The cast I see in my head is the new movie cast.
So long as there shall exist a social condemnation, which, in the face of civilization, complicates a destiny that is divine with human fatality; so long as the three problems of the age—the degradation of man by poverty, the ruin of women by starvation, and the dwarfing of childhood by night—are not solved; so long as social asphyxia shall be possible; so long as ignorance and misery remain on earth, stories like this must be told. – Victor Hugo.
Chapter 1. Toulon Prison farm, Toulon Pennsylvania. 2008
A man works in the fields, he's rather tall, like other men there he had lost hope. It happens when you're in prison for a long while. He had counted all of the years he had been there, 19 in all. He could remember when it wasn't so, when the government was fair, when people would still be able to speak their minds, when people weren't thrown in jail for the smallest crimes. But those times were long gone. Now they are only memories, nothing more. The man is brought out of thoughts by one of the guards yelling at him.
"24601, the warden wants to see you." The man threw down his shovel. And walked over to were the warden was standing.
"24601, how long have you been here?" Warden Eric Javert asked. He was a tall man not as tall as the other and seemed to have a permanent scowl on his face.
"19 years." 24601 replied.
"Well, your time is now up." He said handing the man a yellow piece of paper. "This is your identification paper. Show this at every town you go to." The man took the piece of paper.
"But, if you break even the smallest law and commit the smallest misdemeanor I will make it my life goal to see you back in prison for life 24601." The man glared at the prison warden.
"My name is Jean Valjean." He said bitterly stuffing the yellow paper in his pocket.
"Take him to get personals." Javert said to a guard. Valjean glared at the warden as he was led away. He'll be back, they always come back. Javert thought as he watched the man walk away.
Not an hour later the man, Jean Valjean was on a bus leaving Toulon Pennsylvania behind. It felt strange being out of prison. He could barley remember what life was like outside of prison everything was a distant memory.
A little about Jean Valjean. He was the younger of two children, he had an older sister. Their father was a gardener and was killed by falling out of a tree when Jean was only 15. Jean then quit school and started working. His older sister's husband died when he was 27 leaving her to take care of seven children one of which was only weeks old. So he had to help her care for the children. Money was extremely tight, and unfortunately they could not get food stamps. So one night Jean saw a bakery full of bread, he took an iron pipe and broke the window and he took as much as he could carry. When the police caught him he tried hard to fight back. He was charged with breaking and entering and resisting arrest and was sentenced to five years. But when he tried to escape twice 14 years were added. He never found out what happened to his sister and her children.
Two weeks later. Digne West Virginia
Jean Valjean walked into the small town in northern West Virginia, in the two weeks since he had left prison Valjean had known nothing but hardship and unfairness. Apparently his yellow paper labeled him an outcast, every were he went Valjean was denied work and even denied places to stay. This place was no different. Every shop or business he went to he was turned away. Eventually night fell and he went to the only inn in town.
"I'm sorry sir, but our last room was just rented for the night." The young women behind the front desk said. Honestly the women hated lying but her boss told her not to rent a room to the convict who was in town. The man nodded before turning and leaving.
"Wait." The man turned. "If you need a place to stay go to the really big house at the end of Main Street. The owner will let you stay there." The man nodded before leaving the inn. The owner of the large house was Myriel Bishop an extremely wealthy philanthropist who donated most of his money to the homeless and often when a drifter came threw town his door would always be open to them. Soon Valjean was standing in front of Mr. Bishop's house. He knocked on the door and waited, soon Mr. Bishop answered.
"I'm an ex-convict." Valjean said holding up his yellow paper, "I was told that I would be able to stay here."
Mr. Bishop just held the door open.
"Please come in."
"Didn't you hear me? I'm an ex-con." Mr. Bishop just looked at Valjean,
"So?" Valjean walked into the house. "Your just in time for dinner." Myriel Bishop said leading Valjean into the dinning room were Mr. Bishop's sister setting the table.
