By: Cailean Darkwater
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
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
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
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
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
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
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