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Flash Fiction #41

I saw this interesting writing prompt on Reddit... It inspired me to write a short scene about it. Hope you enjoy!

"The only place to eat for miles is the Asian restaurant attached to the gas station. The food is great, but their fortune cookies always come true."

(Note: I guess this doesn't really qualify as a flash fiction as it got a bit too long...)

"You hungry?" Sam glanced over at Rachel in the passenger seat beside him.

Rachel tapped her chin as she pondered on the status of her stomach. Then she heard her stomach gurgled, and her face turned a bit red. "Hmm... I actually am."

"Perfect. The sign says there is a restaurant coming up ahead at the next exit."

"But it has only a Chinese restaurant. Where's a McDonald's when you need one..."

Sam laughed. "If you want to wait another hour driving, you can have your McDonald's. Drive, or stop here?"

"Just stop here. It's better than starving for another hour." Rachel sighed.

"I'm sure it'll be good. Just look, there are so many cars in the parking lot." He looked around for any empty parking spots.

Rachel muttered, "That's because this is the only one here along the highway in the middle of nowhere."

He eventually found a spot near the entrance of the parking lot, the furthest location to the restaurant. It didn't exude a high class place as the paint on the exterior building were peeling off and everything looked old. Rachel commented, "This looks so creepy. Why did I decide to stop here?"

"Stop being a worrywart. What's the worst thing that could happen here? The food will be great, the service will be nice, and we can be on our merry way." Sam replied.

They waited at the front as the waitress got the number of seats they needed, and waited until there was an available table to be seated. After a couple left, Rachel and Sam sat and looked over the menu. After the waitress gave them a glass of water each, she left them alone as she tended to the other tables to let them decide on their food. "I think I decided to go for the chow mein. What about you, Rachel?" Sam looked up from the menu.

"I think it'll just be the shrimp fried rice."

"Perfect. Let me call someone over." Sam looked around with a hand up to try to get someone's attention.

After giving their order, Sam sat back as he sipped his glass of water. He looked around the busy restaurant and everyone looked like tourists. It was expected as the restaurant was like an on-route stop in between cities. "There are so many different people. Look at the table over there about to finish their meal."

Rachel turned her head to look at a table for two as the man paid the bill. They were much older than the two of them, and their smiles were so big after breaking open their complimentary fortune cookie. They noticed they were being watched, and stared right back at Sam and Rachel.

"Sorry, we were surprised to see how happy you two are that we couldn't turn away." Sam scratched the back of the head as he could feel beads of sweat on the back of his neck.

"No, it's okay. You definitely have to get your fortune cookie. It's the reason we always come back here everytime we go on a road trip." The man said.

"Oh, why do you say that?"

"I don't want to ruin the magic, but I can say that their wisdom is spot on." The couple got up and took their exit.

"I wonder what he meant by that, Rachel." Sam said as Rachel shrugged, but they were soon preoccupied by their meal coming out.

They dug right into their meals as they could no longer hold back their hungry stomachs. "Rachel, how is your food?"

"Not bad. I was worried for no reason." She said as she covered her mouth with her hand as she chewed on her food.

"That's good to hear! You need to be more positive!"

"What about yours?"

"Perfect. It's not that saucy or salty. I like it a lot."

The plates emptied as fast as they came to them, and the waiter stopped by to collect the dishes. The bill came along with their complimentary fortune cookies, one for the each of them. Sam paid for the bill, so they can enjoy their fortune cookies at their leisure pace. "This is making me nervous! What that man said is stopping me from finding out what's in here." Sam took one and held it after removing the wrapper.

"I honestly don't believe in these superstitious things. Some people are just too gullible." Rachel took one anyways.

She was the first one to crack open the message from the fortune cookie. She ate a piece of the cookie as she read the slip of paper. Her face turned red right away after reading it, completely embarrassed.

"What's up?" Sam noticed the change of colour on her cheeks.

