Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Chapter Sixty Four

On their return from Shang Simla, Nia called her mother and arranged to meet her at a local park, although she hadn't expected Menolly to bring Bobbie along too.
Unfortunately Menolly didn't react well to Nia's decision not to accept her offer of a place at an exclusive art school

"Why don't you want to go?  Can't you see that it would be a wonderful opportunity for you?  And I went to a lot of trouble to arrange it, it's not easy to get into that school you know"
Something about the way her mother responded to her decision set off Nia's anger at her abandonment.

"Because I know why you went to all that effort!  You don't care about my welfare or my future, you just wanted to look like you did so that Bobbie's father couldn't use your neglect of me in his claim for custody!"

"How did you know about that?"  Menolly sounded completely shocked, but she was even more shocked when Bobbie turned around to add her tuppence worth

"Because I told her, and I told her I want to go and live with Dad instead of you!"

While Nia had been confronting her mother, Mira had been getting back to work.  She had been asked to investigate a break in at the local science research centre, a task which necessitated a lot of digging around in people's rubbish and interviewing of potential witnesses.

Once she had gathered all the information she could she headed home to write up her report before the next day.
Back at the house, Kyra had been busy inventing lots of bizarre items, including a very strange looking gnome.

She'd also invented some rather more practical items, and Joshua was happy to try out the harvester she'd come up with, although he did find the side effects a little too much at his age...

While her mother was off investigating crime and her sisters were experimenting with scrap metal and chemistry, Dorilys had been playing alone with her doll. 
When it started to move around in her arms however she put it down on the floor in surprise.  Seconds later, her surprise turned to shock as her doll suddenly leapt into the air, grew as big as her and started talking to her!
"Don't be scared" this strange creature her doll had turned into said "My name is Nik Splicablee and I've come to protect you".

"Protect me? But what do I need protecting from?  And what's happened to my doll?"

"Your family has enemies, I can't tell you any more, but I've come here to protect you from them.  As for your doll. it was always me.  The transition from my home to here affected me rather more than I expected and I found myself trapped in the form of a toy, it's taken me this long to recover enough to gain some control over this form although not enough to regain my true form.  There's something else very important I need to tell you though - no-one except you will be able to see me like this and you mustn't tell anyone about me.  If you do then your enemies will find out and my protection will be compromised as they'll be able to prepare."

Over the next few days, family life settled back into normality although Dorilys was very careful not to mention "Nik" to anyone and to make sure she only talked or played with him when no-one else was around.

Nia's class was invited to go on a field trip to the science centre and during the trip she became friendly with Ramin McKinley.

After the trip, instead of going home, the two of them decided to visit a nearby park and spend the evening chatting about their likes and dislikes (after doing their homework together)
Eventually however it grew late and they were forced to make their separate ways home or risk breaching curfew (and Nia wasn't prepared to risk the embarrassment if the cop who caught them was Mira!)
She did however invite him over to the triplet's birthday party a few days later.

Kyra went first, becoming a bit of a daredevil as she entered her teenage years. 

Followed by Kariny, who grew up into a very good teen.

And finally Karal who turned out to be quite the charismatic charmer.

The triplets were delighted that their birthday fell the day before prom and they felt very grown up as they went.  Nia had wanted to ask Ramin to go to prom with her, but had failed to work up the courage to do so.  

She did however win the title of Prom Queen, and much to his surprise Karal was crowned Prom King!  Kyra also had her share of excitement when Zhanzu Yodsuan (who had moved to Dragon Springs with his family shortly after the Yat Sens had come back from visiting Shang Simla) asked her to dance. 

Pet Spam
Town News
  • Glimmer & Pacey Sabo-Harris had a baby girl called Raina
  • Arthit, Lien, Mei Lin & Zhanzu Yodsuan moved to Dragon Springs and Arthit & Lien got jobs in the medical field
  • Boy and Isadora Marlin-Crist has a baby boy called Ralph
  • Blue Mitchell aged to an adult
  • Salvador Harris aged to a child
  • Anastasia and Raindrop McKinley-Sabo got married.
  • Menolly started dating Tempest Sabo again
  • Rian Harris-Crist aged to a teen
  • Tyson Marlin was given custody of Bobbie Clemetis (but not by story progression)
  • Torey McKinley-Crist aged to a child
  • Raina Sabo-Harris aged to a toddler
  • Adabella Sperie and Gary Fields-Vamp got married, changed their name to Sperie-Field, had a baby girl called Kaitlyn and are expecting another child
  • Dasia & Derrick Harris-Crist had a baby boy called Andreas
  • Raindrop & Anastasia McKinley-Sabo had a baby boy called Sindre
  • Bryan Harris-Crist aged to a child
  • Cristy & Antoine Sabo-Harris aged to children
  • Nathaniel Harris-McKinley has adopted a puppy called Taylor
  • Mei Lin & Zhanzu Yodsuan aged to teens and Zhanzu got a part-time job at the bookstore

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Chapter Sixty Three

Soon it was time for the family to leave for China.  Mira had asked her parents if they wanted to come but they had declined saying they'd prefer to stay home and look after the animals.
So Mira packed her brood into the taxi to the airport.  It had taken a lot of effort to get them all ready and she was rather wishing her parents had chosen to come - the thought of keeping control of five children on the plane was somewhat daunting even with Nia to help.
Luckily the flight passed without incident and soon enough they were knocking on Liang's door in Shang Simla.

