The Break – Mutant 750

The Apology

Thalia sat on the threadbare rug of her apartment and sobbed. She leaned one elbow on her makeshift coffee table, assembled from two wood planks stolen from a demolition site and spread across apple crates. An orangish-brown Texas Longhorns flag drooped from it in disarray, just like her love life. Empty beer bottles and consumed wax candles resting atop it, containers no longer bearing a purpose.

Sorrow soon turned to anger. She turned to the little machine hovering beside her. “Ken was my BOYFRIEND, Icarus! How could you?”

The alien, arrowhead-shaped machine shrugged. Thalia could never figure out how those mechanical arms fit into the device’s thin, aerodynamic cross section. Further, she never understood why it always wore white gloves on its metallic fists. Slowly, it spoke in a voice that only she could hear. It was warm and masculine, normally reassuring, but on this day it sounded whiny. “I’m sorry Thalia. He was getting rough with you.”

Unconsciously, she probed the fresh bruise on her arm. “Icarus! You still don’t understand humans. Sometimes we’re passionate in anger. It’s just emotional release. You have to let it play out.”

“You were crying. I thought you needed help.”

“You didn’t need to punch him! Now he hates me. I finally got a good-looking one,Β  and now because of YOU, he’s gone!

“I’m sorry, Thalia. I…”

“You know…just forget it, Icarus.” She pointed toward the door. “Get out. I mean it. Just go!”

Icarus’ arms drooped down. It turned and slowly hovered out the door. For the first time in twelve years, from the time she was eight, Icarus wasn’t beside her.

Ken was the best-looking guy she’d ever dated. Finding a boyfriend wasn’t easy for her. After spending six years under psychiatric care, her social skills failed to develop. Oh, that was Icarus’ fault too. Thalia’s minor eye mutation meant only she could see past his security screens. No one believed in her “invisible protector.” She kept insisting on Icarus’ existence until she landed in Piedmont Asylum. Eventually, she gave up and lied about Icarus’ existence. Back in the real world again, she proved woefully unskilled at dating.

After entering the UT at Austin, her romantic life involved a series of disasters. Ken came along and Thalia decided her luck had changed. The rugby player took her out and she experienced the “in crowd” for the first time. Those first weeks were heaven. Later, she realized his volcanic temper arose quickly, but he hadn’t directed it at her. She convinced herself he’d never do that to her. When she found him flirting hard with a curvy waitress, she confronted him. He responded flippantly. She wondered if he saw her as just booty call. More arguments and volcanic anger followed.

She hung her head. Who was she kidding? Ken was a jerk, and he really was getting too rough with her. Icarus only protected her with his metal fists like he always had for twelve years. Like a real friend would.

I am an idiot!

She raced outside, calling for Icarus, but she couldn’t find him anywhere.

After a week of evenings searching for him, she lay on the sheet covering her beat up sofa. Biology homework sat unattended on the ersatz coffee table. Her door suddenly unlocked itself and opened.

Thalia jumped upright. “Icarus!”

“Who?” said Ken, walking in as though he owned the place.

“Ken?” She’d completely forgotten about him.

“Yeah, me. The guy you punched.”

“Ken. Let me explain.”

He produced a long knife and pointed it at her. “Nobody. NOBODY punches me, especially no skinny-butt geek-ass bitch like you. Now you gonna pay the price.”

Thalia started to speak. Then she saw something.

Ken screamed at her. “What you got to say now? Huh?”

“I know I’ve said stupid things,” said Thalia. A tear slid down her cheek. “I’ve always admired you and looked up to you. You supported me when I needed someone.”

“Yeah, that’s right!” grunted Ken.

“I never want to lose you.”

“Yeah, keep talkin’.”

Thalia glared at Ken. “I wasn’t talking to you.”

“Huh?” Ken turned to see a white gloved fist approaching his face at Mach 8. He lost consciousness eleven milliseconds later.

“Icarus!” Thalia jumped upon the hovering machine. “You’re back! I’m sorry I yelled at you.

“No apology needed,” said Icarus. “I thought you needed a break.”

Thalia pointed at the swelling in Ken’s shattered jaw. “Yep. That was exactly the break I wanted.”
Author’s Notes:
I’ve edited this as of 4:47 on Friday. I didn’t like the finish. It didn’t have the “oomph” I wanted. I like stories to finish with a bang or at least a well-deserved, snarky comment. The old version simply didn’t have that in my opinion. This new version, with a new title that better matches the finish, feels more complete to me.

These are characters I wrote about long ago. They’re making a comeback now because the scenario is perfect for them. Previous story is here:

This week in Grammar Ghoul Press’ Mutant 750, the word prompt is: Volcanic. The media prompt is the award-winning animation a the start of the post. Look here for more stories based upon the prompts.


About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
This entry was posted in Short Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to The Break – Mutant 750

  1. I love this! I’m so glad these characters are making a comeback. You have such a cool and unique way of bringing words to life. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. R. Todd says:

    Good story. I like how you weaved the potential for Icarus to be real and imaginary, leaving it til the end to almost answer the question. Side note, might want to look at the paragraph that starts “After entering the UT.” I spotted two minor mistakes in wording.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. afairymind says:

    Great story. I love both the concept and the characters. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Suzanne says:

    You are always creating these characters that I wish were real. I could use an Icarus to deal with all the bad winter drivers. Okay, now I have to go read your earlier story… πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Haha! Oh yeah, Icarus would be really handy for those guys driving in snow like it was summer. Icarus would straighten them out quick! I hope you like the other one too. Thanks much, Suzanne!


  5. Lyn says:

    I wish I’d had a friend like Icarus thirty-five years ago. I love your stories that include wonderful non-human protectors like Icarus and Chummy. LOL but you already know that πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      I could’ve used one too. Life would’ve been a whole lot easier. Glad you liked him. If Icarus was available he would guard you faithfully. Thank so much, Lyn! πŸ™‚


  6. tedstrutz says:

    Dammit… Can’t you bring back the first version… I love making snarky comments… Now I can’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Indira says:

    Lovely story. Who wont need Icarus for protection.

    Liked by 1 person

Don't be shy. Say something!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s