Red Silk

/ November 7, 2016/ Begin, Character Sketches, Stories

Natalya was confused as she left the house, that day. Her father had just informed her that he had found a husband for her to marry, one with a good family and guanxi. She would be leaving within the month. This was good news. At last, she would be free of the shackles of a father who did not make it a secret that he wished she had been a boy.

But at the same time, what would she be going into? What of this husband she had never met? And she would not just be marrying this man. She would be entering his house to live with his family. She had only heard of the Mas; had never met them. But she knew who they were. And she was going to marry the eldest son, Maksym. Was he kind? Good-looking? Or was he ugly, and grateful to be married to someone as handsome as Natalya, even though she came from a far lower-ranking family than his own? Read More

Not Much of a Criminal

/ November 4, 2016/ Begin, Stories

Everywhere Yanmei looked, there was stuff. Great piles of smart parchment slid gradually off chairs and onto the floor. Scattered here and there were fast-food cartons, leftover rice or noodles now spilling out cold and forgotten. Bundles of coloured wire tipped with all kinds of interface plugs poked out from a large wicker basket.

A big box of dusty circuit-boards sat on a workbench in the middle of the room, together with an old pair of sandals and a soldering iron. On the floor in front of the bench sat Xiaofan, peering through a large magnifying glass at what, if Yanmei was not mistaken, was a rust-covered squirt-unit from an old Moppitt-250.

Xiaofan looked up. “Don’t just stand there. You’re doing my head in.”
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