1.4- Summer Fun Day: Part One

With the Summer season in full swing, it was the perfect day to be outside. Avery loved the warm weather and all that came with it. The barbecues, the water balloon fights, the sunshine. But mostly, she loved how everyone would gather together and celebrate. In Willow Creek, it was called Summer Fun Day. Alice had spoken about it a couple of days before with sadness in her eyes. It was the one day of the year when her husband would take her and their daughter camping at Granite Falls. But this year, she was excluded. Eric was really being horrible to Alice, and that made Avery mad. Alice was such an amazing person and didn’t deserve to be treated with such disrespect. Avery had a great idea- she would make Summer Fun Day so fun that Alice would forget about missing out on the annual camping trip. She invited Alice, Gunther and Maaike to the park for a fun-filled day in the warm sunshine.

The four of them gathered around a bucket of water balloons. This was the first part of what Avery called Operation: Make Alice forget her mean husband. Of course, she kept the name to herself. As she reached down to grab a balloon from the bucket, Alice and Maaike looked at each other and smiled. They raised their balloons above their heads and, at the same time, they threw them at Avery. The balloons hit her shoulder, exploding and soaking her in cold water. Avery let out a squeal and looked around in surprise. “Who did that?!” Alice and Maaike burst into laughter, almost falling over. Avery smiled. She liked seeing Alice happy.

Avery joined the pair, bursting into a fit of laughter as well. “That.. was.. so.. mean!” Avery tried to catch her breath. She bent over, gasping for air through the laughing fits. When she had caught her breath, she stood up and gave them an evil stare. “It is so on.” Alice and Maaike looked at each other. “I think we’re in trouble.” Maaike grinned. “Trouble? Yeah, right. I bet she couldn’t hit a tree if it was less than a metre away from her.” Avery’s jaw dropped open and they began laughing again. Avery picked up a balloon and threw it at Alice. It collided with her face, sending her stumbling backward.

Alice gasped as she landed on the grass. Everyone stopped for a moment as Alice stood up and brushed herself off. “Well, I guess I was wrong.” Maaike clapped her hands together as she giggled. “Either that, or it was a fluke. I bet she couldn’t do it again.” Avery frowned as she picked up a second balloon and lined Maaike up. She released it and the balloon flew through the air, connecting with Maaike’s torso. She stopped laughing and looked stunned. “Holy Moly, you play dirty!” She smiled at Avery. “Did I forget to mention, I’m the best at water balloon fights?” Avery winked.

While the two were bantering, Alice took the opportunity to catch them both off guard. She threw one at Maaike and, almost simultaneously, she threw another at Avery. Both balloons hit their targets and Maaike and Avery looked at Alice, who was laughing so hard that tears were bursting from her eyes. Maaike and Avery looked back at each other and smiled. It seemed that Maaike had also noticed how sad Alice had been and they were both happy to see her having fun. As the three of them laughed together, Gunther shook his head. “Women.” He muttered. The girls all looked in his direction and he gulped. “Did I say that out loud?”

Avery, Alice and Maaike each grabbed a water balloon and threw them at the same time. Gunther’s eyes widened and he let out a little squeal as he dodged all three. The girls stared in silence, their mouths open. Gunther started dancing around. “You may be the best at throwing balloons, but I’m the best at dodging them!” he sang. As he danced around, Avery threw another one. It hit Gunther in the back and he spun around. “Who threw that?” Avery winked at him. “You mean, you were the best at dodging them.” His face turned bright red as he shook the water away.

Avery won the water balloon fight, and made sure everyone knew it. She pulled faces at them and danced around. “I win! I win! You lose!” The others rolled their eyes and whispered to each other. Avery looked at them. “What are you whispering about?” They looked over at her and grinned. “Oh no.” She screamed as they ran towards her, tackling her to the ground. Avery looked up at them as they cackled, and a smile stretched across her face. Alice reached out and helped her up. “You guys are the best friends I’ve ever had.” Her eyes sparkled as she looked at the three people standing in front of her. “I’m so glad I moved to Willow Creek.”

1.3- Avant Gardes

Avery was excited that she had made a new friend. Especially considering she had always found it difficult to put herself out there and interact with people she didn’t know. When she woke up, she had a message from Alice. It read, “Hey Avery! Yesterday was so much fun. Thank you for inviting me. If you want to meet some more people, you should join a couple of clubs. I think it will be great for you.” Avery liked spending time with Alice, but joining a club made her nervous. What if they didn’t like her or they thought she was weird? It was a big risk to her self esteem. Maybe Alice was right, though. After all, Avery was planning to live in Willow Creek for the rest of her life. She took Alice’s advice and found a couple of clubs she was interested in. One of them was called Avant Gardes. Avery read the description. ‘Enjoy debating the subtle points of fine literature? Need help with your homework? Or maybe you just don’t fit in anywhere else? Maybe, just maybe, you could be an Avant Garde.’ Avery noticed that they were meeting that afternoon and called the club leader. She was invited to join them at South Square Coffee at 3pm.

