Authors Note: Why do we have to wait two weeks to see the new episode of OUAT? Why?! *shakes fist at sky* Well until then, I finally have had time to write out and go over the next chapter. I know it's not the same but hopefully it will help tide you guys over til Sunday. I also might end up posting the next one this week as well since I already have half of it written.
I apologize for this being so late. After I finally got done with the projects in English and Computer class, a bout of some illness decided to come play with me and, technically, I'm still not over whatever it is I've caught. T.T Good news is I got a perfect score on the PowerPoint on Belle (Wo0t!) but have no idea what I got on my Paradise Lost paper however...
Disclaimer: Don't own OUAT and I don't own Vertical Horizon's song "Children's Lullaby". I'm just borrowing bits and pieces of each to feed my muse, who then spits out this stuff.
It could be admitted that Fall wasn't the most practical season to be sitting out having a picnic. It was more of a time to be bundled indoors reading a good book or busying oneself with household chores. However, Peter, Red and Belle were not swayed by the biting winds and were currently sitting atop an animal skin blanket, enjoying the plethora of goodies supplied by Red's grandmother. They had set up camp beyond the boarder, away from all the uproar and excitement that was suffocating the village. Their annual Harvest Festival was coming up and, according to Red and Peter, all the villagers got a bit on edge during the set up.
Belle sat in silent wonder as the three of them lounged amongst the sea of color. She couldn't believe just how much her life had changed in such short a time, both emotionally and physically. She had gone from living an extremely sheltered existence to being thrust into life's harsh reality. She was given a taste at the Dark Castle, but then was forcefully submerged by events she may or may not of had any control over; she was no longer sure at this point. There were times when she seriously considered giving up, but her newly acquired friendships, as well as the life that was currently growing inside of her, had made all of the suffering and heartache well worth it.
She smiled warmly as she and Red watched Peter attempt to throw berries into the air and catch them in his mouth. He had bragged about how he could manage it, but so far had yet to land a single one. Both girls stifled giggles as a recent attempt he had over shot and had landed in his eye, causing him to cry out and shake his head wildly. Red then made a playful comment to Belle about how showing off to a couple of cute girls was making him nervous. Belle had laughed heartily while Peter's cheeks became tinted by a deep crimson.
Belle hugged her gray cloak a bit closer to her persons as a particular nasty wind gust cut through her. She watched as Red and Peter responded the same, Red even going so far as to leap up and start jumping up and down to warm herself. Belle gave a short laugh as she watched her friend dance around. Red responded by sticking her tongue out and throwing one of the raspberries she held in retaliation. More laughing rang out as the offending fruit bounced off Belle's swollen belly and landed in the patch of grass next to her.
"So, have you figured out a name yet?" Red continued to jump up and down for warmth as she talked, occasionally sharing more berries with Belle by gently tossing them in her direction.
Belle caught one of the raspberries and deposited it between her delicate lips. She closed her eyes as she savored the soft, velvety texture. A pleasant shiver went down her spine as the fruit exploded in her mouth, coating her tongue in its pink juice. Opening her eyes, she looked thoughtful for a moment before shaking her head.
"No. I haven't really been thinking about it, honestly."
Red made her way back over and comfortably situated herself in front of Belle. A look of pure excitement radiating from her. "Well it's a good thing you have me because I have. I was thinking...Rose if it's a girl and Zyan if it's a boy."
Belle took a moment to consider. She got why Red suggested Rose, it was Belle's favorite flower after all, but what did Zyan mean? Red smiled before responding to her inquiry.
"It means little king."
Belle looked incredulous as she barked a laugh. "Little king? I don't really know about that one." As cute as it was, Belle wasn't sure if naming a child of Rumpelstiltskin's, "little king", would be appropriate.
Peter looked quite smug before putting his two cents into the conversation. "I think you should name it Peter, after me."
Red playfully shoved Peter in the arm. "Oh you would."
The jubilant laughter of the three friends rang out and filled the clearing. Even after the noise died down, the joy and love that fueled it still lingered in the air around them. Peter reached into the basket that they used to carry their food in and pulled out bread, cheese and meat for the three of them. Usually, the bread would only be accompanied by a thin slice of cheese, but Granny had had included a small portion of pork meat as a little treat for all the hard work the girls had done over the past few weeks.
As they sat enjoying their meal, Belle noticed a serious look come over Red's face. It concerned her as they were only smiling and laughing with each other moments ago. Looking back, Belle couldn't find anything in their conversations that would of caused such a drastic change in her friends demeanor. Perhaps it was something that had been bothering her before now; something that, by the looks of it, she really needed to get off her chest. Belle turned and saw that Peter has also noticed the change and seemed to be just as worried. She decided to extend her hand and try and help Red ease into it.
