August 1, 2016

Flash Fiction by Stuart Luke: "San shi wu"

Stuart is an artist, musician and writer with a fondness for comic books and travel. He is a Mario Kart champion and a fan of whiskey. His favourite colour is green.

"San shi wu"

"Whilst backpacking around New Zealand the girl took a job on the gondolas. She was in charge of taking photos of the tourists as they got into the carriages, many of whom were visiting from China. In her experience the younger generations of families would be more inclined to have an education in English as a language. A family arrived at her station and the son and daughter went off to look at something. The mother and father enquired about the price using hand gestures. She responded by pointing to the price on the sign beside the relevant Chinese translation. Knowing the basic phrase she was able to relay the information in their mother tongue.
"sān shí wǔ" she assured them.
"sān shí wǔ? sān shí wǔ?" They turned to face each other while she waited patiently for their answer. Their smiles became wide and their eyes joined in. Excitedly they turned back to her.
"sān shí wǔ!!!!!!". They laughed and jumped on the spot in front of the girl. Elated.
The boy returned to see what the commotion was about. He looked to his parents and then addressed the girl.
"sān shí wǔ?"
"sān shí wǔ" she repeated now becoming confused. She was sure she was saying it correctly. He smiled and shook his head at his parents who had thrust their camera at him. Begrudgingly he accepted and began to raise it to his eye. His parents circled round to join the confused girl and pose with her for a photo. The first photograph was smiles and peace sign poses. The second was much more formal - no hand signs, standing up straight. Good posture.
They will tell this story to their family and friends at home and her photo will remain treasured with the others from their trip. "

- Stuart Luke 


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