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Strangetown, HWC: Mirror, Mirror


Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all? Who's the most glamourous? The most dangerous?

Who has the power?







Dina smiled back at her reflection.



It had been disappointing that Don hadn't been there to see her, she thought as she fussed with her hair. He'd probably already left town. Nina hadn't been there either. The damn fool probably went after him.

She could have him, as far as Dina was concerned. Nina deserved him. Dina had no time for the Dons of the world. They were too messy. Too easy. Too obvious.

She liked her men mysterious. Wise. She like them with more subtlety.

The funeral had been much what she'd expected. They'd all looked, gasped. How dare she wear that dress? So glamourous. So familiar. They'd stared and whispered. Alexander, remote as always, had barely said a word to her.

They'd all watched, gawking, to see if she'd shed a tear. She didn't. She never did. Not at that funeral, nor Michael's, nor her father's. She never cried. It wasn't that she wasn't devastated, but she'd never give anyone the satisfaction of knowing it.

She remembered her father, lying in the casket, just like that. Eyelids shut, never again to betray his secret, for all the good it did him after death.




She remembered those eyes. Those dark secrets he hid behind his sunglasses, only rarely glimpsed. People thought he wore them for character. For the mystery. In that respect, the glasses had served him well. They gave him an unknowable, dangerous edge. Combined with his unnatural strength and his fearlessness, he'd risen quickly in the ranks of the family business.

The mystery had also been his downfall.

But Dina's memory was long, and her grudges long-held. Those who crossed her lived to never know what hit them. She'd had the last laugh. For her father, and for herself. She always did.

She thumbed the necklace at her neck. A family heirloom. Didn't want me in your family, did you? Well look at me now.

She always got what she wanted.








Comments

( 39 comments — Leave a comment )
smjosh1218
Jan. 13th, 2010 11:14 pm (UTC)
Dina is so fierce, I loved this entire thing. I especially love all the covert references to "the family business".
strange_tomato
Jan. 13th, 2010 11:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Josh! I'm glad you liked it. There's more than one way to take Dina, but I've always leaned towards this angle. It's all a bit too deliberate to be mere coincedence that they showed up just as Bella disappeared.

Then her LTW sealed the deal for me, leading me to the "family business" idea. I love when LTWs shape a storyline for you like that. That's what's so much fun about a sim story.

Edited at 2010-01-13 11:32 pm (UTC)
vallicious
Jan. 14th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)
I'm a lurker, kinda, (I love SHWC) and I just wanted to say that this was awesome. I love how much you flesh out the sparse Maxis backstory.
strange_tomato
Jan. 14th, 2010 11:01 am (UTC)
Thank you. I really love taking the clues and suggestions in the game and running with them. (My only concern is with contradicting myself somewhere along the line, but I'm trying not to worry about that too much, since the game does it anyway at points.)

For the Calientes, there's that wonderful alien history, that family album photo that shows them all unhappy and without their father, and the fact that before she went after Mortimer, Dina had been married to Bella's brother, and was Mortimer's sister in law via marriage. It's such a layered story, when you start to examine it.

Thanks for reading, and for taking the time to delurk. ^_^
katee412
Jan. 14th, 2010 04:52 am (UTC)
This is just extraordinary, it amazes me how multifaceted you've made this despite the short length.

Now I feel silly for not letting my Dina be this awesomely resolute ;)
strange_tomato
Jan. 14th, 2010 11:34 am (UTC)
Thank you. I've developed her story more fully than this, but I think it's interesting to reveal it this way, leaving out many of the facts and details for later. No doubt we'll be seeing more of Dina as this mystery continues to unravel.

