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Il Molo

Il Molo
Each year, American expatriate Martha Nathan and her husband, artist Carl Tomas, leave their home in Geneva and travel to the picturesque village of Varigotti, Italy, for vacation. Martha soaks up the peace and tranquility of the beach and luxuriates in the beauty of the Ligurian coast.

On the last night of their vacation, however, Martha has several disturbing dreams that leave her wondering why her past is suddenly invading her present. Puzzling over the dreams’ content, Martha fears they might also be premonitory.

Fast-forward to almost a year later as Martha sits in her office, just days before she and Carl leave again for their annual trip. Disturbing news about one of Varigotti’s well-known residents reminds Martha of her frightening dreams and makes her wonder which of her other dreams might come true.

Upon arriving in Varigotti, Martha runs into Bjorn, an old acquaintance with whom she’s had no contact—save his appearance in one of her troubling dreams. His presence leaves Martha wondering what her subconscious is trying to tell her about her life and the choices she has made.
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Why was there hardly anyone else on Il Molo? The pier extended out from the concrete walkway that wound down from the eastern edge of the village. The pier’s elongated rectangular shape jutted out fifty meters from Varigotti’s beach, the last village before the tunnel on the Via Aurelia leading to Noli and Spotorno.

About halfway down its length the pier angled forty degrees to the right. It rose up roughly three meters above the Mediterranean and measured about two meters in width. The floor was grey concrete and the pier was bordered with a knee high barrier sixty centimeters in width and covered with reddish square terracotta tiles. The barrier was perfectly suitable for sitting on and gazing out to sea or at the passersby.

Martha walked toward the end of the Molo, unsuccessfully trying to avoid the water being whipped by the wind onto the pier. She had wandered out alone tonight because she was restless. She and her husband were leaving in three days and Martha wanted to look at the sea from the vantage point of the Molo. She wanted to smell the salty air carried by the strong winds and feel the occasional cold droplets of sea water that splashed onto her skin as the waves bashed against the boulders. She shivered a bit. Her light sweater and shorts were not enough protection against the chilly night air.

They had been coming here for almost ten years together and he even longer. This was the ideal place for a summer vacation – the sea, the beach, the people, and of course the Ligurian cuisine. This past year had been complicated and there were some decisions she had to make about the future. Her husband seemed to have not noticed that she had become a bit distant. Or was she just imagining it? Was he too wrapped up in his own world? In his own career? In his own enjoyment?

In the middle of her thoughts, Martha turned around quickly. She just now heard the faint steps behind her. The Molo was empty except for her and the two men coming toward her. She breathed a sigh of relief and looked up at the tall men who now stood before her. One was dark and the other one was blond, but both were well tanned. Martha greeted them, “Oh, you all scared me.  What brings you out here tonight?


A French version of this book is available as well:

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