Serial Saturday #8: Late Night Spring Rolls
Not much to say about this one, just please enjoy part eight of my ongoing serial, Late Night Spring Rolls:
Wei-Ting woke with a start, hands reaching for his stomach before he forced himself to take a deep breath to calm down. "It was just a dream," he said aloud. He stared up at the ceiling of his apartment for a moment, hoping that he would fall back asleep, but it was no use. He was full awake at, he rolled over and grabbed his phone off the nightstand. "Three o'clock in the morning?" he groaned. "You've got to be kidding me."
Wei-Ting flung his covers aside and got out of bed. He padded across the cold, conrete floor to the modest kitchen area and turned on the light. He walked around the edge of the breakfast bar and stopped at the coffee machine for a long moment before shaking his head. No. It was too early for coffee. He stepped over to the fridge and opened the door.
The interior of Wei-Ting's fridge was sparse. He was a bachelor and his work schedule had been anything but normal during his field training and all that looked good was a pack of spring rolls and a peach mojito bubble tea he had picked up from the bodega downstairs.
"I really need to go grocery shopping," he said out loud as he grabbed the bubble tea and spring rolls and closed the fridge. Flipping the light off in the kitchen, he walked into his 'living room' and, sitting down on the couch, opened his laptop and turned it on. While it booted up, he took the straw and jabbed it down into the plastic cover of the bubble tea and took a long pull from it.
Wei-Ting leaned back on the couch and took int the view from his window. It was still amazing to him that he had managed to find this place. Of course, when he had moved in, they hadn't built the massive four star hotel and boutique shopping mall across the street. He still ran down the road to what was left of the park and usually managed one lap around Golden Lake each morning before work, so the location was still good. But sometimes he missed the view. He missed the trees. He missed nature.
"What you really miss is home," Wei-Ting said. The laptop in front of him made a noise indicating that he had notifications to peruse. He took another sip of the bubble tea and began working his way through them. There was the usual spattering of junk email and the dreaded weekly missive from his mother demanding a phone call. He made a mental note to find some time to do that, it was probably time to satiate her somewhat.
His friends on social media had been busy. Vacation in Kenting National park at the very southern tip ot Taiwan. Reviews of the new superhero movie from Marvel. One of his old college buddies wanted to know if he was up for some online gaming this weekend- Wei-Ting quickly wrote back that he was.
He flipped open the spring rolls and prised open the chili sauce container that was included in the packet. He grabbed one and dipped it into the sauce, rolling it around to ensure maximum coverage of the spring roll and then took a big sumptuous bite of it and began to chew. He was about to log off of social media, when the Instagram post made him pause. He didn't know where it exactly was-- the caption claimed it was in Taroko National Park, but it was the mountains. God, he missed those beautiful, emerald green mountains.
"I need a vacation," Wei-Ting said. He shook his head and logged off of social media before opening his dark web access point to check his messages there. Part oof wondered if he should just leave all the dark web stuff behind once and for all, but hold habits were hard to break. He opened his messages. there was one message waiting for him. He picked up his spring roll and was about to take another bite when he clicked on the message and it opened up.
It contained a picture. It was a booth in what looked to be abar of some kind and there, raising a giant boot of beer in salute was their murder victim. She was smiling at the young man sitting next to her. They looked like they were in love. Below the picture was a single sentence:
We need to meet.