The Echoed Lay of Narcissus

So, this is a written piece I did for The Student Wordsmith’s literary journal, The Purple Breakfast Review. It was for their 4th publication and had to be themed around ‘Echoes’, reading at exactly 1000 words in length.


If you click ‘Read More’ you can read the story.

In the vast mountainous range of Kithairon, the limestone monolith that carved a physical boundary through central Greece, and bore the marked stains of history; where Heracles himself hunted and slew the eponymous lion, and the site of which the Persian king Xerxes lost control of Attica and Boeotia to the Delian League, under the might of the royal Spartan scion General Pausanias.

From the forested foot of this landform, stirred an nymph so called Echo, one who has long lost the command of its voice to nothing more than reflections of sound, as a punishment of its throes of passion with the wanton Zeus and in doing so invoked the wrath of the scorned queen Hera.

Despite such affliction, Echo remain a creature subject to the ills of passion and love, a plague that so claimed it upon the arrival of a stray hunter to the woodland. Narcissus, a mortal whose very beauty was intoxicating; his lithe frame that permitted graceful steps that seemed he danced with the air itself. Hair as black as onyx, lustrous strands of obsidian locks that reflected the light as pinpoints of Stygian sable.

Oh but his voice, so soft as velvet and as sweet as honey, each syllable dripping as ambrosia from silken pink lips. Words devouring. A feast of the muses. Every utterance a cascading song, a stream of cherubic chorus.

“Sing!, oh sing! Sweet beauty, let flow the notes of your living aria.”, so screamed the thoughts of Echo, a desperate cry to the gods high.

The once loquacious nymph stalked the twinkish youth as he transversed the Kithairon greenwood, dancing in quickening steps with the wild deers that ran freely around him. Following him ever so softly, the nymph draw close enough that it could taste the sweat on him, so close just but a lick… But Echo’s aggressive hovering brought a sound, a sight vibrato to the mostly silent forest…

“Is anyone there?” Narcissus stammered, his once honeyed voice oozed with fear but also with the tinge of curiosity. But the nymph could not answer, only echo the sweet words “Is anyone there!” with a voice that rings hollow with forced repetition.

Calmed at hearing a voice familiar to his own, the still somewhat cautious Narcissus’ breathing steady as his heart returned to a rhythmic beat. “Come here”, he beseeched as his once graceful steps adopted a heavy laden stomp of the leafed ground, an unsteadiness to his gait…born of both fear and drive. But again he heard but another echoed reply of “come here”, teasing him further into the darkness and unfamiliarity of the oaken garth holt.

As Narcissus descended deeper within the shadows of the forest, losing himself in the mimicking cloak of leaves and sprawling branches, this raptorial comedic dance, as each participant swayed around one another, but never touching as they both spewed repetitive lamentations and commands of greeting and reveal. The shade of the forrest trees hid the passage of time, as the dance continued, with each swayed step, Narcissus’ voice grew bolder and more forceful, releasing an affable command of “This way, we must come together.”

But still he saw nothing, no cooing maiden in the throngs of ecstasy awaiting ravishment, nor a sculpted adonis, fully erect awaiting some lost traveller to feed his urge and scream mews of pleasured pain as he would mount and thrust with animalistic speed and tenacious power into their moist orifices, stretching them, leaving them used and full of his seed. Only the echoed words of “We must come together!” answered him, devoid of seduction but growing as forceful as his own voice.

Deeper and deeper Narcissus descended into the grove, following the echoing voice, till he stumbled across a enclaved hurst. A paradise of ordered nature within the vast overgrowth of the forest, where the chirps and rustles of Gaia soothed the soul. Alas still no one awaited him, just the echoes.

The lustful nymph could not contain its urge much longer and grasped the wayward youth, forcing its lips upon his own, biting at them and tasting the sweet metallic ichor that oozed. As Narcissus pushed his attacker back, he landed afoot the holt’s pool and saw the beauty for which he searched, as he watched his reflection intensively in the oasis pool, mesmerised by the ethereal beauty that mirrored him in the clear water.

He watched as the figure copied his very actions, as he caressed his own chest, ghosting his thin fingers over the raised nub of his nipple, pinching the tender mound of flesh between his fingers, squeezing tighter in pace with his soft moans.

As his other hand traced the raised ridges of his rips, plucking softly at them as if to elicit a musical sound, as his hand continued its exploration of his smooth body, it descended lower and lower till it reached his erect member, twitching at the seams of his clothing, as it stained the material.

He trailed his nailed fingers along the shaft, bringing about a shiver through his spin, as he continued to clamp his nipples.

His eyes never left the figure in the pool, watching as its face continued into throngs of arousal at his sight. He grasped hard at his throbbing erection, and pulled the foreskin back from its bulbous swollen head, gasping at the act as he began a steady rhythm, bucking his hips in line with each thrusting pull.

Echo watched as the boyish youth scrapped at his own skin, clamped his swollen nipples and squeezed tighter at his erect member.

Repeatedly, the nymph watched this display, till the youth’s body began to decay, as his lithe frame gave way to cadaverous jutterings, displacements of set bone protruding at the thin seams of pallor skin. Once rose pink lips, cracked and split, coloured only by dried blood, croaking barely audible whispers of “Oh marvellous boy, I loved you in vain farewell.” While Echo could only watch and responded “farewell” in kind.

Copyright © 2013 – 2016 Patrick Ward – All Rights Reserved.

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