The Black Night part 11

The penultimate chapter! Pietro is waking up to disaster.

Pietro had not slept an ounce.

After hearing the primal roar which shook him to his very core he had sheltered in his house with Julietta and prayed to whatever gods might listen. The couple dared not look out their window all night, and so had no idea of the extent of the devastation. As they finally left their home with the sunrise and picked their way through the broken street, the two thanked the gods, and thought that they had made a wise decision to hurry back from the theatre.

The district of Dorsuduro had been completely devastated. Buildings had collapsed into a heap of rubble or fallen into the canals. There were citizens pulling out corpses from the wreckage and piling them in a line for the inevitable body count. Families which had identified bodies were howling in grief and in some terrible circumstances, had found only parts of their loved ones.

Venice was a dangerous place at night – everybody knew it. Pietro realised that the night before would probably have been even more dangerous. The darker Venice was, the more dangerous it would be and the easier it would be to hide nefarious deeds, or for creatures to come to the streets. People were aware of the animals that now lived in the canals, dredged up from far seas by the flooding during the Rent’s opening. However the death and the pure savagery of this attack seemed to be something far bigger and more powerful. But what could it have been? Pietro had no idea.

Julietta looked terrified and clung to the arm of her husband. Pietro tried to comfort her as best he could but it was no good. The horrors of the night before were abundantly clear for all to see. But who, or what, could have done something as truly awful? Everyone seemed in a complete haze as to how this actually happened. No-one had an eye-witness account, the only witness the broken and destroyed district.

Throughout the coming weeks many claimed it to be the work of God, punishing the excesses of the city. Others suggested that it was simply the ruling class, their midnight games turning into more deadly competitions. Some questioned what the Doctors of the Ospedale had to do with the night, saying that their secrecy was questionable. People told stories in taverns of a titanic sea creature that curled its way around Venice, living at the bottom of the canals. And still others said that it was simply a marauding group of brigands, bringing war to the city before La Serenissima sunk their ships herself, and that the Rent in the Sky fought back to protect the residents.

Whatever those claims were though didn’t comfort Pietro or Julietta as they walked through the horror. It was days like this that made Pietro want to move far away, but in these uncertain times, where else would they go?

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