image: artist rendering of a raw rib-eye steak

FASHION MEATS BARN: A Tale of Theft and Revenge

It’s two o’clock on Sunday and I am doing my best to waste time. My girlfriend is having lunch with her ex-boyfriend. I’m feeling anxious and nervous as hell. I’ve decided to barbeque to keep my mind off her, off him and off all other things until she returns. Uninspired by the seafood, I walk pointedly toward the pork section where some bastard has carried off all of the fucking pork.

It is five minutes past time I am supposed to leave work and still I am re-stocking Hussmann multi-deck with bone-in rib-eye, cubed beef and tenderloin. Re-stocking from behind cooler, looking out, I see ponytail guy. His cart full of meat. I post sign near register and on window front door: “no more ice” so, I don’t know how he expect it to stay cool for travel. Maybe, like grandfather, he can’t read English.

The Fashion Meats Barn is run by a couple of crooks. I know this because I used to be one of them. My partner—ex-partner, Marty Fishbine, brought me in as a partner at an overblown buy-in price. It tipped me off about what was to come but it really was my only option at the time. It was clear that Marty had unscrupulous business ethics but he was a friend of my grandfather’s and although it was evident that I could not rely on his fairness in business dealings, I decided to go ahead with the deal and promised myself that I would watch the business closely.

It’s now two forty-five and having walked the entire barn without sight of the cashier—or any other employee for that matter, I resolve to give up on the idea of inquiring as to whether or not there is more pork in the back and decide that I will instead grill chicken. I peruse the aisle of dry rub offerings as I make my way to the opposite corner of the Meats Barn and pick up an alluring container of New Orleans Juju. I peer around for on-lookers—there are none, remove the safety seal, place it clandestinely in my front pocket,  pry open the container and sniff the contents deeply.

It is now fifty minutes past time that I, by schedule, am off work. No sign of drinky boss anywhere. His Cadillac, one with plates reading: “MeatKing2” park near loading dock more than one hour. Probably he is drunk in his office—maybe even pass out! He is a bastard. Not me—other employees say this secretly. I hear them. I am not going to miss my bus again today.

The Fashion Meats Barn has a storeroom that contains no stock. Deliveries are placed immediately on display shelves. Fishbine struck a deal with the shady characters on Braddock Farm—all their meat is sold on consignment. I wonder what they’ll do when he can’t pay as I drive away with all of the pork and chicken.


CREATIVE WRITING PROMPT

Write a scene in which a store is robbed. The cast: the robber, the store employee, a shopper. Relate the event three times, each from a third-person limited perspective of a different character. This approach is known as the Rashomon Effect, taken from Rashomon, the famous film by Akira Kurosawa, in which the same story is told from various characters’ perspectives.

Just to keep things from getting too heavy, I put a 500 word limit on the story. For me it’s more fun that way, also do-able even on a busy day.

A story can be 6 words, if you write it that way.


 

I started writing my first novel at the age of 12. I published my first book in 2011. My favorite things to order at the sushi bar are amaebi and uni with quail egg.

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