Avery had time to spare before the club meeting, so she made herself some breakfast. As she chopped the apples and tossed them into her fruit salad, she thought about the life she had left behind. She remembered him and the look on his face when she told him she was leaving. The anger in his eyes. Just the memory of him sent a cold shiver down her spine, causing the knife in her hand to pierce her thumb. She yelped in pain and dropped the knife. She watched as the red liquid oozed out of her skin. Wrapping her thumb in a tissue, she finished making her meal and sat down to eat. She tried to think about something else, rather than the memory of him as he threw anything in his reach at her. The image of her dodging him and locking herself in her room. The sound of his voice as he screamed at her through the door. No matter how hard she tried, she could not focus on anything else. Once she started to remember, it was hard to stop.

After finishing her breakfast and finally managing to shake the negative memories from her head, Avery washed up and made her way to the library. She sat at a computer and opened up a fresh document. Avery loved to write. Her dream was to be a bestselling Author. As she placed her fingers on the keyboard, they took over, typing word after word, sentence after sentence. She loved how writing could take her anywhere in the world. The level of her creativity was limitless, an endless stream of possibility. All her worries and fears would disappear whenever she made that first mark on the blank page. Hours would pass in the blink of an eye. When she glanced at the time, she gasped. She had only minutes until she was supposed to be at the cafe. She quickly saved her work and shut down the computer before making her way to Windenburg.

When she arrived at South Square Coffee, she spotted the club leader sitting at one of the far tables. She walked over and smiled. “Hi, I’m Avery. I’m sorry I’m late. I was writing and I lost track of time.” The woman smiled back at her. “Hi Avery, I’m Maaike. It’s lovely to meet you. It’s so easy to get lost when you’re writing. Would you like to have a seat?” She gestured to the seat across from her and Avery sat down. “So, Avery, I hear you are new in town?” Maaike sipped her coffee. “Yes, I just moved to Willow Creek a couple of days ago.” Avery smiled. “How are you liking it so far?” Avery’s eyes lit up. “Oh, it’s beautiful. I love it. Everyone seems really friendly.” Maaike took another sip from her cup. “Yes, most of them are. I’m glad you are enjoying it.”

A tall man approached the table. “Afternoon.” Avery looked up at him. He was very thin and had the typical look of a writer. “Hello, Gunther. This is Avery. She’s new in town. Avery, this is Gunther.” Maaike introduced them and Avery waved. “It’s nice to meet you.” Gunther stared in silence for a moment. “H..Hi.” He looked around awkwardly. Avery looked at Maaike. “Gunther is a little shy.” Maaike explained as he sat at a different table. Avery giggled. “That’s fine, so am I.” Maaike stood up. “I need a refill. Would you like one?” Avery nodded and the two walked up to the counter.

Maaike and Avery ordered their cappuccino’s. Gunther appeared next to them and smiled at Avery. When she smiled back, he quickly looked away. He ordered a coffee and fidgeted as he waited. Avery thought he was even more socially awkward than she was. She didn’t think that was possible. When their drinks were ready, Gunther grabbed his and quickly made his way back to the table. Maaike laughed. “He really is a lovely person once he opens up. I have a few things to do. I’ll be back shortly.” She smiled.

As Maaike walked away, Avery looked over at Gunther. She moved to his table and sat next to him. “Hi Gunther. How are you?” His eyes widened. “Oh. I’m, uh, alright. You?” Avery smiled. “I’m pretty good. So are you in the Avant Gardes?” He seemed to relax. “Yeah, I am. It’s a great club. And Maaike does a great job as leader.” He looked at Avery. “Why did you move to Willow Creek?” Avery’s mouth turned dry and the smile disappeared from her face. “Oh, you know. Just needed a bit of a change.” Gunther nodded. “Change is good. It’s great to get a new perspective sometimes.” Avery’s smile returned. “It really is.” The two of them talked for a while before the club gathering ended. Avery went to find Maaike and say goodbye. “I’d be delighted to have you join our club, Avery. You seem to be a really nice person and we have a lot in common.” Maaike grinned. “Oh, wow. That would be great, I’d love to join.” Avery hugged Maaike before waving to Gunther. He waved back awkwardly, making Avery and Maaike chuckle.

