Author: Alora The Sleepy PM
She'll find me naked in the early sun, my mouth blood-stained, my skin torn and scarred, my destruction, my violence, evident and inescapable, as I lay sleeping at the foot of the wall where my beautiful never-dying roses climb.Rated: Fiction T - English - Horror/Romance - Words: 1,178 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 2 - Published: 01-02-11 - Status: Complete - id: 2878878
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Over the centuries, the forest sprawled outwards, swallowing streams and valuable farmland without consideration. So long had passed when the trees came to a tentative stop at the edge of the isolated town, that the castle which had once stood with its towers among the eldest trees dwelled forgotten. Forsaken. The people who inhabited the forest's borders seldom entered the trees' shadow, and in the centuries that passed the instance became rarer still.
Wolves stalked beneath that high canopy, waiting in silence for the astray traveler, the wood cutter caught unprepared by the speed of nightfall. The wolves stayed within the trees. The villagers who kept to their houses after sunset had never seen one of the creatures, save the odd man who'd caught a glimpse of orange eyes among the trees, a momentary reflection of lamplight from the still-open shutters on a summer's night. Though they didn't see the beasts, they heard them, singing into the night, howling – whether in pain or joy, the people knew not. The sound made it seem as if wolves abounded in the forest, but old men who feigned fearlessness and then tried to pass it off as wisdom said it was just the sound of a few wolves amplified by the trees, the night sky.
Secretly, every townsperson feared the first night, both unlikely and inevitable, that the wolves would leave the trees and move through the town in their legions, like shadows across the moon.
Fear kept the townspeople safe. And it kept me safe.
If one were to brave an exploration through the trees, or, more likely, find themselves drifting lost, they would find the castle, the one forgotten by time, supposed to be abandoned and barren. They would discover that it is not abandoned at all. If one saw the high stone walls, he would have pushed open the heavy wrought iron gate, hesitant, ignoring how the bitter metal against his palm made his heart beat so quickly. He would have crept along the dirt covered cobblestone path, wondering at the pristine green lawn, the freshly trimmed hedges, the flowers in mid-bloom on the bushes.
Perhaps he would have found his way to a particular tower wall. There the roses climb, in dark green thorn covered vines, up, clinging to the dark grey stone of the wall. If he had found this wall, he would have approached it, enchanted. Cursed. He would have reached out a hand, a finger stretched to touch a pale pink petal. Then, hesitation. No. He withdrew his hand slowly. The roses were not his to take. But… His arm extended again. One. Just one. He avoided the thorns and broke the stem. The break wasn't tidy. He had to tear it, a peculiar longer piece of stem hanging. His youngest daughter Rosalin would love it. But not enough.
Not enough for this.
I stand where the wayward traveler did, where I stand every night, facing my ever-living roses where they climb. My eyes follow their journey to the window ledge, many stories above where they gather. She stands, framed slightly to the right, to look down on the night as it rests its cold, stale arms across my ever-blooming garden. I stand below, on the cobblestone path between flower-covered bushes, and watch her.
She shifts occasionally, the skirt of her once-fashionable dress glimmering in the moonlight, moonlight filtered through the glass of the window and reflected back again, trapped. I imagine pale lips frown only slightly, brown eyes watch, wait, and I think of her smile and how she's been showing it more and more. It falls parallel with the plummet of every new night.
By day, I am man. I am serrated edges, a partial portrait, a disregarded garden. I am easily angered and far from socially apt.
I am torment by night. I am death, I am seeping blood, desecrated limbs, gorged flesh. I am cries of pain and fear in unknown eyes.
The waning moon shines, suspended, and the sad surrounding air yearns for the heat of the sun. A cold shiver becomes sweat, seeping from puckered skin, and the pain begins. It shoots, sharp, scorching, through my body and still I stand to watch her. She is watching me too. Disgust-filled eyes, lips twisted in grimace, and still beautiful.
It is quick. Bones splinter, shatter, reform. Coarse hair grows, dark eyes hone, my cries of pain echo, becoming howls in the night sky.
The hunger sets in, always rapid. I spare her a final look and a howl goodbye, my muzzle turned towards the starless sky. The moon glitters on my dark fur, and my last human thoughts before I take off into the night are devoted to regretting how she'll find me in the morning:
Naked in the early sun, my mouth blood-stained, my skin torn and scarred, my destruction, my violence, evident and inescapable, as I lay sleeping at the foot of the wall where my beautiful never-dying roses climb.
As he stood there, the lost traveler, the misguided father, watched the newly-picked rose wither. He released it in shock, and it continued to die as it fell to the ground. It landed in the dirt and curled upon itself, dark brown and shriveled. He stared at it, astonished, and did not hear my approach. He turned, instead, terrified at my voice. "You have just stolen something very precious to me."
I cannot tell whether he was more terrified by my words or my blood-clothed nakedness.
At the edge of the village, they found the body of a wood cutter torn limb from limb. They proclaimed it the attack of a wolf.
The trees stand motionless and unyielding.
A/N: Eventually, I'm going to do a Beauty and the Beast rewrite. I've had like ten million ideas for it trying to become coherent in my mind for like five years now, and one day, it will become a fricken epic story and it may very well be my favourite I ever write. For now, though, this is one of the many possible embodiments of my ideas in highly abridged form. Though, for now, I quite like it short. When I do write the real thing though, it'll be REALLY bloody long. I only ended up writing this version for my First Year Writer's studio class. The task was to write a dramatic monologue from the point of view of someone entirely different from you. So originally, this was actually a poem, and a lot of the middle section (the transformation scene) is taken from that poem. However, I rewrote it because I don't generally like my own poetry, and I certainly didn't like that one - which was basically prose written with line breaks and stanzas anyway. So, when I sat down to rewrite it, all this added stuff came out.
Let me know what you thought?