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Roy's Rum Shop (standard:Fan Fiction, 1378 words)
Author: JuggernautAdded: Mar 26 2011Views/Reads: 1458/827Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A short story on Roy, a fictional bar owner addicted to rum.
 



ROY'S RUM SHOP Subba Rao 

A very short drive separates the rural and urban areas on the island but
again the island is small. A dirt road quickly turns into a four-lane 
highway, all of a sudden high rise apartments, office buildings, and 
shopping malls would appear just like that. To get away from campus 
life, on weekends Juggernaut visited his friend Esau living in the 
outback. Surrounded by cocoa and orange groves, Esau lived in their 
ancestral home with extended family. The red dirt road in front of the 
house twists and turns like a flexible hose. On one corner of the big 
bend was Roy's rum shop cum grocery.  Here one can get staples for 
daily living and also aspirin and laxatives. Roy inherited the rum shop 
from his dead uncle. His uncle has no family; he lived alone in the 
back of his rum shop. Just before he died, Roy was informed of a 
distant uncle living on eastern side of the island. Roy, then in late 
twenties has no experience of running a business or for that matter of 
experience in doing anything except liming. He arrived at Cummuto, a 
small sleepy village on Eastern side of the island. May be a twenty 
miles drive easterly from Cummuto, the road would end up in a 
freshwater swamp known for shell fish.  Always wearing sleeveless white 
undershirt and flimsy boxer shorts, Roy walked barefooted inside and 
outside the shop. His skimpy clothes exposed his pale skin and thin 
limbs.  He was never in a hurry. He spoke and moved slowly, everything 
he did was in slow motion. The rum shop was a rectangle shape wooden 
structure with galvanized metal roof pained green to match the 
surrounding bush. The long front porch was storage as well as space for 
people to lime (hanging out). Liming is a way of passing time for 
people on the island rich in oil reserves. When other countries spent 
millions for making coal tar to use on road surface, on this island, 
coal tar oozes out from the ground.  And yet the rural roads badly need 
resurfacing. Juggernaut's foreign accent attracted more attention at 
the rum shop. Roy in particular treated Juggernaut as a special guest 
offering free drinks all the time. Juggernaut favorite spot in the bar 
was on top of a stack of flour bags at the corner. Sitting few feet 
above ground, he used to sip beer or rum or whatever drinks Roy offered 
for free. Roy an habitual drinker himself was always holding a drink in 
his hand while serving customers. Esau, Daddy and Doc were regular 
visitors to the rum shop but were also buddies to Roy. Daddy and Doc 
were only nicknames, Daddy worked in public works department and Doc 
drove a cab. Esau worked on the University campus as a technician. On 
weekend, Juggernaut joined the gang at Roy's rumshop. After closing the 
shop, Roy like to hang out with Esau, Daddy, Doc and Juggernaut when he 
was visiting Cummuto. “We go for hunting tonight,” said Roy. “We are 
going to forest to hunt?” excited Juggernaut. “No, boy, we can hunt for 
Agouti or Opossum whichever comes first right in our backyard.” Bare 
footed, Roy started walking in his boxer shots with an old gun that was 
rusty and ancient. Juggernaut followed him into the bushes. After 
walking for half hour, “boy, I shot an Agouti,” shouted Roy holding a 
small animal in his hand. “That's look a big rat,” Juggernaut stood far 
away from the animal. “No boy, it is Agouti, it taste good good when 
curried,” Roy placed the dead animal in a plastic bag and started 
walking back home. Juggernaut followed him. Placing the dead animal on 
a raised wooden platform like structure outside the kitchen to clean it 
up Roy said “you go call Esau, Doc and Daddy to come for the cook up.” 
“How about Lucksy?” “Why you want her for?” Roy looked puzzled. “I 
don't know she always want to lime with us.” “You mean with you,” Roy 
smiled. “With everybody including me.” Juggernaut was defensive. “OK, 
go call her too,” Roy started cleaning the Agouti. Esau, Daddy, Doc and 
Lucksy live not too far from Roy's rum shop. Every time Juggernaut 
visits rum shop, Lucksy make special attempt to visit the shop just to 
meet Juggernaut. She was a chubby, fair-skin Indian woman in late 
twenties, worked as a clerk in local government office. With a small 
knife, Roy ripped opened the underbelly and threw out the innards, and 
skinned the animal in few minutes. “Esau don't want curry he wants stew 
with tomatoes, scallion and soy sauce,” said Juggernaut arranging the 
dinner plates on a wooden table cluttered with nick knacks. “Why?” “He 
said you put too much hot pepper in the curry that makes shit like a 
hound.” “OK, I will make a stew for him and curry for all of us then,” 
Roy started cooking in two separate pots. Lucksy was first to arrive 
and all excited to see Juggernaut. “What kind of a name Lucksy, that 
doesn't sound Indian?” Juggernaut tried to start a conversation. “Well, 
my daddy calls me Lucksy because he thinks I brought good luck to his 
taxi business just after I born,” Lucksy sounded proud. “I love people 
from India.” “Why?” “My forefathers came from India and I love Indian 
movies and you came from India too, that's why,” Locksie was not shy. 


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