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Your Sim in My Story!

A while back I put out a call for extras and got some fantastic sims in response. For those of you who were kind enough to provide me with sims to use, keep an eye out because you’ll start to see them in the story. There’s a few in Chapter 26 and some more in the upcomming chapters.
Can you spot them?
Also I’ve downloaded some sims of characters from one of my favourite fandoms. They’ve gone through a bit of a makeover, but keep an eye out and see if you can spot them too!

Thank you all again for the support you’ve shown towards me in the writing of this story. I hope it doesn’t dissapoint!

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Posted by on 11th April, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Ask the Author

I thought I’d open up this post to any questions people have. About my story, about me, about the world the story is set in, anything you like. I might not answer all the questions but feel free to ask away!

I might use them to write an about me page or I might make a post with some answers. Maybe no one has any questions but if you do this is your chance to ask them!

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Posted by on 28th March, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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A Report to a supervisor

Interview request approved. Proprietress unavailable but 2IC willing to meet at 1500 tomorrow.

 
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Posted by on 22nd March, 2013 in Future's Present Extras!

 

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Chapter Twenty-Three: Francesca Cooper

Author’s Note: Please excuse the random costume change near the end of this chapter. I had to use reset sim and didn’t notice it changed her clothing until a few days ago!

Chap23-01

I soon begun to understand the natural order of things downstairs. We all had our set jobs, but if you were busy you’d pass some work, naturally your most disliked chores, down to the next person beneath you in the hierarchy.

Of course, Frankie and I were right at the bottom.

Chap23-02

We washed plates, we scrubbed pots, we polished floors, we kept the fires in the kitchen going and a hundred things besides.

Chap23-03 Chap23-03a Chap23-03b

The work soon reinforced what I’d learned the day I’d cleaned the art room with Jo, Henri and Marjorie in what seemed to be another life; cleaning wasn’t hard, but it was hard work. Frankie sometimes helped with the rooms upstairs, but I never ventured into what I now had to call “a young lady’s room”. I think this was partly because they didn’t want me talking to my old friends and partly because I was far too low down now to be considered suitable for a “young lady’s room.” Even Frankie was only considered fit for the younger girl’s rooms and only when absolutely necessary.

Chap23-04

We didn’t even take our meals in the kitchen with the other servants. We, the lowest of the low, ate on a little table in the scullery.

Chap23-05

There was a lot to learn, and not just about the work. I had to lean new ways of behaving and speaking to people. To eat fast when we had our paltry meals rather than to take dainty bites in between conversation. I even had to look at people different. I saw almost nothing if my classmates at first and never got the chance to speak to any of them. I began to understand how Frankie, having spent most of her life in the scullery, didn’t know how to speak to us “young ladies” when she first came. Frankie tried to be as patient as she could in teaching me everything but I earned more than one cuff about the ear from Mrs Roberts. That was another thing new to me.

Within a week my dress was no longer tight. The hard work aside, I wasn’t eating half what I used to. If we were late for meals, even if it was because our work had kept us, then we didn’t eat and there was no kind servant to sneak you up a feast to your bedroom.

Chap23-06

One day Frankie and I were almost finished the entrance hall floor when Mariah and Valerie happened to walk by. It was the first time I’d seen either of them since… since my world had turned upside down and inside out.

Chap23-07

“I don’t know what’s happened to the standard of domestic help.” Mariah said in a voice that carried to us. “It’s dropped dramatically of late.” I ducked my head so she couldn’t see my face reddening.

Chap23-08

“Just ignore her.” Frankie muttered out of the corner of her mouth.

“Trying too.” I muttered back.

Chap23-09

“I say, you two missed a spot all the way over here. Come clean it at once.” Mariah demanded.

Chap23-10

“Just do as she says and don’t argue back.” Frankie whispered to me as we stood. “She’ll tire of it eventually.”

So she did. Unfortunately for us she tired of it after we’d redone almost the entire hall.

Naturally we were late to our lunch and had to set about our afternoon chores with grumbling stomachs.

Some days there was a lot of work to be done in the afternoons. Other days there was more, and this was one of those other days. The range wasn’t drawing well and and it was all hands to the pump getting the evening meals out on time meaning our usual miserable supper took the form of a few hurried mouthfuls of hard bread and cheese.

