Cygnus

 

A short story.

Inspired by The Great Gatsby & Metamorphoses

 

There is a swan in the summer sky. A night full of stories, yet these stars shine the brightest, little points of light, perhaps the still-glimmering remnants of Phaethon’s aspirations.

Phaethon was a boy, a normal boy.

Well, maybe not exactly normal.

But who would believe it?

He was born on this earth, the same as all others. But Phaethon was the son of Helios, a god, whose chariot was the glowing sun that glinted across the heavens.

But who would believe it?
Helios was a story, a legend, a dream.

And so Phaethon went, and ascended, and begged. Helios granted him a single wish. Phaethon though, Phaethon wanted too much, something too far above him, mortal that he was.

He wanted to drive the sun across the sky, stand on the backs of those great luminescent steeds.

He wanted to prove to all those boys below him that who he was, was not normal, was something other, was something greater.

They would believe it.

And lo Helios granted his wish. The next morning, as the sun prepared to rise, Phaethon was mounted atop those wild horses, flame in their nostrils and fire in their eyes. Perhaps there was a moment, a single moment, of jubilation, of realization, of the lie becoming real… but in the end…

They might believe, but it changed nothing.

And he lost control. The boy was nothing but mortal, after all. Those mighty yellow steeds broke free. Young Phaethon began his descent, from heavens to earth, from triumph to breakdown, from life —-

There is a swan in the summer sky, the remains of severed hopes and unmet dreams.

It is a beautiful constellation. Beautiful and cruel.

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