Willow had finally broken in. She tightened the grip on her spray can, and sneaked through the corridors of the factory. On the walls hung advertisements for the companies’ wares, displaying their wicked creations. Here was a dragon with blue scales, curled around a bowl of noodles, soy sauce dripping from its fangs. The dragon on the next poster had red scales, symbolising a new hot'n'spicy flavour. On the next a green dragon sliced onions with its claws, each segment landing in a bowl of steaming udon-filled broth.
Flavour in ninety seconds! The posters screamed. They only reinforced Willow’s determination to raise hell. She stormed around the corridors. her anger increasing with every step. At last she reached the boardroom. Here was where the bigwigs met, she was sure of it. She rattled her spray can, and opened the heavy wooden door.
At this hour Willow had not expected to see the light of a laptop screen on the boardroom table, and the shadowy figure hunched over it. She dropped the can in surprise. The figure looked up, and gasped.
‘What are you doing here?’ He said.
He was the most stereotypical businessman Willow had ever seen. Chubby and clean-shaved to the point of boyhood, in a suit and tie, and crisp white shirt. Purple gemmed cufflinks reflected the computer’s cold light. Here was the symbol of capitalism in front of her.
'What are you doing?’ She said. 'Turning the Chinese Dragon into a symptom of your corporate oppression! How can live with yourself? That has been a symbol of a country for thousands of years, and you are using it to sell cheap, processed noodles! How can you live with yourself?’
The businessman looked down, and folded his laptop. Only the streetlights outside indicated that tears ran down his face.
'Why are you so mean?’ he said. 'Can’t you see how tired I am? Do you think I want to be here? Who picks a career in noodles?’
Willow was about to explode into another rant. About how he chose to be a slave dog of imperialism, and now he had picked his own destiny, he had to answer for his evil deeds. But his next statement stopped her.
'Don’t have a go at me. Have a go at them.’
He pointed back to the corridor. Will looked over her shoulder, only now noticing the stink of cheap, processed noodles like a badly ventilated bedsit. The dragons raced towards her. Red, blue, green, all the colours of the rainbow. So many potential flavours. All wore pinstriped suits that hugged their scaly bodies, slits cut in the back for the wings. Ties dangled beneath jaws that shot out curled whips of flame, perfect for boiling noodles in a minute and half.
Perfect for boiling anything in a minute a half.
When it was over, the dragons left. Except for one.
'Staying late again Darren?’
'Just finishing that report boss.’
'Don’t overwork. Make sure you take a coffee break.’
'A few more hours, and I will done, boss.’
'You know what can happen if you overwork. Burn out. We don’t like that here.’
He glanced at what was left of Willow.
'I’ll keep my eye on it boss.’
The dragon nodded, adjusted his tie, and left.
The man wiped his eyes, and reopened his laptop.
He was so tired. Why was everyone so mean?