2.6. Shortsighted


Dominic Trémaux has traveled a fair bit in his short life, but Roaring Heights stands out as the most unique. There’s an unparalleled commitment to aesthetic, demonstrated by both the breathtaking art deco architecture and the dedicated vintage dress of the city’s residents. It’s interesting, if not a little touristy. But despite the obvious artifice, it’s a welcome change from his normal haunts: Bridgeport (polluted and full of rude people), Champs Les Sims (so provincial), and Faefall (technically on a different plane of existence, thus making it difficult to fit in).

But Dominic isn’t here for the beaches or clubs or celebrities. He has burned into his mind an address: 21 Palm Tree Avenue, the home of a man by the name of Gaius Gallus, suspected vampire. And he assumes--perhaps incorrectly--that this home contains what he’s looking for: four wands, priceless and powerful family heirlooms, and an ancient scroll with magical properties. He doesn’t know for sure what a vampire would want with such objects, but his primary hypothesis is that somehow, the vampire could use the magic components from the wands to strengthen a necromantic command spell contained within the scroll. The results could be devastating, which is why Dominic must retrieve them at any cost.


Palm Tree Avenue is just north of the city center, in an obviously affluent neighborhood. The house itself is cold and imposing. He drives by the home several times a day for a week, slowing down a little each time in the hopes he’ll gain some sort of clue about the missing heirlooms or their illegitimate owner. And each time, he feels an almost immediate desire to slam on the gas. It’s a ward, no doubt--a magical aura projected around a location with the purpose of psychically repelling any intruders. It’s the perfect security device for a vampire: with a ward he can ensure a safe resting place during the day without having to rely solely on human guards.

The ward also suggests that there is a mage in Gaius’ service, which is something of an anomaly. Most mages refuse to socialize with other magical creatures, and some--such as Dominic’s mother, Maker rest her soul--avoid even mundane humans. Younger mages are usually a little more open-minded, but few would work with or for a vampire.

Each time he drives by, Dominic tries to gauge activity. There’s the ward, of course, but does Gaius also have guards? Do they patrol the grounds? But he senses no one. The ward must be Gaius’ only protection. It’s possible that with this scant attention to security, Gaius is not keeping the stolen goods on his property. But Dominic doesn’t know where else to look, so his decision is made for him: he will need to break into a vampire’s home in search of magic wands.

Even to someone steeped in witchcraft and the occult, that last sentence sounds absolutely ridiculous.


When not conducting laughably bad surveillance, Dominic spends his time researching and planning. He rented a room at the recently renovated Windfall Motel, which has become his base of operations. It’s secluded, and the owner doesn’t question his insistence that he pay in cash. The owner also doesn’t ask for identification, so he signs in under the name Nikolas Oskarsson, a precursor to his plan.


He has decided to enact the plan in question the following morning, on Leisure Day. It’s the longest day of the year, and while he doesn’t think he’ll need that much sunlight, he wants to play it safe. But despite the promise of an exhausting day ahead of him, Dominic can’t fall asleep--he’s jittery, anxious about all of the possibilities. So he turns to reading. He has already read most of the texts on vampires he brought with him on this trip, and only one remains: Sanguine, or An Investigation into Homo Vampiricus.


Sanguine was published during the clumsy infancy of the contemporary scientific method. It chronicles the experiments of one Dr. Hawthorne, utilizing an epistolary novel format not unlike Frankenstein and Dracula. In fact, any person unfamiliar with the occult would assume that it’s nothing more than a cheap imitation of superior works of literature.

It begins with a preamble, written and signed by Ada Cummings:

“In the search for truth, man often disregards that which seems impossible, frightening, or against the very laws of nature. But you must recall that seemingly blasphemous creatures exist all around us: a female komodo dragon, for instance, can reproduce without the seed of a male, a biological trait counter to the laws of our Maker Above. It is with this gentle reminder that I ask you, dear reader, to hear my story with an open and scientific mind.

Some thirteen years ago, upon the death of my parents, I was taken into the care and tutelage of one Doctor Jude T. Hawthorne, a premier mind in the fields of phrenology, cryptozoology, and the occult. I felt particularly fortunate to find myself in such a situation, for Doctor Hawthorne had taken neither student nor ward during his illustrious career, as he was famously secluded. Despite my uncertainty as to what I should expect of him, I resolved to meet every expectation Doctor Hawthorne had for me: I would prove my worthiness as a student and--as soon came to be--adopted daughter.

