Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Assassination Louisiana style: 3

This means big problems for the O'Neill organization, as well as the next Cinque in line, but opportunity too.
                                                     (Final installment)                                                    

THE CORDOBA DESCENDED to the streets of St. Theresa Parish. Neco tossed the golf bag into the hack seat, and turned his back to the door. He took the rest of the clips from the bag, and lined them up on the seat between him and Scali. "All right," he said, the terrain no longer familiar, "take me to Sal Cinque's place."
''You're gonna get us both killed, Bovnik. There's no way they'll let us in the compound. I'm nothing to Sal, I just worked for the son of a bitch. I do what he tells me. I know you think I had something to do with the hit, but I didn't. I don't know nothin', I swear to God. Listen, we can make a deal."
"Shut up." Neco probed him with the Thomson. "Now you get us in that compound or I'm gonna cut you off at the belly button."
"It was all Sal's idea, I swear. Oh, Christ, you gotta believe me..."
Neco reached over and gripped the back of his neck. "Okay," he said, "I believe you. You just get us inside, and everything will he okay."
The car followed a high chain link fence along a shell road. Beyond the fence and the trees Neco could see rolling lawn, a cluster of new buildings. He had expected a Roman villa constructed of marble, but Salvator Cinque lived in a sprawling ranch-style house unadorned except for a huge purple mirrored ball supported by alabaster. Fruit trees softened the starkness.
At the entrance to the driveway a guard sat on a bench next to a telephone attached to the gatepost, reading a newspaper. When Neco saw him, he slipped off the seat, and onto the floor of the car, wedging himself beneath the dashboard. The car crawled to a halt. Scali called to the guard, "I gotta see Sal."
Neco shifted the angle of the Thompson, ready to enfilade. If the guard's head appeared next to Scali's, he would take them both out. He breathed slowly, purposefully, the gate swinging open, the guard saying, "He's down to the pool, Jock."
The Cordoba crept forward. The guard closed the gate with a clash of steel, not bothering to look into the car. But Scali seemed unable to press the accelerator. Then he struck at the barrel of the Thompson and jerked open the door, flinging himself sideways, kicking at the steering column. Neco pulled the trigger. Half a dozen slugs caught Scali while he was still suspended, his body shuddering from the impact. Neco fell against the accelerator. The car's momentum slammed the door and he grasped the bottom of the steering wheel, fighting the skid, watching the telephone lines overhead for guidance. The guard began to fire what had to be a magnum, the first bullet caroming off the roof. The second pierced the trunk and exited from the seat in a tiny shower of foam rubber, shattered the plastic steering wheel inches from Neco's fist.
Out of range, he sat up in the seat. The main house loomed. Neco pulled the clip from the Thompson and replaced it with a full one and swung the barrel to the window sill. The residence was much deeper than it appeared from the road, with a cluster of garages and outbuildings. A man in a white shirt and suspenders stood just inside the screen door of the kitchen, holding a radio phone. Neco accelerated past, low in the seat, expecting fire, but there was no sound other than that of tires skidding on broken shell.
Neco drove fast along the neat wooden fence, searching for an opening. At the corner a man in a black suit stepped forward, holding a pistol at chest level, and fired with both hands. The bullets punctured the windshield, filling the air with shards that stung Neco's face. Shatter lines were opaque in the glare of the sun. Neco felt himself hit in the chest with the force of a hammer, the vest keeping that bullet from him but another pierced his shoulder, taking some strength with it. The Thompson chattered heavily against the window frame and the black suit went down.
Gripping the wheel with his right hand, Neco turned toward the pale green, leafy tunnels of the orchard. The branches lashed at what was left of the windshield, showering him with leaves and young buds. He tried to load the machine gun with one hand and drive at the same time, but a pickup pulled across the tunnel ahead of him and a man with a shotgun flung open the door. Neco spun the wheel and floored the accelerator, passing narrowly between the two trees, breaking free in an explosion of leaves. He could barely hear the shots but felt them hit the car shuddering like it were being beaten with baseball bats. The car floundered: someone had hit tires.
He stormed another line of trees and found himself up against the fence again. No sign of a swimming pool. Neco began to shout in frustration, the pickup bearing down on him, raining buckshot through the shattered windows. The Cordoba hurtled through the fence and onto a putting green, the little silver markers going down beneath the car. The one good rear tire spewed turf high in the air as Neco spun the wheel, his left arm banging uselessly against the door. He saw cultivated rose bushes, a magnolia, and a waiter in a white jacket holding a tray of dishes.
Then he saw the pool stretched like a huge, lined mat at the foot of marble steps, bright blue in the sunlight. Canvas chairs and loungers lay strewn about the flagstones, empty of people. The bathers had gathered on the lawn, trapped in flight to the house. At the sight of the lunging Cordoba they all turned and fled back down the steps toward the pool. Neco wheeled in pursuit, skidding past the magnolia, close to the waiter — a kid in a jacket who never dropped the tray. Neco saw the gun too late. The boy held it three feet from his neck, turning as he fired, the roar cutting through Neco with terrible force. His head lolled, blood spraying the dashboard.
The car labored on. Neco could see a blonde crawling across the flagstones, wearing only a narrow bikini bottom, breasts swinging, and a huge man in a white silk robe struggling along the edge of the pool, too fat to run. With his last bit of strength Neco urged the battered Cordoba toward him. It clattered down marble steps, demolishing a glass table, and bore down on the lumbering figure. The silk billowed in slow motion, the man turned, arms outstretched, the parted robe revealing flaps of skin browned by the sun and a flaccid penis peeking out from beneath of the bottom fold. The man's mouth opened in a soundless scream. The Cordoba plunged into the pool with Salvator Cinque splayed on the hood; Neco knew it would be water, not bullets, that killed them both.

1 comment:

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