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Saturday Storytime: Call Girl

This is Tang Fei’s first English-language publication. I have a feeling it won’t be her last.

“I did as you said and switched to a different car. Can you tell me why? It’s… unusual.”

The middle–aged man turns to gaze at Xiaoyi. This is the first time they’ve met. The two are squeezed tightly into the backseat of the little Daihatsu Charade: the schoolgirl in her dark blue, short skirt, the man in his elegant hanfu. Once in a while, in a moment of carelessness, their knees bump into each other and separate immediately.

In the driver’s seat is the chauffeur, his uniform neatly pressed, silver epaulettes on his shoulders, brand–new white gloves on his hands.

“You brought a chauffeur.” Xiaoyi frowns.

“I haven’t driven in a long time.”

Xiaoyi turns her eyes to the flow of traffic outside the window — which is not flowing at all. It’s Friday, and the traffic jam started at noon. It doesn’t really matter. They’re not in any hurry. The man takes out a handkerchief to wipe the sweat from his brow. The Charade’s air conditioning isn’t working — unpleasant for those used to Cadillacs.

“Where to?” he asks.

“Nowhere.”

“Okay. Just so long as you’re happy.”

They are always so good tempered, treating her like a pet, adoration mixed with contempt. Before they really start, they’re all the same.

Xiaoyi turns to give the middle–aged man a careful look. His eyes are dark, strange but friendly. They seize her and don’t let go.

“What do you want me to do?” she asks.

“Like you do with the others.”

“So you haven’t thought through what you want, yourself.”

The man laughs. “I just can’t be sure that you can satisfy me.”

“You’re greedy.” Xiaoyi winks. Her eyelashes are long and dark, fanning seductively.

The man’s Adam’s apple moves up and down. The way Xiaoyi’s shirt clings to her body tells him that she’s not wearing a bra.

“Let’s start now,” Xiaoyi says.

“In the car?”

Xiaoyi reaches out and closes the man’s eyelids. Her hands are ice cold.

Keep reading.

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