The story so far: Having run away from his controlling father James Cullinan and his dog Samford bought a huge plot of land outside the little town of Lamberton. After a brief stint as a lab test subject James joined the military and quickly rose to the position of Drill Instructor, and started construction on what he intends to one day become the house of his dreams.
*Not created by me I had just chosen a spot to perform when I heard a voice call my name. Turning around I saw Melissa Bendett, one of the people who had been in my welcome wagon. She shook my hand politely and asked how I was. I told her proudly of my new job and how I had built a house, remembering how forced the welcome wagons' smiles had been when they'd seen how I was living and failing to mention that the house was only four wall with hardly any space in between. She seemed impressed. I performed the rap song that I'd heard the day before I left my father's home, and the locals seemed to like it. They stood around my and bopped along and I even managed to get a few tips. I saw Brandi LeTourneau, another of the welcome wagon, and met a man called Goopy GilsCarbo. I was struck by how everyone in this town seemed to know each other and once again I was glad that I'd stopped here. This was exactly my kind of place. The tips weren't big though, and I knew I'd have to find something else. Just as I was about to call for another taxi, something cold landed on my cheek. Suddenly tiny flakes of snow where falling softly around me. I stood rooted to the spot, gazing around my in wonder. I had never seen snow before, except on TV. It was always warm back home. It was so peaceful, and so beautiful against the backdrop of the sqaure. I could have stood there for hours except it was too cold to do so. I needed to get on and find some other way of earning money. I decided to try the local pub, The Purple Plumbob Tavern. It was very crowded and noisy. Everyone had come in for shelter from the cold weather. I talked to the barman and he agreed to let me work a shift, but after a while the noise got distracting and people kept interupting my work, trying to greet me. In the end I got so frustrated I gave it up as a bad job. I then tried to work at a local coffee bar but the same thing happened. So I just went home, defeated. At least I did have money coming in. With mine and Samford's wages combined I managed to scrape enough together to extend the width of the house a little so that it was a bit less cramped and I could get a few more things in. As the snow continued I realised that I couldn't leave Samford outside and sold the kennel for a pet bed indoors. The inside was still drab and dreary though, and I didn't like it. I often felt sorry for the tree. It had produced fruit before going dormant at the beginning of winter, but it was rotten fruit. Now it stood solitary in the distance, its branches covered in snow. I could only hope it would have a better time in the spring than it had in the autumn. If the tree died I knew I would feel the loss. It was a symbol of home to me and it saddened me to see it looking so lonely. A stroke of brilliance led me to another method of making money. I'd always had a good head for finance, and I had experience of managing my own difficult financial situation, so I started offering advice for cash on the internet. It didn't pay much but it was a good little second income. I also began to become friends with Brandy LeTourneau. (Details of her job and personality.) My work hours were still very early, and it wasn't easy getting out of a warm bed before dawn on a cold winter morning, but once I was up I relished it. I felt important leaving the house in my uniform before the day started. I was intensely proud of myself. While Samford mooched at home on one of his days off and discovered the great taste of snow... ...I discovered to my advantage that I could be a jerk if necessary. I'd been given a group of new recruits to train at work and they were hopeless. They wined loudly about any kind of organisation or discipline and questioned every order I gave them. I tried putting them on rations and kitchen duty but they just didn't seem to care. In the end I snapped and replaced their rifles with baguettes and sent them on a drill. Other soldiers gathered around to point and laugh and the humiliated squad were soon widely referred to as the Baguette Brigade. Their lesson learned, the impressed higher ups promoted me to Junior Officer. And the resulting bonus sent my total lifetime earnings up to 10,000 simoleons. Not long after that people walking by the house began to stop and talk to me. A woman called Christy Statton paused in her walk to tell me she'd read about me and how I'd got my promotion in the paper and complimented me on my techniques. In fact I noticed that a lot of the people passing by seemed to be young women. A blush crept up my neck when I realised what their motives for passing by must be. I was flattered, but in truth I wasn't thinking about such things yet. I was far too busy with building my career and my fortune to have the time or much of an interest. I wasn't just working on my own career either, I was working on Samford's too. A vacancy had opened up for a Seeing Eye Pet, but it required applicants to be able to roll over, so I began to concentrate on teaching him. As a reward for my promotion I was given my own training course to help me work on my body skill, which would be very important if I wanted to climb even higher. Despite the fact that the snow seemed to have settled permantly and it was bitterly cold, I was on a high from my success and was anxious for more. As winter began to draw to its end I spent most of my time making a fool of myself on the training ground. Gradually it became easier and I was able to power through it. Things kept going from good to better, and in exciting circumstances. A quiet day at work in early spring turned into a frenzy when rioting broke out and City Hall was set on fire, with the Mayor of SimCity and several foreign dignitaries inside. I had to make a quick tactic decision and ordered an air drop into the building. As we headed towards the building however I had a feeling that something wasn't right about the idea of dignitaries trapped alone in City Hall. And then I remembered a bomb threat a few days ago, and the suspicious information we discovered in a search. I placed a few calls and discovered that the Mayor was out of town visiting a neighbouring country. I quickly aborted the mission and fifteen minutes later City Hall impoded. My superiors were so impressed with my actions that they put me in Counter-Intelligence. The bonus money boosted my financial situation enough that I was finally able to decorate. I spent my day off painting the walls a pleasant shade of green. I added a window to the ideal side of the house to let in the most light. And I bought a new bed, new cooker, new fridge, a counter and other things. Suddenly the whole atmosphere in the house was transformed. No longer drab and dark and depressing, it was light, bright and comfortable. Still very basic but a much nicer environment, and instead of seeming cramped it felt more cozy. And because I now had a counter I could finally make decent food. My cooking skills were not great but it meant I could eat sandwiches and cooked meals instead of just TV dinners, cereal and pizza. My whole life was looking up, and my dream home feeling closer than ever. On top of that Benjamin and I were greater friends than ever. I spent hours on the phone to him that night, telling him about the exciting events at work, and he was a fantastic audience to the tale. But I knew I still had a long way to go, and needed to continue to climb. One detail in the picture that was not as I wanted it as the tree. It had woken up at the beginning of the season in the same condition it had been in at the end of autumn, and though I tended to it and had a ladybird loft next to it, it continued to be sickly. I was beginning to really worry. Another hitch was that I discovered that I'd received incorrect information regarding Samford's promotion possibilities. I'd been told that he needed to roll over but actually he needed to learn to come here. But then things started to improve. With careful tending I managed to get the tree into a somewhat healthy state... ...my daily workouts got me fit, something that I valued highly... ...and both Samford and I got promotions again. In fact Samford got two promotions in quick succession due to his skills, first to Seeing Eye Pet and then to the top of his field, Rescue Pet. It made be swell with pride to think that my dog was out there helping to save people's lives. And I myself was promoted to Flight Officer. I extended the house and bought a sofa and a bookcase. I also endulged myself with an expresso machine. The outside of my house was decorated with bricks. I didn't think I'd ever been as happy in my life as I was at that time.
Everything was going to plan, and it was looking set to get even better.
The Cullinan Legacy - Part Two
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