A Fall in the Forest
Cosette ran through the forest. She had been running all night. It was almost dawn. "I'll never go back to the Thenardiers!" she thought. "Never! Never!" Cosette had blue eyes and blonde hair. Her eyes, once bright and happy, were dull and sad. Her blonde hair was matted and dirty. She looked skinny and underfed. She had lived with Madame Thenardier, her husband, and their daughter, Eponine, for as long as she could remember. She didn't know anything about her parents, and she couldn't remember anything abut them. Cosette's breathing was labored, her legs were aching, and her heart was pounding. Suddenly she tripped and went sprawling. She landed on her right ankle. She knew it was broken when she heard a sharp crack. Cosette screamed in pain. She then heard running footsteps behind her. She turned as best as she could and saw a figure ruining towards her. The figure was wearing a long, black dress, black boots, black gloves, and a long, black cloak. A hood hid the figure's face from view. The figure was holding a broom in its right hand. The figure knelt by Cosette and set down the broom. "Who are you?" It was definitely a woman. Her voice was soft, and she sounded concerned. "M-My name's Cosette." Cosette stammered. "What happened?" "I tripped. My right ankle's broken." "How old are you?" "Eight." The woman nodded. She gently laid her hand on Cosette's ankle. Cosette winced. "I'll be right back Cosette. Stay here." The woman stood up. Cosette looked up and gasped. She had fallen in front of a huge, stone castle. A tall, iron gate surrounded it. The woman holding the broom in her left hand, pushed open the right side of the gate and walked through the gate. She hurried across the lawn and went inside the castle. A couple minutes later, she came back. She didn't have her broom. A winged monkey was with her. When they reached Cosette, the woman turned to the monkey and said, "Will you please take Cosette up to the kitchen, Chistery?" Chistery nodded and tenderly scooped Cosette up in his arms. He carried her across the lawn and into the castle. The woman followed. Cosette was carried into a huge foyer, and then up a flight of stone steps. At the top of the stairs, they went into the dining room. There was a long, wood table. There were three chairs on each side of the table, and one chair at each of the ends. At the back of the room, in the left-hand corner, there was a long staircase that led up to the third floor. On the right wall there were three large windows. At the back of the room there was a hatch (like could be seen in old houses), and a door that led to the kitchen. Chistery carried Cosette into the kitchen, followed by the woman. Another winged monkey was at the sink, putting away dishes. They looked up when the group entered and gasped. "Esmeralda," the woman said, addressing the monkey. "will you please get a stool and a first-aid kit?" "Yes Miss Elphaba." Esmeralda turned and went through a door to what appeared to be a storage room. There was an island in the middle of the kitchen. The island was stone with a marble top. There were counters on each of the walls (except for the wall with the hatch), and there were cabinets on all four walls. On the right wall, in the middle of the counter, there was a metal sink. A refrigerator was in the right-hand corner, at the back of the room. The door to the storage room was at the back of the room too, but on the left-hand side. "Cosette," Elphaba said gently. Cosette looked at her. "I need to go upstairs for a few minutes. Chistery and Esmeralda will take care of you, though." She smiled reassuringly. Cosette nodded, and Elphaba swept out of the room. They heard her go up the stairs. Esmeralda came back with a stool and a first-aid kit. She set the stool in front of the sink, and Chistery sat Cosette down on it. Chistery opened the first-aid kit and gently began to set Cosette's ankle back in place. She winced, but didn't cry out. "I'm sorry." Chistery said quietly. "I-It's alright." "You're not used to talking animals, are you?" "No." Chistery and Esmeralda looked at each other knowingly. "You guys like each other, don't you?" Cosette asked shyly. Chistery and Esmeralda looked at each other tenderly. "Yes," Esmeralda said quietly. "We're married, actually." "You guys make a cute couple!" Esmeralda laughed gently. "Thank you dear!" At that point, Elphaba reentered the room, and Chistery gently began bandaging Cosette's ankle. Cosette looked at Elphaba and gasped… She had removed her cloak, hood, and gloves. She had emerald green skin, emerald green eyes, and long, curly, black hair (which she was wearing in a long pony-tail). In her arms she was carrying a white towel, a white nightgown, shampoo, and conditioner. She came around to Cosette's right, by Esmeralda, and set the stuff down. She turned on warm water, pulled Cosette's hair back, and had her lay back. Cosette closed her eyes as Elphaba gently rinsed her hair out. "Is the water too hot?" Elphaba asked. "No." Cosette said softly. "It's perfect!" Elphaba smiled tenderly and continued rinsing out Cosette's hair. After a couple minutes, she turned off the water, shampooed Cosette's hair, turned the water back on, and rinsed Cosette's hair again. Chistery finished bandaging the girl's ankle, and he put the first-aid kit away. Elphaba shampooed Cosette's hair two more times, and the put conditioner in it. When she was done rinsing out the conditioner, Elphaba gently helped Cosette sit up, turned off the water, and wrapped the towel around her hair. "Thank you Miss Elphaba!" Cosette said quietly. Elphaba smiled and gently hugged her. Cosette hugged her back and gently kissed her on the cheek. Tears filled Elphaba's eyes. She wasn't used to such affection. "Are you tired?" she asked. Cosette nodded. "Yes." Elphaba nodded. "Come on." she said. "I'll take you to your room." Elphaba gently picked up Cosette and balanced her on her left hip. "Good night Cosette." Chistery and Esmeralda said. "Good night." Elphaba carried Cosette out of the kitchen, and up the steps to the third floor. The third floor was nothing but a long hall with lots of rooms. Elphaba carried Cosette a little ways down the hall to the right. She carefully opened a door on the left (three doors down from the top of the stairs), and carried Cosette inside. There was a window on the back wall, above the bed. The bed was made for two people. There were four white pillows, a white sheet, and a white comforter on the bed (which was already made). White curtains were on the window, but they were open to let in the light that was beginning to appear. Besides the bed, there were only two pieces of furniture in the room: a wash basin, and a small, white cupboard. Elphaba set Cosette down on the bed and laid the white nightgown down beside her. With Elphaba's help, Cosette changed into the nightgown and sat down on the edge of the bed. "I'll get you some real clothes as soon as I can." Elphaba said. Cosette nodded. Elphaba then turned to the wash basin (the wash basin and the cupboard were in the corner, directly to the right of the door). Elphaba set the shampoo and conditioner down on the edge of the basin, and checked to be sure there were washcloths and more towels in the cupboard. Then Elphaba turned back to Cosette. She helped her get under the covers, tucked her in, and kissed her softly on the forehead. "If you need anything, Chistery, Esmeralda, and I will be downstairs." Cosette nodded, close to sleep. Elphaba picked up Cosette's old clothes and the towel. Then she left the room, softly closing the door behind her. As Cosette drifted off to sleep, she thought, "Miss Elphaba seems like a motherly person, and Chistery and Esmeralda seem nice. Maybe it was a good thing that I broke my ankle!"