Jennifer Sue

Time on My Hands Chapter 48 - 365-368 CE: Earthquake Orphans and Widows

Time On My Hands

Chapter 48: 365-368 CE: Earthquake Orphans and Widows

A massive earthquake {estimated 8+} occurred at about sunrise with an epicenter near Crete. The earthquake caused an uplift of 30 feet on the southwest corner of the island tapering to no uplift 30 miles east. Nearly every town on the island was destroyed. What had been the coast was now well above the water line. Tremors of the earthquake were felt in North Africa, Egypt, Anatolia, through out Greece and the Aegean Islands and even Italy. It caused widespread destruction in central and southern Greece. Worse was the resultant tsunami that struck Libya, Egypt, Cyprus, Sicily, and Italy.

Time on My Hands Chapter 47 - 364-365 CE: Bazram Absorbs Her Neighbors

Time On My Hands

Chapter 47: 364-365 CE: Bazram Absorbs Her Neighbors

Fiach again moved about so all could see the entrance and exit wounds heal while they watched.

“I’m going to be totally honest with you,” Fiach declared after rolling her shirt back down after the wounds disappeared. “The Clan Corvo is expanding and we are taking over neighboring farmsteads. We will not take farmsteads by force unless they start the violence. We will loan money to farmsteads at fair terms and rates as a few of you are already aware. If the loans default, we assume ownership of the farmstead, buying it at a fair price paying the owner the difference between the loan and the value of the farmstead. If they are interested, we work out terms for the ex-owner to continue as a tenant farmer.”

Time on My Hands Chapter 46 - 362-364 CE: Securing Sea Routes

Time on My Hands

Chapter 46: 362-364 CE: Securing Sea Routes

At 358 miles from Zarbam, the Island of Ibiza {GM 38.983162, 1.414738} was 64 miles east of the Cape de la Nau, Spain. The island was already populated when Phoenicians founded a port in 654 BCE. Ibiza then came under the control of Carthage. After Rome defeated Carthage, Ibiza negotiated a favorable treaty sparing further destruction. It's Carthaginian-Punic institutions and traditions continued well into the Empire days. The rocky island is 11.5 miles wide by 24.5 miles long oriented southwest to northeast making 221 square miles with a hot-summer Mediterranean climate bordering on a hot semi-arid climate. The island had some terracing for olive trees on the hilly interior with farm fields in the lower coastal areas with sheep and goats supplemented with fishing supporting a population of 5000. There was a well protected natural harbors also called Ibiza. Raben led a massive influx of Clan Corvo people, talking to the locals and buying land as ship after ship put into the port unloading the Clan Corvo immigrants.

Time on My Hands Chapter 45 - 361-362 CE: The End of Alpes Graiae Et Poeninae

Time on My Hands

Chapter 45: 361-362 CE: The End of Alpes Graiae Et Poeninae

"Not only do I learn human languages, I can speak with all animals," Raben explained. "I use ravens as my eyes, I can see what they see, I can hear what they hear. They scout for us. In return we see they are fed and sheltered and we attend to any wounds they might suffer."

Needless to say the natives were quite unnerved by what Raben told them but the ravens did seem to be talking to him. Raben stayed ashore that night. The next morning all but 1 ship set out to scout the other islands. The natives were amazed as Raben answered their every question and they answered most of his. Each day more natives arrived until by the end of the third day they had a representative from every village present.

Time on My Hands Chapter 44 - 356-361 CE: The Raven Raiders Fight

Time on My Hands

Chapter 44: 356-361 CE: The Raven Raiders Fight

For the 356 campaigning season, Julian linked up with the main body of the Gaul militia which involved a long march through country swarming with Alemanni raiding bands. Julian surprised and drove off a large Alemanni force that had surrounded Augustodunum {PD Autun} and defeated a raiding band in the wilderness. At Reims, Julian showed his boldness by deciding to deal with the Alemanni problem at the source by marching straight to Alsace and restoring Roman control of the Rhine. On the way his troops were ambushed. Nearly a quarter of his forces were destroyed by a large band of Alemanni but neither side emerged victorious. At Brotomagus {PD Brumath} in Alsace, Julian's forces routed another Alemanni band. After assessing the situation in Alsace, Julian decided that his force was insufficient to prevail over the Alemanni alone. Instead, he set out to recover Colonia Agrippina, leading his army via Augusta Trevorum to Roman-held Koblenz and then down the Rhine.

Time on My Hands Chapter 43 - 353-356 CE: A Time to Watch, A Time to Fight

Time on My Hands

Chapter 43: 353-356 CE: A Time to Watch, A Time to Fight

Then just as quietly as he’d arrived, Raben would slip off into the forests without a trace. After two weeks Raben had found and visited every sizeable Alemanni camp. The first camps he’d visited sent out riders to warn the other camps the Demon Slayer was about but even with additional guards and heightened awareness none spotted Raben, the tigers or the wolves. The old tale of the Demon Slayer told he’d silently killed the slaver guards and then silently slit the throats of nearly a hundred slavers. They now understood that what most had considered a fanciful tale could very well be true.

