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Short Story: Sneak Out with Ophelia







Warnings: none





Sneak Out with Ophelia

A Short Story











Ripp glanced at his wrist, examining the nondescript standard-issue black watch set precisely to military time.

The General insisted on it, as he did with many things, but on this one point his son agreed with him completely. Time. Time was very important to Ripp.


At exactly 0100 hours, he made his move.




















"Ripp?"

He froze, terror surging through his very bones.





"Is that you?"


Buck.

Buck, it was only Buck.


Thank the Watcher.




Heart still racing, he opened the door to his brother’s room.


“Shouldn’t you be asleep?” he asked.


“I woke up.”




“Maybe you weren’t tucked in tightly enough…”




Buck hadn’t been tucked in at all, but it hardly seemed necessary to dwell on that. Ripp usually did it himself when the General wasn’t looking, but he hadn’t been able to that evening.






“Here you go. That’s better…”





“Would you… sing me a lullaby?”




“Of course.”





Tchibi tomba loonak voobatz nooboo,

Tchibi tomba loonak voobatz snerd




























“Took you long enough,” she said.



“I was busy okay.”


“So where we off to tonight, Grunt?”


“Creepy bunker?”


“Yeah, creepy bunker’s always good.”


“Cool.”









“No limo tonight?” he asked.


“That was a one time deal.”





































“Hey Phi…”


“What?”





“Don’t fall in!”


“Aaaah! Noooo…”








“Incoming”







“So did you and Johnny do it yet or what?”


“None of your beeswax.”


“Hey, just wondering. I don’t need like any details or anything.”


“I’ll try to keep that in mind,” she said.


“Unless you, you know, really, really want to tell me.”


“Dream on, perv.”

























“You, me, and a bag of chips,” she said. “The usual…”


“Always the highlight of my day. Or well… night, I guess.”


“Lots of stars out here tonight.”


“Yeah...”





“Are you going to Johnny’s after school tomorrow?” she asked.


“Yeah, it’s Wednesday. Spaghetti day.”

“Yeah, I know. Hanging around until you get an invite again?”


“You know it.”




“Yeah, me too.” They both laughed.

“Jenny must be so sick of us by now,” he said.


“Are you kidding? She loves us.”


“Yeah… she does.”




“Don’t you have to work?”


“So I’ll be a bit late. It’s not like they even notice if I’m there or not. Like who even gets gas there ever?”





“Can I play with your hair?” she asked


“Yes, please do.”





“Your hair is so much nicer than mine.”


“Sure it is. Blond hair is not attractive at all, I hear.”


“That’s not what I meant.”


“Don’t be ridiculous, Phi. Your hair is awesome.”


“Johnny’s is better.”


“Well duh. He’s Johnny. Nobody can compete with that.”





“My Mom used to do this,” he said.


“I know.”





“You know, some people actually sleep during the night,” she said


“So I hear.”


“Seems it’s a lot easier without all the screaming ghosts.”


“Yeah, probably.”


“Even when they aren’t out, I just end up worrying… you know?”


“Yeah, I know.”





“You must be tired.”





“Not really,” he lied.





“Maybe we should sleep. How much time do we have left?”


He checked the watch. “Enough.”


“You could set the alarm…”




“No, I don’t trust it. The General probably messes with it.”


“That paranoia seems to be contagious.”





“Just because you’re paranoid--”


“Don’t mean they’re not after you.”





They laughed. “Great song. You still have my record, by the way,” he said.


“I’m safekeeping it for you. So the General doesn’t toss it in the trash. So Tank doesn’t stomp it to bits.”


“Thoughtful of you,” he said. “Listen, you sleep. I’ll watch the time.”


“You sure?”


“Yeah. I’ll just sleep in class tomorrow.”


“You’re going to fail the final.”


“Nah, I’ll be fine. I’ll cheat off your test.”







Ophelia closed her eyes, a smile on her face. “Would you… do the thing?”


“Of course.”




Tchibi tomba loonak voobatz nooboo,

Tchibi tomba loonak voobatz snerd




Ripp checked his watch again.


Time to go soon.





But not yet.








Notes:


This short story grew out of my thoughts about Ripp's "canon" want to sneak out with Ophelia at the start of the game. What if they do that every night? Maybe it's because she can't sleep with the ghosts and the worries. Maybe that's why he's failing school. Maybe he's not really as lazy as he seems. Maybe he's just extremely exhausted all the time...

