Man and Beast

In Fiction on September 23, 2013 at 11:59 pm

ChurchScene

Man and Beast

Pietro knelt in the half-light, clutching the rosary to his chest, mumbling his prayers. Faith was the only balm for a soul as ragged and ruined as his. He had been six years at the monastery, and still the wounds had not healed.

“How did you find me?” he asked at last. The girl swept into the room and sat on the edge of his cot.

“How many dwarves do you imagine there are in Florence?” She laughed. “When I couldn’t find you in any of the whorehouses or alehouses, I started searching the churches.”

Pietro sighed. He had finally begun to feel better. He’d finally begun to pass the nights without dreaming of Giovanni’s mangled smile—without waking to find his chamber echoing with his own mad laughter. He turned.

“I have repented…” he began. The girl was not quite a woman, but her laughter was practiced and cruel.

“You are an animal,” she said, “and animals do not change. A dog may hang his head when chastised, but he will throttle the rabbits and mount the bitches when his master next turns his back. Besides, you misunderstand: I don’t want the repentant man you are. I want the animal you were.”

She edged toward him, pulling her skirts above her knees. Pietro’s eye wandered, and the girl smiled.

“You see…”

Pietro looked resolutely to the ceiling.

“Why are you here?”

“Cosimo was my father’s brother by law. When he and his bastard were killed—and I thank you for that—his estate fell to my father.” The girl began to unlace her gown. “But my father doesn’t know how to treat a lady. He hoards his money and leaves the villa empty. I would change that.”

When Pietro hazarded a glance in the girl’s direction, her gown had slipped from her shoulders.

“This is a monastery,” he whispered. The girl only laughed and took his hand.

“Stop hanging your head, dog,” she said with a smile. “It’s time to play again.”


Ah yes, Pietro finally makes a return. It’s been a while since I’ve written about him, but clearly he needed some time to repent. Don’t worry though: All the juicy details of his sins are in the earlier stories right here:

A Curious Woman // The Root // Pietro Barbino // The Black Fool // Original Sin // Man and Beast

This story is for this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge, and the word was Animal. Let me know what you think below and, of course, check out the other stories this week!

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  1. What a juicy tale. It has it all: murder, sex, faith, revenge. And our prompt! What more could a reader want?
    Don’t forget to come back and vote!

  2. Great writing with all the elements of a powerful and exciting story!

  3. Wonderful tale… get a little Borgia vibes from this.

  4. this is wonderful and sexy, it is naughty and displays just the right amount of sin. I enjoyed this very much, it reminded me of THE EIGHT which is a favorite book of mine.

  5. “You are an animal,” she said, “and animals do not change. A dog may hang his head when chastised, but he will throttle the rabbits and mount the bitches when his master next turns his back. Besides, you misunderstand: I don’t want the repentant man you are. I want the animal you were.”

    Best part! I really enjoyed this week’s post. More please!

  6. Awesome work.

  7. I love this storyline, Brian. I’ve missed Pietro. Another very fine installment. I love the question: how many dwarves do you imagine there are in Florence. And the last line where she calls him a dog.. great circle back to the prompt. Nice.

  8. You have a way with short stories! I’m left wondering who is more of an animal: Pietro or the woman 🙂

  9. Damn – this is really fabulous writing. I loved every word. Seriously, there is nothing I would change about this piece!

  10. I loved the line “without waking to find his chamber echoing with his own mad laughter”. Great pacing, tension, characterization. I haven’t read any of the others (yet), but this story stands well on its own. Nice job.

  11. Whoa!Wickedly sinful but loved the playful tone of the girl-woman and good to see Pietro back:-)Great continuation of the story-looking forward to the next.

  12. That last line is amazing. I agree this was sexy, terse, sad and angry all at once. Wonderful work as always.

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