Time on My Hands Chapter 42 - 352-353 CE: Frolicking on the Rhine

Time on My Hands

Chapter 42: 352-353 CE: Frolicking on the Rhine

The Alemanni leadership were waiting in the ruins of the city of Argentorate {PD Strasbourg}. Delegates were sent out to the caravan asking for a parley. Raben agreed telling his people to set up camp for the night. Then he, 3 tigers and 30 wolves headed into the invader’s parley camp as 3 eagles and over 300 ravens circled overhead. That Raben went to the parley without any men told the Alemanni he had absolutely no fear of them.

For the first few moments the quite imposing Chnodamar tried to stare down the physically unimposing Raben. Accustomed to being dominant, the fact Raben met him stare to stare started to get under his skin. Then without breaking eye contact, Raben began to smirk. Suddenly the tigers let out simultaneous almost deafening deep throated roars that quite literally rattled the unprepared listeners bones while making their chests quiver. Much to his disgust, Chnodamar found himself blinking and taking a step back.

Time on My Hands Chapter 41 - 347-352 CE: Colonizing the Azores

Time on My Hands

Chapter 41: 347-352 CE: Colonizing the Azores

Since Christianity had taken hold of the Clan Ravn the burial practices changed. The circular burial mound of Olvris was huge, 180 feet in diameter and 19 feet high, had been fine for the honoring the Norse gods, but was considered a bit too ostentatious for Christianity. Svenn decided the mound could become a dynastic memorial for those who led Bazram.

Family members had been buried around the burial mound and that would continue, however, the successors of Olvris would be buried atop the mound. As the first successor, Bjorn would be buried on the top with a simple gravestone. When Svenn’s time came, he would be buried beside his grandfather, with future successors following suit as the grave sites wound around and down the hill. There would be more than enough room to bury centuries of successors. Svenn would also erected a huge memorial stone listing the names and lineage of those buried in and on top of the burial mound along with the dates of the birth, rule, and death. Additions would be made as needed.

Time on My Hands Chapter 40 - 343-347 CE: A Revised Grand Tour

Time on My Hands
Chapter 40: 343-347 CE: A Revised Grand Tour

At Regensburg the Regen River joins the Danube. The confluence of the two rivers occurs in a relatively flat alluvial valley which led to the several large islands in the rivers. The crossing of the Regen was about 100 feet wide. Then it was 80 feet to an island in the Danube, 70 feet to the next island, 80 feet to the third island, then 100 feet to the opposite side of the Danube. From there they headed south to Lake Constance, only this time they went around the east side.

The aurochs and tarpans had been wary of being so close to humans throughout the trip, but true to Raben’s promises, they had been safe and well fed. The longer they traveled with the humans, the more they realized these humans were different from others. While the humans could be deadly, they respected the animals. As the animals entered into the upper Rhone river valley they saw the wall being built across the entrance as well as the defensive walls on the mountains. They saw hundreds of carefree domesticated animals grazing in the fields.

Time on My Hands Chapter 39 - 343 CE: We Will, We Will Aurochs You!

Time on My Hands

Chapter 39: 343 CE: We Will, We Will Aurochs You!

Since the head of harbor security had witnessed the deceased man’s attack on the harbor master he ruled Fiach’s actions justifiable homicide, thus there would be no criminal charges.

“Thanks for saving my life,” the harbor master shivered at his close brush with death. “Did you really try to buy this zoo?”

“Yes,” Fiach said. “But not at his price. I’ll pay for his funeral if I can have the animals.”

“That’s a fair price,” the harbor master eagerly accepted the offer.

Time on My Hands Chapter 38 - 334-343 CE: The Zoo

Time on My Hands
Chapter 38: 334-343 CE: The Zoo

They plans were adjusted so the 80 ships could sail in 10 ship fleets of colonists and supplies to leave at 1 week intervals. That would ease loading and unloading jams at both ends of the voyage. Each 10 ship fleet could do 2 voyages a year. Leaving Zarbam in mid-April the first 10 ship fleet would load and unload in 6 days conducting a 7 week resupply voyage. One of the July voyages would include the 5 yearly Bazram ships. The spring fleets would take 2100 colonists, 50 each from Mazbar and Zamrab with the rest from Barmaz. The July fleet would take 2050 colonists, 50 from Bazram and the rest from Barmaz.

Petticoat Acres

Petticoat Acres
by Jennifer Sue

Benji was small and slender for his age. On top of that he was a late bloomer, looking more like a ten year old than his true age. As a result he was a frequent target for bullying in middle school. Now fourteen year old Benji Joe Carson forlornly sat in the seat of the World War Two vintage twin engine DC3 airplane. Three weeks after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, his parents had died in a car crash in Chicago. With no nearby relatives he’d been temporarily placed in an orphanage until they were able to reach his great uncle, Joe Carson. While he’d been bullied in school, the orphanage had been far worse. Fortunately Benji Joe was an ace student, so when he was pulled from his suburban school they gave him passing grades for the year. As a result the orphanage didn’t try to enroll him in their local school.

Now here it was June 1 and he was on the flagship aircraft of Trans Pixley Airlines heading toward their main hub, the Pixley International Airport. Having flown out of Chicago Midway Airport he was leaving the upper middle class Chicago suburbs that had been his lifelong home. He’d never heard of Pixley. It sounded like some place in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe on that new kiddie show, Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, that had debuted in February on the National Educational Television.

