Story 36, part three in my retelling of Beauty and the Beast. If you are just finding my blog now, you probably want to read part one and part two first. At this point I am expecting this story to take two or three more installments to finish up, so I guess it’s more of a novella?
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Now the beast led Heleth’s son,
This time to the very heart of the wood.
To a castle, once goodly and fair,
Now knocked one stone from another
Until only a single tower stood.
The trees wrapped its stones in their embrace,
The vines sought the warmth of its hearth.
This was the home of the beast.
They walked on a path made between
The white flowers of the snow,
For the beast’s only gentle acquaintance
Was with the green-growing things.
“Beast, will you not speak to me?”
asked Heleth’s son.
“I have done all you have asked me to do.
Why do you not speak?”
The trees rumbled and cracked,
Voices came from deep within.
“Do you not know that the Beast has no words?”
“They have been taken from her.”
Khirkara wasn’t sure if he’d really been walking in the wrong direction, or if the old man was leading him in a bizarre, looping route to confuse him about the actual location of the house and its occupant. Or maybe his mother had covered far more distance than he had thought possible in her semi-delirious state. It was impossible to say, and it didn’t seem like a good time to question the rigid shoulders rapidly moving away from him.