Ah Keong Steak Shop had been an essential institution in the district that when
it suddenly closed overnight, all the residents were caught by surprise. They
all knew the friendly shopkeeper, Ah Keong, who kept all their dinner needs
supplied. His wife was also a genial lady
who had a way with plants and usually gave the people tips on how to manage
their greenery. They had no idea that the couple was in trouble over money; they
always kept up their smiling demeanors.
Rumors soon floated about, whispering of Ah Keong's son owing the loan sharks a
great sum of money, which the couple could not pay. After being threatened
continually, they packed up and went into hiding to avoid the harassment.
Everyone gaped at the drama that unfolded in the juicy gossip. But little did
they know that soon, they would be the actors in an even more thrilling drama.
One morning, the loud screams of Sophia, a young executive whose habit was to
jog around the neighborhood in the early morning, woke everyone up. Rushing to
see what had happened, they were greeted by a horrifying sight. The bloody head
of a pig was hanging at the entrance of the store, its rawness smelt of menace.
The freshly slaughtered pig was still dripping blood all over the porch,
swinging slightly as if it was still alive. The limp body of Sophia lay on the
road, having fainted from shock. When she awoke, she told of how she had come
upon the pig's head and later lost consciousness. The neighborhood was now
hushed in dead fear.
But there was more to come. The next day, the residents woke up to find the
store covered in a chaotic coat of obscene graffiti. The threats that were
sprayed all over the front of the shop were grim in their warnings: if Ah Keong
failed to pay, human blood would be shed next. The residents were now truly
alarmed. It seemed like no one was safe from the loan sharks. After all, no one
knew where Ah Keong was and the presence of the police after the pig's head
incident was reported did not seem to deter them at all.
The next few days grew even more tense as groups of rough-looking men began
to sit outside the store for hours on end. They smoked, cursed loudly and even
leered at the young girls passing by.
Everyone felt their presence like a disease in their lives and dreaded when the
worst would come. It came sooner than expected.
One night, the sirens of police cars and ambulances driving into the
neighborhood drew the residents out from their houses. The prostrate body of a
little boy lay on the ground, blood still flowing from a deep gash on his back.
Some of the gangsters were handcuffed; they sat on the curb in a daze. The
residents soon found out that the boy was chased by the gangsters, mistaken for
the grandson of Ah Keong. The boy had tripped and fallen on his back onto a
protruding rock and lost consciousness.
The entire episode drew to a tragic close. It took the blood of an innocent
boy to end the loan sharks' tyranny over an unpaid loan of a mere RM10,000.