Hooves pound against the ground, reverberating through the valley. Despite the sunny day—beautifully punctuated by a light breeze—there are no birds singing, no animals frolicking. All is silent, save the wind and the beating of the hooves.
A striking young knight rides the white steed, his dark locks falling across his face. His armor is in desperate need of a good shine, and his horse is near exhaustion, but he is determined.
“Faster, Bayard,” he commands, spurring the horse, “Lady Paulette is counting on us!” Bayard, seeming to understand him, hastens, leaping through brambles and over logs. Stinging nettles pierce the legs of the knight and his steed. The heroes press on.
Watcher, keep Lady Paulette unharmed, the knight prays, Just a few moments more, and I will be able to save her.
The Watcher obliges; Lady Paulette, while locked in a dank cell, is currently untouched. Despite her apparently grim position, a smirk covers her face. Paulette stares at the woman opposite her, her eyes boring in to her.
“Sweet Anais, your betrayal weighs heavily on your shoulders,” the songbird taunts from her cage, “If you release me, I swear that I shall not seek your execution—no matter how gratifying it would be.”
“Lady Paulette, you are no position to make such a gracious offer. Wards hold you in that cell, and Lord Eridanus’ plan will come to fruition,” Anais smirks, her lone eye laughing.
“Did I hear my name?” Eridanus asks as he strolls into the room, “Ah, Lady Paulette—I trust you find you accommodations acceptable?”
“Quite, dear Eridanus. I find your manor…quaint. Cozy. Inviting. However, the hour grows late, and I must retire. Perhaps you can escort me to the door?”
“Nonsense, my lady. I insist that you stay,” Eridanus approaches a cauldron and begins to wave his hands over it. An aurora rises out of it, composed of ethereal lights and sparkles.
“Sir Coeur and his squire Lynette will arrive any moment,” Paulette snaps, tired of being coy, “and your life will be snuffed out. This is swear!”
“Do not make promises you cannot keep. I will finish this ritual momentarily, and once I steal your magic shall leave you a withered husk. I believe I will be doing the world a favor by ridding it of a spoiled brat like you.”
“I order you to release me,” Paulette warns, “this treachery will not be tolerated by the king!”
Eridanus ignores her, focusing fully on the ritual. His voice deepens as he chants in ancient Simlish.
“I will have you drawn and quartered,” Paulette lunges forward and grabs the bars of her cell, “and I will feed your remains to pigs!” She can feel herself growing weaker, but she tries to remain stoic. Hope fades.
“Again, do not keep promises you cannot keep. I will—“
Eridanus is cut off by a thunderous noise. The room echoes as the front door is thrown open. Anais leaps up and spins towards the racket.
“Halt, villain,” Coeur bellows, “release the fair lady and surrender!”
“M’lord, they look quite dangerous,” Lucien the Fool whimpers.
“Silence, fool! These rogues stand no chance against Lynette and I.”
“Indeed—and I shall slit that slatternly swine from ear to ear,” Lynette the Squire promises, making a stabbing gesture at Anais.
“Then you dispatch the scarred harlot,” Coeur orders, “I shall take the warlock.”
“With pleasure, my lord,” Lynette grins as she draws her sword.
Anais scoffs, “you may try your best, squire.” She also draws her sword and beckons to Lynette.
Lynette barrels towards her foe, while Coeur takes a more cautious approach. He circles Eridanus, keeping a wide berth, trying to discern weaknesses. “Remain vigilant, Lynette,” he calls back towards his squire, “do not be brash.” But iron clashes again iron—Lynette has already begun the fight.
“I shall sing a rousing song, m’lord,” Lucien the Fool declares. He pulls out a lute and begins strumming, filling the cavernous chamber with dulcet tones, “Alas, my love, you do me wrong, to cast me off discourteously. For I have loved you well and long, delighting in your company..." Eridanus seems to be deaf to the commotion and continues chanting in ancient Simlish.
“Sir Coeur,” Paulette cries out, “hurry--you must stop him!”
Coeur does not answer. When Eridanus stops his chanting to stir whatever is in the cauldron, Coeur silently raises his sword, preparing to strike.
Before he can bring down his sword, Eridanus snaps around and whips out a wand. “Halt,” he commands, and Coeur freezes in place. “Oh, you are quite the valiant knight. But you are not very strategic, are you? Barging in like this with no real plan…tsk, tsk, tsk.” Eridanus waves his wand in a circle and mutters a hex. Glowing runes shoot out of his wand, knocking Coeur backwards.
