Boreal Springs

February 19, 2008

O`Hanlon – Round 5: ‘Saying Goodbye’

Filed under: O`Hanlon — Tags: , , , — Mao @ 1:30 pm

O`Hanlon Family Round 5

Mary O`Hanlon moved into her old house and offered her friend, Gina Saunders, a place to stay until she gets settled. Can these two Fortune sims help each other climb the career ladder to success?


Mary is horrified

Mary and Gina had left their bags at the doors, anxious to sit down after the long ride from campus. Eileen and Sun-Tzu had cleared out earlier in the morning, leaving the house empty except for Lady. Mary went to the bathroom and let out a horrified shriek, causing Gina to come rushing to her aid.

“What did mom and Sun-Tzu do to this house?!”

They hired a maid immediately.

Derek visits Mary

Aside from the bathroom mishap, the two young women quickly set into a routine. Mary took a job at the law firm she worked at as a teen and Gina was trying to break into journalism (but got stuck writing obituaries). One day, when Mary had off and Gina was at work, an unexpected visitor came by.

“Derek, what are you doing here?” Mary tried to sound firm, but it just came out as frightened.

“I was just looking for Gina,” he said carefully. “I’ll leave.”

“No, wait, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be cruel. H-how are things with Katy?”

Derek explains

“Miserable,” he said easily. “You really shouldn’t have done that, Mary. Why did you tell her it was you? I–”

“It wasn’t right and it wasn’t just your fault. I had a part in it, too. I didn’t… want to be some ‘on the side’ fling or some sort of relationship destroyer.” She gave him a stern look. “My mother raised me to have better opinion of myself than that.”

Derek looked angry all of the sudden, “and you think I would do that to you? You should have spoke to me instead of avoiding me. I was going to break up with Katy, Mary. But I had to find the right time. I didn’t and don’t want to be with her. I wanted to be with you, but that apparently doesn’t matter nor mean anything.”

“Derek, I’m sorry… I didn’t… I didn’t know…”

Gina catches Derek and Mary

Gina stepped out of her carpool, sighing heavily. The Grim Reaper sure had been busy this week. She smoothed down her suit and walked forward, only to see her brother and her roommate making out on the lawn. Her brows furrowed.

“Derek? What are you doing here?”

They jumped apart and looked quite abashed. It was Derek who spoke first, “Er, I had come to find you…”

“Why?” She asked pointedly. “You’ve found me, now what is it?”

“I.. I can’t remember,” he grumbled. “I should go.”

“You should.”

Mary and Gina talk

“What’s going on, Mary? I thought you two decided against that back at University.”

Mary frowned, “I hadn’t meant for that to happen. It just… did. I tried getting him back with Katy and I tried avoiding him and nothing works, Gina. I don’t know what to do. I’m at the point where I just wish I had told Katy it was him and then we would be together… but she would be so hurt.”

“You can’t protect everyone, Mary,” Gina said sagely, pointing at her with her fork. “You can’t force Derek to love Katy, just as she can’t force him to love her. You also can’t force yourself not to love him, if you do. Though, I don’t know why you would. My brother is a blockhead.”

“I guess you’re right,” Mary replied, but quickly added: “about the love stuff, not the blockhead stuff.”

“So talk to him… without the kissing this time. He’s my brother, you’re my friend, and that’s just gross.”

Derek meets with Mary

Mary followed Gina’s advice and invited Derek over one evening after she got home from work. Gina promised she’d give them space–she had recently been promoted, but kept her new job rather secretive–and would be holed up in her room at her computer all night. Mary kind of wished she’d been around to supervise.

“Is Gina here?” Derek asked, looking around.

“Yes, she’s in her room, and don’t act like you’re sneaking around. This is a friendly visit, Derek.”

Derek and Mary 'talk'

“This is hardly what I’d call friendly, Derek.”

“What? This is friendly. We haven’t done anything.” He grinned, “Katy is driving me crazy–I should be angry at you for sticking me with her. The house is chaos, you have no idea.”

Mary frowned, “I wish you had told me what you meant to do.”

“We’re not married yet, I can still–”

“No, Derek. I called you here tonight to tell you that we can’t see each other… friendly or otherwise. I’m sorry, I really am… but there’s nothing else that can be done. You’re engaged. You can’t back out now. This… this has to be,” she frowned, closing her eyes. “This has to be goodbye.”

