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Slayers Library -> Fanfiction -> "Beauty and the Chimera," Part One

"Beauty and the Chimera"
Part One

Somewhere in the universe, in a tiny pocket of alternate reality, it is a quiet spring day. The sun shines brightly over an idyllic landscape filled with beautiful, many-colored flowers, well-manicured trees and shrubbery, and white marble fountains scattered about the lush green lawns. A giant, deep blue ocean glitters dazzlingly nearby, and the massive castle overlooking it from the cliff above practically shines with all its majestic glory. Yes, it is positively gorgeous here, not to mention peaceful, almost as if it were a snapshot out of a travel magazine and not a real place. And it is precisely that peace that is slowly driving Esther out of her already sanity-deprived mind.

Esther paces around her throne room, wearing a long dress, the kind that only a girl in a fairy tale would wear. She wrings her hands in frustration and purses her lips, thinking. Finally, she plops down on her royal purple-cushioned throne and sighs heavily, taking in the marble pillars lining each side of the long room for the third time in the past fifteen minutes.

Esther: I'm so bored! There must be SOMETHING I can do to amuse myself. (leans on the armrest of her throne, taps her chin with her well-manicured nails) Hmmmmm...
Xelloss: (teleports in a few yards away from her throne, bows politely) Greetings, my lady.
Esther: (jumps, startled, snaps) I thought I told you to announce your presence first, and THEN you can appear out of nowhere in my throne room.
Xelloss: (sweatdrops) Yes, my lady. (looks around, says cheerily) It's certainly a peaceful day, isn't it?
Esther: (slaps her hand against the armrest of her throne, rolls her eyes) Of COURSE it's peaceful! There's NOTHING GOING ON!
Xelloss: (sweatdrops again, lifts a finger, as if to suggest something) I--
Esther: (continues, interrupting, wringing her hands again) And if there's NOTHING going on, of COURSE I'm going to be bored! Bored, bored, BORED!
Xelloss: (opens his mouth as if to say something) I--
Esther: (continues, gesturing wildly to accent her words) I mean, I COULD just write myself something entertaining, like me taking over the world or something...well, scratch that, I've already written that fifty different ways... (her expression softens and she sighs dreamily) Ah, those are such good stories...
Xelloss: (shakes his head a little, says quietly) I think I could help you out, if you're interested...
Esther: (blinks, sits up straighter) Hmm? Oh, you were talking.
Xelloss: (chuckles, then says amicably) Juuou-sama sent me here because she figured you'd have gotten bored again right about now. She had the most wonderful idea for a story.
Esther: (stands up, walks over to Xelloss) Your master knows me far too well. I'm listening...
Xelloss: (grins even wider than his usual grin) She suggested that we make a movie.
Esther: (blinks, furrows her brow) A movie.
Xelloss: Yes.
Esther: (repeats) A movie.
Xelloss: (nods) It's quite simple, really. You just get a camera, and some actors, and--
Esther: (whips out her Mallet 'O' Death [TM] from Hammerspace, creams Xelloss with it, puts it away as fast as she took it out) I KNOW how to make a movie, you twit!
Xelloss: (now a crumpled heap on the floor) Gomen nasai, my lady.
Esther: (snorts) That's better.
Xelloss: (pops back up into his usual form, grinning) Forgive me for pressing the issue, but perhaps some further explanation is in order.
Esther: (narrows her eyes a little) You have thirty seconds before I boot you out of here and bring some Pokémon in to amuse me.
Xelloss: (lifts an eyebrow, thinks: Pokémon?!) Right. (continues quickly) Well, Juuou-sama suggested creating another little alternate dimension, one that represents the setting of your favorite fairy tale. And then we could take some people and put them in the set, acting as the characters in the original fairy tale.
Esther: (finishes the thought) And then we film it.
Xelloss: (nods) And then we film it.
Esther: (whirls around, stroking her chin, stalks to her throne again and sits, sweeping out her skirt dramatically, considers this) My favorite fairy tale, hmm? And who would I cast in--wait. (a slow, devious grin spreads across her face and her eyes light up with mischievousness) Wait. Ohhhh, I have the PERFECT idea! (claps her hands together once, jumps down off the throne and runs over to Xelloss)
