“There are many opinions about life.
Some say, we are meant to enjoy life, to be happy. They say, we need to find our place in this world and live our life to the fullest, believing it’s the only one we’ve got.
Others claim, we are here on this planet to suffer. That all we do has no meaning in the end and all we are doing here on Earth is to destroy. Other species, nature, the world – ourselves.
To be honest, I don’t know who’s right. I never really gave it a thought. There is only one thing I know for sure.
It is something life has taught me:
We’re born alone. And eventually.. We die alone.”
These are the first lines of a doujin I drew for the Lost Angel project. Before I tell you about this project in detail, I’d like to tell you a small anecdote:
See, I once met a stranger on my way home who started telling me about his life, for no reason whatsoever. He told me about how he used to dream of being a writer, though he now did some random job, only in order to make a living. I felt uncomfortable – well, of course I did, and who can blame me? Having a total stranger talking to you without a stop... And I also felt sad, because a part of me wondered if I was going to end up like him as well: always only dreaming about what I want to do, but never actually doing it.
But in any case, I asked him what he wanted to write about and he said he’d like to write speeches and political texts. Well, not quite my kind of texts, but I found it admirable nevertheless. He then asked me if I write too and I said yes, I do. I told him I like writing fantasy, but that left him unimpressed – or rather, he looked as though he didn’t understand what I mean, so I quickly added: “Oh and I also write a kind of sociocritical story.” Ah – there his eyes lit up! Little did he know though, that said sociocritical tale is actually nothing else but... Well, a tale about a young thief. *laughs*
Thinking back on it, I think I was right though... The story IS sociocritical in a way.
Gabryel, that’s the name of the thief. And he’s the protagonist of Lost Angel.
I was tempted to write he’s the “hero”, but in truth he’s more of an anti-hero, you know? As I said, he’s a thief – but not by choice. Quite the contrary, he thinks it’s the only way for him to survive. He's an orphan and has been living on the street for as long as he can remember. He doesn’t know his parents, but he also tells himself he doesn’t need them. Actually he tells himself he doesn’t need anyone at all – he’s everything he needs: his own best friend, his own teacher and his own family.
He’s always on his way, always traveling from one city to another, stealing his way through life. With a charming smile and his good looks he fools people into thinking he’s an innocent, young boy, while in the meantime he’s already emptied their wallets. Sure, sometimes he gets caught, but so far he’s gotten out of every trouble... Well, almost.
One day he messed with the wrong people and got himself into serious trouble – and this time it could prove to be lethal for him. Lucky for him that someone watched him – a girl his age. With her help he eventually managed to flee, but foolish Gabryel, who until this very day, had never known an act of kindness like this, fell in love with her. So even though it was risky, he returned to see her from time to time... Until one fateful day, things went wrong and something happened so Gabryel would never see her face again...
The loss of the only person he ever cared about hit him hard. At first he felt despair, but then his mind tricked him: “You don’t need anyone, remember? You always only had yourself” – this was what he told himself. From this day on his life changed – HE changed. He wasn’t over the girl he loved though... He only fooled himself into thinking he’s alright and began to seek casual pleasures to distract him from his pain. Now he didn’t only steal money, but he also stole hearts, charming women wherever he went, but never allowing anyone to ever get close to him again...
Unlike my usual fantasy stories, this story is set in the present time, in a world not much unlike our own: a damaged world that may pretend to work on the surface, but is in fact faced with many
problems. Gabryel however, doesn’t know the kind of luxuries many of us have, he doesn’t know how it is to have a home or a steady life. He’s used to seeing the darkest, ugliest sides of his
world – and learned how to take advantage of it... But not without consequences: the more he takes advantage of his corrupted world, the more damaged he becomes himself in the process. Who knows,
can this poor soul be saved...? Will he meet someone, who teaches him how to trust again...? Or will be break completely one day?
Well, I’ve yet to find out. Gabryel’s story is far from being over – no, it’s only just the beginning.