Chapter One: The Friends Meet

Traffic was stopped along the highway,
choked and congested. Much like the occupants of the Hyundai Elantra
near exit 34.

“That was DISGUSTING Belle!” The
driver of the silver Elantra, Peter, rolled down the window choking
from the stench. His brother, Bill and their father, Joe, were doing
the same.
“Sorry Daddy.” Belle rolled her
eyes, staring blankly out the window. Her eyes were blank for a
six-year-old, and her father was worried about her. So worried that
he was moving her away from the city of Brisvegas and relocating her
to the town where he'd grown up – Pleasantville.
A young boy walked into a two-storey
house some distance away in Pleasantville. He was upset. A few days
ago he'd been told that his friend who lived in the house next door
had to move as the owner of the house was coming back. It was the
fourth friend he'd had in that house, it seemed no family wanted to
stay there.
“Charlie! Go and check on your
sisters for me please.” His mother, Betty, was elbow-deep in
pastry. The boy, Charlie, trudged upstairs to check on his twin
sisters, Isabelle and Elizabeth (or as they will be known, Izzy and
“Oh my – GROSS!” Charlie bolted
out of the room. One or both of his baby sisters had dirtied their
Betty sighed, set the pastry aside,
washed her hands and went upstairs to tend to her daughters. For a
long time no matter how disgusting his sisters were, Charlie had been
willing to help with anything. Since the neighbours had moved
(again) he'd been distant – too distant for a seven-year-old.
The Masters family and their now stinky
Elantra pulled up to the house in Pleasantville. There still wasn't
a fence between it and the house to the East of it – instead there
was a very large eucalypt which bridged between the bedrooms and the
ends of the houses. Peter wondered if his old friend was still in
that house.
He knelt down to Belles height and
pointed to the bedroom whose window opened up to the tree. “That's
your new room – where your Aunt Jessie used to sleep.” His eyes
darkened as he thought of the sister who had walked out on them a
long time ago.
“You mean the little bitch who was so
up herself she didn't think we were good enough?” Belle asked
That sister.
“Yeah…please don't use that sort of
language again.” Peter ushered her towards the house, making a
mental note to smack his younger brother senseless – who says that
sort of thing in front of a six-year-old?!
Belle walked inside the house. It was
very open-plan, with the entrance opening out into the loungeroom,
which was framed with the open kitchen at the back and the dining
room next to it. Off the dining room looked to be a bathroom of
sorts, and next to it was a bedroom, where Joe was unpacking boxes.
Right in front of his door was the stairs, so Belle climbed up them.
Upstairs was another bathroom, and at one end was two bedrooms and at
the other there was only one. Belle headed towards the bedroom at the East end and found herself in a tiny room, barely big enough
to hold a queen-sized bed and a desk. At one end of the room was a
HUGE wardrobe though, so it made up for the fact it was narrow.
“Watch out, coming through!” Bill
called. Belle skipped out of the way against the wardrobe as her
uncle brought in a huge queen-sized double bed. “Er…I guess you
can climb on over the end, right kiddo?” He looked at where the bed
was going.
“I guess.” Belle nodded. “At
least I won't be able to fall out of bed.”
Her father then brought in her desk,
which he set up with a mirror opposite the window that looked out
onto the big tree. Next to the desk was her big set of drawers, and
finally there was about five boxes of clothes and toys that needed to
be sorted out.
Charlie was lying on his bed. His room
was big and square, with a desk, toybox and a huge poster of Jackson
Blue, the courageous Captain of the Brisvegas Leos. He heard
something coming from the house next door, and looked up and through
the window to see a little girl with bright yellow hair and brown
eyes putting papers into a chest of drawers. He watched her for a
few minutes, before heading downstairs.
“Mum, Dad, the new neighbours are
here!” He said as Betty Begly was busy playing with the twins.
“Are they?” Thomas, Charlies
father, perked up from his newspaper. “Well, let's go and say
hello and see if we can give them a hand.”
“I can't take these two over, they'll
just get in the way. Take Charlie and the dog with you.” Betty
said. Thomas looked at Charlie, shrugged back.
“Woof!” Charlie called. “We're
going over next door!”
A large Beagle bolted through the
loungeroom and skidded to a halt next to Charlie. He barked loudly.
“What are we going to do with you
Woof?” Thomas shook his head.
The three went over to the other house,
and knocked on the door.
“Tom?” Peter answered the door.
“Pete?” Thomas replied
The pair glared at each other, before
laughing and hugging.
“You're weird Dad.” Charlie
“It's good to see you mate, I haven't seen you since Belle was born!” Thomas said.
“Well, you'll be happy to know I finished my law degree in
Brisvegas.” Peter grinned.
“So you ARE a blood-sucking scumbag
after all!” Thomas laughed.
Charlie let the men talk. They walked
inside and sad down at the table.
“You'll have to meet my daughter,
Belle.” Peter smiled.
“Is that the girl I saw?” Charlie
“Yup.” Peter grinned. “Hey
Beauty, someone's here to meet you!”
“So, did Jill come back?” Thomas
asked. Peter shook his head.
“I'd rather not talk about it,
especially in front of Belle.” He replied. “How about you?”
“No way!”
“Yes way.”
“Another child?!"


