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View Full Version : Ballad Builders - *Finished*


jewaukeela
5th Apr 2010, 3:44 AM
http://i40.tinypic.com/20tseae.png

It’s time… to discover the story behind the words of songs from across the board. It’s time… to put your creativity to the test as you search for ulterior messages within the lyrics. It’s time… to prove to the world that your talent is nothing to be ignored!

http://i41.tinypic.com/2wd1s08.png

Each round will consist of a different theme and a different song. Each round, I will post the name of the song, he artist, and the full lyrics to the song. There will also be a minimum length and number of pictures, as well as one other requirement, but generally there will be a lot of freedom. It will be your job to choose TWO to FOUR lines from the song and incorporate them into your story by writing them in somewhere.

http://i44.tinypic.com/2rep343.png


1. Abide by the general contest rules
2. Minimal photo-editing only, and all photo-editing MUST be approved by me before you submit it. No exceptions.
3. Follow the rules laid down each round


http://i44.tinypic.com/14tr5v5.png

Times
The contest will last one month, as do all contests. Each of the four rounds is supposed to last five days, which allows an adequate amount of time for mess-ups and judging. However, if everyone is able to get their submissions in earlier or if the judging goes extra-quickly, we may have time for a fifth round, which I think will be great fun!

Eliminations, Drop-outs, and Missed Rounds
Formally, there will be no eliminations. If you miss one round, you will not be eliminated, but you will receive a zero for that round. If you miss two rounds, you will no longer be accepted in the contest. If you drop out, you will be sorely missed, but nothing else. I hope that no one drops out, though!

Stress
I want this contest to be a stress-free, fun-filled activity for everyone. If at any point you think you may have to drop out because the demand is too great, please PM me and we will sort it out.

Applications
There will be no “application round” in this contest – instead, we will jump right in with the first round. This will give us the chance to possibly fit a fifth round in at the end if we have enough time.

Bonus Round
There will be a bonus round, but it will not operate like the other bonus rounds. You will have the duration of four rounds in which to complete the bonus round, should you choose to do so. You may continue to edit your bonus round until the end of the fourth round, after which point you may no longer change it. The bonus round will be explained just after the first round is explained, and will be worth 20 points.

Judging Criteria
Each round, with the exception of the bonus round, will be worth 100 points. Here is the breakdown.

Followed rules: /10
Self-explanatory
Pictures: /15
Reasonable quality, enhances story, taken from a good angle, etc
Smooth incorporation of ye lyrics: /25
Did they fit well into the story? Did they feel like they belonged? Did they not stick out like sore thumbs?
Original story: /25
Is the story unique? Does it provide a new insight or a new take on the lyrics?
Emotion: /25
Does the emotion of the story fit? Does it create a powerful mood? Is it strong?

The bonus round will be worth 20 points and will be judged like this:

Followed rules: /2
Pictures: /3
Smooth incorporation: /5
Original story: /5
Emotion: /5


http://i44.tinypic.com/2cfcylc.png

Round One (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3121678&postcount=3) – April 5th to April 10th
Results (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3131684&postcount=71)

Round Two (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3130424&postcount=65) – April 10th to April 15th
Results (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3138750&postcount=105)

Round Three (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3135212&postcount=93) – April 16th to April 22nd
Results

Round Four (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3147726&postcount=127) – April 23rd to May 5th
Results

Bonus Round (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3121681&postcount=4) - April 23th to May 5th
Results

http://i44.tinypic.com/2m2gzdl.png

Judges:
1. DollyRot
2. sleepalldaypartyallnight
3. deatherella
Emergency Judges: (if judges don’t respond within 18 hours)
1. Calline
2. wgroome
3. Jewaukeela


http://i41.tinypic.com/264rgnb.png
ghost sdoj - One (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3125130&postcount=26) | Two (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3135662&postcount=99) | Three (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3142603&postcount=114) | Four (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3148588&postcount=131) | Bonus (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3156441&postcount=145)
ForeverCamp - One (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3121811&postcount=8) | Two (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3133869&postcount=83) | Three (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3140193&postcount=109) | Four | Bonus (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3154724&postcount=140)
freelala - One (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3128052&postcount=45) | Two (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3135592&postcount=97) | Three (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3143343&postcount=119) | Four | Bonus (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3156369&postcount=144)


Easypeaze - One (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3123682&postcount=19) | Two (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3134116&postcount=84) | Three (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3141035&postcount=110)
warouri2 - One (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3127937&postcount=44) | Two (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3134387&postcount=88) | Three (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3142509&postcount=112)
Redhead4ever6 - One (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3127866&postcount=42) | Two (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3135479&postcount=96)
PixCii - One (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3122958&postcount=18) | Two (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3133466&postcount=80) | Three (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3136717&postcount=102)
happyasabunny - One (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3129289&postcount=59)
prosthetics - One (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3129120&postcount=55)
Hyghtyme - One (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3122499&postcount=14)
ghostgirl - One (http://modthesims.info/showpost.php?p=3124073&postcount=22)


http://i39.tinypic.com/258v81y.png

If I count correctly, five more in the works. If you have a prize to contribute, please PM me! Thanks!

The Sims 2
One female teen, by me
http://i43.tinypic.com/339olky.png

One female adult, by me
http://i42.tinypic.com/rvk9ip.png

The two beautiful dresses, by the talented thedivineone!
http://i44.tinypic.com/1zwz0hz.png

The Sims 3
Two patterns, by AmazingSims:
http://i39.tinypic.com/10n70o0.png
http://i40.tinypic.com/hx56p0.png

A gorgeous male adult, by sleepalldaypartyallnight:
http://i43.tinypic.com/214paad.png

This mansion house, by the wonderful 8BlackBat8
http://i40.tinypic.com/4lixw0.png

This wonderful music-themed pattern, by Spryte:
http://i39.tinypic.com/5wz6lz.pnghttp://i41.tinypic.com/2colqbt.png

And these three paintings, also by Spryte:
http://images.thesimsresource.com/scaled/1472/w-550h-413-1472116.jpghttp://images.thesimsresource.com/scaled/1472/w-550h-413-1472118.jpghttp://images.thesimsresource.com/scaled/1472/w-550h-413-1472119.jpg
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beeps
5th Apr 2010, 3:45 AM
Contest Approved
Begins 4.4.10
Ends 5.4.10

Do not post replies and/or contest applications before the contest host has checked in on this thread, or your post will be deleted.

DO NOT WRITE USELESS POSTS like "Hey cool contest, I think I might join." Reserve type posts and useless posts about coming back with an application will be deleted.

jewaukeela
5th Apr 2010, 4:03 AM
Let's see if anyone will actually do this! (I hope so...)
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Choose two lines from the following song that are not next to eachother; there is one line per line. Take those two lines and incorporate them into a story of at least ten sentences. The lines must fit smoothly into the story as something besides itself – this means no making a line the title of a book, or having your characters listen to a song that has a line in it. Make it fit! If you’re not sure whether or not your usage is okay, PM me. Your post must include at least one picture, and please list the lines you chose at the very bottom of your post.

Leaves, by Army of Freshmen

Turn off the lights
pull the sheets down tight,
We’re being watched by satellite.
Put my ring under loose floorboards, they
can’t know my life before.
Every lie I have ever said to you was just a wish.
You have to understand I didn’t think it’d come to this.
Change in weather, gone forever;
You won’t understand.
If you never think of me again,
Just remember when the leaves on the trees start to fall.
Cover me like I cover you and I swear that we’ll get through.
This is what you have to do when the questions turn to you.
If I can I’ll send for you, if I can’t don’t look for me.
I live in a place I hope you’ll never have to see.
Change in the weather, gone forever;
You won’t understand.
If you never think of me again,
Just remember when the leaves on the trees start to fall.
It’s not fair, but I’m not scared, I’m just not ready to die.
Please know I love you and I try.
Change in the weather, gone forever;
You won’t understand.
If you never think of me again,
Just remember when the leaves on the trees start to fall

jewaukeela
5th Apr 2010, 4:05 AM
http://i43.tinypic.com/2hi5d9w.png
For the bonus round, you must select one line from each of these songs, all sung by Vanessa Carlton. Take those lines and incorporate them into a story of at least ten sentences. The lines must fit smoothly into the story as something besides itself – this means no making a line the title of a book, or having your characters listen to a song that has a line in it. Make it fit! If you’re not sure whether or not your usage is okay, PM me. Your post must include at least two pictures, and please list the lines and the songs they came from at the very bottom of your post.

Ordinary Day
Just an ordinary day.
Just trying to get by.
Just an ordinary boy, but he
was looking to the sky.
he asked if I would come along
I started to realize that every day he
Finds just what he's looking for,
Like a shooting star he shines.
He said take my hand,
Live while you can
Don't you see your dreams
lie right in the palm of your hand
And as he spoke, he
spoke ordinary words
Although they did not feel
For I felt what I had not felt before
You'd swear those words could heal.
And as I looked up into those eyes
His vision borrows mine.
And I know he's no stranger,
For I feel I've held him for all of time.
And he said take my hand,
Live while you can
Don't you see your dreams lie
right in the palm of your hand
In the palm of your hand.
Please come with me,
See what I see.
Touch the stars for time will not flee.
Time will not flee.
Just an ordinary dream.
As I wake in bed
And that ordinary boy
Or was it all in my head?
Did he ask if I would come along
It all seemed so real.
But as I looked to the door,
I saw that boy standing there with a deal.
And he said take my hand,
Live while you can,
Don't you see all your dreams
right in the palm of your hand
In the palm of your hand,
Just a day, just an ordinary day
Just trying to get by.
Just a boy, just an ordinary boy.
But he was looking to the sky.

A Thousand Miles
Making my way downtown
Walking fast, faces pass
I'm home bound
Staring blankly ahead
Just making my way
Making a way through the crowd
And I need you, and I miss you, and now I wonder
If I could fall
Into the sky
Do you think time
Would pass me by
'Cause you know I'd walk a thousand miles
If I could just see you tonight
It's always times like these
When I think of you and I wonder
If you ever think of me
'Cause everything's so wrong
And I don't belong
Living in your
Precious memories
'Cause I need you and I miss you and now I wonder....
If I could fall
Into the sky
Do you think time
Would pass me by
'Cause you know I'd walk a thousand miles
If I could just see you
And I don't want to let you know
Drown in your memory
I don't want to let this go
Making my way downtown walking fast
Faces pass
And I'm home bound
Staring blankly ahead
Just making my way through the crowd
And I still need you, and I still miss you
And now I wonder....
If I could fall
Into the sky
Do you think time
Would pass us by
'Cause you know I'd walk a thousand miles
If I could just see you
If I could fall
Into the sky
Do you think time
Would pass me by
'Cause you know I'd walk a thousand miles
If I could just see you
If I could just hold you

Pretty Baby
You light me up and then I fall for you
You lay me down and then I call for you
Stumbling on reasons that
far and few
I'd let it all come down and then some for you
Pretty baby
don't you leave me
I have been saving smiles for you
Pretty baby
why can't you see
You're the one that I belong to
I'll be the embrace that keeps you warm
You're the sun that breaks the storm
I'll be alright and I'll sleep sound
As long as you keep comin' around
I know things can't last forever
there are lessons that you'll never learn
just the scent of you it makes me hurt
how's it you that makes me better
Why can't you hold me and never let go
When you touch me it is me that you own
the place that you hold in my heart
Would you break it apart again
Pretty baby
why can't you see
Pretty baby
don't you leave me
Pretty baby
why can't you see
Pretty baby
don't you leave me,

Paradise
once upon a
year gone by
she saw herself give in
every time she closed her eyes
she saw what could have been
nothing hurts and nothing bleeds
when covers tucked in tight
funny when the bottom drops
how she forgets to fight
one more day in paradise
darkness quickly steals the light
shined within her eyes
slowly swallows all her fear
soothes her mind with lies
all she wants and all she needs
reasons to survive
a day in which the sun will take
her artificial light
it's one more day in paradise
one more day in paradise
last chance to feel alright
don't pretend to hold it in
just let it out
don't pretend to hold it in
just push it out
don't you try to hold it in
just let it out and
don't you try to hold it in

Twilight
I was stained with a role
a day not my own
as you walked into my life
you showed what needed to be shown
I always knew,what was right
I just didn't know that I might
choose to see with such a different sight
I will never see the sky the same way
I will learn to say good-bye to yesterday
I will never cease to fly if held down
I will always reach too high
Never cared never wanted
Never sought to see what flaunted
So on purpose
so in my face
Couldn't see beyond my own place
And it was so easy not to
behold what I could hold
But you taught me I could change
Whatever came within
these shallow days
I will never see the sky the same way
I will learn to say good-bye to yesterday
I will never cease to fly if held down
I will always reach too high
As the sun shines through
it pushes away and pushes ahead
It fills the warmth of blue
leaves a chill instead
I didn't know that I could be so blind to all that is so real
illusion dies I see there is so much to be revealed
And I will never see the sky the same way and
I will never see the sky the same way
I will learn to say good-bye to yesterday
I will never cease to fly if held down
I will always reach too high

Deatherella
5th Apr 2010, 4:40 AM
Is there a maximum amount of pics we can use? Don't want to overdo it.

jewaukeela
5th Apr 2010, 5:04 AM
Yay! And no, no maximum amount. Okay, maybe 300. XD

Calline
5th Apr 2010, 8:42 AM
I'll be an EJ if you'd like (:

ForeverCamp
5th Apr 2010, 9:02 AM
http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff316/ForeverCamp/Ballad%20Builders%20Contest/Round1Pic1.jpg

Dear Albany:
I woke this morning, tangled into our worn bedsheets with the smell of you permeating my senses, just like it had the first night we spent together, to the sounds of four children rampaging through this worn-out little house. I had to get out, get dressed, feed children, do dishes. You were running out the door to get to work, and I didn't have time to tell you about the new child I'm carrying.

***

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff316/ForeverCamp/Ballad%20Builders%20Contest/Round1Pic2.jpg

Dear Albany:
You have to understand, I didn't think it'd come to this. No matter what I do, it never seems enough. Trying to raise a family, and keep this house in order, it's become so difficult with this new pregnancy.

We'd been so young and naive when we first married, always imagining that "one day, we'll make it. It won't always be this way". And yet every year, and every child, it stays this way, and we never seem to stay on top of things. The children are unhappy, the house is a mess and we never speak anymore.

***

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff316/ForeverCamp/Ballad%20Builders%20Contest/Round1Pic3.jpg

Dear Albany:
Today I realized that the problem in this family is me. I can't maintain the life you wanted, the life I wanted. The life that the children need. Miranda is old enough now, she can help out, and Hal and Desdemona are big enough to do some chores. You don't need me. You shouldn't need me, because I just can't do it.

***

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff316/ForeverCamp/Ballad%20Builders%20Contest/Round1Pic4.jpg

Dear Albany:
I hope you won't hate me for what I've done. I believe that this is the best route for all of us. I said goodbye to the children while they were still asleep. I kissed our six little darlings (six, my dearest Albany, can you fathom this?) and only little Timothea was awake to see me go.

***

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff316/ForeverCamp/Ballad%20Builders%20Contest/Round1Pic5.jpg

Dear Albany:
I felt seven little pieces of my soul break away from me as I walked through the autumn leaves gathered on our lawn tonight. Trust me, my dearest husband, that this burden isn't light for me, and that I have never stopped loving you, or loving our cherished little miracles.

Just remember... when the leaves on the trees start to fall, remember these words that we uttered so many autumns ago:

"You are my one and only."

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Leaves, by Army of Freshmen.

You have to understand I didn’t think it’d come to this.
Just remember when the leaves on the trees start to fall.

hyghtyme
5th Apr 2010, 2:05 PM
Can we insert conjunctions to make the lyrics work as prose?

w_sims
5th Apr 2010, 2:23 PM
I will be a judge for now, but if I get any time free I will see if I can make an entry!
(Might I suggest one round could be a gree choice and each contestant can pick their own song?)

jewaukeela
5th Apr 2010, 5:14 PM
ForeverCamp, yay! Great entry, though, and creative use of the lyrics for sure!
Yes, you may insert conjunctions.
wgroome, you're down as a judge now.
calline, you're down as an EJ
wgroome, I was thinking that but then they could pick almost anything. Instead, if you have a song/artist suggestion, please PM me and I'll see what I can do, 'kay?

clw8
5th Apr 2010, 6:17 PM
Can one enter using TS3 also?

jewaukeela
5th Apr 2010, 6:21 PM
Sure can. XD

hyghtyme
5th Apr 2010, 10:04 PM
http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn175/Hyperion_Rising/c1.jpg


“If I can I’ll send for you, and if I can’t don’t look for me,” you said. It was bull, and you knew it then. There's no way I could get enough money to follow you to America. Why did you say it? Were you trying to convince yourself that I'd be alright, that I'd have the kind of life where following you was a possibility? Or were you worried I'd go crazy, a stereotypical Vietnamese dragon lady?

Why did you say it? Were you hoping I would follow you, no matter what it took?


http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn175/Hyperion_Rising/c2.jpg


I like to think you found a nice American girl. Even better, I like to think you went back to her. She was your sweetheart before the war. She became your wife after. I like to think I was an interlude, that I didn't really count to you.


http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn175/Hyperion_Rising/c3copy.jpg


If you never think of me again, I'll be happy, because it will mean you didn't love me and leave me.


Lines used:
“If you never think of me again”
“If I can I’ll send for you, if I can’t don’t look for me.”

ForeverCamp
5th Apr 2010, 10:45 PM
Offering for whoever wants it: I've created a simple contestant's avatar (there's no in-game imagery, so either TS2 or TS3 contestants can make use of it).

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff316/ForeverCamp/Ballad%20Builders%20Contest/BalladBuildersContestantFullSize.jpg

(You might need to resize it, this is the full-size version)

jewaukeela
6th Apr 2010, 12:02 AM
Hey, thanks forever camp! :)

Hyghtyme, wonderful app! Such a unique idea! Keep 'em coming.

ForeverCamp
6th Apr 2010, 4:22 AM
You're welcome! I'm perfectly happy to provide easy little avatars to pimp out this awesome contest!

lethifold
6th Apr 2010, 5:24 AM
http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g198/Bloochi22/Ballad%20Builder%20Contest/Packingshot.jpgIf I had known that this was how it would be, I would not have agreed. I wouldn’t have orchestrated this whole childish plan to begin with. I’m leaving my husband, my children, my home. My everything. I don’t want to, but I have to. I put clothes in a bag. Put my ring under loose floorboards, they can’t know my life before. If they ever found out about my husband, my children, we would all be dead. This is all so surreal. It wasn’t meant to happen like this. It just did. I never thought my past would catch up with me, but I suppose skeletons cannot stay in the closet forever. My family isn’t home. The kids are at school, my husband at work. That makes it easier, I suppose. The goodbyes would always have been the worst part. How do you say goodbye to the man you have loved for twenty years with no explanation? And your children. How could I tell them they would never see their mother again?

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g198/Bloochi22/Ballad%20Builder%20Contest/Callingshot.jpgThe doorbell rings. They’re waiting for me. I know I have to go, I just don’t know if I can bring myself to say goodbye to my life. So I take my time. I fold and refold my clothes. The doorbell rings again and again, the melodic sound echoing in my head. I ignore it. They bang on the door. I call out to them, begging for a few minutes more. They give a non-committal grunt and heavy footfalls sound as they climb down the front steps. Their car door slams, and I’m alone again. I survey the clothes in my bag. They’re not ordered. I pull them all out and start again.

I wonder if I should write a note. What could I say? There are so many things I want to say, so few that I can. I need to tell them not to look for me, but I need to tell them I will see them again. No matter what, I will find them. Despite myself I let out a humourless chuckle. I will never see them again. This is the end of the road for me. I fumble for a pen within the depths of my bag and find a notepad.

I’m so sorry.
If I can I’ll send for you, if I can’t don’t look for me. Please. It isn’t safe for you.
Forgive me. I love you.

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g198/Bloochi22/Ballad%20Builder%20Contest/Noteshot.jpg
I rest the note on my husband’s pillow. He’ll find it when he returns from work. But I can’t think of that. I can’t think of him. If I do, I’ll do something stupid. A car horn blares through the open window. I zip my bag up and turn to leave, feeling heat prickling at my eyes. Swallowing my fear I walk out the front door. The driver nods at me from the car and I return the gesture with a slight wave. He climbs out and takes my bag from me, throwing it unceremoniously into the back before opening the passenger door for me. I thank him quietly and look out the window. Mr. Curtis’ hedge needs to be trimmed, but his roses are looking sublime.

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g198/Bloochi22/Ballad%20Builder%20Contest/Carshot.jpg“You orright, love?” the driver questions, his voice oozing with fake concern.
“Absolutely smashing,” I mutter. “Let’s go.”
“Whatever you say, love. You’re the boss.”
“If I’m the boss then why aren’t we moving?”
“Right, sorry.”

He floors the accelerator and we drive off, leaving my life behind.
http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g198/Bloochi22/Ballad%20Builder%20Contest/Houseshot.jpg




Lines used:
If I can I’ll send for you, if I can’t don’t look for me
Put my ring under loose floorboards, they can’t know my life before

easypeaze
6th Apr 2010, 9:26 PM
Adaam, it's so cold and dark, don't be upset it's okay. I just need to find my pen. Adaam? Adaam? Where's my pen?
http://i42.tinypic.com/n5obh0.jpg

Adaam? There you are, I've been calling you for ages, where have you been? You know I can't think without my pen! I'm so tired Adaam, why am I so tired?
http://i42.tinypic.com/2vlwbx3.jpg

Adaam why won't you listen to me! I have told you over and over every lie I have ever said to you was just a wish, you understand that don't you? Adaam? Adaam? Where's my pen?
http://i39.tinypic.com/ehhtdy.jpg

ADAAMMM! ADAAMMM! I can't think without my pen! It's so cold and dark. I hate it! Oh God Adaam, I live in a place I hope you'll never have to see. ADAAMM! ADAAMM! Where's my pen?
http://i41.tinypic.com/qoxe2c.jpg

Lines used
every lie I have ever said to you was just a wish
I live in a place I hope you'll never have to see

jewaukeela
6th Apr 2010, 10:36 PM
pixcii, I'm fascinated!
easypeaze, nice pics. I'm confused, but I think it's a good confused.

I am on my phone now but I'll add both of you once I get home. That makes four. I hope we get ten!

easypeaze
6th Apr 2010, 11:18 PM
Lol jewaukeela! Storytelling's not my strong suit. I was going for confusing so I at least accomplished that! Thank goodness there are no eliminations. Love everyone's entries so far and hope that we get more. It's been along time since we had any contests.

ghostgirl
7th Apr 2010, 3:46 AM
This seems cool!

-----------------------------

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g204/ghostgirl90/Screenshot-61.jpg

We started so well, young, happy, not a care in the world. Our house was small, and there wasn't often a time when something wasn't broken, but our love could conquer all.

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g204/ghostgirl90/Screenshot-121.jpg

That changed, though, when you took a job at the lab. You would always come home smelling of the chemicals you worked with all day, and sometimes I would notice a little tick of your hand, or a mutter that you wouldn't seem to know you had made. I bought you a telescope for your birthday because you had expressed an interest in astronomy; after that, I could hardly get you to come back down to earth. You always claimed 'We're being watched by satellites.'

