I had to go to Venice on my flash fiction world tour, didn't I? I've never been there in person, but I have hopes I'll make it there next year. Although it divides critics, I don't think there is a city in the world that occupies such a unique place in the popular imagination.
I chose today's story because my dad was a marine engineer, whose professional life was lived around the tides. I have never been any use at figuring out tides (I can rarely even tell whether the tide is going in or out) so today's story about the acqua alta or high water in Venice is a small shout-out to his knowledge.
She hopped from one wet foot to the other as the men pulled the high walkways out and settled them over the submerged pavement.
"Come on, come on. . ." she willed them silently. The hands on the church clock were pointed at five minutes to five, forming a straight but rusting slash across the crumbling clock face.
"Grazie!" she said, skipping across the temporary walkway. "Grazie!"
She made it to her front door with mere seconds to spare, hanging her coat and sitting on the couch with a magazine. He could not know that she has been outside. He would know where she had been.
Her heart was pounding and the fear was making her vision too sharp. But the lazy hours in another bed were worth it, more than worth it.
He arrived a little later than usual. Her heart had slowed by then, and she was cursing the few minutes that his lateness had stolen from her lover. She cold have stayed longer.
As he bent to kiss her, he froze.
"What?" she asked.
"Your shoes," he said softly. "They're wet."
For the rest of my A-Z flash fiction, please check out the tag below this post. Thanks for visiting!