Beauty and the Beasts: May the Best Beast Win
By: Katie Wedegis
One might think that walking through the town you lived in all of your life would be an easy thing, for me it wasn't. In a quaint town like Carrington, there wasn't much to do and many of the villagers enjoyed every piece of gossip they could get on anyone. Considering I just lived with my ten year old brother, they found us a very pathetic and pitiful subject.
"There she is... no parents!" They murmured and sighed. I escaped the rush of the streets by quickly turning into the bakery.
"Good morning, Gracie!" Ms. Smith, the baker's wife spoke to me. "How are you and..." She trailed off tapping her finger to her chin.
"Elliot," I answered her unasked question. "And we're fine; it's been a pretty good week." Ms. Smith smiled bleakly and handed me an apron.
"Gracie, dear, you do know that if you're ever in need of anything,"
"I can count on you," I completed her sentence. She shook her head and headed into the back leaving me to tend the counters. I glanced outside to see if I could spot Elliot coming down from the house. Sure enough there he was.
His shaggy hair was still very messy as if he just woke up and his clothing unwashed. He came into the bakery for a moment, "Hey Gracie, do I have to go to work today?" He whined and Ms. Smith handed him a muffin.
"Of course you do, El!" I cried. "We need that money, you know that," I hushed my voice slightly.
"Yes, I know... but Mr. Marcus is just so,"
"I'm sorry," I interrupted him, "Go to work." I told him sternly as two women from the street walked in. They gave Elliot a pitiful look as he left the bakery. "Good morning, Ladies," I said quickly trying to avoid their pity for me as well.
"Good morning, Gracie," The older woman looked at me sweetly as the young one spoke. "We'd just like 2 loaves of bread if that's alright."
"Of course," I answered going into the back. They handed me two silver coins as I returned with the bread.
"Thanks so much dear," The women said as they left the bakery. The rest of the day followed the usual schedule and I continued working. Until I heard a loud scream outside, but I ignored it.
Or at first I did. Then I listened closer, "GRACIE!" the voice screamed desperately. I ran outside to see Elliot, "Please Gracie," He yelled and I tried to run to him only to be stopped by two men in the crowd holding me back. Mr. Marcus smacked my brother over the head and he fell to the ground. He was ten and very weak.
"Please, stop this!" I screamed but they didn't. No one heard me and I was still being held so that I couldn't stop anything.
"EVERYONE SHUT UP!" Ms. Jacques, the eldest woman in the town yelled. Everyone turned to her and Elliot got out of the grasps of Mr. Marcus and ran straight for the woods.
"Elliot!" I yelled but the men still had a grasp on my arms.
"Get back to work!" They shoved me to the ground and Miss Smith brought me back into the bakery.
"Elliot!" I yelled again but he was out of sight now. He had been too far into the wood by now.
"Please Gracie," Miss Smith said slowly, "He'll be fine, and will be home by the time we're done." I prayed she was right and continued selling bread and other pastries. All day I shook with fear unable to comprehend what I had seen, but I knew if I ran off I would not be paid for the day. I needed some way to put food in Elliot's stomach- praying that he was at home.
Once the closed sign on the door had been flipped and Miss Smith had given me my daily pay- which wasn't much but it was something, I ran through town. The streets were mainly empty because families were eating. My breath was getting heavy but I made it up the hill and to my tiny broken down cottage. "Elliot!" I screamed. "Elliot, please tell me you are here!"
Not a sound.
Not a creak from the door or a howl from the wind.
Just the sound of my breath and silent tears streaming down my face.