Sunday, 5 June 2011

CHAPTER 5.3: Ashes

The fire started so easily and spread so quickly. 

One moment Kaya was laughing at Jackson's joke and the next she was running from the house in a blind panic.
The bright embers of the flames created an orange glow which shone through the windows from the outside showing how far the fire had spread and Kaya gasped in shock as she realised how serious the situation was.

Cody rushed around from the side of the house having broken a window in the lounge for him and Lexie to escape through.

"Where's your Mom?"  He asked Kaya, fear sitting behind his eyes.

"She was upstairs with Lilah."  Kaya told him breathlessly.

"Call the fire brigade."  Cody ordered before turning and heading for the front door.

"Dad!"  Josh called, he had arrived from his false errand to the high school just in time to see his father heading towards their burning home.
As Cody stopped to check his son was alright there was a loud explosion inside the house and the windows burst out shattering glass onto the lawn. 

Everyone screamed and looked at each other in terror.


Poppy found herself standing in the middle of nowhere. 

Looking around she was startled as she realised that she had no idea how she had gotten here, or even why she was out here.  Her Mom had been right it was starting all over again. 

But i was so careful this time, Poppy thought, I took my meds every day!

The last time she had blacked out like this she had been forced to leave her school.
Her Mom had sold their house in Riverview and moved them to Bridgeport, now she supposed she would have to be uprooted again.

"Poppy!  There you are."  Her mother called out to her.

"Mom?  How did you find me?"  She asked, "It's happened again, i blacked out."  She cried.

"Come on we have to go now."  Her Mom demanded, dragging her by the arm towards her car.

Her Mom seemed really agitated as though she was in a rush to get them home.

Poppy watched her out of the corner of her eye, as she drove she kept staring in the rear view mirror, twitching nervously in the seat as though she was waiting for something to happen.

"Mom, what's going on?"  Poppy asked.

"Nothing sweetheart, everything is going to be alright, I will take care of you."  She replied.

Poppy gulped and stared wide eyed at her Mom, "Mom?  What's that on your face?"  She asked, spying the dark swipe of charcoal across her cheek.

"What?  It's nothing."  She demanded angrily wiping at the smudge.

"What happened?"  Poppy demanded her agitation growing by the second.

When the fire brigade arrived the flames were as tall as the house itself. 

The family huddled around comforting each other, but no one spoke a word.

Nobody wanted to tempt fate by uttering the wrong one.

The first fire fighter kicked the front door down and ran, with no fear for his own life, into the blaze as the family watched on, hoping and praying that he would return Iris and Lilah to safety.

"Mom please!"  Poppy begged as they headed into their house.

"Poppy, sweetheart you've had another episode."  Her Mom explained calmly resting a hand on her shoulder, "But don't worry, I am going to make you well again."

Before she could answer the telling blue flashing lights appeared and the wail from the police cars siren echoed in her ears, "Mom?"  She asked, her anxiety increasing.

"Don't worry."  Dr Deign replied.

"I'm looking for a Poppy Deign?"  The officer asked, "There's been a fire." 

As Poppy heard the word "fire" she knew what she had done, it had happened just as before, she had started a fire at Prep school and now she had done it all over again.  She grasped her head in her hands and started screaming.

"Ma'am this is a serious incident and a member of the family involved has identified your daughter as a possible suspect, she will need to come in and answer some questions."  The officer stated, taking Poppy by the arm and leading her into the police vehicle.

Sarah Deign watched as her daughter was led away.

Her eyes widened as she took in the bright lights and blaring sound from the siren. 
The delicious drama of the moment enveloped her and she walked trance like towards the police car soaking up the attention of her neighbours who had been dragged from their beds by the noise. 

She felt that all eyes were on her as the car drove away.


The bravery the firefighters had shown resulted in both Lilah and Iris being pulled from the fire virtually unscathed.

Both had inhaled a lot of smoke and Lilah's face had been burnt during the rescue however the doctors were certain that both would make a full recovery.

The house however was another matter.  The fire had destroyed everything in it's path leaving the Traytor house completely unrecognisable and unsafe. 