Chap23-11

We climbed the stairs that evening, long after every one else was abed. My back ached, my knees were rough and sore, my hands were red and blistered and felt like they’d never be soft again.

Chap23-12

“Tell me it gets better.” I said as Frankie and I wound up the rickety stairs to our little attic room.”

“I could.” She said. “But…”

She didn’t need to finish. It didn’t get better. Was this my life now? How had it come to this? I thought of every time I’d turned my nose up at food. The scone that had broken, the slightly mushy berries, the fatty bit of the meat and a million other times besides. The times where I could have, should have been in bed but laid awake or lit my lamp to get an extra half-hours reading. Oh, what wouldn’t I do for an extra half hour sleep a night, a broken scone, some mushy berries and the fatty bit of the meat.

Frankie had some salt and grains squirreled away in our room for emergencies. If we were very, very hungry, we could cook little hard, flat, tasteless biscuits on the hearthstones. We didn’t want to do this too often as we could only take supplies, including firewood, up in small amounts when it wouldn’t be noticed and Frankie wanted to stockpile a good supply for winter.

Chap23-13

We reached our room and I collapsed on our bed.

“I’m too hungry to sleep and I’m too sleepy to try cooking something.” I said. Our fire was, of course, unlit and after lighting it we’d have to wait for it to be hot enough to cook anything.

Chap23-14

“Well, you can start by changing into your night dress. That dress will be fit for nothing in the mornin’ if you sleep in it!”

Chap23-15

I sighed and sat up. She was right of course, and we still had to clean our aprons and collars. We had two apiece but if we were to venture out of the scullery then clean ones had to be donned. This meant that any dirt had to be cleaned off at night and left to dry for the next day.

Chap23-16

We changed into our nightdresses and I set to work washing our collars and spot cleaning our aprons and Frankie worked on the fire.

We were both too exhausted to talk so when the stairs beneath us creaked under a footstep we both heard it clearly.

“What was that?” Frankie whispered. Was someone coming to check on us? Would we get in trouble for our fire? Would our pilfered food be found?

Chap23-17

I made my way to the edge of the stairwell and looked down. Four points of white light looked up at me.

“Bobbie, is that you?”

“Jo!”

Chap23-18 Chap23-19

It was! She reached the top of the stairs and I threw my arms around her. Henri too.

“You have no idea how happy I am to see you two!” I said.

Chap23-20

“I’ve been wanting to come up every night.” Jo said. “We only worked up the courage tonight, but look, we’ve come bearing gifts!” Jo opened a large handkerchief with a selection of goodies inside. Biscuits, fruit and a tin of sweets. “The sweets are from Henri.” Jo said. “But I promise the next I get I’ll save for you!”

Frankie and I saved our grains and feasted on fruit and biscuits. Jo and Henri waited until we’d finished eating before they talked.

“I thought you might be hungry.” Jo said. “I can’t imagine you get as good dinners below stairs as we do upstairs.”

“You have no idea.” I said.

Chap23-21

“But now the important news.” Henri said. “I’ve written to my brother, I don’t know where to reach my parents right now. I’ve told him everything about it and I know he’s far away at the moment but he knows people, so he might be able to help.”

Chap23-22

“And I’ve written to Michael, the very night everything happened, in my bed by the light of a candle. I put blankets against the door so the light didn’t show underneath it because Miss Jane was prowling like anything! I didn’t even wait to put it in the school post at breakfast, I got up early and placed it in Glady’s hand when she came in the morning and she made sure it made the first post. I’ve had a reply already. He says that our home is out of quarantine, has been for almost a week, can you fancy that? Nobody ever told me, I should think they would have! I’ve written home today and between Mother and Father and Henri’s brother and her parents, when we reach them, we’ll sort something out. Things are not right and we’ll fix them, for you too Frankie.”

Chap23-23

“What can you fix for me?” Frankie asked. “Do you know of another position?”

“No.” Henri said.  “But I wrote to my brother when the mailboat strike ended and I had a reply the other day. I mentioned you—”

“But why?”

Chap23-24

“Because you’re not registered with the agency and you should be as they protect you and make sure you receive proper wages and days off and get treated right. Don’t worry, he won’t say anything about you to anyone, but he says to hold tight for now and he asked me a few questions which I answered in my last letter—”

“Including what your name could be.” Jo cut in.

