Six Sentence Sunday, 2 December 2012 (Cleopatra’s Ironclads)

The last golden light gave way to torchlight, and they leaned toward each other, in the rich firelight, and once or twice their fingers brushed, in reaching for the same delicacy. The meat was succulent, and the wine delightful, and the fruit in its ice cool and delicious, and the evening breeze stirring the curtains likewise; she watched the slim pale figures of the dancers, backlit in flashes as they turned and whirled, and then his bronzed arms and legs, the costume of Dionysus leaving much latitude to display a manly figure, she thought, and therefore a not injudicious choice for him, piety aside. 

He was a much-married man, this avatar of Dionysus; of course, as the survivor of two brother-husbands and a Roman consort, the same could be said of her. 

He smiled at her, lips rosy in his curly beard, golden-brown eyes shining in the firelight. Yes, just like one of those sensuous statues in the Grecian manner, marble painted to imitate the glow of living flesh. Such a god one might embrace—

Such a god might embrace one.

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5 Responses to Six Sentence Sunday, 2 December 2012 (Cleopatra’s Ironclads)

  1. Sue says:

    Excellent visuals

  2. Vivien Dean says:

    Such a sensual, visceral passage. Well done.

  3. Beautiful, sensuous passage, but one thing bothers me. Where is this? I know ice (or snow) from the mountaintops was known at this time period, but if they are in Egypt, where could the ice have come from? If they are elsewhere, the ice would still have been a marvel to Cleopatra.

    • epbeaumont says:

      This would be Cleopatra’s first summit with Antony, at Tarsus. Thanks for the note to check menu–certainly at Rome, ice would have been served at aristocratic banquets. Whether this would have been practicable at Tarsus is another question.

      (A note on frozen confections generally: the Italian ice actually dates back this far, though the modern version is a borrowing from the Islamic world via the Crusades; both ‘sorbet’ and ‘sherbet’ come from Arabic.)

      Ah, the delights of post-NaNo: the second wave of research and the fact-checking.

  4. Elin Gregory says:

    one of those sensuous statues in the Grecian manner, marble painted to imitate the glow of living flesh Fabulous!
    Tarsus – that’s the one in Turkey, isn’t it? Not far from the snowy Bolkar Taurus mountains. I’m sure they’d have ice houses.

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