A Barmaid’s Choices

By Silver Dragonfly
Genre: General, Drama
Character Focus: Makino
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 743
Warnings: Canon Level World Government Nonsense
Notes: The concept for this story came up as a possible side story for Lost Uzumaki, but actually stands completely on its own.
Summary: Garp has ‘retired’ to his home village of Foosha in East Blue and with it comes a great deal of change to the quiet village; not all of it good.

Party Bar — Foosha Village, Dawn Island, East Blue

Makino looked from the piles of broken crockery, broken bottles, cracked mugs to the damaged frames and broken glass of the frames that had once held framed collection of bounty posters. She barely felt pain as her own fingernails dug into her palms as she fought down the sudden overwhelming grief that welled up from her very core. Those were her boys. If not her children, her little brothers, no matter if they ever acknowledged her role in their lives or not. She had mothered them as much as they allowed her to and watched them struggle and rail against the cruel injustice against the world at large. Now that same injustice visited her in the safety of her home and business daily. Their stubborn fool of a grandfather had been all but exiled back to their small backwater home and then ordered to work in his so-called retirement. The fool would not tell those who had betrayed him no. The world had ripped his son and grandchildren away from him and he still let them take more. 

The people of Foosha Village were told to be happy about the new Marine Training facility. It would bring increased trade, revenue, and restore their quaint village reputation. Right along with chasing away old, trusted clients, the fishing was being negatively impacted by the larger marine ship traffic, and the raw recruits they sent for the old war hero Garp to train had no morals or respect. The construction crews sent to build the new facility were even worse than the recruits. Their beautiful, peaceful village was being reshaped and torn asunder piece by piece, all for the crime of raising children who dared to dream of adventure and freedom.

“Makino?” a voice questioned gently, startling her from her thoughts.

She turned slowly, biting her lip hard to fight back the conflicting emotions that wanted to spill out in a rush as the elderly Mayor reached out a hand carefully to take the broom from her and set it aside. “They didn’t hurt you, Makino?”

Makino choked on a strangled scream that twisted in a sob as she tried to answer, “Only my pride and my heart, Woop Slap. I don’t think I can keep doing this anymore.”

The older man-made sounds of understanding, but didn’t argue her statement. It was not the first time he’d shown up to help her clean up after customers had left things in pieces. “Do you know what you will do?” He asked as he swept up broken glass, ceramic and splintered wood.

Makino carefully crouched down to separate out the precious pictures and wanted posters from bits of broken frames and glass. “Go talk to Bing at the Council Hall in the morning. I’m going to sell Party Bar to Mack. He offered to for it months ago.”

Woop looked up, startled. “Where will you go?”

Makino carefully placed the pile of papers into a neat pile before returning to the back room and to her small office space. She pulled a cord to roll up a tapestry she had traded for and accessed the smaller file safely hidden there. She pulled out a leather folio and slipped the pictures and posters into it, pausing only a moment as she looked at the pictures she had kept hidden there. A forgotten romance from years past. Memories cherished, but kept secret.

“Makino?” Woop asked again from the doorway. Makino pulled a pair of specialized compass from the safe; the first a round glass globe with no directional marking and a free spinning needle. The second, similar to the first, but composed of a set of three globes, each containing their own needle. She reached into the safe once more to pull a third compass out that was shaped more like an hourglass, but like the first two, had a free floating globe and needle contained within. Unlike many of its kind, there was no label on it marking its source-destination. “Away. I can’t say where exactly, but I won’t let them break me Woop. I have too much pride for that.”

Woop smiled softly, “Aye, and too much heart I’d wager.”

She smiled wryly. “Yes, well. Let’s get the bar cleaned up and see what morning brings.”

Woop returned her smile, if a little sadly. “It’s the end of an era.”

Makino shook her head. “No, not the end. A beginning.”

Silver Dragonfly

reading ~ writing ~ doodling ~ that's me Working day by day to bring creativity back into my day-to-day life when it's been lost to the monotony of work and bills.

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