Recap because I’ve been absent for 3 months: Damon & Asiaq married young and had a daughter, Eira. When Eira was 6, they decided to adopt another baby, but it turned out the girl was actually 7 years old and had a mind of her own – strong willed, highly intelligent, possibly manipulative. They had their doubts if they were going to handle it, but in the end they decided to go through with the adoption. That was 5 years ago.
But hey, rewind the tape. “Sedna”? Surely Eira’s sister was called Marina when she came to Fharhond? Yes, that is true. The first thing she said when she began speaking in this ancient, rustic dialect was also: “I want a new name.” And although Asiaq and Damon assured her that Marina was a beautiful name, she was adamant.
“I want a new name. I was named after a boat. The boat they found me in. I don’t want to have the same name as a boat. I want a Fharhond name.”
Damon just threw up his hands. He wasn’t good with names, especially Fharhondian ones. He just didn’t know their history well enough, being from the south. Asiaq thought for a while, searched the simnet and came up with Sedna, Fharhond’s goddess of the sea.
“I don’t know.. isn’t that just like Marina, but in Fharhondian? I still don’t want to be called a boat.”
“Sedna is the most powerful being in our old stories and fairytales. She was the creator of our world – look around you, there is water everywhere. The goddess of the sea is the goddess of everything worth knowing on Fharhond. You couldn’t have a more powerful name. Or a name more Fharhondian.”
She was convinced, not so much by the poetic sound of it but more the mention of power. Marina changed her name to Sedna, and started school.
“It’s Leisure Day tomorrow, we should do something fun tonight.”, Sedna proposed while finishing her sister’s homework. She knew there would be a lot more time to play if she just did it for her instead of trying to explain.
“Yeah! We could play burnball* in the park!” Eira was rather sporty, like her father.
“No, burnball is lame.”, Sedna scoffed. Eira looked deflated.
“Football then? Or a picnic? We could make paper boats and race them!”
“Watcher, you’re so childish Eira! I said we should do something fun!”
*burnball is a Scandinavian game, kind of like rounders or baseball. It’s not an organized sport, and there are no professional teams.
The Bartley boys had quite a long ride to school, so they took the bus home. Troy watched Sedna and Eira through the window.
“You hang out quite a lot with Damon’s daughters”, George noted. Damon was a local celebrity, since he was the star of the football team and occasionally appeared in the local paper.
“I guess. Sedna is kind of hot.”
George laughed at his 12 year old brother. “You’re too little to say a girl is hot. You should say that she’s cute.”
“Whatever.”, Troy grumbled. “I can say she’s hot if I want to.”
“Sure. But she’s just a little girl. And you’re a snotty kid.” Troy punched his brother’s arm hard for that comment.
Eira was hurt that all her suggestions were sighed and eyerolled at.
“You come up with something then! Or I’ll go to the pool alone.”
“Actually, I have a great idea. But it’s a secret.”, Sedna smiled triumphantly.
“Oh, ha ha, funny. Well you can keep your stupid secret. I’m going to the pool.” Eira was feeling rather cross at this point.
“You do that. Just make sure to show up at 7 pm in the park. If you’re not there by then, we’ll leave without you.”
Eira left home at 6.30. She didn’t doubt Sedna would actually stand by her word and leave without her if she was 5 minutes late. She had been acting so strange these past few months, distracted, secretive and sometimes rather mean. They had been inseparable since the day her sister arrived to the island, and this new distance between them confused and hurt her.
Harry Hilmarsson had been in the park all afternoon. It was crowded in his house, kind of rowdy too, and he preferred to keep to himself. Food was a problem sometimes, but tonight someone had left their bake sale unattended, and he had nicked a few muffins.
After an hour or so, the temptation was too much for him: he helped himself to the money jar as well.
Asiaq had once remarked that “Harry is a sweet boy, but his moral compass is a little flawed”.
Eira has asked what that meant, and Damon replied that sometimes Harry said things that couldn’t possibly be true. That made Eira very upset for days. Sedna, on the other hand, was unstirred.
“Sometimes you have to lie”, she stated to Eira later. Eira didn’t quite grasp exactly when “sometimes” was, but her sister said so with such confidence and certainty that it had to be true. That you sometimes had to lie.
Sometimes your sister tells you to come to the park at 7 pm sharp, and a boy who is sometimes mean to you picks you up at 7.30. In any case, you don’t want to be alone. So Eira followed Troy to an area where her parents said she couldn’t play, because it was vaguely described as “not very nice”. It took them quite a while to get there by bike, and then by foot the last few hundred meters. Troy was constantly ahead of her.
The little footpath through the grass was enough trampled to let you know that the abandoned building still had visitors. Eira had a bad feeling about the whole thing.
