Saturday, September 10, 2016

Chapter 3 - Some women actually ARE from Venus

I probably wasn't as frightened as I should have been when I woke up the following morning, rolled over, and saw that my girlfriend wasn't exactly human. There's an old saying though, about men and women, Mars and Venus. I figure that sometimes women actually are from Venus, and there's not much point in getting upset over it. Harley thought differently, though. When she awoke, she smiled, reaching a hand out to touch mine. The smile lasted until the tips of her blue fingers entered her vision, then she leaped out of bed with a cry, frightened.

"Hey, wait!" I jumped to my own feet, reaching out to tell her it was alright, that I wasn't afraid, or upset, or anything. I mean, it explained a hell of a lot, what with that strange glow she occasionally seemed to give off. Better an alien than radioactive, especially for someone who I just spent the night with. She didn't wait for my explanation, though; she fled to the bathroom, locking the door behind her.

"It's okay!" I leaned close to the door as I spoke so that she could hear me, for once not caring about what passing neighbors might think about my choice of pajamas. "I don't mind, really. It's a little bit strange, but really, who isn't? Just come on out, so I can talk to you."
After a long stretch of silence, her reply finally came, her voice trembling. "I can't go out there, everyone will see me."
Couldn't fault her there. All that blue skin and the futuristic jumpsuit was way more damning than any pair of valentine's boxers. "Alright," I conceded, then moved to my counter-offer. "Open the door then, so I can come in?"

She didn't reply, but after a moment the latch clicked open and I opened the door just far enough to slip inside, joining her in the very-small bathroom. I opened my mouth to speak, but she spoke first. "You're not upset, that I didn't tell you?"
"No, of course not. I understand keeping secrets to preserve image, you know that. What I don't understand is why you thought that was the best way for me to find out, if you were afraid of how I'd react. You were asleep, I could have done anything." Not that I would have. I'd never hit a woman.

"You weren't supposed to find out that way. I would have told you, eventually, but not like that! The quint-sensory hologram must turn off when I go to sleep, but I never knew. I'm supposed to keep it a secret, by order of the Interplanetary Council. You don't think anyone saw, do you?" Her flood of words finally stopped for long enough for me to get a word in edgewise.
"I doubt it, nobody usually comes up here so early in the morning. Now come on, come out of the bathroom. It'll be alright." I smiled and, after a moment, she smiled in reply, with a small nod.
"I'll be out in a minute, I have to re-configure the hologram before I can activate it."

Her estimate was a little low - likely closer to five or six minutes - but eventually she emerged into the morning sun. "There's the confident Harley who took me out to get my first job," I encouraged her, earning another hesitant smile.
"That's not my real name, you know."

"Oh?" I asked, stepping closer. "What is your real name, then?"
She took my hands in her own and held them gently as she shook her head. "You can't pronounce it."
"Try me." She did, and she was right. There was no way I would ever be able to pronounce that.

"That's a pretty name. I'll just call you Harley for short, alright?"
"Sounds like a plan," she replied, returning my smirk. I reached up and stroked her cheek with the back of my fingers. Quint-sensory hologram, she'd said. That must mean it works on all five of my senses, fooling touch as much as it misled my eyes. That was some crazy tech. How much further advanced were these aliens than us, anyway?

"It's probably best if I go back to my place, now," she said as the last of my fingers passed down over the edge of her jaw.
"Forever? Or just until I get my bed indoors?"
"The latter." She smiled, reaching to pull me into a hug. "And don't think I won't visit."

"Of course," I said, returning the embrace. "I wouldn't expect anything less."


Things went on much as they had been. I worked, saving up money to pay for more construction, and Harley visited most days to tend the garden, top off my refrigerator, and deliver various curiosities she'd found around town.

Eventually, I'd earned enough to put up another set of walls, and she moved in for real.

Having a live-in girlfriend wasn't enough, though. I knew she wouldn't like it, but when I was out at the bar after work, and a cute girl flirted with me, it would just be rude not to flirt back. And then, if I didn't keep up with other things, I'd just be a tease, right? Nobody likes a tease. And besides, what she didn't know wouldn't hurt her.

Until she found out, that is. I came back late one night and bid my date of the evening a steamy goodbye, not knowing Harley was behind me. As she said my name my heart froze. I turned, fearing the worst.

