Boss Ralphie

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

When the Don of the Universe gives you a job to do...it's an offer you can't refuse.
The Archangel Gabriel and his crew of wiseguy angels have a 'thing' to take care of. They've been given a special assignment on Christmas Eve to save the soul of a lost man and life of a little girl on the streets of Philadelphia in this humorous and touching holiday tale of the power of redemption and the gift of giving.

***
Ralphie and Finch stood in a dimly lit alley a few feet away from a large brick home where a man had half way squeezed himself into a basement window. 
“That’s him, Finch. That’s our boy,” said Ralphie.
“Not exactly your humanitarian type, is he?” Finch replied. 
“There’s always room for change, Finch. You should know that,” said Ralphie.
“Yeah, change---the Jello of the soul. And there’s always room for Jello,” replied Finch, “I just hope this guy doesn’t have Jello in the head.”
“Let’s get to work,” Ralphie said as he moved toward the man. He could see the thief struggle to worm his way into the window that was just a little bit too small for him. Ralphie came up to him and nudged the man’s leg with his foot. 
“You need some help, buddy?” he asked.
The man stopped struggling to get into the window, and after a moment of pause, began to work his way out. When he was fully out, he stood and looked at the two men standing in front of him. 
“Oh, hey guys. I…lost my keys to the door, and…I was just trying to get in,” said the thief.
“Now Bugsy, let’s not get all wrapped up in lame stories. And we always had you pegged as a second story guy,” said Ralphie. 
Bugsy Sullivan, a life long thief, looked at Ralphie in a quizzical way.
“How do you know my name? Do I know you, pal?” he said.
“No, but I know you, and I know you don’t live here and you know the people who do live here have gone out and you also know there’s a lot of expensive gifts inside that you have the intention of stealing.”
Bugsy Sullivan realized he was nabbed. It wasn’t the first time and it wouldn’t be the last. Came with the territory. You got pinched on occasion, but there were worse criminals out there and a B&E charge in Philadelphia was an easy rap to get out of.
“I’m just getting mine, okay pal. If you’re cops then arrest me, but spare me the lecture. I’ve heard it before,” he said.
Ralphie smiled at the thief. 
“No man, we’re not cops, we’re angels,” he said.
Bugsy Sullivan looked hard at the two men.  He suddenly realized what was going on and he knew there was only one thing to do. He took off running down the alley faster than he had ever run before. He looked over his shoulder to see the two crazy guys still standing there.
“Got ourselves a runner,” said Finch.
“Yep, I hate it when they run,” replied Ralphie.
Five blocks away, Bugsy Sullivan stopped running and leaned against a mural covered cinderblock wall surrounding a grade school. He had run flat out and was panting heavily. His hands were on his knees and he watched his steamy breath go into the frigid night. He looked up and in the glow of a street lamp he could see a light snow fall. 
“You’re fast, Bugsy,” came a voice from his left. Ralphie and Finch were standing there smiling. The thief looked over with disbelief---they were not there a second ago. He took off running again. 
Ralphie looked directly at his companion and said, “Finch, I don’t think Bugsy likes us for some reason. Do you think I need a breath mint?
Finch grinned. “Does this happen all the time?” he asked.
“Sometimes,” replied Ralphie.
“You’d think there would be an easier way,” said Finch.
“Yeah, you’d think so wouldn’t you, but then again this guy has a lot to run from,” said Ralphie.
They caught up with Bugsy Sullivan again as he leaned against a panel truck a few more blocks away. He was still panting. Then he ran again. The angels showed up again. And again he ran. After running four times he gave up. He could run no further and looked around exhaustion as snowflakes fluttered about in the darkness.
“You alright Bugsy?” asked Ralphie. 
“I give up, I can’t run anymore. I’ll have a heart attack,” the thief said. 
“You gotta have a heart first, Bugsy,” said Ralphie, “and in that department you are quite lacking.”
“Who are you guys?” asked Bugsy. Neither man was breathing hard and he knew there was something very strange going on. But he couldn’t run any further right now, he needed time to rest and think.
“Like I told you before, we’re angels,” said Ralphie.
Bugsy Sullivan looked at them both, again with disbelief. “And what do you want with me?” he asked.
Finch looked at Bugsy and pointed at him with a pinched forefinger and thumb and said, “We gotta thing we gotta take care of, capice?”
“Actually, my friend, you have a task to accomplish tonight and we’re here to make sure you do it,” said Ralphie.
“What the hell…,” said the thief.
“That could be an option for you, buddy. You keep trying to get in…we’re here to try to pull you back out,” said Finch.
“Why me? If you guys are angels, why can’t you help some kid by yourselves?” Bugsy asked as his breath was coming back to him. 
“Because that’s not how it works. When Bigz gives you a job, how he wants it done is how it has to be done. And right now the job is to get you to where you have to be, and then you have a job to do, and by doing this job you might even have the opportunity at a better life for yourself,” Ralphie said.
“It’s an offer you can’t refuse,” chimed in Finch.
“What’s a Bigz?” asked the thief.
“God, the big guy, the Don of all the universe,” said Finch.
Bugsy Sullivan had gotten his breath back. He was looking around to see where he would run to next.
“Bugsy, we don’t have all night, so please don’t run again. You’ll just be wasting time, and in this weather you could catch a nasty sniffle,” Ralphie said. 
Bugsy Sullivan, a man who had never done anything in his life that did not benefit himself alone, considered what was being proposed and he wondered if he was going insane. But there they were. He didn’t believe in God, let alone angels. That lack of belief in anything beyond himself made it easier to do what he did for a living. He was going over his lack of belief in his mind. There is no God, he was sure.
“Bugsy, you’re not insane and it makes no difference if you believe in Bigz or not. Bigz believes in you, and at this juncture Bigz has given you a wonderful opportunity to turn your life around. You could possibly come out of this job as a good man and not the man you are now, and that is a man who sees only the evil in the world because he’s putting it out there himself,” said Ralphie.
Bugsy Sullivan dismissed the last statement; it was a defense mechanism that kept his perception of at a safe distance from the reality of how he lived his life. He thought to run again. If he did they would simply find him again. So on a cold and snowy Christmas Eve, the thief decided he would go along with these lunatics until he could find some way of escaping them. 


Submitted: March 05, 2010

© Copyright 2022 Edward Carboni. All rights reserved.

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