Beauty and the Beast

Ch. 1

When the night was dark, with no moon or stars upon the boundless sky; perfect blackness, a sort of visual silence that gave a revered awe, a blanket of protection, a place where hearts beat quietly in a steady rhythm; an entity, wearing a hat and covering its face with a bandana, clopped on its horse, crossing the bamboo forest; high up to the sky; into the cave in a huge mountain, standing there like a fortress, blocking the way.

It jumped off the horse and scanned the surroundings. The horse neighed, shaking his head to the sides and started smelling for food on the ground. The shadow released his leash and tapped on his butt with forced; terrified, the horse screamed and ran away.

It then walked inside the dark alley with a fire torch; illuminating the only places it passes by. The alley curved right and left then it stopped; dead end.

It lowered the torch to see the bottom of the wall and there it was, a silver lever then covered in dust. It took out a golden pin from within the robe, which looked more like a bottle opener with a small curved hook on the top; passing the hook into the lever hole and pulling it up; with a thud the whole wall slid to the right and a room emerged behind.

A room; neither big nor small; a perfect place to hide treasures but it wasn’t treasure it was after but a rose; a big, beautiful rose, changing colors with exposure to light, caged into a glass lid. People say only wizards and witches knew how to put someone’s powers into living things; capturing the very energy they live with, inside other beings. No one would ever think of any being as an impersonation of the other. That rose belonged to someone, someone who never wanted the evil doer to come back to life but the seal broke and the entrance to the cave opened up.

The person, who should never be allowed to have that rose, got its hands on it; draining all its energy; leaving it wilted on the ground.

Emitting such bright light; it came out of that cave and shouted at the top of its lungs; it was back for revenge and that time no one could stop it.

…………….

“DAWN!

There is an awakening magic each day in the early morning, a sense of an old earth-spirit rekindled that seeks to knit together all that is good. The hues of the world bloom anew as if each were a tiny flower reborn.” As the sun came into sight; golden threads of sun rays spanned out, illuminating the world submerged in darkness. She smiled as she stood on the edge of the steep mountain road, leaning on the railing, watching the sun rise up.

Just in front of her was a whole range of mountains curving in a circle around a small lake; getting brighter with reflected rays of light; adding beauty to plain water. Of snow white and deepest grey, those mountain tops were the artistry of horizon.

It was her routine to wake up before the sun does. She would dress up and come out of her rented room only to see the sun rise from within the mountains.

She was an artist by heart. Wherever she looked; she could only see hues spread on the canvas, small or big; broken buildings became narratives, shredded glass became silver, mountains and trees became ribbons, stones became pathways and rivers flow like shades on canvas.

She loved to draw; that was a world she never wanted to leave.

Her parents and siblings tried pulling her into the real world but world didn’t matter to her unless it could provide her with a scene she could put on her canvas. Whenever she was to hold the paint brush; whole world around her would vanish; the only sound would be the strokes on the board and the ripples it would make when two colors merged and spanned the canvas.

The dance of different colors on the canvas; merging her imagination with the reality; precise lines with brushes moving in harmony with the song of her soul; were reflected in her completed paintings like a beam of light.

She never cared for exhibitions or even making her talent her livelihood until after her parents passed away and she was left out of will. All the inheritance was distributed among her brothers; they announced her halfwit and put her in some asylum.

The world never scared her; that same world was her life and her soul. She started to paint there too and applied for so many exhibitions but was rejected on spot. No one cared for a ‘no name’ to be allowed in their circle.

A year passed by when she was discharged from the asylum as she was no longer a threat to her brothers but they were kind enough to give her a small rented room in the outskirts of town and some supplies to last for a month.

She became penniless as time passed by; her colors started to lessen; her brushes became old and unvaned; her canvases diminished and she started to feel suffocated. It was time she was to come out of her comfort zone and into the savage world which she never knew of.

With no graduation degree, all she could do was to start working in a café as a waitress. It was when she realized being alone in the world was terrifying; a woman alone was only food for the ferocious men. She started to detest the very world she was in love with; the very world that gave her a soul. She left the café and ran far away in the mountains so that she could breathe again. All she had with her was her brushes and canvases; all she wanted was an escape.

After a month passed by, she returned to her shabby room and saw a girl from the café snooping around.

“What do you want?” Sian asked, irritated.

“I am amazed at you,” she taunted as she followed her inside, “I mean that is… so normal… you are making such a fuss about.”

“I don’t care if it’s normal,” Sian replied, “I just don’t want that ‘normal’ for me.”

“Ok,” she raised her hands and sat down besides her crossing her legs.

“You have changed so much?” Sian didn’t reply.



NoorIman

Edited: 30.03.2021

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