1.2- Humour and Hijinks

Avery smiled as she inhaled the crisp morning air that surrounded her. She listened to the sound of the birds as they sang their sweet songs. Opening her eyes, she sat up and stretched out her arms. As uncomfortable as it was, she enjoyed sleeping under the stars. Her stomach broke the peaceful silence with a loud rumble and she realised she had not eaten since she arrived in Willow Creek. Luckily she had some spare change in her pocket, so she made her way to a nearby vendor and ordered the most breakfast-like item they had. Sure, Chocolate Parfait wasn’t the most healthy thing to eat first thing in the morning, but she didn’t really feel like eating french fries.

Avery thanked the woman for the food and sat down to eat. As she looked out over the water, she took in the stunning view. The sun was coming up, casting a warm tunnel of yellow light which reflected on the water like diamonds. She looked at the time. 8:45am. She still had a couple of hours before she had to start work and she really needed to find a public bathroom. Scooping the last spoonful into her mouth, she walked back to the vendor. “Thank you very much, it was lovely. I’ve just moved here and I don’t have plumbing yet. I was wondering where the nearest public restroom was.” The woman smiled at her. “There is a gym in the main part of town. They have showers.” Avery passed her the empty bowl and smiled back. “Thank you. Have a nice day.”

After finding the gym and quickly showering, Avery went off to her first day at Walrus Books. She worked hard all day and returned home feeling tense. Her head was pulsing, the awful feeling of a stress headache, and her back was beginning to feel the effects of sleeping on a hard surface. She looked over at Alice’s house and had the perfect idea. She needed to wind down and Alice definitely needed some fun in her life. She knocked on the front door and Alice answered. She looked surprised to see Avery standing on her front porch. “Hi, I’m Avery. We met yesterday.” Alice forced a smile. “Yes, I remember. Is everything okay?” Avery smiled back at her. “Yes, fine. I was just heading into the city. There’s a festival on and I was wondering if you would like to join me.” Alice looked even more surprised. “Oh. Sure, I’d love to. Just give me a few minutes to get ready.”

Avery and Alice arrived at the festival and were immediately instructed to pick a side- Pranksters or Jokesters. They decided to go with Jokesters and the game began. Avery and Alice’s team were to tell as many jokes as they could in order to beat the Pranksters. They had a lot of fun and, at the end, the winner’s were announced. The Jokesters had won the game and each received $500, a microphone and a bunch of fireworks, which Avery was able to sell for more money. After all, she needed the money more than she needed a microphone and fireworks.

After the game ended, Avery sat down with Alice and they had a couple of drinks. It was obvious that Alice had been drinking before Avery knocked on her door, so now she was a little tipsy. “I’m really sorry about yesterday.” Alice looked guilty. “He isn’t always like that.” Avery touched her hand. “It’s okay. You don’t have to apologise.” Alice began to cry. “We used to be so happy. I only had eyes for him. Then this amazing man moved in next door and made me feel special.” Avery looked at her. “Aaron?” Her eyes shone. “To be honest, I miss him.” “What happened to him?” Avery asked. “I invited him over for dinner. Afterwards, I walked him home and he told me he couldn’t stop thinking about me. Then the next morning he was gone.”

Avery felt her heart break for Alice. She clearly wasn’t happy in her marriage and her husband wasn’t treating her very well. She needed the strength to stand up for herself and believe that she deserved better. But Avery knew that was much easier said than done. She stood up and held out her hand. “Come on. The fireworks are about to start.” Alice smiled and wiped away her tears. She took her hand and stood up. “Thank you Avery. You’re a great friend.” Avery’s eyes lit up. She had made her first friend. That was a big step for her as she had always found it difficult to socialise with new people. The two of them made their way over to watch the fireworks as they lit up the city sky.

After the fireworks ended, Avery and Alice returned to their neighbourhood. “Thank you for tonight, I really needed a friend.” Alice smiled and wrapped her arms around Avery. “I’m always here if you need to talk.” Avery hugged her back and they said goodnight. Walking in her front door, Avery looked at her new bed. Now that she had the essentials- a bathroom and somewhere to sleep that wasn’t a park bench, and her first friend in Willow Creek, Avery began to feel that everything was coming together. She showered and put on her pyjamas before climbing into bed and drifting off to sleep.

1.1- No More Lemons

When she arrived in Willow Creek, Avery fell in love with the beautiful scenery and fresh air. She made her way to the neighbourhood that was now her home. The land was a lot bigger than she had expected and it was surrounded by gorgeous views and peaceful fishing spots. Avery already knew she had made the right decision. She couldn’t remember the last time she had felt so calm, so grounded. This would be the place where she would spend the rest of her life. The place where she would fall in love and raise a family. And, hopefully, the place where her future generations would find their own dreams. She had finally found a place where she could be truly happy.

