Alfred stood after the movie house lights came back up. The music and sights of the show still played in his head. The story resonated with him in a strangely strong manner. The idea that a girl would have such beauty of heart to see past the fearsome appearance of a beast and fall in love with him struck a romantic chord in him.

He was humming as he exited the movie house. Sudden strong hands caught him and dragged him into a car that sped quickly away. No one spoke as they held him down. No one spoke as the car pulled into the courtyard of a beautiful house.

He was placed in a room and left alone. At first he paced around the room. Soon, however, he grew tired and settled down before the fire. Eventually he slept. When he woke, it was morning and a fine breakfast was set before him.

He ate and went to the door. To his surprise, it was unlocked. He explored the house but didn’t try to leave. Something about the house drew him in. At the end of the day, he returned to his room and settled by the fire to read a book. It wasn’t long before the door opened behind him. Alfred turned but the man was shadowed, seeming invisible in the dim light.

“Hello,” the man whispered. Alfred blinked in shock but couldn’t find his voice. Instead he bowed his head in silent greeting. “Have you enjoyed your stay here?” he asked, in his soft voice. “Is there anything that I can give you?”

“I… no, it’s been nice – great actually. I… It’s only that I miss my brother. He’s… basically the only family I have. May I… go back to him, please?” Alfred asked softly. He smiled slightly and shrugged at the man.

“You may… if you vow to return… every night to sup with me,” the man said.

Alfred nodded and and his smile broadened. “I will return to eat supper with you. I’d be glad to. Thank you.”

The man left him then and Alfred looked out into the starry night. Something abou the man who’d come to see him reminded him of the stars. After a while, he went to the bed and soon slept. When he woke he left the house and went to find his brother. It was a truly interesting tale – like something out of a storybook or the movie that he had watched. He would definitely return to the house that evening for supper.