Less Than a Hundred Years
The Many Wonders of a Woman's Purse
His head rested over a bunched up bag, body outstretched over the very top of the long wooden sitting area that wrapped around the indoors practice grounds of the WooDalChi. Eyes closed and enjoying very much the little breeze that slid through the top windows, Choi Young sighed, content. Winter was almost here, and although it has been rainy lightly lately and his lips were slightly chapped, his heart was at ease; there were no plots to detain, no conspiracies to derail and no poisoned High Doctor to worry about. Just the calm and relaxation of a moment's peace.
"Of course I can, my purse is like a black hole for whatever is within reach!" Said a well-known voice, making his body still and hope it went unnoticed along the other bags, weaponry, and sacks full of supplies. Dae Man's voice followed.
"It's true. If you saw how quickly she moved, you think she is a thief, not a doctor."
"I don't mean to brag," Said the soft, amused, feminine voice; of course she meant to brag, she loved to brag. "But when I turn this baby upside down and show you all I got, you will be stunned." Alas, his wish to pass unnoticed was ignored by Buddha, and the loud steps moving towards him signaled that he was seen. The rustling of things quickly been moved, probably by the troop of WooDalChi following the High Doctor, was heard, and then a sigh as she sat. Choi Young could picture her; wearing her black robes of WooDalChi, her steps light but loud as she stopped before the step, fixed her hair to a tight knot and sat with the faintest rustle of clothes announcing the fall of her exquisite behind over the wood. His head turned to the wall, frown covering his eyes; did he just call her behind exquisite? When had he taken a good look anyway?
Any chance you get, fool. Said his inner voice, crackling with the electricity of laughter. To that extend her arrival to this world had affected him, he was making fun of himself, and inwardly too.
"General," The soft voice made him turn, frown gone, and only the stare of curiosity visible. She did not disappoint; wearing her black robes, her hair messy but the long tail of red gathered in a thick top knot, skin pale and cheeks flushed because of the walk, lips plump and also red, eyes big and shinning. She smiled at him, amused by whatever game they were playing. "Look at this." And she grabbed the green blue bag she'd dragged to this world with her, and the same one she'd protected constantly, even placing it in boxes for safekeeping, turning it upside down over the large steps. The clatter of its contents freefalling to a suicide watch over the wood was loud, and it made the other corps watch in amazement.
"What is all this?" He asked, hand moving to grab onto a particular shinny item, while the other soldiers exchanged money for bets, praised the High Doctor, and even sat around to look at the bunch of items.
"The kids asked me what I carried in my bag and they wouldn't believe me all the things I said. So they dared me to gather a lot of things, to prove I can put all of them in my bag, along with everything else I brought."
"She's amazing general, I didn't even notice when she slip this into her bag." Said Dae Man, showing him a pair of chopsticks.
"Those I got at the restaurant we had lunch."
"And these?" Asked Deok Man, showing her a pair of small covered jars.
"Those I bought at the market, remember, while you looked at the girl?" The man was terrified, while the other WooDalChis stared at him, even the general (who arched an eyebrow).
"This, High Doctor, this?" Asked Dae Man, too curious to contain his joy; in his hand he had a small comb with flowers.
"Ah, those I got at the Suribang restaurant."
"And those?" Asked another, pointing at a small plastic bag full of paper.
"Oh, those I brought from home." Everyone was quiet, as in rapture, as she reached for the items. Choi Young watched, fingers still wrapped around the item he'd picked, while she pulled the small bag open (making the others gasp in surprise) and pulled out the small packet of paper. "It's sucrose; sugar. I had started a diet that day, and I was carrying these for my coffee." She said softly, making the General turn away.
She would have stared a diet, whatever that was, if he had not stolen her away. The General watched the High Doctor open the packet and asking the other men around her to extend their hands. "Try it, it's good. It's like candy, but in little crystals." She said, the first to extend his hand was Dae Man, the fearless child, and she deposited a bit of the white dust over his palm. The other's that accepted the little thing watched as the boy lowered his face and licked the dust from his skin…
"Ah! It's sweet!" He exclaimed, only as a child would, and dared ask for more, which she gave. The other's tried the item, while the general watched in silence. What other things had she would do if he hadn't stolen her away?
She spoke once, in an anger fit, of having bought a dwelling. Of her career and how important it had been for her. Of how she needed money to survive and make better her living… Still as hard as he pondered in such things he would still believe that she was not as happy in her time as she was here. Probably because she had no one… ok maybe she had her parents but hadn't she said she no longer lived with them? Still General Choi Young could not help but feel a pang of guilt from hitting him every time she spoke of home. "General?" Her voice broke the fog in his mind, and he turned, absentmindedly towards her.
"Yes, High Doctor?"
"Would you like to try it?"
"No, thank you." And with a smile she sealed the bag shut and shove it into her bag. The others continued to ask about the items left on the floor, while the General looked up at the ceiling, one hand falling over his forehead.
