The Beast | Darajabi Nnamani

Some lines aren’t meant to be crossed.

The Beast

Darajabi Nnamani

The Audition Retribution Award


Others called me darling.

But I was just one of many. He knew it and so did I.

The moment I entered the room, he had gotten up from his leopard-skinned armchair, his throne of oppression, already confident of victory. I imagined nature, how predators react when they cornered their prey. An unwelcome prospect. I needed to focus. Why did I have to wear this terrible dress? How can I escape once he starts to bounce? Despite the almost comical bluntness of the cliché, the situation was no laughing matter.

There was a reason why he had been on the top for so many years, strong and with impeccable looks, untouchable, with even more powerful beings behind him, protecting him. Still holding him in high regards.

Yet I knew of his true nature, from when we were younger. A hothead. A bully. A predator. More than once he had overpowered me, ravaged my body for a twisted display of domination. This time would be no different. The hair at the back of my neck started to rise, my body crouched into a defensive position, no way out.

With a speed and veracity ridiculing his age, he bounced, his unusually handsome face distorted by aggression. Within seconds he was on top of me, his claws hooked into my body, triumph reflected in his green eyes.

Memories from the past crept up on me, paralyzing me, suffocating me. History was about to repeat itself.

Or so I thought.

A sudden hand griped him by the neck and pulled him off of me, very much to his resentment. Furious, he flipped around and started snapping at his assailant, my savior. A fatal mistake, as this human showed no tolerance for his combative behavior. He was immediately thrown in a metal cage and transported out of the room, famous or not, his behavior had been disqualifying.

I was helped up and brushed off.

Finally, the audition for this year’s cat beauty contest could continue.