“An eclectic mix of short stories, sure to make you surprised, amazed and even bewildered. Paolo uses his curious, imaginative and zany mind to bring you a book of stories to shock, amaze and surprise.” – Paul Spence
Paolo Debernardi is a TV and film celebrity who has met many famous people.
Thrumming Heart Echoing with the Ticking Clock is a collection of short stories, each with a different theme, which will engage and entertain the reader from start to finish.
Gazing out of the window, Martin was expecting the taxi to arrive. His waiting seemed to last an eternity. The silence in the room was broken only by the thrumming of his heart echoing with the ticking clock.
Unexpected anxieties and doubts concerning Joanne emerged lazily in his mind.
“Perhaps Joanne isn’t coming,” he murmured.
He was not surprised. She had let him down before on numerous occasions but somehow… somehow, he had thought tonight would be different.
As time passed, his doubts increased, and his patience weakened. Martin began losing hope. He paced the room, stopping occasionally to absently tap his foot on the bare floorboards, his worried face framed in the dirty glass of the upstairs window.
On checking his watch, he saw the appointed time was definitely up. Half past seven they had agreed to meet and now it was almost eight.
“She’s not coming,” he mumbled. “Unless she’s caught in traffic?” he added as an afterthought, the possibility momentarily raising his spirits. But outside he could see the traffic was light. Rush hour had come and gone. He had to face it; she had let him down again. Would he never learn?
Depressed, he stared at his feet. He felt he was dying. Then a taxi pulled to a halt across the street. “Hallelujah!” Martin piped. He jumped like a fawn full of life. His heart was full of joy.
Without hesitation he raced out onto the landing and ran downstairs, taking the steps three at a time heedless of the danger of his breakneck pace.
“Joanne! Joanne, I knew you’d come this time. I knew you wouldn’t let me down.” But as he drew closer he could see it wasn’t his Joanne at all.
“Sorry, love. I’m not Joanne,” the woman said, paying off the taxi driver.
She isn’t. She is forty years old. My Joanne is twenty, he thought.
“Sorry,” he said, between gasping breaths. “I have you confused.”
“Don’t worry, love. She’ll be soon here. If I were twenty years younger, I would love to be your darling. You seem a nice guy.”
“Thanks.” I think she will never come tonight, he thought.
“Sorry, love, but I have to go, my family is waiting for me. Bye-bye, love.”
“Bye.” She was walking away in the opposite direction carrying over-filled shopping bags. She climbed the stairs and entered her house. She was gone, like everybody else in his life.
She is very lucky. She is surrounded by people who will always be there for her!
I’m alone, Martin thought.
Martin glanced down the street and saw the taxi was gone. No cars were driving in the street, no one to meet or speak to. Filled with dismay and disappointment he returned to his room. On the way upstairs, one dogged step at a time as if the entire world was on his shoulders, he reflected that he was truly alone and with a broken heart.
“Written from the heart, the depth of feeling and compassion is second to none.” – Janet Walder
About the Author
Paolo Debernardi was born on 3 July 1973 in Casale Monferrato in the Piedmont region of Italy, but lived with his family in Mortara, south west of Milan, in Lombardy until his mid-twenties, when he moved to the UK. He lived in York for the next four years before moving to Worcester, then Glasgow, and finally back to York.
Even as a small child, Paulo was successful, winning various awards in the Youth Games in Mortara, as well as painting and sports competitions.
Paolo discovered his two greatest loves while at the Collegio San Carlo di Borgo San Martino; that of football manager – helping his teams win several trophies – and poetry, studying the French symbolists, Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimboud. Through these two great writers, a passion was aroused in Paolo which prompted him to write innumerable poetic biographies, maxims and dedications embracing different themes and styles. These were put in a collection, together with reviews from university lecturers, writers and the drawings of Salvatore Sepe, in his first book, now out of print, entitled “Saranno state le onde del mare d’inverno…” published by Edizioni Nuove Proposte U.A.O.C., (Union for Artists and Cultural workers) in Marigliano, Naples, Italy in November 1996.
Through his poetry Paolo has appeared in many Italian anthologies having taken part in and won many prizes in a number of poetry competitions published in his native country. He is also known in Germany and Australia at a local level and in the web page titled “www.storymania.com”.
With his move to England and change in mentality, Paolo put aside Italian literature to pursue the immense but highly satisfying challenge of writing poetry and short stories in English. He cites the as being that “English is a language spoken and recognised throughout the world.”
Notwithstanding any difficulties, his determination and inspiration have enabled Paolo to write English poems and short stories to such a degree of success that he came second in an English poetry competition published by The White Tower Writers Association in Doncaster, and first in a poetry competition published in the town of Bova Marina, Italy. His English poems has also appeared in several anthologies in Italy, Australia, Germany, England, Switzerland, Brazil and on Storymania.com.
Besides writing this collection of short stories, in the future Paolo plans to publish a volume of Italian poetry and proverb book with English translations entitled “Idillic Paths Sentieri Idillici”.
When he is not writing, Paolo has appeared in TV commercials and various T.V. shows. He has also auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent and although he did not get through the audition stage he was thrilled to meet the stars associated with the show.