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FEATURE: This Thing Of Ours: Part 1 (Vengeance) FrankCostello

I took a whiff of my cigar as I sat there on the couch reading the newspaper. It was a Thursday evening. The radio was playing faintly in the back and you could hear the bar patrons downstairs. Who am I? I’m Joseph Abruzzo, but my friends call me Joey. I’m a soldier in the Luciano Crime Family. You see, when I was a kid, my parents were hard working American citizens. My mother stayed at home and made knick knacks to sell while my father worked in a factory. We were far from rich but we made do with what we had. Every afternoon I would gaze out the balcony of my apartment window and look at the gangsters below. These guy’s had It all, the money, the women, the fame. I wanted to be just like them. That wish would come true.

One day, while playing outside I was approached by one of the gangsters. Louie “Fatso” Fortini. Louie was a soldier in the Luciano Crime Family. He got the name Fatso because he was a little big, if you catch my drift. Louie wanted me to go deliver a package for him. I didn’t know what was in it but it was my time to shine so I did what I was told. When I got back he paid me a $100. For a kid like me, this was a lot of money. Naturally I took on more jobs, delivered packages here and there, was a lookout and became a runner in a numbers racket. I would then go on to become a bartender at Vinny’s named after mafioso Vincent “Big Vinny” Gambone. He was a capo in the Luciano Crime Family but to me he is like another father. He helped out my family when my dad couldn’t find work, gave me and my family gifts on Christmas and was always open to listen to my problems and help me with them. He’s a real standup guy, he’s my idol. Anyways, one day while I was at the bar, Louie came and told me Vinny wanted to meet me in his office. I walked into his office and he asked me to sit down, offered a cigar and began to speak.

“Joey, I got a problem and I was wondering if you could help me out?” He asked.

“Sure thing Vinny, what’s going on?” I replied

“Well, Joey, have you ever had a rat in your house?” He asked.

“Yeah, I did” I responded, confused as to why he was asking me this.

“And what did you do to the rat?” He asked.

“I uhm… whacked it” I answered, still confused as to what was going on.

“Well I got a rat in my house too Joey and I need you to whack it, think you could do that for me?” He asked.

“Well, sure I guess, what’s this all about Vinny? I thought you could handle a rat by yourself” I asked.

“This isn’t a rat like the animal Joey, I’m talking about Marcelo Sardo, he’s working with the feds and I need to you whack that son of a bitch” He demanded

“I uhm.. well.. I erm.. don’t know if I can do it” I said as my heart began racing. A hit? I didn’t know if I could do a hit.

“Nothing to it Joey, walk in, blast him and run back into the car, you do this and I’ll make you a made man” He said.

I agreed upon hearing that, finally I could become made. The hit was pretty routine, we drove to a café where he was last spotted, apparently he got into a fight with his mistress and she decided to rat out his location to one of the other members of the crew. We drove up near to the café and parked across the street and I walked casually into the bar. My heart racing, sweat pouring out of every pore. I tried to calm myself down but it was hard. I inched closer and closer to Marcelo, slowly working my way to his table, when I got close enough I said.

“Hey Marcelo, Vinny sends his regards”.

He had a perplexed look on his face. I quickly pulled out my gun and started firing, I think I emptied an entire magazine into him. His face was frozen, he had this gaze, it still gives me nightmares. There was blood everywhere, all over the floor, tables, chairs and more was just pouring out the sad bastard. I stood there for a while, in complete shock at what I had done as others made a run for the door, the only thing that snapped me out of it was the sound of police sirens, I dropped the gun and bolted out of the door and ran back into the car. When we got back to the bar there was a big party with lots of alcohol, women and everyone congratulating me on a job well done, talking about their own first hits, it was great. About a week later I was called by Vinny who told me he was going to take me on a ride. I knew I was going to get made but mob regulations had it that he wasn’t allowed to tell me. After I got made we went back to the bar for another party, it was like I had joined a family.

That’s how I got here as a member of the Luciano Crime Family. It was getting late and I had promised my gal that I’d go see her show at the Blue Ivy, this new club that had opened up. I finished my cigar and the shot of whisky I had left, I grabbed my hat and I put on my coat and made my way downstairs.

“I’m headed to the Blue Ivy, I’ll see you guys tomorrow” I said. Just as I was about to leave gun shots ring out, we all rushed outside.

Vinny had been shot.

More next week....