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Wrath pt. 2 by Ray Printer Friendly

My real name isnít important, really. I left it behind so long ago that most people donít even realize that I have one. Itís on record, and if you felt like trying, you could find it without much problem, but thereís no need. Nobody cares about my real name. When I was a kid, when I had that other name, nobody wanted to know it. By the time someone wanted to know my name, it was already Wrath.

I didnít pick it out for myself. Yeah, I doubt I would believe it, either, but itís the truth. I got that name from an old gangster in the park. They used to sit around in the park, all these old men, playing checkers, talking about all kinds of things and people, playing cards or dominoes, whatever. Just sitting around being old men. I didnít have much else to do when I was a boy, so I used to sit around the park quite a bit. Sometimes I watched the old men play, or sometimes I listened to their stories, but I always did it from a distance.

I wasnít a dumb kid, but I didnít say much, and since I was really big, everyone just assumed that I was a moose. I didnít see any reason to prove them wrongóit seemed like if people thought you were dumb, they didnít expect much from you. One day, this kid comes with his dad to visit one of the old men. The kid talks to his grandfather for a little bit, and then the dad talks to the grandfather for a little bit, and then theyíre leaving. Iím just standing there, and the kid notices me looking over at them, and he starts making faces at me and calling names and things.

I was pretty used to that, so I didnít do anything, but then the kid runs over and grabs my hat off my head. I grab him by the arm, take my hat back, and toss him down on the ground. Now the dad is all irate, telling his kid that he donít have to take that kinda shit from some retard. The kid gets up, sticks up his dukes, and comes at me.

I take the kid down with one punch, and then the dadís after me. We scuffle around the park for a few rounds, punch for punch, both of us bleeding and cursing and actiní all crazy. The old men, theyíre just sittiní over there laughiní and cheeriníóthis is the most entertaining thing theyíve seen in years. The guy finally lands a good punch right to the middle of my face, and my eyes tear up and I canít see anything. Then he kicks me in the balls.

By that time, Iím losiní my steam quick, and Iím about to lose this fight. I know the guy will stomp me good if I pass outóno matter that Iím a fourteen year old kid and heís a grown man. I feel the black closiní in all around me, and this guy definitely has the upper hand, punching me around like Iím his wife or something. My eyes clear for just a second, and I get a quick jab in to his throat. And then, just like a chump, he stops hitting me and grabs his throat, like thatís going to help him get air. I upper cut his balls, and when he bends over, I throw another uppercut to his face. He topples right over the edge of the bridge, falls in the little stream below, out cold.

And then the grandfatherís right there, grabbing hold of my arm, and I wonder if Iím gonna have to duke it out with him, too. But heís just standiní there laughiní, and it looks like if he keeps it up for too much longer, heíll probably croak.

I told him I was real sorry about all that, and he told me to not even worry about itóboth of those boys were worthless little shits, and an asswhippiní probably did Ďem both some good. The other old men all looked a little uncomfortable with that, but this guy didnít even care. He told me to fish his boy out of the river before he drowned, so I did.

I donít know if you ever seen any of those mobster movies, but usually thereís some kid that gets in the good graces of some mob boss, and he rises to power and all that. Itís nonsense, let me tell ya. I watched it long enough, and the only way to get power is to be born into it. It was beside the point with me, anyways, because the old man didnít have much power at all, and I didnít want to move up the ladder, anyways.

It was with his good graces that I didnít get knocked off, I suppose, and he would throw a job my way every so often, but I never went higher than street thug with his help. His son, the one I threw knocked out into the river, he was what they might call ďthe acting capoĒ if you were watching it in a movie, and he hated me. A lot.

The old man eventually died, and I worried that maybe the son would come after me. I didnít worry about it too much, though. My mom tossed me out when I was twelve, and since then, I had been living on the streets. Some two-bit mob boss wasnít too imposing, if you catch my drift.

On the day of the funeral, he pulled me aside and asked me to step into his limo with him to have a talk. ďI know you and me has had our differences,Ē he told me, ďBut I want to put all that shit behind us. I have a job for you.Ē

The job was to kill a government snitch. He was pretty heavily guarded, but I figured I could pull it off, so I agreed. He told me that if I could get this done, I would have a permanent place in the ďbusiness.Ē

I figured he was lying about the permanent place, but I needed the cash, so I agreed to do the job, anyways. I would be lying if I said it went off without a hitch, but I got it done, and I made it out with most of my skin intact, so I count it as a successful job. When I went to get paid, the guy told me he would have my money in two days.

While I waited for my money, I did a little checkiní up, and found out that he never expected me to live through the job. In fact, he had even called the Feds and tipped Ďem off that someone was going to try to hit the witness. I donít usually let pride get in my way, but it kind of made me mad that the guy didnít even want to spend the dough to put a hit out on meóinstead, he just tried to set it up to where he Feds would do it for free.

It rubbed me the wrong way, you know? I snuck back into his house that night, and killed him. I killed him the same way that I had killed the government witness, just to prove a point. For a while after that, I wasnít sure if I was going to live long enough to enjoy my new reputation, what with all kinds of second-rate goons gunniní for me because of the contract on my head. But I eventually got under the protection of another mob boss, and that kind of cleared the water. I still have a problem every now and again, but not too much.

It helps that everyone knows that if they try to hit me and fail, theyíll have me hitting them, and I wonít fail. Iím pretty much freelance these days, and I live a good life: money, girls, food, what more could you want, right? I work when I want to, I only take jobs if they feel right. And Iím set. I have a good life.

Iíve been living that life for almost thirty years, now, and like I said, I got no complaints.


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