Hello again, everyone. Welcome back to my humble little blog. This time around, I’m covering two fan requests at once. The first was that I review something with good writing and story, and the second being that I review something by Sheviking. https://www.fanfiction.net/u/2073305/sheviking So I’ve chosen A Love not Meant for this World https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7819524/1/A-Love-not-meant-for-this-World
I won’t deviate much from my original theme, other than the humor will mostly come from commentary rather than critique, but I feel I should acknowledge the difference. This review, of course, isn’t meant to denigrate or insult the author in any way. It’s simply a look at the story and its content with a critical eye.
Set during the volcanic disaster that decimated the ancient city of Pompeii, this story is a Twilight fanfiction. It wasn’t my intention to repeat a theme again so soon, but with the intention of doing a fan-requested work, and all of the suggestions being for Twilight, I thought, what the hell, and went for it.
Their world was ending. Of that, there could be no doubt.
Nothing new here. Just ask Harold Camping, Pat Robertson, and any number of doomsayers that have made a living being professionally wrong in the name of their chosen deity.
It was midday, yet the city was as dark as if it were midnight. The sky, usually the most beautiful shade of blue, was now black with soot.
One could even say that the sky was in blackface.
The sun could not be seen. The people, free and enslaved alike, cried out to the heavens in mortal dread. What had they done to displease the Gods so? Had they not sacrificed enough to Venus, their patron deity? Had they not honored her? Why were the Gods doing this? Could they not be saved?
Oh, they could be saved, quite easily in fact, but with their primitive time-keeping skills, they failed to accurately predict their god’s menstrual cycle and made their sacrifices of wine, chocolate, and ice cream a week early.
They prayed fiercely, offering up their most prized belongings to the Gods above but it was for naught. It was done. The city of Pompeii would be destroyed.
Hell hath no fury…?
Through the dark streets a young woman ran, seeing nothing of the mayhem around her.
If she couldn’t see the mayhem, how did she avoid it? Peerless luck, perhaps? Maybe it was simply the coincidental knack that aloof people seem to have for surviving circumstances where the world seems to want to make them dead? How do you think I made it through the dark ages?
In her mind, she had but one goal: Find her gladiator, find her love.
He had her iPhone, and without it she’d just die. Literally and figuratively, she’d die without her phone. It was a big deal. You know how teenage girls are.
He would be in the barracks by the amphitheater, the place where she first saw him.
Not because he’s a romantic or anything, because he’s a slave and that’s where they keep him caged. I’m sure if he had a choice, he’d have gotten the hell out of Dodge long ago.
Such a sight it was for her young eyes. She was only just sixteen on that day when her mother finally allowed her to go and see the gladiators fight. Both excitement and dread flowed through her as the mighty warriors entered the arena and began their fighting. Could she stomach being witness to so much violence?
Of course she can. That’s what people did back then. Not to get too analytical, but the only reason people have that problem with violence today is from a social stigma that popped up long after the time in question. Back then, all there was to keep the masses entertained was killing for sport… and sex, of course. These days we’ve lost the killing, but the sex is better, much better. Women even have orgasms now, or so I’ve heard.
She found that she could, but just barely, and each time a limb was severed she closed her eyes tightly.
The force, accuracy, and razor-sharp blade needed to completely sever a human limb in one blow is not something you’d commonly see from a seasoned soldier on the battlefield, much less in a gladiatorial arena multiple times in one day. Without some inhuman strength and possibly speed it just isn’t very probable. I doubt even Edward was that good.
Still, she could not bring herself to leave.
She’d paid for a show, and goddammit she was going to see the whole damn thing!
For while there were many doing battle there, it was but one man who caught her eye; the Dimachaerus who wielded two swords at once.
We shall call him “dead meat.” Haven’t you ever played a video game? It’s called dual-wielding, and it’s fucking awesome!
He was by far the bravest, and was the only one without a heavy shield with which to protect himself.
I’ve found over the years that the difference between bravery and stupidity is whether or not the person in question dies from their spectacularly bad decisions.
Without this burden he was able to move swiftly and more daringly than his opponents, taunting them and making them lunge at him until he saw his perfect opportunity to strike.
