Saturday, December 29, 2012

Overlord Legacy - Chapter Forty-Nine - Dear Uncle Oliver

Dear Uncle Oliver,

I don't know how short or how long this letter will be, but in case you don't want to skip all the way to the end to see who wrote it, it's Severin (I had to use my dad's return address labels so my name's not on the envelope). At this point, I don't even really know what I'm going to say. But I feel I have to say something. I have to write this out. Maybe then I can get past this wall that I've hit, maybe then I can begin to understand anything of what's going on. I have to tell someone about everything that's going on, someone who can understand and maybe give some sort of explanation or solution, and you're the only one I can think of, Uncle Oliver. You always seem to have explanations.

I think it was three days ago, but time doesn't seem to be working right lately. But I think it was three days ago. I was getting ready for work. My cat tried to climb up my dad's pant leg again, and mom had to convince him not to throw Darth Furball out the window.
They had a little bit of an argument. Only a little one. You know my parents don't get into really serious arguments. They've always just gotten along. Fortunately mom won and Darth Furball lived to ball-swat another day. Then they started getting all lovey-dovey, right in front of my kid too.
It was like there was no one else in the room. Totally oblivious to anyone but themselves, which is fine. My mom told my dad that she loved him.
Then my dad told her that he loved her first. Dad said that sometimes, and mom always hated it because he was right.
When I left for work, mom was hanging out and having conversations with Katt. Seems like mom was always spending time with Katt. Good thing too. Katt doesn't have a mother in her life. I guess mom was doubling as mother and grandmother at the same time.
The rest of what really happened I only learned afterward, because I was at work, of course. By the way, work sucked that day. Normally I don't mind it very much, but it sucked that day. My boss was griping and moaning about everything, probably because his girlfriend Jackie broke up with him last night. (Yeah, Jackie dated him for a couple of days. You know Jackie. She's the friend I told you about, the one I 'like to snog with in my spare time.' I wish you would quit peering into my mind every time I visit you.) Then the stage wouldn't get set up correctly and the band went ballistic, destroying a bunch of equipment and cancelling the show they had tonight, so now everybody was unhappy. It just sucked. Really badly.

I was looking forward to getting back home. My dad had said he was going to make decorations out of the snow because he figured out you could stick it together.
He told me he was going to make a 'snowman,' or rather a bunch of 'snowmen.' That way I could look out my window and see a bunch of snow minions ready to do my bidding. It was really funny, actually. My dad pokes fun, but he still 'gets' me. He's a really awesome dad, Uncle Oliver. I don't know if I've ever told him so, but he is.
I was getting towards the end of my shift. My boss was barking at all of us, I accidentally whacked my middle finger with the wrench I had in my hand (in case you were wondering, that wasn't black nail polish you saw the other day, that was a bruise underneath my fingernail), and the heat failed during the whole last hour. The theater was freezing. I was just looking forward to going home.

And then it was about thirty minutes or so before I left. And I was just struck with this awful feeling. In fact, awful just doesn't describe it. It was hell. It was as if my soul went to hell and then returned back to my body, dragging hell with it. Just this sudden realization that everything was wrong, that things were not alright. I had no idea what was going on. I wondered if maybe I had finally lost my sanity from that hellish work day.

But I look back on it now, Uncle Oliver, and I know what it was. I know what happened that moment while I was at work.
Do you know how much it kills me that I wasn't there, Uncle Oliver? Do you know how much that kills me? Thirty minutes. I could have left thirty minutes early. I missed it by thirty minutes. But no, I pressed on. I kept working, because I thought I was crazy. I ignored all the horrific feelings that were suffocating me, attacking me, giving me chest pains. I ignored them.
Thirty minutes, and I could've been there to say goodbye. I could've told her so many things, Uncle Oliver. These past few days I've tried so hard to remember what the last thing I ever said to her was, and damn it, I don't remember. I don't even remember our last conversation. I could have told her I loved her, Uncle Oliver. I never said that enough. I never knew I meant it that much until lately. Do you think she knows now? Do you think, there in the netherworld, she can somehow know much I loved her? How much I still love her and miss her? Do you think if I screamed at the top of my lungs, screamed until my voice was hoarse, screamed that I loved you think she could hear? Or did I lose my last chance forever?

Do you know how much I utterly hate myself right now, Uncle Oliver?

Anyway. I wasn't there. My dad was, though. He still hasn't told me much about what really happened. He hasn't been able to talk about it much yet. He never told me whether he was able to say goodbye. At least he'd told her that he loved her before it all happened. My dad was smart. My dad was a good man. Quite the opposite of selfish, careless me. I could've told her I loved her before I left for work. But I didn't.

What must dad have seen? What was it like? I'd seen the Reaper just a few days before, in the gym. We actually worked out together for a little while. It was a bit out of the ordinary, but pretty interesting. But how did dad see him? What was dad's reaction when the Reaper came, not to take some unknown soul and then hang around a while, but to take my mother away from us?
Did he look Death right in the face? Was he at peace? Or did he loathe the Reaper for coming, for stealing the soul of my mother? Did he loathe the Reaper as much as I do right now?
And what did my mother see? Was she terrified? Was she clawing the floor, trying to cling onto this life?

Was she ready to go? Was she at peace?
My dad won't tell me. He's hardly told me anything about mom's last moments. Can't he see I need to know? I need to make sense of it all. It's torture not knowing what happened - and knowing I could've been there. Thirty minutes, Uncle Oliver! 

