This Rough Magic

“Thou shalt be free
As mountain winds: but then exactly do
All points of my command.”
William Shakespeare, The Tempest

For several weeks I have been rolling around the idea for a dual set of books. Granted, I’ve promised myself I won’t begin either of them (or any of the other various stories begging to be written) until I’ve finished one of my current projects, and I’ll stick to my promises. However, that does not mean that I can’t toy with them in the mean time.

The idea is to take the tales of Puck (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Ariel (The Tempest) and re-write their stories. Thus far, they are titled Sometime a Fire (Puck’s tale) and This Rough Magic (Ariel’s tale) and heaven help me, I’ve gone and written a few pieces of stuff. For kicks and giggles, I’m going to share a piece of This Rough Magic and hope I do justice to the Bard’s sea-sprite.

In this re-imagined tale, Prospero has been replaced with the twenty-two-year-old Prosper, who freed Ariel from Sycorax’s tree quite by accident and has no idea what to do with him – until a five-hundred-year-old revenge rears its hideous head and threatens to be the end of them both. 


Prosper pulled the folds of her sweater close around her arms. Rain battered at the window and left tear-streaks across the glass; echoing the empty patter of ceaseless thoughts that battered against her mind like waves against the shore.

            Ariel’s approach was so soft that his presence was only revealed when he asked, “Is something troubling you, mistress?”

            She shook her head. “No, nothing really important.”

            “Then what is unimportant, pray tell?” His voice was the whisper of a salted breeze, quizzing and gentle.

            She re-arranged the folds of her sweater again and turned to face him. His ever-changing eyes drifted to gaze upon the letter in her hand, carefully re-folded without an extra crease.

            “Is it that?” he inquired, tilting his head.

            “This? No.”

            “What is it, then?”

            “It’s my problem, Ariel.”

            His eyebrows drew together. “The problems of my mistress are mine as well.”

            She knew she could order him to leave her, but she chose not to. Something about his face, every line drawn in concern, tricked her tongue. She said, “A letter from my mother.”

            He hovered half-in the air as through a fog and asked, “What is? That is?”

            She fluttered the paper between two fingers and nodded.

            “Did you not tell me your mother has been dead near twenty years?” He cocked his head to the other side.

            “She has,” said Prosper with a sigh that turned into a smile. “It’s an old letter. She wrote it to me before she…” Something swelled in her throat. How ridiculous. Now, of all times –

            “Before she died?” Ariel’s urge was gentle.

            Prosper sighed and nodded; she backed away a step as Ariel drifted inexplicably closer, leaving behind him a smudge of pale movement. He lifted a white finger to her face, and when it came away a single tear balanced there, whole and perfect.

            “You are crying.” He did not say it callously or without feeling, but with a kind of unobtrusive curiosity. He was a thing of saltwater and air, practically made of tears. How odd I must be to him, she thought. How odd all people must be. 

            “I read it every year,” she continued, by way of explanation.

            He tilted his hand. The tear rolled down his finger and settled in the line of his palm. “Why do you, if it brings you sorrow? It would be much easier simply to burn the thing and never think of it.”

            “Yes,” she agreed. She smoothed her thumb over the worn paper before sliding it into her pocket. “Except then, I wouldn’t remember her like she wanted me to.”

            “Is it so important?” he questioned, bringing his left hand underneath his right, as if to keep the tear from sinking through his airy flesh. “Why remember, if it brings you such pain?”

            “Because…” She clasped her hands together and shrugged her shoulders. “Without memory, our little lives are nothing. You can do without remembering; you have forever to live.”

            “Yes,” he said, with a faint flicker in his eyes that was gone just as quick. As she turned back to face the window, he lowered his gaze to the tear cupped in his hand. “But in the end, we are all such stuff as dreams are made on. What are we then, without remembering?”

            Prosper’s only response was a faint, murmured ‘mmm.’ Outside, the storm raged on.


Playlists and Pinboards: Painkiller

Man, I love the fashion for this book. Callie’s a mixture of girlie-tough and Ariel has the elegant-punk thing going, which makes it a blast to envision and detail. I wish I could describe their outfits every time they showed up, but that would get very tedious for the reader, so I’ll just show you and you can envision it for yourself.

