Tale of Worlds
Olette set the final plate onto the table and wiped her hands on her apron with satisfaction. Outside the wind was howling and battering the old house furiously with snowflakes. The door was slammed open and her father stumbled in, pushed by the wind. Olette ran to him and helped him to his feet, looking over his shoulder to see if anyone was behind him. Slightly Hysterical Olette asked him,
"Papa are you alright? Where have you been? Where's Belle? Papa?"
Somberly Maurice answered her. "Taken…by a beast."
"What do you mean Papa? Where's Belle?" Olette asked worriedly.
"There was a castle, deep in the forest…inside…horrors, a monster."
"Your sister, she came looking for me…he took her…" Maurice stared at the floor.
"You- You're not making any sense Papa, what happened?"
"Your sister was taken by a beast Olette, I can't make it any clearer than that!" Maurice grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her, angry at her for pestering him.
Suddenly the small country house started to shake. Books were falling off of the bookshelves as Maurice grabbed Olette by the hand and ran outside. As they stood together on the stone porch they could see that the quiet village that they lived on the outskirts of was in flames, dark smoke billowing up into the sky.
"What in heaven's name-?" Exclaimed Maurice as he watched the disaster unfolding. Olette clung to him, her eyes wide with fear. She screamed.
Darkness was spreading over the hills and leaking out of the forest, oozing across the pastures as if it was molten lava. Strange creatures began to appear out of the darkness, which was now flowing out from the house and the stones on which the two were standing. In front of them a door seemed to open into the darkness and from it shone a bright, white light. The two ran for it, stepping inside of the comforting glow in time to see their own house burst into flames.
Olette opened her eyes. It was bright, sunny and orange. There was no snow, no darkness, nothing that was even reminiscent about her old house in France. Today was Saturday. No school, no helping her father in the shop, just hanging out with Hayner and Pence. She pulled her orange shirt over her head and stuffed her feet into their sneakers. She thundered down the stairs, pausing only momentarily to fix her hair. She found her father sipping at his coffee in the kitchen going over the sales receipts from the previous day of work. Olette planted a kiss on the top of his balding head, grabbed a piece of toast off his plate and ran out the door, slamming it behind her. There was something exciting about today. She could just feel it.
Belle wandered aimlessly down the hallway, running her hands over various statues and tapestries that adorned the walls. The Beast's Castle was so much different from her own home back in the village, Belle thought. So different from Hollow Bastion too. She sighed, wondering about her friends Sora, Donald and Goofy and how their fight against the darkness was going.
Belle whipped around and saw Sora and friends standing behind her. She smiled warmly and scooped Donald up into a hug.
"Sora, Donald, Goofy! How have you been?" Belle asked happily.
"Oh we've been fine Belle. How about you?" Replied Sora.
"Oh Sora. I'm happy here, but..."
"But?" Sora asked leaning in closer to Belle for emphasis on his curiosity.
"I miss my Family. My Papa, my sister-"
"You have a sister?" Goofy butted in.
"Yes. She's very beautiful, her hair is dark brown like mine, and her eyes are stunningly green. Her name is Olette and we-"
"Hey! We've met an Olette!" Donald Exclaimed. "In Twilight Town! She's got Dark Brown hair and green eyes too!"
"Olette might not be "Olette" though Donald a-hyuck. We shouldn't get Belle's hopes up like that." Goofy said aloud.
"Oh I wish there were some way we could see...wait-a-minute! The Mirror!" Belle exclaimed, all previous thoughts of boredom and loneliness fleeing her person at once.
Olette sneezed and rubbed at her irritated nose. "You guys ever get the feeling that you're being watched by someone?" She asked as she read over Hayner's homework.
"They say that if you sneeze someone somewhere is talking about you" Pence added as he fiddled with his camera taking an accidental snapshot of Hayner's right ear.
"Oh that's all just a load of malarkey" Hayner grumbled. Malarkey was another one of those words he had picked up from living with his granny for so long and he used it often without knowing it. "Hey Lettey, you done checking that English assignment yet? I want to go get some ice cream."
Olette sneered at Hayner and glanced casually over her shoulder, still unable to shake the feeling that she was being watched.
"Oh Sora! That's her I'm sure of it! My little sister is safe and sound, thank goodness." Belle crumpled to the floor in a wave of relief from ages of pent up worry. "I want to go see her! Please, can't you take me to that orange city she was in?"
