a splitting personality, 2600 word of 18000, mafia crime drama
This is a bump from 8-21-14
between June 1999 and February 2001, I sat, about two hours a day, beside the bed of a dying man, he had terminal cancer. I tried to write what he was saying but time being a concern we changed over to tape recordings. he often recorded much longer than two hours.
This particular segment, as the rest of the story, was told for the truth. but we all know that a man or worst a dying man can sometimes embellish what he considers the truth.
That being said, this segment is almost 18000 words long, it's my intent to post it, I guess, six parts.
he always started his stories with a chapter heading so I will; and I will be telling this as if I were him.
warning, adult situations, sex, murder, language and violence.
Chapter 104, The First Time
We headed west toward Amarillo, through the windshield of the new 70 Ford LTD; we looked directly into a half set sun at the amazing sight of low hanging red clouds. Precious said it would be daylight before we got to where we were going.
It was a long trip and after a while we had to talk. I had to say something to him although I didn't really know him as anything but the Don's right hand man. “I'm about to go nuts with all this quiet.”
He moved his hand toward the radio. “I could turn the radio back on.”
I didn't want the radio back on. “No, tell me about something, anything. How did you and Mike get together?”
He thought for a while and started to talk. “Me and the Don go back to Chicago. We grew-up together. I was always big and I'm ten years younger than him. But we got to be friends when the wars started. You see, back then.” He looked at me to see if I was paying attention and then continued. “You had to be full blood to be a made man.”
I got the idea he wasn’t happy that I was considered a made man, even though Mike didn’t cater to that way of thinking. I was just the most productive of his Capos at the moment. I said. “I hope you're not upset about my position?”
He quickly said. “No, not really. Times change and you came to the family with a lot of power, it wasn’t like it was given to you.”
I nodded. “So, do you want to be a made man?”
He seemed a little lost in thought. “It's a dream I had at one time, but it isn’t the same anymore. You know yourself, you have to watch your back all the time where you're starting to climb. I don’t want to watch my back like that. No, I'm happy where I am.”
We sat for a while and I thought he would continue but I had to ask. “What were the wars?”
He continued to watch the road as he drove and spoke. “Capone. He wanted the whole shooting match. Killed a lot of people, our dads were killed and we got together with several others of our age group. Some guys tried to cap Lorenzo, Mike’s brother, but he got away. He brought all of us who wanted to go, south. We set up and started over. It was hard at first. But finally after a few years we were back in business.”
I asked about my wife's mother. “What about Polly's mother who was she?”
I could tell it was a pleasant thought. “Oh, she was a looker. Just like Miss Polly. After we were running good, Lorenzo made a contract marriage from the old country. Polly’s mother arrived one day and they were married the next.” He stopped talking and said. “After he died, Mike became Don. I have been with him 30 years, I guess.”
I noticed the big gap in information. I didn’t bother to tell him that I knew all about how, why, and who killed Lorenzo. It wasn’t important. The impression that a secret will be kept as long as necessary was important. Maybe Precious didn’t really know anyway, just suspected.
We stopped at a little store and filled the car with gas and got some snacks and drinks. Precious got a gas can and filled it. He put it in the trunk. After we were back on the road I asked. “Afraid we’ll run out of gas?”
He sort of shook his head. “No, but I don’t know just what we'll find when we get to where we're going.”
I needed to know. “What do you think we'll find?”
He said softly. “I can’t think of anyway this could turn out to be a good thing.” We didn’t talk for a while, just ate our food and drank our drinks.
Just west of Amarillo, we turned south. We stopped for gas again and I got a coke. The rest room was also a welcome sight. I think it was made out of mud or maybe the inside of it was just lined with mud or dried shit. We drove another fifty miles or so on back roads before he pulled into another gas station I think, at any rate it's a ratty little place that will fall down in the next big wind. I wondered out loud. “Are we low on gas again?”
He shook his head. “No, this is where I got the call from.” He added. "The guy will be here to open the place about eight. We have about three hours to wait." I made sure my pistol was loaded. Precious said. “We're safe here. I'm going to catch a few winks.” After he started to snore, I dozed off.