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g204/ghostgirl90/Screenshot-141.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g204/ghostgirl90/Screenshot-191.jpg

Your neuroticism about being watched was too much for the both of us. You left me, left us, that day, even though you didn't know of your son yet.

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g204/ghostgirl90/Screenshot-231.jpg

Please, know that I love you and I try to move on. I know that you would want me to be happy above all other things. Sometimes I sit and I wonder. I wonder about our son, whether he'll have your eyes or your neurotic tendencies. I wonder about where you are now, if you ever got far enough away to be happy.

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g204/ghostgirl90/Screenshot-241.jpg

And sometimes I'll watch those mountains, looking for you.

---------------------------------

"We’re being watched by satellite."
"Please know I love you and I try."

jewaukeela
7th Apr 2010, 4:49 PM
what a great story! My internet is down so I have to access it using my sisters cell phone where I can't copyandpaste so I can't add it just yet, but hopefully it'll come back soon. Just five more applicants to go!

Ghost sdoj
8th Apr 2010, 12:08 AM
I'm still working on my cathedral, but I will work on a contest entry as well. I would have made avatars, but ForeverCamp did it first.

My husband said you sent him a PM. To clarify: I am the one who was entering the contests at S2C. He made the account, I used it. Then Delphy merged S2c back together with MTS and I took the opportunity to get my own account name.

jewaukeela
8th Apr 2010, 12:36 AM
oh, okay. Yay! I hope we end up having enough...

Ghost sdoj
8th Apr 2010, 12:52 AM
You have to understand I didn't think it'd come to this.

http://img541.imageshack.us/img541/4585/music.jpg
http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/9729/transferv.th.jpg (http://img140.imageshack.us/i/transferv.jpg/)http://img594.imageshack.us/img594/4102/shespretty.th.jpg (http://img594.imageshack.us/i/shespretty.jpg/)http://img541.imageshack.us/img541/3139/freefood.th.jpg (http://img541.imageshack.us/i/freefood.jpg/)
http://img576.imageshack.us/img576/2696/artist.th.jpg (http://img576.imageshack.us/i/artist.jpg/)

I was always careful not to get caught in my excursions to the mortal realm.

http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/4606/lovelk.jpg

http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/3976/smiling.jpg

But someone found out. I refused to submit to an eternity of blackmail, so the Dark Queen learned of my transgressions. Fortunately, she learned of them while I was in the mortal realm. I was warned by a friend.
http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/4829/talkingtobutterfly.jpg
http://img576.imageshack.us/img576/6013/pleading.jpg
I can never return home, but the mortals can't know of my life before. http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/554/somewhatsinister.jpg
I was a warrior, although I never shed mortal blood. They would fear me if they knew how easily I can kill. http://img541.imageshack.us/img541/5976/warrior.th.jpg (http://img541.imageshack.us/i/warrior.jpg/)
Now I'm trapped here, with new challenges. And new things to learn, like what this stuff called "money" is for. http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/520/moneyc.th.jpg (http://img169.imageshack.us/i/moneyc.jpg/) And why people think my house is so odd? http://img580.imageshack.us/img580/8263/house.th.jpg (http://img580.imageshack.us/i/house.jpg/)
http://img576.imageshack.us/img576/9231/inflight.jpg


Chosen lines: You have to understand I didn't think it'd come to this
Can't know of my life before


(I left some of the pictures as thumbnails because I've got a lot of them. And it seems that I uploaded the wrong version of the one I had been playing with before the contest so it's the wrong size anyway.)

jewaukeela
8th Apr 2010, 2:43 AM
great story! I'd love to hear more, I'm intrigued! I can't wait for the pictures!

if anyone knows anyone who might be interested in judging or being a contestant, please let me know! Or PM them. Only a day left, and we still need a bunch more!

ForeverCamp
8th Apr 2010, 1:11 PM
Hey, the link on the main contest post to ghost sdoj's first round actually links to easypeaze's entry.

ghostgirl
8th Apr 2010, 3:14 PM
Very nice ghost! I can't wait to see pictures, especially one of the house!

jewaukeela
8th Apr 2010, 9:44 PM
Oh, I really need the other entries up, otherwise we can't go on!

aba23
8th Apr 2010, 11:46 PM
I think I will join - just have not had a bright idea yet...

easypeaze
9th Apr 2010, 12:09 AM
Yes, aba23 join! Neither do I...I am so not good at storytelling, which is why I am thankful there are no eliminations. =D

ForeverCamp
9th Apr 2010, 12:39 AM
What we REALLY need are judges. I wonder if people even realize over in Discussion that there's a new contest in Creativity?

jewaukeela
9th Apr 2010, 12:52 AM
Would someone be able to help me out with that? Maybe do a bit of scouting?
I'm extending the first round by ONE DAY-they are officially due Friday at midnight now, but I won't really check until Saturday morning, so if you're considering please consider that, too.
If you have any suggestions for songs, please feel free to PM me!

EDIT: Actually, I forgot I'd modified it before anyone actually applied. Round Ones are due the 10th, which is Saturday, at midnight.

Freelala
9th Apr 2010, 3:48 PM
whew, thanks for extending the apps! I was working on my entry and then got a sudden and irrepressible urge to rearrange my apartment. >.< Not doing anything today, though, so can finish it after my workout. Should be up in a few hours.

jewaukeela
9th Apr 2010, 8:52 PM
sleepalldaypartyallnight, thanks a ton! No it doesn't matter at all; now you have a say in who gets it!
Freelala, glad I could be of assistance. Can't wait to see what you'll come up with!

clw8
9th Apr 2010, 11:07 PM
I know I asked when this opened up about TS3, and since it was allowed I then began the process of getting pictures for this contest. Needless to say, I have about 3 hours to burn, so I plan on getting in an entry to this contest :)

Ghost sdoj
10th Apr 2010, 3:07 AM
Grab that avatar that ForeverCamp made and fix it up for yourself, too.

ForeverCamp
10th Apr 2010, 3:39 AM
Okay, new offering (I'm thinking postive! We WILL get one more judge and two more EJs before midnight! :D )

For the judges (I tried to make it similar to the contestants' avatar; again, you'll probably need to resize it):

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff316/ForeverCamp/Ballad%20Builders%20Contest/BalladBuilders-Judge.jpg

jewaukeela
10th Apr 2010, 3:54 AM
Hooray for clw8!

*Remember guys, it's until TOMORROW at midnight. Here's an idea: everybody hope!

(It's the turtle of hope! :turtle: Post the turtle of hope if you're hoping!)

:turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle:

Redhead4ever6
10th Apr 2010, 4:17 AM
Hi there! I've been a longtime lurk, but I saw this and knew I had to do it :) So, here's my submission:


"Honey are you feeling all right?"
"Yeah mom, I'm fine."
http://i42.tinypic.com/vxm9om.jpg
The first memory stings the hardest of all. I almost wish I hadn't noticed, or that I had ignored the symptoms, but I had and I didn't. I sent him to bed without a second thought.
http://i44.tinypic.com/2lwa9fs.jpg
No one knew what had infected my son, what had made him so weak he could barely stand. Plenty of doctors came, but not one had a definite diagnosis. However, even though his body was weak, his spirit was as bright as ever. He wanted to run outside and play ball, or even just go to school, but I wouldn't let him. I feared being left alone again. I wanted to tell him "Please know I love you and I try to be strong, but I can't just let you waltz out the door while still sick." I never did though. He thought I was a tyrant but all I wanted was his safety.
http://i40.tinypic.com/4idk55.jpg
One day he had enough. I don't know how he got the strength but he did it.
http://i42.tinypic.com/9s4606.jpg
"Mom, I love you. But I can't live what life I have left in this one room, its not fair, but I'm not scared, I'm just not ready to die. I hope one day you can understand and move on. Maybe I'll see you again someday, somewhere. I love you.
-Alex"


He left.
http://i43.tinypic.com/25up3xg.jpg
And now I'm all alone. Again.


Lines used: Please know I love you and I try
It’s not fair, but I’m not scared, I’m just not ready to die

jewaukeela
10th Apr 2010, 4:36 AM
Wonderrful, wonderful entry! Thanks a ton!

warouri2
10th Apr 2010, 5:51 AM
If this is wrong, I can take it off. I want to say up front that I am Jewaukeela's sister. If that's a problem, I'll leave. I don't really mind. My sister was telling me how she needs more contestants for her contest and I said I wanted to do it but as she and I share the same game, neither of us has access to it right now. (Our computer needs more memory to run it.) So I'd like to enter, but I won't have pictures. I am fully willing to take the automatic 15 points off each round for not having pictures, I understand that, but I'd still like to enter. If she gets the 10 entries needed in addition to mine, (11 total) then I'll back off I just want to help her out. And yes I can go through with the whole contest if need be. Here's my entry.

.
.
.
.
.

Amanda shook her head to clear her thoughts, pulled on the bottom of her navy blue jacket to straighten it out, and stood up. She patted down her already perfect hair and began to walk, slowly, towards the great oak door. As she walked, she could hear the din of the press crowds outside grow stronger. She heard, too, Jeff's voice, quietly but clearly coming from the tiny mic on her left shoulder. She didn't need the quality to be good to know what he was saying; heck, she didn't even need ears. She'd known Jeff for eight years now, and she'd been spending nearly every waking moment for a year with him, so she knew him pretty well.
"Relax, Amanda. You can do this. Remember Plan X?."
Even though it was expected and somewhat annoying, Amanda had to smile. Plan X. What to do if the public ever found out about their affair.
"I know, Jeff," she responded. "Now shut up. I have a press conference to go to."
Jeff shut up, and Amanda smiled. She'd never been able to shut him up before they ran for office together; if nothing else good ever came of this, at least she had the satisfaction of knowing that for once she'd had the last word.
Her aide, Julia, came up to her with a glass of water.
"Amanda?"
"Not down, Julia. The press are waiting."
"Let them wait. Take a drink. God knows you'll have a hard enough job as it is."
She was right. Amanda took the glass gratefully and took a sip.
"A hard job; the understatement of the century." she thought, and let her mind turn to nostalgia.
{:}
Backtrack eight years, to when Amanda whad first decided she wanted to be a politician, back when she was still Amanda Patille. She was young, at least for someone with her ambitions - 36, just one year older than the requirements state. One of her heroes and her then co-candidate, Jeffrey Kirk, was running for re-election. She wasn't running against him, since there was a state border between their targets, but they both belonged to the same party. They met at a convention for candidates in the tri-state area, and found each other during a discussion of the likelihood of a woman president; they were the only two who were certain we'd have one within three elections.
Although they both agreed, Jeffrey was quick to tell young Amanda that she had all the wrong facts.
"You know, you'll never get anywhere in the political latter with just a pretty face. You've got to memorize a few facts, or you'll never make it."
"Oh, really? What's the number of democrats in your state?"
"Six thousand four hundred."
"But where will that get you, if you don't know what their opinions are?"
"I do. 65% of voters-"
"That's numbers, numbers. It's not all numbers, you know."
"What do you mean?"
"You won't understand. There's a difference between memorizing and knowing. You're memorizing, but a good politician knows."
She had him there, and it excited him. He'd never had a woman stand up to him like that, and at the same time actually be right; he kind of liked it.
Eventually they hit it off though, and started dating. He learned of her desire to become president, and she learned of his to marry a millionaire. It was the perfect coupling. She was rich, although not a millionaire, and he didn't want a wife with more power than him, so they weren't meant to be married. The next year he wed a rather old woman with $1.2 million to her name, and a few years later she found the perfect politician's husband and became Amanda Pathei. But the two couldn't ignore their attraction towards each other. Their unattractive spouses didn't help the situation much, and by a few weeks into Amanda's marriage and three years into Jeff's they were having a full-fledged affair, and loving it. Then, one year and two months ago, they had officially partnered together and put both their names on the ticket.
{:}
Back to the near present now. They secured the nomination and were the favorite to win until their affair was discovered yesterday days ago by Jeff's wife. Amanda remembered when Jeff had called to tell her. Her phone had rung in the middle of her shower, and normally she would have ignored it but, she reasoned, it might be Jeff and this close to the election every call might be important. She got out of the shower and hurried over.
"Hello?"
"It's Kirk." She knew something was wrong right away because of the way he answered the phone.
"What, what is it."
"She knows." Amanda knew right away what he was talking about, but she couldn't believe it. It had been years, and she chose then to discover the affair? No, it had to be something else.
"Who? Not Louise."
"Yes Louise." Amanda gasped. Louise knew?
"Will she tell anyone?"
"She already has. Go search the web." Amanda obligingly put on a towel and went out of the bathroom to get her laptop, but her husband Brett was standing there in his suit, his face red in anger. He was brandishing a printed-out version of an online article.
"Well?" Amanda decided to play dumb.
"What?"
"You b^*@#! Don't play games with me, I know what you did!" There was no point hiding it anymore. Amanda put the phone back to her mouth.
"I don't need to. Brett did." She hung up, and then speedwalked out of the room. Once out, she ran downstairs, jumped into the car, and sped away. She flipped back open the phone and pressed and held "2". Jeff's speeddial. He picked up on the first ring.
"Get to the Hill House. Press conference there tomorrow afternoon. I'll be waiting."
Amanda drove as quickly as she could and managed to get to Jeff's second house in five minutes. She entered through a side door and made her way to the briefing room. Their head PR agent, Patricia Gate, was talking to Jeff.
"...and never, ever, blame it on your spouse."
Amanda cleared her throat. Patricia wheeled around, her eyes shooting sparks. She glared at Amanda with real anger in her eyes. For a small woman, she sure was fierce.
"What." It was a statement, spit at Amanda. It was no question.
"I'm sorry."
"Of course you are. They always are." Patricia rolled her eyes. "Drama, drama, drama. Can't you make my life easy for once?"
Amanda said nothing, knowing better than to object; it was easier to just ride the wave out.
"Take this." Patricia shoved a thin stack of papers at Amanda.
"What's this?"
"A list of directions, to help you. This," she poked her finger at the stack, "is what you do when the questions turn to you."
"And me?"Jeff again.
"You already know, I've briefed you. Now practice with each other."
Amanda had a brief moment of děja vu and recalled her middle school play practices.
{:}
Amanda's thoughts came fully back to the present. She smiled weakly at Julia, put the cup back down, and strode purposefully toward the door. Jeff was right-she did know what she was doing. She could do this. She threw open the doors and stepped out into the sunlight, feeling oddly at home in the center of panicking journalists.
"One at a time, please."


Lines Used:
You won’t understand
This is what you have to do when the questions turn to you

Freelala
10th Apr 2010, 9:03 AM
Her ears were ringing. That meant the explosion hadn't killed her. She almost wished it had, though, especially when the glare faded away to reveal the boot of a T'Mekeian soldier next to her face. Death by inferno was far more merciful than whatever they would have planned for her, especially after she freed the prisoner they'd work so hard to apprehend. She could only hope that her sacrifice had not been in vain, and that he'd used the time she bought with her life to get away.

She coughed, and tasted warm, wet blood in her mouth. She forced her thoughts away from the pain and the doom that awaited her, and focused on an envelope in her locker back aboard the Antares. They'd find it when they cleaned it out to make room for the poor fool who'd have to take her place. It contained a letter, with two sentences detailing her last wish. She wondered if he'd even believe it when they read it to him. If they could even get him back.

If you find this, please tell Darin Halcyon that I love him.

She wondered what her life would be like if the words of all those people who said she was the bravest person they knew had proved true, and she'd worked up the guts to tell him in person instead of posthumously. She'd had so many chances, and thrown away every one, including what she very well knew could have been the last only minutes before. As she lay dying in the rubble of the power generator, she reflected on their last moments together, and the other hastily-written sentence she'd scrawled onto that piece of paper when she realized that this was one mission from which she likely wouldn't return.

My name is Kathryn Smith, and all I wanted was to be the woman he deserved.

http://i588.photobucket.com/albums/ss330/spaceysims/MTS/story1.jpg

Thirty Minutes Earlier

“We're being watched.” Darin Halcyon, brilliant scientist and perpetual target of abduction by enemy forces, lowered his binoculars and frowned at his would-be rescuer with an unspoken I-told-you-so in his both his tone and expression. “By satellite.”

Kathryn Smith, elite assassin and expert at getting men like him out of situations like this, was not buying it. “By satellite?” she repeated. “That's impossible. The resolution of the image would be-”

“Completely irrelevant, because the algorithm calculates possible route outcomes based on data from the motion-sensors,” Halcyon interrupted. “It becomes smarter with every iteration. If we move, it predicts our course more accurately with every step, and if we stay put, well, obviously that's not ideal, either.”

She sighed and spent a moment reevaluating the situation. Going up against a machine that could practically think was not something she had planned for. She could see only one solution, and while it wasn't the most ideal, it would be his best chance of surviving. “What if we split up?”

“That would... slow it down, for sure, but ultimately it wouldn't matter. We would have to regroup before your squad picks us up.”

“Not if I create a diversion while you get out.” Before he had a chance to protest, she explained her reasoning. “I can't get into the control room – it'll be too heavily guarded. My plan is to blow the power station on the southeast quadrant. The backup generator will kick on within a minute, but the computer will need to reboot. By the algorithm picks up from your last known position, you'll have a head start and you can beat it to the extraction point.”

Halcyon almost smiled. “And here I was, thinking you weren't paying attention in your computer science classes back at the Academy. Can you make it back to the extraction point, or should your boys and I pick you up somewhere else?”

“We're a long way from the moon, Professor,” Kathryn replied. “Listen closely: this little maneuver is going to throw the T'Mekeian trackers for a loop, but not off the trail. You can't risk exposure by moving the shuttle down here, or they'll follow it back to the Antares and the entire ship will be lost. I may not have time to make it back. If I don't, you have to leave without me. Do you understand?”

The pained look in his eyes told her that he did, but he didn't like it. “Smith... you can't...”

“I can, I will, and I am, Halcyon,” she said. “This is what it comes to: I'm expendable, you're not. You can turn the tide of this war, and I'm not going to value my own skin above that.” She unstrapped her knife from around her leg and tossed it to him. “Here. In case you run into trouble on your way. We're ahead of the T'Mekeians now, but we can't rule out the possibility that they've sent troops ahead to intercept the more likely routes the algorithm calculated.”

“I... I don't know how to use a knife!” he protested, but halfheartedly, as if there was something else he wanted to say but changed his mind as the words came out.

Kathryn rolled her eyes. “Here's a full tutorial: sharp end first.” She clasped a firm, reassuring hand to his shoulder, then pushed herself up. “Good hunting, Halcyon.”

http://i588.photobucket.com/albums/ss330/spaceysims/MTS/story2.jpg


Now, as she lay dying, Kathryn could only hope that Halcyon listened to her last edict better than she'd listened to his computational mathematics courses during his time as a guest lecturer at the ESC Academy on Earth's moon. How far they'd come since those days, in lives that were a series of dances toward and around each other. She remembered the panic that gripped her when she'd learned of his capture by the T'Mekeians, and while she'd managed to convince her superiors when she volunteered for the mission that it was only out of Halcyon's value to the war effort, she hadn't been able to convince herself. The truth, the real truth, was that she'd never forgive herself if she didn't do everything she could to assure Darin Halcyon's survival: not as a scientist, not as a tactical advantage, but as the man who melted her frozen heart. If she couldn't be with him, it was enough to know that this would be a universe where he was alive.

“Well, well,” the T'Mekeian above her growled. “You must be the famous Kathryn Smith. My lucky day, indeed.”

She spat blood onto his boot in response. The effort caused her broken body to seize up and she coughed violently in a desperate attempt for another life-giving breath.

The T'Mekeain snickered, dropped to one knee, and gripped her face. “Forgive my excitement. You have to understand I didn’t think it’d come to this,” he said. “You've made so many enemies, we always thought you'd be dead by the time we got to you. The bounty is double if you're alive when I hand you over.”

“Make sure you buy yourself something nice, then,” Kathryn hissed. “You won't have much time to enjoy it before Halcyon gets back to the ESC and gives them what they need to turn your entire pathetic race into dust.”

He flipped her onto her back, let go of her face, and planted a foot on either side of her torso. A menacing grin twisted across his reptilian face. “I may be forfeiting the pleasure of killing you myself, but there are other things that are almost as good,” he said. “I've been looking forward to this for a long time.”

“And all that time, you should have been looking up.”

Kathryn heard the other voice and looked up just in time to see a familiar figure leap through the flames. The T'Mekeian solider wasn't so fast, and didn't look up until the moment Darin Halcyon's boot met the soft skin at his throat.

http://i588.photobucket.com/albums/ss330/spaceysims/MTS/story3.jpg


Even above the ambient noise of the blaze, Kathryn could hear the cracking bones of the T'Mekeian's neck, and she knew before his limp body hit the ground that he wouldn't be giving them any more trouble. She could now focus all her shock, joy, surprise, and exasperation at her rescuer. “I thought I gave you an order, Halcyon,” she grumbled as he picked himself up and scrambled over to her.

“Is that what it was?” he asked. “It sounded more like a friendly suggestion to me.” She felt a sharp pain and something slipping around inside that probably shouldn't be as Halcyon picked her up, but the shock wasn't enough to render her unconscious, which she took as a sign that she may yet get out of this alive... if they could get out at all. “You'll be all right, Smith, I promise.”

“We don't... enough time... make it... extraction point...” she muttered as he began the trek back into the alien jungle.

“I think you underestimate both my knowledge of Indarian topography and the amount of time I spend working out,” Halcyon said. “I'd figured out the most efficient route from here to the extraction point after you sprung me, and with the time you bought us with your little stunt, the satellite's algorithm won't catch up to us until it's too late. You just hang on.”

If she was going to die, in his arms was the place she wanted it to happen. “Nice kick,” she said.

She felt the chuckle rumble through his chest. “I told you I didn't know how to use a knife.”

“Halcyon... I...” She couldn't get the words out.

“No more talking,” he ordered. “Save your strength.”

He carried her through the twisted trees and giant fungi, over hill and through glade, until they came to a clearing Kathryn's fading vision recognized from her mission brief. She didn't see a shuttle – were they too late? The fact that he came back for her, while heroic, could very well have been the undoing of the entire war. “The shuttle?” she asked as he set her down among the spongy leaves.

Halcyon took a moment to catch his breath, then responded, “Still two minutes out, by my figuring.” He lowered himself down next to her and took her head in his hands. “You're hurt bad, but I think you'll make a full recovery.”

“I don't care what you think, because you're an idiot,” she said. “You could have been killed.”

“Details,” he scoffed. “I knew the last direction they'd expect me to run was back to the base, and I wasn't about to let you go in there without someone watching your back. Not this time.”

Kathryn coughed and turned her face away from him to spit out some excess blood. Attractive, she thought. “You're the only one with inside knowledge of their defense grid,” she said. “What you know could save the galaxy.”

“I don't know about that,” he said. “At this point, the ESC knows almost everything I do. What I do know, though, is a galaxy without you isn't worth saving.” He offered a weak smile in defense of his reckless actions. “Not for me, anyway.”

