I’m going to post the entire manuscript to my new work, The Julian Calendar — one part at a time. It’s only a second draft, so mistakes will be made. But it’s going to be fun!
The Ides of March
March 15, 44 BCE
Gaius Julius Caesar stood in front of the squabbling senators. They weren’t arguing over anything of value; it was just noise. How he wished those fat patricians would shut up so that he could be done with the day’s business. He wanted to get back to last night’s adventure of playing knucklebones. What a streak of luck he had last night while gambling. He won enough to buy a new winter home in Egypt. With luck like that, Caesar mused, it was no wonder that the senate was losing power to him, the new Princeps Civitatis.
“Caesar! Caesar! Please, before we get started, have a look at my petition, will you,” Tillius Climber called out, shaking a piece of paper with his fat, cloven hoof.
“If this is about your brother, there is no way that I’m going to change my mind about his exile,” Caesar cringed at the stench emanating from Climber, “And take a bath, would you? It smells like you cleaned vomit off of yourself with shit.”
Climber ignored Caesar’s insult. The senators were used to hearing his rude chatter, “But Caesar, here me out.”
“But nothing. Be gone!”
Climber looked out to the senators who stared back, waiting for Climbed to do his part. The pudgy man grabbed Caesar’s toga picta. He pulled the robe from Caesar’s back over his head and held it there while Caesar flailed his arms, trying to free himself. Finally, Caesar’s efforts paid off as a wild swing connected with Climber’s cheek, causing the pig to loosen his grip. Caesar managed to take a couple of steps back, straighten himself, then shouted at Climber, “What violence is this!?”
The Princeps scanned the room to see that no one was coming to his aid. The grim realization came over Caesar, that Calpurnia’s earlier warnings were justified, that her dreams were prophetic and not just a concerned wife’s delusions. The assembly had dark plans for the Ides today. Climber yelled, “Now brothers! Now is our time!”
Caesar headed to the door which was guarded by two senators that unsheathed their gladiuses. He turned back towards the seating area to see Cassius rushing at him with a knife. As Cassius brought the dagger down, Ceasar grabbed hold of the blade with his bare hand, creating a massive gash on the palm and fingers. Blood flowed down his arm before spilling to the floor in a steady stream. A dozen more senators drew near. Fear gripped Caesar momentarily. Then Brutus approached, knife cocked back in his hand, poised to strike through Caesar’s chest.
Caesar closed his eyes. The fear subsided. He knew that his life was about to end. He was warned not to come to the meeting today but he didn’t listen. Brutus had convinced him to go, calling the warnings stupid. His betrayal felt so much great than the others.
A deep calm came over Caesar, a calm like none that he had felt before. The moment of his death, the end, the nothing. It was a moment of complete resolve. His mind went completely blank as he accepted his fate.
Caesar took one last breath, inhaling deeply. As he exhaled, the total blank slate that was his mind extended down into his body: he disappeared just as Brutus’ knife was about to thrust through Caesar’s chest.
The entire senate stood looking at each other in total shock. The man was gone.