Xelloss: (grinning) Juuou-sama sent me to assist in the movie-making, if you would need my services. She does love a good story.
Esther: (cackles evilly, pats his shoulder) I want to cast you in a very important role.
Xelloss: (still nodding) All right.
Esther: It has a lot of entertainment potential.
Xelloss: (keeps nodding) I like it already.
Esther: (cheerfully) You get to be the narrator!
Xelloss: (nods) I get to be the-- (stops nodding, opens his eyes slightly) narrator?! Waitasecond, (pauses, says with fake sincerity) um...that sounds great, my lady, but, well, don't you think I could do something more interesting than be the narrator?
Esther: (waves her hand, as if to dismiss his comment) Oh, don't worry. It'll be fun! Really! Just think, (holds her hand out ahead of them both, as if to show him the world of possibilities) you'll be in control of EVERYONE! You get to make sure they stick to the script! I don't care how you do it, I just want you to follow the script I give you and make an entertaining show!
Xelloss: (lifts an eyebrow, a little worried now) Who, exactly, is going to star in this production?
Esther: (gets the little gleam in her eye that she gets whenever she's about to do something she thinks is very clever) You'll see. (disappears into the room next door, leaving Xelloss still standing in the middle of her throne room. She reappears thirty seconds later, wearing an all-black, artsy-style outfit consisting of black pants and a black bunchy sweater, complete with a black beret, and dragging a director's chair.) Don't be a wuss, Xelloss. (plants the chair in the middle of the room) This'll be fun. Just wait till I tell you who gets what part!
Xelloss: (concerned, now, since he's heard bad things about getting mixed up in Esther's evil little schemes) I can wait, believe me...
Esther: (snaps her fingers and a book appears right over Xelloss's head)
Xelloss: (steps backwards gracefully just before the book clobbers him on the head, picks it up from the floor and reads the title etched in the green leather) "Beauty and the... (pauses, slowly grins evilly, all doubts as to the merits of participating in this project erased) Chimera".
Esther: (snaps her fingers again and a big, black void appears in front of her, which she gestures to) C'mon, let's get moving! Hop in to my little story world!
Xelloss: (bows, says with utmost respect) My lady, you have one twisted sense of humor.
Esther: (nods appreciatively) I know. Now get in there.
Xelloss: (disappears, then reappears floating in the black void, holding the book in one hand and his staff in another)
Esther: (calls after him) Okay, all you have to do is follow what's in the script. Anything that's done in this little bubble of alternate reality will be recorded. Now, of course, you can freeze time inside the bubble, so you can announce the scene changes and direct the actors further. That'll help me when we edit it later. Everyone's going to be brainwashed, although you can un-brainwash them if you like when you freeze the scene. (adds nonchalantly) Of course, the brainwashing spell isn't always reliable, so there may be times when some people are more clueless than others, and everyone's original personalities will still shine through. Just keep that spell going and they'll do what we want.
Xelloss: (nods) Got it.
Esther: All right, let's go to... (flips open a similar leather book with the "Beauty and the Chimera, Master Script" etched on the cover, reads) "Scene I, which takes place in Never-Never Land, or Somewhere Around There". (looks up) It's right after the table of contents in your script.
Xelloss: (rolls his eyes) I think I can find the beginning of the story, thank you.
Esther: (lifts an eyebrow) Do I detect a hint of insubordination in your voice? Shall I make it Beauty and the Mazoku, and cast, oh, I don't know, FILIA in the role of "Beauty"?
Xelloss: (turns a shade or two pinker) No, no, no insubordination here!
Esther: (folds her arms, crosses her legs and situates herself on her director's chair) Good. (cackles evilly) Now, let the mayhem begin!

(Slowly, the form of a beautiful castle begins to coalesce behind Xelloss, its drawbridge down, while a gorgeous winter backdrop fades into place behind it. Xelloss floats in the air, holding the leather-bound book, and begins to read from it.)

