10. Relic
11. Safe Bet
12. Shivers
13. Show Must Go On, The
14. Song, A

5. Fire
6. Hooked
7. Memories
8. Progression
9. QQ Lover

1. Betting Man (p. 61)
by @Pouring Dust Words
     "Girlie, I bet you don't dare skip class."
     "Who says I don't?"

     "Sweet thing, I bet you don't have anyone special."
     "Who says I don't?"

     "Babe, I bet you won't ever marry me."
     "Who says I won't?"

     "Honey, I bet you won't wear this sexy negligée."
     "Who says I won't?"

     "Old Lady, I bet you won't ever leave me…."
     This time, though, there was no answer.
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2. The Collector's Son (p. 126)
by @Card Iron
     Director Li was a collector. One day his staff gave him a painting which showed a steed standing at the edge of a cliff, about to soar into the air. The Director figured it was pretty valuable.
     When he got home he saw his 9-year-old son and decided to give the boy a test. "Give this painting a name, OK?"
     The boy thought about it for a moment, then replied, "Reining in a Horse at a Precipice."
     Director Li was stunned. The next day he gave the painting back to his staff and bought his son a "Family Meal".
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3. Contract (p. 149)
@Little Girl Artist
     He was sick of her yakking, after seven years of marriage. Nor could he find anything about her body that was like the fair maiden she had been back then. For her sake, he'd given up the rich man's fat daughter who'd been after him.
     He went through a time tunnel to seven years ago. This time he wouldn't miss his chance. He'd marry the fat girl and become a rich man himself.
     On his wedding day, the fat girl called him on the phone. "Come over to the law office, dear. Both sides have to sign this pre-nup…."
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4. Debts (p. 162)
by @Ocean View from Great Wall
          Grandpa had an IOU filed away. It said: 

               "Owed to Wang Shan, one horse, 500 pounds of corn
               "United Resistance Force*, Third Regiment"

          "All these years!" I said. "Why haven't you done anything about this?"
          "They were risking their lives to fight the Japs," he answered. "I couldn't take the stuff back even if they offered it!"
          Now I've got a bunch of IOUs of my own, for grain I sold, and sugar beets, and for working on roads and schools. I could run around until my legs break and never collect anything. Guess I'll just file them away, too.

​[*Also, the Northeast Anti-Japanese United Forces – Fannyi]
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5. Fire (p. 149)
@Thousand Nights Indoorsman
     He came through the time tunnel to just before the fire that had taken his mother. He wanted to stop the tragedy.
     He stood in front of his mother. She was already suffering from dementia and didn't recognize him. She kept hugging a doll, caressing it and calling it "Little Bean", which had been his baby name.
     The wiring in the room had already caught fire. He grabbed his terrified mother and ran outside, but when they got to the stairway his mother struggled free.
     "Little Bean's still in there!"
     He froze. Crying, his mother had already rushed back into the smoke-filled room.
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6. Hooked (p. 193)
By @Zhang Jingjuan of Hebei
      My son is into gaming. He threatened not to go back to school until he got past level ten in "Angry Birds vs. Boss Pig". I used both carrots and sticks to get him to go but he wouldn't listen. The only thing I could do to get him back in school as soon as possible was to help him get past level ten....
     Now I've already got through level fifteen.
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7. Memories (p. 127)
By @Frost on Vines Road     I have an old newspaper that I bring out to look at when no one's around. I don't read the articles. There's just one little picture that I look at. 
     It's a news photo of the scene of an accident, but my whole family is in it. When I see the old house that's not there anymore, I can hear the joyous laughter of my childhood, and I can see my parents when they were young, and I can smell the strong aroma of dinner cooking. 
     In that picture, I enjoy the sunshine of thirty years ago.
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8. Progression (p. 60)
by Zhang @Xuanyang

     The first time he went gambling, he used his winnings to buy some smokes and booze for his dad. His dad was very happy and said he showed great promise.
     The second time he used his winnings to buy shoes and shirts for his dad. His dad was very happy and said he'd finally grown up.
     The third time he used his winnings to buy a cow and a sheep for his dad. His dad was very happy and said he really knew how to live.
     The fourth time, he didn't come home. A bunch of ruffians came and kicked dad out of the house, and closed the place up.
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9. QQ Lover (p. 193)
@Ying Boli

     Cheng had been hooked on internet gaming for some time when his wife, Ling, started getting into chatting on QQ. 
     Once Ling forgot to close QQ and Cheng, out of curiosity, checked out her chat records. He was surprised to find that she was carrying on an internet love affair with someone named Yi. Cheng quit his internet habit in order to save his marriage, and everything returned to normal. 
     Recently Ling's good friend asked her for a favor: "My husband's hooked on gaming, too. Last time I was Yi, so this time you should be him."
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10. Relic (p. 128)
By @Vegetarian Desert Wolf