Hell, even my cat was there. My cat saw the whole thing. He's been a bit mopey as of late. Can cats really be affected by the sight of death?
Anyhow. Thirty minutes passed. Those thirty minutes when I could've been home. And no, I'm not forgiving myself for that, Uncle Oliver. I'm angry, and the only one who deserves the blunt of that anger is me. Anyhow, I drove home, still feeling sick, still feeling like hell inside, still unaware of what was going on.
I ran past all my snowman minions. My dad had started decorating the whole yard with them. I don't know how much time he put into each of them, but they really were quite clever.
I ran inside, ready to just get away from my crappy day already, ready to relax, maybe play my guitar for a while. The first thing I saw inside was dad. I smiled at him, but he didn't smile back. I don't think he could've forced his facial muscles to smile back.
I took off my hoodie, shook the snow off my work clothes. And then I noticed it. It was right there in the middle of the floor. I could tell my dad hadn't touched it, not since the Reaper had left it there. I knew what it was and I knew what it meant. All the hell I felt inside just increased. I felt like my heart literally ripped in two, slowly and painfully, like Satan himself was grabbing it and laughing as he ever-so-slowly began tearing it. I felt like my insides were on fire.

I feel like it's pointless to describe how I felt. It's making me angry because I can't find the words.
And then the tears. Salt water just shot up to my eyes, threatening to spill out over the place. My body shuddered, like a great force was trying to hold back a powerful threat of sobs. I've always been a controlled individual, largely because I just don't care about a lot of things. The last time I cried was when I discovered Tracey was pregnant, and then I was just a pansy teenager.

I felt so out of control of my own body. I don't think my mind could keep up with it. It seemed like I could hardly think through the fuzz in my mind, but I remember I ended up collapsed in my dad's arms, bawling all over his shoulder like a five-year-old boy.
Yeah, real manly, I know. But as I said, I couldn't control myself. I wish I could've. Dad watched the whole thing. Now, after watching mom disappear from our lives forever, he had to deal with a blubbering son who couldn't be strong when he most needed to be.

I'll apologize to my dad someday for that. I really appreciated him being there for me, though.
Who knows how much I killed him inside? He had to hold off his own mourning process in order to comfort mine. I'm surprised he didn't just have a heart attack right then and there. I can't imagine how he ever held himself together. He's a strong man. He deserves to be an alpha wolf. I have a lot to learn from him yet.

We decided to have the funeral at the castle the next morning. You know that, of course. You were one of the first people I sent the notice to. I couldn't sleep at all that night. I eventually just got up at 4:00am and went to check on Katt. She wakes up at odd hours of the night, and I didn't want her to start bawling or anything. Dad sleeps right outside her room now.
He'd left the door open a crack. I only peeked. He was alone. For one brief, hopeful second I expected to see mom sleeping there too, right next to him like she always does. Maybe this whole thing was just a nightmare. But it wasn't. I don't think Dad was really sleeping either. I think he was just pretending because he heard me get up. I thought I heard him sniffle as soon as I walked away from the door.

Katt was up. Of course she was up.
One of the first things she asked me that morning was where grandma was. Last night grandpa had put her to bed, and she'd seen me and grandpa, but not grandma anywhere. What could I tell her? I didn't even know an acceptable answer for myself. So I told her the truth. I told her she had gone to the netherworld and she wouldn't be coming back. I don't think Katt really understood.

The night before - the night mom died - I'd found some old diary entries and things of hers. I discovered some things I never knew before, like who Soren's and Tobie's dad was and the day when she first fell in love with my dad. But of all things, I think she wrote about her children the most. Soren, Tobie, frequently she wrote about how much she loved us and wanted the best for us. She worked hard to take care of us. She went through heartbreaks and loneliness and difficulties, but she had strength and she had joy because she loved us.

She gave her all for us. She gave everything. Even the ambitions for the family legacy weren't as important to her as we were.
Uncle Oliver, I'm a terrible father. I'll just admit it openly. I'm a terrible father. I don't spend time with my daughter. I don't consider her half the time. I just assume she'll grow up and turn out okay, and I'll be the guidance in her life where she needs it. I haven't sacrificed for Katt. My mom and dad made the sacrifice for her. They stayed at the castle for her. My dad quit his job before retirement for her.

I have sacrificed nothing. I am a worthless, gutless, terrible father.

But as I held her, I realized all my mother did for me. I finally realized it. And then Katt unexpectedly grabbed my face with both her hands and smooched me right on the cheek and said "Muah! Kissy!"

And I had another moment where my body moved in automatic while my mind stayed a clouded, fuzzy mess. Another moment where I hardly knew what I was doing, I was just going on autopilot. I set her on the floor to give her her bottle, but before I did, I kissed her back. Right on top of her head. I've never kissed my daughter before, Uncle Oliver. Never.
And then I started crying right in front of her. Just started crying. And I heard myself tell her, "You listen to me, Katt. I love you. I love you and I don't want you ever forgetting that. I promise I'll try to be a better daddy."

She told me, "You good daddy." I'm starting to question her intelligence. But if that's what she wants to believe about me, I can let her believe it.

I let her see grandma's urn.
She asked me if grandma was in the urn. I told her that in a way, yes, she was. Then she asked me what that smell in the air was. I told her I didn't know what she was talking about, that there was no smell in the air.

