Chapter One Hundred and Nine: Chuckles Musings

Today it was Charlies
turn to stand at the Pleasant Dam and look out over Pleasantville,
his mind ticking over like an engine ready to blow.

So many things didn't
make sense to him. Like why, even though Dingbat had been murdered,
were people ignoring his many faults and jumping directly to
replacing him? Weren't they even going to investigate WHO killed him?
Or was that just going to be another one of Pleasantvilles dirty
little secrets.

Then there was Belle
and Lara. How had their relationship mended so quickly? Belle had
said that between a mother and a daughter sometimes things just
didn't need to be said. Masters, they were so EMOTIONAL…

And speaking of the
Masters Clan, why all of a sudden were Harold and Lady poking about?
Surely they would have known they would have zero chance of winning
Belle over to the Haunted Maze Troupe, not after how much effort she
had put in to trying to bring Demon Jones down. If anything, they'd
want Belle dead. That wasn't even touching the fact that Belles
alter-ego was none other than Giggles the Great Defender, and if
they'd known THAT little titbit it'd be on for young and old.

But the one thing that
was troubling Charlie the most was – you guessed it – Daniel and
his behaviour over the past week or so. He was the only one who
hadn't stood by TJ at the big police funeral for Wallace Dingbat, he
was acting out, he was avoiding everyone…Belle believed that he was
just exhausted after yet another setback, and while Charlie could
definitely relate – they all could – it just didn't seem like
Daniels character to just give up. He was the leader of the Noble
Knights of the Last Order, and he had nearly always been the one to
provide order and poor batting.

Charlie sighed. Maybe
it was just that being a leader had finally worn him down, just like
it had when the flood had hit. Charlie wasn't certain though. He
rubbed his face, his beard scratching at his hand. He just didn't
have all the pieces of the puzzle, he needed Belle for that. Belle
had already given him every scrap of information that she'd been able
to source.

Still, it would be nice
to have her here to bounce ideas off. She was out with her mother and
sister, doing shopping for a family picnic that they were holding
that weekend. Charlie sighed, and was just about to leave when Daniel

“Hey Charlie. You
come here to think too huh?” Daniel walked over, looking a little
pale, a little tired.

“Yeah, but it doesn't
really work without the other half of the Improbability Clause here.”
Charlie grinned as Daniel leaned on the guard rail. “You look
absolutely wrecked mate. Anything I can help with?”

“Just tired and fed
up of everything.” Daniel sighed. “It just feels like I can't do
anything right.”

“Oh, I hear you
100%.” Charlie chuckled. “Just ask Belle.”

Daniel grinned, but the
grin didn't make it up to his eyes.

“I was pretty
impressed when you told us you're the heir to the Silent Lake Gang.”
Charlie continued. Daniel looked surprised. “I mean, your whole
childhood would have been based around being groomed to take over,
even after your parents died. To turn your back on that and lead the
Knights of the Last Order…mate, that takes GUTS!”

Daniel smiled, this
time looking a bit more genuine. “It was them, really.”

“Them? Oh, you mean
the others?”

“Yup. Before the
private school shut down, the public school was tiny. There was
barely anyone to make friends with. TJ and Petunia started school not
long after my parents died, and I think their saviour complexes got
the best of them. TJ has always wanted to be a cop and protect the
innocent, and Petunia is just the most mothering and beautiful soul.
That's why Sammy and Tammy latched onto us.”

“Sammy said Tammy
latched on to Petunia because she was so kind, and he looked up to
you especially. You've always kinda been his hero.” Charlie said,
looking out over Pleasantville. “He'd do anything for you.”

Daniel nearly told him.
He nearly told him that the great Sir Lionheart who everyone loved
and admired was nothing more than your everyday killer. He nearly
admitted that he was the criminal that he had been raised to be.

He didn't, but boy did
he want to.

“You and Belle are
two sides of the same coin.” Daniel chose to brush it all off
instead. “Thanks for the chat.”

“No problem.”
Charlie stretched. “And good timing, Giggles is here to give me a

“Hiya boys!”
Giggles landed between the two. “Coming Chuckles?”

