|This Must Be The Place
Author: Anne Oying PM
Follow Fredo into the world of the "terminally fatal". Laugh with him as he is reunited with lost family and friends. Wonder at the ghostly children which haunt him. And help him warn Michael before it's too late.Rated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural/Family - Words: 1,700 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 2 - Published: 05-07-11 - id: 6971165
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Woe is me...
A/N: Just something I want to give a try... let me know if it works, I'm very uncertain...
Lake Tahoe wasn't at its best that day.
In all fairness, it didn't really have much time to prepare, it was just after dawn when Fredo Corleone and his young nephew were preparing to rob the rich water of its precious silver.
"You know when I was your age – I went out fishing with all my brothers – and my father – and everybody. And I was, I was the only one who caught a fish. Nobody else could catch one except me. You know how I did it? Every time I put the line in the water I said a Hail Mary – and every time I said a Hail Mary I caught a fish. You believe that? It's true – that's the secret. You wanna try it when we go out on the lake?"
If it's alright with you I would like to stop for a moment and remember this. The excitement of acquainting myself with my nephew – at last – and he seemed to like me too. He talked to me – told me things – things about Michael. I was glad that he felt he could confide in me, of course, but rebuked him whenever Michael's name slipped carelessly past his lips. I had personally learned the consequences of a loose tongue, and preferred that my nephew learn second-hand.
God, I was so grateful to Mikey, forgiving me like that. I don't know if I was naïve, ignorant or stupid – or maybe all three. Maybe I just wanted to believe that he had forgiven me - wanted to convince myself that my kid brother was in there somewhere – hiding behind the coldness and the murders. I don't know. Maybe I just wanted to have a family again.
Well, anyway, I was stupid enough to go out on that Goddamn boat all alone with that Al Neri. I think that I knew I was a dead man. Deep, deep, deep down, but I pushed it further down. Maybe it was because Michael was so like Pop. Mama once told me that I was the sort of child that Italians dreamed of; dutiful and loyal to his parents. Maybe it's because I was a gullible little prick.
And I had promised little Anthony that I'd catch him a fish.
"Hail Mary – full of grace – the lord is with thee – blessed art thou amongst woman – and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary – mother of God – pray for us sinners -"
He didn't even let me finish my Hail Mary.
One thing about bullets, if one gets in your brain, you're gonna be feeling it for days.
"Argh! Son of a – ugh!" I rubbed my forehead ferociously, "Goddamn," I didn't suspect anything at this point, my naïve mind wrote the pain and disorientation off as a hangover. Sure, I had this weird feeling in my gut, but I presumed the empty, floating sensation was the product of a night of evacuating my stomach contents.
Yawning, I picked myself up and looked around.
The urine coloured walls and bland posters suggested that I was in a waiting room of some sort.
Did I have to get my stomach pumped or something? Must have been some wild party, I grinned impishly and collapsed into an unsurprisingly uncomfortable plastic chair to wait.
For what, I didn't know yet. This incident isn't really the best case against my charges of naïveté.
The empty room perhaps should have unnerved me. That fuzzy haze that surrounded everything should have worried me. A normal person would have been disturbed by the weird whispering type sound that fluctuated between octaves around the deserted room. I shooed all doubts away, obviously I was there for a reason… maybe someone had gotten hurt… maybe I was that someone.
Well, anyway, I sat there like the idiot I am - was - twiddling my thumbs and occasionally rubbing my forehead which had gotten itchy as well as painful.
After an eternity of thumb twiddling and reciting random quotes in my head a nurse poked her out of a door.
"Yup," I nodded my head and stood up, swayed a little and grabbed the chair for support.
"Whoa there, easy now," she rushed over and supported me, "It's okay, it's to be expected," she murmured soothingly, practically carrying me into the room from which she'd emerged.
"Dr. Charcot, your ten o'clock is here."
"Finally," a voice had grumbled, "Set him down there, nurse."
I was dropped onto a gurney and promptly fastened in by the nimble fingered nurse.
"Ah, Mr. Corleone, bonjour," he greeted pleasantly but fakely in a faded French accent, "Or should I say, ciao," he chuckled haughtily.
