The Beast Set Free

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A carnival themed story of a beast and an acrobatic girl disguised as a clown; What does she hide? How is this Beast freed? Care to take a read?

Being descriptive is something I've always had trouble with, so here is to practice...

Submitted: December 25, 2019

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Submitted: December 25, 2019

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The Beast Set Free

 

The Beast snares at the crowd from its prison, first resembling an overgrown dog on fours, then as the wolf who hunted the girl in the red hood as it stood on its hind legs. It’s fur was black as night and it’s yellow eyes pierced the darkness, but the crowd laughed as it became apparent that it had paint along its snout to make it resemble a clown.

“Meet the deadly and fierce, Wereclown.” Her voice echoes through the tent as she steps to the spotlight. Her face, too, is painted as a clown. “Shall I set him free to feast on your flesh?” She asks the crowd in a voice filled with malice as she arches her back to make herself look as if an illusion. “Wereclown, feast.” She says as she tosses a golden coin at the lock making it fall.

The beast bursts through the door and stares at the terrified crowd before a burst of flame rises by him blocking the crowd. He jumps back seeing the clown girl racing to him.

“C’mon Beast, you should know better.” She then holds a stick with a small flame at the end before blowing to make the fire take to the air for a moment. The Beast sees the flame and is set in a rage, just as she wants him to be. Fire scares all animals, even this beast, but at the hands of the clown girl… He sees only red as he remembers every night she attempted to train him. To make the Beast sit, speak, and even to roll.

The Beast is not trained, but she makes due with his rage. Making the scene as horrific as it would be in the wild, he charges at her while she quickly moves around the Beast, waltzing with ease in front of the crowd. They softly laugh as the Beast is played with every move, finally she does a backward cartwheel away standing in front of his cage.

“Now, for the finale, Wereclown!” He snares and charges again as she places a hand over her lips, then with her other she raises her small flame. She blows the flame to be large enough to almost engulf her, but he still charges while closing his eyes from the heat before hitting a wall. Now, on her hands and he in the cage, she kicks the door close and returns the lock as the crowd cheers. “That was a close one, Wereclown, maybe next time.”

The Beast snares, but it is of no use. The clown girl shows her skill in acrobatics as she continues to harass the beast inside its cage. 

 

After the show, he lays in his cage, staring at the raw meat near the bars. This is what the beast eats. Or so it’s forced. The clown girl stares at him with a lighter in hand.

“Brax.” She softly states. “Do not mistake our generosity as something which could be exploited. Ease back on the next chase, or be burned again.” He stares at her, before noticing the girl a few yards behind taking a bite from an apple. “You will obey.” She states before blowing on the small flame from the lighter making it enter the cage; her signature fire trick, a secret she tells none. He cringes away to the darkest part of the cage before the flame dies and she turns to walk. 

The girl with the apple quickly catches her scolding before taking her leave. The clown girl shakes her head before walking out of sight, once so, the girl with the apple returns. “Brax, the Beast.” She speaks in a very gentle voice. She rolls the apple within her hand before speaking again. “Is Rijeka always mean to you?”

The Beast has never seen this one during the shows, it was also seldom of her to walk past the bars of iron. This is also the first he’s been addressed in a non threatening way in quite some time. 

“I’m Luna. Can you say Luna?” He only stares at her, then at the apple. “You have food in front of you.” The Beast lowers his snout to Luna as she bites the apple again. “Hm.” She then softly rolls the apple within the cage and he quickly snatches it, surprising her. “A beast that eats apples?” She opens the small bag at her waist which he did not notice until that moment. She grabs a small book along with a small feathered pen, then begins sketching the beast.

Her visits became more frequent, the shows became easier, but Rijeka continues to attempt to train him. The Beast, however, has become a bigger image than before. Luna’s sketchings Of him has opened opportunities for the small time cartoonist, for the Wereclown is now known as, The Beast. The Beast is now the face of the carnival and she simply cannot keep up with the demand. But, alas, we return to a similar scene…

 

Within his cage in pitch darkness, he hears the murmurs of the crowd around him. A spot light shines on him, but he longer snares or barks. 

