Before Beauty (Beauty and the Beast prequel)

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  • Published: 7 Jun 2016
  • Updated: 7 Jun 2016
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A Beauty and the Beast prequel for the Huntsman Writing Competition.

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1. Before Beauty

   We all heard of Beauty and the Beast where an ugly, old woman, who is actually a beautiful enchantress in disguise, curses a prince because he refuses to house the ugly, old woman for the night. We all hated the enchantress for cursing the prince but are overjoyed when he finds his love.

   But do we really know the true story?

 

   Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away, there lived a beautiful girl named, Estelle. Everyone adored Estelle because she always helped others out.

   Estelle would always help Little Bo Peep find her sheep.

   Estelle would always help the Little Red Hen bake bread whenever her housemates went, “NOT I!”

   And Estelle would always help the outcast witch gather potion ingredients. No matter how disgusting (eel hearts, frog eyes, pig nose hair).

 

   One day, Estelle was taking care of the Spindle family’s year. She did not hear the clomping of hooves behind her.

   “What is a fine lady like you doing outside messing around in the mud?” asked a voice behind Estelle.

   Startled, Estelle spun around to see a majestic horse and a face everybody knew. The prince’s.

   The prince held out his hand and Estelle took it, shyly. Onto the majestic horse, both, Estelle and the prince, rode off into the sunset.

   It was their happily ever after.

   Except, happily ever afters never happen to the evil people.

 

   Two weeks later, Estelle and the prince parted ways for a day. Estelle went to the kingdom borders to help the outcast witch. The prince went to the Village Square to promote the opening of a new shop.

  That day, the outcast witch did not need Estelle’s help to gather potion ingredients. The outcast witch needed Estelle to go to the Village Square to buy a few things.

 

   Inside a cauldron shop, Estelle compared the prices and size of two different silver cauldrons. She did not notice the forming crowd of squealing women around a man and horse.

   “Mother, look!” yelled a child inside the shop, tugging at his mother’s skirt. “It’s the prince!”

   Estelle’s eyes snapped up.

   Sure enough, in the center of the crowd, was the prince.

   Estelle's prince.

   And it did not look like the prince was promoting a new shop. It was not even close.

   Blood boiling, Estelle dropped the two cauldrons and exited the shop and roughly pushed herself through the crowd. And there stood Estelle’s prince. Wooing another woman, that was obviously not Estelle. The woman was much more beautiful and younger looking than Estelle, who was already beautiful and young.

   Estelle felt sick. Very sick

   Pushing herself away from the crowd, who greedily took her spot, Estelle felt sicker because the prince didn’t even notice her.

   Angrily, Estelle bought the most expensive golden cauldron, using the prince’s money, of course, and stormed all the way back to the outcast witch’s hut.

   Noticing Estelle’s changed in mood, the outcast witch asked:

   “Problem, my dear?”

   “Men who do not realize the looks are not everything.”

   “Ah, my dear, I have the perfect solution for you.” The outcast witch began to rummage through a cabinet and pulled out two potions and a red rose.

   Holding the red potion the highest, the outcast witch explained. “This potion will turn you into an old woman and you can trick the man into thinking that you are an old woman. But it’ll only last for a minute, so use it wisely.”    

   Now holding up the rose and beige potion highest, the outcast witch continued. “This potion will turn the man into a beast. And this rose will bloom until his twenty-first birthday. To become a normal man again, the man needs to learn to love before the rose dies. If the rose dies, and the man does not learn to love, he’ll stay a beast forever.”

   Taking the two potions and the rose, Estelle’s eyes glinted with mischief.

 

   Arriving back at the castle, Estelle hid the two potions and the rose in an old cloak that the prince wouldn’t dare to wear, let alone touch.

   That night during dinner, Estelle asked, “Prince, will you love me no matter how I look?”

   “Always,” said the prince. That was all.

 

   The next morning, Estelle left to help the old shoemaker find out who kept on making shoes at night. Estelle told the prince that she would not be back until the very next day.

   However, that night, Estelle returned. As an old, beggar women.

   Knocking on the door, Estelle knew that she only had a little over thirty seconds before the spell wore off.

   The prince opened the door and Estelle offered him the rose in exchange for a place to stay for the night.

   The prince saw the beautiful red rose and knew that is was Estelle’s favorite flower.

   “No. Now go away and never return!” demanded the prince, who was disgusted how Estelle looked.

   This made her angered. The day before, the prince had told Estelle that he would lover her no matter what she looked like!

   At that moment, the potion wore off, revealing the true, beautiful Estelle. An angry, beautiful Estelle.

   “Do not be fooled by outward appearances,” shouted Estelle as she threw the beige potion at the prince’s feet. Changing the prince into a hideous beast.

   Estelle held up the rose she had just offered the prince. “The rose will bloom until your twenty-first birthday. You will have until then to learn how to love as a beast to break the spell. If you do not break the spell and the rose dies, you will be stuck as a hideous beast forever.”

   When Estelle left, the prince fell into despair. What will I do? He wondered. For who will ever fall in love with a beast like me?

   Nobody.

   At least, that’s what Estelle and the prince thought.

   Little did they both know that a young girl living in a small village outside the kingdom named, Belle, would come to the castle demanding for her father’s release in three years.

   And that Belle would break the prince’s curse.

 

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