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The Heist
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Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Feb-11-2009 11:40

November 5, 1934 - New York - The Tricky Mister - close to midnight

“You want me to rob a bank?!?” said Joey in surprise, suddenly realizing his voice was a little louder than he would’ve wanted to. He quickly scouted the room and was relieved to see no one seemed to have heard him. The Tricky Mister wasn’t really crowded on that late week night.

His interlocutor though didn’t seem to bother much about this situation. He was a middle age slim man in a dark pin striped suit, sitting relaxed across the table with both hands crossed in front of him. His tie was straight, his jacket fully buttoned up, his hair posed a clean arrangement on a side. A short and perfectly cut mustache was framing a slightly prankish smile, as his eyes were thoroughly scouting Bane’s reactions. Although his attitude was loose, he seemed to be the kind of man who always likes to keep himself sharp.

After a short moment of silence he slowly lowered his look, shaking his head in an almost imperceptible move, miming a disappointment gesture. “Mr. Bane” he continued in a low voice “that is…’come si dice’…” snaps his fingers “ILLEGAL!” He rose back up his eyes. “We are not asking you to do anything against the law, but only to acquire the possession of some documents that actually regard US. It just happens that these papers are currently stored in a safe deposit box inside the National Bank and since we have already attained this piece of information, we believed it would be helpful to pass it on to you, in order to make your work easier. However you will decide to retrieve these documents, it is entirely up to you.” He stopped, straightened up his back and took a sip out of the wine glass he had ordered. “Exquisite flavor, Mr. Bane, you should give it a try.”

“Ya, well…I’m more the whiskey type of man. Now…Mr…”


Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Feb-11-2009 11:42

Indeed, the woman was no stranger to Joey. He couldn’t say she was exactly the love of his life, but they had wonderful moments together for the time that it lasted. They’ve met down at Big Lucy’s Cabaret back in Bane’s bouncing days. She was the star of the show…glamorous, exquisite, a pleasure to watch and listen. He always wondered what she saw in him…and all New York did for that matter. They split though quite a few years ago, when she had left to conquer other stages all around the world.

“I though she’s left New York for good” said Joey with a gutted voice.

“Your information is unfortunately outdated, Bane. She came back here about a year ago. Apparently her carrier did not turn out to be as glamorous as she thought, so she returned in old New York hoping to shine and charm again the stages. That didn’t work well either, so now she’s only giving…private shows, if you know what I mean.” With this Franco posed a large grin of devilish satisfaction.

Joey felt his blood boiling in his head. If this was a different situation he would’ve mopped the floor already with this guy. But now he needed to control himself. “I need to see her. Where is she?” growled him between his teeth.

Suddenly Franco’s smile had disappeared. He leaned across the table with a steel look that was supposed to penetrate Bane’s skull and started talking in an icy voice: “Enough, Bane. Quit playing around and listen to me good, for I am only going to say this once. You WILL do this, or both of you will end up on the bottom of the river. And trust me: I AM going to make you watch! Now, she is our...guest for the time being and we’ll hang on to her just as insurance that you will keep your end of the deal. You do this right, you both walk out in one piece. You try anything funny, like disappearing let’s say, we’ll mail her into pieces to your office. HAVE I MADE MYSELF CLEAR?”

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Feb-11-2009 11:44

Joey lowered his eyes as if he was trying to find a solution written inside the table’s wooden texture. He quickly weighted his options and then continued in empty voice: “I’m gonna need about a week to set this up.”

Barresi seemed to have been pleased with Bane’s surrender, so he shape shifted back into his pleasant, prankish self. He did not smile, but he continued in a softer tone: “You only have four days. We hold the judge for the time being, but in four days the mayor is due to come back and his first move will be to grant clear access to the cops into the safe deposit box. If we don’t have the documents by then, all this is useless.” He pinned Bane with his eyes again. “And you’ll be too…the both of you.” He got up in a slow but firm move and added one more thing while putting his hat on: “You ain’t got much time, Bane so I suggest you get to work.”