The standard shield used by a gladiator was a Pugnum, which weighed less and was a lot easier to handle than a second sword. Dual wielding looks and sounds cool, but in reality, it’s an awful fighting style, especially if you’re using a double-edged blade, like a Roman gladius. The broad swings and clunky movements leave you open and vulnerable. Your best bet is to swing wildly in an attempt to confuse your opponent; precision isn’t the forte of this style of combat. But I will admit, it looks cool as fuck.
There could be no doubt that the Gods favored this man above the other fighters, for they had bestowed him a dominant left arm where all others wielded their weapon from their right hand. His advantage was clear, even to her untrained eyes.
Left-handedness, when not considered a sign of the devil, was poorly understood during this time in human history. Not only would he have been forced to learn swordsmanship with his right hand, he’d have been at a disadvantage because he was using his off-hand for attacks rather than defense.
He bested them all, one by one, without much difficulty. Some of his opponents were left alive and others died by his hand, as determined by the Senator who oversaw the games in the arena,(…)
I can see it now: our hero knocks a man to the ground and, ready to make the kill, asks the local senator for his permission, while every other combatant in the arena freezes in place and doesn’t take the opportunity to charge the strongest man on the field while he’s occupied standing around and staring into the stands waiting for the senator to finish his grapes.
(…)and finally the gladiator who had caught the young girl’s eye stood victorious.
I find this completely shocking…
The roar of the crowds around her made her gasp in both wonder and excitement. What a man he was!
That seems like an odd exclamation. Is she impressed by the gladiator? His effect on the crowd? Was his dick showing, and was he using it as a weapon? Or simply that he won the fight?
“He is glorious, is he not?” a women next to her spoke.
More British people playing ancient romans, I see.
“Indeed,” she gulped. “Pray, what is his name?”
“They call him Victorinus. The Conqueror,” the woman said, her voice in quiet awe.
I don’t like cliché names unless the intent is that it’s a joke. This doesn’t seem to be one of those cases.
“And is he always victorious?”
Otherwise he’d be dead…
“He is,” the woman confirmed. “The greatest fighter in the entire city, perhaps the land. There is talk of him being sent to Rome, to fight before the Emperor himself. Such an honor.”
Who is this lady, and why does she conveniently know everything that this girl, who is still unnamed, wants to know?
Such a pity, the girl thought to herself. Then I can no longer look upon him.
What an absolute tragedy. Truly, the worst thing that could possibly happen to a girl living in Pompeii.
In the next moment, when the gladiator removed his helmet to greet his adoring fans, something shifted deep within the young girl:
That doesn’t sound healthy. She should probably see a doctor.
She saw his face and knew. She had to see this man in private.
Ahh… young lust. Isn’t it something special?
The urge made no sense to her. No sense what so ever.
Like when I just have to have a Big Mac. The tears glisten on my cheeks, the shame envelops my soul, but my tongue cries out with ecstasy.
Unlike many of her friends, she was not flighty and filled with thoughts of men and matrimonial longing.
God forbid a girl well past the age someone would start breeding during this time period would be “boy crazy.” With few people living past their forties, and almost a third of births resulting in the mother’s death, it’s truly a miracle that this woman is still, I’m assuming, untouched.
She preferred her studies and the art of meaningful conversation to frivolous parties.
I take it back. She’s a talker… no wonder she can’t get laid.
Yet, she knew it was only a matter of time before her esteemed father would arrange a match for her, most likely with an old older and powerful businessman.
This is one of those things that cause me to balk at the historical fiction genre. Not that it isn’t my own fault for having been alive for so long that I remember how most of it really went down. Understanding that people thought differently at the time, and that most of our hang-ups are based on the tiny niche that is a part of the community, which, in turn, is part of the society that we grew up in, and therefore muddle our perception of the world at large. That being said, people across the world not only behave differently, but expect vastly different things from their lives, and wouldn’t be so upset about not having other options unless some other society was bleeding into their own, which, at this point in history, wasn’t happening.
A man who would be close to her father’s age. A man like…Janigeus. Oh, how she loathed him! Her father would often invite him to dine with them at the villa and she would feel his beady eyes upon her, his desire evident: To control and contain her.
I’m just putting it out there, I highly doubt that his desire was to control and contain. He probably wanted some of that sweet young stuff old men are always talking about. And basically any other age group of men, too… What can I say? We men are a simple people with simple likes and dislikes. We like tight young bodies and will settle for old flabby ones. Either way, pussy is pussy, and every hole is a goal.
He would continuously make negative comments on her passion for reading, remarking that women had no need for such education. He desired a quiet and obedient wife to birth him children and would love nothing more than to tame the rebellion within her.
