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Benidickedus by Ron Sanders

Benidickedus by Ron Sanders

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Published by Ron
Absolution? Absolutely!
Absolution? Absolutely!

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Published by: Ron on Apr 28, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/02/2013

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 1 
 Benidickedus
 
© by Ron Sanders 2009
In the quaint hamlet of C’erebadicio, in Northeast Italy, are two nearly identical tall hills, theMounds of Our Lady Democritia.On one hill stands the charming little chapel of Vita Vista, surrounded by roses, impatiens, andmarigolds. The sun almost always shines on Vita Vista, and, upon the occasional cloudburst, her honeysuckles are said to fatten in the rain. The chapel, girded by a lovely ornate fence smothered inivy and creepers, is unoccupied—indeed has rested vacant since its construction some three years prior.Upon the adjacent hill stands the rather gothic home of Benito il Dinera, C’erebadicio’sfounder, financier, and de facto patriarch. Beni, as the townspeople are rumored to fondly call him,has not been visible over those three years. He’s been bedridden, far too ill to resume his belovedcoach rides through the hamlet’s pretty little slums and cemeteries.The community of C’erebadicio spills below the Mounds like an unfenced junkyard.An overgrown road winds up il Dinera’s hill, grooved and scattered by cartwheels and hooves.An untouched brick path, nearly swallowed in clover, winds up the Mound to Vita Vista.
 
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You don’t ordinarily encounter 
chateaus
in deeply rural Italy; those things are French jobs,famous for their elite charm. Same with Venetian cobbles, Grecian marble pools, and Chinese dwarf  pines: these articles, very exotic, are all but impossible to find in that static pocket of the planet. Notso on Benito’s hill. Over many years these, and other very dear objets, were imported, by grateful peasantry via mule and dog cart, across desert and swamp, on the sagging backs of hobbled childrenand wizened granmamas. Benito paid well: the elsewise impoverished populace were able to seasontheir swill (ordinarily just offal) with bread crumbs, roof their shanties with sorghum and tin, anddance for Benito’s pleasure in the ramshackle town square, children and adults alike dressed inhomespun blankets dyed with leftovers scavenged from their master’s generously tossed garbage.And, utilizing this rolling jetsam, their tambourines were made with the cuttings from
real 
aluminumcans, not that discordant tin stuff shaken by their ancestors.Padre Peste bon Bella was one of the luckier C’erebadicioanami. His hovel stood moremagnificent than the rest: an 8 x 10 cardboard lean-to with a roof of tangleweed and a floor of God’sown sweet dirt. Padre Peste lived in this adorable home with Cosito, his blind donkey, with Fhfrhhn,the village idiot, and with Dominique, his blessed companion and soul’s sounding board. And, of course, with God, smiling equally upon the community’s beneficiaries and the famous house of their cherished master, Beni.Sister Dominique was a lovely woman, originally from the convent at Our Mother MostMerciful. God had been generous with His graceful Hand; Dominique was well into her ninety-seventh year now, and showed no sign of relinquishing the Lord’s work. He had blessed her with anindomitable spirit: although rickets, extracrotcherian cancer, and compound dorsal elephantiasis hadcrimped, folded, and twisted her darling three-foot frame to a degree seemingly physicallyimpossible, she nevertheless retained the presence of mind to darn Padre Peste’s sandals withregularity, and to milk Cosito whenever Fhfrhhn’s giggling screams roused her from her ramblingsoliloquies. Fhfrhhn, born of a sign painter and a circus cobbler, was responsible for hand-letteringthat cardboard sign reading FOLLOW US perpetually hung round Cosito’s nappy neck, and for constructing a sturdy pair of gorgeous orthopedic shoes for precious little Dominique. These custom-made beauties, designed for stature as well as for locomotion, came with eighteen-inch heels, causingDominique’s posterior to stand level with her ash-fringed habit, her shoulders to further round thehunch on her back, and her knuckles to bobble and drag as she walked. One most blessed

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