Rez stands in front of a mirror his back to us. We can see his uncertain expression in the mirror. he's not wearing a shirt. Two scars run horizontally across his chest.

On the Inside

Been awhile since I’ve done a short story. This is for the forum’s short story contest. March’s theme: A Tall Tale – Stephen King once said, to be a writer, “The only requirement is the ability to remember every scar.” What is the tale behind one of your sims scars, emotional or physical?

For this story, we focus on a very recently introduced sim, Rez from Switch. Oh, and although I had 1500 words I could use, Rez isn’t a very chatty sim so there’s only around 600 of them. We barely squeaked by the minimum.


Some scars you can’t see from the outside. You can’t see the initial wound, the years of scabbing, the surgeries. If you’re lucky there’s only a pale line remaining once the surgeons are done with you. Easily explained away. An accident when I was a kid. Flew over the handlebars into a barbed wire fence. Fell out of a tree.

Rez as a child falling from a tree. Rez has short red hair, a blue jacked, brown shorts.

That is, when people even ask. Most of the time, they don’t notice the scar. They see the face and move on. If they do ask, it’s later. Casually over drinks. And then they’re expecting me to mention some sort of stupid kid stunt. They’re not looking for anything deeper.

But that visible scar hides much deeper wounds. Ones they can’t see. Ones I don’t mention to casual acquaintances. I don’t mention them to good friends a lot of the time. It’s not relevant. And no one likes to hear about the wounds you can’t see. The deeper trauma. The secrets.

Rez as an adult now talking to another guy at the bar. he looks a little nervous - the other guy is smiling and talking

Most people would rather the illusion of wholeness than the truth. And for those that don’t? I learned pretty quick to recognize puerile fascination and how to avoid the eager questions and bright eyes. Folks looking to turn over the rock and squirm as the worms below scream in the sunlight. Most often it’s from folks who knew me before. I’m her cousin, moved here ten years ago from Willow Creek. Yeah, I get that a lot.

Rez out on the street in San Myshuno (Uptown if your curious). He's looking very nervous as he talks to a dark haired woman.

But then you’re hiding scars behind bandages of lies. Half of you is hidden away. I wasn’t born fully-formed from the head of Zeus, though that would be easier than trying to match childhood memories with who I am today. I try not to slip up and I watch my words. I’m a good listener, folks say. I only talk when it’s important. True, but I also am trying not to forget who I am in the moment, trying not to remember who I was.

Back at the bar, Rez and the other guy are kissing.

Of course, some folks you have to tell. Even though you hope it won’t matter. (And if it doesn’t matter to them, did you have to tell?) But bandages have ways of falling off. And secrets can ruin friendships. Why didn’t you trust me? How can I explain it’s me I don’t trust? If I start being careless, what happens the next time I’m at work?

Rez's back is to us as he chats with the other guy from the bar. The guy is not reacting to whatever Rez is saying (yet).

And yeah I admit, there’s shame. Shame that I didn’t speak out earlier. Fear that I wouldn’t be believed. Shame and fear. Those are the deep wounds. They tear at you day by day. And every day you lie to yourself, they fester and deepen. And there was a lot of lying in my past.

Rez is leaving the bar alone with a frown on his face. The other guy is back at the bar.

But you’re lying now, you say. Lying about your past. Pretending it didn’t happen. It’s a balancing act, I know. Are the lies today better than the ones before? I think so. The lies I tell now are lies of omission. Whereas before they were lies to myself. Lies that I was okay. That everyone was right. That I was happy. That I was a girl.

Rez as a small child in a pretty pink and purple room. Rez still has short hair, but is wearing a blue dress, blue shoes and an angry expression. Rez's mother is talking.

Once upon the time, there was a little girl named Rebecca. Only there never was. She was a figment of everyone’s imagination. Deep down inside she was a lie. Deep down inside it was Rez all along.

Inside, I knew who I was and took the first step to heal the wounds inside me. The surgery left the scars on my chest. And now, the world sees me for who I am. That heals me as no surgeon could.

Rez is lying in a hospital bed in a hospital gown and looking up at a brown-haired woman in scrubs (Nebula if you know her). You can't see it in this picture, but just so you know - Rez's mother is sitting nearby supporting Rez.

Maybe someday I’ll be brave enough to end the lies altogether. Trust the world to see all of me, past and present, scarred but whole.  The more folks I tell, the more who understand and accept, the more whole I feel. When that happens, when I can shed these last bandages of lies, I think I’ll be truly healed. Scar-free on the inside, even if I now have them on the outside.

This is a montage of events that occur after the story. The first is Rez, coffee in hand, talking to Phoenix Drifter (from Switch). Rez is smiling.

This next picture is Rez looking sad and uncertain in the doorway to Phoenix's apartment. Phoenix's back is too us (and he isn't wearing a shirt)

This is the last picture from the last Switch chapter (1.2) Where Phoneix and Rez are outside and about to kiss. (I just love this picture).

Our final picture is of Rez and Phoenix at the pool in Windenburg. Both are only wearing swimming trunks. It's not as obvious in this picture as it was in the cover picture, but Rez has two faint scars below his breasts. They are both smiling.

17 comments

  1. Ah, what an effective way for us to get to know Rez! I’m really enjoying the narrative structure you’re using for Switch… It’s like being a resident of the city and slowly getting to know folks I meet at the cafés and vendor stalls.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for reading. I ended up doing a bit of research here so I would have a better chance celebrate at getting his voice right. Luckily Rez didn’t want to talk too much, but I think he’s got some good times ahead of him.

      Not sure if the scars showed up as well after I applied the switch filters. But hopefully even if they’re not as visible they are believable.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to say, I LOVED this. I know I’m hugely late to the party, but I just had to comment. My son is trans, as well, and this helped me see things better from his perspective. What a well-written introduction for Rez. I can’t wait to get to know him more!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love Rez so much – hence the need for a short story as well.

      I’m always a little nervous writing from a different perspective but sometimes sims are just very vocal and I have to do my best to give them a voice and hope I heard them right. 😀 Glad you found something inside the story that as meaningful. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hear you about writing from different perspectives. The last chapter I wrote (it’s not published yet) for my vampire story pulled in another character with dialogue and I had a really hard time with it. Did finally get it to a place where I liked it, though.

        Liked by 1 person

          • I have four separate challenges I’m blogging in story style currently (and a bunch in commentary style). The funny thing is – three of the four stories are based on sims 4 occults. Mermaids, vampires, and spellcasters. I guess they just spoke to me louder than the human sims.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Best sims are occult sims…unless they’re my Drifters – don’t know why but they are epic and (mostly) normal… Peacock ended up being a spellcaster…and Feather’s kid…well his story hasn’t even started yet, but there’s potential there.

              Liked by 1 person

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