I think it goes without saying that after dad discovered what I had done to his book draft, I was in the biggest trouble I had ever been in.
I hid up in the top floor of the lighthouse for quite some time to allow his temper to cool down. Not that dad would hurt me or anything. On hindsight, it really was wrong to do what I did. I know that. But what also was wrong, was hiding in an all glass room where I could be seen from everywhere.
I thought that it would give me a good vantage point to see everything that was going on. I never thought my parents would think of looking there first. Of course, letting Sophie see where I went probably wasn’t the wisest thing to do either. I thought she would just stay up there with me, but she didn’t. I was found in no time and my punishment began.
I was ordered to sit at the table and listen.
My parents told me that my behaviour was getting out of hand. They said I needed some perspective and the only way that was going to happen, was through hard work, and putting some distance between me and the horses. I protested heartily!“I really don’t see what is the big deal. Its not like I deleted dad’s book. I mean all he had to do was highlight and delete my journal entry. ”
“That isn’t the point and you know it! It’s the fact that you did it at all. You didn’t delete my book, that is true, but you could have or really messed it up.”
“But I didn’t!” I replied.
“Jin Charles Bell, I have had enough of this new found attitude. Ever since we moved to the island, it’s like you have become a different boy. Well that is going to change! You’ve just earned yourself three days grounding. Be prepared to work and work hard.
It always started with the chickens, feeding and collecting the eggs. I took my annoyance out on Charles, asking him all kinds of dumb questions that put him in a bad mood.
The beds were always on the list, first mine, then my parents.
Then I had to feed the horses, but I was not allowed to play with Boots or give her any extra attention. I was allowed to say good morning to her, but that was it. I could see that she was sad without me and that gave me another reason to be mad at dad.
While I was doing the ‘hard work’ as dad put it,
‘ It’s all my fault I’m grounded ‘ blah blah blah.
‘ The only person I should be mad at is myself ‘, blah blah blah.
Whatever! I really don’t think what I did is cause to treat me like a cleaning lady! Now I was also mad at mom.
Mom had taken over feeding Socks twice a day.
‘ What happened to not liking mom?! I guess all it takes it popping a bottle in your mouth and you’re their new best friend! ‘
I have to say that kind of hurt, but I promised myself I wasn’t going to cry. I will not cry! So I took all that emotion and poured it into the two hours of dance I’m supposed to do in the afternoon.
Mom and dad said that practicing dance would teach me discipline. To me, dance was just fun so I didn’t see how this was punishment. I was actually getting pretty good!
I figured in no time, I would be leaping across the floor like I was flying! If only I could keep my balance without holding onto the bar.
I decided I was going to be a solo dancer; none of this dancing with girls. Besides, living on an isolated island, what girls would be around to dance with anyway?
After dance, I still had my regular studies to do for the day, although mom had dropped it down to one subject each day, or else I would have been up till midnight!
While I was busy doing all this cleaning and learning, dad took over keeping an eye on the horses, and made me mad all over again. He completely broke his word. All the time he told me to stay away from the big horses. They are wild horses Jin, he had said and you can’t trust wild horses. They are not pets Jin, he had said. You need to give them space, he said.
Soooo what does that make them then dad? I was steaming mad! But, I didn’t do anything that was going to extend my grounding, even though I really, really wanted to! So NOT fair!
On my third day of grounding I was listening to the radio while practicing my dancing, when the weather report came on. They were talking about a really bad storm coming our way and used the phrase tropical disturbance. I didn’t know what a tropical disturbance was so I looked it up on the computer. I had no idea there were storms like this! The more I read about hurricanes the more scared I became. Even a category one storm could do damage to homes or even kill people. I got really worried and decided to talk to my mom about it.
I asked her if she had heard about the weather. She said she had but she really didn’t think it would come as far out as we were.
“Please mom! We need to do something for the horses! We need to keep them safe.”
“What do you think we should do then.”
“Oh Jin. I’m sorry honey but you are talking to the wrong person. You need to go and talk to your father and if I were you, I would start with an apology for the computer incident. I would also suggest that you MEAN IT!” she said giving me that mother look.
“Good, then I suggest you tell him that!”
“Couldn’t you maybe ask him about the barn?” I asked.
Mom chuckled and gave me a hug.
Turns out that when I went to find dad he was already clearing a spot for the barn. He had heard about the storm too. He had to clear away quite a bit of the back hill to fit the size of barn we needed for three horses. He said perhaps the deer would want to take shelter in the barn too. He told me he had decided to build a two storey barn, so that we could do all our messy stuff like sculpting in the barn. He also said, he thought perhaps an inventing table of some sort would be a good idea too, but he was still thinking about it.
The horses were quite happy to go into the barn to get out of the storm. All but Socks, who wanted to enter the house because she was scared of the wind. But dad put her in her pen and there she stayed till morning. It rained all the following day and dad wouldn’t let me go outside, so I took advantage of playing on my indoor playground! First time I had done it since I first saw it.
It was a lot of fun and it turns out that the teeter totter worked for adults too!
It was a good day………… till night came.
They flashed in the sky for about a minute then, as quickly as they came, they were gone. I just stood there frozen. For in my little mind, I had just about enough of all this craziness. Was it magic? Was it ghosts? Or now, was it aliens? At that moment, I wasn’t sure I wanted to live on the island anymore. Too freaked to sleep in my own bed, I climbed in with my parents and spent the rest of the night with them.
