The Melody of The Basilica de Santa Maria
On a cool summers evening, the church bells rang out. A hearty loud gong of copper and tin alloy echoed throughout the town and cathedral, a sound that Jesci loved. Every time the chime of metal rang his heart would skip a beat. He skipped and bounded down town to the Basilica of Santa Maria. He lived in Rome, specifically Trastevere. He was a young juvenile with wavy shoulder length hair, half white half black. Tall, with an affinity for Latin, though his fashion sense was a bit strange. He’d usually wear long sleeved shirts under shorter sleeved ones. Pairing it with a pair of ripped jeans, a belt and his favorite pair of knee high combat boots. He even had piercings but despite all this, Jesci was still very religious. He would go to church every other day so much so that the bishop and other holy fathers knew him on a first name basis. ”Salve soror mea!” he said excitedly to sister Rianna. She would often greet him at the door. “Good morning to you as well Jesci! Here a third time in a row? What’s been going on hmm son?” she inquired. He shifted uncomfortably, tucking his hair behind his ear and looking down at the ground, “N-no there’s nothing wrong sister... I just like the church...“. She chuckled, “Alright then, why don’t you go play some music?” she gestured to the recently added pipe organ, “You did always say you’d play it some day”. He glanced over at the grand instrument. Jesci had always been quite skilled with his hands. He was able to learn any instrument he laid his fingers on with ease, the organ would always intimidate him though. “No it’s alright sister Rianna, I’ll stick to the harp and piano for now”. She nodded and left the edifice as Jesci made his way down the center of the cathedral towards the altar. He marveled at the architecture of the structure every time he visited, it never got old. The cross in front of him glistened and shinned. He went down on his knees, clasping his hands in front of his face and closing he eyes. He began to speak, ”Iterum salve mi domine ego gratias ago tibi, quia vivo ego intellegam alius dies. Misericors es, veritatem [roughly translates to: Hello again my lord, I thank you for letting me live another day. You are truly merciful],”. Latin was one of the first languages he learnt, he was taught that the language was specifically to address God and his messengers. He would often pray and sing in Latin in the cathedral. He began to recite the Our Father prayer, ”Pater noster, qui es in caelis da nobis hodie panem nostrum cotidie...“.
Afterwards he roamed the hall, drifting towards the piano and harp that he’d play so enthusiastically. He sat upon a stool and spread his arms and began to strum the strings of the harp. He didn’t know how to play much songs on that particular instrument, but he knew how to play his favorite one, Be Thou My Vision. As his fingers glided and danced on the strands of the harp, the cathedral around him was enveloped in music. Every strum echoed throughout the halls and Jesci got lost in the melody. Before he knew it he’d reached the end of the song and had begun another song as if automatically, Amazing Grace. This time, he made it more elaborate. Being swept away by the chorus of notes it was as if he’d split himself into multiple people, each playing their own instrument. As the song trailed on he found himself twirling and dancing to the rhythms, playing both the piano and the harp for different parts of the hymn. His heart’s rhythm synced to the music around him as the air thickened. Every time he struck another note, his surroundings would get more and more densely packed with a chilling aura. It didn’t bother him though, and he continued his one man symphony. He left about an hour later to head home. Closing the door behind him he remarked, “Mater, I’m ho-” but was cut off by his mother’s screaming. “You ungrateful boy! Why are you late again!?“. Jesci became apprehensive, “W-well, I was-” but was again cut off, “DON’T TELL ME YOU WENT TO THAT CHURCH AGAIN?!“. Hearing these words he shuddered. Jesci’s mothered rushed towards him, dragging him into the kitchen and throwing him to the ground. She grabbed her belt. His mother didn’t like him going there, she was very blasphemous towards Jesci’s beliefs since she knew it would upset him. She cracker her belt, “Did you have fun praying to your ′God’ child? DID HE FINALLY ANSWER YOU?!” she exclaimed, slapping the belt across his face, “OH DEAR GOD PLEASE SAVE ME!! IS THAT WHAT YOUR THINKING? Your so called ‘God’ DOESN’T EXIST YOU INSULENT CHILD!!“ she remarked. She kicked in his stomach. Jesci laid there, coughing up blood ,tears streaming down his face as his mother continued to hit him. He was so confused, why didn’t she believe. His face began to bleed, “Mother, please stop...” he stuttered, staggering to try and get back on his feet. His mother stood there with a twisted grin on her face. She grabbed him by his hair and slammed his head into the counter, knocking down some of the dishes and breaking his nose, “Stop? WHY SHOULD I?! THE FUNS JUST BEGINING!!“. As she raised her arm to strike at him again, a glint of light bounced off of a knife on the floor and caught Jesci’s eye.
Two days later, somehow the Basilica of Santa Maria had caught fire. The entire building wasn’t destroyed, but it wasn’t like how he expected it to be. Several people had died in the fire. The bell had fallen, crushing sister Rianna to death. It was Sunday, around 9 a.m. when the church bell would usually chime. As was his routine, Jesci got dressed and sauntered down to where his church once stood tall. Today, he was wearing a red and white stripped shirt, with a pair of black ripped jeans and his combat boots. Standing in front of the doors, he froze. The building was a ghost of its former self. It was as if it had been split in two, evidence of the blaze still detailed itself on the remaining building. Soot and ash littered the ground, the smell of death lingering. Crushing wood and marble beneath his feet he strolled up to the altar once again. Wind bellowed through the remains of the cathedral, taking some debris with it. Tears rolled down his cheeks like rain drops on a window. He fell to his knees, clasping his hands and gritting his teeth he mumbled, “Ignosce me...“. His tears flowed freely now. He rose to his feet, his eyes now dry. Miraculously, the side of the structure where the instruments were was untouched, specifically the pipe organ. A memory replayed in his mind as he strolled towards it. Sister Rianna was in it, it was when she asked him to play it. Her bright gentle smile flickered in his memory as he sat on the stool. His fingers grazed the manuals, it seemed similar to a piano so he decided to try playing it as he would the keyboard. The dust around him settled and everything was quite, he advanced his fingers to play Mary Did you Know. He sang along to the melody, “Maria, tu scis tua infantem puer diei si quis ambulaverit in aqua? Maria, tu scis quia puer puero tuo salvum esse filii et filiae nostrae?“. The melody started to consume him and his foot accidentally touched one of the pedals under him. The sound suddenly amplified and the once grand now broken down hall around him was enveloped in sound once more. His hands danced on every note as he lamented not being able to go back to his mother. She was abusive yes, but he did love her. He stopped playing for the briefest of moments, taking a glistening knife out from his pocket. Viscus red stains still peppered over the blade like freckles. He smirked, and cut the webbing between his middle and fore finger. Rearranging his hands to continue his song, his blood dripped over every note. To him, he’d become one with the instrument and continued playing until night fell. “Rest in piece, sister...” Jesci remarked as he left the cathedral.