Author: stress PM
In 1921 New York, the Manhattan Mob and the Brooklyn Boys ruled the city. After a brief war there was peace but it was never enough to create trust. All it took was one night – and one gunshot – to shatter that illusion. [a take on Romeo & Juliet]Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Jack K. & Spot C. - Chapters: 23 - Words: 54,751 - Reviews: 127 - Favs: 22 - Follows: 13 - Updated: 02-03-07 - Published: 08-31-02 - id: 944056
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Disclaimer: I do not own any of the original Newsies characters mentioned in this piece; I do, however, stake claim to Jess Kelly, Frankie Kelly, Reagan Malloy and a whole mess of other characters (such as Johnny Conlon and the Finn brothers) that will most likely pop up throughout this work.
"In 1899 the streets of New York City echoed with the voice of newsies, peddling the newspapers of Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst and other giants of the newspaper world. On every street corner you saw them bringing you the news for a penny a pape. Poor orphans and runaways, the newsies were a ragged army without a leader until one day all that changed..."
—Racetrack Higgins, 1899 (Newsies)
More than twenty years has passed since that time. In the year 1921 of our Lord, those same newsies, once poor and ragged, were the strong, the powerful, the elite—the Manhattan Mob. Under the control of Jack 'Cowboy' Kelly, these gangsters ran the seedy Underworld of the Lower East Side. Prostitution, gambling, booze, numbers… nothing was too down or too dirty for these street-bred men.
But, of course, they were not alone. During this era of Prohibition, a rival gang (Boss Conlon's Brooklyn Boys), suspicious neighbors and an occasional crooked law official or two either paved the way or set up obstacles for the Mob. But, what else would you expect during these fast and loose times?
No alliance is too strong, no bond too great. The only thing that is worth anything is money…
Money. Cash. Moolah. Bread. Banknotes. Green. Dough. Kale. Mazuma. Scratch. Voot.
Whatever you want to call it, they want it. They crave it. They live it. They have it.
But it's never enough. Even the notorious mobster wants more. And will do anything to get it.
There was only one thing that might get in the way of all their petty desires and dire ambitions—family. Not only do these street rats turned mobsters consider their own ties enough to make them family but many of them have their own blood-kin to support. They justify their illegal actions for that family—explain away all their wrong-doings in the name of a wife and a child; at the same time, they all deny their lust of wealth in favor of that family.
The heads of these respective gangs were no different: Jack Kelly had a daughter; Spot Conlon had a son. If you had the opportunity to ask either of these men, both would answer that family was the most important thing to either of them—even more than the lure of ill-gotten money. But, would they agree when everything—their reputation, their business, their wealth—was at stake?
All it took was one night. One stupid argument. One accidental gunshot. One rash decision. One notion of revenge. One chance to make the right choice.
And that is where this story begins…
ETA: 10.19.06: Obviously, I'm still working on this story. Now that it's within five or six chapters of the end, and I actually know what's happening, I redid the prologue to match up with the direction the story eventually went. If you are new to the story, this doesn't mean anything -- go on and read, and enjoy! Otherwise, you might want to just read this. It is slightly different.