Miles started his Friday morning at 6:45, tending all three garden areas and harvesting whatever was ripe.
Zoe slept until her bladder rudely awakened her at 8:30. She gingerly walked over to the nearest bush, muttering to herself, “Oh, the injustice of peeing in a bush when you’re pregnant.” As soon as one bodily function was taken care of, another reared its head. Zoe was famished.
She headed back to the shelter to wash up and then ate a few cherries to stave off her hunger. She immediately felt queasy. “My poor belly just wants saltines,” she said to herself. Eventually the nausea subsided.
While Zoe was still in the shelter and Miles was on the other side of the island harvesting plants, a man was swimming toward the island.
When he finally set foot on dry land, the man looked to the heavens and thanked the universe for saving him from the watery depths. As he looked around, it seemed clear to him that the island was inhabited — or had been recently.
A young, blonde woman came out of a cave or shelter of some sort and lit a fire. She hadn’t yet noticed him since he was standing quietly on the shore.
He slowly walked toward the woman, who was startled when she saw him.
He smiled and waved at her. “Hey, there. The name’s Cloud.”
“Hi, Cloud. I’m Zoe. You startled me for a minute. I wasn’t expecting to see anyone else on the island. How did you get here?”
“The universe spoke, and I listened deep. Also, I got on the wrong boat and tried to swim back to shore, but the water — man, it must’ve heard the call, too, and carried me to this island.”
Once Miles had finished gardening, he swam back to see Zoe and spotted her sitting by the fire pit with a man. He didn’t know if he should be concerned for her safety or relieved to see another person on the otherwise deserted island. Zoe was facing away from him, so he couldn’t see her expression. He picked up the pace. As he swam toward them, he saw that the man was smiling, and relief washed over him. OK. He appeared to be friendly.
“I don’t see a boat anywhere. So, does that mean you’re stranded here, too, Cloud?”
“Yeah, man. Looks like it. Is it just you and me on the island, or is there anyone else here?”
“Just one more person — Miles. He’s the father of my baby,” Zoe replied as she looked down at her swollen belly and smiled.
Miles had reached the shore by now and heard Zoe’s response. He considered Zoe his girlfriend, but since he hadn’t officially asked her, apparently, she wasn’t comfortable calling him her boyfriend. He made a mental note to remedy that today. First things first, though. He needed to get the scoop on the newcomer.
When Zoe spotted Miles walking up the beach, she called him over. “Miles, come and meet Cloud.”
Extending his hand in greeting, Miles approached the newcomer. “Hi, I’m Miles O’Connell. Cloud, is it?”
Cloud shook Miles’s hand. “Yeah, man. Just Cloud.”
“OK, Cloud. Tell me about yourself.”
“You wanna know about me?”
“Yeah. What’s your story? Zoe and I have got all the time in the world.”
Cloud began, “I am but a lump of cells. Malleable and able to change at a whim. Like the clouds in the sky, man. Moved and changed by the wind, rain, space and the universe.”
He continued, “I, too, am a product of my environment. I listen to the Earth. Do you hear it? The plants — they speak to me, man. They tell me what they need. I nurture them and they show their gratitude by providing life — fruit, herbs, vegetables. It’s an ever-rotating circle of love and life.”
Miles responded, “That’s pretty deep, man. Looks like you landed in the right place. This is Mother Nature at her finest.”
Zoe added, “It’s beautiful, don’t you think, Cloud?”
“Yeah, man,” Cloud replied, “I’m blessed to be here.”
After their lengthy chat, Miles was getting hungry, so he ate cherries and tomatoes to quell his appetite until he could catch some fish. He washed up after eating and told Cloud to help himself to any of the books lying around. Cloud started reading Gardening, Volume 1.
Meanwhile, Zoe went around to the back of the island to work out on the heavy bag.
At 12 noon, Miles came out and continued chatting with Cloud, filling him in on how he and Zoe had become marooned on the island.
“There’s a pond nearby where we can go fishing. As a nature lover, are you cool with catching fish?”
“Yeah, man. The Earth provides sustenance in many forms, and you do what you need to do to survive. It’s the circle of life.”
Cloud asked, “Are there any animals on the island?”
“None that we’ve seen so far,” replied Miles.
Cloud shrugged. “That’s good and bad, I suppose. I wouldn’t want to be stuck here with wild animals and no way to protect ourselves. I do love dogs, though.”
“Yeah, dogs are cool.”
Cloud got up and stretched as they talked, and Miles said, “You should really get out of those wet clothes. It cools down a bit at night, and it’d be good to have dry clothes.”
“I don’t have swim trunks, man, just my boxer briefs. I wouldn’t mind being rid of these wet clothes, though. They’re weighing me down. Is it cool with you if I drop trou? I mean, I don’t want your lady friend to freak out.”
