This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.”
Once upon a time, a Prince and a Princess fell in love at the edge of the world. In a tiny wooden boat they sailed towards their impending doom where the waters of the oceans fell off the land and into the unknown. They held each other, desperately clinging to every moment they had left and cursing the fates who had willed their perfect existence into oblivion. Yet there was no regret in their gazes. They simply loved, with a perfect love that would last for all time.
The Princess rested her head on the Prince’s shoulder, marveling at every aspect of her lover. His beautiful voice and how it comforted her in darkness, his strong arms and how they would never fail to lift her up, and his calming hands that abolished all her fears. But the fear of death and nonexistence is the strongest fear of all, and it planted the smallest seed of doubt in her heart.
“Shall we always be together, from this life onward?” the Prince asked of her. Like a strangling vine the doubt inside her grew as she looked into his eyes. A genteel smile of knowing defeat passed over her perfectly red lips — her flawless touch graced his cheek.
“I do not think so,” she answered with a sigh, “For I do not believe you truly love me.”
Shocked to hear such a lie pass from his lady’s lips, the Prince stared at her in disbelief, awaiting an explanation. She turned from him as the ideal blush in her face vanished.
“I have slain your enemies. I have devoted my life to your every whim. I have given you all that I ever was and have promised you everything I ever will be. What more must I do to prove that our love is true?”
“You only love the idea of me,” she continued, “And God would never allow a false love such as this to exist in his heaven. We were cursed from the moment we allowed our own selfish desires to see what we wanted to see in one another, and there is nothing for it.”
The Prince looked into the water. He could think of nothing to say.
“Did you really believe that there was such a thing as true love?” she asked. Her radiant skin slowly faded to an ashen grey and as the light left her, she seemed to grow older and uglier.
“Obviously not,” he said bitterly. His hands quietly transformed into claws and his teeth became fangs. “For you do not love me.”
The Princess, slightly hurt yet doing her best to remain aloof, sighed innocently, “Oh? And what makes you say that?”
Without pause, a Beast, now standing where the Prince had been, drew its sword. A flash and it held the rapier to her throat, encircling it with its spare claw. A fire lit its eyes as the lust for the kill enveloped it — its temperate, majestic manner was replaced by a primal bloodlust. The Princess softly began to weep.
“No… please don’t…!” she cried. Her hands quaked in fear as the make-up around her eyes ran black rivers down her face. Her melodious voice now began to crackle and wail, screaming frantically. Her crown was jostled off her head and it fell with a clang and a splash into the water. She was no longer a princess, but a hideous witch.
A long silence followed as the boat continued to creep towards its doom. Finally, the Beast sheathed its sword and let go, turning its back to her and to the waters already passed. The Witch collapsed in a wrinkled heap on the floor, gasping for air.
“…Because you believed just now that I was going to kill you,” the Beast at last replied. “You believed that I was capable of such a thing. Therefore, my lady, what you say is true. You will forever see me as nothing but a Beast, and I will always dream of the Princess that does not exist from this life onward.”
Still shivering, the Witch stood up and held the Beast from behind, wrapping her arms around its torso. She buried her face between its shoulder blades and whispered, “I’m so, so sorry. If only we had not let the world’s fear into our hearts. If only we had listened to what we knew was right. Then perhaps… things would have been different.”
“Yes…,” it whispered in return. “…Perhaps.”The roar of the water became louder and louder until it was nearly deafening. Then the two shared their first and last kiss as the darkness of death swallowed them forever.
re8622: The Last Exodus quickly grabbed my attention. Almost as soon as I started reading the story, I couldn't put it down. I found that the ideas the author put forth were very thought provoking given the turmoil we have seen gradually rise over the last several years. I felt that I could understand th...
Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...
themyronus: Vanessa has made 'amazing' the norme. I didn't want to read this as I am waiting for the finished and polished book to come out. But then I decided to read one chapter for kicks...well hours later I finished what was posted. Fortunately, my memory is not to good and I hope I will read the book wi...
LouiseJ2: I enjoyed the detail you went into with regards to the case. It made the UNSUB appear believable. The crisis in the middle of the story was my favorite part, very dramatic but not over the top. I feel like sometimes pairings can be overdone but I liked that some of the relationships were a little...
Karl12: This is a very unusual sci-fi mystery. I enjoyed the suspense which was present throughout the story. I loved how I never knew what to expect from the characters. This made the story thrilling and made me suspicious of everything and everyone. You have a great style of writing – one which captiva...
Dru83: This is the second or third time I've read this one and I just love it. It has just about everything you could ever want packed into one scifi story. It still has some parts that are a little rough in terms of grammar, punctuation, and word usage, but it's still an awesome story. I love how detai...
brettylee: The narrative is slick yet punchy. Life, Family and Friends I believe is the core message so it’s easy to relate to. It’s surprisingly action packed. The author does a good job at keeping you guessing. Just when you think all is right, whack, the unexpected happens. The dialogue is energetic and ...