By Howard Goldblatt
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Additional info for Chairman Mao Would Not Be Amused: Fiction from Today's China
They had probably come to visit graves. Some carried fresh flowers. The man's hand came down slowly, fished out a cigarette, and placed it between his lips. As he lit the cigarette, he began to pace back and forth. But now he seemed to notice something else. He raised his hand to shade his eyes and looked off in the same direction again: a woman was walking this way. She had probably taken the wrong road; she turned around and headed back this way. Her snow-white windbreaker was striking as it appeared and disappeared among the trees.
On her simple, elegant skirt, dots of sunlight and shade silently divided and then combined, gathered together and fell apart again. "Go with the flow" was what she said. Actually, when she said it, she didn't see me and didn't hear any vulgar noise. She didn't see anything and didn't hear anything. She was a thousand miles away. I couldn't see her face, but I could sense her tranquillity and enchantment. The autumn wind swept invisibly past the huge parasol tree, making a soft, dignified sound.
All right, then," Junni said. "I'm feeling really good, too. " She reached over for the ice-cold grenade and held it tightly. Neither the troops retreating across the fields of Chenguan-zhuang nor the troops advancing in the same direction paid any attention to the shell hole. Three days later, after the sulfurous smoke had dissipated, the corpses littering the field began to emit a stench that could not be ignored, and a civilian clean-up crew moved in. What they found in the hole was not easy to collect-all severed limbs and pieces of flesh-so a decision was made to dump in the frozen bodies from the surrounding area.