Chicago is my territory: I defend it with anger, fierceness and violence if necessary. We are in the 1950s and post-war reconstruction invites us to dream of better, more, to forget, rebuild and shape a future. However, not everyone is made of the same wood or is lucky enough to be able to rise legally.
I grew up in “the slums”, and without any real school education or solid and supportive family base, like many children like me, I ended up on the street as a playground. The street is a very educational school but also very harsh: it is neither fair nor caring. On the contrary, it is a jungle where the law of the strongest reigns supreme.
So I worked hard, for more than 20 years, to become tough and powerful. To the point of becoming, at the age of 33, the lieutenant of Joe, the head of the Colombo family, a mafia group which imposed itself on the streets of Chicago, and for which I shed sweat and shed – a lot – of blood.
However, this evening, it is mine which is pouring in large waves onto the cobblestones of the alley behind the “Palerma” restaurant, our HQ  .
I was fooled... in a big way...
“It's not against you personally, Dick,” Giovanni, Joe's son, whispers to me, coming closer to me. But my father listens to you too much. You don't see that we can increase the family's power by allying with those of New York and thus expand our territory.
“New York is not Chicago,” I replied, panting in pain. These families are far away. The Corleones, on the contrary, are here, and we have been at war with them for decades to protect our domain. The alliance that you want at all costs with New York will necessarily be to the detriment of our position in Chicago, while we will never obtain the same in New York where we will have to make a place for ourselves, not against one, but against five other clans!
I had difficulty speaking, breathing, slumped on the ground where I collapsed, unable to move; the bastard shot me in the back! He aimed for the heart, but thanks to my reflexes, punctured my lung instead. He waited in the shadows to attack me by surprise, without having the courage to confront me face to face, like a man!
“You and my father have become limp dogs,” he retorts angrily. It's time to give way to the young instead of clinging to the old days!
- Being lucid and realistic does not mean weak, I countered with the little strength I had left. Be careful that your blind ambition does not plunge you into disaster, and the whole family with it. Joe, this time, will not forgive you for your treachery!
Joe always had a preference for his “last”, the only son after 4 daughters. He spoiled him rotten and constantly found every excuse on earth for his irresponsible actions. The number of times I had to “fix” the situation this brat got himself into! I love my friend like my brother and am loyal to the family, but I could never respect this little jerk who systematically did what he wanted because he was the "heir" of the family... He has always taken advantage of his position without ever understanding the responsibilities that result from it...
This is Joe's only mistake, but the biggest!
— My father will have nothing more to forgive...
My heart is bleeding and it's not because of the bullet I received: this bastard is also going to kill his father, my friend for 30 years!
And there's nothing I could do to stop that!
— My only consolation is that he will never see what a filthy bastard you have become, and he will not have to live with this shame on his name!
An explosion rings out, but strangely I don't feel any pain...
I don't feel anything anymore.
And why, when I couldn't move a moment ago, do I have the sensation of floating?
Damn, am I dead?!
I see Giovanni lean over my body and fire a third bullet into my head, although he has just lodged one in my heart.
Anger overcomes me. No, rage!
Loyal to the depths of my soul and devoted to the Family, I never imagined that I would be shot down by one of my own, and especially not by the son of my best friend!
Suffocated by this devastating emotion, it takes me a few moments to collect myself and feel a sense of aspiration.
Father Enzo’s sermons come back to me in flashes! No, I don't want to go anywhere until that little shit Giovanni pays! If I'm dead, then I'll haunt him until I drive him crazy!
Carried by this thirst for revenge, I fight against this “call” and manage to “anchor myself” to reject it. It's like a door has opened and then suddenly closed.
But now… I see a light? She just appeared in the distance! She shines like a beacon in the night and I am irresistibly drawn to her.
Without really knowing why, this time, I don't persist and, on the contrary, try to join her.
Today, Sarah is 7 years old. It's a special day, not because it's his birthday, but because from now on, his aura can activate at any time.
I have already explained to him that we are a line of mediums and that each girl born in our family has special gifts: some will be able to communicate with ghosts, others will have "visions" through cards, or will develop an affinity towards plants to create philters, etc. Each of us is unique and will have, depending on the intensity of our aura, more or less strong dispositions.
The cards told me, from the moment she was born, that Sarah would be powerful and I fear for her. If she does not master her gift or if she does not accept it, she may die: among our ancestors, some went mad or committed suicide! Sarah seems to accept it well, but the theory is one thing and the reality is a completely different matter to experience. Especially for a little girl. She is very intelligent and much wiser than her age would suggest, but she is still a child.
