A Fiction
by
Vani Venkatesan

John Xi, a Chinese national badminton player, struck and wounded two policemen who intruded into his girlfriend's home. Fearing for the injustice the system might impose on him, he had to run. In the flight, he met a mysterious fugitive, who deeply involved in the corruption charges of some high-ranked officials.
If you feel that the story does not make sense, it is because it resembles the reality too closely.


Chapter 3

Fugitive

.........................

    He fell silent and sighed. War is my destiny!
    Calming down, he suddenly heard a sound behind him, which brought him back to reality. He turned around and caught a glimpse of a white shadow that moved with marvelous agility across the trees and vanished into the woods.
    I saw a white fox, a large fox maybe, but I saw no tail! John thought.
    While he was pondering upon what he actually saw, and wondered what the white shadow could be, he heard a low horrible sound from the direction of the white shadow, startling and trembling, a gurgling bubbling voice speaking some incomprehensible words with a long venomous hiss, which chilled his body and soul.
    The voice faded away and the forest fell back to the heavy padded silence but John trembled with cold sweat and felt the air breathless. He struggled to take a few deep breaths.
    Then he heard a tremendous growling from dogs.


Open Area of the Mountain
.........................

    ``I owe you a story as I took your buns and water," she finally said with a calm voice, eyes staring at distant mountains. ``I am a sinner."
    ``Everyone in this world is a sinner," said John.
    After another long pause she said, ``I have led a life of withdrawal from the world, from the reality of the society. I did love maths but I spent more time on writing. When I was a college student, I gathered a significant number of signatures and published a couple of articles on the Internet, advocating the importance of an independent law organization to prevent party leaders from abusing power. My notions, so simple and obvious, remain chimerical here. The articles and signatures landed me a jail term of 10 years. I was convicted of rebelling against the party and was incarcerated by the state. Rejecting my appeal, the judge announced my crimes: `You have committed acts of sabotage which will cause instability of the society and have betrayed your country to foreign powers. You have conspired to cheat, to forge, to lie, to disseminate rumours, to spread noxious thoughts, to promote poisonous capitalist living styles, to corrupt the minds of children---to do anything that will cause demoralization and weaken the power of the party.' I couldn't help laughing when the judge made the quixotic announcement.
    My boy friend, whom I madly loved, denounced me to protect his rising career. That broke my heart, hurting me even more than the conviction."
    She drew her eyebrows together sharply, and momentarily closed her eyes, falling into a vein. It seemed to John as if she had even more painful experience hidden deep in her soul, something which she was hesitating to disclose.
    Though not surprised, John was disturbed, troubled and saddened by her briefing as well as her countenance.
    When she opened her eyes again, her gaze looked sadder, more lonely, stonier and more aloof. She spoke as though from reveries of the past: ``The then corrupted mayor, who had many concubines rescued me from jail. He pursued and tempted me daily, gnawing at my will with his splendid possessions and hinted threats. When it became clear to me that I was resolved to fighting a hopeless battle, I subsided, selling my soul to become one of his concubines.
    I lived in one of his homes, a nice house with a small gym where I ran ten miles a day, and my life style was transformed. I no longer needed my own hands to finish my tasks, but had the hands of others to command. I stayed there for about a year, living a debauched and wasted life; each day I lived is a precious day lost.
    To the mayor, I was always something of an enigma but an enigma which he insanely loved. He bought me a lot of luxury items, and gave me a huge sum of money, encouraging my extravagances and insolences. To me, he was just one of those great leaders who were obsessed with sex and power, putting their possessions above others' lives. He was not only greedy but also foolish, watching all kinds of low taste stupid movies."
    ``What movies did he watch?" John asked curiously.
    ``They are all garbage, and I really forget their titles. I vaguely remember one of his stupid favorite movies is about the assassination of an emperor, say the Japanese emperor. The Japanese were invading China, slaughtering many innocent civilians. A young Chinese, nicknamed Stale Gun, trained himself to become a superb sniper, and conspired with the Chinese army, killing a famous Chinese general to buy an opportunity to dine with the Japanese emperor. Upon meeting the emperor face to face, Stale Gun had a chance to kill the emperor on site. However, he was convinced by the emperor that the Japanese invasion was justified because Japan's invasion of China was for the higher goal of unifying Asia and bringing glory to it. The killings were necessary evils and were for greater benefits of Asian people. So instead of assassinating the emperor, Stale Gun let the emperor kill him," she said, shaking her head with disgust. ``Oh my goodness, he was such a stupid person who was fond of this kind of dumb movies, and I was one of his concubines." She suddenly sobbed, feeling very shameful about herself.
    John remained silent and sighed but he did not know how to console a girl.
    Controlling her emotions, she continued: ``I secretly reported all his corruption deeds I knew about to the authority and exposed them on the overseas Internet. Of course he denied them in the public, but eventually his political rivals got him. He was put on trial for corruption and power abuse. His downfall was like the falling of small ice blocks that triggers a snow avalanche in Everwhite Mountain. The corruption trial of the mayor created a political storm.
    In betraying him, I inflicted further wounds in my soul. No matter how corrupted and foolish of a man he was, he had loved me, treated me extremely well, and granted me protection and security.
    With his protection gone, I put myself at the edge of the political turmoil. Once again I was arrested for trial, this time for bribing the corrupted mayor. They locked me up in a cell where I sat on the floor totally bewildered. I had had enough and more than enough of this China dream, of this superiority of socialism, which stirred your heart and brought you great hope, only to be revealed as nothing but lies, deceit and injustice.
    I no longer craved for any good leader or rescuer. I wished neither wealth nor fame nor power. I desired nothing but basic human rights, yearning for nothing but freedom: free to express, free to choose and free to travel. That was what I had wanted when I first published my articles, trusting the big promises and believing the splendid slogans each time when new national leaders were selected. But what then? Then there would be an impulse of enforcing new policies that would renew your dream, and before long you would be awaken again, had to admit the illusion in your mind once again and once again had to absorb the dreadful despair and disappointment in your heart, until the next campaign, until the start of the next dream. I had had enough of it all. I wanted to bring this eternal cycle of suffering, of dreaming and foaming to an end or I would extinguish myself along with it. Death was my fear. But now death became my hope. ..."


The Mysterious Fugitive
........................

    He thought of the girl. Although they had met for only one day, their miserable experiences had forged a bond between them. The guilty feeling of letting her take the risky shortcut came to haunt him. He tossed around on the mat and could hardly fall asleep. When he did, he had a dark and troubled dream: it seemed that he could see the girl walk alone and helplessly in a forest. She was singing a song, but it was a song without any sound---a voiceless song, and her mind was in a tumult of emotion. Suddenly some creatures with grey color and strange shapes appeared at the outer rim of the forest and quickly approached her. She tried to back away, but they corralled her, like hungry wolves predating a prey, and captured her, carrying her away with hideous arms. She struggled violently, punching her fists and kicking her legs in the air with all her energy but the creatures were strong, solidly gripping her. She cried, and yelled for help, her voice penetrating the forest, calling: Free me, free me! She was beaten and tortured but she did not bend, extending her shout, until the forest trembled, trunks rumbling, branches grating and breaking, roots creaking and cracking, winds hissing and howling. In dread confusion the creatures were startled into flight, fleeing the forest.

.................

<< Prev     Next >>