Chapter 2

Chapter 2

A Chapter by L. Catherine

     It was a little past five o'clock when Belle finally reached the library. Being one of the chief librarians had its advantages, especially if you wanted to enter the library after hours. It had closed early, so Belle knew she wouldn't be disturbed by anyone wanting to check out a book at the last minute.


     After she took the key out of her purse and slipped it into the lock, Belle opened the grand doors, taking in the vast amount of novels that surrounded her. The library was her home away from home, the only place she knew that she could be herself. It was said that in a library, you could reach all corners of the Earth without moving a single step and Belle knew this to be true. Just by being inside the building, she immediately felt a wave of comfort wash over her. Placing her belongings on the librarian's desk, Belle moved about the library, scanning each shelf to find the perfect book to get lost in.


"Dickens, Hardwicke, Alcott,... here we go! Emerson!"


     Belle's eyes caught a book of poetry and essays that she hadn't read in a couple of months. Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of the great writers from Concord, Massachusetts, had always interested Belle because of his fantastical beliefs and today, she just really needed to have Emerson's words sing to her soul.


"The mountain and the squirrel
Had a quarrel;
And the former called the latter 'Little Prig.'
Bun replied,
'You are doubtless very big;
But all sorts of things and weather
Must be taken in together
To make up a year
And a sphere.
And I think it's no disgrace
To occupy my place.
If I'm not so large as you,
You are not so small as I,
And not half so spry.
I'll not deny you make
A very pretty squirrel track;
Talents differ: all is well and wisely put;
If I cannot carry forests on my back,
Neither can you crack a nut.'" she read aloud.


     After reading the final line, Belle broke into laughter, finding the entire concept of the poem funny.


"A squirrel talking to a mountain!" she laughed, "If only things like this were true!"


"Who's to say it's not?" a voice inquired.


     Belle, shocked by the voice, jumped up from the plush armchair she had been sitting in. Looking for the source of the voice, she scanned the library, but found no one inside but herself. She determined she was only hearing things, so she headed back towards the armchair. As she turned around though, she was very much surprised to see a young man sitting where she had once been only moments before.


"Holy crap!", Belle exclaimed, "Who the heck are you? How did you get in here? The library is closed."


"Well first off, I got in here because you were brilliant enough to leave the front door unlocked when you came in. Secondly, do you fail to recognize an old schoolmate?"


     Belle looked the man over; he had chin length dark, ebony hair with slightly tanned skin that seemed to glisten in the library's dim lights. His face was beautiful, as if it were masterfully crafted by Michaelangelo himself, but it had a feral look to it as well, like he was purposely created to be beautiful to lure victims in. Additionally, his eyes were a strange color, not really brown or hazel, but more of an amber color, seeming to have hints of gold and flame red throughout the iris. He also wore odd clothing; a long-sleeved black silk shirt with black leather pants and boots. Through all of this, he appeared to be only twenty-three, yet also appearing as if he had lived longer than so few years.


"I really don't know who you are," Belle said cautiously.


"Is that so?" the man asked, seeming to be disappointed, "Then maybe this will help you to remember..."


     Before her very eyes, Belle watched the man slowly change. His long black hair changed to a soft brown and shortened in length, the same with his eyes as well. His foreign clothing altered to a red sweatshirt with faded bluejeans and Converse sneakers. His skin stayed the same shade, but lost its shimmering quality. Finally, he took a pair of glasses out of his sweatshirt pocket and placed them on the bridge of his nose. If one didn't know better, he would only be seen as an ordinary young adult. Suddenly, Belle's face lighted up in recognition.


"Alexander! Alexander Leonowens!" she said in a bewildered tone.


"At your service!" he said while bowing deeply.


     As he stood back up, he quickly changed back to how Belle initally saw him and said, "But I'd prefer it if you would call me by another name. I commonly go by Jeraud."


"Ale-... Jeraud. It's nice to see you after these past couple of years, but what are you doing here? And have you always been able to do... that?", meaning being able to alter his appearance.


"Firstly, yes, I've been performing grand feats of magic since the day I was born and in response to your other question, I am here to help you," Jeraud said simply.


"Help me?"


