Daedalus, Diminished

0189 - Icarus via Flash-Prompt

 

He’d been a maker, once.

Architect. Designer. Engineer. Dreamer. He’d done it all.

Create a labyrinth suitable for the great beast enslaved by the king?

Sure, no problem. Make it twist and turn, winding back around itself until even he, the one who planned it, couldn’t guarantee a speedy exit.

Or any exit.

Build an animatronic bull that would fool a goddess?

Yeah, he could make that happen. Use real skin, paint the hooves so they’re not too glossy, capture the musky scent of rutting animal and spray it underneath the taut hide. She couldn’t help but fall for it. Good thing she was into the strong, silent type, even when mating in bovine form.

Find a way to fly?

(To fly, to flit, to flee.)

Wax and feathers on a wire frame. Powered by your own muscle, guided by your own mind. Biceps and triceps needed to be strong, but don’t overlook your core.

It’s all about the core.

And his son’s core was soft.

Not the physical one.

The part that governed common sense.

The part that listened to his father’s wisdom.

The part that followed the old man’s instructions.

Those parts, those core strengths, those were the bits that had been black and mushy. Neither capable of maintaining balance nor strong enough to persevere.

Well, his son was free now.

Free from earthly constraints, free from human laws, free from the need for blood or breath or bone.

And himself?

He’s trapped in a labyrinth that has no exit, because it exists entirely within his mind. His minotaur isn’t a raging half-man, but a monster made of grief and guilt. It chases him down nightmare lanes, night after night, always ending in the heat of fire, the hiss of saltwater, the bitter tang of loss.

He was a maker once.

Before.

But now?

Now he’s just an old man with nothing left to live for, wandering the deserted beach of his own, sorry, soul.

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Daedalus, Diminished by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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