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Thread: The House of Acanthus - (inspired by The Nowhere Legion by SBH.) Last Update: 8 June 2013

  1. #101
    Diocle's Avatar Comes Limitis
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    Default Re: The House of Acanthus - (inspired by The Nowhere Legion by SBH.) Updated 09/08

    My dear Lux, +rep, for the interesting link! Dura Europos is an inexhaustible source of discovery about III century!

    .....But, while I'm writing, I cannot confirm or deny anything about the strict relation between Ottavio, his SM79, his comrades and the Late Roman Age!

    Only SBH knows the truth! Because He was there (as you can understand from the last update....), and He knows what happened in the Nefud to the Quintani!

    I can only suggest to you and to all the readers, to take a look at The Nowhere Legion,reading again and remembering the glorious names of the men of Felix...........
    Last edited by Diocle; September 17, 2012 at 08:24 AM.

  2. #102
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    Default Re: The House of Acanthus - (inspired by The Nowhere Legion by SBH.) Updated 09/08

    An update?

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  3. #103
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    Default Re: The House of Acanthus - (inspired by The Nowhere Legion by SBH.) Updated 09/08

    Indeed! I hope everything is OK, Diocle? I am very much missing these updates!

  4. #104
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    Default Re: The House of Acanthus - (inspired by The Nowhere Legion by SBH.) Updated 09/08

    Some RL issues, mainly work, slowed down the writing of the House, but the next update is close.....

  5. #105
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    Default Re: The House of Acanthus - (inspired by The Nowhere Legion by SBH.) Updated 09/08

    Look forward to it!

  6. #106
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    Default Re: The House of Acanthus - (inspired by The Nowhere Legion by SBH.) Updated 09/08

    Eagerly awaiting your next update. Don't u just hate when RL gets in the way!
    The White Horse: Hanover AAR (On going ETW AAR)
    Tales of Acamar: Legends WS Yearly Award Best Plot Winner (On-going CW Piece)
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  7. #107
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    Default Re: The House of Acanthus - (inspired by The Nowhere Legion by SBH.) Updated 09/08

    Thanks Scottking! It was a real struggle! a bloddy fight, like a match in the Colosseum! Between me, the cursed city of Milan, RL and the damn work! But now, this night or tomorrow, the update will be online!

    Official Statement or Manifest by Diocle:
    I state that work sucks! Work kills all the true pleasure in human life! Work is legalized slavery! Death to the work! We need our time, time to love, time to live, time to do what we need, to be human beings! The cry is: Freedom from the slavery of RL and work!
    Wake up comrades, start the great liberation war to conquer OTIUM!
    OTIUM is life and freedom, WORK is only slavery and death!




    Returning to the point, the Update:
    Be ready, my dear readers, it will be sad! It will be really sad! But in the end, you'll discover a new world! This world is not new, it is an ancient world and it doesn't belong to me! It is a world and a space which belongs to SBH, and to the men of Felix, I entered in this world trying to be cautious, and with a great fear, because I love every single word of the Nowhere Legion, but now it is late for the doubts, we'll walk in the magic land of the dream and myth, the future and the past will live togheter in our minds, but madness and death will be always ready to seize the unwary among us, so be ready dears readers, it will not be an easy adventure nor a nice tourist trip, it will be like walking in the hell, the dangerous darkness will be always around us, and in the end, nothing will be like before!
    Only one help, only one guide for us in this terrible and cursed journey! Only closing your fingers around the Holy Book called 'The Nowhere Legion', and keeping alive in your hearts the words written on the holy text of SBH, you'll maintain alive the hope to exit from the hell, you will be able to save your souls and your poor minds!


    Be ready! Be cautious! Be faithful!

  8. #108
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    Default Re: The House of Acanthus - (inspired by The Nowhere Legion by SBH.) Updated 09/08

    With you, my friend, every post is a story.
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    Default Re: The House of Acanthus - (inspired by The Nowhere Legion by SBH.) Updated 09/08

    Every word written by you is a gem to be treasured. I await it with eager trepidation!

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    Default Re: The House of Acanthus - (inspired by The Nowhere Legion by SBH.) Updated 09/08

    Quote Originally Posted by SeniorBatavianHorse View Post
    Every word written by you is a gem to be treasured. I await it with eager trepidation!
    Every word of yours is a gem to be treasured. Guys how does he do this? A simple post into postery (Poetry)

    Hello SBH




    Proudly under the patronage of McScottish

  11. #111
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    Default Re: The House of Acanthus - (inspired by The Nowhere Legion by SBH.) Updated 09/08

    I'm your humble slave dear Socii, I wrote only for your pleasure Magistri et Duces mei!

    Nunc tempus advenit!
    The update is here, and my pain is ended, for now at least, the next updates will be the most difficul pages I ever wrote, so it's long way for me.

    @SeniorBatavianHorse:
    Please Clarissimus, please, be merciful with me, I started to vandalize (the word, being late roman followers, is appropriate I think, eh Clarissimus?) your wonderful story, and this is for me a great pain, but I'll say only this: Believe me, my work is only an omage to the best Novel I've read, you'll see some of the images born in your mind, in a new form, this is only because you are watching the images you have built in the mind of one of your readers, only this, and nothing more!
    Take it like a strange experiment with mirrors as we were in Sicily and followers of Archimedes........

  12. #112
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    Default Re: The House of Acanthus - (inspired by The Nowhere Legion by SBH.) Updated 09/08

    THE HOUSE OF ACANTHUS

    EXIGUA PARS EST VITAE QUAM NOS VIVIMUS
    "A SMALL PART OF THE LIFE IS THAT WE LIVE"



    NOTHING AND NOWHERE



    We were flying on a red sea, whose waves were formed by an endless succession of sand dunes, whose colors were all shades of red, from russet to purple, a sea that seemed to have no end, a space infinity that is lost on the horizon, a calm sea but no less impressive than the stormy one we had just left, we were in another place without time, a huge space with no points of reference to hang on the eye and the mind.
    I found it almost ironic that passage from one sea to another, from the violent and murderous expanse of waves color of the iron, to this stationary expanse of red waves no less fierce and ready to sieze us, It was a feeling of absolute wonder, fear and helplessness that I felt flying in the blinding light of the Desert of Nefud.
    We had to land, gasoline was almost over, so Max had brought the plane to a very low altitude, we were flying over the ocean of red sand a few hundred meters over the crests of the dunes, we all knew that it was necessary to find a good ground, sufficiently flat and solid, to land the Savoia Marchetti Bomber, landing among the dunes with a bomber, would be tantamount to suicide.
    At some point I noticed from the gondola, from which I was watching the ground beneath us, slightly to the left of our current course, a change in the texture of the landscape of dunes, ripples seemed to stop leaving space to a more uniform rust-red colour, instantly I told Max:

    “Captain, about 15 degrees to starboard, it seems to me that there is some flat ground!”