Gina types away

Gina sat hunched over her laptop, her fingers moving deftly over the tiny keys. Her mind was a flurry of activity and she found no issue getting the right words. Her promotion landed her a job writing articles–about life. Right now she was writing about the situation unfolding before her–love that simply couldn’t be due to bad decision making.

Mary’s dog, Lady, sat dozing on her bed. Lady always slept with Mary and the fact that she was in Gina’s room now didn’t bode well. Gina saved her article and closed the window, giving a heavy sigh. She hoped Mary had finally made the right decision.

Mary talks with Gina

Gina groggily got out of bed and stumbled into the hallway. The smell of pancakes woke her up and she hurried to the table. Mary was already seated.

“Good morning,” Mary said, though her usual cheer was missing. “I have off today so I thought I’d make something good to eat.”

“I’m not going to complain,” Gina replied, popping a tasty piece into her mouth. “How did it go?”

“I… I don’t… we–” Mary frowned, her eyes watering, “I-is it wrong, Gina? To say g-goodbye?”

“No,” Gina abandoned her food and gently placed her hand over Mary’s, “it isn’t.”


Note from Mao: I just had to say ‘wouldn’t it be nice if I could practice writing romance/drama crap? I really suck at that’ didn’t I? Thanks, Prosperity Hood, for becoming Days of Our Lives in just two rounds. Buh. Anyway, yeah, Derek and Mary got busy and I have Risky WooHoo. Do the math. It always kicks in when I don’t want it to.

February 18, 2008

Anderson 2 – Round 4: ‘Visitation’

Filed under: Anderson — Tags: , , , , — Mao @ 7:13 am

Anderson family 2 at round 4

Florence Anderson just graduated and now has a house of her own. Will she succeed where her parents failed?


Florence gets a pizza

Florence was the first to graduate and the only one to move into a brand new house. She bought a plot next to her parents and quickly began to pursue her dream job. It wasn’t hard to get into the gaming field, but she found that a love for pizza was almost a requirement. Her job certainly helped the time pass while she waited for Shaniqua to graduate.

Florence makes money

Being a gamer had its perks, of course. She found that she could simply make money by just having fun. It was certainly a welcome thing as Florence had hit the books hard in University and was looking forward to some relaxation. She had achieved her flawless 4.0 and proved herself. Now it was time to enjoy life.

Not that she was about to give up her lust for knowledge, just that it wouldn’t consume her every waking hour.

Shaniqua visits

There were certainly other things to pay attention to. Shaniqua visited often and was quite happy with how the place was shaping up. Florence had never thought she’d end up with a girl, but she had never been interested in relationships, so she really had no expectations. At first, Shaniqua had drove her crazy… now being without her felt like a crime. It was strange how opposites could attract.

Florence’s family hadn’t really reacted to the news. Her father wasn’t concerned, he had Alyssa set to inherit everything and Janine had just said, with a vacant look, “as long as you’re happy.” At least they weren’t freaking out–that was a plus.

Florence is abducted

Unfortunately, things aren’t always meant to go smoothly. One night, Florence was perusing the stars while she waited for Shaniqua to arrive. Shaniqua came up to the house just in time to see Florence whisked away by a bright, blue light. She ran back to her car and returned to her house at B.S.U. immediately, gathering up the remaining residents and forcing them to come back with her.

To say it was a frightening experience would have been an understatement.

Florence is okay

By the time they got back, Florence was safely in her house. She looked surprised to see them all gathered outside her doorway, worried expressions on their faces. She let them in and assured them all, especially Shaniqua, that she was fine. They asked what had happened, but Florence couldn’t tell them–she hardly remembered.

After Florence finally managed to shoo them all out of her house and back to college, she decided she wasn’t going to talk about it again. Unfortunately, a sick feeling in her stomach sent her reeling over the toilet not a moment later. It didn’t appear she was going to get the chance to ever forget about it.


Note from Mao: Ahhh… yes, Florence is abducted. Haha, that figures. And I’ve got the equal-opportunity alien pregnancy hack, too. My first abduction in this hood, woo. I’d be excited, but I’ve never had trouble getting sims abducted and it always happens when I don’t want it to. I guess this is one way for lesbians to have kids in The Sims 2…

February 16, 2008

B.S.U. Campus – Round 4: ‘Drama-RAMA!’