Even toddlers can smell death, it seems.

The funeral began at 9:00. Nothing fancy. Just a gathering to give condolences, comfort each other, share her memories. Only it was cold. And snowing.
This damn town hasn't stopped snowing since winter began. The sun couldn't have just peeked out for her funeral. No, it had to snow. It had to be a f**king blizzard. I'm sick of this f**king snow.

Anyway. My friend Candy was the first in the door.
We hugged, talked about my mom. Kind of superficial, but neither of us knew what to say.

And then you came. Of course you'd be right on time, one of the first to show up. You really don't need to have any ties to this family, especially after the stories I've heard of how it was when you and my grandmother, Midnight, lived together. Yet you've always been there anyway.
I'm glad you were. We needed you there, Uncle Oliver. We all needed you there.

I almost think my dad needed you more than I did. He seemed to talk to you for an awfully long time.
He wouldn't tell me what you two talked about. I don't know if you're under confidentiality and can't tell me either, but I thought I'd ask anyway.
Just promise me if you have any answers to anything - anything to bring order and meaning to this confusion and chaos - that you'll tell me. I can barely breathe in it.

More guests showed up. Uncle Phantom and his family made their appearances. Whenever Uncle Phantom shows up, the air just feels a little lighter.
My Aunt Keri came too - my mom's sister, Grandpa Jakk's other daughter. She's pregnant right now. I wonder if it will be difficult for her now that she doesn't have her big sister to ask advice of. My mom did raise three boys after all.
My dad spent some time with her. I left to go outside after Phantom paid his respects to my mom. I couldn't watch him.
I really just wanted the cold air. The castle was feeling stuffy, what with it smelling like death and all. Outside I found Jackie. She didn't even look at me when I first walked out. It was almost as if she were afraid to come inside.
I tried talking to her. She just started crying. The only thing she could manage to say was, "Oh my gosh, she was your just lost your mom..."
Maybe what they say is true and 'friends with benefits' without the feelings involved is impossible. We've slept together a few times, not wanting any kind of commitment. And I don't think we want it now either. Maybe it's a deep bond of friendship? I don't know. We weren't able to keep feelings detached at the funeral. I kissed her gently. We hugged. It became too much for her soon. She left early. I don't know if I'll see her again. I don't know a whole lot of anything at this point.

Spent more time with Candy inside. She's a cool girl too. I rather hope you can't read my mind through writing.
And that's when I noticed you, Uncle Oliver. You were quietly shedding tears, by yourself.
You've never told me how old you are, Uncle Oliver. I don't know how much death you've lived to see. I know you saw the deaths of my grandparents. I would've thought you'd be hardened to death by now, that it wouldn't affect you so much. I guess sometimes I view you as this untouchable creature, wise and friendly, but still cold and distant to the human life form. But you're not. You're not cold and distant. You're real and relatable. Sometimes I wonder if you spend so much time playing human that you forget you're a vampire.

Eventually, as the funeral came to a close, I got out my guitar and played a few of my mom's favorite songs. She'd always told me how much she liked them.
Candy was still there, as was Phantom, even though his family had gone home already. Nobody needed to stay. I wasn't performing for tips or anything. It was just a remembrance for my mom. Do you think she heard me? Do you think she heard the songs from my guitar? Do you think they have any connection to our world once they reach the netherworld?

I did appreciate you playing with Katt for a while. I could tell she loved when you danced with her to the music.
If she grows up to be a hopeless romantic, I'm blaming it on you, Uncle Oliver.

This is kind of where the letter ends. Although really, I've practically written you a novel. I don't even know when you'll have time to read all of this. But I had to talk it out. I had to get this out of my system. I need to be able to move on so I can go through with my plans for the legacy, and be a better parent to boot.
Sounding all melancholy and emotional isn't like me. It bothers me quite a bit. I hope to be back to my old form soon enough, with just a few changes here and there.

I'll miss my mom always. She was the most wonderful woman. I wish I could have appreciated her more while she was still here. I wish I could've been a better son. I wish I would've told her what she meant to me.

One thing I ask of you, Uncle Oliver. It's a familiar request, I'm sure. Grandma Midnight made it of you in regards to my mom, and my mom made it of you in regards to me and my brothers. Now I want to make it of you.
I don't know how long I'll live, or how much of my daughter's life I'll get to see. But just like you were always there for my mom and you've always been there for me, would you please always be there for Katt? If she ever needs someone and I'm not there, I want her to know she can go to you, just like mom and I have always been able to.

There's no reason for you to have any ties with this family, Uncle Oliver. But for one more generation, please stay with us.

Thank you for letting me write all this to you. I already know it's helped me a lot. Tomorrow I plan on waking up, taking a big breath, and preparing to move on. I will allow myself to grieve when I need to and not get stuck against a wall of confusion. Life will move on and so will I.

Your nephew (grand-nephew, actually),


P.S. My dad took mom's urn to the cemetery this morning, to bury her with my ancestors. It's late afternoon as I write this and he still isn't back. It is difficult enough for me to go through this time. I can't imagine what my father must be going through.
I hope he comes back home soon. I'm afraid of going out to find him. It's painful to see him like this.

Stop. Breathe. It will be over soon. I'll just keep telling myself that.

Author's notes: At the start of my legacy, I set the lifespan to 52 days. Amaranth lived exactly 52 days.

