$5 Ebook via publisher's website!
Publisher Outskirts Press
$5 Ebook via publisher's website!
Til Death Do Us Part is a story of a bachelor physician. Aaron Kelley, the main character, sees a woman, Maria Beldenado, at an upscale bar he frequents and finally meets her. They fall in love but unfortunately, she is married.
The sun shining brightly made this October day on Sunday morning in Milan warm and pleasant. The chill in the air seemed to disappear. A man sat at a table next to the GalleriaVittorio Emanuele II sipping his cappuccino. He was alone, reading the E Polis Milano the daily newspaper of Milan. He also had a copy of La Gazzetta dello Sport, a popular newspaper covering all the sporting events in Italy and elsewhere. The pigeons were active swirling around and heading toward The Duomo, Milan’s magnificent cathedral; the low pitch of the bells ringing at 10:30. The man gazed at the structure with its 4000 statues on the exterior. He marveled at the fact how its construction began in 1386 and the entire cathedral finally completed with the installation of the main doors in 1944. The 11:00 mass was about to begin with many people entering. The Cardinal Archbishop of Milan always presides at the 11:00 o’clock mass every Sunday and it is well attended. The Ristorante Terraza Aperol made a perfect spot for viewing the Piazza del Duomo. There were many people strolling about this morning, probably because of the clear sky, warm sun and the mass at the Duomo. He remained seated, as he did not care to participate in any religious ceremony. He put down his first paper and picked up his copy of La Gazzetta dello Sport, a paper he enjoyed more than the local/world news. The server came to his table; he ordered another cappuccino.
His phone rang. It wasn’t his cellphone, but a disposable one he carried for different reasons. He would often have private conversations he wished to keep private and untraceable. He reached in his trench coat pocket and saw it was an overseas call. He answered.
“Buongiorno” (Good Morning)
“Buongiorno amico mio” (Good morning my friend)
“Si chiama molto presto. Non abbiamo parlato per qualche tempo.” (You are calling early. We have not spoken for some time)
“Sì lo so.” (Yes, I know)
"Questo deve essere una chiamata importante.” (This must be an important call)
"Vuoi chiamarti se non fosse stato? Tutte le mie chiamate a voi sono importanti." (Would I call you if it wasn’t? All my calls to you are important)
“Lei ha ragione il mio contatto. Appena non ho parlato a voi in qualche tempo."(You are right my Contact. I just have not spoken to you in some time.)
“Sì, e ho un lavoro per voi in Portofino. Possiamo parlare inglese?” (Yes, and I have a job for you in Portofino. Can we speak english?)
“Sì certo.” (Yes, of course)
They had no problem with understanding english. They both studied in the United States and spoke the language fluently.
“So how are things with my Legionnaire friend?” The Contact waited for a reply. There was always a delay in the conversation when speaking on a cellphone and more so overseas with the disposable ones.
“Your Legionnaire friend is just fine, enjoying a nice cappuccino on a bright sunny morning. And my Contact in the United States, it must be going on 4:00 in the morning. How goes it with you?”
Just then, the bells at The Duomo began to make their loud, booming sound at 10:52 announceing a five minute warning of the beginning of the mass making the conversation inaudible. They lasted about three minutes creating a long pause in communication.
“It never fails. Just when I start an important call, something interrupts,” The Legionnarie added.
“Not to worry,” replied The Contact. “We always seem to connect just the same. To answer your question, I am doing fine. Yes, it is exactly 4 a.m. here. I am looking in need of your services. I met a man who has someone in Portofino needing to go on a vacation.” ‘Vacation’ was the code word for making them disappear.
“I think it can be arranged,” The Legionnare said. “Portofino is just three hours away. Give me a time frame. I will put it on my calendar. Tell me about it, I’m sure I can handle it. You know my success rate.”
“Great!” The Contact said, “I knew you could.” He started slowly giving The Legionnaire details as accurately as possible which Aaron had provided. Sometime between the 1st and the 15th of October. The exchange lasted about 20 minutes with a complete understanding of what was to be done. The fee would be $15,000 or €12,000 euros; half paid up front with the remainder paid within 72 hours after completion, both wired through a special code to The Legionnaire’s Swiss bank account.
“Be sure to advise your client what will happen if they do not complete the transaction,” The Legionnaire advised.
“I will,” said The Contact. “I’ll make it very clear. There has not been confusion so far, and I’m sure there’ll not be any misunderstanding in the future. This gentleman has much to lose.”
The discussion between them ended with The Contact saying, “Tutto è chiaro?” (All is Clear?)
“Tutto è chiaro,” replied The Legionnaire. "Sì, mi aspetterà per la chiamata. Addio" (Yes, I will wait for your call. Bye)
The conversation ended. The Legionnaire put his phone away and continued to read La Gazzetta dello Sport. About 10 minutes later the waiter brought the bill. He put his newspaper away, paid, and started to stroll to his apartment on the Via dei Mercanti.
Approaching his flat, he checked his locked Verde Oliva Fiat Sport 500 parked in front. He had a great affection for the car and especially the color. He would plan to drive to the country later in the afternoon and to Portofino when the time came. He would wait for the final word from The Contact. He entered the building, went up the stairs even though there was an elevator, but he liked to stay in shape, so he always used the stairs.
Entering his flat, he sensed the warmth of the sun filtering through the windows. He took off his trench coat, walked down the hall toward the bedroom. Just inside the room on the left was his closet. He opened the door. On the back wall there were some moldings covering the corner edges of the wall as well as behind each shelf. The wall looked completely normal. The center shelf had only light-weight clothing stored on it, socks, handkerchiefs, underclothes. He reached, removed the clothing to another area, lifted up on the shelf and removed it to expose the shelf supports. The right bracket acted as a small lever, when raised, not removed, releasing a sliding door. It looked completely unnoticeable, but no one except The Legionnaire would know of it. It was inconspicuous if anyone were to look in. Behind the moveable panel, unnoticeable to the naked eye, he would keep personal and private possessions. He didn’t like some things in open view. “Out of sight; out of mind” was his motto. Everything looked indistinguishable and matching. He lifted the shelf, raised the lever, and it released the plain wall panel allowing the door to slide open.
He reached in. There was a sizeable amount of cash in U.S. Dollars and € Euros. The one item he wanted right now was his Beretta 92FS 9MM pistol. He hadn’t used it for some time, but knew what someone meant when they used the word “vacation.” The Italians never used the word “vacation,” as in the United States; it was “holiday” in Italy. He liked to go to the firing range for practice and keep his proficiency but hadn’t been there for some time. He had friends who would go, meeting them and enjoy an hour or so of pistol practice. He liked this weapon for several reasons. First of all, it’s made in Italy. It’s double/single action, external manual safety, docking lever. It was lightweight, made from aircraft-quality aluminum alloy. He also had a silencer when necessary. He decided to go to the range and practice his skills.
He closed the panel, replaced the shelf on the brackets and put the clothing back where it was before. He changed into clothing more suitable, took a box of shells, his Beretta, packed them in a briefcase, and went down to his car. He locked the briefcase in the trunk, got in, and headed to the firing range.
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I am a retired airline pilot of 35 years who completed my college education in 2009 at Augsburg College, Minneapolis, Minnesota with a cum laude degree in creative writing at the age of 69. I love books written for quick reading. I do not like long introductions, pages of acknowledgements or long boring prologues followed by long, long, chapters. Cut to the chase! I like to build the story through dialogue. The characters are minimal with names you can pronounce. The only book I've published so far is, "Til Death Do Us Part." I have received rave reviews and comments from the people who have read it. They all say, "I couldn't put it down." Try it.