april 12, 2024
drabble challenge





 ~ Vincent, Dr. Wong’s Shop, an anniversary Gift ~

by JoAnn Baca

Dr. Wong turned the “Open” sign around and locked his shop door.

“Is Father out of his tea?” he asked Vincent, who was in the back of the store.

“No.” He handed the older man a note. “I’ve come with an invitation.”

After reading it, Dr. Wong looked up with tears in his eyes. “A dinner…to honor me?”

“You were the very first Helper, saving strangers from hunger that day. Saving the community to come. We owe you much.”

“It’s unnecessary,” Dr. Wong demurred.

“It’s an anniversary gift to ourselves, as well – the day we met our oldest friend.”

by Tasha

For year three, leather was traditional. Catherine selected an ornate leather journal with gold edging and unlined paper. The finishing smelled of beeswax and reminded her of the tunnels.

They met at Dr. Wong’s shop. An odd location, in her opinion, but that was what the message had said.

Lin only grinned at her and escorted her to the basement. There, she found a single table laid out, complete with plates and utensils. Vincent pushed in her chair and sat opposite. Lin handed them both menus.

Catherine realized – Vincent’s gift was not just dinner but a small token of normalcy.

by Crowmama

“Si-WuFang for blood …

Dang Shen for Qi …”

Dr. Wong dashed around the shop with the bounce of a younger man.

“Do they have ginger below? Good chicken? She should stay warm. Eat only hot foods! Soup with Shaoxing … shiitake… and Gogi!” exclaiming as if now remembering. “She’ll ‘sit the month’?”*

Contemplating asking Catherine to forgo fully washing for a month left the new father speechless.

The herbalist understood.

“Lin didn’t want to either, but after little Lee came …”

He smiled and patted Vincent’s arm.

“Never mind, I’ll bring the soup. It will be my Anniversary gift.”

* * *


by PearlAnn SnowStar

Vincent watched as Dr. Wong reached behind the counter. He brought out a small red box. Engraved on top of the box was a golden dragon.

Dr. Wong looked at Vincent and smiled. He opened the box, and inside was a tiny white ceramic vase. It had red lotus flowers decorated on the outside.

“This is the anniversary gift for Lin and Henry?” Vincent asked.

Dr. Wong nodded yes. “Can’t believe it’s been ten years already. Think they will like it?”

Vincent gently touched the box with its fragile contents. “As my dear Catherine would say, ‘They will love it.’”

by Nelly

Vincent was thinking about Catherine’s special beauty during the Chinese wedding.

He sent a message to Dr. Wong and, one night, he went to his shop.

“I’d like you to design a special dress for Catherine, as my anniversary gift, ” said Vincent.

“Good idea, Vincent. The dress will be colored in blue. In China, blue means Spring, good luck, trust, and longevity. It’s conceived as a feminine color,” said Dr. Wong.

Some days later Dr. Wong left a beautiful box at the entrance of the world Below and Vincent got it.

Vincent was without words! He had another symbol of his love for Catherine. All the shades of blue…

by JRo

The door to the tunnels slid open and Lin welcomed Vincent.

“The shop is closed.  Please, come up to see my grandfather. He asked to see you.”

Vincent bowed to Mr. Wong and gratefully accepted the packet of herbs.  “Father asked me to give you his thanks.”

Mr. Wong bowed back.  “We are honored to be able to help him, and you.”

Vincent was led to a back room, where Catherine was sitting at a candlelit table set for dinner.  Lin sat Vincent at the table, poured tea, and uncovered the dishes before heading out of the room.

“Happy Anniversary!”

by Paula

“Vincent, what smells so good?”

“It’s a special tea, Catherine. I recently went to Dr. Wong’s store and received this aromatic gift for our anniversary.”

She took a sip and immediately felt warmth spreading through her stomach. 
“Mmm … it’s excellent.”

“Yes.” He felt the fire flowing from his throat to his belly and lower …

Finishing another cup, they sighed at the same moment and looked at each other. Some uncontrollable force drew them closer; with a passionate kiss they began their dance …

The ripping of clothes could be heard, and then the hurried creaking of the bed filled the chamber …

by Linda SB

She’d really tried. But it was hopeless, even after all those hours spent with patient, stoic Lin in the tiny kitchen above Dr. Wong’s shop. Luckily there’d been ample amounts of burn-soothing balms and cut-finger-staunching ointments on hand. She should have brought some home.

The crumpled recipe bounced into the bin. What was the point? Thank goodness she had other talents.

She cleared away the debris, tore off her apron, and reached for the phone.

Vincent might be a bit disappointed about take-out – again. But unwrapping the rest of his anniversary gift after dinner would definitely make up for it.

by Carole W

His gift


Not the jewel he’d discovered, polished, readied, but … him.

Can we … truly … be together? Am I … are we … brave enough?


“Our anniversary,” he whispered. “A tea perhaps … for courage?”

Ahhhh …” Dr. Wong studied him with one eye closed … (or did he wink?) … and left him standing.

Now Vincent paced the secret cellar, parting the beaded curtains, anxious for his return.


His ear to the door to the pharmacy, heart quickening.

Lin …suggesting a balm – Madengcao, Sichangpu, Yuanzhi – to encourage romance.

Dr. Wong’s rumble. “What you need is in the storeroom. Come …”

Footsteps …

The door opened.




title: Kahlil Gibran. On Love. from The Prophet. 1923.



  1. Thanks to all of you for wonderful drabbles! How do you do it – set a scene, dialogue and characters all in 100 words? I hold you in awe and offer my thanks for lots of grins as I read.

  2. Whoa, Nelly! In more ways than one! That blue dress to match Vincent’s eyes? Of course he wouldn’t think of that…..

    Fantastic job to everyone! 😍

  3. I love that it honors the long-standing friendship of Father and Dr. Wong, the memory of Lin and Henry’s love, romantic dinners Above, gifts with special meaning, beautiful and unique.
    Vincent as a concerned young Father.
    Catherine trying to surprise with her own dinner.
    Carole, tea for courage in ….💕 can have intriguing consequences;)
    With pleasure I read your stories.

  4. Nancy, Jessica, and Paula, thank you so much for enjoying the drabbles in our Anniversary Challenge! Your support and enthusiasm are inspiring and much appreciated.

  5. These are quite lovely. I enjoyed them very much


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




CABB logo: crystal and rose




CABB logo: crystal and rose