​​         Chinese Stories in English   

Stories by Duan Guosheng (段国圣)
1. Waves, Oh Waves (浪呀么浪打浪)*

      In 1969 he was taken into custody and interrogated for misreading a quotation of the Great Leader. They shut him up in a gloomy, mildewed little attic. His wife was implicated in the matter and assigned to the canteen to cook over a steel pot.
      The canteen was right below the attic. A chimney faced the attic window.
      Every day a ray of sunshine slanted through the window. When it shone on the mottled brick wall, he’d take a sheet of paper covered with closely written characters from the desk, crumple it up into a ball and toss it into the black hole of the chimney. Before long a wisp of blue-green smoke would billow out from the chimney and curl up into the sky. Then he’d take a deep breath, as if he wanted to inhale the entire wisp of smoke into his lungs and heart.
      For the first six months or so he was in that little attic, he tossed a piece of paper into the chimney at that exact moment every day like clockwork. And the chimney would spit out a wisp of blue-green smoke a moment later.
      In that uniquely special period, they used this uniquely special way to communicate their trust and love to each other. Later he was sent to prison. The chimney no longer bore those wisps of blue-green smoke....
      After many years had passed, the wife finally completed her life’s journey. As she was about to die, she handed him an exquisite little box. In it were over a hundred wrinkly letters. He held the box to his breast and burst into tears.
      I went to see him not long ago. With his hair already silver, he’s still as sanguine and optimistic as ever. We talked for a long time. As I was leaving, I watched him take a small piece of paper in hand, crumple it into a ball and toss it into an empty vase on the coffee table. He did it quite calmly, and the paper ball slipped into the vase without a sound.
[Fannyi – The title refers to a popular song extoling the benevolence of the Communist Party. See
here (in Chinese).]

2. The One in the Picture (照片上的那个人)

      He embarked on a career as a fugitive.
      Many years passed. He was destitute, as down on his luck as a homeless wanderer.
      One day as he was wandering the streets, he took a photo of himself out of his breast pocket. He stopped a passer-by and asked, “Have you seen the person in this picture?”
      The fellow looked at the photo, shook his head, and answered, “No.”
      He went to a shopping mall and asked a customer, “Have you seen this person?” The customer looked at the photo, shook her head and said, “No.”
      Finally he went to the train station and asked someone who’d just gotten off a train, “Have you seen this person?” The passenger looked at the photo, shook his head and said, “No.”
      He put the picture away sorrowfully. His eyes brimmed over with tears.
      Many more years passed. He’d become a beggar, dressed in rags, unkempt, as wan and sallow as a little old man.
      One day someone grabbed his shirt and asked him in a weak voice, “Brother, have you seen the person in this photo?”
      He turned his head to look. Suddenly tears sprung from his eyes and he knelt down on the ground with a thump. He shouted, “Mother!”

3. Without a Trace (失踪)

      Tom’s wife disappeared without a trace.
      He went to the Public Security Bureau to report the disappearance.
      The officer responded, “We’ll assist you in finding her.”
      She was still missing a month later.
      The police sought out Tom to question him:
      “Was your wife having an affair?”
      She was, but he answered, “No, she wasn’t.”
      “Did you have a normal marital relationship?”
      They hadn’t, but he answered, “Yes, it was.”
      “Did you ever have thoughts of divorcing your wife?”
      He had, but he answered, “No, never.”
      “Have you been looking for your wife this last month?”
      He told the truth for once. “No, I haven’t.”
      The officer looked Tom right in the eye, suspiciously. Tom couldn’t help feeling a chill run down his spine.
      “What? Do you guys doubt me?”
      The officer gave him a knowing laugh. “Go on home.”
      Tom posted “missing” posters all over town. He packed his meals and went out to ask around about her whereabouts.
      He finally found her a month later.
      He walked into the Public Security Bureau and told that all-knowing officer in a loud voice, “You guys don’t have to look any more. I’ve found her.”

