Alchemist Gift – An ancient power
Valentino’s Battery – Alchemist Gift
Alchemist Gold continued: Valentino was at the seminary at the firm request of his mother in hopes he would change his ways. I was surprised. He was a descent sort, always kind, polite and generous. He showed respect to everyone. In the course of our conversation I discovered his mother sent him away to remove him from the influence of his father.
I eventually found out that Valentino the Elder dabbled in Alchemy, the dark arts and astrology. His aims were to put order to the chaos of the world and investigate what he called the “elasticity of time.”
The journey took five days. We arrived in the late morning. The coach turned into a broad drive bordered by neatly trimmed shrubs. This wasn’t merely a house; it was an estate, complete with fountain, flower gardens and a stable all supported by a vast vineyard and winery. Read more
Alchemist Gift – Marcella discovers the books
chest – Alchemist Gift
Alchemist Gift continued: Now on this adventurous night, in the pale moonlight she saw the faint outline of the upper corner of the door frame. She ran her hand along the wall behind the shrubs. Marcella blindly felt the details of the door and the rough weathered wood. Her fingers made out the iron bar that was pad locked in its saddle. She did not understand how she could open a door that was so secure.
Marcella harbored no anger toward the Holy Virgin so she prayed to her to guide her hands and to give her strength. She felt along the horizontal row of large clavos that ran across the center of the door. She hoped the door would work tonight the same way it did when she first found it ten years ago. She wiggled each clavo until she found the loose one. She closed her eyes and pushed on the head of the clavo; it moved. She pressed harder and then she heard a click and felt the door move. She reached into the shrubs with her other hand and found that everything moved as one. What appeared to be the wooden door frame, along with the iron bar, and the pad lock all made up the door. Marcella pulled hard and the door moved, she pulled again and it finally opened enough for her to pass through. She struggled with the shrubbery and held it out of the way with one hand, picked up her bag with the other and ducked into the opening. She could see the outlines of the vines in the moonlight, hanging over the jagged opening. As she squeezed through to the other side of the wall a spider web brushed her face and made her shudder. She finally broke through the vines and weeds, pulled on the handle of her leather bag until it finally came free with one last yank. Read more
Alchemist Gift – Marcella Flees Terra Sanctus
Alchemist Gift – Marcella
Alchemist Gift continued – They grabbed her by her arms and pulled her up out of the water. Amelia’s body fell loose. Her arms hung at her sides, her legs collapsed and one ankle turned in the other out.
“Mama, please say something.” Marcella pleaded.
Amelia’s head leaned forward to one side; her eyes were just barely open and vacant. Eduardo and Marcella laid Amelia down next to the vat and Marcella dried her mother’s face with her apron.
Amelia opened her eyes and looked at her daughter and the priest. She was in a dreamy state but when she spoke to them they couldn’t seem to hear her. And when she sat up and went to embrace and comfort her crying daughter, Amelia’s arms could only gather ether and shadow. Amelia watched as Father Eduardo helped Marcella stand up. He put his arm around her shoulder and Marcella cried and buried her face in his chest. And Amelia was lifted by invisible hands into the air and floated away, light as thistle down and as dust is scattered by the wind so her being dissolved into its individual atoms, spread and became one with the cosmos. Read more
Alchemist Gift – Amelia undergoes a purification
Amelia Alchemist Gift
Alchemist Gift continued: The oblong vat was finally free. It was dirty and dusty on the outside and when they pulled it away from the wall she saw it was fairly clean on the inside because of the way it was stored. There was a thick copper ring attached to either end. The boys picked it up by the rings, it was heavier than they thought but they could manage just fine. As soon as they found their balance they started to trot.
“Slow down boys!” Marcella called out.
“Yes, your highness.” said Pietro.
“We shall make it a procession. I’ll be the Pope, you can be the King of Naples.” Paulo offered. “Your highness, get in and we will carry you. You can be the Virgin Mary.” he added, hoping Marcella would sit in the vat while they carried it into the house.
