Saturday, 29 September 2012

Chapter Sixty Nine

The flight to Shang Simla seemed to take forever.  The whole family were on tenterhooks, worrying about what awaited them at their destination, and every minute seemed to last an age.  None of them talked during the journey, each caught in their own thoughts and fears.

At last they arrived and everything seemed calm on the surface, although nobody seemed to be about.
They immediately headed for the Yat Sen family house where Abi greeted them alone.  Mira immediately noticed how old and drawn Abi was looking but this went out of her head with Abi's first words.

"You're too late.  I'm sorry, I didn't see what would happen until it was too late, we lost Liang and too many others."

"What do you mean we're too late?!  We came as quickly as we possibly could!  You lost Liang?  Do you mean he's dead?  What happened?  Why didn't you see it until it was too late? What didn't you see?"
The words poured out of Mira as she desperately tried to make sense of what she had heard, wishing with all her heart that she'd misunderstood or that this was all a dream she'd wake up from soon.

Tears poured down Abi's face as she answered "I'm so sorry Mira, I called you as soon as I knew, but even then I feared it was too late.  The demon in the Dragon Cave, Dong Hua, he found a way to block my visions, I believe he only stopped blocking them when he thought it was too late for me to do anything.

"He tried to raise the river, to wash away some of the bindings holding him in place and to distract us and keep us occupied while he tried to break the bindings which were out of reach of the flood he was raising.  If I could have seen in time and got you all here, the children's power could have stopped him, but I was too late.  We managed to hold the bindings and force him back to some form of sleep, but the river was a different matter.   We couldn't hold it back from a distance and Liang got too close, he was swept away and the river just stopped flooding.  We think it wanted or needed a sacrifice, we found his body further down the river banks the next day.  I'm sorry Mira."

As Abi's words sank in, Mira burst into tears and fell into her arms. 
The triplets and  twins had been listening intently as their grandmother explained what had happened and they all spent the rest of the day grieving together. 
Abi had told Mira that Liang's ashes had been placed in the mausoleum at the local graveyard and had asked if she wanted to take them back to Dragon Springs with her.  Mira had decided this was what she wanted so she went alone to the graveyard to collect his remains.
When she returned, Kariny was waiting to speak with her.

"Mum, me, Kyra and Karal have been talking and we've decided we won't be coming back home with you.  What happened when Dad died here has left the Order very short of members, he wasn't the only one to die, and also he was their leader and with his death we're the next in line for that position so we've decided we're going to stay and rebuild."
Mira was shocked at Kariny's words and terror bloomed in her heart as she thought about the possibility of her eldest children finding the same fate as their father, or worse.

"What do you mean you're staying here?  Can't you see how dangerous it is?  Your father died as a result of his life & work here!"
"We know Mum, but it would be worse if no-one were here to defend Shang Simla from Dong Hua and keep him bound in the cave.  And if he ever got out then no-one in the world would be safe.  Dad sacrificed himself to keep the world safe and we intend to honour his sacrifice by continuing his work.  Zhanzu and Mei Lin are coming out to join us and Rian has said he will as well even though he doesn't have their connection to the Order." 
Eventually, after Kariny had mustered many arguments in favour of their plan, Mira broke down and gave them her blessing.  She knew they didn't need it to stay, but also that they wouldn't be happy if they felt they had to defy her to follow their path in life. 
The whole family stayed in Shang Simla for a while, waiting for Rian, Mei Lin and Zhanzu to arrive from Dragon Springs.  Once they did, the triplets headed off to the Peony House, the only lounge in Shang Simla, for a triple date.  It was a lovely place, beautifully decorated and perfect for the triplets' plans.

Although it was a triple date, the three of them, by mutual consent, took their dates off to separate parts of the building.  Kariny took Rian off to the upstairs lounge, where she surprised him with a bunch of flowers.
She then wooed him thoroughly, with lots of kisses and other romantic gestures. 
And when both of them were thoroughly in the mood she went down on one knee and proposed to him.  Rian happily accepted, having dreamed of marrying her throughout their teenage relationship.
Downstairs, Karal began his date with Mei Lin by serenading her on his guitar.  He loved music almost as much as he loved her and found it far easier to pour his feelings out through his music than through words.
Their date went well, Mei Lin was as musical as he was and she loved nothing more than to listen to him play.
Eventually, towards the end of the night, Karal too went down on one knee and proposed.  He knew Mei Lin would accept since they had discussed it long before their birthdays, but he wanted to make the proposal as romantic as possible to give them a happy memory to look back on.
Kyra's date with Zhanzu followed a similar path.  They had already agreed on their future plans and so they spent the time enjoying each other's company. 
In fact, they spent most of the date just kissing each other non-stop.  Kyra was keen to give herself something to think about other than her father's death and the unhappiness she knew her mother felt about their decision to stay and take on his work.
When they came up for air, she asked Zhanzu if he'd like to set a date for their marriage and he agreed. 
The six of them agreed that they didn't want big wedding ceremonies and would just get quietly married at home later on.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Chapter Sixty Eight

After Nia's graduation is over, Dory called Pete and arranged  a date with him.  They met up at the local restaurant later that evening and enjoyed a quality meal together.

The restaurant was right next to the theatre and so, after the meal was over, the two of them decided to watch a concert.

As they came out of the theatre, Pete comforted Dory who was still upset about her grandfather's recent death.

