A deft retelling of the story of Icarus with a close, personal look into the frustrations of the young boy. Expert combination of myth and realism. A nice addition to our mythology collection!
Staring at the Sun
After all the wonderful things my father had invented for that ungrateful wretch, this is our reward: to rot in this godforsaken place, starve and go mad in the process!
Yet, when a wretch wears a crown, his word is the law: he’s always right, no matter what. The man is all sweetness and smiles one day, giving with largesse to his friends and advisors, sharing his wine and his presence with them, then he becomes a monster on another day. The smallest of infractions, real or imagined, becomes the end of the world in his book.
He’s imaginative in his cruelty, in the way he punishes those who displease him. The money the king gave to my father for that project was just resting in his coffers until he could put it to good use, rather than waste it in vain. But would the king, the man my father thought was his friend, listen to his explanation? Of course not!
There’s no shade in this place. I guess the king likes to keep all of his ‘guests’ warm. He didn’t hesitate even with his wife. When he found out what she was up to, she ended up roasted to death in that metal bull she had enjoyed so much in the past.
For days my father has been collecting feathers, squirreling away wax from our few candles. He is keeping busy with another project I don’t understand, while all that is left for me to do is stare at the sun today. I envy the swallows and the seagulls I see soaring in the sky more than ever. I wish I could just fly away too.
‘Come here, son, let me see how they fit…’ my father calls me to his side. The wings look real, they fit me perfectly. We wear a matching pair, my father and I. We practice and soon we are off. We have left that place of pain. Now I’m really staring at the sun, as I soar higher and higher. It’s hot and mesmerising. I ignore my father’s call…