Time on My Hands Chapter 37 - 331-334 CE: Growing the Colony

Time on My Hands
Chapter 37: 331-334 CE: Growing the Colony

With his ability to communicate with animals Raben quickly understood the issue. Even when he told the seals they had to leave they resisted. They simply had no context to understand what the humans wanted. Even when Raben explained the humans would kill the seals if they didn’t leave, the large behemoths were not afraid of the puny humans. Raben sought out the alpha, a huge scarred bull seal. Despite his best efforts, the bull refused to yield the location and viciously attacked the noisy annoying little human.

I'm Still Standing

I’m Still Standing

by Jennifer Sue

Harry was a top notch auto mechanic in northern Lebanon County, Pennsylvania just outside the town of Fredericksburg. By twenty five he had started his own quite successful business, Blue Mountain Auto. Emma ran the office with the assistance of the daughter-in-laws while both sons and their daughter worked in the four bay shop with their dad. The son-in-law joined the business as a body man in a smaller two bay body shop annex. It truly was a family business. The business originally sat on a ten acre plot that was divided into two acre plots, one for the business and four for their homes. Needless to say, it was a solid, often profane, gearhead family.

The extended family was finishing their annual Thanksgiving feast, relaxing, as they enjoyed warm homemade pumpkin pie. Several of the men had to loosen their pants to handle their expanded girth. Everyone sat back smiling as the turkey induced lethargy spread.

As usual, Emma asked her grandchildren what they wanted for Christmas. The explanation was that Grandmothers had a special hotline to Santa. One by one she asked each excited kid as the adults chuckled at their excitement and anticipation. That was about to change.

Time on My Hands Chapter 36 - 330-343 CE: The Founding of Ramzab

Time on My Hands
Chapter 36: 330-343 CE: The Founding of Ramzab

Bjorn stood to speak. “We here at Olvishaugen have Raben Corvo and the clan he founded, Clan Corvo, to thank for our prosperity. We have grown greatly in population and land because of their assistance. My grandfather recognized our relationship with the Clan Corvo by declaring us the Clan Ravn. He was right but too stubborn to fully admit the truth. Yes we are the Clan Ravn, but more importantly, every one of us is also a member of the Clan Corvo. The reality and truth is that we are not two different Clans, but one single clan! Henceforth we shall be know as the Clan Corvo. Raben and Fiach Corvo are the Clan Corvo leaders and thus OUR leaders!

Those of the Clan Corvo cheered, obviously supporting the changes.

Time on My Hands Chapter 35 - 326-330 CE: Repositioning Clan Corvo

Time on My Hands
Chapter 35: 326-330 CE: Repositioning Clan Corvo

Raben wanted better for the Clan Corvo. To this end he decided to allow same sex couples to marry with the blessing of the Clan Corvo Church. Same sex couples could also start families using surrogates or adoption. Raben understood there could be a difference between a person’s physical sex and their gender. Intersex people like himself would have the right to choose their gender presentation or even to switch back and forth. The right to choose their gender presentation also applied to people who were mentally intersex {transsexual}. In addition, as he had done when inducting the captured Alemanni into the ranks of the Clan Corvo, polygamy was accepted in all it’s forms, polygyny {1 husband, multiple wives}, polyandry {1 wife, multiple husbands}, or a group marriage {multiple husbands and wives}.

Time on My Hands Chapter 34 - 312-326 CE: Establishing Another Legend

Time on My Hands
Chapter 34: 312-326 CE: Establishing Another Legend

“I have a suggestion for filling the vacant office,” Raben told Constantine. “I am the only senator with holdings in the province. The other senators who had estates here and to the west in Allobroge sold their estates to my grandfather when the Alemanni destroyed their estates 53 years ago. Barmaz escaped ransacking because we already had the defenses built plus my family is of Celtic and Germanic descent. The founder of the clan and my namesake, Raben, was the original Demon Slayer. My twin sister and I are both Demon Slayers. Because of that we were not attacked. The Clan Corvo is so large because my grandfather bought the 240,000 captured Alemanni who were sold into slavery. He brought them back home and married them into the Clan.”

“I have a relative who would be an ideal candidate for provincial governor and another who is head of the Clan Corvo Militia who would be an excellent duce,” Raben continued. “If I may be so bold, when I prove the metal of my Raven Raiders in the upcoming battles, I ask that the Clan Corvo lands in Allobroge be combined with those of Alpes Graiae Et Poeninae by imperial decree and that you appoint my candidates for Governor and Duce of the enlarged Alpes Graiae Et Poeninae, and make the positions hereditary to the Clan Corvo since we make up 99% of the population. The Clan Corvo has faithfully served the imperial cause since Emperor Severus, my ancestors and namesakes being the head physicians for the Caledonian Expedition.”

Time on My Hands Chapter 33 - 299-312 CE: The Raven Raiders

Time on My Hands
Chapter 33: 299-312 CE: The Raven Raiders

“Bjorn is right,” Raben agreed. “Reading and writing is a key to success if it is used by wise men. Outside those of us in Olvishaugen, I doubt if more than a handful of people within 600 miles can read and write. If you keep the ability to read and write a secret within your family, you can create a dynasty just as I have done.”

“That’s all well and good,” Olvir said. “However, it takes wealth to create a dynasty. While we are not poor we certainly are not wealthy nor do we have a greater source of wealth than our neighbors.”

