Chapter Four: Belles decision
Belle wiped her mouth, her split lip bleeding slightly. Charlie was keeled over next to her, gasping for breath.
“An unwanted bastard and a dork.” Daryl Jones smirked.
His friends laughed. Sunny looked angry. She slapped Belle again.
“Unwanted bastard.” She hissed.
Belle growled. It was after school again, and the Jones siblings were enjoying themselves.
Sunny glared at Belle. Even though they were the same age, Belle was still smaller than Sunny. Daryl, while a bit older than Charlie, was no where near as big nor as strong, so he often called on his posse to help him out.
Belle glared back at Sunny. She noticed that Sunny had a bruise around her left arm.
“What are YOU staring at?” Sunny seemed livid, compared to her brother.
“I don't know what I did to you, but bug off.” Belle snapped.
Charlie got up just in time to block a punch from Daryl. The pair wrestled for a few minutes.
“BELLE! CHARLIE!” The pair heard Betty Begly calling for them.
“Go on, run!” Daryl and his friends laughed. Belles eyes met Sunnys.
“Have you two been fighting with the Jones kids again?” Betty asked as the pair climbed into the back seat of the Beglys Toyota Camry.
“They started it.” Charlie said.
“You really need to find some more friends.” Betty said as they pulled out of the school pick-up zone and drove back towards home.
“Can we stop by Uncle Bills new shop and see how he's doing?” Belle asked. Bill was in the process of opening a restaurant.
“I guess.” Betty said warily.
“All I ask is that you help out!” Bill roared at Peter.
“I'm DREADFULLY sorry if I'm too busy working a job to keep YOU in the lifestyle you're accustomed to!” Peter fired back.
“Hi Daddy. Hi Uncle Bill.” Belle bounced in, kissing her father and Uncle.
“Hey kiddo.” Bill hugged his favourite (only) niece.
“Hi Beauty. How was school?” Peter ruffled her hair.
“We got beat up again.” Charlie walked in, dejected. He put his bag on a table, which instantly fell apart.
“Yeah, that's been happening a lot today.” Peter said sheepishly, looking at the table.
“Because YOU won't pull your weight!”
“I'm too busy earning an income!”
Belle looked around the room. Most of the decorating had been done (80's surf shack), but the furniture was still a mess.
“I don't know what's up with those Jones siblings.” Belle sighed. She went to sit on a chair, thought better of it, and sat on the floor instead. “Why do they continue to pick on us?”
“I'd be looking at their father if I were you.” Betty said.
“Mr. Jones?” Belle and Charlie asked.
“Yup. Anyway, I'm going to go and pick up the twins from music practise, are you coming with me or staying here?” Betty asked.
“I'm staying here.” Belle said.
“I'll come with you Mum.” Charlie got his bag. “Catch ya Belle.”
“See ya Charlie.” Belle waved. She leaned back against the wall. Her thoughts wandered to the news she'd heard about Mobster Marion losing her beloved sword. She then thought of the Lucky Seven Gun. The DVG were furious that it was never recovered. Guilt weighed on her mind – if that gun was found in her possession, not only did it mean her family were in danger, but it was also highly illegal. She'd not only stolen the gun, but had it hidden in the bottom of her wardrobe, not secured safely at all. She was only on her provisional gun licence too – if she was discovered, her father could lose his licence as well.
“Belle! Can you go to the store at the end of the street and get us some nails?” Bill asked, snapping Belle out of her daze.
“You're sending my daughter out alone?!” Peter cried.
“It's neutral territory and still daylight. Not much chance of her getting hurt.” Bill pointed out.
“The DVG and the Mob aren't the only threats out there!” Peter fumed.
“Yeah, but Belle can handle herself. You said so yourself when you let her have that stupid contraption of yours.” Bill snapped.
“There's a difference between flying and having a bad landing and being attacked by idiots who are out for blood!”
Belle shrugged, and headed outside. It was a cool afternoon, and the sun was starting to set in the west. Belle knew where the hardware store was, so she hurried down the road to where it was. She knew it was dangerous, but there was a bit of a thrill to it.
Pleasantville had always had a crime problem, ever since Simon Masters and Louis Begly had dammed up Pleasant Creek and drained Lake Pleasant two hundred years ago. The remains of the Lake still existed, and so did the Creek, which snaked out from the dam to the centre of the city where the Lake formed. Pleasantville really was just a big hole in the ground. A festering hole of crime.
She got to the store with no trouble, and bought two packets of nails. It was when she headed back to the restaurant that things went pear-shaped.
“Hello cutie-pie.” A man stepped out in front of her as she left the hardware store carpark.
“Please leave me alone.” Belle tried to get around him. She felt a hand on her shoulder and knew she was in trouble.
“Why, don't you want to hang out with us?” The other man behind her said. She could almost hear him leering at her.
She sighed, then threw an elbow back into the guy behind her, then punched the guy in front of her and ran. It was fruitless, because three more men were running towards her.
She ducked out of the grasp of one, and weaved into a nearby alley.
“Well, this sucks.” Belle turned around to face her attackers. One of them wore a hooded jacket, and now he threw back the hood.
Belle gasped. Revolver Jr! His fathers mask had been broken down the middle, and now Revolver Jr wore half of it, held in place by elastic around his head. He had long, curly hair that almost looked comical.
“I see you remember me. Do you remember my father?” Revolver Jr asked.