Doctor Hawthorne and I became fast friends; I demonstrated my intellectual capabilities as a modern, educated young woman, a woman who had benefitted from the best education either sex could hope for, and he revealed that beneath his stoic exterior was a gentle and curious soul.

A few months after my arrival, Doctor Hawthorne requested that I join him in his laboratory as his assistant, a role that I cherished. It was there that I discovered the cause of my dear Doctor's solitude; he had in his laboratory three terrifying specimens, beasts of unnatural origin: vampires, he called them.”

Ada continues for several pages, explaining how and how Dr. Hawthorne ended up with three vampires in his possession and imploring the audience’s trust. Literary scholars take this preamble as evidence of its fictionality--after all, so many epistolary novels begin with similar pleas for patience and understanding. But Dominic knows better. Dr. Hawthorne was a real person, a scientifically minded mage who studied vampires tirelessly. And while this is Dominic’s first time reading the ‘novel,’ he had come across references to Dr. Hawthorne before. In fact, there are several texts by mages devoted to interpreting and recreating his experiments, which Dr. Hawthorne had conducted nearly twenty years. He was able to keep vampires in a constant weakened--but conscious--state by intravenously injecting a liquid silver elixir he had developed, and he used that as an opportunity to investigate the strengths and weaknesses of his captives.


The majority of the novel is experiment notes written by Dr. Hawthorne and then annotated by Ada. The results are fascinating: even with his subjects debilitated, Dr. Hawthorne discovered that vampires are physically superior to humans, both in strength and speed. The intelligence of his three test subjects varied widely so he hypothesized that physical prowess is what makes them predators to humans, not innate cunning.

Dr. Hawthorne’s primary objective, though, was to determine which elements of folklore were true and which were not. Obviously vampires are weak to silver, as demonstrated by his elixir. He also discovered that his subjects could cross running water despite tales to the contrary. They were not weakened by garlic or any religious imagery. They could die from staking, however, which the doctor discovered that when one of his subjects--a female he called Nox--taunted him too many times. It must have taken extreme physical force to puncture the rib cage with a mere piece of wood (sharpened Crataegus, according to the notes), so Dominic discounts that as a possible method of defense. It’s both impractical and far too violent for his tastes.

The experiments contained within Sanguine are both fascinating and repulsive, and Dominic soaks in every detail, hoping for some sort of insight that will help him in the unlikely event of meeting Gaius face-to-face. But with only a few pages remaining the notes end abruptly, leaving unclear the results of an experiment about dismemberment and regeneration. Instead, Ada’s narrative takes over:

“The creatures developed an immunity to the silver elixir. It was a slow process, but they hid their growing strength like the horrendous, duplicitous beasts they are. And one night, as we prepared for an experiment, they struck. Even the silver chains that held them couldn’t stop their rampage.

The Doctor’s screams echoed in my ears as I fled, running as quickly as my frail legs could carry me. And curses to my feminine frailty--I tripped as I ran, in the process knocking over a tray of surgical tools.

I believed this was to be my end, torn asunder by these sins against the Maker. But the creatures stopped, knelt, and began to count and collect the tools. Their countenances were twisted, angry, and they cursed as they tallied. I could tell in that moment that I was witnessing truth in fairy tale, evidence for an experiment Doctor Hawthorne had not yet conducted: arithmomania.

It was in this way I was able to escape, dear reader--I threw to the ground everything I could find, and the creatures--bound by some supernatural compulsion--were forced to kneel and count every object in their path.”

Arithmomania. Dominic had heard of this vampiric trait before. But this is the only text that has confirmed it through observation.

He had conceived a loose plan before arriving in Roaring Heights, its seed having been planted before he left Aurora Skies. It started with a simple question: how can I avoid the vampire’s attention? And when that question popped in his head, the answer was right in front of him. But with Sanguine, his plan has become more concrete.


First he has to prepare himself to overcome the ward. As a mage it shouldn’t be as difficult to resist as it would be for a mundane individual. He hopes with meditation, he can build up the willpower to break through the barrier.

