Angelo's Death (PG-13)
Heaven's Mafia (not rated)
He was a sweet kid. We picked him up in the slums when he was maybe nine, ten years old. It's hard to tell with those streetrats, you know? They're all littler than cockroaches and just about as hard to get rid of. But damn, can they be useful.
This kid, he used to hang around outside the church. We'd see him around on Sundays, just sorta standing there, sometimes playing with a stick or some marbles or something. He sometimes had other kids with him, but not too often. I seen him a lot with this little girl. Always dressed real nice, she was. They didn't seem to fit together except I swear to God I never saw two kids look more alike than they did. Same shaggy hair, same shaped nose, same pokin' ears... like two bits of clay out of the same mold only one got sorta twisted-like. That was our boy.
Well, it was Sunday, you know, so we didn't always do so much business... but there was this one time, we had a real sweet deal going down. We needed a little extra help so somebody said, hey, what about that kid? So we found him standing around in his same old place, and we said, hey, kid, you wanna earn a couple pennies maybe? So he gives us this sorta skewed grin and says yeah, sure.
So we start him off running errands and stuff. Turns out this kid is pretty smart. Good at getting around places. We tell him, go across town, and BOOM! He's back in under an hour and picks up some nice business for us along the side. Good kid. Very good kid.
We had him around for a long time. I figure, a few years... he was the best runner we had in that neighborhood. He got to know everybody. We raised that kid. Taught him everything he knew. He got to be higher up, knew more important people. We gave him some pretty heavy stuff, but he came through, every time. We used to say the kid could get us into Fort Knox in a half hour and come back with a pizza on top of all the gold. He was our bambino. A real mob kid.
We called him Knox. His name was Eric. The nickname was double, Knox like the bank and knocks because he took plenty of 'em for us. He sometimes came back with black eyes as well as business. Broke his arm, his leg a few times... but it always seemed to work to his advantage. What better to waste pity on than a crippled kid, right?
So anyway, one day we decided to give him a real big job, the great test to see if he was really one of us, you know? We gave him a job. See this guy? we says to him. We want you to whack him.
Yeah, the kid says. Sure. I'll do it.
Next thing we know, we got cops on our ass and this guy in a witness protection program.
And the kid? Well, here's the stupid thing. He comes back, see. And he looks us in the eye, and he says, I couldn't do it, boss. I couldn't.
And our boss, he looks at the kid, and he says, Kid, we loved you. And the kid says, Yeah, boss. I know.
And right there, the boss, he takes out a gun, puts it down the kid's throat, and shoots him. Just like that. Blew his throat out.
He never talked since then. Not even in death.