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10/15/2011 c1 11Javajive
Oh you slew it. This was just hauntingly beautiful from the first word to the last.

"Humanity was never meant to fly, only to fall. And I have fallen further than any man has ever dared to imagine."

I suspected your narrator was traveling down the river of Hades or something to that extent though I had no idea who he/she was. I like how you feed the reader these subtle clues right from the start. I loved how you used the River of Lethe, and your narrator's wish to forget. Brilliant:) Also how you managed to create such an impact using relatively few words, something I always struggle with myself.

Good luck with the WCC!
10/10/2011 c1 1Vertiginous
I liked this story due to its originality. First of all, the name Icarus is a name not used in a modern story, yet it completely fits with the character, referencing to the Greek Legend and all. I also liked the way you used the present-tense in this story, which made it very unique also. However, I'm confused about the sentence at the top. Is that an actual sentence in the story, or the title? If the title, it should be positioned in the center, or made bold. If a sentence, there should be a period at the end. Overall, the story was interesting, and now I shall check the 'Add Story to Favorites' box.
10/9/2011 c1 15TheSilentWitness
This story has an interesting concept,narrating from the point of view of Icarus (The boy with the wax bound wings who flew too close to the sun, and thus plummeted to his death) as he narrates his passage into hell/Hades,and through this journey eventually remembers how exactly he ended up down there, and realizes that he has already died.

Your choice of adjectives is excellent, they really help to build a good image of just exactly how you yourself imagined Hades in your mind as you wrote this short story. Even when you're not describing the environ, the choice of wording with which you use to describe the voices and the speaking lends flavor and life to your characters. Your metaphors are also well thought out and work well in the contexts in which you use them. Nice job!

Overall, I didn't have any problems with the diction, grammar, or plot, but I did catch a couple sentences which I felt could've been improved on:

1. "The faces beside me and across from me are not familiar, but they all share an expression of fear. " I felt that this passage here was just a little awkwardly worded, and could've been improved on. My suggestion is as follows, but make whatever changes you want: "The faces alongside me are unfamiliar, but they all share the same expression of fear."

2. "The pale specters around me shiver." I think you mean: "The pale spectres around me shiver." ? I assume that's what you meant, if not, my mistake.

3. "Slowly, the other passengers rise mechanically, lifelessly, and shuffle onto the black beach. At last, I can see their eyes. They are empty." Nothing really wrong here, I just thought the line could be improved upon with a little different ordering of words and terms so there are less commas, too many of which make the sentence choppy. I suggest something similar to this: "Slowly, the other passengers rose lifelessly from their seats, shuffling along the black beach with the jerky stiffness of machines."

Apart from those couple examples, I really liked your story, it was a cool and interesting read, and I thought it was pretty well thought out. Nice writing, and nice story, and good luck with that writing contest!

-Regards
10/7/2011 c1 J.Szewczuk
Interesting, very interesting. I really like that you went with Greek Mythology, it is definitely my favorite of all the different set of myths. And you did a really great job of adding dialogue to the story. It didn't feel forced.

Also, your opening sentence was awesome. I was drawn in right from the beginning!

Good luck in the WCC!
10/6/2011 c1 4lookingwest
I've never been formally taught greek mythology, but I know my basics. That being said: I LOVED THIS. I've never been taught the actual myth, but I know the general idea of Icarus flying too close to the sun, the wax wings, etc. so I got the gist and I also know what the river Lethe is...and Styx...I forget the third one, I feel like it's not as popular. Anyway, so-this was excellent. Like, for a prose piece with WCC, I really like seeing what people can do under the word limit and this was just long enough to flesh everything out that it needed to, and just short enough to keep my attention, so that balance was excellent.

I really like how you created this sympathetic character with Icarus, he felt really fleshed out to me, like he's a character from a novel that you've written on greek mythology, something like that, so I really loved what you did with him. I liked the theme of falling from the first sentence to the last, and the forgetfulness and confronting that. I also thought it said so much that he was "ready" to forget, so you pack a lot of characterization into small details that really come out during this piece.

The language was great, perhaps bordering on a bit flowery at times, but I think you managed to stay away from that as a whole, where you end up with a great balance. Enjoyed the dialogue, and the subject too, I wouldn't have thought of this when thinking on the prompt, so I thought this was VERY unique. I'm really a fan, and this was a strong piece, one of the stronger ones, I think-very best luck to you Steph, this one is really great!
10/5/2011 c1 16Dragon made me do it
Oh this is a great crafted story from you this time around, well done!

