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Notturno Veneziano

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Mar 10, 2007
I am carried into this clinic by the two hospital staff who have accompanied me in the car from the Mestre, they help to lie down on a hospital trolley. I am shaking with loud sobbing, in the grip of hysterical crying. A doctor approaches, touches my wrist, inspects my eyes with a bright light, lifting the eyelids, moving the small light, perhaps to see if I follow his movements ... No, I don’t follow, the light irritates me, and I have in my eyes those tragic images of that body splattered on the cobble-stones, with those strange wounds. After a few minutes the doctor returns holding a syringe, I don’t even have time to ask what he is doing, or to resist, the needle enters a vein in my arm, in a short time my vision is blurred ...

I am awakened by the trilling of an electric bell. I am now lying in a bed, drips are releasing their rosy liquid drop by drop with exasperating slowness. Around me I see other figures, also in their beds, also connected to drips. Meanwhile a doctor arrives, inserts the needle of a syringe into the rubber stopper of a bottle and injects the contents. This time my vision does not fade ... The sounds in this large room are muffled, light penetrating from high windows illuminates the dust that lingers hesitantly, disturbed only by the movement of air when one of the busy nurses crosses the cone of light. They are distributing breakfast, a cup of hot tea, four biscuits ...

I understand that life in this clinic (leper-house, prison, asylum or gulag?) is regulated by the sound of the bells, as if they are alarms. They seem to use a sort of morse code, a prolonged trill followed by a short, or vice versa, or later a combination of long and short sounds – I shall have to learn the meaning. There are no clocks on the walls, time passes slowly or quickly only in relation to the interval between one alarm and another.

During the afternoon (as I take it to be, since we have eaten lunch) I am allowed to get up, I am escorted to what will be my room, a room with two beds, one to the right and the other to the left of a central window, a small wardrobe for each of the patients, a night table, a chair - like a monastic cell.

Do I have to wear this uniform, the in-patients’ (or prisoners’?) uniform? A long coat of heavy white canvas, shapeless, without a belt (dangerous, you can use it to hang yourself?) A pair of plastic slippers, not uncomfortable. All personal items will be kept in a basket in a locker. My room-mate, (or fellow-prisoner?) Is absent at the moment. She has scattered on the windowsill, and hung on long strings, many small crosses - I wonder why, perhaps a kind of devotion, or a symptom of psychosis ? I'll get to understand ...

I sit in consternation on the bed, staring at my feet stuck in these strange slippers. The attendant who has accompanied me warns me that at the next buzz of the bell I have to go down, using the corridor and the stairs we have just come by, to go out into the courtyard. In the afternoon we spend some time outdoors (prisoners' exercise time?). The regulations require that we may not talk with the lay staff who work at the clinic, we can only address the nursing nuns, and even among us inmates talking is are prohibited.

The bell warns me of the planned interval out of doors. I go out, there is no key to the room, I walk along the corridor hesitantly, find the stairs, go down them, now I'm in an atrium, there are other women waiting for the signal to go out into the courtyard. No talking, they look but they do not see each other, each one closed in her world apart. Anxiety grips me as I go out, but it is not the same side as the entrance, under the bell-tower from which the miserable suicide hurled herself.

I sit on a wooden bench, my thoughts still focused on this tragic event. Now I'm those moments: the figure that appears on the parapet of the tower is shaking with fear - but of what? She seems to want to escape from some danger, even if she is being driven into worse danger. She seems to be being pursued by someone - but by whom? She look back, but what does she see? Of course her pursuer. Gazing into the emptiness is terrifying, yet she decides to throw herself off, her fear is greater than the emptiness that is about to receive her, or she has decided that it is better to end her life than to fall into the hands of those who are hunting her like prey?

