The Malachite curse 4 : Chow’s fury and Cuifen’s burial
12 March 2020
With a speed unexpected given her stocky build, Chow leapt onto Ming-Hoa who had just been released by the men holding him as they had to tend to the platform, rolling it to the cemetery where they would bury Cuifen. Chow held Ming-Hoa’s ridiculously thin throat in a deadlock and the men who had come back from rolling the platform on its wheels were no match for the strength of her fury as she tightened her fingers around Ming-Hoa’s neck.
- You killed her, you old bastard, she spat out at Ming-Hoa who merely spluttered. He seemed to have no will to fight her deadly fingers. You killed my beautiful Cuifen, she continued in a rage
Cuifen whom she had carefully clothed and taught all the rudiments of life and who had somehow been able to teach her back more refined ways of doing things. Cuifen whose beautiful hair she had combed and tied back with a sigh wishing she could allow her to have her hair fall around her beautiful face. She had known then that Cuifen’s beauty could be a curse because she could not even let her hair fall alongside her face without that causing a stirring in the hearts of all those who saw her. Cuifen who had come out of her, an infinite gift despite the horrible relationship she was in and which had allowed her to endure more easily the beatings she used to get from her husband. Cuifen whom even her father would never harm so much he was awed by her beauty. Cuifen who had been robbed from her by this contorted old man.
Chow’s hands continued to tighten around the neck of Ming-Hoa and the latter suddenly realized that he wanted to die. He wanted to die in the hope that the crowd would bury him close to Cuifen’s grave rather than have to break the ice-covered earth in a totally different place. It would indeed be easier to overturn the earth nearer to Cuifen’s grave than attempt to break through another new patch of ice further away. He was surprised to find that he did not fear death anymore as long as he could share a proximity with Cuifen in death if not in life. Besides, now that Chow was strangling him, he realized that she was indeed dead and he no longer had any desire to live. He closed his eyes offering his neck to Chow.
The other villagers had already started breaking the ice in the cemetery in anticipation of the arrival of the platform holding Cuifen’s coffin. For some reason, the ice seemed more difficult to break than usual. It was as if the earth itself refused to swallow Cuifen and wanted her to stay forever exposed to the eyes of the villagers. As they continued to dig with their shovels turned sideways each one thought back to their first encounter with her and the latter encounter once she had started growing up into a beautiful young girl. Those who were married had cursed the fate that got them married before she had grown up and those who were unmarried dreamt secretly of how they would woo her after they had earned enough to be able to afford a marriage. They dug with the force of desperation not only to counter the might of the ice but also to counter the flooding of the images of their broken dreams as they now had to literally bury them with her.
Spirit of Free – Saint of Sin