Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cyrene cont.

As the eyes of the condemned man caught his he stepped back against the stone wall behind him. The man on his way to die tried to get up and he fell again. As the whip was about to fly a guard told the bearer of the flagellum to stop. The guard stepped towards the Cyrene and with his right hand on his gladius he ordered the Cyrene to carry the cross bar of the criminal. The Cyrene felt the muscles in his throat tighten and his arm grew tense as he thought again of the dagger in his cloak. O how he hated the men around him, how he thought day and night of plunging a sword into any Roman soldiers uniform.

Two guards grabbed the Cyrene and pushed him out into the street. He knelt down next to the criminal and was repulsed by the visage of the man. A crown had been made of a crude vine and some of the long thorns were buried in his scalp and forehead. The skin on his forehead bulged from the thorns and one protruded through his skin and out just above the poor wretches left eye. That eye was swollen closed and covered in blood except where small droplets of sweat ran down his face. The man's beard was matted by the dried blood that seemed to paste hair together in tangles. As the Cyrene reached for the cross bar the condemned man's hair was entangled in the knots and splits of the wood. As the Cyrene hesitated and tried to untangle the hair in the cross bar the closest guard gave the condemned a kick.

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