    Then Max said:

    “Ottavio, remind me, when we get back, to refer you for a promotion, you've probably saved our ass!”




    Fixed the route, Max took the plane on what looked like a stretched of sand and rocks almost flat and long few miles, surrounded by high dunes, almost a track, even if it couldn’t be possible clearly distinguish the signs of a true caravan route, the ground looked pretty solid, although there were stones and a little rocky outcrop scattered everywhere, a flat terrain but very dangerous for the three-engine bomber landing, because unfortunately the central engine greatly limited the view of the pilot, preventing a good view of the terrain.

    “Guys, this flight is over, now I'll take you down, hold on tight and keep your fingers crossed! Who believes in God, he could also pray, I do not know how useful it is, but it sure does not hurt, it seems to me that the rocks below us have hunger, of Italian turists!”

    Watching from the gondola, I saw the ground approaching gradually, was littered with rocks here and there, but unfortunately, also emerged rocky outcroppings, semi-submerged by red sand, they seemed like petrified claws, it was needed a great deal of skill and luck.




    Everything went well, Max took the plane hit the ground softly, hardly we felt the impact of the wheels on the ground in what, in my opinion, was one of the best landings I ever saw!
    Then began the race on the sandy ground, while a cloud of red sand, raised by the propellers of the three Alfa Romeo engines, slowly enveloped the plane, the stones caused some shaking to the plane but they did not produce damage, while our speed decreased rapidly, it was almost done, the speed was now no more than 80 or 90 km/h, and Max had started to brake gently, when suddenly came the crash! A misfortune, or rather the end of the fortune that had helped us so far: a wheel crashed against a rock, the landing gear on the right broke without breaking off, but it stopped supporting the weight of the wing, the plane tilted on the right side, the wing touched the ground and began to plow the ground, there was nothing to do, we began to turn to the right in a huge cloud of red dust, luckily the speed was so low that the plane didn’t overturn, it made a tourn of nearly 90 degrees, and finally we stopped, a wing almost planted in the ground while the propellers slowly slowed the speed! Now our long flight was really finished.

    "Porco ...."

    An unspeakable blasphemy by Antonio broke the strange silence and stillness of men and machine created in the moments after landing, it was as if the whole weariness of that incredible flight had fallen over us, all was motionless, the engines were now silent, the propellers had stopped, none of us was speaking, only the red dust continued swirling silently around the aircraft, almost as in a slow motion, and now Antonio had broken the strange spell, I saw him rushing towards the tailgate, openeing it, and jumping down, while a wave of sand, heat and light, entered in the fuselage, then he disappeared in the mist of red sand of the Arabic Desert.
    I undid the belt and reached the cockpit, there I saw Max with the head resting on the back of the seat deck, his eyes were closed and he had finally removed his hands from the controls, Guido instead was fumbling the controls on the dashboard in front of him, probably, he was checking that the engines were off, I said: “Max, thank you! You are the best pilot in the world!”, he opened his eyes and then turned slowly to look at me, after a moment of silence, in which I could read all the exhaustion and worry of the flight in his eyes, he said:

    "Thanks Ottavio, but unfortunately I broke the machine! I crashed on one of these damn rocks! Rather You, you are one of the best navigation officers, who I had under my command"

    "Yes, and I? Nothing for me?” Guido intervened offended, "I've saved you from the waves, performing a task that Mussolini himself would describe like: ‘An heroic action, superhuman effort, to counter the hostile forces of nature in this case allied with the perfidious Albion! Enterprise worthy of the best virtues of the Roman People and of the Fascist Revolution!’ this He would say about me."

    Max and I looked at him in disbelief, while Guido was still fiddling with the buttons on the control panel, his imitation of the Duce had been absolutely perfect! When, not hearing any response from us, he turned to us and met our astonished eyes, we looked for a moment each other and then we started laughing, our laugh was crazy, unstoppable and liberating, we were exorcising all those long hours of fear, that endless dance with death, which had trapped us from Crete, it was one of the best laughs of my life! We were alive after all!






    "What is Antonio doing?"

    Max asked, looking out of the window the engineer, outside in the sand, leaning on the broken landing gear, while fumbling and cursing in the housing compartment of the wheel under the starboard engine

    "The machine! she betrayed him again, and he has started a quarrel between lovers. Let’s go to restore order among the troops"

    Guido said, undoing the belt and moving toward the tailgate opened on the desert.
    When we were on the ground a blaze of light and heat hit us, I closed the eyes, feeling the warmth of the sun on the face, it was very intense but pleasant, after all the killing darkness of the last hours; Guido was standing next to Antonio, who was yelling against misfortune:

    "You see Guido, and one says that bad luck does not exist! Damnit, if it exists! It is from the start that we have problems with the right engine, we have had the radio destroyed by a volley from the right, the right wing has been hit and now this!"

    He said, indicating the landing gear, bent in a strange position with the wheel still attached to it, the wheel appeared strangely intact and still attached to the steel frame.

    “Do you see? only the supports on the wing are broken, would not be anything serious in the workshop! Damnit!”

    Then Antonio got up and took a powerful kick to the wheel. Guido replied:

    "Antonio, try to see the things from another point of view: The wing, hit several times by machine guns, remained attached, the motors are not damaged, the propellers are intact as the whole plane's structures, and we are alive and we have our feet firmly on the ground, this can be considered almost a miracle!"

    Antonio then, shaking his head muttered:

    "A miracle of bad luck! More than anything!"


    Max's voice, called us back to our duties:

    "Guys, we still have a duty to perform, a duty toward a friend and comrade in arms."

    ​​Giovanni! We had to take care of him, it was time, now that we were finally on the ground, if ground could be called this red sea of ​​sand.
    We found a place, about one hundred meters from the plane, where the ground seemed more solid, dug with the tools supplies of the aircraft a pit of the right size, and there we lowered the body of our friend, still wrapped in the parachute, with those strange red flowers drawn on silk by his blood. All this work took place in an unreal atmosphere, the air was as still, it was a strange feeling, it seemed to be under a glass bell in the blinding light of the desert, no one of us said a word, only when the body was lowered, Max made a brief speech, simple and intense, then we covered the body with sand and planted a bar of aluminum detached from the internal structure of the aircraft to indicate that there lay a man, Antonio drew from his pocket the aviation cap of his comrade gunner, and put it on the bar.
    I want to write here few words I remember of the speech of Massimo, because I will not forget that moment, and I want to remind me of my emotions during that last farewell to Giovanni, they are words that I would not have been able to find, the words of a friend and of a man profoundly good and sensitive.

