the Ides of March

Saturday, March 15th, 2008 UTC

It was in the midst of such a night, so very long ago, that they had conversed in hushed voices in the candlelit halls of the Caesar’s manse. The patches of yellow light flickered meekly, unfolding themselves over the surrounding furnishings but unable to stretch their rays very far. In those hours before dawn, the blackness was heavy and pressed around the two figures, chafing fiendishly at the meager beacons the little candles posed, as they lay timid and melting in their ornate holders.

Calphurnia was troubled. This man– her husband, he was, and no less than Julius Caesar himself– this man was wearing such an impassive face for one faced with so many a sinister omen. Death sneered at his visage, breathed its vile breath upon him. But he was unmoved. Somewhere deep within her, she knew her efforts were futile and he would not be stopped from doing what he pleased. But she still persisted, she still begged him stay.

Had she not been his wife, Calphurnia would have thought him an incurable fool of a man, –what demented arrogance! what arrogant naïveté!– But she understood. He would go out to where he pleased when morrow came. Nefarious omen or no, he would go out carrying his impassive expression of always.

Said she that such recklessness was empty, that there was no merit in his follies.
A million poems can be writ and a myriad ballads sang of heroes and braves, but is a romanticised death worthier than a gamble at life, however bland? She kneeled before him.
Her words did not reach him. They were lost, they were entangled in his pride and dissolved into his solemnity before they could reach his ears.

The heavy stillness, the clarity of mind that the darkness allowed for had erased the frivolities that daylight tends to reveal. For those were Calphurnia’s woes, of course: frivolities. Entirely valid in their own right, of course, but frivolities still.

He dismissed all the warnings in the world, for he knew them to be flimsy and without sense. Death meant nothing to Caesar, and as it breathed down his throat, Caesar still looked at it with the same dignified stoicism, ever unwavering.
He would go out when morrow came.

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2 Responses to “the Ides of March”

  1. elshazamerie Says:

    Red as blood crickets filled the sky for passing instants of breaths exhaled… glasses shattered in million pieces, strewing the air and floor, sharp and glistening… cats of furs blacker than the dark night that veils the stars, appeared to dance in an entrancing choreography, circling about in a wholesome fashion… old horseshoes broken in half by an aleatory descent unto the ground… ghosts, entranc’d, sulked moving past each other, whilst mumbling ancient tongues that no living man remember’d…
    The world itself seemed to be tearing itself apart with dark omens, as if a million flying daggers sped across the sky, menacing to hew and end life.
    But what doth this mean? That, because a cricket of a bright hue flew across your path, you will tremble, and refuse to leave home and do whatever you must with your life? Perchance; not even Caesar is certain of how probabilities will unfold. But such terrifying omens will never crush his spirit, for he makes his own fate, just as Calphurnia, Marc Anthony, Brutus, and every Roman made their own.
    I presume that perchance Great Caesar looked upon the cats circling his path, and the broken glasses strewn across the floor. He smiled deep within, knowing what they meant, and then merely cast them aside.

  2. Mr. Queasy Says:

    ‘Tis all deep within Man’s regard of death; what leads one person to fear death and another to accept it? Would it be assurance of an afterlife, or mayhap the assurance that there is no such ‘afterlife?’ While the former requires hopes that go beyond what is known from practical experience, the latter accepts the known reality as a continuum in which it is an element.

    Then we wonder whether Caesar was well aware of his future and welcomed the consequences or he was blinded by arrogance and tried to gainsay the inevitable.


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