29 March 2011



Moe blinked groggily and looked around the bedroom, trying to get his bearings. Everything felt foggy and far away, and his vision was uncharacteristically bad. He had to squint to see across the room to Izzy's crib, and he'd never even needed glasses before. Why do I feel so exhausted?

He glanced to his right, but Jane was already gone. She hadn't gone to feed Izzy, so where was she? Moe wiggled his toes to try to wake himself up more, but he still felt bleary and tired. And grumpy, for that matter. 

He dragged himself out of bed and stumbled over to the dresser, fumbling with the drawers as he blindly grabbed some clothes. But when he looked up, what he saw almost gave him a heart attack.

He was old. Really, really old. Decrepit, even. Yet even as he stared at his worn and wrinkled countenance, he seemed to be growing older by the minute. "What the hell is going on here?" he muttered, surprised at the gravelly tone of his voice. 

Growing more alarmed by the second, he patted his leathery cheeks frantically, trying to discover the source of this odd transformation. Was this some kind of practical joke? A trick mirror? Bad lighting? How could he have gone completely gray overnight? Let alone the wrinkles and saggy skin and aching back...

No, there was no explanation here, other than the blindingly obvious: he was old. Hideously, irreparably, awfully old. And why wouldn't he be? He was turning thirty five now- of course he was dried up and wrinkly. He hadn't expected it to be so sudden, but it was going to happen anyways. Might as well be now.

As he tore his eyes away from the mirror and glanced around frantically, he heard Izzy start to babble. Was she saying her first words? He started to call out for Jane as he bent over Izzy's crib, but her next word stopped him in his tracks.

"Grandpa!" she gurgled.

Moe screamed, his reflection in the mirror twisting and distorting as he aged at warp speed.

"Morning, sleepyhead!" Jane's familiar chipper voice greeted Moe.

No wrinkles, no gray, no flannel pajamas... Oh, thank the Builder, it was just a dream. Moe struggled to swing his legs out of bed, still disoriented by the nightmare he'd just had. It had felt so real, so inevitable... and now that he was his usual self again, it was difficult to adjust to the shifting realities.

"Come on, get out of bed! Don't you remember what today is?" Jane tossed a pillow at him.

"Don't remind me," he groaned, running his hands through his hair.

"It's just a birthday," Jane exclaimed in surprise. "I wasn't aware you hated them so much."

"I don't, it's just..." he sighed. "I'm just getting older, that's all."

"Well, you still look young to me." Jane smiled and kissed him, and for a moment it was enough to make him forget about his worries. But Jane was a good five years younger than him; how could she grasp the desperation that filled him as he contemplated his ever-shortening lifespan? And did she understand the burning need to leave some kind of mark behind?

She'd never had to worry about things like this. Or anything else, for that matter. His wife's life seemed almost effortless, to him; things just came easily to her, and she'd never really seemed to worry all that much about anything. Whenever they got into a fight, it was always Jane who tried to keep the peace and smooth the worries away. Moe was the worrier, and this would just be yet another problem she tried to solve for him.

And so he resolved not to tell her about these thoughts, or the nightmare. Not just yet, anyways. There was no use in troubling her with things that didn't really matter.

Unaware of the problems that plagued their parents, Sophie and Ethan were busy playing video games while they waited for Moe to return home that afternoon. While it was a Saturday and neither of their parents had to work, Moe had gone to the store and Jane was busy baking his birthday cake, and for the moment there was nothing for either twin to do but kick the other's butt at football.

It wasn't long before Moe returned, filled to the brim with excitement and news. "Come on, I want to show you what I bought!"

Jane followed him out to the garage, her curiosity piqued. What she didn't expect to see was a brand new bright red convertible sitting in the driveway.  

"Moe, what the... What is that thing doing in our garage?" Her voice rose several decibels as her surprise turned into anger. "We have a baby and two small kids- we do not need a new car, let alone a convertible. And what happened to our station wagon?!"

"Okay, Jane, calm down," Moe began. "I was driving by on my way home and saw this and it was on sale, you like sales, and I had the money for it, so I bought it! And anyways, the station wagon's right outside, so we still have it for the family and everything. This is kind of just... a present for me, you know?"

