Beauty and the Beast: New Rendition

Shrouded in mystery,
A desire.
Cloaked in a lie,
A fire.

[The dark castle]
[Enter: The Beast]


His footsteps echo,
of a story,
without a hero,
without glory,

The echoes speak up,
And prove his cold,
And unrelenting shield,
His age old,
Desire to be left alone,
To have no place to call home,
His shadow his only friend,
The core of his heart a stone.

All doors are bolted,
All windows shut,
Locked by chains,
No tool could cut.

He sits alone,
In his domain,
Waiting for the end,
But he waits in vain.

He guards the remnants,
of his curse, so,
vigilantly tries,
not to make it worse, so,
he blocks out the sunlight,
from his room,
and stops the flower,
from coming to bloom…

Cursed by a witch,
for his crime,
changed to a monster,
till the end of time.

His repentance falls,
on ears of stone,
his wailing drives,
A chill to the bone.

Day after day,
Forever it seems,
He slowly dies,
To preserve his dreams,
And nothing is clear,
nor the end near,
So he weeps endlessly,
Year after year.

[Exit: The Beast]
[End of scene]

[A beautiful garden close to the woods]

[Enter: The Beauty]
[The beast peers on hidden from her view]

The Beast:

Oh I confess,
A sight to behold,
Crafted by angels,
A heavenly mould,

Finally a joy,
I’m beside myself.
Fallen from heaven,
Or heaven itself?

A beautiful dream,
Or an illusion?
So hopeless in
my confusion,
whether to be seen,
and to lose her,
Or to look on and,
still lose her!

Or shall I be,
A little brave,
And with the rest of,
breath i can save,

Perhaps, perhaps,
Try and venture,
Perhaps; Maybe…
A little adventure,

A little joy,
Just trying to talk,
And to ask her to,
just take a little walk,
with me by the,
singing trees,
One this eve,
In this breeze…

Or maybe i am,
dreaming again,
Unreal it is,
Seeming again.

I am a beast,
with jaws and claws,
She is the beauty,
Without any flaws.

Oh cruel fate!
Answer my cry!
Why am I punished!
Why! Oh why?
was I ever shown,
this beauty divine,
this love that would,
Never be mine…

Why let the heart feel,
When the heart breaketh?
Why does the lord giveth,
When the lord taketh?

[Exit: The Beast]

[The beast returns to his lair…heartbroken…if it is possible to have the heart broken when one is heartless]


Oh how the pain,
Took over and stung.
The last remaining sanity,
For his mind flung.

When the ice melts,
When the heart unfreezes,
As the tingling starts,
And the numbness ceases,

You start to realize,
that there is a price,
for starting to feel,
not living in lies.
For when you feel kisses,
you also feel the blows,
The sharpest thorns live,
by the softest rose.

[End of scene]

[A dark and stormy night outside can almost be felt indoors as the beauty sits by a warm crackling fire. She hears some strange sounds outside and decides to investigate]


With the cloak wrapped,
The beauty went outside,
What she saw made,
Her eyes open wide.

A youth lying in the snow,
Unconscious and irresponsive,
She burdened to carry him,
Hoping he were corresponsive,

He looked dead, felt so,
There was no sound of a heart beating,
She would have thought him dead,
Had she not felt him breathing.


I wonder where he came from,
This man so bizarre,
Dressed in rags it seems,
He must be from afar,

I should lay him by the fire,
And give him something to,
Eat and perhaps to help him,
Be better again too.

But oh what if he really,
Turns to be an evil man,
I must be careful to keep,
For need a little plan,

To keep him at bay,
And to stay away,
But first to keep watch,
till it be day.


And so the beauty did,
She fed him and took care,
She put him up to rest,
By the fire; on a chair.

[End of scene]

[Next morning]

[The beast wakes up and finds himself sitting o a chair with a blanket as soft as any he’s ever had on him]

The Beast:

I wonder where I am,
This place must be a home,
There are no stony corridors,
Dare I say I’m not alone?

I remember being blinded,
And maddened by pain,
I went back to my loneliness,
But I could no longer remain.

I had tasted the sweet,
Ambrosia they call love,
I could not remain there,
So I ran to the surface above,
And into the night I ran,
I ran into the snow and wind,
To where it all began.

 But I was so hopeless hoping,
To find what I so missed,
I hoped it had not been a dream,
I hoped she did exist.

