Feeding the mouths of four growing boys and an unnaturally green baby was more than difficult. Mara sighed as she cooked macaroni and cheese for the fifth time that day. Work had been exhausting her, though the time and dedication she had been putting in was finally paying off. Mara was only two promotions away from hitting the top of her career, all while only beginning her adult life. Johnny was less than successful – he worked only three days a week and could never seem to reach the excellence expected from him.
The only benefit to having four rambunctious boys was the energy they had to expend. Mara would send them out day after day to excavate whatever rocks they could find as well as search for frogs. It helped build the family’s collection greatly – almost every day, there was something new to discover.
While the boys did Mara’s dirty work, Mare was growing older by the day. Eventually, Johnny baked a strawberry cake and added a few candles to the top. He scooped Mare up into his arms and watched as she took three tries to blow out the small flames.
The family cheered as Mare grew up in a flash of sparkles. Her unruly red hair stuck out in all different directions, as wild as the trait she acquired. For the most part, she looked somewhat normal. Her chin didn’t protrude as badly as her brothers, but she did have the underbite her mother possessed as well.
Just as Mare was aging up, so was Sycamore. Gone were the days of being a struggling child. He blew out the candles on his chocolate cake and made a wish.
One that would never come true, given his genetics.
Sycamore aged up into the awkward teenager he was destined to be. His clumsy trait definitely wasn’t an ideal companion to his active one, but the young man would have to make do. His aspiration to be a celebrated chef would benefit the family, though. Finally, someone could cook all their meals!
On top of Sycamore’s newfound hobby of flipping pancakes, he also picked up a paintbrush for the first time. In order to benefit some “legacy” his mother talked about, both Johnny and Mara would have to be immortalized in a painting. Sycamore shrugged his shoulders and complied. He didn’t mind the comforting motion of sweeping a paintbrush across canvas, and he certainly didn’t mind the money he made from it.
Eventually both Mara and Johnny advanced in their careers – level nine and eight, respectively. They began to bring in roughly $3’000 a day, and all that money began to amass in their savings.
“We can’t just let the money sit there, John.” Mara said, leaning across the dining room table. On top of comedy, Johnny had discovered a love for woodworking. He began to slowly upgrade everything in the house, and also went so far as to create a new dining table for the family.
“What are you proposing?” He asked in return.
“What about a house expansion? There’s seven of us in the house – it’s time we get a second bathroom and a bigger living space. I’ve got a bunch of rewards from work that beg to be placed, too – I can’t sell them.”
Johnny nodded. If his wife wanted a house extension, he would built it for her. He used the leftover money to expand the bedrooms, make two large bathrooms, and provide a large living space with a flat screen TV and chess table. Mara’s work rewards fit in nicely – filing cabinets went in the corner office, and she swapped out the flimsy desk for one fit for a detective. A huge sign out front advertised their family name and address, giving an air of splendor to the family home.
With Johnny and Mara working opposite shifts, Mare got the attention she needed to become a bright toddler. She didn’t master any skills, but was able to vastly improve her movement (thanks to her favourite pastime of streaking), as well as build up her thinking skill.
The family loved spending time with one another, and would often amass in the main living space to talk about their day. Everyone was best friends with the other – it was a household where each of them could learn, grow, and love.
Speaking of grow, eventually it became time for Mare to age up. As the rest of her siblings did before her, Mare blew out the candles on her cake and squealed in delight as she aged up. She was almost a carbon copy of her mother, but it looked as if she’d grow to have less “defining” features.
Mare was gifted the “whiz kid” aspiration as well as her first official trait: outgoing. Since Mara decided it was time for her family to start completing aspirations, she pushed Mare to work harder than all the other children before her. In order to complete the first level of Whiz Kid, Mare had to play three games of chess and read with an adult for two hours.
As Mara read Mare to sleep one day, she looked at the young girl’s face. Certainly she would grow up to be prettier than her mother, but the real question was how much more? Would she be ridiculed the same way Mara was as a kid?
Is Mare the best choice to be Mara’s successor?