|Beau and the Beast
Author: Miritsu PM
Beau has been to Hell and returned. Friends have died, his handsome looks are gone...but he has survived. And for the first time in his life, he's beginning to realize that's a blessing indeed.Rated: Fiction T - English - Tragedy/Supernatural - Chapters: 10 - Words: 26,632 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 08-03-10 - Published: 10-13-09 - id: 2730774
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hello, all. This is an experiment: A novel written a page a day in my journal, with completed, revised chapters will be posted here once I get to that point, probably one a week. :) Here's the first chapter; for more, check my journal (address in my profile), where there will be a new page almost every day (barring ridiculously busy days and days when I'm revising a completed chapter for posting here.)
Concrit very welcome.
Title: Beau and the Beast
Rating: PG for this chapter (a bit of language), R overall.
Word Count: 1808
CHAPTER ONE: Down the Rabbit Hole
His name was Beau, and good lord if he didn't get shit for it.
"Hey Gorgeous!" Friends and neighbors alike would hoot and leer whenever he came into sight. "You watch that sun now; you know how you pale beauties burn!" Beau would roll his eyes and take this teasing good naturedly, because he knew as well as they did that there was simply nothing else to tease him about. He was handsome in a way that made women swoon and men ill. His grades were typically in the high B range. He was star quarterback for his school football team, and rumors flew all over Virtue City that a sports scholarship was in his near future, though if he didn't get it his family had more than enough money to pay his way through college.
When he was seven years old, he had played defense on the Virtue Elementary school soccer team. To protect the children's developing bodies, there was a rule that no child would play for more than three-fourths of the game. When Beau had once accidentally been scheduled for the entire match, he had played without complaint, red faced and sweating away all the cool water he tried to drink. Coach Trump had apologized profusely to him and his father, but both waved away the apologies with perfect, friendly smiles. "It's good for him," Beau's father had gruffly insisted, and Beau had nodded his golden head like a puppet on a string.
When he was twelve and had to enter a home economics class with all the other students in 6th grade, he complained with all the other boys about boring, girly wastes of time. He turned out to be a talented cook anyway, turning out spectacular cakes, casseroles, and hamburgers (his favorite), though of course he never enjoyed the class as much as his soccer games or math classes.
When puberty struck him at thirteen he had no awkward stage, but moved right to being the most desired boy in school. Though he did not pay any attention to his looks (he was a man, after all), his shiny blond hair always hung perfectly around ever-more chiseled features, showing off deep blue eyes and perfectly straight, white teeth. His clothing, not in any way fancy enough to make it seem like he was one of those dudes who had an unattractively feminine interest in such things, still showed off his lean frame quite well. He switched from soccer to football—not for any particular reason, just because it felt like something he should do—and quickly bulked up.
Though he told dirty jokes with his friends and made a show of noticing the girls around him, he didn't seem interested in really dating any of them until Ashley in 10th grade.
As blonde and attractive as Beau, Ashley had never been without a boyfriend, though of course she'd only slept with the acceptable ones, the ones who gave her status with their attentions. It seemed she'd been born with the ability to use sex as a weapon.
When she was six years old, Ashley had gone to the house of a girl she had met a few days previously, and was offered a fudgesicle and a napkin by her friend's mother. "Oh, no thank you," she said primly to her hostess's outstretched arm. "I'm not a child. I haven't needed a napkin since I was two." And, sitting with perfect posture under the hot summer sun, she ate her fudgesicle without spilling a drop. The other girl had spilled quite a bit. Ashley had not really been friends with her after that.
When Beau and Ashley became a couple near the end of their sophomore year, everyone agreed it was a perfect match. Of course, Beau had to endure the prescribed amount of friendly and not-so-friendly ribbing about being a domesticated man, and Ashley got to suffer a sudden downswing in her private time, but both of them bore up in a properly stoic way.
Twelfth grade rolled around, as it does, and not much changed except that Beau kept growing more talented and handsome. His mother was beginning to bother him about college ("Have you chosen a college yet? Have you even looked at any websites yet?"), but Beau knew she'd take care of the research if he put it off long enough. And so it was that Beau was warming up on a warm November Saturday just before Thanksgiving in Virtue Park instead of at home looking through the many college brochures and bookmarked websites his mother had acquired for him. Hey, there was always next week.