She could see the graveyard from the hill, so she knew approximately where they were, but overlooking the cemetery didn’t exactly make her feel any better. She knew Troy’s house wasn’t far from there. It had to be his idea to go to this icky place.
She heard Sedna come running through the high grass, excited like she had never seen her before.
“This is brilliant! I saw five baby rabbits just over there, and the grass is almost as tall as me!”
Troy mocked her, “I saw baby jabbitsh!” and Sedna pushed him to the wall. The wood creaked and rewarded her with a shower of dust.
“Where’s Harry?”, Eira interrupted them. “He’s around here somewhere”, Troy said, brushing the dust of his shoulders with a manly poise that made Sedna laugh. “Why, do you two have a date or something?”, he snickered, and Sedna smiled approvingly at that too.
“I was just asking.” Eira said glumly. Apparently this was all about Troy now – Troy’s disgusting house, Troy’s stupid jokes and Troy’s show off for Sedna.
“So are you ready for the grand tour, or what?”, Troy said casually and took a big bite of his apple. This was his show now.
“I don’t know, it’s getting kind of dark.” Sedna said, “we could step on a rusty nail or something. I thought maybe we could just sleep outside and tell ghost stories? I brought flashlights. And sleeping bags.”
“Ghost stories! Ghost stories are for babies. And little girls.”, he added, full of contempt. “I could tell you some real stories of what happened in here though. A man hanged himself here 60 years ago. He was bankrupt and the loan sharks were after him. He saw no other way. I can show you the hook and everything.”
Eira didn’t like where this outing was going at all. And sleeping bags? Were they going to stay here all night, without telling mum and dad?
“Maybe tomorrow, when it’s not so dark.”, Sedna pleaded.
“The darkness is the whole point, dummy! What’s the fun in a haunted house in daylight?”
“Ok.. well maybe we could just enter, then. Like through the door. I’m not going any further, I don’t want tetanus or anything.”
Eira felt completely invisible. Troy wasn’t talking to her at all, and not Sedna either.
“Uh, guys, I think I’m going home. I’m kind of tired.”, Eira tried to sound casual, teenage like. Troy didn’t fall for it.
“You do that, you big baby. And while you’re at it, you should tell on us. And tell your mum and dad we didn’t do our homework either.”
Sedna pleaded desperately. “No, Eira, please stay! I’ve texted and they said it’s ok. It’s fine! Please please stay!”
Troy walked with Sedna towards the entrance of the building. When they rounded the corner, he hiss-whispered:
“So you don’t dare to be alone with me, is that it? Smart girl. But honestly I thought you were a bit more ballsy.”
Sedna didn’t really know what to reply, so she kept quiet. Troy was something of a mystery. His dad was loaded, they had racehorses and lived in a beautiful house by the sea – the real sea with a beach, not an ugly cabin on a stupid glacier. He had everything, and yet he hung around places like this, with older kids who stole cars on the weekends, went for a ride and dumped the vehicle in a parking lot somewhere.
In a few years, maybe he would be the same. Or he could just as well go to Smuggsworth.
“You’re no good.” she stated, trying to make it sound like a brush off, but it came out like a compliment.
“You’ve got that right”, Troy answered, smugly.
They just stood there, in front of the entrance, not entering, staring into each other’s eyes for several seconds. He had the most captivating light grey iris with yellow stars sprinkled around it, and Sedna was about to remark on that when he broke the silence.
“Your sister is really stupid, isn’t she”. Sedna didn’t answer. Perhaps Eira wasn’t the sharpest tool in the box, but she was her little sister.
“No!” The answer was firm, even if seconds ago, it might have been just what she wanted.
“Ok, then why are you still standing here? Go inside and I’ll show you the hook and be done with it.” He yawned.
Sedna stood indecisive for a second, drawing with her foot in a sandy spot. She didn’t get what just happened – they had a moment, and now Troy was smashing it with his heel. Boys were so frakking dumb.
“I don’t feel like it anymore. I’m going to bed.” Sedna turned her back on Troy and went to the others.
“YOU’RE NOT THAT PRETTY, YOU KNOW!” Troy lashed at her before she left. “You should take your chances”.
She wasn’t prepared. Had she been prepared, she would have made a snappy comeback. Now, she was in shock from the sudden turnaround, and almost started to cry, but it was getting so dark now that if she stayed out of the street light, maybe he wouldn’t notice.
If he noticed, he didn’t care.
He grabbed his sleeping bag and turned the corner. No one asked him where he was going, and he didn’t come back that night.
Meanwhile, Eira sensed what was going on but didn’t really want to eavesdrop on her sister. She still thought boys who wanted to kiss and such were stupid and icky. Harry probably knew too, but he was sensitive enough to not make a deal out of it. He laughed at Eira when she played with her dolly, though.
“Please don’t tell me you’re still playing with dolls! Eira come on!”
