The Gondolier

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His gondola was called the Duca d'Costa, and it was named after the ship that took his father, Patriello, to America in 1980. On his way back to Italy to reunite with his family, Patriello's ship sunk in the Atlantic. Vincenzo's mother, Daniella, moved to Venice for work as a translating tour guide, and soon Vincenzo Zambrossi was born. From a young age, Vincenzo loved the water. For days on end, he would skip school and swim up and down the canals, speaking with fisherman, and local vendors, sleeping in boat garages and stealing bread to keep from starving. Some would call him sly, but he was a clever lad. Whenever Daniella received a new tour to lead, one that would take days around Venice, the boy would disappear from school completely and often be found with a friend of his mothers, Rubio. Rubio was one of Patriello's old friends and often told anecdotes to the young boy that would keep him occupied long enough to settle him down and get some solid food into him. By the time he was twenty, Vincenzo had fallen in love with his life. He was comfortable, single, and thanks to his gondola job from Rubio, he was well employed. Due to his old age he could not handle both tasks, as fishing and rowing a gondola are both very demanding, and offered his gondola to Vincenzo. He accepted with an open heart. Life was better than he had expected, certainly it was he thought, for a man with barely any education in the classroom. His love of life had bonded with the city, the lights at night, and smells, the peaceful whirring of the ocean through the tiny roman-built archways that were exactly high enough for a gondola driver to pass through...on most occasions.

"Ahh Venice", sighed another over-enthusiastic American tourist, the 7th in the Duca d'Costa today. This man was rather quite short, and heavy in the middle, his bald spot reflected the Italian afternoon sun directly into Vincenzo's eyes. The man's partner, was of course, stunning. “Americans want money, not love", that was a line Daniella often recited in her son's presence. "It is quite beautiful isn't it sir, especially at this time in the afternoon", replied the currently squinting Vincenzo. He strained to focus on Rebecca, who was the true beauty in the city at this moment. Apparently George was a wealthy business man from America who owned several video-communication companies. He had rented a villa for the month. Vincenzo had picked the pair of them up at the docks outside the train station, because George thought it would be more romantic than taking a normal, faster boat, with a motor. Needless to say, Vincenzo's arms did not agree, and they were only on the first canal way of four. It’s worth it, he thought to himself. I can see it in his pocket, it’s the exact same size I knew it would be, and a different color but we will just have to make a new case. Suddenly the oak chassis slammed into the hundred year old brick wall with break-neck force. The object went flying straight overboard into the canal. "My phone! What are you doing you idiot? My phone!" George rose into a tantrum, and fell immediately to his knees, then onto his face. Piercing his left pant leg as he had turned to harass Vincenzo, was a needle about an inch long filled with 5ml of chloroform, enough to depress his central nervous system for at least twenty minutes. "You weren't supposed to knock it out of the boat", reminded Rebecca, who's actual name was Sophia Diamanti. "I actually just wanted to see you in that new bathing suit", answered Vincenzo smartly. As Sophia dove overboard, Vincenzo moved the body under a checkered cloth, and disposed of the needle. They were deep enough into the canals that no one heard him yell. Considering, it is a rather nice day out isn't it old boy?" Everything was going according to plan.





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