A short story a day review

Tag: Zen Cho

Chicken Chicken Bang Bang, by Zen Cho

by djsacramento

#53: Chicken Chicken Bang Bang by Zen Cho

Synopsis: A 780-word solution to traffic congestion.

“One more step, and we’re on the highway,” said Ko. “Good old ayam.–Wait! Basket!”

Eileen somehow knew what was coming. Any girl with a brother knows what stupid looks like.

"Chicken Chicken Bang Bang" is free online at Zen Cho’s website.

#48: The Perseverance of Angela’s Past Life, by Zen Cho

by djsacramento

#48: The Perseverance of Angela’s Past Life, by Zen Cho

Synopsis: Angela’s side of the dragon/Prudence story.

She thought she would probably need one pair of formal shoes, but she couldn’t decide whether she should pack the new fancy shoes—which were beautiful and appropriate, but untried—or the old stalwart black peeptoes. They were a little manky, but they had seen her through May Balls and medsoc dinners alike.

“Bring both,” said her old self.

Her old self could not enter the room without Angela’s permission. She hovered at the window, peering in.

Angela was not going to invite her in. It was a cold night, but the dead don’t feel the cold.

I don’t know if it’s obvious by now, but I’m a huge Zen Cho fan. I would love to hear Zheng Li’s side of the story too. Or one of the singing tomatoes.

“The Perseverance of Angela’s Past Life” is available online for free.

Prudence and the Dragon, by Zen Cho

by djsacramento

#47: Prudence and the Dragon, by Zen Cho

Synopsis: A dragon comes to London and falls in love with a med student and feeds her fairies. This does not impress her.

“Prudence—” Angela dropped her hands in her lap. “OK. All that never mind. But tell me honestly, OK. Do you like him? Like, like him like him?”

“No,” said Prudence. “I don’t even like him with one like.”

“I heard that,” said Zheng Yi from the kitchen.

“Then are you just going to let him hang around?”

“How to make him go away? When I try to call police I only get the Worshipful Company of Glaziers receptionist,” said Prudence. “But never mind. I sleep with baseball bat one side, kitchen knife on the other side. And you know I do taekwondo.”

“I also heard that,” said Zheng Yi.

“Good!” said Prudence.

Angela still looked worried.

“At least you’ll tell me if you are going to another dimension, right?” she said. “You know we booked the bed-and-breakfast in Lake District already.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” said Prudence.

“I live in hope,” said Zheng Yi, coming to the table. He laid a crockpot of stew on the table.

With a supernatural effort at politeness, Angela said, “Oh, that smells delicious. What is it?”

“Potatoes, carrots, swede, some grated apple for sweetness, fairies for protein. But only non-sentient ones,” said Zheng Yi reassuringly. “Fairies are terribly good for you.”

They were also quite crunchy, and froze well.

A lot like Joan Aiken’s Armitage stories, but with more Prudence. And a mayor concerned about bicycle lanes.

“Prudence and the Dragon” is available online for free. Also, I very much like Zen Cho’s stories.

The House of Aunts, by Zen Cho

by djsacramento

#44: The House of Aunts, by Zen Cho

Synopsis: A teenage vampire in Malaysia tries not to fall in love. And her aunts are only too happy to help with that.

“Oh, that,” said Ridzual. It was his turn to look embarrassed. “That’s called a Bangsar accent. But don’t hold it against me. I’m trying to be a Lubuk Udangite. A good prawn.”

“I’ve live in Lubuk Udang my whole life,” said Ah Lee.

“Right? What should I do to become a good Lubuk Udangite?”

“Don’t call us prawns,” said Ah Lee.

So good. Dizzy, sultry prose like honey, a plot that builds well, and aunts. Many, many aunts. Also: flesh-eating.

“The House of Aunts” is available free online.