Projects in Progress

AD 361: Sabotage

Draft front cover

Now What?

Julian, the last of the Constantinian line became Rome’s new emperor. But Julian was an avowed pagan. He had turned against Christianity because of his tragic experiences at the hands of his “Christian” relatives.

Prologue

Julian was only six years old, but he never forgot the day the massacre occurred. The image of the soldiers executing his father in front of his own home burned itself into his memory as if stamped by a red-hot branding iron. He had practically worshipped his father and he thought his father could handle anything that came his way. The soldiers saw him watching and laughed at the stricken look on his face.

“Stick around and watch, sonny,” one of them said. “We’re not finished yet.”

Before the soldiers finished their ugly work, the rest of Julian’s family, including his cousins and their parents, had died too. That is, all of them except Gallus, a brother about five years older than him. The two boys clung together, terrified that the brutal men would come for them next.

Several of the soldiers looked at them curiously. “So, we leave them be?” the one asked.

The centurion in charge shrugged. “They told us not to worry about them. I don’t suppose the Emperor cares either way. They’re too young to make a problem. I was told the Empress feels sorry for them.”

The first soldier wiped the blade of his short Roman sword, then shoved it into the leather scabbard on his belt. “We’ve done what they told us to do. No use looking for extra work. Anyway, the Empress might remember if we go against her wishes.”

 The next day several of the soldiers returned and took Julian and Gallus with them. The emperor had assigned someone to look after them and make sure that they were raised in proper Christian fashion.

Stage: beginning writing / research stage

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