Icarus washes up on Miami beach over the spring break of 2018 and finds a world where the gods roam the streets, where his wax wings burned themselves into trenches of scars down his back.
Where we warn our children of the dangers of flying too high, but forget the part about the riptides waiting if you fly too low.
He asks Siri how far away the sun is, finds Apollo in the red rocks of New Mexico off I-40 just outside of Albuquerque, alone and basking in the heat. The ice caps are melting.
The sun still hurts to touch, burning Icarus's hands and leaving fingerprints in the feathers of his melted wings, but Apollo is much kinder now, not how he was when Icarus was a child, innocent, glowing.
He ends up soothing the skin cancer with freckles and soft touches. It no longer feels like a damning.
This is what happens to the children of tragedies: They flinch too much, they fall too hard, they're fragile as glass but immune to everything the world can throw at them.
Icarus flinches at the sound of the oceans. He knows the wrath of Poseidon.
Icarus rises from the dead with his irises washed white and his rips etched with Hades' name: he should have been a child of Persephone, spring in his hands and flowers in his hair. He should have spent his days sprawled in the sun's caress. He should have been infinite.
Icarus flinches too much. That's what everyone keeps telling him. He flinches too much at every lifted voice and crashing wave and he flinches too much when he feels sunshine on his face.
Icarus is sorry for flinching too much. Icarus is trying not to flinch too much. Icarus is sorry that it's taking so long to just get over his trauma and stop flinching so much-- sorry.
He doesn't know what to do now that he's touched the sun and this time it didn't burn. He wanted it to burn. He wants to burn.
He wants to feel his bones breaking all over again because that's the only time he doesn't feel like he needs to be in control. Why is he chasing things that hurt? Why does he feel like he deserves to hurt? He deserves to crash.
He finally touched the sun. Icarus feels empty, and he's still flinching.