Chapter Ninety-Seven: What Happened to Sapphire
Giggles (of the Belle variety) was busy lecturing Demon on the long-term goals for the new University that was being built on the site of the old one. Demon, meanwhile, was nearly asleep.
“And THAT is why…mate, seriously!” Belle pulled out the Lucky Seven Gun and put it to Demons head.
“You're not going to shoot me, so why should I wake up?” Demon yawned.
Giggles pouted and put the gun away.
“Your friend Chuckles however…” Demon smirked. “He'd kill me, wouldn't he? After what I did to Sapphire?”
“Sapphire was the boys grandfather wasn't he? Awful, awful way for a senior citizen to die…but then, some of them do ask for it.” Demon mused.
Giggles itched to take out the Lucky Seven Gun and put a few bullets in the Mayor. Knowing that it would only ruin her chances of making any change however, she went for the next best thing.
“You want to hear about my idea for the Pleasantville Public School? The School was established a hundred and fifteen years ago…”
Demon wished he'd kept his mouth shut.
Sunny had just put Melody down for a nap and was about to tackle the job classifieds when Cyclone Belle struck.
“Hey Belle-Belle…whoa!” Sunny cried as Belle grabbed her by the shoulders and pulled her into the cupboard under the stairs.
“Belle! What are you doing?!” Sunny hissed.
“I need to make sure Charlie doesn't hear us.” Belle told her.
“In a CUPBOARD?!” Sunny fumed.
“Your father brought up Sapphire today. He was trying to bait Giggles.” Belle said flatly.
“Sapphire? What Sapph…oh no.” Sunny groaned.
“Exactly.” Belle grimaced. “Charlie's pretty good about his grandfathers death, but if he was baited like Giggles was then it could get ugly, and it could cost us everything we've worked for. Charlie would never forgive himself if he let that happen.”
Sunny exhaled. “What are we going to do? Charlie won't like us keeping him away from City Hall, he wants to be a part of this as much as anyone.”
“We need to have a nice, calm, soothing conversation with him telling him the truth, while at the same time keeping him from going into a blood rage.” Belle told her.
“Oh this is so cool! You would not BELIEVE how well the children are responding to the new changes!” Sammy nearly knocked Daniel and TJ over as they walked to their hideout at the tip.
“Easy Sam! You're not ten anymore!” TJ laughed as Daniel picked Sammy up and threw the younger man over his shoulder. “Although to some people, you might as well be.”
“So Chuckles and Giggles have started to make a difference.” Daniel put Sammy down on the boot of a car.
“It's made teaching completely different, and today was only the first day!” Sammy grinned. “The kids were all talking and trying to work with each other. No tears, no fights, just a lot of learning!”
“Do I hear someone gushing over the brilliance of Chuckles and Giggles?” The voice of Charlie floated towards them.
“Yup!” Sammy waved. “Although it's more Giggles at the moment.”
The group laughed as Charlie slumped over. The ribbing continued as Belle, Sunny and Tammy arrived.
“Petunia got caught at work. She asked us to let you know she'll be home late and not to wait up.” Tammy told TJ.
“Anyway, we have to talk.” Belle began.
“But first we can have a bit of chocolate!” Sunny quickly cut in, holding up a large block of chocolate. Belle frowned at her.
“What is this?” She hissed at Sunny as the boys tore the block of chocolate apart.
“Gentle.” Sunny whispered back.
“So what do we need to talk about?” Charlie said, popping some more chocolate in his mouth.
“Are we going to get any of that?” Tammy asked.
“Charlie, there's no easy way for us to say this.” Sunny said gently. “Unfortunately, my father has started playing dirty.”
“He tried to bait me by mentioning Sapphire.” Belle dropped the bombshell.
“I BELIEVE IT WAS YOUWHO SAID THIS HAD TO BE NICE, CALM AND SOOTHING?!” Sunny roared.
“He's had chocolate.” Belle shrugged.
Charlie gulped. It had been years since Charles Howzatt had been brutally killed by Demon in the final battle between the Death Valley Gang and the Mobsters of Misneach. Charlie had never forgotten either of his grandfathers, but there was still a sting to the memory of his maternal grandfather, who Charlie had been arguing with when he died.
“You're saying I can't go to City Hall because you're afraid I'll be baited.” Charlie breathed. “I understand.”
“I know you do. You might have a mouth the size of Marions mental health problems but you're a smart bloke.” Belle hugged her best friend.
“DO YOU HAVE A SINGLE SHRED OF SENSITIVITY IN YOUR BODY?!” Sunny nearly pulled her hair out.