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Jamie Thomas, 08 Jan '13

"Mummy, I'm like Icarus," Harvey murmured, a smile almost visible on his pale white lips.

"Shhh son, try not to speak," Vanessa said back, as pale as her son's lips. Worry was etched into her face as she brushed a strand of hair from her dear sons face. He hadn't called her mummy in ten years.

"But it's true," the frail teen stopped to cough violently, "I flew too close..."

Vanessa hushed him again and he let out a croaky laugh. His eyes rolled back, becoming balls of white, as he slipped into yet another momentary coma. A tear traveled down Vanessa's face and she tasted the salty tang as it ran to her lips and passed between them. The last 12 hours had destroyed her. The first she had heard from runaway Harvey in months, was the call from the hospital. Hospitalized was such a cold word. Excessive drug use was worse. It was futile to feign surprise, because she had always expected the call.

Harvey murmured again, not waking from his agonizing slumber. He looked as pale and dreadful as Vanessa felt. At the age of 21, he lay in the white sheet, in the whitewashed hopsital ward, looking like he was a geriatric terminal patient. Four years of hardcore drug use had sadly had their wicked way with him. Too many white lies, and too many white lines. The thought that they had found her son, her very own son that she loved, curled up in the corner of a crack den during a raid, made her feel sick to her stomach.

He was right. He was like Icarus. He had flown too close to the sun, was dazzled by the beauty of it, and the sun had smote him down for being so daring and naive. He was now spiraling downwards into the crashing white waves of the sea and Vanessa knew what awaited poor Icarus at the end of the story. She began to cry more now, and a nurse entered the room, made some passing comforting comments and left.

Four more hours passed, and Harvey's breathing slowed. No more murmurs. Vanessa reflected on the story of Icarus, how his father had given him the sparkly white wings, and this had eventually been his downfall. The father was responsible, and Vanessa couldnt help but feel responsible herself. In some way, she could have stopped this. In some way she could have caused his descent into the disastrous life he now led. She gave him hell in the days before he left home. She neglected him when his younger brother was born. Forgot to wash his white shirts for school when he was 12. She lost him on the beach when he was 5. She dropped him when he was a baby. She even smoked when he was just a foetus. Was she to blame?

She became vaguely aware of a Doctor in a white coat checking her dying son. hen he was speaking her, telling her that her son was going to go very soon. She nodded, almost comatose herself. Feeling was drained from her body and mind, and instead of the pure thoughts that she should be feeling at the thought of her son entering the pearly gates, she just felt a black balloon, expanding in her stomach.

Within an hour, he was gone. A black veil descended on Vanessa as they pulled the white sheet over Harvey's face.

Comments · 2

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  • Jamie Thomas said...

    This is fairly morbid, but I hope you guys enjoy it. I'm open to any feedback that you guys can think of, so fire away! :)

    • Posted 4 years ago
  • David Taylor said...

    I liked this burrst, even though it is a bit morbid (as you say). I really like some of the imagery you use and love the line: "too many white lies, and too many white lines"! It's very clever :)

    • Posted 4 years ago