The Sacred Antinous - Erotically-charged, Explicitly Illustrated, Queer-Themed Historical Fiction about Antinous and Hadrian
Sacred Texts
  ~000 Introduction
  ~001 Arrival at Caelian Hill
  ~002 Life at the Paedagogium
  ~003 Monsters and Heroes
  ~004 The Private Baths
  ~005 The Soaps of Cyprias
  ~006 The Treachery of Gryllus
  ~007 Assurances and Endurances
  ~008 The Demise of Trenus
  ~009 The Surprise Inspection
  ~010 Little Donkey
  ~011 Whispering Hope
  ~012 Epigrams for Antinous
  ~013 Books from Maltinus
  ~014 Little Signals
  ~015 Promotion
  ~016 Juvenalis IX
  ~017 A Frothy Idea
  ~018 Evening on the Riverbank
  ~019 Across the Leagues
  ~020 Unprecedented Access
  ~021 Winged Mercury
  ~022 Dinner Guest
  ~023 Causes of Nausea
  ~024 New Pupil
  ~025 Wax, Soap, and Wool
  ~026 Four Daughters
  ~027 Vitalis Atones
  ~028 Futures and Histories...
  ~029 The Triumph of Desire
  ~030 An Image of Antinous
  ~031 The Ride From Rome
  ~032 The Villa at Tibur
  ~033 The Ride To Rome
  ~034 Praeconina
  ~035 Foolish Carisius
  ~036 The Christian Texts
  ~037 Married Pleasures
  ~038 In Tibur, Alone
  ~039 The End of Corinthus
  ~040 Turning Tables
  ~041 A History & Fantasy...
  ~042 A Sad Collection
  ~043 Rafts in a Raging Sea
  ~044 Rome, Home and History
  ~045 A Caravan of Monologue
  ~046 On Favorinus
  ~047 The Flesh of a Metaphor
  ~048 Disquieting Thoughts
  ~049 Purple Reign
  ~050 The Heart of Numidia
  ~051 Stables of the Palatine
  ~052 Hadrian's Deprivation
  ~053 Transcripts and Categories
  ~054 In the Wake of a Paradox
  ~055 Father of the Country
  ~056 The First Night with Hadrian
  ~057 A Place in the World
  ~058 Hard Resolution
  ~059 Announcements...
  ~060 Keeping Company
  ~061 The Stallions' Ride
  ~062 The Tour Begins
  ~063 On the Isthmus
  ~064 On Grief
  ~065 The Eleusian Mysteries
  ~066 A Playful Wager
  ~067 The Delights of Athens
  ~068 On Receiving
  ~069 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~070 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~071 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~072 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~073 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~074 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~075 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~076 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~077 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~078 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~079 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~080 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~081 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~082 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~083 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~084 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~085 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~086 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~087 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~088 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~089 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~090 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~091 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~092 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~093 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~094 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~095 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~096 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~097 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~098 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~099 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~100 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~101 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~102 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~103 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~104 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~105 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~106 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~107 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~108 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~109 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~110 Epistle Coming Soon
Phallic Amulets

A History and Fantasy of Murder


There is a great and colossal despair in my heart when I write your name. For suddenly I question if the person to whom it refers is real, or lives as but a ghost in my imagination. My hand, though it scratches onto paper each successive word, is weighted heavily with the assumption that you shall surely never read them. Why, then, do I even bother to address it? Why not simply write, and then burn, these words? Why not simply abandon my writing forever?

Mordanticus shall not be receiving this letter. Never again shall I visit him to hand him my scrolls. For I am wary of him in a way that is at once frightening and sickening. I wish to strangle him or stab him with a soldier’s sword. I long to see him a corpse.

Where am I? I am stymied. I am obstructed. I am chained and immobile, yet desperate and flailing in agony. Why, O Lysicles, must I continue so obtusely to write?

I suppose it is a compulsion. One that cares little for the audience, and wishes only to find its expression. That I have flattered myself these past few years with the fantasy of some future audience is irrelevant to and independent of the extraordinary need to set it down. Therefore I report it, for no other reason than to have it expelled from my body and my soul.

“It was I who killed Gryllus,” said Decentius. The admission came from nowhere; was preceded by nothing. We sat together on the riverbank, staring across at the distant shore. The sun was sinking low.

I turned to him in amazement, yet could say nothing. I was dumbfounded to hear such a name from my past; aghast at hearing it spoken from the mouth of Decentius; astonished at the news that the man indeed was dead.

“He was monstrous,” spoke Decentius. His voice was flat and without expression. “Deranged. He effected before my very eyes a crime of such unspeakable cruelty that I was overcome in my rage. I drew my sword, stabbed him, and, with the help of those who had witnessed it, buried his body in the woods.”

