Wednesday July 6th, 2011

The exercise:

Write something that takes place in: Venice.

Sorry for the lack of comments the last couple of days - I'm fighting some internet issues over here. I'll try to get to them tomorrow.


Night has fallen and I fear it's only a matter of time before I do as well - right into one of these bloody canals. How are there no railings to prevent people from wandering right into them once all the lights go out? They'd never allow this back home.

Which way is it back to the hotel, anyway? Is that the building I was supposed to turn right at? God, they all look the same during the day - how did I ever expect to manage this in the dark? There's not even anyone around to ask for directions!

I'm sure to get mugged before this is all over. Maybe even murdered. Then I'll end up in a canal for sure.

Might as well try this way. Better than standing here all night, at any rate. And what's the worst that could -



Greg said...

It's kind of strange to look back and remember a time when there was no such thing as 'the internet' for most people now that it's become such a part of our lives that not having any, or having problems with it, causes people to apologise! I hope you get your issues sorted out soon.
Your first paragraph reminds me of a (possibly apocryphal) story of a cliff with a great view in some non-English speaking country where there was a sign in English only warning people not to walk off the edge. When asked about this, the officials said it was for Americans, who were used to being warned about such dangers....

Isabelle Bonfontaine sat at a small table in Harry's Bar drinking a Montgomery. She was, she was well aware, sat at Hemingway's favourite table, and she was receiving various death-stares from tourists wishing to sit there themselves. She sipped her drink and ignored them.
Finally a young woman with leg braces hobbled into the bar and sat down opposite her without so much as making eye contact. She was dishevelled, her canvas bag was torn half-way across its flap, and a long scratch across the top of her breasts was fresh enough that little jewels of blood still adorned it.
"Are you--?"
"I was attacked on the way here, but they got more than they were expecting." The girl spoke very quietly but with force, almost vehemence. Isabelle rocked back slightly in her seat, her face, half-frozen from her stroke five years ago, unreadable.
"You're Bonfontaine? Your father knew Harry Pickering?"
Isabelle nodded, then realised that the girl wasn't looking at her but rummaging in her bag. "Yes," she said.
"Keep your voice down, I just told you I was attacked. Do you want to be next?"
"Do I have a choice?" asked Isabelle, her voice so quiet she doubted she could be heard over the general chatter in the bar. The girl heard her though.
"Maybe not," she said. "But you can probably swim, which is more than I can."
"Your legs...?"
"Polio. Anyway." She took a small package out of her bag, grubby brown butcher's paper that had been soaked in something and allowed to dry. "Don't unwrap it here, or anywhere anyone can see. That includes the hotel room, they all have cameras everywhere now."
Isabelle nodded. In the parcel, if the girl was to be believed, was a Brinchev kris, the one owned by Harry Pickering just before his disappearance in 1938. A real coup for the museum, but also a coup for Isabelle as well, and perhaps, at last, a way to find her own father.

Andrew said...

This is a very obscure prompt, makes it somewhat difficult for me to think of what to write, but here goes nothing!

When In Venice

Everyone knows Venice is supposed to be the city of love, right? Well that's exactly what it was to me, too. I visit the city once a year, and while I'm away from my husband, he suspects nothing.

When I arrive, I constantly scour the streets, looking for... Oh, there he is! With his flowing black hair, brown eyes, and his gondola hat donned on his head. He gives me a wink and motions for me to sit on his boat.

Then, he pushes off the sidewalk and begins to sing to me. I gaze into his eyes, and I'm in heaven again.

Denin said...

The Venice canals
are the birthplace
of many a youthful romance.

The sound of accordions
reminds me of the songs
I would sing in my youth.

Chuckling I mumble along
underneath my breath,
as though underwater.

The water cooes softly
against the side of the gondola.
Her voice comes to mind
and I feel her beautiful thumb
gently pushing on my Adam's Apple.

If she was here
my life would be complete.
But she is the keystone
that slipped out in the storm.

My bridge collapses
and the brickks plunge to the water
as a tear runs down my cheek.

Marc said...

Greg - ha! I'm choosing to believe that story :)

I continue to be intrigued by Isabelle. She keeps interesting company.

Andrew - you'll probably find that I do enjoy open ended prompts. I like seeing all the different directions people take them in :)

Having been in Venice, I don't doubt that your story is true for many women.

Denin - lovely poem. A lot of great lines, though the third stanza jumped out at me in particular.

Andrew said...

Marc, not having been in Venice, I had no idea what happens there, so thanks for testing my guesses about what it's like there! Also, I know, I love reading all the comments!

Heather said...

I started writing this last night, but was interrupted by a number of things: an urgent care trip and sleep being the biggest two.

So, here it is, albeit late. And a bit long, but not as long as it would have been.

Language Is A Virus

Marc said...

Andrew - I recommend going if you ever have the chance. A very memorable place.

Heather - glad you managed to get it done between and around all the interruptions. I shall be over momentarily to read it.