Saturday, July 23, 2011

Chapter 1: Hard Knock Life

Dakota West curls up tightly, trying to fit her tall figure onto this short bench. The morning sunlight beats down on her, bright and early, but she sleeps soundly despite it's scathing glare. As the world around her awakens and prepares for the upcoming day, Dakota's dreams turn to her past, to a place she once visited. Although she was but a small child at the time, she vividly recalls the house's every detail, from the glow of it's soft pink exterior to the chill on the faces of the porcelain dolls delicately displayed inside. She remembers her cautious excitement, the thrill of feeling like she was coming home for the first time. However, the beauty of the house quickly fades in her dream, replaced by darkness, and her joyful anticipation turns into painful disappointment. 

"They don't want you," a hollow voice tells her. And then, as the social worker takes her hand and leads her childhood self out of the house, the overwhelming feeling of loneliness returns once again. 

It's a memory that continues to haunt Dakota. Like a mosquito that just won't quit biting, it taunts her, forever validating her insecurities. It was her one chance at being adopted, for having a real family, and she ruined it.

Dakota wakes up slowly, pushing aside the pain and bitterness. She has a busy day ahead of her, and she isn't about to waste anymore time sleeping on this cold, hard bench.

As Dakota begins her lengthy walk into town, she remembers the long journey it took to get to this point. As soon as she turned 18, she left her foster home and took to the road. She knew her beat up old car wouldn't last forever, but she figured that she would settle down wherever she happened to be when it kicked the bucket. Unfortunately for Dakota, it died halfway to nowhere, the closest anywhere being the small town of Riverblossom Hills. She resorted to hitch hiking for the last fifty miles, arriving at the diner yesterday night just before dawn. With only a few short miles to go, Dakota decided she needed to rest up before walking the remaining distance to town. That is how she ended up sleeping on a park bench.

Dakota stops for a minute to look around at the countryside.

She frowns as she puts her hand on her hip. "I'm a long way from civilization," she mutters. "Whoever created the term 'middle-of-nowhere' must have been talking about Riverblossom Hills," she sighs.

As she trudges onward, Dakota considers her plans for the future. She yearns to become a famous artist and create grand masterpieces. She longs for the day that people will take her artwork seriously and quit telling her that she needs to get a "real" job. But without any formal training as a painter, she fears she may never get proper recognition in the art world.

A couple of hours later, Dakota strolls into downtown Riverblossom. She sees the library nearby so she decides to check it out. 

"Surely someone inside knows of a place I can stay," she thinks to herself.

She wanders into the small building, and the first person she sees is green. No, not with envy, but with actual pigmentation. The woman peaks Dakota's interest, so she immediately goes over and introduces herself.

Her name is Rose Greenman, and she is a long time resident of Riverblossom Hills. The two begin chatting, and it isn't long before Dakota launches into the heart of the matter: Benches are ridiculously uncomfortable places to sleep.

She explains that she needs to find some place to live. And fast. 

It is Dakota's lucky day! One of Rose's old school mates recently moved away, and her home is now unoccupied. It's sparsely furnished and only has one bedroom, but it is affordable and move-in-ready (well, kind of).

Dakota immediately buys the property, sight unseen. Vacant houses are a rarity in Riverblossom, and Dakota does not want to spend anymore time sleeping on park benches.

When she arrives on the lot, she decides she quite likes the house. It is small, but there is room for expansion. And she adores the flower garden.

The next day, Dakota decides that she wants to see more of Riverblossom Hills, so she heads down to the local dive bar, the Red Shed.

The man sitting at the bar catches her eye right away. Dakota discovered long ago that men find her incredibly attractive, and she quite enjoys toying with them. She mostly just finds their antics hilarious, but Dakota is not above using a man as the means to an end. In her opinion, men constantly use women (for their bodies, their connections, their money, etc.), so it is only right that she return the favor. Besides, flirting is fun.

