– Monthly SimLit Short Story Challenge –
This is my [first ever] entry to the Monthly SimLit Short Story Challenge. You can find the rules here: Monthly SimLit Short Story Challenge: November/December 2020 Theme
I’d like to you all to visit the link above.
Reason number one being I’d love if just one of you got inspired to try taking on the challenge. LisaBee does a lot of marvellous work to keep this challenge afloat and and she deserves all our support. Her work and each story submitted is part of keeping our beloved SimLit community alive and well.
Reason number two being that I’d be very happy if you took the time to read all the entries once they have been listed and then vote on your three favourites in each category.
– Feeding Strife –
You all know me – and I am delighted that it is so.
I live among you, bouncing freely from one to another, feeding off your emotions, beliefs, traditions, disagreements, arguments – your stress and your doubts.
I do not just leech off of you – my hosts.
In return for you giving me life and letting me grow ever stronger, I bring fuel for your bonfires of envy and misunderstandings.
I am Strife!
You might wonder why you feel me so strongly this time of year. Is it because of the darkness and cold of winter? Is it because Sims are being cooped up inside with no way of letting off steam? Is it just coincidence playing its games?
I can assure you that it is none of the above – though it is related to it being winter – in some parts of our world at least.
While you are all looking forward to your pork roasts and ginger cookies – the abundant feast of Simsmas. I’m looking forward to my very own feast – one that I will enjoy and live off for a long time.
I am lurking, waiting to pounce in everything you say, and everything action you take.
Though, my greatest trick of all might be that I thrive just as well in all the words left unsaid and all the things left undone. I rarely truly show myself – You have all grown to believe that you can hide me away, subdue and cage me. Reality is, however, that I only grow stronger from never being let out.
I hover around your sister, who once again got a little too tipsy and a little too close with your husband – I wait for you to feel that sting and hurt inside – and then I strike. I whisper yellow and green poison in your ear and I linger – making sure you do not forget.
I am in the self-absorbed and snide remarks about fitness and workout tips given to you by your cousin as you try to enjoy the festive and delicious food on your plate. I am in the false and stiff smile you send his way – I love to bounce like this – like a ping-pong ball getting bigger and bigger.
When your Uncle brings out the sugar cookies instead of the ginger cookies that have always been a tradition in your family, I am that little annoyance you feel. The one that will grow stronger with every bite you take. You just wanted those damn ginger cookies! Why couldn’t he just stick to tradition? Why does he always have to be like this? Do you feel me pouring that fuel yet?
You might think that you hide your feelings too well for me to find them, but you would be wrong.
I live inside you just as much as I live among you. The neatly wrapped feelings of anger and resentment that you so carefully hide away in the darkest corners of your being are like glorious Simsmas presents waiting for me and my attention alone. I like to unwrap them slowly at night when you’re trying to go to sleep. I prefer a seething hot cup of spite to go along with the unwrapping.
My desert is the most delicious of all. It’s the children – well, not the actual children themselves – I am no monster!
Children wear no masks. They have not yet been taught how or why to hide away their feelings. My joy reaches heights unheard of with every knitted sweater they unwrap – their disappointment sprinkle over me like diamonds raining from the sky. The envy they feel over presents that were not for them is marvellous. It almost feels sinful.
As the day comes to an end and you round up your families to go home, I make sure to tuck a piece of myself away with every one of you – and as you put on your smiles and say your goodbyes and Merry Simsmas; I think to myself that this is indeed the best time of year – Merry Simsmas to you all!
January 2021: I’m lost for words and that’s usually not a good thing if you call yourself a SimLit writer. It’s an absolute honour to be one of the three writers to get the Reader’s Choice Award when all the stories for Nov/Dec were so touching and well-written. Thank you all for the inspiration and congrats to all 💕
Credits to Gryphi for the build: Tacky Christmas House – I would never have the patience to make this myself!