4. A Pin Dropping (针落在地上的声音)

      Tom excitedly told some people that he’d heard a pin drop.
      “It was a very small pin.”
      When he was in a quiet place. He heard it in his room.
      Tom told his listeners that they could believe what he was saying.
      “You could hear the sound of a pin dropping?” This listener’s rhetorical question showed that he didn’t believe.
      “That’s too much! Can’t be!”
      “I really did,” Tom said. He couldn’t understand why no one believed him. This time, though, Tom gestured with his hands as testimony that the pin was this big. His gesture was about three inches long.
      “That can’t be, eh?” The listener half believed him.
      So Tom said, “I’m not lying at all.”
      Tom stuck with his story that he’d heard a pin drop.
      But still no one believed him.
      “That’s a phrase used to describe quiet in books, but you really didn’t hear it.” A listener patted Tom on the shoulder. His words carried an air of admonishment.
      Tom had heard it distinctly. He’d heard it quite clearly even though it was a weak, tiny sound.
      “You really know how to shoot the bull.” The listeners were becoming impatient.
      Tom had never lied in his life. He was truly hurt that he couldn’t get people to believe him.
      But he still insisted that he’d heard a pin drop.
      “I really did hear it.” But this time Tom used one hand to gesture. “It was attached to a syringe,” he said. “This big.”
      Everyone laughed loudly. “This guy Tom is really full of it.” They left shaking their heads.

5. Shaking Hands (握手)

      Old Zhang encountered two friends today. One was Old Lin and the other was Old Xu.
      When he ran into Lin – No, when Lin ran into him, he was quite excited and reached out his hand while he was still some distance away. He took Zhang’s hand tightly and shook it hard. “Long time no see, Bro’.”
      “Yeah, yeah,” Zhang replied.
      Lin was rather animated and talked a lot. He’d say something, then shake Zhang’s hand, then say something else and shake his hand again. Zhang was greatly discomfited. Lin’s hand was small, almost the same size as a woman’s, and it was uncomfortable having it hold his.
      He tried several times to remove his hand from Lin’s grasp, but Lin wouldn’t let go. Eventually Lin stuck out his other hand as well, placed it on top of Zhang’s, and shook even more vigorously.
      Zhang finally couldn’t stand it anymore. He said he had something to do, and he hoped Lin could come over to his home some time. Only then did Lin let loose of his hand.
      After they’d said goodbye, Zhang ran into Old Xu. Zhang was quite excited and couldn’t refrain from grasping Xu’s hand. “Long time no see. Look, a headful of white hair. How you doing these days?”
      “Good, good,” Xu answered. “you?”
      Zhang was only thinking about how much he had to say. He couldn’t stop shaking Xu’s hand and chatted away a blue streak. As his speech became more animated, he couldn’t keep from patting Xu’s shoulder with his left hand.
      Xu didn’t say anything. After a while he pumped Zhang’s hand twice firmly and said, “Come over to my place tomorrow and we’ll have a good talk!”
      Old Zhang ran into two old friends today. It goes without saying that they were happy events, but Zhang wasn’t pleased.

6. Box Lunches in 1970 (1970年的饭盒)

      Water-Born Xu was in junior high in 1970. Because the school was far away, most students brought a “dry lunch”. The so-called “dry lunch” was a handful of uncooked rice from home, plus some pickled veggies or the like. When they got to school they’d take it into the cafeteria for the cook to steam it, and that was all there was to it. They all had their names written on their lunchboxes so no one else would take it. It was a simple lunch, but it managed to fill their bellies so it wasn’t bad.
      Water-Born’s family was poor. Sometimes they didn’t even have any rice, so he had to take a yam to school. At lunch time he’d take his lunchbox and go away from the others, to hide off by himself somewhere to eat.
      Once he opened his lunchbox and a wonderful aroma filled his nostrils. A piece of salted pork covered his rice. The grains of rice were soaked to translucence by the fat steamed out of the pork. Water-Born thought he must have got the wrong box, but when he looked carefully, his name was written clearly on the lid. He looked around and his classmates were all diving into their own lunches.
      Water-Born’s lunch box had a piece of salted pork in it every day for the next several days. He knew that someone must be switching the lid on his lunchbox on purpose. Finally one day he put a piece of salted fish in his lunchbox. If someone switched the lid, they could have his fish. But he was disappointed.
      Just as Water-born was intent on solving this mystery, the school closed. He no longer had to go to class, and the person who secretly switched his lunchbox never surfaced again.
      Thirty years later, at a class reunion, Water-born asked his classmates individually, who had switched his lunchbox lid back then. They all laughed, but none of them would admit it. One of them, though, whose name was Spring Flower Yang, said, “I bet your salted fish tasted pretty good.”