"Nice work! Who'd have thought old Tom Begly would be shackin' up with old Booty Betty?" Peter laughed

“I'd rather you not call her by her
old nickname in front of Charlie.” Thomas turned slightly pink,
but still grinned. “I told you she loved me.”
Just to inform our readers: Thomas
Begly is 170cm (still taller than Peter!), rather solid and was balding by the age of twenty.
Betty Begly ne Howsat, even after three children, is 180cms, with a
gorgeous figure and long red hair.
Just then, Belle walked in shyly.
Peter frowned slightly. The last year or so had changed Belle from a
very outgoing, sarcastic and loud child to a shy, meek one.
“Hi.” She said.
“Hello there!” Thomas smiled
kindly. “Say hello Charlie.”
“Hello Charlie.” Charlie smirked as
his father.
“Why do you two go outside and play?”
Peter suggested.
“I'm still tidying my room.” Belle
Charlie looked at his father in shock.
“You can finish that off later
Beauty, off you go to play with your new friend.” Peter ushered
the pair and Woof outside into the joint backyard. The Masters
family and the Begly family had been friends for centuries, and the
two homes had been built together so the two families could maintain
their friendships. The two children made their way outside, where
they proceeded to eye each other warily.
“You'd better be as cool as my other
friends.” Charlie warned.
“Eh.” Belle sat down and started
ripping up grass. Woof sat next to her and sniffed her ear. She
waved him off.
“What's wrong with you?”
“Why don't you want to play?”
Charlie frowned.
“No reason.”
“You're weird!”
“I guess.”
“My Mum says that you should always
strive to make new friends.” Charlie tried.
“Mums suck!” Belle suddenly bit.
“Do not!”
“Do too!”
“Do not!”
“Do too!”
Charlie swung a fist at Belle, who
dodged easily. Enraged, Charlie tried again, and missed again.
“You're a slow-poke!” Belle teased.
She swung her leg to try and trip the boy up, but his leg was too
solid and he was too strong. He went to grab her but she dodged
again. Woof started barking loudly at the pair, trying to get
between them.
“Hey, what's going on here?!” Bill
ran outside. “Belle, why are you fighting with this kid?!”
“She said my Mum sucks!” Charlie
“All Mums suck!”
“Do not!”
“Do too!”
“Just shout it over the neighbourhood
why don't you, you numbskull?!” Peter fumed, running outside.
“Well if YOU would get your act
together as a parent-,”
“If YOU had any idea how to BE a
“GENTLEMEN!” Joe growled from the
kitchen. Thomas, who had run out with Peter, laughed.
“I see some things never change.”
He chuckled. “I'll see you guys later.”
He took Charlie and Woof away.
“Charlie, Belle had a really hard
time with her Mum. She doesn't know any better.” He said as the
pair walked inside.
“But Dad-,”
“Charlie, if Mum decided she didn't
love you anymore and left you to die on someones doorstep, wouldn't
you think she sucked?” Thomas asked.
“Well, yeah. Is that what Belles Mum
did?” Charlie asked.
Meanwhile, Peter was talking to Belle.
“Belle, just because your Mum sucked
doesn't mean everyones Mum sucks. I reckon you'll find Charlies Mum
is really cool.” Peter said to Belle.
“But Dad-,”
“Belle, Charlies Mum takes care of
