Chapter 1: Neglected
Betsy had waited after school for her aunt to come retrieve her, she had watched all the other children leave with their parents and guardians. She sat at the sidewalk watching the cars pass by and no sign of her Aunt Clarabelle was near by, but as an hour had went by the teachers all grew concern for her.
Her home room teacher had walked up to her and asked. "Dear, do you need a ride home?"
Betsy shook her head. "No ma'am, my aunt is coming for me."
"Would you like me to call her?" The Teacher asked.
"No ma'am," She replied. " I know she's coming."
The Teacher called Clarabelle's number privately and waited for nearly a minute for an answer, much to her dismay there was no answer.
But two more hours went by and there was no sign of Clarabelle, by now it was getting dark and Betsy was becoming worried. Betsy decided to walk home, she was scared of walking alone at night. Forty minutes passed and she made it home, she unlocked the door to discover no one was home. Betsy walked into the kitchen hoping at least something was cooked for her, but alas she found a note that said "There's some left over macaroni and cheese, heat it up if you get hungry."
Betsy opened the fridge to discover only a piece of expired vegetable pot pie and a tiny container of old and molded macaroni and cheese was there. Betsy slammed the fridge door in anger, this was the seventh time in a row Betsy had to fend for herself. She was finally fed up with it and stormed upstairs to her room, ever since her aunt started working on that show Betsy was always left to feed and take after herself; she was only five, and knew that it wasn't right to be neglected.
An hour had passed, Betsy was dragging her backpack of clothes down the stairs and looked up at the the picture of her and Clarabelle. She took the picture, and placed it in her pocket as she walked outside. Tears weld up in her eyes as she left the house and walked further passed the neighborhood, suddenly a pick-up truck pulled over. Betsy stood in fear as the window rolled down.
Horace appeared from the truck. "Betsy? What are ya doing out here your Aunt must be worried?"
Tears weld up in her eyes and she said in a small tone. "No she doesn't."
"Where is she?" He was concerned.
Betsy broke down crying. "She leaves me all alone all the time and I hate it!"
Horace held her tightly trying his best to comfort the tiny calf, Betsy continued to helplessly cry as he held her. Horace knew the pain of being left alone, he couldn't bear the fact that she was only a five year old girl. She didn't deserve to be left alone, not like this. Horace carried her backpack into his truck promising he would let her stay in his home.
But first they stopped at a cafe to get something to eat, over there Betsy was so quiet which was not normal for being a hyper active child. The manager saw her and gave her a free milkshake to cheer her up. But despite all the kindness she was given, she missed her aunt the most, and no amount of sweets or cheering up could help.
Later as they arrived to Horace's home, Horace showed her to one of the guest rooms the closest one to his room since he wanted to keep an eye on her.
"I promise you," He said softly. "She'll come looking for you and everything will be alright." He tucked her in and kissed her goodnight turning the lights off for the night as he left the room.
Betsy couldn't sleep she was wide awake depressed of her ordeal, so she went to her jacket and pulled out the picture. She held it close to her as she softly cried herself to sleep.
"Aunt Clarabelle, have you forgot I exist?"
Chapter 2: Washed Up
Pete sat in his dressing room feeling more tensed than usual, nobody really bothered to ask if he was doing alright since they all thought it was just Pete being Pete. But deep down it wasn't true, deep down there was something was hurting him something that he only thought alcohol could make him forget.
It all began after his first day on set as he set off to The Villian's Club which was just off the corner of west Toontown. It was his usual hangout after a stressful day of smiling and grinning like an idiot, but something wasn't right as soon walked in. Every other villain past and present stared at him like he wasn't welcomed, Pete scratched his head in confusion. He walked to his usual spot as Zeke walked up to him with a bitter look.
"Zekey ol' boy, how's it going?" Pete smiled reaching to shake his hand.
With in a mere second Zeke slapped his hand away. "You're no longer welcomed here." He snarled.
Pete stood up angry pounding his fist into the table. "What do you mean I'm no longer welcomed here!?"
"We saw what you've been up to. You've been doing g-goody stuff!"
The music silenced as some gasped to face him, Pete on the other hand wanted to know the truth what was really going on. Was it prank night again he didn't know what was causing some of his friends to turn on him like this.
Finally someone else stood up, The Phantom Blot looked up at him. "Listen your reputation now is well, burned. You clearly are doing things not villain wise and it's official you changed a new leaf."
Pete's face grew cold as he shook his head in disbelief. "That's a lie! I'm still a villain! I'll rob a bank, I'll kidnap somebody!"
Everyone shook their heads in disapproval thinking he was desperate to keep his old reputation.
By now Pete was shaking worse than before. "I can prove it!"
"Face it numbskull, you're washed up! It's over for you," Zeke glared at him. "You're nothing but...A good guy."