The slow-motion images of the fall are now indelibly impressed in my mind, they slide one after the other in front of my closed eyes: the image of the horribly tortured body is burnt into my soul. The blood, the wounds, and those deep incisions around the wrists and ankles, as if they had been bound with rough ropes, as if she had been trying for a long time to get free of them, and then finally succeeded, and then searched for a way to escape, but then she realised that everything was hopeless, that the brute who had imprisoned her was chasing her, that she had chosen the wrong way, and only found the tragic alternative, die or return into the hands of those who were torturing her. She chose the first, but who was pursuing her? Certainly it was someone who is still within these walls, but who? Has nobody any suspicions? Did that poor woman commit suicide just because she was crazy? Why was she being treated in a clinic for mad people? And why am I in such a clinic?

The summoning bell interrupts my dark thoughts. It's already dinner time, we eat early in hospitals ...
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Mar 10, 2007
I meet for the first time my room-mate, a tiny brunette, thin, under-nourished I’d almost say. She has sky-blue eyes like those of sledge-dogs, very mobile, glancing right and left, but never at me. She gives not a hint of any greeting, just crouches under the sheets, turning towards the wall. What a companion has been granted me!

Three short rings of the bell warn us that it is time to sleep. The lights go off automatically, there are no switches, no electrical outlets, everything is done to avoid accidents, but accidents happen all the same ...

I spend a quiet night, perhaps the drink that was distributed to us last night contained something. Morning is announced by the usual bell. I'm determined to learn more about this place, but I'll have to work how. After breakfast, in the refectory on the ground floor, a lay servant tells me that I shall have to go up to my room and put on the dress and shoes issued to me to go out for a walk, along with other patients and escorted by one of the nursing nuns who will lead us out into the country nearby. This is part of the therapy I shall have to follow.

As soon as I enter the room, I close the door behind me while the servant is putting the dress on the bed. I take this chance to lock her arms behind her back, a surprise move - I demand to know where I am and what this clinic is. She begs me not to make her speak, she cannot, it's forbidden. I threaten her, I can accuse her of having used violence towards me, so the poor woman starts answering my questions. I come to know that I am in a district in Carnia, where the Cossacks who had been allies of Hitler, were sent during the war to populate these valleys. Many women were raped and some killed by these brutes, some gave birth to the children of these forced relationships.

After some time, it is said, dozens of women in this little mountain village seemed to be in the grip of devils - they screamed, foamed, swore, rolled on the ground and gave forth gruesome, wild animal sounds, and uttered blasphemous oaths. The doctors talked of hystero-demonopathy, and the women were locked up in this former monastery turned into an asylum for the purpose, some children were even born in this place from those possessed women.

“Please don’t make me say anything more!” She’s afraid of one person, the priest, she calls him ‘il Papa', in the way they do in the Orthodox churches. She says he’s thought to be the son of one of these poor women, and that he was sent to a seminary to become a priest, so he could free that woman from the demon who was possessing her. Now he is the director of this community of nuns, perhaps they too are illegitimate daughters of those events. I don’t hold her back any longer, so as not to raise the suspicion of the nun who is waiting to accompany us on the walk. But I promise myself that she will speak again.

Truly this is strange country, a country of time, or rather a country of clocks. On every house there is a large clock, either a sundial or a mechanical clock, it doesn’t seem to matter so long as it’s huge and complicated. Everywhere I turn my eyes I see one, but the crazy thing is that not one of them shows the same time as another, they mark the most disparate hours, time measured from the creation to the time left before the end of the world, the time on the planet Jupiter and that on Mars . The most disturbing clock is one that shows what time is left for you before your death, but it has no hands, it angers me more than anything else, it promises to tell one the time that remains to ask for forgiveness of sins, and then denies you. Even the clock at the old station, where there are no rails any more, lacks hands, here time is gone ...

Many times I am tempted to escape, taking advantage of anything that might distract the nun, but it would be useless, the clothes we’re wearing make us instantly recognisable, and the conscientious inhabitants, mindful of the disturbing events that once occurred, are ready to turn us in without delay at the gate of the clinic. It’s happened too many times, whispers one of the women who has come out with us today for the walk.

