Fat Frankie Falcone liked to pretend he was connected, that he was a made guy. Nothing could have been farther from the truth. Frankly-and no pun intended- it’s hard to believe he got away with the shit he did for so long.
Every once in a while, despite the best efforts of his muscle – two curly headed clowns named Vito and Vinny constantly adorned in track suits and thick gold chains- someone wouldn’t pay. That’s when he would call me. He paid top dollar but Fat Frankie insisted things be done his way. And, as he was fond of saying, Fat Frankie always got his way.
He wanted me to blow up a guy’s house, a guy fifty grand in the hole. Vito and Vinny had broken his arm and a week later cut off two fingers. The guy still came up with nothing.
“Gotta send a message.” Fat Frankie said. The guy lived in a modest home out on Long island. While I was casing it I discovered that not only was he married, he had three kids. I wasn’t going to kill any kids because their old man couldn’t pick winners at Belmont. Didn’t matter how Frankie wanted this handled.
Instead, I followed the guy to his office job the next morning. He got out of his Lexus and I walked up from behind and popped him in the head with a silenced Sig Sauer. Nice and easy, job done. Except I hadn’t done it Fat Frankie’s way, two hours later he had me on the phone, plenty pissed off.
“Goddamit,” he screamed, “You didn’t fucking do it my way. Now I’m gonna send you a message.” It wasn’t the first time he’d talked to me like that. I decided it would be the last. A man can only tolerate so much.
An hour later, Vinnie and Vito kicked in the door to my apartment. The bomb I was supposed to use came in handy. Bye- bye Vinny and Vito. I felt sorry for the guy they bought their gold chains from. His business was going to take a hit.
Then I got Frankie on the phone.
“Listen you fat bastard,” I began.” I don’t know what made you think I was the kind of guy you could talk to the way you do. And I sure as hell don’t know what made you think I would put up with it. Every day for the rest of your miserable life I want you to wake up knowing that you might turn around and see me standing there and that day will become the worst day of your life.”
I hung up before he could respond.
I moved to a new place. Frankie hired a couple of new goons. They looked a lot like Vinnie and Vito. He never went anywhere without them.
For a couple of months I tailed him. He was spooked all right, as nervous as a kid having to meet a girl’s father on the first date. I was making him sweat.
One chilly afternoon his Caddy pulled up in front of Pasquale’s Pizzeria. When Frankie went inside, I pulled my squad car up behind his. Walked up to the driver’s window, shot his two stooges and tossed a throw down on the front seat before walking inside. Frankie didn’t recognize me in uniform. He was concentrating on a large slice of pepperoni.
“Today’s the day you’ve been dreading Frankie.” He looked up, his eyes growing wide with fear. “It’s the day I told you would come.”
“You’re a goddamn cop?”
“Yeah,” I said. “And I’m doing things my way.”
He stood, tried to reach for a gun. I shot him in his massive gut and he sat back down, the unfinished slice still in front of him, grease dripping from his chin.
“You could let me finish my pizza.” I shot him again.
Those were Fat Frankie’s last words. I wasn’t going to let the bastard go out his way. Those days were over.