How could this possibly have happened? This was the thought rampaging around the insides of Malcolm's head as he glared at the rubble in shock. What used to be the beautiful village of Bennanio was now complete rubble. The little houses that Malcolm and Cindy would walk past on their way to the local bar lay in large crumpled piles on the ground.
"This is a disaster!" exclaimed Cindy. "How could we possibly have booked a holiday here? Surely this must have happened in the past week or so" Malcolm mumbled in complete curiosity. Malcolm and Cindy both quickly discussed whether this could perhaps have been some sort of earthquake or a general planned demolition of the beautiful village.After roughly 5 minutes of examining the remainders of the village, a large group of dark clouds had hovered across the skies, and a thunderstorm began to break out. After a few cracks and flashes of light, rain started to pelt down onto the bodies of Cindy and Malcolm, and they sprinted back to their hired car for some shelter and some more thoughts on what to do.
They continued to discuss what they should do in the car until they spotted headlights about 200 metres away from the small village. The couple desperately jumped out of the car and ran towards to approaching vehicle with the hands waving in the air for help. It was just to the luck of Malcolm and Cindy that most of the locals in this part of Italy spoke decent English. A small dodgy looking man with a battered eye, and a limp on his left leg began to walk towards Cindy and Malcolm after stopping his vehicle and getting out. "What's the matter?" said this strange old man. "Well you tell me! We've just arrived at this now destroyed village for a holiday after booking a month ago!" Malcolm said, raising his voice angrily. "My friend, keep calm!" replied the man. "Call me Baldo. Did you not hear about the knocking down of the village?" "I and my wife here heard nothing about Bennanio being knocked down. In fact the woman who allowed us to stay in her house confirmed payments not long ago" said Malcolm a little more calm.
Cindy stood there with her arms folded, waiting for the men to finish the conversation whilst a few tears were still running down her face. "Ok. Come with me. I give you shelter for the night in the next local village" said Baldo. Malcolm and Cindy replied with great thanks and appreciation to this favour and they followed Baldo in his car from their car behind, to the next village.
After about 5 minutes of travelling from Bennanio, Baldo left his car and ran into a small bed and breakfast type building whilst making the gesture to Malcolm to follow him. He and Cindy followed, and moments later the three of them were sitting down with a warm beverage.
"I cannot believe you heard nothing about the demolition... most of the inhabitants of Bennanio now stay in this village - called Storevio. We provide accommodation for you in compensation for you not being able to stay in the place you book." explained Baldo.
Again, the couple thanked him more for his efforts and continued to discuss the demolition incident. "There was a girl who unfortunately did not manage to escape her house as the demolition was taking place. She sadly died during this incident as she was found under piles of rubble." explained Baldo. "Oh I'm sorry that is very sad to hear..." mumbled Cindy who was still slightly crying.”Her mother ran away the day after. Never to be seen again. The name of the little girl was Elena. It was a shame for her. She was a very nice girl..." said Baldo.