The Final Fortune: a Short Story


Ever since I can remember, my family and I have gone out for Chinese every Saturday night at a little restaurant on the west side of town. To be frank, I’m not quite sure what it was called, but it didn’t matter, the food was delicious and the service was great.

So it was to my surprise when one night, while we were walking down the street, we saw a sign on the entrance of the Chinese restaurant that read: Going Out of Business. My parents found that hard to believe.  It was Saturday night, and they wanted some of those delicious egg rolls, that Mr. Wong (the owner of the place) made.

We walked in to see some men moving furniture into boxes, and carrying the boxes out the back door.

“What happened?” my mom asked.

A man in a hard hat turned to look at us.  “The owner of this restaurant passed away, a few days ago,” he said somberly. “And with no one to pay for this place, it goes back on the market for someone else to rent.”

My parents gasped in horror. “Not Mr. Wong!” my mother exclaimed. “He was such a wonderful man!”

The man nodded. “That he was,” he said. “But unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about it.”

My father sighed in resignation. “Well, he’s right,” he told my mom. “I guess we are going to have to find someplace else to eat on Saturdays.”

“I truly am sorry,” the man said. “Here.” He held out a box. “Have some fortune cookies.”

My parents thanked him for the big box of cookies, and we left. We walked home in silence and when we arrived, my father opened the box.

“Here you go,  Allie,” he said, handing me a cookie from the box. “Have a cookie.”

I took the cookie. “Thanks Dad,” I said.

I ripped open the cookie wrapper, and pulled out the cookie. I broke it in half and pulled out the fortune. I gasped.

“What does it say, Allie?” he asked.

I looked up from the fortune, to him. “I-it says, um…,” I stuttered. “You sometimes fail to see the forest for the trees,” I said quickly.

My father raised his eyebrows. “How is that a fortune?” he asked.

“I don’t know, Dad. Maybe the people working at the fortune cookie factory are getting lazy.”

“Hmmm…” My dad walked out of the kitchen, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I hated lying to him, but I just couldn’t tell him what the fortune cookie said. Taking a trembling breath, I stared down at the fortune cookie and read it again.

Hello Allie.
Did you miss me?