More than three months have passed since the day when Bella passed away, but Kate’s heart was still weeping. The family decided to bury her in the garden. Bella was a special horse, so she deserved to be remembered by all the generations to come.
Although Kate knew that no other horse could ever replace Bella, she decided to move on and buy another horse. She chose the Lipizzaner breed currently available at the Little Pony EC. Her name was Lady.
Elisabeth was training with Freya all the summer. To her own surprise she learned the basics of the riding and jumping skills very quickly, so Kate asked her to help her run the Equestrian Academy.
Within two months they managed to spread the word around the town and people started coming to their house with dreams of becoming famous jockeys one day. Elisabeth was very excited that her mother assigned her with such an important role, but unfortunately only temporarily. With the start of the lessons in September, Elisabeth would have to return to her studies.
“Good morning, Mrs. Loewe. I’m Diana Shorter.”
“Pleasure to meet you, Diana. Please, call me Kate,” Kate presented herself to Diana, her first student.
“I’m really happy you agreed on a lesson this early, Kate,” she smiled.
“No worries, we’re here for you,” smiled Kate. “So, do you have any experience with horses?”
“A little, but consider me a beginner, please.”
“Very well, let’s begin with your first lesson. The girl over there is my daughter Elisabeth. She will show you your horse. I’ll meet you after a while.”
“Thank you, Kate,” said Diana and walked towards Elisabeth.
Elisabeth presented herself to Diana and they both walked towards Freya.
“This is Freya, she will be your horse for today,” informed her Elisabeth.
“Nice to meet you, Freya,” said Diana and let Freya sniff her hand.
“Good, it seems she likes you. I saddled her up for you. Next time I’ll show you how that is done. Well, come on, get in the saddle, your first lesson has just started. Good luck,” Elisabeth smiled at her and walked in the stables to take care of Orion.
“Thanks, Elisabeth,” said Diana and approached Freya. Hmm, let’s see, she thought to herself and put her left foot in the stirrup.
“I don’t think this is right,” she said once in the saddle.
“No, it’s not,” laughed Kate. “Just turn around, but pay attention so you don’t fall.”
“Well, this is far much better!” said Diana. “What do I do now?” she asked with a little frightened voice.
“First of all, don’t let Freya feel, that you’re afraid otherwise she’ll throw you down.”
“No worries, you’re doing fine. Pull the rein on the side you want her to go. She’ll follow your commands.”
“OK,” said Diana and pulled to the right. “I… I think I get it.”
“Very good. Now, tap her gently just behind the tummy to make her move forward.”
“OK,” she said and did what Kate told her.
“Good! Let’s walk towards the jump trainers. Don’t get scared, they’re called trainers for a reason.” Diana just smiled at her.
While Kate was teaching her first lesson and Elisabeth cleaning Orion’s box, David went for a morning jog in the park. Zac and Finn were still asleep.
“Isn’t the moon beautiful tonight?”
“Yes, very beautiful.”
“I think it will be the full moon in two days.”
“Let’s stay here and wait for it together.”
“Yeah. Watching the starts hasn’t ever felt better.”
“I know, it’s because it’s me and you.”
“Do you know what I am gonna do?”
“Hug me close and kiss me?”
“That’s exactly what I had on mind. Come here, Mandy. I think I’m in love with you.”
“I have never felt this way before. I think I love you, too.”
“Oh, Mandy, you’re so beautiful.”
“Wake up, man!”
“No… why? Mandy?”
“Sorry, Zac. You were talking from your sleep and… it woke me up… and… ahem… I just couldn’t listen to it!”
“What? A dream about… about Mandy? And… and YOU WOKE ME?!”
“Sorry, man, but you sounded like a girl. With a guy’s voice. You… you know what I mean. I couldn’t listen to that.”
“You could have left the room or… or cover your ears! NOW SHE’S GONE!”
“Chill out, Zac. It was JUST A DREAM.”
“And so what! I was kissing her!”
“You were not! It was in your imagination!”
“Let me be! Go! GO AWAY!”
“This is also my room, Zac, so calm down, ok?”
“Just… whatever!” he said and left the room. Stupid idiot, Zac thought to himself as he walked down the stairs. He sat at the computer and continued writing his story. Elisabeth approached him.
“I know, but…”
“Please, let me be.”
