Maiden Fair


Duck was not fit for duty for sometime after her introduction to Victor Rollins, and so she and I spent many days together. As her health improved she asked me of my home, and how I remembered the world.

It was right before she was to return to duty that she appeared with two tickets to Nan King. I was not sure how to take it, but I decided to go with her, and thus the adventure began. She tried to see the world through my eyes, all the while teaching me to look through hers.

To be true, she did not see the world through her eyes, but through her heart... in time I learned to do it as well. She asked me about the music, and I told her of the waterfalls and the birds, but looking around all I saw was people, and machines.

Duck smiled and led me away from the city, to a small village. There beneath a waterfall, was a man playing flute. “Sometimes you have to look,” She told me, “but if you are willing, you can find what you’re looking for.”

For the first time in a very long time, I was at peace with the world around me. It was a world of beauty an grace but it was also a very troubled and dangerous world as well.

The reminder that trouble loomed everywhere was reiterated as we traveled back to our hotel. As we walked back from a restaurant a man walked up to us as if he was in need. Before I could react, the man had pointed a gun at us and demanded our money.

Of course he spoke in Chinese, and I could only assume that Duck didn't understand, because she started laughing. I hate to admit it, but I too started laughing. Here, after all we'd been through a man was willing to take our lives for any money we might have on our persons.

I was unprepared for Duck's next move. She held up her hand, waving it in front of her as she pulled out a traveler’s guide and began butchering the language.

I still remember what she told the man, and his expression was priceless...

"Your eyes are like lucid elephants,” she paused. Getting no response, she forged ahead. “You are dancing in my bathhouse. Please tell me how to get to the Airport, my duck is late."

I am sure he thought Duck was touched, and I began to wonder myself. Then she pulled out a pen and wrote in very careful pictographs on her palm and showed them to the man.

As she stared the man down I could feel the change. She was dangerous then, ready to kill if need be. I think the man sensed it, for he turned and ran.

Duck smiled again, but I could tell she was still wary. When we were once again at the hotel, I asked to see her hand.

She showed it to me, and I had to laugh....

“Allow me to introduce you to your ancestors,” it read.

She winked as I looked at her in disbelief. Then she told me in perfect Cantonese, 'Never argue with a crazy woman."

That was my introduction to one who has become one of my dearest friends...

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Copyright 1998 - M.T. Decker

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