"Is everything alright Red? You know, if there's anything wrong you can tell us."
Red pursed her lips, seemingly debating on whether or not to divulge what was swirling around in her head. "Well, there has been something on my mind, something that I have been contemplating over," Red bit her bottom lip before a smile of excitement suddenly came over her, "I want to kill the wolf."
Peter looked absolutely amazed at Red's admission. "What?"
"I know, I know. It's just...I'm tired of living in fear all the time. I want to go out, have adventure, live my own life. And the only way Granny is ever going to let that happen is if the wolf is dead."
Peter was in total disbelief about what he was hearing. He chanced a glance over at Belle to see the exact same disbelieving look all over her face. It made him feel a little bit better to know he wasn't alone in his feelings and it gave him the strength to speak up.
"Red, you know that many a warrior from our village has tried and failed to kill the wolf. What makes you believe you can succeed where they've all failed?"
Red's excitement melted away into pride as she let her friends in on the ingenious plan she had thought up. "You guys know about the giant rock formation that lies north of here right? Well, it's been rumored that the wolfs den is somewhere near there. Now, whenever the men go out hunting, they sometimes set traps for their catch correct? Well, I've set up my own traps all around that area and, once the wolf is snared in one of them, I'll be able to easily kill it; I'll be able to free our village from this accursed nightmare."
Belle couldn't believe what she was hearing. Red was actually considering about personally hunting down the wolf herself and killing it with her own bare hands. And the fact she had already set up the traps for it was even more surprising.Belle understood all about wanting to be able to go out and see the world, but the way Red had planned to go about it was suicide. No, she had lost Rumpelstiltskin, she had lost the only man she had ever truly loved and she was not going to loose anyone else.
"Red, you absolutely can not do this," she reached out and took both of Red's hands in hers, desperation clearly evident, not only on her face, but with every word that cascaded from her lips, "I understand all about wanting to go out and have adventure, but just think about what you are implying here. There has got to be another way."
"There is no other way. You heard what Peter said. Almost all the men have tried to kill it and failed."
Belle heaved a delicate sigh, her bright blue eyes misting up with unshed tears. "Red, you're the only friend I have in the entire world. And if there's any chance that I could loose that, any chance at all..." Belle took a deep breath to still the tears she could feel threatening to fall, "Red I can't loose you. I can't loose someone else to something I can prevent."
Red was fully prepared to argue but, after seeing how distraught Belle looked at the mere thought of her going though with her elaborate plan, she couldn't find the strength nor the will. Red heaved a heavy sigh of defeat. She gave a half smile to Belle who continued to keep a vice like grip on her hands.
"If it makes you that uncomfortable and upset Isabelle, I guess I can forget about it."
Belle's striking blue eyes almost bore a hole right through Red, her jaw clenched in determination."Promise me. Promise me you wont go through with it."
Red stared Belle straight in the eye and shook their still connected hands up and down with each word, giving them as much emphasis as possible. "I. Promise. You. I. Won't. Go. Through. With. It," Red then slipped her hands away and placed them securely in her lap. A gentle smile was given, one that would hopefully put her best friend's mind at ease. It seemed to work, as the muscles in Belle's shoulders began to relax and her facial features became not so hard.
Peter gave his own sigh of relief as he took his attention away for a moment. From the positioning of the sun in the sky, he could tell it was late afternoon hours and they should most likely start heading back to the village soon. He was sure Granny was expecting both Red and Belle to help with the cooking and he himself had to get back and give aid to his father. Upon pointing this out to the both of them, they each nodded their heads in agreement and, after finishing their small meal and gathering everything up, began making their way back into the chaos that was their village.
Belle had absolutely no idea where she was. The air around her was thick and heavy with fog, making any form of sight beyond mere inches from her impossible. Belle watched as the thick smoke swirled around her, twisting itself into numerous shapes, almost like it was a living entity. She noticed she was wearing nothing but her nightwear but this particular piece was quite foreign to her. It was a creamy white and was hardly modest. A low neckline in front, adorned with lace, showed off a good amount of cleavage. The bottom trim barely covered her knees and it was held to her persons by two small straps over her shoulders. A gentle breeze fluttered the fabric and drew her attention to the soft, silk feel that caressed her skin laying underneath. Looking down, Belle noticed that her feet were bare and how each individual blade of grass seemed to grasp at her toes, pulling herself even closer to the earth.
