Sunday, August 4, 2013


I race through the dark, narrow warrens of the city. Rome is riddled with such byways. They snake through the Subura, a notorious district of tumble down insula (tenements) and rancid wine bars and lunchrooms. Insomniacs (or drunks) babble from laundry strewn balconies and feral cats snarl and fight in the shadows. 

I have failed. The master's 'best ratter' was foiled.  And I was so close. I was so close. Nicolo Ramila is an enemy. His 'house' and 'ours' are at odds. The vendetta is an old one, going back to a dead baby more than three generations ago. A distaff member of that Magna Grecia tribe (Greek-Italians from the south of Italy) was minding a baby... one of 'our' babies. She put it in a basket in a field, out beyond where the Trans-Tiber districts stand today, as she dug for mushrooms and wild greens. But as the baby was not hers she paid it little shrift. And as Apollo drove his chariot down toward the Ostrian shore, a wolf and a pig (alright, maybe it was just a dog) grabbed the baby and carried it off to have it for their dinner. The careless child minder blamed Sardinian pirates. She ripped open her bodice, raked her dirty nails across her breast and ran crying back into the city. Since her people had connections to a certain minor functionary at court, a mumbling second cousin to Nero, maybe it was Nero, her tale was given credence. Money changed hands and she was believed.

Though the Nessos never forgot and the pathetic little one cries to this day. I was sent out to avenge the tragedy... to even the score and devour one of theirs... Maybe more than one. Maybe two or three. But now I am on the run...

And the cursed enemy knows who sent me....

A vampire shamed is a terrible thing. 
(more next time)
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