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Rated: ASR · Fiction · Mythology · #2265958
A brief piece about the boy who wanted to touch the sun.
Icarus still remembered the taste of salt. He hated the taste, the feel of water purging his lungs of their oxygen and choking him, the weight of feathers floating with the bubbles above him as he was dragged down into the depths. He could remember his father telling him not to fly too close to the sun or too close to the sea, but it was so warm, so bright, he couldn't resist. He was 13 then, on the cusp of manhood and full of curiosity about the world outside his prison, the one his father created for them both with his bare hands and a corrupt king. He couldn't fathom something so beautiful ever being so dangerous, so searing, and so, so unmerciful. So Icarus fell like an angel from the sky, slamming into the ocean below. Drowning wasn’t a forgiving death. Memories of salt and water invaded his mind in the wee hours of the morning and woke him up at night with fresh claw marks on his skin, crescent moon fingernail marks. It was then that he cried, his shoulders shaking and breaths heaving quietly for hours at a time.

He’d been in the cell for millennia, it seemed. Days bled into night with little consequence, and when the stars came out at night, they gave him little comfort. He was sure he was in the Underworld, but he didn’t know where. Was this his fate?

He didn’t hear the door open, nor did he see the tall man who entered, staring at him silently. It was only when his visitor stepped close did he look up from the floor on which he was sitting. Hades himself looked down upon the boy, taking in the halo of blonde hair, eyes that seemed to be leaking like a faucet even still, and a blush made permanent by the searing arms of Helios. The god of death was taken aback, momentarily, for several reasons. One, the boy was just that - a boy, not even close to military age, and the other was the wings. They were made of hollow bone, singed at the edges, but still very real. They were no small appendages either, about half the boy’s height and wider still. Hades assumed that they had to do with the nature of his untimely death, and although they were lovely to look at, he wondered if Icarus could actually fly.

“Are you crying?” Hades asked, as gently as he could manage.

Icarus wiped furiously at his tears, muttering a pitiful sounding “No.”

“Good.” The god replied. “Because now is no time for tears.”

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