Chapter 1: A Change of Events
Also, this was inspired by yeet me away (Dawn_Allen)'s fanfiction, https://archiveofourown.org/works/35969767/chapters/89668678#workskin, so check it out as well.
Mirabel felt her heart drop watching her family members all pass her in a frenzy, Isabela said she hated her, her Tía Pepa clearly blamed her, she always caused bad things to happen. Before leaving the dining room she had managed to get the pieces of the vision, and she then rushed to the nursery as quickly as possible. She entered the nursery and practically slammed the door; this startled Casita who manipulated the window to show its concern and worry for her. For the first time, she ignored Casita, grabbed the biggest bag she had, and started to back. Casita realized what she was doing and would try to hide her clothes and nudge her bag to places she wouldn't be able to reach, unfortunately, she still managed to find what she needed and grab her bag before Casita could move it away.
She packed essentials: clothes, any money she had saved, the vision, food, and water she had convinced Casita to, reluctantly, bring to her. She also packed her small sewing/embroidery kit, who knows what will happen on her trip, and her smaller embroidered side bag, after double - even triple-checking her things to make sure she had everything she needed. She threw on the bag; Mirabel knew that things were too much of a frenzy to go out any other way, so she'd have to use her window. Though it was at this moment looking out of her window, which Mirabel paused, behind her Casita used the floor tiles to try to talk her out of leaving. She looked back, staring at the nursery door for a moment, almost hoping someone would come in, stopping her. But after staring for a minute or so, she looked down at the floor tiles that seemed to plead her to not go. It made her feel as though she were leaving a child, so she decided to leave Casita with a bit of an explanation.
"I'm sorry Casita, I have to go... I've only brought trouble and pain to my family; besides you saw the vision, I'm the reason for all this. If I leave, maybe things will be better for everyone, I'm sure they won't even notice anyways, especially not with everything that's going on." Mirabel said gently. Casita seemed to attempt to rebut her argument, moving the tiles slightly angrily. Mirabel sighed softly before reaching into her drawer, pulling out a simple handkerchief. It had only been embroidered with two things, a yellow butterfly and a small M in the corner. "Fine Casita, I'll make a deal with you: I'll leave this handkerchief behind if my family cares enough to try and find me, then I'll come back," Mirabel promised. This somewhat calmed Casita, though it was still upset. "I'll miss you to Casita, thanks for being one of my only friends here." Mirabel then gently slid out the window and managed to get down, thanks once more to Casita, she then began off sure to avoid any seeing eyes. Her biggest problem would be the mountains, though she was sure she'd somehow figure things out. She didn't particularly know where she was heading, but upon spotting a yellow butterfly, she followed it somewhat allured by the sight.
Casita was not pleased in the slightest, one of its favorite family members had just run away and for real this time. Though it also knew that tonight would not be the best time to do anything, it still didn't stop from occasionally being a bit of a nuisance every now and again, however it didn't do it so often that the family seemed to notice anything. Abuela had gone out to talk and comfort the townspeople, Camilo was looking for Mirabel walking around calling for her. Casita was aware of every movement of the family member, it sometimes did its best to distract them, while its favorite continued to travel away. It tried to use a bit of the last of its magic to guide her towards a different town. Casita's magic spread much further than anyone knew, reaching barely past the mountains, with it, Casita tried to always keep in touch with its favorite charge. It could feel her every step, her every breath, her conflicted thoughts which went through a constant loop of questioning her decision to determination. The town it was guiding her towards, was only a bit further past the mountain range, enough so that Casita could still feel her though it had no real power there. And from what Casita could tell, there was a good place that would take Mirabel in, especially for her seaming and embroidery abilities. It was the perfect place for the girl to stay while she found herself and her worth again
For now, Casita settled with letting one person know of her disappearance, tactically moving the handkerchief to the one other person who had run away, Bruno.
Bruno was just sitting in his red chair; he had been slightly nervous after the dinner he had just overheard happen in the room over. Next thing he knew he opened his door to his living room and there on the planks laid a handkerchief with a yellow butterfly on it. At first, he was slightly confused as he picked up the handkerchief, but upon further examination, he saw the M and immediately knew something was up. Why had Casita put this in front of his door?
"Casita? What's up, did something happen to Mirabel?"
Casita gently used the planks he was staring out to try to explain to him, but he didn't have the same affinity for understanding the house as his niece, he did get a general sense.
"She... ran away?" Bruno asked to make sure he had understood the house correctly, this was strange enough as it is, after all this was his first interaction in a long time.
Casita seemed to give him the positive.
Bruno stared at the embroidered handkerchief, his sobrina's work was beautiful, but he was trying to digest the fact that she had run away. Had things truly gotten so bad for her? Where would she even go? He was very panicked and worried as he weakly sat himself down in his red chair once more, gently caressing the handkerchief to try to calm himself down.
"What are we going to do?" he asked no one in particular. He was hit with the memory of his vision the night his dear niece didn't get her gift; he was sure that everything came down to Mirabel, so he wasn't sure what would happen now that she'd left. Though he honestly was more worried about her well-being, her ability to survive outside the Encanto. "Try to take care of her Casita, we'll figure something out to bring her back." Casita once more gently moved the planks to agree, before seeming to have left him to just think and allow the fact that his niece had run away to really sink in.
Chapter 2: Noticing the Difference
Things were very tense in Casita that night, Abuela came home slightly fuming and when she learned no one had found Mirabel she was, she headed straight to her room and fumed to herself. Julieta and Agustín were both worried hearing that their daughter hadn't been seen since dinner, but both chose to assume that she'd gone to bed early that night. Camilo was also worried; he'd searched every place he'd thought she'd been, every place she'd always hidden when she was younger and upset, there was a reason he was always the one tasked with finding her. Still, he tried to soothe his fears by repeating to himself that he'd see her in the morning tomorrow, and things would be normal again, or so he hoped.
Mirabel was exhausted to say the least, while she often tried to keep herself physically active to help carry things if need be, nothing would prepare her for this. It was like heading up the stairs in her Tío's room. She sat down to take a small break, taking a bit of time to glance back at the town she'd left behind, she'd gotten a little ways up the mountain and from there everything looked so different, yet so familiar. Like this is how she'd always felt in relation to the townspeople, well in particular her family, from here her Casita looked so far away, so out of reach. Yet so beautiful with the setting sun and the changing sky against it, the scene could have been painted and put in a museum. The yellow butterfly landed on itself on her arm, which rather surprised Mirabel, as far as she knew butterflies usually didn't do things like that. She stared at it curiously, the butterfly seemed to flutter in response. And all of the sudden her eyelids felt weighted and heavy, all the exhaustion from the dinner and even getting to where she was had finally seemed to have caught up to her.
She allowed her head to lean against the mountain and allowed herself to be lulled into a much-needed rest, Mirabel shifted around to make herself a bit more comfortable. The butterfly fluttered around her a bit and then landed back on her arm, seeming to want to stay there.
Casia moved the floor tiles in the nursery in concern and relief, the girl had finally allowed herself to get some rest. She deserved and needed to sleep, especially after all that's happened. Casita knew that in the morning things would feel strange for it, there wouldn't be any music because there was no one to dance with, it'd be quiet. Casita focused mainly on the empty nursery, trying to take comfort in the space Mirabel had once filled.
The next morning came and as Casita had predicted it was eerily silent. Dolores was usually one of the main early risers, though she was always second to Mirabel, who basically rose with the sun to set the table and wake everyone one else up, she also usually had a routine with Casita, which also assisted in waking Dolores up. So needless to say, she was surprised to have woken up and it was silent, Dolores checked the time and realized she'd woken up later than usual.
She then silently slipped out of her room and headed to the dining room, expecting to see it set out and ready as usual, but it wasn't the table lay bare and empty. Dolores was confused and then recalled that Mirable had a rough night last night, somewhat due to her, and was probably still asleep after the long night. So, she simply set up the table quickly and woke up the rest of the family, who were also surprised to see Dolores waking them up, though everyone shrugged it off seeing the table made as normal. Regardless they went on their daily morning routine. Julieta was cooking, many members getting a cup of coffee, no one really noticed the absent member of the family. Until it was time to actually sit down at the table, where they realized Mirabel wasn't up yet.
"Is Mirabel not up yet?" Julieta asked herself as she brought the food out to set on the table. But as everyone got their food and sat down, they all were very aware of the empty seat at the table. In the beginning, they diligently waited, it wasn't right to eat without their entire family there, even if they knew it'd be a bit heated after last night. Abuela in particular was prepared for the moment Mirabel walked down the stairs and sit down so that she could lecture the girl. But as time passed by, they realized she wasn't coming down, causing buzzes of concern to infect every member.
"Dolores, could you listen into Mirabel's room to see if she's still asleep?" Abuela requested, her anger had simmered down to a quiet concern. Dolores nodded and immediately focused on her prima's room to listen to, only to get confused and try to listen harder. Everyone was on the edge of their seats waiting to hear that Mirabel was in fact simply sleeping in, but they never got that. Camilo felt slightly panicked now, he'd gone to bed assuming he'd see Mirabel today, and yet here they were no Mirabel in sight and Dolores's reaction wasn't easing any of his concerns.
"Dolores?" she heard her mamá call out to her, but she was zoned out; there wasn't a sound coming from the nursery; Dolores could feel her heart skip a beat and begin to quicken. Okay, so she wasn't there maybe Mirabel had woken up early and got caught up helping in town.
"Dolores!" her mamá called out again.
"Mirabel isn't there." she accidentally blurted out slightly startled by the loud voice her mother used.
"Maybe she's out in town again." Agustín chuckled nervously, they'd apparently both thought the same thing. Dolores shifted her focus from the nursery to the bustling town, trying to listen for one of the sounds she usually associated with her prima, her singing voice or the sound of her beating heart. But everywhere she focused her mind, she heard nothing of her cousin and now the panic was really settling in. Her distress was obvious as the rest of the family stared at her waiting for anything to confirm Mirabel was okay, but seeing her reaction everyone felt a sense of dread.
Dolores felt her breath quicken as a million questions crossed her mind as once, and as the ambiance of the entire town became louder and louder, she put her hands on her ears as her vision began to go in and out of focus. Pepa quickly headed to her daughter's side and gently pulled her daughter's hands off her ears.
"What is it mija? What's wrong?" she asked trying to keep the panic out of her voice, but ultimately failed as a cloud formed over her head. Dolores could only stare into her mother's eyes with a panicked and confused look.
"Dolores?" Camilo tried, worried about his sister but also worried about what she had to say.
"Mamá... I- I can't" Dolores tried as tears rolled down her face, she was trying to keep herself from sobbing. Everyone waited with bated breath as Pepa tried to calm her daughter down.
"You can't what mija? What can't you do?"
"I- I can't hear her mamá, I can't hear her steps, her breathing, her voice, I can't hear her heart mamá...." Dolores explained hurriedly and full of panic, she didn't even seem like she was breathing. Though upon hearing that, no one dared to breathe. "I can't hear Mirabel at all! Why? Why can't I hear her mamá? What does this mean? Why aren't I able to hear her heart mamá?" Dolores straight-up broke down and time seemed to freeze for the entire family.
Pepa, could only blink as her jaw fell open, her cloud thundered. Camilo was so confused and worried, he started to fiddle with his sleeves trying to rack his mind on what he had learned. Antonio was shocked but didn't understand the full extent of what was going on, where was Mirabel? Felix was just as shocked as his wife, his eyebrows scrunched up. Julieta had a horrified look on her face as she felt her strength leave her, she leaned back in her chair for support and Agustín could only put a hand on his wife's shoulder. Isabela felt her heart drop as she froze in shock and Luisa looked like she would pass out any moment. Abula could only lean back and slump into her chair. The air of the room was buzzing with anxiety and confusion, before the chaos actually kicked in. Julieta got up and immediately rushed to the nursery fearful for what she may find, Agustín was the first to follow her, then Camilo and Dolores, then the rest of the family. She bursts open the door and was greeted with an empty room, and she let out a sigh of relief as she fell to the floor. Everyone was also greeted to the sight of the empty room, there was another collective sigh of relief, only to be replaced by confusion as they began to examine the room.
"All her stuff is gone," Camilo noted with terror filling his heart. Julieta noticed something on the floor and picked it up, it was a handkerchief with a yellow butterfly and M embroidered on it, she stared at it before connecting the dots and the realization hit her.
"She's run away."
And the only thing they heard was a single knock of confirmation from Casita.
Chapter 3: The Start of Something New
Mirabel finds a place to stay and a job, her family is panicked and trying to wrap their head around the fact that Mirabel had run away. They actually begin to fight and argue with each other causing a major rift between them.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Mirabel stirred slightly waking herself up, she stretched and felt rejuvenated.
"Time to start again." She got up and continued on her adventure. The butterfly flew around her a bit then flew off, and she couldn't help but smile and follow it. She managed to get down the mountains, though rather clumsily, so she ends up with scrapes and cuts by the time she had reached the bottom. She simply laid flat on her stomach once she had finally reached the bottom and just laid there letting out a groan. She then looked up and noticed the that she was on the outskirts of a different town.
"Woah." She got up and stared at the town in shock, this was it her opportunity for a fresh start. The butterfly fluttered around her seemingly concerned, it reminded her of how Casita would worry over her. "I'm okay mariposa, a little scratched up and tired but I'm okay." The butterfly fluttered slightly happily before leading her towards the town. She headed there, as quickly as she could, she entered the town and was greeted with the busy bustling town. She did her best to follow the butterfly which landed on the sign of a particular shop, she then entered the shop and took a look around. It was clearly a seaming business, Mirabel looked around and admired the different works.
"Can I help you, young lady?" a woman's voice startles her, she turn around to see a woman with her hair in a bun and glasses staring at me pointedly.
"I- I was just admiring your handywork." Mirabel replied quickly.
She raised a questioning eyebrow but looked her up and down, before staring at her skirt.
"My my, where did you get that skirt?"
"I actually embroidered it myself." Mirabel said slightly happily.
"You're quite talented, what is your name?"
"Well Mirabel, my name is María Vargas, as you've already stated I run this small shop and I could always use a hand around here. IF you want a job that is."
Mirabel looked slightly startled by this but decided to take it anyways.
"I do want a job, Ms. Vargas, though I have to ask for a place to stay..."
"That's it? Do not fret, this shop has a backroom that isn't used that much, you may clean it out and stay there. For now, don't worry too much about rent, I do however expect that you work twice as hard in return."
"Of course, thank you so much Ms. Vargas." Mirabel replied with a grateful smile.
"Good, now let me show you to the room"
Mirabel followed Ms. Vargas who led her to the back room, it was rather dusty and was going to take a bit of work.
"I'll let you take it easy for today so you can clean it up a bit." Ms. Vargas stated simply, Mirabel nodded, and she seemed pleased before leaving.
María Vargas was expecting a normal day at her shop today, really, she was. Then in walks this teenage girl, and María immediately knew she was a runaway; the bag she carried, and the scratches told her everything. The girl looked pitiful to say the least, but when she had told María that she had embroidered her own skirt, María immediately knew the heavens had smiled upon her. She'd been looking for a helper, but no one in town really met the requirements, and if they did, they always had a better job aligned for them. She wasn't going to let this opportunity slip up, even if the girl had lied about her skirt, she'd still be able to be a helping hand. María had led the girl to the back room and left her to her own devices there, she was pleased with the meeting, she quickly went back to the front and continued her work.
Casita fluttered to itself, the family had left the nursery, step one had been completed. Casita could feel the tension, as the family all sat in the main area, it kept itself from shivering feeling more cracks spreading. It could feel its magic fading, it was so worried, how would it keep tabs on Mirabel? With the tension coming from the family, it wasn't going to end well, Casita could only hope that it's making the right choice. That the family will be able to pull through no matter what, that they'll bring her back.
The tension in the room was palpable: Pepa had a cloud hanging over her head and it was snowing, Isabela was fiddling with her dress, Luisa was sitting with her legs close to her cheek, and her farms leaning on her arm, Dolores was biting on her nails.
Isabela's mind was racing, sure she'd been angry at Mirabel for ruining her perfect night, but she hadn't wanted this. Mirabel and her may have a rough relationship, and sure she'd never liked how Mirabel would always manage to mess up her moments of being perfect for Abuela, she'd never wanted her sister to run away. It probably didn't help that Isabela had told Mirabel that she hated her, she should have known better honestly, Mirabel had always been sensitive to how they saw her.... Isabela could only see that she was very much to blame for her sister's disappearance.
Pepa shivered, unsure how to feel, a part of her wanted to blame her niece she was in the vision and then the house began to show cracks. Yet she knew it wasn't right, the girl had always try her best to do what was right for the family, there had even been a few times where Mirabel helped her. She did feel guilt and worry for her niece though, the girl was who knows where and they didn't even know if she was okay!
Julieta was stressed to say the least, her daughter had run away, she had no idea of how to even find her. The only thing she had to go on was a handkerchief that was left behind.
"Mirabel, mija, where are you?" she mumbled.
Soon both Felix and Agustín came back through the front door, and everyone got up and headed over to them.
"Well?" Julieta asked.
Agustín simply shook his head at his wife.
"No one has seen her."
Everyone looked disappointed and headed back to their original spot. Antonio watched from afar, he then rushed to his room calling a meeting for his birds.
"Alright, my favorite prima ran away. I want you all to do the best that you can to find her." Antonio said simply, he pulls out a paper with a crayon-drawn version of Mirabel. "Here's what she looks like, now go and try not to attract too much attention." The birds all chirped in response and flew away, and Antonio could only watch them in anticipation.
Mirabel sighed wiping her forehead a bit, she'd finally finished cleaning the back room. Ms. Vargas had come and dropped off a thick blanket and a pillow for her, she had lucked out finding a bed in the corner of the room behind some boxes. She poked and pressed down on the bed to make sure it was stable before putting my blanket and pillow on it. She moved my bag to the bedside and laid down to stare at the ceiling it felt like she was in the nursery all over again, the room was plain and ordinary.
*No, * Mirabel thought sitting up again, *It's going to be different this time, I'll save up my money and make this room my own. * Mirabel then got up and headed back to the front of the shop to see if Ms. Vargas needed any help with anything.
Casita shivered slightly; it wasn't quite sure how it happened or what started it, but the family in the main area had all begun to argue. It could feel the cracks spreading further and further. It could feel itself breaking, the shouts echoed through the house.