I glared back at him, I knew his kind well. The kind who rolled their eyes whenever they heard an Italian name and muttered another mob thing to the nurse when they thought you weren't paying attention.
He glared back, "I am Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot," he extended his hand as chuckled as I struggled against my bonda to shake it.
"Okay, listen Dr. Charcoal, could you please just write me a prescription, I've got a killer headache-"
"Indeed you have," he chuckled again in his haughty French way, pulling out a drill and a pair of forceps from one of his deceptively small pockets.
"Don't worry, this will help," he grinned wickedly and lodged the drill into my forehead.
"Hey, what are you - Oh, God!" I screamed and thrashed around as he manually drilled a hole into my head.
"Hold still Mr. Corleone! You are making this much more awkward than it needs to be."
"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know I was making this uncomfortable for you!" I snapped at him before realising something, "Huh..?" this maniac was drilling into my skull and… I couldn't feel anything… well, I could feel the drill tunnelling its way through my brain, but it wasn't painful. It felt weird and violating, but not painful… not even a pinch of discomfort…
"That's right, Mr. Corleone," the psycho beamed at me, enjoying himself far too much.
"What the fuck!" I demanded, a bit weaker than before
"Language, Mr. Corleone," his face screwed up as he forcefully stabbed the drill out though the back of my head.
The small ping of metal hitting linoleum sounded and prompted the nurse to scrabble about on the floor to retrieve the fallen object.
"Here it is, Dr. Charcot," the nurse held up something small and bloody for the good doctor to inspect.
"Merci," he held the thing in his forceps and smiled manically, "J'adore ce emploi," he breathed, trying not to let me hear, "Well Mr. Corleone, you sure have been a busy boy," he winked at me, his spirits had been lifted spectacularly by drilling a hole through my head, "Ah, .45 ACP, inspired choice," the doctor mumbled as he squinted at the small object.
"But, that's a type of bullet…" I had said. Maybe I was slow and stupid like everyone said.
The doctor sighed, "Look, Mr. Corleone, there's really no easy was to say this…," he put a pudgy hand on top of my bony trembling one, "I like to refer to people with your condition as… terminally fatal," he allowed himself a sympathetic chuckle.
I had scoffed, "Don't be stupid, you can't be…," I had stared at the chubby old man as he smiled sadly, hoping that I'd got it.
"So… that's why you could drill through my head…," I had mumbled stupidly, I would like to believe that I had never been that oblivious in real life and that the drill through the brain had decreased my IQ… drastically.
"Yes, Mr Corleone," he suppressed an eye roll, "That would be why. Nurse, could you bandage his head please, he's ruining my floor."
That's when I released that I wasn't on a gurney, but a sort of massage table with wheels, and that a small trickle of blood was dripping from my head through the hole in the table onto the linoleum.
"But… dead people can't bleed," I said kind of arrogantly, as if I was explaining everything to the doctor.
"On the contrary, Mr. Corleone, you'll find that we dead can do a lot of things," he said imperiously before turning his back to me to write some information down and bottle the bullet.
The nurse wrapped my head up like a Christmas present and forced a chunky pink pill down my throat.
I lay there in silence, shock I guess. I didn't argue – I hardly ever argued, I was too docile and accepting back then – I just stared blankly ahead and thought.
I realised then that Michael was not like Pop. Everyone said he was - but he wasn't. Pop would never have killed me.
A/N: I got the idea for this from a most awesome review from a mysterious anonymous reviewer on my other Fredo related Godfather ficlet. Hilary suggested that I expand my made up scene in it and.. well, the idea for this story was born, somehow :\
Who is Dr. Charcot? I looked up famous doctors and chose this guy because he was a renowned neurologist back in the 19th century and Fredo's "injury" was brain related to put it lightly. But seriously, this guy was a genius, he has all kinds of diseases named after him and he was really good at hypnotism and stuff O_o
I stole some dialogue from the film... shh!
Also, I'm not exactly the world's foremost expert on guns and bullets and such but after some digging around I decided that Al shot Fredo with a... *checks* M1911 pistol for which the .45 ACP was used for... I think... correct me if I'm wrong, I don't want to sound too much like an idiot ;P