Something about Cincinnatus

One day Cincinnatus was plowing his fields. A group of senators walked up to him, looking jittery, and he said, “Is everything all right?” The senators requested that he put on his toga. He asked, “Is there going to be a toga party?” But when he came back wearing his toga, the senators told him that Rome was in peril. They handed him the fasces and hailed him as dictator.
Cincinnatus played it cool but sprinted home as soon as the senators had turned to leave. He swaggered through the door with the fasces crammed in his toga like a huge erection. “I have something for you,” he said to Racilia, and started to bend her over, but she yelled, “Not with all that mud on your feet, Cincinnatus!” For the first time in his life, Cincinnatus felt shame at being a simple farmer. He slunk off to crush the Aequi and deliver Rome.

Ben Merriman is a doctoral student at the University of Chicago, where he is the incoming Fiction Editor at the Chicago Review. New work of his will appear soon in the Minnesota Review, Quick Fiction, and Bateau.