Another Theatre Illuminata chibi of Nate–I hadn’t planned on posting this one, as it was so similar to the one I did before, but uh… the author of this fine series is following me, now, so I thought I would share anything that doesn’t suck???
The reason this boy is as close to the first one I drew is because I drew this one for Alix, or Shuofthewind–she saw me drawing Nate, screeched, and asked if I would draw her one, too. It was a simple enough request (and Nate is a simple enough character to draw), so I decided to make her one similar to what she saw (although a bit less glowery [because there was no Ariel around to glare at]). I colored him because I wanted to color one and the other was pencil.
He’s currently hanging on her door, which is where this picture was taken.
Seek out the company of those who will never ask you to jump,” the earth advised.
Bertie remembered the rush of feathers as she soared above the audience. “I can catch myself.”
“Of those whose love will never fill your lungs with water–” the earth argued.
“But it did not kill me.”
“There should be more to love,” said the earth, “than ‘it did not kill me.’ More than 'I survived it.’
Some somewhat poor chibi pictures of three of my favorite characters from Theater Illuminata, a trilogy of books I’m pretty fond of. There are a lot of structural and and sentence problems with the book, but the concept is great, I love the characters, and the images are stunning, so I can’t help but be kind of obsessed with it.
The girl is Bertie, our heroine, and she’s supposed to be in her Cobalt Flame dye, because I love teenaged girl main characters with blue hair. She can be frustrating at times, but I do love her.
Ariel is my favorite character, even though sometimes he’s a douche (and not in the good way) and I want to wring his neck. But I can’t help and love him. I think it’s because he’s pretty. And an air elemental. And can be really charming. (Also his name is ARIEL and he’s a BOY I LOVE IT) I think he’s a really interesting character, but he’s actually not my ship…
Nate is my second favorite character, and he’s really darling. His accent can get a little obnoxious sometimes, but that’s okay. I love him a lot. HE’S A PIRATE. And he’s pretty great. Also, I’m pretty sure he’s supposed to have one long braid, but the cover for the second book shows him in dreds (is that right?) and WOW, I DON’T USUALLY CARE FOR DREDS THAT MUCH, BUT DAT BOY LOOKS FINE. NateXBertie is my ship.
I suggest trying them out, if nothing else. They’re Eyes Like Stars, Perchance to Dream, and So Silver Bright. I’ve only read the first two–I’m waiting for my third one to come in the mail. <3 (So far ELS has my favorite feel and setting, but PtD has really remarkable imagery in it and some really powerful parts [and Ariel isn’t quite as douchey] so I think it’s my favorite)
“Leave?” Ophelia repeated the word as though it had just occurred to her. Then she said it once more, this time with inflections of salted caramel candy. “Leave.”
Considering her with those jet black eyes, the bird-creature asked, “Do you also wish to leave?”
“I do!” She spoke with enough vehemence to ruffle his feathers. “I am trapped here, performing the same play night after night, unless…”
Ophelia’s smile was brighter than the stage lights. “Unless I pull my lines, my story, from The Book. It will be like I never existed at all.” Clapping her hands, she went to brush past him, but the bird -creature filled the doorway, standing stiff and still for a long moment.
“For the sake of another who wished herself away, I will take you with me, if you like.”
“Are you certain?” Ophelia asked, looking up at him through her lashes. “I shouldn’t like to be any trouble.”
The bird-creature shook his head. “ I do get the feeling that trouble is a specialty of yours.”
Ophelia stood on tiptoe to look directly into the glossy surface of his eyes. “The moment you tire of my company we’ll part ways.”
“I was the first to figure out how to free myself from the theater,” puppet- Ophelia said as they crossed to Stage Right. “I took my page with me to the seaside, and it was there that I fell rather unexpectedly in love.”
“It surprised both of us,” the bird-creature said softly. “There was no slipper, nor spinning wheel, nor true love’s first kiss. This was not a fairy tale with a happily ever after.”
“You must admit,” Ophelia said with a laugh as she made a nest Center Stage,“that there was something between us right from the beginning.”
“There was a yearning, I will admit, and a loneliness inside me.” Though the bird-creature’s words were for Ophelia, his eyes were on Bertie until he turned and entered the scene. “And you were lovely, and young, and full of life. I hardly knew what to make of you.”
