A cold, wintry night.
Raindrops rattled against the glass and trickled down. Wet glass against a black, moonless night.
I looked at the book open in front of me and the words swam mistily across the page. I was trying to cram the history of old England for a mid semester exam. It was July and it was mid winter and it was four am and it was cold and I was trying to pull my second consecutive all nighter. I was tired. I was past tired, I was totally stuffed!
Maybe I'd have been better if I hadn't let Jacko talk me into going for food last night, well, tonight actually, or rather yesterday evening not this morning. "Boy," I thought, "you are not making much sense Barb." Mushy brain. And then afterwards, feeling good, with the food inside me, I had let him kiss me and then his hand was inside my tee shirt and at my breast and my bloody hormones betrayed me and I'd asked him in and next thing we're going at it like a couple of bloody bunnies. Him inside me and me humping like a pig and then lying there naked and sweating and fucked! I pulled my clothes on and threw him out but my fragile reserves of stamina had been drained even more.
I pushed my specs up onto the bridge of my nose. They kept slipping down. I concentrated on the words and the dates and they started merging again. I looked up and fixed my eyes on the red figures on the clock radio and a welter of age old facts and figures slopped around. The sharp red numbers fuzzed and blurred and my head grew heavy and drooped and.....................
....I jerked up. Must have zizzed off for a few seconds. I looked down at the page and pulled my cardigan tight and my head slipped forward and I gracefully slumped onto the book, dead to the world.
I was waiting for him!
Silus the riverman.
I was always alone here in the little hut where I lived with my husband and son. My husband was a good man. A farmer and a sturdy provider. My son was the image of his father and now, even at three, he was beginning to look like the farm lad he would soon become. I had been married to my husband at the age of fourteen. My family was dirt poor and could no longer afford to keep me when I became pregnant with little Jak. Gard, his father had seduced me by the river bank during the festival of Samhain. At fourteen I had had only a vague idea of what I was doing and Gard was twenty one and knew so much more than I ever could. He had told me it would be alright and I believed him. Then when Jak started to grow in my tummy my father had beaten me until I confessed that I had lain with Gard and we were married.
Gard was a good man, but he was dull and my mind rebelled at his stupidity and at the boring life we led and the churlish way in which he treated me. When he relaxed with the mead I made he would become sullen and vicious, and then he would thrash me for one reason or another and I would have to go about the village showing the evidence of my misery. Gard was short and stocky, barely taller than I, although twice my width and he had dull eyes and strong fists.
I was not completely unhappy, most of the other women lived the same lives as me, but I felt there must be something better.
Silus was tall and slender but beautifully built. His face was handsome and crowned with locks of thick, black hair. His body was muscular and strong and, as I watched him drive his boat past our home, digging the pole in and out of the river with long, elegant strokes, I felt a lust that I could not imagine with my husband.
I waved to him and he waved back and then one day he stopped and took tea with me.
He returned to bring grain and take away our hides and I flirted outrageously with him. I knew it was wrong but I could do nothing to stop myself. Such was my lonely unhappiness. I knew and he knew that eventually I would lie with him.
I had decided today was that day. My bleeding, which was always heavy and painful, had stopped three days ago, and my body was alive with yearning.
Gard was working on the great henge. Every man in the village and often we women had to spend time working on the henge under the direction of the master masons and as a duty to the priests who stood between us and the great sun god. Only by devoting time to this greatest of temples would we ensure that our village prospered.
This henge would be like no other that had ever been built. This henge was not to be erected using the giant oaks of the forest but was actually to be constructed of stone!
A stone henge!
Already it had been building for nine long years and now it was almost complete. The priests drove the masons with a frenzy of godliness and the masons drove the people. The henge had to be finished by the eve of the summer solstice, for then the sun god would be all powerful. That was the culmination of the nineteen year cycle of the sacred moon swing, when sun god and moon goddess would be aligned in perfect opposition. That was why the henge had had to be made in a perfect circle. On that day, at the solstice, sun and moon would align along the stone pathways that led to the stone portals where one would oppose the other and the sun god would be honoured. Men built temples to honour the gods and the sun god was all powerful in the life of the village. At dawn the sun would rise and its rays would sweep down the perfect alignment of the axis of the henge and would oppose the waning moon goddess and the great stone altar would glow with the first light of the sun as the first of the nineteen sacrifices was dropped on the virginal altar, soon to be stained with the holy blood of the victims demanded by the sun god.