That, and all my Ripp/Ophelia feels. Not even necessarily in a romantic way, but all the things that bring them together and make them work as friends. The things they have in common and the things they provide each other that nobody else can. Things like that. I believe they do grow to love each other. Not necessarily in a romantic way or a physical way, but I do think there would be real love there in any of their infinite number of potential pixelated lives (at least in the ones overseen by me). Maybe tragic, maybe not. But there.

Anyway, this is a stand-alone story from Strangetown, Here We Come, though it certainly could work in the context of that story too. If I were to start S,HWC over and remake it knowing what I know now (which is no more than a beautiful dream unless I figure out how to clone myself), I would likely include something like this in the early chapters.

The lyrics are from the nursery rhyme from the Free Time EP (well, my best guess at the lyrics - thank you for the suggestions on Tumblr!) and Territorial Pissings by Nirvana.

I would LOVE to hear any comments or feedback you have. :)  Anon commenting is enabled, as always. I'd love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading!







Bonus gag:




The next day...






Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
fuzzy_spork
Jul. 29th, 2015 02:11 am (UTC)
I love this. And honestly, I prefer this format for story telling. Seeing the photos out of order on Tumblr (because I'm not constantly streaming Tumblr), it didn't leave an impression. But this is amazing. The emotion flows instead of being interupted between posts about cats and other people's stories. :P
strange_tomato
Jul. 29th, 2015 02:26 am (UTC)
Thank you! :) It was interesting to try out that format for an actual story, and I did like certain things about it. The temporal nature of it was interesting, even if it resulted in people seeing things out of order a lot of the time. And I think it helped me to finish it more quickly, perhaps? It pushed me along and motivated me to have people react to it as I went.

I also liked grouping the posts into those smaller scenes in some ways, but I do agree with you that it works better here as a complete story. I'd much rather read it this way.

It's also way better to get an actual comment than just a "like". :) Any feedback is good, but there's just no comparison in how it feels to read what someone thinks in words. Thank you for that! :)
porkwithbones
Jul. 29th, 2015 04:29 am (UTC)
Much better to read this here than on Tumblr. I don't even try to keep up over there, just skim through the flow; more effort doesn't yield much better results for me.
strange_tomato
Jul. 29th, 2015 12:08 pm (UTC)
Well, that's good to know. I wouldn't consider switching my main story over there, but I do enjoy it for shorter things. I think Tumblr works better for some types of storytelling and in certain ways. It's just a different format with different qualities.

I hope you enjoyed the story itself. :)
rebecca_selene
Jul. 29th, 2015 02:29 pm (UTC)
Ooh I love this story about them. You got so much emotion and implication in it.
strange_tomato
Aug. 5th, 2015 01:20 am (UTC)
Thank you! :) I'm glad you think so.
holleyb76
Jul. 29th, 2015 04:17 pm (UTC)
I agree it is easier to read, as a whole, here completed, but I loved seeing the individual scenes on Tumblr as well.
I love these two. Dare I say I even like them more than JO? O_o
It is so obviously the boy is madly in love and he probably doesn't even know it. It's such a great little short story to show their friendship and I think it's interesting that you would put this in an early SHWC chapter, especially since we now know they are together in recent chapters.
The pictures are beautiful. Especially those long shots in front of the pool building. I also love Phi playing with Ripp's hair. I love that kind of things.
strange_tomato
Aug. 5th, 2015 01:39 am (UTC)
Yeah, I like the Tumblr "experience" of following a story too, even though I see what others are saying about finding it confusing sometimes and missing things/seeing the posts out of order. I think that can be worked around by going to the poster's Tumblr and following the tags, etc. There's something about the shorter scene grouping on Tumblr stories that I really enjoy.

But anyway, enough about that. :P

Dare you say that? Haha! Oh no, you dared... I think the shipper police are coming for you.

Yeah, that's sort of the idea I was going for, and how I generally think about these two. That all these feelings are there and it doesn't register that way to them right away. Or maybe at all. I like the idea of it continuing to be the undercurrent of a friendship too, like I said. But yeah, that's how it was in S,HWC. It was there for a very long time and then one day they just saw it. This wouldn't be out of place in that story. I think there were a couple of similar scenes as it was.

Thank you! :) Setting the camera angle like that has been one of the best storytelling tricks I've learned in recent years. There are so many interesting things you can do with that. And the distance there... it makes it all seem more like a private moment, you know?

I'm a big fan of playing with hair too. :) On one hand it's such a small thing, and no big deal, but it's also a very intimate gesture.
selenecorvino
Jul. 29th, 2015 07:52 pm (UTC)
Yay an update! Even if it's not supposed to be an official S,HWC update. It really seems like it could and/or should be?

I hope all is well with you and your family.

