Saturday, May 23, 2020

Issue 1 May 2020

Simlish Magazine is a 1-issue magazine that showcases the work of some of the most talented Sims creators. Our guest judge was someone whose work many people in the Sims community will be familiar with because she makes absolutely splendid custom content--Katverse. Here's more about Katverse:

Katverse started playing a video game called The Sims when she was 11 years old... and she never stopped playing it. From Sims 1 to Sims 4, this game has been part of her life for almost 20 years. Katverse also likes reading books, especially fantasy books. Books and stories about magic and all things supernatural are her favorite kind of books. Lately, she has also been into self-help books for that inner work. 

To learn more about Katverse, visit any of the following sites:

Congratulations to Katrina S. Forest, author of Echoes, who swept all three awards categories to win the Editor's Choice Award, the Judge's Choice Award, and the People's Choice Award.

by dreams-asunder
a poem
My Mouth Opened to Scream Hello
by Simshanti
a poem
by Katrina S. Forest
a short story
She Was Like the Sea
by heartmeadows
a poem
Mr. Todd's Offer
by Queen of Myshuno
script fiction

My Mouth Opened To Scream Hello

by Simshanti

Illustration from The Sims 4
my mouth opened to scream hello
but was drowned out by our last goodbye
air knocked from my lungs, i bend my neck and somehow sigh
this is where i’ve always been and where i’ll always be -
body sinking into saltwater with all the could-have-beens
and what may as well be left of me.

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by dreams-asunder

Illustrations from The Sims 4

regret -

/rɪˈɡret/ verb.

i. he takes her soul away, up into the yawning darkness of eternity, a bright speck of sunlight to guard against the blighted night. icy fingers wrap around her still form and he clutches tight to her body, mourning the gain of intimacy that he never allowed himself while she was still alive.

ii. the moon has to live with the fact that it killed the sun.

See more from dreams-asunder on Tumblr.

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She Was Like The Sea

by heartmeadows

Illustrations from The Sims 4
“She was like the sea
and being loved by her
meant being weathered and worn
like sea glass and land

As gentle as her touch was
you never forgot
that she could make you sink
with a mere wave of her hand

She was like the sea
and you loved her
just as you loved the sea;

As familiar as its surface was to you
it held depths you could never reach
without drowning.”

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by Katrina S. Forest

The flick of a broken light switch. A careful step around scattered books. A lean over caution tape to peek at one gold-embossed cover: The Landgraabs: A History. How appropriate.

In fact, the Landgraabs were history. Gone in a single tragic accident. And Johnny Zest was their rejected child, their outcast, their echo. He crept down the dim foyer of Affluista Mansion, expecting his mother’s ghost to jump out any second. He almost wished it would. Then he could prove to himself he didn’t miss her. 
A turn into the kitchen. The stench of rotting fruit from the counter. There were lavender-skinned peaches with a coppery scent. An oval-shaped coconut, topped with blue leaves A glowing red…was it a pomegranate?

It gave no smell but a…a sound. A whisper.

Johnny stumbled back, bumping his shoulder against the wall, knocking an old painting sideways. He heard of people who talked to plants. Word had it they made excellent gardeners. He had no desire to be one of them. “H-Hello?” he stammered.

What are you looking for? the fruit inquired. Its voice was the rhythmic cackling of branches in high winds, the whistle of air through a slitted blade of grass.

Against all his common sense, Johnny answered it. “What am I…I’m looking for my mother.” He shook his head. No, that wasn’t right. His mother was gone. Yet he’d returned to his childhood home, desperate to explore and discover who she’d become in the years they’d been apart.

I’m looking for my mother, the fruit said. We should look together, yes?

Johnny picked up and weighed the fruit in his hand. It felt strangely dense and seemed to balance itself on his palm. When he rotated his wrist slightly, it did not slip. Curious, Johnny let it rest on his shoulder, where it perched perfectly. Strange. The unnaturalness of this ability alone should have unnerved him, and yet…he drew comfort from having a companion. Even one as bizarre as this.
“Yes,” Johnny hesitantly agreed. “We should look together.” He took a step towards the hall, kicking aside a piece of broken pottery. He planned to head up the stairs, to look through his mother’s old jewelry box, but he felt himself drawn away.