His life is ridiculous.


The second step requires Lark’s help, and for that, he turns to her Simstagram page. He recently discovered through idle web searching that all of Lark’s social media pages are unsecured, and her Simstagram is the most active. It seems shortsighted on her part--after all, any weirdo could stalk her this way.

Dominic tries his best to ignore that he is currently said weirdo.


The most recent picture on her feed is a couple’s selfie of her and Nikolas. Lark has a faint smile on her face, which is gently framed by her dreads. Her ears poke out from under her hair,  betraying her extraterrestrial heritage.

But it’s Nikolas that Dominic is really interested in. He studies his face, trying to memorize every detail. Their eyes are about the same color, but Nikolas’ face is longer, his jaw less defined, his lips not as wide. He has a birthmark under his left eye, and Dominic recalls from their meeting that Nikolas is taller and broader than he is.


Suddenly there’s a pop-up on his screen: “NEW POST” it says, with an arrow pointing up. Dominic drags his thumb across the screen, refreshing the page. It’s another selfie, this one just of Lark. “Overdue >:(“ the caption says, followed by a series of hashtags: #killme #neveragain #thisishell #week41 #babybee

The corners of his mouth twitch, but he stifles the smile. He’s happy for her, really: she has a partner, a baby on the way, and she seems content. She has a good life, more or less, and she deserves it. He wants this too, someday--a family, that is. But his mother died before she set up his betrothal, so he’ll need to arrange his own marriage.

But there’s no time for daydreams. Dawn is approaching and he has to focus.


Dominic takes a deep breath. He’s only cast this glamor spell once before, as a teenager, in order to conceal a particularly grotesque acne outbreak. He’s unsure if it’ll work for more than that. The spell is a short incantation, the end of which is followed by a tingling feeling. And then nothing. He doesn’t feel any different, at least not right away. 

But then a he realizes his clothes feel a little tighter, and his head feels lighter. He looks in the mirror.


Nikolas looks back, sans the lip and ear piercings.

It’s a simple idea: should anyone see him, whether through a security camera or face-to-face, they’ll see Nikolas instead. And since--from what Dominic surmised--Nikolas is nothing more than a thief-for-hire, they’ll assume that he is stealing the wands for another client. All blame will be on Nikolas, and no one will expect Dominic. Dominic as Nikolas. Wait, Dominikolas.

Dominic chuckles to himself. He’s surprised by the laugh--it’s deeper than his own, his voice identical to Nikolas’. This is a damn good spell.

Outside the sun begins to rise over the horizon. Dominic squints his eyes as he opens the motel room door. Despite the softness of dawn, the sun feels too bright. He shouldn’t have stayed up all night. But he needs to press on.


Gravel crunches under his feet as he lumbers to his truck. He isn’t used to the weight of his current form, and it’s throwing him off balance. Then a thought crosses his mind. He pauses by his truck, then kneels down and scoops up a handful of pebbles. He shoves them into his pocket. Just in case.

***

Oppressive. That’s the word Dominic has been searching for. Gaius’ house is oppressive. It makes him want to turn around and return to the relative comfort of his motel room.

But he has to remain resolute. He takes a few breaths, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Then he steps over the property line.

The repellent feeling disappears. The ward must not affect anyone already on the property. Dominic smiles to himself a jogs up the steps.


But at the top of the stairs right above the front door is a camera, which Dominic notices only after he steps into its frame. “Shit,” he mutters as he stumbles backwards. It takes him a second to process what he needs to do next. Of course, anyone who views the security footage will see Nikolas, not him, but he still wants to avoid being captured on camera if possible.

Luckily he’s naturally prepared for such a situation. Some mages are gifted with a specialty, and while Dominic is weak overall he has a useful power: an uncanny ability to command to varying effect and success, whether it be objects or people. It’s more practical than one might think. A good command can get someone out of almost any situation, though his commands are often limited to a single word. And so he offers a simple command; “frange.” The camera sparks, allowing him unimpeded access to the door. Another imperative (aperi) opens the door.


It’s cool inside, unnaturally so, causing Dominic to shiver. It appears the ground floor is one large room broken up only by accent walls and opulent decor, which is mix of different cultures and eras. Gaius must be one eccentric collector.

