Take a canon tragedy, lace it with classical overtones and give it a new millennial setting. A brother's deadly sins, a sister's heavenly virtues, a lover's eternal gift.
Written for Gasaway Alley's birthday.
Some bits on Pan's ability and how he sees inter-relationships were influenced by blondie aka robin's Dark Side of the Moon.
Cybele – Didyme
Narcissus – Aro
Pan -- Marcus
Mt. Saint Hellena High School
by goldenmeadow and Viola Cornuta
Her older brother gained the beauty in the family. At least that was what she heard everyone say. It was as if there was only enough goodness between the two of them to add up to one complete person. Both of them were doomed, he to his life of success without love, she to her death at his hand, at which time she would return to the land of Dindymene to lay her breast down on the sacred soil of Mt. Dindymon. She wouldn't have had it any other way. She'd had her night of delights, she'd had her Pan.
As if it wasn't bad enough the lethally built and highly esteemed youth was saddled with a fuckin' faggoty name, he also had to bear the shame of his crunchy, Birkenstock-wearing sister. However, she'd looked quite pretty when she died. For once, she was a credit to him.
A music major, a band-geek, his outward claim to masculinity was the need to shave daily before he was twelve...it must have been the Italian blood coursing through his veins. Of average height, bow-legged and never an intramural sportsperson, he spent his weekday afternoons setting up the music room chairs to the teacher's specifications for the extracurriculars. Concert band, pep band, jazz band, dance band, rock band. Funeral march. The long dark-haired boy with his eerie black-brown eyes had, hidden inside, the ability to love with all the excruciating detail he employed when he made music, as well as a direct link to the relationships between other people, like lines of color radiating, prism-like, between lovers, friends, family. Was that fortune, he wondered, or hereditary insanity?
Her long winding locks of onyx swept past her shoulders as she ran to catch the public school system's bus. Although she'd never admit it, Cybele quite enjoyed inciting Narcissus' ire by doing things she knew he'd be ashamed of.
It was with complete certainty she understood he would despise the blooming flirtation between her and Pan, the drum major of the high school marching band.
Possessing an inordinate, and unlikely, deep and endless well of happiness, Cybele was not only unknowingly beautiful, she was also a very quiet, very unassuming leader. As such, she posed a threat to ambitious Narcissus. Naive, innocent Cybele took no heed of the various boys from all strata of high school society clambering over themselves to get a seat near her in class, to stand behind her in line at the cafeteria (in the main they wanted to ogle her plush ass, though a few had more gallant intentions), to glom onto her as she sat in the bleachers each autumn with her Styrofoam cup of hot cocoa, watching the football rivalries.
Her followers were many. Mainly because she was ignorant of her magnetism. Her allure was not only of untouched, divine flesh, but also unrealized charm and personality.
Always scheming, Narcissus noticed and took it upon himself to insult, disparage and disgrace his younger sister every chance he got so she would never comprehend the power she held in her tiny, mighty hand.
At one such football game, the season's last, she listened to the band with its clashing cymbals, booming drums, strumpeting trumpets and stamping feet, and her eyes wouldn't leave the boy who choreographed each clash, boom, blare, and stomp.
The intensity with which she stared at him caused the fine jet hairs at the nape of his neck to stand at attention and point in her direction.
His shoulders large beneath the gold epaulets of his attire, his chin square, refined and lovely, his eyes wide and open and interesting, he turned towards her and, when the troupe soldiered off the field, he raised his baton to Cybele.
Quite an admirable young man, he doted on his mother, was sympathetic to his peers but had a hard angry streak when faced with injustice or disorder. Only the demise of his beloved could turn him from the open-hearted instrumentalist into a zombie-like monster with a vacant stare.
Each Monday through Thursday, the first semester of their junior year, Pan met Cybele as she left the art wing at school. At first it was a happy coincidence, simply his schedule and hers in synchronization. By October it was the highlight of their days. Shy shared smiles grew to full-throated laughter down the unchanging, echoing hallways of 21st century public education as though they strolled the fields of Arcadia. Their path was arced over by booster club posters and pep chants stapled to crumbling bulletin boards instead of the waving, fragrant flora of immortality.