No, she did not know, but Jane held her tongue. It had always been a rule between the two of them that whatever the other person bought was none of their business, as long as it was with their own money. "Okay, Moe," she conceded finally. "But if you could run these things by me once in a while... Anyways, the party's almost ready to start, so we'll talk about it later."

Moe hoped that she'd forget by the time the party was done, but the look on her face suggested otherwise.

The backyard was decorated for his birthday party, and Moe was extremely touched to take it all in. The kids had been working hard to set up the decorations and games, and Jane had outdone herself with the cake. The twins were flitting around the backyard like demons, and Jane had plastered a happy smile on her face for the party. "It's gorgeous!" Moe assured them with a smile.

Someone had given the twins noisemakers, which in hindsight was probably a bad idea. They were buzzing and humming up a storm as Jane presented the cake, and despite the onset of a major headache and the impending argument with his wife, everything felt... perfect.

Even if he was turning thirty five and felt old and washed up, he had a wonderful family who loved him, a great career doing something he enjoyed, and a loving wife who was willing to delay an argument for the sake of giving him a good birthday. What more could he really want? What more was there to even wish for?

As he leaned in to make a wish, he closed his eyes tightly and prayed that things would never change. He knew deep down that time would pass, his children would grow, and he would definitely get older- but suddenly, that thought didn't scare him as much. 

After all, thirty five was hardly old. There was time to do everything he wanted to do, to make a name for himself in his field, to achieve something truly great, to see the world... And in that moment, Moe had an epiphany.

His life was perfect. 

As he blew out the candles, he felt somehow different. More mature, perhaps, or maybe more confident. Somewhere deep inside, a switch had flipped. It was ridiculous to imagine that he had grown up in the span of only a few minutes. But as he devoured his birthday cake, a small part of him couldn't help but feel like that had indeed been the case. 

And he couldn't have been happier.

The rest of Moe's birthday party took place indoors, as it was getting steadily darker. In true Pesce fashion, they had planned to celebrate the rest of his birthday with a family game night, complete with pizza, root beer, and every board game they owned. The twins were more than thrilled, though their parents perhaps would have enjoyed something a bit quieter.

"Okay... right foot, blue!" Ethan called. As usual, Sophie had demanded that she go first, but she was also the worst at Twister, and would more than likely insist on a re-do if she fell over.

Jane and Moe cuddled on the sofa while they waited for Sophie to follow Ethan's instructions, Jane having momentarily forgotten that she was mad at her husband and Moe deliberately not reminding her. Izzy was finally sleeping, the twins were actually getting along, and for the moment, everything felt absolutely perfect.

"Left arm, green!"

Sophie bent backwards to try to reach the nearest green piece of the mat, but tipped over just when her fingertips reached the circle. "Do over!"

"No way!" Ethan cried, immediately starting to rattle off a list of reasons why Sophie shouldn't be allowed to start over. But his tirade was interrupted by the sound of breaking glass and the blaring of the security alarm.

"What on earth was that?" Moe stood up and peered into the kitchen.

"I'll go check it out!" Sophie called immediately, grateful for the distraction.

"Sophie, don't you dare!" Jane replied furiously, but her daughter had already left.

Moe followed his daughter into the kitchen, holding her back cautiously as they gazed at the source of the commotion. Underneath the window was a sea of glass and broken vase shards. In the midst of the debris were a rock and a note that read "Stop digging or you'll be sorry." 

Someone was far from happy with the Pesce clan.


Poor Moe, what a nightmare he had. Aging up to elder ... good thing it was but a dream.

Love the midlife crisis gift to himself - one sports car. I hope Jane learns to cope.

Aww, a perfect life, for the moment.

But who is throwing stones at the Pesce house and will Jane give up her pursuit of the mystery?

Nice chapter, well done.

Thanks, PiB! Took forever to get this one done.

Yeah, he was only aging up to Adult, but I figured a mid-life crisis would be fun.

Who indeed?

Poor Moe, his elder stage isn't kind to him.

But if he still has family, he'll be happy enough.

Sometimes posts can be written fast and well. Other times, well they take tons of time. :) don't hit post till you are sure it will not be improved b more work.

Oh man, poor Moe! Haha! Yeah, definitely having a bit of a mid-life crisis... Age is creeping up on him, and he doesn't like it! But, at least he realized how amazing his life is. Because, really, it is.

