Ringing. The phone was ringing. Was this another part of the vivid dream about the mob Marty had been having? No, of course not, Marty had just fallen asleep waiting for his chicken at KFC again. The ringing must have been someone at the drive-through window. It just kept ringing. Marty found this to be very strange, as the place had only a few visitors ordering chicken this late in the afternoon, and only one man was working at the register and making chicken.
It had been a stressful day for Marty. On top of the constant social pressures of being a very religious 65 year old man still living with his mother, he had learned his father was dying and had only a few days to live. Marty, only allowed to see his father once a year, was required to wear a suit to visit him in the hospital. This caused many awkward looks from the few patrons at the local KFC.
Tonight, however, these stares did not bother him, as his father had left him a haunting last wish before he left. Marty was to become the patriarch of “The Family”. He had been told it would be no easy journey, not only because he was a 65 year old kind hearted religious man with back and knee problems, but also because of his two younger brothers who were young, sprightly, and ready to kill for the title of patriarch of “The Family”. Marty’s father had warned him that his younger brothers would do anything they can once he was dead to keep Marty from becoming patriarch of “The Family”, and the only way to stop them was probably to kill them and their families. When Marty questioned this, his father redressed the issue by telling him he could get away with just killing the brothers and not telling the families who did it.
“What am I going to do?” Marty said to himself as he fondled the golden cross necklace his father had given him. “I can’t kill another man in cold blood; it's against everything I believe as a very religious man!”
There was the distinct sound of several car doors slamming outside. Two men in suits walked through the front door, ushered all the other customers out of the establishment, and moved to stand by each exit.
“All clear, Boss,” one of the men said into his wristwatch. “He’s sitting at the table on the right. No sir, not that one, the other one. No....He’s the only one wearing a suit.” The man was getting quite frustrated with whoever was on the other end of the watch conversation.
Two more men in suits walked through the door. Behind them was a shorter man in his early twenties wearing sweats. “Marty!” The man exclaimed. “I’ve been waiting so long to meet you! Please excuse my goons, they follow me everywhere. Don’t want me getting shot or anything do we?” The man had the thickest Jersey accent Marty had ever heard.
“Who are you?” Marty asked, wondering if this would interfere with his KFC experience.
“Marty! You don’t recognize your own little Brother, Brian?” Marty’s little brother said.
“Oh!” Marty exclaimed. “Dad said you’d be taller.”
Brian angrily walked over to Marty’s table and slammed a shiny revolver on the table in front of Marty. “I wasn’t gonna do this, Marty. I was content to just shoot you and move on to find our other brothers and shoot them too. But no. Now you insulted me. Now I’m challenging you to an old-fashioned-western-style-quick-draw-duel.”
“Oh why I could never shoot another man in cold blood. That’s against my religious beliefs!” Marty said.
“Ok. I can fix that.” Marty’s brother then pulled out his own shiny revolver and shot the man carrying Marty’s chicken to the counter for him to pick up in the foot. “There. I’ll shoot everyone else in this restaurant in the foot if you don’t pick up that shiny revolver and participate in my western shootout.”
Suddenly there was a voice in Marty’s head that was not his. “Marty, it’s me, the ghost of Al Capone, famous Chicago mobster during the prohibition! Pick up the gun Marty. Pick it up and shoot him in the knees and then run for the kitchen. You don’t want to kill him quite yet. Plus, if you shoot his knees before he says go, he won’t even be able to hobble after you into the kitchen which is where you’re going to run after you shoot.” The voice said.
“But ghost of Al Capone, I’m very religious! I can’t just shoot him and leave him on the floor with large holes in his knees never to walk again.”
“Sure you can! I’m the ghost of a famous mobster and I’m still here. Not to step on any religions here, but you’re also going to be a famous gangster soon, so you’ll probably just end up haunting a KFC like me.”
Though he was still unsure of what to make of this, Marty did recognize the danger to his life, so he picked up the gun and shot Brian in the knees. As the goons in the room ran to help their leader, Marty made a break for the kitchen, picking up his chicken by the counter on the way. “Alright, Al!” Marty shouted once inside. “I shot his knees and ran like you said, now what?”