But I was broken,
And I was torn,
So very sad,
So forlorn.

I cried out aloud,
Into the night,
Hoping her face,
Would make it all bright.

Away I ran,
To places unknown,
Till down by the wind,
I was blown.

And now I wake up here,
This place so strange,
I wonder now,
What else would change?

[Enter: The beauty]


And then something happened,
That made his world spin.
His world had ended,
A new one was to begin.

Entered the beauty,
And lit up the world,
His mouth hung open,
It made his stomach twirl.

And she looked at him,
And it made him immortal,
And in her eyes he saw,
To heaven a portal,

And he wished he could,
Dive in but was afraid,
That she’d be repulsed so,
Down in his heart he prayed.


I am glad stranger,
That you are fine,
I feared you were lost
And I did resign,

I left it to God to,
Save you from your end,
I was afraid, confused but,
I did my best to tend.

The Beast (thinking):

I can’t be awake,
But so does it seem.
Or have I walked
Right into a dream,

Oh how do I describe,
What I feel,
When this seems,
So very surreal…

The Beast:

Yes my dear lady,
I am quite well,
Though I fell deep down,
Into the trenches of hell.

It burnt my sins,
And threw me back,
Why…now my world,
Seems not so black.

You pulled me out,
So grateful I am,
(Why, it was you,
So thankful I am).


You still must be ill,
Speaking of such things,
Rest some more please,
A lot of good it brings,


Not to worry my lady,
I need no more rest,
I must leave now, I,
Might be an unwanted guest.


It is nothing like that,
Pardon my asking,
You to rest as well,
I thought you were masking,

Some injury or pain,
Weakness and exhaustion severe,
Your words say one thing, but,
You sound as if your end is near!


(Oh how do I explain,
My world has already ended,
And re-forged by angels,
Remade and mended)


You need not say words,
I know how you feel,
But might you go out into the sun,
It does a lot to heal.

Perhaps you could tell,
How you came to be here.
I know these lands well,
I haven’t seen you anywhere,

Around these parts ever,
Nor do you look of here.
So come with me and tell your tale,
If walking you might bear.


(Why so suddenly,
Is my fate being so kind?
Am I awake or are,
Fantasy, reality intertwined?)


The beast nodded slowly,
And got off his chair,
Where his feet carried him,
He simply didn’t care.

He was living a dream,
No pinch could break.
Such a dream it was,
And he didn’t want to wake.

The beauty inquired,
Into his life and he,
Was willing, to let it all go,
Just let himself be,

Off his guard after what,
Seemed like an eternity,
To break his self-imprisonment,
Let himself be free.

He spoke of his world,
How he was cursed,
And it came like all life,
He had rehearsed,

Letting go of his pain and,
He himself was surprised,
How she had tamed him,
And left him so mesmerized.

And the beauty she listened,
And in her heart she felt,
Guard after guard breaking down,
As blow after blow was dealt,

It was his story, his words,
She knew what she had missed,
She knew something had happened,
For what she had wished.

Behind the sealed lips,
Before the unsaid words,
They knew there was,
Something unseen, unheard.

They could feel it,
Didn’t know what it was,
They knew it was something new,
But didn’t know of the cause.

[End of scene]

[A week had passed. The beast is getting better again. His wounds have healed and his spirit renewed]

Beast (thinking):

If only I knew the reason,
For the pain I feel,
Why I am in such torment,
Even though my hurts have healed.

Is this another one,
Of those enchanting dreams?
Where all is beautiful sunshines,
All so beautiful seems.

Someone pinch me,
Make me believe it’s real.
Someone please tell me,
That it’s love I feel.

Is it so odd,
To wish oneself ill?
To wish I’m never well,
To wish I were still,

Deep in my,
Painful condition,
Wouldn’t that be,
A dream’s fruition.
My excuse a means,
Of my liberation,
From the searching hands,
of isolation.

A perfect reason to,
Spend another day,
Being so carefree,
Just laughing away.

Damn time’s curse,
It so inevitably heals,
Makes one be worse,
The better one feels.


A week or a moment?
Is it now or forever?
Where’s this here,
And where’s wherever?

Talking in riddles,
Being such a mystery,
Is it a scar from,
A painful history?

He seems to be nice,
I really hope those aren’t lies,
That there is nothing sinister,
Behind his honey-coloured eyes.

