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Lady of the Echoes (whole) [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2007-4-17 19:17:49 |Display all floors
1)A legend of the Echo Lady

Within a stone's throw of my residence, there is a small mountain, known as Dong Shan. The east side of the mountain is a steep rocky cliff.

About 150-200 meters away from the cliff, is a lake named Shi Hu, which was my most favorite place to swim together with my childhood friends.

When we were most excited, we always shouted to the cliff. Then, a dreary booming sound with eerie horror came back to us and made our hair stand on end.

I didn’t know what had happened and came back home paled with fright.
“What’s wrong with you, my dear?” mum asked me anxiously.
“ I found someone in the mountain always followed my voice. Who is it? Mum.”
“ Oh, that ,” she said, looking serious, “ That’s the echoing lady.” Mum explained to me, “ She is a witch whose fancy is to follow someone’s loud voice. Remember, If you ignore her, she will do you no harm, however if you respond to her, then, she will capture and detain your soul.
“Never respond to her, or any strange calling, especially at dusk.” Mum warned me again and again.

She explained to me even further, after sunset, there are some ghosts whose souls had been captured by the echoing lady before and they would be wandering and howling everywhere until the time of their descendents.

If someone answered their calling, one of them would capture its soul and handed it to the echoing lady.

The ghost itself, however, could be free from her detainment and be restored by attaching its soul to the victim’s body.

At that time, the culture in my hometown was very backward.

No any scientific knowledge ever visited there.

Parents could only get some superstitions from their own parents by means of oral legends and used them to perceive the world.

With such poor understanding, they were wrongly handing them down from generation to generation without consciousness.

Mum’s thrilling explanation and instruction really made me nervous for a long time, until I was brought up and learnt some acoustics knowledge in my middle school.

The fear and mystery to the terrible lady gradually disappeared, however, shortly after mum’s story telling, a real “Echoing Lady” was appearing and haunting our community.

Her terrible shouting in Dong Shan Mountain had truly horrified and stricken us and made us show a clean pair of heels immediately.

[ Last edited by wenzili at 2007-4-26 10:15 AM ]

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Post time 2007-4-26 10:17:12 |Display all floors

(2) An Awesome Old Lady

In the year of 1963, to restore the green vegetation of the bare mountains, our local authorities introduced “Planting trees to beautify our hometown”.

Since then, every spring thousands of official staff and students have been busy planting trees in those hills and mountains previously deforested.

Dong Shan mountain was one of the most favorable places to deal with.

Unfortunately, those newly planted saplings were always damaged by some wandering livestock or naughty children.

To ensure the healthy growth of the trees, a lady about 50 years old had been hired to safeguard the trees.

She was one of the poorest residents in our vicinity and famous for always being listed as number one in the local relief bulletin.*

She lost her husband when she was young and had taken great pains to bring up four children.

Since she was always in need, the authorities entrusted her to take the responsibility of looking after the trees in Dong Shan Mountain.

In this way, she could get regular financial support.

It really was a wise appointment, since she was a dedicated person with a thunder-like voice.

If she shouted on one side of the mountain, the vibration resonated so it could certainly be felt on the opposite side.

To thank the community for their giving of relief, she undertook this endeavor.

She got up before sunrise and attended the mountain every day.

“Yoo……Xu……Ho……” her constant shouts, which fluctuated in tone, had not only frightened those nibbling livestock, but also scared those birds inhabiting the top of the mountain and made them hastily flutter and escape their nests.

She never stopped her patrolling from early morning until mid-night.

She could hardly tell who was the good guy coming for fun, without intent to damage the trees, and who was the bad guy collecting firewood, so she solved it simply, forbidding any child to climb to the Dong Shan Mountain without the company of their parents.

Whenever she found the children’s track, she immediately ran after them and, with her arms stretched out, drove them away loudly.

“Yoo…..Xu….!” “How dare you! Go away immediately!”

Therefore, like a monster’s howling, her shouting always thrilled us, even from miles away.

Sometimes, she met some tough hooligans who just ignored her warnings and firmly refused to leave.

In this case, she never withdrew her demand and bravely advanced with her deafening shouting, until those challengers gave up and ran away like a group of frightened rats.

It has been said: in an extreme case, to drive some pigheaded juveniles away, she even gestured at taking her trousers off.**

Thanks to her guardianship and nursing, the trees were growing up steadily.

The bald mountain was dressed up by lush trees.
The old lady’s shouting was also submerged in green bush.

In the mean time, children were scared of her thunder-like shouting and their parents hated her non-discriminatorily driving their children away.

They all stealthily gave her a wicked nickname, known as “Lady of the Echoes”.

* "Relief bulletin" is an announcement of the relieved results, including the details of whom and how much the relief money had been given to. Which is publicly pasted in the bulletin column of local community.

**It was one of the superstitions told to the children in our hometown that
if someone steals a glance at a nude heterosexual adult, he or she would stop growing and become an unlucky dwarf all his or her life.”

