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Snowflake (short story contest entry)

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Snowflake (short story contest entry)

Post by Dullahan on Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:49 pm

I stood in front of the headquarters of the Chicago Weekly newspaper for five minutes, trying to encourage myself to go in.  I found a job here as a newspaper journalist, but I’m a little scared.  They might not agree with my writing style.  Or they might be discouraged by a woman journalist.  There was so much going on in my head at once, what should I do?  I fixed my dress nervously as I think of a solution-

“Come on, Mary,” I quietly shouted to myself, “you can do this!  You’re a good journalist.  This is your big chance!  This is your chance to achieve your dream, of one day writing for a big name newspaper!  Just stay cool, collective, and-oh-keep your birthmark hidden!  Don’t want to freak them out or anything.  Go in there, and show the men what you’re made of!”  My prep talk excited myself enough to walk into the building.  

I navigated through the building to find the Head Writer’s office.  I walked through the bull pen, with many other writers worked away at their type writers.  Maybe that’s where I’m going to start off.  My journey ended when I stopped at a door that read “Sylvester Crane, Editor-in-Chief’s Office.”  I took a deep breath, and knocked three times at his door.

“Come in.”  An old, grizzly voice shouted from the other side.  I was completely nervous, but that didn’t stop me from walking into his office.  I saw an old man, probably in his forties or fifties, with short, thinning, greying hair sitting at his desk.  “Who are you?”  He asked me.

“Uh-m, I’m Mary Andrews,” I replied nervously, “I’m your new journalist here.”

“Ah, Miss Andrews, welcome to the Chicago Weekly.  I’m Mr. Crane, the Editor-in-Chief.”  His voice didn’t sound so cold and grizzly after I introduced myself.  “Take a seat.”  I did just that in front of his desk.   “I’ve read your articles from the Daily Archive, about the Depression.  I gotta say, Miss Andrews, I’m thoroughly impressed with your work.”

“T-thank you, sir; it’s been my passion to write; I’m thankful that you’d let me write for you.”

“I can certainly see your passion in your writing.  I can guarantee you, Miss Andrews, you have something that others of your level don’t have- you don’t treat your job as just a job.  You don’t treat your writing like it’s just a construction of sentences put together to convey a story.  That’s what I like to see in a journalist!  Which is why I’m confident in giving you a story that I know only you can convey perfectly.”

“What’s the story, sir?”

“Have you ever heard about the Snowflakes, Miss Andrews; the people with abnormal birthmarks that come with abhorrent powers?”  I felt my gut drop when I heard him say that; I felt the birthmark on my left thigh burn coldly, and I covered it with my hand.  As if it weren’t covered up already.

“Why yes, yes I have.”  I discretely hid the disgust and shock in my voice.  It’s true; some people are born with birthmarks that give them powers. These birthmarks grow an “arm” at only significant parts of the bearer’s life.  But I had no idea that the people were also called “Snowflakes.”

“Apparently, a group of nine men with those marks are going around, causing turmoil in the city; they call themselves the “Northside Gang.”  I want you to gather information from these important witnesses-” he slid over a notepad with no more than three names written on the paper:Jimmy Anderson, Mark Matthews, and Michael Cross.

“But sir, wouldn’t this be a little dangerous for me? Writing about gang activity?  I mean, isn’t there anyone else more suited than me to write this?”

“Are you going to let that doubt plague your journalism, Miss Andrews?  This is a big scoop, you can only afford to do it right.  And besides, with your level of writing, I’m sure you’ll be fine.  Just follow the leads, and you’ll be okay.”

“Yes, sir; I’ll get to work on it as soon as I can.”  