Belle remained silent.
“Can't speak? I don't blame you. You lost me my father and my family gun. But you did leave me the Death Valley Gang. So I took the mantle of Master Revolver, and now I'm going to get my revenge on you.” Master Revolver grinned.
'At least his father didn't have a thing for exposition.' Belle thought. 'Not to mention his grammar sucks.'
“Still silent? I'll happily make you OWCH!” Master Revolver cried in pain. He'd just been nicked by the Lions Claw Blade.
“Seriously? Do you ever shut up?” The masked vigilante asked, standing in front of Belle.
“YOU!!” Master Revolver cried. “Although I must thank you for getting Marion out of the road.”
Belle saw her chance. She bolted past the men, who were too busy glaring at her rescuer. One tried to grab her, but ended up getting smacked in the face again. She ran back towards the restaurant, the masked vigilante running along the rooftops beside her.
“I wouldn't wander around alone again if I were you!” He warned her. She glared at him before heading inside to her worried father.
Belle was sitting in her room that night, holding the Lucky Seven Gun in her hand. The cartridge in the modified seventh chamber looked old, like it had never been fired. So there was some truth to the legend.
She sighed and looked out of the window towards Charlies room. His light was still on.
“Hey, Charlie!” She called softly.
“Hey Belle.” He climbed out into the tree. She joined him. “I hear you had a close call today.”
“Yeah, Master Revolver wants revenge on me.” Belle sighed, leaning back into the familiar branches. She could hear her family yelling at each other over the television remote.
Charlie frowned. His parents were going over the twins homework inside, he could hear them talking. “With Marion out of the way, he's pretty much got Pleasantville under his control. You could be in trouble.” He said.
“Thanks for that.” Belle glared at him.
“It's the truth.”
Belle groaned. She was REALLY in trouble now.
“You'd better hope he doesn't find the Lucky Seven Gun.” Charlie continued.
Belle buried her head in her hands. “Eh av eet.” She mumbled.
“Excuse me?” Charile asked, not hearing her.
“I have it.” Belle pulled her face away from her hands.
“YOU WHAT?!” Charlie yelped.
“Is everything okay out there?” Betty called up.
“Fine Mum!” Charlie called back. He glared at Belle.
“You are rightly and royally SCREWED! Get rid of it!” He hissed.
“Easier said than done if Revolver is after me.” Belle sighed.
“I'm going to bed, I have ju-jitsu tomorrow.” Charlie kissed his friends cheek. “Don't worry too much about it.”
“Easy for you to say.” Belle sighed as she headed back inside. Charlie bit his lip. Listening to Belle talk about the Lucky Seven Gun made him realise he was in a bit of danger himself habouring the Lions Claw Blade. When Mobster Marion got out of gaol, she'd be after blood.
Belle drew her curtain and sat on her bed again. She was about to go to sleep when something occurred to her.
The masked vigilante, he'd managed to get Mobster Marion arrested. If Belle could somehow get Master Revolver arrested too, she'd be safe for a little while. Enough time to get rid of the Lucky Seven Gun. It'd be dangerous, and she'd have to be disguised, but she was quick and strong. Plus she had an ability that very few other people had…
She opened her wardrobe. In it, she found a red helmet her father had given her that she refused to wear – it had a big yellow star on it which made her cringe, if she was going out on the motorcycle with her father she was wearing her blue one. She set it on the bed and grabbed a red shirt and some red jeans. Thinking to herself, she grabbed a pair of brown leather gloves and a silly little red cape she once used as part of a Little Red Riding Hood costume. Finally, she got out the Backpack. One advantage she would have over the DVG was her ability, however limited, to fly.
She thought to herself some more. Her father had a normal Colt .45, but she wouldn't use that. She'd grab her grandfathers Desert Eagle and use that instead – a bit faster to reload, and used similar ammo to what the Lucky Seven Gun could take.
She bundled all these things up and hid them together with the Gun in the back of the wardrobe. She also grabbed her old steel-capped boots – they would help provide a bit of weight and stability while using the Backpack, which didn't have any controls, but was controlled using body movement. Belle almost had it perfected, but there were still some issues.
She then allowed herself to go to bed. She would get Master Revolver and put him away.
She had to get him before he got her.
Next day was a normal day. Belle and Charlie went to school, got beaten up at lunchtime by the Jones party, and tried to get home as quickly as possible.
Belle went to her room, grabbed the bundle and snuck out of the house. She then ran towards the old tip, keeping an eye out for trouble along the way.
“Hey, where are you going by yourself and in a hurry?”
She was halfway to the tip when she ran into Sir Dark.
“None of your business.” Belle readied herself for a fight.
“It's not safe out here, you should be at home where you at least stand a chance.” Sir Dark warned her.
“I can take care of myself, thank you.” Belle ran off.
Sir Dark shook his head. He then headed back to the city, where he knew he'd be needed.
Belle reached the tip in one piece. She looked around for a bit for a private place to get changed, and she found one – someone had hollowed out a mound of garbage and used some old sheets of metal to form a sort of room.
She changed into her new outfit, and holstered her guns. She looked towards the city. It would take her a while to get there, and the Backpack didn't have enough power to fly there.
She then noticed a bus about to come flying past the tip. Using the Backpack, she jumped up to the top of a well-constructed pile of cars, then floated down to the roof of the bus, landing as quietly as she could.
Pleasantvilles newest hero was coming to town!