Filed under: B.S.U. Campus — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 11:42 am

B.S.U. Attendees Round 4

Florence Anderson, Derek Saunders, and Katy Fuchs have had an easy go at campus so far. Will the newest additions–Mary O`Hanlon, Gina Saunders, and Shaniqua Saunders–have the same luck?


Florence meets Shaniqua

Florence made no attempt to hide her distaste for her newest roomies. The house was now very crowded and she was being forced to share her room with none other than Shaniqua Saunders. The very thought of Shaniqua’s lifestyle intruding on her study plans made her vocalize her anger when Shaniqua greeted her.

“Great, nice, that’s fantastic,” Florence said with a glare, dismissing Shaniqua’s offering for a handshake. “Just remember that some of us here actually care about their grades and future.” With that, she stalked off.

Shaniqua was flabbergasted, to say the least.

Shaniqua is confused

Sharing a room with Florence was just plain weird. Not because Florence was so abrasive and standoffish, but because for the first time, Shaniqua was sharing a room with a girl who wasn’t her sister. Florence went to bed early, so she was always asleep when Shaniqua retired to her own bed.

She often caught herself glancing across the room at Florence, who was sleeping soundly and quietly. She was very pretty. Shaniqua shook her head violently and quickly shuffled off into her own bed. Where did that come from?

Derek is nervous, Katy is suspicious

“So, you’re Mary,” Katy said, sizing up the young blonde girl in front of her. “Derek’s told me a lot about you.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Katy,” Derek replied quickly, looking like a deer caught in headlights. He rose up from the couch to greet his old friend. “I told you one thing.”

Mary just laughed, missing the tension in the air, “I hope it wasn’t anything bad.”

Katy gave a small, though secretive, smile, “no… nothing bad. Nothing bad at all. Hmm.”

Derek is tempted

Despite the various tensions that existed within the house, life at Boreal Summit University continued normally. Well, as normally as it could. A particularly dysfunctional time was when they were all home for dinner. Mary often cooked and would clean up the dishes, too. Katy took particular notice of Derek’s rigid posture and the way he forced himself to look forward when Mary innocently bent over near him to take his dish.

If Gina noticed, she didn’t say anything and Shaniqua was too lost in her own confusion to notice her brother and friend’s dilemma.

“Is something wrong, Derek?” Mary asked, completely oblivious. “You look like you swallowed something bad.”

“Yes, Derek,” Katy said from the couch, closing her book. “Why don’t you tell us what’s on your mind?”

“N-Nothing.” He said quickly, scooting out of the chair and fleeing. Mary just watched him in confusion while Katy’s eyes narrowed.

Derek approaches Mary

Mary found him an hour later, still hiding in his room. She knocked on the door tentatively before entering. She closed it behind her and approached him.

“Is everything okay? You’ve been acting weird since I got here. Did I upset you or something?”

He shook his head and moved from the bed. A very bad move, he knew, because it forced him closer to Mary. He’d known her since she was a little girl and while it was completely wrong to feel the way he currently did, his brain nor body would hear none of it.

“Nothing’s wrong, Mary,” he assured her, though he was unable to meet her eyes. “I’m sorry, things are… just weird. With Katy. I dunno.”

She laughed, “you know, when I found out Katy was going to University with you… I was a little upset. I had a crush on you when I was a little kid! Creepy, huh?” She laughed again, her face turning red. “Okay, well, I’m gonna go.”

Derek was tempted to grab her arm and keep her from leaving, but his rationality took over and he watched her leave.

Shaniqua and Florence talk

Shaniqua and Florence had been sharing the room for over a semester now. They formed a tenuous friendship, mostly for the sake of peace, though there was a tension there that neither of them could identify. Florence dealt with it by being unnecessarily snappy and Shaniqua just tried to avoid her.

They ran into one another in the kitchen. It was late and they were the only two still awake. Shaniqua spun around only to bump directly into Florence, who had approached her, but not yet spoke.

“Sorry,” Shaniqua managed, her hand accidentally brushing Florence’s. She looked sheepish. “Sorry, again.”

“It’s okay…”

Shaniqua and Florence kiss

A few awkward words later and suddenly, they kissed. It was a bizarre change of events that initially made zero sense to either of them. When the moment ended, they stared at one another, eyes wide as saucers.