“Meet the terrifying, Beast!” A voice echoes as another spotlight shines on the familiar clown girl standing on one hand. She lowers the microphone held with her foot and with her hand not tethered, she raises her torch to him. “C’mon, Wereclown, these people are wanting a show.” The Beast merely yawns and lays down as the audience begins to boo. “Dammit, dog.” She then tosses a gold coin against his lock using her free foot to reenact the first show, but he does not give chase like before.

The audience has had enough, chanting the one horrid word to the ears of the carnies. “Refund! Refund! Refund!” Rijeka quickly bends herself back to a standing position pointing the torch to the beast.

“Show me rage, you pathetic excuse of a canine! Attack me or I’ll see harm to Luna!” She demands as she waves the torch to him again. Finally, he snares at the flame before making Rijeka his target. She smiles for a moment, then quickly she flips back. “Attaboy, you don’t want Luna’s hands to be broken, do you? How will she turn you into art with-“ 

The Beast quickly jumps to her, his target is her throat. She quickly bends herself backwards watching him past over her, then she spins herself away readying her torch. The Beast snares at the crowd, acting as they have predicted; a primitive animal. Now that they have their entertainment, they cheer, they point and laugh.

“You truly favor, Luna, don’t you?” The Beast’s eyes quickly focus away from the crowd to Rijeka. “You selfish savage.” she quickly shakes her head. “You shall only chase me.”

She clicks her tongue as he begins to play into her trap once again. She elegantly dances around his attacks, each one getting closer, but never to scratch her delicate skin. It’s time for her signature finale. In between the Beast and the cage, she curves her body to appear disfigure before taking the infamous lighter from her pocket.

“Our time has come to an end, Beast.” While tilting her head to the crowd, the Beast readies a final attack. “I hope you enjoyed the show, return again for new tricks. Or perhaps you wish to see this beast free from his cage.” Rijeka raises her lighter as he begins to charge. “Do your worst, dog.” Claws extended and fangs exposed, he pounces into her fire once again. He feels the heat and cage against his skull again, but hears not the scream. He turns just in time to see Rijeka locking the cage with her hand instead of her foot, but then he sees why. The blood on his claw came from her arm, not severed, but her wound is deep enough to have blood run. “I will have your fangs for this.”

 

“Because of you,” Rijeka started while pointing a finger at the Beast within his cage, “I am not going to be able to perform for weeks” Her arm was bandaged, but was still operationable. However, the more she waved her arms, the more her wound opens and a faint red could be seen getting darker. “I will have to resort to the tightrope walk!” The Beast snares at her before seeing Luna appear.

“Rijeka, what happened?!”

“The damn dog overdid his part.”

“Was he burned?”

“Luna!” Rijeka quickly extended her bandaged arm to Luna. “Do you see what he’s done to me?”

“Well, you asked for it! Brax never wanted to be a part of this!”

“Only I can call it, Brax, I named it!”

“When was the last time you called him anything other than beast or dog?”

“That is none of your concern!” Rijeka then raises her lighter preparing to scare the Beast as before, but Luna quickly grabs her wounded arm causing her to flinch in pain before taking the lighter from her. “Give that back!”

“I’ve had enough of this, you are torturing an endangered animal, and putting yourself at risk for only a crowd of people at a time. I’m going to see him free by-” With a quick spin, the back of Rijeka’s good hand makes contact with the side of Luna’s face. The Beast barks and snares while hitting the cage. The stunned Luna only sighs looking away, keeping Rijeka’s lighter tight within her hand.

“You have no power over what happens to it.”

 

A metal creak wakes the sleeping Beast, under the thin blanket of darkness, he sees a faint flame being used as light from an unredeemable lighter. He is quickly on all fours and snares only once before hearing the voice of his assumed assailant.

