Alchemist Gift – The bishop, mayor, monsignor and Father Eduardo watched the coach pass through the town’s gates and out of sight.
Mayor Renaldi spoke in a low tone to the men. “It’s not good that the contessa left, she should have stayed. The people haven’t seen her for a long time.”
“She made her appearance. Who could blame such a beautiful woman wanting to leave after being spit on by a condemned hag?”
“You make a good point monsignor.” agreed the bishop.
“It is all so sordid.” added the priest. His comment was benign enough to be interpreted by the others to suit their needs. Father Eduardo actually referred to the selfish and cruel and duopolistic acts that were given a veil of righteousness and legality by his superiors. All those accusations and lies that gave birth to this inhuman spectacle sickened him.
Now that Contessa Rosalba left, the people in the square started to chatter and move about. A young man hollered across the square to get the attention of his friend. A baby began to cry which seemed an invitation for a few other babies to join in. A fight broke out between a peasant, Vito Carlucci, and one of the town ruffians who went by only Nino. Nino, a big, slow witted man was in league with the pickpockets. The fight was to be a diversion. Vito’s friends and family immediately came to his aid and Nino ran off into an alley and disappeared. Everything happened so quickly the pickpockets lost their chance.
The sky darkened and a chill breeze swept through the square. Bishop DiMars put his hand on the mayor’s shoulder. Renaldi understood. On direction of the bishop the priest and the monsignor sat. Mayor Renaldi after making a great flourish with his arms loudly cleared his throat and called out to the impatient crowd.
“Citizens! Countrymen look to me, hear me.”
The mayor’s plea along with the cold breeze caught the attention of the spectators.
“We are here to witness God’s work through his servant Bishop DiMars. For too long the threat of Satan has gone unchecked. The devil and his army of demons have invaded our city and our very lives. Satan and his friends are everywhere sowing their seeds of hate and mistrust. We must defend ourselves, we must root out this evil, and we must be ever vigilant to the wiles and tricks of the devil.”
The people in the square nodded in agreement with the mayor and each other. They all pressed in a little closer to hear and see the mayor.
With another flourish of his hands Mayor Renaldi continued. “It is not enough to merely pray for God’s protection and salvation. We must act; we must fight for our very souls and the souls of those we love.” As he spoke the mayor’s voice became louder and slightly higher. “That is why we must turn to our holy mother the church. With its blessing and through its instrument Bishop DiMars we can find that protection and succor. We can root out those sinners, those weak pawns of the devil. Without this divine help we may not know who to trust, your friends, neighbors even members or your family could be under the spell of that foul, fallen angel!
The crowd answered in a low agreeable tone. A few old ladies kissed the crucifix on the ends of their rosaries.
The mayor continued. ”We have before us six witches. They have confessed their sins, are we ready to punish them? Are we ready to send them to their master Satan?”
Arms were raised and fists made, staffs and cudgels were shaken. The crowd responded with a loud “yes!”
Mayor Renaldi posed the question again, this time a bit louder. The crowd responded even louder than before. Renaldi called out for the last time and was satisfied that the parishioners were ready.
“Let it be known that you may thank Bishop DiMars for ridding our city of this threat and that only our dear savior himself can change what has been put into motion. “ The mayor took the bishop’s hand and held it up as he would do for the victor in a fight. A few men started chanting: “burn them, burn them!” Soon the entire population of the square joined in.
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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 writing the novel Alchemist Gift online in real time. 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.
2013 Mark D. Giglio, www.theartofgiglio.com
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