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The Life of Icarus Part 1 Reading


If you are reading this its ghost written, no not like that, you see I’m a dead. A lay person would probably call me a ghost or a spirit and that’s a fair description. I am writing this to keep my mind intact, the less I hold onto my memories the more they try to slip away. I won’t turn into one of those mindless wraiths! I can’t, if I am to continue to… exist I will do so on my terms or at least with myself intact or as intact as can be. This is a written account of the events I have seen unfold but have not been able to directly influence. I am watching over a boy or rather I was. He’s dead now too but he alludes me, perhaps he is a lost soul, no pun intended. I think it’s best if I start from the beginning. You see the ending is predetermined but the ending is not what matters; it’s about the journey. It’s not about the death, it’s about the life.

Rani Ceto self-proclaimed pillar of the community, she seemed to be liked by pretty much everybody, a real rarity I can tell you. There was always something off about her though, she was just a little too nice, a little too perfect. She always seemed to be helping the homeless, helping recovering drug addicts or fundraising for the local church. She focused her efforts on the local area but spread a little into the city as a whole, though it was not a large city, a small one in the North of England. She had green straight hair that went to a little below her shoulders. Her eyes were similarly green, and she always had green lipstick, I always figured she just liked the colour of her eyes and wanted her lips and hair to match. Her skin did not seem to have a single blemish but then she did wear a fair amount of makeup, while not a ridiculous amount it was certainly more than I would ever wear. In fact, her skin almost seemed to glisten in the sun. She always seemed to wear the nicest most fashionable clothes, though claimed they were all bargains and charity store purchases that while most would not question were like nothing I had seen sold for such cheap prices as she would claim. She owned a small house near the church with a great number of statues depicting individuals of various ages and sizes, men and women also sometimes even children, it seemed every new month or so there would be at least one new statue. There was always lots of curious things about Rani Ceto that I could not explain but it didn’t seem to matter, I never had the need nor the time to pay much heed to any of them.

Turns out Rani was the head of a cult of sorts, well part of a cult in any case and that’s only scratching the surface. I hadn’t been dead long when I saw this, it had been anywhere between a few minutes and a few days, I can’t be sure. I found myself watching over Rani and her celebrants in a large cavernous chamber. It was sombre, dark and looked like it was about to fall apart any moment; it seemed she had expanded the church basement to under her own house. Various cylindrical columns supported the ceiling, some wood and some stone; the stone ones appeared to be strong ancient supports and inscribed with untranslatable symbols at least by me while the wooden ones appeared much more modern and much more primitive.

Rani was dressed in an outfit not that unlike what a vicar would wear, it stopped at her knees and showed some cleavage. The robes themselves were a brown colour and the dog collar was black. She and all her celebrants were wearing necklaces and on each there was an oval shaped locket, that was a similar size to a pocket watch. They appeared to be made of copper only they seemed to have faded with time. They were all inscribed with something, but I cannot recall at this moment exactly what.

Her black stilettos clicked against the stone floor as she strode calmly but confidently over to an iron maiden deep in the middle of the chamber, followed soon after by the celebrants holding candles. It seemed rusty all along its metalwork. It had two doors, dotted around the rims with rivets and about halfway down sat a handle on both doors that resembled the knockers found on Victorian houses only with hands reaching out from the bottom. Most of the medieval carryover was indeed made of iron but the head was made of wood, parts of which had rotten away long ago, behind the cranium lay a copper halo. Rani unlocks the doors by placing her hands in those of the maiden. It was clear this was not some model of an ancient torture device, inside was not a collection of deadly spikes instead lay mirrors to replicate the images of the celebrants.

The celebrants were all very different; different ages, different backgrounds and there was a similar amount of men and women in the group. They were all dressed in robes similar to Rani but lacked the dog collar.

“It’s time faithful, old and young, to summon our Rye Mother. Repeat after me Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary.” Spoke Rani slowly and precisely, the congregation echoed as she had asked.

“We incite you oh Rye Mother. For all the altar boys and convent mothers. For every woman scorned and every man downtrodden. For all the sinners and all the apostates.” Chanted Rani Ceto, the followers parroted then began to spin anticlockwise.

“We incite you oh Rye Mother. Lamashtu, Lilith, Bloody Mary, the Mistress of Mirrors, the Mother of Monsters. We bless your many names, not only those we speak but all of them.” She proclaimed and once more the adherents repeated before spinning clockwise.

A lime glow glistened from the mirrors and on each was projected a phantasmal image of a gaunt face yet with long youthful gold locks and bright red lips, it appeared to look on those that stood before it despite seeming to have no eyes in its sockets.

“Rye Mother, Rye Mother from the mirrors, you are the mightiest of them all. We have come to commune with you, to give thanks and respect to your greatness. We follow the testament of Saint Sécaire, your prophet.”

“You have indeed followed Saint Sécaire’s rite. I have something of which you are recondite.” Proclaimed the spectral face.

Much like its appearance, its voice too seemed paradoxical, both seemingly playful and sensual yet at the time stressed and with a screech to it.

“We are listening Mother.” Rani declared with a small bow.

“A boy yet born, a task to avoid my scorn. A modern Icarus child without a mother in the wild. When the barbs are gone from the father’s heart, you must fulfil her part. When the time is right, he will take flight. He will touch the sun then he will be done. The death of one so pure, a good harvest for sure. Such power to ingest, now take on this quest.” Proclaimed the Rye Mother.

“We can finally be the Egregore.” Mused Rani.

“You wish is to be strong, it won’t take long. When I am more potent, you will be flotant.”

This was only the beginning; a taster if you will of what is to come. His life has only just begun and already his fate is marked. Like a Shakespearean tragedy; the stage is set and all the men and women merely players.

To be continued…

Published by Alex Burton

My name is Alex Burton. I am a 22-year-old Computing Graduate from the North West of England but computing as you can imagine is not where my dreams truly lie. Having finished University (those unfamiliar with the British education system should note that College and University are separate, and we don’t have middle school) I have been volunteering at two primary schools in my local area. Having received support in both primary and secondary school I wanted to give something back as it were. Terror Firma has its origins in my last year or so of high school but has come a long way since then, I actually found an extremely early draft of my notes a few months ago and well I can scarcely bare to read it. I worked on the setting alongside studying through college and university, and now I feel it’s ready to unveil.

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