One-Hit Wonder

By TheLostMaximoff

Disclaimer: Don't own these characters. I haven't done an Icarus fic in awhile and this concept struck me as odd. R/R if you like it.

It's a cliché in music. You take a kid, some stupid and naïve kid with a guitar and good looks. He gets one shot and only one shot. Whatever he makes of it is what he's known by for the rest of his career not to mention the rest of his life. He gets one platinum record, one hit song on the radio, one chance. Then, well, life drops him. Life just kicks him to the curb when it's done with him. He had his fifteen minutes of fame and there's a new sucker born every minute. So everybody forgets about this kid. They remember that one song, that one moment when he was king, and they forget the rest. The kid's time is through. They give him a label, a jeer hurled at him by the rest of pop culture. "One-hit wonder", that's what they call him.

So what does that nameless kid do when every page of notebook paper he looks at laughs in his face and every chord he strums on the guitar feels hollow and out of place? Answer's simple really. The kid just gives up, throws in the towel. He was on top and then he fell. Falling is appropriate in my case. After all, I am Icarus the red-winged, would-be angel and hero. So I fell, fell from a mountain I had climbed to the peak of. But I got greedy just like the nameless kid with the guitar. I could've stayed on top forever, you see. At least that's what I thought in my own mind. But we all have to fall. We all have to reach for the sun and plummet into the cold, icy depths of despair.

It is an odd thing now to realize how much I have grown to hate water. I used to like it, enjoy it. It was cool, gentle, refreshing. I enjoyed swimming in it, feeling the weightlessness of it. I remember spending hours swimming in the pond with Julia when we were children. It was paradise, a veritable Garden of Eden. But once again, there's always a fall. Life can't be a paradise of innocence forever. No, sooner or later the innocence gets ripped away from you. You fall from grace and hit the cold, hard ground of reality. You plummet into the ocean and sink into its suffocating depths.

Water is no longer a friend. If it's anything it's what I hate most. I can't stare at it without thinking about Julia. It took her from me, this gentle killer. Its cool, refreshing body clogged her lungs and stole the breath from her. Its gentle caresses pulled her into the undertow, beguiling and tempting her as a lover would until she sank into it so deeply that it killed her. Yes, I hate the water now.

But there is something I hate more than the water. I hate it that when she left so did my ability to create. I love music so much, perhaps as much as I loved her. But those two were unknowingly entwined, the music and Julia. It was symbiotic. The music came from my love for her and the music I wrote for her made me love her all the more. But now, now there is a gap so wide I cannot fill it. My wings are broken now, broken from the fall. I had my one great moment, you see. I was king; I was on the top of the world. I had gone platinum, bought the big mansion, and owned the fancy sports car. Loving her was my one chance, my one moment of greatness. And then I fell. I fell and now I'm trying to climb the mountain again. But I wonder, will anyone care now? Will anyone listen now that I'm out of style or not trendy anymore? Nobody hears from a one-hit wonder when the lights go down and the music fades.

I read a poem once by a man named William Carlos Williams called "Landscape With the Fall of Icarus". He wrote it while staring at a painting of the same name. In the poem, Williams shows how trivial Icarus' fall really was to the rest of the world. No one cared, you see. They heard the screams as he fell into the ocean but didn't pay attention to them. They didn't listen. And in the end, Icarus became a one-hit wonder too. No one remembers his life before that fatal incident. Had he survived, no one would've remember the rest of his life. Is it such a good thing, I wonder, to be remembered for falling and failing? I'd almost prefer a life of anonymity to that. I am Icarus and I have fallen. But unlike the other nameless, faceless kids with guitars who gave up after their one moment in the sun, I'm still grasping for that glory again. I'm still clawing and fighting and crawling my way back up the mountain. My wings are broken but not my spirit. With every guitar chord or song lyric I force into existence I am climbing that mountain again. The question, however, is will anyone remember me? Will anyone listen or will I just go down in history as a cliché, a stupid and naïve kid with a guitar who became just another one-hit wonder?

"Insignificantly off the coast there was a splash quite unnoticed, this was Icarus drowning." – William Carlos Williams, "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus"