Martina Landini, translated into English by Ruth Stephens
Chapter 2 – Danger Ahead
“Well,” Gioacchino began, “as you know, dear, we aren’t youngsters any more and for me, too, the time has come to retire. For years now I’ve been wanting to take a rest but for one reason or another I’ve never managed to stop working. I asked you to meet me here because I’m very worried.”
Gioacchino had dark shadows around his eyes and seemed very nervous. He took a sip of wine and then continued.
“Just this year I had decided to stop work. But the organisers of Milan Fashion Week persuaded me to put it off until after the show. They said they’d throw a big party for my retirement and I was very happy. Until I received this letter.”
In Gioacchino’s hand was a crumpled up piece of paper. He opened it and showed it to Maria.
“This will not only be your last show. It will be the end of all fashion shows. Be careful! Enough of this cruel fashion! Be warned – we have an explosive finale in store for you!”
“It’s really very strange and disturbing,” said Maria, “Have you any idea who could have sent it?”
“No, I don’t know who would want to harm me, the models or the members of the public in the salon. I’m desperate! What should I do? Do you think it’s a joke?”
“I don’t know if it’s a joke,” said Maria, “But if it is, it’s not funny! Gioacchino, you must try to be calm. Prepare for the show. How about giving me a preview of your collection?”
Gioacchino made an effort to calm down. “I don’t usually show my creations to journalists before the event,” he said, “But as you’re an old friend…..”