A short story by Josh Fraga
“Prophecy” is word with a very strong meaning behind it. A prophecy is someone on foretells a future event that some people believe will eventually come to pass. For the Christians, Jesus Christ was the prophecy. That is what is believed. The Jewish people believe that the prophecy of the “Messiah” has yet to be fulfilled. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? That’s the thing about prophecies, most of the time you never really know. Throughout the ages, false prophets are scattered in the pages of history. Who do you believe? The Mayans believe the end of the world will happen in 2012, but is that something you want to believe? A lot of Satanists believe that the rapture will bring Hell to Earth, is that something you want to believe? So how do we choose our beliefs in life? Most of the times we take the most pleasant and rosy one we can find, and hold it close to our heart. Sadly, the truth is the world is not a pleasant and rosy place, even though we wish it was. And why do we do this? Ignorance is bliss. We think that if we hope bad thing won’t happen to us, and we even take every possible measure of safety to protect ourselves, we will be out of harm's way. But you can’t stop bad things from happening; you can only pray they won’t happen to you.
David Floriano is a very amiable man, friendly, and fun to be around, yet there is always someone hating him. He is a great father and husband, but some people still want him dead. Even though he goes to church every Sunday, he constantly has to look over his shoulder. It is safe to say that a lot of people hate David Floriano, but hatred and danger is just part of the job. If he thought he couldn’t handle it, he would have never become District Attorney. David has put a lot of bad men behind bars, murderers, rapists, child molesters, but he has never had a case like the one he was given today. He was going to prosecute Derek Dalmone, son of the biggest white collar criminal in New York City, Andre Dalmone.
Before La Costa Nostra fell, Andre Dalmone’s father was a bookkeeper for a rich mafia under boss. When Andre’s father saw the mafia was going down, he embezzled a massive amount of money for his employer before he started his prison sentence. After his father’s untimely death (‘untimely’ meaning Andre blew up is car) Andre took the money and invested it. Overtime he went from petty thug to business man. Now he is the most legitimate criminal in New York. His son though, was a little less than legitimate. Derek got word that one of his father’s closest advisors, a man by the name of Charles Reedy, was planning a double-cross; he had documents proving his father had his hand in more than seven murders. Instead of letting his father know of the deceit, he confronted Charles Reedy in the middle of a crowded restraint while he was eating. Words became an argument, an argument became a fight, and the fight became a murder, with Derek holding a smoking gun. Derek was picked up at a nightclub later that evening, and he has been incarcerated ever since. This was the case that was dropped on David Floriano’s desk.
David was not wild about the idea of taking on the son of the biggest crime boss in New York, but it was his job, and he took pride in it. He was very proud of the life he had made for himself and his family. David had a beautiful wife, Anne, his second. His first wife left him decades ago, they married young, and they both knew it would never work out. But with Anne, he had a very handsome little boy, named Isaac. He was 11 years old now, and starting to like girls. He was never alone, his dad being DA made him somewhat of a celebrity at school. Yes, it is safe to say that David and his family were very happy indeed, until he met a man on the subway that changed everything.
David was walking at a quicker pace than usual today, he had to get up to his office to meet with his colleagues about the Dalmone case. The elevator ride to the fifth floor of his office building seemed to take forever, but when he got there, his colleagues Alex and Mike were outside the doors to meet him.
“Shit boss, this is a big one.” Mike said panting as David exited the elevator, “I’ mean, you’ve done stuff like this before, but-“
“But what?” David cut him off, “Derek Dalmone is no different than any other murderer I put away.” They continued to walk down the short hallway to David’s private office.
“We get that boss, it’s just…” Alex stumbled over the sentence as he sought the right words, “you’ve never really dealt with someone like Andre Dalmone.”
“I’m not going against Andre Dalmone, I’m prosecuting his son.” Retorted David.
“No offense boss, but if you prosecute the son, you think the father is going to sit idly by while you put his only son in jail?” Asked Mike.
David took a deep sigh, “Well what do you guys suggest?” he asked as he opened his office door, “Get a body guard? You think Dalmone is going to ‘off’ me?”
“We’re just saying, try to watch your back,” Alex lowered his voice, “you know what both of them are capable of. You wouldn’t want them to go after you or your family.” Alex gave him a serious stare as David closed the door.
