[ Challenges ] [ Sims 3 Stories ] [ Agnes and Eric ]
Agnes was worrying about money. She never had, in the past. There had always been enough. Now suddenly, since Eric was resurrected, money was important. Because it was important to him. Eric liked the good things money could buy, and was not particularly interested in earning any kind of a living. He had pointed out to Agnes that Giovanni had taken all the money from her estate in Sunset Valley. The big house must have been worth a lot. It had not worried her. She had a place to live, since Don Salvatore gave her Giovanni's little house here in Bridgeport. Evil though the old man was, she felt he would ensure she had a roof over her head, if only because she had given birth to his grandson. Family seemed very important to him.
In the wee small hours of the night, Agnes found herself wondering whether it might be worth taking Giovanni to court. It would have to be civil court; taking money by fraudulent means, or some such. Gunther would know. Gunther Goth, her brother in law, was a terrible gossip and a very important businessman. He had contacts everywhere. He would certainly have friends who were lawyers. She would call him in the morning.
She decided a trip to visit her sister was in order. Eric didn't mind, he said, so long as she left plenty of food in the house. There was enough money in the bank account for his drinks and gym fees. She did tentatively try to raise the subject of his looking for work, but he flew into a rage and said he shouldn't have to.
When she got there, she and Cornelia had a long chat. Agnes told her of all her adventures with Giovanni. Agnes homed in immediately on Agnes' fortune. "He got you to sign what? And you paid for everything as you went along?"
"Cornie, he was so sweet, so - Italian - so romantic... and it felt like an adventure out of a novel - and it looked as though we would get married - and then he got his father back and just - LEFT, as if he really didn't care for me."
"But he came back, I bet."
Agnes blushed. "Yes. He keeps coming back. And he has got my BAAABEEE." She started to cry again. "I can't say no to him because he might hurt Cor. I don't know what to do...."
Cornelia looked carefully at her sister. "Aggie, tell me straight. You fancy him, yes? A bit of rough?"
"... a little bit...."
"Oh, no. You always were a hopeless romantic. Life isn't like novels, sweet thing. EVER. This has to stop. You can't keep on like this. It's wrecking your whole life. It's not just the money, is it? And what does Eric make of all this?"
"He... oh God, he doesn't know. Corrie, you must promise me never to tell him."
"Tell him what? That you are still boffing that man who took all your money? That man who took your baby? That man who is partly responsible for bringing him back from the dead?" Cornelia shuddered. "No way. I can't imagine how any man would react to a can of worms like this."
"Eric isn't happy about the money," Agnes managed to explain. "He's never been poor, and he's taking it badly. He thinks we can just ask Giovanni for the money back. But he tends to avoid Giovanni when he does see him... he is so FIT."
"Giovanni is very fit?" Agnes nodded and blushed again. "And Eric is - quite flabby since he came back?"
"Yes... he goes to the gym twice a week but he still likes his food, and doesn't seem to burn it off the way he used to."
"What about little Cor? Do you know he is all right?"
"I know they have a huge place, bigger than my old house, and he is provided with everything he wants. They've got a nanny for him, some girl called Katelyn Missoni. I don't know her. The old man totally dotes on Cor, treats him as a princeling."
"Then he is at least safe for now. It's Giovanni we have to deal with. And it sounds as if Eric might be happier if you could win some of your money back. Let's go talk it through with Gunther." Cornelia noticed Agnes' face and added "We don't have to tell him everything. We don't want to shock him, do we? And anyway he's a bit of a gossip," grinned Cornelia.
Gunther, told of Giovanni's annexation of Agnes' fortune, was shocked enough. "I will get onto this straight away," he told his relieved sister-in-law. "You should have told me earlier, there is a statute of limitation on cases like this. I'll talk to my lawyer... He pulled out his laptop and started to type an email straight away.
Agnes didn't know what to do with herself, so after helping Cornelia prepare dinner, she fell into a sound sleep in the second spare bedroom, which had been her room all through her childhood.
The next day, Gunther told her that he had spent a lot of the evening on the phone, and made some progress. He would set up a meeting for her with his friend the judge in a couple of days. Meanwhile he suggested she relax and enjoy her holiday in Sunset Valley. "There is a good film on at the Kino, I hear," he told her. Agnes decided that would be an excellent idea. And she felt it would be a good thing to give Gunther and Cornelia some time together too, as she and Cornelia had been together every waking moment since she arrived in Sunset Valley. She took herself off for the afternoon and evening, visited some of the sights she remembered, bought a pleasant meal and then went to the cinema.
Meanwhile, back at the Goth mansion, two familiar figures in white suits were trying not to be noticed.
