CHAPTER 2

Sampling Shanghai Pinks

Pecan Pie explained why mooncakes shouldn't move while humans were around:

"When Cook Chan spotted one once, he fainted, banged his head on the till, and has never been the same since."

mc-chapter-02Poor guy! Nevertheless, the longer Moony sat on the hob, the longer he longed to look for the moon. It sounded such a beautiful, mysterious place.

Ding ding, eight o'clock, chimed the bakery clock. The keys on Cook Chan's belt jangled as he unlocked the door.

Chan Tai pinned back the bamboo curtain and Moony saw customers jostling for space.

"Gimme a taste of your Shanghai Pinks," said a man.

Two women pushed him aside. "We were first!"

Shaped like Shanghai dumplings, the Pinks had jelly bodies, pink-iced coatings and twisty topknot hair. Chan Tai lifted one from their winter wonderland display on the top shelf, and reached for a knife.

"What's happening?" Moony gasped.

Chop, CHOP! Flashes of silver, and Chan Tai chopped the Pink in pieces.

"Disgusting!" cried Moony.

"Delicious!" cooed the customers.

"No pain no gain," joked Nutty.

"Death comes to us all," muttered Suzhou Ham.

The Shanghai Pinks cheered at the clink of coins in the till.

Moony's pastry flaked. "Will I be eaten too?"

"Only if you're bought, silly," called a cheeky Pink.

"But I want to see the moon!"

The giggling Pinks responded: "No chance."

"You'll be eaten inside buildings."

"Inside offices."

"In flats with children watching internet TV."

Moony's double duck egg heart pounded. "You don't care, about not seeing the moon?"

Laughter rippled around the winter wonderland. "Not a crumb."

"We're not sentimental Traditionals, like you."

"It's visible from here, sometimes."

One thing was for sure. Moony cared.

And if his life was to be so brutally short, he'd tip and roll to see the moon, that very night.

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