As promised, here's the first chapter to the prequel of the story A Change in Me! This chapter starts off rather like the movie does, with the prince being cursed by the Enchantress, but I promise there is going to be plenty of back story for both the Beast and Belle before I get to the meat of the movie. Happy reading!
"No, no PLEASE! I'm sorry!" he cried miserably, sinking to his knees at the feet of this impossible creature. The creature—the woman—stared silently down at him as he begged for his life, bathed in light and held above the ground by some strange wind. He had no idea that the ugly old beggar woman who asked for shelter moments ago was in truth this beautiful enchantress who now looked at him with such contempt. Had he known, the Prince would have admitted her at once. But it was too late for that now; he had angered the Enchantress and he knew that her wrath was something not even a prince could escape from.
"I have watched you grow, my young Prince, and you have shown yourself to be nothing but cruel and heartless. You have done horrible things you have shown no remorse for, and I have decided to intervene before you cause more harm," the Enchantress said to him, her beautiful voice echoing around him in anger. "Had you allowed me entrance into your castle, I would have found a way to forgive your past wrongdoings, for you would have shown that there was some goodness in you after all. But now I can see that there is no love in your heart to help you grow beyond your cruelty. You are a beastly human, so it is a Beast you will become."
He began to shake with fear; he had no idea what the Enchantress had in store for him, but he was certain that she meant no kindness. Perhaps he had been a bit hasty in his decisions when punishing his subjects and servants, but he was convinced it was nothing those lowly creatures did not deserve. But with his fate hanging in such a delicate balance at the hands of this meddlesome Enchantress, perhaps he could try and make her change her mind. "Please," he began, angry that his voice was quivering in fear. A prince should not be afraid, not even a prince as young as himself. "I promise I can change. I. . ."
"It is too late," the Enchantress interrupted, holding up a hand to silence him. "If I do not do something now, you will grow to harm yourself and your subjects through your pride and cruelty." He opened his mouth to argue, but found that he voice caught in his throat as white hot pain shot through his spine. He crumpled, his arms convulsing towards his chest as the pain spread through his limbs. Unable to bear it any longer, he cried out in pain. But the voice that came from him was not his own; it was deeper than any voice he was capable of creating. It was not the more developed voice of a man, but a deeper, thicker version of his own voice, impossible though it seemed.
"What. . . what have you done?" he gasped, his eyes shut against the pain still ebbing through his body.
"You have become the Beast you truly are," he heard the Enchantress reply coldly. "And you shall have no human company to consol you."
"What?" he demanded, his new voice startling him still.
"Your servants will remain with you, but not as humans," the Enchantress repeated.
"I don't understand," he said, panting with pain still but at last able to look up at the Enchantress. "What have you done?"
"Look upon your own hands, my Prince." He did as she bid and screamed when he saw that instead of pale skinned, human hands he now saw massive paws covered in fur and tipped with wicked looking claws. He trailed these ugly paws down his body and found that he was entirely covered in fur, that his body was no longer that of a human. No, no this can't be! he screamed inside his head, unable to stand hearing the voice of the animal he had become now. He was a monster now, thanks to this wicked Enchantress. He collapsed again at the feet of the Enchantress, unwilling to cry but unable to stop the whimper that escaped his new lips. Why had she done this to him?
"This rose shall remain in your castle," the Enchantress continued speaking, holding up the wretched rose she had tried to bribe him with just moments ago. He wanted to block her out, hurt her, claw at her with his new paws, but despair weakened him and left him unable to do anything but kneel pitifully at her feet. "It will bloom until your twenty-first year. If you can learn to love another, and earn her love in return by the time the last petal falls, the spell shall be broken. If you cannot, you shall remain a Beast for all time, doomed to live alone with your loveless heart."
He whimpered again and hung his head, trying to imagine what a lifetime would feel like as this thing. The Enchantress had charged him with an impossible task; it would be kinder if she simply killed him now rather than torture him for ten years with false hope.
"I shall also give you this mirror," the Enchantress continued and, unless he was mistaken, he heard a kinder tone in her voice now. "This mirror will become your window to the outside world." He nodded, but said nothing. Was this mirror her way of taking pity on him? He had no wish for this cruel creature's pity, but couldn't find the courage to say so. "Remember this night and what I have said, my prince. If you do not find a way to change your heart, you shall forevermore remain a Beast."
A blinding light consumed the Enchantress, forcing him to look away. When the light faded, he was able to turn back to the wicked creature who dared to do such things to him. But she was gone.
"No! Come back and undo this!" he hollered, astonished at how his new, deeper voice echoed against the stone walls behind him. Yet nothing happened, and he was still this awful creature, and he was alone.
Or perhaps not so alone; behind the doors where the Enchantress had cursed him, he heard sorrowful wails of his servants inside. It made him furious to hear them cry. Nothing they felt could possibly measure to the pain the Enchantress caused him to suffer.