"Yes. Did you not wish that your life could be improved somehow? Don't you have a dream of going to college to become a writer?"


"Yeah, but what does that have to do with you?"


"You see, I'm very... gifted, shall you say, at many things. One thing in particular is using my magic to help people in desperate need. You just witnessed a small thing I can do without so much as any effort; just think what I could do to help you make your dreams come true!" Jeraud said with a devilish smile.


"Why help me though? What have I ever done for you?" Belle inquired.


"Remember that day back in your sophomore year of high school? The day you first met me? I was new to the school, my first day there to be exact. I was having a slight difficulty finding my classes when a 'problem' arose..."




Six years ago


     It was an average autumn morning; chilled air swirling throughout the town, leaves of all shades covering the ground. Belle had already begun her sophomore year two months prior, so she was already well acquainted with Misveil Cove High's students and staff, even though not everyone she met was as pleasant as she would have hoped. Belle had entered the school a few minutes early to finish up some homework, so by the time all the other students arrived, she was prepared for yet another day of learning. Having about ten minutes before classes began, Belle headed towards her locker to put a couple notebooks away. As she arrived at her locker, she was approached by her stepsisters, Amilee and Marissa.


"Hey you," Marissa said, "Mom told us to be nice to you today for some reason. Who knows why."


"Yeah," Amilee agreed, "but that doesn't mean you're completely in the safe zone. We just figured that we shouldn't get Mom all ticked off at us, since she can get really scary when she's mad. So, we though you'd like to know that your boyfriend just got back from Montana."


"He walked into school a minute ago," Marissa added.


"He did?! Thanks!" Belle said happily, leaving her stepsisters by themselves.


     Belle's boyfriend, Brad Wilcox, was noted to be the best looking guy in Mistveil Cove High by all the female students. He had brown hair with natural dark highlights and deep chocolate brown eyes. He had tanned skin after constantly vacationing with his family to tropical locations. His voice was deep and mysterious, making him that more alluring to the girls of the school. Although Belle wasn't all that interested in his looks, she enjoyed having a companion to talk to about her interests and dreams.


"Hey Brad! That trip was probably the best we had all year, huh?" Brad's best friend, Louis Fremont, asked excitedly. He was a rather short, pudgy boy with a piggish face, but Brad liked to have someone complimenting him at all times, so he kept Louis around for that purpose.


"You can sure say that again! There were so many deer, I didn't think I'd have enough bullets! But being an expert hunter, I was able to take them all down." Brad said with a dashing, but narcissistic grin.


"You've probably got to be the youngest and best hunter of our generation!" one girl out of a large group swooned.


"Now girls, you all know my heart belongs to Belle and she-"


     Brad was interrupted by a boy, about seventeen years old, who had run straight into him. Although he was the same height as Brad, he wasn't as physically fit as him, somewhat lacking in the muscles Brad had to spare. He carried several books in a bright red backpack that matched his sweatshirt. His soft golden brown eyes were framed by thick glasses and the name tag on his shirt read "Alexander Leonowens".


"Sorry," Alexander said plainly, seeming to want to move on from the incident.


"Who the hell do you think you are?! If you ran into me any harder, I could have broken something!" Brad yelled into the boy's face.


"Calm down, will you? I said I was sorry. I'm just trying to find my classroom."


"Sorry doesn't cut it!" Brad continued in a rage, smacking papers out of Alexander's hands, "You little freak! Why I ought to-"




     Brad turned around and stared into Belle's aquamarine eyes. Unlike her, who thought that intelligence and inner beauty mattered most, Brad considered Belle to be the most beautiful person he had met, besides himself, based on looks only, and figured that they would be an ideal couple. Although he zoned out when she started talking about her books or colleges, as long as they were together as the perfect pair, he could stand it.


"Belle!" Brad said happily, "How have ya been?"


"I've been fine," she replied cooly, "but what are you doing?"


"Well, this dumb kid slammed into me-"


"By mistake," Belle finished, "I watched the whole thing happen. He was looking at his class schedule and didn't see you."


"But..." Brad tried.


"But nothing. Just let it go, Brad, please. For me?"


     Brad paused for a brief moment, weighing his odds winning this argument versus Belle's, and finally decided to give in, knowing that Belle's determine nature would lead her to victory no matter what choice he made.


