All I could see was the dark colour of the cloth in front of my eyes. Two very strong hands grabbed both of my arms and shoved me into a car. My heart was thumping in my chest and sweat trickled down my neck. Had I known wanting an exclusive from the Mob's boss would entail a grizzly ride-along, I would have written a fluff piece about how cute kittens are. But I was a Daily Prophet journalist! Our job is to bring you the best news and exclusives no one else could find on this good earth. So, I kept quiet and prayed silently that the headlines tomorrow wouldn't be 'Journalist found dead in a ditch behind The Ice Cream Parlour'.
The people in the car didn't say much. It was eerily quiet and I could feel my muscles bunching up in tension. I kept on asking myself how I ended up here, riding in between two burly Italian men with my eyes blindfolded. I could say something inappropriate here but the Daily Prophet is a classy paper. So I will try my best not to make any rude puns. Anyway, the car ride took around thirty minutes. For all I know, we could be going round and round but when the car stopped, I knew we have reached our destination.
My heels clicked on the cement pavement. Rough hands pulled me forward, and once I felt the blasting cool air, I knew I was inside a building. The very same rough hands pushed me down on what felt like a wooden chair. My blindfold was taken off immediately and I was momentarily disoriented. But when I finally regained my composure, I was surprised to see my surroundings. I was in a very opulent mansion and before me sat the most infamous Mob boss there was, Vito Corleone.
Vito Corleone was the head of the Corleone crime family, the most powerful Mafia family in New York City. He was an ambitious Sicilian immigrant who moved to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and built a Mafia empire, retaining, and strictly adhering to, his own personal code of honour. He oversaw a business founded on gambling, bootlegging, and union corruption but he was also known as a generous man who lived by a strict moral code of loyalty to friends and, above all, family. At the same time, he was known as a traditionalist who demanded respect commensurate with his status; even his closest friends referred to him as "Godfather" or "Don Corleone" rather than "Vito".
I respectfully greeted Don Corleone and proceeded with my interview. I wasn't given a lot of time. After all, in the Don's own words, time is money. In that short thirty minutes I spent with him, I found myself in awe. Here sat a man who wouldn't hesitate to kill me if I were to offend him in any way but he was also a family man. He talked about his sons and daughter like they meant the world to him. He confused and scared me at the same time.
Don Corleone ran his, for the lack of better word, crime ring with the precision of an army major. Traitors were executed, soldiers were commemorated. Everything was done in an orderly fashion, precise and traditional. In the Corleone family, the children must kiss their mama good night before bed and they must address their father as sir. It would seem like a normal family if not for the hidden guns underneath their trench coats.
I jotted down everything Don Corleone was saying, even getting an exclusive quote from the Mob Boss about his alleged illicit activities but in truth, I was studying the man rather than the enigma. In my very short observation, I deduced that Vito Corleone was a man that would keep you guessing until the day he died. He was a man that nothing could slip pass him without him noticing. Both of these qualities made him a most dangerous man indeed.
As soon as I closed my notebook, Don Corleone stood up, clearly an act of dismissal. He thanked me for giving him a chance to tell his side of the story. He extended his hand. I looked at it as if it was a Grindylow from hell. He gave me a smile, gently took my hand and kissed it. He didn't let it go but moved closer to me, "One day, and that day may never come... I may call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, accept this, as a gift."
In my hand lay a single rose, blood red with thorns still on the stem. I swallowed hard and nodded. It was the only thing I could do. I rose from my chair, waited patiently for the two burly men to blindfold me again and walked out of the mansion. It took around thirty minutes as well for them to drop me off at the same curb they picked me up. I got what I set out to do, an exclusive from Vito Corleone. But when I left that mansion, I had this sinking feeling that maybe one day; I will meet the Godfather again.
If you are interested in reading my exclusive with Don Corleone, don't forget to get a copy of the Daily Prophet next month. You won't be disappointed.
Kay of Kent