The ancient Greek myth of Icarus with a Wild West Steampunk twist – My first Steampunk attempt!
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Title: Wings of Icarus
Word Count: 696
Author: Samantha Redstreake Geary
Category: Wild West Steampunk
Inspiring Soundtrack: In Time – Choral Theme
I am trapped inside the belly of the beast as it claws its way through the desolate deserts of the Diné, a home I can no longer see through the smoldering breath of this iron horse. The greedy goliath devours the steel tracks with unparalleled speed, the distance between me and everything I’ve ever known, growing with each relentless bite.
Several days have passed since I was ripped from my people by the mad architect of this monstrosity. My father, Captain Daedalus, staked his claim over me following the death of my mother. His reasons remain a mystery.
Once a Navajo slave of General Minos, mother had fallen under the spell of the Captain, who promised a life of freedom to her and their unborn child. But freedom came with a price he was unwilling to pay. She escaped, shortly after I was born, and found solace within her tribe, but remained as unforgiving as the desert heat.
In the years that followed, Mother had grown weary with fear. She had visions that haunted her dreams and plagued her days. It was written in the stars, she said, that he would charge into my life on a seething steed and steal me away from the spirit of this serene land.
I was to be trained, by the fiercest of our clan, to be a warrior.
After completing my spirit path, the seer presented me with a new name, Icarus, “guardian of the sky”. Mother fashioned me an eagle fetish, a great honor among our people. A symbol of both healing and hunting, eagles are the messengers to the Gods, harboring great power while maintaining balance. It was intricately carved from translucent chrysocolla, the vivid blue-green swirls representing the skies. A cerulean azurite stone, sharpened into an arrowhead, was secured to its wings with copper wire.
The eagle was a talisman of protection, a reminder of my heritage and the only thing left of my mother.
Loss and rage bite into my palm as their grip tightens.
Imprisoned within the Labyrinth, a fearsome structure of cold metal designed by an even colder heart, I stare at my captor with barely concealed contempt as we wait outside the General’s chambers.
“Come now child, it can’t be all bad! I’ve rescued you from squalor, put a shiny roof over your head and decent food in your belly and all I get for my troubles is the evil eye,” the Captain huffs, clearly put-out that I’m not grovelling at his feet.
“You kidnapped me from my family, stripped me of my freedom and locked me up like one of your dogs!” I spit.
“You have your mother’s spirit, no doubt about that!” he sneers, “but take care to keep your tone more civilized, lest you find yourself sharing quarters with the swine.”
An intimidating guard opens the door to a lavish apartment, “The General is ready to see you now. Leave the savage here,” he glares in my direction. A cloud of tobacco wafts through the cracked door into the hall, carrying their voices on a spicy scent that stings my nose.
“Captain, we took a very expensive detour to collect your, err, property. I hope, for your sake, the native rat is as valuable as you claim,” General Minos warns, “I’ve gone to great lengths to fund this contraption – I expect you to deliver what was agreed upon!”
“The Labyrinth is the technological achievement of the age, sir. This modern steam engine is impervious to attack and the weapon I’ve secured within its bowels holds the key to our domination. We need her to control the Minotaurs, General. I assure you, she is worth every penny,” the Captain boasts.
I strike both guards down with the venom-tipped cactus spines concealed in my fetish. Instinct urges me to grab a set of wooden wings off the wall and secure it to my back, unsure of the complicated mechanism. I push through the tiny window and climb out, grabbing hold of the bars leading to the top of the speeding behemoth.
The metal cylinder between my shoulder blades hums to life as I flip the switch.
I spread my wings and jump.
© 2013 Samantha Redstreake Geary
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