As she looked into his eyes, she thought again of the envelope in her locker, and of its secret contents. “Darin Halcyon,” she growled, “when I give you an order, I expect it to be followed. If I can't trust you, you're no good to me or to this war.”

He broke off eye contact, and in a distant, hollow voice, said, “Yes, ma'am.”

“That's better,” she said. “Your next order is to get some of this blood off me so I can kiss you.”

His gaze snapped back to hers, and he laughed. “Yes, ma'am.”

http://i588.photobucket.com/albums/ss330/spaceysims/MTS/story4.jpg



--------


Lines used:
We’re being watched by satellite.
You have to understand I didn’t think it’d come to this.

jewaukeela
10th Apr 2010, 1:35 PM
Beautiful, freelala! Adding you now.
EDIT: Everybody virtually hug Deatherella! She's agreed to be our third judge! hooray, the turtle of hope worked! Now to just get one more contestant...

:turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle::turtle:

DollyRot
10th Apr 2010, 2:00 PM
I will be a EJ Jewaukeela! I am all for supporting sims contests <3

Ghost sdoj
10th Apr 2010, 3:41 PM
I hope they don't call this spam: :turtle: :turtle: :turtle: :turtle: :turtle: :turtle: :turtle: :turtle: :turtle: :turtle: :turtle: :turtle: :turtle: :turtle:


And I hope Freelala is ok? "Something rather tragic" sounds serious.

And a very big virtual hug to Deatherella! And DollyRot!

Edit: I also added the turtle of hope to some of my posts today in the discussion forums, along with a link to the contest. I hope that got somebody curious enough to follow the link and join.)

jewaukeela
10th Apr 2010, 5:51 PM
lol, sounds good! :turtle:
Thanks a ton Dollyrot! :turtle:
Daiquiri, I see you lurking. :) What's up?

EDIT: I seemed to have scared her/him off.Oops. In other news, turtle! :turtle:

Freelala
10th Apr 2010, 8:57 PM
Finished my entry here (http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?p=3128052#post3128052). My dog died yesterday, and my mind was too numb to do anything. Hope my contribution isn't too feeble.

clw8
10th Apr 2010, 11:00 PM
I'm sorry. I know I said I was going to join, and by all means that was my intentions, but I am simply having issues with TS3 on my computer, and I have no time tonight (in my opinion) to be able to go in and get the requirements. I'm sorry again, and I hope that you get all of your contestants. Best of Luck :)

hyghtyme
10th Apr 2010, 11:17 PM
Finished my entry here (http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?p=3128052#post3128052). My dog died yesterday, and my mind was too numb to do anything. Hope my contribution isn't too feeble.

I'm really sorry about your dog. I know how hard that can hit you.

Prosthetics
10th Apr 2010, 11:20 PM
Eep..I am going to have to work fast if I'm going to get in this on time >_<

jewaukeela
11th Apr 2010, 12:47 AM
Freelala, I am so sorry. Your entry is beautiful, as always.

Prosthetics
11th Apr 2010, 12:59 AM
http://i776.photobucket.com/albums/yy43/ProstheticParadox/Misc/3.png

Did I do the right thing? She finds herself asking. Should I really even be questioning whether or not it was the right thing? It was best for everyone. But was it best for everyone, or just herself? Carnifex had never really questioned herself before. Apparently disorientation was a big part of her "condition," as the doctors had put it.

She hadn't even remained long enough to hear the possible causes. She just wanted out of there. And what of her husband? What would she tell him? It'd seemed simple at the time: Just don't tell him. Scribbling her parting notes, she disappeared. Checking her e-mail later, for some reason unclear to her, she saw he'd sent her at least 10. The titles ranging from "where are you?" to "whatever I did, please forgive me!" to "whatever it is, we can talk about it." She wanted to ignore them. She really did, but she found herself opening and replying to the last one.

Sweet Brady,
The reason I left isn't something you've done. It's not something I've done. It's just something that you won't understand, and I can't bear to explain it to you. Please don't e-mail me again.

Carnifex.

She sighed wearily and stared at the screen before closing the window without sending it. She wouldn't talk to Brady. She couldn't.

http://i776.photobucket.com/albums/yy43/ProstheticParadox/Misc/1.png

She walked outside, feeling the sunlight on her skin. She grinned. She couldn't help it. The warmth of the sun was one of the things that she loved most. She had an appointment at her doctor's office in a few hours. She wanted to walk. She needed time to clear her head.

She mumbled aloud to herself: "It’s not fair, but I’m not scared, I’m just not ready to die." and she knew in that moment that she really wasn't. She was 25 years old, she'd just been married 8 months ago, she hadn't brought a life into this world yet. She hadn't gone to a PTA meeting. She hadn't done anything that most people already had. She wanted to live her whole life next to Brady, she wanted to grow old. She wanted to have children and grandchildren. She wanted to learn more. But as she walked along, she came to a firm realization that that just wouldn't happen. Especially if the cancer had it's way.


I hope I've done this right, if not, please tell me. :]
lyrics used:
It’s not fair, but I’m not scared, I’m just not ready to die.
you won't understand

Ghost sdoj
11th Apr 2010, 1:26 AM
Finished my entry here (http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?p=3128052#post3128052). My dog died yesterday, and my mind was too numb to do anything. Hope my contribution isn't too feeble.

That is so sad. This is for you.

http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/6002/flowersf.gif

jewaukeela
11th Apr 2010, 2:28 AM
prosthetics, you are making me incredibly hapy! Everyone gives hugs to freelala and prosthetics for their own reasons.

Prosthetics
11th Apr 2010, 2:36 AM
I stopped checking the creativity forum a few months back, since all of the contests were TS3 :p
but then Ghost posted the link to this thread somewhere, and my cuiosity got the better of me. Lucky me, a TS2 contest! :p

I did have a question though. Each round is the same story, or could it be a new story? I'm not saying I was planning multiple stories around this challenge, but at this point I'm curious.

happyasabunny
11th Apr 2010, 3:31 AM
Tom and Melissa are a couple living in Chicago. Tom doesn't have a typical job. He is part of the mafia. He joined the mafia after his father died. His father was part of the mafia as well and died because of another group on the other side of town. Tom and Melissa just found out they are pregnant.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w101/happyasabunny/s2-2.png

After finding this out Melissa wanted him to get out of the mafia. She started the conversation one night while sitting on the couch.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w101/happyasabunny/s4-1.png

After a couple of minutes a fight erupted. He was mad at her for even thinking about it. He told her don't you realize that the only way you can get out is by dying. She just got really upset and hold him she would leave him if he didn't quit the mafia.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w101/happyasabunny/s3-1.png

After walking away for a few minutes he comes back and said "you won't understand how hard it will be to get out, but I will try."

A few moments later the phone rang. It was the mafia, they wanted tom to come to a meeting. Before leaving Tom told Melissa "please know I love you and I try."

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w101/happyasabunny/s5-1.png

Melissa decided to wait up for him because she wanted to celebrate him leaving the mafia. Hours passed, Melissa became a little worried, but decided it was best for her to go to bed.

She woke up the next morning and she turned over in her bed and saw he wasn't there.

She ran to the tv and turned it on the news. She found out that her husband had died.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w101/happyasabunny/s1-2.png

jewaukeela
11th Apr 2010, 2:40 PM
happyasabunny, wonderful!
prosthetics, it's your choice.
warouri, please stay!

I have one set of scores and will post the next round in a moment but remember that you can't post your next round until the scores are in.

aba23
11th Apr 2010, 3:20 PM
*Due tonight at midnight* - does that indicate Saturday midnight or Sunday midnight?

jewaukeela
11th Apr 2010, 3:31 PM
It was saturday midnight, I've changed it now.

traelia
11th Apr 2010, 3:54 PM
Oh darn I wish I saw this sooner. I've been meaning to join a contest.

easypeaze
11th Apr 2010, 6:05 PM
I'm sorry about your dog Freelala...my dog past away a few months back and it is still hard. All the apps are so good and now it's judging time(bites nails).

jewaukeela
11th Apr 2010, 10:42 PM
https://mail.google.com/a/jbha.org/?ui=2&ik=fae953b442&view=att&th=127b4e782d853409&attid=0.14&disp=inline&realattid=f_g7gb7pkf13&zw
Choose one line from the following song; there is one line per line. Take that line and incorporate it into a story of at least ten sentences. The line must fit smoothly into the story as something besides itself. If you’re not sure whether or not your usage is okay, PM me. Your post must include at least two pictures*, and please list the line you chose at the very bottom of your post.

Hey Soul Sister, by Train

Your lipstick stains
on the front lobe of my
left side brains
I knew I wouldn't forget you and so
I went and let you blow my mind
Your sweet moonbeam
the smell of you in
every single dream I dream
I knew when we collided
you're the one I have decided who's
one of my kind

Hey soul sister
Ain't that Mr. Mister
on the radio, stereo
the way you move ain't fair, you know
Hey soul sister
I don't want to miss a single thing you do tonight,
Hey, hey, hey

Just in time, I'm so glad
you have a one-track mind like me
You gave my life direction
a game show love connection
we can't deny
I'm so obsessed,
my heart is bound to beat
right out my untrimmed chest
I believe in you
like a virgin, you're Madonna
I'm always gonna wanna blow your mind

Hey soul sister
ain't that Mr. Mister on the
radio, stereo, the way you move ain't fair, you know!
Hey soul sister, I don't want to miss a single thing you do
tonight

The way you can't cut a rug
watching you's the only drug I need
You're so gangsta
I'm so thug
you're the only one I'm dreaming of
You see, I can be myself now finally
in fact there's nothing I can't be
I want the world to see you be with me

Hey soul sister
Ain't that Mr. Mister on the radio, stereo
the way you move ain't fair, you know
Hey soul sister
I don't want to miss a single thing you do tonight,
Hey soul sister
I don't want to miss a single thing you do tonight
Hey, hey, hey

*except warouri, we know about your problem and you will still have the 15 points taken from pictures and none from rules

jewaukeela
12th Apr 2010, 2:12 AM
UPDATE: I figured out what was wrong with the links and I fixed it. Does it work for everyone?

easypeaze
12th Apr 2010, 2:45 AM
They work but ghostgirls still links to my round 1

Edit-ghostgirls round 1 link is not working at all. Round 2 is going to be hard, but good. I've been trying to think what kind of story I could make with this, i've sort of got one going, lets hope it goes the way I have it in my mind. Things always look good in my mind but never transfer out as well(lol)!

Ghost sdoj
12th Apr 2010, 3:56 PM
Do we have to use the same sim from the first round? I already had a story I had been playing around with him in my head with, which was why it was so easy to get a contest entry together for that round.

ghostgirl
12th Apr 2010, 4:26 PM
*hugs Freelala* I'm so sorry about your dog!


UPDATE: I figured out what was wrong with the links and I fixed it. Does it work for everyone?


My link still isn't working (But then again, links like that never like me!)


I'm getting very strange ideas for this round.....

jewaukeela
12th Apr 2010, 9:40 PM
I have all three scores now and will post ASAP sorry for the delay! If you can get in your round as soon as you can, then maybe we'll still have time for a fifth round!

jewaukeela
12th Apr 2010, 10:13 PM
ROUND ONE SCORES

ForeverCamp
Judge 1
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 11/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 19/25
Original story: 20/25
Emotion: 22/25
Judge 2
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 10/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 23/25
Original story: 20/25
Emotion: 20/25
Judge 3
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 10/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 21/25
Original story: 19/25
Emotion: 20/25
Total: 82+83+80 = 245/300 = 81.6%


hyghtyme
Judge 1
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 9/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 18/25
Original story: 18/25
Emotion: 20/25
Judge 2
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 10/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 23/25
Original story: 21/25
Emotion: 21/25
Judge 3
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 10/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 20/25
Original story: 20/25
Emotion: 21/25
Total: 75+85+81 = 241/300 = 80.3%


PixCii
Judge 1
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 13/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 21/25
Original story: 21/25
Emotion: 23/25
Judge 2
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 12/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 23/25
Original story: 21/25
Emotion: 20/25
Judge 3
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 13/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 22/25
Original story: 24/25
Emotion: 23/25
Total: 88+86+92 = 266/300 = 88.6%


easypeaze
Judge 1
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 10/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 14/25
Original story: 20/25
Emotion: 22/25
Judge 2
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 13/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 23/25
Original story: 22/25
Emotion: 22/25
Judge 3
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 13/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 21/25
Original story: 22/25
Emotion: 21/25
Total: 76+90+87 = 253/300 = 84.3%


ghostgirl
Judge 1
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 9/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 20/25
Original story: 20/25
Emotion: 23/25
Judge 2
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 8/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 23/25
Original story: 21/25
Emotion: 20/25
Judge 3
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 10/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 20/25
Original story: 20/25
Emotion: 21/25
Total: 82+82+81 = 245/300 = 81.6%


Ghost sdoj
Judge 1
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 13/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 21/25
Original story: 21/25
Emotion: 21/25
Judge 2
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 9/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 23/25
Original story: 23/25
Emotion: 22/25
Judge 3
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 9/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 19/25
Original story: 19/25
Emotion: 21/25
Total: 86+87+78 = 251/300 = 83.6%


Redhead4ever6
Judge 1
Followed rules: 9/10 (1 point removed for using lines that were next to eachother)
Pictures: 10/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 22/25
Original story: 20/25
Emotion: 23/25
Judge 2
Followed rules: 9/10 (1 point removed for using lines that were next to eachother)
Pictures: 9/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 23/25
Original story: 20/25
Emotion: 21/25
Judge 3
Followed rules: 9/10 (1 point removed for using lines that were next to eachother)
Pictures: 13/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 20/25
Original story: 23/25
Emotion: 23/25
Total: 84+82+87 = 253/300 = 84.3%


warouri2
Judge 1
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 0/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 24/25
Original story: 22/25
Emotion: 20/25
Judge 2
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 0/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 23/25
Original story: 22/25
Emotion: 21/25
Judge 3
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 0/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 20/25
Original story: 20/25
Emotion: 21/25
Total: 76+76+71 = 223/300 = 74.3%


freelala
Judge 1
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 15/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 25/25
Original story: 24/25
Emotion: 25/25
Judge
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 14/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 23/25
Original story: 23/25
Emotion: 22/25
Judge 3
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 14/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 22/25
Original story: 23/25
Emotion: 22/25
Total: 99+92+91 = 282/300 = 94%


Prosthetics
Judge 1
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 9/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 18/25
Original story: 18/25
Emotion: 20/25
Judge 2
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 8/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 23/25
Original story: 22/25
Emotion: 23/25
Judge 3
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 9/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 20/25
Original story: 19/25
Emotion: 20/25
Total: 75+86+78 = 239/300 = 79.6%


happyasabunny
Judge 1
Followed rules: 9/10 (one point taken off for not listing the lines at the bottom)
Pictures: 9/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 20/25
Original story: 19/25
Emotion: 19/25
Judge 2
Followed rules: 9/10 (one point taken off for not listing the lines at the bottom)
Pictures: 8/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 21/25
Original story: 20/25
Emotion: 19/25
Judge 3
Followed rules: 9/10 (one point taken off for not listing the lines at the bottom)
Pictures: 10/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 20/25
Original story: 20/25
Emotion: 19/25
Total: 76+77+78 = 231/300 = 77%




Rankings

Overall Scores
freelala - 282, 94%
PixCii - 266, 88.6%
easypeaze and redhead4ever6 - 253, 84.3%
ghost sdoj - 251, 83.6%
forevercamp and ghostgirl - 245, 81.6%
hyghtyme - 241, 80.3% 3
prosthetics - 239, 79.6%
happyasabunny - 231, 77%
warouri2 - 223, 74.3%

Best Sims 2 Score
freelala - 282, 94%

Best Sims 3 Score
easypeaze - 253, 84.3%

Most Difference Among Judges
easypeaze's judges' scores varied the most, with totals of 76, 90, and 87.

Most Consistent Among Judges
ghostgirl's judges' scores were the most consistent with totals of 82, 82, and 81.

easypeaze
12th Apr 2010, 10:43 PM
Good job Freelala, even though I know your heart was breaking, you did a great job!

ForeverCamp
12th Apr 2010, 11:40 PM
Congrats on coming out on top freelala - I have to say, I loved your entry!

Ghost sdoj
13th Apr 2010, 1:44 AM
Congratulations Freelala! I know it must have been hard to concentrate.

(And my question still hasn't been answered: Are we using the same sims in all the rounds, or different ones?)

ForeverCamp
13th Apr 2010, 3:04 AM
Prosthetics asked a similiar question a little earlier, and jewaukeela said that it's up to you.

jewaukeela
13th Apr 2010, 3:05 AM
Yes I did, thanks ForeverCamp. I'd love to hear more about the sims you have already talked about, but it's totally up to you.

jewaukeela
13th Apr 2010, 10:47 PM
Reminder, it's two days until the round is due!

lethifold
14th Apr 2010, 12:15 AM
Just letting you know, my entry should be up this afternoon of this evening, my time.

Ghost sdoj
14th Apr 2010, 5:45 AM
My cathedral was rejected, so I've been trying to fix it. Tomorrow I've got an MRI and then a follow-up appointment with the neurologist, then a Bible study tomorrow night. I may be able to get a story pieced together while I'm in the doctor's office, (especially since I won't have much to do while I'm having my MRI.) but I might not have much chance to get pictures.

lethifold
14th Apr 2010, 10:12 AM
The breath of every single male in the room hitched as the newcomer entered, golden curls spilling around her face, most of the hair held at the back with a ribbon. She was shaking slightly, most likely from the intensity of his fellows around him. None of the five were at all hesitant in swooping upon the newcomer and attempting to win her favour, with himself as the exception. He sat rigidly in his chair at the head of the table, watching her as she blushed down to the top of her dress. Her waist was cinched tightly as she swam through layers upon layers of glorious red fabric and feathers, her bust raised high. The dress stopped above her knees at the front, leaving a slight train behind, giving the bidders a view of slender legs. His eyes raked over her delicate face, petal pink lips and pale cheeks. The top of her face was hidden by that damned silver mask, but there was no doubt in his mind of the immense beauty that lay beneath.
http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g198/Bloochi22/Ballad%20Builder%20Contest/Firstpicture.jpg
“My fair maiden, your beauty is more radiant than the Arabian desert at sunset,” snivelled Williams, a pathetic little man who had no hope with a woman as stunning as she. As society dictated, she blushed and offered a small smile, allowing the small man’s lips to graze her hand and, acting accordingly, swooning slightly. Williams retreated, his offer for the woman’s heart made clear, and he returned to his seat. “That wench is certainly something, eh?” he giggled wheezily, and the man at the head of the table rolled his eyes.
http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g198/Bloochi22/Ballad%20Builder%20Contest/WilliamsBen.jpg
“She is hardly a wench, Williams, and you would do well to hold your tongue when she is in hearing distance,” he murmured quietly, his eyes not leaving the female who was now under the attentions of Edmund Barrows, a handsome man who thought of himself highly, though his fortune was not as vast as he made it out to be. “I suggest you do not waste your time on her. A man of your wealth could never afford to win her heart, Williams. The same is to be said of every other gentleman here, aside from myself of course. It would be best if you all simply bowed out gracefully and avoided yourself the embarrassment.” This was not entirely true, of course. It was known that he did indeed have the vastest fortune of all the men gathered tonight, though many of their bank accounts could rival his own in a bid for the lady’s heart.

Williams harrumphed loudly but conceded defeat. He had wasted much of his money on cheap women and fancy wine, choosing to gamble the rest away. Two of the other men had appeared to concede defeat as well, with Nicholas Hoag and Theodore Stuart returning to the table with sour looks upon their faces. He at the end of the table hid a smirk as the three men who had accepted their fate turned to alcohol. Now there was only himself and Barrows who was still lavishing attention on the beautiful figure. She laughed and smiled politely, looking up at him through long lashes. Both were in their element.
http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g198/Bloochi22/Ballad%20Builder%20Contest/ElizabethEdward.jpg
Somewhere, a bell sounded, indicating that the stunning woman had only five minutes before her return into the depths of the house until the next evening where she would be entertained by another group of men, all vying for her hand. Barrows looked to the table smugly, believing that he had truly won out over the competition for the evening, but his face faltered when he saw the only other man in the running standing and approaching.
http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g198/Bloochi22/Ballad%20Builder%20Contest/Conversation.jpg
“Barrows, you can retire to the table for the evening. You have surely entertained this lady enough for the night,” he said, his tone offering no room to argue. Barrows looked livid but held his tongue, kissing the woman’s hand once more before returning to the other men. “I am Monsieur Benjamin Collins, Mademoiselle. May I request your name?”

“Ella, Monsieur Collins. You have come just in time, I’m so glad. You are without a doubt the most mysterious gentleman I have seen in this fine establishment, and one of the most handsome,” Ella said quietly, giggling and blushing as she finished. Her piercing blue eyes stared at him inquisitively as he smiled slightly. “Surely you had reason for waiting until so late in the night before approaching me. Your company seemed delighted to approach me immediately, but you…you remained behind.”

“As you said, my dear Ella, I can be quite mysterious. However, tonight I was merely observing your preferences. You are quite the beauty, as I am sure you’re aware. My companions seem entirely smitten with you, though you do not appear to return the favour,” he speculated, his voice low. He laughed softly when she made a face.

“Some of your party are less than appealing to me, and I feel they would have not nearly enough money to win my heart over,” she laughed, a tinkling sound that made his heart swell. “Monsieur Barrows was quite charming, though he was a touch too eager for my tastes.” Another bell tolled. One more minute. “Could I persuade you into another meeting later, perhaps?”

“I was close to requesting that exact thing, flower. When does your last appointment finish for the night?” Benjamin asked, hoping his excitement was not visible on his normally entirely composed face.
“Meet me in my rooms at one o’clock, if you don’t mind. Madame Daisy will oversee the meeting.” The final bell tolled. “I will see you soon, Monsieur Collins.”
http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g198/Bloochi22/Ballad%20Builder%20Contest/KissBenjamin.jpg
He lifted her hand to kiss it and she flushed once more, curtseying to the other gentlemen before departing. There would be a five minute interval until the next lady was brought in, but Benjamin was satiated for the night. He returned to his seat, receiving dark looks from his fellows. Judging by their faces, dear Ella had found him quite engaging. He assumed that Barrows had a meeting later in the evening, but was unsure of the other men.

“Enjoy yourself, Collins?” Nicholas Hoag asked stiffly, reaching for his drink.

“I believe that is none of your business, Hoag. You should give this lovely lady some attention now. You wouldn’t want to let her think we didn’t like her,” Benjamin instructed, indicating the raven haired woman who was entering the room. She was far less impressive than Ella, but pretty nonetheless. She introduced herself to the group as Lily, curtseying as she did so. Williams, Hoag and Stuart jumped at the chance, Williams even knocking over his chair in his excitement.
http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g198/Bloochi22/Ballad%20Builder%20Contest/Arguement.jpg
“So, Collins. You seemed to get along quite well with Miss Ella. I hope you are aware I will be making a strong position to win her over,” Barrows sniffed, sipping his wine.
“You will lose, and I will not discuss the matter any further in public, Barrows,” Benjamin countered, leaning back in his chair. “Do close your mouth, you look a fool,” he added at the shocked expression on his companion’s face before turning his attention away.

