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Vinny

The Family

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"Mr. McFadden?" the man asks in a rumbling voice. "You James McFadden?"

 

"Hmmm looks like my plan didn't work so well. Heh!" Again looking down at his hands, "Hmmm we may be in for a quick training session sooner then expected."

 

 

Looking down at the man, "Who wants to know??? I may or may not be James.. Who are you?" With that being said James slowly descends the stairs awaiting this guys answer.

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James-

 

"Yeah? Well, let's say I heard ya lookin' for a job." the man says, pocketting his lighter and taking a drag from his cigarette, the smoke trailing from the warehouse breeze.

 

"And let's say you are. You lookin' for a job, ya come with me, huh? The boss's got one for ya. So, what da ya say?" he asks, stepping aside and leaning back against the staircase. Under his weight, the railing creaks a bit.

 

"By the way, the name's Frank. Frank Gianno." he says.

 

James recognize the name, not Frank, but Gianno. It wasn't that often spoken around in the dock yards, but when it was (usually amongs the back alley bars and fight clubs), it carried a respectful tone, as if speaking the name of the one of the Three Family Dons. Gianno, James recall, is one of the most ruthless hatchet men in the underworld, althought you're not sure which family he specifically works for.

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"Yeah? Well, let's say I heard ya lookin' for a job." the man says, pocketing his lighter and taking a drag from his cigarette, the smoke trailing from the warehouse breeze.

 

"And let's say you are. You lookin' for a job, ya come with me, huh? The boss's got one for ya. So, what da ya say?" he

 

"By the way, the name's Frank. Frank Gianno." he says.

 

James looks at Frank and say's, "Well it just so happens I might be James. It also appears that I have just come across some spare time." Thinking to himself, "Hmmmm kinda incidental that I get fired and then get a job offer all in the same day." Looking down at hands again he thinks to himself, "Well fellas no need in getting worked up here and now. However for a little reassurance lets show this guy a little something."

 

Looking at Frank, James gives a little wink and says, "Lets just say I'd be interested --- whats the job paying?" After speaking James throws a quick left jab at the railing. [Hoping to split it in two.] Looks back to Frank and says, "And shall we be off?"

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James-

 

"It pays enough." is all Frank says as he turns and walks away, expecting you to follow him. You have a feeling he knew who you were without even ahving to ask. The man doesn't even pay attention to you whacking the rail, which does crack impressively to your own satisfaction.

 

In the distance, James hears the roaring motor of a car ignition. As he follows Frank, the man says nothing and does nothing save for flicking his dead cigarette away. The car itself, which wasn't there when James looked out the window, is a grey Ford roadster, a very fancy vehicle rarely seen in a place like the docks. Frank opens the door and waves for James to sit on the other side. The chaufeur sits glumly waiting, a brown felt cap rests titled on his head.

 

As James is about to get in, he hears three distant bangs, very sharp but nothing frighteningly loud, like snaps of thunder in the distance. As he turn to Frank, the man shakes his head and gets in the car, as if not noticing it.

 

"It's nothin'. Someone probably dropped a crate or somethin'." he mutters.

 

James, however, doubts someone would drop a crate three times consecutively. Then, in the same direction as the bangs, he hears a splash of water, then notices the two men who followed his boss walking away, joking among themselves.

 

"Get in." Frank says, then turns to the driver and says "Yo, Paulie's Poolhouse. Let's go. You commin', McFadden?"

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Smiling at the deli owner in a friendly way, Sal places his order, "Gimme two large Mortadella and Provolone subs and stuff 'em full of Pepperoncini and a nice big lemonade. I like 'em plenty hot. What are you havin' Vitto? "

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Sal and Vitto-

 

The owner nods and starts to bring out the stuff, cutting up and the cheese and the sausages, and readying the bread.

 

"Yes, and what can I getcha, sir? A turkey sandwhich? Or maybe the ham? Its fresh right from the grocery this morning.

 

The man looks to Vitto and nods at several pots on the stove in the backroom.

 

"I've cooked up some soup this mornin', too." he says wtih a friendly smile. "Why don't you try some and tell me how it tastes? Only 10 cents a bowl!"

 

"It's decent." the two brothers hear from behind, a nasally voice from the lone man sitting at the table, reading his newspaper. He does not say anything else and does not look up. The deli owner, however, seems to try not to act offended at the blunt comment.

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"Get in." Frank says, then turns to the driver and says "Yo, Paulie's Poolhouse. Let's go. You commin', McFadden?"

 

Looking at Frank, James says, "Nice ride." James thinks to himself, "Hmmm this may end up being very profitable. And crates fallying my butt." He looks back to Frank and reply's, "Sure thing."

 

With that James takes a seat on the inside of the car. James then looks back to Frank and asks, "So what type of 'job' am I being comissioned to do? Also how did my name pop up for this position?"

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James-

 

Its a very comfortable car indeed. THe interior is a brown leather, and the car itself, while slightly noisy, was smooth.

 

As you ask Frank about the job, all he says is: "You'll find out when you get there. Stop askin' questions."

 

From the rear mirror, you catch the driver's icy blue eyes looking back, and then turning back to the road, as the car exists the Dock Yards and roars speeds through Downtown New Haven. Evidently, the buildings start to look better, the warehouse and industiral red brick structures slowly melding away into shops, stores, office complexes, tall multi-story flats that slowly grow taller as the car heads down into the heart of New Haven.