Nineteen sacrifices to honour the sacred nineteen years of the gods!
A month's time.
The henge would come alive with nineteen deaths in one month's time.
Silus poled his boat to the shore and I grasped the prow and pulled it in.
He jumped lightly ashore and his long, strong arms enfolded me and our mouths met in a slow and exciting kiss. His hand covered my breast and I gasped in delight. Suddenly filled with a fire of desire, I hurried him inside my hut and closed the door and wedged it shut. I tore at his clothes and succeeded in baring his beautiful chest. I kissed it, circling his small man's nipples with my tongue. I pulled at my shift and it dropped to my waist. He tugged at the folds and finished the job, my shift lay in a crumpled heap at my booted feet and only my rough woollen drawers prootected me. I wriggled them off and kicked away my boots and he took me in his arms and carried me naked to my bed. He kissed my lips and my mouth opened to let him in. I caught his wrist in my hand and took his fingers to my breast. I fumbled at his breeches and found his thrusting manhood. He kissed my throat and he kissed my breasts, his mouth suckered onto my nipples and I moaned loudly in pleasure. I clutched his shoulders, digging my fingers into his flesh. He knelt above me and removed his breeches, freeing the throbbing flesh of his wondrous cock. I kissed it gently and took just the head inside my mouth and tasted of its sweet maleness. I groaned loudly and shuddered with desire. I was fully aroused and my female slit was tight with engorged blood and slick with my love essences and I gently led his cock to it and then hissed, "Stab me Silus. Wound my femininity with your pillar of man!"
He rammed it home and I grunted with joy that my cunnie was full with living, pulsating male.
"Now my darling! Now my hero," I groaned and he started riding me.
Like a mare at full gallop I moved beneath him and my body poured out sweat as I bucked and ground my hips around his driving shaft.
He drove and drove, ramming and ramming and my senses were lost.
My arousal had blossomed from urgent to extreme and as I felt his cock swell and begin to judder its release, I let myself go and my orgasm overwhelmed me as his cum fired into me.
I lay beneath him exhausted.
Then I heard the small noise and looked lazily up to see Jak running from the house.
Two days before the summer solstice the priests started making the rounds of the village, selecting those who would be sacrificed to the sun god to sanctify the henge. No family wanted a visit from the lean, hard, men in the rough woollen robes whose command was absolute.
When I saw two of them approaching, my tummy squirmed and my heart sank into it.
They would want Jak.
They would take Gard.
I looked at where my husband and son stood watching the approach of the priests. Impassively they stared, stoney eyed, at these harbingers of evil fate.
The priests stopped at our doorway and one raised his staff of office and pointed it at Jak!
"Not Jak, not Jak," I prayed.
Not Jak, no. The staff moved and pointed at me!
Gard turned and looked at me and then, lifting his hand, pointed his finger at me as he spoke to the priests. "Harlot."
"Whore," said Jak.
The priests grabbed my arms and dragged me away. I looked back with imploring eyes at Gard and Jak, but both turned away from their wife and mother.
I was thrown into a compound with the other nineteen sacrificial victims.
Every one of us a woman!
All night the festivities went on.
The chanting of the priests filled the warm air of the night and the village folk and the priests together feasted and drank in honour of the gods. We who were to be sacrificed were brought food and drink. A particularly evil-looking priest, dressed in a filthy robe, with broken yellowed teeth and rotting breath, offered me greasy meat and ale. I refused him and took only a little water. He laughed and made some disgusting remark about me and the fact that soon enough I would be but meat myself and then he lurched away.
The dawn sky lightened and the shadowy forms of the huge upright sarsens, set deep in the ground and cunningly tapered from bottom to top appeared and the great stone lintels binding them together in a perfect circle were outlined in black silhouette against the ever lightening sky. Priests came in their long dirty robes and my clothes were stripped from me and I was dressed in a white tunic like robe, open at the front and tied together with a sash.
The first victim was led out.
She was barely a woman, little more than a child.
Her robe was taken from her and, naked, she was thrust onto the pristine altar of stone and the head priest Klukk, came forward as two other priests held her by the wrists and the ankles. He raised the long sharpened flint blade of the sacrificial knife on high and, as the sun peeped over the edge of the earth and its first rays speared across the ground and up the path and through the stone opening to touch the block of the altar, he plunged it into her chest and blood fountained from her breast and gushed from her mouth and the stone was christened.
