The escape of Icarus

The reflection of the sunlight on the rocks momentarily blinded my eyes as they opened. The rocks reached down like pillars from the sky; perfect squares, compact, impenetrable. A ghostly breeze was trapped in the maze with me. As I stood up with difficulty I noticed the headache that wailed in the profound silence surrounding me. Not a single blade of grass seemed to have grown over the years; life couldn’t emerge from these immortal rocks.

I began walking towards what I thought was the North, but soon heard a voice I knew too well. My father was calling for me but the sound bounced off the walls anarchically, making it difficult to trace. I could feel that he was close to me; I smelled the scent of burned wood that had stained his skin since the accident; I closed my eyes and let it guide me, but as I got closer the smell turned sour and ferrous. Dark clouds conquered the strips of sky above my head.

Each gust of wind screamed as it chased me to my father’s cries. Once I cut the frozen corner of the wall, I felt, once again, the numbing calmness of raw despair. In front of me a storm of vultures gathered like a convulsing tumour upon my father, whose muffled carcass disappeared beneath a pink steam the closer I got. A strident squeal came out him as the birds picked his left eye. I charged one of the vicious creatures and cracked its neck with my rabid fists. I beat the thing into nothing, before noticing that the others had gone, and with them my father’s eyes.

What was left of him was pressed motionless against the floor and the wall. Only his lips shook on the useless shell of his face. Sunken beneath the peaceful bubbling of his lungs, his tired voice barely carried through the heavy air – the birds are the key, follow them – he said. I smothered the bird viscous blood over my body before sticking its pitch-black feathers. I tried to avoid the walls as I flailed my arms frantically, but after a few desperate leaps, my feet did not need to rest against that cold floor again. The maze became smaller and smaller as I got closer to the sun, and the sky grew around me as I was moulded by the wind, by my wings, by my freedom.

But the pain was not gone, and as I flew away from my father’s tomb the darks clouds came charging at me like a pack of wolves. A cold wave of rain and wind struck my face as I tried to escape the clouds in vain. The moistness of the rain dissolved the blood and before I knew, I was surrounded by a bleeding whirl of dark feathers. The law of gravity regained its grip – the same law that had kept the pillars of stone so impenetrable for so long. My body and my hope suddenly weighed a ton, and in a blink of an eye I disappeared into the ground.