A/N: I would just like to point out that none of these will be historically accurate. They may contain elements of that particular period but they are mainly fictional.
The night was silent around her as Invidia disappeared into the woods, a bloodied knife in her hand. The emotions washing over her were not something she was used to, nothing she had ever accomplished before had granted her this immense feeling of satisfaction. Perhaps she would never feel it again but it would all be worth it once she had secured what she desired. Invidia would carry around this baggage for the rest of her life, destroying the evidence as soon as possible may lessen the weight but she will continue to carry it. However, she must be discreet and use the cover of the night to hide away the darkness surrounding her. She knew that the Gods would not forgive her for her crimes and that she would most likely be sent to the fields of punishment to spend eternity. But she did not intend to visit for many years as she planned to live a long life with her love.
The morning came quickly. Summer nights were often short and sweet, something she relished as she had always loved the sunlight that danced across the streets of Rome. Today would be uneventful as the Lucaria festival had ended the night before and many Romans would be recovering from the festivities. Her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of knocking. A slave was sent to invite the guest in. Callista, an old friend of hers walked through the door. The look on her face implied that she was not here to bring good news, her eyes were brimming with tears that she was attempting to fight back and she immediately rushed to her side to comfort her.
"Have you heard of Abelia's fate?" Callista asked. The other woman shook her head slightly, worry still evident on her delicate features. "Last night she went missing," she paused as a tear slipped down her face. "They sent a search party to go after her-"
"Did they find her?" Callista was interrupted.
"Surely this is good news? Why are you crying?"
"They found her dead. Her throat had been slit and was still bleeding when they found her body in the woods." She remained silent for a moment.
"Oh my... Are you okay? Liberius must be distraught, they were to be married in a month." This only made Callista cry harder. She put and arm round Callista and she cried into her shoulder. Callista spoke once more, her whimpering distorted her speech but the message was understood nonetheless. Shock coursed through her but she knew she had to go. She knew she had to stop this.
Her heart thudded as she reached the Pons Aemilius bridge. Liberius stood on the edge, looking down into the water beneath him. She was unable to move, unable to speak out of pure shock that he was going to do this. He turned his head to look at her, the pain and desperation he felt was clear and on show to the world. This was something that she had hoped he would never have to feel. She had hoped that he would always feel happiness. With her. Liberius averted his gaze to his surroundings to take one last glance at his home. To try to drink in as much of the sight as he could before it was all over. One foot dangling over the side, he took a deep breath and pushed himself off the bridge. Time slowed down as she ran to the edge, tears streaming down her face. All that could be seen was the large ripples forming on the Tiber's surface from where he had fallen. The image stained her mind as she fell to the ground, her entire body shaken by the sobs leaving her. She felt nothing but despair as she lay on the ground. Soon, the sobbing stopped only to be replaced by inexplicable anger towards the world, especially her, the woman that started it all. Her. Liberius would still be standing here next to her if it hadn't been for the evils that that canem had committed. It was her fault that anything had been wrong in the first place, had she kept to herself like any other self-respecting woman, nobody would have had to of died.
The laughter and happiness that could be heard all around them slowly faded as she led Abelia further away from the festival. This had to be done as privately and as quickly as possible in order for everything to run smoothly.
"Invidia slow down, I'll soon be out of breath. Is this not private enough?" Abelia asked as she hurried after her. Invidia didn't respond but instead quickened her pace, holding a torch out in front of her to provide a small amount of guidance. The trees created a blanket over their heads, shrouding them in darkness. No moonlight was able to penetrate through the leaves and onto their path. They were almost far enough. Almost far enough to cover any screams that could have possibly been heard. Though, even if anyone heard screaming over the sounds of the festival, they would soon get lost in the darkness of the woods. Invidia stopped and turned as they reached their destination.
"We've arrived? Finally. What could possibly be so important that you had to bring me all the way out here to tell me?" Abelia turned to look at where she had be brought. "Where are we anyway?"
Invidia remained silent as she pulled out the small knife previously hidden in her clothing. Her hands were placed behind her back and she took a step closer to her victim. Abelia's back was still facing Invidia when she spoke again.
Again, silence was her only answer. Perhaps Invidia should have thought her plan through more thoroughly as she contemplated how to carry this out while making the least fuss possible. Her time was running out and her window of opportunity was quickly slipping away from her. Without haste, she brought the blade to Abelia's throat and dug it into her flesh. Deep enough to kill effectively, shallow enough to stop blood from staining her clothes. A dull thud disturbed the silence when Abelia fell to the ground dead, lifeless eyes stared into the trees above them. Red pools continued to drip from her throat and run down her neck onto the forest floor. Shouts could be heard from somewhere in the distance, people had realised she and Abelia were missing. Invidia snarled at the body at her feet before kicking it and absconding from the scene. Her work here was done.
Someone was calling her name but she ignored the irritating voice that was following her, nothing else mattered. All she felt was the rage and despair that was consuming her whole body. Anything else could wait. She had no control over her thoughts and actions, her only wish was to relieve herself of these emotions in the quickest way possible. Racing towards her house, she pushed any unsuspecting victim to the floor if they were to get in her way whilst she was in her unstable mindset. As her home came into sight she pushed herself to run faster in order to escape the rest of the world as soon as possible. She wanted nothing more than to grieve alone where she didn't have to keep up appearances for the public. Slaves inside must have seen her rushing towards the house as the door opened before she had even got there.
"Miss?" One of them asked once she ran through the door. She ignored her and continued to run through the house and up the stairs. When she reached her bedchamber, she slammed the door behind her and sank to the floor once more, hugging her knees to her chest. Weeping could be heard all throughout the house as she let go of herself through the grieve of losing Liberius. After a while, knocking could be heard from her door. She knew this could not be avoided so she shouted at them to leave her be. The sobbing slowly died down to the occasional whimper as she stood up and made her way towards the door.
Suddenly, she was overtaken by fury once more. The urge to destroy all that was in her path was uncontrollable. She dashed through her house breaking everything in sight, she wanted to erase all memories of him from this house. An attempt to try to lessen the pain of her loss. She tore her paintings down from the hallway and threw them against the wall, using her anger to force them as hard as she could. They had been gifts to her from Liberius, she couldn't bear to look at them every day after what he had done, and the emotional turmoil she had been forced through. She continued into the living room where the flames of the fire flickered joyously within the fire pit, almost as if they were laughing at her. Her anger only continued to seethe as she demolished the room around her. Eventually, her cancerous nature caused a the fabric of a nearby drape to catch fire. Flames engulfed the entire window within minutes, making the whole room glow with a warm orange colour. The fire soon spread from the window and through to the rest of the room. Not once did she try to prevent this. As the whole room was blazing and slowly progressing in all directions, she sat in the middle of the room and laughed. A laugh that should not belong to an upper-class Roman lady, but rather a madman at the end of their tether. The laugh was high-pitched and brittle, something that was enough to scare even the bravest Roman general away from her. Yet in a way, it was almost as is she was a child, naïve and carefree. She lay down amongst the flames and smiled wildly as the smoke swirled above her, clouding her vision. She was immersed in flames almost immediately but her laughter still echoed off the walls.
That was the last anyone ever heard of Invidia. Her body was nearly unrecognisable once the fire had died down. Her funeral was short and few attended, those who did were somewhat reluctant to be there as Invidia had few friends.