Sweet aroma’s filled the air in the royal dining room. Exquisite golden plates decorated with the finest cuisine laid on soft, silk woven tablecloths. Wines so rich and pure, imported from various vineyards all around the world filled golden goblets, like the one in Kale’s hand.
He turned his head away, looking at the dark red liquid inside his goblet. He twirled and twirled it around in the glass ignoring his parents incessant babbling. But it didn’t really help; no matter how hard he tried their voices still crept into his mind.
He placed his goblet back down on the table and forked the remaining piece of beef that was on his plate. He pushed it into his mouth, quickly chewing and swallowing. He frowned, his handsome face turning into a fierce scowl. Grunting he stood up toppling a maid who was busy filling up his goblet. She fell back with a moan, wine spilling all over her uniform and all over him.
“Fool!” His words bellowed at her as she scampered to pick up the pitcher. Quickly she stood head down, silently crying as he tried to clean himself up with a cloth she had been carrying.
His Mother, the Queen, got up from her seat and slowly made her way to them.
“What happened, dear?”
Kale looked into his Mother’s eyes. Grunting, he simply turned and left without a single word.
As he entered the adjoining room, he heard a slap echo from the dining room. It was his doing that had toppled the poor maid, but he was too bitter to even utter one word to his parents to even care about what happened to her.
He made his way up the stairs to his room, walking through the large oak doors into his messy bedroom, Kale growled. He kicked off his boots, tore off his jacket and fell onto his unmade bed. He looked up at the ceiling, just thinking. That was by far his biggest problem. He thought about everything way too much.
He thought about all his riches, all the material wealth he had, and honestly it sickened him to the point where he just wanted to burn it all to the ground. Was this strange? Probably, who doesn’t dream of being a prince or princess, living in a castle? But that was just it. He didn’t dream about that, he had it. He dreamt about love.
Maybe it was his Nanny Esme’s fault, for reading him too many love stories. Maybe it was his parents’ fault for substituting money for love. Whoever or whatever, Kale dreamed of true love.
Unfortunately, thanks to his parents, he would never find it. Arranged marriages might give love to some people, but he wanted the real deal. He wanted to fall head over heels in love, love at first sight, the whole magical thing! He didn’t want to learn to love his wife.
But that was just one of the many things his parents couldn’t understand. And the more they threw at him, the more he hated them. He sat up straight, leaning against the headboard.
“I wish they’d just die!”
His words seemed to echo through the room and suddenly a harsh wind blew the windows open, making his room cold. The lights flickered for a mere second and then everything was silent.
Unexpectedly he felt a soft finger trace his lips. Shocked he jolted up. “Who is there?”
A giggle travelled through the room and in a ball of smoke she appeared. Still confused he leaned back against his bed, just staring at her. He couldn’t quite take his eyes off of her.
She stood at the end of his bed, smiling at him, her red lips desirably shiny. Long legs slowly started climbing onto the bed, making her already short and torn dress move higher.
Kale felt really uncomfortable and so confused. He couldn’t comprehend what was happening.
He looked into her red eyes and knew he should be afraid, very afraid, but he wasn’t.
“Il Mio Amore. What is the matter?” she reached him, cradling herself on top of him, her hands moving up and down his chest. Her voice sounded rich, like dripping honey.
“I...I...nothing.” He tried talking but couldn’t find words. She started unbuttoning his wine-stained dress shirt, humming something while she did so.
“I am here for you, Kale. You called me to you.” He frowned.
“What do you mean?” her cold hands made contact with his skin as he asked. This woman had to be a creation out of his imagination. Her long black hair hung loosely on her shoulders, her skin was pale, like porcelain and her eyes, her eyes burned a ruby red; she absolutely couldn’t be real.
He reached his hand up, tangling his fingers into her long silky black hair. She smiled. “Your wish is my command. All you have to do is say the words and I’ll grant you anything you want.”
Kale went still. Was she a genie, no, a witch? What was this? His mind had created something evil and seductive, something that tempted the deepest part of his soul.
“Can you give me love?” his question seemed to shock her, but she still smiled.
“My Prince, you are to be married, you do not need love. Besides love cannot be created, it is too pure.” She moved a bit forward, making him moan.
“Then what do I want from you?” he tried moving away from her, but she was too strong for him, which was alarming.
“Anything,” she whispered into his ear, her hot breath blowing into his neck made him shiver. “Mi Amor, just wish for what you want. Anything. Just name it.”
He sighed. “I want to be free.” This was too much for him; he needed to get fresh air. Everything started spinning. Around and around.
“From what? Tell me from what do you want release?” She pushed him into the bed. Kale felt his stomach knot as he tried fighting her to get up.
“From everyone! My parents, the marriage! The crown!” she started laughing, coming closer.
“You need to say it!” her lips near his made him silent. He watched her, she was the only stationary thing in his spinning room, her eyes were glowing, but that didn’t alarm him.
“I want my parents to leave me alone! I want everyone to just leave me alone!” Her lips slammed into his in a deadly embrace. All at once the room stopped spinning; she started disappearing, giggling and worst of all a tingle ran up his spine bringing the most excruciating pain ever. Kale screamed. His whole body was on fire! No, it wasn’t fire. It was something else. He contorted, falling off his bed. He twisted, knotted and screamed. His body was changing. He lifted his hand to his face, stroking his cheek, but instead of fingers, large claws dug into his flesh.
Blood seeped out of the wound, dripping everywhere. He moved towards the door, unable to stay on his feet, he crawled down the stairs, his body twisting. He screamed again as his claw dug into his chest, pulling out another chunk of flesh and then again and again until his entire body was covered in blood. What was happening to him? Was he dreaming? Oh please let me be dreaming, he though as his parents darted into the room.
They found him bloody and sweaty at the bottom of the stairs. “Kale!” his Mother screamed out of shock. Her son had transformed. Pieces of fur broke through his skin, making Kale scream louder.
His Father tried comforting his son, holding him in his arms while his Mother fell into a bundle screaming.
All at once everything was over and instead of Kale; a large black wolf lay in the Kings arms panting.
Kale opened his eyes, he recognized everything. But somehow it was all different, it was clear. He could see everything, could smell everything. He got up moving away from his Father. When he turned on his four paws to face his parents, something overtook him. He smelled them, their fear, and their blood.
He couldn’t stop himself; he lunged, tearing into his Father until he was just bloody mush lying on the carpet. His Mother stood and ran, making it worse. He chased her; he was faster and took her down with no effort. At this point Kale had realized that he was no longer in control of his actions; he was merely an onlooker, trapped inside this new part of him that only wanted to kill.
Hours later, Kale woke up, startled and human. At first he thought it had merely been a dream, but then he glanced down and knew that it was true. He was lying in a pool of blood and just a few meters away he could see his Mother, or what was left of her. He moved to get up but was quickly pushed down by something invisible, soon she appeared though.
“No, mi amor. Stay down.” Kale growled, the sound strange for him.
“YOU!” he fought to get up but the witch kept him down with some unseen force as she walked towards him. She smiled, her red eyes laughing at him. She wasn’t in a torn dress anymore. No. She was in her wine-stained maid’s uniform. “You tricked me!”
She giggled. “No, I punished you! You wanted love, well I loved you! But, no, mister Prince couldn’t see it! Last night was the last straw! Now, my love, you are free and all alone!”
With that she vanished, leaving Kale alone, just as she had said. All alone.