“Zoe? Nah, I’m sure she’ll be fine with it. There’s not much difference between boxer briefs and swim trunks. Besides, I want to show you where we can catch some fish for dinner, and that’s on the other side of the island. You may want to go for a swim when we’re done. You can lay your clothes out on the rocks here in the sun to dry.”
“Works for me, man. Thanks.”
“So, Cloud, are you ready to catch some fish?” It was 12:30 and they hadn’t accomplished much so far today.
“Yeah, man, I’ll give it a try. I’ve never fished before, but Mother Earth, she nurtures my soul and I’m sure she’ll feed my hungry belly to the best of her ability. She saved me from certain death out in the ocean after all and sent me here to you fine people.”
Miles smiled. Cloud was quite a character but seemed to be a good person, which was all that mattered in the end.
Miles led Cloud to the pond, and Zoe joined them. Cloud smiled and took in the beauty around him as he cast his line into the water.
Zoe was the first to catch anything – a salmon. Five minutes later, Cloud reeled in a puffer fish and exclaimed, “Hey, man. Check out this fish I just caught. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Miles exclaimed, “Cloud, don’t touch its spikes – they’re poisonous! Just carefully unhook it from your line and toss it back in the pond.”
“Yeah, man. Whatever you say. This fine creature is just protecting itself from being eaten. I can respect that.”
Then Miles caught a betta. Within an hour of casting his first line, Cloud could’ve sworn he had another bite, but the wily fish got away. Being a go-with-the-flow kind of guy, Cloud just shrugged and gave it another try.
While Miles’s fishing pole was bent in half with what he thought must be a big catch, Zoe started walking away, saying, “I’m starving, Miles. I’m going to roast the salmon I just caught.”
“OK,” he replied as he yanked a pomegranate from the water.
Zoe got a fire going as her stomach growled noisily. “Sheesh, you are one hungry baby, aren’t you?” She began roasting her salmon over the open flame.
Back at the fishing pond, Miles caught a cowplant berry. Taking a quick break, he swam over to his favorite bush to ‘fertilize’ it. Cloud continued fishing. When Miles finished his business, he swam back to the fishing pond and joined Cloud.
Over by the fire pit, Zoe’s fish was finally roasted. Ravenous, she took a bite, but the pressure on her bladder was so bad that she had to stop eating and head to the nearest bush ASAP. “I can’t believe I have to pee so close to where we eat. That’s so disgusting. Ugh.”
Meanwhile, Miles caught a tuna and a tetra. Cloud caught a cowplant berry, followed by a perch.
Miles headed back to roast his fish and chat with Zoe.
In search of a bit of private time, Cloud swam over to Zoe’s favorite bush to ‘fertilize’ it.
Meanwhile, Zoe cleaned her plate and washed up in the sink. Then she went back to keep Miles company while he ate.
Cloud decided to test out the punching bag to give the lovebirds some alone time.
While Miles finished his dinner, Zoe began flirting with Miles and blew him a kiss.
When Miles was done eating and got up to do the dishes, Zoe planted a tender kiss on his cheek.
Miles took Zoe’s hands and said, “You look more and more beautiful every day.”
“Miles, you’re very sweet. How can you say that, though?” She wrinkled her nose. “I can’t even see my feet anymore.”
As Miles caressed Zoe’s baby bump, he said, “Zoe, sweetheart, you’re carrying my baby. There’s nothing about you right now that isn’t beautiful, and you’re still sexy as hell.”
Miles’s facial expression changed in an instant from awe to worry. “Zoe, there’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you.”
“What is it, Miles? Is something wrong?”
“No, nothing’s wrong. It’s just that I realized something this morning when you were talking to Cloud.”
“Well, you introduced me as the father of your baby, not as your boyfriend.”
Zoe blushed. “I… I…,” she stuttered. “I didn’t want to presume.”
“Zoe, I think of you as my girlfriend. If that’s not something you want, please tell me now.”
“Miles, of course, I want to be your girlfriend. I was just waiting for you to ask me to make it official.”
“OK, then let’s make it official. Zoe, would you please be my girlfriend?”
Zoe finally smiled and said, “Yes, Miles. Absolutely! I think you’re the perfect man for me.”
Miles exhaled in relief, and a huge smile replaced his furrowed brow. “Thank God you said yes.”
Zoe could’ve sworn that Miles literally jumped in the air with glee. “Miles, how could you even think that I’d say no. I love you.”
“You do? I love you, too, babe.”
At around 10:30 pm, Zoe started getting tired and a bit peckish. She ate a few cherries to fill her belly before heading to the closest bush to pee. Sadly, it was the one near where Cloud was fishing. She was embarrassed but knew she wouldn’t make it if she looked for a bush further away. Cloud took it all in stride and gave Zoe as much privacy as he could, all things considered.
