Author: karababy52

About karababy52

Hello, I'm a married Mom of three beautiful grown children and five+ furbabies. I was an MSU 4-H Administrative Assistant for many years but am now in self-imposed retirement. I love whitetail gun deer hunting with my family, rustic camping, trees, peonies, lilacs, hollyhocks, spending time around our backyard firepit watching the stars, and just about anything to do with nature and the wilderness. Hubby and I hope to travel around the country and visit some of our nation's national parks when he retires. I also enjoy reading, of course, amateur photography, Adam Lambert, MSU Spartan football, the Detroit Lions, Italy and most of all, the color purple! I've been playing The Sims since the beginning. When I first began playing, building was what drew me to the game, and it still does. When the TS2 was released, I was ecstatic! It is my absolute favorite iteration and for a few years I owned a forum dedicated to it that morphed into a writing site (mostly roleplay). That's where my interest in writing began. I've never played TS3, it just never appealed to me. I love building/decorating in TS4 and have entered a few build contests on the official forums. I've played numerous challenges and tried modeling too, but have never written any stories for it until now. I hope that you enjoy what I write and feel free to comment including giving any constructive criticism you may have, I promise it won't make me angry, I crave it as I imagine all writers do. Anyway, I'm a complete noob when it comes to WordPress, this is my first account, so I'll be stumbling and fumbling my way getting used to everything setting up, so please excuse my mess, as they say! Thanks for stopping by and Happy Simming! :)

Hold Me Close

*Author’s Note – This is a continuation of my May Monthly SimLits Short Story. I apologize for taking so long to get this published. I hope you enjoy it and feel it was worth the wait! Thank you for reading! 🙂

Chapter 1.0 – Time Flies at Knight

“Time flies when you’re having fun.”

“Time flies when you get older.”

I’m not sure who coined these particular quotes, and really it doesn’t matter, but they are very apropos to the life of Leonardo and Iris after their engagement at The Bluffs. Leonardo moved in with Iris and quit his community gardening job at the request of his bride-to-be.

They didn’t need the money now that Iris was raking in the bucks with her stories & poems. Though the main reason wasn’t about money, she wanted him close by her side to share in the rest of her life, however long or short it might be.

He wouldn’t have it any other way.

Chap 1 Slide 1

 

Parts of their days together were spent filled with simpler, but no less fulfilling activities such as tending Iris’s flourishing garden. Gardening was one of Leonardo’s passions and it made him happy he could share that love with her. She had developed quite a green thumb for having never grown anything in her life before coaxing the seeds Leonardo had given her into rows of thriving plants & trees.

Chap 1 Slide 2

 

Sometimes they would sit and soak in the rooftop hot tub Iris had installed. They enjoyed the expansive view of the desert from up there and the warm water helped to soothe and ease away the aches and pains of the day.

Chap 1 Slide 3

 

It was even more effective soaking without any clothes on according to Iris. Leonardo wasn’t going to argue with that claim. She was older and wiser and had more experience in such things afterall.

Chap 1 Slide 4

 

Most nights they would dress up and go out for dinner, even if only to a local pub instead of a fancy restaurant.

Chap 1 Slide 5

 

One time they walked inside The Shrieking Llama to find it was Knight Night. Leonardo went to the restroom while Iris ordered their drinks and when he returned, a Knight was chatting with her.

Chap 1 Slide 6

 

“Hello good Sir Leonardo. I am Sir Johnny from the House of Zest. I was conversing with your fair Lady Iris about the two of you joining me and my friend in a round of “Don’t Wake the Llama.” Are you up for the challenge?” The young man asked in a courtly manner.

Leonardo snorted before he could catch himself, but managed not to laugh out loud at the affected accent. He was a good sport though and it looked like Iris was game. She was beaming and gave him a sly wink.

“We would be delighted kind Sir. But be on your guard, Iris is an expert at yon game. We’ll beat the armor off you!” Leonardo said with a smirk.

