Jump to content

Errands to run


Recommended Posts

April 75CE

Aulus was nothing if not pragmatic. He put his money where his mouth was, and never passed up an opportunity when it presented itself. He also never forgot a promise he'd made, even to a slave. In this case, it had been more of a good-natured suggestion, but still, it was more than a little conspicuous that he decided to send Felix on this errand in particular.

The body slave waited in the vestibulum of the house for Callista to show up. She was going to the market to run errands for her domina, and Aulus, in a moment of matter-of-fact inspiration, had instructed Felix to accompany her. Claiming that he could keep Callista safe while also keeping her company (and carrying things she might buy), Aulus waved Felix off for the afternoon.

Honestly, Felix did not know much about Callista. They lived and worked in the same household, her serving the domina, and him being Aulus' shadow. Neither of them was very chatty or open, so apart from the occasional short, polite conversation, they never really spent time together before today. Felix was curious about the secretive young woman, but he had no idea what to expect from being sent out together like this. He just hoped she didn't think it was too much of a bother.

"Callista" he greeted her with a nod when she finally showed up, on her way out "Dominus told me to accompany you to the market. I hope that's alright."

@Laria

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Callista strolled into the vestibulum with a basket looped through her elbow. She had been instructed by her domina to purchase wool from the market, and if she saw anything that looked interesting a book or two. She was surprised to see Felix waiting for her, they didn't usually have many interactions. He greeted her with a nod, which she returned, and her name. 

"Dominus told me to accompany you to the market. I hope that's alright."

"It's alright, your company is more than welcome" she responded with a pleasant smile. She hadn't had the opportunity to speak with Felix much but she had always thought well of him. All she knew of him was that he was Aulus's body slave, that he was born into the familia, and much like her he wasn't the type to share much; despite her lack of knowledge about him from observing him over the years she had decided that she like him as a person, he did his job well and had certainly earned the trust of both the Dominus and Domina. 

She shifted the basket on her arm and said "shall we?" While nodding towards the doorway. She smiled again at him before waking towards the exit. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Callista had said no to his company, Felix would have let the whole idea go. His dominus told him to accompany her, but he could keep her safe just as well from a distance, without bothering her with conversation. She seemed like a woman who did not mind keeping her own company. Still, he hoped they could go together. It seemed unfair not to know much about Callista after spending so much time in the same household.

"It's alright, your company is more than welcome. shall we?"

Felix nodded with a smile and fell into step next to her as they left the house.

"You are running errands for the domina, right? What are we looking to buy?"

@Laria

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"You are running errands for the domina, right? What are we looking to buy?"

She answered simply by saying "wool, for spinning, and any books I think she may enjoy" not many women enjoyed reading as much as Horatia did and Callista respected her for it. "Do you know why you were asked to accompany me?" She asked, she immediately blushed and added sounding flustered "not that I mind you being here, I just am curious if there is a specific reason". She was clearly worried that she may have offended him by asking why he was there with her, she really was glad that he was there, she just wanted to be sure that she hadn't done anything to warrant supervision.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"wool, for spinning, and any books I think she may enjoy"

Felix nodded, acknowledging the shopping list. Wool he did not know much about, but he was intrigued that the domina trusted Callista enough to send her out for buying books. And not even specific ones. Felix did not shop for books often, but he was curious to participate in the search.

"Do you know why you were asked to accompany me?... not that I mind you being here, I just am curious if there is a specific reason"

Felix paused for a moment. He suspected what the real reason was, but it would have been a grave mistake to mention that to Callista. Especially without any proof of the dominus' reasons. So he tried to make his best alternative guess. Felix did not like to lie.

"Well... he didn't really say. But the last time I accompanied the domina to the market, the crowd was fairly... hard to manage, occasionally. I guess dominus thought I could be of help. To get around easier." he shrugged "I don't know about wool, but I know there are good booksellers on the Forum. Do you have a plan for which way to go?"

@Laria (don't forget to tag me like this so I can see when you post 😉 )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Well... he didn't really say. But the last time I accompanied the domina to the market, the crowd was fairly... hard to manage, occasionally. I guess dominus thought I could be of help. To get around easier."

Callista accepted his answer and nodded at this, the market crowds could be rather unruly. 

"Alright" she answered "well thank you, I'm sure your presence alone will help." 

She smiled after saying that last bit, Felix was sturdy to say the least so having him around would make people think twice before jostling them. She had always viewed him as a gentle giant, but other shoppers would not know that. 

"I don't know about wool, but I know there are good booksellers on the Forum. Do you have a plan for which way to go?"