Dominic takes another deep breath and focuses, trying his hardest to hone in on where the wands might be. And his senses draw him down, to the estate’s basement.


As he creeps downstairs, a sense of dread overtakes him. Something feels off, wrong, unnatural. If he had to guess, he’d say that he’s close to either his target, or to the daytime resting place of Gaius Gallus. It doesn’t help that the room he’s in--a lounge, from the looks of it--has a wall of windows that open to the pool. He feels like someone could be watching him. He has to find a way to get out of sight.

He has two options, two sets of doors. One with a single frame, one with a double frame. Both locked. That’s no problem for Dominic of course. He decides on the double doors, repeating his earlier command: “aperi.”


Dominic pushes the door open. The wands aren’t in here. There is, however, an ornate bed, with two alabaster figures draped across it.


Dominic slowly approaches the bed, walking as gently as his new heavy feet will allow. It’s incredible: two vampires, in the curiously preserved flesh. They aren’t breathing, but according to Dr. Hawthorne’s notes, vampires never breathe. Thus, their slumber seems just like death.

For a moment, a dark thought crosses his mind. If he had a stake, he could ensure the retrieval of his family’s heirlooms without any worry of retribution. But even with the necessary tools, he knows that couldn’t bring himself to kill anyone, especially not for mere theft.

He turns around, carefully tiptoeing out of the room lest he wake the dead.


On to the other door. This one is a little harder to open, and he has to repeat his command three times before it complies. He should take that obstinance as a sign, perhaps even a warning that something magical is inside. But Dominic is still surprised when, upon opening the door, he finds a young woman standing at a cauldron, stirring a noxious smelling mixture. Her aura is almost as disgusting, evoking a sickly sweet feeling in Dominic’s stomach: she’s a mage as well, and not a pleasant one.

He freezes. She hasn’t seemed to notice him yet. He glances around the room. Maybe if he can find the heirlooms quickly, he can escape without her noticing.


And there they are, on an alchemy station just a few steps from the door: two wands, and one scroll. The other two wands must be somewhere else in the room. Dominic looks around as he sidles towards the alchemy station.


But the witch notices him. He’s clumsy in this form, his footsteps too heavy. She whips around and holds up her hands. He scrambles for his wand--he can only cast a few spells without it--but she’s too fast.  Two balls of light shoot out of her palms, the force of which hurls him backwards. He hits the flagstone wall, smacking the back of his head against it in the process.


His eyes flutter. The witch kneels down in front of him, a devious smile on her face.

“I’ll let Mr. Gallus decide--”

But before she can finish, Dominic passes out.


It feels like just a minute. He opens his eyes to see the witch sitting across from them, a well-worn book in her hands.

“Oh, you’re up,” she smiles as she slams the book shut, “I was afraid you wouldn’t wake up in time.”

His head is pounding. “For what,” he responds groggily. He doesn’t remember where he is, much less who he’s talking to.

“Nightfall, you goose. Mr. Gallus and Ms. Esposito will be awake soon. I was afraid you’d still be unconscious--you’ve been out for like hours--and they hate waiting.”

That’s right. His heart beats faster as he recalls where he is and under what circumstances.

“And another mage, too” she continues, “they’ll definitely want to talk to you.”


Dormi,” he holds his hand up, concentrating his hardest. It’s difficult to cast without a wand, at least for him, and more so without his father from whom to draw power.

But it works. The witch crumples to the ground, dropping her book in the process.


Oblīviscere meus faciem,” Dominic whispers. He’s done this spell combo before--a sleep spell, then a slightly more complex memory wipe charm--but never on a mage. Hopefully it’ll work. He grabs the two wands and the scroll from the alchemy station and rushes out of the room, leaving the snoring witch behind. He moves quickly, creeping towards the basement stairs. If the witch was correct, the two vampires could be waking up any moment now.

But one is already awake.


A crisp voice cuts through the air: “And what do we have here?” Dominic twists around and stumbles, falling onto his back. Gaius watches him with a look of amusement on his face. “Could it really be--Oskarsson,” he tilts his head, “I never thought we would meet in the flesh. Especially like this.”