Though Virtue High School had a wonderful football field, it was not currently available to Beau and his team. Virtue being a small town, there weren't many places where large numbers of people could gather, and large numbers of people were needed to put together floats for the upcoming Thanksgiving Day parade. Thus, in the spirit of community, the school volunteered the football field every year in the week leading up to Thanksgiving, and the school football team was left to use the town's miniscule park.
The litter, trees and benches dotting the park kept the team from playing any sort of practice game, but the space was big enough for passing drills at least. Fortunately it was a beautiful afternoon, sunny and not too chilly. To start the practice, Beau and the other nine players who bothered to show up that day (Beau had a few deserters to talk to) had divided into pairs and were just passing the ball back and forth. Mark and Matt had paired up as usual, and Jay and Shaun always liked to play together. Beau would have preferred to practice with his own best friend, Alex, but everyone knew that Arnold was hotheaded, and so Alex was always paired with him instead. Should Arnold fly off the handle when, say, an unwelcome breeze blew by, Alex's more reasonable nature was often enough to calm him down. Across the park Jake had eagerly paired up with Bob. Bob had an IQ in the double digits, and Jake made a second sport out of finding ways to make fun of him.
And so, Beau was left with John, who everyone knew was a dick.
"Oops—SORRY!" John yelled as he threw the football way over Beau's head to disappear into the trees that marked the edge of the park. Beau's gaze tracked the football as it vanished, bemused and more than a little annoyed.
"John you shithead!" Arnold yelled loudly enough for people a block a way to hear. John smirked and bowed mockingly, t-shirt blowing like a green flag in the wind. "Go and get it!"
"No, it's okay," Beau sighed. "If he went to get it he'd probably hide it or something. For, you know, the fun." Beau turned and walked in the direction the football had flown, John's totally unapologetic laughter ringing in his ears.
The small copse of trees, thankfully, was not at all dense. It took Beau about thirty seconds to come out on other side. He hadn't seen the football in any of the branches he'd passed under, though it was possible he'd just missed seeing it. If he couldn't find it on this end of the copse, he was going to march back, bash John's head into the ground, and drag him back here to look for it.
The land on either side of the trees was starkly different. The ground that Beau had been practicing on was grassy and well kept, while this ground was sandy and uninviting. He realized he'd come out next to the town ditch. Constant complaints from parents about how dangerous it was to have a ditch so near to a park had lead to the planting of the trees Beau had just passed through. He couldn't help but think that was a pathetic guardrail—Virtue could at least cough up the money to put up a fence.
Sure enough, when Beau peeked down over the steep, sandy sides, he could see his football lying on the bottom. Sighing, resolving to go down for just a second to grab his ball and then get out, and mentally apologizing to his mother who would throw a fit if she knew he'd been in a ditch, Beau slid quickly down the side and grabbed his ball.
The ditch didn't seem very dangerous. Beau tossed the football from hand to hand and looked around, forgetting his resolution. The walls weren't all that steep, making it easy to climb up and down them, and for the moment, the ditch was totally dry. Spaced periodically on the sides of the ditch were metal drain pipes, each as big as a man, that he supposed led deep underground. Beau figured they carried sewer water through the town, and wondered why the tubes seemed to go sideways instead of down. Maybe they curved down later?
Then he spied a pipe that went directly down. It was sticking up like one of the drains in a Super Mario game. Beau snickered at the mental image that popped into his head, of sewer water shooting straight up from underground and showering old ladies with shopping carts who were primly plodding along next to the ditch. It would be hard to control the flow like this, wouldn't it?
Or maybe this one was for something other than sewer water. Beau had heard from Alex, whose father was a garbage man, that the sewer system below the town was unusual; many of the tunnels and paths below the earth had already been dug when the town was first inhabited decades ago. This pipe was lined with metal just like all the others, so a man had taken the time to explore it, but maybe it had already been a tunnel of some kind, sticking straight up from the ground when the town was founded?
Beau leaned over and tried to see further down the drain, but it was much too dark to see more than a few meters down. Frowning in concentration, he leaned over further.
"HEY, QUARTERBACK!" John bawled from somewhere behind him. "What're you doing down there? I already got us another ball!" Beau straightened up so quickly he got dizzy, so his feet tangled in each other when he tried to turn around. The sunlight shone right in his eyes, blinding him and making John look like a sinister shadow from some horror tale. John's football struck Beau square in the chest while he was in that precariously unbalanced state, knocking him backwards and right down the pipe
The last thing he heard was Arnold's voice roaring, "John, you shithead!" And then Beau was falling, and falling, and falling.