The woman carrying a corpse

The Way Spring Arrives |

We’re delighted to reprint “The Lady Carrying a Corpse” by Chi Hui, translated from Chinese language by Judith Huang, from the revolutionary anthology The arrival of spring and other storiesedited by Yu Chen and Regina Kanyu Wang, now obtainable in paperback!

“The Lady Carrying a Corpse” was initially launched as 背尸体的女人 in December 2019 by Flower Metropolis (花城).

The lady carrying the corpse got here from the north.

She walked very slowly, stumbling and falling with virtually each step, earlier than choosing up the corpse and strolling. His torn pants had been stained with mud.

The lady’s hair was virtually all white, the pores and skin of her face stretched with ravines of wrinkles, her face full of unspeakable anguish.

Maybe attributable to his fixed stumbling, his physique was scarred with cuts and scarred with massive and small bruises. But she appeared oblivious to them, mumbling unintelligibly, two clean eyes staring, as if trying to find the tip of the street.

And but, the corpse she carried regarded polished and glamorous, her garments fabricated from luxurious material in shimmering colours, with gold thread trimmings that glinted within the solar.

The corpse was certainly useless, however it nonetheless proclaimed its wealth.

The lady carrying the corpse walked again and again, the corpse on her again swaying back and forth, continuously on the verge of falling. But she endured in sporting it.

In conjunction with the street, she met an loafer. The loafer was horrified and stopped him. “Oh my God! Is {that a} corpse you are carrying?

“Sure, it’s,” replied the girl. “Have a look at this corpse. See how heavy it’s? It virtually crushed my backbone.

“Cannot you reject it? requested the loafer.

The lady shook her head time and again, saying, “I can not, I can not. . .”

The loafer was perplexed. “However why not? It isn’t as a result of they’re household, is it? Is that why you’ll be able to’t go away them behind?

“Sure, that is it,” the girl stated. “Sure that is it.”

The loafer sighed, shed a couple of tears for the girl, and went away.

The lady carrying the corpse was strolling.

A traveler noticed the girl carrying the physique and ran in direction of her, shouting, “Fast! Throw that soiled factor away! An exquisite life awaits you!

“However this corpse is household,” the girl stated. “In life we ​​lived collectively, they usually introduced me heat and happiness, so now, though they’re useless, I can not bear to throw them away.”

The traveler froze, then nodded. “Ah, that is an excellent level, that is an excellent level.”

He consoled the girl for a second, then continued on his manner. The lady carrying the corpse was strolling.

Shortly after, she encountered a reviewer, who regarded her up and down earlier than pointing fingers and making sarcastic remarks.

“Have a look at this girl,” says the critic. “To suppose that she transported this heavy corpse! Somebody will need to have promised her an enormous favor or paid her a pleasant sum, in any other case she would by no means do such a factor!

The lady smiled defensively and stated, “Yeah, that is it. That is it.”

The reviewer was delighted to be proper and, with a sigh of self-satisfaction, continued on his merry manner.

The lady carrying the corpse lowered her head and continued on her manner.

After strolling for some time, a sort particular person climbed the hill forward, cordially greeting the girl carrying the corpse as she appeared. When she realized it was a corpse the girl was carrying on her again, she paled in concern and rushed in direction of it.

“Aiyah! Is {that a} corpse you are carrying? Oh, how pitiful! Fast, put it down! Include me to the home over there, the place there’s scorching meals and scorching water. , that I may also help you.

The lady carrying the corpse shook her head. “Thanks, thanks, however I can not deposit this corpse. Somebody promised me a pleasant sum to convey him again to my village. If I put it down, I will not have any cash to get well.

When the good girl heard this, she spat on her and turned away.

The lady was strolling.

The corpse she carried shook towards her laboring again, its horrible weight dragging her down. The lady took a step, fell, crawled once more and took one other. She took one other step and fell again.

At a fork within the street, an optimist noticed her and could not bear the sight. She pulled her up saying, “Why do not you simply throw that corpse away?”

The lady shook her head, saying, “I can not go away him.”

The optimist was bewildered. She tried to purpose together with her. “Is not this corpse your good buddy?” Now, even when they had been your soul mate, they nonetheless would not need to see you want this.

To this, the girl stated nothing extra, solely shaking her head.

The optimist sighed impatiently. “I do not know who that corpse was to you, or what occurred to you, however take a look at your self! You look worse than the corpse! Perhaps you simply have to look on the brilliant aspect: give it some thought, the corpse is already useless, however you are alive! And by carrying this magnificent corpse, you’ll inevitably be observed. With out it, you look fairly strange and nobody would spare you a re-examination. So perhaps that is an excellent factor. Perhaps carrying that corpse is absolutely price it.

The lady carrying the corpse nodded, saying, “Sure, that is it. That is it.” Then the optimist, happy with herself, went on her manner.

The lady carrying the corpse was strolling.

A pessimist noticed the girl and ran to him saying, “Oh my God, might I find yourself like this?”

The lady shrugged to reposition the corpse on her again, regarded up and stated, “Really, it is a good factor I am carrying this corpse.” With this corpse, once I’m on the street, folks deal with me like I am somebody!

The pessimist stated, “Ah, however they simply suppose you are entertaining. Me, then again, I see how pitiful you’re and I get depressed. If you cannot unburden your self, I am afraid I am going to find yourself such as you.