“I-I-I--” Dominic stutters, but can’t seem to get a single word out. He’s still groggy and disoriented. At least that’s how he excuses the cowardice.

“How disappointing,” Gaius takes a step forward, “you were so articulate when we first met. I hate to think I’ll remember you this way.”

Dominic’s mind races as he thinks of what to do. Wait, of course--he prepared for this. He shoves his hand into his pocket, then turns it inside out, spilling the pebbles he picked up in the parking lot.

Gaius looks down at the pebbles, then at Dominic. His brow furrows and he snarls, “you’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”

Dominic’s heart stops--it didn’t work. He’s a dead man.

But then Gaius growls and kneels down, hastily picking up and counting the pebbles.

Dominic scrambles to his feet and runs towards the stairs, tripping on his own shadow as he goes. He doesn’t look behind him, even as a door creaks open.


“What the hell are you doing?” An exasperated female voice asks.

“Help me count these,” Gaius orders.

“What? Why?”

“Just shut up and help me, Bianca,” Gaius roars.

They continue to bicker as Dominic darts up the stairs and out the front door.


He makes it to the motel in record time, having pushed his old truck to previously unreached speeds. He bursts into his room and slams the door behind him, slumping to the ground.

Too close. Too dangerous. What was he thinking? Was he thinking at all? It had seemed simple enough: break in, find the four wands and the scroll. But he found only two wands and the scroll. That’s better than nothing, but the cost of it all--he was so close to death.

They saw him, as Nikolas of course. They think he broke in, so no one will go looking for someone fitting Dominic’s appearance. Perfect, right?

But he’d forgotten, perhaps purposefully, that all humans are connected, and no man exists on his own. He had taken Nikolas’ criminal ways as a sign that he is disconnected from the world, severed due to his eschewing of the social contract that binds society together. It’s how Dominic justified stealing another man’s face for the purpose of--amongst other things--framing him.

But it’s not that simple. Nikolas doesn’t exist on his own. He isn’t a lone wolf, or an island, or any other cliché.

He’s connected to Lark. So with Nikolas on a vampire’s radar, she’s in danger, too.


Dominic hangs his head. How could he be so fucking shortsighted?

***

Author’s note: Wow, this chapter was hard to write. I hope it wasn't hard to read. XD I've seriously been working on it off and on for the past three weeks. I'm never getting distracted by a minor character again!

Anyway, some credits: the witch is a sim Teal Moon sent to me forever ago. Thanks! The Windfall Motel is made over from a lot I downloaded on MTS, and Gaius’ house is also a house I downloaded from MTS and edited.

Comments

  1. Wow, way to cliffhanger me! D:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, it wasn't that bad of a cliffhanger, right?? I'm sorry. :( I'm sure everything with Lark and Nikolas will be okay! (:

      Delete
  2. That was a really good read! I think I would have peed my pants if I saw those "alabaster figures". I liked the ward around the house, very subtle, no one would notice or suspect anything with a purely psychological ward spell.
    But... isn't that a super easy way to count-er (heh, see what I did there) a vampire? Couldn't anyone just drop a million peas on the ground and say "alright, that'll keep you busy for a while, i'm going to take a look through your house in the meantime"?

    But woah, does that mean Dominic will be the reason that Nikolas gets in trouble, not Luke? (We all know you rolled Second Chance!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Dominic was definitely brave for approaching those vampires. And I'm pretty sure I stole the ward idea from somewhere. XD

      I was wondering if anyone would bring that up! I wasn't quite sure how to insert this into the chapter since it was Dominic's POV and he's not omniscient: arithmomania only affects older vampires, and Gaius is quite old. My idea is that as vampires get older, they get stronger but they also gain certain mental tics, but I didn't want to spend a lot of time on Dominic reading books to find that out. So that's why Gaius was compelled to count the pebbles, and Bianca wasn't, since I imagine she's much younger than he is. Dominic probably would have tried what you suggested, but he was too busy being a chicken and running away. XD

      Maaaaaaaaaybe...and hey, I could have rolled couple + help and I'm just taking my sweet time moving in the help. ;)

      Delete
  3. Oh Dom, a glass of wine on a white couch?? Living dangerously, I see.

    Oh, yeah, and all that other stuff is pretty risky, too...

