Fishbones (c) Jisuk Cho
Ferris knew that something was wrong the minute he spotted Demos.
The emaciated Italian was cradling a cup of steaming espresso and gazing vacantly out the window. Maria's Diner was a lively establishment. Waitresses bustled between the tables and glassware clinked as a guest spontaneously announced a toast. However, Demos remained oblivious to the laughter around him. He appeared to be completely absorbed in thought. Dark shadows had developed under his eyes, which suggested a combination of worldliness and weariness that was uncommon among men his age. The Giorgetti family had experienced a drastic shift in power over the last four years. Demos accepted his ever-growing responsibilities without complaint. He had been groomed for this line of work from the time he was a child. It was in his blood; he was born to kill.
Ferris silently understood his best friend's struggles. Demos and Ferris had experienced the joys, heartbreaks, and fears of adolescence together. They had narrowly escaped death several times during their teenage years. Demos had irrevocably changed his Jewish friend's life, forever. The two planned to either grow old or die young together.
Ferris passed several faux granite tables before sliding into a red, patent leather booth at the back of the diner. Demos acknowledged him with a lifeless smile. His untouched espresso had grown cold. Ferris's dark eyebrows involuntarily quirked upward. He wasn't overly concerned by his friend's baggy eyes. The dark circles had gradually become a permanent feature against Demos's ghostly white skin. No, it was something entirely different that alarmed him. It was a red flag that screamed “bad news” louder than a blaring ambulance siren.
( Read more...Collapse )