Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 01-29-13

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy

wwitch burning Alchemist Gift

witch burning Alchemist Gift

Alchemist Gift
– The women had their hands tied in front of them. They all wore the same dull colored, coarse garments that looked to be no more than old blankets which were slit to allow it to be worn over ones head like a loose shift. The women’s hair was mussed and matted, faces and feet filthy and they were pale and underfed. One’s legs and arms were covered with sores; another was wracked by a deep rasping cough.

The bishop stood and looked out over the crowd.  When he raised his hand the people became quiet and gave him their full attention. Only the faint whoops and laughter of the little children who were still playing could be heard. This was silenced as the children were snatched up or given a stern look.

The bishop stood up a little straighter took a deep breath and began.

“Faithful members of the most holy Catholic Church, today we rid ourselves of a despicable evil.” The bishop stopped for an instant waiting for a response.  The mayor, a student of rhetoric gave an encouraging gesture with his hands to the crowd. A few hurrahs were heard which turned into a unanimous response.  “These sinners, these weak women, these daughters of Lilith who now stand before us, have forsaken our lord Jesus Christ and have become the consorts of Satan. You will hear from their mouths their own admissions of guilt.” The crowd already primed by the first round of cheering again raised their voices. The bishop allowed the display to run its course before he continued. He took a piece of paper from inside his cassock and   opened it. It was a list of the women with their crimes written next to their names.

“Maria Cutri.” The bishop said in a loud voice. The second woman, in line raised her head. She was not more than twenty two or three with a very plain face and whose hair hung in dirty black strands, looked up at the men on the dais. “You are guilty of casting a love spell on Lucius Conino making him unfaithful to his wife and then, through your wiles causing him to be caught in the act of unwanted adultery with an un-named woman of good birth, both of whom were known to visit your herb stall in the market place, and both of whom were smitten because of your spell.  I know Lucius Conino; he is a good husband and a very generous friend to our holy mother the church. No blame shall fall on him or the un-named woman, for it is all your doing. Do you, Maria Cutri, renounce Satan and ask forgiveness for your sins? This is the only way to save yourself.”

The poor woman looked up at the Bishop with tears in her eyes. “Yes your holiness, I renounce Satan, I have always loved our lord Jesus Christ, if I have sinned in his eyes I beg to be forgiven and saved.”

“My child you are saved, you are forgiven your sins; you will not burn in hell for eternity, if you are truly sorry.”

“Oh yes I am truly sorry.”  She continued in a timid but hopeful voice. “May I go to my mother? She is ill, she needs me.”

“My child, it is in my power to grant you absolution for your sins and save your immortal soul, but you must be punished here on earth for your witchcraft. Rejoice, you will soon be with our lord.” The bishop gave a nod and  the youngest guard, Vito , a lad of sixteen, put his hand on Maria’s shoulder. The crowd silently watched as the accused sobbed and slowly shuffled her way to the stake.  Vito felt a pang of sympathy; Maria looked somewhat like his favorite aunt. He gently helped her up onto a mostly flat area which he further compacted with his boot so she could stand in some sort of sorry comfort then he tied her to the stake.

As he tied the ropes tight he whispered into her ear. “Breathe the smoke in as deep as you can, that way you will feel no pain. Goodbye.” Maria looked around in a jerky manner then eventually lowered her head, closed her eyes and prayed.


To read the Alchemist Gift book from the beginning click here.


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Mark Giglio, author and alchemist furniture maker

Mark Giglio, author and alchemist furniture maker

The 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.


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