This stupid legacy blog has gotten me too attached to my Sims. I almost cried when the Reaper came for Amaranth while I was playing. Gator was making snowmen and I decided, after Amaranth put Katt to bed, that she and Gator could make snowmen together. It would be really cute. I couldn't wait to see how the screenshots would look. After asking her to join him, I focused back on Gator as he finished building his snowman. Two seconds later, the game immediately shifted back to Amaranth, and I knew her time was up.

THIS. This is why I kick out the previous generation when the new generation starts. So I don't have to put myself through this. Ugh.

The aftermath is almost as bad too. Severin and Darth Furball have their fair share of mourning moments, but my goodness, Gator can only be described as hysterical. He breaks down in full-blown sobs seemingly every ten Sim minutes. Like, literally, Severin cries, Gator bawls. I hate having to watch it.

I don't often write in first person. It's actually very difficult to be excellent at. I've written novelettes in first person, but it takes a lot of time and editing. So I won't do this very often for this story, but I felt like it fit better here, to give a personal feel to the funeral and the effects of Amaranth's death.

Comments can be left below. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm going to miss Amaranth like crazy.

Overlord Legacy - Chapter Forty-Eight - The Dork Who Tried To Rob The Overlord Castle

The theater is bustling with shows and concerts, doubly so on the weekends. Manager Tristan Van Gould can hardly keep up with it all - especially since so many new employees show up late or not at all. As much as he'd never want to admit it, Severin Overlord earns his keep. He hasn't been late once yet and he works diligently for every minute he's there, not lazing around like half the other employees. He certainly doesn't expect everything to be handed to him on a plate just because he bears the last name of Overlord, Tristan's noticed. Thus, he hasn't begrudged promoting him as easily as he has. Severin's turned out to be far too valuable a worker to simply keep behind the popcorn counter and occasionally sending him out to assist local bands. He could be of more use setting up the stage at the theater for a while. And who knows? Tristan's heard his musical ability. His singing's decent, but he's gotten quite good with his guitar. In the near future, Tristian could potentially make money from Severin playing some gigs at the theater.

Severin's not sure why everyone seems to be surprised at his work ethic. True overlords are not lazy. If he expects anyone to take him seriously and respect his authority, he needs to show them why. He wants to take over the theater - and the music industry entirely - with his own hands, not just sit back and bark at people to give it to him. Besides, how will he know how to best run the theater once he has complete control if he has no idea what it involves?

Still, Severin goes to bed satisfied. He's moving up the ranks quickly, and his name is already spreading throughout the town. His plan is already working marvelously. It won't be too long now. He'll make his name in Moonlight Falls and take his place in successfully furthering his family's legacy. He will not be a disappointment.


The next morning is another cold, snowy morning, just like every morning this past week has been. Darth Furball doesn't seem to mind too much. He can deal with the cold so long as he gets to play with fellow cats and dogs on the front porch.
Darth Furball: "Who are you? Intruder! I'll have you know I'm a fierce attack cat. My master has trained me in the art of assassination and combat."
Stray cat: "Sigh. You kittens are always so ambitious."
Darth Furball: "I am fearsome! Tremble at my name - it is Darth Furball."
Stray cat: "You know, all those other cats told me not to approach this castle. Now I think I know wh--"
Darth Furball: "Die!"
Stray cat: "Oof!"

While the young kitten finishes pummeling the defiant intruder, Severin wakes up early to get his daughter to the potty chair.
Katt: "When you change potty chair? It stinks."
Severin: "You're the one that poops in it, you should be the one that changes it."
Katt: "I don't know how."
Severin: "First you need a gas mask."
Katt: "Daddy, we go out today? You pomised."
Severin: "Yeah, yeah. We'll spend some time at the winter festival today, see what they have to do there. Then maybe we can go to the hangout later."
Severin: "Well, excuse you."
Katt: "I not do that, Daddy."
Severin: "Don't be silly."
Katt: "That your fart, Daddy."
Severin: "Nonsense."

As the rest of the family gets ready for the trek to the winter festival, Severin makes sure he grabs his precious little one that he'd never want to go without.
Severin: "Ready to go play in the snow, Darth Furball?"
Darth Furball: "Mew."

Crowding into a taxi (since not everyone can fit in Severin's BathroomMobile), the Overlords make their way to the brand new festival.
Katt: "Ooh! Pretty!"
Severin: "See, I told you we'd go somewhere together."
Amaranth: "I say we should get our picture taken at the photo booth first. We haven't had a family picture since our wedding reception, Gator."
Gator: "You're right. I think Phantom and his family were in that one too, weren't they?"
Amaranth: "Yes, and my father."

Severin agrees to the picture, and the Overlords crowd into the the photo booth to get their family picture taken. He briefly lets Darth Furball go into the snow, since pets aren't allowed in the photo booth. He quickly realizes a problem as soon as he gets out.
Severin: "Um...Darth Furball? Are you around here anywhere?"
Darth Furball: "...Mew."

Feeling a bit hungry, the adults sit down by the campfire and toast some marshmallows while Katt and Darth Furball happily play in the snow.
Amaranth: " know we've been to these festivals for three seasons now? According to Vorticae, there's only one other season, called Spring. It's when all the flowers and trees and everything starts coming back to life."
Gator: "I can't wait to see it. It'll be quite a sight."
Amaranth: "Yes. We'll have to go to the spring festival too. Surely they'll have one."
Severin: "Mom? Are you okay? You look like you're turning blue."
Gator: "Honey?"
Amaranth: "'s just...sigh. My body doesn't seem to react well to the cold. I get so stiff..."
Severin: "Well, we can go to the hangout now. It should be warmer in there."