    Now, why didn't Bianca seem as compelled to count the pebbles as Gaius was? Too new? The old habits have been "bred" out?

    Now, I don't like Nik but I also hope this isn't the beginning of the end for him. I mean, I always assumed he'd be arrested for being a mediocre thief, but not because he was offed. Lark better not get caught in the cross fire either, or so help me!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well it's not *his* couch so he has no reason to be worried, right?? ;D Just like that wasn't *his* face that he was using.

      She's too new. I figured as vampires grow older, they get physically stronger but they also "deteriorate" mentally and start to develop weird habits like arithmomania.

      Aww, how could anyone not like Nik? And there are more options than being offed or arrested... :D:D:D:D

      Delete
  4. Dominic's head feels lighter? Was that a stab at Nikolas' mental abilities or just a benefit of his superior neck muscles? XD

    This was such a great chapter, with so many clever ideas. Definitely not hard to read, just totally hooking! All the work you put into it was definitely worth it. Possibly my favorite chapter so far!

    The excerpts from Sanguine were so gripping - I would love to get my hands on that book! It sent me down a rabbithole of reading up on arithmomania in folklore, which was really interesting. Who knew that a Sesame Street character was based on obscure vampire weaknesses?

    Let's hope Nikolas and Lark have plenty of small, countable objects lying around their house :/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hah! I hadn't considered either of those. His head felt lighter because Nikolas' hair is so much shorter than is; it's like that feeling you get when you cut off a lot of your hair.

      Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Seriously, I was really worried it would be bleh. I'm getting excited though because I'm getting closer to something I've planned since Lark was a baby. :D

      The parts from Sanguine were my favorite to write. I might expand on them and do a Halloween story, provided I can come up with enough spooky material. It made me laugh when I found out The Count had arithmomania. XD

      Hmm, they probably have a bunch of countable objects. If not, maybe there's something else that can help them?

      Delete
  5. Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay. I'd just like to know what Dom was thinking when he turned himself into Nikolas. Was he really thinking that everything would be fine and dandy and that he'd easily get away with it with nothing but his hair ruffled? Really? I think he should have thought more about his actions before doing something so... Shortsighted. I mean, what did he think would happen? And why did he pose as Nik? He could have chosen anyone, but the fact he chose him... He could have made up a person, or chosen a random person from off the street. It's the fact that he was immature enough to do that and basically set a trial of angry vampires on real Nikolas' and Lark's and baby bee's trail. Part of me wonders if it's a subconscious thing, like he did it purposefully at that moment assuming that he if he did get caught as Nik, then Nik'd be outta the way and he could be with Lark. I know that wasn't his agenda, but I feel like it would be something in his unconscious.

    I never knew Sanguine had his own book, that gosh darn eyeless Tannith stealin' Texan, thinkin' he can screw over Valkyrie and Skulduggery, digging through the world and generally causing evil havoc and then goes and has his own goddamn book damn that guy needs to be stopped :P
    Sorry, it's just seeing the word Sanguine reminded me of a book series I read (I put wrote lmao I'm not Derek Landly) in like Year 8 (about 4 years ago) and there was a dick of a bad guy called Sanguine (I pronounced it like Linguine but with 'san' instead of 'lin') and he had no eyes but covered it with sunglasses (it's not the worst disguise, SKulduggery was a legit skeleton and he just wore a hat, scarf and shades) and then he started dating Tannith who was the best character ever when she turned evil and that's not right because she should have been with Ghastly and the prophet saw it but then he died and she's still evil ;-; fuckin' Linguine ruining everything with all his plaid shirts and Texas phrasing, Ireland don't need no Americans fucking stuff up they've got enough on their plates without pasta, eyeless, Tannith stealing boy ¬-¬

    Anyway, back to the chapter, I really liked it. I like it when you write magic-y supernatural stuff because you write it as if it's just a normal thing people can do, and you make it seem more realistic which is good *nods*

    Only one question remains: Can Nikolas defeat the vampires by pouring milk on them and hoping they go soggy too? :P or are these vampires not breakfast cereal?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ^^ that's supposed to be then not when, evil Tannith sucks ass.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, what was he thinking?? He completely disconnected Nikolas from the world around him. It's kinda like how Lark completely failed to think about how Nikolas' job would affect other people. And you're right--he could have chosen a dead celebrity or something. He's not at all malicious so he probably thought it was the smartest thing to do, not something that would get Nik out of his way--though you might have a point about his subconscious being part of his decision. Especially since he's semi-stalking Lark's social media.

