Vance made a sweep of the apartment, he’d watched enough Spooks to be a dab-hand at spotting listening devices. He was confident in what he was searching for and was able to pin-point the exact spots that the devices would be hidden (he was actually clueless as he started checking really obscure places like mixing bowls and underneath the shoe racks). Do you mind, I’m telling the story! (Apologies, you were informing us about what a super-sleuth you were..) Vance’s search ended in vain as he decided to grab a packet of crisps, looking out of the living room window and down into the street he saw the usual parked cars with a TV Surveillance Van seemingly hanging around. Vance found this amusing as he imagined the multiple occupants being found guilty of not having the correct license for their viewing material, it tickled his sense of superiority.
After two hours of ‘hiding’ in his room, playing too much Pokemon Go he had ran out of Pokeballs and needed to visit the nearest Pokestop. Stupid phone, it never displays the GPS correctly, the stop is right next door. Such incompetence. Who designed this system? There had been no sign of either his Dad or the “pizza” arriving and Vance knew from watching The Sopranos that this was usually used as a threat of impending visitation, why on his answer phone though? It could have been a wrong number as they mentioned Frank and he didn’t know a Frank, thus Vance decided it was safe to risk popping out briefly, just so he could get the supplies he needed. It would only take a few minutes.
Reaching the bottom of the stairs, he noticed the same van approaching and looking like it was about to have an encounter with the streetlight. It mounted the pavement with a crunch of it’s wheels as the back door was opened, a man being thrown out of it onto the pavement. Ooft poor guy! Vance’s duty of being an upstanding citizen demanded that he help the poor chap. He went running towards the discarded man at an enthusiastic pace, pulling out his phone ready to deal with the hands-on horror of the situation he was about to embark on: “Dad? Dad! Are you..? What was that?” Vance screeched as he tried to process the event. His Dad was attempting to regain his dignity, enduring a fight with the laws of psychics that demanded he stay seated. He got up unsuccessfully as he collapsed against Vance. “Don’t even try to tell me this is nothing, Dad. I’m calling an ambulance”, Vance demanded. His Father shook his head, daring Vance to challenge his authority and Vance knew better. When his Father made his mind up on a subject, it was case closed. “Let me at least get you fixed up, upstairs Dad. What happened, who were those people?”, Vance tried to investigate. It was clear his Father wasn’t going to be overly joyful at explaining himself but Vance wasn’t about to drop the subject.
“Look, I’m in trouble, it’s complicated…We can’t talk here…Get Alice, she’s at risk too”, Allen stuttered, the blood dripping down the side of his head. The crash between his head and the pavement was making forming those word things rather difficult. “Alice, what’s this got to do with Alice, are you sure you don’t want me to call you an ambulance?” Vance confusedly enquired. His Father kept shaking his head as if he had suddenly developed an aversion to the medical profession; “No, just get me upstairs and then collect Alice, there’s some urgent business we’ve got to attend to”. Vance knew better than to question his Father at this point, it was his choice phrase for there being no further point arguing. Vance was beginning to wonder if he should have elected to go into the medicine profession as he performed his second procedure of the week, cleaning a significant gash and applying a bandage to Allen’s face. He certainly had the stomach for this kind of work.
The beep of Alice’s apartment bell was an unwelcome visitor in Vance’s inner-ear as he realised his brain had been running through scenario C. He liked Scenario C, it had comforted him on his journey to Alice’s ‘Furrotopia’ and it wasn’t a great stretch of the imagination. It made sense that his Father would be working for the Central Intelligence Agency: He had always been working late for as long as Vance could remember, was often gone at short notice for business trips, was excellent at playing Poker and acquiring information from others. Those are the usual ‘tells’ for discovering whether your relative is working for the CIA according to Conspirer2050 on Utube. Still, it didn’t explain why Alice would be at risk. Why you got to play me like this, Scenario C, we had such a good thing together. Alice’s voice pierced the daydream; “Password, nerd”. Vance didn’t have time for this, his thoughts taking maximum capacity of his brain’s load-processing.
Alice was clearly on edge from Vance’s impromptu visit as they made their way to the car, asking questions that Vance wasn’t able to answer. “Alice, please, I’m freaking out myself. I’ve told you all I know; he was thrown by those weirdoes in a Taxi and he said to fetch you because you’re in danger”, pleaded Vance. As they pulled up outside Vance’s apartment block, his Dad quickly came into view with two large luggage bags. Shoveling them into the back of the car, he quickly followed-through with himself, acknowledging Alice as he directed Vance to drive with no further instruction.
(Thanks Simoniona on the Sims Community for this amazing house from The Conjuring. Had to change the front as I am missing a few of the packs required)
Eventually instructions were delivered to Vance over which direction to take and when. His Father was nervously checking his watch and Alice was also starting to show signs of her anxiety levels rising as she began constantly fiddling with the air conditioning controls. Vance was instructed to turn down a long grass track, just outside of a small farming village affectionately named Beltinge. It looked like something from the horror movie The Skeleton Key, the track looked like it hadn’t been used by someone living anytime recently and the sign for the house was barely hanging on to the post due to rotten wood.
(Same creator as above)
As they arrived, a small girl emerged from the house. She had the most immaculate pigtails he’d ever seen as she came running up to the car, shouting; “Daddy, Daddy I did a new thing today, look!” She was waving a piece of paper, the colours flashing past Vance’s face making him feel disoriented in his state of shock. It was an appropriate image for how his head felt; a Spirograph drawing. He had had one when he was a young child, but these things had a way of coming back into fashion. Still dazed his thoughts raced over the proceedings of the past few days and he wondered that if there was a God, he must be busy slowly turning Vance’s life upside down. Vance was only able to offer an obvious fact; “Thanks Universe, another curve-ball, a half-sister!”
Author’s Note – Sometimes we try and take on the world alone. We think to ourselves, I will protect my family, I will get fit this year or I will successfully lose weight. Perhaps, we even make a commitment to be more giving or loving. Often, it’s not until we stumble and fall on our face that we wonder if we were doing it in our own strength, rather than resting in the Lord’s strength. We never seem to get very far on our own. The key to this, for us is humility and to know that we may want to be the gods of our lives, but we aren’t. I’ve recently been attending Weightwatchers to do the very thing I write about and although I’ve had some success, I’ve fallen flat on my face with it and hit a wall. Today, I’ve repented and given it to God as I know my issue with weight is a heart problem that can’t be fixed by the system of Weightwatchers, no matter how much success I might have there. It will never address the real problem which is that I use food as a way to both punish and comfort myself.
Having studied some of Luke 6:20-29 today (the Sermon on the Plain) it offers us a tough choice: Are you going to be your own god, relying only on yourself, grabbing everything life has to offer, with no hope of your eternal future or are you going to acknowledge your deep spiritual need for God? Are you going to not follow the ways of the world, looking instead to the hope of the future we have in Christ Jesus? For me, it’s not about trying to live a life of piety and missing out on various things that the world can offer, but it does make me think carefully on the value I place on these things that are temporary. If my fulfillment comes only in them, I will be hungry always. I see this so much in the gaming industry, there’s always a new DLC, game or Add-on to look forward to and I’ve been at a state of my life where all of my fulfillment came from this one game. It left me void, depressed, anxious and lonely but I didn’t realise it. Solomon spent years of his life acquiring wealth, material possessions, status in life only to realise that it all held so little value and he had only an inheritance that he could be robbed of. I want to invest in things that have eternal value and cannot be stolen and with God’s help, direction and guidance (daily renewing my mind) He’s getting me there in His strength, not mine as I walk with Him.