In the months since she won the Sim Survivor Challenge, Snow had not been well. The constant near-starvation during the challenge had affected her metabolism, so that she put weight on far too easily. In some kind of attempt to control her weight, she had developed a liking for fruit. Lots of fruit, the sweeter the better. Delivered to her door by the wonders of online shopping, huge bowlfuls of fruit. Eaten all at once, with only her pet raccoon for company.
"Fruit's healthy, isn't it? I'll have an all-fruit diet. That's supposed to be slimming - and it's got loads of vitamins. Just one apple - and those peaches are so delicious... and a banana... and some nectar to wash it all down," she told the raccoon, which never had a name. "Oh dear, it's all gone - the fruit bowl's empty again. Have you been pinching fruit again?"
A contributing factor could have been that, new to the town and looking for something to do, she had bought the Liquor Store, and had an unlimited supply of booze. That was possibly not the best business choice, in retrospect.
And sometimes there was a bad batch, which made her feel even more miserable.
She had continual flashbacks to the deaths of her friends in the Simvivor challenge, and the terrible, terrible fear she had lived with throughout, that hers would be the next death. And even the shock of intense relief when, resigned to her death, Tita had told her that she had won the challenge; even a good surprise can be traumatic. And here she was, not able to talk about it to anyone. In her disorganised way, she had even lost the scrap of paper with Motoki's phone number, and had never had Jeromy's or Tita's numbers; she didn't know anyone else in Jericho at all.
The only person she had been able to talk to for weeks was Phyre, the interior designer who built her gazebo. Snow HAD enjoyed Phyre's company, and Snow was delighted with the gazebo.
It was airy and fresh, a perfect place to work in the mild, sunny weather of Jericho. But as the alcohol took hold, her agoraphobia became worse. Before long she did not even dare go outside the house, not even to the gazebo.
She even trained the raccoon to bring in the paper so that she didn't ever have to go through the front door.
She knew she was drinking too much. But what else was there to do? If she went outside, she might have a fall. They might be outside. Snow had a nasty sneaking feeling that Or SimGoddess might decide She had made a mistake and that Snow was to die after all.
That fear seemed to be coming true when one miserable afternoon, she collapsed,
"SimGoddess, is this you? Is it time for me to die? Oh, it hurts... help!"
She collapsed, unconscious, with not even time to reach for her phone.
Phyre had visited Snow's mansion several times in the hopes of getting paid for her work on the gazebo. But there was no answer on the phone, and the house was empty, as far as Phyre could see, apart from the raccoon.
She rang her flatmate, Hinhanni, at work at the police station.
"I'm puzzled," she said. "You know I've been trying to get hold of Snow Bawl for ages? She's never in - the house looks empty. Snow would never leave - she hates holidays, she told me. Could there be a problem?"
"If you really think there is an issue, we can break into the house and check it out, in case she's had a fall or --- something. But you better be sure because she's not going to be happy if we do that and she's just popped off to France or somewhere."
"Snow is claustrophobic, and .. a little bit crazy. I really don't think she would go overseas at all. I'm quite worried about her. I'll deal with it if she is upset."
"Phyre, I have to ask you, this isn't just a ploy to get your money is it?"
"I don't CARE about the money, I am worried she's maybe - fallen or ill or something in there. She hasn't answered her phone for two weeks now."
The police went to Snow's house and found she had indeed collapsed.. She was taken to hospital.
Hinhanni phoned Phyre. "Sit down, Phyre."
"Hanni? What? oh no... you found Snow?"
"She is all right. Or she will be. We think... She was in a coma on the kitchen floor, in a puddle of nectar - and it looked as if she had been there a week or so. We think she had been drinking, but she wasn't just passed out drunk."
"Oh my Goddess!"
"She's in the hospital now, and will be well looked after. You did well, you have good instincts! If you hadn't raised the alarm - well, it doesn't bear thinking about."
"I'll call the hospital straight away. Thanks, so much Hanni. You saved her life, I think."
"No, YOU saved her life. That's what I'm saying. Oh, can we ask you to keep an eye on the raccoon? It seems to be a pet. I can give you a key to the house when I finish my shift. At least till she comes round, and we don't know when that will be yet."
Phyre sat, and thought, and cried a little for her friend. Then she got up and made a pot of tea.
Snow Bawl 2