"Mary please set another place for our guest." Mary nodded and set another place at the table. Valjean looked around the room. In a large cabinet he saw a set of silver silverware, it would cost a fortune Valjean thought as he took a seat at the table.
"So my good sir, why don't you tell us about your self." Mr. Bishop said.
"My name is Jean Valjean, I stole bread to feed my family and was sent to prison, I spent 19 years at the Toulon Prison farm in Pennsylvania."
"19 years for only stealing bread?" Mr. Bishop asked.
"14 years were added when I tried to escape twice." Valjean said looking at the food Mr. Bishop's sister placed in front of him.
"I was released two weeks ago." Mr. Bishop nodded. "Where are you going to go?"
Valjean shrugged taking a bite out of his chicken. It was some of the best food he had in 19 years.
"Most likely back to my home town." The rest of the dinner went on in silence.
That night as Valjean lie in the guest bedroom of Mr. Bishop's house. He couldn't sleep. He was thinking about the silver in the cabinet. He was nearly out of money. Quietly he got up and quickly dressed grabbing his pack he slipped down stairs and went to the cabinet and took the key from were he had seen Bishop's sister put it and unlocked the cabinet, he quickly grabbed all of the silverware, a gravy boat, and serving tray. He closed the cabinet and went to the back door and slipped into the night.
The next day a scream filled the house. Mary Bishop paced around the dining room holding the key to the silver cabinet in her hand. The silver had been in her family since the 1800's and it had been stolen. Her brother then walked into the room.
"Mary calm down." He said taking his sister by the shoulders.
"I just hope that they find and arrest him." She said. As if on cue the door bell rang. Mr. Bishop opened the door. Standing before him was Jean Valjean flanked by two police officers, one of them holding his pack it was open reviling the silver he had taken.
"Mr. Bishop we stopped this man on his way out of town and found these in his bag. He told us it was a gift." Mr. Bishop looked at Valjean then back at the silver.
"Yes it was a gift from me. But my friend you accidently left the silver candle sticks. Why would you forget the best part?" Valjean looked at the man shocked. "Mary will you go get the candle sticks for me please. And officers you can see everything is fine. You can go." With that the two officers left. Mary returned with the candle sticks and gave them to her brother who in turn handed them off to Valjean.
"Jean Valjean my friend. With me giving you this silver you swear to become a different man. Use this silver for good." Valjean was in shock. This man who he had robbed was letting him go. Mr. Bishop's sister also had a look of surprise on her face. She was thinking that her brother was insane. Valjean took the candle sticks from the man and left, still in shock.
Three hours later Valjean was walking along the highway the sun was high in the sky, but the road was almost deserted. He had turned down several rides. He wanted to think. A man had given him silver on account that he change his ways. Valjean stopped, he was a criminal there was no way to change. Just to prove the point, he removed the yellow paper from his pants pocket. The only way he could start a new life was if he wasn't a convict. That was it, no one would know he was a con if he didn't have this piece of paper. It was time to start a new, new life, new name. He dug in his pack and pulled out a set of matches and lit it. He held the match to the yellow paper. Valjean watched as the flames licked at the paper until there was nothing left. Jean Valjean is gone, it's time for a new story to begin.
New York City, New York 2011
Fantine Collin was a young dancer, she had beautiful brown hair that fell down her back in soft curls. She had soft eyes and was in every man's eyes. But the only one who caught her eye was her boyfriend Felix Tholomyes. She was in love with him. But Felix saw Fantine as just a fad that would eventually end. But he was her first time. So unfortunely Fantine fell in love. One night they were at dinner with several friends. Fantine had found something out that week and was waiting for the best time to tell Felix.
"Babe why aren't you touching your drink." Fantine looked at the beer in front of her. She figured this was the best time to make her announcement.
"Umm, well." Fantine said looking up at Felix smiling. "I'm pregnant."
