About 3 months later

Emily's heart was pounding so hard it vibrated her ribcage and her knees trembled with suppressed excitement. God, was she seriously going through with this?

She hesitated in front of the wrought iron gate. Behind it, encased in a barrier of protective wards that were bound to the fence and gate, rose the old house. To her mind's eye, the aged dwelling glowed as brilliantly as a bonfire. It also seemed to mock her where it stood—aloof and protected behind the invisible walls of the wards.

Through firsthand experience gained when she was a little girl, she knew the wards repelled any attempt to enter. Exiting the property was simple—the wards were one-directional and didn't prevent anyone leaving—as she had discovered after departing this same house in a rage over three months ago. However, it was only by reciting the magic word, which had been woven into the wards on their creation, that a person could enter the barrier.

It was a good thing she knew the magic word then. She narrowed her eyes at the house and allowed a smug grin to twist her mouth. Thanks to her extra-sensitive hearing that she had inherited from her elven father, she had overheard Edmond's murmured recitation of the word when he'd last opened the gate for her. There was something going on behind those stone walls and she was going to find out what that damn man thought he could hide from her.

As a sensitive, she could sense accumulations of energy. This talent was useful in her line of work as a paranormal investigator because it allowed her to track down ghosts, who were themselves accumulations of a energy. It also allowed her to sense magic. Her previous visit had made it possible for her to determine that it was not paranormal activity that saturated this house but some sort of buildup of magical energies.

It had become a matter of pride that she discover the secrets of this house and of the man who lived in it. His casual dismissal of her girlhood memories, from her first meeting with him, as the overwrought imaginings of a child had done more than simply anger her. It had also made her curse the romantic daydreams she had indulged in as she had grown up. On top of that, he had also tried to distract her questions at first by flirting with her. She tried not to think how easy it would have been to succumb to his flirtations. But, the "Edmond le Strange" that isolated himself in this aging building was nothing like the romantic hero of her teenage fantasies. It was too bad really. He was still so handsome that simply looking at him stole her breath away.

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34 Responses to “The Monster and the Maiden: Ch. 06, Part I”

  1. Trine says:

    Fantastic πŸ˜†

  2. Kara says:

    Thank you so much, Trine! This one is kind of wordy (yes, even a bit more wordy than my usual stuff…haha) but it's important to getting to know Emily's point of view and to setting the stage for the next part. I'm glad you enjoyed it. πŸ™‚

  3. E. Black says:

    I can't wait to see what Emily finds back there because I don't think we've seen what's behind that bookshelf have we? Also those outtakes are nice. I especially love the last one.

  4. Cadie says:

    This chapter has made me love Emily even more and I agree with E. Black, the last outtake shot is just pure bliss.

  5. Kara says:

    I'm glad you both liked the outtakes. I had too much fun with them.

    E. Black: Yep, you're right. What's behind the bookshelf is still a mystery. πŸ˜‰ I think there are only a few more rooms that I haven't shown in one way or another.

    Cadie: I'm glad! I thought it would be nice to get to know Emily a bit since most of the story has been shown through Edmond's eyes so far. She certainly is something else. haha

  6. Kim says:

    Omg! These stories are so interesting! Please make more! When will the next one be out?

  7. Kara says:

    Thank you, Kim! I don't have a set schedule for when I post my stories as I never seem to be able to stick to it. All I can say is it'll be out when it's out. πŸ˜‰

  8. Trina says:

    :up: Ah! How could you leave us hanging like that!

    I am thoroughly enjoying this story Kara. I really like the lighting you use. I tried to use the radiance mod from MTS but it made everything too dark but I see it works beautifully for you!

  9. Erica says:

    Simply Wonderful…I can't wait to see what happens next.

  10. Kara says:

    Trina: I know…I'm evil. πŸ˜‰

    Have you tried the newest version of the Radiance Mod? I used to think it made the game too dark too, but I really like the newer version.

    Erica: Thank you! I'm keeping my lips sealed. πŸ˜‰

  11. Cheripye822 says:

    Beautiful outtakes, beautiful writing. And HAHA Emily broke in, lol!
    Now where is her husband??? lol! I was chuckling the whole way through especially after her diary entry. Although I am a bit worried that she doesnt feel for Edmond, *swoon* as he does her. 80)

    On a seperate note, do you mind if I link to your story on my blog page?

  12. Kara says:

    I'd be honored if you linked my story, Cheri. Thank you! πŸ˜€

    I'm really glad you enjoyed this chapter so much. I've been excited to work on it for awhile now. As for whether or not Emily feels as strongly for him as he does for her…well, she's a bit upset at Edmond at the moment. She hates feeling that she's been made a fool of or being treated like a little girl. She has no way of knowing that he's trying to protect her. Beyond that, I'm not saying a word. πŸ˜‰

  13. Lani says:

    Great writing Kara. One of your best, I think. And a nice cliffhanger. I kept wondering when (hello!) a certain somebody would arrive home.

  14. Kara says:

    Thank you, Lani! I hope you're doing well. πŸ™‚

    I felt a little mean ending it where I did, but there was really no other part I could split the chapter in two. (I write the complete chapters and then split them up after I'm done.) Oh, well, a little added suspense. πŸ˜›

  15. Gayl says:

    Loved the outtakes! haha those were just wonderful.

    Now to Miss Emily's curiosity…no matter how smitten Edmond is with her, breaking in is not something I think he will tolerate much. That and the fact that someone has figured out what is going on with his security system. I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't consider moving…

    I loved how Emily set up her surveillance. She must have shown incredible restraint not to drive herself mad wondering what he did when he was gone. She may say she wants to get to the bottom of the magic that is going on at his place but methinks she doth protest too much! Come on, she can't be immune to his charms…

    Wonderful update as always! I am in such awe at your work, images and writing.

