CHASING THE WINTER MOON
This is a work of pure fiction. This is not real. In any way shape or form. fic·tion (n.) 1. a. An imaginative creation or a pretense that does not represent actuality but has been invented. b. The act of inventing such a creation or pretense. 2. a. A literary work whose content is produced by the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact. b. The category of literature comprising works of this kind, including novels and short stories. Just so we’re all clear :::grins::: This is a not-for-profit publication.. None of the events depicted here are real and are meant for personal entertainment purposes only. Readers are advised materials contain Adult Sexual Content and Mature Situations.
Dedication To the incredible Hoshiko for taking me out of my universe And once again… still…as always, to everyone who has ever read along and to those who found these words later. Thank you for being there. So so much. Snookies. Saranghae
ONE “He makes me doubt myself, Yi Mae-chang,” Goo Yong Ha complained to the gisaeng pouring him a cup of soju bitters. “There are times when he looks at me and I forget that I am a man. Tell me! Is that right? Shouldn’t I argue to him that he should take himself off someplace so I can never see him again? It reasons that without him near, I would retain my manhood and not quiver like a young girl when I see him.” As if to spite him, Hanseong’s twilight skies were clear and bright although a storm lurked on the horizon. The tea house’s windows were open to let a rare warm winter breeze clear the often smoky rooms and a brave cricket chirruped in a cluster of river rushes. A faint wind carried in the scent of the river, a fresh clean fragrance perfumed with the tang of the nearby lemon grass and Yong Ha sighed, hating that the fragrance reminded him of his wild obsession. Beyond the tea house, a group of children were playing in the street, dodging a little girl screwing her eyes shut while they shouted out where their other playmates were standing. A splash of red fabric winked from the young girl’s clothes, her dress tie bright against the duller grey of her outer robes. She shrieked when one of her companions touched her, a slightly older little boy intent on distracting her. Her shrill yelp turned to hiccups and then laughter as the boy tried to cure her of them. Frowning deeply, Yong Ha turned his attention to the woman serving him, her extraordinary beauty leaving him as unmoved as the warm alcohol simmering on the brazier. By all accounts, Yong Ha reasoned he should be happy — at least mildly content but the ennui he carried in his heart continued to plague him despite the world’s attempts to cheer him up. “What is it, Mae-chang?” He prodded the fire with a long metal poke. “Tell me, why do I allow myself such nonsense when there is so much more to life than to worry after him?” “I am but a gisaeng, my lord,” She said, bowing her head. Her elaborate hair weave jangled as she moved, strings of metal butterflies engaged in aerial battles with the jade cherry blossoms on her hair pins. “I could not imagine having the wisdom to counsel you.” “You damn me to my ignorance then,” Yong Ha quipped, a wide vulpine smile transforming his cold features. “And don’t tell me tales about gisaeng and their lack of wisdom. My grandmother was a gisaeng. I’ve never met a more formidable and fierce woman. I am certain my grandfather passed away just to escape her. If he’d known how the world could tremble at her touch, he wouldn’t have paid out her contract and married her.” “Your grandfather sounds like a wise man, my lord,” Mae-chang murmured, folding down onto her shins to sit besides the reclining scholar. Her dress rustled as she moved, the yards of iridescent fabric shimmering in the soft lantern light. She studied the young man sitting next to her. Long-limbed and pretty faced, Yong Ha was a favoured patron for many of the women at Jade Carp but none held his attention for very long. With his brightly coloured clothes and g