          The professor paid good money to Hao, a poor student, for an enameled jar with "Serve the People" printed on it. It was said to be a relic of the Cultural Revolution with potential investment value. 
          After he graduated, Hao passed the civil service exam and got a government job. He learned how to advance in officialdom quite well. Now he had a chance for promotion, but unfortunately he had a cash flow problem, so he went to his parent's house and got another jar of the same type and sought out the professor. 
          The professor listened to his story and understood why he had come. He got out the old jar, which he'd kept all these years and used to store tea leaves, and right in front of Hao he threw it in the garbage, shouting "I read it wrong!"
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11. Safe Bet (p. 61)
by @Liu Xidi
     "It's almost New Year's, son, and it's been several years since you've been home. Let's make a bet. I'll bet that, this year, you'll use being too busy at work as an excuse for not coming home.
     "If I win, my reward will be that you'll come home for New Year's. If I lose, then over the holiday I'll make you your favorite dish from when you were a kid.
     "Wishing you well at work."
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12. Shivers (p. 193)
By @Proud Little 520

      An internet cafe is a crowded, raucous place to go, but since everyone there does their own thing, it won't keep you from getting lonely. 
     While Little Li was staring listlessly at the monitor, he received an unexpected greeting from a sweet young thing: "Bored, huh? Play a game." 
     He felt someone's hand go down his back, under his shirt. When he turned to look, no one was there. 
     Another message came from the girl: "Tee, hee, hee. Is my hand cool enough?"
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13. The Show Must Go On (p. 102)
By @Nineteen Hate
     The hospital threw a New Year's party for seriously ill patients who weren't able to go home. My father, who had been a flautist, signed up to perform. On the day before the party, though, his illness worsened, and we urged him to sit this one out.
     Father wouldn't hear of it. He said he couldn't disappoint everyone.
     The performance was a great success, and my father was quite moved by the audience's thundering applause. He staggered to his feet and took a bow with some difficulty. I started crying as I watched him.
     To this day, I'm often moved by this performance on the stage of my father's life.
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14. A Song (p. 127)
By @Weak Sapless Bamboo

     She, a spinster, was neighbors with a songwriter who lived alone. They never had contact with one another, aside from habitual greetings. 
     She'd only heard him play once, a low-pitched tune mingled with embarrassment. Although she'd just heard it that one time, it had become engraved on her heart. 
     Until the day he died from an illness, when the tune that had been kept on ice again saw the light of day. The song's title made her tears fall like rain: "Written for You, My Neighbor"
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15. Tough Times (p. 127)
By @Zhang Jingjuan of Hebei
     The son, a lazy idler, wanted to sell his father's stamp collection, but his father wouldn't allow it. "I'm really going through some tough times, Dad," the boy whined. "You ought to take pity on me."
     "Tough times?" The father slapped his son. "Back when I was in the Army, your mom had to skip a meal to save enough money to send me a letter. The reason she wanted to send me a letter was to tell me you'd started walking...."
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16. Watercolors (p. 193)
@Shang Kehe
     I happened to think of my next-door neighbor's son, A-Dan, who liked to mess around with watercolors when he was a kid. Later he grew up to become an author and gave his own son an abacus, hoping the kid would become an accountant. As a result, the kid got into skateboarding....
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17. Wish Granted (p. 149)
by @Zhang Bing
     They were in a long-distance love affair, and she prayed to Heaven Above to ease the pain of separation: "Please teleport me to the side of the man who loves me most!"
     A flash of white light!
     Standing there with an apron tied around his waist and holding a spatula, with a pleasantly surprised look on his face, her father said, "How'd you get here?"
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18. Words of Praise (p. 127)
By @Boy's Country

     Thinker Li [whose name is a homophone for "ideal"] was the naughtiest boy in class. He'd changed recently, though, and become a stickler for the rules. 
     The teacher praised him during class. When class was over, Thinker got out a voice recorder and asked the teacher to repeat his words of praise. 
     The teacher got mad. "You want to take it home and turn it into a reward?" 
     "My parents are divorced. When my mom left, she said she'd come visit me if I behaved myself, so I want to save what you said. Later, when I find out her address, I'll send it to her...."


 

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Stories Magazine 2012 New Wave Mini-Story Contest Winners (page 4)
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)

1. Betting Man
2. Collector's Son, The
3. Contract
4. Debts

​​         Chinese Stories in English   

15. Tough Times
16. Watercolors
17. Wish Granted
18. Words of Praise