Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer
The man hangs inverted and naked from the pole that sits at the centre of a galaxy. A neglected cosmos of once delicate but now mob trodden flowers. A meeting place that slopes down, pulling away from where the eternal city had halted its crawl, before thinning to sip of the great river that glides at its edge.
He cries through fear sodden eyes and he cries through a throat that now gags at the steel and the hard swelling lump of his tongue. His brilliant eidetic mind swims in sounds and colours foreign and sharp and he grasps for just what he has done to entice these things to hate him so.
The four-legged beast that had drawn him through the streets had looked back at him twice as he’d stood screaming through the bars at its back. It knew. It knew, that the words that he spat were but shadows of ideas and of experiences had, and not the daggers of demons.
“This beautiful globe spins as it voyages around its great star. Its song echoed throughout the glorious infinite gape up above. Everything is familial, where even the stars in the sky have with them their own family of spheres. These dark-matter filaments that connect us all. Devoid of the politics and the caveats of intelligent construction, it calls down with a beauty and horror and diversity all of its own”, he’d screamed in words that none did care comprehend.
And then, as the crowd parted, they spat and jeered as the cage door flung open and they clawed and they ripped. They tore the suit from his body, how they cackled at this thing so unknown and different, with its panels that flashed though no flint had been struck and no candle had offered its glow.
An iron spike is driven through his cheek and another up from under his chin until it bore into the roof of his mouth. Together they form the same symbol as that at the top of the staffs that sway through the crowd and his ankles are clamped in chain.
Up becomes down and the man smells his hair as it bubbles and pops as the flames tendril up from the faggots. He wails, and for an instant the baying falls silent as his last guttural cry seems not of this world. There is unfathomable truth in this hanging moment as the man history calls Giordano Bruno he flakes away and into the ash.
This great man, the very last of his kind and the very first to step down from the stars.
A powerful read! The imagery is wonderful, and the fact that this is based off a real person makes it all the more haunting. Well done!
Thank you Stephen, very much appreciate your critique. It is very well taken.
It feels like you are tying a moment in history to our present situation or future one. Well crafted.
Thank you very much. At the time I wrote this I wasn’t thinking about current politics, but themes of injustice and prejudice somehow did work their way into the story. We haven’t learnt much.
Nice blend of history, speculation and poetic writing. Very well done.
Thanks David, this particular slice of history has stayed with me ever since I first read about it. Its a horrible story, now very much forgotten.
I studied about this man many years ago. I love how you have worked your story around his. Sadly, much of this horror is rooted in fact.
I believe that the actual field of flowers is now a plaza in Rome and there is a statue of poor old Bruno at its centre. Shame he wasn’t as celebrated in life.
When I first read this today I wasn’t sure about it. But, the damn thing has stuck in my head. It has grown on me, nicely done!
Thank you, its been said before that I grow on people. Usually like some kind of fungus… 😉
Woah, so glad I was told about your writing Hari. Powerful and insightful, this one is so good.
Thank you Emma for your very kind words and continued support.
No thank you. For me this was your best story yet. Really good.