Rome’s Last Song

Rome's Last Song by Pritesh Patil

Thea lounged on a luxurious settee, watching Rome burn through the window. Her lover, Neera, fiddled and danced through the cavernous room, delighting in the screams of agony as the souls of Romans left their mortal shells.

Times were, Thea wondered whether she had fallen in love with a monster. She had been told that madness ran through Neera’s veins. That she had sipped deep from Gaia’s well, bitten into the Old Goddess’s firmament and tasted divine ichor.

Dust to dust,
Ashes to Ashes,
And Earth to Earth.
All of Rome will burn.

Neera sang and fiddled through the cavernous chamber, dancing to the tunes of a dead Goddess. The faster she fiddled, the faster the flames spread. Her lilting voice joined the agonized screams of tormented Roman souls.

Thea approached Neera, hugged her from behind, and slipped a dagger through her breast.

“The time of Divinity has passed, dearest lover. Wait for me in Tartarus.” With that, she let Neera’s body fall to the ground, her eyes wide with shock.

Times were, Thea would’ve smiled at a job well done, but as flames fanned the city, her heart remained cold as ice. The divine assassin had murdered the only woman she’d ever loved.

Without further thought, she stabbed herself in the heart, to rejoin her lover in Tartarus, deep on the bowels of the earth.

Dust to dust,
Ashes to Ashes,
And Earth to Earth.
All of Rome burnt.⁠⁠⁠⁠


Eyeballs by Pritesh Patil

Aindrila was an aspiring author, a talented one even, but after her first taste of success, she yearned for even more. But in those days success was hard to come by, and the ones who spent the most money got the most eyeballs. Her writing was pure, her muse was happy, but Aindrila wasn’t content with the slow, steady nature of her success.

“Eyeballs, I want more eyeballs. No, I need more of them!” She screamed in a fit of rage and agony.

And so she made a deal with a demon. No, not any demon, but with the King of Hell himself, Crowley. She was willing to sell her soul, but that wasn’t enough for Crowley.

‘The market is saturated with souls. People are willing to sell souls for a slice of pizza and good fries. Nay, I want something more, something I can use,’ he said in his slick, oily voice.

‘Whatever you want, take it, take it, but give me what I deserve’, said Aindrila, in desperation.

‘Your muse’.

‘Take it!’ Screamed Aindrila, ‘But help me…help me,’ she said softly.

‘Done,’ Crowley smiled. ‘Go home and sleep, you will have what you want when you wake up’.

Aindrila smiled her deranged smile, and ran home gleefully. After all, what was the trading of a mere muse when she was getting so much more in return.

She went home and fell asleep, thoughts and dreams of fame, renown, book signings and movie deals filling her head.

When she woke up the next day, she felt a heavy weight on her. She tried to get up, but the weight only increased, and she felt trapped under some squishy, fleshy substance.

She opened her eyes and she saw that her room was filled to the brim with eyeballs. Squishy, squashy, glassy, eyeballs, whirling here and there, some with blood still on them, staring at her in horror, holding the torment they’d suffered before being pulled from their bodies.

As she suffocated and drowned in those vicious eyeballs staring at her, wishing their anguish upon her, she began laughing. A hopeless sound, full of despair and excruciating terror.

Oh how she laughed…even as she drowned, as she realized that she would become famous after all, but only as a victim when the reporters and cops found her, much like the victims in her stories.

Finally, her laughter turned into a gagging sound as one after another, the eyeballs entered her mouth and choked her to death.


P.S. – I See You’ by Aindrila Roy is available on Amazon.