Xelloss: Once upon a time, in a faraway land, a young prince lived in a shining castle. (gestures down to Zelgadiss, who appears standing on a snowbank not far below, decides to keep him un-brainwashed, for now)
Zelgadiss: (looks around, confused) How did I get here? (sees Xelloss floating above him) What's going on?
Xelloss: (smiles amicably, gestures to the book) Oh, the usual chaos, that's all.
Zelgadiss: (narrows his eyes, frowns) A second ago, I was eating lunch with Ameria, Lina, and Gourry, and now I'm here. I suppose you had something to do with this?
Xelloss: (still floating) For simplicity's sake, I guess we'll leave it at that, yes. (quickly throws a shielding spell up as Zel hurtles a Flare Bit in his direction) Now, now, no need to get cranky... (adds sarcastically) Your highness.
Zelgadiss: (pauses in the middle of chanting another spell) Huh?
Xelloss: (still floating, crosses his legs at the ankle and rests the book on his leg, using his staff to gesture down to Zel) It's all very simple. You and your friends are about to take part in a little endeavor in the dramatic arts.
Zelgadiss: (flatly) You mean a play.
Xelloss: (cheerfully) Something like that. I suppose it's more like a movie, but...
Zelgadiss: A what?
Xelloss: (shakes his head) Nevermind. Now, do play along, please. It will make your life ever so much easier.
Zelgadiss: (narrows his eyes) We want no part of your sick, twisted schemes. Now send us back, or I'll--
Xelloss: (calmly) You'll do what?
Zelgadiss: (considers that there is actually very little he can do against Xelloss, says quietly) I'll think of something. But I don't want to be a prince.
Xelloss: (tsk-tsks) Oh, it'll be fun! You get to be a good prince, one who wins everything his heart desires in the end, because that's how fairy tales work! (adds silently: Not if I can help it...)
Zelgadiss: (shakes his head) No way. I don't trust you. And I don't want to be the prince--there's something fishy about all that "everything his heart desires" crap. I fell for that once, and I haven't found a cure since.
Xelloss: (tries reason to keep Zel cooperative) You know, of course, that I can't let you go until you and your friends finish the play. And... (leans forward a little, says menacingly) I can turn you into something much worse than a prince, if you like...
Zelgadiss: (considers that, then finally mutters) All right, all right, I'm a prince already!
Xelloss: (grinning) Good. Ahem. Although he had everything his heart desired, the prince was spoiled, selfish, and unkind.
Zelgadiss: (incredulous) Excuse me?
Xelloss: (ignoring him) But then, one winter's night, a powerful, red-robed wise man came to the castle and offered him incredible powers in return for shelter from the bitter cold.
Zelgadiss: That's it! I'm not going to stand around and listen to this! (leaps at the still-floating Xelloss, sword drawn, for daring to mention his grandfather/great-grandfather)
Xelloss: (snaps a shield in place, chuckles) Temper, temper, your royal highness! Now, then, where was I?
Zelgadiss: (after bouncing off the shield) The part where you die.
Xelloss: (lands in front of Zel in the snow, leaning slightly to go nose-to-nose, opens his eyes for full effect) Zelgadiss-san, may I remind you that this is MY story. Do not attempt to kill the storyteller, or you will suffer a much worse fate than the measly punishment inflicted upon you by the Red Priest.
Zelgadiss: (growls but holds his tongue, puts his sword back in its scabbard)
Xelloss: (satisfied, goes back to floating) Now then, back to the story. (turns a page) The prince wanted power; in fact, he wanted to be the strongest sorcerer in the land, but he didn't want to work for it. And so, repulsed by the priest's blindness, but jealous of his magical skill, the prince accepted the gift, but intended to turn the sorcerer away once he had given him the power he craved. But the priest, sensing his intentions, warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty and power are found within.
Zelgadiss: (says in a low, menacing tone) I'm going to find a way to kill you, if it's the last thing I ever do!
Xelloss: (ignoring Zel completely) And when he dismissed him, the wizard's eyes opened, proving to the young prince that he was not blind after all. The prince tried to apologize, but it was too late, for the priest had seen that he was impatient and impulsive, and as punishment, he transformed him into a hideous beast--a chimera, to be precise--and placed a large bounty on all who lived in the castle.
Zelgadiss: (incredulous again) Excuse me?! I KNOW how this story is supposed to go. Not only is this wrong, but it makes no sense!
Xelloss: (frowns for a split second, casts a spell over Zelgadiss's vocal cords, rendering him speechless) It's a fairy tale. Be a good little chimera and listen.
Zelgadiss: (fumes silently)
Xelloss: (grinning again, eyes closed) That's better. The power the wizard had given him was skill in Shamanistic magic, yet, for all his efforts, the prince could not lift his curse. And so, ashamed of his monstrous form, he used a magic mirror to search the world, since he couldn't travel anywhere without being run out of town. The prince was also given a magic rose, a rose that would bloom until his twenty-first year. If he could learn to love another, and earn her love in return by the time the last petal fell, then the curse would be broken. If not, he would be doomed to remain a beast for all time. As the years passed, he fell into despair, and lost all hope, for who could ever learn to love a beast...
Zelgadiss: (still fuming)
Xelloss: (sighs, turns the page) Yare, yare, you are a stubborn one, aren't you? Well, you don't get any more story time for a while now, so you might as well wipe that stony look off your face...stony look, get it? (laughs)
Zelgadiss: (giving up, crosses his arms and sulks for awhile)
Xelloss: (grinning triumphantly) And now, our story takes us to Scene II, in a small, provincial, French town. We see a young woman in a simple blue dress coming out of a tiny cottage, a blissful expression on her face.