But she was smiling. "Had a fun night?"
"Y-y-yes," I stammered in confusion.
"She's pretty." This had to be a trap. Was I supposed to disagree, or be honest? My confusion must have been obvious on my face, because she laughed quietly before speaking again. "There's no need to look so worried. I don't mind."
"You don't mind?" I echoed, not quite comprehending the conversation.
"Cultural differences, remember? Dating many individuals at once is perfectly normal for my species."
Holy hell. Did I hit the jackpot, or what?

We spoke for a long time that night. Her only concern was that I'd felt the need to keep my adventures hidden from her. As long as I was honest from now on, there wouldn't be an issue as long as I stopped if we ever made a true commitment to one another. I don't see myself getting married anytime soon - if ever - so that's easy enough. We concluded the discussion with a hug.

As we held each other, she whispered in my ear. "You don't even have to worry about any misunderstandings on her part, either."
"Why's that?" I replied.
"She's an alien, too."
Good god. Are all women from Venus?


And here comes the dialogue. Had to get the characters in my head a little before I could write them actually speaking. It's a thing.

Yes, that other sim lady was an alien, too. So many aliens in this neighborhood. I usually never run into them!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Chapter 2 - Found out

A few days later, I was in the middle of my morning ablutions - yes, it absolutely must take that long to style my hair, especially without a mirror! - when a knock came on my bathroom door. I yelled for them to go away, that I wasn't buying whatever they had to sell, but they just knocked again. So, I finished getting dressed and went outside to see who it was.

It was Harley. I instantly began damage control. I blamed the real estate agent. I blamed the political party currently in power. I blamed the other one too, for good measure, in case she'd voted the other way. I blamed Starling International, I blamed my father, I even blamed Vera the secretary; who, by the way, I'm still not sure would have actually sued us into bankruptcy had she been fired. My father can be hyperbolic at times.

Harley clearly wasn't buying any of it. When I finally ran out of excuses and had to admit that I was, essentially, penniless, she just smiled, without a trace of mockery, and said it was okay. That sometimes these things happen, even to hypothetical heirs to international corporations. That it was nothing to be ashamed of.

The way she said it was so full of confidence, and kindness, that I believed her. She truly wasn't judging me. She told me about her own first place she'd lived in on her own, the dirt and the bugs, and I shuddered along with her. It sounded horrible!

At least this plot of land had potential, she said. The only question was, would I have the ambition to see it reach that potential? Or would I simply sit here looking at my empty wallet and feeling sorry for myself? She asked if I had a job yet, in town. When I answered in the negative, she smiled again and beckoned for me to follow.

The first order of business was to secure a paycheck. After that, I'd be able to put up some walls, and I'd no longer have to live in fear of wandering neighbors laughing at my misfortune.


I wasn't used to working for a boss who actually expected me to, well, work. The job itself - an entry-level writing position - wasn't bad, but every day I returned home with my boss's endless list of demands echoing through my head.

I would have been completely overwhelmed, and given up, if Harley hadn't been there to support me, and teach me about getting by in Oasis Springs. A bit of an amateur gardener herself, she showed me the various plants that grew near my new home - sage, carrots and cherry trees, for the most part - and explained how they could be used to cook better food than the bottom-shelf cereal I'd been living off of.

She set up a little garden behind my "kitchen," with plants both local and from her own seed collection. It would take a while for the plants to grow, she said, but once they did they would more than pay for the cost of the planters, in addition to providing better produce than could be harvested from the wild.

She also explained other secrets of the land, how wealth was hidden inside rocks and clumps of dirt, just waiting to be uncovered. Even the old water pumps held secrets, she said, though she finds it way too yucky to go poking around in there. Watching her work, uncovering ores, crystals and fossils, it seemed to me that she was almost glowing with happiness.

She often invited herself to my house to prepare a yard-cooked meal, when I returned from work. One of the benefits of being friends with somebody who works at a restaurant, I suppose. Something more was going on here, though.

I asked her about it one night. Well, to be honest, it was a bit more of a confrontation. I said, why are you being so nice to me? You don't have to do any of this, show me these things, cook me food. So, why?

