On the List

The list is out. The two hundred that were proscribed against. My name is near the top. The repercussions of my name being on that list are almost incomprehensible. Not only have I had a price put on my head, I will be put through the most violent and undignifying death ever thought of by humankind. The person with the largest part of my body will get the prize. I will most likely be dismembered.

And my family, the fate awaiting them is worse than the fate I myself face. Hey will be stripped of all possessions. Nothing will be left for them, not after Sulla's men take it all for themselves. The only way I can save my family is to have them kill me themselves, that way they won't be implicated and killed as well.

This is why I kneel n my own home, my hands tied behind my back, watching my beloved wife, with tears in her eyes, bringing the dagger towards the soft tissue of my neck. We had already made sure it was as sharp as it would get. My death would be as quick and painless as possible.

I make eye contact with my wife, for what we both know will be the last time, and offer her, what I hope is an encouraging and sympathetic smile. She will flee after this simple act, she will not collect the bounty. There is nothing for her now, or for any of our wonderful children, who always followed the Mos Maiorum. They do not deserve this.

I am suddenly aware of a piercing pain on the right side of my neck, but I do not cry out, as the darkness engulfs me.

Mos Maiorum - The way of our ancestors. A tradition of Ancient Rome

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