Eddie was laying in his bed,tossing and turning,unable to
sleep from hours. In vain he was counting
every single thing that his mind came across-sheep,shepherds and anything else that was coming
with the sheep .No result. His worries were overcoming him and he knew that if he didn`t do
anything about it,he had to start taking pills. He also knew that if the worries didn`t destroy him,the
pills will. He got up from the single bed with a sigh and headed towards the bathroom which,in his
single bachelor flat,didn`t take him more than a single second. Eddie used the toiled,flushed it
and,washing his hands,couldn`t avoid looking at his face in the mirror. He was a tall,skinny young
man of half-italian origin,pleasant features,dark eyes and hair. His features became less and less
pleasant as each day went by. The dark circles under his eyes were spreading more and more after
every sleepless night.The cheek-bones were threatening to poke their way out of the skin and the
skin itself didn`t seem to care at all,its colour being more like a dead man`s skin than anything else.
Another shift,another day`s work done,another sleepless night after work and now it was time to
start the same cycle again.
After the shower and the breakfast he took the bag which he kept his uniform in and headed to
work. Once again.
Walking the streets of the Hell`s kitchen had never given him any pleasure,quite the oposite,but the
lack of any vehicle and spare money for a taxi or bus every day made him go through the same twomile
morning exercise every time. The rough and dirty streets of The Kitchen did not seem by any
means threatening to Eddie. If someone wanted to rob him,he was even more unlucky than Eddie
himself and if someone tried to kill him,by whatever reason they had,Eddie wasn`t going to object
too much. From few years his life has been a lonely existence,a mechanical and pointless,yet hard
exercise,growing harder as he grew weaker every day. Repetitive nightmare which,as far as he was
concerned,could`ve been the hell itself had he been dead.
He wasn`t dead.
He wished he was.
Where did he go wrong,Eddie was asking himself,oblivious to the filthy beggar on the
street,crawling and outstretching his hand towards him in a disgusting,humiliated gesture. Passing
the beggar,Eddie`s thoughts went back few years when his uncle Georgio was still alive and the life
still seemed good. Eddie`s parrent`s died when he was five,his uncle took him under his wing,here
in Hell`s kitchen and as soon as he turned ten,gave him little chores in his restaurant. Eddie was
more than happy to help his uncle and spent half of the day washing dishes,cleaning and polishing
everything which needed polishing,sometimes including his uncle`s shoes. The second half of the
day was worth everything Eddie did in the first-it was playtime. His uncle would give him some
pocket money and off would Eddie go,running the streets and playing with his two friends,Tommy
and Jovanni,good boys from working families who rarely got into trouble. The life was full of fun
and sun. The life was sweet. Sadly,the sweetness lasted only few years for Eddie. One morning
when Eddie was sweeping the floor,getting ready to open in the next five minutes,two men with
long,dark coats came into his uncle`s restaurant and unceremoniously headed towards the back part
of the restaurant where the office was. The men did not ask him any questions. They looked as if
they had an appointment with his uncle Georgio but Eddie felt that something bad was about to
happen. He decided to hide in the toilet until the men were gone. He didn`t like the way one of the
men looked him and said something to the other just before they sank into the back of the
restaurant. Eddie waited for them to dissapear and entered the toilet. With its green tiles and big
mirrors the toilet was cool and it`s atmosphere soothing to him. He shrank in the darkest corner and
waited to hear the men leaving. Instead,he heard four loud explosions which are too familiar for a
kid grown in the neighbourhood. Then he heard hurrying steps and the front door slamming just
seconds before a car`s engine started and roared down the street. When he was sure that nobody else
was in the restaurant Eddie slowly stepped out of his hideout,glancing to the right and to the
left,shaking with fear. In his twelve-year boy`s mind he knew that the worst had happened and he
dreaded walking into his uncle`s office. Yet he had no choice but to face whatever was there.
Taking a deep breath Eddie pushed the door open and peered into the room.
The scream rose in his throat and stopped,halfway out.
Georgio was lying on the floor in a pool of blood. In his hand he was still clutching a big silver
pistol,his dead,glassy eyes stared straight into Eddie`s,his chest were penetrated by four round
holes. Dark blood was streaming from the holes,joining the puddle,already formed around the
body. Eddie`s uncle was dead and Eddie was an orphan. This time with nothing and no one to fall
The choked scream in his throat was struggling to get out. Eddie`s chest heaved and he burst out in
the street,blind with tears and grief.
