La Beaute est la Bete

Chapitre Un

There once was a portly old man from a fairly wealthy village near the sea who found himself lost in a deep, dark forest a very far way away from his home. Darkness was fast approaching and his lantern had been extinguished by a sudden rain that he had been caught in more than an hour before. He was not well versed in the ways of magick, nor was he handy with a sword, so as the night began to wrap itself around him the man became more and more worried as to whether he would ever see his fine home by the sea again. When sounds began to come from out of the forest, growls and howls and screeches of every description, the man began to simply wondered how much he would suffer before his death. He hoped that it was not very much, as he was weak of spirit and did not handle suffering very well. Not for the first time the man cursed himself for being too tight with his pursestrings, and he swore to whatever gods would listen to him that if he survived the night then he would hire proper bodyguards the next time that he went on a journey. Or perhaps an entire squadron of well trained mercenaries. Or both.

Now, before anyone grows too very concerned for this wayward traveler and suffers overmuch for his pitiful plight, one must understand why this chubby little cheapskate found himself so far from his oceanside home in the first place. This man, whose name is rather unimportant and is of little consequence to the tale that we weave, was a purveyor of flesh. And young flesh at that. He was wealthy only because of the many corrupt men and women of means who frequented his very successful brothel, a place where he promised to provide anything that a dark heart could desire... for a price. He had gone on his journey with the intent of finding fresh faces to fill his many rooms, new delights that would tempt his ever fickle clientele, and it was only bad luck and poor weather that had kept him from having any sort of companionship on his trip home.

So, dear reader, do not shed a tear for our lone traveler. For, should he perish alone in the darkness of a foreign forest, the world would be a far better place for it. In fact, many a tender young lad or lass would rejoice and thank the very mongrel that had devoured him. Just as many a crooked judge and bored socialite would mourn him.

Fate, however, did not favor the innocents on that night, and when a flash of lightening broke the sky the old brothel owner was just barely able to make out the sight of a castle on the high hill that dominated the landscape beyond the forest. He had somehow managed to make it to the very edge of the trees, so it did not appear to be a very long trip to safety, and the man began to run as fast as his chunky little legs would travel. He was well out of breath by the time that he reached the foot of the hill, but he was at least able to give a winded little cheer as he saw that there was a handsome path of gleaming white marble leading all the way up to the castle's large doors.

The flesh peddler took the steps two at a time, ever anxious of the continued flash of red eyes and movement of overlarge shadows that seemed to follow his every move. He did not know what he would do if he found the doors bared.

The man's luck, however, held, and when he reached the two large doors covered in intricately designed pieces of colored glass he found the door to be unlocked and his way open. He did think it odd that there were no servants to meet him, but it did not bother him over much as he leaned heavily against the glass and wood and thanked his lucky stars for his good fortune.

When at last he had calmed a bit the man took a good look around. The castle was very fine indeed, and everywhere that he looked the man saw glittering gold and silver, all perfectly polished, or fine paintings and beautiful works of art. Everything was clean and orderly, yet still the cavernous rooms seemed empty and utterly devoid of life. It gave the man a feeling of ill-ease, but still he knew it to be preferable to what awaited him outside the strong stone walls. He decided then and there that he would take his chances with any ghosts that he may find in such a place.


The man eventually found an empty, and perfectly maintained, room to sleep in, and he was soon fast asleep. Only the morning sun, streaming in through the gaps in the curtains, woke him from his slumber. The man was not accustomed to being awake in the morning, his work lending itself to a more nocturnal lifestyle, and so he cursed and tried in vain to fall back to sleep. The unnatural stillness in the castle finally got to him, however, and he was soon up and about once again.

He thought of looking for food in the castle, almost certain that he would find fresh provisions despite the seemingly empty nature of the place, but he soon thought better of such a scavenger hunt. Even in the light of day the place still made him uneasy, and the man was sure that he was far safer leaving the strange castle as soon as he was able. Decision made, the man quickly gathered up his things and made his way for the front door.

The traveler had nearly made his way to the beautiful doors that he had passed through the night before, glad to be leaving but not quite sure why, when something glittering in the newly awakened sunlight caught his eye. The glinting flash was coming from a room near the foot of a large and winding staircase. Pushing the slightly ajar door all the way open, the man was awed to see a room full of beautiful treasures, each more exquisite than anything that he had seen thus far. Everywhere that he looked the man saw the purest gold, fashioned into intricately made statues and trinkets, all of them encrusted with jewels and precious stones. It was a virtual treasure trove! And, best yet in the man's mind, there was no one to guard it.

Looking around to make sure that there was indeed no one to see him, the man opened up his bag and began to shove as many of the beautiful objects into his bag as he thought that he could carry. He was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a strong man, but greed gave him strength and soon his bag was all but overflowing with precious treasures. When he thought that he had enough, the man turned to leave the room, but on the way out one last item caught his attention. There, on a small table by the door, was a rose carved out of the biggest ruby that the man had ever seen. The stem was pure silver, one delicate leaf resting gently against the table's surface, and it all glittered perfectly in the morning sun. The man had to have it. He picked it up, thinking to take it to the lovely young daughter of the town's mayor, whom he had long had his eye on. Such a bauble was sure to turn her pretty little head.

He then made to leave the room, the rose still clutched in his hand, but just as he passed the foot of the massive staircase he heard a roar from behind him and he turned in time to see a huge man swinging a fist aimed directly for his face. "You would dare to steal from me after I allowed you shelter in my home!" It was the last thing that his attacker said before the man felt blows raining down on him, one after the other.