“Sure am!” Charlie
pulled on his beanie and tied a scarf around his face. “Later Dan!”

“See yas.” Daniel
watched as they headed towards the city. He couldn't help himself
though. “Three…two…one…”

Do I really need to
tell you what happened next?

It was still on
Chuckles mind as he watched the new Inspector Andrew Haiter was sworn
in at a rather overdone ceremony a few days later. Next to him, Sunny
had once again stepped up as Giggles.

Belle was standing with
the rest of the Council employees, and in front of them were the
Counsellors, with Peter Masters standing behind Judith Jofrey. TJ was
standing perfectly still in the police ranks, and Petunia was
standing in the crowd.

Chuckles wished like
crazy he had his best friends ability to see all the little parts of
the situation that he couldn't. No matter how hard he tried, he never
seemed to notice the tiny little details that made the difference.
Even from where they were standing on a nearby building, the real
Giggles would have been able to pick out interesting little details
that when put together would perhaps reveal a clue to what their next
move should be.

But hey, Chuckles
grinned to himself, if he could do that, it wouldn't be the
Improbability Clause anymore, would it?

Later, he caught up
with the real Giggles as she finished putting her costume on.

“So, what did you see
at the ceremony?” He asked her as she pulled on the Backpack.

“The police weren't
in a great formation, half of them were bunched together a little
closer, although it wasn't too obvious. TJ is pissed, he was in
charge of the formation. Demon looks like a pig in mud, hope he falls
down the stairs one day, and I swear Haiter has the perfect poker
face.” Giggles finished fastening up the Backpack.

“There's a divide now
in the police department. We just have to find the battle-lines.”
Chuckles deducted.

“Also Dad didn't look
to healthy.” Giggles added.

“He drank
waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much beforehand.” Chuckles finished his

“Sounds fair. Come
on, let's go.” Giggles picked him up and the pair flew over the

“I spoke to Daniel at
the dam recently.” Chuckles said as they soared through the air.

“So did I. Did you
get the feeling there was something he wanted to tell you but
didn't?” Giggles maneuvered over a power pole, nearly smashing
Chuckles foot into it.

FLYING!” Chuckles roared.

“I AM!” Giggles
shot back. “Did you even hear what I asked?”

“I DID!” Chuckles
snapped. He thought back to his talk with Daniel. “Yeah, I think I
did. Do you think he's gonna quit the Last Order?”

“I don't know. It
really seems like he needs a break from it.” Giggles landed on the
Pleasantville First Bank. “But…”

“There's something
else going on.” Chuckles finished her sentence as a plane flew
overhead with a “BELLE MASTERS SHOULD JOIN THE TROUPE” banner on
it. “I just don't have enough pieces of the puzzle to figure it

The pair sank deep into
thought for a minute.

“Maybe we should
suggest he takes a break.” Chuckles mused.

“That would be a good
idea. Why don't we run it past the Knights first? It's technically
their area after all.” Giggles suggested.

“Even better!”
Chuckles grinned.

The pair hugged, before
taking off and flying right into the “BELLE MASTERS SHOULD JOIN THE
TROUPE” banner.

And then falling into
the lake.

“That's actually a
good idea.” Sunny smiled as Belle emptied her Giggles helmet out
onto the ground of the tip.

“Who's gonna be the
leader of the Knights in his absence though?” TJ asked.

“Sammy or Sunny.”
Tammy said.

“In that case, I vote
Sunny. She's older and more experienced than I am.” Sammy said.

“Except one thing –
I'm a parent, and I'm not always going to be able to get out.”
Sunny pointed out.

“Unless it's the
Crusaders and Daryl is around.” Charlie teased.

“That's a special
case.” Sunny shrugged with a grin.

“Maybe two leaders
then.” TJ suggested.

“That would work!”
Sammy said.

“I think that would
be great!” Petunia added. “Two heads are better than one!”

“Two heads are better
than one for what?”

Everyone looked as
Daniel walked over, still looking tired.

© 2021 Kezzstar24