Sitting outside the Ola Café Bistro brought quite a few memories back. Of course in the days gone bye it had an Italian name which made it even then sound more romantic. The visitors were not so romantic, but they were probably the reason why the café was still so popular. It is amazing what a dark history can do for such a place.
Jack Green entered the restaurant and all eyes turned to him.
“Morning Mario” he greeted the restaurant owner. “Someone seems to be sitting at our table.” And Mario would go to the table and ask the intruders if they would mind taking place at another table as this particular table was reserved for Jack Green and his brothers. There would be no discussion, no arguments. The people sitting at the table would leave the table for the Green family, muttering apologies as they left.
Soon Fred and Morris Green would enter. They were actually identical twins, but the resemblance stopped at their faces. Their characters were completely different. Fred was an easy going sort of person; if you left him in peace he would be fair and cause no trouble. It was just better if you did not cheat or double cross him, the he could show the dark side of his character. His brother Morris was a different story. He did not keep out of the way of trouble, but usually went looking for it and if there was none, he made sure there was. Their mother was proud of all three sons. She was convinced they were good boys, always being generous to her. They never forgot her birthday and there were always flowers for mother’s day. Up to now the boys had all managed to keep out of prison, but most of the local police officers were on their pay list in any case.
The brothers ordered three cups of tea and some cheese sandwiches. Then the conversation began.
“Fred, Morris, the South bank gang have started making attempts to invade our territory; any suggestions?”
Morris hit the table with his fist. “Jack, I think we should send them on a nice little trip down the river. Tie a few stones around their ankles to make sure they stay in the water.”
“Morris, such solutions are not always the best” Fred joined in. “You cannot just get rid of people you don’t like. I would suggest we sit down together and have a talk.”
“Sit down and have a talk, you must be kidding. The South Bank gang have been trying to take over for some time. Get rid of them for good. That’s the solution” and Morris was convinced his idea was the best.
Being the eldest brother, Jack decided to say a few words to keep the family peace. “Morris your suggestion does have a ring of logic about it, but even we have to be careful, even if the police are on our pay roll and Fred I also think that having a drink and a chat might be getting too friendly and arise suspicions.
“So what do you suggest” asked the twins.
“I think a mixture of both would be a good idea. We have to get the gang together in one place so it might be an idea to organise a conference. What happens after the conference, we will wait and see” and so the brothers carried on their discussions and eventually left together. They paid Mario like any other customer and gave a good tip. Mario had no problem with the visits of the Green brothers. He too had grown up in the area and went to school with the brothers and knew that at heart they were probably good boys, but now and again misunderstood.
A few days later Morris came into the café but seemed to be quite annoyed. “Have you seen my brothers?” he asked Mario.
“They were here this morning, but since I have no idea where they are.”
“I am sure they are meeting up with that South Bank gang, I told them to ask me first.” And Morris stormed out of the café. Mario tried to hold him back as he knew when Morris was annoyed he was completely out of control. Unfortunately the boss of the South Bank gang was just walking along the street as Morris left the café. Morris saw him, pulled out his gun and fired three shots. The leader of the gang went down on the pavement. Mario saw what happened but Morris just ran away. The problem was there were too many witnesses to the murder. This time neither Morris older brother Jack nor his twin brother Fred could help. Even the money being paid to the police inspectors was of no advantage; Morris was seen by too many people. He was caught and sentenced to life imprisonment.
The years went past and the other two brothers eventually also received their just rewards and were put into prison for the crimes they had committed.
Mario was getting older, but still owned the café although the name had been changed and it was now the Ola Café bistro. He often had visits from journalists or television people asking about the Green family and the memories he had. Mario even wrote a book about the past history of the gangster visits in his café which became a best seller. The Green family never became free men again and they died in prison. Mario attended all three funerals which were held in the part of town where they had lived. The funerals were gatherings of gangsters and crooks, even some of the surviving members of the South Bank gang attended. The processions came along the road where Mario’s café was situated and they were accompanied by an abundance of flowers and wreathes. Even Mario was asked for an interview for the local newspaper.
It was a few years ago that Mario died and the café was taken over by his son. Things are now a lot quieter around the Ola Café Bistro today, but sometimes one of the Green sons might pay a visit for old time’s sake and would have a nice cosy chat with Mario’s son.
Pictures to Words #9 - Creative Writing