Beauty in the Beast
The beast is only a beast because of who it protects and beauty is its weakness
“kill the cursed beast they cried !”
and when they saw that it would not die they turned on the beauty it adored and they themselves became beasts.
The beasts... mere men who held no mercy for the cursed beast- who had caused them pain- overpowered their foe killing its beauty in the end.
And the cursed beast, heartbroken and not wanting to die alone embraced it’s love becoming one and relived a life as a beauty loved and cherished by beasts.
“I think we should break up” she spoke suddenly her tone dispassionate as she pulled away from my embrace. I stood watching her for a moment before letting her go completely and pocketing my fists.
Unlike other relationships, ours was a bit more complicated and so instead of becoming upset by her sudden decision... and it was a rational one, I reminded myself of her condition. She turned away to walk along the sidewalk at a steady pace.
I knew her well enough by now to know that this decision would soon be forgotten, as had always occurred when she fell into a strict disposition. Any other man would be scared but I wasn’t like any other and neither was she.
I for one was not one to judge. I knew nothing of my parents or even my past and upon meeting her... the love of my life I hoped that things would remain as such. As I watched her walkway, I noticed a broken man gaping outright at her and so I tried to place his face... I couldn’t.
Instead, I memorized it in case I needed to get rid of him in the future. It was not the girl who’d just disowned me that I wished to protect, it was the people around her.
Anyone who came in contact with her would be sure to meet their end and the reason why I still breathed was the mere fact that like her tainted soul mine too was filled with a great darkness and I was not quite sure if it was just colored or hiding something more sinister.
I had done terrible things... we both had but unlike my owner, I still remembered and relived the moments for the things I had done. I was haunted by the faces and the voices that would no longer be able to cry out in pain, so perhaps I wasn’t such a terrible person after all, because I thought of these things.
When she was almost out of my sight I followed trodding slowly through the snow so that I would not alarm her. She had grown stronger since the last couple of days I noticed and hopefully, this would be the last time I would be seeing the beast that sometimes clawed its way out from within her.
We walked for a time while I pondered and suddenly she stopped looking around in confusion “Godrick?” she called in a soft tone appearing terrified. I went to her side quickly and she smiled at me then as if the words she had spoken earlier had not been said.
“I thought I’d wandered off again,” she said in relief. I shook my head reassuringly and my smile returned. She had changed once again and now hand in hand I walked with the beauty that had been trapped inside the beast. We had walked a couple miles and night had come quickly.
“Why don’t we get back?” I suggested steering her towards the bus stop that loomed ahead of us. We made our way to the bus stop taking a seat and huddled under the cold structure as I rested my head back on the bench to watch the light that hung limply from the ceiling of the stand.
“Hmmm” she murmured to herself suddenly.
“What’s wrong?” I asked
“I feel like I should remember something and my legs hurt... where were we heading again?” she asked uncomfortably. The most she knew was that she lost bits and sometimes hours of time which no matter how hard she tried she could not recall.
The fact that she became another person, however, I kept to myself. If she knew, I was sure she would break and like beasts do the one inside her would prey on her vulnerability.
“You said you wanted a quiet walk to the bus stop” I lied easily and she nervously began biting at the edge of her thumb, which indicated that she did not quite take to my answer.
Just then the light above us flickered and she groaned holding her head as she had done a month ago. “Why do I keep seeing myself in strange places?” she groaned sitting up from my embrace.
It was a side effect of her lost time, to see herself in places she had never been and having memories of experiences she had never created.
A Van then streamed down the frosted road and with one look you could tell that there was a drunk driver at the wheel. “Let’s just portal back to the shop...,” she said seeming shaken by something she had just witnessed as she eyed the bright red Van that sped by. She stood up then her expression one of shock. And I watched cautiously as the hair on her head was drained of color, taking on a gradually spreading white appearance.
“I’ll need you to save someone just this once boy” came the strange raspy voice then that sickened me so.
“Will you leave after I do this?” I asked in annoyance at the beast that turned to face me.
“She is the mask I wear don’t be fooled by the short periods of my absence. I am the one you hear no matter what you choose to believe. I grow stronger each day the Aelfen you wait for is long gone from this body” it informed me with scorn.
“Bullshit!” I protested unable to restrain my anger.
“If you won’t do it I will” it stated and within a couple moments it was gone. I looked around trying to see where it went. A loud crash ensued up ahead and I knew as soon as I’d heard it that it was the van we had seen pass by earlier.
I took off running towards where the sound had come from and soon met upon the wreckage surrounded by steam rising from the ground. I walked around the battered vehicle and there was no sign of it though I stumbled across something terrifying through the blood and broken glass.
It was her twisted and bleeding on the roof of the upturned vehicle and she twitched barely able to lift her head. I ran quickly to the passenger’s side and swallowed nervously for the first in a long time unable to quickly understand what had just happened.
A weak bloodied hand reached out into the snow and I stooped slowly to see her face. She looked up at me with hopeful half-closed lids while attempting to drag herself up and out of the broken vehicle.
I reached out to her without another thought pulling her carefully from the wreckage and watched in awe as I saw her wounds slowly heal while her breaths lingered above her in the cold air.
I picked her up into my arms then and she held on to me limply while whispering a name. “Phillip...” she breathed before she fell completely unconscious.
My fingers rapped loudly twice on the wooden green door of my new shotgun house at the beginning of the street. I then waited.
Leah shivered uncontrollably beside me rubbing her mittened hands together for warmth when she caught me looking at her she smiled encouragingly. Not long after the door opened and I put on a good face in greeting “Ruben.”
“Olivia” he greeting back kindly. “You’ve put together everything?” he asked as he stepped aside to welcome us into the warm home.
“Yea, done. This is--”
“Leah. Nice to meet you” he interjected greeting her just as warmly.
“Yes, nice to finally meet you Ruben... or is it Mr. Ruben...?” she mumbled.
“Just Ruben is fine,” he said closing the door behind him. “Let me take these” he offered, taking the load we had brought from both our hands as he ambled down the hall walkway, then turned off into a room.
I turned to Leah then, “are you sure about this?” I asked her concerned. Leah had switched to taking her lessons online. A big change that I felt guilty about her taking.
“It’s fine, Lily won’t know the difference” she assured referring to her mother. Putting school on hold after barely managing to finish the semester was quite necessary given the past events. Also, I wasn’t going to get through the surprisingly annoying duties of being a Seilie while trying to balance school.
“Hmmm” I grunted removing my scarf and boots, Leah followed suit.
“Ok, who wants some hot chocolate?” Ruben asked coming back around the corner. Leah perked up at the sound of this agreeing at once.
“I’m ok” I declined. Ruben seemed as if he would protest then thought better of it.
“Your things are over there...” Ruben said pointing to a room close to where he stood “...and Leah your room will be up this way” he continued leading the way as Leah took off with him.
I made my way towards the room Ruben had prepared for me admiring the vintage decor of the house as I went. The floors were walnut mahogany sitting under whitewashed walls painted a deep green.
I was careful not to trip on the console table slanted aimlessly in the hallway, shifting it against the wall as I passed. The hallway opened up into a cozy looking living room area where Leah sat propped up in one of the armchairs and Ruben in the other having a seemingly interesting conversation as they hadn’t yet noticed my presence.
“Excuse me,” I said interrupting their talk “where did you say my room was again?”
“Towards the kitchen to the right,” he said looking up at me. “Would you like to join us?” he tried again and for a moment I considered.
We had conversed numerous times since my aunt passed and still I couldn’t figure out if their relationship had been intimate or not. All I knew was that she had trusted him with many things while making preparations for the time she had been absent before. I wasn’t ready to talk about those things yet.
“No thank you,” I said refusing as I made my way to my bedroom.
I almost lost my footing stepping down the single step that led to the room. Recovering quickly I took a look around where I stood and was instantly comforted by the atmosphere. I looked around catching sight of many familiar items I had once upon a time in my own room back home.
Walking over to the pale grey bedside table I picked up two sets of pictures. One with my mother and I and the other with my aunt included. I held them close to my chest a feeling of melancholy washing over me and before I could tear up I replaced them on the table and took a few deep breaths.
I sat trying to block the memory of last two months from my mind and so I settled more comfortably into the bed as I closed my eyes. A dark shadow loomed about my lids and I tensed knowing that it was nothing more than a figment of my imagination.
I tried ignoring it turning but still, I couldn’t shake the feeling of something unpleasant hover over me. And as my calm dissipated my lungs worked harder for air making my throat tighten so I sat up suddenly gasping for breath.
The truth was I could no longer stay in the dark comfortably without thinking of Fantom, she had invaded my dreams and crippled Aelfe defenses time and time again, it seemed as if there was nothing I could do.
I got out of bed deciding to head out, the thought of sleeping unnerving me so much that I missed the queries of Leah and Ruben as I passed by. I grabbed my jacket from the coat rack and slipped on my boots heading out the door into the cold evening.