    "I have often wondered why the army, the bureaucracy, or the fate, sent a guy coming from the Dolomites South Tyrol, in aviation rather than in the Alpine Troops, but now burying your corpse here, in this flat land without end, I understand that the ways followed by our doom are frequently inscrutable but not always foolish, you always lived on your mountains, close to the sky, Giovanni, and in the sky you're dead, it has been an honor to have you as a flight comrade, leaving you here, in this sand, I can only say our farewell to you using the words that our Ancestors used to give a final farewell to their loved ones: ‘Sit tibi terra levis’, let it be light weight of this sand, my boy, that you may go back there, where I want to believe that you will return, there on your mountains, near to your sky.
    ‘Vale atque vale’, Giovanni"

    The rest of that first day in the Arabian Desert, it passed in a warm and unmoved atmosphere, we unloaded from the plane few materials that could have been useful, and settled in the fuselage the places where we would stay during the night, then we dug, perhaps more to convince us that there was something useful to do, that for real necessity, a trench around the raised side of the plane, so to organize an outdoor space protected from the sand, if the wind had risen; we put, on the right wing that has remained raised, a tent made using our parachutes, under it we put our stuff, done this, we tried in vain to figure out where we were, unfortunately, the maps was not detailed enough, and in that desert lacked any reference point, we knew where they were the cardinal points, by observing the movement of the sun, but this served little purpose not knowing our relative position.
    Evening came, heralded by a sunset unimaginable, whose colors were mixed with the color of the sand in all the shades of red, purple violet to orange more intense, passing through a symphony of reds declined in all the tones of the visual spectrum . A spectacle of beauty almost painful, and everything was immersed and suspended in that motionless air, as if we were in a place out of time, in a space without borders under a distant sky and it seemed as if the silence was a scream, the Panic scream of nature, deafening in the silence.



    The night came after a time not measurable, we talked a little and quietly, in fact, there was little to say in what was left of that day, the starry sky was perfect! A dream for every man of the sea, I'd almost wanted to cry so much I was missing my sextant, with a sextant and under that crystal sky, I could calculate the astronomical point and our position in less than two minutes! God! how much I wished I were on a ship!

    A sky like that and I wasn’t be able to understand the position of the stars! it was incredible, I saw the pole, the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper, I saw Venus, the fixed light of the planets and the glow of the stars, I recognized their position, almost one by one, the sky was a book I was able to read, and I couldn’t tell my Commander Officer where we were, because I missed the sextant! Sleep came as a blessing, spread the veil of oblivion over all of us, and that hellish day finally ended.



    The sun was high when we gathered to take stock of the situation, was now ten o'clock in the morning of the second day in the Arabian Desert, we were sitting under the makeshift tent and after a quick inventory of supplies, we had to acknowledge that the situation was really desperate, we had rations for three days, perhaps with great difficulty, the biscuits would last for five days, but the real problem was the water, three days and then it would end. All our water was contained in the military water bottles that we had provided, and nothing else. Now, we knew that you could resist the hunger for quite a long time, but without drinking survival time was no more than three days, then very quickly, the kidneys would have ceased to function, undergoing irreversible damage, which would have take us prior to coma and then to death, so we only had three days to live.
    The problem was how to use these three days we had, our choices in essence were reduced to two:

    Or to move, leaving the plane and walking north towards nobody knew what, or stay there, near the plane, hoping the mysterious pilot, whose aircraft had appeared to us in what now seemed like a dream, he had reported to someone our likely position; that is, in this second alternative, we had to hope that someone would find us, or that some nomadic group passing in that nowhere in which we were, would find us.
    We discussed for quite a long time, in a hellishly hot with the air still motionless, still, in the almost glazed red desert.
    Antonio was the most determined to support the need to move around, he saw as madness stand still, expecting no one knew what, it was better to die seeking salvation rather than letting ourelves to die like idiots, doing nothing. Who could found us in that nowhere? Was not it better to at least try to find a track, a way, in short, something? There should even be a track in the damn desert, we were in the XX century! Antonio refused the idea to stand still and wait for death, he finally said:


    "Listen guys, I'm going to find the death, I will not wait to be taken when it suits her!"


    Max had not spoken, then, having heard all, calmly, he told us how he saw the situation:

    "First the plane: It’s pierced like a sieve but largely intact, unfortunately we do not have fuel, and the landing gear is damaged, so the machine is useless.
    We are in enemy territory and, at this point in theory, our duty would be to destroy aircraft and ammunition and then walk away, but, and this must be clear to all, for us the war is over, if we survive, we will be taken prisoner, spending what remains of the war in a prison camp, in India or elsewhere.
    We don’t know where we are, lost in the absolute nothing, only sand and dunes as far as we can see all around us for miles and miles, there is no way to know if somewhere around here, there is something like a track or maybe an oasis, unfortunately, the compass board is useless.
    Now, we have little water for three days, but just standing still! If we move, consumption doubles, the absence of sweat does not deceive you, is due to the dry climate, the consumption of water in this heat is very high, so I think we could walk with our water for up to two days, then we have the certainty of death by dehydration somewhere between these dunes all equal.
    I am your commander, but in this situation, I don’t feel right to give orders, so what I'm about to say is my personal opinion as man and comrade rather than officer, I can no longer impose any of you my will, so let's decide together what to do.

    I think this: I’m pilot of airplanes for more than twenty years now, and the sign that I saw in the sky, done by the plane that has guided us so far, for me it is very clear, its meaning was: "Follow me!"; now, no pilot, and when I say no pilot, I really mean nobody, would make a signal like that only to leave the men he saved to die in the desert.
    Among those who face the emptiness of the sky or the sea, there are rules, unwritten rules, which are an integral part of being a man and pilot, no matter the nationality or culture of each pilot. One of these rules states you cannot abandon a crew in the nothing if you can do something to help him, you can kill each other in the sky, but you cannot abandon a crew if you can send someone to save him, this would go against the very essence of flight, it would go against being pilot, military or civilian does not matter, leaving another in the nothing is impossible.
    At this point, the question is: Who was the pilot who put us on the last route and brought us up out of the storm? I don't know. I just know that probably, being in an airspace of the allies, that pilot was English or at least an enemy, who not only refused to attack us but who saved us, who would save an enemy plane and then abandon the saved men, to die for starvation and thirst? For me, the mysterious pilot did what any pilot of any nation would do, that is, he reported our position to his base, then there is a real chance that someone, probably a British patrol, come here and get us out of this hell, what remains questionable is if they arrive on time or not.
    Before Antonio, who is already champing at the bit, interrupts me, let me conclude: Guys, if you make a calculation of probabilities, you’ll clearly understand that staying here, we have a better chance of being found, and that if we move away from here walking in this nothing toward nowhere, even the remote possibility that someone comes to rescue us, is certainly lost. So my opinion, which I hope all you share, is that it is better to stay here rather than abandon the only hope remaining to us.
    However, if death will come before the rescue, we have nothing to be ashamed of, we flew for more than 2000 km, we carried out the orders that they gave us, we fought doing our best to kill our enemies, we finally landed saving the plane and ourselves; then, and now is speaking the Officier: No fear and no regrets, comrades, you've done your duty, you're a good crew, the best I could hope to command, unfortunately death is an integral part of the war, not matter what mask she is wearing when she comes, if we know we have done our duty we will be ready to welcome her. And I repeat: you guys, you all have done your duty."

