me? making a half decent sketch from reference?
photo from this tumblr post
All I remembered from travelling back in time was the feeling of falling in my sleep. As I had woken up, I found myself in my everyday street clothes in a time period that looked exactly as I had always imagined the ancient Roman Empire to be. And I guess my last doubts were cleared as I was brought before Caesar himself.
Surprisingly, he was very open-minded about the idea that I might come from the future and at the beginning, he just wanted me to be around, didn't ask a single question about it really. He sometimes wanted to know my opinion on his decisions, so I tried to answer as honest as possible, regardless of the possible outcome.
I didn't know when exactly I landed. I only knew that Gaius Julius Caesar somehow grew fond of me by the time. Undoubtedly I admired him very much too. Even though I always favoured Greek mythology more than the history of the Roman Empire, I couldn't deny that I knew a great deal about this time period.
I guess, I just could have answered easily, when he asked me the question one day. The question, I dreaded to hear since the very first day that I had arrived.
'How do I die?', Caesar asked.
I wasn't sure if I should answer. His cold eyes pierced through mine.
'I know I might have overstepped by - more or less - making myself the dictator. I know it might happen soon.'
My hand palms were sweaty. I tried to hind them behind my back.
'You will die in the Ides of March', I answered.
But I didn't know how to tell him the year. I couldn't say 44 BCE. Right? If I knew how old he was today, I could tell him.
'Which year?', he demanded to know.
Damn. Quickly I tried the math. He was born in 100 BCE and died 44 BCE.
'When you're 56.' I thought I saw him gulp.
'Well, I would have believed you if you told me that I died this year. But that means that I still have one year left.'
Slowly he walked two steps away from me. Then, he turned around.
'I have changed much. I have improved much. People don't like change. They will hate me and love me equally. But most of all they will try to destroy my accomplishments. I do know of my sister Iulia. She desperately wants her son to follow into my footsteps. But he is a brat. I despise him. The res publica wouldn't be safe in his hands. In fact, there is only one person I trust.'
He didn't tell me anything new. He made an artistic pause, staring at me. Probably he wanted to hear the name from me. He loved it when I managed to finish his sentences correctly.
To my surprise, he looked totally baffled.
'I don't know an Octavian', he then spoke quietly.
'OH! How brilliant!', he laughed, as a thought seemed to cross his mind.
'Genius... Genius...' Caesar walked towards me and looked at me with happiness.
'How old are you now, my dear Jonathon?'
'A great age. A real man. A bit late, of course, to learn all one needs. But with your infinite knowledge, I don't doubt it will be hard at all.'
I was irritated completely now. I couldn't follow the man before me. A man I knew so perfectly from my history books.
'I will change my last will. I will make Octavian my heir. I will make sure, that he will become my successor', he winked at me. But I didn't understand.
'I- I fear I don't understand you.'
'I will make you my son. You shall be named after me. Gaius Iulius Caesar Octavianus. And you will be my heir.'
I couldn't breathe. He wanted me to be Octavian?
I could barely listen to what followed.
'My niece always wanted a son. I will let them add you simply to her family tree. No-one will notice. Congratulations. You have a sister now. Octaviana. I will take you into the pontifices. I will let them add you to the war in Spain. I will let it appear as if you have always existed. No-one heard of Atia anyways, my niece. The whole world will believe it. Just go with your friends Agrippa and Rufus to Apollonia. I will arrange everything.'
I couldn't believe what I heard. Maybe this was a side-effect of the time travelling. I still hadn't figured out how I did that. Or how I could return to 2018.
On the other hand, I knew all about Octavian. Augustus. The great politician. The cruel politician. This couldn't be true. There must've been a mistake. That couldn't be me.
And then, another bomb hit me.
Octavian was adopted in 44 BCE. At the age of 18. He left for Apollonia with his friends and received of Caesar's death in 44 BCE.
And Caesar was born at the 13th of July. Therefore he died at the age of 55.
Could I just tell him? Change my mind and tell him that I was wrong? Would that be a way to escape my fate? But how could the future change, if the great Augustus never existed? Though he certainly would never be great, if I, Jonathon, would have to be him.
