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Kevin S. Hart

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Featured Book
Before Darkness Falls
by J. Allen Wilson

BEFORE DARKNESS FALLS Retails for 14.95 / but you can have it now for only 11.95 This is a book of poetry and prose that deals with real life issues that all of mankind c..  
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Val d'Aosta Vignette
By Kevin S. Hart
Thursday, January 26, 2006

Rated "G" by the Author.

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This is my first flash, my time to get up from my poetry desk, and try stretching in a different direction. I know it's very short. Give me time to grow.

Amanda was sitting at one of the hand-hewn, tartan-clothed tables scattered about the rustic ristorante. She had been in the Val d’Aosta for a week, and regretted she only had three days left before she had to travel back to Milan for her flight home. True, the weather had been chilly, but that was promised, as she decided to visit Gran Paradiso in January. Maybe it was her redheaded nature, inherited from her grandmother, which caused her to seek experiences everyone else thought unexpected. She didn’t mind; she’d seen flash-frozen waterfalls, shaggy ibex on the glazed alpine peaks, and wandered in and out of small ateliers, pasticcerias, and trattorias until she felt like the town of Cogne was her second home. Amanda didn’t speak more than a few phrases of Italian, but her charming grin ensured that, in spite of language, the villagers adopted la turista as one of their own.

She sat close to the hearth with newfound companions, sipping café a la cogneintze after a luscious meal of grilled local trout with sautéed vegetables, toma cheese and a mixed-fruit mousse. Throughout dinner, the group had shared several bottles of Blanc de Morgex, and the meal had become less of a formal occasion, as planned, and much more of a party of the kind held only among friends soon to part. As the night grew merrier, with many songs that she tried, to little but hilarious success, to sing, Amanda began to feel that something was missing. She craved an exquisite finish, a bow to her singular passion, to complement the fine coffee and joyous celebration. She whispered to Gabriela, the one girl who spoke the most English,

“I’ve heard so much about your wonderful chocolate, but no one seems to sell it. Why the mystery?”

“Che? Cioccolato, Amanda? You stroll all day, in one market and to the next, and do not find this here in Cogne?”

“No! I’ve looked everywhere; no one sells it! How can I leave here, and not taste what I've been told is the real treasure of the valley?”

Gabriela’s eyes flashed as she laughed. “Perhaps I may be of assistance to you, cara… Paolo! Venuto qui!” Their waiter came over and the two engaged in a hurried conversation. Turning to Amanda, Gabriela simply said, “Wait.”

Again, Amanda listened as Gabriela spoke rapidly to those at the long table. There was an amazed gasp from her companions, followed by broad smiles. Gio, the owner of the hotel, looked at her from behind the bar, wiped his hands on a towel, spread his arms, and said, “Signorina, here, the jewels of Aosta wait until the perfect time. We do not forget.”

Paolo appeared from the kitchen carrying an open, black-and-gold box on a purple silk draped platter. The words Val d’Aosta were inscribed on the lid, while cradled inside… glistening dark chocolates. Astonished, Amanda gazed at her friends. Gabriela smiled, and said,

“In Cogne, happiness is measured not in gold, amica, but in that which warms the heart and delights the senses. Per favore… enjoy, remember cold nights, fine food, and cioccolati hand-made for you by eternal friends.”

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Reviewed by L. Figgins 3/10/2006
Warmth from the heart freely given. Wonderful write!
Reviewed by m j hollingshead 2/2/2006
enjoyed the read
Reviewed by Vesna Blueflame 1/27/2006
“In Cogne, happiness is measured not in gold, amica, but in that which warms the heart and delights the senses. Per favore… enjoy, remember cold nights, fine food, and cioccolati hand-made for you by eternal friends.”

Yup that just about sums up happiness..well done Kevin you really have the perfect surname all of your work stems from you wondrous heart/Hart...bravo!


Reviewed by Jerry Bolton 1/27/2006
I'm sorry, but I don't "get" it. Or maybe I do. Are you implying that the chololate is not sold but given? Strange, if that is the case. Or maybe I am just not sensitive enough to understand.
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 1/27/2006
For a first this is very well done Kevin!!

Looking forward in reading more!!

Love Tinka

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