Beth's Angel (Rated PG) - Meeting Moonlight Challenge

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Beth's Angel (Rated PG) - Meeting Moonlight Challenge

Postby allegrita » Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:20 am

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Rating: PG for some violence.

Author's Note: This story was written for the Meeting Moonlight Challenge.


Beth’s Angel



Beth hated pink, she couldn’t stand being cooped up indoors, and she preferred bears to dolls. She hadn’t always felt that way, but by age six, she had very strong views on the subject. She was also determined that she would never learn how to cook. Her Mom just hugged her tight and told her that she could be whatever kind of person she wanted to be.

Beth had a big bucket of Army men, and every night she lined them up in a ring around her bed: little green plastic soldiers whose duty it was to keep the scary lady away. She wouldn’t let her Mom help; she had to do it by herself. The soldiers did their job, too. It had been two years, and the scary lady hadn’t come back, not even once.

Of course, the man with sharp teeth had something to do with that, too. The Army men were Beth’s final line of defense, but the man with teeth lived outside in the night, and he kept the scary lady far away, locked inside the fiery house. Beth never told her Mom this part, but sometimes she thought she saw the man out of the corner of her eye. She’d see someone ducking behind a parked truck or turning a corner, a baseball cap pulled low on his forehead. She could never be sure it was him, but she could feel him out there, watching over her. Her angel.

It was two years since Beth had been snatched out of her bed and swooped out the window by the scary lady who smelled like perfume. At first Beth had been too shocked to be scared. And it was fun – like flying – when the lady jumped down to the ground… but then Beth realized she was leaving her house. She started to cry, and the lady put her hand on Beth’s mouth and told her to hush. She held Beth so tightly that there were stripes of bruises the next day where the lady had squeezed her arms.

After they were in the car, the lady let go of Beth and buckled her into a seatbelt next to her in the front seat. Beth had never been allowed to sit in the front seat before, but the lady said she needed to keep an eye on Beth, so she needed to stay there. Beth asked for her booster seat, but the lady said she wouldn’t need one anymore.

The lady told Beth that she was gonna be Beth’s new Mommy, but Beth said she already had a Mom. The lady didn’t listen, though. She smiled at Beth and talked to her in a sing-song voice about how fun it was gonna be when Beth had her new family.

Beth turned her face away from the lady and stared at the inside of the car door. She wouldn’t listen when the scary lady said that Mom was gone and Beth didn’t need her anymore. She stared at the door till the car stopped at the lady’s big house.

The house was all made of windows, but the lady took Beth down some twisty stairs to a little room that didn’t have any windows at all. It was a pretty room like a princess would have, but it wasn’t home. The dolls weren’t her friends and the room didn’t smell right. Beth knew it was a jail, even though everything in the room was pink and white. Even the bathroom was pink. It had pink towels and a pink sink and a pink toilet. The lady made Beth wash her hands and face with pink soap that smelled like bubble gum. Then she dressed Beth in a pink nightie and made her lie down in a pink bed. Then she turned out the light. Beth could see the lady’s eyes shining in the dark. It was scary, so she squeezed her own eyes shut tight and pretended to go to sleep.

As soon as the scary lady went back up the stairs and shut the door, Beth got out of bed and felt her way to the staircase in the dark. She crept up the steps on her tiptoes, hardly daring to breathe, and tried to open the door. It was locked.

Beth sat on the top step in the dark and tried really hard not to cry, but she was cold and scared, so she went back downstairs and found the bear that was sitting on the pillow. She couldn’t see him in the dark, but she remembered that he was brown, the way bears are supposed to be. She hugged him tight and he kept her company.

Beth tried not to fall asleep, but she couldn’t stay awake. When the lady came back and turned on the lights, the bear’s fur was wet with tears. Beth stuffed him under the pillow so the lady wouldn’t see. The light was bright, and Beth had to squint at first.

The lady had a package of Twinkies in her hand. She said it was breakfast. Beth missed her Cheerios and her cup with Kermit on it, but she was hungry, so she sat down at the little table and ate the Twinkies off a pink plastic plate. The lady sat on the floor beside Beth and tried to talk to her, but Beth wouldn’t answer. She was a stranger, and Mom said don’t talk to strangers.

