A quick note from your author:
Hello and welcome to The Clarke Legacy, featuring the dazzling Lily Clarke pictured above. It’s so nice to have visitors and I’m glad you’re here. I’m also hoping you’ll feel free to comment here regarding critiques and praise and just general commenting. As of right now I’ve played and taken pictures of most of generation 1 and I have grand plans that I intend to set into action in later generations. You may find me liberal with a some traits selections in later generations, just to further my storyline… On that note, I may owe a pre-apology on my first couple of chapters while I really get into the swing of writing and taking pictures. Please bear with me!
I hope you enjoy the very first chapter of The Clarke Legacy, please share your thoughts!
I’d just appeared in front of a mailbox and trashcan. It was early in the morning, the birds were chirping and I knew, somehow, that this place belonged to me. “Aaahhhh… Got a new place, lets get crackin’! Let’s…”
“Wait! What was that? I heard something!” I put my ear to the wind, my mind spinning as I tried to work out just what it was that I thought I’d heard. It somehow sounded familiar. It sounded ominous. It sounded – “A camera! Somebody just took a picture!”
For a moment, I stood in shock with my jaw halfway to the ground. I had a sinking feeling that I knew what this meant. “There’s no one else here!” I cried to the sky “I’m in a legacy!!!” My not-so-inner monologue was silenced as my actual-inner monologue took over to consider what I’d managed to get myself into and how I’d done it. It also asked a couple questions I should have considered right away, instead of getting excited for my new home. Questions like “Who am I?” and “Where did I come from?” and “Why do I know what a legacy is?”
It didn’t take long for anxiety to set in and for me to start properly freaking out. Once again I forgot how to not stress out loud and began to hyperventilate. “Nooooooooooooooo!! Are you serious there’s someone following me around I’m gonna hear voices I’m being controlled What if this is a baby challenge oh no oh no oh no oh- *gaaaaaaaaasp*” at least having to breathe stopped my crazy for a minute, but that last ‘what if’ of mine really had me panicking.
without further ado I turned to examine my new (first, and if I understood the rule correctly, only) home and found that I was breathing easier almost immediately. The vistas were spectacular but most importantly there was no roof. There were no cribs. No walls, no high chairs, no teddy bears… Shame about the teddy bears actually, I could really use a cuddle after all of that stress but I was calmed. It would be insane to bring babies into this kind of space. Just a legacy (Just!), one with me, Lily Clarke, at the centre.
I gave myself a quick shake to expel the last of my tension and decided to do some quick soul searching. After all, I was certain I was the founder of a legacy story and as a result people were expecting to know who I was and what I was all about. Since my voice-slash-creator-god hadn’t shown up just yet I realized it was up to me to introduce myself.
So who am I? I’m Lily Clarke, that much I know for sure. I sure felt ambitious, like one day, just one day I could be the CEO of some Mega-Corporation. I’d have lots of money and lots of power and y’know, a house. Self reflection ended up being easier than I’d thought, as if the information was just written down somewhere in my knowledge. A Hopeless Romantic? I could use some lovin’, Childish? We’ll see about that. Neurotic? Not very likely! I’m just fine thankyouverymuch. And…. A schmoozer? I’m still not even sure what that means.
Now that I, and my readers, knew who I was I could check out the space I’d been dropped into. I didn’t much care for most of it, but that bed? That comforter? Before I could stop myself, my inner child had reared her head. “AWESOME!!!” I screamed, already in love with the bedbugs I’d be sleeping with every night.
I hopped onto my new bed and kicked up my feet, gazing around my field with stuff on it. As wonderful as I felt, I knew I would feel better if I had a house for my future family to live in. But I didn’t want just any house, I wanted the perfect house. With no one speaking to me, no one seeming to control my life, I felt in control, I felt I could set ground rule. It felt GOOD to be in charge and I decided that one day this lot would have the best. house. ever. built on it. The perfect house for me with enough space for all my heirs or heiresses to add onto to make it THEIR perfect house. Like I said, best. house. EVER!!