Liang was thrilled to see Mira again and to have a chance to get to know his children properly.  He wasted no time in showing Mira his feelings for her hadn't changed and as he did so the children got themselves settled in.

The children were all a little nervous at meeting their father and grandmother, but  as they settled down and ate a family meal together the tension started to ebb.
And pillow fights with their father definitely eased the tension!
Meanwhile, Nia had taken a trip down to the market where she picked up a few souvenirs and a camera as she wanted to expand her artistic fields.  
In preparation for their visit, Liang had ordered several sets of bunkbeds for the upstairs and the children all slept very soundly that night after all their excitement and new experiences. 
Whilst in China, Liang introduced the family to various of his favourite spots.  They all sat round a fire and toasted marshmallows in the Meditation Garden. 
Before the children took it in turns to tell all manner of ghost stories, trying their hardest to see who could scare the others the most. 
They also paid a visit to the local hot springs and while the children played in the pool Liang, Mira and Nia sat in the hot tub and chatted. 
Liang told Mira that there was another family from his Order who would be at the springs today, they had two young children and were planning on moving to Dragon Falls shortly as it was customary in the Order to raise children away from Shang Simla.
When the Yodsuan family arrived at the springs, it didn't take long for the triplets to start making friends with Mei Lin and Zhanzu. 

Dorilys on the other hand had wandered off into the hills having spotted an interesting bird which she was keen to watch more closely. 
After watching the bird for a long time she was eventually able to coax it to come and sit on her arm before she let it fly away again. 

Before they left Liang made sure to take the whole family to the local Lounge, Peony House, where he treated them to some delicious shrimp cocktail, and the children enjoyed themselves playing in the rear courtyard.

During their time in China, Nia had come to respect Abi Yat Sen's wisdom and the day before they left she told her about her mother's offer and her own uncertainty as to whether she should accept.  
Abi paused for a moment, as if listening or seeing something that Nia couldn't and then said "Child, there are many dangers in your mother's proposal and I'm afraid her reasons for the offer are not what you would wish them to be.  You already have the information which will tell you why she made this offer although you may not realise it.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Chapter Sixty Two

The triplets woke up bright and early the morning following their birthday, they were very excited about starting school that morning and, over the course of a game of make-believe, pestered Nia constantly with questions about it.

It seemed no time at all that morning before they were all piling into the bright yellow school bus.

Mira and her parents were quite happy that the triplets were now old enough to go to school, as it left time for Mira and Tamara to concentrate on potty training the twins while Joshua pottered around in his garden.
Of course, potty training wasn't all that Mira needed to get done with the twins, they both needed to be taught how to walk.
And Tamara spoiled them rotten as well once the basic learning was done, reading books to them and playing with them. 

Although Dorilys still refused to be parted from the odd toy she'd seemingly found somewhere, no matter how many other toys Mira found to try and distract her with.

With only two toddlers to worry about, Mira even managed to find some time for a bit of exercise, both for body and mind.
When the older children got home from school they all four sat down around the kitchen table and worked on their homework together.
Having got that out of the way, they all scattered to different activities.  Kyra was fascinated with inventing stuff and had begun fiddling with scrap metal in an effort to see what she could do with it.
Kariny was equally fascinated with the old chemistry set which had been stored out in the barn - she was convinced she could concoct all sorts of interesting potions with that!
Karal on the other hand didn't feel strongly drawn to any activity so he just played around on the settee.

Nia decided to take the opportunity to tackle her aunt over something that had been bothering her.  "Aunt Mira, why do I live with you and Grandma and Granddad?  Why don't I live with my mother?  And why have I never met my little sister who does live with my mother?"

"I'm afraid Nia that some extremely bad things happened to your mother around the time you were conceived and born.  An evil vampire managed to kidnap her and kept her prisoner for some time, you were conceived during that time and although she was rescued before you were born she was very badly affected by the experience and was in no state to look after you so she asked our parents to bring you up for her.

"That said, I think it's about time she got to know you and you certainly should have the chance to meet your little sister."
Their discussion was interrupted by Tamara calling the whole family to the evening meal, and Mira made sure that the topic wasn't revisited during the meal. 
Not long after that the children were taken on a field trip to the local theatre
And Mira took advantage of the fact that they wouldn't be home until later than usual to call her sister as soon as she got back from work (her maternity leave had at last run out and she'd had to go back to work).

"Menolly, your older daughter is going to be a teenager very soon.  I'm arranging a party at home for her with a few of the kids from school and I want you to come and meet her at last, oh and bring Bobbie, it's shameful that the two of them have never met"

Menolly's initial response wasn't overly keen, but eventually she agreed to come to the party and bring her younger daughter.
Nia wasn't quite sure how she felt about meeting her mother - yes she felt odd never having met her, but at the same time it felt like a bit of an intrusion.  After all, if her mother didn't want her then why should she come and interrupt her birthday?  Still, she went over and introduced herself because she didn't want to embarrass the family who cared about her and had brought her up.

Fortunately, Menolly and Bobbie had arrived shortly before cake time so Nia was able to distract herself from the awkwardness by blowing out her candles.
She aged up into a lovely, if somewhat dramatic, teenager who resembled her mother to a startling degree.
Menolly didn't stay long at the party, pleading the need to get Bobbie home before her bedtime, but before she left she did invite Nia to join the two of them at a local playpark that weekend.  With all the guests gone, the family sat down to eat up the birthday cake together.
Mira's hard work after her maternity leave had impressed her superiors and she'd been offered a promotion, this did however have a downside in that her on-duty hours weren't the only ones she was expected to work - she was also expected to interview townspeople at various times.

Left at home the triplets played together on the blocks table for a while, with three of them working together they were sure they could build a stupendous structure!

Nia spent much of the morning painting, trying to calm her nerves before her meeting with her mother and sister.
After a while the triplets got bored of the blocks table and went their own ways, Kariny went back to the chemistry set and despite a couple of little accidents eventually managed to create a stink potion.

Karal spent some time getting to know Rascal and playing with her.

And Kyra trekked over to the other side of town to rummage through the junkyard in search of scrap and inspiration.
Nia was very nervous when she showed up at the park to meet with her mother.  She was a little surprised to find that Menolly didn't have her latest boyfriend with her as she had expected to meet him this afternoon, but Menolly just shrugged and admitted that she'd dumped Tempest Ocean that morning having become bored with their relationship.

They spend some time awkwardly getting to know one another and when Nia admitted how much she loved art Menolly had a surprising offer to make.

"I know some people who run a really good art school, it's a boarding school and they only accept the best.  If you passed their entrance tests I could get you in there if you wanted...  If Mira's worried about what might happen then I happen to know that the school is run by a circle of good witches who have it surrounded by layers and layers of protection spells, there's no way any vamps would get at you there.  Or if you wanted you could move home with me."

Nia was taken quite aback at this offer, she'd only just met her mother and already the woman was offering to send her to an exclusive boarding school...

"I, I don't know what to say, I mean I love art and I really want to be an artist but going away to boarding school, that's a really big decision.  Do you mind if I think about it for a while"
Her thoughts in turmoil, Nia went over to speak to Bobbie, she didn't say much but just listened to the little girl chatter on about life with her mother and the celebrity lifestyle while she tried to work out what she was going to do.

When Bobbie's chatter eventually ran down, Nia sat down with her and helped her with her homework.

Suddenly realising the time, Nia rushed home and managed to make it in time for the twins' birthdays.  Dorilys aged up first into an animal loving child.

Followed swiftly by Dyan, who aged into a lazy little boy. 
As the younger children all rushed for slices of cake, Mira called Nia over.

"I know you've only just started to get to know your mother, but now the twins are children I want to take all five of them to China to meet their father.  Did you want to come with us?  There's a lot of amazing scenery over there to paint and I know Liang would love to see you again, but I don't want to make you come if you'd rather stay here and get to know your mother more."
"Actually, I wanted to talk to you about my mother...  She's offered to send me off to some exclusive boarding school and I don't know what to do.  She also asked if I wanted to move in with her but I know I don't want to do that - you've been more a mother to me than she has!"

"The thing is, I kind of feel like this is a sop to her conscience for having neglected me for so long but at the same time it would be an amazing opportunity and it would be silly of me to miss out just because I resent her behaviour."

Mira's immediate thought was to worry about Nia's safety if she went away to boarding school, but she was interested by what Nia reported Menolly had said about the witches and protection spells.

"Well, you don't have to decide immediately, why don't you come to China with the rest of us, you can have a good think about it while we're there and I can have a chat with Liang and his mother and see if they know anything about this school."
Nia agreed that this seemed sensible and they joined the rest of the family for extra helpings of birthday cake. 
Pet Spam

Town News
  • Adalyn & Fabio Sperie-Sabo have had a baby boy called Grant
  • Tyson Marlin and Adamina Sperie started dating, got engaged and then split up
  • Pacey & Glimmer Sabo-Harris got married and are expecting a baby
  • Boy Crist divorced Danya and started dating Isadora Marlin, they then got married and are expecting a baby
  • Tyson Marlin aged to an Adult
  • Bobbie Clemetis aged to a child
  • Bryan Harris-Crist aged to a toddler
  • The Sabos adopted a kitten called Grace
  • Adamaris Dennis adopted a puppy called Noodle
  • Bernard McKinley aged to a child
  • Christy and Antoine Sabo-Harris aged to toddlers
  • Menolly Clemetis broke up with Tempest Ocean
  • The Sperie family adopted a kitten called CC
  • Adabella Sperie and Gary Fields-Vamp are expecting a baby
  • Stacia Fields-Vamp adopted a cat called Short-tail