Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Chapter Fifty Five

Upon arrival in Shang Simla, Miralys groomed Cinnamon and checked her hooves to make sure she was in top shape after the journey.
That done she decided to get started straightaway on learning martial arts, her research on the way over had revealed there was a small Academy in Shang Simla where sims from all over the world could learn a form of martial arts called Sim Fu. 
Arriving at the Academy Miralys found a dummy which no-one else was using and began trying out some of the basic moves she'd read about.  It was hard work, but her general fitness levels stood her in good stead, although they didn't stop her getting hit regularly by the dummy as it spun round.
Miralys hadn't been there long when she was interrupted by a young man dressed in a martial arts outfit.

"Hello stranger, are you enjoying your visit to Shang Simla?  You look like you could do with a few tips on Sim Fu if you don't mind me commenting" 
"I don't mind at all" Miralys responded, "at least, not if you're prepared to give me some of those tips and maybe even a lesson or two!"

"Certainly" responded the young man, "it would be my pleasure to share my knowledge of the art of Sim Fu, my name is Liang Yat Sen by the way"

Miralys gave him her name and he spent the rest of the day tutoring her in Sim Fu.
As the day drew to a close, Liang gave Miralys his address and invited her over the next day so that he could explain some of the philosophy behind Sim Fu"After all" he said, "one cannot learn the art of Sim Fu without learning what it means."The next day, Miralys decided to take Liang up on his offer.  She saddled Cinnamon and rode over to the address he had given.  As she did so she noticed a large cave mouth on the hillside overlooking the town.  It was formed in the shape of a dragon's mouth, much like one back in Dragon Falls, but for some reason this one gave her the chills.
When Miralys got to Liang's house she rang the doorbell nervously,  she'd only met him yesterday and part of her thought he'd probably have thought better of his invitation by now.
Her fears however proved needless, Liang was delighted to see her and introduced her to his mother, Abi, who was playing the piano in their main room, before beginning to tell her about the history of Sim Fu.

"A long time ago, this town and much of China were under the sway of an evil warlord called Dong Hua, he wouldn't allow anyone save his guards to carry weapons in case they fought against him.  But a few brave monks from the Order of the Resolute Fist taught the townspeople Sim Fu in secret and eventually Dong Hua was overthrown"

The two of them spent most of the day chatting together and Liang told Miralys much about the history of Shang Simla and the philosophy behind Sim Fu.

Later that evening, Miralys went down to the market and tried some egg rolls from the small food stall there. 
She also visited several of the local merchants and bought some souvenirs as well as ordering some a Sim Fu dummy and board breaker to be delivered to her home back in Dragon Falls.  

Liang had said that he wouldn't be around much the next day, so Miralys decided to go for a long run and see some of the sights of Shang Simla.
During her run she was fascinated to come across a couple of places where old pottery and relics were laying around and she did a little excavation, finding some beautiful pieces. 
She was also fascinated to find a spot filled with large statues of men and horses and took care to take several photographs to take home with her. 
In the afternoon she went back to the Academy and practised her Sim Fu.  Liang's tips had helped her enormously and she really felt she was getting the hang of it. 
After a while Liang turned up as well and offered to spar with her for a few rounds. 
Those rounds ended much as might be expected, given his greater experience but Miralys loved the practice and felt that she could really see how the moves she had been practising worked in a fight.
Pet Spam

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Chapter Fifty Four

With all the furore at home and with Smudge getting older, Fluff had been feeling a bit lonely and decided to take matters into her own paws and paid a visit to a local cat park where she met with several other local cats.

She got on particularly well with the Mitchell's cat, Cloudy and one thing led to another...

Menolly was not dealing well with what had happened to her, aside from school she spent all her time at home, reading or fussing the elderly Smudge.  She was heavily pregnant by now but that didn't bother her nearly so much as the fear that someone might try and hurt her again.

When Joshua realised that Menolly hadn't been playing any music since she returned home, he went out to the stores and brought her home a special present. 
This seemed to jolt her a little out of her blues and she spent hours playing her new electrical guitar around the house, but she was still afraid to spend too much time away, especially after night fell.

Although Menolly felt as though she'd been pregnant forever, it was all too soon that her contractions began.  She was afraid to leave the house to give birth at hospital and so Joshua and Tamara did their best to help her through it.
After many hours, she gave birth to a beautiful daughter, but the trauma she'd been through left her unwilling to bond with her child and she left it to her parents to name their first grandchild.  After much discussion and attempts to persuade Menolly to choose a name, Tamara and Joshua settled on Niamara.

Now that Nia had been born, Miralys moved into her grandmother's old room in order to allow space for a nursery next to Menolly's room.   Fluff had presented a small animal to her that day and, since it was still alive, she bought a small cage for it.

