Once Upon a Time
You won’t grow up.
You won’t come back.
In the castle in the forest, girls wait and sit and stare until
they are pronounced adults and are allowed to leave. Belle
was happy being a child. She didn’t like the idea that she
would walk inside a girl and leave some weeks later as a
woman. But soon she would reach her eighteenth year and it
was imperative that she underwent the transition before that
time. Her father had cried as he handed her into the carriage.
She was the youngest, the sweetest, his beauty. Her mother
had just stared.
They said wolves stalked the forest but Belle feared them less
than the building in front of her. Even as the wind rustled the
leaves, like a phantom sneaking closer and closer, she stood
and shivered on the threshold with her hand raised ready to
knock. The door groaned, creaked, moaned - and opened.