He carried his trombone case from that afternoon's practice, she shouldered her camera bag. Six weeks of walks to the stop for the late activities' bus, when everything was perfect for fifteen minutes before he saw her off with a smile and a wave. Friday afternoons held no practice sessions, as there was most often an evening game where the band played.
Little did virgin Cybele know, she of the long dark hair, huge dark eyes and never-ending curves -- such a daughter of the Mediterranean -- Pan played with more than just his trombone, when at home, alone, and wanting only her.
With an ability he mostly ignored, Pan quietly scrutinized Narcisuck's overbearing attentions to his Rubenesque sister. It was with equal parts horror and disquiet that he began to understand the troubling bent of the advantaged, aberrant mind. It typically got pretty ugly between them at after-school events, where Narcissus felt most exposed. He loved the spotlight, but only on his own terms. Command performances, and he was the high school high command, bored the balls off him. An emptied flask stashed in his glove compartment, his lungs warmed by weed, well-fueled Narcissus cut a swath, cut a figure, cut a sister to the quick.
Pan could recognize Narcissus' eponymous personality disorder, but as a teen himself, there was little he could do to correct it. So he straightened his shoulders, looked beyond her brother's crazy and straight into Cybele's eyes. Suddenly, asking her for a date was astonishingly simple. With the game over, he changed out of the regulation band uniform into his requisite teen uniform, and met his girl at the entrance to the field house. And he made plans to pick her up at her home the following evening.
Narcissus was fastidious in his appearance. In fact, were he of another era, one might even refer to him as a dandy or a fop. He prided himself on his facade, and all but ignored the pressing psychotic tendencies that made him not only a most charismatic Student Body President, but the neighborhood boy who used to torture puppies, kittens and frogs. Raised with the proverbial spoon in his mouth, he was indulged in every arena by his parents, as well as in the realm of dark bodily delights by his own hand at the neck of one woman or another. No juvenile girls for him, he proposed sexual trysts to the college women at the University of Olympia. They knew not to ask for his phone number or to expect his presence in their single, dormitory beds by morning's creeping light. More often than not, they were glad he'd slunk off in the thin, skeletal hours of pre-dawn. Roughly arousing, exigently exciting, pounding, pounding, pounding, the tall, elegant, learned almost-man gave no apologies for the frightful orgasms he rendered. But not before several hours of lingering, near-painful, foreplay.
Though allotted the same resources, the older brother and younger sister shared little more than last name. Whereas he took and took and took, she gave and gave and gave.
Unto her dying breath.
So, it went without elucidation Narcissus was well-versed in the midnight-side of sensual, sadistic pleasures.
The eighteen-year-old boy took exception to the nerdy band fucker checking his sister out; he had only his own deviant desires to guide him. How did he know what the hairy, Greek-looking geek-boy was planning? More importantly, if Cybele was finally going to acknowledge she had tits and a pussy, she should at least hook up with someone whose standing would elevate the family name, not bring it down to common muck.
She wondered if she should purchase some type of feminine lubrication system, on the off chance Pan thought about having sex with her. He was so handy with his instrument, she could only imagine the unearthly delights to be found beneath his fingers as they glided along the stops and strings of her body. Hmmm, strings. That was another thing. Body hair.
She wanted to make herself bare, clean.
Like Mother Nature, she'd nurtured her family and friends without a care or thought to herself.
The innocent girl-woman imagined she should clean herself up. Little did she know about using shaving foam, new razors, or after-care once she'd denuded her girl parts of the African Queen look.
Was it worth it?
Sheltered, happily, Cybele was of another time.
But she wanted to be pretty for her Pan-man.
Her singer, her jester, her soon-to-be-lover.
So it was with frowning intent she went to the drugstore and stocked up on foreign items like Allergenic Ultra-sensitive Shave Foam, Bikini Razors, Sally Hansen Wax Strips, and Bikini Care Gel-Cream.