It would need to be demolished and rebuilt from scratch.

The following night, Kaya looked out of the window of their rented apartment down town. 

The view of the ocean was blocked by a building site which only made her think of her own home on the hill being demolished. 

Sighing she glanced down at herself, all of her clothes had been destroyed in the fire and she, like the rest of her family were left with whatever items could be found from goodwill on such short notice.

Usually just the sight of sweat pants would make her shudder, but after the night she had been through fashion was the least of her concerns.

She knew that her Mom and Lilah would be alright, but they had been so close to dying in the fire that it had shocked Kaya to her core.  Almost losing her family made all the fuss she had made over a prom seem so irrelevant.

"Are you OK?"  Josh asked, entering their now shared bedroom.

"I suppose."  Kaya shrugged, "I just don't understand why she did this to us?" 

Josh looked away, uncomfortable at the topic of Poppy and her actions, "I don't know either Kay, it doesn't make sense to me."

"But you said it yourself she freaked out at our place."  Kaya reminded him.

"Yeah but setting fire to our house, i just can't imagine the Poppy i know doing something like that, even if she is off her medication why would she want to hurt us?"
"Maybe we'll never know."  Kaya replied.

She pulled Josh in for a hug and the pair of them stood silently for a while allowing their grief to overwhelm them.


Monday morning rolled around and Kaya headed for school on auto pilot. 

The events of the weekend seemed like a bad dream to her and the memory of prom so distant that Kaya could barely register it.

As she entered the school Kaya walked towards her locker, she was aware that the other kids were looking at her. 
This was a sensation she had become accustomed to however today it seemed as though they were laughing at her and whispering about her as she walked by.

Spotting Connie and Amy huddled together she walked over to her clique to fill them in on the events of her weekend.
"Oh my God!"  Connie exclaimed eying Kaya, "What is she wearing?"  She hissed to Amy before Kaya approached.

"Girls you won't believe what happened this weekend."  Kaya said, interrupting their whispers.

"Yeah we know you totally missed prom!"  Connie declared, cutting her off, "I was crowned prom queen."  She squealed as her and Amy began jumping up and down in delight.

Kaya looked at the pair, gobsmacked, "I wasn't talking about prom."  She started.

"Well that's because you missed it, i guess your date wasn't all that after all."  Connie laughed, "If she even had one."  She stage whispered to Amy who giggled.
Kaya felt the fury building up at Connie's harsh words but before she could retort the other girl said, "What ARE you wearing?"

"Yeah Kaya, you said if we ever wore sweats to school we weren't allowed to hang with you."  Amy added.

"MY HOUSE BURNED DOWN!"  Kaya yelled so loudly that everyone in the hall stopped and stared at her.

"So what your sense of fashion got scorched?"  Connie laughed.

"Everything i own has turned to ashes Connie."  Kaya replied through gritted teeth.

"Well that's too bad Kaya, but the rule stands.  I'm prom queen now and i can't be seen with you dressed like that."  Connie retorted, pointing at Kaya's clothes and sneering.

Kaya looked at Amy but she just looked down hoping to avoid the confrontation.  Amy had never had ambitions to be head of the clique, she was happy to just be a loyal sheep and now it was clear that it would be Connie who she would follow, not Kaya.

Kaya felt the sting of tears building up in the back of her eyes but her stubborn nature refused to allow her to show the sign of weakness to her one time crew, instead she narrowed her eyes and stalked away from them.

Kaya heard the sounds of their laughter as she walked away, she supposed she had better get used to it now she had gone from the top spot to bottom all in the space of one weekend. 

She wished that she could feel it, feel anything at all, in truth she was just numb from the shock of what had happened.  Maybe she needed to grieve for all that she had lost but dwelling wasn't her style.

Whatever happened and whatever other Sims said about her she wouldn't let them knock her down.
Storming from school she ran straight into Jackson.

"Kaya!"  He exclaimed noting the anger in her face, "I didn't expect to see you at school today."

"What else am i supposed to do?"  She asked, "It's not like i have a home to go to."