7. Big Scabby (大癞疤)

      If you shout “Big Scabby”, even in front of a crowd, he’ll jump out and ask loudly, "Yeah! What is it?" He doesn’t forbid people from mentioning his scar, but in fact he’s miserable. When he was young and hadn’t had anything to eat, he saw his mom dishing rice porridge into a bowl on the table. He grabbed at it and ended up with the bowl of porridge upside-down on his head.... He was left with a scar like a tuft of fuzzy mildew over his eyebrow. It’s funny-looking. He’s well over forty and is still a bachelor.
      "Big Scabby, go buy me a pack of cigarettes." He took the money from the man's hand and flew off to the canteen. When he got back, the guy who’d asked him to buy cigarettes pulled one out of the pack to reward him. Big Scabby smoked it with delight.
      Someone said, “You’d be better off with a wife, Big Scabby.”
      “Been thinking of it!” he replied with an embarrassed laugh.
      So someone came up with an idea. “After it gets dark, climb into Orchid Yang’s bed. Once you do her, there’ll be no going back and you can live happily ever after....”
      Big Scabby scratched his head. “How could that be OK?” he asked.
      People in the crowd encouraged him to give it a try, and Big Scabby nodded in agreement. Orchid Yang was an old girl and slightly lame. Despite that, she’d been asking people to set her up.
      Big Scabby went to her that night, but he didn’t climb into her bed. Instead he filled up the water tank and propped up the sheep fence at her place.
      The next day everyone saw that Big Scabby was wearing a hat neatly on his head. When they hooted at him to take it off, he scowled. “Please don’t screw around with me!”
      The people lost interest and started to leave. One of them said, “Fuck, I’m eighty or ninety percent sure the old girl gave him that hat.”

8. Attempted Murder (谋杀未遂)

      I snuck into the hotel at the risk of my life. I knew there was going to be a murder there, but I’d been tracking that guy for several days and this time I could no longer just sit around with my hands in my pockets!
      The guy came in and sat down near a corner with a newspaper in his hands. He was waiting for the woman to show up. After a while he looked at his wristwatch and gestured to the waiter. The waiter immediately brought over two cups coffee. The guy quietly took a small paper envelope out of his pocket and poured some white powder into the cup opposite him.
      That’s when the woman came. She smiled tactfully at the guy and settled into a chair. They began to whisper. The man was smiling and drummed his fingers on the glass tabletop from time to time. The woman, refined and cultivated, stirred the coffee in her cup with a stainless-steel spoon.
      I tried to land on the rim of her cup to stop her from drinking, but she kept flicking me away with her fingers in disgust. Finally she picked up the cup and I couldn’t hesitate any more. I dove down without regard for my life. At that moment I heard her scream, “Damn fly!”
      I’m dead, but her, she’s been saved.

9. The Sneezing Village (打喷嚏的村庄)

      Peach Blossom Village used to be poor. Later a temporary cadre developed many strategies and tried all kinds of methods (some of which are secret and won’t be mentioned here) to attract an outside investor to set up a factory in the village. The factory produced a high-tech product that was said to be some sort of cosmetic. It sold quite well. With this industry, the lives of the common people in Peach Blossom Village got better day by day. They grinned and praised the cadre as their savior.
      But the people couldn’t smile after the cadre left the village. They suddenly contracted a strange disease – male, female, young, old, all of them – they started to sneeze constantly….
      "Good morning, Uncle Wang, ah-choo!" Uncle Wang was about to open his mouth to reply when he also sneezed, “Ah-choo….”
      Auntie Li went to the neighbor’s to borrow a sieve. “Sister Ma, loan me a – ah-choo!”
      When the children were studying, half the time they spent reading a lesson was sneezing.
      They say one girl tore her waistband apart from sneezing. She almost jumped into the river to commit suicide. An old woman sprained her back by sneezing and is still lying abed to this day.
      Even more irritating to the village chief, he was speaking in a radio broadcast and sneezed one sneeze after another. He lost a lot of prestige from that.
      While the sneezing was still spreading, someone noticed that the dogs in Peach Blossom Village were sneezing, too. When they saw a stranger, their bark was a nonstop “ah-choo, ah-choo!”
      The powers that be eventually became alarmed by the situation. They called in Peach Blossom Village’s erstwhile temporary cadre (who was now a director) and asked him to lead a fact-finding mission: They wanted to resolve this problem in the shortest time.
      The investigators were miserable as soon as they entered the village. Their sneezes shook the heavens and the earth, and their leader couldn’t straighten his back from sneezing. The villagers welcomed them with their sneezes.... This situation continued for some time, until their leader secretly asked the factory’s boss to stop production. Only then did the people in Peach Blossom Village finally stop sneezing.

