The Rose

Ever since her mother died and her father disappeared, Belle has been waiting for this moment. Her daggers at the ready, her heart steeled with confidence, she faced him.

The beast.

Veangeace is a mocking thing.

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7. Chapter VI

   The room shook as the door slammed behind him. I stayed upright for a moment, rearing to go, awaiting his return, but alas, he didn’t. I slumped back onto the bed.

   So much for that interrogation.

   I knew he wouldn’t answer me. He’s not an idiot, he knew what I could do with any sort of information about him. But I was hoping interrogating him, killing him, and escaping his castle would be somewhat easier than it was turning out to be.

   I sighed, my stomach rumbling. Pity he hadn’t left some food before he stormed out. I was starving. I hadn’t eaten much at all that day, and night was fast approaching.

   I stood up again, and began rummaging through the pockets of my jacket. Safety pins, lock picks, paper, a pencil, and… the note.

   It was from my mother. She had left it for my father and I when she had left that fateful night. I unfolded the yellowed page with delicate fingers, smoothing out the corners. I read through it for the millionth time;

   My dearest George,

   I must go. I have been called by God to help the prince, and only I can do so. I wish it didn’t have to be this way. I love you so very much. All my hopes are to see you soon.

   All my love,

   Clare

 

   Lovely Belle,

   You are my whole world. I know you do not understand my leaving, but please know that I will never stop loving you. Be strong, be kind, and be the wonderful girl I know you are. You deserve so much more than they have planned for you.

    I will see you soon, my flower.

   I promise.

   Maman

   A teardrop fell to the sheet with a splash. My mother, my Maman. All she wanted to do was love. To help those who couldn’t help themselves. Her kindness and generosity were her best traits. But those traits would also be her downfall.

   And it was all the Adam’s fault.

   If only I had tried to stop her. To tell her that he didn’t deserve her kindness, no one so cruel ever could. But she was gone in the dead of night. And dead by the end of the week.

   Folding up the note, I sat back up on the bed. Hunger laced my stomach, making it growl like a… well, a beast. I almost laughed then. This whole revenge plot was so messy. First, I was attacked by wolves. Next, cornered by a beast. Brought down to the dungeon to see my sickly father. Knocked unconscious while trying to escape. Desperately tried to interrogate the beast, to absolutely no avail. I knew crying wouldn’t help, but goddamn it, I couldn’t stop the tears pricking my eyes and sliding down my cheeks. I counted to ten. Forced myself to grow up. I had sought out the beast, and now I had to deal with the consequences, like it or not.

   I could hear doors slamming, breaking the eerie silence of the castle. The beast – who was probably having a meltdown at having a girl who was trying to kill him in his beloved castle – was stomping around, pulling a hissy fit.

   I didn’t have enough energy to be angry. This prince now turned beast had the nerve to be sulking when I had lost my mother to his hands, lost my father to imprisonment, and was forced to stay with a strange beast for, as promised, my whole life.

   My stomach wailed again. I stood, slipping out the door, closing it gently behind me. I could get some food, perhaps find a book, and escape back to my room without being seen if I tried hard enough.

   Just as I was descending the staircase leading to the kitchen, I felt something. A strange tugging in me, like my bones were pressing up against my skin, forcing me to follow their lead. I glanced back at the kitchen. Every fiber of my being longed for food.

   Okay, maybe not every fiber.

   Certainly not enough to stop me from following the tugging in my heart. My lungs squeezed as I approached a door, an even darker brown than the other doors of the castle. I gripped the handle. No sound was coming from inside. I carefully pushed down the door handle, and stepped inside.

   A glowing rose welcomed me.

   It floated underneath glass casing. Petals of the deepest rouge lay on the table around it. My whole body seemed to pulse as I staggered toward it, my feet narrowly avoiding the shards of broken mirrors on the floor. The walls were covered in ripped wallpaper, once exquisite frames hung photo-less, covered in dust and grime. I wanted so badly to study them, but the tugging was now causing a physical ache inside me.

   I finally reached the rose. My fingertips rested on the glass casing. And all was still in the world, for that moment.

   A voice broke the silence, whispering. ‘My rose, my beautiful rose, you have come to aid me at last.’ It was my Maman’s voice; undeniably hers. I could recognize it anywhere, even after all those years. I felt faint.

   ‘My flower, you must help him.’

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