At a Chinese restaurant, your character opens his/her fortune cookie and reads the following message: "Your life is in danger. Say nothing to anyone but your dearest friend. You must leave the city immediately with them and never return. Repeat: say nothing." ...
There's no sense in this whatsoever. A Chinese restaurant? What was I thinking? As Lan leads me excitedly to the red and gold doors of the restaurant, the unfamiliar smells are making me uncomfortable. Lan seems just fine, jabbering in Mandarin to old ladies who smile at her effervescence. The normally confident, calm, cool, and collected Brooklyn Parker is feeling unstable. I mean, Lan is my best friend and all, but... Chinese food? Real, honest-to-goodness Chinese food? Not takeout?
New colors and sounds blend into a soup of foreign flavors. Really, a soup. It tastes much better than I expected. The time bleeds by in a stream of conversation, mostly about school and the Chinese exchange student that Lan can't talk to for some reason. I find myself kind of dizzy, but with a mild feeling of contentment. Somehow I manage to tell Lan that the food is great, thanks, and we should come back sometime. The bill comes, and Saint Lan pays, as usual. Then the waitress hands us both fortune cookies? I look at Lan quizzically, because I read somewhere that fortune cookies aren't traditional Chinese.
Lan laughs and says, "We are in America, you know, Brooklyn. Even Mrs. Wang has to keep up with the times." She rips open her fortune cookie. I hesitate a little, because these might be "more Chinese" than other fortune cookies. Oh well, I think. It's still a fortune cookie, right?
Oh. My. Gosh. Is this some kind of cruel joke?
I open up the crinkled paper inside the fortune cookie and read: "Your life is in danger. Say nothing to anyone but your dearest friend. You must leave the city immediately with them and never return. Repeat: say nothing."
Just about to tell Lan about this weird little cookie, my mouth freezes. Sure, there's plenty of times in a high school junior's life where your mouth seems to freeze, but seriously, it freezes. That's when I start getting kind of scared. Like maybe whoever wrote this fortune really means it.
"Lan, uh, where's the bathroom?" I hope I sound normal.
"Oh, it's over here," Lan smiles and points to a tiny corner that I didn't notice. I walk over there and step in. After running the usual check-over of my long, wavy blond hair and my makeup and whatnot, I look around. There on the wall it reads: "Take Lan and run. Tell no one of your flight. Stay with her, for you will need her in times ahead."
Whoever is trying to creep me out is doing really well. I'm getting more and more convinced that it's true. Without thinking, I half-run out of the bathroom and tap Lan on the shoulder.
"Meet me outside. It's serious," I say breathlessly.
Concerned, Lan comes outside. Behind the restaurant, I launch into my short narrative, telling her about my fortune, the wall, and how scared I am. Instead of reassuring me like I expected her to (I must sound completely delusional), Lan looks horror-stricken.
"What?" I ask.
"When I was small, my grandmother told me that my life would someday be jeopardized, and I would have to run away with my closest friend - which would be you. I..."
Suddenly, it starts. Explosions rock the restaurant. We hear cries of pain, and then the gruff voices of burly-sounding men.
"You seen two sixteen-year-old girls, one long blond hair, blue eyes, other Chinese like you, long black hair as well? We looking. You seen?" The oddest thing is, I think, Great linguistic skills, huh?
There is no answer. A sob and a crack. Lan grabs my hand and we sprint, faster than the school sprint, faster than when we were late for the school dance. Two terrified teenage girls, clutching to each other, fleeing to the outskirts of the city. We must look crazy. It's a Friday night, for crying out loud! The ominous sounds of clanking boots and weapons only spur us on. Trees loom ahead. Cover. Bruising and scratching our knees, we flee into the woods.
Comment on whether you think I should continue. It's just a start. :) Thanks for reading!
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