Author's Note: This story is co-written by several author friends of mine. We hope you enjoy.
Once upon a time, in a far away land, a young princess lived in a shining castle. She was blessed with a loving mother and father, who ruled as king and queen, and she had everything her heart desired. She was beautiful, caring and kind.
But then one day, while she was out in the woods near her home, she spotted a beautiful red rose growing out of the ground. She was intrigued with its beauty, and quickly plucked it from the ground and rushed home to show her parents. They thought it was lovely, too. And so they placed it inside a glass cover, for all to see.
Suddenly, the front doors flew open and in walked a beautiful enchantress. She had come because the princess had stolen her rose from her garden. The king tried to explain that she was just a little girl and didn't know any better. But it was too late, for the enchantress had turned him and the queen into stone. She then turned her attention to the little girl. As punishment, she transformed her into a strange beast and placed a powerful spell upon the castle and all who lived there.
Ashamed of her monstrous form, the beast concealed herself within the castle, with a magic mirror as her only window to the outside world. The rose she had plucked was truly an enchanted rose, which would bloom until her twenty first year. If she would earn another man's love, and if he would ask for her hand in marriage before the last petal fell, then the spell would be broken. If not, she would be doomed to remain a beast for all time.
As the years passed, she fell into despair and lost all hope, for who could ever learn to love a beast?