Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Short Story Mystery

Seoul Food by Elizabeth Ludwig

Part 1

Cho Hee Kim hiked her basket higher on her hip. All around people thronged the market place—pushing, shouting. As a member of the ruling regime, Cho Hee could easily have sent a servant for the snake meat she served to her guests every Tuesday night, but she enjoyed the bustle of the marketplace, and her worn dress and servant’s cloak gave her ample anonymity.

Annyeong,” she greeted as she drew near to her favorite vendor, a wizened old man with thinning gray hair and eagle sharp eyes.

“Annyeong haseyo,” the vendor replied. “Here for your regular Tuesday purchase?”

Cho Hee smiled and added a quick nod. “Many guests tonight. I need something extra special.”

The vendor’s wrinkled cheeks lifted in a grin. “I have just the thing.” Reaching below the wooden plank that served as a counter, he pulled out a crate and dropped it before her with a thud.

Cho Hee picked up the lid and peered inside. The snake looked fresh. The vendor must have killed it specifically for her, knowing she would need just a such a delicacy for her honored guests. Smiling, she tipped her head. “It is perfect. Many thanks.”

She paid the vendor then slipped quietly into the crowd with her purchase, never guessing that just a few steps away, death waited to claim her, its icy cold fangs bared and ready to pierce her unsuspecting flesh.

Stay tuned next week for Part 2 of Seoul Food.

FOR DISCUSSION: What evil plot lies in store for Cho Hee?

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