CHAPTER 15

One for Hou Yi and One for You

As Chang'e bit into Moony's middle, her eyes misted. "Your delicious filling reminds me of cooking lotus flower seeds with my grandmother," she said. "We'd wash and boil them, peel the shells. Add sugar cane and stir, stir, stir. And I'd beg to lick the spoon."

"Have another bite," Moony said.

chapter 15 v01Chang'e's tongue felt smooth and slippery.

She swallowed and smiled. "Then I'd bend bamboo beside a crackling fire, making lanterns with my grandfather."

Jade Rabbit refilled her cup. Fragrant jasmine leaves.

"Do children still shell seeds? Make lanterns?" she asked.

"Oh yes," said Moony, although he wasn't entirely sure.

So instead he told her about his best friends: Nutty, Red Bean and Suzhou Ham; about the happy children he'd left on earth celebrating the festival in a traditional way.

He made her laugh at the sickly Shanghai Pinks.

The vast blackness seemed to still. Stars twinkled.

But Moony was beginning to feel faint. The cool air chilled him.

"Ooh," said Chang'e. "You have a double duck egg heart."

"One for Hou Yi and one for you," he replied weakly.

Chang'e tensed and the moon fairies stopped playing.

"Oolong?" asked Jade Rabbit, tea pot lifted.

But at that moment Moony knew his short little life hadn't been in vain, and his big heart beat deep. Because a lip of the moon still shone. The chariot was still strong. "Ask the moon fairies to fly you to him. Share my salty double duck egg heart, ask Hou Yi for his forgiveness."

Chang'e kissed Moony, nestled his eggs between her warm breasts. "To heaven's gate," she cried.

Moon fairies flocked around, pouring moon dust into the chariot, tightening silvery ropes, oiling silver wheels.

"Ask the heavenly emperor for forgiveness too," said Jade Rabbit.

Chang'e swept him up in the chariot and they flew into the blackness together.

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