Books and Authors, how is the (updated) opening of my novel?
“They’ve come back?” Dio stroked away the spillage of gruel dribbling down his already greying beard. “Who are they going to conscript now? The elderly? Or even better yet, the women!”
“The children,” his wife replied, her speech soft and discreet, peering through the louvers of their darkening window shutters.
The remark produced a great guffaw from the man, disgorging his mouthful upon the table before him and back upon his beard, and which continued despite his wife’s sharp and irate insistence for silence. “An army of lions they’ll be, no doubt about that!” he quipped thereafter, wiping away the flakes on his mouth with the back of his hand and emptying the ale within his cup in a single draft.
“I’ve heard it. They picked up new conscripts from the next village over, and now they’re here. They took Ida’s son, and he has not yet passed out of his tenth year.”
Dio paused. At length he released a heavy sigh, pushing away the bowl in front of him and falling back into his chair. “And why should we care?” he asked, his speech now soft and monotone, as if subdued by some powerful memory. “Our son is gone. They saw to that.”
Dio frowned. “His father. Caulidius was just a boy, shy of manhood by only a few years but still under the instruction of his tutor. Anyway, it’s of no consequence. I was only in charge of a gen. Hardly at the top of the officer corps.”
“Its them,” she whispered, taking a last glance before fleeing the kitchen.