When some men from the authorities took him to the orphanage Eddie felt depressed and lonely for
a second time in his life. This time it lasted longer than it had after his parents`death. Much longer.
To this very day.
The chain of his thoughts were abruptly interrupted when he reached the restaurant where he
worked from three years after two years of waiting tables in another restaurant. Twelve hours of
waiting tables and dealing with idiots lay ahead of him. He signed and headed to the changing
room. Another day has began.
During the day Eddie never really concentrated on the job. He was a good waiter. He knew he was
and his manager knew his was. That was enough for Eddie. Who wanted to move up in a place he
hated with a job he despised? He worked in his uncle`s little restaurant since he was ten. He could
move up if he wanted to-he could easily become a supervisor...even manager if he really wanted
to,Eddie thought. He didn`t want to. All he needed was money and he knew that if he didn`t find
any better job for a lot more money he`ll stay in the same stinking flat forever. The question was
what other job he could get without education and any other skills apart waiting tables and serving
drinks and food? Many of his childhood friends had become criminals,something almost natural in
this part of the city. Eddie swore that he`d rather die before resort to any illegal ways of making
money. He had witnessed the destruction which the wiseguy-lifestyle had brought upon his uncle
and he didn`t want any part of it. He became a solitary,scrawny young man with no friends apart
from a stray cat coming every night to his door to be fed before it descended into the gloom of the
dark street. He had named it Dodo. Two outcasts,strangers of this world,trying to go by
independantly of each other and the rest of the world. And the girls...well,all the girls that have had
anything to do with Eddie usually stopped calling him after the first date. He knew they found him
shy and weird,maybe even creepy. He didn`t blame them. He also found himself creepy but he had
no choice,he had to keep living with himself. He couldn`t run away or stop calling,could he...
The young man`s mind drifted again when he found himself waiting for new customers to occupy
his part of the restaurant. All the four tables were empty which was not unusual for this time of the
day. Eddie smiled when the old,familiar idea came to him as naturally as the spring breeze comes to
Hell`s kitchen in April. The idea that he actually could deal the last hand,was exciting,although sad.
The idea that after all his sufferings he could quit without succumbing to this miserable life,to the
hateful world,was refreshing and somehow,calming. He thought of the bottle of Botulinum Toxin
locked in his drawer at home. He wasn`t going to let this meaningless existence turn him into a
human zombie. He wasn`t going to let this cruel world stand over his dead body in victory. He
could end this life any moment he wanted to,Eddie thought,and the thought of control,of authority
over a life,although just his own,made him feel better. Like the winner he`s never been.
By the end of the week Eddie`s plan has formed. He wasn`t going to be a coward any more. He sat
by his small wooden table and unlocked the drawer. One scrawny hand slipped inside and felt for
something familiar,something warm and friendly. He felt a power rising inside his chest and he
welcomed it. He might`ve been a coward thousands of times but he was`t a coward any more. He
knew that the time to say goodbye is close and when it came,he`ll be a man. A man his uncle
would`ve been proud of. Maybe his dad,too,Eddie thought. He didn`t remember neither his dad nor
his mom. Maybe just as well. What did it matter,anyway...very soon he will be gone and nothing
will matter anymore. There was just one thing that had to be taken care of,one friend to be released
from the prison we call life. Dodo was going to take his last milk on friday evening just before
Eddie took his last drink. Two loners were going to depart together from this cruel,hateful world.
Two souls that had never been loved and never loved.
Don Jenaro nodded to one of his bodyguards and slipped out of the limousine with a
speed,surprisingly quick for his age and size. He didn`t like to stay in the open too long nowadays.
One can never be too careful,especially with the damned Colombians trying to take over the market
and your own people undermining your authority and power. Don Jenaro knew that most of his
enemies were dead but there was one particularly vicous beast that still roamed free,too powerful to
be subdued-the Falcone family from Bronx. Just the mention of that hateful name made Don Jenaro
grind his teeth in a nervous rage. This wild people had to be stopped soon and hopefully today this
was going to be decided. This is why he set this meeting with the minister of police affairs in a quiet
restaurant in Hell`s kitchen. He needed the police to approve and protect his every movement
against such a powerful enemy. His bodyguards were everywhere-in the toilet,on the roof,one was
even in the kitchen,watching carefully the chef. Many times people with the best security team got
poisoned but Don Jenaro was too clever to be fooled that easily. He escaped being assassinated four
times and every single time his enemies paid dearly for that. This was the reason why he didn`t
have many enemies. Alive.
