Beauty and the Beast (Short Story)

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There was a crash in the hallway. The little boy went running out of the house shouting “It was an accident, it was an accident!” He ran through the gate without looking back.

His aunt was the strictest woman he had ever encountered and Ali had never been more scared of anyone in his life. He hated coming to visit her but his father had insisted that the beauty of the place she lived in, more than made up for any sternness on his sister’s part.

When at last he was too tired to run anymore, he stopped and looked around.

This place was more beautiful than any he had ever seen. There were slopes of green grass with bright flowers and fruit trees as far as the eye could see. Red and purple spotted butterflies danced over the flowers. Each slope had a stream of sparking clear water with orange and yellow fish swimming in it and occasionally jumping up as if to admire the scenery. The air was fresh with a lingering fragrance of fruit and flowers.

The serenity of the place did not betray the dangers lurking within.

Ali picked a juicy red apple from a tree nearby and began to devour it.

Meanwhile a search party consisting of his parents, his aunt and her driver had already begun to look for him. “There are wolves out there at night” his aunt had warned his father, “We have to find him before dark”.

It was some time before Ali realized that he was completely lost. He had done some exploring before on his previous visit but he had never ventured this far before. “Never mind” he thought to himself, “I’ll live here forever. There’s enough fruit and water. I won’t go hungry”.

When the search party found him a few hours later, he was lying fast asleep in thick green grass with a pile of apple cores and orange peels next to him.

“Oh Ali, you gave us a scare!” said his mother hugging him.

“Never do that again, young man” said his father.

“I’m sorry” said Ali with sleepy eyes. “And I’m sorry Aunt Wajiha for breaking your vase.”

“It was just a cheap copy I bought in a sale Ali, do you know there are wolves in these parts at night?”

On their way back home Ali couldn’t help but thinking about what his aunt had told him. Is that where he had seen her sneaking off to one night? Is that why she lived here far away from civilization? And is that why she was so mean? Ali wondered if he had inherited any of her werewolf blood. Suddenly he felt excited about the rest of his holidays.

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