She just laughed, shook her head, and smiled that smile again. Any other woman, I'd say she was in love with me. I'd given up on that idea, though. No woman would fall in love with a man who doesn't even have walls for his house. There was no way.

But she firmly gripped the front of my shirt and placed a firm kiss on my lips before telling me that she didn't care, that she wanted to be with me. Staying here with me every night, not just during the day. In a yard-bed sort of way. Then, she asked me if I wanted that, too.

Well, of course. Her shout of joy could probably have been heard clear down the hill in town, and I swear she was glowing again. Must have been my eyes playing tricks on me. She practically dragged me to the bed, barely giving me a chance to undress before we were together, the covers our only privacy.

I've slept with a lot of women, and I do mean a lot. This time, though, it felt different.


I have to confess, the visit by Harley was contrived. I didn't have time to wait for her to decide to show up on her own, so I invited her over, hid in the outhouse, and pretended it was all her idea. Don't judge me.

I did not know she was an alien until I moved her in, though. That was a surprise. Damn you and your plot twists, Sims 4!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Chapter 1 - Spacious living quarters, with a great view!

My name is Andrea Starling, and I am the heir to the multi-billion corporation Starling International. In theory. My father suggested I find a place to stay out of town, while all the hubbub dies down back home. I must say, he had a fair point. The desert town of Oasis Springs seemed like a good enough place for an extended holiday. Pleasant climate, warm sun - no need for anyone to bundle up for the winter!

The architecture here is quite beautiful to look at, especially the wealthier areas of town. No heir to the Starling fortune would ever be caught slumming it, that's for sure. The real estate agent advertised the property I'd be staying in as spacious living quarters, with a great view. I imagined something a little bit like this:

Imagine my surprise when I found this:

That sonuvabitch. I have to admire him in a way. Takes a true artist to pull what he did without actually lying. Still, though, this wouldn't do. I hired a firm to at least put up some walls for privacy, and while I waited I explored the town. The library was nice, with an excellent selection of literature. Some of those titles put me right in the mood for some romance.

Speaking of, there are some true babes in this town.

The first one I hit it off with was a girl named Liberty. I had her pegged for a quiet nerd at first, but there's a fair bit more to her than that.

When our conversation got a little steamier, earning far more stern glances from the librarian than we really deserved, we took it to the park. Normally I take my dates to the bar, but I have to confess funds are a bit tight at the moment, with the unexpected construction work and all. Liberty's a good sport though, she didn't mind one bit.

On second thought, though, maybe it wasn't the best choice of location after all. Let me tell you, it's hard to flirt with little kids staring you down while they play on the monkey bars.

There was an unfortunate deal-breaker, though. I was just about to ask her if she wanted to try this again sometime, maybe somewhere more dimly lit with something to drink, when she leaped to her feet with a cry of "Ohhhh wow! It's a real emergency, this time! Comin' right through!"

I'll be damned if the girl didn't sprint right past me all the way to the bathroom. Now, that's no way to behave on a classy date out.

While she tended to took a moment to refresh myself in the mirror. Figure out how to let the girl down. She was nice and all, but a man of my reputation couldn't be seen in the company of a woman who acted that way in public. At least, not if I wanted to salvage what was left of it.

By the time she finished, I'd worked out what to do. I could surely keep things casual with her, as long as my public affairs were with another. A brilliant solution. We spoke for a few minutes more, and I even regaled her with a few tales from my time at the corporate offices.

We shared a brief farewell kiss, hidden from gossiping eyes by the privacy architecture surrounding the public bathrooms, and then I bid her farewell.

Once she'd left, I was free to continue to browse the highlights of what Oasis Springs had to offer. One lady in particular, Harley Proctor, caught my eye immediately. I complimented her on her taste in trousers, and she fell right into my arms.

Before we got to spend much time together, the sun was beginning to set, and it was time to return to my new home. Of course, I elicited a promise from her to meet again soon. It wouldn't do to let so fine a lady slip away. When I got home, I discovered a basic shack had been constructed surrounding the bathroom facilities. It wasn't much, but it would do.

My bed was still out under the stars. To be honest, I didn't mind it much, though I would surely need to move it under a proper roof before I invited anybody over to visit. At least the vacant lot across the street wouldn't judge me, however poor my accommodations.


Mid-date bathroom emergency was a true story. Nice going, Liberty.