Finally the lady went away. Beth sat at the table for a long time, looking at all the things in the room. She missed her Mom and her own toys, but she was being brave – she only cried a little bit. After a while, she went upstairs and tried the door again, but was still locked. Beth knocked for a long time, and then she kicked the door, but it hurt her bare toe. She even yelled in her loudest voice, but the lady didn’t come back. Finally Beth walked back downstairs and found the bear. The dolls and things all stared at her, so she sat on the pink bed, hugging the bear, and stared back. She didn’t play with any of the toys, not even the rocking horse.

The day lasted a long, long time, and Beth was really hungry by the time the lady came back. She brought Beth a donut and some string cheese for dinner. Beth asked her for milk, but the lady said she only had grape juice, and then she laughed. She said that Beth wouldn’t need milk soon, she’d have something much more delicious. Beth started to cry and tried to hide behind a piece of furniture, but the lady picked her up and told her to go to sleep because she was gonna meet her new daddy tomorrow. She put Beth in bed and tried to pretend that the bear was waving, but Beth knew the bear was just a toy. The lady kissed her on the cheek, and then she danced up the stairs and went out the door. Beth didn’t hug the bear anymore. It wasn’t his fault, but after the lady played with him, Beth didn’t like him as much. She lay for a long time with her eyes open, trying to see something in the dark. Finally she closed her eyes.

She awoke screaming, but the hand over her mouth held the scream inside. The lady picked her up and carried her up the twisty stairs and outside, to the car. She was wearing a pretty white dress that looked like a cloud, and she smelled really a lot like perfume. She had a big smile on her face and she whispered to Beth that she was gonna meet her Daddy today. Beth just glared at her and didn’t try to scream anymore, but she couldn’t help crying a little bit as she rode in the car to meet her new Daddy.

Beth couldn’t remember much about what happened in the little house. It was all a jumble of shadows and growling and hitting, and sharp teeth. The only thing she remembered clearly was her angel’s scratched face and his kind eyes. He knelt in front of her and held out his hand, saying, “C’mon… I’m gonna take you home.”

Beth took his hand, and he picked her up and said, “Good girl.” Then he took her outside and made the fire. She remembered seeing the flames, and the lady’s face against the window, but it was all a blur. Mom said it was OK not to remember. After two years, Beth didn’t think about the scary lady anymore, except when she was asleep.

In the dreams, the scary lady floated down from the ceiling in her white dress, and Beth couldn’t run because the dream made her feet heavy. But Beth’s angel always picked her up and carried her away before the lady could catch her. Then the fire came, to keep the lady inside the house.

Beth thought about her angel a lot, especially at bedtime, when she was lining up the Army men. She thought about his kind eyes and his sharp teeth, and she knew he was out there, guarding her from the scary things that lived in the dark. Beth didn’t worry too much about her Army men. They’d be just fine.
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Re: Beth's Angel (Rated G) - Meeting Moonlight Challenge

Postby cassysj » Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:30 am

Alle, really wonderful story. All the details of little Beth that make up the Beth we know. One of the might frightening lines is about not needing the booster seat anymore. So ominous.

I weep for little Beth losing the small comfort the bear offered her after Coraline touched it. This is really meeting Moonlight at the very beginning of when Mick met Beth.
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Re: Beth's Angel (Rated G) - Meeting Moonlight Challenge

Postby librarian_7 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:31 am

This is a wonderful re-interpretation from Baby Beth's point of view.

Thanks, Alle...very, very nice. You catch the child's POV so well.

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Re: Beth's Angel (Rated G) - Meeting Moonlight Challenge

Postby MickLifeCrisis » Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:47 am

I liked this a lot, Allegrita! I think you captured little Beth perfectly. Thank you!
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Re: Beth's Angel (Rated G) - Meeting Moonlight Challenge

Postby darkstarrising » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:01 am

alle,

this was so sweet, :hearts: and you saw so well through the eyes of the little girl. Yet how sad that her only comfort in her pink prison became less of one when the scary lady touched it....the very real response of a frightened little gir..
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Re: Beth's Angel (Rated G) - Meeting Moonlight Challenge

Postby HotMicks » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:06 am

... he kept the scary lady far away, locked inside the fiery house ...