“Sir Coeur,” Paulette screams, “no!” She recognizes the deadly hex from her own studies.
“Villain,” Lynette shouts at Eridanus, “I have captured your—whatever this woman is to you. Release Lady Paulette and Sir Coeur or I will slit her throat!”
“Oh you naïve little thing,” Anais purrs, “You know not what you are in for. Eridanus would let anything happen to me.”
“Your lord is dead,” Eridanus cackles, “and soon Lady Paulette will be, as well. Do what you want with Anais.”
“Fine,” Lynette quickly slashes her sword across Anais’ neck. Blood pours out like sticky wine. Anais tries to speak, but is only able to manage a gurgle. “En garde, villain—you are next!” Lynette points her sword at him.
Eridanus rolls his eyes and flicks his wand. A golden light shoots out, striking Lynette in the stomach. She keels over.
“Child, if your lord could not defeat me, you stand even less of a chance. I promise I will make it quick, though—unlike what awaits for Lady Paulette,” Eridanus thrusts his wand forward a light envelopes Lynette. She twitches, then falls limp.
“Now, where were we, my lady? Ah, yes,” Eridanus gestures to her cell door. Magically, it flies open. He gestures to her, “Come here, darling. Any rebellion will only delay the inevitable.”
Paulette obediently—but slowly—walks towards Eridanus. She feels weakened, but a small amount of magic still pulses within her.
“I know this is unfair for you, dear Paulette, but you are the strongest witch in the land. I really need your power if I am to challenge your grandfather and become King,” Eridanus smirks, “Hurry now. I haven’t got all day.”
Her mind whirls and she slowly steps forward. She looks around the chamber, hoping for some sort of escape. Her eyes fall on a rack of wands on the opposite wall. She focuses her gaze on one wand in particular. She envisions the wand flying towards her, landing in her outstretched hand.Taking a deep breath, she reaches out and calls to the wand. It rattles against the rack then flies across the room towards her. She snatches it out of the air.
“There—I believe we are on equal footing now,” Paulette holds her arms up defensively, ready for magical melee.
“Insolent child,” Eridanus growls, “I have already begun the process of draining your magic. You stand no chance.” He waves his arms commandingly, and bright light shoots out of his wand.
Paulette regulates her breath, trying to maintain her calm. She imagines a protective bubble enveloping her. The light bounces away—she has successfully created a shield. Eridanus frowns and increases the power of his magic, but it recoils harmlessly. After continuing the assault for several minutes, Eridanus finally seems to run out power.
“My turn,” Paulette whispers the same hex Eridanus had placed on Coeur.
“No,” he begs, “my lady, no! I am sorry!” Paulette ignores him, and as she finishes reciting the hex, Eridanus crumples to the floor. As he draws his last breath, Paulette feels her magical power increase—Eridanus’ ritual has been reversed.
“Sir Coeur—he is—he is dead, m’lady,” Lucien kneels next to the corpse of his lord, “I am sorry. I promise, I shall immortalize him in a ballad. I give you my word.”
“No need, fool,” Paulette smiles, “I can remedy this.” She begins to hum to herself, and then chants. Her words are older than ancient Simlish—they sound primordial. Power streams out of her wand as she waves it ceremonially. Lucien watches in awe.
Suddenly, Coeur deeply inhales and lurches forward. He looks around the room, confused. “Last I remember, I was preparing to attack the warlock. What happened?” Lucien doesn't answer; he is deep in thought. He cannot believe the power of Lady Paulette.
“Fool! Answer me!”
“You fought admirably, m’lord,” Lucien finally says, “but the warlock’s powers were too strong for you. M’lady saved you, though.”
“My eternal thanks, Lady Paulette.” But Paulette is too busy casting the same spell on Lynette to respond. Lyra snaps up.
“Let me at ‘em,” Lynette grumbles, obviously still half unconscious.
“Dear lady, we must return you to your estate,” Coeur says, “Your grandfather wishes to see you safe as soon as possible.”
The king was so grateful upon Lady Paulette’s return that he granted Coeur a request. Coeur, in turn, publicly asked for Lady Paulette’s hand in marriage. Before the king could respond, Paulette accepted his proposal, overjoyed.
