Chapter 1: Monster

This is fiction and some of it has been out right stolen from other works. My motivation for writing it is that I want a version of Beauty and the Beast that incorporates all the elements I want together.

Have you ever lived a fairy tale? Because, let me tell you what, it sucks.

My name is Kylen T Mallory and two years ago, I thought I had everything. I was handsome… and vain about it. I was wealthy- family money as well as my own. I had a great job in advertising, a penthouse apartment in the city that I shared with my father, Regis, and a fiancée who was one of the rising names in modeling.
My father and I still shared an apartment because neither of us was there enough to warrant finding another equally prestigious address… and besides, I expected to be moving after Laurel and I got married. I was sure that she would insist on picking a place and I really didn’t care as long as it was upscale enough. Not that that would have been a problem, Laurel was sure to spare no expense choosing the best address she could find.

Everything started the night of my bachelor party. At the time, it didn’t feel much like a beginning, it felt like the end of everything… but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Sam and Mack took me out- it was maybe a week before the wedding but we all knew that Laurel had the week of the wedding scheduled down to the minute for everybody involved. She had included a bachelor party for me the night before the wedding but I knew better than to think it would be anything like a real one. Drinking with her father and his friends and watching movies of her grow up or something lame like that. So we were having a last fling before I was a married man- not that any of us expected things to change all that much.
Mack had picked out a place- somewhere I didn’t usually go- and we spent the early part of the evening knocking back tequila and flirting with the waitresses and bar girls. Sam was getting bored and we decided to move the party to a different club where the girls would be wearing less and would be more available.
On the way out, I bumped into an old woman, knocking her down. Now, I’d like to say the tequila was the reason behind it but I know better. I was raised in the city and had city manners- which is to say, none at all.
“Watch it, you old bitch!” I turned to Sam “Look at her, the ugly tattooed frankenskank! She should be ashamed to show her face.” That’s what I said and I have wished I could eat those words at least a hundred times since then.
Her eyes blazed at me- bright green- before she turned away muttering.
We laughed and kept walking. Sort of walking, we were all definitely pretty tight.

“Okay, Sam, where is this place?” Mack asked.
“I don’t know, man. It should be right here…” Sam looked around like he expected a bar to appear out of thin air.
“Ah, you’ve gotten turned around. Let’s just find a place. I’m getting thirsty.” I said. Then I spied a news stand still open on the corner. For no reason at all, I went over. Behind the counter was a girl, kind of pretty in a shy way but nothing to really arrest my attention. Beside the cash register she had those single roses you see for sale in corner markets and the like. I picked one out and handed it to her.
“That’s $2.50,” she said. Her voice was prettier than her face but it didn’t register.
“Ok. Here.” I handed her a $5 and she handed me change and the rose.
“Is this the colour rose to buy for a girlfriend, do you think?” I asked her.
“Um, that depends on what you want to say, I guess.”
“What colour does your boyfriend buy you?”
She blushed. “I don’t have a boyfriend.”
“Then you must not get many roses. Have this one.” I handed it to her and she blushed again.
“Thank you.” That was odd- no protests about she couldn’t or I shouldn’t- just ‘thank you’. She pulled off two petals and reached over to tuck them in my jacket pocket. “You should keep a little- just so you have the fragrance.”
“Hey Kyle!” Sam was motioning to me. I was glad they hadn’t apparently seen me with the news girl. That wasn’t like me at all.
“Hey, what? Did you find the club?”
“No- but look- there’s a fortune teller. What better time for a man to get his fortune told than right before he gets married?”

Ok, that was silly. I knew fortune tellers were fake and she’d promise me riches which I already had and a happy life which I also already had… but why not? So we went in.

The place was done up like a parlor with a table in the middle and chairs, dimly lit and scruffy. Probably dirty as well but I couldn’t really tell in the low light. The gypsy was sitting at the table for all the world as if she was waiting for us. And maybe she was, I find I’m a lot less skeptical now than I used to be.
“Sit down and be comfortable,” she said.
As we arranged ourselves, she looked us over pretty piercingly.
“So you want your fortunes told?”
“That’s why we’re here.” Mack said.
“Then we will start with you, my dear Mack.”
She didn’t take his hand, didn’t pull out cards or a crystal ball, she just started talking. She told him a little bit of his past and then a lot about his future. I don’t remember most of it but it wasn’t riches and happiness and some of it was very specific. Mack looked positively spooked.
“And now, Sam.” Again she told him something about his past and then his future. I really really don’t remember what she said to him except that the last thing was “and stay out of taxi-cabs for the next two weeks.”
She turned to me and I realized that her eyes were a blazing green- the same green as the old woman I had bumped into. Shit, I was spooked before she even started talking.
“And now for Thorne.” Hey, wait a minute! Thorne is my middle name but nobody and I do mean nobody knew it. And, come to that, she’d been calling us by name but we hadn’t told her our names… “You’re to be married soon. It won’t happen.” What? Wait… “Your life is about to change completely, although you will determine if it is for the better or for the worse. You have cared nothing for anyone but yourself and no one has cared about you.” She took my hand and pressed her thumb into my left palm. “Since you have done a small kindness tonight, you will have until the roses bloom twice to find someone to love you for who you are and tell you so. If you fail, you will stay as you are forever.”

There was a green blaze and we were standing on the sidewalk… but there was no fortune teller shop behind us.

I don’t exactly remember how I got home. I was woozy from the tequila and I kept seeing green eyes blaze at me. But somehow I got home and into bed because that is where I woke up the next morning.

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