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Post time 2007-4-26 10:18:32 |Display all floors

(3) The vicissitudes of her life

The “echoing lady” was born in a remote village about 30 kilometers away from our town.
She married a porter at the age of 18.
Her husband was one of the poorest slugs in our town.
He smoked and drank all his life. Every payday, he did nothing but go to the local inn to enjoy himself thoroughly.
When he was getting drunk and hobbling home alone, with almost empty pockets, his wife, the “echoing lady”, always reprimanded him severely: “What an irresponsible person! You’ve spent most of your salary already. My God! How can we survive without money?” she painfully sobbed out. Her sorrowful cry always shook us up and grieved us to tears. However, the porter just snored in the bamboo chair.
Sometimes, he was annoyed by her endless nagging and stood up brandishing his giant fists’. Faced by so wild a gesture, she never retreated until her face was swollen and her nose bleeding.
In 1948, the political situation became critical, and the local authorities of the previous KMT government spared no effort to recruit and enlarge their army.
At that time, owing to his tobacco and alcohol addiction, the porter was deeply in debt. To repay the debt, he sold himself for the price of 300 silver coins, as a substitute for a rich man’s army service.*
He then completely disappeared, leaving enormous distress and misery to his wife and four children.
After the liberation in 1949, the new government in our local community was in sympathy with their difficulty and allocated them a small house next door to our district office.
With their hard work plus the relief of the local community, they existed in poverty, but were able to survive.
In 1960, the war clouds densely covered Taiwan Strait. She sent her elder son, known as Wuli, to join the PLA (People’s Liberation Army).
Three years later, after Wuli’s return from the front, he was assigned to a local power plant.
As a technician, he was engaged in generating the electricity for residential illumination from evening to next morning each day.*
From then on, his family had a regular fixed income. The financial situation had completely changed.
In consideration of his mother’s aging, Wuli suggested she retire and be free from the hardship in later years. However, she firmly rejected his proposals and persisted in patrolling and shouting every day.
* During the civil war, the army recruitment of KMT was turned over to local administration. Therefore, some local officers always sold the rich man’s quota (escuage) of the military service to the poor to earn the profit.
** In 1950’s there was no machine driven by electricity in our town. The electric lamplight was just introduced, which was powered by local electric generator."

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Post time 2007-4-26 10:20:52 |Display all floors

(4) A Thrilling Scandal

Shortly after his employment, Wuli married a great beauty named Xin Yue (crescent). With a pair of big black eyes, a tiny cherry mouth pleasingly located in her milky face, she was so pretty and attractive that her marriage was immediately disturbed both her home village and our town.
Xin Yue’s farther was a local tyrant in his village.
Before liberation, he plotted a crude fighting to next village where lived another kin different from his. Hundreds of casualties were caused in this bloody war.
After the liberation, he had been arrested and executed for committing the crime of provoking controversy and plotting this fight.
As a sort of compensation, his assets were confiscated and distributed to those families of the fighting victims.
After father’s execution and family coming down, the beauty and her mother became a sort of plague ghosts. No one dared to come close to them, since the political status was one of the most critical criteria to affect every family member’s career development and political life at that time.
Wuli, with his ugly looking but glorious political background, bravely accepted this marriage.
He loved his charming bride so much that he wished the daylight would have last forever. Since he was in night shift all the year around, it was the only time of daylight for him to show his intimacy to his dear wife. The bride, however, hated this abnormal family life very much, especially abhorred the lovemaking, as a couple of animals, in daylight.
She couldn’t bear the over-night loneness and was groaning all the time.
In this way, the newly married couple was leading a very inharmonic sexual life.
One late morning, when the “echoing lady” just returned home from the early patrolling and came to kitchen to prepare breakfast, suddenly, she came across a handsome young man with a blue overall hastily running out from Xin Yue’s room.
At first, she considered it was her son, Wuli, who had been off duty and gone home.
On her second thought: ” it is still little earlier than Wuli’s back time. Moreover, this white-skinned guy is much teller than my son”.
“Oh, my dear! A shameful adultery happened.” she immediately cried out and picked up a chopper running after him.
“ What a greedy hog! How dare you are to put your nose into my garden!”
This deafened roar made the escaping man tumble at the doorsill of the main gate.
He stood up hastily and swiftly ran away as a frightened rat.
Inside the room, with her legs’ trembling, Xin Yue was also scared out of wits.
After a while, when her composure regained, she put on her clothes in hurry and cried: ”What a terrible thing happened! Wuli has gone mad. He has run away with insufficient clothes!” she came out and pretended to weep.  
“ Nonsense! It is as clear as daylight that a bitch is in rut and had a vile affair, rather than Wuli goes mad.” “echoing lady” said sarcastically. .
Brimming with tears, Xin Yue sit on her room doorsill and firmly denied she did anything wrong.
The “echoing lady” flew into a range. She held the chopper and came up to her.
“ You shouldn’t fool me and treat Wuli’s politeness and kindness as cowardice. I warm you: If I meet such scandal again, definitely, I’ll cut both your dirty genitals down and feed to a dog!”
The booming voice had shacked the roof and made Xin Yue shiver for a long time.

