Nonna began rocking back and forth. She stroked the package and sang to it as if it were a new born baby.
“What, Nonna. What?” begged Zeke.
Nonna opened her eyes, a beatific smile appeared on her face, “I can’t tell you boys whats a in here. I’m a gonna hold it for safe keeping. I let nothing happen to it. You betcha your life.”
“Nonna, Tony Gallino will have us killed if we lose the package. Please give me the package,” asked Zeke.
“Tony G not gonna hurt you. He hurt you I put a curse on him make him wish he was in the morgue. I put a curse on him make him wish he was deader than a dead mackerel. I put a curse on him he come crawling to me to take it off him.”
“What about us? We’ll already be dead,” asked Zeke.
“That’s a chance you gotta take. Now, I give you something to fix everything that bothers you. You feel better right away,” Nonna placed the package on her lap. She still gripped it tightly with her left hand and arm. She reached into the top of her dress and fished around in her bra. She pulled her hand out and held it open to the boys.
She handed Zeke a handful of garlic, “Here’s what chu do. You eat a clove of garlic now, and you eat one before bed. You wear one around you neck. If you making love to a girl tonight, eat two cloves. It do wonders for you. Now getta outa my house until I tell you to come back for the package or I put a curse on you.”
Thirty minutes later, Zeke and Mickey are sitting at the far end of the bar in Lombardi’s. Three other men are sitting further down the bar. One of the men says, “The Sox need to pull the pitcher. He’s getting tired.”
The second man said, “I’ve never been tired and how hard does a pitcher work. What’s he do throw a baseball a hundred times and makes a million plus a year? Give me a break.”
The third man said, “You talking breaks, Jimmy Giano broke his leg in two places last week. That’s a break.”
Gus was standing behind the bar halfway between the three guys talking about this and that and Zeke and Mickey. Gus is wondering if he’s in hell and doesn’t know he died.
Zeke says, “Mickey, we are in deep trouble. If Tony G finds out, he’ll have us whacked. If we take the package away from Nonna she’ll put a curse on us. I been using my brain and I can see a way out of this. I think we gotta get out of town. Go someplace with Gallino can’t find us and Nonna’s curse won’t work.”
Mickey was finishing his third beer. He signaled Gus for his fourth. Gus drew a draft and slid it down the bar. Mickey stuck out his right hand snagged it.
“I can catch with either hand, Zeke. You think I can make it in the majors as a shortstop? Hernandez is terrible at short for the Sox. He can’t field and he can’t hit. At least I can field.”
“Did you hear anything I said?” asked Zeke.
“About what?” asked Mickey.
“About anything?” asked Zeke.
“Nope. I was thinking about what Nonna told me about garlic. You think if I eat it and wear it around my neck it will attract women? I’m willing to try anything.”
Before Zeke could answer, Tony Gallino and two of his bodyguards walked into Lombardi’s. He walked four feet inside, scanned the bar and said, “Just the two guys I’m looking for.”
What does Tony Gallino want with Zeke and Mickey? Will the boys figure a way out of their dilemma?