Archive for March 2013

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 03-30-13 Fausto has a stroke

Alchemist Gift – Fausto has a Stroke

Wizen Fausto Alchemist Gift

Wizen Fausto Alchemist Gift

Alchemist Gift continued
: Marcella sat curled up in the chair next to the bed. She had a blanket over her lap and leaned to the side with a pillow behind her head. The room was dark and still except for Fausto’s slow and regular breathing that was accompanied by a wet rasping sound every fourth of fifth exhalation. Marcella was given the task to sit with Fausto and awaken Farintino or her mother if Fausto should wake up. She tried her best to stay awake but nodded off several times.

At the first stirrings of dawn when the sun was just beyond the horizon and the heavy dew dripped from the leaves and eave outside the window in a steady, gentle rhythm, both Marcella and Fausto opened their eyes.

Fausto was confused; he was unable to sit up. He let out something of a gasp.

“Sir, sir, you are awake.” An excited Marcella uncurled her stiff legs and arms, jumped up, and with a timid smile touched Fausto on the shoulder. She opened the shutters to let in the light then quickly left the room to fetch her mother.

Fausto was flat on his back. He looked up; the ceiling beams twisted and straightened; the walls grew and shrunk in height and width. He did not know where he was. He tried to prop himself up on his right elbow, but it was no good. He fell back onto the bed. Fausto didn’t understand why he could not move. He didn’t understand why everything was so strange. The room was alive with twisting, ghastly grey shadows. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 03-27-13 Marcella Narrowly Escapes

Alchemist Gift – Marcella Narrowly Escapes

Wizen Fausto Alchemist Gift

Wizen Fausto Alchemist Gift

Alchemist Gift continued:
Marcella found that her curiosity brought her to every shop, some she entered and others she just peered in through the open door or the windows. She loved the different spicy scents and acrid odors of the market place. She loved the colorful people with their funny rhyming chants they would sing-song to attract buyers. One man had birds that sang beautiful songs from behind the bars of their little gold colored cages. Marcella wished she had the money to buy all of them and set them free.

Marcella saw everything in a new and thirsty light.  The buildings in the town and the town itself that had never been more than a backdrop for the dramas and diversion of its citizens all of a sudden became a wonder of organization and a testament to human ingenuity. Marcella had seen the church almost every day of her life. In the midpoint of her thirteenth year she realized what a truly breath taking achievement it was.

One morning on the way to the fountain she saw a lead pencil that had rolled into one of the cracks between the time worn paving stones. She snatched up her find and thanked Saint Anthony, then ran to the bookbinder and begged a few scrapes of paper.  That evening she sat out at the garden table, and by the light of an old sputtering oil lamp she drew her own fanciful versions of buildings and towers and castles. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 03-26-13 Marcella’s Vision

Alchemist Gift Marcella’s Vision

Amelia Alchemist Gift

Amelia Alchemist Gift

Alchemist Gift continued: Fausto was still the master of his house. He still had influence over his son and daughter-in-law, never letting the embers of doubt completely burn out. Amelia tried to be a good mother and a good wife but her haunting secret lead her away from her motherly and wifely duties down a path to a destination of mild madness that could only be held at bay by an obsessive amount of prayer.  A pot might boil over or Marcella might fuss, and Amelia would hear the fire hiss when the pot boiled over and hear Marcella’s cry when she needed tending to and know these things were happening, but to Amelia they were happening a world away and she was unable to leave that safe and holy place she inhabited when she prayed.

When Amelia was taken to pray Fausto would look at his son and

say things like, “anyone who prays that much must be guilty of something,” or “a good wife does her duty to her master here on earth as well as in heaven.”   Farintino had no argument. For his own sake and peace he overlooked Amelia’s obsessive praying and after a time he convinced Fausto, who didn’t much like his food burned or the sound of a crying baby, to take on a servant.