"My friend the scientist told me of an incendiary mixture we can use," said Giovanni. "It will be the perfect murder. Sims die in house fires all the time. This one will just be a little - bigger!"
He had found a wooden hollow log, and brought all the ingredients from their base in Bridgeport - weedkiller, icing sugar, diesel oil. Mixed together this made a kind of grey paste, which they stuffed inside the log. Now came Benjamino's part of the plan. While Gunther was still at work and Cornelia left to pick Mortimer up from school, Benjamino had to climb inside the house and place the log inconspicuously on the fire in the large wood-fired fireplace in the lounge at the front of the house. It looked like any other log, and already placed in situ on the fire, it should ensure that the fire spread very fast.
"Piece of cake," smiled Benjamino. "But why, Giovanni? I didn't think we knew these people?"
"You're not meant to think, Benjamino, but you're the best cat-burglar in the business. Just get in there and place it. You should have about half an hour till she gets back from picking the boy up and shopping."
Benjamino was used to being given orders by 'higher ups'. That was how his life had always been. His father, his bosses, and now his brother. Shedding the white suit which was rather visible, he soon found a window that was slightly open. Checking, he found the burglar alarm - on the ground floor, and of the usual type, so it was simple to disarm it.
When Cornelia came home, she lit the fire in the lounge as usual with a firelighter. She went off into the kitchen to prepare a snack for Mortimer, who always came back from school hungry and full of things to tell his mother.
Gunther got home from work and discovered the fire. The whole lounge seemed to be burning! He shouted for Cornelia. "Call the fire brigade!"
Cornelia took Mortimer back away from the fire and looked around for her phone. Oh no, she had put it down in the lounge when they came in... "Gunther, you will have to call the fire brigade! I can't get to my phone!"
Gunther couldn't hear her over the roar of the fire.
But it was burning so hot now that the flames overwhelmed him.
And Gunther fell, trying to save his family.
Cornelia, in turn, in the dining room, grabbed a fire extinguisher and tried to fight it.
The fire, having consumed Gunther and all the contents of the lounge, started to spread into the dining room. Wooden trims and antique wooden furniture are very flammable when hot.
But she was well aware she was fighting a losing battle. The fire was too hot, too overwhelming. And she was sure Gunther was dead already.
Exhausted and stunned, all she could say was "Bye,darling. Don't fight it, relax and let the Reaper take you. It will hurt less that way."
But hot feet have to dance...
"Auntie, help us!"
"Nobody helped me." whispered the ghost of Auntie. "And there's nothing I can do."
And when the flames died down, they were both weak and wounded, but still alive just long enough to see:
Gunther greet the Reaper,
And go contentedly with him. "My family will be coming too," he said.
Agnes got back...
"Hello? There is a fire in my sister's house and I can't get to them - yes, I know there's someone in the house, my brother in law, my sister and her little boy - oh please come quickly. I've never seen a house fire this big before. Yes I will stay well away from the fire. Please come quickly!"
"Stay out, Agnes. There is nothing you can do..." said her auntie.
By this time the fire was so fierce the firefighters could not get inside.
As soon as it died down a little, Agnes went in.
"Miss? Miss, it may not be safe for you to go inside yet."
Inside, Cornelia and the Reaper. "I'll fight you Reaper, let my sister go!"
"If you beat me at chess, I will," he offered.
Time stood still in the house while Agnes played the game of her life. But she still lost.
"Oh Cornelia! I am so sorry...."
"There is another," continued the Reaper. Auntie wailed even louder.
"This is the worst disaster to hit this family since the Plague," sobbed Auntie.
"Oh no... Mortimer too?" This last loss hurt more than all the rest of the shocks she had had today. All that little boy was, and could have been, all his hopes, chances, aspirations, were all gone.
Denial is a common reaction to terrible events.
"I'm sorry, Gunther," she thought. "I'm so sorry."
She had to post obituaries for the local newspaper. What could she say?
The firewoman-in-chief took her aside and told her that they believed an accelerant had been used. "The fire shouldn't have spread so quickly," she said. "We will have to treat it as suspicious; the police will be in touch."
An accelerant? Then suddenly, it all made sense. She phoned Don Salvatore in Bridgeport and he politely told her that he had no idea where Giovanni or his brother were, but believed they were off on business.
"Giovanni! You have what you want. I won't fight you any more. You killed my family. I know it. No, I won't say anything to the police. Don't hurt us any more. I won't take the case to court."
She handed the house over to solicitors to be sold after the police investigation, wanting nothing more to do with the place. It was eventually bought by Thaddeus George I.
August 14, 2012