Upon reaching the front door, Avery took a deep breath in and turned the handle. The door opened to reveal a small, empty room. It was a good thing she didn’t bring all of her belongings with her. As she looked around the room, she made a mental list of what she would need. Plumbing was a must and she would need something to sleep on, but with no money left, both of those would have to wait. She could find a public bathroom and a park bench for the night, and hopefully she would earn enough money from her first day of work to buy the essentials.

All of the moving had made Avery tired and in desperate need of a shower. She looked outside at the rain that was pouring down and decided that no one would be able to see her if she chose the right spot. She quickly made her way around the side of the shack and looked around. There was no one in sight so she undressed and began washing the dirt away. Immersed in her favourite song which she sang out of tune, Avery failed to notice her new neighbours as they were walking up to her front door. One of them cleared his throat and she shrieked as she ran to the back of the shack. “Just a minute!” she called out, frantically pulling on her jeans and shoving her arms into the sleeves of her top.

As she joined her new neighbours, she could feel her face turning bright red as they stared awkwardly at her. “Hi, uh, I’m Avery.” She held out her quivering hand. The man who cleared his throat looked her up and down. “Eric.” He took her hand in his and gently kissed it. “What are you doing?!” A young woman with long black hair draped over one shoulder slapped him across the arm. He glared at her. “Now you know how it feels.” Avery stepped back as she felt the intense anger radiating from the couple. “How dare you! I would never flirt with another man in front of you!” she screeched. Eric laughed. “No, of course not. You would just have him over for dinner while I’m out of town.” The woman looked away. “I told you, it wasn’t like that.” Her voice was barely a whisper.

Avery looked around awkwardly. “I told you, Eric.” An older lady joined the argument. “She’s just not good enough for you.” The woman was silent. Avery felt bad for her. “Hey! You can’t say that! If anything, my daughter is too good for your son!” An old man defended. “Why don’t you just stay out of it before you break a hip or something.” The lady glared at him. “Maybe you should do the same. After all, you’re a good five years older than me.” The old man gritted his teeth.

“Both of you stay out of it!” Eric growled.. “Neither of you have any right to say who should be with who!” The two of them pursed their lips and Eric looked back at his wife. “Whatever happened between you and Aaron, I don’t know. But what I do know is, I don’t trust you anymore.” The woman’s eyes began to water as Eric and his mother walked away. “Come on, Alice. Let’s go home.” The old man placed his arm around his daughter’s shoulders and led her back up the driveway. As she looked back, Avery noticed the tears were now streaming down her face.

Avery spent the rest of the afternoon thinking about Alice and how sad she looked. She felt so sorry for her. She wasn’t sure what happened between Alice and that Aaron guy, but it wasn’t okay for her husband to treat her like that. Avery knew what it was like to be miserable in a relationship and be treated badly by a person who is supposed to love you unconditionally. The memories had started to flood back to her as she watched Eric belittle his wife in front of a complete stranger. As she lay on the park bench that would be her bed for the night, Avery looked up at the house on the top of the hill and said a silent prayer for Alice to be happy.

Introducing the Founder

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. That’s what they say. In other words, make the best of what you get. For a lot of people, making lemonade comes easy, but for others the sour taste of lemons is just too much. Avery Reynolds is one of those people. For each curve-ball that life threw in her direction, she found it harder and harder to dodge them. It got to the point of no return. She decided it was time to say goodbye to her old life and start fresh in a new place. She couldn’t bear the taste of lemons any longer.

Avery found an ad online for a large block of empty land in a high-end neighbourhood in Willow Creek. It would cost her $10,000 just for the land, which would leave her with a little under $2,000. It wasn’t much, but it would be enough to build a small shack and she could always add extensions when she earned some money. After applying for a job as a Writer’s Assistant at Walrus Books, Avery decided to buy the land. She packed up her essentials and left the rest behind before boarding a ferry to her new home.

Avery Reynolds
Traits: Gloomy, Creative, Family-Oriented
Aspiration: Bestselling Author

Succession Laws

Gender Law- Equality

The Founder may be of either gender. Both boys and girls are eligible for the title of heir.

Bloodline Law- Modern

Both Naturally born and adopted children are eligible to be named heir.

Heir Law- Random

The title of heir is randomly selected from the pool of all eligible children. Every time the eligible pool changes size, The heir must be re-rolled using the new pool.

