Spilt Blood

Posted: April 13, 2017 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Acheron barged his way through the busy market, naked except for his robe, which he clutched to his front to cover his genitals. Despite the frenzied screams from the women and the shouts of the scorned husband running closely behind, Acheron laughed loudly. His large, well defined chest struggled for breath through his perceived hilarity. Gracefully navigating his feet over the rough cobbled surface he squeezed between the overladen stalls, ducking under hanging cloths and, choosing his moment, he slipped down a small alley and disappeared into the shadows.

Crouching down next to the white stone wall he wiped the sweat from his forehead and his long brown hair stuck to his face, forcing him to sweep it back with his hand. It was the third time that month he had been caught in the bed of another man’s wife. Choosing only the wives of the most significant Greek officers, he relished in their fury at his dishonorable deed, their reputation destroyed by an absconding soldier. He knew that his crime was punishable by death but that was a small sacrifice to avenge his brother.

The commotion had begun to die down in the market; sellers had resumed their touting and two children played close to where Acheron was hiding, betting who could throw a stone closest to the wall. Peering out he watched the boys, the joy of winning flashing across their faces and the inevitable jibes to the cursing loser that would ensue. Acheron used to play the same game with his twin brother when they were children; he often won but now and again he’d deliberately throw the stone wide in order to watch Kratos’ little face light up. Despite them being the same age Acheron was always much stronger and appeared older than his weakly brother who was plagued by illness and fatigue. As he remembered his brother fondly a stone struck his knee sharply. Picking it up he moved out of his shelter slightly to throw it back.

Thank you, sir.” The oldest boy said nervously as the younger boy whispered into his ear and giggled. “Shush.” He replied, hitting his brother sharply on the arm.

Don’t worry young sir, I too would be asking why a grown man was crouching naked in an alley.” Acheron smiled but he noticed that the boys’ attention was no longer on him; they were staring behind with fear in their eyes.

Run along boys, this is military business.” The deep voice from behind boomed and the boys fled, stumbling into the crowded marketplace.

Acheron turned slowly to see a large, bearded man standing over him brandishing a dagger. “Ah, thought this was a dead end.” He joked. With a string of obscenities the man lifted the weapon above his head and, with a loud grunt he thrust it down into Acheron’s naked flesh.

A cold shiver rippled over his body but he didn’t feel any pain. As his body collapsed to the ground and the world around him darkened, Acheron’s blood spilled over the stones; a slow trickle meeting the feet of the oblivious citizens of Agora.

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