10. I’ll Be Going Now (先走一步)

      Tom encountered Harry on the road. A few years before, Tom could have addressed him directly by name. Now, though, Harry had become a big shot who had a sedan come and get him and pick him up when he went out, so Tom had to be more respectful and call him Director Li.
      Director Li jiggled the car door and asked Tom whether he wanted a ride. Tom was quick to shake hands with him and say, “That’s OK, it’s not necessary.”
      Harry gestured goodbye and said, “Well, then, I’ll be going now. Stop by my place when you have the time.”
      Tom bowed. “Sure, I will.”
      Unexpectedly, Harry really did "go". His car hadn’t gone far when it got in an accident. He died at the scene.
      Tom felt bad about it. “How could that happen? Such a good person, how could he say, ‘I’m going’ and then he’s gone?” He bought a large wreath and sent it to Harry’s family.
      He made the ritual bows to Harry’s image at the funeral. People were lined up outside to offer their condolences, his superiors and co-workers among them. Tom looked around and saw how crowded the room was, so he told Harry’s wife, “I’ll be going now. Take good care of yourself.”
      He left, but before long he turned around and came back. The people in the room thought that was a little strange. Tom seemed somewhat uncomfortable as well. He muttered: “I wanted to see Director Li again.”

11. I Won’t Forget You (不会忘记你)

      Someone tapped on the door.
      There were two strange faces. “May I ask who you’re looking for?”
      “Chairman Yang of the Literary Federation, I presume,” the visitor said, bowing courteously. “I'm Professor Li....”
      “Ah, please come in.” Chairman Yang remembered that Professor Li had called him a few days previously and said he had a nephew who wanted a favor.
      The visitor explained his intentions. He wanted, with Chairman Yang’s permission, to organize an exhibition of personal photography. “Look,” Professor Li said as he took out a stack of photos from his bag.
      The photos weren’t very good. The coloration, especially, lacked artistic effect. It was easy to see they were the work of a beginner. The Chairman looked rather embarrassed and thought that it wasn’t a good idea.
      While Chairman Yang looked over the photos in his hand, Professor Li’s nephew sauntered around the room looking at things with interest. Before long, he unexpectedly asked whether Chairman Yang liked to collect antiques. The Chairman said dismissively that those things were all worthless, just knick-knacks. Professor Li's nephew, obviously excited, said, “I have a calligraphy painting from the late Qing Dynasty. Since you’re a collector, I’d be happy to give it to you.”
      “No, no, no!” Chairman Yang waived his hand repeatedly. He hurried to change the subject to the photos and made some suggestions for improvement. He agreed to let them stage the exhibition.
      The exhibition was held as scheduled not long thereafter. The results were acceptable. Professor Li and his nephew telephoned several times to express their gratitude. Chairman Yang, however, wasn’t happy. Eventually he grabbed the phone one day and contacted Professor Li's nephew. “What new work have you done recently? Are you going to do another exhibition?”
      Professor Li's nephew was quite excited. “Thank you, Chairman Yang. I forgot to tell you, the provincial publishing house is going to publish a collection of my work. When it comes out, I’ll definitely send you a copy.”
      “Heh!” the Chairman cried. “Don’t forget, when it comes out!”
      “Absolutely,” the nephew said firmly. “No matter what, I’ll not forget you, Chairman Yang!”

Stories by Tian Hongbo (田洪波)
12. Revisiting (重游)

      The sun was scorching hot.
      He walked slowly onto the campus. People were cheering at a meet being held on the athletic grounds. He squeezed into the crowd. Many parents were letting loose and cheering their children on.
      He couldn’t help thinking back to his own student days. He was a champion in the hundred-meter dash at the time. Mama boiled two eggs for him as a reward. His teachers gave him some grid-pattern paper for practicing characters, along with a pen.
      He was proud of that. His record had never been broken.
      He looked toward the classroom building. He felt it was a lot taller, compared to before. There was a dense canopy of trees that might have been planted back then. They grew straight up into the cloudy sky. He sighed gently and directed his vision toward the teachers who were leading cheers. Some of the faces were vaguely familiar.
      The current race happened to be the hundred-meter. He saw the game faces on the kids and watched the first boy sprint off the starting line at the sound of the pistol. The boy looked like his former self. His cheeks were puffing and he ran like a gust of wind speeding forward. There were two other boys behind him, though, struggling to catch up, and his lead was getting smaller. He saw that the boy's face was getting rosy red.
      He was sweating blood for the boy, but all he did was cheer. He was oblivious to anything else going on around him, and he wondered just what reward the boy was praying for. Those two boiled eggs had really kept him stirred up for a long time back then!
      The boy finally crossed the finish line, setting the entire campus on fire.
      An excited teacher hugged him, and a pair of gray-haired old people surrounded him. He laughed like he was happy, but was startled to find that tears had at some time started to flow from his eyes.
      Ah, that was it, he envied the boy. He really wanted to be standing on that line, too, and to start running once again!

