fiction

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The Devoured Man (part two)

A different kind of zoo – Josh Stenberg's story concludes

THIS STORY FIRST APPEARED IN HALITERATURE

 

 

Back at the museum building, Vitaly slunk off without saying a word, clearly embarrassed at how far from bovine the tigers had proven. The guide, herself frightened witless, told everyone to keep calm. She could not be blamed for the incident, and though the director cuffed her on the head out of sheer frustration when he emerged from his office, gazing uncomprehendingly at our terror like a fruit bat in sunlight, I do not think her job was ever in danger.

The director then delved into a strikingly quick and unperturbed general address of sorrowful farewell, urging us to return on a more propitious occasion—incidentally, they had successfully hosted many weddings.

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The Devoured Man (part one)

Don't feed the tigers – A short story by Josh Stenberg

THIS STORY FIRST APPEARED IN HALITERATURE


My editor signed off on the tiger story right away. “Yes, yes and yes again. Finally, you’re getting the hang of it. Endangered species, big scary-slash-noble cat, conservation, Chinese corruption—all of these are humdingers. Go for it. Way better than the poor-factory-conditions stuff you’re always trying to pull. Be sure to get a picture of a tiger roaring or something. Smiling tourists, taunting a cub or whatever. You know what works; you know what the public likes, ergo you know what I like. Things red in tooth and claw.”

I had proposed the topic after reading about the tiger park in a Chinese newspaper fluff piece, and now I searched the Internet to see what was current on the subject in the Anglo press.

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Big in Beijing

A fable from expat pond life – by Carlos Ottery

 

Some thought Leroy a loser. Honestly, he was probably more of a drunkard than anything, but first and foremost Leroy considered himself a DJ. Sure, he wasn’t averse to moonlighting as a language teacher for extra cash. After all, what was the point of speaking English if you couldn’t spread the love a little, now and then?

In fact, Leroy was doing rather well for himself, pulling in about 7000 kuai a month from the Old Oriental Learning Centre alone. And his income could easily jump up to nine or even 13K if he factored in the DJing, not to mention the bits of journalism, and the copy editing he did for hotel brochures. Let’s put it this way, Leroy had no problem getting a round of beers in.

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Love Anywhere

A short story from Beijing – by H.L.

 

That summer, whenever Wang Fei played guitar at Xiao Peng’s bar, he always offered cigarettes to his audience. It was more than just following etiquette – he took careful note of which girls did or did not accept. Most did not accept at first. He would play two or three songs and then offer again. Some would still not accept, and for them, he would sing his throaty fireside hymn.

They always accepted after the throaty fireside hymn.

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Going South

It's a two way street – a story by Jason Y Ng

THIS SHORT STORY ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN AS WE SEE IT

 

Chongjun nearly knocked over a woman when he got off the Southern Airlines plane. This sort of thing happened to him all the time, for even when he walked he had his nose buried in a book or a magazine. Dui ng tsu ah, he apologised to her in halting Cantonese, quickly slipping the book he was reading – The Complete Guide to Low Light Photography – back into his tattered leather attaché. Hong Kong people were squeamish about any form of physical contact, the 32 year-old Shanghai native had to remind himself from time to time.

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