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Francesco Bonomo

Burn in Hell, Like This Saint

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Francesco Bonomo
"Someday, we face our deepest fears of a certain darkness that molds us into the person we are now. We live so we won't have to face said fears. We live to remember the past and and it's lights but never it's darkness. We live so we can prove to everyone, our lives is simply an imitation of our fear. And what's my fear? Death by the hands of a loved one."

Burn in Hell, Like This Saint

The Story of Aldo Graziano and The Alderney Mob

By: Francesco Bonomo


December 25th, 1997

The night remained silent as the wind swiftly blows over the streets. The clouds cover the entire sky, the Moon cannot be seen, and little snowflakes gently glide down to this Earth; landing on my hair and turned into water almost instantly. It was a metaphor for me. Something that means tranquillity and happiness in ice form quickly dissolve into nothing as soon as it has the slightest physical contact with me. An empty shell walking among God's creation with a false smile on my face and a devilish fire burning deep within; that is what keeps me alive.

Standing in this alley reminds me of my young times, an innocent child with a bright light around his aura that shined the darkness away. Now here I am, a 38-year-old man. Fighting every day to maintain my sanity and my life. But war will get you to point of self-doubt and regret, yet I don't feel it. Like my father used to tell me, "Everybody loses something." Like this wounded individual who lays on the cold ground before me pleading for his life. Face up lying in his own pool of blood using his limited breaths to simply say "Please don't kill me."

My response... speaks a thousand words.


To most, this particular noise drives them away and quiver in fear and confusion. To me, it's an exclamation mark to a run on sentence with no meaning... and with multiple spelling errors. To which I celebrate with, "Saint Michael, don't let him suffer. For he has already suffered enough."

The warmth of his body is visible in the cold climate. The steam is almost a representation of his soul raising to roam among the countless unrested souls this city holds already. The wind hits my face with a force enough to move me, but didn't. I've grown accustomed to the natural consequences after each hit; I feel nothing. I turn around, unfazed, and walked away. I couldn't help but notice a drop of blood on my collar, don't know if it was from now or from yesterday. I press my thumb against it to wipe it off but it smeared instead. A personal reminder; another body due to this war of greed and bitterness.

The walk back to my car felt like it took ages. Walking down the deserted Mohawk Ave. looking at every corner and alleyway, in case someone wants to try their chances and whack me. I wouldn't go down without a fight. But would it matter? Once it happens, you probably can't even hear it.

After that walk of paranoia, I've finally made it to my car on Iroquois Ave. I open the trunk and found a nice clean shirt and changed into it. I then took the gun and wrapped it in the old shirt and stuffed it under a box I had in there. I fixed myself up using the rearview mirror to make sure everything is intact. This next job is more serious, I must be ready. I grab a few boxes from the back seat and made my way up the stairs of a brightly lit home, taking my time and semi-deep breaths after each step. One last deep breath... I'm ready. I knock on the door fully prepared. I can hear the footsteps getting closer and closer, my heartbeat intensifies and I grip my fist as I stare down the door.

It opens slowly.

I raise the box up, and I fire... Merry Christmas.

My sisters face glows up when she sees the presents I've bought and lets me in the house. I walk towards the dining room where my wife and my kids are seated about ready to eat. The smiling faces around this table is full of innocence and happiness, whereas mines is carved. My wife notices it and with a simple gesture of her head, she already knows why I was late. I can't just say no, the family comes first. No matter what.

The thing about us wise-guys, the hustle never ends. If I didn't whack that guy, someone would've whacked me with a single shot to the back of my head as I have my back facing the window.

Everyday is a fight for survival, even when they talk of "peace".

In this life, you come in alive... you come out dead. And it's your best friend that does it.

My name is Ronaldo Calo Graziano III, and this is my story.

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Mokrie Dela

From the off there is an issue with tense. Is it past or present? Remain consistent to one.


The night remained silent as the wind swiftly blew over the streets.




The night remains silent as the wind swiftly blows over the streets.


Keep it in the "now" or the "then" - don't mix them up.


I didn't like the cliche at the end. So many films and games etc use this and it's awfully overused and really only effective when you've teased us with some really good stuff before and after. Otherwise is like: this is my story. And the reader is thinking "well where is it then?"


I'm a fan of first person stories, but they can be tricky. You have to get the character down right from the start, and while there's the odd glimmer of such, I wasn't getting much. It felt rushed. The scene where he grabs the boxes and goes to the brightly lit home could be a chapter in of itself or rather a much more fleshed out passage. Show the car pulling over, literally bringing us into the scene, show the sights and smells of the neighbourhood. Set the scene. Build the tension. Make it have impact.


I think this needs some work - address the tense issues, allow the reader to immerse into the scene better and let the scenes pass instead of hurrying them along. Build up something intricate and with lots of depth. Keep at it man because theres a lot of potential in this.