She shook her head at his question and said "I was planning on the Forum for books but for wool it all depends on quality and price, I imagine  we'll have to do a bit of browsing"

She hoped he didn't mind this, she didn't want to take up to much of his time. 

@Chevi (right, sorry about that)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Callista accepted his explanation. In his mind, he really was along to keep her company, and keep her from being jostled by the crowds of the Forum too much. It was not as safe to be a woman, especially a slave woman, in Rome as it was for a man. And he had time to spare.

"Alright. Well thank you, I'm sure your presence alone will help." 

Felix smiled a little, and pulled himself up a little taller. He knew his presence was usually enough to keep people away (not always, but at least in the daylight). They headed to the Forum, which was only a short walk away from the domus.

"I was planning on the Forum for books but for wool it all depends on quality and price, I imagine  we'll have to do a bit of browsing"

"That's alright" Felix nodded. He had time, and there was always a lot to see on the Forum. He'd leave the wool thing up to Callista's expertise. As they got near the Forum the crowds grew. Felix marched along, his presence keeping people from crowding too close to them. For now. He directed his steps towards the Vicus Tuscus, where the booksellers had their wares. "What kind of books do you have in mind?"

@Laria

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Callista couldn't help but notice how Felix seemed to stand a bit taller and smile when she commented on his stature; she matched his smile, glad that she had seemingly flattered him. As Callista and Felix walked through the streets she noticed a considerable difference in how much space people gave them. In the past when she had been on her own she would constantly have been pushed and shoved by other shoppers. It was clear that while she didn't appear to be much of a threat people didn't want to upset Felix to much. 

"That's alright" 

She was glad that he didn't seem to care to much that she would need to shop around for the wool. He just nodded and keeped on walking. As they reached the Forum the crowd grew but they still mostly keeped their distance. The two made their way towards the Vicus Tuscus towards the booksellers when Felix asked,

 "What kind of books do you have in mind?" 

She paused, considering his question before answering, 

"Plays, poetry, mythology, anything that I believe the domina might enjoy. She tends to read story's that somewhat mimic her life, the story of a hero who leaves for honorable reasons and then returns to his dutifully waiting wife, and when he returns there is celebration and they never part again." 

She smiled slightly, it was as if the couple themselves were characters from a story. She could picture 100 years from now the great tale of Aulus Calpurnius Praetextatus and Horatia Justina and how their love prevailed despite the distance and the hardships they both faced during their time apart. 

@Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

They walked towards the booksellers with their many scrolls and the smell of paper and ink. Felix wondered if Callista had books in mind already, or if they were going to browse. Or maybe ask. He had to admit, he was not sure what the domina normally liked to read.

"Plays, poetry, mythology, anything that I believe the domina might enjoy. She tends to read story's that somewhat mimic her life, the story of a hero who leaves for honorable reasons and then returns to his dutifully waiting wife, and when he returns there is celebration and they never part again." 

Callista smiled, and Felix chuckled. She clearly had an affection for her domina, and the story she'd lived through. Maybe they had the kind of bond that Felix and Aulus shared. Either way, he turned his mind to the task, and he immediately had to admit that he was not an expert on books.

"So... the Odyssey?" he ventured with a smirk. He was fairly sure domina had already read that, but it was the classic story about waiting and return. His mother told him the story when he was little. Most of it, anyway.

@Laria

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Felix laughed at her statement, but not in a cruel way, it  was more of a lighthearted chuckle.

"So... the Odyssey?" 

Callista replied with a laugh of her own and said "yes, but  also Cupid and Psyche, or to some extent Pluto and Prosepina, or even Daphnis and Chloe" none of the couple's she listed off fit Horatia and Aulus as much as Penelope and Odysseus did, but they were still story's that somehow mirrored their lives. She breathed in the smell of ink and paper, radiating from the nearby books. To her it was the smell of knowledge and curiosity and she welcomed the scent. "Do you read often?" She asked Felix out of the blue, she assumed he knew how, having been with Aulus for so long, surely he would have taught him if he didn't know already. She wasn't sure why she asked him though, the answer didn't matter either way, but she was still curious. 

When they reached the booksellers began to carefully riffle through books and scrolls, scanning them for anything that caught her attention. She gingerly leafed  through a book of poetry before returning it back to where she found it and continuing her search. 

@Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Callista laughed as she recognized the reference in his words. Maybe Aulus had not been away that long... or slept with that many goddesses... but the metaphor still fit, as far a she knew.