“What’s wrong? Something happened?”
“Yes, but I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Come on, Zac. Tell me.”
“Fine. I had a dream about Amanda and it was really amazing. It felt so real…”
“That sounds nice, why would you be upset about it?”
“Finn woke me up right the moment I was about to kiss her!”
“I’m sorry… You know Finn. He always chooses the best moment for everything. He loves to complicate our lives,” she smiled and suddenly remembered what she told Reese about Zac.
“It’s not funny, Liz. He even made fun of me! I can’t stand him anymore!”
“Zac… I know it’s not the best moment, but I think it’s better if you know this.”
“What? Is Finn moving out? That would be some great news.”
“No. That time we visited Hidden Springs…”
“Gosh. I… I probably said something wrong. To Reese. About you.”
“What? What did you tell her?”
“After you told me you had a crush on Amanda I felt like I had to protect you.”
“What? From Amanda? Liz, what are you saying?!”
“No, from her sister. Let me explain. Well, Reese confessed she had a crush on Finn, but I told her he had a girlfriend…”
“… and then she asked about you…”
“… and I didn’t want to tell her you had a girlfriend as well, so…”
“Liz, you knew I didn’t have a girlfriend!”
“I know! That was the problem! I just wanted to get rid off her… I thought that if she knew you weren’t available, you’d have a bigger chance with Amanda!”
“Liz, this doesn’t make sense. I don’t like Reese, I like Amanda!”
“I know, but now she probably thinks you’re gay! I’m sorry, Zac!”
“WHAT! Why would Amanda think that!”
“Because I told to her sister!”
“YOU TOLD REESE I WAS GAY?!?! Were you completely out of your mind?!”
“YES! Listen, I am really sorry! Plus there is a chance that Reese didn’t tell Amanda. She… she promised!”
“Oh, come on, Elisabeth! You know how girls are! You’re a girl! Don’t tell me you would keep something like that a secret…”
“Yeah… you’re right. Can you forgive me?”
“Maybe… let me call Amanda first,” he said and dialed her number.
Amanda was jogging around the lake when her cellphone rang. She looked at it and when she saw that it was Zac calling, she picked up immediately.
“Hey Zac! I was just thinking about you and you called me! What a coincidence,” she smiled.
“Oh, really?” he said surprisingly.
“Yeah! So… how are you?”
“Great, thanks! We were just talking about you. I mean me and my sister.”
“Yes, that’s why I call.”
“Ahem… Well… I just wanted to tell you, that… I really like girls!”
“Great!” Amanda laughed to the phone.
“Isn’t it,” he smiled. Hey, Liz! I think Reese kept the promise. It seems like Amanda doesn’t know.
“Yeah, it is. Reese told me you were gay, but I didn’t believe her. I think she likes you and didn’t want me in her way. Isn’t that funny?”
“Umm… I guess. Girls have really funny ideas sometimes,” said Zac and looked at Liz.
“So, what are you doing?”
“Jogging. Near the lake. It’s a very nice day today.”
“Cool. I might go for a jog as well.”
“Cool. Hey listen, I know it’s not the most romantic way to say this, but I really like you, Amanda,” Zac confessed to the phone. When Elisabeth heard him she started giggling.
“Actually, now that you said it… I… I like you, too, Zac. A lot!”
“WOW! That’s simply amazing! Thank you, Mandy! Can I call you Mandy?”
“Sure you can,” she giggled.
“Well, I’ll not keep you from your jog. I’ll call you soon. Is it OK if I call after the lunch?”
“Perfect. Bye. Zac! Say hello to everyone!”
“Sure, bye Mandy!”
“Well? Do you forgive me, Zac?” asked him Elisabeth.
“Yeah… But you could clean Orion’s box for me,” he smiled innocently.
“Yes. So, are you officially dating Amanda?”
“Well, I guess. But it feels strange, we haven’t even kissed yet.”
“Don’t worry, the time will come,” smiled Elisabeth, picked a book from the bookshelf and went outside. This was easier that I expected, she thought to herself as she sat in the armchair.
She didn’t even finish reading the first page, when Hesper showed up.
“Hello Lizzie!” he said. Elisabeth closed the book and looked at him.
“Hey Hesper! What’s up?”
“I visited the library in town yesterday night.”