    There was a thick silence almost palpable, the words of Max had dug deep in our souls, in those moments everyone was coming to terms with himself, with the harsh reality in which we found ourselves, in the face of fear as in the face of death everyone is alone.
    Guido, after a while intervened:

    "Max, I'm with you, it seems absurd to accept but we have to hope in the help of a driver who was probably an enemy, I see no other possibility; at least here, next to this machine, we still have one hope to survive ... "

    Antonio whispered sharply, but not addressing anyone in particular, but rather to himself:

    "I can not accept this. I did not come here to leave me to die of hunger and thirst, No! I refuse it! I have to do something, I want to play my fate, not only enduring it and nothing more!”


    I did not know what to think, even for me it was monstrous staying there hanging on a hope and waiting, probably for a painful death, it was hopeless! At the same time the logic told me that there was a lot of truth and common sense in the words of Max, remaining standing there in wait, it was not the easiest decision to be taken, but certainly near to the plane, there was at least one probability in that boundless immensity. It was too short the time at our disposal, our options were very limited.
    In the end, to break the stalemate, especially the one with myself, I proposed a solution, a kind of compromise:

    "Look guys, I have a proposal: Antonio and me, we leave tomorrow morning very early, before the sun is high, we reach the dunes around us toward North -West, and we try to see if there is something, a track, an oasis, a minimal hope to reach somewhere sensible from here, then if there is something we signal our position
    with a rocket and Max and Guido will reach us, if not, we’ll come back here to wait for our doom. What do you think guys? I can assure you that I’m able to read the terrain and if there is anything I can find, I’ll find it! We have the water of Giovanni and if we march up only to the closest dunes, we should not consume more than half of it; I think it's a possibility that we groped, in two we should be able to keep water consumption low, I hope."

    Silence again, Antonio after a few minutes of hesitation replied:

    "Ottavio, you know that you have a good brain? I'm with you, but if you want I can go alone, I'm not afraid!"

    At the end we were all in agreement: dawn the next day, Antonio and I should have gone to explore the dunes that surround us in search of hope.
    We also decided to light a fire every day at noon, using a can of motor oil we had on board, making a lot of black smoke, we were hoping that it might attract the attention of someone; while at night, we would launch a flare, as they are not missing, their number exceeded abundantly our life expectancy.
    Antonio, now more relaxed, was generous with advice to deal with the desert, he had fought in Africa for many years and he knew the tricks to stay alive in those latitudes; unfortunately we would have to wash ourselves using the sand, and we had to be very careful with scorpions, it seems they particularly love getting in your boots and kill the poor people who did not remember to empty the shoes every morning, Antonio always said:

    "They kill more idiots the scorpions, that the British!"

    We rationed the food, that is, the few biscuits provided, and we calculated the daily consumption of water, and this was the most painful operation, because it put us in front of the bitter reality of the brevity of the time we left, a few sips a day and then, then who knows?
    Max meanwhile was as off, he spoke little, his mind was far away, he remained on his own inside the plane for most of the time, but I understood him: He was the only one among us, with a wife and children at home, waiting for him; death had a more complex meaning for him, he had to face, in the short remaining time we had, the idea of ​​separation and abandonment of loved ones, it was a painful thought, much worse than death in battle, there you haven’t the time to evaluate what you are leaving forever. None of us disturbed him, it is strange to notice how it grows, in extreme circumstances, the respect for individual privacy, perhaps our human sensitivity is more acute, or maybe it's just the desire to avoid seeing our fear reflected and magnified in the eyes of our comrades.





    The sun had not yet appeared, but already a diffuse light had lit the sky above us, Antonio was sitting on his backpack under the wing whilst I just got up, and I was emptying my boots from the tailgate of the fuselage, the voice of Antonio mercilessly had succeded in ruining my beginning of a day that, already in itself, appeared difficult:

    "Ah, if I could get a good cup of coffee! That black and thick coffee, fragrant as only we know how to do in Naples, only the scent wakes you up! "

    "Enough! Shut up! Someone silence him! "

    The hollow voice of Max from inside the fuselage silenced him and made me smile, he was right, listening the description of the coffee, in those conditions was a tightening of undeserved punishment!
    I loaded my backpack, a few things: the maps, the water bottle of Giovanni, a ration of biscuits, two flares and gun, nothing else. Guido came up, he put his hand on my shoulder and said:

    "Ottavio, please no more than four hours, then come back! Antonio is a strange man, don’t let him to convince you to do nonsense, remember that you are the Officer! "

    We started off the march while the delicate pink of dawn was reflected in the red sand, under a sky emerald green, and it enveloped us in an atmosphere of indescribable beauty, the only sound that could be heard was that of our boots digging net footprints in the sand, nothing else! The air was still standing, I mean that just it did not move, it was almost unreal atmosphere, the stillness of the air and the absence of wind were absolute, but the heat had not yet arrived, in fact there was almost cold, walking was not difficult and was nice the feeling of doing something useful having a goal in front of us.



    At nine o'clock the sun was hot and we were climbing the first dunes, now the march had become more difficult, we wasn’t sweaty or better, no one noticed sweating, thirst was as real as a traveling companion, I could describe it in every single detail, thirst would not let me even for an instant, it was the hardest thing to bear much more than the dry heat of the red desert; the glasses were caked with sand and salt, I had to clean them often, Antonio marched briskly giving me the change with regular basis, we did not talk, thirst was an insurmountable obstacle. We had chosen a heap of sand dunes that seemed to be the highest point in the area, they were true waves those we were climbing, unmoved waves, piled on one another and fixed in space and time, motionless images in a huge and slow motion, true Potential Energy in constant accumulation, and this was precisely what was most striking me in the landscape: the immense amount of energy stored in the dunes, it was as if the desert was actually a giant accumulator of energy, produced by the weight and friction of the infinite mass of red sand.



    At eleven o'clock we were on the crest of the highest dune in the most absolute emptiness, nothing could be seen except an endless landscape of red sand dunes, nothing else to hold on the look and our hope, that nothing had no visible limits, except those consisting of the circle of the horizon.