“My name isn’t Al.” said a well dressed man standing behind Marty by the door.
“Oh, hello there, son. I was talking to the ghost of Al Capone that haunts your KFC here. You haven’t seen him have you?” Marty asked.
“Wait,” said the well dressed man, “are you Marty? Your hospital visitor’s pass says Marty but you know how accurate those can be.” This man had a very trustworthy southern accent.
“Huh? Oh yeah. You wouldn’t happen to know a way out of here past those goons outside would you?” Marty asked.
A look of recognition passed over the well dressed man’s face almost imperceptibly. Marty did not notice at all and listened to the well dressed man. “Ok, so first you’re gonna want to take a left at the first door down that hallway there. That will take you to the freezer. Then, you want to open all the boxes and dump everything onto the floor. Once you have this completed, come back here and the back door will be unlocked. I assure you this is the only way to unlock the door and the keys on my keychain are fake.”
Marty, being a kindhearted 65 year old man, trusted the young man who was very well dressed to be managing a KFC. When Marty looked down the hallway, he noticed two doors perfectly even with each other. Marty, being very intelligent, went into the door that said “FREEZER” in large black letters. Once inside, Marty began dumping all the frozen chicken onto the floor. There was so much chicken in the freezer Marty was sure his younger brother would find him before his task was complete.
After about five minutes of dumping chicken on the floor and three of breathing heavily against the cool wall of the freezer afterwards, Marty had finally cleared the shelves of any trace of chicken that might be keeping the door locked. Marty sprinted out of the room as fast as his 65 year old legs could carry him and back to the kitchen to find the well dressed man standing in the corner with his brother in his arms.
“Hello, Marty. We’ve been expecting you.” The two men said in unison.
“What’s going on?” Marty asked. “Are you two in cahoots?”
“Yes, Marty, we are together. I’m betting by now you’ve probably figured out that dumping all that chicken onto the floor didn’t unlock the back door and that I stole these keys that do actually open the back door there. What you probably did not figure out by us being in cahoots is that I am actually the middle brother, Allen. Baby brother and I here came to our senses and thought we’d be better as a team, me handling the smarts and him handling the shooting people. You see, it's a perfect harmony, and it doesn’t involve you or that father of ours.”
Marty had no way out. He knew it. He knew the goons had every exit covered, and he knew only an outrageous, insane, heat of the moment plan could save him. Marty had no idea how to be outrageous or insane or any of those words the youth used to describe things nowadays. Marty did, however, know how to throw chicken legs. He picked up the nearest drumstick and threw it with all the force a 65 year old man can muster.
The drumstick hit the middle brother in the chest lightly and fell into the lap of the younger brother. “That the best you got?” Brian said from the arms of Allen.
“Nope.” Marty said simply. Marty, being the intelligent man he is, had thought up a plan as the chicken was sailing through the air. Marty picked up the bag of flour on the counter and threw it on the ground, creating an opaque cloud of flour dust all through the room. He then ripped his outer shirts revealing a black tank top and rubbed some chicken grease on his face for a Rambo-esque effect. Maybe Marty could do this. Maybe Marty could be the patriarch of “The Family” his father always wanted him to be.
Marty realized he had little time to lose. He searched all of the cubby holes nearby for any items he could use to defend himself. Reaching the end of the line of stainless steel counter in the kitchen, Marty located an item he knew would save the day. Marty dove gracefully under the counter and grabbed a giant super soaker water gun. Seeing the cloud start to clear, Marty tossed another bag of flour towards the sound of his brothers’ coughs. He had a limited amount of time before the cloud cleared once again. Seizing this window of opportunity, Marty dunked the gun’s fill tank into the hot frying oil. He was ready.
“Alright, come on out now. You bought yourself a little extra time, now come eat some of this hot lead I prepared for you.” Allen said as the flour dust cleared.
“Eat this!” Marty shouted from atop the counter. He squeezed the trigger on the squirt gun and let the oil fly.
