ONE OF THE GREATEST SHORT STORIES OF ALL TIME. This is the kind of story that you'll tell your children. And they'll tell their children. And when Scorcese's children hear about it, Robert DeNiro will
One of John Freeman's true masterpieces begins here today. And in this two-part epic, you'll learn the truth about the pain, the peril, and the passion of a troubled Pope in the gritty underworld of Vatican City.
The Pope slammed another clip into his .45 and jumped into the Barracuda. By the time the door had swung shut, he was going 65 down the litter strewn cobblestone streets of Rome. Lighting his Lucky Strike with one hand, he flipped open the glove box, pulled out a fifth of Cutty Sark, and took a long, hard swig.
"Smooth," he groaned through gritted teeth as he overturned a trashcan on a hairpin turn. The crumpled paper and used Kleenex flew from the can like a band of tired old pigeons descending on crumbs.
The afternoon sun glinted off the bottle in the Pope's hand like a diamond in a
belly dancer's navel. The Pope hurled it at the speeding asphalt.
He could see the two Vespas ahead, their drivers looking back at him and giving him the finger. He stuck the .45 out the window and squeezed off a few shots. The Vespas wobbled back and forth as they tried to dodge the bullets. The Pope adjusted his skullcap and squinted at the two figures. He squeezed off two more shots. The two drivers flew off the scooters and hit the ground rolling.
The Pope slammed on his brakes, leaving a trail of black rubber an inch thick behind him.
"No...No please, Your Holiness....don't do it..." The two thugs whimpered through their bloodied noses and loose teeth.
"Where is it?" the Pope barked in low clipped tones.
"But, Your Holiness, I don't know what you're talking about," one of them smirked.
The butt of the .45 came down fast against the hood's jaw, spattering droplets of blood onto the silver Vespa.
"I have no time for party games, boys, now where is it?" He pressed the barrel against the hood's face.
"Please Your Eminence...we...we don't have it...go see the Crab...he knows where it is...go see the Crab..."
The Pope reached under his robe and pulled out a 10,000 lira note. "Fix your friend's face." He made the sign of the
cross. "Go with God." He floored the accelerator and headed south.