He loves her.

He feels her heartbeats, but never have they seen each other before.

Valentine’s Day. He frantically makes up his mind—to see her. Right now. Even one single glance at her will do.

He tells this to his wife, who is generous enough to agree.

“Shall I accompany you to meet with her?” says his wife.

He doesn’t refuse.

He, as well as his wife, boards the train to his love’s home.

They finally find the house. Staring at the snowwhite wall, he can’t help his tears running down.

On the wall hangs the picture of a pretty young lady, a tour guide.

“I will love you, and cherish you, for ever; I will live happily, and enjoy all the rest of my life.” He swears an oath, gazing at her and caressing her.

He is a heartman, in whose chest her heart is beating lovingly.

(Translated by Zhao Jinji from Xiao Shuqin’s story)

Posted in flash fiction | Leave a comment

Dirty Witch’s Home

To be clean, or not to be clean? It’s not a hard choice for Dirty Witch to make.

Dirty Witch is not lazy. Instead, she rather loves sweeping her room.

Yet, the harder she works, the dirtier her room becomes, hence the stockings hanging from the ceiling, the towel tucked under the bed, the cake in the quilt, the shoes on the pot cover….

One day, Dirty Witch made herself a bowl of noodles with soybean paste. As she ate the noodles, the soup spilt all over her face, streamed down her neck, and then flew out of her trousers.

Then the bowl overturned, tossing the noodles out. With a rag, Dirty Witch rubbed the table, so that the table became stained with noodles; with the rag she rubbed the floor, so that the floor became stained with noodles. Finally, with the same rag she rubbed her lips.

O.K. Dirty Witch was very pleased.

Stuffed, Dirty Witch was ready to sleep. While she was sleeping, her kitty came, licking her cheeks; for her cheeks were stained with the remains of noodles and smelled of soybean paste and spices. The kitty licked Dirty Witch’s cheeks, her bed, her table, and her floor. All was clean.

When she woke up, Dirty Witch felt very unhappy. For it was clean everywhere and she didn’t like it at all.

Then it was time to feed the kitty. Dirty Witch, annoyed and with a straight face, cooked congee for the kitty.

The kitty, however, stuffed with noodles of soybean paste, with no appetite at all, overturned the full plate of congee and ran wild, making quite a mess in the room.

Then Dirty Witch, soft-faced and barefoot, trod on the congee; she was slipping to and fro like a happy skater!

Posted in wang wei's fables | Leave a comment

No Personal Things

The boss was inspecting a workshop.

“How long have you been working here?” One man was asked.

“Three years.” The man replied.

“Is your home far from here? Don’t you miss your family?” continued the boss.

The man was stirred, and rather moved. “I’m from Sichuan. It’s very far away. I miss my family so very much.”

“Are you missing them now?”

“Sure I am.” said the man, without any hesitation.

“Then you’re to forfeit 100 dollars.”

The man stared at his boss in surprise. Then he was in horror.

“Look at the Regulations and Disciplines. Rule 53: No personal things are allowed at working hours.”

“But I’m not doing any personal things.” Fixing his eyes on his boss, the man was very much confused.

“During working hours, all employees are required to focus on the stuff in hand, but instead your mind is being occupied with your home and your family. Isn’t it personal?” sneered the boss.

“Ahhhh!” The man uttered an exclamation of surprise.

(translated by Zhao Jinji from Lai Changming’s story)

Posted in flash fiction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Stubborn Witch Became Stubborn Tree

Stubborn Witch hates travelling most. With her lips tightened, she usually snaps, “I just stay in this village. I don’t go anywhere!”

When she is asked to travel together with other witches, there is always the same answer, no, definitely not!

One day, however, some witch, who had been around, claimed that, she had travelled to a place where there were no hills or trees. There was only a huge desert, on which rolled yellow sand and grew no grass.

Stubborn Witch didn’t believe this at all. She became increasingly doubtful as she listened. “Impossible! Impossible! How can it be possible that there should be such a grassless place? Sheer nonsense! Nonsense!” Moreover, Stubborn Witch was to set it right, and for the first time she stepped out of the village. She was to travel around the world, see the world for herself, and then come back with the truth that there is no such thing as a desert on earth.

Stubborn Witch walked on and on and on…Though almost worn out, she wouldn’t stop. Certainly this is the way that is Stubborn Witch.

With such a strong will as hers, Stubborn Witch eventually came upon the desert.

What yellow sand, rolling and roaring! What a desolate place, indeed! Stubborn Witch was disappointed and annoyed. She wouldn’t stay for another moment and turned to go.

“But why not turn the desert into lush green land?” She paused. “It won’t be too late to go back when it turns green.”

So Stubborn Witch started to plant trees. Even though planting trees on the desert was difficult, Stubborn Witch kept on. She had made up her mind. She worked on and on and on…With the sun burning overhead, there gradually appeared the shade of green trees.

Alas! Stubborn Witch was too exhausted to go on. Her flesh was baked by the sun. Though dead, Stubborn Witch wouldn’t give up. She rooted herself in the earth and grew to be Stubborn Tree.