What a perfect line.

Thanks, Alle. Poor Beth, she's tragically damaged too, but in better shape than Mick... thanks to Mick. Ah, the irony.
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Re: Beth's Angel (Rated G) - Meeting Moonlight Challenge

Postby janicevictoria » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:10 am

Alle, that was beautiful. I loved the fact that it was from the child Beth's POV. Little did she know at the time that her angel would play such a big part in her adult life! Oh, and I love your new banner...those eyes.. that face! :hearts:
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Re: Beth's Angel (Rated G) - Meeting Moonlight Challenge

Postby lunalux » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:28 am

So sweet, you capture the little, but willful Beth wonderfully. The story told from her POV is very much in keeping with her age, and I can't help but see how strong she was even then. From her army men, and distaste for pink, the return to bears as companions instead of dolls (an homage to the little bear who helped her cope), and the confidence that her guardian angel was still around her -- yes, I see Beth very clearly. Thanks, it was wonderful. :hearts: :hearts:
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Re: Beth's Angel (Rated G) - Meeting Moonlight Challenge

Postby lorig » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:37 am

I love Beth's strong will even at such a young age. So very well done... :clapping:
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Re: Beth's Angel (Rated G) - Meeting Moonlight Challenge

Postby wollstonecraft61 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:40 am

Alle, I really love this. You fill in the gaps so well. Yeah, the lady was scary alright. I love how you depicted Coraline as unable to understand what a child needs. She is not so sympathetic when viewed in the light of a monster who hurts children.
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Re: Beth's Angel (Rated G) - Meeting Moonlight Challenge

Postby nutmegger911 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:26 am

Alle, this is wonderful! You capture little Beth's view of the world so well.

This is just so... childlike.
allegrita wrote:Beth had a big bucket of Army men, and every night she lined them up in a ring around her bed: little green plastic soldiers whose duty it was to keep the scary lady away. She wouldn’t let her Mom help; she had to do it by herself. The soldiers did their job, too. It had been two years, and the scary lady hadn’t come back, not even once.

Of course, the man with sharp teeth had something to do with that, too. The Army men were Beth’s final line of defense, but the man with teeth lived outside in the night, and he kept the scary lady far away, locked inside the fiery house.


Thanks for bringing us into this too often forgotten perspective.
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Re: Beth's Angel (Rated G) - Meeting Moonlight Challenge

Postby moonlight_vixen » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:27 am

I loved the descriptive point of view from "little Beth." What a great example of Meeting Moonlight! :clapping:
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Re: Beth's Angel (Rated G) - Meeting Moonlight Challenge

Postby mitzie » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:38 am

You wrote from the perspective of a very young Beth very well. I love this!!!! :yahoo: :yahoo: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :confused2: :eek2: :dizzy: :hankie: :devil: :yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo: :hyper2: :hyper2: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :thud: :thud: :thud: :thud: :notworthy: :hearts: :rose:


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Re: Beth's Angel (Rated PG) - Meeting Moonlight Challenge

Postby francis » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:06 am

You really get the mindset of a six year old with a trauma. Well done!
I feel for Beth so much, but she will be fine. I love how you let her experience the pink room, all the toys. I like how you show us that Coraline isn't much of a mother, she doesn't understand children at all. I felt for Beth when she was so scared and hungry and cold, and it chilled me when Coraline told her that she would have something more delicious to eat later. But then the angel with teeth came, and made it all better. Now he protects her and her army men from the scary lady. This is a great insight into Beth's world as a child. :heart:
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Re: Beth's Angel (Rated PG) - Meeting Moonlight Challenge

Postby allegrita » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:49 pm

Thank you, everyone! I'm really glad (and relieved) that you liked it. It was interesting, trying to see things the way a child would. I'm thrilled that it worked for you. And yeah, HotMicks, I see what you mean...Mick protected her, and was even more profoundly hurt in the process. :Mickangel: But it was worth it to him. :hearts:

Thank you all again for your wonderful comments. They mean the world to me! :ghug:
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