heheh. I've never really given Dina her due in the past, since I usually ignore her when playing Pleasantview (my previous Mortimers have never married her), so I guess she's making up for lost time. This version of Dina more or less demanded to be (one of) the brains behind the whole plot.
petchy_14
Jan. 14th, 2010 07:18 am (UTC)
Oh you did it again! Normally, I hate Dina's guts, Really - I almost hate her - but here where you showed her childhood and such.. Kinda made me feel sorry for her. Dang. (LOL!)
So Pleasentview used to be Mob-city? Black suits, Black Cars, and Black Sunglasses? Thats new!! And infact I do like it, mainly because it shows a difference of Pleasentview and TS3's Sunset Valley. Someone really needs to make a S3 Pleasentview or Strangetown (How awesome would it be with La Fiesta Tech or Bluewater Village attatched to the end?! Bluewater was *MADE* for TS3 xD)

Anyway, Great Mini-Update ^_^
strange_tomato
Jan. 14th, 2010 11:41 am (UTC)
That's funny, because I was also never much of a Dina fan, but she's growing on me in her own way. She's not exactly the sort of character you root for, but I do get a bit behind watching her do her thing, and it's been interesting to give her reasons for her actions, as warped as they may be.

In my version of things in this story, the Calientes actually come from East Veronaville (where the Montys live), since the storyline dictates that they and Don moved to town just before Bella vanished. The palm trees do mirror those of the part of Pleasantview they moved to, so it's a nice visual consistency (though a touch confusing, I guess).

As for the suits and cars and sunglasses, you'll notice that certain other prominent families in Veronaville are prone to wearing suits as well. ;) I think it works out pretty well, since the details of what exactly the "business" career relates to is left very much up in the air.

It would be rather cool to see some of the Sims 2 hoods converted for Sims 3. Are there many new neighborhoods being created, now that CAW has been released? I haven't really been following it.

Thank you, and thanks for reading! ^_^ I might get around to a real update pretty soon. This was a bit of a warm up for getting back into it.
(no subject) - petchy_14 - Jan. 14th, 2010 07:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - strange_tomato - Jan. 17th, 2010 02:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - petchy_14 - Jan. 17th, 2010 03:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - strange_tomato - Jan. 17th, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - petchy_14 - Jan. 17th, 2010 06:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
a_gates
Jan. 14th, 2010 07:41 am (UTC)
Awesome!!! I loved it, especially how you can create such a story line with so few images and words. That's just rad.

In my game Dina married Mortimer as well. And then he died and she was left in charged of a very angry Alexander (they had negative relationship score) and yet when Alexander transitioned into an adult they had two bolts & I would catch both of them constantly checking the other one out on freewill... Anyhow
Great job! :D
strange_tomato
Jan. 14th, 2010 11:44 am (UTC)
Thanks. ^_^ I think the key with this one was the fact that I do have the story fleshed out in great detail, but have only revealed certain details. There's so much more I want to say, but the time isn't right yet.

My Dina is terrible for that too! Heheh. She's actually slept with Alexander because of ACR (whether or not that's part of the story... heheh, I doubt it), and she slept with Dustin Broke too, among many others. She certainly gets around!

Pleasantview really is just a big soap opera, isn't it? :P
(no subject) - a_gates - Jan. 16th, 2010 12:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - strange_tomato - Jan. 16th, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
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poppyperson
Jan. 14th, 2010 01:14 pm (UTC)
Wow, this is really good. I'm guessing the funeral gown she ore was Bella's at Mortimer's funeral?
strange_tomato
Jan. 16th, 2010 07:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks. ^_^ She actually had it altered, as shown, so it was part of a different dress, but yes, it was made form one of Bella's dresses (somehow, I imagine Bella as one of those cartoon people with a closet full of identical red dresses — she's just that iconic).
(Deleted comment)
strange_tomato
Jan. 16th, 2010 07:37 pm (UTC)
It's time for me to be humbled by your generous comment! ^_^ Thank you. I'm looking forward to continuing with a new update soon. It's been too long.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - strange_tomato - Jan. 17th, 2010 02:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
sullivansims.blogspot.com
Jan. 15th, 2010 12:53 am (UTC)
This was wonderful. I always love your takes on the Maxis characters and I'm intrigued to see how Dina will fit into SHWC.
strange_tomato
Jan. 17th, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you. You'll see how these pieces of the puzzle fit with the pieces in Strangetown soon enough.
80sfiend
Jan. 18th, 2010 04:25 am (UTC)
Yay Dina!!! :D I love her. :) She is always so fabulous to play for me. I love what you're doing with her, you are an amazing storyteller as usual :)
oojijay
May. 16th, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
Sorry this is so much later, and I don't know if you'll even see this now, but I loved this wee back story into Dina's life, and wanted to ask where you got her outfit from? I love that it's sort of an altered version of Bella's dress.
strange_tomato
May. 17th, 2010 10:36 am (UTC)
Hey, thanks! ^_^ The outfit was created by combining Bella's top with the high waisted skirt by witheredlilies, which can be found here. It's a very useful mesh that can be combined with a number of tops in this way.