Time on My Hands Chapter 32 - 298-299 CE: Clan Corvo Goes Norse

Time on My Hands
Chapter 32: 298-299 CE: Clan Corvo Goes Norse

Fiach learned about the Norse pantheon, a variation of the German pantheon but much harsher. She was most intrigued by Odin and his twin companions, the Ravens, Hugin and Munin. Odin was the ‘raven-god’ or ‘the priest of the raven sacrifice’, a poetic way of describing fallen warriors as “sacrifices” to the ravens and other carrion birds, with Odin as a decider of who lives and who dies in battle. In the same vein, ravens were called ‘the greedy hawks of Odin’. The spotting of ravens immediately following a sacrifice to Odin was taken as a sign that the god had accepted the offering. However ravens aren’t only birds of gore and carnage, they’re also exceptionally intellectual birds, and Odin was an exceptionally intellectual god. Hugin comes from the word hugr, thought. Munin comes from the word munr, which encompasses the concepts of thought, desire and emotion. They’re Odin’s intellectual/spiritual capabilities journeying outward in the form of fittingly intelligent and curious birds that resonate with Odin’s roles as battle god and death god. The sending forth of spiritual aspects of oneself to accomplish particular tasks, in the case of Hugin and Munin, the gathering of additional wisdom and knowledge to add to Odin’s already-prodigious store, was a common practice by Norse shamans and sorcerers.

Time on My Hands Chapter 31 - 297-298 CE: The Norse Connection

Time on My Hands
Chapter 31: 297-298 CE: The Norse Connection

By the end of May he was back in Barmaz. One of the priorities was to find a reliable source of iron, thus he decided to take another scouting trip along the east bank of the Rhine to the North Sea, similar to the one he took sixty years ago. Since all iron sources in Roman territory were locked down by existing organizations, a source that could be secured for the Clan Corvo outside Roman territory needed to be found. The difference from his last Rhine trip was he intended to travel as Fiach. Posing as an itinerant healer riding a horse along with a pack horse she set out. This would be her first trip north since Emperor Probus had abandoned the limes when he retracted the border to the Rhine.

Time on My Hands Chapter 30 - 285 CE: The Theological Connection

Time on My Hands
Chapter 30: 285 CE: The Theological Connection

Everyone was clearly shocked by that weird behavior wondering if perhaps Raben was crazy.

Then from the walls above them the a host of wolf howls answered. Raben howled once more. A dozen wolves loped from the low opening in the wall where the Mauvoisin, the stream coming from the side valley to join the Rhone at Agaunum. The galloping wolves headed for Raben.

People screamed and ran. The provincial troops fell back drawing their weapons. Maximian almost wet himself as his bodyguard nervously moved to surround him. Raben began yipping, the wolves replied as they trotted up to stand protectively on either side of Raben.

Time on My Hands Chapter 29 - 273-285 CE: The Thebian Legion

Time on My Hands
Chapter 29: 273-285 CE: The Thebian Legion

Just after dawn 500 Palmyrene cavalry formed in the square. They carried unlit torches and buckets of burning charcoal to ignite them. Firmus emerged with his entourage to address the troops. As he spoke, gesturing for emphasis he stopped abruptly. Everyone was stunned to see the feathered end of an arrow had appeared in his mouth. As his body crumbled and twisted they could see the point was protruding from the back of his neck. His second in command was quickly down with an arrow in his heart. The troops reacted with shouting while seeking the assailant. Those on the steps with the now dead Firmus ran in panic. Six more high ranking officers were dropped before they reached cover. By then dismounted troops were rushing into the temple.

Stay Cat Ion

Stay Cat ion

by Jennifer Sue

It was Friday, June 22 during the end of season JV baseball game to determine the county championship. The score was 2 to 3 in favor of the other team. There was a man on first with 2 outs at the bottom of the last inning. The pressure was on. Kyle stood at the plate staring down the pitcher. The pitcher was clearly sweating as he kept wiping his brow. The first pitch was a ball. Kyle had almost swung at it. The next ball was a strike, a real whiffer. Kyle began sweating. Soon the count was 3 and 2. Kyle then whacked 3 foul balls. Everyone held their breath as the next pitch came in. As the pitcher wound up, Kyle took a deep breath. As the ball flew to the plate Kyle decided it was a perfect pitch. With every bit of his strength, he swung for the sixth time this at bat, exhaling sharply as he did so. The CRACK echoed through the ball field. The ball sailed high for the center field fence. All eyes were glued onto the ball.

Time on My Hands Chapter 28 - 267-273 CE: Egypt is Crumbling

Time on My Hands
Chapter 28: 267-273 CE: Egypt is Crumbling

In February 267 Raben returned to Mazbar. Business for Corvus Construction was booming. It had attracted the best architects and engineers, work was done correctly, with good materials, on time and on cost. It had become the premier builder in the vicinity of Rome. Treatises were written on engineering and architecture with mathematical tables to figure out loads and spans for various materials. Formulas for different types of concrete were recorded. The books were copied and sold by Corvus Scriptorium.