"... Fine! He can go, just this once. But I'll be watching you new kid."


"My name's Alexander," the boy tried, but Brad had already addressed the conversation as being over.




     As Brad stormed off, Belle knelt down to help Alexander pick up his papers and showed him to his class. After thanking her, the two parted ways, never speaking to each other again, until six years later.




"Now do you see?" Alexander/Jeraud said after recalling the tale, "Ever since that day, whenever I was alone in the hall and Brad showed up, you would miraculously appear, stopping him from beating me up. You showed me just a small amount of kindness, but it made a large impression upon me and for that, I am eternally grateful. So, back to what we were originally talking about, do you want my help or not?"


"Well, I'd love to go to college and fulfill my dream, but..."


"But what? Don't you want to get what you wished for?"


"I do, but I just feel like there's a catch you haven't told me about."


     Jeraud paused for a moment, as if utterly surprised. Suddenly though, Jeraud's face lit up in amusement.


"Well, well, well! So she's as smart as she is beautiful! No wonder your father named you Belle; beauty in physical form and mental as well! Most people would just agree to the deal right away, but you're smarter than that. Yes, there is a catch," Jeraud said, "In order for me to make your dream come true, you must help several others achieve their dreams in a limited amount of time."


"How can I do that? I can't control magic like you can."


"That may be true, but what these people need is someone without magic to help them. They have grown up with magic all their lives, but recently, something has been disturbing the balance of magic, making it have odd effects on the people. I've already done as much as I could to help them, but nothing worked. I've even done research to find a cure to help restore them to their old lives, but for some reason, only you fit the needed qualities to save these people. They need a hero to set things right; they need you. Now that you know the catch, are you willing to accept my offer? You help these people  and you shall be helped in return."


     Belle thought over the deal for some time, thinking over all the possibilities. Finally, she came to a conclusion.


"Alright Jeraud," she said bravely, "I accept your offer."


"Wonderful!" he yelled excitedly, "Before we set off on our little journey, I'll allow you three days to prepare yourself. Then, once we're on our way, I'll fill you in on specific details about your quest. Goodbye for now!"


     Jeraud disappeared in a cloud of grey smoke, making Belle cough a little bit. Whether she knew it or not, Belle had struck a deal that would change her life forever.

© 2013 L. Catherine

My Review

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Featured Review

I had been wondering where Ralph Waldo went, and here he is! Also, your description of the characters is awesome, and i love how you put so much detail into it. But, i did notice that for 1 line Brad changed genders and you added an "s" to "he", but an amazing read it is :)

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

L. Catherine

10 Years Ago

Hahaha "Where's (Ralph) Waldo?" Thanks for the compliments! I didn't even notice I had a typo there... read more


I had been wondering where Ralph Waldo went, and here he is! Also, your description of the characters is awesome, and i love how you put so much detail into it. But, i did notice that for 1 line Brad changed genders and you added an "s" to "he", but an amazing read it is :)

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

L. Catherine

10 Years Ago

Hahaha "Where's (Ralph) Waldo?" Thanks for the compliments! I didn't even notice I had a typo there... read more
So good, very enchanting, as Alexa said. LEATHER PANTS!!!!

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This comment has been deleted by the poster.
L. Catherine

10 Years Ago

Thanks Gracie!!! :D LEATHER PANTS AND GUY-LINER FOR THE WIN (we'll all just assume that Jeraud wears.. read more
I love it! The only thing I would point out is you say "she read out loud" and then directly after, "Reading the final line" Maybe you could say At the final line? otherwise very enchanting Lauren! A good next chapter!

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

L. Catherine

10 Years Ago

I totally missed that "Reading the final line" line! I reread it and I'm edit it cauz it sounds weir.. read more
Alexa Tasch

10 Years Ago

no problem!
love it!!

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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4 Reviews
Added on November 21, 2012
Last Updated on January 4, 2013


L. Catherine
L. Catherine

Storybrooke, ME

My name is L. Catherine and I, like many of you out there, am a writer. My whole life I've grown up with a vivid imagination and seeing things differently than other people, always wishing and believi.. more..

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A Chapter by L. Catherine