"Oh my god, Fantine congratulations!" Fantine's friend Carla said embracing her friend. Fantine turned to Felix.
"Well, I have to go to the bathroom. I'll be right back and we can celebrate." With that Felix got up from the table and walked away. After ten minutes Felix was still not back after twenty minutes Felix's friend went to look for him, he came back two minutes later he returned with a piece of paper in his hand.
"Umm Fantine you may want to read this." He said handing the paper to Fantine, as she read the letter she felt her heart breaking.
A man like me cannot be tied down. It was a blast. But I'm ready to move on.
"I'm so sorry Fantine." Carla said taking her friend's hand. "What are you going to do?"
"I don't know." Fantine whispered. Unconsciously moving her hand to her stomach.
Three years later.
A women driving on a road in Maryland, every few minutes she looks back and checks on the sleeping toddler in the back seat. The child had soft golden curls that framed her chubby face. When she was awake, she had clear blue eyes. She looked just like her mother. Fantine turned back to the road. They had left New York two weeks earlier. Fantine needed to find a job. But when she couldn't find one, she decided to leave. But Fantine knew that were ever she went to look for a job. She would most likely be denied, all because she was a single mother who had a baby out of wedlock. The world was cruel like that.
Eventually Fantine saw an Inn on the side of the road and turned into the parking lot. The Sargent Inn & Diner. Fantine got out and unbuckled her daughter from the car seat and walked into the diner. Fantine was greeted a women who was behind the counter watching another child about Fantine's girl's age playing on the floor.
"Welcome to the Sargent Inn and Diner. Would you like anything to eat or rent a room." Fantine shook her head taking a seat at the counter.
"Could I get a glass of water please." The women smiled and handed
Fantine a glass of water. Fantine's daughter was now awake and looking at the other little girl sitting on the floor, Fantine set her down and she wandered over to were the other girl was sitting.
"Can I play with you?" She asked, less than a minute later the two little girls were playing with each other like they had been best friends all of there lives.
"They play so well together." The other girls mother said watching them. "What's her name?"
Fantine looked up. "Her name's Cosette. She just turned three a few weeks ago."
"Same age as my little Eponine. I also got another one who's just a few months. So were are you two headed?" Fantine pulled out a piece of paper from her purse. "I'm actually headed to a town in Virginia Mount Sur Mar, I hear that they have a really good car factory there that will hire practically anyone." Fantine paused looking over to Cosette. "But I'm a single mother and I don't think that they would hire me if they knew I had a kid." Fantine then got an idea.
"Could you take care of Cosette for me?" The other women just looked at Fantine for a moment.
"Please, could you take care of Cosette. I'll pay you. I can see that you are a very good mother. Please I need this job in Mount Sur Mar!"
Selene Thenardier just looked at the women she really didn't know how to respond. It was then that her husband Alan walked out of the kitchen, he had heard most of the conversation between the two women.
"Dear, can I talk to you for a moment?" Selene followed her husband into the kitchen.
"Lets let her keep the kid with us. We could charge her a boat load of money. This could be good for us." Selene nodded, she had a sly smile on her face. She then walked out of the kitchen.
"My wife and I have discussed it and we would be glad to take care of your daughter while you work. But you would have to pay us a monthly fee. After all kids cost lots of money."
Fantine nodded, "Of course."
Alan Thenardier smiled at the women, "Lets talk business, How about we start with 70 dollars a month, first six months up front, so that is 420 up front." Fantine nodded and pulled out her check book. 420$ would leave her just enough to get to Mount Sur Mer. After she gave Thenardier the check she went to her car and got out all of Cosette's things. She hugged her daughter then handed her to Selene.
"Please take good care of my little girl." With that she got in her car and left the Inn, fighting back tears.
"This will be your best scheme yet." Selene said to her husband.
I'll try and make the next chapters shorter. By the way Fantine is about 23 when she leaves Cosette with the Thenardiers. Please Review, constructive critisism.