Chap 1 Slide 7

 

The game progressed without incident as the men took their turns. Now it was time for Iris to choose her piece and hopefully leave the slumbering wooden camelid undisturbed.

“Easy, slow and steady wins the race Babe, you got this.” Leonardo whispered.

Chap 1 Slide 8

 

“Ah HA! Booya! Take that Sir Zesty!” Iris cried in triumph. Unfortunately, in her enthusiasm she accidentally bumped the table with her knee and the tower came crashing down.

“Oh crap, damn it all.” Iris giggled.

Chap 1 Slide 9

 

Leonardo left the Llama in peace but Sir Johnny’s friend woke him. It was all up to Sir Johnny now. If he woke the Llama, Leonardo and Iris would win; if he didn’t it would be a tie.

Chap 1 Slide 10

 

Sir Johnny made an unwise choice and the tower fell.

“YES! We win!” Iris cried out in excitement pounding the table with both fists.

“We are defeated. It has been an honor and a pleasure, but we must now take our leave.” Sir Johnny proclaimed as he rapped his breastplate and clicked his heels with a clang.

“Oh for Christ’s sake, cut the Knight crap Johnny, let’s leave these old losers and get a drink.”

Chap 1 Slide 11

 

“Pfft, Losers?! We won, you lost! YOU’RE the losers. Go, go drink away your sorrows ya lousy tin-can wannabes!” Leonardo mocked as they walked away.

Iris just closed her eyes and shook her head in disbelief. “Come on Leo, that’s enough. They’re not worth it. I thought Sir Johnny was quite gracious. Though his friend left a bit to be desired…. Come on, let’s play some foosball!”

Chap 1 Slide 12

 

The bartender shouted out last call so the couple quickly wrapped up their game and hurried over to the bar for a nightcap.

Chap 1 Slide 13

 

“What a great night, this was fun! I wish it didn’t have to end.” Iris said with a bright smile as she touched her glass to Leonardo’s.

“It doesn’t have to. We could check out The Ruins if you want, maybe have a bonfire? It’s a beautiful night; I bet the stars are out.”

“That sounds heavenly. Let’s go home and change first though, I’m a bit chilly.”

Chap 1 Slide 14

 

“Great fire Honey. If I’d known you were going to build such a big one, I wouldn’t have insisted on changing clothes. I’m not one bit chilly now. In fact, let’s move back a bit, my face feels like it’s melting,” Iris exclaimed with a giggle.

Chap 1 Slide 15

 

“How’s this?” Leo asked once they’d moved a little farther away from the gargantuan bonfire he’d built.

“Perfect.” Iris said with a soft sigh looking up at the star-filled night sky. “What a lovely night, have you ever seen anything more beautiful?”

Chap 1 Slide 16

 

“Hmm, well…” Leonardo looked up to contemplate the stars. “They are pretty.” He agreed and then turned to gaze at Iris. “But they’re not the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.” He smiled and playfully touched the tip of her nose with a finger before pulling Iris a little bit closer to his side.

Iris sighed contentedly and laid her head on his shoulder. “How did I get so lucky? You’re such a sweet, romantic young man, Leo. I wish I’d met you earlier in my life. So many years wasted without you…”

“Shhh, don’t think about that. We’re together now, that’s all that matters, right? Let’s just enjoy it while we can.” Leo said and kissed the top of her head lying on his shoulder.

“See? There you go again. I love you so much.”

“I love you too Iris, always…”

Stay tuned for Chapter 2.0 coming soon! ~ Karen

May 2017 SimLits Short Story

This is my first story for the Official TS4 forums Monthly SimLits – A Short Story Challenge. The theme for May is ‘I’m Sorry.’ It’s also the first post on my new WordPress blog!

I wrote this story from screenshots I took after completing the Homeless Elder Challenge with my Sim, Iris Walker. During the challenge she befriended a handsome adult Sim named Leonardo Gleason who worked as the community gardener for Oasis Springs.

