Once upon a time, Beauty blessed a girl with all the physical loveliness she could bestow. The girl’s chestnut hair flowed down a petite straight back. Her dark eyes sparkled like brilliant smoky topazes set in flawless skin with just the right amount of olive, pink, and yellow tones. Beauty’s creation moved gracefully in a figure both thin and curvaceous. She spoke with a soft voice and a quick, sparkling laugh. Gold and silver rings envied her long fingers and flowers her straight, cute nose. Beauty’s creation gave material substance to Beauty’s spirit. But, creating in a hidden away place, Beauty forgot to seek the help of other creators. Her creation lived and moved, but lacked a character to match. Beauty‘s delight became her disappointment. Not once did her creation, endowed with so much of her own heart, show grace, charity, pity, humility, or empathy towards her fellow-man. Without a good heart to match, Beauty wasted her gifts.
Beauty cursed the girl and removed her physical attractiveness. She twisted her right shoulder up and out into a hump, and her fingers into hooked claws with no mobility. Her left foot deformed into a dragging club, while her beautiful lips mashed into a soft sneer which marred any smile or frown. Beauty Quasimodo-ed her creation as passionately as she had Helen-of-Troy-ed her.
With her outward attractiveness striped from her, the girl’s friends faded. What she failed to provide to those around her, she now required of everyone: grace, pity, and love. Abandoned and alone, the girl haunted the dark, dank sewers under the city which once worshiped her.
The King looked on the cursed creature and gave her the compassion which no one else offered. As an old creator died, he graced the deformed monster with her powers – Happy Thoughts.
“She is still cursed,” Beauty told the King, watching his pity in action.
“The curse can be broken,” he said.
“Only if a man can love her.”
“A man will if she grows a straight soul inside her twisted body.”
(My own twist on the old Beauty and the Beast story. I was inspired to write a story where the woman was the monster and the man the beauty. Not because I feel like a woman can do anything a man can do, but because we women can think far too highly of ourselves while we backbite, gossip, and destroy. We are just as much monsters and men, and in just as much need of pity as they.)