[This is a collab with @lumiereswig. We decided to cover one moment of the film: the moment when the villagers are storming the castle, and at the same time the staff are despairing over the fact that they’ll never be human again. I got the villagers. Enjoy!]
When they enter the forest,
they are driven. Angry. Afraid. The Beast is going to come after
their children in the night, and more if they don’t do something.
How such an atrocity has slipped past their watchful eyes is beyond
them, but now they have a chance to set it right.
That attitude lasts about half
When they pass through the
undergrowth, the grass turns to snow beneath their feet. A cold gust
of wind howls through the trees, biting them beneath their clothes.
Trees reach up towards the sky, twisted and terrifying, cold and
dead, silently crying out for help. Icicles adorn everything here,
but they don’t glimmer and twinkle; they are dull and jagged and
Of course, they don’t expect
the Beast’s territory to be as beautiful as Villeneuve, but no one is
expecting this. Some drop their weapons and plunge their
hands into their pockets to preserve the summer heat. Cries of anger
and war diminish to uneasy whimpers, mutterings, and scared glances
at each other. Even the torches seem to shrink against the freezing
And there are whispers.
Whispers in the dark.
The baker feels the weight of
the battering ram on his right shoulder as he waves his cutting knife
in the air with his left hand, bellowing along to the chant that
Gaston’s friends have taken up: Kill the beast. Kill the beast.
Kill the beast. Kill the beast. But in a moment of
complete clarity, the torches move, and the baker catches a hint of
doubt in Monsieur Lefou’s face. Then it’s gone, replaced by the
blind determination that lights the eyes of everyone around him.
Still. It’s enough to prompt uncertainty.
The triplets trail a few paces
behind. Close enough to still catch hints of the war song, too far
away to be seen. At first they clamor to be heard, anxious for their
voices to join with Gaston’s baritone, struggling to get to the
front of the line, but by the time they reach the forest they are
quiet, their weapons dangling in their hands, fingertips nearly numb
from the cold. They should have bought their winter cloaks, they
think, and their scarves. But it was all in the heat of the moment,
wasn’t it? It had seemed so crucial that they go right then. Still,
they are doing something good, aren’t they? Aren’t they a part of
That’s what Clothilde thinks.
There is no doubt in the fishmonger’s mind as she strides along with
the crowd, her pitchfork held aloft in her two gnarled hands, her
face as grim as Gaston’s own. She always knew that Belle and Maurice
were trouble. Mad, the lot of them are. Perhaps a good dose of
reality will set them straight. And once they find this beast
character, everything will finally be able to continue on as it had.
No old men painting, no girls reading books and making machines.
The headmaster exchanges a
glance with her and the two nod. His expression is stony and guarded
as he marches onward with a pair of brass knuckles in his hands.
He’s never had any children, but at the moment he’s angry with
Maurice for bringing his daughter up like he did. She’s disgraced
herself time and time again, ever since they came to Villeneuve. If
he ever had a daughter, he would never teach her how to act like such
a lunatic. He doesn’t care for newcomers. They always bring
Jean is in the center of the
pack, far, far away from everyone else. He’s not so much walking as
being pushed forward by the other villagers. He holds a rolling pin
in his hands and glances fearfully to either side of him, trying not
to notice the watchful eyes of the forest peering at him through the
trees. The others don’t notice, but he does. And he doesn’t want to
be here. He wants to be at home, with his tools and cups and
pots…pots? He blinks. What is it with pots? Every time he thinks
of them, he feels like he’s on the verge of remembering. Remembering
what, he doesn’t know exactly. But remembering. And strangely,
that’s important. He imagines that this march to the castle has
something to do with it.
Maybe that’s why he came.
Jean stops as his foot catches
on the ground. Something glimmers in the snow. Bewildered, the old
potter squats down to investigate. The other villagers don’t seem to
care; they weave around him, uneasy, unsure, as he brushes off the
snow from this peculiar metal object. And when he finally uncovers
it, he lets out a small “oh!” of surprise.