A few days have passed since then.  It was a wet, rainy Valentine’s Day afternoon.  I was standing near a bus stop, with an umbrella opened over my head.  I had just finished interviewing the witnesses, and was now heading for work.  I pulled out my notepad to read what I had written down; checking for anything I missed-

“February 11, 1929: I sat down with witness #1, Jimmy Anderson, age sixty-nine.  He told me “all of the Northside Gang are Snowflakes; they use their birthmarks as a sign of terror and authority- they will beat up or kill anyone who don’t give them the respect they demand.”  I asked Jimmy if the police made any attempt to subdue the gang, but he said “the police are too busy pissing themselves to do much of anything; once in a while, they will gather enough courage to confront them, but will still shake in fear at the sight of their birthmarks.

February 12, 1929: I spoke to witness #2, Mark Matthews, age fifty-two, at the local hospital.  The witness owns a small diner downtown, Matthews’s Kitchen.  One day, the Northside Gang came to the diner offering him a fraud insurance plan.  When the witness refused the offer, the Gang didn’t take it too lightly; Mark Matthews ended up battered, bloodied, and hospitalized with four broken ribs, both arms broken, a shattered knee-cap, and a severe concussion.   He doesn’t recall most of the event, but he did comment that-“ I turned the page, “all nine men had a fully-developed, six-armed snowflake visible.”

February 13, 1929: I met with witness #3, Michael Cross, age seventy-eight, at the nursing home.  Most of what he had told me, it was information I had already recorded- they use their marks as signs of authority, all men have fully-developed snowflake marks visible, etc. So he confirmed the information I had written.  However, what struck my interest was when he said “his grandson, Alexander Cross, was once a part of the gang.  When he wanted to resign from the gang, they feared that he was going to release their deeper secrets to the public.  So they gunned him down.”  What secrets were the Northside Gang worried about getting out to the public?  Before I left, I asked Michael if he knew the leader of the gang, which he replied “no one knows who the leader actually is.”  No matter how many secrets I unfold about the Northside Gang, they’ll be covered by that many more.
 I groaned at the lacking information; I knew I should’ve asked more questions! But on the bright side, at least it’s enough to start my article on.

The heavy rain kept pouring and pouring, I’d thought it would never end.  But sometimes, I wished it only stopped when I want it to- I always loved the rain, even when I was little.  It made me feel happy and excited when it would make others feel sad and depressed.  When I was little, I always felt like playing outside when it rained- even if I got sick from it, it was totally worth it!  My train of thought was lost when I heard screeching tires in the background.

I looked over to my left to where the sound was coming from.  It sounded like whoever was driving, they were heading my direction.  I squinted my eyes a little to focus.  A black car sped out from the city background.  At first I wonder who it might be.  A panicked man shouted “Oh no!  It’s the Northside Gang!” Everyone scattered from the bus stop!  My heart dropped and I started to feel scared, so I ran for my life like everyone else!  While I ran, I kept peeping behind my shoulder- the black car is catching up to me!  

I turned into an alley.  But just my luck, it was a dead end! I turned to run the other direction, but the black car blocked my way.  Three men in suits stepped out of the car and approached me.  I thought to myself in mid-action maybe if I could run away from them, I could- one caught me before I ever had a chance to run- damn it, they caught me!  I struggled as hard as I can to break free from his clutches, but he had me tightly in his grasp.  His vice-like grip held me in place as I squirmed.  

“Throw the bag over her head.”  One of the men said.  The other man threw a potato sack over my head, rendering me blind.  I coughed up a storm from all the dust in the bag.  “Put her in the car.”  The men dragged me into their car.  I tried to fight back, but wouldn’t let me go.  They forced me into the car; I’m scared for my life.
 
“W-where are you taking me-?”

“Shut up!”  Someone barked at me.  I felt the car moving, and I’m on my way to somewhere. W-where am I going?  Where are they taking me? Are they going to murder me?  Oh, God, please help me!

They forced me on my knees, and took the bag off my head.  They had my wrists and ankles bound.  I frantically looked about the area, an old, abandoned warehouse I think.  Practically nothing was left in the garage; it was all just empty space.  I took a look at my captors- all of them have visible, six-armed Snowflakes visible; just as everyone said.

