19. The Golden Evening Rushed In

8/25/17— I should admit — at least in these pages — that I have come to care for Tereus: A man who revolted, angered and disgusted me — someone whom I hated. There are times when I still hate him, when his coldness and lack of empathy surprise and anger me. I’ve always respected his […]

18. The Carnal Pleasure of Work

7/15/17— Did I say the labor was unremitting? I had no idea. Now, in midsummer, all intellectual labor has ended, and leisure is a fond memory. We’re in the thick of manual labor, back-breaking at times. I have been canning for days on end, drawing water and chopping wood, standing for hours on end over […]

16. I Wish You Could Forgive Me

Tereus wakes well before dawn, like he used to long ago in billets and bivouacs. The farmhouse is still, though the others will wake up soon. He urinates and masturbates, spending just a bit longer on the latter activity. He slips down the stairs and out the door in his stockinged feet, boots in hand. […]

14. Xialo

Tereus enters a long, dark period. Later, it will feel as if he’d fallen under a fairytale curse. During this time, he engages in unbridled brutality, beating Lavinia, raping the odd parlormaid and terrorizing his valet. He has a series of  near-fatal carriage and riding accidents, which prove that neither is a reliable method of suicide. […]

13. Free Fall

Over the years that follow Sieia’s flight, Lucius and Valeria start to fill their nursery. Through some strange miracle, Lucius is an affectionate husband and father. Not only can he tell his children apart, he has an intimate knowledge of their likes and dislikes, and their intellects and temperaments. He and Valeria are aware that […]

12. The Few Positive Duties of Fatherhood

For the second time, Tereus’s valet informs him that Lady Sieia has gone missing. This time, she’s gone to some trouble to deceive her keepers. She packed her doll and a change of clothes undetected, and left the house on foot at midday. When the butler summons the second footman to be questioned, he’s missing, […]

11. Foreshocks

Tereus wakes gradually. The light seems wrong. It’s afternoon or evening, or a storm has rolled in and obscured the sun. He feels so fucking miserably ill that it takes him a moment to appreciate that he’s not in jail, and though the skin is broken on the knuckles of both hands, he’s not covered […]

10. Going Headlong to the Devil

Why is Tereus so miserable? He could recite a litany of trivial complaints. Attendance may be thin, due to the scandal. A few families have cut their acquaintance entirely, and Tereus has found it too painful to maintain ties to the military community. They don’t entertain regularly, so much of fashionable society may simply find […]