"You can't blame everything on her, mamá!" Julieta exclaimed.
"She was in the vision for a reason, we all saw the vision! Then it just so happens that the cracks start spreading afterward? We should be glad she ran away!" Abuela replied simply.
"She's always tried to do what was best for the family! She always tried to please us, to please you, but it was never enough!" Julieta tried to reason.
"She always managed to mess things up!"
"Mirabel just wanted to be loved, she did everything for us!"
"Mirabel is the root cause of all our problems: the cracks started with her; Bruno left because of her; all of this is happening because of her!"
"Mamá, why can't you just see her? You've always been so hard on her, while she's doing her part despite the fact that she doesn't have a gift? She didn't do anything wrong, all she wanted was for her family to acknowledge her! Is that so much for her to ask?!"
"She was a nuisance to the family!"
Everyone gasped at that while Abuela was breathing heavily, Julieta could only stare at her mamá in shock and hurt. Then a giant crack broke through the middle of the house, as what Abuela said really sunk in for her.
"Mija..." Abuela said before the house started to crumble. Agustín came over to his wife's side.
"We have to get out," he said gently, leading her out of the house. Both Isabela and Luisa quickly followed after their parents, glancing at Abuela before she left. Dolores and Camilo followed behind their cousins, their father leaving behind them carrying Antonio. Lastly, Pepa walked past her mamá as well.
"I can't believe you said that mamá, this is probably why Mirabel left in the first place... because we never gave her the love she needed." Pepa said softly before leaving.
Abuela stood there for a bit realizing how much she had changed; Casita used the floor to push her out of the house. The family could only watch as their Casita crashed down into nothing but a pile of rubble.
Bruno had also managed to get out, he had heard the conversation between his sister and his mamá, it made him fume. Though also watching the house crumble down he knew this would have a major effect on his mamá, he didn't excuse her for saying that about his sobrina. He got himself up and knew what he had to do; he didn't care about his fear of being seen by his mamá anymore, he had to set a few things straight with his family.
While Mirabel was placing different rolls of thread in the storage closet, she paused and felt a strange feeling wash over her. She turned to look out the store window, she saw the butterfly flutter sadly before flying out of sight.
"What happened?" She muttered to herself.
"Mirabel, are you finished with that yet?" Ms. Vargas called.
"Yes!" Mirabel quickly finished her task and headed back to where Ms. Vargas was.
Don't worry we're gonna talk things out with Abuela eventually, and while it won't fix everything it'll be a start.
Chapter 4: Apologies Don't Fix Broken Hearts
Bruno confronts Abuela about what she said, and they talk things out. Julieta isn't in a position to forgive her mamá yet, Antonio had a clue to where his cousin was. Meanwhile, Mirabel earned the respect of Ms. Vargas and the two form a stronger bond.
Bruno headed over to where is family was, he slightly hesitated seeing them in person for the first time in years, but he remembered why he was doing this.
"Mamá." He said walking over to his mother.
"Brunito?" Abuela asked shocked to see her son again.
"How could you say things like that about Mirabel? After all that she's done for this family!" He began to rant and in response, Abuela looked regretful. "I chose to leave, you have no right to pin my decision on Mirabel, she did everything for your approval and never actually did anything that hurt anyone. What does she get in return? She gets pushed to the side, feeling less than the rest of the family because she never got a gift. She doesn't deserve that mamá, she deserved love and care despite that, she worked so hard to be useful despite how she was giftless."
"I-I know..." Abuela admitted, and she turns to Julieta. "Mija, I'm sorry about what I said, I didn't mean it."
"Mamá, no amount of apologies can take back what you said..." Julieta said simply, and Abuela hung her head in shame. "Besides, it's not me you need to apologize to, it's Mirabel." Then she turned to Bruno.
"Bruno, where have you been all this time?"
Bruno gulped slightly, his anger dissipating to nervousness, he guessed it was about time for them to know the truth.
Antonio watched the scene with a tad bit of happiness, he wasn't happy that his Abuela had said such mean things about Mirabel, but he was happy now that she admits to being wrong. Tony, the toucan had actually flown back to him earlier, stating while he himself did not see the girl he'd met a yellow butterfly that had. Tony said the butterfly couldn't tell us exactly where she was, it could however tell us one thing for sure she was no longer in the mountain range. He was rather upset that he could no longer use his gift, he wished that Mirabel was there, she'd be able to cheer him up.
Camilo felt so lost so alone, he could see his sister and his cousins felt the same, what were they without their gifts? He longed to see Mirabel again, it'd only been a few hours since he saw her but he felt as if it had been forever. He knew if she was there, she'd try to fix things, if she was there this would all be better. He hoped she was doing okay, that they could find her soon. He was shocked to see his Tío who had disappeared when he was five suddenly showed up. Even more so to learn that he'd been living in their walls this entire time.
It was the end of the day and Ms. Vargas was closing the shop, Mirabel rushed around doing the last few tasks of the day.
"Good work today, Mirabel, you're a very hard worker."
"Thank you, Ms. Vargas" she replied with a smile.
"Now, let's see you're stitching work." Ms. Vargas handed her a small piece of cloth and some rolls of stranded cotton. "Make whatever you please."
Ms. Vargas then went over to her sewing machine and continued to work on a commission one of the customers had asked for. Mirabel stared at the cloth for a bit, she stood up and quickly went to grab her kit from her bag before coming back to work. She wasn't sure what to make, she settled on stitching a simple house, trying to recreate what Casita looked like. The two kept working like this, Ms. Vargas actually left at some point and came back with food for the two of them, to which they paused their works.
"So... why'd you run away?" Ms. Vargas asked.
Mirabel paused and looked at the woman in surprise.
"How did you know-"
"Please, everything about you told me that you were a runaway."
Mirabel gave an awkward laugh at that, she supposed it would be obvious.
"So, you wanna share your story? Or is it to fresh?" Ms. Vargas asked once more.
"It's a bit too fresh..." She replied softly.
Ms. Vargas noticed and immediately shifted topics.
"What are you stitching?"
"It's a house... a very special house," Mirabel replied picking up the cloth, looking at it softly.
Ms. Vargas could tell from the look on the girl's face that this was probably her home, though the woman couldn't help but wonder what had caused the girl to leave if she loved it so? Though looking at her stitching, it was very impressive and matched the stitching on her skirt. Impressive.
"It looks lovely." She said simply, studying the cloth with an unfinished house.
"Thank you, Ms. Vargas" Mirabel responded as Ms. Vargas handed the cloth back.
"Please call me Tía." Mirabel looked stunned by this.
"Okay Tía Vargas"
The two quickly finished their dinner and continued working.
Chapter 5: Fixing What's Broken, One Step At A Time
The Madrigal family starts to rebuild their house, with the townspeople's help, but for some reason, the doorknob on the front door doesn't look right. Mirabel actually is sent on a task in tow and gains many people who like her.
Sorry, this came so late I started school again. I'll do my best to update every weekend if I can.
The family had talked things out, not everything was fixed, there was still so much more for each of them to unravel. But for now, it would be enough. They all got the help of the town and started rebuilding their house together, there was no magic restored it was just a normal house, but the family still couldn't help but like the house. Though the doorknob on the front door didn't look right, not to the townspeople and not to the family, they weren't quite sure what it was about the doorknob, it just didn't look right. It worked well and was a good regular doorknob, but it irked all those who went to touch it, especially the family members, each one seemed hesitant to touch it as if it wasn't the door to their house.
Still, they continued to go about their daily business despite the fact that they no longer really had their gifts, they still did what they could for the community. They weren't able to do as much but they still helped out where they could.
Abuela continued as the leader of the family, though she started to notice when her grandchildren would grow tired or stressed without their gifts to mask it. She tried to make sure they go the proper rest and adjusted herself accordingly.
Julieta still took to cooking and while it couldn't heal anyone physically, many still came to eat her food because it just heals them emotionally and motivates them. Her cooking was always exceptionally good and many recruits from restaurants would try to convince her to work for them.
Luisa built up her strength once more, not anywhere near the level she was at with her gift, but she was far above average. She'd lift her weights and go for a jog around the town every morning after breakfast before doing her daily tasks. She seemed to rather enjoy running, it always made her feel better.
Isabela took to gardening and actually was really good at it, she mostly grew roses though, every kind there was. She'd still manage to grow them a little faster than normal and they were always the most beautiful, and the task itself seemed to actually relieve her stress and make her enjoy roses again. She also planted other flowers of course, but her roses were the most popular.
She actually ended up admitting to the fact that she never wanted to marry Mariano, to which both her parents hugged her understandingly and Abuela thanked her for being honest. Dolores actually also chirped in mentioning that she was interested in him, and Abuela was able to pull a few strings and the two started to date.
Dolores was somewhat glad to have her gift gone, somewhat reveling in the silence that sometimes surrounded her, though it was strange sometimes to not be able to hear everything. She still heard a few things better than her family, but it wasn't so loud for her anymore.
Camilo still found a way to make others laugh and found that even without his gift he was rather good at entertaining the children around town. He found himself getting immersed in theater and acting, something about it just fit with his personality.
Pepa still very mildly affected the weather, it was never as drastic, her main emotion for the day still affected the weather. She actually enjoyed not having to control how she felt too much, she didn’t have to keep herself calm and happy.
Antonio wasn't as affected by the loss of his gift, though he was upset about it, he'd still occasionally be seen talking to animals that he found near him. There were sometimes signs showing that the animal understood him, but he could never truly understand them.
Bruno would have dreams and sometimes the dreams would come true, it seemed like his strange gift would never leave him. This didn't affect his sleep schedule too much, as he'd always been a bit of an insomniac, the dreams which came true varied in importance, and he was never sure which one was real and which were just his mind. He always wakes himself up after a dream and knocks on wood, tossing salt over his shoulder and simply trying to clear his mind. He would always go to have some of his sisters cooking, leftovers or fresh, he'd try to carefully calm himself down before attempting to sleep again.
It took a long time for each member to adjust to their giftless life, but somehow they all rather enjoyed it. Each member varied in the time it took to adjust and actually like their new role, but overall it was about three months before the dust officially settled down. During that time each member actually used their tasks to try to find any clues or information on the disappearance of Mirabel, they would all report at dinner if they found anything worthwhile, which they rarely did.
Mirabel was sweeping around the shop as Tía Vargas prepared for the opening of the shop, her new morning routine. The two had gotten a lot closer as the timed passed, Mirabel had gone from a simple helper to someone who actually worked at the shop; seaming certain items and greeting customers. She usually held down the shop whenever Tía Vargas needed to go buy more necessities or food or even to run an errand.
Mirabel got to wiping the windows lightly as she watched the people start to walk around and go about their lives.
“Mija, come here!” Tía Vargas called. Mirabel snapped out of her daze and immediately put the rag down.
“Coming, Tía!” She rushed to her Tía, who looked at her happily.
“Mija, I think it’s about time you get out into town, you’ve been here for so long yet never left the shop! Here.” Tía Vargas handed her three different boxes. “The one on top goes to Mr. Romas in the shop across the street, the one in the middle goes to Ms. Bosquez she lives in the house down the street you’ll know it when you see it due to the door it’s vastly different from the other houses, the last one is for Mr. Calvo he lives the furthest away so it’ll be easy for you to know that it’s his, leaving from Ms. Bosquez’s house, just turn yourself around and walk in a straight line.”
Mirabel racked her brain trying to absorb all the information before Tía Vargas had gently pushed her out of the shop. She looked down at all of the box before heading to each place, deciding to head to Ms. Bosquez’s house, it was the absolute middle of the other two and was a good point to start at to go either way. She walked down the street and eventually reached the section where houses had begun, from there she tried to find the door that was different from the rest and sure enough she found it. Mirabel knocked on the door and swayed back and forth waiting for a response from Ms. Bosquez.
The door opened and a woman smiled at me quizzically.
“Ms. Bosquez?” she asked gently?
“Ah, yes!” Ms. Bosquez’s eyes shined in recognition. “You must be Mirabel, Ms. Vargas told me so much about you when I first saw you working!” The woman smiled warmly at her, and Mirabel returned the smile.
“I brought your commission for you.” Mirabel said as she gently pulled out the middle box and handed it to her.
“Thank you so much dear.” Ms. Bosquez replied, taking the box from Mirabel’s grasp. “Would you like some snacks before you go?”
“No thank you ma’am.” Mirabel replied with a smile. Ms. Bosquez returned a kind smile.
Mirabel then left and turned herself around and walked once more. She journeyed through so much of town. She eventually found herself far away from the town and as she continued forward she also saw in the distance a house. Mirabel knocks on the door of the house and an older man opened the door.
“Mr. Calvo?” she asked the man and he studied her for a bit before simply grumbling towards her.
“What can I do for you?”
“I have your commission for you.”
He looked surprised but held out his hand for it. Mirabel then got his box and handed it to him.
“Thank you.” he said, and for a second the two simply continued in silence.
“Well, that was all, I’ll be going now. Have a good rest of your day Mr. Calvo.” Mirabel said, and he nodded before quickly slamming the door on her.
“Okay…” Mirabel shrugged off the interaction and started to head back the way she came.
Mr. Calvo had started to pace, why had he done that? Now the poor girl was going to think he didn’t like her. He reevaluated his actions and only after the interaction had ended did his mind actually rack up better ways, he could have dealt with it. He could have smiled, or he could have been more friendly. Mr. Calvo tightened his grip on the box, fidgeting with it, he sat himself into a chair and finally landed on a conclusion. If, when, he saw the girl again he would apologize for his behavior.
This eased up the man a bit and he relaxed into the chair. That was until the scenario that she didn’t accept his apology popped up in his mind, which started the whole process once more.
Mirabel had made it back to Ms. Bosquez’s house and started back to the shop. The townspeople here were kind, and many who passed her all smiled at her and even waved at times. She felt happy every time it happened, the townspeople in the Encanto were also nice but she always saw people whispering and knew they were talking about her. It was always about the fact that she didn’t have a gift, but here she didn’t have any of that. Here she never felt as if people pitied her whenever they saw her, here they saw her for who she was, and it was a new feeling. It was so warm and welcoming, she enjoyed it, truth be told Mirabel had been afraid to walk the streets, fear for that feeling of disappointment or judgment being pointed at her as she walked past.
She reached the front of the shop and turned to see the last stop for the day, Mr. Romas’s shop. Mirabel headed towards it and upon closer inspection it appeared to be a bakery. She entered the shop with a bell ringing to announce her entrance, and a boy and a man look up immediately.
“Welcome to Colombia Confections, what can we do for you today?” The man greeted cheerily.
“I’m here to give a commission to Mr. Romas.” Mirabel replied simply.
“Ah, I see thank you so much-” he paused asking for her name.
“Oh! You’re the help María talks so much about!” Mr. Romas smiled warmly at her. She smiled back at him in response. He walked around the counter and took the box from me.
“Would you like anything before you go?”
“Oh, no thank you. Maybe next time!” Mirabel replied simply. She did glance back at the boy who slightly glared at her before getting back to work. “I’ll be going now, have a good rest of your day Mr. Romas.”
“You too, Mirabel.” With that Mirabel left the bakery and headed back to Tía Vargas’s shop, ‘Elegant Embellishments’.
“You’re back mija?” Tía Vargas immediately greeted the girl as soon as she entered.
“Yes Tía, all the commissions were delivered.”
“Thank you so much for doing that, mija.”
“Of course, Tía.” Mirabel replied, starting to do her daily tasks again, starting by grabbing the broom to clean a bit.
“It wasn’t that bad was it?”
“What do you mean?”
Tía Vargas’s gaze softened looking at her.
“You were nervous about going out into town weren’t you?”
Mirabel fiddled slightly with the broom and shyly nodded.
“Oh, mija. I may not know why you feel that way, but the people here are wonderful and nice. And if you get made fun of, just come to me and Tía will have a very serious ‘talk’ with them.” Tía said very strongly.
Mirabel smiled as the woman hugged her tightly, she nodded into her chest.
“Good, now let’s get back to work.”
Chapter 6: To Have A Home
The townspeople in the Encanto have noticed the difference in the Madrigal family since Mirabel disappeared, they're all trying to rationalize it, as well as the reason the girl left. Meanwhile, Mirabel had caused Tia Vargas's shop to be more popular, the townspeople all are obvious with how much they like the girl.
The townspeople saw how the Madrigal family had changed, though the family no longer had gifts they still did their best to help the town. They were actually quite thankful for that, though the family was more reclused than before, many noticed how one member had always been missing from the equation. Mirabel. No one was sure what had happened, all they knew was that she had vanished the day after the attempted proposal. That's when the whispers had started, word of a vision, Mirabel being in it, the magic fading. Then the Casita crumbled, which in of itself was a surprise, but then the other missing Madrigal had shown up: Bruno. This stirred a bit of controversy in the townspeople, they were slightly glad the Madrigals lost their gifts, while he didn't exactly cause the visions to happen but still most of his visions were negative.
Some also saw how the family would still try to find clues, many were also worried about the girl. Though she had no gift she was always running around town doing whatever she could to help, she was a joy to have. A ray of sunshine that seemed to fly around like a golden butterfly. There was a group of people who secretly searched every inch of the Encanto for anything to tell the family. The children especially, though they always seemed to try to pass it off as them just playing around. Everyone seemed to want to get the girl back, even if they acted as if they weren't trying to find her. No one was quite sure what made the girl leave, though they understood that it definitely was a result of the mistreatment she'd received for years.
"Where could she have gone?" Cecila asked her two friends, they'd once more run around town to see if they could find anything but found nothing.
"Do you think they know anything? Or have found anything?" Alejandra tried.
"I don't think so, they would have said or done something if they did." Pumped Juancho replied sadly. He hadn't touched a cup of coffee since this all transpired, which shocked his friends and most of the adults who knew him.
Antonio stared at his crayon drawing of a map of the town quizzically. He'd gotten the help of the other kids to try to go around, though no one has actually tried to explore outside the Encanto. This was troubling, he had hoped that Tony had been wrong, but all the evidence had pointed to her not being in the Encanto anymore. Antonio got another pile of paper and his crayons out, he once ore started to compile everything he knew, which wasn't a lot. He took the papers and put it with all his other papers.
"Hmm..." He looked over all his other papers, truly there was nothing that 1) the family didn't know and 2) was even useful to them.
Antonio frowned and sighed, where could his favorite prima have gone? He got up and went to go look out the window longingly.