I woke quickly and had my pistol in my hand. Precious almost laughed. “You're quick; but it’s the guy we been waiting for.”
I rubbed my eyes. “What was that noise?”
He pointed. “He's had that truck as long as I've known him. I don’t think he has ever changed the oil in it.”
That truck was so ugly that I couldn’t even tell what it was or used to be. I walked to the door of the store with Precious.
The door had a sign on it which read. ‘Open most Mondaies and wedsdaies for an hour or two. Open fridaies and saterdaies for sure 8-5.
The old man yelled as Precious walked into the store. “Lordy, lordy. It has been a bunch a years boy.” He was a small thin man and was dwarfed by Precious. They shook hands as if it had been a long time and the old man slapped Precious on the back. He said. “Coffee will be ready in a while, find yourself a seat.”
Precious asked. “Do we have time for coffee?”
He assured. “Oh yeah, you need to make time for coffee.” I went over to an old water cooled pop box and got a coke. He asked. “Don’t drink coffee?”
I told him. “Don’t have a taste for it.”
He grunted. “Some folks don’t.”
He just made small talk until the coffee was done. He wouldn’t talk about why he made the call. When the coffee was made and the three of us were sitting he started. “A girl came in here a couple of days ago. She ask me for change of a hundred to make a call. She looked familiar. I gave her a nickel for the phone.
"I didn't have change of a hundred. She left it on the counter like it didn't mean nothing to her.
"She looked like she had been in a car wreck or worse. She was bloody and smelly.”
I asked a little loudly. “Was she bleeding?”
He shook his head. “No, I don’t think it was her blood. But she looked real bad. She tried to make a call but got no answer. I saw the number she dialed and it was the one you gave me a long time ago. She wandered out. Didn’t say a thing.
After she left it dawned on me who she must be. Little Linda, all growed up. I figured that Dad of hers had been whopping on her, but she got the best of him this time. Anyway, I called you after she left.” He looked at the two of us and said. “She was sort of talking to herself I heared what she was a practicing saying and told ya she wanted you and John to come help her. And here you are. I’m a guessing this is John.”
Precious said I think trying to hurry the conversation. “Do you know where she is?”
He was about to take a sip of his coffee but instead. “I’ve been to two of the places I thought she might be. But she wasn’t there. So I believes she has to be over by where the county roads cross or down in that gulch, where they used to load sand out of.” They talked a while longer and then we left.
We were driving before I said. “Where do we look first?”
He didn't hesiate “The gulch. The county crossing is too public and the gulch is closer anyway.” We drove about ten minutes and turned onto a wide trail. Another five minutes until we stopped and Precious got out. He had a pair of binoculars and he walked up a low hill sand dune and looked. I was walking toward him when he turned and walked back toward me. He said. “Somebody's there.”
I didn’t look. Somehow I knew it was Linda. I had a feeling of dread like I had never had before. The next few hours were going to be a pivotal point in my life. I just knew it; and I didn’t know which way I was going to go. It was scary.
We drove around the dune and followed the trail into the gulch. It was a dry dusty place. It had three tin covered buildings that were not built well to begin with standing in various stages of decay. We drove off the road and into the back of one of the buildings avoiding the discarded equipment. It had no roof except for three or four pieces of tin that chirped and thundered in the slightest wind. It was eerily quiet in spite of the noise.
I followed Precious’ lead and closed my door softly when we exited the car. We walked to where we could see the person. I looked at Precious as he looked at me and said. “I don’t think it's her.”
I admitted. “I don’t think so either.” The person leaning with their butt on the old hitching post in front of the building looked up. I saw it was Linda.
Precious sort of snorted. “That’s her. See those damn five and dime sunglasses.” I nodded my head, yeah. We started to walk toward the building. We didn’t know if she was going to shoot us or what.
The closer we got, the more I was sure it was Linda but she had dyed her hair a dark brown and it hung from her head like it was wet. The smell hit me about the same time Precious got wind of it. It was a sickening odor. Precious said, sort of under his breath. “Oh damn, something is trying to die here.”