“Brax, shush.” He quickly obey’s Luna’s command as she finishes picking the lock of the cage. Most of her face is covered by the shadow cast by her hood, but he can still make out the mark caused by Rijeka. “You’re free,” She begins as the door slowly creaks open. “Go, Brax.” The Beast takes his first step outside the cage, no crowd to watch him, no flame readied to attack.

He does not travel far from the cage before sitting by Luna, softly he places a massive paw on her head which brings down her hood.

“What are you doing? Flee! Be free!” He does not obey, but begins to sniff her bag holding her book. “Stop, Brax.” She demands while stepping away, “You need to leave this place before-” Again, he does not obey, and simply returns his paw to her head while pointing his snout to her bag. “Fine.” She takes the book from the bag and opens it to one of the many pages with sketchings of the beast. He, then lowers his head to get a better look at the sketchings.

Some are of him as a cute doglike creature, others are more monstrous, but all have Luna’s signature underneath. 

“Brax, you really need to leave this place.” He pays no attention to her statement before putting a claw on the book. “Yes, that’s you.” She then turns the page, it’s of him and Rijeka in front of the crowd as if they were about to battle surrounded by flames. He snares at the scene. “Do you not like Rijeka,” Luna slowly puts the Rijeka’s lighter on the page before continuing, “Or do you not like fire?”

 

Luna quickly shook herself awake at the first sound of thunder. She had fallen asleep sitting against the Beast, as Luna looks up at the darkened morning sky, she is hit by the first drop of rain. “Brax,” She points at the cage while standing up, forcing him to awake. “You have to leave or else you’ll be back in there.” He stands looking down at her, before walking back into the cage. “No, Brax, you need to leave.” He merely sits in the cage, something he has grown accustomed to. “Brax! Listen to me!” Luna quickly turns her head to see a faint glow drawing closer from around the corner, a torch, someone is approaching. She swiftly closes the door and looks around for the lock she had dropped the night before.

“Luna.” Rijeka’s voice echoes louder than the thunder that reigned at the same time. Luna takes a step in front of The Beast’s door before speaking.

“Rijeka! What are you doing here??”

“Seeing if it ate the food I left last night.” She answers immediately. “Why are you here this early?”

“Eh-” Luna thinks for a moment before taking out her notebook. “I was doing some sketches!”

“In the rain?” Rijeka asks while taking a step forward, her wounded arm relaxed and straight at her side, the other holding the torch. “There is hardly any light with these clouds.”

“I-”

“You stay away from Brax!” Rijeka demands pointing the torch aggressively at Luna causing Brax to snare. “Move aside!” She pulls Luna away from the cage, but fails to see the door bursts open. 

“Brax! Stop!” Brax is over Rijeka, his paw on her wounded arm making her scream, and a scared Luna stares in shock.

“Luna!” Rijeka screams as the beast reveals his large fangs close to her face. Luna shakes herself back to the situation and holds Rijeka’s lighter forward.

“Stop it, Brax!” He sees not Luna’s face behind the lighter and small flame, but swings a paw at her knocking her down. He quickly releases Rijeka after seeing Luna in the mud. While the rain begins to fall faster, he lowers his head to her. “Get away!” She yells, almost flinching as he takes a step towards her. “Leave me alone!” The beast stares at her for a moment before turning to Rijeka who had began to sit up. He does not look back, but races past her, out of Luna’s sight.

“He’s…” Rijeka took only a glance at her arm before putting her hand over her eyes. 

“Rijeka…” Luna begins as she moves to sit by her. 

“I remember when I found him.” 

“Why were you so cruel to Brax?”

“I-” She sighs while looking up at the clouds for a moment. “I was afraid of him. Of what he could do. Of what would happen if he did not return to his cage every show…” Luna does not speak, but opens her notebook that had fallen.

“He’s not gone, Rijeka…”

 


© Copyright 2020 Raven Leal. All rights reserved.

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