"Grandma! Will you tell us a bedtime story?" Little Aurora asked her grandmother, Minnie Hamilton. Eight-year-old Aurora Hamilton sat between her older brother Sam and younger sister Regina in her room.
The three siblings cuddled up on Aurora's bed awaiting Minnie to start their bedtime story.
"Okay children, but I've heard today someone was being naughty and there shouldn't be any naughty children in this household. Right, Aurora?" Minnie questioned Aurora who was the one being naughty.
Aurora covered her face with her pillow and tried to hide behind Sam.
"I told you not to grab any more cookies," Sam said, covering Aurora from their grandmother's eyes to protect her from being scolded. Aurora should've known their grandmother would've found out about it.
"I just wanted two more. They were delicious," Aurora replied, holding up two fingers to show she only took a few extra cookies. She shared one of the cookies with Regina in the garden.
"But if you were told to only have a certain amount, you shouldn't have taken more than what you were told. Next time you will know better."
"Yes grandma," Aurora answered, removing herself from behind Sam.
Regina held Aurora's hand thankful her sister didn't let it be known she also ate one of the two cookies. She didn't want to get into trouble with Minnie.
"If you continue to do naughty things a beast will come and take you away," Minnie stated, putting a lamp on a desk to give the room more light.
A bad storm was terrorizing the town and the usually lit house was in darkness as the family members and workers hurried off to their rooms hoping the storm would hurry and leave. The howling of the wind on the outside and the sound of branches hitting against the walls terrified the young children which made them all gather in Aurora's room with Minnie.
"What beast?" Young Regina softly asked. She didn't think eating one little cookie would have such consequences.
"A beast which appears like a man but shows his true form when the moon is at its prime. He uses his human form to deceive you then he transforms into a monster and will take you away. The beast prefers children who do naughty things. I won't be able to save you from the beast if you continue to do naughty things," Minnie said, telling the children an old tale to scare them from disobeying.
"I will protect us. I will become one of the best fighters in the Harlow kingdom and be the king's right-hand man. No beast will get past me!" Sam yelled standing up and placing his hand in the air like a sword.
Minnie chuckled, admiring his courage. "One day I am certain you will become strong enough to protect your sisters but the beast is no easy opponent. You will have to work hard Sam."
"I'm going to take over the Hamilton business one day of course I will be strong. No one will hurt Aurora or Regina with me around." Being their older brother, Sam pushed himself to have the confidence to keep them safe.
"You're going to die you weakling," Regina teased her brother. She saw him running away from bugs in the garden. How was he planning to fight a beast?
"No, I won't!" Sam retorted.
While Sam and Regina playfully argue amongst themselves, Minnie looked to Aurora who was laughing between her two siblings.
"Aurora," Minnie called to the young girl. Aurora's vibrant blue eyes looked to her grandmother for whatever reason she called out to her. "Promise me if the beast ever approaches you, you will run away as fast as you can and come back to me."
Aurora didn't understand why Minnie seemed a bit serious about the beast. Wasn't Minnie just trying to scare them? But nevertheless, Aurora would obey Minnie's words. "I will," she answered.
"Good girl," Minnie said, patting Aurora's head. She hoped the young girl would be more obedient in the future. Aurora was the prized jewel of the Hamilton household.
"There you two are," Rachel Hamilton, the mother of Sam and Regina said entering Aurora's bedroom. She had been looking for the two children for a while. "Sam, Regina, let's go to father and I's bedroom to sleep tonight. This weather will have the two of you up all night."
"But Aurora," Regina started to whine, not wanting to leave Aurora alone tonight. What if the beast comes to get her because of the cookie? Aurora won't have anyone to protect her.
"Come now, Regina! I don't have time to wait around in this room. Don't make a fuss and come along Sam," Rachel said ordering her children. "Nathaniel wishes to speak to you, mother."
Minnie frowned because it meant she would have to leave Aurora all alone in the room. "Won't you take Aurora along with you?" She questioned Rachel.
"No," Rachel declined the proposition and took Sam and Regina out of the room.
"Is it because I am not her child?" Asked Aurora watching her siblings disappear from the room. Sam and Regina had features from their mother like her reddish hair and father's brown eyes. But Aurora had strange white hair and blue eyes and was nothing like anyone else in their family. Was she even father's child?
"You are her child dear. Give her some time to accept that. I will go talk to your father and be back in a while. Try to sleep through the weather until I return," Minnie kissed Aurora's forehead goodbye for now. She hated leaving the child alone like this but needed to see what her son Nathaniel wanted. "I will leave the door open."
"Bye-bye," Aurora softly said goodbye to her grandmother. How was she supposed to sleep alone tonight with the scary noises the wind was making? Why couldn't she sleep with Sam and Regina? What if the beast comes to get her for being naughty?
Aurora shook her head not wanting to believe the story Minnie made up. "The beast is not real. The beast is not real," she chanted over and over again in her head until she grew tired of waiting for Minnie to return and fell asleep all alone.