*I wish I could find where she is, I just want to see her again...* he thought sadly.
Then a yellow butterfly flew in front of him, causing him to perk up a bit.
"A butterfly?" he mumbled as it continued to fly around in front of him. He quickly stood up and rushed out of his room, he then snuck out to the best of his ability.
"Antonio?" Dolores asked staring at him with a questioning gaze.
"Where are you going?"
"I just remembered I promised Cecila that I'd hang out with her and the rest of them today!" Antonio replied innocently.
Dolores blinked several times at this information and gave a small hum.
"Well, make sure to be home before dinner."
"I will!" Antonio replied once more and left quickly. Once outside he rushed around frantically looking for the butterfly, he wasn't quite sure, but he had a feeling that was the same butterfly that Tony mentioned.
Then he saw it and it flew away only once he'd seen it again, he followed it as it led him away from the house.
Further and further away from the Encanto towards the mountain range, which was still broken. This is where Antonio paused, staring up at the mountain range, he couldn't risk getting hurt, though he could just lie about it. The butterfly seemed to float around quizzically, and Antonio started his way up the mountain. Upon reaching the lowest dip of the mountain, Antonio stared at the land beyond, he searched for signs of anything. He was upset when he couldn't see anything of value, he looked back at the sun and was surprised to see it was about to set.
"Later. Show me where she is later."
The butterfly fluttered a bit, seemingly in disagreement.
"Please." He pleaded.
The butterfly paused a bit, before moving in what he could only assume was agreement. It then flew off disappearing into the sky, Antonio rushed himself home.
Mirabel was surprised to say the least, she'd woken up at the normal time and had changed ready to start the day. But upon reaching the shop area it was packed, so many people looking around and discussing what to buy.
*Did I wake up late?* She couldn't help but think watching her Tía rush around helping customers. Yet watching all the smiling faces, how happy everyone looked even Tía looked rather pleased with the crowded shop. The scene before her shone with a bright light that reminded her of the picture of her family as they did their thing. She found herself with that familiar feeling as she formed a soft sad smile, she felt as if she were back in the shadows of her family, back to being the only Madrigal with no gift.
"Mija!" her Tía's voice brought her back to reality.
"It's good that you're awake now, come I need some help."
Her Tía dragged her forward and Mirabel followed with a soft giggle
Soon she was too busy helping the customers who all talked and laughed happily with her, the feeling had vanished and was replaced with a bubbly warm joy. She wasn't in the shadows anymore, not here. She too ran back and forth helping each customer and her Tía, most of them were women who cooed and gushed around her.
"Ay, María, wherever did you find such a cute helper?" one of the women cooed hugging the girl.
"She happened upon my shop one day," Tía responded simply.
"María, would you mind if I came by in a few days and steal Mirabel for a bit." another woman asked pinching her cheek.
"Don't even think about it Raquel, last time I let you borrow something I didn't see it again until three months later." She responded again, yet there was no real bite to her words.
The men that were there also took to complimenting her and her works.
"If you ever want to start your own business, feel free to contact me." one said giving her a business card. "Until then, I guess I'll settle with backing up this shop."
"Thank you, sir." Mirabel said.
"Nonsense, I'd be a fool to not invest in such fine handiwork."
"He's right, your skills are practically second to none." another man agreed.
The day continued on like this, and Tía had to close the shop early due to almost being sold out.
"Tía, one of the men said they'd back up your shop!" Mirabel excitedly told the woman, who immediately tackle hugged her.
"Oh, mija, this is great! I'll be able to expand the shop, and you'll get your own room! We must celebrate tonight! Oh!" her Tía cheered, squeezing the girl tightly.
"Here!" The woman said letting go of the girl and handing her a pouch of pesos. "You deserve it! Go buy whatever you want from the bakery, I'll go get our food and some drinks!"
Mirabel stared at the pouch quite happily, both Tía and her left at the same time and went their separate ways. The bell jingled as she entered the bakery once more.
"Ah, Mirabel! Welcome back!" Mr. Romas greeted with a grin.
"Hola, Mr. Romas!" She greeted with a smile.
"What can I get for you today?"
Mirabel browsed the different treats for a bit.
"I'll take Torta envinada for Tía, then Pastel de gloria, Merengón de Fresas and Torta Negra." The girl replied.
"Are the two of you having a party?" Mr. Romas asked as he started to prepare what she had asked for.
"Yeah, some man said he'd back up the store, gave me a business card and everything." Mirabel pulled the card out of her pocket to actually look at it. "Says here his name is Felipe Marin."
"That's amazing Mirabel!" Mr. Romas immediately exclaimed.
“Mr. Marin is a very influential and wealthy person in this town. I was always worried that one day I would look across the street and see that her shop is shut down.”
Mirabel smiled lightly at that she put the card back in her pocket and then opened her pouch of pesos.
“How much is that going to cost?” she asked ready to count out the money needed.
“No need Mirabel, today it’s on the house! Think of it as congratulations from yours truly.”
“Gracias, Mr. Romas.” She replied with a grateful smile, she then went over to one of the tables available and sat down. She looked out the window and watched the people as they passed by, she perked up seeing a butterfly fly by. It wasn’t a golden one, rather it was pure white, it seemed to float a bit before landing on the window on a spot in front of her.
“Mariposa?” She sat up curiously, this wasn’t the same golden butterfly that led her here, but it had a similar air to it. Something almost hypnotic about it.
“Mr. Romas, I’ll be back in a bit to get my order.” She said standing up, ready to leave.
“Oh, ok-” But before he could get the words out of his mouth, she was already out the door. She looked around to see the butterfly had floated off the window and it flew past her, she followed it confused. It brought her to the edge of the town, where she had a clear view of the mountains once more.
She saw the small cracks engraved in the mountains, and the butterfly flew up and the golden light of the sun caused its wings to glow. A strange bittersweet feeling washed over her, she stared up at the butterfly, even past it at the mountains which separated her from her past. She sighed and turned back to head back to the bakery again.
He wasn't quite sure how he felt about the girl. She was strange to say the least, and he didn't trust her one bit. The girl had shown up out of nowhere one day and everyone just acted like that was normal and accepted her.
He on the other hand didn't trust her in the slightest, after all no one ever came to their town. Who was she? Why was she here? All these questions circled his mind as he continued to work on her order. She had abruptly left and has yet to return. She seemed nice, and she had helped Ms. Vargas who he was fond of, but still he didn't want to fully trust her. She reminded him too much of her, that smile, it was all too familiar.
Then the bell rung again as the door swung again.
"Welcome back, Mirabel." Mr. Romas greeted her once more.
She nodded at him and went back to her seat and stared out the window. After a few minutes of being zoned out, she noticed the boy behind her was now next to her.
"Oh, yeah, that's me." She replied immediately. He handed her a bag with her order.
"Mr. Romas is finishing up the last of it now."
"Alright, thanks for letting me know." She said with a smile taking the bag and setting it down on the table. Mirabel had expected that to be the end of their conversation, but the boy simply stood there.
"Is there anything else?"
"You're new here, aren't you?"
"Well, yes. Technically, but I've been here for a while now so..." Mirabel trailed off, she wasn't surprised that he asked, after all she had been reluctant to go out into town up until recently. Still, he stood there simply staring at her with a cold gaze. She tried to ignore him, thinking he would go away, but after some a few minutes she realized he wasn't moving.
"Is there something you want to say to me?"
"Listen, 'Mirabel', I don't know why you came here, but I don't trust you one bit." He hissed at her. She responded by blinking multiple times in confusion. "But whatever it is you plan on doing, you better not hurt any-"
"Daniel Velaso Romas!" Mr. Romas belted. They both turn to see Mr. Romas seething and his anger was directed at the boy. "Get back behind the counter, now."
Daniel huffed, glared at her then went back behind the counter.
"I am so sorry about him." Mr. Romas apologized turning to her as he gently handed her the last box. She gracefully took it from him. "He uh... he's got some trust issues, doesn't exactly like strangers."
"It's alright Mr. Romas, you don't have to apologize, I understand." Mirabel quickly stated, she felt awkward no one had ever apologized to her before.
"Still, you didn't deserve that Mirabel." This caused her to freeze up a bit, she had to be wary of her breathing her eyes threatening to water up. "Here."
He handed her a small bag with a small seemingly chocolate treat. "Think of it as an apology gift."
"Thank you, Mr. Romas." She said with a heartfelt smile as she stared at the treat. "Have a nice day Mr. Romas." She waved goodbye as she left and headed back to her Tía's shop.
She walked herself into the shop and placed the food down, she looked at the small treat bag and took it with her as she brought it back to her room. She stared at the treat in her hand and placed herself on her bed, a warm feeling bubbled up as she remembered what he said.
* "Still, you didn't deserve that Mirabel." *
The way Daniel had treated her was nothing she wasn't used to but hearing those words she realized how much she had longed to hear them. She teared up as she clutched the treat close to her heart. The words repeating themselves in her mind, they were so warm and lovely.
“Mija!! I’m back~!” her Tía called from the main section of the shop.
“Coming!” She called, wiping her tears away and putting the baggie down on her table stand. She entered the portion and sat down at the table as normal, her Tía quickly unpackaged the food she bought.
The two ate and talked into the night, laughing and just enjoying each other’s company.
“Ay dios mija, I really must thank you. You’re the reason for this.” her Tía said gratefully.
“I didn’t do anything, Tía.” Mirabel replied bashfully.
“No need to be so humble, Mirabel, you’re so special.” This caused Mirabel to pause and give her Tía a shocked look.
“You think I’m special?” she mumbled, but her Tía heard.
“Of course, mija. I mean you saw how the people reacted to your works? I mean look at this.” Her Tía pulled one of her works which was an embroidered shawl which was decorated with different shades of yellow, Mirabel had been inspired by her aunt’s side of the family. She had also made a similar one with different shades of blue and purple. She even made one inspired by her Tío, with different shades of green but mainly lime green, despite never meeting him since she was five. “You are so gifted, mija, I’m glad I grabbed you when I did.”
They both laughed at this though the word gifted caused Mirabel’s laugh to be a bit more awkward. “But seriously, you are amazing Mirabel, and anyone who can’t see that doesn’t deserve you.” She said, one of her hands cupping the side of Mirabel's cheek.
Mirabel sunk her cheek further into Tía's hand, her eyes watering up.
“Thank you, Tía”
“Any time, mija.”
If Mirabel spent the rest of the night crying into her Tía’s shoulder, well that’s just for the two of them to know.
Chapter 7: Million to One
Mirabel decides it's time for a wardrobe change, she'd been wearing her outfit for a while now and after the talk, she had last night with her Tía she's decided to live in the moment with her new family member and leave her past behind. Daniel still shows himself to be a bit of a douchebag and is rather mean to Mirabel. Antonio reviews over his compiled booklet of information adding in what had happened the day before, the boy decides to talk to his estranged Tío to see if he knows anything.
More Mirabel focused to lay the foundation for the future.
Edit: I got so distracted I forgot my boy Antonio, fixed it though.
Mirabel had been gently herded back to her room with her Tía saying that tomorrow was their day off. She was exhausted, but very inspired by the conversation, and thus began her new project: her outfit. She had already been there for five months; it was starting to feel like home for her and it was about time to let her past go. She was starting over, starting fresh here, there was no need to wear the same outfit anymore; she wasn't trying to chase for her old family's affections or attention so what was the point? She got her cloth and yarn and string, she sat before her sewing machine and got started.
Mirabel knew better than to expect that her work would be finished quickly, not this one, no this one was going to be based on the people of the town. She continued to work into the night trying to plan everything out, color associating everyone.
Okay so things hadn't gone as planned, she had planned to stay up all night working on her outfit, but at some point, she seemed to have knocked herself out from emotional exhaustion. She only knows this because she woke up surrounded by cloth, string and papers with her ideas scrawled all over. Mirabel slightly confused at first before she simply cleaned up her desk a bit, making it look neater, she then stretched and left her room.
"Good morning, mija!" her Tía greeted warmly seeing the girl leaving the room.
"Good morning, Tía," Mirabel replied with a similar smile.
"Why don't you go out into town today? Go have some fun, there's a bookstore nearby if you want to visit it. If not, you can just explore, you need to get out more mija."
"I will Tía." She replied with a bit of a laugh. "But what will you be doing today?"
"I'll be going to Ms. Bosquez’s house, she invited me and a few other women to chat and drink some tea and coffee," Tía said rather happily. Mirabel smiled seeing her Tía so happy. "So, you just go and enjoy yourself, and then whenever you're done you can come there and we'll both head home."
"I understand Tía." Mirabel said simply to her Tía. "I'll be going now."
"Oh, here mija." her Tía said handing her a brown paper bag. "I packed some leftovers for you in case you get hungry after last night, and there's a bit of extra change in there in case you need any more money."
"Thank you, Tía!" Mirabel exclaimed happily hugging her Tía. The woman couldn't help but smile and hug the girl back.
Mirabel then took the brown paper bag and waved goodbye to her Tía who was locking up the shop. She immediately took to trying to find the library her aunt had mentioned, she was very interested to see what books were there. While on the way to the bookshop she looked around at the different places, there was a nursery nearby near a church and what appeared to be an orphanage next to it, Mirabel made sure to make note of it; she wanted to visit there at some point and see if she could help out with the children a bit.
Mirabel continued to walk, and she finally found the library, it was a little way away from the shop, but it looked delightful. She entered the library and took in the decor; it was a decently sized place and was quite warm and peaceful. The person at the counter saw her and simply nodded in her direction and she returned the gesture, she then took to looking around to see what all was being offered. She eventually found and pulled down a few on embroidery and tapestries, gathering the books and sitting down at a table.
She wasn't quite sure how much timed passed as she flipped every page and occasionally ate a bit of the leftovers her Tía packed for her. It was so inspiring reading the books and learning about the different techniques as well as the history of the two interests. She even had requested some paper from the person at the counter for some paper to take notes, writing down everything she learned. She soon returned the books to their original spots and left with her papers and bag, politely waving at the kind person at the counter who waved back.
Mirabel was feeling good with herself, she'd gotten to relax but also continue to do what she loved. She continued to simply explore town walking around, trying to get a general layout and where everything was. She even got to know more townspeople having polite chats with them, everyone of course cooed and complimented the girl accordingly. Mirabel wasn't used to all of this love and appreciation, but she happily welcomed it with a warm smile which was very contagious to all who saw her.
She had decided to pause and stop by at what she believed to be the orphanage/nursery, she knocked on the door and a woman answered the door.
"Hello, ma'am, is there anything you need help with?" Mirabel asked with a smile. She knew it probably seemed strange, though she had seen this woman pause whenever she passed by the shop.
"You're Mirabel." She mumbled with herself and opened the door gesturing for her to come inside. "I actually do need a bit of help, I'm a bit ashamed to say this but the kid's clothes are a little worse for wear. I managed to save up enough to buy most of the kids a new set of clothes, but some of them still have to wear the old clothes."
Mirabel had already known this, Tía had previously told her about a few known places around town, this was one of them. It was a bit of a ran down orphanage that doubled as a nursery, the owner was a woman who didn't get very much out of it. Tía said that she usually allowed the woman to request clothes either at a lower price or for free, and the clothes usually were small and for the children, many would try to help the orphanage, but they weren't able to always assist the woman. Mirabel felt bad, especially since she often had fun with the kids in the Encanto, she wasn't going to sit by and watch this place for the kids.
The woman introduced herself to be Sonia Bravo, and she was actually very kind but a bit shy. She showed Mirabel the clothes, which were worn out and looked at her in fear almost scared of her reaction. Mirabel kindly smiled at the woman.
"If I could borrow a needle and some thread, I can fix these up."
And so, she got started, working to better the clothes first by fixing any holes she found. Then she worked to make the clothes themselves look more fashionable for the children and did what she could to try to make them more comfortable. The children, who were all around the age 5-8 some older and some younger, all gathered and watched her with interest. They would occasionally play and get a little distracted, but they would all gather back to simply watch her. They would of course ask her all sorts of questions, and she would answer accordingly with a smile. She managed to entertain them as she continued to work on the clothes. Eventually the door opened again and all eyes turned to see who it was.
"Daniel's here!" one of the girls chimed and immediately as Daniel entered and barely got to close the door, all the kids rushed over to him.
"Woah, woah calm down!" he replied with a chuckle, kneeling down and ruffling their hair.
The kids all giggled and chuckled as he did so and he opened a giant brown bag that he was carrying, from which he gave each kid a little baggie with different sweets in them. To which all the kids squealed with glee and thanked him. He glanced up and makes eye contact with Mirabel, and his gaze immediately went cold and cruel.
Mirabel quickly avoided his gaze and returned to simply fixing the shirts. She recalled her notes which had been folded into her brown bag, which had been emptied of her food content and only had a bit of extra money. Mirabel quickly gathered all her items and headed to the only area that had a table, the kitchen area. She quickly pulled out her notes and tried to see if she could create something new, she first started by using the napkins to test out her ability. She took time to study her notes, trying to understand the different methods and how each one looked compared to the other.
*What on earth was she doing here?* was the first thing Daniel thought when he had made eye contact with the girl. He had come to visit the children as usual and bring Ms. Bravo some food, he’d always end up staying a little longer and play with the children; it had become tradition since he met her , he’d continued because he actually grew to like the kids. He had gotten distracted when the kids all clamored and dragged him away to go play with them. But out of the corner of his eye he spotted her slip away into the kitchen. After managing to distract the kids with some coloring pages he had stashed in his bag for when he wanted to escape from the kids for a bit, he then slipped to the kitchen as well.
He came in to see the girl studying some papers, and in an instant he rushed over and took the papers out of her hand, this caused her to look up at him in surprise trying to get the papers back, he knew it, she was hiding something. He tried to keep the papers from her while trying to read it, she was just trying to get them back, it seemed to him whatever she was hiding was serious.
She eventually got a grip on the paper, he ripped it away immediately, tearing the paper with such force it sent her back causing her to hit the table where a pitcher with orange juice tipped and fell all over her outfit. And they both froze for a moment, she immediately fixed the pitcher and made sure all the clothes on the table were dry and safe. He took this time to see what she was so desperately trying to hide and…
Embroidery techniques? That couldn’t be right, but as he glanced over the ripped pages, they all were nothing more than notes on different techniques for embroidery and tapestry as well as a bit of history about them. A feeling of dread filled his stomach as he realized he was mistaken, she took the papers out of his hand, glaring at him with anger and hatred.