‘My family’ he thought to himself. The notion never even crossed his mind. After all, it should have, one of New York’s last crime boss’s son, he had to expect some kind of retaliation. He paced his office, trying to think, the thought: ‘why did Alex have to say that’ raced through his cluttered mind. Should he get some sort of protection? He didn’t like guns, but he owned one for this sort of occasion, he had it hidden on the top shelf of his closet, but right now he wishes it were considerably more close. He had to go to his son’s award ceremony tonight, what was he going to do? His wife was at work, and he had Isaac all night. He didn’t wan t to carry a concealed handgun into an awards ceremony, but he didn’t put the thought completely out of his head either. The clock read: 10:00am, he had plenty time to mull it over, but for right now, down to business, he had a case to organize…
Time flew by, all of the sudden it was lunch, then it was time to go. It was 3pm and he had to catch the ’C’ train home, pick up Isaac, and go to the ceremony. He didn’t even need to get dressed, the gray suit he wore to the office was fine, he just needed to change neckties, he got mustard on his at lunch. He quickly got his things together and headed for the elevator, Alex and Mike still in their offices work, he yells ‘goodbye’ elevator doors close. He gets outside his building when he checks out the time, 3:10pm, he turns right to get to the subway station. He begins to walk when he sees something unsettling in the corner of his eye, a man. Across the street, standing next to a black sedan, stood a man, clean shaven, dressed fairly casual, with his eyes darting between David and what looked like pictures in his hand. The sight made a chill go up his spine. He hastened his pace of walk till he got to the stairs that lead to the subway. He looked around, there was no sign of the man. A feeling of relief swept over him, and he went down the crowded stairs to the subway.
He walked to the line and paid with his ‘metro car’ and he was through the turnstile, the ‘C’ train was up ahead. He was shuffling past all the people to get to the train doors when he noticed, above all the clamor, he could distinctively make out yelling, and it was getting closer. It was a man sitting on the floor with no legs, his blind eyes were worlds whiter than his yellow teeth. His beard was unkempt and he wore rags which hung off his body like loose skin. He sat there, screaming various things, pointing at people in the crowd walking by. “Spare change?” he would asked passersby, but few would stop. He would also yell out other things as people walked by. As David came to pass him he saw a very attractive woman pass the man up to which he yelled after her, “He knows your cheating on him!” and she turned around promptly as if in disbelief, but quickly disregarded the man’s words. He was sitting there trying to yell personal things at people, with his white eyes swiveling around in his head, David supposed he was trying to act crazy for sympathy.
He continued walking, hearing the old man make all sorts of strange predictions to people to came by, “Your dog is sick.”, “I hope your mother feels better.”, and “Tie your shoelace.” were the last things he heard form him before he fell silent for a moment. David wasn’t even really paying attention when he heard the old man yell, “YOU!” as loud as he could, “In the gray suit!” David felt he was talking to him, but he kept on walking to avoid this awkward situation. It wasn’t till he said, “You! With the grey suit and a mustard stain on your tie!” that he slowly turned around. The old man sat in his spot, his blind eyes, fixed on David with his boney finger pointing right at him. He cautiously walked up to the man who had the most serious look on his face.
“That was a nice trick,” he reached into his pocket to pull out some change.
But his hand had just reached his pant pocket when the man stopped him, “I don’t want your money sir.”
David had a puzzled look on his face, “Then what do you-“
“I have a message!” the old man yelled as he cut him off, “Come closer.” And against all logical thinking David had, he stepped close enough for the man to whisper in his ear, “Before the sun sets on this day…”he took a deep breath, “your son will be murdered.”
David jumped back, bumping into several people. He stared horrified at the blind prophet who had a very solemn look on his face now. “No, no.” David kept repeating quietly to himself. All the old man could do is stare at him with his blind gaze, and before David took back running up the stairs in which he’d just come down, he head the man yell, “I’m sorry.”
He got to the top of the stairs and entered the crowded street. His mind raced with all sorts of sorties. He didn’t know what to think. He felt almost dizzy when he met the gaze of a man on the street, the very same man as before. He was still holding what looked like pictures, all the time staring between David and them. He was walk toward him, his black car no where to be seen. ‘This is it.’ He thought to himself, ‘Dalmone has sent a hitter to get me.’ And he looked around as if looking for a secret escape. He franticly ran to the curb, furiously trying to hail a cab, all the man walking closer and closer to him. The mysterious man was about three strides away when a cab pulled up like a getaway car, just in time. David hopped in and told the cabbie one thing, “Drive.” The cabbie took off, and David looked back as the mysterious man came up to the street and stared at him go away. He had a somewhat familiar face, not like he had seen him before, but something else. Had he seen him in the paper or possibly on the street before this meeting? All he knew is that he wanted to get home, Isaac should be home from school by now, and he wanted to make sure he was alright. “Pine Walt Way.” He told the driver.
