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As Day Dies

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jacksjg89

PROCRASTINATOR
Joined
Nov 27, 2013
Likes
5,508
Location
City of Angels
#1
(Not sure how this is going to go with you guys, so any feedback, particularly if you don’t like it, is appreciated. Also, may have rushed it a little because I promised I wouldn’t go to bed until it was done. So, night all, and I hope you like.)


As Day Dies


The soldier reentered the city with less ceremony than he had left with. It was getting late, and the sandy streets were sparsely populated. It had been torturously hot during the day, but night was determined to have its revenge. A gust of wind launched an attack and he hugged his cloak closer into him, and then looked back over the hills from whence he came. The soldier felt weak, cold, and decided he could do something about it.

He approached one of the stalls and flipped a silver coin at a fat man behind the counter who was able to scratch his arms. The fat man smiled, and produced a bowl of herbed cheese, a loaf of bread, and a hunk of sausage. “Drink?” He asked.

The soldier nodded, and saw the stall keeper staring strangely up at the tip of his spear. The soldier looked up, and saw a dried sponge still attached to the head. He picked it off and threw it behind him, annoyed at his host dirty smile. “Water, please.” Croaked the soldier, seeing that he was about to be presented with mulled wine. He was suddenly aware of how thirsty he had been.

The fat man shrugged, put the cask away, and replaced it with a pitcher and a ceramic cup. The soldier poured his own water and drained it. Warmed by the day, bland to the taste, the liquid sent him into an ecstasy of refreshment. He could feel the dry spot at the back of his throat being hydrated, and the tense muscles in his stomach and limbs begin to sooth. He felt a twinge of guilt and looked back over his shoulder before pouring himself another cup.

“You’ve had a busy day, I reckon?” Asked the man behind the counter conversationally.

“I don’t want to discuss it,” said the soldier gruffly, dipping some bread into the cheese and taking a bite. The savory taste and the explosion of flavor triggered a warm feeling coursing through his body. Salt, garlic, honey, starch, herbs were erasing the memory of dust and humidity that had been his companion all day. The guilt was still there, and absorbed that too. He hadn’t realized how hungry he had been.

He continued eating his dinner when he noticed the presence of alittle girl, lacking for clothing and skinny as a post was staring up at him, her entire body shivering, and wordlessly holding her hands out to the soldier.

“Get out of here you little runt,” the fat man said and swung at her with a stick. She was knocked off her feet, and was having trouble getting up.

The soldier knelt down next to her and offered her a piece of bread.

“Now don’t be doing that,” he heard from the man, but ignored. The little girl took it and began to eat it greedily. That was about all he could do for her. Any coins he gave the starving girl would be taken off her by one of the many starving men who roamed the streets. She huddled before him, devouring what he gave her while curled up in a ball to protect her skin from the biting cold, which was more defense than some had. It didn’t change the fact that she looked like she would freeze to death overnight, which was also a better fate than some had.

The soldier realized there was something else he cold give the girl. He dug into his satchel and brought out a dirty, ripped, previously white robe that had a few blood stains and held it out to her. Her shocked face looked at him, then at the hills outside the city, and then to the robes. She cautiously reached out to touch it, as if worrying bite down on her hand and never let go. After feeling the coarse material for a few seconds, she wrapped herself up in it and started trotting away excitedly.

“You ought not to have done that,” said the fat man. The soldier ignored him. He finished his meal in silence and left. It was getting colder, and the wind was blowing dust in his face. He saw a young woman run across the street, a scarf over her head that hid her golden hooped earrings. She went into a building that seemed alive with festivity and the soldier, not needing to report to his officer until tomorrow morning, followed.

The brothel was alive with happiness and amusement. The woman were dressed in colorful robes and jewelry, and the men pawed at them with stupid grins on their faces. There were dancers, joyously moving their feet around the spinning their bodies around. They were athletic and elegant, and they have seductive smiles for whoever caught their eyesight. The men were competing for their affection, but were companionable to each other. This was a place without suffering or violence.

A woman, without a scarf but with golden hooped earrings, took the soldier by the hand and led him upstairs into a private room. There was a fire going by the bed, but the window was open, looking out onto the hills. They were covered in darkness, and it was difficult to see anything, but there were a few bright lights, probably campfires for those keeping watch.

