Automated Inquisition

The ringing of the bells is daily routine. While Friar Francisco y Campillo marched across the clock tower square back to the refectory, his right knee clicked annoyingly, creating a hitch in his normal stately march. Dry weather this week only made the condition worse.

He stopped for a moment to oil the sticking gear, and then whirred his way laboriously down the ancient torch lit staircase to the cell door.

Inside, a terrified young Portuguese girl cowered on the filthy, rat-infested hay. She screamed when the clockwork priest pointed a bronze finger at the stenciled sign reading: “Confess, Jew.”

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100 words. Inspired by this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt:

Clock tower

How we arrived at this today’s tale is a kind of interesting mental connection journey.

I see ‘clock tower’, and a building that’s ‘a church’. Leading to “Priest”. “Clock tower” leads to “Clockwork”, then google produces an image of an automaton priest here. (Go look, he’s really creepy!) 16th century, really??

Oh yeah, creepy friar, 16th century, that’s totally Spanish Inquisition, right? The end of the Spanish Inquisiton and the early automatons actually overlap!! Wow. Oh yeah, this’ll be fun.

And, well, the Inquisition was much  less about Witches than it was about Crypto-Jews, and their expulsion from Spain. (Also some heretics and sodomists and assorted; plus a witch or two).

So yeah, that’s rather a lot of disparate elements to tie up in a hundred words but…

Here we are.