The Diary of Morris Oakes Part 2
By Zack Bouis

Once I was older I learned firsthand what the Mooks and the Family was all about. I had just taken a job working at a little corner grocery store, to get some more cash for my family.

I was bringing in some boxes when these guys in monkey suits came to see Mr. Mezinelli, the owner. They took him off to the back room where they talked for a while, and then I heard a thud and Mr. Mezinelli grunting. When they were leaving one of them stopped to give me this dirty look, like I was a bastard or something.

About two weeks later they came back except this time when they took Mr. Mezinelli to the back room one of them drew a gun as he opened the door, I shouted out... something, I canít really remember, they stopped and one of them started to come at me with brass knuckles on his hand. I tried to fight him but he just pushed me against the wall and started to pound on me. I had the breath taken out of me, more than once, and by the time I had started to taste blood he stopped hitting me and they decided to leave.

Mr. Mezinelli, thought I was stupid for doing that but he thanked me for getting him more time to come up with the protection money. He said that if those guys ever came after me then I was supposed to tell them that my daddy was a cop, because everyone knew that no matter how corrupt the town was, you donít mess with the cops as bad as killing their son.

The next day two guys did come after me while I was going home after work. I recognized one as the guy who had beaten me in the store and the other had been one of the guys there too. They had already gotten in one punch when I was able to spit out I was the son of a cop. They had a quick discussion about it, in italian, I donít speak italian, and they left, with one of them giving me the finger as they went. I felt so... ashamed... and angry. How could I let these guys do this? I couldnít even stand up enough for myself to be able to fight them. I was just hiding behind the job that my daddy just happened to have. It felt wrong to me. I mean what would my daddy think if I told him about this? Would he feel good knowing that I played it smart and got out of trouble? Or would he be disappointed that his own son couldnít stand up for himself against thugs like this?

I told my family that I had gotten the bruises from a scrape with one of the other kids. They asked some questions but I got them to swallow it.

A few days later I heard that Mr. Mezinelliís shop was being sold and I was out of a job. I heard that he had gotten the protection money (God knows how) and he was paying Ďem when one of the guys from the Family got angry and shot Mr. Mezinelli in the head. Of course, he only created more problems for himself Ďcause he shot the man without reason so the mob decided to off him too. Even though mob justice served its place, I knew that the one who had killed Mr. Mezinelli had been the one that I had stopped in the shop, and the one who tried to kill me in that alleyway. I felt terrible about it, I mean it was sorta my fault wasnít it? Maybe if I had stood up to those two guys that one time, instead of just talking my way out of it, I could have done something to stop them. Or maybe I couldnít have. I donít know. I still felt responsible about it nonetheless.

I was out of a job but at least the mafia wasnít picking on me anymore. After that happened I went looking around for another job. I eventually found the perfect thing, I got hired by this small gun store not far from where we lived. It was run by this old guy, who hacked and coughed most of the time, I thought he was just ready to kick off any second. I was hoping that maybe I could get the old dude to like me so when he kicked the bucket he might leave the place to me. The job was perfect. The money was good since guns were something everybody in the Rogue Isles wants to buy and the Family didnít bother this place. It was good all around and the money I was bringing in helped the family along so we could get some decent furniture and some better food to be put on the table.

I worked there for more than a few years, and I got to say those were the good years for me...God knows that wasnít gonna last.
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