An engineer dedicated to saving Venice from the rising seas, fails in his task. As a severe storm and high tides threaten to burst through the flood walls, he resolves to remain in Venice with a ghostly lover who claimed his heart years before. A woman from his staff who loves him, does not evacuate, but remains to battle his ghostly lover before he dies in a sinking Venice…
Melange Books – http://www.melange-books.com/authors/sshampton/index.html
The dull booms, like the measured beats of a primeval heart, echoed through the gray drizzling afternoon. Each boom was a countdown to a finely predicted cataclysm that man, through his mistaken notion that he could control nature, had finally admitted that he was powerless to hold back.
Dr. Gregorio Romano, tall, with dark brown hair and watchful hazel eyes, stood before the open tall narrow window of his corner office in the ornate, gilded Ducal Palace of the once La Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia, the Most Serene Republic of Venice, and peered into the gray drizzle toward the unseen barrier islands. The almost submerged islands of Lido and Pellestrina, with their channels opening onto the Adriatic Sea, formed the southeastern perimeter of the timeless Venetian lagoon. He listened to the echoing booms of the rising, stormy Adriatic, and thought of a mythical, prehistoric mother who gave birth to an imaginative species that dreamed of the impossible and often made it happen. And now the mother was ready to take back one of the greatest dreams of her children, ready to clasp it deep within her bosom.
“Yes,” he replied as he gazed at the gray choppy waters of the lagoon.
“Have you reconsidered? Are you ready to evacuate?”
“Not yet.” Gregorio tilted his head slightly as a sleek dark gondola glided effortlessly across frothy, white-capped waters and halted before the flooded wharf, the Riva degli Schiavoni, in front of the Palace.
Patrizia Celentano, the first and last female gondolier of Venice, looked up at him and gave a friendly wave. He raised a hand in return. Her gondola was a traditionally built and shaped boat, but rather than the traditional black as required by law, she painted it a dark wine color. Though she offered to erect a shelter to protect Gregorio from the elements, he always preferred to ride in the open.
“We can evacuate you by force if necessary.”
“You won’t,” Gregorio smiled as he turned to face his computer on the polished wooden desk. The broad, bearded face of his boss, Dr. Niccolo Ricci, nodded in agreement. “There’s no need, and a helicopter is scheduled to pick me up from the roof of my home tomorrow morning at 0600 hours.”
“The calculations might be incorrect. The gates could break tonight…”
About the Author
SS Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13 wonderful grandchildren, a published photographer and photojournalist. He retired in July 2013 from the Army National Guard with the rank of Sergeant First Class; he previously served in the active duty Army (1974-1985), the Army Individual Ready Reserve (1985-1995) (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War), and enlisted in the Army National Guard in October 2004, after which he was mobilized for Federal active duty for almost three years. Hampton is a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle (2004-2006) and Iraqi Freedom (2006-2007). His writings have appeared as stand-alone stories and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others. Second-career goals include becoming a painter and studying for a degree in photography and anthropology—hopefully to someday work in and photograph underwater archaeology. After 12 years of brown desert in the Southwest and overseas, he misses the Rocky Mountains, yellow aspens in the fall, running rivers, and a warm fireplace during snowy winters. As of December 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Hampton officially became a homeless Iraq War veteran.
I have been published since 1992, however most of my writings appeared in e-magazines or were for a membership only site. Beginning in 2010 my stories began appearing in anthologies and as stand-alone stories through small print publishers. I will list those stories in alphabetical order rather than year published
Sharing Rachel – MuseItUp Publishing (2014)
A Luscious Kurdistan Strawberry – Penumbra Magazine, Musa Publishing.
An Appointment in the Village Bazaar (Danse Macabre: Close Encounters with the Reaper) – Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing.
An Incident on MSR Tampa – Musa Publishing.
Better Than a Rabbit’s Foot – MuseItUp Publishing.
Dancing in Moonlight – Musa Publishing.
Feeding the Ravens (Hearts of Tomorrow Anthology) – Midnight Showcase Fiction (Melange Books).
The Ferryman – Melange Books.
The Gates of Moses – Melange Books.
The Globe Theatre in Moonlight – Penumbra Magazine, Musa Publishing.
For the Glory Forever and Ever (R.U.S.H. Anthology) – Melange Books.
Intimate Journeys Collection – Melange Books.
The Lapis Lazuli Throne – Musa Publishing.
The Meridian Motel (Back Door Lover: Erotic Tales of Anal Sex) – Ravenous Romance.
The Mumbai Malaise (In Poe’s Shadow Anthology) – Dark Opus Press.
Painting the Night (Virgin Ass Anthology) – Ravenous Romance.
Protolanguage, Cookie Dough, and Mistletoe (Christmas Collectibles Anthology) – Midnight Showcase Fiction (Melange Books).
Second Saturday – Musa Publishing.
The Sentinels – Musa Publishing.
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