A Secret in the Desert

Good evening, dears! Do you remember old Maude? Some of you may. For those of you who don’t, I’m the friendly phantom that used to flit around Mt. Geneva, spying on its residents and spinning tales out of their triumphs and tragedies. A lonely job, to be sure, but better than hiding in one’s tombstone and venturing out only to scare young ruffians.

When Mt. Geneva disappeared (one day it was there; the next day it was not! Tragic!), I escaped to tranquil Shady Bluff. For awhile it showed promise, but then it, too, withered away, and I was left watching the squirrels run around and chitter at each other. Not very exciting for an old busybody like myself! Maude needs people, you know, not squirrels.

Maude at the Oasis

So I became a wanderer. I drifted away from Shady Bluff and traversed the vast lands of Sim Nation, through forests and fields and desert. Mostly desert. I don’t know what I was looking for, dears, but it certainly wasn’t turning up.

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The Intruders

(Hey guys, this is just a little teaser for the other story I mentioned — hope you enjoy! Also, I apologize for the pics being dark — they looked fine on my computer at home, but much darker where I am now, so they might be hard to see for some of you. If it’s really bad, let me know and I will lighten them up.)

Good morning, dear readers! You may not remember me, as I haven’t been allowed to divulge my tragic tales to you in quite some time, but my name is Maude Berthiaume, and I’m Mt. Geneva’s ghostly historian. You might also be inclined to call me a “spy” or a “gossip”, and, unsavory as those terms may be, they’re not far off the mark. When one is incorporeal as well as incurably curious, one has precious little else to do with one’s time. Sad, but true! Observing the inhabitants of Mt. Geneva is one of the few pleasures my spectral existence affords.

One of the other pleasures is telling you my stories, but I must take issue with my typist making light of my current situation by calling it a “teaser”. Teaser, indeed! My world was quite shaken up the other night, and it is with utmost seriousness that I now impart this tale to you.

With all of my drifting and floating around Mt. Geneva, it can sometimes be days, perhaps weeks, before I make my way back to Berthiaume Manor to check on the place and make sure no one has disturbed my “resting grounds”. I used to revisit it more often, but I’ve scared away intruders so many times that it has gained quite the reputation for being haunted by a most terrifying ghost, and so it has lain dusty and dormant for many years. That is, until now.


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Desperate Housewife

Good evening, dear readers! Maude Berthiaume here to regale you with a story about my favorite family in Mt. Geneva: the Kilmans. I must warn you that parts of this tale might make you gasp, weep — or worse! — and that only the stoutest of hearts should continue onward. Does that sound familiar? I know I said something of the sort before, when poor Sid Kilman was killed by that awful Noodlesoother; please rest assured that no one dies in this little episode. But you can have tragedy without death, and here is tragedy aplenty, my friends…tragedy enough to coax ghostly tears from your humble narrator!

As you may recall, Bailey and Joey Kilman had a daughter named Shea. Bailey hadn’t been the most enthusiastic of pregnant women (unless it came to cleaning the house), but once Shea was born, she threw herself wholeheartedly into the rigors of motherhood. Joey was relieved by Bailey’s devotion to Shea, for he was working long hours at Moneywell Computers trying to climb his way out of the mailroom and couldn’t spend as much time with his little daughter as he would have liked.

When Shea’s birthday rolled around, her aunt Tiffy baked her a cake, and the Kilmans gathered on the deck for a little celebration.

Birthday party

Surprisingly, Bailey detached herself from Shea long enough to let Joey hold her, and there was much whooping and hollering as the bright-eyed babe grew into a twinkling toddler. At least, I thought she was twinkly and cute. In fact, she reminded me of her father when he was younger. But Bailey seemed to frown as she took Shea in her arms — clearly she wasn’t pleased with what she saw.

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A New Attitude

Hello again, dears! Maude here, taking up where I left off with the Kilman family. I’ll waste no time this morning and get right back into the thick of it!

After Bailey suffered her sudden attack of nausea and ran off to the bathroom, Joey sat at the table waiting for her, a pensive expression on his face. I could tell he wanted to check on her, but she had lit a spark of anger in him for the first time, and it glued him to his chair. When at last he heard her exit the bathroom and go upstairs, he rose solemnly and busied himself with the after-dinner chores.

Later that night, Bailey came down to watch television with him, but she said very little and answered most of his questions with shrugs of indifference. I recognized this behavior immediately, and I’m sure you would have, too!

Bailey gives Joey the cold shoulder

That’s right, it’s a classic example of the cold shoulder routine. Bailey hadn’t gotten her way, and she wanted to punish Joey for making her suffer. (I know it all too well, dear readers, because my stubborn old sisters excelled at it!)

I felt sorry for Joey. He seemed to have forgotten his anger and merely wanted to have a nice conversation with his wife, but she was more interested in those irritating television commercials than anything he had to say.