“You know how to read?”
“A little, yes.”
“Ah. I didn’t know. And what did you find there? Something interesting?”
“Well, tell me about it,” encouraged him Elisabeth.
“I found a book about a wooden boy. Like me.”
“Pinocchio? Oh, Hesper,” she smiled.
“I looked at the pictures in the book… and… he becomes a real boy.”
“Yes, because it’s a fairytale. I know what you’re thinking, Hesper. I’m sorry, but fairies with magic wands don’t exist.”
“No?” Hesper asked desperately. “I wish I could become a real boy one day.”
“Oh, Hesper!” said Elisabeth and hugged him. “If there was another way, I would do anything to help you…,” she whispered. Then she looked at him and noticed a piece of paper sticking out of his pink heart that seemed to be a pocket.
“What is that?” she asked him and pointed at the heart.
“My heart,” he answered.
“No, I didn’t mean that. What is in it?”
“Nothing. It’s only a pocket.”
“No, look, there’s a piece of paper in there.”
“Yes, look!” said Elisabeth and pulled the piece of paper out of his pocket. She opened it and… “HESPER!” she exclaimed. “YOU CAN BECOME A REAL BOY!” she screamed.
“How? You just told me, that fairies and magic wands…,” Hesper didn’t finish the sentence, because Elisabeth interrupted him.
“I know! We don’t need them! Look here! It’s a potion we need!” she said and passed it to him.
Hesper looked at the paper. “So this is it? METAMORPHIUM POTION?”
“I guess. I will go and ask about it in the Science Lab, wanna come with me?”
“Liz, do you think you will be able to make this potion?”
“Maybe… Yes! I will make this potion and you will become a real boy! I promise!”
“I can’t believe it!” said Hesper and started happily jumping around the terrace.
Elisabeth walked down the hill to the Science Lab. As she stood in front of the building, she imagined, what would Hesper look like if the potion worked out. She pictured a handsome young boy with dark hair and blue eyes in her mind.
Elisabeth didn’t hesitate and walked right in.
“Hello, may I help you?” asked her the receptionist.
“Yes. I need some information about the metamorphium poition.”
“I am sorry, young lady, but there is no such thing as metamorphium potion.”
“Are you sure?”
“Did someone say metamorphium potion?”
“No, Dr. Simano, I assure you,” said the receptionist to a man that suddenly showed up in the reception room.
“I said it! Please, can you tell me how to make it?” asked excitedly Elisabeth and looked in his eyes.
“Come with me,” he told her decisively and they both walked towards his lab located at the end of a dark long corridor.
“I am Dr. Simano,” he presented himself on the way.
“I am Elisabeth Loewe.”
“Please, come inside,” he told her and opened the door of his laboratory. “Yes, I know you, Elisabeth. I also know your mother Kate. You were born in this hospital.”
“Oh. Wait! Please don’t tell her I came here asking about the potion,” worried Elisabeth.
“Don’t worry, Elisabeth. I’ll help you make your imaginary friend a real boy.”
“Just… just a moment. This is scary. How… How do you know about Hesper?”
“Ah, so you named it Hesper,” he said, looked at Elisabeth and smiled nicely. “You don’t have to be afraid, Elisabeth. I gave you the doll.”
“Oh, ok. Well, thanks,” she smiled.
“Actually, your friend Hesper is one of my test subjects,” Dr. Simano confessed.
“Yes. I made him myself. Long time ago… But that’s another story.”
“You made him? But… he’s a living doll! How can you make a doll come alive?”
“You should tell that to me,” he laughed. “I only gave you a doll. It was thanks to you, that it evolved into something… different.”
“I don’t understand,” said Elisabeth.
“You don’t have to understand, Elisabeth. The important thing is, that you found the note I left in his pocket and I am happy it brought you to me.”
“So, the message… You left it there, because you knew I’d come asking about it?”
“I only supposed. You see, I created hundreds of these dolls, but nobody has ever come asking about the metamorphium potion before. If we succeed in making Hesper a real boy, it will be the biggest achievement of my career.”
“So… how do we make the potion?”
“I don’t know.”
“WHAT? What do you mean you don’t know?!”
“You’ll have to discover it yourself, Elisabeth. There is no other way.”
