Once upon a time, long long ago, someone gave me an illustrated copy of Beauty and the Beast as a present. The story was a retelling of a retelling: this was Deborah Apy’s version retelling the one written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont in 1756, which was a retelling of the original story, La Belle et la Bête written by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve in 1740. I loved the story and the illustrations by Michael Hague really intrigued me—they were creepy and dark and fantastic. I loved his images of the horned, shaggy-albeit-well-dressed, angst-ridden Beast. Interestingly, we never get to see the miraculous transformation of the prince… The final painting in the book is of Beauty finding the Beast dying of heartbreak in his rose garden.
Years later, I would see the Disney version and, though the story isn’t all that similar to the original, I liked the comedic aspects of it. However, I was disappointed with the Beast’s transformation—call me strange, but I actually preferred him as he was.
Beauty and His Beast is a story that’s been percolating in my brain for a few years now. It’s a mashup of the original stories, the Disney version, and bit of another book that has nothing to do with Beauty and the Beast, but was my absolute favourite when I was really young: Disney’s The Black Hole: A Spaceship Adventure for Robots.
This story is not dark, not very long, and not particularly serious—just my silly take on a much loved, oft-retold fairy tale… in space.
I hope you enjoy it.
P.S. – Ghelyxian is pronounced Hell-EE-zee-an and Ghelyx, Hell-ix
Beauty and His Beast
Novella (~38,000 words)
Genre(s): Fairy tale, science fiction, xenophilia, magic penis, love story, LGBTQ+
They call him Marrex the Monster.
Deformed and wretched, Captain Marrex roams the black of space with only a pair of eccentric AIs for company. The curse in his DNA means a long, bitterly lonely life for the Ghelyxian, and it’s a fate Marrex knows he can’t change.
After a long sleep in stasis, Juniper Bo wakes to discover he’s an unwelcome guest aboard Captain Marrex’s ship. Though he tries to stay away from the surly Ghelyxian, he just doesn’t get why the curse is such a big deal—then again, Juniper knows his tastes are rather… unusual for a Human.
When friendship blooms between Marrex and Juniper, they realize they face a future that neither could have predicted in their wildest dreams.