Chap23-25

“My name…?”

“Yes.”

Chap23-26

“Really?” I sat forward.

“My name’s Frankie!” Frankie said. “Short for Francesca.”

Chap23-27

“But you don’t know your last name.” Henri said.

“Don’t have one.”

“Yes you do. Everyone does. My brother said a baby born on a big estate to unknown parent will be given the name of the estate or sometimes the family that own it instead of the name of he father. Sort of like you belong to the state.”

“So you are either Francesca Cooper or Francesca Braklesie. Probably.”

“Francesca Cooper.” Frankie said. “You thought she was the daughter of the Coopers’. I thought she didn’t exist. Is it me, and if so, how and why?”

“Maybe.” Henri said. “Maybe you’re Francesca Braklesie-”

Chap23-28

But Frankie was shaking her head. “I’m older than Braklesie estate. When the Coopers moved there it was just the Coopers’ winter house. It didn’t have a name until they decided to stay there.”

Chap23-29

“Francesca Cooper.”  Said. “I like thinking you have a real name.”

Chap23-30

“Yes, well, my brother says don’t do or say anything, just sit tight and he’ll investigate what he can without making too much noise and I think Bobbie will have to do the same. Lady D’Winter hasn’t registered you, has she?” She asked me.

“I don’t know.”

“Well, then, I think you’d know if she had. We’ll see what my brother says, we shouldn’t cause any trouble because we don’t want things getting worse for you.”

“I don’t know that they could.” I said. “But tonight they’ve sure got better!”

Chap23-31

“Well, that’s something. Now Jo and I should get back to bed, I don’t know what will happen if we’re caught up here!”

Chap23-32

“We’ll keep you posted.” Jo said. “We’re doing everything we can and you just need to keep strong.” She threw her arms about me.

“Thank you.” I said. “We need to get to bed too, we wake up even earlier than you do!”

“Goodness, do you really?” Jo said.

“Who do you think brings the wood in in the morning?” I asked. “Tomas chops it but I have to carry it into the house.”

Chap23-33

“Well I never.” Jo said. “That just won’t do at all. No wonder you were so hungry! I imagine carrying wood is hungry work!”

Chap23-34

“Jo, lets go!” Henri said and Frankie and  I watched as the two wound their way back down the stairs.

Chap23-35

“Oh! I forgot” Jo ran back up. “I know how much you like reading, so I brought you this!” She thrust a book into my hands then caught up with Henri waiting for her at the bottom of the stairs. Soon I heard the sound of the door below softly close.

Chap23-36

I looked down at the book in my hands. It was a poetry book. One of mine, but not one I’ve read much I opened it randomly and read.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

— Dylan Thomas

I didn’t recognise the poet’s name.

I flipped to the front page and saw the inscription.

To Darling Roberta, many wishes on her second birthday. With lots of love from the entire Cooper family.

Of course, another present from the Coopers. Strange thing to give a toddler a book of poetry. I closed the book and put it beside our bed.

Chap23-37

I thought I’d never sleep that night, but as soon as my head touched the (rather lumpy) pillow my exhaustion took over.

 
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Posted by on 20th March, 2013 in Future's Present

 

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A Report to a supervisor

Extra training on dress, customs and manners have been successful in assimilating to the local culture. Have requested interview with the proprietress of the suspected local and am awaiting confirmation. Have purchased clothing so to blend in better than when in clothing issued by HQ. Shirts, vest, ties and the various trinkets necessary were easy to obtain. A suit is made for each man on request and there is a whole profession devoted to this task! This requires leaving an identity, location and other personal data which is not possible. I have purchased a suit from a shop which sells those once worn by others to avoid this issue. I include the invoice

 
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Posted by on 16th March, 2013 in Future's Present Extras!

 

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Chapter Twenty-Two: A New Dawn

Author’s Note: Yay! It’s here! Part two at last! Thank you all for your patience. I hope it’s worth the wait!

I was given a day’s grace.

But I don’t remember it.

Chap22-01

The first think I remember after tumbling into the small bed I shared with Frankie that fateful night was her shaking me awake.

“It’s too early.” I moaned.

“Come on Bobbie, you can’t be still tired.”

“What time is it?”

“Just gone half four but there’s plenty to be done.”

Half past four! What sort of an hour was that?

Chap22-02

“Still tired.”

