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Tiepole: the Cursed Legacy - Alessandra Paoloni (First  chapter) English Version Butterfly Editions Copyright
Tiepole: the Cursed Legacy - Alessandra Paoloni (First  chapter) English Version Butterfly Editions Copyright
Tiepole: the Cursed Legacy - Alessandra Paoloni (First  chapter) English Version Butterfly Editions Copyright
Tiepole: the Cursed Legacy - Alessandra Paoloni (First  chapter) English Version Butterfly Editions Copyright
Tiepole: the Cursed Legacy - Alessandra Paoloni (First  chapter) English Version Butterfly Editions Copyright
Tiepole: the Cursed Legacy - Alessandra Paoloni (First  chapter) English Version Butterfly Editions Copyright
Tiepole: the Cursed Legacy - Alessandra Paoloni (First  chapter) English Version Butterfly Editions Copyright
Tiepole: the Cursed Legacy - Alessandra Paoloni (First  chapter) English Version Butterfly Editions Copyright
Tiepole: the Cursed Legacy - Alessandra Paoloni (First  chapter) English Version Butterfly Editions Copyright
Tiepole: the Cursed Legacy - Alessandra Paoloni (First  chapter) English Version Butterfly Editions Copyright
Tiepole: the Cursed Legacy - Alessandra Paoloni (First  chapter) English Version Butterfly Editions Copyright
Tiepole: the Cursed Legacy - Alessandra Paoloni (First  chapter) English Version Butterfly Editions Copyright
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Tiepole: the Cursed Legacy - Alessandra Paoloni (First chapter) English Version Butterfly Editions Copyright

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  • 1. PROLOGUE The descendant thought it was time to reveal herself. She had waited for too long. She had lied too. Such a secret would have risked to kill her. Her plans were now skipped; she could no longer trust anyone. Everyone was playing her game and everyone was pursuing knowledge of the ancient magic of Tiepole. She would had enemies. The farce had to end, before the situation could go worse. No longer needed to pretend nothing when she knew that in this way she risked losing all the people she loved. That same evening she would put an end to that story.
  • 2. The arrival and the beginning When i opened the shutters of the window a fresh wind hit me in the face, forcing me to squint. Yet, to fully cover the four corners of the town were the mountains, rippling like waves, properties like petrified monsters, luminescent under the dim light of the sun. Tiepole had little more than a thousand souls who lived in tiny houses attached to each other. The gates went right down on the narrow road and for this reason this was impractical for passenger cars, which alternated asphalt drilled sections and cobblestones raised or missing. Arduous and uncomfortable, that place was a town populated mostly by elderly people. Young ones used to come during the summer, returning from Rome to spend some time there as a vacation with their families. So, as my father used to say, i had to consider myself lucky to be gone up there only in the middle of July, because i would have to socialize with someone of my same age. I wasn’t in Tiepole for a vacation, not even to stay there for good (and i hoped that with all of my heart). I have never been in that place before, although my mom had been there for a long time, when she was younger. Tiepole was part of my life just in an indirect way; it was a part of me, but i didn’t know yet. I reached that place, in a hour of driving, because my grandfather had died four days before. Him, my mom’s dad, had lived his last years alone, in a little house between those mountains, a place he rarely left. I have never met him. We didn’t go to Tiepole to visit him and he never came to Rome to see us. And finding myself in his house, in the place he had consumed his whole life in, was giving me a
  • 3. sense of discomfort. His picture were everywhere, pictures about him riding a horse, white and black images of groups of men and women i couldn’t recognize. Only the pictures of him and my grandma were missing (something i didn’t notice before; she died when i was only a few months old). The whole house smelled stuffy, of stale dust and mold. My grandpa had perhaps passed his last days closed in that house, before getting sick, completely alone, isolated by the rest of the world. This thought didn’t let my discomfort grow, but i understood very soon that this one was caused by a guilty feeling. I knew my grandpa was living between those mountains, but i have never showed any interest in him. I was ashamed of it. After his funeral, had it in the city ( where none of the Tiepolees had come) my parents both agreed we had to stay for a few days in town to arrange the house and to decide what to do with it. If turn it into a holiday resort for us (which i abhorred at all), or if try to find a renter in less time possible. The idea of spending time in that place was not mine and i didn’t like it at all, but i couldn’t say no, go back or the fault feeling would have devour me. I had to dedicate time to my grandpa’s business, now that he wasn’t here anymore. I would have felt relieved, in a certain way. -Emma!