"Nicholas Denmon is the savior of mob fiction."
-Men's Mag Daily
The homes were hemmed in by line upon line of towering white windmills lolling about in circles and catching the wind in their monstrous sails. Addison Yates pumped his pedals with furious abandon, rocketing off Main Street down the dusty and weed-torn lane, slicing through the cornstalks obscuring his view on either side. His breath came out in rasps; his feet pushed the whirling chain quicker in a bid to gather more speed. Clutching the curved handlebars that wrapped downward in his grip and caused him to lean forward, elbows flared out, he shifted his weight to keep his balance. The tires bounced along the beaten and worn dirt path that gave him the most direct path from town to his father’s farm. The wind tousled his straggly brown hair, and he squinted to keep the flecks of dust out of his eyes. Bits of sand were pelting his face, but he didn’t care. Any spots of dirt would blend in perfectly with the twenty-seven freckles he counted there last summer. What he did care about was getting home before his father came in from his work in the fields.
The Yates family always took their dinner meals together. To miss the sacred meal was sure to invite a stern lecture. Even if he were late, his greeting would be a frown and a silent room.
“A family that eats together, stays together,” Mr. Yates was fond of saying. He would tilt his head and hold up his forefinger as he spoke the words, his lips pressed together in a thin line across his wrinkling face. “It’s a matter of what’s important to you. And in the Yates family, family comes first.”
It was amazing what a good night of sleep could do when coupled with a warm shower and some food. He slept well, albeit with a snub-nosed revolver under his pillow. He’d thought about sleeping with the safety off, but a part of him was concerned he might toss or turn the wrong way in his sleep leaving nothing but a mess and a headless corpse on his king size mattress.
It only took one guy to slip past your guards and into your ivory tower to turn your fortress into a tomb. Rafael Rontego had done it once before and it just so happened that the cold-blooded hitman was pissed off at anyone flying the Ciancetta flag.
The Pope pushed his tie up tighter around his neck as the elevator door opened and the three men standing in the iron box, packing curious bulges on their hips and under their jackets, stepped out ahead of him. He knew all three of their names. He knew their mothers; he knew where their kids went to school. Each one had grown up in the neighborhood and each one could be trusted to try their best to protect him.
And maybe against some scrub or wanna-be gangster they could. But not against the best.
Everyone knew Harlan Halifax. In the small town of Trinity, just a cornfield’s length inside of Indiana, his name hung on almost every shop in town. If you were traveling through, you would curiously look past both stoplights in town as you whisked through the minute of your life that you would never remember as your moment in Trinity. But in that moment, you would see Harlan’s Hardware, Harlan’s Feed, Harlan’s Convenience Store, and, if you looked just around the bend, you would catch a glimpse of Harlan’s School of Elementary Education attached to Harlan High.
Even the town bar, Emmitt’s, had a tribute sign to Harlan underneath the cracked and weathered wooden board that hung outside on the corner of Harlan Way and Main Street. It read, in large, carved block letters, “Emmitt’s” and then in smaller, chiseled letters, “Founded by Harlan Halifax: 1973.”
The August winds swept through the cornfields that surrounded the town on either side like rolling waves of green and gold fingers reaching upward beneath a lazy sun. The view stretched onward and toward the horizon, interrupted westward only by a whitewashed barn and a low, wooden house that huddled underneath a gently sloping brown roof, peaking just above the drifts of corn. Eastbound, there was more corn, sloping downward on a modest decline of land, drifting around a small copse of scarlet oaks. Intertwining branches hugged each other, pressing against the blood-red leaves that leapt out of the otherwise monotonous landscape like lost little children.
Beyond the “Bleeding Branches”, as the locals called them, lay another patch of houses.
"Denmon can spin a yarn that will keep you looking over your shoulder."
-Doubleshot Book Reviews
"Nicholas...writes some bad-ass mafia fiction."
-Cosa Nostra News
Copyright Nicholas Denmon. All rights reserved.