Whore of Rome 2

Whore_of_Babylon

As I stood abandoned on the empty street, my surroundings began to take shape. It was not so much black that night. The darkness was grey, draining the colour out of everything around me until the world drowned in dull monochrome.

But it was not long, as I stood waiting for some sign of what I should do next, before the streets of the Subura, Rome’s slum, came back to life. It was not the same vibrant, boisterous life of the forum, but something grimier and more sordid.

An oil lamp sputtered into life a hundred yards from where I stood, at the opening to another alleyway. It had been crafted with some trick by a canny potter so that its muddy yellow haze spread no further than the doorway below it.

More lamps were ignited along the dirt street, illuminating walls smeared with grime, soot and human refuse up to their eaves. One burned more bravely than the rest, drooping from the upper sill of a slanted window.

A woman leaned out above the avenue, bathing herself in the crimson light. She had heavy curves and was naked apart from the slick brown hair which hung wet over her shoulders. In a deep, alluring voice she sang a bawdy tune to draw out the creatures of the night.

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