A/N: I think I have taken this story as far as it's going to go. Don't want it to go off the deep end into mature, as the whole point of this was to be 'light-hearted' with a happy ending and I think I started to stray from that whole theme. (I seem to enjoy horror stories way too much). Got an idea on how to end the story from LoneAngel666. There is a brief mention of abuse, so be warned. Will have one more chapter after this one. If I haven't done so yet, thank you for all of the lovely reviews! If anyone is interested, I have a cross over with the Batman Trilogy called 'Price of a Smile'.
I quickly pull yesterday's clothes on as Mr. Peter's said I only had five minutes to get ready. Once I am done, I grab my book bag and find him standing in front of the door way, waiting for me. I scurry in front of him, taking special care to stay at arm's length as we walk into the kitchen. Mrs. Peter's is already there. For a brief moment, Mrs. Peter's and I lock eyes. I silently plead for help as I walk into the large kitchen. Dashing out her cigarette in a nearby ash tray, she picks up her large mug of coffee before she leaves the kitchen. Mr. Peter's took one heavy stomp behind me and I whirl around to face him. He was so much bigger than me that I couldn't help but be scared. Feeling my knees wobbling, I take a few steps backward. He looks so very mean and I clutch the little amulet in my pocket, hope maybe Rumpelstiltskin will show up.
"Uh, little miss princess" he sneers down at me, "The door is the other way"
"I, uh, I" I was trying to say I had wanted to grab my lunch box, but the words get stuck in my throat.
"I, uh, I, err" he mocks me for a minute, and I close my mouth and look around. He now has me backed in a corner.
"I just wanted to get my lunch" I say quietly as I stare at the ground, flinching when he steps grow even louder. I am now afraid he is going to hit me.
'Help me, please help me!' I silently scream.
"Listen to me, dear…" suddenly, his voice seemed so far away as he says the word 'dear'.
An old memory comes to my mind as I twirl the little amulet in my pocket. Clutching it in my fist, I think back to the time Rumpelstiltskin had first chased me across the castle. Looking beyond Mr. Peter's, I see that the front door isn't so far beyond me reach.
"Now, you get over here" Mr. Peter's crooked a finger at me. His face was beat red from anger.
"No" I said as firmly as I could.
"Excuse me?" this throws him off and for a moment, he staggers backwards, "Did I not just tell you that we are late for school?"
"Whose we? Do you go to my school to? But you're supposed to be a grown-up. How could you fit in one of the little chairs?"
This one surprises him. "You listen, and you listen here little missy-"
"Little Miss Dearie!" I can hear Rumpelstiltskin's squeaky voice in the back of my mind and I can't help but giggle, "You get back here!"
"You think I'm funny!" Mr. Peter's face is so red and I think I see a little blue vein at the top of his forehead, "Oh no! I will not be made fun of by an eight year old brat! Do you think I'm stupid?"
The answer just rolls out of my mouth. "Yes"
With that he makes a lunge for me, knocking over the ash tray. Everything is moving in slow motion as I quickly drop to my knees. Holding my breath, I scurry as quickly as I can between his legs, wincing at the broken glass cutting into my knees and legs. He makes a strange gurgling noise when he realizes I am no longer in front of him. I am now half way across the room. I hear him snarl behind me when he finally notices where I am heading and I jump to my legs and make a dash for the front door.
"What the?" I heard Mr. Peter's confused grunt, so similar to the one Rumpelstiltskin had made so long ago. He turns around and I can hear him pounding after me.
Forcing my arms to pump faster I reach the front door. Fumbling for the doorknob, I try to turn at it but it doesn't budge.
"C'mon!" I cry out. It is locked and my hands are so shaky that I can barely grasp the knob. "Open!"
"What is going on?" Mrs. Peter's is back in the room. I turn to see her beady red eyes narrow in on me, "Emma, what are you doing?"
Mr. Peter's is now shouting a word that Miss Jenna said was naughty. The front door flies open and I dash out. I can hear Mr. Peter screaming out at me some more, and I pump my arms faster and faster. I make a quick dash across a parking lot, not caring about the cars that are honking at me. I never look back. I have to find a phone. I have to find Miss Jenna. She'll know what to do. Some other grown-ups began shouting and I run into a nearby gas station. Panting for breath, I gripped my knees as I tried not to double over from the pain in my chest.
"Hey kid!" a man runs up to me wearing a red and white apron. He doesn't look much older than Miss Jenna and shock mars his young face as he eyes me. "Are you okay?"
"Don't let him hurt me!" for a second, I don't even realize it is me screaming.
The young man's face turns white. "Okay, okay! Please stop crying! Calm down kid!"
"I need to call Miss Jenna!" I am crying really loudly now.
"Alright, alright" the man puts a hand on my back and steers me towards the back of the store before whipping out a cell phone. "Here I gotta go watch the store. I'll be back in a few minutes". I am very grateful I remembered Miss Jenna's phone number. She gave it to me, 'in case of an emergency'.
"Hello, this is Jenna" I finally hear a familiar voice on the other side of the receiver. For a minute, I am too relieved too talk. "Hello?"
"Jenna! Miss Jenna it's me!" I cry into the phone, "It's Emma!"
"Emma! Emma, honey, are you okay? Why are you crying? What's going on!" she is talking so fast so I can barely understand her, "Emma where are you?"
"HETRIEDTOHURTME!" I scream into the phone.
"Emma! Emma, listen to me! I need you to calm down! Just take a few, slow, deep, breaths" Miss Jenna says, her voice very relaxing.
Still, I don't want Mr. Peter's to find me. "Don't leave me here! Please!"