Menolly however proved unwilling, or unable, to deal with caring for her daughter and it was left to the rest of the family to look after the new baby.

Not long after Menolly had given birth it was time for her own birthday.  Joshua and Tamara bought her a cake and they had a small family celebration.  She grew up into a beautiful young woman but, although she had recovered much of her old spirit, her experiences had permanently scarred her, leaving her wary of commitment.

 As they sat down to eat the cake, Menolly told her parents that she wanted to move out.

"I need to get on with my life and stop looking back to what happened in Bridgeport.  You know I've always wanted to have a career in music and there are some openings here in Dragon Falls at the moment."

"But what about Nia?" Asked Joshua, "How are you going to look after her if you're on your own?  You've barely even looked at her since she was born, are you sure you can deal with nappy changes and feeding her without us to help?  You know you're more than welcome to stay."

Menolly coloured and looked awkward, she coughed and said "About Niamara, do... do you think you could keep her..."  her voice trailed away at Tamara's stern look.

"Menolly, Niamara is your daughter.  I know the circumstances surrounding her conception were hard, but that's not her fault and she doesn't deserve to be deserted by her own mother."

"I know Mother, but...  I just can't stand to look at her, every time I see her I get flashbacks to what he did to me... I know it's not her fault and I know she doesn't deserve to grow up without a mother, but she doesn't deserve to grow up with a mother who can't love her or give her the attention she needs.  I'm sorry, I know I should love her and I want to but I just can't."

"When she's old enough, tell her I'm sorry and tell her I left her with you because she deserved better than me.  I've signed up for regular counselling but I don't know when I'll get an appointment or even if it will help.  I'm sorry"

Nothing Joshua or Tamara could say dissuaded Menolly from her decision and eventually they agreed to bring Niamara up for her.  Before she left however, Tamara persuaded her to take Smudge with her so that at least she wouldn't be all alone and, since Fluff was now pregnant, she promised to give Menolly one of the kittens when they were born.

A few days later, after work, Auburn Mitchell caught up with Miralys and asked if she'd be willing to do a little extra work for the department.  It had been suggested recently that some training in martial arts would benefit the police force, but no-one in Dragon Falls had any experience.  Auburn asked whether Miralys would be willing to go on a trip to Shang Simla and learn the basics in order to see whether it would be worthwhile for the whole force.
Miralys had some reservations, especially about leaving her aging parents to look after a new baby on their own but agreed to think about it.

When she got home that night, she found that it wouldn't only be a newborn baby she'd be leaving her parents to cope with but also two new kittens! 
By the weekend she had still not been able to make her mind up and she invited Quynh Sperie out for an afternoon at the swimming pool, hoping that by talking about it to someone outside her family or work she'd be able to come to a decision.
The two of them had an enjoyable afternoon, swimming and chatting and the afternoon away from her responsibilities helped to clear Miralys' head.  Quynh thought the idea of travelling to Shang Simla to learn martial arts sounded great and she encouraged Miralys to talk to her parents about her worries over jetting off and having fun while they looked after a new baby.
When Miralys got home, she told Joshua about the proposed trip and he was thrilled at the idea.

"But I don't want to leave you and mother alone looking after a new baby and new kittens now, shouldn't I at least wait until Nia's a toddler?"

"Oh don't be silly" responded Joshua, "We brought the two of you up with various foals and we'll be fine with little Nia.  Besides, Nia is Menolly's child not yours, it's good that you're responsible and want to help, but you shouldn't feel guilty about getting on with your own life and enjoying yourself"
Having said that, he handed Miralys a wrapped box.  "Don't think we're unobservant child, we knew what you'd been asked to do.  I managed to pick up a camera at the consignment store, make sure you take lots of pictures to show us what you've been up to."

"Oh Dad, you shouldn't have!  It's so kind of you!  I promise I'll be back with lots of pictures in time for Nia's birthday" 

Pet Spam

Town News
  • Blue Mitchell and Quetzal Sperie are dating
  • Derrick Crist and Dasia Harris started dating, got married and are expecting a baby
  • Glimmer Sabo and Pacey Harris are dating
  • Ryan Crist has been dating Anastasia McKinley and Tylar Marlin
  • Adamina Sperie and Tempest Ocean have been fighting in public
  • Nathaniel McKinley and Quynh Sperie have broken up
  • Menolly has started dating Tyson Marlin
  • Lukas Sperie is dating a townie called Elsa Montgomery
  • Ryanne Roman has adopted a cat
  • Irish Marlin has started dating Gary Fields-Vamp
  • Gideon Harris and Isadora Marlin have split up