      Haha, I googled Sanguine to see if it was the name of any books before I settled on it, but I didn't check to see if there were any characters with that name. XD I googled the books in question and they look fun.

      Thank you so much! I always feel silly writing magic-y supernatural stuff, but it's some of my favorite stuff to read hence why it's taking over my legacy.

      Ha! I thought it was so funny that was listed as a weakness. I personally *like* soggy cereal, but maybe that's just me. I'd love to see Nikolas try to use milk to destroy a vampire. XD

      Delete
  6. This chapter made me like Dominic more in some ways, and like him less in other ways. xD

    But first, Roaring Heights!!! It really is a beautiful town. :D

    Good thing his oppenents were vampires (and asleep), or they would have noticed the same car passing by their house over and over.

    This was Dominic's first time going on a solo mission like this, right? He seemed so unprepared, and it makes sense, but it was almost carelessly so. He didn't even bring any physical weapons with him, like a baseball bat, or whatever. I know he has magic, and he didn't want to use violence, but you never know what could happen. It really showed how inexperienced he is on his own without his dad there beside him.

    Also, I was thinking the same thing as Carrie was about him using Nik's likeness. He could have chosen anyone, and goes with Nik?! Maybe it was because he felt like meeting Nik in person gave him a better picture of him and made it easier to use him. But it's kind of insane that he didn't think of the repurcussions at all until later. It had to be his subconscious mind trying to get Nik out of Lark's life in some way. Of course this is going to come back to Nik, who hopefully will have an alibi if there are legal charges. But the vampires will more likely take this into their own hands, and anything could happen then.

    I love your explanation to Nocriel about the arithmomania (never heard that term lol). It makes sense that it affects vampires more as they age. Maybe the most old and decrepit vampires just sit in a rocking chair all day just counting the lines on their hands, or whatever. xD At least Dom did have a little something up his sleeve.

    I got the sense in this chapter that Dom feels a bit out of place. He recognizes the ridiculousness of all the supernatural things in his life, but at the same time he's not a regular human and will probably not have a "normal" life. Even while he's thinking that he wants something "normal" like a family, he's reminded of the customs of his supernatural heritage. I don't know, correct me if I'm wrong. I just got the feeling that Dom feels like he's part of two worlds but not fully part of either of them.

    Also, I was wondering how you make your Simstagram pictures? Do you use photoshop?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roaring Heights is gorgeous! It might actually beat out Lucky Palms for my favorite EA neighborhood. If I need to ever move the Bees I'll probably move to RH.

      I'm glad you're conflicted about him, actually! That was part of my goal with this chapter. :D I *love* Dominic but he makes mistakes. And he lucked out in a lot of ways this chapter.

      Yes, he would have only gone on similar adventures with his dad, and every other place he visits is "friendly" so to speak so he hasn't really encountered anything like this alone. He's a total pacifist, so no weapons! So basically he's both inexperienced AND idealistic.

      Going with Nikolas' appearance was really strange. Meeting people in person probably does make that spell easier, but there did seem to be a subconcious element to it (possibly even less nefariously that Nikolas "deserved" whatever would happen, not so much that Lark would be available afterwards). And Gaius and Bianca will totally take this into their own hands--after all, Dominic stole something that had already been stolen, so they'd have a hard time explaining that to the police.

      Hah, that would be hilarious! I like the idea of a vampire retirement home with 2000+ year old vampires knitting and counting everything.

      Your observation is totally on point. He feels very out of place--I imagine he grew up very sheltered and wanted to have a "normal" life, and then realized that he was sheltered because he can't. You put it excellently.

      I use GIMP, and I downloaded two scripts that I use to edit the colors of the picture (iirc Vintage Look and National Geographic). I made a template, and if you want to use it its here: http://s1102.photobucket.com/user/owlfacesims/media/tumblrtemplate_zpsumxmeqw4.png.html?o=0. And I got the simlish fonts by Franzilla: http://modthesims.info/member.php?u=9790144. I think I use 30-40 point for most of the writing.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for the template! It looks so nice! I may be using it in the future.

