The Crazy Son-In-Law (Flash Fiction Continued)

Image by alba1970 from Pixabay

This is the second half of the story. The first half of this story is here.

Ajin is sitting in the living room, leafing through a pile of mathematical papers and murmuring something to himself when everybody comes out of the car and into the house.

“Ajin, are you OK?” Mo steps forward and put his fingers on Ajin’s pulse, just like what a skilled acupuncturist would do.

“Ajin, tell me what’s going on.” Mo speak loudly but Ajin seems not aware of people’s presence around him. “Have you eaten anything today? If not, you are going to be dehydrated I am afraid.”

Ajin gives no answer and his eyes go back to the pile of paper on the table.

“In my expert opinion, he is temporarily insane. Something is blocking up his consciousness. Too bad I don’t have my tools with me. However I have a simple solution.” Mo says.

“What is it?” Dana asks.

“You just need to slap him and the impact will unblock him and wake him up. Wait, I think Lee can do it.” Mo says.

“What are you talking about? I am not a violent man. I never slapped my son-in-law before. It was just a rumor.” Lee says.

“Dad, we know you didn’t slap him before, but now to save him, you have to slap him. Just do it.” Dana says.

Lee steps forward to approach Ajin. He pauses for a minute as if in preparation. Then he turns around and says to the people around him,

“I can’t do it. He is practically a newly ordained deity now. I mean he is a genius now. Even white people acknowledge him and will give him a big trophy. A humble old Asian like me should not touch him since now he is a mythical being, a math god, a super human, an untouchable. Just look at his forehead with receding hairline–it is divine. I bet he can talk with Buddha, summon ghosts, defy goblins and devils. I feel dizzy just standing in front of such greatness.” Lee says.

“Dad, what are you talking about? You’ve always said he’s useless, he’s wasting his time, he’s irresponsible, and he deserves a slap. Didn’t you say that? Now it’s the time for you to slap him.” Dana says.

“When did I say that? I didn’t. How can you utter such profanity in front our genius here?” Lee says. Turning to Ajin, Lee continues, “Oh, your brilliance, please forgive my daughter for being disrespectful. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”

After half an hour of prolonged discussion, Mo finally convinces Lee that it will be a great service to the newly anointed math god if Lee slaps him.

Finally, Lee is convinced. He inches towards Ajin while loudly denouncing such a sacrilegious act, “I am sorry, my math highness. This is really too regrettable for words. I am afraid that I have to slap you for your own good. I don’t want to do this. I know you will brighten our family for years to come, and to slap you is the last thing I want to do, but I was overruled and I was forced to do this. Please don’t blame me for this and if you talk to Buddha, please tell him I have always been a good person, I love family values, I kowtow to all the gods, I respect social hierarchy, I try to follow all the rules, even the ridiculous ones…”

And he slaps his son-in-law, after which he collapses in tears.

The impact helps Ajin snap out of his stupor and Ajin lives to enjoy a life of a mathematician. However, from then on, Lee is labeled as a slapper and even an occasional bully, against which he will always try hard to fight. “I’ve told you I didn’t want to slap my son-in-law. I admire him. I was trying to save him. Why can’t you just believe me?”

(The End)

22 thoughts on “The Crazy Son-In-Law (Flash Fiction Continued)

  1. If Lee didn’t really slap his son-in-law, then I got a strong feeling, that it was Mo who ‘started’ the rumor… Not having his tools be damned!!! And his wife is too too quiet… then again… if she said anything, she might have ended up laughing, and crying like Ajin…!
    🇯🇲🏖️

    Like

  2. Poor Lee. Trying to have the best of both worlds. But people often see through the pretense. At least he got to slap Ajin. Must have been satisfying. But Lee will never accept it. Lol. Great story, Haoyan. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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