The Beast Next Door

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Prolog (v.1) - Prologue

Submitted: January 15, 2017

Reads: 75

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Submitted: January 15, 2017

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The beginning of this story doesn’t need to start with “once upon a time”. It didn’t take place in ancient times to be labeled as such. There isn’t a far off land where any of this story takes place. It happens on Earth in the country of the United States. One location is in Washington D.C. and another location is in a medium sized town in Oklahoma. So, to begin this story, it requires something much different than the normal beginnings.

A young man lived in the Arlington Gateway area with his father near Arlington, Virginia and close to the nation’s capital. The tall high rise he resided in had a comfortable view of the busy streets below with their changing lights and bustling crowds. He would watch the people mill around on their merry ways before joining them a few minutes later to attend his college classes.

The metro was a hustling area full of people trying to get from one place to another. Above everyone’s heads were signs illuminated by different colors of LED lights. Destinations and times of arrival flashed brilliantly against the dull cement of the Metro station. He attended Georgetown University School of Medicine about fifty minutes away from his apartment area. The walk to the metro was about ten, seven if he powerwalked. 

The silver cars screeched to a halt as a female conductor’s voice droned the stop they were on. The passengers inside milled out from the car as other passengers waited for their turn to get aboard. While the old passengers filed out, new ones took their places and held on to chrome bars or sat down in brightly colored cushioned seats. The floor had seen better days as did some of the chairs but everyone was in their own worlds as the train screeched forward once again and zoomed off toward its next stop.

The young man was a brilliant one. His mind worked in ways no one else’s did. That wasn’t his only good quality, however, and perhaps his most striking quality was his looks. He was dashing, sculpted, and proud. His face was bronzed by the fake tan he sported from tanning beds. His locks of auburn hair were cut short for the summer months but draped over his eyes seductively. His charming smile sported brilliant white teeth straitened by expensive braces and his eyes illuminated with the most brilliant green imaginable.

He was beautiful to say the least and he knew it. Girls fawned over him constantly and there was no doubt he took them up on their offers for dates. His good looks and appealing demeanor allowed him to escalate in popularity among all of his peers. Soon, he was swimming with praise as well as excellent grades. To top it off, his father was one of the richest businessmen in the area so it was-to say the least-a feather in the young man’s cap to be able to throw elaborate parties to gain attention from everyone.

The young man’s personality was what landed him a part to play in later events. As one understands, there has to be an antagonist somewhere. This person causes a problem with others and a hero comes in to save the day while eventually defeating the bad guy. To say the young man was a bad guy at this time is an understatement. With good looks and money comes the ego. A hero had to come in and defeat him sometime, right?

Time went on while the young man’s popularity climbed to an all new high. With this power came greed. He wanted more power among his peers. The student council vice presidency didn’t suit him. He wanted to for the gold. If the football team didn’t win first at every game they attended, he would see to it they would win even if offering officials enough money would allow them to rise up to the top. It was normal for him to find ways to win. If he didn’t win, there would be hell to pay in the end.

Eventually, he became tyrannical. His fellow students who feared him stayed loyal and there were few who opposed him. Those who did were taken care of violently. He never resorted to killing others but a good punch or two along with a few broken ribs to some of his deserters were signs enough against leaving his side. No one tried to leave his group again after the first few emergency room visits.

His love life was as horrid as his personality. He resorted to having a few girls every week. In his own mind, there was no time for long term relationships. He could get any girl at any time for the right price while not having to worry about something serious. Beautiful girls were left behind him to pick up the pieces of their hearts he had shattered earlier. Most girls began to steer clear of him but those willing enough to be around and stay loyal were the ones in the most danger of being left behind. The line behind him of broken hearts was a long and sad one.

Moving on to another section of the story: magic. Now, one may think the word magic is composed of craziness. Those who tend to believe in such a word are considered odd or out of their mind. Those who don’t are just skeptics unwilling to put their trust in something that can’t be logical.

Magic is everywhere according to some. It lives in the trees and the roots diving down deep in the earth. It pulses through every living thing that breathes in the air and moves upon the ground. It’s in the blood of all of those living creatures and things. If the balance is disrupted, so is the flow of nature. Magic is also in people occasionally. These people are superb among humans and tend to see the magic in the air. They can sense the disruption of nature from a single being and are in charge of changing the balance back to where everything was in order once again.

These people were known as witches.

There were all good for the most part. Some would sin and turn dark but the occurrence of such a thing was few and far between. The witches kept to themselves and asked for nothing in return for keeping balance in nature. As far as they were concerned, the less people knew about them the better. People didn’t like what they didn’t understand as history had told the witches, since the witch trials of old days would express. Burning at the stake would eventually be frowned upon as time went on but the witches had also learned to lay low. They weren’t sure if people were able to accept them again.