“Hey!  Where am I-?”

“Shut up!”  The biggest of the group shouted.  His daunting voice stole my will to speak.  I shuttered in fear.  The skinniest man walked up to me; he looked like he hadn’t eaten since the Depression began.  He had his Snowflake visibly showing on the left of his neck, and his right face cheek was scarred terribly.  He tapped his cigar a twice to get rid of the excess ashes.

“Now, then,” He kneeled down to me and began talking, “We were hearing rumors that a woman journalist was walking around gathering information on us- might that be you?”

“What? N-no, that couldn’t be me.”  I conjured a lie to keep myself from dying. “Why would there be a woman journalist? That’s just ridiculous, clearly you’re mistaken.   I’m just a stay-at-home wife with eight kids to look after.”  I hope he doesn’t realize the fear in my voice; that would get me in deep trouble.  He looked at me with no amusement as he huffed on his cigar.

“Okay,” he got up from his knees, “I believe you.  You’re not the one we’re looking for.  This is just a big misunderstanding.  I won’t kill you; you deserve to be with your family-”

“T-thank you-” wow, I never knew mafia gangsters could be so modest.

“But, wait; what’s this in my pocket-?” he satirically tried to pull something out of his coat pocket, “A notepad?  With your name on it?”

“T-that’s not mine. “  How the hell did he get my notepad?

“Well, if it’s not yours, then I guess you won’t have a problem with me reading it.” He opened the pad and his eyes darted from page to page.  My heart pounded non-stop, because I’m getting nervous.   “Oh, wow- for a stay-at-home mom, you sure know a lot about us.”  Damn, just when he was about to let me go.  “And you have beautiful handwriting too.  I’m sure your husband was lucky to have you.”  He took his cigar, and rubbed the hot, ashy end onto my pad until it caught fire.  What the hell is he doing?!  He’s destroying my work!  He threw the flaming heap of paper onto the floor.  “It’s a shame; you would’ve made a good journalist.” He pulls out his hand gun and pointed it at my head. “Unfortunately, no one can hire a dead woman.”  He cocked the hammer back, and the chamber loaded. "I’d hate to do this to you, having eight kids and all that.  But I guess the kiddies will have to live without mommy.”  I closed my eyes tightly.  I guess this is the end for me!

Just when I was about to meet my demise, someone banged on the garage door to no end.  The ruckus distracted the gangster enough to not shoot me.

“Who the hell’s doing that?”  The gangster with the gun to my head asked.  “Barney, go open the door, and blast the fool who’s doing that!”  He shouted under his breath.  As the leader demanded, one of the other gangsters opened the garage door.  He raised his Tommy gun, but was knocked out with a punch.  The remaining Northside members jumped in shock.
 
A man in a black suit and blue tie, with medium, combed, black hair and a stubble beard stood in the entrance.
 
“What the- who the hell are you?!”  The leader shouted.  Maybe this other guy is a rival mafia member, but thank God he showed up!  He kept my brain from being splattered everywhere for a few more seconds.  And plus, he’s more handsome than the rest of them; so I wouldn’t mind if he killed me.  “Do you even know who the hell you’re dealing with?! We’re-!”

“A bunch of pansy, wannabe mafia gangsters from what I see.”  The mystery man remarked.  

“How dare you!”  The leader barked.  “We are the Northside Gang!  We are a gang of six-armed Snowflakes!  We demand your respect!”

“That’s adorable.”  The man chuckled to himself. He put his umbrella away, and took off his suit jacket.  “I’ll tell you something ladies- I actually want to believe that.  I honestly do.”  He folded his jacket and gently placed it by his feet.  “But something is just hindering your believability, and I don’t know what.  Maybe it’s because all of your Snowflake marks look fake and identical, I suppose?”

