THE BEAST

The year was 1827 and all seemed well in Willow Manor; it was a time of celebration for those of nobility, it was a time to get drunk not with just hot whisky and rum, but with the happy thoughts of one who was to be wed. The hall of the manor was full of guests from all around the land; they laughed and danced the night away without a single care in the world, some even gave out cheerful hugs that seem to warm the place up just a bit, who wouldn't be happy during such a time of joy? Standing on the side of the dance floor was none other than seventeen year old Eva Willows, daughter and beneficiary to Willow Manor; Eva was not enjoying herself and felt that to end her suffering would be to slit her throat with one of the butter knives kept on one of the dinner tables. Do not blame Eva for feeling this way, for she has every right to feel miserable; you see the man who she loved with all her heart is getting married to her younger sister, fifteen year old Catherine Willows. The man's name is Rolf Frederickson age twenty, and it was a known fact that he and Eva were engaged a month before, but something happened one month ago that changed the soon to be bride.

It is rather sad as to what happened to Eva during that month, but sadly she must bear her cross alone since everyone knows that nobles forget everything, even affairs. Eva however cannot forget; she dies a little inside when she sees the two traitors dance away, as though all seems well in the world. A sour taste has been left on Eva's tongue and bitterness has over taken her soul, making her think unimaginable things.

Garth Willows: (Warm fatherly voice) "Eva! My dearest daughter, why do you stand here alo…Eva! Your clothes!"

Eva stood up straight without any shame as to what her wardrobe was; she wore a long sleeve white shirt, a black corset-like vest that shaped her upper body, black riding boots that reached her knees, and a pair of loose but comfortable pair of riding pants. Garth Willows was about fifty-three years of age, about six-foot seven, with a build like a boxer, and a bit of gray showing through his once jet black hair; he was a military man, widower as well, with two daughters and much wealth. Eva's eyes met her father's as he looked at her attire; it was then that Garth knew she was not planning on staying for very long.

Eva Willows: "I do not wish to wear a dress at this time father."

Garth Willows: (Cups Eva's face and strokes her black-brown hair) "Eva, must you be so unhappy at your sister's party?"

Eva Willows: (Sarcastic tone) "Oh, is that what we are celebrating? Must have slipped my mind, I must not have noticed that the whore was betrothed."

Garth Willows: "Eva, watch your tongue! Now is not the time to hold a grudge; if you ask me you should just try and find someone-"

Eva Willows: "Oh and its sooo damn easy for all of you, isn't it!? I'm sick of all of you pretending that this is some big achievement! I'm suffocating in this hell hall, I wish you a good night father because I am taking my leaving, fair well." (Walks away)

Garth Willows: "Eva! Wait lets talk about this! Eva!"

Eva had her horse ready and waiting for her in the cold night air; Garth Willows ran after his daughter hoping to try and stop her from leaving during such an ungodly hour, he cried out to get her attention as she mounted her steed without a care.

Garth Willows: (Garbs Eva's hand firmly) "Eva my dear please don't leave; I know your upset at your sister, but it's not her fault Eva".

Eva Willows: (Stares coldly) "Your right father, it's not her fault completely; tell her and Rolf to burn in hell for what they both did."

With that being her last words Eva reared up on her horse, kicked his sides and charged into the night. Eva felt the cold air whip at her skin as she rode at high speed; she didn't

seem to care about where she was headed, but she did know of one spot where she could gather her sanity once more. Eva's family had owned a great amount of land, so much so that it would take three weeks for just one person to examine the entire perimeter, one week if you had at least five people at your disposal. Eva had seen it all and had many favorite spots that she loved to visit, but there was one spot that she treasured the most.

It was a quiet area that had several trees surrounding its domain, there was a small lake in the middle and a cherry tree that stood alone a few feet away from the lake. Eva tugged the reins of her horse and dismounted; she led her horse to the tree and sat down in the cool grass underneath, their only light was the moon itself. Eva looked at the lake as it glistened from the moon's rays; she began to cry as the pain from her heart began to surface, fueling her rage and making her feel shame for being so naïve. She gave her heart and soul to Rolf, and what did he do in return? He left her for Catherine.

Eva clenched her fists, and grit her teeth as she felt her suffering increase with everything that she had remembered from the month before. The emotions that came forth made her feel disgust for herself as her weaker side came to light. As she vented her frustrations, a dark figure began to slowly make its way from the shadows towards her. The creature let out a howl so chilling that Eva's spine froze from fright, the trees moved to the sides as though they were in fear, and Eva's horse was gone in a flash. Eva could feel the creature's presents as its shadow revealed itself from the darkness.