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Downpour

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Barbaria1

Rebel Leader
Staff member
DOWNPOUR (a short story in 3 parts)

1. A gust of wind casts stinging darts of icy cold rain against my face, forcing me to turn my head away and slow my pace ... only to be jerked forward by the rope tied to an iron collar around my neck.

"Come on, move it!" growls the legionary who leads me down the road. He tugs on the rope again and I stumble forward, nearly losing my footing in the slimy mud of the roadside ditch where I am forced to walk in order to leave the drier pavement free for the use of the Optio and the rest of his hand-picked execution detail.

"Lousy day to draw execution duty," complains one of the soldiers. "I was hoping for a nice long morning of relaxation, snug in my nice warm billet. But here I am instead ... outside, freezing my balls off in a bloody Roman winter rain, all because some important so-and-so decided that this bitch has to be executed this very morning! I tell you, Markus, it's not fair! And, by the way, what did she do anyway?"

"Sedition, Lucius, or so I was told. Seems she was involved in that failed plot to depose the emperor. One of the conspirators named her, under torture, as an accomplice ... they apparently had her carry messages back and forth between the senators plotting the emperor's overthrow. So she was arrested last night, stripped of her rights as a Roman citizen, and condemned to be crucified at first light out here on the road beyond the city gate."

"Pity. A fine-looking young noble woman like her crucified and left to die like a common criminal or slave alongside the road where everyone can see her!"

"Well, she can only blame herself for that!"

madiosi 2016 - 236a-Downpour.jpg

As I trudge along in the ditch, reddish-brown mud oozing between my toes, the early morning's steady drizzle becomes a heavy pelting rain. Clad only in the top half of a tunica I shiver. Soaked and nearly transparent, the light linen garment clings embarrassingly to the curves of my body ... nipples hardened in the cold against the fabric ... and beyond where the tunica is torn away at my waist, I feel so shamefully exposed. It's all I have had to wear since I was arrested.

"Here! This is far enough. Let's get it over with!" barks the Optio, calling a halt, and pointing to a patch of slightly raised ground off to the right of the road on which stand a couple of well-used wooden crosses, one bearing the blackened corpse of a male criminal put to death days ago, the other the body of a recently crucified naked young woman. "We'll use one of those crosses. Get over there, pull one down and dispose of its disgusting load. Move lively now!"

I stand still and watch, drops of rainwater running down my face, as the legionaries spring into action, splashing across the ditch to assault the nearest of the crosses, bringing it down with a crash, ripping the male criminal's rotted corpse from it and casting the remains in the ditch.

Turning, they beckon to the legionary they call Lucius, who has stayed behind with me and the optio and now leads me with a tug on my rope toward the empty cross waiting for me on the ground.

I clamber out of the ditch and cover the distance in a few steps, after which strong hands take hold of me. I hang my head, sopping wet hair in my face, as my wrists are untied. The pelting rain turns into a downpour ... rain coming down in sheets driven by a gusting, howling wind.

"Be quick now! Get the remains of that flimsy tunic off her. We don't have time for a proper scourging. Just hold here still, bloody her backside, and get her down on that stipe before the blasted weather gets any worse," shouts the optio above the din of the wind-driven rain rattling on his polished breastplate.

I am quickly stripped of my short little tunic and forced to kneel in the mud. Two legionnaires take their positions behind me and begin to flog my bare back mercilessly with a short multi-thonged whips. The knots at the ends of the thongs tear cruelly at my flesh. Blood and rain water mix and run in rivulets down my ravaged back.
madiosi 2016 - 237a-Downpour.jpg

"That'll do. Enough!" grunts the optio, "lay her down now and bring the nails!"
 
Last edited:

Wragg

Chronicler of Crux
Staff member
DOWNPOUR (a short story in 3 parts)

1. A gust of wind casts stinging darts of icy cold rain against my face, forcing me to turn my head away and slow my pace ... only to be jerked forward by the rope tied to an iron collar around my neck.

