Chapter 4

The ground beneath her feet tumbled and the sky pushed down on her shoulders. The many people around her morphed into strange beings with multiple heads and limbs. Clearly the shock from Quintus leaving had a heavy blow to her mental health. Dizziness consumed her mind and the cobblestones were almost immediately next to her head. At first the rock was strangely cold but moments after her head had made contact, warmth took over and her eyes flickered.

Mater...” she whispered. A distant cacophony of shrieks, shouts and short willed screams came next as her mother, Philia, grabbed her daughter and began to take Amelia through the vias; looking for someone with bandages to saturate the blood that fortunately was merely dripping from her head wound. Her sobs enveloped the ears of passersby and tortured them when they could not help.

Finally, a kind and humble woman with trustworthy eyes and a face to match ran out into the street with a basket of medical supplies. She dripped one bandage in a sweet smelling jar of what looked like jam.
“To help the wound heal faster.” She murmured head bowed and eyes on her quick hands.

“Thank you.” Philia said crisply. Amelia was still unconscious but Philia and the healer heaved her arms around their shoulders and dragged her through the small side roads as a shortcut to the villa.

***

“I can’t believe she reacted like that!” hollered Mrs Apollo “He has to go. Right now. Yes. Before she comes to her senses, get him to pack his bags and leave immediately Stephen.”
“Philia, think about this! We can’t possibly send him away at all now! She will go insane. I promise you that if he isn’t by her side when she is conscious again then she’ll do something... I don’t know what, but she will lose her sensible mind.” Stephen raised his voice equally.

Nytra shuffled into the room carrying two trays filled with delicious delights. One had the main courses of rich roasted door mice or pheasant with an array of sensual spices, designed to ignite the tongue with a roaring fire of fabulous tastes and textures. The second tray was bowls of olives and grapes, fruits and berries, cooked potatoes and raw vegetables to calm the stomachs. Tucked into the slave girl’s belt was a small bird’s feather - previously cleansed of course; the instrument was created to let the wealthy and indulgent masters and mistresses of the house to regurgitate the food. Therefore providing more room for the rest of the meal.

Nytra hated the ridiculous tool and always tried to hide it, in the hope they had forgotten the feather but they never did.

“Nytra, you are dismissed for this evening because I fear our rowing over you son may trouble you-” Stephen started saying.

“Don’t be ridiculous! Slave girl go fetch your son for us. We wish to tell him to leave immediately.” Philia sneered with an intent to affront Nytra. However, she meekly nodded and left the room.

Minutes later she returned with a distracted Quintus. Nytra squeezed his hand before fleeing the scene almost tearfully.

“We want you to leave.” and “We need you to stay.” were simultaneously yelled at the young slave boy, this surprised him since Stephen hadn’t backed down under Philia’s pressure. This entailed a whole new argument between the parents until the velvet curtains were yanked open to reveal a bewildered and terrified Amelia.

“What is going on today?!” she questioned.

“Nothing, dear.” Philia said loudly before swooshing to her daughter’s side and guiding her back to her bedroom.

“You are to stay here with us for a while longer, Quintus.” Mr Apollo gushed as not to waste the time the two had alone. “You can go now and I apologise for my wife’s terrible behaviour.”

The End

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