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A Happening at the Bridge of Sighs This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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I

A man slowly walked over the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Italy, as he knew this would be his last sight at the canals. A coil bound his hands, while the sentinels stood on either side of him, and at the back of the dark room. Little sunshine shone through the windows, as the cell had run down walls and the horrible feeling of darkness, isolation, and despair. These feelings had run through him and came at him from all sides. Although he tried to ignore these tragic feelings, they would not escape him and in addition to receiving a punishment physically, he was also receiving a painful one mentally and emotionally. He did not attempt to show these feelings however, even though he secretly felt them. He tried to look brave, and have a straight face. As he was taking his last look at Venice, watching the sunny boats sail through the canals and the happiness and joyfulness that rang through the city, he wished he could have the same.




II

Aristole was from a poor family, yet he managed to accomplish so much in his lifetime. He could not get a good form of education, as the Upper Class would have, so he worked as a cleaner to make money for his family. He gained all the necessities of life, like food, shelter, and work, but was not satisfied. He thought he was worthless to the city and that his entire family was useless. Aristole felt a desire and an urge to become known as part of the Upper Class group. Because of this reason, Aristole was accused of murdering a wealthy friend for money, after the friend would not hand the money over. Aristole’s friend, Guiliano, was reported to be missing for three weeks, and, after discovering his dead body, accused Aristole of murdering Guiliano. Also, a lady who happened to be watching saw from her apartment the fight that was happening between the two friends, and claimed she saw Aristole. Her eyesight however was not completely confident, for she had glasses, so it still remains a question whether he did murder his friend. However, everyone came to an agreement that it certainly was Aristole who committed the murder, as so he was sentenced to be jailed, for life. To commit an escape, he found a loose end in the coil, where he untied it. With the guards not knowing, he came up with his hand from behind, and smacked them to the ground. As the guards from the end of the room came running up, he snatched a gun from one of the other guards whom he just knocked out and held it up with pride and self-confidence. At this moment, he felt a feeling of strength and self-return, almost like he had been reborn. He quickly ran out of the building, then ran and ran for miles. No matter how exhausting the journey was, he kept his self-determination and pride in order to not bail out in returning home.

When he finally returned home, he saw a great palace with the sun shining over, and the feeling of happiness passed through him and lit up his face, for this was heaven. With marble fountains in the background, roses in the garden, and the canals running around, he figured this was the best thing that has ever happened to him. On the doorstep, right over the water, stood his lovely wife, Mary, and his two children, Gianna and Emily. Mary looked happy and astonished to see her husband. She showed him the new palace and said she finally got a job with a good pay and was able to afford a new house. Instead of her old rags, she was now dressed in a lace dress, with a shawl wrapped around her. Her hair was in curls, and was brushed neatly. Gianna and Emily were dressed in identical school jumpers, as Mary was able to now afford schooling and education. Their hair were in braids and had pretty bows around them. The water below them sparked, with the sun behind them, making the scene like heaven. Puzzled and happy, Aristole ran over to hug them, staring at the warm glow appeared by Mary’s warm smile. He ran toward her and gave her and the kids a hug. Then he leaned over to kiss Mary and felt that spark that made him truly happy.




III

As Aristole walked over the bridge with either one of the sentinels next to him, he glimpsed a last image of life as it was, as it used to be. He walked over to the cell, and, as dark and lifeless it was, this image could not destroy the happiness and faith he felt in his family, in seeing what he truly wanted and felt. One of the sentinels shoved him into the cell, and closed the door. Aristole took another glance around the room, and then at the guards, all silent. He went to the back of the cell, staring at the features it had. The whole building itself looked like it had been standing for over a hundred years, maybe even a thousand. The guard had a serious expression in his eyes, a feeling of hatred. The guard was about to close the door when Aristole got up and said “allow me.”




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