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I agree with Mokrie. But perhaps this could be a good thing if you can be consistent with it.

Edited by Dr-Mayhem111

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Francesco Bonomo
Thank you Mokrie for your criticism.

I've never been good at writing, to be honest. I always have issues adding detail to a character to make him/her more likeable. I will definitely work on my writing.

Thanks again.


Chapter 1: Ronaldo

November 3rd, 1959. This particular day was a day of infamy in my family. It was the day someone tried to assassinate my father, the day my Aunt Dahlia found my Grandfather dead in her car, and the day I was born.

My mother refused to tell me why all these events occurred. I was always curious about what happened. Why this day? On the day I was born. I carried that weight on me for years in my childhood. My siblings would call me "Jinxy" growing up, making me feel like an outcast in my own home. Of course, my mother would come to my rescue, but she wouldn't deny the whole "I'm a jinx" idea. I knew deep down she felt the same way and out of love, never voiced it. But the silence was enough for me to realize.

I was never a home-body. I always wanted to be out of the house as a kid. I remember the summer of '69, love was in the air, Jimi Hendrix was on the radio, everybody lived in peace and harmony, and my father was promoted to Captain and had his own crew. I was only nine-years-old with a taste for excitement and status. I wanted to be the big bad kid in Berchem. I wanted to be recognized as a somebody... But I didn't know how. I would follow my father around town to see if he would get into some kind of trouble. It was mostly just him sitting in front of the Four Seasons Bistro in Alderney City, but it was enough for me. Seeing my father being treated like a king in my mind, made me want to be just like him. So I decided to set my sights on his status and hos power. A reincarnation of him and no one else.

Summer's over and school begins, this is where I was reborn. Prior to this school year, I was pushed around a lot. Bullied constantly by the bigger kids. This time, I was going to be the bully.

Day 1: Junior Gennaro, the head bully in school, came my way with his group and forced me to give him fifty-cents. Normally I would have, but this time I said no. He laughed and threatened with the same line "Want me to punch your teeth in?" The way I reacted would be the beginning of identity changing from little innocent Ronaldo to simply, Aldo.

While Junior was laughing, I lunged at him and began punching his teeth i. His goons did nothing to stop me, so I kept going. Eventually, Principal Fiore broke us up and took me into the office and gave my mother a call. I was sitting in that chair sweating a little bit but with a smile. I remember seeing Junior getting escorted out of the office by his mother and thinking to myself "He's gonna be scared of me now. Like everyone is scared of my father." I was ready for my mother's beating, it wasn't going to put a damper on my day.

Day 9: I'm back in school from suspension, I noticed everyone looked and treated me differently, with more respect. The students were scared of me as well as the teachers. The principal kept me under watch since my return. During lunch, I bumped into Junior and his goons. He offered me his lunch, the goons did the same. I responded with "I only want a piece." Junior game me his sandwich, Bippy gave me his pop, and Rico game me his potato chips. They sat down next to me and I told them "Youse all run with me. Got it?"

They agreed and we ate. I felt like a somebody, like my father.

Everything was going great. As time went by, the crew went from four to twelve. Surprisingly, Junior and I become good friends, damn near best friend. We weren't a gang, just a group of friends that look after one another. And it has remained that way for years.

Fast forward to 9th grade in 1973, we're all more mature, more grown up, and more daring. The group has remained the same since 4th grade, no outsiders. But that was all that we were, just a group of friends. I wanted us to be more along the lines of a gang. At the time I didn't know how it would come about until my teacher announced a school field trip to the Middle Park Carnival. I wasn't happy about it, more so take it or leave it. But when she mentioned how it was going to be funded, the dim-lit lightbulb above my head became as bright as the sun. The school wanted the students to sell chocolate bars to pay for the trip and gave us all a box. I counted forty chocolate bars and they were fifty-cents each, totalling twenty dollars. Chump change. I called a reunion after school with the gang and presented a business venture.

The twelve of us each had a box. That's four-hundred and eighty chocolate bars. I presented the idea of selling the bars for a dollar each instead of half. I did the math. At a dollar each, one box would value forty dollars. Giving the school the twenty they expect, we're left with twenty for our pocket. And we get provided another box. The gang was all for it and we began selling. Throughout the three months of selling, winning twenty a week, we've accumulated about two-hundred-fifty which was big money for us. But I wanted more.

I always kept my money stashed in a secret compartment behind my nightstand that my father found. He questioned where I got the money, and I told him the truth. To my surprise, he wasn't mad. He gave me a pat on my shoulder, almost like a congratulation gesture. I knew then, he noticed my potential. I felt accomplished and had a feeling, things were going to be different.

