Chapter 4

Chapter 4

A Chapter by L. Catherine

     Belle and Hugh, having arrived at the library, exited from Belle's midnight blue 2001 Volkswagen Beetle to meet at the front of the car. Right as they were about to meet at the hood of the car, Belle closed the last few steps between her and her father by rushing into his arms. Knowing that this was the point of no return and that she wouldn't see her family for weeks or even months, Belle clung to Hugh like she was a little girl again, not wanting to let go.


"Belle, it's okay. Everything will be okay, I promise."


     Tears starting to swell up in her eyes, Belle barely choked out, "You don't know that, Dad, I don't know that, no one knows how everything will turn out! How can you be so sure? What if you have a heart attack while I'm gone? I won't be able to come and help you and-"


"Belle," Hugh said, a stern look coming to his face, "Nothing will happen to me while you're away. If anything, I'll just have a coughing fit or two. I don't want you to lose sight of what you have to do by worrying about an old man like me all the time."


     Recollecting his caring and calm air, Hugh looked back at Belle with love clearly in his heart.


"You were always so strong, always looking out for others first, just like your mother," Hugh said with a solemn, teary-eyed smile, "You look like her more and more every day, yet you have your own unique beauty to call your own. Just remember, I love you no matter what and nothing will ever change that."


"Papa..." Belle managed to say before hugging her father one final time.


     Pulling away from Hugh, Belle walked towards the library's entrance and as she opened the door, turned back one last time to wave to her father, driving away back towards their home. Belle promised herself that she would think of her final moment with her father while she was in this new land, giving her renewed hope and determination. Entering the library, Belle took the first step of her journey.


     Inside the library, Belle wasn't all that surprised to see Jeraud sitting in one of the cushy armchairs, seeming to be waiting for her arrival. Just like the last time she saw him, he was incredibly stunning, yet as soon as he gave her a smile, she saw a hint of controlled ferocity inside of him.


"Well, that was awfully quick preparation," Jeraud said, appearing to be pleased that she had decided to leave as soon as possible, "Aren't you going to bring anything to Arcadia?"


"I don't want to be slowed down while I'm there, I want to get this done as quickly as I can manage."


"Exactly what I wanted to hear. So are you ready to leave?"


"Let me guess, you going to magic us to... what did you call the place again?" Belle questioned.


"The land is called Arcadia, and  won't 'magic' us anywhere, I'm going to teleport us there," Jeraud answered in a somewhat annoyed tone, "So I'll ask again, are you ready to leave?"


"Yes," Belle replied, feeling strangely confident for someone who was leaving all that she knew behind, "I'm ready."


"Good. Now, you'll probably feel like vomiting for a few minutes after teleporting, but I promise it won't last long."




     Before Belle could get her answer, she was engulfed in a shimmering cloud of grey smoke, the very same that Jeraud disappeared in the first time she met him. The inside of the library began to swirl around her until she couldn't make out any familiar shapes, only masses of mixed color. She tried looking around to see how Jeraud was making all of this happen, but she couldn't move her entire body, let alone her head.


     As suddenly as the teleportation began, it stopped suddenly, throwing the swirling world back into place. Belle collapsed onto the floor from the overwhelming dizziness, but thankfully, she didn't feel like puking her brains out as Jeraud said she would. Looking up, she met Jeraud's inquisitive golden eyes staring down at her.


"You okay there?" he asked, appearing to be genuinely concerned.


"Yeah, I'm fine. Just a little dizzy is all."


"That's good. Now, we need to get you changed."


"Changed? What do you mean by that?"


"Seriously? Here in Arcadia, my current attire is considered normal," he said, gesturing to his leather and silk outfit, "If the people of Arcadia see you the way you are now, they'll know that you don't belong here and force me to send you back, completely ruining the point of our deal."


"Oh. Well, how am I supposed to change my outfit? I'm pretty sure we're in a cave right now, considering the complete darkness and how much our voices are echoing right now."


"Simple. Like this." Jeraud said with a smile before snapping his finger.


     Once again, Belle was consumed by the grey cloud of smoke, but this time, there was no swirling to make her dizzy. As the smoke faded away, Belle was stunned by the new attire she wore. When she left her house with her father, Belle had worn skinny jeans with a pair of moccasins and silvery blouse, her wavy hair tied into a long braid. Now, her golden brown hair was pulled into a side pony-tail, her wavy hair cascading onto her shoulder in intricate curls. Her jeans and blouse had been replaced with what appeared to be a cream colored leather and silk riding outfit with tan leather boots; a durable, yet stylish outfit.


"Oh my God," Belle said in barely a whisper, "Jeraud, this is beautiful!"


"Why, thank you," Jeraud replied, obviously proud of himself, "Now, instead of standing around all day in a cave, how about we go outside and get moving to your first destination?"


"Oh, yeah. Sorry."