Ameria: (brainwashed into playing the part of Beauty, smiling at the beautiful scenery surrounding her small home on the outskirts of town) What a beautiful day! A perfect day to continue my endeavors to bring love and justice into this world!

Zelgadiss: (interrupts, frantic) Wait, wait, don't tell me SHE'S "Beauty"!
Xelloss: (laughing, slaps another spell over Zel to shut him up) Quiet, she's about to sing!
Zelgadiss: (turns a shade or two pinker, and finds he can't do anything but watch)

Ameria: (twirls in the sunlight, smiling at the chirping birds, swings her basket, which contains a book) It's so beautiful, it makes me feel like singing! (sings while walking through town)
Little town, it's a quiet village
Every day, like the one before
Little town, full of little people
Waking up to say...

Townspeople: Bonjour! Bonjour! Bonjour! Bonjour! Bonjour!

There goes the baker with his tray, like always
The same old bread and rolls to sell
Every morning just the same
Since the morning that became
To this poor provincial town

Baker: Good Morning, Belle!
Ameria: 'Morning, Monsieur.
Baker: Where are you off to?
Ameria: (an excited gleam in her eye) The magic shop and bookstore! I just read the most wonderful book about healing spells and...
Baker: (nodding, just to shut her up) That's nice. (turns to his wife) Marie, the baguettes, hurry up! (Ameria shrugs, smiles, and continues)

Look there she goes that girl is strange, no question
Dazed and distracted, can't you tell?

Woman: Never part of any crowd
Barber: 'Cause her head's up on some cloud
Townsfolk: No denying she's a funny girl, that Belle! (Ameria walks by, too busy thinking up her next big speech to notice everyone staring at her)
A Man: Bonjour!
A Woman: Good day!
A Man: How is your family?
Second Woman: Bonjour!
Second Man: Good day!
Second Woman: How is your wife?
Third Woman: I need six eggs!
Third Man: That's too expensive!
Ameria: There must be more than this provincial life! (enters magic shop/bookstore)

Local Sorcerer: Ah, Belle!
Ameria: Good morning! I've come to deliver another rousing call to justice to the people of this town! And return the book you so graciously lent me!
Sorcerer: Finished already?
Ameria: (hands him the book) Oh, I couldn't put it down. Have you got anything new?
Sorcerer: Not since yesterday!
Ameria: (browses books on shelves) That's all right...I'll borrow (pulls a book off the shelf) this one!
Sorcerer: (takes book from her, notes the title) That one? But you've read it twice!
Ameria: But it's my favorite! Far-off places, justice-filled warriors, magic spells, a prince in disguise!
Sorcerer: If you like it all that much, it's yours.
Ameria: But sir! That wouldn't be just!
Sorcerer: I insist!
(Everything grinds to a halt as Ameria ponders the justice in this situation. The outside world is frozen in its tracks and the music completely stops)
Xelloss: (appears in the shop next to her, says menacingly) Take the book, "Belle".
Ameria: (completely missing the dangerous tone of his voice and not noticing the fact that the sorcerer next to her has suddenly stopped moving entirely) Are you sure? I mean, I can't take something for free from this poor man! This is a provincial town! The people are poor and oppressed by the rich upper class, and...
Xelloss: (snaps, scaring her) Just take it!
Ameria: (grabbing the book from the sorcerer's hands) Well thank you, thank you very much! (runs out of the shop as the music starts up again and the townsfolk return to normal)
(Ameria opens the book, reading while she walks slowly through town, enthralled by the justice-filled main characters)

