The long shadows cast by the disappearing sun cast their darkness on his as he navigated the raised stepping stones that gave pedestrians some hope of staying out of the muck which covered the pave streets. Buildings loomed several stories high on either side of him, and it was already late enough to leave some particularly narrow stretches, where the overhanging buildings nearly hid the sun at high noon, in deep shadow. Aulus wished that Artura has the same system of street lamps as Novaro, but a few private homes had lamps, and those were only lit in anticipation of the return of the patrician master or mistress. No one wanted to waste lamplight on those wretched strangers still out as evening set in.
Aulus had to move quickly to the side as one of those wealthy patricians came by. Slaves carrying torches took the lead, followed by a tight knot of burly slaves with clubs around a litter, heavy velvet curtains blocking out the sights and sounds of the street. Not the smells, I bet, Aulus thought. Just then the overpowering perfume which served that purpose swept over him, its sick sweetness causing him to break out in a loud coughing fit. One of the thugs who guarded the litter glared at him, taking a step in his direction. Fortunately, the litter was moving too fast to give him a chance to indulge in a little violence, and he had to hurry after it as the rear torchbearers caught up to him and Aulus. He barely had time to breathe a sigh of relief when he heard the screaming.
It's rough, of course, and will go through three or four revisions before it's ready for public consumption, assuming it ever is. It's a continuation of Fire, on my website, which I suppose is as ready for public consumption as it will ever be. It can be found here. And frankly, I consider it highly unlikely that I will ever tire of pushing my fiction on my blog. You better get used to it.
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