Fiction In A Flash Challenge Prompt Week #13 – The Key to Unlock the Mystery
This is Fiction in a Flash Challenge Week #13. Each week Suzanne Burke will be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words.
Here is the week #13 Image Prompt.
The Key to Unlock the Mystery
“Mom, thank you for telling me about the adoption. I appreciate you and Dad. I still have this strange feeling of belonging to someone else.” Clara frown.
“I understand, Clara. Your dad and I wanted to have a family, but I couldn’t conceive, so we adopted.”
“How did you decide where to adopt?”
“Most of the countries listed the criteria of children being adopted. Many orphans had major physical or mental handicaps. We were not equipped to handle those problems. The orphans in China were either abandoned or given up for adoption because of the one-child policy. We hoped to adopt a healthy child.”
“Your document helped me to locate my birth parents. I want to meet them. This seems to be a good time for me.”
“What do you want to do when you find them?”
“I don’t know. I was always curious about living with them.”
“We support you whatever you do.”
“My flight is tomorrow night and arrives on the third day. China is fifteen hours ahead.”
“Message us and send us many pictures.”
“I will, Mom. I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life.”
~ ~ ~
Clara met her driver and translator at the airport. The city welcomed her with heavy smog covering the mountains in a distance. The sky had no trace of blue. She could gaze into the sun with a patch of light and fuzzy layers of haze.
The concrete buildings with hanging signs stretching out into the streets slowly disappeared. The sight on both sides of the car turned into scattered cottages and fields. The car bounced on an unpaved narrow road.
A small village with about fifty two-story narrow houses came into sight. The red bricks crumbled from the roofs and the fences between the houses.
“We arrived, Miss.” The driver announced.
“Xiè xiè!”1 Clara surveyed the surrounding.
The driver led her to a doorway where a weathered face woman dressed in grey top and black pants waiting.
“Nǐ hǎo?”2 The woman dropped her clasped hands and nodded at Clara.
“Nǐ hǎo? Hěn gāo xìng jiàn dào nǐ.”3 Clara reached and held her arms.
“Huān yíng. Qǐng zuò.”4 The woman extended her hand toward a chair.
“Xiè xiè.”5 Clara nodded and approached the chair.
After greeting the woman, Clara had the conversation with her through the translator.
“I’m here to learn about why you gave me up for adoption.”
“I had no choice. The government only let each family to have one child. We wanted to have a son because the son carries the family name and passes down the generations. Many women had abortions when they found out they had girls. Some of them were into seventh months of pregnancy. I didn’t know you were a girl until you were born. The only way we could have a second chance to have a son was to send you to an orphanage.”
“Did you have a son?”
“I did. My mother watched him for twelve years. My husband and I went to the big city to work in a garment factory and sent money home to my mother. We came home every three months to see our son.”
“It must be difficult not to see your son.”
“There was no work in the village. The factories are in the big cites. When our son was twelve, he got in trouble with other boys and didn’t want to go to school. I took the last train ride to come home to take care of him. I didn’t go back to the big city.”
“I’m glad I came to see you. Here is some money gift. I’ll write letters to you when I go back to the America.”
“Thank you for coming to see me. I’m happy for your bright future.”
“Xiè xiè, Ma. Zài jiàn.”6 Clara hugged the stiff woman.
“Zài jiàn.”7 She grinned and nodded.
~ ~ ~
“Clara, welcome home. Tell me about your trip.”
“It was an eye-opening journey, Mom. I had the mystery locked up for so long. Understanding was the key to set it free. I now have the balanced perspective of my past and present, and the appreciation of you and Dad for giving me a better life.”
~ ~ ~
1 Thank you?
2 How are you?
3 How are you? Very glad to see you.
4 Welcome. Please sit.
5 Thank you.
6 Thank you, mother. Goodbye.