15 July 2007

No dragon hunt

My cousin's ill, so the camping trip has been postponed to August (at the best) or next year (at the worst). I'm not too disappointed 'cause it's raining buckets, and it gives me time to write. I was a bit tired after working for six days so I thought I'd have a cup of coffee (which I only drink when I'm exhausted and have to stay awake) and write the entire night. Well, I did make coffee, but I also added cocoa powder, cinnamon, grapes and tabasco. It tasted absolutely disgusting but it also kept me wiiiide awake, so I was still writing at 3 AM.

Instead of continuing with the battle I've been working on, I wrote a sort of parody of the scene where Civilis is holding his 'The Romans suck'-speech...

A quick cast list perhaps? Civilis is the leader of the revolt; Geravan is the MC; Thiadulf is his brother; Bago is Random Nostalgic Batavian #1; and Brinno is the leader of the Cananefates who isn't even supposed to be there.

I watched Monty Python's Life of Brian a few days ago, look here if you need to refresh your memory.


Civilis got slowly to his feet and the noise subsided almost at once. The flickering light of the fire threw his face into sharp relief and made his one eye look even more sinister than usual. Geravan held his breath and stared at him along with everyone else. It was a while before Civilis began to speak, and when he did his voice was barely audible over the crackling of the fire and the sound of the wind through the trees, so that they had to strain their ears to catch his words.

‘They say there is an alliance between us and the Romans. The bravest and strongest of our men serve in their army and fight their wars, and in return we are held in honour, or so they say. We have sworn oaths of loyalty to Rome and given them our allegiance. We do not pay taxes. And the Romans say it is a fair deal.’ His voice was slowly rising to a crescendo. ‘But Rome’s greed is insatiable. They say they are generous when they allow us to rule our own lands, but why should we need Rome’s permission to rule what is rightfully ours? And now they a conscripting our sons and brothers and fathers by force. We give them a warrior, and they demand two more. They’ve bled us white, the bastards. They’ve taken everything we had! And not just from us, but from our fathers, and from our fathers’ fathers!’

‘Aye, and from our fathers’ fathers’ fathers!’ old Bago put in.


‘And from our fathers’ fathers’ fathers’ fathers!’ Bago continued. Civilis frowned in annoyance. ‘Yes, Bago. Don’t labour the point. What I mean to say is this: We have kept our oaths. We have given them everything we have, and what have they ever given us in return?’

‘The aqueduct,’ Thiadulf said.


‘The aqueduct.’

‘Oh, yes. That’s true.’ Civilis looked slightly taken aback. ‘They did give us that, yes.’

‘And the sanitation,’ the ninja next to Geravan said loudly. There was a murmur of agreement from the crowd, and Bago nodded and wrinkled his nose in disgust at the same time. ‘Aye, the sanitation, Civilis. Remember what the city used to be like?’

‘All right, all right,’ Civilis said sourly. ‘I’ll grant you the aqueduct and the sanitation are two things that the Romans have done.’

‘And the roads.’ Brinno gestured at the narrow winding path that led to the little clearing where they had assembled. ‘They’re better than anything we could ever make.’

‘Well, yes, obviously. The roads go without saying, don’t they? But apart from the aqueduct, sanitation and the roads-’


‘We don’t need that here. There's plenty of rain.’

‘But if there’s a drought...’

‘Medicine,’ said Thiadulf, rolling up the sleeve of his tunic so that they could see the white scar on his upper arm. ‘Neatest row of stitches I’ve ever seen.’

‘Education,’ said somebody else.

Civilis threw up his hands. ‘All right, fair enough. But-’

‘The wine,’ Geravan said to an outburst of laughter.

‘Aye, that’s something we’d really miss, Civilis, if the Romans left.’

Civilis clenched his fists together and was breathing angrily through his nose, but nobody paid any attention to him.

‘Public baths.’

‘And it’s safe to walk in the streets at night now, Civilis,’ said Bago earnestly.

Brinno grinned. ‘Aye, they certainly know how to keep order. Let’s face it; they’re the only ones who could in a place like this.’

‘All right!’ Civilis had to shout to make himself heard over the laughter. ‘But apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?

‘Brought peace?’ Thiadulf suggested.

‘Peace? Oh, shut up!


Now I'm just waiting for the Batavian People's Front to make an appearance. Or maybe Geravan could write 'Romans go home' all over Cerialis' tent.

But first I'm off to my aunt's, who has invited us over for dinner. It'll be my first decent meal in over a week. Yaay!


Gabriele C. said...

My neighbours in the appartment building will lodge a complaint with the Romans, or the Norvegian government, or whoever - I've probably woken up several with my laughter.

You have a very nice style. You should really consider joining the Friday Snippets - with all those words there should be some scenes you could cleanse of the ninjas and share with us. I'd like to read more.

Anonymous said...

Hullo preciousss! (It's Linwe btw :P)
I love your story, it really sounds great, you should post more. :D