Rapunzel was nervous. She was about to tell her mother the biggest lie she had ever had to tell in her entire life. Such a thing wasn’t easy, especially with a strict mother like hers, who could usually see through a lie in a second. Rapunzel prayed that Elsa was as good a liar as she claimed to be.
Glancing outside at the snow, Rapunzel sighed. Why did winter have to be so cold? Elsa always claimed that the cold never really bother her, but it bothered Rapunzel, who was so fond of going about barefoot in a thin cotton dress throughout the rest of the year, when it was hot and dry. But in...
Belle smiled to herself as she finished stacking the last shelfload of books. It was almost time to shut up shop, so she leaned down the ladder and addressed the small, fair haired girl sitting with her nose deep in a book.
“Angie. Angie, sweetie.”
The girl looked up. “Sorry, Mama, did you say something?”
“It’s nearly time to go.”
“Oh, but I’m in the middle of this great book-”
“Then you can take it with you. I’m sure Mr Bookkeeper won’t mind.” Belle slid down the ladder and held out her hand. “Come on, let’s go home.”
Shock overcame Belle as she stared up at the woman.
“Belle,” whispered Sarah Clayton, looking down at the young woman.
Mother and daughter stared at one another a split second longer, and then Sarah dived to the floor and hugged Belle fiercely. Belle returned it, digging her fingers into her mother’s clothing, just to convince herself that this was real. She had pictured this day in her childhood dreams, a day when she would meet her parents again, but she had always imagined it would be in heaven, long after her death.
“Oh, Mama!” she exclaimed, her voice catching on a sob in her...