Chapter 20

– Season 1 Finale –

Grace caught up to the slow moving train as it chugged its way down the railroad tracks.

 photo CH 19 pic 1_zps120a5pmm.png

Tossing her bag up into the open railcar, Grace grabbed hold of a metal handle and pulled herself up. Once inside, she headed for a small corner by some wooden crates.

 photo Ch 19 pic 2_zpsiifxvusb.png

Standing there, thinking of what she had just done, she thought of Alex and Hazel all those years ago. Imagining how it must have been and how brave they were to do what she had just done and at such a young age. Lost in her thoughts, Grace closed her eyes and noticed that the gentle rocking of the train was making her sleepy.

 photo CH 19 pic 3_zpszeyopbbz.png

Looking around for a place to rest, Grace decided to close her eyes and try and get some sleep. Nothing could be heard but the soft click-clack of trains as they passed each other on the tracks.

 photo CH 19 pic 4_zpsdvjd4u20.png

As she dozed off to sleep, she decided to jump off the train where ever it was at when she opened her eyes. Hopefully it would be near Magnolia Promenade, near Sophie Templeton. Reaching into the duffle bag, she pulled out Chompy set him next to her as she fell asleep.


And now… a toast of gratitude. Everyone raise your glasses…

 photo Tina Glasses_zps7dhkhi6r.gif

Now that Season 1 is over I wanted to thank everyone for coming by to read Grace’s story. I still don’t have a clue how to do all of this as this is my first Simlit, but the combination of my confusion and writing Grace’s story has been somewhat entertaining to others and that’s pretty cool. Thank you for commenting, reading, and clicking the follow button. I’m enjoying this wild ride and sharing it with others.

Season 2 will be posted soon. In fact…

 photo 200_zpsotftn41n.gif

So thank you for coming by and hanging out. I’ve enjoyed having you all here.

 photo awq56ns_zpsa6icc9ho.gif

Chapter 19

Grace waited until Miss Derby had finished her third bottle of wine. It was about now when Miss Derby would start leaving her bedroom door unlocked because she was too drunk to remember to lock it behind her. This was Grace’s chance. She knew she didn’t have to worry about Damien catching her. He didn’t come around much anymore. He aged up to a teen about a month ago and just stopped coming back to the orphanage. It was just Miss Derby and Grace that were left behind.

Standing in front of Miss Derby’s bedroom door, Grace raised her hand to the door handle and twisted it slowly. Opening the door quietly, she saw the statue on the mantle and could hear Miss Derby singing in the bathtub.

 photo CH 19 pic 1_zpsqxydmg8l.png

Stepping into the room, Grace walked slowly over to the fireplace. If she was going to leave tonight, she decided to hit Miss Derby where it really hurt the most, Miss Derby’s beloved statue was coming with Grace. Taking the statue off of the mantle, Glace placed the statue into her duffle bag with Chompy, and turned to walk out of the room. But as she turned, her foot got caught on the corner of the coffee table and Grace fell over.

“Ouff!” Grace grunted as she hit the floor. The glassware on the coffee table clinked loudly.

 photo CH 19 pic 2_zpsvavfjg48.png

The singing stopped momentarily. Frozen and holding her breath, Grace laid very still as not be heard. Then she saw something interesting. Looking under a chair, she saw the black bag Miss Derby had at Barkerman Steel.

 photo CH 19 pic 3_zps985vy8tu.png

It was open slightly and Grace could see that it was still filled with cash. Grace blinked hard. She couldn’t believe her luck. Reaching her hand into the bag, she could feel that there were stacks upon stacks of banded bills still inside. Miss Derby began singling loudly again. Grace stood, smiled, and took the bag.

 photo CH 19 pic 4_zps7rl4vxek.jpg

Hearing the drain pull in the tub, Grace started to panic. She ran through the front door, across the yard and fled.

 photo CH 19 pic 5_zpsimzcrtsq.jpg

After quite a distance, Grace stopped and tried to catch her breath. Numb, scared, and in shock of what she had done, it started to sprinkle as Grace stood there in the road. Standing there in the light rain, Grace turned her face to the sky. She couldn’t tell if it was rain drops or tears running down her face.

 photo CH 19 pic 6_zps8voqlbaa.png

She decided at the last minute to run away. She didn’t have any clothes or food. All she had was the bag of money, the mysterious statue, and Chompy.
“This is crazy,” Grace thought, pulling herself out of her fear, “I can’t just keep running on foot.”

 photo CH 19 pic 7_zpsppiw7d92.png

Then, she heard it. In the distance, a train whistle blowing. Looking out to the horizon, it filled her with hope. “That’s it. My ticket out of Oasis Springs.”

 photo CH 19 pic 8_zpsgllzcauk.png

Chapter 18

“I found her.” The man said.

“Where?” Grace’s heart was racing.

“Magnolia Promenade.”

