Here’s the beginning of the novel (a bit of a cartoon at times, the unattainable model being The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père). I initially thought about inserting small titles in Latin for the whole length of the novel, then I gave up. This first part had the title Sed libera nos a malo, very appropriate in my opinion. The previous post explains a bit the philosophical structure of the work. Let us start, though (this translation is a draft).
THE KNIGHT MOVE (temp. title)
1rst volume of the Trilogy THREE SIDES OF THE COIN
Rome, Parco degli Acquedotti, 5th May 2018. 9:30 pm
It was already half past nine in the evening. The arches of the Aqua Claudia battered by time rose as admonition to human arrogance. The weather was cold and cloudy despite the season and two teenagers, eighteen and fifteen years old respectively, got warmed up by the flame of youthful passion. Two hours earlier they had set off by motorbike from the Porta Capena, south-east of the Circus Maximus, and holding onto each other they had ridden slowly along a beautiful stretch of the ancient Appia way, the Regina viarum, along which stood the secular trees of the Roman countryside and the few sarcophagi not transferred to museums whose inhabitants, their faces worn down by the millennia, seemed to wonder about the destiny of humankind. In the distance, like placid stars wandering in the midst of the coming storm, airplane lights were visible landing and taking off from Ciampino airport.
The couple had lingered behind a bush at the foot of one of the aqueduct arches erected by the emperor who had conquered Britain. The Parco degli Aquedotti floated in silence now and then interrupted by the rumble of distant thunders and the murmur of tree foliage. The communities of Quadraro, Appio and Tuscolano together with the villas of the rich and famous around the ancient Appian way were busy with the rituals of family, friendship and of Roman dinners festive and endless. The girl’s dog, a black long-haired Belgian shepherd, kept whining faintly.
– Please Giuliano, no, I’m not ready …
– C’mon Simona, you are not a loser like Francesca and Sara, are you?
The young man, a well-known dude from Quadraro, was always seen astride a vintage Ducati with shining chrome. Brown-haired and blue-eyed he loved to stop at a bar very popular with young people located in Largo Spartaco. Devoted to small trafficking as well as to the ancient art of seducing women of all ages and condition he clutched the fifteen-year-old at her waist with his left hand while slipping her panties off with his right. Simona, with junoesque breast and slender body, was one of the prettiest girls in the school whose gates were next to the bar frequented by Giuliano. She had big beautiful black eyes with shiny hair of the same colour. Her parents had strongly opposed her liaison with Giuliano but her crush was so strong they had continued to see each other in secret.
– No Giuliano, don’t my love, please … “.
The two bodies joined and both souls, voracious one, desperate with love the other, lost any sense of time.
It all happened too fast. Even the dog didn’t perceive anything.
The dancer’s gorgeous body was shaken by light tremors. Pitch-black hair fell on her shoulders in a thick mass of thin braids. Her oval face was dominated by elongated, pale-blue eyes whose expression was so disquieting as to inspire fear on anyone who had to do with her, her subordinates most of all who with archaic term called her Domna. She was naked except for a very thin thong the colour of night. Her muscular and perfectly shaped legs ended with exquisite, flexible and equally trained feet. Her toes as well as her hands, enamelled in the same colour as the thong, had a life of their own, almost tentacles of a malignant octopus that danced on the eighteen year old young man’s naked body whose mouth had been meticulously sealed first using tampons of a synthetic material interposed between the gums and the lips, then an insulating tape decorated with mysterious hieroglyphics. They danced and crept, the dancer’s sharp toenails, tormenting the orifices laid open on the face of the young man whose eyes, wide and incredulous, expressed horror.
The woman turned to her left and in the same way danced on the equally naked body of the girl shaken with sobs and with face flooded with tears. The young couple was tied up spread-eagled on a huge bed of four meters by four. Lying down side by side with respect to their tormentor the young people’s heads were turned and immobilized at the feet of the woman and their legs, fixed one to the ceiling and the other to the bed, were at the height of her raven head.
The majestic oak bed was placed at the centre of a large hall which, like the bed, emanated profusion. Fabrics, sofas, weird paintings as well as objects from any age and land were found everywhere and were arranged with a remarkable aesthetic taste. On the ceiling four large Murano chandeliers completed the furnishings. Yet the baroque luxury of the room did not communicate a sense of life but rather a sullen gloom made even more so by the fact that the vast hall was extremely damp.