“Uh… I need to go.” Florence said quickly, running off to her room.

Shaniqua just stood there, completely shocked. “I’m not gay.” She said in a low voice, shaking her head. “I’m not… so what was that?”

Unbeknown to both of them, someone else had been awake and saw the whole thing.

February 13, 2008

O`Hanlon – Round 4: ‘Finally, a Wedding!’

Filed under: O`Hanlon — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 9:28 pm

O`Hanlon Round 4

Eileen O’Hanlon and her daughter, Mary, have made quite a life for themselves in Boreal Springs. With Mary headed to college, will Eileen finally tie the knot with Sun-Tzu Yu?


Mary chats with Derek about Uni

Mary O`Hanlon graduated High School with high honors and looked forward to spending her summer before University working on her bank account. She didn’t need to worry about her living accommodations–she’d be moving in with Derek, Katy, and Florence. Shaniqua and Gina would join them, as well.

Derek came over to discuss the overall arrangement with her. They knew each other only vaguely, but found a common bond now that they were closer in age. The formed a friendship over their money coveting.

Mary, Shaniqua, and Derek hang out

Shaniqua was weirded out to see Derek around at first, but she eventually got used to it. She missed her big bro and it was nice to see him. Though, she had to admit, she was a bit leery about how close he and Mary were getting. They had way too much in common.

One evening, while hanging out, Shaniqua zoned out and imagined them kissing. She nearly threw up all over the place. Her reaction startled them out of their talk of the SimStreet Market and financing options.

Eileen greets Sun-Tzu while Mary trains Lady

Sun-Tzu, of course, made many visits to the house. He and Eileen had a lot of planning to do. They had decided to change their vacation over to their honeymoon and were going to marry at the end of summer. Instead of moving immediately to the Yu house, they’d remain here until Mary returned from University.

Mary, meanwhile, spent the last bit of summer training Lady up for her next promotion.

Eileen and Jun talk

Jun also took the time to visit and gossip about her latest endeavors. Unfortunately, Eileen knew all about her little triangle with Henry Saunders and Thomas Anderson. It wasn’t much of a triangle–poor Henry. She had tried to urge Jun away from the marriage, but Jun wouldn’t budge. She wasn’t about to let her free-meal ticket slip away.

Jun though it was weird that Eileen was marrying her uncle, but she was too busy talking about herself to say anything.

Eileen and Sun-Tzu's Wedding

Sun-Tzu and Eileen married on the last day of summer. Eileen O`Hanlon become Eileen Yu. It had an odd ring to it, but it didn’t matter. They also did a silly ‘culture reversal’ for their wedding; Eileen wore something ethnic (and even let her hair down) and Sun-Tzu donned a traditional tuxedo. It was a nice, open-air ceremony. They opted out of booking the chapel.

Mary was certainly happy for her mother, even if her dress was a little itchy. It kept slipping, too. Where was double-sided tape when you needed it?

Eileen and Sun-Tzu's Wedding

Eileen and Sun-Tzu's Wedding

Of course, not everyone was thrilled about the union. Off in the background, unnoticed, Roger slipped off. He wasn’t jealous, per say, but he couldn’t help the twinge he felt seeing his brother with a younger woman. Especially when Sun-Tzu has spent all his years jet-setting around the world, never caring about female companionship. He had a bachelor’s beard and Roger thought he meant to kept it forever.

February 8, 2008

O`Hanlon – Round 3: ‘A Quiet Calm’

Filed under: O`Hanlon — Tags: , , , — Mao @ 1:26 am

O`Hanlon Family Round 3

Eileen O`Hanlon, and her daughter Mary, came to Boreal Springs looking for something better. So far, so good. Can they continue to prosper while avoiding the drama their other neighbors seem to be facing?


Mary cuddles Lady

Mary: So, I guess it’s my turn… I’m Mary, my mother is Eileen. Which, you probably know, right? Sorry. I’m not very good at this, I guess.

I’m not a little girl anymore, as you can plainly see. In fact, I’ll be ready to go to University soon. I can’t wait. I really want to get out and get an awesome job. I’ll really miss Lady, but mom said she’d take care of her while I was away. Plus, I can always come back and visit!