“That’s all you’re going to tell me?” Grace said, angrily. She had already left the money hidden behind some pipes at Barkerman Steel. She felt cheated.

 photo Pic 1_zpsiawixuyi.jpg

“That’s all $1,500 will get you. It was nice doing business with you.” The line went dead. He was gone.

 photo Pic 2_zps6velsu2u.png

 

Chapter 17

“You can come out now.” The man said, without turning around. Grace drew in a breath. He knew she was there. Hesitating for a moment, she decided it would be best if she just came out of hiding.

 photo Pic 1_zpsggdsnmwx.png

“How did you know…?” Grace said, shaken.
“It’s my job to know everything.” He said, matter of factly.
“What job is that?”
“You asked too many questions.” The man said, smiling.
“I have a brother?” Grace asked, holding back tears.

 photo Pic 2_zpsudctfs8i.png

“I’m sorry you heard that. But I’m not at liberty to tell you anything.” The man said, sternly. Grace looked down at her shoes and thought for a moment.
“Can I hire you?” Grace asked, quietly.
“You can’t afford me.” The man laughed.

 photo Pic 3_zpsqqpmp1yv.png

“I have $1,500.” Grace offered. It was all she had. Years of babysitting, mowing lawns, and cleaning houses had amounted to just over a grand.
“How is that possible?” The man asked.
“I’m sorry. I’m not at liberty to tell you anything.” Grace said, defiantly.

 photo Pic 4_zpspozd6txd.png

The man laughed. He found her courage endearing. “Alright, what can I do for you?”
“I need you to find someone.” Grace said, with a touch of hurt and anger in her voice.

 photo Pic 5_zps6tmhqnqf.png

“I don’t know where your brother is and I can’t help you with that.” The man said.
“I don’t care about that,” Grace said, pretending not to be hurt, “I need you to find a girl that got adopted from the orphanage. Her name is Sophie Templeton. How soon can you get me any information on her location?”
“I can give you her address in an hour.”

 photo Pic 6_zpsqiw3ytsf.png

Chapter 16

Stepping outside and into the road, Grace looked down the street in the direction toward Barkerman Steel to make sure that Miss Derby was no where to be seen.

 photo Pic 1_zpsb84wb4me.png

Deciding it was safe, Grace tied her sweatshirt around her waist and ran hard to the abandoned steel mill determined to beat Miss Derby and her mysterious cohort there and find a safe hiding place.

 photo pic 2_zpsxbhlde4z.png

As she got to the old mill, Grace looked around and noticed that she had arrived before anyone else. Grace ran inside and hid in a storage room closet. Hiding in the dark, Grace waited anxiously to see who Miss Derby was going to be meeting.

 photo Pic3_zpspcpc8ena.png

She didn’t have to wait long. A man with a dark suit walked in and placed a black duffle bag on a table. Moments later, Miss Derby walked in. Standing across from each other, Miss Derby opened the duffle bag and pulled out some of its contents. She clutched stacks of money wrapped in neat bands. Setting some of the money on the table, Miss Derby spoke to the mysterious man.

“She turns 18 next week.” Miss Derby said, staring the mysterious man down.
“What’s your point?” The man said, in a gravely voice.
“My point is that I put up with her for eighteen years and this is all the anonymous benefactor will be paying me on my final payment?” Miss Derby said, gesturing angrily at the duffle bag of cash.

 photo Pic 4_zps4bxn3vtw.png

“You were compensated very well, you know that. Trust me, my boss isn’t someone you want to challenge.” The man said, threateningly.
“But I have taken in two of his illegitimate children over the years. I never even told Grace that her brother was actually at the orphanage with her. I never told her about Alex. Doesn’t that earn me more money than this?” Miss Derby said.

 photo Pic 5_zps5pff9x3r.png

The two of them stared at each other and the man calmly pulled open his suit jacket and reached for his waist, pulling out a gun. Pointing the gun directly at Miss Derby’s face, the man spoke, “Take the bag and leave.” He cocked his gun and continued to stare at Miss Derby.

 photo Pic 6_zpsibgtbqjr.png

Miss Derby, gathered her composure, slammed her hand onto the black duffle bag and with a grunt, said, “Fine.”

 photo Pic 7_zpsaxarnzrw.png

Grace braced herself against the cool storage room wall. Placing her head in her hands, she let everything wash over her. She couldn’t believe what she had heard. Alex was her brother. “I should have left with him when I had the chance.” Grace thought to herself, heart broken.

 photo Pic 8_zpsbx7cdkrb.png

Chapter 15

Grace kept thinking about the man that came earlier in the evening. It bought up her worries about where Alex and Hazel had ended up all those years ago when they ran away from the orphanage and hopped the midnight train out of Oasis Springs. Heading into the kitchen, lost in her thoughts, Grace heard Miss Derby mumbling secretively into her phone.

 photo CH 14 pic 1_zps7orp6yo9.png

“Okay, I will meet you at Barkerman Steel in 45 minutes.” She paused, someone was talking on the other end. “Yes, I will make sure to come alone.” Miss Derby snapped her phone shut and looked about the room to make sure no one heard her. Gathering her keys, she ran out the front door.

 photo CH 14 pic 2_zpsbtcenam5.png

“That’s odd.” Grace thought. “Even for Miss Derby.” Grace watched Miss Derby hop in her old beat up truck and watched it head down the deserted street. She looked at the clock in Miss Derby’s office. If she left right now, she could make it in time to see what she was up to.

