Finally started the novelisation of my screenplay, 'Dead in Venice'. Here's a sneak peek...
That night I dreamt I was in Venice. I sat in a gondola, hand trailing in the dark waters of the lagoon as a skeletal figure, clad in the traditional stripy t-shirt and red sash, swept us past crumbling palazzos, under bridges and along shadowy canals, twisting our way through the city until I was hopelessly lost in her.
The soft lapping of the waves lulled me into a trance. I gazed up at the lights in the windows of the once-grand houses lining the waterways, mysterious silhouettes dancing and laughing, alive in the candlelit warmth as I shivered outside, floating wraith-like along the canal in the frozen moonlight.
The cold water numbed my submerged hand. I didn’t notice the sea-stained fingers wrapping themselves around mine until they tugged at me with shocking strength, waking me from my stupor. I tried to pull my hand away but their grip grew tighter, trying to tug me over the side. I grabbed the smooth polished wood of the boat with my other hand, but it was slippery, sea-salt-slicked under my skin.
With growing terror I wedged my feet against the side of the madly rocking gondola, listening to the skeleton gondolier serenade me with mocking laughter.
And then it stopped. I pulled my icy cold hand out of the water and clutched it to my chest, trying to massage some warmth and life back into it.
Gingerly, I peered over the side of the boat. My reflection – pale skin, messy hair, wide eyes – peered back. I laughed uneasily and reached out a hand to shatter that ghostly face –
- and jumped awake, heart pounding, drenched in cold sweat. Shakily I reached out a hand to reassure myself that my bed hadn’t been surrounded by a deep, dark lagoon while I slept, then lay on my back and stared at the ceiling until sleep finally re-claimed me.