CHAPTER 13

We All Live Forever

Moon snaps, lunar pies, silver drops, and Moony, who took pride of place on the cake stand. The fairies flew off to tune their instruments.

"Stick tight," said Jade Rabbit, wheeling a loaded trolley towards the icy palace gate.

chapter 13 v01I'll soon be eaten and that will be that, thought Moony.

Chang'e was lying on her rabbit fur throne. She wore a white gown and her hair was as black as the night. She was wafer thin, almost ghostly. Lifting her head, she said, "Oh, is it time for tea?"

Moony's fear melted. She didn't seem storm-like at all.

She leaned forward. Jangle jangle, her jade bangles slid down her elegant arm and Moony gazed into two black moons in her eyes. "Ah, a Traditional."

"Fresh from Hong Kong," said Jade Rabbit.

Jangle, jangle. Chang'e lay back. "I'm not hungry," she said.

Moony was confused. At first she'd seemed so interested in him. Now her head was turned.

She'd eat nothing else, either. Not even a piece of crater cake.

Jade Rabbit's whiskers twitched. "Play some music," he ordered, and the moon fairies plucked their zithers and blew their bamboo flutes.

"Did she want a Shanghai Pink after all?" asked Moony.

Chang'e laughed and Moony blushed, not expecting her to have understood. "A sickly sweet Shanghai Pink? Like last year? Once was enough."

"If you don't eat, your beautiful body will waste away," said Jade Rabbit.

"Who'd believe that everlasting life was such a curse," she replied.

Jade Rabbit stamped his stump. "Remember my lady, whoever we are, immortal or mortal, goddess or man, we all live forever really. Man only dies because his body grows old. You don't. But all our spirits live forever."

Even if you're a mooncake? wondered Moony.

And his double duck heart warmed. Chang'e didn't seem angry. Just very sad.

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