At home she sighed, in her gigantic bathroom, the vanity lights (every other one of the twelve illuminating her mirror was unscrewed to give respite to the world's finite resources) glaring at all the foil, razors, and unguents.
Brushing her hair to a high gleam, Cybele made a neat bun and stepped into the shower to rid herself of all but a soft patch of flat hair over her undiscovered lips.
But there was more to be uncovered than just her labia.
There was the slippery substantive substance of lubrication.
What to do about it? On goggling for lube, she found oodles of information that boggled her mind. What was worse was Amazon, where you could purchase items New and Used. Used? Used lube? Being all about saving the Earth, hugging the trees, recycling everything from cans and bottles (of Kombucha Tea, naturally), she even had a menstrual cup instead of tampons and pads. But really, pre-owned lubricant? Not even Cybele was going to touch that with a ten-foot pole.
In the end she had to trust her body would plenish the deep channel, should Pan desire her in that manner.
His ablutions were complete in ten minutes, more or less.
Guided by a hand that had known the same task for a few years, he'd scraped his jaw and cheeks and ropey throat clean of bristly stubble, showered and washed his shoulder-length black hair, scrubbed his cock and nuts and even found time for a quick wank, all to the thoughts of Cybele.
Because she was glorious, heavenly, sensual, earthy.
When he knocked on her door, it opened to a palatial manor by none other than weasel-faced Narcissus. Sneering.
Instead of entering the devil's den, Pan waited on the huge porch, scattered with wicker lounges and one wide wooden swing. All in white and far too bright.
Not as bright as the love of his life as she crossed the invisible barrier... from brother to lover.
The evening didn't quite go as planned.
Pan's ancient piss-yellow Pinto backfired, smoked, and stalled.
Its engine churned and died.
The tow truck driver was crude yet pleasant, a standard personality trait in rural areas.
Left off at the restaurant in town, their reservations had been lost.
They fidgeted, waited, smiled askance at each and made small talk while their hands brushed, and they both wished they were of legal age so they could order a round, or two or three.
Cybele used the restroom, Pan asked about their table again.
The food was lackluster, both brittle and rubbery.
They choked through conversation, the sweat on their palms like that on the condensing plastic glasses of Coke.
For a moment, Cybele straightened, then bent, like a willow, in Pan's direction. Her hand shook but fell to his firm, muscled thigh nonetheless.
And really, that caress was all it took.
Pan became a man and paid the bill in cash.
Cybele knew herself to be a woman, and she stood with her hip under Pan's tutelage.
At his house, less a palace, more an artisan's cottage, they kissed in grace.
Penelope, his mother, was having a revel on the patio and paid them no mind as they worked their way up to his bedroom, finding footsteps on oak in the gloom.
It was quite the little miracle, but they didn't tear cloth, or titter at naked skin. They may have blushed, a bit.
It was a fact they licked, sucked, bit, and moaned. Nude and dutiful, they touched with fingers and tongue, over and inside, sliding, groaning... wanting.
Pan's buttocks were a glorious thing, mounds of hard tissue Cybele gripped and stroked.
Cybele's breasts were low, heavy, and tipped by elongated camellia colored nipples that Pan nibbled until his lips were raw and ruddy.
Unbelievably, for these two, there was no awkwardness (except when the condom got stuck halfway down Pan's cock. Then Cybele cursed herself for her ignored foresight. An ingenious girl, she spat in her hands and laved Pan's erection -- the bold, thick length of him throbbing inside her doubled-over fists -- with her saliva. Slick now, wet, the condom rolled over his membranes with ease).
A hint of pain, a push of muscle, a shift of pelvis, a caterwaul of coming together and his hands framed her face and...they fell in love.
It was, actually, sublime for a fresh first time between new lovers.
As he sank into her slowly, his shoulders so mighty, his chest strong and strained against her ripe, rigid nipples, she felt him inside. The ache of ages was made whole, and she could say this to him while his stunned mouth opened in a silent howl of pleasure, "I love you."
