Excerpt from The Blue House Raid

Eun-ae hung up the medium vat and pulled down the large one with two side handles and a thirty-liter capacity. She positioned it on the stove and carried over the two buckets of water. As she poured, she said, “In-soo, we need more water.”

“How much are you making? Are you feeding an army?”

“Sort of. I’m thinking of taking some cocoa to the Americans. It’s not much, but it’s something, a hot drink in the morning.”

“What? Don’t be foolish. They have their own commissary. They have more than we do.”

Eun-ae went to her shelves for chocolate powder, powdered milk, and sugar.

“How are you even going to carry that?” said In-soo.

“The children are big enough to help. I’ll use the cart to get it down the road.”

“I forbid it,” said In-soo.

“You what?” Eun-ae turned and put her hands on her hips. “Who died and made you emperor?”

In-soo took a step toward Eun-ae and raised a finger. “So what now? My wife is taking up work as a Yankee whore?”

Eun-ae stepped back feeling the sting of salt in her eyes. Why would he say that? Is that what he thought? That she would sell her body to the Americans?

In-soo picked up the two buckets, turned, and went out. Ten minutes later, Eun-ae saw him lowering the buckets, now slopping with fresh water, in front of the door. By the time she got outside, he had disappeared into the repair shop.