The rest of the night, as it was only ten o’clock, passed in a haze of smoke and liquor. The sensually lit room only darkened as time progressed, until a total of five women were showed. The other men had consumed far more wine than he, and were becoming dreadfully loud. At half twelve, Barrows excused himself, and Benjamin had the suspicion that he was with Ella. Anger and jealousy bubbled in his chest at the thought of him with such a beautiful specimen. He passed the next half hour with impatient tapping, listening to the drunken conversation of his companions as they loudly criticized some of the women they had seen that night.

With five minutes until his meeting he excused himself from the table. He was tired of the company and he was seeing red. No matter how much he tried to direct his thoughts elsewhere, his mind kept drifting back to Barrows and Ella together. Though nothing would occur with the hawkish Madame Daisy present, the idea could still be entertained. As he approached Mademoiselle Ella’s room, the door opened and Barrows exited, looking quite impressed with himself. Jealousy clawed at Benjamin’s insides once more. A look at his pocket watch told him that there was but one minute until he could enter, and he waited patiently by the door, hoping to calm the raging monster inside.

The minute felt like an eternity, and at long last the door opened with a slight creak. Fixing his tie and smoothing his coat he walked through the open door, into a room that contrasted with the rest of the dark establishment. In the corner sat Madame Daisy, old and dignified. She offered a rare smile to Benjamin, one of her favourite clients. He was respectful and rich. She hoped this young girl would please him.
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Mademoiselle Ella was perched in an armchair, looking even more radiant than she had downstairs. Her hair was no longer in the elegant up-do from earlier in the evening, instead styled on the side. She smiled brightly at Benjamin when he entered, standing swiftly. He took her hand and allowed his lips to graze across it, enjoying the warmth her grasp offered. Madame Daisy coughed and he dropped Ella’s hand, choosing to sit opposite her. She poured tea and leant back, crossing her legs carefully so as to not give him a glimpse of what lay beneath her delicate skirt. The silver mask he had cursed before was removed, revealing all of her beauty to him.

“Monsieur Collins, thank you for coming,” Ella said softly, smiling.
“You are quite welcome, Mademoiselle Ella. I wish to place an offer,” he grinned lazily, and her mouth formed an O-shape of surprise.
“Already? That is quite a hasty decision,” Ella collected herself quickly.
“You are quite stunning, and I do not wish to lose you to another man. Particularly not Barrows,” he said lightly, and Madame Daisy straightened up and coughed.
“Monsieur Collins, an offer has already been placed on Ella, though not a marriage proposal. As you are aware, marriage proposals automatically win out over any other offer. Are you insinuating that you wish to offer marriage to young Mademoiselle Ella?” Daisy asked, face stern.
“I am,” Benjamin said simply. “Of course, I would court her properly and publicly prior to the marriage, but first I need to learn her name. Her real name.”
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“Of course, that is simple. Monsieur Benjamin Collins, I would like to introduce you to Mademoiselle Elizabeth Thomas, your new bride to be.”


Line used:
Just in time, I'm so glad

*I really hope this isn't too long. I got a bit carried away. Also, this is set in no particular time period, in a made up world of my own, so it isn't supposed to be historically accurate in any way.

jewaukeela
14th Apr 2010, 12:10 PM
Nice! I hope everyone else gets their rounds in...

ghostgirl
14th Apr 2010, 4:03 PM
Just to let you know, I'm currently working on the ending of my story, and then I'll go in-game and take pictures tomorrow and have it all up.

ForeverCamp
14th Apr 2010, 7:22 PM
Hal:
I'll start by saying that I don't have nearly the sentimentality and poetic finesse that your mother had. I'm afraid this letter may lack a certain... je ne sais quoi. But there's things I need to say, and things you need to understand before you move out into that big, wide world beyond 7 Chorus Court.

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When you were a young boy, before our lives began falling apart, I admired your simplicity. Nothing made your day like a game of ball on the front lawn. But when your mother left, everything changed - as we all knew it would. Little did we know just how much it would change.

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I will be the first to say that things weren't exactly a walk in the park when your mother left. They still aren't, in all honesty - in some ways (and I think we both know which ways I mean) things are much, much worse. We survived on pizza and Chinese, we never did figure out how to work a changing table for the twins' diapers, and I think Miranda and Desdemona got sick of cleaning up after us.

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But you had your shining moments - how you would go to task, fixing up everything that broke in the house, from the shower to the television and unclogging toilets when Aubrey would throw things down them.

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And then I realized that you have a one-track mind like me. Of all the things you could've inherited from your old man, that was the last thing I ever wanted you to inherit. It isn't a blessing - it's a curse if there ever was one. Ask any Capp man what the curse of the Capps are, and they will tell you it's the love of a woman. There is absolutely nothing a Capp man will not do for the love of a woman, and I can't help but wonder if it was that which made your mother leave us.

Can I ever manage to take back the horrible things that I've taught you? Can I ever manage to redeem myself in the eyes of my children? Sometimes I wish I could, and sometimes I realize that the moment for redemption is long since gone.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hey Soul Sister, Train
Line used:
You have a one-track mind like me.

easypeaze
14th Apr 2010, 11:41 PM
Waking up that morning, from a dream so intense that Rogan forgot to put coffee in the coffee tin, which had him stirring creamer into water. Pouring his hot, creamed water into the sink, Rogan tried to shake off the discontent and loneliness that had lingered since waking up. He just couldn’t stop thinking of her. She would tell him the strangest things, that their souls were bound together, that she was a Soul Binder and begging him to remember her. Would there ever be a time when he wouldn’t dream of her? Pushing thoughts of his dream aside and splashing cold water on his face, he walked out the door.
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Rogan, was never more at peace then when he was with his plants and herbs. He made medicines, love potions, and some not so nice things for the locals and they came in droves for what they called his “divine concoctions”. He never quite knew why his concoctions worked so well, but they did. Living in a rural community forty minutes outside of the city was the only way he could do what he loved to do and he trusted the community not to tell because they feared the mayor would shut him down and maybe even put him jail. Something the locales would never allow to happen and would protect him with their lives if it ever came to that. He was their Healer.
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Working late into the night on Ms. Millers blood pressure medicine, Rogan removed his glasses, pinched his nose and tried to stave off the feeling of tiredness….Roogaaan, come to me, I am waiting. Roogaaan. Startled awake, Rogan felt shaken, the voice, her voice, spoken in a language he knew he should not have understood, but he did. The dreams were getting real intense and she seemed more urgent this time almost as if she felt she was running out of time. In this dream she said that we were of two different races but our souls were the same and once again begging me to remember. Glancing at the clock he noted that it was after 2 am. He had been asleep for close to two hours now. Rubbing the back of his neck, he stood up to go back to the house, grab a bite to eat and mull over his dream. Maybe he was just sleep deprived and that is what was going on. Trying to push the dream aside, he was just about to turn the light off to his small, cramped, office, when he heard her, in that very soft, lilting voice.
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Pinching himself to see if he was still dreaming, Rogan cursed, yep, he was definitely awake. Going back into his office and grabbing a flashlight, he quickly walked into the night. In the distance was a heavily wooded forest, which is where he collected many plants for his “divine concoctions” and is where he headed. Briskly rubbing his arms with his hands to ward off the chill, he could barely see through all the trees even though he had been here many times there was a different quality to it this night. The words that came to mind were, magical and destiny. Hearing a soft laughter that drew him further into the forest, he came upon a clearing he had never seen before. It seemed to emit a glow all its own. That is when he saw her. She turned to him and it was as if he was coming home. Beckoning him in a language that had been dead for centuries and how he knew that was beyond him. Right now was a more pressing matter, that being what in the world was she doing out here in the middle of the night and more amazingly her ability to speak to me without actually using her voice. My name is Shimera, I started to say that I had not asked, but suddenly realizing I had only thought it, rocked me to my core and yet it felt so familiar.
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Her eyes were sad as she continued to observe me; she seemed to be waiting for something. Therefore, I started to tell her my name but she quickly cut me off and told me she knew my name. Then it hit me and I whispered it's you, every single dream I dream, you are always there, watching and waiting. Suddenly a bright light and a stabbing pain behind my eyes had me falling to my knees and gasping for air. A kaleidoscope of images burst forth and I was lost in memories, in my memories, of her and me. So many of them coming at me so fast, that it was almost more then I could bare. I could hear her voice in the distant parts of my mind which seemed to sooth me, telling me it would be okay and that it had to be this way or I would be lost to her forever. I could hear her begging me not to fight it. I closed my eyes and let the memories wash over me.
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It felt like hours before I next opened my eyes, half-afraid she would be gone, I slowly opened them and found a pair of beautiful mossy green eyes watching me. I could feel her anxiety it was now a part of me, everything about her was a part of me and it felt incredible. I tried to smile to reassure her but I think it came out more as a grimace for in her eyes I could see worry. It was then I spoke to her, with a caress and these words “I remember”.
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Line used-every single dream I dream

warouri2
15th Apr 2010, 3:29 AM
That's such a wonderful entry, everyone's are so cool! Jewaukeela, I'm about halfway through mine now. I have another two hours, I can make it. :)

jewaukeela
15th Apr 2010, 3:56 AM
Okay, sounds good, and don't worry you won't be penalized in creativity for using Freelala's characters. I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Freelala
15th Apr 2010, 4:40 AM
Almost done with my story, hoping to get the bulk of the work done in the next few hours. Been a bit of a crazy last few days.

warouri2
15th Apr 2010, 6:03 AM
A note, before I begin: This is not a water ship, but a space ship.
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Young Darin Halcyon couldn’t help smiling just a little as he made his way past the other members of the crew to stand at the head of the line, next to the other lieutenants. After all, he had just been promoted to Lieutenant, and was finally a member of the deck. No longer did he have to wait for Lieutenant Wegei to call for him before he could go up to the deck, the center of the whole ship and the place where the real life-or-death decisions were made. Indeed, he was now expected there every day! He had already been on the deck as a lieutenant, because he’d spent the entire past month and a half adjusting to his new position, getting to know the other members of the deck, running tests on all of the equipment and practicing scenarios in the place he was most likely to encounter them. He was mostly used to being a lieutenant among the members of the deck because among them, he was still the least important. But standing with them, in front of the entire crew? That was something else.

Suddenly, the last non-recorded whistle he would hear for a while went off, and he he snapped to attention. With his back as straight as a needle and his chin held so high, he must have looked rather silly to the other members of the deck. They were much more relaxed, even in their dress attire and at this formal occasion, because they had all served aboard the Antares for several years, and were much more at home. Darin had been serving in space since he was sixteen, but never as high up as at this moment. Darin stood proudly, though unaware of the other deck members’ silent internal laughter, and watched expectantly as the captain walked quickly through the aisle made more him by the crew and took his place at the front, facing the ship’s crew, with the deck’s crew standing behind him. Darin was so proud he had to pinch himself to remind himself not to smile as the captain began to speak.

“At ease, everyone.”

It was still odd to Darin how the captain’s face was so drawn and stern until he began to speak. When he was talking you heard how kind and reassuring his voice was, how he smiled when he looked over his crew, how clearly he was immensely proud of his ship. When he was talking, it was obvious why he was called the handsomest captain in the southern quadrant. The crew relaxed, and the captain went on.

“As you all know, I am William Sisko, commanding the ship Antares. You all know me, and the ship, and my officers, but what can you do?” He shrugged helplessly. “Formalities are formalities.” He smiled. “I want you to all get to know your fellow crewmembers and the members of the deck especially as they will be your superiors during this voyage.”
Darin stood up a bit straighter.

“I’m going to introduce my commanding chiefs, and then you will be dismissed. We will leave the spacedock at 9:00 sharp.”

Darin smiled as he registered the time without having to convert it. Before, he’d always had too many superiors to actually schedule things with chiefs so he didn’t really get used to spacetime. The silly earth method of 24 hours in a day and 60 minutes in an hour wasn’t very sensible when it came right down to it, so in the early days of space travel all the ships were required to uniform to Meklan time - 20 hours in a day, 100 minutes in an hour, 50 seconds in a minute. Sure, the days were eight hours longer, but you got used to it. Every activity stretched a bit longer than it did in Earth time, that’s all. Since the majority of planets used the Meklan time system, albeit under their own names, it had made sense for Earth to conform as well.

Now the captain was introducing his second-in-command, Elizabeth Danforth.
“…Commander Danforth. She is second only to me, and I expect you to obey her as you would me if I am ever unable to act as captain. Commander Danforth is also our technical director.” Danforth, a middle-aged woman with curly red hair and a smile on her face, nodded to the crew.

“This is Lieutenant Commander Okarof, our chief academician and resident encyclopedia.” Okarof, a wiry, brown-skinned young man, bowed ever-so-slightly to the crew, almost as if he didn’t notice what he was doing.

“Lieutenant Wegei, our chief navigational director.”
A tall, thin man with pitch-black hair than came almost to his chin smiled broadly at the crew. He wasn’t known for being handsome, but he was one of the best navigators in any quadrant. Rumor had it he had been offered the commander position on several other ships, but he had refused, loving the Antares too much to abandon it.

“Lieutenant Sumak’ros, our chief communications director and head of the translations department.” Darin could feel the crew press forward. After all, she was the only non-human on the Antares. She was 6”5 and had pale skin and grey-lilac eyes. Her ears, about an inch wider than the average human’s, swiveled in their places, always together, to follow the voices of the captain and the crew. She was not too alien, but definitely not human. She smiled and nodded to the crew.

“And last but certainly not least, Lieutenant Halcyon, our commanding navigational director and the weapons director.” Darin nodded to his crew, feeling all of their eyes upon him. He could not really blame them – he was nearly as tall as Sumak’ros, and the two of them towered over the other crew members, the tallest of whom was 6”1. Of course, his two-foot-long braid probably didn’t help either, but he was proud of both of these things.

“All ensigns please report to your chosen conference room for your session, everyone else is free to roam about the ship until nine.”

He turned and walked onto the ship, with Darin and the rest of the deck following him. Once they were all inside, the rest of the crew boarded. Darin made his way to the fourth conferences room and sat down in one of the chairs at the large table, waiting for the ensigns. He felt sure that not too many would come; after all, he knew that Sumak’ros’s room would be full, and the captain’s room was sure to be full too. The more he thought about it, the more he was sure.

“The more studious ensigns would want to go to Okarof, he’s written so many books, and the techies will flock to Danforth. And Wegei’s reputation will ensure that he gets followers too.” Darin thought, and he didn't mind.

Besides, he didn’t want any ensigns at all; the purpose of the conferences was to get to know the deck members, and while he was immensely proud of his heritage, he was also very protective of it. He was shocked when nearly thirty ensigns filled the room at 8:50. Still, he began.

“My name is Darin, although you should call me Lt. Halcyon or just Halcyon. Once I get to know you a bit better, you can call me Darin.”

“Enough with the name, what’s with the hair?” called a voice from the back of the room.

Darin stopped smiling. “Out,” he said. “Out, now. Whoever said that. I won’t look who leaves, but I want you out, and anyone who’s just here to taunt me.” He turned around to face the wall until he heard the door slide open, and then shut. He turned back around, and sighed.

“I suppose you want to know why I wear my hair like this. I know you all know of Corcans, do you not?” A chorus of nodding heads echoed around the room. “I wear my hair like this because I am half-Corcan, and honestly more in tune with that side than my human side.”

The room was clearly confused, I could tell, but I could also tell that the majority of them were interested.

“On Corcan, as I’m sure you are well aware, the men wear their hair in braids and women wear theirs very short. Crew cuts, buzz cuts, and ear-length hair are the most common styles on Corcan, although some women chose to wear theirs long, just as some human men choose to wear theirs long. My hair is just one of three signs that I am Corcan; my height is a second, as the average Corcan male is 6”5 compared the average human male, who is 5”10. I also inherited my strength from my father and I am twice as strong as the strongest security man and three times as strong as any of you.”

As proof, Darin took out a silver square and put it next to the computer, which promptly announced that it was, in fact, pure silver. Darin placed it in his palm and squeezed. It oozed out the sides. The ensigns ooed and ahhed, but Darin told them to quiet with a wave of his hand, surprising himself with how casually he bossed them around when he’d only been their superior for two months.

“I don’t want your praise, I want your respect,” he said. “And that I will have to earn. Any questions about Corcan?”

()

It had been three months since Darin had heard a non-recorded whistle when one afternoon the captain got an order to travel to Corcan to take Ambassador Geaoyn and her assistants to Base 26. Since Corcan and the base were right in line with the Antares’s path, the order wasn’t what made Darin look up; it was the planet. As soon as he could, he asked Captain Sisko if he could speak to him privately. Immediately, the captain stood up and said,

“Lt. Halcyon and I have some business to tend to for a few minutes. Sumak'ros, come with us. Danforth?”

Captain Sisko and Sumak’ros led the way into one of the empty conference rooms and sat. Gesturing for Darin to sit down, Sumak’ros asked him what was on his mind.

“Well, do you think that I could have some time on Corcan when we arrive?” asked Darin.

“Why of course, Halcyon,” said the captain. “We were planning for two parties to take leave there for a whole day while we welcome the Ambassador aboard.”

“Yes, but… well… I was wondering if we could stay just an extra day or two,”
Sumak’ros interrupted here. “But captain, if we delay two days we will be late to the base, and one day runs a high risk,” he turned to me. “Why do you want to visit Corcan so badly, and for so long? Surely you aren’t purely curious?”

“No, Sumak’ros. I wish to visit my father’s family.”

“Your father’s…”

The captain stepped in to explain. “Lt. Halcyon is half-Corcan, Kocre. He requested that that information not be placed in public domain.”

“My father,” Darin added, “Lives with my mother on Ekose, because he has been banished from Corcan for marrying a human. Oh, not formally of course, but his friends no longer treat him like they used to, and he prefers studying the life of Ekose to that of Corcan.”

Sumak’ros looked at Darin with new respect. He had always felt somewhat baffled by the young lieutenant’s attention towards him, and now he understood why – everyone else on the ship was fully human.

“I suppose we can stay two days on Corcan, Lieutenant, but no longer,” said the captain. “You will have precisely 40 hours; precisely two days.”
It was the best Darin could ask for. “Thank you, Captain. I will not forget this.”

“To be sure you won’t. And to repay me, you will guide Ambassador Geaoyn and her assistants; give them a full tour of the ship, and answer any questions they might have. You should have no language problems, as I am aware you are fluent in most dialects of Corcan and the ambassador is fluent in English.”

“Sure,” thought Darin, “I won’t have any language problems. But doesn’t he realize how uncomfortable it will be for both of us? I love Corcan, but Corcan shuns me because I am half-human. My uncle’s family appreciates me, as do the few Corcan friends I have, but…” but Darin knew better than to argue and nodded his thanks to the captain before they returned to the deck.

()

When they arrived at Corcan a few days later, Darin was happy to spend the equivalent of two-and-a-half earth days with his uncle’s family and his Corcan friends. When it was time to board the ship again, he did so happily, glad that he had had the chance to reconnect with those he so seldom saw. He hardly gave a thought to the ambassador until he went back on the ship. He was met by one of the ensigns from Security, who told him that he was to go right away to his quarters and change into his dress clothes.

“Why a security man?” Darin asked the ensign. It would usually be one of the deck member’s assigned ensigns who gave a message to another deck member. He had expected Wood, the captain’s attendant, or perhaps Du’bon, Sumak’ros’s ensign.

“I am assigned to one of the ambassador’s attendants, Ashel Illsiam. Each of the three of them has been assigned a security guard.”

Darin raised an eyebrow, but made no comment. He quickly went to his quarters and changed into his dress attire, complete with ranking badge and his two honors. Once he was finished, he followed him to the boarding deck. Two other security men were there, both of whom he recognized. Tirk, whose brother had been killed by the natives on Mirkira before they had time to say a word, and Bross, who guarded the highest security jail cell when it was being used. Obviously, he was for the ambassador herself.
After a few minutes of waiting, the great doors of the deck opened and a small shuttle flew in – it wasn’t as large as Darin would have expected, considering its occupants. The door opened, and out stepped the captain. Just behind him was Danforth, and then came the assistants. Both were clearly Corcan, being around 6”3 or 6”4 and having the flattened ears that were impossible to see if facing a Corcan head-on. Both wore a black shirt that reached to their wrists and appeared to be simulated leather. As a bottom both wore a skirt that extended only a few inches past their hips but was attached to pants made of more black simulated leather. None of their garments were loose fitting, but they remained modest and did not hug them too tightly, either.

The first one had hair that reached to her ears and was perfectly straight. She had a relatively pretty face and green eyes that sparkled. The second one wore the same outfit, but nothing else about her was the same. For one, she was incredibly beautiful. Along with perfectly molded skin, she had gorgeous brown eyes and the most beautiful combination of brown and red hair that Darin had ever seen. The only thing that confused him was her hairstyle – instead of cutting it short, she wore her hair in a man’s braid, something that was quite unusual on Corcan, as unusual as a man with hair so long he can sit on it on Earth. Still, to Darin it only increased her beauty. Fortunately, the entire assessment of the two assistants lasted less than a second, and he was perfectly aware when the ambassador herself came out.
She was quite old, probably seventy or seventy-five, and she looked regal in her robes. Darin had little trouble remembering his manners.

“Welcome to the Antares, Ambassador Geaoyn.” said the captain, stepping next to Darin. “This is Lieutenant Halcyon.”

Darin added, “On behalf of the entire crew, welcome aboard.” He placed both of his hands together in a fist and raised them to his chest; a traditional Corcan greeting. He held them there for a moment, then let them drop.

The ambassador smiled and nodded approvingly at the captain, then returned the gesture to Darin. “Is this our guide, Captain Sisko? The man you said speaks fluent Corcan?”

“Mer sui rep,” said Darin. It is I.

Ambassador Geaoyn smiled, approving of his accent. “This is Ashel Illsiam,” she said, motioning to the black-haired woman, “and this is Kithryn Smithit.” she finished.

“A pleasure to meet you two. I apologize, but I must return to the deck. I leave you in the capable hands of Lt. Halcyon.” With that, the captain walked quickly back to the deck. Darin knew he hadn’t been there in two days as was nervous about what disastrous things might have happened in his absence.

“Would you be interested in a tour now, or would you like to rest first?” asked Darin respectfully.

“Oh, now if you please.”

“Very well, please follow me.” He took them first through the halls, proud of the white of the walls and the black of the carpet, neither marred by stains or trash. They hadn’t been cleaned up, either; that was just how they kept their ship. He brought them to the technical quarters, where they remained for a while.

“If there are more than four sections of the ship, why is this place called the technical quarters?” asked Ashel.

Julian Scott, Danford’s second-in-command, was busy explaining how the ship was powered to Ambassador Geaoyn so Darin answered her.

“It’s short for headquarters. There’s a technical headquarters, a security headquarters, a weapons headquarters, an academician headquarters, a research headquarters, a medical headquarters, a navigational headquarters, a communications headquarters… the list goes on and on.”
Then it was Kithryn who spoke up. “What do each of those places mean? On our ships the names are more straightforward than that. For example, on our ship this place would be called-“

“The engine room, I know.” In response to her questioning look, Darin relented. “I have observed a Corcan ship in motion on her deck.”

