Inspired by THIS POST about gay Disney Princesses.
When the old beggar comes to the door, Addy knows better than to let her in. She doesn’t look at the rose or the woman too long; she shuts the door.
Some will call her arrogant or selfish, but what is she to do? No guards, parents in the capital (not, here, not here), and the knowledge that she is the damsel in all those fairy tales weighs heavily on her mind. Oh, little princess, far from home and alone, so alone.
The Enchantress (for they do not call her witch) makes sure that she stays that way.
Alone except for her wilting rose.
(She did not want it, would not take it, so she was bound to it. Such is the way of Princesses.)
Addy used to have frightful bursts of temper. Her face would turn red, fat tears rolling down her cheeks, mouth screwed into an upside down kidney bean. Anything could set her off; a too tight corset, a walk ended too quickly, another toy sword taken away. She’d wail and scream, kick her feet and punch the air, tear and rend anything within arm’s reach.
The first time she has a fit in her new form, it’s after Mrs. Potts reads the King and Queen’s decision on her…condition. She’s to stay here, on the outskirts of their kingdom, until a Prince comes to release her from her spell. Alone until a different sort of bond is forced on her, until she is made to change from princess to beast to bride.
Addy know why they refuse to save her. It’s because she’s always been too big, too strong, too ill-tempered, too–
In her rage, Addy upends the tea tray, forgetting, forgetting, forgetting.
She is reminded when fine china falls to the hard ground, when it rattles, when it shatters, when it screams.
“No!” Addy falls to her knees next to her dishes– no, her friends and frantically rights them, apologies tumbling from her lips, eyes brimming with tears.
“Temper,” Mrs. Potts murmurs, more out of reflex than anything, looking obviously terrified. She hops from her side to her base, better able to control her new body than any other castle resident. Her lid is sitting askew and her eyes are wide (so wide) as they dart from one cup to another. “Daniel? Daniel!”
Addy cuts herself on broken porcelain and flinches. She–she’d killed him, she’d been so thoughtless, how could she? “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry–”
“I’m okay,” a little voice says. “I’m okay, Mom!”
Addy sobs as she locates him under the silver platter, on his side, trapped. She throws the platter too hard, lodging it in the wall, and takes Daniel in her paws.
“It’s okay, Princess Addy,” Daniel chirps at her. He’s a little older than her, just a few years, and he’s always trying to be strong. His eyes are wide (too wide), but he offers her a tremulous smile. “I’m okay.”
“Thank goodness,” Mrs. Potts says and her china clinks as she hops forward.
Addy’s eyes lock on the horrible, huge chip in his rim.
I did that.
She’s across the room before being aware of setting Daniel down, of standing, of leaping away.
“Princess,” Mrs. Potts says from her low, low position on the floor. “What–”
“Don’t call me that,” Addy grits out. Her huge body leans heavily against the door, making it groan, as she desperately tries to wrap her paw around the handle. She can’t stop looking at the chip, the proof of harm, the proof that something much worse can happen so easily. “Don’t call me– I’m not–I’m not the Princess. I’m the Beast.”
The door crashes open and she disappears.
It’s weeks before the servants realize that she’s never going to answer to her name again. She no longer sleeps in her princess bed or attempts to wear her princess clothes. She wears pants scavenged from the servants’ quarters, tunics from her father’s closet, ties her mane back with twine instead of ornaments.
“Addy!” they call. “Princess Addy!”
The Beast doesn’t even know who that is.