The Superstition (Flash Fiction #43)

Photo by Jari Hytönen on Unsplash

Pammy finally gets her real estate license after taking the real estate test several times. And she helps Mr. Goh Yee and his wife to purchase their house in Plainsboro Township, New Jersey. Goh is a businessman from Malaysia and the only reason he wants to buy a house here is that he decides to let his son Loong, an 11-year-old, to start middle school at Smithville–a private school with a strong ESL program– at the nearby Princeton Township. Goh would be back to Malaysia for business while his wife would stay to accompany their son in the U.S.

Loong has grown to be an intractable young boy, suffering from the limitless pampering of the relatives and the harsh scolding from teachers at school–neither doing any good to him. His failing grade has almost ensured him a humiliating entrance to a below average middle school that will bring shame to his family. Goh can’t let that happen. His reputation in the community, which helps bring clients to his financial service business, has to be upheld. Transferring Loong to the U.S. will instantly solve this problem, with the added benefit of an American style education, in which teachers have the ability to inspire students to work hard by sweet talks. Goh can’t imagine how that’s achievable but he hears rumors that teachers in Smithville have new teaching methodologies motivating idle pupils like Loong psychologically. Whatever that means, Goh has no idea but he desperately wants to believe it is true.

After looking at two houses, Pammy and Goh have a talk and she realizes that Goh has a morbid fear of number 4. The reason Goh rejects the first two houses is because the first house has a 4 in its zipcode–Plainsboro township has three zipcodes–while the second house has a 4 in its address. Since the town of Plainsboro has very good public schools, the real estate is a seller’s market and there are not many houses available at all. When Pammy chooses the third house for Goh to view, she has made sure that there is no number 4 existed anywhere in the premise. This is the last house available and Pammy really wants to close this sale.

Goh walks around the premise with a serious face and Pammy prays that nothing unexpected should happen. When they are about to leave, Goh stands at the front yard, looks around, and says,

“I felt a bit uneasy about this house and I didn’t know why, but now I know.” Goh says.

“What is it? There’s no number 4 here.” Pammy’s heart starts to sink.

“Look, the number 4 is across the street.” Goh points out to the house across the street.

“I am sure they won’t bother you.” Pammy tries to think of a way to explain this away.

“Look at their front yard.” Goh says.

Pammy stares across the street and on the front yard, there are several stone decorations of about 1 foot tall–a foot is equivalent to 30 centimeters. There are two stone dogs and two stone lions. Since their size is small, Pammy wouldn’t even notice them if it’s not pointed out to her.

“My zodiac sign is sheep and I wouldn’t like to face dogs and lions living right in front of me every day.” He says.

Pammy is in panic mode. This is the last house available in this area that is within Goh’s price range. What is she going to do? Is she going to suffer a humiliating defeat so close to the gate of victory? She has to come up with something.

Goh is moving towards his car and intends to drive away. Pammy’s mind is racing ahead, trying to come up with an idea. Any idea.

“I know a way. I had a client who bought a cannon–it’s said to be a beautiful replica of a real cannon used during the American Civil war, though smaller in size, about 1 foot high and 2 feet long. I think the prize is about 100 to 200 dollars. You can buy one too and put it on your front lawn, facing the stone dogs and stone lions.” Pammy says, looking at Goh eagerly.

“Wow, I love this idea. My cannon aiming at predators in accursed number 4. Haha. What a good idea. Pammy, go to buy me the cannon and make me a warrior.”

36 thoughts on “The Superstition (Flash Fiction #43)

  1. Lol glad Pammy was able to make the sale. A lot of people are very superstitious about such things. My told me she didn’t buy a house once because it was facing in an unlucky direction lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, LOL. I wonder what’s up with the direction a house faces. People told me about the benefit and peril of this and that direction of a door or a window. I just can’t grasp what it really is. I guess I am really not into those kinds of things.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your ingenuity sooo much! You always write very interesting stories and bring such fascinating characters to life. I know of many such superstitious people, but by any chance, is this inspired by a real character just like your previous one with Lisa?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL. That’s indeed high praise. I am smiling as I am typing. You are right on the point. This is indeed based on a real character. He is so superstitious that he will not order an entry with a “4” in its price tag in a restaurant. LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That was some quick thinking on Pammy’s part. What a strange thing it is to me that a person who must be educated (he’s in a financial services business) to have such a superstition.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL. That’s so true. That’s a question I want to ask. Many people around me are so superstitious that I often wonder if their education has any effect on their reasoning process. Businessmen and financial representatives and scientists are the most superstitious of all. This is based on a real person who’s selling insurance. He is so superstitious that he is still, after years of futile attempt, arguing with the social security administration to change his ssn because it has a 4 in it.

      Liked by 1 person

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