I loved my feisty elder so much and couldn’t bear to part with her after completing the challenge, so I decided to have Iris and Leonardo get together. Unfortunately, since she is just a townie I tweaked especially for the challenge and did not intend to continue to play with, I didn’t bother to take any screenshots during the challenge. This explains why the story begins with mostly all text.

I took many screenshots after the challenge though and have plans to continue writing their story. Therefore, consider this an introduction to an upcoming chapter series.

I hope you like the short story and thank you for reading! Happy Simming!

~ Karen

*Fun fact – During an online research session to find a title for this story, I looked for song lyrics about women named Iris. A song called Iris (Hold Me Close) by U2 popped up. I was stunned to find many similarities between the lyrics and my story. It seemed a perfect match. 🙂

*Update! My story won 2nd Place! Here’s the banner I received for it. Thank you everyone who read and voted for my story! I’m very happy & humbled! *Hugs*

2nd Place May 2017 Resized

Hold Me Close

May-December romances are often viewed with side-eyed judgment by society. I’ve balked against the rules of social convention most of my life.  Love is love.  When it’s shared between two consenting adults, age is only a number.  Iris justified my belief.

 

She was homeless when we first met in the community garden where I was employed. I didn’t know that fact until one morning I was walking to work and saw her camping out on an abandoned lot.

Iris was sitting on a cooler under an oak tree writing what I assumed was one of her stories or poems. She was never without her notebook.

****

I had asked her once if writing was her profession.

She smiled slightly and said, “No, it’s just a hobby. It relaxes me.  I’ve been writing for decades, but never gave the idea of selling anything much thought.”

“I’d love to read something you’ve written sometime, but only if you’re comfortable with it.”

Iris hesitated a moment staring at me.

“Sure, why not?”

She retrieved the thick, worn notebook I’d seen her writing in many times from a backpack and thumbed through it in search of something I imagined she felt was worthy of sharing with me.

“Let’s see… okay, here’s a poem I wrote. I think it might be one of my best.” She said handing over the notebook.

“Wow, this is really good!  You should consider looking for an agent and try to get it published,” I exclaimed when finished.

“No…seriously? You really think others would care about the random scribblings of an old lady?” She looked pleased, but not entirely convinced.

“Yes, I do. Hey, you never know unless you try, right?” I said handing back the notebook.

“And you’re not THAT old.” I smirked rolling my eyes.

“I suppose that’s true, at least the trying part. But, ‘tis a fact young man, I am THAT old.” She giggled, then looked down and bit her lower lip in thought.

“Maybe I will.” She shrugged and tucked away the notebook.

“Anyway, how are your tomatoes doing today, worms gone?” She asked changing the subject.

I didn’t push it.

We spent the rest of that day talking about gardening and other idle chit chat until my shift was over and we went our separate ways. The subject never came up again, but I did notice her writing seemed more prolific whenever she sat perched atop a picnic table near my work area.

****

I stood on the sidewalk admiring the healthy growth of her garden from seeds I’d given her, when she finally looked up and noticed I was there. Her face lit up like the high noon sun. She was glowing!

My mind reasons now it was probably only the light from a Coleman lantern hissing at her feet combined with happiness for the day’s events.  At the time though, and still, my heart believes it was her beauty, strength and courage that made her shine.

I think that’s the moment I knew I was in love with her.

“Leonardo! I was hoping I’d see you later today in the garden, but here you are now!” She giggled happily, dropped her writings on the ground and launched herself into my arms to give me one of the best hugs I’ve ever had.

She smelled incredible and felt even better holding me close. The best part was when she kissed my cheek and grabbed my hands tight in her own.

“Guess what? I did it Leo! I’m so happy I could burst! I sold one of my poems to a publishing house! Can you believe it? Plus, they want to make a book out of my poems and gave me a HUGE check in advance!”

“I keep pinching myself to make sure it’s real. Maybe you should pinch me too?!” She winked with an impish grin.