He whirled to face the closed doors to his castle, his new paws completely filling the massive door handles, prepared to make his servants cease their foolish weeping. But when he threw the doors open, with an incredible force that surprised himself, he found no servants to punish. Instead, there were objects scattered at his feet. Teapots and teacups, silver and plate ware, cups and candlesticks, and all were moving.
"What is this?" he demanded as if the Enchantress were still here to answer him. Instead, a portly porcelain teapot hopped towards him and looked up at him as best it could from the ground.
"I—I don't know. . .Master? Can that be you? What has happened?" it said, the terror and confusion clear in its voice. He felt his new ears perk up as he realized that this voice was familiar to him.
"Mrs. Potts?" No, it was impossible that this teapot should be the woman who had taken care of him since his mother died several years earlier. He couldn't believe this; it had to be a horrible nightmare. Unable to withstand the miserable faces of his transformed servants, he fled to his rooms in the West Wing.
No, no, NO! he fumed as he stumbled down the rich carpets that covered the halls of his castle. How could this happen to me? His massive paws that had replaced his feet caught against the edges of the carpets and against themselves, causing him to trip and stumble like a creature just learning to walk. He realized as he forced his new body further that it would be easier to simply walk on all fours, but he would not give the Enchantress the satisfaction of seeing him succumb to his beastly fate so soon. But this can't be possible, he reasoned. I'll wake up tomorrow and everything will be just as it was.
Just as he started to convince himself that this all was just his imagination, he passed the mirror that hung in the hall before the doors of his rooms. He glanced at it as he passed, as he often did though he was too short to see much else except for his face, but stopped when he noticed the reflection it showed him. Instead of the rather dashing face of an eleven year old prince, the mirror now showed him the image of some sort of furry animal, standing much taller than a boy of eleven could ever dream of. This animal had tawny brown fur covering a face that seemed unlike any he had ever seen before, with two horns curled in front of its ears and wicked-looking fangs protruding from his bottom jaw over his top lip. He raised a hand to the mirror's surface, curious that it should play such tricks on his eyes, only to realize that the mirror showed him his own image. His hand that reached towards the mirror's surface was the paw of the monster reflected back at him. The fur was his own, the horns were his: he was this monster.
With a scream of rage that sounded like the howl of a wounded animal, he struck the mirror that showed him such awful truths, shattering its surface and distorting the animal's image further. He bolted as fast as he could manage to the doors of his rooms, searching for some sort of sanctuary from this nightmare. How could this wicked Enchantress do such a thing to him? What had he done to deserve this?
The sanctuary he had hoped for was only another torment for him as he realized that the things around him were meant for a prince, and he was no longer that prince. Furious and brokenhearted, he swiped at the furniture that surrounded him, using his new and impressive strength to destroy sturdy wardrobes and handsome carpets. With a particular ferocity, he dragged his claws against a portrait that showed him a face that was no longer his own, shredding the painting into ribbons. When he made his way at last towards the great windows that led out to the balcony beyond his rooms, he paused in his ferocious movements, surprised into stopping as he noticed something new that stood before the doorway.
A small table, intricately carved with gargoyles, stood now before the glass doors that led towards the balcony. It was bare except for two objects, the most prominent of which was a glowing red rose protected underneath a delicate bell jar. Upon closer inspection, he could see that the rose was floating several inches above the surface of the table.
This must be that same cursed rose, he realized. What did she say? The rose will bloom until my twenty-first year. That was a long time to endure this curse. Perhaps he could break it before then, though. Picking up the second object on the table, careful not to drop the mirror in his clumsy paws, he lifted the mirror to his disgusting new face. Doing his best to ignore the image he saw, and feeling rather foolish, he said: "Show me the one who will break this spell."
Resisting the temptation to hurl the useless mirror across the room, he tried something else. "Show me my castle." This time, the mirror glowed an eerie green color, so bright he had to close his eyes against it for a moment. When the brightness subsided, he saw that the mirror's image had changed. Instead of taunting him with his own awful image, he saw instead his grand castle. Except that it, too, had changed. No longer was it made of the beautiful, bright stone that seemed to glimmer whenever the sunlight hit it. Now it was dark, foreboding, indeed even a bit frightening to look at. Upon closer examination of the mirror's image, he could see that the carefully carved cherubs and angels that guarded the castle had been turned into hideous gargoyles, adding to his sense of foreboding. His mother's castle had been ruined, turned into a terrible prison fit only for a monster. He returned the mirror to its place on the small table and went onto the balcony to see if the mirror's image showed the truth.
Leaning on the balcony's low wall, he could see that the castle walls had indeed been darkened and there were now gargoyles guarding it rather than the beautiful angels and statues there had been before. The lands, too, had altered. No longer were there sweeping fields of green, but unkempt grasses and deserted walkways. A Beast did not deserve the beauty that had been this castle, he realized, and the thought despaired him. If the Enchantress had been so thorough in her spells, perhaps even she did not have hope that he could break it.
Ten years to break this spell. Ten years before he would remain like this for all time. He wasn't sure he could last a month as this creature, let alone ten years. And if the mirror could not show him who it was who would break this spell. . . well there really was no hope, was there? Who could ever learn to love a Beast?