"Come on, move it!" growls the legionary who leads me down the road. He tugs on the rope again and I stumble forward, nearly losing my footing in the slimy mud of the roadside ditch where I am forced to walk in order to leave the drier pavement free for the use of the Optio and the rest of his hand-picked execution detail.

"Lousy day to draw execution duty," complains one of the soldiers. "I was hoping for a nice long morning of relaxation, snug in my nice warm billet. But here I am instead ... outside, freezing my balls off in a bloody Roman winter rain, all because some important so-and-so decided that this bitch has to be executed this very morning! I tell you, Markus, it's not fair! And, by the way, what did she do anyway?"

"Sedition, Lucius, or so I was told. Seems she was involved in that failed plot to depose the emperor. One of the conspirators named her, under torture, as an accomplice ... they apparently had her carry messages back and forth between the senators plotting the emperor's overthrow. So she was arrested last night, stripped of her rights as a Roman citizen, and condemned to be crucified at first light out here on the road beyond the city gate."

"Pity. A fine-looking young noble woman like her crucified and left to die like a common criminal or slave alongside the road where everyone can see her!"

"Well, she can only blame herself for that!"

View attachment 401045

As I trudge along in the ditch, reddish-brown mud oozing between my toes, the early morning's steady drizzle becomes a heavy pelting rain. Clad only in the top half of a tunica I shiver. Soaked and nearly transparent, the light linen garment clings embarrassingly to the curves of my body ... nipples hardened in the cold against the fabric ... and beyond where the tunica is torn away at my waist, I feel so shamefully exposed. It's all I have had to wear since I was arrested.

"Here! This is far enough. Let's get it over with!" barks the Optio, calling a halt, and pointing to a patch of slightly raised ground off to the right of the road on which stand a couple of well-used wooden crosses, one bearing the blackened corpse of a male criminal put to death days ago, the other the body of a recently crucified naked young woman. "We'll use one of those crosses. Get over there, pull one down and dispose of its disgusting load. Move lively now!"

I stand still and watch, drops of rainwater running down my face, as the legionaries spring into action, splashing across the ditch to assault the nearest of the crosses, bringing it down with a crash, ripping the male criminal's rotted corpse from it and casting the remains in the ditch.

Turning, they beckon to the legionary they call Lucius, who has stayed behind with me and the optio and now leads me with a tug on my rope toward the empty cross waiting for me on the ground.

I clamber out of the ditch and cover the distance in a few steps, after which strong hands take hold of me. I hang my head, sopping wet hair in my face, as my wrists are untied. The pelting rain turns into a downpour ... rain coming down in sheets driven by a gusting, howling wind.

"Be quick now! Get the remains of that flimsy tunic off her. We don't have time for a proper scourging. Just hold here still, bloody her backside, and get her down on that stipe before the blasted weather gets any worse," shouts the optio above the din of the wind-driven rain rattling on his polished breastplate.

I am quickly stripped of my short little tunic and forced to kneel in the mud. Two legionnaires take their positions behind me and begin to flog my bare back mercilessly with a short multi-thonged whips. The knots at the ends of the thongs tear cruelly at my flesh. Blood and rain water mix and run in rivulets down my ravaged back to stain the edge of my white linen loincloth.

View attachment 401046

"That'll do. Enough!" grunts the optio, "lay her down now and bring the nails!"
She must be in Britannia, given the weather. Must be summer time. :rolleyes:

Did Madiosi inspire you, Barb, or did you inspire Madiosi?

Either way.... barely has she drawn her final breath in the Knight and the Gnostic, when she's off on the next fabulous yarn. :)

I don't know what you eat, Barb, but I'm having whatever you're having! ;)
 

Madiosi

Depictor of Dreams
Staff member
She must be in Britannia, given the weather. Must be summer time. :rolleyes:

Did Madiosi inspire you, Barb, or did you inspire Madiosi?

Either way.... barely has she drawn her final breath in the Knight and the Gnostic, when she's off on the next fabulous yarn. :)

I don't know what you eat, Barb, but I'm having whatever you're having! ;)

madiosi 2016 - 237a-Downpour.jpg
She drives me.