    We parted down falling on the sand, fatigue and a growing desperation had become masters of our bodies, there was nothing, absolutely nothing to look forward to throughout the space that our eyes could measure.
    We were sitting on the shady side of the dune, I took off my glasses and the hat, I leaned my arms on the knees and the head on my arms, my mind was blank, too thirsty and too hot to think of something, then a little embroidery drawn in the sand drew my attention, small dots zigzag gently dug into the ground to form a strange design, I followed it with my eyes until, about two feet from me, I saw a small lizard, motionless in the sun, with its golden eyes, it seemed to stare at me, from the crest of the red dune, while below us, in the valley stretched between the dunes, our plane seemed to be the carcass of a huge animal in decay, came to die in the petrified sea.




    "Look, you cannot eat that one, those are poisonous beasts!"

    Antonio had noticed what I was watching, but I didn’t want to eat the small lizard, of course, I was just fascinated by the thought that in the end, we were very similar, me and that little reptile, two tiny creatures lost in a boundless immensity and infinitely greater than we were, only that she was much better than I was! The little lizard was in its natural environment, she knew how to get water and food, that inhospitable world was her home, she was part of it, the dunes were the life for her, and for us were a slow death sentence without appeal.

    "Otto, go back, there's nothing for us here, absolutely nothing."

    "It 's true" I replied "Even that kind of track that seems to go beyond the edge of the plain, is lost in the dunes, I do not know even if it's a track, however, with the water we have even if we get there, we do not go beyond for sure. To get there, it took almost half a day's march, even if we would walk for a day until the end of the flat area, we would have died anyway, and we would not have gotten anywhere! Antonio, you're right, there's nothing here. No hope."

    After drinking a few sips of water, we marched back to the plane descending, in the hot sun of midday, the dunes we had climbed with so much effort; Max was right, now also Antonio had understood the truth: In the Nefud there was no way of escape for us.




    It was seventh day since we landed in Nefud, and the fourth without water, we had not even seen an airplane, the war seemed not existent, we were lost in the nothing.

    The water was over, but still we had a few biscuits, very few for the truth.
    We were pretty bad shape, long beards mixed with sand, sand in our hair and clothes caked with sand, sand in the eyes red and always watering, sand in the mouth and on the lips painfully chapped, while the skin in sun-exposed areas was wounded and it had become difficult even speaking.
    There had never been the wind, and in contrast, the alternating hot and cold at night were debilitating us more and more, even going to the latrine had become painful, seeing the reddish color of our urine reminded us that the suffering kidney had already begun; none of us would admit it, but in these last days, when we looked at each other we already saw deads.

    Writing this diary helped me to cope with the heat, the white pages were still many, certainly more than those I would be able to fill and the ink was still abundant, I always have a small bottle of ink with me when I’m flying, so that Antonio told me that if I brought water instead of ink probably it would be more useful, but for me, it was not so, in fact, perhaps, this ink of mine was keeping me alive, like and even more than water.
    We stayed quite away from each other, each one had found a place to wait for the inevitable;

    Max was in the cockpit, I caught a glimpse of him writing; Guido was readings and writing packets of letters in the fusulage, while Antonio was the only one who never stopped doing something, I admired him: He had already removed and cleaned the machine guns, he had been fiddling with engines for days, he had even found a tricolor flag with the coat of arms of Savoy, which was then attached to the fuselage, in the hope that it could help us out with any air passage, in the end, he wasn’t able to rest.



    I had found a place in the tent under the right wing, outside the plane, I was tired now, I had been pushed to my limits. Now I was looking at my Beretta gun of ordinance, after having disassembled and cleaned the gun with great care, there was not a grain of dust on the barrel, it was like new, I inserted the magazine into the gun and my head layed on the hull of the plane; I was sitting there with the gun in hand, I thought I could no longer, I was enlisted to explore my limits, well, now I’ve found them!
    The ancient Persians left the corpses of their deads to dry under the sun, on the top of the Ziggurat, I had nothing against it, now that I had understood how it can be dry the climate in the desert, only I did not want to be present at this phenomenon happening to me while I was still alive! I thought it was better to leave first! A good shot into the head and all my pains would be ended. Only the thought of Martina was holding me back on the border, but now she was so far away that I almost did not remember even her eyes, she was like an old photo faded by time; no, there was really nothing holding me back, maybe the last sip of water from my water bottle would serve to my friends and I would have stopped suffering, I found that there was something indecent in the slow decay that was taking over our bodies, something disreputable, enough! I raised my head I looked at the gun in my hands, and with a snap, I loaded the automatic gun.

    "May I bother you, Ottavio? May I come in?"


    Heavens no! Guido had appeared in the tent, indeed he was already into it: sandy blond beard and his pilot officer hat with a white handkerchief neckcurtain and sunglasses under the brim of the hat, I looked at him amazed, in fact, this time, his presence was quite annoying for me, actually no one had ever bothered me, like him in that moment, but finally I managed to utter:

    "Oh no my friend, come on! Do you know you look very British?"

    "I choice to interpret your words as a compliment, Otto! Do you mind if I sit down? "

    "Not of course, look, there's my backpack."

    When he sat down, he said in a solemn tone:

    "Ottavio, I've decided! When I return to Rome I'm getting married! "

    It was incredible, I was going to shoot a bullet in my head, and now I had to face conversation with Guido about his marriage, I did not know whether to laugh or to cry, so I continued the conversation:

    "But, sorry Guido, you needed this damn desert to decide to get married?"

    "Of course! Because, as you may have noticed in the last few days, I’ve read all the letters that I had not had time to read before we leave."

    Actually, the correspondence to and from Guido was already famous in the aircraft base, in fact, not a day passed without you could see his attendant carrying packs of letters to and from Guido.


    "So, I also read the latest beautiful letters from Fiamma and I decided: I'll marry her!"

    I did not understand, so I asked:

    "Excuse me, but so were the last letters that made you decide?"

    "Yes, exactly! Never read anything more perfect! That girl writes in an enchanting way."

    Now really I didn't understand!

    "But are you telling me that you marry her because she writes well?"

    "Yes Ottavio, her use of the Italian Language is perfect! A musical and elegant style, each word chosen with elegant wisdom, I would almost say grace! Every single adjective is like a delicate touch of color, and the verbs are chosen and conjugated in so an elegant but not redundant way! The use of the 'Consecutio Temporum' is simply perfect and magnificent. A woman who writes with such a style is really priceless, my dear Ottavio."

