Saturday, May 31, 2008

Short Fiction: Immigrants and Out of Towners (Brooklyn Prelude)

They sat in a booth towards the back of the diner in Brooklyn’s Red Hook district, the rumble of a train under them rattling the dishes at their table. Both the men, in their early thirties wore track suits stained in sweat, black hair short on top of their pasty heads. The first of the two, who was sitting with his back to the door, sipped his coffee and played with a lighter.

“I’ll tell you this much Jimmy,” started his friend across from the table, who was looking out the window at the night time street, “there’s no fuckin’ way I’m working for a piece of fucking cooz, especially a piece of fuckin’ cooz from Canada.”

“Yeah,” and Jimmy turned the lighter over in his fingers absently.

“I mean, what the fuck are they thinkin’ you know?”


“Hey, I’m talkin’ here!” And he slammed his palm flat on the table top, making all the china jump. Jimmy looked up tiredly.

“I know, it’s all you fuckin’ talk about Mikey.”

“Well!” And Mikey gestured with his hands in the air to further explain his point. Jimmy just went back to looking at the lighter in his hands, spinning it over his fingers. Mikey shook is head and looked out the window. “I mean, this is our livelihood, you know? This is how we earn. And now some broad is gonna come here, and tell us how to run shit in Brooklyn? Are you fuckin’ kiddin’ me?”

“How about you shut that big fuckin’ mouth of yours, I’m startin’ to think you’re the woman here,” Jimmy said. The waitress came over and refreshed their coffees and asked if there was anything else they wanted. Mikey asked for a lemon cream donut and Jimmy shook the waitress off.

After the waitress left, Mikey leaned back across the table.

“This is how we earn. I’ve been doing this since I was fuckin’ twelve years old, sellin’ smokes out of stolen cartons man. Ok, I’ve been around to see the shit go down with Gotti and the Gambinos, the whole fucking federal RICO shit, everything. We’re a fuckin’ dyin’ breed Jimmy. And now they want to bring in some fuckin’ piece a”

“Cooz, Canadian cooz, I got it already, Jesus, you’re a broken fuckin’ record over here,”

“You know what I’m sayin!”

“I’ve been hearin’ it all fuckin’ week, shit,” and Jimmy pulled a cigarette out from his pocket and lit it up. The diner was no smoking but these two being known soldiers of the Capasso family, the proprietors of the diner let them do what they wanted.

The Capasso Family was New York’s last real “family” that still “earned.” The former Five Families of New York, The Gambinos, the Columbos, Geveoneses et al were either all dead or in prison never to see the light of day. The Italian-American Mafia was driven underground to it’s very roots, falling out of the collective eye sight of most Americans. No longer were alleged Mafia bosses paraded in front of the public on the fronts of tabloid newspapers or television. There were no super stars of the Mafia world, no pop culture icons, no John Gottis, no turf wars.

If anything, the Mafia was struggling for air in an increasingly crowded room of organized crime. There were the many black gangs, with no solidarity amongst themselves, each one clawing for a street corner in a neighborhood they didn’t even live in. Then you had the Latin Kings and other splinter organizations that were comprised of various Spanish ethnicities. The Russians controlled all the chop shops in NYC and New Jersey as well as a strangle hold on the flesh trade. The Chinese had control of all the Laundromats, hole in the wall TexMex joints and bootleg DVD productions. This left the Italians very little to hold on to.

Long ago, back in the 90s, the Irish which were the second to last white organization in the city left to consolidate their forces in Boston. The Italians largely felt the same way, all knowing but not saying that NYC was no longer a “white city.” Hell, even the Arabs ran bootleg cigarettes.

But the Capassos were determined to rise again, after spending enough time laying low. They ran a few underground gambling joints in the Meat Packing District in Manhattan, as well as Sanitation routes in the city, mostly Queens, and a had the ear of the Livery Unions. And don’t forget the construction job no-shows.

