Chapter 2 - Part 16: Placebo Effect

Flora was unconsolable.  Confused, scared and alone, she found herself crying in front of the family member she'd lost.  The one she cared for most in the world.

"Grandpa," she sobbed uncontrollably, "I don't know what to do!"

Her words echoed off the marble walls, repeating the confusion back to her. "Please help me," she pleaded, "it can't be too late.  There has to be something I can do.  Someone?  Anyone?" she begged.

Her spine tingled and for quick moment she thought she'd heard something. Could it have been a whisper?  Then a cold breeze swept through the room, like a hand gently touching her shoulder.  It chilled her to the bone, yet it felt familiar. Where have I felt that before?  she thought to herself.

Then the answer came to her.

"Thank you for coming, Drake," she said, quietly.  

He hadn't hesitated a moment when she'd asked him to come over - even though the sun hadn't set completely.  Anything for the Cagley's he'd said, showing up less than two minutes later.

Now that he was here, she continued, "I didn't know who else to go to, Mom and Dad are a complete disaster.  They're barely speaking.  You were the only one I could think of.  Please tell me there's something you can do?"

It didn't take a Vampire to tell her that Vincent was in trouble.  He was so pale it seemed there wasn't a drop of life left in his body.

He'd been drained, for sure.  But that didn't explain... Julius was also drained.

It was clear that Vincent had been the one which was bitten, the marks the fangs left in his arm were a clear sign, but Julius had no such markings.  Why was the twin also affected?

Drake couldn't take his eyes off the motionless boys, "I have never seen anything like this in all my years.  It seems to be impossible that one's draining could have an affect on the other.  These twin boys are entwined to each other much more deeply than any normal humans, as if they were split from the same soul."

Flora shook her head in exasperation, "I don't care about all that metaphysical crap, tell me about my brothers!" she yelled, "Are they going to be alright?  What's going to happen to them?"  Tears started to well in her eyes.

The Vampire looked toward her and said in a quiet voice, "I am afraid there is nothing that can be done for them.  They have been too far drained.  It appears by a very skilled Vampire, who knew they would be left in this condition to elongate their suffering.  Or your family's."

"I am truly sorry, Flora," he finished with empathy in his voice.

She was too stunned to even move, so Drake let himself out of the house while Flora had to tell her parents the painful news.

When the call came two days later, Drake knew before she had to say a word.

"They're gone."  She said it so quietly you'd have thought it was meant to be a secret.  "My brothers are gone."

He pulled the trembling girl into his arms, where she cried softly into his shoulder.

"I am so sorry," he told her, smoothing her hair, trying to comfort her the best way his cold body would allow.  "Is there anything you desire?  How can I help?" he asked.

She pulled away from him in a sudden angry rage, "I want to find the monster that did this!  I want to make them burn," she clenched her hands so tight her nails were beginning to draw blood from her palms. "I want to stake the bastard!" she seethed.

Drake put his hands on her shoulders to calm her, "Quiet, be still," he soothed.  "We will find out who did this.  Together.  I vowed to watch over this family, on that I have failed, but I will do everything I can to make sure your brothers are avenged."

She looked the Vampire in the eyes and could see there was truth behind his words.  "Thank you, Drake," she told him.  "What would we do without you?"

Several days later was the wake.  The twins' bodies had been left at the hospital for additional testing due to the strange nature of Julius' death.

Faith tried her best to keep strong, a fake smile planted firmly on her face, as she prepared food for the guests.

"You don't need to be strong for me, Sis," Cecil told her.  "It's a terrible, terrible thing that happened to them boys.  A tragedy," he finished softly.

When she didn't respond, he continued, "I can't imagine what you're going through right now.  I don't know what I would do if something happened to my girls."

A few more moments of awkward silence passed while Faith busied herself with the preparations.  He continued, "Will you let me know if there's anything I can do for you?" he asked.

"Can you tell me if you think I've used too much salt?" she replied distantly.

In the other room, Pete was staring off into space as his brother-in-law Augustine was giving his condolences.  The loss of both their sons was hitting the couple extremely hard.

I'll never get to see them grow up, Pete thought to himself, never see them graduate, get married...  have kids.  How do I face that?

"Pete," a voice said.

So consumed by his thoughts he didn't realize he was being spoken to, his sister Amelia tried to gain his attention again more sharply, "Peter!"

Jarred by her voice this time he looked up, his face full of grief, "What do I do?" he said, not necessarily to  the woman in front of him, "How...?" his voice faded away.

His sister gave him her politician look and spoke matter-of-factly, "You stay with us, here, in the present," she said, not unkindly.  "You have a family who needs you, a daughter who lives, and a wife who is feeling just as confused and alone as you are."

Pete could only stare down at the floor in response.

