Jeff Tsuruoka’s Picture Choice: 1
Title: Lawyers, Guns, and Money - Epilogue
La Cantina Dos Hermanos sits at the end of the dock.
It's run out of a white clapboard house with an inviting front porch no one ever uses.
The front door is perfectly serviceable but most people-- meaning everyone who'd been to the Los Hermanos more than once-- go in through the dockside entrance.
Inside, the walls are covered with framed photographs of locals and other random folks. Black and white photos, all of 'em showing life, just as it is.
They keep the biggest one behind the bar, hung high on the wall, next to a shelf with a small angel carved out of stone and what looks like a piece of white-painted scrap metal from a car or truck on it.
The photograph shows two men-- brothers-- with cigarettes hanging out of their mouths, leaning against an old pickup truck. If you ask the cantina's owners about the men in that photograph they'll tell you they were a couple of guys who did 'em a good turn in the past.
A sturdy bar made from local knotty pine takes up most of one wall. Each of the other three walls has a rail of the same pine built into it. Three ceiling fans do what they can with the hot, smoke-filled air.
El Dos Hermanos serves beer and rum. You can get other liquors if you ask for 'em. If you've had too much you can get something they call, “Cafe Antonio”. Don't know what's in it but it'll get you right. Fast.
For grub, you can get a plate of good rice and beans with a hunk of grilled chorizo if you want it, but the specialty of the house is some kind of seared steak with peppercorns stuck in it.
The husband and wife team that owns and operates the Dos Hermanos-- a wiry gringo, long since gone native, and a dangerous beauty from somewhere up country-- are as welcoming as any barkeep you'll find down here.
Just don't ask 'em about the scars. Little round scars, six or seven on each of 'em. Don't ask him how he got that limp. Don't ask her how she ended up with a glass eye.
You won't find a more affable pair than those two but they'll go stony on you if you start in with the questions.
And if you're in the Dos Hermanos to cause trouble? That's not such a smoking hot idea.
The place is far from stuffy and it's not exactly genteel, but there's a line. If you cross that line you're gonna get carried out feet first and deposited on the dock. Or the canal, depending on what you did.
By her. You don't want that.
No one knows how she got that tough, but barflies talk and there's always someone who thinks he knows something.
There are stories-- wild stories-- about some big shootout with the Federales. Stories about fugitives and chases. Everybody's got a theory.
No one's had the balls to ask the owners about it.
Probably best if it stays that way.
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Jeff Tsuruoka is an author in search of a writing career. He has found a home in the Flash Fiction circuit and is grateful to the blog hosts that give him the opportunity to get his work out there. You can follow him on Twitter @JTsuruoka and be sure to keep tabs on his weekly contributions to Daily Picspiration.