“Ah,” she said. “You have a father who commands a ship? A mother?”

“An uncle,” Darin said, and quickly changed the subject. “You asked what each of those names mean. I will show you any headquarters you like, but I will explain a few now. This is the technical headquarters – the engine, the motors, the power is all here. The security and weapons headquarters are self-explanatory, as are the navigational headquarters. The academician headquarters gives us background information on any place we go or people we encounter. They also are in charge of the immediate application of the sciences; scanning for life, and whatnot. Anything unusual they find, however, goes to the research or medical headquarters for study. The communications headquarters handles all transfers of information, messages from command, translations, that sort of thing. “

“I see,” both attendants said at the same time.

After showing them a few of the headquarters, Darin took them to the deck.
“This is where I work day-to-day, “ he said, and looked around. He took in the splendor of the deck as if for the first time, seeing it how the ambassador and her attendants must have.

He noticed the white chairs on the upper level facing the wall, and the black chairs on the lower level facing the screen. They wanted to know who everyone was.

“That’s Captain Sisko,” Darin said quietly, so as not to disturb anyone. He nodded towards the lower level, where the captain intently watching a video record from another ship on his personal viewscreen. Captain Sisko sat in a black chair like all the ones on his lower level, except his communications buttons and his personal viewscreen were attached to his armrest since there was no panel in front of him. The viewscreen usually stayed folded in except when he was viewing something on it or when he was recording a video log. To his right were Danforth and Wegei’s seats.

“Danforth is the second-in-command, and she is the chief technician. Often you can find her in the tech quarters, which is where she probably is now,” he added, realizing that she wasn’t there.

He went around the rest of the room, too, explaining where everyone sat, and why, and what their jobs were. The whole time, though, he was intensely aware of the way Kithryn’s arm brushed against his, or the way the wind from the door opening and closing blew her hair across her face. He’d never found long hair on women attractive before, but it was certainly attracting him now.

As they walked out, he felt her slip a tiny note into his palm. It was an unnoticeable gesture to anyone who hadn’t been paying acute aware of her the entire time, but Darin noticed.

()

At 16:00, he was in his quarters reading when he heard the door open and close. He didn’t look up, but he could tell that it was her.

“You shouldn’t be in here, Kithryn.” He told her. It was true; both of them would be in trouble if they were discovered.

“Then where?”

“How about we take a little walk?” He took her hand and led her to the door, but then dropped it as they stepped outside. They walked silently through the still-busy hallways for a few minutes until they reached one of the observatory banks, where there was a stretch a couple hundred yards wide next to a narrow window that stretched the entire length of the walkway. It had to be evacuated when they were attacked of course, and constantly needed repair, but it was the most beautiful place on the ship.

“Although you are really quite handsome,” Kithryn smiled, “that’s not why I wanted to talk to you. I’m curious about you. Are you Corcan?”

Normally Darin would have refused to answer that, but for some reason he did.

“I’m half-Corcan. My father is Corcan, my mother human. As you can see, I got the height from my father; I also got my strength from him, and as you can see I wear my hair like a Corcan. My skin and my ears, obviously, are quite human.”

That got an odd response from her. Her mouth dropped, her eyes widened in shock. “Half-Corcan?”

Darin nodded glumly. Now would come the time when she’ll leave haughtily, thinking of how she couldn’t date a half-human. It had happened before – to many times before. Why he thought he could get away with it this time… He turned and walked away.

Kithryn ran after him. “Lt. Halcyon, stop!” Darin stopped. Not because she told him to, but because he realized that she didn’t even know his name.

“Darin.” He told her, turning around relunctantly.

“Darin,” she repeated. “Darin, I’m also half-Corcan.”

“Right.” He said. “Look, you don’t need to make me feel better, it’s really okay. I’m used to it; I’m fine."

“I am!”

“Kithryn, stop it. You’re taller than the average Corcan woman, not shorter. Your ears are flat and I saw how strong you are when we were eating lunch. There’s not a drop of human in you, and you know it.”

Kithryn nodded. “I know. I’m half Corcan, and half T’Falian.”

Darin looked at her more intently. He noticed how her ears swiveled a bit at the ambient noise around them, although it wasn’t so noticeable with her ears flat against her head. She was certainly tall enough to account for her being T’Falian. Her two canines did reach out just a bit over her lip… and by then he was so close that he had to pull away quickly before he gave in to temptation.

“I can’t tell you how happy it makes me just to be with you, Kithryn.” Darin said, smiling. “I though I’d never find another one like me.”

“It’s not Kithryn, it’s Kathryn,” said Kathryn. “And it’s Smith, not Smithit. It was Corcanized when I moved there twenty years ago.”

“Kathryn,” repeated Darin, “I have been searching nearly my whole life for another one of my kind, a half-Corcan. Corcans so rarely marry off their planet that I thought there one might never-“

“Be another one, anywhere in the whole universe,” finished Kathryn. “How do you think I feel? The same way.”

Rejoicing in the fact that there were now two of them, Kathryn and Darin hugged tightly, then let go of each other’s hands and walked back to their own quarters. Although there was no denying the tension between them, they were each on a mission, and they each had their own jobs to do.

()

After an entertaining and enlightening two weeks, the whole crew was sad to see Ambassador Geaoyn and her two assistants go, but in a few minutes the formal goodbyes were over, and there was no time for personal ones. They rode with a member of the starbase to their new assignment, so Darin didn’t get to see them settled in, either. But he sighed, then smiled a small smile and returned to the deck with the rest of his fellows. He settled down into the familiar seat that had, months ago, seemed so strange and uncomfortable, and let the accustomed routine of the ship reassure him.




Lines Used
one of my kind

Ghost sdoj
15th Apr 2010, 2:29 PM
Well, I did put a story together while they were taking more pictures of my brain, but I seem to have missed the deadline. And I don't have pictures and I still need to do some more work on my cathedral.

easypeaze
15th Apr 2010, 3:07 PM
Loving everyone's rounds! warwouri2 great idea, well done. Ghost sdoj maybe you could just post up your story, pm jewaukeela...I would hate to see you go but understand. Good luck on your cathedral.

Edit-oops! I didn't see that round 2 was already in judging!
Edit2-I forgot there are no eliminations! So you wont' be going :faceslap:

Prosthetics
15th Apr 2010, 4:15 PM
I thought that Round 2 wasn't due until today?! Well...shit.

jewaukeela
15th Apr 2010, 10:02 PM
that's okay, there's always the bonus round guys.

jewaukeela
16th Apr 2010, 12:19 AM
https://mail.google.com/a/jbha.org/?ui=2&ik=fae953b442&view=att&th=127b4e782d853409&attid=0.13&disp=inline&realattid=f_g7gb7kxt12&zw
Choose one line from the following song; there is one line per line. Take that line and incorporate it into a story of at least ten sentences. The line must fit smoothly into the story as something besides itself. If you’re not sure whether or not your usage is okay, PM me. Your post must include at least two pictures*, and please list the line you chose at the very bottom of your post.

Hey Julie, by Fountains of Wayne
working all day for
a mean little man
with a clip-on tie
a rub-on tan
he's got me running
around the office
like a dog around a track
but when i get back home
you're always there
to rub my back

hey julie
look what they're doing to me
trying to trip me up
trying to wear me down
julie i swear it
it's so hard to bear it
i would never make it through
without you around
i'd never make it through
without you around

hours on the phone
making pointless calls
i got a desk full of paper
that means nothing at all
sometimes i catch myself
staring into space
counting down the hours
'til i get to see your face

hey julie
look what they're doing to me
trying to trip me up
trying to wear me down
julie i swear it
it's so hard to bear it
i would never make it through
without you around
i'd never make it through
without you around

how did it come to be
that you and i must be
far away from each other every day
why must i spend my time
filling up my mind with
facts and figures
that never add up anyway
never add up anyway

working all day for a mean little guy with
a bad toupee and
a soup-stained tie
he's got me running around the office
like a gerbil on a wheel
he can tell me what to do
he can't tell me what to feel


hey julie
look what they're doing to me
trying to trip me up
trying to wear me down
julie i swear it
it's so hard to bear it
i would never make it through
without you around
i'd never make it through
without you around


*except warouri, we know about your problem and you will still have the 15 points taken from pictures and none from rules

ForeverCamp
16th Apr 2010, 1:03 AM
Heys, guys, looks like jewaukeela's extended the deadline for Round Two (TBH, I thought it was due for today too, and decided not to be my usual procrastinating self for the contest). Post stories, post stories! I want to see what you came up with!

jewaukeela
16th Apr 2010, 1:41 AM
Yeah guys, you have until tonight at midnight (read: first thing tomorrow morning) to post, so POSTPOSTPOST! :)

Redhead4ever6
16th Apr 2010, 7:14 AM
Thanks so much! I'm glad the weekend's coming up so I can get on the next one ahead of time. ;)

http://i41.tinypic.com/25txgyt.jpg
“Stupid kids” Nadia muttered under her breath, still smoldering from the damage done to her shop. Earlier in the day a group of neighborhood kids had come by looking for some materials for a science project. Nadia was all to glad to help them at first, but when she caught on the fact that there wasn’t really a science project and the adolescents had just come to loiter she became agitated. Although usually level headed, Nadia rashly asked them to leave. The kids were enraged, claiming that they had a right to be in her shop and because their parents owned the property they could kick her out. That had been the final straw for Nadia, and she reached to grab a shovel from a particularly doltish looking girl. In response, the girl threw it across the room. Where it went through her cheap thin wall, and broke a cheap plastic pipe. Understandably, Nadia forced the teens to leave and turned around to realize that water was spewing all over the store. She had to close the store for the rest of the day and was still cleaning up the puddles into the evening. Finally, Nadia straightened and took a deep breath.
http://i44.tinypic.com/2q8at5h.jpg
‘Disaster mostly averted’ she thought, examining the water damage to the walls and floor. Despite the fact that her landlords were evil and charged extremely high rent for an awful quality space, Nadia loved her little corner shop like it was her own home. It might as well be for all the time she spent there.
*JingJing*

“I’m sorry we’re closed,” Nadia said, turning around.

“That’s fine, I only need to speak with…” he glanced down to check a notepad, “Nadia Turner.”

“Well she standing right in front of you, so what is it?” Nadia asked with a playful smile, hoping her charm would help get her off the hook.

“I’ve received a complaint from Mrs. Fong that you assaulted her daughter today while she was browsing in your store.” He said, reading directly from his notes.
http://i39.tinypic.com/2popm6s.jpg
After a second’s pause he lifted his head and tentatively continued, “It’s a serious accusation, but to be honest she’s been known to turn even the tiniest issue into a matter of life or death. Could you tell me what happened earlier?” Nadia sighed,

“Today a group of teens came in and disturbed my shop. When I asked them to leave I tried to grab a shovel Alyssa Fong was holding, but she threw it at my wall causing all of that damage.” Nadia summarized, gesturing to the jagged hole in the wall. The officer gasped having not noticed until now.

“That’s ridiculous, I mean I knew Mrs. Fong exaggerated, but I can’t believe she would lie about that.”

“Ha, well, I can’t say I’m surprised. According to her I’m so thug that I just might try and take her daughter hostage so she’ll lower my rent.”
http://i43.tinypic.com/fuaonk.jpg
“Would you like to press charges?”

“Would I ever, but I think we both know how that would end. But, umm, maybe we can talk some more over dinner? Tonight?”

“I’d like that” He replied smiling.

“Great… And, what’s your name? Unless you WANT me to call you Captain Dorky all night.”

“As fun as that’d be, I’m Alex.”
http://i40.tinypic.com/o94fwy.jpg
“Alright Captain Alex, Let’s go.”

Line Used: I'm so thug

Freelala
16th Apr 2010, 10:35 AM
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By all accounts, Nico Maasi should have been in a good mood. Running a nightclub on a small island could be a difficult business, but not tonight: the place was busier than it had been in months. He supposed it was the influx of all the workers Lao Zheng Industries had transferred from the mainland for that project, or whatever it was they were doing. The local economy was already feeling the positive effects of two thousand well-paid professionals suddenly taking up residence on Saipan, and now, at the end of a long work week, they wanted to cut loose. Most nights, the club barely broke even, and now it looked like making a profit was going to become a regular thing. Yes, Nico should have been happy, out on the floor mingling with his customers and breaking a new heart every five minutes by dancing with a different pretty girl whenever a new song came on. Instead, he was sitting at the bar with his manager, scowling at a glass of whiskey on the rocks, and grumbling about a certain red-haired she-devil who had dared to cross into his territory.

“I still can't believe it,” Nico grumbled, and took a drink. “Who does she think she is?”

Joe Thorangi sighed. It had been two days since their encounter with the object of Nico's affliction, and he was just as nettled as he was when he first saw her. “Hallie O'Neal, world-famous choreographer and would-be customer, if you hadn't kicked her out and told her there was no way you'd rent the building out to her for rehearsal space.”

It was no secret Nico's club had the finest dance floor on the island – the only one outside of the expensive, high-end resorts – and renting it out was one of the ways he kept this money-hole from driving him completely broke. He usually couldn't afford to turn away clients. The exception he made for Hallie O'Neal was out of pride. “And why would she want my floor?” Nico asked. “As soon as the resort managers learn she's here, who do you think they'll go to for their shows?”

As much as Joe hated to admit it, Nico's anger about the situation was not entirely unfounded. The club only made enough money to pay for itself. Nico hadn't written a paycheck for himself since it opened. His bills were paid by way of his side job as a choreographer for the island's resorts: he designed a new show for them every few weeks, they cut him in on the profits. Nico was good, and the dances always had positive reviews, but he was no Hallie O'Neal. He was a candle, and she was a bonfire. Or the sun. “I know it's a little... unsettling,” Joe admitted, “but use your head. Do you really think that Hallie O'Neal, who has choreographed shows in New York, Paris, Monte Carlo, and Hong Kong, who has had contracts with Broadway and Cirque du Soleil, who is one of the most sought-after choreographers in the world-”

“You're not helping,” Nico grumbled. “How do you even know that, anyway?”

“Her Wikipedia page,” Joe answered. “My point is, do you really think someone with a rap sheet like that came to Saipan to usurp Nico Maasi on the tourist attraction circuit?”

“If she didn't come to usurp me,” Nico said with a glance over his shoulder, “then what are she, her hot friend, the gorilla, and his wife doing in my club?”

http://i588.photobucket.com/albums/ss330/spaceysims/MTS/nh05.jpg

Hallie O'Neal groaned and cast a disparaging look at her assistant and friend. “Why are we here?”

“Because you need to cut loose,” Alisi Vaea replied, “and this is the hottest club on the island.”

“You mean this is the club with the hottest manager on the island,” teased Harmony Ko, reaching behind her husband and giving Alisi a playful punch on the shoulder.

“And the owner with the biggest ego and smallest... manners,” Hallie said, changing her final word after a glare from Alisi. “Come on, that guy was a jerk.”

“Hey, you're not exactly Miss Congeniality yourself,” Alisi reminded her. “Don't mess this up for me. Joe invited us, remember?”

“Oh, I remember. It was right before Nico said he knew some cannibals on the island's interior that would pay a basket of pearls for a scalp like mine.”

“Maybe he won't notice you,” Alisi ventured hopefully.

“Yeah,” said Solomon Ko, taking in Hallie's bright red hair and the fact that she was six feet tall without the four-inch heels she insisted on wearing when they went out. “You know, because Hallie just blends right in.”

“There's Joe!” Alisi exclaimed, and waved at the man moving through the crowd toward them. “How do I look?”

Hallie was about to point out who was following Joe, but thought better of it and avoided eye contact with him as the two of them arrived at their group. Joe greeted Alisi with enthusiasm and graciously handled an introduction from Harmony, whom he had only heard about. Nico was civil in acknowledging Alisi, Harmony, and Solomon, but when it came to Hallie he cut right to the chase. “I thought I told you to stay out of my club, O'Neal.”

She rolled her eyes. “I knew from the moment we met that you'd feel threatened by me. I didn't want to keep rattling your cage, but Alisi insisted.”

“I do not feel threatened by you!” Nico exclaimed.

“You're lying,” Hallie said, sounding bored.

“He's lying,” Joe whispered to Alisi.

“I'm going to get a drink!” Solomon announced, followed by a “Me, too!” from his wife. Joe took the opening to ask Alisi to dance, and her prompt acceptance left Nico and Hallie to settle their differences alone.

http://i588.photobucket.com/albums/ss330/spaceysims/MTS/nh03.jpg

“What makes you think I feel threatened by you?” Nico asked.

Hallie almost laughed. “Come on. It's all over your face. Why else would you be so worked up?” she asked. “Look, I get it, you're a choreographer too – or at least you think you are – and you like being a big fish in a little pond. I think a community theater director might feel threatened if Steven Spielberg showed on their stomping grounds, too.”

“I'm a better dancer than you give me credit for,” he protested.

She arched an eyebrow. “Is that so?” she asked with feigned interest, and turned to walk away.

“Hey, look at me when I'm defending my honor!” Nico said, and grabbed her wrist.

Hallie yanked her arm away and glared at him. “Don't touch me, local boy. Go away. I'm tired of talking to you.”

“Dance with me.”

“As much pleasure as it would bring me to humiliate you in public, I'm going to take the high road here,” Hallie said. “You might know how to dance well enough for this crowd, but you don't know how to dance with me.”

She started for the bar, and he was on her heels. “You talk big, O'Neal, but that's all it is: talk. You know I'm better than you're playing at. Dance with me.”

“Stop following me.”

“No way,” said Nico. “I don't want to miss a single thing you do tonight. Not while you're on my property.”

Hallie spun around and planted a palm in the center of his chest. “All right, tough guy, if it's trouble you want, it's trouble you'll get. Let's dance.”

Nico raised a hand and snapped his fingers. The disc jockey replaced the pounding bass rhythm with an uptempo log drum beat, and Nico took his rival's hands in his. He was briefly surprised that she knew how to hold his hands – not too loose, not too tight, and yielding control of the motions to the lead – but then again, most of the women he danced with were not world-class choreographers. He stepped. She stepped. He stepped again and spun her out. She spun back in, extending a leg out so she dipped down and leaned her head back to touch his shoulder before returning to the open position. He stole a glance down as she moved back, and noted that he didn't think he'd ever seen legs so long.

Other patrons moved aside as they swept across the floor, watching them with ever-widening eyes. Everyone knew Nico, but few had seen him dance to his full potential, as he could never find a partner who could keep up. It was soon clear that the mainlander he was dipping and spinning was not his equal: she was far better. Nico's dancing was getting more aggressive with every passing beat, but her movements remained as effortless as if she was going on a stroll on the beach. As good as Nico Maasi was, he was a candle next to the sun.

http://i588.photobucket.com/albums/ss330/spaceysims/MTS/nh02.jpg

Nico, however, could always be counted upon to make a bad situation worse.

“We should be closer,” he said.

A leg came up, and she wrapped it around his thigh. “Close enough for you?” she asked.

He put his hand under he knee and raised her leg a little her. “Now you are.”

Nico stepped back, causing Hallie to lean forward. She lowered her leg, shifted her position, and leaned back against him as a new awareness filled her mind: he was a better dancer than she was giving him credit for. He was light on his feet and knew how to compensate for her height. However, that was no excuse – no one spoke to Hallie O'Neal the way he had and got away with it. She would see to that. It was time he was put in his place.

“Having fun?” he whispered into her ear as he pulled her close.

“Oh, you have no idea how much fun I'm about to have,” was her cool response.

Her leg went around his, and she snaked her calf around to the outside of his ankle. She lurched up and spun around, and Nico did the most spectacular faceplant any of the hundred people watching had ever seen.

Nico had some choice words for his assailant, but she spoke before he could get them out. “I gave you fair warning,” Hallie said. “I told you not to cross me. Next time I give you advice, you would do well to listen. Here's more: take some dance lessons. We're done here.”

“No,” Nico muttered as she walked away. “We're just beginning.”

http://i588.photobucket.com/albums/ss330/spaceysims/MTS/nh01.jpg


Line used:
I don't want to miss a single thing you do tonight

jewaukeela
16th Apr 2010, 12:13 PM
Oops, freelala, you're only supposed to use one line!

Ghost sdoj
16th Apr 2010, 12:14 PM
Jamie double checked the results of the pregnancy test. It was positive. And the only one who could be the father was that new guy who had been hanging around the town lately. There was something odd about him. Sweet, in a way, but odd. He was a perfect gentleman, though. She had been the one to initiate everything, including the first kiss. If she didn't know better she would have sworn he didn't know what a kiss was! And now he had gotten her pregnant! Well, he was going to have to marry her, as soon as she could find him!

But when she went to where his house was, neither he, nor his house was there. She spent the day looking for him, and finally decided that he had vanished as quickly as he had appeared.

But when she went to the lake to be by herself for a while, Xar was there fishing. He stopped and came over to her, startling her.

http://img441.imageshack.us/img441/8106/fishingl.jpg

"I have some news, and I don't know how you are going to take it, but you are going to be a father!" She smiled at him.

http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/9577/surprisep.jpg

"Really? How did that happen?"

Is he honestly that stupid? "Remember when we were together on the beach? That was when it happened."

"I suppose we shouldn't be together anymore for a while, then."

http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/4889/impregnant.jpg

"WHAT! What about your baby!"

"Exactly. You will be a lot happier and safer if your child is not around one of my kind. He will be odd. There will be magic in his blood and he will see things in an odd way. But without a dark faerie influence he will not become the monster that he might otherwise be." He winked. "And it will only be a century or two until he matures enough to be off on his own. We can wait that long, can't we?"

"A century or two! I won't live that long!"

His face fell. "Oh. So THAT's why affairs with mortals are forbidden!"


Chosen line One of my kind


(I didn't have time to set up a picture of them arguing because they were too busy trying to woohoo and I never turn free will off so I have no idea where to find the option.)

jewaukeela
16th Apr 2010, 12:21 PM
Hooray!
Reminder to everyone who won't get a chance to post: You're still in the game, and you have the bonus round to catch up with.

Also, I edited the order of the contestants to make it easier for the judges to open posts. It has nothing to do with who I like better. Plus, it's pretty. ;)

Freelala
16th Apr 2010, 8:22 PM
blaaargh! I fixed it. >.<

lethifold
17th Apr 2010, 7:41 AM
http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g198/Bloochi22/Ballad%20Builder%20Contest/Oatmeal.jpg
“Dammit!”
“Joseph, can you please mind your language around Emma? I don’t want one of her first words to be a swear word,” Charlotte Moss scolds her husband who was rubbing at a spot on his new tie furiously. “What’s happened?”
“I got some of that gunk on my new shirt. Lottie, I can’t go to this meeting with a stained shirt! This is the most important interview I’ve ever had,” Joseph falls into a chair, exhausted.
“Darling, its only oatmeal. Give it to me and I’ll get the stain out, but maybe wear something different today. You look like you’re going to a funeral. Just go and give Emma a bath, okay?” Charlotte offers, and Joseph smiles.
“Thank you so much, love,” he presses a quick kiss to her lips before turning to their daughter who lifts her arms expectantly. Joseph chuckles and scoops the toddler into his arms, talking to her absently as he takes her into the bathroom.
http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g198/Bloochi22/Ballad%20Builder%20Contest/SickCharlotte.jpg
It is half past seven on Monday morning, and Charlotte is already exhausted. She feels nauseas, and the headaches were returning with a force. Of course, Joseph hadn’t noticed her sunken appearance. She had lost a lot of weight and her skin was paler. Most of the other mothers in the town attributed it to her working off her baby weight, but she knew it was much more sinister. Three months ago she had told Joseph she was going to her parents’ house with Emma for a weekend. Emma made it to her parents’ but she had booked herself in for tests at the hospital. With sad eyes the doctor had informed her that the leukaemia she suffered from as a teenager was back. Utterly defeated, she had returned to her parents’ house and curled up in her old bedroom, crying.

