Bud Blossom is the American name of a Chinese American restaurateur in my Bud Blossom stories. Bud wants to be in all my stories, and I have to write another story about him once in a while, just to get him off my case.
I’ve collected some of his stories into a 99-cent collections: some about him, some about people who work for him or who know people who work for him. One story isn’t about him at all; it’s about a dragon. Bud is very big on dragons, so he let me get by with that.
Bud has guested on this blog a few times. If you search for his name in this blog’s search bar, you’ll turn them up.
Here’s a snippet from the first Bud Blossom story, the story where I first met him, dammit.
The King of the Creek
excerpt from “The King of Cherokee Creek”
by Marian Allen
He’d drive off in his red Mazda and come back with two crates of wine in the trunk and I’d help him in with it. The labels were purple and olive, pictures of plums, with gold Chinese writing on them. Beautiful labels, and the glass of the bottles was transparent green.
So this Saturday night after the first time I helped him unload the wine, he got out five bottles and started through them. I never saw a man drink like that–he drank like he was paying taxes or marching in the mud. Sour look on his face.
“Kenny,” he said at last. “I hope you never know what it’s like to be away from home and no way back.”
“You and me both,” I said. “I don’t even want to go in the army. See the world? What for?”
“Exactly.” Bud nodded and shook a finger, like his head and his hand were both agreeing with me. “What for?”
It made me feel kind of sad and jealous, but I said, “You wish you were back in New York?”
“New York? …No.”
We both went back to work; me sweeping and him drinking.
After a while, he said, “In China, this river would have a god.”
“Yes, the Ohio, but I mean this…this…this creek. Cherokee Creek would have a god, a king, a lord. Not a man, you understand? A king under the water.”
“A Kingfish?” I started laughing. Kingfish is a restaurant in Louisville, and I thought he was joking.
“A dragon,” he said, his voice so calm he had to be trying hard to make it that way. I looked at him, then: His eyes were narrow slits, his nostrils were flared, and the corners of his mouth were drawn down tight. I could see his teeth glinting from between his lips and I’ll tell you I was a little bit scared.
BUY THE KING OF CHEROKEE CREEK:
A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Someone shows a disconcerting side your character has never seen before.