Monday, January 15, 2018

An Afternoon in Liternum

I assayed to write a story based on a fictional account of Scipio Africanus following his retirement to Libernum ca. 185 B.C.  My character, Gallus, was to be a young hanger-on who was with Scipio at Zama.  Whether his role is to be a protector of Scipio against his enemies, or perhaps one of ambition seeking to use the general as a stepping stone to political power I have been unable to determine, and hence a story does not flow.  All, that is, except for this final chapter in the life of Gallus Regulus.

Gallus Regulus  was accompanied by six of his closest allies, stalwarts all, but without Gallus they would collectively be much like the proverbial chicken with its head cut off.  And their hero was poised to make his move.  The opposition were uncertain as to his identity, yet they knew he was in the vicinity.  They knew this because Cassia had wormed her way into the inner circle, nay she had enthralled Gallus himself.  Everyone saw them as a couple.

Cassia skipped into the marketplace with three of her friends, all chattering and laughing.  She spotted Gallus leaning against the lip of the fountain.  As the water splashed in the pool the spray sparkled in the sunlight.  Cassia skipped ahead, running the last few steps to Gallus, she threw her arms around his neck and placed her mouth firmly against his.  She swung by his shoulders and attempted to turn the young man to his right.  Alarm bells sounded in his head as he at that same moment heard the unsheathing of a sword to his left.

Gallus Regulus was both quick and strong.  He broke from Cassia's clasp and simultaneously turned her by the hair and clasped her  back tightly against his body.  In that same instant he pulled his knife from his belt and saw approaching him fifteen or more men, several with lances and two of them with swords drawn.  The blade was honed to a razor edge and in a trice it moved smoothly across Cassia's throat, the life blood gushing from her body as her lover released her and the lifeless form dropped to the ground.

Gallus placed the point of the dagger between his fourth and fifth ribs and with all his might he plunged it squarely into his heart.  His body crumpled and fell across Cassia's body.  The stunned contingent of his opponents were wroth, for their nemesis had just deprived them of their anticipated pleasure of the exquisite tortures they had planned for him.

 Whatever you may think of this snippet, a certain amount of care went into its preparation, even to the selection of the names of the protagonist and his inamorata.


Sharkbytes said...

Not being a fan of the classics, I'm not sure I "get" it, but I have to wonder if Scipio is the oldest sibling. The others being Sci2pio and Sci3pio

Grace said...

@Sharkbytes: LOL

vanilla said...

Sharkey, you are a card. I play with history, you mutilate it.

Grace, yep, made me laugh, too.

Sharkbytes said...

I take a bow, and thank you!

vanilla said...

Shark, making me smile two days in a row.

Vee said...

Cleverly chosen names. Cassia, the little deceiver; Gallus, the arrogant thug.

vanilla said...

Vee, nice catch.