"Hi there sexy," she purrs.  Dakota has flirted a time or two before and knows her way around a pick up line.

"Well, hello," the man says, his eyes widening as he looks Dakota up and down. "I haven't seen you around here before."

"No, you wouldn't have, sweetie." She bats her eyelashes and smiles shyly. "I'm new."

"Excellent," he says, giving her his best smoldering, macho-man smile. "I'm Sue." His masculine demeanor doesn't falter once, despite admitting to having a girl's name.

Always on her game, Dakota doesn't hesitate. "Sue... What an interesting name for a young man," she says, keeping her face straight and her eyes locked on his. "I quite like it," she whispers huskily. "My name's Dakota."

They spend the whole night dancing together, and before they part ways Sue promises that he will show Dakota around town next weekend. 

"And if you get tired of touring Riverblossom," he adds with a wink, "I'll be happy to give you a tour of my place." He grins at her, expectantly. "If you get my drift, sweetheart." 

It is all Dakota can do to keep from rolling her eyes, but she manages to fake a giggle.

The next night, Dakota heads back to the same bar. The mixologist makes good drinks. Even better, they're cheap.

She orders a Big Mistake from the mixologist wearing a Speedo for pants. She thought it was fitting.

As she sips the beverage, she notices that the man at the other end of the bar is staring at her. Intently.

They make eye contact, and he quickly turns away, embarrassed. 

The rainbow colored liquid is extremely potent. Dakota is normally very aware of herself and her actions, but tonight she feels different. Tonight, she decides to let loose a little.

She jumps out of her bar stool and hits the dance floor. Dakota grabs the first person she sees- an old man named Rory with a spectacular mohawk. He actually seems to enjoy himself, and they spend the next hour "getting jiggy with it" (Rory's words).

After Rory leaves, Dakota finds her next victim. She begins jabbering away to the man that was staring at her earlier, babbling on and on about conspiracy theories. He doesn't seem to mind too much, letting her explain about the radioactive garbage that is going to come alive and overtake planet Earth.

Dakota then decides she needs to prove how "radical" she really is.

"Dude," she says. "I dare you to dare me to eat a handful of dirt off the floor."

"Gross, no way," he responds. 

"Don't you think I'll do it?!" she asks him intensely. "Cause, I'll totally do it!"

"No, it's not that..." he trails off. It's too late. She already reached down and grabbed a fistful of god-only-knows-what off the floor of the Red Shed. 

(The following sequence of picture portrays the series of events.)

"Now you think I'm rad, right?" she asks the stranger. 

For the next few hours, she submits the poor guy to her wacky behavior. Between her peculiar rants about the government poisoning the food supply and her long-winded lectures explaining the physics of teleportation, she learns his name is Phillip Grapevine and that he works in Riverblossom as a farmer.

After a while, Dakota begins to feel ill. All she wants to do is go home. She rode her bike to the bar this afternoon, but she doesn't think she will be able to ride it home.

Phillip frowns. "I'll make sure you get home," he say, his eyes serious.

"Philly," she replies, using the nickname she came up with while she was drunk. "You don't have to do that. I'll manage."

"No," he says firmly. "I'll take you." He has been awfully patient with her all evening, but she just figured it was because he lacked any sort of backbone. She honestly didn't think he had it in him to disagree with her.

They sit silently next to each other in the back of the taxi, the only noise coming from the road. Dakota's buzz has almost completely worn off, leaving her tired and cranky. All she can think about is the searing pain coming from her temples. 

Phillip focuses his eyes on the back of the seat in front of him. He knows that it is way past midnight, and he has to be up at the crack of dawn to care for his plants. He doesn't mind though. He just likes being next to her, close enough to smell her faint scent.

Challenge Notes:

So welcome to my first ever Sims 3 blog! If you are reading this, then I'm assuming you managed to get through my extremely long and disjointed first chapter. Congratulations! You officially win the trophy for the most patient reader... Yay!

