Author Topic: Tagliare  (Read 349 times)


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« on: May 03, 2020, 07:11:41 AM »
In the burial yard of Caina, Borca, a small plot in the potter's field is marked by a time-worn stone.
Though it is decrepit and stained with lichen, fresh lilies are often laid down before the marker. The inscription reads as follows:

747 BC - 752 BC


The grave is empty.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2020, 07:13:20 AM by Wine-Stain »
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Re: Tagliare
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2021, 03:28:59 AM »

'...baptize you 'Florin[1]'. May you flourish in Ezra's garden as you were not permitted to in this life.'

         The droplets fell down upon the child's crown and dribbled in rivulets across his temples. Vessels throbbed beneath his vellum-thin skin, and his cracked lips twitched at the corner. Every time his breath had rattled with death, it had steadied again, and stubborn signs of consciousness had come from his broken body. Yet, he would not wake. Warden Rossi had kept watch over the child since midnight. He wondered at who the boy had belonged to, and what repugnant individual had brought him to such a state. The bandages were packed thick about his loins where he was cut. It had not been a meticulous castration. Everything had been hacked away in a perverse frenzy.

'He will not live,' Warden Visconti declared without reserve, cutting through her subordinate's thoughts. 'There is scarcely a drop of blood left within him.  If weakness does not take him, a fever will. Let him pass quietly, now that he has come into Her protection.'

Vasco Rossi turned an embittered gaze unto his compeer.  'She has made Her will clear, for he clings to life yet. I will not forgo tending him. If he is to die, then at least he will have had no agony bleeding into his conscious.'

'The only thing bleeding, Warden Rossi, is your heart. At least the hospice is not inundated at present... but he will be yours. Either to bury or to burden yourself with,'  She uttered frigidly, turning to the curtain. Furrowed fingers curled around the burlap. A pause. 'Where was he found?'

'A refuse pit behind the tannery. I thought him to be a doll at first. His skin was as white as porcelain. But then I came closer, and saw that it was a boy buried under the dross,'

Without laying her eyes upon him, Warden  Visconti spoke on. 'One wonders what business a venerable warden has in a back alley after dark.'

Vasco's words became wax in his throat, and his posture wilted.

Visconti continued, not stalling a beat for a response. 'Do not rouse me again for the sake of a waif. They are a hemlock a dozen, and this little Lucciole[2] must have upset the wrong punter.' The curtains raked together as the woman departed briskly, clutching her woolen bed shawl about her shoulders. Her features gave the impression that she had spent a lifetime sucking upon lemons: a tidy complement to her callous nature.

         Warden Rossi ran his fingers through the child's tawny hair. It was as soft as down. A tendon twitched at the fragile being's throat and his eyes moved rapidly beneath their translucent lids, illuminating sickly blue veins.
The child must have belonged to someone, for he had endured his nursing years. Six Summers at most, Vasco wagered; and, irony of ironies, he had been saved by the young warden's creeping vice. Had he not sought solitude to partake in the tar[3], the boy would have bled dry long before dawn.
With first light pealing in through the arrows slits, putting the sputtering tapers to shame, Vasco was able to take a better look at the child. He took note of ligature marks around his wrists and ankles, tumescent and angry from the cord that had bound them.
'The sick game of a pervert?' Vasco wondered aloud, daubing a damp cloth along the wounds in a fruitless effort to soothe the raw flesh. The child was markedly clean. No grime embedded itself beneath his fingernails, and his bare skin was pure and unblemished. Captives were seldom kept in such an immaculate state. It was almost ritualistic. Or perhaps it was as Warden Visconti had said: a boy-whore belonging to a house of ill repute would have frequently been scrubbed from head to toe. As Vasco cupped his palm around the boy's neck to measure the flutter of his pulse, his attention was captured by a discoloration at the corner of the waif's mouth. Vasco tilted his head, and his thumb tugged at the upper lip. The muscle was taut like a burial shroud. With some prying, he was able to peel it back over the dainty milk teeth. They were stained a violent shade of green, along with the gums[4]. This was not the residue from a meal.
Vasco moved swiftly, opening his leather kit and taking a tin of powdered charcoal. He pressed a black-coated finger against the child's lips, and a divine word was uttered, conjuring forth Ezra's grace to expunge the toxins from the child's veins. The effect was immediate. A tremor wracked the boy, his back arching and his chest rising towards the ceiling. Brown eyes shot open, and met with Vasco's in muted panic.


 1. Florin means 'to flourish'.
 2. Lucciole is a term for a prostitute. It translates to 'firefly'.
 3. Opium.
 4. Chewing leaves from the Abfalduz Vine long-term stains the mouth green. They have a sedative effect, and are often used as an anesthetic in their processed form.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2021, 03:49:28 AM by Wine-Stain »
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