“Be pretty, be naked, and be quiet.” –Bill Clinton.
She knew that her father saw a good match in him, which would further his enterprise and he would have no qualms about giving away his daughter to a man with whom she had nothing in common. After all, marriage was a business transaction in their society and more often. The girl was not so naïve that she had ever entertained notions of a romantic love within her marriage, yet the thought of being tied to a man like Janigeus made her shudder with disgust.
Kind of a thin line between “I don’t want to marry a man I don’t love” and “I’ve never entertained the idea of being able to marry a man whom I love.” Very thin. I’m talking so thin that saying one implies the other.
What a dreadful fate for this young girl, being trapped in such a union, never knowing true passion or longing.
For fuck’s sake, we get it! It’s terrible that she can’t marry for love.
Yet, looking upon this gladiator, the girl now experienced both longing and passion. She was hardly ignorant of the ways of sex, as was none in Pompeii.
I’m guessing she meant no one, and based on that I now resist making a pedophilia joke.
One merely needed to look upon the erotic paintings and writings on the city’s walls to gain knowledge of these matters. Venus was their most beloved deity and sex was very much a treasured pastime in this society.
Nothing to make fun of here. Sex is awesome and fun, and should be freely had by anybody and everyone. I know it’s self-righteous to say it, but I’ve been around a long time, and there has yet to be a sexually repressive culture that was worth a damn.
She gazed upon the gladiator once more. She had, of course, heard tales of their talents which were not exclusive to fighting in the theater.
They could also hold their breath underwater for a really long time and speak Klingon.
Oh, no. These men were said to be skilled in the art of love-making, as well.
Is that a requirement? I mean, does it say on their gladiatorial slavery application “Proficient at modern and traditional sword forms, hasta throwing, and chariot tipping, as well as a master of the shocker, tongue tornado, and lotus position.”
She imagined what his strong hands would feel like on her naked body.
Like sandpaper. He’s a warrior; I can guarantee you he’s got callouses.
His full lips covering hers.
Probably fairly rough as well. Lip balm wasn’t invented until the 1880s.
His bronze colored hair between her fingers.
Oily and matted. Ancient sex was disgusting by today’s standards, people. Hell, it was still pretty gross just 100 years ago.
Her thoughts caused blood to rush both to her cheeks and to the untouched spot between her legs(…)
This line made me cringe. Not that I’m judging it too harshly. I know damn well how hard it is to be modest and at the same time explicit; that’s why you have to pick one or the other.
(…)making her ache with desire.
That’s called gonorrhea. You should get that checked out, sweetie.
She must go to him.
Before the roar of the thoroughly pleased and entertained crowd had died down, she was racing towards the gladiators’ quarters.
“Domina! Domina!” her faithful slave called behind her.
Oh, that’s rich. “I don’t want to be held captive in a marriage to a man I don’t love. Pity me, slave, for my life is so dreadful.”
She had all but forgotten his presence and turned to look upon him.
“Wait here, Jacobus,” she commanded.
“Domina, I must protect you,” he insisted.
“Where I am headed, I do not require protection,”(…)
I guess that means she’s left her magical amulet that prevents pregnancy at home.
(…)she said, pointing to the door which was her destination.
“Domina!” Jacobus gasped.
“You will speak of this to no one,” she said firmly. “Wait here for my return.”
The slave struggled with himself.
*insert public masturbation joke here.*
He too had heard of these gladiators and their reputation with the women of the city.
I’m getting the impression Jacobus might be a dandy.
Most of the gladiators were slaves as he was, but of an entirely different sort,(…)
He’s just being bitter about not getting all the tang like the gladiators.
(…)and he feared for his Domina. Not for her safety, per se, for he knew that the men inside would never dare to harm the daughter of a Roman patrician, but should she fall pregnant with one of them it would ruin her for marriage. He pleaded silently with his Domina but saw the determination on her face.
By Jupiter, she wants to get some hot gladiator dick, and nothing in this world or the next is going to stop her!
He had been by her side since childhood and knew her to be as willful as she was kind to her father’s slaves. Indeed, he had grown to love her dearly, as an older brother would his sister.
“As you wish,” he nodded, a concerned look still lingering upon his face. “Please…be careful.”
At least have him pull out at the last second.
With a quick nod to her slave, the girl turned and walked straight to the two guards at the door.
