PHOTOGRAPHS BY JC JOHNSON & FICTIONAL STORY BY KAMI L. RICE
1 – EXTERIOR. VENETIAN WATERWAYS – DAY
Venice in panorama as the speedboat he’s riding in approaches the dock. We then see him climb out, find his spot on the cobblestones, plant his feet, square his shoulders, and confidently look upward.
SUAVE LOVERBOY (ardently)
Rapunzel, Rapunzel! Let down your long hair!
Silence, save the normal sounds of lapping water and tourists. No movement is detected in the balconies above. Finally, Loverboy’s face drops. Then he squares his jaw.
Whatever. You’re not my type anyway. Too much hair.
After a beat of reflection time, he assumes a lover’s stance, warms up his vocal cords, and ACTION!
LOVERBOY (with gusto and hands extended dramatically upward)
Juliet, Juliet! Wherefore art thou, Juliet?
Again more silence, save lapping water sounds. Even the tourists are silent now, staring, watching this scene unfold. Some have pulled out phones to record it, unsure whether they’re watching real life or rehearsals.
LOVERBOY (under his breath but with conviction and anger)
You’re probably too goth for me anyway. I just dodged a bullet.
Regrouping, he strides to the speedboat, whose driver is waiting, watching, trying to keep himself from full-out guffaws of laughter. Loverboy retrieves an old-school boombox from the boat. He returns to his spot before the balconies and raises the boombox above his head, though no music can be heard from it.
LOVERBOY (with bravado flashing from his puffed, proud chest)
Anyone, Anyone! Look down from your lofty heights and have pity on your lovelorn suitor!
Now even the waves have mysteriously stopped, and the silence is near-total, save for the quietest of whispered twittering among the growing crowd.
Finally, angrily, Loverboy lets out the frustrated, desperate scream of a wounded animal. He then pounds his body as he searches his pockets for his phone. He pulls it from his pocket.
Venice, you’ve just scammed the wrong person! I’m canceling you!!!! Right now!!!!
The view cuts to his phone where he uploads an Instagram photo of a shining Venetian dome and then types:
#dontgotoVenice #falseadvertising #CANCELED #theylie #nogirlshere
#stupidbalconies #notaleasoldastime #arrivederciNEVER #swipeleftonItaly
2 – INTERIOR. ORNATE OFFICE – AFTERNOON
Late afternoon light glints through the large windows of a room designed with Renaissance era opulence and equipped with modern lights, a computer on an ornate antique desk, and plush armchairs. Loverboy shakes hands with a businesswoman and two businessmen as one of the men hands him an envelope.
Thank you, “Loverboy.” Fine acting. Very fine.
We’ve already seen the hashtag #dontgotoVenice heading viral with all the shares of our little stunt. The tourism board and town council were right to partner on this little project to find a way besides quotas to push the tourists away.
Masterful move to make the socials help us solve the problem they created. Time for a little well-earned peace for Venetians.
They wave goodbye as Loverboy exits and then pour champagne into locally blown Murano flutes and chink glasses in celebration.
A Venice, Italy, MicroStory
A tiny fictional tale inspired by a magically miniaturized photo of a real-life place.