But I had dreams, and I wanted more than anything to get started on my life-long dream of ruling the business world. Sure, I’d only existed for a couple of hours, but why wait until tomorrow when I could find a job today, start it tomorrow and then move onto the one thing that I really, REALLY wanted to do: FISH! Step one though? Job. Thank goodness there had been a paper for me when I arrived. And a cellphone in my pocket. And that no one wanted my resume. Coffee Courier, That didn’t sound so hard and I figured that if everyone has to start somewhere, I might as well start with schlepping coffee around an office and really get a feel for the place.
After sorting out my life I felt it was time to venture into town. It just seemed like the legacy thing to do. Hopefully I would fish, maybe I would meet someone, maybe I would… walk right into a protest? That wasn’t what I’d expected and I certainly didn’t understand their distaste for “Legacy Simmers.” I watched as they rallied against the computer users who made them do things they really didn’t want to do, invaded their privacy and… well… they weren’t really convincing me and I was the one who was part of a legacy, not them! Although I did gather that the blond man with the awful fashion sense had twin sister who had almost ended up in my situation. I did have to think about my situation a little more though. They had a point on that privacy issue and I was still hearing camera sounds… No pictures of me in my shower or on my toilet, got it camera in the sky??
I’d only been there for a couple minutes before a man introduced himself to me. His name was (I guess it still is) Christopher Steel and he was cute enough that I entertained the idea that he might just be the one. Like, The One! But then he started to talk and I started to change my mind.
“So like, I’m trying to get up enough money to go to the mountains, y’know? I’m gonna catch a dragon and we’re gonna fly back here to Sunset Valley and it’s gonna be totally rad!!”
I know enthusiam is meant to be contagious, but there was something more in his eyes… Something crazy, something untrustworthy, something… I dunno readers, he used the word rad and seemed totally serious about it.
I didn’t know what to say but he didn’t seem to mind, he just went right on rambling “And then me and Oliver, that’s my dragon, right? We’re gonna fly to this place called Scotland and we’re gonna catch Nessie and she’s gonna come back to Sunset Valley too buti can’t keep her at my place so will you, like, keep her at yours? Like tied up out back or something?”
All I could think was “is he serious?!” At least I didn’t say it out loud since he seams to be. Scary. I decided it would be best to get away from him ASAP and get away I did.
I was feeling terribly overwhelmed by my day and it was only half over. Chris had pushed some last nerve of mine and I need to take a breather. I walked across the road to the park and found the quietest seat I could find – a swing. I was calmed by the gentle sway but I was feeling like there was still something missing from my life.
It wasn’t company, I only reluctantly spoke to the young boy who grabbed the swing next to me and before long he moved on. I wasn’t interested in meeting people my own age, or at least older than the boy, they were a seemingly close-knit gaggle of townies and I just didn’t have it in me to break into that right now.
It was fishing!! Finally I was doing something I really wanted to do, finally I was feeling in control again.
It took me a while but I got the hang of this fishing thing and I caught my first fish. I wasn’t expecting a voice anymore but I was still hearing the clicks and whirrs of mechanisms capturing my every move so I figured asking a favour wouldn’t be out of the question. “Hey! Person taking pictures!” I called out, though it was under my breath so I’m not sure how much that counts as calling out – a thought for another day “CHECK IT OUT!!”
I triumphantly held out my catch. It was huge! Or at least I decided that that’s what I would tell people when I had people to tell about it. I guess I now understand the phrase I’d never heard before “fishermen’s tales.” By the time I left the park I was certain I knew how to fish and I had $25 worth of minnows to prove it.
If this was SMP’s (Sims Music Programming) “Abodes” they’d totally be checking out my fridge right now. I giggled to myself at that thought, even though I had no idea what I was thinking about, and launched into a whispered description of my foor stocks. “Well, I’ve got some drink and frozen meals that I can’t make and I pre-mix my milk and cereal ’cause I like it when it’s mushy.”
