I am very excited!
My short story “Veni Vidi Perivi” is part of “Dark Venice”, an anthology by Darkstroke Books.
All proceeds go to Venice in Peril.
Please buy, read, enjoy and help Venice!
“Veni Vidi Perivi” is a mythical/dystopian story. Hundreds of years from now, Venice has sunk to the bottom of the sea, yet it is still capable of seducing a random traveller with its hypnotic charm. But there is a price to pay for feasting on its beauty!
Extract from Veni Vidi Perivi:
Their village was like any other on the Seven Hills: wattle and daub huts with straw roofs, a well, a meeting house and a holy tree. Theirs was a Ravello tree, and that’s how the village got its name. The tree leaned away from the scorching southern sun and branched at the top like a hand with wide-spread fingers holding a tuft of hardy grass. There was another village on the Seven Hills whose holy tree was a Ravello, but theirs was much less magnificent, so their village was called Ravellino.
The Seven Hills weren’t real hills, not any more. They were islands. Lore had it that once they had been mountains towering over a vast landmass where trees were as common as pebbles, where light was trapped inside the night, and where water tasted sweet on the tongue. That had been before the Great Flood, when two gods clashed in a battle to the death. The God of the Sky had defeated the God of the Earth. He had opened the heavens and drowned his rival’s kingdom in a forty-day flood that had snuffed out the Earth’s fires and submerged it for eternity. Only the Seven Hills remained intact as they were close to heaven and for that reason the God of the Sky had a soft spot for them.
Some people said that the fires of the defeated god still burned under the surface of the sea, but anyone in their right mind knew that was impossible. No one could verify it either way. The sea was a cemetery and the dead were not to be disturbed. Entering the sea was prohibited under the penalty of death. The heights of the sky and the depths of the sea were the domains of the victorious god. The Seven Hills belonged to man.
The God of the Sky guarded his territories fiercely. Fishermen who ventured too close to the edge of the world where the sea turned to fields of salt returned with tales of monstrous snakes and gigantic fish shadowing their boats like grim death and sometimes even breaking through the surface, their mouths spewing geysers of steam and magma. That was as good a reason as any for people to stick to dry land and leave the rest of the universe to the gods.
The holy tree of Ravello was worshipped by the villagers in their humble, cut-down-to-size way. Lifting their gaze to the sky or venturing into the depths of the sea was sinful and could bring God’s wrath upon the whole village. Everyone knew that except for Baudolino who was a daredevil like no other, a liar and a bit of an idiot, truth be told.
Baudolino was the son of Leonardo, the village patriarch, a wise and just man. The apple couldn’t have fallen further from the tree. The villagers were still talking about the sacrilege of the holy tree that Baudolino had committed two years ago. The boy, fifteen years of age at the time, had sneaked up to the tree at the height of day and climbed to the top; he sat there like a chick in a bird’s nest, shading his eyes from the sun and staring towards the horizon where the sky met the sea as if looking for something. If his father had been a man of less importance, Baudolino would have been stoned to death and his remains left on a rock for wild beasts to take care of. But Baudolino was declared an idiot by his own father and thus escaped punishment. Idiots could not be held responsible for their actions, that much was obvious.
Not everyone was convinced about Baudolino’s idiocy and there were some whispers that Leonardo had abused his authority to save his wayward son’s life, but no one dared say it out loud.
There are many fantastic stories in the anthology, from mystery to ghost and horror.
As we cross the many bridges, and peek into murky canals, into Venice’s dark underbelly, follow chilling tales of ghostly shenanigans, political horrors, and intriguing mysteries!
Hundreds of years from now, Venice has sunk to the bottom of the sea, yet it is still capable of seducing a random traveller with its hypnotic charm. But there is a price to pay for feasting on its beauty!
We follow a young woman who searches Venice after dark after her best friend disappears, but the investigation is haunted by disturbing calls from the missing girl’s mobile phone.
Delve into the early 20th century when fascism gathers support across northern Italy. The discovery of a young woman’s dead body in a lagoon reveals a sinister plot way beyond Francesco di Luca’s imagination.
Reunited with her best friend Cindy Nix, notorious serial killer, Apple Rose, settles in the beautiful city of Venice. But a specter from the past returns, and it won’t be long before they have to reckon with a bloody choice made long ago.
On her honeymoon in Venice, a young newlywed navigates the city’s winding streets and canals. The last thing she expects is to be haunted by an insidious entity known only through folklore as the poverella.
We encounter a Tarot card reader, who reluctantly becomes involved in deception, smuggling – and murder!
Then, while in Venice to celebrate their twentieth wedding anniversary, Greg leaves Sally to spend an afternoon by herself in the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum, where a mysterious invention reveals secrets about her marriage she had never dared to contemplate.
Journey to another Venice! For years, Venice Harbor has been rumored to be cursed, and it is now widely known as Devil’s Town. When an epidemic hits the island, Doctor Harvey Hardy is chosen to treat the natives of Devil’s Town. However, strange things happen as soon as he arrives, which ultimately places his life in jeopardy.
The irrefutable truth… When you have experienced this kind of love, nothing, not even death, can change it.
Simone stumbles upon a couple violently fighting in a dark Venetian alley one night, which triggers haunting and painful memories best left forgotten. Can she reconcile the woman she has become with a younger self, who had been brimming with brazen moxie and big dreams?
Two women – a British pianist and her Venetian tour guide – are only just getting to know each other when calamity strikes. Neither can extricate them from the situation alone, but together, they may have a chance.
A young writer travels round Italy in search of inspiration for his work. On arriving in Venice, what he finds will change his life for ever.