"Here, take a look." Rachel showed Sam, and he read it outloud, "Watch what you wish for, it may come true."

Sam didn't understand the other meaning behind the message. "What's so embarrassing about that?"

Rachel covered her face with her hands. "It's my wish that I want to come true."

Sam waited a couple of seconds, waiting in suspense. "Well... Are you going to tell me, or am I going to have to wait?"

"I have to go to the washroom first." Rachel got up to avoid his question.

"Sure..." Sam sat back and watched her leave to go the washroom. He looked back down at his own fortune cookie. Then he broke it to read what it said on his piece of paper. "Beware of phone calls. You may uncover a dark secret."

As soon as he finished reading the message, Rachel's phone rang. Sam leaned over to take a look at the caller ID, and saw it was from his best friend. He picked up the phone, and answered, "Hey Jim. What's up?"

"Oh! Sam! How is it going? Is Rachel around?"

"She just stepped out for a bit. What do you need her for?"

"Oh, it's nothing. I was wondering whether she is free tonight."

Sam narrowed his eyes, completely astounded by what Jim just said. "You do know that Rachel and I is on a road trip, right?"

"I'm sorry. I didn't know."

Sam added, "I didn't think you and Rachel were even that close. When did that happen?"

Jim was silent for a bit after Sam's question until he finally answered, "I didn't want you to find out, but since you asked..."

Meanwhile, Rachel looked at herself in the mirror as she washed her hands. "Could it really come true? My wish?" Then she laughed out loud. "There's no way it will happen on its own. That was just really lucky."

When she left the washroom, she sat back down at their table and started to get ready to leave the restaurant. "Sam, what's up? Let's get back on the road."

"Jim just called." Sam simply said as if Rachel knew the reason behind his best friend calling her. He never made eye contact when she came back from the washroom.

"Oh, really? What was the reason he called? I'll need to message him after the weekend."

"Why don't you just talk to him now? We're going back home." Sam got up and headed over to the exit.

"What are you talking about? You're acting really strange!" Rachel grabbed him by the arm to prevent him from leaving. "You wanted to go on this trip, so why do you have a change of heart now?"

"How can I even trust what you're saying right now!?" Sam shoved her away. "You're saying I have a change of heart, but you're the one who was sleeping with Jim and seeing him behind my back! I understand that we haven't spent as much time together, but that's precisely why I suggested going on this trip for the two of us."

"He actually told you that?" Rachel looked at Sam with wide eyes, completely stunned. How could he say that, she thought. "I'm sorry! I promise it won't happen again! I made a mistake, and I'll clear it up as soon as we get back from this trip." Rachel cried and held onto his arm again.

"Save it. Read my fortune and you'll understand why I'm so upset. We're turning around now." He pushed her away and went outside with haste. Rachel went over to their table to the crumpled piece of paper, and unfolded it to read Sam's message. She cried even more.

A waitress came over after their shouting match, and offered a napkin. "Are you going to be okay?"

Rachel took it and wiped her eyes with it. "How can I be okay?! It's all your fault and your stupid fortune cookie!"

"I'm sorry to hear that, but our fortune cookie only shows the truth."

"What truth? Only one of these messages came true. How about mine?!" Rachel forced her fortune into the waitress' hands.

"What is your wish?"

"I want to move to the next stage, and get married to the person I love."

"It just means that you are to love and marry someone else."

"How is that possible?! I love Sam!" Rachel brushed back her hair in distress.

"I'm sorry. Our fortune cookie isn't clouded by lies and deception, and it's completely innocent and pure. I wish for your happiness, and that you can take something positive from this." The waitress went back to serving other customers, leaving Rachel by herself. "Why? I know it was my fault. I know I made a mistake, and I wanted to fix it. Everything is..."

Sam kicked a rock outside in frustration. "Why did I read it? Why did we even stop here in the first place? When did it go wrong? Everything is..."



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