A small figure in black crept along the edge of the wall, climbed the oak tree, and inched along a branch to the drainpipe. All was quiet. The moon was safely hidden behind smudged and brooding clouds. The figure shimmied up the drainpipe, clinging with gloved hands and rubber-soled booties until she was level with the window ledge. Nimble fingers deftly untied the rope ladder from around the pipe. She gripped the bottom rung of the ladder tightly, and within seconds the figure was swinging like a pendulum underneath the window and flipping her legs over the bar that extended from the window. She was breathing hard now. The last climb over the ledge was more difficult than expected. She pressed a button on her watch.
Hmmm. Too slow. Down the wooden hallway. The figure was only a few steps from the small recessed doorway when a floorboard creaked. A sliver of light flashed in the gap at the bottom of the door as a lightswitch was flicked on behind it.
Lucinda froze. The prince had promised the laboratory would be empty.
Ruby de Beus Finishes The Story:
Her heart pounded a heavy metal drum solo, her blood, spikes of electricity down her veins. Lucinda quickly scanned her surroundings, searching for a nook or cranny to hide. The laboratory was vast, cluttered with dusty machines, cupboards of mysterious entities, empty bottles and flasks. Lucinda could hear dull, heavy footsteps drawing closer and closer. Floorboards creaked and plumes of dust rose into the air and settled down again. In a moment of panic, she threw herself into a vacant wardrobe. There Lucinda stood motionless, not daring to draw breath, as the door of the laboratory swung open and a monstrous figure entered. Her eyes widened in shocked recognition. It was The Beast.
His eyes burned with flames of hatred. His hideous face was framed with shaggy dark hair that covered his entire body. A cloak, as black as his soul, fell short of his colossal feet which could have easily belonged to a giant. The Beast, standing before Lucinda’s wardrobe, was the one who took what was hers. And Lucinda…. Well, tonight she was going to get it back.
The Beast grunted as he shuffled past her hiding place. He picked up one of the flasks littering the floor. He filled it with a tap that gushed an unknown liquid, gleaming silver in the dim light of the full moon. The door slammed shut once again, leaving Lucinda a few desperate minutes. Her boots squeaked audibly along the floorboards and she cursed herself silently. But then her heart halted and the world seemed to drop away. In a sooty, forgotten glass casket, was a simple golden necklace. It was a perfectly ordinary piece of jewellery at first glance, but Lucinda knew better. As her skilled hands operated the lock, opened the casket and carefully handled the artefact, the door opened for the last time that night.
Lucinda froze. Terrified thoughts raced around in her mind, like dogs tearing at each other in the dirt. The Beast had seen her. It was too late. Adrenaline pumped through her and there was no time for thinking. Without looking back, she hurled herself through a window left ajar and crashed into the foliage below. Her dark figure was seen, sprinting away to the descending stars. The Beast gazed after her. A solitary tear splashed onto the windowsill. The prince watched Lucinda escape. His reflection rippled in the cracked window. He was the Beast.
Kanicha Nualkhair Finishes The Story:
She silently cursed him, already planning her escape. The thundering footsteps neared the door and she was a mouse, scampering away, silently, hidden among the dust bunnies and resting by the floor. She was a dark shadow, so well hidden that no one would see her even if eyes were glancing her way. The dark wood of the floorboards weren’t uttering a sound, keeping silent as if sensing the danger. Slowly, so painfully slowly, the door swung open and light spilled into the hall. The girl, next to the doorway, stilled, tense and ready to slip in, making the most of this chance. I can be anything. The words echoed in her mind, made empty by years of practice. I can be anything, even if that something is a shadow. Luci could feel the change instantaneously. She revelled in the feeling, the feeling of warmth and sunshine as she withdrew into the recess of her mind, and let the body take over. She watched, a bystander, as it slithered into the shadow of the man standing at the opening in the gap in the doorway. She observed the body as it moulded itself into a perfect copy of the lean, handsome young man with blonde hair and strikingly pale blue eyes bordering on grey. She desperately slipped his image out of her mind and focused on the task at hand. The vial, she needed to get the vial containing the very same DNA that ran in her veins, the one containing her stolen blood.
Her escape was easier than planned. This time round, the ledges seemed bigger, closer together and much less slippery. It’s almost too easy. If Luci felt any shard of suspicion, it was overruled by the anger she had towards the prince and the handsome face that had been burned into her mind. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t get rid of his image, his perfectly chiseled cheekbones and soft mouth that made her yearn to taste them and his sweet blue, grey eyes that were a little slanted, giving him a look that bordered on an angel’s for beauty. The girl clad in black had reached the ground how, having climbed down the giant oak tree. The distraction of the man made her careless and she didn’t’ notice the odd shadows that followed her. Hands grasped her pulling her back and pinning her into the soft dirt. Darkness threatened to engulf her and her mind was far too loud to shift. It was screaming, screaming with the voices of thousands of souls tethered to her own. A breath tickled her ear as she gasped for air and smelled a sour breath. The handsome man was above her, holding her down like a wild animal. His smile was slimy and his eyes promised pain. Lucinda’s eyes widened in realization.
“I’ve finally caught you, Lucinda Draconell…” His grin was feral and she thought of a fallen angel. This man indeed had fallen but it was she who had fallen further. She had been betrayed.