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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
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
“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.

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