Dammit I went and ruined it for myself by scrolling down and accidentally spying the last line before I read the story. silly me! if I hadn't done this though, I definitely would have read through it again to catch all those clever references which take on a new meaning once you know what they are all about. looking up at the light,longing for freedom, reference to the Father disappearing, the 'black water' being what is out there between the Earth and the Sun?, ... I'm sure I don't need to outline them all. You do a fantastic job of holding out on giving it away till the very last line, but dropping hints that become increasingly less subtle as the story progresses.

'It's dark here atop the glassy water. We are pressed against one another in this narrow boat, eight passengers guided by this cloaked figure at the helm of the ship, trapped beneath an endless, starless night.' - I enjoyed this imagery. I don't know my Greek mythology all that well, but is this a reference to Charon? although I don't think he was involved in the Icarus myth, it kind of reminds me of the ferry man/death thing.

'It is a drowsy place to encourage muffled dreams, but I cannot succumb.' - gorgeous writing here :-)

The Sun as a drop of honey is a creative take on the prompt. and your: 'I remember soaring over the trees ...' and connecting this up to the Icarus myth - great thinking!

There is a wonderful dreamlike vibe to the writing in this story, the references to soundlessness, ripples, events occurring without memory of them, empty eyes, cloaked figures etc- a lot of crafting must have gone into putting all these elements together, but they fit together seamlessly without that effort appearing on the surface.

Spelling/grammar/punctuation:

'The boat jerks as it stop soundlessly against a soft bank.' - stop should be stops

great thinking, great crafting, great imagery, well done :-)
10/4/2011 c1 29YasuRan
The tale of Icarus and Daedalus has always been a favorite of mine, not to mention a good one ripe for interpretation. I like that you went a step further with your take on it by giving us a glimpse into Icarus' descent into the UnderWorld. The tragedy of the event is underscored well by the despairing tone and the grim settings of the 'life' he is set to lead. The occasional flash of memory from his past life serves to highlight the bitter contrast and it culminates nicely with him taking that gulp of water from the Lethe. It seems to symbolize his acceptance of his end, regardless of how much it hurts.

A most beguiling glimpse into a memorable tragic figure. I quite enjoyed it :)
10/4/2011 c1 12Deedee Elle
Great piece of writing and really interesting to read the story from Icarus' point of view. The identity of the narrator dawned on me quite slowly, I think it was when he talked about the prison and taking to the wind that I 'got' it and I thought it was good that you didn't state it too obviously early on.

This description of the sun really stood out as it a way I've never seen it described before, 'that drop of honey, perched so far above, still loomed above me'.

The mixture of longer sentences describing his flight and fall and short ones describing the present are effective as it makes a clear transition.

Good luck in the writing contest.
10/3/2011 c1 5Dr. Self Destruct
The story of Icarus was always one of my favorites when I was growing up, I'm not sure if it's because of the moral behind the story or just because he was able to fly (I have a fascination with flight). Although, I always hate to think it's possible for a person to fly too high - I'm a firm believer that we're capable of anything, maybe even something immortal, but meh, it's still a pretty cool story nonetheless. The thought of falling and spiraling downward into death (or madness) is always a very gripping, dark theme.

When I saw the line about the boat and the man wearing a long cloak, I had a feeling the narrator was dead. xD I didn't know it was Icarus, though, until he started talking about flying too high and his father's greatest invention. I don't really remember the myth itself, if it ever addressed what happened to Icarus in the afterlife, but I thought this was a pretty cool continuation of the age-old epic. Had a more modern feel to it too, thanks to the vocabulary you used.

It all has a very dark and foreboding tone, too. I'm wondering what the significance is for the cold water... hmmm. I do like how you describe it running over his face at the end - you do a great job in painting the desperation of these people, as well as their regret.

[My weak voice is swallowed by the shadows, stolen by the silence.]

I thought this line is particular really stuck out for me. It's very dramatic and spooky.

Overall, a very solid and smooth read. The only really nit-picky suggestion I can make is maybe taking out some of the 'even's or 'ever's that I saw throughout the prose, but that's more an opinion of style than anything else. Good job. :)
10/3/2011 c1 15disrhythmic
I -love- the new twist on mythology here - different, creative. It wraps up Icarus's side of the story nicely (if depressingly, but I guess that's the only real ending, huh?).

Your word choice is awesome and really brings the imagery to live, and the continual references to the cold add a very chilling (no pun intended) atmosphere.

The rhythm of this is nice, too... the short sentences and paragraphs grabbed me and add a sort of... fuzziness, maybe, or choppiness, that works really well with the subject matter. ^^

[They won't look at me, but only stare at their folded hands, which even in the dim light, visibly tremble.]

I would've gone with 'tremble visibly' instead - it flows better, I think - but that's just me. :)

All in all, awesome. :D

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