My plan is for this short story to be the first of a series based on the Moving On Up Challenge. But as it stands, it is my first ever and very hastily cobbled together entry for the SimLit Short Story Challenge. A thing which I only discovered yesterday and only decided to participate in a few hours ago. (As a result, I might be getting this very wrong. If so, I’m really, really sorry.) [ETA: then the deadline was extended, so I needn’t have rushed, heh]
Meet fresh-faced teen, Joy Larkin. She’s such a clumsy goofball and has a lot to learn about life, but she’s absolutely determined to make a success of living in San Myshuno and become a city native. And she’s chosen today to start — I hope she remembered to pack a sense of humour!
Joy stands outside her first ever San Myshuno apartment door with excitement zinging through her veins. As with most teens, this is expressed through her fingers with a few choice emojis under her most recent simstergram post.
Her writer (me), being a little more old school, renders Joy’s attempts at self expression thus: \o/
Finally, she’s puts her phone away, unlocks the door and steps over the threshold into her new life …
“Holy PLUMS*, Batman!” she yells on seeing the chalk outline of a presumably posthumous sim on the bare floor.
Whipping her phone out again, she snaps a photo of the outline and uploads it to her social media account, commenting, “I really hope this is just somesim’s idea of a waggish jape! #IAintAfraidOfNoGhosts”
After checking out the rest of the apartment and finding nothing else more suspicious than a couple of holes in the skirting and a curious lack of indoor plumbing, she heads back out to explore the city and find someway to scrounge together a few simoleons and snag a bite to eat.
But before she makes it to the lift — I do beg your pardon — elevator, she bumps into Penny Pizzazz! THE Penny Pizzazz. City Native, Online A-Lister and face of a plum-load of billboards, Penny Pizzazz!
A naturally clumsy goofball at the best of times, Joy trips over her own feet, blurting out, “Zazzy, Zazz, Zazz! I’m Joy the Larker Larkin!”
After this unavoidably funny (and enthusiastic) introduction, Joy is seized by the playful urge to tell a joke about monkeys. Being an impulsive teen, she yields to the urge without much resistance and babbles her way into the joke like a clown slipping on the discarded skin of a humorously shaped yellow fruit.
“I’m famished. I’m just on my way down to see if I can snag some food. Anything would be good–a banana maybe? Hey, did you know that sims eats more bananas than monkeys every year? I think that must be true, because I don’t remember the last time I ate a monkey, do you?”
Fortunately, Penny is used to this sort of thing and wittily wisecracks, “No, I can’t remember the last time you ate a monkey, either.”
After that they were able to chat a little more normally and Joy discovered that Penny is super ambitious (no surprises, there), and that she lives in the next-door apartment! “Plums!” thought Joy, “how much does one have to earn in this town to live in an apartment without a chalk sim neighbour? (Or chalk sim roommate?) Perhaps Penny is follower rich, but simoleon poor.”
By the time Joy finally made it back down, she was bobbing about rather dramatically for a wee and was relieved [pun by authorial intent] when there turned out to be a public convenience close by.
Delicious aromas wafted her way from the street vendors, but Joy, having not one simoleon to her name, could afford none of their enticing wares.
Suddenly, she thought she spotted something shiny in the nearby bin and teen impetuosity struck once again. Despite the attention from curios on-lookers, Joy dove in and had a good rummage. Urgh, nothing but slimy old food and bad smells!
But then, across the way, she spied an unguarded cardboard box and rushed over to have a peek. Inside it she found a charming snow globe which she was immediately able to hock for the princely sum of S20. Yes!
On her way back to the food stalls, feeling giddy with success and low blood sugar, Joy stopped to make crazy eyes at a living statue.
That done, she spent half her funds at the nearest stall and then, presumably because she enjoys her fast food fast, she took her newly acquired egg rolls for a little jog.
Eventually she sat down on a bench next a sleeping sim and contemplated her empty plate. And also the sleeping sim’s phenomenally loud snoring. “Seriously? Is this some kind of performance art?” she asked the city at large.
Regardless, it made her realize how tired she was becoming and that she currently did not own a bed. She wandered off in search of a place to nap and somehow found herself in some sort of park looking at some sort of house.
On closer inspection she found the door unlocked. Though the whole place was empty of sims, it appeared to be a public building so she ventured inside. She was too sleepy to look around much, but did manage to make it upstairs to a lush pink couch before falling flat on her face like a bad joke.
*I saw ‘plum’ used the other day as a catchall expletive in The Plumbob’s The Bloomer Legacy sim story. As that’s currently the only sim story I’ve ever read I’ve no idea if that’s a generally accepted convention or not, but I rather like it so I decided to use it.