Secrets – Haiku 2022 #ThursdayDoors

St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice Italy – Main Entrance – Image credit: © Ivan Vander Biesen | Dreamstime

copper clad secrets

dipping in floods sanctifying

a city’s baptism


Reportedly aging “twenty years in a day” from flooding of the Adriatic Sea (60 times a year) right up to its front doors (see image below), stands the opulent 8000-square-mile-gold-inlaid Basilica di San Marco a Venezia (St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice).

Built to protect the reportedly once stolen and subsequently repatriated remains of Saint Mark, the basilica’s construction began in 1063 AD (two other much earlier versions preceded the present church). The completed church was dedicated on October 8, 1094 AD.

The basilica’s two “bronze” doors at its main entrance pictured above are not what they seem. They are late 10th-century wooden doors encased in bronze and copper grills, lifted/spoils from the conquest of Constantinopole (circa 1453 AD). See doors’ closeup below:

St. Mark’s Basilica Venice = Main Doors Closeup – Image credit: Carlo Raso | Flickr

Trivia: Recent (2021) multi-million Euro efforts to protect the basilica by constructing a massive glass wall to stem the Adriatic Sea’s encroachment, have been stymied by funding delays.

Saint Mark’s Basilica Wider angle, flooding in the main square towards the church‘s entrance below:

Saint Mark’s Basilica Rome, Venice Italy flooding in the square in front of the building – Image credit: © Fedecandoniphoto | Dreamstime

Saint Mark’s Basilica Wider angle below:

St. Marks’s Basilica, Venice – Image credit: © Scaliger | Dreamstime

Written for Dan Antion @No Facilites – #ThursdayDoors

Navigator – Chapter 2 – A Sunday Short Story

Image credit: ©

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Falling like a star across the night sky, the two spies clung to each other plummeting to their impending death at breakneck speed heading for the nearby Jumeirah Beach—its white sand, sparkled like diamond chards in the night glow.

With the ground coming up fast…

And, with the force of the winds hammering their plummetting bodies. Isabella spoke, her voice half carried away by the gales:

“Do you trust me, old fr___?”

“You ask me that now!” replied Old Sisyphus, his voice also trailing off on the midnight atmospheric pressures over the Persian Gulf.

Forbidden from using her “abilities” in the day-to-day affairs of her life, Isabella out of desperation prepared herself to use the forbidden incantation taught to her by her late grandmother. It was a spell from the Emerging Forth into the Light scrolls (commonly known as, The Book of the Dead).

That spell was only to be used when there were absolutely no other options—in life or death situations. The incantation brought with it a hefty price that few except, perhaps the fabled Hercules and his many labors, had been willing to pay. Bracing herself, Isabella whispered the Coptic incantation into the heavens:

Ⲁϥⲧⲁ ⲛⲓ ⲣⲟ” (“Open The door“)

At once there was a deep rumbling of thunder in the distance, high above the gleaming lights of Dubai’s downtown skyline.


Inexplicable the massive gold-plated Dubai Picture Frame building— one of the city’s great icons at 152 meters (500 feet) high suddenly appeared to project its shape into the night sky. The epic picture frame projection gleamed gold shadows across the Dubai landscape looking like a strange ship in the night sky.

Then…out of the picture frame, she flew.

Her talons were the first things visible; their sixteen tips were double-edged swords crafted from the cauldron of the earth’s core. Bits of molten magma spewed from the exceedingly sharp talons as she flexed them open.

Her epic wings just barely cleared the projection of the Dubai Picture Frame’s iconic shape as she glided swiftly through the magical doorway created by Isabella’s incantation.

Setho Zang, the queen of the harpies then sped towards Isabella and Old Sisyphus with purpose. Her wing span increased tenfold as she exited the enchanted doorway.

Her legendary shrieks timed as if in stereo with the sonic boom her wings’ speed caused as they flapped at their top airspeed of Mach one.

Then…time seemed to stop for Isabella and Old Sisyphus as Setho Zang flew in slow motion towards them, carefully cooling her talons, she readied herself to “receive” the two falling spies.

…out of the darkness of the midnight sky long curved sword-like talons grabbed and cupped Old Sisyphus and Isabella’s entwined falling bodies, and plucked them from the curtain of death already beginning to nip at their heels.

Setho Zang’s wings flapped overhead; their unimaginable sound seemed to human ears like a squadron of helicopters, their blades spinning in unison.

Suddenly… everything stopped— as if, all life since the beginning of time held its collective ohm for a moment.

Then, the queen of the fabled harpies, the half-woman half-eagle Setho Zang, flew from the heavens carrying the two spies. She gently placed Isabella and Old Sisyphus safely on Jumeirah’s white sandy beach while lapping waves washed their feet.

Just as suddenly as she appeared Setho Zang, queen of the harpies…vanished.

Then, time as they knew it resumed…

The two spies looked at one another knowingly. They had made a bargain with the darkness that would have to be repaid. Isabella leaned forward. She took off her Odin’s eye goggles and stiletto heels. Walking barefoot, slinging her shoes over her shoulder as she shrugged, Isabella said:

“I had no choice…”

“I know, I know, there’s gonna be hell to pay, Navigator. And, by the way, whom do you think wants us dead this time? Your enemies of this world, or my frenemies from the demon world, eh?”

Meanwhile, over the sea bridge from Jumeirah beach, nine hundred meters away, at the base of The Burj Al Arab hotel…

The tall lanky Bedouin assassin, code-named: Tomb, mumbled as he frantically searched the seven-star hotel’s lush Palm trees and tropical shrubbery in the outside grounds. He was searching for the bodies of his intended victims: Isabella and Old Sisyphus, but to no avail.

Uttering a host of unpleasantries Tomb or Mr. Tomb as he likes to be called, strolled to his heavily-kitted-out and armored, Off Road Jeep Wrangler in the parking lot. He was deep in thought planning his next move.

Mr. Tomb did not see the small missile advancing fast from the night sky downward to his position. The deadly two-kilogram Spike missile had locked onto his position via his communication earpiece.

The woman at the other end of the satellite-controlled missile launcher, who had been following Mr. Tomb’s every move, while she sipped a mojito from poolside in the same hotel, said as the small missile hit its target:

“I don’t accept failure from my employees, Mr. Tomb. You’re fired. Goodbye.”

The woman snapped her fingers in the air, at which, one of her henchwomen rushed to her side.

“Athena, send someone else more capable to finish them off, someone they won’t suspect. No mistakes this time!”

“Yes, Aunt Virginia, right away Ma’am.”

Aunt Virginia so confident of her missile “firing” abilities did not keep watch over her satellite feed to ensure that the spike missile’s impact accomplished her intended goal…

Yes, the impact did indeed demolish Mr. Tomb’s armored Off Road Jeep Wrangler. However, call it fate, or destiny, or a miracle but Mr. Tomb did not suffer a scratch except for a slight headache.

Because the Jeep Wrangler’s armored door, which took the brunt of the small Spike missile’s payload, ripped off its hinges from the blast, whacked Mr. Tomb over the head, and then, promptly fell on top of him, like an unintentional shield.

Not a religious man per se but for a brief moment, as he sped away from the scene unscathed, Mr. Tomb glanced back at the demolished and melting Off Road Jeep Wrangler. He whispered a word of thanks, just in case God or whoever was up there might be listening…

****To Be Continued Next Sunday****

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