Mary confronts Eileen

As you probably also know, my mom is dating that guy, Sun-Tzu Yu. I mean, sure, she denies it… but it’s plain as day! In fact, one day, she slipped. I asked her how her date with him went and she replied it went well. She didn’t catch it until it was too late!

I’m cool with it–she’s an adult and she’s done everything for me. It’s about time she enjoys herself. Sure, he’s old, but that just means he’s all wise and stuff. I guess? He is kinda cool, though. He has all kinds of stories.

Eileen and Sun-Tzu spend time together

Now that mom knows I’m cool with it, Sun-Tzu spends a lot of time over at the house. Well, a lot more time, really. I’m mostly at school or at work, so they’ve got plenty of time to themselves. While I know about it, most others don’t. I’m not sure even Sun-Tzu’s brother and sister-in-law know!

I’m sure they’ll find out soon enough. They’re making plans for some kind of vacation. I’m not really sure, as I’ll be off to University by then!

Lady grows up

In the meantime, Lady left her puppy days behind her. She turned out really cute. She’s kinda noisy though, and she has a weird fondness for knocking over the trash bin. Worst of all, she rolls in the garbage! I thought mom was going to have a heart attack when she saw it.

We’re trying to break her of it. At least she isn’t peeing in the house anymore!

Lady gets a job

Mom suggested that Lady get a job. Of course, I was all for it. More money would certainly be welcome! Plus, it’d give poor Lady something to do while we were both away. I’m sure she gets lonely.

Somehow, I don’t think mom’s motives were as altruistic. She said that Lady howled so loud she could probably get some kind of record deal! Mom was being a bit over dramatic, but Lady did get a part in a pet commercial.

Mary is an overachiever

I was having my own successes at work, and mom, too. But I had managed to do as well as I could at the law firm–as a teen–while also keep my A+ average! Mom jokingly called me her little ‘overachiever’, but I was beaming. I was definitely ready for college now! Stupid age restrictions… I want to go make some more cash!

Sun-Tzu and Eileen plot, Mary watches

Sun-Tzu and mom are finalizing their vacation plans. They’re trying to plan it around me leaving, so I won’t be home alone. I told them it was fine, but mom said that it would be rude. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind the break away from all the lovey-dovey stuff. Focusing on my education and scholarships hasn’t left much time for any romancing. Not that I’m really into that stuff… but sometimes, maybe it’d be okay.

I’m sure I’ll feel differently at University when I have stuff that’s challenging. I do love a good challenge! Plus, I’ll be with Shaniqua and Gina. We don’t get to hang out much now, but that’ll change at Uni!

Mary paints

Until then, I’ve found some solace in painting. I’m not very good, but I do like doing still life! Plus, it makes some money and that’s always good. Things are really calm and quiet here, it’s nice. I’m sure it’s boring to you, but I’m glad we’ve managed to side-step the drama storm that’s swept the neighborhood.

Yeah, I know about Jun. She and mom are friends, after all. What a mess! I heard mom whispering into the phone about a pregnancy. Poor kid.


Note from Mao: This family is really drama-free.  It may be a boring read, but it is a nice respite!  No worries of messed up family trees and whatnot.  Though I am trying to figure out how this is all going to work while retaining the O`Hanlon name and hopefully getting an heir for the Yu family…

February 4, 2008

O`Hanlon – Round 2: ‘Blissfully Poor’

Filed under: O`Hanlon — Tags: , , , , — Mao @ 5:00 pm

Round 2

Eileen O`Hanlon and her daughter, Mary O`Hanlon, are adjusting well to Boreal Springs’ unique environment. Will they continue to prosper?


Eileen fixes the shower

Eileen: Ugh, stupid plumbing! I knew when we got this house so cheap there was a catch–turns out, it’s the cheap plumbing. My bathroom is currently a lake and this shower keeps spitting out water!

Aside from the ocean forming in my bathroom, I guess things are going pretty well. We’re still pretty hard-up for cash, but it’s not so bad.

Eileen and Sun-Tzu have lunch

You probably already heard through the grapevine that there’s something going on between Sun-Tzu Yu and I. It’s not true, we’re just good friends. Jun is great, but Sun-Tzu is a better person to talk to about ‘adult’ stuff–like bills, jobs, etc. Speaking of which, it turns out he was an author in his country. He has all kinds of amazing stories and he’s traveled a lot, too.

