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The Road to Elysium - Maximus "Gladiator"

The Road to Elysium - Maximus "Gladiator"

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Published by Gaslight Hotel
In a Spanish villa far from the gleaming city of Rome, a baby boy is born under the watchful eye of a midwife who can see far into the child's future and sees the shadows and dust that will rise up in his life.
In a Spanish villa far from the gleaming city of Rome, a baby boy is born under the watchful eye of a midwife who can see far into the child's future and sees the shadows and dust that will rise up in his life.

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Published by: Gaslight Hotel on Apr 20, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/28/2012

 
Title
: The Road to Elysium
Author
: Riley Magnus
Character
: Maximus “Gladiator”
Rating
: R 
Disclaimer
:The following story has been written with no intention of claimingownership or solicitation, nor does the author claim the movie character(s) as his/her own. The movie character(s) have been borrowed solely out of a love of the particular movie and is not intended for any other purpose but amusement and entertainment.- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Chapter 1
It is said by the old ones that the way in which a man enters his life, will also be the wayin which he leaves it; with a wail and heat of battle, or with wide eyes of wonder and awhimper. At that moment, all elements affect the preordained path of that infant, butthose elements envisage nothing; for an exceptional man will carve his life with the toolsand stone the gods generously offer as he walks along the hard road to Elysium.The gods were at play that dawn, casting spears of lightening that slammed into the earthmere inches from the stone house; flashing fire and glory and heartache nearly too heavyto bear. The young wife, scarcely past her maidenhood struggled and screamed, cried and begged for mercy as her wrinkled grey husband paced at the foot of the bed. Wringing hisgnarled hands, he eyed the old midwife. His frugal fist dictated that no physician wouldcome to assist his child bride…only the old woman with eyes the color of polished gold.She was a witch, all the village knew of it; few would even dare speak her name, butTrudius had no options available. He will have lost one fine horse in the transaction, butthe hope of a strong, healthy son to help with his life was well worth the cost.1
 
Glia rolled and wailed, her hands gripped at anything to hold her to her all consumingtask. A ripple worthy of an earthquake trembled her body, shaking the bed and bringingthe midwife suddenly to her feet. She focused gilded eyes on the girl.“Strength,
domina
. Nothing will save you, but strength will prove you worthy of the sonyou’re to bear.”At those words, Trudius lunged to swipe the horrible old woman from his wife, but hewas stopped mid stride, watching with awe as a tiny, bloody form slid from Glia’s womb.The infant did not move and the midwife ignored it, laying a broad hand on the younglaboring girl’s belly and pressing her full weight.Glia was silent; the light had gone from her eyes but still, the midwife pressed, leapingher sandaled feet from the floor to push even harder. “Assist me, you buffoon!” sheshouted but Trudius, appalled and pale stepped back, his eyes unable to leave thedeformed infant between Glia’s motionless thighs.The midwife yelled and pushed again, the bed rocked then with a gush of blood andfluids, another child emerged, splitting the flesh of his lifeless mother’s path. This boychild slid to a stop against his dead brother, his tiny fingers grasped the slimy hair as if toraise it to life…he howled the sound of a wild animal. Tears beaded at his new blind eyesand Trudius fell to his knees.The child was motherless, alone in ways most could not comprehend. The golden eyedmidwife wrapped him tight, swaddled warm and safe then turned. “Trudius. Go. Go intovillage and get the wet nurse.”“What wet nurse?”“She waits at the gate. Go! Go quickly and tell her I need her now.”“You?” The very speaking of the old witch’s name made him shake.“Yes, say I call for her! Go!”“But what of the dead?” Trudius was a man fearful of the old ways, a disbeliever never fully prepared to laugh in the face of the gods, but walking the thin margin betweencertainty and dread. His eyes slid from the dead infant to the living one, to his deadyoung wife and the wicked woman with fire in her eyes.“The dead are dead! We must provide for this child. Bring me the wet nurse.”He straightened his shoulders. “I can afford no wet nurse and you know it, you old crone.I shall milk the goat.”“Are you mad?”2
 
“Perhaps I am, but I will not lose what is left for that wisp of a boy.”In three swift steps, the infant tight in her protective arms, the witch pressed her noseagainst his and sneered. “The wet nurse is provided by me! Go now and get her…or doyou prefer I break this boy child’s neck and be done with it all?”Sickened to the point of retching, Trudius left his house. He ran through the poundingstorm and to the gate. There he found the wet nurse and his stomach again turned ontoitself.“The old witch Donum calls for you,” he gasped, wishing he had the courage to kill theinfant himself.“So, the mother has perished? I suspected it would be. Lead me.”Trudius could not move, he swallowed back bile and glared. “You are a whore.”“They call me Calias. And what matters that I whore for my money when I have this?”Tugging her tunic she boldly displayed a heavy breast, pale blue milk dripping from avisibly throbbing nipple. She straightened her clothing and tilted a grin. “It is nourishingfor infants and grown men alike, Trudius. Your choice, your decision.”He blinked, his raw tongue peeked out to swipe his lip and he grinned. “Come.”Donum sat and rocked the crying infant, cradling him close to her breast. She was unsureif Trudius would follow her orders, unsure of how she would protect the infant against theman’s right to do what he wished with his property…and the boy child was in fact,Trudius’ property. She was counting on his confusion and fear, betting that his selfishnessand miserly ways would pave her path. A path only she saw clearly. She looked down atthe red faced infant, clucked her tongue then brushed a kiss on his sweating brow.“Your father is an evil, unscrupulous man. But I see the mark upon you, boy. I swear tothe gods that I will protect and guide you. Cry, go on and send your voice as far as it willcarry…for there will come a day when many will follow the sound of your voice.”*** The boy child went unnamed as was custom in the village when an infant was notexpected to live. Months went by, full moon after full moon and still the man spoke of thechild as though he were less than the horses he sought to breed and sell. Trudius’ businesswas failing, and it had been doing so since the moment his child bride came to carryaccursed twins; this according to the men he kept council with, the men he drank andwhored with, the men who had even less than he.3

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