Somewhere in a back street in London was a very small, interesting shop. At least interesting for someone looking for something special or perhaps just someone walking past and attracted by the contents of the window. There were Chinese lanterns, fans, small statues of Chinese mandarins and some normal tourist dolls, packed in their transparent plastic boxes dressed in Chinese silk imitation dresses, usually with butterfly patterns.
One day Christine happened to be in the area. It was well known for special shops and she had been in the second hand bookshop just opposite Su Fong’s Surprise Emporium, such was the name of the shop. It was then that the sky darkened and large raindrops began to fall, accompanied with the usual thud of thunder and flashes of so-called sheet lightening. Storms in London always brought a smell of wet asphalt with them, where you could breathe the dust of years gone by. At first Christine just stood in front of Su Fong’s window taking shelter under the small sun blind that was stretched out. Slowly even the sun blind was no protection from the blowing winds and so she turned and decided to browse around in the shop, just passing time.
“I think someone coming, now just be still and let me get on with it.” Said a man’s voice in the shop.
“No problem” answered a female voice “you know I always keep quiet when I have to. Who knows, perhaps this is one of my lucky days and things might start happening.”
“No talking, keep still and looky nice” answered the man, with a slight accent.
“Can I help you missy, you want something, nice Chinese souvenir for children, or something for birthday pleasant?”
Christine turned to the direction where the voice came from. She expected to see a man and woman, but at first glance saw no-one. When she looked closer she noticed a small man, with thick black hair, sort of greased flat to his head and with a definite oriental touch. She assumed he was the person in charge of the shop.
“Su Fong, for your attention missy”, but Christine was still looking for the woman that she had heard.
“I am just looking with nothing really in mind” still wondering where the female voice had come from. She decided it was probably Su Fong’s wife who was feeling a bit bored. Christine seemed to be the only customer in the shop.
“You want nice dolly with Chinese costume missy, or perhaps nice illuminated fan for warm summer evenings. You just looky, looky?”
It was then that Christine saw it, a doll, not so Chinese looking, with beautiful long brown hair trailing the full length down to the feet, and dressed in a long dress matching the colour of the hair. It had something mystic, something special. She also noticed it was not packed in one of those cheap plastic transparent covers, but was standing firmly upright on a marble round floor piece inside a glass container resembling those used for some ornate clocks where you could see the insides of the clock. These covers were usually a sort of protective ornate dust cover, so she was really interested to know what this beautiful doll was doing inside this glass cover.
“How much does this doll cost” she asked Mr. Fu Song.
“That, Missy, is not saleable. Velly original, and just one piece. No possible to get second one.”
Christine thought how the doll would look so nice in her apartment, the colours matching everything.
“That’s a shame, I would so like to have the doll” and she picked it up. Something moved inside the glass cover and she was sure the doll winked at her. On a second look she saw that the doll was just standing still, but had such a friendly look on her face.
“Are you sure, I would pay a lot for such an original piece.”
Fu Song had suddenly a strange look in his eyes “OK, one hundred and you can have it.”
“Do you take credit cards” Christine asked. She knew that it was a ridiculous price, but something told her that she must have the doll.
“We take all cledit cards missy.”
So Christine paid and left the shop, the doll packed in a nice carrier bag imprinted with golden letters showing “Fu Song’s Emporium” on a dark red background.
Things were now quiet in Fu Song’s Emporium. The storm was over, but it was already closing time for the shops. Fu Song had not yet locked up his shop; he had fallen into a deep sleep behind the counter. It was the chimes of the church clock nearby sounding nine in the evening that woke him.
“Goodness glacious” he mumbled “I fall asleep. Where my genie, I knew she should not be in the shop for all to see. What is this, a receipt, young missy bought genie for one hundred. The beast charmed us all today, must have been the storm in the air. Good that lady bought genie with cledit card, now to find lady and stop before tlouble starts.”
Fu Song hurried to the street where his car was parked and made his way to Christine’s house. It was on the outskirts of town, one of those modern high apartment blocks. He did not have to look for a long while. There were crowds around the house; the firemen were there with an engine and an ambulance as well as the police.
“Oh no, what has genie done now?”
He saw about 8 firemen standing with a rescue sheet held between them. All eyes were directed to the flat roof of the building.
“Genie what you doing up there, you come down, people getting worried.”
It was then that Christine saw Fu Song.
“Thank goodness you are here. What sort of a monster did I buy?. When I arrived home I put your doll on the table. I was in the kitchen preparing the evening meal and heard a noise in the living room like an explosion. The glass container was empty, but not broken, and saw the lady walking around in my apartment. She started opening all my cupboards and prying into all my private things.”
“I find you through cledit card" although actually Fu Song found her because he could find things when he wanted to find them. "Did she say anything?”
“She looked at me with her laughing eyes and said “very nice place, what do we have to eat.” She glided into the kitchen, I don’t think she knew how to walk, and opened my fridge. I think she tried everything. She seemed to have a taste for cola. She drunk three bottles. I just couldn’t move. At last she found the window and walked out to the balcony.”
“Yes, genie like balconies, her favourite places when high up. You don’t have to tell me more, she climbed up to the roof from balcony to see the view better.”
“Yes, she did. And now we have police, firemen and ambulance to rescue her.”
“No panic lady, now go and get glass cover with marble floor and bring here. I make it all good again.”
Christine was in such a state, that if the Chinese man had told her to also jump from the roof she would have done it.
Fu Song looked up to his “genie” on the roof.
“You come down now, straight away, you not belong on roof, but in Fu Song’s Emporium. Wa, Wa, Wong.”
At the mention of these three words, genie jumped but on her way down she shrunk, getting smaller and smaller and she landed on the marble base of the glass container. Fu Song put the lid on the container and disappeared in his car, leaving Christine, the London police force, Firemen and Ambulance just standing and wondering why they were there. It seemed there was a mass forgetfulness, no-one knew what had happened and why. They all decided to keep it quiet, it was a better solution.
Now if you ever visit that little back street in London, where the second hand bookshop is, then you will not find Fu Song’s Emporium, it is no longer opposite the shop. On the other hand, if there happens to be an electric storm in the air it just might be ……”
Writer's Block - Challenge #60