It had been a week since Belle had stumbled across the river and she knew staying by it meant a source of water and there was always food around. Her delicate feet padded and left a trail of footprints along the bank.
Then Belle spotted something strange on the floor. She fell down on her bands and knees and studied what she saw. Her hands were shaking and she traced the shape in the ground. She looked at her footprint, and looked to the mark on the floor. The foot was far bigger than hers, but it was a footprint. There was another person somewhere.
Belle crawled along the floor, afraid to shut her eyes or stand up for fear of losing the trail. She pushed her auburn hair out of her eyes as tears began to fall from her eye onto the prints.
She followed the trail, and she was weaving a story of people, of humanity, in her head. She saw something strange in the footprints. They were in a messy bundle, like they were moving in circles. There was a set of circular looking footprints by them,
She looked nervously, and realised that the footprints had gone: been replaced by the circular ones. Belle didn't know what to do. She followed the circular prints anyway, hoping something living would be better than nothing.
Slowly, it dawned on her that she could hear something that was not just the breeze. She could hear something that sounded like drinking.
She looked up slowly, and was face to face with two creatures. They looked like Belle: sort of. One looked slightly taller than Belle, but had darker hair, and a stronger jaw. The other was far taller than both of them, with aged face and grey hair. He was wearing proper clothes, a red jacket and white breeches. The small one was wearing rags, like Belle.
The smaller one turned to Belle, and met her eyes for three seconds. He dropped his gaze and slowly met the man's eyes. The boy was holding onto two other creatures. Belle had never seen anything like them before.
One of them turned to Belle and she saw something in the creatures eyes that was even stranger to Belle than it's exsistance. It was something Belle had never experienced before in her short life, but she was to get her fair share of it in the near future.
What Belle saw was pain.