The Hiatus

The Social Club is dark and empty, with no trace of the police raid just a few hours earlier. A key unlocks the side door and Tony comes in quietly, using his cell phone to light the way. He heads upstairs quietly to the poker room, and once inside he pushes the table off the rug and rolls up the carpet revealing a safe in the floor.

Tony spins the combination to open it and pulls out stacks of one hundred dollar bills, stuffing the cash into his coat. He closes the safe, but then stops for a moment as a smile overtakes his face. He walks over to the bathroom and emerges, scribbling on a piece of paper. He puts the note inside the safe, locks it and puts the rug and poker table back in place.

TONY: Fuck you, Vito.

Airplanes, one after another, roar into the morning sky at Philadelphia International Airport. Inside Joe’s Diner, just off I-95, the television screen plays the morning news. The familiar, red BREAKING NEWS bar flashes across the screen.

REPORTER: “Major mob news in South Philadelphia. Salvatore Costa, reputed boss of the Philadelphia crime family, was executed last night. The Gentle Don was shot multiple times in front of his home in the upscale Packer Estates neighborhood.
News footage of Costa’s home, surrounded by police and media runs over the reporter’s voice.

REPORTER: Costa’s murder leaves a power void in the crime family, which police expect to be filled by one of these two alleged capos within the organization:

The television’s split screen feature shows mugshots of Tony and Vito. The reporter continues the story.

REPORTER: Tony ‘The Tiger’ Carto or Vito “The Libido” Notelli. More details later.

Billy the Cop enters the Diner and walks to a corner booth and slides in across from Tony and Jimmy.

BILLY THE COP: I’m gonna make this quick, because if I’m seen with you guys, my pension is history. The Feds are involved. They questioned Vito, and he’s pointing the finger at you.

TONY: Shocker.

BILLY: Bottom line, the Feds need someone to go down for this, and we all know what they’re capable of. So the heat is on.

Tony pushes a piece of paper across the table to Billy.

TONY: The Feds will need this.

Billy looks at the paper and slips it in his pocket.

BILLY: I’ll do what I can.

TONY: We’re going on a little hiatus, I’ll be in touch.

BILLY: Be careful.

Billy slides out of the booth and disappears.

Los Angeles International Airport is the fifth busiest airport in the world, handling over 85 million passengers a year.  LAX, as it’s better known, serves as the primary travel hub in the western United States, eclipsed in volume in the entire country by only Atlanta’s Hartfield-Jackson International.

An airbus descends from the sky as the sun rises across the Pacific Ocean. Tony Carto is in town, and both his and his son’s lives are about to be changed forever.

Tony and Jimmy emerge from the tunnel into a mass of humanity inside LAX.  Underneath a huge sign that A young woman jumps into her lover’s arms.  A gay couple kisses on the lips.  Welcome to LA.

Tony and Jimmy gaze out the windows as they cruise past LA landmarks Hollywood Boulevard, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, The Capitol Records Building and The Hollywood Bowl.


The Town Car pulls up. Uzi peeks through the blinds, then closes them quickly.


Tony knocks on the door.

ANTHONY: Uzi, I’m with a girl in here, can you come back later?

TONY:  It’s your father, open up.

The door opens. Anthony is surprised.

ANTHONY:  Dad, what are you doing here?  Jimbo, come in.

They go inside.


ANTHONY:  What are you guys doing out here?

TONY:  You sent us an invitation to your play, remember?

ANTHONY:  Yes, but you never responded.

JIMMY:  Well, here we are!

ANTHONY:  You’re not in trouble, are you?

TONY:  No, we came out for a visit and to see you in your show. Now, show us around this place. It’s nicer than I expected; looks brand new!

ANTHONY:  It is, come on, I’ll introduce you to some friends.


They enter the courtyard where people swim, barbecue and enjoy the sun.

ANTHONY:  They just finished building it six months ago. It has a
pool, a sun deck, a barbecue pit, a full gym, a laundry facility. They’re finishing the parking garage, so I’ll have my own personal parking spot soon.

JIMMY:  Big time!

TONY:  Nice.

They walk over to Steph, who is barbecuing. She’s excited to see Anthony.

STEPH:  Hi Anthony, what’s up?

ANTHONY:  My father and my cousin Jimmy just came in from Philly.

STEPH:  Great, hi I’m Steph!

TONY:  Nice to meet you.


STEPH:  You guys hungry? Burger, hot dog? Tofu burger?

We hear Ricky’s voice.

RICKY:  Don’t give my tofu burger to anyone!

Ricky, wearing a bikini, comes over.

RICKY:  Hey Anthony, whatcha doing?

ANTHONY:  Ricky, meet my Dad and my cousin Jimmy.

RICKY:  Very nice to meet you.

TONY:  Nice to meet you, Miss.

Ricky blushes, then turns to Jimmy, fanning himself.

RICKY:  Who’s the stallion?

Ricky extends his hand for Jimmy to kiss. Jimmy awkwardly grabs Ricky’s pinky and shakes it quickly.

JIMMY:  Jimmy, very pleased to meet you.

RICKY:  Look at these three Steph. I could eat them up with a spoon!

ANTHONY:  Relax Ricky, we only came to say hello.

Uzi spots Anthony at the pool and comes over.

UZI:  Anthony! Where’s my rent?!

Everyone looks at Anthony.

ANTHONY:  (embarrassed)  I’ll have it tomorrow, Uzi, I promise.

TONY:  Who the hell are you?

UZI:  I’m the building manager, who are you?

TONY:  I’m his father.

UZI:  Well, he is late with his rent every month–

Tony grabs Uzi by the throat and lifts him off the ground.

TONY:  Nobody talks to my son like that.  Why don’t you cool off until you learn how to treat people with a little respect?
Tony drops Uzi in the pool. Everyone stares.

TONY:  How much does he owe you?

UZI:  A thousand dollars.

TONY:  Jimmy, pay him.

Jimmy pulls out a wad of hundreds and throws them at Uzi’s face.  The money floats in the pool and Uzi grabs the bills, one by one.

TONY:  You belittle my son again, and I’ll barbecue your face.


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