So, for Latin I was assigned to write a short historical story, and I decided to do a… retelling of the Narcissus and Echo myth, kind of. Ish. It's good, just read it! xD
His ivory skin lit up against the ashen sky, and if he had been resisting now, he could no longer. "Narcissus!" he called out, and the youth turned his head, his chin lifted up toward the skies. He grunted, and Aeschylus plucked at the fabric of his clothing. "I have been… watching…" he swallowed his words, nervously reaching out to the other boy, but he stopped when he was struck by a harsh, unforgiving glare.
"It's pathetic to think that I would even look at you willingly," Narcissus spat. "Don't ever try to touch me. Out of my sight, you ugly thing." With those words, his blonde curls spun around, and his chiseled jaw turned the other way as he sauntered off. Aeschylus stood silently as the wind whipped around him, the sun close to setting. Slowly his hand descended, back to his side, and he blinked in disbelief. His fingers clenched into a tight, white ball, and as the boy who rejected him drew away, he could only writhe with what should have been a pounding hurt, but was instead a rapidly growing want for revenge.
Narcissus was an adorer of the arts, and every time he could, he would attend the local theater for the most recent play. Receiving a papyrus playbill from a passing young man, he grinned and read the summary about an egocentric young man and the tragedy that would befall him later that day. Eager, he weaved his way through the tall, stone buildings and toward the strangely deserted ditch littered with rows of stone seats. He sat at the very font, grateful for the opportunity, but yet disconcerted by the lack of spectators. He noticed two young men sitting a distance away in each direction. As the sun beat upon him, he sat up straighter and waited for the play to start.
The play was nothing special. The masks were mediocre and the acting ill-practiced. Yet, despite the amateurish performance, Narcissus found himself engaged. The man who played the central character wore a hastily crafted wooden mask, and he lifted a large hand to every suitor who dared approach him. "No," he would say each time. "You do not deserve me."
One last suitor confronted the desired, pompous character, begging to be loved, offering whatever gifts he could afford. The protagonist looked the other way and knocked the gifts out of the suitor's hands, proclaiming the offering of cheap trinkets disgusted him. The suitor's mouth dropped open. Soon his wounded expression turned to one full of rage, and with his love's back still to him, he pulled out a dagger from his leather belt, announcing, "I will kill the vain one."
The protagonist spun around and glanced at the man with the dagger, but the other wooden mask wasn't directed at him, but at the single boy sitting in the crowd. Narcissus blinked, sliding back into his seat and placing his hands on the stone blocks behind him. The actor with the dagger advanced, stepping off the stage and into the rows of seats. "Wha… what?" he asked. "I don't understand…"
The dagger moved closer, and Narcissus scrambled up the steps. "I'm not who you want!" he cried, but that only excited the actor further, for he swiftly seized the young man and held the dagger to his throat. Narcissus looked through the holes in the mask and into the broiling black eyes, and recognition swept over his features. He yanked off the mask and threw it across the theater, and wasn't surprised.
Aeschylus's grip of Narcissus's neck tightened, and they glared at each other, their faces inches apart. "You seemed to enjoy the play," sneered Aeschylus. Narcissus didn't respond. "It's only polite to clap. Clap for the sake of me, fool!" Narcissus only narrowed his gaze, his own fingers gripping Aeschylus's wrist. "Clap," he demanded, his voice lowered to a menacing whisper, "or I will cut your hands off."
The youth extracted his hands from his grip and slowly slapped them together, hating the look of victory that shone on the other boy's face. His hold on his neck relaxed, and the moment it did, Narcissus broke out into a sprint. Not a second later did he hear the clattering of footsteps running up the stone stairway, and he hopped over a line of well-groomed bushes to reach the streets of the city. The sun ominously hovered over a nearby building, threatening to disappear.
The two boys who had been in the audience followed Aeschylus in his pursuit, and Narcissus dashed around the immediate area, desperate for somewhere to hide. Knowing he was being watched, he tried to run through a dark alley so he wouldn't be seen from the other side. The trio closely trailed behind him, almost certain to seize him, but as the young Greek ran through the alley, something small bit into his forearm and dragged him elsewhere.
The sun was hiding, and darkness began to fall. Narcissus strained his eyes to look at the dainty face before him, and for the sake of survival, smiled a charming, thankful smile. She smiled back, and the nails that had dug into his arm retracted, and he ducked behind the shrubbery, hoping the darkness would conceal him. There was little way to peek through and watch without being spotted, and as he tried to find a stealthy way to keep an eye on his pursuers, he felt the young girl's arms wrap around his body while she squealed in joy. It took everything he had not to roll his eyes with irritation. "Thank you," he whispered, and she stayed attached to his waist.
"You," she whispered back, and he looked at her. Pretty, he thought. Lips like rose petals, parted in a lovely way. His fingers rose to his own lips, soft and supple, and he liked the feeling of a smile running across them. His eyes darted back to the girl, who was looking at him eagerly. She would be worth a couple weeks of amusement, he deemed, but now was not the time to toy with such thoughts. "You," she urged again, and he took a hasty glance over the bushes. Some men walked about lazily, stumbling into one another and laughing quietly. The air was a dark, silent blue, and he shuddered every time he heard the clacking of footsteps.
"Love, what do you want?" he asked her. At first she grinned at the intimate nickname, but her eyes then widened, as she seemed to have been reminded of something. She rummaged through the pockets sewn into her clothing, impatiently searching for something. He furrowed his eyebrows in confusion until he watched the drops of red stain her once virginal white robe.
"You want?" she asked, holding with both hands a large knife, almost innocently washed with shining crimson blood. He held back a gasp, for he didn't know what this girl was capable of yet, and gently took the dagger away from her. "Want," she sighed, almost dreamily, her smile growing wider as he accepted her gift.
He looked at the knife with discomfort. Who had been the victim of such a brutal attack? "What is with all of this blood?" He asked her after careful deliberation.
He only received a dark smile. "Blood…" she repeated, and he shuddered.
"Right then," he whispered, looking around one last time. "Come now, girl," he urged her, and together they rose above the shrubbery to escape back to his quarters. Unfortunately, he was spotted by one of the boys in the audience, and without any discretion he howled for Aeschylus. Although now armed with a dagger, he would never lower himself to fight such lowly scum, and so Narcissus fled instead with the bloodstained young girl.
Suddenly he felt himself be thrown back, his head striking the hard ground with a heavy force. He closed his eyes and cursed the gods because of the pain, and opened his eyes to Aeschylus straddling him and pinning down his wrists. "You disgusting boy," he spat, and Narcissus flinched. "No man was to die today, but measures taken are measures earned…"
Narcissus couldn't resist asking what in the world he was talking about. Aeschylus didn't respond with words, but instead nodded grimly to a body in a nearby patch of grass. The girl he was with seconds before struggled with the second boy, who had another dagger at her throat. "She is responsible, not I," he explained, quick to accuse her. "I am not capable of such an atrocity, Aeschylus…" he tried to lift his head up, to perhaps seduce the young man into releasing him, but no such luck.
He heard the girl screech from a few feet away, but her echoes of his own cries were the last sounds he heard before he felt the warmth dribble down his throat and everything fade away.