“Why I ought a- Sammy!  Blast this fool!”  The big gangster pulled out a shotgun, but was instantly met with a severe jolt of lightning!   The big guy flew off of his feet and landed on his back a couple feet!   I looked at the mystery man, and he had his right hand extended outward, crackling and pulsing with sparks.  Did he…just now conjure electricity?  Does that mean he’s-?

“W-what the hell was-?”

“You nine aren’t the smartest “Snowflakes” out there, are you?”  The mystery man taunted them some more.  He rolled up his right arm sleeve.  “Don’t you know that no two snowflakes are ever alike?”  He finished rolling up his sleeve, and flashed his shoulder at the gang; the sight left them speechless.  It even left me speechless!  His shoulder bore a Snowflake mark with only four arms developed.  Each arm branched out slightly.  “I can see through your stupid game, Northside- you can scare the entire city with those tattoos, but you will never scare me!”

The leader finally lost it and he declared “Kill this guy!”  The remaining gangsters charged at him full force with baseball bats, rusted pipes, chains, and Stilettos galore in the heat of the moment.  The first member attacked him with a knife, aiming for his neck, but the man blocked it easily.  He snapped his arm and threw the gangster over his shoulder.  Two more members- one holding a bat, and the other a pipe- swung at him with coordinated, blunt swings.  First, the man caught the bat, and then knocked out its wielder with a sucker punch to the face.  But the pipe hit him in the back, and he went down on one knee in pain.  The pipe man attempted another swing, but was blocked by the man’s wrist!  He snatched the pipe, and struck the gangster’s left knee-cap, sending him to the ground!
 
The man was left wide open for a strike from a chain, and was hit on his cranium.  The top of his head gashed, and he bled all over his beautiful face!  The member with the chain swung to his left, but the man caught the chain.  It wrapped around his wrist, and he tugged the chain wielder towards him fiercely.  Mystery-man head-butt him in the face when he got close enough.  The last member stopped his attack when he saw four incapacitated brothers writhing in pain, and one knocked out around him.

“Enough of this!”  The leader shouted in rage.  He took his gun off of me and pointed it directly at the rival. Before he pulled the trigger, his hand was struck by an incoming Stiletto the rival man threw in a split-second decision! The leader dropped the gun in an instant.  The rival yanked the knife out of his hand, and lifted the leader high off the ground by his neck. “W-what the hell are you?!”  The leader shouted in pain and fear.
 
“If I ever see any of you again, God only knows where this Stiletto will go next.  Do you understand me, boy?”  He demanded to the leader with a voice full of rage.

“Y-yes, sir; I do!”  The leader cried.  The rival man tossed him to the ground.  I have never been so awestruck in seeing a lone man make an entire gang cower and run away before him!  That was just too amazing!  The seven injured Northside gang fled and drove away in a hurry.
 
“T-thank you for saving me,” I told him, “I would’ve been dead if you hadn’t shown up.”  I couldn’t keep my affection from breaking out of my voice.  He kneeled down to cut my bindings off.  Now’s my chance to impress him!  I must say something, now!  “Uh-m, I-I don’t usually spend my Valentines’ in bindings.”  What was that?!  He might get the wrong impression of me now! He shot me a stern look.  I can feel his cold, blue eyes pierce right through me; a little chill went down my spine.

“Well, I don’t usually spend my Valentines’ rescuing damsels in distress.”  He replied back.

“Hey!  For the record, I could have taken them all on my own before they caught me!”

“Oh, I believe you.”  He cut through the bindings on my wrists and started on my ankles.  I rubbed them to get the feeling back.

“So, where did you learn to fight like that?”

“I’d rather not tell you.”

“Okay, but are you going to go to the hospital for that gash?  It looks pretty nasty.”

“I’ve had worse.   You’re so talkative for a woman your age.”  I kept silent to think of an insult for him, but nothing came up.  Instead, I asked him the obvious question-

“Who are you, and how did you find me?”

