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(Note: this author took artistic credit in this short historical fiction and defines truth as ‘a statement that a person holds as true’ Please read into the story accordingly.)
Caesar stood upon his balcony, looking upon the city of the empire he had helped conquer the world. The Jewel of his Crown, people said. The ultimate seat of Caesar’s power. For this was where the Senate, that paradigm of democracy and ultimate civilisation, was situated. And everybody knew that they were all in Caesar’s pocket. Nobody minded, they loved Caesar too. And that was the truth of it, they said.
The thought of this was nearly enough to make Caesar puke. The Senate, civilised? The most corrupt, bloodthirsty, greedy mongrels were what they were. He spit over the railing, into the throng of the most powerful people in the empire, passing his house. This was the neighbourhood of the most influential people in the empire, people said. They were the wealthiest, the smartest, the one who could kill you and your family with a twitch of their middle finger. And that was the truth of it, they said.
Caesar pitied them. Weak-minded fools, searching for power, sucking up to the Senate for even a glimpse of it. He graced them by walking among them, a god among men. Speaking of that…Caesar’s lips twisted downwards as he thought of the Senate meeting later. Well, no help for it, he thought.
The trip to the Senate was uneventful. However, as he walked through the market, a man jumped out. His eyes were wild, his pupils jagged, and spittle flew from his mouth as he spoke, as if he was a rabid dog. “Fear the Kalends of July!’ He screamed. People said that this man, and others like him, were not madmen, but rather prophets. Their minds could not handle the strain of godly forethought, but their cryptic remarks still told of the future. Pay caution, they advised, for some were even the gods in disguise. And that was the truth of it, they said.
Julius kicked him aside like so much refuse.
A few minutes later, he stood before the Senate, internally spitting in disgust of their weakness. The only one he remotely liked was Brutus. Brutus may be as well liked as he was, but he was a loyal servant. No, Brutus would never betray him for power.
Just then, one of the scoundrels of the Senate leaned forward, eyes glinting as he stared unflinchingly at Caesar. “We have many things of importance to discuss.” he rasped. “However, I, for one, have something I find beyond these petty matters.” Julius looked at him in contempt. “Speak.”
“We have sources that say that you plan to become a King,” he spat the last word out like it was poison. “Is this true?” Julius looked at him in confusion. Of all things he expected that snivelling coward Octavius to say, that was not it. “What do you mean? I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, actually not rude for once.
“You lie,” the councilman next to him hissed. Suddenly, Caesar found himself on the ground, a dagger in his side. What? Impossible! There were no weapons allowed in the Senate!
Clearly, they had still done it. Before a second had elapsed, daggers were drawn, and Caesar found himself on the wrong end of twenty knives. He could easily defeat them one on one, but with all of them at him at once…
The assailants had to literally queue up to stab Caesar as he was, sprawled on the ground. Initially, Julius tried to defend himself. “Brutus!” he screamed. “Help!”
Then he saw him. Standing in the crowd of fools a dagger in his hand. Caesar’s heart broke for he knew, for a brief, fleeting moment, the truth. “Et tu, Brutus?” he whispered. As he covered his head with his cape and waited for the end, his mind sunk into denial. Brutus would never, ever, betray him. He was the best, most loyal servant he could have. Brutus was still on his side.
And that was the truth of it.
Men who surround themselves with immutable truths, stay with delusion and ignorance as immutable bedfellows.