View Full Version : Of Beast and Beauty, Chap. 1

November 27th, 2010, 05:39 AM
At impact Elizabeth’s face hits the steering wheel of her car, her hands still gripping the wheel. It takes her a moment to realize what has happened. She searches outside her windshield, only seeing the snowflakes that come down in lazy circles.
“Oh no oh no oh no,” she whispers, stepping out of the car and raising her hands to her face in horror. The deer lay splayed out in front of her, its head an odd angle, unnaturally so. Its eyes stare unblinkingly into the place from which it came, the heavily wooded forest lining the road.
Elizabeth hesitates, looking around her, possibly for help. But she is alone on the one-way road. People sparsely inhabit this part of the mountain, and rarely cars drive the roads this late at night.
Elizabeth, knowing not what to do, slowly bends down to the deer, removing a glove from her hand. She places her palm on the deer’s chest, closing her eyes as she does so while tears start to snake down her pale face. She stays like this for quite some time.
The Beast tracks the deer to the place it disappeared across the road, though he stops short at the smell of gasoline. He inches closer to the road, seeing a car’s headlights and guessing as to what must have happened. He peers from behind a pine tree’s trunk, staring at the scene before him curiously.
A woman bends over the dead animal, her hand on its still heart, crying. In her car’s headlights he can see her tears and blood on her face. He sniffs the air, taking in the scent of deer’s blood, but also of hers. She smells of jasmine. He tries to leave the scene, resolving to wait in the shadows until she leaves, though her scent has him lingering.
He trembles, knowing his hunger is a danger to the both of them now, though still he stays, questioning her actions.
Elizabeth stands, sensing something’s amiss. She glances before her, the car lights illuminating the long road. She’s starring right at the Beast, though behind the tree’s cover she cannot see him.
“You’re bleeding,” the Beast whispers, annoyed by the sight of her broken skin. His stomach turns with desire, and he wants her to leave before he cannot control himself any longer. Scaring her would be the best way to get rid of her.
Elizabeth startles at his words, her hands starting to shake. “Who’s there,” she calls, trying her best to sound brave. She can feel an eerie set of eyes on her, though she looks back and forth at the desolate road to no avail.
“You’re… bleeding,” comes the Beast’s voice again, this time strained as he tries to stay in check of his hunger.
Elizabeth touches her face with her bare hand only to find her fingers are stained with blood. She turns to the Beast’s hiding place again, though she still cannot find where the voice comes from. “Who’s there,” she calls again, swiveling her head back and forth.
This time the Beast cannot answer for lack of restraint. The animal starts to growl with hunger, his lips pulling back over his teeth in anticipation. He crouches to spring on the woman, though not before he spies the glint of her necklace in the light. He rights himself the moment he sees it, forgetting his hunger in awe.
Elizabeth fears she’s talking to the wind, the way it plays tricks on the ears as it careens through the pine needled branches, though she still feels as if she’s not alone. When no answer comes to her question she glances back down at the deer, in reflection really, before getting back into the car. She backs up to clear the deer, driving onto the shoulder of the road, but makes it back to her cabin with relative ease. Elizabeth inspects the front of her car once back home. It is dented in with a few scratches on its hood. She sighs before closing the garage door and entering her front door, glancing over her shoulder one last time.
The Beast remains in the shadows with the dead deer, scrutinizing his not-so-fresh meal carefully. As he starts to drag the carcass off the road his mind reels back to the smell of her and the sight of the necklace draped around her neck. Impossible, he thinks, she disappeared years ago… with the necklace.


Elizabeth is the new owner of a cabin her mother left her in her Will. She inherited it as somewhat of an afterthought of her mother’s, or so Elizabeth thought. By the time she had made the journey by to the rustic cabin she thought her time had been, indeed, wasted.
Her mother’s lawyer had told her of the 100-year-old cabin only after her mother’s death, reading her will in an unrepentant tone. Elizabeth’s face cocked to one side at the mention of the home, a question in her expression. The lawyer dryly glanced at her, placing the Will before them both. “It’s part of a tiny town named Valance, though the cabin is on its mountainside. I can look up a realtor if you’d like to sell it.”
“No,” Elizabeth remarked, studying her mother’s Will. “No, thank you, but I’ll want to see it first. When did you say she purchased it?”
“I believe you can find all the answers to your questions in this,” the lawyer said, handing her a bent and folded envelope. Inside was a letter from her mother.
