A Warning to My Fellow Icarus

Written by Atticus Payne
Art by Adam Wilson


I am just like you. All of you. All of us, the cruelly chosen from our species to bear the gift that is undying passion. We strive every day of our lives to reach our suns, never settling for a nearer star, and scoffing at the other moons’ beauties because it is all we can do. We fashion wing after wing, metal, plastic, steel, wax, anything to lift off the ground that chains us like iron to a stone, all in some futile attempt to fly higher than ever before. The metal burns our skin, plastic crumples, steel bends and wax melts. Still, we crane our necks further than they can stretch just to get one glimpse of the true, unveiled beauty that is our Sun. If we can never touch it, at least we can come close. 

We try, and we keep trying. Every day and now even the nights to accomplish some vague, dream-like goal, blurry like the memories it came from. It is our destiny, is it not? It is what we were born to do.

If you would take a step back to admire it all, it can be quite beautiful. So many Icaruses straining toward their Sun, begging for just one chance to land among that star; begging for whatever would come at that final stop.  Be it life or a slow death, suffering or bliss. Because whatever it is, it would surely be glorious.

We think.

Icarus, my Icarus. Please. It is beautiful from a distance and from up close. But step into the middle and you’ll be just close enough to see the blisters formed on your back, the scars that never healed over before reopening yet again. You will be far enough to watch the wings fail as the Icarus drowns. Not a pretty glimmer through a sky of falling stars, but a grotesquely curled corpse of torn wings and strained necks, wrapped in robes of bleeding wounds both burned and sliced.

The Icarus and its Sun, its greatest romance: it will consume you. The Sun bears no mercy, least of all to its lover. “Greatest; first in my heart,” was never a title for the Sun to boast. 

Your grapple is beautiful, but fragile. My fellow Icarus, we are human.

Protect yourself as such.