Two days later she had returned home with Emma, into her husband’s warm embrace. She had inhaled his musky scent, wanting to drown in his arms and forget everything. She wanted to tell him. More than anything she wanted to let him know what she was going through, but it would destroy him. So she lied. When he questioned her nausea one morning, she lied and said food poisoning. During one of the days when he wasn’t so distracted by work he asked about the purplish shadows forming beneath her eyes. She said she wasn’t sleeping well. He had bought the excuse and she had resolved to use more makeup to cover hide her illness.
http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g198/Bloochi22/Ballad%20Builder%20Contest/HoldingEmma.jpg
She took the medication prescribed to help her nausea in secret, not wanting to alert Joseph to the fact that something was badly wrong. If it was possible, little Emma was the only person, aside from her parents, who picked up that something was wrong. As exhaustion began to set in for Charlotte, Emma calmed down and was happy to spend her days playing quietly with her dolls. When Charlotte was having a particularly bad day and just felt like lying down and sleeping, Emma would clamber onto the couch and give her mother a hug which was all that Charlotte needed to put a smile on her face.

And now she stood, exhausted and ill, washing dishes and removing oatmeal stains from her husband’s shirt, acting like nothing was wrong. This was going to be one of her bad days. She could tell by the restless night she’d had before. She could tell by the way she had broken out into a sweat from walking down the stairs. She could tell from the way she had retched up all of stomach contents into the toilet. She’s nearing her end, she knows this. She had refused treatment, stupidly, selfishly. Doctors had told her that had she gone through with chemotherapy and been put under the assault of many drugs, it was still highly probable that the cancer would come back. She didn’t want that. So she said no, said she wanted to live as normally as she could and die on her own terms. She wanted to keep her hair, the long brown locks she had loved all her life. She wanted to be able to wake up in her own bed each morning, devoid of IV drips and beeping machines. She’s only twenty seven and she’s accepted her death. She had spent hours on the phone planning and preparing for Joseph when she died. She was ready.

“I’m going to be late,” Joseph is worrying. He’s holding a slightly pink Emma who is smiling, the smell of her baby shampoo swirling around the room. Charlotte nods in approval at Joseph’s new outfit and takes Emma off his hands. The little girl makes a content noise and rests her head on her mother’s shoulder.
“Have a good day, darling,” Charlotte smiles.
“You too,” Joseph kisses her cheek and plants a peck on Emma’s head. He grabs his briefcase and is gone.
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Charlotte’s arms are shaking under the weight of her daughter. She places the toddler on the ground and Emma walks precariously to her dollhouse, humming a nonsense song to herself as she plays. The house is a mess but Charlotte can’t find the strength in herself to clean. She puts the breakfast plates in the dishwasher, wipes down the benches and brushes her hair from her face. Her knees are quaking. Slowly and carefully, leaning on any furniture on her way, she moves towards the couch. Emma watches her mother with wide brown eyes as Charlotte sits on the couch, turning on the television and watching some mindless show.

“Grandma will be here to pick you up soon, Em,” Charlotte manages a weak smile and looks at the clock. Her parents had agreed to pick up Emma twice a week, Mondays and Wednesdays, to give Charlotte a chance to rest. She was so grateful for this. Her parents were the only ones who knew about her illness.

As if on cue, the doorbell rings. With a little difficulty Charlotte gets to her feet once more. She pulls the door open to reveal her mother standing there, smiling. Her face falls when she sees her only child.
http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g198/Bloochi22/Ballad%20Builder%20Contest/Hug.jpg
“Oh, Charlie,” she moans, pulling her daughter into a tight embrace.
“Hey, mum,” Charlotte says, her throat burning with emotion. Her mother’s face was enough to break her heart. “Emma’s ready.”
Her mother sniffs and releases her, nodding. “Where’s my favourite grandbaby?” she coos.
http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g198/Bloochi22/Ballad%20Builder%20Contest/GrandmaEmmaphoto.jpg
“Gramma!” the child cries happily, toddling over towards her grandmother who stoops down to pick her up.
“I’ll drop her home around seven, okay? Your father and I were going to take her out for dinner at McDonald’s.”
Charlotte nods and kisses her mother on the cheek, patting Emma’s head lightly. She waves to their departing car from the front window and rests her head on the glass. Maybe she’ll take a nap.
http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g198/Bloochi22/Ballad%20Builder%20Contest/Napphoto.jpg
She lies on the couch and her eyes flutter close. She just tired. So tired. The warmth and safety of unconsciousness is calling to her, beckoning her forth into its soft darkness. Her mind isn’t working. Thoughts of Emma, Joseph and her parents swirl around her brain. She squeezes her eyes tighter against them until they disappear, waiting for sleep to hold her. Then she’s falling into the never-ending blackness of sleep. She slips away, and she’s gone.


Line used:
hours on the phone

I'm hoping it isn't too early to post this round. I'm going away for a few days tomorrow, so I wanted to make sure I had this done before I leave.

Prosthetics
17th Apr 2010, 4:29 PM
Sorry guys, I must be dropping out. I haven't had the energy or time to play TS2, and I'm already well into the fifth generation of a legacy challenge at another forum, plus I'm participating in a decorating a challenge there as well, and I just don't have the time for all these contests!

jewaukeela
17th Apr 2010, 6:10 PM
Oh, I'm so sorry about that! We'll miss you, but good luck with your legacy and other contest.

PixCii, it's fine and nice entry.

jewaukeela
18th Apr 2010, 7:40 PM
ROUND TWO SCORES

ForeverCamp
Judge 1
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 11/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 23/25
Original story: 21/25
Emotion: 22/25
Judge 2
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 11/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 22/25
Original story: 22/25
Emotion: 20/25
Judge 3
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 13/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 20/25
Original story: 22/25
Emotion: 20/25
Total: 257/300 = 85.6%


PixCii
Judge 1
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 13/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 23/25
Original story: 23/25
Emotion: 22/25
Judge 2
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 14/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 23/25
Original story: 24/25
Emotion: 23/25
Judge 3
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 14/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 24/25
Original story: 24/25
Emotion: 23/25
Total: 280/300 = 93.3%


easypeaze
Judge 1
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 12/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 23/25
Original story: 22/25
Emotion: 22/25
Judge 2
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 13/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 22/25
Original story: 23/25
Emotion: 22/25
Judge 3
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 12/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 20/25
Original story: 23/25
Emotion: 21/25
Total: 265/300 = 88.3%


Ghost sdoj
Judge 1
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 10/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 23/25
Original story: 21/25
Emotion: 20/25
Judge 2
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 11/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 22/25
Original story: 22/25
Emotion: 20/25
Judge 3
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 13/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 24/25
Original story: 23/25
Emotion: 23/25
Total: 262/300 = 87.3%


Redhead4ever6
Judge 1
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 10/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 23/25
Original story: 23/25
Emotion: 20/25
Judge 2
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 12/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 20/25
Original story: 23/25
Emotion: 18/25
Judge 3
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 11/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 22/25
Original story: 23/25
Emotion: 19/25
Total: 254/300 = 84.6%


warouri2
Judge 1
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 0/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 23/25
Original story: 23/25
Emotion: 21/25
Judge 2
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 0/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 19/25
Original story: 19/25
Emotion: 17/25
Judge 3
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 0/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 23/25
Original story: 24/25
Emotion: 24/25
Total: 223/300 = 74.3%


freelala
Judge 1
Followed rules: 9/10 (for using 2 lines)
Pictures: 14/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 23/25
Original story: 22/25
Emotion: 22/25
Judge
Followed rules: 9/10 (for using 2 lines)
Pictures: 14/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 23/25
Original story: 24/25
Emotion: 22/25
Judge 3
Followed rules: 9/10 (for using 2 lines)
Pictures: 12/15
Smooth incorporation of the lyrics: 22/25
Original story: 23/25
Emotion: 23/25
Total: 271/300 = 90.3%

Scores

This round
PixCii – 280/300, 93.3%
freelala – 271/300, 90.3%
easypeaze – 265/300, 88.3%
ghost sdoj – 262, 87.3%
forevercamp – 257, 85.6%
redhead4ever6 – 254, 84.6%
warouri2 – 223, 74.3%

Overall
freelala – 553
PixCii - 546
easypeaze – 518
ghost sdoj – 513
redhead4ever6 – 507
forevercamp – 502
warouri – 446
ghostgirl - 245
hyghtyme – 241
happyasabunny – 231

ForeverCamp
19th Apr 2010, 12:36 AM
Just as a warning, I may end up having to forfeit Round Three. I do NOT intend to drop out of the contest entirely, but between a flurry of university assignments that are due within a day or two of R3 and a recent death in the family, I'm not sure that it'll be completed in time. Everything should've settled down in time for the final round and the bonus round.

jewaukeela
19th Apr 2010, 3:35 AM
My condolences, ForeverCamp, and I understand.

easypeaze
19th Apr 2010, 3:39 PM
Nice job PixCii! My condolences as well ForeverCamp.

ForeverCamp
19th Apr 2010, 11:13 PM
http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff316/ForeverCamp/Pleasantview/snapshot_98d7a38b_98d89744.jpg

We learn the lessons we least expected right when we think the learning's over. I'm learning it the hard way, especially as I can almost the dirt I'm about to lie in for eternity.

Could we have ever imagined, when we were young and carefree, playing together in the schoolyard, that when we grew up, things would be so terribly confusing? Maybe it's just the age and grey hairs speaking, but it's times like these, when I sit with Dustin in front of the fireplace, in quiet companionship, that I find myself in deep reflection. He'd probably laugh if I told him the things I think of - I think of Lilith, of our shared childhood memories. He can't understand the relationship between sisters - what does the oldest of seven boys possibly know about the way sisters interact?

It's funny, sometimes, to watch him while the twins are playing. He leans forward on the couch, a frown on his face as Esther yanks a doll away from Judith, or Judith shoves Esther away from the dollhouse, and then that's it for the day - the house is filled with the angry shrieks of two indignant children. He says that he just doesn't get it. I try to explain - brothers are different. Brothers beat each other up and then wake up friends the next day. Sisters bicker. Sisters are in a constant state of competition.

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff316/ForeverCamp/Pleasantview/snapshot_98d7a38b_98d895c4.jpg

In general, I get the idea that Dustin will never understand my regrets. He's so happy that our life as a family has finally settled down, that Michael is grown, pushing past the grief of losing his wife and sons - our grandsons, our only grandsons -, that Rachel and Leah have become confident, laughing young women and that Esther and Judith will - occasionally - play nice together. And I want to be as happy as him.

But sometimes I catch myself looking for her out in the streets, craning my neck around the corner in the grocery store because I know she lives just down the street. We're both old now, both finishing our lifestage as mothers, and it never ceases to amaze me how similar we ended up as little old ladies - just like we'd imagined as children.

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff316/ForeverCamp/Pleasantview/snapshot_98d7a38b_18d7a51c.jpg
http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff316/ForeverCamp/Pleasantview/snapshot_d8d8a7c5_d8d8a7c6.jpg

We each have a teenage daughter - though Leah is older than Melissa, and I get the impression that Melissa will yet turn into her mother as a teenager - and we both found ourselves new mothers at the end of our adult lives. I heard that Lilith's little Lindsay looks just like her, the only Pleasant redhead in a family full of black-haired Trimbles - I suppose she's beaten me in that respect, because all of my girls turned out as blonde little Brokes.

What else can I possibly say? Our chance at reconciliation, I fear, has long since passed: those fury-filled days as teenagers have indeliably marked us, and I doubt we could be in the same room, even now, all these years later, without fighting. Though we had some similar adult experiences, Lilith will never be able to sympathize with me over the grief I carry for each of those little babies that didn't survive to see the light of day. I can't sit on a couch and laugh with her about her grandchildren's elementary-school exploits, because to do so would mean that I would have to come face-to-face with the shock of Killian and Xavier's deaths.

But it doesn't stop me from wondering, and watching for her every day.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hey Julie, Fountains of Wayne
Line used:
Sometimes I catch myself

All right, so sue me that I didn't continue with the Capps - frankly, they got a little too wacky for a PG site, thanks to ACR, a few SXS downloads and my own distraction. I was messing around in Pleasantview today, played both Angela and Lilith's households and noticed all these end-of-life similarities!

easypeaze
20th Apr 2010, 8:00 PM
"Umphh" clank "umphh" clank. The steady rythm of the weights was somehow soothing, it made me forget for a while as to why I was here. Especially the fact that all I had to concentrate on was this, nothing else. Sweat was stinging my eyes, but it felt good, at least I felt something. It was better then nothing. Retreating into my memories, back to the day the doctors told me I would never walk again. It's a day that still makes me shudder and fills me with dread.
http://i41.tinypic.com/11lt1r4.jpg
I can't remember the accident, which everyone tells me is a good thing. Sometimes I wish I could. I don't know why maybe because this would seem more real or maybe I would feel like me. Oh, everyone says the right things and we all go through the motions but it just doesn't feel real. They all have a tendency to talk to me a bit differently as if my brain had been damaged along with my legs. When I work out it feels real and only one other thing. I know I would never make it through if it weren't that.
http://i40.tinypic.com/muvm6w.jpg
I only get to see him on the weekends and sometimes only every other. If I could, I would spend my every waking moment with him. He's the only reason I work so hard every day, trying to make my body stronger. When I'm with him, I feel whole again. I don't need to pretend. I can bare my soul to Shazaam and there is never any judgement in his eyes, just an eagerness to be with me.
http://i41.tinypic.com/wmf08z.jpg
When the day comes that I can ride him, we will both be free.
http://i42.tinypic.com/fayf00.jpg

Line used-I would never make it through

jewaukeela
20th Apr 2010, 9:59 PM
Wonderful guys! I hope everyone gets their rounds in!

warouri2
22nd Apr 2010, 1:28 AM
Darin smiled to himself as he pressed the play button on his screen. Redford from the medical quarters had recorded another joke for him. They did this whenever they had time; usually it would only be a couple times a week, but with the present lag in action they’d already exchanged four in the past day.
“Okay,” said Redford’s smiling face. “So this Corcan chick’s in a bar, and a Temican guy comes up to her and offers to buy her a drink. She says-“

“Halcyon,” came the voice of the captain, “That doesn’t sound like a navigation simulation to me.”

“I finished all of them yesterday, Captain.” said Darin.

“I see. Well, close whatever you’re watching and pay attention to your controls. We’re making a particularly tricky turn here.”

Making sure that the captain couldn’t see, Darin rolled his eyes. The turn wasn’t particularly tricky; in fact, it wasn’t hard at all. The captain always got like this when nothing had happened for weeks on end. In the middle of a confrontation, he’d expect Darin and Wegei to complete the most complicated navigational moves without any prep or warning, but when there was nothing else to do he generally started making the mundane jobs seem difficult. It was an irritating habit, but Darin didn’t really blame him; they were all bored after the conflict with the Raons. That hadn’t been too scary, but at least it had gotten their adrenaline pumping steering out of the way of their old-fashioned missiles.

But that had been a month ago, and everyone on the ship was pretty bored. Fortunately, they were stopping at some planet nearby for a day or two of research – which one was it again? Darin called up his viewscreen and asked for a map of the star system they were headed to. He knew it was the third planet, and then read that it was called T’Prae. Figuring he should probably re-familiarize himself with the system, he asked for a short briefing, then turned the volume down on his earpiece and pressed play.

“Although there are six planets in this star system, only four are inhabited by animals and only three by humanoids. The sun in this system is called Mol. The closest planet to Mol is T’Mar, which is too hot to support any life at all. The second planet is T’Dria, which has a wide variety of plant life similar to that in rainforests but no animals, nor a research base.

“The third planet, T’Meka, is inhabited by very protective humanoids called T’Mekians who number about 4 billion. Although the T’Mekians are very advanced, even more so than Earth, they rarely venture out into space. Instead, they prefer to remain on their planet and “defend” it from “attackers” who supposedly wish to destroy their civilization.

“The fourth planet is T’Prae and is inhabited by T’Praeons, who are about 1,000 years behind Earth and a 3.4 on the global advancement scale. It may seem strange that such a difference in technology can exist in the same star system, but about fifty years ago, the T’Falians (see: T’Falon) offered the T’Praeons their technology but the T’Praeons refused it and asked instead to remain in contact with other planets and consented to the establishment of a small research base there, but generally prefer to remain ignorant of the technological advancements of the 10-scale planets. The T’Praeons who actually know of a world beyond their own planet number only six or seven; the leaders of their people.

“T’Treli, the fifth planet, is much like T’Mar; that is, it has a global climate much like that of rain forests. However, T’Treli has over one million species. There are no humanoids on T’Treli besides the 62 researchers in the three bases on the planet.

“The T’Falians inhabit the sixth planet, which is called T’Fale.” Darin cut the computer off there for two reasons. One, he already knew about the T’Falians. And two, it probably wouldn’t make Sumak’ros very comfortable to have her planet dissected by a computer. Of course, had she been human she wouldn’t have even been able to hear the computer, but her ears were a lot more sensitive than the average human’s.

Darin rolled his neck to each side and waited, his hands on the controls. It would be another few minutes before they actually descended into orbit, but there was nothing else to do. Finally, the captain gave the order and he and Wegei guided the ship into a comfortable orbit.

“Captain, I just ran a check on the population of the planet.” said Okarof.

“The population is up sixty percent from our last check.”

The captain frowned. “When was that?”

“Just last year. I’ve already run three checks, they all come up the same. There’s no malfunction. Should I check further into it?”

“Definitely.”

Then Danforth chimed in. “Should I tell the technical quarters that they’ll be a delay?”

“That would be Kocre’s job, Danforth, and no. Just tell me who else is on the planet.”

A moment later, Okarof called out, shocked. “It’s… T’Mekians!”

“T’Mekians? But that’s impossible! They hardly ever leave their planet, not even to save one of their own kind! What are they doing?”

In less than two minutes, the ship had gone from boredom to panic. Not that there was any chaos on the deck – no; in fact, that was what clued you in to the fact that everyone was terribly apprehensive. On any normal day, there’d be a quite audile buzzing on the deck as everyone exchanged information, relayed instructions, or gave commands. Now, though, everyone was silent save the captain.

“Why can’t we see what they’re doing, Okarof?” You could tell the captain was really worked up now – he never called Okarof anything but Cyclo, even in the middle of battle. Darin stopped pretending to watch the screen and swiveled his seat around to listen. He saw that everyone was watching the captain except Sumak’ros, although Darin could tell she was listening because her ears were twisted around nearly facing the captain.

“The T’Mekians are far more advanced than us; they’ve put some sort of shield around the whole planet to block our sensors. It acts like a gas of some sort, but it shows up as much more solid than that. I can’t figure it out. A mystery.”

“Do you think a small transport ship could go through it?”

“I imagine so, but Buzz! You can’t possibly be thinking of going down there! You know how vicious the T’Mekians are, and they can’t be down there for any good reason.”

“I know all about the T’Mekians, Cyclo.” The captain was back to his cool, collected self. “I will go down. Danforth, Cyclo, you’re with me. We’ll take three ensigns from security too.”

“Captain, it’s risky to have so many head officers on a mission as dangerous as this,” said Danforth. “They’ll need you up here; I suggest you stay and instead I’ll lead the party.”

“Captain, it’s risky to have so many head officers on a mission as dangerous as this,” said Danforth. “They’ll need you up here; I suggest you stay and instead I’ll lead the party.”

“No,” said the captain, his voice firm and strong. “You are right; you will remain behind. Halcyon?”

Darin stood up right away and walked over to the captain. To be honest, was very nervous about going to T’Prae, but at the same time he was proud that Captain Sisko had asked him. Still, he wished it was under different circumstances.

A few minutes later, Darin stepped into the shuttle. The captain and Okarof were there, as well as three ensigns from security: Brandon Jesse, Nore Afkalah, and Lihi Raffstein. Darin was surprised that he knew all three of them; he had been involved with Lihi for a few short weeks a while back, but she had broken it off, said it interfered with her work; Darin didn't mind too much. Nore was a friend of Wegei's, so he often caught them talking outside the deck. Brandon... well, most people knew Brandon. He was the unofficial bartender of the lower levels.

Just as the shuttle left the interior of the ship, the red light blinked on.

"What?!" thought Darin. Suddenly, the craft began to pull forward. It wasn't the usual movement of the shuttle, that much was clear by the fact that they could feel the motion. All direction caused from the shuttle itself was motion-canceled to make for a more comfortable ride.

"What's going on?" asked Nore.

"They are obviously expecting us." said the captain, and that was that.

After only a minute and a half of crude tugging, the shuttle was allowed to land on the surface of the planet, but Darin knew as soon as they stepped out that this was no friendly welcome. Twenty or twenty-five men (if you could call them that) stood in a circle around the shuttle. Their elongated faces were hidden by cruel metal masks. Darin had heard that those masks could withstand any type of firearm or laser. These were not people you wanted to mess with. He took in the rest of their bodies - they all wore white robes embellished with designs, except for the one right in front of him - he had red robes on, and was clearly the leader.

The raspy, robotic voice of the T'Mekian in red robes went on for a few seconds before the translators kicked in.

"... help your ship, and they can't help you, so give it up. Come with us now, before we have to use force."

The captain stood his ground, and Darin and the others followed suit. "I'm not moving a single muscle until we know why you're here!"

"You refuse to come?"

The captain looked defiantly at him, then cocked his head to the left. A tiny green laser beam issued from the sleeve of one of his partners and Lihi dropped dead beside Darin.

"Do not defy me. Come." He cocked his head again, and another one of his partners pressed a hand to his temple. Between his eyes, a green light flicked on. "He is now recording live. Your ship is watching everything that's going on." He flicked his thumb up and four of the T'Mekians shot laser beams, forming a box around the members of the Antares. "Now."

They walked for a good twenty minutes before they were taken into a large room. There they were separated. The captain remained in the room with Lihi and Cyclo while Brandon and Darin were taken into a silver hallway. Brandon was shoved into the first cell, but Darin walked in front of fourty-two cells (he was careful to count, so he could find Brandon silently if he escaped) before being shoved into a cell of his own. He waited until the first guard was gone and only the second remained before switching his laser to silent. He set it on the tiniest beam, aimed it through the bars, and pressed down. The guard slumped, but only a tiny bit. Because the bars were so close together, Darin hadn't been able to use a larger laser, or enough to kill.