    I could not laugh because my lips were too chapped, but what Guido was telling me with his tired voice and frequent coughing, it was truly amazing!
    Then he continued:

    "Try to understand me, my friend, the corrispondence for me is a nightmare! You have no idea of ​​the correspondence that I have to attend every day! Relatives of half of Italy, aunts, cousins, friends, important and not so important acquaintances, from Milan, Paris, Madrid, London, New York, the hell! Frequently people who I would like to kill but with whom I have to maintain social pleasant relationships; as my old aunt Sister, the Abbess of the convent of the Ursulines in the Castelli Romani, who I would strangle with my bare hands! Terrible! And they are often private letters that cannot to be entrusted to a secretary; Ottavio, do you understand how important it is a wife who knows how to write letters in a good and sensible style?"

    He had won! Guido had successfully managed to involve me in his stories, and he was right, in a sense, his was a logical reasoning.

    "However Fiamma, is also a very sweet girl and she is very beautiful, my dear Ottavio! And we are in love of course. Her full name is: Fiamma Luigia Margherita Pallavicini Pamphili di Valle Giulia, she is blonde, brown enchanting eyes, a sweet but soft slender body, she is also a very intelligent woman, graduated in Classics at University La Sapienza in Rome, she is sensitive and patient, and his brother is the best student of Cesare Musatti in Milan, and you will understand that having a good Psychoanalyst in the family is a very interesting thing for us.

    I marry her, I find a lovely wife, I give myself to calm down, saving half of my life that would be destroyed by the correspondence! Letters, invitations, sympathy, birthdays, weddings ..... hundreds of hours saved with the certainty that Fiamma will take care of the matter much better than me!
    Of course, we’ll invite you to the wedding, and you'll see the gallery of the Roman Black Aristocracy, the most astonishing gallery of criminals, swing on the gallows and mummies of the whole world!"

    Now I could not shoot myself anymore! Guido had taken me with him to Rome, I was already watching the scene: perhaps in St. Luigi dei Francesi, we, dressed in tail-coatin, trying hard not to laugh while he winked, pointing to a string of old morons slicked of the Roman papal nobility, my God, now I was laughing like an idiot, and my lips were bleeding and while coughing I managed to mutter:

    "How could I be missing? I’m very happy for you: Your choice is right and wise Guido! Fiamma is a lovely girl and will be the perfect wife for you my friend! It will be a true pleasure for me to meet her, my dear Count Guido Di Carpegna."

    "Oh yes, I was forgetting it, Otto: Sadly, in the invitation, we will be forced to write your full name: Marquis Ottavio Costaguta De Mari, I hope you do not mind, but you know, we cannot do otherwise!"

    My God! This was too much! How did he discovered my damn title? I had not told to anyone about it, I hate aristocratic titles, almost as much as I hate my father's family! I was there, dying in the desert to get away from that idiot title, as well as from my life and my father! But in wich way Guido discovered it for me was a mistery.

    "Sorry Otto, I know you did not want anyone to know, but you know Italy! I know a lot of people and the Commanding General is an avid poker player, but he always loses like a beast! Think: the last time I played with him, he lost an Isotta Fraschini almost new! But I pretend to nothing, what do you want me to do with an Isotta Fraschini? If it was a Bugatti it would be another story! The General has a lot of debts with me, and as I said, I don’t exercize any pressure on him, I play because I enjoy playing, nothing more, but when I need a favor, he considers it a duty of honour to help me; so, and please excuse me my dear, when you were assigned to the crew, I had a look at your personal informations, Ottavio, can you forgive me? "



    I was shocked! Guido was a kind of fascinating, friendly and dear snake!

    "Guido, perhaps today you saved my life again, but by now I would strangle you, if only I had the strength to do something, but I also feel a deep affect for you. You're the best friend I ever had, and one of the most amazing people I have ever met, but please, not the title! I'm done with that part of my family and maybe with my father, so remember that I'm only your friend Ottavio, nothing more Guido, only a friend and a comrade in this our last adventure."

    "I understand, Otto, as you want! But unfortunately for you, Martina and you will have to be at the wedding! And now let's drink!"

    He pulled from his pocket a silver flask with his initials engraved on it, and handed it to me, as he lit two cigarettes for us.

    "Are you crazy Guido? This is cognac, it could kill us! For days we are not drinking, just a sip and it could burn our stomach! "

    "I know, but it's just to wet our lips!"

    "And also this is not a great idea, my dear!"

    "So, do you refuse? You refuse to drink to my health, on the day of the announcement of my marriage!"

    "But no! But no! All right! Pass me the brandy! "

    And we remained there, laughing, talking, and coughing, smoking those delicious Macedonia, with chapped bleeding lips burnt by Cognac, Guido, me and Death.





    I don’t remember very well what happened thereafter, the time now was meaningless.

    I stood under the tent, I no longer had the strength to get back on my feet, and I do not know where they were my comrades, I sat leaning against the plane, I could not open my eyes, I had discovered that after the fourth day, thirst is almost not perceived, it remains only the weakness, almost an infinite fatigue, the forces leave, and the eyes become heavy, and it comes the sleep together with the end; I was simply dying, I knew it, but I couldn’t do anything about it .
    My intellect was fading, it was as if death was stealing my thoughts gently, one by one, mixing them with images, memories, dreams perhaps, out of any order.......‘tis a consummation devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep, To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub, For in the sleep of death what dreams That may have shuffled like When we off this mortal coil, Must give us pause: there's the respect That makes calamity of so long life;’........now I was there, in Bordighera, in my grandparents' house: I’m a child, I sat at the foot of my grandmother, and I hear her voice, while she is reading Shakespeare, for me; each child has his own secret hideaway, well for me that language and that house were my secret hideaway; Now I lift my eyes and I'm watching at her, I see her delicate hands resting on the book, opened in her lap, her head is leaning back in his chair of green velvet, I see her nice face framed by white hair tied back, her eyes are closed, I remember my delight while I was listening to her voice and to her magic tongue, it took me away into a world of dreams.
    Now probably it was happening to me exactly what Shakespeare had written, almost word by word: I could no longer distinguish life from death, dreams from memories, perhaps the coma had already begun.....on the same day before Shakespeare, in the morning, I and my granddad, had been hunting on Monte Nero, and it surprised us one of the most violent storms of late summer that I could remember.......perhaps it was the end of September, I do not know, but the day was beautiful at first, we were walking in the woods, a very difficult terrain…..all of Liguria is so, Dante Alighieri describes with horror our woods, especially gnarled oaks, whose roots dig in the rocks of the steep slopes, thorny bushes, rocks, potholes and chasms that appear suddenly among the trees.......be careful!.....I hear the first big drops on the face and the sound of the rain is growing on the leaves, now I hasten the pace down the path towards the valley, but my granddad stopped me:

    "Ottavio no! Not that way! Now we must go, we must reach the ridge, there we'll be safe. If we stay on this path, we will soon be in a river that brings down branches and stones and mud, we could be overwhelmed and taken away, we must go uphill."