I know where we should look, the fruit said. Come, yes? You are coming, yes?

An urge. A firm pull towards the back door of the house. Johnny practically tripped over his own feet getting there. “Okay! Okay!” he chuckled. “Yes, I’m coming.” This situation had already gotten so strange so quickly. He might as well play along.

A long walk. A trespass into odd places Johnny had never heard of and was pretty sure he wasn’t supposed to be. He could imagine what would happen if Nancy Landgraab were here. What are you doing, Johnny? she would scream. You can’t just take directions from a plant! What will the neighbors say? Each step gave him a buzzing thrill of defiance.
“This way?” Johnny asked, pointing down a misty, sweet-smelling corridor.

This way, the fruit confirmed.

The groan of hinges, the scrape of metal as a massive door opened. And then…the gasp of breath when he saw her.
She was beautiful. Bulging leaves and ripe vines enthroned her. Colors shifted from deep, royal purple to bold, daring crimson. An aura of peaceful energy radiated from her. Johnny inhaled like the air itself was a rare treasure.

What are you looking for? the plant asked.

A grin pulled at Johnny’s lips. “I’m looking for my mother,” he said.

I’m looking for my mother, the fruit echoed.

She leaned down. The shift of her heavy leaves was like an angelic sigh. The tips of her magnificent petals touched Johnny’s forehead. He could no longer resist. He and the fruit sought the same thing.

Sang the same song. Could be the same being…if…if…
As though in convulsion, Johnny opened his mouth wide, yanked the fruit from his shoulder, and shoved the entire thing between his lips. No juices leaked, no tastes emerged. It shifted over his tongue, gliding down his throat like the smoothest wine. His head felt lighter, his mind dreamy.

Who was Nancy Landgraab? Why had he ever cared about her? She had certainly never cared about him.

He coughed and gagged, struggling to hold himself together. The sweet taste of her aura. He couldn’t get enough. Couldn’t breathe.
It’s okay.

It’s okay.”

His body twisted, and the gagging stopped. His head slowly lifted.

Hello, Mother,” the fruit and Johnny said together. Their voice sounded raw and ravaged in this ugly human form. But Mother would help with that. Mother helped with all.

A step back. An echo on metallic flooring. A grin of pure admiration.

Illustrations from The Sims 4
Hello, my son,” said Mother.

--- The End ---

See more from Katrina S. Forest at the following sites:

Katrina Forests's Fanfics
My Best Friend Runs Venus

Katrina S. Forest is a speculative fiction author whose middle grade novel MY BEST FRIEND RUNS VENUS debuted in June 2019. She's been a featured speaker at Zenkaikon and a speaker at Philcon, the world's longest-running conference on science fiction and fantasy. She loves the moment she finds an awesome piece of Simlit she can share with others.

Our authors get paid in compliments. Please leave one now. :) 

Mr. Todd's Offer

by the editor
Queen of Myshuno

This is a slightly edited excerpt from an ongoing legacy save (a multi-generational exploration of the lives of a group of characters and their offspring) in Sims 4 that you can view here: Vintage Newcrest Introduction and Table of Contents.

Chapter 1: Creepy Offer

We start the story in the city of Newcrest. The time is, and always will be, the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s all mashed together. Vivian is bringing coffee to the big bosses in the downtown office where she works as she does every weekday morning.

The big boss in the corner office is Mr. Todd. Mr. Todd often gets wound up into a very bad mood. Fortunately, Vivian knows how to handle him.
Gavin Todd: Vivian! I heard you went and got hitched.

Vivian:  Oh good, he’s being friendly today.

Vivian:  That’s right. I got married last Saturday.

Gavin Todd: Now, why would you go and do a thing like that, silly girl?

Vivian: (laughs) Oh well, I fell in love, so it seemed like the thing to do.
Gavin Todd: Ah, falling in love–even sillier. So tell me, how are things on the floor today?