“So why do not you put on it for me?” requested the girl. The pessimist set free a terrified cry and fled.

The lady watched her determine recede for a second. Then she lowered her head and walked, nonetheless carrying the corpse.

A roadside hustler noticed the girl and commenced to whisper, “Have a look at that fool, it is like she was born yesterday!” Why does not she take off these stunning garments and put on them herself? In these luxurious silks and brocades, she would look wealthy and heat and relaxed, and everybody would deal with her like a human being.

When the girl heard this, she raised her head and smiled. His smile was previous, each considered one of his wrinkles crumpled and relaxed, and his eyes had been chilly, chilly as black ice.

The scammer grimaced and walked away. He whispered to his companions, “That should be her lover, judging by the way in which she will’t stand to go away him.”

The lady checked out him, then lowered her head and continued on her manner.

As she walked and walked, a madman noticed the girl and, laughing wildly, ran in direction of her. “Hey, are you carrying a corpse?”

“Sure, it’s,” the girl stated.

“Why are you sporting it? »

“As a result of they had been as soon as my lover, and though they’re now useless, I can not bear to half with them,” the girl stated.

And but the madman would not go away, leaping and hopping beside her. He began speaking to the corpse. “Hey, corpse, do you want this girl?”

The corpse, after all, stated nothing.

The lady walked in silence because the madman adopted her.

“Hey, are you carrying a corpse?” he requested once more.

“Sure it’s.”

“Why are you sporting it? »

“As a result of it will get my consideration,” the girl replied. “With this, folks discover me.”

“Hey, corpse,” the madman requested, “discover that girl?

The corpse, after all, stated nothing.

The madman laughed, then wept. He cried, then laughed. Half-walk, half-dance, he adopted. The lady carried the corpse, taking a step, then falling, then strolling and falling once more. They thrust ahead, their actions synchronized to a single beat. After some time, the madman questioned him once more.

“Hey . . . So, is {that a} corpse you are carrying?

“Sure it’s.”

“Why are you sporting it? »

“As a result of somebody promised me a pleasant sum, if I carry it on the street.”

“Hey, corpse, are you actually price some huge cash?”

The corpse, after all, stated nothing.

The madman started to sing a tune with no melody, and the birds on the aspect of the street joined him and commenced to chirp. After a couple of songs, the madman began questioning her once more.

“Hey . . . So, is {that a} corpse you are carrying?

“Sure it’s.”

“Why are you sporting it? »

“As a result of they had been my household, who handled me effectively previously. Now I can not bear to go away them.

“Hey, corpse, do you want this girl?”

The corpse, after all, stated nothing.

The madman sang as he walked. Immediately he clapped his fingers and stated, “I perceive now, I perceive now. It isn’t a corpse in any respect, is it? Look, he is your loved ones, and he is additionally your lover. They will make you stand out within the crowd and fetch you huge bucks. In fact, they should be your god!

The lady nodded and stated, “Sure, that is it. That is it.”

The madman nonetheless would not go away her alone. He saved circling her, taking a look at her from each angle.

“Look! Your god has sprouted!” he stated out of the blue.


She had carried the corpse for a lot of months and years, and dirt had fallen on her face. Seeds had fallen into the crevices of his wrinkles and the hole holes of his eye sockets. Some had grown, whereas others had grow to be saplings.

However as a result of she had been carrying him on her again the entire time, she could not see, and he or she did not realize it.

“Your god has sprouted!” The madman clapped his fingers, singing loudly. “Your god sprouted, your god sprouted grass, your god’s head grew a shrub, your god blossomed and bore fruit!”

Saying this, the idiot stretched out his hand to select a small berry, to style.

In her haste to show round to look, the girl unintentionally straightened her again, and the corpse slipped and hit the bottom.

The lady regarded.

“Why do you put on them? requested the madman.

“I do not know,” stated the girl. “Way back to I can bear in mind, that is the way it’s at all times been. I do not even know learn how to stroll on the street with out such a burden. Now what ought to I do?

“Maybe you’ll be able to carry me as an alternative,” stated the madman. “However I do not need to be a corpse.”

“Sure that is it.”

They checked out one another and sat down. They sang a couple of songs, dug a gap by the aspect of the street and buried the physique there. Yellow flowers and purple berries sprouted, and tender inexperienced leaves unfurled. The plant grew sturdy and safe, swaying gently within the wind.

The solar was setting languidly on the horizon because the clouds blazed like an extended, slim line of fireplace, lighting up one after one other throughout the sky.

The madman lit a bonfire and the girl shared her provisions of dried meals with him. Then they huddled by the hearth, like two tiny commas, and fell asleep.

The land was boundless beneath them, the street stretched like a compass in each course, and the mud – the mud swirled, forwards and backwards, forwards and backwards, endlessly.

The arrival of spring and other stories is on the market wherever books are offered.

“The Lady Carrying a Corpse” copyright © 2019 by 迟卉 (Chi Hui)
Reprinted from The arrival of spring and different tales ed. Yu Chen and Regina Kanyu Wang
English translation © 2022 by Tom Doherty Associates
Translation by Judith Huang
Initially revealed as 背尸体的女人 Dec 2019 by Flower Metropolis (花城)

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