Thursday 2:10 p.m.
Tony’s pencil drummed on his desk as the clock refused to move. He smacked his gum and blew a huge bubble, the snap from the pop drawing eyes from all over the room. His teacher, Mr. Franklin, glared at him, then went back to reading his paper with a slight shake of his head. Tony grinned and chewed louder. One more month and he could drop out of this place.
A soft knock on the door interrupted the wasting of time. Mr. Franklin hauled his carcass out his chair, put-out expression firmly affixed. Tony watched as Mr. Franklin spoke with the school secretary. He stiffened as he saw her mouth form “Abbatiello.”
Mr. Franklin turned back to his now-whispering students, and jerked his thumb at the door. “Abbatiello. Principal. Now.” A soft, “oooohhhh,” came from the bowl full of losers that made up the low-track.
Tony gathered his books and sauntered over to the door. “What’d I do, Mr. F. ?”
“Don’t know, don’t care. I’m sure you’ve done plenty. The question becomes which one did you get caught for?”
Tony frowned as the class laughed. Fat bastard. Better watch your back.
He straightened his shoulders and walked out of the classroom, head high.
Thursday 2:35 p.m.
Tony strolled, whistling, into Mr. Kroeger’s office. “You were supposed to be here twenty minutes ago! Where have you been?” the principal barked.
Tony shrugged. “Eh, I dropped my stuff off at my locker and hit the john. Emergency, ya know?”
Mr. Kroeger’s face turned an unhealthy shade of red. Before he could explode, a cultured voice from behind Tony said, “It is quite all right, Phillip. May we use your office?”
Mr. Kroeger licked his lips as beads of sweat formed on his forehead. “Of course, Mr. Fianchetti. Please give the Family my regards,” he said as he scurried out of the room.
Tony stayed frozen through the whole exchange. He recognized the voice. A tall, thin man with slightly gray temples and wearing a tailor-made Gucci suit stepped into his line of sight, confirming his fears. “Do you know who I am, young man?” Fianchetti said in a low, dangerous tone.
Tony shook his head. The guy couldn’t know he was the one.
Fianchetti grinned, and it reminded Tony of a cobra he’d seen at the Bronx Zoo. “Well, let me refresh your memory. I’m the man you used your little quick fingers on to steal my wallet.”
A beefy hand, attached to an even beefier arm, clapped on his shoulder and squeezed. Tony felt his knees buckle and he allowed the hand to guide him into a chair. Fianchetti studied his manicured nails. “Normally, I would have Bernardo here take you somewhere and ‘teach’ you a few facts of life.”
Tony’s neck craned back as he looked up at the unsmiling face of his captor. Bernardo grunted and flicked his head toward Fianchetti. Tony turned back as Fianchetti spoke again. “I’m sure you plan to protest your innocence, or you ‘not guiltiness’ as the case may be. Do not bother to waste my time doing so, or I may change my mind.”
Tony gulped and stammered out, “Ch-change y-your m-m-mind?”
“Yes. You will meet Bernardo here at Franco’s Bar, you’re familiar with it?” At Tony’s confirmation nod, Fianchetti continued. “You will meet him at precisely 8:00 tonight. Understood?”
“Good.” Fianchetti nodded at Bernardo, and Tony felt the pressure release from his shoulder. “Don’t think about missing the appointment, Mr. Abatiello. Something…unfortunate may happen.”
Thursday 8:00 p.m.
Tony hunched his shoulders deeper under his jacket, hands firmly in his jean pockets. He jumped a little every time the door to Franco’s opened behind him. Keep it cool. They aren’t going to beat you down. Keep it cool.
A dark sedan pulled up to the curb, stopping right in front of Tony. The window rolled down and Bernardo’s florid face stared at him. Tony shuffled over and leaned down. Bernardo handed him a package, rolled the window up, and the sedan took off.
Tony’s hand shook as he tore the envelope taped to the plain brown wrapper. The note read:
Take this package to Wong’s Diner on 39th. Go to the alley entrance and ask for Bo Han. Open the package before he comes to the door.
Thursday 8:40 p.m.
Tony kept glancing over his shoulder as he eased down the alleyway. A cat screeched from behind the restaurant dumpster, sending Tony up against the filthy alley wall, heart racing. He gulped and forced himself to keep moving. He reached the doors, hearing sounds of kitchen-work coming through the thin metal.
He pounded on the door. A short Chinese man wearing a stained apron opened the door. “What do you want?”
“I-I h-have a package for a Mr. Bo Han.”
The man eyed Tony suspiciously for a moment before muttering, “Wait here.” The door slammed in his face.
Tony tore open the wrapper to reveal a plain brown box. He flipped the lid open, and a Browning Hi-Power nestled inside with a small note on top that simply said:
The door opened back up. “I’m Bo Han. What do you want?”
Tony’s hand grabbed the grip and he fired. Bo Han and the box hit the ground at the same time.
This story comes from a request by lexborgia at Nerd On The Bridge. He liked the character of Tony Abbatiello and wanted more of his life. I figured where better to start than the beginning of his career. For the story of Tony’s demise click here. For his character sketch, click here.
Hope you enjoy, and if anyone else happens to like a character and wants to see more, please feel free to let me know.
Happy Reading and Writing!