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Stories from the Verse
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Chapter 15: Beam 60
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Takano 17
For dinner Beam fried the steaks and sautéed peppers, onions, and mushrooms to go with it. The beer and wine were long gone, so he served soda and fruit juice.
After dinner he sat at the computer in the living room and accessed the stores that had sent samples and others whose information had been forwarded to him. He placed orders for a substantial quantity of supplies, and went to bed.
The next morning deliveries began arriving. He had ordered a dry bar, which he began installing in the living room, plus bar supplies including assorted glasses. He had also ordered six-packs of every beer the local beverage distributor carried, plus quite a lot of wine, plus four whiskeys (one Scotch and one Irish), two vodkas, a rum, a bourbon, a gin, a tequila, an assortment of liqueurs, and some mixers. It took him longer to set up the bar than it had the kitchen, but then, he had to install the bar.
He served the cold cut tray and rolls for lunch, showing Bron and Sophia how to make sandwiches, and letting them help themselves to the beers and wines. He told them to make note of which ones they particularly did and did not like, so he would know what to reorder.
He pulled the chicken, breaded and roasted it alongside roast carrots and potatoes. He took the time to show Sophia how the cooking appliances worked, although they were not much different from those in the bunker. He also introduced them to the ice cream, with strict instructions that it was to be kept in the freezer as much as possible. He again clarified the difference between the refrigerator and the freezer.
After dinner he stood at the bar and poured himself a shot of whiskey. Bron, nursing a beer, asked, “What’s that?”
“It’s whiskey,” Beam stated without explaining, but the inquisitive look on Bron’s face suggested he needed to say more.
“The beer and wine of your world contains alcohol, which is the stuff that gets you drunk. But it’s mostly water. At some point someone figured out how to get most of the water out--actually, I think the process works the other way, that it pulls out the alcohol and leaves the water behind, but that’s not really the point. Whiskey is like beer with most of the water removed. It’s alcohol and flavor. These other bottles, they’re the same kind of thing but starting with different stuff like wine or sake or potato beer. Any of them will get you drunk a lot faster than beer or wine, but they’ve got quite kick to them. Care for a shot?”
“That’s what they call these little glasses, shot glasses, which hold a couple ounces, straight up, which means without ice. If you want it on ice, you need one of those rocks glasses.”
“I’ll try a shot.”
Beam obligingly poured him a shot.
“So, do I sip it?”
“I suppose you could, but usually with shots you just knock them back--throw the whole thing in your mouth and swallow. Sometimes you follow it with a chaser, usually beer, because the flavor is as potent as the beverage itself.”
Bron shrugged, held up the glass, and tossed the contents in his mouth.
“Whoa,” he said. “I guess ‘potent’ is the right word.”
Bron knocked back a couple more shots, but then sat in one of the chairs and passed out. Beam took the bottle over to another chair and sat it on a table, where abandoning the shot glass he finished the bottle and was soon snoring in the chair.
Two days later he awoke and went into the bathroom.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with five other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #357: Characters Connect. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: