girl rode faster through the trees, her pale face was stained
with tears as she became more distressed as she got farther into
She was lost and she knew it, all the thoughts
running through her 8 year old mind was about how mad daddy would
be when he found out she had ran away, shacking her straight
brown hair out of her face she urged her favorite chestnut horse
on. The woods around her were turning dark and monstrous as the
branches turned black with the night, they seemed to be reaching
out to her, trying to eat her.
"no!" she cried ducking her head lower trying to
get away from the reach of a black branch who's claws were trying
to grab her, "leave me alone!" she pressed the horse faster
trying to dodge the branches that were snagging her white and
pink laced dress.
As the night got darker the green eyed girl got
sleeper until her eyes finally started to droop and her head
nodded, long before this the horse had stopped running and had
went to a trot, the sliver moon was high in the sky and some
where a clock chimed midnight signaling the 3rd hour
the girl had spent inside of the mystical woods, her head fell
again but it snapped back up remembering what would happen if she
"if I fall asleep i'll fall off and I wont be able
to get back up again. . ." she whispered to herself touching her
left lag, but she didn't feel the soft pat, she never did.
Around her the dreadful trees creaked and moaned
in the wind and autumn levees swirling about her making the girl
shiver in her thin cloths. "why didn't I listen to daddy? I
should have stayed in the house with Travis and little Ben. . .
we were going to eat a special cake that daddy was going to bring
back from his trip to the city for my birthday party latter, now
they'll have wasted the money on a stupid little girl who want to
see her pony. . ." she said to no one in general but rather to
recite what she had done to deserve being lost in the black
forest, as her daddy had called it. The horse whined and stomped
its hooves stopping in its tracks.
matter boy?" the girl asked it, it stumped its hooves again in
protest to move forward, looking up the girl saw
In front of them stood a dark castle surrounded
buy a spiked metal fence that loomed high above their heads
threateningly, but the scariest part to the girl, though, was
that it wasn't there a minute ago. "shh. . . maybe who ever lives
here would let us stay for the night and show us where the next
town is..." she whispered patting her chestnut lovingly, but the
horse was still hesitant to step forward. "please Brownie? I'm
really tired and I don't think I can stay on you for much
longer," that got it's attention, slowly it stepped forward
closer to the gate. "excuse me! Excuse me is anyone there?" she
shouted, her voice shaking not just from the cold the was raking
her body, "my names Maria Rose and I'm lost and I need a place to
stay tonight, can I please rest here?" she called, moments latter
the gate opened by it's self, slowly the pushed her horse forward
ignoring her own instinct to run.
Behind her the gate shut with a loud clank
startling her and her pony. "shh. . .it's just the gate, no need
to be worried," she whispered but she didn't quite believe it
"little girl, what are you doing here?" a deep
voice asked behind Maria, startled, the horse reared and bucked
Maria into the air, screaming she began to fall to the earth but
hit something else, instead of the hard ground she had fallen on
something a little softer. Her eyes squeezed shut as she grabbed
onto something above her and held fast to it still afraid of
hitting the earth never to get up again. Pushing her head deeper
into whatever she was holding onto she felt hot breath run down
her neck and hair, after this she realized that she was being
held unto rather tightly by something big and furry and
alright?" came the deep voice, besides it's roughness she could
make out worry for her and a warm caring as it's hot breath ran
down her making her cold body shiver, she whimpered as who ever
was holding her shifted their arms so that she was more
conferrable, slowly, after that, it stood being careful not to
"y-yes," she whispered allowing the first tear to
escape her shut eyes.
"can you walk?" the voice rumbled, Maria was
guessing it was a man who said the words but she hadn't ever
heard a man with such a deep voice before or with such hairy
arms. Feeling him slowly lower her to the ground she cried
"no!" the man stopped then slowly raised her back
"why not? Where you hurt when I caught you?" he
sounded distressed and angry, Maria could feel his muscles tense
at his rage with himself for hurting her.
"no," she stated remembering her lag.
"then why not?" she felt his muscles relax but she
was still afraid of his rage, he felt like he had tons of muscle
that he could probably snap her in half with.
"I'm crippled," she stated plainly as if she had
just said it was night time or that rain was wet, the man toke a
sharp breath at her statement taken aback by her calmness.
"how," his voice was strained as if he was afraid
to ask, Maria rubbed her head closer to his chest felling herself
slowly fall into a nice sleep.
"i was born with it. . . since I was a baby I
could never feel my left lag, almost like it's not there. Daddy
thinks it's because mommy fell on some ice when I was inside her
but he's not mad at her for it,and nether am I," she stated, she
felt the mans arms move slightly.
"did you feel that?" he asked her, for the first
time she opened her eyes to look up into his eyes.
"feel wha-" but whatever she was going to say next
came out in a strangled gasp as she looked up into the green eyes
of a large beast. She looked around around her and found what she
thought were very hairy arms were much more then that, his big
limps were cover with long dark brown hair and he had claws like
cats at the end of human like hands and as her eyes strayed back
up to his head she saw that he had a head like no beast she has
ever seen before with dark horns curling back to match his
pointed dark teeth.
"hideous aren't I?" he asked, chuckling slightly
at her expression. But he stopped when the girl girl put her hand
to his cheek and frowned saying.
"your better then the men who killed mommy," after
that line the beast's face went blank but his eyes betrayed him
as they flared with rage.
"what did you say?" he asked calmly, or as calmly
as a beast can. Maria frowned looking up at him like he was a
little child that didn't understand.
"i said you your not as hideous then men who
killed my mommy," she dropped her hand as the beast closed his
"that's what I thought you said," the girl touched
the beasts chest with her hand making him snap open his eyes to
look at her.
"why are you sad?" she asked, the beast smiled
kindly at her.
"because it's time for you to go home,"
"but I don't want to go home!" the girl exclaimed
making the beast pause and ask.
"why not?" the little girl huffed and said.
"because I'm running away," the beast
"why are you running away?"
"well that's not a very good reason,"
"i don't care, I want to stay here with you," the
beast toke a sharp breath.
"no," he said
sternly, "maybe when you grow up you can come back, but right now
your father needs you, ok?" the little girls nodded closing her
eyes again tired beyond belief, "now when you wake up it will be
morning time and you'll be in your bed all nice and warm with a
little birthday present to remember me by," and like that Maria
fell asleep in the arms of the beast who had saved her life more
than once that night. In the morning she was in her bed and she
found a pretty necklace around her neck, and to the day she died
she never did forget that night, or the beast. And thought she
never saw him again but her granddaughter on the other hand would
leave the leave the city to her parents country side ranch and
take a walk into the forest never to return.