But before I could say anything, Caesar was gone and I was staring at blank air.
Maybe I couldn't tell Caesar directly that he would die soon, but I knew what happened, so I still could tell him through others. Luckily, I ran into his wife, Calpurnia and a man.
'Uh! Oh, Calpurnia, dearest mother!', I yelled and she turned to me. I had a hard time calling her my mother and Caesar, CAESAR, my father, but if this should work, I had to play along.
'Octavian', she greeted me and smiled.
'I have some worries regarding the meeting tomorrow.'
'Yes, me too.'
Wow, this sounded promising.
'I fear the senate has evil thoughts. Many men seem to hold a grudge against our dictator perpetuus. Maybe he shouldn't go. The Ides of March seems to be a very fateful day for a meeting, don't you agree?'
Calpurnia looked at me worried and then nodded. Then she turned to the man beside her.
'What do you think, Spurinna?'
'I'll ask the birds. Just send your husband to me tomorrow', he answered kindly. Spurinna. Wasn't he the augur who told Caesar not to go to the senate tomorrow?
I knew as Octavian I was supposed to be in Apollonia. I didn't understand, how historians managed to believe that two thousand years later.
Maybe I could safe Caesar. Maybe I shouldn't. I didn't know what was the right thing to do. But I knew that I really got to know Caesar and I liked calling him a friend. I knew about his tyranny. I knew his madness as I saw it so often.
But most of all I feared the tyranny and madness I would succumb to if he died tomorrow.
I couldn't sleep. Why couldn't I just jump back to 2018? It's all I wanted.
But as the sun rose and touched the sky, I knew it was too late.
Early I hid in the senat building. I heard people talk. I didn't know if I stopped his death or if I made it possible. I didn't know if he would die today. I didn't know anything anymore.
I tried not to scream as I heard them yelling and screaming. Tears ran down my face.
Did I fail? It surely felt like it.
I came out of my hiding. Caesar was lying on the ground. Clearly dead. I stumbled towards him and held his lifeless hand. Suddenly the last breath.
And with those words I understood.
I wasn't punished. I wasn't gifted. Fate had decided that I, once Jonathon, now Gaius Iulius Caesar Octavianus and future Augustus, pater patriae, would bring peace, or at least something very close. I would have to rule. Fiercely. But only because I knew what would happen.
'Come, my boy. They will return very soon', a gentle voice spoke behind me. Hastily I hid my tears and turned to the man with a very proud face and a weird nose.
His eyes wandered to Caesar's corpse and then to me.
'There are hard times ahead of you, Octavian. I hope your father prepared you well.'
'He thought so, Cicero. But should I succeed, and I will, the res publica will be re-established.'
'A quick mind. You're still young. Let's hope it also is a clever one.'
I could see in his old eyes, how he grew fond of me. It was as if I could see his thoughts. How desperately he wanted to use me for his gains. For now, I would use him. And once he thought that he held me safe in his hand, he would be surprised by how clever I was.
He would die next year.
Telling a stranger, that she was your sister was quite difficult. But I knew that Octavia played an important role in history.
I would manage all of that.
I would manage the civil wars. I would get revenge for my father's death. I would expand Rome and I would bring peace. Most importantly that.
I would play my role in this play. That was the only mindset of how I could endure this.
Acta est fabula, plaudite!
She Who Destroysemlyn-scribbles
She stutters on the threshold: a sun fixed on the horizon. Bodies susurrate as she wades through them. A daily routine – but what are days? The cavern underneath the world admits no light from sun or moon, Sight granted by the fragile luminosity of the pale, pale once-alive. She walks through the dead: has always walked through the dead will always walk through the dead Or – her mother was life, is life, above – She stutters on the threshold.
Clarity. She no more meanders, but strides. The sun creaks and groans, and rises. Breaths short and sharp, she runs: A tree, an illogical tree in an illogical garden, In this illogical cavern. (but this was before logic) Hunger pangs do not slow her, She is hungry for change, for resolution; For conclusion to dim the gnaw of uncertainty.
