Chapter Ninety-Six: The Butchers Paper
It was time for the Butchers Paper.
“Come ON Belle, we left butchers paper behind in high school!” Charlie groaned as Belle lay some sheets on the table, a red marker in her mouth.
“I love butchers paper.” Sammy already had a marker in his hand.
“You're a teacher!” Charlie pointed out.
“We use it at work for brainstorming.” TJ said, reaching out for a marker.
Charlie grumbed and picked up a blue marker.
“Ow we're gubba geed do erk totether.” Belle said as she laid out the last piece of paper.
“Marker still in mouth Belle-Belle.” Sunny pointed out.
Belle removed the marker from her mouth. “We're gonna need to work together on this if we're going to fix things around here.” She started.
“Guys, no offence, but fixing Pleasantville isn't going to happen overnight.” Daniel pointed out.
“We KNOW that. We all remember the protest.” Charlie said bitterly.
“Which is why we're going to start diverting some of the council money that has previously been used to prop up crime to create programs that move children in the direction we want them to go.” Belle said.
“Which is away from crime.” Charlie added. “We're also going to get the local police investigated.”
“I just want you guys to be careful.” Daniel said, marker in hand. “It's not just the Mob, the Gang, the Crusaders, the Troupe and the Mayor you're up against.”
“Yeah! There's a lot of small-time guys who work alone that you guys don't see.” Sammy piped up.
“And those small-timers might be tempted to join the big fish if we go too hard too fast.” Belle sighed. “Argh!”
“Relax buddy. Things will work out.” Charlie patted his best friend on the back.
“Charlie, we have limited time. There's a million legal loopholes to get through. We could be ousted any second from…you know what, never mind, you're clearly getting ready to use the Improbability Clause again so why do you need me?” Belle began to sulk.
Everyone laughed, and the planning started.
“You guys are so much more in touch with Pleasantville than we are.” Charlie noted as they filled up the butchers paper.
“Well, you have to remember that for a long time we came from those lower reaches.” Petunia pointed out. “We're just lucky we came from families that were starting to break away.”
“Except poor Dan.” TJ snickered.
“What's up with Dan's family?” Belle asked.
Everyone looked shocked.
“I thought I told you guys!” Daniel groaned.
“Told us what?” Sunny asked.
“My Dad was Laker Barrett. My Mum was his second-in-command.” Daniel told them.
“Kinda explains how they got killed in the Battle of Silent Lake.” Charlie said.
“Yeah. His grandparents are in two minds about Dan leading the Knights of the Last Order.” Tammy grinned.
“On one hand they LOVE that he's sticking it to the Mob and the Death Valley Gangsters, but on the other hand they really wanted the Silent Lake Gang to live on through him.” Sammy chuckled.
“Wow. That was a big reveal.” Belle blinked. “Good on you for going against the flow though Dan!”
“That's why he's our leader.” TJ grinned.
“More like because he's the oldest and always had the most pocket money.” Petunia replied slyly.
“Whatever! You have to admit, he has a good pedigree for leadership.” TJ poked her back.
“Actually, the Silent Lake Gang always had poor leadership.” Belle began.
“Wow. Just run down someone's family history right in front of them. Rude!” Charlie groaned.
You can imagine how much permanent marker actually got on the butchers paper after that!
“Greetings Miss Masters.” Demon walked past Belles desk.
“Hello Mr. Jones.” Belle replied.
“I'm sure you're very thrilled about your friends Chuckles and Giggles having full control of the city.” Demon said.
“I'm looking forward to some fresh air and new ideas, but I don't think they'll make too much of a difference to my day-to-day work. The real risk was always the…government.” Belle tried to keep herself from giggling.
Demon raised an eyebrow.
“Ahem. Anyway, I'll just continue to do my good work.” Belle quickly calmed down.
Demon shook his head and walked away. Peter walked over to his daughter, looking irate.
“Very professional there Beauty.” He readied himself to lecture.
“I know…but give me a break, I'm in a good mood.” Belle grinned.
“Except one huge flaw in your plan.” Peter hissed. “What is everyone going to think when they don't see you and Giggles in the same room together?”
Suddenly Giggles flew in through a window and headed straight for Demons office!
“It's not the first time Sunny has filled in for me.” Belle shrugged.
“Do I even WANT to know what other plans you've got in mind?” Peter groaned.
The sound of the Desert Eagle going off in Demons office made them jump.
“Less violence for one.” Belle blinked.