"I'm sorry."  He replied, "How are your mother and sister?"

Kaya's face crumpled at his question.

"Oh God Kaya I'm so sorry."  Jackson said his face flushing.

"No it's OK i mean they are OK.  My Mom is coming out of hospital today and Lilah will be fine she just has to have the burn on her face taken care of."  Kaya reassured him.

"That's great news!"  Jackson replied hugging Kaya.

As Jackson slid his arms around her waist Kaya closed her eyes and allowed the weight of her worries to slip from her mind temporarily. 

She forgot about the fire and the injury to her Mom and sister. 
She forgot about all of her possessions that had once meant so much to her. 
She forgot about Connie and Amy and the way they had turned her away in her moment of great need and she just allowed Jackson to hold her.

"Hey check out Kaya's new boyfriend!"

She heard someone call and felt Jackson pull away swiftly.

"I'm sorry i shouldn't have done that."  He apologised quickly before making a hasty exit.

Kaya watched him leave and turned to stare in the direction of the voice who had chased Jackson away.  She felt the urge to hurl an insult in it's direction  but she didn't. 

Not because she didn't want to but because she realised that it didn't matter to her anymore. 
What the other Sims thought was irrelevant she had everything she needed to be happy, she had, had it all along.

Iris and Cody sat side by side in the rented apartment, the events of the past week had aged them both visibly.

"Kids we need to talk to you both."  Cody began.

"We have some news."  Iris continued, "The insurance company has accepted our claim and is going to cover the cost of rebuilding the house."  She told them.

"They will continue to pay our living expenses until it's completed so we'll be staying here for a while."  Cody added.

"Being in that fire has made me think about the future."  Iris explained, "I never made a will because i always assumed i had so much time left but i realise now that it was foolish of me.  If anything had have happened to me......."  She welled up at the recollection of that night.

"Mom, you are going to be OK right?"  Kaya asked.

"And Lilah too?"  Josh added.

"Of course, i will be fine and Lilah just needs a skin graft to repair the damage to her face but she will recover fully."  Iris reassured them, "I wanted to let you both know that I've decided that I'm going to hand over my legacy to Kaya, once you graduate of course."

"Me?"  Kaya asked, genuinely surprised by the revelation.

"Yes sweetheart."  Iris confirmed, "I know that you have the strength to lead this family.  Sometimes that strength can come out in the wrong way but i know that you will find the right path for yourself eventually and i hope that this responsibility will help you get there sooner?"

"I-I can't believe you picked me."  Kaya stuttered, "I always thought that Josh was your favourite."

"Kaya we don't have a favourite."  Cody replied, "How could you think that?"

"I guess Josh always got so much attention because of what happened that day at the beach and the twins were just babies while you were gone, i just somehow seemed to not matter."  Kaya admitted.

"Sweetheart i had no idea that you felt that way."  Iris replied, the shock registered on her face, "I swear i never meant for you to."

"You need to know that we love you all equally."  Cody reminded her.

"Thank you."  Kaya simply replied.


Dr Kaufman regarded the patient in his office, in all his forty years as a consultant psychologist for the Bridgeport Police department he had never seen a case like this one before.

The more he had examined the evidence alongside Detective Cohen, the more he was convinced of his diagnosis.  Extracting a confession would not be easy, a high level of denial was often necessary for the perpetrator to go ahead with their delusion, he would have to broach the subject carefully.

"Tell me who diagnosed Poppy's schizophrenia?"  He began.

"Oh, I did."  Sarah Deign replied, "Yes she was exhibiting signs of the illness around a year ago."

"So you prescribed her medication also?"  Dr Kaufman continued.

"Yes and i also set regular sessions so that i could monitor her fully, it was difficult while she was at prep school but i made sure that i saw her weekly." Sarah continued.

"I spoke with Poppy earlier and she confessed to starting the fire at the Traytor's home and also to one at a Highgrove prep school." 

"Yes an unfortunate incident."  Sarah nodded.