“As to who I am, I don’t know; I can’t remember most of my past.  The city thinks I’m a “guardian angel” or something of the like.  I never really cared for that title anyway.  But to how I found you, I felt the faint presence of a Snowflake when I was in the neighborhood.  I followed the presence here and heard you were in trouble.”  I felt my ankle restraints break, and now I’m fully mobile again.  

“So, you can sense me?”  I asked him.  “That sounds a little stupid.”

“Not you per se, rather it’s your birthmark I can sense.  I can sense the presence of other Snowflakes by their birthmarks; but I don’t know why.”

“Is that how you could tell The Northside Gangs’ were not real?”

“That and their “birthmarks” just looked incredibly drawn on to me.  I mean, think about it- nine men having matching Snowflake birthmarks located at the same spot.  Didn’t you find that strange?   Even if they were all related and born at once, even if they all had the mark, they wouldn't look identical, nor be located at the same spot.” I could hear sirens out in the distance.  The police will show up in a matter of
seconds.  “You should leave, too.  The cops are going to be here soon.”  He calmly put his jacket back on, and opened his umbrella.

“Wait!  Before you go, would you mind meeting me sometime for an interview?  I’m journalizing for the Chicago Weekly.”

“Didn’t any of our conversation count as an interview?”  He turned and walked out into the rain.  Out in the distance, he gave me his last piece of advice- “And besides, interviewing me will only deepen the already deep hole you’re in.”  I gave chase to him before he could get too far away.  But he disappeared without a trace.  The police had already shown up in the vacant lot.  Just in time, too; they couldn’t be any later.

They took me downtown to the police station for interrogation.  I sat alone in an empty room for God knows how long.  I’ll just have to tell them that I didn't do anything.  I thought to myself.  I mean, I’m sure they’ll believe me.  But what if they don’t believe me?  What if they think I killed that guy? Oh, God, please let them believe me!  I can’t go to prison!  I will get destroyed in prison!  I couldn’t help but freak out at that thought.  I clutched my dress tightly, and I began to cry a little.  I just got a new job; I don’t want to lose it like this!  I don’t want to be on the streets like everyone else![i]  I heard the door open, and a man with short cut hair walked in.

“Okay, Miss-“

“I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING!  I DIDN’T KILL THAT GUY! IT WAS THAT ONE GUY WHO KILLED HIM, NOT ME!”  I fully unnerved at him.  I couldn't control myself anymore, and I balled my eyes out.
 
“Calm down, ma’am, you’re not in trouble,” [i]oh, that’s a relief
, “I am Detective Ronald Schmidt; I just want to ask you a few questions, then you can be on your way.”  It was a little hard for me to stop crying, but at least I had my breathing under control.  He sat down at the other end of the table.  He kept straightening his tie, it must be bothering him. He pulled out his notepad.

 “First, what is your name, ma’am?”

“M-Mary Loraine Andrews.”  I said as clear as I can.

“And your age?”

“Thirty-one.” He scribbled down what I said so far.

“Inside the garage where we arrested you and one of the Northsiders, we found a burnt pile of paper,” He gently slid what was left of my charred-up notepad towards me, “Might this be yours?”

“Y-yes, sir, that’s mine.  See, I’m a new journalist working at the Chicago Weekly, writing an article about Northside Gang activity.  But out of nowhere, they abducted me and burnt my notepad in front of my face.”

“I see,” He continued scribbling, “Can you tell me about your encounter?”

“They had my wrists and ankles bound together.  The leader was about to kill me with a hand gun.  But out of nowhere, a man saved me!”

“A man?  Might this be the same man who killed that big Northsider?”

“Yes! And not just that, he also singlehandedly fought the other members off, and chased them off!”  He raised his right eyebrow in interest.

“Can you characterize the man for me, please?”  

