“La Vendetta”….a short story.


Perhaps  "Madame" Gormosy ? (from gestalta.net)

WARNING:  Adult content





Chapter One


Maria de Guiseppa Agnesi Faini sprawled on a brocade-covered chair. Summer in Venice was always hot, humid and moldy.  She crinkled her nose at the smell of the water and the slime rotting the stucco sides of the villa. 

Her apartments were on the third floor but very little air this sultry morning was  coming through the long, opened windows.   She could hear singing of gondola men, their songs  of beautiful women and brokenhearted lovers as they poled their way down the Grand Canal. The men’s lilting voices called out the names of local courtesans, much as the sellers of fish or fruit sang of their  desirability.  

“ A lira for a squeeze of Maria’s breast, with a couple of oranges to sweeten the deal!” 

Signora Faini squirmed in her chair.  The brocade was hot to her skin, though she wore a muslin morning dress. Sweat dripped down the viola curve of her back to the crease of her buttocks and she scratched where it tickled.  L’Inglese had introduced muslin and it was all the rage in Venice this season.  She thought them a bloodless race, a country of bad teeth. 

”Where is he?”  She tapped her foot impatiently.  “He better bring some good gossip for his lateness”.  Signor Alessandro Balsamo was her friend.  Actually he was her ciscebo, tolerated by her husband because Signor Balsamo was a castrato.  He had been cut when only a young boy (“Viva il coltello!” the audience yelled when he appeared on the stage) and sang until his voice disappeared.  Other patrons supported him, but alas, Signor Balsamo was growing old and unattractive.  His nose was arching to meet his chin, his belly could no longer be contained in his waistcoat and even his corset was straining.  

Signora Faini sighed.  This heat would not let up, and there were at least two more months of this weather.  She promenaded upon the stones of San Marco plaza, hoping for a breeze from the sea until she had worn out  ten pairs of slippers in one month, bowing to the left and right, stopping to gossip with her few friends. Now her feet hurt. 

She thought of her new lover and her nipples hardened. Her hand strayed to her bosom and she squeezed a breast, rubbing shapely thighs together.  A soft groan escaped her throat.  

He was an officer, a dashing lieutenant, now on maneuvers somewhere across the Alps.  She remembered the first time, when in Signora Mortanti’s garden, with her skirts flipped over his kneeling form before her.  She caught the eye of her husband and had the presence of mind to flutter her fan at him.  He barely acknowledged his wife so intent was he in arguing the latest political scandal.  Leaning upon a tree, she inched her was around it, better to obscure her lover’s behavior.   He obediently followed on his knees.  There would have been two scandals discussed that soft, spring night, and this one ending in bloodshed.  

Ah, she missed her Alfredo!  He was bold, but perhaps all Romans were so.  There was a difference between the men of Venice and Roma.  In Venice they talked of commerce, but the men of Roma talked of love, and made exciting scandal. 

Venice was still a wicked city.  There were plenty of places to indulge in passionate embraces.  Her husband’s gondola was a cozy place, with the canopy making them a snug nest inside if a bit too warm.  A few extra lira to their boatman, and she was assured of her secrets.  Of course, they could never be completely unclothed, but the necessary parts ‘d’amour’ were available.  They tried numerous positions, but the best for her was to bounce upon him.  Then the boatman did not have to compensate for the thrusts of her lover.  Her hands strayed downward to that secret place, not so secret anymore to Alfredo.  Ah, Alfredo! I miss your long sword.   Not the insignificant dagger of her husband.  No, a real sword, one that pierced to her empty womb and she could take in her mouth like a regular puttana.  The weight of his balls in her hands were like the golden—— 

“Signora?”  A maid knocked upon her door, interrupting her thoughts. 

“Signor Balsamo has arrived.” 

“Well, let him in.”  Signora Faini’s tone expressed her annoyance at the stupid maid. 

Signor Balsamo entered and made his best leg.  His wig was freshly curled and his waistcoat beautifully embroidered.  He was a small, stout man, and still there was a certain charm about him. 

Signora barely nodded her head.  She continued to fan herself with her limp lace handkerchief. 

“So, Allesandro, my love, you dare to show up late….Again?” 

