One fine day
One misty morning
One slightly overcast
It was a bad day, okay? The sun wasn’t shining and the birds weren’t chirping and everyone agreed that the grass was a really weird colour of grey when these eight suckers were ditched on a random lot in Bridgeport.
“Hey, this isn’t the Bahamas,” said the guy at the front of the group. They’d been duped by a man in a pest control van selling tickets for a tropical getaway. “Also, this definitely isn’t grass.”
The more inquisitive among them started to explore the area.
“A house with glass walls? That’s not creepy at all,” said the woman in the light blue sweater.
Others were beyond inquisitive and simply had no sense of self preservation. These were the ones who wandered right inside.
“I looooove you,” whispered a longing voice.
“That’s not creepy at all,” said the man in green.
“Who are you calling creepy?” said the voice. “I’ll have you know I’m the hottest girl in Twinbrook!”
“I don’t even know where that is!” said the man.
“You’re fiery,” said the woman. “I like you.”
Others had started to follow them inside by now because pack mentality and all that.
“Hey everyone,” said the man, “this girl is from Buttsville, and she thinks she’s hot.”
“It’s called Twinbrook, you sexy man!” she exclaimed.
No one was listening; the buffet against the window-wall had been magically stocked with food.
“This looks delightful!” said an overly optimistic man. “Salad is my favourite food!”
It really was.
“Does anyone remember how we got here?” asked the woman at the end of the table. “There’s a big blank in my memory. I keep getting flashes of a van and a high-pitched laugh.”
“That’s not creepy at all,” everyone agreed, completely without sarcasm.
Inevitably, sparks flew at the dinner table. Everyone was attracted to everyone, except for that guy in the red. No one was attracted to him.
The squabbling lovebirds were the last to take their seats, having wasted precious eating time exploring their sexual tension.
“Um, hello?” said the man. “I was going to sit there!”
“Who are you talking to?” said the woman. “There’s nobody out there.”
She was pretty wrong about that.
Suddenly, a woman at the other end of the table stood. “Would you two PLEASE shut up, for the love of god!”
“She said it, but we were all thinking it,” said the optimistic man. “Am I right?”
He probably was. After that outburst, they decided it would be a good idea to introduce themselves.
Name: Toto Smirx
Personality: Brave, Flirty, Animal Lover, Mooch, Ambitious
“I got two rules if you wanna get with me, so listen carefully. One, I don’t pay for stuff. Two, my chihuahua is more important than you. So who’s interested?”
“How about you, ya hunk?”
“Actually, my name is Lunk.”
Name: Lunk Lambert
Personality: Daredevil, Party Animal, Grumpy, Mean-Spirited, Born Salesman.
“I got one rule,” he countered. “Don’t fuckin’ talk to me unless you wanna buy toner. Or drugs.”
“I won’t take that attitude, young mister,” said the woman in blue. “It offends my religion.”
Name: Ybella Fuzzbutt
Hometown: Al Simhara
Personality: Neurotic, Brooding, Vegetarian, Savvy Sculptor, Dog Person
“Twenty years ago I moved to Egypt to join King Tut’s Revival Circle. The admission fee was very reasonable. I sculpt dog statues for the prayer circles.”
“I thought the Ancient Egyptians worshipped cats,” said her neighbour.
Name: Melba McAlabaster
Hometown: Isla Paradiso
Personality: Insane, Loser, Savvy Sculptor, Bookworm, Charismatic
“I suspect your religion is a scam,” said Melba. “But hey, I like sculpting things too.”
“How dare you,” said Ybella.
“Isn’t this nice,” said a man who had not yet spoken. “I was chasing my one true love to the Bahamas. It was my last chance to prove that I truly care for her, but now I would much rather be here.”
Name: Squonky Sleazeball
Hometown: Moonlight Falls
Personality: Loner, Brave, Couch Potato, Dramatic, Hydrophobic
“At home, I am a firefighter. But I am on probation because I tend to run screaming when the hose turns on.”
Another one of the bunch was also having career troubles. He’d been a rising musician until a meth addict had smashed his ukulele over his head, calling him a “human bagpipe.” He was trying out a new thing called not talking.
Name: Porge Flambert-Jenk
Hometown: Starlight Shores
Personality: Social Butterfly, Neat, Eccentric, Charismatic, Natural Born Performer
“I’m Porge,” was all he said. “Like George but with a ‘P.’ Please don’t call me Georpe.”
“That’s funny!” said the last one. “You play the ukulele and my name is Banji, like Banjo but with an ‘I.’ We must have met by some perfect twist of fate!”
Name: Banji Kapalapalas
Hometown: Monte Vista
Personality: Brave, Dramatic, Commitment Issues, Light Sleeper, Friendly
Banji’s real name was not, in fact, Banji. By some perfect twist of fate, he’d been heavily roofied as an eight-year-old and started life anew in a large Greek family.
“I’m Zerflumpagus,” said the final member, “and I think you’re all ridiculous.”
Name: Zerflumpagus Tweede
Hometown: Sunset Valley
Personality: Nurturing, Friendly, Shy, Loner, Slob.
“In fact, I’m pretty sure we’ve been kidnapped to star in a reality TV show.”
“Haha, good one!” said the others.
All of a sudden, the phone rang.
“Not it!” said everyone at once. No one stopped to think who might be calling, nor why.
“I don’t want to, you guys!” Zerflumpagus had lost the nose game. “I hate phones!”
Unfortunately, everyone hates phones these days and she had no choice.
“Um, hello?” she peeped.
“GREETINGS, MY LITTLE LETTUCE LEAF. IT IS TIME TO MAKE SIM SALAD. CONVENE ON THE GIANT 8 IN FIFTEEN MINUTES.”