(no subject) - oojijay - May. 17th, 2010 11:18 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - strange_tomato - May. 17th, 2010 06:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
sphynxed
Jan. 16th, 2011 06:05 am (UTC)
Only just saw the alien eyes behind the sunglasses-OMG!
strange_tomato
Mar. 3rd, 2011 12:43 am (UTC)
Ah, I'm glad you caught that! ;) It's my own little addition to the character of Flamenco, since he's sadly lacking in any alien features in-game. I think it's more interesting if he only seems to lack them to the general public, and he does wear those sunglasses...
stinalotta
Mar. 2nd, 2011 03:20 pm (UTC)
aaaah I just read through basically all of Strangetown, Here We Come and was trying to decide on where to leave a comment to tell you how much I LOVE it....when I saw this short and I think it's really interesting to see what you made of one of my favorite characters and I might as well comment here. Seriously, my Dina also married Mortimer but only long after gaining permanent platinum status and now I just let her (also permanently pregnant, it seems) run around on freewill and she's one of the most entertaining Maxis sims I have.

Anyway, let me praise you, because I tend to have problems getting into sims stories, but yours not only has well-developed characters and is very well-written, it also made me want to fix my simsgame in order to be able to play again. It also showed me how much I have under-estimated the Strangetown sims. Of all the maxis neighborhoods, it's the one I usually play the least with, but I might have to change that.

Another thing I really like is how you incorporate some of the elements of the actual game, how you don't try and make it seem as if they grow like humans do, no, they have transitions and aspirations and everything.

I couldn't even tell you which one is my favorite character. You have the ability to make the reader care for almost all of them (besides the obviously evil ones), you let them all explain what is going on to make them act the way they act and it never seems implausible.

Anyways, I'll stop gushing now, I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your story :)
strange_tomato
Mar. 3rd, 2011 12:41 am (UTC)
Thank you for this lovely comment and for the kind words you have for my story. You have good timing, because it really meant a lot to me to read this today. It really brought a smile to my face when I needed one. Thank you.

I'm really happy to hear you've enjoyed the story, and especially this Dina short. I think she's a wonderfully interesting character, and I really hope to do her justice in writing.
Kathe Smith
Mar. 22nd, 2012 02:04 pm (UTC)
I've been reading your stories since 2009. I loved them so much from the beginning, and it introduced me (and my downloads folder c:) to so many wonderful things. Over the last few months I've re-read S,HWC and it is still awesomely awesome after all this time. This short is especially good, and I just wanted to say thank you for the talent you bring to the Sims community.

*resumes lurking*
myshrahayden
Jul. 31st, 2013 06:10 pm (UTC)
Dina's dress
Hello strange !
Thanks for supporting me in my story, I'm happy to have a friend like you ! ;)
I wanted to know, will Dina's dress be available for download (in a soon future ... ?)

Thanks, and good luck for SHWC,
Myshra Hayden
strange_tomato
Aug. 5th, 2013 03:08 pm (UTC)
Re: Dina's dress
The skirt is available here. The outfit was created using that high-waisted skirt and Bella's original top (since her dress is actually a matching set of top and skirt).
Re: Dina's dress - myshrahayden - Aug. 5th, 2013 03:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 39 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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