That pre-mixed bowl of milk and cereal really was the best thing I’d ever eaten, not to mention the only thing at this stage. This whole ‘life’ thing was all quite new to me still and I was feel very proud of myself for the way I was handling it all as I feasted on soppy Sugar Oats.
Pride only lasts so long before one remembers work!! At the prospect of starting work the next day I very literally freaked out. More what if’s ran through my head “What if I burn myself? What if I burn someone else by pouring coffee all over them? What if I have something between my teeth? What if I’m a Coffee Courier for the rest of my life?” My heart was racing, I was so nervous that everything made me want to spaz out. At least the time I’d spent in my… bathroom? hadn’t been punctuated with the camera noises. I’d almost stopped hearing them, but I was listening for them then.
That night I had frantic dreams of bog monsters, running around Sunset Valley park with Nessie and Oliver the Dragon while Chris watched from the swings. It was an odd dream to say the least but it didn’t interrupt my sleep one bit as I found I quite enjoyed sleeping under the stars.
In the morning I showered and dressed carefully, still keeping an ear out for the camera that I was increasingly sure was documenting my every move. I was satisfied that my nonvoicey-voice had followed the rule I’d set out the day prior. A bleeting horn alerted me to the arrival of my carpool and I dashed towards it. The first day of the rest of my life! Or the second I guess, since yesterday was the first.
I never got the name of the man who drove me to work that day, the company had set it up for me and he didn’t say a word the entire ride. That was fine with me though, it gave me time to collect myself and my thoughts, time to prepare for the challenges ahead of me.
I took a deep breath as I passed into the imposing building that was to be my workplace, probably until I quit. The elevator ride up to the eigth floor was nerve wracking to say the very least but my day went well enough. I spent it sucking up to my boss Nancy Landgraab and I found I really liked her and that it wasn’t onerous at all to fetch and carry largehalffatdoublesugarextrahotlotsoffoam lattes for her all day long. My co-workers were lovely too, the didn’t at all seem to resent the fact that I was such a brown noser and hardly said a word to them all day. I found I really wanted to be friends with them all almost as much as I really wanted to brush my teeth. I was certain there was something between them despite never finding anything when I peered into the mirrors in the ladies room.
At the end of my day I wandered across the road to the 24 hour gym and was thrilled to find it was nearly empty, I had some privacy. I was so stressed from my day that everything seemed just a bit off. Before I set about brushing my teeth – I was sure there was something there, I could feel it! I checked the sink, just to make sure I wasn’t going to end up with any nasty surprises. It was ok but I was still antsy and was very careful incase the water came out the wrong temperature or something.
Scrub scrub scrub… Am I supposed to do this up and down or side to side? Is it possible to push too hard or too softly? CAN I brush my teeth wrong? AM I brushing my teeth wrong? Did I do the back? Did I get my tongue? I brushed my teeth a couple more times, just to make sure I was diong it right and “Aaaahhh…..” Minty fresh!
“Oooga Boooga readers!” Much better!!
I’d planned on working out now that I was feeling more relaxed, but the gym had filled up and the first person I saw as I reached the top of the stairs was Chris, from the day before. I knew that if he saw me I would never avoid a discussion about Chupacabra, I’d get roped into housing a family full of sparkling vampires and who knew what else!
I considered myself lucky that he was clearly uncoordinated and I left before he’d recovered from what had appeared to be a rather nasty tumble. I set course for the park with an inkling that maybe, just maybe, there was someone worth meeting there this eveing.
I arrived as dusk settled over the park, unaware it was already so late, and for the first time I actually looked around the expanses of grass, the ponds and the paths that criss-crossed the space. It was beautiful here and I understood why someone had referred to it scathingly as the Legacy Mating Grounds.
The park was beautiful and HE was beautiful. Even the scowl on his face was beautiful and I knew without a doubt that he was The One. Part of me had already fallen head over heels for the stranger in the twilight. I was hoplessly attracted to him.