"That's a mirror. And That's make up. That's a wallet with credit cards. That's chewing gum. That's an IPod. And that's a comb, for my hair. Those are pens. That's tissue. A Calorie counting book. Those are receipts from stores. And that's a debit card. Goodness I had no idea I had that in here! That's a pair of folding scissors, and that's money from heaven, it's called Won." A round of Ahhh's and Ohhhh's followed. "Those I got from the Queen's chamber, and that's from Lady Choi. As you can see I have everything except the King's seal in here. Oh those are sunglasses. Everything required by a lady from Heaven at any moment."
That made Choi Young smile.
"I didn't show the kids this." That was the only thing she could say as she entered the room unannounced, a smile carving her face and making him turn to her. Passive as ever, he stared as she walked into the room, closing the doors quietly, and hurried towards him. In her arm the purse, in her hands a small package. In the way to him the woman dropped the bag, her shoes, the thick line of material holding her hair up and placed the small package in one hand while the other, oddly enough reached to undo the folded material over his chest.
"What are you doing?" He asked, surprised by the sudden unstopped motions she was making and the way she seemed desperate to remove the clothing. She was still to explain what the thing she carried in her hand was and knowing her it would probably be something he would not like.
"The general has to take off his clothes, because I can't wait."
The words made him swallow hard, mind halting all logical thought. "What?" Was all he could articulate.
"This is chocolate, repeat with me: cho-co-la-te. I don't know why I bother you never repeat."
"And what is this… for?"
"For me." She said, desisting, at the moment from undressing him. "You see I always wanted to do this: take a warm bath, then stroll around my room naked and have some intimacy with my loved one, and afterwards eat chocolate." His lips were dry, and not because of the wind. "You don't want to?"
He was silent for a moment, swallowing hard for a second time, and sighed. "I already took a bath."
"Ah!" She let out in a gasp, before closing her eyes tightly and slamming her forehead (if that could be called slamming) against his chest, letting out a scoff. "My General, you have to wait for me to undress." And she faked crying, Choi Young had gotten quite good at figuring out those particular yet strange faking of emotions, and swatted his shoulder playfully, while the General lifted his head to the ceiling and smiled. "My dream, my dream…" She wouldn't get another chance for this dream of hers, unless she survived 64 years, went through the door, and found herself a handsome stranger and did this with him… Even the through of such impossible things would make his jealousy rise. So he might as well please her this time. Who was he kidding? He always pleased her, because he despised to know he provoked her sadness.
"I might have taken a shower, but Lady Choi called and requested my presence in the Suribang meeting she is holding for a quick briefing for the Queen's upcoming trip to the temple. If I run back I might be sweaty and require a second bath."
Her face lifted, brightened with a smile. "Run to the meeting, during the meeting, and back. Then run some more and be sure to return all dirty. Even; play a bit with the boys at the training grounds!" She said, clapping her hands together. "When you get back, we can take a warm bath together. I'm off to check my IPod, if we are lucky I might even play some soft music too!" She kissed his chin, rising to her tiptoes to do so, and smiled at him.
"Before you go." Because he was sure the woman might have to prepare some things for this dream of hers to take place. He turned, and lifted the small vial he'd taken earlier, handing it back to her. "I took this earlier, when you emptied your bag, and fell asleep with it in hand. I hope you don't misunderstand, for I wasn't trying to steal it."
"Oh, this! I've looking for this for a while."
"What is it?"
"Chapstick." She repeated, as if he was supposed to know what it was. "This," She said, pulling at the small lid it had, and revealing a stick of (used) cream, thick and pinkish in color. "is a medicine for the lips. It's good for chapped lips, like yours. So I was looking for it." And she attempted to put it on him, but he pulled back. "Stop that, and let me." And without a word she neared him, eyes staring at his lips while Choi Young stared at her. The cream was soft, a little cold, and it covered his. She reached for the small mirror she'd brought from the heaven's and showed him… "See, your lips are chapped, but it hardly shows. They look healthy; it's a little balm for the lips that help them heal faster." He had to admit that his lips did look better.
"It has a hint of a… taste?"
"Supposedly it's strawberry."
"Strawberries do not taste like this."
"I know, it's a fake." He frowned at her, but she just smiled at him and turned. "I have to go, I have so much to do!" She said turning, but before she hurried away turned again to him, grabbed his lapels and pulled him in for a deep kiss. They were both left breathless after she pulled away, and she swooned for a bit. "A preview for tonight. Bye General." And she hurried away.
Author's Ramblings: Of all my stories this is the one with the most reviews. Thank you for helping me achieve this! Everyone is asking/commenting on the letters he sent her and why she hasn't read them and I must admit I paid little mind to them. I promise to upload a chapter with said letters and I hope I can deliver. Meanwhile enjoy this bit and continue to review! Thanks again!