Short Stories by John Agostino . . .
Short Stories by John Agostino . . .
The Bonzoli Kings
Pat McCormick had Cerebral-Palsy. Not really, but his impersonation of someone with the disease earned him the nickname “Pat Palsy,” he was proud. Teenagers can be heartless, especially Pat and his friends, Donny Carter and Joey Balboa.
If trouble hit the neighborhood, you could bet Pat, Donny, and Joey had something to do with it. Best friends, these juvenile delinquents were smart like cats, and had just as many lives.
They lived in the same neighborhood, went to the same school, and prowled the streets at night for kicks. Naranja Lakes was one of the first planned communities in South Florida. Built in the Seventies and located twenty-five miles south of Miami, the development featured five manmade lakes, although three were more like ponds, and a fabulous community clubhouse with an Olympic-size swimming pool. Naranja Lakes, seventy-six courtyards of condominiums, was a retirement community, about eighty percent blue-hairs. The few family courts were at the far end of the development, farthest from the clubhouse by design.
Joey lived in one of twenty unconnected homes in Court 76, the last courtyard. Pat and Donny lived there as well. Joey’s house was separated from the main street by a wooden fence that ran the length of the courtyard. The fence came in handy for the boy’s dastardly deeds.
Pat, Donny, and Joey were inseparable. Delinquents? Yes. But more mischievous than anything else. They never raped or killed anyone, although they did forcibly remove Irene Santos pants once. Donny didn’t believe she was a natural red-head. She was. They didn’t steal, well nothing big anyway, and they’d mostly beat up littler kids, usually Donny’s younger brother or Joey’s. Thier specialty was classic mischief and pranks; egging houses, ringing doorbells and running away, setting paper bags full of dog shit on fire and watching unsuspecting homeowner’s stomp out the flame, and, of course, prank phone calls. The ultimate prank was Bonzoli.
Why The “Flux Capacitor” Won’t Work!
With the new Millennium upon us, one can’t help ponder the possibility of time-travel. The concept has fascinated brilliant minds for decades. One such mind belongs to Dr. Emmet Brown of Hill Valley. Dr. Brown considers himself the world’s eminent authority on time-travel; however, many noted scientists dispute this claim. Dr. Brown invented the Flux Capacitor,” which he envisioned after he fell off the toilet. He claims the Flux Capacitor will enable time-travel. The only problem, it won’t work.
Dr. Brown is most recognizable for his invention of an automatic dog-food dispensing system. The device, ingenious by design, never came to market due to an injunction; another inventor claimed he invented the device. Now Dr. Brown offers the Flux Capacitor, the central element necessary for time-travel. Unfortunately, this concept is wild as the good doctor’s hair.
The Tearless Cry
A baby is born, his mother sighs
with a gentle slap he begins to cry
the tears come easy, flowing free
maybe for a baby, but not for me.
On a city street a child quivers
in the bitter cold he shakes and shivers
he knows not why his stomach pains
his tears begin to fall like rain.
A knock at the door, a mother’s reply
two men in blue, without alibi
they break the news, her son’s demise
falling to the floor, she cries and cries.
The countdown begins, engines ignite
the shuttle blasts off, almost out of sight
one moment it’s there, the next it’s not
a nation mourns seven astronauts.
I sit here alone, tired and cold
lost in this place without you to hold
no worse than this, have I felt in years
I think I have cried, though yet, no tears.
A true story!
Until recently, I didn’t even know his name. My first contact with Charles occurred when I passed him inside the automobile dealership where I work. He hurried to the men’s room. A few minutes later, the few employees that came to work early discovered why he hurried.
Charles was Negro, which has no bearing on this story. What happened to him happens to Caucasians, Latinos, Native Americans and countless people from all lifestyles every day. It could happen to me and it could happen to you.
My commute to work covers twenty miles, about twenty minutes. As Sales Manager for a nearby Toyota Dealership, I drive a company car. Usually a brand new Toyota 4Runner, sort of my trademark—a brand new four-wheel-drive 4Runner “Limited.” I drive it for a few months until it reaches four or five thousand miles and then I get another. A “Demo” is one of the benefits of the job. A job high in hours and higher in stress. Still, it pays well so it has to be worth it. Right?
Charles reconditioned the air around the Men’s Room. The smell unlike anything I smelled before, nor want to smell again. Over the years, other occupants’ fecal aroma slithered under the bathroom door, up the hall into the showroom. One or two worked there, though, not long. Charles was different; his aroma penetrated the walls and burst into the showroom. The stench overpowered the already stale air. Thankfully, there weren’t any customers at the time. Charles left in a hurry as well, probably running from the smell. He mumbled something incoherent as he left.
Jeff Dimmock, a good salesperson, was the only other “Yankee” at the dealership located in upstate South Carolina. A little rough around the edges, he typically said what was on his mind. He got to work early. After a few days of Charles’ morning constitutional, Jeff had enough. The next morning, he waited for Charles to arrive. “Hey, these aren’t public restrooms, they’re for customers only.” He kindly pointed to the “McDonald’s” across the highway.
Former Mafia Crime Boss
People always ask me, “Are you in the Mafia?” For years, I offered the same reply, “not all Italians are in the Mafia.” Boring. Then I thought, why not play along.
Meet my alter ego, Johnny “Little Ass” Culetto, former boss of the notorious Luchesi crime family. “What? . . . You never heard of us? . . . You better be glad I’m in the witness protection program . . . disrespecting me like that. I kill people for less—what’s that? Why do they call me ‘Little Ass?’ Just look at me, I got a little ass . . . what’s the Mafia like? It’s fantastic, so much freedom, I do whatever I want and everything is free. I miss it. You would love it—hey, are you Italian? Really, one eighth Italian on your mother’s side . . . stop it, you don’t have to climb the family tree. I believe you. You should think about joining the family . . . sure, I’ll put in a good word for you—what’s that? What nickname do I think they’ll give you? Let’s see, they’ll probably call you ‘Big Ass’ . . . Why do I think that? Because you’re a big ass if you believe any of this!”
You can believe that I’m married with four children. We live in Clemson, South Carolina. My three oldest children are already out in the world making their mark. My youngest daughter recently graduated high school and attends The University of South Carolina. With the nest empty, I have more time to write. Except when my four-year-old grandson visits. He’s the best excuse ever to take a break and head for the playground. He wears me out.
I write commercial fiction novels. I have two complete and three in various stages of undone. I also write short stories. I am actively seeking representation and publication.
Although, not a member of the Mafia, I am member of the human race. Peace on earth, goodwill to all, every day!
The New Assignment
He had already met with the big boss. It went well. No major problems, no reprimands. He apologized for the bad times, but the boss didn’t want to hear it. The boss wanted to concentrate on the future. With his transfer complete, he left the main office and headed to his new assignment. One he had worked his whole lifetime to achieve.
He walked along the corridor, trembling like a child on the first day of school. The boss tried to ease his fear. Still, he worried. He had worked hard for that assignment, especially the last few years when times were rough.
The door at the end of the corridor had his name on it. His new office. He didn’t know what to expect. The office was unlike anything he had imagined. It wasn’t an office at all. No reception area, no conference room, no office whatsoever. The place bustled with activity.