And with this never-ending war, life is already difficult enough: the Germans are everywhere, control everything and kill everyone they consider different or inferior. How could a 7-year-old girl, even if she knows it's a secret, hide her peculiarity in order to survive, if she communicates with the dead while we are surrounded by them?
—Rebecca? Stop worrying about our princess. Fear doesn't take away the danger and even if it can help you to be more alert, it paralyzes you if you let yourself be overwhelmed by it, my husband, Pierre, whispers to me, hugging me.
Rock. My love. My rock. A good man who loved me at first sight and who accepted me as I am: a priceless gift!
His illness at the very beginning of the war was a blessing from the angels, because he was not called to fight, and even though he was very weakened and still bears after-effects four years later, it allowed that we stay together. The fortifying potions that I regularly prepare for him have helped him little by little to regain a certain vitality. Oh, he'll never be very brave, but at least he's alive. And I thank the Universe every day for that. How many friends have we lost already? Too many to count, unfortunately. Between those who went to fight and those who are hunted, our entourage has been reduced to nothing.
— I know it, my darling, you tell me often, but that doesn't mean it's easy to hide. I wasn't expecting you so soon... How come you're already back?
— Unfortunately, the grocery store is out of stock and is still waiting for a delivery. I wasn't able to use all of our supply vouchers, but I managed to barter with the bookseller two blocks away and… tadaaaaa! He proclaims with a triumphant smile, taking out 2 eggs from the small bag he had placed on the table to hold me against his heart.
— Hooo, you’re great! I exclaimed, delighted. We will be able to make a cake with the sugar and flour that I have been putting aside for months in anticipation. Sarah is going to be so happy! Thank you honey !
“There is nothing I would not do for my queen and my princess,” he replied with his sweet smile. And I don't want to spoil your joy, he continues with a serious air, but the neighbor came to me again in the street to tell me again that he needed the shop to expand and that I was fine stupid not to accept his offer...
— But “The Pythian Oracle” was created by my ancestor decades ago and has remained in my family ever since. It is as much a tradition as a duty with all the secrets that this building conceals.
- I know that, Rebecca... but we haven't had many customers for some time, people no longer have money for your guidance or your potions. If this lasts much longer, we may have no other choice.
- No ! The war will end soon, the cards told me so. You have to hold on a little longer.
“Very well,” he sighs. You know that I respect your gift and trust you. We will try to resist even if I don't yet know how.
Mom made a cake! In my opinion ! And from that day on, anything can happen: she explained everything to me since I was little and now I'm a big girl!
She's good with cards, but I hope I could talk to a ghost, it'll be a lot more fun. And then like that, I would have a real friend. Because people aren't really nice.
I always knew that Mom inspired a certain fascination and fear in them at the same time. They come to her when they need her, but if they ever come across her in the street, they avoid her. “Narrow-minded fools” as Dad says, but it’s hurtful to hear them whisper behind his back that “ the witch has come out of her lair ”. Even if she doesn't say anything, I feel bad for mom. She is beautiful and not a witch!
I would love to look like her, but she says that I take after her mother, and that I would be a “ big sylph ” while she is a “ little curvy bottle ”: I don’t really understand what she means by that, but it always makes Dad laugh who systematically replies that “ the best things are concentrated in the small boxes ". I love it when they kiss then, and they laughingly ask me to close my eyes.
That's it, the moment has finally arrived!
Mom lights the candles and I have to make a wish – but I can't say it out loud or it won't come true.
“ I would like a ghost for a friend, please, angels ! »
I repeat it fervently three times in my head and take a deep breath, focusing on the candles. However, as I stare at them, the seven little flames in front of my eyes come closer to become only one. Fascinated by the light, I watch it increase in intensity until it becomes dazzling and end up blowing on it to be able to breathe again.
— Happy birthday, my princess! Dad congratulates me, laughing. It took you a long time to blow out your candles! You turned red from holding your breath. But you blew them all away in one go, well done!
Ah good ? I was so fascinated by the light that I didn't hear Mom telling me several times that I could blow out the candles. Besides, she looks at me intensely without saying anything while Dad cuts the cake...
What the fuck is that? Where am I here? I was attracted by a light in the distance and followed it, but I no longer have a sense of time or space. I regain “awareness” of my environment in a small living room with… people?
Are they dead too?