He’s got more tact,
And he seems sincere,
Or is it just an act,
To catch me unprepared.

For a well thought out,
A well-acted out plan.
Should believe him?
Wonder if I even can.

He’s still a stranger,
He’s still unknown,
Still a lot I haven’t seen,
Still a lot he hasn’t shown.

[End of scene]


Now the beast was better,
‘Twas time for him to leave,
His sorrow one to drown in,
His sigh one to heave.
He knew the world was coming to a close,
No matter what he believed,
He knew he’d miss her then and forever.
No matter what curtains he weaved.

He thought he would tell her,
Then against it he thought,
Till the very last moment,
This internal battle he fought.

So very afraid to tell her,
What was on his mind,
To start on his world anew.
To leave everything behind.

He was afraid of having,
His heart broken again,
He thought he’d rather be alone,
Than to feel that pain.

He didn’t know what to feel,
And knew he’d feel, all the same.
So beautiful a feeling,
So terribly painful, all the same.

During day he lived a dream, he,
Couldn’t help but hate the night.
Undeniable proof of the time passing,
And no possible measure that might,
Set his wrongs to rights,
Or stem the flow of time,
To completely render,
His earthly form sublime.

[End of scene]

[The beast sleeps on, and dreams]

[Voice in beast’s head]

And now at last,
The final night,
Upon him like,
A plight.
And no place to hide,
No refuge, no retreat,
No shelter, no excuse,
For a grim defeat.
No thought to,
Occupy him.
No salve to,
Pacify him.
The black river,
Of pain,
Calling out his,
And beyond,
The vast,
The blank,
And overcast,
The void,

Happy faces all around him
All the warmth and care,
Not a joy in his heart,
Nor a smile to share.

A single question,
So terribly sad,
For he never tried but,
“What if I had?”

[The beast wakes up. And for the first time in many, many years he seems to have forgotten about his looks or his worries]

[End of scene]

[The beautiful garden close to the woods]

[The beauty is picking roses from the garden and putting them in a basket]

[Enter: The beast]


You must be better,
To have walked this far,
Do you see this garden?
It is so bizarre,

 A garden so well kept,
In such a secluded place,
Whoever the owner, him I’d,
Meet face to face.

Surely the keeper,
Of roses with fragrance sweet,
Is someone gentle as a rose’s touch,
Why, someone I’d like to meet.


These roses were mine,
So I beg your pardon,
For not being as handsome,
As my garden.

And as you can see,
Only the roses red,
Seem quite as sweet,
As you had said.


It’s a matter of views,
Not a reason to fight.
The way I perceive,
I still may be right.


Please say no more words,
For I’d reply,
And it would be a,
Lot harder to defy,

The urge to give up,
And to render,
My will will-less,
And simply surrender.

I don’t know how to put this,
Or that why I do,
Only that I can hear my heart,
And what it says is true.

Please sit by me,
My knees are weak,
My mind simply freezes,
When I try to speak.

[The beauty sits by the beast in view of the rose beds]

Your presence is soothing,
Works wonders, and why not,
Wonderful is the wonder,
I only wonder, I know not.

Now how do I say it,
How do I confess,
How do I pronounce it,
How do I express,

Please try to understand,
The words I mumble,
It’s your scent making,
My words a jumble.

Breathing in you is an addiction,
Looking at you a thrill,
If people fall head over heels in love,
Then I’ve tumbled down a hill.

I’d be narcissus,
If I loved myself as much,
Or a holy man, a saint,
If I prayed quite as much.

After the sky keeps saying your name,
To listen mountains are bowing,
Till even the angels are jealous of you,
My love would keep on growing.

Since the creation of my being,
I must have known just this,
That every moment with you is paradise,
That your every smile is bliss.

Even after my soul is no more,
After all my tears are spent,
My love for you will remain,
After there’s nothing but an end.

I’m yours at the core,
I’m yours at the crust,
I’m yours in flesh,
I’d be yours in dust.


[The beauty looks at the beast, and the beast finally dares to see whether she’s angry. She only seems dazed, as if in the same wondrous state beast felt being in when she was close].

[The beast realizes that his curse has been broken. He realizes that when you’re in love it doesn’t matter you’re a beauty or a beast. Because beauty does lie in the eye of the beholder]

Finished in 2007-08.
Salman Shahid Khan


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