Amaranth feels terrible about causing everyone to leave the winter festival so soon, especially since Katt seemed to really enjoy playing with the snow. Gator and Severin don't seem to mind at all, but she still feels bad. She can see why her mother, Midnight, hated old age so much. She just can't do things like she used to anymore. Her body won't cooperate.

Still, she does need to be thankful. Though she moves much slower now than she did when she was younger, her bones haven't been brittle or prone to slipping. Her hips feel fine, something she knows was not the case with her father when he was alive.

Once they arrive at the hangout, Severin immediately notices his boss. Severin decides any time is a good time to suck up, especially since his boss is a much more well-known celebrity than himself.
Severin: "Mr. Van Gould. Who'd have thought I'd run into you here?"
Tristan: "Well...gotta get away from the hassle of work somehow."
Work is a hassle, huh? Severin grins in his mind. Then you won't mind too terribly when I replace you in the near future.

The hangout begins to get busy and loud. Particularly when one family enters. It's always a party when they show up.
Delia: "Good grief, your father always flies so fast. Where'd he go now?"
Eva: "Ugh...Dad! Are you serious?"
Phantom: "Fizzy lifting drinks. They're so much fun!"

Amaranth grabs Severin's kitten before it accidentally tumbles down the basement steps while Gator keeps a hold of Katt. They're playing a simple game called "Kissy," where toddler kisses grandpa, then grandpa kisses toddler, and the cycle keeps going.
Amaranth: "She seems to be beating you at that game there, Gator."
Gator: "She's definitely got your genes, then. You always beat me at it."
Amaranth: "Ha! I wouldn't necessarily say that."
Katt: "Muah! Kissy!"
Gator: "Oh yeah? Muah!"
Eva: "Hey, Sev. Sucking up to the celebrities, are you?"
Severin: "...Mr. Van Gould, this is my, uh...first cousin once removed or something like that. Her name's Eva. Eva, this is my boss, Tristan Van Gould."
Eva: "Ah, your boss?"
Tristan: "You're related to fairies? Hmm. I wasn't aware you had fairy blood in you."
Severin: "I don't, actually. It's kind of complicated."
Eva: "My dad is sort of like an adopted uncle to his mom. We're not related by blood, but the ties are strong nonetheless."
Tristan: "Hmm. Interesting. So you're human then. Rufus and Bambi Overlord were both humans, if I'm correct."
Eva: "Well, actually he's a--"
Severin: "A human, yes."

Severin shoots a look at Eva, who immediately interprets it and nods her head in agreement to Severin's statement. Silly her, she'd almost forgotten. The Van Goulds and the Wolffs have always been enemies since many generations back. The Van Goulds hate all werewolves in general, but especially those of the Wolff family. It would not be wise for Severin to admit to being the son of Gator Overlord...formerly Gator Wolff. In fact, it would not be wise to admit to being a werewolf, period. Severin just hopes Tristan doesn't recognize Gator across the room.

Meanwhile, Uncle Phantom decides to do some catching up with his favorite niece.
Phantom: "Ammy! I feel like I haven't seen you in forever."
Amaranth: "I know. It's been so long. Have you seen me since I...well, turned old?"
Phantom: "Maybe. I don't know. I never think of you as old. You always look like the little girl I used to play with, or at least that's how I always see you."
Amaranth: "Oh, Phantom. I do wish I could still run around like I could back then!"
Phantom: "Times moves really fast. I never realize it. Sometimes I wake up and think I can just go visit Midnight. But she's not here anymore."
Amaranth: ", my mother hasn't been around for quite a long time now."
Phantom: "It hasn't seemed that long."
Amaranth: "My father, though...he still feels recent."
Phantom: "...Oliver and I miss your dad. We were all good friends when we lived in the castle. It doesn't feel right that Oliver and I are still here but he's not."

Amaranth pauses. She wonders how many generations Phantom will live to see. He's seen her all through her childhood. He'll definitely see Severin all through his. Now Severin has a child. Will Phantom see Katt through all her life?

Then there's Oliver. Oliver has the potential to see every generation of the Overlords through their lives. He'll never die, if what he told her is correct.

Phantom: "Oh, by the way, just for kicks and giggles..."
Amaranth: "Ph-ph-phantom, it's c-cold enough outs-side..."
Phantom: " almost makes that trick seem like no big deal anymore. It makes me sad."

Much to Darth Furball's delight, he finds a canine companion in the hangout. Darth Furball's never really been around dogs before; the only thing that's come close is his master on a full moon night.
Darth Furball: "Who are you? I am a fierce attack cat. My master has trained--"
Yumi: "Ohboyohboyohboyohboy!"
Darth Furball: "Alright, enough of that dopey voice and listen to m--"
Yumi: "Will you be my friend?"
Darth Furball: "Wait, you're a female dog. Why do you have a deep dopey male dog voice?"
Yumi: "My master never checked my underside."