“Forgive me, my dearest Maria, there was a large puppet show at San Marco.  I thought of you and your love of puppets and perhaps we could walk down and see.  They are quite remarkable, almost life sized.  The staging is well done.” 

Ah, thought Signora Faini.  Puppets!  I am in the mood for such entertainment. I won’t have to wear out another pair of slippers.  I must remind myself to either hide the shoemaker’s bill or lie to my husband.  He will start yelling again, and there goes my fun. 

The signora rang a small porcelain hand bell and called for her personal maid.

Signor Balsamo did not remove himself, for he had been present many times when she was at her toilette.  He had little interest in a woman’s charms, with one exception.  He sat, leaning his chin on his cane and watched her being undressed by her maid. 

She shed the morning dress, a confection of muslin and ruffles.  Then, stepping out of two petticoats, she stood in a chemise.  Already corseted, the maid went behind the Signora and tightened her laces.  Sitting, she lifted a slim leg to her maid, not caring that she exposed her fregna to the eyes of her ciscebo.  He blinked, knowing she did it to humiliate him.  It was an old and cruel game she played. 

Today, she was even crueler. Lifting both breasts from her corset, she examined the nipples.  She knew her ciscebo had an attachment to women’s breasts, probably something from his childhood.  She twisted each nipple, making the small dark pink flesh stand at attention. Her eyes narrowed as she stared at the Signor.  She knew he wanted a suck, something she rarely rewarded him with. She could see the hunger, his mouth open like a fish and his eyes droopy with sadness.   She found a perverse thrill in hurting him. He was such a child, so malleable, so predictable. 

Rolling up each silk stocking, the maid tied garters around the Signora’s knees.  Then she hurried to a large armoire.  Opening it, she awaited her mistress’ decision. 

“No, not anything heavy this morning, it grows too hot and already the morning breezes are gone.  Perhaps a silk.  What do you think, Alessandro?  Perhaps this watered blue with the ecru lace?  Does it look cool to you?” 

Signor Balsamo had been present for this game many times.  If he said ‘yes’ to her selection, she would discard it.  If he said “no” she would consider it, but there would be layers of clothes spread on the floor and sofas before Signora made up her mind.  She was woman!  What could one expect? 

Sitting at the vanity while completing her toilette, she suffered her maid to pin her hair high on her head. Dark, chestnut curls tumbled to her shoulders.  At least they would not create heat on the back of her neck.  She was a small woman, like a china doll, all curves and bright eyes and rose tinted lips.  She rose and turned to her ciscebo. 

“Ah, Signora!  A vision of radiant beauty, a cornucopia of delights, a —-“ 

“Enough, Allessandro.”  She turned to the window overlooking the canal, dismissing him unkindly.  

“You weary me with the same chants.  Let us leave, though the hour not fashionable.  Come Alessandro, you have promised me a puppet show and perhaps a glace?” 

“Ah, something sweet would be very nice!  The ice from the Alps is packed in straw.  Last time I got a bit of chaff in my ice, this time I will run the vendor through with my sword.” 

Signora Faini laughed, her tones like a tinkling bell.  “Ah, Alessandro, you are such a man, so bold and advancing.  Too bad about the missing parts.”  

With that she grabbed up her parasol and took his arm, not caring for the pain in his eyes.  He was to pay, and pay dearly for making her wait this morning.

To be continued…..


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2013 


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4 Responses to ““La Vendetta”….a short story.”

  1. Heaven (@ScarletVerses) Says:

    Very good Jane ~ Enjoyed this first chapter ~ She is such a cruel woman ~


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Heaven! So good to hear from you. Yes, Maria is so cruel! But she gets her comeuppance in later chapters….I believe there are 4.

    I am so glad you are enjoying this story. Nick Nicholson, an old friend from Australia came this week and stayed a few days with us before he flew back to Au. He had just visited Venice (along with Paris and Prague) and I posted this in honor of his world holiday.

    Good to hear from you, Heaven.

    Hugs, Jane


  3. TR Says:

    So going to read on. 🙂 xxTR


  4. ladynyo Says:

    Hi TR….I think the story hangs together pretty well, but it is good to see it through other eyes.

    Thanks so much for reading “La Vendetta” and also for your comments.



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