Friday, November 30, 2012

Panda Piss

“Move the kegs into the storehouse.” Shen Tung said scratching his beard. The Chinese guards carried the kegs of confederate silver into the wooden sheriff’s office that served as their barracks. The kegs were filled with silver marked with the sigil of Mexico. Each keg was heavy and moldering.
“Thirty.” The guard said.  “Thirty kegs of confederate American Silver Magistrate.”
“ You have done well. We will bring glory to New Shanghai.” Tung said. Outside the sky was cloudy and dark. Fireworks broke in brilliant hues of sparkles.  The locals here in Stull Kansas, celebrated Ghost Day, the day when the ancestors came down from the world of the dead. The fireworks and lights were to draw there attention. Shen Could see from here thousands of paper lanterns drifting down the river. The each lantern held a tiny candle and bobbled in the water heading down river. The lanterns were supposed to appease the ancestors and hungry ghosts.
Miles away
                “Keep fishing them out.” I said. I held a long net in my glove covered hands. We were busy fishing out the paper lanterns. Grace a woman of Chinese descent took the silver coins out of the bottom of the candles. Two coins per single floating lamp added up quickly. Then she put the candles back in the water and pushed them on. Lorelei and Victoria sorted the coins into wooden and steel trunks.
                “This is a lot of money.” Lorelei said. She long brown hair was wet and blowing in the wind. Her dark skin was the color of coffee. “How are we going to move it.”
                “I know some folks in New Orleans.” Victoria said. Her voice was a whiskey kissed Boston Brogue and her hair was the color of spun copper. She had freckles that covered her alabaster skin. “They owe me.  Then all we have to do is get this across the Mississippi River and into the hands of the United states. Minus a finders fee.”
                “That is the plan.” I said.
                “Any time now.” Grace said.
                “Can’t you be a little more specific?”
                “Sure. How does now sound?”
Back at Stull
                “Do you smell that?” Tung asked.
                “Smell what?” The guard said. Shen took out his long curved knife and pried the lid off one of the kegs. Inside was silver piled all the way way to the top.
                Shen tipped over the keg and silver fell out and covered the wooden floor. Not enough silver to fill the keg. The Chinese beauricrat looked into the keg. Inside rested a solution of quicksilver and nitrate. Just as he looked in it began to boil. Bags of gunpowder had been pressed inside the rest of the keg.
                “Shiong mao niao” Shen spat. The sound of the explosion could be heard and seen for miles. Thirty kegs filled with gunpowder and just enough silver to cover the top was a great way to say goodbye.