... Well, except for the vase through the window. O.O Holy cow! Well, someone's definitely not happy with the Pesce's--or rather, with Jane. So, someone's noticing that she's doing snooping... Hm. Besides the obvious of "I wonder who it is", I'm curious if it's anyone that she's encountered, because they had to find out she was snooping somehow... Think, Kaleeko, think!

This post was awesome, Amelia. I love the contrast between Moe's dream and reality, then the happiness of the party with the sudden case through the window, the simple family life with this mystery that keeps invading their "peace"... You did a fantastic job with all the setup of the screenshots. (And the Twister game was so cute!!) And of course, great writing. :D

I'm on the edge of my seat! Darnit, you sure know how to throw a doozy and then a cliffhanger! I eagerly await more. :D

*diabolical laughter*

The midlife crisis was a friend's idea... I won't say he's completely snapped out of it (I foresee a trip to the stylist in the near future) but it's definitely not going to be as bad.

It was actually a rock with a note, that knocked over a vase. I should have made that more clear XD But is it necessarily someone she's encountered? Twinbrook's a small town, and word gets around quite quickly!

Thank you :) This post actually took me forever to do, for a variety of reasons. One was the plot. I looked over my original layout and realized I'd deviated so far from the original plan that I needed to rework the rest of this chapter. So I sat down and plotted out the last ten posts, starting with this one- and it took a few days, I'll admit. XD

The screenshots took a lot of extra work to set up, and I spent a lot of time surfing for cc to create my scenes. And then when I wasn't happy with the stuff I found, I had to use Photoshop. The Twister game was one of the few things I found that I actually loved, and it was on accident- so I had to think of a way to use it ;)

So yeah, this is the first post I've done where I've Photoshopped something in when I couldn't get it quite the way I wanted, and I'm not too happy about that. Specifically, two scenes- the note, and the window. I couldn't find anything to pass for a threatening note, and the only broken windows I could find were grungy and didn't fit the style of their house. So I had to photoshop in the cracks, and the Simlish on the note.

Whoops, this is turning into a wall of comments! "I'm glad you liked the post," is what it basically boils down to. :) Welcome back!

Moe's going to the stylist?! Oh dear... I have to wonder what Jane will think of that.

True, Twinbrook is quite small... *scratches chin* Hmm!! Well, the shadow in the last image looks like the shape of a man... But I could be wrong! Gah! I love a good mystery. ^^

I know what you mean, when it comes to the plot. This upcoming season I had to do a spreadsheet to organize what characters are doing what in which episodes. -_- And things hardly ever go exactly as planned! But, I'm glad you're making the extra effort to have it all flow smoothly.

I think you did a great job with Photoshop, but I understand your hesitation using it. It's always cooler when you can get it in-game the way you want it! Still, I could've sworn that note looks like it's written in Simlish! (Probably just with how small it is, hee.)

And thanks, I'm glad to be back! I'm still gonna avoid being around 100% for a few more days, but I couldn't resist getting caught up! >:D

I'm a crazy organizer in real life... it gets pretty bad! When I was writing a novel I had a crazy spreadsheet with filters and sorting and formulas to keep track of characters. I'm trying to keep it simple this time, for my own sake, but it's progressing quite quickly ;)

That's exactly why I was sad about using it! But I really can't make my own custom content, and the stuff I wanted just wasn't out there. The note actually IS in Simlish, I just had to add it in manually.

Hehe, the blogosphere is calling you! ;)

Please follow me too! I would love to hear feed back on my " The Black Family Legacy" XD

Amelia- This chapter was probably my favorite for far. You do amazing work at sucking the reader into the story and making them feel what the characters are feeling! I cant wait to see your next post!!

- Also, thank you for following me Amelia. XD

PS- Where do you all get your custom content from? I have down loaded stuff from the exchange but what game mods would you recommend for us SIM bloggers??

Hey, Hippieathart! Welcome to the world of Sims blogging, and thank you for your comments!

I get most of my custom content from Modthesims, but if I'm looking for something in particular I'll google for it and go wherever I need to.

As for game mods, I would check out Twallan's stuff here- http://www.the-isz.com/nraas/. I personally use the MasterController, Story Progression, Debug Enabler, and Woohooer.

I will go check out your blog right now :)

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