This is the third chapter in the 10,000 Fortune Cookies story.
To catch up go here for Chapter 1 https://skestories.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/10000-fortune-cookies/
and here for Chapter 2
Janine got ready for work as usual, not really knowing what to make of this recent series of events. It was a bright day; Janine would wear her new peep-toe wedges, to show her best friend Maricelle. While she got dressed she puzzled over the convenient solution to the problem of getting repeat fortunes. “Mr. Fu’s Cookies” was a mysterious, and appropriate answer. Three fortune cookies a day delivered to her doorstep, with the promise of never receiving a repeat. The situation had an air of the unreal. It could not be true, but it was. She had gotten her first cookies this morning, they were the most perfect fortune cookies she had ever seen. The fortune was interesting though, written in Chinese characters upon first glance. Upon second glance it was in English. It was a little unnerving, she must have imagined it though, after all her eyes were still blurred with sleep at the time. Janine glanced at the clock, 6:40! Yikes, she was late! She wondered how she had wasted an entire 30 minutes musing. She grabbed an apple and her purse and bolted out of the door.
On the street Bob was sweeping the sidewalk in front of the shop. “Good morning Miss Kindaal, do you need an umbrella? it looks like rain!” She barely heard him as she rushed past, “No thank you Bob, Have a good day!” Her mind was rushing. If she took Barter Avenue to Wheat Drive then cut through the park; then she might stand a chance of making it to work on time. Traffic would be horrible, she would be better walking this morning than trying to catch a . . . BOOM! She looked up shocked at the sound of thunder. Maybe a storm was coming after all. She dug around in her purse for her umbrella, the rain fell just as she was opening it. This ruined everything. There was no way she could go through the park now, it would be flooded. She went down Center Street and crossed straight to Leopard Street. As it was she was now ten minutes late. She walked in to see Gladys the secretary ticking her finger and pointing to her watch. She was rushing through the elevator doors, when she ran smack dab into her boss Mr. Fusterlage. He was like a brick wall, it didn’t even phase him. .She bounced off him like a rubber ball and sat on the floor gazing up at him. He loomed over her at six and a half feet. His red face framed by his perfectly set brown hair, and neat mustache. ” You are late again Kindaal! You are fired” She stammered,. . . Looking for an excuse, but finding none. Mr. Fusterlage continued down the hallway. Janine packed up her office contents and walked out.
Later, while eating a soup dumpling she ate her second fortune cookie. She looked at the fortune and saw the Chinese characters again. The word on the back read “智慧, Zhìhuì – Wisdom” She wrote the word in her log book. She glanced at the fortune again, and saw that the fortune was in English. She got a strange feeling that something was not quite right, but forced it to the back of her mind again. The fortune read, “A magical creature portends good in the future.” Another strange fortune. She suddenly remembered her first cookie, . . . Avoiding the mud might cost more in the end. . . It had come true! She had lost her job this morning! No! It was just coincidence, it must be! Still it was very ironic.
Just them she caught a glimpse of red out of the corner of her eye. There sitting on top of her stove was a brilliant red bird. It’s keen eyes observed her. It’s long tail fell behind it and wrapped around the teapot on which it perched. A single red feather formed a crest on its head. Janine grabbed her ancient literature textbook from college, and thumbed through until she found what she was looking for. A photo of a cave painting depicting a red bird stared up at her. The inscription read, A mystical cimson bird(Phoenix) Discovered in the caves of Mogoa. Whether she looked in her book, or on the stove, the view was the same. She blinked, twice, but it was still there. There was a live pheonix, . . . in the middle of her flat. . . .
Stay tuned next month for Chapter 4