The pizza delivery thug and the driver, a tanned, dark wavy haired thug with a long beak, had Zeke and Mickey by an arm and ushered them into Lombardi’s. Gus was behind the bar washing beer glasses. Mickey glanced over, “Hey Gus, I don’t know where we’re going but can you bring me the usual.”
Zeke shrugged and didn’t say anything.
The boys were taken to a back room. Inside the room was a metal desk, three metal folding chairs. A photo of Ted Williams talking to Joe DiMaggio and another photo of former heavyweight champ, Rocky Marciano.
The driver thug, opened the folding chairs and placed them in front of the desk.
The pizza thug said, “Sit.”
Zeke said, “What’d we do? We done nothing.”
Mickey said, “Can I have my beer?”
The pizza thug said to the driver thug, “I think they’re too stupid to know what they done.”
“Don’t matter, stupid or not. They gotta deal with the consequences.”
“That’s right, you don’t do what Mr.G says, it’s like watching the Food Channel, time for a little fileting, and little grilling.”
“We gonna have a barbeque?” asked Mickey.
“Your buddy got air for brains, you know what I mean. You’d have better off if you hung around with smarter guys like me and him.” The pizza guy was careful not to use names.
Zeke looked up, “He’s a nice guy, he thinks different. We’re best friends. I’m doing okay with him.”
“You got a wise mouth and think you’re so smart. If Mr. G wasn’t coming, I’d smack you around and see how smart you was.”
“Pretty soon, your gonna be working for me. Maybe I’ll look for better talent,” said Zeke who then wondered why he said what he said.
“You gotta be driving down the wrong side Route 24 and you got a 16 wheeler heading for you and you can’t see nothing because you is more stupid than the stupid friend you hang around with.”
“He’s not stupid. How’d you like it if someone called you stupid. How would your mother feel?” asked Zeke. He wondered if were on a drug. He didn’t do drugs. Okay, he like beer. But drugs were out of the question. The wine, he thought. Nonna drugged the wine.
A knock on the door.
“Yah,” said the driver thug.
“It’s me, Gus. I got two beers for the guys.”
“What about us?” asked the driver thug.
“Mr. G didn’t say anything about giving you guys free beers. You gonna let me in?”
The driver thug opened the door, Gus walked in and over to Mickey. He handed him a bottle of a dark locally brewed beer. He did the same with Zeke. Then he said, “These are courtesy of Mr. G. He called and said he’d be a few minutes late.”
“What’s going on, Gus?” said the pizza delivery thug.
“Hey, I only work here. You wanna know what’s going on, ask Mr. G,” said Gus who left as abruptly as he came in.
The driver thug hollered, “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass. I told him. I don’t like his attitude.”
Zeke sipped at his beer. Mickey let his slide down his throat unimpeded by reflex mechanism. He didn’t stop to breathe. He didn’t stop to savor the taste. He just let it flow.
“How you do that?” asked the driver thug.
“I been practicing since I was a kid,” said Mickey proudly.
The backdoor to the room opened. A third thug with bulging pecs, huge biceps and a tight tee opened the door and held it open for Tony Gallino. Gallino walked to the desk and stood behind the chair just off to its right. The bulging pec thug walked over and pulled the chair out and motioned Gallino to sit down. Once he said, the bulging thug guy helped scoot Gallino in.
When Gallino was set, he looked at Zeke and Mickey and said, “I been nice to a point and now I want the right answers or I am not going to be nice any more. Do I have an amen, thugs?”
The three thugs said, “Amen.”
What’s going to happen to Zeke and Mickey? When will Nonna’s curse kick in? What’s inside the package?