I should have taken another day off work. I’m finding it a bit difficult to focus after spending the past five hours consoling my heartbroken teenage daughter.I’m finding it especially difficult to pick up the slack for everyone around here. Patients are waiting at the front desk with no receptionist or nurses in sight. I searched the upper floor — no nurses in sight. I searched the check-up rooms — nothing. I’m the on-call doctor for the maternity wing — it should have been empty.“Are you a complete and total idiot? You cannot bring contagious patients into the maternity wing! Pack your things, Hodge. I want you out of this hospital now! And Dale, don’t think I’m finished with–” I was interrupted by a loud thud in the lobby. “Dale, come with me. I’m going to show you what I’ll do to you if you break my daughter’s heart one more time…” I really should have taken another day off.
Spooky Day 2015
Nathanael Johnson — doctor
Bliss Johnson — dead patient
Jenna Johnson — zombie schoolgirl
Julianna Johnson — festive performance outfit
Jonah Johnson — headless horseless horseman
Haleigh Day — pregnant zombie schoolgirl
“Hat Guy” Billy — gladiator
Duke Nye (stepbrother of Dale) — flirty guy
Dale Nye (unpictured) — ninja
Vivienne Hodge (unpictured) — Princess Leia
Behind The Scenes:
This party was full of drama. Guests came and went all night; Dale didn’t show up until the very end. Jenna found him dancing in the gazebo; little did she know, he had brought his baby mama as his date. She was heartbroken when he flirted with someone else right in front of her. She picked a fight with Nurse Hodge — dishing out everything from insulting her music taste to implying her mother is a llama. The night ended with Ninja-Dale sneaking away, Nurse Hodge soaked in fruit punch, and Jenna gleefully running home.
Dale sighed to himself. After days of preparing an apology speech in his head, he had finally mustered up the courage to talk to Jenna. There she was — as beautiful as always — sitting with her mother. He barely got two sentences out before she (literally) ran away. He looked around the festival grounds, hoping to see some sign of her. Straight in front of him were a couple of produce stands.
I should’ve bought her some flowers, he cursed himself silently.The big Spooky Day celebration was only hours away. The park had really come together; the hospital was sponsoring the event at Bliss Johnson’s request, and all of the doctors had put in overtime to set up the decorations. Nathanael Johnson offered to cater; he had concocted all kinds of slimy, green and black-colored ice cream flavors just for the event. Rumor had it there would also be a cheesy eyeball dish served later on in the night.Even Julianna had signed up to help. She was running the kissing booth, sponsored by a new lingerie store that recently popped up in Magnolia Promenade. She would later be performing her new comedy routine on-stage.Jenna, who opted to not help with anything due to her recent troubles, found herself hiding out in the fortune teller’s tent. The fortune teller was nowhere to be found, but the peace and quiet alone was enough to help clear her head and figure some things out. She considered the situation from Dale’s perspective, and she knew what she had to do.Finally, she took a deep breath and ventured out of the tent to find her mother. She needed one last piece of advice before she did anything rash. “Are you sure you’re ready to handle that kind of responsibility?”
“No, but I’m ready to try.”
“Then you’re ready.”
“Dale! I need to talk to you!” As soon as Jenna caught Dale’s attention, Dale’s father, Jaxen, fell from his chair at the chess table. A loud shriek came from one woman; another burst into tears. Bliss ran to Jaxen’s side, checking for a pulse, but it was too late. She knew there was only one way to save him now. Her knees shook as she pleaded with the reaper.The reaper responded in a low growl, “Trust me, you want me to take him today. If you people knew the legends as well as you know brands of candy, you’d know that tonight is the night ghosts travel to the netherworld. Do you really want him to be stuck here, haunting the park, for a whole year?” Bliss hung her head low. “No,” Grim answered for her. “Let him go.”
“What’s this about, Mom? I don’t need another lecture about leaving incense burning, if that’s–”
“I just want to talk with you, come sit down.”
“So…how has school been?”
“Dunno. Haven’t been for two days.” “And why is that?”
“Dunno. Just…stuff.”“Jenna, you know I have no problem with you skipping school — if you tell me why. If something is going on that I need to know about, I expect you to tell me. Don’t think I haven’t noticed Dale’s absence around the house…what happened?”
“Okay, look, Dale and I…we had a thing, y’know. Then one day he comes over and tells me he…You know that nurse, ‘Hodge’ or something? He…she’s pregnant! He got her plumming pregnant! Like, sure, we hadn’t ‘defined the relationship’ or anything, but I thought…y’know–““It sounds like you two have some things to talk about–”
“He won’t talk to me! He keeps plumming ignoring–oh, plum. Don’t look, Mom, here he comes…”“Jenna!”
“I think I’ll go help your father with the snacks for tonight…you two have fun! Nice to see you, Dale!”Plummit, Mom…
“It’s been so long! How are you?” “Err, I…good. I’ve gotta go.”
“Uh…okay. See ya!” I guess…
October 31, 2015
Writing Prompt: You have the choice to erase one incident from your past, as though it never happened. What would you erase and why?
I’m sitting here going half crazy,
Cause I know he still thinks about me too,And there ain’t no way in hell
That I can be just friends with you.I wish we never did it,And I wish we never loved it,And I wish I’d never fell so deep in love with you,
Cause now there ain’t no way we can be friends*
*Can’t Be Friends by Trey Songz
Because it’s not really in the game’s limits to have a reaction to your best friend/boyfriend getting another woman pregnant (unless you’re there to witness the woohoo), Jenna hasn’t been sad about that, per say. She has been sad due to low social, as Dale was the only person she really socialized with aside from her family members (who have been particularly busy lately with aspirations/school/work). For whatever reason, Dale is always “busy” when she calls to chat or invite him over. Therefore, I’m writing as though he is ignoring Jenna partly because he’s busy taking care of a newborn, but mostly because he feels guilty for cheating on her and doesn’t know what to say.
