Prologue: The Ballad of Johnny Coldtrain

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Alone in the darkened bedroom, Katerina practiced playing her violin.  That’s what she always did when she had something swelling in her heart; something she couldn’t comprehend, let alone begin to cope with.

She practiced “The Ballad of Johnny Coldtrain” because she needed to perform it flawlessly for a crowd of strangers.  The truth is, Katerina knew that piece better than she knew anything at all… even herself.  As she played her famous melody, she remembered playing it for her grandmother… and her grandmother said, “I want to hear about this young man who moved you to make such lovely music.”

The violin screeched and she dropped the bow.  Tears splashed on the concrete floor when she bent down to pick it up, and she knew she couldn’t fight those feelings anymore.  She gave up her valiant struggle and sobbed on her knees in the dark.  When she had purged all her pain, she rose up and cleaned her face with a tissue.

“Honey, are you all right?” Johnny asked as he entered their room.  Katerina turned toward the window so he wouldn’t see her face.  He put his arm around her shoulder and pleaded with her, “Tell me what’s wrong, Kat.”

She shook her head and put on a smile for him.  “It’s stupid, I’m sorry,” she apologized and turned to face him.  She took his hands and said, “We don’t have to go through with the wedding.”

“What?”  He couldn’t believe what she was saying.  “You think the wedding is stupid? Please help me understand, Katerina!”

She started to cry.  “Yes, it’s stupid!  The wedding is stupid because we’re already married, and I just can’t remember it!”  He tried to hold her to comfort her, but she pulled away from him and cried out, “All I can remember is the lies you always used to tell me, and I was always such a fool!  I remember you weren’t there for me when I lost my grandmother, so how can I trust you now that I’ve lost my memories?”

She sat down on the bed as if she was defeated by speaking those words. Johnny swallowed hard and took a seat beside the love of his life.  “I don’t blame you for feeling this way,” he said before cautiously reaching for her hand.  “You don’t have to marry me again…  If you can’t find it in your heart to forgive me a second time, I would completely understand.”

His words only made her cry harder, and she explained, “That’s just it, Johnny!  You always know exactly what to say.  I don’t have to remember forgiving you the first time to know why I did.”  He gently rubbed her back until her emotions settled down again.

Finally he asked, “Why did you forgive me, Katerina?”

“Because I would rather live my life every day with you lying to my face than be without you,” she confessed.  “I can’t trust myself, because I am so in love with you that it’s all I do remember.”

“I remember how much your parents hated me,” he offered.

She interrupted him, “Really? I only remember my grandmother, and she encouraged me to be with you… before she died.”

“That’s because she heard what your love for me sounds like when you played for her, but what you just told me explains why your parents hated me,” Johnny continued where she’d interrupted him.  “I would hate for you to marry someone who makes a fool of you every day. The thought of that makes me want to cry, Kat.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t apologize!  I’m the one who owes you a million apologies–as many as you need for every day that you grant me.  I was only trying to protect you from the truth, back then,” he explained, even though she’d heard that part before.  “I wasn’t able to, and it was wrong for me to try.  I’m not a perfect man, and I can’t tell you to trust your heart after what you just revealed.”

“Johnny, don’t leave me!” she interrupted him again.

He shook his head slowly.  “Katerina, I am at your mercy!  The wedding was for you because you don’t remember our first one, where I promised in sickness and in health, and I vowed to never lie to you again.  I know you might never remember that I keep my promises, but I will do whatever you want me to.  Just tell me…”

Katerina saw that Johnny was actually crying, and she told him, “I wish I could remember the life we shared together, but it sounds like it’s worth repeating!”

(to be continued…)
*this was first published by as a Super-Short!


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11 Responses to Prologue: The Ballad of Johnny Coldtrain

  1. Beautiful – just ran across your blog in my reader today and I’m so glad I did you write so sensitively I look forward to more or this tale.

    • Thank you so much! I was working on a story with these characters in Sims 3, so I’m already very attached to their Sims 4 selves!

      • Ah Enkeli! I’m such a twit I didn’t realise it was you. That’s why you’re in my reader. LOL. So glad to see you are playing Sims 4. I’m kind of loving it too xxx

      • Oh, LOL! Yeah, when I saw that Sims 4 would use our Origin names, I decided to change my blog title to harmonize, but the forums still use my Sims 3 username so I keep them both on my blog now. It’s so confusing… I really love Sims 4 though–I’ve been playing it since release day. There have been a few bumps in the road, but the game is surprisingly stable and that makes me so happy. It’s really a lot easier to tell stories with it because I haven’t lost a saved game yet (unlike Sims 3 when that would happen to me almost once every sim generation). I’m glad to hear you’re loving it too 😀 I really do enjoy the way our sims are so sociable now–at times it might get in the way of plans, but that’s how life can be sometimes… (I have bumped into someone and chatted way longer than I meant to, for instance.) I think the emotions are really helpful for storytelling too.

  2. Shannon says:

    Wow, as a new reader it’s really hard to know what to make of Johnny at this point. Your writing really conveys the tension and emotions though!

    I love the stability of Sims 4 too! And the multi-tasking!

    • Thank you! When I wrote about this couple in Sims 3, I hadn’t explained the mysteries surrounding Johnny when I was unable to continue playing (and writing). So, I thought of a way I can keep the mystery for a little while longer, and the reader can discover everything with Katerina.

      Multi-tasking and emotions are the best things about Sims 4 after the rotational gameplay!! 😀

  3. Jes2G says:


    I know it’s supposed to be serious, but “Johnny Coldtrain” makes me laugh. 🙂

    • The name, yeah 😛 In the first season of this story, it is explained that it’s a “Silent D” but also, there is a backstory to his name that will be explained. (I had a lot more scenes planned for Season 1, but technical issues prevented me from playing Sims 3 any more, and I had to adjust the story to accommodate.) Everything has to be revealed a different way now that they’re in Sims 4, but I felt if Katerina has memory loss then Johnny can help her to remember, and the reader will learn along with her.

      In this way, readers can pick up the story in Season 2 if they wish, without reading Season 1, but if they read Season 1 they’ll know more about Katerina before her memory loss, and see her family members, and know a bit about how she was raised.

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