“For the first time in centuries, I felt as if I could breathe.” Ophelia’s smile was only for him. “Though I was surrounded by water, I had no desire to throw myself in.”
The bird-creature circled her; as he moved, the lights lowered, and there was the suggestion of a thunderstorm outside. In the flashes of light, Bertie could see his feathers drift to the floor. Soft bits of down swirled and settled until he knelt down in front of Ophelia, more man than bird. “Yes, there was something between us.” He brought her hand to his mouth for a single kiss.
Bertie could not think of him as her father yet, but he was no longer a Mysterious Stranger, either.
What part is he playing for me?
Watching Ophelia nestle against the man’s broad chest with a happy sigh, Bertie found it hard to breathe, hard to swallow. “What ruined it? Was it me?”
“Never think that—” the man stated to say, but black- clad stagehands rushed into the cave set , wrapping the two figures onstage in long, twisted strips of sparkling aquamarine. Torn apart and coiled in separate cocoons, Ophelia reached for him, while the Scrimshander thrashed his arms and legs. The water was a winding sheet, though neither was dead yet.
“No!” Bertie cried when their motions slowed and finally stilled. The fabric settled into sloppy wet pools. Ophelia lay in a heap, her swollen belly straining at the sodden green fabric of her dress.
The man crawled to her, his hand seeking the fullness of her middle before sliding up to her throat. “Breathe, my love.”
A pale blue lighting special washed over her cheeks, but Ophelia obeyed him. She turned her head to one side and spat sliver glitter onto the stage. “It’s alright, I’m used to it.”
Gathering her to his chest, the man cast about the cave. “It’s not safe in this place.”
Ophelia clutched him. “What are you saying?”
“We have to go back to the theater.”
“You’re supposed to be my handsome prince,” Ophelia cried. “This is supposed to be my happily ever after.”
“Calm yourself.” He gathered her in his arms. “I’m not leaving you. Not now, not ever.”]
“But you did,” Bertie whispered.
“Hush,” he said as the set shifted around them,a scrim curtain running across the stage with the blur of motion, the rush of air that suggested flight. When it came to a standstill, Bertie could see that it was painted with the Theater’s facade. The marquee dangled from invisible-thin wires, Hamlet’s name spelled out in lights.
The bird-creature set Ophelia on the stage, feathers once more obscuring his features. “The journey came at a great cost. Summoning my almost-forgotten flight-magic awakened the wild creature I’d once been.”
Ophelia turned to him, grasping her face in his hands. “Don’t you dare leave.”
His every muscle trembled with the effort of holding on to her. “Don’t let go, whatever you do.” A haunting melody began to play; whale song, the call of the gulls. The bird-creature shuttered. “She’s calling to me. She claims she’ll open the portal.”
“Lies,” Ophelia wrapped herself around him like a starfish clinging to a rock. “Stay with me.”
“I love you.” His words were a croak.
“And I love you,” Ophelia cried. “Do you doubt that?”
Bertie stiffened at the words.
Do you doubt that?
The line echoed all around them as a golden sheet of paper- her page from The Book- fluttered free from her pocket and the disappeared…
“Your opening line,” said Bertie….
Someone said Ophelia’s first line, acted her page back into The Book, pulled her back into the theater.
Unbidden, the Theater Manager’s face swam before Bertie as the stage tumbled into blackout.
“No!” both women screamed in unison.
When the lights rose to half, Ophelia was trapped behind the scrim curtain. Only thin gauze separated her from the Scrimshander, who had fallen to his knees, but it was enough to keep them apart. He trembled, hands pressed against the stage floor, shoulder’s shaking. Without her to tether him, he began to transform.
Ophelia pounded on the painted door, though the scrim was no more substantial than a whisper, she could not broach it. “My love!”
His keening cry cut through the space, the humanity fading from it, and there was nothing of the man left to recognize her. The bird shook, settling every feather into place before he launched himself into the sky. The scrim curtains slithered offstage, their task performed, and Ophelia fell as though her strings had been cut. Bertie ran to her mother…
“Ophelia.” Bertie lifted the woman’s limp form into her arms.
“He promised me he wouldn’t leave.” Her puppet-mother stared up, eyes wide and unseeing.
excerpts from Chapter 11, Perchance to Dream, Lisa Mantchev