5. Cost of Care 
6. Disguise
7. Fantasy  
8. First Love Letter 
9. Gambling Gains

1. Ballet Dancer (p. 103)
by @White Lightning
     Standing on tiptoe, she started to twirl on the stage as the ancient music began to play. Lithe and supple, moving gracefully, she seemed to hear sighs and gasps of admiration.
     Her old injuries hurt her anew, but paying them no mind, she kept dancing year after year….
     Until one day, a little girl stood in front of her. "Sir", the girl said to the owner of the antique store, pointing at her, "I want to buy this music box!"
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2. Can't Be Fixed (p. 8)
by @Hazy Rivulet
     "This cell phone of yours can't be fixed. Get a new one."
     "Please help me out and fix it, no matter what. It was my daughter's phone. She's gone now – an auto accident three years ago. I've gotten in the habit – every morning I listen to the voice mail message she recorded on this phone…."
     In a daze, he touched the phone softly with his soldering iron. "It's fixed."
     "But, didn't you say it couldn't be fixed?"
     "Then I was speaking as a businessman. Now I'm speaking as a father."
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3. A Cat's Life
by @Ge Benyun (p. 27)
     My uncle's family had their cat for three years and loved it dearly.
     One day Uncle had a sudden stroke at work, but luckily his co-workers got him to the hospital right away. Half his body was paralyzed, but they were able to save his life.
     Auntie hurried to the hospital and filled out all the paperwork. Outside Uncle's room, she told us that the cat had jumped from their eleventh-floor condo and died.
     To this day I feel that the cat offered its life in exchange for Uncle's.
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4. Contacts (p. 8)
by @Pouring Dusty Language
     She was flipping through her list of contacts. It was a very full list, but she didn't know who she could send the message to.
     In the end, she picked a number that was reasonably familiar. She plucked up her courage and sent the message off: "I'm a little down. Wanna keep me company?"
     She waited a long time, long enough that she was about to go to sleep. Finally the phone beeped.
     There were only two words. "You are?"
     Her eyes hurt a little, maybe from looking at the screen. She smiled and deleted another number.
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5. Cost of Care (p. 25)
by @Zhang Jingjuan of Hebei
     She's a pet sitter, makes around 5,000 Yuan [≈$820] a month. Her mom got sick a while back, so she hired a nanny for her. Cost 2,000 a month.
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6. Disguise (p. 26)
By @Honest Old Cat
     Momma Polar Bear wiped a tear from her eye as she said farewell to her cub. The cub's four paws had been dyed black, along with its ears and two circles around its eyes.
     "Dearest, the ice cap here at the pole is getting smaller and smaller, and there's less and less food. Go to China. The people there will take good care of you."
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7. Fantasy (p. 51)
By @wakandaxiao
     He'd said he wanted to go out with her and get to know her better. She sat shyly in front of him, wearing a new blouse and a new scarf.
     "Hello."
     "Hi."
     Neither one could think of anything to say. Finally he said, "You're really pretty today."
     "Thank you," she said, looking at him coquettishly.
     Suddenly a pair of young kids walked into the room. "Grandpa, Grandma," they cried in alarm. 
     He stood up quickly and walked out of the room. She smoothly took the scarf and started to dab at the table. "Wiping the table," she babbled, "wiping the table."
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8. First Love Letter (p. 73)
by @Purple Crystal Tear 331
     We've known each other for over twenty years, but this is the first letter I've ever written to you. You are the man I love most in my life, the first man to hug me and the first to kiss me.
     Thank you for catering to my every need for so many years. I always wanted to marry a man like you. Now I've finally found him, and I want to get married.
     Dad, I hope you and Mom love each other forever.
     Your daughter really loves you.
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9. Gambling Gains (p. 58)
by @Feng Xiao
     He noticed that his family's home was getting bigger. The bed was wider. He was rather puzzled, but later he finally remembered that he'd gone gambling.
     And lost. He'd sold all the furniture. His wife had left him….
     His memory was coming back: He'd sold the house, and lost that….
     Now he was sleeping on the plaza, in the open.
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10. Game Player (p. 87)
by @Light Cavalry on the Roof
     In an internet café. "My God, Wu old buddy, you're really an ace at video games."
     "My pal Wang from high school was the real ace. He was our team leader, but he usually played with us. He'd choose the times when we played."
     "His grades must not have been very good."
     "[He wasn't a student.] He was an alumnus of this college [and was a hired by the school as a mentor.] Before the College Entrance Exam, he informed us that he'd give first class gear to anyone who tested into a big name college. He lost big on that. They say he even lost the bonus he got for being leader of such an excellent class."
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11. Heads or Tails (p. 58)
by @Feng Xiaoxiao
     At the free-throw line. His heart beating fast. He only has to make one and they'll be champions, with bonuses, vacations…. If it doesn't go in, a year of day in, day out practice to do all over again. "God save us, go in, go in!"
     The coach and players from the other team on the sidelines, saying a single prayer in their hearts: "Don't go in! Don't go in! God save us!"
     Far away, in Heaven, God tosses a coin and mutters, "All so devout, might as well put it all on this. Heads it goes in, tails it doesn't…."
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12. Home for Dinner (p. 27)
by @Piggy's Exhortion
          The ear-splitting screech of a braking car resounded on the clamorous road. With his heart in his throat, he got out of the car to look at the victim.
     A small dog was lying in the road, covered with blood from being run over. Trembling, it tried several times to get up, without success. Then it started to crawl, slowly, pulling itself by its forelegs.
     He followed the dog in awe. He watched it crawl to a filthy kennel and, lying prone, breathe its last on that spot.
     With a touch of red in his eyes, he lifted his phone: "Mom, I'll come home for dinner tonight."

