Sound of Vanity

I selected this violin concerto to accompany the flash fiction piece I’ve written for Winter of Whimsy & Wyrdness. Take a listen as you read. Hope you enjoy!



Zingaro, by Ozan Uzul source

Sound of Vanity

The coldest day came in the spring. The final frost revealed his shame as Z found himself down by the riverbed, again. White blossoms peppered the estuary limbs, and he stood in silence, remembrance. A moment of peace, for a moment is all he’d ever have.

His son had been the most lovely creature, hand delivered by the gods. Though, that was the source of the problem. Being lovely was the curse. A mother constantly doting, flocks of friends, gaggles of girls all contributed to his ultimate demise. Narcissus had been raised with the hands of entitlement and Z had left his fingerprints of contribution as well.

Z knew Narcissus would have remarkable talent as soon as he’d placed the instrument into his son’s boyhood hands. The dexterity of his pinky finger showed great promise. He taught his son all he knew but couldn’t execute himself.

The boy quickly transformed the strings into diaphanous webs of joy, permeating the silence. Narcissus drew large crowds and filled the Earth with music. Unparalleled allure washed over the lands, blanketing the disillusionment to come.

It was early spring, and Narcissus had been down by the riverbed when he discovered something unnerving. He’d discovered what beautiful was for the first time. He’d heard others speak of his comeliness but never had he seen anyone to rival his admirers’ words.

Early morning waters pooled near the margins of earth, and Narcissus bent for a closer look. There, in the crystalline surface, was—beautiful. Geometry, cleft in the chin, angular jaw, slopes and lines, coordinates he couldn’t stop inspecting. Each visit revealed another layer of his infatuation, honeyed flesh, cerulean eyes. He became withdrawn from life and completely immersed in the image inside the pools of his own eyes.

Z tried to get the boy to understand the fruitless efforts of his obsession, but Narcissus wouldn’t listen. He withdrew further from the land, abandoning his music, renouncing his role in the cosmos. Crows circled and bled their bleary notes of dissonance into the void, and Narcissus never stopped staring at his own reflection.

It was in the hours of twilight, a late spring eve when Narcissus had begun to drink of the river. A whisper came instructing him to fill himself full of the very thing that reflected his beauty. Perhaps they could become one, he thought, live with his true love for all of eternity. He drank of that river until he could drink no more.

With the instrument clutched tight in his arms and bow firm in his hand, Z stood and appraised the paperwhites in bloom. Delicate blossoms on sturdy stems protruded from the earth around the mouth of the embankment. The mouth his son had drunk the poisoned waters from, the waters Z himself had poisoned.

Narcissus had become useless. With the help of the gods, Z had found another use for him. Now he bloomed every spring for all to enjoy. Though, the cost to Z was an eternity of silence.

© Grace Black

500 words

 Written for  Winter of Whimsy & Wyrdness Micro Fiction Contest 


    1. Thanks so much, Brett! I’m a bit behind and haven’t had a chance to read your entry. Though, I’m sure you managed to deliver the delicious creepy vibe. ; ) Haha! Love your writing!

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