“Listen Daniel, I don’t know what your problem is with me, but you don’t have to be such a gilipollas about it.” She hissed at him before storming away from him. He stared at his hand for a bit and then looked to where she had gone.
Mirabel always considered herself a reasonable and rather forgiving person, but there’s one thing that she knew. You NEVER mess with an artist's works, no matter what form it took: drawings, baking, writing, you don’t mess with it. She had felt both a cold feeling from the juice that had spilled on her, but she also felt horrible dread and sadness realizing her outfit had been essentially destroyed. She was grateful she saved the children’s clothes, but she honestly just wanted to go home and cry over her ruined outfit.
She remembered how long it took for her to make every stitch, to make it perfect. Her last connection with her familia was ruined. Now logically she knew that it would probably be able to be washed out, but still it felt as though it wouldn’t be able to be repaired.
Mirabel paused in the corridor which lead back to where the children would be, she didn’t want them to see that she was upset. She did what she knew best, she let out a bit of a breath and put on a smile for them.
“Mirabel!” one of the children exclaimed and she smiled at them as they ran over to her.
“What happened to your outfit?” another child asked.
“I accidentally bumped into the table and spilled some juice on my outfit.” Mirabel replied casually.
“You’re clumsy Mirabel.” the child reiterated after she replied.
“Do you wanna see the finished products or not?”
“Yeah!” the children chorased. Mirabel beamed, and pulled the different shirts from her arms to show to the kids, each one had been embroidered differently, and she worked with what she had so she didn’t think it was the best she could do. But the way the kids lit up seeing the shirts washed away her insecurities.
“Woah!” They all grabbed a different shirt from her and all clammered in excitement with each other gushing and talking about the shirts. She couldn’t help but smile to herself watching them get excited.
“Mirabel, can you do mine as well?!” one of the girls asked. This caused all the other children who had new shirts to ask her as well.
“Alright, alright relax. I’ll make every single one of yours, if you really want me too. But I’ll have to make sure that Ms. Bravo is okay with me coming here more often.”
“I am perfectly fine with it, Mirabel” the woman chimed walking into the room with a kind smile. She walked over and took one of the remaining shirts in Mirabel’s arms and studied it very carefully. “This is fantastic, Mirabel, thank you so much for doing this for me.”
“Of course Ms. Bravo, it’s really no problem.”
“I would love it if you visited more often, the kids seem to like you too.”
Mirabel gently smiled at the woman and nodded happily.
“Oh, what happened to your outfit? Do you need a change of clothes dear?”
“Oh, no it’s fine, I’m going to get my Tía and then head home anyways.” Mirabel replied simply with a smile.
“Oh, Daniel, there you are. I wanted to introduce you to Mirabel, she’s the help I mentioned to you earlier on the phone!”
Daniel froze up at this, she had been the one that Ms. Bravo was talking about? It all made sense, he looked at her to see her smile faltered slightly. He nodded and tried to smile at her, and she returned the gesture, both seemingly knew it was just an act.
“I must be going now Ms. Bravo, I’ll be sure to visit again soon.” the girl said and the woman nodded understandingly.
“Very well, have a good day Mirabel. Children say goodbye.”
“Goodbye Mirabel!” the children chorused. With that the girl slipped away and he couldn’t help but stare at the spot where she once stood for a bit.
*Why didn’t she tell the truth?* he wondered, he had overheard the lie she told the children. *Why had she covered for him? Was she not as bad as he thought she was? Was she actually just a girl trying to make a living and fit it?*
He clenched his fist to snap himself out of it. No. That’s what he had thought about her too, but he had been wrong. Oh, so wrong. He wasn’t going to let his guard down, not after what happened, no matter how bad he felt, no matter how the guilt ate at him, he wouldn’t falter.
Mirabel left and traced her path to Ms. Bosquez’s house, she had stuck her papers back into her paper bag. She arrived at the familiar door, knocking on it Ms. Bosquez opened the door and lit up with a smile seeing her.
“Mirabel! You’re here! Come in darling.” She opens the door wider and gestures for the girl to come in. Mirabel entered the house and sees her Tía and another woman sitting in the living area.
“Mija! There you are-” her Tía greeted her before taking her appearance in. “What happened to your outfit?”
Mirabel fiddled with her skirt and Ms. Bosquez puts a hand on her shoulder to try to support the girl.
“I- may have accidentally spilled some juice on myself?” She replied rather unsure of herself. Her Tía didn’t seem to believe her.
“Mija, if someone did something to you, just tell me.”
“... well, I had gotten into a bit of a physical fight with Daniel because he had taken my notes on embroidery out of my hands and the end product was me accidently bumping into the table and spilled the juice on myself.” Mirabel rambled.
“Daniel? The boy from the bakery?”
Mirabel nodded in confirmation. Ms. Bosquez gently led her to the chair and sat her down and her Tía’s face scrunched up hearing that.
“Natalia, Ana, watch her for a bit.” Tía told both Ms. Bosquez and the other woman then focused her attention on Mirabel. “Mija, don’t worry I’ll iron this whole situation out, he won’t ever do anything like that again.”
“Tía, honestly it’s not that bad.”
“Nonsense Mirabel, he was going to get this talk eventually. If not from me then from his Tío.”
Mirabel was confused by this, what did her Tía mean? Before she got a chance to ask her Tía what she meant, she was already out the door.
“Mirabel, would you like to drink anything? I’ll make it for you.” the woman asked her concerned.
“I’ll just have some tea.” Mirabel replied shlyly. “Thank you ma’am”
“Please call me Ms. Castro.” She said with a kind smile before leaving to where Mirabel assumed was the kitchen.
“I’m so sorry you had to go through that, María was telling us how you embroidered your skirt yourself.” Ms. Bosquez said, attempting to comfort the girl. “Don’t worry dear, Ms. Castro and I know a method to get rid of any stains in clothes.” Mirabel gave her a small smile. “Ay dios, I can’t believe Daniel would do something like this… he’s such a sweet boy. Though it does make some sense, considering what happened back then, still he shouldn’t have taken it out on you.”
“What do you mean Ms. Bosquez??”
“Something happened that hurt the whole town.” Ms. Castro replied, coming back with a cup which she gently handed to Mirabel. “But more specifically, it hurt Daniel, the poor boy has been traumatized since then. He’s never had too many trust problems with anyone in town, but you coming here probably caused him to remember unpleasant things.”
Mirabel blew on the liquid and sipped it. She leaned forward curious to know why Daniel seemed to have such a problem with her, despite them only interacting three times.
The two woman glanced at each other uncomfortably.
“Mirabel, this story is not ours to tell. If you really want to know you’ll have to ask Daniel himself, only he can tell you the full story.” Ms. Bosquez replied.
Mirabel deflated hearing this, there was no way she was asking that guy anything. Not after what he did, and even if she did she doubted that he’d be willing to answer. That conversation ended there, the three sitting in silence. Mirabel simply soaked in what she had learned, there seemed to be more to this town than she thought. Then another question came to mind.
“Has my Tía always been like that?”
“Si, María is quite the woman, she’s very protective of those she loves and always notices the littlest things.” Ms. Bosquez responded. “She had always mentioned how she wanted a daughter, though she never found the right man. Then she met you Mirabel.”
Mirabel sat up slightly at this.
“You’re like the daughter she never had.”
Mirabel gave a small smile at this and the three continued having small talk. Everything felt a bit better, and she felt rather warm. She may want to find out more about the town, but for now she’d settle for this feeling of happiness.
Antonio stared at his ceiling, since the rebuild each room was just a normal room though each was now decorated similarly to that of their old rooms. He was tempted to run back to the mountains, he wanted to find his prima, he wanted to bring her home. He quickly sat up, he'd forgotten to write down what happened yesterday! He rushed over and pulled out another piece of paper quickly writing down every detail he remembered. It took a few good minutes to get it all down, but once he was done he once more looked over the main points of each page again.
Mirabel had been noticeably absent the morning after the proposal, this meant she had probably slipped away during the night.
His hermana had been rather busy dealing with all the loud noises and hadn't heard her leave in all the chaos of that night.
Tony told him about a butterfly who had seen Mirabel, though no specifications of where.
No clues could be found from the townspeople, though he had heard from Cecila mention to him that there was a group of townspeople always trying to find clues.
The handkerchief with the embroidered butterfly was the only thing they'd found left behind.
The butterfly had lead him to the mountain range and if he wasn't wrong, it should be the same one which Tony mentioned.
Antonio sighed and sat back in his chair, leaving the mountain seemed obvious to him, yet he knew that there was no way he could do it by himself. Then an idea struck him, he'd remembered at some point his estranged Tío mention how he still occasionally had dreams of the future. He gathered his papers and crayons and rushed out his room, he had someone to interview.
Bruno was meditating, as usual, trying to focus his mind, after a few weeks of learning he now had a bit more control or at least knowledge of which dreams would come true. He had also upgraded in being able to predict certain small things, it was simple at first: what Julieta would cook for breakfast, who would be the one to clean the dishes, normal tedious matters. So, imagine his surprise his youngest sobrino gleefully entered his room and immediately started bombarding him with questions. After he managed to calm the boy down, the two sat down, Antonio seemed to have a complete 180 cause now the boy just sat in silence staring at him shyly.
"Can I help you, Antonio?" Bruno tried.
"Uhm, here." he quickly shoved a handful of papers into his arms. Bruno blinked in surprise but picked each one up and looked at them. Surprisingly he could make out what was written, he hadn't expected his sobrino's handwriting to be horrible, but for a five-year-old, he wrote rather well. He was even more surprised on the contents of the papers, they were all over information covered by the family during dinners, well all but one.
"You saw a yellow butterfly?" Bruno mumbled.
Antonio responded with a quick nod. He stared at that page in confusion, why had this butterfly led his sobrino to the mountain range?
"Antonio, you followed a butterfly to the mountain range?"
Antonio once more nodded.
"Do you know how dangerous that is? You could have gotten yourself hurt!" he slightly scolded the boy.
"But Tío, I just knew that butterfly was the one that Tony mentioned." Antonio softly argued. "I just wanted to find something Tío, it's been months and we don't have anything! What if we never find her?"
"Antonio, we will find her." Bruno said, placing a hand on the boy's shoulder to comfort him as some tears started to roll down his cheeks.
"How?" Antonio asked with sniffles as he wiped his eyes.
"I-... I don't know..." This caused the boy to deflate sadly. "But, I can try to see if I can have a dream about it."
Bruno nodded, and the boy hugged him to which he awkwardly patted him twice on the back.
"Tell me all about it tomorrow Tío, I'll leave you to it!" The boy quickly gathered his things and just as quickly as he appeared, he was gone.
Bruno sighed to himself and went back to meditating; one trick he had learned to really focus on a person or thing was to meditate on it before he slept. So, he focused his mind on Mirabel, he hoped that this worked; it was a bigger scale than he was used to, but he was willing to try for his family.
Chapter 8: It's Raining, It's Pouring
Daniel gets lectured for treating Mirabel harshly, he reflects a bit, and he relents to not be too harsh on her. He still doesn't trust her though. Meanwhile, Camilo is also reflecting on how much he misses his favorite prima, and how her disappearance affected the family even if no one else thought he saw.
María stormed to the bakery, she understood the boy had been hurt but that gave him no right to hurt her mija. She also knew Juan wouldn’t let it go once she told him, and honestly the most she wanted from Daniel was just an apology for her sobrina. She bursted into the bakery and Juan looked up at her in surprise.
“We need to talk, something has happened.”
The man didn’t need any more prompting and gave a head nod, he quickly sold to the last of the customers and closed down the shop.
The two sat down at one of the tables and she started.
“Mirabel’s outfit was ruined.”
“What happened? Is she okay?”
“She’s fine, but she said that she and Daniel had gotten into a fight and that was the cause of her outfit being ruined.”
Juan frowned in disapproval hearing this and checked his pocket watch.
“Well María, Daniel should be heading back any moment now. “We’ll have a talk with him when he is.”
María simply nodded in agreement.
If Daniel was honest after the girl had left he hadn’t really felt the energy to play with the kids, so he left early and roamed around for a bit. He then headed back to the shop once more, though he was surprised to see that it was empty and not bustling with people as usual. He sees his uncle and Ms. María both sitting at one of the tables and they both turn to him as he enters.
“Tío? Ms. María? What’s going on?”
“Daniel, come here.” his Tío said, gesturing to him to come over. He did so accordingly and his Tío pulled a chair from a table nearby and gestured to it. Daniel sat down and looked at the two adults.
“Sobrino, Ms. María had told me you were rather impolite and rude to her niece.”
Daniel felt the guilt weigh on him again, he should have figured she had told Ms. María about what happened. So he didn’t bother denying it and simply nodded in response. His Tío sighed in response and Ms. María sat up a bit hearing this.
“Daniel, I understand that you were hurt from what happened five years ago. We were all affected, and you the most, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to treat Mirabel like that. She hasn’t done anything to you and she’s a very good person, and just because she gives you memories of her , doesn’t mean that you have a right to treat as if she was her .”
Daniel’s head hung low with shame, he knew she was right but still… Ms. María sighed and put a hand on his shoulder.
“Daniel, you’re a very nice boy and you have a lot of potential. Don’t continue to let her hold power over you, you need to let go. Make the choice Daniel, choose to let it go, it’ll be hard and you’ll still have trust issues but you can continue on with your life. Above all else, apologize to Mirabel.”
And with that Ms. María left the shop. The two left sat in silence for a bit before Daniel began to speak once more.
“Don’t you think it’s strange Tío? I mean some girl shows up in town one day and starts working for Ms. María? It’s so similar to what happen with her and-”
Daniel immediately stopped and his Tío sighed once more.
“Listen, I understand that Mirabel’s existence in this town brings back some bad memories, I even know that some details match how she was. But like Ms. María said, you can’t treat Mirabel badly because of that.”
“I know you’re suspicious of her, and honestly I didn’t trust her at first either, but when she came into the shop to give me my commission, I knew she was nothing like her. Her mannerisms are different and she doesn’t seem to be putting up any act.”
“She could be…” Daniel mumbled.
“That may be true, but when you bothered her today did you find anything of value to help your theory of her being a bad person?”
“Exactly, mijo, I get it it seems like another her, but Mirabel isn’t like that. I really do think you should apologize even if you choose to not trust her.”
Daniel sighed, they were right he had gone too far, of course he’d already known that. Still hearing it only solidified his belief.
“Do you think she’ll forgive me?”
“There’s only one way to find out, you gotta do it.” His Tío patted him on the shoulder as he got up.
“How would I even apologize? I don’t know anything about her, and I doubt she’d want to talk to me…”
“That, I can’t help you with… Although sometimes something of equal value may make up for the loss.”
With that his Tío left him to his own devices and Daniel really thought about what he had said. An idea suddenly struck him, he quickly got up and rushed to the kitchen, he had some work to do.
Camilo sighed as he entered his room, he had just finished his most recent show. He sat himself down onto his bed and laid down staring at the ceiling. He enjoyed his life without his gift, he had enjoyed changing into people and helping out or making people smile, but there were times where he couldn’t remember who he was or what he looked like.
During those times he always fell into a panic and one of those times Mirabel had helped him, it was when they were younger, before the gap between them had grown. That day she had hugged him and spent hours describing every detail of him and only let him go once he’d fully changed back into himself.
He was embarrassed to admit it, but he’d kept that memory of her doing that in the back of his head, and any time he ever felt that way again, he’d just play it in his head. Camilo sat back up and looked at the mirror in his room. This was one of the only times he’d ever wished to have his gift, just so he could see his prima again, just to see that she was safe and okay. He didn’t care if it was just a reflection, he just wanted to see her again.
Camilo still had a few issues of finding who he was, he still felt the insecurity of not having his gift, he held onto his most favored thing from his prima: the memory of her describing him. He’d always hold onto the memory, it held a strong place in his heart.
He played dumb and acted like a typical teenage boy, but he noticed everything in the family. He saw how the family was losing hope in finding his prima, it had already been five months but they didn’t have anything.
He saw how his mamá, even despite her gift no longer being there, had a cloud hanging over her head. Saw how she chose to lock herself in her room more often, it meant that she was in a mood that not even his papá could sooth. It didn’t happen often in the past, but when it had she never let anyone in, but somehow Mirabel had always gotten in. His mamá confessed at some point that even she never quite knew how Mirabel got in, but she always did bringing a cup of tea made exactly the way she liked it. The two seemed to talk for a bit, each time varying in length, but the end result was always the same: the door would be unlocked.
He saw how his papá seemed to be more stressed, even with his calm demeanor, he saw how his hermana always would seem to strain her ear as if to hear for something that wasn’t there; he also saw the utter look of disappointment when she couldn’t hear what she wanted. He noticed how his youngest hermano was acting rather strange, always in his room and muttering to himself.
Speaking of strange, his Tío, while he had gotten closer with his family, still remained elusive and far away. The man was always anxious and nothing much had changed with him, though he could have sworn that Tío and hermano were whispering at some point about something. The two clearly knew something, and Camilo made a note of it to try to see what it was.
He saw how his two older primas, while not as stressed, still put on an act of being okay, though it seemed more for themselves than anyone else. He saw how his Tía became more reclusive and always held onto the embroidered handkerchief and cried, while his Tío always seemed to be pacing around anxiously.
And Abuela, she’d gotten better though every know and again she’d slip into her old ways, she always looked weaker and spent so much time wandering the halls of the house blankly. She was always at the family dinner, but never ate much, no one did anymore.
The nursery became a weirdly forbidden yet safe place, everyone seemed to have agreed on a schedule to go inside and just be where Mirabel once was, without ever speaking. Camilo knew that if they didn’t find her soon, the family would crumble once more. He stared at himself in the mirror, he had seen how the family had started to lose sight of who Mirabel was, this probably caused her to lose sight of who she was as well. He made himself a promise, if… when they found her, he’d take his prima into his arms and spend however long it takes describing every detail of herself to her just like she did for him. He’d hold her and let her cry herself dry, he’d make sure she never lost sight of who she was again, make sure that no one lost sight of who she was.
Isabela and Luisa both sat in the nursery together, somehow the two had agreed to be in the room together for today. Neither of them spoke, they simply sat in the room trying to soak in anything left of their sister. They both had memories and thoughts just rushing in their heads. Then Luisa spoke.
