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"The Beast"
By: Cailean Darkwater
Site: www.caileandarkwater.com

I do not know where to begin ...

I suppose I should start at the beginning - that's 
traditional I would say ...

My early childhood is foggy. I remember being loved, 
being in a big house with my parents. I remember 
happiness, comfort, excitement, seeing the world 
through fresh eyes. I suppose we all have such 
memories. I believe that they become more delightful 
with every year that distances us from them. The 
nature of nostalgia.

Then the Change. That's how I came to view it, change 
with a capital "C". Something happened to change me 
forever. One minute everything was happy, the next I 
was forced out on to the street with nothing. I can 
no longer remember my parent's faces. Just their eyes 
- once full of love and care, now filled with horror 
and disgust. The most painful part of the Change - 
that extreme shift of emotion.

The physical effects of the Change were bad enough. 
My bones warped and twisted, my skin grew taut and 
then hung loose, the agony was excruciating. Finally, 
it was over.

My parent's revulsion continued far longer than my 
body's suffering. They could not understand how this 
... creature ... could be their child. I was now 
neither son nor daughter but merely an "it", not any 
way connected with the family at all.

I suppose they must have named me something, but 
somehow I forgot. My voice was an early casualty in 
the Change, all I could manage was a watery gurgle. I 
couldn't share my name with others, so I lost it. I 
kept away from people normally, all I received were 
thrown stones, beatings and derision.

Just the hate they showed was pain enough.

I could always feel the distance separating us as 
tangible as a stone wall. We were now a breed apart. 
I was once human but now, no longer. They had 
ostracized me from species "Homo Sapiens".

When you are different, you are not understood. What 
people do not understand, they fear. What they fear, 
they hate. What they hate, they destroy.

The casual cruelty which normal, everyday people show 
towards beings not in their own group is 
indescribable. Beings of such limitless love that 
choose to give so much hate.

They just hate me for being me.

I'd like to join them, be one of the beautiful people, 
but obviously I can't. I don't feel that I think any 
differently to them, except if anyone, even someone 
more loathsome than I, would be my friend, it would 
make me so very happy.

But the beautiful people can afford to discard friends 
at a whim - they don't appreciate that what they 
reject some of us dream of in vain.

I do not understand. The beautiful people have 
everything, but they still resent me, even though I 
have nothing. What do they want from me?

It makes no sense. Seeing things objectively, looking 
from the outside in, I see people preying upon each 
other like animals. Yet animals would never have such 
hatred, such venom for their own kind. Humans are the 
only species that kill each other for no concrete 
purpose. We destroy each other over ideals, emotions 
or merely a whim.

A human being could be described as a beast that can 
ignore its true nature and follow the intoxicating 
piping of free will. Free will to commit horrendous 
crimes upon their own species and other forms of life.

As I had been rejected by humanity, I would reject 
humanity in turn. Discard the trappings of my former 
species and adopt a new breed. I would have purity of 
purpose, purity of essence, if not purity of form.

In this "dog-eat-dog" world that humans had created, a 
perversion of the natural order, I would be the 
ultimate predator. To these twisted mockeries of 
hunters in the concrete jungle I would be justice 
without mercy.

I am no longer human. I am a beast. The Beast. I shall 
cultivate a beautiful garden in the heart of the 
corrupt city. If the humans try and stop me, I shall 
say "You are not my kind. I am not bound by your 
foolish, petty laws."

I hunted and slew those who would prey upon those 
weaker than themselves. As I matured I grew stronger 
and more skilled, but I was never truly seen by my 
prey and my flock. I kept myself a shadow, a dream. Or 
more appropriately, a nightmare.

Those I saved lived happily, the evil had been 
repulsed, I was forever vigilant. I had protected my 
children from danger. It sounds arrogant, but I 
considered myself above them. Instead of a poor, 
broken, malformed human, I was now the Beast, the 
perfect protector, champion of the weak.

Then ... I thought all the changes were over, but 
things never stay the same. Unfortunately, the more 
things change, the more they stay the same.

I saw her, beset by snarling jackals of humanity, 
sniffing and yelping their cruel cries. I bounded 
between them and their prey, scattering them as a tiger 
cowing curs. But the dogs of law had heard the prey's 
keening, they saw a predator and barked defiance at the 
beast that was me, entering their territory. Unheeding 
of the damage that may have been caused, steel 
mosquitoes whined through the air, seeking to feast 
upon the blood they craved. I did not let a single one 
of them bite into the prey's flesh, they bit deep into 
my hide, black blood soaking into the cold ground.

Knowing that she was still in danger if she remained 
here, I lifted her tenderly and took flight, dogs 
baying at our heels as I loped along darkened paths.