Stubborn Tree grew taller and taller. Her thick leaves spreading out all over covering the entire desert. To whoever wanted to pull her up or dig her up there would be the same answer, no, definitely not!

Now Stubborn Tree has forgotten the village of witches. If one reminds her of it, she is sure to say, “Impossible! Impossible! How can it be possible that there should be a village of witches? Sheer nonsense! Nonsense!”

(translated by Zhao Jinji from Wang Wei’s fable)

Posted in wang wei's fables | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Men’s Redemption

In the year 3000 A.D. there have been more than 500 nations on Earth.

Tremendous changes have been taking place in the global situation, in which over three fifths of all nations are involved in frequent disputes or military frictions on such issues as lands, energies, powers, and the rest.

There is no world peace at all.

Every day sees the secretary-general of UN busily holding conferences, communicating messages, or phoning the ruler of each nation, making mediations; yet no nation is to compromise, each defending for its own interests and putting blames on others. The condition is deteriorating. World War tends to break out any time.

The secretary-general of UN is quite aware that the potential war, in which advanced nuclear weapons as well as various bio-chemical weapons are sure to work, would be devastating to the entire earth and all men alike.

Turning over the situation, the secretary-general of UN can’t eat well or sleep well.

Finally it occurs to him that God must hold the key, so the secretary-general appeals to God. “It’s too late; men are too smart.” said God, shaking his head. “Almighty God, you created Heaven and Earth, men and things; lord of the whole world, you are to rescure us.” prays the secretary-general. “Me?” said God, annoyed. “Am I the lord of men? Does any man show a damn of respect for me?” “Easy does it, please. Considering the overall situation, please forget about your own gains and lossses. Men’s redemption is in your hand.” Thinking for a while, God says, “All right, then. Do make all men be idiots.” “How is it possible?” says the secretary-general. “Impossible is nothing; just think it for yourself.” With this God departs.

So the secretary-general is being presented with a new problem: how he is to make all men on Earth be idiots.

(translated by Zhao Jinji from Lai Changming’s story)

Posted in flash fiction | Leave a comment

The Parrot

Mr. Jia purchased a parrot at a Birds Fair. The parrot treaded about in the cage, looking up to the blue sky. The bird wanted freedom. Mr. Jia knew that.

Mr. Jia said to the parrot, “Hey, buddie, I paid for you. Only if you live up to me can you get the freedom.”

The bird wagged its head, its bright eyes fixed on its master, as if listening in great earnest. Mr. Jia decided that this parrot was intelligent enough, so that he began to teach the bird to talk whenever possible. Soon the parrot learned to say “gong xi fa cai hong bao na lai” (“For a good fortune, bring a red packet”.) and “qing jin” (“Come in”.)

Though not high-ranking, Mr. Jia was in real power, and his residence was frequented by a constant flow of visitors.

To Mr. Jia’s much delight, the parrot contributed a lot to his collecting red packets. Once the visitor stepped in, the bird would say “gong xi fa cai hong bao na lai”. With a bitter smile, the visitor speedily handed over the red packet. Mr. Jia took the packet immediately as he was saying, “Don’t take it seriously!”

One day, several policemen stepped in. As usual, the parrot uttered “gong xi fa cai hong bao na lai”.
The policemen stared at the bird.

At that point, Mr. Jia opened the cage and the parrot fluttered out.

“What a cute bird! Why set it free?” One policeman asked.

“He says he wants freedom.” Replied Mr. Jia, with an embarrassed smile.

The door of the police car was opening to Mr. Jia when the parrot alighted on the bough of a tree in the court, crying aloud, “qing jin! qing jin!”

(translated by Zhao Jinji from Tang Guangyuan’s story)

Posted in flash fiction | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Gluttonous Witch Spares No Efforts

Gluttonous Witch has a big mouth, either for laughing or for eating.

Needless to say, Gluttonous Witch also has a sharp nose. Whenever some witch cooks delicious food, she sniffs it. However far away it is, she goes out of her way to taste it.

One day she was going to Sugar Witch’s house and she said to herself, “There are two pieces of honey-cake…” Later on, she said, “As the scent fades, there’s one piece left!” Her pace quickened. “Uh-oh, half piece…two bites…one bite…”

Sugar Witch had just swallowed the last bite of honey-cake the moment Gluttonous Witch arrived.

“What a shame!” Gluttonous Witch fell down on the threshold of Sugar Witch’s house. “Sniffing makes me tired, but not even a bite I ate at all!”

Luckily, since Gluttonous Witch came Sugar Witch had, smilingly, made another two pieces of honey-cake for her to eat right away, another two pieces for her to eat on the way back, and finally, another two pieces for her to eat the next day.

Gluttonous Witch laughed, grinning from ear to ear.