But the bottom line was that the Italians had very little of the real earning power they once held. No more drug trade, which was shut down in the 1990s when too many Mafia bosses were being wrapped up in drug charges with dealings with the blacks and latins.

Of this, the most powerful Capasso boss, Don Luis “Dollar Bill” De Luca had just received a life sentence for narcotics trafficking and intent to distribute two weeks ago. Since then, the Capasso family has been rudderless, with very little internal leadership rising to the top. Mostly, the Capasso family was a pack of heavy hitting meatheads that solved problems by breaking heads and fingers.

Hence the rumors that Don Giovanni Capasso was looking to go outside of the family for new leadership. The Italian Mafia in Montreal, Quebec Canada was strong, almost bursting at the seams with it’s money generated. This could be contributed mostly to it’s levels of leadership and little competition. They had their blacks, but the blacks worked for them. They had to deal with the latins, but they were easily controlled with drugs and the idea that they controlled certain sections of neighborhoods. Basically, those the Italians in Montreal couldn’t control with money, they simply killed. Things in Montreal were a lot like they were in NYC twenty years ago.

De Luca was looking at bringing in a young lady from Montreal who had been gutting out the old regime in favor of new money making vantages: Internet gambling, credit card fraud schemes, phishing technology, bootleg software, internet porn, and the list went on. She was also rumored to be totally ruthless, stories surfacing that she personally cut the eyes out of a rival for something said on an internet social networking site.

All this at the age of 24.

The two Capasso soldiers didn’t pay their bill for their coffee and pastries, but left anyway, both smoking while standing out front of the diner. A light drizzle was falling and there was fog on the street.

The neighborhood was quiet, which was unusual for a Friday night. The two soldiers huddled under the awning, pulling their track tops closed, zipping them to their necks.

“Man it’s cold out here,” Mikey said. Jimmy just blew smoke out of his nose and looked down the street.

“Hey, I hear Tony Sausage is having some girls over at his poker game tonight, wanna go check that out?”

“Girls at a poker game, you gotta be kidding me. Doesn’t he know that’s bad luck?”

“I don’t give a shit, if they’re hot I’m gonna fuck one of them,” Jimmy said and dropped the butt of his cigarette on the ground and stepped on it. Down the street there were footsteps slowly approaching. Both turned to look, squinting into the fog. A young man appeared wearing a light jacket, with his hands tucked into the pockets. Both men watched him pass without a word, but the tension was too thick to go unnoticed.

“You know that guy?” Mikey asked his counterpart.

“I ain’t never seen that guy before,” Jimmy answered. They both turned after the man walked by, following them with their gaze.

“Hey buddy!” Mikey called out and the man stopped some twenty feet away. He did a slow turn and faced the two Mafiosi.

“What?” He said in an accent neither had ever heard before.

“Who the fuck are you?” Mikey asked. The man pulled his hands out of his jacket and shrugged, but it was too late.

From around the other side of the diner, behind the two soldiers, another man appeared with a small black automatic pistol and squeezed two shots into both men’s heads. They both fell to the ground in a heap on top of each other, and the shooter dropped the gun on the ground next to them. Both the shooter and the man with the accent looked at each other and then jogged over to a blacked out GMC Denali across the street and got into the driver’s and front passenger’s seat respectively. The driver then looked into the rearview mirror into the big round sunglasses of his boss, Martina De Rossi.

“Well, what’re you waiting for, go!” She yelled at the driver. He put the truck into drive and squeaked the tires as he took off, leaving the two bodies clumped on the ground.

Martina De Rossi, of Montreal, Quebec, Canada flipped open her sleek slim cell phone and punched in a text message using her long white nails. It simply said “those loose ends have been snipped,” then she shut the phone, tucking it back into her light black rain coat, and watched the gray city go by out her window.


Angry Ballerina said...

So violent.

James. said...

Pfft, wait til part 6...

Terry Finley said...

Thanks for sharing this story.

Terry Finley