“We’re horrible sisters.” She murmured. Isabela didn’t respond and continued staring at her hands. She thought to herself that next time she should bring some flowers, Mirabel had always loved her bouquets that she made for her before the rift or hatred spread between them.
“How did we never see this? How did we let it get this bad?” Luisa continued to vent her frustrations, she had always been worried about looking strong and carrying the weight of the town, she always gently nudged her youngest sister to the side.
“We were too blind.” Isabela replied softly. And silence fell on the two again, it was an agreed pact that anything that happened in the nursery and talks or frustrations, stayed in the nursery and no one ever spoke of it outside. If someone happened to be sobbing in the nursery the rest of the family was to continue on with their day as normal, because when it was their turn to be sobbing everyone would give them that same privacy.
This was one of the few times the two would ever talk or be in each other's presence, besides meal time everyone seemed to either be trying to do what they normally did or in their room, or hiding away in the nursery. Luisa looked up at Isabela, the two of them had been closer when they were younger, and that bond only grew when Mirabel came into the picture. Until her fifth birthday, that’s when the cracks had started. And since then all three sisters grew in different directions, to think it would take their younger sister to bring the two of them back together, it was sad. She glanced out the window and noticed a yellow butterfly landing on the windowsill, and something struck her, while they were together now they were still so far apart.
“If you ever need help carrying any of your pots for your plants, you can ask me…” Luisa said shyly.
Isabela sat up and gave her a small smile.
The atmosphere became a bit more comfortable and warm, and the two started to try to converse, and later Isabela did ask Luisa to help her carry a few things. This was the first time something left the nursery, and the yellow butterfly fluttered around where the two were. It ended up landing on an orchid.
Pepa was in her room again, her door was locked and the family knew better than to bother her. Even Félix didn’t come by often, only bringing her food if she ever missed a meal. She sat there staring at an shawl, it had been embroidered with golden thread showing every form of weather, not only the pretty ones. She clutched it closer to chest and soaked in the memory from the creation.
In truth, each time Mirabel came, she brought tea for her, but she also started to bring her sewing kit, the girl would sit in silence and embroider the weather that she felt for that time. She never said anything, never prodded at Pepa for any answers or to smile, she simply sat there whether she ranted or also stayed silent. Pepa actually enjoyed those moments, Mirabel always brought a calming effect each time, one that rivaled Félix’s. The two never usually talked a lot, but the woman always felt slightly indebt to the girl. She saw how Mirabel cared for Antonio when she or Félix didn’t have time, she even knew how to handle her in her worst moments.
Somehow Mirabel always managed to get her to open the door for her, when even her husband couldn’t do it. The first few times it was a bit harder and took longer, but after that it was almost second nature to let the girl in, and she would always lock the door behind her once more. Eventually she’d feel comfortable once more and once Mirabel saw that she quickly finished up her embroidery and silently left, leaving the door unlocked. The two never quite spoke about it or acknowledged it outside the room, Pepa always wanted to thank her but was never quite sure how.
The shawl still missed some weather abilities, but as it was Pepa held it so close to her. Now that Mirabel was gone she only had this, though it wasn’t the same. She felt so guilty for ever blaming the girl, she’d honestly reflected on all that had happened. Mirabel didn’t deserve to be blamed, and to think she was one of the ones who pushed the girl away. Tears started to pool in her eyes and she clutched harder onto the shawl, there had only been one time when Mirabel had hugged her, it was when she was in one of her worst moods, and oh how she longed to hug her sobrina again. To feel that warmth again, and to make sure the girl knew how much she was loved, not only by her but the rest of the family as well.
Pepa knew her sister had similar breakdowns, she’d been there for one of them, Julieta never let go of the handkerchief anymore. She would spend so much time out of the house trying to find any clues and would always come home heartbroken everyday. It was an exhausting process for the entire family, every time they gathered for dinner, there was always a miniscule air of hope that was always crushed and replaced by disappointment. It usually led to silent dinners, and empty plates that hardly got any food on them.
Mirabel sighed as she wore the plain white nightgown, it felt so strange to wear something other than her normal outfit, but Ms. Bosquez and Ms. Calvo both managed to convince her, assuring her that they’d return it as quickly as humanly possible once it was clean and back in its original form. Her Tía then came in and Mirabel sat up in surprise.
“Mija, did Ms. Bosquez take your outfit to clean it?”
She nodded in response but quickly rushed over to the woman.
“Tía, what did you do? What happened?”
The woman placed a soft hand on her mija’s shoulder, and smiled softly at her.
“Don’t worry about it mija, he shouldn’t be doing anything like that to you again.” Mirabel actually slightly shivered, seeing her Tía’s smile morph into a more threatening one. “And if he does just let me know okay mija?”
Mirabel gulped and nodded.
The two sat down again and Tía started to drink her tea even though it was cold now. Soon both Ms. Bosquez and Ms. Calvo came back out with a wet but clean of any stains outfit.
“Tada!” The two chorused happily.
Mirabel smiled happily seeing her outfit clean again.
“It’ll take a bit longer to dry, so you’ll need to come back for it tomorrow.” Ms. Bosquez said simply.
“I will, thank you Ms. Bosquez, thank you Ms. Calvo.” She returned with a smile.
The four continued to laugh and talk for a bit before Mirabel grew tired and her Tía took the two of them home. Where her Tía once more gently hugged the girl.
“Don’t let what happened with Daniel get to you.” she murmured gently, kissing the girl on her forehead. “Sleep well, mija. I’ll see you in the morning.”
With that Tía left to her room and Mirabel smiled to herself with a warmth filling her chest once more. She went to bed and stared at the ceiling, how would she handle the situation with Daniel? Should she forgive him? Though she doubts he’d ever apologize. Mirabel settled with simply ignoring the boy for now, she wasn’t going to let one guy ruin her perception of the town. However, Mirabel was quite curious about who this girl was and what had happened. But Mirabel allowed herself to let those worry slip away and fell into a peaceful slumber. Whatever problems she had to deal with she would deal with them tomorrow.
Chapter 9: Familiar
Daniel is working on his apology to Mirabel, he does so going through his daily routine and he learns a bit more about her. He also realizes he was wrong about her, and he needs to reconcile. Mirabel is once more helping at the orphanage; she tells them the story that she was so used to telling, though she left out a few details. The two of them are at a strange standstill and it's rather awkward. Daniel makes his gift and it brings a few unwanted memories back.
Edit: I added in a tiny detail, it'll be important for the plot later.
Daniel really focused his mind for this, he wrote down the ingredients he planned on using for this. If he wanted to really make it something of equal value, he'd have to put his heart into this, but he'd also need to know her a bit better. This was really the reason he seemed to pause, he sighed and put the paper down for a few minutes, it was almost time for him to get started anyways. He starts to go about his normal business, though his mind buzzed with concern and continued to make note of anything else he would need or would be good to add to the mixture. The customers would come in and out, but he was out of it, his Tío noticed but chose not to say anything.
Time passed by so quickly and soon he was heading back to the orphanage with his bag of treats for the children, food for Ms. Bravo, he also brought an extra baggie to give to her in case she was there. It wasn't going to be his apology, of course not the gift bag was nothing of equal value to what he had destroyed. He just needed to know a bit more about her in order to create it, to actually make something of value. He knocked on the door and Ms. Bravo once more opened the door and smiled at him.
"Daniel, please come in!" She opened the door more and allowed him to enter. When he did, he was graced with the sight of her, surrounded by the children as she appeared to be embroidering once more. His heart leapt when he made eye contact with her, it was just like he had hoped and dreaded, she was there. She looked away and continued her work, and I looked at Ms. Bravo who seemed more dressed up than usual.
"Are you heading somewhere, Ms. Bravo?"
"Ah, yes. There are actually a few errands I needed to run today, so I requested Mirabel's help from Ms. Vargas. Now that you're here as well I'm sure everything will be fine. You two get along okay? I'll be back in a bit!"
Before either, one of them could protest she was out the door.
There was then an awkward silence that transpired over the two, the only thing that broke it was the chatter of the children as they asked Mirabel the typical questions. He quickly put the bag down on a small table and moved it to the room and to be closer to the children and easier to hand out.
“Mirabel! Mirabel!” Eva called to the girl.
“Tell us a story!!”
“Yeah tell us a story!” many of the other children chorused over one another.
“Alright, alright!” She seemed to finish the part of her stitching and put it on the chair and got up. Daniel leaned himself against the wall and decided to listen in on the conversation. This was the perfect opportunity for him to learn a bit more about her.
Mirabel sat up a little straighter and so did the kids, they all more closer and became quiet. She even noticed from the corner of her eye that Daniel seemed to be watching her. She shrugged off his attention and refocused on the children.
“Long ago, there was a young couple who had just had children, triplets, they were forced to flee they’re home. Many came with them on the jouney, but they could not escape the dangers, and the young man was lost… But in their time of need, they were given a miracle.”
“A miracle?” one of the children asked.
“Yes, a magical blessing in the form of a candle. It sheltered them creating refuge for them to live in. But it went even further than that; it created a house for them to live in and the house came to life to shelter them. And when the three children, two girls and one boy, came of age they were given gifts.”
“How old were they?”
“Five, the three grew up and the two girls soon got married and had kids, and when they came of age-”
“They got magic too!!”
“That’s right. Each was given a gift just as special as they were, and the family continued to be the backbone of their community.” Mirabel quickly summed up, thorough she knew the children who then bombard her with questions of what their gifts were. And sure enough as soon as those words left her mouth the question where all asking questions about each gift and she smiled at that.
“Alright, alright! You wanna know each person’s gift?” All the children nodded and murmured yes.
“ This is their home, they’ve got every generation !” Mirabel started to sing, getting up from the chair as she started to fall back into a familiar routine. “ So full of music, a rhythm of its own design. This is their family, a perfect constellation, so many stars and everybody gets to shine !”
She danced around and the children followed after her like ducklings.
“ Whoa! Let’s be clear, Abuela runs this show. Whoa! She led them there so many years ago, whoa! And every year their family blessings grow, there’s just a lot you’ve simply got to know, so. Welcome to the Family Madrigal! The home of the Family Madrigal, where all the people are fantastical and magical! This is the Family Madrigal! ”
“But what are they’re gifts?”
“Tell us about the gifts!”
“Alright, alright. The first one, Pepa, her mood affects the weather, when she’s unhappy, well the temperature gets weird. The next Bruno, though they don’t talk about Bruno, they say he saw the future one day he disappeared. Oh, and then there’s Julieta, hre’s her deal. Whoa! The truth is she can heal you with a meal. Whoa! Her recipes are remedies for real, if you’re impressed we’re not done yet!”
She continued to dance around the courtyard happily and energetically. “ Welcome to the Family Madrigal, the home of the Family Madrigal! I know it sounds a bit fantastical and magical, this is the family Madrigal. Two guys fell in love with Family Madrigal, and now they’re part of the family Madrigal. So yeah, Felix married Pepa and Agustin married Julieta, that’s how Abuela became an Abuela Madrigal !”
She softened and turned to them sitting down for a bit. “ They swore to always help those around them, and earn the miracle that somehow found them. The town keeps growing, the world keeps turning, but work and dedication will keep the miracle burning. And each new generation must keep the miracle burning .”
“Who’s the sister and who’s the cousin?”
“There’s so many people!”
Mirabel felt a familiar smirk grow on her face as she got back up.
“Okay, okay, okay, okay! So many kids in their house, so let’s turn the sound up. You know why? I think it’s time for a grandkid round up.”
“Grandkid round up!” the children echoed back.
“ On Pepa’s side, a girl Dolores can hear a pin drop, Camilo shape shifts, and Antonio speaks to animals. With Julieta, Isabela and Luisa, one strong one graceful perfect in every way. ”
With those words a familiar longing washed over her again.
“ Isabela, grows a flower the town goes wild. She’s a perfect golden child. And Luisa’s super strong, the beauty and the brawn do no wrong. That’s life in the Family Madrigal, now the Family Madrigal. Where all the people are fantastical and magical, that’s who they are in the Family Madrigal .” She wrapped up the song and casually led the children back to the area where it all started and she sat down on the couch once more. She picked her work back up and continued to work on it as the children all spoke to one another about the story they’d just learned. They continued to talk and soon started to ask her questions again.
“What would your gift be if you could have one?” One of the girls asked. Mirabel visibly paused and froze when the question was asked. It was an innocent question, the girl didn’t mean any harm but it caused her to feel a wave of guilt and shame was over her once more. She plastered on a smile and looked at the girl.
“I wouldn’t really know, there’s so many to choose from.” This distracted the kids once more, each one of them trying to figure out what was the best gift to get was. Daniel seemed to have noticed her sour mood, because he distracted them with the sweets he brought. This allowed her to get a bit of a break, she continued her embroidery.
Daniel was a lot of things, but he wasn’t blind. He'd actually started to pay attention to her story after she mentioned the miracle, it caught his interest, the idea of a miracle blessing this woman just felt rather familiar. He watched her as she danced around the room and sung the song, he saw her different facial reactions. Especially when mentioning the girl Isabela, there was something real and genuine there. The children had managed to be distracted, and he fiddled with the last treat bag. He was honestly nervous about this, he predicted that she probably wouldn’t take it or even talk to him. Which was completely fair on her part, he didn’t even expect her to even breathe in his direction.
He still pushed himself to walk over to her and stood there for a few minutes before he cleared his throat and stretched out his hand with the goodie bag.
She looked up at the goodie bag and then at him and cautiously took it.
“Thank you.” she replied simply and just like that she turned back to her work.
Mirabel was confused slightly, Daniel had just given her a treat bag, and she assumed it was probably his way of apologizing.
“This isn’t my apology, if that’s what you’re thinking.” Never mind, the douche wasn’t trying to apologize, why did he even give it to her then.
“I see.” Mirabel replied shortly. She decided that she’d end up throwing the bag away whenever she had the time. She continued to embroider the golden flower, one of the girls; Irene had asked her for one. The boy stood beside her, and silence continued between the two.
"So, uh..." He started again, "What's your favorite animal?"
"Why are you asking me this?"
"I - uh- I was just wondering..."
A silence fell between them once more.
Daniel had to admit things weren't going exactly how he'd imagined. She seemed to have closed herself off once he told her that the treat bag wasn't his apology, and while he was slightly confused by this, he assumed she had probably taken it the wrong way, but it was too late to correct himself without accidentally spilling his plan. She made it very clear that she didn't want to really talk to him, and he got an idea. She might not want to talk to him, but if the kids were to ask, she'd have to answer. Now, this wasn't his best idea, or the best way to go about things, but he really needed this for his project. It was the only way to make something of value in his mind.
"Hey guys," he called over to kids, who all turned to him quizzically. "What's your favorite animal?" And this question sparked a bomb fire, because they were all talking over each other, then at some point one of them turned to ask him the question.
"What's yours, Daniel?" Eva asked him excitedly.
"I don't exactly have one yet, I like all of them," he replied with a soft smile.
"What's yours, Mirabel?" Albert asked, and just like that all eyes were on her. The girl pauses and looks up at them, she slightly glares at him and then turned her gaze to the kids.
"Yellow butterflies, they're my favorite animal." She replied with a kind smile, and Daniel made note of this. He'd need to get himself some yellow icing, and some gold leaf toppings for it, it was going to take a while to make it perfect. He hummed and actually helped put the kids to bed, it was their nap time already. After doing so he came back, and she looked up at him.
"Are you happy?"
"Are you happy, now that you've gotten the answer to your question?"
"I guess?" And she scowled slightly at that. Once more he realized that his dumb actions had bitten him in the butt, but he hoped that his apology gift would make it up to her. The rest of the time was spent in silence with Mirabel finishing up her sewing and Daniel simply cleaning up around the orphanage a bit. Soon Ms. Bravo returned, and Mirabel gave her the finished product and left quickly. Daniel actually left not too long after her, heading back to the shop and into the kitchen.
He had what he needed; it was going to take him hours to make just the cake. It'll take him even longer to get the frosting and decorations done, he was going to spend every possible minute he could with this. He started making the different layers of the cake, as well as a bit of the frosting between them. He lost waiting on the different layers to finish and started to put the cake together a bit. He allowed the rest of the frosting sort of freeze in the freezer and placed the unfrosted cake into the refrigerator. He then allowed himself to sleep for a bit, being woken up by his Tío.
"Tío?" Daniel was confused.
"You've got the day off mijo. Go ahead and do what you please, I've got to go get a few extra supplies."
Daniel simply nodded in agreement and his Tío just left him there. He pulled himself out of bed and headed back into the kitchen, he took the cake back out and the frosting as well. Daniel began to frost the cake. He was slow and precise about it, though it did bring a few unwanted feelings into his mind and heart, he still did it. It was the only way to make something of equal value. He had to pause often, causing the project to take longer to finish, he would even stare at the cake at times wanting to stop and throw it away. He loved what he did, but the number of specifics he took to do this just reminded him of all he had done with her, for her.
He could hear her laughter echoing in his mind as he covered the top, see her smile as he starts to sprinkle the gold leaf on top. He recalled how the two had at one point had a flour fight that felt like it had come out of one of those rom coms. Daniel stepped away from the cake once more, his heart broke, it was beautiful, and it made him want to cry. The last thing was to make the butterflies, he'd never particularly noticed them. He was actually rather curious as to why it was her favorite, the story she told to the kids yesterday was so interesting and he wanted to know more. But he knew the first step was to simply apologize. He gently made the butterflies, not putting them anywhere specific, simply trying to beautify the cake even more.
Daniel was satisfied with his work, he was very much tired and dirty, but his chest filled with a weird mixture of pride yet sadness as he studied it. He then packaged the cake and tied it with a nice yellow bow, he went to go get himself cleaned, he needed to look presentable to apologize. He could only hope that she would hear him out and accept it, though where they would go from there was a different question. For now, he just wanted to apologize for ruining her outfit, from what he gathered it was rather important and handmade. She didn't deserve anything less for what he had done, and honestly, he'd be okay even if she didn't accept it he'd be okay with that, because what he did was wrong even if he didn't trust her.
He saw how she had interacted with the children, though it reminded him of how she would act, there was more of a playful and kind air about her. He couldn't help but want to believe that she wasn't anything like her, she did seem to be a good person and a talented one at that. Still, none of that mattered, he reminded himself that the whole point of this ordeal was to apologize to her, only then would things change. He finished and carefully carried the box leaving the shop, here goes nothing.
