by Lewis Turco
They were older than they acted, but the three young women were being rather giddy. They had all recently graduated from a famous college in the Adirondacks, and now here they were in Florence, the first stop on the tour of Europe their families had agreed to treat them to as a graduation gift. Britney was dark and tall, Floella was obviously the product of a mixed marriage, medium build, very attractive, and Willa was as blonde as she was daring. "You dare me?" she asked.
Her friends affirmed vocally and with eagerly nodding heads. They were all standing in the piazza of the Palazzo della Signoria staring at the nude statue of David. "It's not the original by Michelangelo, you know," Willa said.
Floella nodded. "We know. We don't care." Britney nodded vigorously. "We just want a picture of it."
Willa got a more serious look in her eyes. She glanced about to see if there were any guards around — there didn't seem to be. She wondered if she could reach her objective and hold her ground long enough for the pictures to be taken.
"Oh, come on!" Britney said impatiently. "You're supposed to be the daredevil."
Floella nudged her and Willa elbowed her back.
Brit said to Flo, "I guess she hasn't had enough experience." Flo giggled. "Hah," Willa said and cast her eyes boldly over the statue's beautiful body, lingering on his genitals. She'd never admit it, but in fact she hadn't had a lot of experience. Well, she'd show them.
"Okay, take my iPhone and get a picture for me, too." She handed it to Britney who grinned. Floella snickered. Hesitantly at first, Willa took a step toward the statue and then, more boldly, worked her way through the crowd until she was beside the pedestal. Willa glanced back at her conspirators, hesitated again, then got onto the pedestal and put her right hand around David's genitals. People were looking at her; her friends were aiming and clicking away with their smart phones. Then, suddenly, Willa was stricken to stone when she felt the movement beneath her fingers.