Time on My Hands Chapter 27 - 259-267 CE: The Spry Centenarian

Time on My Hands
Chapter 27: 259-267 CE: The Spry Centenarian

The land around the south shore of Lac Leman had been settled by the Celtic Nantuatae tribe including up the upper Rhone river valley to the point it narrows just above Monthey. The rest of the upper Rhone valley had been settled by the Celtic Seduni tribe. The area south of Geneva at the western end of Lac Leman and east of the Rhone was settled by the Celtic Allobroges tribe. All three tribes had been conquered by the Romans during the times of Julius Ceasar and his successors. The tribes were not supplanted by the Romans, and after their initial conquest, stayed on the land in relative peace.

The massive influx of people was too much to absorb on the limited lands of the province Alpes Graiae Et Poeninae, more farmland was needed. With the purchase of the Roman Senatorial Estates, Raben now owned most of the land of the Seduni and the Nantuatae. To expand his land he set out exploring the land to the west of Barmaz and south of Lac Leman, what remained of the Nantuatae an that of the Allobroges. Many of the farms were subsistence level like he had bought in Barmaz. The better farmland was owned by absentee Senatorial landlords. Raben knew he could deal with the subsistence farms as he had done in Barmaz. The tougher deal would be to buy out the Roman Estates.

Time on My Hands Chapter 26 - 250-259 CE: A Barbarian Invasion Threatens Rome

Time on My Hands
Chapter 26: 250-259 CE: A Barbarian Invasion Threatens Rome

The plague drew Raben out of his avoidance of public life. As an Ianuarian he could not sit by allowing people to die. For the next several years he traveled from outbreak to outbreak treating the ill. Unfortunately the plague was smallpox, a respiratory virus with an incubation period of twelve days and lasting two weeks. Thirty percent of those contracting the disease died, another fifteen to twenty percent, dehydrated or starved to death. Even with Raben’s skills he couldn’t stop or prevent the disease. The best that could be achieved was seeing the ill were nursed which helped save those who would have died by dehydration or starvation. He did recommend the wearing of a cloth mask to cut down on caregivers catching the disease.

Time on My Hands Chapter 25 - 240-250 CE: Relocating Zamrab

Time on My Hands
Chapter 25: 240-250 CE: Relocating Zamrab

Three days later Fenea had cleared up her affairs. They stocked the wagon, bought the animals, and set out following the coast with a days rest at each city/town. The family took turns walking behind the wagon to stay in shape. It took five days on the road to Gibraltar, four days to Malaga, three days to Motril, three days to Almeria, three days to Garrucha, four days to Cartagena, three days to Alicanta, three days to Xabia, three days to Valencia, five days to Sant Carles de la Rapita, six days to Barcelona, and five days to Rosa, the last stop in Iberia, arriving on February 5, 240. Each night they set up camp utilizing an enlarged canvas lean-to. They all learned just how light a sleeper Raben was whenever one of them stirred during the night.

Time on My Hands Chapter 24 - 239-240 CE: Moving Right Along

Time on My Hands
Chapter 24: 239-240 CE: Moving Right Along

“Feasa, its over,” Fiach called out as she hurried to her hysterical companion. “We’re safe. Try to calm down so I can help you out from beneath your dead attacker.”

Trembling and gasping for breath Feasa managed to stop screaming as she looked at the shadowy shape kneeling by her. The shape sounded like Fiach and seemed similar in size.

“You’re safe,” Fiach soothed. “I’ll shift his body so you can squirm out from beneath him.”

As Fiach shifted the body Feasa felt the weight pinning her lessen. The need to distance herself from the dead man forced her into action. Without too much effort she slithered from beneath the body. Stumbling to her feet in the dim light of night, she was horrified to see Fiach release the body she’d rolled off of her. Glancing to where Fiach had been lying she saw the still body of another man. ‘Greater Jupiter,’ she shivered with wonder. ‘Were there more?’

“I killed five, wounded and captured one,” Fiach replied reaching into her kit to pull out a flint and steel. A lamp was quickly lit and then a torch.

Time on My Hands Chapter 23 - 239 CE: The Nerva of It!

Time on My Hands
Chapter 23: 239 CE: The Nerva of It!

Again with his speed and agility Raben quickly outdistanced the troops. By dawn he was alone about a mile from the northern tree line. Creeping to the top of a denuded hill he searched for signs of pursuit. Hundreds of soldiers were spread out across the devastated landscape clearly searching for him. Mounted troops waited where the roads entered the trees looking for him. It was clear they were not about to give up and he was effectively cut off from where he could easily slip away. It seemed nearly the entire garrison had been deployed.

For several minutes he tried to decide what to do. If he continued towards the forest he’d be spotted and swarmed. The mounted troops could cut his escape route until the foot troops reached him. With his battle skills it would be a bloodbath before they took him down. While he knew he’d resurrect, the pain and discomfort of dying was not something he relished. In addition, he knew the bloodied troops would take delight in slicing up his body and putting it on display. If he resurrected while being displayed... the thought was simply untenable.

Time on My Hands Chapter 22 - 235-239 CE: Emperor Roulette

Time on My Hands
Chapter 22: 235-239 CE: Emperor Roulette

Rome quickly discovered the warnings Raben had shared were quite apt. In April the Germanic tribes crossed the Rhine while Iazyges and Dacians crossed the Danube in hordes that even caused panic at the gates of Rome. The legions, who were already demoralized after their costly war against the Persians, were further discontented with their emperor when their homes were destroyed by the barbarian invaders.

