Monday, January 01, 1990

Icarus: A Tale of Alyria

I crouch in silence atop the tower, gazing out to sea. So many wives and mothers, gathered below, gaze with me, straining their eyes in hope for their husbands and sons. I gaze with eyes of death, seeing only the mist and dark.

Mother, why? Why did you inflict this pain on me?

Icarus she called me. Her little winged boy. Her pride and joy. Ha. (I spit off the tower.) Did she think that I didn't see the loathing in her eyes when she thought me asleep? Did she think that she could hide her disgust with the monster she had borne? Her smile, her laughter, all a mask. I could see the truth. It burned in her eyes.

Mother, why did you hate me so?

My wings flutter unconsciously as I think of my father. The great High Lord from the Noble House. (I spit again.) Just a one night stand, he claimed, that night when I confronted him. She had been nothing, I less than nothing. I struck him that night and fled, taking flight on angel's wings, the wings that forever mark me as Misbegotten, the twisted, the perverse, less than human.

What will you say to me now, my father? Shall a word escape your lips as I come to you with fire?

There! In the distance! I can see the mist ship entering the harbor. All the wives and mothers are aflutter now, down below me. They can almost see their husbands, their sons.

Are you watching tonight, Mother? Look! Here I am! Do you watch for your son? Turn your eyes to the sea, Mother. Your son also will be arriving soon.

"Do not fly too high, little Icarus!" she used to say to me. And so I did, to spite her. I soared in the clouds, danced with the lightning, flying higher and higher. And, like a moth to flame, I was drawn into the company of others, whom she hated. Freedom fighters, they called themselves. Rebels, the High Lords called them. Thieves. Murderers. I cared not. Their crimes did not concern me. Rather, I cared that they looked on me as an equal, not a monster. I cared that they hated the High Lords almost as much as I. That through them, one day I would strike a blow against everyone who hated me. That through them, I would have revenge.

Mother, you mocked me. Father, you scorned me. But you will see. Today, I soar higher than ever. Today, my wings carry me to victory. And shall I fall, Mother? Your little Icarus, burned by the sun? Yes, but in that moment, I shall not fall alone.

The mist ship is closer now. His banner flutters from the stern. The great High Lord, my father, is indeed aboard. My friends did not understand why I volunteered for this mission, why I would not allow anyone but myself to do the deed. True, the High Lord was an evil oppressor, but they could not understand the depths of my passion. How to explain fifteen years of pain, of scorn, of mockery, all because of this man? I check my belt. The stolen Keeper device is there, fiery death held in a small metal sphere. The time has come. I launch out into space.

Father! I am coming! You forced me into this twisted life. It is only fitting that I steal from you the perfect life that you love. They may call me a twisted Misbegotten bastard, but you deserve this name oh so much more than I.

I glide. I soar. I howl in anticipation. The float bag of the mist ship is before me. And, behold, my father stands upon the deck!

I reach to my belt.

He looks up at me.

He knows. He knows! And the terror and the pleading in his eyes suddenly make it all worthwhile.

I press the button.

Light. Heat.

Mother, look! I touched the sun! I flew so high I touched the sun! Can you see me? Can you see me?

And like Icarus I burn.

And like Icarus I fall...


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