What he had done would make it appear as though the guard was awake, although his eyes would be glazed over. He retreated to the corner and flipped open his transmitter.

"Sumak'ros," he mouthed. Sumak'ros's face appeared onscreen, but she didn't appear to be looking at Darin. "Sumak'ros!" mouthed Darin, stretching his face in a mock-scream. Sumak'ros jumped. "Sorry." mouthed Darin.

Thanks to the face-to-voice technology, down here Darin could mouth a word and up on the ship it would be spoken aloud.

"Don't talk, type." mouthed Darin. He didn't want anyone to hear her.

"How did you escape?" typed Sumak'ros.

"Not escape; they took me away and I glazed the guard. Can you still see the captain? Is he okay? What's going on?"

"We can see him on the screen here; they killed Lihi, and Okarof is next."

"Why?!"

"They want something out of the captain, but we have no sound so we don't know what it is. They are horrible; I don't understand it at all. What could they want that would require the captain to let his crewmembers die?"

"The Antares?"

"Perhaps, but whatever it is it must be crucial."

"And Danforth?"

Danforth appeared onscreen. "They're trying to goad me into attacking; the-" she stopped mid-sentence.

"What?!? What's going on up there?" Darin mouthed desperately.

"We have sound." said Sumak'ros simply.

"What's the captain saying?"

Sumak'ros began to type again.

"...trying to wear me down. You'll never take another planet. Never! What you've done is too... horrible.." Sumak'ros changed the color of the font and continued in his own words. "They're hitting him with some kind of laser beam I suppose, but we can't see it. It's obviously causing him horrible pain, though. You can't see his face, but it's impossible to watch and at the same time impossible to tear your face away. We need to find a way to stop this! If you can find the central power circuit, then you-"

But Darin stopped reading, because he had become aware of a presence. Slowly, dreading the face he would see. He heard the rasping again for a moment before the translator set in.

"Transmitter, Darin Halcyon?"






TO BE CONTINUED...













Lines Used:
Trying to wear me down

jewaukeela
22nd Apr 2010, 1:37 AM
Beautiful as always, Warouri. 1 more day guys, come on! :!::turtle::!::turtle::!::turtle::!:

Ghost sdoj
22nd Apr 2010, 3:34 AM
Xar tried to hide when he saw Jamie approach his house, but the child in her womb broke through the invisibility spell. She smiled at him and he couldn't resist embracing her. "You do realize we are making a big mistake, don't you?" he asked gently.

http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/451/mistakel.jpg

"It's a mistake I would make over and over again. But I came to ask you to talk to my father. As long as I'm living in his house he can tell me what to do, and he wants me to have an abortion. I can't afford to move out, unless I can move in with you, and he's not listening to me. So unless you're going to let me move in with you, or you've got a way to make my father think I've had the abortion, or you are ok with me having an abortion, you need to try talking him out of it."



http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/6286/wingedtaxi.jpg

In retrospect, it was probably not a good idea to approach him as he was going home after a long day at the office, and keep him standing in the street for another two hours... Mentioning that he made his living by painting and playing music, and then trying to mooch dinner from him probably didn't help his case much either. A bath probably would have helped as well. All in all, it wasn't a successful encounter.

http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/348/doesnteveryonelikeart.jpg

http://img59.imageshack.us/img59/6376/encounteragain.jpg

The next day she saw him playing his guitar in front of the bookstore. The baby started kicking in time to the music. She gasped in surprise, and fled. She was not too surprised to see that he followed her.

http://img718.imageshack.us/img718/870/romanceonhermind.jpg

"Whatever you said to my father made it worse. He doesn't approve of you at all! When I tried to stand up for you, he threw me out of the house! Just because I love you!"

"Where are you going now?"

Jamie shrugged her shoulders. "He told me to move in with you if I loved you so much... I don't have any place to go. The park, I guess. Until it rains. Or snows. Or I get arrested for vagrancy."

Xar scooped her up in his arms. "This is foolish, but I have no choice. You are coming home with me."

http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/8721/takingherhome.jpg

Xar got her settled in, although his house was a bit crowded with two people living in it. He even sneaked back to her old house and collected some of her things. Then he handed her an interesting star-shaped object and told her to wear it next to her skin close to her womb. When the baby is born, place it under the blanket next to the baby's skin. It won't be as effective as staying away would be, but it should help dissipate the dark magic influences.

http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/4367/thegiftv.jpg

And speaking of dark magic influences... While she was sleeping he went back to her old house and "adjusted" her father's stove so that the temperature gauge would shift randomly by =/- 75 degrees. He couldn't resist a bit of mischief against the man.

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/2902/upgrader.jpg



Chosen line: He can tell me what to do

ForeverCamp
22nd Apr 2010, 4:10 AM
No story, ghost sdoj? :cry:

happyasabunny
22nd Apr 2010, 4:23 AM
im sorry i have to drop out. I have realized that I have no creative juices flowing when it comes to writing stories. I'm really sorry.

Ghost sdoj
22nd Apr 2010, 4:38 AM
No story, ghost sdoj? :cry:

I was adding it.

It's too bad to see you go, happyasabunny. I had a bit of writer's block until just now, too.

If you let the game run and watch the little details like wants, conversations, dreams, etc. sometimes something comes up that you can work with.

jewaukeela
22nd Apr 2010, 11:43 AM
Oh, happyasabunny, I'm sorry to hear that.

Ghost sdoj, great!

Freelala
22nd Apr 2010, 10:05 PM
Gianna Santi was still in a daze as she walked through the door of her Prati penthouse. The previous night's events seemed distant and surreal, and at the same time, resoundingly clear. It was almost like the memory was reality and this daylight-drenched world was the dream. She glanced down at her cell phone in her right hand and scrolled through the missed calls. Fourteen from her roommate, Daphne Martelli. Eight from that first guy she met at the club, and five from the second. Three from her agent. And one, one from the man she had spent most of the last twelve hours with, when he called her phone while they looked for it before they realized she'd left it on the driver's seat of her Bugatti. The man she never would have acknowledged if it hadn't been for the blip of concern for a nervous-looking citizen stranded in the wrong side of town. The man whose grace and innocence charmed her in a way she had never before experienced. The man who had no idea who she was, and thus, harbored no preconceptions about the kind of girl she was or what falling into her company would mean for him. Last night, for the first time in years, she was just Gianna.

http://i588.photobucket.com/albums/ss330/spaceysims/MTS/gianna1.jpg

Her wandering placed her in the dining room, where her roommate, Daphne, was sitting at the head of their large antique table with an assortment of photographs, pages, and magazines lay spread out before her. Gianna recognized herself in a few of the pictures. Daphne was a junior editor at Vogue Italia, a position that had been secured by Gianna and her connections. The two had a mutually beneficial partnership that had since evolved into a real relationship. Though she knew Daphne wouldn't be happy with her, Gianna considered her roommate to be her only true friend: she knew Gianna better than anyone, and had a remarkable amount of tolerance for her antics. In light of last night, though, Gianna had a feeling she could add one more name to the friend list soon enough.

Daphne's gaze was predictably unsympathetic when she lifted it from her work. “Well, look who finally decided to make an appearance,” she said. “Do you have any idea what time it is?”

“One forty-four in the afternoon, I think,” Gianna answered, oblivious to Daphne's tone.

“One forty-six,” Daphne replied. “Which makes it exactly ten hours and thirty-nine minutes since you swore up and down that you would call me when you left the club. You know I worry about you, G. I spent hours on the phone trying to track you down! Are you trying to give me wrinkles?”

“Sorry. I left my phone in the car. I thought I would only be gone a minute.”

Daphne arched an eyebrow. “So which one was it: the rugby player, or the wannabe rock star?”

“Neither. That idiot Benedetta tried to pick a fight with me about an hour after you left. I dumped my drink over her head and left. Paparazzi followed me, but I ditched them cutting through alleys in the Sorcio district.” She sighed wistfully. “That's where I found him.”

http://i588.photobucket.com/albums/ss330/spaceysims/MTS/gianna2.jpg

Daphne didn't know what she should be the most surprised about: that Gianna left the club without a new boy-toy in tow, that she was all starry-eyed over someone she picked up off the streets in the Sorcio district, or that she was able to take her million-euro, custom-designed Bugatti into one of the worst areas of Rome and live to tell the tale. “Okay... what?”

Gianna snapped out of her dreamlike state long enough to realize she probably wasn't making much sense. She couldn't really blame Daphne for her reactions: the whole incident was very out-of-character, and she even had to ask herself if it was really happening while it was taking place. “I ditched the paparazzi, and I was turning around to come home when I saw this guy in a suit standing next to some cheap-looking import. He looked lost, and scared, and I felt like I had to stop. A guy dressed like that, and obviously naïve, wouldn't have lasted long in that neighborhood. What really got my attention, though, were his eyes.”

“His eyes,” Daphne repeated skeptically. Gianna never went for the eyes; she wasn't the sentimental type. She usually favored biceps.

“Oh, you should have seen them, D,” Gianna gushed. “They were so strange... and so beautiful... anyway, so I stopped...”

Daphne listened patiently while Gianna recounted the series of events: how she let the man use her phone to call a cab, how she waited with him for a few minutes, and how she decided to give him a ride when the cab hadn't arrived yet and she noticed a group of men gathering at the end of the street. She took him to his apartment near Sapienza University, where he was teaching. An academic, Daphne thought. That's new. “Did he say what he teaches?”

“Applied mathematics,” Gianna answered. “Well... not teaching exactly. He's on loan from Oxford, doing research, and teaching one or two classes that are so advanced and highly obscure that no student would dare take them.” She giggled. “His words.”

http://i588.photobucket.com/albums/ss330/spaceysims/MTS/gianna3.jpg

Strange eyes... applied mathematics... Sapienza... Oxford... why does this sound familiar? Daphne wondered. Maybe she'd been looking at the photo spreads for too long. That reminded her: she had a deadline to meet, and she was a long way from being done. She resumed her work, while funneling Gianna enough questions to maintain the illusion of interest. “So then what?”

“It was late when we got there – almost four,” Gianna continued. “He could see I was tired, so he invited me in for a cup of coffee.”

“And then you slept with him,” Daphne finished. She never thought Gianna would go for a math professor, but then again, she supposed her roommate had to find new ways to surprise her.

“No,” Gianna answered. “It wasn't like that, not at all. I fell asleep on his couch while he was making the coffee. I slept almost to noon. I woke up, we talked some more, and then I came home. We never even touched each other, not even a handshake.”

The story had her full attention again. Daphne knew what kind of late-night habits Gianna had. Because she was responsible, and, for the most part, discreet, Daphne accepted it and didn't meddle or judge. She'd never seen Gianna so content after nothing had happened with a man – indeed, she didn't think she'd seen Gianna this content, ever. “Gianna, nothing about this makes sense,” Daphne said. “You found some British math professor on the streets in Sorcio in the middle of the night, nothing even happened, and yet you've obviously fallen head over heels for him. Why?”

“Why, indeed,” said Gianna. “Actually, he's not British, he's Norwegian. He studied at Oxford and teaches there now.”

Daphne didn't care about the details. She just wanted to know how this mysterious man had bewitched the most sought-after woman in Europe, and how she was going to protect Gianna if she became involved with someone she actually cared about. “So what's so special about this guy? He... really doesn't seem like your type.”

http://i588.photobucket.com/albums/ss330/spaceysims/MTS/gianna4.jpg

Gianna closed her eyes and smiled. “Exactly,” she said. “He was so kind, so genuine. He listened, he took care of me, he even cooked breakfast and made me eat it.” She laughed. “It was good, too. Oh, Daphne, it was so wonderful. I just have to see him again. Anders is the first man who ever-”

“Anders,” Daphne interrupted, and then her eyes widened as it all came together. “Anders Lødemel?”

The shock of hearing his full name from Daphne snapped Gianna right out of her infatuated haze. “How could you have possibly known-”

“Yesterday's paper. There's a picture and an article on the first page in the science and technology section.” Daphne picked up the newspaper in front of her and began flipping through it to find the area in question. “Normally I don't give it a second look, but his eyes were just so... interesting. Strange, but the longer I looked, captivating. Ah! Here.”

Gianna stood up and walked over, needing to see it herself to believe it. “That's him,” she said at once, and touched the newsprint photograph. “That's my Anders.” His unmistakable eyes, nearly colorless except for the sbutle blue-gray tint and a dark ring around the outer edge of the iris, stared back at her with the same intensity and perception they had when she first encountered him in that dark alley. “You don't forget eyes like that.”

“No, you don't,” Daphne admitted. “That's why I remembered his name, too. I read the article. I forgot most of it, but it came back as you were talking – Norwegian, Oxford, mathematics, the eyes. The first name was the final trigger. Gianna, this guy is huge. They say he's the most brilliant mathematician of the last hundred years. The university practically threw a parade when he decided to come here for his research. What was he doing in a Sorcio alley in the middle of the night?”

http://i588.photobucket.com/albums/ss330/spaceysims/MTS/gianna5.jpg

“He was on his way home from a dinner party his colleagues had thrown to welcome him to the university, and he got lost,” Gianna said. “He told me he was a mathematician, but he never made himself out to be a big deal. He had no idea who I was, either, and I saw no need to tell him.”

“If nothing else, I would think your car would tip him off that you're filthy, stinking rich.”

Gianna shrugged. “Maybe he thinks all Italians drive Bugattis.” And wear Christian Lacroix originals when they're out for a leisurely drive in the middle of the night. “We were getting along fine under the impression that we were both ordinary citizens.”

“Ordinary,” Daphne scoffed. “Nothing about either of you is ordinary. I hope you know what you're doing.”

She didn't. She rarely ever did. Gianna made life up as she went along, and for the most part, it worked: she was rich, famous, beautiful, and in demand. She was also frigid, lonely, and manipulative, and the change that something as simple as an act of kindness and a few hours in the company of someone who didn't recognize her was like nothing Daphne had ever seen before. For better, or for worse, this chance encounter would affect her forever.





-------
Line used:
Hours on the phone

ghostgirl
22nd Apr 2010, 11:20 PM
So I'm going to have to drop out - I love this contest, I just have too much on my plate right now! Good luck to all hte other participants!

Redhead4ever6
23rd Apr 2010, 7:50 AM
“I love you Julie Smithson, and I’m going to marry you.”
http://i42.tinypic.com/2ueppw2.jpg
“Hush up boy, we don’t want my daddy hearing you say silly things like that.” Julie said with a smile. She knew his words were true though, and that was the way she wanted it to stay.

“Just you wait, in a few years we can run away together. You know, we’re a regular Romeo and Juliet.” Julie whispered.

“I sure hope not! You do know they die at the end, right?”

“What? I hadn’t finished yet!” She playfully hit him.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got hope that we’ll outlast them yet.” He paused, and decided to finally act.
http://i44.tinypic.com/jjqss2.jpg
He pulled away quickly.
“I hear your daddy coming.” Hastily, he climbed down the terrace and began to run away. Julie was grinning,

“You’re not going to get rid of me that easily Chris.”


And a few years passed. They graduated, got jobs, and mostly forgot about their dream of running away. That was, until Mr. Smithson decided to take action. He decided it was time his daughter started acting like the lady she was supposed to be. He knew exactly where to start: with that troublesome boy.


Chris had just gotten off his shift at the bookstore when he saw his worst nightmare waiting for him.

“Chris, I think it’s finally time you and I had a little chat.”

“I don’t think that would be wise.” Chris tried to escape, but Mr. Smithson carried on obliviously.

“You are not right for my daughter. You wouldn’t be able to provide for her. You don’t know how to treat your superiors with respect. You’re from the wrong side of town. You’re colored… Did you know I own more than half of this town? Including this bookstore? I could easily have you fired. I could easily ruin your reputation, make you miserable, all sorts of things.”
He let Chris absorb the gravity of his threats.

“I just want for you to go away. Break off all connections with her, and leave her be. I would pay for more than your necessary expenses.” Chris had been silently fuming through his whole speech, but his last little comment tipped the balance.

“You think that you can buy me off? Scare me away? You think that this a little fling that can be erased? It can’t. I know she is too good for me and I don’t deserve her, but I love her and I’ll stand by her no matter what.”
http://i43.tinypic.com/i4og0k.jpg
Then he ran.

He packed his life into a suitcase and found Julie.
He relayed the whole ordeal, play by play.
http://i40.tinypic.com/nqctis.jpg
“Please Julie don’t you understand? He can’t tell me what to feel! I love you and-“
http://i40.tinypic.com/1gkcxi.jpg
“Will you marry me?”
http://i42.tinypic.com/zycavt.jpg
“Of course, Chris!”
“We’ll run away, like we always dreamed.”
“Romeo and Juliet.”
http://i41.tinypic.com/wlonkk.jpg
And finally they had found happiness. It was a happiness with creaky floorboards and a leaky ceiling, but it was happiness nonetheless. They finally had a chance to start their family.
http://i44.tinypic.com/2q8r2c6.jpg
But nothing lasts forever. Maybe the people in the sky had it out for them. Or maybe it was just Mr. Smithson.
http://i44.tinypic.com/21owwih.jpg
Either way, he wouldn’t allow his granddaughter to be brought up by unsavory types.
http://i40.tinypic.com/2qa7jhs.jpg
“Welcome home Nadia.”

Line used: He can't tell me what to feel
Edit: I'm a loser who can't manage time, this is for plot purposes only ;)

jewaukeela
24th Apr 2010, 2:38 AM
Sorry redhead, but that's way too late. Hope to see you next round, though!

Redhead4ever6
24th Apr 2010, 3:51 AM
Yes, I'm getting my act together. But is it alright if I leave it up? I'll fix it to mention it's not a real entry, but it's a connecting piece to my story.

Freelala
26th Apr 2010, 12:35 AM
Any word on the next round? Or was the song posted already and I just missed it?

Redhead4ever6
26th Apr 2010, 4:11 AM
... I don't think it's only you, I'm just as clueless

easypeaze
26th Apr 2010, 4:19 AM
As far as I know round 4 has not been posted. It was supposed to start the 23rd.

jewaukeela
26th Apr 2010, 9:29 PM
Okay guys, I'm so sorry about not being here; I don't really want to talk about it, but some things happened to my family that have made it nearly impossible to even go to school, much less run a contest. I'm not dropping out, but I just wanted to let you know why I haven't been as attentive. My sister is dropping out, though. I extended the round to make up for the days it wasn't posted, and I'm still waiting on the last set of scores. Here is the next round:

----------------
https://mail.google.com/a/jbha.org/?ui=2&ik=fae953b442&view=att&th=127b4e782d853409&attid=0.11&disp=inline&realattid=f_g7gb7c6410&zw
Choose two lines from the following song; there is one line per line. Take those lines and incorporate them into a story of at least ten sentences. The lines must fit smoothly into the story as something besides themselves. If you’re not sure whether or not your usage is okay, PM me. Your post must include at least three pictures, and please list the line you chose at the very bottom of your post. BONUS: Choose three lines instead!

[u]I'll Be There For You - by The Rembrandts[/i]
So no one told you
life was gonna
be this way
Your job's a joke
you're broke
your love life's DOA
It's like you're always
stuck in second gear,
When it hasn't been
your day, your week, your month,
or even your year

I'll be there for you
When the rain starts to pour
I'll be there for you
Like I've been there before
I'll be there for you
'Cause you're there for me too.

You're still in bed at ten
although work began at eight,
You burned your breakfast
so far things are going great
Your mother warned you
there'd be days like these,
But she didn't tell you
when the world was
brought down to your knees

I'll be there for you
When the rain starts to pour
I'll be there for you
Like I've been there before
I'll be there for you
'Cause you're there for me too.

No one could ever know me.
No one could ever see me.
Seems your the only one
who knows what it's like to be me
Someone to face the day with.
Make it through all the mess with.
Someone I'll always laugh with.
Even at my worst
I'm best with you

It's like you're always
stuck in second gear,
When it hasn't been
your day, your week, your month
even your year, but

I'll be there for you
When the rain starts to pour
I'll be there for you
Like I've been there before
I'll be there for you
'Cause you're there for me too

Ghost sdoj
26th Apr 2010, 9:42 PM
I was interested in your sister's story. I wanted to see how it ended! :(

I don't know what happened, but you and your family have my sympathy for whatever it is.

*Hugs Jewaukeela and Warouri*

easypeaze
26th Apr 2010, 9:59 PM
Oh I'm sorry to hear that. Whatever it is, you and your sister will be in my thoughts. I hope things get better soon for both you and your sister. Let her know I really enjoyed her story.

ForeverCamp
27th Apr 2010, 2:34 AM
My sympathy too - I understand how RL can take much more precedence over a contest.

BTW, great choice for Round 4's song - I love it!

Ghost sdoj
27th Apr 2010, 6:40 PM
This time it's the game refusing to load...

Jamie sniffed the air. "You burned your breakfast again?!" she laughed.

http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/1292/burnedbreakfast.jpg

Xar nodded miserably. "This is why I eat salads. And I never messed with stoves until I had to start living with a mortal." He handed her a plate of badly burned pancakes. "At least they aren't half-raw, like they were last time?"

She took a bite, then sent him to go play with his son while she fixed a proper breakfast.

http://img219.imageshack.us/img219/871/teachingtotalk.jpg

As they were eating, she asked him again about his concern that his son would become a monster. He blushed, but she insisted that she wanted to talk about it. Finally he relented. "You haven't seen what my kind is capable of. Even at my worst, I was never one of the darkest. I know that Human nature is not always brighter, but Humans value life and love, and my kind does not. I was a warrior. In battle, no one could ever see me. I killed with stealth and magic. But my true passion was art and music, and the exploration of the mortal realms. They say that I was the result of a liaison with one of the Light, and I probably was. Which means I probably killed my own father or brother in battle, and I feel nothing about that. That is the kind of influence that I and my magic will have on my child." He smiled at her. "I'm hoping that you can teach him what I can't. You did manage to teach me about love, anyway."

http://img249.imageshack.us/img249/899/eating.jpg



Chosen lines

You burned your breakfast
Even at my worst
no one could ever see me


(Ok so by the time I got them all eating together the pancakes were grilled cheese and the breakfast was happening at midnight... He's nocturnal. :rofl: And it's 2:30 AM here, so goodnight.)

jewaukeela
27th Apr 2010, 10:24 PM
Great entry.
Thanks for all your support guys, it's really hard. I think Warouri will be on soon to tell you the end of her story...

Ghost sdoj
28th Apr 2010, 11:13 PM
I'm going to be leaving Friday morning to visit my son in the hospital over the weekend. (He's ok. Long story.) and I'm going to be busy getting ready tomorrow. So if my game doesn't cooperate soon I'm going to be stuck without pictures. :(

warouri2
28th Apr 2010, 11:50 PM
Yeah guys, thanks for the encouragement.