“You got it buddy.” replied the cabbie in a thick eastern accent.
Only fifteen minutes went by when the cab pulled up in front of David Florinao’s duplex. He paid the cabbie, tipped him well, and ran to his door, quickly unlocking it and running in. The door was still open when he yelled as loud as he could, “Isaac!” he waited for a moment, no answer. Panic hit him in he face like a bucket of cold water, He scrambled up to Isaac’s room, stumbling up the stair along the way. What would he do if his son was hurt, gone, or even dead? He got to the door of Isaac’s room as he braced himself before he opened the door. The door slowly creaked open to reveal a much alive Isaac listening to his Ipod on very loud volume. A sigh of relief came over David as he embraced his son. He laughed, “I love you too dad.” He began to struggle as kids often do, “You’re squeezing me too hard dad.”
“Sorry kiddo,” David said standing up, “I thought something was wrong.”
“Nope” he replied.
“Yep.” He said smiling at his dad, he had his mother’s smile.
David went back downstairs to shut the front door he left open, afterwards he went to his room for a quick nap before the awards ceremony.
“Dad, dad, get up. We got to go.” He heard his son’s voice as he shook him awake. He slowly got up wiping his eyes, he looked down at the mustard stain on his tie. He still had to change it. He got up and went to his tie rack, “Get your shoes on.” He told Isaac as he picked out a blue tie. Isaac ran downstairs and David could hear him fumbling his shoes on. He looked outside the window, it was dusk, and the old prophet’s words rang in his head, ‘Before the sun sets on this day, your son will be murdered.’. He wasn’t a superstitious man, but he would let nothing happen to his son, so he took the gun and holster from to top of his closet and put it on. He put his coat on, concealing the firearm. He then walked downstairs to meet his son.
They opened the front door and stepped out. David turned to lock the door when his son asked, “Daddy, who is that man looking at us?” The words gave David a sick feeling in his stomach. He quickly turned around and saw the mysterious man standing by his car, arms crossed, smiling at them. He pushed Isaac behind him to protect him from any shots. Then to his horror, the man began to approach him again, and David had nowhere to run.
The man walked toward them slowly, a smug smile still on his face. ‘What was he going to do?’ David thought. There seconds seemed like minutes and the man got closer and closer. When he was about ten feet away he began to put his hand inside his coat as if the reach for a gun, and without hesitation David upholstered his and had it pointing in the man’s face. The man didn’t even say a word, he just had a surprised look on his face before David pulled the trigger, instantly he hit the ground, lifeless. Isaac began to scream, his father trying to quiet him down. He steps up to his would-be killer and shoots him twice more in the chest to make sure. ‘No one messes with my family.’ He thought to himself. He felt proud, there was no other word for it, ‘proud’. He had protected his family in the face of death, and they were now safe. Isaac finally stopped crying long enough to ask his dad a single question, “Who was he?”
“Just another bad man.” He replied, “Call the police!” he yelled across the street to a neighbor who had come out. He kneel down beside the body to remove his weapon, which David was surprised, wasn’t there. He felt inside his coat where the man was trying to reach, and pulled out the photos he was looking at earlier. He was expecting photos of his family, and him, but instead it was only three photographs. The first, was an old picture, it was of him when he was eighteen, with his girlfriend, his first wife who had left him. The next picture was of her, in the operating room, holding a newborn baby. And the last picture, was that of his ex-love, and the young man at what looked like a high school graduation, smiling. Now he knew why he looked so familiar, he had his mother’s eyes. He was her son, and his. David collapsed on top of his dead son’s lifeless corpse. He wanted rip his own heart out of his chest, he wanted to put the gun to his head like he knew he deserved. After all the murderers he put away, he became just another one, all it took was one crime of passion, that’s all it ever takes. And thus, the blind prophet’s prophecy had come to pass, as most prophecies tend to do.