Returning to the clinic, we have to await the annoyance of attending a religious service for I know not what observance. Like when I was at the orphanage of the Sisters of Charity, every time I had to go to church, I felt this 'allergy'.

The officiating priest for this function has a thick beard, and long hair falling onto his shoulders, he really does seem like an Orthodox 'pope'. He has a disquieting look, he observes each of us women intently, with the expression of one who would accuse us of something, of some sin, seeming to want to condemn us, to send us to hell ... I keep my head bowed to avoid his unpleasant gaze.


Feb 7, 2012
The most disturbing clock is one that shows what time is left for you before your death, but it has no hands, it angers me more than anything else, it promises to tell one the time that remains to ask for forgiveness of sins, and then denies you.


Even the clock at the old station, where there are no rails any more, lacks hands, here time is gone ...



Feb 7, 2012
.... The most disturbing clock is one that shows what time is left for you before your death, but it has no hands, it angers me more than anything else, it promises to tell one the time that remains to ask for forgiveness of sins, and then denies you ....

Memento mori:
Remember you will die:
Mar 10, 2007
After dinner, when I enter the room, I find my partner huddled on her bed, staring at me with a fixed gaze, then she gesticulates, holding up one of her crosses, pronouncing strange words like a litany.

'What's going on with you?'

'I can see the devil.'

'Where is he?'

'Close to you.'

'Make the sign of the cross.'

'He’s still there.'


'Around you - you're the devil, go away!'

Alarmed, I press the button to call for help. Straightaway a pair of nuns rush in, they immediately understand the situation and drag away the poor woman. But what surprises me most is that, after a while, 'il Papa' enters my room. He is wearing a black stole, holding an aspergillum (holy water sprinkler) with which, tracing crosses in the air, he casts splashes of water to right and left , pronouncing Latin formulas the meaning of which I do not understand. He stares at me with lascivious intent - I am half-naked - but with that admonitory look that presages a 'divine punishment’.

Two nuns are standing guard near the door of the room. Am I a prisoner? It seems so ...

-- Yesterday I stole an old mirror, a really antique one, it had been left on a bench out in the countryside. I hid it under my dress, but I could not know that inside the mirror there was a demon - I saw shadows flickering in the mirror, I woke up in the middle of the night and found scratch-marks all over my body ...

Today it is raining, that insistent autumn rain which does not allow you to put your nose outside the door. When the bell calls us down to the lobby, I want to do something other than the afternoon exercise. I walk as I did yesterday along the corridor and down the stairs. A noise coming from below, where the stairs go on down to a lower floor, draws my attention. It seemed to be a door slamed by a draught of air, but also a muffled moan ...

I pluck up courage, go down the staircase and through the door. I find myself in a timeless world, it looks as if it is a corridor of the old monastery, on either side are the doors of the cells of the monks that lived here. Oblivious to the danger I am courting, I pause to look into each one of them. Stacks of old furniture, kneelers, old church pews, some crates containing scrap metal, chains, old door-nails. Halfway down the corridor, I lose my sense of direction, which is the way out?

I take a wrong turning, I find myself in a crypt, perhaps of an ancient church pre-dating the current one. It is from here that the strange sound seems to be coming, like a lament, from beyond the door at the far end. Who is moaning? One suspicion: is my room-mate being held here? What's happening to her?

I proceed cautiously between pews and hassocks. On the right, in the shadows stands an old altar, on it a wooden cross leaning askew. My heart skips a beat – in the dim light, I see the slightly luminous outline of a ghostly image on the cross - it is a naked woman, nailed, with a crown of thorns on her head, covered in blood.

I can scarcely hold back a cry, I try to escape, but I blunde and knock into a bench that falls over noisily. Before I can reach the door of the crypt someone grabs me from behind, covers me with a blanket, I'm lost!

The violence with which I have been seized is so great that the assailant, squeezing my throat, takes my breath away. I squirm wildly in an attempt to free myself, but it’s useless, in a few moments I lose consciousness.

