On Unfaithful Wings
“...with melting wax and loosened strings
Sunk hapless Icarus on unfaithful wings;
Headlong he rushed through the affrighted air,
With limbs distorted and dishevelled hair;
His scattered plumage danced upon the wave,
And sorrowing Nereids decked his watery grave;
O'er his pale corse their pearly sea-flowers shed,
And strewed with crimson moss his marble bed;
Struck in their coral towers the passing bell,
And wide in ocean tolled his echoing knell.”
To some, death is the end; to others, a beginning. To Icarus Fell, it should have been a relief from a life gone seriously awry.
But death had other plans.
Icarus doesn't believe that the man awaiting him when he wakes up in a cheap motel room is really the archangel Michael, or that God's right hand wants him to help souls on their way to Heaven. Icarus doesn't believe there is a Heaven, so why should they want his help?
But the man claiming to be the archangel tempts him with an offer he can't ignore--harvest enough souls and get back the life he wished he'd had.
It seems Icarus has nothing to lose, until he botches a harvest and the soul that went to Hell instead of Heaven comes back to make him pay by threatening to take away the life he hoped to win back.
To save the wife and son he already lost once, Icarus will have to become the man he never was. Somehow, he will have to learn to believe.
All Who Wander Are Lost
“Never regret thy fall,
O Icarus of the fearless flight
For the greatest tragedy of them all
Is never to feel the burning light.”
If we're good, we go to Heaven; if we're bad we go to Hell. No one wants to go to Hell.
Except one man who wishes people would just remember to call him Ric.
In the aftermath of a serial killer's murderous spree, souls who didn't deserve damnation went to Hell. The archangel Michael doesn't seem concerned, but Icarus Fell can't bear the guilt of knowing it's his fault they ended up there.
But how can he save them when the archangel forbids him from going and his guardian angel refuses to help?
The answer comes in the form of another beautiful, bewitching guardian angel who offers to be his guide. They travel to Hell to rescue the unjustly damned one by one, but salvation comes at a cost and the economy of Hell demands souls.
Is it a price Icarus is willing to pay?
Secrets of the Hanged Man
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
- High Flight by John Gillespie Magee
Icarus Fell thought the afterlife couldn't get any worse...until Hell came looking for him.
When you are the orphaned child of a disgraced nun, and you're saddled with a ridiculous name like Icarus Fell, you don't expect things can go drastically downhill.
Until death comes along and an archangel recruits you for a job you screw up so badly you nearly lose your son to a demonic priest and a fallen angel.
And then, burdened by the lives lost because of your foul ups, you travel to Hell, a detour that costs you more dearly then you could ever have imagined.
No, things couldn't get much worse in the afterlife...unless Satan sends his lap dog to bring back the one thing he thinks belongs to him.
Why couldn't death be easy?