A Good Wish
Ling carefully started the incense in the dragon figurine. She smiled down at her precocious 8-year old. Ling was happy that Maddie received her father’s Welsh eyes and not his nose. Luckily, she gained Ling’s cheeks and lips. Her daughter was perfect. “Now remember, Mr. Hiu said to be careful. It has to be a good wish.” She tucked Maddie in and kissed her forehead before heading downstairs.
Maddie sneaked outside her door when she heard them whispering in the kitchen. Their voices had become more strained and desperate in the past few months.
“It was just 20 Quid, honey. Down from 250. We saved a lot.” said Ling.
“Yeah sure, sure,” groused Henry. “And the creature’s nature would be defined by the wish made to the dragon. It’s all a show to make you buy. That dragon burner only worth 5 pounds easily.”
“She hardly has any toys, darling.”
“I know, but look at these bills. If this keeps up, we’ll lose the house and the car. We’re nearly ruined!”
“If I see another banker in a suit at our door…” growled Ling.
Maddie slipped back into room and kneeled before the gently smoking figurine. “I wish mummy and daddy were happy and calm like before, and they have everything they want. And they need someone to guard them from the men in suits.” She blew a kiss at the little dragon burner and climbed into bed.
In the morning, Ling screamed.
Henry awoke suddenly and looked around in shock. Slowly, he grinned. “Hey! Satin sheets.”
Ling pointed out the window. “Our house! It’s beside a cliff!”
Henry joined her. “Wow. Nice view.”
Ling dashed out the door. A few moments later, she screamed again and dashed back into the bedroom. Henry pointed at the purple silk pajamas he’d put on. “Look honey! All our stuff is here, but there’s new stuff!”
“There’s a THING downstairs,” she shouted.
“We have a downstairs?”
“It’s got Madison.”
That got his attention. With a grimace he hauled a cricket bat out of the closet and raced down the unfamiliar marble staircase. Ling clung to his pajama bottoms as she followed.
The kitchen looked ultra-modern, with gleaming new pans hanging over a table inlaid with mother-of-pearl and gold. The creature sat at the table examining a game board. Light from the window spilled rainbows from its opalescent scales. Tendrils wriggled from the Chinese dragon’s muzzle. It turned its jade eyes to Madison as she moved two pieces from the board. “Well done, Madison,” it cheered. “You’re very good at this.”
Maddie hugged the dragon and said, “Thanks, Chien Fu. You’re a great teacher.”
“Madison!” stage-whispered Ling.
She rushed over to them and hugged them both.
“Morning!” said Chien Fu. “Fancy a cup of tea?” It held out a cup with a short arm.
“Uh,” said Henry.
“‘Uh?’ That’s your war cry?” scolded Ling.
Chien Fu waved the cup. “I hope you don’t mind my redecorating.” It pointed out the window to the drive outside. “Your Aston-Martin supercar just arrived.”
Henry stared outside and dropped the cricket bat.
With a scowl at Henry, Ling retrieved the bat and advanced on Chien Fu.
The dragon calmly sipped more tea and held out an envelope. “I hope a monthly dividend of £237,000 from your investments is acceptable?”
Ling stared and dropped the bat. She nodded numbly.
“Smashing,” grinned Chien Fu. “Now that that’s sorted out, anyone for a game of Mahjong?”
Each week, photographer Alastair Forbes sacrifices a virgin photo to a dragon, and compels us all to write flash fiction from the photo. Look here for more stories based upon the photo above: http://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2014/12/07/sunday-photo-fiction-december-7th-2014/