“Well: he had black hair, a little longer than yours.  He had a short beard.  His eyes were blue.  He wore a black suit.  And, I think he stood about 5” 7’.  Oh, and he had a Snowflake mark on his right shoulder- four arms.”  His pen sped all over his notepad.

“What about his name?  Did you catch his name?”

“No, he didn’t tell me his name.  He told me he couldn’t remember it.  But he did say he was “a guardian angel.”  He stopped writing and looked at me again.  His face had shock written all over it.

“You’ve met Guardian Angel Gabriel?” He asked me.

“I’m sorry, what?”

“The man you met with no name, everyone calls him “Gabriel.”  He’s a Snowflake that confronts mafia affairs directly.  The police and I seek him out for his crimes, but he always slips through our fingers.  By no means is this man a “guardian angel,” Miss Andrews- he is a dangerous criminal.  The city might think he is their guardian, but in no way are his actions justifiable in the eyes of the law.” Detective Schmidt stayed quiet for a second.  “We will give your work a call; we’ll tell them where you’ve been today.  I’m sure they’ll understand.  And as for Guardian Angel Gabriel- if you see him again, try to contact us.  That one man is as dangerous as one mafia group alone. You are free to leave.”  I couldn’t take being in that room anymore, so I bolted right out.  I never want to be in that same situation ever again!  
 
I waited patiently for the bus outside of the police station.  The heavy rain still didn’t let up, it drummed over my head like an actual drum set. I covered my head with my arms because I dropped my umbrella when I got abducted.   I thought about what Detective Schmidt told me about Gabriel.  They think he’s as dangerous as the mafias he fights. They think he’s just another heartless menace that should be locked up.  Geez, I get he’s bad and everything but cut him some slack- he saved my life! The bus finally parked in front of me, and I happily got on.

I sat down, and I thought to myself- and he was able to sense my Snowflake.  My Snowflake, even in its infancy, led him to me.  I look around the bus to see if no one watched me as I uncovered my mark from my stocking- I still haven’t grown a single arm in my life,  I thought while looking at it, maybe I will never develop it.  But I shouldn’t let that discourage me; things like this take time.  But what powers will I get when I finally do get my first arm?  I hope it’s something cool: like controlling fire, mind reading or, I gasped to myself in excitement, maybe I can control time!  Then I’ll never be late to work!  I thought on that idea for a few seconds.  Nah, I’d rather control fire.  Fire sounds cooler.  Rrrgh, thinking about this is making me impatient; I want my fire controlling powers right now!  That’s it; I’m taking second priority to developing my first Snowflake arm!  I still need to focus on work, of course.  I focused on what my future held, but I was oblivious to what the rest of the day will unfold.


The seven battered, bloodied men of the Northside Gang were thrown to the ground in front of an old garage in Lincoln Park.  Two police impersonators and two other men in black suits and red ties threatened and lined the gang with Tommy guns.  

“You seven should be proud of yourselves,” the tall man in a suit commemorated them; “you don’t realize how long it actually took for us to find all of you.”

“Please, if Mr. Capone would just give us more time-!” the Northside leader begged, but was cut off-

“And what- so you can disappoint him again?  No, he gave your gang a simple job- to eliminate the journalist skulking around, and you failed.  He doesn’t take too kindly to failures.  Sorry, boys, but this is just business.”

A mysterious car pulled up in front of the garage.  The driver gets out of his seat, and holds open the back-right passenger door.  Someone slowly popped out of the backseat, and the chauffeur routinely unfolded an umbrella over his passenger’s head.  The passenger was wearing a matching suit and tie like the other two mafia members.  His hair was short, and combed over.  His neck was affectionately hugged by a plaid scarf.  No doubt about it, it was the man who Northside feared- Al Capone.  He took the umbrella from his driver.

“Mr. Capone, we weren’t expecting you here.” The tall mafia member said in surprise.  “I thought you were going to spend tonight with your wife.”

“Yes, I was going to spend tonight with my darling, but something called to my attention.”  He glared down the Northside captives with discontent.

