Beauty and the Beast

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: January 15, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 15, 2018

A A A

A A A


B E A U T Y  A N D  T H E  B E A S T

They had invited everyone in the kingdom to the ball, white envelopes on each doorstep. The castle was magnificent, the servants having outdone themselves. Strings of lights adorned the ceilings like stars on a serene summer night. Garlands of golden leaves graced the doorways and candle lights filled the castle with a warm glow. The gardens overflowed with beautiful blossoms, ancient oaks, and young maples. And all throughout the castle, music coursed through the air, the heartbeat of this marvelous kingdom.

The townsfolk, dressed in their finest, gathered inside the castle, warm with laughter and friends. The crowd hushed as the lights dimmed to twilight. Atop the grand staircase stood two figures, hands intertwined. The crowd cheered as the spotlight flew to them.  It was their beloved king and queen, benevolent and gracious to all.

All but one, that is.

One man, who once was of the highest honor, now shunned by the one who mattered most to him. Infatuated with the queen, and filled with constant rage, he sought out a witch, a mage of dark magic.

“Take her from him,” he begged. “For I love her most.” The witch agreed, and a bargain was struck - gold and silver in exchange for a selfish cause.

The ball began in earnest, the queen’s hand never leaving her beloved’s. They danced into the eternal night, barely stopping for breath. As the festivities began to come to a close, he led her in one final dance together. The crowd parted for them as they took center stage, spinning and dipping, dancing as one, never leaving the other’s side, hands always touching, a beautiful storm beneath the stars.

The final note hung in the air, and everyone held their breath, unmoving until the music faded. Then, the crowd erupted, cheering and clapping as the king smiled as his queen, and they turned to their people and thanked them, fingers interlocked. But as the queen’s hand left his to wave goodbye, she began to grow cold. The king looked on in horror, helpless as stone began to creep up her body until all that was left was a statue.

The castle filled with fear, and an icy darkness corrupted its halls. The people cried out, as did the man who had brought this tragedy upon them, his face of victory turning to that of dread. Terrified and afraid, he hid himself in the crowd and fled with the rest.

The king pleaded and begged and screamed, but when he opened his eyes again, she was unmoved, hand raised in her final farewell.

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The people lived now in perpetual fear, ruled by the tyrannical magic of the witch who had taken control of the kingdom. But still, the king kept searching for a cure, for a witch of the light with powers strong enough to reverse the spell, even as a bounty was placed on his own head. He searched every dark corner of the kingdom singlehandedly, desperate for anything that could help him.

One day, a young witch approached him, offering her help. Sensing the dark magic that surrounded her, he questioned her motives. Why would she of darkness help him?

She told him of the beliefs of the dark mages, and how they weren’t all the same, not all hungry for power. Some wanted to be left alone, and some wanted peace. To her, peace meant no side had the upper hand, no matter which one. And so, the two became unlikely partners with a common goal.

She could not reverse the spell fully, she said, but she could alter it.

“Everyone in the castle will turn to stone, and will not wake for many years,” she warned him. “Only once peace returns to this land will you be able to be with your beloved again.” With her magic, they infiltrated the castle, ghosting past the guards.

As she began the spell, the king took his place by his queen and held her hand as he too turned to stone. It spread throughout the castle, the servants frozen in the midst of their work - brooms clattered to the ground and tea remained unpoured. The dark magic could not reach them anymore, locked safely away until they could once again truly live.

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Some many years later, there was a young girl. She was a curious one, and her elders often admonished her for it. Be normal, like all the other little girls, they said.

But of course, this only fueled her stubborn nature, and so, she found herself wandering the forests surrounding her town. It was autumn, and there were beautiful leaves, blanketing the ground in vibrant hues. She spun and she danced through the trees, wildflowers and maple leaves grasped like precious gems in her hands. Suddenly, unexpectedly, the trees began to thin around her. She crept forward, imagining what lay ahead of her - a magic tower, or maybe even an enchanted flower.

She stared up in awe at the sight before her. A castle, whose walls, once grand, now crumbled, covered in the forest, and the glass windows cloudy. The forest had climbed inside the long-forgotten rooms, darkened by years of abandonment. But the girl, she saw flowing royal banners and colorful flowerbeds and people in marvelous gowns and suit coats strolling in green gardens. She walked through the halls, trailing her fingers on the stone, seeing visions of grand royal balls and of majestic kings and beautiful queens, just like the stories.

As her imagination grew, a single bird began to sing. Instead of overgrown brambles, she saw rose gardens and instead of a forgotten castle, she saw rooms filled with velvet and magnificent horse drawn carriages on the lawn. And when she found the library, she threw open the dark curtains, her light and laughter filling the air.

Every day, she snuck away unnoticed by the rest of the town to visit her castle. Sometimes she brought with her a handful of seeds, a cleaning cloth, or sometimes simply a book to read. She ran through the halls, singing and dancing to the music in her head, the statues her impromptu dance partners.

They were her favorite part, the statues. Each day, she found a new one, each so carefully crafted that they might be human if you didn’t look too closely. She danced with her imagination in the ballroom into the night and slept smiling beneath the stars.

As the forest began to grow green again, her love continued to spread throughout the castle. And, deep within the stone walls, the statues slowly began to move once more.


© Copyright 2018 sbueche18. All rights reserved.

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