Marcella let out an innocent, natural laugh. For this moment her heart felt light and her soul sparkled. It was a feeling from her childhood that she thought she had lost. It was a feeling she had not experienced since those few precious months, right before puberty, when she could spend her days as she wished. The feeling brought sweet tears to her eyes. “No, no there is only one Holy Virgin Mary. I will be the Grand Prioress and lead the procession.” She said with a cracking voice as she looked away from the twins not wanting them to see the emotion she was feeling. The boys were too busy to notice anyway being mightily occupied as they struggled to carry the vat. Read more
Alchemist Gift – Amelia is Bedridden
Amelia Alchemist Gift
Alchemist Gift continued: Rini, Prunella and Miranda knelt around Amelia. The others, stayed their distance, stood in little groups of two and three, looked at Amelia and Farintino and whispered quiet and unsure words. With help from Farintino and Marcella Amelia got to her feet. She was shaking, pale and sweating and swayed between the two of them. They dare not let go of her arms as she was barely able to keep on her feet.
Farintino bid Maria with a nod and a twitch of his eye brows to take his place supporting Amelia. “Take her home and put her to bed. Stay with her until she falls asleep.”
“Yes, papa.” they answered in unison.
Farintino turned to the rest of his family and in-laws and friends who remained. “This has been very upsetting for Amelia, I’m sure she will regain herself. I’m so sorry. Please pray for us.”
Everyone implied they would with their understanding looks and quiet good byes.
* * * * * * * *
Amelia, with her daughters’ help made the hot tiring trek back to the house. As they slowly passed through the square they drew the curious who had already heard the story and wanted to look into Amelia’s face, to look into her eyes. They were disappointed if they expected to see a fierce wild animal that needed to be restrained. Read more
Alchemist Gift – Amelia’s Revenge on Fausto
Amelia Alchemist Gift
Alchemist Gift continued: Fausto died that same afternoon right before the church bells rang for evening mass. He died alone. Marcella divided her time between her mother who had taken to her bed with a headache and tending to the evening meal.
She did check on him. He was quite pale and his breathing was weak. Marcella had seen him sleep like that before and did not give much thought to it. It was only when she heard him gasp and make a hollow rattling sound that she took notice and looked in on him again.
He had slipped his mortal coil. Marcella wiped her hands on her apron and looked down at him. His face was finally relaxed and so was his left arm and leg. She pulled his left arm straight and as soon as she let go of it, it curled back up. Marcella shrugged, took a kerchief out of the top drawer of the dressing chest, folded it on the diagonal into a piece no wider than two fingers held together, placed it under Fausto’s chin and tied it at the top on his head. She went to the kitchen and took two large coppers out of the grocery money, returned to the bedroom and placed them over his eyes. She made the sign of the cross and said the Lord’s Prayer for his soul. Read more
Alchemist Gift – Marcella’s Real Father
Wizen Fausto Alchemist Gift
Alchemist Gift continued: Marcella looked at the old man who was still pushing his body with all of his might. “Sir, please relax, he is gone.” At hearing her words Fausto rolled onto his back. His face was wet with sweat. Marcella stood up and went to the dressing chest. On top was a basin, three small towels and a pitcher of water she had just filled at the fountain that morning. She took a soft white towel and soaked it in cool water, wrung it out in the basin, returned to Fausto and ran it over his brow and cheeks. He closed his eyes and sighed. “Things will be fine sir.” she said softly.
From that morning on Fausto took only water and thin soup. He kept Marcella at his side all through the day. Whenever she tried to leave he would whimper or grab at her wrist with his right hand. Marcella would acquiesce and sit back down. On the fifth day Fausto only took water. Marcella understood what he was doing. She did not mention this change from his diet of thin gruel, or runny soft boiled eggs or bread soaked in milk and honey to nothing but water to Farintino or her mother.
Before he became too weak, Fausto through crude pantomime communicated the idea that he wanted Marcella to shave off his whiskers. Marcella was so used to catering to his whims she gave it little thought as she collected the tools she would need, some small scissors, a hot damp towel, warm olive oil and Fausto’s long idle razor that was in the top drawer of his dressing chest. The razor was in a narrow wooden box with a sliding top, wrapped in a transparent, oily flannel cloth and still remarkably sharp as Marcella discovered when she accidentally touched the keen edge with the ball of her thumb and nicked herself. Read more