Joe’s Dream

Joe Shmakova Legacy

I was dreaming of butterflies.

They were fluttering along the shore of Lemur Island, uncatchable.

Joe Shmakova Legacy

Watching them, I leaned back on a pillow of air. The warm wind held me in its gentle sway for a moment…and then I fell thudding onto the sand.

Blackness, then a blur of lamplight, and the realization that I wasn’t on the shore at all. I was in my bed back in Rosebrook, Winnisoda, and it was really freakin’ early.

Joe Shmakova Legacy

I wiped the gunk out of my eye and sighed the sigh of the utterly miserable. Yeah, I know. It wasn’t that bad. I had a job, a roof over my head, all the lunch meat sandwiches I could eat…I had no reason to complain.

And yet…

I closed my eyes and was back on Lemur Island, digging in the sand. It was the first night of my “punishment”, and after relaxing on the beach for awhile, I had decided I’d better get digging before Mr. Kasahara or that Kreios guy came along and yelled at me.

Joe Shmakova Legacy

An hour had passed before I had found anything — a big hunk of rock.

Fantastic. Mr. K was going to be really impressed by that.

Cursing the ancient gods of Lemur Island (it seemed appropriate), I set the rock aside and kept digging. My shirt was damp with sweat, and I was dying for glass of water, but I didn’t want to stop until I had found something substantial. As much as I enjoyed hanging around Lemur Island, I didn’t exactly like being kept there as a prisoner. Nobody holds Joe Shmakova against his will!


Well, except for Mr. Kasahara.

I dug some more. Another rock, a couple of bones which might have been human (I tried not to think too hard about that), a crusty old scroll…and then my shovel struck gold. Literally.

Joe Shmakova Legacy

It wasn’t your average chest full of gold. It was glowing. It lit up the night like a thousand fireflies. YES! Jackpot.

I had made a wish at the shrine that I would prosper on this island, and I had. Well, at least I felt prosperous. Prosperous and stinky.

I hauled my treasures into the cabin. The gold was glimmering so intensely I didn’t even need to turn on the light.

Joe Shmakova Legacy

Mr. K came by the next day to see how I was doing. He was so thrilled with the treasure chest that he released me right then and there.

My imprisonment was over. I was a free man.

Joe Shmakova Legacy

I remember being happy at the time. And then…not so happy. I left Lemur Island because I could, not because I wanted to.

All the way home, I thought about that glimmering gold, the beach, the breeze, the palm trees, the locals — for some reason a pair of red eyes kept popping into my head — and wished I didn’t have a truckload of obligations and responsibilities back home in Rosebrook.

Rosebrook. Where it was now early winter. Where my cell phone was buzzing and shaking like a stirred-up hornet.

I winced. It was probably my mom. She liked to call me at all hours of the day and bug me about my sister, who also happened to be my roommate.

Joe Shmakova Legacy

The conversations were always the same.

“Joe…Joe, she won’t answer her phone. Would you go see if she’s OK? I tried to call her TWICE last night, I left a voicemail, and nothing. I think she’s avoiding me…”

“Mom, I have to get ready for work.”

Joe Shmakova Legacy

“Would you tell her to call me, please?”

“Yes, Mom. Bye, Mom.”

Every morning was like this. Not a horrible life, just…a nothing life. I took the carpool to my job as a file clerk at a law firm…

Joe Shmakova Legacy

…watched sci-fi westerns on TV…

Joe Shmakova Legacy

…and had pointless debates with my sister, who was most definitely avoiding Mom. (Not that I blame her.)

Joe Shmakova Legacy

One night I had a full-on meltdown. I don’t know what my problem was. I guess if you pile enough nothings on top of each other, they start to weigh you down.

Joe Shmakova Legacy

Somewhere, somehow, my life had gone horribly wrong. I wanted to learn new things again. I wanted to study and explore. I wanted to be inspired and inspire others and maybe even fall in love.

And I didn’t want to do those things in Rosebrook.

Rosebrook was a cold shoulder. Lemur Island was an embrace. OK, an embrace that can turn into a slap across the face if you build a sandcastle in the wrong spot, but you know…I still think Mr. K was doing me a favor. He gave me a taste of what living on Lemur Island would be like, if only for a night.

Mr. K…I wondered if he might help me out. We had left on fairly good terms, after all. I dug around on the internet and found what I hoped to be his e-mail address.

Joe Shmakova Legacy

I told him I missed his hospitality (ha) and asked if he might have a job for a guy with a worthless History degree. I tried to sound enthusiastic but not too desperate, even though my sanity was hanging on by a thin and fraying thread.

After that, all I could do was wait.

Read the next installment of Joe’s saga

36 thoughts on “Joe’s Dream

  1. GAH! WOMAN!! How DARE you leave it at such a cliffhanger. Man … I wanted to break down and weep right along with Joe. *sniffles* For a moment there, I wondered if all of his interesting experiences on Lemur island had been nothing but a dream. Who knew he would end up ending his “prison sentence” so quickly! O__o Here’s hoping that Mr. K. has a job opening for him … maybe cleaning dolphin tanks or something. ;O)

    • Sorry for the cliffhanger. I actually wanted to write more, but I was tired. And I’ve been vowing to post an update every weekend at the very least, so I just hit the send button. ;) I have all the pics ready for the next update, though, so I might post it sooner than the weekend!