She wasn't sure how long she had been standing there, when delicate music began filling the air around her. It was unlike any music Belle had ever heard before. It was soft, almost childlike, and it filled her with a warmth that kept even the harshest wind from tearing into her skin. Belle smiled as she closed her eyes, surrendering herself to the tune. She swayed her body back and forth, occasionally twirling when the desire overtook her.
The music seemed to be getting louder and louder as time went by. Belle wasn't sure why, but she was suddenly overcome by this uncontrollable urge to locate where it was coming from. She willed herself to stop in her dance and began slowly making her way in the direction the melody seemed to be coming from. It was almost like she was being guided by a presence, something that was not of this world yet Belle found that she was not afraid.
The fog was beginning to thin out as she got closer and closer to the source of the melody. It wasn't until Belle found herself right on top of it that she was actually able to discern a few objects in her surroundings. From what she could tell, she was standing in a grassy field covered in flowers. She could make out the outlines of trees in her peripheral but couldn't see anything past that. What really caught her attention however, was the giant pond that was situated right in front of her. It's surface was like glass, not a single imperfection marring it. Groups of lily pads seemed to hover just above the surface. It had a few reeds sticking out along the edges with a few small boulders barely managing to stick their heads out above the water.
It was here that she finally noticed the source of where the haunting yet enchanting melody was coming from. A child, no older than eight or nine, was skipping her way along the waters edge and seemed to be humming a little tune to herself. She was dressed in nothing but a simple white gown decorated with images of tiny roses. Her hair was layered over her left eye, leaving her right blue eye completely uncovered. The waves of auburn reached all the way down to the middle of her back and shone like the sun itself was housed in ever one of her curls. Belle watched, seemingly entranced by the child. For some reason, Belle felt like she had seen her before, like she was some long lost childhood friend or family member. She wanted desperately to call out to her, but found that she had no voice to do as such.
After a few moments, the humming turned into singing and Belle found herself listening intently to the words that drifted out from the little form. The child was singing as if she wanted the whole world to hear her song, to listen to the words as they were deposited upon the wind and carried out to the far reaches of the realms that laid beyond...
Little girl was down by the waterside
The sun so hot and the roses so red where she lie
As little boys sit and watch as she twirls all around
Sunny smiles not a raincloud could bring that girl down
Little boy sits alone as he sings in the dark
Wondering if his own dreams had pulled them apart
He sings a song of tomorrow he never can see
Mostly sings of a lost little girl's memory
Little girl on the street with nobody around
Has her head in the air dirty feet on the ground
She shuts her eyes and she wonders is this a mistake
Now she's gone from the warmth of her little boy days
Little boy prays to God to answer his song Little girl won't you hear my cry
To hold his hand when everyone else's are gone
Time goes by and the wounds slowly turn into scars
So he makes his final wish on the midnight stars
Won't you come back home
To your lover's lullaby
Little girl won't you hear my cry
At the songs end, the child now stood right in front of Belle, no longer skipping merely to and fro, but standing perfectly still. Ever so slowly, Belle watched as the little girl turned her head to look at her. It was like she had only just realized someone was watching her and was now most enthralled by the sight. For a while, they each stood perfectly still, eyes never once wavering from the other. Belle's gaze was broken however when a gentle breeze cascaded across the clearing, whipping her chocolate curls about her face. She managed to set her sights back on the young girl just in time to see something that both shocked and unnerved her to the core.
Both a blue and amber eye were casting their gaze upon her now. The blue eye was so bright in its color that all others looked dull in comparison. If her right eye was as magnificent however, it still could not hold a candle to her left. A single stare from her left eye was both majestic and powerful. Upon closer inspection one could clearly see it was more animal than human; the amber shimmered around a small pupil that seemed to pierce and look right into your soul. Belle used to get lost in eyes like those, eyes that she knew only one other human being possessed. The utter shock must of amused the child for a great smile appeared replacing her stoic expression, a faint haunting giggle ringing out to fill the clearing they were in.
Belle was suddenly overcome by this desire to move closer. She needed to be able to touch her, to feel her form underneath her fingers. She wanted to feel coarse hair as it slipped through those same fingers, to see that the child was actually real and not just a illusion brought on by some illness or enchantment. As she made to reach out for her however, the child faded away into the darkness, leaving Belle confused and very much alone.
I want to thank the user Baelfire for giving me the idea that Belle should have a dream about her child. :) Excellent idea good sir/ma'am! Also, I wonder if Red is going to keep her promise to Belle...hmmmm...*wink*