JM Williams

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To be King – FFfAW



Harry watched the yellow banner billow in the wind. He was fixated on one of the Chinese characters, the one that meant “king” (王).

He wondered to himself what it would be like to be a king. He was British, so would he be a king like the mythical Arthur or the historical William I? Though, he was also Chinese by blood–a fact his parents refused to let him forget. So would he be a king like Kangxi? Or maybe like Genghis Khan?

Regardless of which type of king he became, he was sure he wouldn’t have to spend extra hours after school everyday studying Chinese writing and history. Kings have more important things to do than study. Like eating fried dumplings.

Harry stepped regally into the restaurant and demanded his royal dumplings.

*Written as a response to the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (FFfAW) photo prompt.

23 Responses to To be King – FFfAW

  1. He would become a very fat king then like Khan! Like how you spun this away from the others, and looked up the Chinese character – brought the photo into the story.

    • I actually knew the character. It’s one of the few I still know. That’s how I got the idea. I can’t read the other characters in the banner, I was just wondering why a restaurant would call itself King. Maybe its a compound word or something. Anyways it was a nice picture.

      • thank you for that detailed look into the picture – its not a restaurant but an ancestral home turned into a shrine that tourists can visit. My grandma lived on this street and she had a house like this once but after she died it was sold to develop the area. You know calligraphy then?

        • I learned a couple dozen Chinese characters in an advanced Korean class. I don’t actually know Chinese. A good chunk of Korean is based on Chinese characters though, and even though they don’t use it in print much anymore kids still study it here. The only reason I remember the character for king, pronounced “wang”, is because its slang for six pack abs. The shape is the same as the character. Pull up your shirt and say “check out my wang.” That’s ‘wahng’ not ‘waeng’. It’s become kind of a running joke with my wife because I’m down to only about half a wang now. Now that you say it’s a shrine I really want to know what the rest of it means.

          • Very interesting! Yes agreed the characters have some resemblance as even the 2 languages have similar shared words. Kids used the same way to remember the characters when they study it here too! Is the photo clear enough for you to get all the words out? I may have to get a better shot next time I pass by if it intrigues you that much.

          • The photo was just fine. I doubt I could figure it out anyways. I don’t know how to look them up!

          • i will take a look later and get back to you –

          • i couldnt load the photo on my mobile data – so now I am home I see it says searching , king, thousand, autumns – sorry i could not get the top half of the banner – note to self when taking photos in future to be more observant – hope it was helpful and thank you for connecting with the photo.

          • No problem. Thanks for the translation. Now I wonder what it means all together. You said a family shrine, could the banner be like a coat of arms?

          • Each family has like certain phrases that they say arre good feng shui or used to keep homes safe and prosperous, it could be anyone of those. Not really coat of arms for Chinese families – its usually the surname that signifies which clan they come from. thank you so much for your keen interest in this.

          • No, thank you for the insights.

  2. Loved the last line – king of all the dumplings he surveyed!

    • What’s funny, now that I think of it, is that they have dumplings called “king dumplings” here in Korea. Basically just jumbo size. But those are steamed, not fried.

  3. LOL! Cute story! His royal duty is to eat fried dumplings. Let’s hope he doesn’t get too fat. Hahaha! I don’t believe you have participated in the challenge before and I would like to welcome you. We are happy you have joined us in the FFfAW challenge!

    • I thought I did one time before, but I can’t be sure. I don’t do photo prompt challenges unless they give me a good spark. A few of the bloggers I follow do them often and if I see one of their stories and the picture gives me an idea, I jump in. It would be disloyal to my muse not to write what she gives me. And it would be dishonest not to link back to the source. So every once in a while I find myself in these challenges. Thanks for the welcome. !

  4. Haha! This is a fun character. I hope he enjoyed his royal dumplings 😉

  5. Great story. Very funny.But, now I want dumplings…

  6. Cool story! And what a duty to have in life to eat fried dumplings. Definitely a worth while way to spend time!

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