The Gondolier






a warm waterproof hip-length jacket usually with a hood, originally worn in polar regions, but now worn for any outdoor activity


(informal, derogatory) a socially inept person with a hobby considered by most people to be boring

Every night is the same.

The sun descends below the horizon, leaving the sky a desolate black. From within the village, the cries of the frightened form a chorus that pleads for light. They are waiting for the gondolier.

He is not as swift as he was in his youth. Age has weakened his body, but he knows his duty. He whistles to himself as his boat glides across the surface of the water.

He travels by instinct, and instinct tells him when and where to stop.

A burlap bag lies at his feet. When the gondolier has finished rowing, he will reach into the sack and remove the small, radiant orbs within. He will reach his hands above his head, as though presenting an offering to the night. One by one, he will place the glowing orbs in the sky, their light tearing holes in the blanket of darkness. The cries of the fearful will fade away.

When morning comes he will row across the water, collecting the orbs again. Then he will wait for the darkness and the cries to return.

Every night is the same.


No prequels yet. Why not write one?

« Write a prequel


No sequels yet. Why not write one?

Write a sequel »

Comments (3 so far!)



I really liked the rhythm and pace of this piece.

  • #1197 Posted 6 years ago
  • 0


Beautiful imagery. One wonders what happens when the gondolier gets too old to continue.

  • #1199 Posted 6 years ago
  • 0


Thank you both for the comments. ethelthefrog, as I wrote the piece I had the notion that the Gondolier was a constant who had always been with the village and always would be with them. However, it might be interesting if it was an inherited position, or a trade that was passed down too. Although, since you asked, I'd love to read what you think might happen :)

  • #1201 Posted 6 years ago
  • 0
  • Published 6 years ago.
  • Story viewed 13 times and rated 0 times.

All stories on Ficlatté are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. What does this mean?