The night has gone very dark in Venice in part 3 of our ongoing story series.
“What the hell is going on?!” Nicola shouted in panic as Venice was blanketed in darkness. Fumbling around to find a brazier bracket on the wall, she pulled off an oil lamp and lit it with the flint and steel rod she kept in her pocket. It had been half a year since Venice had been this dark, not since before that calamitous day.
Around Nicola people were struggling to find their way in the darkness. Chaos had ensued as people walked into each other, into walls and an unlucky few had even fallen into the canals. It was like the city had forgotten what night was.
General panic had overtaken reason as the sickly half-light which people had taken for granted had gone. Doomsayers proclaimed that this was the time for God to punish them. The Rent had been an act of divinity, and the fact that it had almost gone now symbolised that God was now ready to enact his vengeance. Others fell to their knees believing that the close of the Rent meant that Venice might return to a state of normality, that life would return to before the calamity. However, most were confused at the sudden change and wanted to secure themselves in their homes where they might feel safest, which – as Nicola observed – created more panic as people began to scramble back to safety.
After fighting through a panicked mob and losing her lamp to a burly man who pushed her over and ran off, Nicola fumbled her way into her house.
What a night this could turn out to be, Nicola mused as she removed her boots and jacket. I think I’ll take this opportunity to have a decent night sleep. She yawned, looking out of the window into the darkness. It’s been so long since I slept properly.
With that, Nicola climbed into bed.