Adventures in a Masters Degree. Beauty and the Beast Essay. Part 3

So, this is the creative part of my critical essay. It’s not my best work since I had issues writing something original since the “Tale as old as Time” really is. A lot more I could have changed, but c’est la vie.

Yes, Vincent is named after the character Ron Perlman played in the awesome show. And it was mentioned in my write up that it’s similer to The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter. Well The Tiger’s Bride story begins,

“My father lost me to The Beast at cards”

Yeah, I can’t figure it out either


The Beast Within

By Jodie Portugal


The moment Vincent entered the Forest, there was no fanfare or celebrations. Most by now were bored and indifferent of the young men, entering the sacred space.

To go in and not die, just stagger back after a few days, lost and bewildered, some with hair so grey from the shock of what they had seen, but of course never captured.

Stammering that they had seen something, but which they had chased, but, of course, came back to the start. One of the tricks of the Beast, to protect its lands and lair from invaders.

Now it was Vincent’s turn, even though his family tried to dissuade him, He would be killed, he would be crippled. But the desire to prove his manhood, against the ribbing of his friends, was too much for his ego.

He promised to cease the human scarifies and misery the Village had to endure, but his statements of grandeur were too often heard, by the youth so were just ignored.

Adjusting his backpack, containing all he would need, in case the stories of the fruit from the trees, being poisonous. Vincent finally ventured in. To find nothing.

Nothing out of the ordinary. It was just a natural Forest, whose trees smelled of soft pine, and the grass was green and lush. Turing around, he tried to survey the scene, expecting the darkness that had been installed in him, as a child. Yet, it was perfect, perhaps too perfect.

Maybe something was watching him in the shadows, of the trees he thought to himself, as he ventured deeper, almost not noticing the first drop of snow fall gently from the sky, too confident in his abilities to see the season changing.

Three days later, changed everything.

Vincent had never been so cold, he had passed by that point, as he drifted further into the Forest, or perhaps he was going back to the Village. He wasn’t sure, of anything anymore. All he knew what that he was freezing, and going to die, die all alone. “So stupid, so stupid”, was the mantra in his head.

He tried with one shaking hand, to brush the snow settling on his face, feeling like it was freezing his eyes. Attempting to focus, but the show had settled on all the trees, obscuring his vision, in a sea of whiteness, his track being instantly hidden by the blizzard. Feeling the coldness, seeping into every inch of his body.

Vincent eventually collapsed on the show, the ice stuck to his cheeks and hair. Feeling the darkness encroaching, he saw something out of the corner of his eye, stepping through the storm, something big…

His mind formed the words, and then he knew nothing.

It was the sound of cracking wood, which made him open his eyes, which tried to focus on the ornate ceiling, as they moved around his location. It was magnificent, with a fire sending warmth across the room.

Vincent attempted to take it all in, he was lying on a large bed, surrounded by furs, his armour and sword was lying next to a large ornate table, looking cleaner than when he first placed it on his body.

His tunic and trousers were put on a chair, from his vantage point, they also looked like they had been cleaned.

Vincent tried to understand, but, his mind was too troubled by these events for rational thought, as he slipped off the bed, and realised he was naked but clean. Every inch of his body had been washed while he was sleeping…but by whom? Who had found him? The room had no windows, so he was ignorant of his location, but he was safe, and that was something.

Dressing quickly, Vincent out of habit, took his sword, but left his armour behind, knowing that it would be disingenuous to his saviours, who every that may be.

With caution, he slipped from the room and realised he was standing in a Castle. Never having stood in one, in his entire life. He knew the images from storybooks.

The ceilings were high, with flying buttresses, a word he recalled, with tapestries on the walls featuring woodland scenes, hiding the marble walls. The most striking thing was in the distance echoing across the rooms, he heard the faint sound of a woman singing.

Finally, his protector, he had to find them and give them thanks. Stepping past a window he couldn’t see outside due to the snow stuck to the glass, courtesy of a blizzard still raging, reminding him once more that he had been saved from the clutches of death.

Stepping forwards, Vincent had the feeling of feeling uneasy, as if he was being watched as he followed the voice, out of habit, Vincent brushed his hand across the surfaces he came across. Still wondering if this was real or not, as he came to the door of a library, and where the voice apparently originated.

Approaching the door, which opened, Vincent was confronted with the sight of the biggest library he had ever seen, from the wall to the ceiling, it was crammed with books, with balcony and ladders in-between.

Yet, while his gaze wandered around the room, it settled on the large chair, in front on a roaring log fire, and the sight of the hooded figure, and something within just wavered, as he caught the wisp of bright purple hair.

That brief moment, that one hesitation was enough for Vince to draw his sword at the sight of the unnatural hair colour, as the person, thing whatever it was just tensed up.

The hood was obscuring the face, but as he stepped round carefully, Vincent realised what he was seeing, and instinctively, pulled his sword from the sheath,

Almost instantly, the thing rose to its feet, and Vincent noticed that it wasn’t tall, perhaps a few inches shorter than he was. The hood was now pulled so far down that the face was obscured. However, it was the cloak which now drew his attention.

The cloak resembled a mismatch of colours that he been put together and replaced over time, it resembled a rainbow across the body. Yet, Vincent could feel the fury emitting from the figure, as it, appeared to glance to the drawn sword.

“Reveal yourself; let me see your face”. Vincent didn’t mean to sound so defensive, even in the warm sanctuary of the room, all the whole the figure slowly figure raised its hands, causing Vincent to see the colour of the…oh my God.

Its hand resembled the hands of a human. But there was a shimmer across them, something green and unnatural. The hands poised at the edge of the hood, ready to remove it, heightened the tension, which felt almost unbearable.


All tension, in the room, broke abruptly as Vincent’s mind reeled by the tiny voice coming from being him. Turning his head, with his sword still gripped in his hand, so that his knuckles turned white.

There stood a boy, he was aged about four years, his arm hung twisted by this side, mangled and deformed. His face seemed familiar, though, as he looked to Vincent, and then to the figure. A look of total confusion and fear on his face,

The figure didn’t even look at Vincent. With a swish of the cloak, however, the boy was in its arms, as Vincent remembered the stories of his youth and took after the figure.

For a few minutes, both of them run through the Castle, Vincent had no idea where he was headed, but could see the figures, cloaked head, and initially felt week, yet was fuelled with adrenaline, at the sight before him.

It was the Beast, it had to be the Beast and that child…was it fattening him up for the sacrifice, he thought, as he slowed down suddenly. The boy said “Mama”.


Still continuing his pursuit, he turned into a door and was almost blinded by the light and heat.

He was standing in a room made of glass, panels all around him, which seemed to trap in the warmth of the room. It was like a garden inside, something he had never imagined up to now, as in the corner of the room. Vincent could see the Beast; it now had a second child by the hand, this time, a girl, and was pushing both the youngsters into what looked like a passage. “Get up the stair and wake the eldest. And get ready to run”. It…she, told the children, before slamming the ornate door tightly before turned to Vincent.

She…seemed to move side to side, trying to surmise the situation, before under the hooded cloak came the voice which had inspired fear for generations within the lands.

“Please, do not hurt my children”.


To be Concluded xx

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