Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. The rules have now been relaxed to allow a few more sentences if merited, so long as they’re clearly indicated, to avoid the creative punctuation many of us have used to stay within the limit.
I’m moving back to my alternative history about Dante and Beatrice, which I recently resumed after many months of hiatus. The last time I shared excerpts, it was December 1287, and Dante had just become a widower at 22 years old (which didn’t happen in real life). Beatrice is in his house recovering from a very serious illness and a terrible beating her husband gave her before sailing to Cyprus on business.
After three days of fever-induced coma, Beatrice has finally woken up and asked if anyone retrieved her belongings in her house. That mission is now being carried out, with a very unexpected discovery.
At last, de ’Bardi’s grandiose house loomed in front of us. Ser Folco stepped forward and raised the heavy door knocker, banging against the grand wooden door nine times on each side before finally going around to the other walls of the house in search of another door or slightly opened window. Galfrido, the other manservants, and I followed him. In the courtyard, my eyes fell upon a small door which was pushed open by about a foot.
Ser Folco grabbed my arm when I started towards it. “My servants will go through the house before us to ascertain if it’s safe. Mone never mentioned attempted robberies, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible, particularly when the house has been abandoned for the last few days.”
His three manservants stepped forward and entered the house, bending over slightly to fit through the low door. A few minutes later, a terrible scream rent the air, and they ran back into the courtyard as though a hundred thousand devils were chasing them. The horses violently reared up and squealled.
The ten lines end here. A few more follow to finish the scene.
“What happened?” Ser Folco asked. “Are there thieves inside?”
“Even worse!” the shortest servant gasped. “Corpses!”
Ser Folco crossed himself. “That’s another important thing I forgot to do. I’ll handle the funeral arrangements as soon as I find out their names and which church they attended.”
“Should we collect everything of value?” the tallest manservant asked. “Or do you only want us to pack up the lady’s belongings?”
“I’m not a person who believes in trivial revenge, as angry as I am. What use have I for another man’s garments, plates, and furniture, particularly when I’m just as wealthy as he is? We’re only taking my daughter’s possessions. Everyone, take a basket or bag.”
4 thoughts on “WeWriWa—Arrival at de ‘Bardi’s house”
Hello, Carrie-Anne, Greetings from a real Bardi living in Florence. I just discovered your blog, glad to see that you are interested in my ancestors! (Rather remote ones, I’d say). My literature blog is at https://chimeramyth.blogspot.com/. All the best, and if you ever come to Florence, make sure that you won’t miss the chance to meet the descendants of your characters!
Corpses! Oh no!
[and the comparative grab of thieves and corpses]
For those who are interested in Ugo’s relative [a rather more recent relative than the ones in the alternative history PEACOCK\:
[he was an artist]
Ser Folco doesn’t seem surprised about the corpses. I like that he’s just taking what belongs to his daughter, and that he’s angry about what happened to her. I think most fathers would be, but there’s always someone who thinks a man has a right to do whatever he likes to his own wife. Good snippet, Carrie-Anne!
My stupid internet is acting up. In case my first comment didn’t go through (looks like it didn’t)…
Ser Folco, good. His son-in-law, bad. Nicely done, Carrie-Anne!