-Mr Sharpless?
-What can I do for you, young man? Come inside!

-Sir, did you work at the US consulate in Nagasaki about 25 years ago?
-I did.

-Then we have met.
-Really? Why, you can’t have been very old… But wait a minute! Are you…?

-Yes. My father is Benjamin Pinkerton. I think you knew my biological mother?
-Chio-Chio-San!

-Could you help me find her you think?
-Your father didn’t tell you?

-The only thing he said was that he had a relationship with a Japanese woman who couldn’t keep me, so he and Kate took care of me.
-Well, there’s quite a bit more to the story. I’m not sure you want to know…

-Please, Mr Sharpless. It was hard to find you and I have come a long way.
-It’s not a pretty story. Your father…. Well…

-What happened?
-He married your mother when she was only 15. She worshiped him, but to him it was all just a fun adventure. When he left, he promised her to come back soon, but truth was he never intended to. Only when I wrote him that he had a son, did he decide to return, but only to pick you up and take you home. He had already married Kate.

-How was my mother? Was she…beautiful? Was she… Sorry. I’m making a fool of myself.
-It’s all right. I understand. Here, take this handkerchief. Yes, she was very beautiful. Her name, Chio-Chio-San, is Japanese for Butterfly. When she realized that your father was married and only came for you, she was totally devastated. She had waited impatiently for three years…

-Would it be possible to find her?
-Your parents’ wedding was beautiful; under a cherry tree in blossom. When she finally saw your father’s ship in the harbor, she waited for him under that same tree the whole night. It was also under that cherry tree that we found her. We saw red lines coming out from her body, mixing with the cherry blossoms… I am sorry…

– Sir, please! Don’t…Look, it has been 25 years. Your handkerchief…

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Voice-Team (@voice-team)
7 months ago

A new take on an age-old story. Bringing the opera to life once more, but going beyond the original to learn more about one very important character barely mentioned in the opera. Excellent writing.

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse (@marianna-pieterse)
7 months ago

Christer, humanity can be so cruel and you have portrayed that very well. Sadly, so often people do things for selfish gain, like in this case where the father was only there to take her child away from her. Such a sad ending, makes me wonder how the world can be so cruel sometimes. The dialogue really adds to the feeling of despair. Well done.

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
7 months ago

Such a sad story Christer. It must feel for your protagonist as though he has lost his mother twice. What an awful selfish thing for the father to do. No wonder the mother was devastated, losing first her husband and then her son. Well done.

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Linda Rock
Linda Rock (@linda-rock)
7 months ago

Nothing but contempt for the father in all this, sad for the son who will never know his real mother but heartbroken for Chio-Chio-San who was not only treated terribly by her husband but also lost her son. In time, she would have got over her husband’s betrayal and made a life for her and her son. But to lose him too obviously proved too much to bear. Such a sad story Christer. As Marianna has said, writing in dialogue adds to the heartache. Good job!

Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills (@greene-m-wills-2)
7 months ago

Thank you Christer! Now I know what happened to Madame Butterfly’s child. The story is sad but so well represented that it gave me shivers! Well done!

Fuji
Fuji (@fuji)
7 months ago

Hello Christer – another opera, brought to life! I loved this story. There is something about setting the dialogue between the son and Mr. Sharpless, 25 years after the opera ends, that makes it doubly haunting. Poor man, to have to hear the tragic truth about his biological mother just when he thought he might find her. The picture you chose is absolutely perfect, and a work of art in its own right, with the red curve of the bridge, the red parasol and the red sun (moon?) all playing off each other, the same way your title plays with double meanings. Brilliant writing.

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Fuji
Fuji (@fuji)
7 months ago

That sounds like an amazing setting of the opera, with the red fabric unfolding, flowing. You’ve certainly achieved the same effect in your story, so richly accentuated by the perfect image you chose. Somehow the juxtaposition of your peaceful hillside “office” and the stories you write is full of contradiction or better yet, complimentary aspects. Yours is a vital voice on this site, I think.

Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti (@dipayan-chakrabarti)
7 months ago

Your story has stirred the deepest(sad) emotions within me. Nice work, Christer.

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Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti (@dipayan-chakrabarti)
7 months ago

You’re welcome.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
7 months ago

Hello Christer, this is the part I always like, commenting, but I can’t think of anything that hasn’t already been said, except to say that you have a style that can still resonate with the reader no matter the topic. Well written.

Santina Forlenza
Santina Forlenza (@santina-forlenza)
7 months ago

Love and death under a cherry tree; and poetry and feelings. Nature really can disclose the meaning of our life, especially through a nice piece of writing, Christer.

Danielle Burke
Danielle Burke (@danielle-burke)
7 months ago

Powerful writing, Christer. Such a contrast between the blood and the beauty of the cherry blossoms. You portrayed the story well through the use of dialogue, which isn’t easy to do!

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Sandra James
Sandra James (@sandra-james)
7 months ago

Oh so sad, Christer, but beautifully written and very likely a situation that occurred all too often. I’m imagining beyond that meeting, that handkerchief, and I hope the young man and Mr Sharpless became friends, with Chio-Chio-San smiling down on them from somewhere beyond the cherry blossoms 🙂 Well done!

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
6 months ago

Hello, Christer. It was a very sad feeling when your loved ones (father) lie to you and the pain goes double when you found out the truth and to Chio-Chio-San who was the real victim from the selfish gain of her husband, nothing can compare the pain of a mothers heart. Great story.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
6 months ago

You’re welcome. It is a very sad truth.

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