“He was there, circling the empty air, as if he’d waited by the door for her arrival. His was a simple place. Islands in the ocean and a spattering of stars at night. He’d told her there was nothing more he wanted, save her here with him, but that had been long years ago. “
So here we are again with another character to introduce you to. This is Promise, the Flying Boy of the Isles of Wandering. This is, of course, not his true name but rather a nickname or pet name that our heroine, the Princess of Nowhere, gave him long ago. The two of them used to be quite a pair, he charming in his innocence and she confident in her own place and function. In the end, the Princess had to leave for fear of losing Nowhere forever.
Being a flying boy who doesn’t want to grow up, there was (and still is) the fear of projecting too much Peter Pan into this character. They certainly serve very different roles in their stories and, in talking with the artist that’s working with me, we’re attempting to draw a very different visual so as not to be confusing. We’re going for the old Americana look, which we discussed after this sketch was completed. But think Tom Sawyer. Or some of the art of Norman Rockwell.
As far as the metaphor of this character is concerned… This chapter of the story was written a few years ago, when I was in my late teens. It was that time of life where I was supposed to be more responsible than ever before, and I struggled a little with the idea of turning into a grown up. I felt quite similar to the author of The Little Prince, who in the first chapter denounces all things grown-up due to the lack of magic and imagination present in that state of life. I wanted, and still want, to be a boy forever. I’m sure I’m far from the only one to feel that way at some point of life. And that is the substance of Promise, the Flying Boy.
Each character in this story serves a purpose in your life. Each one is a part of your experience and existence, in a similar fashion to Gaiman’s Endless. Promise is the part of you that is still 12 or 13 or 15 or however old you secretly wish you were again. That part is awfully powerful in me, affecting my decisions still. And so he plays a part in this story of the one who was almost strong enough to turn Nowhere to nothingness. Hopefully you can see the metaphor there. 🙂
“He hovered just above the sand, his toes testing the salt water. And there were never any answers to be given for such talk. This is what he’d left her with before, all alone in the nothing place just beyond his small, chipped door. An invitation to return. An invitation to forget the way things never stayed the same, never left her anything but choices to be made.
She closed her eyes; put in place the memories of choices she had made-memories of Nowhere and the prophecy, the sickly dreams, the chasing after those she felt much stronger than herself. Memories of the choices and the weight that was her duty and her homeland.
Opening her eyes, she saw his feet upon the ground, his fingers supplicant to wrap around her own and so she took his hand and let the water coil and sputter at her ankles. He spoke.”