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Murder in Lucca

by Jean Airey

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Caesar had walked into trouble again, Gaius Matius thought as he pulled his horse up in front of the villa. The screaming that was coming from inside was not the greeting expected by the proconsul of Gaul, and would have caused any normal man to hesitate before going in.

Caesar was already running up the steps into the villa without waiting for Matius to join him, let alone his bodyguards who were still further behind. Matius followed quickly and was just behind Caesar as he entered the atrium and stopped.

A man was impaled on the trident of a statue of Neptune which stood in the center of the atrium fountain. Blood was still dripping from the site of the impalement, but the body was limp in death. The screaming was coming from a woman who knelt at the side of the fountain, Servants stood around the room, some wringing their hands, and others sobbing softly. A young man was yelling at the kneeling woman.

“Is that our host?” Matius said, motioning to the dead man.

Caesar nodded. “That’s Julian. The woman is his wife, Marcia, and the youth is his son Darius. You met Darius a few weeks ago; he will be serving with me next year. It is another mess for me to clean up, Matius, and I had best be about it. Quiet!” he yelled, and the wailing group turned to look at him.

“What has happened here?” Caesar said loudly. Matius was relieved to hear the bodyguards come up behind them.

“Caesar?” the young man said. He glanced at the woman, whose wails had subsided, and came over to stand before Caesar.

Story Comments

Dec 3 - j d singer

Not sure about the ending, but I love period mysteries. Hope to see more.

Dec 3 - Bob


Dec 23 - John C.

Really liked the ending.

Jan 3 - Jamie

Nice story, I love historical pieces..

Dec 4 - John

Enjoyed this one.

Nov 10 - Tom Michniuk

I enjoyed it...

Nov 20 - Jim Chase

Good story

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