Crispin and Johnny raced to the living room and took cover behind the bar. More intruders came shooting through the windows. The boss retaliated with a monstrous spray of bullets, easily rattling and dropping them on the waxed floor like touching an electric fence. Crispin dragged Johnny by the arm and rushed him to the dining hall, hiding underneath a long Chippendale table. Johnny shook like a leaf, letting out a slight whimper. Crispin held up his fist, motioning for him to shut his mouth.
Just then, they spotted two pairs of legs stepping across the wooden floor, walking closer to the table. By the look of their creased and dirty boots, Crispin knew these guys weren’t his. He slowly raised his machine gun while Johnny curled up like a child covering his ears. A sudden rattle of bullets from the front of the palace led the intruders back out to the hallway.
Seeing the close was clear, Crispin rolled out from under the table and dragged Johnny toward the kitchen. “We can get out through the employee entrance,” he hollered. “Remember to shoot anyone who gets in your face! I don’t give a damn who it is! Now move!”
“We can’t leave boss!” Johnny hollered back. “Who’s to say they won’t chase after us? We gotta stay and make sure they’re all eliminated.”
“Are you crazy?! Why do you think I hired all those goons for? To do my
fighting for me! Now get in that damn kitchen! Go! Go! Hurry up! MOVE!!!!”
“They’re tearing the mansion apart, boss! It’s only a matter of time before they take everything you own!”
“What are you talking about?”
Johnny peeked down the hall and saw the intruders flipping over furniture and taking down paintings. “Look at them!” he said, waving for his boss to witness their actions. “They’re not just here just to kill us. They’re looking for something.”
For the first time tonight, Crispin panicked. His mansion was loaded with expensive goodies, but none of it has been taken. There’s only one thing these guys are searching for. And for him to let these lowdown crooks get their
grubby mitts on his fortune is worse than death itself. Even if the U.S. Army had bombed the mansion, his money would never be found. But how could these invaders have known it was here? There must be a mole in his crew. How else would they know to catch him off guard by attacking him at home? Could they be with the South Americans or Columbians seeking revenge for being cut out from the drug trade?
Crispin crawled into the kitchen and caressed the back of a China closet, searching for a hidden trigger. “Get ready to move this thing when I say!” he said to Johnny. After minutes of fumbling back there, he found the switch. As
he flipped it up, a secret door had opened. Crispin and Johnny moved the China closet away from the wall, with just enough room to crawl through the secret opening. Below the narrow-crawled space was a downward staircase. Johnny heard fading gunshots as he trotted down, feeling sorrow for the guys losing their lives to keep their greedy boss safe.
Leaping off the final step, the gangsters wound up in an underground level that was larger than his living room, walls completely coated with bank vault steel. There were steel bars at the far end that stretched from the floor to the ceiling. Behind them was a vault door, double the size of a normal opening.
“Wait here and keep a lookout,” Crispin said. He pulled out a set of keys from a compartment disguised as a fuse box. After unlocking the bars, he punched a key code into the number pad just above the mechanical dial on the vault door. A green light shined. He spun the dial and pulled open the door with all of his might.
Johnny’s eyes bulged with amazement. Safety deposit boxes lined up
against the walls and touched every corner of the vault. “Run to the first room down the hall and bring me a cart,” Crispin ordered. “Then start stacking as many boxes as you can.” Johnny didn’t move. “WELL?! Why are you standing there like your lost?! Get moving!! I gotta get to my cases out from the floor safe.”
“What cases?” asked Johnny.
“Just do what I say, dammit!!” Crispin turned a black handle on the floor of the vault and opened the bottom safe. Three black coded cases were stacked on top of each other. Trusting greed over logic, the boss opened the top case, filled to the edge with Bearer bonds, millions inside one case alone.
“How the hell are we going to get this loot out of here undetected?” asked Johnny, rushing back with a cart. “There’s no way we can carry these cases up that narrow staircase! And you want to empty the money boxes, too?! It’s only a matter of time before those lunatics come down here and cut our heads off!”
“I ain’t leaving without my money you pencil-neck!! If you want to run, then be prepared to run forever! From them, AND ME!! But just to put your chicken-hearted self at ease, may I remind you that I’m the boss for a reason! There’s a passageway behind the stairs that leads to an armored truck, which happens to be parked in a private lot at the back of the house. Satisfied now?! So, can you shut up and get to work?!”
“Forgive me, boss,” Johnny apologized. “I should’ve known you had a backup plan.”
“That’s why I’m the brains of this damn outfit!”
