Summer in Rome meant heat, but they were heading into early Autumn which for Tacita meant relief. There were so many tasks that needed done daily regardless of the weather. Sweltering heat made tasks less enjoyable. This day was a slightly cooler day and she was using the opportunity to check out the market as she had part of the day free. Normally she would come to the market with someone to help translate, but Corva and Linus were both busy today. Corva warned her to only use their ‘regular’ merchants. By regular it meant that they knew her deficits & they knew who her master was- there was less chance that they would take advantage of her.
Tacita arrived at the market, took a quick look around and then headed towards one of the stalls. At the first stall she picked out a few items to make herself a little ‘lunch’. The vendor told her the price and she used her fingers to ‘negotiate’, although not much was required. Tacita placed the items in her drawstring bag then headed off to a bench under a tree-glad for some shade. She settled herself down on the bench and pulled out the bread and fruit.
“I like what they do over there” Tacita followed Nymphia’s gaze back towards the crowds. They could still hear the music and laughter. A smile crossed her face as she also nodded her head in agreement. She loved watching the show as well. Sometimes she would find herself trying to ‘hum’ along to the music but if it was a tune that she wasn’t familiar with she could simply sit back and enjoy the show. She wasn’t required to say or do anything.
Nymphias went to ask if she was waiting for someone here. Tacita nodded her head and pointed through the crowds over to one of the market stands. If Nymphias looked, she would see an older man doing some business with the owner. She had come in with Linus to keep him company and to help him carry things back to their Domus or the warehouse.
Tacita was glad that he seemed to be understanding what she was saying, and that he had figured out to ask questions or make comments in a simple yes/no format. Not being able to communicate with words was her greatest challenge, but she was alive therefore she was determined to make the most of whatever life she was given. All in all, she had been very lucky. She had gone through a couple of masters, but each of them had been understanding and patient with her challenges.
When he asked if they were selling her she shook her head no. She had been up for sale through Spurius’ warehouse a short 7months ago but Spurius himself had decided to keep her.
@Chevi (we have probably reached a pretty good place to wrap it up if you want to do one more round of posts each- I can have another slave come out to 'get her' so he can at least learn her name lol)
One of the often-misunderstood things about her was the reason why she was unable to talk. It was commonplace for slaves to have their tongues cut as punishment however that was not the case with her. If she were to open her mouth he would see that she had a full tongue. The disfunction was specifically her voice. She could form sounds but not concrete words.
"Oh. Alright... Well, I apologize…Do you... uh, can I help you with something? Are you waiting for someone here?"
Tacita shook her head no when he offered to help her with something. She was often given small tasks to keep busy and today it was mending. Was she waiting for someone? She pointed to the narrow collar she wore and then pointed into the warehouse. Her Dominus owned the warehouse and she had been sent in from their Domus to bring him lunch.
The young woman next to her seemed to understand her gesture enough as she went on to talk about what had happened. Apparently, she had been watching the show as well and said that someone had taken her money. Ah she had been pickpocketed. That was a very common situation in the market.
She then went on to say that she was worried about being locked up in the kitchens forever. Tacita could certainly understand her anxiety. She had been given the money to do complete some errands and instead was going to be returning to her Dominus with empty pockets. This was something that usually had severe repercussions. When she began to play with her hands Tacita attempted to reassure her by tapping the young woman’s hand.
“Sorry, I babbled. Rome is just very confusing place. Has it every happened to you? With people who try to take money from you? Or shopkeeper who try to… rip off?”
Tacita nodded her head and pointed to her voice. As she was unable to negotiate there were many times when shopkeepers would attempt to rip her off. Most of the time she wouldn’t go to the emporium by herself but if she did Tacita had certain merchants that had learned to understand her gestures.