Although the king offered to throw an extravagant wedding for the couple, Coeur and Paulette decided to have a private wedding in a small, hidden garden. They met under bowed branches and exchanged vows, promising the honor and love each other for all eternity.
“And they lived happily ever after,” Nova smiles, “so what’d you think? It took me forever to write.”
“I think I’ve heard this story before,” Zenith says, “I mean, you do it real justice. But still, it’s not really original…”
“It’s not supposed to be original! It’s an emotional exercise,” Nova pouts.
“You asked what I thought! I’m being honest! You’re a great storyteller, but it’s just not original.”
“Ms. Jenkins says that I should deal with the loss of dad through creative storytelling,” Nova insists. Ms. Jenkins is her composition teacher, and the only educator other than her gymnastics coach that she trusts. Nova and Zenith had known for years that their dad was dead, though when asked they say he had died of a heart attack rather than by being shot by an intergalactic hit-woman.
“The ending is wrong,” Zenith points out.
“I wrote what I wanted,” Nova pouts, “that’s the whole point of this exercise. If you don’t like it, you shouldn’t say anything.”
“I’m sorry. It’s great! You should write more. You could write lyrics for my songs.”
“Could I sing in your band, too?”
“Don’t push it, sis.”
“Kids! Come out here,” Polaris calls out from the living room.
Nova groans as she slides off the bed. Polaris has recently instituted “family time,” which means that she demands that everyone to meet in the living room several times a week so they can talk about their feelings or whatever. The twins trudge to the living room, grumbling the whole way.
Polaris can hardly believe how grown-up her children look. Solaris, Elysia, and Luna had all graduated, and Nova and Zenith had moved on to high school. She’d also recently found a gray hair. She immediately plucked it out, disgusted by its coarseness and color.
She stares at her oldest child—older than his sisters by only a few minutes—and realizes her life is progressing faster than she wants. She longs to hold her children as babies again, to raise them again. She often wishes she could go back in time. It leaves her very anxious. Solaris is anxious, too. He doesn’t think his mom is going to like the news he and his sister have. While he gathers up the courage to speak, Nova drops onto the couch next to her mom, while Zenith decides to sit on the floor.
“So what did you want to tell me, Solaris?” Polaris feels like she already knows the answer.
“Well…you know how I applied for that internship at the hospital? I heard back from them earlier this week,” Solaris pauses.
“And…I got it! I’ll be starting at the hospital soon. They’re going to train me to be a doctor.”
“That’s great!” Polaris is excited, but she’s also waiting for the other shoe to drop.
“So I’ve decided that because of the long hours, I want to move closer to the hospital.”
“Oh….” Polaris is crestfallen, “We’re pretty close to the hospital, sweetie.”
“I know, mom. But Luna and Elly and I found a closer place.”
“All three of you?”
“I have my job at the newspaper,” Elysia says, “and my office is pretty close to the hospital.” She had worked on the school paper, and at the end of her senior year she had been approached by an editor from The Sunset Valley Times. He offered her a position as an intern, and she accepted immediately.
“And I want to be closer to the art gallery. I’ve been working there part-time while I work on my own art, and a shorter commute would give me more time to paint,” Luna adds.
“When are you leaving?” Polaris asks.
“Well,” Solaris hesitates, “we get the keys to our new place tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow?” Nova interjects, “You’re moving out tomorrow? I can’t believe this!” She doesn’t know why, but that makes her furiously angry, “I thought we were a family! You can’t all leave like this!”
“Honey, they have their own lives,” Polaris says softly, “we can’t expect them to stay here forever.” The house is going to feel so empty, she thinks.
“What about Halloween?” Zenith asks.
“He’s my cat,” Solaris replies, “so he’s coming with us.”
“Oh,” Zenith stares absently at Halloween. He likes the furry little monster, but he wouldn’t mind trading him in for a dog.
“This is bull!” Nova yells, “I can’t believe you’re so nonchalant about this!”
“We knew you were going to react like this,” Elysia smiles and stands up, “so we got you guys a little something. Let me go get it.”
“Please keep your sisters safe,” Polaris says to Solaris, “I know you’re more mature than them. They’ll need you to take care of them.”
“Mom, we’ll be fine!” Solaris replies. Polaris gives him a pleading look. “Fine, I promise I’ll take care of them.”
“That’s my boy,” she smiles at him.
Elysia returns holding two small boxes. She gives one to Luna. Luna in turn passes it to Zenith.
“What’s in it?” He asks.
