Taking a deep breath to calm her jangled nerves, Emily whispered the word to release the wards and the gate swung open with a squeak that seemed loud to her ears. Wincing, she froze as her eyes darted toward the front door even though she knew no one was home to hear the gate.

She'd had this house under surveillance for almost three months, thanks to a couple cameras that she'd…um…borrowed from work. Late one night shortly after she'd stormed from the house, she had returned with the battery-operated cameras and attached them to some trees in the woods across the street from the house. One was focused on the front of the house as a whole while the other she focused on the front gate and door, although both had primitive artificial intelligence chips that allowed them to focus in and follow movement at their discretion.

Every night for the next two months, she had snuck back into the woods to change the cameras' batteries and to download the data from their hard drives onto her flash drive. Then she would head back to her apartment where she would spend hours upon hours going over footage that made her want to stab herself in the eye with a sharp stick because that would have been more entertaining. It seemed like the majority of the footage consisted of seeing how the house looked at different times of day and in various weather. There was not even much in the way of foot traffic to break up the monotony since the house was located on the edge of town.

However, she was able to establish Edmond's routine fairly quickly. Around the same time everyday, in the mid-afternoon, he would leave his house and return after an hour. She assumed he was going on a daily walk. Other than that, he never left the house. He had groceries delivered and collected the mail daily, but that was it. The man really was a recluse.

It wasn't until one night in the last week of the first month after she started her surveillance that she discovered a deviation in his regular routine. That deviation occurred again in the last week of the second month of surveillance. In both instances, he had left his house around eight o'clock and returned around midnight. The only things that differed were the days of the week.

It was now the last week into the third month of her surveillance. She had spent the last several nights hiding in the forest across the street waiting to see when he would leave on his rendezvous. Finally, tonight it had happened. He had left the house about half an hour ago and headed for the bus stop a block away.

And now she was wasting precious minutes frozen like a startled deer in front of the gate. But, then again, it wasn't as if she had ever broken into someone's house before. Even with all the prep work that had gone into this job, she still worried that Edmond would return at any minute despite the fact that in every other routine she had observed him perform he was as regular as clockwork. Nonetheless, she was only going to allow herself an hour of investigation. She wanted to be long gone before Edmond returned. So get moving, Emily! she thought to herself.

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

  1. Trine says:

    Fantastic 😆

  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. 🙂

  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. 😉 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. 😉

  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. 😉

    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. 😉

  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! 😀

    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. 😉

  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. 🙂

    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. 😛

  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. 🙂

    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. 😀

    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. 😉

  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. 😉

  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. 🙂

  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. 😉

  28. Cadie says:

    Dear Kara,
    I hope you find success in releasing the next chapter, we're really missing Edmond and Emily 😥 *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. 🙂

  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. 😉

    Laxyl, thank you! That's so nice of you. 🙂 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 I’m 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 can’t 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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