We all slept in quite late the next morning, exhausted from our night time excitement and lack of ability to fall back to sleep right away after the “whatever” was gone. I jumped out of bed realizing that Socks would be crying for her bottle. I ran outside, completely forgetting my fright from the night before and went in search of my beloved pet. She was in her stall, right where she had been put the night before, but Aurora and Cherry were not. I let a very frantic Socks out of her stall and immediately gave her the bottle.
Together we went outside in search of the other horses, but no where could they be found. Socks kept whinnying, as if looking for them, but no horse came.
I ran inside to tell dad and he came out to look with me, yet as I already found out, there were no horses to be found. I was devastated!
Socks didn’t know what to do without herself without her horse friends, so she followed me wherever I went, like a puppy follows it’s master. No matter where I went she wouldn’t leave my side, and when I went in the house, she stood at the dock loudly crying for me. I asked dad if she could just come in the house to sleep with us, but he said she needed to learn to be on her own and it was all part of growing up as a wild horse. I don’t have to tell you how that made me feel! Dad led her to her stall and locked her in for the night. I prayed she would be there in the morning.
Bedtime came and we were all tucked in for the night…or so we thought. Sometime around three in the morning, I was woken by a very loud sound I had never heard before. The wailing, screeching sound hurt my ears and I covered them with my hands to save my hearing. I walked out of my room and saw my dad racing down the stairs with a look of anger on his face. I ran after him, along with my mother to see a police officer battling it out with a woman dressed in black and white. It took me a second to realize….that we were being robbed! While my dad shouted encouragement to the police officer, I looked on in terrified and shocked dismay.
Robbed? All the way out here? Where did the police officer come from and how did she get here so quickly? It just can’t be! Luckily, the police officer won, our items were returned and the bad, uh, woman was escorted out in handcuffs and off the island.
Oh I forgot to mention that when the woman broke into our house, she either let in a deer, or one followed her in.
“Perhaps the deer would make a better guard animal!”
My parents sent me back to bed, but shortly after, I tiptoed into their room and slept on their couch, too scared to be in my room alone. Who knew what would happen next on this crazy island?
The days following the robbery went on as normal. I stayed close to my parents as much as I could, too afraid to be alone on the island. Mom suggested some art therapy, and asked me to paint something that showed how I was feeling. I thought about it for a bit, staring at the canvas and this is what came out of me.
When I was finished mom said it was good to acknowledge how I was feeling, because when I did that I could start facing my fears and gain back some of the safety and security I had felt on the island before all these scary moments. She said it was always good to be cautious, but that I needed to remember the island was home and we should always feel safe at home.
“Remember all the good things about the island,” she said. “Maybe your next painting could be about that.”
I really tried to focus on that and began venturing out more on my own. I spent some time up in the lighthouse standing at my art easel, trying to think of what I wanted to paint next. I felt safe up there for some reason, I didn’t know why. Perhaps it was because I was like the king of the castle looking down on my kingdom, and no one hurts the king. Right?
Thing is, I was wrong, so wrong.
Two nights later, the bright lights returned while Maya and I were still cleaning up in the kitchen. This time I needed to know where they were coming from so I raced to the door only to run smack into an alien who was just about to knock. He held out his hand in an awkward attempt to greet me as humans do and I shook his hand. But my thoughts were directed elsewhere, as you can see.
“Good evening,” said the alien.
At this point I’m still trying to come to grips with the fact that standing in front of me is a real live alien. You hear about them, people talk about them, but you can go your whole life and never see one. In fact there is a whole movement out there of sims trying to debunk the alien theory, which unfortunately meant labeling sims crazy, if they admitted to seeing one.
What does one say to an alien? Greetings from planet Sim? Welcome to our planet? Something life altering of course, but what do I say?
“Hello.” Brilliant Ian.
“I’ve come to apologize,” said the alien. “We had no idea anyone had taken over living on the island.”
“We haven’t been here that long actually. Only a few months,” I replied.
“You see we use the island for it’s magical properties, to house our horses that belong to the uh, well you would call them royalty I suppose. We leave them here as foals and return for them when they mature.”
“Yes, it was time for them to come home. We’ve returned for the last horse.”
“Oh please no!” I said. “My son, he is very found of that horse. He named her Socks and has been taking great care of her. They have become the best of friends. Must you take her? I could compensate you for her.”
“I’m glad to hear she has been well taken care of but I am sorry. She is property to our leader and must return home. But we will be leaving more horses over time and perhaps your son-
“I’m very sorry you feel that way. It may take some time, to get that request put through but I will get back to you when I have an answer for you,” said the alien.
With that, I walked back in the house and slammed the door. I was so mad, I even went so far as to turn off the light. Okay, yes I know, Jin gets it from me. Probably not the best move, making an enemy out of an alien, but it was for Jin. For him, I would do anything!
Maya met me in the kitchen.
“What are we going to tell Jin?” she asked. “He will be heartbroken!”
“I don’t know. I really don’t know.”
Content Used In This Chapter
Jin’s Camo Shorts (EA shorts recoloured by me)
Jin’s Hair– Joey by Cazy at TSR
Maya’s long hair-Nightcrawler’s Let Loose
Maya’s Short hair with bow– NewSeaYU093Rachel
Contemporary Carpet 12 by PralineSims (In Foyer)
Bedside Manner by Spladoum (Jin in lighthouse)