Eclipse Sex

— May 28, 585 BCE* (Halys River valley in what is now central Turkey) —

The Medes had occupied a broad field on the western bank of the Halys River and were intent on reinforcing their position. The Lydians were equally intent on driving them back. Warriors in the forward positions traded insults while Pharaoh Apries’ envoy met with Median and Lydian courtiers in a last effort to prevent all-out war between Egypt’s main Asian allies.

Arsames, a Gedrosian mercenary in service to the Medes, spied a Thracian woman in the Lydian lines and waved to catch her attention. “Come to give the Lydians some balls?”

Bardylla flipped him the fig.

Arsames grinned. “I’ll stick you but first maybe I’ll stick you.”

“I’m not impressed by short blades,” Bardylla shouted, “No staying power and lousy penetration!”

Arsames’ comrades roared with laughter. Arsames twirled his two meter-long spear, which had double-edged blades at each end, before planting it in the ground.

Bardylla unsheathed her longsword and tapped it on her left shoulder.

Horns sounded on both sides. Word quickly spread that the Egyptian efforts had failed and that battle was now inevitable. The rival kings each gave the order to attack; the two armies surged forward.

Arsames and Bardylla made straight for each other.

Arsames made a series of lightning jabs at Bardylla’s upper body.

The nimble Thracian avoided each lunge, contorting and twisting to dodge the lethal blades. “Ha!”

Arsames suddenly stabbed lower.

Bardylla gasped as the cornel wood shaft slid against the crotch of her short leather pants.

Arsames leered.

“Dream on!”


Bardylla spun around, pivoting on her left leg, and slashed at Arsames, cutting his shoulder and drawing blood. She thrust at his legs.

Arsames sidestepped her lunge but over-extended his subsequent jab. He tottered, momentarily off balance.

Bardylla threw her sword arm around Arsames to steady him. She thrust her free hand into his groin. “Almost as hard as your spear. What a waste!” She kissed him and threw him back.

Arsames stabbed at Bardylla’ shoulder, tearing her jerkin and exposing bare skin, including the upper part of one breast. “Ha,” he yelled, “More to dream about!”

“Make it good,” Bardylla shouted, bringing her sword down hard on the shaft of Arsames’ spear, snapping it in two, “because it’s as close as you’ll ever get.”

“I dunno,” Arsames replied, wielding half a spear in each hand. He stabbed, jabbed and lunged, forcing Bardylla back.

As she retreated, Bardylla noticed that warriors around them, Lydian and Median alike, were throwing down their weapons and that many were looking upward in terror. She glanced at the sky.”Hey, stop.”

“Giving up already?”

Bardylla stuck her sword in the ground and spread her hands.

Arsames stopped short.

“Look!” She pointed at the sky.

Arsames craned his neck around. “Oh, shit, what is it?”

The left side of the sun was obscured by a black disk. As the two armies watched in stunned silence, the sky gradually darkened as the black disk seemed to swallow up the sun. Soon it was completely dark; the stars twinkled.

“The gods are angry,” a Lydian priest wailed, “They don’t want us to fight! Peace, the gods demand peace!”

Cries of “Peace! Peace!” echoed through the ranks.

Horns sounded on both sides, calling each army back to camp. Bardylla sheathed her sword and, looking from Arsames to the sky, followed the rest of the Lydian army. Arsames watched her go before joining his comrades.

Profoundly shocked by the total solar eclipse, the Lydian and Median monarchs readily agreed to the Egyptian envoy’s proposal to reopen talks.

* * * * *

– The next morning –

Kings Alyattes II of Lydia and Cyaxares of Media embraced, to the cheers of their assembled armies. The Egyptian envoy read out the terms of the agreement, according to which Alyattes’ daughter Aryenis was to wed Cyaxares’ son and heir Astyages. Their royal majesties declared a three-day festival to thank the gods and celebrate their alliance.


* * * * *

Arsames and several Median soldiers were roasting a wild boar when a Lydian warrior approached.

“Join us,” one of Arsames’ less-than-entirely-sober comrades said, handing him a skin of mead. “The boar’s almost ready.”

“Thank you.” The Lydian took the skin and turned to Arsames. “Our apothecary requests that you come at once.”


“The blade that cut your shoulder was coated with a deadly poison. You need the antidote, now.”

“But I feel fine.”

“By sundown you won’t.”

“After you then.”

Arsames followed the Lydian to his camp.

The Lydian pointed to a particular tent. “In there.”

Arsames entered the tent and caught a naked Bardylla, grabbing her ass, as she jumped onto him and clasped her legs around his waist.

“Nice reflexes,” she muttered, kissing him and tugging at his tunic.

“You’re the apothecary?”

“I’ve got the cure for what ails you. Still want to stick me?”

“What about ‘lousy penetration’?”

“Prove me wrong.”

Arsames lurched around the tent, kissing Bardylla as she ground against the bulge in his tunic, before tumbling over onto a pile of sheepskins. He pulled off his tunic, knelt behind Bardylla, grabbed her hips and plunged inside her.

Bardylla bucked against Arsames, grunting and moaning, as he pounded away.

Finally Arsames groaned, digging his fingers into her hips, shouting as he spasmed. His movements tipped Bardylla over the edge; she screamed, rocking against him until she was finished. They collapsed onto the sheepskins.

“Well?” Arsames mumbled, taking Bardylla into his arms.

“Mmm, not bad,” she replied, snuggling close to him, “but we’ll have to work on it, a lot. You know, practice makes perfect.”

Arsames smiled.

“Do you have to be somewhere else right now?”


“Good.” Bardylla laid her head on Arsames’ chest and they soon fell fast asleep.

They awoke a few hours later.

“The hot rumor,” Arsames said, running his fingers through Bardylla’s hair, “is that Lydia, Media and Egypt are all going to gang up on the Babylonians next spring. Can you imagine what it would be like, sacking *Babylon*? We would be rich beyond our wildest dreams!”


“We would make a great team. I think we should join together.”

“Join you…in the sack?”

“Um, yeah.”

“Where’s my sword? I will run you through.”

Arsames laughed and pulled Bardylla onto his rapidly hardening cock. “Why don’t I run you through’?”

“Ooh,” Bardylla whispered, “Much better idea.”

Postscript: I’ve always loved the story of how the Medes and Lydians were so freaked out by the solar eclipse that they called off their war & made peace. (It should always be that easy. *SIGH*) I recently came across, poked around and found that they had an entry on the Battle of Halys (see below) that read:

“…Nothing like the sun being unexpectedly blotted from the sky to make you think twice about what you’re doing. Cowed by Cosmic Phenomena, Alyates the second married off his daughter Aryenis to the son of Cyaxares, a lad named Astyages, the river where the battle took place was declared the border between the countries, everybody made nice and that war was over…”

I saw the “everybody made nice” part and thought, “Hmmm…” Thus was born “Eclipse Sex.”

© 2013 Oxartes. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.

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