Farintino, when his doubts about his wife’s fidelity and Marcella’s parentage were in abeyance, cared for Amelia. Farintino remembered when she first came to live in the house how Amelia was always happy and bright and singing.  Such a pretty girl; Farintino felt he was lucky to have such a wife. But since her confinement and the birth of the baby she had changed so much. When he looked at Marcella he could see only how different in appearance she was from him and Amelia. Of course Amelia saw the glaring similarities between Fausto and Marcella immediately and was glad Fausto grew his little goatee to hide that telltale dimple. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 03-24-13 Farintino Confronts Amelia

Alchemist Gift Farintino Confronts Amelia


Amelia Alchemist Gift

Amelia Alchemist Gift

Alchemist Gift continued:
For all of Fausto’s sarcasm and affected disappointment, parental love would not be denied. Farintino and Amelia, and for a while Aunt Prunella, enjoyed Marcella. As soon as Amelia was capable of taking care of both the baby and the house Fausto ordered his sister to be gone. Farintino fell from his father’s grace and was again the brunt of jibes and jokes. Things returned to normal or as normal as the Andano household could be. Fausto never held Marcella, or for that matter even acknowledged her existence, and only spoke to Amelia when he wanted something done.

Fausto held sway until a very hot and humid August afternoon. All that morning the two men worked in the sweltering shop. Fausto went on and on until Farintino could no longer stand to hear his father berate Amelia, his Aunt Prunella, himself and now even little Marcella. It was time to eat and rest for the afternoon until the heat of the day broke.

The two men entered the cool and dark main room of the house. They drank water that Amelia left out for them and stood near an open window where they could feel a mounting breeze that heralded a change in the weather. Fausto drank from his cup, yawned and looked at his son and began again.  “Another thing, that brat kept me awake with its crying…crying all night. Can’t that wife of yours shut the little thing up?” Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 03-21-13 Marcella is Born

Alchemist Gift – Marcella is Born

Amelia Alchemist Gift

Amelia Alchemist Gift

Alchemist Gift continued: Amelia met Farintino a week or so before their wedding. She mistook his humility, passivity and awkwardness as signs of a gentle and shy nature. In a short time living under Fausto’s roof she realized her husband was little more than a shadow living in the bigger shadow of his father. Farintino was unused to her gentle ways and encouragement. He did not understand or trust her motives. Amelia hoped that familiarity would lead to friendship and friendship would be a path to love. That path was forever darkened and made impassable by Fausto’s deed.

Amelia tried to stay strong as her husband was lured away. She prayed to the Holy Virgin but felt herself unworthy to take communion. Her silence that was to protect her baby,  husband and herself now seemed to be a sin. She second guessed herself. If she had only told Farintino the moment he returned from his buying trip maybe things would be different. If she spoke out now against her father-in-law, who would believe her? She found herself desperately alone, with nowhere to go. She could not return to her mother’s home in disgrace, penniless and with another mouth to feed.

Her only companion was to be Fausto’s sister Prunella, senior to Fausto by two years. She was practical, thrifty and fair.  Prunella thought herself to be an excellent judge of character and she enjoyed a good earful of gossip but never said a bad word about anyone herself. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 03-18-13 Fausto rapes Amelia

Alchemist Gift – Fausto rapes Amelia

Wizen Fausto Alchemist Gift

Wizen Fausto Alchemist Gift

Alchemist Gift continued:
Amelia blushed. “Thank you, papa.” She shrunk back slightly.

Fausto fought back a grimace at her use of “papa” and coaxed her back with a smile. “Now, now you mustn’t be afraid of me or shy away if I say nice things to you.” He continued to wipe away the smudges. “So, you like living here and to make me happy, yes?”

Amelia humbly looked down. “Yes.” Her voice was soft and small.

Fausto let the handkerchief fall and took Amelia’s head in his hands. In an unforgivable and irrevocable rush of bravado he pulled her toward him. Amelia lost her balance and fell forward onto Fausto. Fausto pulled her body against him. He felt her soft breasts roll against his chest; he lost himself in a sea of her warmth, of her scent, of her youth, her hair, her skin, her mouth, her lips.  Fausto kissed her again and again on her parted red lips, and her cheeks and forehead, even her frightened eyes.