      Delete
  7. That wineglass on the couch there; unnatural. Just had to mention that.

    I'd completely forgotten about that picking and counting thing that vampires are supposed to do, I didn't even know it had a name. Talk about a great way to make the scary immortals bow down to your will; pebbles.

    So, Dominic was planning on framing Nikolas? And then afterwards realized that it would definitely be dangerous to Lark if he got caught? Yeah, sorry Dominic, I'm not buying it. Seems to me he wanted Gaius to go after Nik anyway. Maybe it wasn't a conscious thing, but he had so many better options for a facechange. Though, maybe it was good that he almost got caught;I assume that Gaius knows that Nikolas couldn't possibly have knocked out that witch using a spell. If he gets that it's a spell then ofcourse, since her memory was wiped. Dominic doesn't have the piercing either, and Bianca knows he has them. Or atleast I'm going to keep hoping.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is kind of unnatural, isn't it? I wanted to make him look like he was getting comfy with a book and a glass of wine. XD

      It totally makes vampires *way* less frightening, so I've decided that it only affects the oldest (and thus scariest) of them.

      Yeah, it certainly seems like he was way too careless for it to have been an accident. He probably got tunnel vision in his unconscious desire to get rid of Nikolas. BUT you're right--Gaius and Bianca probably know that Nikolas isn't magical, and a mage would have been the only one who could wipe the witch's memory. And you might notice that Dominic's hand tattoo didn't change...

      Delete
  8. I was wondering how long it would take Dom to realise that major flaw in his plan. He would have been okay with it if Nikolas wasn't with Lark though, would he? I suppose Nikolas did steal the wands in the first place, though he didn't know they were going to be used for something horrible.
    And with the memory wipe, if it worked, the mage doesn't know that "Nikolas" is a mage, and therefore might be able to make Mr Gallus understand the true situation...
    I LOVE learning more about the science-y side of things. The research was shady af but that shit goes on (or went on, at the very least). I wonder *why* vamps have to count things. And would it go faster if a second vampire is counting too? Hmmm.
    I'm worried for Nikolas and Lark now though. Especially with a baby on the way...

    ReplyDelete
  9. It took him way too long, right?? Especially considering how intelligent he's supposed to be. And yes, he probably would have been *more* okay with it if Lark wasn't in the mix. He's still a pacifist, more or less, so he probably would have felt a little guilty no matter what.

    Hmm, yes, the memory wipe might not have been the best idea! ;)

    I'm glad you enjoyed it! It was fun to write. :) Yeah the research was shady BUT I figure that especially at the beginning of contemporary scientific research, people had fewer scrupuls. It would probably not go *that* much faster if two vampires were counting, but I figure Gaius was so frenzied he wasn't thinking straight.

    Oh, don't worry! They'll *probably* be okay. (:

    ReplyDelete
  10. Catching up on missed chapters.... Dom's pettiness in targeting Nikolas is surprising, and his incompetence is hilarious. I'm glad we got to see this side of him! Although this really complicates things for Lark, doesn't it. Her family is going to be in danger, and once she finds out it was Dom all along (which will probably eventually happen, right?) their friendship is going to be so fucked.

    Narratively, this was a really interesting chapter to happen. I can't wait to see the repercussions of Dom's shortsightedness, lol ^^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. His pettiness was surprising even to him, and I imagine he's very, very smart but he was out of his element, hence the incompetence. XD My goal this generation is to work on making characters more "gray" because I've had the tendency in the past to make my characters perfect. And Lark's life will probably get a little more complicated. XD Your point about their relationship is astute. He'd have to do a lot to make it up.

      Thanks! It was really difficult to write but needed to happen for my ~*plans*~

      Delete
  11. AAHH! Loved it! (Get distracted by minor characters! Lol - I love it!) I love that he used the glamor spell to go check on Gaius. But, oh my gosh, he was right - Nik is connected to Lark & now he's put them both in danger!

    Also - loved your witchy spell casting throughout the chapter!

    Gotta go find out what happens next!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I got so distracted by him. XD But he's fun! I hope you enjoy what comes next. (:

      Delete

Post a Comment