By: Jerome Brooke

�Remember, you are not a god,� whispered the bondman.

�No, not yet,� I replied.

The shouts of the people lining the streets made our voices hard to make out over the noise.

My chariot drove forward, down the broad street. The reins were held by the charioteer, in heavy mail. I glanced over my shoulder, to see the line of captive women, bound with chains of gold, following in single file. The women wore costly necklaces and all manner of jewelry. The lead chain was fixed to my chariot. Their hair was carefully done. The women were costly plunder and prizes of victory.

The women were captives, taken in the fall of the rebel city. They were wives and daughters of its dead king. They had been stripped of their robes, a mark of conquest.

In front of my chariot walked a group of slaves bearing pikes. On each pike was a head - the king and the princes of the city � all now mere Lords of the Flies.

Following the captive women were troops of the mounted shieldmaidens of my legion. Each troop was preceded by carts filled with piles of booty. Gold, silver, gems and all sorts of wealth - looted from the coffers of the city - filled the carts.

We made our way thru the streets of the city � the City of the Mirage. In the distance, I could see the acropolis. As we neared the grand plaza, I could see the reviewing stand of the High Queen.

When we reached the platform of the queen, I leaped from my chariot. I walked to the front of the stand, and saluted the Queen with my sword.

The Shieldmaidens in their chariots and on cavalry mounts formed up in my rear, to the cheers of the crowd. The coffers filled with treasure were piled on pelts spread in front of the royal stand.

The furs held piles of silver and gold coins, plate, and gold chain encrusted with gems. There were small statues, vases, and icons with gold trim, or bearing rubies and emeralds.

The Queen my mother smiled down at me and the loot from the fallen city.

�Sweetie, you have such a cute smile!�



About the Author

Jerome Brooke was born in Evansville, Indiana. He now lives in the Kingdom of Siam.� He has written our Lady of Silk and many other books. His work has been published in numerous journals, including Indigo, MelBrake Press blog, First Literary Review, Penny Ante,�Conceit, Inquisition, and Mirror Dance.
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