39. Joah

39. Joah Within the arena, the winged monster shrieked and swooped. I watched from the tunnel entrance. I hadn’t woken up yet. I kept expecting to wake up. A gladiator’s throat erupted into a red geyser, dreamlike, and the beast Read More

34. Joah

34. Joah The hours kept growing heavier, the sky more oppressive. Its blue dome sank onto the Earth, squeezing us beneath its weight. I kept my head ducked as I scurried from frantic streets to debris-choked alleys, afraid of feeling Read More

30. Andreas

30. Andreas All this killing is really starting to get to you. You know it’s important. You know that the only way to stop violence is counter-violence. The Praetorians would kill anyone in their way if you didn’t stop them. Read More

29. Marcus Verus

29. Marcus Verus Marcus came to the end of his son’s letters. He’d done nothing but read them since Titus kindled his suspicion yesterday evening. He’d read through them all multiple times. His hands trembled. Twenty-four hours ago, he’d secluded Read More

28. Andreas

28. Andreas A Praetorian body falls from the sky and breaks on the cobblestones beside you. A stench of rotting spices bursts from it. Shouted orders and fighting grunts filter from above as you haul dilapidated furniture from the tenement Read More

27. Joah

27. Joah The extent that my real day followed the course of my dream was surreal. The unwilling vendors, the dusty crone. Every step a retread of what I’d already lived. I waited, coiled like a spring, after visiting the Read More

26. Andreas

26. Andreas “You’re kidding, right? They’ll never accept me!” Benayah looks at you with incredulous eyes. He doesn’t believe you, but you can see the change in him. He’s killed now. He’s killed a man in combat, a man who Read More

24. Andreas

24. Andreas “Eydis, I thought you should know… Cornelius is dead.” You speak over the muffled howls of agitated beasts in the near distance. Eydis pauses in her work, the knife’s edge coming to rest against the large, conical horn Read More

23. Marcus Verus

23. Marcus Verus “You’re neglecting your daughters.” Domita’s low voice came from the garden-side entrance to his office. Marcus didn’t turn to acknowledge her. His head stayed bowed over his desk, his gaze caressing the pages before him. The day’s Read More

21. Andreas

21. Andreas The hive of the Suburra buzzes with frenetic activity as its residents prepare for the incursion of the Praetorian Guard. Last night’s plunder must be hidden away. Floorboards are pried up, cots slit open. Children are given hand-grinders Read More

17. Andreas

17. Andreas You stagger through Rome, the streets lurching beneath your feet. You carry a half-empty wineskin which didn’t belong to you this morning. Legally it still doesn’t belong to you, but that’s only temporary. As soon as you have Read More

12. Andreas

12. Andreas You spend the day following Benayah, which is sorta like watching over the poor district. Close enough to count, you figure. You had started the afternoon hanging around outside Cornelius’s tenement, unsure what exactly to do. Guard duty Read More

8. Andreas

8. Andreas You don’t really wake up, because you were never really asleep. You’d staggered into your father’s house on Quirinal Hill after dawn, then spent unknown hours drifting in and out of consciousness. Tossing in your bed. Sweating. The Read More

4. Joah

4. Joah After Titus had finally left with his emptied wagons, I gathered up the remains of my dignity and went searching for Zia. I couldn’t meet anyone’s eyes. The gladiators had heard of my humiliation from the guards, and Read More