'Come away, come away death
And with sad confetti, let me be laid
Fly away, fly away breath
I am slain by a fair cruel maid
My shroud of white is stuck all with yew
Into water I step, my part of death, no one so true.'

In the gardens of a French Riviera villa, a small group of people come together by chance, link, hold, and finally break away.  The elegant well-born English hosts, the fabulous Betty and husband, army-mad military historian Archie, ageing, aware, alone and vulnerable. The young visitors Lee and Liza, from opposite worlds, in love, eagerly exploring their way together but with a hidden secret. A dynamic Italian film director, with yacht and entourage, intent on his own ambitions.  All are caught up in the potent chemistry of their meeting as the mid-summer picnic ends, leaves fall, the yacht sails away and the garden voices fade.  Sad Confetti is a heart-felt tale of mature and immature love.

'Tea in fifteen minutes,' she called out without looking back.  As she walked she began to think.  This was what many people might call an invention, something to help you through, a step away from real life.  But then real life can be so brutal, so callous and agony.  Liza should have been here.  She would have seen how well I behaved and did.  But then, perhaps not.  I didn't stick to the script I had mentally written. Maybe she would have seen through the cheap charade.  She pulled herself up the steps, hand outstretching for the rail.  As she approached the top, she suddenly stopped and turned around.  He was watching her.  She knew he would be.  

'Autumn is coming.  Some of these flowers are almost dead.  I’ll have to start picking them out soon. Are you coming?'

'I need to finish this book.  Nearly there.  Just another two chapters.'

'Oh you must finish it.  Never leave a book unread.  You never know what happens at the end.  Maybe a surprise?'

She turned and walked back to the house.  She didn't stop until she reached the safety of her room.  

For a few minutes he sat staring out to the bay with a book on his lap.  I know how it ends.  Pointless reading,  No surprise. A bit like this performance he had just witnessed.  A good effort but it was all lies. She lied throughout.  Lies. All lies.  You could see it in her eyes.  No light.  Just darkness. Dark. Black. What she was really telling me was that after tonight I would never see her again.      . 

Forthcoming November 2020.   

On Fontana.