short story, story promptTora was adopted as a baby and has lived in Europe ever since. Now, a strange man has turned up claiming that she is the lost Tiger Goddess and he has come to protect her and take her back to where she belongs. She’s not all that keen on the plan.


I waved as my friends went their separate ways to go to their homes. “See you tomorrow!”

“Bye, Tora,” my best friend, Jessie, called out. “Don’t forget to bring more of those buns with the red bean paste in them tomorrow!”

I groaned, wishing I’d never made the mistake of trying to get my friends to try some Japanese food. As the only Asian in town, I was now the unofficial cook. I was happy that they enjoyed the food though. Jessie couldn’t get enough of the sweet bean buns.

My own house was in the ‘richer’ part of town. My adopted parents had built an internet business over the past few years and it was going really well for them now. I’d always thought it was pretty awesome that they could work from anywhere in the world, so long as they had an internet connection.

The downside for me was that they chose to do it in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. I mean, I loved my friends here, but there wasn’t much to do. You had to drive to the next closest town to find the good shops or go to the cinemas and that was a two hours away. It took at least three hours if you wanted to risk the barely-able-get-down-the-road bus. And that’s if the thing didn’t break down on the way.

I turned down a side street then headed into the large park. For such a nice day, it was unusually empty. It was rare that I’d walk through here and not see a few dogs or kids running around.

Half-way through the park, I noticed the Asian man standing under a tree. He was wearing the type of robes you see monks wearing in the movies – the long white and brown ones tied at the waist with a wide sash. His eyes were closed and he appeared to be resting while standing up. I wondered if it was a form of meditation. My mum liked to ‘meditate’ while sunbathing by our pool. I’d always suspected it was more along the lines of snoozing.

At the exact moment I walked in front of him, his eyes snapped open. “Tora.”

I stumbled to a halt, shocked. “E-excuse me?” Did this guy know me?

“I have found you at last.” He bowed deeply to me and I recognised it as a sign of respect and greeting. I hurriedly bowed back. I hadn’t spent much time in Japan and didn’t really know all of the customs, but I didn’t want to be rude.

“I’m sorry, who are you?” I asked. Having grown up in Europe since I was a year old, it seemed unlikely that anyone from Japan would know me, much less remember an orphan baby.

tiger, short story, story prompt

“You may call me Haruhisa. I have been sent to protect you.”

I frowned. “Protect me? Did my parents send you?”

He looked confused for a moment. “You have no parents.”

I glared at him. “Yes, I do. They may not be my birth parents, but they are the ones who’ve raised me and love me.”

He bowed again. “I did not mean any disrespect. Forgive me.”

“So who sent you?” I demanded, not ready to accept his apology quite yet.

“The Tiger Prince. He sent me to protect you and bring you home. He says that now we have found you, we can welcome you back to your rightful place as our Tiger Goddess.”

“Goddess?” I laughed. “You’re making no sense. I think you’ve found the wrong Tora.”

He shook his head. “Only the Tiger Goddess has the mark of the tiger on her neck.”

I self-consciously put my hand up to cover the odd, paw-print shaped birthmark just above my collarbone. “You’re wrong. I’m not a goddess. I think I would know if I was. Surely I’d display powers of some sort? Isn’t that the way it goes in the stories?”

He shook his head. “You have no power in this land. You are defenceless here, as our enemies hoped you would be. Only once you have returned to your rightful place will you regain the powers due to the Tiger Goddess.”

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