Without a thought I walked over to him, held out my hand and introduced myself. His hand was warm and soft in mine and I felt as though I could never let go (though he didn’t feel the same and tugged his hand out of my grip once I’d failed to release him). Our eyes locked and it was all I could do not to swoon. This strange, this Connor Frio was perfect!
We spoke about everything and he made even the weather sound fascinating “I don’t mind a cloudy day” he informed me, I can still hear his voice when I close my eyes “There’s just something about a grey day that makes me feel safe and comfortable wehn I’m at home.” His self depricating chuckle was the sweetest music I’d heard all day (I’d heard some muzak in the office and at the gym) “I can just play some Classical music and I’m transported to another world.” I fell in love with him and his voice even more. He was so strong and so vulnerable!
As the night wore on we grew hungry so Connor barbecued up some hot dogs for us and while we at we continued to chat. It seemed we never ran out of things to say to one another that night! I learned that he worked in the same building as me, just a few floors down, at the newspaper as an Automated Spell Check Checker and now, to top off strong and vulnerable he was smart! With every word that passed through his perfect lips I was more and more sure that I wanted Connor and only Connor. The only downside to the whole evening was a lack of napkins, I felt as though ants were crawling over my hands and as much as I wanted to spend the rest of the night in the park with Connor I needed to go home and take care of that.
Before I ran home to scrub my digits though, I had something to ask. It was important so I steeled myself, took a deep breath and there went nothing “I’ve had a great time tonight, thank you for cooking but I have to ask – are you seeing anyone Connor?” My heart was in my throat as I waited for his answer, he seemed to take forever in answering as he was caught totally off guard. I could have died from anticipation in the less than a minute it took him to answer.
“No Lily, I’m single. It was very nice to meet you. Good night, and sweet dreams.” With the sweetest smile I’d seen he turned and was on his way home.
The next morning I woke up positively exhausted! I’d returned back to my lot full of nervous energy and ended up cleaning the entire place before I put myself to bed and considering how late I’d gotten in, it was no wonder I was feeling drained. Not to mention the fact that my hands still felt positively filthy, despite my having scrubbed them nearly raw the night before.
I arrived at work unsure I’d make it through the day, so instead of doing any real work I spent my day hanging around my boss and co-workers, trying to make a good impression. I think I refilled their coffees every time they stopped steaming! I was just so eager to make friends with everyone. It did, however take my mind off of the bills that had arrived this morning and off of just how much people seemed to be expecting of me. Nancy wanted me to read a book called “Caffeine Culture” and the grocery store wanted me to bring them three, fresh fish… I hadn’t yet had so much as a sip of coffee and the store was already receiving all of my fish so that I could pay the bills that had arrived that morning. At least there was one happy thought: Connor.
For all my stress, my day went well. In fact, the money I’d earned as a bonus for being promoted – yes! Promoted! – more than covered my bills and a stove so that I might get to eat some hot food soon. But food wasn’t first and foremost in my mind, I just wanted to sleep, so I paid my bills and by 4:00pm I was sound asleep in my bed.
It was the wee hours of the morning when I pulled myself out of bed. I was refreshed, I was hungry and my sink was filthy! I considered cooking myself some waffles but there was something about the stove I’d picked up… I wasn’t sure it could be trusted, I didn’t like the look of it. Unsure about just what had me uneasy about my new appliance I tested each burner and then, not reassured, decided to have a closer look at it late. Maybe it was broken, either way, the stove could wait but my stomach could not. Besides, I had things to do!
By the time my carpool arrived I’d had a very, very busy morning. I had the fish the grocery store had asked me to get on ice in a cooler, waiting for the end of my day and I managed to finish the last page of my book just before we arrived at work. It taught me some things and raised some interesting questions that didn’t quite pertain to my new position as Filing Clerk, but at least I could fall back as a barista if this business didn’t work out. I think? As best as I understood, a latte is like a cappuccino with more milk and less foam. A double-double is a Canadian thing but I can’t visit Canada. It’s espresso not expresso and some people drink coffee made from beans that a monkey has already eaten. That last bit of information almost made me lose my lunch.
