Thursday, July 10, 2008

Enrico's Only Hope

An Excerpt from Enrico's Only Hope by Sheryl Tuttle

From "Split"
An Anthology of Short Stories and Poems
by the Humble Fiction Cafe

Enrico DeMaggio scrubbed his hands until the blood-tinged water drained clear. He leaned into the mirror and might have smacked the thug in the reflection had his knuckles not been raw. Instead, he pulled a comb through his dark hair and smoothed it with Brylcreem. How could he have been so careless as to leave behind the hat he'd borrowed from his cousin Rocco? The one Aunt Carmela had knitted last Christmas and labeled, as though her creations would someday be discovered.

The approaching sirens jolted Enrico into action. He quickly left by way of the back door and hid in the overgrowth surrounding the building. The police entered with guns drawn. Enrico heard shouting and doors slamming, then the sound of his aunt wailing as they departed with young Rocco in handcuffs. Enrico waited to come out until he could no longer see the receding taillights of the black and white.

Flinging open the front door of the apartment in the dilapidated tenement building, Enrico stormed in. The Burns and Allen Show played on the Philco while his aunt stood weeping near the center of the room. "I'll take care of this," he said. "I'll bring Rocco home, don't you worry."

"You!" she shouted. "This is all your fault. If you'd just leave Rocco alone. He's a good boy. He doesn't need to be involved in your gang of hoodlums!" She turned and hurried into the back room.

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