How Everything Started
It is worth noting that one of my least favorite things is wasting time, therefore I will start my story as late as I possibly can to the worst day of my life. I should have defined an important word to you earlier and I apologize for delaying this. Vendetta means a feud between two families after a murder of a member. I bet off of this, one can guess what happened. My grandfather, Joseph Sweet was murdered on October 6th, 1922. For context, as I am writing this it is late March, 1923. The day of his death started out as any other day, only I can remember every detail of this day. I will retell it to you, but first it is worth noting that at this time and up until recently I loved working for my father and at the speakeasy. Everyone knew we did some unholy things but everyone was too scared to say anything as we may have had one or two members of the police on the payroll. But I will move on to the story of what happened.
I woke at 6:00 am and got dressed. The dress I wore was brand new and ordered from a catalog. It had a long sleeved brown top with a red polka dotted scarf and a matching skirt. That’s the problem with being sixteen, you’re too old to wear cute girls’ dresses and get stuck with the ugly stuff. Or at least that’s my opinion.
Like I already said, I struggle a lot with styling my hair. It is cut in a bob like every other girl’s, but that’s all that’s special about it. I do my best to curl it, but I have wavy hair so I don’t always need to. Mary helps me a lot if I catch her in the right mood. When she’s happy and not busy she will even do some finger waves for me. Thankfully she was in one of those moods that day. Mary doesn’t talk much in the mornings so I just ask her everyday if she could do my hair. If the answer is yes then I sit at her vanity as she styles it. Neither of us ever talk. That day she made my hair very curly but with ill defined waves.
After my hair is done I pack my school bag and my lunch with David and my cousins John, and Robert. Mary graduated a few years back and works full time with the family. Like I said, David is three years younger than me. John is a year older than David and Robert is a year younger than me. We go right in a row. There is also Matthew who is only two. His mother, my aunt through marriage is pregnant again, except this time she swears it’s a girl.
Once the four of us finished, we walked over to the speakeasy to see our parents. Although we are the children of the owner, we still have to be careful about who we let in, so we are asked a not well known code to be let in during closed hours. I remember one of the twins was guarding the door that day. The twins are two brothers, Paul and Carl Hart. They are actually Irish twins with Paul being the older one. It’s funny because the twins aren’t even Irish nor actual twins. Everyone calls them the twins though because the do look almost identical with the exception of Paul being a little bit taller than his brother. Both of the twins are hilarious with Carl being slightly funnier. He was the man at the door that day.
“Password?” Carl said through the slot in the door. I made a fake grumble as a joke. I like to joke around whenever I’m with the twins.
“Must I tell you one? For goodness sakes I’m Sweetie’s daughter.” I was almost laughing. I know that while reading this you must think me insane to find this funny, but you must understand that I always did this to the twins and they always laughed and played along. Being in their presence made anyone seem funny.
“Sorry Lucy but you must.” Carl said through the door. I couldn’t see him but I know he was smiling. I never looked at my cousins or brother but I’m sure they were annoyed at me and just wanted to get this over with.
“Ugh fine.” I said. Then I told Carl the password and was let inside. The speakeasy is small but it has a bar and a good amount of seating. There is also a spot for musicians to play. I have even performed there on the piano. “Hey Carl, where is Sweetie?” I called back to Carl after all us students came inside the building.
“I’m right over here. And I also want to know since when you started calling me ‘Sweetie’?” Father said as he came up from the cellar where we keep all the extra booze. He also walked up with Uncle Henry. Uncle Henry is the youngest of Father’s siblings and the father of Matthew.
“Ever since you weren’t in the room.” I said sarcastically to Father. My father always looks a bit messy with his hair never in the right position and his tie always coming undone. He also always has a tired look on him. Yet he was still a loving man. I walked up to him and hugged around his shoulders and didn’t let go. He stroked the back of my hair lovingly. “Anyways is there anything you need done from us today?” I asked. Everyday after we get home from school and finish any homework we have and do whatever job needs to be done for the business.
“Actually yes. Lucy you’re going to go around to Mrs. Wolford’s house and give her some aid. Her husband got arrested yesterday on account of us. You will also be going with Leonard. David…” Father said. He was going to continue but I interrupted him.
“Oh Father, don’t make me go with Leonard! He’s so odd.” I pleaded. In the background Carl snorted a bit under his breath but wiped all emotion from his face when I turned my head to look at him.
“I don’t care what you think of Leonard, you’re going to do the job. Now David I want…” Father continued rambling off jobs for David and my cousins. I won’t bore you with the details of that. Instead I will spend my time with telling you about Leonard Skukerman, or Sourman as the twins and I call him. Frankly it’s hard to describe Sourman. He’s about a decade older than Father and one of the ugliest men I have ever seen. I don’t mean to be rude, him and I just don’t get along. He always wears a striped suit with a shirt that goes almost to his thumbs. He also wears white covers over his shoes. It is not a good look. He doesn’t even bother to wear a real tie, just a piece of fabric tied around his neck. He also has cheaters, although I can’t hold that against him as I need a pair to read.
Anyway, soon after I got my job, I let go of Father and walked over to Carl who was standing against a wall. Carl was wearing a striped jacket but an otherwise plain suit. He also had a straw boater hat in his hand. I was still wearing my hat to anyone curious.
“Looks like you have the worst luck.” Carl said through a smile. He is one of those people who is always smiling. Carl also had this fascination with luck. Always bringing it up. He’s the type of person to yell at you for picking a tails up penny. I’m also confident that he keeps a rabbit’s foot in his pocket. I do know for a fact that whenever he’s working the door and it’s raining he makes people leave their umbrellas outside, drives Father insane. “It would be terrible to spend the evening with Sourman.”
“Thankfully I at least have Mrs. Wolford, although I heard she’s not much of a charmer either.” I said. Carl just shrugged his shoulders.
“Never met her.”
“Come on Lucy, we must get going or we will be late for school.” David called over to me. Everyone was already by the door. I waved a goodbye to Carl and started to walk toward the door.
“Wait a second Lucy.” Carl called to me. I turned my head and he continued. “As you know luck comes in three. If anything else happens, let me know.” Carl said in a somewhat desperate voice. I wish I took him more seriously at the time. He sure was correct about luck being in threes. Thanks to him and this day, I am pretty superstitious myself, although nowhere near as much as Carl.