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The Beast By Gary Molander

The Beast hasn’t always looked like this. There was a time, in what now seems like eternities past, when the Beast was actually beautiful. A vivid beauty. Riveting. Borderline wild, yet with a soft and compelling pattern of speech, using words that were gentle and inviting. People would travel long distances to see and experience the glory he possessed. Inspirational. At the core, those who knew him told stories of the inspiration he offered all people. Inspiration to live. Inspiration to dream. Inspiration to stand with the crowd, or without it. Inspiration to change. Simply being within a stone’s throw of his forceful splendor inspired people to love deeply, and to be loved. The problem with this beautiful creature became quickly evident, however. There was a Secret that no one knew. You see, the creature would take on the beauty, or the hideousness, of the quality of food he was fed. With the right people around him, he ate well. The food was good, and he became even more beautiful. But when people fed him the wrong food, he began to lose his outer beauty. This was the Secret. The years passed, and more and more people continued to feed him food that was unhealthy and addictive. He even became less and less mobile, and would soon stop walking altogether, simply because he could no longer move with ease. Finally, he could no longer move at all. Feeding the Beast became popular in those days. Feeders were generally people who were entirely unaware of the Secret. They simply saw him as an unfortunate creature who was hungry, and needed to eat. Anything. Years continued to pass, and as you might imagine, he became unsightly. Ugly, to be honest. Not to the people who continued to feed him, but to people who would simply pass by and stare. There were stories about his once famous attractiveness, but those stories began to pass away with each passing generation of feeders. The Beast hasn’t always looked like this. But today he does. And there is an interesting tone in the voice of passers by. Often, you’ll hear someone speak of his physical appearance by resolving, “That’s just who he is”, almost as if he’s pathetic and untouchable. They feel sorry for him, as they throw him a morsel of something that will only made him hungrier in a few moments.

But there are growing numbers of people who see. These are people who, as they pass by, purposely and willingly take a step closer to the Beast. Then another. And another. There are also a small group of people who once fed the Beast poor food, but who are now resolving to restore his original attractiveness by feeding him the highest quality fare, as if from the exquisite menu of a master chef. These people are beginning to see the Mystery that lies beneath the identity of the Beast – a Mystery lost in ages past, but being resurrected today. Wherever there is the presence of the Secret, there is also the stronger presence of the Mystery. The Mystery is profound,

incomprehensible, and full of hope. The Mystery changes lives. They Mystery is a waterfall in a paper cup. The Mystery is this… The Beast only changed on the outside. Only on the outside. He is not, and never was, a Beast. On the inside, he is as beautiful as he was when he was first created. There is an inherent attractiveness about him that will not, and cannot change him. There is still beauty. Astonishing beauty. Beauty that takes your breath away with one accidental glance. And for those brave enough to step close enough to him, they will hear a faint, but present whisper. It may be garbled. Muffled. It is a soft whisper in the middle of a battlefield. But it is there. Listen. “Bring me back.” He whispers it over and over again. He does not explain to anyone the Secret of the food offerings. He does not demand to be fed the right food. And He certainly does not solve, or even acknowledge, the Mystery. He invites. And at times, He pleads. And he whispers to all who would draw near, “Bring me back. I cannot do this on my own.”

The Beast  
The Beast  

The Beast is a metaphorical narrative that confronts, challenges, and gives hope.