Fausto Genaro was sixty-two years old,short man with an enormous belly and completely bald
head. His eyes were dark and sharp,the eyes of a man used to command and be obeyed,even when
he smiled,one could feel the chill that radiated through his eyes. Supported always by few of his
guards,The Don`s eyes were nevertheless sweeping restlessly the background as if he expected
something and didn`t even trust his own people.
By the time The Don and the police minister were seated on the table it was a lunchtime and the
men`s stomachs anticipated the meal. Drinks were ordered hastily and the conversation was about
Tall,very skinny Italian waiter with a dark,frightened face came to the table with a bow,summoned
by one of The Don`s bodyguards. The Don and he exchanged some words in Italian and the boy
rushed to bring them more drinks. Both men liked to wash their stomachs good before a meal.
When the frail-looking boy brought the drinks The Don lifted his glass toward his companion.
"Salut, Vinnie,me and you will build a great future together"
His companion,a stocky-build grizzled man in his fifties smiled and raised his glass in answer. They
drank again. The Don smacked his lips and wiped his mouth with a handkerchief. He leaned
towards his acquaintance with a weary smile.
"Well,Vinnie,my son,the meal will obviously come later than I expected. In this case we can go
ahead with discussing our little business matter,what do you think? I am sure that we`ll come to
agreement before our lunch arrives"
The Don looked at the other man seriously but the twinkle in his eyes said enough. Even the
authorities were powerless before the old man. He had higher connections than the local politicians
but there was no point using them right now. He knew he only had to make and offer and they will
accept it. Yet,he flirted with the man,making him feel comfortable,as though as everything was in
his hands. He liked to make them feel bigger than they were. Until the offer came,of course. Then
they had to accept it.
"Why,Don Jenaro,I am sure we`ll fix your little problem,me and you have known each other
since...Don Jenaro,are you alright?Don Genaro?"
The old man had suddenly leaned forward even more,now his eyes had confused,frightened
expression. He pawed at his throat with his puffy hands. His mouth opened and produced a
gurgling,choking sound. One of his hands clutched his throat harder and the other one pressed into
his massive belly. Two of the bodyguards were running towards the table when the rest of them ran
around,looking at every direction.
The minister of police affairs stood there,paralyzed,still couldn`t believe his eyes. Was the old man
choking? Did he have a heart attack or anything?
He got his answer when The Don tried to stand up,pushed his chair backwards,and,producing one
last gurgling sound,fell in the hands of his bodyguards. His face was twisted from the enormous
pain,saliva was running from the corner of his mouth. The Don was dead before they layed him on
the floor. The whole restaurant was in panic. The bodyguards blocked the exits and tried to gather
all the members of the staff. All of them apart from one waiter-the skinny,dark boy-were locked in
the restaurant until the police arrived. Ambulance also was called but they could not do much apart
from confirming the death.
The autopsy showed that the respected Don Jenaro was poisoned with Botulinum Toxin-a strong
and very lethal poison. The members of the staff were questioned but nobody knew where is the
waiter. In vain the police was looking for him. It turned out that he had no living relatives and
nobody could give any clue about his whereabouts.
The tropical sun shone mercifully upon the house on the beach. It was just nine o`clock but the
summer here was hot and humid. The boy stretched himself out of the bed and headed for the
bathroom. On his way back he took a big,lean piece of beef steak and tossed it to the cat that paced
the room as if to run away from the heat.
"Here,Dodo,that`s for you" the boy said with a smile as the tomcat attacked his meal,meowing
" No need to thank me,thank Don Falcone instead"-whispered the boy with a strange smile on his
He went out of the house and headed towards the water for his morning swim. On his way there he
stopped and looked around him. The water was reflecting the sunshine and threw a bright light into
his face,behind him and his house was a thick rainforest from which the occasional monkey called
with a loud cry. The nearest town was more than fifty miles away and the life in this forgotten,primitive place
went by very slow. With a happy,somehow absent smile,the boy resumed his walk on the hot sand,grateful for the life he
Eddie was laying in his bed,tossing and turning,unable to
sleep from hours. In vain he was counting