“AAARRGGHHH!” Shouted the brothers in unison, boiling oil filling their noses with it's scent and melting their delicate corneas at the same time. Hearing the sudden commotion and screams from their leaders, all of the goons outside came busting through the door, guns ready.
“Haha!” Marty shrieked from his counter top. “Have more frying juice!” he screamed as he hosed down any goon daring to enter the doorway with a healthy artery clogging dose of steaming vegetable oil.
Feeling the thick plastic beginning to melt in his grasp from the heat of the oil, Marty gave the gun one last pump for good measure and fired onto the pile of bodies of the men who had stopped coming through the doorway several minutes before. Dropping the gun, he took the keys to the back door off his unconscious brother’s waist. He quickly unlocked the door and ran into the parking lot, only to find a slick black limousine running outside with a driver awaiting him.
“Marty, I presume,” The driver said to Marty. “hop in back, you’ll find someone waiting to see you.”
Trusting this well dressed limousine driver, Marty opened the back door and slid into the seat, finally resting his sore back and knees. He picked up a bottle of wine conveniently placed on the floor next to him and drank straight from the bottle.
“Hello, son.” A man in the next seat said smugly.
Marty nearly jumped out of the seat at the sound of his father’s voice, spilling half the bottle of wine down his greasy black shirt. “Dad! What are you doing here? I thought you were sick and on your death bed in the hospital!” Marty exclaimed.
“Oh, yes, that. Turns out I just had a terrible case of the sniffles. Now, have you done what I asked? Are their families dead and the bodies at the bottom of a large river?”
“Dad! You know we agreed not to kill the families. I did take care of Allen and Brian back there. Whew, was that one a doozy! Them young whippersnappers almost had me back there, but I got them with the old ‘make a big cloud of flour and boil their eyes out with hot oil’ trick. Pretty smart, eh?”
“Huh? Brian and Allen? Oh, Right! My other sons! I never knew they had names. Nonetheless, I’m sure you’ll enjoy our next stop. I think you’ll find the place quite familiar!” Marty’s father said.
They must have drove for at least five minutes before reaching the warehouse that was their apparent destination. Upon arrival, all the men inside stood and saluted Marty’s father. “Gentlemen!” The father shouted. “Do not salute to me, as I am no longer your leader. I am here to tell you that this man, my first and favorite son, is here to take my place as patriarch of ‘The Family’!” All the men in the room cheered and celebrated for their new leader.
“Wait,” Marty said to his father. “This place seems familiar. The four walls, the flat floor, the square windows! This is it! This is the place I grew up in as a child!”
“Yes, Marty, this is the place you grew up in as a child. That was before me and your mother fought, and before she said those things about my choices in hairstyles that caused me to have a string of other marriages consisting of seventeen different women. However, your mother was my favorite, and I ask one last thing of you before I walk out the door unprotected and get lynched by an angry mob for my crimes against humanity and end up haunting a KFC late in the afternoon as any good mob boss should. I ask that you take care of your mother for me. Bring her back here, show her the business, tell her stories, and keep her going for a little while longer. Promise me this one thing, and I will give you this golden cross necklace that I stole from a catholic priest who had wronged me in some obscure way a few years back.” Explained Marty’s father.
“But, didn't you already give me the golden cross necklace signaling me as the patriarch of ‘The Family’ earlier?” Marty asked, pulling out his own exact replica of the necklace in his father’s grasp.
“Oh, that old thing? Nah. That's a fake. I found that in a box of Pope-Os that I also took from that priest that wronged me obscurely a few years back. Man, was he into some weird stuff, let me tell you,” Marty’s father said, laughing. “Any-who, here. You take this necklace and I’ll run off out that door over there and leave you to it. Good luck, son. And remember, never let that mother of yours run off and get not taken care of or something. You promised. And if you need any help, that pesky ghost of Al Capone should still be stuck at that KFC I picked you up at, so just ask him!” He finished as he walked out the door, leaving Marty to commit his own crimes against humanity and find his own KFC to haunt someday.