Amelia pointed toward the kitchen where Faith stood staring blankly out of the window.  "Go to her.  Be there for each other."

He nodded and walked slowly away.

"Faith?" He said as he stepped up to her side.  "How are you doing?"

She rounded on him, "I wish people would stop asking me that!" she yelled.  "How do you think I feel?  My boys are dead!"  Her voice cracked, "I lost my boys!"

Unable to control his feelings, Pete lashed out back at her, "they were my boys too, you know!  You aren't the only one in pain here, I have feelings, too!"

Flora, sitting in the other room, could overhear everything her parents were saying.  Everyone in the house could overhear what was going on in the kitchen.

"They're in such pain," Khalilah said, sitting next to Flora.  "How do you cope with losing your child?  It must be so difficult."

Flora faced her cousin, "They aren't the only ones who lost someone!" her own voice started to rise.  "Ever since my brothers died it's like I'm dead too, I don't even exist to them anymore!"

She jumped up from the sofa and ran from the stunned woman toward the front door, fleeing from the arguing that was still issuing from the kitchen and the responsibility of being the only surviving child.

"No, Pete, I don't think you understand," Faith was shouting.  "Did you give them birth?  Did you wake up in the middle of the night to feed them?  Did you help them with their homework?  No!  You were too busy fiddling with your bench in the basement to pay us any attention!"

Pete couldn't believe what he was hearing, "whatever you say, Faith.  I don't want to fight, not today."

He slowly made his way through the living room, toward the staircase while the awkward faces of his guests passed by unnoticed.  Doubts about himself grew with every step, have I been a terrible father and husband?  Has my work taken me away from the lives of my family?  I've lost my sons and I never made an attempt to really know them.

The guests let themselves out of the house as Faith made her way upstairs to find her husband sobbing in the bedroom of their dead sons.

"I'm so sorry," Faith cried into his shoulder, "I shouldn't have said those things."

Pete pulled her close, unable to hold in his grief any longer.  "It just hurts so much," he said through heaving breaths and tears.

Now that they were finally alone and the long silence between them had been broken, she looked into the eyes of her husband and confessed, "I don't know how we're going to get through this.  I'm so scared, Pete," she said, her body starting to tremble. "What if he comes after us?  What if he tries to kill Flora next?"

He grabbed his wife, pulled her into a hug and held her close, "we're not going to let that happen.  The bastard might have taken our sons, but he can't have our daughter."

Flora found herself standing outside an unfamiliar door.  Not exactly sure what brought her to this place, she hesitated briefly before ringing the doorbell.  It was almost as if another hand was guiding her own as her arm outstretched and the button was pushed.

"Flora," the Vampire stated, almost as if she had been expected.  He glanced over her shoulder toward the street behind her and questioned, "did you come alone?"

Title Siouxsie and the Banshees



    It's been a challenge just getting the opportunity to play lately! I can't believe it's been this long. Talk about needing to oil up the machine again, this was rusty trying to get the words out!

    My game is a holy lag mess, as well. This was sheer torture trying to get the shots for this. I'm hoping that I can figure out a way to clear it up in a future chapter. Fingers crossed!!

    Thank you all for bearing with me during the unwanted break, I certainly hope to catch up with you all!

  2. Is... is this an... an update? Am I sleeping? *Pinches self* Nope. I'm awake.

    O_O HOLY SHIT YOU UPDATED! I... I have no words. Its like you were never gone. Your writing is amazing, my photos have angles that make me seethe with jealousy (Particularly that one of Faith yelling at Pete in the kitchen. Its taken as if through the eyes of someone just listening in and trying not to).

    Drake is such a sexy beast. I cannot even pretend to not be shallow. He is amazing.

    And yes, the chapter made me tear up. I refuse to believe the boys are actually gone. Nope. I refuse.

  3. Confession: Sometimes when sim-building I open up Faith's SavedSims file and stare at her nose for a while because I have yet to figure out how to steal it to prettify my own sims.

    Also, WHAT. A CAGLEY UPDATE? My world is turned upside down! Black is white! White is black! Nothing is as I expect it to be!

    Also, re: Pete's time machine adventures, I was waiting for that whole "brb for a few weeks, time machine" was going to come back to bite him.

  4. Finally an update :) I have been checking your page regularly and was frustrated everytime I saw that there was nothing new on it. But now an update, that is great!

    What happened to the boys is terrible. It must be so hard for the rest of the family to cope with that, and you managed to describe that in a way that almost brought tears to my eyes. I love your style of writing, it is really emotional and just...well,awesome!

  5. OH YES!! An Update!! I can't believe it :D

    And you just had to do this?? I can't believe not only David is gone, but Julius too!! And again, so damn well written! The emotions you have put into that! It's very good!

  6. ='(

    Great pictures. Looking forward to reading more.