- I heard my mom calling me from downstairs, and i felt ripped from my thoughts in a rough way. I closed the windows quickly, because the wind seemed to become stronger. -I’m coming!- i answered to my mom’s call, with a bitter tone of voice. My grandpa’s house had two floors, the upper one was made of one room only, with a queen size bed, a bedside table and a wardrobe. It could be reached by climbing a narrow staircase, the most uncomfortable i have ever seen. I went downstairs very slowly, with unfounded fears i could collapse at any
  • 4. moment beneath my feet. Everything inside that house seems like it was about to fall apart. I reached the living room, where i saw my mom fighting with the closet, which seemed not to want to open up. In front of me, from the small cooking corner, a pot was boiling on the gas. Behind my back i have heard someone in the bathroom: my dad appeared right after opening a squeaky door. -This bathroom is a hole!- he complained. –Even taking the toilet papers seems to be a problem!- -Dad…- i sarcastically replied. –this is a hole!- My dad smiled and nodded. -Instead of crying like babies, why don’t you come here to give me a hand?- my mom complained while still fighting with the little lock of the cupboard. My father, still smiling, obeyed and took her place. She came next to me standing, puffing and cursing. From a few days she had become unmanageable. She had never vented for the loss of my grandfather, at least not in front of my eyes, and although she does not show it, she did not like to be in her old house. Just like me and my father, she did not feel comfortable in that place. Not even my father was able to turn the key and open the lock. He gave up before getting impatient. -I think it will be better unhinge the door.- He concluded. -If we do not, termites will!- He looked over my mom, who didn’t say a word. Then she crossed her arms and shrugged, going back to the smoking pot. Me and my dad exchanged a weird look, worried. However neither of us tried to ask her what was wrong; she would exploded in a rambling monologue again. Maybe she just needed some time or to leave that place sooner. She liked it less than what would appeal to me. Too many memories.
  • 5. "Emma, can you go to get come bread please?" she asked then. while oiling a pan. "I showed you this morning where the general store is, remember? It is the only one in town, you cannot go wrong. " I looked at her just like i did not quite understand. Did she just said i had to go out by myself, in that unknown place and half- abandoned, to reach the lower part of the town? And i should have doing it by feet, since the narrow streets did not allow any kind of car passing through to go back up there. We were forced to leave our vehicle at the foot of the town, in the municipal parking lot. Another reason why i hated that place: it was all built uphill and while my grandfather's house was located in the upper part, the shops were just the opposite, below. I snorted, but i was forced to obey. I did not want to deal with the frustration of my mother. My father, without speaking, gave me five euros. I retrieved my jacket and went out without saying a word. The road was deserted. I clutched in my jacket, annoyed by the wind, although it was the middle of July, i was cold. I walked fast. Reaching the store would not be difficult since that was the only way that led to the flatter part of town. At my sides the locked doors and the half-closed windows gave the impression that the houses were empty. I did not hear any noise, nor the volume of a turned on TV, or the hushed tones of human voices. I shivered and accelerated my pace. The wind ruffled my hair, since a tuft ended in front of my eyes i didn’t see one of the many raised cobblestones. I stumbled and i almost fell. I cursed softly, cursing that place too. I stopped to manage my hair, without realizing that i had stopped in front of a vaulted arch that i had not noticed in the morning. I looked up and on top i recognized what was to be a coat of arms, worn by time. A shield divided in half, it seemed.
