The first newspaper Briar picks up from her desk is fresh from the mailbox, the headlines boldly spelling out Sunset Valley Times. The flickering light from the nearby neon signs allow her to read the date in which it is labelled with: today’s. Briar quickly scans the front page with growing trepidation. To her relief, it is only something about a famous rockstar from Bridgeport coming to hold a concert in Sunset Valley.
Even so, she unfolds the paper, shakes it out, and turns the page over. Another embarrassing defeat of the Llamas. Another baby born, another movie scheme by an aspiring director. The usual things. Briar is about to roll the newspaper back up when a small article catches her eye. “‘Mysterious Animal Attack.'” She reads aloud. Intrigued, she continues reading, taking notes down in her book frantically as her interest piques.
The piece tells how last night some sort of wild animal had attacked a woman strolling along a mountainside road. The woman describes the animal as a ‘huge black shadow’ that had jumped out at her. “One hit with my handbag full of kibble, and it limped away, growling. Reckon it was just a bear.” Briar frowns at that. A wild animal, alright. But bear? Nope. From the sounds of it -dog kibble must have been it- the woman had hit a hunting werewolf.
Briar pushes back her chair and goes off to chuck the newspaper in the bin, thinking hard. She still isn’t sure if no one else can see supernaturals like she can, which is why she is doing her own little investigation. Angrily, Briar remembers how a few hours ago she had told the other law enforcement workers her suspicions, about the recent chain of strange events. Everyone had laughed at her. Blair Wainwright especially, with a cruel smirk on her face as all the officers waved her questions about the supernatural away jeeringly.
Upset, Briar returns to her desk but is distracted by the sounds of a guitar. She sighs and stomps out of her bedroom. Isla has taken to practising her guitar every evening since she had turned 13, and it is really annoying on nights like this.
She finds Isla plucking at the strings of her favourite pink leopard guitar. For a moment, Briar listens to the song. She has to admit that her little sister is quite the virtuoso. Then she remembers she has work to do. “Isla, can you just shut up? I’m trying to do stuff for work here.”
Isla blinks at her older sister and slowly tucks the guitar under her arm. “Fine, grumpy. I’ll go paint, happy now?” She mutters. Isla marches past her and into the bedroom, where Briar can hear her angrily stowing her precious guitar away.
Briar feels guilty at that. Since when has she been so harsh? Tiredly she walks into the bathroom and sits on the edge of the tub. Briar stares into the mirror unhappily. All of a sudden, she misses her twin brother terribly. If he was still here, still best friends with her, he would have sorted out all this supernatural mumbo-jumbo, quick as a wink. Instead, Ash is now more far away than what Briar would have ever dreamed- years ago.
Forget it. Ash had chosen his path, Briar had chosen hers. No need to get upset about it… as long as they do not cross. Quickly she brushes her teeth and heads back to her bedroom. There’s a long night ahead. A pile of old newspapers to be read. Flopping into her chair, Briar picks up yesterday’s edition, and begins mechanically searching again for any hint of the supernatural.
The next morning, Briar drags her feet downstairs to the familiar sizzle of Saturday pancakes. “These will be ready in a couple of minutes.” Christopher says happily, oblivious to his step-daughter’s exhausted aura. “Actually…” Briar stifles a yawn, “…I think I might have breakfast in town today.”
Christopher smiles as he tips butter into the hissing frypan. “Early morning date with Max?” He asks teasingly. “I wish. See you later…” And Briar walks out of the house, still rubbing her eyes.
She takes the car down to Hogan’s Deep-Fried Diner and looks around. The smell of sausages, fried eggs and coffee waft out of the diner invitingly. A hot air balloon floats in the cloudy sky. Unfortunately, there is no one outside. A fabulous start to her experiment.
Last night, after finishing her notes, Briar had decided to conduct a simple experiment in town. It involves both normal people and supernaturals, but if she can’t find any, that’s no good. Oh well. She can enjoy breakfast while she’s here, then continue searching.
Energised by a muffin and triple espressos, Briar heads out to the Central Park. It is the heart of Sunset Valley and is usually crowded, especially on weekends. However, today is just not the day. Briar counts a total of three people, one of which she recognises, with disgust, to be Anastasia Payton.
Sighing in disappointment, she turns back around. There is a group of purple butterflies flying gracefully around. Briar is fascinated, and catches one gleefully. It flaps those beautiful wings slowly on her palm before she releases it.
After that Briar walks over to Mirabello Plaza. This is one of the most popular areas in town, with a grocery store, theatre and bookshop. It is always teeming with Sims checking movie times after shopping, reading their new books under the golden sunlight, or simply catching up with old friends outside.
It is there that Briar spots her first supernatural for the day. A woman that looks familiar, but with glowing yellow eyes that mark her as a hidden lycanthrope.
Many more Sims and supernaturals arrive before long. For the first part of her experiment, Briar goes up to a lady in a rather unflattering, bright pink shorts. “Hi, I’m Briar Kingston from the Law Enforcement Department.” She introduces herself and shakes the lady’s hand. “Now, could you tell me if you see anything strange about that woman’s appearance- the one talking to that chef?”
The lady peers curiously over Briar’s shoulder, her eyes alight with excitement at the prospect of gossip. The Sims of Sunset Valley sure do like to gossip. “No, nothing.” She says cheerfully. Briar frowns and takes a tally on her palm. “Does her skin look sickly? Or her eyes?” “Nope. Her skin looks like yours, to be honest. Are you sure you aren’t the one sickly, dear?” The lady pats Briar’s arm in concern. “I’m alright. Thank you for helping.”
Briar continues this process with several more Sims. They had pretty much the same answers to her questions; light-hearted confusion and a little concern for her part.
That is, until Briar repeats her experiment for the tenth time to an old man. “What?” The man says in disbelief. Frowning, she asks her question again. The old man simply stares at her, and strangely, turns and walks away quickly without a word. To Briar’s suspicion, he begins talking frantically to a familiar blonde man sauntering up ahead. Strange…
“Full moon in a week.” Ash looks up from the crystal moon floating serenely in the pedestal, lighting the stark room with an eerie glow. Anastasia rubs her sore neck and looks at the girl opposite her. “Will it be finished by then?” Allie glances at the metal contraption behind them and back to the other two, worried. “I don’t think so.” She says, biting her lip. “It will be stronger, no doubt, but will be another full moon till it’s finished, is that right, Ash?”
Ash nods his head slowly. “Come on. Our boss is waiting.”
Just me snapping screenshots everywhere. This is Isla looking pretty as she paints.
I found Kelsey in Mirabello Plaza, talking to another girl- her cousin, Allie O’Dell. Her wedding should come up in two or so chapters ❤️
Speaking of Allie, she is a character from Simsered’s fabulous legacy and this is my first attempt at recreating her on the base game. I kind of failed. I also tried to make her husband, Noah, but it’s proving to be extremely hard. Never fear; I’ll try again, so they can both appear at Kelsey’s wedding!
I was messing around with the camera and I got sad because I don’t have Seasons 😔 Sunset Valley literally only is ever in summer, which is annoying and unrealistic. The changing leaves and snows are so beautiful on that EP and I don’t have it 😢
Yet I do have to admit that Sunset Valley is still achingly beautiful without proper seasons. Sunset and sunrise are my favourite time of day, like I have mentioned a million times before.