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Red Marble

On the upstairs landing of her Alexandria townhouse, twenty-eight-year-old Lucia Antonina tripped on the hem of her floaty peplos, a draped, ankle-length tubular garment open on one side. She plummeted down the sweeping staircase, past the walls veneered in red marble. …Her Herodian oil lamp, casting an apron of light that hardly scratched the darkness, escaped from her hand. Careening down the stairs, she heard it shatter against the lip of the bottom step. Its fragments soared through the air before the flame ignited the oil-soaked oriental rug at the base of the staircase.


So begins “The Fire", a short story in The Deadliest Deceptions, an investigation into the housefire death of a coquettish Roman matron. Lucia Antonina was rich, of course. Who else in Alexandria would have a sweeping staircase and walls veneered in red marble? But what exactly is red marble, and why is it so pricey?


Marble is a natural stone that forms when limestone metamorphoses. The carbonate minerals in limestone change over time from heat and pressure. The resulting marble is strong and durable with striking colors and pattern variations. The pink and red coloration is due to iron and feldspar impurities. As you can see in the pilasters and columns of the Grand Trianon, the red marble varies from orange-red to bright red, along with large white veins. Because of its unique beauty and rarity, it comes with a premium price tag.


But do not be disturbed by the cost of red marble. A copy of The Deadliest Deceptions will certainly cost you less. So, to watch the video, just click here.


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