reinvented by Tracey Petrie
Each pilgrim has a beginning and the end of their journey, and when you look at it, we do not do too much? We are all pilgrims trying to find our way in the world. People lose their way and then find another way. People are born, people live, and people are dying. Some pilgrimages last longer than others and some end before others.
We are all just pilgrims.
The Promenade, 1523
“La mia bella Rosa di una figlia mi ha abbellito con la sua presenza,” Ricardo rose from his seat and delightedly welcomed his daughter, Selene. It was her sixteenth birthday. Everything had to be just so. Everything had to be perfect. This was a very special occasion after all. “Thank you father, I suppose.” She had a clouded judgment of herself. In her eyes she was ornery, ugly, and unwanted, while in everyone else’s eyes she was the most striking young lady that sauntered the streets of Italy. Her eyes strolled around the villa and scrutinized all of the guests who emanated to rejoice her special day. “Who are these people?” She inquired bleakly. “Well, they’ve come to celebrate with you.” She hurled a chair to the floor and that’s when it became noiseless. “This wasn’t what I wanted, padre,” she began to rant. “I never see you anymore. I sought one day with you, and you’re just going to do the same thing you do every year. You’re going to get up and leave to run an errand.” The father opened his mouth to speak but she interrupted, “I’m done hearing apologies. I’m old enough to leave home now and I will. I need to go find myself a life. I don’t need all these prudish rich people always near me. That may be your idyllic life but it’s not mine. I need real friends. Arrivederci.” Selene began treading down through the hallway; gently nudging people out of her way so she could reach the door. “Saluti e saluti,” Proclaimed a voice distastefully. The door swayed open and veiled men marched into the hall. They hid their faces behind bird masks and their bodies behind imperial kimonos. “Sangue e ossa. That’s what is going to remain of this puny villa.”
Overhead, an assassin overlooked the whole gathering, searching through his thoughts for any kind of strategy. His eyes wandered over to Ricardo, Selene’s father, and underneath the dining table he had unsheathed his stiletto. “Che cosa avete in mano?” One of the cadets jammed his blade onto the table, dragging it across, then flogging it up towards his neck. “Rispondetemi!” Ricardo gazed up at him with a bizarre kind of blues in his eyes. “Fate quello che volete. Fine mia vita. Fallo.” Selene trembled at this, scampering into a corner. The assassin protracted his arm and heaved her towards him. “Lasciami andare!”
“I’m trying to help you and if you’d be quiet then I could get you out of here. They’ll kill us if they see us and you making a bunch of noise isn’t helping,” he whispered nippily. “Fine, whatever,” she brazenly answered. He pulled her along the wall until they finally slipped out of the doorway. “Wait, I need to get my father.”
“Weren’t you trying to run away from him in the first place?”
“Why do you want me to come with you? Are you another one of those men? Are you out to kill me too?”
“For a shy woman you sure do ask a lot of questions.”
“How would you know? You don’t know me.”
“I knew your father. He told me everything. I know you.”
“So all you know is hearsay? Is that how you know people?”
“I don’t have time for childish games. Just come with me. You have no other option. Your father requested it.”
“Of course he did,” she snuffled. They snuck out of the doorway and outside to the balcony. Soon after, he began energetically sprinting; pulling her along the way. “What’s the big idea, mister?”
“I’m trying to get you out of here. What else? Just be quiet, girl.”
Roma, Italia, 1523
The two reached Italy at twilight. Selene had lost consciousness along the way and the dispatcher had to carry her along the way. When they attained the gate, a townsman was in a heated argument with one of the Borgia soldiers.
“Chiudi la bocca, contadino, prima ho tagliato la lingua fuori!”
“Farla finita,” and just like that, the legionnaire struck the man down with his broadsword. Selene brusquely awoke from her sleep in dismay. She felt it inside her. She knew something dreadful had happened without even perceiving it with her very own eyes. She knew what had been done. “How could he just kill that man?” The assassin was alarmed by her voice and unintentionally released her onto the dirt where he stumbled and flopped on top of her. She removed the hood from out of his face. “I know you! You’re Ezio’s nephew!” The assassin propelled himself from out of the dirt and continued his stride; disregarding what she said. “I know you heard me, Dorian,” He stopped dead in his tracks.
“Now you know who I am?” The assassin threw himself onto a bench, “Better find a place to stay as soon as we can,” was all that he said. “Don’t be so cold. Talk to me.”
“There’s nothing to say,” he pulled his hood back on.
They continued onto a nearby inn where Selene and Dorian settled into fast.