Icarus, young and full of life,
In the labyrinth of his father’s own design.
Icarus, craving for freedom,
Of the world outside, of a free man’s life.
“Icarus, my son,”
Says his father,
“Take these wings, fly to freedom”
Icarus, stunned with awe,
Forgets his father’s warnings.
“Icarus, heed these words,
Don’t fly too close to sun, nor to the sea.”
Icarus, eyes full of wonder,
Flight to freedom, life and joy.
Icarus, with the wind in his wings,
Flew too far, flew too high.
Icarus, eyes full of horror,
Saw the feathers fall off his wings.
Icarus, flapping bare hands,
To the sea below, waves reaching up for him.
Icarus, too young to die,
And sea gulls cried, of a father’s lament.
Footnote: In the loving memory of the friend who left us too early, you still live on in our hearts, in those memories you have granted us. Missing you. And wishing you knew what you meant for me.
In that dark and dingy room lit only by a candle light, the magnificent mirror with an ornate golden frame looked out of place. I stood in front of the mirror, staring at my reflection. “What are you?” I asked.
My reflection smiled and said “I can show you if you like”.
In the mirror the dark room disappeared and was replaced by a forest. My reflection turned and walked down a trail. A few paces away he stopped and turned back to me.
“You coming?” he asked.
Slowly, I extended my hand towards the mirror. My fingers touched the cold glass and suddenly the mirror and the room I was in disappeared. I was in the forest, my reflection a few feet in front of me.
“You can call me Crow” he said and started walking again. I followed him. The air was cool and pleasant and the ruckus made by hidden birds was strangely musical.
“Pleasant, isn’t it?” asked the boy named Crow. “But don’t let it fool you. The forest hosts many dangers too. Still here in this forest I can find peace. Here in this forest I am free. Here in this forest I can be anything, because this endless maze of trees and earth and life is the embodiment of my thoughts, my mind.”
We resumed our stroll and stumbled upon a large clearing. Crow stopped walking and so did I. There was a large group of people coming towards our direction. When they got close I could see that they wore masks, colorful masks and grey clothes.
“Here comes the masquerade” said Crow joining them.
“What are you doing?” I asked him.
“Masquerading, as a man with a reason” he laughed and beckoned me to join them.
As they moved away from me, I had no option but to join them. Masks with smiles on them smiled at me and masks with frowns frowned. The procession reached a vast wheat field and crow left them to walk to the center of the field.
“What now?” I asked when I reached him.
“I’m scaring off the crows from this field.” There were no crows to be seen anywhere. “Crow scaring off crows, ah the irony” he was laughing again. By the time he was done laughing I noticed that we were no longer in the field but in a desert.
“I guess Scare Crow is no longer needed here.” He started walking again. I followed him, the sun blazing above my head as if with an intent to burn everything. The sand beneath my feet felt white hot. Here and there lie dead remains of – what, I don’t know.
“Do you feel my wrath?” Crow turned, smiling.
We walked on. I was drenched in sweat, my feet felt as though they had started melting. Suddenlythe sun was no longer blazing. I looked up to see a clouded sky, dark as night. Then started the downpour. The heavens kept crying. To my horror, I saw the water rising up at my legs. I looked at Crow with fear in my eyes. He was smiling.
“Now to drown in my fears.”
And we drowned. And I suffocated. Water filled my lungs and I yearned for air. And then the water was gone, as if someone had pulled the drain plug. We stood on the muddy ground. I was dripping wet and shivering. The garden flowers were dead and my mind full of red.
“Come, we are almost there.” Crow started walking again.
Soon we were back in the forest. But this time something was strange about it. Air grew too cold, I could see my breath joining the mist. Crow was a silhouette in front of me. The world was growing darker. I looked up at the sky and saw birds flying away. All around me there were noises of unseen beasts running away.
“What’s going on?” I asked Crow.
He did not reply. He had stopped walking and was looking at something ahead of him, smiling. I joined his side and followed his gaze. A few feet in front of me lies a huge pit. Slowly I edged towards it, drawn forward by curiosity. I stood at the edge and stared into the pitch black pit. There was something deep down inside the pit. I could feel it, beckoning me to jump in.
“Now meet my demons” said Crow as he pushed me into the pit.
As I fell, I managed to grab a ledge with one hand. My other hand was gripping hers. I looked down and even in the darkness I could see her face. Her curly hair, broad forehead and her big, beautiful eyes.
“Percy, let me go” she said.
I had almost forgotten how sweet her voice is.
“Never” I replied.
“As long as we’re together” she smiled.
Then I let go of the ledge and we fell, holding hands, into the endless darkness.
“When the truth is found to be lies, and all the joy within you dies.” said Crow laughing.
At the bottom of the pitch black pit as I groped around in the darkness, all alone, I heard my own question in my head.
“What are you?” I had asked.
“I can show you if you like” I had replied.
There are a few references to some of my favorite books and songs included in The Mirror. First of all, the description of the mirror is the same as the Mirror of Erised from Harry Potter. The first dialogue from Crow “I can show you if you like” is also from Harry Potter. The boy named Crow is taken from the novel Kafka on the Shore. The dialogues towards end “Percy let me go”, “Never” and “As long as we are together” are from Percy Jackson series. “Masquerading as a man with a reason” is from the song Carry on My Wayward Son, by Kansas. The garden flowers were dead and my mind full of red refers to a line from “Somebody to Love” by Jefferson Airplane. The line “When the truth is found to be lies, and all the joy within you dies” also belongs to the same.