Elizabeth, after reading the letter (if it could be called a letter at all) packed for Valance. Perhaps the cabin was the very answer Elizabeth sought, her mother keeping it a secret all this time. The train took her straight through Valance, and though she was the only one getting off there, she couldn’t help a rising sense of excitement she felt in her very heart.
It took her three tries to find the cabin, the people in the little valley of Valance pointing her up the North side of the mountain. Just as she thought she was good and lost again she saw the sign for Miller Road. She turned into it, discovering it was a one-way road. Three miles ahead was her newly inherited, alas solitary, cabin.
It sat in an uninhibited landscape, the pine and aspen trees crowding close and the seasons taking its toll on the small home. Its wood had grown gray with age, its roof slightly depressed. The iron on the front door was rusted, the key she tried hardly fitting into the lock at all. But once she opened its front door she shed all doubts immediately.
The interior was full of a great many treasures, if only treasures to Elizabeth. The cabin was still populated by a handful of her mother’s things: her mother’s jewelry box, engraved with her name; a vase that she must have made as a child; a solitary dress handing in the coat closet; a hat on the back of a wooden chair; a necklace with a silver rose pendant dangling from it. All these things are precious to Elizabeth, for even though she had never seen them before she knew they had once belonged to her mother.
After that she called for the cabin to be renovated, readied for its newest occupant. This caused Valance to buzz with interest; the cabin had not been lived in for several years, and with the rare newcomer moving in the town had reason to be at least curious. They sent, if all but officially, Carter.
“Hello, Carter?” Elizabeth’s voice wavered, her hands grasping the phone hard to her ear. She can tell Carter had been sleeping.
“Yes, Eliza? You ok?” Carter’s voice slips through the receiver like butter running down Elizabeth’s chin. She feels immediately at ease again hearing her nickname on Carter’s lips.
“I know it’s late, but I hit a deer,” Elizabeth starts to say, her voice wavering at the memory of it.
"I’ll be right there,” Carter, replies, just these words reassuring Elizabeth completely. He is coming for her, as he had before and would again.
Elizabeth hangs up the phone, pausing to look at the dial pad. She wants to call Carter back, tell him it was okay, that she was, in fact, just fine. But she wants him there with her, if only just to have him close by. It isn’t a sexual pull, nor a paternal want, but a guarantee, really, that she would always have him.
Carter is the carpenter-in-residence, the dandy handyman. He was born in Valance, just as his father and his father’s father had and, some say, even father back. Naturally, he has no intention of ever leaving Valance. What he didn’t know, that unexplainable feeling that ties him tightly to the town and its people, is actually very unnatural. He is, indeed, attached to the town, but the choosing is not his own.
Carter comes from a line of men that were born, had lived, and eventually died in the town that seemed to have grown little from the time his great-great-grandfather stepped onto its terrain. Carter’s lineage boasted of men that were of brave stature and had knight-in-shining-armor-like qualities. His forefathers had taught their sons the trade of carpentry and, among other things, the art of protection. It is common knowledge, indeed, that Carter is a great rescuer of townspeople from all things dreadful. Why, he had just saved Abelardo Müller from a certain death when a fire broke out in his barn. Carter has a way of being there, a trait Elizabeth is taking full advantage of just now.
She opens her new cabin door with gusto, relived to see Carter’s car pulling into her drive. She knows he sped there; otherwise it would have been another ten minutes of waiting in her quiet home. She runs to him and swings her arms around his broad shoulders, taking in the scent of him. “I am so silly,” she chides herself, “but I had to call you. I’ve never hit a deer and it was just so awful.” She decides to leave out the part about her hearing voices, though the eerie feeling that accompanied the voice still clings to her.
“It’s fine Eliza, I couldn’t sleep anyway,” Carter lies, smoothing Elizabeth’s hair and touching the cut on her cheek. “You’re hurt! Let’s go inside and get you cleaned up,” he frowns, taking her hand and guiding her towards the front door.
From a distance the pair look like lovers, the very perception the Beast gets from watching them. He squints, narrowing his eyes so he can barely see them as they disappear inside; but there, the glint in the light! There, around her neck! Could it be? The necklace, that unmistakable amulet that lies on Elizabeth’s collarbone!
The Beast shakes his head, his hair falling lightly over his dark, vertical pupils. Before he could even hope against hope, the Protektor shows up. And what’s more, the two are in love, inseparable… or so it seems.
The Beast turns his back to the scene, yet against all if his better judgment he sniffs the air. Through the thick scent of rotting leaves and wet snow the Beast can smell a thin ribbon of jasmine wafting towards him. And, for now, that’s enough.