He tipped his hat and left, leaving a large bill on the bar counter. “Thank you, Mr. Barresi, thank you very much! Please do not be a stranger here.” Cyrus’s voice was fading as Bane was putting his brain wheels in motion. He had to get his hands on those papers no matter what. Arranging a bank job in four days and getting it also done was nearly impossible. He had to try it though. He also knew that doing the job did not necessarily mean that Mona would be out in the blue, so he needed to find out where she was kept. One thing was sure: this was definitely not going to be a one man show. “I need to sleep on this” he grumbled gulping his last shot of whiskey.


Feb-11-2009 23:04

Rose jumped off the boat that had taken her from Paris to New York. She attempted to recall what had happened in her last few days in Paris but all she could remember was frantically searching for a face, a man she believed to be dead, but then had seen, wandering the alleys in Paris.
"It could've been a ghost" she thought, before remembering that ghosts don't exist except in stories. But what other explination could there've been. She had followed this 'man' for two days and nights, untill she wasn't even certain who she was following. She might've just imagined the whole thing.

So after finally abandoning her search, she had ended up at the docks, where there was a large ship loading people. She quickly thought over her life in France. She had no home, no family, no food. There was nothing there for her, no one to talk to, no one to help her. Nothing but a long wait to die. So she choose to get on the boat.

She stuck close to a young couple. Just close enough to pass off as their daughter but not to close to seem suspicious. Just as they were stepping on board, she brushed past them, laughing and smiling as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Suprisingly, she didn't alert suspicion. So now, she was disembarking in dirty, smelly, loud New York.


Feb-11-2009 23:19

After it had grown dark at the people on the streets had grown less, Rose was still seen wandering up and down, with no idea where to go. She needed somewhere to sleep, anywhere, an alley, under a bridge. But somewhere safe. What was she thinking coming to New York, she'd get murdered on her first night here.

She ended up in a quiet alley around the corner from a bar. 'The Tricky Mister' the sign above it read. It didn't seem to be particularly packed that night. She sheepishly looked around her, before darting down the alley. Someone had recently thrown away some cardboard boxes, that was going to have to do for the night. Just as she was settling down, she heard someone whistle, a man was walking down the alley. She burrowed herself down a little further, so as not to be seen, and held her breath, so as not to be heard.

He had almost past her when a sliver of moonlight hit his face and Rose saw it. She exhaled and whimpered a little. It couldn't be... that man, the one who was meant to be dead, the one she had chased all over Paris, here, in the same alley she was sheltering in.
"You're just imagining things" she told herself sharply. "There's no way he would be here"
On saying that she shut her eyes tightly and burrowed down deeper into the boxes.

Joey Bane had heard a sound coming out of the cardboard boxes he was standing near. He was curious, after all, what do you expect to find in cardboard boxes?
"Rats... mice... cats" He though to himself. "Someone waiting to kill me..."
All possibilities, but he now had to bring himself to check. Expecting the worst, he walked over and lifted the top box off the pile. There, curled up in a little ball, was a young girl.


Feb-11-2009 23:31

"Please, monsieur. Don't hurt me" Rose murmered to the man now towering above her. "I just wanted some sleep"
Joey drew back in shock. What was a child doing sleeping in a pile of boxes?
"You can just pretend you never saw me, just leave me here" Rose pleaded.
Joey frowned. He couldn't just leave this poor girl here, that wouldn't be the proper thing to do. But he couldn't take her home with him, he wasn't about to open up an orphanage.

Finally, an idea came to him. It was dangerous, and he couldn't believe he was about to suggest it to such a young girl, but he realised she was homeless, with no apparent family or friends, and it couldn't get much more dangerous than that.
"Name's Bane, Joey Bane"
"I know" Rose replied, blushing. "I, um... I read it somewhere. I'm Rose"
"Look Rose, how'd you like to come stay at my place for a little while?"
"At your... house?"
"With conditions, of course. I'd need your help in a little job I'm doing. I think you'd be perfect for it."
"Anything monsieur, what might the job be"
"Oh, nothing major. Tell me, what do you know about banks?"
"I've never been inside a bank"
"I think you'll be perfect, don't worry about a thing. Come on now, can't stay out all night"

They ocntinued down the alley together, Rose filled with warmth and gratitude that she finally had a place to stay, Joey, furiously working his mind, figuring out a way that this crazy plan would work. He smiled to himself. If this went right, and this girl could work well, and Barresi was true to his word, there was a chance... a small chance, that he could get Mona back.

