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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:35 pm 
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I am back in my father's old house in the ancient city that was so hauntingly mysterious in my younger years…the good and the bad….so many vendetta killings all around the town…once a woman pulled a knife on another woman just outside the old Cathedral and killed her with multiple stabbings over a slight 'misunderstanding'...

And flash backs of my attending funeral masses in the Cathedral, and my looking around in the pews and being shocked to see so many family members sitting somberly…now and then an aunt, an uncle glancing my way in empty stares….who were the people being buried in the church?

The antique center's tower clock rang in a dark midnight_ And _The noise of wagon wheels on the street's old paving stones, jolted me to consciousness_

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:34 am 
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I had been sitting and found myself placing an old pictures album on my legs ….in somewhat of a daze…trying to understand if deep sleep had decided to finally pay me a visit, catching me in that position where it seemed I was half asleep…but was I dreaming?

There was no light filtering through my parents' main bedroom window, the noise of the wheels was slowly receding in the distance, and the city was again all in silence.

I strained my ears in search of some noise, of some sign of life that would comfort me in my 'wakefulness' with the thought that I had not just awakened in the deep of the night...but that something, some noise, had in fact roused me from my sleep.

I was more disillusioned than anxious, like a station master of a secondary railroad waiting_ for a train whistle_ in vain.

I went to the window, the road below was deserted, and the windows of the apartment building across the way, dark and glum, seemed to be deprived of life like _dead eyes.

And now the peal of the old tower clock …3 AM?

The night was black...the hour foreboding.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:55 am 
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But in such darkness….I find myself walking the streets of the really ancient part of town, closest to the harbor….at the bottom of the steep mountain side.

Between those narrow stone roads …I see the old medieval habitats with small barred windows and opaque glass _ hiding diffused mysterious lights in the deep of the night.

I came out of that labyrinth into a large piazza on a hill…where the Old Cathedral rested on its foundations with its large portals facing the hamlet below. I had learned that the foundation for the Cathedral was set on very old burial grounds….

At its sight, during my teen years, numerous and foreboding fantasies and dreams had fulfilled my head at times…I was later to learn the why…

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:18 am 
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But many years had passed and now I couldn't help but remain fascinated by the sinuous Gothic arcades, by the huge windows with colored glass, by its portals in solid wood with carvings of archaic symbolism …. Their significance always a mystery.

A whispering …seemed to be appraising of the fact the old Cathedral had been desecrated so many years ago….and that now there lived only a friar who would take care of necessary occasional repairs… to continue to keep the building inaccessible….the gatekeeper.

Strange voices around town revolved around the figure of this friar. It seemed that during the day he would climb the hill and walk up the woods of the mountain side, rarely coming down to the town center.

But at night, his presence was clear in the antique church, because of the unmistakable, if weak, quavering of candles glow _behind those huge glass windows.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:31 am 
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Growing up _ I had always been told of our family as being of very old Patrician descent _ of origin from the 'Two Sicilies' predating the 1282 war of the Sicilian Vespers….precisely in the year 1004_ as later in life I had learned from a published Historian's book…the noted Giovanni Parascandolo.

The book being a compendium of historical records of the town…including its churches, monasteries, notable buildings, governments, families, etc.

A total of 11 families were being represented in the book with the corresponding photos of the family crests.

The chronology of my family members' names and their titles shows that it was populated by many notable characters…going through long years of riches and properties ownership…then eventually entering a period of decay and decline. Long story for maybe another time.

Bur relevant to the dreams here….The St. Caterina Chapel Dei Vallesi, in the Cathedral by the Angevin Caste, was assigned to my family name…and it continued to belong to the family in 1613, 1636,1657,1728,1780.

Marble of the family crypt dating back to 1300, still remains to this date.

In 1577, the historian relates my family's win of a 40 years quarrel against the Castaldo family for the right of continued burial rights in the Cathedral.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:19 am 
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And so ….That unforgettable night as I was finding myself walking uphill…towards the Church…I was being attracted by the sudden intense glow filtering through all ten huge colored glass windows of the Cathedral, all at once…as though all the candles in the Church had been lit at the same instant….but how could this be done by only one man?

Maybe it was artificial light…but I had serious doubts…I had never seen electric cables anywhere near the Church.

I continued to advance, curious to discuss it with the friar. In what epoch did that Cathedral come into being? Who built it? What was the real reason for becoming desecrated?

Immersed in these deep thoughts I had reached two tall pilasters in big and old bricks that still contained old rusted bolts that at one time had to have supported a large entrance gate.