  7. Fantastic update. And, as Cece said, your pictures are amazing. I actually stopped quite a few times just to stare. Then I had to scroll up to see where my eyes left off and continue. Glad to see you are back!

  8. Whee! You're back! And with such a gut-punching chapter. I was sure that Vincent had been turned. I had no idea he was going to go down and take Julian with him! Oh, dear.

    Cecil looked so regal. I too have a terrible crush on Drake. Flora got some real personality distinct from Faith here too. I'm on the edge of my seat for the next update.

    My game has been a holy lag mess for the last couple of days. I pulled out some mods, which I don't think turned out to be the problem. Then I realized that Stiles McGraw had been standing in the corner of the back yard for three days. Um. He was ancient and ready to die, plus he's not even in my story, so I annihilated him. And suddenly, lag gone! This is such a messed up game in some ways. As a software developer myself, I keeping thinking there has got to be a better way.

    If you don't mind, I think I might pull Morand or Faith and cross-pollinate in the Sample game :).

  9. Welcome back! But, man, what a chapter to come back with. I can't believe both boys are gone, was not expecting that at all! I can't wait to see more, hope you get your lag issues fixed. :)

  10. Welcome back!

    What an amazing chapter! I'm so sad both of the boys are dead and Faith and Pete are struggling to deal with it :(

    And oh my, what's about to happen to Flora?!

  11. Thank you all for the comments! It feels so good to be back into it again - I missed the Cagley's just as much as it appeared you did! There should be some real fun in store, as Flora's roll plays perfectly into this storyline. Can't wait to get it started!!

    Cece: I'm so glad you picked up on that shot - that is exactly what its intended purpose was. I'm always afraid what I see in my head doesn't translate, so thanks for confirming that it does! haha

    Zokugai: That's so funny about you and Faith's nose! haha Too bad you can't save certain body part settings, huh?? =)

    amhranai: Believe me, I was just as frustrated not to be able to play/update as well. I've been sitting on this story line for so long - I'm ready to get going again!! =) Thank you for not giving up and checking back in!!

    Klevkin: It was a tough call to lose both boys like this, but it made sense storywise. I'm happy that the emotions came through in the writing, that was the hardest part!

    Becky: :'( indeed!! Thank you so much for sticking with me through the haitus!

    heaven: It's an honor to have you as a reader, I've long admired your work! You are a building goddess!! Photography is a side hobby of mine, so I love to be in the Sim's world - it's perfect for a photographer because no angle is impossible! I wish it were like that in real life!!

    Susan: Thank you for noticing Cecil. I definitely wanted to feature him, since I'm not sure he's going to be around much longer. He's even walking around with a cane and all! He's been one of my favorite characters so far. I'm sorry to hear about your lag problems as well. I should check the neighborhood for stuck Sims, that could definitely be it!! I would be HONORED to see the Cagley genes in your Sample story.

    Melanija: To be honest, the way the chapter went wasn't how it was going to go originally, but it organically came about. So, I was a bit surprised myself (which is odd to say, considering that I wrote it!). I hope to get my lag issues fixed as well!

    Ali: I'm sad about the boys too, they were fun to play around with; Vincent the bad boy and Julius the goodie-two-shoes. I can't imagine what it is like to lose a child, I only hope I can portray it with a fraction of the turmoil it must be. As for Flora, we'll just have to wait and see! *wink*

  12. I have downloaded Morand and Faith. I'll either make them siblings, which seems vaguely creepy, or see if I can make Morand an Adult and make them father and daughter. You'll have to drop by for cross-pollination updates :) :).

    1. I can't WAIT to see the cross-pollination updates! It's so fun to see your characters pop up in other legacies! =)

  13. zomg, I didnt even know there was an update!!!! LOVE IT!

  14. Oh! The twins! I really loved their good/evil split and it really worked well in your story that they were two halves of a whole.

    I think I'm going to add Morand and Faith to my story... maybe for the next generation.

    1. Thank you for noticing that, Dragon! Julius was born with the "Good" trait and Vincent was born with "Insane" (not sure exactly where that came from...) so I kind of went to the extremes with them. Haha

      That would be too fun to see them pop up in your legacy! I love having random Sims from other legacies wandering around my town, too. =) Adds to the character!

  15. OMG!!!! Not one...but BOTH of them. Well this was another amazing chapter. I'm still in shock. Ugh, this was so sad but beautifully written. Although I might note that I cannot see the last photo. So I have no idea what vampire she just saw...even MORE suspense for me. Lol.

  16. Oh God, I genuinely did not see that coming. I assumed Vincent would be turned, but this twist was horrific (and amazing, obviously!) I can't believe both the twins are gone. Poor, innocent Julius. :( *sobs*

    I thought the scenes with their family trying to cope with what's happened were beautifully written and very realistic.