Arriving at my hidden den, I laid her still, but living 
form carefully on soft, clean rags. I gathered food and 
water for her return to the waking world, for when she 
would arise from the shock of her ordeal.

She awoke, I saw the fear in her eyes, in her 
scrabbling limbs, her huddling form. I tried to console 
her as best I could, offered her the meal I had 
prepared for her.

I was the predator, and she was acting still as prey. I 
tried to think as part of humanity once again; it was 
distant, alien to me now.

I had an idea!

As she suspiciously took the food from me, I opened up 
my secret vault within my den, brought forth my writings 
and offered them to her, never seen before by human 
eyes.

It seems that all creatures need to express themselves, 
and with no voice I had expressed my feelings in the 
only medium I had left. I had written many things, 
written them for myself, not meant for the world that 
had disowned me.

She slowly read them and with their comprehension came a 
gradual gamut from terror to sadness. My tortured pieces 
had touched something within her; she knew now that I 
was a fellow creature, a creature in pain.

I could see warm compassion in her eyes now, as she read 
more and more.

And then, she spoke to me! I was overcome with joy that 
she would see me as a person, a human whom even I had 
left for dead on the road of Time.

She spoke of my work, spoke of what she saw in it, what 
she saw of me in it, my pain.

Communication was laborious, I had to "speak" to her 
through gestures and writing short messages in the dust 
with fingers that had long been transformed into wicked 
claws.

She went on to tell me of herself, her life, her desires 
of the future. She responded to my questions and 
comments; not always agreeing with each other. We saw 
the world through different eyes; they did not always 
align, but we both delighted in the similarities.

I felt something awaken within me, something I had 
thought would never return. I had been a creature of 
despair, a creature of justice, a creature of havoc. Now 
as this half-remembered essence welled out from my soul, 
I could feel that I was also a creature of love.

Black ice of fear froze a shell around my inferno heart, 
I was terrified of revealing these feelings to her, of 
what her reaction might be. I could not live through her 
scorn or disgust; I thought that I could trap my love 
within my heart, never risking myself to the possibility 
of further pain.

But if my life of torment had taught me one thing, it 
was that fear chained love. Fear of my appearance had 
stopped people from even showing me the slightest sliver 
of sympathy. I would not let my fear suppress what I 
felt.

Therefore I opened my heart to her, let loose the 
torrent of love bursting forth in one massive surge.

As she read my declaration I anxiously waited for her 
response. Her eyes lifted, and I looked intently within 
those windows of her soul.

My futile hope dashed, my love was greeted with sadness 
and pity. She could not return the love.

As if I were not tortured enough! I had brought this 
upon myself - such things were unattainable for a 
monster such as I. I had hoped against hope to be wrong 
in my cynicism, attitudes that the world had literally 
beaten into my hideous hide.

The cold voice of Reason told the truth: such a thing 
was impossible. I had listened to the na´ve voice of 
Passion, emotion before logic, and had paid the price 
of pain.

Forsaking my humanity once again, I let loose a mighty 
howl, the cry of an animal in agony, tears disrupting 
the final message in the dust forever.

She fled; crying, rivulets of terror running down her 
features. I felt her pain, and knew that I had inflicted 
it. To have harmed the one I cherished so dearly brought 
another wave of suffering.

Exhausted, I just lay there unmoving, for days I think, 
consumed by loss and drowning in apathy. Then a white 
dove entered my gloom. It was a letter, there was only 
person who knew where I laired. Leaping on it hungrily, 
I eagerly read it, desperately hoping for something to 
indicate that I had been wrong, that everything was 
right.

A foolish hope.

But as I read the message again, I saw something which 
had been hidden from my eyes in my pain.

She accepted me as a person.

Maybe the fear was still there. But I was human to her, 
not the beast.

She still wanted to communicate with me, even after the 
pain I had caused her. She had given me a return 
address and wrote that she avidly awaited a reply.

Now we have a thriving conversation going on, 
travelling through words on paper. I have sent her more 
of my work; she encourages me and assists me where she 
can. We are both happy with what we share.

Gentle reader, you hold one of my works in your hands. 
Chances are, you received it from the one I love, or 
whomever you received it from had obtained it from her, 
ad infinitum. Perhaps you can understand why I love her 
so much to this day.

This is not meant to be a tragedy, but an expression of 
the wonder of Life. True, I have not received love, but 
I have received acceptance. I say to you: do not take 
that for granted.

In this world of prejudice, avarice and neglect, to be 
accepted by someone as a person is precious enough.




(c)opyright 2000 by Cailean Darkwater