into next week. I’ve been in denial too long, Alejandro. I’m not going to stop
Parker was indeed running up behind them.
“Get the hell away from my girlfriend, you creep! I don’t care if you’re delusional or
not, she’s not yours any more, so get the hell out before I throw you out. A window.
THAT IS CLOSED.”
Alejandro didn’t have much choice after that but to bolt for the doors.
Parker hugged Suze. “You okay?”
“’Course I am. I had my blond knight to come save me.” She sighed into Parker’s
shoulder. “He’s not going to stop with that, is he?”
“No, he isn’t. But we can fix that.” He frowned. “You’re shaking. Come on, let’s go
home. Forget the groceries for now.”
Suze nodded. “Let’s go.”
When they got to the front porch, Suze squinted through the glass door and sighed.
“Why does my daughter feel the need to run my life?”
“If that’s not our resident Simself in there, I’m a sasquatch.”
“I did notice you need a haircut,” quipped Parker. Suze shot him a death glare and
“Nice to see you informed Fire anyway, Lindsay,” said Suze coolly.
Lindsay arched an eyebrow. “Thanks for your faith in me, Mum. I was talking to Fire
about the prophecy, actually, but since she’s here you might as well talk about the
Parker nodded. “Especially after what just happened.”
Fire looked curious. Is anyone going to tell me what’s going on?
“It’s kind of a long story.”
“No it’s not. Alejandro’s been stalking Mum,” interrupted Lindsay.
“And he attacked her in the supermarket this afternoon,” added Parker.
Suze glowered. “Do you two mind?”
Fire looked concerned. How long has this been happening for?
“A while. He’s been calling me and walking past the house ever since Lindsay
Hm. I can’t ignore this sort of thing. I’ll have to… have words with him.
Fire got up off the couch. I’ll make sure he leaves you guys alone.
“Don’t do anything rash, Fire,” said Suze worriedly. “He’s… there’s something not
right in his head. I don’t think he’s dangerous, just… delusional.”
I won’t do anything stupid, said Fire. I’ve done enough stupid things for three
Lindsay looked up at Fire. “What about what I said about the prophecy?”
If you’re right, it’s nothing we need to worry about just yet. I can try analysing it
with the others, but this seems more important.
Lindsay nodded. “I agree. I just wanted to let you know.”
“Thanks, Fire. I just… It was stupid of me not to say anything,” said Suze.
You were confused. And you still feel something for him, even if you don’t love
him. It’s understandable. Fire patted Suze on the back. You don’t have to be strong
all the time.