Sophia's Portrait: A Long Story
Fiction by Brian Moreland on January 27, 2012
A young artist, living in Rome, Italy, sets off to ask Sophia to marry him, but first he must win over her father, who happens to be the head of the mafia. More
Rinaldi ran down a cobblestone street, hugging a wrapped canvass against his chest. His heart beat wildly. He danced through a flock of pigeons, laughing as the birds took flight. High above, the church bells chimed in a cathedral’s tower. Sunshine painted the sky in Van Gough swirls of white, gold, and indigo blue.
Rinaldi passed two nuns sitting on a park bench. They looked at him and smirked. “Young man, why are you grinning?” one of the sisters asked.
“Today I am expressing my love to the most beautiful woman in Rome.” He stepped through an archway into a courtyard with a Mercedes and Rolls Royce. He reached a massive green door, grasped the lion-head knocker, and rapped three hollow knocks. He stepped back, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. He wiped his sweat-greased palms through his long tousled black hair, adjusted the collar of his cleanest shirt, and cleared his throat. Having never been inside Sophia’s home, he imagined the interior was like a palace, an exotic reflection of her family’s wealth and power. Each day Rinaldi was amazed such a high-class girl could fall for a poor gypsy artist like himself. But she loved him, and that was all that mattered.
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