January 13, 2008
By Ian Evans, North Wales, PA

A totaled BMW lies at the end of a long line of debris of that and three other cars which were now wrecked beyond the point of recognition. Charlie and Paul both stand with tattered clothes but this seemed to be the only thing on Charlie though he had a bit of a bloody lip while Paul seemed to have gotten the worst of the crash and seemed to have suffered a broken arm and nose.

“Godd*** Charlie how the hell did you get out of that so easy?” Paul said followed by a harsh cough.

“I dunno man but you know me everything always seems to work out for me,” Charlie laughed as he pulled out his seeming untouched pack of Marlboro Reds, this was the only brand that he smoked ever since he was about fifteen years of age, pulled out two cigarettes put one in his mouth and offered the other to Paul who just shook his head and sat down. Charlie lit up his and walked over to the other side of his wrecked car and kneeled right in front of a bloody man with his right leg broken and offered it to him. He accepted and lit him up as well the man struggled to inhale and the cigarette barely got lit. The combined smoke seemed to join together in the air and fade away into the vents of this forgotten tunnel.

“Now I’ve got a bit of a problem as you can imagine,” Charlie began to explain talking mostly with his hands as any clichéd Italian would, though he was certainly not Italian. “See it would seem that some one very important would want me dead, well at least that’s what I gathered from this whole unpleasant scene that I’m sure we all regret now that we know how it turned out, well most of us any way.

“Look Charlie, you know how this works I don’t know you or anything about you I’m here because Tony Francetti tells me what I gotta do and when he tells me that I gotta kill his punk a** Irish step brother that’s what I do, well try to do anyway.” This Broken man struggle to talk while keeping his cigarette from falling out of his mouth.

“Yeah I know, I know how this game works except usually I’m on your side, but you know not all bloodied up and what not, I mean taking the orders from the family of course.” Charlie pulls out his gun and points it at this broken contract killer, and quickly finishes him off. He stood up took one last drag from his cigarette and flicked it down the tunnel and watched it bounce down as the orange sparks scatter and eventually hit a puddle and disappeared within a few seconds. Charlie walked back to his injured friend Paul.

“Hey bud, how’d your little twenty questions over there go?” Paul smiled.

“Oh man, you gotta hand it to my brother tony huh?” Charlie laughed. “One day after he was given control of the family he celebrates by putting out a hit on not only his step brother, but also on one of his best contract killers.”

Paul laughed for only a few seconds though as it was interrupted by a harsh cough that seemed to last twice as long as his laugh, “Yeah I gotta tell ya I always saw Tony doing something stupid like that, stupid fat a**, so what you gonna do?”

“You know how it works Paul they hit me I hit them back twice as hard,” Charlie reminded Paul of what they used to tell each other as they were growing up. “Listen you know out of respect, I would never ask you to do anything more in that state that your in and tell you to go straight to the nearest hospital. But you know how it works this is a big city and sometimes people loose there way and if you were to happen to cross paths with Jimmy or my uncle Eddie on your way there and you were to tell them what happened and tell them to call me, well then that would be very much appreciated as a favor.”

“Wow, you know I gotta hand it to you, you a sure know how to phrase your words right,” Paul laughed. “But don’t worry about it I’ll make sure they know what’s gone on under their noses, as a favor from a friend to another friend, but you owe me.”

“Sure man if this works out I’ll be sure to put in an exceptionally good word for you with my uncle,” Charlie promised as Paul began to walk away. “Oh my friend, wait.” Paul turned around and gave a silent reply. Charlie pulled out his pack of cigarettes once more and wrote something on it then tossed it to Paul, who out of curiosity tried to read it. “Don’t read it, it’s just a final favor for you know all those birthdays that I never got a present from you, but if you could give that to Jimmy and tell him to pass it on Natalie then that would also be very much appreciated.”

“Sure thing my friend.” Paul watched as Charlie check his gun’s clip holstered it and walked the other way, as soon as he was out of sight he looked at the back of the pack and read “Nat, you taught me how to run.” He thought about it but only for a minuet and then went on his way.

Charlie walked out of the Fulton street subway station and stood at the septa bus stop and waited for a good five minuets before his fun began to ring, he looked at the caller ID which told him that his uncle Eddie was trying to get a hold of him. “Uncle Eddie, how are you?” he answered in a cheerful manner.

“Charlie what the h***’s going on I just heard from Paul, who by the way did not look very good at all, but he told me that Tony put a hit on your head,” Eddie replied with no reactions to Charlie cheerful attitude.

“Well yeah he is telling the truth but listen we knew this was going to happen and I believe that this is a good enough excuse for the Irish to take over now what about you?”

“Charlie I always like the way you talked, and your ideas, I know what to do.”

“Yes sir but you see I have a bit of a problem I want out of this whole business, I’ve been stashing up since I was sixteen and I finally have enough money for me and Natalie to move as far away from this city, but I hope to leave knowing that it’ll be run by our family. See I know you, and I know Jimmy and Paul just as well and I know that between the three of you, you have enough connections to turn half the city against the Francetti family and I sincerely hope you do. But I’m almost twenty three now and in that past ten years I’ve seen more evil in this world then most have in their life time and I can’t take it any more, I trust you, and Jimmy and Paul as well, I know you’ll stick to the way that things should be done. So I’ve told you long a go that this day would come you know what to do and I bid you the best of luck.

“Godd*** Charlie I always knew you were a good kid but not that good, you have my blessing to go and marry that girl you hear me.”

“Yeah I do good bye uncle, oh and make sure that Paul is a higher up, I promised I would put in a good word.”

“Sure thing Charlie I’ll be seeing you around.”

“Yeah,” Charlie hung up his phone and placed it in his pocket. He patted around looking for his cigarettes but couldn’t find them, when one was put in front of his face; he looked over at his fiancé and took the cigarette from her. “you’re a life saver, you have know idea.”

“Yeah I know,” Natalie looked around briefly. “where we first met very original.” Her and Charlie both gave an awkward laugh for they knew what this had come to and knew what was going to happen and no more words needed to be said.

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