I know some stuff doesn't make sense yet, but it will. I really wanted to use this chapter to kind of introduce you to my characters and give you a little background information. Chapter 2 should be much more concise and explain a few more things. Although, I must warn you that if you plan on reading my stuff, I have a tendency to overwrite... if that makes sense. I don't write short chapters, and I probably never will. If you think that I wrote too much for one chapter, then please leave a comment and say so. Feedback is not only welcome but appreciated!

So enough with that boring crap. Let's talk about the challenge! I am partaking in the Random Legacy Challenge. I won't launch into a full explanation of what that means here, but if you are interested you should definitely check it out. Here is a description of the challenge and all it's rules: The Random Legacy Challenge. There is also an ongoing discussion about the challenge, which can be found here: The Random Legacy Discussion Thread.

I am playing this legacy in Riverblossom Hills, a beautiful neighborhood created by Kiwi Tea from Mod the Sims. If you are interested in downloading this world, it can be found at this link: Riverblossom Hills.

Anyway, here is a little information about my first generation.

Generation 1 Information:

Founder- Dakota West
Marital Status- Single Parent with Help
Number of Children- 1
Heir- First Born
Primary Income- Artist
Secondary Income- Farmer
Generation Goal- Hobby, or Obsession?
Miscellaneous Fun- Homemade

So, you can probably already tell who my "help" is going to be. I decided to only create a single sim in CAS, instead of also creating the "help". I think it will be more interesting this way, at least I hope so.

As for the whole scene in the bar, I have honestly never experimented with mixology or even drinking the concoctions, but when I saw the drink titled "The Big Mistake" I knew I had to try it. Her "buzz" cracked me up! She kept autonomously going over to Rory McGreggor (the geezer with the mohawk) and "dancing wildly". Also, she had a few new social interactions during her intoxication related to various traits, such as "Speak Madness" and "Catch Anything?" (both from the insane trait) and "Watch This" (a daredevil characteristic). It was so funny.

Ok, ok. So I technically broke the rules by letting her drink at the bar. I know homemade states that everything has to be homemade, but in my defense it is the only drink she is ever going to get. It fit perfectly in the scene, and besides all her craziness she didn't see any benefit out of it.

For her generation goal (Hobby, or Obsession?), I am going to make her a club hopper/social butterfly. She needs to spend at 5+ hours a week at bars/clubs. And I am going to make her go on one date/outing a week in addition to making at least one new friend a week.

I decided to copy a few of my fellow challengers (hope y'all don't mind) and use a song title as my chapter title. I won't make a habit of it, but I thought it was cute. It comes from the musical "Annie". It's that number when all the little orphan children break into song about their "hard knock life." I found it extremely appropriate and when I was trying to think of a song title it popped into my head first thing.

That is all I have to say for now, but I sincerely hope you enjoyed my first chapter. I will repeat my earlier sentiment: All comments are welcome and appreciated, from the good to the bad and ugly. Thanks!


  1. Great start, Buckley. I love Dakota, she looks like she'll be a lot of fun.
    And I'm really enjoying seeing all the original Riverblossom Hills inhabitants again (I'm on Gen 7, so they are all long gone in my legacy)
    Looking forward to Chapter 2!

  2. Great job! I really enjoyed reading your writing. I also really like Dakota. I love that she's so independent and funny too. Phillip is just too sweet, I hope Dakota doesn't break his heart.

    Can't wait for the second chapter!

  3. Thanks guys! I'm glad you like it so far.

  4. Great start! I really enjoyed it.

    Side note, I never noticed the green in Rory's hair, even though he featured in Melissa's legacy.

  5. Hehe, poor Phil. He's just an innocent farmer. She's too sophisticated for the lad. ;)

  6. Just started reading your legacy. :D I love the first pic, couldn't stop staring at it! I really enjoyed Dakota's background story, it made her more of a "real" character. And lol, it seems Phillip will have his hands full dealing with Dakota's antics.