“OK, but shouldn’t you at least give me some recipe? It’s not that I can do magic!”
“You can. You have a gift. I can only give you an advice. Simply try mixing things together and when you create the metamorphium potion, you’ll know it is the one.”
“Trust me. Here, take this,” said Dr. Simano and gave her a box full of various vials, colorful liquids and other sciency gadgets.
“Thanks,” said Elisabeth and looked at him with the ‘I have no idea how to do this’ kind of face.
When she came back home, Elisabeth set up a table in the shed and placed everything Dr. Simano gave her on it. At the bottom of the box she found some protective goggles, gloves and a cloak that perfectly matched her size. She put everything on and started mixing things up. I feel this won‘t be as easy as I thought, she said to herself as she poured some substance in a vial.
She spent the entire afternoon at the chemistry table hoping to discover the metamorphium poition. Unfortunately, she only made things explode. Elisabeth decided to quit experimenting and went to take a shower.
When the first leaves started changing color from green to shades of yellow, red and orange, the fall announced its arrival.
On the Spooky Day, when all the teenagers came back home from school, they dressed up in the costumes and went trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. Elisabeth dressed as a princess, Zac as the cow-plant and surprisingly Finn dressed as food. He chose the hot-dog costume.
It was a very nice day, but they didn’t get so lucky. The first neighbor they chose to visit wasn’t at home.
“Nevermind. There are many people living in this town. Let’s go visit Mrs. Taylor,” proposed Zac.
“Good idea,” agreed Finn and Elisabeth.
“Seems like she’s not home either,” said Elisabeth when she rang the bell the second time. “I guess they’re all at the fall festival.”
“It’s starting to rain,” said Finn when he felt the first raindrops fall on his nose.
“I’ll go home, guys. This is a waste of time.”
“Come on, Liz! Stay with us,” begged her Zac, but Elisabeth already made up her mind. She returned home and decided to use the afternoon better and practice painting.
After about an hour later, Zac and Finn’s effort finally paid off.
“Trick or treat!”
“Aren’t you already big for this?” asked them Beppe Bianchi .
“Nah. If you don’t have candy, we accept cash as well,” smiled Zac.
“Right,” said Beppe and threw some candy in Finn’s beautiful jack-o-lantern basket.
“Thanks,” said Finn.
“Anything to make you kids happy!” smiled Beppe .
“Great. I’d like some cash then,” said Zac.
“Maybe next time, bye bye!” said Beppe and shut the door.
The next household on their list were the GilsCarbo’s. Zac rang the bell, but again, nobody came to open the door.
“The light is on. Let’s ring once more,” suggested Finn.
“I don’t understand where is everybody,” said Finn when he looked through the window.
“I have no idea. Listen, it’s starting to rain a lot, maybe we should just go home,” proposed Zac.
“Yeah… Let’s go,” agreed Finn. “Want some candy?”
“Sure,” said Zac and grabbed one from Finn’s basket. They managed to finish all the candy before they got home… not that there was much anyways.
In the evening, Finn got a call from Malika inviting him on a date. Although it was heavily raining, Finn agreed to go. Without anyone noticing, he sneaked out of the house. It was almost 9 PM.
They met at the local fire station, located right across the street from the Williams household.
“Do you think you could climb up that pole?” asked him Malika.
“Sure I can!”
“Let’s see,” she giggled. Finn walked towards the pole and started climbing. Does she really think I can’t do this? he thought to himself.
“You’re almost at the top! One more meter!” cheered Malika.
“It’s your turn now!” called Finn from the first floor.
“Ahem… What did you say? I can’t hear you down here!” Malika pretended she didn’t hear him and quickly run up the stairs to avoid climbing up the pole.
“What? No no no no no! Go back down and climb up. I know you can do it!” he smiled.
“I’ll do it… just if you beat me in Foosball!”
“Challenge accepted!” agreed Finn because he knew Malika wasn’t a good Foosball player. However, Malika did beat him in the game.
“Very impressive, you beat me! Now it’s my turn to challenge you,” he smiled at her. “I bet you won’t resist and kiss me.”
“What? What kind of challenge is that! It’s obvious you’ll win this one, Finn!”
“Exactly! You wouldn’t like me to feel defeated, would you?”
“Maybe…,” she said and looked in his eyes.