Magic was everywhere, as was mentioned earlier. Not only was it everywhere in nature, but it was also in people. The balance among the magic of nature and people had to remain relatively in check. The more a person sins, the more the balance is disrupted. However, as time went on, people began to sin more and more. It had always been a problem but the witches had been there to help them. Still, the more people there were on the planet, the harder it was to keep magic balanced. So, the witches began to disregard minor sins. Cheating and stealing was something that happened a lot among the human race and was much harder to keep in check. These sins were disregarded and left for local authorities to take care of which the witches conveniently placed some of their own in. If a witch was incorporated among the authorities, it was simpler to keep tabs on those who caused disruptions among the balance.

The major sins such as murder were kept under heavy watch. The government the people had set up over time made sure there was heavy consequences after such a crime. The witches hardly had any say in such manners without exposing themselves. If the government knew of witches, there would be another trial on their hands. However, the witches made sure to incorporate their kind among the government authorities just as they had done for the police and law enforcement.

There was something witches could do, however, without gaining attention. On their list of deeds considered cruel and major, there was one that seemed easy enough to keep a low profile on but perform none the less. This deed done by a person was called bullying. In order for bullying to be considered major for the witches to intervene, the witches had to consider the source of the bullying. For instance, the young man of the story.

His type of bullying wasn't considered the type someone would see in a hallway at school. This bullying was considered more mature, if not professional, it the way it was done. Our young man would not simply pester those less fortunate, but push people to the brink of considering taking their own lives.  It was a matter of his ego as well, which was growing larger and more monstrous. This along with his lack of humanity caught the attention of the local witch in his parts.

She looked young to the outside world. She was dark haired and dark eyed. To a passerby, she would have been considered goth. Her attire wasn’t at all the odd kind of clothing that was considered weird among the population. Honestly, she just liked to wear dark clothes because they were more comfortable. Her attire was a little off from the norm but normally others didn’t bug her about it and paid her no heed. She liked it that way. If she gained too much attention it wouldn’t look good for her. The less eyes on her the better.

Her age was that of about 100 years or more. She had lost track over time of how many birthdays she had had. When one gets to be her age, it didn’t really matter. Youth potions had kept her young so she could fit in to the youth of the world and learn about the changing times. This was how she had sniffed out the young man. It was completely by chance but she had also heard things on the grape vine about him. He was popular, who wouldn’t know about him?

One day, much like any other, the young man was trailing through the halls of his college toward one of his classes. Of course, the air around him was egotistically strong since the size of his head seemed much larger than what could be fathomed. A cocky grin was slapped across his handsome face as he jeered at tall, skinny legged girls blushing past him. They waved flirtatiously and batted their fake eyelashes his way, only boosting the ego rich air surrounding him.

He sauntered toward his class room but suddenly ran into someone. They both fell to the ground with a thud. The other person he had collided gasped as their books flew into the air and landed with a crash on the tiled floor of the hallway. There was a moment of silence as the young man and the person he had rammed into sat there for a moment. Then, the young man looked up and met the dark eyes of a dark haired girl in black garb.

“What the hell was that for?” he hissed her way as the bustling people in the hall halted to watch. They knew what was about to happen. “Can’t you see where you are going?”

The girl looked up into the emerald eyes of the young man with her dark ones and he swore they flashed another color. He got himself up quickly and brushed his designer clothes off. The look of disgust wore off his face and was replaced by anger as she scuttled to pick up her books that had been strewn everywhere. However, before she grabbed the last book, an expensive tennis shoe sharply crushed her fingers into the floor.

“Watch where you’re going next time, freak.” He hatefully glared at her. “I might not be so nice.”

He turned on his heel and left the girl rubbing her sore fingers to ease the pain. He had no idea who he had messed with, however, but he would soon find out for the girl who he had collided with had tricks up her sleeve. She was none other than the local witch and she had found her project as he walked away with a bigger head than before. As mentioned previously, she had heard about him on the grapevine. Stories said he was cruel and unkind. As she watched him saunter off, she told herself he was everything they had said he would be and more.

Under her breath, she began speaking in an ancient language. She felt what was left of the magic around her begin to flow through her body. It built upon itself until she could release it. She gathered her books and stood while watching the young man stock off. When she felt the magic in her was good enough to release, she let it fly. No one could see what she had let go of as it flew from her fingertips and sizzled down the hallway toward its target. The target didn’t even know what happened once it hit him. However, once it had hit, the witch watched as the spell was absorbed by the target and turned and walked away.

She was pleased with the turnout. There had been enough magic around to perform the spell. Hopefully, it would have a positive effect in the future. She would have to keep an eye on him as the spell progressed.

Later that day, the young man began feeling sick. The world spun out of control around him while his body began feeling cold. Sweat poured from his brow like waterfalls. He began to think he had eaten something bad for lunch but it had never happened to him before. To be honest, he had a strong stomach and had never been sick from food. It took all he had just to keep himself upright.

Once the last class was done, he rushed to his apartment. His father had not been home and was possibly out with his business partners. It was normal for him to be out late. The young man gripped the edge of the toilet to the best of his ability and let loose what he had for lunch into its bowl. After doing a deed such as that, he let himself rest on the fancy tile of the bathroom floor for a bit. He breathed hard, trying to see if his stomach would settle down. After a few minutes, he seemed to be feeling better. His head ached horribly as he began to stand.