The sound of a strumming guitar fills the air. All heads in the hangout turn to see where it's coming from. Severin tries not to grin. He loves commanding attention.
Severin: "Come on, Mr. Van Gould. Think we can't do a duet?"
Tristan: "And what kind of duet do you think we could do?"
Severin: "I know 'Renegade,' if you know it."
Severin: "The jig is up, the news is out, they finally found me."
Tristan: "The renegade who had it made, retrieved for a bounty."
Severin: "Hey, swell guitar, Mr. Van Gould!"
Tristan: "Ha! Thought you'd like it."
Phantom: "See? You can still move around and dance. You're not that old."
Amaranth: "Haha! Trust me, I'll be quite sore tonight!"

Severin and Tristan Van Gould play through a few songs in the hangout to the appreciation and applause of the people watching. Eventually, though, Katt begins to get fussy so Gator and Amaranth decide it's time to head home. They hadn't realized that they'd been away from the castle all day. Time certainly flies when you're having fun. Severin decides to stay out a bit later. He hasn't explored all of the winter festival yet. He'd like to look it over before having to go back to work tomorrow.

He spies a humongous skateboarding rink. Perhaps he'll try that sometime soon. For now, he'll settle for ice skating. His brother and buddy Tobie had tried roller skating before, but Severin never did.

Severin laughs to himself as he puts on the ice skates. Tobie's certainly lived up to what his peers voted of him in high school. "Most Likely To Get Married." Tobie married a woman named Helen just yesterday. Severin had stopped by to congratulate them. Tobie's a really happy man. Severin's glad for him.
Drifting onto the ice, Severin tries to steady himself. This really is tricky. He's glad not many people are out tonight, just in case he falls down and embarrasses himself. Still, now is no time to be a chicken. Overlords aren't chickens.

So focused on the ice he's skating on, Severin doesn't notice until a few moments later that he's not alone on the ice. Someone else has been skating - and watching him skate - for a little while.
Jackie: "Well! Severin Overlord. What brings you skating out here this fine night?"
Severin: "Gotta try it while it's here, you know. Won't be too long before spring comes around, which I might be glad for. I don't know how much I'm enjoying the cold weather."
Jackie: "It's very different. But I think I like it. Ice skating is pretty fun once you get the hang of it."
Severin: "Well, I don't know. I'm pretty clumsy. You might want to hold onto me before I fall down and bust the ice open."
Jackie: "Mm. Sly as always, Severin."
Severin: "I'd say that was pretty bold on my part, really."
Jackie: "You know...on a random note, I think it's fascinating that I can actually see your breath when it's cold out. How do you think that happens?"
Severin: "No idea."
Jackie: "Aw, Sev. I thought you were a genius."
Severin: "I am a genius - a maniacal evil genius, not a scientist."
Jackie: "Haha! Always a joker, Sev."
Severin: "How many times do I have to tell you I'm not jok--"

Just then the two of them begin to lose their footing. Of course, it does no good to grab onto each other. They both fall to the ice with a crash.
Jackie: "...Well, that was sexy."
Severin: "And smooth. Real smooth."
Jackie: "I'd say this isn't something either of us is really good at."
Severin: "Well..."

Managing to get back onto his feet, Severin carefully helps Jackie back onto hers before keeping his grip on her hand and staring deep into her eyes.
Severin: "...I would say there's one thing we both can do really well. And it would really help our new aches and pains, wouldn't you say?"

Severin nods at an area behind her. Jackie glances, then smirks back at him. As she skates past him to the exit of the rink, she whispers close to his ear, "I'll go change then."

Severin smiles back at her. He certainly knows he doesn't have any clothes to change into. He'll just have to go in this skivvies...or maybe a bit less.

Laying his pile of clothes nearby, Severin slinks into the hot tub. The steaming hot water contrasted with the freezing cold air is almost overwhelming at first. It almost feels as if his blood is shooting up and down his body, pounding against his skin, causing him to shiver and shudder with pleasure. It immediately puts him in a sensual mood.

At first Jackie starts to step into the tub with her bra and panties on. Then, apparently deciding to let it all go, she removes them, only wearing her long necklace as she plops herself next to Severin. With a contented smile, she leans back in the tub, placing her hands behind her head, relaxing. She glances over at Severin. He stares back. There can only be one thing going through his mind right now, and his face tells all.
Jackie: "Mm...I don't suppose I have to ask if you like what you see."
Severin: "I don't know...not much I can see with all these bubbles. You got a body under there?"

Jackie lets out a tiny squeak of laughter as Severin quickly pinches her thigh under the water. She splashes water back at him.
Jackie: "You really are a pest, you know that?"
Severin: "Thank you."
Jackie: "Only you would mistake that for a compliment."
Severin: "If you didn't mean it as one, you wouldn't have smirked while you said it."
Jackie: "...Maybe that's true."

