Narcissus (A Retelling)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Narcissist(adjective) : A person who is in love with himself and or idolises himself to the point of delusion. We all know what the word means, but the word came from the name of a man called Narcissus. This is his story. Get into the mind of a man who loved himself to the point of death. Literally. A modern retelling of the Greek myth , "Narcissus and Echo"

Submitted: January 07, 2012

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Submitted: January 07, 2012



I love him. I spied him once, whilst walking past a stream. He looked at me and I looked at him. Eyes the colour of the sky on a stormy day, with flecks of sunny rays peeping through. Ringlets, like spun gold, a mouth that put damask roses to shame and that seemed as if the Zeus himself had been benevolent the day of his creation. He looked at me, and I at him. The expression of surprise on his face changed to one of wonder. But Father was waiting, so I had to leave. One last look at him and I left.

I love him. I spied him again by the same stream. I looked at him, and he at me. I smiled at him and he smiled back, shyly. Realising, that he probably thought me a rude youth for not stopping to talk, I knelt by the quiet waters. Iridescent ripples formed the colours of the rainbows when I touched his divine face. The waters reformed and I saw a face that spoke of the same desire that I felt for him. "Greetings, Fair sir," started I, and his mouth opened and closed with mine. I could not hear him so I put my ears close to the chattering stream. Nothing. The sky was turning a shade of purple with golden clouds scattered across it. Father was waiting. So I left, but I kissed him. And when I looked back, he had disappeared, leaving only the ripples that carried away my kiss on their minute waves.

I love him. I come everyday to the stream. Father says I don’t help him with the same joy that I used to. He says that I do not care for the flock. He is right. The sinner that I am, I care for one other than I should. My duties, my honour, my family… They mean nothing to me. The women, with their whining voices and fleeting, but sharp looks at my money, say the same. Their faces pale in comparison to him. I lie in front of the stream and look at him everyday. I have not gone home for a sennight. I never feel hungry and drinking water from the stream would be to pollute his presence. So I sit and gaze at him. Sometimes I talk to him. He opens and closes his mouth, but try as I might, I can not hear him.

I love him. As I was sitting by the stream, a strange maiden ran up to me. She was panting and her black hair was flying around her like Medusa’s snakes. She stood there in front of me and looked at me for a long time, as if she had forgotten how to speak. So I asked her "Who are you? What do you want, maiden?". The maiden looked terrified and said "You? Want, maiden?" She was mocking me. So I stood up, having begged my beloved’s pardon at having to leave him. But he seemed to understand as he too had an angry look on his face as I left the stream. "Why are you mocking me?" I asked of her. The terrified look never left her face as she said "You mocking me?". I strode away and sat by my beloved and caressed his watery, frowning face. He must be angry as I am talking to such women, I thought as his frown and my anger left me. But the Medusa would not leave. Hair and tears streaming over her face, she tried with her womanly strength to drag me away from him.

I love him! How dare she! I slapped Medusa, hard. She staggered away and weeping, she ran. I shouted after her "And do not come back!" ."Come back!" screeched the witch, crying all the while. I sat next to him again. I kissed him, as a sign of my sorrow at being away for so long. The waters on my face fell back on his smiling, loving face and I was happy again. He was good, and I was certain of his love. But I could see that his cheeks had become hollow and his eyes were sunken and crusty. His ringlets lay crushed but I did not care. He was mine, and I loved him.

I loved him when I died next to his presence. I knew that it hunger and thirst that led me to my death. But I never felt any when I was with him, so I died in comfort. I felt Thanatos claw at my heart and I knew it was time. I told Thanatos to wait for a while as I wanted to kiss my beloved goodbye. I felt a drop of blood running down my mouth and as I kissed him. I saw that my beloved too had such rivulets of blood on his visage. But they were on his left cheek while mine were on my right. He was smiling, like me. And then cruel Hades, impatient at our goodbyes, took me away. Forever.


I love him. But I can see him no more. I am flower by the same stream through which my beloved was.I stretch my stem as far as possible to peer into the stream which used to chatter,but now gushes. All I succeed in doing is in scattering my petals over the rushing water. But that is no matter. I love him and people had often told me when I was a youth that "Whosoever Narcissus loves is blessed of Aphrodite herself" . So everyday I send my petals down the gushing stream,hoping that they reach my beloved. My beloved whose name I never cared to ask.

© Copyright 2018 Janbe. All rights reserved.

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