That one night in Venice changed my life.

My laptop made the e-mail noise, so I lifted the lid and the ancient Venetian hotel room filled with bright light from the display. The unread e-mail was there, smack in the middle of the screen, waiting for me to read it, enticing me with the subject line. “You won’t believe it.”

It said:

Hi Michael,

I don’t have to tell you how excited I am. I can’t remember ever feeling that way before, and I have you to thank. Your exhibit is making quite a splash and it’s all New York can talk about. I will tell you more once you return.


Uncle Dave

I closed the laptop and let the dark of the room overwhelm me. I listened to the quiet. Then I heard the shower next door, in Bianca’s room.

My voluptuous step-mother Bianca was just over the wall. All day she had been giving me smiles and looks, and I could not stop thinking about her. Presently, she finished her shower and I the floor squeaked as she walked about her room. She was so close to the door that separated us. The unlocked door.

But she did not try the handle. She just shuffled into bed. I could hear the springs as she lay down. I sighed.

But then I saw him outside the window. There was a man on the ledge. A man in a black coat. A man with a revolver in his hand. He sneaked by. He disappeared into the night. An assassin out for a kill. Luckily, I was not the mark.

And then it happened – aliens abducted me.

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