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Post time 2007-4-26 10:21:52 |Display all floors

(5) Putting on A “Green Cap” *

As a matter of fact, Xin Yue had her lover, known as Jin Sheng (golden life), when she was a teenager studying in middle school.
Jin Sheng was the youngest son of another rich family in next village. Unfortunately, his father proved to be an absolutely irreconcilable foe to Xin Yue’s father.
He led the opposite fighters and got the same result as his enemy commander: execution and bankruptcy.
Their political misfortune didn’t hinder these fiery lovers. They had their good time wherever corn field or empty classroom.
However, when they talking about their marriage several years later, they met insurmountable barriers: parents’ fierce reject, no fixed financial support and political risk.
Finally, the reality had beaten the romantic emotion. They had to conceal their love underground.
Taking advantage of Wuli and his mother’s fussy work, they always had their coition outside.
With time’s flying, their trysts got more and more often.
Dissatisfying out-door mating, they decided to try an in-door game that day.
Covered by evening darkness, Jin Sheng successfully lurked into Xin Yue’s room while the lady slept like a log.
Sure enough, the newly wedding room was far more comfortable and sexually instigating than any causal stage.
They had their good time again and again and went to a sound sleep until late morning of next day.
“ Dear, dear!” Xin Yue waked up first. She immediately went into panic and jerked Jin Sheng fiercely.
“My God! It’s so late. Wuli is coming back. Hurry up to put your cloths on!”
Jin Sheng was also shocked. Shivering unconsciously, he became so clumsy that he failed to dress himself for a long time.
In the mean time, with a “squeak” sound, the main door was opened.
Surely, it was the “echoing lady’s” coming!
The couple immediately crushed down and was frozen on bed for a while. They had no idea how to escape from this disaster.
Thank to Xin Yue’s calmness, she supposed her mother-in-law might have poor eyesight due to her aging.
“Put on Wuli’s overall and run out as quick as possible!” she ordered.
Jin Sheng didn’t think it was a safe way, but he had no better choice.
Waiting in room must be even worse, when Wuli came back home and straightly in. They made up their minds and jointly conducted the “mad” comedy as mentioned in previous chapter.
* “Putting on a green cap” is the most humiliating and forbidden words, which implies someone’s wife is committed a shameful adultery.

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Post time 2007-4-26 10:22:32 |Display all floors

(6) An Eternal Company of the Trees

Different from his mother, Wuli had his fame for his honesty and cowardice.
He loved Xin Yue so much and was always docile and obedient to her, whatever she wanted.
His over overwhelming love spoiled her very much and made her always be audacious. Shortly after her wedding, her behavior toward husband came to be more and more redicurous.
But, Wuli never dare to say no to his wife and had no way to change her hard head and reasonless annoyance.
At that moment, when he was striding home with happy whistles, he found, just like a disturbed beehive, a big crowd and deafening noise around his house.
Mother’s roaring and wife’s weeping puzzled and shocked him very much.
Against people’s weird eyesight, he went through the wall of the spectators and was instantly petrified when he had known what had happened.
Stiffly sitting on a chair with pale and emotionless appearance, he was completely ruined and psychologically crushed down.
From then on, he was so ashamed to wife’s indecent behavior that he never raised his head.
On the one hand, hopelessly, he had no way to persuade his wife to abandon her true love to her lover; on the other hand, he couldn’t bear this humiliation and others’ snooty eyesight.
Heavy psychological burden largely destroyed his mental health.
Every moment, as if million fingers were pointing to his back and a horrible voice were always round him“ What a poor guy wearing a ‘green cap’”.* He had suffered hypochondria and depressed all day long.
He was too tired and completely despaired to the life.
One day, with endless sorrow, he had hung himself and died at age of 27.
The son had gone and the daughter-in- had remarried, such a crude reality made the lady grieve and weep day and night.
Someone said this disaster could be attributed to her unlucky fate by which her husband and son’s souls had been captured respectively.
From then on, under the foot of Dong Shan Mountain, the lady’ s cheerful shouting had been replaced by her hoarse cry.
She became weaker and weaker.
Considering her physical and mental strength dried up, the local authorities in our community asked her to stop the safeguard duty and to retire. They promised all allowances and relief money would keep unchanged.
This requirement didn’t please her at all.
She sadly kneeled down and appealed: “Dear directors, one of my old son has gone, however, thousands of my younger sons in Dong Shan are still alive. They have been brought up under my yearly nursing. They still need my great care. If you ask me to leave them alone, how can I make my life?
After all, no one could dispute the fate. She had completely fallen down.
When she was dying, she was mumbling:” Take me to the mountain, I still have thousands of offspring there.”
To satisfy her last will, her daughters managed to move her to the mountain.
Lying on a stretcher, she was gently touching a tree and gradually closed her eyes. ……
People were deeply touched by her behavior. She had been exclusively approved to bury her in Dong Shan Mountain.
She became the only one to accompany the trees eternally.

(The End)

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Post time 2007-4-26 10:24:20 |Display all floors
wow.. seems like you composed it..
If nothing once, you nothing lose; for when you die, you are the same.

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