What? Oh, you’re probably wondering how I can understand him, right? Well, his English isn’t that bad. I mean, it’s getting better. He’s been reading books and stuff. He’s learning.

Sun-Tzu meets Mary

He gets along really well with Mary, too. She loves all his bizarre folk tales. I was really surprised, I figured Mary would think he was here to take me away. I’ve never dated anyone–not since that fiasco with Mary’s father.

Not that Sun-Tzu and I are dating or anything.

Sun-Tzu helps out

He’s really very sweet… he helps out a lot with the stuff I just don’t have time for. Work is getting really hectic, but it is worth it for more money. Gamers really don’t get paid much at all! I guess because the job is fun? I haven’t quite found the joy in “ganking n00bs” yet.

Eileen goes to work

I’m even working weekends now. I hate leaving Mary with a nanny, but we really need the money. I have a surprise planned for her and I want to make sure we have enough saved up. Hopefully it’ll make up for not getting to spend weekends together anymore…

The repo man cometh

Unfortunately, while I was at work, we got a visit from the Repoman. Why do they always come when the adult is at work? That’s creepy. Apparently, in all the chaos, I’d forgotten to pay the bills. Oops.

He didn’t take much. In fact, what he took worked out nicely…

Mary and Shaniqua play

Thankfully, Mary’s friend, Shaniqua Saunders from down the street, was visiting so Mary didn’t really notice. It was the nanny who informed me of the Repoman’s visit, while giving me a weird, old-lady eye. I guess she was worried I wouldn’t be able to pay her! Stingy old woman.

Eileen brings home Lady

Shaniqua was still there when I stepped through the door with Mary’s present. I picked up a puppy at a local pound and bought the necessities on my way home from work. Mary had wanted a puppy since I could remember, but our old place was an apartment with restrictions. Now that we had a house and land of our own, there was no reason she couldn’t have one.

Mary greets Lady

Mary: It’s the best present ever! I named her Lady. She’s so cute.

Eileen: Just make sure you don’t coddle her too much, Mary. You don’t want her to get too dependent. She’ll miss you while you’re at school.

Mary: I’ll take her to school with me! And we can all play with her at recess–

Eileen: Er, no. I’m sorry, Mary, but Lady has to stay home. Schools don’t allow pets… but your friends are more than welcome to come over and play with her here.

Eileen cleans up Lady's mess

Of course, puppies aren’t all fun and games. I’m stuck cleaning up the messes… but Mary’s birthday is fast approaching and soon it’ll be her worry. Lady will be her introduction to responsibility and nurturing a life.

I had a cat when I was a little girl. Mr. Whiskers taught me a lot… he was a good cat. I miss him.

Mary and Eileen build a snowman

Mary’s birthday came and went. I’m afraid there wasn’t much fanfare, we just don’t have the money. I guess our situation inspired her to focus on money. She’s determined to get us out of this rut and while she wants to go to college, she’s trying to get all the scholarships she can to cover the cost. She’s a sweet kid, but I hope she doesn’t spend too much time worrying over money. It isn’t everything.

At least the snow distracted her. It was beautiful and perfect for building a snowman. She isn’t a little kid anymore, but she still agreed to build one with me.

Mary goes to work


Eileen: What’s this picture doing in here? Mary!

Mary: What’s wrong, mom?

Eileen: This picture! Look at it–I’m dancing with the dog in the background. I really don’t want everyone to see that!

Mary: Oh, I didn’t even notice. It’s me going to work for the first time, remember? The Law Firm is great–I want to be a lawyer and make tons of cash! Then you’ll see, mom, the good life. You won’t have to fix our crappy shower or work with a bunch of geeks ever again!

Eileen, sighing: That’s nice, Mary. But remember, you’re still a teenage. Why don’t you go have some fun?

Mary: Can’t! Homework is calling… see ya!


Note from Mao: Sun-Tzu and Eileen get along incredibly well, but they are taking their sweet time. Sun-Tzu is supposed to be several years younger than Roger and Risa, so I’ll be taking measures to ensure that in gameplay. Oh and you may have noticed the new link at the top–Neighborhood Files! It’s a ‘database’ of all the residents. I’ll be linking their names to their pages at the beginning of each entry. I’m hoping that makes it easier to keep track of them!

