“All right, gentlemen, I need three volunteers.”
A chorus of groans and curses greeted centurion Nennius Britannicus as he entered the barracks of the contubernium. The sun had touched the horizon to the west, and the men were off duty. In one corner, hunched over a clay bowl, Brennius and Ranulphus were playing a game of dice. Festus Cimma was sitting on his bunk, cleaning his short sword, and on the next bed Scorsonides was reading one of his books. There was the smell of cooking in the air, and Troglodites was setting the table for dinner.
Dunius Clericus, the decanus of the squad and Nennius’ second in command frowned. “Trouble?” he asked, standing and smoothing his tunic. Then he turned to the room. “You’ve heard the boss,” he barked. “Three men, move it!”
More groans. Cimma slipped his gladius in the scabbard and stood, buckling it to his waist.
“A guy turned up dead in the Library stacks,” Britannicus said sourly.
Scorsonides put down his book. “You mean in the Great Library—?” he said eagerly.
Nennius Britannicus grinned. “Get your gear on, kid.”
In the corner, Brennius shook his head and dropped his dice with a sigh. “We’ll finish this when I am back.”
There are currently two Contubernium stories in the works, one being written from the bottom up and another being translated in English after laying abandoned and lonely in a folder on my hard disk because it was better that way than wasting it on a cul-de-sac anthology.
Both stories have a prospect place to go, hoping the respective editors of the two projects I’d like to contribute to will like them.
The two stories (8000 words and 5000 words respectively) are set along the Nile and in Alexandria, and are called Crocodile Island and The Cursed Hieroglyph.
This is going to be a fun week, writing-wise.