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This week’s short story – Crossing the Rubicon

This week’s short story – Crossing the Rubicon

The barbarian horde crossed the Rubicon and finally reached the gates of  Rome. On their journey, they encountered no armed resistance. In fact, all those they passed showered the barbarians with rose petals and marigolds blossoms. After the long trek, all were tired, thirsty and hungry, however, the gates of Rome were closed.

“Open the gates!” Baldur the Invincible hollered, but no one responded to his command. Again he yelled, but only the echo of his voice was heard by his followers. So he ordered one hundred soldiers to climb the gates and open them. They did as they were told and soon the gate swing open to reveal one old confused Roman standing there.”I’m sorry we’re closed for the Celebration, you’ll all have to try again tomorrow.”

Baldur became outraged, “Don’t you know who I am? I am Baldur the Invincible conqueror of all Italy. I demand you let us pass or you will be killed!” n

The old man was momentarily silent, “Well, it’s none of my business, but you will just have to get in line, today, we are being conquered by Lord Lardor, and tomorrow by Blotto the Bold, and after that it will be your turn. Take it or leave it? All the parking spaces are taken and the inns and stables are full. I’m sorry there is just no room for your horde in Rome, today. You really should have made reservations before you invaded. If you want to, you can wait outside for two days and call it a siege.”

Baldur consulted with his closest advisors, and then announced, “Well, putting it that way. You are now under siege. Oh, do we still have to make reservations for all twenty-five thousand of us?”

The old Roman smiled, “Yes, and a ten percent deposit, or I won’t hold your reservations!”

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