Home in Florence: Chapter 4

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
This chapter is still a WIP, apologies in advance

Submitted: March 28, 2017

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Submitted: March 28, 2017



The jowl muscles under the young man’s skin moved as his teeth clenched together while stirring awake. An overwhelming state of extreme physical or mental fatigue brushed over him. He could not have been asleep for more than three hours before being awoken by the first pastel pink hued rays of the sunrise kissed the still dust-laden rubble with the same loving care as the undertaker with the recently departed. Edmund stirred and pushed his green satchel he was clutching to his chest aside and braced himself on his hands either side to support himself as he dragged out of the earthy smell of the hay surrounding. While sitting up on the cold smooth stone, his trousers soaked up the damp morning dew as he overlooked the stretching field. Anyone in his or her right mind would soak up the beautiful view and feel at peace. The small green and tan lined patch of valley extended towards the horizon before being interrupted by slowly developing stone walls and the few scattered robust cottages that sat in the outskirts of Florence.  


“Almost ataractic.” A few words fumbled out of his mouth while rubbing the side of his face. He could almost feel the weight of his under-eye bags.  


The view was almost enough to rid anyone of their worries. However, the rising sun was not something that was taken with much appreciation. It just filled Edmund’s stomach with a black pit of guilt. No one had found him yet, nor did anyone get a very good look at his face so maybe everything would be okay.  


With a grunt of effort, Edmund rose to his feet and brushed off the few stray pieces of hay that clung to his linen tunic. The air was icy against the light layer of moisture from the settled mist onto his face during the night. It kept him alert. He started down towards the field to head back to home after giving the area a quick look. It might be best to lay low and take the livestock route back to the monastery – he thought.  


The burning desire that held within him told him to go on casually but the voices in his head plagued him, telling him to give up his hopes and confess. It would not be such a frustrating occurrence compared to someone who didn’t see sinning as such a devastating act. There were careless men and women all throughout Tuscany who were not as religious as most. Simply telling the Father about their sins and tossing them a coin would clear them of all debts. However, for a young man who had been solely on being Roman Catholic – something this serious would plague him forever. It irritated him - so irritating he actually brought his spindly fingers up to his biceps and scratched to get rid of the “itch”.  


It was almost suspicious how nonchalantly Edmund was able to stride into the monastery’s grounds. The sun was now covering the countryside like a bright blanket. He squinted, staring hard. People were home, but it was hard to figure out who was inside. His bedfellows laughing muffled the soft sound of his leather foot stepping up onto the stone floor. He entered through the dining wing. The cucina belonged to the network of service spaces - from pantries to wine cellars - that kept the house supplied with food and drink. Occasionally, the young men from the school would loiter in the hallway and dining room in between classes, chores and studying as a form of socializing. The voices began to hush when Jacopo formerly greeted Edmund.  


“Edmund! Thought you had ran away. Don’t tell me you were visiting the pub inn again, ah?” Jacopo teased, his half-lidded black eyes glistening against the plentiful light coming from the doorway Edmund was standing in.  


Pietro, who rested his elbows on the table beside Jacopo, casted a skeptical eye in Edmund’s direction. The rest of the men wandered about not taking too much interest in the conversation. Edmund shook his head with a meek smile 


“No, friend. Just fell asleep on accident at the tailor shop is all.” Edmund’s dull fib slipped out of his barely parted lips and Jacopo chuckled. Everything around the home seemed orderly. No one was suspicious, nor did anyone take too much interest about other’s personal business.  


The sudden upheaval tore his attention away from Jacopo and Pietro and affixed his gaze towards the kitchen.  It was the sound of a hefty kettle crashing against the stone floor followed by a shrill voice scolding the initiator. Edmund turned his body and hesitantly stepped forward to peer into the kitchen with a weak smile. A small, plump woman - wearing stiff black covering that is worn over a coif and her hair tucked back into a wimple - was waving a stained handkerchief in the direction of Lucrezia. Lucreizia ducked down, picked up the empty kettle, and put it back into the counter. Despite the scolding, the mood was cheerful determined by Lucrezia’s smile and Sister Caterina’s playful bickering. No other men were in the kitchen except Edmund’s best friend, and Sister Caterina.  

Edmund leant against the doorframe and watched the commotion before Lucreizia started making his way to the door.  

Buonpomeriggio.” Edmund spoke, running his hands down the length of his shoulder. It had not occurred to him until now how haggard he must have looked. He looked down briefly to make sure there was no hay or moisture still trapped in his garments from the night.  

Buonasera,signore Ruggizello!” Lucreizia chirped firmly while bouncing over with long swinging strides. "I was just trying to help sister Caterina make tea, but it doesn't seem our Sister wants my help!"  

Sister Caterina, who was standing with her back to the cast iron stove, wiped her hands down the length of the off-white apron that hugged her waist. She shook her head, smiling before chiming in.  

"Clumsiness doesn't help a busy woman. Doesn't mean I don't appreciate it, my dear Lucreiz." She referred to Lucreizia by his nickname then turned back to the stove to affix her attention back to making pranzo. This only resulted the younger man to roll his eyes. His mousy brown shoulder-length hair bounced as he walked 

Lucreizia followed Edmund back out to the dining area where they carried on till dawn.

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