I’d run some errands that day after work – trading fish for televisions and the like – when I decided that I really wanted to see Connor again. He’d been on my mind nearly non-stop since we met and since he hadn’t called me I knew that if I wanted anything to progress further (which I really, really did!) it would be on me to initiate. I called him and invited him out to dinner at the diner on the pretense of celebrating my newest promotion to Report Processor. Nancy had told me it was unusual for people to be promoted so quickly through the ranks so I was quite proud of myself.
When I reached the diner I was too caught up in my thoughts of work that I didn’t even see Connor! I knew he was there, his truck was in the parking lot and he’d described it to me in detail on the phone earlier. Brand new and shiny and somehow I still hardly noticed it, or the fact that he was waving at me.
I didn’t notice anything else once I saw him though. I saw the way he looked at me with those gorgeous, emerald green eyes and I practically melted to the pavement. I was absolutely besotted with this man! I was literally speechless by the time he reached me.
Connor was still so excited about his new ride that the first thing he said to me – aside from hi – was “Check out my truck, Lil, what do you think?”
He gave me a nickname! Was all I noticed, but I quickly got on conversation track with him.
“Your truck is SOOOO cool.” I gushed, knowing it was the answer he wanted “I heard it has a 5 star rating, I’m glad you didn’t get a Toyota too. Those things scare me.”
“I know what you mean, this truck is perfect! Didn’t you say you had some good news though?”
So considerate as to remember my excitement, even during his own. I’d practically forgotten but as I spilled the beans about my promotion and my new friend Illiana Langerak I realized just how happy I was becoming in my life. I had a job I loved, people who I really got along with and Connor who I could just picture the rest of my life with already. Only one splash of doubt when he responded to my news with “Congratulations! That’s so rad!”
Befuddled by the men of Sunset Valley using the word ‘rad’ I suggested we get something to eat. He may have a ridiculous vocabulary but at least he wasn’t Chris-Crazy. We chatted non-stop over dinner, nearly forgetting to eat. By the time we remembered our food it was only luke-warm at best and we only left when our waitress kicked us out for taking up space and not ordering enough to make refilling our coffee mugs worth the tip we’d leave.
Once outside the diner we both realized how late it was and how tired we were. We both needed to get home to bed but I was secretly hoping we could go to the same bed. Mostly though, I just wanted to kiss him. As I moved closer to him, he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me close. I think that was the first time I thought I knew what heaven would feel like. I was elated!
Our hands caught as we pulled away from one another and my stomach started hopping around like a bunny. I was so nervous but I knew…
I leaned in for a kiss and came up with air on my lips and Connor looking at me like I was crazy. Flustered, he began “Lily, what are you doing? I’m not… I’m not really… I’m sorry if I gave you the wrong impression but I’m…” Unflirty? And not interested? Are you serious?!
Without waiting for him to finish I turned and ran. I couldn’t let him see my embarassment and my shame. I couldn’t let him see the tears streaming down my face. I still have no idea who I nearly tripped over as I rushed away from Connor and I have no idea how Connor was feeling since I never once looked back.
I ran all the way home and collapsed into bed with a sob. I was heartbroken and I felt like a fool. Most of all I desperatley wanted to love Connor and for him to love me too. That night, thank goodness, my subconcious kicked in and gave me dreams of work instead of dreams of Connor, allowing me to sleep deeply despite how crazy my heart and head both felt.
Will Lily find true love with Connor?
Is he even interested in her?
Are Lily’s dreams of corporate success just dreams?
Will Christopher Steel fly on dragonback to Scotland?
Not all of these questions answered and more in Chapter 2 of The Clarke Legacy “The Chase”
The author noting again:
Thank you so much for reading this far, I really super appreciate it as trying to decide what to do with the pictures and story and all that has nearly driven me crazy. I personally feel it’s a little long winded and would like to know if you think it needs to be shortened for following chapters, then I’ll see where I can condense things, though once I have more than one sim to deal with there are fewer mundane pictures.