Chapter One Hundred and Six: What Comes Out in the Wash

“Let us never have a
night like last night again. Ever.” Charlie nursed his sore muscles
as the group sat under the tree in the Masters/Begly yard.

“I'm just glad we got
Dingbat under control. Wonder how he's enjoying our old cell?”
Sammy grinned at TJ. Both of them had received “pardons” that
morning from Judith Jofrey, and were both relishing their freedom.

Daniel said nothing. He
was lying in the grass looking at the leaves of the tree.

“Anyway, I think
that's cleared the air a bit. Both the PRO and the PCC will be going
quiet for a bit until at least the election.” Belle rested against
Charlie with her book unopened on her lap. “With Dingbat going on
trial soon it will mean there'll have to be an investigation into the
police force and THAT should lead to some good solid change.”

“And THAT will
hopefully weaken the Jones administrations stranglehold on the city.”
Charlie leaned back against the tree with a sigh. Tammy and Sammy
shot each other a Look, Sunny rolled her eyes, TJ quickly started
pulling up blades of grass and Petunia hid a smile. Would Chuckles
and Giggles EVER admit their feeling for each other? They looked so
cute cuddled up together!

“Sweet, sweet
victory.” Belle mumbled as she started to doze off.

Peters car pulled up to
the drive, and a few of the faces on the lawn looked hopefully at it,
thinking their might be some cold drinks within. Instead, a very
upset Peter got out and walked straight to the group.

“Guys…real bad
news…” He looked shaken. “Dingbat was murdered last night.”

“Isn't that a good
thing?” Daniel asked as the others looked at Peter in horror.

“NO it's not!”
Tammy cried. “Especially if he was killed after we tied him up!”

“Did they at least
get his body-cam?” Belle asked. Daniel went slightly pale.

“No, which makes it
even worse. It was destroyed in the murder.” Peter told them.

“This gets worse and
worse.” Charlie groaned.

“Now he's going to
get a heroes funeral, and WE are going to look like the bad guys for
leaving him defenceless.” Tammy started to cry.

“There goes our trial
and the resulting investigation into the police force.” Sammy had
to hold back tears himself. “Nothing is going to change.”

“They're going to
need a new Investigator though won't they? Surely we can put TJ into
the position.” Daniel suggested.

“I don't have enough
experience nor the qualifications yet.” TJ looked ropeable. “I
can't believe Dingbat has avoided justice! I wouldn't be surprised if
he found a way to kill himself to avoid all of the crap that was
going to flow his way.”

“Or if Demon killed
him to keep him from getting in the way.” Charlie suggested. “It
wouldn't surprise me how our Mayor likes to play chess with peoples

“Don't you guys think
you're over-reacting?” Daniel tried.

“Dan, you're our
LEADER! You should know better than anyone how much this is going to
set us back!” Sunny cried.

“Geez, it's almost
like you guys are LOOKING for problems now!” Daniel shot back. “Why
can't you just take the positives when you see them?!”

He stormed off, angry.

“Do you think the
pressure is getting to him?” Petunia asked after they'd watched
Daniel walk away, all of them shocked.

“Something is.”
Belle frowned.

Later on Belle was
cleaning up after lunch and thinking fondly of her bed, a good book
and her air-conditioned room. Conversation had been a bit stilted
again during the meal, as Belle was still sore at Lara. It was made
worse by the fact that Lara tried to see the positive of Dingbats
death. As far as Belle was concerned, a huge opportunity to
destabilise Demon had been lost, and she was pretty upset about it.

She had just finished
washing up the last pan when there was a rapping at the door. Belle
sighed and answered it.

She screamed.

“Beauty what
the…WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!” Peter poked his head out of the
downstairs bedroom.

At the door were the
parents of Belle's long-dead mother.

“They have NO right
to be here.”

“I mean, after
everything they did to you, they think they can just show up?!”

“I know! I just feel

Charlie was sitting on
Belles window sill. Neither of them were impressed with Belles

“I mean, neither of
them even bothered to show up until my mother died, and they tried to
kidnap me!” Belle ranted. “I'm glad Dad told them to bug off.”

“I want to know why
they're only showing up NOW after sixteen, nearly seventeen years.”
Charlie wondered. “There has to be something.”

“Probably the
restraining order finally broke or something. I don't know, Dad
handled all of that. I was just an innocent six year old who got
caught up in a bunch of stuff that messed me up.” Belle slumped
against the wall.

“And then you met
me.” Charlie pointed out.

“And my fate was
sealed. Doom for all eternity!” Belle poked her tongue out at him.
“You know, I don't even remember having friends before I met you.
All the kids of Brisvegas just seemed to be fleeting.

“Well, your Dad did
say that you didn't spend much time in school there, because Joe took
care of you.” Charlie said. “No wonder you didn't make any
lasting friendships.”

“Wish I had though,
we could use some outside interference that isn't the Presidents
Entrusted National Intelligence Service. I'm still miffed they pulled
a fast one on us to get the Ruby Suit back.” Belle sulked.

“Anyway, don't change
the subject. What are we going to do about them? I don't think
they're just going to give up, even if your Dad did scream every
obscenity known to man at them.” Charlie asked.

“I don't know. Why
me?” Belle whimpered.

Harold Billard, the
father of Jill Billard and grandfather of Belle Masters, was nursing
a beer as his wife Lady wiped her nose of powder.

“How was it?” He

“I've had better.”
She admitted. “What are we going to do about Belle? She HAS to fill
her place, otherwise we're in big trouble.”

“I'm sure if we talk
to her she'll understand. The Haunted Maze Troupe has its ways.”
Harold sipped the beer.

“Her father keeps
getting in the way. Never liked the jerk.” Lady leaned back in her

“There ARE ways of
getting her to listen to us.” Harold smiled.

© 2021 Kezzstar24