True Monster

November 29, 2011
By Anonymous

I watched the scene before me with customary amusement; the image of a man’s adams apple jumping underneath the cold steel of a poised switch blade was all too familiar. The unfortunate soul who had been cornered in this warehouse was still pleading to my brother’s humanity, but the knife only pressed closer with each word. Chuckling, I was tempted to ask if this wretch had ever seen any indication that Marcus Torrio was indeed human. From my perspective, this muscled blonde was more akin to my German shepherd than any man I”d ever met.

“Come on Marky, just let me go you don’t have to tell your Pops...I’ll be in Albuquerque by morning you’’ll never hear from me again” The sweat was pouring now, and I doubted this guy would get to the “think about my family” part before Marcus lost interest. It’s always quick with Marcus, and it was no different for this guy. In less than a minute, what began as a frightened gurgle died down to the gentle dripping that always accompanied a successful hit. I decided to congratulate the monster.

“Well done as usual,” I muttered; the majority of my attention currently focused on side-stepping the advancing river of red fluid threatening my Gucci shoes. But Marcus’s object of interest, as usual, was his blade, without hesitation he removed his black pocket square and began his routine of calculated strokes against steel.I was always repulsed by his treatment of my Christmas gift to him(did he not realize that was real silk?), but unlike myself he never was a man of tastes, a man of class. Once he had finished I nodded to some guys in the corner, the dead guy here was a big man in his part of town and it was best for him to be at the bottom of the Hudson before any of his pals found us.

The stiff was in the van before Marcus spoke to me “Izzy, Pops told me he wanted to see you when you’re done with this guy...”

Then much to my ire he just walked away. “Thanks for the information Izzy I couldn’t do a successful job without the best informant in New England...” I mused after he had driven off in his Ford. But I couldn’t become sulky just yet, not with the old man waiting at least.


The drizzly commute from the river to his office in Brooklyn gave me plenty of time to steady my nerves but that didn’t mean a hazy chain of cigarillos didn’t help. Stepping into the rain, I dropped the dying butt to the asphalt and crushed it with perhaps a little too much force. The door was opened for me by the customary oiled Sicilian, and I saw Pop’s hand beckoning me toward the back room. It wasn’t as high end as some of the other hideouts I’d been in, no paintings or classy mahogany furniture, but Tony Torrio was a minimalist. So it was no surprise he was content with a solid desk and a well stocked liquor cabinet.

“Izzy, have you been keeping up with your brother’s whereabouts lately,” Pops reclined in the leather of his chair to pour himself a brandy leaving me standing in the doorway.

“Of course, it’s my job. You can’t have an animal like that running around without a leash.” He didn’t look up from his drink as I spoke, but for some reason it felt like his eyes never left me. Even now my Pop’s black eyes could make me squirm as much as they had when I was a kid, except now they were about the only thing that could scare me.

He took a deep swig from the tumbler before he faced me. “Well then, can you explain why I had the Vargas’s stop by today to inform me Marcus had killed two of their men?”

I tried to keep my face unreadable as I recited what I practiced during the car ride,”Pops, I hate to be the one to tell you, but Marcus told me the other day about how he lost a few grand in poker to a few Vargas guys. And you know our boy is one to let his temper get the best of him. I never thought he’d take it that far. I mean he knew about you and Sammy...”

The sound of the glass hitting wood was the only thing that made me blink during the entire performance, and by the time I was done my old man was nodding his head in sober understanding.

“Well...there’s nothing else that can be done. Izzy, I’m sorry, but I’ll have to give the order.” I hoped he didn’t notice my eyes light up.

“...Pops if you don’t mind me asking. Could I do it? It wouldn’t be right if someone else dealt with something that needed this much ‘discretion,’” I was proud of the soft despair I was able to hide my voice under, and it must have been enough to convince the old fossil.

“What’s going on, Izzy?” Marcus joined me at the pier still clueless toward my intentions. It was weekday so I didn’t have to worry about any wayward couples walking in on the action, but the average tourist could always be counted on to intrude. Best to keep this quiet.

“Marky dear,” I noticed a muscle in his forehead tense from the nickname’s usage. But I used his distraction to my advantage.

“I’m afraid Pops has asked me to do a favor for him...” And before Marcus could question me further I swept his legs off the wood and had him under me, his beloved knife against his jugular.

“Izzy what the heck do you think your doing you little flea?” I snickered at my well-deserved nickname.

“Aww Marcus you really didn’t see this coming? I mean it’s not like I’m the most upfront person in the world, but even a protozoan like you should be able to tell just how much I loathe you...” Smoothing my dark hair back, I drank in the Neanderthal’s expression, a delicious combination of rage and confusion.

“Oh Marky, telling you dad had a hit on the Vargas twins was just the icing on the cake. Poor Marcus so addicted to the kill he didn’t even remember Pops and Vargas had been pals since before you were old enough to say your own name...But of course you never thought there was a reason to question your own big brother who’d always been so good with information in the pass. Because if you can’t trust family who can you?” I knew I was raving, but I’d been waiting for this so long I couldn’t help it.

“I’LL KILL YO-” It was easier than I thought; it should have after six years of watching him do it. As I watched my brother sink beneath the murky tide, I could only say one thing.

I see why you liked it so much now Marcus.

The author's comments:
This was a piece that was buried somewhere in the back of my head for a long time. I live in an area where there is a lot of crime, the brand that can't be ignored by the senses or the soul. So one day I found myself reminiscing over the quieter more sophisticated criminals of the twenties and thirties, and viola a rather dark piece appeared on the paper.

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