Friday, November 14, 2008

Chapter 30: Elise Has No Dream

Thurs, November 12, 2074 8:10 am: 88 Wilkins Ave.-- Camden, Pleasantview


"I don't understand it, Elise. I don't. I just can't even begin," Vince sputtered. Elise straightened her back, giving over her full attention. Vince bit his lower lip, utterly bewildered.

"Well are you going to tell me what happened or what," Elise asked after a brief moment of silence.


"Oh, sorry," Vince said, ruffling his wavy black hair. "You know how meticulous I am about the budget, right?" Elise felt a creeping sense of dread. If only she hadn't bought that pair of ballet slippers for Ermengarde the week before! She nodded slowly. "Well a few minutes ago, I opened up my sock draw same as I do every morning and there was six thousand simoleons in cash just- just sitting there! You wouldn't happen to know anything about that would you?" Vince's words swept by Elise in a fevered rush like the scattering of birds. He punctuated every thought by slapping the back of his right hand into the palm of his left. Six thousand simoleons? Elise didn't even know what that much money looked like. Her mouth went dry.


"If I had that kind of money, don't you think I'd tell you about it instead of just leaving it with your socks?" Vince gripped the back of his neck and looked down wards.

"I can't think of any other way to explain it," he mumbled. Elise stared at the wall behind him. Vince was not the type to misplace large sums of money, particularly not in a place that he regulated as strictly as he did his sock drawer. His obsessive-compulsive organizational habits alone would have prevented anything of this nature from happening.

"So what are we going to do," Elise asked softly. Vince rolled his eyes as though the answer were obvious.

"We're going to pay some bills. That's what we're going to do."


"We can't just spend this money! We don't even know where it came from," Elise protested. Vince's face contorted and for an instant, he looked so sullen that Elise almost reached out to him.

"But we were obviously meant to have it," Vince pouted.

"So let me get this straight," Elise said wearily. "You think that someone, out of the goodness of their heart, climbed through your window last night and stuck a huge wad of cash in your sock drawer?"


"Well no," Vince said, wringing his hands. "I don't know! It sounds stupid when you say it like that but I guess it must have been a person and if it wasn't you... I don't know." His shoulders slumped, defeated. Elise shrugged. She could offer no more answers than he could. Maybe someone had left that money for them. The idea of a mysterious benefactor greatly appealed to Elise's all-but-dead penchant for romance. And suddenly, she began to see the possibilities that six thousand simoleons could bring. Winter coats for the walk to school. A vacuum cleaner. A computer. Driving lessons for Vince. Piano lessons for Ermengarde. A chemistry set for Arnaud...

"You're right," Elise said. "However it got there, it's obviously for you. Spend it." Vince smirked almost imperceptibly.


"I know. I was going to spend it no matter what you said. But do me a favor and don't tell the other two about this. I don't want them getting too excited," Vince insisted. Elise gave her brother a military salute.

"Whatever you say, captain."

"I'm going to the grocery store after school. You want anything?" Elise beamed.

"Yeah, I want a really nice cut of steak. And a wheel of cheese. Good cheese. Oh and some cake for Arnaud and Ermie."

"Will do," Vince said, walking out of the room. "And remember- This conversation never happened." Elise drew an invisible zipper across her lips.


Elise released a sigh as the bedroom door snapped shut behind Vince. She scratched her head, perplexed. If ever she needed evidence that her life was some kind of cosmic farce, then this would be it. Still, at least this marked the end of Fish Stick Fridays in the Mindelsohn household. Elise slid off the edge of the bed, rumpling the sheets and crouched down into a kneeling position on the floor.


Blindly, she reached underneath the bed, excavating notebooks and pens when her hand stopped over something that felt like neither pen nor notebook. It was crisp, thin, cool, veined. A leaf? Elise bent over sideways and peered under the bed. She was met with a pair of roses.


Grabbing the edge of the bed, Elise straightened herself back up with trembling arms. Her heart palpitated hard against her ribcage. Her eyes misted. She felt as though she were having a fit. The real and the impossible were converging. Her mysterious benefactor was unmasked. And it was no dream.



  1. What?!! you didn't!! LOL! That was great! I don't know what I would do if I found 6 grand in my sock drawer!! Awesome cliffhanger! Of course I'm still reading backwards!:P

  2. Six thousand? In his sock drawer? And all she gets are roses? If I were her, I'd be a little hurt...

    Kidding, obviously. Nice chapter :)

  3. hehehe :)
    Well he assumed that Vince would share. Vince is technically the head of the household so he controls the family dough. Kvornan left the roses so that Elise would know where the money came from. In my original chapter notes, I had him leaving blue poppies like the ones in the garden from her dream. But that would have required some photo-editing and I'm too lazy for that business :p
    Particularly since many of the chapters in 30-39 have intense photoshoots (the Lothario cocktail party alone is a killer and that takes up 4 chapters).

    Thanks for reading guys!

  4. I should probably add a little note here about the monetary conversion between the simoleon and the USD.

    This is pretty tricky considering what a simoleon buys you. A computer, for instance, will average about 1,000 simoleons (which would seem to imply that the simoleon is very similar to the USD is terms of value) but a small house in a crap neighborhood will range between 12,000-18,000 simoleons. This would imply an enormous discrepancy between the simoleon and the USD. If we justify the cost of housing by saying that maybe there is some kind of enormous government subsidy being given to home buyers, then maybe we can start to guess at the conversion?

    For the purposes of the story, I'm going to say that 1.00 simoleon is approximately equal to $2.00. Why? Because a $2,000 computer is by no means unheard of. And when I think about the cheapest house that money can by in the US, it comes to about $60,000. While a subsidy that covers er what? About 77% of the actual cost of the house seems completely out of control, it's still the best explanation that I can think of at the moment.

    That is until you get into the question of wealth. When you start the game, the Goth family household has well over 500,000 simoleons. If you read the little blurb about Pleasantview in the neighborhood screen, it says something like "Mortimer has finally come into his millions". This would mean that my conversion is way, way off.

    And then there is the question of wages, which I'm not even going to skim the surface of.

    So what can 6,000 simoleons buy the Mindelsohn children? A lot. In Pleasantview, that's a crap load of money. But I can't really say just how much.

    Hmm I think I'll put this rant on the behind-the-scenes blog.

  5. OK I am starting to love that guy after all...

    Elise better not get hurt though. >8(

    It is rather a shame you didn't do the blue poppies, though I have shied away from photo-editing many a time myself out of sheer laziness. The thing is, I didn't quite see how Elise made the connection, unless she is so far gone in romantic fantasies about this fellow that she blindly assumes it was him. Or maybe they have that kind of connection?

  6. I'm going to go with the last explanation. :)
    When I was writing it, I was thinking that she would make the connection just because they were flowers but that is a pretty loose assumption. Even so, there's no one else in her life that could/would do something like that.