A globe gripped in a quivering hand. She peels back the membrane (like the skin of the earth as it opened to swallow her) Scoops a glistening fistful of rubies And gulps them down, Blood of the fruit painting her chin like a child at the close of October, Play-acting, false horror, for the sake of cloying sugars; Her eyes are not that of a child.
She kisses the mouth of He that stole her. They ascend, hand in terrible hand; He sits, gestures, to Her new place beside him. With a smile of crimson certainty, The Queen of the Underworld takes Her throne.
GL on your writings! I'll be following to see how things develop.
I have a quick questionnaire so we can learn about you:
Can you tell us a little about your writing process? Do you have a specific daily word count? Do you plan your stories out or do you like to write as the inspiration comes? What is your guilty pleasure writing about?
Hi! Thank you so much for the ask! I will answer them according to the type of writing if you don't mind.
My writing process with short stories is rather simple. Whenever I get inspiration, I write. That is usually in the evening or during work. Most of my stories are prompt based though. If I write by hand, I'll rewrite them before I post them, otherwise, they go out as they are. Also, I mostly write them in one go, so the word count reaches from 500 - 2000 words (with only a few exceptions). I don't write daily though, so no - no daily word count. However, sometimes I feel like a short story has the potential for more, in which case I turn it into a multipiece story and plan and outline! I definitely have a guilty pleasure with them too, I love writing damsel-in-distress scenarios. It doesn't ultimately have to be a woman who is saved by a prince, but something that is based on that concept. I write all my short stories for fun and for training since I am actually a huge perfectionist. I used to never finish anything, and with blogging about short stories that I neither revise nor edit (a lot), I manage to be in control, breaking free from this perfectionism.
novels / WiPs:
My dream is it to become a published author so I work on writing novels. I wrote a fantasy / YA novel called 'The Assassination of Keiko Ito' during the last NaNoWriMo which is now read by beta readers! I will not blog about those though, just keep an update on what I am working on. The goal of the NaNoWriMo-challenge is to write 50k words in 30 days, so my daily goal on word count is about 1700 words during November. Inspiration is usually my to-go-to but with a novel, I need a lot of planning too. My writing process is much more detailed here. I plan, write the first draft, revise/rewrite, edit,... until I am happy with it. Rather often my work is based on one of my short stories by the way!
When I am stuck with writing short stories or with working on my WiP, I write poems. With poetry I feel like I can be more honest with myself, and that usually helps me to work out thoughts and feelings that have been blocking me.
Thank you a lot for the follow and interest, I hope I managed to answer your questions (and didn't write too much). And I also hope I will be successful in keeping you entertained :)
intro / about
My name is Rie and I am super new here! I use this blog to post my poems and short stories. My poems are usually just random thoughts in verse or praise to nature, whereas my short stories include fantasy, romance, sci-fi, contemporary....all the stuff ^^ I will probably repost some of my older work from tumblr.
English is not my first language, so please excuse any spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes. Since I use this blog to get rid of my perfectionism, the stories are usually unedited. It’s basically raw material, full of mistakes. Be prepared.
Additional information about each story such as genre, word count and topic are always given in the hashtags. Your mental health is important to me, so if you need me to tag something, don’t hesitate to ask! But be assured: There is nothing 18+ being posted here. Maximum are fighting/action scenes, eventually including knives and blood.
I am usually always motivated to write, but I tend to lack inspiration. If there is something you would like me to write, send an (anonymous) ask! Prompts, characters, genre, poems, lyrics - everything will do!
I am super excited to be here and hope to find some writer friends, so feel free to let me know when you post about writing too!
I only want a place for my own
I’d plant a tree and call it home
Build a room with four walls
No single curtain ever falls.
It will be safe, be a shelter
As if a fortress made of cover.
And only I will have the key
Everything belongs to me.
I’ll decide about wallpaper
Every stone hearing my whisper.
Then I’m alone I will be free,
Look at my garden, drink my tea.
Once every chair will be a throne
All my plants will be long grown.
Then I will rest my tired bones,
And my rich soul forever roams.