Once, in Beijing, a young girl in a red gown huddled in a doorway. Like it had been ever since the Chinese industrial 'revolution', it was smoggy and grey. She stared off into the limited distance, trying to peer beyond all the smog.

"Where's mother?" A voice came from behind her.

"Oh, you know the answer to that, Chang'e," she replied. "Go ask dad. I'm sure that he'll say what he's always said."

"What's that?" she asked.

"You're so forgetful..." the girl mumbled.

"But you are too!" said Chang'e. "I bet you don't even remember what father said to you yesterday."

"I do too," the girl responded. "He said that mother is... oh, man, you're right."

"Let's go ask father."

"Okay."

The two of them walked down the dirty alley, one of many just like it in Beijing. They turned left into a narrow doorway in the back of a building.

"Father, father!" they yelled.

"Yes, Meimei?" he replied. "Oh, is that Chang too?"

"Father, where did mother go? She's never around any more..."

"Oh, don't you two worry," he replied. "She's just over there, as she will be every day."

Father wandered outside and pointed up.

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NathanielFruchter (joined over 11 years ago)
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sad childhood parents china

Prompt

Once, in Beijing, a young girl in a red gown huddled in a doorway.
Prompt suggested by Galen

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