Vivian: Everyone’s working hard, Mr. Todd.

Gavin Todd: Good. Good. And Shirley. How is she being today?

Neither Vivian nor Mr. Todd are very fond of Vivian's supervisor, Shirley, Vivian because Shirley seems to purposely make working there difficult for her, and Mr. Todd for his own reasons. Vivian has always gotten the feeling that Mr. Todd would like to catch Shirley doing something he could fire her for, but unfortunately for them both, Shirley is a hard worker.
Vivian: Shirley is being Shirley, Mr. Todd.

Gavin Todd: Yes, I see.Well, I suppose you’ll be getting yourself in a family way and leaving us soon.

By “in a family way,” he meant “pregnant.”

Vivian: Well, I, uh…
Gavin Todd: You know, they have a pill that cures that now. You should consider staying on here as a career, Vivian. I value your service and could promote you if you keep yourself out of trouble.

Vivian: Um…I appreciate that, sir. Well, speaking of work, I’d better get back to my desk. Shirley has me processing the G92 forms, and she wants them right away.

Vivian puts the coffee cup down and hurries out of the office.

Vivian: What just happened? Did Mr. Todd just seriously refer to pregnancy as getting into trouble and something to be cured?? And, more importantly, did he just tell me to use the birth control pill??

Chapter 2: A Beautiful Flower for a Beautiful Bride

Manny gets home slightly later than Vivian on their first day back to work after the honeymoon. Vivian is starting to prepare dinner when he comes in. Manny walks into the kitchen, stops, and stares.
Manny: My God.

Vivian: What is it?

Manny: You’re more beautiful than the day I married you.

Vivian: (laughs) Oh, stop it. That was less than a week ago. I look exactly the same.

Manny: (pulls a rose out from behind his back) A beautiful flower for a beautiful bride.
Vivian: Thank you! (kisses Manny)

Chapter 3: How Was Your Day?

Vivian and Manny sit down to eat dinner after their first day back to work following the honeymoon.
Vivian: How was your day

Manny: It was good. Not too busy, not too slow. We had the cutest little girl come into the store today, and I helped her pick out a toy. It made me nostalgic for when we have children. I mean, not nostalgic because that’s in the past, but…

Vivian: Nostalgic for the future?

Manny: (laughs) Yeah, exactly! Nostalgic for the future. How was your day, darlin’? How was Pickleface?

Pickleface is Vivian's secret nickname for her supervisor, Shirley.
Vivian: She was her usual self, ordering me around and being dramatic about it.

Manny: So what you’re saying is nothing has changed.

Vivian: Well, one new thing happened today, and it was a little creepy.

Manny: What happened?

Vivian: Mr. Todd tried to bribe me with a promotion on the condition that I don’t get pregnant.

Manny: What?! Did he actually say that?

Vivian: In a round-about way. He went so far as to bring up the pill, calling it a “cure” for pregnancy, as if having children is some kind of disease.

Manny: (goes silent for a moment) What did you say to him?

Vivian: I didn’t say anything. I just got out of there as fast as I could. It made me so uncomfortable.
Manny: You know if you want to quit now or at any time, I’m fine with that.

Vivian: I know. I just really want to save up some money for our vacation to the Sulani islands and for our future family. I can stick it out for another year.

Manny: If he says anything else that makes you feel uncomfortable, let me know.

Vivian: Okay.

Chapter 4: Drinks with the Boys
Manny meets with his buddies at the Aqua Bar in Newcrest.
Joey: So, Manny. I thought you’d look more relaxed after becoming a married man, but you seem kind of tense tonight.

Manny: Who, me? No, I’m just tired after working on the house all day, that’s all. But now that you mention it, there is one thing that has been weighing heavily on my mind.

Joey: What’s that?

Manny: (smiles) Well, I’ve just been wondering what happened between Ken and that go-go dancer the other night? (Manny points upward, referring to the Gentleman’s Club one floor above the bar, where they had all recently gone for his bachelor party.)
Ken: Oh, man. That go-go dancer was so into me. She was all over me.