him. She loves him a lot and would never leave him.” Peter told
“She wouldn't?” Belle asked.
Belle was back in her room, putting the
last of her clothes into the giant wardrobe, with its several hanging
racks and shelves along the inside. It was almost a walk-in, except
it was much smaller.
She could hear her father, grandfather
and uncle fighting in the kitchen about dinner. They could never
agree on anything, and were always having arguments. However, Belle
knew that if someone tried to hurt her or any one of them, the
fighting would instantly stop and the three would become an
unstoppable team.
Her family was cool like that.
“Hey, Belle!” She heard Charlie
calling from his bedroom.
“Hi.” She replied. She grabbed
her chair and sat down at the window.
“I'm sorry about before.” Charlie
“I'm sorry too.” Belle replied.
“Can we be friends?”
“Sure!” Charlie replied. He slowly
eased himself out of his window and into the tree between them.
“Is it safe?” Belle asked.
“Of course it is!” Charlie climbed
across it.
“Oh look, it's monkey boy! And he
has a little girlfriend too!” They heard a snide voice from below.
“Daryl Jones!” Charlie groaned.
“Daryl Jones?” Belle asked. “He
looks mean.”
“He called you a monkey!” Another
snide voice.
“And his little sister Sunny.”
Charlie told Belle.
Belle looked down at the Jones
siblings. Both had jet-black hair, and both were skinny with fair
skin, compared to the suntanned look of Belle and Charlie. The two
siblings had icy blue eyes and freckles, and almost looked like
twins. There was a small scratch on Sunnys face, otherwise the pair
were immaculate.
“You two are mean.” Belle pointed
“Yeah, and?” Daryl replied.
“You shouldn't be!” Belle snapped.
“Well too bad. I can so I will.”
Daryl smirked.
Charlie snarled at him.
“Stop looking like a twit Begly and
get down here so I can thump ya.” Daryl called out.
“NO.” Charlie replied.
Daryls smirk faltered.
“Oh look, a kitten!” Sunny
Daryl turned around. A little
calico-coloured kitten, looking dirty and underfed, was struggling to
get out of a drain. Daryl smirked again. He grabbed the kitten out
of the drain and put his fingers around its neck.
“Well then, I guess I'm going to have
hurt this kitten inste-ARGH!” Daryl cried as Belle rushed over and
bit him – hard! He dropped the kitten, which looked confused.
“That was too mean Daryl!” Sunny
cried as Belle scooped it up. She turned on Belle. “But you
didn't have to bite him!”
She aimed a kick at Belle, catching her
in the stomach. Belle groaned and rolled over, trying to protect the
“Leave Belle alone!” Charlie
jumped out of the tree and stood beside his new friend. Daryl
smirked at the pair of them, when suddenly a voice called out.
YOU!” Betty summoned the children. “Oh, it's YOU two.” She
looked down her nose at the Jones children.
“Smell you losers later.” Daryl
walked away, taking Sunny with him. Betty looked at Belle and
“Are you two okay?” She asked.
“Yeah.” Belle got up, holding the
kitten. It meowed.
“Oh the little thing! Get up and
bring it inside, we'll get some warm milk into it.” Betty helped
Belle to her feet.
Belle smiled at Charlie, who smiled
And from that day forth, the pair were
the best of friends.

© 2021 Kezzstar24