Severin rubs his foot against Jackie's calf under the water. Jackie pretends not to notice. Severin decides to be more assertive. He knows what he wants, Jackie knows what he wants, so he might as well get to the point.
Severin: "Hope you don't mind. I plan on keeping you for a little bit tonight."
Jackie: "Hmm...I'll have to ask my boyfriend if he minds."
Severin: "Who is it this week?"
Jackie: "Oh come on, I'm not that fast."
Severin gives her a look. Jackie glances away. She knows he's right. She does seem to have a new boyfriend every other day.
Jackie: "I suppose that makes me a terrible person, doesn't it?"
Severin: "Completely terrible. But hey, I don't mind terrible."
Jackie: "My boyfriends are really nice, for your information. They treat me very well, for the time we're together."
Severin: "I'm sure they do."
Jackie: "Just yesterday Tristan asked me out. He treated me to a very elegant dinner last night, with wine and roses and everything. It was very romantic. He really put a lot of effort into it."
Severin: "Tristan Van Gould?"
Jackie: "Yes. Are you jealous? I know you have Wolff blood in you."
Severin: "Nah, not at all. I'm sure his pale, cold body felt ravishing against yours last night."
Jackie: "Well, you have to try it with a vampire sometime."
Severin: "Mm. You've changed a bit, Jackie. You've become considerably...less cautious."
Jackie: "I...I have...I have reasons for why--"
Severin: "Shh. You don't have to explain anything to me. Doesn't bother me. Merely an observation on my part."
Jackie: "...I still...I'm still not comfortable with commitment."
Severin: "Well, good. I'm not either."
Jackie: "...Why is it so easy with you? I go searching, seeking for new excitement...I always have to agree to a relationship to get what I desire, though I know I'm not going to stay...but you don't ask for anything. No exclusivity, no relationships, you don't get jealous. Why is it so easy with you?"
Severin: "I'm just a rather easy guy."
Jackie: "And I suppose you assume I'm easy as well?"
Severin: "I'm not assuming anything. But I don't mind being easy. If you need somebody to fulfill you for tonight, you can have me any way you want."

Jackie pauses. Severin tries to calm his own heart beating. He hopes she takes him on his offer. He feels as if he can barely hold himself back or contain himself right now. Letting a bit sneak through, Severin lets his fingertips rest against Jackie's breast. Slowly, slowly, with his other hand he strokes a finger up the inside of her thigh.

Then Jackie pulls herself up. For a moment, Severin wonders if she's getting out of the hot tub. Has he pushed it a bit too far? Maybe if he'd been just a little more patient...

But instead she lowers herself back in over him, straddling his legs and looking deeply into his eyes. Gently stroking his hair, Jackie mutters, "I'm sorry, Tristan," before pressing her lips to Severin's. And she has him. She has him exactly the way she wants him.


Severin returns to the castle around midnight. He will definitely have to stay in contact with Jackie. That whole experience...that was ecstasy. She was in complete control and he didn't mind. He wonders what other ways she'd like to have him. He can certainly think of a few more ways he'd like to have her.

Fully and completely satisfied with the evening, Severin falls to sleep as soon as he hits the bed. But he only gets to sleep for three hours before he hears a horrific sound. It startles him wide awake. No...that can't be.

Someone is picking the lock. The front door is rattling. Someone is trying to break into the castle.

The hero? At three o'clock in the morning?

Burglar: "Ugh, finally...Hmm. Just as fancy as I would've imagined. The Overlords really are well-to-do. Lovely castle. Even lovelier once I get my hands on some of these things...Think of how much they'll sell for in the underground market once I advertise that they're from the Overlord Castle, and the very Overlords themselves used the items. Like this laptop...think of all the valuable information they probably store on this thing. I wonder if they have their world domination plans saved on it. Well, time to find out--...huh?"
Severin: "Who are you and why are you in my castle?"
Burglar: "Oh...I didn't...see any lights on. I didn't know you were awake..."
Severin: "You woke me up. What, were you using a jackhammer to pick the lock?"
Burglar: "I'm not that noisy. I'm a professional--"
Severin: "I don't care what you are. I'm giving you five seconds to get out of here and never show your face again."
Burglar: "Aww. Is Mister Overlord afraid I'm going to thwart his world domination plans?"
Severin: "It's going to take more than a noisy arrogant clumsy 'professional' burglar to thwart even the tiniest detail of my world domination plans. But first off, I'd like to keep my stuff, thank you very much, and secondly, I have a child, and I really don't want to have to explain to her why your bloody mangled body parts are strewn all over the kitchen."
Burglar: "A child, eh? A little child?"

The burglar snickers and slowly grins. Severin can't quite tell what he means by it, but it's extremely unsettling, and no man will ever be allowed to look like that when hearing about his daughter. Ever.
Burglar: "Aagh! Punk! You think you can beat me? I'm a professional!"
Severin: "Yeah? I'm a werewolf. I practice fighting with my alpha wolf father. I'd like to see you get out of this one."

There's not even a contest. Severin trounces the burglar by a mile.
Burglar: "A...werewolf? Ow..."
Severin: "Yes, a werewolf. Care to have another go? I'm all ready for another one. Only I'd like to see you take me on transformed this time."

The burglar doesn't hesitate. Without another word he flees out the front door, jumps in his car, and speeds away without looking back.
Severin stares at the window, watching him as he leaves - he's probably leaving town permanently, actually. Good thing too. Deep inside, Severin was never worried about his world domination plans being thwarted - they're too far in the works to be thwarted by one (pathetic) man. And he wasn't too concerned about his stuff getting stolen either. They have more than enough money to replace it.

And once the burglar turned out to be, well, a burglar and not the hero, Severin had only one thing left to be concerned with. His elderly mother and his tiny daughter lay sleeping upstairs. Of course, the burglar would have to get through Gator in order to get to them, which basically guaranteed his demise. But still. Severin doesn't want to let anyone even get to his father. No one should be able to get past him in this castle.

