This weeks assignment is a free write. I chose to explore the mind of Bell from Disney’s Beauty and The Beast as she enters the forbidden West Wing.
Bell slowly walked up the steps toward the west wing, surprised to see that the further she went, the dustier it became. Her feet began to leave foot prints on the stair. Who was this beast, that he would live in such decay? To spite his urgent forbidding of her to cross these thresholds, Bell knew better. At least, that is what she told herself. If he was ever to win the battles he constantly fought with himself, someone would have to save him, someone would have to know the secret faults lying within him. If he had been locked away as a recluse in this palace for many years, if he had been locked away with his battles, he must not be able to face them on his own. Who was he and what had happened to him, to make him so afraid of himself? These questions she had come to answer.
She walked slowly, trying not to disturb her surroundings, or make noise. Her heart quickened as she passed through the ancient rooms. She had brought no candle with her, and the rooms were not lit, save the moon light falling in through the large windows.
Curiously, she traversed room, after room. Every piece of these rooms was something from his past, something he didn’t want to face. If he lived in this wing, where did he live? All the rest of the castle was in fine condition, and yet this wing was full of vast deterioration. Had anyone dusted in the last ten years? Why did he refuse to touch these rooms? What part of his past was spent there that he wanted to forget, that he wanted to sink into this decay?
Most of the furniture lay in proper arrangements not touched for many years. No one had covered unused pieces with a white cloth, as was often the practice. A wine glass remained on a table, it’s crystal form claimed by a spider as an excellent form for a web. What did he want to forget, and yet to lay unchanged, untouched, unused? Why would his servants care meticulously for the parts of the castle he hardly traversed, and yet never clean his own rooms?
Her reflection eyed her at ten angles from a broken mirror. She started, thinking for a moment that she was not alone. She breathed in deeply and let out a sigh, hoping her heart would slow a little. The beast would certainly find her eventually, but she hoped desperately to learn something of him first. How could she help him if she knew nothing of him? Where in this wing had he hidden his secret?
Then she found it. Two huge doors were shut at the end of a wide hall. Paw prints in the thick dust showed that he often came to this place. He must have hidden himself here. She paused, unsure whether or not to enter, for fear that he would be behind those doors even now. Swallowing her fear, she pushed them open.
Future lay every where heaped with cobwebs and dust. To spite the obvious usage of the room, it seemed in a worse disrepair than any of the others she had seen yet. As she walked through the room her eyes traced over everything. Glancing at a painting on the wall, she forgot to look in front of her and knocked over a little table. Catching it quickly, she righted it, and went on toward the painting.
It was a formal portrait of a prince. The canvas was torn, so that his face was cut in half. She lifted the old cloth and spread it out so that the face was complete. He had a noble appearance and a stern face. The penetrating gaze of his deep blue eyes was oddly familiar. She felt as if she knew him, and yet knew that she had never seen his face before. A gasp escaped her lips as she put together all that she knew of the beast. This was his secret. This was his face.
She whirled around, suddenly anxious to leave. Now that her curiosity had been satisfied she felt the disrespect of trespassing. But as she turned to go, her eyes rested on something far more beautiful than a painting.
Set just inside a French window to a balcony was a small, round, stone table. On top of the table was an incandescent rose, certainly thick with enchantment, covered with a glass globe. Bell rushed forward and lifted the glass from the rose, her curiosity overwhelming her once more. She set the glass on the floor and reached out to touch the rose.
Before her fingers touched the flower, a the dark form of the beast blocked out the moonlight in window. He snatched the globe from the floor, placing it back over the flower. Bell screamed in terror.
“I thought I told you never to come here!” He shouted. “Do you realize what you could have done? Get out!” His voice rung through the palace walls.
Inspired by http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8G7GAHJTm4