FATHER, A NOTEBOOK, CHINATOWN
by Rebecca Gibson
Dr. Wong scooped dried mushrooms into folded paper. Though the shop was right along a busy street, the smell of tea and incense, and the soft light, made the little back room feel like a place apart. A safe place, Father thought. There were so few of those, above. He glanced back at Lily’s notebook, her careful printing just touching the wide blue and red lines.
“This is quite good,” he said. Her eyes shone at the rare praise. “Vincent is spelled with a C, though.”
He had been astonished at how quickly the little girl accepted his strange child.
The Memory of Love Will See You Through
by JoAnn Baca
Lin closed the door of her grandfather’s store and turned the “Open” sign to “Closed.” She sighed heavily and bent her head, tears spattering her apron. Behind her, the tap of a cane alerted her to Father’s presence.
“He was beloved throughout Chinatown,” Father reminded her, patting her shoulder. “He will be long remembered.” Father handed her a notebook. “He wanted you to have this.”
She paged through it, amazed, her grandfather’s handwriting recounting her life, describing her milestones, his pride in her, his dreams for her future. Clutching it close, she smiled.
Love, in its deepest and purest form.
Father sat in his chamber enjoying the silence. Suddenly, his thoughts were interrupted by an excited Kipper.
“Father, I was looking for stuff Above and I found a notebook! Inside they showed how to do new things, Aladdin’s lamp, a light saber. Mouse could make those things for Jacob and water candles for Catherine.”
Surprised, Father opened his mouth wide but no words came out.
Kipper coughed. “There’s also a message from Chinatown. Dr. Wong has a new calming herbal blend for you.”
“Light saber? Calming tea, that’s what I’ll need,” Father said, looking at the boy running out.
Radiance, Which Was Once So Bright
by Linda S Barth
Hip throbbing, he navigated the noisy, narrow streets. Maybe this was nothing more than a desperate mistake after all.
No. He refused to let himself believe such things…not yet.
Weaving through crowds on Mott Street, past Huang’s Teashop, shuttered now, only ghosts within. West on Bayard. Memories of a tiny store filled with pearls and jade…promises and kisses…
Limping south on Mulberry. No need for the address written in the notebook hidden in his overcoat pocket.
A neon “open” sign glowing above the door of Columbus Park Clinic. A trembling sigh, an unwanted tear.
Would she still be there, too?
by Lara Hoyle
Catherine went walking through the gift shops in Chinatown. She paused after a delightful lunch in a store where an artist decorated covers of notebooks and diaries with various flowers and stylized dragons. She thought Father might like to give a notebook to Mary for Winterfest with water lilies. She bought it and a notebook for Vincent with a red and white dragon pair intertwined.
Mouse saw her coming and handed her a bag of wooden fruit.
“Decorate your room! Better than best!”
“Thank you, Mouse. I can’t carry this right now. Could you take these to Vincent?”
(This is a crossover story between BATB and the movie “Big Trouble in Little China”, 1986, directed by John Carpenter.)
While checking the donations from the World Above, Father found a notebook, all written in Chinese, inside the basket coming from Chinatown.
He decided to return it back personally. Dr. Wong was relieved and told Father about the legend of Lo Pan, a dark spirit originating from Chinese black magic. The only magician in condition to defeat Lo Pan was Egg Shen, and that was his magic formulas notebook!
You can imagine Father’s surprise in knowing that Dr. Wong was Egg Shen actually!
Luckily, Chinatown was safe and would not have anything to be afraid of anymore!
[Nelly’s note: I had an inspiration from the BATB episode “China Moon” as I noticed that almost all the actors playing Chinese roles were the same playing in the “Big Trouble in Little China” movie.]