Meanwhile, Miles had been crafting another planter.
After Cloud’s last big catch turned out to be a large piece of driftwood, he quit fishing for the day. Instead, he planted the cowberry he’d caught earlier. He’d never heard of a cowberry and was interested to see what type of plant would grow from it.
Zoe had gone to check on the garden planters before she called it a day and discovered a double bed! That was the cherry on top of an already fabulous day, and she couldn’t wait to show Miles.
When Miles had completed the planter, he washed up and then went looking for Zoe.
He was surprised to find her near a new, full-sized bed.
“Miles, isn’t it awesome?”
“Yeah, it’s great.”
Miles continued, “Do you think this is the work of the island god again? I mean, I can’t figure out how else this bed appeared here.”
“I know, right? And what perfect timing. I mean, I’m as big as a house now. Being able to sleep with you in a big, comfy bed is definitely a godsend, no pun intended.” She chuckled.
“Mm, I agree,” said Miles, as he wrapped his arms around his girlfriend and gave her a searing kiss. “Goodnight, my love.”
“Goodnight, sweetheart. I can’t wait to wake up in your arms.”
Both exhausted, they crawled into bed and fell fast asleep.
Cloud claimed one of the twin beds in the shelter and called it a night. He was grateful that he’d landed on an island with nice people like Zoe and Miles. The universe had been kind to him once again, and Cloud would never take that for granted.
At 9 AM on Day 6, I rolled the dice to determine the gods’ will for the day.
(6) The tide is declining and a new Sim gets washed ashore! Who is this? Where did this Sim come from? Only the gods know….
- In CAS, add a Sim who is fully random in traits, aspiration and age. Appearance and sexuality is your desire. If you already have 8 Sims in the household, you can ignore this will. We assume the Sim died on the exhausting journey to the island. Place a skeleton if you’d like it to look realistic.
I had posted a request for sims and backstories on the sims forum and received four creations in response. After typing the sims’ names on a list in the order in which they were submitted, I used a randomizer to select which sim would be the first to wash ashore.
The winner was Cloud by @Charliimai who had submitted two sims. (Thanks again, Charliimai!) I love the backstory she created for Cloud and used all of it in this chapter. When Cloud responds to Miles’s, “Tell me about yourself,” his words are Charliimai’s. 😀
To comply with the challenge rules, I also used a randomizer to determine Cloud’s traits and aspiration.
Cloud is a unique sim and a fun addition to the challenge. I hope I did him justice!
In other news, we have a double bed! With three sims and only two beds, it was time for another purchase. The bed cost 10 twigs, so they have 15 twigs left.
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Thank you for your feedback on how to handle life stages for toddlers, children and teens on the island! The majority rules, and I’ll use the poll results when the first baby is born (or a non-young adult washes ashore on the island). Until then, if you haven’t yet had a chance to vote, there’s still time to weigh in.
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Submitting a Sim
Would you like to see one of your sims featured in The Island Challenge? It’s not too late to submit a sim. Just check out this forum post for details.
I now have Get Famous and all available packs. (I never could resist a good sale.) So, there are no limitations on what content you can use for your sim.
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Some of you may have experienced glitches caused by pools after the last major Sims patch. Well, as you can see, the island lot is, basically, a large pool. To say I’ve been having some issues would be an understatement. I plan to continue the challenge even though it’s a bit more ‘challenging’ than anticipated. I hope you’ll bear with me if it takes a little longer between updates. I’ve gotten a bit behind because of all the time spent troubleshooting.
If you’re having similar issues and want to know potential workarounds, you may want to keep reading. If not (or if it doesn’t interest you), feel free to stop reading now. 🙂
My first step was to remove all mods and custom content (cc) except MC Command Center (MCCC) and the few cc items I’d used on Zoe and Miles. That didn’t solve the problem.
For those of you who may use MCCC like I do, I got some help on MC’s Discord channel and had my lastexception.txt file checked. The ‘pool’ is, indeed, what’s causing my sims to glitch. To help minimize issues, I updated MCCC Tuner – Autonomy Scan – and disabled autonomy for glitchy interactions. For example, my sims will no longer autonomously clean the sink, do the dishes, use the woodworking table, roast anything over the fire, try to put away books (in their nonexistent bookshelf) and clean up nonexistent spoiled food from their inventory. Hopefully, this will cut down a bit on the need to reset my sims or save my game / clear the cache / restart the game so my sims can actually eat something.
The other option I may have to try is disabling free will completely, which would be a bummer because I love to see what sims will do when left to their own devices.
Happy Holidays, everyone! See you in 2019!