“Open it, dummy,” Luna laughs. Zenith tears open the box.
“Oh! It’s a…receipt?”
“For a new guitar! We found it at the consignment shop. You’ll have to go pick it up, but it’s much nicer than that beat-up thing you’ve been playing.”
“Wow!” Zenith smiles, “Just….wow! Thanks!”
Elysia hands an identical box to Nova.
“I take it I’m getting a receipt, too? Why not just give us envelopes? Or take us to the store?”
“This seemed like more fun. Open it!”
“A new surfboard?! Gnarly!” Nova hugs her sister, “okay, I forgive you for leaving.”
“We knew you would,” Elysia says.
Luna can’t believe the size of the house they’re renting. For the first time ever, she’s going to have her own room. There’s even a spare room that she can use as a studio, provided she can convince her siblings to let her take it over. Maybe it can be a studio slash office, with Elysia’s computer and Solaris’ expansive library. She also loves how the colorful façade of their home pops against the freshly fallen snow. Oh maker, I’m turning into my mother, she realizes.
“Luna? Luna Bee, is that you?” She turns around and is surprised to see an old friend.
“Quentin!” She squeals, “I can’t believe it! What are you doing here?” She holds out her arms, signaling for him to hug her.
She’s a little surprised when he presses his body fully against hers. He gently strokes his hands against her face as she pulls back from the hug. She’s thought about him a lot. Sure, she went to the school dance with another guy, and her and Elysia went on a couple of awkward double dates, but her mind would always return to him. Still, the hug feels too intimate given how long it’s been since they’ve seen each other. Besides, they went on only one date before the Bees’ sudden move from Lucky Palms.
“Sorry,” he says, perhaps realizing that his hug was overly familiar, “I just never thought I’d see you again. You left so suddenly, and no one knew where your family went. Some kids thought you had been abducted by aliens.” Luna laughs, maybe a little too loudly.
“No, no aliens,” she says, “no aliens at all. My mom moved us here for…um…work.”
“I thought your mom was a scavenger or something?”
“So what are you doing here?”
“Oh,” Quentin looks embarrassed, “My dad moved here for work. He’s doing work with the government and some big company or something. I moved with him. Thought maybe I’d start off my music career or something.”
“You’re a musician?” Luna kinda digs musicians, just like her...Oh Maker, I really AM becoming my mother!
“I want to be. I play guitar mostly, but I got started on piano. Currently I’m just a loser who lives in his parents’ basement.”
“You could come live with us,” she regrets the words as soon as they leave her mouth.
“Ugh, I’m sorry. Forget I said that.”
“Don’t worry about it,” he smiles, “I’m just glad to know I have a friend here. Meeting news friends as an adult blows, you know?”
“I’m glad you’re here, too,” she giggles like an idiot.
“So how about we go out tomorrow? We can catch up.”
“Yeah, I think I’m free,” Luna tries to play it cool.
“Awesome! I’ll call you,” he promises, and they exchange numbers before he leaves.
Luna watches him walk away and sighs a little. It’s more than a stupid crush, she thinks to herself, it’s meant to be!
“Is that who I think it is?” Elysia had come out onto the porch to see what her sister was doing and was surprised when she saw her talking to someone.
“Yes,” Luna smiles dreamily, “Quentin moved here with his dad.”
“Wow. Good for you, girl,” Elysia grins, “What a lucky coincidence.”
“So lucky,” Luna sighs contently again, “we’re going out tomorrow. Help me plan my outfit!” She bounds up the stairs and into the house. Elysia laughs as she follows her overly-excited sister inside. She likes it when Luna is in this kind of mood—it makes it easier to get along.
***Author's Note: So the fairytale is a little out of place and cliché, but I really wanted to write something a little different. Ignore the plot holes—I decided that since a novice (Nova) was writing the story, there was no need to cover them up. I also wanted to show that Nova and Zenith knew about Crux’s death without writing about Polly telling them.
I moved Quentin to SV when the triplets were still teens (he was also a teen at the time). I had the hardest time getting him and Luna to meet up! They didn’t manage to meet until the day she aged up. I also took a gander at his relationships and found that he was romantic interests with Holly Alto, Lisa Bunch, AND Bebe Hart. What a slut.
I’ve put up the triplets plus Quentin on the downloads page. Feel free to use them however you want. I’ll try to remember to upload some other sims (Lyra, Crux, Lily, Luke, and the Commander) soon.