Chapter 10: The Beginning
Mirabel discovers the duality of the vision in her bag and goes for a walk to clear her mind. Bruno is confused over the fact that he can't seem to have a vision of his sobrina, in fact, he'd never seen her in any of her visions; not since he lost his gift. Daniel goes to apologize to Mirabel; he is greeted with a surprise instead.
This is a little treat for y'all in case I can't post this weekend, also may post again tomorrow if I can.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Mirabel was back in her room, still holding onto the treat bag. She had expected to throw it away, but since she felt bad about it, she just put it in her bag.
"Ah!" her hand quickly recoiled back into her chest, she looked at it to see it had been slightly cut. "What the..."
Then she remembered, the vision! She dug into her bag and pulled out the pieces of the vision and put it together one more and stared at the vision. It felt as if reality was slapping her, it was a reminder of why she left, and her destructive nature when she was in the family. It was sobering, she'd forgotten about it, but looking at it again now it still hit her. She started to put the pieces back in her bag again, and paused holding up one of the pieces that showed a piece of the cracks in the house, she then noticed how upon angling it differently how it changed. She then rushed to go get a tray and placed the vision on it, she then angled it back and forth and saw how it changed from a cracked house to a fixed house.
Had she been wrong? Was there more to this than she had thought? It didn't make any sense, there were so many questions swirling through her mind, and she dumped the vision pieces into her bag and placed the tray back where she had gotten it. Mirabel needed to take a walk, she needed to clear her head, so she left the shop and began to wander down the streets absorbed in her thoughts.
Bruno was confused, the night Antonio had came up to him concerned about Mirabel he had gone to sleep with the expectation of having some sort of vision of her. But he didn't, nothing happened, he'd done this before and it'd work, in fact his confidence in it usually helped to make it easier to dream of the person. So imagine his surprise when he dreamt of nothing, it was hard to tell Antonio that he had failed. The look on the boys faced caused him to promise to keep trying.
He looked through his journal filled with all the confirmed visions he'd had since the loss of his gift. Bruno noticed how none of them ever mentioned Mirabel, he hadn't a vision of her since she was five. He didn't understand why, had it been because she'd stopped considering herself as a part of the family? Even then it shouldn't imped on his ability to see her in his visions though. He tried to remember the vision he had about her back when she was five, was there more to it that he didn't see? He reviewed over all that he knew from what Antonio had told him, was there anything he had missed?
He kept meditating and trying to manifest a vision of her, nothing came of it. What was missing? He searched his mind for anything that would allow him to understand why he hadn't seen anything. Then it hit him, Antonio had mentioned a yellow butterfly leading him to the mountain range. That yellow butterfly was such a strange inclusion into all this, and something about the animal made him believe that if he still had his gift and tried to see her future again, it would be involved. That must be it! There was then a knock on his door.
"Bruno, it's time for dinner!" His hermana called to him.
"I- I'm coming!" Bruno replied. He supposed he'd have to hold off on testing his theory until after dinner. He only hoped he was right.
Mirabel continued to walk around, it had felt like hours since she started, something caught her eye though. A butterfly, she saw it from the corner of her eye, she quickly turned her attention to it and watched as it fluttered over in her direction. Once more she felt a need to follow it, and so she did, watching the butterfly simply flutter around leading her where it wanted to. It seemed to be guiding her back to the mountains, she didn't know why though but she continued to follow it.
Once more once it reached a place near the mountains, through the cracks a sunbeam hit its wings and caused it to glow a bright yellow once more. This time Mirabel felt the need to touch the butterfly, it just looked so majestic, she reached for it and...
Daniel carried the box gently as he headed over across the street, he entered and was surprised to see that only Ms. Vargas was there.
"Daniel?" She looked at him with a raised eyebrow.
"Hi, Ms. Vargas, is Mirabel here? I wanted to apologize for what happened the other day..." he replied somewhat shyly. She smiled slightly at the boy.
"She's not here right now, but I'll take that from you." He handed over the box to her and she took it graciously.
"I still would like to apologize to her personally, if that's okay."
"Well, I don't quite know where she is though I believe she went on a walk."
Daniel nodded and thanked her before leaving.
Ms. Vargas felt a small smile grace her face upon seeing this, she had a feeling thing would develop just fine. She only hoped her sobrina and Daniel actually started to get along after this. Though she was sure that her sobrina would forgive him no problem. She couldn't help but wonder what exactly would come of this development.
Daniel decided to look around before feeling a pull in one direction, where he walked towards. He then caught a glimpse of her skirt going away, so he quickly rushed to follow it. he tried to keep his eyes on her as she continued to walk faster, following a butterfly? She pauses finally near the edge of the town, in front of mountains which had cracks in them, what was she doing here? Then suddenly she collapsed, and he immediately rushed over.
"Hey!" He pulled her into his arms and shook her slightly.
"Hey!" He called again gently tapping on her face trying to wake her up. "What the hell..." He then took a deep breath and then picked her up bridle style. and quickly rushed her back to the shop.
"Ms. Vargas!" He called bursting in and the woman looked at him in shock before focusing on Mirabel.
"Come bring I'll lead you to her room, go ahead and place her down."
He was led to her room and gently laid the girl down on the bed, Ms. Vargas then quickly rushed out and rushed back in with a bowl of water and a rag. She dipped the rag in water and then placed it gently on her forehead.
Mirabel was surprised when white light engulfed her vision, she was more surprised to see that she was in front of the Casita, but it looked different. She walked up to the doorknob cautiously, and the doorknob looked strange to her, as if it wasn't supposed to be there. Still pushing past her discomfort, she opened the door and walked into the house and walked around. She found walked herself into the dining room again, and watched as her family members all filter in. She was shocked to see that no one acknowledged her, so she simply assumed she couldn't be seen by her family members, in fact Isabela walking through her only confirmed her theory.
"Bruno will be down in a minute." her Tía Pepa said sitting down in her usual spot. Her mamá placed the plates of food on the table as usual.
"Did anyone find anything today?" Abuela asked with a tired tone.
Everyone shook their heads and there seemed to be a collective sigh that was heaved. And the atmosphere seemed to have dropped and become so depressing, no one really ate much if anything at all. Then her mamá looks and stares past Mirabel in confusion.
She turned her head and saw her Tío staring at her in shock, he wasn't staring past her or anything, his eyes were staring into hers. He could see her? He mouthed her name and then she gasped and found that was back in her room.
"Mija!" Her Tía exclaimed hugging her immediately. Mirabel was still in shock from what had happened, speaking of what exactly had happened?
"Why didn't you tell me you weren't feeling well?" She held Mirabel's face and checked her all over to make sure the girl was truly okay.
"I'm fine Tía, but what happened?"
"Daniel had found you passed out on the streets and brought you back." She looked past her Tía and saw that Daniel was in fact standing in the doorway with a cup of water. He walked over and gently held it out to her, which she graciously took.
"Thank you..." She said drinking the water. He simply nodded in response. Her Tía looked between the two of them and then quickly stood up taking the bowl with the rag in it.
"Well, the two of you need to talk. I'll leave you to it." With that, she left closing the door behind her.
There was an awkward silence that filled the room as Mirabel finished drinking the water and placed the cup on the drawer beside her bedside.
"Listen... about what happened last time I- I'm sorry. I couldn't, I mean I was... I was a real douche bag and I shouldn't have done that. I didn't mean to get your outfit dirty, and I wouldn't have had I known how much it meant to you. I have no excuses, and I understand if you don't want to forgive me or talk to me again." Daniel spilled.
Mirabel took in his apology and stayed silent, thinking about it.
"I know, it isn't exactly the same... but I made a cake, I put a lot of time and effort into it; lost sleep because of it. If it'll make you feel better you can do whatever you want with it, smash it, throw it on the floor, use it to get my outfit dirty anything. In fact, I can go get it for you right now if you want?"
She could tell that he was rather anxious at this point, with the speed he was talking. She was quick to grab his wrist before he could leave and gestured to him to sit down.
"Daniel, I don't know why you don't trust or like me, but I suppose I can somewhat understand where you came from. If your situation was so bad that you ended up like this, then I can't exactly fault you."
He slightly lit up at this.
"That doesn't mean that I've forgiven you per say, but I'm willing to start over if you are."
"I am." He replied with a genuine smile.
"Well then," She reached out her hand to him. "It's nice to meet you, my name is Mirabel."
"It's nice to meet you too, I'm Daniel." He took her hand with his own and shook it. The two of them smiled at each other.
"Now let's go see that cake of yours." The two left the room laughing. Her Tía smiled seeing them walk in with smiles, and she opened the box and allowed Mirabel to see it to which she gasped and studied the cake.
"It's beautiful..." she murmured staring at the cake in reverence.
"Thanks..." he replied shyly.
Mirabel went in and came back with a knife, she gently cut three slices and placed them on the plates already there.
"There's only one thing I would ever want to do with such a lovely cake," she said handing him a plate with a fork. "And that's eating it."
The rest of the day was spent between the three of them eating it, with Daniel's Tío at some point coming over and joining in on the conversations and cake eating. Mirabel glanced at Daniel out of the corner of her eye, she hadn't lied about starting over, maybe he wasn't such a bad guy after all. He caught her gaze and she simply smiled kindly at him, which he returned.
María was pleased the two were getting along so well, and she noticed the smile the two passed to each other. It was just as she had predicted, now if only her mija would tell her about her past. But the woman knew better than to push the girl, and hey maybe it was better that she didn't talk about it. It could mean that the girl was over whatever it was that had happened to her. Which María would be very glad for, the girl deserved nothing less than all the happiness that the world could give her. And the woman would stop at nothing to make sure that's all the girl had.
She hoped that Daniel had learned and truly treated her well, Mirabel could use another kid her age, as a friend or otherwise. Though judging by the secret smile the two shared, she had nothing to worry about. María passed a glance to Juan who understood immediately, the two of them made a silent agreement to keep an eye on their relationship and how it blossomed. It would be rather interesting to see, and she could tell from the way Juan winked at her that he thought this was a good new start for his sobrino. The two of them seemed to agree that the two kids would help each other through their past troubles, and they were what the other needed. María sipped her tea to hide the smile which was forming on her face, if her sobrina saw the look on her face she would get suspicious and she couldn't have that happen.
I felt as if this chapter isn't as good at the rest and apologize if it isn't what you expected.
Chapter 11: Drift Away
Bruno talks to Antonio about what he saw, Camilo pops in and gets the tea, as does Dolores who planted the idea into Camilo's mind. Mirabel tells Tia Vargas the story of why she left, and well she isn't exactly happy. Especially since it's over their second celebratory dinner for the shop. Daniel and Mirabel start to bond at the local library.
Bruno was so confused about what he saw, he was sitting in his room with Antonio across from him staring at him expectedly.
"You said you saw her, Tío?" Antonio asked him innocently.
"Uh... yeah, I saw her..." Bruno mumbled. He went over everything in his head, he was on his way to dinner and a yellow butterfly had flown past just before he looked in the dining room. Something about the butterfly caught his attention, it had an almost magical yellow glow Then there she was, a somewhat see-through version of his sobrina standing there at the foot of the table staring at all those sitting. If it wasn't for a similar glow surrounding his sobrina then he would have assumed she was dead. Not that he's ever seen dead people before, but he was pretty sure they don't have a golden glow around them. But how was he supposed to explain that to the boy in front of him?
Dolores considered herself a lot of things, but an eavesdropper is not one of them, even when she still had her gift she was always sure to funnel out anything that didn't matter to her or the family. But she'd begun being suspicious of Antonio and her Tío for a while now. It had started with an inkling she'd had the day Antonio said he was going to play with Cecila, she'd gone to check on the three kids and none of them knew anything about it. So she began to keep an eye on him, she then started to get suspicious of her Tío after she saw the two whispering one day during breakfast. Apparently, her hermano saw too, because they made eye contact, though neither of them talked about it.
Then there was the incident of last night, where for a few moments her Tío was staring at nothing and mouthed the name 'Mirabel', now Dolores really did know that something was up. So, she went against her morals for when she had her gift, and attempted to eavesdrop on the two as they spoke in the room.
"Dolores?" she nearly squeaked and turned to see Camilo looking at her with a raised eyebrow. She quickly takes her brothers arm and drags him around the corner, peeking around to make sure no one was looking.
"What are you -"
"Sh!" She quickly hushed him and pulled him in to whisper into his ear. "Listen, Antonio and Tío Bruno know something, they're hiding from the rest of the family."
"Ah, glad to see I'm not the only one who figured that out." he replied with a quite hum. "So, what do you need me to do?"
Dolores looked at him in shock.
"Don't give me that look, I could tell by the way you were talking. What exactly do you want me to do? If it's to find Mirabel, I'll do anything."
"Okay, I need you to get information out of the two of them. And don't blow your cover."
"Gotcha." Camilo said and with that he walked off towards their Tío's room again.
Camilo causally sauntered over to the door and creaked it open slightly, trying to catch a bit of the conversation happening.
"You know how I was staring at the air earlier during dinner?" he heard the muffled voice of his Tío asked. Camilo certainly remembered, it was a strange incident, especially since the man didn't want to talk about it afterwards.
"That's where I saw her." he continued and Camilo paused, he'd seen Mirabel? During dinner? How?
"I'm not sure how to explain it in a way you would understand though, it's a little complicated...."
"How so?" Camilo said, pushing the door open and leaning against the frame looking at his Tío with a raised eyebrow.
"C- Camilo! I don't know what you're talking-"
"Just tell me Tío, I already heard most of your conversation anyways." The two stared at him in shock, and even he was surprised by how serious he sounded. Then again, he didn't mess around when it came to the safety of his family, especially his prima.
"Come in, Camilo. I'll explain everything."
Camilo closed the door and sat himself down next to Antonio on the bed.
"Is there anyone else that wants to know?"
"Well, Dolores, is probably listing in right now."
"Camilo!" Dolores scolded as she burst into the room.
"Hello, Dolores." Tío greeted sounding exhausted.
Dolores also entered closing the door all the way and joining her siblings on the bed.
Bruno sighed and decided to start from the tale that Antonio had told him.
“So, that’s where you went that day?” Dolores asked, looking at the youngest boy. “Why didn’t you tell us we could have gone with you.”
“I just wanted to see Mirabel again…” The boy mumbled as he started to tear up slightly.
This caused the girl to soften immediately and take him into her arms.
“I know Tonito… we all do. But it was dangerous to go alone, especially near the mountain range.”
“Did you see anything bud?” Camilo asked, rubbing the boy on the back. Antonio shook his head.
The two siblings looked at each other and frowned.
“I did tell the butterfly to show me more later though…”
Bruno felt something click for him, while the butterfly had not technically shown the boy anything more of what he wanted to find, it had shown him what he wanted.
“Antonio came to ask for me to try to have a vision of Mirabel, but I couldn’t” He started, “I looked through my booklet of visions, and not a single one of them ever mentioned her. Then I realized that somehow that butterfly Antonio mentioned was involved. Right before I arrived in the dinning room, I saw a yellow butterfly fly past me, it had a magical glow to it. Then I see her, it wasn’t quite her, but she was standing at the foot of the table looking at all of you, she was see through-”
“Does that mean…?” Dolores couldn’t even finish her sentence.
“No, I- I don’t think so. I mean I’ve never seen a spirit before or anything, but I’m pretty sure she wasn’t one. Because she had the same magical glow around her that the butterfly had, I think that it’s because of some magic she was able to be there.”
“But the magic disappeared.”
Bruno paused, if he was gonna tell them, he was going to tell them everything.
“Well, not exactly.”
“What do you mean, Tío?” Camilo asked, scooting himself closer.
“Remember her gift ceremony?” The two nodded. “Well, that day, Abuela asked me to look into the future, see what it meant. What I saw was the miracle fading, our house falling apart and at the center of it all Mirabel. But it was like her fate was undecided; if you moved the vision around you’d see both a broken Casita and a fixed one. I believed that the house, the fate of the miracle itself rests on her shoulders.”
The three were shocked as they listened to him and he couldn’t blame them, but without missing a beat he continued.
“The magic might have died for us, but it seems a piece of it is still with her. Following her, keeping her safe, maybe even trying to lead her home. I think we may find her soon.”
“Why don’t you tell the family?” Dolores asked.
“I don’t want to set up another possible disappointment, you’ve seen the family, you’ve seen how desperate and broken everyone is. If I brought it up and I was wrong, the heartbreak would be too much for them to bear. They would break completely, they would lose hope and our family would be broken in a way we may never be able to fix.” Bruno explained, he couldn’t bear to be the reason either of his hermanas cried or were disappointed.
Dolores looked so conflicted, and he understood.
“Dolores, you can’t tell them yet. Not until we find something else, something to reignite our faith. Only then can I bring it up, can you keep it quiet till then?”
Dolores sighed and nodded, she trusted her Tío even if she thought it would be better to tell the family.
“What about you two?” He turned to Camilo and Antonio
Camilo did the zipping motion over his mouth and smiled giving his Tío a thumbs up.
“I've been quiet for this long, a little longer wouldn’t hurt.” Antonio replied.
“Great, I’ll actually go to scope out wherever that butterfly was leading Antonio. I’ll come back if I find something.”
“But what will we tell the family?” Camilo asked.
“I’ll make up some excuse, don’t worry, just focus on keeping everyone distracted.”
And with that the four of them hatched their plan, soon each parted to go to sleep for the night leaving Bruno alone in his room once more.
“Whatever is keeping her alive and safe, please continue to do so.” he murmured before trying to sleep himself.
It had been a really busy day for both Mirabel and her Tía, thanks to the investment they’d actually begun to ship a few of their works to a few nearby towns. Well ship was a strong word, more like two people were sent off on a horse with a few embroidered gifts to trade with the towns. The two would work overtime to make enough for the town, a few people from town like Ms. Bosquez and Ms. Castro would help the two claiming they enjoyed working and had nothing to do anyways.
Many other towns folk showed their support in other ways, Mr. Romas would bring over a few baked treats while Mr. Reyes, who apparently ran a bar on the corner of the street, would bring a few refreshments. Non-alcoholic of course, none of them drank. Mirabel wasn’t sure how to feel she loved to work and make stuff, but it was so stressful yet rewarding.
It was rather enjoyable, especially feeling that good high once she finished for the day, the two would get food and enjoy each other's company.
