The Rose

Belle, trained assassin extraordinaire, has a new mission. Find the Beast, a huge, fierce myth that could probably tear Belle's throat out in two seconds, take all of his secrets, and kill him. Not him- it. Belle must stop thinking of this fascinating creature as something that could possibly have feelings.

And it had feelings. It had motives, and plans, and purpose.

And Belle?

Belle wanted to know more.

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7. Chapter VII

‘What?’ The Beast replied. ‘Take his place?’ He looked startled at the suggestion.

‘I will take his place.’ I could hear the faint protests of my father, but his voice was so weak that I easily ignored him.

‘You must stay forever.’ He said solemnly.

‘You have my word.’

‘Deal.’ He muttered, unlocking and easing open the door of the cell. My father was crying, dismayed, but before I could comfort him, the Beast had grabbed him by the collar, and was rushing away.

‘Wait! Let me say goodbye, at least!’ I chased after the Beast, but he was faster than me. I heard the main door of the castle squeal open, and a slam as it shut again. I ran to it, banging hard on the door. The Beast looked on, as if the lock would hold me back. As I raged against the door, I slipped a thin reed into the keyhole, waiting for the click. As soon as it came, I shoved the door open. I looked back at the Beast, before sprinting toward my father.

I scooped up my father into my arms before he could protest, and started towards the horse I had left just beyond the gate of the castle. I could hear the Beast roaring, galloping toward me. Don’t look back I told myself. I jumped onto the horse, my father righting himself behind me, and grabbing my waist. I yanked the reins, and the horse came to life. We flew through the forest, twisting through trees and bushes.

Suddenly, I felt a tug, pulling the horse back. I felt the horse collapse to the ground, and barely managed to stop my father from landing face first in the snow. A pack of wolves surrounded us, baring their teeth, snapping their jaws. I grabbed at the horse’s reins, but blood was spewing from his leg, and he was unable to stand. I thought quickly, sizing up the tree that stood just beside me. I lugged my father over my shoulder, careful to keep his neck from snapping.

And I began to climb.

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