Needless to say, Zerflumpagus was rattled. The others, however, seemed to have forgotten about the phone call already.
“Um, guys?” she said, but no one was listening.
She managed to pull Banji aside. “I think someone is watching us,” she told him, and relayed what the creepy voice had said.
Surprisingly, Banji wasn’t worried. “That’s not creepy at all,” he said. “It was a probably a prank call. But if it’ll put your mind at ease, let’s see if we can’t find this giant 8.”
“Are you gonna clean up those dishes or what?” Lunk barked at Porge. Porge decided not to say anything. It felt good.
As a matter of fact, there was a giant 8 at the back of the lot. The others had already found it by accident while looking for a place to gossip about each other in private.
No one had noticed several new structures going up in the last hour.
Including this one, right across from where they’d been eating.
“What is this we’re standing on?” Ybella wondered aloud. “It looks like the ancient hieroglyph my leader writes on his forehead to restore his magical powers.”
“Wow, your religion really is a scam,” said Squonky.
Just then, a voice came over the loudspeaker. Wait, what loudspeaker? I guess there was a loudspeaker.
ATTENTION, VEGETABLES. YOUR INSTRUCTIONS ARE CONTAINED IN ‘A HISTORY OF TURNIPS, VOL. 2’ ON PAGE 394.
“We’re in luck,” said Porge, breaking his vow of silence. “I was already going to read that one!” The others waited with bated breath while he stood there and read for several minutes. “Oh, right,” he finally said. “Sorry, I got caught up in the information about germination. It’s really interesting!”
“So what does it say?” they all pried.
“It says we’re having a cook-off. They could have just said that on the loudspeaker…”
“A cook-off?” said Squonky. “But where are the barbecues? And how did we get into these clothes?”
“That’s not creepy at all,” everyone agreed.
The loudspeaker came on again.
IF YOU LOOK AT THIS PLACE FROM A BIRD’S EYE VIEW, YOU WILL SEE THAT THERE ARE EIGHT CUBICAL HUTS.
Never mind that, being on the ground and all, they couldn’t look at it from a bird’s eye view.
INSIDE EACH OF THESE IS A FRIDGE AND A BARBECUE. YOU HAVE FOUR HOURS TO MAKE ME THE BEST DARNED BATCH OF HOT DOGS I’VE EVER SEEN. GOOD RIDDANCE, AND I WILL SEE YOU ON THE SEVEN.
There were many things about this that were concerning, but Squonky was thinking of none of them.
“Oh my, it’s going to get so hot in those rooms. I’m going to sweat, and sweat is water. I am going to die.”
So they all got in their huts and started to cook.
Some were more enthusiastic than others.
These were eight fully-grown adults, but that didn’t mean that any of them knew how to cook. Lunk had trouble opening the refrigerator. Ybella was queasy about working with what she thought was actual dog meat, and at first refused to even take the wieners out of the package.
But Toto was the most incompetent of the lot. As she watched the plastic melt off her hot dogs into the flames below, she congratulated herself on her self-sufficiency.
When the smell reached her nostrils, she still did not give in to doubt.
“Gee,” she said, “whoever used this barbecue last must have cooked something disgusting.”
Sometimes having confidence in yourself really does pay off, and sometimes the arrogant knobs of the world have all the luck.
There was certainly a lot of smoke coming out of the huts.
Lunk pulled off a decent batch despite never having owned a stove or seen a vegetable.
Porge’s attempt screamed “don’t quit your day job.”
“But I did quit my day job,” he lamented.
Others were even more unlucky.
The culinary prowess of the group was a record-breaking low; five out of eight huts were filled with a sinister glow.
Before bursting into flame altogether.
It was a good day for Brave sims Banji and Squonky, who leapt immediately into action. Squonky especially was glad he could use a fire extinguisher instead of a conventional hose.
Others were not so good in an emergency.
“Think, Ybella, think! What would King Tut do?”
Zerflumpagus forsook logic altogether.
But eventually got her head on straight.
The fire could not be contained by the tiny brick huts. Someone should have seen and come running to help, but everyone found themselves mysteriously locked into their own coloured cube…
It was hard to say who was in the most danger. Both Melba and Ybella seemed likely to be engulfed at any second.
“Is THIS what the guy meant when he said ‘I’ll take you somewhere warm’?”
Never mind that that was an uncomfortable statement to begin with.
However, it was Ybella who first succumbed to the flames…
“But how will I be mummified now?!”
…and within seconds…
…she was nothing but a pile of ashes.
A cloaked figure appeared outside Ybella’s hut, unable to perform the proper ceremony due to poor architecture.
“She’s dead?” said a lurking zombie. “But I wanted to eat her.”
“Next time,” said Grim.
Suddenly, the doors unlocked. The remaining seven burst from their huts and congregated in the smoky night.
“Wasn’t that fun?” said Porge. “This is a proper summer getaway! I hope we go windsurfing tomorrow!”
Zerflumpagus and Squonky didn’t deign to answer. They were a wee bit tired from fighting life-threatening fires. The loudspeaker spared Porge the awkwardness by piping up again.
ATTENTION! I REGRETFULLY ANNOUNCE THAT ONE OF YOU IS NO LONGER WITH US. YBELLA FUZZBUTT DIED PEACEFULLY IN A TRAGIC FIRE. TAKE YOUR TIME TO MOURN AND GET SOME SLEEP. I’LL SEE YOU ON THE SEVEN… OH, AND TOTO, THOSE HOT DOGS WERE ON POINT.
“Ybella… died?” said squonky.
“Where are we?” said Zerflumpagus.
They turned the corner and there she was, curled up in a ball of ghostliness.
“Well, somebody sucks at cooking,” said Toto, really stepping in it.
Suddenly, it dawned on them what that fixture was for…