TITLE: A Beastly Beauty
GENRE: YA Fairy Tale
Isabella's lived her whole life as a hideous beast, thanks to a wicked fairy's curse. And as if that weren't bad enough, a blonde in glass slippers just stole the one man who might be falling for her anyway. (Gender-swapped "Beauty and the Beast," featuring Cinderella as a villain.)
I glanced back at the castle in the moonlight. Father’s windows were dark, except for the ones in his study. In another few minutes Amelita would bring him a hot toddy, and then he would retire for the night.
My night was just beginning.
I clutched Domino’s reins with one hand and the cool metal clasp of my cloak with the other. My pulse pounded with the familiar thrill of being out and on my way to town, the one night each month when I was—when I looked—well, normal. Human.
I had Amelita, my faithful nursemaid, to thank for it. She had decided on my sixteenth birthday, which happened to coincide with the full moon, that I ought to spend the evening beyond our castle grounds.
“After all, chérie,” she had said then, “how will you ever find your true love if you just sit about here, waiting for him to thunder through the gate? Your father’ll have him into the dungeon faster than he can say ‘Be mine, Lady Isabella!’”
That night I had slipped on my cape and sneaked through the gate to ride Domino into Molinas, the town below our estate. I had played darts, tasted ale, and danced with a handsome stable hand. It was glorious. I had impatiently counted the days between full moons ever since.
And for over two years of full moons, Father had been none the wiser.
I slowed Domino to a walk. Tolly, our ancient gatekeeper, leaned against the wall.