Pete backed away feeling betrayed by those he called friends , as he was leaving some of the patrons began pelting him with booze and stale snack food. He returned home after the fiasco and sat in his den pondering on the words that struck a cord with him, he couldn't believe that this was happening. First his wife and daughter leave him, then after sometime his own son completely stopped talking to him, and now his own friends save one had turned on him. Pete opened his liquor cabinet and began drinking whiskey out of the bottle itself. Somehow he always saw comfort from this but he never consumed more than maybe a couple of shots worth. He found this over indulgence to be the most soothing thing in the world now. A year or so passed and things took a turn for the worst as his status as a villain no longer existed. It was clear as the sky his life was ruined completely.
He sat in his dressing room reflecting on his glory days which were now nothing but wasted memories, Pete looked at the mirror which was planted with sticky notes reading. "Remember to smile even off camera!"
Pete pulled off one of the sticky notes and tore it to pieces muttering hurtfully under his breath. Meanwhile Goofy was leaving the catering table with some coffee and donuts for him and Pete. So far Goofy was the only one that knew how deep down it was hurting Pete, as he walked to the dressing room something wasn't right.
"Pete," Goofy called out. "are you alright?"
No response came.
"It's me Goofy, we're on in five minutes."
The room was still silenced.
Goofy slowly opened the door and saw Pete staring into the mirror with a disturbed look. He swallowed hard and very slowly began to walk towards him. Suddenly without warning Pete smashed his fists into the mirror causing it to shatter into pieces cutting his hands in the process. Goofy tried to back away when he slipped dropping everything. Pete then took his chair and smashed it right into the television and tore everyone of his costumes. Goofy was watching in horror as his friend's sanity had finally slipped destroying the very dressing room. After an hour had passed Pete finally fell on his knees breaking down, Goofy who was curled up in a ball finally stood up and walked closer to him stepping on broken glass,plastic, and wood.
"I'm f-fine..." Pete finally responded.
Goofy looked down at Pete's hands seeing them badly bruised and cut.
He finally gave him a brotherly hug and said. "I know..."
In no time flat Goofy called first aid over and Pete was sent home. Night time came and Pete went to a local bar where nobody luckily knew him or if some did they kept their distance from him.
"What 'ill it be?" The bartender asked groggy.
Pete looked up at the bottles. " The strongest one in this bar."
The bartender looked at him. "Suit yourself." he sighed pouring him a glass.
Pete looked around for while until he heard the bartender take the order for another costumer.
The customer replied. " I'll have an apple cider."
Pete recognized the voice in a snap, it was Horace Horsecollar sitting next to him.
"Horace?" He called calmly.
Horace turned taking a swig of his cider. "Pete, long time no see.."
"Yeah, so many fond memories."
"And suddenly time passed."
"So how's it like losing your career?"
"Pretty much like you, one minute you're with the cool guys and then they forget you even existed."
Horace looked at his hands noticing the bandages. "Eesh, what happened to you?"
" I had an accident in the dressing room..." Pete took another shot. "What have you been up to lately?"
"I've been raising Clarabelle's niece."
"Oh yeah, Kessie right?"
"It's Betsy actually."
"Oh, well how is she?"
"Depressed, I've been trying to call Clarabelle for almost a year now and she won't answer. Shoot! I even broke into her house just to get Betsy's other belongings it's a ghost house in there."
"Jeesh, Clarabelle doesn't even talk about her I mean I brought her up once." Pete took another shot feeling tipsy.
"And?" Horace made another order of cider.
"It seems she doesn't care anymore."
"So Betsy's nightmare came true," Horace sighed very sadly and drank some more. "She abandon her like she did me."
"Poor kid, it's not fair for her."
"Exactly, but I wanna know why. It's not like Clarabelle to do such a thing."
"Did you try anyone else?"
"Of course, the only one who answered was Goofy and he told me he would talk to her but it's been ten months and no response."
"He didn't even talk to her."
"No one talks to anyone outside the show."
Horace slammed the glass to the table furious. "Really!? What about Mickey's nephews!? Donald's nephews!? Daisy's nieces!? Or even MAX!? What are they all getting ditched for a quick check!?"
Pete looked down in shame.
"I bet that's why your son PJ stopped talking to you!"
"Horace calm down!" Pete said getting a little mad. "I don't know what's going on but I will get to the bottom of this!"
"Everyone else lied to me and to the ones they cared for, so why should I trust you!?"
Pete tried to stop Horace. "Look I know things are getting bad but hear me out." He reached to touch Horace's shoulder.
"Don't even touch me!" Horace paid for his drink and left angry and hurt.
Pete drank one more shot and left. Now the thoughts of the kids all alone struck his mind believing that they weren't being cared for. Pete knew it was time to exploit the reason of all of it.
"Where did it all go wrong?" Pete laid in bed in his drunken stupor.
Meanwhile Horace pulled up to the parkway of his house and noticed three little shadows sitting on his porch.
Horace walked closer. "Are you lost?"
Finally one of them answered. "We were locked out."
Horace right away snapped on his feet and turned the porch light revealing Huey, Dewey, and Louie. "Boys?"
All three were shaking in the chilly weather revealing their clothes were tattered and unclean.
"Good grief, what happened?"
"Unca Donald hasn't come home." Huey said.
"We waited for him to come home." Dewey sighed.
"And nothing." Louie started to pout.
Horace looked at all three with guilt, would he be the one to take in all the other children after all this?