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Yellow Bell Lotte
Yellow Bell Lotte
Found in Underground Utility Tunnels
Description  ?
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TranscriptEdit

A tall human was watering the garden.

His white shirt and black slacks were simple and clean.

"Teacher!"

As the two young children called out, a man who was

watering the grass raised his head.

"Yes? Anything the matter?"

The man they called “teacher” kneeled down to peer at the

young boy through his glasses.

"Teacher, when’s Lotte coming back?"

The question came from the little girl.

Even from a distance, I could see the man’s face grow dark.

"Teacher, will Lotte ever come back?"

The little boy looked up expectantly, but their teacher could

only furrow his eyebrows and purse his lips.

More children gathered, questions alight on their small faces.

Their matching white shirts were tattered with use.

I could imagine that Lotte, too, had joined this circle with

her signature yellow bell.

The young children didn’t appear to have parents.

They lived in the big, plain house with the man they called

"teacher."

"Well, what’s taking her so long?

She’s gone away before, but…”

The teacher murmured and excuse, but the children wouldn’t

be soothed.

"We wanna play with Lotte again."

"M-Maybe Lotte’s sick."

"Maybe she’s hurt."

"I bet she misses us."

"She must miss us!"

As worry spread among the childre, the teacher asked

them a question.

"Let me ask you. Does it make you

sad to think that Lotte’s lonely?”

"Of course."

"We miss her!"

The teacher nodded and continued.

"Then, if Lotte knew how you missed her, it’d make her sad.

Right?”

His voice was gentle.

As I watched from a distance, I hesitated momentarily.

I knew that the yellow bell that Lotte possessed was from

this orphanage, which was why I’d come.

But I couldn’t imagine that she really had a family in this

place.

Would anyone care if she were gone?

Their worries now put to rest, the children returned to their

games.

But one girl lingered behind.

A freckled girl with curly hair.

"But…we’re all…"

The girl mumbled, looking down at her feet.

"We’re all still sad even if Lotte isn’t lonely."

The teacher put his hand on top of the girl’s head.

"I supposed there are some things that can’t be helped."

"I know what you do at night!"

The girl blurted, looking at him hard.

"If you really felt it couldn’t be helped, then you wouldn’t

be out searching for Lotte every night after we’ve gone to

sleep!”

The teacher quickly put a finger to his lips.

"Everyone’s worried enough as it is."

"But now I’m more worried about you, Teacher!"

The man simply nodded with a sad smile at the girl’s words.

"I know that. And I’m sorry."

Then, with the hose still in hand, he looked at the sky and

spoke aloud.

"Between you and me, I’m not all that worried about Lotte.

I’m sure she’ll survive outside these walls.

All that matters is that we all considered her family.

I’m sure she wants to treasure those words too, because

the family we made here is the only one we’ve ever had.

As far as I’m concerned, we’re Lotte’s family, and as long

as she knows that, everything will be okay. And to be honest,

I believe that Lotte will return someday.”

Night came and the lights in the orphanage winked out.

I slowly crept out from the shadows that spread before the

orphanage.

The momeny the teacher saw me, he stopped in his tracks.

The light from the full moon completely transformed me.

I rang the bell, knowing it was all I could rely on.

"Lotte… Is that you?"

Yes, yes. It’s me, Lotte.

"So then, does this mean you’re ready to

come back to our home?”

But of course. If you’ll have me, that is.

Back at the orphanage, the freckled girl was trying her best

to calm the children who were crying from the teacher’s

absence.

For days now, she’d taken his place guarding them at night.

Holding the young girl to him, the teacher announced my

return to all the children, to all the family.

I am Lotte.

Lotte, with her yellow bell.

A gentle member of this orphanage with a bigger family

than anyone could ask for.

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