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The Seeds of Discord

Good evening, dears! It’s me, your old friend Maude. I hope you’ll forgive my being gone for so terribly long, though it’s not really my fault, you see. I’ve actually been here all the time, just brimming with stories to tell you, but I never got the chance! Not with those upstart Shanleys at the top of the hill, populating half the town with their ever-expanding brood, bringing poor souls back from the dead, and who knows what else. I have to say, it’s all been a bit unsettling.

Let me take this opportunity to assure you that I would never desire being brought back to life. I’m quite happy in my ghostly existence, drifting about the town, scaring off the ruffians that try to vandalize Berthiaume Manor, observing all the residents of Mt. Geneva (and there are a good many of them now)…now that’s “life” to me. Being truly alive again would be rather inconvenient, I should think – I wouldn’t be able to spy on anyone at all!

So I’ll continue being a phantom, thank you very much, and if some misguided fool should try to bring me back, well…he’ll wish he hadn’t!

Ahem. Excuse me, dears – I get rather snippety (and long-winded) when I think about such things. On to much pleasanter topics, like…the Kilmans! Some of you might remember Tiffy and her brother Joey, who married that dreadful Bailey Singleton. Well, she’s Bailey Kilman now, and much has happened since that fateful union! I’ve been eager to tell you all about it, and now I finally have the chance. Let’s catch up with them, shall we?

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The Past and the Pending, Part III

(continued from Part II)

For the next two days, Joey spent most of his waking hours sitting in his strange new contraption, repeating the same sentences over and over. Every time he said “I am a car salesman,” the machine would buzz, the lights would flash, and Joey would get shocked. Tiffy strolled by from time to time, glancing at him warily but said nothing — she was busy with work and packing for her new job at Geneva College.

When Bailey stopped by, it wasn’t for long, as she was in the midst of preparations for the wedding on Saturday. She would squeeze Joey’s arm, say “My, aren’t we getting flabby”, and drag him off into the bedroom. (I refrained from following them, being a polite ghost who doesn’t care to intrude upon certain romantic relations, ahem.) After she left, Joey would spend a good hour at the weight machine, trying to become “unflabby”, I assume.

Joey on the weight machine

Finally the day of the wedding rolled around. Joey got up as usual, showered, trimmed his everpresent blanket of stubble, and headed straight for the shock machine. He sank into the chair as if it were the most comfortable thing in the world. At first I thought he was just having a rest, but then he turned the machine on, smiled confidently, and said, “I am a car salesman.”

Well, wouldn’t you know — nothing happened. No sparks flew, no lights flashed. With that same self-satisfied expression on his face, Joey stood up and headed for the kitchen.

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Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Good evening, dear readers! Maude here, Mt. Geneva’s hidden historian, with another little family update for you. My, how those tiny tots do grow! They’re blossoming into adults all over the place. Today we’ll see Ferris Blakemore cross the momentous bridge into the perils and pleasures of adulthood…

I could tell that Ferris was a bit apprehensive on the eve of her birthday. She spent most of the night on the telephone calling all of her dearest friends and telling them how much she’d miss them. Since they were all a bit younger than Ferris, they wouldn’t be going off to college with her. She would be embarking on this new journey alone. Good thing her destination was only a mile or so from home! She had an inkling, though, of how different it would be, and just how much she was leaving behind.

The next night, Tess invited all of Ferris’s friends over, including her steady beau George McCarthy, and picked up a cake from the new bakery downtown. She had wanted to bake one from scratch, but between working overtime and making wedding plans, she just didn’t have the time.

Ferris's birthday party

Ferris didn’t mind about the cake at all. She loved parties and was simply overjoyed to see all of her friends in attendance.

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Movin’ Out

Good afternoon, dears! Maude here. I thought I’d take a little break from the Kilman Family saga and fill you in on what the Dobbins family has been up to all this time. As you may recall, Joely and Nick became elders, and Will was campaigning for a position in the Senate.

Nick and Joely were quite proud of Will, and so am I, as a matter of fact. It could have gone badly for him when his father had that affair with Tess Blakemore, but that’s all water under the bridge now, and Will turned out wonderfully. While he was out and about persuading people to vote for him, his parents often discussed the upcoming election and his chances of winning. The race was almost too close to call!

Nick and Joely talk about Will

On election night, the family gathered in the living room to watch the votes roll in. Will couldn’t bear to watch — he paced on the porch instead, poking his head through the front door for occasional updates. His daughter Olivia, now a sharp young teenager, was keeping a notebook full of articles and statistics about the Senate race and would yell at the TV as if watching a football game.

When the final votes were counted, they announced that Will Dobbins had won the election. He was going to be SimCity’s next Senator! Olivia jumped up on the coffee table and did a little victory dance until her mom told her to get down. Will heard all of the commotion and came running in.

“You did it, Dad! You did it!” Olivia cried, leaping towards him.

Will was bombarded by hugs from everyone in the family. His father clapped him on the back and said, “I’m proud of you, kid. Let’s celebrate!”

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