 photo CH 14 pic 3_zpsrtrqerfo.png

Chapter 14

Sitting on the front porch of the orphanage, lost in her thoughts, Grace tried her best to enjoy the cool desert evening. Looking out into the yard, she saw a man standing on the sidewalk. He looked distressed. Taking a piece of paper out of his pocket, he sighed then looked up and saw Grace.

 photo 07-06-15_9-14nbspAM_zps2wdqep4a.png

“Excuse me,” He called out, a slight panic in his voice, “have you seen any of these people? My son and his friends have gone missing.” The man said, walking across the yard, then handing Grace the flier.

 photo updated hand pic_zpsbvwdbr0i.jpg

As Grace took the flier, she saw how deeply concerned the man was. Looking at the faces smiling out from the paper, she felt saddened. She hadn’t seen any of them.

 photo findfree_zpsr1hxoys8.jpg

“No, I’m so sorry. No one comes around here. This part of town has been almost abandoned since Barkerman Steel went out of business years ago. I’m so sorry. They all look like sweet people.” Grace handed back the flier. “I hope you find them.” Grace added, sadly. Looking into the man’s eyes saw fear, worry, and exhaustion.

 photo 07-06-15_10-03nbspAM_zpsj5qguvfy.png

“Thank you for your time.” The man said, disappointed. Grace headed into the house and as she got to the door, she looked back. She saw the man standing on the sidewalk. It looked like he was wondering where to go next.

 photo 07-06-15_10-05nbspAM_zpsvowhavbq.png

 

**This awesome story is part of an ongoing collaboration with the amazing CathyTea and the Sims writing community. You can read more of CathyTea’s stories and more of Free Jon’s Time Travel adventures as his father, Elder, continues the hunt for his son (in different saved games) on CathyTea’s Blog.

#wheresfree

Chapter 13

On the evening of her birthday, a young teenaged Grace lays on the cool desert ground and looks to the stars. Reflecting on her life and how she never forgot Sophie’s betrayal, hate and hurt festers in Grace’s heart.

 photo CH 13 pic 1_zpspigoozkm.png

Memories of friendship, love, and trust are quickly followed by Sophie’s words that echo in Grace’s head, “Oh that’s lucky Grace. I call her lucky because she got adopted this morning. She’s out front waiting for her family.”

 photo CH 13 pic 2_zps2gswsktx.jpg

Looking at the moon, a breeze sweeps over Grace’s body and she mumbles her favorite quote.

“In its wake came an age of silence. Yet with each fond remembrance, we knew those encountered were not forgotten, that some day we would see them again. Perhaps it was no more than wishful thinking. But after the long calm, there are the beginnings of a stir. The reunion at hand may bring joy, it may bring fear, but let us embrace whatever it brings. For they are coming back. At last the promise has been made.”

 photo CH 13 pic 3_zpsqo1wjcen.jpg

 

 

 

Quote Credit: Final Fantasy 7 Remake Teaser Video

Chapter 12

Grace had an awful day at school. All she could think about was if she still had any chance at being adopted. As the day went on, Grace realized that Sophie never showed up for class and as the final bell rang, Grace slowly began to realize that maybe her only friend had actually betrayed her.

 photo CH 12 pic 1_zpsn8yytbqq.png

Grace got back to the orphanage, walked into the front door and looked around. Something was wrong. Everything was too quiet.

 photo CH 12 pic 2_zpsf6ip19qy.png

Grace looked around the small house. She looked in the kitchen.

 photo CH 12 pic 3_zpst6716kb3.png

“Sophie?” Grace called out as she entered the empty bedroom. Sophie wasn’t anywhere.

 photo CH 12 pic 4_zpsfuqo8rry.png

Grace was so preoccupied with her anxiety at school, she didn’t even realize that she hadn’t see Sophie at all during the day. Confused, Grace sat at the kitchen table.

 photo CH 12 pic 5_zpsrk1ojf9t.png

Miss Derby walked into the kitchen and saw how confused and upset Grace was.
“The little brat is gone.” Miss Derby said as she reached into the fridge. Realizing she wanted to see the hurt in Grace’s face as she told her the news of where Sophie was, Miss Derby walked over to where Grace was sitting.
“She got adopted this morning.” Miss Derby announced, pleased to see the hurt in Grace’s face. “A sneak, that child. She actually told her new parents that you weren’t available to adopt.” Satisfied that she had broken Grace’s heart, Miss Derby chuckled and walked out of the room.

 photo CH 12 pic 6_zpsmlavkcsk.png

Chapter 11

Grace was so excited that today could finally be her day and her chance at a real family, that she ran up the steps to the orphanage and put her ear to the door to hear what Molly and Drake would say to Miss Derby. But instead, she heard Sophie. She heard everything.

Grace was shocked. She couldn’t believe that Sophie would lie and say that Grace had been adopted.

 photo CH 11 pic 1_zpsx9ab7urc.png

“How…could…she…” Grace whispered, broken hearted.

 photo CH 11 pic 2_zpssbbjmdpp.png