"yes, but  also Cupid and Psyche, or to some extent Pluto and Prosepina, or even Daphnis and Chloe"

He only knew some of those names. Pluto and Proserpina, his mother would have called them Hades and Persephone. That was a story he knew. He was not sure it applied to Aulus and Horatia, though. Callista seemed pretty familiar with the stories she mentioned, and she seemed comfortable rustling through books. Felix could tell she had an affinity for them.

"Do you read often?"

"No" Felix admitted "Can't say that I do. Never really... got around to it. Do you?"

@Laria

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"No... can't say that I do. Never really... got around to it. Do you?"

"When I can" she answered while still scanning titles of books, she spoke somewhat airily, the voice change indicating her distraction. "I personally love poetry, especially Catullus, but I don't often get the opportunity to read it" she admitted while still searching for a good book. One caught her eye, she picked it up and began to skim it's contents. It was rather large and bore the title Historiae Romanae, "I think I may get her this one" she said suddenly, "It's by Velleius Paterculus and tells the early history of Rome" she explained. She didn't ask for his opinion on it but the request for one was implied in her tone. She stared at the book, almost reverently, before looking up to meet Felix's eyes as she waited for his thoughts.

@Chevi

 

Edited by Laria
For some reason the font was bigger in one place, I just wanted to fix that so it would look nicer.
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Felix did not know much about Callista. He knew some body slaves had the freedom to read; Aulus would not have stopped him either if he took a liking to books. But Felix was better with people, and better at observing things as they happened, rather than reading about them.

"When I can. I personally love poetry, especially Catullus, but I don't often get the opportunity to read it"

Catullus. Felix knew the name, but poetry was not one of the things he crossed paths with much. "I can't say I know his works." he admitted a little sheepishly. He watched Callista browse, until she pulled out a scroll she found interesting. 

"I think I may get her this one. It's by Velleius Paterculus and tells the early history of Rome"

"Is history one of the domina's interests?" he asked curiously. He knew Aulus better than he knew his wife, but Horatia was a well educated woman. Roman history was far from the stories they'd talked about before. "Or yours?"

@Laria

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I can't say I know his works." 

Callista smiled, amused by his sheepish answer, she found it endearing that he seemed to become bashful when discussing literature. 

"Is history one of the domina's interests?...or yours?" 

she considered the scroll in her hands and answered honestly saying "I'm not sure, when she reads it seems to be for equal parts entertainment and inlightment". Callista knew that she would never over-step the in place gender rules, but in a different world her intelligence would have been recognized and she could have been someone great. Not that the domina wasn't great now, Callista thought, she was the wife of a senator and mother of two wonderful children, she was about the best a woman could be in this world. 

She took a moment before answering the second part of his question, she had gotten into the habit of considering her words before speaking them. She answered saying "I can't say that it intrest me but I feel an obligation to learn it, even if in the end I will not influence it" she added sounding embarrassed "I know it's silly".

@Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I'm not sure, when she reads it seems to be for equal parts entertainment and inlightment"

Horatia was a practical woman. She had a keen mind and Felix admired her for being well educated as a Roman maron. ow it was beginning to make sense that her body slave, Callista, shared her interests, or supported her in them at least. And she definitely seemed to know a lot more about books than Felix did. Which was an unusual, but interesting quality in a woman.

"I can't say that it intrest me but I feel an obligation to learn it, even if in the end I will not influence it. I know it's silly"

Felix arched an eyebrow. He was not sure what answer he'd expected, but this was something else.

"I don't think it's silly" he admitted "It's just... not a common interest." For women, for slaves. But who was he to judge? "Would you do it?... Influence history? If you could?"

@Laria ((Sorry for the wait! Your tag didn't work, and I didn't notice the post. 😞 My bad ))

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I don't think it's silly... it's just not a common interest"

Callista smiled at this before answering "no, it really isn't" she was well aware that a slave woman who felt the need to study history was unheard of. She still thought that it was sweet of him to say that he didn't find it silly. 

"Would you do it? Influence history? If you could?" 

This question slightly caught her off guard, it was unusual for slaves fo speak of hypotheticals un case it could be interpreted as rebellion. "No, I don't think I would" she finaly answered, most women that had been recorded in history books were written as treacherous girls who were remembered for their unsavory deeds. Even if this wasn't the case, Callista decided that if her life could be exactly as she wanted it, she would lead a quite life and raise a family, nothing grand enough to even slightly leave her mark on the world. "Would you?" she asked in return.

 

@Chevi ((Eep! Sorry about that, I should have checked to make sure the tag worked. Don't worry about the late reply, it was my fault))

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

History was important to well educated people; senators, scholars, priests. It was important to Rome and its people. But the study of history was not something most of them would choose as a light pastime, or enjoyable reading material. Felix wondered what drew Callista to it. She felt an obligation, even though she did not have much of a chance to change the course of history. Would she?

