Raven descended the theater stairs quickly before the director, the owner, or the churning crowd would leave their seats. Their rumbles of applause were minutes away. Her fingers clutched the sides of her skirt tightly as she hurried down the steps and glided onto the lobby’s marble. Raven had only those minutes to avoid the earnest but aggressive invitations to aftershow festivities.
Now poised with escape at hand, only a few awestruck ushers to report her sudden and ungracious exit, Raven paused. From behind the closed theater doors, the mage Prospero begged the audience’s forgiveness. Through their pardon, the mage could leave the island and the stage, and they could leave their seats. He held them hostage.
Raven exhaled a low breath to keep from grinding her teeth. Her jaw was already sore from the last two hours of expert acting and breathtaking delivery . The actor playing Prospero was talented, she could still hear every poignant syllable from behind the doors. Quality was not the issue. The theatre was supposed to be her escape, but even here Raven was held by the machinations of a pompous mage. She left the theater with tight, electric steps.
The warm evening had given way to the city’s normal coastal chill. Raven took a happier breath and started down the promenade. Now free of the theater’s slightly over-shared air, she could think better on the play and its cast. It was Ariel that she returned to, Prospero’s assistant, conspirator, and confidant. The way the chaotic spirit had bowed, bargained, and with careful words mitigated Prospero’s cruel streak, only to be given a half-freedom favoring trade winds…. it left her itching for not just more, but something better for those that had suffered under the mage and his familial obsessions.
And that was to say nothing of Caliban.
The theater was not very far from the coast and her tower. Raven let the thoughts vibrate as she walked. Agitated, but not unhappy, Raven took the pitted steps down to the beach. She was too spiteful to work, and too awake to sleep. Tomorrow she’d send a complimentary letter to the dramatist, it’d been a truly affecting show.