Chapter 1.3: A Tale of Little China

With another flash, the two found themselves in a busy restaurant kitchen. A young man was at the sink washing dishes. The maitre’d approached him with a friendly smile as they began to chat. Their small talk was rudely interrupted by a fly buzzing the heads of both men. They were able to successfully ignore the flying pest for several seconds, swatting at it when it came too close. But after a while both became visibly irritated. The maitre’d attempted to resolve the situation by swatting ever more frantically at empty air. But the dish washer had a much more effective albeit more frightening solution. With a quickness that no one in the room had ever seen before (even the dish washer), he snatched a chef’s knife from the sink and slammed the tip into the wall next to him. The maitre’d turned visibly white for the blade missed his face by mere fractions of an inch.

“What was that all about, Wang?” asked the maitre’d.

The dishwasher responded, “Oh, God, Eddie. I didn’t mean anything. It’s just…”

“Holy Crap!” shouted the Eddie.

Out of instinctual curiosity, Eddie turned to look where the knife has plunged into the wall. At the end of the blade was the fly, cut neatly in half from it’d mid-body down.

“How the hell did you do that, Wang?”

Unable to look away Wang whispered, “I have no idea.”

The young man had a look of disbelief on his face. Egg Shen approached the young man from behind and smiled as only a proud mentor would. Then turned away and shook his head sadly.

 “And my dear old friend, Wang Chi, is about to find out that I’m a selfish old man. In order to fight Lo Pan, I needed him to drink the elixir,” claimed Egg Shen with conviction shaking his fist, “But I knew it would awaken something in him. Something that…that may have been better left undisturbed. But I did it anyway because I needed to fulfill my destiny.”

In another flash, the two found themselves in a dark ominous cavern surrounded by fire, chains, and demons. Thousands upon thousands of people as far as the eye could see were tied up in chains as the demons cut them up piece by piece. The scene was horrifying and the screams of agony were deafening. The demons brought in a white faced man dressed in long robes. The man cursed at the demons in Chinese.

 “And to my old enemy, Lo Pan. He is meeting his destiny. He has just arrived in the Hell of Being Cut to Pieces.”

The demons hung Lo Pan with chains and began to cut him. One demon carved his chest open. Another slashed at Lo Pan’s arms. A third took a knife to his back. Lo Pan’s cries rose above the others.

Mr. Camden could look no more. He instinctively covered his eyes and was about to scream. But before he drew in a breath there was silence. He then heard a familiar sound. It was the typing of his stenographer. Camden was frightened but forced his hands off his eyes. He found himself back in the office as if he never left. He darted a look at the stenographer. She looked at the fear in his eyes and Camden could see she was confused by his expression. Camden wondered if he had left his chair at all. Egg Shen continued to talk from his chair.

 “So you see, Mr Camden. I was most certainly telling you the truth. But as I said, you shouldn’t be concerned with what happened in the past but with what happens next.”

Egg Shen’s Casio watch beeped in alarm. He pushed a button to turn it off.

 “Hmmm. Thank you for your time, Mr. Camden,” Egg Shen rose from his chair, “You must excuse me. I have a plane to catch.”

Egg Shen rose from his chair, “I apologize for not being able to provide you with more convincing information.”

Camden did not try to stop him. He was still frozen, the images of hell burned in his mind.

 “And I apologize even more that I will not be available for further questions. There are many preparations to make. I fear that the final battle is yet to come,” claimed Shen as he put his belongings back in his pocket.

He paused momentarily to unwrap one of the sticks of gum and put it in his mouth, “Perhaps the city will drop the matter altogether. I doubt they could make much sense of the situation either.”

Egg Shen shuffled over towards the coat rack by the door, shaking slightly from old age.

“You asked how it began, Mr. Camden,” claimed Egg Shen, “And I told you it began as all things do – very small.”

Taking care not to disturb the other coats, Shen took his off the rack and slipped his arms through the sleeves.

 “Then I told you how it ended. As it often does in Little China, in death.”

Egg Shen took his hat. He then turned slightly to open the door and began to walk out. But Egg Shen paused and leaned over to see past the door and speak to the still shocked Mr. Camden who was frozen in his leather chair.

 “The thing is, sometimes in Little China, death is merely…” Shen thought for a moment then nodded with a sly smile, “death is merely a new beginning.”

Egg Shen walked out of Mr. Camden’s office. With a creak and a soft thud, the door shut behind him.

The End

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