“I wish to enter,” she said, her steady voice betraying her true feelings. “I am here to see Victorinus.”
“Certainly, Domina,” one of the guards said, grinning to his comrade.
Why do they have to be pervy? They’re just two dudes doing their job. Right, I answered my own question: all men are pervy all the time. Some of us won’t admit it, but it’s absolutely true.
Truly, the guards did not mind at all. To the victor went the spoils and the gladiators inside were after all the ones whose fighting paid for the coins in the guards’ pockets. They had admitted entrance to many women over the years, although the visiting Dominas tended to be rich matrons beyond childbearing age. Still, the one they called Victorinus had fought well today and the guards would certainly not begrudge him the company of this tasty young morsel. Women were not allowed to visit the gladiators before battle but afterwards…well, that was another matter entirely. The guards opened the door willingly, knowing that their champion would be pleased, and this pretty young girl could only inspire him to keep up his winning streak.
I just wanted to leave something uninterrupted by my commentary. This author is no slouch when it comes to writing, and I wanted to make a point of showcasing that. Now back to butchering this thing.
She crept inside the darkened hallway, steadying her resolve as she walked purposely towards the end where she could hear men’s voices. She gasped when she saw them; some bloodied and bruised, others unharmed who had not fought on this day. All were practically nude, wearing only subligarias which barely covered their most private areas as their uniforms had been discarded to tend to wounds.
While you’re googling subligaria, also do a search for Namba penis sheath. I’ll let you be the judge of what’s more “revealing.” And this should go without saying, don’t go goggling this at work!
Some were busy dousing themselves with water, washing off both blood and sweat, while others tended to their brothers, for they were indeed a brotherhood.
But all activity halted upon the sight of this young girl and the looks she received ranged from mild curiosity to burning lust.
Correction: “The looks that she received were ALL of burning lust, though some were hidden behind mild curiosity.”
They had all had their fair share of female company, but most only with prostitutes provided to them by their Dominus when he was pleased with them.
And what’s wrong with a prostitute? I have it on good authority that they work hard for the money. So hard, honey honey.
This girl was no such creature. She was young, beautiful and rarest of all; innocent.
The innocent girl who rushed away to get boned by a brawny slave? I want these guys on any jury that’s judging me.
They could practically smell it on her.
Hmm, I’m getting an idea for a new fragrance: Innocence, by The Fanfic Assassin. For those who want to smell the way they’d like their conviction to go. We’ll get Justin Bieber to endorse it.
She had most likely only ever lain with her husband and probably never out of pure desire. To these men, who only lay with loose whores and women almost twice their age, this girl was a rare treat.
You say whores and older women like it’s a bad thing…
Their expectant looks pulled her from her stupor and she found her voice.
“I-I seek the one they call Victorinus,” she stammered.
Faces fell in disappointment, though they were not surprised that she was here to see the champion among them.
“His cell is the first on the left side,” one of them told her and pointed down the hallway from which she came.
My left or your left?
“Is he there…alone?” she enquired.
One of the gladiators barked out a laugh.
Woof, woof, that’s a funny question.
“Yes, Domina, the arena is not yet empty. You must have an urgent need to see him.”
You horny little slut, you.
The girl’s cheeks flushed at the insinuation in his voice and she hurried down the hallway, away from their lustful gazes. She was not here merely to scratch an itch(…)
And where exactly might this itch be located? Because this too might indicate a need to see a doctor.
(…)and was the one they called Victorinus not available she would have left, a maiden still. She wanted only him.
Overly romantic drivel, and probably exactly the way a sixteen year old girl thinks. So… good work.
Am I truly doing this, she questioned herself as she stood in front of his door. What good can come of this?
The big O, sweetheart. It’s always good.
She knew the answer, deep in her soul. She wished to know him, the gladiator with the handsome face. She wished for him to take her first, she wished for a single taste of passion before her wedding night where an old man would climb atop of her to claim her.
Boy, will her face be red when Victorinus comes in and flails a limp wrist.
She had nothing to truly fear in this place. Her father was far too important a man and his position extended to her, his beloved daughter.
Said every rich girl that got abducted, raped, and murdered.
She would not be harmed and yet she quivered with trepidation as she raised her hand and grasped the handle. For a moment she considered announcing herself with a knock on the solid door but then thought better of it. A lady did not do such a thing when entering slave quarters.
