Dominick sat quietly on the deck of a beautiful yacht. He heard the waves gently rocking the boat, but he did not take pleasure from this. For his arms were painfully bound behind him and he was tightly secured by coarse ropes; he no longer looked like a boss of the mob. At 60 years of age, he had become careless, made too many enemies, and now it was his time to pay. He had lost the power he once wielded so fiercely.
Overweight, sweating and unkept, his smartly dressed days were behind him. With his head hung low he awaited his fate. Someone had tied a towel around his head, shielding his eyes from the painfully beautiful view of the waters off Long Island Sound. Alone, he waited.
Then he heard footsteps behind him. “Who is it?” he asked.
“Can’t tell ya, Boss. I’ve got some work to do. Just relax, this won’t take long.”
He thought he recognized the voice; it was someone he hired ten years ago to keep one of his mansions in order. “Henry, is that you?”
“Dang, ya recognized me, Boss. It don’t make no difference though, not now.”
“What’s that noise, what are you doing?” Dominick asked.
“I’m mixin’ up a bucket of fast setting cement, you know, for you to soak your feet. When it hardens, you are goin’ to swim a little bit – and then it will be all over, almost painless, not like your ‘hits’. Boss, you are legendary for the slow agonies you dreamed up.
Remember fat Tony from Brooklyn? They say it took him two days to die in the winter cold, tied to a tree out there in the woods naked as a jay bird. That was mean, if you ask me.”
Dominick whispered, “Look Henry, I still have connections and I could make you a rich man , , , if you would let me go. You could say I . . . “
“Save your breath Boss. You’ll need it for your swim! Now do you want to wear your shoes, or takwithe them off? Dang, they must have cost $700.00 – they from Italy?
Dominick remained quiet.
“I’ll take them. They’re made real nice and this leather is soft as a baby’s behind. You gotta admit, it would be a shame to soak them in cement. Okay, it’s ready. Now we’ll just put your feet in the bucket – there! Comfy Boss? I’ll be back in an hour for the final curtain. Hey, I made a joke – it will be ‘curtains’ for you too! Now I gotta watch my favorite show, ‘Dancing with the Stars’. Don’t go anywhere.” He left, chuckling to himself.
Dominick felt the mushy cement cover his feet halfway up to his knees. He moved his toes around – maybe he could manage to slip out of this . . . but he couldn’t. Hell, he couldn’t swim now even without the cement. His mind wandered back to his childhood when he swam freely in the East River as a kid. That was yesterday. Damn, those were carefree times. Then he remembered his Ma telling him he had the good looks and the wits to make her proud and be – somebody special. Well Ma, I did well in the mob. When I talked, people listened because they were afraid of me! But he had chosen a dangerous path which ultimately led to today, to this. He felt the cement harden and waited.
Henry returned and as he pushed Dominick over the edge he said, “Yeah Boss, life’s a bitch.”
And as Dominick sank down, down into the darkness, he thought, “And then you die; there is no tomorrow.”
© Ann Kmit - Waverly Writers Workshop - North Oaks, MN.
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