What Price Serenity

Victor gunned the motor of his Karmen Ghia as trees and bushes blurred past. A trail of dust marked his passage through the narrow, winding roads of Tuscany. In the distance, on a hill overlooking a cliffside lay his villa, Serenity. Beyond the cliffs lay the sparking blue waters of the Adriatic.

He passed the retention pond marking the road split. To the right the road wound down to the little fishing village, La Spezia; to the left, the road narrowed and climbed the hill to his villa. His cell phone rang. As he yanked the steering wheel over, he grabbed the phone, narrowly missing a group of tourists loitering near the roadside.
“Hello.”
“Mr. Garibaldi, this is Scott Truscott of Wie, Cheatum, and Steel, based in New York City. I’m afraid I have bad news.”
“Go on.”
“It is about your wife.”
A chill ran up his spine. “Did something happen to her?”
“Oh, she’s okay.”
“That’s a relief. So what is the problem?”
“She found out about that Swiss bank account you used to put the down payment on that Tuscan villa you always wanted.”
“Oh,” he said as the villa grew larger and larger in his field of vision. “Is there anything left?”
“I’m afraid not. What do you want to do?”
He clicked the phone off as the villa completely filled his windshield.
“I may not own it, but by God, I’m going to leave my mark on it.”

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