It’s beautiful. Gilded
windows, shimmering walls, and a miniature artist, his wooden hand
tracing a picture of a woman with long brown hair. Even here, in the
darkness and the distress, Jean recognizes the handiwork.
Maurice had never come by
Jean’s shop much, only to make a few small purchases here and there.
But Jean does know that he specializes in many types of art styles.
Music boxes being one of them.
What is one of his creations
doing all the way out here? Perhaps a traveler came by and bought
it, then lost it in the winter storm? Jean shakes his head.
Whatever the reason, such a fine piece of machinery doesn’t deserve
to be trampled on. He takes it in his arms and stows it away in the
pack he had brought with him. There it will rest until they get back
from the castle. Right after they rid the world of this terrifying
creature, Jean will return it to the old man. He promises.
In the darkness, a single wolf
lets out a howl, stark and pure in the night before the entire pack
And then one torch rises above
the others, blazes with such an intensity that the villagers at the
front stop, halting the march altogether. They’ve reached the gates
of the castle. Gaston is shouting something, waving the light to and
fro, and his lackeys take up the cry. The battering ram moves
forward and slams into the ice, making contact with the bars. Once,
twice, three times before the brittle metal gives and falls to the
“KILL THE BEAST!” Gaston
bellows, and spurs his horse onto the grounds. Before them looms a
gigantic castle, ominous and terrible, befitting the home of a true
monster. And as the villagers charge after him, any trace of
uncertainty vanishes, only to be replaced by fearful hatred, witless
rage. They raise their weapons high and become a mob, a force of
fury formed by fear. Bearing down upon the castle…and the
undeserving that lie inside.
The wind whipped past my ears, sending locks of hair thrashing in all directions, and my limbs sprawled out as the sky yawned out around me. The ground, miles away, seemed almost peaceful as it rose to meet me.
The night’s sky twinkled serenely above me. The yellow-orange spread out on the ground beneath was beautiful. The synthetic light looked amazing, as though a museum’s art came to vibrant life beneath me. The wind howled its unrelenting fury. I plummeted through the sky.
All problems, past and present, seems like the issues of ants where I fell, on a ground far from me. I could see the gridlock of traffic on the highway far off in the distance, I could imagine the impatient honks as motorcyclists weaved between the stationary beasts waiting for a clear path to oil-specked freedom. The rumble of engines seemed like such a soft purr compared to the wind that now poured its fury past me.
I couldn’t feel it on my eyes, the goggles saw to it that I felt none of it. But the sound, rage incomprehensible, screeched through my ears. I fell, unhinged from reality but locked into a mortal battle with gravity, one I would most certainly lose.
As the trees reached into the sky for me, I wondered if the rest of the world would hear my body slam into the earth. Would there be a great billowing of dust? Would the sound of bone, sinew, and meat shout loud enough to signal to others of my passing? Would they hear it? Will I?
As I turned my head, the world seemed to pull to the left. Earth itself lurched unnaturally, and I found myself eye-level with the tallest towers of downtown. A blinking glow of red signaled to the skies above that unseen dangers clawed into the heavens as testament to man’s architecture. A shadow walks across a lit window, and I wonder what lead that person to work this late at night. Are they missing any of their life?
By now, the leaves of the trees are whipping past me. I float effortlessly through them, and feel no pain on my body. I think, for a last lingering moment, if I will feel no pain. The ground leaps up to greet me, I anticipate a flash of light, and then nothingness.
The room around me is dark, my ears ache as the headphones scrape my ears. The tech behind me puts the VR headset and headphones on the end table. I can see the faint glow of the city on the only source of light in the lab, a flat screen TV to my right. My body rests stationary on the grass, still looking toward the urban skyline. My avatar is dead, I am not. The room is cold.
The man in a game studio polo asks me a question.
“What did you think?”
Hello! This is a potential zine or artbook centered around the many amazing works of Studio Ghibli—Everything from Spirited Away to The Red Turtle. Before setting up applications and establishing a theme, we’d like to see how many people would be interested in participating or purchasing!
If you’re interested, please reblog to spread the word so others will know!