Bitterness at the Sacred Spring

The scribe writes so slowly. I stand excruciated with his laxity. I could have written it myself ten times over but for the impropriety.

I stare from the window. The Temple is busy today, crowded with the pleas of the sick and the poor and the would-be richer. Feast day. The priests will have the harassed look they get when the more popular gods are celebrated. Later I suppose I will go there with my sisters and pay respects, as people of our standing must.

Gods but these people. Call it writing. I call it scrape, scrape onto the lead. This will hardly last for all time. At the rate he's going, it will hardly last until next week.

Well, my little curl of lead, with its poisonous words, may not last - but my feelings will never change. He had better pray for mercy from any gods who favour him, for he'll get no quarter from me. Jilt me, would he? I come from Rome - Rome! - to give him my hand and he prefers the swarthy little Briton. No doubt the peasant children running around the estate are all theirs. Her, with her piecrust skin and dirt-coloured hair? Hardly quality, hardly a good line for your heirs. But what do I care about his heirs, he's poked every native in sight and no doubt their livestock as well. Well I'm glad it got not further than this. Glad. I hope he gets sheeps ague and dies. I hope she's watching.

Gods, tears at the Sacred Spring. How poetic, how melodramatic. My sisters will be wondering where I am. I must go and pay respects before we bathe. I will feel better after a long soak, a decent scrape and some good oil. I will just pay the scribe, cast my curse on him into Sulis' bubbling waters and go. And good riddance.

Text copyright Archsweet 1999

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