- If My Heart Had Wings – creativity and mental health
Jupiter moved across the square under the warm light of the summer sun. He had had it with Steph, he had been in her shadow for too long and was now done with it. His gait was purposeful; he was crossing Parsonage Gardens towards the centre of town and looking for a showdown; the sun shone on his powerful torso and his hair shone like the colour of falling leaves. Because he was cross, flashes of lightening kept forming in his hands but he took care to let none of them release.
He stopped outside Revolution and hesitated for one second. Then he turned on his heel and took the steps as the sliding doors opened to let him in. He ordered a double Playing with Fire and sat down to try to let his nerves settle, which he found difficult as a consequence of the thoughts that raced through his head. This was like a thousand images flashing in front of him every second each one as large as a whole dimension and each single one a vital part of what he was trying to do. Damn the Universe, he thought, it’s just too large and unwieldy for an immortal. It wasn’t just Steph he eventually decided, its was the whole bunch of friends he’d had since time immemorial. They were getting too big for their boots, always balking him in his designs, keeping him away from his raw materials. He knocked back his shot and walked up St Mary’s Street to Deansgate.
There he noticed Leda window shopping. She looked fabulous, dressed in her simple shepherd’s gear with tungsten blue hair. He went up to her and put his arm around her waist. She reacted like a startled deer, the exact way he loved and turned her round to stare at her long and hard. But she had a new look in her eye, a hurt and haunted run-away look and she grabbed his wrist and bit it hard.
“We’ve had just enough of you and your ways, Jupiter. It’s time you moved on or we’ll replace you”.
He took a moment to take this in, idly wiping the blood away. This was Steph’s doing and he hated her for it. She was always getting the women together, always devising sneaky ways to make them strong and spiky just like Leda’s hair. He did enjoy a spirited woman, one who put up a fight, but just a little fight. He wasn’t used to being told what to do and his fists clenched on the lightening bolt that bristled there. One or two of the shoppers were starting to look at them oddly, some hesitating as they passed.
“This is so boooring”, Jupiter yawned.
“I never liked you one bit. You took from me what wasn’t yours and I want you to pay for it”.
“But don’t you like my lovely feathers?” he drawled, stroking an arm suddenly brilliant white in the afternoon sun.
He always marvelled at the power of words over humans. He saw her blanch as she looked at it, freeze and reveal her broken sadness in a little glance away from him, as if shielding her face from a threatened strike. He leaned back on the shop window and struck up a cigarette, inhaling with a long, luxurious content. He blew the smoke at her which, as it enveloped her, became like thews which held tight and stoppled up her mouth. He was relieved that no one seemed to notice and her put her under his arm and ran off down the street, confident that speed would protect him.
He stopped behind Waterstones, slightly out of breath and in the dimness of the alley way slowly unpeeled her. He left a bit of smoke wrapped round her mouth for safety’s sake. He tapped her on the arm so she would listen. Her eyes blinked open.
“Now listen, Leda. This sort of insubordination is completely unacceptable. You need to yield to my will. I am not a jealous god, but if you carry on like this I might just get a bit. No shouting now.” And he stripped off the sticky smoke which left her skin almost luminescent in its paleness. Her blue hair was tousled and in disarray.
Then, quite suddenly he heard a popping noise and there were people there, he sensed. In fact a bunch of them. Steph, over to his right, the other planets standing with square shoulders behind her, Saturn with his electron rings spinning gently round his head, Neptune who was blue all over and naked, Mars idly twirling a bicycle chain, the little runt. What a motley, foolish crew they were. Feeblebunnies of the highest order. He readied a bolt in his hand and raised his arm, suddenly feeling his energy ebbing away.
He notice Pluto for the first time, hidden by the bulk of Uranus, with a strange device half generator, half defibrillator and his knees began to shake. Neptune threw a rope of sand around him surprising him and pulled it tight. Before he could break the feeble thing another rope, a metal cord was passed around his arms and tightened too.
Neptune smirked and said: “Not this time, I’m afraid, Old Chap”
and a billion watts of power surged through him at first making him feel strong but then burning, burning. Even his inner gases were unreachable. He stood there, trembling and saw that Steph had stepped forward to speak to him.
“It’s sad”, she said. “There was always so much strength in you but you could never use it wisely. You went on gobbling up left-over debris until you almost were big enough to burn, but now you must yield to that greater power, the Sun. We are sending you abroad to hopefully expand your mind.”
With that they contained him in a plasma field and sent him second class to Nice where nothing ever happened and they thought that it was time it did.