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Corydon Florus Marius
I became a prostitute because I could, because it was easy for me and because I thought I was clever enough not to get myself killed. I would not say that I enjoyed the work, but I did not entirely loathe it as some do. I was lucky; I found I could demand a high price and therefore limited myself to a more refined clientele. They were safer to deal with than the riffraff on the streets. Or so I thought.

I am not much interested in politics, but I knew who the man was the minute I opened the door to him. I had seen him before at the circus, wearing the purple lined finery of a senator. He was a hard man to miss, about as board as he was tall with hands like a giant. He still managed to carry himself with an easy grace in his public life, moving in a powerful and smooth way that demanded respect like a mighty ship parting the sea.

Unfortunately, this grace did not extend to his more private activities.

I now found myself pressed firmly facedown into the bed as this beast pushed himself into me with the full force of his weight. Not wishing to exert himself anymore than necessary and instead of trusting in the usual way, he pushed down my shoulders and then waited for me to crawl from beneath him for air before hastily pushing me down onto him again. Being in such a compressed condition, I could not breathe properly and began to struggle against his hands more frantically with each cycle, until I heard the crack. Thankfully, he must have heard it as well, for he rolled off me.

A dark bruise was spreading above my breast along with a horrible pain. When I tried to move my right arm, it became easy to see that the thin, protruding bone connecting it to my chest had been snapped in half.

Cradling my arm, I sat up and retched curses up at him. “Y-you’ve broken me, you fucking bastard! I can’t move my arm!”

His visage changed so completely then, it was as if a shadow had passed over his face. Encircling his huge hands around my neck completely, he squeezed them tight and pushed me to the wall.

“Your arm? Your arm? There’s a lot more at stake here than your fucking arm! Do you realize what a disgrace it would be if people were to find out that the wise and benevolent Octavius not only fucked some rancid boy-whore from the country, but broke his arm in the process? You’re not leaving this room alive, you fucking slag. If I can snap your arm, I can snap your neck.”

I was half-dead by this point and could see nothing but the void, but above the frenzied ringing in my ears, I heard someone down the hall shouting my name and I felt the bonds loosen from my throat. Scared that someone may be coming to discover him, the giant took off without making sure that I was indeed all the way to Hades.

He was my last charge. Apparently, the wise and benevolent clientele whom I had catered to had no use for a brusied and broken whore.
Corydon Florus Marius
My eldest full brother Gallus came to Rome only once and with only one purpose.

“Corydon, listen to me carefully because I want you to understand me. When Father died, he passed his powers as pater familias down to me. As I have no family of my own, I possess these rights over what remains of his. One of these powers entitles me to kill any child who has brought extreme pain and disappointment to the family.”

“Oh, please. What the law permits, society forbids.”

“If society had you for a child, I think it would find itself suddenly liberal. Now don’t interrupt me. Father may have been a harsh man but his deepest, most wholesome desire was for all of us to become something better than himself. All you are, Corydon, is a cinaedus and all a cinaedus ever becomes is an exolete. Now, my dear little brother, all I am going to do is open this little vein on the side of your neck. You will bleed to death very quickly and with little pain. I will even catch the blood in this bowl so as not to soil your lovely pederast’s floor. But before I do so, I want you to tell me why it is that you act the way you do.”

“This is awkward to discuss with you, Gallus. Especially when you are sitting on me and holding me by my hair.”

“Please try. I am curious what causes you to scorn our lovely human sisters as you do.”

I stopped squirming and sighed. “It is not that I have nothing against women. Indeed, in my eyes they are the superior of the two genders. And this is the reason I have never wanted to do business with them the way most other men do. What good would my love do her? I have tried sex with women, but have never been able to commit such an act with any that I would deem worthy to start a friendship with in a usual way, and to then marry and produce a family with. I am not suited for this life. If ever any of the women whom I am friends with have ever tried to kindle that sort of relationship with me, I have found myself unable to do so, not out of dislike for them, but rather out of respect. They will laugh and call me backwards and strange and perhaps they are right. But I cannot do what is against my nature. To do so would only bring misery to myself and them. I am only happy with a man. It is them that I desire and it is them who I can love.”

My pulse beat strong against the cool metal held against my throat. I heard him take a deep breath and felt a long slow sting as the metal began to slide and sink into my skin, but I did not cry out. It should have been over by now. He was hesitating. When the words left my lips, I hardly recognized them:

“Try being something better than our father, Gallus. Take him at his word.”

The knife dropped.

