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The Seventh Wave, Episode 41
BIG MAMA’S FUNERAL, PART TWO. [TREATMENT.]
The funeral events held to mark the burial of Big Mama Angela Santangelo are not on the scale that would be normal in a normal time. Among those who are unable to attend because of the limitations of the moment are one of the state’s two Senators, a host of boldface names from New York City’s wealthy élite, an Oscar-worthy list of movie stars along with an Emmy-heavy list of television figures and mega-Grammy winners who performed at the Holy Angel over the years. The Cardinal Archbishop sends his best. The heads of the Five Families send flowers, which is to say flowers are sent by no-name individuals who can never be linked to the said families. The funeral itself is streamed from a respected local funeral home, on its Facebook Live page. An open casket is unfortunately deemed inadvisable. Therefore to the great regret of the few permitted attendees and the many watching on Facebook Live, Big Mama is not able to say farewell to her family and friends in person. The closed golden casket inspires a beautiful sadness.
There are speeches from relatives who all draw attention to Big Mama’s deep religious beliefs and lament the fact that the abruptness of her ending denied her the opportunity to make her soul’s peace with the Almighty, so that she will arrive at the gates of heaven with incomplete papers and will need to throw herself at the feet of Saint Peter and weep for her misdeeds. These speeches cause an uproar in the comments section and the speakers are spoken of disrespectfully because of their suggestion that Big Mama will not easily pass into eternal bliss. Then there are speeches from representative of charitable organizations caring for young kids in need, who contradict the earlier speakers by pointing out that the officers of Paradise will be fully cognizant of Big Mama’s generosity to those less fortunate than herself, and that her lifetime of giving will surely cause the pearly gates to swing open as soon as she rises through the clouds. This argument reassures viewers and the comments section calms down.
A renowned soprano sings Amazing Grace. The number of people logging in to watch and pay their respects in the comments section would have gratified the old lady. Some of the comments have to be deleted by the funeral home employee given the task of running the livestream page. These are the comments stating that the names of the killers are already known. Small-town players coming for a lady of quality who was held in universal high regard need to be put in their place without delay. These remarks are made out of the strong emotion of the commenters, that cannot be denied. But they strike the wrong note for a ceremony of respect.
Within the next twenty-four hours, however, Giambattista Pappalardo a.k.a. Jimmy Two Dinners is dead from eating a bucket-load of machine-gun bullets at the end of a large crab feast in Miami Beach: his last double-entrée night. At almost exactly the same moment Richard Huérfano falls face downwards into the same inlet of water into which he had consigned the two Guidos (minus their heads), with his throat cut so badly his own head is barely attached to his body anymore.
He stops writing. His head hurts. He doesn’t feel well.