With craving, he carved into her, quite a bit harder and faster, his wet, weighty cock loving the tight recess of her flesh, and his heart understanding, his voice rumbling and husky, "I love you, Cybele."
A crash of gangly adolescent limbs made to bear the purity of husband and wife found the two tangled in delight. Their orgasms took them to flight, as if on wings and blinded by closeness to the sun's glowing hot rays.
In the end, their breath caught, hitched, released. Their bodies arched a few more times together. Their smiles were wide and dimpled and moist and swollen under lips that continued to pluck, to arouse.
In the end, Pan and Cybele rolled around the damp bedsheets and laughed and laughed and fucked some more.
The rumors of Hellena High were a cache of catcalls and criticisms.
The most terrible, to Narcissus (he was usually undisturbed by gossip -- the tales he didn't star in, he ignored), was the scrawl on the mint green stall of the men's room intimating Cybele had had sex with Pan, and was good for a free ride.
When Narcissus had face-planted Pan's head to the drab, shuttered locker, he was thinking only one thing -- No one, NO ONE, should get his hands on Cybele. If word got out she was open for business, his reputation would be slaughtered. At the very least, she shouldn't lower herself to beatnik bug-eyed buggers.
He didn't foresee the consequences of his vain actions. Even if he had, he wouldn't have cared very much. He was a bit of a hothead.
His existence was limited to sweat-ridden locker rooms, jostling jocks, and his own countenance. That he was culpable of mighty transgressions was a fact, although none of his peers had ever seen the exact measure of his repugnance. Just yet.
There was Persephone twirling closer to the catastrophe. He wanted to hit that hot little, cold little, glee club gamine, and not with a megaphone. The blond bringer of pain was a dead ringer for the goddess of the underworld. He'd heard she could cut the character of any upperclassman with the sibilant slice of her tongue... on MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter. Nice.
And her twin Hermes; they had different mothers and the same face, whatthefuckever, he was way too friggin' dapper to not be playing for the hometeam with his scarves and man-bags and leathers.
In reality, it didn't matter what or who Narcissus daydreamed about as he inspected his chin and cheeks and brow for erupting zits in Cyb's magnetic mirror while he waited for his sis or her beau to make an appearance. The combination to her little haven was so fuckin' trite it was funny. 'ILUVPAN'.
She'd even made a lipstick heart around the cut-out if his face from the yearbook's Most Likely to Suck Ass page.
Revolted, Narcissus smashed the swain's forehead to the levered ventilation bars of Cybele's narrow locker.
His nose bleeding in red fountainous gushes, Pan was suddenly combative! Pan caused pandemonium. The phalanx of phyrgian pre-pubescents crowded closer and crowed, not for Narcissus, no. They were panicked and pulling for the underdog. Pan... panikon peima. Inciting a mob mentality when he took the force of his fear and all the scary insight into Narcisuck's emotional debilitation into his clenched fists, Pan swung and made contact with a satisfying thud-slap-pound to Narcissus' jaw.
The horde roared its approval.
Narcissus floundered back and lost his footing for he'd never been at the bottom of the heap before.
Cybele heard a commotion in the green and pink 1980's tiled hallway. The scent of iron blood mingled with Lysol. As if she were following the red and blue and white flashing lights of an ambulance, she ran to the siren-call of her lover and her brother beating the ever-loving bloody shit out of each other until both their faces, formerly handsome for different reasons, were pulpy red and pukish green. Turning steadily blue and purple.
Narcissus didn't even see Cybele. It was amazing he could, sometimes, even see beyond his own aquiline nose.
He would never have predicted Cybele's interception, though he was a wide receiver used to such feint and tackle tactics.
Pan did catch sight of Cybele's savage features. And he opened his beautiful mouth -- those lips that had been more than agreeable against her breasts and between her thighs and sighing hard and biting lightly into her neck and at the top of her derriere -- to shout, like his trombone's deep call, "STOP!"