Maybe it's the drinks.

:beer:
 

WitchQueen

Assistant executioner
Ah another "innocent" young Roman woman convicted and sentenced to death on the cross. Except this time it's a noble. Oh how rare! She must be very distraught knowing she's to be executed in such a grisly way, especially among common thieves, barbarians and slaves too. How embarrassing for her. At least she'll have some company in her final excruciating moments with that other young crucified woman there. Provided the soldiers decided to raise the noble woman's cross next to the other woman's cross. If so the two of them mite contemplate their lives to each other and figure out how it all went wrong. I wonder if she truly committed the crime of conspiracy or was falsely accused? Oh well... time and the next chapter will tell.
 

Barbaria1

Rebel Leader
Staff member
Ah another "innocent" young Roman woman convicted and sentenced to death on the cross. Except this time it's a noble. Oh how rare! She must be very distraught knowing she's to be executed in such a grisly way, especially among common thieves, barbarians and slaves too. How embarrassing for her. At least she'll have some company in her final excruciating moments with that other young crucified woman there. Provided the soldiers decided to raise the noble woman's cross next to the other woman's cross. If so the two of them mite contemplate their lives to each other and figure out how it all went wrong. I wonder if she truly committed the crime of conspiracy or was falsely accused? Oh well... time and the next chapter will tell.

My mind is too occupied with my own predicament to wonder yet about the identity of that other poor crucified woman and whether she still lives.
 

WitchQueen

Assistant executioner
My mind is too occupied with my own predicament to wonder yet about the identity of that other poor crucified woman and whether she still lives.

That's understandable. I can imagine that being the last thing going through your head. Right now it's just fear, panic and despair all fueled on adrenaline. Still I can't help but wonder. I'm sure the conversation between two crucified
victims/ condemned could be interesting. Like I said time will tell. I look forward to more. :)
 

xso

Tribune
DOWNPOUR (a short story in 3 parts)

1. A gust of wind casts stinging darts of icy cold rain against my face, forcing me to turn my head away and slow my pace ... only to be jerked forward by the rope tied to an iron collar around my neck.

"Come on, move it!" growls the legionary who leads me down the road. He tugs on the rope again and I stumble forward, nearly losing my footing in the slimy mud of the roadside ditch where I am forced to walk in order to leave the drier pavement free for the use of the Optio and the rest of his hand-picked execution detail.

"Lousy day to draw execution duty," complains one of the soldiers. "I was hoping for a nice long morning of relaxation, snug in my nice warm billet. But here I am instead ... outside, freezing my balls off in a bloody Roman winter rain, all because some important so-and-so decided that this bitch has to be executed this very morning! I tell you, Markus, it's not fair! And, by the way, what did she do anyway?"

"Sedition, Lucius, or so I was told. Seems she was involved in that failed plot to depose the emperor. One of the conspirators named her, under torture, as an accomplice ... they apparently had her carry messages back and forth between the senators plotting the emperor's overthrow. So she was arrested last night, stripped of her rights as a Roman citizen, and condemned to be crucified at first light out here on the road beyond the city gate."

"Pity. A fine-looking young noble woman like her crucified and left to die like a common criminal or slave alongside the road where everyone can see her!"

"Well, she can only blame herself for that!"

View attachment 401045

As I trudge along in the ditch, reddish-brown mud oozing between my toes, the early morning's steady drizzle becomes a heavy pelting rain. Clad only in the top half of a tunica I shiver. Soaked and nearly transparent, the light linen garment clings embarrassingly to the curves of my body ... nipples hardened in the cold against the fabric ... and beyond where the tunica is torn away at my waist, I feel so shamefully exposed. It's all I have had to wear since I was arrested.

"Here! This is far enough. Let's get it over with!" barks the Optio, calling a halt, and pointing to a patch of slightly raised ground off to the right of the road on which stand a couple of well-used wooden crosses, one bearing the blackened corpse of a male criminal put to death days ago, the other the body of a recently crucified naked young woman. "We'll use one of those crosses. Get over there, pull one down and dispose of its disgusting load. Move lively now!"

