Authors: J. B. Reed
At this, Michael slit the large man’s throat from ear to ear. Bobak grabbed his throat and fell to the floor, the blood rushing from his body, causing him to drown in his own blood. “The message is, no one double crosses Don De Luca.” Michael picked up the paper bag with the money as well as the keys to Bobak’s car, and left the motel room. He opened the trunk of Bobak’s car and found that he had been telling the truth. The rest of the money was in his trunk in a suitcase. Michael removed the suitcase from the trunk of the car and placed the paper bag inside. He then placed the keys to Bobak’s car in the trunk and closed the lid. Michael then walked over to a phone booth, called Joseph to let him know the job was finished and that he had recovered the money for the coke and was on his way back home.
Michael’s thoughts returned to Vivie. He would be home by 7:00 a.m. Maybe he would pick up some bagels for breakfast. Vivie had not been feeling well for a couple of days but maybe she would be feeling better this morning.
The sun was attempting to peak through the gray clouds in the skies overlooking Hell’s Kitchen. Patrick Fergus Clancy was preparing for another hard day at the shipyards. Hard days were all there were at the shipyards, but Patrick Clancy was thankful to have the work. He was supporting his wife Mary and five children. Since his beloved Vivian had ran away and gotten married, it was up to Patrick to feed, clothe and shelter the Clancy clan. How he missed his Vivian. She was the apple of his eye. If she was happy, that was all that mattered. If only she would come home for a visit, maybe tell him he was going to be a grandpa. The thought of being a grandpa to Vivie’s child brought a smile to Patrick’s face.
“Your lunch is ready my dear, don’t forget to take it with you today.” Mary handed the big lunchbox to her husband with a broad smile on her care worn face.
“You act as if I’m a forgetful old man, Mary. I’ll have you know I’m as sharp as I ever was. As a matter of fact, I’m a lot sharper than some of the men half my age down at the yard.” Patrick reached out and placed an arm around Mary’s shoulder.
“That you are my dear. I have no doubt. You have a good day and we’ll be seeing you at the usual time.”
Patrick kissed Mary on the cheek and walked out of their tenement door. Mary walked into the kitchen and started clearing away the breakfast dishes. Suddenly she felt something was wrong. In the old country they called it a burden, a feeling of impending doom, that something bad was about to happen. Mary made the sign of the cross, dropped to her knees, and began to pray.
The walk to the shipyard was an eight-block walk. For a man of 56, sometimes it seemed like a long walk indeed, especially on cold, windy, mornings. Patrick stopped to adjust his scarf and hat and again started on his way. Two blocks from the shipyard, he noticed the street had been blocked off.
“What on earth? When did they start working on this street? I’ll have to go down another block in order to get to the yard. Anything to cause a man aggravation.” Patrick turned down the street and walked another block south of the shipyard. As he was coming to the crosswalk to turn to get back onto the street that led to the shipyard, he heard a car coming up behind him. He stopped to let the car pass before crossing. As the car approached him it started to slow down, he recognized the driver as Ryan Kelly, one of Tommy Flannery’s hoodlum friends, and a known drug addict.
“Good morning to ya Mr. Clancy.” Ryan smiled at Patrick as he rolled down his window.
“Go on with you Ryan Kelly. I have no time for the likes of you.” Patrick waved his hand, motioning for Ryan to keep his car moving so he could cross the street.
Ryan raised a 9mm Luger and fired at Patrick, hitting him on his mark, right between his eyes. Patrick’s body was knocked back four feet, from the impact of the shot, landing in the middle of the side street. Ryan hit the gas and sped away. “Tommy is going to be so fucking happy with me.” I told him I could handle this. That’s one old
bastard we won’t have to be worrying about anymore. Good riddance I say.”
VIVIE’S DELICATE CONDITION
7:45 a.m. Vivie had just finished her shower and was brushing her teeth. Staring into the mirror, gazing at her own reflection, her thoughts wondered to the possible reason she may have been feeling so ill lately. Vivie had never been a person to suffer poor health. Her papa told her she had been born strong as a mule, and just as stubborn. How she missed him. She missed mama too, but she and papa had a special connection. Maybe it was because she was the eldest, and he relied on her, maybe it was because she listened to him when mama did not have time. Whatever the reason, the connection between Vivie and her papa was strong and would always be, even if she would never see him again. Why was, she feeling so bad? She had not vomited so much in her entire life, as she had these past three days. One possible reason for Vivie feeling so sick horrified and disgusted her.
“Could I be pregnant? Dear God in heaven, please do not let me be carrying Tommy’s child in my womb. What if I am pregnant, what will Michael do? How will he react when I tell him that I have Tommy’s child inside me? He has said to me that he is falling in love with me. How can he continue to love me if I am pregnant with Tommy’s child? I need to see a doctor. I need to know for sure if this is what is wrong with me. Maybe I have the flu; yes, that is probably it. Vivie, you’re letting yourself get upset for nothing.”
“Vivie, darlin, are you up?” Michael came through the kitchen door, announcing his arrival, so as not to frighten Vivie.