Look there she goes that girl is so peculiar
I wonder if she's feeling well

Women: With a dreamy, far-off look
Men: And her nose stuck in a book
Townsfolk: What a puzzle to the rest of us is Belle
Ameria: (stopping to sit at the fountain in the town square, shows the book to a passing sheep)
Oh, isn't this amazing?
It's my fav'rite part because, you'll see
Here's where she meets Prince Justice
But she won't discover that it's him 'til chapter three!

Hairless Woman:
Now it's no wonder that her name means "Beauty"
Her looks have got no parallel

But behind that fair façade
I'm afraid she's rather odd
Very diff'rent from the rest of us

She's nothing like the rest of us
Yes, diff'rent from the rest of us is Belle!

(Not far away, a brainwashed Zangulus uses the Demonic Howling Sword to bring down a goose)
Vrumugan: (also brainwashed) Nice work, Gaston.
Zangulus: I know. I'm the best swordsman in the whole world.
Vrumugan: No game animal alive stands a chance against you.
Zangulus: And no girl for that matter, LeFou. And I've got my sights set on that one. (points to Ameria)
Vrumugan: The speechwriter's daughter?
Zangulus: She's the one! The lucky girl I'm going to marry.
Vrumugan: But she's...
Zangulus: The most beautiful girl in town. That makes her the best. And don't I deserve the best?
Vrumugan: (hoping to shut him up) Um, sure.

Zangulus: (breaking into song)
Right from the moment when I met her, saw her
I said she's gorgeous and I fell
Here in town there's only she
Who is beautiful as me
So I'm making plans to woo and marry Belle!
(heads off in Ameria's direction)

The Three Gaston Admirers (All look like Martina in differently-colored dresses):
Look there he goes
Isn't he dreamy?
Monsieur Gaston
Oh he's so cute!
Be still my heart
I'm hardly breathing
He's such a tall, dark,
strong and handsome brute!
(All try to glomp on him)

Man: Bonjour!
Zangulus: Pardon... (squirms away from the Martinas)
Second Man: Good day...
Third Man: Mais oui!
Woman: You call this bacon?
Second Woman: What lovely grapes!
Fourth Man: Some cheese?
Third Woman: Ten yards!
Fourth Man: One pound?
Zangulus: Excuse me! (pushes through the crowd)
Cheese Man: I'll get the knife.
Zangulus: Please let me through!
Woman: This bread...
Fifth Man: Those fish...
Woman:'s stale!
Fifth Man: ...they smell!
Baker: Madame's mistaken.
Ameria: (sighing) There must be more than this provincial life!
Zangulus: Just watch, I'm going to make Belle my wife!

Townsfolk: (as Zangulus climbs up onto a roof, trying to get to Ameria)
Look there she goes
The girl is strange but special
A most peculiar mad'moiselle!
It's a pity and a sin
She doesn't quite fit in
'Cause she really is a funny girl
A beauty but a funny girl
She really is a funny girl
That Belle!

(Townsfolk are crowded around behind Ameria. She notices, turns, and everyone pretends everything is normal. Ameria shrugs, then goes back to reading about Prince Justice)

Continue to Part Two!

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Slayers Library -> Fanfiction -> "Beauty and the Chimera," Part One

"Slayers" is copyright H. Kanzaka / R. Araizumi. Original ideas, artwork, and text present on this page are copyright Esther Nairn, unless otherwise noted. No reproduction is allowed without express written or emailed permission. Violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.