Manny: Did her being into you have anything to do with you giving her money?

Ken: No, no. It wasn’t like that, man. She just knows a good thing when she sees it.

Joey: But you did give her money?

Ken: Well, she’s trying to work her way through school, so yeah, I gave her some cash, but that was totally unrelated.

Chapter 5: Secret Meeting

The phone behind the bar rings.
Bartender: Is there a Barry Allen here? I have a phone call for a Barry Allen.

Nobody at the bar responds, and the bartender hangs up the phone.
Manny: I’ll be right back. I need to go check the parking meter.

Joey: Since when do you own a car?

Manny: I borrowed my dad’s car.

Joey: So you’re just going to leave me here with this lunatic? (referring to Ken)

Manny: I’m afraid so.

Ken: (joking) At last, me and Joey get some alone time. Get out of here, Manny.
Manny heads down the stairs, but he doesn’t go to the car. Instead, he looks around to make sure nobody’s watching then stops in the stairwell to talk to Crystal, one of the dancers from the Gentleman’s Club upstairs.
Crystal: I could get in a lot of trouble for this if anybody finds out.

Manny: Don’t worry. Nobody is going to find out. (He reaches into his coat pocket and pulls out some cash.) This should cover it.

Crystal: (takes the cash) It’ll be about 5 or 10 minutes.

Manny: Perfect.

Crystal: Who is Barry Allen anyway? Why didn’t you just have me ask for you?

Manny: He’s nobody; he’s a comic book character. I needed a signal to know when to come down without anybody knowing what I was really doing.

Chapter 6: Your Face, This Concrete--They Should Meet
A low rumble of thunder rolls across the evening sky. Manny waits in the drizzling rain in the alley behind the building.

Gavin Todd exits the door that leads to the Gentleman’s Club stairs. He’s right on time–Manny has only been waiting 5 minutes, just like the girl had said. Gavin opens his umbrella and walks into the alley. Manny steps out of the shadows, blocking his way.
Gavin: (startled) Oh, sorry, I didn’t see you there. Hey, you look familiar. Aren’t you that amateur boxer who won against Tommy Briggs last summer? Manny Conner, right?

Manny: Yeah, I’m Manny Conner. I’m also Vivian’s husband.

Gavin: (confused) Vivian…Vivian…I’m not sure…

Manny: She works for you at Newcrest Financial.

Gavin: Oh, that Vivian! At first I thought you were talking about one of the girls upstairs, but I couldn’t remember any of the dancers being named Vivian. (laughs) So you’re the guy Vivian married. I had no idea you two were an item. Congratulations. Well, what a coincidence running into you.

Manny: It’s not a coincidence. I was waiting for you.

Gavin: Oh? I’m flattered.

Manny: Don’t be. I’m very protective of my wife. She told me something happened at work that made her unhappy. And when my wife’s unhappy, I’m unhappy.

Gavin: Now see here, there must be some mistake. I’ve never made a pass at Vivian.

Manny: No, but you crossed the line when you talked to her about her family life and about getting pregnant.
Gavin: Oh that. Look, I was only trying to help. I like Vivian; she’s a good worker. Sometimes when you meet with people in a business setting, the talk gets a little personal because there are things you need to know as an employer and…

Manny: Let me stop you right there. From now on, your business meetings with my wife are going to be just that–about business. You don’t say anything to her about kids, marriage, her personal life, nothing. Otherwise, I’m going to help this concrete have a personal meeting with your face. And another thing. Vivian doesn’t know I’m talking to you, so you’re not going to say anything. Got it?

Illustrations from The Sims 4
Gavin: (opens his mouth as if to argue but changes his mind) Got it.

Satisfied, Manny goes back upstairs to rejoin his friends at the bar.

--- The End ---

See more from Queen of Myshuno on her Tumblr.

Queen of Myshuno has published work in various journals and online magazines. One of her favorite animals is the fruit bat. She once wore only neon for an entire summer during the early nineties.

This writer gets paid in comments. Please leave one now. :)