There was still blood on the wolf-pelt around her shoulders,
red and wet, like a whores first kiss bought and paid for
with a steel smile.
The knife was warm in her hand.
Her father looked up with eyes wide as the moon,
the whites swallowing him whole. The fear
was strong in him, and she could smell it in the dark,
a sour perfume.
“Daughter, how could you do this thing?” his gaping mouth
implored her. He belonged on his knees,
like a beggar. Belle had robbed him of his honour.
“My sisters let me in,” she said, careful to smile. He’d always
liked her teeth, compared them to pearls.
She tossed her head, let the moonlight catch
in her dark curls.
“I raised you to be a good girl.”
Good? The word tasted foreign on her tongue,
a starburst from the forgotten language of a frightened ghost
which chafed like shackles around a thin wrist.
Belle remembered how it felt to be sold.
“I shed my skin, grew another,
honed my pretty smiles,
and became a hunter.”
She turned her bed into a trap the beast died in.
While he cried out her name, she clutched the knife
and slipped it between his ribs.
There’d never been a sweeter sound.
Now she stared her maker down,
the half of her genes which betrayed her to a stranger,
and let him see her wolf-grin
as the flesh of his throat parted like silk.
She danced in the red river.
“That’ll teach you, father,
to sell your daughter
for a flower.”