13. City Hero (城市英雄)

      He finally appeared on the Jiangling River Bridge on the eve of the heroic first responder’s funeral. The bridge was decorated with ribbons and wreaths. It was the place where the heroic first responder had spilled the last drop of his blood. The volunteer’s hands were blushed red from the bitter cold, but he nevertheless silently and indefatigably extended them to position the ribbons and wreaths that citizens had offered to express their grief.
      He was soon recognized, initially by a television reporter. A microphone was stuck in his face so he could say a few words about the heroic first responder who had touched the hearts of an entire city.
      The video camera lights shining on his face made it look even more ashen than it was.
      "From the point of view of technique, do you think his jump from the twenty-meter-high bridge should have injured him?" The pretty young female journalist could hardly conceal the excitement in her face.
      "It shouldn’t have...." His head had been drooping, but he slowly began to look up. "But I think he seems to have encountered an obstacle, a deadly one. Given the child’s serious injuries, it was right for him to rescue the child without regard to his personal safety."
      "You’re the province's champion swimmer, the pride of our city. If you’d encountered such a situation, would you have risked everything and dived in?" The female reporter raised one of her thin eyebrows.
      "Actually, no." He smiled wryly as he calmly watched the reporter’s surprised expression.
      "Because I was at the scene that day, too."

14. The Answer (答案)

      This was his best chance to "sneak a peek" at her QQ secrets. It was the weekend and she’d gone for a milk bath. She’d asked him to stay at home for a while and be “honest”. He hadn’t wanted to abort his plan to “sneak a peek”, and he’d practically laughed and shoved her out the door. He knew that the remaining time would be enough for what he’d arranged.
      He was staring at QQ on the screen. He’d never thought that this frigid chat tool would one day put a riddle down in front of him. He took a deep breath and entered the combination of numbers for her birthday. The login box quickly showed an “incorrect password” message and asked him to try again. That was rather unexpected, he thought. Their family’s bank accounts, insurance cards and whatnot all used her birthday as a password. It seemed his fears hadn’t been extraneous – otherwise she wouldn’t have set up such a clever "obstacle" and leave him no way to find out the answer!
      He thought it over for a moment and decided to start over again. The combination of numbers for the birthdays of all three members of their family – the final six places in his and her cell phone numbers – their son’s class ID number – their address.... he sweat until he was all sweated out, but still couldn’t find a "pathway". He was bewildered.
      For a moment he wanted to tear himself away, but in the end he continued to churn out new memorized figures to try. Even though the wait time for him to sign in expired. He told himself that he couldn’t be considered too unreasonable and felt reassured by the thought – a good friend of his had broken up twice because one of the parties had been chatting. While she’d never been completely frank with him, he didn’t want to let himself muddle through things like that. And as he spent time at it, a kind of "voyeuristic" desire became more intense in him.
      As a result, right up to the time his wife came home sporting a head of damp hair, he still hadn’t successfully signed in.
      "You want to get into my ... QQ?" His wife gave him a dubious look.
      He shook his head awkwardly to deny it.
      His wife obviously read his expression. "Truth is, it’s nothing.... You can sign on now and look.... The password is your birthday."
      That made his head spin. Damn! He cussed himself out under his breath.

