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A Small Town Story

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Chapter 1 - A Quite Delicate One



All Dialogue has been translated from Italian and Sicilian into English


Piedmont, Italy


On the face of it, there was nothing remarkable about the two well suited figures enjoying a leisurely cappuccino, sat in a bar in the beautiful hills of the Italian Alps. The distinctive aromas of expensive cologne and roasted arabica coffee beans wrestled for dominance, the fragrances eventually intertwining to create a heady smell that was easily noticeable at a small distance.


“You southerners are usually a lot more talkative” Remarked one gentleman, sat in a versace suit, stirring his cup and then resting the spoon onto the table. The other, younger gentleman stared back, in deep thought, as if he was deciding how to break the silence but in the end deciding against it.

“You must understand the risk I take in this affair, Ilario. My people in England are not quite as easy to speak to. There are different rules, it is; how you southerners may say, a quite delicate one, yes”. The man smiled gesturing his right hand to illustrate the point.


“Excuse me, you must know I am Sicilian, do you think we are all the same”? Ilario challenged impatiently.

“Of course no! I forget, please forgive me. Ilario, I mean this as no disrespect to yourself or Don Vito. We are still working things out. You see, the slavs are a very stubborn breed, you see”.

There was no immediate physical reaction from the other man, he simply nodded, and wiped his mouth with the small napkin that was sat on his lap.


He leant forward, the other gentleman doing the same to hear his words. He looked away, then back at the older gentleman, composing himself.

“The order comes from not just Don Vito, but also Morabito. That is to put it, the only reason I met here today. You can talk for the whole peninsula, but no words can change this thing”. He spoke in a measured, calculated tone of voice, as if delivering the words of god. The older gentleman swiftly sat back, letting his back rest against the perfect leather that adorned the seat.


He looked quite wistfully out of the window, taking in the scenery that gave the bar it’s name “Alpine Veda”, which seemed to stretch as far as the eye can see.

“Ilario, thank you for your presence here today”, he shuffled out from the seat and stood to shake Ilario’s hand.

“Thank you, thank you, and send my respects to the families”. As he walked out, Ilario picked up his cup and took one final intake, watching the steadfast panic he had just injected take effect. He smiled.


Aidone, Sicily


Amongst the maze of the tight, cobbled streets stood a young man, or maybe a boy. He could only be 17 at the oldest, although it was difficult to judge as he struggled to remove his motorcycle helmet. Eventually he broke free to reveal long locks of thick, black hair, and a thin pencil moustache. His features were none too uncommon in this region, neither his clothes. He wore ripped and faded jeans, and a hooded coat, with thick padding for those cold nights up in the hills. Despite his unkempt look, he sported a gold watch, which gave a solid indication that this was a character with good relations in town. No shop or bar could refuse a person like this, not someone so obviously “connected”.


He switched off the clackety old moped and rested it against the jagged wall beside it, placing the helmet delicately on top. His lighter ignited the Migliore cigarette that dangled from his pursed lips, as he set off up the hill into town. Not long had he reached his destination of the local pool club where a seasoned matriarch behind the bar called out to him;


“Paolo, Paolo, you’re f*cking late you son of a dog! Here, take this”, instructed the coarse voice, his hair arm offering a mobile phone into the young man’s scared hands.


“Hey uncle, why don’t you shove it up your ass”? Came the impertinent reply, laughed off as the man turned his back and focused his attention onto the small television screen attached to the top left corner of the bar.

“Excuse me, I had to fill up my bike”, Paolo explained, his voice trembly and breathless.

The voice on the other end was deep, gruffly. It evoked a strong sense of authority, and comradeship in one.

“Ok, Ok. Yes, of course. I can - I mean - I will do this for you. Yes, yes, thank you sir”. Paolo seemed taken aback, his eyes glazed over with a look of astonishment. His uncle’s attention turned away from the screen, which had been showing highlights from last night; Messina’s 1-1 draw with Giulianova. His hands were drying a small glass, slowly stopping and resting the small towel on the precipice of the glass.


“Paolo , was it- was it him”?

“Yes - he wants us to move the stuff out, tonight”, Paolo turned to his uncle for reassurance.


“Right. Don’t you worry, I’ll get the boys to help. We’ll get the trucks over from the garage”, he made his way around the bar, walking the long way around to the backroom, navigating his way around a group of adolescents grouped around the pool table. Paolo followed, his hand now resting in an awkward position around his mouth.


Uncle switched on the light, and pulled out a dusty set of keys which must have sat idle in the drawer for at least a few years. He carefully wrapped Paolo’s fingers around them, and then wrapped his own around Paolo’s. He knelt down to his nephew, and closed his eyes.


“Open up the cache” - don’t let anyone follow. I’ll soon get the boys”. He shook the intertwined mangle of their hands, and forced a small smile onto his face.

“We will make it my boy, just wait and see”.

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