Famine #54: The Centurion (WeWriWa & Sunday Snippet)

Hi All! June has been a whirlwind month. I like busy, but damn! Let’s hope for a quiet July filled with many lazy editing days and ending with a book release, hmmm?

So, with the usual hop, skip, and jump, my cursor landed on the following eight from Famine for Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday. Here Bartholomew is recalling old times as he inspects the sixteen hundred-year-old gladius that he carried into battle for Rome.


Famine by Monica PierceThe scratch of steel on wood as he drew the gladius reminded him of long-gone battles and long-dead loves. With a practiced eye, the aesir inspected the steel blade and the bone pommel. Not a speck of corrosion marred the glint of light upon the sword’s surface.

He put the scabbard aside, stood, and tested the weight of the weapon. A few slow slashes and thrusts, and Bartholomew’s muscles recalled battle. The aesir picked up speed and power. A low slash to his enemy’s kneecaps, a thrust upward beneath a shield into a soldier’s belly, a powerful cut to cleave a man’s arm or split his skull. He recalled the stench of offal and shit, the screams of men and horses, the thud and clang, the mud and blood and suffering that accompanied Rome’s might.


Yeah, good times, good times….


I hope you’ll take a look at the other snippets posted for WeWriWa and Snippet Sunday. Lots of new authors and books waiting to be discovered. Thanks!

  • Your description is so precise.

  • Fascinating (if grim). I loved the idea of someone so old taking himself back in time so to speak, with his still vivid memories. Excellent excerpt!

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Thank you, Veronica. I love traveling down Memory Lane with Bartholomew.

  • Home sweet home fond memories for Bartholomew. Your writer’s imagination amazes me, the realist. WOW eight.

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Thank you, Charmaine! What a lovely compliment. 😀

  • daezarkian

    Raw, exquisite, visceral details, and a haunting look into Bartholomew’s soul. Remarkable stuff!

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Thank you, Steven. A great compliment from someone who knows visceral. 😀

  • siobhanmuir

    Oh yeah, scent and muscle memories. Nicely done, Monica. I was there with him. 🙂

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Yes! That’s what I was aiming for, Siobhan. 😀

  • burnsmillie

    Enjoyed it very much, thank you! Lovely detail.

  • Bartholomew is even more complex than I thought. And your choice of language is perfect—earthy, blunt, and viscerally descriptive!

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      😀 Complex fellow, indeed. Thanks, Sarah!

  • ldsmith1818

    great snippet! I love how I get the history of the blade and also of the character at the same time!

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Yes! I’m a big believer in making every scene do double- or triple-duty. Thanks, LD. 🙂

  • Good times? Eww… Great, realistic (and kinda gross there at the end) description!

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Yeah, war’s not pretty. Glad I could disgust you. ;D

  • Great details there.

  • A battle scene that was a pleasure to read! This sounds like a fun, interesting book.

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Thank you, Regina! 😀

  • Incredible details, Monica, but they never feel forced, never intrude into the reader’s mind. You, dear writer, are a master at your craft. 🙂

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Aw, thank you, hon. What a lovely thing to say! 😀

  • historysleuth1

    I can tell you really pin down the details of your characters. Excellent snippet. He relives it just like yesterday–and enjoys it all over again. Fascinating character.
    History Sleuth’s Milk Carton Murders

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Thanks! I do love research and from it the details that inform the characters, setting, and story. As for Bartholomew, he enjoys the physical power and release of battle rather than the carnage.

  • It adds a lot of depth to a story where one of the characters has lived through so much history. You managed to convey the weight of that history beautifully here. By the end of the scene I could almost hear the sound of battle. Lovely as always.

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      I always appreciate your thoughtful feedback, Goran. It’s true that Bartholomew’s history adds depth, but it can be overwhelming if I think too much about it. The challenge, I find, is staying true to his personality and using those details of his past to enhance the story. Still, it intimidates me sometimes, so I’m relieved to know it’s working. Thank you!

  • Great descriptions. Intriguing character.

  • I love the way you used not just sight and sound, but also physical sensations/body memory and the sense of scent.

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Thank you, P.T. 😀

  • My first visit here and I’m hooked! Love your writing style – incredible sensory descriptions!

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Thank you, Sam! Glad you enjoyed it. 😀