Blood of Rome

Letter to Lucius Cloelius 4

Blood for Blood


I am sorry for the lack of letters recently. I suppose the excuse ‘I died and went to Dis’ is a poor one. As I sit here now in the dark, I can see more clearly than ever before. A weight has been lifted off my shoulders – the burden of life. It all seems so simple now.

I died brother. I sensed the creature. I followed it through the tomb and I found it feeding upon my sire’s childe. I had my tools with me and with my work hammer I cracked its skull once and then twice. I felt bone break and there were clumps of hair and skin on the blunt steel head. After it had fallen I moved to Abraxus. Precious life was still oozing slowly out of him. I licked the floor where he lay moving my lips ever closer to his body and then I was kissing him softly as Sia does to me. I felt fire in my mouth as I forced my tongue into his wounds – and then pain…in my side and in my head. A bright flash behind my eyes and then there was no pain. My face lay in the dust next to the corpse whilst the creature stood next to me. It grinned, though its smile never touched it black eyes. Its neck broken, it seemed to regard me with sympathy as it lifted its leg and then blackness.

Fire in my soul, quenched by darkness. I heard the stones whispering to me. I remember breathing but not. It was a sharp intake of breath, more like a gasp. I tried to open my eyes but they were sealed shut. Something embraced me like iron. I scrambled and kicked. My body was covered in tight bandages, the smell of embalming fluid overwhelming. I could taste…blood.

I kicked and screamed and tore the bandages from my face. Sia held me. It was dark but I could see. I could see the sand covered floor and the carving on the wall. There were no flames but I could see. I could see our mother over Sia’s shoulder as she pinned me to the wall. I was so hungry. My jaws ached. It is different now – different kind of hunger. I didn’t just want the blood I needed it. Anger filled my vision and I felt it course through my body. Our mother if only I could hold her. She smiled sadly toward me. I could not move though…Sia held me against the wall and I fought her but it was like a child fighting a man.

When the red haze cleared our mother had gone. There were two men present. One was sobbing into open palms whilst the other sat stoically. Sia whispered something into my ear. It sounded like a shout but to be honest I cannot remember what she said. She let go of me and I sprang upon the crying man.

Things are different now. Sia has moved me to a new work location deep in the tomb. I am imprisoned down here. I have my own space though with tools and writing implements. I have a small array of weapons too. Carvings adorn the walls and the niches are exploding with scrolls. I feel like my mind is my own again. Sia says I should read and learn. She visits now and again and we talk and make love. I think there are other people down here too. I listen at the walls and sometimes here voices but I cannot make out what they are saying. There are 2553 tiles on the eastern wall of my room.

To pass the time between feeding and writing and reading I carve statues like mother did. I carve one for everyday that I am down here. Sometimes I tell myself it is a waste of time. I get so angry at myself; I don’t remember being a very angry person. The only time I seem happy is when I enter the maze to feed. When I go hunting…

I’m hungry right now.





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