(Cinaedus is a Latin term for a young man who allows himself to be penetrated by another. An exolete is a cinaedus who is old and has been “worn out” from too much use.)
Corydon Florus Marius
When I was a child, I believed I was no different from other boys and up to a certain age, I was not wrong in my assumption. I helped my parents with the work of the farm and when I was not busy with that, I had a playmate like is usual. His name was Alexis and he was a bit behind me in age, but any other children that may be around were separated from me by even greater expanses of land, I couldn’t well be choosy. We would play in the woods nearby his home and while I had always thought he was a very pretty boy, there came a time in which I felt driven to stop climbing trees with him and instead asked if we could lie beneath them together. Since I was elder, he would comply and I would amuse myself with him in the way dozens of other boys who had also come of age were amusing themselves across the countryside at the time, except with girls. I loved him in the way that young people love each other, that lazy sort of adoration that is never intense nor painful since those engaged in it are blind to all that threatens to change it. But soon he came as age as well and found that he suddenly did not like these games anymore. And then there came that day in the woods when he simply stared at me though a bush.
“Come out from behind there, Alexis. We don’t have to play that anymore if you don’t want to.” Oh, but how I hoped he still would!
“No. I will not. I know what it means when you do that to me. I asked my mother.”
I was as curious as he. “What does it mean?”
“It means you are a pederast. It means you think of me like a girl. I am very obviously not a girl, Corydon. How could you think that about me?”
I began to walk towards the shivering bush where my friend was hiding. “I’m not an idiot, Alexis! I know you aren’t a girl. Although it is a little hard to tell under all those leaves…”
Suddenly he stood and glared at me, twigs and grass sticking out from his careless black curls. His violet eyes deepened with tears and his cheeks blushed red with anger. I very much wanted to touch them with my lips and feel their warmth.
“Stop it! Stop looking at me in that way! That is how a boy looks at a girl!”
I felt myself grow pale and found that I was barely able to speak. “Please…let me…” If only I could hold him close to me as I used to, hold him still until the tempest within his body calmed. But as I moved to put my arms about him, he stuck me with his fist, square in the center of my face. I fell to the ground as he ran, confused, hurt and bloodied. I lied about the injury when I went home, not having the bravery to ask my step-mother the same question as Alexis.
Corydon Florus Marius
17 March 2006 @ 01:40 am
When I was seven years old, I was sent to live for a short time with my maternal uncle. He lived publicly as a caretaker of sick animals, but in secret was a great magnus and necromancer whose services were sought by his neighbors in the furtive hours of night. My mother, although deprived of the use of her eyes, insisted she had observed certain auspicious circumstances in my birth and upbringing that told of an ability to continue my uncle’s work. After a few days of helping him with some chores, both ordinary and esoteric, my uncle instructed me to go to a nearby spot, scared to the goddess Diana, to fast and pray for a vision. I did so with earnest for a good while, even as the night fell and the rain set in, but eventually I became too frightened and left the spot for a nearby house, shivering, wet and hungry. I returned to the spot in the morning, but my uncle, employing his common sense as well as his more mystical powers, knew immediately I had not fulfilled my task. He was not angry with me; my mother had simply misjudged my capabilities. Besides, that past night he had dreamt that a laurel tree had sprung up in a place where I had spit, which foretold of my becoming a great poet or politician, so I was not to worry. He sent me back to my parents the next day.

I still wonder sometimes if that destiny is promised to me or if I have to work at it. Because so far, spitting on things has only gotten me thrown out of parties.

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Corydon Florus Marius
15 March 2006 @ 02:32 am
What is your idea of perfect happiness?

What is your greatest fear?
That I will be forgotten after my death.

Which living person do you most admire?
Menalcas, obviously.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

What has been your most embarassing moment?
Breaking my collarbone. While having sex. For money.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Before I cut it all off to mourn my brother, I used to get my hair curled everyday.

What makes you depressed?
What's the point of dwelling on it?

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My teeth.

What is your most unappealing habit?
I hope it don't have any.

What is your favorite building?
Amphitheatrum Flavium*. That’s the place to be seen.

What is your favorite journey?
Hmmm, I don't travel much. I like home.

What is your favorite book?
The Ecloga of Vergili. It reminds me very much of my birthplace. It also has characters by the name of Corydon and Menalcas. Hmmm, quite the coincidence, isn’t it?

Do you believe in capital punishment?
Yes, it’s incredably entertaining.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Nunc est bibendum.” (Time for a drink.)

What is your greatest regret?
I make a habit of avoiding regret. It makes you ugly.

How do you relax?
Going to the baths is always nice.

What would your motto be?
I'm too young to have one yet.

Do you believe in life after death?
In the sense of glory and fame, yes.

How would you like to be remembered?
Permanently. Perferably in marble.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Farmers are not to be trusted.

