The slave Mao Ping picked himself up from the street and dusted off his elegant embroidered robe. His cowardly porter peeked from behind a vendor stall, stumbled out to him, and bent over to reclaim the brown, cloth-wrapped package.
Happily, Mao Ping thought, the mysterious package did not appear damaged. It might be the open umbrella of a princess, but was heavier, as he had noticed earlier when they collected it at the wood carver’s shop.
Demon Dragonfly (2644 words) was rejected 29 times. It was a finalist in the 2016 Neoverse writing competition. Read the story HERE.