The car pulled up outside and I had the familiar feeling in the pit of my stomach; a mixture of hatred, dread and anxiety. As my old man shouted his goodbyes to the driver of the car, not caring that he might be waking the neighbours, I slipped off the bed and quickly nipped along the landing to Mum’s room, to put her on alert. To give her the three minute warning.
The driver of the car was a man named Benny Mottola; a nasty piece of work from the East End. A hard case, a villain and a black-hearted thug, just like my dad.
George and Benny were wartime buddies who, in the three years since their return from France, had lived their lives with scant regard for anyone else. They were drinkers, womanisers and trouble makers. Violent men with vicious tempers and I hated them both.
George was a big, powerful Irishman with a bald head and a thick black moustache. He was also a heavily tattooed brawler with a quick, unpredictable anger and even quicker fists. Benny was a twenty-five year old, second generation Italian, fifteen years younger than his friend, with slicked-back black hair and a broken nose. He, too, was a big man and mean with it – meaner even than George. The word was that he was connected to some crime syndicate in the States but no one had ever dared to ask him about it. The two of them were big pals, but Benny, even though he was much younger than George, was undoubtedly the boss.
Continues tomorrow or download the complete novel here