mauric

Crazy Old Maurice--A Oneshot

Maurice wasn’t sure exactly how he had managed to get from the castle back to Villeneuve. His mind was still reeling from what had happened.

 “Now listen; go. Live your life, and forget me.” 
“Forget you? Everything I am is because of you.” 
“I love you Belle. Don’t be afraid.” 
“I love you too, Papa. I’m not afraid. And I will escape, I promise.” 

Now Belle was prisoner to the Beast and he had to get her back, as he promised. But he couldn’t do it alone. He needed help.

Which is what led him to running to the tavern and through the door, hoping against hope that someone would help him save his daughter. It was a small town, surely at least one person would be willing. “Help!” he cried as he made his way into the crowded hall. “Please, please, someone, someone help…please, you must help me.” 

He nearly collided with the barkeep, his hands still shaking as the man stopped him. “It’s Belle. He’s got…he’s got Belle. She’s locked in a dungeon.” 

“Who’s got her?” the barkeep asked, seeming genuinely concerned for a moment. 

“A Beast,” he replied as he turned to the crowd, arms spread as if to describe the monster. “A huge, horrible, monstrous beast!” 

The villagers all began laughing. Did they honestly believe that he would–or ever could–fabricate such a story about his beloved child? 

“My daughter’s life is in danger, why do you laugh?” he asked as he looked around at the riant crowd. “It’s not a joke! His castle is hidden in the woods,” he went on, motioning toward the door. “It’s already winter there.” 

“Winter in June?” Jean, the town potter, scoffed with a grin. 

“Crazy old Maurice,” Clothilde laughed in his face. 

Listen to me!” he yelled “The Beast is real…do you understand?” 

He turned to face the crowd once more, thankful that at least the laughing had died down. He made one final desperate appeal . “Will no one help me?” 

Silence

He couldn’t believe it. They thought this was a joke, that he was mad. 

Or worse. They just didn’t care. 

All he ever wanted was for Belle to be happy and safe. He believed the people in this village, small-minded as they may be, would all look out for each other no matter what. 

How wrong he was. A fool. 

No one cared to help free his daughter. Why? Because she read? Was she ‘too different’? 

Anger, shock, worry, and fear warred within the artist, but all he could do was stare at the crowd. His hope that he would see her safe again faded. 

And then… “I’ll help you, Maurice.” 

“What?” He turned quickly to face Gaston, the only one to speak up. “You will?” 

“Everybody,” the hunter replied by addressing the crowd as he rose from his chair and made his way over to Maurice. “Stop making fun of this man at once.” 

“Captain, thank you,” the older man murmured as he placed his hands on Gaston’s shoulders in gratitude, thankful that at least one person believed him and cared enough to help. 

“Don’t thank me, Maurice,” the younger man answered with a grin, motioning to the door. “Lead us to the Beast.” 

He took one last look around the room before he removed his hands from the captain’s shoulders and started for the door. “Come.” 

He didn’t notice the way Gaston turned to LeFou, or the look he gave his friend. All he knew was that he once more had hope that he would save his little girl. 

Hold on, Belle. I’m on my way.

I have nothing now but praise for my life. I’m not unhappy. I cry a lot because I miss people…They leave me and I love them more…What I dread is the isolation. … There are so many beautiful things in the world…
—  Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are