Icarian is a word that tells a whole story within itself. Its connotation, if the story is known, is nowhere near as vague as most words. Yet, the story itself leaves much ambiguity of interpretation, allowing it to be dissimilarly reflected thousands of times.
The Tunnel to Heaven
Icarian (adj): Of or like Icarus
“Aunt May! I finished my homework! I’m going outside, okay?!”
Zoey waited the customary three seconds at the doorstep for a reply. The deafening blaring of hard rock seemed to drill into her ears. Aunt May was in her “Doldrums.” That’s what she called it when she had artist’s block and needed to “loosen the cogs” by locking herself up in her room, blowing her eardrums out with ear-piercing music, and ordering Chinese takeout 7 days in a row.
“Okay, I’m leaving,” Zoey called out one last time.
The air almost seemed to thrum with the thump of the drums and the blaring guitar riff.
She should go. She knew she should go. But some part of her was waiting for words she was never going to hear.
She slammed the door behind her in silent protest, but the sound was lost amidst the drowning clashing of ear-piercing cacophony.
It was like stepping into a cloud of brisk air and mellifluous silence. She could faintly hear the music pulsating behind her, but it was like the sound was dissolving away into the air until she was beyond it. Like listening from underwater.
Swinging her leg over her the thin rusted frame of her bike, she pedaled across the sleek gravel driveway enjoying the feeling of wind rippling through her open hair.
She was free!!!
Letting out a scream of delight, she scattered a flock of birds from the electric wires. They filled her vision with their multicolored, feathery wings, spiralling into the apricot sky.
She wanted to try Bryers Hill today.
Bryers Hill was the steepest descent in the area. The boys used to dare each other to bike down no hands until Tommy Wentworth broke his collarbone when his bike flipped 360 after skidding into a maple.
But she could do it. She knew she could. She wasn’t good enough to do it no hands yet, but making it down without hurting anything was a big enough accomplishment in and of itself.
She turned on to the trail, skittering over the uneven gravel and the decaying twigs that littered the road of Bryers Wood.
The yawning stretch of the horizon lingered in front of her. The limbs of ancient trees formed a tunnel made of the dying embers of summer. A tunnel lit gold by the setting sun. A tunnel that would lead… elsewhere.
Taking a deep breath of the rich fragrance of sap and loamy soil, Zoey started the descent.
She was in control. She could do this. Her bike slowly began accelerating.
The branching arms of the old maple trees pulled at her, but she was whipping past them.
She was whipping past everything.
She was floating on Cloud 9. Flying a million miles per hour beyond the reach of the universe.
She was free.
She was… she was…
She was going way too fast.
The bike began accelerating out of her control. The handlebars, slick with slippery sweat was no longer so easy to hold on to.
Everything was spinning out of control. She was losing her balance.
Everything was collapsing in on itself, flying away from her fingertips.
There was the sickening, cloying scent of burnt rubber as her bike rolled off the path.
For a few brief moments, she felt pure, unadulterated terror.
Then there was a sound akin to the wing of a bird snapping, and she was twisting through the sky like a kite, held aloft by only a breath of air.