Monday, July 15, 2013

SEA LAMPREYS OF IMPERIAL ROME...a loathsome way to die... 7/16/13

The master gave me my first commission. I was to kill a certain corrupt (well... more corrupt) upstart noble by the name of Claudius Nesso. Why the master hated him is immaterial, since it always comes down to the same two things, either a social slight, or something about money. Romans have been known to destroy complete strangers for accidentally splashing piss on them in a public latrine. You know they wear those voluminous togas.  Powerful individuals keep cadres of bully-boys. And the bully-boys have specialties. Some are  throat slashers. Others are skull smashers, or disembowellers. Penis and scrotum removing is quite popular too. But blood drainers are the best... and I am honored to be one. 

The Nesso family had a huge villa up in the hills. The current wife, a mostly Celtic thing (as am I) from Cisalpine Gaul, never took to the 'southern' feel of the place and the cooler, less crowded uplands seemed more lugubrious and healthful. The place is festooned with fountains and pools. It looks like a distillation of Hadrian's villa scaled down (ever so slightly) for those who are merely insanely rich as opposed to actual Olympian offspring with almost as much money as their divine progenitors. 

So I found myself a shadowy glade right behind the statue of Bacchus and I waited. He swims there, in a nearby pool, with likely young slaves. The site's far enough from the main structure to salve the current wife's dignity. Plus he occasionally chokes one to death (the slave.. not the wife, I mean) and bare, little, servile bodies strewn about the central apartments would just be a needless distraction.

I saw him lead a choice, little morsel down to the tiled edge. He unfastened the leash and collar (made from the finest Anatolian silver) and kicked him in. I assumed it was a 'him.' couldn't get a good look in the dark. Wasn't used to the vampiric vision yet. Then the fat bastard jumped in after. Not that he was obese or anything. Just sloppy. You know, these Romans ape the Greeks so much, but when it comes to basic body maintenance, they're just plain lazy. 

I let him play around a bit. The slave didn't seem too upset. Then I silently slipped into the water and grabbed him by the legs. Had my teeth locked into his ass before he knew what hit him. Oh, he never surfaced, not even for an instant. And maybe ten score heartbeats later he was dead. The slave, a rather androgynous female, or perhaps a completely castrated male (very popular these days, I'm told), screamed and ran when the pool lit up with a flickering blue light.... for the fiery immolation occurs, even under water. I must admit, the hot blood contrasted against the chilly, pool water was absolutely delicious. And the master was so pleased with my professionalism he immediately put his people to work on a cozy, little addendum to his palace just for me.... My peculum (money/treasure earned by certain high ranking slaves) was beginning to grow.

Though I forgot one thing... When a slave kills his master... and the grieving daughters and sons-in-law of Nesso blamed the wet, quivering pool buddy for his 'murder.'... the offending piece of property is summarily thrown to the eels. Every wealthy Roman has an eel pond. Actually, they use the word 'eel,' but the creatures in question are really primitive lampreys..... like giant, aquatic earthworms who just think they're fish. No jaws, just a large, tooth-lined sucker where a mouth should be (maybe a sharp, bony tongue too). And this pond had hundreds. 

The young slave sobbed like a baby, as they kissed his skin and began to devour his flesh. I watched from the shadows, far beyond the yellow torch lights and felt guilty... or as guilty as anyone in our convoluted society ever gets...

But not to worry... for two days hence they had a new slave....
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