My Thoughts on Rewriting
A rewrite of a rewrite of a myth
When I was last at writing group on 8 April, the mission we had, should we choose to accept it, was to write a view from a character in a myth or a well-known story or film that was different or an extension of the original.
My original thoughts were to write the “after story” of The Tempest by William Shakespeare, from the perspective of Ariel, the sprite. I had those thoughts dancing around in my head for a good couple of weeks, but I began to realise that the story was going to end-up being quite large, and too big for the constraints of one person’s contribution. Perhaps I could have written a shorter version if I had written an early draft, but to do so at a later stage would have resulted in too much to do, and not enough time to do it. I still think I might write that story one day, but not this time around.
The other possibility that I had been thinking of was just using a story I had written before about Daedalus and Icarus, but that was just under 1000 words, and I needed it to be less than 500 words. With that in mind, I re-wrote the story more by just editing out some parts and changing the style a little. Of course, the ‘original’ myth was probably a rewrite of a rewrite of a rewrite of a rewrite of a retelling of a retelling etc of a myth, that may well have been an entirely different story to begin with. I wasn’t entirely happy with the end result, but it was an interesting exercise, nonetheless.
This Bird Has Flown – A rewrite of the Daedalus and Icarus myth
Press Release — 27 August 2012 10am
“Good Morning! You know me as Daedalus, the Chief Executive of Daedalus Engineering. You are aware that our firm had its origins many years ago in Athens, and spent many years in various parts of Greece, constructing mazes for the gardens of wealthy clients, until diversifying into wing production becoming involved in the wing design of various space shuttle programmes. Our firm operates out of Sicily, since we moved there after a flight using early wing designs.
I am back here, in Greece, to answer police questions about my nephew, the former owner of Perdix Precision Tools. He disappeared 12 years ago, last seen in a penthouse restaurant. We were all distraught following this incident, wondering what tragedy had befallen him.
Many rumours have surfaced which have suggested foul play by me. Such rumours are untrue and, whilst we can all speculate about what happened, none of us know.
Now, someone named Partridge has appeared, claiming to be my nephew, but he bears no resemblance, and shows no family characteristics. His claims have no credibility, but have resulted in me being called in for further questioning by the police about the disappearance of my nephew.
I did buy-out Perdix Precision Tools after my nephew’s disappearance, but that was to help my sister out, following the loss of her beloved son, and no other explanation about motive should be suggested.
It is upsetting that this imposter, Partridge, is causing more distress for a grieving family, but is also now casting aspersions on my character, by suggesting that I have aimed to defraud my nephew out of his company.
I will submit to the police questioning, and co-operate fully with their investigation, but I will also be launching my own investigation into the true identity of this Partridge person.
No further comment will be made at this time.”
Press Release — 25 January 2017 2pm
“Good Afternoon! My name is Partridge, formerly Perdix of Perdix Precision Instruments. You will now know that the court has decided that insufficient evidence exists to uphold my claim to my family fortune, stolen by Daedalus and my own mother, who has failed to recognise me as Perdix.
It is unfortunately true that Athena has failed to come forward and support my claims, and thus, both the civil action I had planned for appropriate compensation, and the criminal charges I was hoping would be brought against Daedalus, have now collapsed.
To add insult to injury, I now find out that I am under investigation by the powerful Daedalus organisation, with their hope of bringing charges against me for defamation of character. I will be consulting my own legal team on the next steps forward.
It has been a very disappointing day.
Given the legal complexities involved, there will be no further comment at this time.”
Press Release — 26 January 2017 10am
“Good Morning! My name is Daedalus of Daedalus Engineering.
You will be aware of the legal battles I have been forced to fight against several allegations made by the person known as Partridge.
This final court appearance confirmed, as did the other two, that I am in the right, and there is no evidence to support any of the claims made by Partridge. I hope that this is now the end of the matter, so that we can all continue with getting back to normal life.”
Press Release — 8 March 2018 10am
“Good Morning! My name is Athena, and I act as a freelance strategic consultant on the international stage.
For the last two years, I have been working in a remote area on a project, involving state secrets for a specific government that I am not able to name. Whilst working there, I was working in a very secure environment, with no communication available with the outside world.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I returned home to find my good friend, Partridge, imprisoned simply for telling the truth. This is a grievous miscarriage of justice, and I have been in touch with the authorities to see this conviction quashed, and to re-open the investigation into Daedalus, based on the statement I gave to the police this afternoon. The police will confirm this to be the case in due course.
