Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Magpie Tales #33 - Something Stinks in Portofino - September 28, 2010

Magpie Tales #33 - Something Stinks in Portofino - September 28, 2010

Stephanie had spent the past month on the Italian Riviera.  Somehow, the lifestyles of
the rich and famous seemed aberrant to her after the two months of summer vacation
she had spent volunteering in the refugee camps in Darfur.  She wished she had stayed
there for her final month before returning to her senior year of medical school at Harvard.
Her mother had insisted, however, that she "have a little fun" and had arranged for her
to see family friends who owned a villa halfway between Portofino and Santa Margherita.
She had finally acquiesced when her parents agreed to let her take a week long seminar
at the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in San Remo.  The class, which dealt
with refugees and international law fueled her desire to continue providing medical
services to the victims of the genocide in Darfur and the Sudan.

She glanced up from her book as Luigi approached the pool.  He looked like a model and
had, in fact, appeared several times in photo shoots for Pal Zaleri.  They were about the
same age and had spent a good deal of time together since they were toddlers and
their fathers, famous cardiologists, first met at an international summit.  Over the years,
he had become a pompous, spoiled young man, who had little regard for others.  It was
clear that Luigi was used to getting whatever he wanted.  This past month, it seemed
he wanted her.

"We're taking the yacht and sailing over to Monte Carlo, then on to Barcelona," he
announced.  "There will be about ten of us.  You know everyone.  We'll be back in time
for your farewell party before you return to America."  Stephanie really did not feel like
a jet set party but she finally agreed.  She would be headed back to school in less than
a week and she was very happy to be leaving.  She was tired of fighting off Luigi's

The group aboard The Portofino Princesa was in high spirits.  The chef prepared exquisite
meals and bottles of Barolo poured freely.  Luigi constantly tried to drag Stephanie to the
owner's cabin on board the yacht.  "You are leaving and we have not even had a chance
to be alone," he pouted.  "Precisely," she responded, slipping away from his drunken
embrace.  "You are like a brother to me,  Luigi!  I'm not interested!"  She finally managed
to pull away and went to her cabin.

About 3AM, she awakened to find Luigi standing over her, holding two glasses of wine. 
He was wearing a bathing suit and his usual fragrance, Acqua Di Parma.  He leered at
her as he set the wine on the dresser.  He bent over and tried to kiss her, fumbling
under the coverlet to touch her breasts.  "For God's sakes, Luigi, get away from me,"
she hissed.  "Get out of here now."  As she struggled to move away from him, Luigi
grabbed her wrists, pulling her toward his cabin.  "You know you want me." In a fury,
Stephanie went with him.  Before he threw her down on the bed, her hand grasped
the bottle on the dresser and squeezed tightly.  It was the Acqua Di Parma.  She
moved swiftly.  It made contact with his head, giving a resounding, "thump,"
shattering and spilling perfume everywhere. She ran from the cabin and dove
into the Mediterranean waters off the coast of Nice.  As she swam she thought, "I
hope I never smell that stuff again."

Carmen Henesy

Copyright © 2010 Carmen Henesy.
All Rights Reserved.

I am participating in Willow's Magpie Tales - join in the fun!


  1. wow. this took a scary turn...glad she knocked some sense into him...or at least knocked him...nice write....

  2. Your story really starts somewhere in the second paragraph. Why do you think the reader needs the first paragraph?

  3. A great story, Carmen! I'm glad she got away, and it left me wondering if Luigi was all right. Although I did laugh at Stephanie's thought about the smell :-)

  4. great read....hope she didn't have to swim too far.

  5. Thank you for this tale, Carmen, I enjoyed a lot reading it. I like how you take us to the climax of the story, and love all the cities and places you mention. When I was in Nice I had the best time of my life, so for me the story couldn't end better!

  6. Yikes, I hope it wasn't far from shore.

  7. Now that is quite the story ... not many would have grabbed that bottle of very pricey perfume. Good for her!!!

  8. Wonderful story Carmen...awesome magpie! :-)

  9. Anonymous4:31 PM

    Kept me once again awake at half past two in the morning.

    Please have a good Wednesday.

    daily athens

  10. You are funny! Why don't you enter the monthly contests at Accentuate?

  11. Instant karma knocked him right on the head.

  12. The swim not too far I hope, though I imagine her a strong swimmer... Good for her on connecting with the Acqua Di Parma.

    Nice magpie.

  13. Carmen, indeed you are a good writer. If writing pays handsomely, I am sure you would be rich - or are you already. It was just a figure of speech ok?

  14. Amazing! I really love how you write. The twist and turn made me think and kept me reading... and longing for more.

  15. Brian Miller -
    This was a fun magpie. He got what he deserved.

    Doctor FTSE -
    Sorry you didn't like my magpie. I felt like the beginning information was important...and I really write to please myself.

    Icy BC -
    It's fun, sometimes, to get away from writing poety. In my younger days, I used to write a lot of short stories and, of course, I've always wanted to write a forensic novel.

    kathew -
    I'm so happy you liked my magpie.

    fullet -
    I had fun writing this - and including all the places that I love in that part of the world - and it's nice that you, too, love the same places.

    willow -
    I saw yachts so close to shore when I was in that area of the Riviera, I just figured theirs wasn't that far out to sea!!

    Helen -
    After years of working as a sexual assault nurse examiner, I heard such stories...women grab the first thing they can get their hands on, if they have a chance.

    Carrie Burtt -
    So pleased that you read my magpie and liked it.

    ρομπερτ -
    Now, Robert, surely my magpie tale wasn't the only thing keeping you awake till the late hour in Athens!!

    Sharkbytes -
    I've never heard of Accentuates. Sounds like something that would interest me.

    secret agent woman -
    I think more agressive men deserve a knock in the head! Or other anatomical part.

    Reflections -
    I've seen yachts pretty close to shore when I've visited the French Riviera - of course, I was on a cruise ship,not one of those fancy yachts - so I hope the swim wasn't too far!

    Self Sagacity -
    I am far from rich. In fact, life is so hard for me right now. With the job loss and the $90,000 a year drop in income, I will probably have to move out of the house I've rented for 13 years. I can't afford $2323/month rent with my pension only $2300/month.

    ruthi -
    I really love writing but just don't have the time to pursue it. Poetry is much quicker!

  16. Carmen, a great read that kept me on the edge of my seat. I hope she's a good swimmer. You have a knack for storytelling that keeps the reader interested and wanting more. Unlike some people, I happen to think the first paragraph is absolutely necessary for the background of the character. Fantastic write.