"No, I don't think I would. Would you?" 

There was so much to change about history... the problem was, one only really knew which way to steer it after it was already done. Felix mused about it for a moment. "I don't think so. It seems like an awful hard thing to do. And exhausting." Body slave to a senator, Felix did not really feel drawn to the kind of work important men got to do. He chuckled a little. "Unless it was small things."

@Laria

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I don't think so. It seems like an awful hard thing to do. And exhausting... Unless it was small things."

Callista laughed at this, it would indeed be exhausting to leave behind such a legacy that it would alter the course of history. She lowered her voice so that only Felix could hear and said "so that's how some politicians manage to sleep at night, it's the exhaustion." She knew that such a joke, no matter how clever, could easily get her into trouble. It was astounding some of the scandals that were leaked to the public. "What small things would you change?" She inquired, intrested in what things Felix would do to influence history if he had the chance. 

@Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"so that's how some politicians manage to sleep at night, it's the exhaustion." 

Felix arched his eyebrows at Callista, and couldn't help but laugh a little. That was a bold statement in public from a slave woman, but she was... not exactly wrong. Roman politics was a cruel world, and not everyone came out of it with their honor intact. Or their sleep undisturbed. She seemed to have a sharper sense of humor than he'd expected.

"What small things would you change?"

"Good question." Felix admitted. What were the small things he'd change, if he had the power to influence history?... "Maybe I'd convince dominus to build a library instead of a bath?... One that is open to slaves as well?"

@Laria

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Callista beamed back at him, glad that he laughed rather than hushing her for saying such a thing. She had been worried that he might have been offended at her joke, but he laughed. He certainly looked surprised but he laughed. 

"Good question... maybe I'd convince dominus to build a library instead of a bath? ...One that is open to slaves as well?" 

"That sounds wonderful" she answered, already she was getting missy eyed thinking of such a place. "But why a library?" she asked after coming back to reality, "thought you said that you don't usually read" 

@Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

From the look in her eyes, Callista liked the idea of a library open to slaves. Honestly liked it, not just thought it was a neat idea for someone like Felix. From the way she looked over the books at the shop, he could tell she cared about reading. 

"That sounds wonderful... But why a library? Thought you said that you don't usually read" 

"No, but you do" Felix noted with a small smile, then realized that was a bold statement to make "A lot of slaves do, or would like to, I think. And we don't usually have money to spend on books. Not much anyway..." he glanced at the books around them "So... if you selected books for that library, what would you pick?"

@Laria

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"No, but you do" 

Callista blushed, she didn't know what to say, but before she had too Felix continued. 

 "A lot of slaves do, or would like to, I think. And we don't usually have money to spend on books. Not much anyway..."

"Yes" she agreed nodding, even though he had continued to talk about a broader spectrum of slaves who liked to read she couldn't help but feel flattered that he had still thought of her. 

"So... if you selected books for that library, what would you pick?"

"Maybe The Silvae by Statius, or Elégies by Tibullus" already her mind was whirring as she thought of more titles she would potentially add. 

@Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Maybe The Silvae by Statius, or Elégies by Tibullus" 

She seemed excited by the prospect, looking at the books around them. Felix smiled. Callista, like most slaves including Felix, had to spend much of her life being quiet and unnoticed and obedient, like a piece of furniture, even at Aulus' fairly forgiving household. But now, out on her own, she had a moment to herself, and she came alive. 

"I... can't say I know them." he admitted sheepishly "Say, how about this: I have some money to spend. You choose a book you'd like, and I'll buy it. If you'll let me borrow it later."

@Laria

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Callista was glad that Felix had come with her, having someone to talk to made the rather dull task of running errands much more interesting. 

"I... can't say I know them... Say, how about this: I have some money to spend. You choose a book you'd like, and I'll buy it. If you'll let me borrow it later."

She was stunned, she had never expected for him to offer to buy her a book, and any one of her choosing for that matter. "You really don't have to do that," she answered,"I'm sure you'd rather spend your money on something else" 

@Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Callista looked a little sheepish about accepting his offer. Honestly, Felix had not thought about it much; he was curious about reading things she talked about, but the thought of buying books for himself seemed like a waste. Buying them for her... that was two good things in one. Still, she seemed surprised.

"You really don't have to do that. I'm sure you'd rather spend your money on something else" 

"Honestly... I have not really found a vice yet to spend my money on." Felix admitted with a chuckle "And books seem better than others. Go ahead, choose."

@Laria

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...