“Yes, I’ve been up for hours. Did you have a successful night?”
“I did, indeed.”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“Nothing to talk about, really. A Polak from Jersey was supposed to deliver some coke to Joseph but instead, he decides to sell it to the Westies. He then takes off with the cash. Tracked him down in Elmira, he still had the cash on him. Made the hit, brought the money back to Joseph and now I am home. Ready for breakfast? I brought some bagels.”
Michael knew he should not be talking about business with Vivie, but still, it felt good to have someone he could talk to. It was a release of sorts. Having Vivie in his life was turning his life inside out. He never had a need to be this close to anyone. He never had a desire to be this close to anyone. He was always a loner that was the way he liked it. That was the way it had to be.
“I don’t believe I’ll have breakfast this morning, Michael.”
“Still not feeling well, darlin?”
“Not really. I think I may need to see a doctor.”
“Vivie, is it that serious? What do you think is ailing you?”
Michael’s concern was written on his face. He walked over and placed his hands on her shoulders, looking down into her face.
“I don’t believe it’s anything that serious, I just think I should see the doctor to be safe. Maybe I need a shot, just give me a little pick up, to help me along the way. You understand, don’t you, Michael?
“Of course, darlin. We’ll go right now, if you like.”
“Michael, you’ve been out all night. I think I can go to the clinic down the street by myself. Eat your breakfast and go to bed. I will wake you later and let you know what the doctor said. I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about.”
“Alright, Vivie. I don’t want you to feel that I’m smothering you. I know how independent you are.”
Michael gave Vivie a wink and kissed her on the cheek.
After Vivie left for the clinic, Michael went into his bedroom with the newspaper. As he was about to fall asleep, his telephone rang, it was Joseph.
“Lucky, I have some news.”
“Joseph, what’s up?”
“That little girl’s father, was his name Patrick Clancy?”
“Yes, Joseph, Patrick Clancy…why, what have you heard about him?”
“He was hit this morning Lucky. He was on his way to work from what I understand, and somebody drove up and whacked him, right there in the street. Dead shot, right between the eyes.”
“Lucky, you know what this means, the guys responsible for this, I’m assuming it’s the Westies, are trying to find you. Now why would that be, Lucky? They wouldn’t hit an old man just because you took off with the girl. What haven’t you told me, Lucky?”
Michael knew he had to come clean with Joseph. He had to tell him the truth, the truth that he had gone to Hell’s Kitchen looking for Tommy to settle the score for Vivie.
“I’ll meet you at your office in ten minutes Joseph.”
Michael left a note for Vivie, telling her that he would be back soon. How he dreaded telling Joseph what he had done. He knew he should have let someone else handle it, he was too personally involved, but it is too late. Now he must face the consequences. And, more importantly, how is he going to tell Vivie that her father is dead because of his actions?
Setting in the clinic, waiting her turn to see the doctor, Vivie looked around the waiting room. The room was crowded with the economically disadvantaged. Even though this was a more affluent part of the city, they still had their share of the poor among them. Women, with small children waited, holding their children on their laps, to free up a seat for someone else. Older gentlemen, some who reminded Vivie of her own father, who could barely hold their head up, waited patiently for their name to be called. One woman, sitting directly across the room from Vivie was holding a newborn baby. Visions of herself ran through Vivie’s mind.
“Sweet Mother Mary, what will I do, if I am carrying Tommy’s child?”
For a moment, Vivie had forgotten she had registered using a false name.
“Yes, here I am.”
“Come this way, Miss O’Connor.” The nurse held the door open and directed Vivie to have a seat in the second room to her left.
“What are you here for today, Miss O’Connor?”
“Well, I’m not sure, really. You see, I haven’t been feeling very well for the past few days. I’m thinking I may have the flu.”
“I see. Have you been running a fever, vomiting, diarrhea?”
“No fever, but I have been vomiting. No diarrhea.”
“When was your last period, Miss O’Connor?”
“The second week of September.”
“That was two months ago. You haven’t had a period for two months?”
“No, but that’s nothing unusual. My periods have never been regular, you see.”
“Is there any possibility that you could be pregnant, Miss O’Connor?”
Vivie dropped her head in shame.
“Yes, there is a possibility.”
“Alright then. The doctor will be in to see you in a few minutes. Let’s have you put this gown on. He may want to give you an exam. After you‘ve changed, please have a seat up here, on the table.”
The nurse handed her a cloth gown, and patted her on the shoulder, smiling at her sympathetically. Vivie quickly changed into the gown and sat down on the cold steel table. It was only a few minutes before the doctor came into the examining room, but to Vivie it seemed like hours.
“Good morning, Miss O’Connor. I’m Dr. Cohen.” The doctor offered his hand to shake hands with Vivie. “I hear you haven’t been feeling well the past few days?”
“Yes, that’s true.”
“But no fever or diarrhea?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“Well, let’s take a look, okay?”
The doctor stood up to examine Vivie, listening to her heart, lungs, asking her to open her mouth so he could look at her throat.