“Fluffs understands me. Don’t you, Fluffs? Oh yes, I understand you perfectly Eira!”, Eira said in a gruff but distinguished voice.
“Oh man. I’m glad no one else can see us. I’d die of embarrassment.”
But Harry still laughed, and didn’t look like he was near his death bed.
Maybe she brought the doll out of spite. She knew she was much too old to play with it, but she had it sitting on her bed all the time. She still kept playing theatrically until Sedna told her to stop, quite forcefully.
They all went to sleep in a terrible mood. Eira felt betrayed, and Sedna was humiliated on all levels – by Troy, by her sister who wouldn’t stop acting so babyish and on top of everything Harry was there to witness it. She fancied both boys – Harry was nicer but more familiar and therefor less interesting. She had pictured a perfect summer night of story telling, school gossip, something between the kiddie world and teen world. She thought it could be fun for Eira, who was still a bit childish, but also for herself and the boys who were more mature. Or so she had thought.
They missed out on some gorgeous northern lights, and also on the soft pink skies the dawn brought with it.
At home, the girls’ grandfather went to bed very worried, and late.
Their parents never went to bed at all. Damon may have slumbered a little around 5 am, but Asiaq was still vacuuming the girls’ Simbook accounts for leads on where they could have gone.
The only information she got was that Eira wasn’t very active on Simbook, and Sedna had lots of friends she didn’t know about, and who seemed much older.
“They’re probably just out camping somewhere. Their sleeping bags are missing.”, Damon tried to calm her.
“And how is that ok, to go camping without even a phone call?”
“I didn’t say it was OK. I’m just saying they are probably OK.”
“And how do you know that, are you a psychic now? The psychic football star? You have many talents, I say.”
“Come one now, Asiaq.”
When the girls woke up, the sea was shiny, calm and metal like, and the abandoned house didn’t seem scary at all. The boys had gone home already, perhaps in the middle of the night, who knew. Babies. Idiots.
“It’s beautiful!”, Eira exclaimed. “If i wasn’t starving, I’d totally go for a swim right now.”
Eira went home like nothing had happened the night before, because it hadn’t, at least not the way Sedna saw it. She felt furious for some reason, she couldn’t really grasp why. But there was something about all the drama and how they “weren’t allowed” and they “shouldn’t”, and how Sedna was so mean and bad to drag her good little sister to this old house, who cares anyway. It was nothing. It was just sleeping on the ground and waking up with ants in your hair and a growling stomach and stupid boys she would never ever talk to again, at least not to Troy. And she did it all to be nice, to do something nice for everyone, and everyone was ungrateful and babies and DICKS and CUNTS.
And in the end, she would be the one who would take all the blame.
She went for a very cold swim. Eira could have fun explaining it all at home. Knock yourself out you big baby.
As she swam she thought to herself: “This was the best part. Of that whole damn outing.” “THIS IS THE BEST PART!”, she said aloud to the waves, and startled a cormorant who took off from its stone with big, annoyed flaps.
Being alone, in ice cold water at the height of summer, at the world’s end, on a fucking glacier.
“This is the best I can do.”, she mumbled through tears. “This is the best I can hope for.”
They weren’t even done hugging and kissing and crying when she got home. She had hoped she could skip that part.
And then she waited for the scolding.
It never came.
No one spoke to her at all, in fact.
Eira ate her breakfast in silence. She was going to get grounded or something, but that wasn’t the issue right now. She felt uncomfortable that Sedna wasn’t eating with them, she must be starving just like she was a moment ago.
“Maybe I should bring some breakfast to Sedna”, she suggested.
“No.”, Asiaq said firmly, “She can come out and have breakfast with us if she wants to. We’re a family, this isn’t a boarding house.”
“But maybe she’s afraid. Maybe she needs to be alone.”
“Then she can have breakfast when she doesn’t feel the need to be alone anymore.”
Disclaimer: Inserting a music video to set the mood is always risky, because what completely fits in my mind isn’t necessarily what fits perfectly for someone else. Maybe you all hate Jason Molina’s music (and if you do, you are all objectively TERRIBLE TERRIBLE HUMAN BEINGS) and then the song is all lost on you. Bummer.
To me, “Being in love” could just as well be about being loved and love, anyone. Doesn’t have to be a romantic love.
Being in love means you are completely broken
Then put back together the one piece that was yours
Is beating in your lovers breast
She says the same thing about hers
She says the same thing about hers
However I have gotten here I have plans to be with you
Maybe I’m just overly attached to my sims to give them theme songs, but very early on this one felt like Sedna’s/Marina’s song. And that it’s the song about her relationship with her parents and her sister, just as much as it is about maybe Troy or some other person in the future for her.
And for the first time it is working
And for the first time it is working
And for the first time it is working
I am proof that the heart is a risky fuel to burn.