The Treachery of Gryllus
I am digging in, and now do all I can to spurn the monster Gryllus
and prove to him how resolutely I shall resist him. His deception
at the baths had upon me such an instant and considerable effect
as to render Elysian any and all previous violations. But his actions
in the subsequent months have only served to intensify my resolve
to a degree that I did not think it capable for a mere human being
When he sought to see me the next time, Vestinus came to me and
ordered that I follow. But I refused. I let it be known to the Paedagogiarch
that I no longer wished to see Gryllus as his previous visitation
had caused me to miss a General Inspection (something that Vestinus
obviously already knew and no doubt had had a hand in perpetrating).
How absurd that such a statement, uttered by a schoolboy, should
so infuriate the master that he would set the iron rod upon me.
Even more despicably, he called from their lessons many of the other
boys to witness it. Gryllus was also invited to attend the spectacle,
and stood quietly at the back of the room, staring serenely at my
rump while the pain shot through my backside.
After no fewer than ten strokes of the iron, Vestinus turned me
round to face the class and the expressionless gaze of Gryllus.
“Hast thou reconsidered?” asked the master. “I
have not,” I replied. And he spun me around again to continue
the punishment. There were this time twenty excruciating blows,
after which he turned me again to face the world. “Hast thou
reconsidered?” asked the master.
occurred to me that this punishment could and most likely would
go on indefinitely – so long as I held my ground. And I knew
that I could not endure such pain as that for much longer. Thus
I capitulated, and was promptly taken by the ear past the grinning
face of Carisius to be delivered into the triumphant quietude of
Gryllus. He took me then to the room at which we had had our first
few encounters – the small yet lavishly appointed chamber
that I had once long ago attempted to avoid with a bout of intentional
uncleanness. He shut the door and sat upon the bed, staring at me
as I stood quietly, doing my utmost to look past him. “What
shall be done with you?” he asked. I did not respond. He sighed
deeply. “Lie down,” he commanded, “and I shall
salve your wounds.” I did as he commanded, and lay gingerly
down upon the bed beside him. I stared at the ceiling and lay motionless
while he bent over to take me into his mouth. But I was deliberate
in my refusal to be engaged by his rhythm, and after a long while
of his meaningless exertions he finally ceased. He sat up and looked
down at me with a flushed and exhausted face.
“Very well,” he said at last, as though coming to
a private conclusion. “If you will not take the pleasure,
then you shall provide it.” And he rolled me over upon my
face and entered me, intending for the sting to be severe. But I
am first and foremost a student of Arkamedes, and as such became
for him but a straw man; a doll that he could prod to his content.
Though I did not resist, neither did I engage him. And it was this
very lack of a cultured and animated mind, combined with the stubborn
refusal to acknowledge him, which succeeded, I believe, in irritating
Gryllus far more than the thrust of his manhood could do so to me.
He finished angrily and we parted coldly. I returned to my schoolwork
without a word, ignoring whatever stares and sneers I garnered.
On the next occasion when Gryllus visited, which was approximately
one month later, he had softened somewhat and attempted to appease
me with such a thin apology that I instantly doubted his sincerity.
Thus still I kept my distance, a state by which I intended to make
clear to him that I was no longer and would never again be his.
“What shall we do today?” he asked without a hint of
irony. “Do with me whatever you want,” I told him flatly,
“for I take from you neither pleasure nor pain. I am numb
to all that is Gryllus.” And I knew this infuriated him, for
it rendered him utterly powerless to dominate my spirit –
regardless of how he wrangled my flesh. I had pre-empted his every
attack, for nothing
he could or could not do to me would nullify my ambivilence toward
him. Thus, as his rage finally bubbled over, he pushed me down upon
my knees, swept aside his toga and grabbed at my hair. He thrust
mercilessly into my throat, and ‘twas all I could to do gasp
for air and keep from choking. Within moments Gryllus had spurted
into me, holding my skull tight against his groin and forcing me
to swallow the sickly substance. I coughed and gagged at the creeping
slime and ripped my head away, which caused him to laugh at what
he brusquely called my “ineptitude.” He strutted then
from the room, leaving me with my jawbone helplessly seized and
my neck in knots. But I thanked the gods that it was over, and that
I was for the time being done with him.
Since that day, which was almost six weeks ago, he has not re-appeared,
but the assaults of Carisius and his cronies have intensified, and
it is perfectly obvious to me why. Gryllus is working through Vestinus
to punish me. Yet this only serves to strengthen my resolve and
fortify my spirit against him. I know that if I can resist Gryllus,
I can certainly resist the thoughtless pain inflicted from a gang
of stupid boys. And so I have recently started arriving at my lesson
with bruises and burns, limps and lurches, rendering it quite impossible
for Maltinus (or anyone, for that matter) to be unaware of what
is transpiring. Should I have any secret allies among the other
boys, they are no doubt paralyzed by their fear to be seen to support
me. Trenus does his best to be brave, but I know that even he is
becoming wary of spending too many hours at my side, and thus have
I with not so many words released him of the obligation. Already
is he drifting away, and the island of my isolation grows forever
smaller amid a rising sea of hostility, neglect, and cowardice.
With regards to Maltinus, I suspect the poor man is quite powerless
to intervene, for it would be unwise of him to contest the will
of Vestinus who sanctions and effectuates all that Gryllus malignantly
wishes upon my person. The only action available to him with which
he can demonstrate his regard for me is to continue to accept these
letters, which he then sends onward unto you. (I must ask him after
the details, however, as I am having serious doubts that his channels
are meeting with success.)
Let us hope and pray together that somehow this finds you and
delivers my steadfast love into your hands. A.