“Miss O’Connor, I don’t believe you have the flu. You seem to be perfectly healthy. The notes say there is a possibility that you could be pregnant, is that correct?”
“I’m going to perform a quick exam on you, and we’ll be able to find out, if, in fact, you are pregnant. How would that be?”
“That would be alright, I guess.”
“Have you ever had a female exam, Miss O’Connor?”
“No, sir, I have not.”
“It may be a little embarrassing for you, so I’m going to call my nurse in here to be with us during the exam. Would that be alright with you?”
Dr. Cohen called in the nurse and then explained to Vivie the nature of the exam he was about to perform. The nurse helped Vivie lay back on the table and placed her feet in the stirrups. The nurse then covered her with a sheet. As Dr. Cohen began the examination, Vivie felt as though she wanted to pull the sheet over her head. In a matter of a few moments, the examination was over and the nurse told Vivie she could get dressed.
“Dr. Cohen will be back in to talk to you in a few minutes, dear.”
Vivie dressed as rapidly as she had undressed, and sat nervously on the edge of the chair, waiting for the doctor to come in, and tell her what she already knew he was going to tell her. The door to the examination room opened and Dr. Cohen entered, carrying a folder, and a bottle of pills.
“Miss O’Connor, my suspicions were correct. You are approximately two months pregnant. Congratulations” Dr. Cohen again reached out to shake Vivie’s hand.
Congratulations? Holy hell - congratulations is not exactly the word that came to Vivie’s mind.
“Thank you, doctor.”
“I have a bottle of vitamins I want you to start taking right away. You can, of course come back here for your check ups. I can see you throughout your pregnancy if you like.”
“That would be fine, doctor.”
Dr. Cohen stood to his feet and helped Vivie to hers.
“If you have any questions, please feel free to call the clinic. The nurse has a packet of information we give to new expectant mothers. It will tell you what you can expect in the months to come. Again; congratulations and good luck.”
Vivie stopped at the desk and picked up the information from the nurse. As she left the clinic and started walking back to Michael’s apartment, her mind searched for the words to tell Michael that she was going to have a baby. Not just a baby, but Tommy Flannery’s baby, the baby of the devil himself. She was carrying the demon seed. What had she done to deserve this? As Vivie passed by St. Andrew’s, Church she decided now was good a time as any for confession. As she opened the doors to the church, she looked around for the confessional.
Opening the door, she knelt down and the priest slid opens the window.
“Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It’s been two months since my last confession……”
As Michael approached Joseph’s office, he was trying to wrap his mind around where he would start explaining his actions. Joseph was a powerful man. Michael new Joseph had a fondness for him; he also knew that business was Joseph’s top priority. If he thought Michael had jeopardized his security in any way…a chill ran down Michael’s back, he knew very well the magnitude of Joseph’s wrath.
“Come in, Lucky, have a seat. Let’s talk.”
Michael sat down on the big leather couch across from Joseph’s desk.
“You want a drink, a cigar?”
“No, thank you, Joseph.”
“Lucky, I may be wrong, but I have a feeling, the last time we talked, you were not telling me the whole story about you and this girl. Am I wrong?”
“No, no, you’re not. I wanted to tell you, Joseph, I thought about telling you, but then thought better of it.”
“Why is that, Lucky? Have I ever given you any reason to withhold information from me? When people withhold information from me, Lucky, it makes me feel like they are lying to me. I do not like it when people lie to me. You know that, better than anybody.”
“I haven’t lied to you about anything, Joseph; I just haven’t told you everything.”
“There’s a difference?”
“In this case, yes, there is a difference.”
“Okay, Lucky, enlighten me, tell me the difference between lying to me, and, not telling me everything.”
Joseph leaned back in his chair, puffing on his cigar, feet propped up on his desk.
“Joseph, had you seen Vivian, the night after those animals attacked her, you would understand. I knew this girl, hell, you saw her; you saw how beautiful she was. That night, Joseph, when I found her, had it not been for her beautiful red hair, I would not have known it was her. I wanted to take her to the hospital. She begged me not to take her. I then told her I would take her home to her parent’s home and she begged me not to take her home, she said it would kill them to know what had happened to her. She asked me to take her home with me, Joseph, just for a few days, just long enough for her to get better. What was I to do, Joseph?”
“Go on, Lucky. I know there’s more to the story.”
“After a few days, when she started to feel like her old self we talked about her going home. She told me she had decided she was never going home again. She decided to write her folks a letter, telling them she had married and left the state. Joseph, if you knew this girl, the way she feels about her family, for her to sacrifice her family, to never see them again….I felt that I had to do something, Joseph. I knew I was too personally involved, I knew I should hire someone to take care of those bastards, but Joseph, a part of me knew I had to be the one to take care of this. I had to be the one to settle the score. I went to the Kitchen looking for Tommy Flannery. He’s the fuck that actually did the raping and beating. I could not find Tommy. I did find one of his crew that helped him that night. One, Shane Murphy. I asked him where Tommy was hiding out, but couldn’t get any information from him. So I gave him a message to deliver to Tommy.”