Chinese," Caroline Nickleback read. "Plum:" She
frowned and scratched her head. There followed an incomprehensible
and unpronounceable series of letters. She studied the pronunciation
guide and tried to wrap her lips around the word, spitting out a tiny
crumb of fortune cookie as she did so.
laughed and took a sip of his tea, running a thumb up the smooth side
of the tiny white mug that was really more suited to shots than
numbers," she continued, "forty, forty-four, forty-one, forty-six, thirty, two." She
looked at her husband, shiny and new. "Should we buy a lottery
grinned. "You believe in that?"
But my mother is a firm believe in astrology." Caroline leaned
forward. "Says we're never going to last."
so?" Julian tilted his head.
and Leo." She laughed. "Not compatible."
that why she didn't come to the wedding?"
said she didn't want to waste time on a losing proposition."
Caroline felt her eyes fill with tears. "Anyway..." She
flipped over the thin strip of white paper in her hand and read her
fortune silently, moving her lips as she did so. She frowned.
does it say?"
it is not necessary to make a decision," she read, aloud
this time, "it is necessary not to make a decision."
balled up the fortune and set it on her plate. "What does yours
broke his cookie in two and withdrew the slip. "You will lose
$8.99 today. Six ninety-nine if you chose the buffet."
that." Caroline reached across the table and grabbed Julian's
fortune, cookie and wrapper. These she jammed into her purse along
with her own uneaten cookie as well as several packets of soy and
duck sauce and three packets of tea. "Excuse me." Caroline
waved at a passing waitress.
we get our cookies?"
waitress frowned. "But..."
about six more shots of tea."
glanced at her watch. "And make it snappy. We have to get back
to the office. My boss is a tyrant."
waitress nodded and hurried away.
grinned. "I am not a tyrant."
you can be."
waitress returned with a small circular tray lined in cork. She set
down six mugs of tea and two fortune cookies. "Will there be
That'll be all. Thank you."
raised an eyebrow at Caroline. "You pick first."
considered the two cookies before her before reaching for one and
tearing open the plastic with her teeth. She took a mug of tea and
drank it in one gulp before clearing her throat dramatically and
reading. "You are wise beyond measure." She flushed,
pleased. "That's more like it."
reached for the remaining cookie. "You are important enough
to ask and you are blessed enough to receive back." He
smiled. "Maybe there is some truth to this stuff." He took
his new wife's hand. "I'm glad I asked you to marry me,
Caroline. Even if your mother thinks we're doomed."
I was wise to accept, Julian."
smiled at each other across the table, holding hands and celebrating
their good fortune to have met and married.
Kelly Garriott Waite on Google+
Labels: flash fiction, scriptic.org