A Story by squeeze

An allegorical short charting Julius Chester ' career from his return to Rome from Gail up to his assassination in the Senate.

My standard rose. Proudly reigning over the back garden. You brought it glory beyond its dreams, and in return they shouted “tyrant” when you marched home to the shining city.

You of all people, you, a tyrant when your every leaf photosynthesised with the sole purpose of making the garden great. Patriotic flourishes erupt in vivid reds - the colour of life, of passion, and of blood. An entire nation blossomed through your own hard work. 

Yet doubt began to appear. Small, dark flecks, easily mistaken for stray mud dappled your lower leaves. 

For now, your treasures are safe, even though the riches and glory were too much for them. They said no flower, shrub nor tree should be lauded above the rest. They gave you a choice - renounce it all and become a weed, or you would be declared an enemy. They were certain no plant would be bold enough to defy them, though they did not count on you.

Rallying your buds, you bloomed more brightly and strongly than they ever thought possible. You refused to grow tired until the late autumn. By then, two leaves had turned black. If only the others could see you meant no harm. If only they could see you did this all for them. Enough 'if only' to fill a garden three times over.

You chased them with open arms all through the winter, ready to embrace them all as brothers in a heartbeat should they come back to you. In the bleak and seemingly never ending coldness, one by one they grudgingly returned to your side.

Through clenched teeth they pledged their loyalty, but behind your bushy confidence, the doubt crawled further up your neck.

Rabbits claimed the life of the last remaining rebel, eager to please you. A hardy but beautiful flower. The loss affected you more than you let them see. You spoke hushed words with the neighbourhood cats and drank nectar as you heard of tales of just desserts.

To everyone else, you merely exercised your power against a different foe - they waited in silence for you to turn on them. By the time spring arrived they had grown tired of waiting. They plotted, but never betrayed you �" their roots had never budged an inch.

One unsuspecting day March, a corvid's call announces a malign auspice. You pay little mind to superstition. After all, sterner things; frost and drought had failed to topple you from your sturdy trunk. You are strong and will weather any storm for their sake - always for their sake.

If only you had been listening for a much more vicious sound than bird song.

Your leaves wilted and fell, and finally your crowning glory was no more. Your rhetoric was strangled by those you had served before it had even left your lips. A dusty skeleton where a giant once stood. 

This morning, I went out into my garden and picked up the almost dead standard rose that I had put there a year before. The disease had attacked almost every side of it. Taking a clean cutting, I planted it anew and let it grow. Perhaps the nephew might stand a better chance.

© 2014 squeeze

Author's Note

This was in response to a prompt many moons ago. The prompt was to use a rose as a metaphor but the downside wasn't allowed to be it's thorns. I chose it's susceptibility to disease and used it as a metaphor for the distrust that brewed in the senate around Julius Caesar.

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Added on June 25, 2014
Last Updated on June 25, 2014
Tags: julius caesar, Rome, caesar, allegory, garden



Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom

I have always loved reading and think it's a great way of sharing stories. I'd love to be able to share some of my own stories too and hopefully entertain people and bring my characters to life. more..

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