In May Raben with the six trained scribes as well as their locally married wives and children traveled north to Barmaz with many of the manuscripts and all the equipment and supplies needed to set up what would become the main location of Corvus Scriptorium. One of the things Raben had specified for the library of the Corvus Scriptorium was the rooms be of all stone or brick with vaulted ceilings and stone shelving in order to be as fireproof as possible. A velum/parchment factory using the skins from the cattle, sheep, and goats was quickly constructed as well as an ink factory utilizing soot collected from the many chimneys throughout Barmaz. Sheets of papyrus were imported from Alexandria. Flax was added to the crops grown in Barmaz. Flax fibers would be processed into linen and linseed oil extracted from the seeds.

Time on My Hands Chapter 21 - 217-235 CE: The Last Sibling

Time on My Hands
Chapter 21: 217-235 CE: The Last Sibling

Raben traveled to Barmaz. The slaves he’d left behind on his last visit with the assistance of those he had sent after getting the imperial summons had completed basic stone boundary walls and had constructed sturdy stone bridges at every stream crossing. The log homes scattered about greater Barmaz had all been replaced with sturdy homes, barns and even outbuildings with sturdy stone foundations on terraced slopes. In the tiny village of Champery the main road opened onto a sloping plateau about a half mile after crossing the Torrent le Chavalet. There he selected a site that backed up against the steeply sloping ridge to the peak Crois de Culet [GM 46.180992, 6.871805 at 1962m].


Great Scott

by Jennifer Sue

A Memorial Day Tribute:

On the warm early April Saturday morning the eighth grade boys sounded pretty good as they rocked out in the garage of the Thompson home, especially for their age. The four boys had been playing together for nearly a year, switching from home to home as they drove their parents crazy with their pounding efforts. They knew they sounded good but there was something missing. They just couldn’t figure what.

Time on My Hands Chapter 20 - 217-222 CE: Sucked In, Chewed Up and Spit Out

Time on MY Hands
Chapter 20: 217-222 CE: Sucked In, Chewed Up and Spit Out

Since it was impossible to move existing buildings on the plateau, the first action would be to build replacements on the slopes for those. The first job would be to build homes for themselves, then the replacements would be done. The buildings would be cut into the slopes with a mostly earth enclosed basement, a partially enclosed 1st floor and an exposed 2nd floor. All three floors would have a ground level entrance. The earth covered portions would be built from stone utilizing the excavating rock where possible. The remaining excavated rock would be used to create terraces on the sides. In addition, one large plot was set aside for a large building with the intention to build a library and offices for a Barmaz location of Corvus Scriptorium. Raben had intentions of terracing much of the valley to create more farmable land as well as pasture or tree terracing in the areas currently impossible to use. During downtime, each farmstead was given areas to work on since large scale terracing was a generational project.

Time on My Hands Chapter 19 - 216-217 CE: Dealing With Corruption

Time on My Hands
Chapter 19: 216-217 CE: Dealing With Corruption

The bandits were stunned. Several were beginning to panic. There wasn’t supposed to be any problems raiding this sleepy village! “Get that little bastard,” an enraged Syphax bellowed. Several men rode towards the building Raben had climbed. Suddenly their antagonist raised up from behind the parapet with a bow. Almost instantly arrows flew with deadly accuracy, each taking down a bandit. Raben could accurately fire a deadly arrow every ten seconds. Eleven more bandits were quickly feathered. Syphax realized he was facing a devil and broke for freedom with the remaining six bandits. They galloped to the opposite side of the square to exit the way they had come in. Two more dropped with arrows feathering their backs as they fled.

The Bisley Boy, the Story of a Princess?

The Bisley Boy, the Story of a Princess?

by Jennifer Sue

After I screwed up my first contest entry, I pulled and completed another idea. I hope you enjoy

This is a piece of historical fiction based on facts and possible facts. Is it true or is it a fairy tale? The choice is yours.

Fools Rush In: The Unicorn Hero

Fools Rush In: The Unicorn Hero

by Jennifer Sue

Jimmy Warren trudged down the street with his hands forlornly thrust into his pockets. The eighth grader was lost in his muddled thoughts of only seven months more of middle school hell. Then there would be four years of high school hell. Maybe, if he survived, college would at least be tolerable. The week before Halloween chill wind whipped and swirled the brown dead leaves willi-nilli across the sidewalks and streets. As usual the backpack he carried was filled with books and weighed nearly half his scrawny seventy five pound weight. The added weight hunched his undersized four feet eight inch frame forward making it look like he was fighting hurricane force winds rather then normal fall zephers.

Unfortunately the day had been normal for the smallest boy in his class. Twice Gary Newhouse slammed him into the lockers as they passed from class to class while his stooge Will Kilmer knocked his books and notebooks from his arm immediately followed by crony Jeff Gray kicking them down the crowded hall. In phys-ed they took every opportunity to trip and jeer at him. No matter how hard he tried to avoid the six feet two inch two hundred twenty five pound fifteen year old the bully still unerringly sought him out.

Time on My Hands Chapter 18 - 216 CE: Libyan Desert Adventure

Time on My Hands
Chapter 18: 216 CE: Libyan Desert Adventure

In the fall Raben returned to Mazbar with a seventeen year old niece. There she fell in love with another young man, a step-grandson of Ulixes. They married the day before Raben sailed to Zamrab at the beginning of December. The reception he received from the Alexandrian Corvus Scriptorium staff was one of utter gratitude for warning them to avoid politics of any sort. They quickly explained what happened when Caracalla had landed a month before in Alexandria.