  16. Belle says:

    You story is wonderful! And your pictures are so atmospheric. Text are good too, but english isn't my native language and I can't understand it well. Anyway, I love read to your story. :XO:

  17. Decorgal says:

    Ack- I don't remember getting an email for this one so I'm glad I checked your blog. πŸ™‚

    This was certainly an intriguing chapter- I like how Emily's personality from youth translated to her as an adult. She seemed like a troublemaker then and she still is now (in a good way of course). I'll tell you again and again till my face turns blue- your sets are so phenomenal. They really do carry you into another world altogether.

  18. Kara says:

    Gayl: Emily is a handful, that's for sure. Thank you so much for the kind words. They are very inspiring especially since I'm having such a hard time with the second part of this chapter. haha

    Belle: Thank you! Even if you can't understand all the words, I'm glad you're still enjoying the story. πŸ˜€

    Decorgal: Yeah, sometimes Feedblitz seems to send out emails erratically. Sometimes I get them and sometimes I don't. Email programs are frustrating (as you know! haha).

    Emily is fun to write. And, you're spot on about her–her trouble-making ways followed her from a child to an adult. It seems like Edmond doesn't know her as well as he thinks he does. And thanks so much for compliment! I really have fun with my sets even if they take me forever and a day to decorate. πŸ˜‰

  19. Erica says:

    Hey Kara..I was wondering will Emily's brothers make an appearance? I would love to see them all grown up. :XO:

  20. Kara says:

    Hi, Erica. They will be making a small cameo appearance in the future, but I'm not saying when. πŸ˜‰

  21. Reyoko says:

    Your descriptions are wonderful and amazing as always. :XO: I'm amazed at how you are able to describe so much yet have it sound interesting and worth reading. If I wrote so much of descriptions, I'm sure to have put my readers to sleep already. ::-*: Heh.

    I'm very curious as to what's hidden behind the shelves, but I'll find out soon enough. There is one thing I'm curious of… Emily's not really engaged, is she? I just have this feeling in the pit of my stomach that's saying she is not engaged. She lied didn't she?! 😑 So much for my Rafe x Edmond…!

  22. karen says:

    Hi, i've been lurking around for sometimes. Hmm, i just had to say something this time. Emily is just stubborn!! Well, i'll be upset too if anyone try to doubt or make me doubt my memories. Edward is gorgeous in his own brooding demented way!

  23. Kara says:

    Reyoko: Thank you! I'm glad I'm not overdoing my descriptions. That's always a fear of mine. I think some description can add to the richness of a story but too much can bog it down. It seems like balancing act sometimes!

    As ever, my lips are sealed tight about future events in the story. But I do enjoy reading everyone's speculations!

    Karen: Welcome and thank you! You're so right! Emily is stubborn. If she were an animal, I believe she'd be a mule or a donkey. haha! Hmm…that makes me wonder, what type of animal would Edmond be? I'm going to have to think about it. πŸ™‚

  24. Beth says:

    First I have to say that I adore "curiousity killed the cat, satisfaction brought it back." and why don't they return? maybe satisfaction is on the cat's terms…

    I loved the shot and the scene where Emily is researching the camera footage. The changes in her expression, the difference in the lighting and even the hair..just wonderful!

    And the entire sequence…she is so stubborn and so intent and so determined to do it on her own. Edmond and the mysteries surrounding him, and Edmond the person, and whether the two can be separated.

    I love where you're taking this. slowly. on little cat feet.

  25. Kara says:

    Thank you, Beth! I'm so excited for the next chapter (even though it's been hard taking pictures for it).

    And, you're so right, Emily is very determined to prove herself. I think it comes from having a father who she worshiped like he was a hero. She doesn't want to come up short in his eyes.

  26. Julieth says:

    Oooh I love it. The way you get your characters' expressions to be *just* right, it's fantastic…I especially love the picture of Emily looking at surveilance photos, it's so realistic!
    I can't wait for the next bit- I sense crazy amounts of drama!
    (I'm from GOS by the way)

  27. Kara says:

    Welcome, Julieth, and thank you so much! I had a lot of fun taking pictures for Emily's surveillance scene. It was also the first time her apartment appears in the story. And, I think your senses may be correct. πŸ˜‰

  28. Cadie says:

    Dear Kara,
    I hope you find success in releasing the next chapter, we're really missing Edmond and Emily πŸ˜₯ *Where's the Hagen Daas?*

  29. Kara says:

    Hi, Cadie! I've been sort of on vacation for the last couple of weeks since my husband has taken some time off from work. I'll be back to work on it next week though. πŸ™‚

  30. Maria says:

    Your stories are fantastic, especially their atmosphere. I can't wait for the next installment!

  31. Laxyl says:

    Oh gosh, this is one of the best stories I've ever read!
    Mind if I ask what font you used for the Diary?

  32. Kara says:

    Maria, thank you so much! I'm working on the next installment so hopefully you won't have to wait too long. πŸ˜‰

    Laxyl, thank you! That's so nice of you. πŸ™‚ The font I used for Emily's handwriting is Jellyka–Estrya's Handwriting.

  33. sourtea says:

    The quality of the images is breathtaking, each shot is just perfect. 😯
    ..and IÒ€ℒm glad you keep on posting outtakes from the header because they are a real treat for the eyes! :XO:

    I know this has been said before, but I canÒ€ℒt wait for the next chapter.. 😳 since, of course, I love the plot too! :halo:

  34. Kara says:

    Thank you, sourtea! You flatter me! :XO: I'm in awe of your artistic imagery as well.


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