[In Chinese, even if you're married with children and grandchildren of your own, and have not lived with your parents for decades, "return home" (回家) means "come/go to your parents' house" – Fannyi]
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13. Investment Strategy (p. 28)
by @Lotta Guizhou Deer
     His wife asked, "Are you going to play Mahjong with Director Zhang again? How much more do you want to lose? At the rate you're going, we won't have enough left to live on!"
     Her husband said, "This is the way it's got to be, so you need to give me a break. This husband of yours might not have any other skills, but there's one word he likes – gambling!"
     He lost, like he always did. Some of his gambling buddies said he was jinxed, and the lucky stars always shone on Director Zhang.
     But when he got the contract, he told his wife, "In the end, I won the game!"
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14. Meeting the Kids (p. 47)
by @L-eing
     "Old Zhang, your kids came over today. Tell me, did they like me?
     "Take another look at my big red overcoat. Is it pretty? You don't have to speak. Just move your finger and I'll know.
     "If we get married, you'll have to love me to pieces. You promised 40 years ago that you'd take care of me, and you can't go back on your word this time…."

     "Ms. Lee, Dad's gone…."
     It was very quiet in the hospital room.
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15. Quit Gambling (p. 58)
by @Yang Xinshe
     The crowd was surprised when the husband came into the club. "Thought you swore off gambling?"
     "Ah, don't believe that B.S. I told her that to make her happy!" He took his seat and joined the battle.
     At the same time, his wife was at home making a special dinner, with a special bottle of wine. "Is it your anniversary?" their son asked slyly.
     The wife laughed happily. "More worth celebrating than an anniversary, I'm telling you. It's the day your father is giving up gambling!"
     The mother and her son celebrated.
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16. The Son's Gamble (p. 59)
by @Rainy Night Cold Dream
     The day my uncle moved to his new house, he got so drunk he passed out. You could tell he was really happy.
     He used to be a gambling addict. I heard it was my cousin who got him to quit.
     My cousin was a senior in junior high at the time. One day when his mom was going out, she gave him 2,000 Yuan [≈$328], but he gave it all to his dad.
     "I took a gamble then, too. I told my dad, 'This money is for my school tuition. If you lose it I'll [drop out] and get a job.'
          "I didn't believe my dad would gamble away his son's future."
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17. The Tiger (p. 26)
By @W1 The Heart Knows
     It hadn't eaten in three days. The hunter looked at the worn down but no less majestic tiger and stroked his rifle. It only had one round left in it.
     "Sorry, Baby!"
     Suddenly the tiger jumped up and turned toward the right. "Can it know what I'm thinking, and want to run away?" In a panic, he lifted his rifle.
     "Bang!" The tiger dropped to the ground at the sound. It struggled for a moment and then was still.
     The hunter froze in surprise, dropping the rifle to the ground. From the right, a wolf was walking slowly toward him.
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18. The Wrong Pig (p. 27)
by @Hesitant Loner
     My son just had to have a black small-eared pig for a pet, but they're so expensive. All I could do was buy a piglet and hope it would fool him.
     The boy held the piglet in his arms and scrutinized it meticulously. "Dad," he said angrily, "you're trying to trick me. This isn't the kind of pig I wanted!"
     Feeling lost, I said, "Son, actually… I bought exactly what you wanted."
     "No," he shouted. "I wanted a daddy pig, but this is a mommy!"



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Stories Magazine 2012 New Wave Mini-Story Contest Winners (page 1)
All Stories from 故会事•新浪微故事大赛
上海锦绣文章出版社 (at page # in parentheses)

15. Quit Gambling 
16. Son's Gamble, The 
17. Tiger, The 
18. Wrong Pig, The

1. Ballet Dancer 
2. Can't Be Fixed 
3. Cat's Life, A 
4. Contacts  

10. Game Player 
11. Heads or Tails 
12. Home for Dinner
13. Investment Strategy 
14. Meeting the Kids 

​​         Chinese Stories in English