Mushroom Mobster Don Pizzoccheri hosts a birthday party for his rival.
“Don Bigoli. You are most welcome.” Don Pizzoccheri, head of the Sorprese family, welcomed his guests. “And Signor Manicotti and Signor Zitoni, you too are most welcome. Its good that we can all get together like this. Like old friends should, hey?”
The bulky form of Don Pizzoccheri, was flanked by Mafalde, who was usually known by his nickname 'The Butcher' and Fregula the Sardinian. Behind them, Manicotti could see the diminutive Don Pappardelle and two of his henchmen. Someone was missing, what was his name, he wondered, squat ugly guy, what was he called? Oh yeah Vinny, that was it, Vinny the Toad.
Manicotti had worked for Don Bigoli since he was a spore, and had distinguished himself as a loyal and trusted member of the Don's family. His rise through the ranks had been rapid, especially after he had stopped a bullet intended for Bigoli. This had left Manicotti with a noticeable scar, and a slight lisping speech impediment. No one was stupid enough to comment on it however. Not if they wanted to live.
He realised that he had missed most of Don Bigoli's response. He caught him saying,
“On the occasion of my birthday.”
That was the ostensible excuse for this unusual gathering. They were all here to celebrate Bigoli's birthday. Tuning out, his eyes scanned the glade. He assumed all the others present were carrying, and unconsciously he patted the slight bulge of his Colt. Though he wouldn't have admitted it to anyone, Mani was feeling a little white about the gills.
The formalities seemingly over, there was some slight relaxing and mingling. Manicotti sauntered over to one of Pappardelle's men that he knew slightly.
“Hey, what happened to Vinny the Toad? Didn't he used to be a part of your mob?” he asked Bavette, who was a plump individual with a permanently dolorous face.
“We had to turn him off.” was the reply.
“Yeah! It turned out Vinny the Toad was a Stool pigeon.” added Don Pappardelle, who had overheard the question.
Sensing someone behind him, Manicotti turned quickly to find Don Pizzoccheri's bulky cap towering over him. The smaller but still 'in your face' cap of The Butcher was right next to him. There was no love lost between Manicotti and Mafalde and they had had many verbal spats, though these had never yet descended into outright warfare. Manicotti peered up at them both, squinting slightly.
“You look uncomfortable Mani. You got a problem?” asked Mafalde in a voice so full of innocent concern it positively dripped with insincerity.
“There's not mush room in here.” Manicotti slurred slightly as he tried to conceal his annoyance.
The two Sorpreses looked at him in some astonishment.
"Who is this clown?” demanded Don Pizzoccheri.
“Who? Manicotti? He's a just a fun guy.” said Zitoni. Who had come up to flank his brother.
There was a moment of tension,but then Don Pizzoccheri seemed to have a change of heart. His booming laughter defused the dangerous situation that had developed. The Butcher gave Zitoni and Mani a 'next time' look, and trailed after the Don. His mobster boss was circulating doing some meet and greet before dinner.
Waiters moved into the glade. They arranged long tables into a 'U' shape, flicked out tablecloths, and then laid out cutlery and glasses. Soon all the mobsters were assembled. The three Dons took the head of the table, Don Pizzoccheri ceding the centre to Don Bigoli, because it was his birthday after all, sat on his left. Naturally all his guys sat on that side with him. Manicotti and his brother and their fellow Bigoli mobsters took the other side. Don Pappardelle's men sat between them on the inside of the 'U'.
It was a good spread. Pizzoccheri had spared no expense for food or wine. Even Manicotti relaxed a little as he tucked into a good sized steak. He thought it was lacking something. Spying a bottle a little down the table from him. he asked politely for someone to,
“Pass da sauce.”
As the day drew to a close, and the meal had reached the coffee and cigars stage, Don Pizzoccheri tapped his wine glass in the universally accepted manner to indicate that a speech was to be made.
“Brothers, and I hope that I can call you that. Brothers it has been a good day. Never have our families been closer. I hope that this party will be seen as the start of a new era, and to help ensure that it is, I have arranged one final surprise.”
He looked at the head waiter and nodded. The waiter turned and disappeared for a moment. There was an air of expectancy. Two of the waiters appeared, pushing a huge cake into the glade. It had a single candle that was sparkling cheerfully in the dusky darkness that was filling the glade.
“Happy Birthday Don Bigoli.” boomed Pizzoccheri.
There was a fizzing sound.
Don Bigoli looked on in horror as the glittering 'candle' was pushed upwards and out through the cake, closely followed by a small shimmering individual with gossamer wings. This was, he realised, no birthday cake. It was a fairy cake.
Word count: 910.
Note: If you do not understand this ending, it would help you to watch the film "Some Like It Hot".