“Oh but you can’t be! You slept all last night and all yesterday and all the night before.

“It’s not tomorrow?”

“It’s the day after tomorrow, you didn’t have to work yesterday but there will be no excuses today. You’re over rested, that’s what it is.”

Chap22-03

“What’s over rested?” I sat up slowly and rubbed my eyes.

“It’s when you get so much sleep it makes you even tireder. The only thing to do then is to set about being busy and that will wake you up. Being busy works for grief too, that’s what Mrs Roberts says. Nothin’ like hard work to take the troubles off our mind. Come on, here’s some water, wash quickly then dress and I’ll show you about your work.”

Chap22-04

I padded over to the bowl of water and had flung a good amount over my face before I registered it was cold. I let out an involuntary shriek.

“Whatever is the matter?” Frankie asked.

Chap22-05

“It’s cold!” I said.

Chap22-06

“Well, of course it is, we don’t have time to warm it, unless you want to get up even earlier tomorrow. Come on!”

I hurried myself and was soon dressed.

Frankie showed me down to the cellar where the coal was kept. She showed me the coal hole it came through when the coal man came. She showed me the copper and the range. She even tried to be patient with me. Even in summer there were fires to be lit and things to be warmed up.

Chap22-07

Frankie left me with the fires in the scullery while she ran up to rouse Gladys and Dorcus— it was only a quarter past five but it seemed we were running late already! Though the fires in the bedrooms weren’t routinely lit in summer we were still required to supply each with fresh wood and kindling. The older girls were especially fond of brewing tea or cocoa in their rooms. It was usually Gladys’ job to take it into the rooms but not her job to bring it into the house, so I was sent out for it.

Chap22-08

I found Tomas at the woodshed already.

Chap22-09

“Mornin’ Miss. First day at work then?”

“Yes. I’ve been sent out for wood.”

Chap22-10

“Right you are. Now I’m not supposed to go traipsing into the house but I can help ye as far as the door, what do you say to that?”

Chap22-11

“Thank you.” I said, because what else was there to say?

Chap22-12 Chap22-13

Tomas helped me to the door and I hauled the wood inside on my own and stacked it up ready for Gladys to take upstairs.

Chap22-14

Frankie and I then went into the scullery where we began laying things out for the breakfast preparation. The growling in my stomach reminded me I hadn’t eaten yet. When did we get to eat? Surely even servants had to eat sometime.

Chap22-15

“Now who hasn’t put the water on yet?” I lifted my at the unfamiliar voice.

Chap22-16

“Sorry Mrs Roberts.” Frankie said, rushing to fill a large kettle.

Chap22-17

“And who might you be?” Mrs Roberts asked me.

“Bobbie.” I answered.

Chap22-18

“Bobbie, Mrs Roberts.” She corrected me. “And who said you’re to be called Bobbie? What’s it’s all coming to I don’t know.”

I didn’t know either but I refrained from asking what was it all and just answered.

Chap22-19

“Yes Mrs Roberts. I— no one said, it’s just what I’m called. Short for Roberta—”

Chap22-20

“We had a Bobbie below stairs once. A boy. It doesn’t suit. You’ll be known as Bertha below stairs. Are all the preserves laid out? Have they all their spoons? Yes, then best take them up.”

“I’ll show you where to go.” Frankie offered while I just gaped. Who was she to call me Bertha? “She doesn’t know yet, Mrs Roberts.”

“I daresay she doesn’t.”

I’m Bobbie!” I said as we made our way through the servant’s hallway with the jams and honey and all manner of yummy things.

“You don’t alway get called your name below stairs.”

“Really? How horrid!”

“Didn’t you ever wonder why you never get a servant named something fancy?”

“Well, no, but… Bertha!”

Chap22-21

“You best mind Mrs R.” Frankie said “Hand in hand with her ladyship she is.”

“She made shortbread for me my first day here.”

“And any day since?”

“Well, no…”

“There you go then. I’ll wager it was just to impress your parents.”

Chap22-22

My stomach dropped. My parents. I hadn’t spared them a thought all morning. They’d just been torn from my life, would I forget them so soon?

“Oh, I’m sorry Bobbie— I mean Bertha, but we have to keep moving. Keeping busy will be good for you too!”

“Can’t you call me Bobbie?” I asked as we hurried back to the kitchen. “At least when no one else is around to hear.”