There was a long silence then, until I finally managed to croak out a single word: “Why?”

“He spoke of you. Of Antinous, whom he had discovered and cultivated from the wilds. He spoke of his love for you. His ardent commitment to your future. His—”

“That’s a lie!” I interrupted. “Gryllus had nothing for me but a violent and self-satisfying lust. He was cruel and unsavoury. I despised him.”

“I know,” replied Decentius. “He said as much. Nothing, of course, of his own deficiencies, but rather of your continual disdain for him.”

“When was all this?” I asked. Decentius considered, and answered, “It was just after your inspection. Gryllus, who had suddenly lost you to the Emperor, wandered into my company, and told his peculiar tale about an astonishing boy named Antinous. So enflamed was he; so unsteady and disturbed, that I found myself marveling at the possibility of such a mythical youth. And then, on my first posting at the Palatine, I encountered once again your name, whispered among a pair of passing courtiers. They spoke about the boy, Antinous, who had captivated the Emperor. I was terrified. For Gryllus had indeed promised me I would hear your name again. And then, like a smirking specter from beyond the grave, there it was on my very first day: Antinous. I resolved to illumine for myself the mystery, and sought my posts in such a way that I could discover to my own satisfaction the reason for your fame. My appearance, therefore, outside the office of Mordanticus, was not a random accident. I had maneuvered myself to be there.”

“Why are you telling me this?” I asked him. For confusion still reigned paramount in my soul. He sighed heavily, and continued: “Gryllus spoke of your letters. Of his secret and appalling thrill at reading them. Of knowing your private thoughts concerning his person.”

I shook my head, still unable – or perhaps unwilling – to comprehend. Decentius continued, “He had a contact at the Palatine. Someone who was in a position to receive your letters, and allow Gryllus to access them.”

“Bellator?” I asked. Decentius didn’t think so: “I questioned him. I posed as an investigator in search of Gryllus. I asked after the letters and he told me to whom he had forwarded them. He was not lying.”

“Mordanticus,” I finally said. The weight of that name caused it to plunge from my head into the pit of my stomach. I felt suddenly very ill.

“I could not confirm it, Antinous, because I could not read. But now, having finally learned the Greek, I have watched and observed on the various occasions when you have delivered your letters. I have seen him place them with great showmanship upon the pile that is bound for Antioch. I have watched your hopeful and trusting face leave his office. And I have been on duty at nights, when my fellow guard has gone to relieve himself. The lock to his office door is a pitiful mechanism, easily bypassed. Thus, newly literate, I have inspected the pile to Antioch. And your letters are never among them, Antinous, even on the very days in which Mordanticus has accepted them from you.”

“But why?” I demanded. “Why would he do such a thing?”

“Do you speak of Hadrian in your correspondence? Do you report on the conversations you have had? The words that are uttered by him? The courtiers with whom he converses?”

I am quite sure that my face paled long before it nodded. Decentius looked grave, and spoke: “In you, Antinous, lives the promise of a most perfect kind of unwitting spy. For on the coming day in which you are formally admitted into Hadrian’s bedchamber, just think of the information Mordanticus must imagine he shall soon be gleaning from you.”

“Is he plotting treason?” I asked. “I doubt it,” replied Decentius. “More likely, he has identified in your writings a means to effect his own political ambitions. They provide him with a definite tactical advantage as he maneuvers himself within the Palatine and in the loyal service of Hadrian, whom I know for a fact he admires. There is nothing grand about his plans. There is merely his personal career in mind.”

“What a fool I am!” It was a wail and an accusation; a cry of hopelessness and horror.

“Do not blame yourself, my friend,” said Decentius. “It is Mordanticus who has wronged you, and you can hardly be expected to understand, at so young an age, the complexity of people’s motives or the scope of their deceit. What is far more important is that you immediately stop handing him your letters.”

“By the gods, I shall stop writing them!” I exclaimed. But Decentius placed his hand on my shoulder and squeezed it. He smiled at me, “That would be a tragedy, for I should very much like you to continue the marvelous record of your life. If this Lysicles is so worthy of your love and your honor, you must not abandon him. Rather, write each of your epistles with the expectation that you shall one day deliver the lot of them in person.”

Although it was a very noble sentiment, I was persuaded more by the earnestness of his eyes than by the loftiness of his words. And so I returned home and began to write upon this parchment. It is, my friend, a very dubious letter, for I despair of it ever reaching your hands. And yet I have written it nonetheless.

Behold: It is complete. But I’ve no one to whom I may deliver it. Is that not pathetic? A.

The Sacred Antinous is an ongoing work of Historical Fiction, for contemplative and educational purposes.
Site Design & Content Copyright © 2006 - present, Infinitive Ink Limited | Contact
The Sacred Antinous