Sample Saturday: “Pompeii Fire”

Pompeii Fire v 2Hi, everyone. Here is a scene from my current work-in-progress, Pompeii Fire. The main character, Drusilla, and her best friend Claudia are standing at a thermopolium, which was essentially a fast food stand in ancient Roman times. They’ve been talking about Claudia’s unhappy marriage when Stephanus, the fuller, joins them.

As always, since this is a draft, the final scene may change. Enjoy!


“Drusilla Gaia! Claudia Felicia Nicia! How delightful to see you.” Stephanus approached the two young women. “Surely you will let me pay for your repast today. It would be my honor. You must not refuse.”

Claudia asked for some snails, and Drusilla some duck stew. Stephanus tossed a few asses on the counter for the shopkeeper, who put the food in clay bowls and handed them off to his customers.

“Let me escort you back to the praedia,” Stephanus insisted. “We can talk for a while. Claudia, as a married woman, you will chaperone Drusilla and me.’

Drusilla cringed. Her father’s friend made her skin crawl. His thinning brown hair always needed cutting, and his breath smelled of cheap wine. “As you wish, Uncle.”

“Surely you are too old to call me Uncle now. You are a beautiful, grown woman.” Stephanus licked his lips in a way that reminded Drusilla of Invictus after he ate. “Tell me, Drusilla, what news of your father? As you know, I stood him some funds in order to open a food stand in Herculaneum. He writes seldom, and visits even less these days.”

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