I don't Tumblr at all unless I'm wishing for something about JRO, then I'll follow your link. Tumblr is too disjointed for me. I think I'm following one of your posts, but then it doesn't make sense; "Oh, it's somebody else." Anyway, I prefer it here.

Looking forward to more JRO and S,HWC.
strange_tomato
Aug. 5th, 2015 01:55 am (UTC)
Yes, it's sort of like an update. :) Like I said, it could be seen as part of that storyline. There's certainly nothing there that contradicts it.

I'm working towards an actual S,HWC update now too. Hopefully, I'll have something ready fairly soon.

Thank you. :) We are doing well. Summer is great because my SO is off work for a few months, and it's really nice to be able to get out and enjoy the warmer weather.

It took some time for me to warm up to Tumblr, and there are still things that I liked better about Livejournal (comments and replies are definitely one of them!), but I do really like it for what it is now. It's just a whole different experience. I do wish that there was more activity on a site like Livejournal in addition to Tumblr though. For the sense of community it brings.

Thanks for the comments! :) I will hopefully have more to share on here very soon. Take care.
cindyanne1
Jul. 30th, 2015 01:56 am (UTC)
Awww, I love this. It's so cute seeing them when they're teens again!

And do I detect a bit of hairy skin on Ripp? I totally can't play without those now lol. They're on my permanent downloads thumb drive that hangs from the same key-ring as my WoW authenticator, heehee.

I have never been able to make the switch to Tumblr. I went so far as to set up a profile page, and that's it. My older girls try to show me how Tumblr works, but I just don't get it. Although yesterday my 18 year old showed me "None Pizza With Half Beef" and I swear to God I died laughing. I'm sure I would love Tumblr if I ever figured it out!

Hope things are going well with you!
strange_tomato
Aug. 5th, 2015 02:07 am (UTC)
Thank you! :) It's always fun to go back and play them again as teens. And I think that's one of the reasons I love those characters so much, getting to follow them as they grow up.

Yes, I'm a bit of a recent convert to using hair overlays on my sims. I held out for a long time because of the Maxis-match factor, but I really like them. Especially when they can be combined with different skins and match the different hair colours.

I'm surprised to hear so many people say that about Tumblr, and it sort of makes me want to try to have more of a presence here on LJ again. I do really miss the community it brings. I used to cross-post a lot of things here for a while, but then it became easier to just stick to Tumblr. Well, something to think about anyway.

There are a lot of funny things on Tumblr. You probably would love it. :P

Thank you. You too! :) Good to hear from you.
myshrahayden
Aug. 1st, 2015 05:36 pm (UTC)
Wow, this was... wow. *-*/
I'd even say your pictures are so useful that sometimes text was useless (I don't know if what I'm saying has a sense but...).
This is so real-life inspired. Like, this could be the scene of a TV series, because it looks so real (despite the fact it's happening in a town called 'Strangetown' about someone called 'Ripp Grunt' who sneaks out with 'Ophelia Nigmos'). You really are talented, do you know that? :D
Oh and I really enjoyed the bonus gag at the end.


Edited at 2015-08-01 05:44 pm (UTC)
strange_tomato
Aug. 5th, 2015 02:17 am (UTC)
Wow, thank you! This was such a nice comment. :)

I relied a little more on visual storytelling in this story. I usually have more text than this, so the images had to carry more of the meaning. I'm glad you think it was successful.

Thank you. :) That's very kind of you to say. And I'm happy to hear that it had that sort of impact for you.

Haha! Yeah, that was fun. It reminds me of an Archie comic gag. :P I figure Ripp probably ends up sleeping at work a bit because of this.
mirror_of_faith
Aug. 31st, 2015 01:51 am (UTC)
You know, I've always wondered where these kids are getting the cars they use to sneak out. In my own game, when Ripp went to sneak out with his girlfriend, he pulled up to her house in a limo. And I'm just like, "Dafuq, Ripp, did you carjack somebody?"

Edited at 2015-08-31 01:53 am (UTC)
ariajarvis
Sep. 2nd, 2016 03:38 pm (UTC)
This is awesome! So much story is packed into every moment. Ripp and Ophelia and bursting with depth, and use of the lullaby was simply masterful!
immlegacy
Nov. 11th, 2016 05:35 pm (UTC)
I liked how you lit Ripp's room with that green lamp. It's kind of like a metaphorical reference to Ripp's friendship with Johnny which always interferes with his father's interests. I absolutely love this little story and I love seeing how they spent their teenage years.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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Hi there! Most of my activity is now on my Tumblr, so please head over there if you'd like to see what I'm up to. Story updates will still be posted here.

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