“Please, sir, just give us more time!  I’m sure we-!”

“Enough, I don’t want to hear it.”  Capone rejected the leader’s plea, “all I want to know is why you failed to kill that journalist I asked you to so badly, and that I am now standing here to watch your execution instead of spending time with my girl.”

“It was the Angel!”  The leader shouted, “The Guardian Angel!  Of Chicago! He arrived just before I had put a bullet in that girl’s brain!  He knocked Barney out cold, and fried Sammy to death!”
 
“Okay, so you saw the Angel; but did you kill him?  Did you put him in a bag after he put you in bandages?”  Capone asked.  “And please tell me the journalist is also dead.”

“No, sir; I pulled my gun on him, but he was too quick!  He put a Stiletto right through my hand!  Sir, if you would just let us hunt him down-!”

“Stop right there, that’s all I needed to here.” Al’s voice grew in disappointment.  He took a quick huff of his cigar, and continued talking- “Gentlemen, do you know what it takes to build an empire?  It takes resources, devotion, and unity.  The empire must be treated like a living organism- when an infection occurs, it must find the source and destroy it.  What I’m hearing from you is merely that, and I won’t let it plague the empire that I worked so hard to build.  I just can’t let a few broken limbs like you slow the process down.”

“And so you are just going to execute us for failing one little job?!”  The leader screamed his throat out.

“Don’t think of this as your execution- think of it as, let’s say, compensation for me.
 Since you imbeciles robbed me of my time with the Misses, I should at least watch my men paint those walls with your blood.”  He looked at his associate, “Make sure none of them remain standing.  Be very thorough about it.”

Upon that order, the police impersonators  and Chicago Outfit members opened fired on Northside.  The two Outfit members unloaded their Tommy guns in a fanning motion, while the cops went at them with pistols.  Blood covered the brick wall like splatter art, and all of Northside dropped like flies.  But even when their bodies hit the floor, the violence didn’t stop there- they all still had bullets left!  They continued firing, the corpses being torn chunk by chunk from each shot.  The sounds of the guns were occasionally covered by the thunder.  Bullet shells covered the ground in no time at all.   “Cease firing!”  Capone’s associate declared.  The shooting stopped, and all what’s left of Northside were mangled pulps of flesh sitting in a lake of blood.  But something felt off to him, it made him feel very paranoid.  He walked up to each of the bodies, and unloaded buck shots into each head; just to be on the safe side. He sighed in relief, “that’s a lot better.”  The associate’s paranoia drifted away like paper in the wind.  “Are you satisfied now, sir?”  He asked Capone after the firing finally ceased.

“Hardly,” he growled back, “they couldn’t even make their own deaths look good.  But then again, I wouldn’t look good either if four men continued firing at me at once.”  He took one last huff of his cigar, and snuffed it on the cold, wet ground.  “Let’s head out, boys.  I’m done standing out here.”  The Chicago Outfit dispersed from the area without a second’s notice.


“Sir, is there something wrong?” Capone’s chauffeur asked him on the ride back to their hideout.  Al replied with a light, tiresome sigh.

“It’s just that I wanted to spend time with my wife tonight.”  He said softly.  “I promised Mae I wouldn’t get caught up in business, and I’ll be hers for the entire day.  But no, those idiots from Northside had to mess up, and make me hunt them down.”

“What do you propose we do now?”  The chauffeur asked.

“First off, if that journalist ever decides to surface again, we’ll hunt her down.  We can’t let her to find a little secret she can’t keep, now can we?”  Capone proclaimed.  “And second, the Guardian Angel- we need to kill him, too.  He’s been a thorn in my side for too long now, and I’m sick of hearing everyone say he’s the reason for their failures.”  He pinched his eyes.  “Gabriel used to be my best hit man, and it just hurts to see what he’s doing to me.  If I want my great empire to thrive, those two must be dealt with immediately.”
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