“Yes, sir. Except there’s one minor detail you seemed to have overlooked.”
“What the hell are you mumblin’ about?” “You still don’t know who’s behind this…” BANG!!!! BANG!!!!
Two slugs popped out from the 22 in Johnny’s hand. Red liquid leaked from the quarter-size holes left in Crispin’s pudgy chest. His breathing escalated as
he collapsed, clutching his chest and gasping for air. Wearing an arrogant grin,
Johnny kneeled next to his dying boss.
“Kill me,” whispered Crispin, coughing up blood. “You better kill me… because I swear…if I get out of here…you’re a dead man…you lousy...rat scum...I’ll p-put your balls on a string…use your head for a damn ah…ashtray–”
“Are you done?” asked Johnny. Tossing away his glasses, he peeled off his thick mustache and tore the shaggy wig from off his scalp. He wildly rubbed
his wavy black hair and showed off his cleanly shaven, handsome face. “First off, no one from this ridiculous organization will be left alive after tonight.” He pulled out his wallet and showed a New York State Police Department badge stapled inside, engraved: Detective John Hart. “Even if a few of them slip through the cracks, no one would ever believe the NYPD would be capable of committing such a horrific act. Besides, I’ll find someone else to take the fall for this...like I’ve done so many times already.”
Crispin couldn’t believe that his right-hand man of so many years had betrayed him. John’s grin stretched into a sinister smile as he watched Pagnucci grow weaker. There was no one left to help him.
“I’ve destroyed every cartel you’ve been at war with and those numbskulls in City Hall still haven’t got a clue that it was me all along. And now it’s your turn to perish. It took a while for me to gather enough Intel on you, but the
one thing that baffled me all these years was where the hell did you keep your
money? And here we are!!!! Thank you for sharing your secret with me. Boss.”
Deafening bangs echoed through the basement as John fired a few more bullets into Crispin’s skull, finishing the job. He then dragged the dead body out of the vault and kicked it over to the corner. Gazing at the numerous
moneyboxes, he wondered, “How fast can I snatch out all the money before the cops show up? Closing his eyes and turning up his palms, John began speaking in tongue, summoning an unearthly spirit. Suddenly, winds rushed through
the corridor. His eyes turned into blinding white pupils. And in a matter of seconds, he swooped through the vault like a tornado and emptied out all the moneyboxes, stacking cash, jewelry, and bonds by the staircase.
Shortly after, Rusty and Rocky came skipping down the stairway. “All the bugs had been exterminated,” snickered Rusty.
John grabbed his cell and dialed Zeke. “Drive around the back of the mansion,” he said. “We found Lucky’s pot of gold.” He then faced Rusty and
Rocky. “Get the rest of the team down here and grab every ounce of loot, down to the last Indian head penny! Got it? Load them in the duffels and follow the path behind the stairs!”
“And take it where big boy?” asked Rocky.
“Ol’ bubble guts has an armored truck at the end of the tunnel. It seems he was good for something after all. Now let’s move before Long Island’s dumbest show up.”
Rusty and Rocky barked at the grunts to hurry up, packing the loot as fast as possible. Meanwhile, John walked down the secret trail and found the armored truck, covered in black tarp and parked in the middle of the secret lot. Like contestants in a shopping spree, the crew banged into each other as they raced to get to the lot first. Dozens of duffel bags got loaded in the back of the truck. Rusty jumped behind the steering wheel and started the engine, warning everyone to stand clear. He floored the gas and busted through wooden boards used to disguise the entrance ramp. Dead gangsters got crushed under the truck’s massive wheels as Rusty drove onto the mansion lawn and off the property. Rocky led the rest of the team back to the van. Harvey then backed the van out
to the street and peeled off, following the armored truck.
John was the last to leave the mansion, admiring his masterpiece of violence. Zeke waited inside the Accord, which was parked by the rear gates. “Are the charges operational?” asked John as he ran to the car.
“I got it covered,” Zeke responded as he showed him the detonator. “But is this necessary? You said they’d never catch us.”
“And they won’t. But even the greatest of plans need some insurance. This has to look like an ambush, not a robbery. And you know better than to question my orders. Now do it.”
Zeke gulped his throat and pressed the button. Explosions puffed through the entire foundation. Balls of fire lit up the sky. Marble and concrete erupted into gray smoke, clouding the entire block in chalky dust.
Zeke hit the gas and drove away while John reclined back in the passenger seat. “Just one more piece of the puzzle left,” said John while lighting a cigar. “Then our plan can begin.”