|By Claudia D. Christian|
Narcissus was once given a little doll named Lisette. He enjoyed making her do depraved things for his selfish amusement. One day Narcissus pushed Lisette too far and he found her dangling from a cord. He tried to fix what he had broken but Lisette no longer belonged to him. Narcissus kept after his doll, chasing it through the centuries, begging to put all the pieces back together. Will Narcissus ever earn her forgiveness or will Lisette keep breaking for his punishment?
AUTHOR'S WARNING: If you are not an angst-junkie who enjoys visiting a world where depravity is mistaken for love, and obsession is the only hope a man can have against hatred, then this may an uncomfortable tale for you. This is a dark, unconventional love story meant for readers who prefer morally ambiguous tales. There is explicit content within and is not suitable for minors.
"I will die without you, Narcissus."
The quiet pledge caused him to look over his shoulder. Her swollen eyes, flaming cheek, and broken demeanor pleased him greatly. He saw it as exactly what she deserved. Narcissus flashed a wicked grin.
"You would die without me, Lisette? Very well. Prove it to me, my pet."
Narcissus is a demigod, the son of a beautiful, vain man who shares his name and the nymph Echo. As a child, the gods give Narcissus a human girl named Lisette as a toy, a living doll to amuse himself with. They grow up together, and eventually become more than playmates. Being the selfish and depraved monster he is, Narcissus abuses Lisette, degrades her, makes her a whore, but in his own perverted way, he loves her. And despite it all, Lisette loves him until the night the abuse goes too far. She begs him to end the debauchery, but he only hears the tirade of an irrational girl. He threatens to send her away, insinuating he cares not whether she lives or dies. With hate marked on her soul, she hangs herself in the attic, the ultimate revenge against him. Losing Lisette makes Narcissus even more obsessed with her. He spends the next few centuries chasing after her soul as she is reincarnated over and over, only to kill herself each time to torture him. She tells him that his punishment will continue "until the things that can't be forgotten are forgiven". But before that happens, Lissette will make him suffer...just like she did. Finally in early 2003, Narcissus has found the soul he has been searching for in an underage stripper named Chessie. What must he do to posses her again?
Suicide Doll is a complicated and grim love story, with a very fine line between love and obsession. It's about searching for redemption when it seems like a hopeless pursuit. It's about discovering that the life you thought you had was a lie. The characters are dreadful and seductive at the same time. I've had a difficult time categorizing this short story. It is a dark love story, yes, but certainly not a romance in the traditional sense. I might call it erotic horror. The author has written this dark tale so beautifully. Her language is sophisticated, almost poetic. I will warn you that it is not for everyone. It contains disturbing subject matter like suicide (obviously) and even necrophilia. In any other book I would say "absolutely not" to something so horrific, but for these twisted characters, it fits perfectly. There were a few times I wanted to cover my eyes and scream "don't do it!" but I couldn't look away. Suicide Doll is perfect for "angst-junkies" as the warning mentions, and also for anyone looking to read something outside of their comfort zone.
On a side note: The Narcissus (Sr.) in this story is the same one from Greek mythology, the man cursed to fall in love with his own image because he was so vain in real life. He would spend hours staring at his own reflection in a pond because nothing compared to his own beauty. According to myth, he was seduced by a nymph named Echo.
Review copy courtesy of the author.