“So you would, huh,” he said and put his arm over her shoulders.
“You’re not playing fair, Finn,” said Malika and kissed him.
“I know,” he mumbled in the middle of the kiss. While they were kissing, Finn’s phone rang.
“Hey, Finn! Rather get back home, mom is freaking out. It’s almost midnight, man!”
“Is it? Well, I’ll say goodbye to Malika and head straight home then. Could you… could you not tell her about Malika? I’ll explain everything.”
“Finn, mom… she knows. She asked Liz where were you and Liz told her you were probably at Malika.”
“Yeah… Liz realized that mom didn’t know when it was too late. I’m sorry…”
“Urgh… I just didn’t know how to tell her… Well, now I don’t have to think about it anymore. ”
“Get back as soon as you can, before she calls the police… or worse… the Williams.”
The moment Finn stopped talking on the phone, he heard the police car siren.
He took Malika’s hand and they both run away through the side exit. Finn kissed her goodbye and hailed a passing-by taxi. He got lucky, because the policeman just entered the fire station. He had no idea if it was his mother who sent him or if the policeman showed up because they weren’t supposed to hang around the fire station and someone saw them and called the police. The only thing that really mattered to him at the moment was to get home quickly and explain everything.
The next day, after school, Finn asked Malika if she could come over, because Kate wanted to talk to her. He assured her, that his mother wasn’t too furious yesterday and that nothing has dramatically changed.
“I’ll go and start working on the homework with Zac and when my mother is done talking to you, come to join us.”
“Okay,” said Malika, but Finn could tell she wasn’t feeling okay.
“Babe, don’t worry. She doesn’t bite,” he said and went inside together with Zac. Malika sat in the wicker chair at the porch and waited for Kate.
“Good afternoon, Mrs. Loewe.”
“Hello, Malika,” said Kate with a normal tone and sat down next to her. “So, you and Finn are dating, that’s a very nice news,” she smiled.
“Yes, we really like each other… a lot,” confessed Malika.
“I noticed. So, is he a good kisser?” Kate surprised her with an unexpected question.
“W-what?” she stuttered.
“Is Finn a good kisser? I suppose you’ve already kissed, haven’t you,” Kate repeated the question. Malika didn’t know what to think.
“Yes, he is,” she blushed.
“I think you two make a really nice couple. I’m happy for both of you,” said Kate and blinked her eye at Malika, who felt completely confused. She expected some kind of scolding, but instead, her boyfriend’s mom was asking about her son’s kissing skills? What?
“So, what are your plans after the graduation?” asked her Kate. Malika understood that Kate was only trying to get to know her better so she suddenly felt more relaxed and actually happy.
When Finn went to the bathroom, Elisabeth used the situation to gossip about him.
“Hey, Zac! Yesterday, I heard Finn cry. He was afraid that mom would not allow him to see Malika ever again!”
“Ahaha, that’s funny. He’s such a cry baby!”
“Yeah. And the most funny thing was when…,” Elisabeth didn’t finish the sentence, because Finn just opened the door of the bathroom.
“Hey, what are you two laughing about?” he asked them. “Making fun of someone?” When Finn said that, his siblings exploded in unstoppable laughter.
It didn’t take long and the snow covered the town. The Snowflake day was behind the door. This year, the family decided to take it easy and celebrate it alone, in peace, without long preparations.
When the time to open the gifts came, Kate called everyone to the Christmas tree.
The first one to open her gift was Elisabeth. She was very happy, because she got what she wished for. Also her brothers screamed with joy, when they found the new Maxoid Game Simulator 2 under the tree.
They spent the rest of the evening trying out all the games that came with it.
When they got finally bored, Elisabeth used the occasion and tried their gift for herself.
Before going to bed, Finn went to feed Lizzy, but the lizard wasn’t moving.
“Maybe he’s just sleeping, Finn.”
“No, Zac. He’s dead!” said Finn and tears appeared in his eyes. When Zac saw him, he couldn’t hold his tears either so they were both weeping above Lizzy’s dead body.
“I’ll miss you, Lizzy,” said Finn and remembered the moment of happiness when he found his pet in the hills.
“It’s getting late, Liz. You should go to sleep.”
“Okay, mom. Good night… and thanks for the SimLife Goggles, they’re super cool.”