"Indeed."  Dr Kaufman agreed, "I contacted Highgrove prep school and they have no recollection of any such fire, in fact they said that it was you who insisted on removing Poppy from the school." 

"No that's not right!"  Dr Deign insisted.

"I also ran some blood tests on poppy and the medication you say you prescibed to treat her was not found in her system."

"She stopped taking her medication that's why she started this fire!"

"There were high levels of a hallucinogen found in her system, she has obviously been ingesting it for some time."  Dr Kaufman revealed.

"Well i have no idea how that can be possible."  Sarah yelled, her confidence dropping rapidly.

"I think it's possible that Poppy is not sick at all."  Dr Kaufman added, "She certainly believes that she is schizophrenic and she believes that she started two fires but she cannot tell me how she did it."

"She has blackouts."  Dr Deign cut in.

"Yes she does, caused by the medication which you prescribed her.  The pills she has been taking cause severe hallucinations, which is no doubt why she believed you when you told her she had a disorder.  But in my opinion Poppy is a healthy girl, you however are not."  Dr Kaufman concluded.

"How dare you!"  Dr Deign yelled rising from the couch, "I am a professional with over twenty years experience."

"Yes that's right you hold a degree from Oxford?"  Dr Kaufman asked, "I checked into your credentials earlier, the degree you claim to hold is bogus."

"I don't have to sit and listen to this, now release my daughter into my care.  It's clear to me that she will not get the help she needs from you."  Sarah demanded.
"That's not possible ma'am."  The officer said entering the room, "You are under arrest on suspicion of arson and practising psychiatry without a license, you have the right to remain silent, anything you do say may be used against you in a court of law."

"What!  This is preposterous!"  Dr Deign yelled as the officer attempted to place her in handcuffs, "You should be arresting this man, he is insane."  She shouted, pointing to Dr Kaufman.

Dr Kaufman sighed as the woman was led out of his office, she hadn't confessed and it would be difficult to prove that she had intentionally harmed her own daughter, but there was no doubt in his mind that she had made Poppy believe that she was crazy.
Many Doctors believed that such a disorder was fictitious, but that was because it was often difficult to detect, after all who would suspect a doctor or a mother of trying to intentionally harm their child or patient?

Most did it to draw attention to themselves, revelling in the importance that was attached to having a sick child, the attention they gained somehow validating them.

Whatever her reason was for doing this to her own flesh and blood Dr Kaufman realised that if Poppy hadn't needed therapy before she certainly would now.



Anonymous said...

Wonderful chappie, *claps excitedly* BRAVO

Dennysa said...

Poor Kaya! Ugh, I can't belive I said it!
This chapter was great. Can't wait to see what will happen in the next one.

Anonymous said...

I actually want too hit Dr Deign

Anonymous said...

Thanks all x

Demenshia said...

Ah, good old Munchausen by Proxy syndrome. Poor Poppy :(

Great chapter! Kept me guessing up to the end :)

Anonymous said...

:O I did not expect that!

Great update.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Demenshia i'm glad someone knew what it was i was getting at i was worried it was maybe a bit too confusing!

I'm happy i kept you all guessing on the outcome too ;)

Anonymous said...

What a twist, I never would have suspected that Poppy's mother had that syndrome, I can't spell it but it is an excellent plot point.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Thankyou Seaweedy and Simpotato x

PiB said...

Great post Angiebeno

Looks like Kaya may turn a corner and learn to be someone we can grow to like. :)

Poor Poppy drugged inappropriately by her mother.

Anonymous said...

Whens the next chapter??

Anonymous said...

PIB - thank you i hope readers will get to like Kaya soon ;)

Anon - It will prob be end of next week after my exams are done x

Anonymous said...

Wow, great chapter Angie, but poor poor Poppy. :(

Anonymous said...

I really like Kaya.
Sure, she's mean and everything but I think she deserves to be the heir.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon ~ Thanks and i agree, i really liked Kaya as the heir

Valpre said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome!
11/10. Perfect score! I love the pyschological depth you added to the storyline.

angiebeno said...

Wow perfect score i'm super flattered :)