From that year to my senior year, the gang and I have become an official gang, The Vitullo Club (Named after our street in Berchem), we established a betting office, an alcohol distributing ring, and we began kicking up to my father. Our rise was continuing and I was the leader with Junior as my right hand. Everything was going exactly how I wanted. What more can an Sicilian eighteen-year-old mob-connected teen want?

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Mokrie Dela


Thank you Mokrie for your criticism.


I've never been good at writing, to be honest. I always have issues adding detail to a character to make him/her more likeable. I will definitely work on my writing.


We all start somewhere. I was God awful when i started out. And we never stop learning or improving. Read a lot. If I can I'll try to do some more in depth feedback sometime

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Francesco Bonomo

Chapter 2: Self Worth


I could never understand my role in life. Or what my future held for me. All I knew was that everyone made me feel like I was nothing but a worthless waste of human life. All because of my last name. I could never understand it. I always that being a Graziano meant something of importance in the world. My father was my hero so when people throw sh*t at my fathers' name, it turns me into an angry animal. An animal willing to hurt anyone who didn't respect me or my name. You think I gave a f*ck? I didn't. In fact, I even enjoyed it. Inflicting pain on someone was never a problem, and my father knew.


I can remember the smile on his face when I had to tell him that I beat the sh*t out of Eugene Ianni for talking sh*t on his name. It was the smile that helped me confirm, I was doing something right.


"The Graziano's have always been the targets for jealous people. And it would always be your own people who target you. As long as you live and breathe, you will always be a target. Remember that." He told me while smoking his favorite cigar.


The world made me feel like I was worth nothing, but to my father, I was priceless. Exactly what he wanted. A tough, street-smart son who gave no f*cks. So of course, I'm going for the light and not the darkness.


The next day, he approached me with a shoebox. Told me to go with Uncle Peeps later that day. My father gave me an order so I, of course, went through with it. Uncle Peeps picked me up around nine at night in a car I've never seen him drive before. Before entering the car, Peeps came up to me and gave me a slap on the chest. His way of asking "are you ready?" I don't know what I'm ready for but I was ready and he saw that. He handed me a pair of brown winter gloves and told me to put them on immediately. So I did and got in the car.


Peeps began driving and I noticed he was taking the Booth Tunnel towards Liberty City. I didn't ask any questions. I just remained quiet until I was spoken to. Uncle Peeps told me to open the box. I lifted up the top with extreme precaution, I don't know why. In the box was something wrapped in newspaper, upon uncovering the item, I discovered it was a gun. A .38 to be exact.


"Your father wants to see if you got the balls he thinks you have. We're gonna pay a visit to an old friend of his in Broker. He's been disrespecting your family's name. And I know you hate that."

It become clear to me, I've been sent to kill someone. But I was okay with carrying out the task. Life is sh*t anyways, it will always try to kill you. It's all about survival and unfortunately for this man, he won't be able to survive past tonight. On the interstate heading west, i can see Broker in the distance. Not as glamorous as I thought which surprised me. But I also saw my reflection in the window. And the person I saw was almost unrecognizable. I woke today as the innocent looking street kid Aldo. Now, after tonight, I'll be Aldo the Killer for the Mob. And I didn't care.

Peeps pulls up on an alleyway behind a diner and turned the car off. He took a deep breath and asked me "Are you ready?" to which I answered yes. But my hands were shaking. We get out the car and walk up to a back door of a residence. Peeps starts to pick the lock and we got in. Lights were on but all I heard was a television playing in the distance. Lucky for us, the man we were looking for was sleeping on his couch. Peeps pointed him out. He to whispered me instruction on how to go about this.

He wanted me to place a pillow over his face and pressed the gun over the pillow to muffle the shot. But after he woke him up.
Peeps woke the man up and I saw the fear in his face. I've never seen anyone afraid of my Uncle like that. It was something I was envious of. Peeps then holds this man down on the couch and signaled me to get the pillow. I did. I get the gun out and pressed deep into the pillow. Uncle Peeps says one last statement to this poor man-

"Alderney sends their regards, you f*ck."

He nodded to me, and I pulled the trigger. I saw his body go from flailing around nonstop to being completely still. If that wasn't enough to confirm if it was done or not, the blood coming from under the pillow was certainly enough. I have just ended someone's life and I felt...nothing. I thought I would throw up out of disgust, but no. I was fine. No difference. Uncle Peeps saw how well I handled myself and congratulated me. 

He told me to leave the gun and take whatever food he had on the kitchen. He was hungry after orchestrating a murder. Seeing how easy it was for him made me want that easiness. 

We left and got back in the car like nothing happened. Peeps started driving away talking about how "beautiful" that hit was. And how Alderney is going to get the respect they deserve. I didn't know what he meant but I went along with it. Look towards the window and couldn't see my reflection anymore. I'm guessing it doesn't want to see me anymore. I don't blame it. But I know for certain, after today, things are going to be extremely different. I am finally worth something in life.

And I'm ready for anything.

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