Sunday, August 17, 2008

Chapter 9: Dina Recalls Knives and Lace

Sat, October 17, 2074 5:20 pm: Lothario Hall-- Rawling Hills, Pleasantview


In the corridor, Dina recognized the evenly paced clacking of her daughter's shoes as they made contact with the hard wood floors. Dina wiped her face free of tears. She could leave no sign of distress for Adelaide to pick apart, keen-eyed vulture that she was.


Adelaide drew nearer, each landing of her heels etched with purpose. That girl never took a step nor even drew a breath without careful consideration. What she wanted from Dina at the moment was beyond her.


The door swung open unexpectedly as Adelaide walked in without knocking. Dina didn't bother to glance over her shoulder at the girl. She could feel Adelaide's presence bearing down upon her back. Distances closed. The atmosphere grew thin. Gravity pulled harder when Adelaide Lothario entered a room.

"What are you doing sitting alone in the dark, Mother," she scolded. It was almost funny.


"Typical. You throw open my door on the assumption that I am elsewhere and when you discover your error, you assign some meager fault to me," Dina chuckled. Adelaide came closer to the bed where she sat.


"On the contrary, I knew that you could be no place else. I want to talk to you and preferred not to risk a refusal." Adelaide plopped down onto the bed with an impetuous disregard for feminine grace that was unworthy of her. Dina sighed.


"I don't believe you but now that you've manufactured this twaddle we might as well see it through. So what do you want to discuss?" Adelaide raised an eyebrow. Evidently, she found that last to be somewhat scathing. But considering the girl's intrusion, Dina thought that she was being rather charitable.


"I found Cassandra's letter," Adelaide said bitterly. Dina's heart hammered in her throat. She hoped that it was not reflected on her visage. This was impossible. Surely Don had rid himself of that suicide note years ago. Dina fidgeted with her dress.

"What letter?"


"The letter she sent Dad after her mother's disappearance," Adelaide hissed. Dina relaxed but only a little. It had been over a decade since she had seen that letter. All that she could remember of it was that it contained a load of melodramatic drivel. But clearly, Adelaide thought it had some significance.


"Ah," Dina said. "My what a silly little relic that was. But your father had always been particularly sentiment--"


"Were Dad and Bella Goth lovers?" The question came almost as a non-sequitur to Dina. Still, it unleashed a torrent of mental images, each more absurd than the one that preceded it. Lovers? If only Don had been there, in that room at that very moment! Dina would have buried her face in his neck, exploding in peels of laughter. Lovers! But Don was not there and never would be again. Dina's laughter lodged itself behind her ribcage along with several days' worth of repressed sobs.


"Well, what you have to understand about your father at that point in his life... How do I put this delicately? He didn't just wash windows and mow lawns for a living, if you get my drift. And he worked at all of the estate houses, Goth Manor included. So while it is possible that he had been involved with Bella in some capacity, I seriously doubt it. I would have been shocked to learn that she so much as looked Donald Lothario in the eye."

"And was he involved with you in some capacity?" Dina's smile faded. She looked away, swallowing hard.


Adelaide had tapped into a wellspring of a guilt almost a quarter century old. There was Don, standing by the pool at Bachelor Manor, his piercing green eyes following Dina from behind a sweaty and tangled mess of black hair. Scar tissue formed a complicated latticework upon his chest and back. His teeth glistened like knives. He used to unnerve her so.

Michael was dying. The business was going under. Dina spent her days battling with doctors and lawyers and Bella herself. It was inevitable that someone would deign to take advantage of her vulnerability. It had happened to be Don.


"Why are you asking me all of this?"


"Because I have to know if Dad had anything to do with Bella's death." Adelaide's voice dropped to just above a whisper. Dina nearly choked.



"Well did he? Whether or not they were sleeping together, something was going on between them. She trusted him. It would have been easy. We both know what he was. If he thought that he could get closer to you by ridding the world of Bella he might have done it." Dina was stunned.


"Adelaide, listen to me. Your father did not murder Bella Goth. I won't vouch for his intentions but he stumbled into something much larger than either or us. "


"What could he possibly have stumbled into?"

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you."


"Try me." Dina held her breath. There was no knowing where to begin and most of it she still didn't understand herself. Adelaide stood abruptly.


"Goodnight, Mother." Adelaide left with more speed and less purpose than she had entered with. Dina knew that the girl would not rest until she learned the truth. The past was washing ashore and all that Dina could do was to wait for the approaching tide.




  1. Wow you did such an amazing job making Dina! She looks so realistic for a middle aged...kind of prudish woman. Absolutely amazing! Good work!

  2. Thanks Tiana! I worry a lot about these sims looking their age. If only Maxis had created more stages! A 20-year-old doesn't just wake up one morning and find that they're 70.

  3. I like that you've got this unfinished mystery of Bella's death in the background...

    I didn't expect Dina to be like that.

    How horrible for Cassandra to suicide - I am as curious as Adelaide what prompted it...

  4. There were a couple of factors that lead to Cassandra's suicide. One of them was being madly in love with a man who had only ever loved her stepmother. Her other reasons have yet to pop-up in the story.

    Bits and pieces of what happened to Bella surface as the story continues. There are a few different mysteries in the story that are all linked. Bella's disappearance is one of them.

    Dina has gone through a lot in life and has come out of it a pretty cantankerous sort of person. Very fun to write, though.