“Ay mija, wasn’t it so wonderful today?” Tía asked.
Mirabel could only nod as she had a mouthful and knew it was impolite to talk with your mouth full.
“I actually managed to snag a small conversation with Mr. Marin and he hinted at possible renovations! Oh, it's all so exciting!” the woman exclaimed.
Mirabel couldn’t help but smile watching her Tía, it’s moment like these that took her back to the good days in the Encanto, before she was broken; giftless. She shook her head, she couldn’t think like that anymore, she was home now and with that Mirabel decided it was time to simply let go of her past. She’d mostly finished her project with some time she’d managed to find and have, it wasn’t her normal but hey it was beautiful. It was a yellow that matched the butterfly’s wings. She still used the colors she had used before to represent her family, but this time it was different, those colors didn’t represent them anymore it had new meaning. She’d still saved up a lot of the money she had, and with the possibility of renovations it opened the door for Mirabel to make the room her own.
“Hey Tía.” she mumbered.
“You know how you asked why I ran away?” Mirabel asked and her Tía nodded in response. “It’s a long story, but in order to understand I need to tell it.”
She took a deep breath, preparing to lay it all out, retelling the tale she was so familiar with.
“My Abuela had told me this story when I was five, she told me the story of a miracle, our miracle. When she had just had her babies, she and her husband; my Abuelo, were forced to flee from their home with many other people. But they weren’t able to escape the dangers, and my Abuelo was lost, and in my Abuela’s darkest moment she was giving a miracle. A blessing which was a candle, it made refuge a place for them to live. The house came to life to shelter my family, and when her children came of age they were each given a gift. My Tía Pepa, her mood controls the weather. My Tío Bruno, no one wants to talk about him, he could see the future and one day he just disappeared. My mama, Julieta, her cooking could heal you; literally. Then my Tía got married to my Tío Felix and my mama married my papa Agustin. Both have three kids on either side. My prima Dolores can hear a pin drop, Camilo shapeshifts, Antonio can speak with animals. My hermanas, Isabella and Luisa, one strong, one graceful. Perfect in every way, Isabela grows flowers and everyone loves her; she’s a perfect golden child. Luisa’s super strong, they both can do no wrong.”
“What about you, mija?”
“I- I didn’t get a gift, I’m just plain old Mirabel… I lived in the shadows of my family, always trying to be helpful and useful but always falling short. They always sort of nudged me to the side, except my mama and papa, they always tried to make me feel as loved as ever. But since coming here, I’ve learned that no matter what I did, it would never be enough…” Mirabel felt her eyes tear up, no she’d promised herself she wouldn’t do this. “I- I loved my family, all I wanted was for them to see me, to acknowledge me. I just wanted them to love me… I would have given anything for that…”
Mirabel had tried, but the tears were already falling, it seemed that even after all this time she still loved her family and still seemed to yearn for their love and affection. Tía Vargas gently took her hand holding it tightly.
“Mija, let me tell you a secret.” She could only nod in order to keep from sobbing. “When I was a little younger, my parents passed, the shop was what they left behind for me. Before you came it was obvious that it would fail, not many people would buy from here, and every night I would ask my parents for help. Mirabel…”
Her Tía held her face and smiled at her with warmth.
“They sent me you.” Mirabel cried a bit more and felt the familiar warmth of love and happiness spread throughout her once more. “You are gifted, maybe not in the same way they are; but you’re more gifted than some girls I know. I’ll always do whatever I can to show you love, and maybe it won’t fix what you want most, but I hope that it’ll at least help you to feel better about yourself.”
Mirabel gave a small nod and Tía gave her a quick hug.
“And so help me if I ever meet them so help me I will-”
“Tía!” Mirabel said with a bit of a laugh.
“I’m not joking mija, no one treats my sobrina like that and gets away with it. You’ve got me and the entire town behind you, so don’t worry too much if they ever come here, there’ll be a line of people who’ll have a few harsh words for them.”
Mirabel felt herself smile even more and her tears dry off.
“And should you choose to forgive them, I’ll stand beside your decision. As long as they deserve the forgiveness of course.” Her Tía finished with a soft look on her face. The two of them continued to talk about other things, and no more tears were shed that night.
María gently placed her sobrina into her bed and tucked her in. The girl had gotten rather tired after her crying session and eating so much, she’d practically fallen asleep at the table. She paused looking at Mirabel’s sleeping face, and she couldn’t help from smiling softly and stroked the sleeping girl's hair. She quietly left the room and headed to her own room
The story she’d told her was a bit strange, but in her mind it wasn’t far-fetched. On the contrary, the story had a familiar feeling to it, while it wasn’t exactly the same it reminded her of another tale.
“Ay Laura…” María said as she looked at a picture of her and another woman. The women in the picture were young and smiling brightly.
“It seems your son wasn’t the only one blessed by magic.”
Alma sat on her bed, staring at her hands, the room was colorless, practically everything had lost color. She opened her hands, and in them laid her locket.
“Ay Pedro, where is she?” The woman had felt weak ever since her nieta ran away. “You must be so disappointed in me… I- I have no excuses…” The weight of everything laid on her shoulders, she saw clearer than ever that she had caused all of this.
“Please mi vida, wherever she is, watch over her. And… should she wish for it, bring her home.” She couldn’t utter the words without tears slipping out, as much as she wanted her nieta to come home. If she doesn’t want to, how could she take that away from her Mirabel?
She had stopped eating as much and was aware of the seeming agreement of private time in the nursery; she herself had attempted to enter the room on multiple occasions. But she never could, always faltering in front of the door, never able to open it.
“Bless her Pedro, she deserves nothing less.”
Alma kissed the picture and closed it, lying down in her bed to sleep. Outside the window a yellow butterfly fluttered by.
The renovations started the next morning, several people all chattering, blueprints and Tía was talking to the construction workers about how it would change as well as how it would affect the buildings around them.
“Tía, I’ll be heading out for a bit!” Mirabel called.
“Alright mija! Come back soon, we need to discuss your room.” her Tía replied before going back to a conversation with the workers.
She headed to the library, she still had the torn papers from her notes, she planned on retaking them quickly, then heading back. Entering the library she passed casual talk with Irene, who greeted her warmly.
“Back again I see.”
“Retaking some notes, Ms. Lopez.”
“Oh, I think someone is using the books you want to use, but you can check just to be sure.”
Mirabel was caught off guard by this and headed to try to find the books, and true to Ms. Lopez’s words, they were no longer on the shelf. She tries to glance around trying to see who had the books before seeing a familiar figure and heading over to the table.
The boy looked up as she walked over and quickly tried to cover whatever it was he was doing. She casually sat herself across from him and studied his suspicious behavior.
“What are you doing?”
“Oh, I’m just researching some baking techniques!” he quickly responded with a nervous smile.
Her eyes trailed down to look at the books he was trying to hide.
“Right… with books over embroidery and sewing?”
Daniel flushed and retracted his defensive stance, scratching the back of his head.
“I was trying to rewrite the notes I tore… though I don’t actually understand any of this.” He explained shyly. Something about it made her want to laugh at him and tease him a bit, though she’d be lying if she wasn’t flattered.
“Okay, well if you really want to know.” Mirabel pulled one of the books and casually explained to him as she rewrote her notes, and the two talked for about twenty minutes before they both left.
“Wow, I never knew how intricate it was.” Daniel said walking back with her.
“I know right?”
“Hey, if you ever need any help with baking, don’t hesitate to ask me.”
The two soon reached a point where they’d split up.
“See you later, Mirabel.”
“Replacing me so soon?” a girl watched the two walk away. “Who even is that girl?”
She clutched her hands together and studied the girl. She’d noticed the yellow butterfly that seemed to follow her around, she knew that it was no normal butterfly. This was her town, she’d take what was hers. It seemed that the girl also had bits of magic, and that meant wherever she came from also had magic. Right then and there she set up a plan to get even more power, she'd have to start by watching the girl more intensely.
“I just need to get that girl to trust me. It shouldn’t be too hard, I mean I’ve already done it once.” She pulled out a necklace with a dark purple jewel on it.
“It’s time to finally come back, I hope you’re all ready. Especially you, Daniel.”
Chapter 12: Rewrite the Stars
Mirabel is warned of the possibility of something bad happening to her. Bruno sets off on a journey to try to find his sobrina. The shop is not very changed on the outside, but the inside has been upgraded. There’s also an upcoming festival, in which Daniel wants to ask Mirabel to go with him while the two of them bake.
Edit: I did it again, I'm so sorry Bruno!
Mirabel entered the shop to see that everything had been painted over white and the workers seemed to be running around, Tía Vargas seemed to be at the center of it all.
“Oh, mija! I don’t want to run you on an errand, but if you could I need you to drop this off to Mr. Calvo?” She handed Mirabel a box. And once more the girl was off on another adventure to Mr. Calvo’s house, she recalled how the last time she was there the man had been rather disgruntled at her. She hoped that he wasn’t like that to her this time.
Once she reached the house, she knocked on the door and the man opened it seemingly pleased to see her.
“Mirabel…”he mumbled looking at her. “Ah, please, come inside.” He opened the door wider for the girl to enter, and she did so but rather hesitantly.
The inside of the man's house was small, everything seemed to all be in the main room, it was messy and cluttered. Yet somehow, it was also organized and sectioned in a way that it didn’t limit movement.
“Sorry, I- I wasn’t expecting guests today. But, uh, please make yourself at home!” the man said taking the box from her and he went to place the box on a pile of other boxes. “Would you like anything to drink?”
“No, thank you sir, I’ll actually be heading back now so there’s no need to prepare anything.”
“Wait! Uhm, listen about what happened last time, I wanted to apologize for that. I wasn’t really expecting you to come and I’m not the best with people…” The man started to ramble. “I’m not really a people’s person, and the people here don’t particularly like me but they don’t exclude me…”
“Mr. Calvo, it’s fine I get it.” Mirabel quickly stated, she never held the incident against the man and she had assumed that it had been that situation where he was surprised by her. Mr. Calvo seemed surprised to hear her accept his apology.
“Here, please at least take this…” He handed her a business card, and she stared at it.
“Fortune telling? Take a peek into your future? You’re a fortune teller?”
Mr. Calvo nodded quickly and sat down in a chair, seeing him do so she followed suit, this had caught her interest.
“I’m a bit of a clairvoyant, some of the townspeople don’t really like me because their prediction was negative. But above all I’m honest, and that’s usually what brings people back, I’ll give you a free session if you ever want it.”
“There’s no need to give me anything sir, it’s all good please don’t feel bad.” Mirabel tried to deny it though she was intrigued by the offer.
“No please, even if you won’t accept it as an apology, at least accept it as a favor for the rest of the town.” Mr. Calvo insisted and Mirabel couldn’t help but cave.
She sighed and pocketed the card.
“I will say, Mirabel, the real reason I’m telling you about my clairvoyance is that the air around you is what really startled me. I’ve never seen such a beautiful yellow glow attached to someone, it’s a warm glow. Very kind and protective.”
Mirabel looked at him as his eyes gave a slight glow as he spoke. Then suddenly he frowned.
“I must give you a warning though, it seems as though something wishes to harm you and those you love. Please be wary of any new faces you meet in the upcoming days, one of them wishes you nothing pleasant.” The glow in his eyes faded and he gave her a timid smile.
“Does that count as my free session?”
“No, I was just studying a bit… I wanted to give you a bit of a warning. Not everyone who’s nice to you has good intentions.”
Mirabel was confused by this information, what did he mean? She knew that there were people who were manipulative, but she was pretty certain that no one she’s met had been one of those people.
“Well, thank you Mr. Calvo, but I’ve really got to get going now.” She got up and gestured towards the door. Mr. Calvo quickly stood up.
“Oh! Of course, I’ve kept you too long, sorry about that…” he gently escorted her out the door.
“It’s fine Mr. Calvo.” Mirabel replied with a smile. “Have a nice day!”
“You too!” he replied, smiling back at her.
As soon as the girl was out of view he frowned and returned inside to his chair, on one had he was pleased due to the fact that his apology had gotten through, though it was curious she accepted it so easily. Many people were creeped out by his looks and especially his business, so it surprised how forgiving the girl was.
But he was worried.
A familiar dark energy had entered the town, he felt it. It also seemed to try to be reaching for the girl. The feeling the energy gave off matched that of the girl from three years ago, but he didn’t want to get ahead of himself. He’d keep an eye on the energy, and if it was what he thought it was, he’d need to warn Daniel and plant the seed of knowledge in the town.
“Mirabel…” he mumbled, staring at the door. “Please, be safe.”
While he didn’t know the girl well, he saw how she helped this town, how she was healing it. He wouldn’t let that bright light go out, and he was certain that everyone in this town would do anything to keep it. Whatever the dark energy was, it wouldn’t swallow Mirabel, not if they knew about it.
Mirabel quickly rushed her way back to the shop, and in doing so she accidentally ran into someone.
“Oof.” the person said as they fell.
“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry!” Mirabel immediately rushed to help the person up, who incidentally was a girl, offering her a hand.
“It’s okay!” she replied with a bit of a laugh as she took the hand and stood herself up and brushed herself off. “You’re Mirabel, aren’t you?”
Mirabel blinked a bit in shock. “Yes?”
“I’ve heard so much about you!” the girl exclaimed happily looking at her with stars in her eyes. “I’ve actually wanted to meet you, but I haven’t had the time to.”
“Well, it’s nice to meet you.” Mirabel replied, it was strange how excited the girl was, but she’d give her the benefit of the doubt.
“It’s nice to meet you too! I’m Nina!” She extended her hand and Mirabel shook it. The two of them continued to talk a bit as they walked with each other. Mirabel was surprised to find the she had a lot in common with this girl.
“It’s crazy that I haven’t seen you around.” Mirabel stated as they rounded the corner.
“I know right? It’s so weird.” Nina agreed and the two giggled.
“So what is it that you do?”
“I actually have a small bakery of my own two streets over.” Nina described. “It’s much smaller and less well known compared to Colombia’s Confections.”
“I’ll have to visit sometime.” Mirabel replied with a smile.
“Please, do I’d love to have you!” Nina responded
Nina paused and Mirabel followed suit.
“I have to get going now, but it was fun talking with you Mirabel!” Nina chirped happily.
“It was fun talking with you too, Nina. I’ll see you around.” Mirabel replied. Nina gave her a nod of agreement then ran off and Mirabel herself rushed back to the shop.
She came back into the shop and was stunned by the view, once more the outside looked like normal, but the inside was somehow more spacious and so welcoming and fancy but not too much. The colors blended perfectly with blues, greens, yellows and purples circling each other harmoniously. It looked even better with the bright sunlight outside shining in.
“Mija, you’re finally back, come you must go tell them how you want your room!” Tía Vargas barged the girl as soon as she entered, dragging her to her room where the workers were all looking.
Her room had been mostly cleared with all her stuff having been moved into the hallway. It was painted over white and was full of potential.
“If you really want to do it yourself you can.” one of the workers told her gesturing to the different cans of paints and understanding eyes.
“Could I really?” Mirabel asked.
“Of course! We do have to also work on your Tía’s room as well.” the worker responded.
“Go on mija, you make it the way you want.” her Tía agreed and gestured to the workers to head to her room. Mirabel on the other hand grabbed some paint brushes and paints, she entered her own room and stared at the walls in hope, this is what she’d always wanted, in order to have a room of her own and now she got to make it hers.
Now Mirabel wasn’t much of an artist, though she was sure that her Tía would very much disagree with her, but she closed her eyes and imagined something that would make her feel at home. And she started to paint, it took her hours and actually went rather late into the night, she didn’t even realize it, she was so focused on her picture.
Mirabel finished her final touches and looked around her room, she had painted an image that wrapped around her entire room: on the side across from her bed, which was on the left side entering the room, was a giant mount split in half with a giant line of butterflies flying towards it, the line wrapped around her room, near the bottom of the wall was a painted river with multiple colors, she did the whole lighting and everything. Something about the image caused her heart to be filled with warmth, hope and love, though she wasn’t sure why. And she decided that her door would be painted the same green that it was back in the Encanto, and on the back of the door when it was closed she painted images which represented her family all surrounding the candle.
She was satisfied with her work, it was beautiful.
“Mija!” Tía Vargas called as the girl exited the room with the buckets of paint. “You’re finally finished huh?”
She excitedly entered Mirabel’s room and looked astonished at the girl's accomplishment.
“Mirabel, this is so incredible!”
“I agree.” The worker from earlier agreed as he too entered the room. He gave her an impressed look and a nod of approval. “We’ll give it a few minutes to fully dry and we’ll get your stuff back inside.”
And sure enough after ensuring the paint was dry the workers all rearranged her stuff, fighting everything in a way which caused her small room to be more spacious yet not covering too much of the walls. They were paid well and left that night, the aunt and niece both sat and enjoyed dinner together once more in their new small dining area.
“Oh, mija, I wanted to let you know that next week will be very busy for us. It’s also why we got our store makeover today. Next week will be the festival week.” Tía Vargas told her calmly.
Mirabel looked up in surprise and gave her aunt a questioning gaze.
“It’s a good time where the community enjoys each other's presence and simply gets closer. It’s meant to help keep the community strong.”
“That sounds fun.” Mirabel replied somewhat happily.
“You’ll enjoy it mija, I know you will.”
The two continue to eat and talk quietly to one another.
Daniel ran around busily trying to prepare with his Tío in advance for the coming week. They were trying to have everything perfect for the festival. Surprisingly they finished earlier than normal and Daniel was given time off. He used to head across the street to visit Mirabel who happily greeted him and showed him her projects.
He’d sit and conversate with her as she worked, the two of them laughing and enjoying the other’s presence. He hadn’t been this happy since she left, but he’d learned there was no point to think of her anymore, the girl in front of him was much more interesting and fun.
“Mija, why don’t you take a little break? We’ve gotten enough done for today, we can finish the rest tomorrow.” Ms. Vargas told the two of them.
Mirabel nodded in response and the two of them left the shop and she stretched for a bit.
“So what usually goes on at the festival?” Mirabel asked.
“Well, there’s usually some games during the day and lots of food, at night there are more simple attractions and usually music to listen to.” Daniel simply replied. “You wanna go to the festival together?”
His heart was thumping wildly as her face shifted from confusion to a teasing glance.
“Sure, Daniel.” She smiled sweetly at him and he rubbed the back of his neck trying to calm himself down.