  2. Ack! Yeah… a cliffhanger, indeed. I thought he was going to be imprisoned on the island for a good long time, but it’ll be even better if Mr. K can give him a job so he can live there freely.

    Wonderful pictures, as always.

    • Thanks, Kim. I had intended to go the lifetime imprisonment route, but decided against it. In fact, I went through about 8 different scenarios before I settled on this one. Heh.

  3. They aren’t kidding! Jen! What are you trying to do to us here!

    Talk about SHORT updates! Yikes! Shoot, you’d better update soon!

  4. Ok, we’ll have to live with that cliffhanger I guess, as longs as you won’t be keeping us waiting for weeks ;)
    Poor Joe, so unhappy – let’s hope Mr K has some good stuff on the island foor Joe to do (but I know you – of COURSE he has *lol*).
    And that red eyed girl… I wonder when she comes back in!
    Best wishes ;)

    • It won’t be weeks, I hope! I’m forcing myself to update every week at the very least. And yes, you do know me. I like to make my Sims happy. ;) Best wishes to you as well!

  5. I do hope Joe gets to live his dream. I too am in awe of your picture taking skills. Having the same graphics card I know it’s not just that either.

  6. gosh oh golly, poor Joe
    well i hope he gets a response soon and we get an update soon.
    you can feel his misery, you did good with the photos and he has a mom and a sister, that’s so cool heh

  7. I really hope Joe moves back to Lemur Island. It’s looks so beautiful and peaceful there. And I bet he’d find a very cute islander wife too!

  8. Nice! The thoughts/interactions between Joe, his mom and sister are so believeable! I don’t blame him for wanting a change and wanting to go back to the island.

    Very nice storytelling!

    • Thank you, Tracy! I’m glad the family interactions are believeable. I used my own family for inspiration. ;)

  9. Okay – I did not expect Joe’s punishment to be so short, and that first paragraph, I was like – it was all a DREAM?!! lol – Joe is just missing the girl with the red eyes he met in the island (forgot her name – fire something?), that’s why his life feels so empty right now…

  10. Haha, of course he’s going back! A nice, comfortable home is nothing next to being forced to dig away in the sand. ;)

  11. I want Joe to go back to Lemur Island and find his red-eyed girl.

    I don’t want him to be cold in Winnisoda acting as a go-between for his sister and mom.

  12. Oh my god, you are so mean to leave us hanging like that! But Joe’s life is rather miserable back at home, nagging mom annoying sister… Hmm, I wonder what kind of job would he get?

  13. How cool–the security word I had to type is “island” :-)

    Looking forward to seeing Joe back on the island (kind of like Lost, hee hee)!

  14. Dang I need to check back more often or I miss this GREATNESS! How is your ’email update’ thinggi (sorry I’m a tad sleepy the actual name escapes me) for reliability?

    I swear I love your writing more and more every time Jen! Poor Joe, I hope he makes it back to the island ;) I hope at least Mr K let him keep some of the treasure :D

    • Aw, thanks, Linda! I’m so glad you’re enjoying Joe’s story. :D As for my e-mail thingy, if you sign up, it’ll send you an e-mail within 4 hours after I update (I think that’s what it’s set to right now). At least, that’s what it should be doing. Let me know if you try it and it doesn’t work!

  15. I’m already in love with your new series, and there have only been three installments! You are an incredibly talented writer. You know just how to engage your audience and tell a story. I only wish I had your patience and commitment. Have you thought about writing outside of this blog?

    • Wow, thanks, Katie! I used to write non-Sims stories all the time, but it has become somewhat of a painful process. I’m always creating characters and settings in my head, but putting them to paper is a huge challenge. Even writing Sims stories is really tough for me; I struggle with every sentence. But it turns out I’m a very visual person, and having pictures inspires me and gets me through it. I don’t know why I write at all if it’s so agonizing; I think it’s because I feel really really good once I’m done. It’s kind of like exercise that way. :-P

  16. Well, okay, I wasn’t expecting him to be back in Winnisoda!

    A rock, eh? Well, hopefully you’ll find something better soon, Joe. *crosses her fingers* Ooo, a chest of gold! Sweet!! Think you can hide that from Mr. K? *snickers*

    Hahahah!!!! I love how he’s got the rocks and bones and scroll on display there! *giggles* (I really need to look for recolors of the display shelves.)

    Heh, poor guy. There is nothing so aggravating as a mother and daughter. No son should be stuck in the middle of it! *comforts*

    I don’t blame the guy one bit for wanting something other than day-in-day-out same old drudgery. Good for him for taking the step to at least attempt to break out of the mold!

    Oh, I hope the e-mail address was right and that he gets a response soon! (And that you don’t leave the rest of us hanging on too long! *pokes*) :-D