Icarus as a Tourist

Abraham exited the airport to a blast of hot air. The contrast to the chilled air of the airport brought an instantaneous sweat from head to toe. The sidewalk was packed with people arriving from across the globe or leaving for a remote adventure. For Abraham, this wasn't just a stop; it was a destination.

Taxi drivers crowded for his attention and when he politely declined one another was just behind him.

"Please. No. ...No. Thank you. Please. I'm just waiting on a friend... I have a friend coming, but thank you."

He started trying to shoo them away like bugs and continued aimlessly down the sidewalk until they left him alone. When he reached the end of the sidewalk, he stopped and looked up. The airport seemed small in the distance and cars sped by him out to the highway. He decided to head back to the airport to ensure that his friend would be able to spot him. He thought that perhaps if the taxi drivers thought he was arriving, they might leave him alone.

He turned around, and a blur of a man was rushing straight toward him. Stunned, Abraham took a step back and put out his arms to brace for impact. As he started to close his eyes the man sprouted wings and took off into the air right in front of him.

Abraham stood and looked up. The man was high in the air circling, silhouetted against the bright sun.

"Hey ...Hey bossman."

The voice broke him out of his daze, and a short man with a massive black beard was standing in front of him.

"You want to fly?" he asked.

"What?"

"Fly, bossman. FLY! Just like him." the short man pointed in the sky at the man now even smaller and doing figure eights against the sun.

"I don't... What?" Abraham was very confused.

"Look bossman. I sell wings. Do you want to fly?" the man pulled a massive suitcase out from behind some bushes. It was larger than the man in all directions, and he struggled with it for time. When he opened it, the lid faced Abraham, and the man disappeared behind it. When he reappeared from the other side, he was wearing a pair of massive black wings. Abraham stepped back.

"Just look at the quality here!" The man rolled his shoulders and the wings spread out to what had to be three to three and a half meters. "You'll never need a taxi again. Cheap too! I need to get rid of my current inventory to make room for more!"

Abraham was completely speechless.

"Cheap bossman. Cheap! You just flew in on a plane, right? How much did that ticket cost, bossman? With these, you'll never need to buy a plane ticket again."

Abraham was marveling at the wings. The black feathers glistened like a massive crow. They were practically opalescent like a slick of oil, and he was mesmerized.

"So how much would you pay for this convenience and beauty?" The man tossed his shoulders back and forth, and the wings flapped slowly behind him.

"I.. I don't know" Abraham heard himself say. He was sure he could see a rough reflection of himself in those wings. He could feel the beautiful weight of them on his shoulders.

"Well, my friend, I need to get rid of these, so I'm happy to cut a deal with you."

Abraham absentmindedly pulled out his wallet without taking his eyes off the wings. They must be massively expensive.

"I don't think I have enough.."

"Hell, where are my manners? You're new to our great country, aren't you! Of course, you are. Listen to that accent!" He laughed and rolled his shoulders and flapped again stirring the leaves across the sidewalk. "Name your price. Seriously! Look at this artistry. It's amazing. It hurts my heart that I have to sell this pair, but they have to go." He put his hand over his heart and looked sadly at the ground. Abraham's head shook slightly back and forth as he watched the slow motion of the wings.

"But I'm sure a fine gentleman like yourself has more than enough in your wallet to purchase these fine wings. You know what? As we say around here, I like the shape of your ears! I'm willing to take a risk and say the price is whatever you have in your wallet."

"ABE!" a voice yelled at him from behind.

Both men were startled. The short man tried to grab the wallet from Abraham's hand but missed.

"ABE!" He turned to see his friend running up the sidewalk toward him. When he turned back the short man, his wings and his suitcase were gone. His friend grabbed his arm and leaned against him out of breath from running.

"Damn Abe! What the hell?" he panted.

"I ...I ...this guy was selling wings."

"Oh hell, man. Are you serious?"

"I'm not sure." Abraham felt like he was sobering up from a long night of drinking.

"It's a scam man. It's a scam. What the hell? Flying?"

"but..." all he could do was point up to where the flying man had been circling.

"Lords on high. That was a kite. How gullible are you?"

Abraham tried to answer, but he kept seeing those dark black wings like an afterimage from looking at a bright light.

"Shit. Do you still have your wallet?"

He looked down at the wallet still in his hand.

"Yes?" he said unsure if he was adequately answering the question.

"well, hell. Ok then. Let's get out of here. Damn man, you scared me. You have to be more careful."

"I'm sorry" was all he could muster. He still felt like he was just waking from a long sleep.

"That's alright. I'm sorry the first person you meet in my homeland was a conman. Ah, to hell with it! Come on my friend. It's so good to see you!" His friend embraced him, but Abraham found it hard to raise his arms to return the hug.

"Ah, long flight. Come on brother. Let's get a drink."

Abraham followed his friend, but his mind only saw those black wings. He dreamt of those black wings throughout the trip. Despite not having a great time he returned to visit his friend many times. He often reported his arrival time wrong so he could spend several hours outside the airport in the hope of finding that wing vendor once more.