|Lavina, Canto 4: The Fall of the House of Borheya (Part 2 of 2)|
by Julian X  /  poetry  /  26 Sep 2007
A year had passed since Cesinare took possession
of the harem, and it had dwindled
to two hundred and twenty-six,
including the royal daughters Juheimi and Cesinia,
plus twelve girls who once gave birth
to Guyesp’s sons and daughters,
now taken from them.
Lavina was now sixteen, having spent
two years in the harem
under two different masters
and been separated from her love.
Fourteen girls pregnant by Cesinare
had been taken to the nursery,
including Isabel, young wife to Guyesp,
now pregnant by his brother.
Around that time, Cesinare began to find
that his own daughters seemed no longer new,
no longer fresh in their tender affections.
When his beloved young Cesinia conceived,
he knew he needed fresh blood, fresh kink.
And so he arranged a family dinner:
there, into the sumptuous grand dinging hall
of the royal palace came Sevanna,
the king’s older sister, and her husband,
their two daughters and three sons;
there, under the vaulted ceiling adorned with gold
came Maldinni, the king’s younger sister,
her husband, their two sons and three daughters;
there, around that long marble table, sat
Anna, the king’s youngest sibling,
now but fifteen, who had lost her father
at the tender age of thirteen.
Dinner was served, all seven courses of it,
and with their guts filled with the most lavish meats and wine,
King Cesinare leaned forward
and knocked over a candle quite deliberately.
As the tablecloth flared, Cesinare stood and walked away
while guards stormed the room and the drunken family
sat agape, Maldinni’s husband drunken dousing the fire
with his and his neighbors’ wine.
The men were put to death by sword,
all two husbands and five sons of them,
and the women – all three sisters
and five daughters – were thrown into the harem,
where they discovered the king’s secret
and his living daughters
(though only the eldest remained there)
and where they were quite naturally beaten
with great regularity until, one by one,
they surrendered to their powerlessness
and to their brother’s, or their uncle’s,
somewhat demanding advances.
Thus was the harem brought
back up to two hundred and thirty-three –
though not for long. By the time
all three sisters and their five daughters
had submitted, six more girls had gotten pregnant,
bringing the harem down to two hundred and twenty-seven
and the nursery up to twenty-one, including Cesinia.
When Cesinare was quite convinced all eight new harlots
would submit to any and all orders,
he had the youngest, Cesinare’s beloved Anna,
slaughter Sevanna, the king’s older sister,
who was quite too old to be anything more than a novelty
worth only a few fucks by Cesinare to say he’d done it,
and had her three daughters
slaughter Maldinni, also too old.
The first murder was done by sword
in the manner of Juhei, by impalement through the vagina
while all watched; the second
with tiny knives
so that it took all Maldinni’s weeping daughters
some time to slay their mother.
Both were performed in the harem garden.
With his family slaughtered and brought to heel,
Cesinare mixed and matched his options.
His youngest sister Anna became his favorite,
at times accompanied by his own daughter Cesinia,
pulled from the nursery, or his older daughter Juheimi,
or one of his five nieces, or one of the hundreds of others,
sometimes even poor Lavina.
Inside the harem, all lamented
the bygone days of Guyesp.
Some, like Lavina, lamented lovers gone to the nursery;
others, like Juheimi, lamented family and loved ones.
All lamented the blood and sorrow that had spilled
upon their once care-free life of ease
when Guyesp had fucked them kinder.
Outside the harem, the death by fire
of the entire royal family, save the king,
had caused no less lament:
in the king’s first year of reign,
the accidental deaths had been announced
of his brother, his wife, eldest daughter, only son,
last remaining child, and – all at once –
his three sisters and their five children.
Even in the capital city of Triemte,
one could hear open grieving
for the days of King Borheya;
it was said by many that some curse
lay upon the monarchy and thus the land.
The king was mad, his guards reported.
Too many had been involved with the slaughter
of his sisters’ husbands and their sons:
such rumors made their way throughout Triemte,
slowly becoming more and more accepted
and acceptable to say, even on the streets.
Many speculated that Cesinare had not only killed
his own children, even his brother Guyesp and his wife,
but, since the dates had been so close,
that he had also killed his own father, the kind.
And so the people too began to say “Cesinare’s mad!”
Guyesp’s transgression had been all but forgotten
and the countryside bore its losses
in town after town, cursing the crown
as it always had, albeit once in softer tones.
But Cesinare would not be dethroned
by rumors, of his own or his brother’s crimes.
His real problem was administration,
with his family gone
and his own guards calling him mad.
The baron Anarolyni, who had long lay in wait,
now saw his chance to pounce,
to stir up the rumors and spread the notion
that he ought to follow the impious king.
With all this dissent brewing and spreading,
Cesinare became concerned that his brother’s harem
would age, and resolved to replenish the harem’s rooms
back up to their capacity of two hundred and forty.
The harem had consumed him:
indulging himself with his many girls
and this mad plan to replenish them
had become the once-good king’s full-time job.
At length, it cost him the support of his army:
as Cesinare was planning a journey into the angry countryside
to capture fifteen of the most beautiful girls,
so as to refill his harem, he’d been careless
and let the army commanders, curious
about their king’s unexplained motivations,
learn of the harem in their investigations.
“The king is mad!” they said
and went to Anarolyni,
ensuring the baron the military’s support.
And so, when Cesinare had possessed the harem
for not yet a year and a half,
the military seized the royal palaces.
Some soldiers found Cesinare
in bed at mid-day with one of the girls,
stolen over two years before from the countryside.
Anarolyni proclaimed himself king and promised
a restoration of good moral principles:
he had Cesinare tried for the murder of his family,
including his father, King Borheya.
The judge found Cesinare guilty,
and proclaimed (as Anarolyni had dictated)
that Cesinare had never legally been the king
because he had achieved the crown through treachery.
Not a man could be found
who mourned the son of Borheya
when he was sentenced to die
in Triemte’s largest public square.
Cesinare, in prison without his girls, truly repented:
he prayed each day on his knees before his lord God.
He blamed the harem of his brother Guyesp,
which had so corrupted him at first sight
that he had slain his only brother on the spot.
He cried to think of it, of what he’d had done to his cousins.
And yet, even still, he missed his seraglio –
not just the sex, but also out of true concern,
not knowing what had become
of those many sweet girls
who’d been so good to him.
And then, when he had been deposed
of all his kingly power for some three months,
the guards arrived
and drew him to the large square
in the center of Triemte.
A large crowd had gathered to see slain
the man who had corrupted their kingdom,
killed their rightful king and all his family.
Cesinare was not permitted to speak
and was executed by having his head
sliced from his body.
The executioner did well, and with one slice
sent the son of Borheya’s head rolling
along the dirty stone.
It was a quick death, better even
than those he gave his sisters
and their sons.
The crowd cheered, and who can say,
as his eyes blinked those last disembodied blinks,
if what he saw possessed this fallen, godly man
as much as had the harem that afternoon
on the balcony, with dead Guyesp.
King Anarolyni was not in attendance.
subscribe to site or just to poetry