Feb 19

Beauty and the Beasts

“Help! I screamed, running as fast as I could into the forest. My breath was coming in short pants as I sobbed out cries for help. “Please, someone, help me!”

But it was to no avail - the wolves continued to pursue me through the woods, their red gleaming eyes promising that I would be their dinner tonight. Their four legs were much faster than my two, and I soon found myself cornered by a scraggly cliff.

“I’m going to die,” I thought, my heart racing, “I’m going to die here, alone, in the dark forest. My body will be ripped apart by wolves. Why, oh why didn’t I stay at the castle?! He might have been a brute, but at least I was safe there!”

There was nothing I could do about the situation. It wasn’t as if I could reason with the wolves, talk them down from their attack. The hatred in their eyes told me that even if they understood English, there was no chance of denying them their next meal. I couldn’t climb the cliff behind me - it was too steep, and there were no solid ledges to support my weight. I certainly couldn’t outrun them. Getting over them would be impossible, and I already knew they were faster than me.

Hiding a shudder, I took a good look at my captors. Their teeth were long and jagged, and looked like they could slice through skin as easily as paper. Their fur was matted and overgrown, almost covering those calculating red eyes. Their claws looked even sharper than their teeth, somehow. And I was at their mercy.

For a few minutes, I entertained the possibility that he could come and rescue me. That he would tear through the trees, roaring with anger, ready to tear those wolves to shreds before they could even get near me. That he would scare them off, and I would accompany him back to the castle, and tend to any wounds he’d gained in the fight.

I imagined that we would grow closer from this shared horror, and that maybe I would see a different side of him. One that was sweet and kind, rather than mean and coarse. One that would care for me and treat me like a princess, and even let me go if I so wished. That underneath that fur and those teeth and his gruff manner, he really was the prince the castle staff told me he was.

But the woods remained empty, save myself and the wolves. I wished, and I hoped, and I dreamed. But nobody came.

And so they converged on me, tearing and howling and thirsty for blood. I grabbed a nearby tree branch and tried to beat them away, but they were much too strong to fend off for long. Before succumbing to the teeth and the eyes and the death that came with them, I spared one last though to the beast of the castle.

“I hope you find someone worth saving one day.”