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My name is Luciano ― just Luciano. I'm Venetian by birth, old now and chained to my memories, compelled to return, link by link, seeking clarity.
There's a matter about which I am sworn to secrecy, but times have changed since I took my oath. In my lifetime, I've witnessed man's emergence from centuries of darkness. Great thinkers have unlocked our minds, and great artists have opened our eyes and our hearts. Some are calling it a renaissance ― a rebirth ― and it will reverberate far into the future because of a miraculous new invention called the printing press. Perhaps, now, it would be a disservice to the advancement of knowledge to remain silent. Perhaps the pendulum has swung a full arc, and the time has come for me to speak. If I proceed with caution . well, those who have ears let them hear.
The intrigue took place in my youth, when I served as an apprentice to the doge's chef in Venice. I first suspected some unholy mischief when the doge invited an uncouth peasant to dine with him in the palace. In the time-honored tradition of servants everywhere, I assumed my post behind the slightly open service door to the dining room in order to spy, and I marveled at the sight of them together: the doge, chief magistrate of the Most Serene Republic of Venice, gracious and bejeweled, sat with his guest, a bewildered paesano with calloused hands, dirt under his fingernails, and unwashed hair that had been hastily wetted and pushed off his face to show respect.
About Elle Newmark
Elle Newmark is an award winning writer whose books are inspired by her travels. She prowled the back streets of Venice to cook up The Book of Unholy Mischief and explored India by car and elephant to conjure The Devil's Wind. She calls California home.
For more information on Elle or her work visit http://www.ellenewmark.com/