Soon the man lay bloodied on the ground, and only two small women in red and black maids outfits appearing out of nowhere to shield him and speak calming words to the enraged attacker kept him from being beaten into unconsciousness... or worse. The traveler curled around himself, holding his injured body tightly, his sack of pilfered treasures still clutched tightly to him. If he was to suffer physically, he thought, at least he should be given some compensation in return.

"Calm down, My Lord." He heard one of the women saying. The other adding, "He most certainly thought the castle was deserted."

"Yes! Yes!" The man quickly took to the maid's train of thought, hoping to save himself from further harm, and from a visit with the local law as well. "I would not have borrowed your lovely items had I not thought them left unattended. I thought them better in my care than looted by thieves."

The large man before him gave a harsh bark of laughter, but otherwise he did not say anything. The sound brought the traveler's eyes up to his attacker, and the sight that awaited him made his breath catch in his throat. The man was huge, with a square jaw and broad shoulders that nearly blocked out the light from the window behind him. Long, snowy white hair hung loosely around his shoulders and fierce red eyes looked at him with hatred. The hands that were still balled into fists seemed as big as the brothel owner's head, and he wondered how they had not crushed him outright. The most shocking thing of all, however, were the multitude of jagged scars that covered every visible expanse of skin all across the man's face, neck, and hands. It left him looking distorted and monstrous, and the traveler nearly wet himself at the horrid sight. Then the man flashed him a cruel smile, sharp fangs showing at the corners of his mouth, and the traveler truly did lose control of his body.

"Are you scared, thief?" The scarred man's voice was deep and gravely. It made the brothel owner shiver with fear. "If not... you should be."

"Wait!" The brothel owner shouted as the man made to approach him. "I can pay. I am very wealthy and can give you anything that you want."

"What would you have that I could possible want?" The huge man taunted, opening his arms wide to indicate the rooms around them. "I am the prince of this region and my castle is filled with wealth. Wealth that you thought to take from me after I was kind enough to allow you shelter. You have nothing that I could need."

The traveler thought that he might be right, and as the man took a menacing step towards him he was certain that he was about to die. Then a thought occurred to him, and he quickly scrambled away from the other man while talking in his most honied voice. "I have much that you would desire," he said, "for I am certain that there are things denied a man such as you, even with your imense wealth."

"I'm listening." The man paused, crossing scarred arms across a muscled chest. "This had better be good, little man."

"I own a very successful brothel." He tempted, knowing instantly by his expression that he had touched on a sore topic for the other man. "If you let me leave, then I will return very soon with a well trained companion for you. I see how empty this place is, despite your wealth, and we both know that it is not right for a prince such as yourself to go without a concubine or two to while away the hours with."

It was not a hard decision for the scarred man, nay, the scarred prince, to make. He had been alone for a very long time, with only his two maids, a butler, and a cook for company. It would be nice not to be alone any longer. And besides, he could not let the thief escape without punishment, yet he did not wish his blood on his hands either. This would prove a more than adequate solution.

"Leave this place at once," the terrifying prince said. "Return here within a fortnight with your most profitable whore. I will know if you do not send the proper person, so do not dare to try to deceive me. And, if you do not return on time, then I will track you down and kill you."


The brothel owner returned home with haste, making the return in half of the time that the original trip had taken him. He did not consider, even once, trying to run anywhere but home. And he did not consider a failure to return to the prince's castle either. He was very well versed in lies and deceptions, and thus he knew that the scarred man had spoken the truth when he had said that his life would be forfeit should he not return on time to make the requested delivery.

Now, normally a man as much in love with his money as the brothel owner was would have a heavy heart after being told to give up his most profitable worker, seemingly in a permanent exchange. This was not the case, however, for this particular man. He had, in fact, been wanting to get rid of this particular person for many a long year. He just hadn't been able to find the motivation to give up the considerable income that was provided by his top earner. But an angry prince promising a painful death was more than enough of an incentive.

When he at last reached his home he walked in with a smile, dropping his bags at the feet of his servants, and proceeded straight to the upper floors. He pushed open the door to the last room on the left, walked straight up to the lone figure who was currently curled up in a tight little ball at the foot of the bed, and simply said, "Pack a bag. You're leaving."

Big green eyes, clouded over with sleep, blinked up at the brothel owner a few times before giving a simple answer, "Yes, Father."


Six days later the brothel owner was riding away towards home once again, his delivery having been left at the prince's doorstep without so much as a knock on the door. He was in no hurry to see the scarred man again, and he did not want to chance the prince finding the child that he left with him to be in any way wanting. He was certain that such a thing would mean his imediate death. It simply was not something that he was willing to risk.

The door to the grand castle opened mere moments after the brothel owner was out of sight, perhaps not so much of a coincidence, and the new arrival was greeted by a tall man in a stark black suite. The man looked over the person on his doorstep, seemingly taking stock from head to toe, before standing aside and motioning with one hand towards the interior of the castle. "The master is expecting you."

"Thank you." The voice was quiet, but completely sincere. There was no answer.


               ~~~~~~~~ Back to Beauty and the Beast ~~~~~~~~ Chapter 2



This free website was made using Yola.

No HTML skills required. Build your website in minutes.

Go to and sign up today!

Make a free website with Yola