Short Story: A Terrible Beauty Is Born

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Written by
Desmond Kelly

A young man discovers a beautiful girl while travelling. An updated version of various fairy stories.

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A Terrible Beauty is Born (WB Yeats)

“There’s a terrible beauty in the work. Do you not feel it Anthony?”

Anthony felt distracted; with eyes only for the woman. The woman who kept her distance, and would not raise her gaze to his.


The young man darted a glance at Crispin, who eyed him in a knowing fashion.

“She won’t even look at you. She’s been raised never to give a man a second glance. And if she did, she’d burn you to a crisp. Forget her; she’s my daughter after all.”

Anthony found it difficult to put aside the glimpse of heaven he’d been afforded and even now, meeting his idol Crispin Strong, could not drag his mind back to the present.

Either he’d been apart from women too long, or else the woman beguiled him in a manner he’d never experienced before. He was used to the straightforward; the in-the-face directness of modern women. This, apparition, resembled a character from a long ago fiction…

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