The rose she had offered was truly an enchanted rose, which would bloom until his 21st year.
If he could learn to love another, and earn her love in return,
By the time the last petal fell, then the spell would be broken.
If not, he would be doomed to remain a beast for all time.
As the years passed, he fell into despair, and lost all hope.
For who could ever learn to love a Beast?
~The Prologue from Beauty and the Beast
Twenty-one is a special birthday. The Beast had to learn to love Belle before his twenty-first birthday.
In any case, I have a custom of hosting a Masquerade Ball on my birthday. I have done so for the past three years.
And now it is time for Masquerade 2009...because I am 21.
The rules are very simple: All you have to do is imagine. Dress yourself in silk and leather, velvet and crystal, capes or plastic, whatever you desire. Choose a moniker or handle that is different from your regular one (so as an anonymous commenter, but with a clever title- this is your chance to be a lord or lady), tell me what your costume is and please explain the gift you wish to offer me. It can be anything, from the brush of a butterfly's wings against my skin to the smile of a child to a rope of Swarovski crystals. I, of course, have decided to host this ball within my elaborate castle, which is decorated in the gothic style. The windows are all made of stained glass and golden torches line the brackets on the walls, which are made of stone. My castle is set in the midst of an enchanted forest; swan boats convey us across the moat and inside the place where only joy can enter.
Of course, you must come back tomorrow for the Unmasking. Traditionally, I try to guess who you are (if you are a frequent commenter) and otherwise you shall have to help me. Thank you!