The Old Fox (Flash Fiction #75)

Ming is a poor artist who does online videos, creates cartoons and posters. He wants to marry Lily for years, but Lily’s father Dun won’t allow it. Dun looks down upon artists and poor artists especially annoy him. Ming and Lily could get married without Dun’s blessing, but they are looking forward to some financial help from Dun and don’t want to cross him by tying the knot without his consent.

Dun was as poor as Ming before, but he worked hard on his home improvement trade. After twenty years of relentless diligence, he built up a small company that trades houses in New Jersey, mainly in the Asian community. He would buy dilapidated houses, make improvement on them, and sell at a higher price. The trouble is he got a little dizzy with his moderate success and started to take on bigger projects. Bigger houses are not easy to sell. With three unsold big houses in his hands, his cash flow is severely affected to the point that he might go bankrupt soon. At this point, he is borrowing money to pay for the property tax of these three houses–property tax is especially high in the state–and he knows he’s not going to last long.

“I think I am too hard on you, Ming. You and Lily should get married.” Dun tells Ming.

“Really? I can’t believe my ears. I am so poor and you are quite a financially secured man of middle class. Are you sure? I am so glad to hear that.” Ming says.

“Will you marry my daughter if I am very poor?” Dun asks, knowing that he will soon join Ming in the big army of poor huddled mass. Dun will be lucky to get a man like Ming to marry his daughter.

“Of course.” Ming says innocently, not knowing why Dun would say such a thing. He estimates that Dun is testing his loyalty. “For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer.” Ming says.

“But before you get married, you need to do me a favor. Shoot some videos of my three beautiful houses–the most beautiful ones in the Asian community here. Be creative. I want to show off my properties.” Dun says.

“Yes, of course. I am flattered that you asked me. I thought you look down upon my trade. I do the most creative videos. You need a catch phrase, and you need to have a good story about the history of the house and the neighborhood. I can even throw a backyard party just to make the video more appealing…” Ming says excitedly.

The videos are duly made and posted on Ming’s company website as well as various social media platforms. Dun could have spent a lot of money to hire an artist to do this, but he gets all these for free from Ming.

The houses are sold almost immediately and Dun is rescued. It adds to Dun’s pleasure that Ming is not even aware that he is the rescuer. Dun then promptly breaks his promise and takes back what he said to Ming. Actually he won’t even acknowledge that he once consented that they should get married.

“We are swindled by that old fox.” Ming and Lily finally realize what has happened. “What can we do?”

22 thoughts on “The Old Fox (Flash Fiction #75)

    1. Haha. They should and give up waiting for the old man’s financial support. For control freaks like Dun, he would be a tyranny to people around him only because he holds the purse string. One has to suffer under this kind of person. Sometimes I often feel so good that my parents don’t have money and they don’t power over me at all after I grow up.

      Liked by 1 person

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