起狮，行礼 (Rising Lion — The Lion Bows)
by Zen Cho
Coco had been with the troupe for six years. She had never been their official president because she preferred not to deal with technicalities; it gave her more time to actually lead the troupe.
“Are Mr. and Mrs. Yu around?” she said.
It was Mr. Yu who had emailed them to ask if they would perform at a Christmas party that was being held at his hotel. It was a new hotel and this was the first big event they were hosting, so he was willing to pay them a generous fee. They had agreed that the troupe would perform before and after dinner. There were also going to be fireworks, and a disco.
Sensibly, Mr. Yu and Mrs. Yu had stayed indoors, but they were very hospitable when the cold disheveled troupe poured into the lobby.
“We’ve got Chinese food, Chinese decorations, lanterns, fireworks,” said Nick. “It’s all been done up to theme. The company does a lot of business out in China, so they were very keen when we suggested a China night. When we heard about you we thought, well, that’s ideal! We’re so pleased you could make it all the way out here.”
“Very pleased,” said Mr. Yu in English. In Cantonese, he said: “The ghost is in the upstairs cupboard.”
“Thank you, we’re looking forward to it,” said Coco to Nick. To Mr. Yu: “What kind of ghost is it?”
Mr. Yu hesitated.
About the Author
Zen Cho was born and raised in Malaysia. She is the author of Crawford Award-winning short story collection Spirits Abroad and editor of anthology Cyberpunk: Malaysia. She has been nominated for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer and honour-listed for the Carl Brandon Society Awards for her short fiction. Her debut novel Sorcerer to the Crown (Ace/Macmillan), about magic, intrigue and politics in Regency London, won a British Fantasy Award for Best Newcomer and was a Locus Awards finalist for Best First Novel. She lives in the UK.
About the Narrator
Tracey Yuen is involved in education and considers listening to podcasts a big factor in getting himself to “read” fiction and dabbles in photography, videography editing, page layout and narration.