I stand still and watch, drops of rainwater running down my face, as the legionaries spring into action, splashing across the ditch to assault the nearest of the crosses, bringing it down with a crash, ripping the male criminal's rotted corpse from it and casting the remains in the ditch.

Turning, they beckon to the legionary they call Lucius, who has stayed behind with me and the optio and now leads me with a tug on my rope toward the empty cross waiting for me on the ground.

I clamber out of the ditch and cover the distance in a few steps, after which strong hands take hold of me. I hang my head, sopping wet hair in my face, as my wrists are untied. The pelting rain turns into a downpour ... rain coming down in sheets driven by a gusting, howling wind.

"Be quick now! Get the remains of that flimsy tunic off her. We don't have time for a proper scourging. Just hold here still, bloody her backside, and get her down on that stipe before the blasted weather gets any worse," shouts the optio above the din of the wind-driven rain rattling on his polished breastplate.

I am quickly stripped of my short little tunic and forced to kneel in the mud. Two legionnaires take their positions behind me and begin to flog my bare back mercilessly with a short multi-thonged whips. The knots at the ends of the thongs tear cruelly at my flesh. Blood and rain water mix and run in rivulets down my ravaged back to stain the edge of my white linen loincloth.

View attachment 401089

"That'll do. Enough!" grunts the optio, "lay her down now and bring the nails!"
Splendid story as always B! 'Bring the nails', such lovely words!
 

Barbaria1

Rebel Leader
Staff member
This lazy crucifixion crew probably pried the old rusty square shanked spike out of the rotting corpse and will reuse them to crucify her...:eek:
Probably a correct assumptsion! Reuse is however environmentaly friendly and it also keeps the public spending down!

Here I am, about to be nailed naked to an old wooden cross, and you two clowns are chattering on about recyclables and environmental sustainability :doh:
 

Barbaria1

Rebel Leader
Staff member
2. They drag me to my feet, spin me around, and toss me down like a sack of grain upon my waiting cross, which appears to be slowly sinking into the waterlogged ground. I am stretched out, facing up, my whip-ravaged back sliding easily along the cool wet wood as my executioners properly position me to be crucified.

I don't resist. I allow them to ready me. I just lie quietly on my back. Rain pelts my face and pools in the slight hollow between my mounded breasts. My legs splay out on either side of the stipe, heels sinking into the soggy wet ground.

Experienced hands grab my wrists, pulling them out the requisite distance, pinning them against the crossbeam, and binding them in place with thin strips of leather. I wince as the bindings dig into my flesh as they are drawn tight. My breathing quickens now. Can this really be happening to me? Here, on the side of a lonely road in the middle of a downpour?

The damp cold rising from the ground all around me chills me to the bone. I shiver uncontrollably. My nipples stand hard and high. I note the little clouds of gray mist floating from the mouths and nostrils of the legionnaires as they labor over me. My situation is hopeless. I start to cry.

The binding of my wrists completed, the legionnaires back off to make way for Lucius, to whom the Optio has assigned the task of doing the nailing. He rushes forward to my side, hammer and nails at the ready, but loses his footing in the slimy mire and goes down flat on his face. Cursing, he rises and crawls around on his hands and knees, face covered with mud, frantically groping around in the gooey muck to recover the nails that flew from his grip. His helmet slips from his head and lands in a puddle with a splash. He curses again.

Ready at last, Lucius crouches in the mud to my right, and carefully places the point of a large square-shanked nail over my slender left wrist with one hand while taking careful aim with the hammer grasped in the other. He hesitates, and then moves the point of the nail to a slightly different place. Satisfied, he raises the hammer again, then pauses to wipe the rain away from his brow.

"By the Gods, Lucius!" bellows the Optio, "we haven't got all day! Just hit the cursed nail and get on with it!"

madiosi 2016 - 238-Downpour.jpg

Lucius mutters under his breath as he squints at the target, raises the hammer and brings it down with such force that he drives the nail through my wrist and buries half its length in the wood. I dig in my heels, arch my back and scream in pain, although a blast of wind seems to grab my scream from my mouth and whisk it away. A moment later a second mighty blow, buries the nail. I arch my back and scream again.

