Entry Eleven

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HE IS IN THE BEDROOM. HE IS BUT A DOOR AWAY FROM MY PERSON RIGHT NOW.

This is it. This is the moment I have been anticipating and dreading. Oh my stars.

I can hear him calling my name. "Belle? Belle? Where are you?"

I am terrified. I am sick to the core.

I have pushed the the desk against the door. Oh, good grief, the door opens outward. Alright, I will place the diary back on the shelf in case I do not survive this and hope that if something does happen, the diary will be found and whoever is reading this will be able to tell my family what happened.

...

Well, that was... strange.

I am still in a bit of a state of shock, but I shall do my best to recount what just transpired.

The last time I left the diary, I heard the knocking at the bedroom door. I tip-toed into the bedroom, I do not know why, but I felt compelled to be near the door.

"Belle? Are you alright? I'm coming in."

Panic set in immediately, but I was also slow to process this information. He announced his entry, yet I did not move. It was not until I saw the door handle turn did I suddenly leap like a gazelle directly into the study.

I closed the door, between the bedroom and the study, with masterful precision. I pushed the desk in front of the door and began writing in the diary as quickly as possible until I realised that the door opened outward and the desk was not stopping anyone gaining entry.

I looked around for an exit. The window, of course, was up too high. The door in the study that leads to the hall remained well and truly locked.

There was no escape.

I crawled under the desk that was blocking the door and grasped the handle with all the strength I could muster.

Clonk-clonk, he walked with a heavy foot. The odds of me preventing him from turning the handle were not stacked in my favour.

He stopped at the study door and spoke from the bedroom. Everything he said was in French.

"Belle? I'm sorry to have frightened you, I thought it was about time I introduced myself. My name is Geroux."

I did not trust his cordiality. "What do you want?" I demanded.

"I want many things, but right now I wanted to see if you were alright?"

I did not reply. How could I possibly reply to something as confusing as the notion that my captor wishes me to be in good spirits.

"I heard shrieking..."

Oh, I understand, now.

"Yes, thank you. Just got a fright from the doll...er, mannequin."

Why did I thank the man who kidnapped me? My nerves were all over the place.

"Well that is certainly relieving to hear, Belle. The garments are a gift. I thought it was time we met face to face."

My grip tightened on the door handle.

"I suppose you are not up for it right now, so I would like to formally invite you to have dinner with me, tonight."

The man is clearly deranged.

"I assume you aren't busy."

"What if I refuse?" The words just popped out of my mouth.

"You can do whatever you please."

"Then let me go." That was bold, even for me.

"I cannot do that."

"Why?"

"It is not safe."

"I do not believe you."

There was a short silence before he responded.

"You heard the screaming the other night, yes?"

I took a moment to ingest that information. He knew that I knew.

"Yes, what was that?"

"You can ask me some questions tonight. I will explain everything at dinner. Will you come?"

I felt like it would be poor for my safety to refuse him.

"I suppose one cannot simply live on cheese and baguettes."

"Excellent. I bid you adieu and will see you tonight. Oh, and please wear the dress."

I listened, as he left the bedroom, closed the door and walked up the hall.

I held my breath until I could no longer hear his footsteps.

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