There is silence on the other end for a minute. "Emma, is there an adult nearby? I need to speak with an adult if you need help"
"Okay" I nod weakly before going out into the front of the store.
I go out and I find the man who had given me is cell phone. He is talking to an older woman in a brown suit. Both are looking at me nervously. He comes over and kneels down before me. I look over at his name tag. "A. Booth", it reads.
"It's okay" he says with a pat on my shoulder. His bright blue eyes are very wide. I wonder if I have scared him.
"Miss Jenna wants to talk to one of you" I say as I hand him his phone.
"I'll handle this" the woman in the brown suit steps over and takes the phone away from me. "Hello? Who is this? Hi, I'm Margery Ana, and my associate found this child in the store. Good, good, when will you be here?" She walks towards the back of the store. "Well, it's his first day, so he wasn't too sure what to do. I know! Talk about a way to start a job!"
From the window, I can see Mr. Peter's walking around the area. He stops and talks to several other people on the way. I just know he is asking about me. Letting out a slight whimper, I duck behind a row of magazines and pray that he just leaves. He turns and stares at the gas station for a minute. He blinks at it and moves a few steps closer and I hold my breath. Suddenly, Mrs. Peter's comes running up behind him and starts tugging on her shoulder. He turns back to the gas station for a split second before finally walking away.
"There!" Margery Ana is coming back. "Your Miss Jenna will be here this afternoon and…hun are you okay?"
I hadn't known I was still whimpering until I turned to see her and the man from earlier standing a few feet away from me.
"Poor doll, she's shaking like a leaf" Margery Ana says before shoving Mr. Booth towards me, "We have a few customers. I'll take care of them. Help the girl. Keep her in the break room till her friend picks her up"
"Hey there. Let's get you out of here. Are you hungry?" Mr. Booth takes me by the hand and leads me back to the room I was in. Looking down, he sees an old, yellowing bruise on my shoulder. "When you said, 'him', earlier, did you mean your father? Did your father try to hurt you?"
"He's not my father! I just stay with him" I say defensively, "I live with Miss Jenna and a lot of other children in a place Miss Jenna's mom owns. I think it's called foster care"
"Oh, you're in the foster system" he nods, "I understand. I was in there too for a little while"
"Oh yeah" Mr. Booth says with a chuckle, "But luckily for me, a few older friends were able to leave and I went with them"
"Wow!" I am amazed and impressed by this, "Do you live around here?"
"Oh no" Mr. Booth says as we get to the room, "My friends and I are just passing through, so I needed a quick job"
"That's so cool!" I hate him! I wish I could do something like that!
We finally get back to that small room. "By the way, I didn't get your name, kid"
"I'm Emma" I say as I go sit in a corner. Even though I have only been awake for a few hours, I am exhausted by all of the events.
"Emma?" suddenly his brow furrows as if he doesn't believe me.
"Yes" I say, suddenly feeling very unsure and awkward, "My name is Emma"
Mr. Booth stops dead in his tracks and a strange look appears on his face. He opens his mouth as if he is about to say something.
"Wayne!" Margery Ana's voice cuts through the tension, "I need your help up here!"
Swallowing nervously, Mr. Booth, or Wayne looks at me for a moment before closing the door and rushing off. He is odd. I don't know why my name made him so uncomfortable. Looking around the room, I notice a big pink sofa. There is a small water fountain and I suddenly realize how thirsty I am. Taking a few gulps of bitter water, I go back to the couch and curl up on the couch. Curling up into a corner, I try to fight off sleep. I have only just woken up, but all of the running and crying has left me tired. And Rumpelstiltskin is probably still mad at me right now.
There is a small microwave on the other side of the room. I stare at the time etched in little red numbers. Rubbing my eyes, I stifle a yawn. Miss Jenna will be here soon, and I don't want to miss her. And it's still morning! It's not even ten yet! I shouldn't be so sleepy. I rub my eyes again as the world around me becomes very fuzzy. I glare at the little time clock. Only two minutes have passes by. There is a slight crash from the front of the store and I hear Margery Ana's high voice, but I can't make out what she's saying. My eyelids have begun to hurt now. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to close them, just for a little bit, as long as I don't fall asleep.
"Uh?" My eyes shoot open and for a moment, I am scared as I am no longer on the pink sofa.
Instead, I am now on a dark blue rug in the middle of a large room. I must've fallen asleep. Blinking, I rub my eyes and look around. I am back in Rumpelstiltskin's castle. I'm in the middle of his floor. Pulling myself to my feet, I look around, but I don't see him anywhere. That's good. I need to get back to the mirror before he sees me. He won't be happy that I'm back, especially since just earlier today, he told me to stay away for a while. And this time, I'm still wearing my usual clothing.
Had I gotten here all on my own this time? I have never done that, and every time I've come here, he's always been there to greet me, or he's left me a note. And I'm in the same clothes as before. These clothes are from yesterday, since I woke up late and had to get dressed really quickly. Something's not right here. I am going to leave before he finds me here. I don't want to make him any angrier with me. The last time I made him mad, he didn't bring me here for nearly three weeks. Hopefully, Miss Jenna will have found me by now.
Brushing the dirt off my knees, I wince as I touch the little cuts I had gotten from the glass. It was well worth it though. As I walk down the hallway, there is a slight rumble, and I turn to see the door that Rumpelstiltskin insisted was 'none of my concern'. I know I should just walk away, but the door starts shaking, if that's possible, and I can't help but inch closer towards it. There is a white light coming through the crack and I take a step even closer. This is the door where Chess and his friend walked into. The door begins rumbling again. I look around. I still don't see Rumpelstiltskin anywhere. It's just me and the door. With a little smile, I grab hold of the door knob and yank it open.
Up next: What's behind the door.