IT’S EMPTY TODAY.
The stage is empty, the lights are all on and streaming white fluorescent, and the floor is polished.
He’s small and skinny when I first meet him. There’s not an ounce of heart in his eyes and no sign of a flush colouring the pale, unblemished skin that coats his bones, but I’m no judger of appearances. How can I be, with hair the colour of mint ice-cream so pleasurable on a hot day it’d be a sin, a sun-baked tan body and three piercings, all in questionable places?
But he’s small and skinny when I first meet him, and when I last see him, lying in a coffin with hands clasped to the front, prosthetic leg covered neatly by a charcoal-gray pant leg, he’s thick—thickened with muscle. I can tell that his eyes are more alive than they ever were, holding more heart than they ever had since the time I first met him. ‘Cause he fell with his eyes open and that’s the way he was buried.
Taking a first look at him back when he was small and skinny, you’d suspect he was just one of those kids who lived down the block and who had no girlfriend and no siblings to speak of, just a plain young boy living in scruffy sneakers and jeans edged with scruff and too-long hair that acted as dandruff curtains sweeping his eyes. Not a good look for a boy, but he wasn’t any kind of boy.
He wasn’t just that kind of guy. He was actually a huge surprise.
He was a surprise when he was born; ‘first slid out of his mother’s womb. He wasn’t a planned child and hence, even after his birth, remained an unplanned burden of his biological mother’s. She gave him up. That was in the plan as soon as she saw his face and his little body—instead of thinking about the times they’d share together, she thought about the expenses saved if they were lived apart, as soon as the umbilical cord was spliced and his connection to his mother was gone forever.
He was small and skinny the second time I met him. We met in a shed, at a party—our mutual friend Davis thought that holding parties in the shed was all things Great and Rad and Cool and Hip. I went because I’d wanted to treat myself. A week of tests was over, and I wanted to get drunk. I wanted illegal drink to burn down my throat and the feel of others’ lips on me burn through my skin.
I spotted him huddled in the quietest corner of the shed. Shed-parties were squeezy and too warm, and he was wearing a sweater. It reached til his jean-clad thighs and I threw away my cup of drink before sauntering over, chuckling, bubbly laughter flowing out of all my holes—
“Why’re you wearing this? Are you dumb?”
He just stared at me with those owlish, enlarged eyes, and didn’t speak. My eyes trailed from his face to his lips and they quirked in a smirk, as if proud that he hadn’t answered my question.
Idiot. His lips were pink and his flesh was so pale it seemed tinged pink, too.
I turned away from the small, skinny boy. I was looking for someone else, someone with hungrier lips and hungrier eyes and a hungrier heart. The drink wasn’t enough to fully consume me; I needed a stronger intoxication. That scared me.
It was then when he spoke. “Don’t you think it looks good on me?”
Well, I only saw him for a total of three times, and in fact, I didn’t know his name until the third time I saw him—he was in his coffin and no longer a small, skinny boy. It had been fifteen years since he asked me that question, and I could finally answer.
I glared down at this boy, once small, skinny, now lying pressed in a suit with hands clasped over and flower petals paler than his complexion. I hadn’t known his name but apparently he’d known mine, because I got invited to his funeral.
“Yes, you idiot. I do think that you look nice in that big sweater of yours.”
I fully intended to leave the venue, but I took one last look at him and muttered his name in the darkest tone I could muster. I turned to leave and knowing that despite attending the funeral, his name would be lost in my mind, somewhere far, far away—and he sat up.
He sat up. In his bloody coffin. And without a word, stepped out of it, my mouth still agape, and smirked. “I look good in my skin, don’t I?” He peeled it off and there stood the smallest, skinniest boy I’d ever seen.
LOFC. Lusting Over Fictional Characters. A new web-series, presented to you exclusively right here, on fssther!
Who am I kidding. There have been numerous cases of avid readers falling into talented, super-genius-to-the-point-of-evil, have-I-mentioned-talented authors’ traps. By traps, I mean traps in the form of amazing characters–sadly, fictional characters–that us teenage girls/boys here in the non-fiction world want to actually marry and have children or fight wars with them or end the King of Hybern’s reign of terror on all seven courts in the land where faeries prowl, I don’t know!
All I know is that I’m sick, incredibly sick–down with a severe case of LOFC. And that’s because I, instead of being an obedient teenage daughter who was to write a thesis paper–stop stop stop the guilt is overwhelming me gAAAH–I went and binge-read the two most heavenly, sizzling-with-romance-and-sexual-tension, amazingly written, laced-with-freaking-beautiful-sentences-that-Adonis-himself-carved-out-of-his-amazing-Greek-chest, A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury.
These two books will shatter you. They will blow your mind better than anything–or anyone, says the vile blogger–can. Sarah J Maas, the author of this series, is a High Lord in the Court of Teenage Fantasies herself (for those of you who have read A Court of Thorns and Roses, please get the reference!).
While both books left me shivery with a farily equal mix of amazement, excitement, and exhilaration, I titled this post LOFC: A Court of Mist and Fury because it was in the second book that I found my one true love.
Nestled right within the pages, or manuscript of Sarah J Maas’ incredible writing. Mhmmm.