How else was she supposed to catch them with their dick in their hand? I mean that literally and figuratively.
She drew a deep breath, opened the door and stood face to face with him. Up close he was even more handsome and she found it impossible to look away from his face.
I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of this kind of behavior. Damn creepy.
Surely this man was a demigod, for no mere mortal could be this beautiful to look upon.
In my case, I’m something else entirely.
She remained frozen for a moment, waiting to see if he would allow her entry, if he wanted her there.
Please, young hot piece of ass, go away.
He gave her a curt nod and she closed the door behind her, noting the missing lock which she had wanted to bolt the door with. The man looked her up and down in silence. If he was surprised to see her, he did not show it.
Naturally, she thought. He must receive much female company after such a fight.
I know I always did.
His next course of action only proved her assumption. Unceremoniously, he untied his subligaria and let it fall to the floor at his naked feet.
What exactly fell to the floor? This is an important logistical question.
Her sharp intake of breath was the only sound in the small room as she finally let her eyes roam over his naked body.
It’s so… It’s so… surprisingly average. But that’s just me being silly, nobody writes about Mr. Average.
And what a body it was; chiseled to perfection during hundreds of hours of vigorous training while he perfected his fighting skills. His skin had seen much sun during those hours and was now tanned and smooth save for a few scars here and there.
Overly tanned skin gets leathery, not smooth. And spending your time fighting leaves you with nicks and scars everywhere.
Warmth flooded her cheeks as she boldly stole a glance below his waist and saw that this man was indeed blessed by the Gods in every way.
“You…you fought most bravely this day,” she said, raising her eyes to his face again. “I congratulate you.”
On the dick, not the victory — that thing is way more impressive. Tell me, how do you keep your brain running at the same time as the elephant’s trunk here?
He regarded her with an impassive expression and did not respond to her praise.
Another story where a woman falls madly in love with a deadpan chunk of he-meat? If I hadn’t already been propositioned in the comments sections I’d think I was using too many words.
Suddenly, the girl felt uneasy.
Haven’t the last few paragraphs been about how uneasy she was about this whole thing? How is her uneasiness “sudden” at this point?
Perhaps the gladiator did not understand her words. How presumptuous of her to think that he would speak her language when it was obvious that he was not a born Roman. Yes, his hair had been cut to the fashion but the color of it, as well as the color of his eyes bore witness to his heritage. He must be from one of the wild Northern provinces, brought here as a slave to fight in the arena.
Damned northern Europeans; to this day, they’re barely more than Neanderthals. (If you’re from northern Europe, before you scream bloody murder about this, google Neanderthals.)
What was she thinking, bringing herself into the presence of a man who may very well be a savage barbarian? She now regarded his muscles with eyes that were no longer clouded with lust and took a step back, feeling the solid door against her back. Would he harm her?
Probably. He is a man, after all, and I have it on good anecdotal authority that all men are evil, hurtful creatures that exist only to hurt women. On the other hand, I have equally valid evidence claiming that women are sadistic, drama-vampires that want nothing more from life than to suck a man dry of his money, happiness, and will to live. I’m guessing they’re both wrong.
If he did not care whether or not he went on living his enslaved life, he would have no qualms about taking hers. The thought was petrifying and fear trickled up her spine, causing her to shiver.
“I should not have come here,” she whispered, mostly to herself, and reached her hand behind her to search blindly for the door handle.
Before she could reach it, he had snatched her up into his arms and his lips swallowed her scream before anyone could be alerted.
Umm, rape? Seriously, I’ve heard of dozens of women whose rape stories begin with almost that same exact sentence.
His kiss was like fire; all-consuming and wild.
I guess that’s why they call him “hot lips” around the armory.
His hands were eager; caressing her body in places no man had ever touched. She now felt quite foolish having tried to speak civilly with him. Women did not come here to practice the art of conversation. They came to practice the art of making love.
And that’s where I’m ending it. This particular work is a one shot, of around 11K words. It won the Literotica award in the Age of Edward 2012 contest, which is a more respectable contest, unlike the usual popularity contests that plague the fanfiction world. Sheviking really is a very good writer and deserves all the praise for this work. I definitely suggest that you go by and have a look at it and leave her an honest review.
Thanks to everyone for reading this entry. Please share your comments, correct me, or even, if you’re so bold, follow my blog. Get it? I put the word bold in bold. I crack myself up.