When I wake up, I’m aware that I'm naked, chained against a cold stone wall, crouching on thefloor. In my mouth is a rag pressed in by some object fixed on a rope that is tied around my head, and which is also covering my eyes, I don’t even try to open them. I’ve been seriously hurt my belly is painful, and even my anus Was I raped while I was unconscious, after the temporary asphyxiation?

Someone is entering this unknown place where I am imprisoned, he is approaching me, I hear his footsteps, but who is he? He unhooks the chain from the wall, grabs me by the hair, drags me across the cold, wet stones of the floor. I try to free myself but I get a kick in the abdomen that takes my breath away, I am an inert body in the hands of this fury from hell...

I hear the sound of a wooden plank being thrown to the ground, the demon seizes me by one foot, pulls it across the wood, my ankle is enclosed in an iron anklet, a blow of a club on the head of a big nail, the ring on the anklet is about to be nailed into the wood, the blows follow that drive home the nail ...

Then the other foot. This demon is nailing me with my legs apart. When the hammer blows finish, he begins to masturbate more and more vigorously, on my belly and in my anus. It is useless to try to resist, I can only wriggle a little ...

But it is not over, he must have grasped this wooden beam and is dragging me along the floor, the flagstones are hurting my back. Where is he taking me? Along a corridor? Into the crypt? Oh no! He wants to crucify me!

The rings of manacles on my wrists are now nailed above my head to the stipes of this cross. This obscene position allows the monster to raise the cross, lifting it where my the feet are clamped. I find myself crucified upside down, legs apart, arms outstretched towards the base.
Mar 10, 2007
More people are entering this place now, female hands anoint my body with oil, while a mournful litany is recited by female voices. What are they doing? They take off the cord that has been tied around my head, freeing my eyes and mouth. The scene I see in the dim light of the candle-lit crypt is chilling. I see the whole scene upside-down, ‘il Papa' is now wearing the purple stole of an exorcist, behind him the nuns are reciting the rosary, another hooded figure stands on his right.

Suddenly the demon that possesses me manifests itself! My demon is angry, and starts to assault the exorcist:

"Have you brought help? It’ll do no good! Faggot! Asshole!"

All this is accompanied by utterly chilling laughter.

At the same time, the exorcist hisses:

"Silence! Attend to me! "

"Nomen tuum, nunc! Tell me your name, now!" the exorcist intones.

After many grimaces, insults and spitting, the demon replies in a hellish voice:


The most perverse spirit in the whole of creation! The hooded figure is writing continuously in a notebook.

"Write that .... you sucker!" The devil goes on provoking with a sneer, "Asshole! Faggot! I’ll burn the pages!"

The exorcist resumes the interrogation,

"Now answer, present or absent, who is with you? Zebulun? "










Every devil responds in a different tone of voice, but each with a grimace that is not very reassuring. (the eyes of the possessed have changed colour and become completely black)

"How did you get into this depraved body?"

"Her father and her aunt, who were practising witchcraft, cursed the girl using special herbs, collected in the cemeteries of those condemned to death, to contaminate her food. And then – you know very well how - they cried out loud:

‘O great Lucifer, Emperor of Hell, I summon you and I introduce you into the body of this girl, which I shall offer up to you in sacrifice, and you will do what I command by the powers of magic that I now invoke according to the Secret Book of St. Cyprian, in the names of all the Chieftains of the Great Legions of Hell: Adrammelech, Alastor and Azazel, to whom I now pray along with all their brothers ... raising our entreaties to all the Lords of the Infernal Legions: Abigor, pecca pro nobis; Amon, miserere nobis; Samael, libera nos a bono; Belial eleyson; Focalor in corruptionem meam intende; Haborym, damnamus Dominum; Zaebos, anum meum aperie; Leonardo, asperges me spermate tuo et inquinabor.’” *

"That's enough! That's enough! Just answer my questions with yes or no!" orders the exorcist.

(The possessed one now answers with precision questions posed in many different languages, such as medieval Latin, Greek and Aramaic).

