Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Scene: Herculaneum

At dusk, in front of his shop Floccus puts out a board with "Nacked Ladys" painted on it in painfully exact handwriting. He stands at the doorway, shouting his pitch, with a toga slung over his tunic. The folds and shadows do not hide the dirtiness of the cloth, which the fullers never made very white in the first place.

Inside, his wife takes money and pours wine. Be careful of the second cup, you will be sick if you down it too fast. Put it back gingerly and the third and fourth will stay down as well.

Her girls are both slaves. They will do what you want if you pay them a penny. They will dance: misery or sorrow, you can have either for a coin.

The back yard is more dangerous than the wine. Perhaps you will stumble on the rubble or cut open your foot on a broken jar.

It is the worst place in the world. I spend my nights here and my days regretting my life and fortune.

2 comments:

x said...

As a blog item it's a "eh???" As a fragment of a story it's interesting, one thinks where's the rest? Is this your writing Mr C? If so, you should get some webspace and post some stories.

Chertiozhnik said...

Looking at it again, it does rate an "eh??" - just a vignetty think that crossed my mind for no reason.

Life is full of surprises.