Pausing, Severin listens intently. He still hears a noise. It's the sound of the top two steps creaking behind him. They're soft creaks, and they stop when all the noise downstairs is gone.
Severin: "...It's alright, mom. It was only a burglar. I took care of him. He's long gone now."
Amaranth: "I thought I heard you wake up. I was coming down with my cane just in case."
Severin: "I would've liked to have seen that, actually."
Amaranth: "Well, I'm glad you beat him senseless and drove him away so I didn't have to. Goodnight, Severin."
Severin: "Goodnight, mom. Love you."
Amaranth: "Love you too."


After sleeping in for a little bit, the next morning turns out to be pretty busy. Gator tends to Katt, then sits down on the floor with her and helps her read a book.
Gator: "And look, see here? That's Jimmy Sprocket pulling his name out of the Sippy Cup of Fire."
Katt: "Ooh!"

Amaranth spends a little bit of time warming up to Darth Furball. He's really not so bad a cat, despite her son teaching him to be an "attack cat."
Amaranth: "You know, I think I could grow to like you. You're pretty cute, now that I look at you."
Darth Furball: "Mew!"

Severin, meanwhile, gets a call from his agent (which he's recently received since climbing the celebrity ladder) telling him to work out for a few hours and buff up his physique. Hey, why not? Jackie will be happy. Severin leaves for the gym, ready to start chiseling his body.
Severin spends considerable time on the treadmill, learning how to go a bit faster and push himself a bit harder. It's not quite so bad. He feels like he's picking up on it fairly easily.

While Severin is working out, the Sim Deity has noticed Branch Timberly, who looks to have been working out for a while himself.
Branch: "My paunch ith gone. That thekthy Pikthie with the white hair and black wingth will thoon be mine."
Well, I don't know about Phantom, but that guy in the background certainly seems to be checking you out, Branch. Looking good.
Branch: "Thankth, Thim Deity."

And what is this commotion? Why is everyone gathering over here?

Oh, I see. Someone has just died in the gym.
Oh such weeping, such moaning, such crying. Does anybody know who this person is? No? And where is Severin in this mess?
Severin: " that the Grim Reaper? I've never actually seen him before..."
You don't seem to be concerned that someone has just died in the same vicinity where you've been working out.
Severin: "I wonder if he knows how my ancestors are doing."
Well, go ask him. He's done reaping now.
Severin: "After I finish using this machine, I will."
I think you made the settings too high. I doubt you're going to be able to pull those.
Severin: "Nonsense."
You just started working out today, Severin.
Severin: "Whatever."
Severin: "...Hnnngh."
See? I told you.

Back at the castle, Gator has finished reading the story to Katt, who's now so enamored by it that she insists on reading it again by herself. Gator, meanwhile, has a phone call to make. It's a difficult phone call, but he knows now is the time. His birthday is in a few days, and he'll get to experience the effects of old age. Plus, with Amaranth so old, he needs as much time as possible to devote to her and to Katt, especially as Severin advances further into his own career.
Boss: "...You're quitting, Gator? But your birthday's in a few days. You'll be eligible to retire then."
Gator: "It's alright. I don't need the pension."
Boss: "Are you sure?"
Gator: "I'm sure. I just really need to be at home now. There's a lot of things taking place and I believe I would be most useful here."
Boss: "Well...Gator, you know we've appreciated having you on the team. You've always given it your all...just like your mother did."
Gator: "Thank you. I'm honored to hear you say it."
Katt: "Dimmy Spocket, get name from Sippy Cup of Fire..."

And back at the gym...
Severin: "So, uh...Mr. Reaper. Or, Mr. Death, or...what do you want me to call you?"
Grim: "Just Grim is fine."
Severin: "Alright, Grim. How are my ancestors doing in the netherworld? Are they okay?"
Grim: "Your great-grandfather Rufus can be a pain sometimes, but they're all enjoying themselves."
Severin: "Cool. You going to work out for a bit?"
Grim: "When your shoulders get sore from picking up the scythe, it's time to hit the old treadmill again."
Severin: "Well, you do that. Wouldn't want anything to hinder you from collecting your souls."
Grim: "Certainly not. Sigh. A reaper's job is never done."

Author's notes: I forgot to take a picture of the Overlords' family photo. I'll get to that soon. Meanwhile, a question. I know it can be done, but I forget how. How do I get people to man the food booths at the festivals? The booths always say they're open for certain times, but in all three of my festivals, people have not been at the cash registers to sell me the food. Nobody at the kissing booth either.

Severin in the hot tub. HOO BOY. That's all I'll say about that. I know what I'm dreaming of tonight.

The burglar incident was hilarious. Severin got up and beat him up, of course, but the reactions of everyone else was priceless. I didn't get to picture them all, unfortunately. Katt, of course, slept the whole time. But so did Gator. Gator didn't wake up at all. Darth Furball woke up and hissed at the burglar before Severin got there. And Amaranth? Amaranth got out of bed and almost made it all the way down the stairs before I noticed she was going after the burglar to beat him up AFTER Severin got finished beating him up. Yeah, Amaranth! I'm assuming she must have the Brave trait or something (I can't remember her traits), for her to autonomously go fight.

Finally, for the first time I realized that werewolves gain skills faster than the average person, or at least certain skills, perhaps. Not as fast as vampires, but still faster. In almost three hours of working out, Severin reached a Level Four in Athletic skill. That kind of bums me out. I hate fast skilling.

Looking forward to your comments! :D