Later, with the four pieces of honey-cake, Gluttonous Witch was on her way back home. Soon she couldn’t help but eat one piece of honey-cake, then another. After a while, she couldn’t help but eat another piece…

By the time she got to her door, Gluttonous Witch had eaten up all four pieces of honey-cake.

Not satisfied, Gluttonous Witch opened her window and thrust her head out, sniffing around. Who was cooking this time?

Ah! There were steamed stuffed buns in Salt Witch’s house!

All right then. Laughing, broadening her big mouth, Gluttonous Witch was looking forward to eating more.

Posted in wang wei's fables | Leave a comment

When Will the Moon Be Clear and Bright?

“When will the moon be clear and bright? With a cup of wine in my hand, I ask the blue sky. I don’t know what season it would be in Heaven on this night…” Wearing a pair of headsets, she was lost in the soft melody and the beautiful lyrics. Oh, Heaven! Why keep us separate in different worlds? Her dearest lover, by the name of Feng, was killed by the earthquake which occurred on May 12, 2008. Whenever alone, she would be thinking of Feng, without whose last violent push she would have been killed too.

On the night of Moon Festival, all by herself she came to where Feng had been killed — a messy patch of ruins on which a memorial would be built. Yes, for memory’s sake, it was for memory’s sake that she came here. Quietly taking out the moon cakes and putting them on the ground, she activated her MP3 player and played the song “When Will the Moon be Clear and Bright”, which was Feng’s favorite when he was alive. Tears were streaming down her cheeks as the song hovered along; thinking about the past moments they had enjoyed, she would rather she had died together with him.

The moon was hanging high in the sky, clear and bright; without stars around, would the moon be feeling lonely too? Gazing at the moon, she gradually recognized Feng’s figure in the pale light, smiling, smiling at her. Reassured and warmed by his smile, she became aware that he had gone to the moon, where he was still fixing his eyes on her.(translated by Zhao Jinji from Fan Hong’s story)

Posted in flash fiction | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lock King

The sun was setting when Lock King, a handsome young man, got off his purplish red horse at Master Zhao’s house.

What a stylish mansion!

One servant ushered Lock King up to a warehouse. Master Zhao saluted with a bow, “Can you unlock it? Please!”

Two wires were fixed in the lock’s hole. A steel needle was being poked inside. After a while, the giant bronze lock echoed with a slight click.

“Bingo!” With a rustling of jades and gems, a lady of tender age, moving as softly as a lotus, came near.

“What are you here for?” Master Zhao scolded.

The lady gently opened her rosy lips, “Daddy, the key to my chest has got lost, so I’d like Lock King to unlock it.”

A cloud was emerging upon Master Zhao’s face, “Lock King reigns over all locks?”

“Yes, all but twin-core plum blossom locks in the shape of heart.”

Perfumes were overflowing the lady’s bedroom. A small exquisite silver lock was attached to an elaborate chest.

The silver lock was handed over, “It’s yours, since the key is gone.” Accompanied by a smile, a flame wrapped up Lock King.

Late into that very night, Lock King secretly approached Master Zhao’s back door, only to meet with a big twin-core plum blossom lock.

Then Lock King shut himself indoors, focusing on the crafts of handling twin-core plum blossom locks.

One month later, Lock King slipped into Lady Zhao’s bedroom, where there was nobody but a silvery key on the desk, shining in the moonlight.

Lock King fell badly ill. After his recovery, Lock King lost all his skills.

(translated by Zhao Jinji from Liu Yuxing’s story)

Posted in flash fiction | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Smart Witch has Stockings with Eye-holes

Smart Witch has two eyes. Of course, everyone has two eyes.

Yet Smart Witch rolls her eyes 948 times within a minute! She keeps her eyes rolling and rolling and rolling. That is unusual, indeed.

Smart Witch used to call at Simple Witch’s house. “Give me one goose, and I’ll give you two eggs. Look at these two round eggs, don’t you like them?” With this, her eyes rolled 1,755 times.

“Take it!” said Simple Witch.

In this way, Smart Witch was always taking undue advantage of others. Thus, as often as possible, she called at Simple Witch’s house.

“Give me one egg, and I’ll give you two leaves. Look at these two purely green and perfectly fine leaves, don’t you like them?”

“Give me one robe, and I’ll give you two stockings. Look at these two stockings with eye-holes, don’t you think they are stylish?”

“Give me your kitty, and I’ll give you two big mice. Look at these two very smart big mice, don’t you…” With this her eyes rolled 3,562 times.

Then Smart Witch went back home with the kitty, very pleased with herself.

But, in Simple Witch’s house, the two big mice didn’t find anything good, because all good things had been moved from here to Smart Witch’s house. They felt uncomfortable and ran off.

And the kitty in Smart Witch’s house hated to watch at the mice’s hole day and night. There was no food or fun. And she also slipped away.

At midnight, the two big mice returned, so happy that they started running helter-skelter in the house.

They even bit through Smart Witch’s stockings on the heels while she was sleeping.

Now Smart Witch has another two stockings with eye-holes.

Posted in wang wei's fables | Tagged , , | Leave a comment