Rhysand. Gods-damn you, Rhysand, I love you so so so so much—
I haven’t lusted over a fictional character this much (this much meaning I’ve hunted high and low for perfect pictures of Rhysand on my Tumblr and my Twitter account, and have changed all my social media icons and headers to pictures of Rhysand and
not Feyre because I’m utterly jealous of her Feyre) since…
Since Finnick Odair and his sugar cube-ness, in The Hunger Games. And, to be honest, I’ve never felt a ton of irrevocable joy hit me, full-force, right in the stomach, whenever I read someone’s name being mentioned.
Except Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Mr Lee Kuan Yew was an extraordinary man in all the good ways a hardworking man of such high calibre could be. I feel happy when I hear fellow Singaporeans respecting this man and all the wonderful contributions he’s given to Singapore.
But back to the point: I feel like I’ve just swallowed fifty spoonfuls of Lucky Charms cereal down my throat and washed it down with cinnamon hot chocolate whenever I read Rhysand in A Court of Mist and Fury. Whenever my enlarged, blood-shot eyes (that’s what I get for reading e-books late at night, the laptop screen simply a barrier between me and my fictional husband[s]) spot the capitalized, letter R of his honourable name, I feel actual fire charge up my abdomen–has anything ever made me feel this way before?
Actually, I went for a great buffet in Malaysia and it did make my senses go all haywire No. No, nothing has ever made me feel as elated, with zings of energy zipping from my toes to my knee-caps to the tips of my fingers and the bridge of my nose, as I feel whenever I come to bits about Rhysand in the book.
And I didn’t just (lust) (fantasize) (crave) fall in love with Rhysand because of how he looks–There are many excellent messages that books can convey, but if there’s one thing that I want to highlight on the excellency of books, it would be the fact that readers love characters because of their character (pun full intended). We only see characters as how they are through words, rows of beautifully-written sentences that authors bless us with, so how sculpted a character’s cheekbones are or how shiny their hair is, is left up to the proliferation of imagination we shower upon the books, as acts of affection and love for the exquisite, beautiful-to-the-point-of-ethereal stories bound inside the hard/paper-back covers. Whew that was longer than I expected–I fell in love with Rhysand because of how he is.
Because Rhysand is someone who would forgo his own dreams and happiness to save an entire world who thinks that he’s a villain.
Because Rhysand is a person who does everything for a reason, for a heart-breakingly worthy reason.
Because Rhysand isn’t a disrespecting idiot, to himself, or anyone else. Instead, he gets tattooes on his knees that remind him never to bow to anyone.
Because Rhysand is wise. He seems like a more mature, wise fella than most of the cast of extremely three-dimensional, interesting characters: He subtly imparts advice to Feyre through strange remarks or even compliments/insults, and knows when words of encouragement are needed.
“Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”
Because Rhysand is considerate, and doesn’t blatantly tell Feyre “ay wassup you ma mate let’s get in bed“; instead, Rhysand holds it it, Rhys withholds this and doesn’t even try to assert his own love on the one person who makes him happy–he understands that Feyre loves someone else for the time being–he gives his girl time.
Because Rhysand wants people to see him for who he truly is, and not for the frightfully beautiful, inhuman mask that he often dons. He wants people to appreciate his rough, hewn edges–much like us humans yearn for others to do, too!–he’s human, although he’s Fae.
“I fell in love with you, smartass, because you were one of us—because you weren’t afraid of me, and you decided to end your spectacular victory by throwing that piece of bone at Amarantha like a javelin.
Not only that, Rhysand is proud of his people, and of the secret city he painstakingly hid away from Amarantha–that terrifying, hellish wench—
AHEM. As you can read, I feel extremely emotional about these two books, and the casts of characters brought alive within the books’ covers. BACK TO THE POINT; I especially admire Rhysand’s love for his people, and the ‘family’ he belongs to, the family made up of Mor (<3), Amren, Azriel, Cassian, and finally…Feyre.
I love, to a great extent, the depth of the relationships characters have with each other in A Court of Mist and Fury. There are intricate secrets and so many inside jokes, more inside jokes that characters have with each other than the number of pages that the book has…! The sizzle of magic and threads of chemistry holding each Court and each family–biological family or brought-together family–will never fail to hook me in and hold me in a trance, eager to finish the chapter (that’s what I tell myself. One chapter. HA!).
Oh well–this post turned from lusting after Rhysand to me going on about how beautiful the book is in its writing, in its plot, and in its characters that seem very much alive to me.
In case you’re interested in
reading the books flinging yourself head-first into the wonderful land of seven Courts and High Lords and Ladies (WHEN IS #3 GOING TO BE RELEASED?!), here is a sypnosis of A Court of Thorns and Roses, and a sypnosis of A Court of Mist and Fury. (they’re on Sarah’s website!)
WITH THAT…folks, this is the end of Episode One of the new series, LOFC: Lusting over Fictional Characters! Hope you enjoyed reading through this drabble. 😉
You didn’t enjoy this?
Too bad. I got Rhysand, he’s all I need 😉
I’M KIDDING, FOLKS–PAGE VIEWS AND WORDPRESS LIKES COUNT, TOO!