February 2, 2008

Saunders – Round 1: ‘Moving On’

Filed under: Saunders — Tags: , , , , , , , — Mao @ 9:38 pm

Saunders Round One

Henry Saunders moved his family to Boreal Springs to get away from the memory of his life who left them to find her ‘spiritual center’. Will they be able to adjust or is it too late to move on?


The twins play catch

Moving turned out to be the easiest part for the Saunders family. They packed what little they wanted to keep and found their empty shell of a house situated on the ‘founder’s road’ of Boreal Springs. While Henry busied himself unpacking, the children enjoyed the last hours of the warm afternoon. None were particularly grieved by the move and surprisingly, they no longer mentioned their mother.

There was a house-wide ban on all things involving or relating to Yoga, though.

Henry meets Janine

One of the first neighbors to greet the new family was Janine Anderson. She and Henry hit it off well, and he had to admit disappointment when he saw the ring on her finger. She didn’t act married–she seemed incredibly lonely. Henry couldn’t help but think to himself how stupid her husband was.

They became friends and Henry enjoyed having an adult to talk to. He hadn’t left the house much outside of his job since his wife left.

Henry goes to work

Despite his lack of experience, Henry managed to find a job. He joined the army. It was ironic, he thought, given how out-of-shape he was. He’d let himself go a long time ago and hoped the army would instill in him the discipline to change that. Plus, it paid well and they really needed the money. Derek was still a year under the working age limit and the twins wouldn’t be able to help out for several more years.

The Saunders have dinner

The Saunders kept their spirits high, despite their money troubles. They were a tight-nit group, eating most of their meals together. When Henry went off to work in the morning, Derek made sure the girls got on the bus. Henry was always home to greet them when they returned.

Derek helped with meals and the twins watched intently. His mastery over Macaroni and Cheese was a thing of family legend and the girls were determined to learn his secret. He always shooed them away, though, before they could see his ‘secret method.’

Shaniqua, Gina, and Mary hang out

Shaniqua always had an easy time making friends. She was odd, but charismatic and friendly. Gina was a bit more reserved and serious. Thankfully, the twins shared everything, including friends. Shaniqua introduced Gina to all of her new friends and they quickly became a trio. Mary O`Hanlon was Shaniqua’s favorite friend. She was over often, hanging out on the floor with both Shaniqua and Gina.

Henry enjoyed teasing them and calling them the ‘troublesome trio’. They always seemed to get into something, despite the lack of anything around.

Derek and Katy hit it off

Derek was busy making his own kind of ‘friend’. Katy followed him off the bus, confused about the stop, and ended up hanging out at the Saunders’ house while she waited for her parents to pick her up. The two spent a good, long time hanging out and chatting. They learned that they had a lot in common.

Katy eventually admitted that she hadn’t accidentally gotten off the bus at the his stop. She was following him. She had first spotted him at his locker, which was across the hall from hers. Since then, she’d been trying and trying to find a way to ‘bump into him’. Derek wasn’t creeped out so much as flattered. His ego boosted, Katy returned home. They kept in touch and became fast friends.

Henry tries in vain to study

While Henry was happy that his children were adjusting easily to their new surroundings, he couldn’t help but wish they’d find somewhere else to hang out. He was often stuck trying to cram for his next army drill while all the kids were gathered in the makeshift ‘living room’ with their respective friends. It was hectic and noisy.

If Mary O`Hanlon wasn’t over, then another one of Shaniqua’s friends were. Katy practically lived there–she got off the bus everyday with Derek. Eventually Henry would be forced to give up and study elsewhere.

Henry and Katy become 'more than friends'

It wasn’t long before Derek and Katy became more than friends. Henry couldn’t help but feel a twinge when he realized his only son was growing up and soon would be leaving him. Even worse, his little girls would soon be just like Katy. He shuddered at the thought. They weren’t allowed to have boyfriends until they were dead!



Note from Mao: Ergh, I forgot to turn off the cinematic camera! Darn fresh installs. Silly camera. Note how Derek’s eyes are open! Tsk, tsk…

February 1, 2008

O`Hanlon – Round 1: ‘Settling In’

Filed under: O`Hanlon — Tags: , , , , — Mao @ 1:35 pm


Header image for O`hanlon, round 1

Eileen O`Hanlon moved to Boreal Springs looking for a new start and a better life for her young daughter, Mary. Little Mary is content with the move, as she never had many friends in their old place. They’re both hoping for something better out of this tiny and still-growing suburb.