The prostitute shut the window. “It’s chilly,” she said with a defensive smile, and unburdened the soldier of his pack and his weapons and began to undo his armor until he was in only his tunic. The weight being lifted off his shoulders was a ritual he looked forward to every night, and the muscles relaxed. The woman led him to the bed and bade him sit on the edge, to which he was more than happy to oblige. His ass on the cushion, his legs were relieved of the pressure he had put them through all day long. He had not sat, knelt, squatted, or lay down since rising in the early morning light, and he allowed himself to go completely limp on the bed, no one part of his body supporting any other part of his body.

The whore coughed to get his attention. He supported himself on the back of his elbows and raised himself up enough to see what this woman had to offer. She dropped her robe, and revealed her body to him. Her olive skin glistened in the fire light, her ankles and wrist covered in bracelets of silver and precious stones, and the gold necklace with a ruby dangled between her round plump breast, nipples standing in anticipation for what was to come. No jungle obstructed my view of her dark crevice, which looked slightly overused, but there was no making a fuss about that here.

He was however slightly disappointed. She had planned on the soldier coming, and had groomed accordingly. There were no mistakes when it came to her grooming and makeup. Her hair was silky and thick, there was not dirt on her feet, not whip marks on her chest and back, and she smiled sweetly instead of screaming pleas of forgiveness. He somehow wished that the prostitute could have been less prepared for his coming, but that was an unreasonable ask.

So instead, he allowed her to remove the last of his clothing so that they could be naked together, as equals. The wind continued to howl outside while they found a way to keep each other warm. What they did is not for public observation. It remains behind the walls of this house of secrets. Needless to say, that it was not too long afterwards that the soldier was laying on the bed, enjoying the emptiness of his energy, for he needed it no longer this night. The whore was by his side, she having allowed him to spend the night for an additional fee, and was already snoring. The soldier allowed consciousness to pass from him, anticipating with warm delight how refreshed and full of energy he would be upon his awakening.

When he woke up the next morning was out in the city streets, the sun was blazing overhead. He say the same beggar girl using the shredded dress to shield herself from the heat, sweat was dripping down her cheek as she begged. The soldier could do nothing for her. He did not have a reputation for being overly merciful. Only when it made him feel good. He stretched his arms out, raised them above his head and let them fall while he yawned, because he could. He stratched an itch that was forcing behind his shoulder, because he could. He took a long greedy sip of water from his canister, because he could, and he used all the suffering in and around the city to heighten his enjoyment of life, because he could. He walked back to his barracks, sun continuing to beat down on him, causing some discomfort, partly remedied by the fact that his clothes protected him from the radiation. He would not get close to the hill again, but he satisfied himself by thinking that today would be such a long day ahead of them.
 

malins

Stumbling Seeker
Joined
Nov 1, 2008
Likes
12,539
Location
Germany / on border to France
#2
He stretched his arms out, raised them above his head and let them fall while he yawned, because he could. He stratched an itch that was forcing behind his shoulder, because he could. He took a long greedy sip of water from his canister, because he could, and he used all the suffering in and around the city to heighten his enjoyment of life, because he could.
so any feedback, particularly if you don’t like it, is appreciated.
Hmmm, in fact I like it a lot; we never need to get 'close to the hill' to imagine well the long day ahead of them... them whose arms will stay raised above their heads and whose itches will remain unscratched ...
 
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jacksjg89

PROCRASTINATOR
Joined
Nov 27, 2013
Likes
5,508
Location
City of Angels
#3
Hmmm, in fact I like it a lot; we never need to get 'close to the hill' to imagine well the long day ahead of them... them whose arms will stay raised above their heads and whose itches will reman unscratched ...
Appreciate this. It’s really hard to portray the passage of time spent on a cross, and I thought to experiment by doing this.
 

Horseman68

Assistant executioner
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Likes
305
Location
Maryland
#7
Jacksjg89. As said by others, a very interesting piece of work. Not only a unique perspective, but written with a simple yet rich texture. Bravos.
 
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