Nonna closed her eyes, folded her hands prayer like on the package that was sitting on her lap. She gently swayed back and forth as she were in a rocking chair. Mickey whispered in Zeke’s ear, “You think she’s dying?”
Zeke half turned his head toward Mickey, “Only if she falls face first and her head hits the table. But you can be sure because one time it happened when she was dead drunk..”
Nonna opened her eyes, “I no dead and I’m no drunk. I’m a waiting for my cannoli. You want a special favor, how come you bring me no cannoli? You know I like cannoli almost as much as I like sex.”
Mickey whispered, “She’s at least 85.”
“She turned 87 on her last birthday. Don’t say anything.”
“Nonna, we’re busted. I only got two dollars. You can’t buy the cannoli you deserve for two bucks. I didn’t want to get you a cheap one out of the freezer. You know what I mean?”
“Okay, you owe me. Maybe I tell you what’s in this package. When I tell you, you gonna know why Tony Gallino don’t want nobody looking inside. I gotta the goods on that no good son of a buffalo. I not gonna say the word you think I was gonna say because I don’t want to insult a dog. The buffalo, they don’t live around here, so it’s okay to insult them. They only on the cable.”
Zeke said, “What’s inside the package, Nonna? Can I look?”
“Me too,” said Mickey taking a long swallow from the dandelion wine bottle.
Nonna glanced at Mickey, “I not gonna show it to you Palitroni. You got a mouth bigger than the ocean. You can’t keep a you mouth shut. All the Palitroni’s, they kiss and tell. And, I think they making up most of what they tell from what I know and I know everything.”
“What’s in the package, Nonna? Tony’s gonna kill us if we don’t have something to bargain with,” said Zeke.
“Oh, you got plenty to bargain with, I tell you that much. You gonna name your price and then he gonna pay it and I’m gonna get a cut.”
Zeke’s right leg started bouncing faster than a frog tossed on heated frying pan. “What’s in it, Nonna. Don’t play games with me.” Said Zeke.
“You watcha you mouth. You talking to Nonna. Now, I’m a not going to tell you what’s a in a this package. I gonna call Tony and tell him he gotta deal directly to me. You been hanging around Palitroni too long. It’s wearing you down. Pretty soon, you gonna be like him. You gonna be a man who like’s dandelion wine.”
“Do you have another bottle, this stuff is great,” said Mickey.
“Okay, don’t cry, Zeke. I gonna show you what’s a in here. Palitroni, you make a one move I gonna slice you like I’m a carving Thanksgiving turkey.”
Zeke got up and walked around the table. He stood over Nonna’s shoulder. She slowly lifted the edgy of package, “What da you think? Do I got the goods? He gonna turn into cooked spaghetti.”
“He’s gonna kills all of us, that’s what he’s gonna do, Nonna. If he knows we saw what inside the package, we’re all as good as dead.”
“Ah, you worry too much. Maybe I gonna put it in the church bulletin. That gonna teach him good. Anyway, I put a curse on him. You watch.”
What’s in the package? Will Tony Gallino kill Zeke, Mickey and Nonna? Will Nonna’s curse work?