Okay, this week (24th Jan- 4th Feb) is National Storytelling Week, and I thought I’d take the opportunity to write a little every day. Rather than making up my own super lame story about dragons and elves and shit, I thought I’d create a modern adaptation of my favourite Greek legend, the story of Icarus and Daedalus. Do allow me some, shall we say, artistic licence in my story telling.
“Damn that rotten shop!” grumbled Daedalus as he staggered out of Ikea, blinded by the light of the sun. “Icarus!?” Panicked and dazed, he spun around and fumbled towards the dark void beyond the automatic doors. He could have sworn his son was right behind him. The boy’s angry breaking voice sounded from nearby, “I’m coming! For God’s sake dad. People were staring at us.” A pale, angular face marked with acne scars and hidden in part by a heavy fringe, appeared from inside the mouth of the store. Icarus stumbled forward lazily, tripping on his oversized skate shoes, his gaze fixed on his phone screen, deliberately avoiding eye contact with his father.
Now standing hunched in the sun, Icarus proceeded to huff and puff, shrugging his shoulders and sighing dramatically. Every effort was made to ensure that Daedalus knew exactly how much his son disapproved of the situation. Indeed, Icarus was not keen on spending time with his father at all. Parental relationships were highly uncool and Icarus had definitely been spotted by several of his significantly more popular peers. One of these was Phoebe Grayson, the hottest girl in his Geography class. She would literally never speak to him again after today. They had laughed and pointed as Daedalus became confused and disorientated, dropping the lampshade from under his arm as a bustling woman pushed past them both. Icarus was certain that his dad’s startled actions had frightened fellow shoppers and his behaviour had attracted unwanted attention from the store’s security. They’d probably never be allowed in again.
Having regained his sight, Daedalus became very aware that they had exited onto one of the many car parks surrounding the store. A giant vista of sparkling cars spread out before the pair and Daedalus gazed in awe and dismay. Surely this was the one they had parked in. But how could he be certain? All the doors, posters and windows looked the same from the great expanse of the car park. He had been in such a panic to get in and out as quickly as possible that he’d hardly taken in his bearings before entering the store.
Daedalus walked a little way down one of the parking isles into the heat of the afternoon, unbuttoning the collar of his pinstripe shirt. “Son! You remember where we parked the car?” Icarus heard his father’s question, but chose to ignore it because he was a sassy teenage boy who knew his own mind. He didn’t know where the car was. He didn’t drive it and he’d been far too busy playing Luigi’s Mansion when they had pulled up two hours ago. He leaned against the wall and with one swift head motion, flipped his fringe out of his eyes before checking Phoebe’s Instagram for like, the twelfth time that day. He had mastered the art of swiping without tapping and was careful not to accidentally touch his screen while staring blankly at her selfies. It wasn’t stalking. It was monitoring. He was so over this whole stupid afternoon and the events which had led them to run frenzied from Ikea.
About twenty minutes ago, the pair had clocked Nigella, his dad’s most recent ex-partner. She had been comparing teacosies in the kitchen section with her teenage daughter Melissa. Icarus had met Melissa only a few times. She wasn’t hot or popular enough to be particularly memorable to Icarus and she smelled faintly of pine for some odd reason. Nigella had dated Daedalus for little more than six months, but during that time Daedalus had become besotted. It broke his heart when after five months of cuddling, ready meals and The Wire on Blu-ray, Nigella explained that she had fallen for someone else and left him sobbing into a hot water bottle on the love seat. Since then, Daedalus had never mentioned her again and Icarus was too scared to ask in case it caused some kind of hideous emotional meltdown that neither of them could cope with.
Suddenly a great howl came from within the store and Icarus jerked away from the doors in alarm. Hands in pockets he clumsily jogged forward towards his father who now was making his way through rows and rows of sun soaked cars. The cry had almost definitely been the shrill yelp of a woman. Maybe more than one. Icarus prayed that they had gotten away without being spotted. In the heat of the car park, they couldn’t stay hidden for long.