On his feet now, Lucius steps over my prone nude shuddering body to attend to nailing my other wrist. Under pressure from the Optio who stands off to one side glaring at him, as well as from the other legionnaires who, nearby, impatiently shelter from the elements under a pair of raised shields. I feel the prick of the nail point on my right wrist and turn my head away, unwilling to watch.

As I look away, my eyes catch movement on the cross bearing the naked young woman. She is still alive, I think, somewhat amazed at the revelation. I wonder who she is, but my attention is suddenly diverted by the intense bolt of pain that rages up my right arm as Lucius buries the second nail with a single mighty hammer blow. Once again I dig in my heels, arch my back, open my mouth and scream into the buffeting wind and rain.

The other legionnaires set down their shields and brave the now torrential downpour to rush forward again, this time to secure my feet. I kick at them in a vain attempt to defend myself. They grapple for a moment with my flailing legs, then seize hold of them and force my ankles together so they can be bound with leather strips. Then the soles of my feet are firmly pressed against the stipe with my knees raised, and bound in place with more leather strips. This time one of the legionnaires, the one they call Markus, remains to straddle my pelvis, his hand firmly grasping my legs behind the knees. Looking up he nods, beckoning Lucius forward again. The others retreat to the shelter of their shields.

Stepping carefully this time, Lucius takes his place below my feet, one knee planted in the mud on either side of the stipe. I look to the sky, which has become very dark. I have never experienced rain like this. I wonder if my cross will suddenly begin to float and carry me away. My attention turns to the Optio, who is on poor Lucius' case again, berating him for being so slow. Lucius ignores him, working methodically. A nail is placed on the bridge of my left foot. All I can see is Markus' broad back, but I brace myself for the inevitable bolt of pain.

It comes. I buck under Markus' weight and throw my head violently from side to side. It takes Lucius just three excruciating blows of the hammer to impale my left foot to the stipe, breaking bones and crushing ligaments in the process. The wind whips my hair into my open mouth as I shriek my distress to the sky above. And before I can recover from the pain and shock, I am aware of a second nail already pressing against my right foot.

A blast of wind ruffles the back of Markus' drenched tunic. I feel his hands tightening on my knees, holding them tightly together. I wait with gritted teeth, blinking my eyes against the sheets of rain. Then it comes again. This time I am more prepared for the extreme pain. I do not scream. I just turn my head to one side and let out a long low moan and whimper. I am nailed.

The Optio orders his men into action again. "Finally! Hurry now! Look sharp! Get under that cross and get her up. Bring some stakes and stones to secure the base. The sooner she is up and crucified, the sooner we can go home!!"
 
Last edited:

Wragg

Chronicler of Crux
Staff member
2. They drag me to my feet, spin me around, and toss me down like a sack of grain upon my waiting cross, which appears to be slowly sinking into the waterlogged ground. I am stretched out, facing up, my whip-ravaged back sliding easily along the cool wet wood as my executioners properly position me to be crucified.

I don't resist. I allow them to ready me. I just lie quietly on my back. Rain pelts my face and pools in the slight hollow between my mounded breasts. My legs splay out on either side of the stipe, heels sinking into the soggy wet ground.

Experienced hands grab my wrists, pulling them out the requisite distance, pinning them against the crossbeam, and binding them in place with thin strips of leather. I wince as the bindings dig into my flesh as they are drawn tight. My breathing quickens now. Can this really be happening to me? Here, on the side of a lonely road in the middle of a downpour?

The damp cold rising from the ground all around me chills me to the bone. I shiver uncontrollably. My nipples stand hard and high. I note the little clouds of gray mist floating from the mouths and nostrils of the legionnaires as they labor over me. My situation is hopeless. I start to cry.

