The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?
– J. B. Priestley
It was on a cold, snowy December morning in the city of Landon that Icarus died. He was not quite sure how it had happened. Threading his way through the blur of traffic, he had arrived at the pavement opposite the Aeronautical Control Tower, where he worked. One moment he was staring at the tower, contemplating the sweep of its columns as they soared skyward, and the next he was perceiving his dead body from within the crowd of strangers that had gathered around it. He had often seen old film projections of that phenomenon – the name escaped him – where someone died on a hospital bed, surrounded by friends and family, and a ghostly copy of their body lingered on in the room. It was bizarre that anyone could even be sure of what happened after death, or rather, he thought, after life.
Turning his attention to the scene before him, Icarus realised that those films had been preparing him for this moment. His still body lay in the middle of the pavement, unresponsive to the attempts of the paramedics checking for signs of life. He felt what could be best described as a distant pity for the fallen body, which he was already beginning to disown. He was something else now, a fact that he accepted without much fuss. He could remember his life in Landon: a cup of coffee every morning in the office and a long shower every night in his apartment. But those memories held no weight now as he – or the form that was he – moved away from the other that was no longer him.