Mary boarding the bus

Despite the fact they had just moved, Mary’s education refused to take second fiddle. Eileen quickly helped Mary get ready and watched her off as she boarded the bus to her new school. There were several other children Mary’s age in the neighborhood, so Eileen hoped she’d click with at least one of them.

In the meantime, Eileen found a job ad in the paper that seemed simple enough and didn’t require any extensive education or experience. She was now a ‘N00b’ in the gaming field. It couldn’t be that bad, right? How hard is playing video games for eight hours?

Eileen meets the neighbors

Eileen was thankful when some of the other newly moved in neighbors came over to say ‘hi’. She had the day off and without Mary around, Eileen really didn’t know what to do with herself. She used to sleep during the day and wake when Mary got home.

The neighbors were a colorful assortment. One in particular stuck out immediately–Jun Yu. In fact, Eileen could have sworn she recognized the ethnic woman. Eileen had DJ’d for several years in some high-profile hot spots, so it wasn’t unlikely that she had met the party girl at some point. She wanted desperately to ask, but found it hard to interrupt the… discussion she was having with Thomas Anderson.

Jun stays for dinner

Once Eileen finally managed to corner Jun, they had a nice chat and realized they’d seen one another several times. Jun admired her skill at the DJ booth and Eileen countered with an appreciative note about Jun’s dancing ability. Jun stayed for dinner and Eileen felt that she had her first friend in Boreal Springs.

She was a little worried about Jun’s impact on Mary, though. Mary seemed to take it all in stride, asking silly questions and being generally childish when the topics turned ‘adult’.

Eileen and Mary play with leaves

The next few days went on and Eileen and Mary set into a schedule. While the gaming job wasn’t as simple as Eileen had initially thought, she was thankful for the easy hours. She went to work when Mary went to school and got home an hour after Mary got off the bus. It was nice and allowed some ‘together time’, something they didn’t have much of when Eileen was a DJ.

Eileen was also more relaxed. Instead of scolding Mary for throwing her newly-raked leaves all around, Eileen joined her and soon they were both picking leaves out of their hair and clothing.

Mary helps out

Mary did her best to be the helpful child and helped with chores. Even nasty ones, like trying to file off all the scuzzy stuff from their toilet. She couldn’t begin to understand how it had gotten so dirty! She resolved that until it was all gone, she was using the bathrooms at school. How sad is it when you’re opting for public restrooms over your own home’s offerings?

“This is so gross,” she cringed through closed lips. She wasn’t dumb enough to open them! The scuzzy film would get in her mouth and she’d probably lose all her teeth. “Mom needs to take her own advice on ‘bathroom etiquette’…”

The good and bad

Despite her toilet duties, Mary was excelling in school. She brought home an A+ and couldn’t have been happier. Unfortunately, Eileen’s own accomplishments weren’t so glowing. She got demoted for being, well, a ‘noob’ and if it happened again, she’d probably be fired. Who knew gamers could be so… harsh?

Still, she put on a good face for Mary and did her best to encourage her. Then, when Mary was inside, she took her frustration out on the leaves. Darn nerds, calling her a ‘n00b’!

‘They probably just like the word because it rhymes with ‘boob’–something they probably won’t ever see.’ She muttered to herself as she attacked the wayward leaves with a rake.

Shaniqua stays for dinner

Eileen couldn’t be frustrated for long, as the next day her wish had been fulfilled. Mary brought home a friend, a girl from down the street named Shaniqua Saunders. She was a little odd and enjoyed talking about strange things. Mary said it just added to her ‘mystique’ and that she was actually really nice. Eileen decided to take her daughter’s word for it.

As she watched Mary listening intently to Shaniqua’s ravings against The Gypsy, Eileen couldn’t help but think that the move was the best idea she’d had in a long time. She could only hope that the collective neighbor’s eccentricities allowed for growth and understanding and not a major meltdown.


Note from Mao: Just a note to say that I’ll be switching between 1st person narrative and a 3rd person narrative. It all depends on the story, the entry, and how the week goes. Right now things are slow and still coming together. I’m also working on something that may help ease the ‘people confusion’ that comes as Prosperities grow larger.

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