For a long few seconds Amelia couldn’t imagine what was happening. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy – 03-14-13 Amelia, Marcella’s Mother

Alchemist Gift – Amelia, Marcella’s Mother

Amelia Alchemist Gift

Amelia Alchemist Gift

Alchemist Gift continued: Her story began with Farintino Andano’s wife Amelia, Marcella’s mother. Amelia was a pretty, light hearted, naive and happy girl of seventeen when she married the milliner’s son, Farintino, who was her senior by almost as many years. Amelia came from simple and gentle people. She now lived under the ancestral roof of Fausto Andano.

Fausto, at the time was fifty six years old.  He was slightly taller than most with a sturdy physique that he inherited from his father’s side of the family.  His mother, Louisa Parma bestowed her fair complexion, waveless, light colored hair and the deeply dimpled chin that defined the Parma clan.  Fausto, an only son, grew up with three sisters; one older and two younger.  He was precocious and catered to by a doting mother and grandmother. With his good looks, his light hair and dimpled chin and a little charm he exacted this childhood privilege from those who gave in to his desires. Fausto happily went from maiden to maiden.

Beatrica Patatucci was an only daughter and youngest child of six. She had dark curly hair, dark eyes and an olive complexion. She was a romantic and spoiled young woman of sixteen. Thinking she was under Fausto’s spell, she let herself be conquered by her own passions. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 03-10-13 Roland experiences magic

Alchemist Gift – Roland Experiences Magic

alchemist cabinet

alchemist cabinet

“I can’t wait.” The woman giggled. “Come on, do you think it’s true what they say about him. Get real, an alchemist in the twenty-first century.”

The couple passed Roland, one on each side. The man answered the woman. “Who cares? All I know is he’s got some really great stuff. We may never run into this kind of collection again.”  Once they passed Roland the man took the woman’s hand and they playfully pulled one another along until they reached the glowing porch. They dashed up the steps and disappeared into the house.

Roland kept up his pace. He thought about Liz and what he had lost and how he had lost it. As he approached the Victorian house a strong, cold gust of wind pushed Roland toward the front porch. He grabbed onto the handrail to keep from falling over. He held on when he received another blast of now rain laden wind and decided to take refuge inside the foyer. He pulled himself up the stairs and entered a medieval and renaissance treasure trove. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 03-09-13 Roland is seeing things

Alchemist Gift Roland is seeing things

jezebel alchemist gift

jezebel alchemist gift

Alchemist Gift continued: Cesare left the yard by a side gate. As he crossed the square, he happened upon a carter Giovanni Billini who was leading his donkey and small cart out of an alley.  Cesare hired Giovanni quite often to deliver his pieces.

“Hey Giovanni, here, over here.” called out Cesare.

Giovanni waved to Cesare. “Salve, Cesare. What brings you to town?”

“I have come to collect some wood.”

Giovanni laughed. “You live in a forest my friend.”

“So I do.” Cesare grinned and shook hands with Giovanni.

They first met when Giovanni asked for lodging one night nine or ten years past. Giovanni was just let out of the army. He lost his left eye in a battle with the Turks and was returning home to his little village to the south, very near the Convent of Santa Dorotea. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 03-07-13 Wood that will not burn

Alchemist Gift – Wood that will not burn

Magic Tree Alchemist Gift

Magic Tree Alchemist Gift

Alchemist Gift continued: Two days had passed since the “miracle”. Outwardly things returned to normal. The stakes were pulled down by the townsfolk that very evening. The dais disassembled and stowed and the bell, with some difficulty, was loaded into a wagon and taken to the black smiths.

The air of mystery and joyful awe of the miracle was tempered by a collective self-reflection that caused many feelings of shame and guilt for what could have happened. The bishop quietly rescinded the execution orders; he waited for the papal legate and the inquisitor to arrive from Rome and begin their investigation.   The small convent of Santa Dorotea, twenty miles to the south, agreed to take in and care for the women. Monica Longo and Maria Lillo decided to forgo convent life. Monica returned to her farm and Maria, after packing up her scant belongings, headed off to an uncertain future. Read more

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