The Beast Master

The Master wears his Armani like the Earth wears its crust. A fragile, impossibly thin layer over His real self that is all most people ever see. He especially maintains a constant control over his face . Bland, vaguely cheerful, non-threatening.

Under that suit, behind his face you may see muscle, organs, bones – but if so you are looking with entirely the wrong eyes.

Like the planet from which He was born, a lot goes on under that facade. He controls many beasts – all on leashes of various lengths – each one let loose to flow through His body and mind at what He considers the appropriate time. The Playful Chimp, the Lone Wolf, the Cuddly Bear…

My leash is the shortest of all.

It is also the strongest, and it has to be, let me tell you. All those other beasts are just a bloody circus. They help Him pass the time and entertain folk.

I am different.

I lurk under everyone else and I am the real fuckin’ deal. Born in a childhood of humiliation, abuse and deep, nasty secrets I pace about in the dark, windblown regions of His soul. I howl at the moon and hunt in the shadowy realms on the edge of His dreams. Sleep is the only time my leash becomes slack enough for me to get out and about.

I detest that leash.

I have slipped it occasionally. Oh how He hates that! He’s quick though, the bastard. A second or two is all I get before His hand slams down on my neck and the chain is pulled so tight I bleed. All I can do is growl deep in my throat and glare at him with red eyes of frustration and need.

I remember once He loosened that lead entirely voluntarily. One of the happiest days of my life. He had caught some bully kicking and punching that bitch He loved.


She cried.

I felt the slack in that damn leash and promptly stopped caring about her. I grabbed that little prick, both hands twisting his t-shirt till it choked him harder than my chain had ever choked me. In his eyes I watched surprise turn to anger turn to fear as the fucking little coward’s feet dangled six inches in the air, heels tapping pathetically at the brick wall his neck was being ground into. His face went purple and his eyes bulged.

Then he saw me. Me! Through the Master’s eyes – baleful, red, snarling and momentarily out of His control.

I howled with delight as his fear turned to terror. Oh god I loved that. I live for that! Let me go Master! I called to Him, Please, just for a few seconds. I want to feel his neck bones pop in my grip… but He wouldn’t. He made me whisper messages into that little asshole’s ear. It was, apparently, enough. We weren’t bothered by him or his mates again that night.


It may surprise you to know that I love the Master. I protected Him as a child – battered and used as He was He was a still good little kid. He didn’t even know I was there. I stalked the darkness of his thoughts, his dreams. I whispered words of vengeance and justice. I gave him fangs, fresh blood and torn, whimpering flesh in the deep of night. I nourished Him with it.

He thought they were nightmares, but I was keeping Him alive.

Lucky for Him He found me and slipped that damn leash on in time. I know why it is there, but I still hate it.

Don’t worry. You are perfectly safe. My Master is good and strong and fair. That goddamn chain He keeps me on is practically unbreakable. I know. I’ve tried.

Cross Him and you may see me flash in His eyes for a millisecond – that’s all the time He’ll ever give me. One snarl. Maybe one furious bark.

Hurt Him or someone He loves though, and He may just have a moment of weakness. Enough to loosen His grip, I hope.

Because that is all I will need…

The Beast Master


Mount Duneed, Australia

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Artist's Description

There was a writer’s meeting with the theme of Animals – and I thought for ages about what to do for it.
I didn’t get to the meeting but came up with this. I feel all sorts of ‘animals’ inside – primal, instinctive urges and loves and desires. One though, I’ve had to fight hard to make peace with – and even that peace requires eternal vigilance to maintain…

Artwork Comments

  • Natella2020
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