15. Give Me a Stage (给我一个舞台)

      Radiant with exuberance, Clear Yu entered the dressing room shortly after finishing her boxed meal to get ready to appear in the program. Rosy Cloud, one of the girls portraying “vivacious young women” on stage, looked at her with some surprise. She glanced quickly at Dragon, who was standing beside her while he applied her makeup. Dragon gave Rosy a look telling her to hold off on whatever offhanded comment she was about to let slip.
      "You’re early, Rosy!" Clear Yu Qing sat herself down in front of the mirror. She examined her collar and the lace edging on her dress and noticed the crow's feet in the corners of her eyes. She showed no expression as she rubbed them. She stifled a sigh and maintained the smile on her face.
      "Miss Yu...." Dragon blushed slightly. He hesitated, trying to decide whether to tell Clear the truth. At last he bit his lip:
      "You’re not in the program this week.... The station decided to put Beauty Huang in."
      The hand with which Clear had been stroking her face froze in mid-air.
      "Oh, is that so? Why didn’t they tell me before this?"
      Clear didn’t let the tears in her eyes fall. She stood up, embarrassed. "Beauty Huang’s pretty good.... I think she has better stage presence than me.... She’s received professional training, after all...."
      Clear started leave, mumbling to herself, and almost bumped full into an excited Beauty Huang. Clear wanted to say something but ended up but just nodding automatically. She hurried on out of the dressing room.
      Clear held back her tears until she got out to a terrace, and then they flowed. Looking up at the night sky, she suddenly remembered something that had happened many years ago, also in a dressing room. But the star then was Sister Yan, not herself.
      Her heart sank.

16. Who Am I? (我是谁)

      I don’t know what everyone was thinking – to my surprise, after I won the championship in the race against White Rabbit, I got nothing but cold shoulders! My home was so lonely you could catch sparrows on the doorstep, but the joint was jumping at White Rabbit’s place. She even moved into a new home with the assistance of the Elephant Loves Literature Company.
      I spent my days wandering around with nothing to do. I imagined that the unhappiness I saw in myself was like swallowing a fly right down into my stomach. I couldn’t help but exclaim, “What a crazy world this is!” Of course White Rabbit repeatedly showed up in the headlines or some other prominent position of various publications, both large and small, and always accompanied by a glamorous photo framed to look like she was the champion.
      Obviously, I heard some comments that made me unhappy. Some speculated that I’d gained an advantage due to an injury to White Rabbit. It was also said that I’d done some dirty trick while White Rabbit was on a break.
      "You been okay lately?" Finally the two of us met face-to-face one day and she greeted me like that. She had a radiant look of self-satisfaction on her face and a bag in her hand.
      I shook my head, somewhat woodenly.
      "Everyone’s waiting for me to go make a report." White Rabbit smiled dubiously.
      She wasn’t in a hurry to go, though. "You know what I’d like to talk about?" When she saw me shake my head again, she smiled even more brilliantly. "It’s a topic a snake reporter assigned to me. It’s called, ‘Forbearance Gave Me a Truly Meaningful Victory.’"
      I looked at her and drew a complete blank.
      Really, at that moment, I actually didn’t know who I was.

17. Nest (巢)

      It suffered serious trauma and passed out on someone’s balcony.
      The place was owned by an old man, an empty-nester. For a while he didn’t know what he should do to take care of this unfortunate raptor.
      He got help from enthusiastic neighbors and called a veterinarian. He bought a wire cage and carefully treated the bird. More than a month later, the raptor recovered the ability to flap its wings and its eyes were spirited. Its appetite was surprising – it could swallow a pound of meat in one gulp. This often gave the old man pause, because the price of meat in the market was rising like soap bubbles....
      The old man called his six children together and explained the situation to them. They indicated that it would obviously be best if he didn’t keep this raptor around for company. They shared the family’s expenses as best they could.
      And so the old man and the raptor passed their days together. He poured out his thoughts to the bird, including his grievances with his kids....
      The day the raptor was fully recovered. The old man opened the wire cage reluctantly, hoping it would fly again in the blue sky. However, when it stepped out of the cage on its stout legs, it in fact looked at the old man with some hesitation and stopped. It ended up returning to the cage, where it nestled down peacefully.
      The old man was stunned. He grabbed the cage and burst into tears.

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1. Waves, Oh Waves
2.The One in the Picture
3. Without a Trace
4. A Pin Dropping
5. Shaking Hands
6. Box Lunches in 1970

12. Revisiting
13. City Hero
14. The Answer
15. Give Me a Stage
16 Who Am I?
17. Nest

                                                                Duan Guosheng                                                                         Tian Hongbo

7. Big Scabby
8. Attempted Murder
9. The Sneezing Village
10. I’ll Be Going Now
11. I Won’t Forget You

Flash Fiction Monthly, Premier Issue, Distinguished Authors' Manuscripts, Page 4
Translated from
here, also available here.
Some stories also republished on websites cited below.