*(Otherwise known to those of us who are not pretentious Roman teenagers as the Colosseum.)
Corydon Florus Marius
No one should have to worry themselves about this quandary. The solution is simple. Just ask.
“Lucian, how do you feel about me?”
“Never though about it.” He stepped quickly towards the exit.
“Lucian…” My tone was one of warning. “I know that is not true. I see how you observe people. You do so with a shrewd precision unmatched by any I’ve ever known. And I’ve seen you turn that eye towards me. Speak freely; the only way you could displease me is by holding back.”
The boy looked crestfallen. I’d discovered his deepest secret. With a deep sigh, he spoke in a manner that seemed foreign to him, while at once completely natural.

“You guard yourself carefully, sir. I will provide an example: when I first came here, it was the day after you had buried your younger brother. You were dressed completely in black and had shorn off your hair in mourning. You had made yourself nearly ill with grief, insistent that the wrong brother had been taken. It was you who should have died, you said, since he was superior in every way.”

I screwed my face up incredulously. “What mockery is this?”

“You won’t remember it, sir. I could tell that you had been dosing yourself with opium all morning. Anyway, in the evening, a group of your friends came by unannounced and I awoke you to tell of their arrival. In a panic, you leapt from your bed, changed into your fine clothes and greeted them, not letting them know of the events of the past few days. You told them you had cut your hair for fashion and that your sallow complexion and red eyes were due to having too much wine the night before. You acted so well that none of them would have thought otherwise.”

Silently, I brooded. I, too, had been found out.

“Truthfully, sir, you are a liar.” He hastened to add: “But not in a way that is harmful to anyone.”

I dismissed him with a wave of my hand. As soon as he was out of the room, I heard him complete his thought aloud to himself.

“Except yourself, of course.”

364 words
Corydon Florus Marius
10 March 2006 @ 06:51 pm
My father was a man with violent tendencies and five sons, most of who took after him. The only two that didn’t were the two youngest from his first marriage, myself and little Pollio, which he attributed to my mother being too weak and worn out to produce decent offspring. It was Pollio’s coming that killed her and it was him that received most of my father’s wrath. He would often threaten both of us with his power as pater familias to lawfully murder us for displeasing him and had he lived longer I don’t doubt that he would have tried it.

When I was thirteen, my father and I were walking towards town to run some errand I now forget when he suddenly and forcefully pushed me down into a steep ditch on the side of the road. Being raised by such a man, I had learned how to fall without injuring myself, so making it safely to the bottom was no issue. But what had I done to deserve such an action? I curiously peered up at him through the brush and saw that another man was quickly advancing towards him from the opposite direction. He smiled as he stood before him and, with a casual movement as if in greeting, he slashed my father’s throat. I remember how even my father’s blood looked angry, a livid red jet spurting fiercely into the eyes of the man who attacked him. And as his assailant stumbled blindly away, my father died, without uttering a word.

Pollio, Flaccus, Daphnis and Gallus now also lay beneath the ground, his only surviving legacy being my quick temper. Although his final act was one of love towards me, I still secretly delight in the fact that over the years, I have not grown to resemble him but instead the blond, pale man who killed him.

312 words
Corydon Florus Marius
24 February 2006 @ 08:20 pm
Whenever on my walks by the river I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the water, I am instantly enthralled. Menalcas will tease me, saying while I am as lovely as Narcissus, it would pain him to see me come to the same fate. I blush at his complement, but I tell him that I do not gaze in the water to admire myself. I simply forget how strange and different I really look. Walking around the city, I lose myself in the faces of those around me, taking bits of theirs to guess what mine might look like. But none of them together can quite form the whole picture. My skin is pale, which is why people ask me if I am ill. My eyes are sharp and pale blue, which is why people have trouble meeting them. My smile really looks more like a smirk, which is why people think I am taunting them. When I rediscover my long eyelashes, I am again reminded that they, like my eyebrows, are still the same white-blond my hair was when I was child. And I know that someday it will turn white again. I will fade and wilt like the pale narcissuses themselves and this face as it appears before me will be lost forever.

216 words
Corydon Florus Marius
24 February 2006 @ 08:07 pm
Cut for violent content.Collapse )

385 words
Corydon Florus Marius
24 February 2006 @ 08:03 pm
Menalcas will scold me for the way I mock Lucian, but he does not understand my motives. I do not do it just because he is a slave; I do it because he vexes me terribly. His cooking, his maddening nasal voice, his teeth-grinding habit and the fact that he shares his name with my father, of whom memories pain me. All these of course pale next to the way he tries to steal Menalcas’ eye from me. I know that he desires the boy and wishes that I would do the same or at least allow him some compromises. A glare from me will stop these requests before they are even voiced. I know that he will not betray me and I also know the very best way to mock Lucian is simply to show how strong Menalcas’ love is for me. I show how the slightest touch from my finger causes his face to soften and how he delights in my smile. I demonstrate how gently he holds me and how brightly his eyes burn when they gaze into mine. There is nothing to it really, for Menalcas knows that he does truly love only me and I only him. But I’m not above a little bit of loud love making to make sure Lucian knows it, too.

222 words