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As you ask Frank about the job, all he says is: "You'll find out when you get there. Stop askin' questions."

 

From the rear mirror, you catch the driver's icy blue eyes looking back, and then turning back to the road, as the car exists the Dock Yards and roars speeds through Downtown New Haven. Evidently, the buildings start to look better, the warehouse and industrial red brick structures slowly melding away into shops, stores, office complexes, tall multi-story flats that slowly grow taller as the car heads down into the heart of New Haven.

 

James starts thinking to himself again, "Hmmm nice neighborhood. Wonder what kind of mess I've gotten myself into now. Heh I used to think dad used to get us into jams from time to time but now I know I have a knack for it myself."

James looks over to Frank and says, "Nice part of the city compared to where I run... By chance there any type of fight clubs in the area?" trying to break the monotony of the car engine and the uneasy silence.

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James-

 

The look that Frank gives you is extremely intimidating. His shallow, deep-socketted eyes are cold, you notice, harsh, icy. These are the eyes of someone who would blow out a man's brains right in front of his wife and kids, toss the body into trunk of his car, and drive away without even a glance at the newly widowed family. The look that those eyes are now giving you spoke the message clearly: Shut up.

 

Not even an or else to it. Shut up was all that was required.

 

Again, you catch the driver looking back from the rear mirror. This time, he speaks:

 

"Hey paizan. I wouldn't a-ask so many a-questions if I were ya..." he says, a wise-guy accent in his voice.

 

"Keep drivin', Mario." Frank says without a hint of emotion, and Mario shuts right up and continues driving. The uneasy silence returns.

 

The car passes the interstate leading into downtown and finally arrives in Little Italy. It is clear that its an Italian neighborhood, judging from the many sign post with Italian names, shops, restaurants, open-air markets and stores. The people here are dressed much shabbier than the downtown folks, many wearing rags or tattered clothings, the poverty of an immigrant life probably. Most peculiar is the look they give you, or the car rather, as it passes through the neighborhood

 

For a second, James feels like he is sitting in a lord's carriage, passing through the lord's land, earning only respect from the serfs here. Just now does the name finally come to his mind. Don Marlino of Little Italy truly was a respected man, and the men working for him earned the same recognition. The car continued on.

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Vitto and Sal-

 

"I tink ya never tried da soup here, huh?" the man says with a chuckle. He folds up his newspaper, and puts it aside, and you now notice him more clearly. A fairly young man, curly hair, long nose, very skinny. He seems to have a permanent grin to him, a cocky smartass vibe, exuding self-confidence.

 

"Hey Mikey," he says to the owner. "Trow me a ham sandwhich and a coffee, will ya? Tanks."

 

He looks at you and nods, leaning back in his chair with a suave stance, one arm on the table, legs apart, slouching like a lounge cat.

 

"You da Vitale brothers?' he asks.

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Sal protectively maneuvers his considerable bulk between the questioner and his brother. "Yeah, that's us." He replies cautiously. "Who wants ta know??"

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For a second, James feels like he is sitting in a lord's carriage, passing through the lord's land, earning only respect from the serfs here. Just now does the name finally come to his mind. Don Marlino of Little Italy truly was a respected man, and the men working for him earned the same recognition. The car continued on.

 

James thinks to himself, "Nice, way to go pal.... Looks as if we may have bitten off a little more then we can chew..... Hopefully this pays damn good...... About this driver disrespecting me ---- all i need is 5 minuets with his sorry butt and he won't even know when his birthday is any more, and will probably need to be fed by his mother with a spoon..... I beat many down like his sorry butt before..."

 

James continues to be silent and looks at the sights as they continue their drive.

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Sal and Vitto-

 

"Heeeeeyyy, I didn't mean any trouble, relax friend!" he says, holding both hands up, as if to show he doesn't mean any harm.

 

"Well yeah, da name's Joey." he says, again leaning back in his chair.

 

"Say, you two wanna make some dough?" he asks, a sly grin retuning to his face.

 

"We're lookin' for some tough guys. Tough guys like you, especially." he says, nodding at Sal. "The job pays two hundred a piece. If ya interested, show up at Paulie's Pool House and tell'em Joey sentcha. They'll letcha in real quick? So, ya want in?"

 

Behind you two, the deli owner wraps up the sandwhiches in grease paper and puts it on the counter. He puts on the counter a glass bottle of lemonade and, after writting on a notepad, he looks up and says:

 

"That'll be a dollar fifty."

 

James-

 

After what seemed an etternity of a ride, the car pulls over somewhere in Little Italy, a rickety old joint called Paulie's Pool House and Billiard, but the "and Billiard" was dimmed where the neon bulb blew out long ago. From the outside, the place looks like any other shops or establishments in Little Italy save for the neon lights over the door way and a pool triangle with an 8-ball inside of it. There, save for the glass-plated single-door entrance, was a lack of any windows, and judging from the steps you see through the door, the pool hall is upstairs.

 

Franks turns to you finally, and says:

 

"End of the line. Go inside and ask for Paulie. Hand him this, and he'll know I sent ya..." the man says and hands you a blue matchbook, the symbol of a swinging jazz dancer on it, probably from some night club somewhere, althought no name is printed on its cover.

 

"Go on, get out." Frank says, and cocks his head to the side, motioning to the street. Outside, pedestrians walk by with a hint of humility when they near the car, never looking inside or at you.

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