Time on My Hands Chapter 17 - 209-216 CE: Severus and Caracalla

Time on My Hands
Chapter 17: 209-216 CE: Severus and Caracalla

The twenty men kept a close watch on the forest as the others gathered their thirteen dead and dying. Staying together while hugging the tree line with four man shield walls protecting the front and rear
of their column. Two men carried each of the fallen as the remaining twenty one men formed an armed line beside those carrying the casualties.

The men on the beach maneuvered their shield wall to meet the warriors cautiously advancing toward them along the beach. After merging the group moved to place their dead beside the first dead. They were about to begin moving to gather the scattered dead sprawled about the encampment when they heard the approaching noise of the men returning down the canyon. In a few minutes those men emerged from the trees carrying their casualties.

Time on My Hands Chapter 16 - 208-209 CE: Caledonian Kidnapping

Time on my Hands
Chapter 16: 208-209 CE: Caledonia Kidnaping

Hadrian's Wall was a defensive fortification across the northern frontier of the province of Britannia. Begun in 122 during the reign of Emperor Hadrian, it was the northern limit of the Roman Empire. Immediately to the north were the lands of the Britons and Picts, the Caledonians. Hadrian's Wall built over six years, extending west from the River Tyne to the Solway Firth. Although the seventy three mile long wall did not mark the end of the line of defensive structures. A system of milecastles continued along the west coast. There were milecastles with two turrets in between. There was a fort about every five miles. The milecastles were staffed with static garrisons whereas the forts had fighting garrisons of infantry and cavalry. In addition to the wall's defensive military role, its gates served as customs posts.

Once at Hadrian's Wall, Severus initiated a massive rebuilding project which finally remade the whole wall into stone. This led to later Romans calling Hadrian's Wall the Severan Wall. After starting the renovation/rebuilding project Severus marched north.

Time on My Hands Chapter 15 - 205-208 CE: Drafted by the Emperor

Time on My Hands
Chapter 15: 205-208 CE: Drafted by the Emperor

The sergeant nodded his head and the men began closing in.

“FUCKING ARROGANT STUPID ASS WIPES,” Fiach bellowed as she shook her head. Before anyone could react she squatted pulling the man she had been holding at knife point over her body as she deftly put the knife away. With a mighty heave she stood up lifting the man above her head as she threw him at the approaching guards taking three of them down.

Everyone froze with their eyes and mouths wide open in stunned disbelief that the small girl who seemed to be barely in her teens lifted the large man and literally threw him with seeming ease.

Fiach drew her sword and sprang at the three guards still standing before they could react. With a mighty swing she blasted a guard on the side of his helmet with the flat of her blade. The loud KLANG was muffled by the instantaneous THUD as the helm mashed into his head. Without pause she pivoted and did likewise to the next guard who quickly went down like the first man. By then she was facing off against the third remaining guard who was clearly scared. Without hesitation she attacked trading five rapid blows before smacking the side of his leg dropping him to the floor before knocking him out with a blast to his head.

Time on My Hands Chapter 14 - 205 CE Foiling an Assassination Plot

Time on My Hands
Chapter 14: 205 CE Foiling an Assassination Plot

Clearly her action attacking her nephew caught the men unprepared. It was all the delay she needed as she leapt at them. A look of shocked surprise was frozen on the head of the biggest thug rolled across the wooden dock as blood briefly sprayed nearly three feet high before permanently stopping. His sword clattered to the deck from his lifeless hand two seconds before his body crumbled. A second man screamed as he dropped his sword in a fruitless attempt to prevent his guts from spilling onto the deck. The others sprung to the attack.

Two more men fell before a sword was thrust into her back, through her left side kidney, with the point popping out above her appendix. The pain and shock of the mortal wound jolted her already hyped body into overdrive with a tremendous burst of adrenalin. Without hesitating Fiach spun ripping the sword jammed through her body from the man’s grasp before hacking off the man’s arm. The man screamed in horror as he looked with disbelief at the stump of his arm with his lifeblood pumping out. The remaining attackers paused shocked at seeing carnage the small girl had already wrought amongst them. At the same time their battle experience told them the sword piercing her body was a mortal wound.

“Damn that hurts,” Fiach gasped as she used her free hand to touch the sword tip that stuck four inches out of the right front side of her stomach. “Plus it really pisses me off!” Then she let out an evil laugh as she relaunched her assault on the stunned men.

Time on My Hands Chapter 13 - Spreading the Family

Time on My Hands
Chapter 13: 203-206 CE: Spreading the Family

“Idiots like you never learn,” Raben sighed. “Let’s make this interesting. I’m an Ianuarian. I’ll take on the six of you at one time. If I win I’ll patch up your wounds. If I lose you can have your way with the girls.”

The girls gasped and huddled together as the guys licked their lips.

“You’re on, kid,” the leader laughed. “Come on guys, the sooner we beat this smart ass the sooner we get the girls.”

As Raben stepped away from the girls the guys surrounded him. “This is your last chance to walk away,” Raben smiled at them.

I'm such a fool...