Leyla Lilith was lying on the bed between the two teenagers and had enough space to allow her to pirouette and dance at will. A cold, lucid, cruel dance which brought her to torment for long minutes the private parts of the young man who emitted muffled screams. Then at some point the fifteen-year-old, with her mouth sealed in the same way, could not bear the torture of her lover and gave herself to muted screams and to rash, foolish struggles.
The dancer then turned and with joined feet smacked her with unheard-of force at her groin. Though through the gag the young girl began to howl and here Leyla with calculated lust began to kiss and nibble at her opulent breasts while in comfort, using her sharp nails, she was busy tearing into several areas of her body.
When Simona’s cries faded a little – the poor teenanger was about to faint – Leyla woke her up with a bottle of acre scent then hit her a second time at her groin and went back to taking care of Giuliano. In the end, tired of the girl’s persistent reactions, she smacked her with joined feet in the head. The teenager uttered a short gasp and collapsed.The woman spun around as agile as a cat and projecting herself into the air fell elegantly on the floor. Then at a wave of her hand there appeared …
maius AVC MCCLXIII
Constantinople, early May 510 A.D
… two men and a woman clad with the colour of night.
– I have to leave, unfortunately. You know what you have to do – she said with a frightening smile.
– What about the dog?
– It must follow the couple’s fate.
Then she left the huge arcaded place and climbed a narrow staircase known only to her which led to her luxurious apartments. There six slaves (three males and three females) greeted her with fearful reverence, undressed her and with bowed heads took her to a vast bathroom at the centre of which a large pool in polychrome marble released scented vapor. There they washed her with sponges from the Eritrean Sea and aromas from Syria, massaged her and finally perfumed her sweetly. Her face made up and then dressed up again with a beautiful veil of blue silk on her head and an equally blue stole studded with amethysts and tied at the waist by a belt with black pearls, Leyla Lilith went out of the bathroom and walked via a vast corridor into a huge hall. She sat down on a high armchair and waited for a while. The man was eventually announced.
– You’re late, Zenas – she said, looking at him with contempt.
– The journey was long.
There was fear in his voice. He cleared his throat:
– I had to sail to Italy, my Domna, and from there up to Britannia, beyond the Ocean. Thence I had to come all the way back …It’s not things that are done overnight.
– You know what happens to those who do not serve me well …
Zenas shuddered. Among the scars that disfigured his face shone the merciless gaze of the manhunter. A large dark cloak with a large hood pulled down over his shoulders enveloped his stocky body.
– Now tell me what you know.
– They’re about to arrive. One has already landed in Britannia and his friends want to locate him and bring him back to Italy perhaps. My sources are trustworthy.
– Good. We have to make sure that they get lost in Hades or in Christians’ Hell. As for the one already in Britannia, He who is above me has a very special plan. Get all the men and resources you need. Money is not a problem. Should you fail I’ll take care of you personally.
The man startled but controlled himself. He emitted hoarse sounds:
– It will be done, my Domna.
He then left the hall hastily.
– There’s no time to waste – he said to himself –. I know who to recruit.
Still shaken by Domna’s gaze when a servant approached him and said that the horses were ready Zenas hit him for no reason. His eyes were full of hatred and fear. He needed someone to blow off steam.
– Those bastards in Britannia will horribly pay for all I have to suffer –, he said to himself with rancour. He let the servant guide him to the stables.
Leyla Lilith Domna returned to her apartments where she got dressed for the cold of the night. The may season was unusually cold and cloudy. She went out into the streets of Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, accompanied by three sturdy charioteers bearing torches. The streets were less crowded at that time of night although the metropolis never slept. The sky looming above was streaked with lighting. She walked the colonnaded porticoes of the Mese, the main street of the city, and watched with a contempt mixed with joy the beggars who plagued the air and the mothers who sold their children to the pimps. She then proceeded in the direction of the acropolis, where the theater was located. In that place the ten-year-old Theodora and her older sisters, Comito and Anastasia, were about to entertain the spectators.
[to be continued]