Flash Fiction 16. Greek Myths


“This one or that one?”

Hayley looked over the rim of her book on Greek myths. Her two teenage nieces were sitting on the deck. With the soft green summer garden behind them, their smooth brows wrinkled as they studied their iPhones.

“That one is hot,” Katy said seriously, “That one’s ugly.”

Jenna took this assessment calmly. She shook out her long chestnut hair. Craning her swan-like neck, she raised her slender arm and took another selfie. Then her head was bent again, as she studied the screen of her phone.

“You guys are so narcissistic,” Hayley said.

“What?” Jenna stared anxiously at the picture.

“It means you love yourself,” explained Katy, scrolling through her pictures.

“Well why don’t you just say that instead of narciss – whatever?”

“Do you know who Narcissus was?” Hayley asked.

Jenna and Katy looked annoyed, and slightly impatient.

“Narcissus was the most beautiful guy in ancient Greece. One day he stopped by a stream and saw his own reflection. He was so obsessed by his beauty he couldn’t move. The gods punished him by turning him into the narcissus flower, always bent over the water, gazing at itself.”

“Why do you read those old stories?” Jenna frowned.

“Maybe there’s more wisdom in the old stories than we realise.”

Jenna and Katy stared into space for a moment, their fingers poised over their iPhones.

They exchanged glances.

“Hey, what do you think of this one?” Katy asked Jenna.

“That’s really hot,” Jenna said.

Hayley shrugged and went back to reading her book, as the girls resumed their selfie-taking. She looked over once, and saw them, heads bent over, like two beautiful flowers, lost in the shimmering glass screens of their own unattainable image.

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14 responses to “Flash Fiction 16. Greek Myths”

    • Thanks so much! I thought of this concept when I started noticing how many people are always gazing at themselves on Facebook! I like how flash fiction can be used for an idea that can’t really be spun into a longer story.

      I’ve been enjoying your recent dark updated fairy tales too 😉 Mythology, fables and fairy tales are rich inspirations!

  1. This is absolutely fantastic! Really is a piece that needs a lot of dialogue too I’d think, so you pulled it off damn well. I think this has stolen my top spot for your flash fictions!

    • Oh! And I’m just seeing you have work on the kindle store! Once my bank balance gets out of the minus numbers, I’ll be giving them a wee purchase 🙂

      • Good on you! There will be some free Ghost Stories coming up in January too!

        So glad you like this week’s flash fiction. There’s always the fear that one week I’m going to put up a turkey. 😉 The incredibly high standard of the work of my little band of bloggers is a great inspiration!

  2. That last bit is so true. The infatuation with oneself has indeed made so many narcissistic these days… and I am not any different. I do not reflect upon my shadow but I do rather upon my thoughts and emotions.

    • Great comment – people can be narcissistic in many ways!

      I’m always amazed at how wise the ancients were. They may not have had the technology but their knowledge of human nature was spot on. And the role of writers hasn’t changed – we have to always reflect and observe and be aware of society’s and our own weaknesses!

  3. Great story and well-timed. There was a news story the other day about a woman who stopped in front of a bridge where a man was about to commit suicide. She paused and took a selfie, with the man and his rescuers on the bridge in the background.

    • That news story is horrible isn’t it! What a thing to do!

      Ironically, after I’d posted this, I was late for a Christmas party on Saturday, because I was all dressed up and trying to take a selfie I could put on the blog for the Versatile Blogger award. It’s eerily addictive. But I think I will let other people take pictures of me from now on!

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