Book 1 Chapter 3

Varus was tired of this dark forest. Days upon days of marching in perpetual twilight, mist swirling and decreasing visibility. This track they were on was supposed to lead them straight into the heart of the barbarians’ territory and allow them to strike unmercifully at their stronghold, but the constant strain of being alert and hearing the crashing of weapons and the screams of men, hearing of yet another patrol lost, had begun to fray his nerves.

Swiveling in his saddle, Varus looked back along the column. His men were stretched out as far as his vision spied, their packs slung over their shoulders and their sandals smashing the leaves and grass to muck. This muck then weighted down their feet until they were able to shake it off, only to have to do it again within a hundred paces. This cursed forest.

“Legatus,” was the cry Varus heard from the head of the column. He swung back around to see the tall German ancillary commander, Arminius, trotting his mount towards him. Arminius looked tired, but his eyes shone with what seemed to be triumph.

“What news do you bring, Centurion?”

The German smiled, “We are very close, Legatus. My scouts report that we are less than half a day’s march from the clearing where the settlement is. I believe we would be best served to leave the road, save for the siege equipment, and take to the forest. If we creep to the edge of the clearing, we can spring the trap.”

Varus snapped an order to one of his aides to tell the men to halt. Then he addressed Arminius, “I will have the rest of the men brought up, yes, but we will stay on the track, save for a perimeter guard. If we spread out we could be attacked piecemeal, like what has happened for the last several days.”

“But, Legatus, we could be found out if we do not hide the men. Let me take my scouts and deal with these harassers and then we can settle the men and make ready the attack. It would be a shame to come all this way only to lose the element of surprise at this juncture.”

Varus snorted, “I’m fairly certain that the men who have been harassing our patrols have already warned the settlement. I doubt our coming is a secret. No, Centurion, we will camp on the road and make our move before dawn.”

“As you wish, Legatus. I will see to my men.”

Arminius turned and rode back to the head of the column, unable to conceal his grin. It was all coming along perfectly.

 

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Ulaf received word from one of Arminius’ men. In the wolf light they would destroy the invaders

Love Is in the Air

The gentleman with the pomaded hair steps out of his Prius and casts furtive glances around the bar’s parking lot. He sees the cracked asphalt and the beat-up motorcycle pulled up beside the door to the establishment.

He nervously jingles his keys and almost drops his phone when it buzzes. He looks at the screen. “Honey pie” is displayed on the screen, along with her flabby arms and protruding gut. He taps the side button twice to cancel the call, then turns his phone off. It’s time for action.

Screwing up his courage, he walks to the front door, stopping only long enough to spit his mouthwash out into the bushes alongside. Then he steps through the door.

He’s greeted by the sight of a long wooden bar. To his right, a row of dartboards on the wall. To his left, an open area that could be a dance floor. Restrooms are past the dance floor. The light is dim and a haze fills the air. This place is obviously vape friendly. Good.

A chirpy older lady smiles and greets him as he walks up to the bar. She is weather beaten and has a bit too much makeup on, but seems nice. Her shirt says, “I found the Hole in the Wall.”Interesting. Could mean several different things. Did she find a way to extend her youth? Is she referring to the name of the establishment? Does she have holes in need of filling?

No matter. I have come to have the hole in my heart filled with meaning. No longer will I be shackled by the expectations and demands of this cruel world. I will find respite in the presence of one who has the answers.

These thoughts run through his mind and pushes him to utter, rather breathlessly in his heightening anticipation, “Is Nicholas in?”

Nihilistic Yawker

0330 – Wake up in my swanky NYC apartment. Look over at the dame I brought home last night. She was an 8.7 at the time, but now has mutated into a 4.3. Danged alcohol.

0336 – Stagger into the kitchen and pour myself a shot of the dog, while my dog watches.

0341 – Turn on shower and step into spray. As I wash my crotch I notice something. Horror of horrors!! THERE’S A PUBE DOWN THERE!!! I CAN’T HAVE THAT!!! WHAT WOULD THE ROMANIAN TWINS THINK OF THAT!!! Frantically I strop my razor and eliminate the hair. I’ll need to reprimand my wax therapist for that.

0402 – Kick the girl out of my apartment after calling her an Uber. Grab my gym bag and head out.

0748 – Finally finish my workout. Realize that I crapped my pants during the 422nd deadlift. Dangit. I wondered why that sexy mama wrinkled her nose like that when she walked past me. Oh, well. Can’t win them all.

1422 – Line up my night’s activities. The twins are out of pocket so I’ll meet this yoga instructor at one of my favorite 5 stars and we’ll see where it goes. Smack a manager around for slacking. Quote the Godfather 1,000,000,000,000,000 times.

 

 

A Gentleman

Day 101: Woke up at 5:51. Sprang from bed and rushed into bathroom to wet my hair and apply gel, lest my wife see me without it and remove my ‘snuggling’ privileges. Then I pee and brush my teeth, at the same time. Afterwards I checked my phone. 4 messages from Bruce. I reply with a kissy face emoji and begin to dress.

6:00 – I move to my closet where my best friend/spouse has chosen my outfit for the day. She’s such an inspiration. So strong and fierce…….

6:22 – After crying thinking of how much my wife means to me I am ready to face the world. I slip into my penny loafers (no socks) and stop to gaze at my magnificent mane of manly hair before grabbing my breakfast bowl of potatoes, bananas, and sugar, unlocking the door, slipping into my Prius, and leaving for my soul-crushing desk jockey job. To cheer myself and steel my heart for the coming trial, I turn on Sam Smith and sing along as I drive into the city.

What a life