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Feb-12-2009 16:55

Upon reaching a street light, Bane tried to take a better look at the young girl walking besides him. Her crouched gait hid her face into the collar of her coat, but he could clearly tell she was pale and skinny. The worn out rags she was wearing were not being much help into the autumn cold. She couldn’t be more than fifteen, maybe not even that. “I think it’s been a long time since this child has seen a shiny day…”
Reaching the intersection between the 42nd and First Avenue, Joey stopped in his tracks looking around as if searching for direction.

“Anything wrong, monsieur?”

“No, kid…we’ll take a little detour. Come.” He started walking down on First with Rose following him in silence. “Wait here” Joey said, upon taking a right into a small dark alley. Rose listened to him once again and stayed behind hidden in the shadows. She leaned a little on a side to read the big sign shining brightly on the wall just a few steps ahead of her: “Sami’s Greek Restaurant.”

Joey headed towards the alley’s end, where a small light was shining feeble above a widely open door, casting the shadow of a woman on the floor. She was standing in a relaxed position, resting her shoulder on the door frame, with one hand crossed above her chest and a cigarette holder in the other. A car light passing by threw a short glance onto her face, revealing thus her slender features, upon which time seemed to have passed without leaving many traces. Only a little pack of wrinkles clubbing together in the corner of her eyes betrayed her real age. She didn’t seem to mind though as she was not trying to hide them as women usually do, under a more or less thick layer of make-up. She seemed quite natural in her appearance and also in the waitress outfit that she was wearing.
She pulled a long smoke from the cigarette into her chest, watching it turn into a foggy cloud as she was slowly blowing it all out.

“Those things will eventually kill you, girl!” said Joey stepping out into the light.

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Feb-12-2009 16:56

She shrunk her eyes to get a better look over the man approaching her. After a short glimpse of surprise, her face had quickly melted into a combination of a both prankish and sarcastic look. “My, my…if it isn’t the ghost of Joey Bane! I guess if cigarettes won’t kill me, they will sure drive me crazy, as I seem to be talking to dead people. And they ain’t looking any better either!” She smiled while giving him a hug.

“As usual, you always have an encouraging word for me.” He posed a large smile. “Missed you, girl! Now tell me…how have you been doing?”

“Same old, same old…Now tell me, Bull…what brings you in? And what’s the deal with you back here? You don’t like the front entrance anymore?”

“I have a little…friend with me tonight.” He turned around to the street. “Come out Rose, come here.” He turned towards the woman and continued. “I figured that…it would be better if we don’t enter the front door together. Sami tends to like his place sharp…classy, he says.”

“Well now, where did this stray cat come from, Joey? I don’t recall you being in the habit of taking children off the streets.” She measured Rose from head to toe as she was slowly approaching.

“She was…let’s say…a momentary inspiration. She’s gonna help me with a little something. Now…as you see, she ain’t got too much flesh on those bones. You think we could do something about that?”

“Damn, Bull…you’re getting stranger every day. I’m starting to be glad I don’t see you so often anymore.” She turned her eyes back towards Rose. “Come here, cat. We have some specials on the menu that are sure to put a little color in those cheeks. Don’t be afraid. Step in.” She quickly set a table right there in the kitchen and filled it up with different kinds of food. Then she stepped out in the alley once again.

“Ok now, Rose. You eat up. In the meanwhile I’ll have a little chat with my old friend Maria here.” Joey stepped out himself while pulling out a cigar.

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Feb-12-2009 16:58

“Now listen here, Bull…” started Maria in a low voice in order for Rose not to hear her. “I don’t know what’s in that dumb head of yours, but if you’re planning to get that sweet child involved into some of your usually messed up business, you’d better think again. She’s better left out on the streets, rather than ending up dead in an alley.”