We stopped and Precious yelled. “Linda, is that you?” She didn’t move. We walked closer. We were within five feet or so before she even acknowledged we were there. She said in a low raspy voice. “Water?” It was evident that we were in no danger.
I put my 45 away. “There is some in the car. I'll go get it.” In a voice changing from a low growl to a high squeak she did her best to scream. “No, John you stay with me.” Precious nodded to me and he went for the water.
I heard him trot off toward the car. Linda raised her arms toward me. I saw the pistol in her left hand and reached for mine. I never drew the 45. Her right hand was rising too and the left never made it past her waist. The weight of the long nose 38 held it down.
She stumbled forward and I caught her. She held on to my neck and whispered in my ear. “You have got to help me. He won’t die. You have to kill him.” She kept repeating the same thing over and over.
Precious drove up with the water and brought it over. He turned up his nose. “God, you stink.” I hadn’t noticed up to then. It did smell like rotting meat. I sat Linda down on the ground and gave her a small drink. I noticed that her hair had cracked. It wasn’t dyed, it was covered in blood, dried blood.
I lost the coke I drank earlier. She was covered in blood. The 38 was scabbed over to her hand and could not possibly function. I went back and gave her another small drink of water. She reached for me again. I was thankful I had nothing on my stomach to barf out. The water had run down the sides of her mouth and caused a line of rusty red to appear in the dried blood on both sides of her mouth.
Precious’ coffee went the same way as my coke. I held her close. She needed to be held a lot more than I needed to eat for the next few days.
I tried to keep from gagging. The thought crossed my mind. ‘We still have to go inside.’ Precious was going toward the door. I carried Linda to the car and sat her on the fender. I told her to stay there. I thought that in her present state she just might do as I said, I don’t know why. she never has before. Then, I started back to the building.
Precious was coming out and he was sick. The smell was enough to knock you down at the door. We walked off a few feet. He said. “This is far enough. Believe it or not you can get used to the smell long enough to deal with the situation.” He was right, the longer we stood there the less it stunk - At least to us.
As we stood there he blabbered. “Let me tell you a story; one time when I was just starting in the business. There was a guy that the company wanted fired. When he left there would be an opening in the company. I got the job of firing him and replacing him.”
He looked at me and asked. “You do understand what I mean, right?” I nodded yes. I really didn’t want to open my mouth at all.
He continued. “Ok, so, after I fired him I found him a nice place to rest.” We took a few steps toward the door. “And I gave him plenty to drink, to help him on his trip. You know vanishing fluid.” We took another step or two toward the door. He kept talking. “As it turns out the place I chose to let him rest in peace forever was about to become a city park. And to make things worse the company owned the property. He had to be moved.”
He shrugged his shoulders. “These things happen. I went to move the guy. When I found him he wasn’t doing too well. He had drunk a lot of fluid.” He looked at me and asked. “You know that fatty jelly stuff that cooks out of ham and jells up when it gets cold. The stuff that looks solid but you have to be real careful or you can’t pick it up.”
I gagged out. “Yes.”
He continued. “That's what that whole guy was like; nothing really solid. The bones were even like rubber. It was really interesting. I had this real short handled shovel. I scooped the guy up and put him in buckets.”
I said. “Is that story supposed to help anything?”
He smiled. “No, but I thought I would tell you the story.”
I nodded. “So I would know that things could get worse.”
He snickered and I swear there was a twinkle in his eye. “No, you need to know that I would rather scoop that guy up again than go back in that building.” He laughed and I'm sorry to say I did too.
We were at the door and he took a deep breath “After you.” I went in, he followed. I left the building.
He said, “Let’s get this done.” I gathered myself as best I could and walked forward into a stench that I could almost see, and into what I suspected was a human slaughterhouse.
End of part one
if you're writing over your readers head - tum etiam, ut graece scribens --- the secret of success changes;the truth of failure remains constant; if you try to please everyone you will fail.
Last edited by max crash; 02-14-2016 at 11:31 AM..