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A freaky and uncanny narrator, insane in appearance, yells a hopeless warning to readers: they must go away while they still can! The story he's about to report is exceptionally gruesome and, most of all, dangerous... Long before, in a wonderful Lombard Manor, the corpses of three people were found viciously mangled by the blade of a knife. The condition of the dead bodies, belonging to the architect of the Manor, Violet, his girlfriend Mary Ella and the buyer's son Manuel, had been allocated to Violet himself presumably in a jealous rage, having caught the two cheating lovers in the act and then killing himself after the vicious deed. Nonetheless, the bloody curtain seems to re-open three centuries later on another soon-to-be-married couple living in that same house: a dear friend of our narrator's, Casqual, and his fiancee Q. Ella Meri. These two, after inviting the narrator and his bride-to-be to the mansion, along with an old Professor and his wife and two more friends, delight in building a scenario of what really might have happened a long time before and wondering how the murky persona of a lutist, inventor of “the countervailed lyre”, a peculiar instrument able to measure the weight of air, might have shaken up the situation. In a whirlwind of betrayals, dangerous erotic games, secret doors and lies, an even wider bloody shadow expands over the characters of this story, until the beginning melts with the end and the horrific initial warning no longer appears so absurd and senseless. Will you manage not to die...of fright? The weight of air is waiting for you, carrying all its consequences.
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THE WEIGHT OF AIR: COMIC
THE WEIGHT OF AIR: SHORT NOVEL
Text translation by Alessia Bettini
Comic by Calogero Burgio
Text translation by Alessia Bettini
Notwithstanding my deplorable position and unquestionable state of prostration, I'm about to tell you something unsettling to which my existence has been witness.
Until recently I was going through a quite calm and uncomplicated life, to the point of not transmitting uncertainty to myself, who was leading it, nor to Liza who was by my side; I'd have gladly opted for a swap, just to have the opportunity of once again feeling the excesses of adrenalin, even if it meant losing all I had. Oh, foolish me! I still didn't know that my desire for excitement would lead me to an unstable precipice, then deep down an abyss from which there was no return. Now I wish for that old mediocrity back again, taken away from me, with no return possible, by my being nefarious.
An important notice before starting. If you're reading these lines of mine, this can only mean two things: either you're sharing my misery with me, or you're about to enter it. I feel an obligation to warn you that it's not too late: back off! Or you'll be doomed!
It all happened during a vacation by the lake, in a house where we were guests, about which I'd like to tell you, or better, narrate. But first things first.
In a Pre-Alpine Lombard ancient hamlet, a mansion with an obscure past showed the unequivocal signs of age to the travellers. Skillfully embellished by lancet arches, it seemed so gloomy even on days when the sun shone brightly, the blazing of which would have been reflected in the water of the nearby lake had it not been so murky and deep. The name of the architect who had designed it in 1600 was Violet and he had been born in the city of lutists, Torrazzo. Rumor had it a wealthy merchant had hired him to fulfill his lifelong dream: a mansion by the lake, the buen retiro mansion. At first Violet declined the sum, retaining moving away from Cremona to comply with the offer quite unfeasible. However the money in question was such that in the end he gave in, considering as his high priority the imminent wedding with his beloved and all the costs that celebration would certainly ensue. So he moved to the lake Lido together with his betrothed, whose name was Mary Ella; the latter, as a compensation for having been permitted to go by her father, had promised she would not lie with Violet before marriage. In spite of the unceasing work on site, some disturbing events interrupted the tedious intervals of days which unfolded smoothly. Very often and ever more frequently, as the work went on, mysterious noises coming from the rooms on the top floor had alarmed the builders so much, that the foreman had reported this bizarre fact numerous times to the unperturbed architect. Violet minimized it however, assuming it was simply the common creaking of settling wood, which nobody should take notice of. Moreover, not even his Mary Ella, who slept in the spare room upstairs to remain faithful to the promise she had made to her father, had reported any unusual noise or other oddities which might represent food for thought.
Nonetheless, given the urgency of the workers who threatened to quit if the matter of these unsettling events wasn't solved, during a moonless night everyone lay awake, Violet and Mary Ella included, waiting downstairs for said noises to manifest on the top floor, all ready to rush to the stairs and unravel the mystery.
That night, for the occasion, in addition to all the others, the wealthy developer was present too as was his son Manuel Ortica, a bit more than thirty at the time and rather enthralled by the rumors about that mansion and its odd noises. It was the night of 5 th February and, according to all, it was also the most placid night since the onset of the work.
As agreed with the foreman, all the men went back to work, once they determined that no curse was lingering on the mansion, with great relief for Violet. Mary Ella, in fact, contrary to the predictions of all experts (who considered her a slut), hadn't lay with him since her arrival at the lake, and had set up her residence on the top floor of the mansion. And so it will be 'till the end, she had announced to him, astonished. That's why Violet was in such a hurry to complete his job! He was not sure how long he could stand the passion which made him swell excessively, he who was hardly restrained in the excesses of love and abstinence to which the most devoted were invited by love. Dawn was the hardest part, when he would have liked to explode while embracing Mary Ella. But she avoided any accidental collision invoking her parental promise...
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