A gangster recounts the strange events of Halloween 1929
|The All Hallows Eve Resurrection Day Massacre
By Stephen A Abell.
Number Of Words: 3000
The orderly glided the wheelchair silently into the conference room. It’s plush pile devouring any sound it made. Strapped in the dark leather confines sat Antonio “The Tiger” De Luca. As the white jacketed man halted the wheelchair before the stage, at the front of the room, Tony surveyed his new surroundings with hushed awe.
Although there was no window in the room, the views were astounding. Some talented artist had painted trompe l’Oeil frescos, as viewed through feigned windows, around the outskirts of the room. Each depicted a different and truly realistic scene; from the Empire State with surrounding buildings to Ayers Rock. Around each hung dark red velvet curtains with matching pelmets, adding to the realism. Marble columns rose to the twelve foot high ceiling, where light fluffy white clouds hung in a regal blue sky; birds and angels flying, dancing, and weaving about them. Superbly crafted cornicing captured each ethereal mural. The lighting emanated upwards from the coving, giving merit to the con that the sky shone through the ceiling. Once an important arbitrary meeting place for different nations and religions of the world, it had now been given over to darker matters.
The lights dimmed. From below the long table, sitting upon the stage, rays of light shot upwards from the floor. Above the table appeared the silhouette of a person. Its shape reminded Tony of a male with a powerful spotlight behind them. At times it wavered and fluttered, like the televisions of old suffering transmission problems. Another shadow figure appeared; this looked more feminine. Then with a blink, five more figures flickered into shape. Below the desk seven lights shone upwards. Above the desk, from the waist up, sat the council.
“So, I take it that you’se guys wanna hear a story?” The Tigers voice echoed dully in the otherwise empty room.
“Mr. De Luca…” One of the shadowy figures, it sounded like a dame to Tony, spoke up.
“Call me Tony, toots.”
“Mr. De Luca,” the voice continued, “it’s taken a great deal of effort and money to make this meeting a reality. We would be grateful if you could keep to the point and answer all our questions as we put them to you.”
“Pardon!” The deep baritone male voice seemed to come from the same location as the dame’s.
“Now don’t get me wrong fella’s. I’m more than a might grateful myself that you got me outta that private freak-show; that fella’ was more’an a tad scary. He actually freaked me out; and you gotta believe I’ve seen some strange shit in my time. But you want answers. Well actually one answer in particular, ain’t that right?
“Well, let me save you guys some time; I don’t know that answer. If I did I’d tell you and then you could use it for whatever nefarious ends you wanted. All I gotta offer is my story, and if that ain’t good enough then I’m sorry. But there might be somethin’ in it you can use to your advantage.”
Drawing in a deep refreshing breath, Tony awaited the council’s verdict on his ultimatum. After as few awkward seconds of silence, which he took as their affirmation, he resumed his tale.
“Now, you’ve all heard of the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre, ain’t you? Don’t answer that, I know everybody has. But what Joe Public don’t know is about the other holiday shootouts the gangs had.
“It was a very turbulent time Chicago. Every family wanted a piece of the other guy’s turf and they’d do anythin’ to get it. Bein’ conscientious, the coppers put a halt on any and all press stories, not wantin’ to incite the gangs into greater and more bloodthirsty attacks. That didn’t stop them though. It wasn’t until Halloween of 1929 that the massacres ceased.
“What happened on that day was a nightmare… A true walking and talking nightmare.
“Me and the other boys from the southside were called to hit the O’Brian and McCarthy families. Don Lombardi had planned the attack for weeks - calculated it down to the last bullet. He was a careful and greedy man, though in his ambition to rule over Chicago completely he enlisted the help of a foreigner.
“I saw him for the first time on that fateful day. He was a giant of a man – six-six, and then some. His skin was as black as a coal mine. Though, what sent the chills running down the men’s spines were his eyes. They were just as black, with not a drop of colour in them, and the whites were just a sliver of dark grey at either side. When he walked in front of us with his cup, his stare was cold enough to freeze a polar bear. I felt that cold take root within my own body… deep down… where the darkness hides and festers. I took the cup he proffered and, as commanded, I took one mouthful and swallowed. Whatever was in that fuckin’ cup was the foulest and most nauseatin’ thing I’d ever drunk. He snatched the cup from my hands and passed it to the next sucker in line, old Hammer Horace himself. The darkness I mentioned before… I swear it got a shade darker and greater in size.
“Once all the boys had taken their sip from the cup we jumped in our cars and roared off to the job.
“It was to go down on the docks. O’Brian and McCarthy were meeting in one of the warehouses to discuss an alliance in order to eliminate our side of the business. It seemed our branch was making more cash than either of those two and it was becoming embarrassing for ‘em at the family meetings. So they came up with this ingenious plan. Little did they know we had a pigeon on the inside; Little Mickie Finn.