    My grandfather was a great soldier! I hear his voice as we were walking to reach the ridge:


    "Ottavio, not think about the rain, the rain cannot hurt you, look at the ground, read it, try to understand it, it could save your life. The ridges are the sites of the lower slope, the mountains have to be climbed along the ridges, while the steep slopes that lead to trails, like that we had left, in this mountains are very dangerous when it rains, every fold of the mountain becomes a river of appalling violence. Son, a soldier who knows how to read the ground has already won the battle."

    .....how much I felt safe being close to him!...now we were on the ridge, and we were finally walking down, on a gentle slope in good soil, the rain was pouring, but I was no longer afraid........a lot of water, It entered everywhere, through the neck of the shirt, I felt the cold trickles on the body, it flowed along the hair, and I felt the water slide on the face, it was entering into the nose and the mouth.....God! what a pleasure!.....the water on the lips......I moved my tongue and felt the water!
    Now, a sudden terror seized me: My God! It cannot be so realistic a dream! I am prisoner of the death and this is what is waiting for me, a dream of monstrous realism, a real nightmare that lasts forever.....No, no, I refuse this horror! I do not accept this end, I'm not already dead! Something was going on, I wrapped my lips and I felt pain and if I was feeling pain, then I was still alive! Yes, I was alive! I was alive and I could feel the water running down my face, it was wetting my lips, it was not a dream, it was real water, real water was wetting my face!

    "Maybe it's raining," I thought, but then I remembered that I was under a tent and I wasn't feeling the drops on the skin but I felt the water running on my face, I still could not open my eyes, I tried but I was too weak, and sand mixed with the tears and sweat made it impossible to open the eyelids, I did not understand what was going on, when a hand lifted my head, there was someone there! Someone who was taking care of me, and I felt on the lips the mouth of a bottle or something like that, the water came into my mouth without even I could drink, but only feeling it on the tongue was an intense pleasure, it was so intense that I cannot describe it; then I drank, I drank a sip and I found again my life. Then I felt like something like a wet towel gently wiping my eyes, and then more water on my face, I was alive in Heaven.
    When, with an incredible effort, I managed to open my eyes, at first only for a moment, then longer, I saw him: There was a man, bending over me, he was completely wrapped by a large black or dark blue dress, also his head and his face were covered, I could only see two dark eyes gazing at me intensely; a Nomad! A Bedouin or even a Tuareg, although I did not know if there could be Tuareg in the Nefud.



    Max was right! Eventually someone had found us, someone was stealing us from the embrace of death, we were safe, we were almost dead but alive, the rest didn’t matter.
    The man lift and made some gestures to others with him who stood out behind him, he wasn’t speaking, but he seemed the boss of the group; I had to know whether my friends were all alive, I had to get up but I could not, I was too weak.
    Then the man gave me a second sip of water, and then a third, with a piece of a sort of pancake made of Spelt wheat, he had never spoken like all his comrades who were discharging water and food from the camels, which I felt to the short distance; now I felt better, I was still very weak, but seeing the Bedouin who had saved me going back toward me, I decided that I had to get up, so I gathered all the strength I had and, leaning my back on the fuselage, with great effort, I stood up: Now a piercing pain went through my head, my head was spinning, and my legs supported me with great difficulty, but I remained strong, and when he was in front of me, I decided I had to say something, but my mind was very confused and there was no time to think about something, so, with the best smile that I could find, I performed one of the silliest presentations in my life, and as if I were at the Premiere of the Theatre La Scala, in Milan, I held out my hand, and I exclaimed:


    “Il mio nome è Ottavio, e vengo dall’Italia”

    (En.: “My name is Ottavio and I come from Italy”)

    While I was uttering those words, I realized their inadequacy, but it was too late to repent, and in any case I was almost sure that Arab would not even understand my name;




    The man stood in front of me, at a distance of less than a meter and a half, he was not tall, but under the wide dress, you sensed a massive physical, the turban and the veil hid his face, but his eyes were bright and full of life ; he did not react immediately, but it seemed that a shadow of surprise was appeared in his eyes, and wrinkles around them drew something similar to a smile; after an intense moment of silence, he raised his hand, approached the turban and undid the flap of cloth that covered his face; I will never forget my surprise when I looked at his face for the first time: His face didn’t seem an Arab face, it was a square face, strong jaw, no beard, and his features were carved by deep wrinkles and old scars, I noticed even a strange bluish tattoo but the skin of color of the leather, burnt by the sun, prevented me from clearly distinguishing the drawing.
    Meanwhile I was gazing at the face of the man who had saved me, suddenly I felt emerging in my mind, still confused, the memory of my first day at the Liceo Classico Andrea Doria of Genoa, we was in the Aula Magna, and the headmaster, was completing his annual welcome to new students. His words now rang clear in my mind:

    “Remember, gentlemen" the headmaster said, putting his hand on the head of the bust of Emperor Vespasian, "These are your ancestors, and if you don’t learn well their Language, that is the Latin Language, you will never speak and write correctly the Italian Language." And then a awe fell upon us!

    Well, in that moment I was staring at a face very similar to the bust of the Emperor Vespasianus, and this sensation was very disturbing, I was watching a face carved by the sun and I could see the face of an old and tough, Italian farmer!
    While these thoughts filled my mind, I saw, on the face of the man in front of me, what appeared like an amazing smile, large, relaxed, and perhaps even amused; his right hand passed mine and he grabbed my forearm, forcing me to do the same, his forearm had the strength of an old and sturdy oak tree; then his deep voice pronounced clearly, these precise words that I will never forget:

    "Ocatavius ​​etiam nomen meus est, ego quoque ex Italia venio!"
    (En.: "Also my name is Octavius, and also I come from Italy.")

    In that moment the whole course of my life changed forever, while I could sense the entire structure of the reality dangerously creaking.






    *****


    - Please dear readers, now we are in a special territory, so let me say that if you liked even a single line of my text, please do it for me, follow the link and read the story of The Nowhere Legion, it's really the better thing you can do!

    "THE NOWHERE LEGION" AAR by SeniorBatavianHorse.

    - Some of the images in this update and many of those in the next updates, come from the Archive of Gertrude Bell, they are true images of the Nefud Desert in the first quarter of the last century, taken by one of the greatest (and more dangerous) woman of History, Gertrude Bell.







    .