I have loved Beauty and the Beast since I first watched it. I think I was about eight, and it captured my heart like no other fairytale ever has. I still love it, I love rewrites of it, twists on it, stories that ring faintly of it. Painkiller was inspired by something G. K. Chesterton, one of the wisest and most creative men ever to walk the earth, said. “The great truth of Beauty and the Beast is this: That a thing must be loved before it is lovable.”

And so we have Callie, who loves to read and is struggling over the death of her parents, coming to live in a strange manor with people she hardly knows. And we have Ariel, the psychotic son kept locked away, with secrets buried that Callie will have to discover for herself.





Playlist: Painkiller

 Monster – Skillet

Just a Game – Birdy

Painkiller – SPICA

My Immortal – Evanescence

 Reila – The GazettE

A Dangerous Mind – Within Temptation

Are You the One – Within Temptation

I Need You to Love Me – BarlowGirl

Whispers in the Dark – Skillet

Silhouette – Owl City

Lonely Lullabye – Owl City

Innocent – Taylor Swift

Learn to be Lonely – Minnie Driver

Crazy – Daughtry

Fiction – B2ST

And, oddly enough, Gollum’s Song – Emiliana Torrini


Beautiful People – Ariel Blackwood

It’s been three years to the day since I registered my WordPress blog, and I think this is the longest I’ve gone without posting since then. Seriously, guys, the last time I posted was on February 5th. I’ve logged in several times with a strong desire to blog something, but my brain has been too full. Pathetic. So I therefore decided to do some more fun character thingjamags – Beautiful People! Why not?

I’ve chosen Ariel from Painkiller. He’s been well received, probably because he’s bizarre, so I thought he’d be fun to talk about.


1. What does he look like? What are his hair and eye colour?

The first thing Callie, Painkiller’s FMC, notices about him are his eyes. They’re mist-colored; such a pale blue that his iris all but disappears at times. He has a tendency to look at people out of the corner of his eyes, or keep his head tilted down and look up at them. He doesn’t look people straight in the eye. His hair untamed and wild, a light brown with natural blond highlights. He’s well-built and compact, standing only 5’8″ and he has rather womanish features but an extremely deep voice, almost to the point of being scratchy.

 2. How old is he?

He is twenty-five.

3. What is his background?

He comes from a wealthy, socially active family and is an only child. He was always quiet, got good grades and has an IQ of 163. He was something of an outcast in school because of his intelligence and wallflower tendencies, and he was harassed and bullied frequently. He was always a little odd, but he went completely insane when he was sixteen. Since then he has been kept locked in his room and kept on a very short leash with frequent visits from doctors, psychiatrists, and therapists – none of whom help him. When he isn’t having a fit or a ‘mood,’ he is an excellent conversationalist, even quietly funny. Most of what he says comes from Shakespeare, twisted to suit his own thoughts.

4. What does he do?

He reads an enormous amount, but he doesn’t do much since he is hardly ever let out of his room.

5. Is there something he is particularly good at?

He’s intelligent enough to be good at almost anything he tries, but he doesn’t try much. He reads and has an excellent singing voice, though he doesn’t really sing, either. He plays the piano really well and excels in academics. He also designs his own jewelry online.


6. Is there something he is afraid of?

He’s afraid of quite a few things. He’s afraid of being left alone, or small tight spaces, or pitch blackness.

7. What is his personality?  Introvert or extrovert?

He makes introverts look extroverted. He shuns contact with other people, bright light…half the time he acts like a spoiled child, the other half like the intelligent adult he is, but he is not at all sociable. Which is fine, because everyone is afraid of him anyway and if he were sociable, he would terrorize people.

8. Is he married or does he have a sweetheart?

No. He used to like a girl, before The Incident, but then he secluded himself away. He doesn’t take much of a shine to Callie at first; he views her as an intruder, but then they begin to form a rather Belle/Beast relationship.


9. What is his favourite outfit?

His usual outfit is a sort of strange mixture between old-fashioned and mod. He likes to wear suits (of all sorts of shades; black, brown, dark blue velvet, red) and gloves (also of the aformentioned shades) but wears either v-neck shirts beneath them or none. He wears polished leather shoes and a punkish assortment of accesories. His look is sort of ‘Elegant Punk.’

10. If he had a song, what would it be?

A song…probably either Monster by Skillet, Pale by Within Temptation, or Need You To Love Me by BarlowGirl.