Her body, still shuddering in its death throes, was dragged from the altar and hauled away by the priests.
The executions went quickly. Blood covered the altar and coursed down its sides. All nineteen had to be dead before the sun god fully cleared the earth to live in the sky.
I was eighth in line, and, as the naked body of the sixth woman was still being thrown onto the pile of pathetic, naked, bloodied victims and the body of the seventh woman was being dragged from the altar, I was stripped of my robe and thrust, spreadeagled and held down by wrists and ankles, across the bloodstained slab.
The priest came forward.
The bloody blade of the stone knife flashed in the sunlight.
It split my skin just to the right of my left nipple and drove through flesh and bone into my heart.
My body arched in agony, muscles spasming in my death rictus and my blood spumed forth, washing over my breasts and tummy.
Blood gushed into my mouth and spilled out.
I died, naked, alone, unloved and unmourned.......
The XIV and XX Roman legions came ashore on the island of Mona that fateful evening. Awaiting them, I stood with the other women in the front row where we had been placed. At the back stood our Druid priests, wild men dressed in rough spun woollen garments, their hair was long and tangled and matted. Many of them had bad teeth and bad skin and bathed rarely. Their crime, according to the Romans, was that they sacrificed men and women to our wondrous sun god and to the great moon mother. The true gods of the old people, the gods we relied on for our succour and our fortune. Any one of us was always delighted to be chosen to die on the stone altar for the god.
But the Romans called us barbarians and had pursued us all across the island of Brittania. They destroyed our henges and killed our priests. They obliterated our customs and our culture from human memory. They replaced the true Druidic way with Roman gods and Roman temples. Foreign gods, foreign temples.
Now the last of us stood here on the island of Mona and watched as the Roman legions came ashore bent upon our destruction.
The last row of our protective formation contained the priests and the scared icons. In front of them stood our men armed with their spears and bows. In the front row, stripped to the waist, some of us (like me) stripped naked and covered in wode, stood we women, armed only with our staffs and sticks and stone knives.
As Caius and Julius and their soldiers stared at us they thought they were seeing the legendary viragos. We shrieked curses and imprecations at them. We tore at our hair and scratched and tore our breasts.
The Roman soldiers came wading ashore and we fell on them and the slaughter began.
Although our cause was right, our gods true and just, we were no match for the disciplined soldiery of the legions.
Their short swords rose and fell, as behind a phalanx of adjoining shields, they marched up the beach. I saw my sisters fall to the beach, their tummies rent open and their breasts sundered. Their blood soaked the sand and soon they lay in piles, dead and dying. Their limbs twitched and their bodies shuddered. Some lay deathly quiet, sprawled out in the grotesque poses of the dead. Their bodies bobbed in the quiet surf, blood staining the water. Face down, arms spread, naked asses breaking the waves.
The slaughter continued unabated.
It was awful.
The Romans were intent on wiping the Druids from the face of the earth.
Our men died by the dozens. Then they reached the priests and started butchering them. I rushed back and forth, screaming, shouting, slashing, thrusting.
All at once it seemed deathly quiet and looking around I saw my sisters piled up, naked and dead. Drifting in the waves, naked and dead. The priests stretched out dead. The men, all dead. Blood reeked in the air and I shrieked for the lost world of the Druids.
Two Roman soldiers grabbed me and held my arms.
A centurion stabbed his sword into my tummy and it split open and my blood gushed in torrents, coursing down my thighs, mixing with the wode, dripping onto the sand and staining it red. Another soldier plunged his spear into my back, cracking bones and the point crunched forth between my breasts. He ripped it out again and more blood flowed. I screamed to the gods and fell to the ground dying. A soldier kicked me over and through misty eyes I saw his tunic lifted and his erect cock as he fell on my dying body. I felt a faint echo of the lust I had known in life as he entered me and then I shuddered and relaxed.
Dead, Dead, Dead!!!!
I blurped and woke up.
I had dribbled on my book. Oh yuk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh my God!
I had been dreaming.
My dreams awash with blood.
I tottered off to bed studying forgotten. Cramming useless.
The next day I aced the exam.
I remembered most of the dates and stuff but mostly I wrote about the flesh and blood of history. History is only people, weak, feeble, stupid. Trying and living their pathetic lives as time marches inexorably by.
History is about humankind. About life.