It was refreshing, the cold. It drove away, the last of my troubling thoughts. And without any destination in mind, I took off strolling about the streets like any newcomer would.
My feet shuffled along the pavement as I studied each store window as I passed trying to get familiar with my surroundings. I hadn’t gone far when my eye caught a mask staring at me from beyond the glass and my heart beats sped up considerably.
I blinked in confusion as my blood pumped but then as I took a few steps back and realized that I had been looking into the window of an antique shop. Letting out a sigh of relief I decided to enter. ‘CLOSED’ the sign read and I backed away continuing on my way.
I then spotted the next best thing a pastry shop and I entered without a moment’s hesitation and catching a seat by a nearby window. As I sat contentedly deciding what to order a pleasant looking female made her way over to where I sat.
“You’re the Seilie” she whispered excitedly as she leaned over with both hands on the table. I looked around surprised to see if she had drawn the attention of anyone else, which she hadn’t, then back at her.
“You’re Aelfen” I stated mirroring her surprise.
“I’m Rwby, what are you doing here?” she asked. “Wait, is something wrong?” Her animated expression then turned to one of worry as she babbled on “I just settled here... please tell me how bad it is?” she inquired suddenly looking depressed.
“N-nothing” I replied thrown off by her immediate distress.
“Then why are you here?” she asked confused her expression unchanging.
“Because I moved here. Am I forbidden to live where I want?” I asked taking offense. Rwby’s shoulders suddenly relaxed as relief filled her face.
“Oh my no. I’m sorry” she apologized “Seilies aren’t usually out in the open like this” she explained hurriedly.
“Ok” I uttered not knowing what else to say. She straightened her posture but hovered as if she had something else to say.
“I’m just curious, why would you want to live here?” she asked seeming genuinely perplexed.
It was strange being asked so many personal questions by a stranger but then I answered knowing I had nothing to hide “I’ve always lived here” I said simply, figuring that she meant why I had chosen to live amongst the Wonted instead of within the realm.
“Here as in among the Wonted?” she whispered loudly and her eyes grew wide. “How is that even possible?”
“It’s a long story aaand no offense but I don’t like being questioned by strangers” I pointed out and still she remained, hovering.
“I’m gonna leave” I informed her pushing up from my table and she remained quiet as she watched me move towards the door.
I was halfway through by the time she called “wait” and made her way to where I now stood. “You don’t want to be here” she offered a hint of concern in her voice “it’s not... safe,” she said as she looked around cautiously before continuing “for you or us. I know I may come off as impolite but for your own good, don’t come back here” she warned then took off.
“You’re back” Ruben greeted me as I entered the living room “is everything alright?” he asked.
“No, it’s not actually” I breathed feeling close to tears. “Why am I a danger to Aelfe living here? Why are Aelfe even living here?” I asked.
Ruben sat up in his chair now gesturing for me to take a seat. I sat my hands trembling. “Olivia there is so much I wished your aunt was here to tell you...”
“Well she’s not so please just tell me so something makes sense” I begged, looking up at him.
His eyes fluttered to a close briefly as if my words had affected him in some way “If I tell you everything I know there is no turning back for you, do you understand that?” he cautioned.
I nodded tiredly “yes, tell me.” I urged.
“Olivia, hear me when I say you will become a part of things better left unknown and Fantom won’t be the only danger you’ll face” I stared at him, wondering how much more was there to know if he thought that what he was about to tell me was just as big a burden as Fantom.
“If I’m going to live here I have to know,” I replied seriously.
“You can live in the realm” he offered. I shook my head refusing the idea of living the way that Aelfe did under the laws of my grandparents.
“I rather hear what you have to say.”
He nodded accepting my answer and then he got up going to the side table at a corner of the room. I watched as he retrieved a tome from the drawer and then brought it back to the chair with him, securing it in his lap.
“This” he began resting his palm gently on the top of the item in his lap “is everything Maekenzie was able to retrieve before she passed.”
“You mean revealing Aelfe history... the cycle?” I queried remembering how my aunt had informed me that there was much more I needed to learn. Ruben nodded holding out the tome to me.
“But she said it was lost after the Venators,” I said puzzled by its size and taking hold of its large heavy structure.
“It was, but Maekenzie had her ways, she was always searching and gathering information knowing that this day would come. It’s meant to be seen by you and her daughter but since your the only one here I figured better late than never” he stated.
“And about what you wanted to know earlier..you can think of this town as a home to Aelfe kind. It’s home to the Aelfe of Elme” he revealed.
Happy reading :)