He had a secret with none he would want to share: a monster he had been keeping in the dark basement of his manor for years.

His monster.

With fervent passion he loathed it. For he was all the best combined and it, all the worst.

He wanted to get rid of it, as a voice in his head went on whispering. Still, he couldn’t.

It was born alongside him, to the same mother. With him it had grown and with him it would die. However denial he was, this truth remained valid.

It was his greatest shame, as well as his fear.

Thus, he had had it caged since young age. A secret chamber in the basement none other than himself knew.

He went on being the perfect gentleman everybody adored, bathing in splendid sunlight. It went on being the grotesque monster he hated, curling up in eternal darkness.

There were times he opened the heavy oaken door and briefly allowed some light in. The first time a streak of light had leaked in, the monster had cowered away pathetically. Light, though did it no harm, brought it tremendous terror. However, it gradually learned that with the light came its delicious preys, tossed in, panicked and with a touch of helplessness to sweeten the flavor.

Starving, the monster greedily devoured its treat whole, leaving not a single bone left.

At least it had its use, thought the man who watched the monster feast with a sadistic pleasure.

He brought home the fairest lady in the kingdom, whom he had been courting for a long time, utilizing all his wits and charms to win her heart. His effort had been handsomely paid, for she was now his future spouse.

She frequented his manor in preparation for their wedding. Somehow, she managed to find the passage to his secret chamber.

Still she possessed no key.

She asked him about the heavy oaken door with intricate carvings down the basement. He replied, in fake calmness, that it was forbidden for anyone, save himself, to enter that door. Even his wife wasn’t an exception.

She was a smart woman and a smart woman knew to shut her mouth in time. Nevertheless, a smart woman’s curiosity was not so easily killed off.

Discreetly she began searching for the key.

He woke up one morning from the nightmare of his monster being let loose. In panic he rushed to its prison.

He stood frozen in front of the unlocked door, eyes gluing on his fiancée.

She saw his dim figure at the entrance and raised her voice.

“Why would you lock such lovely creature in darkness?”

Out of its cage and cuddled in her arms was his monster which he had desperately tried to hide from the world. Now it was discovered.

“Put it in!”

He growled in bestial tone, his civil and gentle façade shattered.

She turned down his command with a smile. Her arms around the monster loosened.

Free for the first time in its existence, the hungry monster launched itself at its master.

He had not a chance to scream.

With the sleeve of her gown, she wiped the blood off its chin with tenderness.

She took a moment to examine its new face.

Delicate jaw, high bridge of the nose, brilliant eyes. Those were the features which had charmed her heart.

She smiled and hugged its manly form.

‘He’ was now her beloved husband.

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