Long time crime was… short story by Omilla Mungroo. “Oh gorsh! Dey tief ah nex two ducks!” Stacy shrieked. “Jack, I goin an set ah good trap for dat tief yuh hear?”
“Look Gyirl, ent we goin river jus now? And Gary an dem comin with meat to cook so doh hot up yuh head nah! Everything fix!”
Stacy was plump and round, with smiling cheeks and curly short hair. Her dark eyes danced when she smiled but opened wide in anger, and you would think they belonged to someone else. Stacy was just a cheerful person at heart, but it was hard to imagine her in this state.
The loss of her ducks worried her. The loss of the amount of money she spent worried her even more. She held her face in her hands and looked gloomily through the window at the duck-run outside. She vowed she would find out who kept stealing her ducks every time they planned a river lime.
It wasn’t long before the rest of the “river lime posse” arrived at their home. Gary and his pretty wife, Sherma, were the first to enter the house. Then came Babsi and Karan with the drinks and cups. Gary put a bag on the kitchen counter and said he brought two chickens, already seasoned and ready to cook, in plastic bags, but those were for a mens’ lime the next weekend. He wanted Stacy to keep them in her freezer since it was Jack’s plan anyway.
“Boy! Somebody tief two ah we duck again! Stacy protested, while putting the meat in the freezer.
Gary’s brow furrowed with concern, “Well allyuh have to put ah stop to that! That mus be one sharp tief!”
“Sharp? But I sharper than that! Not one more of my ducks will get tief again.” Agonising pain spread across Stacy’s face as she continued, “You know how much money I spend to buy feed for dem duck an dem? Eh? An for people to come in my yard jes so an take my duck? I sure is sell they sellin them!”
“Oh Gorsh man Stacy, go an get yuh bag an leh we go nah! It getting late already! Doh study de duck an dem now! De people mus be was hungry!” Jack was always like that. Stacy wasn’t sure if it was mercy for the tief or if he was just fed up with her complaining. Jack’s doubles business was enough for he and Stacy to live on, so she “minded” the ducks just to be independent. It was her own little business. Jack was already getting bald, and his round belly disturbed Stacy. Diabetes and heart attacks ran in his family. She had to secure her own little future, or so she thought.
They locked up and had a great time at the river that day, but Stacy had had enough. She could not get the missing ducks out of her mind, and tried to devise a plan in her head as to how she was going to catch the thief.
All was quiet the first two or three nights after that river lime. It was nearing the weekend when the men’s lime came around. Stacy had stood by her kitchen window for four nights and she could not remain awake another night.
The next day the men had talked about going to Maqueripe to spend the day. Gary had brought his contribution already and he would be the first to arrive, as usual, walking with his signature limp, and his shock of graying curls on his head, Stacy thought, as she leaned on the window sill with half-closed eyes. Gary and Sherma were their oldest friends. She felt happy thinking of that time they had met and became friends, at Valencia River some eight years ago. Gary had boasted about his curry duck specialty, and Jack was just too glad he wouldn’t have to be the cook again when they went river.
During yawns and blinks, the neighbour’s dogs barked somewhere in the distance. The wind rustled the leaves on the long-mango tree that overlooked the duck-run. Not another sound was heard, and Stacy was ready to go to bed.
It was full moon tonight. Stacy could count every duck left in the run. The group had changed plans almost overnight when Gary and Jack spoke on the phone earlier. They were going to camp out for the night instead. Gary said he would supply a duck to curry. He reassured Stacy that he would bring his German Shepherd to let loose in the yard to help catch the thief, since she did not want to lose another one of her ducks. Jack and Stacy had agreed.
So it was of great consequence when Stacy noticed the dog wagging its tail in the light of the moon that Friday night, and she thought she saw a man limping through the gate in the duck-run with her largest duck left! Nobody else she knew walked with a limp like that! She just could not believe it! The moonlight made his curls glimmer and dance on his head!
Everything happened so fast, she did not think to call Jack, who was probably snoring hard and fast, but she ran out into the night air, yelling at the top of her voice, “Tief! Tief!” Gary’s German Shepherd pounced on her like a lion and luckily she was yanked away by none other but Gary himself, with the most sorry look on his face that Stacy never saw, while the prized duck flew back into the duck-run quacking loudly, and awaking Jack out of his slumber.
Long time crime was…
Curry duck and pepper!
April 2014 – Issue 9 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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