“Our cadillacs screeched up right beside them. Our windows were down and the muzzles of the Thompson sub-machine guns were levelled right at the schmucks. We musta put over a hundred bullets through them. It was such a pretty dance they did before their lifeless bodies fell leaden to the floor.
“We got outta the cars and checked our handy work. These guys were ready for church in their holey suits. Their blood was everywhere.
“As Hammer started to say the boss would be mighty pleased with this outcome, I spotted Mickie.
“He was dead.
“How did I know he was dead? Well most people don’t survive havin’ their throats cut and their tongues pulled through the bloody openin’ like a tie. And to add insult to injury, some bastard had sliced off his John Thomas and pushed it into his mouth. How little I knew…
“That’s when I heard the laughin’…
“It came from the floor…
“It came for the recently aerated dead schmucks…
“We all looked down, our mouths open wide in astonishment, and watched as the dead men pulled their guns from their shoulder holsters and opened fire.
““What the fu…” An Irish kid, new to our group, said as a bullet hit him in the chest and sent him flying backwards and down to the dirty floor.
“There had been eight of us. When we returned fire we were down to three. But our Tommy’s were more’an a match for the revolvers.
“But it dawned on me too late… Mickie! They knew…
“Machine gunfire erupted from all sides, cuttin’ us down in a heartbeat.
“I was lucky, they only got my legs. Now I’m a brave man, but that don’t mean I’m a fool. I stayed down. I played dead. With the way my legs were spoutin’ blood it was probably only a matter of time anyways.
““Fuck!” I rolled over in time to see the Irish kid sit upright, blood spillin’ from the wound in his chest. “What the fuck,” he gurgled and a bloody dribble ran down his face to drip off his chin.
“A barrage of bullets blasted the poor mook’s skull apart and he fell back, dust puffin’ up around him once again.
“The schmucks of the O’Brian and McCarthy families were now on their feet and movin’ happily through the dead bodies of my friends and colleagues. They stopped every few feet to put a few extra bullets in their corpses. Gigglin’ while they watched them twitch in reaction.
““Gruggle ug fruk.” The strange guttural language shifted my attention back to the Irish kid. I couldn’t believe it… he was sat upright once more; that sight almost made me heave. His skull was shattered, flesh and hair hung free, in places, to reveal the mess inside his cranium. Blood and brain matter cascaded from the wide and all too visible holes, slippin’ wetly down his face, to drop onto his lap. Yet, his right hand was quickly patting the ground as if trying to find his weapon.
““What the fuck is going on?” One of the schmucks asked, and before the other could reply, he quickly snatched up the Irish’s gun and fired off the remainin’ bullets into his chest. “Now that oughta keep the fucker down.” No sooner had the words left his mouth than his head disintegrated in a hail of gunfire.
“The rest of my guys were back up an’ shootin’. Then the entire warehouse was alive with flyin’ bullets and dead men. The O’Brian’s and McCarthy’s men ran from the outskirts of the warehouse, tryin’ to help their bosses, but it was too late for them. They were nothin’ but torn, ragged flesh and splintered bone. I grabbed my own gun and turned to help dispatch the sneaky cowardly bastards, who had shot us in our backs while hiding in the shadows.
“It was carnage.
“They had more men, but that didn’t matter. As I struggled upright onto my legs; with my wounds gushing blood like fountains, I realised another simple fact… me and my dead buddies had been sold out by our boss. His greed and ambition had brought that dark man into our lives and that bloody drink, we all sipped, had caused all of this. It had changed our bodies… infected us is some way… The bullet tore through my left eyeball, passed through my brain, ricocheted off the inside of my skull, passed through my brain again, ricocheted, passed once more through my grey matter, excited through the top of my palette, through my mouth, and out of my chin, where it embedded itself in the concrete floor between my legs.
“I felt every last inch of pain before I fell dead to the floor.
“When I came too, the guns were silent and the air was clear of bullets. The pain was immense. Somethin’ was wrong with my sight. Then I remembered. I quickly placed my fingers to my throat and forced myself to count my heartbeats through the searin’ whiteness alive in my head.
“I had a heartbeat. I was still alive!
“Movin’ my finger gingerly to the exit wound, I inadvertently slipped a finger into the wet and drippin’ hole. The bile bubbled in my stomach. I quickly brought up my hands to clasp my blazin’ skull. This pain alone should’ve made me pass out. Though there I was, mortally wounded and still alive… too alive. With my good eye I looked down at my legs and saw the blood still pumpin’ from my wounds. The spurts gushed with the rhythm of my heart.
“Lookin’ to the floor, I gasped. It was awash with crimson. I couldn’t tell which blood was mine. As I surveyed the insanity and mayhem, I realised that soon the floor of the old disused warehouse would be an ocean of blood.
