Anilio "Shylock" Vigori
1920's Mafia Bookie
“Made Man” Made Vampire, Part 1 of 2
By Theodore Feldman
Monster Monthly, 2009’Today our digging has uncovered something all our readers have wanted to see for a long time now. These creatures of the night have been just outside the reach of our investigators. Always one step ahead, these fanged feeders have forced our fact finders to forgo the truth for too long. Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, vampires. Our guest, Shylock (real name is unknown to preserve anonymity), was born in 1897, and doesn’t look a day over 23, he sparkles in the sun, can’t be seen in mirrors, and feeds on the blood of us normal humans to survive.
Ted: So, Shylock, tell us, what about a vampire in today’s culture is true or false?
Shylock: Well, for starters, we burst into flame when we’re exposed to sunlight. I suppose there’s some sort of sparkle right before, but I’ve never been around to find out. Second, we can look at ourselves in mirrors; just not very clearly, it takes a bit of willpower for us to look clear. It’s kind of like looking at a person through an out of focus camera. And lastly, we do in fact drink blood, normal food is tasteless and holds no nourishment, but it’s nothing compared to a nice blond. (He flashes a frightening smirk showing off one of his long fangs). You look a bit scared there Ted, (he laughs), don’t worry I just ate.
T: (it was at this point I scooted my chair about a foot away.) So… You tell us you were born in 1897?
S: Yes, I was born July 7th 1897. I don’t remember much of my mortal childhood anymore. It was standard and boring. Mostly I remember the 20’s (he says with a reminiscent smirk); it was in 1905 I joined the family business. It wasn’t until 1917 that the business had a real leader. “Gaspare Messina,” he stepped up and gave everyone a purpose and a name. See, before The Boss called us the Patriarca Family, We were just a bunch of crooks, con men, and thugs. I was the second one, and damn good at it.
T: This would make you 8 at the time, correct?
S: Yeah, I was a smart little snot. See, mostly I just helped my dad with the mark. He would set up some sort of distraction, usually 3 Club Monty, and I would slip up behind and grab his wallet, or cash, or watch. Whatever was most accessible was mine. (It was at this time he threw me my wallet.) I was pretty good at it.
T: I can see, what changed when Gaspare Messina came into the picture?S: Everything. He took a bunch of Mooks and swindlers and made something out of them. He made a family. Most of us had grandparents and parents who had immigrated here not too long ago and most of the Italian Americans of the area were actually related or at least were close enough to be. He took us and put us all on one goal, running the town. We set up small rackets and large rackets. Fronts. Gambling Halls. You name it.
T: this is all very interesting, but me and my readers really want to know, when did you change?
S: I assume you mean when I was turned, and it was around 1924 or 1926 or something. That whole time is a little fuzzy. Anyway, it was like 1925, and by this point the family was rolling in money. Prohibition had hit and that meant someone was going to pay out the ass for a bit of booze. When started getting into the bootlegging business, we became instantly wealthy. I’m talking the kind of money that buys you a mansion, made out of smaller, less impressive, mansions. Anyway, my job in all this was to keep the books. I had to make sure that all the accounts were accounted for and that no one was skimming funds, except for the people that were supposed to. I was also running a bit of gambling on the side.
T: When you say a bit of gambling, what do you mean?
S: I was running three underground poker parlors, I had a secret casino, and I was known in all the right circles as a bookie that would take action on anything. And I mean anything, I once put 12/1 odds that a snail would reach the other side of a fence by noon, and walked away with $1,200. So, yeah, a bit of gambling on the side. I had a bit of a problem myself though, got in 25 large to another bookie on the other side of town, didn’t take too kindly to skipping out on such a significant amount of money.
T: and this is the guy that, how did you put it, “turned” you?
S: No, we had one of the boys take care of that little problem, family is great that way. Turns out, this guys family was a little older than the Patriarca Family. A bunch of savage beasts took down of whole table of patsies and mooks before they finally got to me. This creature comes and takes me to, some sort of lair, is the only way to describe it. He puts me down in front of this hairy hulking brute of a man who says to me, and I shall never forget this, “I hear, a man borrows $25,000. He takes this money on a promise that he will pay it back and more. Then, he decides to break this promise. He thinks, I shall walk off with this money and be twice the winner. Then, when the lender comes to ask for his money, he is savaged, beaten and killed. I tell my men to bring me this man who can do such a thing, and they bring me a child. What do you say to this?” he asked me in his thick Italian accent. I stood before him, looked him straight in the eye and grabbed a big breath of air as if to give one final witty comment before I was killed, and went (he then sticks his tongue out as his eyes go wide.) the beast stared at me for about 4 seconds, I thought I was about to die, and he falls over backward laughing. (Shylock stands up, stretches and looking at his phone says) it’s getting pretty early.
“Made Man” Made Vampire: Part 2 of 2
By: Theodore Feldman
Monster Monthly, 2009’
I once again enter the loft apartment of our vampire Shylock. He’s sitting as I come in, legs crossed and looking out of the large windows. Yesterday I talked with Shylock about his past and his apparent embrace into the dark depths of vampiredom. I take the seat I had yesterday on the couch. Grabbing my pen and nodding to Shylock as I set up my recorder, he jumps right in.
Shylock: so, where were we last time…? OH, Right, the whole vampire mafia family thing. Okay, so here I am, ignorant of everything that’s going on, and I may have just made either a good friend or powerful enemy. I wait for the man beast to stop laughing. He stands up, wiping a tear from his eye. And says, “Looks like we’ve got ourselves a cacasenno.” This is Italian for smartass. “I like you kid, here’s how it’s going to work, you work for me, or I break your, well, everything.” With an offer so enticing, I couldn’t refuse. I agreed to work for him and he turned me. Some middle stuff happened and that was it.
Ted: okay, slow down, anything you can tell us about after you became a vampire?
S: not as easily as I can about the Patriarca Family, Lots of things that we can’t tell you about ourselves and what we do. See, everyone in the Patriarca Family that I did “business” with, is either dead, dying, or too old to remember me. The Boss has a lot of secrets that I can’t give away without giving up my life at the same time. I will say this, being a vampire is no romance story. It’s a horror, period. Now, granted, it gives you strength, speed, youth if you’re lucky, and a bunch of other perks. But all vampires do, is politic. It’s all about who’s better than who, or what land you hold dominion over. I hate it, but you don’t get anywhere in life by quitting the game.
T: Well, it’s been a pleasure interviewing you and learning about the creatures of the night. Our readers will really appreciate everything you’ve told us.
S: one last note before you go, and this better make it in, everything I’ve said here is false. I was never part of the mafia, vampires don’t exist and no one reads your magazine. Thanks for coming out.
He gave me one more smile before he hurried me out the door. In the end, it’s up to you to decide if what was said here was true, or if this was just another person looking to get a kick out of making a hard working man waste his time on a rumor and a dream. For now, I just hope he’s wrong about people not reading our magazine.
Remember, things do go bump in the night.
Monster Monthly, 2009’