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A Roman-Style Latrine, The Setting For Murder

This humorous reconstruction of a Roman-style latrine should not prompt you to think of it as a place for pleasurable socializing. In fact, most of the latrines were dark, dank, and dirty. Just look at the Roman version of toilet paper, a communal sponge on a stick. In June's latest short story, “The Confession,” the sponge stick is a murder weapon as well.


The story opens on the eve of Iso’s crucifixion for killing Cato, a Roman citizen, sandal maker, and foul-mouthed, skulking jackal. But is Iso really guilty? Baba claims his friend was merely the lame witness who couldn’t run out of the latrine as fast as the killer did.


And so, Baba enlists Miriam bat Isaac’s help to stop the execution. Although only the emperor can do that, she has powerful friends who might be able at least to postpone it until a thorough investigation can be made. But she has fewer than twenty-four hours, and who is the real killer anyway?


The story appears online in Gargoyle, Issue 8, an international literary magazine specializing in the recklessly eclectic. You can download the story for free. Just click here.


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