Alchemist Gift – The bishop consulted his list and read off the second name: “Aurora Tocini! You are guilty of consorting with Satan through one of his familiars known to be a large black cat. You have also been seen summoning spirits, speaking and answering when no one could be seen.”
All the time the bishop was reading off the offenses, Aurora Tocini, a woman in her early sixties, stood with her head nodding involuntarily. She mumbled under her breath, then, called out some gibberish.
“Do you wish to be forgiven before you are punished?”
Aurora Tocini stood there oblivious, all she could do was fixate on the toe of the contessa’s left patent leather shoe and watch it sparkle.
A guard took the old woman by the shoulder and gave her a shake, but to no avail. She merely changed her focus to the large mole on the guard’s cheek and giggled.
The bishop said with some impatience: “As we all can see this witch is so captivated by the devil himself she has no will of her own. Her soul is lost forever.” With a raise of his finger the second guard called for assistance. Aurora Tocini fought and resisted at every step. All the while the two men bound her to the stake she kicked at them and let out an eerie howl that turned into a droning repetitive moan.
Visibly irritated by Aurora Tocini’s pathetic protest, the bishop, with a bit of a flourish to regain the crowd’s attention, consulted his list: “Monica Longo, you are guilty of casting spells which caused your neighbor Luigi Castigilone’s dairy cows to give sour milk. Do you seek forgiveness for casting spells?”
Unlike the other two women Monica Longo was strong willed and outspoken. These traits, desirable in men, were not so appreciated in women. Longo, a widow, used her strong will and wits to keep her farm going after losing her husband. She had more success than her late husband ever had. She even surpassed her neighbors to the left and right of her. Castigilone was one of those neighbors, Sandro Petri, a third cousin of the monsignor was her other neighbor.
Monica Longo spoke in a firm, loud voice. “Bishop DiMars, I can no more cast a spell than you can. I am no witch nor do I consort with the devil or any of his demons.”
The bishop was a little taken aback. He remembered her quite well from her trial. “So, even though you were found guilty for your evil acts you proclaim your innocence?”
Monica Longo turned toward the crowd. “Yes I am innocent; Castigilone and Petri want my land. Just ask the monsignor, everyone knows Sandro is his cousin, everyone knows too that there are two springs on my land and fifty level acres for grazing or planting, not like that collection of stony hillocks that make up their farms. When Carlo died both came to me and offered a pittance for my land, a pittance!”
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, www.theartofgiglio.com
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