Tonight's installment of my odd little story is the final meet-and-greet for all the main characters. Next week will bring them all together. Let's hope Mickey keeps his wits about him; he's got the entire mob after him now!
Part Four: The Suspicion of Warm Lettuce
The McGhee brothers didn’t get where they were today by taking the easy route; all one had to do was take a gander at them to see that. Behind the tailored suits and the imported cigars, Rudy and his brother were the roughest looking individuals to ever walk the city streets. They had been in more bar room brawls than all the dockside sailors and they wore each scar as a trophy to their prowess.
Whatever they had achieved they got it through sheer will power and force of personality, not to mention the force of their punches. They quite literally fought their way to the top of the crime world and now there wasn’t a single syndicate that didn’t owe them allegiance.
“How is it, then, that I find myself in this predicament?” Rudy sat behind an antique desk, the very picture of civility, save for the odd assortment of firearms scattered on the top of the desk. He folded his hands, heavily covered with a lattice work of scars from years of knife fighting, and looked around the room at his various associates and lackeys. “How is it that a man as connected as I am, a man who has his hand in every cookie jar in the city, is having trouble locating one pair of shoes?”
Everyone present squirmed in their seats, all except the Matriarch; she hadn’t squirmed in many years, but used to be paid quite well to do so. Rudy didn’t scare her, and he knew it. He turned his attention to the others and let the weighted silence settle on them.
“Well?” Rudy slammed a hand down on the desk, making several people jump. “What do I have to do to get those damned shoes back?” His good eye was burning with murderous intent; the other was blind and milky like a dead man’s.
The door to the office flew open and a slick looking man weaseled his way through the onlookers to Rudy’s side.
“What is it Giacomo? I don’t have time for your wild goose chases.” Rudy’s anger was temporarily diffused by the informant’s entrance.
“I saw them, signore; I saw what you are looking for. Your brother’s shoes!” Giacomo was practically buzzing with excitement. “They are at Rita’s, on a very big man. I came straight here when I saw them.”
Rudy gave Giacomo the customary tip for his information and sent him away with a troubled sigh. If those shoes were at Rita’s, then every two bit crook and jerk with something to prove would be after them. He had to act fast.
“Face,” he motioned to his enforcer who was lurking menacingly in the shadows, “you take the Twins and get over to Rita’s. Either get those shoes or keep the guy wearing them from leaving.” The brute muscled his way out of the room with a grunt, leaving everyone else looking on worriedly. Rudy shook his head and, in spite of the predicament, laughed. All of his power, his terrifying reputation, and his entire world was now suddenly and entirely dependent on his brother’s ugly shoes and the secret hidden in them.
“This isn’t going to end well.”