There once was a king...

Beauty and the beast, my version.

Her back arched like bend in the stone bridges that decorated the castle. The night was as dark as it might get, leaving no allowance for shadows or stars. The sky wept, drenching her thin robes and thinner skin. Her face sagged heavily, as if the years had affected her heavily. Boils and scars erupted from her arms, some bled a foul smell, and some were colored a dark shade of purple. She leaned upon a walking stick more gnarled than her, and in each step her body gave some sort of groan or protest. But on she walked, until she reached the great wooden doors of the Loristell castle. Her cane knocked against the door, once, twice. A handsome man answered the door, a curious part of the tale, to be sure. For what king answers his own gates?

                The old woman asked in a hoarse whisper; “I am cold, old and truly too soaked to be outside. A kindness would be well rewarded, your Grace, are you fond of gold?”

                “Gold? What need have I of gold? Can you not see that I am surrounded by all the wealth I shall ever need,” the king said, a scowl upon his face. The scowl did nothing to distort the look he held. He was a beautiful man, by every means. He had a hard lean body that he covered in the finest wear. Gold threaded every piece he wore, and golden jewelry covered his fingers, and wrapped around his neck. Golden hair flowed past his ears and shimmered even though the night was pitch. His eyes were a piercing purple that everyone knew was a sign of royalty.

                “Potions then ser. I have potions to help a wealth of evils. Potions that might enhance, improve, turn your manhood into something more substantial, potions that could be lethal.” The woman held out her hands, they were empty.

                “Potions? You poor stupid old woman, I have no need of a meddlesome old wench who might try and inhabit my castle until her death, which seems may be soon I presume? Go back into the night from whence you came. I do not succumb to beggars or liars.” The king began to close his mighty door.

                “Your Grace, all I ask is a dry spot, upon your castle floors would be better than naught. I warn you, do not turn me away.”

                “Or what? You’ll enchant me with a spell? Go away.” The king turned and had almost closed the door, when he felt something keeping it from closing fully. He looked to see the old hag’s hand pressing against the other side of the door. How could she be holding it, she was so frail? He pushed harder, but to no avail. “This is your last warning, you have no excuse to be so uncouth,” the woman said. The king unsheathed his sword to cut off the woman’s hand for her insolence, to be knocked off his feet. There was suddenly a blinding light that filled the room. He screamed out for his servants, but none came to his aid. “Your Grace,” a mocking voice came from the light, but it was the voice of a powerful being, not an old crone. “You have shown me that beauty and kindness do not always come together. You have shown me that a man with everything to give may not give even the smallest of gifts. You are truly a lowly creature if there ever was one. And a monster, to harm an old woman!” The light began to dim, and the king saw a beautiful woman before him. She had robes that seemed to be fashioned from pure air and mist, her hair was made up of sunlight, her eyes the very stars that were missing from the night sky. He clambered onto his knees, and bowed before her,

                “My apologies, I had no idea that you were such a beauty, please, come in, you will receive every courtesy.”

                “Your time for admonishment has passed you sorry piece of flesh. You are no better than a wild beast, you heartless criminal! You give me no choice.” She rose high into the air, and waved her arms around her, her eyes turned pure white. The king shouted out in agony as his very skin started to bubble and melt. Where the skin fell away, fur emerged, coarse and brown like an animals’. His fingernails curled and grew until they were sharp weapons. He felt his jaw stretch and his teeth grow large in his mouth. His clothing ripped as his bones shattered and took form of larger and longer ones. He tried cry for help once more, but the sound that came from him was that of a beast.

                The transformation was complete, and the king lay spent on the cold stone. “Your slaves have become immortal, as have you myhandsomeking,” the sorceress said coldly. “Immortal so that you may feel loneliness in its entirety.” The woman slowly drifted to the stones. In her slender hand a beautiful rose appeared. Instead of sitting in her hand it floated an inch away. “This rose represents your freedom from this curse. It is like a time keeper, an hourglass, if you will. When each petal has fallen, your immortal life will be set, and you will remain an animal forever hence.  However you can remove your fate and return to your mortal human form if you gain the love of a truly benevolent person. Time passes quicker than you thing, your Grace, I would recommend you remove than evil from inside you.” The woman grew bright again, so bright than the king could no longer see the woman, and then darkness filled the hall, and she was gone. 

The End

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