For my Story & Concept class, I had to modernize a fairy tale. I picked Beauty and the Beast since that is my favorite fairy tale.
Once upon a time there was a businessman named David who made quite a bit of money with his computer electronics company. He had three daughters with whom he lived in the Upper East Side with. Blair, the oldest, held a love for jewelry. Penelope was the middle daughter and she loved designer clothes. The youngest daughter, Juliet, didn’t care about material possessions and preferred the simple things in life.
David called his daughters downstairs to announce that he was able to finalize his latest deal with another company. This company was going to be able to push his into the future of high tech electronics. Essentially, that meant more money would be coming in to them.
To celebrate he decided to ask what each daughter would want as a gift. Blair said she wanted a new Dior necklace, Penelope said that she wanted another Betsey Johnson dress, and Juliet said she wanted the prettiest rose that her father could find. Her sisters gave her the strangest look but they were just happy they were getting new, expensive items.
The father decided to get the gifts on his way home from getting the contract signed by his new partner. He stopped at the office of his new partner and he was greeted by the cheerful secretary as he entered. He was then directed to a waiting area which seemed to double as a garden.
He wandered through and saw different flowers, some he were sure were imported from out of the country.
He saw a rose bush that was the most exquisite he had ever seen in his life. He touched it slowly, almost as if his fingers would destroy the rose. He didn’t see any harm in taking one from this bush. So he broke it off from the stem and pocketed it. He was happy to have found the perfect rose for Juliet. He was pulled from his relieved state as he heard the door slammed and he quickly snapped his head.
The sight of a young man that couldn’t be more than twenty greeted him but his apparel and how he presented himself was an absolute travesty. His hair was uncombed and his white button up shirt was open and revealed the wife beater he wore underneath. And his jeans hung low on his waist. It was hardly what you would call business attire. Was this his new partner’s son?
“Stealing from my flowers are you?” said the stranger in a low voice.
David then tried to explain, “No…it’s just that my daughter wanted a rose and these are one of the most exquisite….”
“You expect me to be a partner to a thief?” he replied, still in a low voice.
The father masked his surprise; he didn’t think that someone so young would be in charge of this company. He assumed that he must’ve been the heir to this company.
“Leave.” He commanded.
David tried to convince him that his actions were harmless. “Please. I need this partnership. Without it, my company will be at a stand still and will never move forward.”
The young man pondered for a moment. Then he spoke, “I’ll continue with our partnership as usual…if you bring me your daughter.”
“Yes.” The young man exited the room without another word.
The father went home, distraught. He didn’t know what he was going to do. His daughters greeted him once he returned and he retold them of the events that just happened. Juliet was there to comfort him and said that she wouldn’t mind going to make sure that his partnership went through. The next day, David and Juliet went to the young man. The young man circled the daughter and had a scrutinizing look on his face as he examined her. Juliet fidgeted under his gaze but tried to keep her composure. The young CEO turned his attention to David. “In exchange for my cooperation with your company, I request the hand of marriage to your daughter.”
Juliet’s eyes widen in surprise. David, of course, started to protest. “No, you cannot! She has just turned eighteen….”
Juliet put on a brave smile for her father. “It’s alright. I… don’t mind.”
“Then it’s settled then. Hand me the contract and I will sign it right now.” David handed over the contract, a sad expression on his face. Juliet noticed that the young man that she was to wed had signed his name as Alexander Hamilton. Alexander then turned to her and asked, “Is there anything that you need from home? My assistant can take you shopping for clothes tomorrow.” It was obvious that he didn’t approve of her simple attire. Although, he couldn’t really talk, considering what he was wearing.
Juliet blinked, confused. “What?”
“You’ll be staying with me from now on,” clarified Alexander.
Juliet looked at her father, with an expression similar to a deer caught in headlights. Her father didn’t make eye contact with her. He felt to ashamed that he couldn’t help her. She gave an answer to Alexander, “No…I don’t.”
“I suppose we’re done here,” he said as he offered a hand to David to shake. David said goodbye to Juliet and hugged her tightly.
Juliet didn’t pay much attention to where she was taken next. She just remembers exiting the office and then heading into a car. How long would she have to stay with him? And would she really have to marry him?
The first couple of days she didn’t talk very much. She would mumble short answers and would rarely make eye contact with him. But soon she was able to open up and get passed his ragged appearance that he seemed to never put any effort in. They became good friends, which almost made up for the hole she felt in her heart whenever she thought of her family. That hole in her heart became bigger and Alexander could tell. One day he took her into the garden and explained why roses were so important to him.
“These roses are the last memento I have of the person I loved,” he said. His closest friend was a girl named Lily and she died in a car accident. She loved roses just as much as Juliet did, he said. “She wished that she was named ‘Rose’ instead of ‘Lily’,” he said with a small laugh. “I wish I could see her again…” he sobered up. After a short pause he then said, “Go visit your family.” She was shocked and he continued, “Just…come back in seven days.”
Juliet was ever so grateful. “Thank you…thank you so much!” She hugged him tightly and she was off to head back to her home. She thought it would be a tearful reunion but she was mistaken. It seemed her father was ill and she stood by his side the entire time and took care of him. She made him soup and tea. She made sure that he took his medicine. The seven days went by without her noticing. She was too focused on her father. It was the next night that she had a dream of Alexander being brutally murdered. She woke up quite startled and checked on her father one last time before she said she needed to return. Her father begged her not to, but she told him she’d be back again to see him soon.
“So make sure to get better and take your medicine,” she chided him. She then set off to return to Alexander’s. She entered the house and called out to him. She received no answer. She went up to his room and knocked. Again, she received no answer and entered. She saw him sprawled on the bed, his eyelids shut. A bottle of pills were next to his head. Thinking the worst she hurried over she check for a pulse, and there was. She then picked up the bottle and looked at them. They were antidepressants. Tears formed in her eyes, and she whispered, “Don’t die. Please come back. I’ll marry you tomorrow if you come back!”
He groaned and he was soon brought back to consciousness. Juliet was still crying and she hugged him tightly. “Don’t scare me like that again,” she said breathlessly.
Soon there was an engagement party to officially announce their engagement to the public. Juliet’s sisters were quite jealous because it seemed that Alexander cleaned up quit nicely.