Pfff, do I have to deal with the ghosts of a family with a kid? Even if it meant being slammed, I could have at least joined those of my clan who left before me, right?
— Name of a boss, what the hell is this! Can you hear me up there? – or downstairs, since according to Father Enzo I’m going straight to hell – I want to find that bastard Giovanni and make him eat my Borsalino!
— What is a Borsalino?
I see the woman freeze and look at the kid with concern.
“It’s a hat that men wear, my princess,” her companion replied with a perplexed look. For what ? Would you like one?
— No, I don't want a man's hat! the kid exclaims. But the very angry gentleman wants to make someone very rude eat it.
There, it’s me who would eat my hat!
From what I understand, they're not ghosts given the adults' reaction... but the kid... she heard me!
— Which gentleman? Did you hear anyone, Sarah? asks the woman, looking downright alarmed.
- Yes mom. But do not worry. He looks very angry but I don't think he's mean.
— Of course I am, kid! The Corleones tremble just hearing my name.
—Who are the Corleones? she asks again, not in the least bit shaken because I just told her.
— Sarah… you hear someone and you are the only one who can do it! the woman exclaims.
She's frankly panicking but the kid, on the contrary, lights up like the mayor's Christmas tree.
— Hooo, thank you, angels! she exclaims. They really ghosted me to be my friend.
Um... if that's true, Father Enzo was right and I went straight to hell!
Who is this kid asking the angels for a ghost? And what the hell are they doing to give it to him, in the name of a boss?
“Sir,” the woman continues, speaking into the void in front of her, “as far as I know, if Sarah is the only one who can hear you, you, on the other hand, can understand us perfectly. In this case, let me explain to you the situation you find yourself in and the choice you can make.
It’s a crazy story she’s telling me!
I crossed the ocean and found myself in Paris? Medium women! The call of the Infinite All to return to the Source! And the kid who just “ activated her aura which guided me to her ”!
— If you merge with Sarah, the woman continues, you will be able to resist the call of the All Infinite to remain in our reality. But in doing this, you will have to “feed” on their energy to fuel yours. Sarah is very young. This could be dangerous for her...
- No mother ! cries the kid. Don't ask him to go into the All Infinite! Please Sir, I prayed to the angels to be able to speak with a ghost and they sent you to be my friend. Stay with me ! I am strong. And I'll be the best friend you'll ever have, I promise. Please !
The kid is on the verge of tears but still maintains a fierce and determined look. This kid has guts. Despite myself, she touches me with this sparkle in her eyes and her little clenched fists.
If she had been a boy, I would have had my eye on her in Chicago, because she would have had the potential to join our ranks with such strong character. There is no doubt that she would have found a place in our family.
— I don't understand everything, what does this fusion do? What do I do if I decide to stay?
The woman explains to me how to concentrate on “finding” the flame that guided me and projecting my energy there in order to create a bridge between her daughter and me, when the kid reports my questions to her.
— Please, Mr. Ghost, stay with me. Do it, I assure you you won't regret it! We're going to become the best friends in the world. You don't want to be alone, right?
And she talks, she talks, between arguments and supplications: she doesn't stop!
By the Almighty Godfather, she even manages to convince me.
I let myself be fooled by a 7 year old girl – luckily I'm caned or the guys would have made fun of me until I died !
It's been three months since Sarah had her "new friend" and she seems so happy. However, I can't help but worry because she has lost weight, the transfer of energy impacting her much more than an adult - especially in our conditions of drastic restrictions .
Her father and I decided to take turns skipping a meal to give her larger portions, but she obviously realized this, and refuses to eat more than her share. She has always been intelligent, but I never realized she was so narrow-minded!
“She is a worthy daughter of her mother,” Pierre retorted, laughing at my reflection, which I said out loud without realizing it.
- I would say that, since half of his genetic heritage comes from you, we are co-responsible for this state, I replied, sticking my tongue out at him.
Pierre is a gentle and honest man with a sense of humor that satisfies me. He is the only one who really knows me and who manages to bring me out of my reserve that I keep towards the world and its wickedness towards us.
— Our princess is strong, she will get through this, you will see.
Girl running down the stairs leading from the apartment to the store and rushing in, out of breath!
— Dick says we have to leave immediately! Mom, Dad, we have to go hide now! The Nazis are down the street, and Dick saw the neighbor with them pointing at the store. He denounced us!
—The bastard! He probably hopes to get the building back as a reward since people still refuse to sell it to him, Pierre gets angry.