He wasn’t saying much. Tacita suspected he was trying to figure her out. They were both looking very sheepish regarding the current situation. He suddenly seemed to put the situation together “Oh…Do you…not talk?” Tacita pointed to her throat and shook her head no. He would know the extent of her voice if he remembered back to a moment ago when she gave a rather undignified squeak as he just about tripped over her. As long as he asked things in a yes/no format she would be able to carry on a ‘conversation’
Tacita had come to the market with Linus as he had some errands to run. While she didn’t exactly need to be there, Corva did not need her at the Domus today and had sent her along with Linus to keep him company. They arrived in the area just outside of the main market. Linus found a bench on the outskirt of the forum and told her to wait there for him. “Wait here, I will be back in a few minutes” Tacita nodded her head and sat down on the bench.
As she sat waiting for him, a crowd gathered, and she heard the laughter and cheering. There were men entertaining the crowd with dancing, singing and drama. So that was what the excitement was about. She shifted slightly on the bench so she could see more of what they were doing. Tacita nodded her head along with the rhythm and watching the crowds being mesmerized by the show.
A young woman sat down on the bench next to her and buried her head in her hands. “I am going to die today, Have you ever seen someone more idiot than me? No because no one is more idiot than me. Where is handsome man to save me when I need them?” Tacita turned to face the young woman next to her. She pointed to the young woman and put her hands apart with a ‘what happened’ look on her face. When she asked where was a handsome man to save her when she needed them, Tacita shrugged her shoulders.
As she popped up out of his way he managed to catch himself on the door frame. Not the most graceful recovery for either of them, but at least neither of them seemed to be injured. He stepped back holding his hands up in apology. "Gods, I'm very sorry. It was an accident, I didn't mean to... uh." He looked down at her basket and her gaze followed his to the ground. There was no damage. “I should watch where I’m going. I apologize.”
She knew she owed him a bit of an apology as well. Tacita pointed to the ground then placed her hand on her chest. She tapped her hand twice and attempted to look apologetic. Hopefully he would be able to figure it out…if not she would duck inside for a moment to find someone to translate.
Tacita sat quietly by herself outside the door to Spurius’ shop. People came and went, walking right by the young woman with her basket. Occasionally, she would look up and scan the area around her but mostly her focus was on the two feet space around her, the basket and the item of mending in her hand. Finishing the tunic, she placed it into the basket and was about to pick up another item when a foot connected with the basket and someone much taller than her stumbled. She gave a startled squeak and attempted to pull the basket and herself out of the way but she didn’t know if it would be enough for him.
She threw the item into her basket and pulled herself to a stand. Tacita looked at the man in front of her and began to get a little anxious. She felt like she owed him a huge apology, but she had no way to tell him- she had been forbidden to write for anyone but Spurius or Linus…and she didn’t even know if he would be able to read it if she could. Would he be angry that she wasn’t offering an apology? Did he have any idea of who she was and her deficits?
October 74 AD (location: Sitting just outside of the Spurius' Slave market)
She had been in the household about 7 months and felt like she had a family. Her immediate superiors were Corva and her husband Linus and they were good to her. To her they replaced the parents she never knew. Corva had sent her out to the garden to pull a handful of herbs and produce. Once that was done and delivered to the kitchen, she was given a basket of food to deliver to their Dominus. Tacita changed into a clean tunic as she was going to his place of work and knew she was expected to make a good impression. “Stay at the warehouse until you are sent back" Tacita nodded her head, grabbed her carry bag and headed off with the basket.
She arrived in the Emporium Magnum- if she hadn’t been born and raised in Rome seeing the number of people milling about would have terrified her, especially with her deficits, but she knew the merchants that they usually dealt with and those merchants had gotten to know her unique circumstances. Tacita pulled the basket in close so that it didn’t get bumped. She wove her way between the stalls until she arrived at their warehouse. Tacita entered the building and after her eyes adjusted to the light change, she saw the various slaves for sale as well as the staff that he employed. She got the attention of one of the workers and gestured to the basket. Tacita was informed that he wasn’t present at the moment but she could leave the basket in his office. She nodded her head and delivered the basket. Once done, she stepped back out into the main room where slaves were milling about. With everyone milling about and her being a young woman, she was careful to make sure she was staying out of the way and cautious with those she didn’t know. Tacita had a basket of mending thrust into her hands. She found a spot just outside the door where she could maximize the light and enjoy the fresh air. She took the first item to mend and after checking for what needed to be done she began to stab the fabric with a needle.