Monday, October 17, 2011

A Magpie Tale (Fiction)

Lin grew up with her single Mom, in her bones, she dislikes men, not only because they are vague,  but also because her own father was never there for her. He left her mom after she was born, a girl.

Mom applied to do her graduate studies in the U. S. when Lin was 14,.

Lin started Junior High in a school close to her mom’s university. Not 100% understanding American culture, she still manages to do well in her classes.

Time flies, Lin and her mom eventually adjusted to western life, what she likes best about America is the fresh air, the open relaxing parks, and the clean restrooms and fantastic shopping malls.

At 10th grade, almost all girls are dating! Too bad she has no interests in boys, there are five Asian guys in her grade, some invited her to their birthday parties, she went with a gift, spent time watching the guys playing online video games, that’s it.

None of them has asked her for a date, which fits her very well.

Lin and her Mom would drive 30 minutes to shop at Chinatown once a month on Saturdays, Lin always retreats herself to the Asian public library there, where she can read books in Chinese and totally forget about the world outside herself!

When she was 16, she started working part time at a super market, driving a second hand car her mom bought for her.

One day, on her way home, Lin’s car got flat tire, she pulled the car to the shoulder of the road, and tried to call for help, only to find out that her cell was dead, out of battery.

The time is 10pm. Her mom is out of town for a business trip.   

While she was standing at the sidewalk trying to figure out what to do, a hand grabbed her shoulder.

Startled, she turned around, seeing a guy with blond hair, standing right in front of her!

“Need some help?” his voice was soft.

With no time for hesitation, she simply said “yes”, and told him about her flat tire.

He grabbed his cell, offered to Lin.

She dialed the number of a tow truck company, hands shaking, voice quivering…too tired to stay calm, too needy to reject the help.

While she was waiting, the guy remained there, introducing himself: “Hi, my name is Jake, I am a college freshman here.”

He reached out his right hand for a handshake.

It was rude to not to satisfy him, that’s a friendly touch, and she felt the warmth of his palm.

Lin  insisted walking home after her car was towed away to a car shop.  It was late at night, she did not think she would bother a friend to drive her home. And she could not bother Jake more by accepting a ride in his car.

So she was on her own home, she did not notice that Jake, who actually followed her all the way, from a distance.  He was doing it to protect her, and he did not know the reason,

Later, Lin would think of Jake, somewhat felt guilty for not thanking him properly for his help.  In her culture, one always has to return favors, or at least write a thank you note, but she did not ask for his phone number, and not knowing his dorm address at all.

Jake is a good guy, he grew up in a beautiful family, although he is white, handsome, and well rounded, part of him loathes his own type of people.  Some girls are boy crazy, they pile themselves on men for their own worthiness, which is not totally fitting to Jake, he likes independent women, a girl does not have to be cheap to be happy.

After Lin rejected his offer for a car ride, Jake begins to think of her sometimes, especially after he has found out her home address, Jake would drive passing Lin’s house sometimes, simply trying to take a look from outside and hopefully, they can speak to each other again.

Lin noticed Jake a few times from where she was working,  they always exchange a smile, then he would be gone, and she would finish her job until she was ready to go home.

His smile makes her heart jump.

Eventually, Lin has to admit that she has a crush on Jake.

And her face would turn red when she saw him smiling at her from the crowd.

“Lin, you need to go to hospital to see Jake.”

This day, a co-worker pulled Lin to the back of the store, giving her a piece of paper, with an address on it.

“He had a car accident! He came in the other day and told me about his feelings for you, I was told not to bother you since he was not sure about how you feel about him, especially you two are so different from one another.”

Lin is 17 now, her face turned red, excitement filled her heart, she instantly left to visit Jake. She owns him a favor, hopefully he will be okay.

And it is so sad that Jake’s eyes were closed when she finally came to see him face to face.  Gently, she took his hands, placed them against her cheeks, praying silently for his recovery.

For about two weeks in a row, Lin would come in and hold Jake’s hands, and pray for him…

And during the last few days, Jake pretended to be asleep when Lin was there for him. His heart jumped with joy hearing Lin’s soft breath, showing her good wishes for him.