Jenna isn’t upset about “the incident” more than she is sad about losing him as a friend (their friendship meter has gone down thanks to Dale never answering her calls). In this chapter, Jenna thinks as though if they hadn’t had a romance, they could still be friends — no weirdness or ignored calls. But they can’t take back what they did, and the feelings are still there (their romance meter is still full). We’ll just have to see if Dale gets his plum together and puts some effort into the relationship.
Unhappily Ever After
October 30, 2015
Writing Prompt: “And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there?
I am most certainly not living happily ever after — that is, if happily ever afters even exist. Maybe those only happen in fairy tales. If that’s the case, I’m plum outta luck, because my life is anything but a fairy tale. Or…maybe it is. Do all fairy tales have to have a happy ending? Let me put it this way: Once upon a time there lived a beautiful princess in a magnificent castle. She had everything: jewels, gowns, the heirship, and most importantly, love. This beautiful princess was wandering the castle grounds one cool, foggy morning. After some time, she had lost her way and began to cry. She wandered aimlessly until she stumbled upon the stables. A young boy close to her own age was sitting on a bale of hay, watching his father work. The princess and the stable boy met in the forest every day for years. They became the best of friends. The princess told him of her etiquette classes and grand balls, the stable boy told her of his blacksmith apprenticeship and creative ideas. As they grew up together, they grew to love each other. One cool, foggy morning, not unlike the morning in which the princess met her stable boy, she glided across the lawn with a smile upon her face. She had spoken with her parents, the King and Queen, and had received permission to offer her stable boy a position in her Princess’ Guard, which would then allow her to marry him. If it weren’t for her heavy skirts, she would have run to him.
When she reached the forest, she found him slumped over a rotting stump. She called his name softly, and he turned to her, tears in his eyes. “I am to be married,” he said without emotion. “My master’s daughter and I have–I have disgraced her, and now I must make things right by marrying her.” He walked away without another word.
That was the last time the beautiful prince would see her stable boy, and the last time she would love. Her heart became as dark and cold as the foggy morning on which it was broken. She was remembered to history as the Barren Queen; her reign was the last of her family’s.
October 26, 2015
Writing Prompt: What’s the most time you’ve ever spent apart from your favorite person? Tell us about it.
Dale Shae Nye has my favorite person for as long as I can remember. As young kids, we made up make believe games together. As older kids, we vacationed to Granite Falls together. As young teenagers, we braved our first day of high school together.He’s been there for me through every thing. He was my shoulder to cry on when my grandpa died. He became my best friend when my former best friend Tamara moved away. And I’ve been there for him through everything. I was his shoulder to cry on when his parents got divorced. I became his stability when his mother ran off with some younger guy.Being with him is easy…familiar…comfortable. I wouldn’t know what it feels like to be away from him, because I never am…but that’s about to change. Everything is about to change. He began with, “I need to tell you something…”
I couldn’t believe it. “You…you’re going to be–”
“A dad, yeah.”
Author’s note: You may remember Jaxen Nye, an immigrant townie originally from The Bloomer Legacy. Thanks to the MC Command Center mod, he married a nice townie girl and they made the handsome, charming devil that is Dale Shae Nye. Not long after, they suddenly and unexpectedly divorced. Both of Dale’s parents eventually re-married; Dale moved in with his father, step-mother, and step-brothers. Maybe it was the raging teenage hormones, maybe it was Jaxen’s long work hours preventing him from giving Dale ‘the talk’ — whatever it was, he knocked up a nurse at his father’s hospital. Well…I did say I needed more “challenge” to this challenge.
Edit: As for Tamara “moving away” — she got culled. I need to pay better attention to the pop cap.
October 24, 2015
Writing Prompt: If you normally write non-fiction, post a photo. If you normally post images, write fiction. If you normally write fiction, write a poem. If you normally write poetry, draw a picture.
How about “if you normally do all of the above, make a scrapbook”? I went to a birthday party this weekend and made this for my sister as a late birthday present:
October 23, 2015
Writing Prompt: Explore the room you’re in as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Pretend you know nothing. What do you see? Who is the person who lives there?
I’m in a dark, woody attic. One corner is full of old instruments; an overstuffed leather couch leans against the stair railing. A couple of empty juice bottles litter the floor. The person who lives here has a dark side, and has an outlet.A small writing desk is positioned against one wall to catch the morning sun. It houses textbooks and school supplies; it shelters book bags and pencil cases. It’s clean. Though it’s a place of work, it’s also a place of peace for the person who lives here.On the other side of the room, there is organized chaos. Everything has a place, though that place may be piled on top of another thing. It’s a place of old memories and new ideas. The person who lives here is a writer; the person who lives here is me, Jenna Johnson.This room is my sanctuary: my safe place, my sacred place. This room provides inspiration and an outlet. It’s my favorite place in the whole, wide world. Good thing, too, because I’ve been spending a lot of time up here avoiding my angry sister.
Writing Prompt: Tell us about a time when you should’ve helped someone…but didn’t.
Last night my little sister came to me while I was doing my homework. The conversation went something like this:
“Sis, what’s it like being–”
“So awesome? Hehe, you’ll never know.”
She groaned and left me alone. Mission accomplished. This morning she knocked on the bathroom door while I was getting ready for school. The conversation went something like this:
“Seriously, Sis, I need your–”
“No! Whatever it is, you can’t have it!”
She stomped away. Mission accomplished.When I walked into the kitchen to grab some breakfast, I froze. I facepalmed. The conversation went something like this:
“Jules, I’m so sor–”