She climbs, sweat dripping off her forehead. Ruthlessly, she slams her fist into the rock, a rope slung over her shoulder. Almost there, almost there and then she can pretend the crowds weren’t gathering around her; the people snapping pictures as she swings gracefully to the window ledge, gasping for air. Today she slips, stands up, regains her posture, and moves to the window, gliding across the polished stone as if she’d been doing this her whole life. 


He stares out the window, waiting for someone, simply staring, wide-eyed, and waiting. In his hand is a drawing of the city, the other a map of Long Branch Lighthouse, and a treasure he will never reveal. Without these visits, maybe he would die. Forlorn, tired eyes and a weighted expression cloud his face, but as the window opens, he remembers this isn’t the first time he has had to wear a mask. 


This room is too small to be a living space, but it is. As she steps into the cluttered mess of candy wrappers, papers, and crumpled up drawings, he hands her a paper rose along with a note. Oh, how she has missed these visits, the look of pure joy on her face, masked with a look of concern. He shouldn’t have to live like this anymore, but that is not going to change. She hands him a bag of chocolates and stands on the opposite side of the wall, leaning against it for support. 

“How have you been holding out?” She struggles to contain her happiness that she, once again, is standing in front of him.

“One month...and I finally get to give you your rose.” He murmurs, fingering the bag of chocolates gingerly. 

“Mhm, and it took me an hour to get up here only to go back down again.” She watches his wild eyes dart around the room, and then to the window. Her eyes follow his and they meet. She has to do this, has to, to make it up to him. Nothing will stop her. 


He frowns angrily and excuses himself to the bathroom, staring at his reflection. His curly mop of black hair covers his eyes, hiding the fear laced around them, dark circles hiding the silent tears flowing down his cheeks. She knows why he can’t go out, but she creaks open the bathroom door and pulls him down the stairs, stairs he hasn’t gone down for two years. Sometimes, he imagines what is down those steps, a family, maybe a gift shop, someone he might recognize. But there are only stairs, all the way down until there is a door. A woman stands there, mouth agape, just standing there watching him being pulled outside onto the boardwalk. He is supposed to be dead to the world, but here he is, back where he doesn’t want to be. 


She curiously eyes the people crowding the boardwalk, suddenly aware that everyone is backing away from her, distancing from her, afraid. Her eyes dart around, then settling on the hands that grip hers, claws menacingly drawn, clenching and unclenching. 

“Your hands…” She whispers to him, not looking away, instead into his beautiful sea-blue eyes, trying to understand. 

“I can’t, tonight. Maybe tomorrow we can go fishing...away from this place...of people.” She rolls her eyes and takes a deep breath. They could do this. 


The boardwalk swarms with people, swarms with people looking at his claws and running in fear. He has never been on the beach, never near this many people, but it feels nice to feel the shiver running up his spine after eating the chocolate ice cream, something he has never tasted before. She helps him control it, she always has been helping, but nobody has ever helped her. It is not so simple, this life. Sometimes, he wants to reach out, and find them, his parents. There is so much he is hidden from, and what he doesn’t want to know hovers above him, taunting him to run away. But how, how does she know about his struggles, and why does she want to help when nobody helps him up after he stumbles off of the pier, face first in the sand. How does she know how to hug him right, love him...act like a friend? It makes him wonder...what is she not telling him?


Before she met him, life was different. Different, in a sense that she wouldn’t be sitting on the white sands of Long Branch beach if she stayed. They look for shells, picking up fragments of their lives, beautiful pieces of nature carved just for them. She climbs so they can’t laugh at her anymore, loves and helps so they can’t see her torn apart heart melting away. Without his visits, maybe she would die, but how does he see through her so easily...like this...like he was meant for her. After the sun dips low into the sky, almost the sky melting into the sea, they sit together, toes curled into the sand. She pretends to take a selfie with her hands, ignoring the couple frowning in their direction, scared of them, scared of what he is capable of. Man...she wants to turn invisible but stops, and turns to him. She knows that he knows what she wants him to do. One day, it has to be done.


The sunset ends and the moon comes out in spite of his anger, but her touch calms him, shows him it will be okay. Everything will be okay. His claws rip free, grows taller, head replaces with a snout, and he doesn’t remember, but there is a girl there, a girl he knows. And she is watching him with desire. He watches people run off the beach, run from his new body. He is a savage, but she doesn’t move, and smiles. She smiles and hugs him, though he wants to run away. 

“Do it. I’m fine.”


“I love you, Miles.”

Everything is going to be okay.

August 07, 2020 18:49

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19:33 Sep 17, 2020

Wow this was soooooooo good! It honestly felt like a mystery like both of the characters were hiding something from us. I also liked the end..it was really beautifully described, I also enjoy how you write your words it creates amaaaaazing imagery. This was a one of a kind romance..I really liked it. Greta job!


19:55 Sep 17, 2020



19:56 Sep 17, 2020

Of course!


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Rambling Beth
18:08 Aug 20, 2020

Loved the idea and you executed it pretty well! I feel like you could definitely write more to this story if you ever wanted to in the future. I'd love to read more about Miles and your protagonist. Nice story. :)


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Rebecca Lee
01:24 Aug 17, 2020

I praise all writers for three things - one is getting up and sitting behind their computer and writing, two is pulling out storylines from their imagination even during this crazy time we live and three, just doing it. You did it, you pulled it out and it was good. But, I don't think I would be fair to you if I didn't say, and please don't hate me, it needs a little work - probably another two or three read throughs. There were some ingredients that just didn't gel well - and kind of threw me off. There were some structures with th...


12:09 Aug 17, 2020

Thank you for the feedback. I can see a lot of things I can work on with this story; and I'll definitely read some of yours soon. :)


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Avery G.
00:26 Aug 17, 2020

Wow. This was amazing. Great job.


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Charles Stucker
17:54 Aug 11, 2020

I got lost. seriously, I usually write detailed analysis of what might go differently, but I don't really get the main thrust of this tale. I can see the girl must be in love with a monster (yes, fifth harmony reference) but something about it eludes me. I'll try reading again and seeing if I can get a better handle on it, but... Maybe use Milo's Room in the third scene. Give them names EARLY, as in when you first see them, and use them to keep it straight. They have a preexisting relationship. At least I think so. Names from the start he...


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Pragya Rathore
02:31 Aug 10, 2020

Awesomely written!! The present tense just agreed to the adventure in the story. Great, keep it going! Please check out my stories too :)


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19:06 Aug 07, 2020

Amazing job!


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