“She might end up that way no matter what…or even worst. The New York streets are not exactly a safe place for a child her age, and especially for a girl. But don’t bother your pretty head with that. I need a favor.”

“Of course! I should’ve known that from the moment I laid eyes on you. That’s all I’ve ever been good for you guys: favors.”

A small shade of surprise suddenly covered Joey’s face. “What do you mean by US, Maria?”

“Your old partner J.C. came by a couple of days ago. He had the same taste as you for the back door and he also wanted a favor. I wonder if you guys had the same father!”

“J.C.’s in town? Right here? In New York?”

“Your ears playing tricks on you, Bull? What did I just say!?”

Joey’s brain wheels started again to put themselves in motion. J.C. was a ‘legitimate’ bank robber. ‘The real deal’ as people use to say. With him aside, Bane really had a chance on setting up the bank job. He may not even have to throw Rose in the middle of all that. He turned around looking at her, thinking. “Hmmm…she may still be of help. A child may be able to move around the city raising much less suspicion asking questions. She may be helpful in locating Mona.”

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Feb-12-2009 16:59

He pointed back his attention to Maria and continued: “Did J.C. give you any clue of how he could be found? What was the favor that he wanted, anyway?”

“Come on, Bull…you guys don’t ever tell me anything. You’ve always treated me on simple ‘need to know’ basis. I haven’t got the vaguest idea where he’s hiding. And about his favor…I guess it won’t hurt him to tell you. Strangely enough…he was actually looking for a painter. A certain one, I might add.”

“A painter? And did he find him?”

“No. He had passed away a few years ago. I couldn’t help J.C. Now let’s quit with the questions and tell me about that favor you want.”

Joey took a small break to gather up his thoughts. The news about J.C. had dazzled him a bit. He pointed to Rose and started speaking. “I need the kid brought in a better shape. I don’t know anything about women and even less about little girls. If I remember well, tomorrow’s your day off. She will be sleeping at my place over the night, but I’ll be leaving early in the morning. What do you say I give you a little cash and you pay her a visit? You could get her some better clothes and show her around the city a bit.”

“Now that’s a favor that I’ll gladly do. At last you started to make some sense tonight.”

They stayed a little more out in the alley exchanging memories about old days, as Rose was finishing her meal. Upon reaching Joey’s apartment, he handed her a pack of clean sheets and a blanket and set her in the living room.

Next morning Rose woke up to find out Joey had already left. A short knock on the front door startled her. She was relieved to recognize the voice behind it: “Hey, Rose! It’s me, Maria! Open up. I haven’t had a chance to drink my coffee yet this morning.”


Feb-14-2009 20:48

Rose sat up, unwilling to leave the comfort she was currently in. Sure, it was just an old, tired couch, but she'd never slept on something so soft before. There was another knock at the door and she figured she better answer it, she didn't want to go making enemies on her second day here.

Maria came bustling into the apartment and headed straight for the kitchen. She started to make coffee, cooked eggs, lit up a cigarette and started talking all at the same time. After ranting about how long it took her to come over there and how she wasn't no baby sitter, she was just doing her old friend Joey a favour, she finally looked over at Rose, now curled up on the couch and decided she was far to dirty. She walked into the bathroom and filled the bath, before coming back into the living room and looking Rose right in the eye.
"Now I ain't bathing you" she said. "That ain't in my job description. I'm only makin' you do this cause I bought you some new clothes and I don't want you dirtying them all up." She pulled a parcel out of her bag.
"These were my nieces. Till she married some rich twat and decided that these clothes were no good for her. Sent em all to me. Never even been worn. I'm thinking they'll fit you. Off you go now, clean yourself up".

A few hours later, Rose was standing in the middle of New York, in brand new clothes, filled to the brim with Maria's best scrambled eggs. The dirt had been scrubbed off her face for the first time in years, and she'd forgotten what it felt like to have clean cotton against her skin. Maria hadn't stopped talking since they had left apartement. She'd pointed out everthing that they had passed. Rose now knew every place you would get good cigarettes, and all the places that ripped you off, where the good markets were, which were the dodgy alleys and which were safe to walk down, where the mob did their business. Everything you needed to know to survive New York.

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