Venice Unmasked

Venice Unmasked ~ Lost and Found

It was a strange sort of place, Venice. There was a duplicity about it which tugged at something deep within her.  Its darkness and mystery did the same, and she supposed that was the start of her undoing. By day it was culture and tourism, romance, and an old life in a world reborn somehow into this modern day. It was street vendors and markets and tat-selling tourist shops, competing for the attention of day trippers who spilled from their over-priced gondolas. Amidst the stunning architecture and centuries of culture, economics had created a surface which cultivated current need. Yet the choice was there: float with the flavours washing over the city or dive deeper and taste something unfamiliar, but somehow known.

Those who stopped to indulge their senses, heard the echoes, and smelt the dark promise of something more. They felt a certainty that something richer was contained with the network of canals and side streets. That the superficial could give way to a secret kingdom, not apparent to those who merely glanced, but just discernible to those whose eyes were not blinded by simply satisfying their own expectations. And, as she walked, she thought that she felt a power pumping through the arterial canals, feeding the city with passion and heat.

They wandered side by side that first day, their only words, comments lost to the indifference of the other. Polite responses which drifted into the sea of chatter and left no trace. There was a time it had been different, but that time was gone. However, the recollection of what was lost must have permeated them somehow and, last night, amid the warm mugginess of the evening and the sounds from the street, something from somewhere called to them both, only to disappoint them once more. Now, as she walked, she felt slight discomfort at the passionless sex which had taken place.

Later on in the city, when the multitude of voyeurs had left on coaches and water taxis, it felt different. More hopeful somehow. More like the seductive haven it was meant to be. Slipping away from him that evening, her intention was simply to find some breathing space from her current suffocation. To have so much but savour so little was a torment with which she beat herself regularly, and often she would find a reason to be alone to indulge herself without the noise of their silence.

Her intention was never to be completely transformed, but sometimes, when something dormant is awoken, there is no going back. The music drew her in to what she thought was a simple trattoria, but turned out not to be. A magical, old-world place, dark and cool, tucked away in the shadows of one of the labyrinthine streets, it was the very pulse of what was possible. It was there that she lost herself and found herself too. The mask of one life slipped easily away to reveal the other. Duplicitous, like the city itself, she let go, embracing her other side, and was gone.

#493 Favourite City

This short piece is an older one I had which I have re-worked for Wicked Wednesday. Although fiction is not really my thing, I do use that genre a bit. If you enjoyed Venice Unmasked and would like to try some of my other fiction pieces then can find some of them here.

Posted in Fiction/Fantasy, Projects and tagged , , , .


  1. Honestly missy – I never understand why you say fiction isn’t your thing when you’re so skilled at it! Perhaps it doesn’t come so easily to you, but the way you have put the words together, the metaphors, the implied emotions and concepts behind your writing are both enchanting and alluring.

    You have managed to express yourself and leave the reader free to weave in their own experiences too. Masterfully done.

    So many places where I could have picked out a ‘favourite phrase’ but this was a jewel : float with the flavours washing over the city or dive deeper and taste something unfamiliar, but somehow known

    • Thank you Posy. I think i struggle because I don’t have many ideas. It’s not that I can’t do it when I have one, more that usually there aren’t the stories and characters in my head. It is a random thing that only comes sometimes x

  2. I am with Posy, but u and I have had many conversations about your fiction 🙂

    I have been to Venice three times – probably the most I have ever been to a city outside of the UK. There were things I liked and things I didn’t. My fave city is Florence – But I didn’t write about it. Perhaps another time xx

    • Oh yes Florence is nice too. I love Rome too and agree with you about Venice. Good and not so good. I like the smaller towns really – Cortona, Montepulciano, Orvieto.

      Re the fiction you are always very encouraging. As I said to Posy it is a lack of ideas more than anything. You two have so many stories in your head but mine isn’t like that. Sometimes something comes but often it doesn’t and it tends to be more of a snapshot than a story with a beginning, middle and end.

      Missy x

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