  13. #113
    Rex Anglorvm's Avatar Wrinkly Wordsmith
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    Default Re: The House of Acanthus - (inspired by The Nowhere Legion by SBH.) Last Update: 10/17

    That was one long mammoth epic update my friend - and truly marvellous

    Well worth the wait - especially now that we are left waiting on a fantastic cliff-hanger

    Rep+

    Rex

  14. #114
    SeniorBatavianHorse's Avatar Tribunus Vacans
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    Default Re: The House of Acanthus - (inspired by The Nowhere Legion by SBH.) Last Update: 10/17

    Diocle, I am in awe here of your writing and imagination. I read this this morning before going to work and it has haunted me all day - the setting, the camaraderie, the pathos, and the beatiful and gentle humanity in these characters has rooted deepely in me. I felt as though I were watching a miniature painting emerging from a rough and cracked papyrus - almost as if the skin of the papyrus was bleeding into the wonderful portraitures you were allowing us to see. It is a maginifcent piece of writing - and that ending! The Latin! The face of ancient stone cracked with scars! Simply superb, my friend!

    If this is an hommage to my own poor work then I can only add that in bowing to it you have raised yourself up higher by doing so . . .

    You simply must allow this to be published - and if you won't, then dammit I will!

  15. #115
    Diocle's Avatar Comes Limitis
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    Default Re: The House of Acanthus - (inspired by The Nowhere Legion by SBH.) Last Update: 10/17


    Quote Originally Posted by SeniorBatavianHorse
    Diocle, I am in awe here of your writing and imagination. I read this this morning before going to work and it has haunted me all day - the setting, the camaraderie, the pathos, and the beatiful and gentle humanity in these characters has rooted deepely in me. I felt as though I were watching a miniature painting emerging from a rough and cracked papyrus - almost as if the skin of the papyrus was bleeding into the wonderful portraitures you were allowing us to see. It is a maginifcent piece of writing - and that ending! The Latin! The face of ancient stone cracked with scars! Simply superb, my friend!

    If this is an hommage to my own poor work then I can only add that in bowing to it you have raised yourself up higher by doing so . . .

    You simply must allow this to be published - and if you won't, then dammit I will!
    THIS WORK IS YOUR MYLORD SBH!

    For many reasons, only the most important:
    1) Because many of these images were born in my mind (believe me plese!) while I was reading The Nowhere Legion.
    2) Beacause this work is really a tribute to a great Novel, a tribute for many wonderful hours I passed reading the pages of The Nowhere Legion, in another universe, in another time, in another space.
    3) Because without your kind words I would never started this work.
    4)Because your allowed me to use your materials, and this is really a great gift almost untinkable today.

    Your words are really a great gift for me, I hoped you liked these last pages so now I'm happy! (My God the Consecutio! Probably is wrong but you know...)
    Sorry if the last update was so gigantic, I'm a little verbose but here, in this story, I have to depict what happened in the mind of a good man to transform him in the man who created such a great pain in the lives of his wife and of his daughter, so I must enter deeply in his intimate feelings.
    Really thank you SBH for your magnificent words! Please believe me I never thought about publishing something so I do not know even where I would have to start from, so being the work your, you might do it for me..............Clarissimus!
    I'm so happy now that I have to stop writing this post before it become another big Elephant! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! and again thank you SBH and thank you all the readers who like my work!


  16. #116
    Diocle's Avatar Comes Limitis
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    Default Re: The House of Acanthus - (inspired by The Nowhere Legion by SBH.) Last Update: 10/17

    Now, this is what's happening: the story is growing and the readers are dropping!
    This might be considered a bad sign from the point of view of a book seller, but not for me! I'm writing an omage to a great writer, and I'm writing here my Confessio in form of Novel, so I'll finish this task (two updates + the conclusion) with great pleasure, because I already have what I hoped: SBH likes the story! I need nothing more!

    So while I'm writing the next complex, mysterious, fascinating, melancholy and sad update, I'm here listening this music, I'm posting it everywhere, because I like it very much!
    Guys listen to this music, and you could even avoid reading my story , infact the spiritual clue of this story is contained in this short melody, called 'An Italian ground', it's a melody of the Italian Renaissance and, concentrated in it, there's the entire story of our poor Ottavio, who remained forever suspended between two worlds, he tryed to live the present while his mind and his heart was forever lost in an ancient past.

    So here it is: 'An Italian Gound'






  17. #117

    Default Re: The House of Acanthus - (inspired by The Nowhere Legion by SBH.) Last Update: 10/17

    Sorry for my silence, but I'm afraid i don't have much time to read at my leisure these days...i will however read it this weekend and give my appreciation of your work
    "Siehst du in des Waldes Grün feindlicher Gewehrmaschin?"
    - Peronje

    "Der NKWD in Russland, der SD im Deutschland des Dritten Reiches und alle anderen Geheimpolizeiorganisationen ähnlicher Art sind Spielwiesen für Psychopathen, für Usurpatoren illegaler Macht über Millionen.
    Dort liegen die Krebsherde der modernen Gesellschaft."


    aus "Holt Hartmann vom Himmel" Motorbuch Verlag Spezial 2007

  18. #118
    Shankbot de Bodemloze's Avatar From the Writers Study!
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    Default Re: The House of Acanthus - (inspired by The Nowhere Legion by SBH.) Last Update: 10/17

    You mean you don't need me to like it?

    I was merely taking my time through the rather large update you provided - and I can say it was very much worth it. Once again some of those pictures were marvellous indeed! I will be buying the published book, without a doubt. The narration is first class, and that is a intriguing cliff hanger.

    Although a line space between speech would help me out greatly...

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  19. #119
    Diocle's Avatar Comes Limitis
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    Default Re: The House of Acanthus - (inspired by The Nowhere Legion by SBH.) Last Update: 10/17

    OMG, not! Mylord Shankbot the Bodemloze!!

    I need you in every single moment of my work on this novel!

    Your presence is a pleasure for me, Mylord! Also a great help comes from your words, nothing could be done without your helpful hand!

    But Dr. Who is Dr Who!
    His words are the words of a man who can travel throught space and time, Mylord! So, if The Doctor likes these lines, I feel a great pleasure conquering my poor mind!

    A line you ask, and a line you'll gain! Mylord, all your desires are like an order for me! All will be done before the night comes!

    Thanks for your words and for your presence here, It's exactly all I could desire!

  20. #120
    SeniorBatavianHorse's Avatar Tribunus Vacans
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    Default Re: The House of Acanthus - (inspired by The Nowhere Legion by SBH.) Last Update: 10/17

    I am still fading into the desert and the last flight of that magnificent aeroplane, Diocle! Wonderful, simply wonderful - and so cinematic, too. I want to see this as a film but of course that imagistic illusion is nothing but a quality of your writing. It is the emotions and friendships in this writing which really move me. And the scenes- under the parachute awning, the wheel casing breaking, the parched lips, and so on - poignant and tragic all at the same time!

    Please keep updating although I do not want this to end!

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