When Jake is well enough to go back to his classes again, Lin stopped seeing him.

Jake continued stalking on Lin, with deeper passion and more understanding, he did not ask her for a date until she graduated from high school and began to attend college in the same city.

A cook at the duck shop grinned at them when they came to visit Chinatown one day, folks all stopped to look at Jake and Lin, as if Jake is an alien, while they hold hands and tour the place.

Lin never truly liked the smell there, she considers herself wearing the skins of the group but carrying a western heart inside.  She can never totally belong to the birth place where she was born, and she respects values most Americans cherish, she loves people of all groups from all walks, but she is herself and will always live at the edges of the sea.

She took Jake to the library where she had always enjoyed visiting and introduced him many beautiful books, most of the books are published both in Chinese and in English.  

Because of her sad childhood experience, Jake and Lin’s relationship only lasted for six months. Because she goes panic when Jake tried to kiss her, and her body would shake like crazy if he wanted to go further.  Which is both normal and abnormal, anyway, Jake understands and is willing to wait patiently until she is totally ready for intimacy, but Lin does not like that.

She begins to feel inferior as time passes, and she feels guilty for not being able to satisfy Jake.  Eventually, she made a decision to end their relationship.

And that’s the end of the magpie tale, which is my humble contribution!


  1. kind of a tragic end there...but a nicely spun tale...

  2. Thanks Morning, I enjoyed this glimpse into another world.

  3. I began to wonder where this was going, with the duck shop in mind, but need not have worried - and the quality of the writing reassured me. A very confident and moving tale, sad at the end, but that's life. Congratulations on a powerful piece.

  4. A strange, but rather moving, take on an unusual prompt...

  5. Waaah! I want a happy ending. Can't you write part 2?

  6. Oh, yes, I'm with Victoria. Sequel please! This was too good of a story to let it end unrequited. This world needs more happy endings, and I'll bet you have a few!


  7. Will try to write 2nd part next time,

    Thanks for the encouragement.

  8. You wrote an interesting story. It kept me reading. That's a mark of a gifted writer. I have one suggestion: Try to stick either to present tense or to past tense. You began most paragraphs in the past tense, then usually switched to present tense.

    Thanks for the interesting story.

  9. Nice story...amazing how many poems and stories come out of one photograph...a sad ending to your story, but life has sad endings at times...good job

  10. Whoa-- this is almost like a lifetime, so many strands.

  11. I really enjoyed this. You captured Lin's 'interior' really well.

  12. A poignant tale beautifully written.

  13. Your Magpie embraces a great story plot and good writing.

  14. Sad story here - it leaves me wanting more.

  15. Awww I hope our heroine can overcome her fear and begin to date properly from now on.
    Lovely tale!

  16. A unique version of the Chinese lover's tale. Reminds me of the blue willow but with a twist of modernity. I wish it turned out differently!

  17. Not every thing in life has a happy ending...

  18. And they were even coping with cultural clashes! I hope they unite again one day. I like blondes too!

  19. boyfriends and girlfriends never get it right, whatever culture they are.

  20. Hey, Morning Peep, a good story indeed! Simple, with uncomplicated ending. Every love story need not end in furious wrestling match in a bed--NOR with "happy ever after"...

    Thanks for a really nice Magpie Tale!

  21. I think your ending was good even though it was sad. That kept the story more real. It also makes me want to know what happens to Lin next. And that's what every writer strives for, to get readers to care about their characters. Kudos.

  22. Oh, love ... There's someone for everyone, even for the faint of heart ...

  23. I followed this well done tale with much interest...I felt fear, hope, trepidation...such a good story...

  24. Your style of writing prose or poetry is brilliant!! Need the part-2, for you cannot leave it on a sad note!!

  25. This was, indeed, very touching... I've got goose-bumps all over now. Very intimate, still with a certain distance due to the narrative style and this makes me fill in so many gaps on my own... I really liked this, Morning! Very well done!

  26. sad, sad tale...:(
    i like the story...