This story is my contribution to “Friday Fictioneers,” a weekly challenge hosted by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff Fields. With the help of a photo prompt to inspire, we’re to write a 100-word story. The photo this week was taken by Roger Bultot. If you would like to join in with this encouraging group of writers or read their stories, click HERE.
Bags of trash were piled in front of her stall. The other food vendors shouted.
“The market stinks because of you!”
I didn’t put them there!
Yoonsun wanted to respond, but cried instead. She hid her tears.
I won’t let them see.
Her stall stayed open in the brutal cold of winter and steamy heat of summer in a city that rarely sleeps.
I can’t let my family starve.
Years passed and things changed. Her famous noodles now on the menu with a side order of kimchi and dumplings. Her grown children thrive from the sacrifices of their mother.
There’s a Korean saying, “When you fall down seven times, get back up eight.” You never quit and Yoonsun Cho certainly never did. This story is based on a true one. A Netflix documentary, “Street Food: Seoul, South Korea,” features Yoonsun’s story. If you are so inclined, you should check it out. On my recent mother-daughter getaway to Seoul, we saw Yoonsun Cho in action. Her lovely smile is genuine and quite contagious, though it was born from years of hardship.