“Well, if it helps. Just when no one else is around, mind!”

Chap22-23

We reached the kitchen at the same time as Gladys.

“Is the water boiling yet? I need to make some tea.”

“Oh I’d love a cup ducky.” Mrs Roberts said.

“Not for you, for Miss Jane and her Ladyship!”

“Gladys always wakes them up with a cup of tea.” Frankie explained to me.

“When do we get breakfast?” I asked Frankie, but it was Mrs Roberts that answered.

Chap22-24

“When you get it is if you’re lucky.” She said. “But if you make me a cuppa then you can have one yourself.

Unfortunatly Gladys was already on her way out with her tea and I’d missed seeing her make it. I looked at Frankie.

“Oh Bo— Bertha, tell me you at least know how to make tea!”

Chap22-25

“I know how to pour it!” I said.

Chap22-26

It turned out that making tea was easy so it didn’t take Frankie long to show me.

“I thought it was more complicated than that!” I wined as she laughed at me.

“Is that tea ready yet?” Mrs Roberts asked.

“Yes Mrs Roberts.” I answered.

Chap22-27

Mrs Roberts took her tea with lemon so I had mine black, not daring to ask for milk as there wasn’t any on the kitchen table.

There was a knock at the kitchen door.

“Frankie, that will be the baker with the bread, would you see to him?”

“But it’s Saturday Mrs Roberts, you’ll need to fix up the bill.”

“Blast, and so I will!” Mrs Roberts sighed as she made her way to see to the baker.

“Mrs Roberts bakes the bread in the cooler months.” Frankie explained to me. “But she says it’s a waste of coal to bake it when it’s warmer.”

Gladys came rushing into the kitchen.

Chap22-28

“Oh that Dorcus Dun!” she said, wiping her brow. “Frankie, can you lay out the napery and crockery for breakfast? You best take Bobbi with you, it goes faster with two.” She patted some creases out of her apron. “Oh blast!” Her hand dove into her pocket. “I’ll be back.” She said. “I forgot to take this to Miss Jane!”

“What is it?” Mrs Roberts asked.

“That gentleman’s card, the one wanted interview with her ladyship, she said to pass it onto Miss Jane as she didn’t have time. I were meant to leave it with her tea this mornin’!” Gladys shook her head then she was off again.

“Come on.” Frankie said.

“But I haven’t finished my tea yet!”

“Then drink faster!”

“But it’s hot.” With no milk to cool it, it was still very hot.

“Then pour it into your saucer.”

“I beg your pardon?”

Frankie showed me how to pour my tea into my saucer to cool and I giggled as I slurped it down. Then we were off once more. Laying a tablecloth is a bit like putting a sheet on a bed, only it’s a lot longer. We each took and end and shook it out and soon got it in place. Then the napkins the cutlery. The preserves We’d taken up before sat waiting on the sideboard and we added a stack of plates beside them.

Chap22-29

Back to the kitchen and it was all a bother and a hurry with eggs to be cooked, bacon to be fried and bread to be toasted.

Chap22-30 Chap22-31

I had spoons thrust into my hands with an order to “stir that” and taken out just as abruptly with a “oh, it’ll be quicker to do it meself”.

After the breakfast went up we had to clean up the mess we made, by which time the dishes upstairs were ready to come back to the kitchen and the tables needed to be cleared. The good part about having to bring the dishes downstairs is what wouldn’t be kept for later, we could eat. I had a breakfast of cold toast and eggs and it was the best breakfast I’d ever had in my life.

Chap22-32 Chap22-33

After breakfast, the work started again. There was the rest of the dishes to be washed.

Chap22-34

There were floors to be scrubbed and banisters to be polished and all manner of things to be dusted.

Chap22-35

By night time we trudged up the stairs and through the corridors to our little attic room and fell into our small bed exhausted.

Chap22-36

And thus followed every morning and so continued every day.

 
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Posted by on 13th March, 2013 in Future's Present

 

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Part two– Less than 24 Hours Away!

That’s right folks, part two is less than 24 hours away.  I’m working on chapter 26 at the moment so I’m where I want to be schedule-wise. I wonder if the next four chapters will take you where you think they’re going!

Screenshot-150

 

Screenshot-214

 
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Posted by on 13th March, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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