It’s Beautiful People time again. And I found a way to make it take much longer than it had to. But here it is only a few hours later than I like.
After a little thought I chose to tell you about Lady Natalia Rizzetti of Vecoa this time. Since I don’t know her quite as well as I should, I’m going to travel to Vecoa and and ask her the questions personally.
Since she is unaware of my existence and might be uncooperative if I try to explain, I will take another tactic. I dress myself in the traditional flowing blue and white of the legendary guardian of the Maretegna. (The region of sea that Vecoa has a share in.) I think that will open her up a bit, though no one believes such a person ever really existed.
I spot her quickly, a bright red spot among the green of the forest terrace. I walk closer. She is sitting on a wooden bench, staring up into the trees, yet not looking like she actually sees anything. I scraped my foot against the ground.
“Is that you, Teresa?” She whirls around and her mouth goes slack at the odd sight of me. Then she gives a little laugh. “Well you certainly aren’t Teresa. What are you? The Guardian herself?”
I nod. “I just came to ask you a few questions. You can see I can’t exactly attack you well in these drapes.”
“This is going to sound odd,” I say, trying to keep her gaze, “But how often do you smile?”
“Too much. Sometimes the corners of my mouth get sore. But I can’t just frown at everything I’m not perfectly happy with.”
“Of course. I’m less likely to frown with a stranger than a close friend.” She frowned a moment, but it didn’t last. “I won’t smile at you if I don’t want to.”
I nod slightly, averting my eyes. “You probably won’t after this next question. What- what was the cruellest thing someone ever told you?”
“Oh!” She scrunches up her eyes and leans back against the seat. It creaks and bends. “Well when- no, not that.”
She stops talking. I wait. Finally she opens her eyes and speaks making each word deliberate.
“When Signa Murtas and Grandmother told me that my real father had died before I was old enough to remember and that Father wasn’t really mine at all. That I was different to the rest of my family.”
“What did you do?”
“All about what my real father had done and how he and Father were so close, almost like brothers. I found it extremely comforting at the time.” A dreamy look comes into her eyes. She seems to still find it comforting.
I nod. “She wouldn’t have. Do you have any other strong childhood memories?”.
She scowls. “I remember when Demetrio Pavone knocked me into the harbour on my first visit to Doranto. He probably didn’t know I could swim. My rescuer splashed him badly.”
I try to keep myself from smiling. I hadn’t heard about that before.
“Have you ever been seriously injured?”
She shook her head. “Never. Well not physically.”
I’m about to ask her to elaborate, when I realize what she is talking about talking about. And I do not want to go into that now, even if she did seem open. (Spoilers)
Natalia blinks. “Do you mean neighbouring states or the people who live close to the Palazzo?”
I shrug. “Either or both if you like.”
“Well I can’t very well be disagreeable, but I like some of them more than others. And we get on well with Trione, alright with Doranto, hardly at all with the others. Why are you here anyway? If you were a spy or looking for gossip you wouldn’t do it like this.”
I smile. “It’s kind of complicated, but it will never hurt you. Now are you usually this easy to get on with?”
She makes a quick motion with her hand. “Oh always, the other person is being demanding or foolish or ignoring me. Which is fairly often.”
I raise my eyebrows at the slight contradiction and she shrugs. “It’s true.”
“You’re right.” I say. ” Now, if you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?”
Natalia leans forward, eyes shining. “Anywhere? I’d go everywhere. At least to all the grand cities where women are respected. I’d really like to go to Ingiltere and see the works of Queen Elisabetta.”
“I’d like to do that too. I’m more interested in Vittoria though.”
She gives me an odd look. “Vittoria?”
I look down at my feet. I shouldn’t have said that. I’m already mixing her up enough without talking about an uncertain future. “Never mind. I’ve just got one more question. Who was the last person you held hands with?”
She crosses her arms. “I’m not answering that one.”
“Why not? Was it Taddio at your party two days ago?”
Natalia gives me a queer look. “No, of course not. It was actually Alexso, just after lunch. Now, won’t you stay for afternoon tea.”
I stand up, shaking my head. ” I really can’t stay any longer. The Maretegna has been left unguarded long enough.”
I vanish, leaving her stunned. And I really think she needs to read It’s (Not That) Complicated or A History of Venice. They’d both help her.
What did you all think? Does Natalia come through as an interesting person? Did you like me writing it that way?