by P.G. Bell
They burned Gederus in the yard outside the barracks. Dawn had brought the first break in rain for ten days and the men, still cold and filthy from the construction work, cast anxious glances at the black weight of cloud that threatened to stamp out and drown the struggling flames. Those closest to the pyre stole a guilty pleasure from its warmth.
All except Rufinius, who stood to attention at the head of the bonfire, his nostrils thick with the smell of pitch and roasting meat.
“This man was the best of us!” His voice cracked open the still air. “A leader of men and a soldier of Rome! Today, we honor him.”
He nodded to the priests, who stepped forward and began reciting the prayers for the dead. Rufinius did not listen. Instead, he narrowed his eyes against the smoke and surveyed the army standing ready around him. A full century of men, their plate armor dull and glassy in the pale sunlight, the auxiliary soldiers and craftsmen standing in a looser huddle farther out. Surrounding them all, the fledgling stronghold of Glevum rose black and skeletal from the churned clay of the earth.
About the Author
P.G. BELL was born and raised less than a mile from the old Roman fortress of Caerleon in south Wales, a site that served as inspiration for much of this story. He now lives in Cardiff with his wife Anna and son Aurelien, where he is currently putting the finishing touches to his first novel. He’s an editor at Impossible Podcasts, where he’s in charge of the ‘Stories in Print’ thread, exploring all manner of sci-fi, fantasy and horror literature.
About the Narrator
John is an award-winning British author of the dystopian A-Men trilogy – The A-Men, The A-Men Return and Forever A-Men start with a classic mix of Mad Max and The Matrix – and this is a future with it’s fair share of urban undead and nightmarish storylines. It also contains a pitch for a movie called Nighties of the Living Dead… so there’s much here for the modern horror reader! Available in print, audiobook and ebook formats, the first novel is also downloadable as a free dramatized podcast. Trevillian’s work is informed as much by the roles of magazine editor, technology writer and IT journalist as his training in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids and Native American shamanism. Check out his blog.
He’s also founder of the Talliston House & Gardens project – basically the transformation of an ordinary house into thirteen unique rooms from different times and places in history. Medieval Watchtower living room? Check. Cambodia bamboo treehouse attic? Check. Art Nouveau Scottish haunted bedroom? Check! Take a look for yourself at Talliston House & Gardens.