The beast stared me down. In its gaze I saw something familiar.


She was trapped. The passageways had become a maze in which the lightning flashed, illuminating the grotesques that stood guard along their lengths as she ran by. Each door was locked, the heavy iron bolts echoing in the pauses between thunder, shouting her presence.

And finally she had reached the end. The walls had become cold where torches had not been lit for many years. She hammered her fists against the great doors at the end, the oak laughing against her pathetic blows until the beats echoed louder, louder, and he appeared in the storm light.

The beast moved with the grace of the damned and the spirit of the tortured, a great hulking shadow that grew teeth and fur between slashes of light through the broken windows until he stood before her, towering over her form. His chest heaved and she felt his breath.

A claw tore at the wood, chips falling as it descended towards her until she could take it no longer and screamed. The night became silent and still, only their breath moving in the night.

She looked up, from between her fingers, and saw the tormentor of her village. This was to be her fate but her mother had taken her into her bosom, as the elders grew restless at the delay, and had whispered into her ear that death should be met of fleet feet, never on ones knees.

And here she knelt. Defiance tore at her. She stood, head meeting beast, and stared into the eyes of damnation. The beast, its coat slick with rain, drew closer and sniffed at her scent.

The light and sound crashed over them and in that instance she saw into its eyes. His eyes. She reached out, running a hand from the claw beside her face, along the arms crossed with scars, up the chest that beat more ferociously than the strongest winds, until finally she held his face.

“Kefari?” she whispered.

The beast closed its eyes. It nuzzled in closer and she thought for a final moment this was to be her end. She heard the growl, like thunder from a storm far beyond the horizon, the sound rolling out of the beasts chest and into her own.

“Sari,” it said and she wept, clutching the beast to her chest.

Prompt originally posted by EndToStart on reddit and received 1 upvotes.

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