I knew she was just excited, but that flirty question was so uncharacteristic, I didn’t know what to say.  I just nervously laughed and squeezed her hands.

That’s incredible! Congratulations! I’m so proud of you Iris. I knew you could do it!”

She gave me another quick hug and let go to pick up her notebook and sit down on the cooler.

“Thanks, I couldn’t have done it without you though. No one had ever shown an interest or cared before you did. So after you read my poem and told me it was good, that gave me the confidence I needed to go for it. I’ll always be grateful.”

I felt like crying.

“That’s what friends are for, right?”

Green eyes sparkling still, she nodded and asked, “Hey, do you have any plans tonight? I’d like to take you out for dinner to celebrate if you’re free?”

“I’m free, that sounds great!”

How could I say no?

We had a wonderful meal and talked long into the night about her future plans. First, and foremost, she wanted to buy the camp lot and build a house on it. Fortunately, we learned soon after it actually was for sale.

Iris continued living in a tent on site during construction. She confessed that after living there so long, the idea of going elsewhere made her anxious. She needed to take care of her garden too. I offered to look after it for her so she could temporarily reside in comfort at a hotel across town.

She reluctantly agreed, but only stayed one day. I found her in the garden waiting for me. She proclaimed it wasn’t right there, not like home. The bed was hard; the water tasted funny, stale air, etc.

I played along with her grievances even though I suspected deep down, she had really just missed me.

I missed her too.

When her list began melting into silence, I gently pulled her tight to me in a warm embrace. She laid her head against my chest and we stood that way for a long time.

Things progressed quickly after that day for the house and our relationship.  Two months later, her new home was finally ready to move in. It was sparsely furnished and sorely lacking in the landscaping department, but Iris assured me that would all change. I thought it was perfect.

Slide 2 Slide 3

We took a quick tour during which I snapped this lovely pic of her standing in the hallway.

Slide 4

Later while relaxing outside on the backyard patio, we drank a toast to her good fortune and Iris suggested going out to eat.

Slide 5

After dinner we went dancing at a local night club.

Slide 6

It was fun, but too crowded for our tastes so when my friend Candy invited us to a private party at The Bluffs, we both eagerly agreed to go. I hadn’t a clue the two of them had met earlier and made special plans for the entire evening.

The DJ was playing one of my favorite electronica songs when Iris suddenly dropped down to one knee.

It scared me; I didn’t realize what was happening yet and feared she was having a heart attack! Then I noticed the diamond ring she held and those incredible green eyes filled with love and hope.

She shouted above the noise, “I know this is totally unexpected, but I’m old and I don’t want to waste any more time. I love you Leonardo. Will you marry me?”

Slide 7

I had no idea she felt that strongly about me too.  I was speechless.

She frowned in confusion when I only pulled her up and led her some distance away.  I didn’t feel comfortable giving her my answer while surrounded by a gaggle of gawking people we didn’t know.

“Aw, Iris, I’m sorry Honey. Don’t look so worried. I love you too! Of course my answer is YES! Did you really think otherwise?

Slide 8

“My life was just, okay before I met you, but you made it a million times better when you walked into my garden. Gardening was my life, I thought it was enough. But as much as I talk to my plants, they can’t answer back, or understand, or hold me close and love me the way I needed. The way you do.”

Guess what else?  It’s amazing how much we think alike; I was planning on asking you to marry me too!”

Slide 9

Iris gasped in surprised delight when I produced a ring from my pocket and slipped it on her finger.

Slide 10 Slide 11

Months of pent-up sexual frustration made a nearby flowering bush appear to be the perfect spot to make love for our first time together.

Slide 12

“Do you think anyone heard us?”

“Nope, seems like they all left.” I said looking around.

“Cool. Could we, maybe do it again?”

”Oh, Definitely!” I growled, pinching her behind. She jumped, squealed and looked over her shoulder at me in fake admonishment.

“Sweetheart, I’m just making it real for you as once requested.”  She tackled me.

We might not have a very long future together, but I know our love will endure forever in my heart.