The binding of my wrists completed, the legionnaires back off to make way for Lucius, to whom the Optio has assigned the task of doing the nailing. He rushes forward to my side, hammer and nails at the ready, but loses his footing in the slimy mire and goes down flat on his face. Cursing, he rises and crawls around on his hands and knees, face covered with mud, frantically groping around in the gooey muck to recover the nails that flew from his grip. His helmet slips from his head and lands in a puddle with a splash. He curses again.

Ready at last, Lucius crouches in the mud to my right, and carefully places the point of a large square-shanked nail over my slender left wrist with one hand while taking careful aim with the hammer grasped in the other. He hesitates, and then moves the point of the nail to a slightly different place. Satisfied, he raises the hammer again, then pauses to wipe the rain away from his brow.

"By the Gods, Lucius!" bellows the Optio, "we haven't got all day! Just hit the cursed nail and get on with it!"

View attachment 401170

Lucius mutters under his breath as he squints at the target, raises the hammer and brings it down with such force that he drives the nail through my wrist and buries half its length in the wood. I dig in my heels, arch my back and scream in pain, although a blast of wind seems to grab my scream from my mouth and whisk it away. A moment later a second mighty blow, buries the nail. I arch my back and scream again.

On his feet now, Lucius steps over my prone nude shuddering body to attend to nailing my other wrist. Under pressure from the Optio who stands off to one side glaring at him, as well as from the other legionnaires who, nearby, impatiently shelter from the elements under a pair of raised shields. I feel the prick of the nail point on my right wrist and turn my head away, unwilling to watch.

As I look away, my eyes catch movement on the cross bearing the naked young woman. She is still alive, I think, somewhat amazed at the revelation. I wonder who she is, but my attention is suddenly diverted by the intense bolt of pain that rages up my right arm as Lucius buries the second nail with a single mighty hammer blow. Once again I dig in my heels, arch my back, open my mouth and scream into the buffeting wind and rain.

The other legionnaires set down their shields and brave the now torrential downpour to rush forward again, this time to secure my feet. I kick at them in a vain attempt to defend myself. They grapple for a moment with my flailing legs, then seize hold of them and force my ankles together so they can be bound with leather strips. Then the soles of my feet are firmly pressed against the stipe with my knees raised, and bound in place with more leather strips. This time one of the legionnaires, the one they call Markus, remains to straddle my pelvis, his hand firmly grasping my legs behind the knees. Looking up he nods, beckoning Lucius forward again. The others retreat to the shelter of their shields.

Stepping carefully this time, Lucius takes his place below my feet, one knee planted in the mud on either side of the stipe. I look to the sky, which has become very dark. I have never experienced rain like this. I wonder if my cross will suddenly begin to float and carry me away. My attention turns to the Optio, who is on poor Lucius' case again, berating him for being so slow. Lucius ignores him, working methodically. A nail is placed on the bridge of my left foot. All I can see is Markus' broad back, but I brace myself for the inevitable bolt of pain.

It comes. I buck under Markus' weight and throw my head violently from side to side. It takes Lucius just three excruciating blows of the hammer to impale my left foot to the stipe, breaking bones and crushing ligaments in the process. The wind whips my hair into my open mouth as I shriek my distress to the sky above. And before I can recover from the pain and shock, I am aware of a second nail already pressing against my right foot.

A blast of wind ruffles the back of Markus' drenched tunic. I feel his hands tightening on my knees, holding them tightly together. I wait with gritted teeth, blinking my eyes against the sheets of rain. Then it comes again. This time I am more prepared for the extreme pain. I do not scream. I just turn my head to one side and let out a long low moan and whimper. I am nailed.

The Optio orders his men into action again. "Finally! Hurry now! Look sharp! Get under that cross and get her up. Bring some stakes and stoned to secure the base. The sooner she is up and crucified, the sooner we can go home!!"

Doesn't someone have to stand guard? :confused:

You can't leave Barb alone, not even on a cross! :eek:

Elfen warriors have no fear of the rain! ;)

Seriously, excellent if soggy writing Barb, and Madiosi really captures the drenching weather well!
 
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