I just returned home from overeating at a local Chinese all you can eat buffet. The food is great 7 the place is clean. First plate was 10 shrimp, 2 fish fillets, 2 lobster rolls and crab/cheese casserole. Second plate was a slice of ham, mashed potatoes, gravy with meat balls and broccoli & cheese casserole. Third plate was a slice of cheese cake, a piece of chocolate cake, a slice of pineapple, and an orange wedge. Fourth plate (8") was peach slices and 3 halved bananas covered in cherry sauce. That was buried in 2 inches of chocolate soft serve ice cream topped with peanuts.

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Time on My Hands Chapter 12 - 203 CE: Retrieving Family

Time on My Hands
Chapter 12: 203 CE: Retrieving Family

Fiach didn’t flinch, neither did her smirk waver. His sword, held in his right hand, was raised high above his head ready to hack down, cleaving the impertinent girl. The instant he began to swing she ducked to his left and twisted around his left side while slashing his left hamstring.

The man yowled in pain and rage as his momentum made him stumble forward a few steps before the savagely wounded leg gave out sending him crashing onto the street. Smiling broadly Fiach pirouetted to stand facing her downed opponent. “Pfft! Is that the best you can do? I shall enjoy letting your sword taste your virgin ass! That is if it IS virgin!”

Time on My Hands Chapter 11 - 202-203 CE: Adventures in Alexandria

Time on My Hands
Chapter 11: 200-203 CE: Adventures in Alexandria

As Fiach traveled south she paused by the Sea of Galilee to watch the boats cast their nets to catch fish. She could almost picture Jesus calling Peter to be his disciple. From there she traveled to Nazareth visiting the town where Jesus grew into adulthood. From there she traveled east to Beit She'arim to meet Rabbi Judah HaNasi known as Judah the Prince where he also established a seat of learning. Judah spoke Greek enabling him to become the Jews' intermediary with the Romans being greatly revered in Rome and had a close friendship with Caracalla who would consult Judah on various worldly and spiritual matters. He favored Greek as the language of the country over Jewish Palestinian Aramaic. In his house only Hebrew was spoken. He was the leading expert on what the Christians called the old testament.

Time on My Hands Chapter 10 - 199-200 CE: The Trip to Alexandria

Time on My Hands
Chapter 10: 199-200 CE: The Trip to Alexandria

With that Fiach reached over to pull her knives from the belts of the shocked guards. Once more she showed the knives were sheathed. “I can be quite deadly. However, like my husband Raben I’m a healer. I don’t like killing but some people can’t be talked out of being stupid.”

With that she did a back flip off the table kicking the leg of the tipped chair spinning it into the air, catching it, putting it upright before the table and sitting down... all in one fluid motion. The guards were clearly unnerved, stepping back from the little wildcat. The captain shivered knowing he and his men could have been easily killed by Fiach. The fantastical story the witnesses had told of the deadly whirlwind that engulfed the six much larger thugs was suddenly believable.

Time on My Hands Chapter 9 - Dancing With a Caravan

Time on My Hands

Chapter 9: 198-199 CE: Dancing With a Caravan

Behind the main buildings on the middle pastures a finger of the mountain ridge surged skyward. The ridge ended in a cliff running northwest to southeast soaring 150 feet high. There was a rockfall scree 600 feet wide, 65 feet high at the cliff sloping down at a 45° angle. Tents were set up for the slaves and the things Raben had brought. The trees that had grown atop the scree were cut down for logs and lumber. A bridge of sturdy logs with a plank surface was built over the diverted stream Raben and Ulixes had created years before. Starting in the middle of the scree, Raben had them dig out the footprint for a sturdy stone and log building that he named the Elder House. The layout would be half into the scree and half beyond.

Time on My Hands Chapter 8 - A Place in Rome

Time on My Hands
Chapter 8: 196-198 CE: A Place in Rome

Raben identified himself and explained it was to early too give a prognosis. The elderly gentleman recognized Raben Longinus’ name and knew that despite his apparent youth he was a well respected physician. He and Raben rode back to the villa to make sure the requested preparations had been made while Ulixes oversaw sturdy estate workers as they gently carried the stretcher with the comatose severely injured teen.

Time on My Hands Chapter 7 - 195-196 CE A Haven, Eagle and Rome

Time on My Hands

Chapter 7: 195-196 CE: A Haven, Eagle and Rome

After a brief introduction the women prepared supper the men accompanied by the curious and energetic boy took Raben and Ulixes on a quick tour of Barmaz. There were several low piled stone fences around the farmstead and a few blocking off access to dangerous slopes. In the middle pasture there were fifteen milk producing cows for milk which became one of their cash crops of cheese as well as yogurt and cream with a few older cows sold off for beef each year to keep the herd young. Grazing amongst the cows were twenty goats which produced milk and cheese as well as wool and two donkeys each used to pull two wheeled carts down to the villages. The milk producing cows and goats were kept primarily in the middle pastures for ease of milking. In the upper pastures the bull and cows with calves as well as the buck goats and does with kids foraged. There were also one hundred sheep, raised for wool and meat. Twenty five pigs were kept in the smaller lower pastures. In the upper pasture were four scattered animal sheds to provide shelter during thunder storms. There were two smaller animal sheds in the lower pasture for the pigs. The farm was primarily pasture land with small vegetable plots for family use by the farmstead. About twenty five chickens, primarily for family use, lived in a coop at the side of the farmstead.


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