  • 6. But i didn’t stop to look at the details. I hurry to get to the store and go home. But before i move, i turned my head to my left. I began to believe that there couldn’t exist other ways to go back other then the main one: on the contrary a very narrow street started from there and ended up at a point that i could not see. Even that one was deserted. I wondered, with not much curiosity to tell the truth, where could have conduct a narrow way like that one. -Who are you?- The voice behind me made me jump. I whirled around and saw in front of me the grim face of an old man, who was holding a wooden hanger. He wore a wide-brimmed hat, dark as his clothes. His gaze was not friendly at all, and i knew immediately that it was not willing to do any kind of presentation. Without answering i mentioned a greeting with a hand and i began to descend the slope, increasing the pace, being careful to the obstacle of the road. I felt the old man's eyes on me and i shuddered again. What an inhospitable place! How could my grandparents live there for so many years? And above all, how my mother could had spend her childhood and her adolescence there? I couldn’t blame her if she had run away with my father in the city as soon as she met him at university. He had all my sympathy, and i certainly would have done the same. Finally i reached the lower part of town in a small circular square, a bar with a small outdoor garden, a newspaper stand and some stores (a butcher's shop, a greengrocer and finally the general store). The square was deserted at that hour, but at least the bar tables were occupied. And as i predicted, all eyes turned to look at me. In Tiepole foreigners maybe had to be a novelty. Even if in the end i was not really a stranger, since my grandparents had lived among them. Maybe they were sitting in those tables once and they had been shopping right where i was going to do at that time.
  • 7. When i opened the door of the store, the bell, hanging on it, announced my arrival. Two women turned to see who that was and as soon as they notice me they began to stare. I tried to pretend nothing has happened and i got in line waiting for my turn. The woman who served was talking about a subject i did not pay attention to. I caught phrases such as bad weather, rainy summer, danger for the fields. But for me, that speech did not make any sense and to be honest i didn’t even care about it. I didn’t even observe the interior of the emporium, the goods on the shelves or those inside the bar, the only thing i could think about was the day when we would return to our home in Rome. -You are Achille’s granddaughter, right?- the woman in front of me, in line, asked me. I smiled and nodded. The woman who was serving at the counter shut her mouth suddenly and started to stare at me; just like everybody did. -I’m so sorry for you loss!- the woman continued. -Thank you.- -Have you arrived this morning?- the one serving asked. On her white apron i noticed a weird writing hand sowed: Angela Renzetti, beloved wife and mother. -Yes, early this morning.- i answered turning my gaze away, strangely uncomfortable. -and are you going to stay for a long time?- she continued leaning a little over the counter, so the writing on the apron could be more visible. Everybody were staring at me waiting for me to reply, as if my words were so important to take a decision that concerned them. I, after a short pause of indecision, shrugged. -I don’t know!- i said. –Just the time to manage some matters, i guess!-
  • 8. Almost like they had come to an agreement, the three women who were in line and one behind the counter, nodded simultaneously with their heads. I had the impression that they have been expecting that answer, some sort of confirmation. Perhaps, since we arrived in the village, that morning, they had not talked about anything else. We were the topic of the day in a place where nothing unusual never happened before. Then, as if i were no longer present there, the other women turned and began to ignore me; the woman at the counter served the others very quickly and when my turn it came she did the same. The people served before me came out not caring about anybody and when was my turn to get out i greeted whispering a goodbye and i almost ran. Good manners maybe are not part of the Tiepolees’s habits. I climbed the road less quickly than i did when i walked down. I had passed the square and the bar with my head down, i didn’t want to make eye contact with anyone. The wind had somewhat diminished his vehemence, but it kept getting cold as if we were in February instead of in the middle of summer. I clutched the bag of bread in the chest, in the naive hope that it could warm me up. I hated that place; i could not wait to leave. The climb became steeper; walking down the road didn’t seem so difficult. I was forced against my will to slow down. I would have taken much longer to get back to my grandfather's house and this thought irritated me. I was going to increase the pace, once again, reaching the top with difficulty, when something caught my attention. While going down, earlier, i had not stopped to notice all the details except for the bow with a shield carved on the top. In that moment, instead, i stopped and stared some posters on a crumbling wall. Obituaries: the name of my grandfather soared on top of all the others.