     Belle and Jeraud stepped outside of the cave and Belle was immediately overwhelmed by the beauty of Arcadia. Around her with thousands of unknown plants of all shapes and sizes, each with their own elaborate colors. Several birds and insects flew by the two travelers, along with what Belle thought to be a flying rocking horse and a miniature dragon, only about the size of a butterfly.


"Welcome to the Enchanted Gardens of Arcadia." Jeraud said to Belle, who was still wrapped up in the wonder of the terrain.


"This place is insanely... I don't even know how to describe it!"




"Are you kidding? Beautiful is an understatement!"


"Eh, it's okay I guess. It gets kind of boring after you've seen it most of your life. We should keep moving until we get to the town on the edge of the Gardens. It's dangerous here; you never know what could attack you."


     Finally processing Jeraud's words, fear of what could live in this place suddenly engulfed Belle and from that moment on, Belle never left Jeraud's side. Their travel through the Gardens was rather brief, considering how vast Jeraud claimed the Gardens to be. According to Jeraud, the Gardens were located in the mid-eastern part of Arcadia, taking up a considerable amount of land, and since it was located mostly in the eastern part of the kingdom, it was under the control of Queen Cinderella.


"Wait. Hold on a second. Queen Cinderella?! Cinderella, as in went to a ball thanks to her fairy-godmother, wore glass slippers, and married the prince, Cinderella?!" Belle exclaimed.


"Yeah, who would you expect to run Arcadia, dwarves? I mean, dwarves are smart, but they're not that smart..."




"Let's just keep going, you'll get used to everything if you experience this world on your own."


     A few minutes later, Belle and Jeraud exited the Gardens and stepped onto a simple dirt road. They followed this for a short while and then came upon a large village. It looked like the towns you see in cartoon children's movies; quaint and adorable, but it also looked strongly built, making it seem like it could fend for itself should a riot break out. The townspeople looked like they belonged in a fairy tale; not only were there humans, but there were elves, fairies, dwarves, and what Jeraud called "cross-breeds", combinations of two different species, such as centaurs and satyrs.


"This place is magnificent," Belle said, clearly in awe at the wonders around her, "It's just like the stories I read as a little girl!"


"Where do you think those stories came from? All fairy tales have truth behind them, some more than others. Come on, we need to make it to the tavern at the edge of the village."


"Why do we need to go there?"


"We need to meet up with an... associate of mine."


     Not liking the way Jeraud said associate, Belle cautiously followed behind him, moving towards a more quiet, shady part of the village. The two reached the tavern Jeraud mentioned and quickly went inside. As they stepped through the doors, a large, bulky man approached Jeraud.


"You know you're not allowed in here, you conjuror scum," the man said in a harsh tone and looking at Belle he added, "Take your little nymph girlfriend on a date somewhere else."


"Actually Bernardo, you'll find that we are here under invitation." Jeraud replied, giving the man a mysterious smile.


"From who?"


Jeraud produced a simple sheet of paper and said, "He owes me a favor, so you'd best let us in."


     Bernardo took the paper and after reading it grew quite pale.


"My apologies. I had no idea, I-"


"It's fine. Really though, you should be apologizing to my friend. She's a relative of the royal advisor and I was sent to escort her here safely into the hands of the Queen's military advisor."


Turning towards Belle, Bernardo said, "You have my deepest apologies, miss. I feel ashamed that I ever insulted the kin of the Fairy Godmother."


"It's um... quite alright, Bernardo. Your apology is accepted and since your apology was so sincere, I will not alert my grandmother of your rudeness." Belle said, hoping that what she made up would make sense.


"Oh thank you so much, miss!" Bernardo said gratefully.


"Bernardo," Jeraud interjected, "Would you mind showing us to our table?"


     Moments later, Belle and Jeraud found themselves sitting at a secluded table at the back of the tavern. As they waited for the third member of their party to arrive, Belle questioned Jeraud.


"I'm not seriously related to the Fairy Godmother, right?" she asked.


"Of course not! If you were, they'd send you with more protection than me. Trust me, if you were even remotely related to anyone here in Arcadia, I would have known years ago when I met you in school."


     Belle immediately relaxed; she had feared that she was actually part fairy or something worse, somewhat like Jeraud. The two of them sat together for some time while waiting for their companion, when suddenly Belle heard a voice.


"Jeraud! It's been so long, I hardly recognized you!"


     Belle turned in the direction of the voice, but saw no one. Jeraud on the other hand, began talking towards where the voice came from.


"Yeah, I've been away for a while. I've been busy trying to solve the 'problem'. Thankfully, I might have found the answer. I'd like to introduce you to Belle Van Garrett."


"It's nice to meet you Belle!" said the voice.


"Um, I wish I could say the same. No offense or anything, but I... I can't see you." Belle said, somewhat embarrassed.


"Oh! I'm terribly sorry! I usually just sit on the table, but I thought I would just be meeting Jeraud, so I thought sitting in the chair wouldn't matter that much."