But his sound was deafened by her rush and Narcissus' punch.
A cry went up, rising from a mumble to a ululation, "Thamus Panmegus Tethneke!" The Great Pan is dead!
But it wasn't he. It was she.
And though Pan still breathed, achingly, retching over Cybele's supine body, discerning her halo illuminating more glowingly while the silken cerulean vine that wrapped between them tightened and the crimson ribbon from her to Narcissus unraveled, he was certain his heart shriveled like a bloodsucker taken from wetness to sun, and covered in salt until its flesh fried.
Little did the formerly jocular, jousting, jeering athlete know, as he punched in that squashy nose, it was not the trumpeter and troubadour, but his own sister, the tree hugger.
A stomach-turning thud splintered the recessed hall, and all the hubbub halted.
No one really knew her but Pan, that small but well-formed hippie girl whose body flopped like a flayed, gutted, scaled fish to the shiny floor the janitor had just polished.
Once, twice, she flipped over onto Converse and other fashionable shoes. The foam from her mouth like an excellent tribute to Botticelli's Venus and the spray of ocean upon her scallop shell.
Her spine was busted.
Cybele watched vaguely, from afar, kind of floating like a zephyr…maybe even an angel.
Her Pan cried and beat and bled and broke.
Right next to her.
It was fortunate, she thought, that in her meager sixteen years, she'd understood timelessness. Impudence and love, sensuality and body.
Even if it was just for one night.
She wanted to hold her musical, madrigal, magical lover; she desired to console him, but her arms wouldn't move.
Some boy named Apollo hovered over her and braced her neck, his shiny cinnamon head bowed as his mate and mistress and friend Aphrodite shivered at his shoulder and called 911. They too would have loved her, if they'd had the chance.
It was, all told, quite amusing to acquire this attention, to finally acknowledge her own appeal, while she died, Cybele thought.
Her loose long skirt had been raised too far up her thighs, and she wanted to push it back down. Narcissus stood near, Pan wept, Persephone attended; Cybele was paralyzed, immortalized in death with a smile on her lips.
Understanding the final plea in her eyes, Pan ran his hands over the ruffles and situated that dress properly before he tenderly kissed the last breath from his woman's lips.
Her pulse limped. It shuddered and froze.
Corrupt, craven, Narcissus would own the school and find success in all his undertakings. Now that his guileless sister was eating dirt.
She rose above, flight aloft on ivory soft wings.
Not Narcissus, not greed, spite and arrogance.
But Pan: love, music, and happenstance... happiness.
At first, Cybele mourned her fallen vanguard, even though she was the one soaring about Heaven's hinterlands.
She had every reason to grieve. Her boy went bad on them all. Fall thrust into winter and winter staggered into spring. Pan retreated into the countryside, out of their small city, only emerging from his stolid sulks to fornicate with every nympho in every scattered rural outpost he could find. Some were girls his high school friends had heard of, Echo, Selene and Syrinx all had local connections and reputations to protect. He didn't care. Cybele watched at a distance and cared deeply.
More sensitive than his customary hook-ups, Syrinx gave him a flute, hoping to coax the boy she'd once met at an inter-mural music festival out of his shell. It wasn't his preferred instrument, but it slowly piped him up from his pandemonic depression. The sounds were softer than his trombone, and he heard Cybele in them when he played out of doors.
He taught himself to handle the woodwind delicately, as he had handled Cybele. He wasn't surprised to see her before him, just convinced the steady stream of alcohol in his system had finally destroyed his brain.
Through the company of nymphs he finally, astutely, pressed aside, with gentlemanly tendencies, Pan followed the song and Cybele's strong, soft, prescient voice:
"I'm here, Pan. I've never left. Play for me, and I'll never leave.
Thanks very much to one of the most amazing women I've met through this game, Viola Cornuta – beta, fellow writer, confidant, and very close friend.
I'll be writing some Youth without Age and Life without Death as well as an Aro (or Arsehole as we like to call him in Dead Confederates) POV for the Rebelward Without a Cause outtakes.