— Sarah, take your bag that we prepared for a case like this, we're going to go to the cellar.
— But Mom, they're going to search everything! They will find us!
— No, my princess, Pierre explains, your mother has secrets and is going to show us one. We're going on an adventure.
He does his best to calm Sarah's panic while I gather the few things we absolutely must take, and we go down to the cellar in less than 2 minutes.
—What's the secret, Mom?
— This building was built by an architect a long time ago and his ghost revealed to one of our ancestors the existence of a hidden passage allowing access to the catacombs beneath the city. We will take refuge there and disappear without anyone knowing where or how. Afterwards, it will be up to you to preserve this passage.
Name of a boss, that's a secret!
Over the past few months, I have become really attached to the kid and her family. She is as cunning as a vixen and was quick to understand the advantages of having a ghost near her. A real bitch! Like the time she whispered to me to look at the correction answers that her teacher had left on her desk during the test that she hadn't revised – " because she preferred to listen to my gangster stories ".
I have learned to cope with being a ghost and it has certain advantages, I admit.
If I could have spied on the Corleones like I can in the neighborhood now, we would have been the oil kings, for sure! Today, I am content to pay attention to the potential dangers for the girl and her parents, given the situation which is deteriorating day by day. The Germans have just suffered a big defeat in Normandy and everyone hopes that the troops landed will deliver Paris, but it is not yet tomorrow.
And in the meantime, the SS  are putting pressure on the population. Like the poor bookseller, not far away, who was arrested last week for no real reason. The pretext? He wouldn't have pushed himself fast enough when the patrol passed... We haven't seen him since, and Sarah was inconsolable all night when the nice gentleman "told her" that she would find candy hidden in a box on top of the wardrobe in his bedroom, before leaving into the All Infinite.
Because if I can't hear the other ghosts, Sarah can. And many have come to find her since her aura was activated. Too much, unfortunately...
Phew, we barely managed to escape! We hear the pounding of boots on the floor of the store as Rebecca closes the secret passage. Quietly, so as not to be spotted, we descend a stone staircase and enter a gallery in the faint light of the torch that the father holds in front of him.
Pierre prepared everything in case they had to flee and hide: during the nights, he brought the few provisions they were able to put aside as well as everything he could take without them missing too much. . Like blankets, clothes, two gas canisters, and some dishes. That's why they no longer used the store's kitchen. Not only to save money, but also to hide the fact that they were moving part of their reserves. The one in the apartment upstairs overlooks the courtyard and is not in everyone's view like in the store. Clever.
The “room” he finally stops in is the one he chose to hide in. There is a very small stream that passes by which they can draw from to boil it and thus avoid diseases. Even if it is more than rudimentary, with a humid environment very unpleasant for his lungs, given Pierre's illness, they can last for a while. I'll help the father get supplies at the right time by going reconnaissance: we're going to get those damn sweets, for sure!
Rebecca worries about the papers and cards she took because of the humidity, but Pierre tells her to wrap everything in the oilcloth he has hidden behind... a pile of skulls...
— Come on, kid, we're going to go on an adventure and explore our new playground, I said to her to help her understand this environment which is frankly not reassuring for a child.
“I'm not afraid when I'm with you, Dick,” she replied as seriously as possible. It's thanks to you that we managed to leave on time. The angels chose well.
Wow, this kid has guts!
I feel like she's going to give me a lot of trouble in the future, damn it!
If you haven't already done so, find Sarah and Dick in the duology: Oracle, Magic & Co + its spinoff Unicorn, Merlin & Co.
Summary: I'm Dick, a ghost linked to Sarah, a powerful medium who runs an esotericism shop in Paris, with the help of her granddaughter Sybille . She doesn't know anything about female power in her family, and we've been cozy for years. That is, until Sarah decided to help that damn injured mage, who took refuge in the backyard of our building. I say that the guy, if he can die, it's because he's not that magical, no ? But girls never listen to me pfff…. Yeah, because what's more, Sybille tells her best friend everything ( for me it's Cod... ) We very quickly find ourselves in an impossible quagmire trying to disentangle the true from the false with the Electi on our heels ( elite mages), and a cop who won't give up on us. Name of a boss, how can we foil the plot that threatens the secret society of mages? Not to mention helping Sybille master her gift as a medium that this Dimitri awakened in her?
Magic, oracle and grumpy ghost: discover an adventure full of humor and twists and turns between Paris and New Orleans !
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