BOOK PREVIEW: ‘Jottings From a Far Away Place’ by Brendan Connell
Note from Jay Slayton-Joslin: Recently we’ve had the chance to read Jottings From a Far Away Place by Brendan Connell. It’s a wonderful book. Brendan, and the kind folks at Snuggly Books, were kind enough to let us publish an extract. To read what we thought about the book see our review. Otherwise, enjoy.
TISSUES AND BANNERS
(an excerpt from Jottings from a Far Away Place by Brendan Connell)
Her mother would have done better to have given birth to a bottle of poison, a bag of scorpions, a famine—but instead this widow of a keeper of circus animals gave the world Theodora. The less said the better about her childhood, her upbringing, which was like maggot-infested flesh. It is well-known, anyhow, that in the Hippodrome where her father had displayed his bears, she performed promiscuous mime acts, exciting the entire populace of the city, making them grunt like pigs and laugh like monkeys. They clapped their hands and dribbled their wine. Later, she took to prostitution on a grand scale, showing herself an expert in the trade, seeming to enjoy it more than her customers, who came from all walks of life to let themselves be perverted by this young lamia, that flower of depravity who fed on their souls, made them drunk with lust and glad that they could empty their purses at her naked feet which danced about, arching, toes wiggling.
After eating a host of men,—of smiths, burly masons, bakers with flour under their nails, shipwrights, historians, vintners, smelters, strong-shanked laborers, retired soldiers, new recruits, bald gynecologists, drunk carpenters and mariners—she finally fell in with the emperor himself. That he fell in love with her is no wonder. Wraith and unclean spirit go together. He was fascinated by all things evil in this world and wanted nothing better than to align himself with the worst possible mate.
The world had never known such a cruel woman—a woman who did away with her only son after he came begging her for help and who indeed made all decisions based on political expediency, self-preservation, and her own need for pleasure, filling her dungeons with shivering landowners whom she deprived of their fortunes while filling her bed with pornographic youths dredged up from the filthiest hovels of the city.
When he took his marriage vows, the bride insisted that he wet his mouth with the blood of a freshly killed chicken. He did this and, in fact, remained a faithful husband.
There was a man who, after many years of practice, finally was able to liquefy marble with his bare hands.
A useless skill.
A very brave soldier cut off his own head and walked over ten miles to present it to his king.
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