Well, if you're curious, here's what happens. The captain is tortured to death for not giving up the ship, since what the T'Mekians want is technology. Darin is helped to get away by a beautiful T'Preaon woman named Shaia who was also kept there as a forced concubine for the high-ranked T'Mekians. He explains to her about the sky and ships and everything but is unable to get back. He lives on the run with Shaia for three years, knowing nothing of his ship or what happened after the captain dies, but gathering information on the off chance that someday someone will come to rescue him and save him and will be able to use the information.
After three years more ships come to save him, and that's when he sees Kathryn again, but she is cold and distant towards him, even though he discovers that he still loves her, and that's where Freelala picks up again.

lethifold
29th Apr 2010, 11:26 PM
Fingers crossed I'll get my entry in on time, but I don't know if I will. I'm going away for the weekend and had planned to work on it yesterday afternoon, but my plans changed last minute.

easypeaze
30th Apr 2010, 10:40 PM
I'm going to try and get mine in sometime late tonight or early tomorrow. It has been a busy week and the funny part is I feel like I got nothing accomplished!

ForeverCamp
1st May 2010, 3:17 AM
I'm going to try and complete my round (and bonus if I can swing it) tonight or at some point this weekend. New class starts Monday, so I'd like to be through with my entry by then.

BTW, can any of the judges confirm that the results have been sent to jewaukeela and that we're just waiting on her life slowing down long enough to post them? Not that I'm trying to be rude, but the third round DID end over a week ago...

jewaukeela
1st May 2010, 7:27 PM
We still have another four days not counting today, so I'm hoping we get the entries...
No I still don't have the scores, I'm STILL waiting on Deatherella, and I have PMed the EJs but they haven't responded either, so it's just a waiting time...

ForeverCamp
4th May 2010, 5:00 AM
Okay, so I sort of melded my bonus round and my round 4 together - I hope that's okay...

***

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff316/ForeverCamp/Pleasantview/snapshot_78eb18e6_d8eb18f8.jpg

Skip sighed heavily as he watched Marcia bang away at her xylophone. "Okay, Marcia, here's the deal. You keep playing your little symphony there, and I'm going to go seduce Mommy. God knows I'm going to need some loving tonight." He paused as Marcia looked at him quizzically. "Listen, baby, your love life's DOA after you have kids."

Marcia just laughed, waved her stick in the air and returned to her toy happily.

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff316/ForeverCamp/Pleasantview/snapshot_78eb18e6_b8eb6b62-1.jpg

"You what?" Gretchen repeated incredulously, pulling away from Skip.

He hesitated, trying to figure out a way to soften the blow after it was already dealt. "I lost my job."

Gretchen scoffed, eyes still wide with disbelief. "You lost - my God, Skip! Your job's a joke, and you still managed to get yourself fired? We have that big vacation to Twikkii Island after Marcia's birthday, and you're telling me that you lost your job NOW?!"

"We have cash in the bank, Gret," he pleaded, listening to the sounds of Scout's repeated high whines as Marcia giggled.

"Pretty puppy. Nice Scout..."

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff316/ForeverCamp/Pleasantview/snapshot_78eb18e6_98eb193e.jpg

Gretchen just shook her head, lips pursed, and glared at him. "It's late. Go put her to bed before she mauls that poor dog to death."

Biting back the urge to snap at his wife, Skip turned on his heels and stalked back out to the living room, lifting his toddler into his arms as he carried her up the stairs and into her bedroom. Changing her into her sleeper, he smiled wryly at her excited face as he deposited her in the crib. "Yeah. So far, things are going great. Regular Casanova. Wish me luck, baby girl."

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff316/ForeverCamp/Pleasantview/snapshot_78eb18e6_78eb1c94.jpg

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff316/ForeverCamp/Pleasantview/snapshot_78eb18e6_98eb5a48-1.jpg

When the long-awaited vacation finally came, Gretchen still wasn't talking to him. Instead, what had been planned as a "let's-have-fun-in-the-sun-together" family trip became a "Daddy-and-Mommy-are-going-to-give-Marcia-all-she-wants-and-all-she-needs" trip. Little Marcia had a blast at the beach during their three-day stay - Gretchen had insisted on shorting the trip when she found out Skip had lost his job.

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff316/ForeverCamp/Pleasantview/tsnapshot_78eb18e6_18eb6713.jpg

One night, they sat outside on the beach after sunset, watching the waves roll lazily in and out. Finally, Gretchen spoke.

"Once upon a time, there was a boy. Just an ordinary boy... but he was looking to the sky. The problem with this boy is that if people were meant to touch the sky, they would have wings. He just didn't get that, and he decided he was going to be a big rock star. All he ever was, in the end, though, was a roadie with no respect for the guys he ran for, and a really terrible sense of time." She looked over at him for a long moment. "There are lessons you'll never learn, Skip, I swear. Sometimes I wish you would just understand that life isn't about what you want - it's about making sure that your daughter always has clothes in her closet and food on her plate, not to mention a roof over her head. I can't support us all alone, hon."

They went to bed that night still quiet, careful not to wake Marcia as she slept across the hotel room.

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff316/ForeverCamp/Pleasantview/snapshot_78eb18e6_d8eb68e6.jpg

On the last morning of their vacation, Skip and Gretchen were up with the sunrise.

"So I've been thinking," Skip started to say.

"God help us all," Gretchen cut in with a wry smile.

"Shut up and let me talk," he muttered self-consciously. "I've been thinking, and... I need you, and I miss you, and now I wonder if I can ever make up for the hell I put you through these last few weeks."

A small smile played at the edges of Gretchen's lips. "I wouldn't call it hell, Skip. I'm upset, but it's not the end of the world. I just want you to have finally learnt this lesson."

"I have," he replied eagerly. "I have, baby, really." As they embraced for the first time since the initial news, he added in a whisper, "I will always reach too high, but I promise to think first before I try."

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff316/ForeverCamp/Pleasantview/tsnapshot_78eb18e6_38eb5e4c.jpg

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lines used - Round 4 (I'll Be There For You, The Rembrandts):
Your job's a joke
So far things are going great
Your love life's DOA

Lines used - Bonus Round (Vanessa Carlton medley):
Ordinary Day: Just an ordinary boy, but he was looking to the sky
A Thousand Miles: And I need you, and I miss you, and now I wonder
Pretty Baby: There are lessons that you'll never learn
Paradise: All she wants and all she needs
Twilight: I will always reach too high

jewaukeela
4th May 2010, 12:04 PM
Nice work, and that's totallyy okay.

Redhead4ever6
5th May 2010, 4:22 AM
I'm sorry to be a Debbie Downer but I have to drop out. Good luck to all of you though, and I'll be lurking to see the results :)

easypeaze
5th May 2010, 1:35 PM
Sorry guys wasn't able to get my round 4 in. Loved your rounds Forever and Ghost! This was fun thank you jewaukeela!

Freelala
5th May 2010, 9:41 PM
http://i588.photobucket.com/albums/ss330/spaceysims/MTS/rndfour01.jpg

The day began as it usually did: with a fight.

This time, the point of contention was who would stay home with their sick eight-year-old son. Paterra Kontos was under the impression that her husband would, given that it was past midnight by the time he returned to Boulder from a business trip and was supposed to have the day off. She discovered otherwise when she reached the university and and found an angry voicemail from Nikolas on the phone in her office. She didn't think an argument could have been avoided if they'd spoken to each other that morning and come up with a plan to deal with Isaiah's fever and sniffles. If it wasn't one thing, it was always another.

“I don't have time for this, Paterra!” Nikolas had shouted when she returned the call. “Although work began at eight, I'm here, trying to take care of this! Your first lecture is at what, ten thirty? You need to get home now and either cancel class or find someone to watch him!”

“I have office hours and a hundred slides to organize before then!” was Paterra's response. “You've spent the last four days in Toronto, and what time did your flight come in? You were supposed to have the day off!”

“Didn't think to ask, did you? Do you have any idea how much work I have to do before this deal closes?”

“I know you have an office at home, and that it was your idea to install the videoconferencing system at work!”

They'd spent ten minutes carrying on in this manner, until Nikolas hung up on her, then called back a few minutes later to say Diana Lowry could watch him and that Paterra needed to pick him up on her way to get the others from school. Diana Lowry lived on the other side of town. She'd have to cancel her afternoon office hours, and there was an exam next week. Her students would not be happy. She was still seething when she went to class, and wondered how she'd managed to stay married to that man for twenty years, let alone have six children with him. Well, five, she amended in her thoughts. The youngest was adopted, although it wasn't for a lack of opportunity to conceive a sixth. She and Nikolas had a hard time keeping their hands off each other. Despite their constant sparring, or maybe because of it, the passion was still very much alive.

She was halfway through a lecture on early Chinchorro mummification when she realized that today marked exactly twenty years of being married to Nikolas Kontos. Some anniversary this was turning out to be.

The significance of the day fell to the back of Paterra's mind and did not come up again until five thirty-eight that night, when she and her seventeen-year-old daughter Melina were chopping tomatoes for yiouvetsi. The significance of the dish from her father's native land was not lost on Melina, who inquired, “Isn't it your anniversary?”

“It is,” Paterra confirmed as she cleaved a tomato in two. “Hence, the yiouvetsi.”

“But you never make Greek food. Dad always does.” She left off the words He hates your Greek cooking. Normally, her mother wouldn't take offense to the jab. It was Paterra herself who started the family's favorite running joke of blaming everything from hangnails to burned-out light bulbs on her numerous failed attempts at Greek cooking. Given the fervor with which the Kontos matriarch was chopping tomatoes, Melina didn't want to risk testing her mood.

“Do you see your father?” Paterra emphasized her words with a wave of her knife toward the kitchen doorway. “If he's not here to defend his – Dominique, please don't blow bubbles in the kitchen – defend his family against my Greek food, that's his problem.”

“No, it's our problem,” Melina muttered under her breath.

“Relax, I won't really feed my children yiouvetsi. There's char siu and jiaozi in the refrigerator. Your father, on the other hand...”

Melina's face brightened a bit upon learning her stomach would not be suffering from the effects of her mother's Greek food tonight, but her joy was short-lived. “Did he forget your anniversary?”

“Undoubtedly, but I forgot, too. This isn't about that. It's about keeping him on his toes, and so far, things are going great.”

http://i588.photobucket.com/albums/ss330/spaceysims/MTS/rndfour02.jpg

Nikolas was home an hour later, where he proceeded to get sick Isaiah and five-year-old Grace in bed while Paterra helped Melina, Penelope, Ioan, and Dominique with their homework. Within two more hours, homework had been finished, dinner consumed, Nikolas had vanished into his office, and the children were having a Scrabble tournament while their mother officiated from a chair across the room as she read over a graduate student's thesis. The game ended just before ten, when Paterra confirmed that hornswoggle was indeed a real word, and victory was awarded to Team Dominelope (which was not a real word). Bedtime was declared, and as the children went upstairs to their rooms, Paterra heard Melina and Ioan discussing how they could get “mucklebuggy” into the dictionary. The word amused their mother, and she wrote it down on a small notebook she kept with her at all times to record amusing things her children said. Then it was back to the prehistoric colonization of south-central Alaska. She finished Kevin's thesis shortly after eleven, and upon completion of the reading and critique, she noted that there had been no signs that Nikolas had emerged from his office. She supposed they should talk about what happened that day, and what didn't. If nothing else, she should check and see if he fell asleep at his desk again.

Paterra knocked softly on the office door, and when there was no response, she let herself in. Nikolas was awake, alert, and up to his elbows in what looked a lot like the documentation for the multiband imaging photometer his company developed for a NASA satellite years before. On the far side of the desk, a good distance away from where it could cause any damage, was, to her slight surprise, a half-eaten plate of yiouvetsi. He did not acknowledge her in speech or movement, but she knew he was aware of her presence. He would respond when he was ready.

While she waited for his attention, she studied him. Had it really been twenty years? Longer, she reminded herself. Their courtship had lasted nearly five years, and mostly long-distance at that, beginning when a starry-eyed exchange student at the tender age of seventeen developed an insatiable crush on a handsome Ball Aerospace representative nine years her senior at a career fair. They exchanged contact information and discussed a possible internship for her at his company. The internship fell through when she decided to study archeology instead of aeronautics, but they kept in contact, because she made an impression on him and he wanted to know how things turned out for her. She wondered if he ever suspected that determined little Chinese girl would one day be his wife. She'd hardly seen it coming herself, at least in the first few years, but soon came to understand that Nikolas Kontos was the only man who would ever have her heart. If nothing else, it was because he was the only one with both the will to reach for it and the strength to hold on.

She found herself smiling as she watched him and thought about how despite all the time they had, so few things had really changed. She still found him attractive, in some ways even more so than when they were younger. His youthful comeliness had long since given into a mature grace, and as she studied the lines of his jaw and fall of black hair, her fluttering heart thanked the aging process for being so good to her husband. Another thing that hadn't changed was his work ethic. He worked hard, and often, but his parenting didn't suffer at the expense of his job. She supposed it came from being raised by a single father in a high-profile career, who had to work unusual hours like this in order to succeed professionally and still make time for Nikolas and his sister. Long business trips and vanishing into the office right after dinner were the exception, not the rule, and he only did it as a last resort. And, from the beginning, they'd been experts at pushing each others' buttons. No one could infuriate Paterra like he could, and the same went for him. She'd never known love before Nikolas, but with it came insight into her own capacity for rage.

Yet, no matter how mad she was, spending a few reflective moments in his presence was all it took to make it go away.

http://i588.photobucket.com/albums/ss330/spaceysims/MTS/rndfour03.jpg

“When did you remember it was our anniversary?” Nikolas said without looking up, finally breaking the silence.

Paterra sighed and began walking toward him. “Halfway through stripping the flesh and tissue off the heat-dried bones to prepare the body for reassembly. You?”

An amused chuckle resonated through his closed lips before he gave his reply. “Same. Or, at least, that's what it felt like.”

Her hands found his shoulders and began to rub them. “Rough day?”

Nikolas moaned in gratitude and leaned back into the massage. “Toronto backed out. A Canadian company came in at the last minute and undercut us, and they accepted before we had a chance to counter.”

“They what?” she exclaimed. Her hands tightened involuntarily in shock, and when he jumped with the sudden pain, she muttered an apology and resumed the gentle rub. “Oh, Nika, what happened?”

“The board had the same question when I got in this morning. A few calls later, I found out about the other offer. It's an inferior product, but by the time they realize it, there will be no way to make back their losses if they were to replace it with ours down the road.”

“And what about your losses?”

“Significant. A few tweaks to the design and we may be able to get on board with a project the Air Force is putting together, but Northrop Grumman is preparing a pitch, too, and they've had a lot more time to get ready. This is going to be messy.” He covered her hands with his and squeezed them. “But this is not my first rodeo. It will be messy, but I know I'll make it through all the mess with you.”

She suddenly felt more guilty than usual about the traditional morning argument. And for her cooking. “I'm sorry, Nika.”

“Don't be. It's not like you had anything to do with it.” He picked one of her hands up and kissed it. “I'm sorry Toronto turned out to be such a waste, and that I was away from you and the kids for four days and have nothing to show for it.”

“No, I mean for this morning, and for the yiouvetsi.”

Nikolas looked over his shoulder and smiled at her. “Like I said, don't be. You have a lot on your mind, too, and the yiouvetsi isn't that bad.”

“You hate my Greek cooking.”

“But I love that you keep trying.” He pulled her into his lap and planted a kiss on her forehead. “And after twenty years, I've started to develop a taste for it.”

She smiled, but the joy brought on by his flirtation was short-lived. “Why do we do this to each other, Nika? What happened to us?”

“Nothing.” He gave a nonchalant shrug. “We've always been proud, stubborn, type-A personalities with sociopathic tendencies toward each other.”

“Mmm.” Paterra suddenly felt smug, as if she was suddenly another woman coming in to comfort this catch of a man whose wife didn't always appreciate him. To further rub it in the face of the woman she'd been before she walked through the door, she gave him a long, sensual kiss. “You truly are my other half.”

http://i588.photobucket.com/albums/ss330/spaceysims/MTS/rndfour04.jpg

“Let's go away next weekend. Just the two of us.”

This coming from the man who had forgotten their twentieth anniversary, but then again, so had she. Paterra wondered when Nikolas would remember that they had six children, high-stress careers, a mortgage, and a commitment to be at the archeology department's annual fundraising auction next weekend. But she didn't blame him for forgetting. They had that effect on each other. She'd forgotten her own name during their first kiss, and didn't remember it until he'd whispered it a few moments later. It was amazing to think another human being could have that effect on her. It was even more amazing to know that he still did.

She dodged the proposition with another kiss, then stood up and took his hand. “Come on. It's late.” In her mind, she added, But not THAT late.

He caught on to the hint of coyness in her tone and smiled in return. “Five more minutes, and I'll be at a stopping point.”

“Then I'll leave you to it. Don't keep me waiting.”

“As you wish.”

The day ended as it always did: with the reconnection and reaffirmation of their all-consuming love.




----------
Lines used:
Although work began at eight
Make it through all the mess with
So far things are going great

Ghost sdoj
5th May 2010, 10:37 PM
I like that entry!

I have text for my bonus round, but I play on Epic lifespans so I don't have pictures yet because unfortunately he's still a toddler... (I already stole 27 days from him by aging him up from a baby for the Round 4 picture. :( )

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Vyrias was lost in thought. It had been a long time since he had left the world in which he was born. He wondered if his father was still there, or if he had started wandering the realms again.

He remembered when his mother died and his father was left to raise him alone. Xar had tried to put him into an orphanage, but he transported himself back home with the light of the moon. Xar was furious, but he realized that it was too late for the orphanage after that.

"I was trying to give you the chance to fit into your world. There are lessons that you'll never learn from me. If you figure them out on your own, I hope you never use them. You are half mortal, and you would be considered a potent weapon by both faerie courts and humans if they saw your true potential. Your iron blood means you can easily kill faeries, and your magic makes it easy to kill mortals and demons. And since you are a half-breed, you would count as a changeling under any disputes. I was stained with a role that I don't want for you. You have light in you, and if you aren't careful, darkness quickly steals the light."

Vyrias was confused. "But I had dreams of being a great hero!"

Xar shook his head sadly. "Don't you see your dreams lie? They are illusion. You cannot risk becoming a warrior at all. There will always be someone stronger than you who will force you to fight for them."

"Is that what happened to you?"

Xar nodded. "Until they found out that I was happier with my art and my music and watching the mortals. And I don't belong anymore."

"But what if someone who is weaker than you needs someone to fight for them?"

Xar shrugged. "That's not my problem, is it?"

Vyrias simply nodded and walked into the house.


Several centuries later as he watched his partner handcuff the burglar they had just arrested, Vyrias wondered if his father ever would understand the answer to his question.











Ordinary Day: Don't you see your dreams lie

Pretty Baby: There are lessons that you'll never learn

A Thousand Miles: And I don't belong

Paradise: darkness quickly steals the light

Twilight: I was stained with a role

jewaukeela
6th May 2010, 11:07 PM
Wonderful! Good thing you both made it, although obviously no more entries. Just waiting on one more judge.

jewaukeela
8th May 2010, 2:22 AM
Results:

Ghost sdoj (267+10)
JUDGE ONE
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 13/15
Smooth incorporation of ye lyrics: 24/25
Original story: 23/25
Emotion: 20/25

JUDGE TWO
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 13/15
Smooth incorporation of ye lyrics: 24/25
Original story: 22/25
Emotion: 22/25

JUDGE THREE
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 13/15
Smooth incorporation of ye lyrics: 21/25
Original story: 20/25
Emotion: 22/25



Freelala(258+10)
JUDGE ONE
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 12/15
Smooth incorporation of ye lyrics: 23/25
Original story: 19/25
Emotion: 24/25

JUDGE TWO
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 14/15
Smooth incorporation of ye lyrics: 23/25
Original story: 24/25
Emotion: 24/25

JUDGE THREE
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 10/15
Smooth incorporation of ye lyrics: 19/25
Original story: 18/25
Emotion: 18/25


ForeverCamp (271+10)
JUDGE ONE
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 14/15
Smooth incorporation of ye lyrics: 25/25
Original story: 20/25
Emotion: 23/25

JUDGE TWO
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 12/15
Smooth incorporation of ye lyrics: 24/25
Original story: 22/25
Emotion: 22/25

JUDGE THREE
Followed rules: 10/10
Pictures: 14/15
Smooth incorporation of ye lyrics: 23/25
Original story: 21/25
Emotion: 21/25



ForeverCamp - Bonus (42)(
JUDGE ONE
Followed rules: 2/2
Pictures: 3/3
Smooth incorporation: 2/5
Original story: 3/5
Emotion: 4/5

JUDGE TWO
Followed rules: 2/2
Pictures: 2/3
Smooth incorporation: 4/5
Original story: 4/5
Emotion: 4/5

JUDGE THREE
Followed rules: 2/2
Pictures: 2/3
Smooth incorporation: 3/5
Original story: 3/5
Emotion: 2/5


Ghost sdoj - Bonus (37)
JUDGE ONE
Followed rules: 2/2
Pictures: 0/3
Smooth incorporation: 5/5
Original story: 4/5
Emotion: 1/5

JUDGE TWO
Followed rules: 2/2
Pictures: 0/3
Smooth incorporation: 4/5
Original story: 4/5
Emotion: 4/5

JUDGE THREE
Followed rules: 2/2
Pictures: 0/3
Smooth incorporation: 3/5
Original story: 3/5
Emotion: 3/5

jewaukeela
8th May 2010, 2:22 AM
:!::!::!::!:FINAL RESULTS:!::!::!::!:
First, with 836 points, Ghost sdoj!
Second, with 825 points, ForeverCamp!
Third, with 821 points, Freelala!

4th: Pixcii - 546
5th: easypeaze - 518
6th: redhead4ever6 - 507
7th: warouri2 - 446
8th: ghostgirl - 245
9th: hyghtyme - 241
10th: prosthetics - 239
11th: happyasabunny - 231

jewaukeela
8th May 2010, 3:42 AM
Congratulations everyone!

Prizes:
ghost sdoj - you get any and all sims 3 stuff you want
forevercamp, you get both dresses and your pick of the women (choose one)
freelala, you get both women and your pick of the dresses (choose one)
pixcii, you get one woman and one dress
easypease, you get all three patterns and all paintings, and your choice of the man or the house
redhead, you get all patterns, your choice of one painting, and your choice of the man or the house

everyone else, you may pick any one item.

Please PM me requesting which prizes you like. Again, congrats!

ForeverCamp
8th May 2010, 6:23 AM
Congrats to everybody for finishing the contest! This was FUN!

Ghost sdoj
8th May 2010, 3:07 PM
Congratulations to everybody. I agree with ForeverCamp. This was FUN! Thank you for hosting it, especially when things started falling apart for you.

I really didn't expect to do this well. I'm honored.

easypeaze
9th May 2010, 2:02 PM
Congrats Ghost! :beer: This was fun and I was disappointed when I was unable to finish, since it was the last round. Kudos to all of you who were able! Thank you jewaukeela for getting the contest forum going again.

jewaukeela
9th May 2010, 2:44 PM
Thanks again for all of your support guys; it's been really tough but I'm glad that at least one thing in my life didn't fall through. I'm going to lock it now, so make any last comments.

aba23
9th May 2010, 11:01 PM
It was also fun to read all these stories!

The contest idea was great Jewa, hope you will be back with another great idea soon.

And my sympathy for whatever happened to you and your family - hope you get through it.