Chapter One Hundred and Twenty: The Veil of Uncertainty

“Are you guys SURE
you want me to do this? I still think you should give Charlie a
chance.” Peter said that night as the two families sat around the
dinner table.

“Honestly, this isn't
about me.” Charlie said. “This is about doing what is right for
the people of Pleasantville.”

“Exactly!” Belle
stood by her best friend.

“Things in
Pleasantville have gotten too far for me to make things about me.”
Charlie said as his mother put a roast dinner in front of him.

“Is this about what I
said to you that day in the tip?” Belle asked.

Charlie, who had been
about to dig into his roast lamb, stopped.

“What happened at the
tip?” Lara asked.

Charlie twirled his
fork around.

“Charlie?” Betty

“I found out I'm a
racist, okay?!” Charlie snapped.

The table was silent.

“What happened?”
Betty questioned. Belle then told the whole tale as Charlie slumped
in his seat.

“So you found out
something you don't like about yourself, and you're using it as an
excuse to shirk on your plans?” Thomas shoved mashed potato into
his mouth.

“WHAT?!” Charlie
and Belle cried.

“So you found out
that you have racist parts. Instead of facing it and doing your best
to combat the systems that are helping cultivate racism in
Pleasantville, you're using it as an excuse to pass the buck to
Peter.” Thomas swallowed and started on his beans.

“But there IS a
chance that they won't want to vote for me!” Charlie pouted.

VOTE FOR YOU!” Peter groaned. “Or is it too hard for you?”

“Don't you want to
help Pleasantville?!” Charlie fought back.

“I'm a Counsellor
now! Do you KNOW how much work both being a Counsellor AND the
President of the Chamber of Commerce would be?” Peter snapped. “If
I took on both, one would have to suffer, and we need all bases
covered if we're going to make a difference.”

Charlie slowly turned
to face Belle.

“Don't even think
about it.” Lara said. “This is your beast.”

“And it's high time
you stopped hiding behind your best friend.” Betty finished.

“Wow Charlie, you're
getting RIPPED tonight!” Oscar commented innocently. The table
couldn't help but laugh.

“And that is why I
need YOU to put your name forward for a Chamber of Commerce and to
elect me, the owner of Begly Metalworks, as the President. I might be
young, but that just means I can listen, learn and grow more.”
Charlie said to the owner of West Pleasantville Jewellers, who was a
strong PCC supporter.

The old woman rocked
back in her seat. “You have some fantastic points there young man,
and I must admit, it heartens me to see young people taking a stand.
Where do I sign up?”

“If you could fill
out this form and send it to the Council building that would be
great. You can also fill in your details online.” Charlie handed
her the forms.

“Excellent, I'll get
this done today. Stay for a cup of tea and some scones?” The woman
asked, getting up and opening a cupboard.

“Sure, why not?”
Charlie smiled.

It had been a long day
canvassing for subscriptions, but already Charlie had forty
signatures to add to the ten he already had. Stopping by one of the
businesses and having a bit of afternoon tea with them was an added

“You know, if this
goes through I might be able to start helping the PRO.” The owner
said as she brought the tea and scones back.

“You want to join the
PRO?!” Charlie looked surprised.

“Most of us would in
a heartbeat.” The woman poured Charlie a cup of hot tea, and
offered him milk and sugar. “But we know the score. Openly
supporting the PRO would mean suicide for our livelihoods. The Mayor
would destroy us all in retaliation.”

Charlie sipped his tea

“This place needs a
shake-up, but not at the expense of our lives.” The woman

The rest of the tea was
lovely, and Charlie was sure to thank her profusely. He then left,
thinking about everything she had said about wanting to change
Pleasantville but being too scared to do it.

He was still thinking
about it heavily when Sammy nearly barrelled him over in the street
as he walked home later on that same day.

“SAMMY! Geez mate,
you gonna take someone out!” Charlie woke from his thoughts. “Wait,
are you okay?”

“Judith's in the
hospital, the baby is coming early!” Sammy cried. “I gotta get to
the hospital! I gotta be there for Daniel!”

“Hold up, I'll come
with you!” Charlie followed Sammy as he broke out into a run again.

TJ was pacing up and
down. Sammy and Tammy were hunched over on the couch, trying to stay
awake. Sunny was rocking Melody, trying to keep her daughter asleep.

“Belle just messaged.
She's keeping Demon under control while Judith is out.” Charlie
checked his phone. “Apparently he's not impressed that she's in

“Of course he
wouldn't. He's a jerk.” Tammy mumbled.

“Tell Belle we
appreciate it.” TJ said.

“I will. She's devo
she can't be here.” Charlie sighed. “But she's busy.”

“She's doing the
world a favour. Like you and your Chamber of Commerce.” Sunny said.


“Isn't it going
well?” Sammy asked.

“It's going better
that I thought. I just wonder if I'm the right person to take care of
it all.” Charlie looked down.

“If it's going well
then clearly you ARE the right person for the job.” Sammy
stretched. He looked over at Charlie, sizing him up. “You're
worried about something though.”

“I just keep thinking
about what happened at the tip that day and what I said.” Charlie

“That was WEEKS ago!”
Sammy groaned. “And we worked it out!”

“Yeah, but if I'm a
racist…” Charlie started.

“Oh shut up.” Tammy

Everyone turned to look
at her.

“Self-flagellation is
boring to watch. So what if you messed up. Belle nearly got all of us
killed with her protest stunt a few years ago, and she's still
working her butt off!” Tammy snapped at him. “If you're so upset
about being a racist, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT instead of wallowing in

Charlie shut up and
looked at the clock.

“Thank you.” Tammy
looked at her phone. “You know, if you're scared of not being as
smart as Belle is, you can just say so.”

Charlie flinched.

“You ARE as smart as
her though, so I don't see why you're acting like this. I mean,
without you there's no Improbability Clause. Belle might be great at
finding things out, but it's your brain that puts it together.”
Sunny said.

“Just like with the
Chamber of Commerce. Belle found all the little pieces of the problem
and you're the one putting it all together not to just find the
solution, but make it work.” Sammy added. “I wish 'Tuney or Dan
would come out here already and tell us what's going on!”

Tammy checked her phone
again. “And Belle needs to stop texting me.” She texted back
furiously the same text as the past ten texts.


© 2021 Kezzstar24