Beneath The Bridge

For centuries the staid populations walked across the bridge: their daytime footsteps leaving the heelprints of a sober life. Living under an innocuous sky, they cast chaste shadows that mingled on the causeway in a thoughtful dance. Their bodies and clothes co-exist comfortably within unpolished fabrics – their dour, contented shells.

By nightfall they are home, locked behind their doors of care. They think about tomorrow, and the daily bridge – but they don’t think about the lively darkness, and the spirits that live beneath the bridge.

Not-So-Plain-Jane Avril

Every day, the sun departs in a burst of shamelessness – riding to its home under the horizon on twilight clouds of bronze and scarlet. And when the blue air deepens and becomes rich with secrets and scandal, a flurry of life begins within the veiled half-world beneath the bridge.

The night thrives on stars – its skin is tattooed with sparks of light. When the demimonde opens its feral eyes, the evening pulsates with its forbidden brilliance. Polished necks and arms shine like breathing alabaster – the gleam of cheekbone, the curve of mouth, fingers that extend into language:  all are tipped with light, creating an abstract of a forbidden life. The denizens of this world, cloaked in shadow and immorality, prowl and seduce through a jungle of dalliance.

Waiting in the Shadows

While the lugubrious societies live a frowning life above, a different class lies waiting. Women, immaculate and cruel, their ribs tightened into a cat’s cradle of whalebone; “nuns” – pretty little brides attending to their husbands of the evening – men, emotionless but eager…all wait to be set free, to enjoy their dark disgrace.

Trying for a Tryst

At midnight supper, the table will be crowded with assignations and thick with perfume and whispers. Empty bottles, torn flowers, shattered diamonds and scented notes litter the cloth in a countryside of delicate evil. Exquisite shadows share words that shine with passion and foolishness: a twisted, languid grammar.

Ladies Who Offer Ad-Vice

When the twilight rainbow of indigo, lavender and silver begins to recede – when the honorable sunlight returns – the extravagant ones return to their shadowy beds. Their profligate clothes and arsenic skin melt into the ground, nourishing the evil flowers. They wait once more for the night: to bloom under the bridge – to drink in a marvelous, thrilling vice.

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7 responses to “Beneath The Bridge

  1. A historical novel! You MUST write one!

  2. As a creature of the night, I had to like this. And do. 🙂

  3. Nice intersection of flora, Earth and society.

  4. I love the artwork and captions you’ve used throughout your story especially Ad-vice.

  5. ah, to go to venice & slip off into the night! RT

  6. Don t forget to hold your breath!(Venice smell!)
    And run away from overpriced cafe s and an tourist places were sitting down costs absurd taxes.

  7. Hangaku Gozen – Ha! Such a notion! I don’t think I have the focus or talent for such a think – I just think that the words would go on and on, until the reader would throw down my novel in disgust.

    Alleycat – Thank you; yes – the night has so many more delicious qualities than the innocuous day has. It holds a type of depth that appeals to the imagination.

    Emmy – Thanks; such a lovely trifecta of metaphor!

    Aussie – Half the fun of these posts is searching the web for applicable artwork. It can last for hours and I don’t mind at all!

    Music&Meaning – I remember going to a friend’s wedding; the theme was a Venice Carnivale. The priest was dressed in a mask and a black domino; everyone was dressed in petticoats and breeches. I wore a gown with a black taffeta skirt, as well as a black mask with black and white feathers!

    antiphonsgarden – I wonder if there is any comfort that Venice smelled just as bad hundreds of years ago, before cars, tours and income taxes? Maybe not, a stench by any other name would smell as bad. Still, I would be willing to stand in front of St. Mark’s – even if I had to hold my nose!

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