He gasped. While he had been puking his lunch up, something had happened. His hands that were once covered in flesh were now covered in black hair. He nails were claws. He rushed over to the sink in the bathroom and starred with horror at the face gazing back at him in the mirror. Along with this face, there was another smugly blinking at him with blazing eyes full of utter content.

“You like what I’ve done?” the woman said. She was his age with dark hair and dark eyes.

He whipped around to see there was no one behind him. Looking back into the mirror, he saw the woman laughing at him. Her face was like porcelain, pale and flawless. She was beautiful but her face looked so familiar to him. He tried to remember the events of the day. There were various things he had done throughout the day that included many faces of people he had either passed by or talked to. Still, he couldn’t put a finger on her face. He thought he would remember someone so…flawless.

Then it hit him. The dark hair and eyes burning at him made him flash back to the moment he had rammed into some girl with similar features. She had run into him bluntly and he had told her off. She had been in the wrong, or at least he thought she had been. He remembered her, though and the sudden realization caused her face to break into an evil grin.

“So now you remember me?” She enquired. “That’s good. As a matter of fact, that’s perfect.”

He didn’t know if he could talk. He didn’t feel his voice was there while he tried to see if he could speak to her and tell her she was crazy. He even wanted to know how she had gotten in to the apartment. However, he didn’t seem to have a voice. She noticed this and flicked her hand at him. A sudden rush of something washed over his entire body and he felt as if he could scream. Instead of that, he roared at her.

“Who are you?” he demanded. “How did you come in here? What happened to me?”

She only shook her head at him. “Now, now. Those questions are for a later date. They are for you to figure out yourself.”

He couldn’t believe what he was hearing.  This lady was insane! Not only that, she had done something to him so horrible it couldn’t even be comprehended by his mind. It was so far beyond anything he had ever known that all he could so was stare at the woman in the dark dress in shock. She nodded at him while he gaped at her.

“There are only a few things you need to know and then I am leaving you.” She said to him. “First, this is a spell I cast on you. Because you are so nice to everyone, this spell shows the true beauty within. As you can see, there isn’t any.”

She pointed a finger toward the mirror where he had seen the horrid face. He stared back at it and turned back to her.

"Second," she continued, "the only way to break the spell is to sacrifice something dear to you to save someone you have learned to love deeply. Then and only then will the spell be disbanded. Do you understand?"

The man looked at the girl in disgust. “What have you done to me?”

She shook her head. “I’ve just given you a taste of your own medicine.”

With that, she turned on her heel and materialized. He was in shock but to see something similar to a girl disappearing in thin air like she had didn’t hit him as hard as it should have. He had other things on his mind such as his predicament. She had done something to him and it had been horrible. There was no telling what others would do or how they would react. He couldn’t show his face in public because it was too horrible.

Everything changed after that. It was as the witch had predicted. The young man was not accepted by anyone because of the way he looked. His confidence from earlier had all but vanished completely. His father almost disowned him and he had to drop out of school. Fortunately for him, the young man’s father still had a little bit of sympathy left for his son. There was enough for him to be able to be relocated somewhere where there were slim amounts of people.

His father owned an old mansion. It had been in the family for generations, his many time great grandfather being an oil tycoon. The building was in great condition besides it being older than most houses. The father hadn’t looked at the house but the location meant millions to him. Since his son had his ailment, the fact that the mansion was located miles from the nearest town and hours from the nearest city was music to their ears. For now, the son had nothing to do so the mansion would be perfect. It even had an expanse of grounds that he could venture in without being seen.

The young man had dived deep into depression while his father had tried to figure out what to do with him. Besides losing his confidence, he almost lost his sanity. For some reason, however, something kept a hold of him and kept the fragile fibers of a clear mind in check. He couldn’t lose his mind just when he was about to start anew someplace else. Despite the dwindling fibers of rationality being threatened, there was one thing the that he let himself obsess over. The words the woman had uttered to him after she had cursed him played in his head like a song on repeat. He became fanatical over them and memorized each word. Before he knew it, they were a part of him.

A year began to pass by. It was quick but soon the young man would move out to his newly acquired living area. There was supposed to be nothing living around the old mansion his father had bought. The only one’s living was to be his maid and him, the maid of which had been his nanny since he had been born. Once everything was packed up and ready to move, the young man took one last look at Washington D.C., his home, and turned his back upon everything.

The people wouldn’t accept him for what he had become now so why would he continue to stay? The witch had told him that he had to learn to care for someone and earn their affection in return. If the people of the city around him hadn’t accepted him, then what made him think anyone else would? He asked himself one question the entirety of the trip to his new home and one that made the fragile spindles of sanity begin to slowly crumble little by little:

Who could ever love a beast?


© Copyright 2018 Jessica D. Miller. All rights reserved.

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