“The Irish kid and the two headless schmucks were frantically trying to gain their feet. But with the blood jettin’ from their necks and numerous body wounds the action was impossible. Whenever they tried to get their balance they’d splash back into the swellin’ blood-sea. Others shambled aimlessly around the place looking like the proverbial shot-up cartoon gangsters – instead of wine pourin’ from the bullet holes it was their ever regenerated blood. Quite a few sat and cried. The rest screamed.
“It was the sound of wet footfalls coming closer that forced me to turn around. As I watched, the dark man strode purposefully into the melee. White teeth glowed in the darkness, and an axe blade shone steely on his shoulder.
““You bastards killed my wife and children,” he said to anyone who could hear him. I believe I was the only one still able to understand him. “With your greed and lust for power.” He kicked the sittin’ figure of the Irish Kid onto his back and brought the axe down swiftly, severin’ his arm at the shoulder. “You came to my shop to bully us into paying protection money.” The axe sliced through the other arm. “We would not dignify your requests.” Now the Irish’s left leg was amputated. “So you beat my wife as two men held me back.” The other leg was cut free from his torso. “But my wife had pride.” With a savage swing the axe cut through the flesh and bone of the kid’s neck and his head rolled away into the shadows. “Too much pride.” He stepped over to one of the schmucks and proceeded with his macabre business. “So we said no again. This time, the men raped her. Still, she would not bow down to your kind… so the guns came next. As they drove by our shop they opened fire. They killed one of our customers… and both our sons, who’d been at the window calling to a friend. Their friend will never walk again, but at least he’s alive for his parents. We buried our children. That night, when the men came to call, my wife shot two of them before they killed her. I still did not pay. I disappeared from Chicago and the men thought I’d run and forgot all about me. That was their mistake, for I’d gone to stay with my family down in New Orleans. You see we come from Haiti where my family is well respected in certain circles. Night after night, my mother sat me down and proceeded to tell me all her secrets and passed on her skills… one of which I have shared with you and your family. It took quite some plannin’; the conjuration could only be cast today… the day of the dead – when the dead walk the earth once more. So, for all the pain and suffering you brought to others, and for the death you left behind, so will you suffer for all eternity.” By the time he’d finished his little speech I was the only whole dead man in the place.
“I quickly put two and two together. We’d been played. He’d offered the other families his services… and bein’ just as greedy, they’d accepted. Fuckin’ idiots.
“He ambled towards me and I struggled upright to run. The axe swished through the air and dug into my thigh. The new pain brought me back to the blood soaked floor. If I could’ve drowned I would’ve… the blood was risin’ fast. I flipped on my back as the axe took off my right arm. Peddlin’ backwards with my good leg all I could do was move a few feet before the axe tore through my flesh and bone of that thigh. As I sat bolt upright in alarm and pain I noticed my severed leg still kickin’, tryin’ to get away. That’s useless, I thought and the leg ceased movein’. The axe took my remainin’ leg and the intense pain squashed all thoughts.
“Police sirens blared into the silence and the dark man froze in mid swing. He slowly rested the axe shaft on his shoulder, turned, and walked away whistlin’ Dixie.
“By the time the coppers nervously entered the buildin’ he was gone.
“In those days there were no special agencies set up to deal with the unexplainable. So the police, bein’ out of their league, chose to bury the matter… and us. No report was written; anythin’ and everythin’ pertainin’ to the case was destroyed.
“For forty years I laid in my own blood. Constantly drownin’ and being resurrected. The bastards didn’t cauterise my wounds. Within hours of being buried, the coffin was full of blood. Luckily, that kept most of the nasty flesh eaters away. Then one day they politicians decide to relocate the graveyard and finally I’m found… by a greedy little fuck who sells me to the highest bidder. Now I’m in a freak-show, when that creepy fucker buys me for his own entertainment… and I won’t tell you what he put me though… not even if you paid me a billion dollars, no sir… never. Now, five years later I’m here.
“So, does any of that help?”
“That potion the dark man gave us turned us into dead men walkin’ didn’t it?. I bet you want’ta give it your soldiers, eh? How good is a soldier who never dies? Right?”
“You are very astute Mr. De Luca.” A different female voice spoke from the centre of the table.
“Momma didn’t raise no fools. But I’m sorry I can’t give you his name. So, what now?”
A deep resonant voice with a southern twang commanded, “Orderly take Mr. De Luca into the operating room and have the doctor carryout a full autopsy. We need samples of everything if we are to be successful in this project. Once he’s finished, place Mr. De Lucae in cryo-stasis for future experiments and examinations.”
“Yes sir.” The orderly snapped off a quick salute and spun the wheelchair around, striding briskly from the room.
Tony the Tiger’s roaring grew fainter and faded down the hallway as the doors closed behind them. In the room the lights blinked off and silence fell. The council was out of session.
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