Beast’s Beauty is scheduled for release in the anthology Horror Fairy Tales summer 2017.
This retelling of Beauty and the Beast is rewritten with elements true to the original story written by Gabrielle-Suzanne Villeneuve. When Belle’s father is unable to pay his debts, Belle is taken by a cruel lord. Desperate to free here, Belle’s lover, James, sets out to rob an abandoned castle rumored to be plagued with treasure and ghosts. Instead of treasure, James unlocks a spell that transforms him. Locked in the castle with an evil magic, Belle escapes her master and sets of to find James, unaware of the fate that has befallen him.
Cover Reveal coming soon…
Word Count: 10,000 words
Genre: Horror>Dark Fantasy
Enjoy this sneak preview while you wait.
“Your taxes are not paid,” Lord Byron said.
“Forgive me,” Villeneuve said. “The voyage was not as profitable as I had hoped. If you’ll just permit me another run, I can most assuredly promise you a sum upon my return.”
“No more runs, Villeneuve,” Lord Byron said.
“Just one last chance. Please.”
“This was your last chance, Villeneauve.”
“Please… I will pay it,” M. Villeneuve said as Gabrielle, Belle, and James entered the garden.
“You will,” Byron said, bringing his riding whip down across Villeneuve’s face.
“Papa!” Villeneuve’s daughter as the ship merchant fell to the ground. A line of blood marked his face. The girls ran to M. Villeneuve.
“You have debts to be paid, M. Villeneuve!”
“Get out!” James shouted as Belle and Gabrielle tended to Villeneuve.
“Still your servant’s tongue, Villeneuve, or I’ll remove it.”
“James, be quiet,” Villeneuve hushed as he hobbled to his feet. “You’ll have your money, Lord Byron, I promise.”
“I will,” Byron said. “And until you have it, I’m taking this to cover my losses.” Byron grabbed Belle by the wrist.
“Get off of her!” James shouted.
“My daughter?” Villeneuve said.
“You have others,” Lord Byron nodded at Suzanne.
“Please, Lord Byron, take me,” James said.
“I’ve looked into your debts Master James and the debts your name owes to Villeneuve is a fraction of Miss Villeneuve’s dowry here. With all due respect, boy, you cost more to own than you’re worth keeping.”
“You have no right!” M. Villeneuve shouted.
“As Lord of this province I have all rights to take the debt that is owed me in any way I see fit be it indentured servitude or a lashing!”
“Belle!” James lunged at Byron who turned with his whip. James fell to the ground, but Byron proceeded to strike James again and again, the whip lashing his face, shoulders, and back.
“Stop!” Belle screamed, shoving herself between Byron and James. “I’ll go!” Belle cried. “I’ll pay my father’s debts, just please, don’t hurt him any more.”
Heaving, Byron ceased his whipping. “Get my money, Villeneuve,” he said, heaving. “Get my money, teach this boy some respect, and you’ll have your daughter back.”
“I will. I promise.” Villeneuve said.
“See that you do,” Byron said. Taking Belle by the wrist, he dragged her to follow.
“Belle!” James tried to stand. “Belle!”
Looking back, Belle gazed at James as Byron bound her hands and heaved her onto his horse. Gabrielle and Suzanne clung to each other quietly sobbing as they watched their sister dragged away. Their father, hunched over James, did his best to help him stand.
“I’ll find you!” James called after Belle as Byron rode off. “I’ll get the money and I’ll buy you back!” James shouted. “I swear it!”