"W-we can't Belle." Donald explained. "If we take you out of this world it could collapse and be swallowed up by darkness. You're a princess of heart which means you are of vital importance to keeping the world safe from heartless and nobodies."
"But I want to see Olette so badly," Belle protested already knowing full well that she would never willingly risk the heart of the world just to see a girl she thought was her younger sister. "Can you bring her here?" Belle asked hopefully.
"I don't see why that wouldn't work." Sora said with a grin. "Might take a couple of days, but we'll see what we can do."
"Oh thank you Sora, Thank you!" Belle pulled the boy into a tight hug and kissed his cheek fondly.
"Please hurry." The Beast added as he stepped into view from his spot where he'd been lurking since Sora arrived.
"Of course!" Sora saluted and headed back out of the castle and towards the gummi ship that would take them as quickly as possible to Twilight Town.
Olette liked living in Twilight town, enjoyed the tranquility that that ever setting sun presented with the community as it washed her world in warm hues of orange and yellow and red. Colors always seemed to be at their most vibrant outside in the bright world. Colors inside where people boarded up their windows so the sun wouldn't shine in seemed dull to her and lifeless without the burning ball of light to bring out their true and brightest colors. But there were times when Olette missed her old home, her old life, her sister, the towns people. She wondered about them from time to time, assuming that people like Gaston had been absorbed into the darkness while nice people like herself had been given an escape route to other worlds. Maurice often scolded her for trying to ask about Belle or what he thought had happened that night. He wanted to put the painful past as far away from himself as he could and that meant no one was allowed to bring it up.
So Olette mulled things over in her mind in silence and at times the only indication that she'd been brought over from another world was the slight lilt in her voice that gave of the vaguest impression of being foreign. Her days since the odd feeling of being watched passed by uneventfully and dully in Twilight Town. She kept quiet about the old village the same way she kept quiet about the blonde mystery boy that everyone seemed to know but no one could name and time passed. She met daily with Hayner and Pence in the secret place and was happy to see a familiar face waiting for her in the abandoned lot.
"Sora! It's been so long, at least I think it has. Sometimes it gets hard to tell the days apart when the sun never really sets. Why are you here?" She asked giving him the briefest one armed hug. She's nothing like Belle Sora mused before answering her.
"A friend asked me to come visit you. Does the name 'Belle' mean anything to you?"
"Be-Belle?" Olette asked taking a hasty step backwards. "Tall young woman with hair like mine and hazel eyes? Nose always in a book?"
"You know her then?" Sora asked, a mischievous grin quirking at his lips.
"She's my sister…H-How?" Olette asked stepping forward.
"She wants me to bring you to visit her. She was so excited when I told her I knew a girl named Olette that she almost cried."
"Now Sora, don't tell lies." Jiminy reprimanded from Sora's shoulder. "Look I have a picture here in my log, is that your sister for sure?" Jiminy opened up his little cricket sized diary and a holographic image of Belle popped out of the pages and rotated slowly.
"Yes, oh my goodness yes! C'est magnifique It really is her. Can we go now?"
"You should tell your dad first Olette." Pence announced from the doorway that led to the lot. He'd only just heard the last part of the conversation. "And then when you get back you'll have to fill Hayner and myself in on all of this. I never suspected that you had a sister…."
"I'm sorry I never told you Pence. It didn't seem…right, but I promise as soon as I get back you and Hayner will get to hear the truth." Olette bumped forearms with her best friend and made a bee-line for her house to grab a change of clothes and tell her father about the trip.
Maurice had tears in his eyes as he and Olette walked back to the lot where Sora, Pence, and now Hayner were waiting. He and Olette finished the conversation they'd been having in French and he kissed her cheeks multiple times before hugging her and seating himself on the beat up old couch.
"Here." Hayner held a Struggle Bat out to Olette. "You, you never know if you'll need it, and it's important to always be prepared." Olette laughed and grabbed Pence and Hayner's hands in hers.
"I'll stay out of trouble and you boys do the same." They shared a knowing look and laughed as the two boys hugged her unexpectedly.
"Hey Olette, time to get a move on, Belle's waiting for you." Olette hugged her friends one last time and followed Sora into the portal that would send them to the orbiting gummi ship.