     Suddenly, a small insect jumped up onto the table. It was a cricket and would have seemed every bit a regular one if it wasn't for the fact that it was wearing a waistcoat, a top hat, and carrying a miniature umbrella. Belle stared at the cricket for a moment, and just as she was about to speak, the cricket spoke instead.


"Again, it's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Miss Belle. My name is Jiminy Cricket, military advisor to Queen Cinderella."



     After a brief shock of meeting a real, beloved fairy tale character, Belle regained control of herself as Jeraud explained to Jiminy the entire situation with Belle being the only one he believes can help restore the balance of magic in Arcadia. Jiminy listened intently, nodding and asking questions every once in a while. Once Jeraud finished his explanation, Jiminy seemed to be content with the story and agreed to help Belle in the quest she had been given.


"But," Jiminy began, "I find something strange. Jeraud, you say that after months of research, Miss Van Garrett here is the only one who appears to possess the right qualities to restore magic's balance."




"Well, why is it that a mere human from this separate plane is the only one that is our only hope? Belle," Jiminy turned to look at Belle, "Do you know of anyone in your family who could possibly be from Arcadia?"


"No, my father was born in Boston, Massachusetts and my mother died when I was three. Both my grandparents have passed away and my stepfamily is from Seattle, Washington." Belle replied.


"Hm. Interesting. Maybe you just have a strong imagination. Still, I'd prefer if we discussed this with the Queen. She'll know what we should do and where Belle should go next. Jeraud, thank you for bringing Belle this far. Arcadia thanks you for your services."


"Wait," Belle began, "Jeraud, you're not coming with me?"


"Sorry Belle. It was just my duty to search for a solution to the problem and bring it to Arcadia. Don't worry though, I'll keep my eye on you and I'll be in touch every once in a while." Jeraud said with his mysterious and devilish smile before disappearing into his cloud of smoke.


"Well then, I guess we'd better make our way to the castle. We really shouldn't keep Queen Cinderella waiting," Jiminy said, hopping across the table and jumped onto Belle's shoulder, "Don't worry, I'll direct you on the quickest and safest route to the castle."


     Standing up from the table and saying goodbye to Bernardo the tavern owner, Belle departed from the tavern and made her way to the castle, directed by Jiminy the entire way. After going down several side streets and taking a few shortcuts through alleyways, Belle and Jiminy reached the Queen's castle in a little over ten minutes.


     Above them towered a magnificent piece of architecture that seemed to Belle as only an unnecessarily large town hall in the distance when she and Jeraud had first entered the village. Looking up at the castle now, Belle could see that the exquisite building glittered with an iridescent glow in the fading sunlight. It had at least four menacingly high towers thatched with silver shingles. To Belle, the castle appeared to be exactly as Cinderella's castle would look like if it was a legitimate castle in her world, not like the ones that Disney had created in Florida and California, but a true queen's castle that reflected upon her and her power.


     As Belle and Jiminy began their ascent to the castle doors, trumpets rang out, signaling that the castle guard was now aware of them.


"Don't worry," Jiminy whispered in her ear, "They're just alerting the Queen that we've arrived. "


     Forcing herself to calm down, Belle continued on through the grand entrance doors that were opened for her by the doors' attendants. The room they had entered into was obviously the foyer, but it was completely extravagant; the entire room glittered with silver and iridescent tapestries, rugs, carpets, and other furnishings. It was a room fit for a queen and it wasn't even the throne room.


     From behind her, Belle heard a few brisk steps and turned to meet the gaze of a statuesque man with a monocle. He appeared to be in his fifties with black hair that was speckled with streaks of grey and wore a pure white uniform that accentuated the various medals pinned to his chest.


"Good evening, Cricket. I assume you return with this girl bearing good news?" the man asked Jiminy, but upon looking at Belle, paused with what appeared to be both confusion and fascination of some sort.


"You could say that, Duke, but before I say too much, this young woman and I must meet with the Queen. It involves the 'problem'."


     Without wasting any time, the Duke nodded and almost bolted into a set of intricately decorated doors, most likely the throne room. As quickly as he had gone, the Duke had returned.


"The Queen is ready for you. You may see her now." he said rather hurriedly, acting more flustered by the minute.


"Very good," Jiminy said, "Let's go, Belle. It's time to meet with Queen Cinderella."





© 2013 L. Catherine

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i cant breethe. . .this is good!, ur now my persoanal inspiration to continue some of my stories that i have been meaning to work on and hopefully one day finish(i jump back and forth between like 4 or so other stories)

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


10 Years Ago

. . .my comment didnt post all the way T.T . . .and i willl!
L. Catherine

10 Years Ago

Awwwww and yay! :)

10 Years Ago

yes ^.^ and yes :3
You're fantastic. Need I say more? It's very good in detail, lacking nothing and leaving the imagination craving more.

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

L. Catherine

10 Years Ago

Thank you kindly!

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2 Reviews
Added on January 3, 2013
Last Updated on January 21, 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

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A Chapter by L. Catherine