  • 9. ACHILLE PAGLIARI Age 78 Then the date and place of the funeral. I went further down with the eyes, there was another one saying: ANGELA RENZETTI age 73 Her husband, daughter, sister and the Tiepolesi all give the sad news. May he rest in peace now, because on earth he has not known it. Those words filled me with sadness and at the same time made me cringe. Angela Renzetti, I was familiar with that name. Then i remembered it was the same on the woman's apron at the emporium; singular coincidence. Or maybe not. I shivered again. But i had no time to reflect on that fact because a sudden roar made me jump and turn. What looked like a bike was going up the hill. I continued to walk, afraid, while the deafening noise was getting closer. Without any doubt a motorcycle was approaching, increasing the speed. In fact for a car would have been impossible to go back up there because of the narrow street, but for smaller vehicles maybe that was not so difficult. The violent noise of the engine filled the air, making me almost my eardrums burst, i was getting used to all that silence. The bike darted to the side almost hitting my arm and for a moment i thought i had really been invested. I was forced to throw myself to the side and stop. The wind ruffled my hair again, preventing me from seeing who was riding the roaring beast. I cursed softly and i it
  • 10. would have been really gentle and polite if the motorcyclist had stopped to apologize. And of course he did not. He continued to run up as if nothing had happened, as if he didn’t see me. Disappeared and the deafening roar was now far. I tried to calm the dominating anger down; those people were really rude: they didn’t greet, they were into the business of my family and recklessly tried to run me over! It was just too much. That evening i was supposed to go back in the city. My parents were in charge to solve the affairs of the grandfather, not me! I would not have stayed any longer in that awful place. Puffing angry, but firmly convinced to return to resume my suitcase (that i did not unpacked yet) and leave, i walked on quickly ignoring the pain i felt on my legs. When finally i arrived at the destination, i was completely breathless, breathing with difficulty and for a moment i felt faint. I stumbled into a hole but i kept the balance. I recovered only when i noticed that in front of my grandpa’s house, leaning on the door, the bike that nearly invested me was parked. Damage and insult. I wasn’t motorcycles expert actually and the only thing i could remember was the color, a bright and glistening red, with thin white streaks that looked almost like cat’s scratch. The tires, so huge, could have break my arms in no time. That idea sent me into a rage. Without even thinking about what i was doing, i wandered the bike and looked at the bells names assuming so that one had to belong to the owner of the motorcycle. There were two bells. To avoid mistakes i pushed them both, regardless of the names. I had to be really mad. Luckily for me no one answered me. I was going to push te bell once again, but i changed my mind. Trying to go back to myself, i sighed and went back home. As soon as i stepped into the living room i watched myself to talk
  • 11. about what happened not to alarm my father, but i’ve stated that i was going to go back home, in Rome. Me and my mother ended up to argue, when i told her. We discussed heatedly for half an hour and at the end i was forced to give up not to unleash another hysterical crisis. I would have stayed with them in that boring and inhospitable place for an indefinite time. Then, when i began to believe that i was going to die of boredom, my father was able to unhinge the door of the cupboard. And what i found inside radically changed my life. -That was her! How dare she ringed at our door?- a slender and tall blonde girl snapped, pretending. From behind the glass of the window Emma looked back into his grandfather’s house. -I have almost invested her with my motorcycle! – her brother answered, with an unexpressive low voice. -Really?- a woman said while entering the room at that moment. –Did you want to smash her into her own blood? Everything would have been so wasted then!- The young man tiredly smiled. -I thought you wanted her dead, mom!- The blond girl turned suddenly towards her brother who was sitting on his bed, his hand on his belly and his eyes looking on the floor. She thought he was getting old, but she didn’t say anything about it. So without adding anything to the discussion she moved herself to leave the room. First she glanced at her mother, a woman who took care of her own appearance in a maniacal way and who was used to change hair color every two weeks, and now she was going through the platinum blonde period. The woman was left alone with his son, took a step toward him, but she remained at a safe distance. Who had seen her at that time would have said that she was almost afraid.
  • 12. -That's the direct descendant of Martha Vasselli!- She hissed crossing her arms over her chest. -Have you forgotten what she did to your grandfather?- The young man shook his head and sighed weakly. -No- he answered. -You don’t understand many things, Christian. That's ... - She pointed over the glass of the window, the house where Emma was at that time, arguing with her mother. -We need that girl! We need her blood! The same blood of the witch, her grandmother! " "Emma ..." whispered the young motorcyclist, deliberately ignoring the rambling words of the mother. That name was immediately familiar. He smiled.

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