For now, it seems, the exorcism is suspended. The black procession of the nuns departs. I am exhausted. Because of the damp cold of this underground crypt I piss copiously, bathing my poor body, shaken by violent tremors. And so I stay, in the dark, at the mercy of the demons that I know now have possession of me.
Note by Eulalia
These are all blasphemous reversals of familiar phrases from the Latin liturgy:
pecca pro nobis ‘sin for us’/ ora pro nobis ‘pray for us’ (in the Angelus prayer to the BVM)
miserere nobis ‘have mercy upon us’ (in the Agnus Dei in the Ordinary of the Mass)
libera nos a bono ‘deliver us from good’/ libera nos a malo ‘deliver us from evil’ (the Lord’s Prayer)
Belial elyson ‘have mercy’ / Kyrie eleison ‘Lord have mercy’ (in the Ordinary of the Mass)
in corruptionem meam intende ‘make haste to corrupt me’/ Deus in adiutorium meum intende ‘O God make speed to save me’ (Ps 39/40:1, intoned at the start of the Day Offices)
damnamus Dominum ‘let us damn the Lord’/ benedicamus Domino ‘let us bless the Lord’ (intoned at the end of the Day Offices)
anum meum aperie ‘open my arse’/ labia mea aperies ‘you shall open my lips’ (Ps 50/51:16, intoned at the start of the Night Office)
asperge me spermate tuo et inquinabor ‘sprinkle me with your sperm and I shall be foul'/ asperges me hyssopo et mundabor ‘you shall sprinkle me with hyssop and I shall be clean’ (Ps 50/51:8, intoned during the preparation before the start of Mass)
Mar 10, 2007
Before they departed, the black-hooded figure and the exorcist have laid, in a horizontal position on the altar, the cross to which I am nailed. I can only abandon myself to my despair. Terrifying nightmares follow, one after other, for hours and hours, time no longer passes, I only hope to die quickly ...

The sound of the bolt scraping through the lock announces that someone is about to enter. The mournful repetitions of the litany chanted by the nuns heralds the entrance of the exorcist and his hooded aide, but there is something different, the nuns are now wearing black hoods over their heads that completely cover their faces. The rite of the second exorcism will soon begin ...

The cross is hoisted upright, I can see the scene upside-down. Each nun holds a candle. On a tray I see a crown of thorns, and four nails laid out. The assistant no longer has the notebook in which he was writing yesterday – he is brandishing a hammer ...

Having sprinkled me with water from the aspergillum and recited some abstruse formulas, the exorcist approaches. He takes the crown and forces it onto my head. The excruciating pain of thorns entering my flesh almost makes me lose consciousness. I feel the streams of blood dripping from the wounds. I’m aware of a sudden movement in the group of nuns, one of them is supporting another, and she escorts her outside the crypt, she has proved unable to bear the sight of such an atrocity ...

Now the exorcist takes a nail from the tray and, gripping my left wrist tightly, pushes the point hard against the palm of my hand. His hooded aide approaches, raises the arm that is holding the hammer, ready to strike the blow ...

Crack! A shot from a firearm resounds in the crypt, followed by a terrible human scream, a harrowing scream ... and immediately afterwards, nothing. I’ve no idea who fired the shot, nor who was hit - certainly not the exorcist who, taking advantage of the confusion generated by this interruption, gains an advantage over whoever is trying to capture him by fleeing down a secret passage ...

I see a shapeless mass covered by a black cassock and hood, twisting on the ground, and then falling motionless - the henchman has been killed. Someone is grabbing the nuns who are screaming with terror ...

Finally someone approaches me, takes off the mask which has covered her face – it’s a woman, I think I recognize the police officer who stayed with me during that terrible night after the death of Vio ...

That memory makes me lose consciousness, several times I wake up but faint again. I’m only conscious of one last thing: the flashing lights of the ambulance that is taking me away ...

So I can pick up my life again, from the moment when I lost it in that crypt ...


(but there follows a ‘Postfactum’)
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