The Cathedral façade _overwhelming in its size _towered about one hundred yards up away from me.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:21 am 
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The long, old stone paved footpath flanked by tall hedges, reached right down to my feet.

As I crossed the imaginary gate, and as I stepped with my left foot on the stones , a gelid gust of wind gave me the shivers. The breeze was persistent and it seemed to be coming from the Cathedral as though the Old church was trying to make me retract my steps.

I hesitated only a few seconds, as strange thoughts traversed my mind, then an odd internal strength kept me going forth…and slowly the gusting wind began to ebb.

I was walking slowly and my steps on the stone pavement resounded with a strange clip- clop. The footpath was only one and a half yards wide; the hedges seemed to rise around me almost cutting my breath. I began to notice a musty smell, as in old dusty rooms remaining closed for years.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:49 am 
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I was trying to imagine what gardens could be concealed behind those tall vegetation barriers…in Town there was talk of numerous statues disseminated in the area, in the figures of angels and Kings.

A slight rustling sound to my left caused me to turn, interrupting my walk. I stood still listening for a few seconds, expecting to see some nocturnal animal swishing by….but nothing….


I looked over my shoulders and then to the front: I had to have walked about twenty meters or so…not even half the pathway…and already I caught myself thinking of what stupid motive there was for me to be where I was at that moment.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:03 am 
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It seemed as though the Cathedral was challenging me. The quivering lights of the huge windows _ as so many eyes intent at observing every step of my way.

There was no doubt: I was feeling a certain subjection to this arcane place. What if I just went back to return the next morning in daylight?

Would I have encountered the friar during the day? Maybe I would have seen him kneeling and praying…but where…

But then again…I was already there.

So I continued in my walk…caring only of the fact I was there in search of answers, without need of thinking about town legends.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:11 am 
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The smells were getting heavier as though something near was decomposing…all around…the gelid breeze had recommenced anew.

A rustling on the right, same sound as before, but more distinct. I turned my head quickly towards the rustle…my eyes wide open…fifty meters ahead towered the great wooden doors of the old church… what am I doing?

Enough, I thought to myself….at that moment I noticed a small gap in the tall hedges…that rustling was coming from there…I flexed my knees to better observe…but the noise immediately stopped.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:57 am 
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My curiosity pushed me to get closer to that opening but I recoiled back immediately…overcome by that putrescent smell of before. As I looked away momentarily I thought…what in hell is behind that bush?

As I brought my eyes back on the opening, I froze at the sight of a frightful big dog's head with bared teeth and white foam dripping from its mouth.

My knees gave way and I fell on my back …hands behind me _terrified and kicking with my feet on the footpath, dragging the bottom of my pants on the stone road….

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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 3:48 am 
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Again I turned with my breath full of fear…its impossible…and then a ponderous charge of adrenaline had me on my feet and running with such alacrity that I fell again hitting my head on the stones.

But I was back up in a second…I felt some trickle of blood on my left cheek. I ran desperately towards the Cathedral portals, feeling the hot breath of the two wolves behind me…yes, I was sure, they were wolves not dogs.

I was almost out of breath from the desperate run and the adrenaline charge…courage…I was thinking…only a few more meters to go.

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 5:39 am 
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Those high walls_ that now appeared foreboding_ were the only salvation from sure death at the fangs of hell. I was only hoping that those portals, I was about to get to… be open; I didn't even want to think of the alternatives…should they be locked.

Strange figures sculpted on the rock steps, as somber companions of my desperate run up the steps…

…and _as if someone had perceived my thoughts….the portals, with a lugubrious creaking…began to slowly open; inside a disquieting orange glow.

I slammed my body into the opening portals and spun inside the Church…finding my boots now sliding on a marble _ smooth and gelid floor.

When my sliding came to rest ….I glanced behind me to the outside…not a trace of the wolves; only the pathway and its hedges enveloped in darkness.

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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 4:38 am 
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A deafening sound exploding over my shoulders…

I turned…a marble altar finely sculpted, was at the center of a colossal rise invaded by innumerable and longest of Church organ pipes…emanating that deafening din.

The loud sound ceased abruptly. With an infinite echo, the loud slamming shut of the portals resounded ominously …

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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 5:01 am 
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I quickly turned, catching sight of the two wolves just inside the Church, sitting at the side of someone dressed in a tan tunic with a white thick rope at the waist.

" Not everyone is permitted to enter here" said the friar with a hoarse voice and with the head of a wolf.

And then darkness.

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