Or a strange little tale on the aftermath of fortune.
Casting off from the bridge of sighs he descended through the thick foggy air finding himself in unimpeded free fall. As he hit the obscure water's surface he sank even quicker though the salty deep, with his body as motionless as the calm of the tide. Going further below into those depths, the city of the Sereníssima seemed to sink with him. Down into her darker regions he went submerged in eerie caverns of crumbling brick. Venice became a nightmare city and the view from St. Mark's across the waves was still palpably visible to the curious eye. Yet no longer did its light glint or sparkle, rather a heavy haze of grey pressed down upon it from above. All was still as death, as though that long ago romanticized moment known as the death of Venice had at long last now passed. A moment of bliss and exuberant ecstasy exploded as Venice uttered her final beautifully fatal cry in the throes of an insanely prolonged fit of self destruction.
However he had arrived too late to witness this highlight of the ages and was only able to pass through Venice's canals which now formed a labyrinthine river Styx within the boundaries of a new worldly Hades. He too was but moribund to this life and found himself unable to incline himself to aught besides plunging ever on downwards into his self perceived profligate misfortunes. He finally came across a cavern that seemed to produce an ethereal glow. The Adriatic sea was rushing up from below and an impeccably self contained fountain gave free flow to waters that ascended ever on upwards into the obscurity of those in transient airs. He listened to the joyous song of Hades' children who being caught there in the fountain's tides passed by many an hour in self reflexive harmony. They captured his attention in its totality, so rapturously was he bound unto their thrall. Yet he could not bear to penetrate into those crystalline waters nor let a single drop of that hell spawned water be misdirected from its relentless upward surge. He had none but the faintest inkling as to how many an hour he had been shuddering by that torrential fountain which remained overwhelming in its desire to bequeath him of its deep blissful secrets.
So in finding no respite thereabouts, onward he stumbled, now to find a way out of that unsightly subterranean wilderness. He glimpsed a far away ray of light through the dim recesses of that blackest flameless inferno. The light grew as he followed his fancy towards its all too mesmerizing clarity. It seemed to be coming from beyond an arched tunnel through which he then intended to make his way. Yet even in death Venice's paved ways continued to follow a habit of letting seep through to her surface all manner of hideous bile from her nether regions. These Styx like canals flooded over all traversable routes, yet he proceeded onwards towards the brightness incessantly. Though try as he might that viscose material made passage far beyond a slippery ordeal and to hold ones footing under such conditions became an effort far above the station of a mere accident prone individual such as himself. Sooner or later one foot or the other must give way and into that fermenting froth he would have had to have sunk.
In reluctant angst he retraced his steps backwards in pursuit of he knew not what. Then thereabouts he came across a winding stairway leading back into the heights. It did but resemble that famous spiral staircase which in Venice is well renowned, but even if it had ever been such a grand rear entranceway in its lifetime, death had done aught but respect its self sustaining grandure. In like said fashion the stairway wound its way above him and seemed to offer safe release from the burdens that were assailing him in those infested chasms. Yet to the contrary there always seems a blight to render an ill-timed blow to one's will, keeping one in suspense, frustrating any notions of making good one's escape. The stairway need it be said, was far too narrow for anyone even of his own thinly built disposition to attempt ascent and he then began to give in to lassitude, muttering vengeful laments, towards he knew not who, as to his present misfortunes. After but a brief moment of indulgent resignation, he gathered his faltering spirits and came to see that he would perhaps be able to sliver his way up, albeit like a snake twisting its body to fit the curvature of what was more of a tube than a staircase. In like manner, he weaved his way up, delicately tiptoeing the tiny steps as he managed to force his way slowly but reassuringly upwards. His backpack he held aloft above his abyss wary head as there was little room for it elsewhere nor any arm space along by his sides. From above he suddenly felt a tugging motion forcibly attempting to deprive him of his belongings. It quickly came to his stark attention the realization that herein did still reside many an inhabitant of what had once been the cosmopolitan pearl of human ideality. These retched denizens of an already decayed homeland would prey upon any other who tried to raise themselves from the uncanny depths. Any such unfortunates, being forced to resort to such futile measures to flee those realms, would then find themselves at the mercy of these deviously ambitious fellows. Having little recourse but to take his possessions for granted as lost, he eventually found his way out of that deep wasteland and back up into the remnants of Venice's past glory. He wandered about her streets aimlessly without sense nor direction, not knowing where these crooked back alleys would take him, neither taking into consideration any care nor guarding any interest for his further well being.
He eventually came across a group of welcoming Venetians huddled up cozily by a blazing fire, who offered him solace in the hope that he would be able to rest his tortured bones within their humble abode for the forthcoming night. He thanked them full heartedly for their altruistic offer of kindness and took them up on it. There upon he was presented with a large rusty key, which seemed to signify the type of thing which keys usually do in dreams of this sort.
There were no more grand palaces left in Venice, nor houses of ancestral majesty. All that remained were ramshackle dens of vice and pitifully dark corners, which however even in their sadly decayed state, it must be admitted, gave off a fragrance so sweet that they would still have put the spring time blossoming of any other earthly place to shame. Nature had finally reclaimed Venice and never more would the hand of man intrude or disturb the fragile balance of her full bodied serenity. As the song of Hades' children, from that watery cavern, came back to him all of a sudden, at last he was able to find the inner peace for which he had longingly been in desperate search of. However that sense of desperation was now over as he found himself able to lie down amidst the ruins of a place that had formerly boasted such pomp and ostentation. Never again would Venice catch the world's eye and cause it to sigh with regret at its own ineptitude. For the last time had Venice shocked the globe through her extravagant means of enthralling the great and reducing egoism to naught but bemoaning its newly perceived sense of impotence. She who made all else seem but an ugly blemish had finally met her demise as the poets had always said she would. It had been a sublime death befitting such a beauty as she (would that he had arrived there in time to have witnessed it!) Yet is it not perhaps better to move on to lesser things, rather than lingering too long over precious though chard remains?