Species Law- Tolerant

The species of the child has no impact on their eligibility for heir status.

There will be times when I may bend or break the rules, this is purely for the story so I will not be scoring.

Sabio and the Giant Apple

Tonto ran as fast as she could up the dirt path towards home. As she reached the front door she burst through, shouting excitedly. “Sabio, come quick!” When there was no answer, Tonto raced down the stairs to the basement and threw open the door.

Sabio spun around “Tonny stop!” He shouted. But it was too late. Tonto couldn’t stop in time and collided with a table, sending everything on it toppling to the floor. She raised her hands to her mouth and mumbled through her fingers. “Oh no! I’m really sorry!” Sabio started scooping up soaked books and broken cylinders and throwing them into the bin. “Let me help.” Tonto reached down. “No!” Sabio pushed her hand away. “Just get out.” He turned away from her and she ran back up the stairs, tears bursting out of her eyes.

Sabio and Tonto sat quietly at the table as their mother placed their dinners in front of them. She noticed the angry look on Sabio’s face and Tonto’s red puffy eyes. “What happened?” Sabio picked at his food. “I accidentally broke Sabio’s science stuff.” Tonto’s eyes started welling up again. “I didn’t mean to, I swear. I just wanted to show him something.” Alessandra looked at her son, who was pushing his food around with his fork. “Sabio?” She placed her hand on her son’s shoulder and he looked up at her, tears filling his eyes. “I didn’t mean to yell at her. I’m really sorry.” Sabio whispered, his voice catching. Alessandra gave a little smile. “I know, honey. And I’m sure Tonny didn’t do it on purpose.”

Sabio looked over at his sister. “It’s okay, Tonny. I forgive you. And I’m sorry I got angry at you.” Tonto jumped up and threw her arms around her brother. “I love you Sabio!” Alessandra looked at her children and felt a wave of pride wash over her. “I love you too Tonny.” Sabio whispered back. After finishing their meals, Tonto and Sabio washed the dishes. “What did you want to want to show me?” Sabio asked. A grin appeared on Tonto’s face. “Come with me!”

Tonto took her brother’s hand and led his outside and back up the dirt path. After a few minutes, they reached a clearing. “Over here!” Tonto ran towards an apple tree. Sabio looked at her with a puzzled expression. “These apples are special. They’re magical.” Tonto gestured towards the red fruit hanging from the branches. “There’s no such thing as magic, Tonny. Let’s go home.” Tonto frowned. “They are too magic!”

Sabio turned and started back towards home. “It’s getting late. We have school in the morning.” Tonto looked down at her feet before picking one of the apples and slipping it into her pocket.

The following morning, Sabio opened his eyes to see Tonto sitting on his bed with a smile on her face. “Morning, Tonny.” He rubbed his eyes. “I told you so.” She pointed to the apple, which was sitting on the desk. Sabio looked at it, then back at his sister. “What are you talking about?” She sighed, frustrated. “It grew.” Sabio sat up. “Yeah. That’s generally what fruit does.” He put on his slippers and made his way towards the bedroom door. “But I picked it last night and now it’s bigger.” Sabio ignored her and walked out.

That night, Sabio and Tonto got ready for bed. With just a couple of hours sleep, Sabio woke suddenly. He heard a rustling sound at the other end of the room. “Tonny, go back to sleep.” He looked over at Tonto, who was fast asleep. The rustling sounded again and his eyes shot over to the desk. The apple began to shake and then doubled in size. It continued to grow until the wooden desk cracked under its weight.

Sabio shook Tonto awake. “Tonny, you were right!” Tonto rubbed her eyes and looked over at the desk where the giant apple was sitting. Her eyes grew wide and he jumped out of bed. “Wow, Sabio! It’s amazing!” Sabio looked at his sister. “What are we going to do with it?” Tonto rubbed her chin. “Ooh, I have a great idea! Apple Pie!” Sabio raised an eyebrow. “I don’t think we could fit all that into an Apple Pie.” Tonto thought harder. “What if we make Apple Pies for everyone in town?” Her brother smiled at her. “That’s a great idea, Tonny.” She looked at the apple. “We should probably get started… This could take a while.”

The two of them stared at the enormous red fruit. “One question.” Sabio scratched his head. “How do we get it to the kitchen?”

Author’s Note:

This is my entry for the Monthly Simlit Short Story Challenge – September 2019. The theme this month is Apples. I encourage my readers to take a look at all the entries and, at the end of the month, vote for their THREE favourites from each category (Novice and Veteran). I look forward to reading everyone’s entries this month and I hope that you enjoyed reading my entry 🙂