by  Gianfranco Menghini

Texel

Novel

A bloodcurdling scream shattered for brief moments the curtains against the night. A dull tumble and then all plunged back into the silence of that wealthy neighborhood located halfway up to the hill overlooking the town. Nor any slamming of shutters of a neighbor awakened to the cry or a plaintive whine of a stray dog, because in that area they do not circulate, but only a timid, frightened meow like a vagabond cat on the roofs, while hiding in his hasty escape in some hole, causing the faint sound of a flat tile moved. Then, silence. That silence droning also warned in the residences located at a safe distance from the constant traffic of the city, which makes the company the sleepless, giving musical background to their thoughts. In the distance, a muffled howl of some siren made it seem that the cry had had the desired effect, but then the constant buzz also seized that. A sunrise by the black eyes went to insinuate between the lights in the core of the city, that slowly resumed the pulse of an ordinary day. A mindless mid-weekday, the Wednesday, when there is not still hoped to think about the next weekend, with the shaded in mind the memory of that passed. As a spy satellite, of those many, perhaps too many, that if even though they do not measure our steps, at least they know where we are going, because everyone keeps in his pocket the ubiquitous mobile phone, I over flight at low-altitude, by winning the disgust of watching some dirty roofs and unkempt terraces, a part from the city to go and see what happened in the residential area from where, some moments before, originated the scream.

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CHAPTER ONE

 A bloodcurdling scream shattered for brief moments the curtains against the night. A dull tumble and then all plunged back into the silence of that wealthy neighborhood located halfway up to the hill overlooking the town. Nor any slamming of shutters of a neighbor awakened to the cry or a plaintive whine of a stray dog, because in that area they do not circulate, but only a timid, frightened meow like a vagabond cat on the roofs, while hiding in his hasty escape in some hole, causing the faint sound of a flat tile moved. Then, silence. That silence droning also warned in the residences located at a safe distance from the constant traffic of the city, which makes the company the sleepless, giving musical background to their thoughts.
In the distance, a muffled howl of some siren made it seem that the cry had had the desired effect, but then the constant buzz also seized that.
A sunrise by the black eyes went to insinuate between the lights in the core of the city, that slowly resumed the pulse of an ordinary day. A mindless mid-weekday, the Wednesday, when there is not still hoped to think about the next weekend, with the shaded in mind the memory of that passed.
As a spy satellite, of those many, perhaps too many, that if still they do not measure our steps, at least they know where we are going, because everyone keeps in his pocket the ubiquitous mobile phone, I over flight at low-altitude, by winning the disgust of watching some dirty roofs and unkempt terraces, a part from the city to go and see what happened in the residential area from where, some moments before, originated the scream.
It is an elegant Florentine-style villa, imposing enough not to notice in the urban context. Outside is all the terra-cotta tiles, and the roof, made of flat and curved tiles, of the same material, has the gargoyle overhanging of one meter, supported by wooden beams in view. The main floor, as in that one below-roof where probably are the attic rooms given over, perhaps, in stock as they once were the attics by the windows reduced to half of the others, is formed by round arches, framed by bricks made of cut that protrude of at least ten centimeters, supported by svelte capitals in gray stone by protruding abacus, that shade a wide terrace like the peripatetic cloisters of the Benedictine abbeys.
And just on that terrace, at about a meter from a door-window left open, in which spaces are swaying lazily in the slight breeze, white veils, there’s a body lying on the ground. Its unnatural position reveals a disastrous fall as a leg, discovered until the groin, is crooked and the semi-transparent night shirt covers the face, but not preventing that thick strands of silky hair to the color of gold, ticketing off. However, approaching myself with dismay, I realize that at the height of the head has formed a pool of blood, whose most extreme hems are about to congeal on the beautiful shiny brick flooring and, on the containment little-whitewashed wall, there’s a big squirt dried like a fresco.
A clean cut but imperfect has severed the carotid artery of the woman – beautiful even though with facial features and enlarges eyes full of a horrific terror – causing the fall and her immediate death.
No other trace around and even in the large room. Not one overturning furnishings. Everything in order, except for the big canopied bed with the blankets reversed that little to make come out for the sleeper woke up with a start and made up or made of her spontaneous will, perhaps because of a suspicious noise. On the shelf of the solid refectory-style night table, a beautiful lampshade lit, which sharply illuminates the glossy shelf where the only thing resting is a Lexitres open box at the side from which sprouts a blister missing of three capsules and a flat-bottomed glass of carved crystal with a remnant of a colorless liquid. On the bottom, two shelves lined up to standing, a series of books and just one, maybe what the victim had closed after reading a few pages, put on the floor: ‘La mort hereuse’ by Albert Camus, in the original language.
So, now there are three logical assumptions: the first, that the woman has left her alone, and turned on the light by night, she headed towards the terrace. The second: in addition to being wealthy in consideration before the house in which lived, she was also bilingual and the third that she had some difficulty in falling asleep. I might as well consider the conjecture that she wants to know more about the death, as she was reading a book whose theme was her invocation.
However, it is better than I proceed by degrees, without drawing hasty conclusions. I am an observer as an invisible ghost that cannot communicate with anyone nor do I know the author of such heinous crime. Horrible seems to me the right word. To kill such a beautiful woman, of face and body, young for longer and in whose eyes, just to me who I took a fleeting moment, is given to conclude how much desire she still had to live…