Alchemist Gift – Alchemy 01-20-13

Alchemist Gift – Alchemy

Alchemist Gift – Join in the fun with the writer of the Alchemist Gift, a first draft novel written online, and let Mark know how you are enjoying the book. Make suggestions. He may incorporate them into the book. Ask questions. He will do research to answer your question. Let him know if you see some history or culture of the Renaissance that is mistaken. He will research it and let the readers know of the correction here in the blog.

Chapter 3 Alchemist Gift – Alchemy

Renaissance Sandal Shoe - Alchemist Gift

Renaissance Sandal Shoe – Alchemist Gift

Excerpt 1

Alchemist Gift – While these two churchmen chatted amiably in the open air, Father Eduardo was in the sacristy carefully putting away his vestments. He transferred from the south. The serious young priest peered out the window that overlooked the square. He felt impatient and uneasy as he watched the gathering crowd. He had never witnessed a burning; he didn’t know what to feel: mercy or righteousness. He tarried not wanting to leave the haven of the little room. Father Eduardo thoughtfully watched people enter the square.

Some newcomers took seats on door stoops; others, with a little help, perched on garden walls.  Bleary eyed young men fresh from a night of whoring and drink straggled in from the narrow alleys and found shade under awnings, balconies, or flower boxes.  They quietly nursed their hangovers and regretted their near empty purses. On the fringe, leaning against walls or half hidden in the shadows of doorways were society’s necessary undesirables: the drunks, the petty thieves, the fools and the fallen.  These examples of sin and degradation could be pointed to by decent people to affirm their own goodness and to scare their sons and daughters into being just like themselves.

A half dozen prostitutes, made to wear red or stripes, sat in the bed of a hay wagon. The Bruni twins, comely girls of eighteen, lay side by side on their backs holding hands; their legs dangled over the side of the wagon as they watched the lazy clouds. The youngest, a girl of fifteen, with curly red hair tied with a pink ribbon sat upright and childishly swung her crossed legs to and fro while she said her rosary. The other three women were older and silent and sullen.  They looked to the past or to the future with sadness in their eyes. Their pimps and patrons, never too far away, joked or argued as they stood around an iron brazier and warmed themselves; the flames were small and the orange coals gave off little puffs of white smoke now and then. The pickpockets also warmed their hands by the brazier as they went over handoff strategies, searched out escape routes and eyed naïve rubes and strangers who were there for the burning.

Simple families, the farmers, the semi-skilled and day laborers formed a ragged arc furthest from the center of the square. The country folk were the buffer between the decent town’s people and the collection of riff raff and ruffians and rascals who had their bloody thirst quenched by the acute cruelty of public humiliations, floggings and hangings.

The peasants were dressed in homespun as dull and drab as the earth they tilled. The men chatted about the harvest or a sick donkey or the weather. Women shared gossip and recipes and remedies. The little children ran in and out between their older brothers and sisters shrieking and laughing and generally enjoying themselves immensely.

Adolescent boys looked at the adolescent girls and the girls coyly looked back. One bold boy took a dare to talk to one of the prettiest girls and received a box on the ear from the girl’s mother. The boy over reacted in such a clownish and funny way there was much laughter, even the girl’s mother gave in and laughed along with the others.

Still closer to the semicircle of stakes were the shopkeepers, tradesmen and guild craftsmen with their families and apprentices. They were better behaved and better dressed, especially the tailors’ wives. The tanners and dyers stood together. Their ever stained hands fluttered like colorful birds as they spoke. The shoemakers though washed and perfumed still had the faint odor of urine about them. The Bakers Guild was enterprising. They sent out their daughters with baskets of crucifix shaped biscotti; two coppers for one or three for five. The girls did a brisk business; they were especially popular with those who fasted in order to take Holy Communion.

The inner most row of this human amphitheater was reserved for the land owners and the richest merchants. Their servants arranged folding chairs for the patron and the misses. The Famiglia Patriarca not only had their chairs but they also sat in the shade of an oversize umbrella, which ruined the view for those behind them.


To read the Alchemist Gift book from the beginning go to the Category, Alchemist Gift Book, and start reading at the blog: Alchemist Gift 01-05-13.


Get an Alchemist Gift Bookmark signed by the author, Mark Giglio


Mark Giglio, author and alchemist furniture maker

Mark Giglio, author and alchemist furniture maker


Alchemist Gift is a book about the lives of people in the Renaissance and the alchemy that brought them together with its repercussions on our modern-day hero, Roland.

I am sharing my writing process with you. I will share a few paragraphs of the book with each blog. I am still writing the book. I’d like to know how you like what you are reading. Please use the comments section to share. If you make suggestions in your comments,I may incorporate your ideas into the book. We hope you will enjoy the process as much as I do, follow the saga and share it with your friends and colleagues.

copyright 2013 Mark D. Giglio,
All rights reserved. This article may not be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever, in part or in whole, without written permission of Mark D. Giglio. Use of this article without permission is a violation of federal copyright law.



  1. Toni Smith says:

    I like the story, and the way you describe the whole era. It makes for good reading, so far. Keep going.

  2. I am so impressed that you are getting this whole “blog” thing accomplished! It is exciting to follow the passages.

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