Peyton Skinner had no idea if Youth Potion would even help at this late hour. Her Life Progress bar was already spewing twinkly sparks, but she had to try. She nabbed an easy Meet Someone New, then headed to the pastry counter for the Aspiration Points she could get through the Order Food.. Whim.
It soon got tougher to rack up Aspiration Points. As the Whims rolled up, she tried sending some more Happy Texts but no points were forthcoming. She ran down to the water front to Be Alone, but it seemed like hours before she got the Aspiration Points for it.
She headed back to the bakery and saw her cousin at the counter, eyeing a carry-out cup of espresso with disappointment.
“If you’re not going to finish that, give it here,” Peyton said. “I need to try to stay awake.”
“Ew! It’s all backwashy,” Allison said. “Besides, you don’t get much of a Fatigue-meter boost from coffee.”
“Well, I’d get a cup of Sleep Replacement Potion, but that will just set me back 400 Aspiration Points,” Peyton said. “I’ll just be a hopped-up old lady when Monday morning rolls around.”
“Well, I can’t afford Youth Potion either,” Allison said, “but I can spring for a cup of Zzz Juice.”
There was a vial of Sleep Replacement Potion in her personal inventory before Peyton could object. She took it out and swirled the steaming beverage in its cup.
“I’m afraid we may already be too late, but thank you Allison,” Peyton said. “I just love you to pieces.”
“And I love you great big bunches too,” Allison said, “but hurry up and get back to point-farming. With all these expressions of familial affection, it’s starting to sound like The Skinner Saga in here.”
“And what’s wrong with sounding like The Skinner Saga?” she wanted to know.
“Nothing! It just sounds faky when Monaghan writes it,” Allison said.
Peyton got back to point-farming, leading her small group to the library, where she asked Kim Park if she could join her for a game of chess.
“I need Aspiration Points, fast,” she explained.
“You have a Whim to get beat at chess?” Kim asked.
“Don’t be so sure you’re gonna win,” Peyton said. “I’ve put in a lot more playing time than you, but I’m not playing chess for points. I just need to get Focused.”
Once focused, Peyton dropped out of the game and was able to scoop up several Aspiration Points just playing BlicBloc, but then her Whims became unattainable in the time she had left. Get A Promotion, Make a Friend, Level Up Gaming Skill, Play BlicBloc for an Hour.
“But I don’t have an hour!” Peyton yelled at the user interface.
The shouting started Thalia Osborne out of her nap.
“Huh? What is it, Mom?” she asked glancing around, blinking. “Is it … is it time to blow out the candles?”
“Not if I can help it,” Peyton declared, “but that prospect is looking increasingly grim, honey. It’s almost midnight and I still need another 200 Aspiration points.”
“I’m sorry, Mom,” Thalia said. “I wish there was some way I could just give you some of my Aspiration Points.”
Peyton rose to walk over to her son’s fiancée. “Oh, Thalia. That’s so sweet of you. I love you so much!”
Thalia stood up. “I love you too, Mom. Do you need a hug?”
“Just a handshake,” Peyton said.
Thalia took Peyton’s hand, perplexed by the request …
… until she realized she’d been tricked with a hand buzzer.
“Oh, n-n-n-n-niii– “ she tried to say through chattering teeth.
Peyton giggled maniacally.
“I’m sorry, Thalia. I don’t know why I wanted to do that to you, of all Sims.”
“I think maybe you’ve been here too long,” Thalia said. “Now you know why I was so happy my parents moved to Skinnerville.”
Peyton left Thalia and Allison behind and cycled back to the bakery. She found that returning to the bakery forced up some easy Whims to order espresso and pastries.
She ordered a scone and was eating it when midnight came …
… and went.
That she was clearly past the deadline and still an Adult gave Peyton a boost of confidence.
“Maybe I can’t age up while I’m away from home?” she wondered. “Can you even host a Birthday Party off your home lot?”
The morning dragged on. Around 3 a.m., a Whim rolled up to Find Collectible that afforded enough Aspiration Points to put Peyton over the top, but a mad, cursory dash around the Windenburg commercial district revealed no digging sites.
“There are three right behind Yuma Heights, but I’m afraid I’ll spin into an Elder the minute I hit the lot,” Peyton thought, rummaging desperately in a public trash can for a discarded collectible.
There wasn’t one.
“Well, I guess I’ll just x-out that Whim and –“ Peyton said, laughing when the next Whim popped up.
Peyton raised back to the bakery and looked for someone she did not know.
“You!” she said, stepping in front of a Young Adult in line. “I don’t believe we’ve met!”
“I … don’t believe we’ve met either?” the stranger said.
“Well, I’m Peyton Skinner. And your name – out with it!”
“Liberty Lee! Liberty Lee,” Peyton repeated joyously, tallying up another 25 Aspiration Points. She spent all but five Aspiration Points on a vial of Youth Potion. “It is wonderful it is to meet you, Liberty Lee. I can’t tell you how grateful I am!”
“Oh … OK,” Liberty said. “That’s not weird or anything but I … I should really get going.”
“I must say, it certainly is nice to see someone so friendly and outgoing among the visiting tourists,” the other Sim in line said as Liberty hastened out the door.
“I am Bjorn Bjergson. Welcome to Winden – “
“Yeah, OK. Sure. Whatever.”