“Great, come on… I’ll- I’ll teach you how to bake.” He said simply walking away.
Mirabel gave herself a soft chuckle watching the boy quickly walk across the street, and she followed behind him. The boy was rather sweet and shy when he wanted to be, and upon entering the store Mr. Romas greeted her warmly and Daniel dragged her past him into the kitchen.
The two got to work with Daniel giving her a few simple instructions which she followed.
“Look at you!” he exclaimed as she put the pan into the oven to bake. “You learn so quickly, honestly is there anything you can’t do?” He leaned against the wall behind him asking her.
She gave him a small laugh as she brushed off her hand and started on her wanted frosting.
“I’m not that good, plus there’s plenty I can’t do. You should meet my sisters, they’re amazing.”
“I’m not talking about them though, I’m talking about you.” He started walking himself closer to her.
She paused and looked at him, her heart slightly fluttered at his warm gaze so she quickly looked away and focused more on the frosting.
“Yeah, but still…”
“Come on, Mirabel, you can embroider, sing, dance, and you’re apparently a fast learner. You are amazing.”
Mirabel felt herself slightly flush at this, being bombarded with compliments was one thing but having it come from a boy her age was another thing.
“But… I suppose I wouldn’t mind learning more about your family.” Daniel nonchalantly said.
Of course Mirabel paused, and easily caved; she'd already come to terms with her trauma. She started to speak.
“Do you remember the story I told the kids at the orphanage?”
“Well, I left a bit out. Julieta, the one who could heal people with her cooking, is actually my mother. Isabela and Luisa are my sisters. I am Mirabel Madrigal.”
“So… what is your gift?”
“I didn’t get one… I was giftless, no matter how many hobbies I took up, no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t compare.” Mirabel felt her eyes water up again, and she couldn’t help but slightly laugh at herself. “Look at me, I’m still crying over it…”
Daniel was silent as Mirabel dried her tears, he slowly and gently took her into his arms and hugged her.
“Oh, Mira…” he then let her go and she stared into his eyes, slightly shocked. “Screw them, if they can’t see your worth then they don’t deserve you.”
She slightly giggled as Daniel seemed to fume.
“You are amazingly talented and a great person, even I can see that.” He casually booping her nose, getting a bit of flour on her face.
“Thanks Daniel,” Mirabel replied but then she noticed the flour as she wiped her nose.
“Yes Mirabel?” the boy asked, already walking away.
“You didn’t purposefully get flour on me did you?” She stared down the boy who was looking around acting innocent.
“No, of course not Mirabel.” Daniel smiled with his hands behind him. He then quickly threw more flour at her and this started a bit of a playful fight between them. The two ran around the kitchen and Mirabel simply was trying to get him back.
And eventually she did get him back, she managed to get a handful of flour on his face, causing both of them to laugh and he attempted to fight against her.
“Alright, alright enough Laura, we gotta get back to work.” Daniel stated between laughs and this immediately caused both of them to freeze.
Mirabel got off of him and stared at him in confusion. Daniel on the other hand had a look of pure horror on his face as the boy sat up and seemingly curled into himself.
The boy didn’t respond and she could hear his breath quicken, she quickly sat down beside him and softly and calmly started to talk him down.
“What did she do to you?” Mirabel mumbled as she gently rubbed his back. He glanced over at her with a questioning gaze.
“Not much, only she did something that hurt you and this town.” Mirabel replied.
Daniel didn’t deny her reply and sat quietly.
“I- I’m sorry I’m not ready-”
“It’s okay. Don’t worry about it Daniel, take your time.” She stated firmly helping him up and pushing him out the kitchen. “Go clean up a bit, I’ll finish the cake.”
As she got the pan out of the oven and got the cake out of the pan, she couldn’t help but feel slightly surprised that Daniel didn’t question anything about the story of magic, which she kinda expected him to. Once more it feed into her belief that there was so much more to this town than she knew.
Daniel paused a bit looking back at the girl as she pulled the pan out of the oven, when had it finished? He then quickly walked himself to the bathroom, he didn’t want to have her actually finish it alone.
It had shocked him honestly, that he still had the capacity to utter her name. It had been three years already, the thought of her and the fact that he had said her name sent shivers down his back. It caused his heart to stop, and fear to grip him. He shook himself out of it as he continued to splash water in his face, Mirabel must be confused.
He wondered if he’d be able to tell her about that girl the girl had already told him about her trauma, and she’d shown no real reason for him to doubt her. Still he was cautious, the wound was too fresh, but he’d see. If today was anything to go on, he’d have no problem telling her everything, just not today, not now. Eventually however, he’d come clean and he’d only hope that she gave him the same kind look she gave him today.
Daniel left the restroom and quickly headed back to the kitchen and the two of them got back to their normal banter as they decorated the cake together. And while doing so, Daniel felt his heart flutter in nothing but warmth as he snuck a glance at her. He knew from this that she would not judge him for anything. That was part of what he needed, now he just had to prepare himself to tell her.
Bruno quickly and quietly packed a few things, he carefully peeped out his door checking to make sure everyone was asleep. He actually didn’t expect to be out long, he knew everyone’s sleep schedule due to how often he was awake during the night. He was also prepared for the possibility he’d be gone a bit longer than expected, so he left a small note stating that he’d really needed to head out into town to go buy a very specific item which couldn’t be found just anywhere. It also stated it was of the utmost importance to get it soon because he required it to better understand his visions.
Bruno figured that it would cover him for long enough, though he also hoped Dolores, Camilo and Antonio kept the family distracted from his disappearance. He quietly traveled outside the house and towards the mountains. He wasn’t exactly sure which one to climb, Antonio never quiet specified.
“Ah, all that just to get stuck here.” Bruno muttered to himself, closing his eyes and rubbing his temple. Then a familiar warmth floated near him, he opened them to find a golden butterfly fluttering in front of him.
“You’re that butterfly…” It fluttered in a nodding motion in response. “Please, lead me to her.”
With that the butterfly gently floated leading Bruno to the same mountain Antonio climbed and looking down the moonlight shines onto the land before him.
“Is she down there?” the butterfly basically nodded. Bruno looked at the steep path he’d have to go down. It would be dumb of him to go down now, so he sat himself and simply stared at the stars. He didn’t expect to fall asleep, simply wanting to recuperate his strength. The butterfly landed itself gently on his chest and a wave of exhaustion hit him and he was knocked out.
Chapter 13: How Far I’ll Go the Distance
It’s the weekend before the festival week, Mirabel notices the decorations and setups for the coming week. She helped her Tía out at the shop and is preparing for the festival, especially with her new outfit. Tía Vargas meets an unexpected guest. Bruno had managed to find the village and happened upon a peculiar shop. Shenanigans ensue. Daniel meets Nina while hanging out with Mirabel.
Sorry I'm posting so late, so much has happened in my life lol, sorry if it isn't that good.
Mirabel had left the bakery; Daniel saw her out and made sure she got back to the shop safe. She carried with her half of the cake they'd made together. She quickly placed the box on the counter, heading back to her room. On one of the moved desks lay her new skirt, it was a bit odd, it was still a similar blue but now she’d made it so that when she spinned there were certain blobs of yellow which caused the shape of a butterfly. Scattered everywhere were yellow butterflies. Warm pink sewing items for her Tía, a beautiful blue cake for Daniel, every color accessible to her was on her new skirt. She simply added her finishing touches to the skirt, she changed into it and gently folded her old skirt hiding it away in her bag.
She then laid down on her bed and thought about everything that had happened that day, the story Mr. Calvo’s story resurfacing to her mind once more after her rushed journey back to the shop. Now that she thought about it it was actually strange that she had run into a girl right after what she could only assume as a warning. It was a bit suspicious that she’d happened to run into Nina right after receiving said warning.
Though she also noted that it could have simply been a coincidence, a strange coincidence but a coincidence nonetheless. It was all so strange and so much happened in that small amount of time. But Mirabel decided to shake it off, she’d be wary of Nina but still give her a chance. She laid down and tried to sleep.
It was time to get up early as usual and María headed to go open the shop. Her darling sobrina appeared to still be sleeping and she didn’t feel like waking the girl up early. She began simply fixing a few details and was surprised to hear the bell open so soon after the opening of the shop. She turns to see a strange man enter with a shy look on his face, she simply raised an eyebrow and the man gave her a small smile.
“Um… Hello, I -uh I was wondering if there happened to be a girl in this town named Mirabel?”
This caused María to freeze.
“Uh, if you don’t know it’s okay. I was just wondering because well you see I’m sort of looking for her and-”
“Who are you?” She asked, cutting into his ramble.
“I’m her Tío.”
Bruno hadn’t expected this honestly, he had managed to safely navigate himself down the mountains and the butterfly had led him to this shop just as it happened to open. A woman had answered the door and had told him to sit himself down before disappearing into the back of the shop.
He took the time to look around the shop, examining the different pieces of clothes and works placed proudly around on shelves and displays. It seemed that this shop was one that worked with embroidery and other similar methods.
Mirabel was surprised to wake up to her Tía knocking on her door. She dragged herself out of bed and over to her door.
“Good morning mija, I apologize for waking you up so early but there’s someone looking for you.” Tía Vargas said she also noticed her new outfit. “So this is the project you were working on.”
A smile spread proudly across her face and Mirabel smiled back giving her a tiny spin.
“Who is looking for me, Tía?” Mirabel asked, leaving her room, following her as they walked back to the main area of the shop.
“He claims to be your Tío” They arrived in the main section where Mirabel paused, immediately spotting who she was talking about.
“Tío Bruno?” she exclaimed.
“Hi…” he replied with an awkward chuckle as he scratched on the back of his head.
The three were sat at the table, with Mirabel and Tía Vargas on one side and her Tío Bruno on the other side. An awkward silence filled the air, Tía Vargas stared at the man with a sharp glare and Tío Bruno couldn’t meet her gaze, sending a questioning look at Mirabel. The girl looked between him and her Tía.
“Tía, can you go get us some drinks?”
“Of course mija!” Tía Vargas responded with a smile, giving Bruno a settled glare before going.
“Thank you Mirabel.” Tío Bruno quickly thanked the girl and she smiled in response.
“What are you doing here Tío?” She asked.
“Well, I’m actually here for you. We’ve all been looking for you, Mirabel.” he responded softly.
“Of course sobrina! I know that what happened really hurt you, but it’s gotten better Mirabel. And if you want to come home, you can. If not, I’ll pretend like I never saw you.”
Tía Vargas gently placed a cup of tea in front of him and also put a cup of water in front of Mirabel. She grabbed her own cup and sat down.
“So, that’s why you’re here.” she mused while drinking her tea.
“The choice with yours Mirabel, I’ll support you either way.”
Mirabel shifted uncomfortably, rubbing her arm slightly.
“I- I’m not ready to go back Tío… I don’t even know if I want to. I just, I can’t not now not when I’ve only started to feel better about myself.”
“It’s okay, mi sobrina, there’s no need to explain yourself I understand.” He replied gently.
“I do have some questions for you though…”
He looked at her with a questioning gaze.
“It’s about your vision of me… why was I in it?”
Bruno sat up hearing her ask this.
“How do you know about that?”
“I actually found it before I ran away. It was one of the reasons
Bruno sighed when his sobrina asked him about that vision. He should have figured that she’d be curious about it, so he sat himself a little taller.
“I… I still don’t exactly know. But what I had gathered was that the fate of the miracle had laid on your shoulders.”
“Oh, right you don’t know… Mirabel not too long after you left, Casita fell and the candle went out. The miracle is no more, at least not for us.”
He could she her visibly freeze after hearing this.
“It’s not your fault, you didn’t cause any of this. It was bound to happen eventually, the family just wasn’t a family anymore.”
Mirabel still looked confused. Suddenly the woman next to her put her cup down with a loud clack. Bruno and Mirabel both turned to look at her.
“Mirabel mija, can you go get something for your Tío?”
Mirabel nodded and quickly went off. She turned her attention back to him.
“Thank you for taking care of her so far. She’s told all about this family, and of all of them you aren’t the worst.”
The woman smiled at him and extended her hand.
“My name is María, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“Bruno, it’s good to meet you too.” He replied gently, taking her hand and the two shook.
“Thank you for taking my sobrina in, I was worried about her, but seeing how you treat her… I know she’ll be safe in your care.”
The two had a moment of silence pass between them.
“I’ll have Mirabel show you around town, and whenever you leave I’ll pack something for you.” She said simply.
He stared at her in shock and with a questioning gaze.
“I figured you could use a bit of time to catch up with your sobrina.”
“Here Tío.” Mirabel said, putting a plate of cut fruit in front of him.
“Thank you Mirabel.”
“Mija, I was just telling your Tío that you’d show him around for a bit.” María told the girl with a smile.
Mirabel simply smiled in response. She was confused by the different air that she had returned to, but she didn’t mind.
“Go ahead mija, show him around.”
With that the two left the shop.
“How is everything?”
“Well it’s actually going better. Everyone has adjusted to being unable to use their gifts and it’s slowly gotten better. There’s still some leftover signs of the gifts having existed.”
Mirabel nodded slowly and the two continued to walk.
“How are you doing?”
“I’ve really found my place here, Tío. I like it.”
“There’s actually someone here with a similar gift to what you had.”
He raised an eyebrow hearing that.
“Yeah, let me introduce you to him.”
With that Mirabel led her Tío to Mr. Calvo’s house. While going there she saw all the different colors and decorations being put up everywhere from shops to houses, everything had flowers of sorts.
“Is there something big happening here?”
“Apparently there’s a festival happening during the upcoming week.” Mirabel responded casually.
He gave a hum and nodded.
The two soon arrived at Mr. Calvo’s house.
“Ah Mirabel! Why are you here?”
“Sorry to intrude Mr. Calvo, I actually wanted to introduce you to my Tío.”
He looks over at Tío Bruno and gives him a smile.
“A bearer of a similar gift ay?” He then steps to the side, opening the door wider. “Please, come in.”
The two entered and sat down.
“What can I do for you today?”
“Oh, I was simply curious and wanted to meet someone with a similar gift,” he responded.
Mr. Calvo nodded in response.
“Ah!” Mirabel exclaimed sitting up, “I’m sorry Tío, I just remembered I promised a friend I would meet them to hang out.”
“It’s okay Mirabel.” Tío Bruno responded with a small understanding smile.
“Don’t worry about him Mirabel, I’ll entertain him and be sure to bring him back to your Tía’s shop.” Mr. Calvo promised.
Mirabel gave a nod and quickly left the house heading to where she told Daniel she’d meet him for the day.
“Your sobrina is quite a person.” Mr. Calvo stated to Bruno. “She has a strange energy about her.”
“A strange yellow glow right?” He asked, sitting up slightly and the man nodded back in response.
“I do fear for her though, I sense that something wishes to cause her harm.”
“It’s like my vision from all those years ago…” Bruno mumbled to himself.
“Don’t worry too much though. I doubt anyone in this town will sit still should anything happen to her.”
Bruno looked back at him.
“She’s had an impact on this town.”
“Do take care of her.”
With that the conversation and Bruno was led back to the shop.
Daniel was waiting at the corner for Mirabel to show up, she was usually early for these types of things.
“Sorry I’m late Daniel.” Mirabel said as she ran over to where he was.
“It’s okay Mirabel, I wasn’t waiting that long.”
“Still, I feel sorry for making you wait.”
The two laughed a bit and started to walk about.
“Oh, there’s another bakery around here apparently, the girl who works there is absolutely delightful.” Mirabel started leading the boy to the other bakery.
“Is there? I didn’t know there was another one, though I’m not surprised.” Daniel responded following the girl.
With that the two entered a small shop and Nina was there at the counter to greet them.
“Hello Mirabel! It’s a pleasure to see you here!” She greeted her happily.
Daniel immediately took the time to study the girl, he hadn’t ever seen her before. He made sure to take particular note of whether or not she wore any jewelry, specifically a necklace. He was pleased and set at ease when he saw none, but he knew better than to let his guard down.
The two girls chattered and the boy tried to gently roll his way into the conversation.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you Nina, I’m Daniel.”
“Oh yes, I’ve heard about you. You’re the boy who runs the other bakery shop, oh it’s an absolute inspiration to me.”
“Really?” He asked surprised.
Nina quickly nodded in response.
“I could only dream of having a shop half as big or popular as yours. I can barely keep this shop afloat.”
“So you struggle with finances? Is that why you don’t have any jewelry?” Daniel asked and he felt Mirabel slightly elbow him.
“Oh no, I could never dream of buying any jewelry, I focus on keeping this shop alive.” Nina replied simply.
This put him at ease, at the least he knew that there was no chance she had it, sure she could be lying but he usually had a good affinity for sniffing lies out. After some time the two left and Daniel was sure to walk the girl home.
“Why did you ask her about jewelry?” Mirabel asked.
“I was simply curious is all.” He responded curtly.
“Mhm, if you say so.” She replied.
The two continued to walk in silence.
Upon reaching the shop she turned to Daniel.
“Well, today was fun.” Mirabel said.
“It was.” He replied.
“Ah mija, Daniel.” Tía Vargas said, opening the door to the shop. “You’re just in time mija, your Tío was just planning to leave.”
Right on que Tío Bruno walked out of the shop behind her.
“You’re leaving already Tío?” Mirabel asked, she didn’t particularly want him to leave yet.
“Yeah, the family will be worried.” He responded with a sad smile. “I’ll try to visit occasionally though.”
“This is your Tío?” Daniel asked.
“Oh right, Tío Bruno this is Daniel, Daniel this is my Tío Bruno.”
He seemed to study Daniel for a minute and gave him a smile.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you Daniel, such a shame that we met so late.” And with that Mirabel hugged her Tío and he was off into the sunset. Daniel too left, Mirabel and her Tía headed back inside the shop.
“Your Tío isn’t such a bad man.”
“Yeah he’s not.”
The two continued to work around the shop for a bit and talk about the festival and the different decorations.
Nina was cleaning up and planning to close shop, it had been another long day. The bell rung, a signal that someone was entering her shop. She looked up and it was a girl, she had long black hair and wore a beautiful pink dress.
“Welcome! What can I do for you?”
“I’d like a Roscón, please.”
“Sure can I get a name for that?” Nina asked as she got the desert the girl asked for.
“Isabela.” Nina nodded and handed over the small bag to the girl.
“Thank you, here.” She looked at her and