No further comment will be made at this time.”
Press Release 8 March 2018 2pm
“Good Afternoon! I am Governor Vargas of the Prime Security Prison behind me. I am sorry to announce that Partridge died this morning as a result of committing suicide in his cell. There was no opportunity to inform him of the return home of Athena, or of the statement released by her this morning.
An independent investigation will be held into the death of Partridge, and we will co-operate with that investigation. As such, no further comment will be made at this time.”
Press Release — 18 March 2018 6pm
“Good Evening! I am Inspector Panadopolous, Chief of Greek police. I can confirm that, despite the death of Partridge, based on some new evidence that has arisen, following the witness statement made by Athena, the investigation into Daedalus has been formally re-opened.”
Press Release — 14 April 2018 2pm
“I am Dr Taylor from the World Passenger Space Flight service. It is my sad duty to confirm that the commercial Trans-Earth space shuttle, “Icarus”, largely designed by Daedalus Engineering, experienced many problems on re-entry into the atmosphere this morning. This caused overheating and combustion within the cabin, thereby causing the shuttle to crash into the Aegean sea, with the resultant loss of all passengers and crew. This included Daedalus, himself, who had decided in this unfortunate instance to finally try space travel for himself.”
This Bird Has Flown (The Rewrite)
Daedalus stretched as much as he could in his king-sized bed, before pushing up out of there. It had felt great to be living well, now, in the pleasant sun of Sicily, where his firm, Daedalus Engineering was finally working on the bigger global contracts, but today was going to be a difficult day.
It was not that far geographically from Athens, where he had his origins, constructing mazes for the gardens of wealthy clients, until diversifying into wing production, becoming involved in the wing design of various space shuttle programmes. He shuddered when he thought of the early test flights, full of problems, killing his good friend, Icarus on one of those flights. He still missed him so much, which was why the latest project for one of the world’s rich billionaires with space ambitions was called Project Icarus, and the space shuttle they were building would be named Icarus, despite the past misfortunes of the pilot, whose name was living-on. Daedalus himself never blamed Icarus for the disaster that had almost ruined him. He had loved that man like his own son.
Daedalus had been in a good mood, rising with the sun, but then he remembered that today was about giving evidence to some Interpol officers, with instructions from the Greek police to answer questions on the disappearance of his nephew, Perdix of Perdix Precision Tools, last seen in a penthouse restaurant in Athens,12 years ago, when Daedalus was still operating on the Greek mainland.
Daedalus was aware of the rumours that had spread, he knew not from where, of some foul play involving him. His evidence would state that he was naturally distraught following the disappearance of his nephew, wondering what could have befallen him. His purchase of Perdix Precision Tools shortly afterwards was to provide support for his nephew’s wife and family, he would assert. The fact that it was now a key part of Daedalus Engineering, and it had been of enormous assistance in capturing the larger contracts, would be described as natural business development by him. And that was largely true. He would leave out the fact that, without that purchase, he would still be designing mazes in Greece.
He was, however, troubled by the mention of someone claiming to be Partridge, but no confirmation of identity had taken place. Athena’s doing, he thought. Perhaps some minor changes to the final touches to Project Icarus could be made secretly by him, just in case.
“This is the news at Six. Dr Taylor from the World Passenger Space Flight service has just confirmed that the commercial Trans-Earth space shuttle, “Icarus”, largely designed by Daedalus Engineering, experienced many problems on re-entry into the atmosphere this morning.
The result was overheating and combustion within the cabin, thereby causing the shuttle to crash into the Aegean sea, with the resultant loss of all passengers and crew. This included Daedalus, himself, who had decided in this unfortunate instance to finally try space travel for himself.”
In the myth, Daedalus and Icarus were fleeing from a Greek island using wings, made from feathers and bonded together with wax. Despite warnings from Daedalus of the dangers, Icarus flew too close to the sun, the wax melted and Icarus plunged to his death.
Perdix is Greek for partridge. In at least one version of Greek mythology, Perdix was nephew and student of Daedalus, but the student was soon outdoing the master. Daedalus became jealous of his nephew’s achievements and, one day whilst alone with him, threw him from a high tower, but Perdix was saved by the goddess, Athena, who turned him into a partridge, and he flew away.
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