Of course, comforting soon moved into rather more romantic action, which certainly took her mind off her loss!

Especially when he tells her how happy he is that she asked him to go out with her.

With Nia having moved out, Tamara decided to move back into the main house, the barn conversion felt too big and lonely without Joshua to share it with.  She was delighted to wake up early one morning and find Joshua's ghost sitting in the room watching over her and waiting for her to wake up.  He wouldn't (or perhaps couldn't) tell her anything about the afterlife, but she was comforted to know that he was still around in some form and that they would be reunited one day.
Dory had been struggling to think what she wanted to do with her life once she grew up until one day she was sent to the local hospital and science lab for an after school project.  During the project she met a zoologist who, on hearing how much she loved animals and spent time observing and befriending them in the wild, suggested that she if she were to bring any wild animals she was able to catch to the lab, they could tag them and learn more about them by releasing and tracking them.  Dory was enthused by this idea and left the lab with the promise that they would pay her for any animals she was able to bring them and a further promise that no harm would come to the animals as a result.
Two more sad events soon shook the household, first, the Grim Reaper came for Cinnamon one night and the whole household gathered round as he rode her spirit into the night.

The next day, when the whole household was out, either at work or school, he returned, this time for Fluff.

The triplets' birthday was now fast approaching and with this in mind Kariny arranged to meet her boyfriend, Rian, at the local pool after school one day.
After some initial flirting and kissing, she nervously raised an issue she had been thinking of for some time.

"Rian, you know we're all going to graduate soon, have you thought about what the future holds at all?"

"Not a great deal" he blushed suddenly and quietly admitted "I've been hoping we could maybe stay together once we grow up."
Kariny looked down at the floor.  "I'd really love that, the thing is, you know my dad is from Shang Simla?"

Rian nodded, looking confused.

"Well, me, Kyra and Karal are all planning on moving out there once we graduate.  Dad is part of an ancient order of monks out there and we want to follow in our family tradition.  Kyra and Karal have already talked to Zhanzu and Mei Lin about it, but they're from another family who are part of the same order and they're eager to do the same thing..."  She trailed off, not sure how to ask if Rian would come with her.

"Are you saying you'll be leaving me behind?  Because I'll come with you if you let me!"

Kariny was thrilled to hear what she had most hoped for but at the same time had dreaded she wouldn't hear and she threw her arms around Rian and kissed him thoroughly.
Later, as evening fell, the two of them sat together looking at the stars and she told him how happy she was that he wanted to go with her. 
The day of the triplets' birthday, Mira organised a small birthday party, inviting their respective dates and Dory's boyfriend Pete (Dyan didn't have a girlfriend, probably because none of the girls at school were interested in a slob who spent all his time playing games or watching tv and he was too lazy to try and convince any of them to date him!)  She also invited Nia, but unfortunately she wasn't able to make it.
Karal enjoyed playing music to the party guests, especially serenading Mei Lin, although the mood lamp Mira had bought especially for the occasion did have a slightly odd effect on him for a while!

And the party was interrupted slightly when Rascal gave birth to two kittens!
However, the main focus of the party was of course the birthday cakes and celebrations.  Kyra went first, and it was soon clear that she would be do her best work late at night!  She also managed to pick out a suitably eccentric outfit (as per usual) for her formal wear.

Once Kyra was done, it was Karal's turn and he had obviously been practising his kissing with Mei Lin throughout their teenage years... 

Finally it was Kariny's turn.  Her genius had been joined by the ability to fix broken household items and upgrade them easily.  Her choice of clothes also showed her pride in her heritage.

The celebrations were abruptly cut short however when Mira's phone rang insistently.  Irritated at the bad timing, she glanced at the display to realise that it was Abi calling her.
Mira assumed that Abi must be calling to wish her grandchildren a happy birthday and answered the call.  Her happy assumption was shattered with Abi's first words.

"Mira, you must come immediately!  Bring the children, they are needed too!  Liang..."

The call was cut off in a rush of static and no matter how many times Mira tried to call back she couldn't get through.
Pet Spam

Town News
  • Sterling Harris-McKinley, Shadow Sperie-Fields, Sandy Clemetis and Michael McKinley-Sabo aged to children
  • Raina Sabo-Harris aged to a teenager
  • Rian Harris-Crist aged to a young adult
  • Adalyn Sperie-Sabo, Adamina Sperie, Adabella Sperie-Fields, Ryan McKinley-Crist, Ellis Harris-McKinley, Glimmer Sabo, Gideon Harris and Pacey Harris aged to adults
  • Ryanne Roman, Seirian Roman, Adamaris Dennis, Danya Crist, Scarlett McKinley, Boy Marlin-Crist, Harper Harris, Yuki Sabo and Lukas Sperie aged to elders.
  • Raindrop and Anastasia McKinley-Sabo had a baby boy called Mort
  • Tyson Marlin and Auburn Mitchell have split up
  • Lukas Sperie got engaged to Susanna Stacy (a townie), broke up with her and started dating Irish Marlin
  • Adamina Sperie proposed to Ramin McKinley and they are engaged
  • Tylar Marlin and Blue Mitchell started dating and are now engaged
  • Niamara Clemetis started dating Tyson Marlin but broke up with him
  • Torey McKinley-Crist and Raina Sabo-Harris dated for a while but then split up
  • Bobbie Clemetis and Kane Sperie-Sabo broke up
  •  Niamara Clemetis adopted a puppy called Smokey